You will have the birth you and your baby both need.
That statement resonated with me as I was preparing to birth my third and final baby. I was starting to get discouraged, here I am planning on having a Vba2c ( vaginal birth after 2 caesarians) and I was overdue. My first darling baby was born promptly on her due day ( 56 hour labour ending in a C-section), my second was born 11 days early ( 36 hrs of labour ending in a C-section), I knew the longer I went over due the chance of having a 3rd C-section loomed over my head. The odds were against me and I wanted to prove that I could have a vaginal birth, I wanted to prove to all the nurses and the obstetricians that I wasn’t crazy for attempting.
I was trying every which way to induce labour. I ate my 6 or 7 dates diligently since I was 35wks, I ate all the spicy food, climbed all the stairs until my legs turned to jello, drank litres of red raspberry tea, kept up with my evening primrose capsules both orally and vaginally, and even had sex every day… sometimes multiple times if my husband was lucky. Nothing worked.
It was when I was at my acupuncture appointment that I realized I needed to stop being so uptight about trying to get this baby earth side and start focusing on what I needed from this birth. I needed to have confirmation that I didn’t take the easy way out with my previous births by consenting to a caesarian. I needed a reminder that each baby came the way they were meant. I needed to trust my instincts and my ability to make informed decisions about what steps to take during birth.
My c-section scar started having shooting pains like I never felt before, I KNEW was time. I had to make my trek down the highway to the neighbouring city as my local hospital was on diversion. I was triaged, baby was being monitored, and the OB came in to make sure my uterus wasn’t rupturing (that’s the risk when trying for a vaginal birth after a c-section). Everything looked fine. He asked me if I wanted to have a baby tonight. I looked at my husband and with a clear mind I said yes! I didn’t argue or fight for a VBA2C. I knew in that moment I needed to have my baby in my arms. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, 6 days overdue was long enough.
I had the birth I needed, not the birth I planned and dreamed of. I experienced the weeks of false labour that some women get and the frustration of the contractions not turning into anything significant. I experienced the frustration of being overdue. I knew healing from a 3rd caesarian was going to be hard, I knew baby needed to be born this way… I just didn’t know why. I trusted my instincts, no one forced me to have the c-section. I chose it and I’m proud of the choice I made.
Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
It’s hard looking down and seeing what once was ankles, are now unrecognizable and have been consumed by these thick puffy cankles. Those sexy little sling back sandals you bought to match your dress are now impossible to fit, you might as well try and place a whole cow into a single sausage casing.
That you are tossing and turning each night trying to get to a good night’s rest. Sleep has become a foreign concept, and if another person comments on how tired you look, you may just burst into tears. Don’t they know that you now have a worn out path where your new hardwood floor once was because you have been pacing back and forth all night long. Pregnancy insomnia is such a struggle.
That there is nothing glamorous about the end of pregnancy. There is no shame in wearing those adult diapers or thick panty liners you are trying to hide under your jeans! Can’t be caught unprepared for a miscalculated sneeze or cough accident or better yet, JUST INCASE your water breaks in public? No one wants to be THAT pregnant lady.
That you are wanting to hide away in your home. If you receive one more text you or call you asking if baby is born yet, you will take a sledge hammer to your phone! And if another stranger (or friend) comments how huge you look, they may be unapologetically drowned in an unholy dose of pregnancy hormone rage that can’t be tamed.
The spilt juice on the floor will most likely be there tomorrow. After all bending, down to clean it may mean you’re on the floor for an extended amount of time, so you want to plan your day around cleaning that spill so you can be prepared to clean the baseboards, cupboards and fridge while your down there.
Waddling is no longer left to the penguins.
A crowded room is now your nemesis. No one likes sweat dripping down their back. Even if you had flashing lights and a wide load sign above your head, there is no way you’d be able to squeeze through the crowd, the classic “turn sideways, hold your breath and slide through” technique is no longer your friend. You either strategically find a space to spend your time (one that’s equally close to the food and beverages as it is to the bathroom but still in the cross breeze of the open windows), or your just ram your big O’ baby belly into people (making them feel as though it was they’re fault they bumped you) as you make your way across the room.
It’s frustrating waiting to see if every Braxton hicks you feel is going to be “THE REAL DEAL” this time, or that you have inspected that toilet paper you wiped to see JUST MAYBE you lost your mucus plug or had your bloody show.
All these things listed above will only be a faint memory the moment your babe is placed on your chest for the very first time. Those sling back sandals you never really liked anyways. Lack of sleep was just building up your endurance for all those late night feeds. Those adult diapers and panty liners, just gave you extra cushion when you sat on a hard chair, that’s the real reason you wore them. You’d never ACTUALLY take a sledge hammer to your phone, after all how else would you be able to baby spam all your friends and family? Your fridge and floors has never been cleaner since being pregnant. Who ever said you waddled was jealous of your pregnancy swagger! Crowded rooms just gave you an excuses to get out of those non-essential events that where going to bore you anyways. And really, inspecting your toilet paper after ever use of the bathroom just gave you something to do to pass the time.
Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
“When we talk about the birth process, dads discover what it means to really be there for their partner. You don’t need to know every detail about what happens in labor or get a degree in obstetrics. Being present means you’re there to fully share the birth experience with your partner. In concrete terms it means you talk to her, comfort her, reassure her, stay beside her throughout labor (if that’s what she wants), and respond to her requests.” –Babycenter.com
We LOVE this! Why should partners/dad’s be left out with everything from the birthing process? When honestly, they are one of the most important people on the team and should feel confident on their stance in the room! This is exactly why we cover so much on how partners play a key role in the birth you both envisioned together. In our prenatal classes we practice hands on techniques, we chat about tips and specific ways that dad’s can comfort, support and love on their birthing women. It’s a beautiful thing to see this partnership working together to welcome their baby into the world.
What things did your partner do to help you feel connected and confident during your birth?
Prenatal classes in Abbotsford and Chilliwack are offered every month by our expert team of instructors! We have the skills, knowledge and humor to make you feel ready for birth!
What is Delayed Cord Clamping?
Delayed cord clamping is a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut beyond 30 seconds of baby’s delivery. Many times, the cord will be clamped and cut after the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating or after the placenta has been delivered.
Here are some benefits to this birth practice!
1. The Placenta Contains a Third of Baby’s Blood
Research shows that when we delay clamping the umbilical cord, the baby will receive up to 30% more of the fetal-placental blood volume than it would have with immediate cord clamping.
2. Baby Receives an Increase of Oxygen
A full count of red blood cells provides the increase of oxygen to baby for the transition to life outside of the womb. Not only is baby receiving extra oxygen but he also receives the millions of stem cells and immune cells that are inside the umbilical cord.
3. Prevention of Iron Deficiency/ Anemia
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists state that waiting just 3 minutes may prevent iron deficiency (anemia) during the first year of baby’s life. Babies receive a huge influx of iron-rich red blood cells when the umbilical cord can continue pulsating. What’s interesting is that, Mom’s breast milk has been shown to be low in iron levels. Research has shown that this extra increase of iron storage lasts in baby up to 4-6 months which is about the time that iron-rich foods are being introduced.
4. Benefits for Preemies
Of course, some preemies need to be rushed to NICU or receive immediate medical attention right after delivery. But for infants born before 37 weeks, the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada state that, cord clamping should be delayed by at least a minute after birth to reduce the need for transfusion and the potential for bleeding in the brain. It’s also been shown that preemies have fewer heart problems, better blood pressure, and less anemia.
5. Uninterrupted Cuddles
Last but not least! Delayed cord clamping promotes bonding between Mom and baby just by the fact that they are still attached to each other and forced to cuddle and get to know each other. Those first minutes of skin to skin between Mom and baby release several different hormones that create the everlasting love and bond that is so important. These first cuddles also encourage early breastfeeding!
If delayed cord clamping is something you choose to do at your birth make sure to tell your birth team (partner, doula, sister, etc.) and have it written down in your birth plan. Those first moments after delivery can be fast-paced and it’s always good to have someone on your team remember to tell your care provider your wishes in case you can’t.
There are always risks to any birth practice and it’s always a great idea to talk the benefits and risks out with your care provider to decide what is the right choice for you and your baby.
Researching decisions like this can have a big positive impact on your birth and baby!
Birth Doula & Prenatal Instructor
Yellow Bird Birth Doula
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..
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!
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.
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:
- What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
- Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
- Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
- Who do you want present at the birth?
- What positions do you want to labour in?
- Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
- Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
- In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
- Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
- Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
- Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
- Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
- Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
- Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
- 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.
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.
Are You Prepared?
We LOVE providing Abbotsford & Chilliwack with our long running Prenatal Intensive Classes! For years we have taught hundreds of couples the must know and basics of birth. It’s important to us that expecting couples feel prepared, have their questions answered and get some hands on techniques to walk into their birth feeling confident and in control. That’s you! You could feel confident and in control, knowing how to ask the right questions to make all your decisions (for all kinds of birth) that are right for your family.
We know people don’t have a lot of time these days which is exactly why we created a program covering all the basics in just 3 hours for an affordable price to be able to welcome everyone. Our instructors are not only trained but have hands on experience in birth and postpartum as doulas and personal experience with their own pregnancies. That’s the bonus! We share stories, laugh together and help you to feel supported and prepared.
We’d love to have you join us for one of our upcoming classes.
I remember it clearly. We sat in our hotel room, excited from our first day of doula training with the homework to write down how much our doula rate should be and report back the following day. How much we should charge each client for our doula package and it was a bit overwhelming but we had stars in our eyes! This would be amazing for our family, we could cover the mortgage or groceries for the month for our family. Perhaps it could be extra to pay for a much needed vacation or simply give us breathing room in your home budgets.
We couldn’t believe that our passion could be combined with actually making a sustainable living for our family! We finished our weekend training and headed home gushing over learning the hip squeeze and stages of labour, learning how to serve our clients in the most beautiful way during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I loved our doula training, but I soon realized we needed more education. Starting a business is no joke and there are a lot of hoops to jump through. From registering our business, finding insurance, creating websites and learning how to market ourselves in the community and online. Whoa! It was a lot. After a year of pushing through we decided it was time to step it up a notch.
Business training. Professional education to create the vision we had for our passion turned career. We took the plunge and it was the single best thing we could have done. The next step was the bring on an experienced business trained operations manager, Kara. She had run successful incorporated companies in the past and was excited to come alongside what we were doing.
This is where you come in. I see you business owner, unsure how to bring in more clients. Struggling with figuring out your operations and where to begin/continue with growing your business. Perhaps you are tired, worn out and need guidance in this birth work profession. Trust me, in a service profession mostly focused on women, financials are never the first thing we want to deal with. BUT… I want you to live your passion, support your family and grow a thriving business.
For years now we have had doula after doula emailing/calling/messaging to ask for advice on what the next step is or where to begin. We’ve enjoyed watching doulas flourish with the knowledge we have shared with them. It’s a passion of ours to elevate birth professions and see changes happen! We want you to succeed and created the life you imagine supporting women, their families and the entire birth community.
Join us this fall/winter with live Business of Birth: Intensive Training Conferences around British Columbia to take your OWN business to the next level! It’s time.
Click to find out more HERE
Labor and birth can be an uncomfortable and oftentimes unpredictable experience. Becoming educated on the options available to you can make the process seem less scary. The support of a labor doula can bring you reassurance, comfort, and an endless source of information when you need it most.
Doulas focus on providing relevant information, hands on comfort and non-judgmental support throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth.
Hiring the supportive services of a doula will allow you to feel supported and confident, every step of the way.