9.18.2014

5 Reasons You Don't Need a Doula

You hear me tell you a lot about why a doula is a great choice in any birthing setting... what I haven't told you in awhile is why you don't need a doula. Let me take this opportunity to do just that. This isn't a long post. It's short and concise - as truth often is - and without explanation. So here you have it. 5 reasons why you don't need a doula:

  1. You are strong. You are. You don't need a high pain tolerance or be a marathon runner to be strong, you only need a uterus and a humble respect for it. 
  2.  You are capable. You are. Your mind is sound and your body is able, the last part of that equation is to allow those two things permission to do what they need to to give birth. 
  3. Your body contains ancient and primal wisdom. Cellular memory, your mother's mother's mother's mother's birthing wisdom and knowledge, they are coursing through every fiber of you.
  4. Your body contains immeasurable power. Only a female body can create, grow, and birth. 
  5. You have everything you need within you. Tap into that innate wisdom, power, trust, honor, respect, and knowledge. 
This is your birth. 

9.16.2014

B.I.R.T.H. Fair 2014




Every year, Houston birth workers, education professionals, infant and young child professionals, and parents converge in one location to share information and support with their community. Picture this: hundereds of women, their partners, and their nurslings milling about. There are fashion shows, children's craft and learning areas, keynote speakers, workshops, movie screenings, and educational booths for everything from midwives and doulas to baby wearing and homeschool co-ops. 

Every year, the Houston Doula Co-Op and Sage Beginnings (me) are there. Every year, we speak to our community during the workshops. Every year, we meet hundreds of amazing women and their families - will you be one of them?  

Join us for our 13th annual BIRTH Fair as we celebrate natural parenting and pregnancy. Get the latest information about vaccines, birthing options, breastfeeding, babywearing, VBACs, and more! We will have overstuffed goody bags for our guests, activities for children. Birth Fair will be held on October 4th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the United Way Center on 50 Waugh Drive. Check us out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/houbirth) for our latest giveaways, or visit www.houbirth.org or call 832-499-6029 for more information. This event is free and open to all ages.



9.11.2014

Newborn Babywearing

In the coming months you will see a lot of guest blog posts from local mommies, business professionals, and advocates in the Houston area. I hope you enjoy finding out more about our community, I know I did!

This is a guest post from our local babywearing experts at Woodland Babies!
You have been carrying this tiny life around inside of your body for nine months, and then...birth. What is next for this precious child whose life has just begun, and been disrupted, all in the same moment?  Your womb was the ideal place for your baby. The temperature was perfect. The nourishment, complete. Baby was instantly soothed by your movements, while simultaneously lulled by the sound of your heartbeat.
Your maternal instincts took over once your baby was born. You held baby so close, breathed in that newborn baby smell, and gazed at that perfect face for hours. But yet the gap remains. Baby was so secure in the dark warmth of your body, but being earthside is bright, cold, and distracting.  Keeping your new baby close is instinctual and babywearing helps both you and baby transition into the new roles you are still defining.
Whether you are needing baby to be close, baby is needing the sound of your heartbeat to feel secure, or you just need to make lunch for your other two kids, babywearing can be a wonderful parenting tool. When baby is wrapped on your chest, in a similar position to that of holding them, your hands are free to drink a glass of water, read a book to another child, or even to take a picture of that sweet sleeping creation that you made. Babywearing is not just about multitasking. It also allows you moments of extra close snuggles. It helps you to capture those wonderful smells of fresh baby hair, glimpses of that creation that will be forever etched into your memory, sound asleep, cheek smooshed on your chest, those eyelashes, pursed little lips, perfection.
Babywearing can also help to calm the fussiest of babies, as if they were back in the womb. In a baby carrier, babies are secure, they are close, and your movement is a soothing rhythm that instantly calms. The rise and fall of your chest helps them to regulate their breathing, and being in an upright position can help to relieve colic as well.
There are a few thing to keep in mind when wearing your tiny new one. It is recommended that babies be worn upright, tummy to tummy, similar to the way you would hold your baby in your arms. When in this position, baby will naturally uncurl and their legs will go into a froggy like position, with knees above their bottom. Baby should not be squished or compressed and baby’s chin should be one to two finger widths off of their chest. 
Newborn babies typically don’t snore, so if baby is making sounds, check positioning and readjust as needed. Just like you would have your car seat checked for safety, babywearing meetings, classes, and workshops can be a great place to make sure all is well. They are also a great place to meet other mamas and lifelong friends.

All in all, babywearing is not only a way to hold your baby, it is a useful tool in your parenting arsenal. Use it carefully, wisely, and often! 



Mary is a mother to 3 little ones under 6 years old, one of three owners of Woodland Babies, and Vice President and Volunteer Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International of Greater Houston. When she isn’t babywearing, she enjoys hot coffee and napping. 

You can find her at her website: www.woodlandbabies.com or on facebook: www.facebook.com/woodlandbabies

9.04.2014

Bended Knee

I walk across the threshold into your room and see that you are swaying in the arms of your lover. Candlelight provides the backdrop for this sacred moment, and the scent of sandalwood and lavender waft from the warm water basin at the foot of your birthing alter.

As I step into your birthing space, I slip out of my shoes and quietly and humbly approach you. Your midwife sits on the couch to the left, her feet folded beneath her. Your photographer kneels on the floor at the foot of the couch, and your sister is cross legged on the hearth. Every knee is bowed and bent in reverence to the sacred work before us.

At first you dance to the rhythms of of your body - swaying and undulating your hips - while we silently hold
vigil. Soon, though, you move to all fours upon the ground as even you, the conduit of this powerful work, are brought to your knees in awe and deference of your bodies power and work. 

This is what we do. Every birth worker, whether she be hand maid, photographer, doula, midwife, or mother herself, should approach the sanctity of the power of birth on your knees; in humble reverence of the miracle of birth.

http://usthreebirds.blogspot.com/2011/08/elliottes-vbac-birth-story.html

Go to her blog to read a beautiful recounting of her VBAC birth story
Not placing ourselves above the birthing woman's powers - placing ourselves above her diminishes her power and resolve. This is the manner of obstetrics (from the root obstare - to stand in the way of). Adopting the attitude of bent knee is a mere reflection of the inner heart and mind. A servant to the ancient rhythms provide us the proper perspective to watch a miracle unfold. Following the conduits lead in a dance of ebb and flow, the perspective of 'with woman' is always on bended knee.
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