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The Esali Birth Perinatal Pocket Guide is member's only resource; a pocket doula guide for pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks postpartum.  This easy to navigate pregnancy guide can be easily viewed on your phone or printed on index cards.  The labor guide is a great labor bag reference for dads, birth partners, and doulas.

Perinatal Pocket Guide Includes:

  • Prenatal Wellness Tips
  • Baby Alignment Tips
  • Pregnancy Discomfort Remedies
  • Pregnancy Belly Mapping Tips
  • Early Labor Tips
  • Early Labor Progression Tips
  • Active Labor Tips
  • Active Labor Progression Tips
  • Birthing (Pushing) Tips
  • Birthing (Pushing) Progression Tips
  • Placenta Uses
  • Unassisted Emergency Birth Tips
  • Breastfeeding Latch Tips

 Join the Free Birth Community!

Miscarriage is estimated to occur in 50% of pregnancies, and at one time, mothers were often unaware they were even pregnant when this was experienced.  With advanced technology and early-detected pregnancy kits, the awareness of pregnancy loss often happens much sooner.  Among all the difficult moments families experience pregnancy loss experience, one that is so common to doula care is a pregnancy loss when the mother doesn't yet have established prenatal care.

For obstetricians and hospital based care providers, it is typical for mothers to be refused an appointment until after 6 weeks gestation.

For many home birth midwives, it is typical for mothers to not receive prenatal care until 20 weeks gestation.

What are mothers doing on their own without support who are experiencing early pregnancy loss, or simply need questions answered, prior to this time?  The amount of contacts I receive from mothers who are stressed because they can't find a care provider that will provide care to them based on them as a person, rather than them as a gestational age, is astounding.  Many of these mothers go on to finally reaching the point in their pregnancy where someone will provide prenatal care to them, but quite a few are either experiencing some sort of symptom that has them alarmed or just need more love and guidance during the early parts of pregnancy.

At 6 weeks gestation, it is common for moms to experience some of the most intense emotions of a new pregnancy, including, but not limited to:

  • High Anxiety
  • Hormonal Fluctuations
  • Spotting
  • Bleeding (or threatened miscarriage)
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea (sometimes severe)
  • Fatigue
  • Influences of nutrition, including caffeine intake and even alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Plethora of questions and What If's

By 6 weeks gestation, the baby has gone through a dramatic developmental growth, though only :

  • Neural Tube that will direct the growth of the entire nervous system
  • Beginning of the arms & legs
  • Beginning of facial features including the beginning of eyes and inner ears
  • Liver & Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Heart, which begins beating around 5 weeks

I'm Experiencing a Miscarriage at Home

If you're experiencing pregnancy loss, especially before a care provider has scheduled a visit with you, what can you do?

Call for Support

Get in touch with someone, anyone, that can help support you emotionally, and physically as needed.

  • Doula - You can get in touch with me through this website or at www.facebook.com/EsaliBirth
  • Bereavement Doula
  • StillBirthday.com
  • NowILayMeDownToSleep.org
  • SufficientGraceMinistries.org

What Will I Experience During Early Pregnancy Loss?

Gestational age influences your experience quite a bit.  Emotions will play a significant role in the intensity of labor that you may feel as well.

  • You will feel crampy, at minimum, and typically will experience stronger contractions the older your baby is
  • It is OK to feel sad no matter how early you experience a pregnancy loss
  • It is also OK to not feel sad, just be sure you're expressing your emotions and not holding them in
  • Rest, nourish yourself, have people care for you while your body heals and lochia (postaprtum bleeding) subsides.  You are not likely to experience any breastmilk prior to about 20 weeks gestation.

What do I do During Early Pregnancy Loss?

  • Call your support person(s), doula, family, friends, faith leader or spiritual counselor.
  • It is very common for early pregnancy loss to occur on the toilet without anticipation and you may not have had the chance to catch the baby.  If this occurs, you can create a ceremony with dim lights, candles, and notes on tissue paper to flush with the baby or afterwards if you have already flushed.  You may also choose to bury notes, even under a tree, as a memory.
  • Visit the Sufficient Grace Ministries Homebirth Miscarriage Guide for a very detailed lists of items you may wish to have on hand and ways that you can support yourself during this time, especially the older your baby is when you experience.

What Can Providers Do to Support Families During Early Pregnancy?

Yes, there are time restrictions in obstetrical practices.  Yes there are distance and financial restrictions in home birth practices.  Hopefully you will find some of these options to be of benefit to you for your care:

  • Provide prenatal care for moms no matter their gestational age
  • If you are a home birth provider who usually doesn't get reimbursed for this stage of pregnancy, change your service options.  You can offer a more robust perinatal package, or you can offer counseling and support services in addition to your typical prenatal care that often only begins after 20 weeks.  Explain the difference.
  • Connect with a doula network, or provide early pregnancy support in your office.  Doulas are great options to fill in these spaces when they can't fit into a provider's schedule.
  • Offer phone and messaging support, or virtual (or in-person) support groups for moms in the beginning stages of pregnancy.
  • Create a prenatal literature and a website that fills in the gaps for your clients (or potential clients).  Get in touch if you need support developing this material.
  • Encourage your clients to reach out to you for questions, and build this into your package, so your clients feel comfortable communicating with you prior to your standard prenatal schedule.

Remember, most of the perinatal experience, from healthy to happiness, revolves around how a mother is treated.  This isn't just during labor and birth, it is from the first moment a family connects with a provider.  All the moments matter.

 

If you are looking for answers for pregnancy loss or general pregnancy questions, no matter how far along in your pregnancy (or if you aren't even pregnant yet or if you've already experienced miscarriage), please get in touch.  You can find me here on this website or facebook.com/esalibirth is a great way to directly connect with me as well.

 

 

Esali Birth, a holistic perinatal education and doula support organization, will be using funds raised from the 2018 Esali Mother’s Day 5k to provide families of the Mid-Ohio Valley with free postpartum doula care. This continuation of postpartum care for a new mother allows her body time to heal helping to prevent postpartum mood disorders in mothers and fathers as well as time to reflect on the birth experience and move forward into early parenting with confidence. Families can apply for postpartum doula care by registering at http://www.esalibirth.com/postpartum-care-mov-program/ where arrangements can then be scheduled.

“The six weeks after birth are a critical time period for mom’s ability to establish breastfeeding, heal emotionally and physically from their birth experience, and transition into a new phase of motherhood. Most parents are not only left 24-48 hours after their birth to begin this new life transition on their own, but mothers are also routinely not being checked again by their provider until 6 weeks after the birth. Our culture often expects a family to quickly be back on their feet with house work and even out of the home jobs within weeks of birth,” says Danielle Bergum, Doula and Perinatal Mentor with Esali Birth.

Approximately 50 hours of postpartum doula care are available on a first-come first-service basis through Esali Birth for mothers in their three-month postpartum time period. Postpartum doula care can range from light house work and meal prep to breastfeeding support, babywearing guidance, and entertaining siblings while mom, and dad, rests and rejuvenates. Postpartum doula care is beneficial for women that have experienced both a normal vaginal birth as well as cesarean and pre-term birth or perinatal loss. At this time, postpartum doula care through this program is limited per family; however, families can schedule addition postpartum care through standard doula services as desired.

Esali Birth provides education, doula support, and full mentoring to families in the Mid-Ohio Valley and online. Esali Birth seeks to enhance the knowledge of options available to childbearing families as well as the human rights individuals have during birth and beyond. Empowering parents to make informed decisions about their health and well-being is our focus through confidence-building education, awareness and support.

# # #

If you would like more information about the Esali Birth Postpartum Doula Care Program, please contact Danielle Bergum at 304-482-4729 or email at mdbergum@esalibirth.com.

Families in the Mid-Ohio Valley supported over 200 competitors in Esali Birth's 10th annual Mother's Day 5k and many more in the River City Kids race that followed.

Proceeds from the 5k help to support Esali Birth's mission in the Mid-Ohio Valley through workshops and outreach.  The 2017 esali5k helped to fund the Esali Birth Pregnancy Bags for expecting mothers in the MOV.  We are looking forward to seeing where the 2018 race will allow us to help the most.

We are so thankful for the participants, volunteers, and sponsors that make this happen - we absolutely could not do this without the people behind the event!

It is always a joy to see so many families, babies in strollers and carriers, children running and walking alongside their families, and their support team cheering them on and helping raise awareness for Happy Healthy Birth and Breastfeeding throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.

What do we know about Happy Healthy Birth in the MOV?

  • Until 2017, West Virginia had ZERO Baby-Friendly hospitals.  O'bleness is the closest Baby-Friendly hospital to the Mid-Ohio Valley.  The Baby-Friendly designation means a hospital has followed steps to support things like skin-to-skin care immediately after birth and other factors like qualified breastfeeding support to help with breastfeeding outcomes.  Did you know?  Parent companies of formula companies are the ones that make hospital machinery like X-Ray and MRI machines.  When hospitals give out free formula from those child companies, they will receive kickbacks for other areas of the hospital.  Some hospitals refuse to give up this part of the Baby-Friendly requirements to avoid losing those kick-backs.  The Mid-Ohio Valley doesn't have any Baby-Friendly Certified hospitals.
  • As of 2013, CCMH had a 40% cesarean rate. ALMOST HALF of women stepping into this hospital for childbirth are having surgical births; most, of which, could be prevented.  Half of these were primary cesareans and half were repeat cesareans.  In the past ten years, this rate has increased significantly.  Did you know the World Health Organization considers a cesarean rate between 10-15% ideal and states, "Two new HRP studies show that when caesarean section rates rise towards 10% across a population, the number of maternal and newborn deaths decreases. When the rate goes above 10%, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve."
  • Marietta Memorial Hospital has an official VBAC ban - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean is refused.  This not only means they will refuse to grant the request of a mother to labor without resistance if she has had a previous cesarean, but also that they will exhaust all means of a mother laboring that has never had a cesarean (but that may need a cesarean) to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a cesarean was the last resort to support their VBAC ban.  Sounds ideal at first, except when interventions and risks are unnecessarily increased in the process.
  • Some birth locations are changing their policies to support parent's wishes as well as improve skin-to-skin time after birth and connection during the first few days postpartum.  Some are not.  The most important thing to remember is that knowledge is power.  By learning about ALL your options and getting connected with your holistic resources throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley, you can make better informed decisions for a more well-rounded confident birth.
  • Home birth (including VBAC (or HBAC), twin birth, and breech birth) is a well supported option in and surrounding the Mid-Ohio Valley.  You can find some providers that offer these services by checking out the MOV Birth Workers page.
  • The MOV Breastfeeding, Birth, and Parenting Social is similar to La Leche League - though in addition to breastfeeding education and support for moms and their support system, we also enjoy birth and early parenting education and support.  Come say hello from pregnancy through early parenting on the 4th Saturday of every month (except December).
  • Doula care prenatally, during labor, and postpartum is known world-wide to support mother's experiences including supporting spontaneous labor, biological breastfeeding, and postpartum healing, but also providing families with the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions no matter where they birth or what decisions need to be made through the perinatal period.  The Mid-Ohio Valley is now thriving with doulas and perinatal mentors.  All a family has to do is a simple internet search and holistic care is at your fingertips, including through #MOVdoula right here on Esali Birth.  Learn more about what a doula does from pregnancy (or pre-conception) through postpartum including supporting unassisted births, supported at home births, birth centers, hospitals, medicated births, 42+ week births, home birth transfers, preterm births, breech birth, twin birth, cesarean birth, assisted birth, birth plans, no birth plans, change your birth plans, and #ALLthebirths in between.  A doula supports YOU.

Want to know more of the ins and outs of Happy Healthy Birth in the Mid-Ohio Valley?  Schedule some mentoring, take a birth class, find a doula, and let's chat about all the holistic support options you have available to you right here in the MOV.

Read the Parkersburg News and Sentinnel write-up.

2018 MD5k Results

Overall

Place Bib Name Time M/F Age Group Run/Walk
1 187 Harrison Potter  0:18'50.33 Male 30-34 Run
2 214 Nathan Cunningham  0:19'10.49 Male 25-29 Run
3 161 Joe Wiltsey  0:20'32.02 Male 45-49 Run
4 119 Robert Boston  0:21'12.52 Male 50-54 Run
5 193 Johnathan Haddox  0:21'24.49 Male 20-24 Run
6 159 Teddy Menisher  0:21'50.11 Male 45-49 Run
7 190 Yvonne Gilders  0:21'55.55 Female 35-39 Run
8 212 Steve Osborne  0:22'23.70 Male 40-44 Run
9 120 Andrew Essig  0:22'39.74 Male 20-24 Run
10 200 Quentin Corbitt  0:23'22.83 Male 20-24 Run
11 211 Steve Beck  0:23'29.33 Male 30-34 Run
12 178 Kaylor Offenberger  0:23'30.45 Female 13-19 Run
13 138 Nathan Jones  0:23'58.05 Male 30-34 Run
14 219 Nathan Plotner  0:23'59.24 Male 12 & Under Run
15 109 Dominick Walleshauser  0:24'15.55 Male 13-19 Run
16 218 Ashley Becker  0:24'16.36 Female 30-34 Run
17 162 Patrick Cathey  0:24'20.02 Male 65-69 Run
18 155 Johm Toomey  0:24'47.58 Male 30-34 Run
19 168 Erin Stanley  0:24'53.27 Female 35-39 Run
20 202 Ryan Martin  0:25'25.39 Male 12 & Under Run
21 207 Chris Hackney  0:25'36.08 Male 35-39 Run
22 147 Brian Seeley  0:25'45.92 Male 50-54 Run
23 112 Anna Vanderlaan  0:25'56.49 Female 50-54 Run
24 180 Taylor Bowers  0:25'58.24 Male 13-19 Run
25 149 Lindsay Hill  0:26'00.17 Female 25-29 Run
26 191 Katie Vickers  0:26'08.30 Female 30-34 Run
27 173 Desirae Caplinger  0:26'10.30 Female 12 & Under Run
28 217 Candy Bailey  0:26'34.92 Female 40-44 Run
29 182 Kenneth Angle  0:26'53.86 Male 50-54 Run
30 194 Virginia Haddox  0:27'03.74 Female 12 & Under Run
31 123 Sullivan Wilson  0:27'21.64 Male 13-19 Run
32 183 Kayla Suoler  0:27'41.36 Female 20-24 Run
33 192 Robert Sheridan  0:28'25.61 Male 55-59 Run
34 157 Jaime Ford  0:28'36.92 Female 40-44 Run
35 156 Aaron Ford  0:28'37.33 Male 40-44 Run
36 134 Joe Mills  0:28'39.27 Male 40-44 Run
37 206 Gatlin McLain  0:28'42.61 Male 12 & Under Run
38 204 Drew McLain  0:28'42.83 Male 35-39 Run
39 201 Mike Brown  0:28'46.77 Male 45-49 Run
40 139 Haley Church  0:28'56.30 Female 13-19 Run
41 189 Josh Windland  0:29'38.92 Male 20-24 Run
42 143 Donald Lane  0:30'52.95 Male 60-64 Run
43 125 Stacy Wilson  0:31'21.58 Female 35-39 Run
44 114 Rod Cummings  0:31'29.80 Male 45-49 Run
45 148 Amanda Richards  0:31'30.14 Female 25-29 Run
46 169 Emma Stanley  0:32'05.49 Female 12 & Under Run
47 170 Becky Poling  0:32'13.52 Female 50-54 Run
48 151 Ethan Lamb  0:32'17.77 Male 25-29 Run
49 127 Rob Law  0:32'31.58 Male 40-44 Run
50 380 Jason Mader  0:32'35.17 Male 45-49 Walk
51 146 Savannah Jarvis  0:33'00.14 Female 13-19 Run
52 133 Johathan McCarthy  0:33'05.02 Male 25-29 Run
53 165 Kevin Allen  0:33'10.55 Male 45-49 Run
54 144 Diana Cline  0:33'23.70 Female 55-59 Run
55 228 Erica Ash  0:33'34.05 Female 30-34 Run
56 312 Sharon Marks  0:33'48.99 Female 60-64 Walk
57 223 Joshua Eddy  0:33'50.11 Male 12 & Under Run
58 221 Jillian Eddy  0:33'50.83 Female 35-39 Run
59 210 Jackson Fallon  0:34'02.70 Male 12 & Under Run
60 209 Seth Fallon  0:34'03.14 Male 30-34 Run
61 140 Ivy Linger  0:34'45.61 Female 13-19 Run
62 181 Mindy Bowers  0:35'07.05 Female 30-34 Run
63 105 Erick Braniff  0:35'11.89 Male 30-34 Run
64 142 Pamela Addis  0:35'19.05 Female 55-59 Run
65 129 Megan Law  0:35'32.49 Female 20-24 Run
66 117 Bernard Bookman  0:35'39.39 Male 50-54 Run
67 128 Linda Law  0:35'45.77 Female 40-44 Run
68 196 Waylen Jarvis  0:35'55.95 Male 12 & Under Run
69 227 Kim Williams  0:35'59.70 Female 35-39 Run
70 126 Wendy Mick  0:36'00.52 Male 30-34 Run
71 226 Braden Williams  0:36'06.92 Male 12 & Under Run
72 195 Shawnna Jarvis  0:36'08.99 Female 35-39 Run
73 308 Brenis Phillips  0:36'35.30 Male 60-64 Walk
74 371 Ray Poling  0:36'36.36 Male 60-64 Walk
75 171 Christian Clatterbuck  0:36'54.99 Male 13-19 Run
76 160 Charlie Pickens  0:37'04.74 Male 70 & Over Run
77 152 Jackson Carroll  0:37'10.89 Male 12 & Under Run
78 172 Elsie Horton  0:37'14.02 Female 40-44 Run
79 374 Karen Meeks  0:37'17.67 Female 60-64 Walk
80 135 Summer Mills  0:37'19.45 Female 40-44 Run
81 222 Jalyn Eddy  0:37'36.80 Female 12 & Under Run
82 145 Lynn Stroble  0:37'38.74 Female 40-44 Run
83 185 Michelle Gibson  0:37'45.70 Female 25-29 Run
84 158 Megan Mahoney  0:37'50.30 Female 30-34 Run
85 188 Jennifer Lackey  0:37'54.45 Female 30-34 Run
86 213 Jack Lane  0:38'00.42 Male 65-69 Run
87 354 Vicki Williams  0:38'13.52 Female 50-54 Walk
88 208 Mary Beth Bauman  0:38'32.08 Female 55-59 Run
89 370 William Cunningham  0:38'34.42 Male 70 & Over Walk
90 113 Lyra Su  0:38'51.11 Female 25-29 Run
91 376 George Welch  0:38'57.36 Male 60-64 Walk
92 381 Linda Arnold  0:39'04.55 Female 60-64 Walk
93 378 Kim Windland  0:39'12.21 Female 55-59 Walk
94 167 Tabitha Tanner  0:39'30.11 Female 30-34 Run
95 224 Misty Sims  0:39'32.39 Female 40-44 Run
96 361 Barbara Jahn  0:40'03.52 Female 70 & Over Walk
97 110 Peggy Grimm  0:40'10.05 Female 70 & Over Run
98 320 Michelle Buckner  0:40'16.08 Female 40-44 Walk
99 186 Larry Atkinson  0:40'33.89 Male 55-59 Run
100 150 Melanie Lamb  0:40'34.08 Female 25-29 Run
101 301 Bob Heddleston  0:40'56.92 Male 55-59 Walk
102 225 April Terrell  0:41'07.08 Female 40-44 Run
103 303 Joan Smith  0:41'13.17 Female 65-69 Walk
104 315 Nancy Goff  0:41'16.77 Female 40-44 Walk
105 362 Martha Marks  0:41'23.80 Female 65-69 Walk
106 372 Erica Baker  0:41'29.02 Female 45-49 Walk
107 353 Joseph Morris  0:41'58.02 Male 35-39 Walk
108 230 Kris Casto  0:42'30.55 Female 50-54 Run
109 137 Lane Wasson  0:43'00.49 Male 12 & Under Run
110 136 Denise Wasson  0:43'00.83 Female 40-44 Run
111 199 Ty Starkey  0:43'21.58 Female 30-34 Run
112 383 Ernie Doll  0:43'25.70 Male 70 & Over Walk
113 111 Brianna Cross  0:44'06.67 Female 35-39 Run
114 363 Cherrie Cowan  0:44'34.92 Female 60-64 Run
115 313 Deb Patrick  0:44'45.89 Female 60-64 Walk
116 153 Vanessa McCrady  0:44'49.08 Female 30-34 Run
117 342 Kim Holdren  0:44'56.99 Female 60-64 Walk
118 229 Jace Riffle  0:45'00.83 Male 12 & Under Run
119 216 Jessica Riffle  0:45'01.17 Female 30-34 Run
120 215 Becky Offenberger  0:45'02.11 Female 55-59 Run
121 220 Pat Letson  0:45'36.58 Male 50-54 Run
122 205 Courtney McLain  0:45'38.80 Female 35-39 Run
123 339 Kathleen Ervine  0:45'44.36 Female 60-64 Walk
124 384 Tonya Venham  0:45'45.89 Female 40-44 Walk
125 203 Slaten McLain  0:45'46.39 Male 12 & Under Run
126 154 Bill Toomey  0:46'08.21 Male 65-69 Run
127 141 Jeanette Linger  0:46'13.64 Female 45-49 Run
128 375 Tiffany Jones  0:46'33.36 Female 35-39 Walk
129 382 Jim Arnold  0:46'35.45 Male 60-64 Walk
130 330 Megan Proctor  0:46'42.58 Female 20-24 Walk
131 329 Jennifer Yerex  0:46'43.33 Female 50-54 Walk
132 328 Renee Ellenwood  0:46'47.05 Female 55-59 Walk
133 340 Renae Duncan  0:46'55.61 Female 40-44 Walk
134 341 Shelby Enoch  0:46'55.86 Female 25-29 Walk
135 175 Angie Board  0:46'58.83 Female 45-49 Run
136 233 Harley Woodward  0:47'26.27 Male 12 & Under Run
137 302 Kim Bradley  0:47'29.55 Female 55-59 Walk
138 314 Misty Mason  0:47'30.21 Female 30-34 Walk
139 346 Mike Chevalier  0:47'30.83 Male 55-59 Walk
140 116 Gabriel Bookman  0:47'32.21 Male 13-19 Run
141 107 Daniel Braniff  0:47'32.77 Male 12 & Under Run
142 176 Chase Board  0:47'33.11 Male 12 & Under Run
143 106 Carmen Ezell  0:47'33.64 Female 12 & Under Run
144 104 Eva Braniff  0:47'34.02 Female 30-34 Run
145 311 Brian DeLong  0:48'38.83 Male 35-39 Walk
146 338 Lisa Null  0:48'57.67 Female 50-54 Walk
147 337 Maggie Starkey  0:48'58.86 Female 25-29 Walk
148 377 Scott Simonton  0:49'12.24 Male 50-54 Walk
149 322 Mandy Amos  0:49'20.11 Female 35-39 Walk
150 327 Tammy Theobald  0:49'21.08 Female 55-59 Walk
151 385 Angela Plotner  0:49'40.92 Female 40-44 Walk
152 319 Connie Porter  0:49'43.70 Female 70 & Over Walk
153 386 Todd Plotner  0:49'52.45 Male 45-49 Walk
154 359 Kari Brown  0:50'31.11 Female 30-34 Walk
155 177 Tommy Nichols  0:50'45.30 Male 70 & Over Run
156 321 Joyce Cunningham  0:51'13.67 Female 60-64 Walk
157 166 Nancy Carpenter  0:51'24.92 Female 55-59 Run
158 118 Connie Bookman  0:51'35.36 Female 50-54 Run
159 174 Karen A. Caplinger  0:51'43.08 Female 45-49 Run
160 184 Shyanne Fury  0:51'43.67 Female 13-19 Run
161 325 Sandy Colvin  0:52'02.64 Female 60-64 Walk
162 326 Patty Metz  0:52'03.05 Female 50-54 Walk
163 163 Cindy Daniel  0:52'56.39 Female 55-59 Run
164 101 Nicole Gaines  0:52'58.74 Female 30-34 Run
165 323 Daryl Jones  0:53'16.70 Male 30-34 Walk
166 324 Elisabeth Jones  0:53'17.49 Female 30-34 Walk
167 355 Angela Johnson  0:54'17.05 Female 30-34 Walk
168 197 Caleb Sutt  0:54'37.11 Male 13-19 Run
169 179 Baili Matheny  0:54'37.36 Male 13-19 Run
170 198 Kadon Messanger  0:54'37.61 Male 13-19 Run
171 309 Candy Jones  0:54'47.67 Female 60-64 Walk
172 108 Peggy Murphy  0:55'01.86 Female 40-44 Run
173 388 Crystal Woodward  0:55'06.30 Female 13-19 Walk
174 365 Kahle Mahoney  0:55'11.83 Male 30-34 Walk
175 231 Zoey Morris  0:55'56.92 Female 12 & Under Run
176 232 Leah McFann  0:55'57.77 Female 12 & Under Run
177 373 Lisa Hinsly  0:56'02.80 Female 35-39 Walk
178 103 Kaitlyn Thom  0:56'21.61 Female 25-29 Run
179 318 Adryanne Garrett  0:56'26.49 Female 30-34 Walk
180 379 Emily Teuanger  0:56'28.24 Female 25-29 Walk
181 316 Melissa Barth  0:57'36.70 Female 45-49 Walk
182 317 Kelie Barth  0:57'37.02 Female 20-24 Walk
183 306 Tonya Newell  0:57'41.33 Female 40-44 Walk
184 307 Tina Brucker  0:57'41.80 Female 45-49 Walk
185 358 Kathleen Lanham  0:57'52.80 Female 55-59 Walk
186 387 Zach Lanham  0:57'53.17 Male 25-29 Walk
187 115 Owen Bookman  0:58'07.24 Male 12 & Under Run
188 350 Brianne Moore  0:58'12.05 Female 35-39 Walk
189 335 Brooke Wasson  0:58'39.61 Female 12 & Under Walk
190 336 Sandy McCroskey  0:58'40.74 Female 70 & Over Walk
191 334 Jeff Wasson  0:58'41.92 Male 50-54 Walk
192 344 Penny Morris  0:58'43.27 Female 60-64 Walk
193 345 Milt Morris  0:58'44.36 Male 65-69 Walk
194 368 Johni Wigal  0:59'04.67 Female 55-59 Walk
195 367 Leah LaPrade  0:59'05.11 Female 25-29 Walk
196 348 Alexis Gilbert  0:59'07.77 Female 20-24 Walk
197 349 Nicole Venuso  0:59'08.99 Female 20-24 Walk
198 347 Angela Fluharty  0:59'09.89 Female 45-49 Walk
199 305 Laura Wolfe  1:02'45.92 Female 30-34 Walk
200 304 Jeffrey Wolfe  1:02'51.99 Male 35-39 Walk
201 364 Rina Goins  1:03'38.89 Female 50-54 Walk
202 360 Sue Mahoney  1:05'24.83 Female 50-54 Walk
203 366 Scott Mahoney  1:05'29.70 Male 55-59 Walk

Awards

Male Overall Runner
Place Bib Name Time
1 187 Harrison Potter  0:18'50.33
2 214 Nathan Cunningham  0:19'10.49
3 161 Joe Wiltsey  0:20'32.02
Female Overall Runner
Place Bib Name
7 190 Yvonne Gilders  0:21'55.55
12 178 Kaylor Offenberger  0:23'30.45
16 218 Ashley Becker  0:24'16.36
Male Overall Walker
Place Bib Name Time
50 380 Jason Mader  0:32'35.17
73 308 Brenis Phillips  0:36'35.30
74 371 Ray Poling  0:36'36.36
Female Overall Walker
Place Bib Name Time
56 312 Sharon Marks  0:33'48.99
79 374 Karen Meeks  0:37'17.67
87 354 Vicki Williams  0:38'13.52
Male 12 & Under Runner
Place Bib Name Time
14 219 Nathan Plotner  0:23'59.24
20 202 Ryan Martin  0:25'25.39
37 206 Gatlin McLain  0:28'42.61
Female 12 & Under Runner
Place Bib Name Time
27 173 Desirae Caplinger  0:26'10.30
30 194 Virginia Haddox  0:27'03.74
46 169 Emma Stanley  0:32'05.49
Female 12 & Under Walker
Place Bib Name Time
189 335 Brooke Wasson  0:58'39.61
Male 13-19 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
15 109 Dominick Walleshauser  0:24'15.55
24 180 Taylor Bowers  0:25'58.24
31 123 Sullivan Wilson  0:27'21.64
Female 13-19 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
40 139 Haley Church  0:28'56.30
51 146 Savannah Jarvis  0:33'00.14
61 140 Ivy Linger  0:34'45.61
Female 13-19 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
173 388 Crystal Woodward  0:55'06.30
Male 20-24 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
5 193 Johnathan Haddox  0:21'24.49
9 120 Andrew Essig  0:22'39.74
10 200 Quentin Corbitt  0:23'22.83
Female 20-24 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
32 183 Kayla Suoler  0:27'41.36
65 129 Megan Law  0:35'32.49
Female 20-24 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
130 330 Megan Proctor  0:46'42.58
182 317 Kelie Barth  0:57'37.02
196 348 Alexis Gilbert  0:59'07.77
Male 25-29 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
48 151 Ethan Lamb  0:32'17.77
52 133 Johathan McCarthy  0:33'05.02
Female 25-29 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
25 149 Lindsay Hill  0:26'00.17
45 148 Amanda Richards  0:31'30.14
83 185 Michelle Gibson  0:37'45.70
Male 25-29 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
186 387 Zach Lanham  0:57'53.17
Female 25-29 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
134 341 Shelby Enoch  0:46'55.86
147 337 Maggie Starkey  0:48'58.86
180 379 Emily Teuanger  0:56'28.24
Male 30-34 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
11 211 Steve Beck  0:23'29.33
13 138 Nathan Jones  0:23'58.05
18 155 Johm Toomey  0:24'47.58
Female 30-34 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
26 191 Katie Vickers  0:26'08.30
55 228 Erica Ash  0:33'34.05
26 191 Katie Vickers  0:26'08.30
Male 30-34 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
165 323 Daryl Jones  0:53'16.70
174 365 Kahle Mahoney  0:55'11.83
Female 30-34 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
138 314 Misty Mason  0:47'30.21
154 359 Kari Brown  0:50'31.11
166 324 Elisabeth Jones  0:53'17.49
Male 35-39 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
21 207 Chris Hackney  0:25'36.08
38 204 Drew McLain  0:28'42.83
Female 35-39 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
19 168 Erin Stanley  0:24'53.27
43 125 Stacy Wilson  0:31'21.58
58 221 Jillian Eddy  0:33'50.83
Male 35-39 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
107 353 Joseph Morris  0:41'58.02
145 311 Brian DeLong  0:48'38.83
200 304 Jeffrey Wolfe  1:02'51.99
Female 35-39 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
128 375 Tiffany Jones  0:46'33.36
149 322 Mandy Amos  0:49'20.11
177 373 Lisa Hinsly  0:56'02.80
Male 40-44 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
8 212 Steve Osborne  0:22'23.70
35 156 Aaron Ford  0:28'37.33
36 134 Joe Mills  0:28'39.27
Female 40-44 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
28 217 Candy Bailey  0:26'34.92
34 157 Jaime Ford  0:28'36.92
67 128 Linda Law  0:35'45.77
Female 40-44 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
98 320 Michelle Buckner  0:40'16.08
104 315 Nancy Goff  0:41'16.77
124 384 Tonya Venham  0:45'45.89
Male 45-49 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
6 159 Teddy Menisher  0:21'50.11
39 201 Mike Brown  0:28'46.77
44 114 Rod Cummings  0:31'29.80
Female 45-49 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
127 141 Jeanette Linger  0:46'13.64
135 175 Angie Board  0:46'58.83
159 174 Karen A. Caplinger  0:51'43.08
Male 45-49 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
153 386 Todd Plotner  0:49'52.45
Female 45-49 Walk
Place Bib Name Time
106 372 Erica Baker  0:41'29.02
181 316 Melissa Barth  0:57'36.70
184 307 Tina Brucker  0:57'41.80
Male 50-54 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
4 119 Robert Boston  0:21'12.52
22 147 Brian Seeley  0:25'45.92
29 182 Kenneth Angle  0:26'53.86
Female 50-54 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
23 112 Anna Vanderlaan  0:25'56.49
47 170 Becky Poling  0:32'13.52
108 230 Kris Casto  0:42'30.55
Male 50-54 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
148 377 Scott Simonton  0:49'12.24
191 334 Jeff Wasson  0:58'41.92
Female 50-54 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
131 329 Jennifer Yerex  0:46'43.33
146 338 Lisa Null  0:48'57.67
162 326 Patty Metz  0:52'03.05
Male 55-59 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
33 192 Robert Sheridan  0:28'25.61
99 186 Larry Atkinson  0:40'33.89
Female 55-59 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
54 144 Diana Cline  0:33'23.70
64 142 Pamela Addis  0:35'19.05
88 208 Mary Beth Bauman  0:38'32.08
Male 55-59 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
101 301 Bob Heddleston  0:40'56.92
139 346 Mike Chevalier  0:47'30.83
203 366 Scott Mahoney  1:05'29.70
Female 55-59 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
93 378 Kim Windland  0:39'12.21
132 328 Renee Ellenwood  0:46'47.05
137 302 Kim Bradley  0:47'29.55
Male 60-64 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
42 143 Donald Lane  0:30'52.95
Female 60-64 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
114 363 Cherrie Cowan  0:44'34.92
Male 60-64 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
91 376 George Welch  0:38'57.36
129 382 Jim Arnold  0:46'35.45
Female 60-64 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
92 381 Linda Arnold  0:39'04.55
115 313 Deb Patrick  0:44'45.89
117 342 Kim Holdren  0:44'56.99
Male 65-69 Runner
Place Bib Name Time
17 162 Patrick Cathey  0:24'20.02
86 213 Jack Lane  0:38'00.42
126 154 Bill Toomey  0:46'08.21
Male 65-69 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
193 345 Milt Morris  0:58'44.36
Female 65-69 Walker
Place Bib Name Time
103 303 Joan Smith  0:41'13.17
105 362 Martha Marks  0:41'23.80
Male 70 & Over Runner
Place Bib Name Time
76 160 Charlie Pickens  0:37'04.74
155 177 Tommy Nichols  0:50'45.30
Female 70 & Over Runner
Place Bib Name Time
97 110 Peggy Grimm  0:40'10.05
Male 70 & Over Walker # in Group
Place Bib Name Time
89 370 William Cunningham  0:38'34.42
112 383 Ernie Doll  0:43'25.70
Female 70 & Over Walker
Place Bib Name Time
96 361 Barbara Jahn  0:40'03.52
152 319 Connie Porter  0:49'43.70
190 336 Sandy McCroskey  0:58'40.74

I'm sure you heard of one or all of these if you've made it to this page:

  • Belly Mapping
  • Pelvic Alignment
  • Optimal Fetal Positioning
  • Back Labor
  • Prodromal Labor
  • Posterior
  • Long Labor

I'm sure you're probably asking one of these questions:

  • What is belly mapping?
  • How to belly map?
  • How to flip a breech?
  • How to VBAC?
  • How to get baby in a good position?
  • How to avoid back labor?
  • How to avoid a long labor?
  • and so on and so forth...

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Pelvic Alignment & Fetal Position

The position of your body, you guessed it, creates the position of baby's body.  From fetal development to their ability to move through your pelvis and soft tissue, alignment matters.

  • Move in a variety of [aligned] positions throughout the day
  • Go to a physical therapist who is restorative exercise savvy, or otherwise doesn't tout kegels as the only way of get ready for birth.
  • Get aligned - not just by a chiropractor, but all the soft tissue as well
  • Learn aligned body movements
  • Get abdominal massages regularly to loosen up the tissue and encourage baby to be in an optimal position

Stomach Sleeping and Pelvic Health

If you're a stomach sleeper, chances are your pelvic is out of whack.  Actually, if you're a side sleeper, this is likely the case as well, especially if you favor one side or the other.

  • Stomach sleeping rocks the top of the pelvis forward making it more likely for baby to be in a funky position and you to experience back pain
  • Stomach sleeping, because of the aforementioned issue, can contribute to pelvic floor health, and sneeze peeing
  • Sleeping on your back with a flat back position can also tilt your pelvis, so be sure you keep that curve in your spine and your ASIS aligned with your pubic bone (horizontal plane to your sleep surface, which shouldn't be overly squishy)
  • Don't use a pillow too much.  Not totally specific to pregnancy, but this raised position can contribute to back pain, future neck pain, headaches, and upper body health - which is connected to your mid and lower body health, e.g. the pelvis.  You may need to slowly wean yourself off a pillow (and try not to get this started in your kids, either)
  • Alternating positions throughout the night, and using body support pillows, can be helpful during pregnancy, especially if transitioning from a padded pillow and squishy sleep surface to a sleep environment that encourages your body to do most of the supporting.

Fetal Position & Comfortable Birth

Now that you see that your pelvic and body alignment contributes to fetal position, what's this mean for the birth?  Everything.  Your stress levels, your movement, your nutrition will all influence your body's ability to release, move, and let baby move through the pelvis and soft tissue.  Discomfort during birth is most often due to stress emotionally (increasing adrenaline and tension), and tension and misalignment of the pelvis and soft tissue.

  • Fetal position can influence baby's ability to move through the pelvis
  • Birth in a biologically supportive environment that allows a lot of patience and a lot of instincts and movement
  • Get aligned and physical therapy support
  • Learn how to belly map and determine baby's position
  • Use movements and techniques that support a good position in baby
  • If you sit, sit up on your sitz bones and move your legs in a variety of positions
  • Get out of the heels (evening the seemingly 'flat' ones)
  • Walk, aligned, a LOT - Strive for 3-5 miles daily on average
  • Belly dance, or just move your pelvis a lot
  • Vary your positions all throughout the day
  • Use straight leg stretching positions, don't overdo the bent legs
  • Stretch daily, hamstrings, back, pelvis...etc.
  • Do a side-lying release (both legs) at least once a day
  • Release tension and stress to allow your body to flex and be mobile

Fetal Position & Breastfeeding

Baby is growing inside of you, in whatever shape you're putting them in.  Ever used a cookie cutter to let a cucumber grow in?  It will take the shape - really neat heart-shaped cucumber slices!  Cute for cucumbers, not so much for postpartum comfort.

  • Funky fetal positions can mean difficult birth
  • Difficult birth can mean difficult breastfeeding and healing
  • Baby's muscles can get tight and not allow baby's head to turn and jaw to move as needed
  • Tight muscles can cause pain, problems sleeping, problems eating, colick...etc.
  • Tight muscles can mimic tongue tie
  • Funky breastfeeding positions and shallow latch can cause painful breastfeeding, cracked and bleeding nipples, and make moms want to stop breastfeeding
  • Osteopathic manipulation, cranio sacral therapy, and other body work methods postpartum REGULARLY can relieve tension and with adequate support, breastfeeding can become enjoyable and long term
  • Bodywork MUST continue even with a surgical tie release

How to do Belly Mapping

So, now that you know the importance of fetal position, how do you monitor baby's position daily to know if you need to work to keep baby in a good position or move baby into a better position?  After about 20 weeks, you can begin to palpate and feel baby through your belly.  This will be much easier as baby grows, but its good to get an idea of what you're looking for early on if possible.

Belly mapping allows you to know how baby is positioned, but also gets you intimate with your body and improves your ability to listen to your instincts.  While prenatal appointments can really help with this, the more confidence you have in your own abilities, the less you feel at the mercy of others and the more this improves your ability to make confident decisions during your birth.

  • Be in some place quiet
  • Pull up your shirt
  • Get a skin-safe marker or natural earth paints (or just a piece of paper with a belly drawn on it)
  • If you're using a piece of paper, hold the circle up to your belly, place a dot for a belly button, and note which side is the left side, and which side is the vaginal opening
  • Now, on your belly (or piece of paper) you can draw quadrants and segment your belly into four segments with a large plus sign.  This will show two quadrants above, and two quadrants below
  • Now, listen and palpate.
  • If you've recently had a prenatal, or own a fetoscope, you can easily determine where the heartbeat is most easily found.  Draw a "heart" wherever this is most easily found.
  • Feel through your uterus at the lumps.  Draw a circle for the largest hardest lump you feel on your belly (or on the same place on the piece of paper).  This is likely the head.
  • The next large lump, draw an "m", this is likely the bum.
  • A long hard place can be indicated with a long half circle line, indicating the back.
  • If you feel big kicks, write a "k" for the feet or knees.
  • If you feel tiny wiggles or tickles, write a "w" to indicate the hands.

Now, look at your map.  You may notice you feel a lot of kicks and wiggles in the front of your belly, and can't feel much of the other lumps.  Baby's back is likely aligned with your back.  Maybe they're sideways or they change every day or every moment.  Are you noticing this?  Great!  Now you can understand the position your baby is in, get a good idea of how they may be influencing your comfort levels, and determine if there are methods to improve comfort and position if needed.

The position we're looking for ideally is "LOA" - Left Occiput Anterior.  This means the baby's occiput (back of their head) is towards your left side, and a little anterior (towards your front).  Your belly map would look a little similar to the image below.  Anything different from this is a good indicator that some stretching, releasing, bodywork, walking, varied movement...etc., can be helpful.

 

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What position is your baby in?  Need help determining?  Have questions where to go from here if your baby isn't in an LOA position?  Get in touch - some one on one doula mentoring can be really helpful in providing you with physical and emotional support for belly mapping and optimal fetal positioning.

 

A doula perinatal mentor is like your best friend.  Remember that love you had growing up with a friend that would listen to all your stories, ideas, and imaginary worlds you snail-mailed to each other?  Remember when you were sad, and she gave you a hug?  Remember when you had a question, and she'd help you find the answer?  A doula is your best friend through the childbearing years with an inside scoop about the modern birth industry and your amazing body.  Not every doula practices the same way, but an Esali Birth Perinatal Mentor strives to encompass all of the needs of the childbearing years through knowledge, skill, and networking.

What does a doula do?  What DOESN'T a doula do?

What a Doula Does

  1. Tells you her personal abilities to support YOU through whatever stage of birth you're experiencing
  2. Doesn't pretend to be superwoman, but offers you love and guidance through your personal birth experience
  3. Massages your feet, hands, face, and whatever will make you feel better
  4. Walks with you prenatally providing informational and emotional guidance
  5. Provides education and support that encourages you to make informed decisions
  6. Seeks to build your confidence so you can become aware of your personal power, knowledge of yourself, and capabilities as a mother or father
  7. Understands the birth industry and hurdles you may have to cross, and helps you navigate these paths
  8. Offers physical guidance to improve your overall health for a happy healthy birth
  9. Offers nutritional guidance to improve your overall health for a happy healthy birth
  10. Helps you find area professionals that can support you through happy healthy birth
  11. Helps you find area professionals that can support you through postpartum and parenting
  12. On call 24/7 (not just after 37 weeks and not just for active labor)
  13. Helps you find answers to questions and may perform many hours of research for clients
  14. Looks over your food journal to help see where you could improve from timing of eating to what you're ingesting
  15. Finds time for you and your family's needs
  16. Goes with you to the grocery store to help select healthy balanced food items
  17. Help you prep for postpartum by blending herbal baths, stocking your pantry, and packing your labor bag
  18. Reviews your birth guide (birth plan) for language, efficiency, and necessities to help you communicate with your birth team
  19. Networks with area professionals to help maintain a positive image in the community that will reflect on your birth experience
  20. Leads birth comprehensive birth classes that help you become aware of ALL your options for ALL births
  21. Leads perinatal comprehensive classes that help you become aware of ALL your options from pre-conception through postpartum and early parenting
  22. Can drive with you to long distance prenatal appointments to chat about what you want to talk about, and help you reflect on your prenatal appointment after it has occurred
  23. Provides consistent support prenatally, even when you are choosing to birth without a doula or with another doula
  24. Provides consistent support prenatally for mothers includes those experiencing PTSD from Previous Sexual Trauma while working with your therapist to ensure you have the best support team available no matter when you have your baby
  25. Supports #ALLthebirths because a doula is supporting YOU
  26. Supports the birth team's interaction with the laboring mother to improve her experience and memory of the birth
  27. Guides you and your birth partner on positive communication skills to improve your labor experience
  28. Provides physical support during labor for comfort
  29. Provides physical guidance during labor to help a baby move into a more comfortable position
  30. Provides emotional support during labor for comfort and birth progression
  31. Communicates with the staff about your needs for quiet and privacy during labor
  32. Doesn't flinch when your water breaks all over their shoes and the doula is in the middle of counter pressure for your comfort
  33. Helps you roll from side to side during a medicated birth and you have little feeling from an epidural
  34. Holds your baby on your breast during the first hours after a cesarean when you're a little in and out from the medication
  35. Cares for older siblings whether at a home birth, during the hospital, or when you need childcare during a scheduled cesarean
  36. Meets you at your home, in the woods for a walk, and at your labor facility to support you whenever you need support
  37. Watch your labor signs to help provide information that helps you decide when to transfer to your birth facility
  38. Encourages you to listen to your amazing body and all the signals it is providing you to move, breathe, and dance with your baby
  39. Helps comfort you through transferring to a birth facility
  40. Can drive you to your birth facility while your birth partner supports you during transfer to a birth facility
  41. Help setup a birthing tub for hydrotherapy
  42. Help tear down and cleanup a birthing tub after a water birth
  43. Get in the birthing tub with you to provide back pressure and position support
  44. Is comfortable with birth fluids near and on them
  45. Helps you find the labor noises that opens your cervix and brings baby down
  46. Reassures your birth partner that all these noises are expected and opening the cervix, bringing the baby down
  47. Help cleanup the house after a home birth
  48. Rotates and wiggles your hips to help baby move through the pelvis
  49. Dances with you during birth for emotional and physical support
  50. Offers birth ball use guidance
  51. Offers peanut ball use guidance
  52. Tells you how amazing you are to build your confidence, and oxytocin, in pregnancy and birth
  53. Tells your birth partner how amazing they are to build their confidence, and oxytocin, in supporting you through birth
  54. Takes the lead on supporting you as you desire
  55. Guides the direction of your birth partner so they can support you in a leading role
  56. Works alongside your birth partner
  57. Holds your hair back and a bag for vomit
  58. Provides support even when there are shift changes at your birth facility
  59. Turns down the lights to help oxytocin build to its fullest potential
  60. Encourages privacy to build oxytocin for labor progression and an enjoyable birth
  61. Encourages intimacy to build oxytocin for labor progression and an enjoyable birth
  62. Reminds you to listen to your body for positions and movement
  63. Reminds you to listen to your body for needs of rest and relaxation
  64. Reminds you to listen to your body for pushing birthing
  65. Reminds the facility of your birth guide
  66. Reminds you to speak up for your desires
  67. Reminds you of your human rights during labor and birth
  68. Reminds you that you CAN birth vaginally when others are telling you that you don't have a choice
  69. Reminds you that you CAN choose a cesarean when others are telling you that you don't have a choice
  70. Fills up your water bottle, adds a little cucumber and fruit for electrolyte balance
  71. Reminds you to take sips of water for hydration
  72. Reminds you to eat light balanced foods, broths, and fruit as desired during labor
  73. Reminds you to communicate with your provider and staff for your wishes
  74. Reminds you that, "No Thank You" and "Not Right Now" are powerful words in the labor space
  75. Gets cooling wash cloths for your face and neck
  76. Gets warm towels for perineal support
  77. Provide hip squeezes to allow comfort and room for the baby
  78. Uses a rebozo for comfort and encouraging baby to rotate through the pelvis
  79. Works with the rest of the birth team and the staff to ensure you have all the perspectives when needed
  80. Answers the phone at 3 am to help you find calm in the early hours of labor, and breastfeeding
  81. Shares area contacts for perinatal services such as breastfeeding or osteopathic therapy
  82. Makes you a cup of tea and a sandwich while you're nursing your baby
  83. Brings your family dinner so you all can rest during postpartum
  84. Listens to your birth story and encourages you to feel all the feels
  85. Helps you wrap your baby for a more hands-free and connected postpartum
  86. Guides you on breastfeeding latch and positions for more comfort
  87. Guides you on when to seek more support for any issues that may arise during postpartum or parenting
  88. Go-to for perinatal-related information and support
  89. Connects the dots between birth choices and birth experience to help you process and understand your birth experience
  90. Checks in on you in the days after birth to ensure you are holistically supported
  91. Offers LOVE - hugs, tears, laughter and love

I can't say that a doula is right for everyone.  I can say that when you have a relationship built with your doula, the ability for better support during labor grows.  A doula is that best friend willing to be by your side through every experience, day or night, weekday or weekend, holidays and spur of the moment.  If you're looking for labor options, a doula perinatal mentor can be a beacon of light through the childbearing years.

Let's chat about how you can be supported through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

speed up labor naturally Esali Birth

In a medical setting, keeping labor to a 12 hour time frame is fairly typical to move patients in and out and avoid long-drawn out labors.  Many times providers and facilities are using a very outdated (misled) method of assessing labor and have coupled that with techniques of increasing facility income by number of patients in and out of the facility.  While long painful unhappy labor isn't ideal for mom's and baby's oxytocin levels and neurological function, a long labor doesn't necessarily mean mom and baby aren't doing well.  We have to take it situation by situation and ultimately ask mom if she prefers to speed up labor.  Augmenting labor (speeding labor up) is prevalent in many births, even without an initial labor induction.

Labor augmentation isn't ideal.  If mom's hormones aren't at an ideal level, and baby is fitting well in the pelvis, speeding things up typically just increases pain and distress (and cesarean).  Allowing your body to naturally progress through labor provides your body and baby's body with the hormones and the time to allow the pelvis to move and baby's skull to mould and fit together like a key in a lock.  Speeding up the process with medications, herbal remedies or a breast pump may be effective, but not always safe or necessary.

When to Speed up Labor

Much of the means of speeding up labor naturally have nothing to do with speeding up the labor process, but making the labor process more effective through supporting the biology of the birth.  So, yes, labor would, as a result, not take so long - but it is not due to forcing the baby through the pelvis, but enabling the baby to fit through the pelvis and comforting mom.  Of course, there are often times where a provider suggests you get things moving a little faster and these techniques provide very valuable.

  • Of course, the first approach is to hire a provider that understands biological birth.
  • Ask why someone would want to speed up labor.
    • Time limits from the provider
    • Time limits from the birth facility
    • Time limits because you're exhausted
    • Recommendations for getting the baby out sooner than later due to medical reasons.  This would be the only case where augmenting labor may be useful, though I would have to ask myself, "Is augmentation actually the safest course of action, or would cesarean be more appropriate to reduce the overall short and long-term risks?"  Because, in fact, if there is a medical complication, augmenting labor may very likely increase these risks.
  • Decide if speeding up labor is the answer, or following your instincts with possible physical and emotional guidance from a doula would allow labor to progress more smoothly.

 

Techniques to Speed up Labor Naturally

When and how to speed up labor might be something you're thinking of during pregnancy, or during a long labor.  Here are techniques to prevent long labors and to speed up labor when time limits seem to be approaching faster than you'd like.

The following methods to speed up labor should be used with these thoughts in mind:

  • These methods to speed up labor can be used in conjunction with one another, or on their own - though nipple stimulation is the most intense of the techniques
  • These methods to speed up labor can be used to prevent a long labor
  • These methods to speed up labor can be used to avoid medical (or herbal) labor augmentation
  • These methods to speed up labor can be used in conjunction with any medicated birth or medical (or herbal) labor augmentation
  • These methods to speed up labor can be cycled through, revisited at a later time and are often common doula techniques to create a happy healthy birth

Quiet, Calm, Dark to Speed up Labor

Oxytocin, the prime labor hormone, works best in a quiet, calm, and dark space.  Oytocin works synergistically with melatonin and dopamine and as such is heightened in dark settings.  Continue this environment prior to and during labor (to include the first few hours after the birth).  This practice not only creates a calmer environment, but also reduces adrenaline for a safer (normal risk of postpartum hemorrhage) experience.

Clear the Room & Hands Off Mom to Speed up Labor

This is similar to quiet, calm and dark - with an enhanced attribute.  The more people and stuff going on in the space, the more mom's logical brain turns on and the less her instinctive brain (the part needed to progress through birth) works.  No talking - definitely no asking her questions.  No watching TV or carrying on conversations in this space.  No touching (unless this is obviously desired by mom).  Clear the room down to mom's main support person (as long as that support person is calm and providing positive energy to the mom).  The more vaginal exams, monitoring and general fiddling with the mom, the more intense labor sensations will be felt and the longer labor will be (and the more likely recommendations to speed up labor will occur).  Historically (I'm talking pre-city culture), women labored on average about 2-4 hours.  Labor was thought of quite differently in those times.

Move

If you can't move, your pelvis won't move, and baby won't move.  Labor is a blend of feeling safe (building oxytocin) and being aligned (whole body alignment and soft tissue mobility) for baby's movement through the pelvis.  Speed up labor by getting baby into a good position prior to labor through prenatal aligned movement is ideal.  Continuing this through labor and birth, by mom following her instincts is also ideal.  Walk, stretch, belly dance, get some bodywork.  If labor feels intense or long, having a knowledgeable doula to provide you with positioning and movement guidance can be quite helpful.  This could be side lying releases, massage, hip squeezes, rest, rebozo work and various other forms of movement (and relaxation) suggestions.

Emotional Release to Speed up Labor

It is quite common to have emotional tension holding a mom back from smooth labor progression.  Whether this is causing prodromal labor or a long labor, getting your emotions out is ideal.  Use the feel, yell and tell method to speed up labor.

  • Feel your emotions - your anger, your frustration, your annoyance, your hurt, your fear.
  • Yell - Do you know what it feels like to be alone in the woods - or any solitary place - and just yell?  If you don't, you should try it.  It is quite liberating.  It works in similar ways to how crying releases hormones causing sadness and anger.  Sometimes all we can do is just let those hormones flow.  Giving a deep empowering Tarzan and Jane like roar can really help you move through adrenaline and let oxytocin rise.
  • Tell someone what you're thinking or feeling.  If you're thinking of something, you are preventing your instinctual brain to take over.  Get it out.  Tell someone what you're thinking and/or tell the person you're thinking about what you're thinking.  If you're annoyed at the way someone is treating you, speak up.  If you need to vent about your fear, let someone know.  If you're worried you left the stove on, call someone and have them go check.  If you'd rather birth in the hospital after planning a home birth, tell your midwife or birth team it is time to transfer.  If you just don't understand why you're experiencing labor this way, tell your doula that you're pissed off and tired and just annoyed that you're still in labor.

Sometimes, letting these emotions out is all your mind needs to no longer hold the weight of these feelings and speed up labor.

Kissing, Intimate Touching to Speed up Labor

What gets the baby in, gets the baby out.  Birth is intimate.  This might make you feel uncomfortable; however, that doesn't make it any less true.  Oxytocin peaks during orgasm, and after childbirth.  You're meant to enjoy labor with those you love, and those that will love the baby.  Kiss and be intimate with your significant other.  Eye gazing, skin to skin touching, and open mouth kissing allow oxytocin to rise enabling contractions to be more effective.

Nipple Stimulation to Speed up Labor

While similar to being intimate, nipple stimulation can be slightly different.  Ideally this would be involved in your intimate connection.  Nipple stimulation (as will happen during breastfeeding) releases oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions in the uterus (and contractions in the alveoli of the breast to express breastmilk).  Using nipple stimulation aggressively, whether through the hands, orally, or with a breast pump, will stimulate contractions.  It is very important to note that stimulating contractions in this way is often used first, unfortunately, when there is an alignment issue and baby ends up just being jammed into the pelvis instead of helped through the pelvis through movement and the other emotion-supporting techniques.

 

Looking for guidance to prevent or remedy a long labor?  Get in touch!

Gifts for Doulas Esali Birth

Gifts for doulas and midwives aren't just for the holidays but a lovely gesture to say, "Thank You" for their support.  Doulas and midwives love hearing from the families they have supported and seeing where their new journey is taking them.  Here are 10 extra thoughtful gifts for doulas and midwives that really show insight into the role a birthkeeper has.

Hand Written Card

You can't go wrong with a card.  Whether it's an e-card or purchased one, the words you add on the inside mean the most.  Tell your doula how much she meant to you and talk about how you and your family are doing.  Add in a family photo or photo from your birth and give permission (from you and the photographer) to use the photo in an album shared with future clients.

Plants, with Roots

Flowers are lovely, but flowers and plants with roots are lasting and make great gifts for doulas and midwives.  Whether it's a cutting flower, window herbs, potted plant for the clinic, grape vines, cherry tomatoes or a bag of heirloom seeds - plants make any space charming and some can live on for years.  My great grandmother had plants that were gifted to her and they always told a story.  What story will your plant tell?

Box of Honey Sticks or Healthy Snacks

Think birth bag.  Honey sticks and [healthy] snacks are compact items to carry to any birth.  If your doula or midwife used this in your birth, you know how helpful they can be.  Healthy no sugar no soy low processed snacks, like the Go Raw line of products, can be really pricey (but so worth it) and as a gift they can really help a doula that is logging a lot of hours and needing energy along the way.  Great addition to a hand written card!

Herbal Blends

Think adrenal and stress support.  Maybe the right gift is the doula's favorite roasted coffee from the quaint shop down the road, but let's go less caffeine here and support the adrenals.  Doulas and midwives work a lot of long high-energy-need hours and often at night.  The stress that comes along with birth work is real.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good kind of stress - but it is taxing on the adrenal and nervous system nonetheless.  Include a glass-lined tea and fruit infusion cup to go with it for easy on the go infusions.  Whether you blend your own herbs, check out the adrenal support blends and infusion glasses from the Esali Shop, or visit your local herbalist - teas, bath blends, and tinctures make a very useful option for gifts for doulas and midwives.

Audible Gift Card

Doulas and midwives log a lot of miles traveling to and from prenatal appointments, births, and postpartum appointments but don't always have time to cosy up with a good book.  Audio books make great gifts for doulas and midwives for the car rides for both entertainment and self improvement.  Another great compliment to a hand written card.

Music Gift Card

Doulas and midwives love music just as much as you and I, and also love to have playlists ready to go for birth.  iTunes or Amazon Music gift cards can make a simple gift for personal and professional use for doulas and midwives.  Another great compliment to a hand written card.

House Cleaning Gift Certificate

Doulas and midwives are sometimes away from home for days at a time.  While their families must be supportive of this lifestyle, and many have routines to fall into to make this kind of thing work, there are a lot of prenatal and postpartum visits between the birth that fill up even more time away from taking care of the basic tasks of running a house.  Having a gift certificate to cover cleaning the main areas of the house can make those days of resting, and time spent with their family, so much easier to attain.

Handmade & Homemade

Do you have a special skill?  Share it!  Handmade (or gathered from your farm) items make very thoughtful gifts for doulas and midwives.  Everyone loves knitted scarves or lathe-turned bowls.  Maybe you gather grapevines in your woods and weave them into table centerpieces.  A painting or even a pot of soup once you're into a groove with your new family and you know your doula is resting up from attending another birth.

Charm to Remember Your Birth

You've probably seen the cute stamped pendants that say, "Got Midwife" or have a pair of baby feet chiseled beautifully into a silver circle.  But let's get a little more personal with these options for gifts for doulas and midwives.  Think of the grandmother birth stone rings that were once ever so popular, and jazz it up a bit.  Get a pandora charm, bangle dangle, or gem stone that has your baby's name or birthdate or gemstone on it for your birth team's memory.  Maybe your doula doesn't have a charm holder - start one special just for her client memories!  Floating charm lockets make great birth bag flare or beautiful keychains.

Testimonials and Reviews

Word of mouth will go further than any sales tool for bringing in new clients.  There is still no better platform for business growth beyond a positive review from happy clients.  Providing permission to share your thoughts or taking a few moments to add a review to Facebook or Google can be a tremendous help to the doula or midwife, as well as providing insight for future clients as they choose the birth team that is right for their family.  Providing thoughtful words and insight into the skills of your doula or midwife is one of the best gifts for doulas and midwives.  It is encouraging to their heart and useful in so many ways.  Providing them with these thoughts helps them in ways tangible gifts can't compare.

Social Media Tags

Similar to a testimonial and review, social media tags are wonderful ways of sharing the love and attesting to the skill and wisdom the doula or midwife provided you.  If you're sharing a birth story, photos, or videos be sure to tag your doula or midwife (remember their business page and commonly used hashtags) so others can link back to those services and let the wisdom sharing continue.  If you received a lot of support through education, mentoring, guidance, and love - tag that person when sharing those thoughts with friends, family and social media followers.  If you have a photo of the doula or midwife you're sharing, be sure to tag the image with their business or personal profile.

Photo (or video) of the Doula or Midwife Providing Support

One of the best gifts for doulas or midwives is a digital copy (with usage rights from you and the photographer/videographer) to photos and videos of your birth - especially when they contain the doula or midwife within them.  A visual image of the doula at work can be used for marketing material, website imagery, social media sharing, and providing potential clients with an insight into how that person practices.  These imagines are personal providing tools that are more impactful than stock images that anyone can purchase and use.

 

If you're a doula or midwife, what were some of your most memorable gifts received?

Audible Books for Doulas Esali Birth

Audible books for doulas are a great way to add depth to professional doula training, continuing education, and pleasure reading for birth pros including midwives and birth educators.  I'm a fan of Kindle books, digital books, and other ebook options and we use our local digital library regularly for homeschooling and general reading.  However, it isn't often I want a digital reference book for herbalism, midwifery, or birth wisdom where I can't hold it in my hand, easily share, and have when the batteries run out.  I have on many occassion chosen to have both digital and physical copies for a sort of the best of both worlds for bookmarking content or sharing with clients, but Audible books for doulas and birth professionals brings a whole new level to these busy callings.

One amazing thing Audible books for doulas can do is free up our time and get us moving.  Having a job where you do a lot of bending over and sometimes driving can be taxing on the alignment of the body.  Driving many miles and hours to reach clients for prenatals, postpartum appointments, and start and stop births can give you a lot of listening time for not only educational literature, but motivational and entertainment reading as well that you may otherwise not make the time for during your down days.

Here are Audible books for doulas you can start listening to on the way to your next birth.

Audible Books for Doulas, Midwives, Childbirth Educators and Birth Pros

Call the Midwife Trilogy

If you've enjoyed watching the highly popular BBC series, Call the Midwife, you'll really love listening to the memoir trilogy as it was originally written (plus an additional fourth book not yet available on Audible as Jennifer Worth recounts her post-midwifery days, doulaing those at the end of their earthly life as many birthworkers go on to hold space full circle and other paperback gems).

Book 1 - Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Book 2 - Shadows of the Workhouse

Book 3 - Farewell to the East End

Book 4 - In the Midst of Life (paperback)

Correspondance Letters to the Midwife (paperback)

The Midwife's Sister (paperback) - by Christine Lee, Jennifer Worth's sister

The Midwife of Hope River

Patricia Harman, West Virginia author and former midwife, takes you on a relatable journey as you travel to your birth clients with real life inspired stories and a series of books enjoyable by all birth professionals.

Other Audible Books by Patricia Harman:

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife

The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel

The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir

Beautiful Birth Meditation Guide

This one is for the audio device during a prenatal or birth.  When you or the rest of the birth team need a little break, or mom is simply relaxed in the birth tub - play this softly in the background if it feels desireable to her.  This is also a good guide to listen to on the way to a birth to remind you of the meditative guidance you can use for your clients.

Supernatural Childbirth

Author Jackie Mize writes to inspire families to trust God in their body's design for pregnancy and birth.  This positively motivational and scripture-supported audible book is a great option for doulas and parents to inspire and encouraging for the perinatal stages.

If you're traveling near and far you may be running low on time spent cozying up by the fire for your next down-time-book.  Audible books for doulas are great when you don't have extra time, but drive a lot or as movement motivators to anticipate your daily walking habits, or while you're prepping snack bags for the littles when you're on call.  So, whether you're taking your doula agency to the next workshop or soaking up the personal time on your way to a birth, you'll love these audible books for doulas.

Looking for other book shelf items?  Take a look at this book list for your birth book shelf.

What books have you enjoyed listening to as a birth mentor?

birth sucks Esali Birth

Ever just felt like pregnancy and birth sucks and you're tired of keeping those thoughts to yourself?

Along the wall, behind the ivy, you'll find a hidden door... inside is a hidden world of ancient beauty, anticipation and hard work.

In this garden, anything goes.

You're excited.  You've plastered your walls with positive mantra posters.  You've encouraged all your friends to take birth classes.  You have a doula.  Maybe you're birthing in a birth center or at home.  You think positive about your pregnancy and birth.  You've prepped for natural birth.  Maybe you've even watched Orgasmic Birth and anticipate an enjoyable smooth labor.

Then, sometimes... birth sucks.

Sometimes, you just aren't feeling the happy thoughts.  Sometimes life happens and pregnancy sucks.  Sometimes you just eat the cookie and guzzle a milkshake and lay in bed all day and pregnancy sucks.  Sometimes you ache, you complain and you're exhausted trying to feel better.  Now where can you turn?  Negative thoughts and negative birth stories are often forbidden among "positive birth groups."

Sometimes, you feel like you do everything "right" and it just doesn't make a difference.  (Maybe not an immediate difference, anyway).

Want to know one of the most amazing parts of having a perinatal mentor?

You can tell me your secrets.

The thing about sharing your negative feelings is that you're able to better let them go so you can focus more on the positive aspects of your pregnancy, birth, and life.  Having a safe space, or mentor, to talk out those thoughts can be an invaluable part of your healing process from a previous birth, overcoming a fear from someone else's birth or working through personal struggles in your relationship and life.  Sharing your journey of positivity AND the not so positive is the best approach to a truly wholesome experience.

Sometimes birth sucks; it's true.  For some women, accepting this reality allows them to remember their birth in a much more positive light than if they felt mislead or their experience was suppressed because it was too negative to publicly share in the group they felt most connected to.  For some women, getting back to some raw feelings during pregnancy or even during labor can help them to move past something that may have annoyed them or angered them and isn't allowing their labor to progress.  We live in a very pc world, but those labor instincts don't always play nice with saving face.  Sometimes you just have to let it out and get raw.

Sometimes, birth sucks because...

  • You're tired.
  • You've been laboring for multiple days.
  • You've had a lot of prodromal labor.
  • You're scared.
  • Your family is annoying you.
  • Your birth team is annoying you.
  • Your birth location is unsupportive of your wishes.
  • Too many routines working against biology.
  • Too many people in your birth space.
  • Too much stuff going on in your birth space.
  • You had to make decisions differently than what you expected.
  • You had a birth experience differently than anticipated.
  • You're hungry or thirsty.
  • You keep vomiting when you eat or drink.
  • Your labor sensations feel overwhelming.
  • You weren't ready for a baby.
  • Your birth team feels too distant.
  • Your birth team feels too in your space.
  • You got the backup provider, especially if you don't mesh with them.
  • You have a physical ailment that is draining your energy.
  • What can you add to this list?

You don't have to love pregnancy.  You don't have to love birth.  You don't have to love breastfeeding.  You don't have to follow some specific protocol about the way you feel about your birth journey.

You have permission to feel like birth sucks.  You have permission to feel whatever you want about your birth, and to stop hiding it.

It doesn't always suck, I promise.  There will always be some positive points you'll be able to experience during pregnancy and birth - these are different for each of us.  One thing to remember is that talking about some of those positive points when recalling the negative points ensures that you don't mentally rewrite your birth story as only being negative.  Our brains are amazing organs capable of tricking us in so many ways and we can use that to our benefit.

[blockquote]"There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful but that women are strong” - Laura Stavoe[/blockquote]

If you're feeling like pregnancy or birth sucks, let's chat.  Let's explore why.  As a perinatal mentor, not only can I listen to your story, I can provide resources for remedying fears you may have, anger you may feel or just generally needing someone to listen to you tell your story that other groups may not feel prepared to hear.  Definitely a huge benefit of private birth classes and mentoring sessions.  You get to feel all the feels in this space along with guidance for supported your specific situation.

 

So, now you've found this door... how will you use it?  Will you nurture what's inside and allow the beauty to be seen?  It might take some fear, some tears and some hard work - but these parts of you don't have to be a secret anymore. #ALLthebirths

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