Staci Bishop

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.