Archive

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.

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 Professional Training From the Comfort of Your Home

Ready to support families on their journey through the childbearing years?  Now is the time!  I've totally transformed the way I'm offering the 9 years of energy I've put into developing Esali Birth thus far.  Training, simply.

Did you know?  You don't actually need to have a regulated certification to offer childbirth support services?  Sound crazy?

Did your mom need a certification to teach you how to cook?

Did you need certified to hug a friend in need?

Did you need a certification to use your innate logical abilities to find research that is available at our fingertips?

No... and that's exactly the same with childbirth educators, doulas, and helping families get started on the right foot with breastfeeding and parenting.

Then why should you spend upwards of $3000 just to get started in this industry before you ever start gaining experience?  You shouldn't.  You were designed to support your fellow humans.  You were designed for THIS!  This is knowledge our culture lost because of scandalous marketing practices from those desiring to change the birth scene in their favor.  This is not a marketing ploy to get my business into every hospital childbirth educator system like many certification agencies... its just me wanting to share information you deserve so that we can actually change birth options for families across the world.  Not to mention... the whole package of TTC support, childbirth educator, doula, and breastfeeding counselor like Esali Birth offers just can't be beat.

Why Esali Birth?

I've simply made it a WHOLE lot easier for you to get started through an in-the-box format of perinatal mentor training.

  • No long distance workshops.  All training is online at your own pace.
  • No need to create your own curriculum (though that option is available - and even for a discounted price!).
  • No mandated CEU's (though you'll naturally desire more education the further you go as a perinatal mentor).
  • No annual membership fees (because I do most of my own marketing, web design, and graphic design so I rarely need to pass those fees along to someone else's salary... this keeps my business small, but enables me to provide you with the information you need).
  • Get started supporting families throughout their entire childbearing years from pre-conception through pregnancy, during birth, and throughout breastfeeding and early parenting.
  • Totally independent.  No... really... your business - not mine.  Just like college, workshops, and other training abilities, they do not mandate how you have to practice for the rest of your life.  You're simply given a certificate of completion - and the whole entire course manual and get-starting-business-material should you desire that option as a bonus.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Perinatal Mentor Training page for a more in-depth look into Esali Birth mentor training or get in touch.

 

5 Books for Childbirth

Birth books never get old at my house.  Are you looking for some great reads this winter?  Here are five birth books you can cozy up by the fire with and really start digging deep into birth practices, their influences on maternal-fetal health, and how to get started now helping your mentoring clients or making your pregnancy more holistic and comfortable.

Safer Childbirth? by Marjorie Tew

This book is a hard look at the history of maternity practices - from cultural and anthropological influence to studies and evidence completely disregarded and twisted - that literally changed the way we believe about birth and the misconceived perception of safety that runs rampant with many providers and birthing facilities, with research to back.  If you're new to the birth scene, definitely grab a copy of this!  If you're seasoned, especially if you have formal education and find birthing practices and helping women intriguing, definitely grab a copy of this!

Tew tells us, "Action to reduce losses in childbirth still further would have to concentrate on improving the health of the neediest mothers.  In the light of past performance, there is not the slightest reason to believe that the desired objective would be achieved by increasing the medical input into maternity care. On the contrary, fewer losses would result if the medical input into maternity care were greatly restricted, while access to, and uptake of, healthy diets and social support became universal."

Hear, hear!

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman, M.S.

Many of you may have read Katy Bowman's interview years ago about the negative impacts of kegels (read: mono-movement) and importance of [proper] squatting (though, in reality - it is movement she's getting at - not just squatting).  You may not have realized that within that time, that interview exponentially increased her traffic and in addition to her amazing Nutritious Movement website, she has many amazing books that are an absolute must read for any... modern human!  What I love most?  She further instills my annoyance over "exercises" and instead encourages fun and functional balanced daily movement.

Movement - rather body alignment which is created from healthy daily movement - is crucial for the body's biological ability to birth smoothly.  There's only so much healthy eating can do for you.  While not a perinatal-specific book, this is a foundational look into some of the most common health conditions of our modern cultures which directly relates to many common birth and breastfeeding complications.

Bowman urges us, "I want you to keep exercise and movement separate in your mind because there are many movements we wouldn't consider exercise that are essential to the tissues of the body.  For example, the workings of an infant's mouth while feeding at the breast are different than the workings of an infant's mouth while feeding off a bottle.  In the end, the task of getting milk is accomplished no matter if you take a boob or a bottle, but the process of milking the breast, it turns out, is important to the optimal formation of the jaw and face bones.  The structure of the face bones and established motor patterns of the face muscles end up affecting other processes, like breathing and swallowing, as ell as the space available for tooth eruption."

mmmmhmmm.... I know - all you mommas out there that have ever interacted with me for breastfeeding support are probably hearing my voice in your head repeating my caution of things like pacifiers, am i right?  This is a great lead into the next dig-deeper book recommendation.

Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding, 2ed. by Linda J. Smith and Mary Kroeger

Still one of my most absolute favorite books.  Period.  If I could quote the entire amazing information here, I would.  It is just so good and I am constantly astonished by the persons that work within the maternity industry that not only haven't read this book, but are completely unaware of the information within.  This title is a picked apart, intensely researched, look at birthing practices from the big ones - like cesarean and pain relief - the seemingly insignificant ones with big impacts - like IV fluid and mother's position at birth.  I mean, wow!  It is worth every single penny and I do so hope that if you're a perinatal mentor, that this is already on your bookshelf.  If not, please add this one soon!

The authors explain in the chapter on Effects of IV Hydration on Maternal Stress, Breast Edema, and Lactogenesis, "Postpartum breast engorgement is a major barrier to establishment of effective and comfortable breastfeeding.  Only recently have clinicians differentiated between onset of copious milk secretion (lactogensis III) and edema... Many mothers have left birth facilities by day 2-4, and may not have access to adequate professional support in the critical first week postbirth."

Then the snowball just keeps rolling.

Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, Revised Ed. by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman

Dr. Jack Newman has some of the most thorough and equally the most effective - simple - breastfeeding information available.  There are a lot of great resources out there, but if you're looking for that one title to add to your shelves, this is it.  It is great for expecting mothers without having to filter through a lot of opinions or outdated support techniques to get to the basics of breastfeeding and likewise a great flip-through reference for perinatal mentors.

Have you experienced this yourself?  Newman explains, "A baby who 'latches on just fine for the first few days' and then cannot latch on when the mother's milk comes in and she becomes engorged probably didn't latch on in the first few days: he pretended to.  If a baby breastfeeds well in the first few days, the mother may feel full when her milk 'comes in,' but she should not be so engorged that the baby cannot latch on."

Did your mentor share this information with you?  This is only the tippity top of the iceberg of information contained within these pages dispelling myths - even in the birth support community.

Herbal Healing for Children by Demetria Clark

You know I couldn't do a list like this without some recommendation of herbal wellness.  Many new mentors and parents are looking for compact information that makes their lives easier and healthier.  This is a great book for the shelf that does just that.  Not limited to children, despite the title, it is great for the whole family by offering pages and pages of whole-family safe recipes and basic herbal care knowledge sharing.  Everything from cradle cap and diaper rash remedies to infestations, infections, and fever support - this is a great go-to for feeling more confident in parenting (always helpful) and having resources available for mentoring clients.

A little excerpt encourages, "Treating a child with herbs can be an effective way to fortify the body and cure illness.  Herbal medicine is the right choice for kids because it blends modern medical research with ancient practices and remedies.  Children generally respond well to herbal remedies, even when they are administers in tiny doses.  Children's bodies are sensitive and react promptly to an herb's synergistic, efficient, gentle effects."

This was one of the first books I ever bought on herbal wellness when my littles were tinies and it just fed my obsession of obtaining herbal awareness.  I still reference this at times for my personal mentoring clients when time is of the essence.

BONUS!

Man's Guide to Birth by Danielle Bergum

Last but not least, a little bonus book - and free with Kindle Unlimited - though I may be a little biased on this title, is Esali Birth's Man's Guide to Birth which is a pocket-guide style summary of the holistic knowledge shared from Esali Birth Mentoring.  From conception through pregnancy, into birth, and during postpartum and early parenting - each page is a tip to follow with a quick summary.  No new parent should be without this guide, and every mentor should have this in their lending library.

Most new childbearing families feel a sense of comfort birthing in the US from a perceived belief that our developed status makes us less prone to less than ideal outcomes.  Reality, however, is not quite so...

What we know:

  • The U.S. has the worst maternal health statistics of ALL developed countries (we rank 61st). Yes, even though we spend more per capita on health care and many [hospital] births are off the charts expensive.  Home births can be expensive, but relatively they are much lower costs.  Many women find that the cost of a home birth is lower than insurance deductibles.
  • 99% of births are in a Hospital, attended by nursing staff focused on monitors and obstetrician that are not present for labor.  Shouldn't this increase our safety if women are birthing in a hospital believing they are receiving the best care?  However, it can be quite difficult to really tell what is happening in labor if someone is only focusing on monitors, "observing" a laboring mother from a completely separate room, or getting feedback from phone conversations.  This does not happen at a typical home birth, I can assure you.  Quietly knitting in the corner, possibly - but ever listening, observing, noting, and providing calm energy.
  • Countries with better health statistics have midwife-attended labors and births with home birth as an accessible option supported by obstetrician.
    Yes, European countries have a model of maternity care that encourages midwives for normal healthy births collaborating with obstetrician for higher risk births and surgical birth.  Only 8% of births are attended by midwives in the US, and many of them have also never seen a home birth but rather learned from Obstetric and medically managed births.
  • Studies show home birth is as safe as, with less interventions, than hospital birth.  We have to start with the idea that providers actually understand the biology of birth.  If they've never seen a normal non-intervened birth, then they can't adequately compare what is normal and what is managed.  At most home births, a quiet and calm midwife with experience in home birth will watch and let mom do her thing in peace and love with her family.  She may support emotionally, palpate, suggest positions, and listen to heart tones - but she starts with a perspective that birth takes time, mobility, and love.  If we go to medicine every time something isn't matching an outdated and limited-study chart, then we're seriously diminishing the birth safety for mothers from the get go.  Once that first intervention starts, it often snowballs into many others and sometimes, walking out the front door is that first intervention because moms no longer feel calm and confident.
  • Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death. This is true just about anywhere, but what people don't realize is how much a medically intervened birth increases this risk.  Environments that don't support biology such as taking baby away from mom, medications surrounding birth, and anything that decreases oxytocin such as bright lights, noise, chaos, too many people in the birth room, and staff demeanor, will increase adrenaline which is an antagonistic hormone to oxytocin.  Oxytocin is the hormone that contracts the uterus.  A contracting uterus after the birth (which is also increased with baby being skin to skin and nuzzling the breast) clamps down on the capillaries and stops bleeding.  This is only ONE influence, which happens in practically all hospital births, that increases risks of hemorrhage.  The other significant issue is postpartum care which is virtually nil in hospital births.  With a home birth, midwives see the mom multiple times after the birth, call often, and meet with mom 2-3 times within a 6 week period for a normal birth.  Most moms birthing by cesarean only have one appointment after 6 weeks.  A lot can happen during postpartum such as hemorrhage and eclampsia.  Care needs to continue for moms with adequate breastfeeding knowledge and support and postpartum healing care.  This would also decrease postpartum depression, which brings us to our next point.
  • 10-20% of US women suffer from postpartum depression.  This doesn't cover prenatal depression... but why is this happening?  We've created a culture that believes baby blues are a normal part of postpartum, for one.  That many mothers are sad that it is literally believed to be expected.  This is ridiculous.  When a woman is designed to have a flood of happy hormones pour over her throughout birth, immediately after birth at higher levels than orgasm, and every single time she breastfeeds - what in the world would make postpartum such a depressing time?  Let's think about the fact that 42% of women are induced and another 47% are augmented (sped up) both often with synthetic oxytocin (pitocin or syntocinon) which doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and as such doesn't have the same psychological effects as natural oxytocin.  Let's think about the 99% of women birthing in environments with bright lights, a lot of noise, and often chaos immediately after birth all of which decrease natural oxytocin.  Let's think about all those babies whisked away, screaming like crazy, handled like a rag doll, and jammed with all sorts of needles and suction devices and touching people that have no business touching the baby before mom.  Let's think about the majority of hospital birthing women that receive a routine injection of pitocin post birth to "prevent" postpartum hemorrhage (never mind the fact if the prior labor care was biological, natural oxytocin and immediate bonding/skin to skin would work as it should).  Let's think about all the supplements and pacifiers not only at home, but given away in the hospital to reduce breastfeeding.  Let's think about all the providers that know next to nothing, or completely wrong, breastfeeding information.  Let's think about all the moms that go home and are expected to do it all, even some going back to work in 3-6 weeks before they're ever physically healed, let alone psychologically.  Let's think about all those women that are expected to milk their breasts with a machine instead of having their baby with them as nature designed.  Let's think about the lack of support women have during these stages when other countries literally pamper the mom for 4-6 weeks with food, love, and most of all encouragement to lie with her baby and rest and nurse.  Let's think about what we're causing, not what to expect because we're unwilling to change practices.  Let's think about the 33% of women birthing by cesarean, likely 1/2 of those being preventable through proper care, that have doulas and dads holding their baby on their breast to nurse because they're so medicated and tired they can't hold their arms up.  Let's think about these cesarean birthers that are healing from birth trauma and major surgery that are told, "all that matters is a healthy baby" who are not just suppressed on telling their story, but never routinely counseled to process their birth.  Home birth midwives STILL meet with their hospital transfer patients during postpartum when their care was transfered because they get what a mother needs.  Where is this care for most of that 33% of women?
  • More women are birthing unassisted because of their fear of trauma from birth attendants and hospital policies. While I am among the few that support unassisted birth because I support autonomy and I believe in the body's ability - I am appalled that many women are choosing this not because they feel empowered to do so and are truly at peace with all birth scenarios, but because our maternity system is failing.  It is increasing their fear of harassment, bullying, birth rape, safety for mom and baby, and ultimately parental confidence.

 

Now, make no mistake - all of this is real and true, but in most communities, we are certainly blessed to have the ability to choose home birth with experienced attendants.  Likewise, the relative risks are overall low in childbirth - not at all like it was when birth first moved into the hospital and providers were increasing risks of birth by causing illnesses simply from not washing their hands.  We've come a long way and have a lot of methods available to us to make birth safer.  The key, however, is to use those methods when needed and not as a form of defensive medicine or our of fear for lack of biological understanding.  There are so many great resources to help you learn more about birth in the US such as www.improvingbirth.org, www.primalhealthresearch.com, and www.childbirthconnection.com.

Feeling confused?  Looking for options?  Seeking the desire to free your mind of birth fear?  Schedule a mentoring session with me and let's talk about your situation and your options.  Let's talk about your health to maximize your birth options and let's talk about how to navigate this birth industry for the happiest birth possible, because a happy birth is a healthy birth.

There are a LOT of great herbs for the childbearing years.  Ones that are nutritive, ones that are calming and, like yarrow, ones that have a great place in the medicine cabinet.

Yarrow has an intoxicating smell when dried.  It has beautiful dainty white flower clusters with 4 petals each and feathery alternate leaves.  An easy identification and is abundant in the wild.

Yarrow is the herb for menstruation, birth, and accident-prone children.  It can be used as a styptic powder or fresh poultice to slow and stop external bleeding - like a cut or nosebleed.  It can be blended with nutritive herbs like nettles and red raspberry leaf for a moon-time tea, especially for someone experiencing menorrhagia (heavy menstruation), and also as an after birth tincture (along with cramp bark) to reduce postpartum "after pains" and reduce bleeding... even stopping a hemorrhage.

So, if you're looking for an all around useful herb - go outside and you're bound to find some yarrow.  Dry it, and keep it in a cool dry place out of sunlight.  If you're birthing at home start an infusion when you start labor and let it infuse while you labor for use after the birth if needed.  It's medicinal value increases the longer it infuses.  It will be bitter, but taken spoonfuls or 1/4 C at a time every 15 minutes (or in tincture form) it can be very useful.

 

What is your experience with yarrow?

Archives
Categories

Subscribe error, please review your email address.

Close

You are now subscribed, thank you!

Close

There was a problem with your submission. Please check the field(s) with red label below.

Close

Your message has been sent. We will get back to you soon!

Close