THE MINIMALIST BABY

I tend to be a minimalist and there’s so much baby gear marketed to new parents it can be super overwhelming. What’s really needed? Here’s my list of what I have used with 3mo daughter, Lily.

 

Clothing:

4-5 Sleeper Onesies for each size

4-5 Short Sleeve Onesies for each size

4 Muslin Swaddle Blankets

 

Diapers:

24 Cloth Diapers

I have had alot of luck with Alva pocket diapers. They come with microfiber inserts. 24 diapers gets you enough that you can wash every other day and have a few for the diaper bag. These last from 10lbs through potty training.

24 Bamboo Inserts

Pair these with the microfiber ones for better absorbency.

45 Cloth Wipes

Plan for 2 wipes per diaper change and about 15 for the diaper bag.

3 Wet Bags

2 for the diaper bag (1 for clean wipes and spray bottle, 1 for the dirty diapers) and 1 for the cloth wipes and spray bottle at home

Small Spray Bottles for Wipe Solution

 

Feeding:

4 Muslin Burp Rags

2 Bottles (Breastfed babies will always take a level 1 nipple. No need to move up.)

Manual Pump

Haaka Pump or Breastshells (For catching milk while nursing)

Milk Storage Bags

4 Pairs of Reusable Breast Pads

Nursing Tanks/Bras (Tanks make the two-shirt method easier!)

 

Other:

Baby Carrier or Wrap

Baby Bath

Swing

Small Rocker

 

Postpartum Recovery:

Bengkung Belly Bind

Epsom Salt (take a bath every day!)

Depends

Organic Pads

Organic Panty Liners

AfterEase Tincture

Tucks Pads

Drip Drops (Great for hydration during pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding!)

SNACKS!

 

There’s no need to over spend when having a baby! Keep things simple.

PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION IN DFW? WE GOT YOU!

DFW PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION

Looking for Placenta Encapsulation in DFW? Look no further! This service has become an increasingly popular way of regulating hormones after birth. It’s been noted to increase milk supply and energy levels while also decreasing feelings related to the “baby blues.” We’re happy to offer this service from south of Ft. Worth, all the way to Oklahoma! Take advantage of nature’s solution for a happier and healthier postpartum! Check out all theses goodies included!

THE PLACENTA IS FULL OF BENEFICIAL HORMONES, CHEMICALS, IRON, AND PROTEINS.

These healing substances include:

Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone: Contributes to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation; stabilizes postpartum mood; regulates post-birth uterine cramping.

Prolactin: Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct.

Oxytocin: Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex.

Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF): Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins; reduces pain; increases well-being.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Regulates the thyroid gland; boosts energy.

Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.

Cortisone: Reduces inflammation and swelling; promotes healing.

Interferon: Triggers the protective defenses of the immune system to fight infection.

Prostaglandins: Regulates contractions in the uterus after birth; helps uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size.

Iron: Replenishes maternal iron stores to combat anemia. Increases energy; decreases fatigue and depression.

Hemoglobin: Oxygen-carrying molecule which provides a boost in energy.

Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG): Antibody molecules which support the immune system.

Human Placental Lactogen (hPL): This hormone has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties; promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein, and fat levels.

IN THE NEWS

To book Placenta Encapsulation in DFW, click here!

HOUSE OF BIRTH, A HIDDEN GEM IN THE NORTH

DFW HOUSE OF BIRTH

With so many birth location options available, I’d like to share a hidden gem in the north, House of Birth Natural Birthing Services.  House of Birth  is one birth location to add to the top of your list!  Upon discovering you are expecting, you learn rather quickly that there are so many birthing options in the DFW area. You can choose a traditional hospital setting, homebirth, or birth center facility.  House of Birth is a place where “helping families change the world one birth at a time”  is their personal mission.

House of Birth is located in Sherman, Texas. They offer homebirth and birth center options for families in North Texas. Their travel radius is up to 60 minutes, making them accessible to birthers in the north Dallas areas, Southeastern Oklahoma, Paris to the east and Gainesville or Denton to the west.  This location can be especially valuable to Collin County.   The owner, Hillary Lindsey, has been practicing midwifery for over 30 years. She has attended over 1300 births and counting. How amazing would it be to say that your newborn was caught by a “granny midwife?” She is patient, kind, and highly skilled. On staff as well is a midwife student apprentice, Megan Prichard. She has been attending births with Hillary since August of 2015. Megan believes in a natural way of healing and living in her professional life and home life. Her compassionate heart shines through her work as a midwife in training.

The birth center has two suites available to labor in, if you are not choosing homebirth. Both have a large tub available for your needs too. You are always welcome to check out their facility in person or at houseofbirth.com/tour-our-birth-center/. Other options available include waterbirth and VBAC. House of Birth’s goal is to help healthy women have healthy babies. The individualized care provided by these women is impeccable and truly worth scheduling a complimentary consultation.

I will leave you with a few points to see if House of Birth is a good fit for you. All in all, as a doula, I am dearly grateful this birth center exist to give women birthing options they deserve. They are a fabulous choice in our birth world!  If you agree with the following statements, House of Birth may be right for you!

  • Having a baby is a normal part of a woman’s life.
  • The female body is designed to accomplish pregnancy, labor, and birth naturally.
  • Childbirth education can arm a woman and her family with the knowledge and skills they may need to assist them in the process.
  • The process of having a baby, from conception through postpartum, is designed to be safe.
  • A healthy woman caring for herself properly is likely to be able experience a natural, vaginal birth.
  • A woman deserves to have a midwife at her side, an expert in the birth process who can also recognize problems that require medical care.

 

Give House of Birth Natural Birth Services a call for a complimentary consultation and tour!

House of Birth
222 W. Brockett
Sherman, TX 75090
Tel: 903-718-0900
https://houseofbirth.com/
info@houseofbirth.com

 

Nicole Moffitt

EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY. THAT’S A NO BRAINER, RIGHT?

Exercising during pregnancy. You would think would be a no brainer, right? Exercise is good for you why not keep up with it while you’re pregnant? A bit to my surprise, one of the biggest statements I got while pregnant with my twins was “Oh wow, you do CrossFit? I could never do that. Are you going to continue to do CrossFit now that you’re pregnant? You better be careful”

“ARE YOU GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO CROSSFIT NOW THAT YOU KNOW ITS TWINS?”

 

Photo by: AyD Photography

Throughout those months as I became more noticeably pregnant similar statements kept coming and as they did my desire to want to change the mindset grew. In a healthy mom, healthy baby the best thing you could possibly do is to continue with your active lifestyle to help your body produce those stress reducing hormones and build strength! All you active women out there, if you’re embarking onto this journey called parenthood and want to continue doing you but not sure how to go about it here some helpful you links to guide you.

ACOG- Exercise During Pregnancy

ACOG-Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period

Want some daily motivation?

These are my favorite IG pages to follow!

@coach.kerri.grace @shenashville and @pregnant.postpartum.athlete

Let me also say this, if you were super active before pregnancy and not so active during that’s ok. If you were active at the beginning of your pregnancy and not so active later, that’s also ok. What’s not ok is carrying around guilt from taking a break and focusing on resting and soaking in your baby growing season. Be mindful of what your body is telling you and rest assured that you are creating a beautiful and peaceful environment for your growing baby to thrive. If you are searching for the right support feel free to reach out! If I am not you’re area I will do everything in my power to connect you with the right people to help you keep moving safely and efficiently.

For any high intensity exercise program make sure you’re getting the green light from your care provider. Not everyone is the best candidate to continue to follow the same program you were following pregnancy.

Photo By: AyD Photography

6 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IN PREGNANCY

We have some great tips for helping you boost your immune system this cold and flu season! Being sick is awful, but being sick while pregnant is even worse! Did you know there are so many things you can do throughout your pregnancy to help boost your immune system and stay healthy during cold & flu season, and all year long? Here are our top 6 tips to boost your immune system during pregnancy.

Tip 1: Extra Supplements

Hopefully you’re already taking your prenatal supplements, but when sickness is going around, it’s always a great idea to add some extra Vitamin CVitamin D, and Probiotics!

Tip 2: Immune Shot!

This is the kind of shot you want! This not-so-great tasting shot is a few simple ingredients that are great for boosting the immune system!

Here’s what you do:

  • Use a garlic press, grater, or finely chop 1 clove of garlic
  •  Add 1 tablespoon of raw local honey
  • Add 2 tablespoons of organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • Dilute with filtered water.

Shoot it down quickly and then drink a glass of water.

Tip 3: Cold Calm Homeopathic Tablets

Cold Calm is a great homeopathic remedy that can help relieve common symptoms of colds. Make sure to follow the directions and consult your medical practitioner when taking any homeopathy or herbal supplement. Other homeopathy choices that you might want to consider are Eupatorium or OscillococcinumSpongia Tosta and Hepar Sulph are other products that can support a cough.

Tip 4: Aromatherapy

Along with homeopathy and herbs, diffusing essential oils can help give your immune system a big boost and even keep the air purified in your home. Try diffusing 100% pure essential oils like Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint. I love using Young Living essential oils throughout pregnancy! Lavender is also great for improving relaxation and sleep, which brings us to our next immune booster!

Tip 5: Extra Rest

Sleep is a great medicine! You’re already needing extra rest while growing that precious baby, but when you’re feeling a little under the weather, you need to get even more ZZZs. Do what you can to rest, and get extra sleep to boost your immune system. Take an epsom salt bath or warm shower, diffuse some calming essential oils, and take a rest. Even a short cat nap is great at aiding the immune system in fighting off whatever sickness you’re dealing with.

Tip 6: Stay Hydrated and Well Nourished

Make sure to cut the sugary drinks and get plenty of water, around 60-80 oz. a day. You can add an electrolyte powder, like DripDrop or Liquid I.V., to your water for extra hydration as well. Not only do you want to cut down on sugary drinks, but cut down on the processed foods and sugary foods and get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Other nourishing foods to consider would be bone broth or veggie broth, fermented foods, warm water with lemon and honey, and herbal teas safe for pregnancy.

 

*Consult all supplements and remedies with your medical provider.

WHAT DOES A DOULA DO?

Dfw WHAT DOES A DOULA DO

If you’ve done any research about childbirth, or even talked to other moms with new babies, chances are you’ve come across the term doula. You may have heard women say things like, “My doula saved my life!” or “I couldn’t have gotten through labor and delivery without my doula.” But just what is the role of this mythical “doo-la” person? What does a doula do? Do you really need one?

In this article, we’ll look at the doula’s role, some statistics about labor support, coping techniques for women in labor, and how to make the decision about whether you should hire a doula for your birth.

WHAT IS A DOULA?

Many moms compare a doula to a wedding planner when trying to explain why they chose to hire one. Consider for a moment the differences between the wedding officiant and the wedding planner.

Most officiants help you with putting together your wedding ceremony, and they may also offer support and counseling as you and your fiancée prepare to begin your married life together. An officiant isn’t going to help you select vendors, coordinate the logistics of the big day, or step in with a creative solution when your florist doesn’t show up.

Your wedding planner, on the other hand, is your go-to person for all of the logistical aspects of your wedding. She probably isn’t an expert in holy matrimony, but she knows which bands offer the best entertainment for your budget, and she’s there to save the day when your maid of honor can’t figure out how to work the bustle on your train.

In many ways, the officiant vs. planner distinction is a good metaphor for the difference between a doctor or midwife and a doula. Your doctor or midwife has extensive medical training in labor, delivery, and neonatal care. She’s going to make sure that your baby’s entrance into the world follows medical standards of care, and she’s equipped to deal with any medical emergencies that may arise. She may also have several other patients in labor at the same time as you.

Depending on the medical practice, you may meet your doctor for the first time on your baby’s birth day. A doula, on the other hand, will be getting to know you, your pregnancy, and your wishes well before labor day.

If you hire a doula, you’ll meet with her throughout your pregnancy, and she will be well-acquainted with your needs and preferences in advance of your delivery, as well as those of your partner. A good doula feels like a trusted friend, offering calmness and a voice of reason during your labor and birth.

Many people say your wedding day pales in comparison to the day your first child is born; likewise, a wedding planner’s duties fall short in approximating the role of a doula in childbirth. Many brides choose to forego a wedding planning, thinking they’ll save a bundle of cash doing it all themselves. When it comes to giving birth, however, doing it all yourself is quite a different proposition. But before we get into the reasons why it’s much harder to DIY your birth, let’s take a closer look at a doula’s role so you can confidently answer the “what does a doula do” question.

WHAT DOES DOULA MEAN?

Doula comes from the greek word doulē, meaning female helper or maidservant. You can find a variety of definitions for doula, ranging from the short:

“A woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth” (Google Definition)

To the more in-depth and inclusive:

“A companion who supports a birthing person during labor and birth. Birth doulas are trained to provide continuous, one-on-one care, as well as information, physical support, and emotional support to birthing persons and their partners,” (Morton, 33).

While the earliest usage of the modern definition dates back to 1960s, labor support provided by a well-trusted, educated, and empathetic woman has been a constant in many cultures for centuries. Doulas continue to grow in popularity, and several recent studies have provided hard data showing the benefits that have long been recognized anecdotally by women all over the world.

WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY ABOUT DOULAS?

Cochrane review, originally published in 2012 and later revised in 2017, included more than 15,000 participants and looked at the role of continuous labor support (Bohren et al.). The study lists the following substantial positive effects for the birthing person:

  • 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
  • 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
  • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
  • Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on whether the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on whether the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff

For more details about the Cochrane review, we highly recommend that you check out the evidence for doulas over at Evidence Based Birth. These numbers alone should get you thinking about the impact a doula could have on your birth experience, not to mention the relatively low cost of adding so many benefits to your support team.

WHAT DOES A DOULA DO?

A doula’s job is often multi-faceted and customized to the specific needs, worries, and priorities of the couple she is supporting. Because of this, it’s hard to touch on everything a doula can provide, but most everything falls into one of the following four categories:

  1. Educational support
  2. Mental support
  3. Emotional support
  4. Physical support

We’re going to look at each of these categories in detail below.

EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

Have you ever heard the saying, “Evidence-based information thoroughly explained by an unbiased third party is power?” Probably not, but it does sum up the way a doula provides educational support to her clients.

Many parents find themselves bombarded with friendly advice, doctor recommendations, medical policies, facility routines, and more information than they could possibly want. The problem is, no one takes the time to fully explain all of these aspects of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. What’s normal? What’s a necessity and what’s superfluous?

These tests, decisions, and seemingly concrete hospital routines are all things that doulas know inside and out.

It’s part of a doula’s job to help you feel more confident about the process as your pregnancy advances.

You have a lot of options available to you for everything from your birth facility and providers, to your tests, birth preferences, and overall birth environment. Perhaps you have heard it said that if you don’t know your options, you don’t have any. Your doula is able to explain them all. Furthermore, having conversations and discussing possible interventions beforehand allows the birthing mother to keep her power should that topic or decision come up during labor.

When you’re faced with a decision without being educated, you’re much more likely to allow someone else to decide for you. Many times, this type of situation leaves mothers feeling as though birth happened to them, instead of something in which they were active participants. Often, we see this small-but-monumental shift become the difference between feeling empowered and associating birth with trauma. Know better, do better!

MENTAL SUPPORT

Most birth professionals would agree that much of birth—perhaps 95% of it—is mindset. Our bodies follow our minds. This is known as psycho-physical association. When we build our mindset on fear and doubt, our bodies tense up, and our fight, flight, or freeze mode is set to ON. Being in that state doesn’t help you push out a human—in fact, it can actively hinder your efforts. Alternatively, when you work to reframe your mind regarding birth and build a foundation based on positivity and confidence, your body responds appropriately. Labor can move quicker, is often easier, and we find that birth can be great.

Doulas know you’re being fed horror stories by everyone from your grandmother to random people in Target (how rude!), and it’s hard to not let those experiences affect you. Your birth team should be the first place you find encouragement, positivity, and unwavering support. Doulas can help you reframe doubts, and they can also dispel myths, misinformation, or fears that might affect your overall mindset. Birth is transformational. Working during prenatal meetings to shift your mindset might be one of the most important benefits a doula can have on you and your birth experience.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change.” – Marie F. Mongan

What Does a Doula Do - Emotional Support and Guidance - DFW Birth ResourcePregnancy emotions, usually exacerbated by hormones, can take a seemingly sane person and reduce her to a puddle of tears and snot because she ran out of chocolate chip ice cream. While not an exaggeration by any means, it can be quite comical (maybe when you’re NOT pregnant!) and has certainly happened to the best of us. While your doula will most likely understand why that’s devastating, she’s especially equipped to help you with the more serious emotional aspects of this journey.

It’s completely normal to possess a greater degree of vulnerability to anxiety, worry, and stress. As you get closer to your birth, it’s completely normal for self-doubting questions to start running through your mind:

  • Will I be a good mom?
  • Why haven’t I gone into labor?
  • Can my body do this?
  • Is something wrong?

Doulas act as a neutral emotional outlet. They can discuss and provide suggestions and solutions for working through triggers from past trauma and current doubts and anxieties for both you and your birth partner. They have often completed additional training that allows them to connect with a variety of individuals, regardless of their backgrounds. A vital aspect of unbiased support is no judgement; a doula gives you shoulder to cry on, along with a steady voice of reason and encouragement.

When needed, doulas also have access to a vast network of mental health professionals who specialize in prenatal and postpartum woes. Together, they can help you through especially tough emotions so pregnancy and birth can be an exciting time in your life, not one you dread. The experience of giving birth never leaves you, but what usually stands out the most is how you felt. Were you supported and affirmed in those moments of emotional distress or conflict? Empathetic care goes a long way to make you feel strong and able, despite the heavy emotions or availability of ice cream.

PHYSICAL SUPPORT

What Does a Doula Do - Physical Support – DFW Birth ResourceSupport and comfort measures for the laboring woman are often covered in childbirth classes and pregnancy books, but there’s a big difference between being able to move between labor positions in a classroom and knowing what to do in the heat of the moment. Many women describe the sensation of going into lala land during labor, particularly as they approach and navigate transition. The same goes for your partner—it can be very difficult for even the calmest, most rational partners to keep their cool while watching the birthing mother in action.

Doulas, on the other hand, are trained in a wide variety of labor positions and comfort measures, and they’ve experienced a variety of births. As an objective observer during your labor, a doula can look at what’s happening and suggest alternatives to help you release pain and tension, encourage the baby into an optimal position, and ultimately move your labor along.

Your doula will also be familiar with your birth plan and wishes. She is there to advocate for you, but she’s also less likely to have emotion clouding her abilities to make decisions. That is, if you’re struggling through a phase of labor, your partner is most likely going to be struggling along with you, while your doula will have a clearer view of what’s going on and whether it’s advisable to deviate from your birth plan. You ultimately have the final say on all decisions, but it’s often difficult to make clear decisions when you’re the one going through labor.

Another critical aspect of physical support is that your doula is dedicated to you throughout your entire labor, birth, and postpartum time—unlike your nurses, doctors, and/or midwives, a doula isn’t attending to other patients or coming up on a shift break. Because of this, she has a holistic view of what’s been happening and can provide physical support that’s tailored appropriately. She also won’t leave your side, unless you ask her to do so. A doula also provides partner support, whether that’s giving your partner a break to rest or eat, or simply supporting him as he supports you.

Your doula isn’t a substitute for a trained medical professional—your doctors and/or midwives. She is, however, a powerful addition to your birth team.

DO I REALLY NEED A DOULA?

Can you push out a baby without having a doula? Totally! Women do it every day. Your body has the ability to complete this task, and whether you choose to have a doula alongside you is a personal choice.

That said, there are so many compelling reasons to hire a doula for your birth. You’re preparing for an experience that will change your mind, body, chemical makeup, reasons for living, family, and finances for the rest of your life. Your world will never be the same. A doula will help to ensure that you’re heard, supported, and seen by your medical team.

The evidence we shared above is just the tip of the iceberg when you begin talking with moms about their experiences with doula-assisted childbirth. It doesn’t matter if you want the most natural, unassisted, mystical birth possible or the exact opposite end of the spectrum. A doula will help to ensure that you have the best possible experience and outcomes aligned with your wishes and circumstances.

It’s not uncommon for a partner or family member to tell you, “You don’t need to spend all that money on a doula—I’ll be there!” While this person probably has the best intentions, it’s really up to you to build your best possible support team. Will your partner, friend, or family member be able to give you objective support: educational, mental, emotional, and physical? Who will be with you if your partner needs to leave during your labor? Who can you text at 3 am to ask about symptoms? Doulas are used to (and professionally trained for) these types of situations, along with so many others.

One of the most common concerns is that a doula just isn’t in the budget. We completely understand. There are so many costs coming your way when you’re pregnant, particularly if you’re having your first baby, and these just keep piling up as your children grow. That being said, consider how your birth experience and outcomes fit into the priorities in the rest of your budget. You can also find some creative ways of covering the cost here. (Link blog post on how to pay for doula.)

At the beginning of this article, we compared a doula’s role to a wedding planner, whereas your doctor or midwife is like the wedding officiant. No, you don’t need a wedding planner for your wedding, but you’re probably going to have less stress and more fun overall by hiring one. Let’s look at the doula’s role from the perspective of another major life event: climbing Mt. Everest.

Even if you aren’t at all into climbing, you’ve probably heard of the sherpas that guide even the most expert climbers up the mountain. The sherpas are the elites—they live in the tough mountain climate, are acclimated to the elevations, and know how to complete the climb in the safest way possible. They go up and down mountains all day long.

A doula is your birth sherpa. She’s supported countless other women on their birth journeys and offers you an overflowing fountain of wisdom while honoring the spirit of your unique birth.

 

BIRTH MATTERS. WE MAKE IT SIMPLE.
LET US HELP YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY!

 

 
DFW Birth Resource - What does a doula do?

HOW TO AFFORD A DOULA, THE MODERN WAY

DFW HOW TO AFFORD A DOULA

If you’ve found yourself on this page then you’ve more than likely already made up your mind that you want a doula, but you’re not sure how you’re going to afford to have a doula as part of your birth plan on top of all other expenses that come along with planning for a baby. We get it! It can be a bit overwhelming when you’re thinking about co-pays, midwife fees, and everything you will need for when baby is here. We’re here to tell you it can be done, you can afford to have a doula!! We are so lucky to live in a time where making a bit of extra money can be quick and convenient with a bit of creativity. We’ve listed some of those ways here!

  • Refinance your home
  • Apply for a personal line of credit
  • Take out a loan from your 401k
  • Donate plasma. Your partner, not you.

……By now we hope you know we’re joking! The point is, you don’t have to take extreme measures to save for your doula fee. Most doulas offer flexible payment plans, so little changes to your lifestyle can make all the difference. The team at DFW Birth Resource has made a realistic list of ways to do just that:

  • Ask your prospective doula is she offers gift certificates to add to your baby registry.
  • Ask your insurance. Depending on your coverage you may be eligible for partial reimbursement for labor support.
  • Deliver orders for Uber EatsInstacartDoor Dash, or Amazon Now. Availability to these options will vary on location.
  • Offer housesitting for friends and family.
  • Are you a pet lover? Sign up for pet sitting or dog walking services. There are online websites that make it easy for you to create a profile and find nearby jobs. Trusted House SittersSitterCity and Rover are some good sites to start.
  • Have a lot of stuff you want to sell but don’t have time to organize a garage sale? Apps like Offerup, 5 miles, and Facebook Marketplace make it easy to sell your unwanted items on your own time.
  • Have you heard of Ibotta? It’s a super easy app that lets you gain cash-back from your in-store purchases. Kind of like coupons but there’s no clipping involved, and you can use this cash anywhere else!
  • And finally, get back to the basics by cutting back on non-essential spending like eating out and $5 coffee. Maybe switch to a smaller cable package or call your phone service provider to see about any plan promotions.

We hope you found this list super helpful! DFW Birth Resource is here to support you very step of the way. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Having the birth team of your dreams is doable and worth it!

WELCOME TO VBAC 101

DFW cesarean

April is Cesarean Awareness Month and 1 in every 3 women will give birth via cesarean. I am 1 in 3.  My first child was born via cesarean and my provider at the time promptly informed me that “once a cesarean always a cesarean”.  That was very discouraging to hear as I really wanted the opportunity to experience a vaginal birth.  Fast forward about 4 years later and we were ready to begin the journey of conceiving our second child, it was then that I begin my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) journey.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) states that “VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean section, including some who have had two previous cesareans”1 and that “candidates should be counseled and offered a trial of labor after cesarean”1.   Between 2011-2012 approximately fifty percent of expecting women considered a VBAC, however, despite ACOG’s recommendation 46% of those women were denied care for their VBAC.5  88% of those providers preferred to schedule a repeat cesarean.5

Finding a VBAC supportive provider is not always that easy. More often than not providers are VBAC tolerant meaning that they will support a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) as long as the pregnancy fits within their personal standard of care (what they are comfortable with.) When I began my VBAC journey, my provider seemed 100% supportive towards my VBAC until my 36-week appointment. Suddenly there were concerns of a “big baby” and he recommended scheduling a repeat cesarean for the safety of my baby. My provider did not choose to counsel me on the risks of a repeat cesarean or the risks of macrosomia (medical term for big baby) and VBAC. Yes, there are some risks when it comes to delivering a big baby3, however, macrosomia is not a contraindication for a VBAC1 and big babies are safely delivered vaginally every day. Weight estimates via ultrasound can be incorrect about 40% of the time and more often than not they lead to unnecessary medical interventions2. ACOG also discourages medical providers from using ultrasounds in the third trimester for the purpose of estimating a baby’s weight or recommending a cesarean due to suspicion of macrosomia.4

A provider may stipulate that you must go into labor by a certain gestation and that they will not induce you under any circumstances. ACOG states that while going beyond 40 weeks may decrease your chance of having a successful VBAC it does not exclude you from being allowed a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC).1 ACOG also notes that an induction of labor is an option for patients who are seeking a VBAC and the less than 3% chance of uterine rupture that may accompany a VBAC induction is not a reason to deny a you an opportunity to experience a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC).1

If you are pregnant with twins and are hoping to achieve your VBAC – shoot for the stars! ACOG notes that mothers pregnant with twins have a similar trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) success rate as that of a mother who is pregnant with a singleton.1

Being a plus size woman myself and being involved with members of the plus size birth community, I know that providers will frequently try to use weight as a reason to recommend a repeat cesarean. While being plus size does decrease the chances for a successful VBAC by about 24% (compared to women with a normal BMI) it does not deny us the opportunity to experience a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC).1

The type of incision made during previous cesarean is one of the most important considerations for providers when it comes to a VBAC. While a low-transverse incision is the most optimal incision for VBAC candidates, recent studies have determined that candidates with a low-vertical uterine incision have similar VBAC success rates and that any risks associated with uterine rupture or morbidity have not been consistent enough make a low-vertical incision a contraindication for a VBAC or TOLAC.1 If you are unsure what type a uterine incision was previously used that is not a contraindication for TOLAC unless the provider suspects a rare classical uterine incision that is reserved for very emergent situations.1

Some providers may even “require” you to have an epidural just in case you need a cesarean. ACOG says it is not necessary to require VBAC candidates to have an epidural1, so if you have your heart set on an unmedicated natural birth go for it!

Lastly, movement in labor is your friend and can help to increase your chances of having a successful VBAC. You can read more about the benefits of movement during labor from one of our earlier blog posts: https://www.dfwbirthresource.com/doula-support/movement-in-labor/.

Pregnancy and childbirth often comes with a wide variation of normal that may or may not fall in line with your provider’s standard of care. When providers become uncomfortable with a particular situation fear is often introduced into the conversation. The provider may be fearful that if something goes wrong they will be faced with a malpractice lawsuit therefore they begin to recommend (repeat) cesareans and other medical interventions “for your and you baby’s safety” because then they can better control the outcome.

Most women are candidates for a VBAC or trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC), however, if you have experienced a previous uterine rupture, have a classical uterine incision or have a medical issue such as placenta previa that would be a contraindication of a vaginal birth. “Once a cesarean” does not always have to be a cesarean. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you lose your rights to informed consent. If your provider is not counseling you on the risks of both a VBAC and a cesarean and is putting stipulations on your right to a trial of labor of cesarean (TOLAC) then they might not be the right provider for your VBAC journey. You are the patient, you hired your provider, they work for you not the other way around. If you feel that you are not getting the care that you deserve whether you are 6 weeks, 24 weeks, 36 weeks or even 41+ weeks it is never too late. Many women have changed providers days or even hours before they went into labor. You can do this, you have a right to a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) and you deserve a provider who not only believes in your rights to informed consent but in your ability to birth your baby. Finding the right provider may not always be easy, but it is worth it! OB-GYN’s are not the only provider options for VBAC, be sure to research the midwives in your area – VBAC’s can take place at home, in birth centers or hospitals – you have options and do not let anyone deny you of those options!

Best Wishes on your VBAC journey!

-Amber

P.S. It wasn’t easy but I did achieve a successful VBAC despite the opposition of my provider.

Also, be sure to check out the following resources: International Cesarean Awareness Network: https://www.ican-online.org/; https://www.vbac.com/; and the VBAC Education Project: https://icea.org/about/the-vbac-education-project/.

 

  1.     https://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Vaginal-Birth-After-Cesarean-VBAC
  2.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23132481
  3.     https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-induction-or-c-section-for-big-baby/
  4.     https://icea.org//wp-content/uploads/2016/01/VEP_Handouts_For_Parents.pdf
  5.     https://transform.childbirthconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LTM-III_Pregnancy-and-Birth.pdf

MEET THE BIRTHING SWEET

DFW BIRTHING SWEET

“Oh, how sweet it is!”

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the wonderful Mollie Miller this go around. Mollie Miller, LM, CPM is the proud owner and midwife at the newly built The Birthing Sweet Birthing Center and Midwifery in Alvarado, TX. Being a local, it makes me especially excited to share that our birthing options are growing in this area. Mollie’s practice began 20 years ago as Maternal Instincts Midwifery and just recently expanded into The Birthing Sweet with the help of her husband. I was delighted to find out very single stud and panel has been carefully placed by this power duo. If you ask me, that makes this space that much sweeter! Once given the grand tour, she quickly filled me up with the most delectable keto donuts and coffee I’ve ever had, so, on to the fun question of….

What’s your favorite thing about being a midwife, Mollie? “I love seeing a woman feel empowered and experience her dream birth.”

When Mollie is not serving women through her midwifery practice she is focused on homeschooling her children, quilting, and advocating for foster parenting. Mollie’s background in foster parenting began with her own personal struggles of infertility. It was through this that her husband and her came to foster and eventually adopt to create their beautiful family.

When is comes to her practice, Mollie takes 2-4 clients a month, has a travel range of 1 hour for those wanting to birth at home and provides an in-home visit 2 day’s postpartum. Have any more questions you’d like to ask Mollie, or schedule a tour of The Birthing Sweet?

You can find her here:

Mollie Miller, LM, CPM

The Birthing Sweet
Maternal Instincts Midwifery

FM 917, Alvarado, Texas 76028, United States | (817) 658-5064 | midwifemollie@gmail.com

https://thebirthingsweet.com/

BIRTH IS LIKE BUYING A CAR

DFW BIRTH IS LIKE BUYING A CAR

How much research and time did you put into choosing your last car? If you’re anything like me, you painstakingly researched safety ratings, cargo space, upgrade options and probably test drove multiple options. This is consumerism at its best. We have the information at our finger-tips and the ability to make choices for ourselves based on our needs and wants. Birth is the SAME WAY. Everything from your provider all the way down to what you wear while you birth is your choice.

“I don’t care what kind of birth you have…a homebirth, scheduled cesarean, an epidural hospital birth or if you give birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices and that you were respected.” – January Harshe

Typically the first choice made is regarding primary care provider and birth facility. Obviously prenatal care is important and because of the “urgency” many moms settle with the provider they’ve seen for wellness visits or they feel intimidated to switch later in pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women also don’t know that different providers can have varied birth philosophies or specialties (i.e. a midwife is an expert in natural birth or some OBs have higher c-section rates than others.) Basically, if you’re wanting a Honda, don’t go to a Kia dealership. Make sure your wants and needs match what they offer. Begin your search by deciding what type of birth you are preparing for: homebirth, birth center or hospital? After making this choice, begin researching those facilities and the providers who service them. Sometimes traveling an extra 15 minutes is well worth it to find a facility with a significantly lower cesarean rate and more up to date policies. Additionally, hospitals with very outdated routines and procedures might find go against your birth wishes (eating during labor, movement allowed, doulas welcomed.) Finding the facility that matches up with your philosophy is such an important thing. PLEASE don’t choose your provider or facility based on how stylish their office is, the size of the labor rooms or the steak and lobster dinner promised after birth. Evidence based care is so much more important! You can look up providers and hospital statistics on amino.comleapfrog.com,  and cesareanrates.com.

After you find your provider, it’s time to turn your attention to preparing for your birth. This is the “education and research” aspect of this experience. Birth is a transformational event that you can either choose to “go all in” and become fully invested and empowered or “wing it” potentially leaving you feeling lost and out of control. Think about how much time you put into choosing the car I mentioned above. How long would you realistically drive that car? Most people are trading them in before their 6 year loan is even paid off! And yet, we spend the time researching and learning about the car as though we’re making a decision that’s affecting the rest of our lives. Birth really does affect the rest of your life! Ask any woman who has given birth and she will be able to recount her entire labor and birth detail for detail, whether she’s 25 or 90. It transforms your mind, your life, your thoughts, your priorities, your body, your family, your world. Spending the time to prepare yourself through childbirth education classes or methods, such as HypnoBirthing, is never a waste. Learning about the choices and procedures you can expect means that you’re insuring those decisions are in YOUR control, not someone else’s.

Finally, choosing your support system is a key part of creating the birth experience you want. Labor is an intense journey. Statistics show that labor support significantly reduces cesarean and induction rates, Pitocin use and increases the likelihood of feeling satisfied with your birth experience. These are some MAJOR players in the labor room. When women feel supported, safe and secure they’re much more likely to find their “labor land” and progress quicker. Hormones and endorphins are easily released. In addition, couples find that they can experience birth together with the help of a doula. Partners are calmer and quickly find their role as hip squeezer, back massager or hand holder instead of sitting on the sidelines because they’re unsure what to do. Partners have never had to support you through an experience like this before and it can be unfair to put such a huge job on a person who probably hasn’t seen a birth since sex-ed in high-school (Knocked Up doesn’t count!) Build a team of people you connect with, who hold the same birth philosophy and you trust to be your strength, your faith and sometimes your voice. To read more about the evidence for doulas, go here.

Sure, buying a car and giving birth are two things you’ve probably never discussed in the same conversation over dinner, but keep in mind birth is just as much of a consumer experience as the car lot is. You have choices- lots of them. Upgrade to a provider you trust, birth at an evidence based facility and make informed choices you believe in to protect this transformational experience you’ll remember longer than your current car (you’ll be getting a minivan soon anyway!)

Katie

P.S…..I chose my car based on cargo space, how #adult is that!