Author Archives: lovegentlebirth

About lovegentlebirth

I am a birth doula and aspiring midwife using wordpress to bolster my business and communicate important issues regarding childbirth and breastfeeding.

Susan Weed’s Six Steps of Healing- Consider in Your Life and/or Birth

healing

Art by Josephine Wall 

In my blogging absence, I have accomplished quite a bit in my work as a server of my birth community. In August I became an Accredited Breastfeeding Counselor with Breastfeeding USA and started our Bloomington Chapter (first meeting to be held in a few weeks!) I have also been approved to start and lead, with Co-Leader Amy Beck, our ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) Chapter here in Bloomington. In addition to volunteering, I have decided on a Midwifery Program and found a wonderful preceptor! This is what I have been working towards for a while and it thrills me to bits to see it actually coming into fruition!

The point of my post here is something I learned in my Childbirth Educator Course through Birth Arts International. One of my assignments was to consider Susan Weed’s Six Steps of Healing and to use them in both a life scenario and a birth scenario. What I learned from this assignment was that it made things much clearer and easier if I observed/considered each of these steps, often not needing the last few steps. I wanted to share them with you and ask if you have used them, can you share an example and did doing so make things clearer or easier for you?

Susan Weed’s Six Steps of Healing:

Step 0: Do Nothing (sleep, meditate, still the chatter, observe)

Step 1: Gather Information (support groups, low-tech diagnosis, books)

Step 2: Engage the Energy (ceremony, homeopathy, affirmations, laughter, open window)

Step 3: Nourish and Tonify (herbal infusions, vinegars, hugs, food choices, massage)

Step 4: Stimulate/ Sedate (hot/ cold water, many herbal tinctures, acupuncture)

Step 5A Use Supplements (synthesized or concentrated vitamins, minerals, food substances)

Step 5B Use Drugs (chemotherapy, tamoxifen, hormones, high dilution homeopathics, and potentially toxic herbs)

Step 6 Break and Enter (surgery, invasive tests, radiation therapies)

For more information about the Six Steps of Healing, as well as the Three Traditions of Healing, visit here.

Please share your thoughts and/ or experiences below. Do you find these steps useful? Can you apply these to a birth scenario and share how they worked or how they may have worked if the steps were observed?

Advertisements

Love Gentle Birth- Now Serving Bloomington, IN

11156127_963067230371277_4436808459472812061_n

I am happy to announce that we will be relocating this June to Bloomington, Indiana. I look forward to serving a new community and getting to know my fellow doulas! Bloomington, I am told, has a wonderful birthy community with plenty of opportunities to learn, share and grow as a birth worker.

Northern Virginia/ Washington D.C. has been a wonderful place to gain training and experience in working with pregnant and breastfeeding mamas and their families. The amount of wisdom shared from fellow doulas and midwives here will always be remembered and have helped shape the doula I am becoming.

I look forward to completing my Breastfeeding USA certification as a Breastfeeding Counselor this summer. Attending various workshops and trainings this fall and winter are also in my plans to boost my skill set so I may have more services to offer the families I serve. I am continuing my midwifery studies with the guidance of Midwife To Be, and look forward to future opportunities to learn from experienced midwives in Indiana!

Beautiful Birth Stories: Hayley

EarthMother_MED

Here is a beautiful birth story from a fellow blogger and friend, Hayley. Her experience is sure to inspire many moms-to-be on their journey into motherhood.

LUCIEN’S BIRTH STORY

At exactly 3am, May 6th, I woke up with a decent contraction and remembered that I needed to begin making chicken bone broth. I had roasted several frames and had turned off the oven around midnight. Once in the kitchen, I felt another strong contraction and practiced my breathing four in and six out in order to remain standing. I had experienced two false alarms the week previous and decided to watch the clock for an hour before making any judgements. I continued with the broth preparation mindfully greeting and breathing through contractions that arrived every ten minutes. I then moved to my birthing area–the living room—lit candles, donned my birthing bead necklace and began listening to hypnosis tracks. At 4am, I decided to wake Sean up. I was full of excitement and pure joy. Finally, we could meet our baby! I had positive feelings flowing freely.

Sean went into labor-mode instantly and urged me to contact our midwives. I told him there was no rush but I would send a text. At 5am, Sean was timing my contractions and they were averaging three minutes apart. Some of them were becoming quite intense. I reminded myself that I was getting closer to meeting my baby and was able to greet each wave and breathe through. I had some nausea and vomiting that hour and started to worry that I would lose my strength. Thankfully, I had prepared a gallon of laborade the day before and it sustained and hydrated me through the next 5 hours.

Sean filled the birthing pool sometime between 5 and 6am. Our midwife Mindy and an assistant named Becca headed our way along with our close friend Amy who sometimes attends births with our midwives. Jehryn was thankfully still asleep.

I was aware of quiet movement about the house but remained focused on the labor as my hypnosis tracks played. I remember being completely focused on my breath, and being grateful for each contraction. Surrender was my mantra. I also whispered the word “open” over and over, imagining my cervix widening like the various sized circles on the tapestry in our bedroom. At one point, I asked Sean to join me in the birthing pool to check my hips. With Jehryn’s birth, I had been a bit resistant and had held tension there. I didn’t feel tense but wanted to make sure. Sean felt my hips and remarked that I was extremely relaxed.
While he was still in the pool with me, I leaned back against his chest and let my limbs float. I drifted in and out of sleep between surges. Soon I felt the urge to go to the bathroom. I knew that was a sign that I was in transition and probably close to crowning, but I couldn’t believe it was happening so soon. With help, I stepped out of the tub. My body was beginning to form a “C” shape and I knew I would not make it to the bathroom before pushing time. I asked for help to get back into the tub but requested that Sean stay on the outside. We held hands as I transitioned. At that point, I practiced smile meditation. A dear friend had taught this to me two days previous. I envisioned my new baby in front of me and all the love I had for them pouring out of me. I imagined the energy being reflected back into me and smiled a deep smile from my toes up through my body and back out through my eyes. It was so warm and intense, but I can honestly say I felt no pain at that point. I remember Sean laughing softly and whispering “she’s smiling!” Jehryn came into the room as I was crowning. My voice was dropping and I was making those primal guttural noises that only a woman who has birthed a baby can understand. It frightened him a bit and he began to cry. This jarred me and I lost focus for a few seconds as I tried to stifle the sounds. Jehryn was taken for a brief walk, as I regained my focus and pushed with each incredible surge. It was 10:20 in the morning and the sun was pouring on through the kitchen window. I turned my face toward it, wanting something pleasant to see. Minutes later, our baby emerged and we saw that he was a big and beautiful boy. Lucien. His first name was decided immediately and I called for Jehryn to come meet his brother. We were helped out of the (practically clear!) tub and Lucien latched and was nursing within 10 minutes. I had overcome my fear of birthing the placenta so it happened soon after. I was so elated. The birth experience had been spiritual and otherworldly. I was buzzing for days. My pregnancy had been difficult with a lot of nausea and some depression. Lucien’s birth redeemed any pain or difficulty I’d experienced and helped me see that I am powerful and that I have the ability to let go and fully surrender. I knew as soon as he emerged that I want to have more children eventually.

Beautiful Birth Stories: Jill

she-believed

Birth is one of the most beautifully intense experiences. It doesn’t need to be feared in order to be respected. I would like to share the amazing stories of some of my doula clients and friends. These are their own words and feelings. I hope they inspire you and give you confidence for your own journey to motherhood.

The first story comes from a friend and doula client, Jill. I’d like to invite you to share your own story in the comments section or by emailing me directly.

The Birth Story of Gregory John D., born on July 30, 2014

Written by his mother, Jill D.

>Early Pregnancy<

During my second pregnancy, I knew that I had complete control of my birthing experience. All decisions for my baby’s birth would be mine to make, from start to finish.

I was determined to have a healthy pregnancy, which would lead to a healthy delivery. My baby made that easy for me, as I experienced very minimal morning sickness and discomforts. I ate healthily with balanced meals and prenatal vitamins, plus an iron supplement. I exercised consistently. In addition to chasing my young toddler around, I ran. I even continued running 0.5-2 miles most days during my third trimester, up until my 8th month! I transitioned to the elliptical and swimming when I couldn’t run. I did squats to prepare for the position I would most want to deliver in: squatting. This would require leg strength. I also found out later on that squatting is better for preparing the pelvic floor than kegels. I was well on my way to a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

I selected a care provider, Dr. Neil Foster, based on the recommendations of several mommy friends who had great experiences with him. These moms were within a broad range from mainstream to very crunchy. I trusted these women and truly believed that Dr. Foster could give me a positive birth experience, too.

>Childbirth Preparation Program<

During my first birthing time, I used the HypnoBirthing program on recommendation from my midwife. I did not find these techniques to be as helpful as I had anticipated. I could float through a rainbow cloud in my mind, but in person, I wasn’t distracted from childbirth.

I bought and started the Hypnobabies program in my second trimester. It practically guaranteed an easy, comfortable birth experience. I listened to the pregnancy affirmations daily and followed the prescribed schedule of reading the materials and listening to audio recordings. I was completely confident that I was creating the birth I desired by immersing myself in this program.

>Hiring My Doula<

I began to think about hiring a doula in the months prior to birth. When we met the woman who would become my doula, Brianna, I just knew that she was the one for me. First, when we met her, she had the right disposition – if that is the way to put it. She has a calming aura about her, yet she is professional and made me feel like she would stick up for me should I ever need her to. Second, she recommended a reading list for me on pregnancy, birth, and beyond that included many books that I agreed with or respected. I knew we were on the same page with our philosophies, and that made me feel even better about hiring her. She was also willing to learn about my Hypnobabies techniques to help me feel as relaxed as I could be.

>Late Pregnancy<

Late in pregnancy, I began to feel some movements that were, to me, atypical. I felt hits or kicks on my cervix. I found this odd, because this was where my baby’s head was supposed to be sitting. I had a doctor’s appointment at 35.5 weeks. I asked him to tell me how my baby was positioned. He turned on the ultrasound machine. We found feet at my cervix and the head in my upper right pelvis. My baby was breech. I silently panicked. I knew that if I couldn’t turn the baby by delivery, I would need a C-section (if I chose to deliver with my current provider). My doctor mentioned that there were techniques out there to turn the baby, such as in Chinese medicine. (I think he was referring to moxibustion.) On my way out, my doctor’s assistant told me, “Good luck turning that baby!”

At my husband’s suggestion, I wrote to Brianna. I knew that she would reassure me and give me some advice on how to proceed.

I tried everything that I could to turn my child naturally. I crawled around on all fours constantly. I did inversions followed by the breech tilt on my sloped couch. I saw my chiropractor twice per week so she could perform the Webster technique on me. I went to the pool almost every day and turned somersaults. I even did a brief headstand. I put cold packs and peppermint essential oil on my upper belly and played classical music through headphones to my lower belly. I studied images of babies in the optimal position until they were burned in my mind. I downloaded the “Turn Your Breech Baby” track and listened to it daily. I refused to entertain thoughts that I might have a C-section, knowing that the mind is a powerful thing. I even made an appointment with a doctor skilled in breech delivery out of George Washington University in DC. Since this appointment was over our vacation in Rehoboth Beach, DE, I was invested in eliminating the need for this consultation – as was my husband.

I went back to my doctor at 37.5 weeks. My husband promised me that, if I turned the baby, we would go out to a restaurant of my choice. We all sat there nervous yet knowing that I had done everything I could. My doctor asked me if I was optimistic or pessimistic about having turned the baby. I said optimistic, so he pointed the monitor at my lower belly. The moment of truth: I DID IT! We celebrated by emailing our doula, cancelling our consultation, and having dinner at Ford’s Fish Shack.

As I finalized my birth plan, everything was uneventful, aside from one particular item. I wished to have no restrictions on the length of my pregnancy, but my doctor did not want me to go past 41 weeks. At my doula’s suggestion, I requested a biophysical profile should I be pregnant past my guess date. He agreed and extended his timeline for induction to 41+5.

My guess date came and went. I had not told family and friends what this date was, and I’m sure glad I didn’t! I avoided a lot of calls of “Why isn’t the baby here?” from well-meaning people who might have insinuated there was something wrong. Nothing was wrong. My baby came on his own time.

I felt very fatigued beginning around my due date and continuing for a week and a half leading up to labor. I continued to swim about every other day, even up until the day before labor began. I also continued doing inversions and crawling to keep optimal positioning of my baby.

I had my biophysical profile done at 40+4. It revealed that my baby was healthy and could stay put for longer. It also revealed that my child was huge! The ultrasound estimated him at 9.5 lbs., and it showed that his head was large, too. I didn’t think much of this, knowing that my birth experience would completely depend on my mental state at the time and not on baby’s stats.

>Birthing Time<

The night labor started, I was relaxing with my husband, son, and mother (who was in town to care for Simon during my birthing time). We decided to watch a raunchy comedy to make me relax: Clerks II. It was bizarre and funny, and it certainly got my mind off of labor.

After the movie, I felt like my pressure waves were becoming more consistent as opposed to the Braxton Hicks I had felt previously. My mother demanded that Jason and I go upstairs and have sex to help bring on labor. I have to admit, this was a bit strange to hear from the woman who did her best to foil and prevent sexual activity while I was growing up! Yet, I was in a different phase of life and had an entirely different mission, which was to give birth.

Without sharing too much, I did give in to “natural induction” techniques after going upstairs to bed. After this was completed (around midnight on July 30), I tried my best to fall asleep. Simon was already asleep, and I knew I could use the rest, too.

Not long afterwards, I texted Brianna to let her know that things were starting.

I told my mom that things were starting. She was very happy because I would avoid artificial induction. It was an exciting time, but I remembered what Hypnobabies taught me; don’t get excited. Stay calm. This would make sure labor didn’t stall.

I decided to make Simon’s room my cocoon for early labor. My mom got me my blue Camelbak water bottle and some toast with cashew butter. I crawled around and did some squats to help with progress and maintain optimal fetal positioning.

I played the Hypnobabies fear release session for the first time as I moved around and sat on my yoga ball. I deepened my relaxation as I listened to its words. It told me that my higher power was watching over me. I needed to hear that, especially because birth is the closest I believe I will ever feel to God. This was the mortification before the blessing, and my body was made to do it.

After the fear release track, I listened to my deepening track and my “Easy First Stage” track.

During the course of labor at night, my toddler woke up a couple of times and wanted to breastfeed. I was happy to allow him to do so. Once a woman is in labor, nipple stimulation can help strengthen pressure waves and expedite birth. He did nurse during pressure waves. I had hoped to remain silent, but I moaned loudly. My sweet toddler hugged me tight with each pressure wave, knowing I was going through something intense. I will always remember how loving those cuddles were and how he wanted to make sure his mommy was okay.

Brianna arrived at my home around 2:45 a.m. She got settled in as she timed my pressure waves and brushed up on the Hypnobabies birth partner guide, at my request. I was at a point in labor where I could play around with things to see what made me the most comfortable. That is what we did for a few hours. I settled on a certain pattern. Brianna passed her hands over the top of my shoulders while she gave a Hypnobabies cue: release (or relax). She then passed her hands down the middle of my back, to my hips, and she gave a hip squeeze. I also found it helpful to have an ice pack applied to my lower back during pressure waves, which Jason helped with. I continued to take a sip of water after each pressure wave so that I stay strong and avoid an IV.

I got hungry around 5 a.m. Brianna went to my kitchen and cooked me some eggs and toast with cashew butter upon request. I knew that a powerful meal including protein would propel me toward the birth I desired.

I called my doctor’s office after they opened, around 9:15 a.m. This was after I got the urge to throw up, which for me was an indication that labor was making great progress.

I spoke with the receptionist. She was happy for me that labor started on its own. When I mentioned that pressure waves were 4-5 min apart for 45 sec to 1 min, she said, “Oh, you have to go to the hospital NOW. I’ll let Dr. Foster know you’re coming in.”

Jason packed our sedan with everything I needed for birth and left the SUV for my mom and toddler so that she could drive him to the hospital to meet his sibling about 1-2 hours after the birth.

During the car ride to The Birthing Inn, I experienced 3 strong pressure waves.

We entered the facility and completely  bypassed triage. I needed no checks; my behavior during pressure waves showed the nurses that I was there to stay.

We went to the room. I directed Brianna to cover the clock with a bedsheet. I knew I was not on an artificial timetable and did not care about the time.

I was assigned Ruth as my nurse after the staff briefly reviewed my birth plan and saw my goal was natural birth. Ruth did everything in her power to support this goal, and she did an amazing job at it.

I changed from sweatpants and a zip up hoodie into just a bathing suit top with no pants. I didn’t care about pants as I was about to give birth.

At my first check, I was 5-6 cm open. I was ecstatic! That was the furthest I got without augmentation when I gave birth to Simon!

I looked forward to laboring in the tub, but I was told I couldn’t go in. Ruth feared that if I did, then I wouldn’t want to get out. The baby would come very soon afterward. (We were not allowed to deliver in tubs at The Birthing Inn.)

I was physically shaking from the surge of hormones and was told by Ruth, very matter of factly, that I will have this baby out soon.

I was given an IV to begin my antibiotics for Group B Strep. When the IV was complete, I was free to move around as I desired. For the most part, I stayed on the bed since that was most comfortable to me in late labor. I lied down on my back with the upper half of the bed at an incline. I sandwiched an ice pack between the bed and my back, which helped tremendously during pressure waves. Brianna and Jason could support me in other ways, such as doing hip squeezes and giving me my water after each pressure wave.

I told Brianna and Jason that I decided while at home that I wanted the drugs. I asked Brianna, “Does that make me a wimp?” She said, “Absolutely not. I’m here to support you in whatever decision you make.” They said, you are doing great; I really don’t think you need them. It wasn’t sugarcoated to make me feel better; it was very matter-of-fact. I signed papers to have an epidural, just in case. Even my nurse, Ruth, said that I was doing great and she thought medicine was unnecessary. The anesthesiologist came in, and I said that I wasn’t sure if I wanted it. She even told me not to get it because I was doing so well! She went to another room to assist another mother.

Ruth checked me and found that I was about 7-8 cm. I could not believe how fast I was progressing. The pressure waves even seemed to decrease in intensity. I said that I would go for it and not get the epidural. Jason told me how proud he was of my decision. When the anesthesiologist returned, she said she was happy that I declined medication because she knew I didn’t need it. Wow!

I continued to use my Hypnobabies cues and techniques. I’d say “peace” repeatedly during exhales of particularly challenging waves. I would go to my special, safe place in my mind. For me, this was Hains Point during cherry blossom season – pink trees as far as the eye could see, and an inviting spot to sit under them if I needed to. I was also able to mentally say “release” – an instant hypnosis cue – and visualize a bright bluish-purple color that to me was anesthesia that I could direct wherever I needed it. Brianna and Jason continued to tell me “release” during waves, as well as “relax” – a cue that deepens hypnosis. I listened to my stage 1 birth guide track and remembered that every 20 minutes seemed like only 5 minutes to me.

Jason kept his gaze fixed on the contraction monitor, a screen that I refused to look at (so that I could mentally stay in my safe place). He could tell from the monitor when I would have my next pressure wave and get ready to perform a hip squeeze to relieve pressure.

Ruth set up a bar on my bed to help with delivery. I decided that I would squat while on the bed to deliver my baby.

At the next check, I was about a 9. For some reason, I stayed around a 9 for an hour. Apparently, it was just one side of my cervix that wasn’t opening, so Ruth had me lie on my side to assist with that part. I pressed up on the bar during waves.

I began to feel an intense urge to push. It felt very similar to needing to move my bowels and not being able to. I held the baby in as much as I could after being told that pushing too early could cause a tear in my cervix.

Ruth checked me every 10 minutes or so. After what seemed like forever, and what definitely seemed like the longest part of the birthing process, Ruth announced that I was complete! I was allowed to squat on the bed and begin to push. The MP3 player switched to the second track on my Hypnobabies birthing guide, which assisted me with hypnosis while pushing.

I was still somewhat fearful that I would tear since my sonogram at 40+4 indicated that I would be delivering a big baby with a big head. I asked my nurse if they had oil for me. They did; they oiled me as I began to push.

I knew I was very close. The team brought over a large, free-standing mirror. I used it to help keep the delivery under my control. My doctor, Dr. Foster, was assisting another patient during the majority of my pushing. He is the only doctor in his practice, so another doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Coker (a female), sat at the edge of the bed ready to assist me. She sat next to a table of instruments covered with a blue tarp. I knew I would only need this in an emergency, so I never even thought about it.

It didn’t take long before I exclaimed that I felt like I had to poop. I assumed this was just from the baby, but it turned out I did have to poop. Oops! I am sure she has seen worse. She said nothing and just wiped it away like it was nothing. That made more room for the baby to descend.

At this point, my water had still not broken. Dr. Coker said that there was a big, bulging bag right at the opening. Because I was 41 1/2 weeks along, she recommended that I break it to check for the presence of meconium. She broke it and there was no meconium. Not long afterward, Dr. Foster came in to receive my baby at delivery. We didn’t know if he would even make it! I was able to see my baby’s head and knew just how close we were.

I pushed powerfully and exhaled a deep, loud, guttural “AAAHHH” (not screaming by any means – just a vocalization to help me stay in control) with each surge.

When my baby crowned, I felt relief. What a shock, as I had been told by so many that this was the “ring of fire”. Hardly! When my child’s head was out, Dr. Foster instructed me not to push. I didn’t; it felt just like the time during labor that I was told to hold the baby in. Soon, my baby’s body slid gently out of the birth canal. I immediately went from a feeling of being stuffed with poop to taking the largest “poop” ever and feeling more empty than I ever have.

My baby was born! I did it! I looked down and saw a huge, beautiful child. What a surprise; it was a little BOY! He laid on a blue tarp for a short while. Dr. Foster immediately put a clamp on the cord, which shocked me. I said, oh please, take it off! I begged him. I had asked for delayed cord clamping and was surprised that this didn’t happen. Luckily, they took some scissors from under that tarp and removed the clamp. They waited some minutes before clamping it again. Jason cut the cord.

Our sweet newborn was placed on my chest and covered with a special blanket I brought from home: a very soft, white baby blanket with a yellow duck embroidered on it. He cried, I cried, Jason cried and we all bonded as we met for the very first time.

As Dr. Foster did his final check before he waited for the placenta to come out, he said that everything looked great. I was intact! All of my birthing goals had been met: a healthy baby, a natural labor, and an intact perineum. The staff praised me on what a great job I did and how I was so in control. It seemed like I took an ordinary event (to them) and made it into an extraordinary feat that they were privileged to watch.

We announced that his name was Gregory John. Both names come from saints: Saint Gregory the Great and Saint John the Apostle. Both names also have special family connections. Gregory would have been my name if I were a boy, so in that sense, he is named for me. John is the name of Jason’s grandfather who we all love and admire. Our son would have two strong names from both sides of the family to give him a great start in life.

I got the full hour-plus of skin-to-skin that I desired. Gregory cuddled and nursed like a pro on both sides. He was then taken to the scale. Our sweet boy weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs, 13 oz. He got to be held by Jason and met Simon, too.

That moment of birth was everything of life to me: strength and power, coupled with love and tenderness. My heart and soul were born to the outside of my body once again.

>The Next Day<

The day after Gregory’s birth, my doctor visited with me in my recovery room. He saw Gregory again and also met my mother for the first time. He told her, “Your daughter is an amazing woman.” He then proceeded to say probably the nicest things that anyone has ever said about me, and words that I can call on for strength any time I ever feel low. He said that he has been doing this for 30 years, and what I did was something special. The way I kept control while working with my team was spectacular. He said that I was the strongest person in the room. He even said that if this country breaks out into a war, he is going to come over my house while I help resolve whatever is going on!

My doctor instructed me not to tell too many people about my birth, because it’s a rare person who can do what I did – birth a huge baby with a huge head with such grace and control and without tearing. I will respectfully disagree and am happy to share this story. It shows that the birth experience I had was no accident; it was the result of careful planning over many months, and it was the result of collaboration with my husband, doula, chiropractor, nurse, doctor, and even more people. The majority of women can plan for and achieve their ideal birth, and I hope that this serves as inspiration for even just one woman.

Big Changes Coming to Breastfeeding in Virginia

breastfeeding-in-public

Thanks to the efforts of Jill DeLorenzo and others, VA finally has a law that protects a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.

We’ve all been in the scenario when baby is hungry and you are in a busy restaurant or shopping mall. Until now, there was no law that protected our right to breastfeed in public. Individual establishments could dictate their own rules, such was the experience of Jill DeLorenzo.Check out her story here.

The harassment Jill experienced motivated her to seek protection for all mothers in Virginia (VA was one of only three states lacking this protection.) Read the full story of Jill’s legal fight to protect nursing moms here. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this protection a reality!

I’m honored to have served the DeLorenzo family as their doula, and am so proud of her tremendous accomplishment.

Share Your Story

Recently I added a page for readers to share their birth and breastfeeding stories. I started it off with my own and a fellow blogger, Hayley McDaniel has shared her wonderful birth experience. Positive birth stories are essential for women to regain trust in their bodies and in their caregivers so that they will expect a positive, empowering and truly wonderful experience for themselves. I invite you to read the stories that have been shared so far and to write your own, whether it was 1 month ago or 30 years ago. Thank you! Happy birthing and nurturing your babies : )

Please visit the Share Your Story tab above.

Birth Customs Around the World

4b83641ebe991d25ff1c5962c358ee94

As I searched to learn about birth customs around the world, here are some things I learned. Rather, here are links to the sites I found interesting. What birth customs have you heard about or does your family/ country/ culture practice?

Please share! I find the differences fascinating, and even here in the US, how things have changed dramatically over the last century!

http://anthrodoula.blogspot.com/2010/06/birth-customs.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/babycenter/being-born-around-the-wor_b_5194429.html

http://www.pnmag.com/pregnancy/passport-to-pregnancy-traditions-from-around-the-world-3/

http://www.parenting.com/article/birth-maternal-health

What do you all think? Please share your experiences : )