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Childbirth Tips - Create a Magical Laboring Cave 0

One of my all time favorite places for labor is the hospital bathroom. Say what??  Yes, it is the truth!  With a little transforming the hospital bathroom can be an awesome laboring location. 

 

How to transform a hospital bathroom starts with the lighting.  The hospital lights are so harsh that I recommend never turning them on. NEVER EVER EVER turn those lights on! As a doula, one of the first things that I do is to grab some battery operated candles from my doula bag.  I place three of these in the bathroom and they create enough ambient light for safety purposes and are so much better that the florescent overhead lights. 

When mom is ready to spend more time laboring in the bathroom we can go ahead and add music.  If she is enjoying music for labor it is a great addition to the cave. She might be listening to a playlist or just streaming some ambient spa-like music.

After the lighting and music are set the next super important step is to close (or crack open) the door.  This is so important to actually get that cave-like feel.  With the door closed or mostly closed she won't feel like she is being watched.  It is a comforting feeling for most moms.  Sometime moms even want to be left completely alone.  In that case we need to make sure that mom knows that her partner and doula are right outside the door.  If moms do want company in the cave we can pull in a stool for her partner/doula.  Don't forget, Mom also needs a beverage, preferably a cup with a straw.  

The bathroom is a great place to labor whether it be in the tub, shower or the toilet!

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Teaching Private Childbirth Class - 5 Essential Items 0

Teaching Childbirth Class - 5 Essential Items
Teaching private childbirth class is a wonderful way to connect on an intimate level with your clients.  I love being able to tailor my class to meet their particular needs.  While the content is basically the same, the delivery of the content will change when teaching a private class.  I love to use the white board and computer during my group classes, but have a completely different presentation method when teaching in my client's home.  

The setting for most of my private classes is in my clients home, usually in a family room.  There is often a coffee table in the center of the room which is the perfect spot for a set of compact posters.  This set along with my demonstration baby/uterus/placenta/cord and pelvis models are my primary visual aids.  

Along with teaching aids, I love to bring a gift for my clients.  My gift is a birth ball in a super cute cover.  We use this in class when talking about positions and mom can use it prenatally after class is over.  My clients really love their gifts!
The final few items I bring are items to make the class fun (like a plush uterus).  Check it out the video above to see how these are used!

 

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What items are essentials in your private childbirth classes?  Click on the comment link to the left of the post and let us know!

Limp and Loose in Labor - 8 Practical Tips 6

8 Practical Labor Tips The muscle at the center of labor is the uterus and the cervix is the passageway between the uterus and the vagina.  I like to think of the cervix like doors that have to open up before the baby can exit. The role of each contraction is to gently open the cervix or open up the doors. 

The cervix should open more effectively when the laboring woman is limp and loose. This isn't easy! During contractions it is common to want to brace against the sensation. Women are often seen squeezing their partner's hand, grabbing onto bed rails, clenching their bum and even closing their eyes with a good deal of force. 

 8 Tips on staying Limp and Loose for Labor: 

1. Open mouth and let lower jaw hang.
2. Shake out arms and hands.
3. Blow horse lips
4. Rest hands with palms facing upward
5. Move shoulders up and down noticing any tension
6. Have support people use phrases like "limp and loose", "rag doll", and "go boneless"
7. Check in with your bum. No bum clenching!
8. Wiggle it! If any areas seem tight try to give them a wiggle to release the muscles.

Not only should staying limp and loose help contractions be more effective but reducing tension also helps reduce pain! 

 Check out the image that we created with these tips.

 

Highlights of the Lamaze DONA Conference 14

 Lamaze DONA Doula Childbirth Educator Conference

The Lamaze DONA Conference in Kansas city was amazing.  The speakers and sessions were fabulous.  The exhibitors were excellent.  Best of all, the time between the sessions were filled with wonderful networking with birth professionals.  I have put together a video with my highlights from this awesome event below.

 Take a peek at our video and find out more about my experience as a speaker, meeting my customers in real life and what it is like to bump into birth celebrites like Penny Simkin, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Gail Tully.

 

 

 More pics for you include:

Doula Collective of Tulsa

Alice with 3 of the doulas from the Doula Collective of Tulsa.

 

Doula Sarah Goebel honored us by wearing the tshirt she purchased from us. LOVE THAT!

 

Don't forget to check out my Pinterest presentation blog and infographic

 

Hold on to your seats! This isn't my only blog about the conference.  Stay tuned for more to come including highlights from the speakers and sessions. 

Did you attend the conference?  Did you decide to skip it?  Share your story in our comments below.

 

Pinterest for Birth Professionals 0

I recently presented a session at the Lamaze DONA joint conference in Kansas City about using Pinterest for birth professionals.  It was a great experience and I so enjoyed presenting this great topic.  Below you will find an infographic presenting most of the highlights of the presentation.  Please post a comment with any of your questions about using Pinterest! 

 

10 great things about birth conferences (not including the actual sessions!) 0

 

10. A weekend filled with birth stories

9. Being surrounded by people passionate about birth.

8. Regularly hearing words like placenta, vagina and cervix in the hotel lobby, restaurants and hallways.

7. Exhibitors displaying awesome birth products, art and educational items.

6. Learning about birth all over the world from birth workers who travelled to the conference.

5. Birth humor is appreciated and encouraged!

4. Access to birth celebrities! (Like Gail Tully, Debra Pascali Bonaro and Suzanne Arms)

3. Meeting other professionals who absolutely understand what you do. (No more "what's a doula?" Questions)

2. Birth tshirts, jewelry and pins are encouraged and admired.

1. Meeting the birth professionals you have gotten to know through social media in real life