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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Getting Labor Started

Posted on October 21, 2016 at 12:29 PM Comments comments (0)
Among the common text questions I get, is "What can I/my friend do to get labor started?"

The answer I want to give: Wait.





My_theory is that here is nothing you can do that is going to start labor if the baby isn't ready.  And sometimes it's not the baby...it's the mother.  The mother has more factors in play that can be influenced: physical, chemical, mental, emotional...any one or all of these can delay the onset of labor.

Since we are an action-type of culture, here are the things I offer when I get this text.  All of them **do not** include "taking something".  They are all things to help the mother and baby align physically and emotionally with the oncoming labor and birth of the baby.

Along with "doing something", we also invite our students who send us this text to do some internal checks: is there anything they are worried about? That they have left to do or say before the baby arrives? Are there any unexplored conversations or feelings to face?

An extra disclaimer: for any of the body workers, do your homework and check out their certifying organizations. In addition, trust your instinct - if you do not feel comfortable with them, politely decline an appointment and call the next person on your list.

So, having said all that...here are some ideas to try if you feel like waiting is not an option...

For Mom:
Acupuncture - an ancient Chinese modality that involves inserting very fine needles along meridians of energy in the body.

Acupressure - if you are needle-averse, this uses applied pressure on the energy meridians.

Pregnancy Massage - your local childbirth educator, doula or midwife probably has at least one or two names for you to contact.  These practitioners specialize in releasing tension and opening the body.

Chiropractic Adjustment - again, your local birth workers may have some leads for you. A chiropractor trained in the Webster Protocol can do an assessment to see if the mother's body is optimally aligned for labor and birth.  
Making love - yes, really. If your partner is a man, his semen can help ripen your cervix with natural prostaglandins. If you were to be induced in the hospital, they will insert the synthetic version to get things going.  Whatever gender your partner is, as long as they can help you climax, there is a possibility that one contraction of muscles may encourage the uterine muscles to start contracting as well.  And if nothing starts, at least you (hopefully) both had an enjoyable time trying to get labor started.

Self-Reflection  - Is there anything you still want to do - say - accomplish before your Sweet Pea arrives? Any issues or fears you would like to explore or resolve? I encourage our students to do some kind of fear release exercise or an art exploration to access their right brain and see if anything new comes up or any ideas present themselves. Sometimes just naming them makes a huge difference in being emotionally ready for the birth journey.

For Baby:
Pelvic Rocking - encourages the baby into an optimal fetal position. When you are on hands and knees, it is more likely for them to put their heaviest side (spine-down) against your belly-button.

Deep Chest-Knee Position - kneeling on the floor, instead of resting on your hands, put your chest on the floor. This position helps to get a malpositioned baby that has found a comfortable spot out of that spot that isn't allowing labor to start or progress. Once the baby is out of the pelvis, you can try other things to get baby back into the pelvis with a better alignment. 

Miles Circuit - a series of three exercises to encourage optimal fetal positioning. Two doulas brainstorming over the phone gave rise to this popular labor tool.

Spinning Babies - a website that offers several ideas to encourage babies into an optimal fetal position.

Read more about how we used Webster Protocol and Deep Chest-Knee position in THIS post.

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


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

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















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

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

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

However:

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


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

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

How to make a smooth transition during labor:

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

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

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

Meet the Doula: Ashley Wain

Posted on September 4, 2016 at 10:51 AM Comments comments (0)

This month I would like to introduce you to Ashley Wain.  
She supported one of our Spring 2016 clients and they gave her rave reviews!

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I was working at the Ritz Carlton and our Chef was telling me how his wife was training to be a Doula and Placenta Encapsulator. I was intrigued and had to learn more about it. He put me in touch with his wife and I attended a baby event where she was a vendor.

How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
After having my Doula at the birth of my 2 child I realized how much a Doula lived and breathed birth. Doulas love every minute of it and I wanted to see and learn more about it from a different perspective. My Doula allowed me to apprentice under her and attend a few births to see if this life was really for me. After the first birth, I was hooked! My life and outlook changed entirely. I was in complete awe of women and their strength. When you watch a woman endure the pain and then birth her baby the way she wants to, you see a baby being born as well as a woman being reborn. It is amazing to see how much empowerment birth gives us as women and we are never the same after.
 
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
I am a Birth doula.
 
How long have you been a doula?.
2 Years, I am trained and certified through ProDoula
 
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
I love teaching women about their options and supporting women in the birth they want. It doesn’t matter if they want a natural birth, medicated birth, home birth, or hospital birth, I support them 100%. It is their birth and I am only there to serve them and assist them to enjoy the best day of their life.
 
What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
Calm and Peaceful will keep the oxytocin flowing. Regardless of whether we are laboring at home or in the hospital, having lights low, soft music, and low voices can help a woman find her inner strength. 
 
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
Dads/partners play the most important role. They are there because the woman loves them and feels safe around them. When a woman feels safe she can relax and when she is relaxed her contractions are more effective and she can dilate more efficiently. My job is to ensure the partner is able to relax and support the woman to the best of their abilities. I will help navigate when the best time is to apply comfort measures, when distraction is best, and when quiet is best. I want my partners to enjoy this day just as much as the mother, without pressure and without stress.
 
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
There have been many tough situations and all are handled differently because “tough” situations are situational. What may be tough for one mama may not be for another. My job is to serve and honor every mother and I owe a lot of my success to getting to know each client on a personal level so I can help her get through the tough situations. Every birth is very different and no matter how much we read textbooks and no matter how much we know about birth we don’t know anything about a particular birth. Having good relationships with providers and nurses is so important to the overall satisfaction for the client. Making sure we stay within our labor support role and let the nurses and providers do their jobs to keep mom and baby safe, there is nothing we can’t overcome.
 
What keeps you working as a doula?
Every time my client births her baby and has the smile that lights up the room. Every time my client reflects on her birth with utter satisfaction. Every time my client writes a review that makes me tear up, I realize how grateful I am to do what I do and help women realize their full potential. Every time the partners/dads walk me out and hug me and say “thank you” I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. 
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
  • On Call Support – 24 hours a day. I want to help eliminate google and answer any and all questions with my scope of support.
  • Prenatal visit at the clients home – typically around 35-36 weeks – we review or write your birth plan review, play a labor simulation game, practice comfort measures, breathing techniques, talk about natural ways to finish pregnancy, answer questions. The goal is to eliminate all fear and concerns so when the day happens it is peaceful and no panic. This meeting is very specific to the clients scenario.
  • Day of labor - I join you when you need extra support, typically "active labor". I prefer to join you at your home and then follow you to the hospital when the time is right. I help you navigate the birth you want with positions, comfort measures, and breathing techniques. I coach you through pushing, and help you understand the benefits and risks for all options
  • Photos – I take photos throughout labor and/or birth and edit them
  • Baby - Once baby has arrived I help with the initial latch, when baby is ready
  • Postpartum visit within 10 days of baby being born. I come to your house and check on you and baby. We review the big day with the notes I take to remind you about everything. If you decided to do encapsulation I would get back to you within 3 days. 
As of right now, there is no change in fee or doula based on the length of labor. I want the mother to focus on her birth and not worry about time.
 
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I have two other packages families can choose, I offer Placenta Encapsulation, I teach childbirth, and I have a natural product line.

  • Pregnancy Support Package – For the families that cannot afford the full package I want to make sure they are supported as well. This package provides support throughout pregnancy and also includes the prenatal meeting in their home. I am available during working hours to answer any and all questions and assist them with their birth plan and provide resources for them. 

  • VIP Package – Full Labor Support Package with the following extras:
       §  In home visit from an IBCLC
       §  Placenta Encapsulation
       §  Prenatal & postpartum Survival Kit
       §  Prenatal Yoga DVD
       §  Free week of classes at Modern Milk
       §  Extra virtual Meeting
       §  Swag Bag of Goodies

  • Placenta Encapsulation – Offered for Clients and Placenta Clients only
       §  Pills (90-120 avg depending on size of placenta)
       §  Tincture (Homeopathic version of the pills)
       §  Umbilical Cord Keepsake (when available)    

  • Childbirth – I teach a free class at two Babies R’ Us locations
       §  Awhatukee – 1 Tuesday of the month 630-730pm
       §  North Phoenix – 3 Tuesday of the month 630-730pm

  • Natural Essentials – Natural Product line for the family
       §  Luscious Lips – Natural Peppermint Lip Balm
       §  Gnarly Nips – Nipple Cream for Sore, Chapped and Cracked Nipples
       §  Bangin BooBoo’s – Natural First Aid Cream for all cuts, scrapes, and burns
       § Calendula Jelly – Gentle healing ointment for eczema, diaper rash, and dry skin
       §  V-Spray – Postpartum vaginal spay for healing and soothing
 
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
We love playing super heroes, chasing our babies around, swimming, traveling, and spending quality time with my husband!
 
Would you like more information about Love Bug Doula Care + Natural Essentials?
Ashley Wain
Labor Support Specialist
Phone – 480-489-2704
Instagram - @lovebugdoula
                                            
You can also find LoveBug Doula on Yelp and Google

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

Meet the Doula: Kelly Sunshine

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 5:49 PM Comments comments (0)
This month's featured doula is Kelly Sunshine, of Sunshine Doula Services.  We have had the pleasure of being vendors together at several different local birth events. It is our pleasure to introduce you to her this month in our Meet The Doula feature.

 
When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I don’t remember the first time I actually heard the word, however, as my sister-in-laws and friends were having kids I would always go be with them while they were in labor and help them. I had already had a few of my kids so they thought I would be helpful. I was essentially being a doula without realizing it. Then one day a little over 5 years ago, I meet a gal who was a doula and the dots all connected for me. I remember thinking how I wish I would have had a doula with me at my 4 births.
 
How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
I’ve had a passion for labor and delivery for years. I contemplated getting my nursing degree at one point. But the more I thought about it I realized I really enjoy helping moms through the entire birth process and building relationships. I had heard about doulaing before. Then about 5 years ago I met a gal who had been a doula for a few years and I learned a lot more about the profession. At that moment I knew that was exactly what my heart had been wanting to do. My husband, who saw my enthusiasm, strongly encouraged me to “do it”. Before I even had a chance to make a decision, he had already enrolled me in a doula certification training that was happening in Phoenix 2 weeks later. I’ve never looked back since then.
 
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
Birth.
 
How long have you been a doula?
I have been a doula for almost 5 years. I am DONA Certified. I have been fortunate to have a very active career and have been blessed to work with over 350 families since I started.
 
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
So many moms have a vision of what an ideal birth would be like. I like to help them develop the confidence to trust in their bodies and themselves. There is nothing more rewarding than to support a mama and for her to realize how strong and awesome she really is. I also truly love the relationships I form with the couples.
 
What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
Empowering moms with the philosophy of, “its their agenda not mine”; and using my skills to create an optimalenvironment that they envisioned. Also helping them stay on course with their plan even when they don’t think they can do it anymore.
 
How do you work with and involve the birth partner?
This is very important to me. I am not there to take their place but to work together to help support the mom.  I adjust my involvement based on how comfortable their coach is and how involved the coach wants to be. If I see they are feeling uncomfortable or nervous I show them things they can do to support the mom. Once they get a little confidence then they step up and want to do more. It really cool to watch.
 
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
Believe it or not the mamas are pretty easy to deal with. By the time we get to a birth we’ve made a pretty strong connection and I generally know what they need. As soon as you bring the extended families in, not the daddy’s or partners, it can sometimes get challenging. My most notable situation was with very vocal and disruptive family members in the room. They were creating a lot of tension and drama and I could see it was upsetting the mom. In fact, despite her requesting them to leave the room they simply weren’t respecting her.
 
I stepped in and with kind firmness asked them to step outside into the waiting area. I explained that I wanted to take some time to help the her get more comfortable and focused. They understood and spent the rest of the birth in the waiting area. 
 
What keeps you working as a doula?
I suppose the best way I can describe it is that being a doula is in my blood. I just love it. It’s challenging work. It keeps me on my toes. Every birth has its own unique dynamic. And I guess I am pretty good at it. Perhaps it’s my gifting and a way of serving the world.
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My fee covers a prenatal visit which generally last an hour to 90 minutes. It also includes unlimited pre-birth support by phone, email and text leading up to labor. Obviously I am with the family from the beginning of active labor through approximately a couple hours after birth to help the mom and baby get comfortable, and establish nursing if that is their desire.
 
I also take photos of the entire labor, birth and after.  I provide the family with the edited digital copies, as well as a printed 4x6 set. I also write the family a birth story and then meet them for a postpartum visit as well. My fee is the same regardless of the length of the labor.
 
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
Yes. I do placenta encapsulation and have processed over 650 placentas. I also have some other pre- and post-birth products that are designed to help moms prepare for labor and heal following the birth.
 
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
Well being a doula occupies a good portion of my life. When I am not doulaing, I love to travel with my husband and do family vacations with our four kids. We entertain at our home frequently with family and friends, which I love to do!


 
Would you like to Connect with our featured doula?  Here is her contact information:
Kelly Sunshine
602-410-5968
 
Find Kelly on social media HERE and on Instagram HERE


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


 

 

Q&A with SPB: Variations and Complications

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 3:41 PM Comments comments (0)
Q: How can I tell the difference between a variation and a complication when I'm in labor?

A: It's the difference between waiting it out with a variation; and choosing interventions for a complication. What ever the birth journey, give yourself permission to do what it takes to have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.






Let's start with some basics:

A "variation" in labor is something that is still within the range of normal, and just needs time to resolve itself.  With watchful waiting and allowing for time, a variation usually leads to the birth of the baby without any further intervention. 
 
A "complication" is something that would require an action or an intervention.  There may be a greater urgency for intervention since it may be outside the range of normal.

How will you know the difference?  {Shameless plug} Take a Bradley class, or any other good childbirth preparation course to learn the difference.  In the Bradley Method, part of our philosophy is to educate couples to be informed consumers. So in class, we talk about many of the different variations and complications not to scare you or burst your bubble of peace, but to equip you with knowledge so that if on the outside .02 percent chance that you would face some of the complications, you have a general idea of what your options are to preserve the intention of your birth journey.  

By the same token, by having a basic understanding of the different variations of labor that don't necessarily follow the flow chart your care provider is following, a couple is better able to decide whether they want to wait it out or "do something" to move labor along. 

There are two questions that will tell you the difference between a variation and a complication.
Is Mom okay?
Is Baby okay?

Once you know the answer to those questions, you will have more information to use as you navigate the course of your birth journey.

There are also some behaviors that will indicate the difference:
Variation: lights stay low, you are just having a conversation with a nurse in the hospital or maybe the student midwife in a home setting.

Concern: the nurse may bring in another nurse to look at the record from maternal/fetal monitoring. Lights may stay off or be turned on for a moment.

Complication: the room starts to fill with people. Usually the lights are switched on and you are seeing a higher level of care providers. Interventions are suggested and you will need to choose a course of action sooner rather than later.

I hope this helps you distinguish the difference between knowing you have time to "wait it out", and being in a situation where decisions need to be made along the birth journey.

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions you would like to see answered on Q&A with SPB.

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

Meet the Doula: Alyssa

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 5:31 AM Comments comments (0)
This month, I would like to introduce to you Alyssa Leon.  I first met Alyssa when she was being mentored by another doula.  Since that time, she has become a wonderful doula in her own right.  She offers a doula-only package, or she can do birth photography and placenta encapsulation for her families as well.  Enjoy getting to know a little bit more about Alyssa from Cherry Blossom Doula Services.


When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I had first heard the word Doula when I was pregnant with my second child and had switched to a midwifery based practice.  The midwife at the time mentioned it in passing, so I really didn't learn more about it until I started my childbirth education training.
 
How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
I have always felt led to support pregnant women.  Growing up I was always fascinated with the birth process and couldn't wait to become a mother.  I finished the majority of the pre-reqs for the nursing program thinking I would become a labor and delivery nurse but after having my son, I needed to take a step back and focus on my family.  When I started feeling the pull again, I started off as a childbirth educator (knowing that in order to fully support a laboring woman as a doula, I needed to completely understand the physiological process.) The transition into becoming a doula was organic....and I haven't looked back since!
 
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
I am solely a birth doula. Although I love the continuity of care as a labor doula turned postpartum doula for a family, it is not possible to balance both with a full client schedule.
 
How long have you been a doula?
 I have been a doula for 3 years and have attended 111 births.  I am a certified childbirth educator (CAPPA), certified doula (DONA), and also have the neonatal resuscitation certification.
 
My experience as a doula is in all birth settings: home birth, birth center, hospital and/or for cesareans.
 
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
I love supporting and empowering women!  When moms reach their goals in labor, and are in awe of how strong they are, it automatically affects their confidence as they transition into motherhood.  
 
What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
My philosophy is that women need to feel secure and loved when they are at their most vulnerable state.  By providing a calm energy, gentle touch and reassurance that the process is normal, they are able to submerge themselves in the primal state that's needed to continue progressing the labor.
 
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I compare it to a slow dance...it's an easy balance to step in if the coach needs a break, the transition stage is overwhelming or if the couple wants more emotional support. And I am able to fade into the background, assisting with the environment details, nourishment, photos, etc., when the couple needs that one-on-one time. 
I meld to whatever the needs of the family are...The coach's appreciate the communication of what stage the mom is in, that what is happening is normal or if the labor is taking a different path, reminding them what options they have to make informed decisions.
 
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with?  How did you handle it?
The toughest situations I have been in is when families realize they are not with the most supportive provider in the middle of their labor.  
I provide a family as much information as I possibly can about their current provider and birthplace when we meet, but it is ultimately their decision on whether they stay or choose to move forward with a better fit.  I always say there is no reason to settle and leave it up to chance when we have amazing midwives and doctors that are available and ready to provide great care.
 
What keeps you working as a doula?
My passion is what keeps me working as a doula but the family/work life balance is what provides the stability with the on-call lifestyle.  
 
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours?  Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My doula packages range from $700-$850 and includes;
*2 hour prenatal visit
*24/7 on call support
*Labor support from the time the mom is in labor (via phone in early labor) and join the family typically in active labor, staying 1-2 hours after delivery or until the family is settled 
*Postpartum visit where we process through the labor and I bring the written birth story, birth photos, and provide additional resources when needed.
 
The fees stay the same, regardless of the length of labor.
 
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I offer Placenta Encapsulation and Birth Photography as additional services.
 
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
When I am not with clients, I am with my family, being a wife and mom. :)  I love hiking, trying new restaurants and traveling when I'm not on call.
 
How to connect with Alyssa:
Alyssa Leon, CCCE, CD(DONA), Owner of Cherry Blossom Doula Services
Phone: 602-743-1270

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog 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, Payson

Q&A with SPB: Rally for Midwives

Posted on November 3, 2015 at 3:07 AM Comments comments (0)
ADHS: Stop asking our midwives to do the impossible.

They cannot offer informed, evidence-based care and follow your inconsistent rules.
 
Coercion is not consent!!



 
What: Rally in support of Arizona Midwives
 
When: Thursday, November 5, 2015
 
Where: In front of the Arizona Department of Health Services, 150 N. 18 Avenue, Phoenix, 85007
 
Why: 22 of the 74 licensed Arizona midwives have been disciplined for failing to practice according to the Arizona Rules & Regulations. It’s time to let Governor Ducey, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and elected officials know that we want to stop the public persecution of midwives. It’s time to support them in their efforts to offer safe, evidence-based care to Arizona’s birthing families.
 
The state of Arizona has known for years that it’s archaic laws force a midwife to choose between compliance with said rules and regulations, and honoring the autonomous rights of her patient to a safe, evidence-based birth.
 
In proceedings held in November, 2014, one state employee admitted to this conflict:
 
“Tom Salow, ADHS’s acting Assistant Director of Licensing testified that ADHS has been aware of this potential conflict in its rules for years but has taken no action to rectify it, nor has it offered midwives a course of action that would satisfy both the duty to transfer care and the duty not to abandon a patient.”
Excerpt from Administrative Law Judge Decision, written by her Honor, Judge D.M. Lang http://goo.gl/7x3TVS
 
More highlights from the Administrative Law Judge Decision, written by her Honor, Judge D.M. Lang 
 
“It is hard to understand how a violation…warrants a year suspension when ADHS knows its own rules and lack of guidance have put the midwife in this position…Considering that ADHS has known about the potential problem posed by the rules for years and yet has failed to arrive a t a solution itself, it is unrealistic to expect midwives to hit on the perfect balance of safety and duty when suddenly placed in an awkward position…”
 
“…an internal inconsistency in the laws and rules, combined with ADHS’ failure to provide guidance that ensures no mother and child will be abandoned without professional care, makes it impossible for midwives to follow the rule….if ADHS cannot think of an answer to the dilemma, it hardly seems appropriate to discipline others for having the same number of answers: none."
 
My favorite line: 
“...it is not appropriate to require anyone to do the impossible.”
 
I’m going to be there on Thursday – will you join me and other birthing families to show support and raise our voices with Arizona’s midwives?
 
LIVE RALLY:
https://goo.gl/oTp1u9

VIRTUAL RALLY:
https://goo.gl/YdCxpO
 
Sweet Pea Families blog post – how compliance would have affected our birth:
http://goo.gl/iaFfES
 
AZ Midwife relates her tale of trials and tribulations with ADHS
http://goo.gl/bqg8K5
 
Ruling by Hon. Judge Lang:
http://goo.gl/7x3TVS

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


Q&A with SPB: Braxton-Hicks vs. Labor Contractions

Posted on September 22, 2015 at 11:04 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Here are some ideas to help you figure out the difference:




Here is a quick visual recap of today's video:

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

I hope this help answer some of your questions about the difference.  As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or nagging doubts - be safe rather than sorry: call your care provider :)

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



The Family-Centered Cesarean

Posted on April 30, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)
For today...another one from the archives, originally published in April 9, 2013.  Updated April 30, 2014 to include information about microbiome seeding; and a gentle cesarean checklist of options to review with your provider and prepare for a cesarean birth journey.

A "Family-Centered" cesarean?  A "gentle" cesarean?  A procedure that is Woman and MotherBaby-centered?  What?  Did you just read that correctly?  

Yes, you did.  There is a "new" trend in cesareans that is hitting the mainstream consciousness here in the United States.

While a lot of the focus during Cesarean Awareness Month tends to center on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), I also want to acknowledge that a VBAC is not the choice that all mothers want to make.  Here is an option for mothers who know they want, or are considering, a repeat cesaran birth.  It is also an option if a healthy, low-risk labor starts to change it's course and there is time for non-emergent cesarean.

I have linked to THIS post about a "natural" cesaran more than once in previous posts, and today I want to be a little more specific about what a "natural" cesarean is and why a family might opt for this.

To quote the article:
"The natural cesarean, or family centered cesarean, is a procedure developed in the UK which takes a “woman centered” approach to the surgery that now accounts for one third of all births in America, a cesarean. This approach to a c-section incorporates many important aspects of a vaginal birth, parent participation for one."

A family-centered, or natural cesarean strives to capture these components of a vaginal birth:

  • Mother watches the birth of her child by having the surgical screen lowered at the time of delivery
  • Baby is delivered slowly so that they can get some benefit from uterine contractions to clear fluid from the lungs and nasal passages
  • Immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby
  • Delayed cord clamping
  • Breastfeeding soon after birth
  • Continuous contact between mother and baby
  • "Seeding" of the mother's microbiome - read more about that HERE and HERE.

The idea of "seeding the microbiome" is a new concept.  Here is a quote from THIS article:
There is a difference between the microbiome of a baby born vaginally compared to a baby born by c-section (Azad, et al. 2013Penders et al. 2006Prince et al. 2014). During a vaginal birth the baby is colonised by maternal vaginal and faecal bacteria. Initial human bacterial colonies resemble the maternal vaginal microbiota – predominately Lactobacillus, Prevotella and Sneathia. A baby born by c-section is colonised by the bacteria in the hospital environment and maternal skin – predominately Staphylocci and C difficile. They also have significantly lower levels of Bifidobacterium and lower bacterial diversity than vaginally born babies. These differences in the microbiome ‘seeding’ may be the reason for the long-term increased risk of particular diseases for babies born by c-section.
~Rachel Reed, Midwife Thinking

And one from THIS article:
  • In the event of a c-section, be proactive. Mamas, we know this recommendation is not without its “icky-factor," but WOW it makes perfect sense when you think about it, and some believe it will be a standard recommendation in the future. Here goes: if your baby is born via c-section, consider taking a swab of your vaginal secretions and rubbing it on your baby’s skin and in her/his mouth. I know, ick. But when babies traverse the birth canal, they are coated in and swallowing those secretions/bacteria in a health-promoting way, so all you’re doing is mimicking that exposure. Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife or OB to help you collect the vaginal swabs—or do it yourself, if you’re comfortable. You have all the available evidence on your side.
    ~Michelle Bennet, MD, mamaseeds blog

So while your initial reaction might be one of surprise and disgust, think about it.  Please take a minute to read both of the excerpted articles and have a discussion with your partner and your care provider before you make up your mind one way or another.

Here are some of the benefits that are causing mothers to request this kind of cesarean option:
  • Less traumatic birth experience
  • Moms get to *see the birth* of their baby
  • Greater sense of satisfaction in regards to their birth
  • Establishment of the MotherBaby dyad immediately after the birth
  • Better breastfeeding outcomes
  • Someone who had an emergency cesarean with a previous child and does not feel comfortable with anything other than a repeat cesarean
  • A family with a known complication who wants to allow labor to start on the day of baby's choosing, but knows they will have a cesarean delivery
  • A family who planned a natural birth and had their course of labor  change before they were in an emergent situation

If you would like to have a conversation with your care provider about planning for a gentle cesaean as your birth plan or "just in case" plan, HERE is a list of options for you to discuss with them, provided by ICAN of Phoenix chapter leader Jenni Froment.  

I also want to mention: these are evidence-based recommendations.  If your care provider scoffs at you and laughs you out of the room, thank them very much for their time and go have a conversation with another provider in your area.  Your local ICAN chapter or ICAN international are great resources for respectful, family-centered providers.

What do you think?
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.   

Link List:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5RIcaK98Yg

ARTICLES
ICAN
http://blog.ican-online.org/2012/04/14/the-family-centered-cesarean/

MIDWIFE THINKING
http://midwifethinking.com/2014/01/15/the-human-microbiome-considerations-for-pregnancy-birth-and-early-mothering/

MAMASEEDS
http://mamaseeds.com/blog/antibiotics/how-seed-your-baby-healthy-microbiome-last-lifetime/

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®.



Birth Story: Baby P Born At Home

Posted on January 29, 2015 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (0)



We are thrilled and honored to share a very special birth story today.  Our guest blogger, Cassandra is a newly minted mother of two - congratulations!!  Today she shares the story of Baby P's arrival. It is the complete opposite of last week's marathon labor birth story. She and Baby P definitely had a different path!



Baby P is baby #2 for our family; you can read my son’s home birth story from 2012 here on the blog.

I have been blogging about certain aspects of my second pregnancy on Sweet Pea Families over the course of the last few months; fears, affirmations, newborn essentials, and most recently musings over my labor, what it would be like and who would be there. I had grand visions of a coming together of many women in the late afternoon or evening, laboring peacefully in the birth tub with plenty of laughter and wearing the cute new bra and panty set I purchased to look nice for the photographer that would be there. My daughter would definitely be born in the water since coincidentally her brother, even though we were in the tub, was born over the water. But, as it turns out (again!) babies decide things for themselves and we, as mothers are simply a vessel for whatever their life holds for them.

My son was born at 43 weeks 3 days from my LMP. Dates were ambiguous due to irregular cycles and lack of ultrasounds, but with no vernix, long fingernails and an aging placenta at birth he was definitely a longer cooked baby. Going that far past my “due” date was definitely an emotional time: not knowing what to expect as a first time mom, worrying, comments from family/friends/strangers, etc. etc.

Baby #2 was surprisingly conceived after my first cycle at 25 months postpartum. I got a positive pregnancy test on cycle day 30 and a twelve week and then twenty week ultrasound both matched up with my LMP due date. So, this time was different, we knew! It was always in my mind that maybe I just cooked babies a little slower than most but as the pregnancy progressed I didn't really think there was any way I was going to go past my due date. I was so cramp-y this time, so much more pressure down low, so much more active, I had a completely different lifestyle chasing an almost 3 year old every day than during my first pregnancy.  But alas, my due date came and went and then a whole other week passed. At 41 weeks I was having doubts about the baby coming out any time soon and really just couldn’t believe I had gone so far again. 

At 41 weeks 1 day, a Monday, I was feeling good and talked with my midwife about just waiting it out another week and seeing what the weekend held. At 41 weeks 2 days, Tuesday, I was totally done being pregnant. My son and I had a great, exhausting day that day. We played at home, went grocery shopping, had a coffee and muffin date and met with a friend at the park to play in the sunshine for 3 whole hours. We came home and made dinner and he stayed up past his bedtime while my midwife came over for our weekly appointment. We chatted about the risks of the pregnancy progressing past 42 weeks, how we (my husband and I) each felt, what natural induction methods she likes to use and ultimately I decided I really just wanted a membrane sweep right then.

I had one with my son that resulted in losing my mucus plug and then starting labor two days later and I was ready. It was the night of a super new moon and I finally felt at ease to try and do something (at this point we weren't employing any kind of help labor start tactics). If my baby and body weren’t ready I trusted that nothing would happen anyways and we would continue waiting.

We were done with the sweep around 7PM with caution from my midwife that there could be spotting and cramps during the night, all totally normal and to try some nipple stimulation if I wanted. My son went to bed and my husband and I settled in on the couch for some Netflix while I hooked up to my breast pump for exactly ten minutes. We went to bed shortly after as we were both really tired from a long day and I fell asleep pretty quickly. I felt cramps on and off through the night in a very sleepy haze, my son slept horribly and was crying most of the night but thankfully my husband was comforting him and I spent most of the night able to drift in and out.

I woke up at 6:40AM and had what felt like bad period cramps, sharp, painful cramps super low in my pelvis that went away very quickly. I wondered if I should still be having cramps 12 hours after the sweep (?) and hoped they would go away soon. I got up to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and had lots of bowel movements. This used to happen to me every time I had period cramps so I wasn’t surprised; and afterwards laid back down to try and sleep some more until my son woke up. 

He was up a little bit after 7AM and I was still having the cramps so I text my husband around 7:15 and asked if he could come home for a little bit to be with our son until these cramps went away. I was fine in bed but T was asking for breakfast, etc. and I just felt icky and wanted to stay resting. He didn’t respond so T and I read books in bed and then looked at photos on my phone. Around 7:45 I was still having them so I called my husband (he hadn’t seen the texts) and asked him if he would just come home from work for a little bit. T and I stayed in bed cuddling, goofing off, laughing and watching videos of him on my phone. 

Around 8:30AM my husband finally walks in just as I was about to call him again, he had brought breakfast and I was so happy because I was starving! I used the opportunity to finally get up and go to the bathroom again and the cramps were still coming, fairly frequently and kind of radiating down and out into my pelvis. Definitely still cramps though, did not feel anything like a “contraction”. We decided to call the midwife as she emphasized calling her as soon as I suspected anything since my son was born fairly quickly after active labor began. 

I dialed her at 8:37AM and left a message. She instructed on her voicemail that if she didn’t call back in 15 minutes to call our other midwife. Right afterwards I text our photographer, she has a son that she needed to make arrangements for so I wanted to give her as big of a heads up as possible if there was any chance I was going to be in labor today. “Hi it’s Cassandra, I might be in labor today!” I told her about the sweep the night before and that I was just having cramps so I wasn’t sure and I had called my midwife but was just waiting to hear back and that I would keep her updated. After that I came out of the bathroom and tried to lean into our hallway wall during one of the cramps to see if that alleviated the pressure, it didn’t so I headed back to the bathroom. I was starting to think this was a membrane sweep gone horribly wrong and I had brought these insane cramps on myself and now who knew what was going to happen!  

I felt much better on the toilet. I would push down into the sides of the toilet seat during the cramps and kept having to pee or poo so it was better anyways. 15 minutes passed so I called our second midwife at 8:51AM. We talked for 8 minutes about what was happening (cramps, mucus tinged with blood, bowel movements) and I had two of the cramps while I was on the phone with her. She said she couldn’t tell I was having them and it sounded like early labor stuff and to try and lie down and rest between them, eat something and to let her know when they seemed to undergo a change. So I got off the toilet and lay down in bed and asked my husband to bring me some pancakes. I was still so hungry and so happy to be eating, I had two bites and then another cramp came and I immediately needed him to take the food away from me. I also did not want to be lying down. There was NO way I could rest; so back to the toilet I went.

I listened to my husband and son playing a Frozen matching card game in the other room and was still trying to understand what might be happening to me. The cramps got stronger and I asked for a chair from the kitchen to put backwards in front of the toilet so I could drape my arms over the back and press into it during the cramps. At 9:17AM I had a cramp that left me shaking and immediately breaking out into sweat all over. This was intense! I text my midwife “Ok getting hot and sweaty and shaky. Can’t rest” and she responded she was on her way. There was also a lot of blood after that and I finally knew this was definitely labor. 

Midwife called at 9:21 while she was driving and I couldn’t even really talk to her. I text my photographer at 9:24 and said “Ok def in labor. Midwife coming over now, 15 mins away.” She wrote back that she would be over in about 15 or 20 minutes too! This was when I told my husband to start filling up our tub – it had been inflated and ready to go for weeks and he just needed to fit the cover on it and then add water.

I had wanted to alert my friends from my blessingway when I was in labor and now that midwives and photographer were out of the way I could finally let them know. I sent out a text to everyone in the group at 9:27AM that said “Baby’s coming, send love – need it already <3” I remember trying to make sure that I included everyone and that I was trying to count the names and count the girls in attendance and it was hard for me to concentrate, but I did get everyone! The responses were just starting to come in when my midwife walked in about 9:30AM. 

Just before then I was starting to get worried about continuing to do this on my own as my husband was tending to the tub and playing with our son so I was really happy to see her. She asked if I was pushing and I was kind of caught off guard, pushing!? No way, what? I was definitely not pushing! Then another wave came and AH! There was a head! I was pushing!? I half yelled out that I was pushing and she asked if I could feel the baby’s head. I said no but then I barely reached up and the head was right there. She told me I needed to get off the toilet, which was seriously the last thing I wanted to do. She helped me down onto the birth stool where I tried to sit and then hold myself up against her but it was really unstable and I needed to get down. This entire time I could feel baby’s head right there. When I got off the stool I felt her head kind of suck back up a little and wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was doing but I heard hands and knees and I just kind of fell onto the floor in that position, head facing the corner, butt facing the doorway. This all happened in a couple of minutes and soon our photographer, Kirsten, walked in. She was greeted in the bathroom doorway to my bum and then a little bit of baby’s head starting to come out.

On the next push I moaned out so loud and low, it didn’t even really sound like me, I think this was the first noise I made the entire time. I was proud of myself that it was loud and low and not high pitched screaming (like I was with T). I knew I had to keep it that way and gosh the burning, ah! I literally just gave way to the burning, told myself it was happening and just feel it, don’t fight it and then her head was out! I said I wanted the rest of her out, just get her out! but I knew that wasn’t what I really wanted. Tearing so badly again was one of my biggest fears around labor and I knew this was the moment. My midwife told me to pant and I tried but couldn’t really so I started just breathing shortly and blowing raspberries, I could do that and it calmed me down and gave me something to focus on while I just stayed in hands and knees with her head out. I heard my husband say something like oh my gosh eyes! A little nose and mouth, awww! I kept up my breathing/blowing and then all of a sudden her body was out!

Birth story - Baby P born at home

She handed her to me and I sat back on the bathroom floor and held her, it was 9:51AM. Not even an hour and a half from when my husband walked in the door with breakfast and our baby was here, so mind blowing.

I felt fantastic. I had so many emotions rush me all at once and I felt energized and ecstatic and it will definitely be engrained in my mind as one of the best moments of my life. I got up and walked to the other room to lie down in bed and seriously just could not believe how great I felt. T was right there in the doorway watching the entire time and once I got settled in bed  he climbed right up to touch and kiss his new baby sister.

Birth story - Baby P born at home

Needless to say the tub was not filled up enough for me to get in it once I had to get off the toilet and the pictures are not going to be anything like I had imagined. I did not get to diffuse my Serenity blend or light my beeswax candles or stare at the affirmation wall I had created in the bedroom, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. So intense, but so quick and so perfect. It was a beautiful sunny day and after everything was cleaned up we all hung out in bed as a family of four watching movies, reading books and playing games and I couldn’t have even imagined the amount of bliss I felt.  
Birth story - Baby P born at homeI needed no stitches, which literally made me want to jump up and down and cry out with joy and I have felt pretty great every single day since.
 
Birth story - Baby P born at home

I learned so much from baby P’s birth, there was not a single sensation that felt the same as my last labor and birth. Again, mind blowing. It was a great reminder to throw out any and all expectations I may have surrounding this little girl and being her mama, as we truly are never in control.

Congratulations, Cassandra, Eric, and new big brother T !!
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®.