Friday, April 19, 2013

The Big 3-0

I never thought this would happen, but it finally did...I turned 30. I've been told that 30's are way better than 20's, so I am looking forward to tackling them with joy. But, my birthday did cause me to look back on years past. Did I think this is where I would be when I was 30? Is this how I pictured my journey? It's hard to say. I didn't foresee having trouble staying pregnant and adoption definitely wasn't in my plans, but I did think I would have a family. One of the greatest surprises is that on a daily basis I am involved in other families' lives--that I am able to use my knowledge and skills to support their journey. Despite the fact that I come into the relationship as the "expert", I learn so much from each couple about love and life. So I guess I'm totally excited to see what the next 30 years holds for me and the world!

Keep Baby Calm and Carry On

Studies are now showing what moms know instinctively: carrying your crying baby usually calms them right down. It is now becoming mainstream that you won't spoil your infant by carrying them too much. Even the "Today Show" is getting with the program. The old adage of "let them cry it out" is out the window. Moms, feel free to carry your infant as much as you want. One of the best ways is in a baby carrier. You are hands free, but still able to care for your baby's needs. We aren't caches, follow or nest mammals. We are carry mammals. So, keep baby calm and carry on!

Friday, April 12, 2013

IBC's New Website

Informed Birth Choices has just launched their new website. IBC is the best place to find child birth classes, infant care classes and the best doulas Baltimore has to offer (in my humble opinion)!

Check out their awesome site and my profile.

Family Centered Cesarean

Last night I attended a webinar that presented the topic of "Mother and Baby Focused" or "Family-Centered" Cesarean. Many hospitals are changing their policy and procedure concerning how they perform C-sections. Instead of a cold, sterile environment, some hospitals are moving more towards warmer, family-centered one.

Some changes include:
  • Clear surgical drapes so that the parents can see and interact with their baby as soon as he/she is born.
  • Immediate skin to skin contact for mother (or father) and baby. This early skin to skin contact is crucial for breastfeeding success.
  • Breastfeeding in the operating room.
  • Autoresuscitation or the slower delivery of the baby from the uterus to mimic some the benefits that the baby would get from a vaginal birth.
  • The presence of a doula in the OR
I was surprised and delighted to hear the guest speaker take some time to specifically discuss the role and benefits of a doula in the operating room. Here are some benefits of having a doula present in a cesarean birth:
  • Amidst the many new faces in the OR, a doula can be a familiar and calming presence for the mother and father.
  • She can bring the focus back to the delivering family if the conversation drifts away from them.
  • She can point out sounds to listen for, like the baby's first cry.
  • A doula can help make the OR environment more calming, like bringing mom's favorite music.
  • She can take pictures, while both mom and dad can focus on their new baby.
  • A doula's presence lasts much longer than the birth. She accompanies mom, dad and baby to the recovery room and can help get breastfeeding off to a great start. (Reminder: lots of skin to skin)
It was so encouraging to hear that cesarean sections are headed in this direction. For many mothers a cesarean section is absolutely necessary and can be a little disappointing for some, but with this new procedure, it will allow families a more "together" feel. Not all hospitals are participating in this new movement, so be sure to talk to your Midwife or OB and mention this to them. It is better for moms; it is better for babies; it is better for families!

Learn more about Family-Centered Cesarean.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blossoms, Birth and Babies

Washington D.C. is hosting its first ever Birth and Babies Fair. If the cherry blossoms are not enough for you to check out our Nation's Capital, then maybe this FREE fair will entice you.  There will be experts in many fields; like lactation, midwifery, chiropractors, doulas, and more. Are you interested in the latest and greatest baby gear? The D.C. Birth and Babies Fair will have that too.  D.C. is beautiful this time of year and the only thing that could make it better is thousands of round bellies and bouncy babies. Definitely check out the free D.C. Birth and Babies Fair!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Alphabet Soup

Last week I attended my CLC (certified lactation counselor) training and while I was there I got the call that I am officially a DONA postpartum doula! After lots of paper work and many hours helping families and 6 months of waiting, I finally am a postpartum certified doula. I am looking forward to helping many families in the "fourth trimester" when adjusting can be so hard!

So this is what my official title is: Annie Byrd, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA)

In 6-8 weeks, I will hear if am officially a CLC too. Talk about alphabet soup...

I'm glad to have the training and the credentials, but most of all I am thrilled to be able to help other moms and families!