Posts for Tag : parents


Meet a BAI Pro 0

Chelsie Towns


Why did you choose BAI?

I had been planning on enrolling in a formal program for doula certification for two years before I enrolled with BAI. I studied independently for some time and actually referred to BAI’s book list for resources. When I finally sat down to choose a program, I had several pulled up on my computer screen and I just kept cycling through them, reading through each one’s websites. I asked friends and in online communities for their opinions. I chose BAI, ultimately, because the people who recommended it jived more closely with my personal philosophies and BAI seemed to as well.

What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

I learned I did not just have an interest in birth, but a passion. I went from having a self-centered focus in my studies (what originally prompted me to study birth arts was my own traumatic birth, it was an attempt to understand what happened and what I could do the next time around to improve my experience) to wanting to share what I had learned with other women and help them make informed choices in birth. I became more extroverted as I gained confidence in my knowledge. In the last year, I’ve learned that my path is one steeped in birth arts. And for the first time in my life, at 30 years old, I finally feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up! (Aside from a mother, of course.)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mother of three children, two boys and a girl, all born within three years of one another. Most of my life is centered around being an attached, peaceful parent. We’ve just bought our first home and we’re looking forward to “urban homesteading” with a huge garden and adding chickens next spring.

Aside from all things birth and babies, I’m an avid knitter, enjoy nature and love cooking and baking. I’ve long been very interested in holistic healing and have been very informally studying herbal medicine for a number of years. After struggling to breastfeed (and ultimately finding out that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue and being unable to produce enough milk for my babies), I’ve come to learn a lot about galactagogue herbs, as well as herbal remedies for PCOS/hormonal imbalances and those used to support a healthy pregnancy and labor. So when I saw the program for Women’s Herbalism, I enrolled immediately and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the program.

I’m active in my community as a babywearing leader through Babywearing International, by helping organize our local Improving Birth Rally and by organizing the first baby expo in our area in a number of years this year.


Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.

I’m currently working as a birth doula and placenta encapsulator under the business name Thanks Givings Doula Services (named for my daughter who was born at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2011). I absolutely love my job! I had planned on offering postpartum support but have had to push those plans off for a while after having my third baby in December. He is much loved but totally unplanned, so my business plans had to adjust.

My motto is, “Supporting your informed birth.” I truly believe women have the right to birth however they want, but they should have ALL the facts, something that is seriously lacking in today’s birthing culture. I stress to my clients that birth is not a means to an end of pregnancy, but the moment they become a mother. It’s significant and I believe the birth process deserves respect and serious consideration.

I’ve been talking with an organization that connects teen moms with volunteer doulas to help bring the program to my area (it’s currently up and running in the Green Bay area but that’s a good 40-50 minute drive for me, which is a bit much for a free client). Considering my city had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Wisconsin when I was in high school, I feel it’s a very worthwhile and important program.

I’m looking forward to continuing on my path in birth arts and plan to enroll in Ancient Arts in the next few months. I hadn’t started out planning on becoming a midwife, but I’ve found I truly feel pulled in that direction, though I don’t see myself ever totally giving up being a doula because I feel for those women who absolutely must birth in a hospital, a doula is essential and enjoy that aspect of my work.

My website:

My FB:


10 Baby on the Cheap Ideas 0

10 Baby on the Cheap Ideas

1. Hand me downs!!

2. Buy used furniture. If it is refinish-able, refinish, if not try painting geometric designs or patterns. You will be surprised at your creative genius.

3. Try finding toys and bedding at yard sales or thrift stores. You will be amazed at what needs just a good clean. I know plenty of people who have gotten almost new items such as car seats, carriers and clothes this way. (Update- it is not generally suggested for safety’s sake to use a used car seat.)

4. Learn how to make mobiles and crafts as activities to do with your children, check out your library.

5. Breastfeed. Breastfeeding will prevent illness (less doctor’s visits) and it is free (formula is approximately $1200 a year).

6. Look into the economics of cloth diapers. Paper diapers generally cost $1,092 a year. These are not even the more environmentally friendly ones like Tushies.

7. Educate yourself on children’s needs and illnesses to lessen unnecessary doctor visits. This is not to suggest one doesn’t take their child to see their health care provider. Check out my book -Herbal Healing for Children. You will find a lot of ways to save money around the house.

8. Cook from scratch for your baby’s food and use a blender or food mill. Try simple foods like yams, rice, peas, etc.. babies do not need canned and processed meals in a jar. My children were eating curries with us a 10 months old (mild ones) they was wanted what we were eating.

9. Learn to make your own detergent, household cleaners and cooking mixes. They save money and can be non-toxic, safe and cheap.

10. Tell friends and relatives about raising on the cheap and you will be surprised how others want to loan or give you stuff they no longer want.


How to sew a baby carrier sling

The following directions will help you create an unpadded sling similar to a Maya Wrap. Slings are easy to make, and magnificent to use with infants and toddlers! I suggest you use medium to heavy weight 100% cotton fabric for your sling. You can also use a stretch cotton, or cotton blend. You want to use a fabric that will be strong and durable and appropriate for your climate, you may not want polar fleece in Alabama. It’s essential to choose non-directional prints. You want a machine washable fabric; after all, you’ll be carrying your child around in this sling and who knows what will get on it. (Well we all know) You can also use mesh for a sling to take in a swimming pool or lake during the summer. The mesh fabric should be strong enough for everyday use, so make sure you purchase a strong mesh.


1 1/2 – 2 yards of fabric (45” or 60” wide fabrics will both work; it depends on your preference. The length of fabric will depend on your body size and how long of a tail you want.)

Matching thread

2 heavy duty metal or plastic rings at least 3 inches in diameter (you can use macramé rings found in craft stores, or order rings made specifically for slings online.)

Sewing Directions:

Fold salvage edge over 1/4 inch, and then again another 1/4 inch and sew, creating a narrow hem. Repeat on other side finishing off salvages.

2. Trim both unfinished ends of fabric along cut line evenly. Hem using same method used for salvage edges. You will now have a long rectangle of fabric with all edges neatly hemmed.

3. Next, you will create the part of your sling that will rest on your shoulder and hold the rings. You will need to divide the width of your fabric by three and accordion fold the fabric evenly and uniformly. For example, if you have selected a 45 inch wide piece of fabric, you will need to fold it into approximately 15, 3 inch sections to obtain a neat three inch wide stack of fabric to loop through the rings to create the shoulder rest.

4. Once one end of your fabric is accordion folded, loop it through BOTH rings. Fold the fabric back against itself and sew securely to hold the rings. I suggest sewing several rows of straight stitching about 1/4 inch from each other.

5. Gather the opposite end of the sling together loosely in your hand. This will now become the “tail” end of your sling. Loop it through both rings, pulling it back through one ring only to secure it and make it adjustable.

Your sling is now ready for use! By pulling the tail through the two rings you can adjust and custom fit the sling to you and your baby. This sling has a large tail that can be used for discreet breastfeeding in public, a drool rag, and added warmth in cold weather. The lack of padding in this sling (as opposed to other types) makes it extremely versatile and able to conform to many different carrying positions and body types.


Green Tit is just sharing directions and does not take any responsibly for these instructions and mishaps that may occur from following said instructions. This is the responsibility of the reader.

BAI is also just sharing directions also. We want you to make sure that all you do is safe.


Antibiotics for Strep Do More Harm Than Good 0

Antibiotics for Strep Do More Harm Than Good- Read More

Group B Streptococcus (group B strep)  is a type of bacteria that causes illness in people of all ages. Also known as  GBS or baby strep, group B strep disease in newborns most commonly causes sepsis (infection of the blood),  pneumonia (infection in the lungs), and sometimes meningitis (infection of the fluid and  lining around the brain). The most common problems caused by group B strep in  adults are bloodstream infections, pneumonia, skin and soft-tissue infections,  and bone and joint infections.- form the CDC.

I was just writing about this for my new book, it will contain herbal and aromatherapy remedies for GBS.

I can’t really share, don’t want to break any publishing agreements, but I am sure it would be okay for me to share some nutritional options for GBS.

Some nutritional considerations are:

Garlic 1-2 cloves a day

Probiotics and probiotic rich foods.



Foods rich in vitamin C

Gobo or Burdock root eaten as a food. This can be eaten in casseroles, stir fry, roasted with other root vegetables, and pureed in soups.

Nasturtium Blossoms- these can be eaten in salads, or as peppery flavorings to food.

Shitake Mushrooms- They contain antiviral and antibacterial agents, and it is known to boost the immune system.

Excerpt from Demetria Clark’s upcoming book.


Post from- Jeny Tamayo in Spanish 0

PARTO: Mi Puerta Hacia la Espiritualidad

Video Link

No se si hayas escuchado lo que muchos maestros espirituales han querido compartir sobre nuestra existencia, y de la información que todos podemos acceder por medio de nosotros mismos y nuestras experiencias. Hoy se abren puertas a nuevas oportunidades y formas de pensar lo cual lo podemos aplicar en todo el proceso de nuestra vida.

Y que es vida? en mi punto de vista es el conjunto de experiencias y etapas por la cual pasamos todos lo seres vivientes, lo que hace la diferencia es la percepción en que vivimos. Ya hemos vivido lo suficiente en el terror y el miedo, el sufrimiento, la pobreza, manipulación y confusión. La oportunidad esta en todos y en todo, cada experiencia que vivimos es una oportunidad y esta en nosotros aprovechar y aprender recogiendo las herramientas que cada una de estas experiencias nos dejan. En mi experiencia de parto quiero compartir que incluso sin saberlo en el momento pero que ahora veo muy claro es una enseñanza de vida que guardo como un tesoro. Me sentí tan fuerte, tan capaz de hacer cualquier cosa que cuando voy atrás y recuerdo las etapas por las que pase en este proceso tan extraordinario y hermoso, reafirmo que después de vivir la intensidad del momento todo es posible. Por eso quiero compartir mi experiencia con la esperanza de que pueda ayudar alivianar el temor en relación al parto, y hasta quizás en relación a cualquier experiencia. Al principio cuando las contracciones eran tolerables abrí mi mente a todas la posibilidades. Hablaba con mi cuerpo y con mi bebe, dándome seguridad de que si lo podía hacer y que yo si era capaz, visualizando el momento en que podría tener a mi bebe en mis brazos. Metida en mi interior me decía a mi misma que mi cuerpo estaba diseñado para este trabajo y que todo era totalmente normal que el dolor quería decir que todo va bien y que el proceso avanza y pronto conocería a mi bebe. A medida que las contracciones se hacían

PARTO : Mi puerta hacia la espiritualidad mas fuertes esto era lo que me repetía continuamente pero llego un punto que me di cuenta que estaba siendo muy resistente como cuando uno hace ejercicio y se hace el fuerte a pesar de que esta que tira la toalla, me di cuenta que esto lo único que hacia era que el dolor comenzara a ser cada vez mas intolerable y como un mapa vi otra opción y era simplemente dejar de resistirme al dolor y mas bien unirme a el. Me metí en mi zona donde solo estaba yo aunque tenia bien presente a los que me rodeaban sintiendo su apoyo. Comencé a visualizarme en una montaña la cual yo subía y bajaba a la par con la contracción. El dolor se había convertido en nada mas que la montaña y fue mas fácil continuar en el proceso aunque con mucha concentración, cuando en ocasiones perdía la concentración y me empezaba a desesperar mi grupo de apoyo -mi hermana, esposo, midwife y mi mama- estuvieron ahí dándomen fuerza y certeza dejándome saber que lo que estaba haciendo lo estaba haciendo muy bien.

La posición que encontré mas cómoda fue estando parada pues podía moverme en forma circular y eso fue algo que solo salió de mi cuerpo sin yo pensarlo o planearlo y me di cuenta al estar tan profundamente en mi interior que estaba ayudando a abrir espacio para mi bebe, esta fue otra etapa y simplemente me deje llevar y dejaba al cuerpo hacer su trabajo. Quizás para los de afuera parecía una loca bailando por todo el cuarto pero no me importaba pues como magia sabia lo que estaba haciendo. De repente comencé a sentir algo diferente y creo era presión pero en ese momento era difícil ponerle una etiqueta a lo que sentía, yo solo seguía el ritmo y sin darme cuenta estaba empezando a hacer fuerza, sin saberlo esta pujando suave y sin esfuerzo. Mi midwife me sugirió aconstarme pues al ver las señas de mi expresión corporal se dio cuenta que estaba pujando, me chequeo y aunque no estaba totalmente dilata me dejo hacer mi trabajo, pero no era yo era mi cuerpo y mi expresión era solo el reflejo de lo que estaba pasado en mi interior. Durante esta etapa llego un momento que quise simplemente no mover ni un músculo me deje caer y se sintió bien pero mi midwife y el resto se asustaron y me despertaron, entonces sentí mucho dolor y trate de desesperarme pero todos me hablaron tratando de calmarme, lo hice aunque había perdido un poco la concentración. Decidieron darme algo para descansar en medio de las contracciones aunque duro muy poco pues mi cuerpo ya estaba listo y mi bebe también, solo puje unas cuanta veces para darle vida a mi hermoso bebe y con el una de mis mas preciadas experiencias. Con la guía de mi midwife mi bebe fue recibido a este mundo por las mejores manos, las de su co-creador -su papa- convirtiendo este momento aun mas mágico. La conexión con mi bebe fue inmediata y sin interrupción, lo alimente enseguida y era como si ya supiera lo que hacia, mas que instinto yo lo llamo magia divina.

Todo es perfecto en ese momento es un estado de completa satisfacción y paz. Al plantear cada etapa por la que pase, hoy me doy cuenta que de igual forma cada problema o situación tiene un camino hacia la solución y es así como esta experiencia se a convertido en mi enseñanza de vida. Quisiera que nadie desaprovechara su experiencia recibiéndola con amor, aceptando cada etapa sin miedos, sintiendo lo que pasa dentro, viviendo cada minuto en intensidad para aprender a vivir cada minuto de nuestras vidas de la misma manera, con la certeza de que no importa por cual etapa de nuestra vida estemos pasando todo tiene una solución y una gran recompensa. ¨No resistirse es rendirse ante lo que no se puede cambiar dandole paso a la nueva persepcion de cambio, por que rendirse es no dejar de luchar.¨


~Jeny Tamayo~




Special delivery… why London women are spending up to £5,000 on private midwives 0

Special delivery… why London women are spending up to £5,000 on private midwives. London women are taking private midwives into the labour ward to supplement their care. Jasmine Gardner on the new birth plan.

This is becoming more common all over the world. Women in the US are opting for homebirths even in states where it is illegal to practice as a midwife. Why are women doing this?

1. Homebirth is safer

2. Respectful care

3. Mother’s needs are addressed and they are not just a number.

4. Women are tired of their health care being dictation by what is hot, what others are doing and what someone else wants with little evidence that it is safe or warranted.


Hello World:) 0

Welcome to the new Birth Arts International community blog. We will be posting professional student articles, comments on events, and information for parents, professionals and families at large.

We believe in the natural process of birth, motherhood and family and hopefully we can assist you with questions, information and ideas to help you along on your journey.

For more information about doulas visit

Looking for a doula? postpartum doula? childbirth educator? breastfeeding educator?

Are you interested in becoming a birth professional?