Pregnant through the holidays? How to stay happy and healthy!

The holidays are here and with this season comes a lot of stress and overscheduling. Here are our tips for a happy, healthy holiday while you are expecting:

blog holiday pregnancy

  1. Stay hydrated!  It’s easy to skimp on your water intake while running all the holiday errands or while traveling to visit family.  It can be tempting to drink less water to avoid frequent bathroom trips, but this can catch up to you and cause uterine irritability.  Map out the bathrooms along your planned path of holiday travel and drink up! You will feel so much better when you are hydrating adequately!
  2. Cut yourself some slack! So maybe your decorations don’t have to be Pinterest worthy this year.  Maybe someone can help with the holiday cooking.  Summon the zen of online ordering or buying gift cards for everyone in lieu of going to 17 different stores.  Call in the troops to help with holiday commitments or just say no!  Surges of stress hormones can lead to headaches and compromise your immunity making you more susceptible to the cold that your Uncle Ed came to dinner with.  Make things easy on yourself for the sake of your health!
  3. Find time to exercise! Get out and go for a nice walk.  Have a dance party in your living room.  Find ways to MOVE that get your heart rate up and keep your hips and pelvis mobile.  Finding time to exercise, especially if you are indulging in holiday treats, will help to keep your blood sugar stable.  Spikes and drops in blood sugar will have you feeling like the GRINCH, so find ways to incorporate healthy movement into your holiday plans.
  4. Prop your feet up! Traveling by car or plane, or even just a long day of shopping can cause your feet and hands to swell more than usual.  Along with drinking plenty of water, take a moment to sit and elevate your feet.  This is a great reason to call in that foot massage!  If you are traveling, try to make several stops where you can get out and stretch your legs so you aren’t sitting in one position for prolonged periods of time.  If you are drinking your water, you will need to stop for the bathroom anyway.  If swelling persists or is accompanied by headache and/or visual disturbances, be sure to call and let us know.
  5. Pace yourself with holiday treats. Overeating is a reigning theme for the holidays, but to avoid being up all night with miserable nausea or heartburn, be mindful of what you are eating.  Foods that are fried or that contain a lot of sugar can leave your digestive system feeling stressed out.  Too many treats can also lead to miserable constipation so volunteer to bring the salad to your holiday party in order to be sure there will be something there to fuel your body with healthy nutrients and fiber!
  6. Nap.  It’s as simple as that.  Take naps when you need them.  Allow your body to completely rest and recuperate from extra activity.  Resting also restores your mental energy and focus.
  7. Take time to ENJOY the moment. Make lots of great memories to share with your child when he/she is older. Take pictures with family and friends that are near and dear to you. Don’t obsess about the shape of your face or your pregnant body.  You are BEAUTIFUL.

blog pregnant woman

 

Being pregnant around the holidays can be really special and fun when you practice a little planning and a lot of self-care.  Prioritizing your mental and physical health will make the season truly joyful rather than stressful. 

Love, 

Your Natural Beginnings Midwives 

Marcia, Nicole, and Tiffany

 

 

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Tips for Staying Sane in Prodromal Labor

Prodromal labor by definition is labor that starts and stops before fully active labor begins. Sometimes it is referred to as “false labor” but this isn’t really accurate because prodromal labor can produce a small amount of cervical change, however, it isn’t active labor.  The medical community hasn’t been able to determine the cause of prodromal labor.  It is believed that it is the body’s way of “warming up” but in truth, active labor could be days…even weeks away.
Expecting moms who experience prodromal labor many times see it as an annoying, emotionally exhausting, seemingly cruel joke that your body plays on you.  The contractions are frequent (usually every 3-5 minutes lasting almost a minute) and don’t stop.  They are uncomfortable.  You can’t sleep or rest comfortably during them.  They are just strong enough to make you believe you are going to see your baby soon so you get out your trusty contraction app and start excitedly timing…but then they don’t progress.  They also go on for hours and hours, particularly in the evening.  Emotionally, prodromal labor can make a mom question everything about herself and her body and wonder if she will know when she is in active labor.

prodromal labor

 

If you do a Google search for prodromal labor you will find forum after forum of frustrated moms who are having painful, frequent contractions that are not progressing to the next phase of labor.  They are begging for a solution that will either put them into active labor, or relax their uterus.  Many a mom has found herself at the brink of insanity trying to get her prodromal labor contractions to kick over to active.  When you have been pregnant FOREVER and are ready to meet your baby, prodromal labor can feel the proverbial carrot on a stick.

Prodromal labor is not an indication of an abnormality and it does not mean that your body isn’t working for you.  It is a variation of the “normal” labor pattern and the name of the game for prodromal labor is to REST and SAVE YOUR SANITY.  Here are some of our practical tips for surviving prodromal labor:

  1. Hydration and Hydrotherapy:  We know mamas get tired of hearing us tell them to drink a big glass of water as if it is answer to all that ails you, but hydration is crucial to “homeostasis” and keeping the body operating as it should. Also, getting into a tub of warm water with some Epsom salt and soaking while listening to some relaxing music can help.  Being in the water will often “wash away” a lot of the confusing sensations and help contractions to decrease or completely stop.
  2. Get INACTIVE: Try lying down in the EXAGERATED SIMS position and resting.  Many women go for long, exhausting walks or exercise sessions trying to “get things going” but find it makes little change and increases fatigue.  If a nice, 20-minute brisk walk doesn’t take contractions to the next level, then REST.  If contractions are keeping you awake at night, call the office for some options to help you rest in the evening.
  3. Try the MILES CIRCUIT:  You can find full instruction for the Miles Circuit HERE.  If the issue is baby’s position, then these poses might help convince your little one to line up and your uterus to settle down.  This VIDEO from Spinning Babies also offers some practical advice.
  4. Nourish your body: Make sure you are eating!  Hunger makes your mind and your body irritable.
  5. Get a massage: Find a massage therapist who has experience working with pregnant moms and get a good massage.  Use deep breathing techniques during your massage to get the full benefit of a relaxed body and mind.
  6. Unplug: Consider taking some time away from communication and social media to focus on self-care.  Be careful of crowd sourcing for information as it can be overwhelming and impractical.
  7. Meditation and Relaxation: Sometimes you do all the right things physically but the contractions keep coming.  Tapping into the power of your mind is very effective.  Get in a quiet place and listen to some relaxing music or use an app like INSIGHT TIMER to find a guided meditation.  Remind yourself as you relax that your body is working for you and that your baby will come at just the right time.
  8. Consider journaling your emotions: Use this time to clear any fears and anxieties that you are experiencing.  You would be surprised how strong the connection between your body and your emotions is.  Write it all out.
  9. Spend time with your partner or a friend: Go out to dinner or coffee.  Choose somewhere where you can occasionally stand and walk if needed for comfort.  But enjoy some good connection time with someone you care about who will listen to your frustrations without judgement.  NOTE:  Sex can increase the intensity of prodromal labor but usually only for a couple of hours.  Get in a nice warm tub or shower afterwards if that happens!
  10. Binge watch a new show: If all else fails, occupy your mind with several episodes of that show you’ve been meaning to watch for a while now!  If you have a cheesy reality show series that you’ve been saving for a guilty pleasure moment, this is it!

Please call our office and talk to a midwife before taking any medications or herbal supplements for contractions.

Prodromal labor is a mind game for many women.  The key is to calm the body and mind and occupy yourself in the waiting.  Active labor does eventually come and you will be holding your baby before you know it.

But as always, please call the office if you have any abnormal symptoms, questions or concerns.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Staying Sane in Prodromal Labor

Prodromal labor by definition is labor that starts and stops before fully active labor begins. Sometimes it is referred to as “false labor” but this isn’t really accurate because prodromal labor can produce a small amount of cervical change, however, it isn’t active labor.  The medical community hasn’t been able to determine the cause of prodromal labor.  It is believed that it is the body’s way of “warming up” but in truth, active labor could be days…even weeks away.
Expecting moms who experience prodromal labor many times see it as an annoying, emotionally exhausting, seemingly cruel joke that your body plays on you.  The contractions are frequent (usually every 3-5 minutes lasting almost a minute) and don’t stop.  They are uncomfortable.  You can’t sleep or rest comfortably during them.  They are just strong enough to make you believe you are going to see your baby soon so you get out your trusty contraction app and start excitedly timing…but then they don’t progress.  They also go on for hours and hours, particularly in the evening.  Emotionally, prodromal labor can make a mom question everything about herself and her body and wonder if she will know when she is in active labor.

prodromal labor

 

If you do a Google search for prodromal labor you will find forum after forum of frustrated moms who are having painful, frequent contractions that are not progressing to the next phase of labor.  They are begging for a solution that will either put them into active labor, or relax their uterus.  Many a mom has found herself at the brink of insanity trying to get her prodromal labor contractions to kick over to active.  When you have been pregnant FOREVER and are ready to meet your baby, prodromal labor can feel the proverbial carrot on a stick.

Prodromal labor is not an indication of an abnormality and it does not mean that your body isn’t working for you.  It is a variation of the “normal” labor pattern and the name of the game for prodromal labor is to REST and SAVE YOUR SANITY.  Here are some of our practical tips for surviving prodromal labor:

  1. Hydration and Hydrotherapy:  We know mamas get tired of hearing us tell them to drink a big glass of water as if it is answer to all that ails you, but hydration is crucial to “homeostasis” and keeping the body operating as it should. Also, getting into a tub of warm water with some Epsom salt and soaking while listening to some relaxing music can help.  Being in the water will often “wash away” a lot of the confusing sensations and help contractions to decrease or completely stop.
  2. Get INACTIVE: Try lying down in the EXAGERATED SIMS position and resting.  Many women go for long, exhausting walks or exercise sessions trying to “get things going” but find it makes little change and increases fatigue.  If a nice, 20-minute brisk walk doesn’t take contractions to the next level, then REST.  If contractions are keeping you awake at night, call the office for some options to help you rest in the evening.
  3. Try the MILES CIRCUIT:  You can find full instruction for the Miles Circuit HERE.  If the issue is baby’s position, then these poses might help convince your little one to line up and your uterus to settle down.  This VIDEO from Spinning Babies also offers some practical advice.
  4. Nourish your body: Make sure you are eating!  Hunger makes your mind and your body irritable.
  5. Get a massage: Find a massage therapist who has experience working with pregnant moms and get a good massage.  Use deep breathing techniques during your massage to get the full benefit of a relaxed body and mind.
  6. Unplug: Consider taking some time away from communication and social media to focus on self-care.  Be careful of crowd sourcing for information as it can be overwhelming and impractical.
  7. Meditation and Relaxation: Sometimes you do all the right things physically but the contractions keep coming.  Tapping into the power of your mind is very effective.  Get in a quiet place and listen to some relaxing music or use an app like INSIGHT TIMER to find a guided meditation.  Remind yourself as you relax that your body is working for you and that your baby will come at just the right time.
  8. Consider journaling your emotions: Use this time to clear any fears and anxieties that you are experiencing.  You would be surprised how strong the connection between your body and your emotions is.  Write it all out.
  9. Spend time with your partner or a friend: Go out to dinner or coffee.  Choose somewhere where you can occasionally stand and walk if needed for comfort.  But enjoy some good connection time with someone you care about who will listen to your frustrations without judgement.  NOTE:  Sex can increase the intensity of prodromal labor but usually only for a couple of hours.  Get in a nice warm tub or shower afterwards if that happens!
  10. Binge watch a new show: If all else fails, occupy your mind with several episodes of that show you’ve been meaning to watch for a while now!  If you have a cheesy reality show series that you’ve been saving for a guilty pleasure moment, this is it!

Please call our office and talk to a midwife before taking any medications or herbal supplements for contractions.

Prodromal labor is a mind game for many women.  The key is to calm the body and mind and occupy yourself in the waiting.  Active labor does eventually come and you will be holding your baby before you know it.

But as always, please call the office if you have any abnormal symptoms, questions or concerns.

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness – Jodie’s story

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  We would like to share a story from one of our patients to honor and bring awareness to this important issue.

Please be aware that this blog post is a story of pregnancy loss and may be triggering for some.

 

Jodie is known and loved by many at NBBC as the “placenta lady” with Tree of Life Placenta Services.  Jodie has experienced two losses and she shared her stories with us.

In October of 2014, after getting sick in the shower, Jodie took a pregnancy test thinking it would probably be negative but it was positive!  Overwhelm turned to shock which then turned into excitement.

At a 12 week ultrasound everything looked fine with the baby and Jodie fell in love with this new baby immediately.  She began to make a plan to find out the gender of the baby.  They scheduled a 3D/4D ultrasound at 16 weeks and brought the whole family to experience this special moment.  As soon as the ultrasound started, Jodie knew that something wasn’t right by the look on the technician’s face.   She asked about the accuracy of her due date and mentioned that the baby looked small.  She said she would call her care provider and that Jodie could expect a call from the midwife later.

From there Jodie and her family went to dinner and while waiting for their food, she got the call from the midwife that confirmed that her baby was not expected to make it to term.  Jodie was speechless, shocked and angry.

“I just started crying uncontrollably. My husband came out and grabbed the phone out of my hand. He was silent. The look on his face was one I had never seen. It was pure devastation and sadness.”

So many emotions.

“I couldn’t accept that there wasn’t anything to do to help my baby. My midwife met us at the birth center for another ultrasound. She did the ultrasound for over twenty minutes and there was no heartbeat and no movement. My baby was already lifeless. This was officially the worst day of my life.”

Jodie and her husband made a decision to deliver their baby at home so that they could say goodbye in a way that felt right to them.  She delivered him in the water with the help of her husband and was able to see that it was a boy who they named Kasey James.

“Being able to say goodbye to our precious Kasey James helped me heal more than anything. I was blessed to have a great network of loving and supportive family and friends.”

There are some things that Jodie would like for people who are reading this to know.

“I was surprised how people reacted when I walked into a room. They would either stare or put their heads down. All I wanted was a hug. No words were needed, just compassion. I found most people saying things like, “Your’re young, there’s still time” or, “At least you have your other girls.” Honestly, I wanted to smack people for saying those things. That hurt me more than they knew. I knew that the pain would never end. I would just have to find a way to deal with it. I’m still dealing with it.”

In May of 2015, Jodie found out she was expecting again.  Having experienced loss, she was hesitant to get too excited.  She felt a lot of fear.

At the first ultrasound, once again, things did not look normal.  The past came flooding back.  She had lost another baby. She felt like her body had failed her.  She wondered if she was being punished by God.

These are all very normal emotions to feel when experiencing loss and it is important to allow moms to express these emotions.  For those of us who are close to those families who experience loss, being empathetic is the best thing we can offer emotionally.  It’s important for us to recognize that we don’t have to say something to make people feel better.  Nothing will make them feel better in moments like these.  They just need to know that we see them and that we are there witnessing their emotions without judgement.

For Jodie, turning to her faith helped her walk through the waves of grief and pain which still come.

“After having two wonderful, healthy pregnancies, how could I lose TWO babies? How could I move on? These are questions I’m still asking myself. Some days it’s hard to breathe because the pain is so strong. But I truly BELIEVE GOD has a plan for my life. My FAITH has been a huge part of dealing with the pain and hurt. I get strength from my family and friends. I find comfort in knowing that I will see my babies again. I hope my story helps break the silence on miscarriage and infant loss. I hope someone finds courage to tell their story. Together we can and will BREAK THE SILENCE.”

Jodie has this advice for families who experience loss:

  • Don’t let people dictate your grief. Deal with it the best you can and don’t worry about what others think
  • Don’t forget that partners suffer too! Many times they are forgotten by others.  They need love and empathy also.  Many times partners are the ones who feel obligated to remain strong and not express their feelings.  They need support too!

 

Jodie gave birth to her rainbow baby just a few weeks ago!  They are over the moon in love with baby Riley James!  And we are so happy for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay’s birth story – the power of having options…

When Kay tells her birth story the word that stands out is “redemptive.”   Her first two experiences were difficult and had left some wounds that had not quite healed.  She came to Natural Beginnings despite the 45 minute drive in order to be heard and to hopefully have a very different experience.

Baby M’s oldest sibling had been born at 38 weeks via induction with Pitocin for pre-eclampsia.  Due to severe itching, a reaction to the epidural, she was given an antihistamine during labor which made her extremely sleepy.  Her labor and even the birth were very much a blur for her.   Immediately postpartum after her baby was taken to the warmer for examination, she began vomiting and was given more medication which caused her to fall asleep.  She awoke later with little memory of the experience and her family members were holding her baby.  She felt very disconnected from the experience.

For her next baby, Kay made an intention to do things differently.  She wanted an unmedicated delivery.   She took classes and did tours at the hospital she had chosen.  She made a birth plan and discussed it with her provider.  She remained healthy during the pregnancy and was very happy that pre-eclampsia was not an issue and she would be able to go into labor on her own.  At 38 weeks, her water broke spontaneously at home.  Within a few hours, good contractions had begun so she made her way to the hospital.  However, a different provider was on call that evening who wasn’t as agreeable to her birth preferences.  Despite making good progress to 6cm dilation in only 5 hours of laboring, the provider made a decision to start her on Pitocin.  Under the impression she was just receiving IV fluids, her labor began to take a painful turn.  She then realized the Pitocin had been started and when she requested it be turned off, she was told that was not an option.  She kept trying to discuss the issue but in between painful contractions she felt she just wasn’t being heard or respected.  Despite not wanting it, she got an epidural.

“My impression was that the nurses just wanted me to get the epidural and be quiet.”

While she was being repaired from a second episiotomy, her baby was taken to the NICU without explanation. She assumed it was just for some routine exams, but over an hour later having already gotten out of bed and showered, she found herself pacing her hospital room waiting for her baby.  Her husband went to try to find answers.  Finally someone came in and explained that her baby had aspirated some amniotic fluid.  By the time she saw her baby the first time it was amidst a sea of IV lines and other things that made it difficult to hold the baby.

At NBBC, one of Kay’s first and foremost desires after an unmedicated birth was not to be separated from her baby unless absolutely necessary and have the benefit of skin to skin contact.  Another was to avoid Pitocin.  The plan was to deliver at the birth center, however that option did not work out.  Kay was very thankful that with Natural Beginnings she had OPTIONS!

With this pregnancy, Kay had some new experiences.  The first was going to 40 weeks of pregnancy.  In the past, both of her babies had been born in the 38th week.  The other  very different experience for her was prodromal labor.    The stop and start contractions that were not dilating the cervix had begun to cause fatigue and discouragement over the span of days.  Midwife Nicole encouraged her through a hard night of painful contractions on a Saturday night and had prescribed an OTC medication to help with sleep.  She was finally able to get a little bit of rest but she was feeling worn down and physically uncomfortable.  Christmas was just a few days away and the thought of possibly still being pregnant and having prodromal labor was causing a lot of emotional stress.  Nicole explained to Kay that she had the option to be induced if she wanted.  And after much thought, she decided to show up at the hospital Monday morning to be induced.  The risks and benefits were explained to her so that she could make an informed decision.  She felt confident that this time she would be heard and respected and that made all the difference.  She was very thankful to be able to choose the hospital option and still keep her same care providers.

She arrived for her induction at  Davis Regional Medical Center on Monday morning where she was given a cervical ripening medication.  She was able to eat breakfast and shortly thereafter contractions began, but they weren’t terribly painful or unbearable.

Around noon she was able to enjoy some lunch and Midwife Marcia came to check her progress.  She was 4cm and ready for the next step.  After discussing the options, Marcia performed AROM(artificial rupture of membranes) because she wanted to respect Kay’s desire to avoid Pitocin.  After this, contractions began to intensify almost immediately.

Around 1:15pm Kay began to experience back pain and she was able to get into the tub while being monitored with waterproof, wireless fetal heart rate monitors.  Kay always thought she would love the water but it just didn’t feel right.  She could tell that her body was making significant and fast progress because of the intensity that she was feeling.  She was also feeling some pressure like she needed to have a bowel movement so she got out of the tub and sat on the toilet.  She found that this position relieved her back pain. The ability  to move and get into a comfortable position during labor was crucial to her achieving her desire to avoid the epidural.

Around 2:30pm Marcia checked her and she was 8cm.  At this point she stayed and helped move Kay into more naturally comfortable positions for the transition phase of labor.  Very soon after that she began pushing and baby M arrived.  Kay spoke about that moment:

It was the most amazing experience of my life.  They went by everything I had on my birth plan.  I didn’t want her taken from me after she was born unless there was something wrong.  And they didn’t touch her.  The nurses didn’t touch her -nobody touched her-and it was the most amazing experience to look down and have her with me after carrying her for nine months”

NBBC acknowledges the benefits of immediate contact for mom and baby at birth and unless complications prevent it, the midwives encourage mother/baby bonding especially in the first hour.

“It was so amazing to have those first moments with her because I missed out on that with my other two.”

Kay feels that this experience was very redemptive.  Even with making the change in her birth plan from birth center to hospital, having providers who she knew would listen to her made that transition much easier and significantly less stressful.  Kay also spoke about her recovery:

“It went so good.  I didn’t tear.  I didn’t have to have an episiotomy.  They[prior care provider] cut me with both of my other babies.  They cut me.  My son was 7lbs 11oz and my other daughter was 8lbs 5oz.  This baby was 9lbs 2oz and I didn’t tear and they didn’t have to cut me because they let me labor the way that I felt I needed to and I feel like that made all the difference.  So my recovery was nothing compared to the other two.”

The ability to easily get up and shower and move around made for a much easier beginning for her and Baby M.  She was able to be present to her baby instead of focusing on her pain or recovering from medications.  This was exactly what she had hoped for.  She hadn’t been starved.  She was allowed to eat during labor and then had the baby just in time for dinner so she felt nourished and had good energy.   All of these factors made for a blissful postpartum experience and set her up for breastfeeding success.

Kay shared her experience with the midwives and the hospital:

“They are extremely great advocates for their mothers.  To have these amazing women around you – you get your power back.  Davis Regional is a very different hospital. They were on board.  That was important.”

 

 

 

Samantha’s birth story – first unmedicated birth

Samantha described her first birth as beautiful in many ways but she also felt that she experienced a “downward spiral of interventions.”  Like many moms, she wanted something different for this birth, but having had an epidural before, she wondered if she would be able to handle the pain.  Her first birth experience left her with doubts about her body’s ability to birth without medication and intervention.  But it was the night of Panthers vs. Cardinals and victory was in the air!

Her labor began around 1am.  Because of the snow and ice, Samantha , her husband Joe and their family 12674445_1200833829929978_1455682897_ndecided to make their way to Natural Beginnings around 3:30am.  Upon arrival, it was determined she wasn’t quite in active labor yet so they got a hotel close by where she went to continue to labor and try to get some rest.  With the snow and ice still on the roads in many places, it felt good to be nearby.   Her daughter, L, had been to every prenatal appointment and was excited that is was getting closer to time to meet her little sister.

Samantha labored at the hotel throughout the day.  Things began to turn the corner a little bit by 12pm.  By 3pm, contractions had intensified and by 6pm, she was ready to return to the center.  At that time she was 5 centimeters and on the way to active labor.  She walked the halls for a while trying to let gravity work in her favor, but she was becoming fatigued after having been up all night the night before.

Sometimes decisions have to be made when fatigue becomes a factor in birth, especially if someone is hoping to labor without any pain medication.  Fatigue can cause the body to slow down and labor to stall.  It can intensify a woman’s perception of pain and leave her with limited coping capabilities.  Everyone’s body reacts to it differently.  When we hear a mom begin to express feelings of extreme fatigue and outward signs do not indicate that the birth is on the horizon, we will discuss options with clients to make sure they know their options and can make an informed decision about their labor journey.  Samantha did not feel good about possibly laboring well into the night without any rest.  She was already really feeling the effects of losing a nights sleep to contractions. Her contractions were too strong to sleep through but not strong enough to see the end in sight.  So around 9:30pm after discussing risks and benefits with Tracie, she opted to haver her water broken (AROM – artificial rupture of membranes).  Breaking the water during labor can sometimes help the baby to drop down some allowing more pressure from the baby’s head to open the cervix.  Some of the risks of AROM during labor are:

  • Baby may not position him/herself well once amniotic fluid is reduced
  • Risk of infection increases especially if labor is long
  • The umbilical cord can become compressed and the baby’s heart rate can drop necessitating quick transport
  • Contractions can become more painful

Samantha was in tune to her body and felt strongly that AROM would help her progress.  We try to always honor mom’s intuition and desires in labor.  She and Joe also had a support team that was incredible.  Her family surrounded her with love and physical and emotional comfort.  Her mother and mother-in-law helped with Big Sister L and cheered Samantha on, and her father lovingly gave emotional support all while capturing some of the most precious moments of this family’s journey on video.  Her aunt photographed from a perspective that only someone who really loves you can…..telling a story while being a crucial part of the story.

Shortly after having her water broken, Samantha’s husband came to tell Tracie that contractions were increasing in strength and frequency.   We began to fill the pool at this time.  The next time we came in the room, we found her in the bathroom with that feeling of pressure that just won’t go away so we knew the birth was close.  We encouraged her to head toward the pool before she got to the point that she couldn’t move.

The next contraction brought her to her knees.

The water offered some sweet relief and big sister L decided to join mom in the pool along with her mermaid doll.  She was such a sweet encouragement to her mom as the first pushing contraction began.  Samantha described the feeling of pushing for the first time without an epidural:

Pushing without an epidural, was easier in the sense that I could feel everything. I could feel exactly where she was and I could feel when my body was telling me to push, I knew what I needed to do next and that was so empowering compared to being told when to push and when her head was out during my first birth with epidural. The epidural meant that I needed help, that my body needed help, without it I could do it, my body could do it.

Baby A swam into her mom’s waiting hands after only a few pushing contractions.

12647736_1200824203264274_715194785_nWatch the video HERE

Samantha felt an immediate wave of relief and pure love which is evident on her face.  She12647877_1200824226597605_1009618922_n and her husband embraced each other and wept.  But it was the reaction of big sister L that floored us all.  She began to exclaim as she touched the fingers of her new baby sister, “I’m so glad she’s finally here!  Mommy, you did it!  You pushed her out.”  This prompted almost everyone in the room to burst into happy tears.

 

Big sister L could be heard over and over again over the next hour saying, “I just love her so much.”   She had witnessed something amazing and natural and we hope that she will remember the beauty and positivity of that moment when she is older and having her own first baby.  And we hope it will be with us!

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Questions during your pregnancy or birth? Use your B.R.A.I.N.(E.D.)

Informed decision making is an important part of an atmosphere of empowerment in pregnancy and birth.  Good communication with your provider is paramount to the process.  Here at Natural Beginnings Birth Center, we strive for open and honest communication with all of our patients.  We do our best for have the information that you need readily available for you in any decisions we discuss with you.  But as much as we wish we could, we can’t read minds and don’t always cover all the information that each person needs.  For this reason, we encourage our patients to use this model of questions for communicating with us about ANY procedure, medication, treatment plan or intervention.  If you are not completely clear on why we are making a suggestion or implementing a treatment, do not hesitate to ask for more information.  Here is a helpful tool for formulating questions:

Copy of Questions during birth?-3

Sometimes the amount of information that is available is overwhelming, especially on the internet.  For doing your own research, we suggest the following websites:

Lamaze for parents

Giving Birth With Confidence

Evidence Based Birth

American Pregnancy Association

Childbirth Connection

We also encourage you to bring a list of questions to each appointment.  It is easy to forget what you wanted to ask once you are in our office.

We want all of our patients to feel fully informed and empowered.  We desire for you to know all of your options and to make decisions WITH you during pregnancy and birth.  Good communication with you is one of our top priorities.

We look forward to serving you and your family!

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