Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Positive Cesarean Birth

Approximately 10% of women will truly need to give birth to their babies via surgery. For most of the women in this country this is far from a positive experience. Their babies are born behind a screen and then are moved to a plastic box, called an isolette, far enough away the mothers can't really see them. Once they are checked over and determined to be breathing ok, they are wrapped up so only their tiny faces are visible and given to their dads sitting next to the mothers' heads. The mothers who are lying flat desperately want to at least see their babies' faces. The dads try to find a way to accomplish this with their floppy newborns. Mothers crane their necks trying to catch a glimpse of their babies' gaze. They are biologically driven to look deep into their babies' eyes and connect. In just a few minutes dads and babies are whisked away to a nursery. All the other normal biologic functions which kick into gear as soon as the mothers have given birth are disrupted. These are called claiming behaviors. We are meant to smell our babies, kiss our babies, touch our babies. We are meant to look them over from head to toe and to count each tiny finger. And of course to put the baby to our breast and begin the breastfeeding relationship. Our senses and our babies are heightened at the moment of birth. We are both exquisitely aware of each other. We are meant to connect on a deep emotional, biological, chemical level; a connection which will last a life time. But for most mothers around the world having cesarean babies they get none of these. By the time they get to really see their babies they have been washed and dressed and are deeply asleep; too sleepy to breastfeed for  hours.

For a different perspective on the cesarean birth experience please watch this video. Then talk to your doctor, your midwife, your doula, your husband, and your hospital. You and your baby have a right to the most natural positive birth possible. You can make this happen!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Whole"istic Mamas Support for After Your Baby Arrives

You are invited to join my "Whole"istic Mama and Papas parenting support and social group! 

For the last twenty years I have been asked by moms who had attended my birth classes if  I would please start a mom support group after their babies came. Unfortunately I was too busy raising my son, being a wife, birth educator, doula, foreign exchange student teacher/coordinator and horse trainer and community birth advocate to say yes. In 2012 I finished my La Leache League leadership training and finally decided they were right. Moms who were choosing to parent from an attached perspective needed more support in our community. 

Because I have always viewed parenting as a dynamic constantly evolving experience I purposely chose to not call the group "attachment parenting". I wanted to encourage a broader spectrum of mamas to feel welcome. So I created the term "Whole"istic Parenting which I felt better reflected my views of parenting the whole child. At our meet ups and in our face book group I encourage mamas to make conscious choices for their child's physical, intellectual and emotional health. Research shows these are not distinct areas but are forever inseparably intertwined. 

The group offers mama-to-mama support and information sharing, as well as a social outlet with several park or play dates a month. The conversation is free flowing, covering whatever is on the minds of the attending mamas from sleep issues, balancing family needs, extended family, nutrition, traditional and alternative health providers, education, communication and more. As a veteran working mom, past home and public schooling parent, and La Leche League leader I gently offer guidance and resources. I ultimately believe mamas know the right path to choose for their unique family situation when given a small amount of nonjudgmental information and encouragement to listen to their heart. To receive invitations to our Blanket Babies & Toddler Time meet ups and join the on-line group feel free to friend me on face book and request to join.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Supporting women in labor I have come to believe this with all my heart. Even when birth takes a dramatically different path than the one envisioned, we can heal ourselves from it if we were treated with love and respect for our bodies and our spirits throughout the process.