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New Classes and Doula Availability

Have you liked me on Facebook yet??  What are you waiting for?  Click here and then click “like” to  follow my business there.  My work is entirely dependent on social media and word of mouth.  Help a doula out.

I have another parents-to-be series for Natural Baby coming up in June.  Click here to sign up or to share with some expectant couples you know.  Six Monday nights to explore parenting and learning to listen to your instincts.  Class 1:  Learning to understand and soothe your baby.  Class 2:  Breastfeeding.  Class 3:  The first six weeks postpartum.  Class 4:  How babies (and parents) sleep.  Class 5:  Saving money and creating a mindful gift registry.  Class 6:  The first year of parenting.  If you can’t take an entire series, pick and choose the classes you want for 25.00/couple/class.

Registration is open for July/August Hypnobabies classes meeting Tuesdays beginning July 23rd in Greenville.  Email me for information (j_byers @ bellsouth.net).

I only have a few more doula spaces left this year.  I have space for 1 client in late June or July, 1 client in October, and 2 clients in November.

Thank you for helping me serve families!

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Private Childbirth Classes in Greenville

Did you know I can come to your home for classes?

Reasons why a private childbirth class might be for you:

You won’t have to pay a babysitter.  Many of my private students schedule their classes during bedtime.  Or, her partner watches the kids while mom attends class in another room.  One couple I teach has the dad do the bedtime routine for the first hour of class and then join the mom for the second hour.

A group class is too far to drive.  Some of my private students hire me because they live in Saluda or Liberty or Pickens.  I understand.  I live far from classes, too!  Add up the cost of gas and a babysitter.  Maybe it equals the difference in cost between a group and private class.

You’re on bedrest or your immune system is compromised.

You or your partner are not comfortable in a group class.  While I pinky-swear that I make my group classes relaxed and non-threatening, I understand that some folks would rather talk about birth in private.

Your schedule is crazy or unpredictable.  I can be as flexible as you need with a private class.  Want to meet once every two weeks for a six session class?  No problem.  Need to reschedule at the last minute?  That’s fine.

Or it’s simply convenient.   Or you want to wear your jammies.  Or you want to learn by candlelight in the backyard.  

For whatever reason, know that this option is available!

April is Cesarean Awareness Month

Many bloggers have written incredible posts about the shocking cesarean rate, VBAC support, and resources for healing.

I’m not going to try to repeat what they have already so eloquently written.

I want to talk about the idea of family-centered cesarean birth.

I don’t attend many cesareans.  The ones I’ve attended lately are so vastly different from the ones 5 or 6 years ago.  Those involved babies sent to nurseries while mom was in recovery–sometimes alone.  Waiting family members snapped pictures of this new life while mom caught only a quick glimpse in the operating room.

Now, I witness something astoundingly different.  It is much more common to witness births in the operating room involving skin-to-skin contact, sometimes delayed cord clamping, moms with arms unstrapped, and recovery together as a family.  Baby is often held skin-to-skin with dad when not on mom’s chest.  Doulas are more frequently allowed to accompany the family for the cesarean.

Recently, one of my couples experienced a cesarean birth.  After pushing for hours in every position imaginable, their posterior baby (with a 15 inch head, mind you!) was born by cesarean.  Their medical team gave us all the time we needed to try every trick I knew.  The couple was disappointed but they remained empowered throughout their birth experience.

They won’t be showing up for the 18 month cry.

I want to share a few of the pictures from their cesarean birth.  The obstetrician called in to perform the cesarean was Dr. Danielle Harris.  She immediately agreed to their wishes for delayed cord clamping and skin-to-skin.  The family physician who had supported them through the birth was Dr. Keith Stafford.  You know him on this blog as Dr. Polo Shirt.

Dr. Harris hands baby to Dr. Stafford who places him directly onto mom’s chest.  He doesn’t dry the baby first or take a detour to the warmer first.

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Dad steps in to help mom hold their son.  Mom’s arm is free to touch her baby.

Here’s hoping that more babies who must be born by cesarean will experience a gentle welcome like this one.

Huge thanks to my clients for permitting me to share a little of their birth experience.

Babylegs in the doula bag?

When my girls were wee babes, I thought Babylegs were just for little legs.  They looked so adorable.  And sometimes the legwarmers were the only thing I could get Norah to wear.

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We also used them as arm-warmers and in costumes.

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I thought I was pretty clever when I packed them to cover Cedar’s airplane seatbelt so she wouldn’t escape and cause mayhem.

Babylegs are pretty versatile.  But why do I pack them in my doula bag?

For hospital births, most women are forced encouraged to get a hep-lock.  The hep-lock provides IV access in case of emergency.  I haven’t met a natural birther yet who loved her hep-lock.  In fact, at many births, the birthing woman complains more about the hep-lock than anything else.

It’s usually placed in a spot that is uncomfortable during the poses a natural birthing woman chooses.  It might be in the bend of the wrist.  Sometimes it snags on things as the mom moves.  And it is very visible to the mom.

I’ve known more than one birthing woman to rip out her hep-lock and throw it across the room in a blaze of glory.

Babylegs are perfect for sliding over the hep-lock and keeping it out of sight/out of mind.  It keeps it from snagging on things.

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Has anyone else found creative uses for their Babylegs?

April is a happening month

Just a sampling of some local events:

April 6:  Movie Day at the Hughes Main Library.  Watch “Born in the USA” and learn about birth choice in SC.  I’ll represent the doula perspective on the Q&A panel after the event.  10.00 donation suggested.

April 8:  The Spartanburg Babywearing Group meets at Labors of Love.  11am

April 10:  Greenville Cloth Diaper Group has a monthly meeting at the Taylors branch library.  10am.

April 11:  EarthFest at Greenville Tech’s Barton Campus.  I’ll be there working a table for Upstate BirthNetwork.  Stop by and say hello between 10am-2pm!

April 11:  Prenatal Yoga at I Love Natural Baby.  5pm

April 12:  Parent and Toddler Yoga at I Love Natural Baby.  10am

April 12:  Parent and Baby Yoga at I Love Natural Baby.  10:45am.

April 13:  Come hear the sexy-voiced Michel Odent, MD speak about birth.  Sponsored by the Bellies to Babies Foundation and the SC Birth Coalition.  Info here.

April 13:  Cloth Diaper 101.  A free class to introduce you to cloth diapers!

April 15:  La Leche League of Greenville meets at I Love Natural Baby.  7pm.  Other meetings throughout the upstate.  Check http://www.llli.org to find the meeting closest to you!

April 20:  Thrive:  A Conscious Health Experience in Clemson.  Looks like such a fun day full of exhibits, kids yoga, and special speakers.  10am-4pm.

April 20:  The Great Cloth Diaper Change is happening at I Love Natural Baby.  Come break the record with your baby!

April 23:  Meet the Midwives event at Greenville Midwifery Care.  6-8pm.  Registration is online through our home page on website or you can email to GMCmidwife@ghs.org.

April 27:  Blessingways:  A Gathering of New and Expectant Families.  April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  Join the discussion.  2pm.

April 28:  The Fair Exchange.  This is the third year that I’ve organized this amazing event to raise $$ for a cause.  This year, we’re raising money for the SC Birth Coalition as they lobby to protect birth choices in SC.  Stop by and shop gently used baby clothes, cloth diapers, babywearing products, etc and buy some raffle tickets for fantastic prizes.

This month, I’m teaching three Hypnobabies series and will attend two births, two postpartums, three prenatals, and meet with a few new couples for the first time.

I thought this was a part time job?  I love it so.

Extraordinary Nurses

Many families worry about which nurse they will get during their birth.  The nurse is a wildcard.  We can pick our midwife or doctor.  We can pick our doula, our birth photographer, our childbirth educator.  We can pick our hospital.  We don’t get a choice in our nurse(s).

I’m so happy that nearly all the nurses I’ve worked with in the last few years have been amazing.  Occasionally, one nurse really stands out and shapes the birth in extraordinary ways.  Like Beth two years ago.

This time, I’m bragging on Mona.  I adore Mona at Greer Hospital.  She’s been a rockstar for many of my clients.  Mona played a big role in this birth.   And she caught the baby before Dr. Polo Shirt could arrive at this birth.

So I knew I could relax when I saw Mona walk into the birthing room.

monaWhat made her support so extraordinary at this birth?

  • She kept interactions with the mama at an absolute minimum.  Mama stayed in the tub and the door to the bathroom remained closed 99% of the time.
  • She used a handheld doppler for quick listens to the baby’s heartrate while mom was in the tub.  She also used a handheld monitor while mom was pushing.  My client didn’t have anything strapped around her belly.
  • She ran interference when the doctor preferred that the mom get out of the tub sooner rather than later.
  • She stalled when another nurse prompted that the mom needed a hep-lock.  The mama never did get that hep-lock.
  • She applied hot compresses on mom’s perineum when baby was crowning.
  • She patiently and quietly guided this first-time mom and then called the doctor in a few minutes before the baby was born.
  • After the birth, she didn’t fuss with the baby or try to talk to the mother.  She stepped back.  After an hour, she still didn’t fuss with the baby or suggest taking her.  In fact, when I left, mama was breastfeeding her baby and blissfully devouring her own lunch tray.

I love this nurse.  She is a strong and quiet presence.  If you give birth at Greer Memorial and Mona walks into the room, relax.  You’re in very good hands.

(Also, I hope she doesn’t kill me for blogging about her!)

10 on 10, March

A picture for ten hours on the 10th.

8:30am: Cedar’s new way to wake us.  She calls it “Hulk Smash” and it is quite painful.

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9:30am:  pancake stirring with infinite patience

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10:30am:  meal-planning

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11:30am:  my man belting out The Eagles

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12:30:  the girls picking daffodils for the lunch table

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1:30:  my mom’s lunch menu for my birthday.  I love lasagna but no one else does so it was a large spread!

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2:30pm:  happy birthday to me!

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3:30pm: at the car wash

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4:30pm:  admiring my birthday present from my parents.

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5:30pm:  grocery-getting

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