Friday, May 24, 2013

C-Section in the OR

A couple of my clients have had C-sections in the past for "emergency" reasons, but this is the first time that one of my clients was having a planned C-section because of a breech presentation. Her baby had been breech for sometime, but she was still planning on having me there for support of her birth. She had done tons of research, including some on family-centered cesarean sections, so she asked her OB if I could come into the operating room and he said...YES! So I was able to support her and her husband in the OR. It was really cool because I was able to take pictures of the events while dad could enjoy the birth with his wife. At one point dad was called over to where their baby was so I got to talk to mom and tell her exactly what was happening with her baby. I think she really appreciated the attention and support amidst the hustle and bustle of the OR. I may not have been able to provide as much physical support as I usually do, but I provided emotional care and support of the family, which turned out to be extra helpful since mom was really nervous about the C-section. I stayed much longer afterwards than a typical birth so I could help her with breastfeeding and adjusting after she starting having pain from the operation.

I was so excited to be a part of their special day, even though it wasn't exactly how they planned it to go. I am also pretty impressed that the hospital allowed a doula into the OR and that many hospitals are moving toward a more family centered, doula-friendly OR atmosphere.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Breastfeeding on the Brain

So over the last couple months, I haven't attended a birth. Because of vacations and trainings, my schedule didn't allow for it. But these "empty" months have given me a chance to write my Breastfeeding Basics curriculum that I will be teaching through Informed Birth Choices on July 18th. I am so excited to share breastfeeding information with eager parents! My class focuses on simple strategies that will help moms and babies get breastfeeding started on the right foot. It includes topics like how breastfeeding works, milk supply, feeding patterns, the latch on, breastfeeding positions, and troubleshooting breastfeeding problems. The class will also show some really amazing breastfeeding videos that will change how people look at babies' abilities to breastfeed. Here is a sneak peak at one of those videos:

I hope you can join the Breastfeeding Basics class on July 18th at Informed Birth Choices. Getting breastfeeding off to a great start begins with learning some simple breastfeeding basics!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Skin to Skin Webinar

Skin to skin (or Kangaroo Care) is one of the best and simplest things that you can do for your baby. Not only does is increase breastfeeding success, but it also has tons of medical benefits for you baby. Research shows that babies grow better, suckling correctly, cry less, stay warmer, and help newborns adapt to their new environment better And what about you--what do you get out of it? You get increased bonding with your baby.

Are you interested in learning more about skin to skin? Well then check out this webinar tonight at 8pm. But if you can listen tonight it will be recorded so you can listen to it anytime.

"The WHO, CDC, Surgeon General and American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage mom and baby to practice skin-to-skin immediately after birth and as often as possible throughout the post partum period." -Isis Parenting 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5th, 2013: International Day of the Midwife

Today is International Day of the Midwife. Today we celebrate all of those men and women who provide excellent midwifery care to women across the world.

I found an awesome article by the Fistual Foundation highlighting some midwives in other nations who are helping to improve maternal health and birth outcomes. Click here to read about amazing midwives doing extraordinary things.

Thank you, midwives, for all you do to make birth better!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Annie Byrd, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), CLC!

I found out today that I passed my Certified Lactation Counselor course with a 95%! I am so excited to help mother breastfeed and learn more about breastfeeding.

If you are still wondering what a CLC is check out this awesome video that explains it really well.

You're Body is Not a Lemon

"You're body is not a lemon," was the mantra of Ina May Gaskin in the documentary, Birth Story. Ina May and "The Farm" midwives really focused on the fact that women are made to have babies and that the increasing rate of cesarean section has convinced women that they cannot give birth vaginally. Ina May and many other midwives allow you into their lives in this documentary and show you how empowering birth can truly be.

This documentary is peppered with history. It describes the foundation of the "The Farm" in Tennessee by the 1960's hippies who were searching for a better way of life. The Birth Story reveals how Ina May became a midwife and started providing better birth options for people across the United States.

There was even video footage from the '70s of a breech birth and shoulder dystocia (and the Gaskin maneuver). These videos showed women empowered in their births. It showed them enjoying their births. There was no fear.

I think that is documentary can change they way women choose to have their babies. If women could feel strong and trust in their innate abilities to birth, then less women would be scared of birth and would have positive birth experiences.

My hope, as a doula, is that I can foster a safe environment, in which women trust their bodies and not only give birth to beautiful healthy babies, but also satisfying birth stories.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Birth Story Available on DVD

Just a heads up that the Birth Story Documentary, featuring Ina May Gaskin, is available on DVD and download. I plan to watch in the next couple of days and will have a full blog report about it. So excited!