Birthy BOGO with a purpose – Birth Tshirts on sale!

I want to let you in on a secret {now not so secret} birth work goal of mine. Almost a year ago my family lost my dear cousin in a tragic accident. She had devoted much of her young life to
mission work and had a passion for helping others. I promised myself that one of the things I would do with my birth work was find a way to provide services for mothers in need of pregnancy, labor & postpartum support in her name. It feels like it’s taken me forever to lay the ground work but, with my certification pending, I feel that I’ll finally be ready to get the ball rolling on a fund to support that work. I’ve calculated how much it would take to cover my basic costs per birth and am hoping to establish a fund to offer those services to at least one mother a month after I’m back from maternity leave in 2015. That feels so exciting and kinda lofty to me at this particular moment but I’m just going to keep pressing on. All I can do is try, right?

One of the ways I’m supplementing this fund is through the sales of my birth work shirts. I began creating these for myself and then thought “hey, maybe you should open these up to other birth workers who want to spread the birth word as well.” So I did and I was right. Slowly but surely these shirts have been bought up. It’s been a modest venture but looking at the earnings I’m sitting here feeling like I could provide service for at least one mother with those earnings. That’s a damn good feeling and I want to keep the ball rolling. I have a few more projects up my sleeve that I hope to add to this endeavor but it feels good to have scratched the surface.

So, I’m setting an intention with this post and providing some birthy information along with these shirts, which are BOGO 50% off until 4/14 through Skreened. Get ready for lots of birth goodness:

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April is Cesarean Awareness Month. The mission of the month is to draw attention to the fact that 1 in 3 children in the US are born via cesarean. The debate for and against cesarean birth wages on but one thing is for sure, at least for me, it is something that deserves attention and conversation. These two shirts were designed with the intent to help mothers with cesarean experience initiate those conversations. All birth deserves our support. All birth deserves to be discussed.

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As a birth worker, I’ve had the most success with this shirt starting conversations when I’m out and about doing my daily do. I’ve had a variety of lovely conversations bloom because of my shirts. Women want to talk about their experiences with doula support. Partners want to rave about doula work. I’ve even had a heart-warming conversation with an area anesthesiologist who stopped marching in a parade to come talk to me on the sidelines when he saw my shirt. I think having these conversations in everyday life are powerful and necessary. People, in general, want to talk about birth. If you’re a doula looking for a starter shirt I’d say try this one or it’s tank top cousin.

birth-is-beautiful-sweatshirt.american-apparel-unisex-crew-neck-sweatshirt.heather-grey.w760h760

 i designed this sweatshirt to match the apparel for the new Central Ohio Doulas organization that sprung forth into existence earlier this year. i’m very excited to be a part of this group and see good things happening in the future for furthering doula work as a profession and getting that professionalism recognized by the larger birth community in central ohio. however, the shirt has no real affiliation with the group so I thought doulas far and wide might enjoy this warm cover-up for chilly hospital nights.

and this last one i’ve put on here just for funnies. i can’t wait to put my own little baby in some of these onesies.

yo girl birth story baby onesie

 

if you are a birth worker, birth activist, birth lover or baby lover head on over to the skreened shop to see if anything catches your eye before 4/14 to get in on the 50% off savings. i have designs for babies, mamas wanting to rock their homebirth status, doulas, midwives and lots more. i’ll continue to add more to the shop and update the public on these offerings from time to time.

Thanks y’all. May your life be blessed with supported, beautiful birth.

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birth links

here’s a healthy dose of birthy goodness for your weekend reading since Birth Links was absent last week:

an article about Dr. Michel Odent, a pioneering advocate for natural birth practices. This article highlights information about his new book that examines birth in the technological era. His main question being does how we give birth effect who we become? The questions posed in this article are good ones to ponder for your own birth philosophies.

i attended a birth last week for a baby at 42 weeks, 2 days gestation and babe was sitting pretty. This article is a short but applicable one. should we let babies decide their due dates when stress tests reveal no complications even after 42 weeks?  Just a little fact: The average gestation for first time babies is actually 41 weeks and 2 days. Mommas, if you’re expecting your first please put that 40 week date out of your mind!

a lovely birth story from Birth Without Fear blog about the difference a doula can make.

this article about using 6 cm as the more accurate mark of active labor. Some moms can sit at 3-4 cms for a few days before the show really gets kicked on. by using 6 cm as the accurate marker numerous interventions could be avoided.

i attended a talk last week by the Dellesky family. The family spent a year in the phillipines while Jamie completed Midwifery training at a free maternal health clinic. the family is now on their journey to opening a similar clinic in Tanzania. Follow the link to learn more about their project and information to donate should you be moved to help for this cause.

and lastly, my post about the beautiful transformation i see come over mothers during the pushing phase.

that’s all. enjoy your weekend. and always remember:

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birth links

here is some birthy goodness for your weekend reading:

I did some postpartum care for a family that had this feeding system. i had no personal experience with it before but after helping feed their son with this system {except taped to my finger} i kept thinking “why can’t they send one of these home with every family from the hospital instead of cans of formula? it would promote and help breastfeeding mothers so much more.” Please read this article and learn more about these supplemental feeding systems especially if you are expecting. A system like this one requires more work on the baby’s part so he/she is less likely to become dependent on the ease of the bottle in those first few days of life when the breastfeeding relationship is so delicate. In addition this article highlights that there are a myriad of medical reasons why a mother may not be physiologically able to lactate. A feeding system like this gives the opportunity to physically perform the action and the option for donor milk is even on the table. ladies! you have options!!!

my next link is for a series on the blog the resting roost called birth place. she’s interviewing moms in three different birth settings: home, birth center and hospital to gain perspective on each setting. i’m in love with the idea of this series. here’s the first installment. and since i’m already up in mary catherine’s grill these days, i’m going to go ahead and share a link to the wonderful project she and her partners are working on called the barefoot bus. i’m also in love with the idea for this bus.

and a really good article on VBACFacts. I haven’t shared much from this site because I’ve only been a handful of times. This website is and excellent source of information for any woman looking into her VBAC options.

that’s all. happy weekend. happy solstice. happy reading!

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birth links

some birthy goodness for your weekend reading:

1) a brief post from childbirth today about how Fear contributes to complications and adverse outcomes in birth found here.

2) published study findings that planned home births are safer than hospital births.

3) this is my favorite for sharing today! the dudes are getting some love! it is directed towards the fathers, the most common, but not only, birth partner for mom. these are some of the roles a doula can provide if dad wishes for his role to be different but I try to work with my couples and prepare partners to fill these roles in the birth space. these are very important roles. i think one of the best things we’ve done in maternity care was inviting dads into the birth room but we did them a huge disservice of placing high expectations on them and minimal information on how to meet these expectations. i hope these tips help. ladies, you can go ahead and put these in papa bear’s inbox and tell him to memorize them! talk to your partner ahead of time about how you both envision the birth partner carrying out these roles. it will be so very beneficial for you come birthing day.

as always, i’m here for labor support services as well as pregnancy mentoring and postpartum care. best wishes to you for a calm & confident birth.

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birth links

i’ve been absent on the friday birth links for a while and i’m attempting a comeback. watch out!

first up is the Midwives Archive from Gentlebirth.org. This is a no frills compilation of A LOT of information. It’s really worth a browse as it is a wealth of information but be prepared for the sheer volume. it’s well-organized despite the large amount.

Evidence Based Birth tackled the Evidence for Induction or C-Section for a Big Baby. I always love the posts and evidence EBB provides for readers. What do you think about inductions and c-sections for suspected big babies after that article?

and lastly i wanted to tip you off to the birth without fear blog. the stories on this blog are always inspiring, and real and even though they deal with the hard issues of birth and life coming earthside they are done so without the tone of fear so often forced upon us. this space truly shows how strong birthing women are.

i hope you find something that helps and inspires. Good Luck. Wishing you a calm + confident birth.

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birth links

some links that my laptop explored lately:

This first link is especially interesting to me because I didn’t even start to like {read: love} the taste of coffee until I became pregnant with Darla. Fortunately, the bakery next to my work had huge self-pour dispensers and I got through with 1/3 caffeinated, 1/3 decaffeinated, 1/3 cream concoctions and kept the caffeine to a minimum. This write-up on a decade long study highlights findings that if you have a more-than-2-cups-a-day habit you’re at risk for low-birth weight babies and prolonged gestation and labor. And check this out: “one daily average cup of coffee lengthened child labor by as much as eight hours.”  Is that reason enough to switch to decaf?

Evidence Based Birth is live-blogging the NIH Consensus Conference on Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes.

I’m considering swinging into the old stomping grounds in September for the Rally to Improve Birth. September will be my month off birthwork due to other commitments so why not just make the most of it. Or maybe Columbus will have their own rally. We’ll see!

and lastly,

Who loves infographics? Lovely graphic on birth settings and research in the US. Let’s just go ahead and include it. pay special attention the average cost of birth in a hospital vs. a birth center. i’ve been in lots of lovely hospitals now that have provided great care to moms but i think we can agree that lowering the average cost of birth is something our healthcare system desperately needs:

Source: iom.edu via Elaine on Pinterest

birth linkz

just a few birthy links and reads for you for some weekend reading pleasure:

A new article highlighting the findings of the National Birth Center Study II. the study shows profound evidence that more of our mommas should have access to birth centers:

Evidence for Birth Centers One of the most important findings of this study was that more than 9 out of 10 women (94%) who entered labor planning a birth center birth achieved a vaginal birth. In other words, the C-section rate for low-risk women who chose to give birth at a birth center was only 6%—compared to the U.S. C-section rate of 27% for low-risk women.

and some more good news that the number of birth centers and parents opting for birth center care is on the rise: 5 Reasons Birth Centers Have Met Their MomentAccording to the AABC, the number of centers in the United States has grown by 27% in just the past 3 years, accelerating a growth trend that has been seen for decades. 

and lastly, a W. Eugene Smith photo essay from LIFE magazine from 1951 about Maude Callen, a South Carolina nurse and midwife. I hope people can see past the “poor porn” aspect of these photos because what i see is a great sense of community. Maude was a pioneer nurse midwife. My favorite photo is #8 and also #29.

happy reading. have a fantastic weekend.