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.

my newborn baby won't sleep – and other things a postpartum doula can help with

Oh my gosh, when they said “sleep when the baby sleeps” they didn’t know that you can’t because you’re off Googling “my newborn baby won’t sleep”! And using that logic, if you are supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, exactly when, tell me when, are you supposed to eat?  Unless you have 4 arms or a husband who doesn’t mind spoon feeding you while you nurse, its pretty challenging to eat while the baby eats (until you get the hang of it that is!)

The first few days your newborn baby is home is supposed to be a wondrous time of unicorns farting rainbows, is it not?

Sometimes it is and if you are lucky enough to have a great system of family and friends to help, its pretty awesome.  But for most parents, after a few days the visitors go home and reality sets in “exactly how do I take care of my newborn baby?

my newborn baby won't sleep

A postpartum doula can help be the unicorn, but instead of doing it for you, she’ll teach you how to fart those rainbows yourself. All joking aside, this type of doula has the sole purpose of “mothering the mother” providing physical, emotional, & educational support after baby is born. She’s not usually a nurse (a postpartum doula doesn’t do anything medical) and she’s not a nanny (she’s more like your mentor than your employee.) But many things can overlap.  Because her goal is to help give you confidence as a parent, she may help with light household chores, watch baby while you rest or shower, demonstrate various newborn care techniques, and even help you with breastfeeding questions.

While grandmas, best friends, and sisters are irreplaceable, sometimes its nice to just have a totally new perspective. Someone who is specializes in helping mom with her newborn baby. And if you have other kids already, she can help you during this adjustment period to care for yourself and other children. Some postpartum doulas, like myself, offer virtual services online or via phone and text if you don’t need someone there in person. Enjoy this time, she won’t be a newborn baby for long.

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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Share the Joy

vote do it well

Share the Joy with DoItWell.org

“You know, life is better when you do it well.” These are some wise words said by a 9 year old, who would be gone by the following week.  This wise young man was helping his dad at work, earn extra allowance for Legos, when he was injured in an accident that would take his life.

This fall, just a few weeks after Jeremiah passed away, his mom went and used his saved allowance and bought Legos. Instead of dwelling on her sadness, she decided to turn her grief into joy for children in the hospital and foster care in our community. Do It Well, Inc was born. The goal is simple, to give children just a little something special of their very own. Something that would bring honor and tribute to JP, Legos & a Bible.

Do It Well is in a Share the Joy video contest until Dec 18 to get as many votes as possible so they can win a donation from our local shopping mall.  If you get a chance, I ask that you go out and support this organization by simply placing your vote.  You can also find out more about the organization at DoItWell.org

do it well share the joy

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.

 

4 Ways to Rock Your Natural Birth

rock your natural birth #wecandobetter

So, your crazy self decided you wanna try to rock your natural birth, huh? **Pretend I inserted a meme here that shows what society thinks, what your mom thinks, what you think, and then of course the reality. Guess what, they ALL might be just a little accurate.**  If you are already considering a natural birth, its pretty likely you might already know a bit about birth.  If not, I offer some pretty fun classes that are designed to help you including one to help you plan your birth.

Perhaps you are already all studied up or have used Google to learn everything there is to know about giving birth naturally.  If not, here are a few tips to help you rock your natural birth whether its at home, hospital, or perhaps birth in the backseat of the car.

how to Rock Your Natural Birth

1. Hire a doula

Um, yeah, this is a doula’s website so it might seem kinda silly that my number one tip is to hire a doula, but hiring a doula can increase your chances of having the birth experience you want.  Seriously, if you do nothing else, do this one, she’s professionally trained to help you with everything else that follows in this list.

2. Learn how natural birth works

Birth is actually pretty simple.  Yes, your BFF might have had a less than stellar experience that she’s told you about in excruciating detail, but that’s just it, its hers– not yours. Part of the solution for this step is to take an EVIDENCE-BASED childbirth education class.  These classes help give you information you need to make informed choices for your birth, which leads me to #3.

3. Know Your Choices

Once you know how natural birth works, you need to understand what options are available to you.  For example, you know that after birth the baby is still connected via umbilical cord to the placenta. In the movies, they show dad quickly stepping in to cut the cord as soon as baby is out.  Well, folks, that’s only one of the choices you have available (others include delayed clamping, cord blood banking, leaving it attached to naturally dry while still connected to the placenta.)  I’ve said this before, but if you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.

4. Involve your partner

This one goes along with #1.  While your doula is an expert in birth, your partner is the expert in YOU.  He (or she) is the one who knows your heart, understands your deepest fears, has seen you before in good times and bad, and is the one who can connect with you better than anyone else. Having your partner become involved with birth shows him that you feel the same way. When you involve your partner, you have another set of hands, another voice to provide encouragement, and another shoulder to cry on.  Don’t underestimate how emotional having a baby is for your partner too, even though he’s not the one with the baby in his belly.

While I certainly cannot promise you that birth will be everything you hope for or expect, I do know that these four ways to rock your natural birth will get you on the right path.

How did you prepare yourself to rock your birth?  If you have more suggestions or tips, leave a comment and help another woman to rock her birth!

now available for sale – birth affirmation cards

These lovely little pocket sized (2.5×2.5) affirmation cards are perfect to carry around, place as reminders on your bathroom window or car visor, give as gifts, or use to inspire yourself.

Affirmations are used to help change your way of thinking and create a new more positive mindset.  Use these affirmation cards to help create that mindset. Printed on a luxurious matte soft-touch paper.

affirmation cards

Inspired by the “love tokens” shared by Blooma Yoga on Facebook, these little affirmation cards can be used as a pick-me-up for yourself or someone you think could use a bit of encouragement.  I’ve made this particular set of affirmation cards good for general use to inspire anyone, not just expecting moms.  I hope you enjoy them.