"I don't know I was thinking ..., ...., ..., ..., & ..."
"I don't know, who should we invite?"
"I think my mother in law wants to be there... and my mom..."
Who is going to be at your birth is usually a huge question of discussion
during our prenatal planning sessions with our birth doula clients.
So, when you don't want to hurt feelings or you really want everyone there,
How do you make a decision about who to have at your birth?
Imagine your birth.
Who do you see being there when you close your eyes and dream of the moment?
How does the room look and feel?
Who is there and being supportive?
You, your partner, your doula, your medical team, and ....
Imagine pooping in front of whomever you're thinking of inviting.
Because honestly, that will probably happen.
Leave the invitation open ended.
Let everyone know that you may change your mind at any point and to not pressure you.
This way if you are mid active labor and decide there's just too many people or too little support, you can change your mind no questions asked.
Think about technology.
A lot of people lately have chosen, for distance purposes or room purposes to Facetime or Skype in family during birth for a while or for the entire time. It gives everyone the opportunity to be "there" you'd like, but keeps everyone from feeling like sardines packed into a tiny room.
Even having a birth photographer there, so you can share in some of the moments later can really help those who wanted to attend, but you just really didn't want to be there in the moment.
Check the policy.
Your hospital or place of birth (unless at home) has a policy in place of the amount of people allowed into the room. Especially during flu season, it can vary greatly, so checking with them can make the decision for you sometimes.
Think hard about who you WANT there.
Not just who you think might like to be there or who wants to be there,
but truly who you want to see your baby first and share in those intimate moments with.
Think about the people you feel the most comfortable with and who will be the most supportive.
No matter who you end up having there for your birth,
you want to help make sure you feel supported and as prepared as you can!
Let us know if and how we can help.
0, -1, +2, +3, -4
What in the world do these numbers mean?
Most people know about dilation numbers:
But many times when your provider or nurse checks you they also share baby's STATION.
So, what do these numbers really mean for you?
A lot of times providers will use this information along with your dilation (and other factors)
to determine if it is time to push.
These numbers are also used to determine your BISHOP score,
which is used to determine induction status.
They also can help determine if breaking your water would be a good way to pick labor up
or get your contractions going stronger.
One of the easiest ways to remember - vs + and which is which when it comes to station is
+ is positive because baby is coming soon.
In short those + and - numbers which is baby's station
is how far in or out baby is!
Whether you're a seasoned practitioner who's mastered the art of aerial silks
are just in it for the comfy clothes
(we don't judge around here)
YOGA can be a great way to stay energized, relaxed,
and get a bit of a workout in while pregnant or postpartum.
Yoga can help with:
and so much more!
Is yoga safe while pregnant or after baby?
The number one way to know is to ask your care provider!
If they say go ahead, start slow and easy,
just ensure you're not flat on your back or laying on your belly.
Give yourself lots of grace and patience, it can be pretty wild moving your body in new ways!
There are specific classes designed for pregnancy and postpartum too,
so when your looking, just be sure to add those keywords.
Where do I find such classes, you ask?
YouTube and most Yoga studios.
(We've got some great recommendations for the Lafayette, Indiana area if you are interested)
There are also a few great DVDs and books out there.
Prenatal yoga and yoga postpartum can be really amazing for your mind and body,
especially if you're all about the shavasana, like we are!
When it comes to pregnancy, working out may be the last thing on your mind;
You're tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from some nausea.
But for some, exercise is a huge part of their daily lives and giving it up just seems like a big sacrifice!
So, can you work out while your pregnant?
For most typical pregnancies and purposes, YES!
(Ensure you check with you personal doctor first though, always.)
One of the main keys
is starting with very close to what you were doing before you were pregnant:
If you were normally running 5 miles a day, run 5 miles a day.
If lifting weights has been your thing, be safe, but keep it up.
If you are just wanting to start working out something
like swimming, walking, or yoga may be a lot better for you.
Just listen to your body. Be aware of pushing too hard. Stay very well hydrated.
And ensure you're eating well!
Whether you've been an exercise lover for a while or are just wanting to have a more healthy pregnancy, what are some of the benefits of working out while pregnant?
Better circulation which can improve constipation, backaches, bloating, and swelling.
Increase in energy.
(Yes, using energy can give you more)
Better muscle tone and less weight gain.
Can help prevent and/or treat gestational diabetes.
It also can help with labor and losing weight after baby is born.
Pregnancy is not the time to focus on fitness for weight loss purposes and if your doctor has given any indication you should not be working out, you definitely should limit activity as told.
But for most people exercise during pregnancy,
while trying to conceive,
or after baby
is a great way to improve your overall health!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
You look into each other's eyes and BAM...
all the sudden you have a spouse!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
all the sudden you have a baby!
So, what does a wedding really have to do with babies and doulas?
Did you know the national average for the cost of a wedding is anywhere
from $25,576 - $35,329?
In Indiana, the average wedding cost is $19,129!
We want to challenge you for a moment to think on how much you spent on that one specific day:
your wedding day.
(Don't worry we won't judge.)
It may be quite a bit less than the national average,
but for most it was still probably quite a big sum.
Now, we want to challenge you to think on
how many postpartum hours that would get you after you have a baby.
(We'll go ahead and do the math for you with the Indiana average)
$19,129 / our largest package hourly rate
with the same amount of planning and money spent,
you could have almost 800 hours of support from a professional after you have your baby!
Lets break that down:
80 overnight shifts
100 8 hour day shifts
200 4 hour day shifts
over a month of live-in care
any combination of those
All for just the same cost of what you spent on that one single day.
We aren't saying you need to spend almost 20k on postpartum support
or that your amazing wedding wasn't worth the cost,
we just want you to think critically about planning for your time after your baby comes!
You're worth it.
Your mental health and recovery are worth it.
Your marriage is worth it.
And we'll be so happy to help out!
You've probably heard about it or maybe seen a pic of a baby covered in it.
You know, that cheesy looking "gunk" on the baby when it comes out?
What is vernix made of?
Vernix is made up of water, sebum (cells off baby and hair),
fatty acids, cholesterol, and waxy lipid molecules.
What does vernix do?
Especially while inside, it protects baby's skin from the acidity of the amniotic fluid.
It acts a sealant and without it baby would come out looking like a prune.
Helping baby to wiggle and slide out.
4. Muffle Sound.
Because it is covering baby entirely, it is also muffling sounds while in the womb for the baby.
It is like a nice blanket of protection against temperature change for the baby.
So, why leave vernix on baby after birth?
The World Health Organization recommends leaving baby unbathed for at least 24 hours. It is thought that the benefits in the womb continue after birth; so it can help regulate baby's temperature, keep baby moisturized, and helps protect the skin.
It may act as an antimicrobial and also may aid in wound healing.
It is also thought to act as a barrier between baby and meconium, if present.
Why would a baby not have vernix?
Vernix doesn't develop until the third trimester, so if baby is premature, they may have very little or no vernix.
If baby is passed term, it also may have very little to none because of being absorbed into the amniotic fluid.
And some babies have a ton and some have very little, so it is totally dependent on your body and baby.
Vernix can gross some people out, for sure.
It can be thick and cheesy...
Many people want to wash baby right away to get the clean and that's totally fine!
Just like everything else, this is your baby and your choice.
But VERNIX is pretty cool stuff either way!
"Oh my gosh, I get to find out the sex next week!?
We've all seen these posts blasted by pregnant friends on the internet
and I'm sure we can all guess they are getting an ultrasound!
They are all testing and ultrasounds that may be done throughout your pregnancy.
The sonogram is done around 6-8 weeks to get a sometimes more accurate picture of your due date, baby's growth and development, and to ensure their aren't any major red flags.
The anatomy scan is done around 18-22 weeks. This is the most through check your baby will have before being born (pending any issues, obviously). They will check growth, development, ensure parts are working and where they should be. It is also when many people chose to find out the sex of their baby!
This is usually the last ultrasound done and sometimes the only one done.
The biophysical profile is a more intense test, typically done late in pregnancy to check of fetal growth, movement, amniotic fluid levels, placenta separation, and other factors. Being pregnant with multiples, higher maternal age, post dates, and many other things may play a part in your care provider wanting to do this test.
So, where do these tests happen?
Many times your care provider will schedule you to have the ultrasounds done at a later date in the hospital or a referral to a private ultrasound company.
In Lafayette there are also some options for independent ultrasounds if you'd like:
The Matrix Life Center will do a free pregnancy confirmation ultrasound.
Baby Bliss Ultrasound offers many packages for expecting parents who'd like to have a more intimate experience and are offered on an elective basis.
Whether you have just peed on the stick or are 41+2,
there's a chance you will soon be headed in to an ultrasound!
(The information in this blog post is in no way medical advice and is intended for informational use only)
But we aren't here to plug apps,
we're going to go through how you can actually time them with pencil and paper.
It can be a pretty great thing for a wanting to help family member or a partner to do
and feel like they are being super helpful!
The frequency of contractions are timed from start to start.
Start a timer when the contraction starts and keep it going until the next one starts (and restart it). Then record that time in one column.
The duration of a contraction refers to how long the actual contraction lasts.
Timing from the beginning of the contraction to the end of the contraction. You'll simply need to just look at the time since it started when it ends (don't stop the timer). You'll write that time down in another column.
You'll end up with a paper with three columns because you'll also want to write down the actual time periodically, so you know how long they've been going on.
You may have heard of the 5-1-1 rule or the 4-1-1 rule
(many care providers use this to explain when to head into the hospital or birthing facility),
this is basically referring to an average of each of your three columns!
5 or 4 minutes in frequency.
1 minute in duration.
For 1 hour.
Easy peasy, right?
Like we said, most people these days just use an app. They track and create the spreadsheet for you,
with just the push of a finger when the contraction starts and when it ends.
But now you know how to time contractions
and what those apps actually do!
It is no secret that when you have a baby, you're going to lose some sleep.
"Days and nights are mixed up"
"We'll sleep again someday"
"It is like bright eyes at 2am!"
Have you ever googled "sleep deprivation effects"?
Trouble with thinking and concentration.
Mood swings and mood changes.
High blood pressure.
Low sex drive.
And the list goes on...
There was one study done that sited the chance of depression in women with poor sleep quality and quantity was 3.24 times than that of women getting more regular sleep! *
3.24 times greater chance to get depression, just because of lack of good sleep.
So, it is no wonder the rates of postpartum depression
and postpartum mood disorders are so high and rising.
So, what can we do to help this no sleeping norm after a baby?
The answer doesn't come in training babies right off the bat.
While we see absolutely nothing wrong with sleep training, the first few weeks are not quite the times yet!
So what else is there?
This could look like hiring our postpartum doulas for overnights,
maybe even just a few nights a week.
(We can be there even on super short notice!)
And/or a family member or close friend that stays the night and helps out with waking and feedings.
(There is absolutely a way to keep breastfeeding as a priority as well as get some sleep too,
which is sometimes people's biggest concern.)
You need and deserve some care and sleep after your baby comes.
You don't have to do it alone.
We would love to help!
At least once, if not many more times, a day
in the pregnancy groups I'm in on Facebook
"How do I get labor going again?"
It may be a doula looking for advice on a client
or just a birthing person curious on why their contractions started steady for a while,
but then fizzled out.
What do I answer every single time?
EAT A GOOD MEAL.
when there are hundreds of blogs
that tell you to do all the things,
to move into 100 different positions,
would I give such boring advice?
Because going into ACTIVE LABOR exhausted doesn't help anyone!
I'd say 90% of the time I hear stories about birthing people getting an epidural they hadn't planned on,
it was because they say they were completely exhausted.
I don't think so!
If you're in labor, you're in labor.
Doing 100 stair sets, walking for hours,
or moving into 1,000 different positions isn't going to change anything.
And as frustrating as it is
(I know it is)
it isn't going to get you into active labor, if you're not in labor.
It is going to get you tired, irritable, and frustrated.
There are certainly so many other factors at play here
(and, by golly, I know all those positions if you really want to do them),
but REST is your friend.
(You won't get the option unless you have good postpartum help for much longer anyhow)
Your emotional and physical well being will thank you!
Jessica Anne Dill