Friday, August 31, 2012

Improving Birth Rally Nationwide

This is not a debate between women who plan on getting their epidural in the parking lot of the hospital as they're in labor and those crazy crunch granola women who want a natural childbirth experience. This is a presentation of facts.

The fact is, in spite of our ever increasing access to and use of technology and outlandish spending on maternity care in our country, the U.S. ranks behind 40 other developed nations in regards to maternal mortality rates. This means that more women die from childbirth related causes in our country than in 48 other countries. Do you find this shocking?

Consider these facts:
  • Cesarean sections pose substantial risks to both mother and baby. 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that average rates of cesarean sections should not be above 10-15%
  • The average rate of cesarean births in The United States in 2009 was 32.9%.
  • With proper maternity care, induction of labor could be less than 10%, yet in the U.S. it's 34%.
  • Oklahoma’s c-section rate is above the national average at 34.2%. This means our state has the 12th highest c-section rate in the U.S.
  • Because of maternal death rates in our country, Amnesty International says, "It's more dangerous to give birth in the United States than in 49 other countries."
  • There is no one mandated way of documenting maternal deaths in the United States. This means our count of women who have died as a result of complications in childbirth is likely below what is actually true. See this article.
To bring awareness to these facts and to rally to improve birth in our country with Evidence Based Maternity Care, The National Rally for Change will take place in cities across the nation, on Labor Day, 2012. This coming Monday, September 3rd, join men, women, children, birth and postpartum doulas, midwifes, childbirth educators and those who care about improving birth statistics and experiences in our country.

Tulsa's Rally will be held at Whole Foods Market, at 41st and Peoria, from 10:00AM - 12:00PM. I will have a booth set up for Honeybee Mama, and DONEOK Doulas will be represented, among many other Tulsa Doulas and birth workers from the Tulsa Metro. I will have products available for purchase and will make appointments for doula services. There will also be numerous giveaways and great information available!

Come see me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Conversations in the Car Vol. 13

Picked the littles up from their second day of school last Friday. The littlest bee, Alec, is in Kindergarten this year, and my other one, Aidan, is in First Grade this year.

Me: "How was school today, guys?"

Alec: "It was good. I finished my ham sandwich today. Can we watch a movie?"

Me: "Yeah, go ahead."

Aidan: "Hey Mom?"

Me: "Yeah?"

Aidan: "When you were a little girl and you were in school, did you know a boy that was the most handsomest boy in school, and everyone knew that he was the most handsomest boy in school and you wished you were the prettiest girl in school so he would be your friend?"

Me: "Well, yes, probably something like that, why?"

Aidan: "Because there is a girl that I know that is the prettiest girl in school, and she even has a pretty name."

Me: "Oh really? What's her name?"

Aidan: [leaning back with an exhausting sigh] "Grace."

Me: "Oh yes, Grace is a beautiful name."

Aidan: "Yeah. So can you tell me what to do, and what I can wear and what I can do to be the most handsomest boy in school?"

Me: [feeling slightly horrified that I'm already talking about crushes with my six year old] " her your friend?"

Aidan: "Yeah, and think that I'm the most handsomest boy in school. What do I do?"

Me: [remembering the years of taunting I endured at the hands of countless tribes of boys in grade school for everything from wearing glasses and misplaced ponytails to running the wrong direction in kick ball, not to mention a complete inability to dodge flying projectiles in "Dodge Ball"] "You're asking the wrong parent, kid."

Aidan: "Well what do I do then?"

Me: "Well the best thing you can ever do to make friends is to be kind to others."

Aidan: "Yeah, but what do I do for GIRLS??"

Me: "Well, you should be a gentleman for all girls. Let girls go first through doors, open doors for them. And it's a good idea to look nice when you go to school, like wear handsome shirts (the name for collared shirts in our house) and fix your hair."

Aidan: "But I have a buzz cut."

Me: "Well, then it's already fixed nice and clean."

Aidan: "Okay. Well, the girls always get to go first in line and we let them wash their hands for lunch first too."

Me: "Well, there ya go. It sounds like you're on the right track!"

Aidan: "Okay, good."

Oh boy. Hopefully we can keep this at a general discussion of kindness and manners and acting like a gentleman for at least a few more years!

haiku wednesday

trying to focus.
all i want is ice cream and
Grey's Anatomy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mama Monday - Focus on Fetal Positioning for a Better Birth

Happy Mama Monday, Lovies!

For the fourth part of my series on Five Steps to a Better Birth, I would like to share tips on how to focus on optimal fetal positioning during your pregnancy. To catch up on where we are in the series, take a look at previous posts on the first three steps, Nutrition, Exercise, and Childbirth Education and Birth Plans for a better birth.

What Is Fetal Positioning?

Fetal Positioning describes the way your baby sits inside your uterus. There are basically five different positions the baby can be in before birth, with variations of each. They are described below:
  • Occiput Anterior - The occiput is the back of the baby's head and anterior describes the front of the mother's pelvis. So, if the back of the baby's head is facing the front of the mother's pelvis, baby is considered in the Occiput Anterior or OA position. This is the ideal position for your baby to be in for birth. When baby is OA, he or she is optimally aligned with the pelvis and birth canal and can best maneuver through it for a smooth birth.
  • Occiput Posterior - This is when the back of the baby's head faces mother's posterior, or the backside of her pelvis. This is commonly referred to as "Sunny Side Up," because the baby would be facing upward if the mother were lying on her back. This is considered a malposition because as the back of the baby's head bucks against the tailbone during a contraction, mother can experience painful and distracting "back labor." Persistent Occiput Posterior or OP fetal position can be cause for cesarean section in some cases because it can make it very difficult for the baby to descend into the pelvis and through the birth canal. This is especially the case for larger babies. That said, many babies begin the birth process in an OP position, and rotate to the optimal OA position before birth.
  • Transverse - Transverse refers to a side-lying position of the baby inside the uterus. Some transverse positions are still considered head down positions when the baby's head is pointing toward the mother's hip, and will likely rotate to a vertical position in order to successfully be birthed vaginally. A true transverse position after 29 weeks gestation is not ideal because it could turn into a breech position (requiring cesarean for most providers who no longer learn how to deliver breech babies vaginally), or remain transverse and therefore not have the ability to be birthed vaginally. It is very common for babies to be in a transverse position up to 26 weeks gestation, but by the third trimester it's ideal for your baby to be in a head down position. 
  • Oblique - A baby is considered in the oblique position when he or she is diagonal inside the uterus, facing mother's hip. While it's fine for a second twin to be in this position, it's not optimal for singleton babies.This can account for an unnecessarily long or painful labor, and if not managed well could lead to a surgical birth.
  • Breech - A breech baby has his or her buttocks downward in the pelvis, with the head at the top of the uterus. Though it's very possible, with a trained midwife, physician or obstetrician, to birth a breech baby vaginally, most care providers no longer learn the techniques to do so. In many cases, a woman whose baby is in a breech presentation in the third trimester of pregnancy will be encouraged to elect for a cesarean birth.
Image used with permission from Gail Tully

How to Promote Ideal Fetal Positioning:
  • Stay Healthy - As I've discussed in previous posts, prenatal nutrition and exercise in pregnancy can help ward off gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, excess weight gain and will ensure a smoother pregnancy and positive birth experience. Larger babies are more likely to get "stuck" in a certain position, and if they are OP early in pregnancy and become large due to gestational diabetes or genetics, it can be difficult for them to rotate into the optimal OA position closer to birth. If mother has not maintained her health during pregnancy nutritionally or has gained too much weight, she will likely move, rest and sleep in unfavorable positions during pregnancy, and be unable to move in ways during labor to help her baby maneuver into more favorable birthing positions.
  • Learn the Techniques - The most comprehensive source on the subject of fetal positioning currently available is through Spinning Babies. Take a look at their techniques for maintaining good positions and for helping to readjust babies who may have gotten itself in malposition.
  • Consider Professional Help - Acupuncturists, Acupressure Professionals, Midwives, Physicians, Chiropractors and Doulas can all be helpful in identifying malposition in babies and can suggest techniques or perform specific procedures to help reposition babies in the uterus.
  • Practice and Prepare Comfort Measures for Labor - Doulas and midwives have in their "bag of tricks" numerous non medical comfort measures for labor and birth that, in addition to easing pain, fear and stress in the laboring mother, can help promote optimal positioning for the baby to ease the birth process.
  • Assess Your Baby's Position - To assess whether or not your baby is in a good position while in utero, try a method called Belly Mapping. This combines feeling the outside of your belly with considering where you feel the baby's kicks, among other techniques, to determine how your baby is lying in your womb. Knowing how your baby sits inside your uterus as you approach late pregnancy will help you know how to accommodate your lifestyle to promote ideal fetal positioning for the birth experience.
  • Stay Upright and Forward - It is not recommended for pregnant women to lie flat on their backs beyond the first trimester of pregnancy because the weight of the uterus can constrict blood flow to the major blood vessel that runs to your heart, thus cutting blood supply to both you and your baby. It also promotes the OP (Occiput Posterior) and Breech positions. In addition to this, add slouching and reclining! When at rest, opt for side lying, and sitting in a straight backed chair or prop yourself with pillows on a soft couch. Compensate for any slouching or reclining with pelvic rocks and birth ball exercises several times a day.
Stay tuned next week for information on Perineal Massage for a Better Birth!

Friday, August 24, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

With each year of school I think I'll get less emotional, but tears are sneaky. It was a rushed morning. I of course had waited until that very morning to sort through their piles of school supplies to organize, and pack their lunches, and insist they "try again" several times for a handsome first day outfit. AND I insisted on cooking them eggs and making cinnamon toast to fill their bellies. It was straight crazy. 

We made it out alive though, got to school on time and I walked them to their First Grade and Kindergarten classes. I felt my baby, Alec, needed more attention since he had been holding my hand since we walked in the front door, so I dropped Aidan at his class quickly and walked Alec to his. Aidan just seems like such the school expert these days. As they have in years past, I thought the tears would come after all the pictures were taken, backpacks put away, and lips kissed, but they snuck up on me. Without even realizing what was happening, I was all of the sudden overcome as I looked down to see Alec's face approaching his class. I don't know what it is that makes us weepy sending them to school. It's more emotional than birthdays! It signifies so many things. They are growing too fast for us to catch them, yet we want them to grow. School tears are a mixture of surprise, joy and pride all mixed with the sadness of knowing you will never get back the moment you've just experienced.

Once I got Alec settled in his class, and the tears left as quickly as they'd come, I went to check on Aidan and say good bye. Seemingly very comfortable in his new desk (they have desks in First Grade!), playing quietly with legos, he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I forgot Madison." The First Grade students had all been asked to bring teddy bears with them for the first and second days of school. Madison was my bear when I was a little girl and has been passed to Aidan. His teacher offered a couple of extras she had but the look on his face told me they wouldn't do. I asked if he wanted an extra bear or if he wanted me to go get Madison. "I want you to go get Madison," he said without a flinch. No problem, kid.

Looks like my other baby still needs me too.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Honeybee Mama Sponsor - {Shannon Schroeder Fashion and Beauty}

A few weeks ago, I was offered an incredible opportunity to host a segment on Great Day Green Country on Fox 23. It was something that came out of nowhere and I was really excited about it. As soon as I knew I was going to be on TV, I emailed my friend from high school, Shannon Schroeder for help with my look! She is a professional fashion and beauty consultant, and conveniently also hosts segments on GDGC.

I don't know about you, but I get stuck in such ruts, with colors and styles, and it's great to have a fresh set of eyes to see things you don't. Life with kids is crazy, and let's be honest; since leaving the office to work from home full time, I've adopted quite the "mom look." Seriously, somehow I accidentally subscribed to In Style magazine and each month that it arrives in the mail, I'm terrified!

I hired Shannon for a one time styling session and met her at Francesca's at Woodland Hills. I've ALWAYS daydreamed about buying an outfit there and have never been brave enough to go and try things on. Besides the fact that I desperately needed her help, the trip was much needed mommy time. She started me out with what she called a mini "What Not to Wear," exercise. Shannon went down one side of the store and sent me down the opposite side. She wanted me to pick out a few outfits I liked and she would pick out a few. This would help her get an idea of my taste and allow me to tell her what I liked or would be trying to accomplish with each look. We met in the middle with our choices, and hers were SO different from mine!

We piled them up in the dressing room and I got started.

Well, NOTHING I picked looked even remotely good on me. Her clothes, on the other hand, were colors and styles I didn't even think would be flattering on me (or possibly anyone besides a waif), especially the skinny jeans (I've NEVER had luck with them).

I was wrong. As soon as I put on this outfit, I gave myself a huge smile in the mirror and shouted, "This is SO me!" Shannon smartly pointed out why the cut, color, material and style of every piece worked for me. This way, I'll know when I'm shopping without her what's worth buying.

We even found a great dress. It doesn't look as good in the picture as it did in person (I think I need to visit Soma for some "other" new clothes if you catch my drift), but it was fantastic. We decided it was a bit dressier than I needed for my big TV spot, but I may go back to snag it for a date night!

Once we'd found my outfit, I knew I'd need help with accessories. As if I wasn't already inept at choosing proper attire for myself, I'm even worse with jewelry! Again, she pointed out why the gold was good, what size and shape the earrings and necklace should be for the style of shirt, and why the colors were a good choice.

Meet my newest Honeybee Mama Sponsor, Shannon Schroeder. Seriously, how cute is she?!

Here's what we picked for my local television debut.

Now, I just have to try to NOT wear that outfit every day!

On my next appointment with her, I'm totally doing the closet consultation where she'll help me sort through things I already have and figure out what works and doesn't. THEN we're going to tackle the task of finding the perfect jean!

Whether you're a working mom, stay-at-home-mom or work-at-home-mom, I'm sure you've felt confused and frustrated with your wardrobe just like me. Contact Shannon for a closet consultation or to help you with your next big event, and tell her I sent you!

Love and Honey,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

haiku wednesday

looks like wine is my
soda. laying off it means
pounds melting off me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Inspire Me

If you don't know much about Diana Nyad, read more about what she's been up to here.

I really identify with her feeling of the "countless, countless" hours passed or wasted that you can never get back, and the haunting thought that you want every one after them to matter. I think that's why I keep myself so busy most of the time. I just can't bear the thought of knowing I've wasted one second of this precious life. But I want to do something great too. I don't want to look back on my life and know I had a dream but didn't see it realized. I also identify with the way she talks about swimming, "into the night and on into the next day." Wow. Can you imagine swimming all night long? Though I have not come anywhere close to the physical feat she has (four times!), I have had my own races to run whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Don't the hard times of life feel like that, dragging on through the night and into the next day? And somehow we come out on the other side, even if a boat has to come along and drag us out of the water.

Thank you, Diana. You Inspire Me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Childbirth Education and Birth Plans for a Better Birth

The third installment of my Mama Monday series on Five Steps to a Better Birth is about Childbirth Education and Birth Plans.

In the past couple of weeks, I've discussed how Nutrition and Exercise both contribute to a smoother and more fulfilling birth experience. This week will focus on the things you need to know in order to be prepared for birth.

1. Childbirth Education is important for a couple of reasons. A good childbirth course will go beyond informing you of what to expect at your hospital or place of birth regarding admissions policies, routine procedures, and the process of a cesarean birth. Quality Childbirth Education should inform you on each stage of the process of childbirth so you know what to expect from your body and emotions. Understanding the process of childbirth eliminates fear and anxiety by helping you know what you're experiencing is normal and your body is capable of birthing your baby. Eliminating anxiety and stress hormones is key in allowing your body to produce effective labor hormones which produce a peaceful and calm atmosphere and help progress birth.

Consider the following methods of childbirth education as you prepare for your birth. Each method or philosophy is slightly different but these all promote a well rounded understanding of Normal Birth and empowerment of the mother or birthing couple.
There is plenty of information on the Internet and in bookstores about these methods. Getting your hands on books and information to read is incredibly helpful, and attending a class with a qualified instructor alongside other pregnant couples is even more beneficial. The following list encompasses several fantastic options in the Tulsa Metro for you to enroll in a Childbirth Education class in order to better prepare for your birth experience.
2. Preparing a Birth Plan goes hand in hand with getting educated about the birth process. The Importance of a Birth Plan is two fold. First, it requires you to be informed of the birth process as discussed above as well as all of the interventions and options available to you. Secondly, it gives you a platform and voice through which to communicate your wishes with your care provider (Obstetrician, Family Physician or Midwife) and your friends and family.

Birth Plan, Writing a Birth Plan, Tulsa Doula

So many women are poorly informed, if at all, of all the options available in childbirth. Informed consent is sadly a misnomer in many situations. Having your preferences clearly stated in writing for the hospital staff and your family eliminates confusion and questioning when you are in the throws of the intense and emotional process of birth.

For more information about birth plans, see my previous posts and contact me with any questions you have. I have written a detailed and comprehensive Childbirth Training Manual for my clients which is available for purchase alone or in conjunction with other Doula Packages.

Childbirth Training, Childbirth Preparation, Childbirth Classes Tulsa

Stay tuned next week when we Focus on Fetal Positioning!

More pregnancy info!


Friday, August 17, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

My moment this week has no picture, only the pictures from my heart and memories. It was a lovely week having our dear friends, the Elliots, in town and staying with us. My husband and I took the opportunity to slow our normal work routines to enjoy our guests. Morning coffee extended until lunch, as we talked and shared while baking muffins, then eating them while visiting and listening to music. Dinner lingered past the dishes with refills of wine and moving to the patio to talk and drink in the unusually cool evening breezes of August in Oklahoma. I've had limited time to really get to know this couple that my husband has known since childhood. We met briefly while they were in the States (they live in Thailand) when Marc and I were first dating. On this visit I had the opportunity to sit with just them and me while Marc had a meeting to attend. It was so energizing to talk about deeper things of life, soul and spirit. With all pretenses gone, the three of us shared openly and honestly about God, grief, life, difficulties, happiness and all the little things that either make life worth it or that don't matter in the greater light of Love. It was truly a collection of moments that can never be replicated, and they won't be soon forgotten.

If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment.
Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

haiku wednesday

how precious to start
my day by welcoming a
new baby to earth

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Inspire Me

"We Are All The Same"

A huge piece of artwork painted by a student at the Tulsa Girls Art School which hangs in Lot No. 6.
Thank you, beautiful, talented young lady for this artwork. You Inspire Me!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Exercise for a Better Birth

Happy Mama Monday, friends!

Today I'm continuing my series, Five Steps to a Better Birth. Last week, I discussed how prenatal nutrition facilitates a better birth. This week, I'd like to go more in depth on how exercise promotes a positive birth experience.

I encourage you to take a look at my post about Exercise in Pregnancy to learn about safe, low impact, effective ways to stay healthy and strong during pregnancy. Today we are going to hone in on some specific ways exercise helps you prepare for the labor and birth experience.

Often, I use the analogy of a marathon to stress the importance of exercise to my doula clients. In the same way you probably wouldn't attempt to run a marathon without training and preparation, neither should you approach the birth of your child without preparing and training your body for the labor it will endure.

For starters, pregnant women should incorporate a balanced amount of aerobics, calisthenics, relaxation techniques and pelvic toning into their exercise routines. These all work together to keep you healthy, strong, and energetic as well as prepare your body for labor, but there are a few specific elements that can go even further to ease the birth process.

1. Tailor Sitting encourages the uterus to move forward, increases circulation and helps to stretch inner thighs. You can sit "crisscross applesauce," as my kids call it, with ankles crossed, "butterfly" style by placing the bottoms of your feet together, or stack ankles and knees as you would in yoga. You can incorporate this position into your warm up or cool down, or use as part of your daily relaxation practice. Try trading that recliner or cushy couch (which don't promote good fetal positioning) for tailor sitting while watching your favorite TV shows!

exercise for a better birth, tailor sitting, pregnancy, honeybee mama, tulsa doula, tulsa childbirth classes

2. Squatting encourages proper alignment, which puts pressure on the uterus, preventing arching of the back (which interferes with 2nd stage pushing). It shortens the birth canal and increases the outlet of the pelvis more than 10%! While it's a common position for life, work and birth in cultures all over the world, American women don't often utilize the squatting position for normal daily activities. It's an excellent position to assume for comfort during labor as well as a very effective and favored position for pushing.

Practice squatting by holding firmly to a counter, bed, or dresser for stability, or allow your partner to support you. Then open legs wide enough that when you lower your bottom your knees don't extend out past your toes. Try to lower as far as you can while keeping your heels flat on the floor. You will notice a deep stretch and release of pressure in your lower back as well as some relief on sore hip joints. Try squatting instead of bending over at the waist when you need to retrieve items from a low cabinet or pick something up off of the floor, and use squats as a part of stretching and warm up before exercise!

Exercise in Pregnancy, Tulsa Doula, Tulsa Childbirth Classes, Childbirth Education, Pregnancy, Labor Squat, Squatting for Labor

3. Pelvic Rocking may be the most important exercise for pregnancy and birth. It promotes so many crucial goals including toning and conditioning lower back and abdominal muscles, relieving pressure, increasing circulation, and can even improve digestion. In the weeks leading up to birth and during the labor process, pelvic rocking can help the baby move down and forward, and promote ideal fetal positioning, eliminating painful back labor.

Practice pelvic rocking by getting on the floor or your bed on your hands and knees. Begin with your back flat (not arched), then allow your belly to relax and fall forward. Your back will arch some, but don't over extend it. Take a couple of deep breaths, then move pelvis forward while your back creates a "C" shape or a "cat stretch." You will notice relief of pressure on your inner organs and lower back.

Cat Cow, Pelvic Rocking, Exercise in Pregnancy, Labor Exercises, Tulsa Doula, Honeybee Mama, Tulsa Childbirth Classes

4. Kegel Exercises tone your entire pelvic floor which can help prevent tearing during 2nd stage pushing. During pregnancy and after birth it's extremely important to keep these muscles strong. Weak pelvic floor muscles are what lead to leaky bladders and incontinence, as well as discomfort or lack of pleasure during intercourse. Exercise your pelvic floor muscles by tightening the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine and lift up all muscles in your vagina and bottom. Train yourself to do these several times a day by choosing and activity or time of day that is convenient, such as when you reach a stoplight while driving or every hour on the hour.

Beyond birth, these exercises will help you recover from labor and encourage mobility postpartum. Stay healthy and positive and do all you can now to achieve the birth you want!

Friday, August 10, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

I think as parents we're destined to say, "I can't believe he's [insert age here] already!"
My baby is getting so big. He is such a sweet boy, not the scruffy rough and tumble boy I thought he would be. And yet, he is so strong and brave and tougher than I could ever imagine. 
Alec Sanders, "defender and helper of all mankind," I can't wait to see all you will become. 
Or maybe I can.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Inspire Me

We saw Imagine Dragons open for Weezer in Vegas. It was a pretty monumental concert for Weezer, a once in a lifetime event where they played both the Blue Album and Pinkerton completely through, back to back. I mean we were psyched for Weezer, but had no idea we were going to be blown away by the opening band who calls Vegas home.

I freaking love this band. Check out their song, "It's Time." The video gives me chills.

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don't hold back

Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check

I don't ever want to let you down
I don't ever want to leave this town
'Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

So this is where you fell
And I am left to sell
The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell
Right to the top
Don't look back

Turning to rags and giving the commodities a rain check

I don't ever want to let you down
I don't ever want to leave this town
'Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

This road never looked so lonely
This house doesn't burn down slowly
To ashes, to ashes

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

Thanks, Imagine Dragons. You Inspire Me.

Love and Honey, 

haiku wednesday

something about the
morning sunshine makes it all
feel a bit better

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nutrition for a Better Birth

As part of my Mama Monday series on Five Steps to a Better Birth, today I will share about how Nutrition in Pregnancy can help your birth go more smoothly.

Firstly, you may want to review Nutrition in Pregnancy, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. It is such a huge topic because, next the Importance of a Birth Plan, it might be the most important thing about pregnancy and childbirth.

nutrition in pregnancy, pregnancy, tulsa doula, childbirth classes tulsa

Here's why. Consider these statistics:
What I'm getting at is that it takes time for our decisions to take effect in our bodies and on our lifestyle. The idea that we are what we eat is completely valid now and in the future. If you want your diet to have positive effects on your birth, it probably won't help to wait until you're on your way to the hospital to lay off the milkshakes and cheeseburgers!

Ideally it would be best if we all adhered to the best nutritional standards all the time, but if you have not always been a start student in the eating department, pregnancy should be the time you start learning and doing your homework!

We already know that choosing to eat healthy during pregnancy promotes proper development of your baby, but we often don't focus on how these decisions effect the birth experience. The best way to think about it would be to compare the body to a machine, perhaps a car. For a car to run properly, it needs the right kind of fuel, proper maintenance and regular oil changes to name a few. It would not run properly if you put water in the gas tank, diesel instead of gasoline, or used windshield cleaner instead of motor oil. It simply will not do what it is supposed to, or will malfunction when not cared for properly.

Our bodies are the same way. When we don't get enough fiber and water, our digestion is backed up and our body fills with unwanted toxins. When we get too many carbohydrates and sugar, we carry extra weight and fat, which can make exercise difficult or painful, and cause unnecessary strain on our hearts and other organs.

Childbirth is referred to as labor for a reason. It is hard work and our bodies need to be up to the task. Since our bodies were designed with specific hormones to aid in the labor process, we want everything working properly so those hormones can flow with ease and so our muscles, joints, and ligaments can respond in kind. I will discuss in a later post how exercise in pregnancy effects the birth experience, and it should go without saying that eating well will help you have energy and strength to get proper exercise.

Lastly, there are specific health issues directly affected by diet that can in turn affect your labor experience adversely. Preeclampsia (Toxemia, HELLP Syndrome or PIH) is a condition that includes high blood pressure, extreme weight gain and fluid retention, not to mention possible risk of bed rest, early induction of labor, and cesarean birth. If left untreated a woman with preeclampsia can have seizures (this happened to me!), stroke and effects to mother and baby can be long lasting and even fatal. Gestational Diabetes can lead to birth complications due to a large baby, need for early induction or cesarean birth, low blood sugar and difficulty breastfeeding in the newborn, and a higher risk of your child developing diabetes later in life. You can prevent or seriously reduce your risk of both of these illnesses by paying close attention to your diet in pregnancy.

Keep the following in mind to maintain a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy to avoid complications during your birth:
  1. Get enough protein - 80-100 grams.
  2. Drink plenty of water - at least half your body weight in ounces per day.
  3. Reduce your intake of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates as much as possible.
  4. Focus on foods that give you adequate amounts of calcium, iron, folic acid and Omega-3 nutrients.
As a general statement, if you include quality proteins with every meal and snack, drink water throughout the day, and eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, while avoiding junk food, you will be far better off than the pregnant mommy who adheres to every craving for plates of chili cheese fries and brownie fudge sundaes!

To learn more about how to stay healthy in pregnancy and prepare for your birth experience, check out my childbirth classes in Tulsa, or get yourself a copy of my childbirth training manual!

More pregnancy info!


    Friday, August 3, 2012

    {my moment}

    A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
    A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

    Un g√Ęteau au chocolat.

    In other words, chocolate cake. With coffee ice cream and nuts.The English translation does NOT do it justice.On our last night without children on Tuesday, we had a lovely double date with friends at The Brasserie on Brookside. We stuffed ourselves with mussels, fruit and fancy cheese, gorgeous salads, duck, lobster, scallops and all the magnificent sides, wine, music and a table full of desserts (one of our party works there and gets one free dinner for four a year). It was a really lovely evening with lovely people, and felt truly grown-up (in a way that I'm okay with).

    If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment to your moment!
    Happy Weekend Lovies!

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    haiku wednesday

    watched as honeybees
    bounced about the flowered bush
    as if held by strings

    Find me at Tulsa Family Doulas

    Join me at the 2015 SMTULSA Conference!

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