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Home Birth 101 (FREE eCourse)

Home Birth Nourish: Birth + Postpartum

The Real Scoop On Home Birth & All The Facts
Learn about midwives, the research on safety of home birth vs. hospital births and how to interpret home birth statistics, plus real accounts from families who chose to birth at home! In light of this public health concern, learn all the evidence-based information on home birth – you have options!

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What you’ll learn

  • compare state-by-state midwifery laws
  • read data from evidence-based research on home birth
  • learn to interpret data on safety of home birth vs. hospital
  • read true stories of families who birthed at home
  • watch testimonials from people who have birthed at home
  • assess risks in the community birth setting
  • hear from midwives about the midwife model of care
  • receive real research data to share with family
  • understand how to combat fears about home birth
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Engage Birth eCourse

Engage Birth eCourse

Learn from home all about how to prepare for birth from an experienced Certified Birth Doula.  This online and self-paced virtual course encourages you to truly ENGAGE your heart + mind for your ideal birth experience!

What’s the incentive?  Your growth!  The more engaged you are = faster you’ll complete = cheaper the course!

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What you’ll learn

QUICK ANSWERS
All the when do we know, evidence on due dates, what to pack, when do we call Doula, what if this or that, and quick tips for you and your partner.

OPTIMAL POSITIONING
Learn how you can have optimal fetal positioning, exercises to help Baby get in the ideal position for birth, and tips for you and your partner on how to use a rebozo for both an easier pregnancy and labor.

MINDFULNESS
Self-hypnosis, partner tips for helping you switch off your brain, laughing off those unwanted pregnancy comments, releasing fear prior to labor, positively reframing your mind, and printable birth affirmations

BREATHING
Heart and lung exercises plus breathing techniques for both pregnancy and each labor stage.

PREPARING FOR BIRTH
Feel prepared for birth? Does your partner feel prepared?  Aside from taking a hospital childbirth class, learn from these documents and videos on how to birth easily in a hospital, what women aren’t told about birth, how and why to avoid purple pushing, evidence on failure to progress, and about oxytocin!

LABOR DAY
Learn all about each labor stage so you can gauge where you are at when you start early labor and each new labor phase, so you (and your partner) can know how to cope (or help you cope) within each stage: emotionally, mentally, and physically.

INTRO TO SPINNING BABIES
Check out this intro on Spinning Babies: why it’s important and how to create space for your baby, the ideal position, and ways using Spinning Babies’ guidelines can help to relieve back pain in pregnancy, turn a breech baby, and reduce cesarean risk.

NUTRITION, EXERCISE, & THE MICROBIOME
Learn about nutrition for pregnancy and growing your baby, evidence based information on the gut microbiome and immunity, probiotics and their benefits on Baby’s development, studies on how to safely exercise and its lasting benefits for Baby, essential oils for pregnancy, and weight gain.

ACUPRESSURE, FEAR, AND PAIN
The fear of pain during childbirth can actually inhibit the pleasurable feelings childbirth can actually bring. Checkout the Pain program to learn the most common answers to the most common questions regarding pain and childbirth.

PLACENTA 101
Learn all about the placenta and the role that this powerhouse contributes to the health of your baby, its development, and its function as well as the various insertions of placenta and how it can affect your birth experience.

DILATION, EFFACEMENT, STATION
You may be dilated 3cm and completely effaced but not go into labor for weeks. As labor nears, the cervix starts to thin (efface) and opens (dilate). A first-time mother may not dilate until active labor starts (6cm). Learn your birth rights to make informed decisions for starting labor naturally.

GROUP B STREP (GBS)
U.S. doctors test women for Group B Streptococcus between the 35th and 37th week during pregnancy.  There are risk factors to your baby if it is transmitted, however you have a choice to receive or decline medication.  Furthermore, there are methods to rid GBS prior to birthing.

GESTATIONAL DIABETES
Did you know methods are taught by dietitians to prevent gestational diabetes and pass the screening test? It is your right to choose an alternative testing method when screening for Gestational Diabetes. If you do end up with it, there are proven methods to reverse it through both diet & exercise!

BABY’S GROWTH
Ever wondered what your baby looks like during each week of your pregnancy?  How about the development changes that are happening week by week?

PREECLAMPSIA
An estimated 8-10% of pregnant women are diagnosed with preeclampsia while pregnant; half of the cases occurring in women who had high blood pressure prior to pregnancy. This complication changes birth plans but knowing ahead of time can help you feel in control to adjust and prepare emotionally.

INDUCTION OPTIONS
The topic of induction can spark many questions and fears. Knowledge is power; understanding ahead of time the risks and benefits of various induction methods and techniques may help you make an informed decision for you and your body and your baby.

INTERVENTIONS 101
Avoiding labor interventions will aid a more positive birth experience with better outcomes for both you and Baby. Learning how to discern benefits and risks as well as how to decline and/or react to certain interventions is taught in childbirth education classes as well as in this brief overview.

EPIDURAL OPTIONS
Identify how to allow your hormones to help you progress and the benefits of doing so prior to receiving an epidural (if you need pain management), what the process of an epidural placement would look and feel like, as well as both the benefits and the risks so you can make an informed decision.

CESAREAN OPTIONS
Cesarean birth… is still BIRTH! Learn tips for how to avoid a surgical birth as well as how to think ahead about your preferences and your partner’s options during this type of birth if you do encounter a cesarean.

TEARING VS. EPISIOTOMY OPTIONS
Episiotomy vs. Natural Tearing and what you need to know about the methods of medically-necessary episiotomies and how you can prepare your body to avoid one.

INSTRUMENTAL DELIVERY OPTIONS
Learn the risks and benefits of instrumental delivery, such as why and when vacuum assisted delivery would be suggested.

PLACENTA DELIVERY OPTIONS
You have rights on how you want to birth your placenta: natural third stage of labor vs. managed third stage of labor. Natural stage can take 5-30 minutes upon a slight push with a contraction. Managed stage involves a provider speeding up the birth of the placenta by administering pitocin.

PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION OPTIONS
Learn all about placenta consumption risks and benefits.

NEWBORN PROCEDURE OPTIONS
Learn your many options for immediate newborn care procedures.

CREATE A BIRTH PLAN
Questions to ask your care provider, how to access their answers, and a complimentary resource for creating your birth plan(s).

get it free by purchasing one of these packages

Prefer to get the class a la carte?

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Prenatal Yoga for Pregnancy & Birth

Prenatal Yoga for Pregnancy & Birth

Did you know the curve of the spine actually changes shape to make space for a growing fetus? Your organs are actually pushed up and out when you’re pregnant. This is why belly binding is used during postpartum to prevent and treat diastis recti. Low back pain is super common in pregnancy, and most who are pregnant for the first time don’t feel it in the first or second trimester.

But putting off exercise during even those first two trimesters in pregnancy can lead to an uphill battle in the 3rd trimester. This is because the abdominal muscles that support the spine play an important role in the health of the back. During pregnancy, these muscles stretch and weaken. Pregnancy hormones can contribute to back pain as well. To prepare for the passage of the baby through the birth canal, a hormone relaxes the ligaments in the joints of your pelvis to make them more flexible. 

Starting as early as possible in your pregnancy (and ideally before becoming pregnant), it’s vital to exercise while following safe guidelines:

Pregnant or postpartum women should do at least 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes a day, five days a week) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, such as brisk walking, during and after their pregnancy. It is best to spread this activity throughout the week.

CDC

According to ACOG, an aerobic activity is one in which you move large muscles of the body (like those in the legs and arms) in a rhythmic way. Moderate intensity means you are moving enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating. You still can talk normally, but you cannot sing.

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activity include brisk walking and general gardening (raking, weeding, or digging). You can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute workouts throughout each day.

Prenatal exercise guidelines state if you are new to exercise, start out slowly and gradually increase your activity. Begin with as little as 5 minutes a day. Add 5 minutes each week until you can stay active for 30 minutes a day.

Women who habitually engaged in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and the postpartum period. If you are an experienced runner, jogger, or racquet-sports player, you may be able to keep doing these activities during pregnancy. So if you were very active before pregnancy, you can keep doing the same workouts with your obstetrician’s approval. However, if you start to lose weight, you may need to increase the number of calories that you eat.

Experts agree these are the safest exercises for pregnant women:

  • Walking—Brisk walking gives a total body workout and is easy on the joints and muscles.
  • Swimming and water workouts—Water workouts use many of the body’s muscles. The water supports your weight so you avoid injury and muscle strain.
  • Stationary bicycling—Because your growing belly can affect your balance and make you more prone to falls, riding a standard bicycle during pregnancy can be risky. Cycling on a stationary bike is a better choice.
  • Modified yoga and modified Pilates—Yoga reduces stress, improves flexibility, and encourages stretching and focused breathing. There are prenatal yoga and Pilates classes designed for pregnant women. These classes often teach modified poses that accommodate a pregnant woman’s shifting balance. You also should avoid poses that require you to be still or lie on your back for long periods.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
  • Better alignment = easier and faster birth

Not all prenatal yoga is the same! You’ll want to look for highly trained teachers in both birth and therapeutic alignment.

For example, Ma Yoga Living offers alignment-based yoga for pregnancy and postpartum, to prevent and heal abdominal splitting, pelvic instability, and other conditions common to the 18 months around birth. They have amazing yoga teachers with doula training as well as many years of experience. Ma Yoga offers live online as well as video classes for those that like to pause and resume at your convenience.

Online yoga studios offering virtual classes:

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Labor Pain Management

Labor Pain Management

Labor pain is one of the primary fears expecting mothers have about the physical aspect of childbirth.  Educating yourself on evidence-based and proven pain management techniques can help you make better decisions during labor and give you tools to manage your body AND your mind while birthing your baby.

Proven ways to cope with labor pain

FACT: Controlling your mind and what you’re thinking actually helps control labor pain! Scientists termed this the “central nervous system control method” of labor pain management and includes obtaining continuous physical and emotional support from a Birth Doula, doing deep breathing, utilizing hypnotherapy/hypnobirthing or hypnobabies, and incorporating relaxation tools such as aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, and rose for relief of anxiety and fear, as well as music.

FACT: Scientist deem the “gate control theory” as a method of activating your nerves in a non-painful way at the same time you’re experiencing pain. It’s like a distraction. You involuntarily flood your nerves with other stimuli which blocks pain signals from reaching your brain! This is proven through experiencing comfort measures while in labor. These are tools Birth Doulas perform and/or also teach your partner to help you with while you’re in the process of delivering your baby. Methods include receiving massage on certain pressure points of your body, moving your body in certain positions and rocking with birth balls and rebozos, laboring in the shower or a warm tub of water, and using both warm packs and TENS units.

Support During Childbirth

FACT: Scientists concluded that expecting women who had support from a Birth Doula was one of the most effective methods, as each were given a tailored approach including a combination of multiple methods to address labor pain.

FACT: In 2014 researchers compiled all research ever conducted on non-drug approaches and found using both gate control and central nervous system methods to be very effective, actually decreasing the outcome of epidurals while increasing birth satisfaction rates. In fact, through random assignments of being offered drugs or a central nervous system method, scientists discovered that women who were first offered the central nervous system approach experienced a greater chance of natural birth: fewer interventions such as Pitocin to induce labor, fewer cesarians, forceps, and vacuum-assisted deliveries, and shorter labors!

FACT: ACOG, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, actually recommends women in labor be offered non-pharmacological methods because no adverse or no side effects have been found to these methods.

Learn more about the differences in pain and suffering by watching Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence Based Birth’s Pain Management Series below. Alternatively, you can listen to the podcast.

Resources:

Try Hypnobabies for an Enjoyable Birth

Ditch those old-school pain-coping methods!