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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Doula Services

Posted on February 21, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleMore and more people are thinking about using doulas or making space in their birth budget for doula care. Doulas are a great resource and can be a huge asset when it comes to preparing for the birth journey. My favorite analogy is that they are tour guides - they have been on the birth journey before and can point out the major landmarks and the subtle nuances. It's up to you to decide how to use that information to have your best possible birth given the circumstances.

Here are some things we share with our students when they are thinking about hiring a doula:

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Doulas comes in a huge variety - there is no one right way to be a good doula.  Be sure to interview at least 2-3 so you can get a feel for their personality.  Most are happy to do a preliminary phone interview. If that goes well, schedule an in-person meet and greet. We ask our students to consider if they can see themselves naked in front of the person they hire...because it may just happen and if it does, you don't want to have to think about it - you just want to be able to do whatever you need to do to birth your sweet pea.

BASIC SERVICES
Standard doula care typically includes 2-3 prenatal visits, assistance through your birth, and 1-2 postpartum visits.

Prenatal visits last anywhere from 1-2 hours, give or take. They are intended to help you and your doula get on the same page about your birth wishes, offer some time for childbirth preparation, and also have time to talk through what your wishes are if things start to move away from your plan.

Birth support typically includes being on call for you 24/7 from 2 weeks before to two weeks after your due date. Doulas will not typically take on clients if they have a vacation planned within that window - they want to be there for you and that four-week window is a commitment they make to be available when you need them.  You will decide during your pre-natal visits when you will be calling them.  Some families want support while they labor at home, others only want labor support at the birth place. If you are having a home birth, then you will want to talk to your doula about their communication with the rest of the birth team. Again, there is no right or wrong way to use a doula - you hire them to support you in the way that you want to be supported.

A doula will be with you when you are ready for labor support and will stay with you until your baby is born. Typically they stay for 2-3 hours after the birth to make sure you are settled in your recovery space at home or at the hospital, to make sure you eat something and that breastfeeding is off to a good start. Doulas are not necessarily lactation consultants; most do have basic training to help a MotherBaby get a good latch for the first feeding.

Postpartum visits typically happen within a day or two of your sweet pea's birth, and then maybe one more at a week or two weeks postpartum to review your birth story and answer any questions you may have about your birth. While birth doulas have a different scope of practice than postpartum doulas, some may offer to prepare food or do a load of laundry or clean a bathroom, etc., while they are there.

ADD-ON SERVICES
In this day and age, many doulas offer more than birth preparation and support.  Here are some of the different services doulas may also offer:

Prenatal massage
Reiki
Maternity photography
Birth Photography
Newborn Photography
Placenta Encapsulation
Belly Binding
Postpartum Care Packages
Herbal Teas + Tinctures
IBCLC Lactation Services

PRICING
Doulas have a lot to consider when they set the fee for their service.  They have spent hours and money on training. Some continue to take classes every year to stay sharp and hone their skills. If they have children, they have to arrange and sometimes pay for childcare. Some carry liability insurance and have fees associated with maintaining a personal website. If they also offer childbirth education there are yearly dues with their certifying organization. If they are an accredited doula, they also have their yearly dues with their doula organization.  In other words, it isn't free to be a doula!

Doula services start around $400 and in some areas of the country range up to $2000 for their basic packages (prenatal visits, birth support, postpartum visits).  Fees may vary based on their experience and added services that can be factored into their fee for a "one-stop shop" experience.

Even if you don't think you can afford a doula, think about what you can offer. They can work for trade, barter, or exchange of other services. Some do offer a sliding scale or scholarship when they can - it never hurts to ask.

Those of us who love birth work and believe in supporting families so that all mothers and babies have the opportunity to birth peacefully will work with you. Do not ask a doula to work for free - as I outlined above, doulas really can't if they are working to support their family.  Even if a doula is new and "training" she has already invested in her skills in order to better support you.

THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER
Hiring a doula is a personal decision. The person that your sister or best friend loved may be a lovely person. However, that does not necessarily make them the best person to help you along on your birth journey.

Take a minute to think about what you think your ideal labor support person is going to be: hands-on, hands-off? In charge? More of a guide? Involve the husband as a partner? 

Keep in mind that although The Bradley Method® places the wife and husband as equal partners in the birth process, not all birth partners want that mantle of responsibility. If your birth partner is saying they are not sure or they absolutely do not want to be in the middle of the action, explore how that works for you.  

Your doula will help you create a space that welcomes your sweet pea. Trust your instinct about what is right for your family and make the best of the birth journey that you and your baby need.

What do you look for in a doula?

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



Waiting For Baby

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (2)
 Originally posted Fall 2011 - sharing today since some of our Spring 2016 mamas are starting to approach their EDD's)

So your estimated due date is approaching...or maybe it has passed.  Those little ones we are carrying are happily ensconced in their warm, loving homes.  To us “carriers”, it feels like we have been pregnant forever!!

I remember that feeling very well.  We have always had the good fortune of having our babies before our due date.  I am mentally preparing for this baby to be the one that teaches us how to wait...and since we are not planning to have any more children after this, reminding myself to treasure every moment of the pregnancy...I’ll get back to you on that after our baby is born. (Our youngest was born at 38 weeks - got lucky again!)

As a reminder, if you are a first-time mom, there was a Harvard study published in the June 1990 edition of the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology that demonstrated that we are probably not allowing enough time when estimating due dates (read more).  We give a copy of this article to our students on the first evening of class.  It is a retrospective evaluation of pregnancies between April 1, 1983 and March 31, 1984.

The conclusion of that study was that the median estimated due date for primiparas (first-time mothers) should be 8 days later than Naegele’s rule (the 40 week date used to estimate due dates - it’s been around since 1830), and that multiparas should have an estimated due date that was 3 days later than Naegele’s rule.  Per their study, if you are 41 weeks as a first-time mother, your baby might just be arriving to the point when he or she is ready to be born.

For some of us, it is hard to be in the last two weeks before your due date, wondering when labor is going to start.  If you are personally tired of being pregnant, it is hard to remember that every day your baby is inside your womb is a day he or she needs to finish their preparation for “life on the outside”.  Because you are big, hot and uncomfortable, and you are ready to be done!!  I cannot even imagine what it’s like to go past your estimated due date and then have people you know constantly asking, “Is the baby here yet?”  or, “Have you had that baby yet?”  

At that point, you might as well get a t-shirt made that says “Obviously STILL Pregnant”.  If your family and friends are constantly calling to check on you, you could screen your calls.  Change your phone message to say “Still pregnant - don’t call me, I’ll call you!  Leave me a message if you are calling about something else.”

All kidding aside, here are some ideas that have been shared on our Facebook page that I hope will help you pass the time as you wait for your baby to arrive safely into your loving arms.

From a Series 2 Coach:
“[We] Reviewed Bradley® material, continued to think about our own birth plan and contingencies, continued to exercise (Kegel), and practiced relaxation techniques. Bags packed, gas tank filled, friends/family/support group info programmed into phone, phone charger? We also enjoyed the peaceful time we shared as a couple and thought about our soon to be family of 3. Slept a bunch too. Ahhhhh..... sleep.”

From a reader in Phoenix, AZ:
“My confession: I had gathered supplies to bake birth-day cupcakes during early labor. At about 10 days past ''due date,'' I caved in, baked the cupcakes, and ate them! Our son arrived two days later. Despite our Bradley® training, I was a bit impatient and I definitely learned my lesson!”

From one of our Bradley® teachers:
“The other kids kept me busy. Eating out is always a help.”

From moms in our Series 2 and Series 4:
“Retail therapy!”

I know one of our students from our Spring Series 5 is busy quilting a blanket while she waits for her labor to start - they are already “past due” their estimated due date by seven days.

To piggyback on the advice from our Series 2 Coach, it is vitally important that you keep up with your exercise and relaxation practice.  Exercise is important to keep your stamina and your energy up, as well as keep your circulation going.  Some moms experience swelling in the last weeks of pregnancy.  Doing regular cardiovascular exercise will make sure that things are circulating through your body as needed.  The pregnancy exercises will continue to keep you in good shape for your athletic event, whether you have a “sprint” or a “marathon” birth.  

It has been proven that exercise also produce endorphins.  These “good guys” will be a great asset to you if you are feeling a little cranky about being uncomfortable.  Anything you can do to stay positive will help you have a better labor.

Relaxation practice is another key for coping with an approaching or passing due date.  It helps both mom and coach increase in their confidence to manage their natural labor.  If mom knows that coach knows what they are doing, it will help her achieve deeper relaxation to manage the discomforts of labor.  If coach knows they know what they are doing, they are confident and unwavering in their support.  

Relaxation practice also helps keep mom’s blood pressure lower.  If you go past your due date, your blood pressure will be monitored every visit.  The better your reading, the less likely you are to be pressured to “do a little something to speed things along” or schedule an induction.

I spent the last two weeks of our first pregnancy preparing Puma’s pregnancy scrapbook.  The attention to detail and the loving touches made the time worthwhile.  To date, she is the only one with a real book - that was the last time I have made the time to work on one.  The rest of the kiddos have their items gathered and labeled...one of these days there will be time again.  

If you have older children, I find it’s important to spend one-on-one time with them, too, wherever you are in respect to your due date.  I do have virtual albums made for each of the kiddos - they are a great help as we prepare to welcome our fourth child.  I use our special time to look at their pictures with them, tell them their birth story, and remind them that they were once babies, too.  

The albums show their birth and their first year in our family.  The pictures show them how we took care of them, and we can relate how we will be doing things for the new baby.  You can also remind them that you will always love them despite the fact it will seem like you are spending most your time with the new baby.  It may feel like the baby is going to be a baby forever - showing them the pictures of their quick progression may help demonstrate that this time will pass and soon they will have more of your attention again.  “Banking” some special time with them now may help decrease the jealousy after baby arrives.

I would also suggest making time with your spouse.  Create special date nights for just the two of you, for it will be the last time you are just the two of you, or “the parents of # children.”  This is a time you can spend talking about the plans for your birth, your hopes and dreams for your children, and reminiscing about the days you fell in love.  Although it will feel like there is less “couple time” after your baby is born, I hope that you will be as blessed as we are with the birth.  Inexplicably, we are more and more in love with each other after each birth when it seems like we just couldn’t love each other any more than the overabundance of love we felt already.

Have you documented your pregnancy yet?  Make time to have a belly-cast done, or have some pregnancy pictures taken.  You can share some laughs with the person doing your belly cast.  Find a fun place to take pregnancy photos - maybe a botanical garden, the zoo, a historical building.  Not only will you have a good day trip, but your child will have some great stories to hear some day when you tell them about the pictures.

If you are artistic, you can dedicate some time to writing, painting or drawing.  You can dedicate your art to the new baby, or explore your feelings about your pregnancy through your art.  These pieces will probably become treasured keepsakes to your children.

If you are so inclined, you can also sew, knit, or crochet a blanket or baby clothes.  Older siblings might enjoy having an item of clothing or outfit made out of the same fabric or yarn to show that they are all going to be part of the family now.  Just wear your “STILL Pregnant” t-shirt when you go to the fabric store!  It has been my experience that the ladies at the fabric counter love to chat up pregnant customers.

Best wishes to you if you are near or past your due date.  Please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you would like us to pray for 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®.

Reference:
Harvard Study: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vol. 75, No. 6, June 1990, pgs 929-932

Inside Look: East Valley Infant Massage

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 8:46 AM Comments comments (0)

I met Michelle Cordero last year when we both participated in PB&J Events' Pregnancy + Baby Fair.  She is a wealth of information about infant massage, an amazing tool to help parents bond with their Sweet Peas. Infant massage can also help with common hurdles in the childbearing year: fussy tummies, teething, and bonding with siblings, to name a few.

What makes Michelle's classes unique is that she is willing to work with families who have toddlers.  Most Infant Massage classes only welcome families with non-mobile children, making you ineligible once your Sweet Pea is 6-months old.  Not so with Michelle - since she is a licensed massage therapist, she is able to tailor classes especially to the group.  

I wish you enjoy this month's Inside Look with Michelle! Her contact information is at the end of the post if you want to enroll in an upcoming class, or take advantage of her FREE monthly intro classes.  

Tell me about East Valley Infant Massage.
East Valley Infant Massage (“EVIM”) provides private and group classes to teach parents and caregivers how to massage their babies. I provide nurturing touch skills to parents to impact children for a lifetime. 
 
What kind of clientele does EVIM serve? 
EVIM classes are designed for parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers who want to include a powerful tool in their care giving to help promote healthy bonding, growth and development. Parents with babies who have tummy issues report that regular massage has been helpful in minimizing digestion discomforts. Regular massage also promotes better sleep and relieves other issues such as teething and congestion. 
 
What age range of client does this service care for? Is there anything you do not provide for?
Our typical class participants range from 3 weeks old to pre-crawling, mostly because we then have a captive audience. We do welcome children up to around 3 years of age, but the more mobile the child, the more creative we have to get in class. It makes for an interesting session!  
 
Even though I am also a licensed massage therapist and can massage the babies myself, I do not provide the massage to the baby directly (I bring demo dolls with me to class) because I want to empower the caregiver with the skills to massage baby not only in class, but long after. There are some interesting studies out there that show that infant massage can help parents become more confident in their abilities as parents. 
 
What makes EVIM unique?
 I tailor each class for the needs of the participants. I'm currently working on adding new classes at different times of the day/week to best accommodate moms and dads with different schedules. Because not one time is perfect for all babies, I understand that sometimes baby will be sleeping or fussy during class. I encourage participants to tend to their babies' needs, such as feeding, changing or rocking baby while watching the instruction. I always send parents home with great handouts to help them practice at home and welcome any follow up questions (during the next class in a series or by phone/email/text in case anything was missed during class. 
 
What motivated you to start EVIM?
I have been a massage therapist for almost 14 years and have worked on clients of all ages, including babies and toddlers. When I had my son 4 years ago, I joined different mom groups online and in person and saw a lot of moms asking for help in different areas with their babies, including sleeping issues, tummy problems and advice for helping dad and siblings bond with baby. I knew that infant massage can help immensely in these areas and more, so I decided to get my certification to teach infant massage to parents to give them more tools to help their babies and their families. 
 
Is there anything else our readers should know about EVIM?
I'm often asked for the magic massage routine that will make all babies sleep through the night or get rid of gassy tummies completely. I wish I could say that there is one surefire way to accomplish these things. However, I know that touch is a simple, yet powerful and underutilized tool that can be added to routine care giving and can make a huge difference for families. Even if baby is a relatively "easy" baby, the family can experience many benefits from massage. I love to facilitate those benefits for my class participants. 
 
What inspires you?
Tough question, since I have many sources of inspiration. My son and husband inspire me daily; as they remind me to slow down, enjoy the day-to-day and find joy in simple pleasures. I'm also inspired by those who do for others with no expectation of getting anything in return. 
 
Michelle's contact informtation
PHONE: 480-269-1531 
SOCIAL MEDIA:
 
WHERE TO FIND MICHELLE:
**Free intro class for expectant parents at the Ahwatukee Babies"R"Us on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-7
**Group classes held at Modern Mommy. Check the website as new classes will be added soon.

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

 

My Most Important Thing I Have Learned

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 8:12 AM Comments comments (0)

Bruss taught class last week.  As is our custom, he writes the next blog post as a follow-up to his class.  Here are his thoughts on an original question he was asked last week:

I received a question from a student that I've never had before.  Specifically, I was asked, what was the single most important thing I've learned from our first labor.  What a great question that was.

As a coach, going into the pregnancy and labor for the first time, you don't know what you don't know.  Everything is completely new.  Krystyna and I learned a great deal from our Bradley instructor, as we did from our Doula during the labor process.

Everyone learns differently, and so looking at our 100+ students I realize that all of them will take away different things from the Bradley classes that we give.  Further, they all have unique pregnancy and labor experiences.  So when teaching, I try to be cognizant of this and give the students the depth and breadth of our experiences over four births, as well as the anecdotal experiences from our students' history. 

I also like to preface much of what I say in class with the fact that these are my suggestions, based on significant experience (144 hours of labor between four births).  In addition, I encourage the students to gather as much information as possible and then weigh that information against their own experience and who they are as individuals.  Ultimately these students are going to have to make up their own minds about how they manage their pregnancy, labor and being parents.  I think it best for them to get as much information as possible, take on those things that are meaningful to them, discard those things that are not and make the information their own.

So, what single most important lesson that I take from our first labor?

For our labor, the single most important lesson that we learned was the crucial importance of rest.  We had heard this advice from our Bradley instructor (as well as the manual itself) and immediately ignored it as we went into labor for the first time.  The excitement that occurs especially with first time parents is unavoidable.  But we took that excitement to an extreme and tried to do everything without sleep. 

The truth about labor is that until the baby is born you don't know how long your labor is going to take.  Some couples have shorter labors others more lengthy but all labor is a lot of work and it is crucially important for the mother to conserve energy as much as possible to be able to have the emotional, mental and physical reserves necessary especially towards the end of labor. 

For us, we just barely had enough energy at the end of a 26 hour labor for Krystyna to push the baby out, and that only with an episitomy.    For our subsequent three labors we made a conscious decision to really, really focus on rest during the earlier stages of labor so that Krystyna would have energy for when she needed it the most, during the more demanding labor tasks (transition/pushing).  Two of our subsequent labors were fully twice as long as our first yet Krystyna had more energy at the end to push those babies out without need for surgical interventions.

Bradley Method® classes offered in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, ScottsdaleNow, in our Bradley classes both Krystyna and I make the point to bring up the importance of rest during labor in almost every class.  It is that important.

There are 1,001 things to learn about in pregnancy and labor, all of them important.  Yet,  sometimes it is the simple things that can make all the difference.

Best,
Bruss

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®.

Natural Oxytocin Boosters

Posted on October 23, 2015 at 9:27 AM Comments comments (0)
I am going to direct you to THIS article about how oxytocin helps to reduce stress and promote peace.  It's no surprise that oxytocin is the same hormone that is released when we make love, arguably a great stress reliever and a promoter of peace for couples.  A lovely consequence of making love when the timing is right: welcome, baby, some 36+ weeks later!

In addition to being the “love” hormome, oxytocin is also produced in great quantity when a woman is in labor.  The hard contractions can only happen if the woman’s body is producing ample oxytocin.  I find it so ironic that the physical pain and the emotion of love are happening at the same time. That must be the combination that makes natural birth possible, that helps bond us to our Sweet Peas, and why people sign up for the experience more than once.  I can honestly say that I am really going to miss being in labor.  Call me crazy!  Anyway.

I wanted to call out their suggestions for non-medical ways to boost oxytocin production and talk about how they may be options to consider while you are in labor since the article was not birth specific.

Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonBreastfeeding:  If you have an older sibling who is nursing, you can nurse them during labor.  Nursing stimulates the production of oxytocin, so I encourage you to be mindful of any contractions it stimulates.  You do not want to trigger an early labor, so pay attention if you feel a pattern developing and it’s not time for baby to make an appearance just yet.



Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonTouch: one of the cornerstones of The Bradley Method® is relaxation.  Among the 11 specific relaxation techniques that we teach during the course, two of them are massage and stroking.  Even if a mother does not want to be spoken to, a Coach can use those techniques.  If she doesn’t want that either, the simple act of holding her hand is listed as a way to boost oxytocin.


Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDaydream:  Another relaxation technique we teach is related to daydreaming.  We ask coaches to recount a past experience or a future dream that makes mother feel like she is in her “happy place”.  It might be a trip, an experience, dreams you have about your life as a family together...anything that is calming, encouraging and would elicit a smile.


Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonPet you furry friend:  One of the many benefits of laboring at home.  Do you have a four-legged friend that wants to cuddle?  Go for it!  Love on them, speak in gentle tones…it will be calming for both of you.



Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonPleasant smells:  This one has the added benefit of paying dividends at your birthplace.  One of the suggestions we make in Bradley™ class is to eat your favorite meal when you think you might be in labor.  The other one is baking some yummy treats to share with your care providers.  Hopefully both of those things will generate smells that you welcome in labor.  Either way: you are producing oxytocin, mama is well fed if it’s the beginning to have energy for the duration of labor, and your care providers get treats.  We found that feeding them kept them happy and that always made for positive birth experiences for us.


Oxytocin production in labor suggestions offered by Sweet Pea Births, instructor in the Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonMusic:  Mamas or Coaches can take the time to generate a play list to use in their birth space.  I have seen couples use a music app to choose the music for them in labor – it saved them from the planning/organizing time at the outset while still providing the music that was soothing to mama.  Find something that works for you and remember to put it on your packing list so the music makes it to your birth space. 
P.S. Doula and Music Therapist Laura Pruett offers playlist creation as a stand-alone service or as part of her doula service.


As I leave you with these ideas, I want to remind mamas and coaches that even if you are doing all of these things, labor cannot progress by oxytocin levels alone.  One of the key components of birth is surrender.  Do the things that boost your oxytocin and then let go, give in, and open up to the whole experience of labor and the birth journey.  The best gift is at the end when you meet your baby – it is SO worth it!

Best wishes for your upcoming birth – we hope some of these natural oxytocin boosters will help you stay on course with your wish list!

Which one of these do you like and/or have you used?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.
 
Disclaimer:
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe 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®.

Meet the Doula: Grace

Posted on September 18, 2015 at 4:19 PM Comments comments (0)


Grace Burnham works in partnership with Amanda Santana of Enchanted Desert Doulas.  I have the pleasure of having known both of them for the last three years - they are both talented and have much more to offer their clients beyond their doula skills.


SPB: When was the first time you heard the word "doula"?
GB: I was 19 the first time I heard the word doula. I was thinking about massage school, and I was reading a massage magazine and when I saw the term “massage doula". I looked it up right away and I knew that was something I wanted to do.

SPB: How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
GB: As soon as I learned what professional labor support was, I knew it was some something I wanted to do. I researched training options and found the Seattle Midwifery School doula program. The first birth I observed was a birth center water birth. I was hooked after that experience. Since then, I have seen many different kinds of births at different places. Every one reaffirms my connection to this work.

SPB: Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
GB: I do both birth and postpartum doula work. I enjoy both for different reasons.

SPB: How long have you been a doula?
GB: It feels like forever since I became a doula, I have been a doula for 7 years and originally l trained with Seattle Midwifery School's DONA program. I later trained with Massage Doula. Along with that, I am also a Licensed Massage Therapist and Lactation Educator Counselor.

SPB: What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
GB: Everything!  I like watching couples or individuals grow and become families. I like supporting people during difficult experiences and watching them process and grow. I like helping people find their power and become their own advocate. Also, babies!

SPB: What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
GB: My philosophy in the birth space is it’s not my space, it’s not the care providers space, it’s the families space. I ask myself when walking into a birth space, “How can I help this family find their own power?" I absolutely want my clients to feel empowered by their birth experience.

SPB: How do you work with and involve the Coach?
GB: It’s the family’s birth and I am there to support them, so I coach the coach. I pay attention to the coach’s needs, making suggestions for them, or offering pep talks. I want partners to feel empowered by the birth experience so they start off on the right foot as empowered parents.

SPB: What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
GB: Without going into too much detail, I had a client who was struggling in a way that she wasn’t able to care for her infant and older children, so I was worried about their safety. I was left feeling like this mom needed more help to be able to parent and didn’t want her to end up with social services involvement. I worked with her family to get her professional help as well as providing additional postpartum hours. It was worth it and now they are thriving.

SPB: What keeps you working as a doula?
GB: The birth high after a new baby comes into this world. I can’t imagine birth work not being a part of my life in some way. It's one of those things that I feel I was meant to do.  

SPB: What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
GB:  I work with another Doula, Amanda. Our base fee covers 3 prenatal visits and  2 postpartum visits.  Access to two doulas for unlimited questions or concerns via phone, email, or text prenatally as well as a doula at your birth.   I or Amanda  attend the birth from when you call  and want one of us there until the family is settled and baby is fed— usually 2-4 hours postpartum.  The rate is the same regardless of how long labor is.  In addition to our base fee all birth doula clients can add massage, postpartum hours, or other services at a discounted rate.

SPB: Do you offer any other services to your clients?
GB: In addition to birth and doula work, I offer massage, couples and infant massage classes, breastfeeding and baby wearing classes.

SPB: Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
GB: When I am not doulaing I am lifting weights and watching  Star Trek, but mostly lifting weights lately.

How to reach Grace and Amanda
Phone or Text: 480-420-8797


Blog 


Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe 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 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 in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Info Sheet: Choices in Childbirth Education

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)
What! A Bradley Method® teacher writing about other kinds of childbirth education??  Yes, absolutely!

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe Bradley Method® is designed for families who are planning to have One Mama who wants to prepare for a natural birth + One Coach who is invested and wants to be the main coach for the mother, and in some cases we train assistant coaches as well. There are so many other dynamics and variations in mothers and in their pregnancy.  Today’s information sheet will look at the different childbirth preparation options and offer links to find out more about the different courses offered if The Bradley Method® is not the right fit for you.
 
Why would I do an information sheet on this topic and allow other educators to "brag on" their classes?? It is because I believe that there is no “one size fits all” childbirth education class.  If one method were perfect, there wouldn’t be so many options out there.  

Each method speaks to the people who are attracted to the principles offered in that course.  When we do presentations about natural childbirth and our classes, we offer an evaluation guide so that families can weigh any method against their own values and desires for their birth.  Just like individuals are unique, they must find the education that fits their personality, timeline and budget.

HISTORY:
Once upon a time, birth was a community event.  Children were born at home; families and neighbors experienced birth with all of it's beauty, goopiness, noise (or lack thereof) and rare complications (most complications of birth happen at a rate of 2% or less).  Birth happened to us and around us - it was part of life and living.

Then birth started to move to the hospital.  Parents went away to have babies, and came back with siblings.  Children were no longer privy to what happened during birth.  And birth changed - it became medically managed because true, uncomplicated childbirth has a very hard time showing up when you take a mother to a place where she has to birth with an audience of strangers.  We began to lose our knowledge and trust in birth - many of us have never experienced a live birth until it happened to us.

Hence, the "birth" of childbirth education classes: to teach mothers and their partners how birth looks, sounds, and is likely to proceed if it is allowed to happen as nature intended.  Little by little, hospitals and care providers in the hospital setting are open to the idea that interfering with birth is the problem, not the process of birth itself.

PROS
Most courses will cover provide some, if not all, of these benefits:

  • You learn about your body and how it works in labor; develop confidence in your body's ability to birth.
  • It is a bonding experience with your partner - although they may never experience pregnancy, they learn how they can play an active role in your pregnancy and birth 
  • Learn positions and techniques for labor
  • Learn comfort measures and pain relief options (natural and medical) 
  • Learn about interventions and how to evaluate them
  • Learn how to advocate for mother and baby with positive communication techniques
  • Learn about variations and complications of childbirth
  • Learn how to embrace your birth experience, even if it deviates from your plan


CONS

  • You are an educated consumer - some care providers are not as excited about that as you might imagine.


A closer look at the choices in childbirth education 
Note: this section will be updated as I receive first-hand descriptions of the courses from educators in our area who teach these classes. 
 
In our area (Phoenix, AZ), most childbirth education courses run between $250 - $350, regardless of length.  Most courses are 3-6 weeks long.  If you do the math to figure out the cost per hour, that makes our 12-week Bradley™ course the best value for the money! However, budget is only one factor when considering a childbirth education course. 
 
Here are some questions you can ask when you are considering which class is best for you:
 
Asking these questions first will pre-qualify any classes you may be considering:
- Do you have a class that fits my due date?
- Is it offered at a convenient time, place, and location?
- If not, do you offer private instruction?
 
If you are a good fit so far, consider asking these questions next
- What are your qualifications, training and experience?
How many children have they had using this method, how did they receive training in the method (reading, correspondence course, in-person training (who was their trainer?), webinar), how many courses/couples have they taught?
- Who do you work for?
Are they independent or paid by a third-party? Are they representing information or are they promoting an experience?
- How do your methods and techniques work in labor? What are your method’s natural birth rates?
Most educators have a statistics sheet from their organization, or they may have an account from their students.
 
To ensure the best quality of instruction, it might be important to know if the childbirth educator you are considering is a current affiliate with the certifying organization, or if they were just trained and never completed their certification.  For example, we must carry our most recent affiliation certificate with us when we teach.  We are required to re-certify every year.  Someone thinking about Bradley™ classes would want to know if the class is a Bradley Method® class, providing the most current workbook and updated information (our organization publishes updates to our course outline every year), or is it a class “just like Bradley™” taught by a former instructor who no longer has access to the most current information and might only be teaching their favorite parts of what the method offered them?
 
Here are descriptions of the most common childbirth education methods.  Each of the websites listed below has links to find an affiliated instructor in your area for that “brand” of childbirth instruction.  
 
The Bradley Method®
Teaches about the process of a healthy, low-risk natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can have the best birth possible while striving to have a natural birth. The Bradley Method encourages mothers to trust their bodies. Families are encouraged to have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy based on the foundation of nutrition, exercise, and the avoidance of harmful substances. As part of a comprehensive education couples are taught the stages and physiology of labor, comfort measures, and how to use natural breathing + relaxation techniques during pregnancy/labor. (See our course outline HERE)
12 classes @ 2.5 hours each
 
Lamaze
Ferdinand Lamaze was a French obstetrician who in the 1950s developed a method of childbirth preparation using behavioral training to reduce pain and anxiety in labor.  Modern-day Lamaze focuses on six Healthy Birth Practices.  From their website: “The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices help simplify your birth process with a natural approach that helps alleviate your fears and manage pain. Regardless of your baby’s size, your labor’s length and complexity, or your confidence level, these care practices will help keep labor and your baby's birth as safe and healthy as possible.” 
 
Hypnobirthing
Also called the “Mongan Method”. It is a childbirth education curriculum that emphasizes self-hypnosis.  This method believes in trusting Nature’s way of birth and the simplicity of birth.  Only a few key techniques are taught because the premise is that repetition instead of variety is what gets best results.  
5 classes @ 2.5 hours each
 
Hypnobabies
The curriculum is adapted with permission from Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth Program” techniques. Instead of using simple relaxation, breathing or guided imagery, hypnosis scripts are used as the primary tool for pain management.  Hypnobabies scripts are written to train the inner mind that contractions in labor will be felt only as pressure, tightening, pushing, pulling and normal baby movement sensations.  Scripts are meant to be listened to daily during pregnancy and through the process of labor. 
6 classes @ 3 hours each
 
Birthing From Within
The premise is to understand the power and life-long impact that "birthing from within" offers all participants in birth, therefore mothers/partners prepare for birth as a Rite of Passage.  One intention is to co-create holistic prenatal care that is informative, transformative, and builds a foundation for birthing in awareness in our birth culture, whatever the birth location or outcome or events of the birth.  Another intention is to prevent or minimize emotionally difficult births (for parents and professionals) through compassionate, honest preparation.
 
BirthWorks
From their website: “believe that the knowledge about how to give birth is born within every woman. Therefore, birth is instinctive and what is instinctive doesn’t need to be taught. We help women to have more trust and faith in their own body knowledge that already knows how to give birth. This is a unique approach that is empowering and transforming in nature.”
 
Independent Classes
Many doulas and former childbirth educators will do a one- or two-day intensive program, or they are available for private childbirth classes.  I have a running list of these options for the instance when we get a call from a family that doesn’t have twelve-weeks for a full Bradley Method® course.  Your area Bradley™ teacher may also keep this kind of list, or call a doula in your area to see if they or any of their colleagues teach private, non-branded childbirth classes.
 
Hospital Classes
Most hospitals that have labor and delivery units will offer childbirth classes.  In general, they are taught from the “this is how we do labor and delivery” and “how to be a patient” perspective.  You may hear about the most used options (epidurals) and common interventions in the hospital setting.  It is very rare to have these classes include preparation for true natural childbirth.  It may be beneficial to take this class to understand the birthing culture in the hospital if you are having a hospital birth.  It may give you a truer picture of what your hospital birth could be like than you will get from your care provider.  You are a patient in the hospital for the entirety of your hospital stay – they only show up for the last few minutes of your labor.  If you hear/see too many red flags, then you can consider other options: does your care provider have privileges at other hospitals? Maybe you want to take a closer look at birth centers in your area, or consider changing to a home setting?
 
The bottom line is that there are several options in childbirth education and preparation.  Choose the method that speaks to your heart – and get the information from the people that are passionate  about and currently affiliated with the method that they teach.

We wish you all the best as you do the research to find the best method of education for your Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby Birth-Day.


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

WW: Little of this, Little of That

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 9:29 AM Comments comments (1)
We have been collecting photos of the different choices we make that support breastfeeding: babywearing, co-sleeping, and daddy bonding, as well as breastfeeding pictures.  Here is an assortment of pictures that didn't make it into their respective weeks - enjoy!

 




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, PaysonWe are now enrolling for our Fall 2013 Series
The Bradley Method® for New Parents:
September 6, 2013 through November 22, 2013
Classes meet at 6:00 pm

Bradley™ “Next” – full series plus focus on sibling preparation
September 7, 2013 through November 23, 2013
Classes meet at 2:00 pm
 

For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected]


Wordless Wednesday: Bonding with Coach

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (0)

Today we are sharing photos of different ways our students and fans have found for coaches to bond with baby *without* bottlefeeding; thereby eliminating an opportunity for nipple confusion.

  Sharing a moment with coach in the family bed

Read to your with nursling

Investigate with your nursling

Go for a walk and meet geese wearing your baby
Study with your baby

Share a laugh with your babyVisit the zoo and cuddle your sleeping baby

Explore the water with your baby


The Coach hold


Snuggle your newborn baby

I am so bummed I didn't download pics of Coach Bruss doing bathtime with our babies!  He is the king of bathtime at our home :)

I will add them tomorrow when I am reunited with the external hard drive :)

To see pics of coaches and toddlers, visit our sister site:
Sweet Pea Families

Blueprint for a Vaginal Birth

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)
While there are no guarantees that the kind or amount of preparation you do will lead to a vaginal birth, there are things you can do to increase your opportunity to have the vaginal birth you want for your baby.

If I could write a blueprint for having a vaginal birth, I would follow the Five-Point Plan outlined in our Bradley Method® classes.  Here are five things you can do throughout your pregnancy to decrease your chance of a cesarean when you go into labor:

1.  Exercise
Have you ever heard of a person signing up for a race on the day of the event with no prior running experience?  Have you ever heard of an athlete being signed to a team without any previous training in that sport?  No.  You would not participate in an athletic event without at least three months of prior training.  Labor is like an athletic event.  You will have the best outcome possible if you are free to move, walk, and engage your body in different physical positions.  A body that is ready for that event will perform much better than a body that starts labor with no preparation at all. 
The Bradley Method® asks students to consider THESE exercises to tone the back, belly and bottom, the most active muscle groups in labor.  We also ask all our students to find some kind of stamina-building exercise that they can do on a regular basis.  Each mama is encouraged to at the very least walk 20 minutes per day.  There are also other exercises that are safe for a pregnant mother that do not cause excessive strain on the mama by bouncing up and down on the Kegel muscle: swimming, jogging in a lap pool, water aerobics, and prenatal yoga are all forms of exercise that former students have found beneficial to build their stamina for labor.

2.  Good Nutrition
Coach Bruss tries to impress on the coaches that they have a vested interest in ensuring that their partners are eating a healthy, whole food diet.  The benefits for the long-term health of the growing baby will last their lifetime.  The mother will benefit in pregnancy and labor if she is well hydrated and well nourished.  You can read more about the details of what we teach in Bradley™ classes HERE.
In the event that the MotherBaby do have a cesarean birth, the well-nourished pair has a better chance at recovery and establishing breastfeeding.  Barring additional complications from surgery, Mother can withstand the trauma of labor and her milk should come in without too much delay if she has been well nourished.  Her good nutrition made strong, healthy, stretchy tissues, so she may also have a better recovery healing from the physical rigors of a cesarean.  Baby has been afforded every opportunity to have all the right nutrients for growth while in-utero, and they are likely to be born at their best health possible. 

Anecdotally, I can share that most of the babies born via cesarean to our students have had lusty appetites when they are reunited with their mothers!

3.  Education
You and your partner are going to live with your baby for the rest of your lives.  The decisions you make and the information you learn during your pregnancy will help you make the best decisions possible when it comes time to make choices for your birth.

When time allows, take a comprehensive childbirth education course. 
We love the Bradley Method®, which is why we took it twice and then became certified instructors.  We both wanted to work together to bring our children into the world so it made sense for Bruss to train as my coach.  We felt the topics covered in the twelve weeks would help us to be as knowledgeable as possible about the process of labor and how to handle the work of labor.  We liked the focus on communication, exercise, nutrition and relaxation every week.

If “one size fit all”, there would not need to be any other types of childbirth preparation course.  The reality is that what works for me, may not work for you, and what works for you, may not work for your best friend, etc.  There are several other methods to prepare women and/or couples for birth.  Along with a link to The Bradley Method® main page so you can find an instructor in your area, I have listed some of my colleagues in the Phoenix area who teach other methods at the end of the post,.

I also recognize that sometimes classes are not possible due to timing or resources.  Read THIS about the natural alignment plateau.  I also put a suggested reading list at the bottom of this post – you can read as much or as little as you want.  I did list my top three choices if your time is limited and you really want to do your best to be ready for your birth.

I will close this section with a parting thought: you would not save up your money for the vacation of a lifetime and then hand over that savings to a travel agent and say, “Book it” without any further investment in the process.  Your child is priceless.  Take the time to read, form a community and really be confident in the choices you want to make for your birth, and the options you are willing to consider if your birth takes a different course than you prepared for.

4.  Take Responsibility
Piggyback on the last idea: you are the ultimate arbiter of your pregnancy and labor.  You can inform yourself and make the best decisions, or you can be completely casual and careless, or something in between.
There are resources like the Environmental Working Group that provide lists of safe products and foods for families.  We spend a whole class talking about harmful substances, environmental hazards, and alternatives to them in our Bradley™ series class on Pregnancy.

You can also take responsibility for your pregnancy by taking care of yourself physically and emotionally.  Avoid stress and overwork.  Instead of popping a pill, what do you think about going to see a chiropractor, getting a massage, or going to prenatal yoga classes to ease the discomforts of pregnancy?

Some of the most important choices for you to make intentionally revolve around your birth plan.  Do you have a provider that supports your birth choices?  What is their primary cesarean rate?  Are you at a birthing facility that supports your choices?  What is the facility’s primary cesarean rate?  This information is public record – you can find it.  If not, you can contact an advocacy group like Childbirth Connection or Improving Birth to help you uncover that information and find the most vaginal-birth friendly providers and birthing places in your region.

Especially if you choose a hospital birth, you can also explore your feelings about hiring a doula.  Learn what a doula’s role is in birth, how to hire one that best suits what you anticipate your needs as a couple will be, and then plan it into your budget.  Some doulas work on sliding scales, and they are willing to trade and barter – all birth workers want to help you in any way they can.  Realistically, couples in all birth places can benefit from a doula – read up and see which choice is right for you.

5.  Relaxation
Relaxation is the key to The Bradley Method®.  Dr. Bradley believed that a well-trained mother who was accompanied by her loving coach could do anything that nature intended.  With the knowledge of the progress of labor, she doesn’t have to be afraid of “what comes next”.  A well-trained mother welcomes the sensations of labor with the knowledge that this is a journey she must take to grow as a mother. 

Bradley™ classes teach strategies for physical, mental and emotional relaxation to have as many tools as possible to break the Pain-Fear-Tension cycle.  We teach our couples various positions for labor so that a mother can follow her instincts and get into the best position possible to achieve maximum relaxation. Both she and Coach know the roadmap.  They also know that their course may be a sprint or a marathon, or maybe something in between – their role is to accept the labor and follow mama’s instincts about what she needs and when.  Once she is completely relaxed and able to surrender, labor can progress beautifully and unencumbered to an unmedicated, vaginal birth.  

In closing:
As I mentioned earlier in the post, sometimes you do all the right things and yet, you are still being presented with a situation that looks like it may lead to a cesarean.  HERE is a good post that covers how to handle different labor scenarios that may present as a reason for a cesarean. If mom is okay and baby is okay, you can think about asking for more time.

What if you do everything right and you still end up at the operating room?  
Read HERE to learn about your options if you want to maximize your cesarean experience to capture the essence of a vaginal birth.  Again, you must educate yourself and prepare.  Consider writing a cesarean Birth Plan B so that your provider is well aware of what you want to happen before you are in labor and so that when you ask for these things, they are not forgotten.  A natural approach to a cesarean takes more time than a standard cesarean.  By discussing these things in pregnancy, you are not going to ask them to change their “game” without fair warning.  

All of our students come to class with the intention of having a natural, vaginal birth.  There are times when they have made the choice to have a cesarean for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome after laboring and using the tools they learned in class. They had the skill set to help them identify that despite doing all the things they could, the cesarean was the birth that their baby needed.  The overwhelming majority of them have been grateful for all the preparation and the communication skills they learned.  Unlike families who felt railroaded into their cesareans, couples who prepare for their births choose to have cesareans that ensure a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome and they have a degree of peace with their birth to help them on the road to healing.

I know gratitude for the process doesn’t take away the feelings of not having the birth they planned and prepared for.  Barring the rare complications, having an empowered pregnancy does give them the best possible chance of a VBAC next time.

If you did everything right and still had a cesarean, I encourage you to accept your birth.  Your baby had a reason for needing a cesarean, and assuming you hired a capable, experienced care provider that you trusted, they knew that knew that was the birth you needed.  Seek support from other women who had cesareans through the ICAN organization in person or on-line.

Lastly, there is a group of women who will always need a cesarean.  They may be high-risk, or they may have high-risk pregnancies.  To those women, I say, “You are strong.  You are lionesses.”  Cesarean births are no joke, and to be willing to undergo them again and again for the love of family, you are the ultimate examples of a mother’s love.  Thank you.

What do you think – would you add or subtract anything from this list?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.

Reading list:
Top Three-Four, especially if you are not going to take a class
Natural Childbirth The Bradley™ Way – Susan McCutcheon, AAHCC
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin
Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth – Henci Goer
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League, International

Other very informative books:
Husband-Coached Childbirth – Dr. Robert Bradley
Exercises for True Natural Childbirth – Rhondda Hartman, RN, AAHCC
The Birth Book – Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, RN
Active Birth - Janet Balaskas
A Child is Born – Lennart Nilsson
What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know – Gail Sforza with Dr. Tom Brewer
Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy – Dr. Tom Brewer
Children at Birth – Marjie and Jay Hathway, AAHCC
The Baby Book – Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, RN 

Main Page for The Bradley Method®

Other Childbirth Preparation Classes:
Hypnobirthing: Marinah Farrell (4-6 week course)  480-528-1689Hypnobabies: Noelia Waldo (6 week course)  (480) 295-0895
Birthing From Within: Alejandrina Vostrejos  (6 weeks) 480-206-1985
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson 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®.

   

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