Childbirth

The Latest Healthcare Trend Impacting Maternity Care

The Latest Healthcare Trend Impacting Maternity Care

Just as clothing has evolved from fig leaves to funky leggings, and people were once convinced the world was flat, opinions and trends regarding procreation shift as well. More recently we’ve seen trends that have made a way for informed consent and refusal, evidence-based medical care, promotion of the golden hour,  and now: value-based health care promoting shared decision-making.

The gap between the way many patients wish healthcare decisions could be made and the way these decisions are actually made is tremendous. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Altarum Institute, nearly all patients expect to be in control of medical decisions. Only 7% of adult, nonelderly patients wanted their physicians to be in the lead role.2 Despite this clear preference, the same survey found that the vast majority of patients let the doctor take charge of care decisions nonetheless...

Bread, Gardens, Tea, Butter, French Presses and Yoga

Bread, Gardens, Tea, Butter, French Presses and Yoga

As a birth worker and adult managing ADHD, I've found myself drawn to methodical and mindful activities that require me to slow down and pay attention. It's healing to the mind that is focused on EVERYTHING ALL. THE. TIME. And the rewards of working and cultivating things are so very sweet. But as a doula and childbirth educator for a decade (I celebrate 10 years with DONA International this month!), I find even more meaning in the patience and awareness these activities cultivate in me. 

The "In-between Time" of Early Labor

The "In-between Time" of Early Labor

Understand that the last weeks of pregnancy are a special time- an in-between. Time seems to expand and drag on. Sometimes interminably. But it’s a special time even a sacred time, this in-between. One that we tend not to appreciate as much as we could. 

 

5 Things Women Want in Childbirth

5 Things Women Want in Childbirth

Typically, when people talk about what women and families want during the childbirth process, they usually mean the medical interventions involved in childbirth. I have found that focusing on these objectives alone are only part of the puzzle of helping women achieve a positive and satisfying childbirth experience. The part of the puzzle many have missed has to do with the intrinsic values a woman or a woman and her partner hold that guide most of the decisions in their lives. I believe the five things women want in childbirth are the key to helping us put the ownership of birth back in the hands of mothers and improve childbirth experiences. I have found that a values-based approach to birth planning helps bridge the gap and allows to families gain ownership (rather than control) in the birthing process...

Your birth belongs to you.

Your birth belongs to you.

As mothers who are not childbirth experts, we depend on medical professionals and other knowledgeable sources to help guide us in making the best choices for ourselves during pregnancy and childbirth. But, in looking to others for help, are you inadvertently giving away your decision-making power? To whom does your birth belong? 

The Job Description Most Doulas Refuse to Accept

The Job Description Most Doulas Refuse to Accept

Most often, people think about the things doulas do during the actual birth such as position changes, back rubs and verbal encouragement, but the informational support is glazed over as if this act of giving information is a simple one. The truth is this: anyone whose role involves transmitting information is at some level an educator. Therefore, every doula is inherently a childbirth educator whether she realizes it or not.

Preparing for Birth: Your Story's Bigger Picture

Preparing for Birth: Your Story's Bigger Picture

I believe that more women need to know about the full spectrum of maternal care when preparing for birth. Your journey to motherhood is not only about birth; it's about your story. Whatever comes, how you prepare will directly impact your entire life in big and small ways. The smartest thing you can do is prepare to be whole.

Choices in Childbirth

Choices in Childbirth

The problem in choices in childbirth is they don’t make much sense if you don’t understand them. What this means in the childbirth arena is that it’s hard to decide whether or not you want something if you don’t know the risks, benefits and if, when, why, where and how it might be beneficial to you. The use of forceps might sound like a medieval torture device until you know they could save your baby’s life without the turmoil of cesarean as major abdominal surgery. When considering what kind of childbirth education you will pursue, be sure you are able to gain information about your choices in a way you can understand and assimilate into your worldview.

One Size Fits All Childbirth Education

One Size Fits All Childbirth Education

There are as many opinions about childbirth as there are people on the planet. The truth is, there is no right and wrong in childbirth; there is only what's right for you! But just how exactly do you find out what's right for you when there are so many options? Wouldn't it be great if there was a one-size-fits-all childbirth education curriculum so you could be guaranteed that you would get just exactly what you need out of it or at least know which way to go to find what you do need? If you are a birth professional, wouldn't it be great if you had a tool that you could use with every client to help them get the results they need? Sound like unicorns and rainbows? It might not be as far from reality as you think!

Doulas are not the solution.

Doulas are not the solution.

You see, while everyone else in the childbirth professional community and doula world is arguing about who's right, who's wrong, which organization to train with, which childbirth method is the RIGHT one, and why THEY deserve to get paid as professionals, Your Birth Experience Instructors are looking at the women giving birth, the ones who really matter.

Your Birth Experience is like a Robot crib sheet

Your Birth Experience is like a Robot crib sheet

Using Your Birth Experience helps me do exactly that for my clients. I present the options available to them and give them the tools they need to see how their personality and decision-making processes speak to their birth goals so that each parter can determine what is most important to them and why. This way there is no need to be combative, just clear in communication. There is no need to have an inflexible agenda, but instead an informed plan that can be adjusted when unexpected factors arise. This program allows me to help clients synthesize their goals and desires in a way that nothing else can, and all while clearly and succinctly presenting them with all the options available to them.

The Doula for Doulas

The Doula for Doulas

Sometimes, even doulas need a doula.

Strike that, frequently doulas need a doula.

This job, which is full of passion and fulfillmentis also hard, hard work. Not only are you constantly spending energy mentally attuning and connecting to your clients, but you’re spending the physical energy supporting them--whether it’s during labor performing the famous double hip squeezes or staying up all night with a fresh new baby while his parents get a welcomed evening of rest. Add on to all of that the fact that when you treat this work like a business, you’re also investing all of the time and energy of an entrepreneur...Enter Your Birth Experience...

What My Divorce Taught Me about Taking Control of Childbirth

What My Divorce Taught Me about Taking Control of Childbirth

So, what gives? How can a woman still have a positive birth experience even when things don't go as planned? How can I as a childbirth educator and doula in Tulsa, Oklahoma ensure my students and clients have the most satisfying experience possible, when I cannot guarantee outcome or mode (vaginal or cesarean) of delivery? Well, that's where my divorce comes in...

Stick with me. I promise it's worth it.

What Labor Day Has to Do with Your Labor

What Labor Day Has to Do with Your Labor

This Labor Day I am celebrating the work I do to help women experience positive and meaningful birthing experiences and get what they want in childbirth, while also giving thanks for all those who have gone before me to do the same. Just as the Labor Movement sought justice for our nation and the workers who built it, the birthing movements of the past and present strive to make birth better for women. What I do is important, and the work women do to bring their babies into the world is also important. 

5 Reasons Why Doulas Fail

5 Reasons Why Doulas Fail

Everyone at some point in his or her life has heard some variation of “do what you love and you will never work for a living again.” I believe this concept is at best misleading and at worst completely inaccurate. No matter what your passion is, turning it into a successful venture will require hard work and a need to do things that are scary, tedious, and sometimes just downright exhausting. Having spent the last four years working full time on my business, I have learned that I had to figure out how business works before I could make my passion my business. There have been successes and failures and a whole lot of learning...

The Importance of Knowing Yourself in Childbirth

The Importance of Knowing Yourself in Childbirth

During pregnancy with my first child, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding pregnancy and childbirth. I took a twelve week natural childbirth class and befriended Doulas and other women who had home births. I practiced relaxation and made a plan with my then husband. I THOUGHT I would want to be touched, massaged, caressed, held and verbally encouraged throughout the process of labor and childbirth. So, naturally that is what I planned for. Little did I know, Nature had a different plan.

I can do this.

I can do this.

There's something I do with many of my clients in labor. As a Birth Doula, I have the privilege of accompanying women and their families in that incredible, powerful, lonely, uncharted, spiritual, challenging and exhilarating journey called childbirth. Having been down the road many times before, I know what's coming. I may not know every stick and rock on the path, or what the weather will be like, but I know what is there, and I know what is at stake.