You're Getting Very Sleepy: 5 Myths About Childbirth Hypnosis

You're Getting Very Sleepy:  5 Myths About Childbirth Hypnosis

What do you think of when you think of hypnosis?  Swinging shiny objects, snapping fingers, people slumped in their chairs, a low-rent comedian making people quack like ducks?  I'm willing to bet whatever comes to mind is absolutely nothing like the true experience of using childbirth hypnosis.  I know, as I've used it personally for my two births, as well as supported many doula clients as they have used it to successfully achieve easier, more comfortable birth experiences.

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Birth Preferences (Part 5): Fetal Monitoring

Birth Preferences (Part 5):  Fetal Monitoring

A lot of families I support as a doula aren't aware that they'll likely have a choice when it comes to how their baby is monitored during labor, and don't realize how large an impact this choice can have on how a birth unfolds.  So, what are the different types of monitoring, and which is best for you?  Read on for a little background info that may help when discussing this important decision with your provider.

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Baby Registry Ideas: My Top 10 Picks

Baby Registry Ideas:  My Top 10 Picks

As a doula, I am often asked if I have any recommendations for a baby registry.  In fact I do!  Having two young kids myself, as well as having heard feedback on baby products from many new parents, I feel like I could be considered somewhat of an expert on the topic.  Granted, everyone's different, so take this with a grain of salt, but you should probably have something to compare against all the advice you're getting from strangers at the grocery store, am I right? 

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Guest Blog: Healthy Eating Through the Childbearing Year

Guest Blog:  Healthy Eating Through the Childbearing Year

Many stressors typically accompany the nine-month journey of pregnancy, and I want to help uncover the frustration of eating healthy when you’re expecting. Other factors that play into this include the food aversions that many women experience during this time, the time consuming grocery shopping when you’re drained of energy, the dreadful meal prepping, and then countless hours in the kitchen cooking. If this sounds like the feelings you are experiencing, then read on. It’s my hope to help healthy eating not feel like a chore to you, but rather something that can be done rather quickly and you don’t dread doing.

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Giving Birth Live on Facebook is All the Rage

Giving Birth Live on Facebook is All the Rage

The description of Paige LoPinto's private Facebook Group begins, "If April the giraffe can do it, so can I. ☺"  She goes on to state that her motivation for live streaming her home birth on Facebook is her love of birth, and a desire to educate, empower, inspire and connect with other like minded women.  She has achieved this goal- in the early morning hours of August 25th of this year, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter at home as hundreds of viewers from around the world looked on via her Facebook group "Paige's Home Birth".  The video has since been viewed almost 17 THOUSAND times.  

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Getting Back to Exercise After Baby

Getting Back to Exercise After Baby

So today, I went for my fourth "run" since I gave birth to my second daughter, who is almost eight weeks old.  Since my Mother-in-law offered to take my toddler for the day, I got to get outside and bring my littlest along in the jogging stroller... and it was awesome.  I put "run" in quotations only because well, there was a fair amount of walking.  But it was a beautiful day, my baby was sleeping for most of it, and even though I have a ways to go to get back to my pre-baby fitness level, I felt great.  While I was out there, I got to thinking about the process of getting back to exercise after baby, and I wanted to share a couple of tips I think may help other moms in the same boat.

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Our Story: On Birth and New Motherhood the Second Time Around

Our Story:  On Birth and New Motherhood the Second Time Around

We welcomed our second daughter 12 days ago, and I wanted to get my thoughts down about our experience while they are still fresh.  I share our story because I enjoy reading the stories of others, whether they are similar or very different than my own.  I find birth stories of all kinds magical and fascinating.  There is no right way to birth or to mother, each person's experience is unique, and we each have our own journey.  Here is just a little snapshot of mine this time around.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Acupunture: Shannon Gyles MSOM, CA- Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist at New Moon Wellness

Learn from a Local Expert About Acupunture:  Shannon Gyles MSOM, CA- Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist at New Moon Wellness

I am beyond delighted to be able to share this Q&A with Shannon Gyles, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist at New Moon Wellness.  Known as a go-to person to see during pregnancy in Madison, Shannon is one of the few alternative health care practitioners in the area that specialize in women's health.  As her website states, "Shannon has found her true calling in working with fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum, helping facilitate healthy babies, healthy mamas, and healthy families.  She personally understands the joy and difficulty with the changing demands on the body during pregnancy, postpartum, and caring for a newborn.  In conjunction, she is honored to be able to work with women to prep the body and baby for labor and finds great joy in helping facilitate initiating labor when needed."  Read on to learn more from Shannon about acupuncture during the childbearing year.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Birth Photography: Beth Skogen, Lifestyle and Natural Light Photographer

Learn from a Local Expert About Birth Photography:  Beth Skogen, Lifestyle and Natural Light Photographer

I reached out to Beth a few months ago, after Googling birth photographers in Madison, and was immediately captivated by the images I found on her website.  To say Beth is talented at capturing the raw emotion and true essence of birth (and everything she photographs) is truly an understatement.  Since then, I've had the pleasure of witnessing her in action during a client's birth (see those photos on my website), and was so excited that she was willing to do this Q&A to provide more info about birth photography.  Read on to learn a little more about what's behind her magic.

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I Call BS: Why I Don't Believe in the "Birth Plan Curse" and Neither Should You

I Call BS:  Why I Don't Believe in the "Birth Plan Curse" and Neither Should You

You may have heard of something called the “birth plan curse”, or something along those lines.   The basic idea being that the more detailed a birth plan, the more likely a woman is to end up with a c-section.  I’ve heard this idea tossed around, encountered it in online labor and delivery nurse forums, and I’ve even had a client once report that a nurse told her after her Cesarean birth that it was essentially her detailed plan that caused it.  Today I’d like to call this ideology out for what I believe it is.  Complete and utter BS.

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Interview with Celebrity Doula Lori Bregman, Author of The Mindful Mom-to-Be

Interview with Celebrity Doula Lori Bregman, Author of The Mindful Mom-to-Be

I was blown away when I heard back from Celebrity Doula Lori Bregman (within about 20 minutes!) after emailing to ask her if she would do this Q&A.  Not only do I love her book The Mindful Mom-to-Be, but I truly admire the work she does as a doula, life coach, and healer with over 15 years experience, and a client list that includes Molly Sims, Kristen Bell & Dax Shepherd, Jillian Michaels & Heidi Rhoades, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Biel, Heidi Klum, and many more.  I'll be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky winner who signs up for my Prenatal Yoga and Birth Prep Mini Class series, but I urge every expectant mom out there to check it out!  It is a relatively quick read, yet filled with helpful month-to-month information about your growing body and baby, nutritional advice, natural remedies including yoga poses to help with pregnancy-related discomforts, techniques for labor, and even spiritual and emotional exercises to help you prepare for motherhood.  Read on for the Q&A with Lori discussing The Mindful Mom-to-Be.

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Lactation Cookies So Amazing Your Partner Will Steal Them

Lactation Cookies So Amazing Your Partner Will Steal Them

What's the deal with lactation cookies?

Lactation cookies are cookies that contain galactagogues, substances believed to increase milk supply.  While I do not want to put forth or reinforce the idea that you need extra stuff or a special diet in order to successfully breastfeed (most women don't), or that lactation cookies should be your first go-to if you have concerns about milk supply (they shouldn't), I do believe in trying something for yourself to see if it works for you, as long as it won't harm you (and especially if the thing in question is this delicious).

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Laughing Gas for Labor? Nitrous Oxide Now Offered at St. Mary's in Madison

Laughing Gas for Labor? Nitrous Oxide Now Offered at St. Mary's in Madison

As previously written in the blog I wrote about labor coping strategies, the most common pain management options during labor in this country include IV opioid or epidural medication.  Recently however, an additional option became available at St. Mary's here in Madison-  nitrous oxide.  Read on to learn more about the history of the use of "laughing gas" in labor, how it works, the benefits, the risks, and what the experts are saying.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Prenatal Yoga: Aja Lefebvre, Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor at The Studio

Learn from a Local Expert About Prenatal Yoga:  Aja Lefebvre, Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor at The Studio

I've been a lover of yoga for some time, practicing on and off for about the last 10 years.  So, as both a doula and expectant mother, I had been looking more into prenatal yoga offerings in Madison, and I was so happy when Aja Lefebvre, instructor at The Studio, agreed to participate in a Q&A for this blog!  Read on for lots of great info from Aja about yoga during pregnancy.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Maternity and Newborn Photography: Nicole Krueger of Vintage Pear Photography

Learn from a Local Expert About Maternity and Newborn Photography:  Nicole Krueger of Vintage Pear Photography

I'm thrilled to be able to feature Nicole Krueger, my friend and amazing maternity, newborn, baby, child, family and senior natural light photographer on my blog today!  Her work speaks for itself, but I know I had some questions around the ins and outs of her maternity and newborn shoots in particular.  I figured my doula clients and other readers would love to learn more about what she does as well!  Read on for an informative Q&A with Nicole of Vintage Pear Photography.

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Birth Preferences (Part 4): Labor Coping Strategies

Birth Preferences (Part 4):  Labor Coping Strategies

In our culture, many of us grew up watching tv and movies that portray labor coping as limited to a woman panting and screaming for drugs.  The truth is, it doesn't have to be this way.  If you do opt for pain meds, as many do, you still have choices that you can learn about and prepare for ahead of time.  There are also non-pharmaceutical alternatives that can be very effective.  Read on for additional information on narcotic options and the lesser-known natural coping techniques you may want to include in your birth plan.

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Learn from a Local Expert About Personal Style During the Childbearing Year: Krystle Marks, Co-Owner of RAAH Clothing

Learn from a Local Expert About Personal Style During the Childbearing Year:  Krystle Marks, Co-Owner of RAAH Clothing

It can be so difficult to know what to wear in order to feel your best when your body is changing during pregnancy, as well as during the tricky postpartum period when you aren't quite ready for your pre-pregnancy clothes.  I was so thrilled when local stylist Krystle Marks, co-owner of RAAH Clothing agreed to do a Q&A for my blog, because I know her pro styling tips for the childbearing year will be so helpful to all the expectant and new moms out there.  Read on for some real nuggets of fashion wisdom!

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Learn from a Local Expert about Nursery Design: Mindi Kessenich, Owner of Amazing Space by MK

Learn from a Local Expert about Nursery Design:  Mindi Kessenich, Owner of Amazing Space by MK

I'm so excited to share this Q&A with my good friend, who also happens to be a very talented home stylist, mom and real estate professional.  I know I felt challenged with how to go about decorating my daughter's nursery, and figured my clients and other readers would love to get a pro's thoughts on where to start.  Read on for Mindi's expert tips and tricks for decorating a baby room.

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Prenatal Exercise Do's & Don'ts

Prenatal Exercise Do's & Don'ts

Exercise may not be high on the list of things you feel like doing while battling morning sickness, fatigue, or other pregnancy related discomforts, but it may be worth it for both you and your baby.  After all, exercise may be the very thing you need in order to feel less nauseous, more energized, or more comfortable.  It may help you to get better rest, have an easier labor, and recover more quickly postpartum as well.  In addition, exercise could have a significant impact on your mental health, which is known to affect fetal neurobehavioral development, and consequently, child outcomes.  Studies even suggest that maternal exercise may be associated with higher IQ in babies!

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