Birth Quote #4: She Believed She Could, So She Did

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You can do anything.

Birth Affirmation #2: Trust Your Body

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I am about a week away from my due date (though, as you know, that doesn’t quite mean anything!) It does mean the baby could be coming at any time from today until weeks from now. Whether you’re days away or months away, keep this affirmation in your mind. Your body was made to do this. There is nothing wrong with you or your baby. Go into birth with positiveness and ‪#‎faithoverfear‬. You got this.

Birth Quote #3: Chrysalis & Shell

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Why mess with a good thing, right?

Birth Quote #2: Faith over Fear

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Faith over fear.

I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety in my life, and this saying can go with any stressful situation I might find myself in. Childbirth can be an especially fearful time. Perhaps it’s your first baby, and you’re afraid of the unknown — Will it hurt? How much? What is labor like? When will it occur? Perhaps you’re facing a repeat cesarean. Perhaps you’re going for that VBAC you badly wish for. Perhaps you had a picture perfect birth before, however that looks in your mind, but you’re worried about the outcome of this birth. We all have our anxieties, and mother’s especially have them over childbirth.

So remember to keep your faith in the process, your faith in the eventual outcome, your faith in nature and your body, over your fear. Fear has its place, but it should not hold you back.

Third Trimester SUPER Smoothie + The Truth About Dates

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Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite drinks I’ve been making lately.

I am nearly 37 weeks pregnant, and as the days wind down, I’m trying to prepare myself nutritionally for labor and delivery. One of the key foods I wanted to try this time around was dates. Have you heard about the magic of dates in late pregnancy? I hadn’t until after I gave birth to my daughter, but after learning about them, I knew I had to give them a shot.

What’s so great about dates?

Nutritionally, they are chock full of goodness for you and your growing baby. As a fruit, they have good, natural sugar. They provide protein, fiber, folate, iron, vitamin K, potassium AND magnesium, all in a small package. All of those help with baby development, as well as your postpartum recovery. Your daily prenatal will provide much of your vitamin needs, but it’s always best to get it straight from the source.

The greatest thing about dates, other than the nutritional factors, is their effect on labor. A 2011 study found that “the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome.” They discovered that those who ate six dates a day starting at four weeks before their due date had significantly faster labors, less chance of oxytocin augmentation, more of a chance of spontaneous labor, more likely to have intact membranes, and they arrived at the hospital further dilated than those who did not eat the dates.

It just blows my mind! Why wouldn’t I want to eat dates if that could be my results as well?

However, eating six dates seemed a bit daunting, until I heard from a couple other mother’s to throw them in a smoothie. Well, I had been making smoothies almost daily anyway, so I figured it would be an easy addition… and it was! So here we go, weeks away from baby number two, and we will see the results.

Here is my Third Trimester SUPER Smoothie recipe:

6 Medjool dates (pitted)
1/2 banana
1 1/2 cups spinach
1 cup frozen peaches
Extras** (see below)
1 can pineapple juice
BLEND IT ALL AND ENJOY!!


What’s so great about the other ingredients?!

Dates: See above!

Banana: You get a good dose of potassium, along with all sorts of other vitamins. Bananas can help prevent cramping… especially in those legs!

Spinach: Get your iron in! Spinach is full of iron, which is a necessary vitamin to prevent anemia.

Peaches: The vitamin C in peaches will help the iron absorb more easily.

EXTRAS: The recipe above is the basic recipe, but I throw in a couple extras that you might not commonly find in your home. The first is a teaspoon of lemon-flavored cod liver oil, which is high in DHA, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and so much more. It helps the brain develop and wards off illness. You can’t even taste it! The second addition is chia seeds. I do about a tablespoon of chia seeds in this recipe. These have plenty of B vitamins, protein, Omega-3’s, and so much more. Another flavorless addition that is sure to help your end-of-pregnancy nutrition!

ENJOY!

Birth Affirmation #1: You are beautifully & wonderfully made

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It’s a shame that many women are made to feel as though their bodies cannot and will not work the way they are made. If you’re feeling as though your body is failing you, please remind yourself of this quote. You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Birth Quote #1: Your Cervix is not a Crystal Ball

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Visit her website: Belly Up

When was the last time your cervix predicted the future? Why do medical professionals rely on this as an indicator of impending birth, or progression during labor? What did your last cervical check tell you?

If you want to be checked, that is your choice. If you’d rather not be checked, whether it’s at 38 weeks or during labor, that is also your choice. Your body, your choice. Remember: You are the one in control during your pregnancy and birth!

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the moms – current, soon-to-be, and hopeful: I hope your day is magnificent.

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Questions to Ask Your Doula

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So you’re going to hire a doula – yay! First things first, did you find one yet? (How to find a doula) Once you do, come back here!

I’ve run into many moms asking what they should talk about during the initial interview with their potential doulas. The interview is a great time to learn about your doulas strengths and weaknesses, her views and values, and ultimately, if you two click personality-wise. The interview is two-fold: She is getting to know if you’re the right fit for her as much as you’re getting to know her.

First of all, relax. The interview is a time to just chill and get to know each other. My favorite part is just chatting with the potential clients about where they’re from, they’re hopes for this birth, and their experience. In the same way, you as a potential client can get a feel for the way I run things and my personality.

In any case, here are some questions that can help you during the interview process. By all means, ask all of them or none of them, it’s up to you! See where the conversation brings you.

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— Why did you become a doula?

— Where did you do your training/certify?

— How long have you been a doula? How many births have you attended?

— What do you offer with your doula services? Prenatal visits, postnatal, breastfeeding education, lending library, etc.

— How much do you charge? Do you take payment plans? Offer discounts?

— What do you require of me as a client? Childbirth education classes, breastfeeding knowledge, certain conversations with providers, etc.

— How many births do you take a month? Do you offer backup arrangements?

— When does the on-call period begin?

— How do you feel about natural birth? Epidurals? Inductions? Cesareans?

— Have you attended a cesarean birth? A VBAC? Multiples birth?

— When do you arrive at the birth? How long do you stay?

— What are your favorite pain management techniques?

— How do I get in contact with you?

— Tell us about a birthing experience.

**I suggest you interview several doulas in the area before you make your decision. Doulas understand if we are not the right fit for your particular circumstance. There is a doula out there for everybody!**

How to Find a Doula

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There are doulas out there… but how do you find them? It’s surprisingly easy, if you just know a few tricks and tips! Here are some of the best ways I know to find the doula right for you.

ASK AROUND

A majority of my client base comes from word-of-mouth. Be that on online forums (think, FB groups), former clients, or other doulas who are either booked up or suggest me as an alternative for whatever reason. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

DO A QUICK WEB SEARCH

Open up your favorite web search and type in Doula and then Your City. Most doulas have websites. Click on some of them and see where they lead!

ASK YOUR CARE PROVIDER

Most care providers will be able to give you the names of popular and reputable doulas, especially ones they have worked with and can vouch for. I know I have gotten a couple referrals from care providers. As a doula, I’ve handed out a few business cards to providers to give to their clients. Just ask!

DOULAMATCH.NET

While I couldn’t be a part of this website due to my location, if you’re in the United States you can easily find a doula on this website, as long as the doula has signed up and made a page for themselves. Just type in your zip code and it will bring up a page of doulas available near your due date, their prices and experience, and so on. Start calling them!

DOULA ORGANIZATION WEBSITES

There are several organizations that certify doulas, such as CAPPA, DONA, BAI, CBI, and others. Visit their websites and do a search for doulas on there.

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**A lot of these practices can be used to find childbirth education classes, lactation consultants, and midwives. Just start doing your research!**