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Waiting for this moment to arise: A healing VBAC induction

i Apr 16th 5 Comments by

by Ashley Ashbacher, MSW, CD(DONA) The birth of my first child was not what I expected. A lot of what happened was traumatic for me and several days of labor ended when my daughter was born surgically.  It took me a long time to heal both physically and emotionally following her birth. I knew that when I had another child wanted to have a VBAC and I wanted it to be a waterbirth. I decided to see Dr. Hartung with Hudson Physicians for my prenatal care and was planning on having a water birth. At 30 weeks pregnant I was […]

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Cesarean Awareness: A Doula’s Humble Reflection

i Apr 10th 1 Comment by

by Erin Stertz-Follett, CLD, LCCE, HBCE   My journey into birth began 10 years ago after the birth of my first nephew, Micah. I wouldn’t fully embrace birth as my calling until many years later, after the birth of my own two girls and the ‘birth’ of the passion inside me to bring services of meaning to pregnant women and their families. I will never forget that moment. After an induction that lasted more than 24 hours, and “arrest of descent” of the baby during pushing, my sister was told that she would need a cesarean section. I watched as […]

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Eat, Pray, Doula: A Doula’s Journey in Bali

i Mar 24th 1 Comment by

by Karen Bruce, AAHCC I am writing from a hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, awestruck by the experiences of the past 10 days, still overcome with emotion at the intense connections formed among a group of strangers in that time, and brimming with anticipation for my future birth work.  I just attended Eat Pray Doula 2014 in Ubud, Bali Indonesia with 27 of the most beautiful birth keepers you have ever met.   What better place to celebrate World Doula Week than in SouthEast Asia with such a diverse group of women?  We represented at least 11 countries and […]

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Celebrate and Share World Doula Week 2014!

i Mar 23rd 1 Comment by

March 22-28 is World Doula Week! Did you know that just recently, ACOG and SMFM (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists & the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine) named doula support as one of the most important and most underutilized tools in preventing cesareans in first-time mothers? This is just one of the amazing, research-based benefits of doula support. So if you are a doula, used and loved a doula, or just want to shout the doula love from the rooftops, feel free to comment here and share these graphics on social media! We here at The Childbirth Collective are […]

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The Intention + Creation of Sacred Pregnancy

i Mar 20th No Comments by

by Brittany Bushaw Editor’s Note: A version of this post first appeared HERE.  When I became pregnant with my first baby, I felt a powerful shift begin to happen – not just within my physical body, but also within my heart. I desired to experience my pregnancy with intention, present moment awareness, and trust for my body, baby, and birth. I desired a sacred pregnancy in hopes that it would flow into creating a sacred birth experience. Already a yoga instructor and massage therapist, I was familiar with the connection between mind, body, and self awareness. I was imperfect and practicing the art of listening to my heart […]

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The Doula As Witness Copy

i Mar 27th No Comments by

by Jess Helle-Morrissey, MA, MSW, LGSW, LCCE, CLEC Doulas serve a multi-faceted role in a birthing family’s life: supporter, encourager, normalizer, educator, guide. We rub backs, we squeeze hands, we stroke hair, we breathe, we hold space.  We press cool cloths to a birthing woman’s head as she brings her baby (or babies) forth from the warm, wet womb to the bright spinning world. One role that is often overlooked, but is perhaps most sacred to my own doula heart, is that of witness. As doulas, we witness over and over again that unique and unparalleled moment in a woman’s […]

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What Babies Need

i Feb 4th No Comments by

Walking into any baby store or paging through one of the numerous magazines aimed at parents, one is bound to find a list of “must haves” for every baby. These are usually things that are meant to help you parent your baby “best”. While no one can tell you what your individual family’s needs are, what we do know is that at its most basic, babies’ needs are quite simple. The most important things your baby needs are things you already have. Warmth Babies are born learning how to maintain a normal body temperature, and immediate skin-to-skin contact with mama […]

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Driving Home From a Birth: A Tale of Triumph, Whimsy, and the St. Paul Police

i Nov 16th No Comments by

As a birth doula, the drive home from a birth is meditative: replaying the birth, most often reliving the joy, sometimes a bit of regret. Driving home from Lori and Paul’s birth was pure joy—distracted joy. Lori had, in her words, rocked her VBAC. It doesn’t get better than that for a doula. It is so rewarding when a birthing mom understands what a birthing rock star she was, how powerful she is, how forever awesome she will be. Lori got it. She rocked her VBAC. I was giddy as I drove home from St. John’s Hospital at 4:30 in […]

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Birth Story: “I did it! I did it!” – Katie and Carter’s HBAC

i Nov 13th 1 Comment by

My journey to Carter’s homebirth after cesarean (HBAC) began when my daughter Kaylee was born on September 1, 2011.  I was induced at 38 weeks for pre-eclampsia with cytotec, pitocin, and an epidural which led to a cesarean section under general anesthesia.  After her birth, I was determined to do things differently the next time.  I needed to be the first person to see and hold my baby.  I joined the Twin Cities chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and learned that I was not alone.  That other women had traumatic births as well, but they went on to […]

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“Incredibly healing and an absolute gift”: An HBA2C birth story

i Nov 11th 1 Comment by

by Joyce Geving My first of three sons was born December 21st, 2004.  We labored for hours and I was given an epidural followed by Pitocin. His cord was wrapped around his forehead, so with each contraction his heart rate would fall. So I was rushed into the operating room. I remember feeling so scared and helpless.  I am not sure if a cesarean could have been avoided with his birth. Afterward, I really mourned not being pregnant any longer, and I think it was the safe feeling of my pregnancy that I missed. I no longer had my baby […]

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