Archive for the ‘Childbirth’ Category

Happy Mother’s Day!! PLUS What’s Going on at Choices in Childbirth

May 10, 2013

This Mother’s Day, Choices in Childbirth would like to celebrate all of the moms out there as well as the amazing community of Mother-Friendly care providers who have supported them. Wishing you all beautiful birth memories this weekend!

Here’s what’s happening in the birth world and at Choices in Childbirth!!

Preparing for PostpartumThursday, May 16, 2013, 6:15-8:30pm, FREE, 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St, bet. 1st & 2nd aves) 

The period following the birth of your baby will likely be something of a love fest as you get to know your child. It can also be a time when new families sometimes feel overwhelmed and isolated as we get our bearings as parents and figure out how to care for a newborn, our relationship, and ourselves.
We hope you will join Choices in Childbirth for an evening of stories from new and experienced parents who recently made a variety of choices during the period of time following the births of their babies.  Additionally, bring your questions for New York City postpartum doula, Julia Mannes, and Valerie Lynn, author of the The Mommy Plan, Restoring Your Post-Pregnancy Body Naturally, Using Women’s Traditional Wisdom.  Suggested Donation: $10-$20 RSVP Here!

Miss the Business of Being Born: Classroom Edition Screening at NYU? It’s not too late! We filmed the event & now you can watch it whenever you want!

Panelists on April 25th (photo credit Alice Garik)
On Thursday, April 25th, Choices in Childbirth partnered with NYU’s Nurse-Midwifery program to screen The Business of Being Born: Classroom Edition! Following the film, Professor Gene Declercq presented his incredible new data for Birth by the Numbers and there was a panel discussion with
  • Professor Gene Declercq, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Abby Epstein, Director of The Business of Being Born
  • Patricia Burkhardt, CM, DrPH
  • Elan McAllister, Founder & Executive Director of Choices in Childbirth
  • Dr. Jacques Moritz, OBGYN
If you are interested in watching the film, you can purchase it at www.classroombobb.com, and if you’re interested in watching the presentation and panel discussion, please e-mail Julia at ClassroomBoBB@gmail.com.

Just Released! Listening to Mothers III: Pregnancy and Birth

See what 2400 moms had to say about their pregnancy and birth experiences. Brought to you by Childbirth Connection. Click here to read!

Alice Garik: Childbirth Photographer

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Alice Garik’s dedication to the empowerment of women guides her childbirth photography. A professional photographer, her calm and respectful presence will give you photographs to cherish of your birth and newborn. Her focused attention will allow your partner to be with you and in the experience, not reaching for the camera. Alice offers packages that include a maternity session with childbirth and newborn photographs.

FREE – Flatten Your Post-Baby Tummy Classes – Turn Flab to Fab in 8 Weeks! 

MRPT Physical Therapy is offering free classes to showcase an exciting new series of post-baby exercises for new moms. The class will be taught 1 time per week for 8 weeks at MRPT conveniently located 1 block from Grand Central. Participants must be willing to commit to attending all 8 classes and should be a few years postpartum or less.

Our new series of classes start on Tuesday, June 4 at 11am
Please e-mail mrptny@aol.com or call (212) 661-2933 if you are interested. www.mrptny.com

Special Mother’s Day Offer:

Documentary Film: BIRTH STORY: INA MAY GASKIN & THE FARM MIDWIVES
Final days to purchase the award winning documentary film about legendary midwife, Ina May Gaskin, just in time for Mother’s Day! The Choices in Childbirth community can purchase the DVD or download the film online with a 15% discount off the retail price!
Use the code BIRTHSTORYCIC for 15% OFF! Go to http://watch.birthstorymovie.com to download or order your DVD.

Need More Guides?

The 2013 National and NYC Metro Guide to a Healthy Birth are available online to order! These Guides are free to the public. If you would like copies of this resource to be sent to your home, office, or community center, we ask that you please pay for the cost of shipping. Click here to order the new guides. 
National and NYC Metro Guides are available.
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Gotta move, gotta rock, gotta sing! Comfort Measures and Coping Techniques for Labor

March 28, 2013

By Milon Nagi

At a recent Healthy Birth Choices Workshop, we gathered to hear three new moms share the comfort measures and techniques they used to cope with labor. We were also joined by Zoe Kogan, licensed acupuncturist, who took us through some acupressure points and massage techniques which can encourage labor. It was striking to hear, coming through the unique and individual nature of each story, the common themes that emerged as each woman found her way through to the birth of her baby.

Milon Nagi and Laure Sinnhuber-Giles, members of CiC's Program Committee, practice a sacrum massage used to help women cope during labor

Milon Nagi and Laure Sinnhuber-Giles, members of CiC’s Program Committee, practice a double hip squeeze used to help women cope during labor

When Vicki began to feel the sensations that led to her baby’s birth, she didn’t at first recognize them as labor – she thought it was heartburn. Having known for over a week that her cervix was already 3cm dilated, she had learned through experience that “that effacement, that dilation doesn’t mean anything until labor really happens.” She went about her day, downloading songs from iTunes for her birth playlist and, as her contractions grew closer, checking in with her midwife, who told her it didn’t sound like labor yet. “She told me, ‘Call me when you can’t stand it anymore’,” Vicki recalls.

To ease the discomfort, Vicki got into her tub. And, when the sensations became more intense, she asked her doula to come over. She remembers feeling “huge relief” when her doula arrived, thinking “I can finally relax, I’m just going to do whatever she tells me to.” Her doula, realizing that Vicki was experiencing a back labor, recommended that she stand in the shower with the hot water raining down on her back. It felt good and there was a possibility it could encourage her baby to change positions. She stayed there for 45 minutes and, in the meantime, her doula encouraged her husband to take a nap. Emerging from the shower, Vicki followed her urge to lean forward onto the bed through contractions. She moved to laboring on the birth ball to help her baby come down. Eventually, her doula suggested now may be a good time to go to the hospital. “I don’t know how she knew,” Vicki says, “she recognized from my face or something that I was ready – I didn’t even know that.”

Her doula helped her dress and they moved to the hospital. During the car ride, especially, Vicki’s music helped her to stay present and cope with her labor. She remembers laboring without a room for a while, until a nurse noticed her squatting and “corkscrew walking” through contractions in the hallway and she was finally checked and put into a labor room. Vicki recalls noticing that it was dark when they arrived (around 6am) and seeing more light as time went on. Having arrived pushing, she expected to have her baby before breakfast. Her baby’s unusual position, however (his head was tilted to one side and he was “sunny side up”) meant that it took a while for him to make his way out. With her midwife’s and doula’s support, Vicki pushed for several hours in different positions, fending off threats of a cesarean section from the attending OB (who later returned with students to observe her, impressed with her progress!) and at one point accepting some Pitocin to keep her contractions strong. Her birth team encouraged her and reminded her how strong she was, her doula massaging and shaking her tired legs between contractions. With their “incredible” support, she gave triumphant birth to her baby son, River, just as she had hoped to.

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Cesarean—Not Just a Surgery

March 15, 2013

By Michele Demont

Michele de Mont pic smallerIn the US, one in three mothers will give birth by cesarean section. Chances are you have had one or know someone who has.  There are varied reactions after having a cesarean birth – some are grateful, some indifferent, others loved it, and still others found it disappointing or even traumatic. All of these reactions and feelings are valid. For the women who have had a more negative experience with their cesarean sections, we need to look into why. What can be changed to take away some of the negative feelings around having a cesarean birth?

The cesarean birth of my first child wasn’t a very positive experience. My doctor and the OR staff ignored us, they gossiped during the surgery and though my son was perfectly healthy they refused to let me touch him or simply show him to me. The whole process was very rushed and we were treated as if we were on an assembly line. This experience made me view cesarean sections in a negative light, and I was afraid to have another one in the future.  Little did I realize at the time that it was the doctor and staff that made me feel this way–not cesarean birth itself.

When I’ve come across other mothers who have had negative experience with cesareans, I hear a very similar theme throughout. Many say they did not receive the support they needed throughout the surgery and/or afterward (especially if they had complications from the surgery), they were needlessly separated from their babies for hours, or felt detached from the whole experience. Doctors and hospital staff perform cesareans—which are relatively quick and predictable—multiple times a day, day after day. Unfortunately, routine and predictability often breed complacency. It can be easy to forget what is just another day in the office for you is a once in a lifetime moment for somebody else. This can make both mothers and fathers feel ignored and treated like a number.

A few years ago I came across a video about something called the natural cesarean.  Until then I had no idea this was being done in other places, and I was intrigued by it. The mother, father and baby were all being treated respectfully and the parents were involved in the cesarean birth of their child like I’d never seen before.  I knew if I were to ever have another cesarean, I wanted it to be like that.

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