I've been hearing a lot recently that expectant couples are looking for classes that encourage them to both be involved, together, in the birth experience. Look no further!
Mary Caplin and I are thrilled to offer our Childbirth Class Date Night again on Friday, October 9, 2020, from 7:00-9:00 PM.
This class is a two-hour deep-dive into how to work together and come closer as a couple as you prepare for birth and experience it together. Here's a sneak peek into what the class entails:
Before the class, we'll email you to ask about what you want to get out of the class and what your priorities are. We want to make sure to tailor the information in class to your specific needs! The sooner you register, the sooner we'll be able to plan according to your situation, plans, and preferences.
As the class begins, we'll briefly get to know each other, then start talking about how to prepare for a smooth birth. We'll give tips about what you can do in pregnancy to start preparing your body and your partnership to give birth.
Then, we'll give some ideas about what to do in early labor--and how to know if it's the real deal. We'll talk about the stages of labor and how there are sign posts you can look for, although your birth experience will be unique and not exactly like anyone else's.
Then, we'll break for dessert of local gourmet cookies and tasty ice cream bars, plus cheese and fruit for the healthier crowd. As you snack, you'll keep learning about the emotions of labor and how to communicate together before and during your birth. We'll talk about what to do when the unexpected happens during your birth and how you can come out stronger as a couple if you're thrown a curve ball.
We'll watch a couple of birth videos that show couples having a positive birth experience together, and talk about things they did to facilitate that positive experience. We'll practice some hands-on comfort measures and helpful positions for labor. Then, we'll answer your questions about the "pushing" phase of giving birth. We'll close by guiding you through a couple's massage (both partners get a turn!) and answering any final questions you may have.
Throughout the class, there will be plenty of opportunities to ask your questions and get them answered. It'll be an evening packed with learning and hands-on practice in preparation for birth! Head on over to the Events tab to register!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will we be totally ready for birth after taking this class?
No. We pack in as much information as we can during this two-hour class, but to truly be ready for a positive birth experience, you'll need to spend more time preparing together. We'd love to support you as your doulas and meet with you for two-three more hours during pregnancy. In addition, we recommend physical preparation (we'll talk about that in class), and we'd be happy to tell you about our favorite book recommendations. (As a client, you're welcome to borrow as many books as you can read from the lending library!)
Do you have any promo codes I can use?
Thanks for asking! We are running a special where you can knock $10 off your ticket price for every couple that you refer, until the class is full. If you refer a couple, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know, and we'll refund you $10 when they sign up!
AND the best part? If you choose to hire us as your doulas after the class, your $50 class registration fee can be applied directly to your doula services package!
I'm planning to have an epidural when I give birth. Will this class be useful for me?
Yes! The information in this class will be meaningful for couples planning unmedicated births as well as couples planning to have an epidural. The information we share about preparing for a smooth birth, stages of labor, and some helpful positioning tips are useful whether you're medicated or unmedicated during labor. Some of the information, such as other labor positions and comfort measures, may only be relevant before anesthesia is administered, but remember that you will be without anesthesia for some of your labor--we want you to be as comfortable as possible throughout all stages of labor!
What precautions are you taking to make this class safe in the time of COVID-19?
We want you to be safe and feel comfortable at our class! We're capping the class at six couples, so there will be a maximum of 14 people in attendance (six couples plus two teachers). There will be more than six feet of space between couples, and we'll have hand sanitizer on tap. If we (the teachers) come within six feet of you to demonstrate anything, we'll wear a face covering. Based on the comfort and preferences of class members, we may also wear face shields throughout the class.
The class content sounds interesting, but I don't have a partner. Can I still come?
You're absolutely welcome to attend without a partner. If you'd be more comfortable in another setting, we'd be happy to accommodate you with a private class. Just email us at email@example.com.
I can't make it to the October 9th class. When will you be doing this class again?
We offer this class about every three months. If you'll still be pregnant in three months, we'd love to have you come to our next class, which will likely be in early 2021! If your birth is approaching sooner than that, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about coming to your home to teach a private class.
This all sounds great! Where can I register?
You can register on the Events tab!
This is the fifth and final post in a series about comfort measures for labor that appeal to each of the five senses. Today, we're focusing on the sense of smell! Studies show that aromatherapy can be an effective way to reduce anxiety and tension. This decrease in anxiety can then reduce your perception of pain. Here's a look at some essential oils that can be useful during labor.
Several floral scents have been shown to likely relieve stress and/or lower pain scores during labor. Diffusing lavender, jasmine, rose, or geranium into your labor and birth space can help you feel more at ease and comfortable during labor. Something I've noticed about floral scents is that people often have strong preferences towards or against certain scents. So smell a few and find a scent that you like!
I love the smell of citrus! When I found the picture above of the sliced open oranges, I could just smell and taste their tangy sweetness! Studies show that citrus scents can also be helpful during labor. Specifically, bitter orange (citrus aurantium) may lower pain scores, and both bitter orange and sweet orange peel (citrus sinesis) may decrease stress and anxiety during labor. Sign me up!
Peppermint for Nausea
As much as I love citrus and enjoy floral scents, the essential oil that I use most--hands down--is peppermint. An unfortunate side effect of transition in labor (when your cervix dilates from 8 cm to 10 cm) that many people experience is nausea. The rapid changes--physical and hormonal--that your body goes through during this time often lead to an upset stomach. For many of my clients, when I put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton pad and give it to them to inhale, their nausea goes away. It's not always effective, but it's a very handy tool to have on hand!
This is the first in a series of blog posts based on interviews I’m doing with midwives who serve Utah County.
Today's interview is with Roxanna Maurer of Angel Baby Midwifery. Roxanna has been a midwife since she graduated from Utah School of Midwifery in 1998! She lives in Payson, Utah and attends home births in Utah County. Roxanna is a warm, loving, beautiful person—I hope this post captures some of that for you!
Last month, I chatted with Roxanna as she took a break in the shade from landscaping her backyard. She already has a thriving garden, and is expanding it with fruit trees and other plants. She shared her wisdom about the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy.
When Roxanna takes on new clients, one of the questions she asks them is, Are you willing to take responsibility for yourself and your baby? Roxanna says, “I can talk to you till I'm blue in the face. But it's pointless if you go home and don't do anything about it.” This is especially important to Roxanna and her clients since all of her clients give birth at home. “Part of having home birth means I'm willing to take responsibility for myself,” she says. “That means you prepare for the marathon of birth.” And if you’re preparing for a marathon, you can’t be stocking up on candy bars and Diet Coke. Nutrition is critical.
So Roxanna shares a handy acronym to help her clients remember the critical nutrition components they need every day. The acronym was developed by her good friend and fellow midwife, Nikki Sasser. She says, “if you want to be a birthing queen, you need a WHOPPER every day.” And let me tell you, Nikki and Roxanna do not mean one from Burger King! (It’s also great advice for outside of pregnancy!)
W stands for whole grains. Roxanna’s disclaimer about whole grains? “I don't mean General Mills cereal that says whole grain on it because let's just be honest… it's not.” For those who are able to eat grains, she suggests oats, quinoa, millet, and brown rice as some delicious, nutritious options.
H stands for hydrate. Roxanna recommends drinking half of your weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water every day. Coconut water is also a great source of natural electrolytes—like Gatorade, but “with all the good stuff and none of the junk.”
O is for omegas. Roxanna uses the acronym BACON to remember sources of healthy fat and omegas. Butter, Avocado, Coconut, Olive oil, and Nuts.
P stands for proteins. As your blood volume increases during pregnancy, it’s important to have adequate amounts of protein. Iron and B vitamins are also critical in promoting healthy blood quality during pregnancy and having the necessary stamina for labor, birth, and early parenting, Roxanna says. (Vegans or vegetarians may need to take a B-vitamin supplement, as B-vitamins are typically found in animal products.) What sources does Roxanna recommend for protein? Beef, chicken, fish, eggs, lentils, beans and rice, nuts and seeds, protein powder drinks.”Those are a variety of ways of getting proteins in your diet.”
The second P in the WHOPPER acronym is probiotics. Probiotics “colonize the gut and break down the food.” Roxanna recommends Standard Process’s Lactic Acid Yeast as a probiotic supplement.
E stands for enzymes. Probiotics help break down the food, and enzymes continue the process. “That's the purpose of enzymes, to help you digest your food effectively,” Roxanna says. A healthy diet only does you good if your body is able to adequately digest it! Multizyme from Standard Process and TerraZyme from doTerra are options for enzyme supplements.
Lastly, the R in WHOPPER stands for the Rainbow. Eating a rainbow of healthy foods invites lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals into your diet. Go through the rainbow, and try to incorporate foods of every color. Red berries and cherries or beets, orange pumpkin, yellow squash, green salads or smoothies, blueberries, and purple plums or grapes… you get the idea!
And there you have it! Roxanna’s WHOPPER for birthing queens! Changing habits and sticking to a healthy diet can feel overwhelming, but you can do it! Check out my Top 5 Tips for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy. And to encourage yourself, here’s Roxanna’s tip: “Take a picture of success that you've had in your life and hang it in your mind.” Keep going back to that success in your thoughts; refer back to it. As you recognize other successes you’re having, “bring that into your success gallery, and refer to that. I was strong here. I can be strong here. And if I'm strong here, what else can I do?”
Hi, I'm Sara. I'm a childbirth educator and birth + postpartum doula serving Utah county. I'm a twin mom (plus one!), natural VBACer, and birth lover!