Placenta Without Fear

Know The Facts: Placenta Encapsulation Processes & Protocols

The downloadable Placenta Encapsulation Manifesto includes details on processes and protocols, contraindications, and considerations for placenta encapsulation, to promote and encourage discussion regarding this postpartum option available to parents.

Labor & Birth

Easing Labor Pain May Help Reduce Postpartum Depression

A recent study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) looked at 201 women who received epidural analgesia, the study found those with more pain relief during labor had lower scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). What does this mean for mother's planning a natural birth? A  closer look at the ASA Studies (this one from 2016, and another from 2014) reveal...

Pregnancy

More Than "A Little Case Of Hyperemesis"

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. Finding appropriate care for HG is a serious challenge for women faced with the condition. 

Help! I Want to Change My Care Provider! Is it too late?

So you have discovered that your first (or second, or maybe third) choice of care providers isn't right for you. Don't sweat it! I've been there too.

I teach childbirth classes, and a big component of our curriculum is helping students, parents just like you and me, learn what mother-friendly care is, and understand the importance of choosing the right birth team. And as a doula, I help parents formulate questions to pick the right care provider for their birth. But sometimes, despite all our best efforts, the need arises to change care providers.

The Best Butterbeer Recipe (Non-Alcoholic)

Everyone knows you gotta satisfy that sugar craving, and it won't always be in a healthy way. So here's THE BEST (cold) Butterbeer Recipe you will ever concoct! A cold, delicious, non-alcoholic beverage for two!

 

the best butterbeer

Combine

  • 2 tbsp butterscotch desert topping
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Add in 

  • 3/4 cup of cool whip
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow creme

Pour slowly over

  • 1 can of cream soda (split into two cups) or 2 cans of soda if you please
  • 1/2 tbsp (also divided) warmed butterscoth

Gently mix

 

Enjoy

Breastfeeding With A Cleft Lip & Palate | It Can Be Done

I am proud to introduce to you my dear friend and our guest blogger, Rachel Morgan, here to talk about her experience nursing her baby through special circumstances, in which moms are told, "it can't be done."

One month ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Like most soon-to-be mothers, I envisioned bringing my nursling up to my breast moments after birth, allowing him to root around until he found just the right spot to begin suckling.

Our Real Holiday Newsletter, 2015

Each year we learn and each year we grow. And sometimes, we settle. I caught myself settling when I asked my 8 year old to feed the pets and was caught red handed doing it myself.  But it was easier!! Let me explain.

                Personalized coffee mug by The T Bird

                Personalized coffee mug by The T Bird

We have a large American Boxer, who when hungry, curls herself into the shape of a horseshoe and prances around like an awkward deer; scattering any toys that may have been left in her way and crushing your feet as she lands. And when the dogs are getting fed NOW, the cats will incessantly meow to be fed NOW. All before a morning cup of joe! So you see, it was just easier to do it myself than coax my 8 year old off of the iPad.

Wait a minute, didn't I just say this was all before my morning cup of coffee?  Yes, I did. Mommy confession No.2. I have succumbed to allowing screen time first thing in the morning (on non school days) just so I can have my coffee in peace! 

We welcomed a beautiful little girl this year. With her birth we learned so much. We learned to navigate the challenges of politics in birth, we learned to trust our intuition and make the choices that were best for us - even in the face of adversity, most importantly, we learned the importance of supportive friends and family and the beauty of undisturbed birth. You can read her birth story here.

In other updates,

climbing at jack's canyon

Joshua absolutely loved hiking and climbing this year with his friend Livy. We're still struggling with his distaste for foods. Currently on his short list of foods he will eat are figs and other fruits, pasta, pizza, and of course, candy. He still tells us "it's not working" when attempting to use the potty, so we have two in diapers, and two in our bed. 

Aden will be attending an online school this next semester - this will be a very interesting challenge for our family, but we'll enjoy having him home more and we are so grateful to no longer have the frantic mornings involved with attempting to get to school on time. He loves helping out with his siblings and is a wonderful big brother!

Annabelle is enjoying sucking on her toes and will be rolling over any day. We hope she enjoys dresses as much as she enjoys hiking with mom - only problem is every time I put her in one of those overly cute dresses, I take her out of it less than 5 minutes later! It's just too much for me.

In May, our whole family - myself, my husband, my ex, his wife, and all five of "our" children - are moving to Colorado. We are very much looking forward to living closer together and this exciting new adventure. We look forward to learning, growing, and settling (in the other context of the word), as we welcome 2016.

A big thanks to Chronicker Photography for photos with Santa and Plum Organics for this fun holiday newsletter - click the photo to make your own!

A big thanks to Chronicker Photography for photos with Santa and Plum Organics for this fun holiday newsletter - click the photo to make your own!

Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

Drop a comment below with

  1. Honest tid-bit from your 2015 and
  2. What you are looking forward to in 2016

Top Ten Reasons I LOVE Birth Boot Camp

With so many childbirth classes to choose from, what sets one apart from another? Why would you want to take Birth Boot Camp?

10. Birth Boot Camp offers contemporary childbirth education

This is not your average childbirth course. Birth Boot Camp is interesting, educational, entertaining, and accessible. 

9. Birth Boot Camp is for moms AND dads

No lotus flower here! Dads love the program just as much as moms. What's more? We focus on teaching partners how to prepare as a TEAM.

8. And all that jazz

7. It's a 10-week course

For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone can teach classes in a shorter time. Birth is a BIG event; it takes time to prepare for it, and I promise, it is worth preparing for.

6. You'll feel prepared

Not only does class night make for a great date night, you'll get a comprehensive education, and we'll teach you and your partner a variety of techniques to help you feel prepared and confident.

5. You'll be informed

I LOVE watching people learn! With the Birth Boot Camp curriculum, you'll get up-to-date information to make informed choices for your birth.

4. It's not all about that bass

In Birth Boot Camp, we go beyond pregnancy and birth to talk about nutrition, physical fitness, breastfeeding, and preparing for your new recruit.

3. More than one m.o.

2. Recommended

This is an excellent format for couples to learn about childbirth and beyond, and to prepare to have a safe and satisfying birth.

- Martha Sears, RN, Childbirth Educator, LLL Leader, and Lactation Consultant

1. It's convenient

10-weeks can seem like a lot to commit to, but don't worry - if you need to miss a class, you can make it up online!

You CAN have an amazing birth!

Give me a call, send me an email, or sign up now for the next childbirth class in Denver or online! Don't live nearby, but still want to take a live class? Get in touch and I'll do my best to connect you with an instructor near you.


My Day Was Not Measured In Centimeters

Before I was even pregnant with my third baby I imagined my perfect birth. There wasn't a lot of detail, I would labor at home and stay at home. I desired a long early labor phase with manageable contractions and a baby born shortly before dinner time. And then, after the baby was born, we would enjoy dinner at our own family dinner table, in the comfort of our home.  

Well, I got my perfect birth. And then some. I got more for my birth than I even knew I wanted. 

I went to bed at 10:30pm, August 5, 2015 with what I finally recognized to be tightenings. I smiled to myself with my little secret, guesstimated that they were about 10 - 15 minutes apart, and I went to bed. I awoke to my husband preparing for work early the next morning, with the same familiar pattern. I smiled to myself, realizing this was the early labor I had dreamed of.  I couldn't fall back asleep, so I got up and enjoyed my birth ball, texting my doula shortly before 6am, letting her know that we were expecting a dinner time baby. 

My husband stayed home from work and we got the eldest child up and ready for school. After dropping him off, we stopped by the grocery store for some yogurt and other healthy labor snacks. It was around 8am and I began needing to pause within for my surges. I had trained earlier this year to become a Birth Boot Camp educator, and one of the tools we learned about and teach our students became my favorite labor technique!

After the grocery store, we saw a good friend at the duck pond on our way home. We stopped to say hi and feed the ducks with our soon to be middle child enjoying the morning alongside us. Labor continued on easily and joyfully. We had a delicious breakfast of fruit and yogurt and then went on a short walk. It was then I began needing to fully pause for contractions.  We returned home and I wrote down my newly favorite mantra, knowing I would need the reminder later. 

My doula, Kelly, lived a little less than 2hrs from us, so she had asked me to let her know when my contractions were 5 minutes apart; around 10:30am I decided to finally time them. Lo and behold, they were 5 minutes apart. I texted her an update, let her know we were doing great, just settling in to watch Alice In Wonderland. By noon, I was ready for her to head our way. 

Photo by Kelly of Sunshine Doula Services

Photo by Kelly of Sunshine Doula Services

My husband was such amazing support for this birth. And our doula came right alongside him to help with the needs of a homebirth. The birth attendants and Kelly arrived between 2 & 3 pm as requested. Margo did an initial assessment of my vitals and we listened to the baby with a doppler. Maryn suggested I eat some lunch and then they both left (upon my request) to allow us to labor. I had this strange fear, with labor being so easy, that it really wasn't going to happen and I didn't want too many people arriving at once to stall me out. My doula had suggested a vaginal exam to assess my progression but it wasn't something I really wanted. Margo sat with me; she asked me how I felt about my labor and encouraged me to continue on as we were. After they left, Kelly made me a grilled chicken salad for lunch. I ate, standing in between taking bites for contractions, while she and my husband filled the birth pool. She had an apprentice doula with her who kept me company but I continued to enjoyed the comfort of my husband's arms during contractions and called for him as I needed the support. With Kelly there, I knew the essentials were being taken care of while my husband and I enjoyed our labor together. Kelly had timed my contractions to be 2 - 3 minutes apart by 3pm and after eating lunch, I got into the pool, a little before 4. 

Labor had certainly picked up, just as Maryn had said it would. It wasn't quite as enjoyable anymore, so I would say we were officially in active labor; there was no more denying that we would have a baby this day. I still "knew" we'd have our dinner time baby but kept doubting how close we were because I didn't want to be wrong. Beyond this point, everything is quite a blur. I labored, I worked with my body. I remember Kelly moaning low and I began to vocalize with her which helped immensely. I think there were conversations that I enjoyed listening to in between contractions. I asked for a bowl of ice cream. Delicious as it was, I probably was just looking for a bit of sugar for energy.

At some point in time, Kelly was on the phone with Margo who heard me work through an intense surge. Margo recounts this part of my birth story

Maryn and I were at Red Rooster Cafe, getting reading to order some take out. I listened to you labor and you sounded amazing. When we talked, I asked you how you were feeling and you said "good, just don't ask me during a contraction". I asked if you thought the baby would be born within the next half hour or so.

"No way," I thought. I continued to deny how close we really were. It was too good to be true and I didn't want to be disappointed. I told Maryn and Margo to go ahead and grab their lunch and then head on back to the house.

Kelly knew otherwise. She knew we were getting close and 20 minutes after our conversation with Margo, my contractions began to change in their form of intensity. Perhaps she asked me to, perhaps I felt on my own, but I reached in to feel my cervix and only got to the middle of my finger before touching the baby with the sac still intact.  By 4:30 my body began pushing with contractions and Kelly was on the phone with Margo and Maryn. My bag of waters ruptured and I continued to push. 

I felt challenged during the pushing phase with this baby, but with the help of my husband and Kelly, I worked to control the urge to allow my tissues more time to stretch. Patience has yet to be my virtue during this phase. The midwives walked in at a quarter to 5 and at 4:48 pm, our baby was born on August 6, 2015.

Looking back at my birth experience I am so in love with how empowered we were. I am in love with the beauty of it. I am in love with the simplicity of it. I enjoyed the freedom we had, the confidence and support that surrounded us, but most of all, I love that it was fully ours.  I was never intruded upon.  I love that I am the only person who ever even attempted to check my cervix.  No one "measured my progress" or told me how I was doing. My day was not measured in centimeters, I recall it in moments - moments of love and moments of laughter. I enjoyed my day in the beauty of itself as it unfolded without interruption. I was never pressured into anything. I was only ever reassured and affirmed in my laboring. 

My birth story was picture perfect. It was just as I imagined. I never would have thought I wanted such an undisturbed birth and for that experience, I am so grateful. Looking back, I cherish this birth being so intimately our own.  

Image Courtesy of Chance Pederson | Perfect Chance Photography

Image Courtesy of Chance Pederson | Perfect Chance Photography