<![CDATA[Birth Sister Childbirth Services - Blog]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2023 05:25:12 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Birth Affirmations]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:29:48 GMThttp://yourbirthsister.com/blog/birth-affirmationsBecause positive thinking has real power! 

Here are some of my favorite birth affirmation sources. I encourage you to use them!
  1. Read the list on the infographic.
  2. Choose the statements you like the most.
  3. Write them out and put them somewhere obvious, such as walls, mirrors, or in your handbag.
  4. When you see them, say them!
Source: ​https://wetheparents.org/positive-birthing-affirmations-printable

Source: https://evidence-based-birth.myshopify.com/products/birth-affirmation-postcards

If you like to color:
More: https://www.etsy.com/listing/225905625/soften-open-release-a-coloring-book-of
Click any photo to enlarge

Check out my Pinterest Board on Birth Affirmations and Positive Quotes!

<![CDATA[Preparing Your Body for Labor]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 19:51:23 GMThttp://yourbirthsister.com/blog/preparing-your-body-for-laborDid you know there are a few things you can be doing to physically prepare your body for labor? These preparations can potentially make your labor a bit easier.

Certain stretches can help prepare your body for labor

Kegels and Squats
Exercising the muscles in your pelvic floor helps you control these muscles better while pushing, and potentially avoid tears during birth. You may also squat during labor or delivery since it makes use of gravity and opens up your pelvis, so practicing now will help you hold that position with more strength! Further, strengthening your pelvis floor will also help you recover after birth, and restore good urinary control and tone. Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones you use to start and stop the flow of urine. Both kegels and squats take practice, so make sure you try to do a little bit every day! 
How to do Squats: An easy squat exercise is a wall squat. Stand with your back straight against a wall, place your feet shoulder width apart and about six inches from the wall, and keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly and gently slide down the wall to a squatting position (keeping your back straight) until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds, slowly slide back to a standing position. Repeat five or 10 times. Find more information here on how to safely do different types of squats during pregnancy.

How to practice Kegels: Just tighten up the muscles, then relax. You can either do 10-20 quick repeats, with a quick tighten-release; or you can do slow “elevator” kegels, where you count slowly from 1-5, tightening your muscles a little tighter with each count, then count back down from 5-1, gradually relaxing the muscles. It’s best to do 100 kegels a day in late pregnancy. It sounds like a lot, but it’s easy to do a few at a time, off and on all day. You can do them while talking on the phone, or watching TV, or driving, or showering, or whenever. You can do this anytime, anywhere, and no one knows you’re doing it!
Pelvic Tilts
These strengthen your stomach muscles, which can help with back pain. They also help the baby move to an ideal position for birth. These are also called the Cat/Cow in yoga!
How: Get on your hands and knees. Tighten up your stomach muscles and muscles in your bottom… this will arch your back up like an angry cat, at the same time “tuck your tail” like a scared dog. Hold for a few seconds, then relax back to a flat back (don’t let back sag down.). Repeat at least 20 times a day.
Sitting Cross-Legged
This positions strengthens the muscles in your back, loosens hip joints, and helps baby get into the best position for birth. 
What do to: Sit on the floor with your back straight in the "butterfly position". As you press both knees gently toward the floor using your elbows, you should feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Don't bounce your knees up and down rapidly. If you find it difficult at first to keep your back straight, use a wall to support your back. Hold the position for 10 or 15 seconds and repeat the stretch five or 10 times.

Practice breathing and meditation

Prenatal yoga is a great way to learn to use your breath in a way that will benefit you in labor. 
  • It will help you learn to take deep, slow breaths and concentrate on your breathing
  • You learn how to breathe through difficult positions and discomfort
  • Helps you to relax your muscles, which will help promote effective labor contractions
  • Promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety
Research shows that yoga has a multifaceted effect on not only the pregnant mother’s body, but also her mind and her baby.  Find a prenatal yoga or meditation class or group near you, or find one on YouTube! 
"First, yoga involves synchronization of breathing awareness and muscle relaxation, which decrease tension and the perception of pain. Second, yoga movements, breathing, and chanting may increase circulating endorphins and serotonin, “raising the threshold of mind-body relationship to pain”. Third, practicing yoga postures over time alters pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing one’s need to actively respond to unpleasant physical sensations." - Romano and Goer

Eating well can help with labor

Nutrition is important! You are what you eat, as they say. Make sure you're eating a variety of healthy foods. Some that may help you with labor:
  1. Protein for strengthening muscles
  2. Lots of water
  3. Raspberry leaf tea is said to strengthen uterine muscles
  4. Avoid fatty or oily foods that are hard to digest and may increase nausea or gastrointestinal issues during labor

General exercise

There are several benefits of exercising during pregnancy:
  • Reduces back pain
  • Eases constipation
  • May decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
  • Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy
  • Improves your overall general fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels
  • Helps you to lose the baby weight after your baby is born
Just make sure you are doing it safely!

<![CDATA[Learn these Post-Birth Warning Signs]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:30:41 GMThttp://yourbirthsister.com/blog/learn-these-post-birth-warning-signs

Did you know more than half of maternal deaths in the U.S. happen after birth?

An increasing number of women are dying from pregnancy and birth-related problems. While some women may be at higher risk, all women are potentially at risk of developing complications after delivery!

This may seem scary, but it is important to know to help save lives.

One of the best things mom can do for her baby is to take care of herself post-birth.

Families need healthy moms.  Often friends and family ask "how is the baby?" and don't always ask "how are you doing, mom?"  Parents often are so concerned with caring for a new baby, they may not take care of their own physical and emotional health.

Would you know how to recognize a health issue once you were at home with baby after birth?  

What if your leg started hurting, or it was hard to breathe? Would you dismiss them as nothing, or hope they went away? 

Knowing how to recognize and respond to these specific signs and symptoms may help save your life!

Trust your instincts. If you feel something is not quite right, always call your health care provider, just to make sure. 
The acronym POSTBIRTH is a way for all of us — moms, partners, friends, grandparents, nurses — to remember the warning signs and know which steps to take.
  • Pain in chest
  • Obstructed breathing or shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
  • Bleeding, soaking through one pad/hour, or blood clots the size of an egg or bigger
  • Incision that is not healing
  • Red or swollen leg that is painful or warm to touch
  • Temperature of 100.4°F or higher
  • Headache that does not get better, even after taking medicine, or bad headache with vision changes

If you see a sign in the POST section, call 911.

If you see a sign in the BIRTH section, call your healthcare provider.

If you can't reach them, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Inform anyone you call — 911, emergency room, urgent-care provider, or your healthcare provider—that you have given birth in the last year.

Have a friend who has just given birth?

Ask her how she's doing, and share #POSTBIRTH! 
<![CDATA[And then there were two!]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 18:15:51 GMThttp://yourbirthsister.com/blog/and-then-there-were-twoIt is a lovely opportunity to be able to attend both the first and second births of a family's little ones! 

I was recently honored to attend the birth of Kieran, 4 years after attending the birth of his big sister Zora!
We didn't intend to all be in green!
Both labors started in the middle of the night and were super quick!  Fast was intense, but this mama was an excellent pusher!

Look at these two little cuties! 
A big heartfelt thank you to this family for allowing me to be at their wonderful birth! 
<![CDATA[´╗┐New! Group Childbirth Education Classes]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:53:43 GMThttp://yourbirthsister.com/blog/new-group-childbirth-education-classesSession on Labor Comfort Techniques and Pain Management Picture
As you get ready for your upcoming birth, you will want to have a variety of comfort measures and coping techniques in your labor toolbox so that you and your support team can be as prepared as possible!

In this class, mothers and partners will:

- Understand what to expect in each stage of labor
- Learn relaxation skills and effective labor strategies
- Practice a variety of comfort techniques that minimize labor discomfort
- Understand back labor and how to cope with back pain while encouraging baby to turn
- Learn about how to most effectively use an epidural 
- Hear about the benefits of a doula as part of the birth team 
- and more! 

Friday, March 3, 2017
6 pm - 8:30 pm 

$50 per couple

Please contact me at emily@yourbirthsister.com or 919-360-5028 to register for the class.

Attendees, please bring a yoga mat or exercise ball to sit on.

Location: Green Locus Yoga
11961 Sheldon Road
(Citrus Park) Tampa

Interested in more? I teach private in-home classes. Contact me for more info!