Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Q&A with SPB: What is a doula's role at birth?

Posted on February 1, 2017 at 8:08 AM Comments comments (0)


I am so excited to kick off our new VLOG series, "Ask the Doula".  I will be inviting area doulas to come in and answer our reader questions so that you can get a feel for all the different things a doula can bring to your pregnancy, your birth space, and the support they offer throughout the childbearing year.

I invited my friend and colleague Darcy Newlin to join me and answer our first question, "What is a doula's role at birth?"




Here is a summary of her answer:

Anything non-clinical
 
It can be things like:
Massage
Maneuvers to help baby move into optimal position
Keeping your partner hydrated and fed so that they have the energy to support you
Comfort measures in labor: hip squeezes, rebozo techniques

A doula's wide range of experience helps with the little things...
Hospital or birth center: all of your belongings packed and ready to go
Birthing at home : help get birth space set up, get team to you

A doula who has experienced birth herself and/or has attended many births can help by giving you a sense that what is happening is normal and that you are safe.  Although it’s intense and powerful, and you didn’t know you had that inside your body, it’s you – you and your baby working together to be born.  She will assure you that while it is a sacred event, it’s normal and it’s safe.



Contact Darcy:
Phone/Text Number: 602-402-0855

Join me next week for another installment of ASK THE DOULA


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

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

Q&A with SPB: DIY Padsicles

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 6:27 AM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

Here is PART II of our VLOGS with guest doula, Michelle Ludwig from Modern Mama Doula Services.
 
Last week, she showed us her TOP 5 picks for postpartum.  Today she is going to share her DIY tutorial for you to make soothing postpartum “padsicles” right at home during pregnancy so that they are ready for you when you are home holding your sweet pea!



 
What you need:
-Witch Hazel ~ we both really like the Humphrey’s brand – available in regular or organic)
-Maxi-pads ~ if you can find them, get some chemical-free and bleach-free; usually available online
-Cookie Sheet
-Freezer Storage Bags
 
How to:
1) Open up all the pads and leave them on the wrapper so that they don’t stick to each other later
 
2) Lay them all out on your cookie sheet
 
3) Spray the witch hazel on to the pads until they are wet BUT not dripping
 
4) Put the whole cookie tray into the freezer for about two hours
 
5) Once the witch hazel has frozen, take them back out of the freezer and fold them back up for storage.  Place them in a freezer storage bag and back into the freezer while you wait for your Sweet Pea to make their appearance.
 
6) Use them during the postpartum period on top of the large postpartum pads you will receive in your birth kit or from the hospital.
 
They will be a little chilly at first, but after the initial freeze they will feel great on your bottom.
 
I did ask Michelle what her experience was with other “add-ons”. Some info out on the internet suggests using lavender essential oil or aloe vera gel along with the witch hazel on the pads when you are preparing them.
 
As Michelle so wisely answered, less is more. Witch hazel is an extremely effective healing agent, and it would be a bummer to find out that you are allergic to lavender or aloe vera when you are trying to heal from birth, learning to breastfeed and figuring out your mothering.
 
The witch hazel and pads are part of Michelle’s especially prepared Bump Boxes.  Along with the items for padsicles, you will also receive some hand crafted postpartum essentials that she makes herself.  You can order Michelle’s specially made with love package from her HERE
 
Would you like to interview Michelle as a doula? Please read her meet the doula feature HERE
 
Contact Michelle:
WEB http://www.modernmamadoula.com/
CELL OR TEXT 7204098977


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

Meet the Doula: Ashley Anders

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 10:36 AM Comments comments (0)

Welcome to this month's installment of "Meet the Doula".  This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the Valley's postpartum doulas, Ashley Anders.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ashley at an ICAN meeting last year, and I am happy to say we have kept in touch.  She is honored to serve her families, and as such, Ashley is dedicated to furthering her own education so that she can better serve her clients. I hope you enjoy our feature with our October 2016 doula: Ashley! 

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I first heard the word doula years ago when I was talking with a friend about supporting women in childbirth.
 
How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
Since I was little I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse, I loved supporting women and their families through one of the most intimate times of their life, and watching them bring new lives into this world, but quickly realized I didn't like the idea of having to leave my patients to go to another patient, or leaving a shift before a baby was born after being there her entire labor, or having to do all of the clinical things.  That is when I started researching to see if there was this dream job out there of giving non-judgmental support to women and their families before, during and after childbirth, and I came across birth and postpartum doula!
 
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
I am both a birth and postpartum doula, breastfeeding counselor and newborn care specialist.  Focusing most of my time currently postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care.
 
How long have you been a doula?
I have been a doula just about 3 years. I am trained with Childbirth International for birth, breastfeeding. I have also received postpartum training, and trained with Newborn Care Solutions for my newborn care specialist certification.  I have supported single moms, moms on bed rest, families that have a scheduled cesarean birth, unplanned cesarean birth, teens, high risk, expected stillbirth, prematurity, twins and triplets.
 
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
For birth, I love that I am invited into the lives of families expecting a baby.  I love that I can build confidence in women and their partners.  Help them feel safe, protected and informed about the birth experience and provide non judgmental support throughout their journey into parenthood.
 
For postpartum, I find that we often focus so much time on pregnancy, and childbirth and forget that there is in fact a 4th trimester.  I enjoy helping everyone in the family transition into having a new baby at home, if its baby #1 or baby #3.  An extra set of hands to help siblings adjust, help mom get a shower or a nap in, breastfeeding/bottle feeding assistance, meal prep, and helping with all of the "is this normal" questions I often get.  Newborn care, infant brain development, feeding, bathing, sleep conditioning, etc., are all things I love to give information on to help clients make the best decisions for their family! 
 
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I make sure that we are working as a team. My job is never to take the place of a partner or coach.  I like to show and guide the partners on things that they can do throughout labor to assist in the comfort of the laboring mom, but also make them feel comfortable enough that they can take a break, take a quick nap or grab something to eat and she will be supported and never be left alone. 
 
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
I would have to say that supporting a family through an expected stillbirth was the toughest.  She still had to give birth just like any other laboring mother, but unfortunately had to say goodbye shortly after her baby was born.  It was hard!  I cried alongside with them, made sure that they had everything they needed and was just there for them.  The hospital was wonderful and provided the family with photos and a box to remember him with.  I joined them on the annual walk for infant loss and continue to keep in touch with them.  They were blessed with their rainbow baby a year ago and I was honored to be by their side through the birth of their second son.
 
What keeps you working as a doula?
My family and my clients!  I have the best :).  Hearing that I have found my calling, and that it is obvious that I love my job and what I do, is so great to hear.  I couldn't do this if I didn't have the continued support from my husband.  From day one he has supported me, and pushed me to fulfill my dreams and I cant thank him enough!
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My birth fee includes 2 prenatal appointments where we will discuss birth plan options, discuss postpartum care/plans and go over early labor comfort measures.  Your labor and birth, and up to 2 hours after, to get you settled into your postpartum room, get you your first meal and make sure that baby has had his/her first feeding.  I will also schedule a time within the first week to come and do a postpartum visit to talk through your birth and make sure that feeding is going well and to answer any additional questions you may have. Since birth is unpredictable there is not a different charge if your labor were to go long or if you were to have a shorter labor. 
 
Postpartum/Newborn care fees are hourly and I do daytime and overnight care.  Each contract can be fit to each client and their needs.
 
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I offer breastfeeding support, it is included in my doula packages, but I offer it separate if needed. 
  
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
When I'm not doula-ing I'm sleeping! haha!  I'm also spending time with my husband and 2 kiddos: our daughter Tyler (11) and our son Bennett (4), plus our 2 dogs Maddie and Oddie. We enjoy riding bikes; mornings at the park, watching our daughter ride her horse, and just spending quality time together with family and friends.

Love what you read?? Would you like to contact Ashley?
Read more about Ashley and schedule a visit via DoulaMatch
Phone: 480-457-9151

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





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

 

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®.

Q&A with SPB: Benefits of Meditation

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 1:51 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Here is the video with the answer to today's question.  Keep scrolling for more of the information we learned in our Bonus Class with Jennifer, and for links to on-line meditation resources!



What is meditation?
The practice of concentrated focus to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
(Adapted from the definition in the Farlex Medical Dictionary)

Different ways you can meditate:

Focus on:

  • Sound
  • Object
  • Visualization
  • Breath
  • Movement
  • Attention


Why do we want to reduce anxiety in pregnancy?

Anxiety during pregnancy may:

  • Lead to low birth weight
  • Increase the complications of labor
  • Increase the risk for miscarriage
  • Increase the risk of birth defects
  • Lead to premature delivery
  • Increase the use of prescription medications
  • Make pain worse during labor
  • Stress family members


What are the benefits of meditation?

There are three main benefits of meditation that you can access whether you are pregnant or even if you are not:

  • The more a person meditates, the higher their endorphin levels.  Endorphins are the pain-relieving and pleasure-enhancing hormones - we can always use a boost!
  • Increased levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandosterone) - it is an immune-boosting hormone that defends against disease, improves mood, balances brain chemistry, benefits vision, hearing, muscles, bones, and regulates blood pressure.
  • Increases levels of melatonin - it is a hormone that improves sleep, assists with a general sense of well-being, and it crosses the placenta! Your baby benefits from that sense of well-being, receiving the assurance that all is well. Good levels of melatonin have been shown to lead to an improvement in relationships with others.


In addition, clinical evidence illustrates that meditation is highly effective in the treatment of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance dependence and abuse, ulcers, colitis, chronic pain, psoriasis, and dysthymic disorder.

Three main kinds of meditation that have been scientifically studied:

Mindfulness Meditation
This type of meditation comes out ot the traditional Buddhist meditation practices.  In formal mindfulness practice, the meditator sits with eyes closed, focusing the attention on the sensations and movement of the breath fro approximately 45-60 minutes at a time, at least once a day.  The essence of mindfulness meditation is not what one focuses on, but rather the quality of awareness the meditator brings to each moment.  "The goal of mindfulness is for you to be more aware, more in touch with life and whatever is happening in your own body and mind at the time it is happening - that is, the present moment." (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Relaxation Response
This is another kind of mental focusing.  Meditators are taught to focus upon the repetition of a word, sound, prayer, phrase or movement activity (including swimming, jogging, yoga, and even knitting) for 10-20 minutes at a time, twice a day.  They are taught no to pay attention to distracting thoughts and to return their focus to the original repetition.  

Transcendental Meditation
This has its origins in the Vedic tradition of India.  The meditator sits with eyes closed and concentrates on a single syllable or word (mantra) for 20 minutes at a time, twice a day.  When thoughts or feelings arise, the attention is brought back to the mantra.  Jennifer mentioned one of her favorite types of focus music are the kirtans by Govind Das & Radha.  

How to work it into your daily routine:
Jennifer mentioned that it takes 14 days to get into the habit of a daily meditation practice.  The really amazing difference it can make is that not only will it improve your pregnancy experience and quite probably enhance your labor and birth, you can also reap the benefits during postpartum, and beyond!  All the hormones that are created (endorphins, DHEA, melatonin) are a HUGE plus for sleepy, tired parents of newborns. 

I hope you are now inspired to find a way to work even a minute of mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine.  Our attending students received a handout that Jennifer shares with all her clients with three simple meditations that can be done in under five minutes; plus they got a nifty magnet with over a dozen affirmations that can be used as focus points.  

These are some online resources for free recordings that you can play if you want some guided meditations to get you started, or if you just need fresh ideas to work into your daily routine if you are already meditating:

www.chopra.com

www.freemindfulness.org

www.relaxationresponse.org

Local resources:
www.meditationlearningcenter.com

www.pathsofgrowth.com

www.moxiemeditation.com

Jennifer is a knowledgeable midwife and hypnotherapist.  If you would like to be in touch with her with one or both aspects of her business, here is her contact information:

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®.

Meet the Doula: Sara

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)
I had the pleasure of meeting Sara at MommyCon Phoenix last year (April 2013).  Since then, we have reconnected in on-line forums and kept in touch.  I am thrilled to be able to feature her as June's Doula of the Month.


About Sara: I'm passionate about supporting women in their birth choices and through labor and delivery.  I am a birth activist, lactivist, essential oil lover, garden growing, crafter, and stilleto-wearing granola-momma lover of all things holistic and naturaopathic. I believe in prevention rather than reaction. :)


When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
The first time I ever heard the word "doula" was after I gave birth to my first child. I had a basic understanding of what doulas did but not enough to fully recognize the need for doulas in the birth journey.

How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
I felt like my mom was my doula. I broke my shoulder about 7 weeks before giving birth to my second child. It was an experience full of fear, apprehension, and aloneness. Even though both times I was handed a healthy baby, they are not an experiences I look back on with much joy. I realized then that I never wanted another woman to experience birth in that manner. I began devouring every piece of information about birth and doulas I could possibly get my hands on. I realized that "mothering," (the greek root meaning of doula) is a huge part of my nature and life passion.
 
How long have you been a doula? 
I officially went through doula training in April of 2012 by attending a DONA Int. birth doula workshop. I am also a Certified Lactation Educator and have taken several classes through ASU's College of Human Lactation with the goal of becoming an IBCLC.

What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
What do I love most? That's a really difficult question... It sort of ties into my philosophy as a birth doula: I call myself the Lioness Doula. People always ask "why Lioness?" Lionesses are never alone. They birth together, hunt together, cross breastfeed the Pride's cubs together. They are this strong, brave, powerful sisterhood of women. THAT is what I love; that is why I do this.
What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
I believe no woman should ever have to birth alone, feeling unsupported or unloved, and should never have anyone else's agenda brought into their most vulnerable space, be it hospital policy, Doc preferences, mothers in-law, etc. Birth matters. It's sacred and important.
 
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
My goal is to empower birth partners to make me useless. Let me help you help her.
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with? How did you handle it?
The toughest situation I've ever dealt with was probably a birth I attended where the midwife was actually not very birth friendly. She did so many things outside of mom's wishes and without discussing it with her, just telling that it had been done. It took so much will power to set aside my own feelings and fully support Mom. But at the end of the day, the most important thing I can do is make Mom feel safe, keep partners involved, and prevent my own (or others) perceptions from affecting Mom's view of the birth experience.

What keeps you working as a doula?
Newborn Baby smell keeps me doula-ing. There's nothing like it in the world. It's like magic.
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours? Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My fee is $500 and includes up to 3 prenatal visits, prenatal lactation education, attendance from onset of labor until approximately 2 hrs postpartum, 1 postpartum visit and lactation counseling session, and placenta encapsulation. Because I am so passionate that every woman who desires, have access to a doula, I as that families contact me even if $500 is out of their price range. I regularly barter/trade/take payments.

Do you offer any other services to your clients?
If desired, we can add on a blow dry style for newborn pictures at an added cost. I also am available for lactation counseling and/or support.
 
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
When I'm not doing my doula thang, I can be found at Got Roots? Salon doing hair and body waxing, at home crafting and nagging small children, or hanging out with my cute hubby!
 
Does Sara sound like the right doula for you?  Here is her contact info:
Tel.:  480-734-5770
Web: http://lionessdoula.blogspot.com/

Was Sara your doula? 
Tell us about your experience and help our readers decide if she is the right doula for them - thank you!
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®.

Pregnancy 101: Third Trimester Mealtimes

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 12:38 PM Comments comments (0)
I say it every session – it’s hard to believe we are coming down to our last week in our Bradley Method® class.  This Friday is the last class for our Spring 2014 class series!!
 
One of the questions that came up in Class 11 was about comfort, or lack thereof, after meals.  To answer this question, let’s look at what happens to the pregnant body:

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonColor image via flickr: Papier Mache Models of Pregnant Woman 
At the Boston Science Museum, in Boston, MA
 
Do you see the difference in the stomach between the two images?  As your pregnancy progresses, your internal organs are pushed out of the way to make room for baby.  This means that it’s a pretty safe bet you will not be comfortable after a big meal in your third trimester.
 
Instead of trying to eat the way you did early in pregnancy, you may have to plan smaller, more frequent meals.  You still want to meet your pregnancy nutrition goals, so try to work in protein every time you nosh. 

  • HERE are some ideas for protein-rich snacks.
  • HERE are ideas for high-fiber (so you feel full) and high-protein meals that you can make and are great on the reheat.

It may be overwhelming to think of preparing six meals a day.  One option is to make snacking fun!  You may want to use a muffin tin to serve yourself a handful of your favorite bites between meals.
Bonus: the muffin tins will come in handy to feed toddlers.
 
This tin is designed to interest a toddler - not sure a pregnant mama will go through the trouble to cut out food in shapes - lol. Picked this image because it has all the food groups: grain, protein, greens, calcium, vegetables and fruit. Note: lunch meats are not recommended in pregnancy due the concern about listeria contamination. If a student loves sandwiches, we ask them to consider cooking the meat and then thinly slicing it to sandwich size. You can freeze it in single serving size portions to pull out and use as needed.)
 
If you are going out to eat, remove the temptation to clear your plate by asking for a take-out box when your server brings your meal.   Split your meal in half and store it right away – out of sight, out of mind as far as your stomach is concerned.  
Bonus: you have a yummy, ready to heat & eat meal when you are hungry again later in the day.
 
With a little creativity, it is completely possible to feed you and your Sweet Pea with nutritious food throughout the day, meet your nutrition goals, and still be as comfortable as you can be with your growing belly!

What is your favorite pregnancy snack? 
 
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.vvIt 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®.
 

Monday Mantra: Gathering Energy for Labor

Posted on May 26, 2014 at 1:16 AM Comments comments (0)

Whether you have a long labor, a short labor, or something in between, there will come a time when you have to draw within yourself to gather the energy you need to see your birth through.  This was definitely my favorite affirmation - mantra really - as we hit the point in labor when there was barely time to let go of all the tension before another contraction started again.

I envisioned the energy around me as a vortex, and as I inhaled I swirled energy into me and as I exhaled I sent all my tiredness and tension away.  It was really a neat vision as I entered the "the zone".

What is an affirmation or a mantra that helped you during your labor and birth?
Please leave a comment - it will be moderated and posted.



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®.


Labor Tools: Water

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM Comments comments (0)
The main topic of our Bradley Method® class on Friday night was the first stage of labor.  Through the course of class and discussing labor techniques, one of our students asked if we had used a birth tub, and was it a wonderful as they have heard.  I had to answer honestly, “I don’t know!”

What we do know and teach as part of the Bradley Method® curriculum is that water IS an effective labor tool for pain relief.  It is one of several comfort measures we discuss.  (Side note: It has many applications besides labor – think of the whole philosophy and practice of hydrotherapy.)  Personally, this is one we used effectively in all four of our labors. 

According to Penny Simkin, founder of DONA International and doula extraordinaire, “A warm shower anytime during labor is a marvelous soother and pain reliever, especially if you can sit on a stool and direct a hand-held shower head just where you want it (on your front or back). The warmth and skin stimulation reduce your awareness of the pain.” [1] (emphasis mine)
 
As far as using a birth tub: Laboring in a birth tub turned out not to be an option for us – in our first two labors, we weren’t educated enough to know that you could take a bath in labor even if your bag of waters had ruptured.  If you like baths – yes, you can!  As Henci Goer points out in her book, “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth”, there is research that shows you will not increase your risk of infection. [2]

I think of it this way: Do you remember that experiment in science class when you put a tissue inside a glass, turned the glass upside down, and then put that glass in a bowl of water?  What happened if you pulled the glass straight up?  The tissue was dry!  Your vagina works in a similar way – there is air in the vagina that prevents things from going upstream unless they are forced (i.e, risk of infection from a vaginal exam).

By our third labor, we knew better and were thinking of using our tub at home before we went to the hospital.  However, I fell down hard in early labor so we went to the hospital to check on the baby.  Because my bag of waters had already broken, we were admitted.  Our local hospital did not have the option of birth tubs at the time.
 
When it came time for our fourth labor and planned homebirth, we considered laboring in a tub since by that time, I had heard so many positive stories about laboring and birthing in a tub.  The deal-breaker for me was finding out that we would need a fish net to scoop out any “particles” – no thank you!! I am pretty squeamish when it comes to things floating in water.  I will say that a great majority of the birth stories I hear from women who plan to labor and/or birth in water are positive ones, they enjoy the overall experience, and they would do it again.
 
Setting up the ball for Krystyna to use in the shower||Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonMy amazing husband/coach did his part by holding the shower head over my lower back and waving it back and forth in active labor – all four times.  I remember our homebirth best: as we got into active labor, we used a birth ball covered with a towel in the shower so I could rock through the contractions and have the water on my back.  As labor intensified, I made a nest with towels and did tailor sitting, and eventually lay down in a side relaxation position so that Bruss could focus the water on my hard-working uterus.  We labored that way until it was time to push.

Laboring in the shower - natural childbirth || Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson









Coach Bruss timing contractions || Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

 










I included some links below to explore if you want to learn more about using water as a pain management tool, and also a link to Waterbirth International if you are exploring water birth.
 
Did you use water as a comfort measure? What worked for you?
 
REFERENCES
[1] https://www.childbirthconnection.org/pdfs/comfort-in-labor-simkin.pdf
[2] http://www.hencigoer.com/betterbirth/sample/

LINKS
More from Penny Simkin, DONA
http://www.birthlore.com/class/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Showers-in-Labor.pdf
 
Barbara Harpber – Waterbirth International
http://www.waterbirth.org/research-documents

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®.