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Doula Chats

Have you ever considered being a doula? Kellie Greene of Your Greene Doula and I have been meeting on Monday nights and discussing different aspects of doula life, join us Live Streaming on youtube! 

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Grand Rapids Doula Network

Because Bellabirth believes in communiy and helping parents make informed decisions, we have been involved in this new initiative to make it easier for parents to explore their options for labor Support in the Grand Rapids Area! It is with this commitment that we are proud to announce we are members of the Grand Rapids Doula Network! 


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Big Announcement & Giveaway

Gladiolas symbolize strength and moral integrity

Gladiolas symbolize strength and moral integrity

Did you know that Bellabirth is a proud member of a thriving birthworker community here in Grand Rapids?

Because we believe in arming women with options, and information about those options, we are elated to be part of a new project. 

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” -African proverb. It’s with this in mind that we have decided to participate in this exciting new venture that will benefit West Michigan women. We are all working together on the finishing touches of this amazing new project; one that has Grand Rapids doulas standing shoulder to shoulder to benefit Grand Rapids mothers and families.

We will reveal the top secret details of this new initiative September 1st!!

To celebrate the announcement Bellabirth will be hosting a HypnoBirthing® giveaway! 

  • Your own copy of the 302-page HypnoBirthing® Text, HypnoBirthing®-- The Mongan Method
  • 2 CDs for your relaxation, stress reduction, and bonding (Including the program cornerstone disk, Rainbow Relaxation)
  • A beautiful, new Tshirt designed for both the HypnoBirthing® Mom or Dad. The Tshirt is made out of 100% pre-shrunk cotton and is a size XL. Great for yourself or for a gift.

  • A HypnoBirthing® button that reads,"Please only positive birth stories my baby is listening"

  • A gift certificate for $25 off your HypnoBirthing® Registration fee! 

This giveaway is valued at over $75!!

To earn entries you can do any of the following,

  • Like the Bellabirth Doula Services Facebook page
  • Follow us on twitter @bellabirth  

  • Follow us on Instagram @bellabirthgr
  • Share this blog post on your Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram
  • Share Bellabirth's Press Release we will post on September 1st! 

Each one of these actions earns you a separate entry so you can up your chances of winning! 

Comment here and tell me what you have done. 

Thanks for helping me spread the word to arm families with information about their options in West Michigan! 

 

 

 

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Induction Discussion

Join Bellabirth this week as we discuss Inductions! Like our Facebook page for more info or follow us @bellabirth on twitter! 

"Rates of labor induction are on the rise in the United States. This trend is fueled by increases in the number of women having high-risk pregnancies and more frequent use of labor induction for non-medical or social reasons (sometimes referred to as elective induction). There is confusion and disagreement about the safety and appropriate use of labor induction. As a result, use of induction varies widely from one caregiver or hospital to the next. Even the results of research studies on labor induction provide conflicting answers. It can be difficult to make informed choices about induction of labor in the midst of these uncertainties."  - Childbirth Connection

Join Bellabirth on Twitter and Facebook this week as we discuss Inductions! 

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ACOG's New Guidelines mentions Doulas!

ICAN posted an article today about a recent change to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist guidelines.The guidelines titled, "Safe Prevention of The Primary Cesarean" mentions recognition that doulas lower c-section rates! ICANs press release states:

"The cesarean rate has also been shown to be significantly less among women who have continuous labor support, such as a doula. The report points out that there is nothing negative about a doula—no physical side effects to either the mother or the baby—but rather a doula can make the whole birth experience more positive overall, and so this is one option that is tremendously underutilized."

ead the ICAN article here

r check out the ACOG guidelines for yourself here

Visit our Local ICAN of Grand Rapids chapter for more info on avoiding the first cesarean, recovering from a cesarean or encouragement for a VBAC. Theres a great supportive community! 

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5 Things Your Wife Wishes You Knew

5 things your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores

My husband is a wonderfully hardworing helpful guy. In most cases, he is the guy to go to when you want to "Git 'er done!"
But there are somethings that I think he misses, that don't hit his radar so to speak, which I think is pretty common.
So to help out all you fellas out there that might be in this same catagory,I've jotted down a few tips that will make you a hero in your pregnant wifes eyes. Read on.....


#1 thing your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores:


DON'T WAIT UNTIL SHE ASKS.


If you notice that something isn't getting done that maybe she got around to more often before she got pregnant, there's no need to even ask if she needs help, or to wait for her to ask you. When she notices that it was done without her even having to think about it, the relief she will feel and the resulting good feelings toward you will be worth the extra time and effort it took to do whatever it is.Bingo! You're superman already!


#2 thing your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores:


ALL MOLEHILLS ARE MOUNTAINS.


1st trimester exhaustion and nausea can make the simplest smallest chores horrendous or impossible. Taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet,picking up stinky stocks, cutting up raw chicken. All of these can trigger that super-mom-nose and launch a gastrointestinal attack she might not recover from the rest of the day. Keeping up on chores that have extra ick factor will make you her knight in shining armor. Some care providers advise womento avoid heavy lifting in the first months when baby is tiny and fragile, make sure she isn't taking on more then she can handle. This can include carrying heavy loads of laundry up and down stairs.The exhaustion pregnant women feel in the begining cannot be matched or compared to anything else, her body is rerouting every possible spark of energy towards growing that baby.Anything a pregnant women does should be considered bonus! or extra on top of the full time job of being pregnant, refrain from mentioning the lack of housework getting done, and instead suggest she take a nap.


#3 Thing your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores:


SHE CAN'T BEND OVER EASILY, AND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE HER FEET.


As your wifes pregnant belly grows, it becomes quite the beautiful obstacle. Picking up shoes, picking up anything really requires grace, balance, and cleverness to acheive.Not to mention flexibility. Be careful not to leave behind anything that she will need to pick up from the floor.Not only are these things nearly impossible to pick up, but if she cant see her feet, she's not going to see things lying on the floor and might trip on them! 


#4 Thing your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores:


CLEANING THE BATHROOM IS MISSION IMPOSSIBLE


We already mentioned that chores with ick factor can be a morning sickness trigger.That beautiful belly I mentioned also makes it nearly impossible to get around that toilet to clean the bottom edge or the walls around it.I can promise you that as a man you see the inside of the toilet and the wall behind it more often then she does. So if your standing there and notice it could use a scrub, get to it! You've just scored yourself more hero points in a simple trip to the john.You may not use as much TP as your wife and kids do, but make sure to keep it stocked. Imagine being a mom with a brand new baby, you have all of 15 seconds to run to the bathroom in betwen breaking up fights, doing lessons, cooking something, changing a diaper, nursing, quieting a crying baby. Imagine the simple relief of always having TP there when you need it, without having to think about it or ask (#1!) Small things like this can make or break a mama on a bad day.
I am imagining that if your wife is exhausted she doesn't shower as often as she used to, this is something that will be true when baby comes as well. When you take a shower, give it a wipedown before you get out. I can't reach the far side of our tub and the corners unless I crawl in and do a flat footed squat. ( and then HOW? do I get back out again?!) When you get out of the shower, wipe down the counters and mirrors while everything is still steamy. These things will take you all of 5 minutes added to your morning get ready routine and the way it will make your pregnant wife feel is priceless.


#5 thing your pregnant wife wishes you knew about household chores:


Unless shes Martha Stewart, kitchen chores are more like a scene from Little Shop of Horrors then Leave it to Beaver.


Smells and tastes that your wife may have enjoyed once upon a time may now be compared to sewage, trash or worse.Not only that but her appetite may have dissapeared completely. Feeding herself,your kids or you may test every fiber of her being. If you ever find yourself able to help with a meal here and there, she will kiss your feet ( or not, if that belly is in the way, but you get the point) Help her to make sure your family is getting plenty of veggies and protein, using easy "cheater' meals may be okay once in a while, but rememeber pregnancy lasts nearly a year! You dont want to sacrifice nutrition for that long.
Bellying up to the sink to do dishes is also a feat that requires reaching and twisting in ways that are not exactly favorable, safe or comfortable. I literally have to do the dishes from the hip. With my belly turned completely sideways away from the sink. Its a hilarious shot I must admit but not something I feel like doing that often.So don't wait until she's wishing for go go gadet arms, just take her place at the sink. ( and dont stop when the baby comes, is even more impossible to do dishes while holding a baby....) 
There you go gentlemen, you're on your way to becoming a hero to your wife,and all of these things are easy, fast and won't change the pace of your day hardly at all. But it will make a HUGE difference in her life! You're welcome!

Men--if you have something else you did for your wife while she was pregnant that you know she appreciated, please share in the comments with your fellow man. And women, please add to what I have here!

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Beautiful Birth

Bella means beautiful and birth is exactly that. 
What makes a birth beautiful? 
You. 
No matter if it’s a natural quick birth, or an extended tough labor, or a cesarean section,  your birth can be beautiful. An experience to treasure, a story to tell.  Women who have good support are empowered to make informed decisions, feel in control and have beautiful birth..
Use the links on the Resources page to your advantage, an educated mother is an empowered mother.
 
Whether this is your first baby or your family is growing,  visualize what your Bellabirth would be. Take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions and maybe discuss them with your partner.
 
For me the ideal place to give birth would be……..
My top three priorities for this birth are……
I want the following people to be there to support me…….
And I want to be sure the following things are there…..
For me, I would like the following clinical/medical personnel there ……
For me, the best approach to pain management would be…..
What else is very important to you?
Use these questions as a jumping off point to creating a 
BIRTH PLAN.

As a doula I help many couples write their birth plan. Informational support is a priority in my practice. I want to help childbearing families get the info they need to make truly informed decisions. 


It is true that we cannot plan birth! There are so many variations of normal that you cannot pin point exactly how it will go. However a birth plan is a terrific outline for discussion. Discussion between you and your support people, care providers and spouse. Having your desires known can help streamline any conversations and decisions you are faced with during labor. I like to help my clients explore and have conversations that might come up during birth, before labor ever begins. This can also help dispel fears, and labor is usually easier to cope with in the absence of fear.

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