9/30/13

Spirited Birth Services Now Offering Monitrice Services!

This week I passed my Monitrice certification exam after almost 2 years of hands-on training, clinical experience and a 9 module curriculum program through the Oklahoma Midwives Alliance. I will also continue to take doula clients, and work as an midwifery assistant with local OMA homebirth midwives. 
What is a Monitrice and what does this mean for doula clients?
Monitrice work is very similar to doula work, with a larger range of support options. It means that I have basic midwifery skills along with doula skills. I continue to provide labor support, still provide guidance and reassurance during birth, and still use all the labor support tools of a doula, however as a monitrice I am professionally trained to provide clinical skills to a mother (fetal heart tones, blood pressure checks, and vaginal exams) in addition to the Doula services. Note that I do not make clinical care decisions or catch your baby.
When a healthy, low risk client hires a monitrice they have the freedom of staying home longer before moving to their place of birth, while having the skills to know mom and baby are doing well. A monitrice can monitor fetal heart tones, blood pressure, and can check cervical dilation, effacement, and station. This can be especially helpful to a mother who is planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section), or a mother who is afraid of going to the hospital too soon and would like to minimize unneeded interventions.

Spirited Birth Monitrice Service package:
$900 or $200 added to existing doula clients
10% discounts for repeat clients and $100 off for clients planning a homebirth.

1 hour initial no-cost consultation included
  • 1-2 one-hour prenatal visits, preferably one with your care-provider present to explain my standards of practice. We will also discuss nutrition, alternative therapies, ideal birth planning and preparation and comfort measures for birth.
  • Unlimited phone, text, and email support as needed throughout your pregnancy and up to two weeks postpartum.
  • On call care (available 24 hours/day) for your birth beginning on the first day of your 38th week of pregnancy (2 weeks before your due date) and continuing through your birth until you have your baby.
  • Early labor monitoring at home (includes an assessment of labor, vitals, checking fetal heart tones, and chart notes)
  • Birth pictures taken with my DSLR camera for you at no cost, as a keepsake.
  • Continuous, uninterrupted doula support during your labor and birth in your home, birthing center, or hospital of your choosing.
  • 1-2 one-hour postpartum visits in the hospital or home, to review baby's well-being and offer breastfeeding assistance.

Would I want a Doula or a Monitrice?

  • This all depends on what kind of support you would like.
  • Some women choose to not have any medical skills used before they go to the hospital, birth center, or stay at home. They trust their bodies and do not worry about what their baby's heart rate is doing or how far dilated they are. *If this sounds like you then a doula could be a good fit!
  • Other women like to know that their blood pressure, baby's heart rate, and temperature are doing well. They also like the comfort of knowing how far dilated they are at any given point during their labor. Sometimes knowing this information can allow the laboring mother to stay at home longer because she knows all is well, and that she is not dilated as far as she desires before she may want to go to a hospital or birth center. *If the second example sounds more like you then a monitrice could be a good fit.

    References:
    http://naturalchildbirthing.org/doula-faqs.html

4/17/13

Music for labor land

According to this study and this one, music in labor reduces sensation and distress in labor.
"Labor pain is often severe, and analgesic medication may not be indicated. In this randomized controlled trial we examined the effects of music on sensation and distress of pain in Thai primiparous women during the active phase of labor. The gate control theory of pain was the theoretical framework for this study. Randomization with a computerized minimization program was used to assign women to a music group (n = 55) or a control group (n = 55). Women in the intervention group listened to soft music without lyrics for 3 hours starting early in the active phase of labor. Dual visual analog scales were used to measure sensation and distress of pain before starting the study and at three hourly posttests. While controlling for pretest scores, one-way repeated measures analysis of covariance indicated that those in the music group had significantly less sensation and distress of pain than did the control group (F (1, 107) = 18.69, p <.001, effect size =.15, and F (1, 107) = 14.87, p <.001, effect size =.12), respectively. Sensation and distress significantly increased across the 3 hours in both groups (p <.001), except for distress in the music group during the first hour. Distress was significantly lower than sensation in both groups (p <.05). In this controlled study, music--a mild to moderate strength intervention--consistently provided significant relief of severe pain across 3 hours of labor and delayed the increase of affective pain for 1 hour. Nurses can provide soft music to laboring women for greater pain relief during the active phase when contractions are strong."

I was so grateful to have a friend send me a list of her favorite labor songs when I was pregnant with Nico, it really helped me to start with a list and then add my own special songs. I found that we actually had many favorites in common. I listened to the playlist on shuffle during labor and found it incredibly soothing to connect to the music with the surges. Nico was born to Portishead's "Roads".

You can find my birth playlist (special thanks to Heather Cooper) here: Birth Music


Below is some of the feedback that facebook fans left on a post about the music they enjoyed in labor.

Enjoy making your very special playlist for birth!

"By your side -Sade 
Breathe- Anna Nalick
Fields of Gold- Sting

Three little birds- Bob Marley
Forever Young- Rod Stewart
Baby Mine- Allison Krauss
Beautiful Boy- John Lennon"


"Beach House's 'Walk In the Park'"

"Avett brothers, arcade fire"
"Antonio Vivaldi" 

"Enya"


"Chris Tomlan & 
Sublime"

"Pink Floyd, Flaming Lips, Damien Rice, Sinead O'Conner and David Bowie"

"Radiohead"


"Gregorian chant"

"Devi Prayer by Craig Pruess & Anand"
"Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay and Florence and the Machine"

"Bob marley, coldplay, and the Beatles, to name a few."

"Norah Jones, Marley, Jack Johnson, Sevendust, and Eric Clapton"

"The Blessing" by Celtic Woman"

"Under Pressure, David Bowie"


"Josh Groban, George Winston, and Christian music"

"Neil Young, Van Morrison, Avett Brothers, Grateful Dead, The Band, Otis Redding, Bright Eyes, Flaming Lips, Jeff Buckley"

2/27/13

Questions to ask your Placenta Encapsulation Provider

With the popularity of this practice growing, it is important to remember to hire a safe placenta encapsulation provider!


Here are some questions below to ask your potential Placenta Encapsulation Provider:


Are you OSHA Certified? 
Be sure the provider has completed OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training in accordance with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1090.1030. This will mean they are likely to use EPA & OSHA approved sanitation methods. Running the equipment through the dishwasher or spraying it with your favorite household cleaner isn't going to cut it.


Where do you prepare the placenta for encapsulation? 
I am leery of anyone who routinely prepares them in their own home kitchen, not only is it illegal to prepare a food/supplement in a home (without an approved commercial kitchen) for resale, it is also easier for cross-contamination to happen! Not to mention they would be exposing their family to the blood-borne pathogens of the placentas prepared. This usually means the placenta encapsulation provider brings her equipment to you, preparing in your home. This also ensures that you see your placenta from start to finish to verify it is in fact your placenta. Occasionally, a birth center can be used for out of town clients to prepare placentas for encapsulation when done safely.


How many placentas have you prepared? 
Trust me, as a person who had to seek my training from many places and learn the hard way about what not to do after "experimenting" with donated placentas, I can tell you that you don't want someone "training" on your placenta. Knowing what I've learned 300+ placentas later, I want to ask that you seek out an experienced provider. You want it done right the first time, since you only have one time to prepare it!


Do you do the raw method or the TCM method? 
The placenta is potentially exposed to bacteria from the birth canal including maternal fecal matter, and infant meconium. The steaming process helps to kill off these bacteria and can help protect against any potential illnesses from bacteria allowed to culture on the placenta before encapsulation. Also, in raw preparation, when the placenta is not dehydrated for a long enough period of time mold spores can grow in the raw placenta capsules, thereby putting the mother at risk of food poisoning.

Cooking does not destroy the beneficial hormones, and actually may make them more available to the mother when consumed, even increasing the amount of Iron in the placenta (Ferritin) when steamed according to an excerpt from the recent study by the University of Nevada.


Also keep in mind that all other (pre-industrial) cultures with a tradition of placenta consumption use some form of cooking, curing, or tincturing, 
except when used to curb bleeding immediately after the birth.  


If you want the benefits of raw consumption consume the placenta immediately after the birth so bacteria has no time to grow, cut off a 1-2 inch square piece and place inside the cheek or under the tongue for as long as possible. It may then be discarded, or swallowed according to your preference. You can also blend in a smoothie. This is the fastest and safest way to incorporate the hormonal benefits of the raw placenta.



More on the TCM method: 
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cooling foods are best in the first 48 hours postpartum. Raw foods, thus raw placenta, are used to help calm the hormonal rush and blood flow down. After the first 48 hours, warming foods are most beneficial. Cooked or steamed foods (TCM prepared and/or encapsulated  placenta) are used to help rebuild blood, chi, and  slowly increase the body's endocrine functions.



For more information about placenta encapsulation in Oklahoma visit my website.




In other news:

Exciting things are happening on the placenta encapsulation front! A recent study done by The University of Nevada should be published soon highlighting the benefits of TCM preparation and placenta ingestion. I will share it as soon as it is available!


Also, I am doing some THOROUGH and exciting research on medical grade EPA approved disinfectants for our placenta encapsulation process. While our current method is EPA & OSHA compliant, we would love a less corrosive solution. Stay tuned for more information on this!

1/22/13

Birth of Nico Mae

It may be helpful for some to read about my experience with Jude's birth to understand why this birth journey was so important to me. You can read some of my thoughts about Jude's birth in 2008 here. It was his birth experience that led me to birth work and to be an advocate for women's birth rights. I always believed that his birth was meant to unfold the way it did to bring me to this work, but I also longed for a normal birth, and to not feel as though my body was broken.

The Pregnancy & Healing Birth of Nico Mae Goodwin

When we found out we were pregnant, there was no doubt I would be planning a HBAC (homebirth after c-section) and I knew that in order to stay low risk and be a good VBAC and homebirth candidate I would need to take exceptional care of myself. Thankfully, the year before conception I had completely turned my diet around and lost nearly 60lbs by eating whole foods and by avoiding processed carbohydrates. The nausea of the first trimester made it difficult to eat that way, but my appetite for greens and whole foods quickly returned once I started feeling normal again in the second trimester. I also knew that I needed to enlist the help of every possible holistic care-provider to ensure maximum physical and emotional preparedness for this birth. I went to my therapist bi-monthly and worked through the PTSD issues from my last birth with EFT Tapping and fear release techniques, I went to see a Webster Certified chiropractor weekly and even bi-weekly towards the end of the pregnancy, I had a few Craniosacral treatments, I saw an acupuncturist regularly, met with a hypnotist on several occasions, attended pre-natal yoga, hired an independent childbirth instructor to come and give John a refresher class on comfort measures for birth, hired a doula (yes, even the doula needs a doula!), who would also double as a birth photographer, and hired a skilled midwife from the practice that I work with who had also become a good friend due to working together at many births together.

Throughout the pregnancy, I worked to keep fears at bay by reading Ina May books, listening to Hypnobirth and Gentlebirth VBAC audio affirmations and I did my best to keep a journal. I fought hard to protect what I called my "birth bubble" so that the births I attended as a doula and negative birth stories people would share with me wouldn't sink in too deeply and further effect my expectations for my own birth. This was by far the hardest thing I did. It reminds me of the HypnoBirth shirts that have "Shhhh....my baby is listening" printed on them.

*Please be mindful of the stories you share with those who are expecting.

I knew I wanted to experience certain things differently this time, for instance I would be fully informed about any test or procedure before I consented to it and I choose a care provider who supported this and I trusted would not make recommendations that were not evidence based. I also tried to remain realistic about the possibility of transfer, and consulted with a local hospital and selected a Certified Nurse Midwife who works with other great midwives and OBGYNs in her practice in the event I would need a medically necessary transfer.

I had done everything to prepare. I was ready.


January 16th, 2013
After months of regular Braxton Hicks contractions, and days of prodromal night labor with contractions 10-15 minutes apart that I would believe "were it" only to fizzle out, I was emotional and exhausted. I had called John home from work that day thinking we would have the baby, and as soon as he got home the contractions stopped. I took a bath and cried. I held a pity party for one. Then, something amazing happened... I got out of the bath and decided to do my Dancing For Birth cardinal movements, doing everything I could think of to get my body moving, and for nearly an hour I danced out the blues and reconnected with my body and baby, also in the process surely better aligned baby's position for birth. I went to bed with an attitude of surrender and acceptance.

January 17th, 2013
At around 5:30am I woke with a strong surge, and 15 minutes later I had another one. I got out of bed to walk around thinking "if this is it, I don't want John to go to work" and I went to the kitchen and as soon as I stepped onto the tile my water broke. It was around 6:00 or 6:30am. I yelled to John "You are definitely not going to work today!" to which he responded "Sweet!".

Surges immediately started coming 2 minutes apart. I was in denial about how quickly things were happening, but immediately had to lean over with surges and couldn't talk with them.


I took a shower and called my midwife and doula to alert them, hoping they could come by 8:00am when Jude needed to be taken to school so I wouldn't be alone. John also took a shower, at which point I was ready to get in the tub and we were running out of hot water! We would still need to fill the birth pool, so I alert John to start filling it. When the midwife and doula arrive, I don't even make eye contact, I am in the zone. I just remember sitting in the bathroom and my midwife placing her cold hand on my leg and it felt so amazing. My doula was busy boiling water on all burners trying to get the birth pool water warm enough for birth. They all realized how fast it was going but me. I was thrashing around on the toilet a bit and moaning with surges, noticeably tense because Jude was crying saying he didn't want to go to school and that he wanted to be with me. I yelled across the house to John and told him to let him stay. As soon as the choice to let Jude stay home was made, I fell into my rhythm. I needed Jude there.



 I got into the bathtub and I began swaying my hips in circles and chanting:

"easy, easy, easy, easy...." 

and

"open, open, open, open..." 





I rubbed my belly or held John's hand. Jude would come check on me and peek into the door and I would smile at him, feeling peace every time I noticed him. At some point in the bathtub, my body bears down on it's own and my doula reminds me to reach down and touch (I wanted to avoid vaginal exams - unless I did them myself) and when I reached inside I felt my baby's head right behind the pubic bone. My doula brain popped in for a minute and I thought to myself "this is your first vaginal birth, you have a while to go". I told my team I needed to get into the birth pool around 9:00am when the next surge came with the same pressure and I could feel that my tub from 1920s was too narrow to get my hips wide enough. I quickly made my way to the pool and labored baby down for the next hour while John stayed by my side. 







I was surprised that I never got overwhelmed or thought I couldn't do it in labor, even though the rushes were strong. I would just think to myself:

"This is just energy, you can do this" 

or 

"One at a time".

Jude was in the bedroom almost the entire time playing with his toys (I had no idea he was so involved until I replayed the birth video because I was in so focused) At one point he is even making a bunch of noise but I never heard him in labor. I am really grateful that no one asked Jude to leave the room or assumed he was disturbing me. He was able to participate at his comfort level. I am told later by the midwife that around this time Jude comes in with a drawing he made, which resembles a perfect 10cm circle appropriately around the time they assume I am fully dilated. 



I remember my doula grabbed my blessingway beads and hung them where I could see them...



At some point, I believe shortly after 10am my body starts giving some involuntary pushes at the peak of the surges. I am surprised at my body, because I can feel the baby move each time, I see myself imagining my body as a flower, opening just the way it had been created. The power that comes with this part, is otherworldly to say the least. It was the most warm, intense, incredibly strong sensation. 





I kept my hand there to feel baby's head as baby's head got closer. I remember drawing strength around that time thinking about a birth story in Ina May's book about a birthing women whose mantra during pushing was "I am huge", as that helped her stay open for her baby. 

My team knew that I wanted to receive the baby myself, the midwife close by if needed. As baby's head begin to crown I could feel everything stretch and I took my time, feeling the fetal ejection, letting my body do the work. 

I told John I loved him and that I couldn't believe we were about to have a baby! He told me "to bring it home". A few minutes later, at 10:41am baby Nico Mae was waterborn into my arms. 





John looked and announced it was a girl and I tearfully exclaimed:

"Oh my god, I just had a baby! 

Oh my god! I didn't know that I would do it! 

Oh my god! We just had a baby!"





Nico Mae Goodwin
1.17.13
10:41am
7lbs, 10oz
20 inches long



Birth Video:
















12/31/12

2012 Birth Statistics

In the spirit of full transparency, and in taking ownership of our maternity care when we ask our care providers to provide their birth statistics/outcomes I have listed my statistics for the births I was privileged to attend in 2012. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!



2012 Birth Statistics

47 births attended
20 births were planned homebirths, 1 was not. ;-)
39 vaginal births, including a set of twins!
82.9% vaginal delivery rate
3 planned c-sections and 5 un-planned/necessary c-sections
10.6% unplanned c-section rate
3 inductions - medically necessary
6.3% induction rate
5 medicated vaginal births
87.1% of vaginal births were without pain medicine
1 episiotomy
2.1% episiotomy rate
2 successful VBAC births (vaginal birth after c-section)
3 repeat clients

I hope 2013 is even more successful, and as my calender is already filling up with several repeat clients and new clients alike, I have no doubt it will be a beautiful year for birth!

Happy New Year!

11/30/12

Oklahoma's newest Placenta Encapsulation Providers

I am excited to introduce you to Oklahoma's newest Placenta Encapsulation Providers!

Chelsey and Jessi will be serving Spirited Birth Services during my maternity leave and are available to assist as needed thereafter! They are OSHA Certified and mentored by me personally in the same method of preparation for capsule making, tincture making and print making that I have used to serve over 300 families.



Chelsey Murnan, CD(DONA), Placenta Encapsulation Provider


Chelsey's passion for birth work, like many of us, began when she became a mother. After obtaining her nursing license she found out the hospital setting wasn't for her. She continued on to get her doula training in Oct 2009 and completed her certification in July 2011. First and foremost she is a midwife assistant at Community Midwifery Services, since Jan 2011. She is also an LPN, DONA Certified Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Educator and Placenta Encapsulation Provider with Spirited Birth Services. Her long term goal is to become a respected midwife. Chelsey's passion for placenta encapsulation began when she was pregnant with her third child. After being discouraged to encapsulate because it was gross/weird she then developed postpartum depression. Chelsey felt she was unable to fully enjoy her babymoon and had harmful thoughts toward her newborn. At around 4 months postpartum she was placed on significant antidepressants. During that time all she wanted was her placenta back. She reports actually craving it!  Unfortunately, once it's gone there's no retrieving it. This is why she strongly recommends freezing your placenta at the very least. Chelsey feels very blessed to be working with such a lovely group of ladies as we better birth from pregnancy and beyond. She currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma.




Jessi Vining, CD(DONA), Placenta Encapsulation Provider


Jessica Vining CD (DONA) is a birth doula certified through DONA International, a Montrice in training with the Oklahoma Midwives Alliance and a placenta encapsulation provider through Spirited Birth Services. She loves supporting pregnant women and their families and hopes to help all new parents enjoy to the fullest their birth and postpartum period. She and her husband currently live in Choctaw, Oklahoma.

10/11/12

A Pregnancy and Birth Affirmation


Pregnancy and Birth Affirmation


My body has the divine ability to grow a perfect child within it.
Without conscious thought it builds an amazing organ, the placenta, to help grow and feed my baby.
My body and my baby tell me what healthy foods they need to function and grow.
I listen to their promptings.
As my baby grows my body changes.
I embrace the roundness,the curves, the fertility that shows the power within.
I welcome the softness of my breasts and abdomen and legs because it shows how perfectly I am preparing to grow and feed this baby.
I take time to slow down, rest, and care for my baby and my body without guilt, knowing that it is for the best.
As I get closer to the time of birth I enjoy the last few weeks and days with the baby inside me.
I love her close presence, her constant reminders she is there and her growth.
As I get heavier I look forward to the moment of birth, recognizing that my body gets less comfortable so that I will embrace what I once feared: labor.
I wait for the baby to grow until it is ready to meet me.
I know that this baby will come when it is ready.
I love being able to give my baby time to grow to her full potential.
I trust her time table.
As labor begins I embrace the next step on my journey to motherhood.
I am not afraid.
I am powerful.
I hear nothing else but my body and my baby as they tell me how to move and dance to make her entry more joyful.
I embrace the sensations.
They are strong, they are work, they are preparing me for motherhood.
I am not afraid.
I am powerful.
I feel my body open to let the baby out.
I feel the baby move down as my body helps her come to our family.
I accept what is overwhelming.
Giving in to my birth makes me more powerful.
I roar my baby out.
What seemed impossible is done.
It is more that perfect.
It is as close as I will get to the divine creative power.
I embrace the slippery, perfect child.
I am a mother.

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