Posts by Category : Safe Motherhood

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Preparing for Childbirth-Terri Lee-Johnson

Doula Support

Doula Support

Preparing for Childbirth

 

When most women consider childbirth preparation, thoughts are often limited to the method they’ll use such as Lamaze, Bradley, HypnoBirth, etc. Anyone planning to have a baby should, first, do just that: plan to have a baby. I know, I know, how many of us actually do that or even get the chance since many pregnancies are a surprise? Considering that more women are postponing motherhood until their 30s and 40s, taking a moment in the 20s to plan is a great idea. Also, this is a great addendum to the motherhood topic for those mother-daughter talks. While what method and, thus, what type of childbirth class to take is important, there are a few other things to consider.
1. Consider where you want to birth While birth centers and hospitals are covered by insurance, home births involving the services of a midwife are typically an out of pocket expense. As soon as you know that you want a midwife’s services, you should start saving for the fee. If you’re willing to move temporarily to another state where midwives are licensed because they aren’t in your area, include those expenses as well. A great way to get help with those expenses is to add them to your gift registry or turn one of your hobbies like jewelry making or knitting into a small business for which you’ll use the earnings to secure a midwife.
2. Consider the type of birth you want Two words: BIRTH PREFERENCES. No matter where you plan to birth, you should have one. Even someone wanting a home birth but, just cannot seem to acquire the funds to pay a midwife may have to have a hospital birth and home births that may turn into a hospital transfer should have a contingency plan so your wishes are clear. There are tons of examples online to help you map out your “please dos” and “please don’ts” for hospital staff. Your preferences can include everything from whether or not you desire to exclusively breastfeed to requesting no vaccines be administered to no circumcision if your newborn is a boy. Flexibility is just as important when setting birth preferences as birth can be unpredictable and certain things may conflict with your wishes. The goal is to be educated enough on your options to make informed decisions regarding how you give birth.
3. Consider who you want to assist you in birth OB? Midwife? Doula? In Tennessee, you have two options: a home birth with a midwife or a hospital birth with an OB. Midwives do not have hospital privileges here so, your setting determines your attendant. If that is the case where you live and you prefer to work with a midwife, consider having your well woman care being handled by one to begin cultivating that relationship. It is often forgotten that midwives do more than “catch babies.” Start taking advantage of their services before conception. Just remember it will likely not be covered by insurance but, you get what you pay for. *wink wink*
Now, doulas do not provide any medical services but can attend your birth as emotional and physical support. She will also provide tons of helpful information throughout the pregnancy and into the postpartum period. We are found to be most useful in hospital births where the environment is not as easy to control as your home. Doulas are another out of pocket expense for most though, insurance providers are beginning to recognize our value and provide coverage for our services. This is another item that can be added to a gift registry (great for a group of co-workers to give) if you need help with doula fees.
There are many things to consider when planning to start a family but these are the three questions I would answer first regarding prenatal care and the actual birth. Where you birth and who attends that birth will influence how you birth. If you want an out of hospital experience that will require a small investment, start saving now or solicit anxious grandparents-to-be for a donation. Even with unexpected pregnancies and birth being unpredictable, still give yourself the space to plan and create the birth you want.

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Terri Lee-Johnson is a homeschool mom, wife, doula, and apprentice midwife in Memphis, TN. In her spare time, she reads voraciously, watches historical documentaries, and is artsy craftsy.

www.zoleka.com

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Natural Remedies for Postpartum Depression

Natural Remedies for Postpartum Depression

These suggestions can prove helpful for managing and alleviating postpartum depression naturally. They are also great overall tips for assisting in alleviating baby blues.
Placenta Therapy- a great description is here.

Young Woman Suffering from Post-partum Sitting on Chair by Window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Homeopathic medicine

Phosphorus: applies to these issues, indifference, apathy towards loved ones.
Cimicifuga: applies to these issues, depressed for both emotional and hormonal reasons, a dark cloud has descended.
Pulsatilla: applies to women who are emotional, tearful, and sensitive when hormonal changes occur as in the postpartum period.
If a women feels like she can be violent, or self harm immediately assistance from a medical practitioner is required.
Vitamin D

I am not a huge fan of vitamin D supplementation, but if needed please give this a try. I think everyone needs 20 minutes of exposure to the sun a day, with no sunblock. This can be a few minutes at a time, but we need real sunlight, no pill can replace the benefits of the sun.
Sunlight

Is nature’s remedy for depression. If we have limited access to the sun we can get seasonal disorders and become depressed. Try to get 20 minutes of sun a day. Use a hammock and rest in the warm sun, or a chaise lounge and allow yourself this one on one time with the sun. Try taking a 20 minutes walk, so you then get some movement and sun and fresh air.
Niacin

Eating a diet rich in niacin has been shown to alleviate depression. A supplement can be used, but I believe food is the best source of all vitamins, but do what works best for you.

“The best food sources of vitamin B3 are found in beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Bread and cereals are usually fortified with niacin. In addition, foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body coverts into niacin, include poultry, red meat, eggs, and dairy products”.1

Aromatherapy

Essential oils can play a great roll in altering and improving mood. We know lavender can calm and relax and individual, and this can be helpful for an anxious and stressed mother. If a gentle uplifting is required Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon and Sweet Orange. Lemon and Sweet Orange are stronger upflifters and work great in a room spray. If you want to feeler cleaner and unmuddled a room spray with Sweet Orange and Spearmint will do the job. It is also excellent to use mints and citrus oils together. They compliment each other  and work to uplift Sprig of rosemary, herbs and bottle of aromatic oil for aromatherapyand energize. Neroli is great for calming nervousness and anxiety. Chamomile can assist with depression that is a moody and irritable variety.

In a four ounce spray bottle add 3 oz. water and

30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
25 drops Sweet Orange Essential oil
20 drops Spearmint Essential oil

Mist the room for an uplifting scent.

 

Herbal Remedies

Research each remedy before using for safety and to make sure it will work for you.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- full of vitamins and minerals, great for uterine toning.

YOU ROCK! Mamma Tea and Infusion

2 parts chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita)
2 parts hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
1 part rose petal (Rosa spp.)
1/8 part lavender flower (Lavendula officinalis)
1/4 part rose hips (Rosa canina) 3 parts lemon balm leaf (Melissa officinalis)

Make this by the gallon. It is rich in nervines, vitamins and minerals. Mom, family and care providers can drink this throughout the day, hot or cold.

Milky Oats- great for nourishing the nervous system, you can even eat oatmeal.

Rose Hips-  They are a great source of vitamin C, nutritive and tastes wonderful especially blended with other herbs.

Motherwort- is excellent for anxiety, stress and relieving the weight on your chest, or a heavy heart.

Other good herbs are: Nettles, Skullcap, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Rose, and Passionflower.

St. John’s Wort oil topically- This wonderful infused oil can assist in soothing sore muscles and nerve ending. I tell clients it is like wearing sunshine and most agree. The smell and action of the oil is uplifting.

Rest

Getting adequate rest is essential for mental and physical health. Make sure as the partner of a postpartum mother that your make sure she needs the assistance she requires. Every mother is different, and each birth experience leads to an individual postpartum experience. Take care of her, and Moms take care of yourself. Do not feel that you have to have the same recovery times as your friends or family members. Give mom a foot massage or a backrub to alleviate stress and stimulate lymph fluid. Make sure spouses and partners that you do not expect something from this massage. When I make this suggest mother’s often roll their eyes, in this instance it is for her and not foreplay unless she decides to. Excuse me for being so direct, but I am just wired that way.

Advice to Family

Family members be kind. New mothers are going through so much, make sure your actions do not make her feel less than or insecure. When visiting the new addition to the family, do a load of laundry, wash dishes, fold clothes, clean the bathroom, make a meal. Do not make the mother feel like she needs to serve you. This is not about you and your needs, it is about honoring and serving the mother. If you are great to a mom postpartum she will appreciate and remember that forever.

If you can’t do this for the mother, then talk about hiring her a postpartum doula. This is a skilled and trained professional who can assist mothers after birth. It will probably be one of the best investments you make for your family.

Give mom time to take a bath, read for an hour only stopping to feed baby, time to take a walk, nap and make sure you are supportive. This is just possibly a month or so in a woman’s life that the people around her can care for her and make sure it is not about them. Mother’s will give back for their rest of their lives, this is something you can do for her, that can shape her new parenting experiences. Do not ask the mother to travel, let her nest and recover. Be amazing and supportive!

To learn more about postpartum depression and the baby blues.

When to get help with Postpartum Depression

If you or a loved one thinks you need help, then please seek it out. Remember the people around you love you.

Postpartum depression, although as you can see by reading the links above has risk factors, it can still strike anyone.

 

If you think that becoming a postpartum doula sounds like the career for you, supporting and assist mothers with their now babies, please visit www.birtharts.com

If you are interested in learning more about herbalism and aromatherapy visit- www.heartofherbs.com

Sources
1 Source: Vitamin B3 (Niacin) | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b3-niacin#ixzz2Z7V3MxJC
University of Maryland Medical Center

 

Disclaimer- Nothing written here is intended to prescribe or diagnose a health condition, it is for information purposes only.

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SPIRITUAL CHILDBIRTH Bringing Sacredness Back to the Birth Process

SPIRITUAL CHILDBIRTH Bringing Sacredness Back to the Birth Process  by Mary Betsellie 

Childbirth is a deeply spiritual endeavor. It is an awesome task that a woman’s body is designed to carry out. It is at this time that a woman has the honor to stand at the doorway in which life and death passes.

During labor and delivery, her senses are at their sharpest including her intuition and connection to the non-physical world. A woman is in her greatest power during childbirth. She is completely open on all levels, working with the co-creative forces of nature to allow the miracle of life to pass through her.

However, it seems as if there is a great dichotomy in the birth process. It is that while a woman is in her greatest power she is also in her greatest vulnerability. For a woman who is supported, provided for and protected from outside interferences, that vulnerability is her greatest power. It is unfortunate that for millions of women across the country, birth has been or will be anything but spiritual and empowering. It is when we do not care for a birthing woman holistically (body, mind, and spirit) that she goes from being empowered to weak and desperate. Over-dependence on technology, greed, and fear have brought a dehumanizing effect into the delivery room. Birth has been reduced to a medical event, treated more like an illness than the blessed and sacred miracle that it is.

Here are some steps a woman can take to experience the divine nature of birth, whether she is birthing in a hospital, birthing center, or at home.

 

Take a non-hospital based childbirth education class:There are many philosophies from which to choose. Pick one with which you are comfortable. Some of the more popular ones are Calm Birth, Birthing From Within, HypnoBabies, HypnoBirthing, The Bradley Method, and Lamaze. Interview various educators to select one that shares your birthing philosophy. Gaining the knowledge of how the body works will only reinforce that you and your baby both have the inherent wisdom needed to birth.

 

Consider hiring a Midwife instead of an Obstetrician:Midwives are highly trained professionals working with a more holistic approach. They typically are better equipped to support the body, mind, and spirit collectively. With a Midwife, a birthing mother is more likely to be an active participant in the birth of her child, allowing her to embrace her divine power. (Some midwives follow the holistic model of care more than others.)

 

Hire a Birth Doula: A doula understands that the birth process is much more than a physical event; it is a journey that will engrave deep impressions on the soul of the laboring woman and her partner. She is the one constant human being that is there for the birthing mother and has the tools to support her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Doctors and nurses usually have several patients they are attending at once and even a midwife is not always available for the entire labor. Many doulas are also trained in other healing modalities such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Aromatherapy, Massage, and Yoga.

 

Have a Mother Blessing: A Mother Blessing is a celebration that is done in place of or in addition to a baby shower. The main focus of the ceremony is on the Mother rather than on the baby. It is an intimate celebration where the Mom-to-be has a chance to connect with the important women in her life on a heart and soul level and to receive empowering support and encouragement in the form of positive messages regarding birth and her strength. There is a strong spiritual element to a Mother Blessing, stirring the souls of all who attend to remember that at one time or another all cultures held birth and the act of bringing forth life as sacred and holy.

 

Have a Homebirth: Homebirth is safe, legal and happening all of the time in this country. For many women, home is the most comfortable place to be, providing privacy and control that cannot be had in a hospital or birthing center. At home a woman is free to listen to her body, instinctual urges, and spiritual guidance. Many women can and do have spiritually empowering births in hospitals and birthing centers but home is the place she is most likely to birth in her feminine power.

 

Talk to the spirit of the baby: It just might talk back! This can be done even before conception. It is called pre-birth communication. Moms and Dads all over the world have reported connecting with their children long before they landed Earth side. The child spirit may come to you in mediation, in dreams or even in full consciousness. Sometimes the communication just comes in a knowing. Take time each day to sit quietly and allow the time to connect with your baby.

 

Women have been gifted with the bringing forth of life through their bodies. It is an awesome task indeed, not to be feared but respected and honored for the miracle that it is.

 

 

Psychic and Astrology Readings
631 901 4174 voice and text
www.magicalmoongarden.com

Doula Support

www.sacredspacebirthservices.com

sacredspacebirth@gmail.com

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Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

This is a must read for all midwives, and midwives to be or birth workers in general.

I have met Carol at a few conferences and actually purchased my copy directly from her, and she is as fabulous in real life. She speaks with a clarity often not encountered in life let alone on a book on midwifery, and its struggles.

She weaves her personal story throughout the book and makes the reader understand the struggle, drama and the actual life part of a midwife. Midwives have lives, and families and needs like anyone else, and she presents their needs in a way that leaves the reader in awe of the awesomeness of birth work and the dedication needed when one dips her toes in the waters for the first time.

I will be adding this fabulous book to our reading list for the midwife’s assistant training program. Thanks Carol, sharing your integrity, and journey will I am sure inspire many birth workers of the future.

You can get the book here on Amazon.

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Safe Motherhood Quilt Project 0

I spent about 4 years working on this project, doing the website, fundraising, etc.. with Ina May Gaskin. I have even made panels for the quilt. This project is so important to me.

Please take the time to learn about this project.

Spread the word.

Participate if you can.

Make a donation if you can.

Visit the site and check it out.