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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Home Birth Rights Rally

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)
After much thoughtful deliberation, hours of testimony, and a strong showing by the consumers and the providers of licensed midwifery care at home, the Midwifery Scope of Practice was expanded in 2013.  Just when we thought home birth in Arizona was going to follow evidence-based care...a new bill was introduced this legislative session to undermine a family's right to choose home birth. Read more about it HERE 

Here is the most recent update from our main advocate for an expanded scope of practice, Allyson Fernstrom:

The bill has been posted on the agenda for Wednesday the 12th at 2pm. Here is what needs to happen until then. 

1st: We MUST keep sending emails and making phone calls to Senator Barto. She can still decide to "hold the bill", which means that she will decide not to hear it on Wednesday. Here are the things to include in your email to Senator Barto:
--Let her know that you do NOT support SB1157 (put this in the subject line).
--Ask her to HOLD THE BILL
--Ask her to protect our personal liberties by holding SB1157!
--Let her know that you believe in the rules revision process we went through as mandated by HB2247. We stand by the rules created by Director Humble. 
--Let her know that by holding this bill, she is respecting the lengthy rules revision process that included a great deal of input from ALL stakeholders! 

2nd: We MUST send emails to ALL members of the Senate Health and Human Service Committee. The file below contains all of the contact info for the committee members. The information should be very similar to the email you will send Senator Barto with minor changes. Instead of asking the committee members to "hold the bill" ask them to vote NO!!! Here is what you can write in the emails to ALL Senate Health and Human Service Committee members:
--Let them know you do Not support SB1157 (put this in the subject line).
--Ask them to VOTE NO on SB1157
--Ask them to protect our personal liberties by VOTING NO on SB1157
--Let them know that you believe in the rules revision process we went through as mandated by HB2247. We stand by the rules created by Director Humble. 
--Let them know that by VOTING NO, they are respecting the lengthy rules revision process that included a great deal of input from ALL stake holders. 

3rd: YOU MUST MUST MUST MUST clear your schedule and attend the hearing on Wednesday the 12th at 2pm. I understand that this is a difficult time because kids are getting out of school. Please do EVERYTHING in your power to arrange for someone else to pick up your children. It is not an ideal setting for children to attend the hearing, however, if you can not come unless you have your children, bring them along!! I can NOT stress how important it is for us to show up in huge numbers!! CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE if you care about your birthing rights!!!

If you can join us at the State Capitol, please come out in a show of support for informed choice and dignity in birth.

If not, HERE is a list of contact information, plus a quick look of phone numbers to make phone calls in opposition of SB1157:
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

It's Not A Plan, It's A Journey

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM Comments comments (0)
It feels so cliché to say, “the journey” these days – the words have been overused and applied to just about everything from meaningful life events to car commercials.

When it comes to your child’s birth, those words are just about right.  Some of us travel a long road through fertility hurdles to achieve pregnancy, then there is the journey through the trimesters and different milestones of pregnancy, and finally, the act of birthing that leads you down to the new path of parenthood.

Our current class has just started working on their birth plans.  When we teach that class, we give them a long list of options to consider, and talk about what they are and what their choices around those items might be.

Then we tell them to do their homework and that in actual labor, they will need to be flexible.  At the end of the day, the birth plan is not a blueprint.  It is an outline of the wishes you want for your birth if things stay healthy and low-risk from start to finish.

Our experience after the birth of our four children, and as instructors, has taught us that the real importance of writing a birth plan is the process: you and your partner sitting down to learn about your options in birth.  Whether you are birthing at home, a birth center or a hospital, we always recommend Henci Goer’s Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.  She very clearly defines interventions, offers the pros and the cons, and shares the research to back up her position.

We encourage both parents to be involved.  Coaches, this is not one of the details to leave to Mama.  If she writes it alone, and you have no idea why she prioritized things the way she did, then how on earth can you make a decision about your child’s birth if and when she gets to a place where she will not or cannot speak up for herself anymore?  It is vitally important for both parents to know the priorities in birth for those times when decisions need to be made and Mama needs a voice to advocate for her and for Sweet Pea.

Write your birth plan, and consider it as a work in progress.  You will have a discussion (or two or three) with your care provider to get their input on what is realistic given your birth space and your care team.  Once it’s representative of what you want and what your care team can provide, print several copies and keep at least one in the vehicles you drive.  You can read in more detail about birth plans HERE

Then do everything you can to control the things you can control about pregnancy and birth.  I outlined them in yesterday’s post.  In a nutshell, they are eat well, exercise, education about pregnancy, birth and normality in birth, avoid harmful substances, and practice relaxation every day.  You will learn all about those things in a Bradley™ class.  Realistically, The Bradley Method® is not for everyone.  Whichever childbirth preparation method you use, seek training in all of those areas to keep your pregnancy as healthy and low-risk as possible.

You do everything right.  You arrive at your Birth-Day.  The unexpected happens and your birth includes several interventions, maybe even a cesarean birth.  Did you just fail your Bradley™ or other childbirth class?

NO.

Your stellar nutrition built a strong, healthy baby.  It has made you a stronger mama.  As I heard in my Bradley Method® training from an obstetrician: the physical trauma of a cesarean is equivalent to a fatal car crash.  The only reason cesareans are not fatal is because trained surgeons in a sterile operating theatre perform them, and all precautions are taken to deliver a healthy mom and a healthy baby out of the operating room.* Your good nutrition makes it possible to withstand and recover from the physical trauma: whether it’s flushing drugs out of your system and/or surgery. Your body and immune system are much better equipped than someone who paid no attention to nutrition in pregnancy.

Your exercise regimen will also improve your physical profile.  This physical strength will also be an asset if you are recovering from interventions and/or the trauma of surgery.

Your education about natural childbirth will fill your toolbox with information to use as you labor.  Your education about normalcy in birth will help you identify when things have started to change out of healthy and low risk, and give you the tools to make an informed consent decision after having a dialogue with your care provider.  I am happy to say that very few, if any, of our students feel like their interventions happened “to” them.  They agreed to interventions or surgery after exhausting all their tools, all their questions, and coming to the shared decision that their Sweet Pea’s birth story was meant to be that way for the best Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

Your avoidance of harmful substances means that your baby is having the healthiest start possible.  That is a gift you can celebrate no matter how they enter the world.

Your daily practice of relaxation is a great habit that will serve you well into parenthood.  Finding stillness may help ease your remorse about the variations in your birth.  They are great tools to use and fall asleep when your baby is sleeping: really, do it! Everything else can wait while you bond with your baby and catch some rest between marathon nursing sessions as they grow in their first month.  As your children age and start to explore their boundaries, deep breathing and calmness are phenomenal tools to have at your disposal – trust me on that one!!

However your birth story goes, remember and treasure all the things that went well.  These are the things that your birth plan cannot capture.   
  • Did you and your partner labor well up to the point your wish list deviated? 
  • Did you get to preserve some elements of your natural birth: low lights, immediate skin-to-skin, breastfeeding soon after birth? 
  • Did your child benefit from delayed cord-clamping? 
  • What did your Sweet Pea look like – smell like – feel like? 
  • When did your eyes lock in instant recognition? 
  • How did it feel to kiss this amazing creation of love and miracles? 
  • When did you and your partner share a kiss of joy as you welcomed your newest family member?

Remember that The Birth Plan is not set in stone.  It is a piece of paper that outlines your wishes after your long journey through conception, pregnancy and labor.  You cannot capture all the wishes, hopes and dreams on one side of 8.5x11 inches of paper.  You can record what you want to happen as long as your labor and delivery stay healthy and low risk. 

The rest of the journey is up to you.  We hope it will be an empowered, deliberate journey to the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby birth of your Sweet Pea.

*The risk of complications for pregnancy and surgery increases with each cesarean.  If you had a cesarean, we encourage you to seek education about the possibility of a VBAC.  ICAN is a great place to start.

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

Birth News: December 12, 2013

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:58 PM Comments comments (0)
A bigger selection of topics today...check out the news if you are "trying" to get pregnant, and more motivation to keep your pregnancy healthy, low-risk and as stress-free as possible.  Also, new study from ACOG that shows that there may be risks with the use of Pitocin.

Happy Thursday to all of you!  

P.S. I also did an early morning posting of our Wordless Wednesday from yesterday...the day got away from me!  Enjoy a peek into our home as we celebrate the season.

FERTILITY
Low folate in male diet linked to risk of offspring birth defects
“Previous research has shown that what mothers eat during pregnancy affects the health of their offspring. But now, a new study suggests that a father's diet prior to conception could also play an important role in their child's health, particularly when it comes to consumption of folate.”
Medical News Today http://bit.ly/1h3oVdw

PREGNANCY
Right amount of fat and protein, key to babies
"The early childhood diet and that of the mother during pregnancy determines the health of a child later life. This is the claim that the EU-funded research project Early Nutrition is trying to substantiate by the time it is due to be completed in 2017." 
From Medical Xpress http://bit.ly/1h3mTKr

Study shows moms may pass effects of stress to offspring via vaginal bacteria and placenta
“As a newborn passes through the birth canal, the microbiome of a mother’s vagina ends up in the offspring’s gut. In the first study, the team, led by Tracy L. Bale, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and the School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Animal Biology at Penn, found that changes in the microbiome produced by stress in pregnant mice altered the microbe population in the newborn’s gut and correlated to changes in the developing brain.”
“In a parallel animal study, Bale and colleagues were looking for predictive biomarkers of maternal stress and found that a specific protein in the placenta, OGT, may have implications for brain development in offspring. The single enzyme is known as O-linked-N-acetylglucosamine transferase or “OGT,” which is important in a wide variety of regulatory functions, including development.

The researchers found that placentas associated with male mouse pups had lower levels of OGT than the placentas associated with female pups, and levels of OGT in the placenta were even lower when their moms were stressed.”
The Almagest http://bit.ly/1h3nBaI

BIRTH
Early lung infection exacerbates asthma risk in preterm birth children
"A Swedish study of children admitted to hospital within the first year of life for lung infection has found that the increased risk this poses for later development of asthma is exacerbated by low gestational age.
Early respiratory infection and preterm birth are both known to be markers of increased subsequent asthma risk, but the relationship between these two factors has been unclear."
News Medical: http://bit.ly/1cz66Og

Study Finds Adverse Effects of Pitocin in Newborns
"These results suggest that Pitocin use is associated with adverse effects on neonatal outcomes. It underscores the importance of using valid medical indications when Pitocin is used.”
 http://bit.ly/1jIzyEO

Vaginal Births Without Epidural Anesthesia Lead To Happier Moms, Point To Potential Cure For Postpartum Depression
"Maternity care may play a role in determining a mother’s overall level of satisfaction during birth and months after labor. A mother’s decision on the mode of baby delivery and whether they opt for pain relief during labor will affect her overall happiness. A recent study finds a vaginal birth without epidural anesthesia increases the odds of happiness for new moms."
From Medical Daily http://bit.ly/18FRafX

Home births are up and less expensive than hospital births
"For the third straight year the United States has fallen in rank in the World Health Organization’s international ranking for maternal mortality. The U.S. currently ranks 58, meaning in 57 nations women have a better chance of surviving childbirth than they do here. The U.S. fares a little better in infant mortality, ranking 34 in the world at keeping infants alive through the birth process. If this sounds outrageous, consider also that the U.S. spends more money on maternity health care than any other developed nation. Licensed midwife Sondra Londino, who recently opened Birthroot Midwifery, a private practice in the Fall Creek area, explains why out-of-hospital births have increased by 41 percent from 2004-2010 and how a midwifed home birth provides a safe and satisfying birth experience." 
Ithaca Times : News http://bit.ly/18FSsHX

Retrospective cohort study: Timely Progestin Lowers Risk for  Preterm Birth
“Our report suggests that progestin prophylaxis can reduce the rate of recurrent spontaneous preterm birth when barriers to care and treatment are aggressively removed and that the gestational age at initiation may affect the success of progestin prophylaxis," the authors write.”
Medscape: http://bit.ly/1jSYpGg

BABIES
Safe Baby Wearing: Facing in or Facing Out?
“When people find out that I'm an at-home Dad, there's often an image that comes to mind that is not quite accurate, and is largely fueled by the "TV depiction" of stay-at-home and work-at-home Dads: A group of four or five guys standing around a park with outward-facing babies dangling from their chests. If this happens anywhere, I have not witnessed it, nor been a part of such a gathering in the past 4+ years of my career as a parent. When I have seen babies worn by other parents (and sometimes myself), the big question has always been "which way is the right way - inward or outward." It's been the subject of vigorous debate among parents, but the folks at Boba Family just might have the answer, and that answer is inward.”
From The Rock Father http://bit.ly/1jT1lT5

BREASTFEEDING
Malnutrition Decreased With Breastfeeding
“Professor Christophe Lacroix at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH-Zurich, led a study which found  the important good bacteria that babies receive from breast milk comes from their mothers gut. This is part of the innate support that assists babies with acquiring strong immune systems. It is also part of building colonic health and the babies gut.”
Las Vegas Guardian Express http://bit.ly/18FOWNH


Just for fun: 
maybe we should have therapy dogs for labor!
Therapy Dogs Help Students De-Stress During Finals
"Whether it's taking a break from the books, the workplace, or even the crowds at some of the country's busiest airports, four-legged friends are being used to help people feel good.

Scientifically, that's exactly what they're doing. Dr. Katherine Zupancic is a professor at SCC and says when people play with animals during stressful times, a hormone called Oxytocin is released that makes people happy."
From 1011HD http://bit.ly/1h3m6cs


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

Birth News RoundUp 11-14-2013

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM Comments comments (0)
Just in time for some dinner-prep or nighttime reading, here are the articles that caught my eye over the last few days.  Thoughts and prayers being sent to the families in the Philippines.  It is amazing to see how the miracle of life continues on in the face of destruction and devastation.

As we approach Premature Awareness Day on November 17, I am guessing there will be more articles about preemies and NICU care - if they don't make it on here, make sure to check our Pinterest Boards for the articles we find and want to save for future reference.

If there are any other topics you are interested in, please leave me a note.  I am an avid reader and there is so much information to cull through on a daily basis.  I would like to include the topics that are important to you!
 
FERTILITY
Asthma May Lengthen Time to Get Pregnant

"Getting pregnant may take longer for women with asthma, a new study from Denmark suggests.
Researchers analyzed information from more than 15,000 women in Denmark, including 950 who had asthma.
When asked whether they had ever spent more than a year trying to become pregnant, 27 percent of women with asthma said yes, compared to 21 percent of women without asthma."
More on LiveScience: http://bit.ly/HWig8Y
 
PREGNANCY
U.K. Study Finds There May Be A Way For Doctors To Predict Preeclampsia In Pregnant Women
“A recent study done in the United Kingdom and published in an American Heart Association Journal, found that by checking the placental protein levels, doctors may be able determine whether a woman will develop preeclampsia.”
Read the article from NY1: http://bit.ly/HWhbye

Study discovers that senescence also plays a role in embryo development
“One of the main mechanisms the body uses to protect itself against cancer is to switch off defective cells by making them senescent; these cells do not die but stop dividing: their life cycle stops. A team of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid and another one from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona have discovered, and are publishing in two articles in the journal Cell, that this switching-off mechanism also takes place in embryos, and not as a response to cell damage but as part the normal process of development…The occurrence of senescence during embryonic development has important implications for understanding how the body grows and is shaped.”
Read the rest of the article on MedicalXpress.com http://bit.ly/17tCcGn

My note: Something to look into if there is a high risk pregnancy:
Topol Predicts Genomic Screening Will Replace Amniocentesis
"Chromosomal aberration screening could be done between 8 and 10 weeks in the first trimester, to screen for trisomy 13, 18, and 21. It is pretty darn remarkable that there are 4 simple blood tests capitalizing on the cell-free DNA from the fetus in that 1 tube of maternal blood, from which we can determine chromosomal aberrations and gender as well as a whole lot more in terms of sequencing the fetal genome."
...
"This is a very exciting time. Until now, we have completely relied on amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling, which carry a significant risk, although low. And, of course, expense, all sorts of trepidation, and anxiety are factors. To be able to do this noninvasively with a tube of blood, with accuracy that is as good as amniocentesis, is pretty darn remarkable."
More on MedScape.com: http://bit.ly/1e5oXAy

BIRTH
My note: For our VBAC students/readers – this is an oldie but a goodie:
ICAN of Atlanta: Laboring On the Monitors
In most hospitals, continuous external fetal monitoring (cEFM) is part of the protocol for women having a VBAC. It can also be necessary for reasons such as induction or other medical concerns. One common misconception about cEFM is that you have to stay in bed in order to be monitored. This might be something the nurses tell you, or just something you think and the nurses don’t bother to correct you on. Either way, mobility and gravity are your best friends in labor. Though the monitors do limit you to a small radius where the cords will reach, there are many positions that can still be used for your comfort and to help labor progress. (Also, don’t forget frequent bathroom breaks!)
Read the rest of the article and check out the picture gallery: http://bit.ly/1e5opKV

Delayed umbilical cord clamping reduces complications
"Waiting only one minute to cut the umbilical cord for a pre-term baby greatly reduces complications, says Alberta Health Services.

"Since delayed cord clamping was introduced at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in 2008, fewer babies are experiencing complications related to their bowels and core temperature.

“Now, in that minute before we clamp the cord, a baby takes his first breaths and pulls in some blood from the placenta. This extra blood stabilizes the baby’s blood pressure and it is thought that the stem cells help fight infection and repair damaged cells.”

"European studies show that the delayed cord clamping also significantly reduces the risk of brain injury and hospital-acquired infection. And it cuts the need for blood pressure support in babies born between 22 and 36 weeks of gestational age."
News story from the Alberta Health Services and Edmonton Sun: http://bit.ly/1e5sgI3
 
Evan Rachel Wood opens up about childbirth
“Evan Rachel Wood has praised her husband, Jamie Bell, for supporting her during childbirth.

“The 'Charlie Countryman' actress decided to welcome their son into the world naturally in July at their home in Los Angeles, and revealed her husband, 27, was ''wonderful'' during the experience.”
Read the Contactmusic.com here: http://bit.ly/1cZllmtBabies

My note: An FYI if you or anyone you know has had weight-loss surgery:

Study Ties Weight-Loss Surgery to Higher Risk of Preemie Birth
“Babies born to women who've had weight-loss surgery are more likely to be premature and to have low birth weights, a new study found.

“These pregnancies should be considered at-risk and require careful monitoring by doctors, said the researchers at the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden.
“But the study authors also pointed out that weight-loss surgery has numerous benefits for mothers, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke. In addition, obesity is a known risk factor for both mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth.”
This article is from Newsday: http://bit.ly/1cZl3ft

BABIES
Smart jacket for premature babies

“Together with the Máxima Medical Center (MMC), Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a prototype wireless 'baby jacket' for very premature babies in intensive care units. The jacket, which includes monitoring sensors, is comfortable to wear and was designed to reduce the baby's stress and make it easier for the parents to hold their baby outside the incubator. This is expected to benefit the later development of the baby.”
Read the rest of the news story at MedicalExpress.com: http://bit.ly/17tD9hG

NEW STUDY: Quiet conditions are bad for new-borns in care

“Neonatal intensive care units are full of life-saving equipment and people. It could be that the noise that the equipment makes also helps new-borns recover from serious health conditions.
“At the end of the study, the researchers found that babies who stayed in private rooms had less mature brains than those who stayed in an open ward. With the private rooms, the researchers are of the opinion that the noise abatement effort made things too quiet for these babies. This matches other research which indicates that babies need stimulation to thrive.”
Read more at the digitaljournal.com: http://bit.ly/1e5qLcQ
 
BREASTFEEDING
Breastfeeding FAQs on www.ajc.com

My note: List of several common questions asked by breastfeeding mothers.  Don’t necessarily agree with some of the opinions scattered within (i.e., “follow your doctor’s vaccine schedule”) – for the most part, great stuff and lots of other external links to explore.
Brought to you by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution at http://bit.ly/1duymR4

Anything jump out at you this week??
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

Meet the Doula: Jennifer

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM Comments comments (0)
This month's featured doula is Jennifer Valencia.  She is a doula that serves Central and Northern Arizona.  She believes that birth is a sacred time and every mother should be nurtured and respected as she brings her baby earth side.

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
The first time I heard the word doula was probably in 2006, some time before my first baby’s birth. I didn’t really understand the full scope of benefits of a doula until the birth of my second child when I experienced a DONA certified doula.

How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
I had a friend who was having her baby a few months before my first son was born and she was made to labor alone because “only the father” was allowed into the hospital after hours, per their policy. I knew this kind of treatment was not right and I advocated to make a difference before my son’s birth. Besides the role of advocacy, I knew I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of mothers, babies and families at this very significant time in their lives.

Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
I am a birth doula.

How long have you been a doula?
I have supported friends and family in their birth experiences prior to becoming a doula but began to take a much more active role in my training in 2012 and providing support to my community with local birth circles. I have completed my requirements to become a CD(DONA) and my certification is pending. I am also educated in the Social and Human Services field and am in the process of obtaining my MSW. I have taken advanced doula training- certified in TENS support for labor. I love to bring essential oils into the birthing room.

What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
I enjoy providing women with evidence based knowledge surrounding prenatal care, pregnancy, birth and their newborn so that families can be empowered in their birth experiences. I am honored to hold a sacred space for women and their partners, allowing them to have a more intimate birth experience with confidence. I love seeing her joy as she meets and bonds with her newborn for the first time.

What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
I believe that birth is a sacred time and every mother should be nurtured and respected as she brings her baby earth side. As a doula, I hold that sacred space and strive to build confidence in childbirth and the ability of a woman’s amazing body. I believe that birth is a normal life event. I believe that birth matters; it is a transformational time, shaping the kind of mother and person a woman is.

How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I strive to create an intimate space, not just for the mother, but for the family. I provide perspective and support for a woman’s partner to participate at their comfort level to enhance the support they provide. Prenatally, we talk about “what to expect” and I focus on building confidence and trust in birth as a natural process that is different for every woman and every birth. A partner or other loved one brings compassion and intimate knowledge of you, while a doula brings knowledge, confidence and experience to the birthing room. Together, a doula and your coach make a strong support system. When the partner is desired as the primary support person, I work behind the scenes; I quietly offer ideas for the coach to support the mother and keep both of their basic needs met. I consider myself having “successfully” supported an intimate birth when mom remembers me as a nice person in the room and dad felt confident in his ability to support her. When the coach prefers to be in the moment and enjoy the birth experience but not be the main pillar of support, I am sure to include the coach’s presence so that the mother is very connected with him but I support her physical and emotional labor needs.

What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
I have been in a birth where hospital staff does not listen to the mother’s desires for her baby or take the time to listen to her views of a situation. There wasn’t much I could do against the “policy” but I could still support the mother- I took the time to listen and validate her feelings and advocate for her within my scope of practice as a doula. I helped her feel more empowered and overcome a situation where she felt disregarded.

What keeps you working as a doula?
I keep working as a doula because I long for every mother to have a safe and satisfying birth experience. I have seen the difference a doula makes and am eager to bring awareness about evidence based birth into my community by providing opportunities for mothers to connect and support one another in the birth circles. Not to mention I love these adorable babies and empowered mamas!

What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My basic birth doula service includes a minimum of two prenatal appointments, on-call availability 24/7, access to my lending library and at least one postpartum appointment. Prenatal appointments generally last about 1.5hrs, include basic childbirth education and are for getting to know each other and how I can help you achieve the birth you desire. I will provide continuous emotional and physical support for the mother and her partner throughout labor, birth and up to four hours after. Postpartum appointments vary in length and are for talking about your birth experience; I also provide basic breastfeeding counseling and referrals as needed. My basic birth doula services are $500, however, I believe in a doula for every woman who wants one; if money is a concern when hiring a doula, my basic services are offered for a donation. I have packages that include more extensive childbirth education, belly casts, birth stories, massages, yoga and more, starting at $550.  My fee does not vary based on the length of labor.

Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I offer belly casting and placenta encapsulation, tinctures and more.

Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
I enjoy rock climbing, hiking and spending time with my husband and children.

About our doula:  I am Jennifer Valencia.  I have two beautiful children and a wonderful, supportive husband. I have been drawn to the field of birth work since 2006 and am now obtaining my certification through DONA International. Because I have had a VBAC, mothers seeking a vaginal birth after cesarean have a special place in my heart. I feel honored to walk along side families in Arizona during this very beautiful time. As a birth doula, I support women of Yavapai County, Flagstaff and Phoenix. I attend birth in any setting- hospital, home or birth center.  Find me online at www.guidingangelsbirthservices.com, via email at
[email protected], or call me at 928.300.1337.


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®.

Upcoming Events: August 12 to 16, 2013

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM Comments comments (0)
Looking for something to do with your family this week?  Cassandra and I are posting events and classes in our respective geographic areas…look for us…maybe we will see you there!!

Do you have an event that you would like to add to our upcoming events calendar?  Scroll down to the end of this post for more information.

Disclaimer:  A listing here does not imply nor signify endorsement by Sweet Pea Births, or our families.

These are events for expecting families, and families with newborns to 6 months old.  There are some great get-out-of-the-house opportunities for work-at-home mamas.  For more family - toddler fun, visit our listing at Sweet Pea Families.

MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2013
Where are you going to be today?  Let us know and offer us some ideas for next week :)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013
La Leche League – Tempe  
LLL is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. All women, especially pregnant and nursing mothers, are welcome to attend our meetings. For more info and the full meeting notice please visit: http://www.lllofaz.org/
Desert Cross Lutheran Church @ 9:30 am
8600 S McClintock Dr. (Just north of Warner Rd)
Tempe, AZ

Smart Play: Newborns (birth to 4 months old)
Who knew there was actually a science to the most beneficial techniques to use when interacting with your baby to help their brain develop? In this class, participants will learn how play affects their child’s lifelong brain development, what toys/activities are best for their child at this age, and how to look at a toy and instantly see its developmental benefits. Babies welcome and encouraged!  These are some of the techniques Brie shared on Channel 3’s “Your Life A to Z” on her June 27th appearance!  Class costs $10 per person or $12 per couple.  To register for this class, call 480-299-1154 or visit www.babybasics4u.com
Baby Town  @ 9:30am-10:30am
3787 S. Gilbert Rd.  
Gilbert, AZ
480-299-1154

Smart Play: Babies (4-6 months old)  
Who knew there was actually a science to the most beneficial techniques to use when interacting with your baby to help their brain develop? In this class, participants will learn how play affects their child’s lifelong brain development, what toys/activities are best for their child at this age, and how to look at a toy and instantly see its developmental benefits. Babies welcome and encouraged!  These are some of the techniques Brie shared on Channel 3’s “Your Life A to Z” on her June 27 appearance!  Class costs $10 per person or $12 per couple.  To register for this class, call 480-299-1154 or visit www.babybasics4u.com
Baby Town  @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
3787 S. Gilbert Rd.  
Gilbert, AZ
480-299-1154 

Pottery Barn Kids Story Time
Kids of all ages are invited to story time every Tuesday at 11:00 am.  Members receive an official book club passport at their first story time, plus a special gift after attending five story times.  To locate a store near you, click HERE http://www.potterybarnkids.com/customer-service/store-locator.html
Store Near You @ 11:00 – 11:30 am
Chandler Fashion Center
3111 West Chandler Blvd
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 899-7155
Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014 e. Camelback Road
Scottsdale , AZ 85251
(480) 423-3813

Homebirth Circle 
Come join the beautiful space and share thoughts about life, babies and love.  The circle is open to any adult and lap babies only.  Feel free to bring a healthy snack to share.
Freedom and The Seed Office @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
123 Baseline Rd, Suite 205
Tempe, AZ  
480-528-1689

Fish Feeding
Come see an 18,500 gallon freshwater aquarium that offers an up-close view of trophy-sized catfish, bass, striper and blue gill.  Feeding includes an informative presentation about the fish.  Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and Tuesdays at 6:00pm.  Also, every day kids can help us feed the trout in our Trout Stream at 1:30pm.
Bass Pro Shop Trout Stream @ 1:30 pm
Bass Pro Shop Aquarium @ 6:00 pm
1133 N Dobson Rd
Mesa 85201
602-606-5600

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2013
Blossoming Moms Breastfeeding and Postpartum Support
Pregnant moms are welcome too! 
Facilitator: Michelle Hottya 818-606-5687
Blossom Birth and Wellness Center @ 11:00 am
2928 N 16th Place
Phoenix, AZ 85016     

Dignity Healthcare Breastfeeding Support Group
Group meets every Wednesday with the exception of major holidays… For more information, please call the ResourceLink toll-free 1 (877) 728-5414, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm
Chandler Regional Medical Center's @ 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
1955 W Frye Rd
Chandler, AZ 85224

Inn Mommies: Breastfeeding Support and Snugglers Group 
Birth to six months: This group for expecting and new mommies and open to women giving birth at home, at Babymoon Inn or in a hospital and is facilitated by Amey Clark, RN. For more info visit http://babymooninn.com/community/
Babymoon Inn @ 1:00 pm
202 East Morris Drive
Phoenix, AZ  
(602) 314-7755  

Phoenix Public Market
“our Open-Air Market is a natural gathering place that celebrates neighborhoods and the neighbors. It offers an eclectic high-quality mix of: Fresh in-season fruits and vegetables, produce, flowers, jams, baked goods, dried beans, free-range eggs and honey, live plants and unique local arts and crafts, tasty hot foods, music, and more.
Open Air Market @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
721 N Central
Phoenix, AZ    

CALIFORNIA
The Little Car Show 
A display of little cars benefiting the Veterans Transition Center. Downtown Pacific Grove.  For more information visit www.marinamotorsports.org or the Chamber of Commerce HERE
Downtown PG @ 12:00 am to 5:00 pm
584 Central Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950 
Contact: John Moulton 484-1966

La Leche League Meeting – Pacific Grove
LLL is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. All women, especially pregnant and nursing mothers, are welcome to attend our meetings. For more info and the full meeting notice please visit http://lllnorcal.org/groups/MontereyPeninsulaCA.html
Parent's Place @ 5:00pm
1025 Lighthouse Ave
Pacific Grove, CA

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Where are you going to be today?  Let us know and clue us in for next week :)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013
Barnes & Noble Storytime
If You Were a Panda Bear by Wendell and Florence Minor:  If you were a Panda bear, guess what you would wear? A black-and-white suit and eye patches-how cute! You'd be very shy; you'd eat lots of bamboo. Then you'd take a long nap. What a good thing to do! Join us to learn about bears of all types!
Store Near You @ 10:30 AM
Chandler Fashion Mall
3111 W. Chandler Blvd #2054
Chandler, AZ 85226
480-792-1312

Dignity Healthcare Breastfeeding Support Group
Every Friday with the exception of major holidays… For more information, please call the ResourceLink toll-free 1 (877) 728-5414, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center @ 10:00 am to 11:30 am
3555 S Val Vista Dr.
Gilbert, AZ 85297

Free Outdoor Concert – Tempe
Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment.  For more information click HERE
Tempe Marketplace @ 7:00 pm
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe 85281
480-966-9338

Free Outdoor Concert – N. Phoenix/Scottsdale

Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment.  For more information click HERE
Desert Ridge Marketplace @ 7:00 – 9:00 pm
21001 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix 85050
480-513-7586

Free Concert - Chandler
Dmitri Matheny Group featuring Clairdee! 
First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” [San Francisco Chronicle], a leading figure on the international jazz scene and one of the most prolific musicians of his generation.  Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician DMITRI MATHENY has been lauded as “the first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione” [San Jose Mercury News].
**No tickets required; all shows are FREE.  All seating is first come, first served.  Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm.  Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family.**
Chandler Center for the Arts @ 7:30 P.M. 
250 N. Arizona Ave. 
Chandler, AZ

CALIFORNIA
Celebrate the Outdoors: Making Tracks
Throughout the month of August, MY Museum celebrates the outdoors with a special activity every Friday! Join us August 16th and make tracks! Learn how to distinguish the footprints of our furry and feathered friends in the Peninsula. Fun for all and free with admission.  For more information and admission prices, visit http://www.mymuseum.org/plan/calendar/
Monterey County Youth Museum @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
425 Washington Street
Monterey, CA 93940


Do you have an event you want to add to our list?  We are happy to list your event in our weekly blog posts.  Any event, class, support group or meeting that fits into our philosophy of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting will be considered for our listing.  We reserve the right to decline requests that do not promote healthy families and peaceful parenting.

To submit your event:
Please follow this format (same as above).  Anything that is not "copy-paste" ready may not be posted - it will depend on how much time I have between homeschooling and loving on four littles.  If I don’t sleep, it seriously impedes my ability to be a peaceful mama, and that is not fun for anybody.  Thank you for understanding!  

Submit your event information to:
krystyna {at} sweetpeabirths {dot} com

Information to send me:
Event Name
Description & Cost
Location Name & Time
Address
Contact Phone Number

For more family - toddler fun, visit our listing at Sweet Pea Families


Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 


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®.



Two Paths to One Truth

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 7:28 AM Comments comments (0)
The final open meeting of the Midwifery Scope of Practice committee was held yesterday, June 3, 2013.  The whole time I have been attending or watching the livestream recordings, there has been a nagging thought that was tugging on my brain.

The Director of Health Services wrote THIS blog post that really helped me clarify the thought that had been rolling around in my head, and I couldn’t quite pin it down until I read his post:

Excerpt:
“In the draft rules, there are a handful of tests that women need to take if she wants to have Licensed Midwifery services.  These tests (HIV, Hepatitis B, blood glucose, and blood Rh factor) are the only way for the midwife to establish that the birth will be low risk and safe for the health of the newborn and mom.  The mom-to-be can still refuse the tests, but that means she wouldn’t be able to have a Licensed Midwife present during the home-birth because it wouldn’t be possible to determine if the birth is low-risk and suitable for a home delivery.”
       ~Will Humble, Arizona Department of Health Services Director

Here is an excerpt from the comment I left him:

"The ADHS is approaching birth as something that needs to be established as “low-risk” in order to proceed at home. Those of us who have had a homebirth, and the care providers who support us, have a belief that pregnancy and birth are low-risk from the outset.

The medical model wants birth to be proven safe; the midwifery model believes birth is safe until it is proven otherwise. We will continue to go around and around about what is best for mothers and babies until some sort of resolution is found between those two disconnected approaches to pregnancy and birth."

The good news is: thanks to the public outcry against the mandatory testing, that part of the rules and regulations is being left alone for the most part to stand as it was.  Some minor updates are being made to take account new information about infectious disease since the rules were last updated in 1999.  For the most part, consumers and midwives were happy with the verbal agreement reached by the committee about how testing is going to be written in the updated rules.

Sadly, the issue of the "Us Versus Them" mentality that exists between the medical model and the midwifery model has not been resolved.  Here are two interactions that happened at the June 3, 2013 Midwifery Scope of Practice Meeting that clearly illustrate the disconnected paradigms in two approaches to one fact of life: Birth Happens.

1.) The medical community does not understand the scope of midwifery training.
Transcript of video (http://www.livestream.com/azdhs) starting at time stamp 13:18
Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, President of ACOG Arizona: “In your explanation, that’s then inferring that you continue care of the neonate.  Does that imply that you are not providing the infant with a pediatrician or a doctor of it’s own at the appropriate time?  Correct me; I am assuming you are not implying that you then become the provider for the newborn?  You are practicing out of scope of practice! You’re not pediatricians or lay pediatricians!” 

Wendi Cleckner, CPM, points out that on page 24 of the May 24, 2013 version of the rules, the parameters of a midwife’s care for the newborn are clearly stated.  (There are 16 different clinical observations a midwife must make about the newborn, and if necessary, protocols for referrals that she will follow that are in the best interest of the baby, before she can say her role in that infant’s care is complete.)

Janice Bovee, CNM, MSN, “Midwifery, including Certified Professional Midwives and Certified Nurse Midwives, in our programs, and in our training; we include mother’s pregnancy, intrapartum care, birth, postpartum care and care of the newborn.  We are trained in that.  That is part of the midwifery model.”

Thank you, Janice for defining the scope of practice for midwives for Dr. Manriquez and anyone else who is unclear about exactly what midwives are trained to do.  A midwife is trained to practice in the home setting, so she must assume some of the care that a pediatrician would perform in the hospital setting because childcare is not in the obstetrical job description.  Whether she works in the home, a birth center or a hospital, a midwife is willing, capable, and knowledgeable in the care of both the mother and the neonate as part of her scope of practice every day of the week.

(Side note: can you see how midwives start to lower the cost of healthcare in this simple illustration?  One person caring ably for two people, instead of two people caring for two people.)

2.) The medical community does not understand the rigors of midwifery training.  The fact that practitioners of midwifery care are not learning to do surgery does not mean that their training is inconsequential. 
The second exchange, that occurs at time stamp 26:23 of the meeting:
Maria Manriquez, MD, FACOG, President of ACOG Arizona: “Is there any room for demonstrating actual; I know that you’re at least, that’s what Wendi has communicated, that you have to demonstrate physical competency?  So, all of the physician providers have to demonstrate competency.  So what physical competency is demonstrated by licensed midwives?  So there’s an exam, there’s NARM certification, but it doesn’t spell out specifically what and who signs off on that particular practitioner.”

Wendi Cleckner, CPM: “That’s what we’re adopting as the CPM process, is NARM.  The national organization does all of that and there is a clinical aspect; that you are in front of a qualified examiner who takes you through scenarios, you have to work on models, you have to demonstrate your clinical skills in front of them, and then they pass or fail you.”

Maria Manriquez: “We break it down even more specific.  So you can be knowledge, medical knowledge approved but not clinical, and vice versa.  So, is there an opportunity to have that information?”

Wendi Cleckner: “It’s on the website of NARM.”

Maria Manriquez: “So on the website, I could go and look you up and see that you had passed both the medical knowledge portion and the (unintelligible)?”

Wendi Cleckner: “If I did not pass all the sections, I would not be a CPM.  You would not be certified, you would not get your license, if you didn’t pass all the sections.”

Mary Langlois, CPM: “You also have to pass an apprenticeship.  So, you have a preceptor who is designated to oversee your competency.  So you’re taught by the preceptor, and the preceptor also does skills check offs and oversees you and helps you manage the deliveries.  So not only do you have to complete the clinical side, and then you would have to complete all your documentation, you take it to NARM, you take the practical examination, you pass that, then you take the written.”

I especially love Mary’s comment because it reminds us that the midwifery model is personal not just to the woman receiving care, but also to the woman who is providing the care.  Another women who saw her passion, helped her hone her skills, and took the time to teach her.  She was not taught in an amphitheater setting, and not in a residency program designed to weed out the weak links, but in the intimate, person-to-person knowledge transfer, one or two students at a time.

Without too much extrapolation, I think it is easy to see that the medical model of training looked at the eons-old midwifery model of knowledge transfer and sterilized it to suit the needs of the medical community.  If we are honest with ourselves, we need to ask ourselves what the conflict is really about. 

Is it really about the safety of the mothers and the babies, or is it the continual push of one system against another?  One system still trying to prove it’s soaring above the other one that is merely trying to stay grounded and true to its roots.

As Bradley™ teachers, Bruss and I recognize that there is real value brought to the table by both knowledge sets.  We help couples find a path to stay healthy and low-risk so that they a variety of birth options available to them.  If they want midwifery care at home or at a birth center, great!  If they want midwifery care in the hospital – fantastic!  If they feel comfortable with the obstetrical approach, we know there are care providers that support natural birth.  They have choices. 

Although very seldom, occasionally there are developments that move a couple’s pregnancy or birth out of the healthy and low-risk category wherever they are seeking care.  We want those couples to have specialized obstetrical care so that they, too, can have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcomes like their low-risk counterparts.

Director Humble and his team are in the unique position of being able to set the tone and the groundwork for collaborative care to really take root in the United States.  It is our hope and prayer that a peaceful, respectful and collaborative model of care will be pioneered in the state of Arizona. 

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.
 
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®.



Meet the Doula: Laura

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 5:34 AM Comments comments (3)
Our featured doula this month is Laura Correia, CD(DONA).  Laura and I met through the Rights for Homebirth movement.  It is a pleasure to bring you her interview - this is a woman who knows her calling.  I found that her passion about birth and supporting families speaks through the page and to my heart.  Enjoy getting to know Laura!

About Laura:  I am a DONA certified birth doula in the greater north and west Phoenix metro area, including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Anthem, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Avondale, Litchfield Park, Tolleson, and Goodyear. I love to use my gifts and talents being able to help women have a satisfying and successful labor and birth. It's my goal to get to know a woman in such a way that I can encourage her in the way that allows her to have the very best birth experience she can. I consider it one of the best blessings to help a baby come into the world! Please email or call me at (480) 44-BABY4, for more information.

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”? 
In 2002. I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, and going through Crisis Pregnancy Counseling training with a woman who became a friend. As we approached the end of my training, she said she was becoming a doula, and needed 3 certification births, and would I mind if she attended my labor? She was amazing! I never ended up becoming a counselor, but became a doula instead! 

How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
After a typical hospital birth with epidural, an unmedicated hospital birth with a midwife, and then 2 birth center births, I realized there was a woman with me in some capacity in every single birth. My husband was a FANTASTIC coach, and I couldn't do it without him; at the same time, I really NEEDED a woman there (a nurse the first time, my childbirth instructor the second time, a doula the third time, and a midwife the last time). 

I decided to pursue doula work when my last child was 2. My oldest was old enough to babysit in a pinch (finding 24 hour childcare is often one of the biggest obstacles for doulas) and since they were all homeschooled and used to being home with each other, it worked. I had a supportive aunt who encouraged me and helped me with the cost of training. I also realized there were different needs in the community for different doulas. As a fairly calm, more quiet, strong-in-my-Christian-faith woman, and okay with hospital or medicated birth if the mom desired it, I would appeal to a certain type of laboring woman. I realized it's okay to celebrate our strengths and areas of expertise as doulas. :)

Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
Birth doula.

How long have you been a doula?  
I have been a doula since 2008. I have been certified with DONA since 2010, and have Rebozo and TENS certifications with them as well. I have additional breastfeeding training, and I am Neonatal Resuscitation certified as part of my path to midwifery.  I have experience with hospital (planned medicated and unmedicated), birth center and homebirth. I have attended waterbirths, VBACs, teen or single moms; accompanied in cesarean section births and for expected stillbirth. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
I love being a part of the strength women and their partners’ find when being stretched beyond what they thought possible. It's a difficult journey for most, but women are amazed at when they've accomplished, and men look at the mom of their new baby with such awe at their perseverance and strength (unmedicated or otherwise)!  Helping a woman feel respected, educated, and informed is also a big part of the satisfaction I get as an attending doula.  And of course, it's always a blessing to see a new baby come into the world. 

What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
It's not my birth- it's hers! I am there to support her in HER choices, even if I personally wouldn't chose that path. My goal is to be an encouragement; to help mom feel empowered and confident in an uncertain journey; to make things as relaxing and calm as possible- whether through environment, thoughts/fears, communication or comfort measures; to validate her feelings.  My professional motto is "Seeking to enrich labor and birth experiences" and that can come in a variety of ways.

How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I have worked with coaches that are most comfortable sitting in a corner, and those that are catching their baby... and everything in between! My goal is to help the support person feel the most confident and comfortable they can, and to experience the labor/birth to the level of involvement they want. As a doula, I want to take the pressure off of the coach to be the source for all knowledge and physical help, because that doesn't allow them to experience the birth for themselves. I often will demonstrate how to massage gently, offer positions that he can aid in, and offer food and drink for him to provide for the laboring mom. It's also a comfort to both the coach and the mom to have me available for coach to take bathroom breaks, go on food runs, and take quick catnaps. Typically my biggest help for the coach is being a calm and experienced presence; letting him know that when things get intense, that it's all part of the process, and reassuring him that those are good signs!

What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
I've had to call 911 for a mom that labored quickly and felt she was going to birth at home unexpectedly; been dismissed as a doula after a homebirth transport to the hospital; watched a family grieve with the loss of their firstborn; worked in births where the birth team was rude, loud, and demeaning. In all of these situations, I stay present for the mom and dad- a compassionate presence, and I validate their feelings and choices.  And then I go home, and cry, sleep, pray, journal, and/or talk with my mentors. I believe doulas HAVE to have those she can decompress with, otherwise there's too much pent up frustration and often, anger- towards choices made, providers, and "the system," and bitterness grows.

I develop an emotional connection with my clients, and so when they hurt, I hurt. I include a postpartum appointment in my services, and that is where we can talk about what, how, and perhaps why things happened the way they did. I validate mom (and often dad)'s feelings about a birth that went very different that planned. However, I also provide another perspective to things, which often helps them to perceive the experience differently. Lots of times, new moms overlook all the amazing things they did, or the strength they had, focusing only on where things DIDN'T go according to plan. I help her see the good choices she made, and encourage her in where things went "right."

What keeps you working as a doula?
Being there for women. I love helping laboring moms realize how strong they are, helping a couple (or mother/daughter) grow closer together through such an intimate time, and being a compassionate, experienced and non-judgemental guide in the process. Often my clients and I share similar spiritual beliefs, and they appreciate my sensitivity and ability to welcome God into their birth experience through prayer, music, and focus. I feel like my doula work is a gift and a calling - and a responsibility!- from the Lord, and that in itself keeps me going.

What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
I charge $600, and it includes 2 prenatal appointments (usually 2 hours each), the entire labor and birth, 1-2 hours postpartum, and a separate postpartum visit one the family is home. I do not vary my fee depending on length of the birth; my quickest client was 10-15 minutes, and my longest was 29 hours. I don't want moms feeling pressured to "birth quicker!" because of financial considerations. 

I offer discounts to previous clients, active duty military, parents placing baby for adoption, and those in full-time Christian ministry. I have also been known to provide significant discounts -occasionally- for hardship situations, and accept barter as partial payment as the need arises. 

Do you offer any other services to your clients?
Placental encapsulation; a "birth journey" story for the baby book and/or to share electronically; all pictures, along with some that I edit. 

I am a Christian childbirth educator for an online format that I adapted from Jennifer VanderLaan's book, "The Christian Childbirth Handbook" and also teach a free one-day childbirth class for crisis pregnancy moms through New Beginnings Crisis Pregnancy/Post Abortion, 1-2 times a year. 

I am also a hobby-level photographer, and take pictures of labor and birth (with the parents' permission), for them to keep.

Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing? 
I danced professionally with a ballet company before I had kids, and still love to take a class at Ballet Arizona a couple times a year (usually when I'm dancing around my kitchen!). In the past 5 years I've taken up running and have done numerous 5Ks, 10K, and half marathons. I have completed 3 full marathons with my best time being a 4:06. I also like to hike, having done a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon, and a hike up Yosemite's Half Dome. Obviously, I love to push my body, I think because I see so much correlation in it to birth. 

My family is amazing, and made up of my 4 kids (ages 7-16) and an AMAZING husband who are so supportive and encouraging to me and my love for doula -and now student midwifery- work. Spending time with them is always a favorite, whether watching them cook with my husband, or reading books together, or watching House Hunters and the Cosby Show with them! After a year of dealing with a diagnosis of clinical depression, I am learning to heal from past hurts, and to again enjoy entertaining and spending time with friends and my church family. Other than birth, I have a passion for healthy marriages, mentoring, counseling, and non-judgmental, transparent (and often messy) Christianity. My husband is a pastor at West Greenway Bible Church in Glendale, and teaches Bible at Arizona Christian University, and combined with my work in the birth community, that keeps us hopping! 

Oh, and I can also turn ANYTHING into a birth analogy. It's a gift, really. ;)

If you would like to contact Laura to schedule a complimentary interview, you can reach her via:
Phone: 480.442.2294 (480-44-BABY-4)

Was Laura your doula+?  Please let us know about your experience.
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.
 
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®.


An Inside Look: Blue Russ Holistic Health Coaching

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 12:22 AM Comments comments (1)

I am pleased to introduce you to Blue Russ today.  She is a certified Holistic Health Coach, trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied over 100 dietary theories and a wide range of coaching techniques. She is your calm, gentle guide, supporting you to achieve your goals with confidence and grace. No counting calories or grams of nutrients. No judgment. No food is off limits. No deprivation. She believes that we have all the wisdom and healing power we need. The best healers are the ones that enable us to reawaken it. She is ready to guide you to reawaken your power.

Blue is also a homebirth mother of two with a passion for health and life. She's been told it is contagious.

Learn more and sign up for tips and recipes at www.blueruss.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at Blue Russ Health Coaching and Twitter  @BlueRussHealth


How did you get started in the field of nutrition?
I've been fascinated by food since I was first allowed to cook as a child. The endless flavor combinations! As a teenager, I was without dairy for a year when my family lived in Africa. When we returned, I went straight for a glass of milk and immediately my stomach cramped up. I had considered this sensation normal as a child and it was then I made the connection between food and health. I went on to experiment with different foods and learn more about the connection between what I ate and how I felt. When I was pregnant the first time, I learned even more, reading every book on pregnancy health I could get my hands on. Equally strong passions for me are health and social justice. It is a clear calling for me to be a healer and my aspirations are to change the world one mother at a time.

What is your favorite part of what you do?
I have so many favorite parts! The spark in a client's eye as they articulate exactly what their next step is, the one they are ready for, the one that will change everything. The relief in a mother's voice when her children or husband actually enjoy their green veggies. Helping women connect with each other, sparking lively, life-changing conversation. The learning and growing I experience with every single session and class. I could go on and on…

How does a family participate in your services?
My specialty is moms: Fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and grandmotherhood. I have also worked with couples, which is wonderful, but I primarily work with moms. Moms tend to be the leaders of the family and over time everyone follows their healthy example.

My philosophy is that guilt, blame, shame, calorie counting and strict dieting all lead to needless suffering. It is through understanding and honoring ourselves that we make quality choices. I see my role as facilitating and strengthening the connection a mother has with her inner wisdom.

In practical terms, I offer one-on-one health coaching, cooking classes, workshops and online programs. All are designed to help moms reach a higher level of health and joy in their lives. The transformations I witness are beyond belief - I've supported women through ending their sugar addiction, taking control of their children's health, losing weight, changing careers, finally finding true love and much more.

My favorite is working with women one-on-one in my 6-month program. This gives her the chance to take it step by step, avoid overwhelm and we have time to explore all areas of her life. I consider primary foods to be what's going on her life, not what she eats. Primary foods include relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality. If these areas of life are not simultaneously addressed, even the most perfect diet will do nothing to improve her health.

How can you help a family when they are expecting?
I love working with pregnant women! They are motivated to be healthy and their choices truly do effect the next generation. When she feels her best, and her primary foods are in order, baby gets the best start. I offer a variety of programs from a one week whole foods cleanse that is safe for pregnancy and nursing to a 6 week group program to a 6 month one-on-one program.

Do you offer any classes for postpartum health?
Yes! In addition to my other program options, I have a new offering just for the postpartum period! I call it "Eat Well for Two" and it involves a day of food prep, recipes, pantry make-over and health strategy session, all in the comfort of the new mother’s home.

How do you coach a family through first foods and starting solids?
There are a variety of ways to introduce solids into a baby’s diet. Each family is different and I work with their unique situation to discover what is best. In general, breastfeeding for as long as possible and introducing foods at about 6 months is best. Most babies experiment with food long before they are ready to eat it. I say let them at it! I see my role as assisting parents in listening to their intuition and baby’s cues in order to confidently introduce foods. I offer information and recommendations but ultimately it has to feel right within the family!

How can we get our family to eat healthy greens that we know we are supposed to eat - the variety and the scope can be so intimidating!
So glad you asked about greens! I am passionately in love with greens. This was not always the case, but experimenting with recipes to find the ones I enjoy has been the key. I love to spread the green joy. In fact, I offer an entire week of recipes and support through my online program, “A Week of Greens.” I worked with a mom who used to choke down spinach because she knew it was good for her. Now she actually looks forward to delicious salads and cooked greens every day! The next Week of Greens will be offered in November.

Is there anything else our families should know about your services, and the classes you offer?
I am passionate about helping moms live a vibrant life. Being a mother may be the most challenging job in the world, but it is also the most enjoyable when mom is at her best - not to mention the ripple effect into the next generation and the planet! It's not about guilt, it's about power. We have the power to make the world better than we found it!

I encourage all moms to go to my website, check me out and sign up for my e-newsletter to get tips, recipes and event invitations.
Right now I am offering a free menu planner to all new subscribers, available immediately when you sign up!

When a mom feels ready to take steps to improve her life, I am ready to support her with a free health strategy session that can be done by phone, Skype or in person at my Phoenix and Chandler offices.

Do you have on-line options for clients who are not able to join a class in person?
I offer four different programs online throughout the year. The next one starts on June 10 and is called “Vegan for a Week.” Having a menu plan, recipes, shopping list and group support will go a long way to increase participants’ vegetable intake. I’m not 100% vegan myself nor am I interested in pushing any single diet, but I do think that there are several dietary theories that are worth exploring, including the vegan diet.

I also offer webinars from time to time. The best way to be up to date on my online offerings is to sign up for my newsletter at

Thank you for taking the time to give us an Inside Look, Blue.  I really enjoyed learning more about how a health coach works.  I just had my first session and it was transformational!  Anyone can take advantage of a complimentary session with Blue by contacting her to set a date for your personal health strategy session.

Phone:  480.273.6140
               
Have you ever considered a health coach? What would you get help with?
 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.
 
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®.


Meet the Doula: Zabrina

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 6:56 AM Comments comments (0)
This month I would like to introduce you to one of my Bradley Method® colleagues, Zabrina Pell.  She is a wonderful instructor, and as you will read, a doula and a lactation educator. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her through her interview.

About Zabrina:  My husband and I are blessed to have had five beautiful children.  My first child was born in 2001 having had no childbirth classes or training at all.  Although it was an uncomplicated natural birth for the most part, it felt very chaotic.  

We were sure there was another way.  When we became pregnant with our second child I was referred to The Bradley Method® by a dear friend.  We were amazed at how much information there is to learn about labor and birth.  We were amazed at how prepared we felt for our second birth and how it was much more peaceful.  

Through hearing birth stories, it became apparent that while husbands are very capable and the perfect person to coach their wives through childbirth, many of them could benefit from an assistant. Further, I had gained such a love and respect for the process of birth that I felt a strong desire to be more involved.  Thus began my practice of being a doula.  I am so passionate about childbirth and feel so strongly about creating the perfect and peaceful atmosphere for each mother that I will continue reading, researching, and learning how to become better at what I do.

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
The first time I heard the word "doula" was in my Bradley Method® Childbirth Training.  I didn't pay any attention to it and wasn't convinced of the the importance.  After all... Bradley Method® teaches DADS to be the coach.  Why do we need another? I have since learned that I was wrong!  Don't get me wrong, dads are WONDERFUL coaches.  But there are times when the coach needs an assistant!

How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
One of the great joys of teaching childbirth is classes is hearing the birth stories afterward.  I LOVE birth stories.  I started noticing frequently the need for help.  With today's hospital environment especially, there is a need for someone there who not only looks out for the emotional, physical and informational well being of the mom but someone there who's "got dad's back."  Having someone there who can continually support both partners is SO beneficial.  I had always been available via phone for my couples.  But that wasn't quite enough for some. 

Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
At this time I am solely a BIRTH doula.

How long have you been a doula?
I have been working officially as a doula for four years now. I have been a certified Bradley doula for 7 years.  I did go through all the DONA training, but never submitted the paperwork.  So I am not certified as a DONA doula, but do have the training. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
I love empowering couples.  I love helping them birth their baby in the way that THEY want.  Helping mom's to discover her inner strength and ability is the best!

What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
My philosophy... hmm.  I have never put it into words.  When I arrive at a birth space I quietly observe and evaluate what is going on and how I can best help.  I do not blast through the door like a bull charging, but rather quietly and respectfully enter hoping to have the least impact on the moment.

How do you work with and involve the Coach?
Before the birth we clearly define their expectations of me, and I work to live up to this.  I make sure to see to the needs of the mother's birth partner, making sure he stays hydrated and fed through out the birth as well as mom.  In most cases its important for him to be the main source of physical comfort for mom.  When suggesting positions, counter pressure, and comfort measures I will talk to him and explain the benefits to him first and then we (or he) will suggest it for mom.   I will assist him in finding new comfort measures/positions as needed.  There is LOTS of communication between the birth partner and myself, both verbal and nonverbal.  I clue him in when there are things going on with birthing staff that he needs to be aware of with simple gestures and glances.

What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
Its important that the birthing room be a peaceful environment, and sometimes that means NOT saying anything when the room is filled with high pressure doctors and nurses.  It’s very hard to say nothing. This is when it’s especially important to have developed the nonverbal communication cues with dad.    I have becoming very skilled at maintaining a peaceful relationship with staff even if I completely disagree with everything they have set out to have mama do. This may be consistently the hardest thing for me.

Most recently I was with a mother who labored beautifully.  She had a fantastic completely intervention free birth peaceful birth.  After the birth she was bleeding very heavily.  The bleeding continued for quite some time.  Mom was not open to accepting intervention.  The staff was getting very nervous as bleeding was extreme.  I am by nature a very anti-intervention person as well, and I understood how she was feeling.  Things were getting tense as mom stood her ground and staff was getting afraid and frustrated.  As I observed the scene the nurses had mom in the bathroom and baby was with dad.  Blood was pouring and doctor and left the room feeling helpless and angry that mom wasn't bending. This was a time when I believe that the intervention was needed to prevent further complications and long-term problems. But protecting the mom and her beliefs, needs, and desires is an important part of my job.   

How did I handle this? I quietly knelt down beside her in the bathroom and simply asked her how she was feeling and what she was thinking.  Had anyone done that yet? Nope. She was feeling bullied and unclear of what was going on.  We were able to have a conversation about what the situation was and the risk and benefits to doing nothing and all the possible interventions and their risks and benefits. THANKFULLY the nurse gave us this time to have the quiet calm conversation.  She did accept a shot of Pitocin and felt the decision was HERS.  For this mom accepting an intervention would have been very traumatic if she felt pushed or bullied, even if it truly was needed. 

I know you may be thinking "breastfeeding could have solved this."  In most cases this is true!  She did have baby at the breast for a long time.  There was a lot more blood than normal.  This truly was an unusual case. 

What keeps you working as a doula?
That is an excellent question. Sometimes at the end of long, emotionally draining birth when I haven't seen my kids (often for days), I ask myself that very same question as I drag my tired behind home feeling battered and bruised with arms so sore from doing counter pressure or from hours of continual massage that I can hardly lift them. Then I check in with the family with their new bundle of joy.  I hear how empowered they feel, how safe they felt, how happy they are and how my presence positively impacted them during this irreplaceable time in their life.  That is what keeps me going.

What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
I charge a flat rate fee that covers your birth whether it lasts 3 hours or 30 hours. I do offer a $100 discount to Bradley trained couples.  With this fee you get two prenatal appointments (more if you feel its needed), continual support through email, phone calls and texts.  I go on call two week prior to the birth and stay on-call 24 hours a day until you have your baby.  I come to you when you are ready, whether at home or at your birth location.  That choice is yours.  I stay with you until you have successfully breastfed your baby for the first time.  After the birth I check in with you a few days after the birth and come and help anytime you need it during that first week.

Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I am a certified lactation educator and can assist with breastfeeding issues.

Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
I am a busy work-at-home mom of 5 kids. Well, kind of work at home.  I teach Bradley childbirth classes, and am a student midwife as well.  I also vacuum a gymnastic studio several hours a week to help pay for my children's tuition.  My children are homeschooled and range from preschool to 7th grade.   They are active in many clubs and activities and keep me hopping!

How to contact Zabrina:
(602) 743-9890 
[email protected] 
http://familybirthdoula.vpweb.com


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®.