The Stork OTC

The Stork OTC: A Natural Way to Get Pregnant

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.

Sometimes getting pregnant on your own is not easy. Many factors may play a role. There is now a new FDA cleared product on the market that can assist you in getting pregnant, before you turn to other complicated methods to become pregnant.

The Stork OTC Home Conception Device does not include, shots, scans, prescriptions or procedures. This device is made to be used at home. No doctors offices!

Many women do not want to turn to injections and prescriptions. They want to become pregnant naturally whether that be receiving acupuncture, regular chiropractic care, changing diet, or taking natural supplements. The Stork OTC is now another natural option available in your toolbox.

How does it work? Here is a great breakdown of exactly how it works!

The Stork OTC uses cervical cap insemination which has been shown to have up to a 20% success rate. It’s very easy to use and you can do it right in the privacy of your own home. Currently it retails for $79.99 and can be found in Walgreens, CVS, and Target along with buying it online. This is a much cheaper option to IUI and gets 3 times higher sperm concentration at the cervix compared with natural intercourse plus it has worked for many couples. Just take a look at the success stories from their site!

Interested in trying Stork OTC? There are two great promotions going on NOW!

  1. Buy 1 Stork OTC, Get 1 Stork OTC 50% at Target from August 6 – August 19.
  2. 25% off Stork OTC Single Device at the Stork OTC Online Store through the end of August. Not sure where to buy? Search here.

Do not miss an upcoming Twitter party on August 17 at 8 p.m. EST! Make sure you participate using hashtag #TTCwithStorkOTC.

 

HowtoFindDoula

How to Find a Doula

You’ve already decided that hiring a doula to attend your birth is the right decision for you and your partner. You already know all the amazing things that doulas can do for you during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum after reading my previous article  and you’re blown away by the research supporting the use of doulas. There are many ways to find a doula….here are a few ways to get started!

Word of mouth

Consult with your friends and family in the area. Did they have a good experience with a doula? Ask your chiropractor, massage therapist, yoga teacher, childbirth educator, physical therapist, etc. Asking people whose opinion you value and trust may help narrow the field to a handful of doulas that you may like to interview and get to know on a more personal level.

Doula Groups

Doula associations, agencies, and collectives are groups of doulas in a community. These groups meet on a regular basis for continuing education, support, and networking. These doula groups often have a website with their members listed with links to their profiles or personal websites.To learn more about the different ways doulas work, check out this concise article on the topic. Here in central Iowa, the Central Iowa Doula Association, Iowa Doula Agency, and Mid-Iowa Doulas are some great options!

Websites and Doula Match pages

Most doulas and doula groups have websites, social media pages, and/or a Doula Match profile. By viewing their online content, you should get a feel for a particular doula and the services they offer. Some doulas offer services at additional cost including placenta encapsulation, photography, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding and/or postpartum support, and fitness classes. Doula fees range in price, often by several hundred dollars based on their experience and services. Look for testimonials from past clients, or ask for references. If having a doula who is certified through a professional organization is important to you, you should be able to find that information on their website or profile. Doulas of North America (DONA), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), and Birthworks International are some of the more widely known certifying organizations.

Start early in your pregnancy and schedule interviews

Doula schedules often fill up quickly, so don’t wait! You may be able to view a doula’s schedule on their website or Doula Match profile; otherwise, email or call to check availability for your estimated due date. Plan to interview at least two to three doulas and bring your birth partner! Doulas usually offer an interview or consultation at no cost or obligation. These interviews last about one hour and are often held in a coffee shop or other public place.

The interview

One of the most important aspects of the doula interview is to see if you and your partner feel comfortable and relaxed with the doula, and if you feel a personal connection. You may decide to ask questions about:

  • the doula’s background, training, and experience with birth
  • why they became a doula and what they enjoy about doula work
  • what services the doula provides, including number, length, and topic of visits
  • the doula’s fees and payment schedules
  • if the doula has a back-up, what circumstances will one be used, and if you can meet the back-up
  • the types of comfort techniques the doula typically provides
  • experience with certain providers, birthing locations, or types of birth

Be prepared for questions from your doula! Doulas often want to know about the type of birth you envision, if you are taking childbirth education classes, and how you’d like your doula to support you and your partner. After you’ve interviewed the doulas you are interested in, think about it! Most doulas give you a few days or a week to consider your decision. Once you have chosen your doula, she will provide you with a contract to consider. This contract protects both of you by outlining fees and when they are due, back-up doula situations, expectations of both you and the doula, and more.

Now that you know how to get started, go out there and find the doula that is right for you! Because every mom deserves support, encouragement, respect, and peace on the day of her baby’s birth. You got this!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

 

BirthDoula

What is a Birth Doula?

Do you want to be fully supported during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period? Do you want someone in the birthing room solely dedicated to providing you comfort and experienced information?

Do you want to have the best possible birth experience? A doula may be right for you!!

A certified birth doula is a trained and experienced professional who is hired to assist with birth. A doula meets with her client and birth partner two to three times during pregnancy to learn their personalities, hopes and fears, and past experiences with birth. Birth plans, basic childbirth education, community resources, interventions, comfort techniques, and newborn care may be discussed during these prenatal meetings. A doula comes to the birthing woman during labor, remains until the baby is born, and stays an hour or two afterwards. Examples of the types of support a doula may provide during labor include, but are not limited to:

  • Massage and touch
  • Encouragement of mobility, motion, and vocalizations
  • Counterpressure on low back and hips
  • Position suggestions for labor and pushing
  • Assistance with breathing, relaxation, and tension release
  • Heat and/or cold to ease discomforts
  • Encouragement to use water, including shower and/or tub
  • Verbal praise and feedback
  • Reframe thoughts, fears, and feelings during labor, if needed
  • Continuous presence with main role of supporting mom
  • Assistance with decisions during labor
  • Encourage partner to take bathroom and meal breaks, and rest if possible
  • Leave the medical tasks (i.e., blood pressure, heart tones, etc) to the nurses, doctors, and midwives

Doulas support women and their partners regardless of the type of birth they are planning, whether that be in a home, hospital, or birth center, if they plan to use pain medication or not, and if they decide to bottle feed or breastfeed. In other words, doulas support you in the type of birth YOU want!  

After the baby is born, doulas visit within the first week or two to assist with basic breastfeeding concerns, discuss the mother and couple’s adaptation to a new baby, and discuss their thoughts about the birth experience. For more continuous support during the postpartum period, consider hiring a postpartum doula.

As the birth of your baby is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, consider hiring a doula to assist you with your birth! “A woman, as long as she lives, will remember how she was made to feel at her birth.” ~Anna Verwaal

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will discuss how to find a doula!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

515-210-0066

 

 

Beautycounter

Skin Products: What Are We Putting On Our Body?

I remember before I became pregnant with my son, now five years old. I never really thought about the products I used on my body whether it was the facial cleanser , body wash, shampoo, body sprays, or lotion I used. When I became pregnant I quickly learned that not only everything I consumed impacted my growing baby, but what I put on my body did too!

It is extremely common for women to completely change how they view things and take a closer look at everything once they become pregnant and have children of their own. Once your child is born, it’s a whole other ball game. Some common questions include “is this safe for my baby?” “Is this safe to put on my body, when my child is nursing?” 

It is important that we do our research and live by example. Whether it be an example for our friends and family, or our growing children. Our children are watching us daily. If we are using products that are safe, our children will know no other way.

While at Shiftcon in December, I learned so much about an amazing company Beautycounter. I had just recently been introduced to it by my good friend Emily Boyd. I quickly learned that Beautycounter was much more then just a company selling beauty products, but this company is playing a huge part in the education and change of beauty products in the industry.

I invited Emily Boyd to chat with you and share exactly what Beautycounter is doing, how you can learn about what is safe and what is not safe to put on the largest organ of our body (yes, our skin!)

It was about two years ago when my close friend and boss got the devastating call that the lump in her breast was in fact cancer.

That moment was something I’ll never forget, but what was even more impactful to me was the response she had.

She decided that she was going to win the battle and make some powerful decisions to ensure she got healthy & stayed healthy. She was not going to be a victim and hide away in sadness. She was going to fight & I decided that I was going to journey on a similar path.

I have some influential voices in my life who have educated me on the impacts of foods we consume, products we use to clean our homes, and the personal care products we put on our hair, our eyes, and our largest organ: our skin. However, I have learned that during her treatment, she hosted a Beautycounter social and because I love my friend, I gladly obliged (Wine? Yes, please!). What I learned that night radically changed my view of personal care products.

Here are the key takeaways from that evening that eventually led to me being a business owner & educator with Beautycounter.

  1. Many of the products we use on our skin are loaded with toxic chemicals that are disrupting hormones, messing with our overall endocrine system, potentially changing our DNA (what?!) and many other scary health issues. People often ask…

  2. How is that even possible and legal? We haven’t passed a major federal law since 1938 that regulates the cosmetic industry. This industry that’s worth $60 billion only bans 30 ingredients from your products. The European Union bans well over 1400. So, what the heck are we doing about it?!

  3. Beautycounter and its 30,000+ (and growing) educators are working with legislators and trying hard to make federal changes that protect you. We are also sharing our missiong to “get safer products into the hands of everyone” through socials, conversations, posts like this (thanks, Erin!) and social media.

  4. So how do you know what’s harmful? We know some ingredients for sure are linked to human health, but we have barely even scratched the surface with other ingredients. Here are some major offenders: parabens, pthalates, sulfates, triclosan, and retinol. We actually provide consumers with our amazing Never List full of ingredient names & how they might be impacting you right here.

  5. What should you do? Flip your bottles, my friends. The first and most important thing you can do is figure out what’s harmful & what’s not. The Environmental Working Group (the EWG) provides a great database where you can look up your product or the specific ingredients in your products. It’s not entirely comprehensive, but it’s a good start.

  6. Don’t think for even one second that just because something says “organic” or “green” or “natural” that it actually is. These words can be slapped on anything and everything. It’s false marketing and quite frankly, pretty unethical in my opinion. Do your research.

Let me remind you… your health is your greatest asset. If you’re healthy, you can invest in relationships, a career, hobbies, and working towards the life you want to have. I know this certainly isn’t black and white, but I feel like our society has been taught that the way we treat our sickness is reactively. Why not choose to be proactive?

There has recently been articles about lead in personal care products (this is also legal to put in your skin, but in your paint – what?!), the impact of chemicals in teenagers from personal care products, and how “all safe/natural” products like Wen are causing serious issues like hair loss.

This post is intended to educate and inform. As a Beautycounter educator and business owner, I love the opportunity to work with women on some safer options to purchase, however my ultimate goal is for you to feel like you can make an informed purchasing decision. Maybe that means organic coconut oil is your body lotion or you use essential oils as your fragrance.

If you want to support our movement for #BetterBeauty, check out our “Chanel meets Whole Foods” products; the packaging is absolutely stunning and you never have to worry about what is in it. 

If this resonates with you, there is always an opportunity to participate in this growing company (we are only 3.5 years old!) and make a difference while earning extra cash. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly is for some people. Beautycounter knows that the only way we can make a lasting impact is to have more voices, so they offer a generous compensation plan to help everyone move the needle.

Oh yeah, and the company was started by a woman in the United States (yes!).

If you want to continue the conversation, send me a message through this site. Onward & upward, Midwest Moms & Wives.

 

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Empowering Moms With Yoga

I started practicing yoga in 2009 when I lived in Green Bay, WI. Shortly after, I found out that I was expecting my first child and continued in the same yoga class throughout my pregnancy. My instructor helped me with modifications as my belly grew, but he was not prenatal certified. During this time, I was also working toward becoming a certified birth doula (DONA). After the birth of my daughter, it became clear that these experiences could come together in a beautiful potion to empower, strengthen, and educate expecting women.

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In 2012, my husband, daughter and I moved back home to central Iowa (Ankeny), and shortly after I was introduced to Sandi Hoover, owner of The Family Tree (Des Moines) and founder of Roots Prenatal YogaTM. I took her Roots Prenatal Yoga Certification course (80 hours) in February 2013 and have been passionately sharing prenatal yoga with expecting women since.

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In January 2016, I began teaching my prenatal yoga classes in Ankeny! In my classes, I empower women to tune into their bodies, breath, and babies. Each class begins with time to chat with the other expecting women in class about a topic related to pregnancy, birth, or motherhood. We move through gentle yoga poses and end class with a few minutes of relaxation. EVERY (pregnant) BODY can benefit from participating in my prenatal yoga classes.

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I hear from many of the women in my classes after their babies are born. They thank me for the classes and say they felt more prepared physically and mentally for labor/birth. My Ankeny classes are held on Sunday evenings from 6:30 – 7:45 PM. Each 6-week series is $100 (less than $17/class)! To inquire or sign-up for the series that begins on September 11, 2016, please e-mail me at doulamel13@gmail.com.

Check Melissa’s website for current classes, dates and times here!

Follow her on Facebook here!

About the Author

Head shot 2Melissa Schnurr, PhD, CD(DONA):

Melissa is the mother of two daughters born in October 2010 and November 2014, an early childhood consultant for the State of Iowa, DONA certified birth doula, and a prenatal yoga certified instructor. Also the owner of Empowered Pregnancy & Birth LLC, Melissa has a passion for supporting women and their families during pregnancy and birth.

Preparing for Breastfeeding-3

Preparing for Breastfeeding

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

When you discover you are expecting, it is an exciting time! If you are a first-time mother, or you already have children at home, there are a lot of things that go through your mind. A lot of times creating a baby registry is the exciting and fun part of pregnancy. Picking out all the cute baby swings, bedding, clothes, high chairs, strollers, is fun, but also making sure you add breastfeeding necessities to your list is important.

Preparing for Breastfeeding-3

 

Every mother should make a decision whether they will want to breastfeed or attempt to breastfeed early on in their pregnancy so they can begin preparing for breastfeeding. There are several different items to add to your baby registry, classes you may want to take, create a resource list, and research support groups in your area to help you prepare for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Supplies

If you are a first-time mom you may be thinking, “what more do I need then my breast and the baby?” Luckily, in our day and age there are several tools and supplies that can help and guide you in a successful breastfeeding relationship. Adding these items to your baby registry, so your loved ones can purchase them for you, is a great way to prepare for breastfeeding.

Nipple Cream – When you begin nursing and when your baby is a newborn, there will be a lot of frequent and long feedings. Your nipples may become sore and cracked. This is a common reason many women end their breastfeeding relationship. My personal favorite nipple cream is Natural Nipple Butter from Earth Mama, Baby Angel. This specific nipple cream contains no preservatives or additives and it does not need to be removed before breastfeeding. It is completely safe for your baby.

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Nursing pads – As a breastfeeding mother, leaking nipples is very common. It is also even more common at the beginning of breastfeeding as your body is still getting used to a cycle and rhythm of breastfeeding with your newborn. To help contain leaking breast milk, using nursing pads are recommended. There are several different varieties available and there are also ways you can make your own!

Breast pump – If you are planning on going back to work or even being away for the baby a few hours or days at a time, investing in a breast pump is important. There are several different types of breast pumps available. A very popular breast pump is the Medela. Most health insurances cover the purchase of a breast pump or give you a credit to use towards a breast pump. You can also rent a breast pump too. Make sure you contact your health insurance early on in your pregnancy so you can make sure you have it before the baby arrives!

Breast pump shield – If you are purchasing or renting a breast pump, you will need to get some breast pump shields. These are what hook up to the breast pump tubes and cover your nipples as it suctions breast milk out of your breasts. There are different sizes available and it depends on how big your breasts are. Purchasing these before the baby arrives may be a bit difficult, but you may be able to gage what size you need.

Bottles – Yes you are planning to breastfeed, but if you know you will need to pump then you will need to purchase bottles to pump in to. I recommend buying bottles that are the same brand as your pump. For example, if you purchase/rent a Medela pump, purchase Medela bottles and caps. You will know they will fit properly. These do not need to be the bottles you feed your baby with. Once the baby arrives you can figure out which bottle and nipple to use. Sometimes it takes several to determine what your baby will like.

Breastfeeding cover – As a new mother, it may an awkward and little uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. Adding a breastfeeding cover to your registry is a great idea and will help you feel comfortable when breastfeeding in public. They have lots of fun prints and come in all different sizes.

Nipple shields – There are a lot of products on the market such as nipple shields that are used to help with a baby’s latch. I highly recommend to NOT purchase these items. Some of these products can really cause issues with breastfeeding. If there is an issue, contacting a lactation consultant is recommended. Your lactation consultant may recommend one for you at that time and set-up a plan on how to use it.

Check out this wonderful Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle, you can add to your registry list!

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Classes & Lactation Consultants

Alright, so you have some of the necessities prepared for breastfeeding, but it is also extremely important to learn about breastfeeding and meet/introduce yourself to someone who will be available to help, if there are issues.

A lot of local hospitals offer basic breastfeeding classes that discuss the anatomy of the breast, stages of breastfeeding, when your breast milk will come in, the types of breast milk, how your baby has an effect on your breast milk, cues to look for when breastfeeding your baby, and much more. There is a lot of information and having a little background will help you feel a bit more comfortable when you behind this journey with your newborn.

Introducing and meeting a lactation consultant is also important or even just having their contact information. A lactation consultant is a trained professional with lots of education and hours of experience in breastfeeding. If there are any issues or questions at all, contacting this individual will help you tremendously. A lot of lactation consultants will even make home visits.

Support Groups

A lot of communities have breastfeeding support groups available. Do your research and find out what support groups are available in your community and the dates and times they meet. Breastfeeding support groups, such a La Leche League, is not only a place to ask questions about breastfeeding, but is also a great place to socialize and meet other mothers traveling the same breastfeeding journey as you.

There are lots of aspects to preparing for a baby when you discover you are pregnant, but preparing for breastfeeding is extremely important too! Make sure you do your research and be prepared before your new bundle of joy arrives.

If you are located in Central Iowa, check our local Business Directory for lactation consultants, breastfeeding groups, where to rent and/or buy a breast pump and more! 

Pregnancy & Exercise

Pregnancy & Exercise

When you become pregnant one big question comes across your mind “Can I exercise?” In most cases, the answer is, yes!

In the past, it used to be common for practitioners to tell newly pregnant women, they were not allowed to exercise. Quickly, it was discovered that there were a lot more benefits to exercising, compared to not exercising. Exercising and being active during pregnancy benefits not only mom, but baby also!

I have done some looking and there are several things to keep in mind while exercising and being active during pregnancy. I have broken it down for everyone.

Pregnancy & Exercise

Warm Up

Warming up before exercising is always important, but even more critical when pregnant. Just like before pregnancy, if you do not warm up, you may experience aches and pains after workout. Pregnant women, will definitely experience these aches and pains if they do not warm up. When pregnant, your body is growing and changing. It is important to ease into activity and exercise.

Heart Rate

Heart rate is a common thing that comes up when discussing exercise during pregnancy. Women will hear different target heart rates from different sources, but a common heart rate that is most commonly given is 140. It is not recommended to get your heart rate over 140. During the first trimester, most women are usually tired and do not have much energy; so staying at this heart rate is easy. Some women have no change in energy and can exert themselves way more. It is important for you to discuss this with your provider and come up with a target heart rate that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Mood Swings

When you become pregnant, hormones are going haywire! One moment you may be sad and depressed, nauseous, stressed, and so on. Exercising brings out those good and happy endorphins! It may hard to get moving but, getting outside and being active can greatly improve a your mood.

Exercises to Avoid

Deciding what exercises to avoid will vary between each person. If you are very active and work out routinely, there will be less to avoid. Most commonly, you can continue to do what you have been doing. There are women who still run marathons, lift heavy weights and more while pregnant. The most important thing is for you to listen to your body. If you feel something is too much, hurts, or just feels “off” you need to cut back. There are certain activities and exercises that should be avoided while pregnant such as, scuba diving, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing or any contact sport that may cause trauma to the abdomen.

Eating

Yes, eating fits into exercising while pregnant. If you are regularly exercising while pregnant, you are burning calories. It is very important for you to make up for those calories by eating healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, and high protein foods. Even though you may think you do not need those extra calories, your baby does!

WATER, WATER, WATER

Water is extremely, extremely important while pregnant. Not only is it important if you are lying around all day, it is even more important if you are active and exercising. Staying hydrated keeps the body temperature low while exercising, reduces aches and pains, and will help prevent contractions.

Look into prenatal exercise classes

Although, you are usually able to continue your normal exercise routine, it may be beneficial for you to research and find a prenatal exercise class. This may also be beneficial for women who have not been exercising prior to pregnancy, but want to stay active. Prenatal exercise classes are modified for pregnancy and the instructors have a special certification to teach prenatal classes. The fitness instructors are knowledgeable of the woman’s pregnant anatomy and know the dos and don’ts. It is also a great place to meet other pregnant mama’s and connect!

When to slow down

In the first trimester you may be able to workout like you did before pregnancy. As pregnancy continues, your body changes, and your baby grows; changes may need to be made. Listen to your body for changes such as these:

  1. Fatigue – Feeling a little fatigue after exercising is okay, but if you cannot recover like before, it may mean to start scaling a bit back.
  2. Joint or muscle pain – Joint and muscle pain comes with the “being pregnant” package, but it may increase even more if you are exercising too much. Any sharp pains, or aches, that is not going away after a day or so, after working out, cut back.

Reasons to STOP exercising

The number one reason to stop exercising would be if your practitioner has told you to do so, but there are also some other factors to look for.

  1. If you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or any other form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
  2. Cervical problems
  3. Vaginal bleeding
  4. Lots of swelling

If any of these symptoms arise or anything else that may be abnormal, stop exercising, and let your practitioner know immediately.

Exercising while pregnant is not only great for you, but also baby. It boosts your energy and mood levels, helps you sleep better, prevents excess weight gain, and may help ease pain when you go into labor. It is important for to have an open communication with your provider about what your exercise routine is and if any changes are happening.

Disclaimer: All information in this post are thoughts, opinions and research I have personally done. Please talk to your provider before engaging in any activity.  

Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

Titles and Professions to Know When Pregnant

When you become pregnant everything is a little overwhelming, or way overwhelming! You are making sure your eating healthy, taking the right supplements, creating a birth plan, looking for a postpartum doula 🙂 and so on!

While doing your research, you will come across a lot of professions and  titles that are important. It gets confusing. What’s the difference between a lactation consultant and a lactation educator? Which one do I need? Why?

Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

I have done some research and created a guide for you. This is here to help you know who is who and who does what!

Birth

Midwife – A midwife is a traditional care provider for mothers and infants. They are trained professionals that support a mother, so they can receive the optimum personalization of care. With a midwife you receive personal, woman-centered care.

OB/GYN – An OB/GYN is a gynecologist and obstetrician. A gynecologist is someone who specializes in women’s reproductive health. An obstetrician cares for women during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Doula – A doula is a trained individual to provide support to the mother and partner during childbirth. A doula is someone who you meet before your birth and you create a personal relationship. They take note of your wishes while you are in labor and make sure you have confidence to express your wishes and concerns. They also may support before birth and shortly after birth. Doulas do not do any medical procedures.

Labor & Delivery Nurse – A lot of women, who are new to pregnancy, think that they may not need a doula because their nurses will be present. Nurses can be great coaches and support, but one major drawback is you never know who will be your labor and delivery nurse. You do not create a special bond with your nurse before you go into labor, like you do with your doula. Nurses are not only coaching you, but also assisting the doctors.

Breastfeeding

Lactation Consultant – Lactation consultants are professionally trained, breastfeeding specialists. They are specialists who teach mothers how to feed their baby. They help in all areas of breastfeeding whether it be poor latch, painful nursing, low milk production and more. It is important to know that when looking for a certified lactation consultant, they will have IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) after their name. This means they have sat for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Exam (IBLCE), which is the only certifying body that can award this credential.

Lactation Counselor – A certified lactation counselor (CLC) can help with issues such as helping a baby latch, counseling mothers, they have knowledge of milk production, prevention and management of sore nipples, and a lot of other various issues. A CLC is not required to sit for the IBLCE. They are required to have a lot of hands on hours and to complete a program, to become certified.

Lactation Educator – A certified lactation educator (CLE), is usually a nurse, doula or other type of birth profession that have taken a course to gain more experience and knowledge in breastfeeding. They provide encouragement, guidance, referrals (to a lactation consultant), education, and support. When searching for a doula or provider, checking if they are a CLE may be beneficial.

Other

Postpartum Doula – A postpartum doula provides emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support after birth. A postpartum doula is an individual that allows the mother and newborn to create a special bond, without having to worry about everything else. They may do light housekeeping, listen and answer questions, make light meals, watch the baby while mom sleeps, and much more.

Prenatal/Postpartum Fitness Instructor – A prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor is trained specifically to instruct fitness classes to pregnant women and postpartum women. They are knowledgable about the pregnant and postpartum body anatomy.

Childbirth Educator – A childbirth educator is trained to be able to provide education and support to pregnant women and their families. They prepare women and families on what to expect before labor and after.

What profession or title am I missing? Feel free to ask below and I will get it added!

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Bump Day 2016

Come out to Iowa Family Chiropractic on April 9th, 2016!

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From 9 am until 11 am there will be around 20 vendors sharing their business, goods, and services for new and expecting parents/caregivers and for families trying to get pregnant! Such as local midwives, doulas, photographers, places to shop, acupuncture, massage, and much more.

List of vendors include:

1. Acupunture Wellness Center
2. Farm Baby Foods
3. Willowsong
4. Roots Prenatal Yoga
5. Little Padded Seats
6. Iowa Doula Agency
7. Basking Babies LLC
8. Hy-vee Nutrition
9. Fadeaway Flotation
10. Little Children’s Boutique
11. Babydale Diaper Service
12. Central Iowa Placenta
13. Mercy Midwives
14. It Works
15. Food4Thought
16. Iowa Birth Organization
17. Kiwi Marie Photography
18. Sams Club
19. Ankeny Dog Training Academy

AND Midwest Mom & Wife and Des Moines Parent!! 🙂

Not only will the be an educational event for families to see what Central Iowa has to offer, but there will be some fun stuff too! Bring some cash & prepare to shop! 🙂

Bump Bags full of free goodies for the first 50 families, plus door prizes and giveaways.

This event is also sponsored by Fadeaway Floatation! Check out the great experience I had!

Make sure you join the Facebook event to keep track of everything!

8PPDoulaHelp

Local Doula Spotlight: Blessed Bean Birth & Belly

In celebration of World Doula Week I had the privilege to interview one of the many doulas, in Central Iowa, Michelle Conkling. Michelle’s doula business is Blessed Bean Birth & Belly and has been a doula for almost two years. Below, you will find some basic questions of why she became a doula, her education, and why she enjoys it so much!

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Why did you want to become a doula?

“Before my daughter was born, I didn’t even know what a doula was. After she was born, I started to read a lot because my birth did not go as planned and ended in a c-section. I joined a local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) group and doulas kept coming up. The more I read about doulas, the more passionate I became about the idea. I wanted to support women through this very important time.”

What program did you use to become a certified doula? How long did it take you?

“I certified through the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA). There are many organizations now that certify doulas but I felt that ICEA and DONA had the most name recognition. I also liked that I could go back and certify as a post partum doula, a childbirth educator, and a prenatal and postpartum fitness educator all under one umbrella. There are eight books you need to read through ICEA on topics of birth to breastfeeding to postpartum depression. After I completed the reading, I attended a doula training workshop – this was an intense, hands on, two days full of information, workshop. I also attended a childbirth education class. And then I jumped in to attending births. You need three births to get certified – I am a volunteer doula through Mercy West so that helped a lot. I have subsequently attended additional training on VBAC’s and on utilizing a rebozo for labor support (a rebozo is a traditional Mexican shawl that can be used to apply pressure to the hips or support the belly.”

What is your favorite part of being a doula?

“I am continually amazed at the strength and power that women have during birth. And there is always the part when the mother gets to see her baby for the first time. It is a privilege to be a witness to both.”

Why should every pregnant woman hire a doula?

“We spend so much time and money planning our weddings but often we don’t give equal consideration to planning our births. Now granted, there are many things you can’t control during birth. But it is worth the time to educate yourself not only about the birth process but creating a support team around you – that support team includes your medical providers. One in three births in this country end in a c-section and those stats are very true in Iowa. We need to start asking our medical care providers tough questions about evidence based care long before we are in the middle of labor – questions about inductions and c-section rates. Having the continuous support of a doula has been shown in numerous clinical studies to result in shorter labors, reduces the need for Pitocin and c-sections, and reduces the mother’s need for pain meds and epidurals. The continuous support that a doula provides is invaluable!”

Do you have children and did you use a doula for your birth?

‘I will absolutely be using a doula for my next birth!”

What differentiates you from other doulas in the area?

There are many great women offering doula services in the Des Moines area. I really think it’s important for women (and their partners) to meet with several doulas to find the best fit for them. My role is to not only support the expecting mother but if she has a partner, help him or her best support the mother.

How many births have you attended?

“I have attended 15 births.”

How much do you charge? What type of packages do you offer?

“My fee is $600. I don’t offer different packages – I do offer a bellycast to clients if they are interested in that. I can work with people on payment plans and take Paypal.”

To celebrate even more Michelle has been gracious enough to give away one FREE belly cast! A belly cast is a plaster cast of a pregnant woman’s belly. It is a beautiful keepsake you can keep for years to come and show your children. This is one, of the many, unique things Michelle offers to all her clients.

Follow these rules to be enter into winning a FREE belly cast! I will announce a winner Sunday, March 29th on my Facebook page.

Belly Cast Giveaway

 Happy World Doula Week!