Staci Bishop

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Lending Library Books!

I love books, bookstores, and the like! I have a local store that buys and sells used books. I stop in from time to time to see if they have any books on pregnancy and birth. I'm pretty picky about what books I recommend for my clients but today I found NINE new books for my lending library. I was very pleased to find more books in the Sears Parenting Collection and also to find a full spectrum pregnancy and birth book that is naturally minded. I actually bought 2 of those as I plan to give one as a gift.

You can see my full lending library list here.

If you see a title that interests you, please do not hesitate to ask. I'm happy to let you borrow it anytime. Best of all, no late fees. Keep it as long as you need. Simply email me or call me and just let me know which books you need. I've even been known to deliver. :)

Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hypnobabies Doula

I'm pleased to announce that I'm now working towards becoming a Certified Hypno-Doula.

Maybe you have never heard of Hypnobabies before. Consider this...

What If...
Your Baby Could be Born Unmedicated,
Alert and Looking Right Into Your Eyes?...

What If...
You Could *Enjoy* Childbirth in
Comfort, Joy and Love?...

What If...
You Could Have it ALL?

To learn more please contact me or visit Classes are taught locally at Nashville Birth & Babies and a Self-Study option is also available. As a Hypno-Doula, I have been uniquely trained to work with the hypnosis techniques that you will learn to appropriately support both you and your partner on birthing day!

My training materials included several of the Hypnobabies CDs and I am thrilled to add those to my lending library. If you are curious about Hypnobabies, I would encourage you to have a listen and get a glimpse of how relaxed you can become. I have the following tracks available for you to borrow.
  • What is Hypnobabies Hypnosis for Childbirth?
  • "Relax Me" Hypnosis Session
  • Entering Hypnosis with a Special Word Cue
  • Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations
  • Baby, Stay IN!
  • Come Out, Baby!
  • Birthing Day Affirmations

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Client Testimonial

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about having Staci as our Doula for the birth of our daughter on August 15th 2012. There were many ways she was such a wonderful doula. She was thorough in her explanations and education about birth with us. She really helped me stay accountable to my desired birth plan and she is so easy to talk to and work with. She was very reassuring by how prepared, knowledgeable, and compassionate she was through the whole process. I really knew that she cared for me and my husband through the whole process and her kindness showed through the whole labor and delivery as she helped guide my husband and I through each and every contraction with gentleness, knowledge of coping techniques in labor and reminders of ways to make it all go as smoothly as possible. She has a kindred spirit and I cannot recommend her enough as I already have told many people about her. Anyone would be glad to have her as their doula.

Shawna & Rich Brinsfield 
Nashville, TN

Thursday, October 18, 2012

REVIEW: The Doula Book (Klaus, Kennell)

The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth 
By: Marshall H. Klaus, M.D.; John H. Kennell, M.D.; and Phyllis H. Klaus, C.S.W., M.F.T.

I think this is a fantastic read for parents. I was expecting this book to me more like The Birth Partner but it seems it was written more for parents than it is for doulas. As a birth professional, I appreciated the information given as it makes a case for having a doula present during labor and delivery. However, it didn't necessarily teach me anything new. With that being said, there was some helpful information found in the appendix of the book, which does pertain specifically to doulas and appears to be written to our perpective. 

The authors site several studies and show how doulas can have a positive impact on a woman's pregnancy, birth experience, post partum period and breastfeeding relationship. They give several scenarios of how a birth doula will benefit the family and serves as a compliment to the father. Having a doula present 
  • reduces the need for cesarean section, 
  • shortens the length of labor, 
  • decreases the pain medication required,
  • enhances bonding and breast-feeding. 

As I was reading the text, I found some information to be a bit outdated as the book was first published in 2003. However, a little research led me to find that a 3rd edition has just been released this year, which contains more content and updated pictures. If you are considering this book, I would highly recommend seeking the latest edition. You will be able to identify it by the new cover. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reading Roundup 9/8 (Perineum & Vaginal Exams)

Here are a few articles I've come across as it relates to vaginal exams before or during labor as well as perineal care before and during delivery.

Is Peri Massage Necessary in Pregnancy? - Gives an excellent step-by-step guide for perenium massage. Note: You can also use olive oil or coconut oil (my favorite!)

STUDY: Perineal Massage - Conclusion: "Perineal massage is an effective approach to increasing the chance of delivery with an intact perineum for women with a first vaginal delivery but not for women with a previous vaginal birth."

Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice for Women (and Men) - This is one of my top recommendations for pregnant women. Squatting is very beneficial in pregnancy and labor & delivery!

Episiotomy, 'A Little Snip' Childbirth Routine, Curbed by New Guidelines - "Clinical trials conducted in the '80s and '90s found that episiotomy cuts can, in fact, turn into even deeper lacerations during delivery, damaging the area around the rectum. " <---- Then why is this still happening routinely?!

How to Know When Vaginal Exams in Pregnancy and Labour are Useful and When They are Harmful - "While this can be a very useful procedure to find out very useful information, women also need to understand the full picture." I am not a fan of vaginal exams for curiosity sake. This article covers why.

The Myth of a Vaginal Exam - Even vaginal exams have risks (mainly infection) and they do not have to be a part of routine prenatal care.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Improving Birth - Nashville Rally

Today, I got to check an item off my Bucket List.

Attend a rally for something I believe in.

CHECK! set up rallies all across America today for Labor Day and I was priviledged to attend the event in Nashville.

The Purpose - The National Rally for Change is to encourage and insist that all maternal healthcare providers practice evidence-based care.
Despite the weather, we had a fantastic turnout! I was also lucky enough to meet Mickey Jones of Nine Months & Beyond who gave an amazing speech right before we took to the street with our signs!
I was certainly encouraged and I know others were as well. I feel like we are on the verge of a huge movement of change for maternity care in America and I'm excited to be a part of it.
Here is the local news coverage:

Reading Roundup 9/3 (Homebirth & Doulas)

Homebirth Rate by State

STUDY: Homebirth in the United States, 1990-2009 - "After a decline from 1990 to 2004, the percentage of U.S. births that occurred at home increased by 29%"

Home Birth - Why It's Necessary - "Simply put, when there is no home birth in a society... essential knowledge of women’s capacities in birth is lost to the people of that society—to professional caregivers, as well as to the women of childbearing age themselves."

What is Home Birth? - Great article covering the basics of home birth including the following topics. What is it? Who does it? Why? Is it right for everyone? What's it like? How much does it cost?

What is the Evidence for Doulas? - EXCELLENT article explaining the roles of a doula and evidence for how they help women in labor. "Overall, women who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal birthsand less likely to have epidurals, any pain medication, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and Cesarean births. In addition, their labors were shorter by about 1 hour and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth."

A Doula Does NOT... (Tips for Doulas) - This post clarifies some common misconceptions about the role of a doula.

Top 8 Reasons Why You Need a Doula During Birth and After - A doula still has so much to offer even after delivery. Page 2 of this article gives you some great reasons to hire a postpartum doula.

Why a Doula is Your BFF (BreastFeeding Friend) - "Mother's who had doulas were less likely to experience a delay in their milk coming in. 68% of women receiving doula care and 54% of women receiving standard care were breastfeeding at 6 weeks."

Listening to Mothers II Survey - This is a popular study that is referred to often when it comes to analyzing the experience that women have in childbirth. The report includes not just "what" happened in their birth but how they "feel" about what happened. This report is very telling.

STUDY: Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth - Author's Conclusions: "Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful beneļ¬ts for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labour and birth."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pregnant? get a doula.

I'm very excited about my new promo piece. It's postcard size and I think they turned out great!

What is a doula?

A Doula is a trained professional who provides physical, emotional, and educational support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. A labor doula helps a woman prepare for birth and provides a range of labor support techniques and comfort measures. She is a birth advocate who encourages informed consent and strives to improve a mother’s self confidence.

Research shows that women who are cared for by a doula are:

  • 26% less likely to give birth by Cesarean section
  • 28% less likely to use any analgesia or anesthesia
  • 33% less likely to be dissatisfied or negatively rate their birth experience
  • 41% less likely to give birth with a vacuum extractor or forceps

Doulas provide non-medical services that supplement those of medical staff such as doctors, nurses, or midwives. However, a doula stays with you throughout your entire labor & delivery.

For more information, please contact
Staci Bishop, Certified Doula (CBI)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

REVIEW: The Business of Being Born

I recently watched The Business of Being Born for the second time. The first time I saw it was almost 5 years ago. It was interesting to note the difference in my reaction this time around. I still maintain that every expectant family should see this film! Personally, I'm excited to watch their new film, MORE Business of Being Born.

  • I saw the film at a pre-screening about a year after the traumatic birth of my daughter.
  • I didn't recognize a single person in the film aside from Ricki Lake.
  • The C-section in the film bothered me. In a way, I almost felt it made the film a failure. I wanted the film to show how wonderful homebirth can be resulting in low, low rates of transfer.
  • I'm now a certified doula and have processed and healed from my birth experience.
  • I immediately recognized probably 75% of the experts they interviewed and knew them by name without having to read the subtitle.
  • I'm glad the C-section was included because it shows how well a midwife and backup doctor can work together to get the care that mom needs when an emergency arises. However, I don't think they did a great job of explaining why she needed to transfer. I know enough now that I was able to figure it out and then confirmed my theory by watching the interviews in the bonus features. Here's the explanation. Not everyone is a candidate for homebirth. Abby was a candidate until she went into early labor with a breech baby. The combination risked her out of homebirth. At the hospital, we learn that the baby had intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). This explains why mom was measuring so small earlier in the film. IUGR babies have big heads and small bodies. This is not a good combination with a breech baby as the body can emerge but the head get stuck. Therefore, a Cesarean was warranted. So, I'm totally okay that they included this in the film because it wasn't an unncecessarean. I just wish that it would have been explained better.
Moving on, here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie and points raised by the theme of the film. I missed a few of the speakers/titles but tagged the ones I knew. Still, you just need to watch it. It's SO good! The preview/trailer is at the bottom of this post.

  • Maternity care in the United States is in crisis. - Dr. Marsden Wagner
  • What the medical profession has done over the last 40-50 years is convince the vast majority of women that they don't know how to birth. - Nadine Goodman, Public Health Specialist
  • Are we benefitting mothers and babies or not? - Ricki Lake
  • The U.S. has the 2nd worst newborn death rate in the developed world. The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries.
  • When you look at our data and the amount of money we spend versus the outcomes we get, it sucks! There are countries who spend a third of what we have and have a lower infant mortality so more doesn't mean more in this case and maybe less is more. - Dr. Jaquez Moritz, OB/GYN Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital
  • People in our culture spend more time and effort researching to buy a stereo system, a car, probably a camera than they do checking out what their choices are for birth.
  • What we have to rediscover is that birth can be easy when we don't try to make things too complicated.
  • Midwives attend over 70% of births in Europe and Japan and less than 8% in the United States.
  • Trained homebirth midwives are incredibly skilled at what they do. The fact of the matter is that they bring pitocin, oxygen, equipment for suturing, and recessitation of the baby.
  • For a normal, low-risk woman it's overkill going to a doctor, it's just too much. The doctor is not really excited about things when they are normal. - Dr. Jaquez Moritz, OB/GYN Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital
  • In 1900, 95% of births in the U.S. took place at home. In 1938 it was 50%. By 1955, it was less than 1%.
  • In a supported environment the outcomes of homebirths are very, very good and consistently at least as good and generally better than a hospital birth. - Eugene Declerq, Ph.D. Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health Boston University
  • We spend twice as much in this country, per birth, than any other country in the world. This is one of those very rare instances where cheaper is truly better. - Dr. Marsden Wagner
  • There is clearly an association of induction and cesarean delivery. - Dr. Michael Silverstein OB/GYN
  • The cesarean rate climbed from 4% to 23% after the introduction of the electronic fetal monitor. - Robbie Davis-Floyd, medical anthropologist
  • There was a study that came out many years ago, which showed that if you looked over a 24 hour period the peaks in C-sections were 4 in the afternoon and 10:00 at night. - Dr. Michael Brodman Chairman of Dept of OB/GYn at Mount Sinai Hospital
  • The literature is very clear that having a vaginal birth statistically is the way to go. Dr. Michael Brodman Chairman of Dept of OB/GYn at Mount Sinai Hospital
  • A woman, as long as she lives, will remember how she was made to feel at her birth - Anna, doula.
  • Many people have described birth as a right of passage and it is certainly a life-altering experience and it can be a beautiful, incredible, empowering life-altering experience or it can be a devastating, traumatic, scarring, literally and figuratively, experience.
  • What are the basic needs of women in labor?
  • We knew that feelings affected birth. - Ina May Gaskin, Founder of The Farm Midwifery Program
  • You get the highest oxytocin rush that you will ever get in your life when you give birth naturally. - Robbie Davis-Floyd, medical anthropologist
  • In monkeys, if they give birth by C-section they are not interested and will not take care of their babies because the love-hormone cocktail is not released. So you wonder, but what about our civilization, what about the future of humanity. If most women have babies without releasing this cocktail of hormones, can we survive without love?
For more information, visit

Saturday, August 18, 2012

REVIEW: Get Me Out (Epstein)

Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank
By: Randi Hutter Epstein - Preview It Here

There were two things that drew me to this book. For one, I find the history of childbirth in America very interesting. I'm fascinated with how advances were discovered, why masses of women made the choices they did, and to watch how we have come full circle and see that homebirth is on the rise again. The second part was simply the fact that the author's last name is the same as the producer of The Business of Being Born. I've yet to find any evidence that they are related but it was a point of interest for me nonetheless.

This book addresses the original birth plan (homebirth) and goes on to discuss the changes in maternity care such as forceps, hospital birth, twilight sleep, fertility drugs, C-sections, ultrasound, and artificial insemination. I'm not typically good with random historical facts but I found the bit about how forceps totally intriguing. They were created by The Chamberlens, a family of man-midwives, and it ultimately became a very effective marketing tool. They had the highest rates of getting babies out and keeping mothers alive. In fact, their instrument was a highly kept secret for 200 years. They were carried in a large, heavy, wooden box and were only used after everyone else had left the room and a sheet was draped over the mother so as to prevent even the woman from having a peek at the gadget.

I had a very difficult time reading through the advances of Dr. Marion Sims. While he made the most progress in dealing with fistulas (a side effect of extreme and prolonged pushing), he did it at the cost of operating on slave women and bore them no dignity or privacy in the process.

It's interesting to note how the opinions of women changed over the years. In fact, doctors were not favored at all and many Lying-In (maternity) Hospitals were transferring Childbed Fever from patient to patient until the germ theory was discovered and hand washing and general hygiene became the standard. When rumors of "twilight sleep" hit the U.S., women demanded pain-free childbirth. What they didn't realize was that the delivery was anything but pain free. Basically, the drugs caused them to forget. In essence, it's like it never even happened. Ironically enough, most American physicians were not on board with giving this drug cocktail but women fought back until they got what they wanted.

I once read (in another source) that it takes 20 years for proven research to become practice. This was certainly evident in this text. For example, it was absolutely true in the case of Childbed Fever as doctors refused to believe that they were responsible for making the women sick. X-rays of the female pelvis began in 1930s. In 1956 a study showed that they could cause cancer but they were still routinely used in pregnancy until the 70s. In the 1950s natural childbirth started making a comeback but didn't become a full-fledged movement until the 70s. This 20-year phenomenon was again evident with the drug DES (estrogen therapy). It was used to sustain a pregnancy but 20 years later they determined that it had effects in the female offspring causing cancer or sterility. It took another 20 years before it was finally taken off the market. Seems ludicrous, right?! Yet, even now we are facing the same question with ultrasound. Wonder how long we will continue down this path until they stop using it so frequently?

The last two chapters of Get Me Out deal with technological advances for freezing sperm, eggs, and embryos. Again, I was fascinated. I was reminded of how perfect yet complex the body is and that creating and sustaining a pregnancy is more of a miracle than we often realize. The ability to create life almost instantaneously and at the time of our choosing will certainly have an affect on our society. Time will tell just how much.

I rather enjoyed this story and the author writes in a way that is factual yet comical. I did indeed laugh out loud a few times. Most of the "techniques" she writes about seemed perfectly logistical at the time yet they are quite shocking and laughable in the 21st century. Still, I think it's always important to know exactly how we have arrived at our current state of affairs. We've made huge advances yet it seems we still have a ways to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Nesting Instinct in Doulas

In humans

In human females, the nesting instinct often occurs around the fifth month of pregnancy[1][4], but can occur as late as the eighth, or not at all[citation needed]. It may be strongest just before the onset of labor.[1][5][6]

It is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one's home and is one reason why couples who are expecting a baby often reorganize, arrange, and clean the house and surroundings.

Source: Wikipedia: Nesting Instinct

While nesting is common in the last few days of pregnancy, I find that I am also particularly prone to nesting at other times in my life. For example, I often "nest" at the beginning of a new year or right before school gets out and then again right before school starts back. I am likely to go into a cleaning frenzy right before I start a new project at work or anytime something new is on the horizon for our family. I'm a type A personality and I function much better when all of my little ducks are in a row. Over time, I've discovered that my nesting instinct (which is just a nicer way of saying I obsessively clean, organize, purge, and tidy) occurs when I am feeling out of control. If there is some aspect of my life that I don't feel I have a firm grip on, I overcompensate by controlling something else, the tidiness of my home. It's kind of become a running joke around here.

When my doula clients reach 38 weeks, I go "on call" meaning that they can contact me 24/7 and I am ready at a moment's notice (preferably an hour) if mom feels that she is in active labor and needs me. My doula bag stays in the car, the car stays full of gas, I don't go out with the girls for margaritas, I arrange plan B for childcare, and I make an effort to get a decent night's sleep.

I often talk with my clients about the nesting instinct and how that big surge of energy and desire to prepare the home can be a sign of impending labor. I've found that I also tend to nest right along with the expectant mom. Part of it comes just from the lack of control as I firmly believe that babies should choose their own birthdays. Since cleaning is my coping mechanism, I use it to make up for the waiting game. But, when I have a suspicion that a client may be going into labor soon (next day or so), my nesting instinct goes into high gear. I never know how long I'm going to be away from home, so I like for everything to be easily accessible for my husband and daughter. I prep food, lay out clothes, pack school and extracurricular bags, and put my "village" of helpers on alert. I know that they could easily survive on their own but it makes me feel better to know I've left a good environment for them. I am the one who manages logistics for our family on a daily basis so I also leave behind plenty of notes hoping that no steps get missed.

I'm wondering if other doulas have experienced this nesting instinct right before a client goes into labor. Maybe this will get better with time as I become more seasoned. Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments below.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reading Roundup 8/9 (Cesarean & VBAC edition)

Tennessee Cesarean Rates by Hospital, 2010 - This is the most up-to-date information we have in my state. Unfortunately all hospitals are not required to release this information. One big hospital in Nashville, Centennial Women's Center, is missing from this report. Makes me wonder how high theirs is. For my area, Vanderbilt seems to have the lowest (31.5%) rate.

Cesarean Section Rates in the United States - This is from the AGOG website and shows rates from 1970 until 2006. Interestingly, this chart also shows the VBAC rate. I found it fascinating that only 10% of women were getting to VBAC in 2006, when it has been as high as 28% just a decade earlier.

The Evidence for Skin-To-Skin Care After a Cesarean - "The benefits of skin-to-skin care are so clear that the World Health Organization recommends ALL newborns receive skin-to-skin care, no matter the baby’s weight, gestational age, birth setting, or clinical condition."

Cesareans More Dangerous Than Previously Thought: 1 in 10 women develop infections - "Post-surgical infection can seriously affect a woman’s quality of life at a critical time when she is recovering from an operation and has a new born baby to look after. More needs to be done to look into this and address ways of reducing infection."

Professor Declerqc Discusses Rising Cesarean Rates - Interesting video that ultimately led me to the site below.

Birth by the Numbers - This man knows his numbers and breaks down years of stats and research into a nifty little video. You can also download the powerpoint slides.

ObGyns Issue Less Restrictive VBAC Guidelines - Straight from the mouth of the governing body for obstetricians. "The current cesarean rate is undeniably high and absolutely concerns us as ob-gyns. These VBAC guidelines emphasize the need for thorough counseling of benefits and risks, shared patient-doctor decision making, and the importance of patient autonomy. Moving forward, we need to work collaboratively with our patients and our colleagues, hospitals, and insurers to swing the pendulum back to fewer cesareans and a more reasonable VBAC rate." - Richard N. Waldman, MD, president of The College

Should There Be a Limit on Cesareans? - "But now the WHO states that "there is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage" and stresses that "what matters most is that all women who need Caesarean sections receive them"." <---- While I disagree with this new position, this article raises some very interesting points about women's choice as well as what factors may be contributing to a higher C-section rate.

Trial of Labor is a new documentary coming out and I am very anxious to see it. It follows 4 women who had a primary C-section and are pursing a VBAC. The trailer is below. If you would like to suppor the film, click here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Reading Roundup 8/3 (World Breastfeeding Week Edition)

From the World Health Organization - "World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond."

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Chose To Breastfeed Your Baby - Lots of information here on how breastfeeding can benefit both baby AND mom.

Breastfeeding 101: Mastitis - Lots of helpful info to combat a mastitis infection. Cabbage is your friend!

Adult Stem Cells in Breast Milk Work Like Embryonic Cells - I don't call this stuff liquid gold for nothing! Read for yourself.

More Adoptive Moms Learn to Breastfeed Their Babies - Adoption is near and dear to my hear and I think it's fantastic that so many moms are inducing lactation to help them facilitate the bond with their child along with the added health benefits.

Newman-Goldfarb Protocols for Induced Lactation - Here are some tips for inducing lactation. This is possible for moms who have never nursed a baby before. Fascinating!

These are some breastfeeding articles that I have posted previously but they are certainly worth reading again.

Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding websites.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Doula Testimonial

By: Hannah Phaneuf

Where do I start? Staci is amazing. My daughter's birth was the most spectacular event of my life, & a LOT of that had to do with Staci. My first baby's birth didn't go at all the way I'd wanted it to, so I wanted to do things differently the 2nd time around. Staci really encouraged me to research my options, without trying to sway me one way or another. After doing a LOT of research I opted for a home birth at the Farm. It. Was. AWESOME! Staci even wrote her own account of my birth story; check it out!

Staci was there for me my entire pregnancy for moral support, came to a couple of my prenatal appointments to get to know my awesome midwives, and at the end when I was 15 days past my due date and very ready to be done, she gave me a ton of emotional support to get through those final days. I was only in active labor for 90 minutes! I think a lot of why my labor was so fast was because I was never afraid - Staci had a LOT to do with that. She helped me get into a comfy position & provided counter-pressure on my back that helped ease the pain immensely. She was a huge emotional as well as physical support to me. When I wanted to give birth on hands and knees, with Staci still pushing on my back, she and my midwives made it work!

I just can't quite put into words how amazing and wonderful my daughter's birth was. I wish I could. I wish I could find some way to describe it to you so that if you are considering natural birth even a little bit, you'll go for it! It was the most awe-inspiring, life-changing, empowering experience of my life so far. Staci was incredible; I don't know what I would have done without her. Her kind, gentle spirit, her sweet & calming demeanor, and most of all, her passion for helping mamas and their babies get the kind of care they want, need, and deserve...I don't have words. Just love.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Lending Library

Included with all services is access to the nYn audio and book collection. 

Please contact us if you would like to borrow any of these books or CDs. You can keep them as long as you need. Check back often as our library is being continually updated. 

  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution (Elizabeth Pantley)
  • The Baby Book (Sears)
  • The Fussy Baby Book (Sears)
  • 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know (Sears)
  • The Premature Baby Book (Sears)
  • Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife (Peggy Vincent) - nYn Review
  • The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (William & Martha Sears) - nYn Review
  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way (Susan McCutcheon)
  • The Thinking Woman's Gide to a Better Birth (Henci Goer) - nYn Review
  • Hypnobabies Tracks
    • What is Hypnobabies Hypnosis for Childbirth?
    • "Relax Me" Hypnosis Session
    • Entering Hypnosis with a Special Word Cue
    • Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations
    • Baby, Stay IN!
    • Come Out, Baby!
    • Birthing Day Affirmations
  • HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method (Marie Mongan)
  • Birthing From Within (Pam England & Rob Horowitz)
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International)
  • The Nursing Mother's Companion (Kathleen Huggins)
  • Breastfeeding: A Parent's Guide (Amy Spangler)
  • The Breastfeeding Book (Sears)
  • The Essential C-Section Guide (Connolly and Sullivan)
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definite Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement (Toni Weschler)
  • How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby (Shettles & Rorvick)
  • The Birth Partner: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Woman Through Childbirth (Penny Simkin) - nYn Review
  • The Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food (Jessie Hawkins)
  • The Handbook of Vintage Remedies (Jessie Hawkins)
  • Bright From the Start (Jill Stamm)
  • The Pregnancy Book (Sears)
  • Conception, Pregnancy & Birth (Dr. Miriam Stoppard)
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (Simkin, Whalley, Keppler)
  • Pregnancy and Birth: Your Questions Answered (Reynolds, Lees, McCartan)
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth (Boston Women's Health Book Collective)
  • The Vaccine Book (Robert W. Sears)

Don't forget to check out more nYn book reviews.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Doula-Client Agreement

If you are interested in doula services please see the attached contract. If you are having trouble viewing the document or would like to print the agreement, please click here.

To make a deposit, please click the Buy Now button below. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

REVIEW: Pushed (Jennifer Block)

I've been wanting to read this book for a while and it did not disappoint. The subtitle says it all, "The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care."

This book is jam packed with statistics and data. I thought it would be a difficult read but the author structures the material in such a way that it was actually a very easy read. The author does a nice job of weaving her personal accounts into to the facts, which only further supports the numbers. Block must have done countless hours of research to pull off a book like this. The stats alone are appalling but the personal stories leave the reader pondering how these childbirth catastrophes are still happening in the United States. To be an industrialized and developed country, we sure are lacking in the maternity care department.

Block begins by discussing the 2 biggest problems facing birth today: Inductions and Cesareans. She gives a lot of history which explains how these two procedures became the norm versus the exception. It's truly appalling that our maternity care system values convenience over evidenced-based practices. She goes on to address VBAC and vaginal breech birth, which have practically become nonexistent in the U.S. It's truly a shame that obstetricians are no longer even receiving instruction on breech birth in medical school.

The material goes on to discuss doulas and midwives and the valuable knowledge that they have for a normal physiological birth. Unfortunately, midwifery is still illegal in many states and they are unwilling to regulate it in others. The repercussions of such strict hospital guidelines are causing many couples to consider home birth as their only option. In states were midwifery is illegal, they are even going the unassisted route. I'm left scratching my head trying to determine how hospitals think that limiting options for women is going to make birth safer.

Block makes comments about other societies with much better outcomes and suggests that we should follow their model of care. This would include a majority of birth centers were midwives handle the primary care of a low-risk healthy mother. She would be referred to an OB if there are concerns and her care would be handled jointly. Statistics have shown that there are more successful births and less trauma to moms when this model is followed. I tend to agree. New Mexico has the best rates in our nation and this is how they are currently providing maternity care.

I got kind of lost in the last chapter when this book became truly political. It discusses women's rights in birth and whether fetal rights outweigh the rights of the mother. I'm still pondering how I feel about this scenario but the literature certainly gave me plenty to think about.

Overall, I was very pleased with this book. I would highly recommend it if you are even the least bit skeptical about the maternity care in America. You will be enlightened.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Certificate, Business Cards & Insurance

Today has been full of good surprises. I've literally been stalking my mailbox for days waiting for these items to come. I know I was "official" before but now I feel SUPER official. :)

First of all, my doula certificate arrived. I've been waiting on it for about two weeks. Best of all, they backdated it to the date when I submitted my final assignment. I had assumed it would be dated when I received my final grade. So, technically, I've been a certified doula for more than a month. Sweet!

Along with my certificate, came my official name badge. I'm not sure if I will actually wear it to a hospital birth but I will certainly keep it clipped to the outside of my bag. It's small but I worry about it getting in the way. Doulas use our hands and arms quite a bit and we are usually in close quarters with mom or dad. I'm just thinking it would rub somebody the wrong way. Literally. Figuratively, I have to think that it could cause some tension among the hospital staff if I bust up in there looking all "official" but I'm not part of their staff. Really, I could care less what they think, but my ideal is to be an extension of the parents and blend into their surroundings. I'm probably putting too much thought into the perception of a name tag, but I know it happens. My job is to help create peace and community, not awkwardness and conflict. So, on my bag it will most likely stay.

Then, there was another package with my business cards. I love how they turned out. I used the same header concept I have on my website for the front and my info on the back. Speaking of, have you noticed that I now have a custom URL ( Cool, huh?! Anyway, I'm ready to start passing these cards around. If you need some, let me know.

Finally, I had applied for an NPI # and my approval showed up in my email today. This is really exciting because it means that my clients can submit my services to their insurance company for reimbursement. It totally depends on the insurance whether they will pay or not but I'm hearing that it is happening more and more. I believe that every woman should have access to a doula and this is certainly a step in the right direction. We can certainly help to hold down medical costs so I don't know whey they wouldn't pay. Ah, that's a debate for another day.

See?! Lots of good surprises today. I'm thrilled to be super official.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting Informed Consent

Source: NY Times

I'm extremely concerned with the lack of information given to parents before they are subjected to hospital protocols & procedures. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons I became a doula. Informed consent is NOT just signing your name on a piece of paper. While that may be "consent," it isn't informed consent. The key? Patient education. As a doula, I do not make decisions for parents. I support their decisions. However, part of my job is to make sure that they feel confident in their choice because it will affect their overall birth experience.

Before consenting to any procedure or intervention, I encourage parents to ask the following questions.
  1. What is the diagnosis?
  2. Why is this a problem?
  3. What are the risks to the proposed solution?
  4. How will this change my care?
  5. What are the alternatives?
The above questions help the parents to understand why a recommendation is being made as well as the risks and benefits of said procedure. However, I believe that question #3 is the most crucial. In childbirth, every intervention ultimately leads to something else. For example, even an epidural will lead to continuous monitoring, a catheter, and bed confinement. An epidural will also limit your position options for pushing. While these aren't necessarily risks, they do change how you have been cared for up until this point and would have been cared for if an epidural had not been chosen. (side note: I am not against epidurals. This is just one example of how a cascade of interventions can get started.)

Assuming there is no pending emergency, I would recommend the parents request some time to discuss this information. As a doula, I am available to answer questions or request clarification from the staff. If a decision is required right away, I would suggest the parents make a choice based on their first instinct. The options are always the same.
  • Yes
  • No
  • Wait
It is extremely important that a mother knows she can say 'no.' She is delivering this baby. She is the parent. She gets to choose. Waiting is also a very acceptable answer. (side note: 'Wait' may quite possibly be my favorite answer. Sometimes things just need a tincture of time and they will resolve on their own. Not always. But sometimes.)

To further clarify what informed consent looks like from a medical perspective, the American Medical Association defines IC as follows

Informed consent is more than simply getting a patient to sign a written consent form. It is a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention.

In the communications process, you, as the physician providing or performing the treatment and/or procedure (not a delegated representative), should disclose and discuss with your patient:

  • The patient's diagnosis, if known;
  • The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;
  • The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;
  • Alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance);
  • The risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure; and
  • The risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.

In turn, your patient should have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure, so that he or she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular course of medical intervention.

This communications process, or a variation thereof, is both an ethical obligation and a legal requirement spelled out in statutes and case law in all 50 states.

Parents, please make sure you are asking these questions before consenting (verbally or in writing) to any hospital procedure. It is your right to know!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Reading Roundup 7/3 (Sleep, Fevers, Fertility, Hep B, Newborn Care, and so much MORE!)

I finally cleaned out Google Reader so this is a mass dump of really neat articles. Hope you find something you like.

Midwife Mania? More Babies than Ever Are Delivered by Midwives - "New Mexico has the county’s highest rate, at 24% for all births. Not surprisingly, they also have one of the lowest C-section rates in the country."

The Miles Circuit - Series of easy maneuvers to help regulate or speed up a stalled labor. It is also helpful to relieve back pain for mom and turn a malpositioned baby.

My Mama Cloth Adventures and Review of Four Sources - I love the idea of cloth diapers and this is just another spin on that but for us moms and the infamous Aunt Flo.

Maizy's Beautiful Hypobabies Birth - I came across this birth story today. I'm still in awe of how mother-baby friendly this hospital was. The have a birthing tub, were open to Hypnobabies, did intermittent monitoring in the water, allowed mom to push in a position of her choice, allowed her to to push even though an OB or midwife were not available, delayed the full newborn exam, and allowed baby to nurse right away. *jealous* Wish they could all be similar to this.

Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Hypertension - VERY interesting. "Antidepressant use during pregnancy was associated with a 53% increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension."
This post also goes on to show that depression can be caused by low vitamin D levels, which has also been linked to PIH.

Frank Talk About the Hep B Vaccine for Newborns - You know I love a good chart. This compares the decline of Hep B (has a vaccine) vs. Hep C (does not have a vaccine). Pay close attention to the orange line (age 0-19). I still cannot fathom why we inject babies within their first few hours of life. For this.

How Fever Can Cure Cancer - "Fever is not a symptom that we must eliminate with toxic pharmaceuticals as prescribed by mainstream medicine. Fever is nature's way of healing and eliminating pathogens. "

All About CoQ10 - I'm just learning about the awesome antioxidant properties of this vitamin. I love this part... "CoQ10 in natural medicine has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.It plays an important role in fighting premature aging.

10 Decisions for Parents of Newborns (Part 1 & Part 2) - Very good information presented in a non-biased way with lots of options. Great read for all parents.

Informed Consent - Gives the key questions to ask your provider before making any decision. I am a firm believer that patients should always have informed consent. This post even links to the AMA definition.

Science You Can Use: Why do my baby's hands always get in the way? "Ever notice that, just when you're getting your baby latched on, his hands always seem to get in the way?... What if those hand movements had a purpose?"

Losing Sleep? All Natural Ways to Fall Asleep and Get More Sleep - There are some great tips at the end of this article but I found these 3 things important to note.
  1. The Journal of Occupation and Environmental Medicine recently found that women working the night shift had 400% higher risk of cancer.
  2. If you sleep less than 7/hrs per night your changes of getting sick triples.
  3. Sleep is one of the most important factors in your health.
Natural Fertility and Zinc - Zinc is actually one of the most studied nutrients when it comes to fertility. Much of the reason behind that statement most likely stem from the fact that zinc is an essential component of genetic material. This means that a deficiency in zinc can cause chromosomal changes.

Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping of term infants on maternal and neonatal outcomes (Review) - This is a study from 2009, which analyzes 11 trials. The author's noted that delayed cord clamping (2-3 minutes) showed no increased postpartum hemorrhage risks to mother and there were long-term improvement of baby's iron levels up to six months post birth.