Tag Archive | doula langley

Space for one more doula client in Jan 2017 and one in Feb 2017 in Surrey or Langley

Live in Surrey or Langley and Expecting a Baby Soon? Thinking about having Doula Support for your Birth?

Prenatal Journey currently has space for one more client due Jan 2017, and one more due Feb 2017. If you’re due in March or later, there is still space. I provide Birth Doula Support to moms-to-be in Surrey, Langley, Delta, Vancouver and Abbotsford.

Having a doula is a great idea if you would like to have more support through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum time. It’s especially helpful if you want to have your best chance at having a natural birth. Doulas provide non-medical physical, emotional and informational support so that moms can have an easier time in labour and have an empowering, positive birth experience. Evidence proves that having a Doula reduces the need for pain meds like epidurals or narcotics, and also reduces the need for inductions and cesareans. They also increase successful breastfeeding rates, reduce postpartum depression, and make sure moms and babies start their new phase of life feeling supported, positive and capable.

At births, I often help moms cope with labour with specific techniques and tools – counterpressure, hip squeezes, massage, position changes, TENS machine, encouragement and so on. I also am a great listener, supporting moms through any emotional challenges they are dealing with in pregnancy, birth, or after their babies are born. Being there with moms right in labour and being available 24 hours a day by phone in pregnancy and postpartum to answer any questions, helps moms get the information they need to power them to make informed decisions about their well-being. Dads also LOVE having a doula to help out in labour. Dads are so important at births, and I always make sure I show dads how to effectively support their partners. Dads and doulas usually work as a team. Moms can’t have too much support in labour.

Prenatal Classes, and Birth Photography

Besides doula support, I also teach prenatal classes and provide birth photography. I offer private prenatal classes in Surrey, Langley, and surrounding areas. They are on your schedule and in the comfort of your own home. Group prenatal classes are in small groups and consist of two full Saturdays, or once a week for 8 weeks. Many clients also love having birth photography done to capture special memories of their child’s brith and the first moments of life.

You can read more at my other pages to find out about Doula Support, or if you are still wondering, “What Is A Doula?“.

You can find out more about Prenatal Classes with Prenatal Journey, or about Birth Photography.

If you’d like to register, call 604 809 3288 or email kaurina@prenataljourney.ca 

 

Here’s what a doula and prenatal class client has said,

I was determined to give my daughter Valentina a natural birth at home without the use of any pain medication. Thanks to Kaurina, I was able to physically, emotionally and mentally prepare myself to make this happen. Kaurina was very thorough and motivating during those important months of preparation, helping my husband and I shape the kind of birth that we wanted for our baby. It was through her inspiring talks that we truly shaped our home-birth plan, as she helped guide our thinking as well as presenting many options that had not occurred to us. Thanks to her we were more than prepared for the arrival of our daughter. Not only did she provide me with the support I needed, she provided my husband with extremely helpful tools, helping him become an integral part of the birthing process.
During labour, I was so deeply thankful to have Kaurina with me as my doula. She was calming and reassuring, providing me with excellent coaching, calming my mind and body, giving me the focus and direction I needed to bring Valentina into this world as calmly and quickly as naturally possible.
After the birth of Valentina, the world came into sharp focus. No matter how many nieces, nephews, or children of friends, nothing prepared us for the intimate feeling of caring for our own child. With this also came the fears of proper care, the immediacy of her needs, and the emotional roller coaster of the post-partum period. Kaurina was there for us in every way. She answered every phone call and question, as well as coming by to check on our health, well being, and techniques; such as showing me useful breastfeeding techniques, how to care for the umbilical cord, and the best way to approach a bath for a newborn.
All of this care made for a truly beautiful birth experience, as well as ensuring a positive post-partum period; Kaurina can be thanked for it all.

– C. Palencia, Vancouver, BC

TENS Machine for Use in Natural Birth – Surrey, Langley

What is a TENS machine?

A TENS machine, or TENS unit, is a simple device that you can use in labour to reduce the sensation of pain, and so it can help you have a natural birth. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. You place these sticky electrical pads on your skin, and it delivers tiny electrical stimulation to the nerves. It is used by physiotherapists for pain relief of various kinds – muscle aches, migraines, back ache, injuries, and pretty much any pain, whether accute or chronic. For decades now, it has also been used for labour pain.

How is a TENS machine used in labour?

The sticky pads are place on the back in early labour, or near the start of active labour. It takes an hour or two to build up in effectiveness. It works for natural pain relief using the Gateway Theory of Pain – the stimulus to the sensation nerves blocks out some of the pain nerves because the brain can only process a certain amount of stimulation from the nerves before it starts to block out some out. About 80% of moms in labour who use a TENS machine say it helped them reduce and cope with the pain.

There are several brands of TENS machines. The most common one used for labour is the Elle TENS machine which has a Boost button to increase and change the pulse during contractions.

Are there risks or side-effects?

There are no risks or side effects except that you obviously can’t use it in the shower or bath. It is also not recommended if mom has a pacemaker. It should also not be used on the abdomen during pregnancy. It should be placed on the back.

Because it can be an effective method of pain coping in labour, with no side effects, it makes an excellent tool to have if you want a natural birth.

How to get one in Surrey or Langley?

If you want to have a TENS unit for labour, you have to get it before hand. Hospitals do not have TENS units available, although it would be great if they did. You can either buy one or rent one, or if you have me as your doula, you will have access to mine. To find out about how doula support can help you click on Doula Support.

If you are in Surrey, Langley or surrounding areas, you can rent a TENS unit from me for up to 5 weeks. The fee is $90 and includes 2 sets of electrical sticky pads. You can call me at 604 809 3288 or email me at kaurina@prenataljourney.ca.

If you would like to purchase your own so you can have it for more uses than labour, they are available in Vancouver at Natural Creation or the Facebook page.

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For more info on Birth Doula Services or Prenatal Classes in Surrey, Langley or surrounding areas contact

604 809 3288 or kaurina@prenataljourney.ca

 

Birth Doula Support and Prenatal Classes Open for Expecting Parents Again!

baby smilingWow! It’s been over a year since my daughter was born and it’s been so much fun being with her. I’ve had such a blast and it’s been a really great experience watching how much my 3 older children just love her to bits. People had asked me if it was hard having the big gap (the youngest is 8 years older than the baby) and then going back to looking after a baby again, but no, it’s been such a pleasure. I feel way more confident as a mum now than I did before, and watching the older kids interact with the baby has been such a gift.

So now that the baby is a toddler, I’m ready to start accepting clients for Birth Doula Support, as well as, Prenatal Classes.

Doula Support :

I have space for expecting parents who are due April 2016 or later and would like doula support for their birth. I only have a few spots available each month and some months are filling up fast, so call 604 809 3288 now to reserve your spot.

I provide doula support for births in Delta, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and other parts of the Lower Mainland.

If you’re not sure if doula support is right for you, or you’re not sure what it even is, feel free to drop me a line and ask. Or go to What Is A Doula? If you wanna know what other moms are saying about doula support click here.

 

Prenatal Classes :

If you would like Prenatal Classes, I am offering private prenatal classes right now for individual couples in the convenience of their own homes.

Group Prenatal Classes will be available starting in June 2016, so if you are due in the summer or later, group prenatal classes would be perfect for you.

Group classes will be held in Clayton Heights on the Surrey Langley border, and private prenatal classes are in your own home. I travel anywhere in Delta, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, New Westminster and so on. Parents-to-be who would prefer to have a natural birth, really like my classes because they are geared especially to teaching skills to increase your chances of having a natural birth.

Private classes are available for both first-time parents and parents who already have child but want to take a Refresher course. Parents who take the Refresher course tend to be people who have had a previous cesarean and want to have a VBAC this time (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), or moms who have a new partner with the next pregnancy and would like their partners to learn how to support them in labour.

For more info on prenatal classes click here.

 

More Services :

Besides Doula Support and Prenatal Classes, you may also be interested in some of the other services I provide :

  • Birth Plan Consultation or Early Pregnancy Consultation
  • Birth Photography
  • Belly Henna
  • Belly Casting
  • Reflexology and Guided Meditation for Relaxation (prenatal or post partum)

Click here for more info on More Services.

And, for moms with kids of all ages:

  • Life Coaching for Moms – Helping moms solve their problems whether it’s career-life balance, relationships, financial, parenting, self-confidence and so on. Find out more at Free Chaos to Calm Session.

Life Coaching for Moms is by phone or Skype so it’s actually available anywhere in the world and not just the Lower Mainland, BC, Canada.

 

If you have any questions, you can contact me at 604 809 3288, or email me at kaurina @ prenatal journey .ca

fb-art Follow Prenatal Journey on Facebook to get all the latest birth and baby updates!

Have a wonderful day!

 

– Kaurina Danu

 

 

 

I recently welcomed my fourth child into the world

I am absolutely ecstatic to announce that I had my fourth kid, and 2nd daughter in January 2015. She was welcomed into the world by her older brothers and sister with so much love.

Of course as a doula and prenatal teacher, I was very interested in putting all the skills I teach in my classes to good use in my own labour.

First of all, right from the beginning of my pregnancy, I wanted to choose the best health care provider that would be a good fit with my birth preferences. This is one of the most important things I tell my clients that will affect the kind of birth you have. Don’t just choose any random maternity care provider. Find the ones who best fit with the kind of person you are, and the kind of birth you want.

Secondly, birth can be unpredictable, so when things don’t follow the textbook version of labour, you have to make informed decisions regarding what to do. There are ALWAYS options. When my water broke and my labour didn’t start for over 24 hours, it was stressful because, of course, as a mom, you naturally worry. But I kept reviewing my options and the potential risks of all the options available and kept discussing things with my midwives. Just to be clear, I felt totally fine with having any medical intervention that was clearly necessary and helpful, but I also know when interventions are not entirely necessary. There are always risks to both sides – having a medical intervention or declining it. In my situation I had the options of going to the hospital to start an induction, using non-medical ways of starting labour (herbs/ acupuncture etc which can be highly effective), or simply waiting it out. That’s another reason moms love having a doula with them in pregnancy and labour – if unexpected situations arrive, the doula can often talk moms through the decision making process, empowering them with a range of information on options so that moms can make an informed choice and feel good about it.

I knew the risks and possible outcomes of all scenarios and decided to take various herbs to get labour started. I also know that emotions and ’emotional blockages’ can have a huge impact on labour. So with the help of my doula friend, I worked through any deep seated emotions I was having that could have been blocking my labour from starting. That was EXTREMELY helpful because after I realized a huge emotional block I was holding, and then let it go, my labour started soon after.

Thirdly, of course, is all the pain coping strategies I teach. Once labour started, the first half was the easy part. The key for that is to keep focussing on staying completely relaxed. Holding on to any tension or resistance will cause pain. I was able to feel no pain at all for the first half of the labour by breathing out all the pressure waves and making a low toning sound. You can try it now, just let yourself sigh with a deep sound. You naturally let all your tension go and you feel more grounded. Remember fear in labour = adrenaline = pain = more fear = more pain. You have to keep the adrenaline out of the equation in labour and keep deep breathing away any tension or pressure you feel building up. Pay attention to your body.

homebirth labouring mom As contractions intensified, I moved around, feeling for whatever positions felt more comfortable. Sitting, squating, standing, lunging, leaning forward on furniture, sitting backwards on the couch, swaying my hips etc. I was chatting with my doula, friend, mom, and midwives in between contractions. Eventually, I felt like leaving the living room and going up to my bedroom. In labour, women naturally experience a going within. They feel like they are going deeper and deeper inside themselves as labour progresses. A woman starts using more of her primitive, instinctual brain and less of the cerebral cortex. It is the instinctual part of the brain which controls the natural process of labour. Labour flows more smoothly when a woman is undisturbed so she can smoothly go deep within herself. Any distractions that pull a woman out of this state of mind will slow down the labour and also create unnecessary pain sensations. Bright lights, too much talking, asking questions, talking about time (which is a cerebral concept), telling a woman what to do so she can’t listen to her own body’s instincts, disturbances like frequent blood pressure checks, vaginal exams etc. will all take a woman away from her “labour land” state of mind. And to the labouring woman, this feels quite irritating.

I told my midwives that I wanted a very hands off approach to my birth. I didn’t want any unnecessary disturbances such as internal dilation checks or them telling me what to do. But having them there in the background helped me feel safe in the rare situation where medical help might be needed. It is important for birthing moms to feel safe and supported. That will lead to a smooth labour process. Anything that makes them feel worry, fear or anxiety will cause a slowing down of the labour process, or even complications.

homebirth labouring momOnce I got to my bedroom, the lights were off with just a dim light on in the bathroom. My older daughter had woken up by this point and she lit some candles to add to the mood of the room. My mom made sure the music playlist I had put together for the birth was still playing. I had complied a series of songs that I found both inspiring and relaxing. I love music and I find it helps me set the tone for focusing on feeling good. In labour, you want to take your attention off the pain sensations and replace them with anything that makes you feel good. My doula was massaging my sacrum while holding a hot pack on my lower back. My husband rubbed my back and shoulders. That all felt really good. By this point, I was not feeling zero pain, like in the earlier part of the labour, but all these things helped take the edge off the intensity of contractions so they were completely manageable.

People often tell me that I’m brave to have a homebirth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, in terms of pain management, homebirth is often easier to manage because I feel more comfortable at home and there are so much fewer disturbances to my instinctual state of being. In terms of safety, solid evidence shows that homebirth is as safe, if not safer, than hospital birth, as long as it’s a healthy pregnancy, there are trained care providers in attendance, and a hospital is less than an hour’s drive away if there is a need to transfer. Here in the lower mainland, BC, Canada, we are so lucky to have a fantastic midwifery system that functions relatively smoothly at home or hospital. If you feel more comfortable having a homebirth, definitely go for it, or at least look into it. If you feel safer and more comfortable in a hospital, then hospital is the place for you. Birthing moms should be in the place that is more conducive to them feeling safe and supported. You have to know yourself, and know what you prefer. It doesn’t matter what anybody else does. It only matters what kind of experience you want and how you’re going to get it.

waterbirth home birthEventually, my contractions got pretty strong and I wondered if getting in the bathtub with warm water would help. I wasn’t particularly planning a waterbirth, but I always keep my options open. The warm water does take the edge of, but of course, labour is still a pretty intense and powerful process. At one point I joked with my midwife, “So you brought an epidural with you, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, it’s just in my back pocket,” she smiled.

“Oh good. I wouldn’t want to be crazy enough to have a natural birth.” 🙂

(Just in case you didn’t know, you can’t have an epidural or any other drugs at a homebirth because of the risk those things entail.)

I remember, through one contraction I just swore the whole way. Then for the next one I struggled to remember what the purpose of all the pain was. Oh yeah, to open the cervix and let the baby out. So I started chanting “Open, open…” through the whole contraction, while visualizing my cervix opening fully, quickly and easily. Soon after that I started to feel worried. I had the presence of mind to remind myself that this was a normal emotion during transition (the last bit of the dilation phase before the pushing phase). I was worried that this would go on forever and the baby would never come out. It’s common to have this rush of irrational feelings in transition, and a doula often reassures a labouring mom that this is a natural part of the process and it’s good sign that means things are progressing. It is important for the mom to go back to her state of feeling safe and relaxed instead of letting the worry and the adrenaline intensify. Again, smooth, fast and instinctual pushing phase vs. prolonged and worried pushing.

homebirth, waterbirthI soon began to feel “pushy”, meaning I felt like pushing a little at the peak of each contraction. I let the midwives know so they could get ready and everyone else too. My younger two kids were woken up so they could be present for the birth. I tried different positions in the tub – on my back, side, hands and knees, until I found the most comfortable position for myself, which just happened to be squatting facing the width of the tub instead of lengthwise so my feet could push against the side while my back rested on the other side.

Pushing contractions feel different than dilation contractions because you’re not just trying to relax through each one. You’re actually actively pushing with each one. And in a drug free birth, you can feel the powerful force of your body pushing instinctively. It’s not something you can stop. It’s like one mom said, it feels like you’re body is just vomiting the baby out. It’s so strong and so involuntary. In a drug free birth, no one has to tell the mom how to push. Her body just does it. Pushing feels way more fun than the dilation phase before it. I felt very powerful.

Once the baby’s head was low enough in my pelvis, I could feel it. It was definitely a strange sensation and I exclaimed to all the 10 people who, by now had piled into my bathroom, “It feels like a bowling ball.” I put my finger in and felt the top of the baby’s head less than an inch away. A couple more pushes later and I could feel her head crowning. This feels like a burning sensation as the perineum stretches around the baby’s head. I expected this part to take a while, as it can take several pushes to slowly push the head out. But my body just kept going and in one push she went from completely inside to completely out. I had planned to catch her myself if possible, but she came so fast. No one was quite ready for that. Luckily my husband was speedy quick in catching her and lifting her out of the water and onto my tummy. She was happy and content sitting on my tummy, looking around.

homebirth, waterbirthWe hadn’t found out the gender, so it was very exciting to look down and see it was a girl. My daughter finally got the sister she had been hoping for for so long. Here’s the picture that captures the sheer intensity of emotions of that moment right after birth – relief that it’s over, exuberance over the new person you are meeting, and for me the shock of how fast she came out and surprise that I got the girl I wanted.

It was a lovely family experience to have all my kids there, my mom, sister-in-law and friend. My husband caught the baby, my daughter took the photos, my older son cut the cord and my younger son helped the midwife weigh the baby. My kids will all grow up knowing that birth is just a normal, natural and safe part of life. Not something to fear. By the way, I wanted to wait till after the placenta was out to cut the cord, or at least until the blood in the placenta had finished pumping to the baby, instead of cutting the cord immediately. This is so that she can get her full blood volume and have a gentle transition to life on the outside.

Once I got out of the tub and walked back to my bed, I birthed the placenta and breastfed my baby before letting everyone else have her for some cuddles. My mom made me a nutritious, yummy smoothie with a tiny piece of placenta blended in. Having a bit of placenta reduces the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.

It was a lovely morning. I stayed in bed all day snuggling my new sweetheart. And the other kids were just over the moon excited with their tiny sister. Plus they got to take a day off school. 🙂

newborn baby holding mom's finger

 

 

 


 

Join me on my own pregnancy journey

Hello everyone,

baby bcbaby bcSo I have some exciting news! On Mother’s Day 2014, I found out I’m expecting my fourth child. mom and baby vancouverbaby bcbaby bcbaby bc

I’d love for you to join me on my pregnancy journey. I know you’re going to learn lots along the way.

For those who don’t know me, I’m a Birth Doula and Prenatal Teacher in the Surrey, Langley area of British Columbia, Canada (near Vancouver). I had my first two kids in hospital and the third one was the most fun birth yet – it was a homebirth. So for this one, I am of course, planning another homebirth. I’ve moved neighbourhoods since my last one, so I have to find another midwife. (You can read more about my first birth, and see the slideshow of my home birth at Birth Stories

I thought today I’d provide you with some information about midwives in BC.

 

1. Midwives are covered by MSP in British Columbia

That’s right! I’m always shocked and horrified that people don’t know their options when it comes to midwives. They think they have to pay out-of-pocket. They think that they have to have a doctor.

Here are the facts in BC : there are three kinds of maternity care providers and they are all covered by MSP, which means it is free for you – Family Physicians who do maternity care, Midwives, and OBs.

2. If you have a midwife, you don’t need to have a doctor for your pregnancy

In some countries, midwives are like nurses. But in BC, midwives practice independently so if you have a midwife, you do not have to also see a doctor for your pregnancy.

If you have a high risk pregnancy, OBs are a great option for you. In fact, family physicians and midwives will refer or consult with OBs if any high risk situation occurs.  But, research shows, if you have a low-risk pregnancy, midwives are a great option for you. Midwives specialize in low-risk birth, so they have the kind of skills needed to help you have a natural birth, and yet are trained to deal with situations where more medical help is needed. OBs, specialize in high risk birth and are not skilled in helping moms have a natural birth. They resort to medical intervention much sooner than midwives would. As such, comparing all low-risk pregnancies, OBs have much higher cesarean, induction and instrumental delivery rate.

3. Midwives have much longer visits

Midwives are paid more than Family Physicians for each pregnancy mom they have, but less than OBs. This is because midwives spend 45 mins with each client at prenatal appointments as opposed to the 5 – 10 mins doctors spend. This is to build a relationship and cover more comprehensive information with women which includes, nutrition, wellness, informed decision making, choices in birth and so on.

4. Midwives are responsible for you and your baby up to 6 weeks postpartum

Midwives provide continuity of care through the whole pregnancy, birth and up to 6 weeks postpartum.

5. To find a complete list of midwives in your area of BC

Go to BC College of Midwives

Or Midwives Association of BC

6. Register ASAP

I’d suggest calling several or all the midwifery offices in your area and registering as soon as you can. Midwives fill up fast. It’s ideal if you can register as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. If you would like to close the best midwife for you, register with a few so you can have a chance to interview them and decide which ones you like best.

If you’re further along and you have decided to switch from doctor care to midwifery care, do not despair. Although it can be hard to find a midwifery office with space, it is possible. I have had many doula clients decide mere weeks before they gave birth that they wanted to switch to midwifery care. They called a couple of midwives and found them to be full but after my encouragement, they called ALL the midwives in their area until they managed to find midwives with space. Go to one of the websites above and call ALL the midwives in your area. Don’t just give up after one or two.

 

For the Crunchy Granola Mammas :

 

Now having said that, if you are of the crunchy granola sort, like me, you wouldn’t just want to stop at choosing a midwife attended birth. You would want to carefully select a midwife who aligns with the kind of birth preferences you want. All registered midwives in BC practice within a range of guidelines. But there is a wide range of what some midwives are comfortable with. There has been some criticism that some midwives practice too much like doctors, jumping to medical intervention too soon before trying natural methods. They have been termed “medwives”.

There are also a few midwives who have chosen not to be registered with the college of midwives, and do not follow their guidelines. This is an interesting point, because before 1998, all the midwives were not registered with MSP. MSP only started including midwives in 1998. So a few of those midwives did not register because they felt registering would inhibit their ability to practice in the way they had previously been practicing. So the college of midwives now refers to them as “Lay Birth Attendants”  instead of midwives. Why would they not want to be registered? Well, before the college was established, the midwives were trained in and regularly attended breech or twin births. Remember, in Europe, these are seen as variations of normal birth and not high risk situations. If the birth attendant is trained in how to properly attend breech or twin births, the risks are minimal. But in North America, breech and twin births have been considered too risky and are reason for automatic cesarean.  Over time, the doctors and midwives skilled in such births have retired and the new ones left are not skilled in such births, which really does make it risky.

So if you would like to really increase your chances of having a gentle, natural birth or even a homebirth, but you don’t want to go with a birth attendant who is not covered by MSP, what do you do?

Like all advice about choosing your caregiver, you need to interview them and choose the one who matches your expectations. Don’t assume that just because they are midwives that they will all be totally crunchy granola. Here’s an example of what I mean by that : some women really want their pregnancies to be rushed along towards the end. They don’t mind having a stretch and sweep of the membranes in hopes starting labour earlier. But some women would be insulted at the mere question of whether they want a sweep. They want labour to start on its own. Some midwives routinely offer sweeps at 39 weeks and some don’t. So figure out what you want and find the care provider who matches.

Here are some questions you can ask :

1. Are you comfortable not doing any vaginal checks for dilation?

2. Are you comfortable attending a homebirth?

3. Have you attended water births before?

4. If the water breaks before contractions start, are you comfortable waiting without inducing as long as their are no internal checks and signs of infection?

5. Are you comfortable if a mom declines all or most prenatal screening tests?

6. Are  you comfortable waiting a long time before cutting the cord, if at all?

7. Are you comfortable with a natural third stage (placenta stage)?

 

Hope that helps you in choosing the best care provider for you and your pregnancy!

 

kaurina danu doula surrey langleyBTW, if you would like to know more about any of these questions and why they might be important, leave a comment below, send me and email at kaurina @ prenatal journey. ca or call me at 604 809 3288.

 

 

Mommy SOS – Support and Strategies to Help Stressed Out Moms go from Chaos to Calm

The Stressed Out Mom Phenomenon

overwhelmed-mom-holding-babies-0-280x280When my kids were little, I was so completely overwhelmed and isolated. I didn’t know where to go get useful help. The support systems available seemed to be geared towards children, but nothing reflected what I was dealing with internally. It wasn’t just about parenting, it was the combination of the stress of everything put together – taking care of 3 small children, housework, isolation, finances, relationships, lack of exercise, lack of self-care, lack of time in the day to just BREATHE!  I didn’t know who I was and I felt guilty and inadequate.

It took a LONG time to go from that state of feeling completely depleted, to learning what I really needed to replenish myself and be present for my children and enjoy life. I had to work really hard to create the harmony, fulfillment and love that I wanted.

I thought I was the only one because most moms seemed like they had everything together, but after working with and meeting hundreds of moms, I know there are a lot who need more support than they are getting. Practical as well as emotional support. Being a doula and supporting moms through pregnancy and birth, it has been only natural that after completing my Life Coach training, I would like to support moms through the challenges that follow.

For many years I have been dreaming of creating a unique support system for stressed out moms so that they can begin to relax, appreciate themselves, their families and the deliciousness of life again. It is possible and I have the tools and strategies to help.

 

Mommy SOS – Support and Strategies to help Stressed Out Moms go from Chaos to Calm

lisamugFinally, I am starting phone support and workshops for stressed out moms so they can go from Chaos to Calm. It’s called Mommy SOS! The workshops are local (Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, White Rock, BC). But the phone support is for anywhere in the world.

So far the response has been overwhelming. Lots of Moms are responding saying, “Thank you for doing this! It is exactly what I need!”  If you are reading this now and are feeling overwhelmed, I want you to take a deep breath. Take a few deep breaths and know that you are doing a great job.

 

Here’s what else you can do :

1. If you live in the Lower Mainland, you can head out to the a workshop. The first one is being held in Surrey, BC on Saturday March 1st 2014 and the info is here :

Mommy SOS workshop

 

2. If you live elsewhere, or can’t make it, you can send me an email at kaurina @ prenatal journey. ca  or call 604 809 3288 to set up a free Chaos to Calm Strategy Session.

3. And lastly, Like the Facebook page at the  Mommy SOS facebook page  to get tips and insights and find out when the next workshops and teleseminars are coming up.

 

Please forward this info to other moms you may know so we can get the word out. I know there are lots of moms who really need this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memoirs of a Doula part 3 – Special Memories

Being a Doula

People often ask me, “What’s it like being a Doula?”

It’s intense. I get to witness such a wide range of human emotions, from fear and desperation, to inner strength and triumph, to extreme joy and jubilation. I get to be there through a woman’s most challenging and vulnerable moments and watch the expressions on her face on her journey to discovering inner strength she never knew she had. I get to revel in the wonder that quietly surrounds every newborn person that comes into this world – that tingly awe of a natural and unexplainable meditation that comes over you when you allow yourself to feel what a newborn feels. husband-wife-newborn-baby-hospital-photo

The world of birth is so far removed – emotionally and mentally, from daily life, it always takes me many hours to readjust to mundane existence after I return home from a birth. I always feel as if the tremendous journey of every birth should make headline news, but it stays largely unknown to the public, summarized into the petty details of gender and weight of the baby. I feel so humbled and privileged to be witness to one of the most special human events which remains so unknown to the general public. And because, as a doula I am not responsible for doing anything medical or charting or watching monitors, and I am there for each mother throughout her labour and birth no matter how long it takes, I am right there with her feeling it with her. Well, not really – a little less pain, just all the emotions. Every birth is different and unique and every birth moves me and changes me. Every birth teaches me a little more about myself, about women, about babies, about human beings and about the wonder of life.

Most of all, I love being a Doula because every birth has such special memories for me as well as for the parents. Just like weddings can hold such special memories for people, so too can their children’s births. I will always have a special place in my heart for each set of parents whose birth I have been to. My hope is that I have helped make the experience be filled with more positive memories and resolved the stressful ones. I try to highlight the awesomeness of each mom and dad and baby so that they will start this important journey of parenthood feeling good about themselves.

When I think back over all the births I’ve been to, some stand out because of the difficulty the mom went through but overcame triumphantly, some stand out because of the funny comments made by either the mom or dad (tactful humour in the delivery room always helps to lighten the mood), and some stand out because of the great love that existed between the mom and dad and baby. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s what made headline news in the world. Not wars and crimes. This is what humanity is made of. And I am grateful to be a part of it.

Thank you to all the couples who have allowed me to be present for this very special time.

 

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If you or someone you know is expecting and you would like more information about birth doula support in Surrey, Langley or the Lower Mainland, BC, Canada,

you may contact Kaurina Danu at 604 809 3288 or kaurina @ prenatal journey . ca

 

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Read : Memoirs of a Doula part 1 – Why I Do What I Do

and    Memoirs of a Doula part 2 – Love In The Delivery Room

 

© Kaurina Danu of Prenatal Journey 2013

 

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What the heck is Birth Trauma?!

Birth Trauma

Birth Trauma is a topic that has been weighing on my mind quite heavily the last couple of days. There have been ongoing protests outside BC Women’s Hospital in the last few months, and more are planned for different locations and hospitals around the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The protests certainly caught my attention with this video on you tube Birth Rally at BC Women’s Hospital.

 

 

I know Birth Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of a birth experience exists, but this was the first time I was seeing people openly speaking out with terms like “Obstetric Violence” and actually naming the doctors who imposed unnecessary medical procedures on women without their consent. Seeing the signs just gives a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard to understand exactly what they mean until you take a closer look at what happened, why and how it causes the actual experience of Trauma. Then after that, the important question of, “What do you want to do about it?” needs to be asked.

One of the organisers of the events, Kalina Christoff, has also provided a detailed explanation of what exactly happened that caused her distress, what she did after to start a dialogue with hospital staff, and why she eventually felt like holding rallies was the only way left to create change for other women. You can read her story here : Vancouver Birth Tauma.

 

Untangling the mess

The term ‘Birth Trauma’ can refer to two things – physical damage to babies during birth; and the psychological damage to mothers during birth. Of course, there is also psychological damage to babies that can happen during birth but since that is harder to study, research in the area is relatively new and scarce. The content of this article will be about birth trauma to mothers. (I believe that mother-baby are not separate and what causes stress and harm to mothers, causes that to babies as well. And when mothers are treated well, babies are treated well. You can’t stress the mom out and say you’re doing it to take care of the baby. The mom’s stress will stress the baby out too.)

The general public has a perception of what Birth Trauma means. They usually assume birth is pretty painful and can be so unbearable that it can be traumatizing. So an epidural seems like a pretty good solution. Or they may think that women may feel traumatized only when their babies are injured or die during the birth process. While these events may happen, there is a much more multi-layered dynamic.

First of all it helps to understand the process of Labour and Birth as made up of two distinct processes

1. The natural course of events that would take place if there was no human intervention, and

2. The human intervention that takes place, usually in the form of medical procedures, some minor and some major, both of which can alter the course of the natural process itself.

 

What Causes Trauma?

While the natural process may be painful and difficult, that in itself does not cause the experience of trauma unless there is some cause for strong anxiety or fear. The more common cause for feeling traumatised is feeling the loss of power over your own body and situation when people do things to it that are outside your control. That is the cause of all trauma – Feeling Powerless over your own situation.

In other areas of life, you can see how certain types of situations can cause people to feel traumatised. Eg. Bullying, for example, where the victim feels like they have no power to prevent the bullying, War is another situation where people can feel traumatised, both the civilians who have no control over the events in their lives, and the soldiers who have to obey orders and do things that may not necessarily choose themselves.

 

So how can trauma happen in a birth situation?

Firstly, during labour and birth, the moms are in a vulnerable state. They are dependent on the care providers for helping them and their babies safely through the process to varying degrees. They also have some level of trust that their care providers will take care of them appropriately. Physically, they are vulnerable because they are in pain, half-dressed and may be exhausted and not thinking straight.

While most of the time, care providers are motivated by moms and babies best well-being, the fact is that they are also human. Just because we, as a society are trained to believe that we should always trust doctors, doesn’t mean that every doctor will never abuse his/her power. They are human. It would be ridiculous to think that everything a doctor does is always for the safety of moms and babies in birth. It’s not unreasonable to realise that there are other factors that effect decisions doctors, nurses and midwives make in labour. For example, scheduling, time, other patients, being tired, not wanting to do extra work, differing payment amounts for various procedures, peer pressure, lacking in experience or knowledge about certain situations, and as Kalina experienced, needing to train student doctors, nurses and midwives.

This leads to a heck of a lot of medical procedures done that kinda, maybe needed to be done, but probably not. Things are done to speed things up, make extra money, train students, get it over with so they can go home, go to sleep or go on to the next patient. The thing is, nobody is going to come right out and say that. They say things like, “The baby could be in danger,” “The baby’s heart rate is not looking good,” “It’s best for you and your baby,” and so on. Most mothers and fathers would not have the background knowledge to know the difference between a real problem, and a fudged one. They might happily agree to any procedure thinking it was saving their baby’s life. That probably won’t lead to feeling traumatised unless the procedure directly or indirectly causes some unexpected damage or pain, and the mom realises later on that the procedure may not have been necessary.

Many times, the risks to procedures are not explained before they are done. This can eventually lead to women feeling like they have no control over their situation because they don’t know what could happen or what they are agreeing to. Agreeing to a membrane sweep, induction, forceps, c-section and many other things has unwanted risks, but women are not told about them before they are agree to it. Worse still, it is common for membrane sweeps to be done by some doctors at 38 or 39 weeks without even informing or asking the woman’s permission. Forceps of vacuum can be great if the baby’s life is clearly truly in danger, but in those iffy cases where maybe, sorta the baby may be starting to show signs of distress, are the risks of forceps greater than the risk of waiting and trying other methods? Forceps can hurt the baby as well as cause permanent damage to the moms pelvic floor resulting in incontinence. If the mom is saying no, and the doctor does it anyway, can you start to see why some women say the way they were treated in labour was a violation just like rape?

 

birth trauma

 

That’s what causes the feeling of trauma and powerlessness. That’s what causes post-traumatic stress disorder after birth and  some cases of post-partum depression. It is estimated that 4% of women have post-traumatic stress disorder after birth. But birth is a funny thing in human experience –

1. It is one of the few things that only women do. Probably if men did it too, it would be handled a totally different way.

2. It is a private event behind closed doors so the birth is not in public awareness.

3. You may learn how to fix basic things in your car, how to do your own accounting, how buildings are made even though you are not a mechanic, accountant or engineer. But, even though every single person on earth is born, shockingly very few people learn any basic knowledge about birth. Most of what they know is from the media, which is saturated in complete misinformation. Because of this fact, the decision making power over decisions about your own body and baby in birth is often handed over to health care professionals. This is a huge amount of power.

4. Unlike war, which is associated with death, birth is associated with being a happy time with a new baby. It is extremely confusing for both moms and other people when the joy and love is totally mixed up with trauma and horror over the way they were treated.

So because birth is quite different than most things in human experience, the general public cannot even comprehend why some moms could have birth trauma. This is quite clear when you start to mention Homebirth. The most common response is, “Why would anyone want to give birth at home?” “To avoid the risk of having my decision making power over my own body and baby completely violated, duh! What else, would it be?” 

I have seen births with complications where the medical staff was awesome, focused and committed to honoring the mother’s wishes within the realm of safety. For example, there was a baby who was having a little trouble breathing and they figured it would be better to take her to the nursery. It was important to the mom to have a few precious moments to see and touch her daughter before she was taken away. The hospital staff totally respected the mom’s request and understood how important it was. They took a lot of care to explain and comfort the parents about everything that was happening with their baby in the nursery so that the parents would not be overcome with worry. It was very touching.

In other situations, however, I have seen medical staff get annoyed with moms’ reasonable requests and feel that they are unimportant. The attitude is that it doesn’t matter how moms feel. They should just be grateful to have a live baby.

The thing is this, there was a study done which showed women’s experience of birth was influenced most by the way they were treated by the people around them, not so much the length of labour, the amount of pain or even the outcome of the birth. Women can have extremely long, painful labours, and feel really good about them if their care providers and support people treated them with respect and dignity. Women can go through miscarriage and stillbirth, and even though that may be very upsetting, can feel soothed by care providers who treat them in a caring way and involve parents in making decisions. Women may have a short, straightforward labour and a healthy baby but feel terribly about their birth experience if care providers were brusque, demeaning or disrespectful to the moms.

As I am writing this, an article is published int he New England Journal of Medicine. Court-Ordered Care – A Complication of Pregnancy to Avoid. It highlights cases where mothers are forced by courts and doctors to undergo medical procedures supposedly for the health of their fetus. Now for the people who can’t see the stupidity and violation of that, I don’t know what else to say. But I know one thing, there is no one in the world who cares more about the safety of her baby than the mother herself. Mothers are not stupid. They are completely able to make decisions about what’s best for their babies and would do whatever they felt was necessary. The doctor doesn’t always know what’s best.

 

If you or someone you know feels like they have birth trauma, please read Kalina’s page Recovery from Birth Tauma. If you would like to talk to someone, you can call me at 604 809 3288, or email kaurina @ prenataljourney.ca. 

 

Kaurina Danu is a Birth Doula and Prenatal Class teacher is the Surrey / Langley area. She works to empower mothers who want to make informed decisions about their pregnancies, births and parenthood.

 

 

Book now before prices for prenatal and birth services go up!

The prices for Prenatal Classes and Doula Support will be going up as of Aug 15th 2012, so if you would like to get the current prices, book now.

Weekend prenatal classes are in the Surrey / Langley area of BC, Canada. Private prenatal classes for first-time parents as well as experienced parents are anywhere in the Lower Mainland from Vancouver to Abbotsford.

Doula Support now includes complementary Birth Photography.

For more information about The Prenatal Journey’s prenatal class philosophy and content go to Prenatal Classes.

For info on schedules and current class pricing, go to Schedules.

For services and package deals as of Aug 15th, go to Services and Packages.

Belly Henna SurreyCheck out the new services like Belly Henna and Belly Casts

and Birth Photography

Things to do while on bedrest in pregnancy

Bedrest in Pregnancy

Before taking a look at things to do while on bedrest in pregnancy, let’s get a little deeper understanding of bedrest first.

Sometimes there are risk factors in pregnancy for which pregnancy bedrest may be recommended. They include :

–  Preterm labor
–  Multiple babies
–  Low amniotic fluid
–  Unexplained bleeding
–  Hypertension (high blood pressure)
–  Preeclampsia
–  Incompetent cervix (when the cervix opens prematurely)
–  Gestational diabetes
–  Premature rupture of the membranes
–  Placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix)

With my clients, I always get them to think about things critically. I explain the difference between evidence-based practice in medicine and non-evidence based practice. While most people would assume that ALL medical practice is evidence-based, in reality this is not practical. It is impossible for everything to be evidence based simply because new evidence is being generated on a daily basis. Sometimes research can be contradictory, or new evidence can refute old practices that have been the standard practice for decades. It is difficult for medical professionals to be always changing the way they practice to keep up with all the new research. Also, what works for some people with certain conditions may not work with other people who have variations of the condition, or compounding factors. The reason I have taken the time to explain all this is because the research on bedrest may surprise you.

The assumption is that while bedrest may be uncomfortable, inconvenient, cause muscle atrophy and make moms-to-be bored out of their minds, it is all worth it as along as it helps prevent preterm labour and reduce health problems for the baby. Any pregnant mom would be willing to do whatever it takes to have better health for her baby. I was pretty shocked, to say the least, when I examined the evidence around pregnancy bedrest, that the research doesn’t quite support the common assumption.

Surprisingly, not very much research has been done on the risks vs benefits of bedrest in pregnancy. Of the studies done, they showed that bedrest either did not improve outcomes, or it caused worse outcomes.

Research on Bedrest in Pregnancy

A New York Times article questions the routine recommendation of  bedrest for pregnancy complications :

”Some benefits may be there, but they haven’t been documented,” said Dr. Judith A. Maloni of the Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, who just completed a $1.7 million study of bed rest supported by the National Institutes of Health. In fact, as Dr. Maloni’s study showed, there is good evidence that bed rest in pregnancy can cause harm, resulting in more than a dozen consequences, including babies who are smaller than normal and mothers who are too weak and tired to care for them. Their babies also tended to weigh less than normal, perhaps because there were fewer blood cells to carry oxygen and nutrients to the womb.

Dr. Robert L. Goldenberg, an expert in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in an interview: ”Most obstetricians believe bed rest will reduce the risk of preterm births and other pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, incompetent cervix and intrauterine growth retardation. But the data are mostly nonexistent.

Dr. Goldenberg noted, for example, that in two of four clinical trials of preventive bed rest in twin pregnancies, the women randomly assigned to hospital bed rest experienced a greater rate of preterm births than those who weren’t. The other two studies showed no difference.

So why do doctors persist in prescribing bed rest, not only when prematurity threatens but often preventatively, especially in pregnancies involving two or more babies? In Dr. Goldenberg’s view, ”physicians don’t have any real tools to prevent preterm birth, but they want to do something so they choose one they think is innocuous.”

After giving birth, many of the women found themselves so out of shape that they had trouble getting out of a car or using their legs to stand up, and they were so fatigued that their ability to care for their newborns was compromised.

Dr. Maloni suggested that after childbirth, women who have been on bed rest should undergo cardiovascular and physical assessments and receive a rehabilitation program.

Physical problems aside, women who have endured enforced bed rest describe themselves as bored, frustrated, depressed, irritable, guilty and scared. Many mention increased family and spousal tensions and angry young children at home. Fathers, meanwhile, have to take over all the household responsibilities while continuing to work and wait on their wives or visit them.

The economic burdens can be great, as well, especially if the women have jobs that they can’t perform in bed and young children who need care. One study estimated the cost of bed rest per woman at $1,400.So why do so many women follow prescriptions of bed rest? Mostly because they are afraid not to. As Kris explained: ”I was told that there were no concrete studies. But fear plays a big part. You’ve got to play it conservatively. After all, it’s not just about you. It’s about one or more other beings. You have to rely a lot on the experience of your providers who believe that if a woman is put on bed rest, the pregnancy will last a little longer.”

 

A study from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information reported that 

Research indicates, that bed-rest treatment is ineffective for preventing preterm birth and fetal growth restriction, and for increasing gestational age at birth and infant birthweight. Studies of women treated with pregnancy bed-rest identify numerous side effects, including muscle atrophy, bone loss, weight loss, decreased infant birthweight in singleton gestations and gestational age at birth, and psychosocial problems. Antepartum bed-rest treatment should be discontinued until evidence of effectiveness is found.

They went on to cite evidence that exercise actually improved outcomes 

Sedentary pregnant women were compared with those who participated in more than one type of leisure sports activity [22]. Active women had a significantly reduced risk of preterm birth. Women who engaged in light physical activity (walking) has a 24% reduced risk of preterm delivery and women who engaged in moderate to heavy activity (sports such as tennis, swimming or weekly running, to competitive sports several times a week) had a 66% reduced risk. The greater the intensity of the activity, the greater the reduced risk of preterm birth.

Every major organ system is rapidly affected by reduced hydrostatic gradients, and reduced loading and disuse of weight-bearing tissues during bed rest.

An Article in Babycenter.com states that

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has concluded that bedrest does “not appear to improve the rate of preterm birth and should not be routinely recommended.”

The bottom line is that more good scientific studies are desperately needed. In the meantime, caregivers disagree on when and how to prescribe bedrest. Some say that until there’s good evidence to the contrary, bedrest is worth a try. Others argue that bedrest itself can have a variety of negative effects and that women should not be subjected to it until we know that it does more good than harm.

These caregivers tend to believe that the use of complete bedrest should be curtailed, and that some women would be better off just taking it easy. That means restricting their activity level, cutting back on work, avoiding heavy lifting and prolonged standing, and resting for a few hours each day, for example.

If you’re going to be on prolonged bedrest, you may want to line up additional professional support. Ask your practitioner for a referral to a physical or occupational therapist, who can teach you simple exercises to do in bed to improve your circulation and maintain some muscle tone. The therapist may be able to suggest ways to reposition yourself in bed so that you’re more comfortable.

You may also benefit from counseling, since you’re likely to feel torn between your obligation to your unborn child and to your family or job. Counseling can be helpful for your partner as well if your bedrest is putting a strain on your relationship.

 

Why is bedrest still being recommended?

Why is bed rest still recommended despite the recent evidence that it does not prevent preterm labour? Bed rest for pregnancy problems has been a common recommendation since the early 1900’s, so it has been around a long time. If there are risks that are associated with preterm birth, most expecting mothers would expect their doctor to do be able to do something about it, and they expect bedrest to be one of those things. If a doctor went against the norm and didn’t recommend bedrest, the mom-to-be would likely find him/her to be negligent of proper care.

Furthermore, it makes logical sense that bedrest would decrease the stress put on the cervix and uterus or other systems in the body and so reduce the chance of preterm birth. It could be possible that some amount of rest, destressing and lying down could be very beneficial to high risk pregnancies.

 

Making sense of the situation

While it seems logical that rest and lying down may have some benefits, extreme amount of inactivity seems to be related to more problems than solutions. It is also logical that if mom’s circulation is severely compromised by long periods of inactivity, this will lead to poor circulation to baby. Also, because mom’s muscles atrophy with long periods of inactivity, she is less likely to be able to look after her newborn normally, and is less likely to have the stamina to do the hard work of labour. 

In some situations where mom is doing a lot of strenuous or stressful activity in her job or daily life, having the recommendation for bedrest can be a relief. In those situations bedrest may be fantastic.

Despite the current evidence, if I were a mom who was at risk for preterm birth, I may still feel the need to avoid too much activity or be upright for long periods in the day, but at the same time, make sure I did appropriate exercises to maintain muscle strength and circulation.

This is just general information. Every mom needs to discuss her unique concerns and situation with her doctor or midwife in order to come up with a plan that she can feel comfortable with. 

 

Resources for bedrest

Here are some websites and exercise videos I have found useful:

1. From the website Exercises To Do When Pregnant and on Bedrest :

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises focus on tightening and relaxing a muscle group, and prove helpful as a way to prepare for relaxation during labor. To carry out this type of exercise, a woman can focus on each and every muscle group beginning at her feet. Perform this exercise by clenching muscles for a brief period, such as a count of three, and then releasing them. She can squeeze a stress ball to help with hand and arm stiffness. The American Pregnancy Association also suggests simply pressing the hands and feet against the bed as a way to engage multiple muscle groups.

Core Exercises

Tightening the abdominal muscles and releasing them can help maintain some of the woman’s core strength. While sit ups and crunches may not be recommended or allowed by a doctor, a static exercise may prove sufficient. Any abdominal muscle engagement should only be done with the permission of a doctor. The health care provider may even recommend carrying these exercises out only with supervision. Static means the body remains in a position, such as reaching out from the chest at a 45 degree angle while lifting the back off the bed. Just a slight bit of resistance can help improve the abdominal strength. Squeezing and releasing the buttock muscles can help build and remain muscle tone in the core areas as well. 

Back Rest

Back aches occur frequently during pregnancy. To take some of the pressure off the back, a simple arch and relax exercise can prove helpful. To do this, the woman must lie flat and slightly arch her back for a count of three. She can then rest out flat for a count of three before repeating. Lying flat for more than a few seconds is not recommended, as it can cut off the blood circulation during pregnancy. While resting or sleeping, reduce back pain by using pillows to take the weight off the muscles.

 

2. Read more at Bedrest Guide at Storknet about :

– Kegels

– Pelivc Tilts

– Back and Abdominal Strengthening

 

3.  You Tube videos for bedrest exercises

Yoga for Bedrest

 

Upper Body Resistance Bands

 

4. Here’s a video for Bedrest Exercises at a website called Educated Pregnancy with Dr Cathy. She’s got tons of other pregnancy videos on there as well.

 

5. And lastly, Mamas On Bedrest is a website that offers a DVD that is specific to bedrest in pregnancy. Here’s some of what the website says :

Until now there was no readily available, effective exercise program a woman could do while on bedrest. Bedrest Fitness, an exercise DVD, gives women the skills and guidance they need to safely exercise while on bedrest. Without regular exercise, a pregnant woman on bedrest is at increased risk for:

  • Blood clots in her legs that can lead to strokes, heart attacks or pulmonary embolisms.
  • “Failure to progress” during labor resulting in cesarean section delivery.
  • She is less able to care for herself and her new baby post partum and requires additional time to recover from her pregnancy and birth experience.

The Bedrest Fitness exercise program is designed and performed by Darline Turner-Lee, a nationally certified physician assistant, an American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Specialist® and certified perinatal fitness instructor. The exercise DVD takes women through a series of gentle yet effective movements and also offers a brief lecture on bedrest. Women who regularly perform the exercises while on bedrest can expect the following health benefits:

  • Maintenance of muscle tone and physical strength
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduction in the risk of leg clots leading to strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms
  • Increased endurance during labor
  • More effective pushes during delivery
  • Decreased recovery time post partum
  • The emotional assurance that she is doing something great for herself and her baby

The exercise program adheres to the guidelines set forth by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and uses pillows for support and rubber exercise bands for resistance. A rubber resistance band comes with the exercise DVD.

So I hope you have found this information useful. I hope you realise that you don’t have to feel like the situation is out of your control if bedrest has been recommended. Complete bedrest for weeks at a time is not as useful as was previously thought, so a balanced approach seems to be more beneficial. You still have a lot of choices that you can make, and figure out how to balance resting and destressing with strategic activities for muscle strength and circulation, and still live life as normally as possible. 

Have fun, and let me know about your experience in the comments below!

 

Kaurina Danu teaches Prenatal Classes in Surrey / Langley, BC, Canada. She also provides Birth Doula Support to moms in pregnancy, birth and post-partum in the Lower Mainland area. To contact her, email kaurina @ prenataljourney.ca or call 604-809 3288.