We know, we know! World Doula week was last week. But we figured doulas are so awesome why not do just one more video? Listen to the lovely Sarah talk about the need and the benefits of having a doula.
so what is a doula?
Some people are confused about what a doula actually is and how they can help during pregnancy and birth. Listen to Kayleigh set the recored straight.
this is Why doulas are important
Ever wonder what a doula actually does during a birth? Listen to Caryn's excellent explanation and story of how her doula helped her during the birth of her fourth child.
why every person needs a doula
Here at Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp we believe doulas are an essential part of any birth team. But don't just take my word for it! Listen to one of our wonderful doulas explain why.
Hot take: pregnancy can be overwhelming. I know, shocker. Let's put all the incredible hormonal and physiological changes that happen to a person’s body on the back burner for a minute and just talk about what you might be scrolling past on your social media feed ever since that algorithm spotted that first ultrasound picture on your timeline. You’re definitely seeing ads for cribs, bottles, toys, and who knows what else; followed by news articles telling you how all of those things are now being recalled because they are death traps. You might also be seeing posts about natural birth, hypnobirthing, midwives, doulas, postpartum depression, the dangers of bed-sharing AND the benefits of bed-sharing. That’s nothing compared to some of the unsolicited stories you might be hearing from well meaning but also complete strangers! “Let me tell you about my fourth degree tear,” might be followed by someone saying, “my doctor forced me into a c-section!” Right around this time you might be thinking, “maybe I should just take a birth class,” after all knowledge banishes fear right? but which class should you take??? There are hundreds of them. Your hospital might be offering one, your doula might be teaching one, your sister in-law might swear by one. All of them have a “method” but if all these methods are different which one is going to be the right one for you?
Well we here at Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp are here to tell you, we don’t know. We have no idea what’s going to work for you or even what your birth is going to be like. Maybe you will love guided relaxation. Maybe sounding out labor will be your jam. Maybe you are wanting a water birth. Maybe you have your heart set on an epidural. Maybe you don’t even know what any of these things are but you want more information. The truth is ALL of these methods are wonderful and have their strengths but none of them are guaranteed to work 100% of the time for 100% of all people. That’s why we don’t believe in one method, we believe in filling your toolbox with every available tool and bit of information we have so you are ready for whatever labor throws at you. Here are just some of the things we talk about to help you prepare to have an amazing birth.
Comfort measures and labor positions
Birth plans, the thing everyone tells you you need and the one thing that most people feel overwhelmed by. Yes, they are important and they are so much more than just a list of requests to be handed to your care provider. This is a vital tool and in class we talk about what it is and how to best use it.
Your care provider and your birth location are the two things that will have the greatest impact on your birth. So how do you know that you have the right care provider for you? What are some things that you should be on the lookout for and what is something that should make you run the other way? Guess what? That's right, we talk about that in class too.
So many people feel like they failed labor if they get an epidural. Many more have no idea what actually goes into getting an epidural. Epidurals are just another tool in your tool box and in this class we talk about what they are, the risks, the benefits, and what actually happens when you get one.
Stages of labor
When should I call my doula? When should I go to my birth location? What is going to happen during labor? How should I support/talk to my partner during labor? We answer all these questions and more.
So you have the baby...now what? You ever wonder about babywearing? What about co-sleeping? Feel like you need more tips on breastfeeding? We’re not about to send you out into this brave new world of parenthood without going over how to survive this newborn stage!
All these things and so much more are covered in Birth Boot Camp’s ten week comprehensive class You may also enjoy our hospital class designed specifically for those planning an amazing hospital birth. Our instructors are starting new classes all the time so feel free to look at their class schedules or contact them directly to inquire about a private class! With a wide variety of classes and workshops you are sure to find the best way to prepare for your amazing birth.
There are some people in this world who will never experience the joy of morning sickness. I remember my mom telling me, when I was pregnant with my first, that she could only remember being nauseated one or two times when she was pregnant with me and my sister. Women like myself find ourselves quietly hating people like my mother right around week 8 of our pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, up to 85% of have some sort of morning sickness, be it actually vomiting or just the never ending nausea. If you are in this lucky majority and are finding yourself not being able to sit up straight or keep food down for the second week in a row you might be ready and willing to reach for any solution. Anything that promises an end to this madness and misery you might be willing to try. Of course, if you are dehydrated, losing weight, and/or having persistent vomiting you should talk to your care provider ASAP. However if you are wanting to wait till your next appointment to bring it up, here are five natural morning sickness remedies for you to try in the meantime.
Ginger has been shown to soothe an upset stomach and can be found in teas, chews, and yes ginger ale made with actual real ginger. Often, ginger is the main ingredient in organic “prego pops” that you can buy over the counter at many health food stores of pharmacies.
Scents, specifically peppermint and lemon
This can be a tricky one. For some people smelling lemon, mint, or orange can greatly alleviate nausea. For others, nothing will send them running to the bathroom faster than getting a big nose full of citrus. What I recommend is putting a few drops of either lemon or mint on a cotton ball and either holding it under your nose or pining it to your shirt with a safety pin. That way, if the smell ever starts to bother you all you have to do is throw the cotton ball in the trash (or out the window)
Vitamin B6 supplements
Not going to lie, these saved me with both of my pregnancies. Several studies have shown that B6 greatly helps with nausea during pregnancy. As a result more and more experts are recommending taking B6 supplements during pregnancy. Dosages of up to 200mg a day have been shown to be safe during pregnancy and have virtually no side effects.
Do be mad, I say to the exhausted and miserable pregnant woman laying on her couch after I tell her that one way to feel better is light exercise. I’m sorry, but it’s true. For some people getting up and on their feet, (taking an extra walk, going for a swim, taking that prenatal yoga class) actually does help with nausea. A topic that we cover in our 10 week birth class! Check it out!
Small snacks, not big meals
An empty stomach is your enemy! You might not want to eat but if your stomach is empty I can 100% guarantee you that you will feel sick, same goes for if you need to drink more water. However, you might not be able to handle a full meal either. Small protein rich snacks throughout the day is the way to go. Pretend your a hobbit and give yourself permission to eat breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, diner, and supper.
It’s February, and February in our little corner of the world is a bleak gray month. All the sparkle of the holidays has been put away, the rush of parties has been over for a full month, and the frozen landscape has started to seem less magical and more like a frozen wasteland. Lucky a mixture of commercialism and pop culture has given us a bright pop of color in this dreary month. A holiday about love, about showing gratitude for those most important to you in your life, a time to get dressed up and go out on the town. I am not talking about Valentine’s day. I am, of course, talking about the far superior Ganentine’s day!
GALENTINE'S DAY! Ladies celebrating ladies as the great Leslie Knope would say (the creator of this great holiday). Here at Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp we are all about celebrating ladies. Female friendship is a massively important thing. For centuries cultural customs and history were passed down through gatherings of women. Women gather together during birth, during death, to give support and help push one another forward. According to a 2018 study the more close friendships you have the more likely a person is to survive breast cancer! All I’m saying is spending time with your lady friends and celebrating each other is something we should make time for.
Know what else is an important thing that we should make time for? Self care! I know you’ve heard that before. It’s 2020, we’ve all been hearing about how important self care is for five years now. But just because every 7th post on your Facebook feed is a picture of a sunrise reminding you to “make time to breath” doesn’t mean it’s not true. That sunrise is right! You do need to make time for yourself! It is good for your physical and mental health. It helps you sleep better. It helps you relate to those around you better. It lowers your blood pressure. It just flat out makes life better.
So why not do both of these things at once? Why not help celebrate the lovely ladies in your life AND yourself? Wasatch Birth Boot Camp thinks this is a great idea, so we’re having a little belated Galentine’s Day get together. Friday February 21st come join us at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness for snacks, henna, movies, music, and fun. This event is open to the community. I’m looking at you birth worker, I’m talking to you first time mom, I see you over there single lady! All of y’all! Come, get some henna done, have some food, ask us some questions. Let's support one another cause winter is long and hard and thankfully almost over.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with an expecting couple, got to talking about the upcoming birth, and then the partner says something along the lines of “Well I’m planning on just staying out of the way.” Every time I hear this it breaks my heart a little bit. If there ever was a time a person NEEDS the support of their partner its in that sacred vulnerable moment when they are facing the incredible force that is birth. But as much as it breaks my heart I can 100% understand that sentiment. Birth can be scary and one of the scariest things about it is the feeling that there is nothing you can do. I’ve never been in the position of the partner. I’ve given birth, I’ve served as a doula for couples, but I’ve never walked into a room and thought to myself, “a person I love is going to be uncomfortable, in pain, and scared for who knows how long and there is nothing I can do about it”. That is a scary thought and I can totally understand how that thought makes people want to just “stay out of the way.” But the thing is you don’t have to feel powerless. There are things you can totally do! Real things, helpful things, that will make you look like a rockstar and your partner eternally grateful for you! Here are 5 quick easy tips for partners to pull out when the rubber starts hitting the road.
Get them eating and drinking water
This is especially true during early labor. It is so easy to get excited and distracted once you REALLY start feeling those contractions and forget to eat and drink. But guess what the body needs to birth a baby? Energy. And where do we get that energy? Food and water. Be the supportive hero I know you are and go make her a sandwich!
Do they look tense?
You know your partner better than anyone. What do they look like when they’re stressed out? Do they clench their jaw? Start curling their toes? Do their shoulders start living up there by their ears? Pain, any kind of pain, is so much easier to handle when your muscles are loose and you are relaxed. So, if you see those toes start curling or those shoulders tensing up get over there and start giving them a little rub. While you’re over there tell them how great they’re doing and how proud you are of them. They will never forget how you showed them love in this moment.
Get in the water!
Keep it interesting
Here’s something people don’t say that often, labor is boring. You have no idea how long it’s going to be (on average most first time parents are in active labor for over 8 hours), if you are in a hospital during this time you might feel like you are stuck in one hotel like room, and depending on the time of day the only thing on television could courtroom dramas. On top of this you might people wanting updates, texting to ask how you are or what’s happened. Maybe those people are actually in the room with you. Let me tell ya something, when those hours start to stretch on and no baby has shown up yet pain starts getting more intense and your partner will start getting more frustrated. Pull out the stops. Get out of that one stuffy room and go for a walk. If it’s still early enough in labor bust out some games to play. Listen to some of their favorite songs. Talk to them about how you first met. When they start needing to focus more stop trying to actively keep their attention and switch to background distractions. Help them change positions, turn the music down and walk them through a relaxation and visualization exercise. Doing this will keep them from feeling stuck and help keep you engaged as well.
Be aware of the laboring environment
What’s going on around you? Is it loud and busy or calm and quiet? Has your sister in-law been sitting in the corner for the last hour and a half watching the television at full volume? Does the room feel cramped and crowded? And most importantly how does your partner seem to feel about this? Labor is SO much easier if the environment feels comfortable and safe for the laboring woman and YOU are the one that knows them best. YOU are the one that knows what helps them feel comfortable and safe. So look around you and start asking yourself, “what kind of room can my partner relax in”.
These are just some of the easy things to help your partner during labor and make you feel like you did more than just sit in a chair and stress yourself out. For more easy tips on how to help your partner during labor AND for more preparation for your amazing birth Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp offers a free one hour mini comfort measures workshop once a month. Please come by and see us, grab a bagel, and ask us some questions.
Growing up my family didn’t always have what they needed in the moment they needed it. When my mom and my dad divorced my mom didn’t have her college degree and our options were limited. She eventually went back to school, got her undergrad and graduate degree, and is now a practicing therapist here in Lehi. However, in that moment of growing up, stuck in those thin places, it was hard. Balancing a household budget for three people, trying to figure out how to pay tuition and bills, needing to buy medication for your diabetic child, and then having enough left over to eat and buy school uniforms for your kids is hard. All of it is hard. So what do you do when all three people in your house have a period once a month? Go to the Walmart website and search “tampon” real quick. I can tell you right now that at Walmart a box of tampons can cost you between $5 - $35. I can also tell you that a 20 day supply of insulin is $35, provided that you have good insurance. We didn’t have good insurance.
So what do you do? What do you do when a basic hygiene product that three people in your house need cost the same as medication that will keep one of those people healthy? Do you honestly want to know? Well, first you get really good at layering toilet paper in your underwear. Second, you learn exactly how far you can push every tampon, pad, and panty liner before you have to put them back on the shopping list. Third, you overcome your shyness and learn to become ok asking your friends for what you need. Luckily for me and my family we had a support system. Wonderful people who loved and cared about my family and who were cheering us on from the sidelines. I am grateful everyday for them and how they changed my life. But what about those people who don’t have a support system? What about that family who is new and struggling in your community? What about that high school student who is also working a full time job to help pay the bills? What about those people who are homeless? What are their support systems when “that time of the month” rolls around?
enter the homeless period project
The Homeless Period Project is a group that is attempting to answer those questions with a solution. On their website their missions statement reads “We provide menstrual products to those in need while educating and advocating to end the stigma of menstruation.” In the first quarter of 2019 they donated over 800,000 period products and they are hoping to start 2020 off on the same foot. So what are they doing? What are they providing? Who are they educating? The main product that they are providing is something called a “period pack” which is a ziplock baggie filled with tampons, pads, pantie liners and wipes. They donate these to shelters, local schools, as well as to disaster relief organizations to give to those in need. One of the main problems, however, is the lack of education. Menstrual products are still one of the least donated items to shelters and a lack of sanitary products can be a huge hindrance to people who are looking for jobs, looking for housing, trying to stay in school, or who have only one set of clothing. On top of this some families still keep their children home from school when they are on their periods instead of buying menstrual products, not realizing what a disadvantage this puts their children at. The Homeless Period Project works with shelters, schools, and other organizations to provide education and support to communities in need.
what can you do?
So what can you do? You know what the problem is now and you’ve spent the time reading to the end of this article so I’m guessing you care enough to want to get involved. Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp is following the lead of Utah Douals & Company and helping raise donations for the Homeless Period Project. We are accepting donations of pads, tampons, panty liners, quart sized ziploc bags, and tall kitchen trash bags. The Utah Period Drive is accepting donations till February 14th, then we will be assembling the period packs and taking the packs to The Road Home and family shelter in Midvale on February 18th. If you can donate products, please do. If you want to give time, even better. Contact us or any of the lovely ladies at Doulas & Co. for more information on how to get involved in this worthy cause. Let's work together to “give dignity back, one period at a time.”
Simply put, YES! You will greatly benefit from taking an amazing childbirth class AND hiring a doula! Find out why in this quick video below!