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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 ()
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: Delivering the Placenta

Posted on October 6, 2015 at 9:54 AM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
This is a question that came up in class on Friday evening. I thought it would be great to answer it as a Q&A today:


Here is summary of the info:
Anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour could be considered range of normal as long as mom is doing well and not losing too much blood (<2 liters). Reference HERE

HERE is a great article to read about the delivery of the placenta and possible complicaitons. Dr. Rachel Reed, who writes the blog, Midwife Thinking, offers information and writes about a couple of scenarios that might interfere with the delivery of the placenta.

Please leave me a comment with your experience in this last phase of labor. Thankfully, all of ours were uneventful.  Also, let me know if you have a question for next week!

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


Info Sheet: Amniotomy

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 9:23 AM Comments comments ()
Amniotomy, Artificial Rupture of the Membranes, AROM - Info sheet for Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
*Definition
Amniotomy, also known as Artificial Rupture of the Membranes (AROM) is the surgical rupture of fetal membranes to induce or expedite labor.

Source: 
American Heritage Medical Dictionary

 
*History
Amniotomy is used to start or speed up contractions and, as a result, shorten the length of labour.
 
Artificial rupture of the amniotic membranes during labour, sometimes called amniotomy or ’breaking of the waters’ was introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, first being described in 1756 by an English obstetrician, Thomas Denman (Calder 1999). Whilst he emphasized reliance on the natural process of labour, he acknowledged that rupture of the membranes might be necessary in order to induce or accelerate labour (Dunn 1992). Since then, the popularity of amniotomy as a procedure has varied over time (Busowski1995), more recently becoming common practice in many maternity units throughout the UK and Ireland (Downe 2001; Enkin 2000a ; O’Driscoll 1993) and in parts of the developing world (Camey 1996; Chanrachakul 2001; Rana 2003). The primary aim of amniotomy is to speed up contractions and, therefore, shorten the length of labour.
 
The first recorded use of amniotomy in the United States was in 1810; it was used to induce premature labor. Amniotomy and other mechanical methods remained the methods of labor induction most commonly employed until the 20th century. Amniotomy, or artificial rupture of the amniotic membranes, causes local synthesis and release of prostaglandins, leading to labor within 6 hours in nearly 90% of term patients. Turnbull and Anderson found that amniotomy without additional drug therapy successfully induced labor in approximately 75% of cases within 24 hours.
 
Sources: 
 
PROS
  • Amniotomy was associated with a reduction in labour duration of between 60 and 120 minutes in various trials
  • There was a statistically significant association of amniotomy with a decrease in the use of oxytocin: OR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.67-0.92 in several randomized trials
  • AROM does not involve any type of medication to mom or baby and is considered by some to be the most “natural” means of induction in a hospital setting.
 
CONS
  • In several randomized trials there was a marked trend toward an increase in the risk of Cesarean delivery: OR = 1.26; 95% Confidence Interval (CI)=0.96-1. 66.
  • Trial reviewers suggest that amniotomy should be reserved for women with abnormal labour progress.
  • In 15 studies containing 5583 women there was no clear statistically significant difference between women in the amniotomy and control groups in length of the first stage of labour
  • Evidence does not support routinely breaking the waters for women in normally progressing spontaneous labour or where labours have become prolonged.
  • [Once membranes are broken} most obstetricians want the baby birthed as soon as 6 hours post-onset to reduce the risk of infection from the introduction of bacteria into the vagina due to repeated vaginal exams. Some obstetricians will wait as long as 24 hours but that is less common. In contrast, midwives, who do not routinely perform cervical checks unless specifically indicated or requested, thus limiting the chance of infection, will often allow up to 36-48 hours as long as no indications of an active infection are present.
  • A large study of 3000 women’s opinions of the intervention was conducted by the National Childbirth Trust (1989). Two thirds of the women in this study reported an increase in rate, strength and pain of contractions following membrane rupture; they found these contractions more difficult to cope with, needed more analgesia and felt that the physiology of labour was disturbed.
  • When there is concern that labour is slowing down, benign measures to intensify contractions such as positional changes and movement may prevent the need for more invasive interventions (Simkin 2010). The Cochrane review of maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour supports the positive impact mobility has in shortening labour (Lawrence et al. 2009).
  • Smyth et al. 2007 studies showed that amniotomy is not an effective method of shortening spontaneous labour and increases the risk of caesarean section and more fetal heart abnormalities
 
Sources:


 
*Link List
 For further exploration on your part


What do you think? Is this an option you would consider, or that you chose for during your birth?
 

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®.

 

Birth Story: Baby P Born At Home

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



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®.

Birth Story: Penelope

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 9:12 AM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
It’s birth story day!!  This week I am sharing a birth story from our Fall 2012 class.  In today's video, Courtney is talking about her family's birth journey with our Winter 2012-13 class.  Jake was working, so Courtney shares his words of wisdom for coaches, too.

Here is their backstory: 

  • Courtney was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes via blood glucose test (usually administered between 24 – 28 weeks of pregnancy)
  • High Blood Pressure was measured at office visits from 36 weeks on; whenever she checked her blood pressure at home, it was normal
  • Midwife recommended induction at 38 weeks due to risks of having gestational diabetes (large baby, possible stillbirth) – Courtney negotiated for more office visits, more monitoring, and extra ultrasounds to “buy” two extra weeks of pregnancy


How their birth journey progressed:
  • Courtney and Jake agreed to induction on her due date with prostaglandin gels
  • After about 12 hours at the hospital, the couple was told that labor had not progressed enough so they agreed to an amniotomy (artificial rupture of membranes)
  • Baby was born vaginally with no other interventions at 11:56 pm


In Courtney's own words:

 

Video Highlights:
Note: Looking back, Courtney was so grateful she advocated for a longer pregnancy.  One of the biggest concerns about gestational diabetes is that babies are larger than average.  At birth (40 weeks gestation), their baby weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 21 inches long.  This is clearly *not* a baby that would be called “large for gestational age” when you consider the average birth weight for a term baby is about 7.5 pounds.

Which labor tools worked for you to manage the intensity?

  • Changing positions and moving around: we the used birth tub, knees on bed and arms draped over back of the bed, side lying position
  • Being surrounded by people who support your choices is probably the most important thing: husband spoke up and asked people who were in the room to leave; midwife was amazing; everyone on staff who walked in the room acknowledged reading and supporting their birth plan
  • Peppermint oil for nausea – helped control the pace of her breathing
  • Unspoken communication with a loving coach – even though it felt silly at the time, the practice in classes and at home paid off because he knew what she wanted with the wave of a hand.

 
What would Jake (husband) say if he were here?

  • Be prepared for everything
  • Expect everything to not go the way you want it
  • Try to predict what she needs so she does not have to say it


Some images from their birth:
 
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Early labor after induction with prostaglandin gels. They are using the labor position we call "The Prom Dance".
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Using the deep tubs available for laboring at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
The awe that hits many couples after Sweet Pea arrives...we hope that you are supported in your birth choices so you can feel awed by your birth journey, too.
 
PostScript:
Courtney and her husband Jake were the last couple that enrolled in that class series with a last-minute phone call, “We really need to get into this class!”  You would be hard-pressed to find a birth worker who would say no to them!!  It is so humbling to hear that saying yes to them when we had a full class already made a big difference for their birth. I praise God for His wisdom and His incredible design.

 
What did you learn from your birth journey?
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®.

 

I believe

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 5:27 AM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
The female form is beautifully made to grow a baby and birth a baby.  Birthing wisdom tells us that, in general, Sweet Peas will not grow bigger than the outlet the vessel carrying them can provide.

Another idea that is brought to mind is the analogy that our bodies know how to maintain our heart beat, breathe, digest, and do all the other autonomic functions that keep us alive.  All this, without any instruction or direction from us!  Why, then, would these miraculous bodies fail us when it comes to childbirth? Believe!!

A tenet of The Bradley Method® is for parents to attend classes and then read, read, and then read some more to be be informed and confident consumers.  This confidence begets the abtility to birth without fear of the process, possible interventions, variations or complications.  

Prepared parents can believe in the ability of the mother to birth.  This allows them to approach their labor and birth with the best intentions for an unmedicated, vaginal birth, and then see that birth through in spite of any variations or decision points they may face.

The mother has the confidence in the process and her ability to birth.  The Coach has the confidence and the motivation to be at her side and meet her needs for support and encouragement.  

NOW COMES THE BIG *HOWEVER*...

I have to admit, this affirmation gave me pause as I was preparing it. We have had students in the past who have worked so hard and so beautifully to have a vaginal birth, and it just did not go that way for them.  

So I put this out today with a caveat...believe in your ability to birth for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  Sometimes, the focus may need to switch to "I will give this baby the birth that (s)he needs," which gives us the space to change from our expected path to the birth that needs to happen for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

If that is the case, please talk to someone who understands that a mother can grieve her birth experience while still appreciating the fact that she has a healthy baby.  THIS article by Milli Hill articulates so beautifully the feelings a mom may have with the knowledge that she has a healthy baby AND a variation from the birth experience she may have wanted.

Here is a picture from our last birth - still the look of surprise and the "I did it!", even though it was our fourth birth!! Never cease to be amazed by the miracle of life that you grew within you...no matter how you birth, take heart from the fact that the new human being you are holding in your arms was grown within you and by you with loving intention.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Image: ©2011 A Bunch of Smiles Photography
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What is a birth mantra or affirmation that helped you or inspires you?
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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 News: December 12, 2013

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

Happy Thursday to all of you!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

5 Step Plan for Labor

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 4:28 PM Comments comments ()
Here are Dr. Bradley’s "Keys to Labor", as per his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth.  I love these simple steps – they could almost be considered a “recipe” for labor.  

If you follow these steps, you can figure out if you are in “real” labor.  If you are not, somewhere along these steps, your contractions will fizzle out.  And if they do, mama has eaten well, slept, and hopefully had a good nap so that you are rested for the next round of contractions when they begin again.  If you are in labor, you will go through these five steps and discover that despite the change in activity and positions, your contractions are progressing.  Now you can get excited because you will be meeting your baby sooner than later.  And then, settle down to "work", because labor is definitely an athletic event, albeit one of the most rewarding ones ever!
 
Eat
  • Mom should eat the kind of food she is hungry for: a meal, a snack, or a nibble, depending on where she has progressed in labor. 

A laboring mother should eat to her appetite.  Early in labor, she may be ready for a full meal.  We have students who go out to breakfast after they know they are in labor just to pass the time away.  If she is hungry, feed her accordingly.  As labor progresses and the body starts to divert bodily functions exclusively to labor and birth, you will see her appetite wane.  Later in labor, maybe she will want a bite of something – and definitely not the full meal she was requesting before.  If labor has been on the longer side and she is refusing food, or if she is being denied food and she is still hungry, you may consider clear broths for the dual purpose of an energy boost and hydration.

Drink
  • Mom needs to be drinking every hour.  Whether she wants a full glass, a few sips, or ice chips – keep her hydrated.
 
Dr. Bradley wrote in his book that a mother should “drink to thirst”.  We now know that thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  It is best to keep mom hydrated by offering her a glass of water every hour in the early stages of labor.  Again, as labor progresses, she may not want that full glass of water.  You can offer her a sip of water after every contraction, or maybe ice chips will be better.  Some mothers may even prefer sucking on a damp cloth.

Walk
  • At a good pace to rock baby down and encourage labor to progress.
 
Walking is a great way to speed up labor.  It is always a great way to work yourself into exhaustion.  You need to gauge how it’s working for your particular labor.  When you walk, are the contractions getting harder, longer and stronger?  If walking is not having that effect on your labor, then maybe you should just go for a 20-30 minute walk to labor baby down into the pelvis and exert some pressure on the cervix to encourage it to dialate, and then move on to the next step.  If walking is clearly making your labor progress, go for it.  You could walk until mom needs more help with relaxation besides reassuring words and counter-pressure.

Shower
  • Water has been called the “midwife’s epidural”. A warm shower or bath can do wonders to ease the intensity of labor.
 
Water has an incredibly relaxing effect.  It can literally wash the tension away.  Some mothers may like the full submersion and weightlessness in a birth tub.  Other mothers may prefer the soothing sound and the sensation of water flowing down her body.  If your birth place has the equipment, try both and see what works for her.  You may want to consider limiting your use of water to an hour at a time if mom is in the tub.  See THIS article from Penny Simkin for more information about how to use water in labor.

Nap
  • Now that Mom has fueled, hydrated, moved baby, and eased tension, do a relaxation exercise to ease her into a rest period.  An unmedicated mother *will not* sleep through the birth of her baby.
 
Mom has done everything she can to ensure a healthy, low-risk labor. She has nourished and hydrated her body as it prepares for the athletic event of birth.  She has walked to move baby and help dilate the cervix.  She has used water to dissipate any tension she may have been holding onto.  Now it’s time to encourage her into a side relaxation position, or which ever other position is comfortable enough for her to enter a state of deep relaxation.  Optimally, you want the mother to get a good sleep.  If it’s nighttime, then maybe she can sleep through the night, or until her contractions wake her up again.  If it’s during the day, hopefully she can get a decent nap.

You can definitely follow this labor pattern over and over, until the mother is unable to sleep anymore because she is going through transition, and/or having the urge to push.  It is definitely a way to manage labor without additional pain relief.  The love and support of an invested coach, replenishing energy, and rest can go a long way for a family to have a natural birth.

If you liked the way you labored, what was your recipe for success?

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


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

Dr. Bradley's Keys to Labor

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments ()
We saw that one of our mamas from our Fall class is in labor...so exciting!  I thought today would be a great day to share these instructions Dr. Bradley left for laboring mothers in his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth.

Here is a written version:


Here is a visual version:

I hope that one of them will be a great reminder for what you can do to have the energy you need to see your labor through from beginning to end when it's your turn.  I will write more about the principles behind these bullet points tomorrow :)


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


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

Rally to Improve Birth 2013

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM Comments comments ()
Did you know that there is a national organization advocating evidence-based care and humanity in childbirth? 

I first became aware of ImprovingBirth.org when they held their first rally last year.  In order to bring awareness to the maternity health care crisis in our country, the organizers chose the date of Labor Day for the national event.  This year, they are truly nation-wide – there is at least one rally planned in all 50 states, and as of today, it looks like they are up to eight international locations.

What maternity health care crisis in the United States, you ask?  Here is a look at the numbers.  In the world:
  • We are 34th in maternal mortality rates:  33 countries have lower maternal mortality than we do.
  • We are 38th in neonatal mortality rates: 37 countries have lower neonatal mortality rates than we do.
  • We are 41st in infant mortality rates: 40 countries do a better job at keeping newborns alive than we do.
  • We are 66th in birth weight: 65 countries do better than us when it comes to birthing babies at healthy birth weights.
  • We are 33rd in the breastfeeding: 32 countries had higher rates of exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

So do you know why I find this so infuriating?
“ Despite the poor international ranking, the International Federation of Health Plans recently reported that average U.S. payments for vaginal birth were far higher than all other countries reported, including Canada, France, and Australia (7).”


















Are you motivated to stand with women, children and coaches to rally for change? 
On September 2, 2013, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon local time, cities across the states are going to host a Rally to Improve Birth.  The rally is not to promote one kind of birth over other kinds of births.  It is not about bashing care providers and birthing facilities.

“It’s about women being capable of making safer, more informed decisions about their care and that of their babies, when they are given full and accurate information about their care options, including the potential harms, benefits, and alternatives.  It’s about respect for women and their decisions in childbirth, including how, where, and with whom they give birth; and the right to be treated with dignity and compassion.”
-Rally To Improve Birth

What is the message that Improving Birth is striving for?  Here are some of the messages they hope to get across that day (hint...ideas for rally signs):
  • Lower the C-Section Rate
  • Respectful Maternity Care 
  • Question Your Induction
  • Informed Consent is My Right 
  • Evidence-Based Birth

You can click HERE to find your local rally (readers in the Phoenix, AZ area - local info at the bottom of this post):
http://rallytoimprovebirth.com/find-a-rally-near-you/

If you can’t stand side-by-side with the families attending the rally, you can still participate.  All the rallies are 100% volunteer organized – even a donation of $10.00 can help buy water to hydrate all the mamas, babies, coaches and care providers standing under the hot sun on Labor Day to bring awareness and change to the maternal healthcare system.
Donate HERE to the national organization:

Donate HERE to the local Phoenix Rally:
http://rallytoimprovebirth.causevox.com/phoenix

HERE is a story from an "eye-roller" at last year’s rally, to a supporter at this year’s rally.  I would like to think that these stories are few and far between.  Unfortunately, I know they are not.  Due to my involvement in the birth community at large, I have personally heard stories from several women who felt completely violated by their care providers and the current standard of care.  We can make a difference.  We can stand together and insist that it is time to humanize birth again, to use evidence-based care, and to involve the birthing family as partners in their birth story. For more information, please visit their main website:

Readers in the Phoenix, AZ area
Here is the info on our local event:
September 2, 2013
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tempe Beach Park
54 West Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, Arizona 85281

To stay up-to-date on the local event, visit the Facebook Page.



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®.



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