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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Birth Centers in Phoenix

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 1:37 PM Comments comments (1)
Did you know that there are six birth centers to choose from if you are a birthing family in the metro-Phoenix area in Arizona?  Several of them offer Bradley Method classes on their calendar.  We will be offering a series at Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Midwifery that starts in October.  Please contact us if you would like to enroll.

Here is a quick run-down of the options, listed in alphabetical order.

Babymoon Inn

202 E. Morris Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 314-7755 

"Babymoon Inn birth center was born out of the passion of families who wanted to provide access to midwifery care and a freestanding, out-of-hospital setting for birth for families in the Phoenix area.   Babymoon Inn is a free-standing, out-of-hospital birth center, licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services,  accredited as a birth center by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, and a member of the American Association of Birth Centers.  A birth center gives an option in Phoenix for low-risk women to experience birth in a comfortable, home-like setting where natural birth is our focus.

"Babymoon Inn provides a wide range of options and choices for moms in labor.  Your choice of either a beautiful jetted tub or a contemporary vessel soaking tub are available for water birth or for labor.  We have birth props, stools, and labor balls.  Our lovely garden provides outdoor space and an inspirational mural.   You are welcome to bring your family and may eat or drink during labor.

Our sanctuary is ready and our hearts are open for you.  Come visit!"

The Birth Haven

3303 S. Lindsay Road, Suite 125
Gilbert, Arizona 85297
480-664-7463
[email protected]

"The Birth Haven at LifeSpring Midwifery is the first birth center in Gilbert, Arizona. We offer traditional midwifery care, water birth, birth center and home birth, and well-woman care."


The Birth Nest at Caitlin Court

5622 W. Palmaire Ave 
Glendale, AZ 85301
623.748.7655

"The Birth Nest at Caitlin Court Birth Center offers a beautiful, relaxed and comfortable place to labor and birth your child.  Free from the rigid policies and procedures at a hospital, our birth center offers the comfort of home without the distractions of home. " 

Blossom Birth and Wellness Center
http://www.blossombirthcenter.com/

2928 N. 18th Place
Phoenix AZ 85016
(602) 256-7766

"Blossom Birth Center is a special place created to cultivate peace, love and healthy families. Blossom is an accredited birth center in Phoenix, Arizona where low risk, healthy pregnant women give birth naturally with midwives and a special Ob/Gyn with the heart of a midwife. Blossom is Licensed by the state of Arizona and accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC), as well as a member of the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC)."

Willow Midwife Center for Birth andWellness

2045 S Vineyard, Suite 136
Mesa, AZ 85210
480-565-5990
[email protected]

"Willow Midwife Center for Birth & Wellness is a boutique midwife and birth center in Mesa, AZ, just minutes from Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler and Scottsdale. The Willow birth center offers comprehensive, individualized care for women including maternity carelabor & birth services, and wellness care."

Women's Birth & Wellness Center
http://www.yourazbirthcenter.com/

504 W University Dr
Mesa, AZ 85201
480-833-6582

"Women's Birth & Wellness Center is an independent free-standing birth center in Mesa, Arizona. Women's Birth and Wellness Center is an organization operated by women who are midwives, nurse practitioners lactation counselors and doulas. The focus of Women's Birth & Wellness Center is to provide education for women and families to make informed choices about their birth, their health, and their baby."


Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog post and on our website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Q&A with SPB: When is it time to go to our birth place?

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 7:47 PM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWe get this question a lot, and it came up again when we taught class on Friday evening.  The most common answer uses the acronym "5-1-1".















When you have this pattern established:
5 ~ Contractions are five minutes apart
1 ~ Contractions are lasting one minute
1 ~ This pattern has been established for one hour

...then it is probable that a change in activity is not going to slow down your labor.

There are other variations of this...some providers will say 4-1-! (four minutes apart, lasting a minute and in this pattern for an hour), and I have even known some hospital-based midwives say 3-1-1 (three minutes apart, lasting a minute, and in this pattern for an hour).

However:

  1. Consider how far you are going to travel to your birth place: if you are going to be driving 45 minutes or more, you many consider getting a hotel or bunking down with a friend who lives withing a few minutes of your birth place so that you can head there when you think you are in labor.
  2. Consider what time of day you might be driving: have a couple of alternate routes in mind.
  3. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT: If for any reason, anything feels off or like it needs more attention, never hesitate to head to your birth place for more information, not matter what kind of labor pattern you happen to be experiencing.  Just go get more information and ensure you and your baby are well and ready for labor.


So hopefully that gives you a little better idea of what to plan for when it's time for your Sweet Pea's Birth-Day!!

Here is another video from our archives that you might like...it offers some suggestions to make that transition from home to birth place as smooth as possible in order to continue the good work you have started at home.

How to make a smooth transition during labor:

Do you have any "going to the hospital" tips to share? Please leave us a comment below!

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

UPDATE: Fundraising for Willow WIsh

Posted on September 16, 2016 at 3:49 PM Comments comments (0)
Please join us to celebrate the
GRAND OPENING 
Willow Midwife Center for Birth+Wellness

Saturday, September 17, 2016
10:30 am - 3:00 pm

2045 S. Vineyard
Suite 136
Mesa, AZ 85210


Here is a preview of the silent auction:

Little Boy Blue Basket: $300
Starting Bid:  $50

  • $200 voucher from Julie Papia (A Graceful Beginning) for birth or postpartum doula services
  • Placenta Encapsulation from Michelle Ludwig (The Modern Mama Doula Services)
  • Nursing Necklace from Denise Franklin (Denise Doula)
  • Hat+Sock Set
  • Bandana Bib
  • 3-pack Circo Bodysuits
  • Patrull Safety Latches
  • Bumpy Ball

 


 
Sugar+Spice Basket: $300.00
Starting Bid: $75.00

  • $200 voucher from Julie Papia (A Graceful Beginning) for birth or postpartum doula services
  • $50 off Placenta Encapsulation Service from Rebecca Turrigiano (Loving Touch Doulas)
  • Headband from Denise Franklin (Denise Doula)
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • 3-pack Bandana Bib
  • 2-pack Crib Sheets
  • Patrull Safety Latches
  • Bumpy Ball




Modern Mommy Boutique Gift Basket - $150 Value
Starting Bid: $40.00

  • Mudpie Plush Giraffe Blanket
  • Mudpie Giraffe Stroller Blanket
  • Safari Stroller Toy
  • Indestructible Book: Jungle Rumble
  • $40.00 Gift Certificate



 Postpartum Gift Basket – $150
Starting Bid: $40
Offered by Lindsay Lutes

  • Postpartum doula care: 5-hour of daytime shift OR 8-hour overnight shift
  • Elephant Diaper Caddy
  • 1-pack Naty Diapers
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm
  • Bamboobies Reusable Nursing Pads
  • MilkMakers Lactation Tea




 Birthing From Within Mentors Gift Basket - $60.00
Starting Bid - $25.00

  • Birthing From Within by Pam England
  • Natural Childbirth Exercises Handbook by Rhondda Hartman
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Morning Wellness Tea
  • Reusable Nursing Pads
  • Lavender Candle
  • Bumpy Ball




The Bradley Method® Instructors of AZ Gift Basket $65.00
Starting Bid - $25.00

  • Husband-Coached Childbirth by Dr. Robert Bradley
  • Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
  • Natural Childbirth ExerciseHandbook by Rhondda Hartman
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea
  • The Bradley Method® Cup
  • Reusable Nursing Pads
  • Massage Tool
  • Rice Pillow
  • Bumpy Ball

 


Babies R’Us Gift Basket - $65.00
Starting Bid - $25.00
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Tea Sampler
  • Swaddle Me Pod
  • 10-Pack Babies R’Us Closet Hangers
  • Koala Baby 5-Pack Closet Dividers
  • Koala Baby Green Storage Basket
  • Infantino Rubber Zebra
  • Babies R’Us Geoffrey Plush
  • Pampers On-The-Go Diaper Wallets with Diaper+Wipes
  • Babies R-Us Diapers
  • 1 Set Munchkin Latch Nursing Pads
  • Chicco Pacifier
  • Plus Travel Size Products from Dr. Smith, Balmex, Dapple, Babyganics, Boppy Bloom, Deva Naturals, and more!



Sweet Pea Births Gift Basket–  $80.00
Starting Bid - $25.00

  • The Night Before Your Birthday Book by Joni Rubinstein
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Morning Wellness Tea
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea
  • Hot/Cold Therapy Pack
  • SPB Reusable Nursing Pads
  • SPB Water Bottle
  • SPB Sticky notes
  • SPB Tote
  • SPB Pen

 
 
 
 
Golf Weekend - $500 Value
Starting Bid: $125

  • 3 days and two nights in a private home in the Chaparral Pines Golf Community
  • Two rounds of golf or golf for 2 at Chaparral Pines Golf Course
  • Cart Fee included
  • Must be used by November 15, 2016

 

Lactation Support Package - $180
Starting Bid: $45
Offered by Sarah Kankiewicz, CLE (Firefly Lactation Services)

  • Prenatal visit
  • Birth-day visit
  • 2 postpartum visits

 

Birth Journey Class - $200
Starting Bid: $50
Offered by Dianne Hamre (Doula Dianne)
 
This intensive one-day workshop will equip you with knowledge and skills that will enhance your birth experience while making lasting memories. The ideal time to take this workshop is in your 7th or 8th month of pregnancy. 
 
CLASS BENEFITS

  • This unique birth preparation class is designed with you in mind. You will be given a variety of tools needed for your journey regardless of where you are choosing to birth your baby.
  • The intimate class environment creates a time of special bonding with your partner.
  • It is taught in such a way that you will leave confident in your ability to advocate for your care in a respectful manner.

 
 
Birth Doula Services - $500
Starting Bid: $125
Offered by Ashlee Witham (Essence Doula)
Essence: the most significant element, quality or aspect of a thing or a person.
SUPPORT*RESPECT*EMPOWERMENT 
Ashlee Witham *Doula Services in PHX valley
 
As your doula, I will support you during pregnancy and assist you during childbirth and provide support to you and your family after birth of your baby.
  
 
Postpartum Doula Services - $240
Starting Bid: $60
8 Hours – Offered by Ashley Anders
A postpartum doula provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that moms, dads and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place.
 

In-Home Breastfeeding Consultation - $60
Starting Bid: $15  
Offered by Sarah Kankiewicz, CLE (Firefly Lactation Services)
 
 
Labor+Birth Photography - $400   
Starting Bid: $100
Offered by Rebecca Turrigiano (Loving Touch Doulas)
 
Being passionate about all things birth related, I am excited to be able to offer this service to both my doula clients and also families simply wanting to capture this special time on film. I pride myself in knowing when to capture these moments, and am happiest when my clients haven’t even realized that I was even taking the shots I did! Having a background in fashion, film and T.V, I bring a very unique prospective to your photos. The shots I capture also respect the birthing Mom’s dignity and doesn’t feel intrusive during private moments between partners. I am always honored to be invited into such a private moment. 
 
Description of Services

  • Available for Home, Birth Center and Hospital births
  • Labor and Delivery Photos starting in Active labor (6 or 7 cm dilated)
  • 50- 75 Edited, full resolution Digital and printed copies given to you within 7- 10 days



Naturopath Visit - $200
Starting Bid: $50
Offered by True Harmony Wellness Center


Spa Gift Certificate - $80
Starting Bid: $20
Offered by True Harmony Wellness Center


Mini Maternity Session - $175
Starting Bid: $45
Offered by Aimee Sugar Photography
 
 
Essential Oil Introductory Kit - $35
Starting Bid: $10
Offered by Aimee Sugar


Placenta Encapsulation Package - $175
Starting Bid: $45
Offered by The Pampered Belly
Placenta Encapsulation
Placenta Print
 










 


Raw Belly Cast - $75
Starting Bid: $20
Offered by The Pampered Belly
 











 
 
Magikarp Blanket - $75
Starting Bid: $20
Offered by Hookin’ for Rent


















Some last minute additions - will have more info at tomorrow's event!!

Photo Session –
Starting Bid:
Offered by Rala Photography
 
 
 
Nutrition Consultation –  
Starting Bid:
Offered by Baby Bloom Nutrition
 
 
 
Therapy Session –
Starting Bid:
Offered by OSS Physical Therapy


I hope to see you at tomorrow's event.  Come look for me upstairs - I will be at the silent auction sign-in table :)

Coming Soon: Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Wellness

Posted on September 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM Comments comments (0)
Please join us to celebrate the
GRAND OPENING of
Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Wellness

Saturday, September 17, 2016
10:30 am - 3:00 pm

2045 S. Vineyard
Suite 136
Mesa, AZ 85210

The midwives who own Willow would like to be able to provide for families who cannot afford the fee for a birth center birth.  To make that wish come true, they are starting a foundation called Willow Wish.  Please come out to support the birth center and to bid on the items that have been donated for their fundraising efforts:

IVF treatment (sans human parts) from IVF Phoenix

Photography by Rebecca Turrigiano

Photography by Amanda LaRussa

Eyelash extensions by Erin Rudd

Birth Doula services by Ashlee Witham

Postpartum Doula services donated by three different doulas:

  • Lindsay Lutes-Etzold (3 hours)
  • Saundra Rozenboom (10 hours)
  • Ashley Anders


Placenta Encapsulation services by Michelle Ludwig

Birth Journey class with Dianne Hamre

Childbirth class series with Saundra Rozenboom

Lactation package with Sarah Kankiewicz

Pregnancy+Postpartum package with Stacy LePert: 
Belly cast (raw), placenta encapsulation, placenta print, and a gift certificate to use towards a crochet keepsake

Mama Pampering Gift Basket from Arizona Birthing From Within instructors (will include one set of Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers)

Mama Pampering Gift Basket from Arizona Bradley Method Instructors (will include one set of Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers)

Mama Pampering Gift Basket from Arizona Doulas

And of course...
a Sweet Pea Births swag basket!

We still have more donations coming in...so stay tuned! 

I hope to see you to celebrate and congratulate Belinda Hodder, CNM and Diane Ortega, CNM as they open their doors to provide another option for evidence-based, respectful pregnancy, postpartum and well-woman care in Arizona.

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson




Q&A with SPB: Mother's Milk Bank of CO Donation and Outreach Center in Phoenix, AZ

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 8:59 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

I am happy to kick-off our 2016 Breastfeeding Edition of Q&A with SPB with a very special announcement from The Milk Spot, a local lactation support resource, located in Phoenix, Arizona:

Central Arizona now has a milk donation and outreach center, where mothers who are interested in donating excess pumped milk can be connected to a resource that provide precious liquid love to sweet peas that are most at risk. Now mothers in central Arizona can help families with babies that are receiving hospital NICU care. 



Mothers will undergo a screening process, and once they are accepted, their milk can be received and transferred to regional NICUs.  Learn more about milk donation at the INFO NIGHT at The Milk Spot, this Wednesday, August 3, 2016:


We will be there live, broadcasting on Periscope. Be sure to follow our twitter handle, @sweetpeabirths, for exclusive access to this launch and info meeting.  Michelle Hottya, IBCLC will be sharing information, answering questions, and facilitating a forum with area IBCLCs who work in the NICU.  We will be able to hear the impact stories of babies fed with precious mother's milk.  See you there or see you online!

Disclaimer:
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson







Inside Look: Babymoon Inn

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 7:31 AM Comments comments (0)
It is our pleasure to introduce you to the Babymoon Inn, one of the Phoenix area local birth centers. We have enjoyed getting to know the director, Julia Hall, through her support of The Bradley Method® events, as well as other local events where we have been vendors together.  We have had students from our classes birth there, as well as receive postpartum support through Babymoon’s various breastfeeding and family support meetings offered throughout the week. The support meetings are open to all families in the community, regardless of whether or not they birthed at Babymoon Inn.  We are so grateful to Julia’s commitment to create a community that supports and enriches a family through pregnancy, birth, and into the childbearing year.
 
FYI: As of Spring 2016, one of our Bradley Method® colleagues is offering the Bradley™ 12-week childbirth preparation series at Babymoon Inn. 
 
I hope you enjoy this month’s exclusive INSIDE LOOK at the Babymoon Inn.  I want to offer huge thanks to Julia for taking the time to give our readers a peek into the beautiful birth center located in Central Phoenix.
 
LOGO: Babymoon Inn - all rights reserved by Babymoon Inn, Phoenix, ArizonaTell me about the Babymoon Inn.
 Babymoon Inn is a freestanding accredited birth center and full-scope midwifery practice, offering GYN and well-woman care in addition to prenatal care.  Families who come to us can choose to birth in our birth center or at the hospital with a Babymoon Inn midwife.  We also offer doula services, prenatal massage, in-house chiropractic care, and an original Lamaze childbirth preparation series.
 
Who are the care providers at Babymoon Inn?
 Babymoon’s care providers are certified nurse-midwives.
 
What kind of families does Babymoon Inn serve?
 Babymoon welcomes ALL families.  We serve families from all areas and all backgrounds and all walks of life.  The common element among all of our families is that they are well-researched, they are informed about their choices, and they want to be active participants in their care.  
 
What range of services does Babymoon Inn provide for the childbearing year and beyond? Is there anything you do not provide for?
 Babymoon believes in holistic, patient-centered care and we aim to provide all of these services from the comfort of our office.  We offer prenatal care with extended appointment times, chiropractic care, prenatal massage, doula support, Lamaze childbirth preparation classes, an orientation group led by our registered dietitian, and two group prenatal appointments.  After baby arrives, we offer three weekly support groups for babies of various ages, lactation support, a postpartum group appointment complete with newborn photos, and two appointments with a midwife.  We screen for postpartum depression twice within the first six weeks after birth and continue to follow up with our mamas through our weekly Inn Mommies support group.  We offer a wide variety of community-building activities, such as weekly music classes, clothing swaps, crafting events for both moms and children, a monthly lecture series, and our famous annual cookie exchange every December!
 
What makes Babymoon Inn unique?
 We are a team of healthcare consumers AND healthcare providers who are committed to listening to feedback from our clients to give the most well-rounded, patient-centered experience.  We’ve grown our practice to offer a wide range of services based on what our families have requested, and we strive to meet each client wherever she is in her journey.
 
What motivated you to start Babymoon Inn?
 My passion was ignited by my own experience as a mother receiving traditional obstetrical care in the medical model and then the stark contrast to the midwifery model of care, where I was an active participant in the process.  Based on my own experiences and how I felt under each model of care, it became my life’s goal to make sure every woman who walks through our doors has a voice and leaves feeling empowered and supported.  She will know her voice matters. 
 
Is there anything else our readers should know about Babymoon Inn or the care providers?
 We don’t believe in one kind of birth experience.  You can have your baby in the birth center, in the hospital, with an epidural, unmedicated, by yourself, or with your entire family present. We are not here to dictate your birth; we are here to facilitate it and be a partner in your care
 
What inspires you?
The families who allow us to be a part of their journey during such a beautiful and miraculous time of life inspire me every day. 

 
Would you like more information about a birth journey with Babymoon Inn? You can also see the calendar of events available to the Phoenix community by visiting their website.

Babymoon Inn
PHONE: 602.314.7755
 
Office
(appointments and tours)
202 E. Morris Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85012

The Nest
(classes and activities)
220 E. Lexington Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Disclaimer:
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within series offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
 



 

Inside Look: The Milk Spot

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

This month, I would like to introduce you to The Milk Spot, a growing lactation clinic conveniently located in Central Phoenix.  The Milk Spot offers support groups and breastfeeding classes, as well as private consultations with the gold standard in lactation care, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (“IBCLC”).
 
Big thanks to Michelle Hottya, IBCLC, for taking the time to do our interview so we can give you the INSIDE LOOK into The Milk Spot!
 
Who are The Milk Spot care providers?
Michelle Hottya, IBCLC, RLC, CD(DONA)
Nichelle Whitehead, MD FACOG
Jacqueline Norris, CBC, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA)
 
What kind of families does The Milk Spot serve? 
We serve the diverse community of the metro Phoenix area. Families come from all over Central Arizona to get help with breastfeeding in our convenient, central location. We work with first-time parents, growing families, clients with history of breast surgery and fertility treatments, low-supply, oversupply, tongue and lip ties among other concerns. Our practice is LGBT-friendly. 
 
What range of services does The Milk Spot provide? Is there anything you do not provide for?
The Milk Spot provides private, in-person lactation consultations with an IBCLC, monthly breastfeeding classes, weekly support group and free weight checks. The Milk Spot does not yet offer pump rentals or sales, but stay tuned for future announcements of added services!
 
What makes The Milk Spot unique?
The Milk Spot is a warm, welcoming environment for new families to get needed support in the postpartum period. Parents love our weekly support group where lasting friendships have bloomed into toddler playgroups and Parents' Nights Out. We are located adjacent to Blossom Birth Center, so we enjoy a close relationship with the midwives, but we welcome clients from any practice and birth location, and respect their provider/patient relationships. 
 
What motivated you to start The Milk Spot?
The Milk Spot has been offering breastfeeding classes and support groups since 2011. To complement those services, we wanted to provide a lactation clinic in central Phoenix, with the added benefits of insurance billing and affordable rates. The potential for the clinic will grow from there!
 
Is there anything else our readers should know about this you or The Milk Spot?
We welcome your questions and we are happy to discuss your options over the phone!
 
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the happy smiles and look of relief on the clients' faces when they get the help they needed to give them a plan and a method to improve their breastfeeding relationship. Breastfeeding is important to them, and I will do whatever I can to help them get to their goals!
 
Monthly Calendar HERE  
 
Contact The Milk Spot:
(602) 529-5159
 
Office:
2922 N 18 Place, Phoenix, AZ

Have you had a great experience with Michelle and/or The Milk Spot?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

 

To Eat or Not To Eat…

Posted on November 5, 2015 at 8:07 AM Comments comments (4)
To eat or not to eat…That was the question for families planning a hospital birth.  When you are laboring at home or a birth center, you have the freedom to eat as your appetite dictates.  If you choose to have a hospital birth, you are at the mercy of your doctor’s orders and the nurse’s interpretation of the hospital protocol.  

We love it when science catches up to Dr. Bradley.  Anecdotally, we could tell students that it was safer to eat before/during labor since anesthesia has changed from the days of "knock'em out, drag 'em out" birth, as Dr. Bradley called it.  Women used to be under general anesthesia, which is administered differently than today's spinal or epidural blocks.  

We are so excited to update this post (and our class info!) with a press release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA):

"Most healthy women can skip the fasting and, in fact, would benefit from eating a light meal during labor, suggests research being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2015 annual meeting. Improvements in anesthesia care have made pain control during labor safer, reducing risks related to eating, researchers note."
ASA Press Release, "Most healthy women would benefit from light meal during labor", October 24, 2015

For other reading,  HERE is some research I had found before this 2015 press release to make the case for eating and drinking in labor (in case you want to do more poking around the subject).

Now...how long will it take for hospital protocols to change and reflect these recommendations from ASA? As we found out the hard way, sometimes the doctor approves something but if it is not in writing and signed off on the birth plan, it probably isn't going to happen in the hospital setting. The nurse will follow the hospital protocol or they may invent their own interpretation if none exists to cover their liability.  If you are going to have a hospital birth, I have a strong opinion about getting your wish list signed so that the nursing staff has “permission” to “break the rules” if they feel that something you are requesting is out of the ordinary.  Maybe you could ask for a copy of the ASA press release to be included in your chart that goes to the hospital.

Dr. Bradley always advocated that a healthy mom should eat if she is hungry and drink if she is thirsty.  As he said, “Birthing is like playing a full game of football without any substitutions.”  He recognized that labor is an athletic event, and that a well-nourished athlete would perform better than a hungry one.

Science and the ASA catch up to Dr. Bradley:
"The research suggests that the energy and caloric demands of laboring women are similar to those of marathon runners, Harty said. Without adequate nutrition, women’s bodies will begin to use fat as an energy source, increasing acidity of the blood in the mother and infant, potentially reducing uterine contractions and leading to longer labor and lower health scores in newborns. Additionally, the studies suggest that fasting can cause emotional stress, potentially moving blood away from the uterus and placenta, lengthening labor and contributing to distress of the fetus."  

A Note About Hospitals and Nourishment
If you are having a hospital birth, you need to find out how your care provider feels about nourishment during labor, even with this announcement by the ASA. If your care provider is on board with mom eating and drinking as her body directs, great!  Get it into your birth plan, aka "wish list", that you have permission to eat and drink.  If they restrict intake, you need to think about your options.  You may question whether or not your care provider is truly supportive of your plans for a natural birth.  

You should also ask what the hospital policy is on food and drink during labor when you do your hospital tour.  It helps to know what kind of potential situations you may be facing so you can avoid stress-inducing encounters during labor.

The potential conflict between a laboring mother’s needs for nourishment and her care provider or hospital protocol comes from the days when general anesthesia was standard for hospital births.  There was a very real danger of a mom “aspirating”, meaning that food or drink the mom had consumed before labor would be regurgitated and accidently enter the trachea and lungs, creating a life-threatening condition to mother and baby.  [See reference 1]

From the press release:
"Researchers said aspiration today is almost nonexistent, especially in healthy patients. In the United States, there was only one case of aspiration associated with labor and delivery between 2005 and 2013, involving a complicated case of a woman who was obese and had pre-eclampsia (a precursor to eclampsia, or high blood pressure that can lead to seizures), according to the American Society of Anesthesiology’s Closed Claims Project database. Researchers also noted that no cases of death due to aspiration were reported in the United Kingdom between 2000 and 2005, compared to 1.5 cases per 1,000 during the 1940s. They say this is likely due to advances in anesthesia care, including increased use of epidurals and spinal blocks in place of providing anesthesia through a mask over the nose and mouth. Before these improvements, women were more likely to need a tube placed in the windpipe for breathing, which potentially increased the risk of aspiration." 

Although very few women have births under general anesthesia nowadays, the practice of restricting food and drink still persists.  You may hear it called “NPO”, which stands for the Latin, “non per os”, meaning nothing by mouth.  With the press release from the ASA, we can keep our fingers crossed that hospitals will start to change their practice protocols.

In the past, it was likely that you would only be allowed ice chips if you opted for an epidural.  The chance of needing general anesthesia was within the realm of possibility since some moms and babies “crash” after the epidural dose is dispensed.  As with all labor interventions, you don’t know how you will react until it’s administered.  Although it’s a small percentage of women that have life-threatening complications, the prospect of the drugs dropping your heart rate, blood pressure or respiration to dangerously low levels exists once they are in your bloodstream.  In the instance of a “crash”, you would need general anesthesia to perform an emergency cesarean to save your or your baby’s life, thus your nourishment options become limited to ice.

Eating and Drinking During Labor
Have your refrigerator stocked with your favorite healthful foods and/or meals as you near your estimated due date.  Labor is a funny thing – you never know what your body is going to like.  If you think you are in labor, you can go through Dr. Bradley’s list of things to do to see if you are in pre-labor (contractions slow down or stop) or actual labor (contractions continue at same pace or get closer and harder despite the change in position or activity).  To "test" for labor, he suggests that a woman should eat, drink, go for a walk, shower and nap – in that order.  

When you start with the “eat” part of the list, it will be more satisfying to eat something you really enjoy.  If you are not in labor, at least you ate something you like and you can move on with your day with a tummy-full of your particular “comfort food”.  If you are in labor, then you have eaten something that is fueling your body for the labor.  It will put you in a good frame of mind if you ate something that is a favorite and you create a positive emotional state.

The best drink during labor is water.  Water is a key to staying hydrated and avoiding the slippery slope of interventions.  A hydrated body has the energy for the work of labor.  Ample water also allows for effective hormone distribution throughout the body: the chemicals and hormones being made to stimulate and progress labor are able to circulate freely.  If you have a longer labor, consider an electrolyte replacement: trace minerals added to the water you are drinking, Emergen-C makes a powder, or coconut milk is a "natural" version of sports drinks.

Dehydration causes a spike in temperature and blood pressure, while at the same time depleting your energy by as much as 30%.  Can you see that simple dehydration can also be interpreted as the mom being “in distress”?  Your care team will not want to take a chance of making the wrong call, so they are likely to intervene or suggest drastic measures to “save” mom and baby.

Whether you are laboring at home, a hospital or birth center, small-portioned, protein rich snacks are nice to have on hand.  As your labor progresses, a laboring woman’s appetite will naturally decrease as the body shuts down other functions such as digestion to allow for full focus on the progression of labor and birth.  

Here are some foods that we and other students have found useful for quick energy boosts when mom doesn’t have the desire to eat a full meal.  These snacks are also handy for the coach to get the energy boost he needs to be a great support person for mom.  We don’t want hungry, cranky coaches during labor!!

What the ASA recommends:
"A light meal could include fruit, light soups, toast, light sandwiches (no large slices of meat), juice and water. Most women lose their appetites during very active labor, but can continue to drink fluids such as water and clear juices, researchers said." 

- Honey sticks.  According to honey.com, “Honey is also a rich source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which are the most important fuel source for athletes to help them keep going.” [2]

- Trail mix.  You get the nice variety of nuts, dried fruits and if you want, candy, in one bag.  I found myself picking out my favorite nuts and fruits and snacking on them – literally one or two at a time – as we got into the active phase of first stage labor.

- Protein bars or chews.  Look for bars that are low in carbs and added sugars –the key is to provide an energy boost without an energy crash afterwards. We have had students that use the “PowerBar” brand Energy Bites, as well as Gel Blasts that are bite size energy foods.

- Handful of nuts.  If you have a favorite nut (besides your coach-lol), bring some with you.  You can eat 1 or 10, whatever you are in the mood for.  I like nuts because you get the energy boost in whatever quantity you are in the mood to chew and swallow.  Trader Joe’s sells packages nuts in handy single serve packets.  I usually eat 2 or 3 pieces, and Bruss would finish off the bag for his energy boost.

- Popsicles.  While working hard in labor, a popsicle can be refreshing.  To prevent an energy crash, look for a brand that uses natural fruit as a sweetener instead of added sugars.  Added bonus: you can also push it against the top of your palate to stimulate oxytocin production.

- Applesauce cups.  Provide potassium along with a little protein.  The nice thing about applesauce is that while some people prefer them cold, they don’t need to be refrigerated.  Again, look for naturally rather than artificially sweetened sauces.

- Banana.  Another source of potassium that is portable and easy to eat.  To prevent a sugar burst, pair this with a cheese stick to balance out the carbs.



- Soup or clear broth.  Campbell’s came out with the “Soup at Hand Cups” that are single serve, portable and microwaveable.  They were a God-send during our third birth.  The nurse didn’t want me to eat “just in case”, but she was okay with me drinking – hence, I could drink my meal and stay nourished through our 34 hours at the hospital.

- Single serve smoothies or juice drinks.  I am thinking along the lines of Stonyfield Farm Smoothies or Drinkable Yogurts for a liquid protein boost, or the Odwalla line of Protein Beverages.  It’s a little sip of something sweet with carbs that still offers a protein source for energy.

As you noticed from the list, some of these foods need refrigeration or a heating source.  These are considerations if you are having a hospital birth.  It stands to reason that if you will not have access to a refrigerator or microwave, the items that won’t stay cool with an ice pack or the foods that need to be heated need to left out of the cooler.

The bottom line: eat to appetite and drink to thirst for the best labor possible!  I hope this list gives some ideas with which you can fill your refrigerator or cooler.  What did you eat during your labor?

Disclaimer:
Bradley Method classes offered in Arizona convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Payson, AZThe material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

References:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonary_aspiration

[2] http://www.honey.com/nhb/benefits/natural-energy/

Patient Rights

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 9:39 AM Comments comments (3)
Thank you to one of my colleagues, Rachel Davis, for suggesting this topic.  

I originally shared this after one of our couples had an unplanned unassisted birth couple encountered in the hospital, and they were not treated very kindly upon arriving or throughout their hospital stay.
 
Most people would not expect their baby to be born at 35 weeks.  In addition, they had not counted on dealing with hospital protocols since they had planned a homebirth.  The other situation they hadn’t planned on was giving birth away from their community.   They were familiar with their local hospital in northern Arizona - it was beyond their imagination that they would spend their first week of their child's life having to deal with a major hospital in central Phoenix.
 
Their situation underscores the importance of having a well-thought out and written birth plan no matter what kind of birthplace you have chosen.  Wherever you are planning to give birth, Bruss and I suggest that you think about writing two birth plans.  Write one for a normal, uncomplicated birth at your chosen birth place. Also consider writing one that has your wishes written down in the event of complications, and that factors in hospital care if you are planning to birth at home or birth center..  Once you have talked these out between yourselves and your care providers, write them down and have a copy handy at all times.
 
You just never know how the birth journey will unfold…in the event of unforeseen circumstances, your birth plan can act as a compass for your decisions.  It can also remind you of the decisions you made when you took the time to research your options and when you were not under pressure.  You can then evaluate the current situation with a little less emotion and a little more reason.

There are two sections to this post.  First, I highlight the main points of your rights as a patient in the hospital. I encourage you to remember that you are the CONSUMER of health care, not a helpless being at the mercy of the staff.  The second section reviews some basics of informed consent so that you have an idea of how to receive the right care for you after asking questions that other people have found helpful to gather complete information before accepting or declining treatment.
 
PATIENT RIGHTS
For a full Pregnant Patient and Obstetric Patient Bill of Rights, I am going to refer you to a link on Doris Haire’s Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS):
http://www.aimsusa.org/ppbr.htm
 
One of the reasons so many of us feel pressured to make choices against our instinct or desire for as natural experience as possible is that sometimes information is relayed in such a way that implies that you are a bad parent if you deny treatment to your child, or they imply that by not choosing something you could harm your child.  How many parents are strong enough to follow their instinct with pressures like time, fatigue and shock also factoring into the situation?
 
Whether you are planning to give birth at home, in a birth center, or a hospital, I encourage all pregnant mothers and their coaches to become familiar with the AIMS Pregnant Patient Bill of Rights in the event that you end up in a hospital for whatever reason.  I suggest that you print out the American Hospital Association's "Patient's Bill of Rights," (http://www.patienttalk.info/AHA-Patient_Bill_of_Rights.htm)  as well as the AIMS Pregnant Patient Bill of Rights and bring them both with you in the event of a hospital visit during your pregnancy and labor.

I will summarize some of the points here and encourage parents everywhere, that pregnant or not, if you are in a hospital, there is very little that you can be forced to do or take for yourself or your child.  You have every right to ask and be told the benefits and the risk of EVERYTHING they recommend as treatment, and you have the right to refuse.

These are what I chose to pull our from both of the Bill of Rights documents as your rights as a pregnant and an obstetric patient:
- to considerate and respectful care.
- to obtain from physicians and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. 
- to ask and be informed of the existence of business relationships among the hospital, educational institutions, other health care providers, or payers that may influence the patient's treatment and care.
- to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
- to be informed of any potential direct or indirect effects, risks or hazards to herself or her unborn or newborn infant which may result from the use of a drug or procedure prescribed for or administered to her during pregnancy, labor, birth or lactation.
- to be informed, not only of the benefits, risks and hazards of the proposed therapy but also of known alternative therapy.
- to be informed about how a drug or procedure may adversely affect her unborn baby, directly or indirectly, and that there is no drug or chemical which has been proven safe for the unborn child.
- if Cesarean birth is anticipated, to be informed that minimizing her intake of nonessential pre-operative medicine will benefit her baby.
- to be informed of the areas of uncertainty if there is NO properly controlled follow-up research which has established the safety of the drug or procedure with regard to its effect on the fetus and the later physiological, mental and neurological development of the child.
- to be informed of the brand name and generic name of the drug in order that she may advise the health professional of any past adverse reaction to the drug.
- to determine for herself, without pressure from her attendant, whether she will or will not accept the risks inherent in the proposed treatment.
- to know the name and qualifications of the individual administering a drug or procedure to her during labor or birth.
- to be informed whether that procedure is being administered to her because a) it is medically indicated, b) it is an elective procedure (for convenience, c) or for teaching purposes or research).
- to have her baby cared for at her bedside if her baby is normal, and to feed her baby according to her baby's needs rather than according to the hospital regimen.
- to be informed if there is any known or indicated aspect of her or her baby's care or condition which may cause her or her baby later difficulty or problems.
 
INFORMED CONSENT
What is informed consent?  According to Doris Haire:
 "Most courts consider that the patient is 'informed' if the following information is given:
•    The processes contemplated by the physician as treatment, including whether the treatment is new or unusual.
•    The risks and hazards of the treatment,
•    The chances for recovery after treatment.
•    The necessity of the treatment.
•    The feasibility of alternative methods of treatment.”

You can ascertain this information by asking questions.  For a more comprehensive look at positive communications and informed consent, refer to page 55 of The Bradley Method® Student Workbook.
 
I suggest that you start with questions that establish how the mother and the baby are doing.  Always use names to remind the care providers that they are making recommendations for another human being, not an ambiguous test case:

  • “How is (Mother’s Name) doing?  Are her vitals still within an acceptable range?”
  • “How is (Baby’s Name) doing?  Are his or her vitals still within an acceptable range?”
  • “Do we have to make a decision right now?  How much time do we have?”

 
If both are well enough and there is time, then you can continue with questions such as:

  • “What is the problem?”
  • “What are the symptoms or test results causing concern?”
  • “Could this be normal?”
  • “What is the most likely cause?  Are there any other possible causes?”

 
If the care provider agrees that Mother and Baby are well enough to let labor proceed and let nature take her course, continue to trust that Mother and Baby are working together and that you will be meeting your baby in due course.  You can address other probable causes – is mom hydrated?  Is she emotionally ready and relaxed enough to accept her labor?  Are you using the best positions in the appropriate stage of labor to allow gravity and physiology to move things along?
 
If after asking this series of questions Mother and Coach decide that further action is worth exploring, then you can continue with these questions:

  • Paraphrase it back to ensure you understand what the recommendation is.


  •  You want to listen well, and paraphrase again.  You can also ask if their opinion is based on fact or observation.


  • Ask to see the insert if it is a drug and there is time to read it – you may be surprised at what is in the fine print and the care provider fail to mention.


  • Side effects are very important to know, especially if it is something whose short-term or long-term effects on an unborn child or a newborn are unknown.


  • Again, care providers have routines based on what their protocol is – sometimes there are other options that they don’t mention, not from malice, it could be simply because they are not accustomed to being asked for alternatives.


  • Who are you talking to?  Nurses come in many varieties: a student nurse, an LPN (one year of schooling), an ASN nurse (two years of schooling), a BSN (four years of schooling).  Beyond that, how long have they been working as a nurse?  If you are talking to a doctor: are they a resident (student) doctor, or an attending (more experienced) physician?  How long have they been a resident or an attending? 


  • Knowing the level of experience of the information giver is an especially important question to ask if you are in a teaching hospital.  Every family needs to make a decision regarding their comfort level with students literally practicing on you based on their individual preferences.  On a personal note, while I am all for medical students learning, when it come to my body and our child, I want a trained and experienced professional to work on us.  I am okay if a student wants to observe, however, only someone with extensive experience and knowledge is going “to do” something or administer something to us.


  • In the interest of full disclosure, here are other very important questions:  1.) You want to know how they will measure the efficacy of the intervention.  2.) When you accept one medical intervention, it is likely that other interventions or compromises will follow.  If there is time, you want to hear all of the other interventions or protocol they will have to follow that may be a result of the first intervention you agree to have. 


  • Back to full disclosure – there are ways to phrase things that force you to make an immediate decision.  If you ask "how will you know it's working, and what happens next" questions, it provides the opportunity for the care provider to tell you the other side of the story, or the whole story in regards to their recommendations.

 
One of the reasons it is so important to take care when choosing your care providers and medical facilities is that sometimes there isn’t time to ask all these questions.  If Mother and Baby are already compromised and there is no time to ask questions, you must trust that the care providers and the birthplace will do the best for your family.  Do you have this level of trust with your care provider?  Do you have this level or trust with the birthplace?  If you answered “no” to either of these questions, it’s time to seriously consider making a change.  Although true complications are rare, if you are part of the small percentage, you want to ensure that you have the best chance for a good outcome despite any complications that may arise.
 
You have a couple of options in a hospital setting in the event that you want to choose differently than your care providers are recommending and/or if you feel like your concerns are not being heard by your care provider.
 1.  If you have done your research and you have heard the benefits and the risks of a procedure or drug, and you are confident in your decision and want to refuse, hospitals have documents called “Against Medical Advice” that you can sign.  You accept the risks inherent in your decision and relieve the hospital of liability.

2.  You can ask for an Independent Patient Advocate.  This person acts as a liaison between the patient and the care providers.  It puts someone in between you and the care provider, and it is implied that they would convey information in a neutral way.  Sometimes taking away the “authority” of the person conveying the information relieves the pressure and lets a patient make a decision without feeling the pressure of “The Doctor” or “The Nurse”.
 
There is no decision, big or small, that you will regret making as long as you keep in mind Dr. Bradley’s ultimate outcome: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.  As long as your decisions are made with the best results for these two people in mind, then you can find peace of mind that you are making the right decision for you and your family.
 
 
Bradley Method classes offered in Arizona. Convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Ahwatukee and PaysonDisclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

What is natural birth?

Posted on September 4, 2015 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (2)
The night we started our seventh Bradley Method® class series in December 2011 played out like all other "first nights" of class. I am on edge all day long.  I get nervous before our students arrive: What if I forget anything?  Will they like our class?  Will our class run smoothly?  What if I leave something I need for class at home?   

The class went well, and we got a question that we have never gotten before: “What is natural birth – is it anything that doesn’t end in a C-section?”  

It made me pause and think for a moment.  My short answer in class was, “Well, I guess that depends on the person and their definition of natural birth.”  

I pondered that question all night.  Up until three months before that class, I would have said that we had three natural births and were preparing for our fourth.  And then we had our home birth experience, which re-defined “natural birth” for me.  It turned out to be the most natural birth experience we had.  

I can’t say our hospital births were completely intervention free since we were always poked and prodded by something or someone.  Heck, they weren’t even “un-medicated” – I was administered some kind of medication with each one.  With Puma, I had penicillin, Pitocin and an episiotomy; I had penicillin with Night Owl; and penicillin and Pitocin with Charger.  We did achieve three epidural-free vaginal births with a very supportive OB, though, and for that I am grateful.  

Otter’s birth gave us a new definition of “natural”.  Here are all the things we DID NOT experience during our low-risk home birth:
- A transfer from our home to another location during active labor
- Forms to fill out
- A wait in the triage area with other families in varying states of apprehension
- Vaginal exams to check the progress of labor
- Heparin lock for access to veins “just in case”
- Electronic fetal monitoring
- Mommy-monitoring Nurse coming in to check vitals
- Calls to the doctor to report on my “progress”
- Restriction of food or drink
- Beeping sounds and hospital smells that inhibit rest or sleep
- Time on back for the convenience of the hospital staff
- Episiotomy  

Our midwives were called when my water broke and they came to see how we were doing.  The baby was low and things seemed to be progressing, so they stayed.  To this day I do not know what the deciding factor in their staying was when our labor hit the start-stop mode…I do know I am grateful that they didn’t leave us.  I would have felt like another “failure to progress” and who knows what that would have done to my emotional state and our labor.  (Click here for our homebirth story.)  

At first, they checked on us every thirty minutes.  They would monitor the baby with a Doptone to assess her heart rate, and they would check my blood pressure to see how I was doing.  When it was clear that we were both handling the labor well, they checked on us with less frequency while still maintaining a trained eye on us to judge our fitness and make sure we were still low-risk and doing well.  

They asked questions.  They let me eat.  They made sure I was drinking.  They checked in with Bruss to see how he was doing and how he thought I was doing.  They offered moral support and encouragement that everything was fine although we were clearly not going to be one of those families who can say their homebirth was their shortest labor.  In an ironic twist of fate – this happened to be our longest labor, and we were so grateful to be at home with trained care providers who allowed my body and our baby the time they needed to figure out the process and have a healthy mom, healthy baby outcome.  

So now we know what all the possibilities are when a person imagines “natural birth”.  A woman and her partner work together to welcome their child, free of interference or invasive probing, supported by a team that completely believes in your abilities and will help you welcome your baby gently and lovingly into the world.  It makes me wish that there were no pregnancy complications so that every woman could have a gentle birth.  

The reality is that the majority of our students coming through class are just like we were with our first baby.  They believe that a hospital is the safest place to give birth and that an OB is the only person qualified to safely deliver your baby.  It would be irresponsible to have a baby at home, outside of the “safety net” if something were to go wrong.  

I am so grateful that now there are many more Certified Nurse Midwives ("CNM") working in hospitals.  They provide the level of belief in the natural process that we found at our home birth, while still working at the hospital setting in which most people feel comfortable.  

If a student’s care practice does not offer midwifery care, I hope that like us, they will find a supportive OB who respects their proactive approach to achieving a natural birth and helps them find a way to have the birth experience they want in the hospital.  We have a very tender spot in our hearts for our OB.  Not only did she deliver our biggest baby without an episiotomy, she also helped us have our most natural hospital birth because she believed in our ability to birth.  

There is also another option available to families in the Phoenix area.  We now have several birth centers.  Birth centers strive to be the happy medium between home and hospital for families that want to have the "compromise option".  They can offer a more relaxed atmosphere similar to the home environment, and some provide medical options at the center that would not be present in a home birth. 

I feel it is our role as Bradley Method® instructors to help every couple achieve the best birth possible for their children with a healthy mom, healthy baby outcome.  “Natural birth” will be different for each of them based on their pregnancy and their choices.  

What can you "control" in the childbearing year?
A couple will probably have more options availabel to them in labor if the mother has good nutrition, maintains a daily exercise regimen to tone their back, belly and bottom, and does some form of exercise for stamina.  By attending classes every week they learn a new relaxation technique that they can put in their labor toolbox.  We explore many, many options available to birthing couples today.  

What can you influence during the childbearing year?
We work on communication every class so that the couple is prepared to respectfully ask questions of their care provider if they feel something they recommend goes against their dream of a natural birth, or to better understand their recommendations so that they can make an informed decision.   The choice of care provider will also play a role in the way to birth plays out - are you getting red flags during your prenatal visits? Do not ignore them - ask around and find the provider that respects your rights and your knowledge as a birthing parent of *your* child.  They may be the expert in birth; you are the only one that knows your baby.

Beyond that, the rest is up to what we would call God, or a Higher Power; some people call it Fate...whatever the belief system, we encourage our students to focus beyond the "how" of their birth story:
- What will you learn from this birth journey?
- Where will the transformation from Maiden to Mother happen for the woman?  Where will the transformation from Stag to Father happen for the partner?
- How will your partner disappoing you? How will they rise to the occassion, and maybe even surprise you?
- What was your most brilliant moment?

We look forward to sharing the information taught in Bradley Method® classes with our students.  We strive to equip them with the tools they need to assess situations that present themselves in pregnancy and labor.  When we hear that a baby is born and nurses readily at the breast, we know those parents worked together to achieve the ultimate Bradley Method® outcome: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.   

What does "natural birth" mean to you?

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.  


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