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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

by Amanda

We all have those mile long lists of things that need to get done before baby arrives, you know the one, it includes painting the nursery, making sure all the shelves are secured to the wall and cleaning supplies are out of reach of small children, stocking the freezer with ready-made meals, buying the newest and greatest baby gadget on the market, and packing the hospital bags.  Often we can get consumed by the ever growing list, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. We forget to take a deep breath, relax, and indulge in some self-care. For those of you who know me personally, know that I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third and am currently in the midst of buying and moving to a bigger home around the same time baby is due; the stress and anxiety going through my brain is ridiculous. The irony of this blog post is definitely not lost on me, I’ve been actually laughing at myself as I wrote this. So how can we as pregnant women de-stress and relax? It’s not like we can grab that glass of wine anymore..

 

Breathing Exercises

Its amazing how deep intentional breathes can relax your body and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. The best part is, breathing exercises can be done at any time or anywhere. When taking those deep through the nose breaths, you are increasing blood flow, improving posture, calming your nervous system (reducing the fight or flight response), and pausing in the midst of chaos to become focused and grounded. Bonus is, if you can learn to take deep intentional breathes while pregnant, it will become second nature and will help when you are riding those long waves of contractions when it’s time for labour, WIN- WIN!  Here is a very easy Breathing Technique I have been using called the 4-7-8 Method.

Get Outside and Exercise

Sunshine and Vitamin D is essential. The more fresh air you take in the more “clean” oxygen you are taking in which increases the serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, the happier you become. Going for a walk or any sort of exercise helps get those muscles moving, blood pumping, and help decrease any discomfort you are feeling such as backaches, relieves stress, and builds up stamina that is needed for the labour and delivery of your little on. Fresh air also gives you more energy and a clearer mind. After spending a few minutes outside you may notice an extra pep in your step and ready to take on the task at hand that was bogging you down a few minutes before.  Being able to get outside may not always be possible when we need it the most, so opening a window and taking some deep breaths while standing beside it is a great compromise.

 

Take a Bath

This one is my favourite. While it’s recommended not to take a bath that’s hot enough to raise our body temperatures to 102.2 degrees for longer than 10 minutes, a bath is a great way to wash all the anxiety and stress away. Turn the lights off, light some candles, play some of your favourite music, read a book or watch a movie, pour yourself some bubbly (bubble bath that is), and just relax back. Turn your mind off! Ignore the doorbell, and your phone. Soak in the ambiance, romance yourself. If you have any other children, this may be difficult, but I have had great success using this technique after mine have gone to bed for the night. My husband knows I needs a “mommy time out” and he is “mom duty” for the next hour or so!  

 

Be Productive

Sometimes getting down on all fours and scrubbing those stubborn stains off the baseboards or making some delicious backed goods (after all stressed spelled backwards is desserts) can be the best way for a person to work through their stress and anxiety. Bonus is if you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy as it’s said that being down on all fours can help shift baby into a great position for birth. It’s amazing how therapeutic scrubbing a floor or pounding down some risen dough is, for me at least, it’s when I do my best thinking, and am able to more often than not work out a solution for what is causing me to be stressed out or anxious. 

 

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why does the nursery have to be Pinterest perfect? Self-care is so important in any stage of life. If you can learn a way that works best for you to de-stress now, it will become a lifelong skill you can fall back on for the years to come. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women, but it also is a beautiful time to reflect and start bonding with your unborn child. So don’t let stress and anxiety control your pregnancy, take some time to enjoy the dessert 😉

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Why Write a Birth Plan?

by Amanda

Birth Plan, Birth Preference, or Birth Map, whatever you choose to call it, writing down your ideal birth is a great way to communicate with your birth team. Before I elaborate, it’s important to know that birth plans should have flexibility and not all births go according to plan.

Birth plans are great opportunity for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what your birth wishes are, and what you want to avoid; it encourages you to be educated and responsible for your care (also known as informed consent). It encourages you to make clear goals and allow changes to be made if needed (not wanting to use any pain management vs receiving an epidural because your exhausted for being in labour for a while and need a few hours of sleep). If you and your birth team know what your preferences are in different scenarios, then everyone is on the same page and help you best articulate your desires accordingly.  Don’t shy away from having a few copies with you at your birthing location, they can easily be lost or misplaced, and review with each of your support team (doula, partner, mom, sister… whoever is going to be out your birth).
Some things you may want to include in your birth plan:
  1. What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
  2. Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
  3. Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
  4. Who do you want present at the birth?
  5. What positions do you want to labour in?
  6. Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
  7. Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
  8. In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
  9. Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
  10. Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
  11. Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
  12. Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
  13. Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
  14. Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
  15. Do you have any plans for your placenta?
And let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with questions and having to make decisions when you are in active labour and exhausted, so if there are others who can answer questions on your behalf  the more time and effort you can put on focusing to bringing your bundle of joy earth side.
Side note, we cover ALL of these topics in our Prenatal Intensive Classes and we’d LOVE for you and your partner/support person to join us! Click HERE for more info.

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Helping New Momma

by Amanda

The postpartum period after a baby is born can often be an exciting but lonely time for new and seasoned mothers. In many eastern cultures this is the time that family and friends surround the new mother and ensure that she is well rested, well fed, allowing the mother to focus on her bonding and healing.  Western Society however does not seem to celebrate this postpartum period so fondly called the “4th trimester”.

 

So what can we do to help a mother feel blessed, celebrated, and taken care of?

Bring a meal to Her

There is nothing like a hot homemade meal to nourish the soul and body. Providing a meal for her family can sometimes be a daunting task right after she has birthed a babe. Call and prearrange with the family a time for you to bring by a meal, if someone is bringing dinner, offer to bring a lunch or a breakfast.  Make sure you momma knows that you simply want to drop of the meal, no visiting is required. A Basket filled of fresh fruit, crackers, granola bars and muffins makes snacking throughout the day easy specially if there are other littles running around.

 

Offer Her a helping hand

As a new mom one of the things that was the biggest help for me was when a good friend came over and told me to go have a hot shower and sleep. Knowing that someone was coming over and I didn’t have to have my best foot forward and “entertain” was such a relief. An uninterrupted nap and a hot shower is a great pick- me- up for mothers.

 

Run errands for Her

If you are planning on running errands for yourself, send a quick text asking if she needs anything picked up while you are out.

 

Take Her children out for the day

When there are other children in the family, it’s nice for momma and kids to have a “day off”. Set up a date where you can take the older kids out so she can focus on babe and be able to rest or putter around the house without everyone under foot. The older siblings will also enjoy a day off.

 

Simply Respect Her wishes

This is a hard one.   It’s exciting when a new member of the family has arrived, we all want to get in those newborn snuggles as much as a possible. Often we forget about how sacred the first few months are with a newborn are and how exhausting visitors can be.  If you are wanting to stop by for a quick visit , simply call or text ( texting is usually the way to go just in case momma and babe are having a nap and the noise wont interrupt that precious rest time) asking mom if she’s up for a visit. If she is great keep the visit short and sweet. If the response is no, just leave it at that. Don’t put extra pressure on momma asking when a good time would be, the first few weeks are a day by day evaluation.

 

Love Her from afar

If you are unable to be with her due to distance, send her an amazon package full of nourishing snacks or diapers and wipes, hire a house cleaner for her, order take out and have it delivered, offer to pay for her Netflix account for all those late night feedings. It’s really amazing what ideas you’ll find with a simple google search.

 

When it comes down to it, we all want to make sure momma and babe are being taken care of and not overwhelmed. Helping her doesn’t have to be complicated, it does however have to be intentional. We want her to feel loved, and cared for; anything you do will allow her to have the time and space she needs for rest, healing, and bonding. Know any new mommas or mommas to be? Send a quick text, facebook message and ask how you can best support them during this beautiful time.

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support