Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sleep Breathing

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All of you mamas know that sometimes pregnancy can take the breath right out of you!  Even the tiniest activities can leave us winded somehow!  With oxygen being the most important fuel for your body and especially the muscles that make up your baby’s little home, its important to be getting a lot of it.  Beyond that, your baby needs a sufficient, continual supply of oxygen to grow properly.  What you might not know is that focused breathing regulates your blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions…  Pretty impressive right!?

breatheSo today I’m going to teach you Hypnobirthing’s sleep breathing technique because it is the one that you should be using the most throughout your pregnancy.  This technique is used anytime you want to get yourself into a deep relaxation.  I did this every night as I tried to fall asleep, but you don’t have to wait until then.  Anytime during the day if you have ten min try it and enjoy its amazing ability to calm your body.  You can’t feel bad about giving your little baby an oxygen boost 🙂

(It can help the first few times if someone reads this to you, until you’ve got the little details down.  I’ll quote the book directly…)

“Just relax and settle into the comfort of the chair or sofa beneath you and let the pillows behind you support your head and neck…  Let your eyelids gently meet without forcing them shut.  Your mouth should be softly closed with your lips touching lightly.  Place the tip of your tongue at your palate where your teeth and your palate meet and feel the wonderful sense of relaxation drift through your body.

Draw in a breath from your stomach.  To a count of four, mentally recite ‘In-2-3-4’ on the intake.  Feel your stomach rise as you draw the breath up and into the back of your throat.

As you exhale, mentally recite ‘out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.’  Do not exhale through your mouth.  As you breathe out very slowly through your nose, direct the energy of the breath down and inward toward the back of your throat, allowing your shoulders to droop into the frame of your body.  Breathe your body down into relaxation.  Release all tension and let go.

To determine if you are doing this exercise correctly, place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on the lower part of you chest.  As you inhale, you should feel your left hand rising as though your stomach were inflating like a balloon.  As you exhale, you will feel your hands fold into each other, as your chest and stomach create a crevice.

breathingSleep breathing is easy to master… You will feel relaxation coming more easily and rapidly each time you do it.  When you have mastered the concept it will not be necessary for you to recite numbers or test with your hands to guide yourself into this state.  After only a few times, you will be able to bring your body into a deep state of relaxation.”

If anyone wants to take these steps further, this is when you would lie/sit there and imagine only good things.  Recite positive affirmations about your labor and delivery, and spend time letting that baby feel your love.

   Now stop what you are doing and go breathe!

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“Yes, You CAN Birth A Breech Baby Naturally! ~ Katianne’s Birth Story

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“Yes, You CAN Birth A Breech Baby Naturally! ~ Katianne’s Birth Story

Such an inspirational story!! I’ve never read another birth story like this one!

Birth Beyond Borders

This mama proves that you CAN indeed birth a breech baby vaginally and without pain medications despite what many doctors and medical professionals will have you believe! Not only is this possible, but it’s also safe and her story proves just that! What a strong and awesome mama!

Katianne and her beautiful daughters, Katherine and Olivia after her successfully natural breech birth. Katianne and her beautiful daughters, Katherine and Olivia after her successfully natural breech birth.

“My labor actually started 3 weeks prior to the arrival to my daughter. At 37 weeks, I started getting real labor contractions that would be steady and consistent for hours, but would go away by the time I went to sleep. The next morning, I would feel like a train hit me. I was starting to get worn down and was approaching my induction date. On the eve of February 16, I started up contractions again, but they were 12-13 minutes apart, and were dwindling even further apart…

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What Is The Difference Between A Midwife And Doula?

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Most people when they think about a midwife or doula have this notion that they are a new fad.  Truth is, midwives and doulas have been delivering babies predominately for centuries.  And many parts of the developed world still use them for the majority of their deliveries today, including Europe, and Japan.  So who are they and what do they do?

midwife-2A midwife is a trained medical professional.  They have been through extensive training and clinical experience.   They would serve as your primary health care provider.  You would see them in their office (or in your home)  just like you would your doctor.  First monthly, then bi-weekly, then weekly as you near labor.  They can help you deliver your baby in a hospital, clinic, birthing center, or your home.  They can prescribe certain medications, stitch you up, offer ultrasounds, monitor fetal heart rate, monitor mom’s blood pressure, etc.  They even do yearly gynecological exams.  There are certain types of midwives that also work with girls from puberty past menopause and even treat sexually transmitted diseases.  The range of training is varied from a CNM (certified nurse midwife) Who are certified nurses with a graduate degree in midwifery, to a CM (certified midwife) or CPM (certified practicing midwife)  Who each have a little different education/practice and different abilities to prescribe medication.  They can also be accepted by your insurance.   The scope of a midwife’s practice is regulated by state laws, so it’s important to find out what your options are depending on where you live.

doulaWhile your midwife is focusing her attention on you and your babies medical needs, a doula is focusing all of her attention on anything non-medical that you need.  She is simply the person who is there for you every step of the way.  A midwife might have to be attending other births, or might have limited time, while a doula becomes your trusted friend, birth coach and companion.  Usually you would get to know your doula in the beginning of your pregnancy.  She would learn what matters most to you for your delivery and educate you on what your options are, helping you create your birth plan and answering all the little questions you have along the way.  They usually have attended a significant amount of births and are experts at what they do.  There most often is a more intimate approach to their work, attending even the earliest signs of  labor if you wish.  They are there to offer many homeopathic techniqes such as massage, pressure points, relaxation techniques and different laboring positions as you want them.  They bring you water, make sure you and your spouse are eating and comfortable, and help you recognize where you might be at in your labor.  Some doulas will also offer postpartum help with caring for the infant, help with breastfeeding, and postpartum healing.

doulasA midwife and doula make an incredible team.  Both are widely experienced in natural childbirth, although going natural is not a requirement!  Especially if delivering in a hospital a midwife can have epidurals or other pain management options administered.  Their general approach is to empower the mom to have the experience she desires.  Both are sensitive to your needs.  It’s always up to you and your partner what you want and feel comfortable with.  Some couples choose one or the other, neither, or both.  I wish you the best of luck in choosing what you prefer and am here to answer any more questions you might have!

 

 

Planning To Induce Your Labor? Read these 3 Facts First.

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Hey Everyone!  I’m watching some educational video’s today and just wanted to share with you the 3 most surprising things I’ve learned… Most of these things you will never hear your doctor warn you about, besides handing you official documents to sign.   And we have got to admit, who really reads those papers with a solid mind when we are in pain!?  So if you’re smarter than me, you’ll learn the risks yourself BEFORE you go into labor so that you can make better decisions for yourself.

1:  Having your labor induced DOUBLES your chances of having an emergency C-Section.  Yes, it doubles.  Most women look to their doctor who says “We know you’re in pain and want to speed things up for you.”  They trust that it will be best for themselves and their baby.  Most of them have no idea what might be in store if they make that choice.  You have the right to say “no”.   Unless there is serious medical reason, and not just for convenience of time, “no” will forever remain my answer.

2: Being induced increases your risks of fetal distress and ruptured uterus.  Every woman’s body is different and Pitocin can make for some pretty intense contractions.   They can come on strong and fast and don’t let up easily.  You might have an epidural that causes you not to feel, but guess what?  Your baby is in there feeling it all.   Sometimes with very little relief in between.   Your baby needs fresh supply oxygen and nutrients from the placenta and that comes during that space between contractions.  Doris Haire, a natural birthing activist has said of synthetic oxytocin that “The situation is analogous to holding an infant under the surface of the water, allowing the infant to come to the surface to gasp for air, but not to breathe.”  Contractions from pitocin are just not the same as natural ones.  Your body can’t adjust it’s hormones very easily to help your baby if synthetic ones are being injected into it….  And the thought of a ruptured uterus is something I don’t even want to think about.

3: Induction often leads to more intervention.  This is incredibly important for mama’s who want to have a natural childbirth. You might think ‘Well, I can still be induced and go without the epidural.  Maybe my baby will come faster this way’.  Usually instead, a mother is overtaken by the new contractions and gives in to the choice of an epidural.  The epidural then leads to slower contractions causing the Pitocin to be increased, which can cause for a second epidural, a distressed baby and you guessed it, an emergency c-section.  Usually at this point everyone  is exhausted, traumatized, and thanking God for their incredible medical team for “saving their baby”…  It’s interesting to say the least.

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All this being said, I don’t enjoy entertaining the things that can go wrong with labor (which is why I narrowed this list down to 3).  I think there is a fine line between making decisions from fear and educating yourself to make for a good experience.  I know that there are very good outcomes from this drug when it’s used the right way and for the right reasons, including saving mama and babies lives.   I also know that the statistics for using it routinely have been associated with some devastating outcomes, some of them can be long lasting, like the new-found studies linking induced labor with Autism.  Educate yourself and make a decision that you feel right about.  You don’t have to do things just because it’s what is “normal” here.

For more info on these statistics I recommend watching The Business of Being Born and the episodes of More Business of Being Born on Netflix

This article is super educational as well, and I’ll continue to post more info on both sides of the story as I find it.

Also, for the brutal honest truth strait from the horse’s mouth HERE is the actual U.S. Pitocin package insert.  It doesn’t get more unpolluted and strait-forward than this.

My Favorite Water Visualization!

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Today I’m going to share with you guys my favorite water visualization!  This was my “go-to” anytime I needed comfort and peace.  Water is healing.  In every way water can soothe our bodies and our minds.  Warm water, cold water, drinking water, hearing water… It is all powerfully healing.  Throughout my entire pregnancy and labor and delivery THIS is what I imagined that helped me the most….

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I imagined standing or lying there on the beach, and I imagined my baby floating far out in the water…  Throughout my pregnancy the baby mostly just floated clear out there relaxing, and I was relaxing.  If I was stressed out during pregnancy I would close my eyes and go there.  I would listen to the water in my mind, feel the sun on my skin, and sway in my mind with the waves.  I would just watch calmly as my baby grew.  And I would BREATHE.  It’s amazing how much peace came from doing this even just a few minutes.

 As I reached the end of my pregnancy and my baby was fully grown and healthy I knew the only way for the baby to come to me was through the waves carrying her here.  I could walk out a little bit into the water, and in my mind I did.  But I knew that she had to make that journey to me.  Anytime I felt sharp pains in my back, or stretching pains in my belly, I would close my eyes and imagine it as a mini wave.  I would walk to it and let the water rush around me, and I would BREATHE.  I saw her as being a little bit closer and the wave would be calmed before I knew it.  One step closer to her.

During labor was when she was actually coming closer faster.  The water and waves came on consistently and strong, but for me it was actually something I enjoyed.  (YES, I actually enjoyed that feeling of contractions for the most part of my 21 hr labor!  And that is not a lie.  I liked that tightening feeling right up until the last couple hours.)  I enjoyed it in the way that you enjoy a crazy storm.  There is something peaceful and calming about it to me.   I walked as far out as I could go and stood there.

Cindy Crawford had a home birth and did a similar visualization and she explained that she learned to breathe into the pain because resisting it only made it worse.  She said, “if a huge wave is coming at you, you can’t run back to shore, and you can’t jump over the wave because it will just slam you.  The only option for you at that point is just to dive into them.” 

waves

Just imagine this bad boy and dive in!  Unless you’re terrified of water, then please don’t!  haha.  It helped me so much though, so give it a good try.  Learn now to focus in on calm thoughts.  Don’t let what’s going on around you sway or mess up your peace.  Let me know how it goes!  And anyone that is aquaphobic, please come back for other visualizations 🙂

Prepare Anyway!

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I’m surprised by how many moms I’ve talked to lately who have told me that they were “all for the epidural” and their babies came too fast, or the anesthesiologist didn’t come fast enough!!  They wound up having an unexpected natural delivery that they were not prepared for.  I can see why that situation would be a little traumatic!

In our world today most moms opt for the epidural, too scared of the pain and know this is the way out.  Many of them don’t realize that even if you have a scheduled c-section, your water can break, you can go into labor and by that point still have to drive, get admitted into the hospital, change your clothes and sometimes wait a significant amount of time for that sweet relief you’re hoping for.  Most moms will feel contractions.  And many of them have not learned how to handle them.

My little piece of advice for the day… PREPARE ANYWAY!  Even if you have very specific pain relief plans, prepare for a natural childbirth anyway.  Besides, you could have your baby “on a bus or a plane, or a car or a train”!!  haha jk.  But honestly, before you know it you could be looking at your unplanned natural-birthed baby with this look on both your faces…

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I have a friend who has a hard time feeling her contractions and with her two babies has arrived at the hospital dilated to a 7 and 8!  That’s pretty much done folks!!  I had about ten min from that time till I was pushing my baby out and she had no idea she was really in labor!  It’s different for every mom.  You might end up not even wanting to be numbed.  So prepare!  You can’t regret knowing what to do!!

Tomorrow I’ll start to describe in detail some things you can do to make those sweet contractions feel better 😉

Natural Childbirth Tip Of The Day!

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In my last blog I talked about fear and how it affects labor.  The mind is powerful.  The good news about that is that the mind is just as powerful in a positive way!  Our bodies follow the mind and we literally can create a rise in our endorphins just by thinking positively and envisioning something desirable.

So my short and sweet tip of the day for you pregnant ladies is to find a place to lie down.  Relax every limb.  Breathe deeply, and begin to live out your perfect delivery in your mind.  Try to experience every detail.  Where are you?  What does it look like?  How do you feel?  Who is there?  Experience every part from going into labor all the way until you are holding your baby.  I want you to only allow positive thoughts in your mind.  Take your time.  If you start to feel yourself tense up at a thought, go back and rewrite your story.  Relax your body and think it again.  Let your mind see and do things it has never done before.  Maybe you’re laughing through contractions!  Maybe you’re smiling and joking with everyone around you… Maybe your labor is surprisingly quick!  Maybe you’re face looks like this as you deliver…

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You’ll begin to easily recognize your fears and consciously decide to think something different about it.  You’ll get stronger and better.  Feel inside how good it feels to bring your baby into this world and be a part of something so miraculous.  I promise as you do this your feelings about your delivery will begin to bring a sense of excitement to you!  No matter what, everything will be better if you approach it with excitement and happiness!

Oh, and don’t forget to visit tomorrow for another tip of the day 🙂