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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 (122)
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 (53)
"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?






Inside Look: Meditation for Mama Circle

Posted on April 13, 2016 at 10:09 AM Comments comments (0)

April's "Inside Look" feature is an amazing new service available to all pregnant mothers in Maricopa County, Arizona.  It is offered by the midwife at Moxie Midwifery, Jennifer Hoperich.  The circle meets in Tempe, conveniently located off the I-10 freeway and Warner Road.  We have had the pleasure of experiencing Jennifer's amazing work in meditation. In a perfect world, every mama would be able to attend at least one of her Meditation for Mama circle sessions.

Tell me about the meditation circle - what's the intention? Who can attend?
The intention of the circle is to provide a safe and nourishing space for pregnant women to learn about and practice meditation as well as to deeply connect with their babies, themselves,  and each other.   All pregnant women are welcomed into the circle, regardless of when, how, where, or with whom they are birthing.
 
What are the benefits of meditation? How is it beneficial during pregnancy?
We know that any physical symptom or disease that stress causes or exacerbates can be alleviated by meditation.  This includes high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, etc.  Meditation assists with all of these, inducing better sleep, allowing for higher satisfaction with life in general, increasing patience and focus, and improving relationships with friends, family and coworkers.   These benefits can certainly be appreciated and enjoyed in pregnancy. 
 
In addition, it is my personal belief that babies who receive the benefits of the mamas meditating have a head start in life.  When they have been bathed with “happy hormones” from the beginning that becomes a baby’s baseline, their “norm.” If this can continue into their birth process, all the better!  As they learn and grow, and as they seek out a partner and an occupation, if they have safety, LOVE and harmony as their foundation, that is what they will seek out.  The aim of Meditation for Mamas is not just peace and calm now.  The aim, quite literally, is world peace, one human being at a time. Peace on Earth begins with birth.  In addition to the health benefits mentioned, pregnant mamas getting together create community.  And community is essential to a happy and healthy pregnancy and postpartum period.


Are there any contraindications during pregnancy?
The only contraindications would be for women who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness in which periods of sustained self-reflection could be harmful, such as Multiple Personality Disorder or Schizophrenia with active psychosis.  Women of all abilities and mobilities are welcomed. Meditation can be done seated in a chair, on the floor, or even lying down. 

What is your favorite aspect of this kind of group?
I love the permission in the space to just "be".  And, I love seeing mamas taking the time to connect with their babies without any distractions.  

What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining and has never done meditation before?
There is absolutely no experience necessary!  We cover the basics of meditation, including relaxed breathing, at every class. Some participants meditate every day, while others only meditate during class. Pregnancy is the perfect time to start new healthy habits.  It's often a time where mamas start eating more organic foods, exercising more regularly, and taking better care of themselves overall.  Adding in a meditation routine during pregnancy not only benefits the woman and her baby, but also everyone else in her life... her other children, her spouse, coworkers, etc. And, we know that it typically takes 21 days to build a habit.  So, once women are meditating regularly in pregnancy, they are much more likely to be successful in continuing the practice, after they give birth.  And, children who witness their parents meditating are more likely to pick it up themselves. So, it's a win for the entire family! 

When and Where do you meet? How much does it cost? What does a mama need to bring/wear to be comfortable?
We meet at Moxie Midwifery, 8400 S. Kyrene Rd. Ste. 120 Tempe, AZ 85284, every Monday at 6:30pm.  The group is free, and participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle, a favorite pillow, and a blanket.  And, all of those things are also provided, if they forget! 


Is there anything else our readers should know about meditation or the mama circle?
Meditation is a powerful de-stressing and balancing tool that is helpful to and accessible by all people, all walks of life, all demographics, all socio economic categories, and all religions.  I am excited to share it with pregnant mamas in the Valley!

For more information about Moxie Meditation you can click the links below:

HERE IS A VLOG FROM LAST YEAR THAT I SHARED AFTER A MEDITATION SESSION WITH JENNIFER - SHE IS AMAZING!!


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
 


 

Monday Mantra: Power is in the Pain

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 9:28 AM Comments comments (0)
Our first Bradley Baby of the season has arrived safely earthside! Her mama shared that this phrase helped her immensely: the power is in the pain.She was able to refocus the sensation of pain and turn it into a positive during her labor.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonAs childbirth educators, we view pain as something to notice and inform choices in labor, not something to fear.  Is there a different position to try? Could it mean that the baby is misaligned, and it's time to try some strategies to reposition baby? Did something just happen that caused spiritual or emotional pain that needs to be addressed? Is it something to embrace as it intensifies because it means your labor is progressing as it should? 

Bradley students learn breath awareness, comfort measures, and strategies for physical, mental and emotional relaxation. This allows for mothers and coaches to embrace the sensations of labor without giving into fear of the pain.

This is a transformative approach to the intensity of labor.  I hope that this may be a source of inspiration for your labor and birth journey.

Note: We also teach our students to notice the difference between positive pain that is part of a healthy, low-risk labor, and other factors that may indicate that a particular pain is the body's early warning system. If the pain does not ebb and flow with the sensation of the contractions, ask to have someone check the position of the baby.  If the pain is accompanied by changes in the mother or the baby's vital signs, or by significant blood loss, those are indicators that the labor is moving out of "healthy, low-risk" and necessitates medical attention.

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®.









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: I Am Safe

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 8:28 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonI don't know of anything more iconic than the image of an ocean as an analogy for wideness.  I also love that the waves are visible in this image; that is another common metaphor in birth for the sensation of the ebb and flow of contractions.

I encourage you to reflect on these thoughts:
  • How will you create a space, or where your safe space be, so you can open wide and birth your baby? 
  • What kind of work do you have to do so you feel safe and enable your body to have a childbirth without fear?

Side note about this affirmation:
My work as a doula this year put me on the quest for more birth affirmations.  I highly recommend the book Manifest Sacred Birth by Ishtar Blue if you are looking for a more spiritual journey through your childbearing year.  It helped me find more words to share with mothers during prenatal visits, and also affirmations for them to meditate on during pregnancy and birth.

This book is a nice supplement to the "how-to" aspect of a Bradley Method® class.  The author delves into the mind-body-spirit connection...here is an overview with a link to ordering information:

"Intuitive Birthing, a term coined by Ishtara, is not about right and wrong ways of birthing, but to help you access your intuition easily in order to birth how it is right for you to birth. By following the Manifest Sacred Birth Programme you can birth connected and tuned in to follow your unique body signals and intuition, so that your birth can be blissful and pain free. If you are in a “sacred” place, you hear your intuition easily so you can open your light womb up wide. When you cannot hear the inner voice, you act from a place of fear, you are “scared”. It is this fear which blocks the birth hormones from being released and prevents you from opening up your womb easily and without pain. The key intuitive birthing techniques which are an integral part of the 40-day programme include visualisation, mantra, meditation, ceremony and more, and are designed for regular practise from around week twenty of the pregnancy, but to familiarise yourself with from before that time, then to use during the actual birth itself." 

To be clear, Bradley Method® does not promise a pain--free birth...we strive to teach a birthing family to have a healthy pregnancy, and we empower them with information of how the body works in labor, and offer them tools to labor without interventions.  We were able to have vaginal births without the use of an epidural simply with the information we learned in Bradley classes.  However, I recognize that is not enough for everyone, and this read definitely offered me better guidance as a doula who needed to connect at a deeper level with mamas since I don't have the love connection the coach shares with her.  

I hope you like this affirmation - more to come from Manifest Sacred Birth in the upcoming weeks!

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 IS A Body at Peak Performance

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Dr. Bradley's natural birth principles are centered around supporting the laboring mother without interrupting her labor.  He describes the six needs of a laboring mother in his book, Husband-Coached Childbirth (you can find a brief synopsis HERE).  

I always enjoy reading other authors who promote the same philosophy from their unique experience and perspective.  One of the books that was part of our re-certification a couple of years ago (that I now get to share with students through our lending library) is Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, written by Sarah J. Buckley, MD.

Today's mantra was inspired by some of her writing on undisturbed birth from that book.  If you can't find it in your book store or local library, you can enjoy most of the book via Google books.

Here is the excerpt that struck a chord with me today:

"Undisturbed birth does not imply that birth will be pain-free.  The stress hormones released in birth are equivalent to those of an endurance athlete, which reflects the magnitude of this event, and explains some of the sensations of birth.  And like a marathon runner, a woman's task in birth is not so much to avoid the pain - which usually makes it worse, but to realize that birth is a peak bodily performance for which our bodies are superbly designed.  Undisturbed birth gives us the space to find our own rhythm in an atmosphere of support and trust, which will also help to optimize our birth hormones, aiding us further in transmuting pain."

~Page 98, ©2009

These words were especially poignant today since we had a class reunion with our Winter 2013-14 class last evening.  We always learn something new from all the birth stories that are shared.  Some moms reported pain, others called it intense, others did not mention it at all - what ever it was for them, it was their birth and they will remember the details for a long time.  

Help the mama in your life embrace her birth peak performance while holding the space for her to have the amazing experience of an undisturbed birth.

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