Tag Archives: Birth Educators

End of a Chapter

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In May of 2009, I went to complete my HypnoBirthing workshop to learn how to teach HypnoBirthing classes.  I convened with incredible women who were all there for the same reason, to help expectant couples have the most gentle birth possible.  I completed the training, all of the requirements, and received my certification in August of 2009.  Shortly after, I began teaching my first 3 couples, all in private classes, in their own homes.  I did all of this while attending school to complete my Social Work degree, and it was so very fulfilling to teach birthing classes.  It filled a space in me that I never knew existed, and helped me to feel very complete and fulfilled in life through the work I was doing.

From the September of 2009 and May 2011, I taught so many different couples, traveled to so many different homes, met so many different, wonderful, beautiful couples, and helped build their confidence about their upcoming births.  Some of the couples I taught invited me to their birth in the role of a doula, and that was an added bonus.  My cup overflowed.

Much has happened in life since August of 2009, so much has changed, including me.  This year alone, we have experienced two major losses; the baby I was growing in utero, and my husband’s grandmother.  Following that, there has been much uncertainty about what might happen to us, career wise, and so, because of other things on my plate at this time, I have chosen to discontinue teaching HypnoBirthing classes.

I want everyone to know that I am not in distress.  I only say this because I think many people were concerned when I posted that I would no longer be teaching, on Facebook.  I really am fine, I am taking time for myself, exploring my options, healing from our losses, and regrouping.  I will be back, and I do plan to stay in the birthing community, networking, helping, supporting, educating.  And since I have taken a job as a nanny, I do not have the full availability I once did, and that may have to be put on hold too, but for now, I am keeping options open.

I do thank all of you so very much for your support and love.

Comments Welcome.

Preparation for Birth

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There is so much talk about preparing for birth.  So I’d love for this post to be as interactive as possible.  Please feel free to comment, leave suggestions you might have for expectant mothers, and tell us how you prepared for your birth/s.

Pregnancy, for most women lasts from 37-42 weeks, and while that seems like a long time, it really is not.  In that time, couples/families become very involved in preparing for the birth, and I can’t help but wonder if families prepare enough.  We all know that couples, especially first time parents, go a little wacko on baby registries, and I’m sure stores are thrilled with this.  But are couples preparing adequately for the birth of their newest loves?

How did you prepare for your birth/s?  Do you think you prepared enough?  Do you think you could have ever been prepared enough?  So here are some questions I’d love for you to weigh in on.

  1. Did you take childbirth classes?  (If so, where were they offered?  Do you feel like you learned enough to feel comfortable with giving birth?)
  2. Did you interview multiple care providers, and shop around at several hospitals/birthing centers?
  3. Did you take other classes?  (Breastfeeding, Newborn Care, Etc)
  4. Did you research routine interventions that are used in hospitals?
  5. Did you research newborn care procedures in hospitals?
  6. Did you prepare a birth plan?  If so, did anyone help you with this?
  7. Did you have all of your questions answered by your care provider?  (Questions to Ask your Care Provider)
  8. Were you satisfied with the prenatal care your received?
  9. Were you comfortable with your care provider/hospital?
  10. Did you feel prepared to give birth?

I know that right now, in my community, there are two hospitals.  I have attended births at both, and each has its own policies and procedures, some the same, and some very different.  I cannot say that one hospital is better than the other, simply because I am not a woman who is preparing to give birth in either.  Each woman preparing for birth, prepares in her own way.  And the consensus I hear around my area is that women are not necessarily feeling prepared adequately.

The sad truth is that there is over-crowding in the hospitals, and the time that women receive with their care providers is little.  I always encourage women to ask tons of questions, and ensure that her questions are answered before she leaves her doctors office – whether she feels good about the answers or not.  I went to a Homebirth Meetup Group in Fayetteville a couple weeks ago, and heard a woman say that she felt like cattle in the system that is caring for pregnant mothers.  No mother should feel that way, ever, but especially by the providers who will help her to birth her baby.

Preparing to give birth is HUGE.  I believe that couples should research until they are blue in the face.  Here are the things I think should be researched by every expectant couple:

  1. Proper nutrition during pregnancy
  2. Advantages of hiring a Doula/Labor Support
  3. Childbirth Classes – Which one is the best fit for you?
  4. Routine interventions – imposed by care provider, and by hospital
  5. Medical reasons for induction & augmentation of labor (when it is appropriate to do so)
  6. Medical reasons for Cesarean section
  7. Routine newborn procedures – who does them, when are they done, which are mandatory
  8. Circumcision – Do you want this done?  (Here is a guide for you to look at if you’re curious about why or why not to have this done.)
  9. Vaccinations – Will you vaccinate, will you delay?

Another sad truth is that many people research what car to buy, what TV to buy, what cable service to use, where to have their dog groomed more than they do how to give birth, where to give birth, who to have in attendance, and what the process will be like for them.  Some women do not feel confident with the care they receive, but do not switch providers.  So, if I can make one suggestion, it would be to prepare for your birth, and this includes switching providers if you do not feel comfortable with them. Prepare for birth, for you and your baby.

Make this interactive:  COMMENTS PLEASE.

Doula Training

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My goal for 2010 was to complete doula training.  This goal is under way, because of a suggestion from a lovely midwife I know who suggested toLabor, a doula training organization, previously known as ALACE.  So beginning this Friday, June 25 until June 27, I will be completing my doula training workshop in Virginia.  toLabor’s training allows me to use the two (soon to be three) previous births (prior to the workshop) that I have attended to count toward my total of six that I must attend to become certified as a birth doula.

I also have some fantastic books that I am in the process of reading.  To see this list of books and the other certification requirements, click here.

Since last posting, I had the opportunity to attend a birth at a local hospital.  This mother was one of my HypnoBirthing moms, and she was facing a deadline of 41 weeks (the hospital’s policy is to give birth before 41 weeks, or an induction will be ordered), and instead, went into labor the day before her induction date.  She did a fantastic job of getting all the way through her labor, while using the support of her husband, her friend and me.  Her baby boy was born early on the morning of the 9th, and was completely unmedicated.  Beautiful reason to want to be a doula.

I will be offering “in-training” doula rates as I complete my training, so if you’re interested in being one of my six births, please contact me!  I am not completely sure of how much the rate will be, but I will post that after I complete my workshop.

Response to Mamapedia responses

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I submitted my article “New Surge In Birthing” to Mamapedia for many reasons:

  1. To spread the word about such a beautiful birthing method
  2. To encourage pregnant women to seek something different (for themselves and their babies)
  3. To bring awareness to the joy, comfort and empowering nature of gentle birthing, rather than the traumatic nature of how birth is already portrayed in the United States
  4. To write about a subject our country needs to hear about more (for our mothers, fathers, and babies)
  5. To hear responses from women everywhere (and to honestly and candidly respond with wholehearted appreciation)

I knew it was a risk to allow this article to be seen by women who may not feel the way I do about birthing, but I had no idea I would have such a negative, insulting, and critical audience.  The few people who supported my post through your positive words, I really do appreciate it.  Most of the comments, while not shocking to me, created a sad feeling within me, because I realized that the way our society has deemed birth to be has so deeply ingrained itself and affected women (to the point that they are defensive about the experiences they had when birthing).

My post was in no way intentioned to insult anyone, to create animosity, or to belittle anyone who had a c-section, an epidural, or an otherwise medicated birth.  There is no need for these women to justify your births to me, there is no judgment from me about your birth, and I would certainly hope that my readers do not pass judgment on you either.  If they (my readers) pass judgment on you, then they must also pass judgment on me as well, because I had a medicated (yet peaceful) birthing experience, that I blogged about in an earlier post.

As I read the article that Mamapedia so kindly published on their widely read website, I scoured it for the phrase “natural birth”, since some of the women who seemed deeply offended by my post spoke largely about “natural birth”.  Nowhere in my post did I speak of “natural birth”, because HypnoBirthing does not tout itself as a “natural birthing” technique, method of philosophy.  HypnoBirthing can be used in any birthing circumstance.  Allow me to share the birthing experiences of the couples I have taught, and of myself.

  • Me – Epidural after 20 hours of unmedicated labor (OP baby)
  • First couple – Home water birth, unmedicated with midwife attending (10 pound baby)
  • Second couple – C-section after 26 hours of labor and several hours of pushing (OP baby)
  • Third couple – Planned C-section (breech presented baby)
  • All of my other moms are happily awaiting their babies’ birthing days, with positive expectation

Out of all of the couples that I have taught, only one has been an unmedicated birth, but that does not make that birth or mother any more beautiful and wonderful than the other mothers I have worked with.  Nor does it undermine or dismiss the incredibly empowering experiences the medicated birthing mothers had.  All of the couples I have taught have had gentle, beautiful, empowering, and incredibly moving birthing experiences.  In fact, every one of the mothers I have worked with has said nothing but positive things about HypnoBirthing and the preparation for their births.

I am deeply saddened that in the United States, childbirth “preparation” classes, some providers, and hospitals tell couples that epidurals have no effect on babies.  Totally and completely untrue!  I am so frustrated by people saying this!  Let’s set the record straight.  Epidurals are narcotics, and they directly affect babies.  The affects of epidurals have been researched extensively, and here are some of the affects on both mother and baby:

  • (Mother) Drops in blood pressure (that’s the reason a blood pressure cuff is kept on a mother’s arm)
  • (Mother) Slowed labor because of not moving around during labor (mothers need to move during labor to facilitate the easy descent of the baby)
  • (Mother) Difficulty in pushing the baby out (increases the likelihood of other methods being used: forceps, vacuum extraction, pitocin, c-section)
  • (Mother) Interference with love hormone, oxytocin (often breaks down protective instinct over baby, and bonding can be difficult)
  • (Mother) Headaches (postpartum)
  • (Mother) Feelings of being emotionally detached
  • (Mother) Hip problems from knees being pushed to my ears (Personal)
  • (Mother) Void of emotion or protective instinct (Personal)
  • (Mother) Increased chance of tearing during birth
  • (Mother) Limited positioning options for birthing (decreased pelvic room for baby to emerge)
  • (Baby) Trouble latching on for successful nursing
  • (Baby) Interference with bonding with mother
  • (Baby) Drowsiness at birth
  • (Baby) Fetal distress

The above came from the following sources:

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/epidural.html

http://pregnancychildbirth.suite101.com/article.cfm/do_epidurals_affect_babies_

http://www.kimjames.net/epidural_risks_and_side_effects.htm

While one of the goals of HypnoBirthing is for women to have as few interventions as possible, it also advocates for mothers doing what their bodies tell them to do, and to accept whatever changes in labor that might occur.  This in no way indicates that HypnoBirthing is a “natural birthing” method.  However, it does advocate for education of mothers and fathers, to enable them to make the decisions that are best for them and their babies.  Through education, advocacy, and empowerment, HypnoBirthing very successfully helps couples experience gentle births (even and especially for the babies).  You would not believe the beautiful, peaceful, and gentle nature of HypnoBirthing babies.  I have the pleasure everyday, of being in contact with the mothers and fathers who gently and peacefully bring their babies into the world.  So yes, birth can be peaceful for babies, and it most often is with HypnoBirthing.

Thank all of you so much for the feedback, and thank you eternally to Mamapedia for publishing an article about a subject I am so passionate about.

Comments welcome.

Featured on Mamapedia

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A while ago, I read on Mamapedia that they needed some new bloggers to share some new and fresh information.  I wrote the post New Surge In Birthing, and submitted it.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would be published on Mamapedia, because of the large viewing audience.  My intention here, obviously is to spread the word about gentle birthing, advocacy for the birthing family, awareness on better maternity practices, and that women are not only capable, but are made to give birth.

I am happy to announce that my entry was chosen, and on Wednesday, May 12, I will be the featured blogger.  The entry is called New Surge In Birthing:  HypnoBirthing.  I also posted this on my blog, and to refresh your memory, here is the link to the original post:  New Surge In Birthing

Please visit Mamapedia on May 12, read and comment. 

As always, comments welcome!

Updates.

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This past Saturday, I attended the La Leche League Baby Fair as a vendor.  As I prepared for this event, I became more excited for the community to learn more about HypnoBirthing through My Gentle Birthing.  It became clear after the doors opened and women began to trickle in then flood the baby fair, that I chose the perfect business name.  Women flocked to my booth as they read My Gentle Birthing, because they were perplexed by what seemed to be an oxymoron (Gentle and Birthing together in the same statement).  Pregnant moms stood around my booth as I told them about HypnoBirthing, and I watched as some of the faces changed from disbelief to amazement.  Women signed my sheet requesting more information, and Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Birth and Women’s Care came to get some brochures and business cards to distribute to their patients and clients.  The networking potential was huge there, and it was wonderful to get publicity for My Gentle Birthing in a community that seems to only know of one way to birth.  It was a truly refreshing experience to bring attention to such a beautiful birthing method.

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To shift gears a bit, as many of you know, I am passionate about mothers and babies (and mothers giving birth gently and with their wishes adhered to).  The other night, I attended a film screening at Birthright Services in Garner.  I was inspired by the film, and by the conversation that ensued following the film.  As the conversation continued, doula training was brought up.  I am very interested in becoming a doula, and helping to support women as they labor and give birth.

I was so inspired by what I learned that I came home and the next day started looking at doula training, and found a Doula Organization called toLabor (formerly ALACE).  I made the decision after reading about it, finding a certification class that is being held next month close to home, and evaluating childcare options, that I will attend this training!

There are no words to express how grateful I am to have this opportunity.  There are no mistakes, things always happen for a reason.

I look forward to bringing more expertise, knowledge, and gentle nature to Fayetteville and the surrounding area through My Gentle Birthing.

La Leche League Baby Fair – I’ll be there!

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On May 1, 2010, from 10am to 2pm, at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville, the La Leche League is having a Baby Fair.  I will have a booth set up complete with brochures, the Kaya Birthing Stool (for you to try out), perhaps one of my HypnoBirthing moms, information, and my smiling face!

One of the door prizes to a lucky winner is a FREE group HypnoBirthing class valued at $300.  Come out to meet me, if you haven’t already.  Ask questions, try out the stool, sign up for classes, and learn more about HypnoBirthing. Come out in support of a beautiful organization aimed at helping moms to have high success rates, and find out what the vendors of Fayetteville have to offer to families.  Visit their website for more information about the La Leche League.

I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at this awesome event!

~Teva

Comments Welcome.