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Birth Rights

Women Come Together for Peace – OM SHANTI Event

OM SHANTI – Sister Circle of PEACE
When: Sunday, October 22nd, 2-3:30 pm
Where: YogaWorks Playa Vista

We as women come together for peace. We must! We are daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmother, friends – the protectors of Mother Earth.
Please Join Our Community Event at YogaWorks Playa Vista, sponsored by Spirited Woman. This is a special yoga event of peace, wrapped in your OM SHANTI Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf – a symbol of spirit, empowerment, and peace for women worldwide.
I will be leading the group in a Gentle Yoga, Meditation, and Chanting.
Your EVENT TICKET: The OM SHANTI Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf!
Please order your scarf in advance of the event – limited number available at-the-door. Cost: $48.
To sign-up/purchase scarf please call Nancy Mills, Spirited Woman: (805) 698-3555.
A portion of all OM SHANTI scarf sales will be donated to AWBW – so if you can’t make the event you can still buy the scarf!
Your ticket is the OM SHANTI prayer scarf. If you already have OM SHANTI the event is free or buy yours here. We expect this event to sell-out!
http://www.thespiritedwoman.com/prayer_scarf/
A portion of all OM SHANTI scarves will be donated to the fantastic non-profit A Window Between Worlds – so if you can’t make the event you can still buy the scarf!

Home


Join us as we come together to elevate the intention of love and peace in our Community.
~Om Shanti
 

By |October 4th, 2017|Birth Rights, General Topics, Uncategorized, Yoga|Comments Off on Women Come Together for Peace – OM SHANTI Event

Natural VBAC Birth Story!

I am so pleased to share this VBAC birth story of my yoga mama, Krystal! We post this as an inspiration for women considering the option for a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) rather than a repeat surgical birth.
Krystal asked my advice for how she can prepare differently for the second birth. She’s been my yoga student since her first pregnancy. As you read Krystal’s story let me point out some very critical choices she made that contributed to the success of a vaginal birth.

First, she ‘broke-up’ with her first doctor and hired one of my favorite OB/GYN doctor in the South Bay Beach Cities.

Krystal faithfully attended my pregnancy yoga classes at YogaWorks in order to get her mind, body, and spirit ready and prepared for a VBAC.

She was not induced and was allowed to start labor when her body and baby were ready.

Pushing Phase – Krystal pushed her baby out in the all-fours position which allowed her hips to be open and wide.

Krystal labored at home and arrived at the hospital at 7 cm! No Epidural to slow down labor. The baby was born less than 3 hours after hospital admission.

Here is Krystal’s Story, posted with permission.
On Saturday night, September 9th, I started having pretty strong contractions around 6:00 p.m. that were 3 minutes apart but by 11:00 p.m. they moved to 4 minutes apart and felt less intense so I decided to get some rest and went to bed.
At midnight I woke up and the contractions were stronger than ever and about 2-3 minutes apart. I paced around a bit and then decided I needed to get into the shower. I think the warmth of the shower helped a […]

By |September 16th, 2017|Birth Rights, Uncategorized, VBAC, Yoga|Comments Off on Natural VBAC Birth Story!

Call the South Bay Doula: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

… mostly, birth and joy! After a few years on sabbatical from doula-ing, I am proud to announce “I’M BACK!” I needed the time away as I reorganized and settled myself through a personal and painful transformation of my own. Believe me, it pained me each and every time I turned away a mama who asked me to join her and her hubby through their journey for labor and delivery.

Now, I am back and fully present and ready to Sherpa expecting couples through the birth process again. I think, like most Birth Workers, the images and memories of the births we attend are so clear and forever stamped in our minds and hearts. I can walk into my local café in Hermosa Beach and likely bump into one of my many Yoga Mamas and/or birth clients! The shriek of excitement never fails. Then the second burst of “Omigod!” when I see their babies now running in soccer jerseys and pony-tails. I say, “she’s in 3rd grade, already? Really?!” And I have no doubt their mamas remember me as much as I remember them.

Here are some of my vivid memories that still inspire me today and reignite my philosophy and passion to TRUST BIRTH:

The mama who said to me when she hired me, “Just so you know, I AM getting an epidural!” During her first birth, she spent most of the time dancing in labor! I was her doula again, as she birthed her second baby, also naturally.

Supporting a mama after nearly 3 days of prodromal labor followed by induction…then when she was finally 10 cm dilated and the urge to push temporarily absent, I encouraged her to just sing in between contractions. […]

By |June 30th, 2017|Birth Rights, Doulas, Homebirth/Midwives, Labor Tools, VBAC, Yoga|Comments Off on Call the South Bay Doula: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Top 5 Questions to Ask when Choosing a Doctor to Deliver Your Baby

There are many questions to encourage dialogue between you and your doctor, especially when you are still interviewing a medical care provider. Here are my TOP 5 suggested questions that will give you a good idea as to the doctor’s philosophy about caring for you and supporting your Birth Preferences.  Ask these questions in a respectful and non-confrontational manner to illicit a healthy dialogue with the doctor. It is a good idea to interview at least 2 or 3 providers. Listen to your Intuition and watch the doctor’s body language. And if during the course of your pregnancy you are getting the feeling your doctor may not be on the same page as you regarding your Birth Preferences, it may not be too late to change providers. It may not be too late to ‘break up with your doctor!’ Please check with your insurance company regarding switching doctors because some insurance companies may have time-deadline restrictions.

 What are your protocols regarding my Due date and post-dates,  i.e. if baby and I are healthy, how long can I go past my due date? 40 weeks? 42 weeks?
If I were interested in having a natural, un-medicated birth, how would you support me? I would prefer freedom of movement and choice of birth position, i.e. push and give birth in side-lying, all fours or squatting positions?
What would you recommend I do if my water breaks before contractions have begun? Assuming I am GBS negative and not running a fever, how long after my water breaks would you recommend before induction/augmentation of labor if it doesn’t start on its own?
How do you feel about a labor support professional such as a doula or massage therapist joining my birth team.
Do […]

By |March 17th, 2015|Birth Rights, Doulas, Labor Tools|Comments Off on Top 5 Questions to Ask when Choosing a Doctor to Deliver Your Baby

Successful VBAC Birth Story After Three Days of Labor!

This is the year for VBACs in my doula practice. I love supporting VBAC mamas; they have this special zing and purpose about them. I suppose hindsight is 20/20 and so these women approach birthing, the second time, being more informed and prepared.

In 2010, The American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologist (ACOG) issued Practice Bulletin No. 115, replacing Bulletin No. 45 which  included the infamous requirement of doctors to be “immediately available” which resulted in a fire of VBAC bans to rage around the country, but primarily in rural areas. ACOG’s current position  is supportive of VBACs stating that VBAC is a “safe and appropriate choice for most women” with one prior cesarean and for “some women” with two prior cesareans.  Being pregnant with twins, going over 40 weeks, having an unknown or low vertical scar, or suspecting a “big baby” should not prevent a woman from planning a VBAC (ACOG, 2010). That is great news across the country and I anticipate the Cesarean rate to low overall.

The risk of uterine rupture with one prior low-transverse uterine scar is low, 0.5% to 0.9% so for those considering a VBAC, read Katie’s inspiring birth story and the steps she took to ensure VBAC success!

Katie’s VBAC Story – Birth of Rowan
The Previous Cesarean
From my 20-week ultrasound on, I knew that I would be having a scheduled Cesarean Section with our first baby girl, Daphne. Due to a defect in her abdominal wall that would require surgery, the doctors recommended that a Cesarean was the safest way for her to be born. I was heartbroken, fearing that it would pave the way for my subsequent births.
Daphne’s birth was an emotional experience because there were so many unknowns […]

6 Things to Do if You Have an Unplanned Home Birth

We’ve all heard stories about the baby born in the car, on the way to the hospital or born unassisted (unintentionally) at home.  We call it precipitous labor (a labor length of under three hours). While the intention of these couples  was to give birth in a hospital facility or planned home birth, the fact of the matter is that birth happens! I once heard Ina May Gaskin say at a birth conference, “Birth was made to work in case nobody is there.”

Although precipitous labors occur more frequently with subsequent births, the overall percentage of this happening to you is very LOW so no need to rush to the hospital at the sign of your first contraction.  Here are a few statistics I found from the CDC 2004 report. The overall percentage of labors, which were deemed Precipitous:

<3 hr: 2% overall

  .7% chance for first-time moms (primips)  to

  5% chance for 8th-time moms (multips)

In discussing this topic with my midwife friends, Ashley Guntkowsi, CNM and licensed midwife Amy Tinney here are the top six things to do in the rare case that a fast birth should happen to you.  I call it the 6 C’s:

1)  Calm yourself, breathe and stay put.  Don’t freak out, no need to ‘boil the water’.  Stay calm and take a few deep breaths.  Remind yourself your body was made to give birth.

2)  Call 9-1-1 for emergency paramedics or call your midwife if you had planned on a home birth. I personally do not recommend getting into the car to drive to the hospital under these circumstances.  It is wiser to stay put and let the professionals come to you rather than risk giving birth in transit.

3)  Catch the baby.  Lower […]

Top 10 Most Important Things to Pack in Your Labor Bag

If you are pregnant and wondering what to bring to the hospital or Birth Center for your upcoming labor & delivery, chances are you have already come across those long lists of what to pack. Sure, the essentials are obvious such as your toiletries, change of clothes, a coming home outfit for the baby…your husband and Birth Partner, duh of course! But, what about a SHORT list of the absolutely most essential things to bring with you that will make a big difference?  I give you a short list of the top 10 most important things to pack in your hospital bag but often get overlooked, so if you are within 4 weeks of your due start packing your bag now.

 Birth Preferences List (Birth Plan) – This is your communications tool about what you prefer for your birth.  Your Birth Plan should be no more than 2 pages long, easy to read, and also include your preferences for baby care (i.e. do you want certain injections, eye ointment?).  Bring three copies with you, which ideally have been signed and agreed by your doctor.  A sample Birth Plan is provided in Posh Push.
 Birth Ball (to aid with labor support) – These are very large rubber balls used for exercise and Pilates. Recommended size for labor is 65 cm.  You want your hips to be above the level of your knees when you sit on it.  You can find an exercise ball at any Sporting Goods store or shop like Target. Please don’t go in asking for a “birth ball” because they will look at you cross-eyed .  Bring this ball with you to the hospital already pumped up and ready to go.

Wear Your Own Labor Gown […]

By |April 9th, 2013|Birth Rights, General Topics, Labor Tools|Comments Off on Top 10 Most Important Things to Pack in Your Labor Bag

Cord Blood Banking: Are We Steeling Babies Blood?

I recently read an awesome article by one of my favorite childbirth blogs called Midwife Thinking’s Blog.  The topic was called “Cord Blood Collection: Confessions of a Vampire-Midwife,” posted February 10, 2011.

It was well-timed since I just received an email from a Representative of Pacificord- Cord Blood Collection.   Funny how they got my name and email? What was most interesting is his offer to give me (as a Doula) a $50 referral fee for every client I sent to them and booked an account.  Wow!  Now, I know this type of thing happens at doctors’ offices but this is the first time, as a doula, I have been approached and been offered CASH for referrals.

I am aware of doctors and hospitals receiving incentives for selling/recommending drugs or childbirth interventions but have never heard of doulas being approached. What happened to the doulas helping to be the Guardians of gentle birthing for moms and babies?  I have to admit, for a quick second I thought, “Hmmm, who do I know that I can refer?”  Then I quickly snapped myself back!  But with such a generous referral incentive you can see how tempting it could be to pass along the Pacificord brochures.

Read The Midwife Thinking’s blog to learn more about the process of cord banking and the affect on baby.  When you learn how much of the baby’s own blood volume is taken (about 1/3)  it makes one really think hard about this topic of cord banking.  The midwife further states, “I am not saying cord blood banking shouldn’t be an available option. All I am suggesting is that parents need adequate information before they make a decision to withdraw a significant amount of their baby’s blood volume. They need to be able […]

Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth

NEW BOOK – POSH PUSH: MODERN GIRLS REVEAL SECRETS
FOR A MORE NATURAL BIRTH – NOW AVAILABLE
Must-read Guide That Reveals How Labor Can Be Faster, Easier and Even Luxurious
LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 05, 2012 – Women everywhere have questions about childbirth.  “Am I prepared to have an enjoyable, comfortable childbirth?   Could I have a natural birth experience without drugs?” Now these women can find all the answers, secrets and more in the new book, Posh Push: Modern Women Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth, now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009LQS32G.

This fabulous new book offers support and helps build confidence in modern women who strive to have a more natural childbirth. The book is packed full of insider tips, gems of wisdom, and stories from modern mothers and birth experts to help women achieve a more natural labor, with ease and comfort.  Posh Push celebrates a more natural childbirth as beautiful, attainable and for every woman that wants it.  This essential guide will prepare women in mind and body to optimize their pregnancy and birth environment.

Natural childbirth is an increasingly popular trend.  We see many celebrities choosing to have natural childbirths and sharing their stories in the media.  Now, chic, modern moms everywhere like Alison, Johanna and Tiffany, featured in Posh Push, are sharing their revealing birth stories in rich detail and answering “Why would anyone want a natural childbirth?”

Written in a fun, informative format, the authors ask, “Where are all the worldly stiletto wearing women who want to birth their babies naturally?” Co-authors, Patricia Grube and Sara Smildzins found them and the stories these women share exclusively in Posh Push will have pregnant women everywhere saying, “I want that too!”  For women that are […]

By |October 7th, 2012|Birth Rights, Doulas, General Topics, Homebirth/Midwives, Labor Tools, Yoga|Comments Off on Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth

The Big Baby BS – Fetal Macrosomia

It breaks my heart and also frustrates me to hear women time and time again share with me the fear that has been implanted in their minds by their doctors concerning the size of their babies. Knowledge is power. Let’s have a discussion today about “the Big Baby Bullshit.” I put this term in quotes because I did not coin this term but ran across some website a few years ago dedicated to this topic.

First, allow me a moment to celebrate a few September births from my yoga class:

Amy ‘s story: “Hi Patricia! I’m the short blonde girl who usually sat in the back corner. I was scheduled for a planned c-section because the doctor said I would have a huge baby.  But, I went into labor on my own on Friday August 31st (water broke at 12:50am), I dilated all the way to 10 cm by Saturday night at 9pm but he wasn’t coming so they wheeled me in for c-section at 1:30am.  On Sunday morning, September 2nd, Baby boy, Everett James, was born at 2am and weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz.  Doctors were way off thinking I was going to have a 10 lb baby!”

Another Yoga Mama who declined her doctor’s recommendation for induction/Cesarean for suspected big baby:

Liza’s story: “Hi Patricia! This is Liza from Yoga class. I’m the girl with glasses that sits all over the place and brings non-pregnant family members to learn yoga moves with us. My daughter Lillian Marie was born on Thurs, Sept 27 after twelve hours of non-medicated labor – four at home, eight at the hospital. I used multiple music playlists, lots of dancing and moving, a yoga block, and partner stretches to get me […]

By |October 2nd, 2012|Birth Rights, General Topics|Comments Off on The Big Baby BS – Fetal Macrosomia