Personalized Birth Experience

 

fearless birth fargo

Recently, I’ve noticed that expecting moms are wanting more.  More than just the basics, she wants something special, she wants her own personalized birth experience. After all, she’s spent a lot of time seeking out the perfect accessories for the nursery, the cutest outfit to bring baby home in, planning her meals for after baby arrives, and so on. So of course, she wants her birth to be just as special.

How do we offer this new personalized birth experience? Its almost impossible to create a great birth plan birth without having had birth previously or experienced being with moms as they give birth.  This is why working with a professional can come in handy.

Not all moms are interested in having a doula attend their birth. But ALL moms want to have the best possible experience and outcome. Working with a doula or birth educator (like myself) to create a personalized birth experience plan can be the best of both worlds, especially for moms on a budget. I offer free birth planning consultations and birth planning workshops. Why?  Because I am passionate about helping moms have a better birth. Contact me to setup a time to chat.

Here are some things to consider as you plan:

  • Where do I want to give birth?
  • Who will be with me?
  • What do I want to remember about my baby’s birth?
  • When do I need to go to the hospital?
  • Why is it important to create a plan?

Hypnobirthing Classes Online

blissborn online hypnobirthing class

Childbirth Classes Online

I am pleased to announce that I am now available to offer hypnobirthing classes online.  As a Blissborn Natural Birth educator I will guide you through the materials, answer your specific questions, and help you create the perfect birth plan.

You can order just the materials and study on your own, or you can schedule LIVE instruction privately online. You’ll get all the materials shipped to you, so that you have hard copies of the books, CD’s, and supplies. Everything you need to be successful with your hypnobirthing classes online.

Hypnobirthing Classes Online

Order Birth Hypnosis Materials Only

If you’d like to just order the materials and study on your own, that,s totally an option.  The live class only costs $275 and includes your materials, but if you don’t need the personal assistance then you can go here to order your kit to use at home for just $250.

Schedule a Private Online hypnosis Class

For the best success, you’ll work with me directly via online communication.  We’ll setup several live meetings where we can actually chat with each other and interact.  I’ll walk you through the materials in the same way that I would as if we were sitting next to each other in the regular classroom. We’ll spend time interacting to create your own birth affirmations, overcome fears, and learn all about childbirth. Your questions will be answered specific to your own situation.

 

5 Ways Dads Can Help During Birth

AKA – what does dad do during labor?!

And no, he doesn’t HAVE to catch the baby. So then exactly how to involve dad with labor and birth?

5-ways-to-involve-dad-with-birth

 

Understand how birth works & what to expect

One of the biggest things I can think of to help dad be more involved during labor & birth, is for him to attend a childbirth class with mom so that he knows how birth works.  Some dads are really good about reading the baby books and asking their wife questions.  Many are decidedly squeamish when it comes to details, and even though they know the logistics of how baby arrives, most come to me pretty anxious because they know their wife knows more about whats going on than they do.

Know what mom wants (before she even knows what she wants)

Dad is an expert on mom.  While a doula can support mom continually with her labor, only dad has the intimacy and knowledge to truly understand her. You know how when she says “sure” but really means “no way in hell”?  Or when she gives that certain look that means “you better not be thinking what I think you’re thinking.” Instead of sitting on the sidelines, a doula can guide dad to have the confidence he needs to help mom before she even knows she wants help.

Ask for help

If dad isn’t sure what to do, he should ask.  Ask mom.  Ask the nurse. Ask the doula. If dad did take a birth class, hopefully he can remember that mom is supposed to change positions, eat light snacks, and rest between contractions. He can ask mom if she wants to try getting in the shower or if she’d like a sip of water.  Or he can ask the provider “what can I help with?”

Keep an open mind

Don’t freak out!  And don’t become impatient.  You know how mom used to be a year ago when her “monthly visitor” would come?  Emotional? Wishy-washy indecisiveness? The hormones flowing during labor and birth can often seem similar, sometimes not at all.  Most couples discover that birth isn’t at all like what they’ve seen on TV. Keep an open mind, don’t be too rigid in your preconceived notions, and go with the flow.

Simply be present

Sometimes all you need to do is just be there. Just telling mom you love her and support her is all she needs. Think of it like those helicopter parents, they want to help, but sometimes there’s just not much to help with.  Hold the space and be present. Turn off your cell phone. Take time to savor the experience and just BE.

4 Steps to The Ultimate Birth Plan

Time after time I am asked the following questions:

Do I really need a birth plan? quickly followed by What do I put in a birth plan?

Its actually quite easy, here’s the four steps to a killer birth plan (read on for the details!)
1.  IDENTIFY YOUR OWN DESIRES AND NEEDS
2.  UNDERSTAND THE BIRTH PROCESS
3.  PREPARE FOR THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT
4.  COMMUNICATE YOUR ULTIMATE BIRTH PLAN WITH PROVIDERS

First of all, what is a birth plan for? It is typically referring to a document that is used as a list of preferences a mom (technically both parents, but we know who is really running the show) wants during her labor and birth. Usually it will include things about pain relief, interventions, and how to care for baby after delivery.

Here’s the problem with simply using a birth plan checklist– it assumes you understand the items on the list and assumes the person reading the document will do what it says. To counter this problem instead of allowing your birth plan to be simply a document, turn it into a tool. Not just a tool for communication, but also a tool to understand how you can achieve YOUR goals.

Four Steps to the Ultimate Birth Plan Tool

1.  Identify your own desires and needs

Creating a birth plan that is based on a generic template might cover most of the bases for many people’s expectations. But you are not “many people” and, lets face it, you don’t want to be typical, you want to be special. I do, too. Envisioning your ideal birth is a great way to help you understand what your own desires and needs actually are. Once you know what is important to you, the document can be built around your wishes instead of just a random birth plan template.

2.  Understand the birth process

It might sound a little silly to some, but ask most moms after they had their first baby and just about every single one will tell you there was something that happened during labor or birth, or just afterwards, that she hadn’t expected. Taking a childbirth class will help to prepare you for various situations as well as helping you to understand how work really works (hint, its not usually like you see one TV.)

3.  Prepare for the experience you want

Here another big one folks, I see it time and time again. I meet with a client and she shows me her birth plan, then when I ask questions about it she doesn’t know what something means or how it applies to her. A friend or sister suggested she do XYZ or she read about how awesome ABC thing was done by a celebrity and assumes thats the best thing to do. Instead, use what you know about birth and your needs to figure out what steps need to be taken so you can reach your “goal achieved”.

4.  Communicate your ultimate birth plan with providers

The last part of a birth plan is to actually make up that written document that you can share with providers. And I don’t mean just handing it over to the nurse when you check in at the hospital when your contractions are already just 4 minutes apart. And I’m not talking about only talking to your doctor about it.  Communicate your wishes with your partner, sister, mom, doula or whomever else might be attending your birth, as well as your chiropractor and other providers who can help give complementary support to your plan.

Use your birth plan as a tool to equip yourself for birth, its worth so much more than being a checklist!

The Birth Rehearsal

Why do a birth rehearsal? If you want to know what to expect of normal labor, and how to engage with it, then this is probably the most practical workshop that you can take.

birth rehearsal workshop

 

Birth rehearsals are not like other prenatal classes: they are a unique form of preparation to help prepare you for labor, whether you are having a hospital birth, a water birth or a home birth. Perfect on its own for parents who already know the basics of birth or a great addition to any other childbirth education class you have previously taken.

Your instructor, Brandi Spray, draws from her experience as a two time mom, birth doula, Hypnobirthing Certified Birth Professional and trained Hypnobabies hypno-doula for a fun and inspiring private workshop for both mom & her birth partner.

A WHOLE RANGE OF TOPICS ARE COVERED AND INCLUDE:

  • Optimal fetal positioning and the value of maternal posture in late pregnancy
  • Mental and emotional preparation
  • Top tips for birthing partners – physical and emotional support for the laboring woman (dad gets to be the doula!)
  • How fear affects labor
  • Breath and movement in labor for energy and pain management
  • Massage techniques for pregnancy and labor
  • Visualization and relaxation techniques to promote gentle birth

WE’LL ADDRESS OTHER VERY COMMON QUESTIONS SUCH AS:

  • How can we keep calm?
  • What positions work best?
  • How will I know when I am / she is really in labor?
  • What do we need to do once we know its birthing time?

 

It is a relaxed, effective way to learn practical coping skills for birth. The session works best when the pregnant woman is accompanied by her partner (usually dad, sister, or close friend who will attend the birth.) The class includes a deep relaxation hypnobirthing practice that assists in the integration of the techniques taught for those interested birth hypnosis. You will also receive access to my online resource library only for Fargo Childbirth clients.

Your private session will last about 2 hours & is best suited for moms after 32 weeks. Cost is $75 per couple + $25/add’l friends & family who will be participating in the birth experience.

the exclusive new doula dash button now available

Click here to order your Amazing Doula Now!

The Amazing Doula Dash Button from Dayspring Doula

Have you heard of Amazon’s new “dash button”? If not, it looks like an interesting concept. You buy this one little button thing and then you can stick it to your pantry door and when you start running low on mac & cheese you push the button and it’ll automatically add mac & cheese to be delivered.

As new parents, this could come in handy if you are running low on diapers or wipes.  Personally, rather than actually ordering it for me, I’d rather it just add it to a list of things I need. But then again, I don’t have a newborn and its been a while so maybe I’d also this convenience to get the best of me.

The Dayspring Doula Dash Button Just for New & expecting Parents

But what if you need something that isn’t available as an Amazon dash button?

fargo postpartum doula fargo

Running on empty?

If you’ve got a new baby and found yourself exhausted, anxious, or overwhelmed, a postpartum doula is just what you need to help you gain back your mojo. She can help you get a good night’s sleep, reassure & encourage you, and help you figure out how to get things done. She can even do stuff around the house for you!

Baby not here yet & already freaking out?

With a click of your mouse or tap of a finger you can connect up with your doula who can help reassure you & provide education to give you confidence. With a variety of services available before baby comes as well as help during birth itself, you won’t have any reason to freak out.

Need a birth plan?

With your free consultation you’ll be on your way to understanding why its important to create a birth plan and how to create the birth experience you really want. Be prepared for a calm, confident, fearless birth & beyond.

Blissborn: Fearless Childbirth Hypnobirthing 101

Free private Blissborn hypnobirthing 101 Workshops Available

Learn the basics of Blissborn hypnobirthing and how it helps during labor and delivery.  It’s a simple, natural and risk-free alternative that is gaining popularity world-wide.  In addition to all-natural births, hypnosis can be used in conjunction with medications and Cesarean surgeries — it reduces the amount of medication needed, reduces bleeding and accelerates healing.  In natural births it shortens labor, reduces or eliminates pain, releases fears, and puts Mom in control of her own body and mind.

hypnobirthing101

Modern hypnosis training empowers moms to use their instincts for calm, confident and comfortable birth in any situation.  Find out if it’s right for you.  See a video of a birth with hypnosis.  Experience the power of your mind through guided visualization.  Pick up a valuable coupon for Blissborn, the full training course, and other free materials.

Childbirth is a natural experience and should not be feared!  Learn how you can have a birth with no pain or anxiety by taking control of the Fear-Fight/Flight- Freeze cycle. Moms, dads, and babies can all benefit from learning how to relax and enjoy the joyous phenomenon of childbirth.

fargo birth hypnosis

I’m a Blissborn Hypnosis Educator, certified Your Birth Experience Instructor, and certified birth hypnosis doula with both Hypnobirthing (Mongan Method) and Hypnobabies. I am our area’s foremost expert in using hypnosis for birth and able to guide you using these techniques to help you have your best birth. Read some of the Blissborn reviews I’ve gotten.

BENEFITS TO Hypnobirthing-

  • Eliminates the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome before, during, and after birthing
  • Eliminates or greatly reduces the need for chemical painkillers
  • Shortens the stages of labor by several hours
  • Eliminates fatigue during labor, leaving the mother fresh, awake, and ready to give birth
  • Promotes enhanced bonding of mother, baby, and birthing companion

YOU WILL LEARN –

  • How fear affects labor and how to release it
  • Visualization, guided imagery and deep relaxation techniques to eliminate the fear and tension that cause long labor and pain, replacing it with confidence, calm, and comfort
  • Skillful combined techniques to produce a shorter, more comfortable labor
  • The creation and control of the body’s own natural anesthesia response
  • Deep relaxation method to ease pre-birthing contractions
  • Breathing techniques to facilitate the process of giving birth

See for yourself! Contact me for a free consultation

What to Expect In Childbirth Class

what to expect in childbirth

Wondering exactly what to expect in childbirth education classes?  Depending on where you take your class you take, you may get different information.  Hospital classes tend to focus on the body processes and informing you of standard procedures during birth (see my previous post about who shouldn’t take a childbirth prep class.) Some classes are setup a a weekend boot camp style just covering the basics in a few hours while other classes spend more time on comfort techniques.

What To Expect In Childbirth Education Class

I offer two types of childbirth education classes. One focuses on identifying your birth vision, creating a plan thats right for you, then personalizing your class specifically to your needs.  This is ideal for parents who don’t know where to start, have had a previous birth, tight schedule making it hard to attend a group class, and for those who already feel like they know most of the info, but just want to be double sure.  Yep, its for basically anyone!  I can help moms prep for c-section delivery to natural birth using Your Birth Experience. Its a comprehensive curriculum that is flexible to meet your needs, not someone elses.

The other curriculum I offer is Blissborn.  I love this program, we meet five sessions (usually as a group) and cover everything you need to know about having a baby.  The focus is on using hypnosis in childbirth and beyond.  We spend a lot of time learning about how to use intense focus for relaxation, understanding the birth process, working with your partner to get him more involved, and the BIGGIE is to work on addressing your fears and anxiety around birth. This is my most highly recommended class & is not offered anywhere else in North Dakota or Minnesota. (as of the writing of this post Dec 2015)

What To Expect In A Birth Hypnosis Class

click through the images below to see brief descriptions of each class

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My Favorite Pregnancy Videos & Giving Birth Videos To Watch

giving birth natural birth video

I’ve found that recently, I tend to go and look for videos when I do a search. I want to show my clients various examples of natural birth videos and a lot of time I’m just feeling sappy and clicking along in my Facebook feed. So I’ve decided to pull together my top list of birth videos and related pregnancy video clips.  Do you have a video you’d like to share?  Leave a link in the comments!!

Pregnancy Announcement Videos

Funny Reactions to Birth Announcement

This guy & his baby mama sure do have a LOT of family and friends to tell.  And its amazing to me that they are all so suprised, meaning clearly, the first people told were able to keep it to themselves.  So fun!

Bun in the Oven (also see this follow up article)

Daddy is over the moon when he finds out his wife is pregnant.

 

Giving Birth Videos

Dancing Her Way Through Labor

We all have heard that walking is good to help with labor.  Moving around and letting gravity is a great way to help baby move on out. Here’s an example of a mama doing all of the above as she dances her way through labor.

Giving Birth in Car

Thinking of natural birth videos, here’s one of a baby who just couldn’t wait to meet mama.

Using Hypnosis for Natural Birth Video

This video starts out with the couple talking about their experience & then shows her actually in labor and having a waterbirth.

Just Because Birth Videos

Twins Hugging

This video of newborn babies is so sweet. Gives us an idea of what they must have been like in the womb.

Tiny Miracles NICU Nurse from Kleenex

I just really like this video of a NICU nurse meeting some of her patients once they are older.  Its pretty sappy (hence being made my Kleenex, you’ll need one!)

Would you like to have the best birth ever?  Hire a doula!  I accept flex and HSA benefits. Contact me now for your free consultation.

I'm pregnant, now what? A Postpartum Planning Guide.

postpartum plan

If you are like many women, especially first time moms, you probably have spent a lot of time gearing up for your baby’s birth.  You’ve probably read a book, or two, or the entire internet and you’ve taken your lamaze or childbirth education class. You created a baby registry with all sorts of fabulous items from a new-fangled car seat, to a ducky bath thermometer,  baby carrier, and of course a few onesies with bunnies on them (well, perhaps not with bunnies…) You have a safe crib or bassinet, a cute nursery theme, and have delicately washed and folded all sorts of tiny baby clothes. You have daycare lined up for when you go back to work, or paternity leave figured out so dad can stay home at least a few days after the baby arrives. But, do you actually have a postpartum plan for when you bring baby home?

Make a Birth Plan then Make a Postpartum Plan

Uh, yes, you actually DO need to have a plan!  I have found that in my experience, moms put a lot of time into creating a labor/birth plan, then make a mental game plan for when baby arrives, but don’t really take the time to think about what exactly they will do after they give birth.

Things to include in your postpartum plan

  • After Birth While At Hospital
  • Healing & Perineum Care
  • On the Way Home
  • Back at Home
  • Physical Support (dayshift/nightshift)
  • Emotional Support
  • Meals (include suggestions for visitors to bring)
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Visitors vs Guests (include a list of things your visitors can do to help out)

Here are a few things to think about and consider

Will you have your mom or a friend there to help you transition from the hospital to the car and then from the car to your house?  No seriously think about this, dad will be carrying the car seat, the nurses will help haul out your flowers & balloons, you’ll be proudly toting a flashy new diaper bag.  You may want to consider having an extra hand to assist, especially if you have other big siblings that’ll be “helping” you.

Are you headed straight home from the hospital? One friend of mine stopped for dinner on her way home, I had to stop by Walmart to buy a couple preemie sized outfits for my daughter because she was much smaller than we expected. If your doctor needed to prescribe any meds that you didn’t get at the hospital, you may need to stop a the pharmacy, are you prepared to figure out how to unlatch that car seat to carry baby in?

Your friends and family love you dearly & they want to visit the baby probably more than they want to visit you (sorry mama!) Do you want visitors the first day? Would you rather have them come another day? Its hard when you get unexpected, well-meaning visitors. Make a little sign or note for your door that says something like “shhh, we are resting, no visitors today” and hopefully they will respect that and not have any hurt feelings.

So, you have your mom to help you for a few days and hubby got a week of leave… then what? Who will help you with the older kids? Do you feel safe with baby alone? I had one mom who didn’t have anyone come to help the first few days because she preferred the privacy, but when her husband had to go into work 2 days after the baby was born she lacked a lot of confidence and needed more emotional support than she anticipated.

Hopefully those will help to get you started in your thinking of a postpartum plan. If you spent an hour (or two or five) typing up a beautiful birth plan with details on vaccinations, circumcision, and what to do if you need a c-section, you owe it to yourself to put an effort into your postpartum plan as well. Would you like some help creating your plan?  I’m available to help you create a vision & plan for both your birth and postpartum period.