Blog Archives

44 and Pregnant?

September 19, 2014

44 and pregnantI had fun writing this piece, 44 and Pregnant?, my first for the Huffington Post. It’s already caused a flurry of questions and comments on my personal Facebook page.

Tell me what you think by commenting directly on the Huffington Post, on the Mother’s Circle Facebook page, or here.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m late. Not just a little late, but over two weeks late, pushing three. For someone who has always been clockwork regular, I’m really late. I feel a little like I’m in that waiting zone between buying a lottery ticket and the drawing date. You know you’re going to lose, but you spend three days dreaming and planning. With my husband having had a vasectomy six years ago, I know I can’t be pregnant. I can’t, right? Right? But I find myself talking about it, imagining, and thinking, “What if?”

What if I am? My first feelings are filled with the nostalgia of being pregnant and a new mom. I think of the family videos that we love to watch with our two teenagers and our 10-year-old. I long for those pudgy cheeks to kiss, for those adorable little voices learning new words, for those cuddly small bodies. I loved my pregnancies. As a doula, I have a trust and passion for birth, and I savored my nursing days snuggled in with a baby. When I think I might be 44 and pregnant, my immediate gut reaction is happy and gleeful, excited for a possible accident.

Then reality starts to ease into my memories.

Click here to continue reading.

Nurturing Beginnings by Debra Pascali-Bonaro

April 22, 2014

Nurturing Beginnings cover, baby with wings, doula guide, books for doulas, Debra Pascali-Bonaro book, Announcing the newly updated Nurturing Beginnings, Debra Pascali-Bonaro’s terrific postpartum doula guide. I’m proud to share this with you because I worked with Debra and her team to revise and contribute to the updated version.

Debra Pascali-Bonaro was first my doula trainer, then my mentor, then my friend.

We met in 2007 in New York City at a doula training, as the workshop progressed, I felt achier and sicker and on the last day, I listened to Debra lying down with my eyes closed. (It turned out I had Lyme Disease).

Then I invited Debra to teach several doula trainings I hosted and we attended conferences together. We had pajama talks, chats over glasses of wine and on long walks. We talked about issues monumental and trivial, and everything in between. We shared our families and pondered world problems with our toes in the sand and at restaurants over meals.

So when Debra asked me to be a part of this project, I jumped at the chance. I am proud to have helped to edit, contribute and update this version of Nurturing Beginnings. I am honored to be a co-author beside Debra Pascali-Bonaro.

6 Tips to Avoid a Cesarean

April 8, 2013

I’m often asked how to avoid a cesarean. While none of these tips is a sure fire way to avoid a cesarean, they can definitely help you, especially as you add them together.

baby in c section, avoid cesarean, cesarean birth, what happens in cesarean birth, baby held high, holding baby up, baby in lights, April is Cesarean Awareness Month and I am devoting my posts this week to issues surrounding cesarean births. Last week, I wrote about cesareans in general and the U.S. c-sections rate as well as some of the myths as to why the c-section rate is as high as it is.

Today, 6 Tips to help you avoid a cesarean:

1. Choose a Provider You Completely Trust

Your provider will be making the clinical judgment calls throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth; you need to be totally comfortable that your provider hears you, understands your hopes and visions for your birth and demonstrates respect for your questions and birth wishes.

If you leave appointments feeling unheard, brushed off or uneasy, trust your gut. Perhaps that indicates you should shop around. Ask your provider what his/her individual cesarean rate is. How decisively did they answer? Did you get a solid response or a vague explanation of their high risk patient load? How does their cesarean rate line up with the hospital, state and national rates? I’m not suggesting an elaborate analysis, but know this number and listen as you ask.

Remember, too, that while you may love one doctor in a group, you may never see that doc during your labor and birth. Obstetricians are surgeons, consider that as you decide who to hire are your provider. Low risk Moms do very well with midwives whose care is generally collaborative, low intervention, and individualized.

The midwifery model of care is based on pregnancy as a state of wellness, the medical model is focused on complications and problems. Childbirth Connection is a fantastic resource and in this article, explains the differences between the care models of midwives and doctors.

Birth Like an Elephant

October 15, 2012

Birth your baby like an elephant births. Female elephants in the wild encircle a birthing mother and protect her within this ring. As human mammals, historically in the U.S. and as a continuing practice in more traditional cultures, we, too, should surround ourselves with strong, nurturing women to hold our birthing space for us. Birth […]

Freedom for Birth – Own Your Birth

September 20, 2012

Today, around the world, the important documentary Freedom for Birth will be premiered in over 1000 locations. This film shines a light on childbirth as a human rights issue and how our birthing systems worldwide so often fail and disrespect women. The time is now to stand up, speak out, and reclaim birth. I always […]

Dads and Doulas

June 17, 2012

dads and doulas, father's day, fathers and doulas, doulas from dads perspective

I sometimes hear a Dad’s hesitation in hiring a doula. He’s involved in the pregnancy, supportive of his wife/partner, wants to be active and have a main role in the birth of his baby, so he’s thinking, “Why do we need her?”

As a doula, I can assure all Dads, that I am not there to replace them, but rather as a part of the birthing team, to help enhance their experience, and to support Dads, too, prenatally, during labor and postpartum. Often, after the birth, Dads are more appreciative of doula support than Moms. Dads and doulas work together as complementary parts of the Mom’s birth team.

Our presence lets Dads support their loved ones in their own way without having to remember position changes or comfort measures, reminding her to empty her bladder or release her shoulders. To a Mom, her husband/partner’s reassurance and presence are invaluable, he is emotionally connected and invested in her and the birth. In labor, I see Dads lovingly rubbing backs,

Father supporting mother in labor, dads and doulas, doulas from dads point of view, doulas from dads perspective, doulas and partners, fathers day

whispering in ears, encouraging and comforting, when they’re working so beautifully together, I can stand back, softly add a word of praise or a suggestion, add a touching hand and let the couple dance the labor dance together.

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