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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

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Monday Mantra: Nourish Body + Baby

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (0)
"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 (0)
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 (0)

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 (0)
"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




REVIEW: ACOG Committee Opinion on Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 6:24 PM Comments comments (0)
Note: all words in this piece that are in “quotation marks” are excerpts or quotes from the ACOG Committee Opinion published February 2017.  HERE is that article.


 
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology just came to a very important conclusion in THIS Committee Opinion that was published in February 2017:
 
“Many common obstetric practices are of limited or uncertain benefit for low-risk women in spontaneous labor. In addition, some women may seek to reduce medical interventions during labor and delivery. Satisfaction with one’s birth experience also is related to personal expectations, support from caregivers, quality of the patient–caregiver relationship, and the patient’s involvement in decision making (57). Therefore, obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should be familiar with and consider using low-interventional approaches, when appropriate, for the intrapartum management of low-risk women in spontaneous labor.”
 
FINALLY.
 
Yes, it is a little frustrating that it has taken years for the doctors who manage pregnancy, labor and birth to acknowledge that less intervention is best for birth outcomes.  However, I am grateful that ACOG has caught up with Dr. Bradley and all the other proponents of dignity in birth that know “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”
 
The part that interests me the most as a childbirth educator is how they treat the topic of pain relief and coping techniques in labor.  There is the acknowledgement that, “pharmacologic methods mitigate pain, but they may not relieve anxiety or suffering. “
 
And then this statement:
“None of the nonpharmacologic techniques have been found to adversely affect the woman, the fetus, or the progress of labor, but few have been studied extensively enough to determine clear or relative effectiveness.”
 
So there is finally the recognition that nonparmacologic techniques do not adversely affect the woman, the fetus or the progress of labor. And to CYA, they have to state that there is no conclusive study to determine effectiveness.  Be that as it may, it doesn’t matter to me as a childbirth educator if a study can measure the effectiveness.  What I do know as an educator and a doula is that if the mother perceives a pain coping practice as effective, it is being effective for her in that moment.
 
The key to continuing that pain coping practice hinges on two questions: “Is the mother okay? Is the baby okay”” As long as both the mother and the baby continue to tolerate the intensity of labor, then the conclusion effectively says LEAVE THEM ALONE.
 
In the article there are two distinctions between pain coping practices:
 
The pain coping practices that have been studied and, “have all demonstrated statistically significant reductions in pain in many studies”
Water immersion consistently has been found to lower pain scores (8, 34).
Intradermal sterile water injections
Relaxation techniques
Acupuncture
Massage
 
“Other techniques may help women cope with labor more than directly affect pain scores”
Childbirth education
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS]
Aromatherapy
Audioanalgesia
 
Here are some more areas of discussion in the committee opinion that bring obstetric care into the humane versus management for their convenience.  I have included the corresponding bullet points from the summary and also provided some lay-person translation as needed.
 
Latent Labor: Labor Management and the Timing of Admission
·       “For a woman who is at term in spontaneous labor with a fetus in vertex presentation, labor management may be individualized (depending on maternal and fetal condition and risks) to include techniques such as intermittent auscultation and nonpharmacologic methods of pain relief.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: If your baby is head-down when you start labor, then your labor management can be individualized and include intermittent fetal monitoring (freedom to move as labor indicates) instead of continuous fetal monitoring (thus anchored to the bed) AND mother is free to try any method of pain relief of non-drug pain relief that she would like to try.
 
·       “Admission to labor and delivery may be delayed for women in the latent phase of labor when their status and their fetuses’ status are reassuring. The women can be offered frequent contact and support, as well as nonpharmacologic pain management measures.”

IN OTHER WORDS: If your labor has started and your bag of waters is intact, there is no rush to admit you to the labor and delivery ward.  If the mother is okay and the baby is okay, phone contact and support from your care provider is the order of the day, and the mother is free to continue with any non-drug pain coping practice that is working for her.
 
Term Premature Rupture of Membranes
·       Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should inform pregnant women with term premature rupture of membrane (PROM [also known as prelabor rupture of membranes]) who are considering a period of expectant care of the potential risks associated with expectant management and the limitations of available data. For informed women, if concordant with their individual preferences and if there are no other maternal or fetal reasons to expedite delivery, the choice of expectant management for a period of time may be appropriately offered and supported. For women who are group B streptococci (GBS) positive, however, administration of antibiotics for GBS prophylaxis should not be delayed while awaiting labor. In such cases, many patients and obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers may prefer immediate induction.
 
IN OTHER WORDS:
If your bag of water breaks and you are not GBS-positive, you as the patient can decline immediate induction and this committee opinion instructs the care provider to support the patient in that choice.  If you are informed, you also know this includes declining vaginal exams that have the potential to introduce infection and that water immersion is an available pain coping practice (see Henci Goer’s Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth”).
 
What bothers me a little is that if a woman is not informed, it sounds like they are going to railroad her into the immediate induction route.  Yuck.
 
As for women who are GBS-positive, the recommendation is to admit the patient and start the administration of antibiotics.  The committee says that the preference is for immediate induction, but it doesn’t say one way or the other that it is the best practice.  You can go back to those two important questions, “Is mom okay? Is baby okay?” If you get YES answers to both of those questions, you may think about getting the antibiotics and then postponing anything else that is offered until there is a medical indication “to do something”.
 
Continuous Support During Labor
·       “Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS:  LET THE DOULAS IN THE ROOM!!!
 
Routine Amniotomy
·       “For women with normally progressing labor and no evidence of fetal compromise, routine amniotomy need not be undertaken unless required to facilitate monitoring.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Amniotomy is the artificial breaking of the bag of waters.  You can read the info sheet on this procedure HERE. What this committee opinion states clearly is that THERE IS NO REASON to break the bag of waters if labor is progressing and there is no evidence of fetal compromise.  Not to “help things along”.  Not to “speed labor”.  Not “to see what happens”. NONE. DO NOT break the bag of waters.
 
The only reason stated for breaking the bag of waters is in the case of the need of an internal fetal monitor. This monitor is screwed into the baby’s fontanel, so in order to facilitate access to said fontanel, the bag of waters needs to be out of the way.
 
Intermittent Auscultation
·       “To facilitate the option of intermittent auscultation, obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers and facilities should consider adopting protocols and training staff to use a hand-held Doppler device for low-risk women who desire such monitoring during labor.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Get with the program and learn how to do labor evaluation with a hand-held Doppler device.  P.S.: Midwives have been doing this for years.
 
There are many risks associated with continuous fetal monitoring – for more information I recommend you read THIS Cochrane review that shows how a decrease in fetal monitoring increases positive birth outcomes.  There are many cases of false positives with continuous fetal monitoring.  These false positives result in a more aggressive management of labor that often leads to an increase in unnecessary cesarean birth outcomes.  While there is a time and a place and much gratitude for cesarean births that are needed, it is devastating for a mother to read her operative report and realize that her cesarean birth could have been avoided with a different approach to her care.
 
Techniques for Coping With Labor Pain
·       “When women are observed or admitted for pain or fatigue in latent labor, techniques such as education and support, oral hydration, positions of comfort, and nonpharmacologic pain management techniques such as massage or water immersion may be beneficial.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Don’t push the epidural if the patient wants to try some other things first.
 
·       “Use of the coping scale in conjunction with different nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic pain management techniques can help obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers tailor interventions to best meet the needs of each woman.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Treat your patients as individuals!! What works for one does not work for all.  And pain is not the only marker for labor management.  As stated in the committee opinion, “pharmacologic methods mitigate pain, but they may not relieve anxiety or suffering.“  If the mother can handle the pain and is doing something that does reduces anxiety or suffering, that is ok.  It may be hard to watch, however, doing nothing is fine as long as the mother and the baby are doing well.
 
 
Hydration and Oral Intake in Labor
“Women in spontaneously progressing labor may not require routine continuous infusion of intravenous fluids. Although safe, intravenous hydration limits freedom of movement and may not be necessary.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Routine use of IV fluids is out!! Yeah!! The whole tone of this committee opinion is to treat patients as individuals, so if there is no medical indication and the patient declines routine IV, then leave her to labor without IV fluids.
 
HERE  is the summary of research presented at the Anesthesiology® 2015 Annual Meeting.  It states that, “most healthy women can skip the fasting and, in fact, would benefit from eating a light meal during labor…improvements in anesthesia care have made pain control during labor safer, reducing risks related to eating”.
 
 
Maternal Position During Labor
·       “Frequent position changes during labor to enhance maternal comfort and promote optimal fetal positioning can be supported as long as adopted positions allow appropriate maternal and fetal monitoring and treatments and are not contraindicated by maternal medical or obstetric complications.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: As long as labor is progressing and mom and baby are well, let a mom labor in whatever position she deems useful.  When it’s time to monitor the baby, any position that allows for monitoring to happen is still acceptable. The easiest for the nurse and the most uncomfortable position for the mother/baby is to have the mother lie on her back (supine).  According to this committee opinion, other positions are now within range of acceptable.  Positions such as side lying, hands and knees, or tailor sitting are all examples of other positions that allow for fetal rotation and engagement in the pelvis while keeping the mother still enough to undergo fetal monitoring.
 
Second Stage of Labor: Pushing Technique
·       “When not coached to breathe in a specific way, women push with an open glottis. In consideration of the limited data regarding outcomes of spontaneous versus Valsalva pushing, each woman should be encouraged to use the technique that she prefers and is most effective for her.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: Don’t tell a woman how to push.  If she follows her instincts, the baby will come out.  Valsalva pushing is when a woman is directed to do forceful pushing during a contraction for a certain count with no regard to what her body is doing physiologically.  Physiological pushing allows for a woman to work with her contractions: as she feels the peak, she will push as long as is comfortable. End of story.
 
Immediate Versus Delayed Pushing for Nulliparous Women With Epidural Analgesia
·       “In the absence of an indication for expeditious delivery, women (particularly those who are nulliparous with epidural analgesia) may be offered a period of rest of 1–2 hours (unless the woman has an urge to bear down sooner) at the onset of the second stage of labor.”
 
IN OTHER WORDS: “Nulliparous” means a woman that has not given birth before.  Unless there is a medical reason for the baby to be born as soon as possible, women, including those who have epidural analgesia, are to be allowed a time period between the time they are completely dilated (10 cm) and pushing.  If the woman is monitored and both she and baby are shown to be well, up to two hours can be allowed for the baby to descend into a position that creates the urge to push, thus making the pushing phase more effective.
 
Sometimes the cervix is open and the baby is still high in the pelvis, thus there is no urge to push.  When the pushing phase begins before there is an urge to push, this effectively “starts the clock” by which a care provider or hospital policy may deem it necessary to intervene with a vaginal operative birth (vacuum or forceps delivery) or a cesarean birth. 
 
 
I hope this little review offers you the confidence as a consumer to advocate for what you know is right for you and your baby.  Our inner wisdom about birth is present and powerful if we can allow it a voice in our labor space.

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 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


Just Tell Me

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 9:39 AM Comments comments (0)


I was reminded again yesterday how prevalent the stigma still is around the struggle after a baby is born: baby blues, postpartum depression, onset of anxiety in the postpartum period...

The transition into motherhood is hard.  The first child is pretty shocking, even if you have a good support system. Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming emotion and experience of holding a helpless newborn, the blood that is dripping out of you for the next few weeks, and then learning to breastfeed on top of all that.  It is doable, and people have been doing it for generations, so you know in your head it's possible...but your body is screaming WTF just happened here.

On top of all this, is the pressure from society to pretend that nothing happened. Bounce out of bed with full make-up, pose for some pictures, host everyone who wants to come meet the baby, and fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes by the time the six-week check up comes around or you are a slug who just can't get it together.

As you add Sweet Peas to your family, there is still an adjustment period. The love happens - you will have enough.  The adjustment for me was learning how to manage the time and the house with 2+ children.  A wise woman once told me, "Lower your expectations every time and you will do great."  Another wise woman reminded me, "They are not all two at the same time."  More on those topics another day...back to the topic at hand.

An older woman asked me why I write about postpartum so much...her generation just got on with it. She asked me why this was such "a thing" for women of this day and age.

My answer is I DON'T KNOW. Is it the food we are eating that doesn't support the hormonal shift as well as it used to? Is it that we know now that drinking and smoking are not the best stress relievers for mothers of newborns?Is it the pressure of  social media to "fakebook" and we are speaking up to say, "not today"? Is is the age of the internet that allows us to gather information and know that we are not alone? 

I have no idea.  My point today is, it is okay to ask for help if you need it.  Maybe you don't need help.  Maybe you had a satisfactory birth experience and your support network is amazing and enlightened and you are doing great.  Yeah!! Bonus points for you. (and I don't believe you)

There are also GOLD STARS waiting for you if you are able to say two of the hardest words, HELP ME.  I just read an affirmation today that really sparked me along with running into some friends who reminded me just how important postpartum care is to families who are struggling:

"It is healthy for me to say what I need and accept help".

When your childbirth educator, doula, midwife or anyone else in your life you cares about you calls you and asks how you are doing, for your own sake, tell us the truth!! 

We expect to hear, "I'm fine!" "Things are great!" "All good!"

What we are listening for are the in-betweens: the pauses, the crack in your voice, the tiredness as you speak.  We have been there - we know it is hard - we know it's an adjustment, and we want to help you. We will try to find a way to see you if we are concerned. So just make it easier for us to help you - tell us without shame, because we have been there, too.

Please tell the people who ask you and want to be there for you what you need.  We will show up and we will support you in any way we can as you make the transition from maiden to mother.  It is okay - you are still a great mom.

Doula Services

Posted on February 21, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleMore and more people are thinking about using doulas or making space in their birth budget for doula care. Doulas are a great resource and can be a huge asset when it comes to preparing for the birth journey. My favorite analogy is that they are tour guides - they have been on the birth journey before and can point out the major landmarks and the subtle nuances. It's up to you to decide how to use that information to have your best possible birth given the circumstances.

Here are some things we share with our students when they are thinking about hiring a doula:

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Doulas comes in a huge variety - there is no one right way to be a good doula.  Be sure to interview at least 2-3 so you can get a feel for their personality.  Most are happy to do a preliminary phone interview. If that goes well, schedule an in-person meet and greet. We ask our students to consider if they can see themselves naked in front of the person they hire...because it may just happen and if it does, you don't want to have to think about it - you just want to be able to do whatever you need to do to birth your sweet pea.

BASIC SERVICES
Standard doula care typically includes 2-3 prenatal visits, assistance through your birth, and 1-2 postpartum visits.

Prenatal visits last anywhere from 1-2 hours, give or take. They are intended to help you and your doula get on the same page about your birth wishes, offer some time for childbirth preparation, and also have time to talk through what your wishes are if things start to move away from your plan.

Birth support typically includes being on call for you 24/7 from 2 weeks before to two weeks after your due date. Doulas will not typically take on clients if they have a vacation planned within that window - they want to be there for you and that four-week window is a commitment they make to be available when you need them.  You will decide during your pre-natal visits when you will be calling them.  Some families want support while they labor at home, others only want labor support at the birth place. If you are having a home birth, then you will want to talk to your doula about their communication with the rest of the birth team. Again, there is no right or wrong way to use a doula - you hire them to support you in the way that you want to be supported.

A doula will be with you when you are ready for labor support and will stay with you until your baby is born. Typically they stay for 2-3 hours after the birth to make sure you are settled in your recovery space at home or at the hospital, to make sure you eat something and that breastfeeding is off to a good start. Doulas are not necessarily lactation consultants; most do have basic training to help a MotherBaby get a good latch for the first feeding.

Postpartum visits typically happen within a day or two of your sweet pea's birth, and then maybe one more at a week or two weeks postpartum to review your birth story and answer any questions you may have about your birth. While birth doulas have a different scope of practice than postpartum doulas, some may offer to prepare food or do a load of laundry or clean a bathroom, etc., while they are there.

ADD-ON SERVICES
In this day and age, many doulas offer more than birth preparation and support.  Here are some of the different services doulas may also offer:

Prenatal massage
Reiki
Maternity photography
Birth Photography
Newborn Photography
Placenta Encapsulation
Belly Binding
Postpartum Care Packages
Herbal Teas + Tinctures
IBCLC Lactation Services

PRICING
Doulas have a lot to consider when they set the fee for their service.  They have spent hours and money on training. Some continue to take classes every year to stay sharp and hone their skills. If they have children, they have to arrange and sometimes pay for childcare. Some carry liability insurance and have fees associated with maintaining a personal website. If they also offer childbirth education there are yearly dues with their certifying organization. If they are an accredited doula, they also have their yearly dues with their doula organization.  In other words, it isn't free to be a doula!

Doula services start around $400 and in some areas of the country range up to $2000 for their basic packages (prenatal visits, birth support, postpartum visits).  Fees may vary based on their experience and added services that can be factored into their fee for a "one-stop shop" experience.

Even if you don't think you can afford a doula, think about what you can offer. They can work for trade, barter, or exchange of other services. Some do offer a sliding scale or scholarship when they can - it never hurts to ask.

Those of us who love birth work and believe in supporting families so that all mothers and babies have the opportunity to birth peacefully will work with you. Do not ask a doula to work for free - as I outlined above, doulas really can't if they are working to support their family.  Even if a doula is new and "training" she has already invested in her skills in order to better support you.

THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER
Hiring a doula is a personal decision. The person that your sister or best friend loved may be a lovely person. However, that does not necessarily make them the best person to help you along on your birth journey.

Take a minute to think about what you think your ideal labor support person is going to be: hands-on, hands-off? In charge? More of a guide? Involve the husband as a partner? 

Keep in mind that although The Bradley Method® places the wife and husband as equal partners in the birth process, not all birth partners want that mantle of responsibility. If your birth partner is saying they are not sure or they absolutely do not want to be in the middle of the action, explore how that works for you.  

Your doula will help you create a space that welcomes your sweet pea. Trust your instinct about what is right for your family and make the best of the birth journey that you and your baby need.

What do you look for in a doula?

Disclaimer: 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleThe 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 and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Mesa,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



Q&A with SPB: Extended Family in the Birth Space

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 6:42 AM Comments comments (0)
We continue on with our "Ask the Doula" series.  Today my friend Darcy shares her thoughts on how a doula might handle family members in the birthing space:






Here is a summary of Darcy's thoughts for you:

Recognize that family may have been waiting for 9-10 months sometimes longer

Honor all family at a birth 
 
As a doula, I try to make myself small if there are a lot of people.  I make the effort not to take up more space than I need to
 
Roles: do you assign everyone in attendance something to do?
That would be something to discuss with the couples during a prenatal visit with the doula.

Ask: Who is coming?
Prepare them for what is happening during the birth process so that they can share them with the family
 
Once the baby is out, everyone is very excited!
 
Remind the family that even though the baby is here, it’s not the end of the work for mom.

Sometimes there is repair work that needs to be done.

Give mom+partner power to say they need space or that people are welcome.
 
Goal: Empower the nuclear family
 
It is so individual ~ every family is different
There may be cultural elements to consider
Every one has a good vision for what they want
Tools to Be able to set up boundaries
 
Good words:
No – this is enough
Or now is the time – you get this much time
 
Empower moms to set up the boundaries they need for their nuclear family

THANK YOU, Darcy, for your time and your thoughtful answer <3

Connect with Darcy Newlin:
Phone Number: 602-402-0855


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

Feeding Sweet Peas Home-Grown Goodness

Posted on February 2, 2017 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)
Thank you to Jenny Silverstone, from Mama Loves Best, for writing our guest post in support of breastfeeding, one of our favorite topics here at SPB.

Feeding our Babies Home-Grown Goodness

Motherhood isn’t always easy. You often have to make choices that aren’t always simple or popular. You sometimes have to dig deep to get the information you need to make the crucial decisions that will affect your baby for the rest of his or her life.

Every choice you make for your baby counts, whether it’s the birthing method, the products you use, or the food choices you make for your child. 

When it comes to nutrition for your baby, breasts are best. It’s not just rhetoric -- science backs up what many mothers have long suspected. Our breasts are here for a reason, and that reason is to give our babies the nutrition they need to get a great, healthy start in life. As moms, we are fully equipped to give our babies everything they need, if only we learn to trust ourselves and know that we’ll find our way on this incredible journey.

At MomLovesBest, we are committed to helping moms find the information they need to make the best choices for their kids and their families. Our new infographic, The 111 Benefits of Breastfeeding, gives everyone compelling reasons to consider breastfeeding their babies

This infographic details the health benefits for both babies and mothers, and what breastfeeding can do for society as a whole. After all, we’re all on this crazy ride called motherhood together -- by working together to educate, grow and learn, we can help the newest generation of mothers and their babies live healthier, happier lives. 

While motherhood can be a lot of responsibility, you’ll find that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all -- you’ll treasure every moment, even the difficult ones. That first smile, laugh or kiss from your baby is worth any effort you go through!


Read the full article to learn more about each benefit at


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 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




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