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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Monday Mantra - Letting Go

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 1:11 PM Comments comments (115)
There is no time like the present to let go of the situations and the people that are not serving a positive purpose in our lives, or from which (or whom) we have finished learning the lessons they were meant to teach us.

Pregnancy and postpartum are time of threshold and initiation. They are times when things are new, when things are in transition, and when quite frankly, they are sometimes completely turned around and upside down.  

In times like this, the extra stress of situations that bring negativity are the things that keep us from being present for ourselves and for our baby. If you sit quietly, I am guessing you can name at least one thing, situation or relationship that it is best parted with for the time being.

What's one small thing you could do today to move away from that thing, situation or relationship so that you can be free to make your whole self available and present for this pregnancy - labor - birth - postpartum?

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

Monday Mantra: Nourish Body + Baby

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (50)
"I deserve to nourish my body and my baby with fresh, energizing food every day."

The one thing we can all do for our growing sweet peas is make an effort to eat well. As we come into the summer season, there is the opportunity to purchase from local farmers at community markets, and there are LOTS of sales at the stores.

If you need to watch the budget, check out your grocery store circulars that come in the mail. I also like the EWG Dirty Dozen list. You can see it online or download it as an "app" on the smart phone. I use it to make the most of our grocery money. Any produce that is on the "dirty dozen" list is a known high-pesticide crop.  Food on that list is produce that we will purchase in the organic section. Anything else on our list we buy from the conventional produce area in the grocery store or farmer's market.

We also offer our students the Brewer Pregnancy Plan as a guideline for daily nutrition. It is a conscientious focus on high protein and whole food so that multi-vitamins become the gap filler and not the only source of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy.  You can read more about the Brewer eating plane HERE and HERE.

What's one small thing you can do this week to make better food choices while you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding?






Monday Mantra: Centered + Peaceful

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (100)
Meditation: Moxie Midwifery

This has grounded me so well lately. It's a great validation that I really have all I need to handle life's ups and downs...because as sure as the tides rise and fall, just as the waves crest and break...so moves the rhythm of life.

It has been a great comfort to remember that I do not have to do it alone. Part of the "all I need" are the friends, allies, and resources that can be called in to help when it all gets to be too much.  I can call a friend for a heart-to-heart talk, I can call a family member to come help when I can't make it to all the places I need to go, there are tremendous resources available to us online. Maybe a group in which to ask a question, a reliable webpage to use as the beginning of some research, or a phone call to a trusted care provider...the "all I need" is there if I am willing to admit I don't have all the answers and I don't need to do it all by myself.

What are some of your favorite resources?

Monday Mantra: Joy+Happiness

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 1:09 PM Comments comments (53)

Quote: Jennifer Hoperich, Moxie Midwifery

There is the elusive, "I will be happy when" or "I will be fulfilled when" that is inherent in much of the positive-thinking, goal-oriented, resolution-focused thinking that is pervasive in our culture.

What about now?? 

One of the reasons I love this affirmation is that it invites me to be happy and joyful NOW. It is also inviting me to think outside of myself and do for other.  By finding joy and happiness in the service of others, I have the opportunity to have joy and happiness every moment. 

When one is pregnant, that "other" is the sweet pea growing inside. When your sweet pea is earthside, it's even easier to place them as the other in our lives. And as they get older, they join us in that act as they think of their own ways to serve and bring joy and happiness to those outside of themselves. It's quite the amazing circle of perpetual joy and happiness...jump on this merry-go-round, and let's enjoy the ride!!

Monday Mantra: Radiantly Beautiful

Posted on April 17, 2017 at 3:33 PM Comments comments (0)

"I am radiantly beautiful, and my baby is too."

I love this affirmation.  You can be beautiful, and then there is radiantly beautiful.  

Pregnancy, especially a first one, is potentially full of moments when we are trying to accept the physical changes that are taking over our body. There is no way to stop them, they just are. In fact, they must be in order for the Sweet Pea inside of us to grow and change and be ready to meet us earthside.

If like me, you dreaded watching your body grow bigger than it ever had before, take a moment to breathe in the fact that you are growing a new human, and that you are still YOU. Look in the mirror and find one small thing that is radiantly beautiful about this process.

If you are feeling good about all the changes, keep rocking it, mama!! Breathe in the radiance and shine it out. 

To all the mamas out there:
You are radiantly beautiful. 


NEXT BRADLEY SERIES:
May 20 - August 19, 2017
Saturday evenings at 6:00 pm
Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Wellness
Mesa, AZ


Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog post 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®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale


FInding the Beauty

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 1:31 PM Comments comments (27)
"I choose to see the beauty in this whole process of bringing new life into the world."
Affirmation from The Affirmation Spot 


Pregnancy is a time of many changes.  Some we breeze through, others not so much.  

The gift is that every day we are pregnant, is one day that we are closer to meeting our Sweet Pea. Sometimes it's hard to see the positive when we are in the throes of morning sickness, or in the final weeks of pregnancy when everything feels too big and too much as we maneuver our belly around, or anytime in between when it's just a rough day.

However, if you sit quietly, do you think you can find one thing to reflect on that brings joy or gratitude?

If you are experiencing aches and pains, you might reach out to your care provider to confirm that what your experiencing is within the range of normal. If yes, then reach out to your local birth community and find out who the awesome chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists are found in your area. We have seen that a good alternative therapy can make a world of difference and alleviate or completely resolve the physical issues.

One last note: if you are experiencing emotional changes that are bigger than you want to/can handle, please know that an experienced pregnancy and postpartum therapist can help you find some ideas and solutions to help with pregnancy anxiety or depression.  Talk therapy doesn't require anything aside from your time and your willingness to talk things out. Please do not suffer alone.

Wherever you are in your pregnancy, I encourage you to find one small thing you can treasure about growing new life on a daily basis. It is such a miracle...one that you will meet on the day your birth and hold your Sweet Pea.

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




Reflections: In The Current

Posted on July 21, 2015 at 6:49 AM Comments comments (0)
We see and hear birth “bumper stickers” every day…

“Trust birth”

“I am strong”

“My body is built for birth”

“My body, my baby, my birth”

And the list goes on.

The problem is…that these one-liners are not always true.  This leaves countless women feeling like they were lied to, cheated, betrayed; it might make them feel like they are failures, defective, broken, weak…

When the truth is…there is nothing wrong with them.  As a birth culture meaning to do well by making women believe they are capable and strong, by trying to empower them with reassuring phrases, we are inadvertently creating these expectations that are impossible to make true all the time.


As I sat in the middle of Christopher Creek on Sunday, watching the water flow past me, I couldn’t help but make the obvious correlations between water, going with the flow, the birth journey...

All the clichés I have picked up after being immersed in birth work for the last five years wanted to be made:

Women are all the rocks in the water, 
strong in the face of the surges

The water moves around and over us,
 but it can’t take away who we are

We can be in in the midst of labor
 and be strong as we go with the flow

It could have been very easy to get carried away with this line of thought and write a grandiose reflection on how amazing we are.

Then, a little stick snagged upright in the rocks caught my eye.  And I thought, why?  Why do we resist the idea of being vulnerable? Why are we afraid of being compared to something breakable?  What is it about this place of not knowingwhen we might break out of our safety and security that makes us so uncomfortable?


So I changed the course and let my mind reflect on, “What if we were more like the sticks instead of the rocks?”

If we are like this little stick stuck in the rocks, the water can still flow around us.  All the sensations, sights, sounds of the birth journey can happen to us.  Although we are just an insignificant little stick caught in the rocks in the creek bed, we are still The Stick.  Who we are at our core is still “us”.  All the things that shaped and grew us are still true while we are in our birth journey.

And yet, we wait.  We know this place of safety cannot last forever.  What if we wait, even look for, that moment when we are torn loose from the rocks? What if we allow our safety and security to be torn away from us, and throw ourselves deep into the current of the birth journey?  No expectations, no demands, we simply allow ourselves to be and see where the current takes us.

When we are pulled into this current, we are no longer letting it flow around us – we are in it, feeling it, experiencing the ups, the downs.  Being in the crevices where we may be caught for a little while, looking around us, observing, learning that scenery; until we are loosened again and taken up into the flow of the waters one more time.

Where we land, how the birth journey plays out…we do not know where that place will be.  Yet when we land, we are still ourselves, weak in the grand scheme of the water and rocks in the creek, yet stronger for having taken the journey, and transformed into a new shape as the rocks and the water had their effect on us.

I encourage all of you who are gravitating to the great platitudes about our body, our birth and our babies to really sit with the idea of being vulnerable.  And yet strong enough to survive and be transformed by the journey of pregnancy, labor and birth.  Because survive it you will.

What you do with everything that you experience…that is up to you.  I hope you will celebrate your moments of brilliance, watch for the moment(s) of surprise, learn from your flashes of weakness.  

Most of all, I wish you joy as you travel through the process of discovering your new normal, still the person you were before, yet growing a new branch on your tree.  You are now growing into motherhood.



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




Q&A with SPB: Benefits of Meditation

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



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

Different ways you can meditate:

Focus on:

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


Why do we want to reduce anxiety in pregnancy?

Anxiety during pregnancy may:

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


What are the benefits of meditation?

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

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


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

Three main kinds of meditation that have been scientifically studied:

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.chopra.com

www.freemindfulness.org

www.relaxationresponse.org

Local resources:
www.meditationlearningcenter.com

www.pathsofgrowth.com

www.moxiemeditation.com

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

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

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

Monday Mantra: Give Up Birthing

Posted on February 2, 2015 at 7:14 PM Comments comments (28)
I continue to search for words that are not "Birth Bumper Stickers", and instead allow for a mother to reflect and find meaning for herself and her particular birth journey.

Today I was feeling like a little Georgia O'Keefe was called for - so many of her images are about openings, and that is exactly what I invite you to do as you experience pregnancy and birth journey: open ourselves to the experience and embrace the lessons that lie within it.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
No matter how we birth, after the Birth-Day, we all become parents.  There is no pass or fail as far as that goes.  Set yourself up with the words that encourage you to be the best parent for your baby, from pregnancy, birth and beyond.


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

Monday Mantra: Your Best Birth

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 5:58 PM Comments comments (0)
If you follow us on social media, you probably know that Cassandra, our guest blogger and social media maven, is expecting her second Sweet Pea any day now.  As a matter of fact, she is 41 weeks today.
 
When we were corresponding last week, she sent a plea that most pregnant women in their last weeks of pregnancy send:
“I need something; grounding, reassurance; I’m not sure!”
 
I sent her some ideas to help pass the time until it’s “real McCoy” labor…she will be writing a post about that later in the week (maybe!).
 
I also sent her some words that she turned into a beautiful image for the lock screen on her phone: 

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Art Piece by Alisha Vernon
Image credit: Cassandra Okamoto

 
While I hope they offer her (and anyone else they speak to) some reassurance, energy and courage, I offer them with love and caution.
 
After taking the first part of a training offered by Birthing From Within, I am painfully aware of the power of the words we use, especially around the topic of birth.  As Pam England calls them, these “bumper stickers” of the birthing world can be incredibly damaging.
 
These bumper stickers are ideas like, “Trust Birth”, “Empowered Birth”, “Birth Works” – you catch my drift.  If they hold true, they have the potential to encourage the mother throughout labor and motherhood.  On the other hand, say the birth has unforeseen or outcomes the mother/family did not prepare for or expect…then the woman might be left feeling powerless, helpless, something like a failure.
 
So when you read the mantra and absorb the message, hear all of what I am trying to convey:
 
Your body and your baby are functioning within a cycle of birth that is timeless. There is sacredness and beauty in the process of pregnancy, labor and birth. 
 
The reality is that even with the best preparation, birth is unique, fluid and unpredictable. I feel like the words I sent Cassandra give any birthing family the “permission” to embrace even an “imperfect” birth, for *that* journey was what *that* body and *that* baby needed for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.
 
I encourage you to adjust your lens: instead of focusing on the outcome, embrace the journey.  What are you meant to learn from this journey through pregnancy, labor and birthing?  By maintaining a realistic outlook that sometimes interventions are necessary and desirable for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome, you can mentally prepare for the outliers and then celebrate the baby instead of the process.
 
So please embrace all of it – whatever happens, your body and your baby know what kind of birth they need for both of you to be well after the journey.  Sometimes Mother Nature needs no help at all, or sometimes a little encouragement.  At the other extreme, sometimes it takes all of the available medical technology to have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  Embrace it, accept it, own it, learn from it.  It is your unique birth journey into motherhood, waiting just for you to uncover all the lessons and treasures hidden as unexpected forks in the road.


Do you have a favorite affirmation? What encouraged you?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

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


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