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Last week, I found my doula and hired her. Two weeks ago I scheduled interviews with several doulas and by last Friday I had narrowed my search down to one. I chose to go with Penny De Gregorio who is in Sparks.

This is my second child and I did have a doula on my first pregnancy. When you find a doula you don’t necessarily have to choose to go with that same doula the second time around. I found that the energy between my first doula and myself was not exactly right on. I questioned writing this blog as I already blogged about choosing a doula. This blog is a bit different and more about making sure you find who someone who is a correct match. It’s hard picking out the right person to be in the delivery room with you; everyone has an idea of what they want or don’t want. Now that I’ve experienced labor and know what to expect and have spoken with several women who have had doulas, I know a bit more about what to look for in a doula.

One of the things I want to recommend is to follow up and call the references that the doula gives you. Beyond those references, talk to other women! Find out if anyone else who is not listed used that doula. References are nice, but are always focused on the people who had a great experience, not those who had poor experiences. Like I said, I debated on writing this blog today as I don’t want to bad mouth anyone and that is not my goal. However, I’d like to point out some key things that happened to me that were not helpful, resulting in me finding a new doula for my second pregnancy.

The entry I wrote a few months ago on doulas was just a general blog about what a doula is and how you might want to go about finding one–all of the same information holds true. In discussing my experience with other doulas last week and listening to some of the stories they shared about people who had also used my first doula, I felt a need to share my experience. I have to bring to light some of the things that weren’t as they should have been, so you may confirm with your doula that the same won’t happen to you.

My first doula, who I will not name, was expensive. More so than any of the other doulas I interviewed. I took this and her qualifications and reputation to be a good thing. Now I question as to whether I was just another woman scheduled to help her make her quota. Do be careful as some doulas are in need of clients to help them obtain their license and for others this is a full time job and they need clients to make ends meet. This is not an everyday thing, but do keep this in mind and find someone with a true passion for being a doula. A doula should feel like a part of your family. They will be with you during a very intimate time;you want to feel a connection with them and know they care about your best interest. The passion needs to be there. In hindsight, my doula didn’t really possess this, but had a lot of knowledge. I thought that was what I needed. What you need to have is a good healthy combination of both.

In past blogs, I’ve revealed that I don’t bond well instantly with people and am more of an introvert. I have to warm up to people and get to know them. So, when I met my first doula and felt “just okay” around her, I thought it was just me. I only met with my doula twice before the birth so I didn’t pick up on the distance between us until we got to the hospital. Once at the hospital things were fine and I never felt awkward, but there was a distance. She was a stranger helping me with the birth of my son just like the nurses. Now I know I need more than that purely professional side of a doula. I could have gotten past that if everything else was in order, but everything she told me she was going to do never happened. I was told I would be massaged, she would monitor my water intake and make sure I went to the bathroom every hour to keep my fluids up and aid in labor. None of those things happened. She stood next to my bed, asked a few questions, and held my hand; anyone could’ve done that. I got sick and threw up all over the floor. As this was my first birth I didn’t know it was a sign that the baby was getting close to being born. My doula was matter of fact about it and made me feel like I should have known. Don’t get me wrong, she was never mean or unprofessional; she just had a different energy that came out at the hospital.

Fortunately for me, my acupuncturist, Shawna, was there. Shawna is also a trained doula, but doesn’t practice. She ended up stepping in when my doula went to the bathroom, and the comfort level was completely different. She talked to me about breathing and started doing pressure points on my hand. It wasn’t long after that my son was born and my acupuncturist was the one holding my leg along with my husband–not my doula. This didn’t seem to bother my doula. Within 20 minutes my doula helped me nurse my son and then left, promising to come back the next day to check in on me. She never came back. She never called me. Two weeks after my son’s birth I called her to find out if she’d return for her final post visit. She responded that if I needed her she could come back. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. However, my acupuncturist did come back unexpectedly the next day, AND called me to make sure I was okay. She filled in where my doula left me hanging. I was very blessed to have had Shawna there (thank you again, Shawna).

To be continued tomorrow…

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

As promised, here’s my updated birth plan. This is just an example of a layout you can use. You can go to www.birthplan.com and login to create your own custom birthplan, where they’ll ask you all of the pertinent questions and you pick and choose what you want to use. For more information regarding writing a birthplan please see my past blog.

You’ll want to prep your birthplan at least a month in advance and review it with your doctor. S/he may offer advice or confirm things that s/he will be able to do, as well as other things that may be an issue if s/he isn’t the doctor on call during your delivery. In that case, i’ll be up to you to find out your legal grounds. For example, there is a doctor at the hospital I’ll be attending who loves to perform episiotomies whether the woman consents or not. I have prepped my doula and husband that he is not allowed to cut me and am looking into further legal rights prior to going into labor, just in case he is the doctor on call. This is the type of situation you want to discuss with your doctor. In this case, my doctor confirmed that what I had heard about the other doctor was true. Don’t be nervous when talking to your doctor about your birthplan, as it’s better to be on the same page.

Birth Plan – Holly H.R.
Due Date: 06/28/2010

 

Nick and Holly

Patient of Dr. Harold Chotiner
05/13/2010

Thank you for allowing us to birth our baby in your hospital. We have been married for 8 years and this is our second child together. We have studied Hypnobirthing and hypnosis. We wish to perform these breathing techniques during labor with as few interruptions as possible. Please allow us to naturally breathe the baby out and to give my body time to relax and to do what it naturally does best. Please do not offer pain meds. We would appreciate the following items to be adhered to during our stay at your hospital.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support during this very special time in our life.

Sincerely,

Holly and Nick R.

MONITORING

  • I wish to have intermittent monitoring only, unless it is required by the condition of the baby.

LABOR

  • I wish to be able to move around, be free to walk and change position at will throughout labor.
  • I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth.
  • I will be bringing my own music to play during labor and would like the lights kept low.
  • I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.

LABOR AUGMENTATION/INDUCTION

  • I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods (walking, nipple stimulation) before pitocin is administered. Pitocin must not be administered without my consent.

DELIVERY

  • I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming the baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
  • I would appreciate having the room lights turned low for the actual delivery and having the room quiet.
  • I would like to have the baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
  • Hypnobirthing is our primary delivery method. Please refrain from disrupting the breathing process.
  • The baby will be breathed out of the womb. Please allow my body to naturally breathe the baby out so that I may not rip during delivery.

ANESTHESIA/PAIN MEDICATION

  • I realize that many pain medications exist; I’ll ask for them if I need them.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER DELIVERY

  • I would like to have Nick cut the cord after it has stopped pulsating.
  • I would like to hold the baby while I deliver the placenta.
  • I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence or my husband’s presence.
  • I do not want a routine injection of pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta.
  • The baby is only to receive a shot of Vitamin K and the eye medication in either my husband’s presence or mine and no other shots are to be given or tests to be run without our consent.

EPISIOTOMY

  • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy.

CESAREAN

  • Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Cesarean.
  • If my primary care provider determines that a Cesarean delivery is needed, I would like to obtain a second opinion.
  • I would like Nick present at all times if the baby requires a Cesarean delivery and for him to be handed the baby immediately after birth.
  • So I can view the birth, I would like the screen lowered just before delivery of the baby.

POSTPARTUM

  • I do not wish to be separated from my baby and would like the baby to be in the room with me at all times.

BREASTFEEDING

  • I do not wish to have any bottles or artificial nipples given to the baby (including glucose water or plain water).

PHOTO

  • I would like to take still photographs during labor and the birth.

OTHER

  • My support people are my doula, my acupuncturist, and my husband. I would like them to be present at all times.

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

Well ladies, it is getting close to that time! I’ll be getting my bag ready in about 2 weeks and thought I’d blog about all of the things that I’m trying not to forget. Plus, I found a site or two that threw in some extra stuff that I hadn’t thought of. Have fun and happy packing!

2008

Here is just my list of items to take that I found useful with my first child. You don’t have to take all of these items; determine what you feel is necessary and take it with you or have it in your car. Please comment below if you have any additional items that would be useful to readers.

For You

  • Documents – Make sure you have already registered and take your photo ID, insurance cards, your living will, and birth plan.
  • Cookies or chocolates- These are not for you but for your nurses! I just bought some natural cookie dough that’s ready to be thrown in the oven. When my due date was approaching I would bake a dozen or so each day. Should I not go into labor, the family had fresh cookies to munch on. The day I went into labor, I had my dozen ready and took them into the hospital with a thank you card. The nurses were all too grateful and I was instantly put on the ”good” list. Anytime I needed anything they were more willing to look at my birth plan carefully. Who said a good bribe was a bad thing?
  • A large exercise ball – my doula brought this during my first visit, but this time I will be taking my own. This came in great during labor; whether I was sitting or kneeling, it helped with my contractions.
  • Fruit, nuts and snacks – you might be in labor for a while and you’ll want to snack on some healthy treats to keep your energy up. I had a little cooler we prepacked several times prior to actually going to the hospital.
  • Liquid – you can rely on the hospital for water or you can take your own juice and water bottles.
  • Music – If you are planning on a natural birth or an epidural you may want some of your relaxation music in the room to help you focus for the hours prior to the hardcore labor. Take either a handheld device with headphones or a little speaker pack to set up next to your bed.
  • Clothes – I knew I wouldn’t be in the hospital for more than a day so I planned on wearing the same outfit home that I wore to the hospital. In addition, I took a nursing bra, 2 cute sleeping tanks, disposable or old underwear (a couple of pairs that you can throw away), flip flops, and socks. If you know you are going to be having a c-section then you’ll want to take a few more sleeping outfits, a robe and some slippers. Remember, if you don’t want to ruin your clothes just focus on cute tops to change in and out of for sleeping and for wearing during the day. If you don’t plan on wearing the mesh underwear the hospital gives you then you can take your own but don’t plan on saving them. Afterbirth is a time of heavy bleeding and you’ll probably ruin anything you try to wear on your lower half. I was only in for 1.5 days and didn’t need much. My baby was in the room the whole time so there was no need for me to be up and out of bed when visitors were there. If I had to go to the restroom I just asked them to leave the room momentarily so I could walk around without everyone looking at me in my cute hospital undies. You’ll need to look at yourself and what will make you comfortable. The less I had to pack, the better.
  • Toiletries – Plan like you are going on vacation. Take all of your toiletries, shampoo, curling iron, hair brush, hair dryer (most hospitals don’t have one in the bathrooms), hair products, makeup, deodorant, nipple cream, lip moisturizer, glasses, contact solution, and so forth. You’ll want to shower after delivery and being able to dress up your top half will make you feel that much better. Try and take fragrance free items. Don’t take perfume. Your baby is new to smells and you don’t want to overload them with heavy perfumes and fragrances right after the birth.
  • GUM! – This is important to take with you! You may want it or need it and you may have to give some to your husband and doula. You never want to be in situation where one of you has bad breath and you are in for hours of long labor with their bad breath in your face. Trust me, having one of your helpers have bad breath is probably worse than the contractions!
  • Gift for your doula - It might just be something small to show your gratitude for them being present during your birth, such as a gift certificate or a candle.
  • Family picture – Take a family picture with you if you have other children to set next to your bed. When they arrive they can see that you are thinking of them.
  • A bathing suit – Yes, this might sound weird but if you are in a shower or a tub during labor you’ll want this.
  • Comfort items – If you are someone who needs additional comfort items like a soft pillow or blanket, take ’em with you.

For Spouse

  • If he plans on staying overnight, he will need his toiletry bag and a change of clothes.
  • A bathing suit – If your partner plans on getting in the tub or the shower with you for support he’ll need his as well.
  • List of people to contact – This list should be established prior to going to the hospital. We had three lists. A list of family members and their phone numbers in my phone as to who to call as we headed off to the hospital and who we’d call once the baby was born. Our second list was a list of people we wanted to text to tell them we were on our way to the hospital, but who we didn’t necessarily have to call. The third list was our huge list of family and friends that we text once the baby arrived, along with a photo. These lists were compiled prior to going to the hospital and the two lists of texts to our family and friends were created as groups so that all my husband had to do was send out one message and it was sent to 50+ people at once. You don’t have to do this but we like to keep everyone informed and up-to-date.  I hate knowing a friend has gone into labor and then not hearing for 2 days as to how it went, the size of the baby, if she is okay, etc. Dads are usually too busy to be on the phone calling everyone and some hospitals don’t allow cell phones in the rooms. Texting is a fast way to keep everyone in the loop and it reduces the number of phone calls.
  • Cameras – DON’T FORGET THESE! Take a camera, video camera, chargers, tapes, memory card and a cell phone with camera capabilities. You’ll want the doula to help you take some pictures before and after the birth. The phone can come in handy, particularly if you are on Facebook and want to upload a photo of the new baby or include it in text messages.
  • Gift –  For dads, you might want to have a cute onesie of his favorite sports team for the new baby. I tend to focus on meaningful gifts for dad that aren’t necessarily for him, but will mean something to him and can be used for the baby.

For Baby

  • For your newborn – Bring an outfit to go home in, a blanket, an all natural pacifier (if you plan on using one), infant finger nail clippers or an emery board, (sometimes they need a trim and the hospital might not supply them), baby gloves or covers (in case you can’t cut their nails), and make sure the car seat is installed and ready.
  • Diapers – The hospital will supply you with diapers. If you’re using cloth diapers you’ll want to take several cloth diapers, diaper covers, pins or snappies, a little bottle of olive oil (apply this to their bottom to help get the meconium off in between changes for the first few days) and your waterproof bag for dirty diapers.
  • Baby Book – Some hospitals will stamp your baby book with the footprints.

For Siblings

  • Gift -  For siblings, this gift can be anything from a blue or pink toy car to a new baby doll. Having a present for the older children will help them realize that they haven’t been forgetten and will give them something to focus on when they have to leave the hospital without you.

For Home

  • Stock up before you leave for the hospital – You’ll want to make sure you have long overnight pads ready and waiting for you upon returning home. You’ll need these anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the birth of your child. Having organic witch hazel on hand is also great for your sitz baths. The hospital usually gives you a squirt bottle to clean your self after you go to the bathroom, but if they don’t you’ll want one of those as well for warm water cleaning. You’ll be amazed as to how great this will feel!
  • Warmer for wipes – For me, I found that using the warmers for the wipes or for your own cloth wipes was really helpful for the first few weeks. The baby is so new to his/her environment that using warm wipes helps to not shock them each time you wash them with cold cloths or wipes. I did this the first few weeks until my son adjusted, then stopped using the warmers. They tend to dry out the wipes quickly.

I registered at the hospital today. One more thing off of my plate and one step closer to delivering my second child. Here’s a quick story of how my registration began…

I showed up at the hospital with my husband and son. As we walked inside we reminisced about how my husband didn’t drop me off at the emergency room door when I was in labor the first time; instead, I walked from the parking garage to the emergency room, stopping every couple of minutes to have a contraction (if I remember correctly, I told him I was fine and didn’t need to be dropped off). Laughing at the memory, I headed toward the admittance desk, where a young man in his mid 20s worked alongside an older gentleman, who happened to be helping another patient. As I approached, the young man asked, “How may I help you?” In good fun, I replied, ” I’m in labor,” thinking he would realize that my smiling face and casual stroll contradicted what a woman in labor looks and acts like. He didn’t put it together and panic flashed across his face.  He quickly stated that it was his first day, then frantically looked for someone to help him. Not wanting to terrify the poor guy, I quickly said I was joking and that I needed to preregister. The blood came back to his face as he smiled, incredibly relieved, and grabbed the older gentleman to come and help him.

I don’t know if registering is mandatory prior to giving birth, but doing it ahead of time takes a lot of weight off your shoulderss.  When you’re ready to give birth you don’t want to be dealing with paperwork, nor do you want your husband stuck doing it, either. I believe most doctors tell you to register ahead of time, at least here in Nevada they do.

Registering at the hospital is easy. They take copies of your driver’s license and insurance card and have you fill out one form about yourself, your husband, an emergency contact, and insurance. The other couple of papers were for the privacy act, admittance into the hospital for both you and your baby, and an HIV test approval form should someone accidentally get stuck with your blood during labor. All in all, they’re pretty painless forms to fill out, and it took us less than 15 minutes to complete them.

In addition, I was sent home with a living will. It’s not mandatory paperwork, but it is a good idea to complete it and take it with you when in labor. You never know what could happen during delivery, and if you have fill out a living will and discuss the possible course of action, it can make things a whole lot easier for you and your spouse. We should all have one of these done and in our safety deposit boxes, but most of us never do. Should your hospital not have a form for you, there are forms online for free. Here are a couple of sites where you can print free living wills:

http://www.livingwillid.com/will/create-your-living-will-guide.pdf

http://www.lectlaw.com/forms/f115.htm

http://findforms.com/search.php?q=living+wills+nevada (Enter your state to find the appropriate form)

Along with completing a living will, it’s wise to complete a power of attorney form (see the last link above). Remember that both forms are pretty basic; if you want an extremely thorough will you should see an attorney and put together a trust outlining all of your needs and wants. Also, notarize any legal forms with a witness to prove that they are legit.

I have completed both forms and discussed them with my husband, just in case anything happens during labor and delivery. Please don’t blow this off; being prepared can help everyone involved. Think of it as a positive gift you are giving your child.

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

I love affirmations! Admittedly, I don’t do them enough. They take time to remember and include in your everyday life. When you have a busy schedule, making time to meditate and focus on your affirmations is a tough chore. However, once you get into the habit of saying them, it’s a breeze.

For those of you who are new to affirmations they are “positive statements that describe a desired situation, and which are repeated many times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmations, they have to be repeated with attention, conviction, interest and desire.” You can find lists of affirmations all over the internet, however, making your own pregnancy affirmations are even better. It makes your affirmations personal and focuses on what you mentally want and need.

I suggest reviewing some online pregnancy affirmations to help you get an understanding and idea of areas where you might want to focus. Then find a quiet moment in the day. Sit in a comfortable chair or sofa and close your eyes. Focus on relaxing and breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you reach a calm state think about the kind of affirmations that you would like to incorporate into your life, then take a minute to jot the ideas down on paper. They don’t need to be proper affirmation statements, the key is to write your ideas down. Later, place them into affirmation phrases that begin with the following:

  • I am…
  • My mind is open to…
  • My body is open to…
  • My baby is…
  • My labor is…
  • Breastfeeding is…
  • I know…
  • My body knows…
  • I trust…
  • I will…
  • I accept…
  • Birth is…
  • Surges are…
  • Add new ones as you see fit

I recommend making your own affirmations, but a lot of us don’t have time to do so. In that case here are some affirmations that I found online:

I know how to take care of myself in pregnancy.
My body knows how to give birth.
My baby knows the true birthday.
Birth is safe for me and my baby.
My baby will be born at the perfect time.
My body knows when to give birth.
I am a good mother.
My baby will find the perfect position for birth.
I love my baby.
My baby loves me.
I am a strong woman.
Contractions help to bring my baby.
I will make the right decisions for my baby.
My pregnant body is beautiful.
My baby senses the peace I feel.
I accept the help of others.
My baby’s head fit snuggly into my pelvis.
I accept my labor and birth.
I am surrounded by those who love and respect me.
I trust my body.
I know how to take care of my baby.
My baby feels my love.
I will make plenty of breast milk for my baby.

I trust that my body knows exactly what it’s doing.
I am excited to give birth to my baby.
I trust in my ability to birth my baby.
During labor and birth, I am completely relaxed.
I am deserving of a easy, uncomplicated birth.
I visualize my baby moving gently through the birth canal.
I visualize an easy, peaceful, joyous and pleasurable birth.
My baby is happy and healthy.
I am completely cooperating with my body.
My courage and patience will send my baby into my arms.
My body is made to give birth, nice and easy.
I believe my baby’s birth will come quickly and easily.
My body is completely relaxed.
My baby is born with pure pleasure.
Everything is going perfect during my pregnancy.
I have courage, faith and patience.
I am in complete control of what is going on around me.
My body will give birth on it’s own time.
I give birth in safety and solitude.
I do not fight the birth in any way. My body is relaxed.
Surges are easy and I am relaxed.
I follow my instincts and give birth in the way I desire.
I am ready and prepared for my birthing experience.
My job is to simply relax and allow my birth to happen.
I visualize myself handling everything beautifully.
I deserve this wonderful birth!

Here is a pdf of Pregnancy Affirmations to print and hang next to your mirror. You can also download Birthing Affirmations at iTunes, such as Surfing for Birthing by Shawndeya, or purchase an iPhone app of birthing affirmations.

Once you have your list of affirmations make time each and every day to find a quite moment to yourself where you can sit and relax. Breathe. Go over your affirmations and visualize your labor and birthing experience. Bond with your baby and make the quiet time count for the two of you. It is important to visualize and believe in the affirmations you are stating. The more you do this, the better your chances of having your labor and birth go exactly the way you hope.

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

Don’t forget to schedule your 4D imaging. You’ll want to do this between 26 and 35 weeks of pregnancy. It can happen sooner, but you’ll end up with the best pictures later in the pregnancy as the baby fills out.

Baby R. May 10, 2010

3D-4D imaging places are pretty easy to find these days; I typed ‘4D imaging Reno’ into Google and found 4 places in town. Typically, they’re private practices that conduct Ultrasounds and Sonograms. When pregnant, you don’t need a doctor’s order to schedule a 3D ultrasound; it’s an elective procedure, if you will, that is not covered by insurance. It’s a painless and rewarding way to get some good shots of the baby.

Remember that they can’t guarantee good photos due to the position of the baby. Typically, if they can’t get a good shot of the face they will ask you to reschedule and come back in hopes that the baby will change positions. This happened to me with my first child; I was already at 35 weeks and he was completely in delivery position. This caused a lot of problems in trying to take a good picture as his face was so low they couldn’t see him very well. I rescheduled and the second try was a little bit more successful, but we still didn’t get the greatest pictures. I’d recommend having the pictures done around 30 weeks to try to avoid that situation. Most women know by week 30 the position of their baby. If the baby is getting into delivery position early you’ll want to get your pictures scheduled fast.

You’ll also want to drink some orange juice or something sweet prior to arriving at the imaging center. This gets the baby moving and helps if the baby’s hands or feet are in front of their face. If they’re completely asleep it’s harder for the technician to wake the baby. Drinking something like OJ will give the baby a little bit of natural sugar and make them more aware during the process.

3D-4D imaging can cost between $180 and $250 depending on location and the number of imaging places in town. Mine cost $210, but I got a 20% discount for mentioning an ad on their website. Again, this is an elective, and not all women do it, but I love being able to look back after the birth and compare the images.

Here’s a link to the place I used in Reno. They have a great FAQ page that will help with any additional questions you may have.

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

As most of you know, I have been on a quest to find skin products with all natural ingredients and have finally found an amazing product line, as well as a hidden gem in Reno. On Wednesday, I was scheduled for a manicure and pedicure at “New Spa,” a place that offers all natural and organic spa treatments. When I called to make the appointment, I asked them to check their products’ ingredients for parabens, phenoxyethanol and other toxic chemicals that can slip by on many natural and organic products. To my surprise, they confirmed that the products didn’t have any of these additives and that they’re made from all natural ingredients only. I scheduled my appointment and was slightly leery…it seemed too good to be true.

Luckily it wasn’t. I arrived and was treated like a queen, and shown all of the products. They really were made from all natural ingredients. The company is called Eminence and is in Hungary, with a second location in Canada. They follow the European Standards for cosmetics, but take it a step further by growing almost all of their own produce that goes into the cosmetic line. I read a brochure and was impressed by their goals to keep everything as toxin-free as possible by growing their own crops without pesticides and using only natural repellents. They monitor everything from start to finish and have been doing so since 1958. To some degree, they are doing a better job than the farmers that grow produce here in the US for our consumption. Their website lists all ingredients in their products. If you scan through the ingredient labels you’ll see no toxins in their products, just great Hungarian ingredients like paprika, wild plum and apricots!

The more I read about this company the more excited I got. Some of the most exclusive hotels around the world use their product line and there I was in a small spa in Reno, enjoying the same products found at the Grand Wailea in Hawaii. I can’t say enough great things about the spa for taking the time to find all natural products to offer their clients. For those who live in Reno, I highly recommend going to New Spa. Nearly all of their treatments use the Eminence product line, made of ingredients that sound good enough to eat—literally!

My treatment consisted of a blueberry sugar scrub followed by a hibiscus mask, followed by a combination of Mimosa lotion and Apricot oil rubbed on my hands and feet. It smelled like heaven! The treatment was great, especially since I was putting something good on my body, not harsh toxic chemicals. I purchased several products before I left; they’re not cheap, but well worth the price and are comparable to any Origins products. I implore you to visit their website and see for yourself. The only thing lacking on the website is the information in the pamphlet that discusses the research and background on how they grow the ingredients used in their products. It was extremely impressive to read and gave me great confidence in knowing that I’ve finally found a winning product.

Enjoy!

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

Keeping track of what week you are while pregnant is a pain. A lot of women forget the exact week until they go in for their next appointment. Tracking my weeks should’ve been easier—seeing as I’m writing a blog about it—but I just realized at my most recent doctor’s appointment that I screwed up my weeks after I returned from Europe! Apparently, I forgot a week, so instead of being at 31 weeks, I’m actually 32 weeks (8 months!) along, according to the doctor. According to my calculations from day 1, this would now be on track. In order to make sure that I don’t mess you up in following my journey I need to correct the past month of blogs to the doctor’s date.  I believe starting from March 26th the date will be updated in my blogs, so don’t be alarmed!

I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and all went well. The baby is getting big and measured at 34 already. I hold my husband responsible for this as he is predicting a 9 lb baby boy! My son was 7 lbs 15 oz and 22 in. I believe this baby might be a little bigger, but not a 9 pounder. When my doctor measured me she also noticed that the baby isn’t completely in position yet, so I’m thinking that the measurement might be a little off. Also, she told me that I need to return in 3 weeks, then every week after that; if the baby isn’t in position soon they’ll have to physically turn him or her.

Now, you first timers may think you have to do everything the doctor says. You don’t! I’m only 8 months pregnant and have 2 months left to go with plenty of time for the baby to get into position. Right now, looking at me straight on, the baby is positioned downward, with his/her hands off to the left. The head is just left of center, too, with the baby’s back pressed against my skin on my right side, feet kicking into my ribs. This isn’t too far off of where he/she needs to be, so I’m not worried one bit. I can help them further move into the proper position through yoga and visualization techniques.

graphic

Birthing position

Yoga is good for positioning the baby and also for you as a mother, as it feels great and helps with relaxation. Here is Amy at Yoga Bellies showing the two yoga positions and acupuncture you can do to help turn the baby on your own: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7MTaMflkf8.  I really like this video with Jessica Levesque of www.EmbracingBirthbook.com. She shows several great moves to help position the baby well before you give birth. Lastly, here is a website that gives several options to helping turn the baby, especially if you know they are breech.

Like I said, I’m only 8 months pregnant, so I’ve got time to work on these positions daily until the baby finally turns. If you’re in the same situation, don’t stress! Talk to your doctor or midwife and try to find out the baby’s current position and use the advice above. I’d do everything in my power to turn the baby on my own before letting a doctor manually do it. Remember, don’t let the doctor pressure you unless you are in labor and the baby hasn’t turned. If you still have weeks to go before labor, you’ve got time.

May you be blessed with health, love and prosperity. ~ Holly

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

31 weeks and the days are just flying by! I panicked last week when I realized I had roughly 2 months left to get things in order. The nesting has begun and I’m on a race against time to clean, organize, rearrange and purchase last minute items. I’m trying to pace myself, but I don’t want anything to wait until the last minute. I know it’s a bit unrealistic, especially with working and trying to take care of my 23-month-old at the same time, so let the fun begin!

Here’s what you need to do. Create a list of the things you want to get done, a list of nesting household things to be done, and then a miscellaneous list. Break them down into doable daily/weekly tasks, and try to spread them out to avoid overwhelming yourself. Lists help tremendously, and focusing solely on writing everything down can really help. I purchased my bras, tanks, girdle, newborn diapers, curtains, organic mattresses and sheets, as well as set up appointments for an organic pedicure and manicure and all natural highlights for my hair. Having a list really helped me focus on a few items at a time. Here are some additional items that you’ll want to schedule in advance:

Car Seat Installation

You’ll want to get this done at least 4 weeks before your due date. You can either do it yourself or go to your local fire department and they will install it for free. Bottom line, you’ll want to make sure it is done (properly) well before the baby arrives.

4D Image

Don’t forget to schedule your 4D image! This runs around $200 depending on the package you choose. I suggest getting it done between 26-35 weeks so that you can get an accurate photo. I have mine scheduled for 32 weeks; last time I waited until my 35th week and it was really hard to see my son’s face as he was so close to being in position. The whole process lasts about 30 minutes. Typically, they give you photos and a disc of the images. Some places will give you a dvd with video of the 4D imaging.

Pre-baby  and Newborn Photo Shoot

Not everyone does this but I love having pre-baby photos! These are actually pictures

of my husband and myself with our first son about 1 month before he was born. We took our camera and placed it on a tripod, then we’d run and take our pictures with the timer. It seemed to work out just fine for us and we loved the images we were able to capture. For this pregnancy, we are opting for our photographer, Jessi Lemay, to come and shoot. While she’s at our home we’re going to schedule an appointment about 1 week after the baby is born to take those photos as well.

Birth Plan

Make sure you take the time to get your birth plan ready. It doesn’t take long and you’ll want to have it done at least a month in advance so that you can share it with your doctor or midwife. You can get a great template at http://www.birthplan.com/. Just set up a free account and this site will walk you through a ton of questions that will help you determine what you want in your birth plan. Make it your own and take several copies to the hospital (it’s good to have copies on hand for new nurses as the shifts change).

Choose a Doula

Choosing a doula is a very personal choice. You may have to interview several doulas until you find someone who makes you comfortable. The energy and connection have to be there; this person will be in the delivery room with you and will be communicating your wants and needs to the nursing staff. They will be taking care of you and making sure you’re in comfortable positions, being massaged, drinking enough water, peeing, etc. Take your time and find the right doula.

Interview Pediatricians

A lot of people forget to do this!!! Please don’t. Find a pediatrician early so you’re not scrambling for interviews and appointments once the baby’s born. After your baby’s birth, the hospital will ask you who your pediatrician is so that they can see the baby before leaving the hospital. If you don’t have one, the hospital will send their resident pediatrician to see the baby. You then should have your pediatrician see the baby for a check-up within days of leaving the hospital. 

How do you find a good pediatrician? Determine what kind of pediatrician you are looking for and make a list of the qualities you expect to find. Ask your friends and family who they used. Call several prospective pediatricians and ask them for an interview. This is very common and they expect it from parents. Should you run into someone who doesn’t give interviews, it’s a good sign they might not be the best fit…just keep looking!

For me, I wanted someone who wouldn’t frown upon alternative medicine and who would work with our acupuncturist and chiropractor. I wanted a doctor that would look to natural remedies before prescribing drugs, someone who would work with me on my vaccines and go by my schedule and not the standard schedule. This narrowed the field quickly down to only a handful of choices here in Reno. I then interviewed those couple of doctors and found one I really liked and connected with, Dr. Shaji Mathew. He is a wonderful pediatrician and one that I would highly recommend to those in the Reno area.

Hypno-Birthing

I took a hypno-birthing class for my first son and now I’m going to my Life Coach, who does pain management hypnosis, for a refresher course and for a new way of applying my mind to my labor. I believe in hypno-birthing and would recommend using it to help manage the surges in labor. As I already completed the 5-6 week course the first time around, I wanted to go over my affirmations, get more indepth with the anesthetic glove technique, and really focus on managing my surges through breathing. You can either take a hypno-birthing class or see a hypnotherapist. Again, if you are going to see a hypnotherapist make sure you interview a few of them and then choose one you feel comfortable with, preferably at least 2 months prior to your due date.

Take the Hospital Classes

Every hospital offers classes on nursing and caring for the baby, along with a handful of others. These classes are designed to help prepare you, so don’t pass them up. I know of people who didn’t take one class nor read a single book and were clueless after the baby was born. That has to be the worst feeling. Please take my advice and pay the small fee to attend these classes. Some women think that everything will just come naturally to them once the baby is born but that’s not always the case. Prepare yourself and you will succeed where others stumble. The greatest gift for your baby is making sure you’re prepared.

Register at the Hospital

If you are going to deliver at the hospital make sure you preregister. This will save you loads of time and headaches trying to register in labor, and it’ll help confirm any insurance issues prior to actually giving birth. If you are planning on having a home birth you don’t have to worry about this, but make sure you have worked out your payment plan with your midwife (note: in some states your insurance will cover the midwife).

Those are some items on my list. Good luck!

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

 

Many of us are self-conscious about our bodies after our baby is born. Our breasts swell and change, our stomachs are still huge, and we are wearing our pregnancy clothes. This can be frustrating, uncomfortable and depressing. I found that purchasing a good girdle can make all of the difference. I bought one immediately after giving birth to my son and it helped reduce the swelling and made me feel a little better about my body. It holds your abs in as well as helps your uterus return to its pre-baby size. “By the time you give birth, your uterus is about 15 times heavier (not including its contents!) and holds at least 500 times more than before you conceived…For the first couple of days after birth, you can feel the top of your uterus at or a few finger widths below the level of your belly button. In a week your uterus weighs about a pound — half what it weighed at delivery. After two weeks it’s down to a mere 11 ounces and located entirely within your pelvis. By four to six weeks, it’s back to its normal pre-pregnancy weight of about 2 1/2 ounces. This process is called involution of the uterus.”

During my pregnancy I gained 30 lbs. I had worked out 3-4 times a week with weight training and had continued to work out about a week before I gave birth. I used a girdle and still found that it took me almost a year to lose everything and get back to what I thought my body should look like. I did lose the weight by about month 10, which was fine by me as I didn’t rush; if it takes 10 months to put it on, it’ll take 10 months to take it off. It took me an extra 2 months to shed weight that had stuck to me in places that were not weight prone before getting pregnant. Be prepared for your body to hold its weight differently. I found that even though I was at my pre-pregnancy weight, I was still not completely back in my original clothes due to extra weight in my hip area. This was very difficult for me to accept and, finally, I consented to the fact that pregnancy drastically changes the body’s shape.

Girdles range in price and you don’t need to purchase an expensive girdle to get the job done. I like the velcro and adjustable kinds, however, they tend to slide up the body. I’m looking for a new one and like the full panty that is attached—it keeps everything in place. Also, make sure you get a girdle that has the bra cut out so you can wear your nursing bras.Post Delivery Brief - Maternity Girdle - Post Natal Brief

This one on the left I found for $20…it looks like it might do the trick.

ITA-MED Post-Partum Girdle (After Pregnancy)Look for one that’s firm enough to hold everything in. Here is another one that I like, but it is more pricey.

Product DetailsThis one here ends up to be around $40 on Amazon.

Some tips that can help you in making your purchase:

1. Make sure it is easy to get in and out of with your layers of clothes. Don’t purchase one that requires you to remove your top to take off the girdle.

2. Some girdles offer a lot of back support—that may or may not be what you are looking for. Back support can be a blessing or a curse, as it can make it harder to move.

3. If you’re purchasing it before the baby is born, ask an attendant to help you or make a guesstimate of your size. This isn’t too difficult as most run in S, M, L or XL. 

4. Check the material; if it’s really stretchy it probably won’t be incredibly helpful. If it’s a tight material you might want to get a larger size. You don’t want to feel like you’re going to hyperventilate due to lack of oxygen.

5. Decide if you want the kind with an attached panty. I prefer that style, as it helps to keep the girdle in place.

6. If ordering online, make sure you read the return policy before purchasing. Some places will not let you return girdles.

7. Find a girdle that will shrink with you, either one that is adjustable, or one that will continue to pull you in as you lose weight. You may have to purchase a smaller girdle if you use it over the course of many months.

8. Purchase a couple of girdles. If you work out, purchase a separate girdle for exercising.

Overall, find something that works best for YOU. Read reviews, go out and check the fabric and styles available. Pick something that you like and feels comfortable.

Happy Shopping!

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on mytoxinfreebaby.com. Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.