|Posted on May 12, 2015 at 7:31 PM||comments (112)|
I never cease to be amazed at the way science catches up to what we know intuitively about mothers and children.
We have a "mother's intuition". Mothers dream their children's dreams. They can feel emotions or sense danger across miles of separation.
Why? Because their fetal cells literally reside in our bodies. THIS blog post outlines many of the different ways our children's cells remain in us after we give birth, and how our bodies benefit from being pregnant.
I believe it is never too early to start connecting with our babes. One of our favorite things to share with our students on the first night of class is the reminder to connect with their children now, in-utero. We know that a baby’s sense of hearing develops at 24 weeks. It is such a neat phenomenon of pregnancy to know that your child(ren) can hear your voice and they will recognize it once they are born.
An anecdote we share in class demonstrates how you can connect with your child before their due date. Puma was having a hard time accepting that Charger was going to be a boy, because she was really counting on having a baby sister. Knowing that he could hear her voice, and concerned that he would hear that she did not want a brother, every time she voiced that opinion I would reminder her that he was a gift to our family from God, and that I loved him already and she would learn to love him, too.
I also encouraged her to sing to him as often as she wanted to. The song she chose to sing to him was her version of, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Although the words came out in all manner of variations, her tone and melody were consistent. Wouldn’t you know…she sang to him when we came home from the hospital and as a two-day old baby, he turned to the sound of her voice!
We found out that he really liked her song. There would be times when we were driving and he was crying, or maybe I was busy trying to prepare food (I do not feel comfortable babywearing in the kitchen), and Charger would be upset. The minute Puma started singing to him, he would settle down. Coincidence? No! He knew his sister’s voice and it soothed him.
If a sister can have this effect on a child, imagine how much more a mother or father could connect. There are so many ways to connect if just talking to your child in-utero feels weird to you. (Did anyone else watch Modern Family on Wednesday night?) You can do any of things with intention and show your child now that they are loved. Here are some things you can do out loud with intention to connect with your child before they are born:
**Read your favorite book
**Read your favorite children’s book(s)
**Sing your favorite song(s)
**ChantIn these ways, a child can make a connection not just with the voice of the mother who it hears all the time; (s)he can also connect with other family members. Puma sang about once a day for three minutes…imagine the connection with more time and intention put towards the effort.
I also believe that there is an emotional connection that mother’s can make with their children. When I was pregnant with Puma, I spent time doing yoga practice. I had already been doing yoga for a few years before we conceived, so I used that knowledge to create different practices with help from “The Prenatal Yoga Deck”.
Within the cards, there were several meditation cards with which to close the practice, or to do individually for that matter when I did not have time or energy for a full practice. I had not really made the conscious thought to connect with the baby until I read these cards. Each meditation card had a different affirmation to read mindfully connect with the baby. What a gift that was! In meditation, I would intentionally “speak” with the life growing inside me. It made me realize that every action, every emotion, every thought was being felt be the living being, the soul, that I was carrying.
My time was never the same with subsequent pregnancies, so I did less and less yoga as we added children. What I did remember and apply from the first pregnancy was the connection with the life inside me. I paid attention to what we said and did when I was pregnant. I tried to fill myself with as much positive and light energy as I could.
Bruss enjoys telling people about prenatal connection. He feels like we got to know our babies in-utero by paying attention to their actions before they were born. We actually changed our name list for Puma if she was going to be a girl (we didn’t find out gender until her Birth-Day) based on the personality we perceived from her. We suspected our second child was going to be a Night Owl based on his activity pattern (he is). With our third and fourth children, we had Puma singing songs to the babies and Night Owl liked to “listen” to their heartbeats with a stethoscope.
The kiddos also helped with relaxation practice and we involved them in making their own birth plan for their care while Bruss and I were in labor. The younger children have also been true to their inutero personalities. I got a laid-back vibe from Charger, and he is pretty laid back and happy (unless you get his ire up). I wonder about his temper. While I was ecstatic to be welcoming another child to the family, my “A” personality that did not plan for the timing of his pregnancy may have given him an unintended negative vibe.
As far as Otter goes, her pregnancy was intentional and we were overjoyed to learn that Puma’s prayer for a little sister had been answered. We all participated in her prenatal care once we switched to midwifery care, Puma sang again; she got the benefit of hearing all the read-aloud books we read to the older children. She seems to be very connected to Night Owl, who was the first person to see her in our family when she was being born. He talked to her while I was pushing and he was the first sibling voice she heard. I have a hard time believing their connection is a coincidence.
We also used flower essences in her last tri-mester. She, more than any of our other children, seems very charismatic. Family and strangers alike seemed to connect with her in her infancy in a way that I had not seen before. After hearing Katie Hess speak on the characteristics and benefits of the essences, I wonder if that is the difference.
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®.
|Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM||comments (202)|
I am so excited to announce a monitrice service for couples that want to have a natural birth outcome in a hospital setting. Jennifer Hoeprich, LM, is now extending her skill set to families who want to stay home as long as possible before heading to a hospital for their birth.
What is a monitrice?
A monitrice is a professional, medically trained, labor support person, who provides clinical monitoring within the home environment, including cervical dilation exams, auscultation of fetal heart tones, and monitoring of general well-being of mother and baby, during labor. The monitrice helps couples to assess their progress in labor, to determine the best time to leave for the hospital, where the birth is to take place.
How does a monitrice differ from a doula?
The focus of a monitrice is to provide clinical and educational support, while the focus of a doula is to provide emotional, mental, and physical support. Our monitrice service only provides services within the home environment. She only accompanies the couple to the hospital if complications arise, whereas a doula remains with the client during their transition from home to hospital.
How is a monitrice different than a midwife?
In the role of monitrice, the practitioner does not provide services at the actual birth. She does not "catch" the baby, or provide immediate postpartum services. A midwife provides all prenatal care, all labor and birth care, and all postpartum care.
Who would find monitrice services beneficial?
Couples who have chosen to birth in a hospital with an obstetrician, but who wish to labor at home for an extended period of time would benefit greatly from monitrice services. They might want to stay at home in order to avoid unnecessary hospital interventions (such as movement restrictions, food restrictions, Pitocin augmentation, breaking the water prematurely, epidural, etc.). Although they are choosing to wait longer before "going in", they can have that feeling of "safety" with consistent, professional monitoring,
How do you envision a couple utilizing monitrice care?
A couple would interview the monitrice at her office and determine that the services are in line with their birth plan. They would then have two prenatal visits to get to know each other, and for the monitrice to assess baseline vitals and good health in the pregnancy.
The monitrice would be on call for the couple, starting at 36 weeks. When the couple believes labor has begun, they would contact the monitrice to give her a head's up. They may request her services at that point, to help determine if this is the "real thing" or may wait to call her over, once a labor pattern is clearly established.
Once the monitrice has arrived at the couple's home, she will assess maternal blood pressure, pulse, signs of infection, and hydration level. She will also asses fetal heart tones, and upon request from the couple, the mother's cervical dilation. The monitrice may make recommendations as to positions that would be helpful, encourage eating and drinking, and may provide herbal, homeopathic, or flower essence remedies, as appropriate, and as desired.
She will perform clinical monitoring every 30 minutes or every hour, depending on the stage of labor and the client's wishes. She performs monitoring respectfully, and can monitor the woman in any position the woman’s choosing, including in the shower, or in the labor tub. Once the couple determines that they are ready to leave for the hospital, the monitrice wishes them well and departs.
The couple will have a follow-up visit, including assessment of mother's vital signs, stitches (if applicable), a check for any signs of infection, breastfeeding support, and baby weight. These visits occur at 1 week postpartum and 3 weeks postpartum, as most obstetricians only provide one postpartum visit at 6 weeks.
In the rare event that a complication should arise during labor, the monitrice will accompany the couple to the hospital. Once they arrive at the hospital, the monitrice will provide a report and labor records to the staff.
What kind of care is included in your fee?
The fee is $625. This includes two prenatal visits in the office, four hours of labor monitoring, and two postpartum visits in the office. Labor monitoring above four hours falls to an hourly rate of $50. I am happy to offer a discount of $200 to any students of The Bradley Method®; their fee for service is $425.
As an added service to our clients, our monitrice service also rents, which includes set up and take down, the Birth Pool in a Box labor tub, for $200.
For more information about Moxie Monitrice Services, please visit
www.moxiemidwifery.com or call to set up a free consultation. You can also search for "Moxie Midwifery" on Facebook and @moxiemidwifery on Twitter.
More about Jennifer:
Jennifer Hoeprich is a licensed midwife and monitrice, who provides services in Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Maricopa, and Casa Grande. She attended her first birth at age six, when her dog Cinnamon had puppies. She was the only attendant and knew then that she had found her calling. In 2001, Jennifer obtained her Bachelor's Degree, Minoring in Women's Studies. She experienced a natural birth with her son, in 2004 and began her journey into midwifery, shortly after. In 2005, she became a certified doula, and in 2008, a certified childbirth educator. She then obtained her midwifery license in 2011, and began the practice, "Moxie Midwifery." In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys being with her family, playing guitar, crocheting, and doing yoga.
What do you think? Would you use a monitrice service? Why or why not?
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.
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®.
|Posted on February 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM||comments (2)|
The baby you have always dreamed of is here! They are precious, tiny, and completely dependent on you! You cherish the opportunity to nourish them, teach them, and wait for the day when they begin to interact with you by smiling at you, making and keeping eye contact, your first shared laugh together…all of these moments are priceless.
Then something occurs to us - "when" is a matter of time. They are here with you forever. You will never go back to your life before baby. Your time is not going to be “yours” again for a pretty long time.
How we come to terms with this reality is completely up to us. Whether we stay home with them or work outside of the home, we will find a strange dichotomy of wanting to be with our children and sometimes wanting to be away from them, too. Add to that a partner who also needs time and attention to keep your relationship as healthy as possible. What to do?
Having worked both in and out of the home, I found that I was at my best as a wife and mother when I took care of myself. Here are some questions that I asked myself to make sure I was on track so that I could take care of others (and it's about time for another self-assesment!). Along with checking in with myself every so often, I use Lotus Wei Flower Essences and indulge in Wei of Chocolate flower-essence infused chocolates to tide me over until my next opportunity to re-charge my own battery.
What makes me feel happy?
The world of advertising and mainstream media wants us to believe we need things to make us happy. You may have discovered that happiness brought by “things” is fleeting. I believe that lasting happiness is self-driven: it is internal and it can be persistent if we can convince ourselves to find joy and gratitude on a regular basis. In my experience, joy and gratitude are easier to bask in when we are feeding our souls – think back to the things that brought us joy as children before “reality” set in – can you do those things and involve your child? Is it a good book? A conversation with a friend? Deep breathes of fresh air? A form of exercise you enjoy? A hobby we enjoyed before we had children? What do we do that brings a smile to our face?
When you can identify those things and then work them into your days often enough to make a difference, then we can start to make joy internal. If you are counting on things or people to make you happy, it is going to be a pretty bumpy ride. When you make your own happiness, it is more likely to be smooth sailing.
What do we do to “plug-in” and get more “juice” for the rest of the day-week-month-year?
The easiest way to gather energy as a new mama is to heed the advice to “sleep when the baby is sleeping”. For some of us, that is harder than others. I found that by putting a timeline (I will do this for this week) or area (keep this one room tidy), it was easier for me to let go and get the rest I needed in the postpartum period. As the kiddos get older, I am claiming some time outside of my busy-ness attending meetings. It can be as simple as making sure they are cared for so that I can take an uninterrupted shower complete with a full skin-care routine. On the days when it can be arranged,