While we get caught up with the little details of our children’s birth, it’s easy to lose track of the fundamentals and the industry’s standards of care.Even with the privilege we have to live among advanced technology in prenatal care and childbirth, many women are receiving substandard care for their families.
This substandard or low quality care is a fundamental human rights concern and is worthy of attention in the childbirth community. Poor, working class, minority, or marginalized peoples receive no care or insufficient care in maternity settings all too often and it creates a growing problem in our communities.
Prenatal and Birth PTSD is an unfortunate reality that affects real mothers.Negative birth experiences and violations of consent are creating unnecessary health risks for mothers and their children. These injustices occur when obstetric standards aren’t being met in certain areas.Many health care providers and industry professionals are setting out to change these statistics, decreasing infant mortality rates and increasing the quality of care that all women can expect for their baby’s delivery.
It is the human right for every woman to have access to the resources and healthcare support she needs for a healthy birth, leaving mothers as the empowered decision maker in her own birth experience.Human Rights in Childbirth is an organization that aims for progress in these areas, paving the way for big changes in the ethical standards of Childbirth in the United States and Internationally. Our team of birth professionals support these efforts as we implement judgement free philosophies for every family in our birthing center. We proudly support their organization and encourage other families to help make real changes for women and their children.
Our standard of birth support reflects the dedication of our team to providing exceptional care for every family. Decisions and plans for birth are the exclusive right of parents and we strive to offer families every resource at our disposal to create the safest and most comfortable environment possible to welcome their new baby.
We encourage every family to understand their rights surrounding childbirth and some of the ways these rights can be compromised.“A person does not lose their fundamental human rights when they become pregnant. Every human being, regardless of their pregnancy status, has the following rights:”
If you have questions about your child’s birth or how you can support organizations like Human Rights in Childbirth, contact us.
As we stand together and implement a nurturing birth experience that is rich in resources, we can steadily raise industry standards, improving the quality of life for all women and their babies.
Natural Birth IS Possible! Our bodies transform in amazing ways to grow, give birth to, and breastfeed our babies. Many women experience anxiety about birth and are frightened about the pain of labor. This fear may keep expectant mothers from thinking they are capable of delivering their baby without pain medication. However, a natural, drug-free birth can be a safer option for both mother and baby. And it’s something women have been doing since the beginning of time!
“We are the only species that can doubt it’s capacity to give birth.” Ina May GaskinYour jouney to a natural and non-medicated birth begins with choosing a supportive care provider and comfortable birth environment. Add in prenatal education with a focus on natural birth along with encouraging labor support and you’ve created a strong, supportive foundation that will give you comfort and confidence as you birth your baby.
Women are strong.Our Childbirth Education classes are included as part of our Midwifery Care at Birthways because we, as Midwives, see the direct benefit of mothers being informed about birth and their options for care. Our classes will strengthen your knowledge about birth and share valuable comfort measures to support you through birth and into Motherhood.
The truth is, you absolutely can do this!Our team is here to provide families with the information and resources they need to have a natural birth experience. With our Midwives at Birthways or in your home, you can follow the rhythm of your own labor. You can eat & drink as you desire, move around freely, and give birth in whatever position works for you and your baby. Having the freedom to move as you see fit makes coping with labor easier. Many women find the use of water, both the shower and the tub, comforting during labor, so much so that many of our mothers choose to have a waterbirth.
The way you give birth is up to you.. our team is here to support you every step of the way!The Midwives at Birthways Family Birth Center believe in your ability to give birth. We believe that women are strong. We believe that women want the best for their babies. We believe all women should have the opportunity to choose how and where they want to give birth. We believe there is a time and a place for every intervention and the wisdom is in knowing when to use them. We believe that women and babies deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. We believe in YOU!
Your body is incredible and you are stronger than you think you are!If you’re interested in pursuing a natural birth, Birthways Family Birth Center can help you take the first step.
Delayed cord clamping isn’t a new process and has been part of Birthways Family Birth Center standard of care for as long as we’ve been welcoming babies.In practice, we typically wait until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating and often until after the placenta is born to clamp and cut the cord. At our center, the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord is left to the discretion of the mother when no medical complications are presented.
The clamping and severing of the umbilical cord is considered to be a spiritual and sacred process in many cultures, encouraging the medical community to research the positive and negative effects of delayed cord clamping. Recently, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have published an official scholarly recommendation to delay the clamping of an umbilical cord at least 30-60 seconds after birth. While this doesn’t seem like a long time, it is longer than immediate cutting and has been shown to have positive benefits.
This recommendation is slowly but surely raising the standard for delayed clamping, providing newborns with a multitude of benefits at birth and later development.ACOG Benefits of Delayed Cord ClampingWhile preterm infants may benefit the most from delayed cord clamping, all infants can benefit both physically and developmentally at birth and the first few months postpartum. Some of these incredible benefits include improved transitional circulation,increased red blood cell volume as well as decreased risk of brain hemorrhaging and iron deficiency in the first year.
Because iron deficiency has been linked to impaired cognitive development, delayed clamping can improve the cognitive, motor and behavioral development of infants in their first year. This can make it easier to reach developmental milestones and help infants establish stronger mental and emotional connections.
Known DrawbacksThe only notable drawbacks that coincide with delayed cord clamping are the yield of cord blood if the parents are choosing to bank. Cord blood banking agencies require a minimum volume of cord blood and the delayed clamping results in less blood to meet this criteria. Each birth is different and in some cases, delaying the clamping doesn’t create a problem for banking. This can be considered a minor setback, as the health benefits in this case dramatically outweigh any negatives.
PreferencesEach family has their own beliefs and cultural lens when it comes to their birth decisions and cord clamping. Some choose lotus birthing in which the placenta remains attached until it naturally separates from the infant, usually after a few days. Other parents choose more traditional methods of severing the cord like cord burning.
After ACOG published their research on delayed clamping, standards of care have begun to change for the better.Although delayed cord clamping has always been an important part of our philosophy, we firmly believe it remains at the discretion of parents. However, this will hopefully change the perception of delayed cord clamping in hospitals and birthing centers across the board as more parents and practitioners familiarize themselves with the undeniable health benefits for newborns.
Stress Away Essential OilThe power of smell is an incredible thing and certain herbal blends can dramatically reduce stress and anxiety. Stress Away is an essential oil blend of tropical and citrus that relaxes and comforts the body and mind. Whether you’re using the essential oil to maintain a relaxing space in your home or a refreshing aromatherapy break on the go, Stress Away is a staple for finding a little peace every day, available on it’s own or in the Premium Starter Kit.
Essential oils are more powerful than you think.Swapping some household solvents, cosmetics and over the counter medications with some all natural essential oil blends can help you reach your goals of living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
Essential oils aren’t just hype, they’re proven holistic treatments that really work. Like any medicine, cosmetic or topical product, everyone’s skin is different and may respond to essential oil treatments differently.
Find the Right Oils for YouIdentify ways you’d like to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Are you looking for safer cleaning products? Tired of harmful chemicals in your hair and skin care routine? Trying to cure aches, pains, scratches and scrapes the all natural way?
No matter how you’re looking to make a change, essential oils can be your guide into living healthier and cleaner. Identify your goals and essential oils distributors will provide you a breakdown of the individual health benefits of each individual oil or blend. Be careful to choose only pure oils and extracts and beware of cheap imitations that might contain harmful fillers. You can ask your Midwife for essential oil suggestions pertaining to health during pregnancy too!
CosmeticsEssential oils are awesome alternatives for creams and cleansers that strip your hair and skin of the good, causing breakouts and uneven tone. Oils like lavender will clear up breakouts and basil oil will wake up tired skin. A dab of cinnamon essential oil will even give your lips a plumper and fuller look. Lavender and black cumin seed essential oils are great for clearing up dry scalp and dandruff. Making the switch to essential oils can help you break away from expensive, ineffective and processed cosmetics.
First AidThere’s tons of medicinal uses for essential oils and they’ve been used for thousands of years as powerful defense against bacteria and infections. You can use to clean wounds, dress burns and insect bites and even sunburns. Oils can help alleviate muscle pain, headaches, sinus congestion and cold sores.
HouseholdEssential Oils can make your cleaning routine a whole lot safer for you and your family. Diffuse some essential oils in the air for some aromatherapy or use them diluted in a mist bottle to freshen up your space. Lemon essential oil eliminates odors and can polish wood furniture. Some essential oils can also give your laundry a boost or give you a beautifully scented DIY laundry detergent free of harsh dyes and fragrances.
Essential oils can give you the boost you need to start living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.You don’t need to fill your skin and your home with chemicals to look better and feel better. Armed with a variety of essential oils, you can reach your health goals and resolutions this year of making smarter choices for the environment and your family.
“There’s no use crying over spilled milk.”A mantra for the breastfeeding mother.In honor of Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day we’ve decided to share some valuable words of wisdom to all the breastfeeding mothers out there that have definitely cried over spilled milk. Adjusting to a breastfeeding routine can be challenging for any mom and spilled milk definitely feels like a tragedy when you’re just getting the hang of it.
Pumping breast milk can be a challenge in itself and any milk that goes to waste can be traumatizing for women who are experiencing a low milk supply or even moms feeling stressed their baby isn’t eating enough.
We want to assure you, it’s all going to be okay.
Whether you’ve knocked over some precious ounces of freshly pumped breast milk or accidentally let some expire, you’ve definitely had a moment of breastfeeding-induced anxiety. No matter what, it’s going to be fine and work itself out. Even if that feels impossible. Whenever things get tough, seize the opportunity to build yourself up.
You are incredible.Do you know how incredible it is to not only make a firm decision about your parenting style but to stick it through? That’s amazing. Not to mention it’s astonishing how your body can build a human from scratch and produce food for that small person to live! If you ask us, you’re already too amazing to feel let down over some spilled milk.
It might be tough, and you’re entitled to a few bad days but it’s important to look on the bright side. Motherhood, parenting, breastfeeding and pumping won’t go according to plan, that much we can tell you for certain. Learn to laugh at the bumps in the road, celebrate the small triumphs you make every day and learn to let go of the mini mistakes that aren’t failures.
When you’re a mom, there’s no such thing as a failure. Only obstacles.To help you through the days that feel a little tough or beat up your self esteem, we came up with some tips and tricks for pumping that will make your life a whole lot easier.
With a strong support system and self determination in place, you can conquer your breastfeeding goals and say goodbye to the days of crying over spilled milk.
Whether you’re expecting or just welcomed your new baby, a little fitness worked into your daily routine is a good thing.Most women think that fitness is a strict gym routine of cardio and weightlifting and that type of environment can be anything but motivating and simply out of the question when you’re a new mom. If you’re looking to be healthier during your pregnancy or just after having a baby you can incorporate a great work out in fun and easy ways.
Squat!There’s no denying the power of squats. If you’re trying to give yourself a lift, working a series of squats into your day will tone your legs and lift your hiney. Squats can also strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy and make to make your labor a faster process and jump start your postpartum recovery. Do 5 to 10 squats after using the bathroom, during commercials, or on the hour and before you know it, you’ll have hundreds done each day. Cleaning up after kids? Do some squats while you’re picking up toys and clutter. Before you know it, you’ll have established an awesome workout routine.
LungesLunges do some amazing things for your legs. If you’re pregnant, these not only help strengthen your pelvic floor but also improve circulation and alleviate swelling. While doing some lunges, you’re strengthening your core and lower body. When recovering postpartum, core strengthening exercises help retrain the muscles and avoid injuries. Lunges are easy to do around the house, when you walk from room to room do 5 to 10 lunges. If you’re baby wearing, you’re adding some weight to your workout! Be careful with lunges while you’re pregnant, as it can be easy to lose your balance.
Stroller WorkoutA walk around the block or through the park is a great way to get some fresh air, stretch your legs and give your baby a change of scenery. Pushing a stroller even adds some additional weight to your workout. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous gym visit to get an amazing workout into your daily routine. Make the most of your workout by paying attention to your posture and your breathing. Team up with other moms in your neighborhood to empower them to get up and moving!
One of our childbirth educators, Alisha, leads a walking group two times per week called Mama Movement. This is an awesome opportunity for families in our area to socialize and practice a healthy exercise regimen.
Getting back into a workout routine is easier than you think.It only takes a few minutes each day to get some valuable activity into your busy day. A body in motion stays in motion, and whether you’re pregnant or postpartum, you can benefit from some extra activity.
Listen to your body. Know your limits. Start slow.
Find a workout routine that works for you and always keep the safety of you and your family at the front of your mind.
Childbirth is a collaborative effort.As the different elements of the process work harmoniously, there is often a safer and more productive outcome. Compassionate emotional support and comfort measures hold the power to dramatically reduce certain birth risks and even surgical interventions. The birth community is now publishing more research on the benefits of birth support and how a strong support system can actually affect your birth experience in a positive way.
What’s the verdict?The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has published their research on birth support and how midwives are making strides by improving the birth experience nationwide. After establishing that a woman is low-risk, she may benefit from less medical intervention that could prove stressful for her or her baby during labor.
In this research they have also identified that it’s not all about experiencing less pain.With an epidural alone, mothers might feel less physical pain but can still be significantly affected by anxiety and birth trauma without access to a support system. Continuous emotional support, affirmations and comfort measures have been shown to dramatically shorten the duration of labor and lower the risk for operative deliveries.
When midwives, medical staff, and doulas work cooperatively with a woman in labor, they are able to focus attention on empowering them through the experience and finding natural ways to comfort and encourage the progression of birth safely. Changing positions, massage, intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring and pushing at the mother’s comfortable pace reduces cesarean risks and can also reduce birth trauma and stress during birth.
This is important news for babies to be.As hospitals and birth centers shift toward this holistic way of thinking, it normalizes birth practices that shy away from medical interventions and pain management. Acknowledging the importance of a strong support system in the birth space will empower women to make their own decisions for their baby’s birth and create a birth plan that is more attune to their specific needs.
When you have a carefully assembled team in place, you can feel confident that you’re receiving all the attention and care you want and nothing you don’t, without compromising safety.
A strong support system matters!As you prepare for birth, assembling your support system is just as important as deciding your birth preferences. Talk to your care provider, your birth center, and birth support professionals about your options and resources that will customize your birth experience to it’s fullest potential.
Creating a positive birth experience starts with a good support team.Nothing influences your birth more than your birth team. The people you have with you will forever shape your memory of the birth of your child.
Research shows that continuous support during labor can reduce complications, lower the risk of cesareans as well decrease the need for pain medication. A good support team can promote bonding, lead to an easier recovery, support successful breastfeeding, and improve your birth experience. Who doesn’t want that?!
Here’s a couple of tips and tricks to creating an awesome team of support for your baby’s big arrival. Location of BirthHome, Hospital, or Birthing Center? Tour your local facilities, get a feel for the energy and the resources available at each location. Where do you feel comfortable? Where do you feel supported? Where would you feel safe? Studies have shown that birth at home or in a birth center with a Midwife in attendance is as safe as birthing in a hospital when the mother is low risk and there is a plan for transfer should complications arise. Each location has it’s own risks and, it’s up to you to decide where is right for you and your baby!
Care ProviderChoosing a provider who shares a similar philosophy about birth is important, but more important, is a provider who will respect your choices, regardless of it he or she would make the same decisions. Your care provider will be guiding you in your care, you want to know that that guidance is going to support your desires. If you choose a Midwife, your Midwife will provide you with complete, comprehensive care for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. She will support your birth plan and encourage you as the primary decision maker in your care while providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions.
DoulaDoulas are an excellent addition to any birth and postpartum support team! They provide emotional support, help with physical comfort, and can serve as a liaison to promote communication between you and the rest of your birth team. Doulas fill in if partners are not able to attend or aren’t involved. Postpartum doulas provide in home support to you and your family. Whether for birth or postpartum, doulas customize their care to support your needs. Ask your care provider for referrals to doulas in your area.
Partner Attending Childbirth Classes and prenatal visits together, reading books, watching videos, and talking about birth will help you both prepare for the birth of your child. It’s good for you both to have realistic expectations and enough support for each of you. The day your child is born, is a day you both will remember for the rest of your lives!
While birth can be a team effort, you are most certainly the star, and should have all the support you need. A written birth plan can be an effective tool to communicate your desires and expectations effectively to your partner and the rest of your team. Together, you and your birth team can welcome your baby into the world with love and joy!
Wellness Guides & More From Christina Holmes & Birthways Midwifery & Birth Center.