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bringing home baby

The Estimated Due Date and Preventing "Being Late"

Photo by Melissa Oosting

Photo by Melissa Oosting

Most mamas like to count baby's toes and fingers. The amount of creases in the baby's feet are simply one of several signs this healthy baby is "post term", born in the weeks past estimated due date, when this baby was ready to be born. It is one of the assessments we use to calculate the new baby's gestational age (how many weeks baby was in utero). I marvel how this calculation often differs from pregnancy dating. I had a mama in my practice who came to me with her last 4 pregnancies. She told me her first 4 babies were born 4 weeks past her estimated due date, but they were all evaluated as term at birth, without any indications of being "late." Her last 4 babies were also born 4 weeks after her estimated due date, had I calculated it based on the first day of her last period alone; but they actually arrived at just the right time, all evaluated to be term - as I used a variety of other assessments, including past history, cycle characteristics, and when she had intercourse, to get a more accurate dating for her pregnancy.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

What is this due date and how can you more accurately help calculate it to prevent false diagnosis of postdates and its associated risks of induction? The estimated due date is just that - an estimate of when mom and baby of a healthy pregnancy will go into labor; it is an estimate of how many weeks old your fetus is at any stage of your pregnancy - which is important to know, as this impacts your maternity care and the well-being of you and your baby. If you go into labor, it would be important to know that your baby is term and there are no issues with the baby's gestational age. For example, if you go into labor at a certain point before your estimated due date, it's important to know if it is too early for your baby to be born, your preterm baby would be at increased risk and need intensive care, so efforts would be made to try to stop it. Likewise, if you are past your given due date, in many modern obstetrical practices, in an attempt to avoid small risk of postdates for babies that increase after 42 weeks, there is a cascade of interventions from frequent testing of fetal well-being to induction when you are not really due or ready to labor yet; this can lead to increased stress, more painful harder labor, anesthesia and other unnecessary interventions that may culminate in an unplanned cesarean birth. Actually, only 5% of women give birth on their due date, even with the most accurately assessed pregnancy dating.  I like to use the language due month, as most babies come a few weeks before or after that date - more commonly a week or more after it for first time mamas.

@yogawithalanna

@yogawithalanna

 

So, when speaking about due dates and postdates, I like to start with education and prevention during preconception, before a women gets pregnant. And even if pregnant, we can still do some detective work and might come up with helpful information that may impact your pregnancy dating. I advise women to know their fascinating bodies and menstrual cycles, to track how often their periods come, when they have signs of ovulation and when they had or did not have intercourse.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

With this knowledge, mamas can TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR FERTILITY to either prevent pregnancy, or try to become pregnant, learn when they conceived and even when they are pregnant before a positive pregnancy test. This is one of my favorite books on the subject.

Mamas who know their date of conception, more details about their cycles, and their past pregnancy histories (when they went into labor previously and what the gestational age assessment was of each of their babies), have a much more accurate due date than basing it on first date of last period alone. This is one of many ways mamas can become empowered and proactive.

It also helps to connect with nature, and your connection with it - your body is nature, has its own biological clock, and you might want to look into how it relates to the moon cycles (a very interesting study). It helps to connect with the rest of who you are - your heart, your gut, your spirit, and get out of the busy overthinking, worrying, calculating mind that has become way too dependent on manmade, digital precision of industrialized time, stay present in each precious moment, the only place where life exists, surrender to what you can not control of the natural world anyway, and learn ways to self relax and tap into a state of inner calm (why I love yoga and mindfulness so much). As a midwife, I certainly have other date assessment skills I use, and other suggestions to help each mama on a more personal level, but these are great places mamas can start. But no obstetrical provider or any human, can predict when a mama will go into labor. So one of the great lessons of pregnancy is being ok with not knowing. Might as well enjoy the journey, as this is as real as life gets.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Red Moon
By Miranda Gray

But in today's times,  I do feel compelled to debunk some myths. As I indicated above, the due date is not written in stone. It is an estimate around an average time of when mamas go into labor, plus or minus a few weeks on either side. Although I like referring to the 'due month', that has not taken hold in the modern obstetric community, obsessed with measurements. At least we can use it between us and with your extended families, who tend to call you every day after your estimated due date, to find out if you had your baby yet. Yes, now we have ultrasound that, if done in the first trimester by a practitioner with expertise in pregnancy dating, the accuracy of the estimated due date increases a bit. But not all mamas want a sonogram. Again, only about 5% of babies are born on their estimated due dates anyway. And it is often miscalculated, if based alone on the first date of the last menstrual period. That date calculation only applies if a mama’s cycle comes every 28 days, assuming she ovulated day 14, and that still could mean baby could be born on average between 37 and 42 weeks. Healthy term babies can also be born before or after this time frame.

 

This is my pregnancy dating wheel that has been with me as long as I can remember. Now its online. I like the ones that take cycle length and date of conception into consideration. Most women having regular cycles have variation, with sometimes as much as 21-45 days between them. And that is normal. There are many factors such as stress, illness & travel, that can prolong the time between last period and next ovulation, but once a women ovulates, the next period comes close to 14 days later - unless she conceived shortly before or at ovulation.

As a nurse since 1985 and a midwife for over 20 years, I meet many women who are well informed and know their bodies and histories, and many who are not familiar but are very eager to get empowered and learn more. I have had plenty of women know their exact date of conception from fertility treatments and go into labor weeks before or after their due dates. I have had women who knew exactly when they conceived as they were keeping track, only had intercourse at or before ovulation once as for example they were or partner were busy or not together. And they give birth close to estimated due date. Each mama and story is different. And I have had women not have a clue about their cycles or when they got pregnant. But more often than realized, modern medicine does not know nearly as much as people might expect. Women can empower themselves with some knowledge and they have more wisdom than they think; too much trust is often placed in technology and 'experts' over themselves. I question the value of of having to be so accurate with exact calculations when it comes to healthy women experiencing healthy pregnancies. These are illusions, manmade constructs, industrialized time applied to horticultural biological time that no human can control or predict. This is a fascinating study and discussion if one has an open mind to consider other perspectives, and the more I practice the humbler I become, the more awe I have in a process that has far more wisdom and power than any human being, no matter what their training and background. 

Oh the journey of waiting and not knowing when, has been a journey traveled by billions of women since the beginning of time - it's part of the sacred wonder and surprises along the way. Welcome to the Tribe De Mama where we get more and more familiar with nature's own clock, realize there is so much we can not control, and get comfortable with not knowing.

This gorgeous shot of @heidijohnson13 was captured by darling mama's sister @sarahandthewave.

This gorgeous shot of @heidijohnson13 was captured by darling mama's sister @sarahandthewave.

For personal questions and need for individual guidance you can schedule an online consultation with me- this is one of passions and areas of expertise. Many mamas ask to consult with me about their fears of going past their due date, & want to know what they can do, as they don't want to be medically induced & have the barrage of testing which can cause much angst, and the subsequent interventions which increase risk of cesarean. I love helping mamas in person, and now with this global IG community, via Skype or phone conversation. You can also take my unique online ROCK and LOVE YOUR BIRTH course, which basically guides you through your pregnancy to birth and postpartum journey, as I guide the families in my midwifery practice - without the hands on care, to prepare and plan for an experience of their dreams.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

Do you need supplements for preconception and pregnancy? Here are some of my favorite I recommend to mamas in my practice.

Make your Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle herbal infusion.....rich in needed nutrients and specifically nourishing for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Place 1 oz of dried red raspberry leaf, 1 oz of dried nettle leaf in a quart-sized glass canning jar with strainer, fill it with boiling water, cover and steep for at least 2 -4 hours at room temperature. Strain and place in a covered pitcher. You can make it in larger quantities and store in the fridge. For taste, dilute with water or steep for less time (but no less than half an hour), add lemon or lime juice, mint leaves or a teaspoon of honey. Drink 1-4 cups daily hot or cold.

Birth: Expect The Unexpected

Certified Nurse Midwife Anne Margolis discussed what happens when labor does not go as planned. She talked about the importance of understanding what a cesarean section is and why it's important to know what happens in case of an emergency.

Subscribe to Ask the Midwife Newsletter: bit.ly/askthemidwife

When it comes to birth, oftentimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes this means a woman never makes it to the birthing tub she prepared, filled up and dreamt about birthing in, because in the moment of giving birth, she found her groove and prefers to stay on the squatting stool or her labor progresses quickly, and she needs to push before the tub is filled with water. Sometimes this means certain family members or friends aren’t present for the birth like originally intended because for example a mama is not laboring well with her kids present, they want to leave, or her best friend is sick and could not come to help.

Other times, when things don’t go as planned, this means a woman might need medical or surgical intervention. A common example: a mama is experiencing a hard back labor at home or free standing birth center, her baby persists in the posterior position, she is not progressing for hours despite trying everything and is exhausted; she is transferred to the hospital for Pitocin to augment her labor and the compassionate use of an epidural. A less common example is baby is not tolerating the labor, and is showing signs of worsening distress in any birth setting, and a cesarean is needed to save baby’s life.

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Overall, we must surrender to the process of labor and birth and know that we are being guided and well cared for. To avoid needless suffering, we must embrace what comes our way that is not in our control, as what is meant to happen – because it is happening or did happen; and we can raise to the level of being grateful that we were given exactly what we needed for our benefit, what we each needed on our own journey as a soul temporarily living in a body, even if we do not understand the whys. I am not apologetic about my spiritual perspective and my firm belief that the infinite all powerful being, Spirit or G-d of our own understanding is pure goodness and love for each and everyone one of us.

I’d like to address a question I get asked frequently.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Why do I mention cesareans in my online posts?

Cesareans can be both planned and unplanned for serious complications or illness. In both cases, they are indeed a birth. They are a birth for baby, a birth for mom, a birth for dad, and a birth of a new family unit.

I want all women to feel lovingly supported and cared for however they birthed and that includes a cesarean.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

I like to post information on what I refer to as a gentle cesarean. It’s still using a home birth model of care, with the principle of restoring humanity to maternity and newborn care – especially in the operating room. A gentle cesarean would include possibly pulling the curtain down, allowing the baby to birth itself gently through the incision, encouraging mom to receive her baby directly from the surgeon, hold her baby skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and early breastfeeding; it can also include allowing her partner, doula and anyone else she needs in the OR by her side.

I want to offer support to all women, and especially women who feel their birth did not go as planned. Although it’s rare for normal births to lead to complications or emergencies requiring life saving medical and surgical interventions, most births don’t go as initially planned.

Photo Credit: @albanydoula

What do I do when things don’t go as planned?

In general, healthy mamas with healthy pregnancies have healthy births. The stats on homebirth  and free standing birth center outcomes are excellent when there is a trained experienced midwife in attendance.

My transfer rate from home to hospital in labor is 7% and that is comparable to those of my colleagues. The vast majority of transfers are non-urgent. In most cases, it’s usually first time vaginal birthers whose labor stops progressing with exhaustion despite us trying every one of our "tricks" to remedy the situation. The need to call 911 and have an urgent ambulance transfer has been a handful of times in 20 years.

The midwife is of course there as a lifeguard - as rarely emergencies do occur. I bring the same emergency equipment and medications that any free-standing birth center has. Most of the time I don't use it and all is well. But when I need it, I have saved lives, as any seasoned midwife can say.

I saw much more catastrophic events when I was an OB nurse in the hospital. I have never lost a mother, but our country's maternal mortality rates are among the highest compared to most modernized countries, and this is largely from risky hospital interventions, which are not happening at home.

I have had to resuscitate significantly less babies at home – we have a screened healthy low risk population, are watching closely and WITH the mama in active labor. We do not intervene unless medically necessary and do not cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsing or placenta is birthed, unless there is a problem or a request for lotus birth.

In 20 plus years of homebirth midwifery practice I have had to transfer 3 babies to the hospital who did not respond to resuscitation and needed intensive care due to unrelated complications, and this is significantly less than our country's high newborn morbidity and mortality rates.

Yes, we need to be prepared for and have to manage a rare shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulders) but it happens less as our mamas are laboring and birthing in positions that use gravity and maximize the diameter of the pelvis. Yes we have had to treat postpartum hemorrhage not responsive to natural remedies, with medication and IV fluids.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

I do not convince anyone to have a homebirth as it needs to be each mama's decision. I do provide information so she can make an informed one. She needs to birth where she feels safe or she won't labor well. 

It is one of my passions and areas of expertise to help mama's with these sorts of questions. I offer online consulting for mama's just like you, whether a one hour discussion or a package of consultations and email access from pregnancy through postpartum – which is great for mamas who want and need more personal attention and guidance to a holistic midwife as they have no access to one in their area.

To really best help a mama make a decision unique to her situation - I recommend a conversation. This is not something simply answered on social media, without discussion.

If you want to schedule an online consultation, please go to my website:  - I look forward to connecting more and answering your personal questions.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor

  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby

  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy

  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly

  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum

  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

Check out my pregnancy herbal tonic recipe and some of my favorite supplements I recommend below, to augment a wholesome healthy diet, so you can meet the increased needs of your body and your growing baby.

 

Do you need supplements? Here are some of my favorite I recommend to mamas in my practice.

Make your Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle herbal infusion.....rich in needed nutrients and specifically nourishing for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Place 1 oz of dried red raspberry leaf, 1 oz of dried nettle leaf in a quart-sized glass canning jar with strainer, fill it with boiling water, cover and steep for at least 2 -4 hours at room temperature. Strain and place in a covered pitcher. You can make it in larger quantities and store in the fridge. For taste, dilute with water or steep for less time (but no less than half an hour), add lemon or lime juice, mint leaves or a teaspoon of honey. Drink 1-4 cups daily hot or cold.

Jet Arlo's Birth Story

The 1st of August 2016, at 39 weeks and 1 day, Jet Arlo Sheedy graced us with his presence Earthside.

Baby photos by @lanicarterphotography.

Baby photos by @lanicarterphotography.

On top of the normal pains plus ‘vagina shocks’, over the weekend I experienced some interesting sensations further down in my pelvis, which felt like it was right near my cervix - also experiencing a different emotional state, quite calm and at peace, and my senses were heightened - especially my sense of smell. At the time I didn’t know, however now I’m taking this as my pre-labour. It was a beautiful weekend that my husband and I were able to have some quality time with plenty of it spent at the beach. The next day was a productive Monday day for me, while I had a tight stomach and uterus for the past 8 weeks and bub had been engaged for most of that, I was determined to get a few things ticked off my to-do list. With a trip to the shops and catch up with a friend where we chatted about birth, I went over my affirmation cards and birth plan. I had planned a home-birth however also felt comfortable and open to the need to transfer if required. I was starting to feel excited about the rite of passage before me, this was a nice feeling as previously I had been feeling quite anxious with not knowing when the time would come and also what life as a mum would look like.

Just before 3pm, I had sat down to do bits of emails on the computer when after a while I felt a little release of fluid and then 2 seconds later a bigger release of fluid. I stood up to go to the toilet not putting two and two together until I leaked ample water along the way. My body started to tremble and shake from the adrenaline. I rang my midwife (Deyna) to let her know, she reassured me and wasn’t too worried that it was going to happen quickly as I had no pain, not even cramping. She said she would touch base in a few hours and see how I was doing. I rang my husband (Paul) who was in Beerwah finishing a job, I said not to worry and to keep working, as had no pain so may even be tomorrow when it all starts.

At 3:17 I started to feel cramps like period pain to which I text Paul to say I’d actually like him to be home with me, he advised he was already packing up and on his way.

I spoke to a close friend (Teagan) who had been very supportive through my pregnancy and also a huge homebirth support for me. She expressed excitement, also calmness and confidence in the journey that was upon me. This helped to ground me knowing the support was there if needed.

After speaking to her I thought I best just make up the herbal for a client that I had meant to do all day and make my parsley green smoothie to help hydrate me before things really kicked off. I got maybe 6 steps away and had to return to the day bed to focus on relaxing and breathing.

3:40 the cramps had increased to surges and were taking up all of my attention, I tried timing them but it was too much to think about. Instead called in my dog Meeka to keep me company while I was still at home by myself.

3:55 I rang Deyna again to let her know things were getting intense, she told me to relax and that my body was trying to find a rhythm. She talked me through a surge, which was helpful. She also said she was getting organised and would be on her way. This slowed down my surges thankfully and headed to the kitchen to grab a coconut water.

4:05pm during the next surge I noticed I was unconsciously groaning with pain and couldn’t breathe through the contraction, only groan, I was not in control at all with what was going on. This is the point I realised the incredible downward pressure and took myself to the bathroom. It felt like I needed to push so I tried to keep my legs tightly together when possible. I felt everything was happening a little too quickly and unless I wanted to deliver my baby myself I needed to calm down and slow down what was happening. I leaned forward dropping my head between my arms with hands on the bathroom sink. I was sweating and shaking so stripped off and put my hands under the cold running tap to get some relief.

I rang Deyna at this point as thought it would be best to have her talking me through this, especially if I was to be alone for the actual birth. She was getting in her car in Peregian and heading for me in Coolum. This helped just knowing she was on her way. Interestingly while I was conscious with the reality of what was happening and being alone I still didn’t feel fear. Fear was something I wanted to be aware of and not fall into during the lead up of the birth and was thankful that it didn’t overtake my senses through the birth. Trying to bring focus I attempted to recall my birthing affirmation cards, there was no way I’d make it out to the kitchen to get them. The only cards I could reach my mind to focus on was that women in Africa are giving birth at this same time in the middle of the desert (thanks Katie for this one) and Embrace…. something. I couldn’t remember what the rest of the card said but I got to EMBRACE, which was still an important word. Looking at the cards now it was EMBRACE THE ESSENCE OF MY BIRTH, funny as Embrace the Essence is the catch phase of my business, yet I couldn’t for the life of me remember ‘the essence’ part haha.

 

4:20 Paul and Deyna both arrived at the same time, thankfully. The feeling was a whole body sensation of gratitude once they were both with me. I felt inner strength and confidence that I was ready to birth my son. Deyna got me down on my knees and with the next surge could see him crowning. I lent forward on all 4’s for the following surges and felt my hipbones and pubic bones starting to open. This was truly a mind-blowing feeling to be present enough to acknowledge what was happening. A lot say that you go within and zone out during birth, which I was looking forward to, however perhaps with it all happening so quickly and initially on my own I needed to stay present.

In this short period of time Paul was a machine and was able to get towels, a wet washer (that felt amazing like no other washer had felt before!), get me the fitness ball so I could rest on between surges, give me kisses that were the best pain relief ever (definitely recommend this to support their birthing partners) and set up the video camera on the tripod – truly love that man.

The next surge I had was again incredible yet intense, I tried to focus on the action of what was happening so I didn’t get lost, I could feel everything opening, while there was crazy pressure, burning, stinging I knew this was normal and Deyna helped talk me through the surge as my baby’s head came out. WOW! What a feeling that was.

 

Deyna asked if I was ready to catch my baby with the next contraction, Paul sat on the toilet behind me and I moved back to kneeling hoping to catch him. The period between contractions is total bliss, the hormones that flood your body are incredible, two total opposite feelings to experience within 60 seconds of each other.

The next surge begun to birth the rest of my baby and while I tried and wanted to catch him it was too much for me to do and due to the speed he came out it was great that Deyna grabbed him and put him straight on my chest at 4:32pm. My little speedy angel was born and in my arms. He had a little spatter to clear his airway and then just nuzzled into my chest. Meeka came in to see us and gave him a sniff, to which Jet let out a little cry, oh the cuteness is overwhelming and still is.

 

That feeling is truly powerful and indescribable, I now understand what mum’s are meaning when they are trying to explain that moment in life.

He was so beautiful and first thing I said was that he looked like an old man from being all squished and that he looked like his Dada. We had skin on skin for the 5 hours which passed like it was 10mins.

Jet weighed 3.3kg and 50cm long.

From the birth experience I was overwhelmed with gratitude for how it all worked out. I will be forever grateful for having a homebirth with no medical intervention, instead allowing the natural body and hormones journey us through an incredible experience. My faith for nature has been elevated to new levels and the trust I will continue to have for the process of life and how the less we intervene the more it works out, this is huge for me to acknowledge the process of letting go and surrendering to the journey that has already been laid out for us. As I sit there with my little life in my arms that my husband and I created in just 9 months my view on the world would never be the same.

So much gratitude.

Welcome to the world my little man xxxx

By Talita Sheedy @lahlita_natural_medicine.

 

ROCK your pregnancy, birth and postpartum with my  online childbirth course  - whether you give birth at home, in a birthing center or hospital. Educate yourself with my favorite  books  and  movies .  And here is a list of 10  b  irth supplies  to really help you.

ROCK your pregnancy, birth and postpartum with my online childbirth course - whether you give birth at home, in a birthing center or hospital. Educate yourself with my favorite books and movies.  And here is a list of 10 birth supplies to really help you.

10 Supplies to Rock Your Birth in Any Setting

1) THE BIRTH POOL IN A BOX  - a regular size is ideal, as it fits your support person and allows for complete immersion of your uterus for more freedom of moment, comfort, relaxation, and easier birthing.  It comes with repair patch kit, disposable liner and carrying bag. A smaller size is available, but I would recommend it only if space is an issue. An electric pump for inflatables   fills it up quickly and easily with air, and a submersible drain pump empties it after use. It is common to poop during pushing. To easily scoop the poop, get a fish net.   

Photo by Allison Lucienne Photography

Photo by Allison Lucienne Photography

2) REBOZZO  - a traditional Mexican fabric with multiple uses for pregnancy, birth and postpartum, from comforting and supporting you, to aiding in optimal positions for you and baby during labor and birth, to baby wearing. 

3) BIRTH BALL - is a wonderful ergonomic tool to support you in the most comfortable and ideal positions during the childbirth process. It can be used for exercise, and is great to sit or lean on during pregnancy; postpartum, it can be used to rock and calm a fussy baby.

4) SQUATTING STOOL  - (like that or this one) assists you in a supported squat for birth, going to the bathroom and sitting - the healthier way we used to sit before there were chairs; it prevents many ailments, and can also be used for potty training. 

5) NOW WALL CLOCK - to keep you focused only on the present moment, the only place you need to be during labor.

6) BLENDER WITH 16 OZ CUPS, COVER & STRAW PORT - for easy nutrient rich smoothies and hydration needed for laboring well.

7) THERAPEUTIC CORN FILLED HEATING PAD AND COLD PACK  - so soothing for areas of discomfort, and smells yummy when heated, 

8) ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER WITH CHANGING LED LIGHTS - to distribute your favorite fragrance, and relaxing healing aromas and light to set your desired ambiance. You can try a delicious assortment of professional, therapeutic grade, 100% pure blend of essential oils for calm, romance, energy and uplift, clarity and focus.

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

9) POSITIVE and EMPOWERING AFFIRMATION CARDS - to hang in your birth setting to inspire you and remind you of your incredible,capacities as a woman. 

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

10) ELECTRIC CANDLES and STRING LIGHTS - for an lovely and enchanting environment in the hospital or birth center. In the home setting, you can use candles with care - I like the pure naturally scented pillars encased in glass for added safety and heavenly aroma. Himalayan natural crystal salt rock candle holders give a soft relaxing glow, are balancing and purifying; those can be filled with and tea light candles

PLUS - MAKE THREE PLAYLISTS: one with calming relaxing sounds, one with sensual soulful songs (like R & B)  that arouse you to tap into your sexual feminine self and slow dance alone or with your partner, and one with upbeat songs that create fun happy energy, make you want to move your hips and shake your booty or belly dance (like hip hop, funk, African, Latin, tribal, Indian/Arabian). I love a good waterproof and splash-proof portable wireless speaker for your smartphone or other devices. 

A more comprehensive list of oh so helpful supplies for your birth are listed in my Online Holistic Childbirth Course.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

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Thumbs Up on the Sleepod

Baby's Place for Co-Sleeping, Tummy Time and Resting!

Midwives have access to lots of mamas and babies, so I was gifted with the Sleepod and asked for some feedback after use.  Its developers must know how I adore beautifully designed natural products made with care, and concern for the environment.  I am happy to report an enthusiastic, overwhelmingly positive experience by the eager participants. I give my heartfelt support to the wonderful eco-friendly small business who makes it - Askr and Embla - run by parents for parents interested in sustainable natural living. I am excited to partner with them to enable you to receive a 10% discount on your purchases. Check out their website askrembla.com - but remember to use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount.

What is a Sleepod?

It is a lovely, high quality, all natural, and functional in bed co-sleeper. It also has multiple uses for babies from newborn to 6-7 months old. It is very lightweight and doubles as a travel cot, to give babies an added sense of security when traveling outside the familiar environment of home, and it comes with a durable carrying bag. It can also be used for baby napping and lounging, as a comfy supervised tummy time spot, a perfect space for baby during mommy and me yoga, as well as a sitting aid and backrest for baby feedings. It was developed together with midwives and doulas to mimic the calming atmosphere of the womb, to ease the transition from birth to earth side, for both mom and baby. The design is inspired by the sleep nests used in neonatal wards as a less invasive, more natural, cozy and soothing option to incubators. The edges work to offer a snug womblike environment with the added benefit of reducing the startle reflex without restraining baby's movement. The edges can also support mom's body during side lying nursing in bed. The bottom edge can be easily tied to form an oval like haven for baby, and adjusted to accommodate baby's size. Its colors are soft soothing earth and pastel tones. 

There are as many good reasons to co- sleep as there are babies, but even if you were to decide that co-sleeping isn’t right for your family, the Sleepod still offers great benefits.

But, why co-sleep?

Babies thrive on closeness and skin to skin contact - which is known not only to have a soothing effect on them, but also helps with bonding, eases breastfeeding, promotes healthy brain development and emotional well-being - in the short and long term. Emotional well being for the baby translates into earlier independence, increased self esteem, better social skills, improved behavior outcomes and less psychological disorders which can extend well into childhood. 

The medical research is documenting what cultures around the world have known throughout history - safe co-sleeping is actually easier, more cost effective, more protective and healthier for baby than leaving baby to sleep in a separate room alone.

Babies and mothers that co-sleep both experience better sleep. Babies who sleep near their parents have less internal stress and night time/sleep anxiety, and less crying episodes during the night. Their temperature, heart beat and breathing patterns are more stable, with a four to five fold decrease in the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Countries with the lowest rates of SIDS are those where co-sleeping is the norm (especially when mom does not smoke, have problems with drug/alcohol abuse or take medication that induces deep sleep). It is a practice that is encouraged worldwide, and even endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Babies usually get up in the middle of the night to breastfeed. When baby is nearby, mom tends to respond to and feed baby from early signals, before baby more fully wakes up and cries, which makes breastfeeding and falling back to sleep after feeding easier.  It enables mom to feed baby without having to get up out of bed. Night time feeding maintains milk supply and helps prevent return to ovulation, fertility and menstrual cycles. Better sleep for mom and baby, means a better rest for them both, and quicker physical and emotional recovery postpartum. 

A huge advantage of the Sleepod, is the wonderful combination of materials used to make it. It is hypoallergenic and completely free of harmful toxins and flame retardants. The washable covers in contact with baby's skin are made from organic cotton and hemp, and the mattress is made of organic 100% wool. We know harsh chemicals are damaging to our health and our environment. Infants sleeps for up to 18 hours a day during the first few months of life so you want to make sure to keep their sleeping place free from all harmful toxins and synthetic off gases. Organic materials and wool in particular  - unlike synthetics - are completely free from chemical residue, will not produce off gases like poly-foams do, and have never been in touch with formaldehyde or other chemical compounds that are frequently used in fabric dye. 

Wool has been used for infant bedding during centuries and is still the best available material by far. It has high air flow which creates a perfect micro climate for sleep. Wool lanolin (the natural wool fat on fiber) helps to regulate body temperature, preventing the bedding (and baby) from getting too hot or too cold. The lanolin also works to draw away moisture, keeping the bed dry and clean.

 

Disclaimer: 

Co-sleeping is the natural way for mammals (including humans) to nurture their young. Co-sleeping with a healthy full term baby is considered very safe but it is always good to practice common sense. Make sure to keep baby's sleeping area free from pillows, heavy blankets and stuffed animals. You should NEVER co-sleep with infant if you smoke, have consumed alcohol, drugs or in consume medications that can deepen sleep, alter consciousness and impair your ability to react. It is also not recommended to co-sleep together with older kids and or pets in the same bed as an infant. 

It is always good to consult your birthing professional and or pediatrician to discuss whether co-sleeping is a good option for your family. 

Don't forget - to receive a 10% discount on your purchases, go to their website askrembla.com and use the code SWEETHOME prior to check out.

Sources on co-sleeping:

Check out my favorite baby books.

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping

http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/cosleeping/

Don't forget - to receive a 10% discount on your purchases, go to their website askrembla.com and use the code SWEETHOME prior to check out.

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