Thursday, March 26, 2009

Acupressure for Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond

There will be an upcoming Acupressure Class for Birth Professionals that will be in Wichita, Kansas in May. It is designed for massage therapists, acupuncturists, doulas, midwives, chiropractors, and childbirth educators. This class will include learning such points for the natural induction of labor, positioning for the baby, fertility, breastfeeding and more. It will be taught by Dr. Lorraine Jones. You can visit her website at

As a doula, I recently attended two births where I used some of these techniques to facilitate a smooth labor for my client and birth for her baby. I am a believer in acupuncture and acupressure anyway, but after seeing how powerful these points can be in birth, I cannot wait to learn more!

If you or anyone you know may be interested in taking this course, please let me know and I will make sure you get the information and a mailing of the information and class registration. Date and cost will be determined on the class size and interest.

Believe me, this will set you apart as a birth professional. You don't want to miss it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can This Really Happen?

Yes. And it did.

Expectant mother taken to hospital after four hours of minor, but relentless contracting. She is 36 and a half weeks pregnant. At 8:30 pm, nurse finds her to be 3 cm dilated and 60% effaced. At 1:00 am she was to be re-examined for change. At that check, water bag was broken....(on purpose.) Remains in hospital until morning. Morning, no change. Most likely was given Pitocin. No change. At 5:30 pm she had a Cesarean section.

In the words of Marsden Wagoner, M.D. and former director of the World Health Organization, "If you really want a humanized birth, the best thing to do is to get the hell out of the hospital."

From the documentary The Business of Being Born:
  • Midwives attend over 70% of births in Europe and Japan. In the U.S. they attend less than 8%.
  • The U.S. has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world.
  • The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries.
  • In 1900, 95% of births took place at home.
  • In 1938, half of all births took place at home.
  • By 1955, less than 1% of births took place at home. This is still true today.
  • Since 1996, the Cesarean section rate in the U.S. has risen by 46%.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doula Jewels

A big thanks to Claire and Ollie for giving me this beautiful doula necklace in appreciation of me being at their birth!! This isn't the exact one, but mine is similar to this one in the photo. It means a lot to know I was helpful to them at their birth.

And, a huge praise to for making these lovely jewels available. Check out the sight for more awesome products!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blessing Rings and Baby Products

Blessing Rings are the perfect gift for any occasion. What a great way to display a memorable event such as a baby, wedding, holidays and more! I am currently taking orders for custom, hand-made blessing rings....just $15.


This spring/summer, I will be introducing a custom line of hand sewn, natural and organic baby products. This will include baby items such as clothes, blankets and quilts, accessories, and more. If you have specific ideas or suggestions please let me know. I will also be taking custom orders. Pictures of products to be coming soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Movie Pick of the Week

Tonight I watched a National Geographic film called "In the Womb". It is a fascinating documentary of conception to birth. Although I don't agree with some of the things they were advocating, such as 3D and 4D ultrasounds, I found it to be a great education resource. The woman had a natural birth on her hands and knees with a midwife. I believe it was filmed in the UK.

Some take aways from the documentary:
  • 500 million sperm are produced with each ejaculation. Only one gets in and once it does and the egg is fertilized, it produces a hormone that will not allow any more sperm to penetrate.
  • Only 50% of fertilized eggs develop into a baby.
  • An early miscarriage may look like a heavy period, and the mother may never have known she was pregnant.
  • Progesterone is produced in high levels by the mother during pregnancy so that no eggs are released.
  • At 23 weeks, babies have been known to survive birth. The lungs of a baby this small are severely underdeveloped. The baby may be left with minor to severe brain damage or learning disabilities.
  • At 24 weeks, the sensory organs are starting to develop. The baby now has all of the organs and functions it needs to survive. At this point it is just growing.
  • At 26 weeks, the heart can be heard through the mother's abdomen when an ear is placed next to it.
  • One theory about babies having hiccups is that they do so as a reflex in order to be able to latch onto the nipple to feed once born.
  • A 33 week old fetal brain and a newborn brain are believed to be at the same developmental level.
  • Only 5% of babies are born on their "due date".
  • The lungs are the last organ to fully develop.
  • The lungs and the placenta determine the timing of birth. When the lungs are mature, they secrete a hormone to the placenta to slow the release of progesterone and triggers the release of Oxytocin which initiates uterine contractions.
  • The pain of child birth can be eased by giving birth squatting, sitting, or standing. Lying on your back will increase the need for medical intervention and Cesarean sections. (I personally like that they added this one!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Birth Story

One great reason to hire a doula is for the birth story you get after your baby is born. So many things happen during labor and the birth of your precious new baby, that you can't always remember them all. A birth story is a great way to capture the memory of that. I have written a story below of a recent birth I attended.

"In the days leading up to your birth, there were many people anticipating your arrival. As the birth doula for your mommy and daddy, I helped your mommy with some pressure points on her feet. This was just one of many things they tried to get you here. You were anticipated to be a big baby, so an induction was scheduled after you didn’t come on your “due date”.

On Friday, February 6, 2009, your parents went into Baylor Medical Center in downtown Fort Worth for the induction. At 8:13 am, you mommy called me to let me know they had gotten all checked in and that I could head that way. I arrived at the hospital at 8:40. When I arrived, your nurse, Sally, and student nurse, Stephanie, were going over questions with your mommy and daddy. They had already put the fetal monitors on your mommy to see how you and she were doing. At 9:05, they put a heplock on your mommy just in case they needed to start an IV. At 9:12, Sue, the midwife, came in to break your bag of water and to work to open your mommy’s cervix. Your fluid was clear (a good thing) and your mommy was dilated to 3 cm, 80% effaced, and -2 station. We waited 20 minutes after the water was broken to get up and start moving around. We only had two hours to make progress before they were to start the Pitosin.

At 9:40, your mommy got out of bed. Mommy, Daddy, and I all walked the halls for about half an hour. Then, we went back into the room to check your heart tones again and your mommy sat on the bed doing some rocking of the hips. The nurses had brought in two balls for your mommy to use as well. Your mommy was beginning to have contractions that were 30-40 seconds long. She was a little hungry so she ate an apple. The midwife came back in at 11:00am to check the cervix. She explained to your mommy and daddy that she wanted to place an internal fetal monitor next to you and start the Pitosin. Mommy and Daddy wanted a chance to talk about it. The decision was made to go ahead and place the monitor so that if labor went past 5:00pm that the midwife could give a report to the Dr. on call that evening, just in case he had to take over for any reason. The idea was to avoid a Cesarean section for you and your mommy.

After being placed on the IV of Pitosin and the internal fetal monitor was put in place, your mommy was still able to move around. At this point she was 4cm dilated, 80-90% effaced, and -2 station. Sue was glad your head didn’t bounce away from her when checked you, meaning that you were fully engaged and not moving back up. But, your mommy did have a few uncomfortable contractions while being checked. After that, your mommy decided to do some work on the birth ball while I talked through some visualizations with her. Daddy was watching over us. Mommy also tried some different positions on the ball as your daddy and I helped her, but she was having a bit of a hard time finding something comfortable for her. She was wanting to rest and was feeling weak.

By 1:00pm the contractions were coming more often and a lot stronger. Your daddy was sitting by her side helping her through each one. Mommy didn’t particularly like it when he rubbed her hand with his thumb though. She liked it when he was still and held her hand. At 1:50pm, the nurses came in to check the progress again. Mommy was 5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and -1 station. She was making progress and you were coming. The next hour was pretty rough for you mommy. She was feeling a lot of pressure and feeling the pain of child birth. She was very uncomfortable and no position seemed to relieve the discomfort. At that time, the nurse had come into the room and discovered a puddle of liquid on the floor under the IV pole. It was the Pitosin running out from the bag onto the floor. It had never gotten hooked up to your mommy at all. Your mommy had done all that work on her very own. The nurse attached the Pitosin back to the IV on your mommy’s arm. The nurse had told your mommy that the contractions she was seeing on the monitor were not strong enough to have you and she was going to have to have more contractions to get you out. This was very discouraging to your mommy because she was feeling as though she was working so hard and it was disheartening to hear she would have to work even harder. Come to find out, you were coming, it just wasn’t picking up on the monitors.

By 2:50pm, your mommy was very tired and worn out. Even though she had your daddy and me there for support, she felt as though she could no longer do it on her own without pain relieving medication. She was feeling bad that she needed some help, but also thinking she was not strong enough to finish. Your daddy was hesitant to do it and was stalling. He knew to stall from the Bradley child birth classes your parents had taken. Your daddy and I tried to encourage her that she was very strong and she could do it, but she decided to get some relief. I encouraged her that she was not a failure and that sometimes it turns out this way (at the time, we didn’t know your mommy was actually in transition). Finally, your daddy called for help and the nurse and midwife came in to see what kind of relief she wanted. She had been working so hard, but said she was feeling scared and didn’t think she could do it. As the epidural was being ordered, your daddy and I stayed in the room with your mommy. Your mommy began to feel the urge to push you out. I told your daddy to call the nurse to get someone back into the room. They were just outside the door. The midwife came in to check your mommy again and said that she could push if she wanted to. Just as she said that, the anesthesiologist came through the door and then left as quickly as he had come. Your mommy decided that she could do it after all. A few good pushes and you were born just shortly there after at 3:10pm. They put you right away on your mommy’s chest so you could have skin to skin contact and begin your breastfeeding. The placenta came about five minutes later. Mommy had to have a few stitches. You were a big boy, weighing 9 lb. and 10 oz., and 21 in. long.

While I stayed with your mommy to get cleaned up, your daddy went with you as you laid on the warmer in the room. He didn’t leave your side, it was so precious. After your mommy was finished, you got to eat right away. You started out being a great eater and I didn’t have to help out much with that part. I left you to bond with your mommy and daddy for a while before I left. You were expecting your grandparents and big sister to come and visit.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your birth. I enjoyed being there as you came into the world."

Written by Hannah Reasoner, Birth Doula

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby Alayna

What a great birth of Baby Alayna!!
I have an awesome birth story to follow very soon.

The team of midwives that came to her home birth.

Being the doula for Rachel and Andrew.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Unplanned Home Birth Stories

I will post my version of these stories very soon. For now, please read Donna's blog for the great story. They are absolutely wonderful! What an eventful week of births.