My top recommendation for local Childbirth Education and Prenatal Yoga is Julie Rauchenplat. https://www.facebook.com/holisticchildbirtheducation/
Holistic Childbirth Education Series
3 hours • $170/couple, $160 early bird discountIn this 3 week, hands-on childbirth education series, you & your partner will grow your connection to each other and to baby. You will learn the anatomy & physiology of labor & birth with the most relevant, evidence-based information available. Julie will present information from Lamaze International, Evidence Based Birth, Spinning Babies, Birthing From Within, and more, enabling families to make empowered & informed choices for themselves. (Julie is a Certified Professional Midwife, Spinning Babies Parent Educator, LCCE (pending), & Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher)
It has taken me 4 years to sit down and write up the story of Silas’ birth, and I think much of that is because he was born during what became one of the hardest years of my life, and reflecting on his birth also requires revisiting that dark time. Thank goodness this happy boy has brought me so much laughter and light.
When I found out I was expecting our 4th baby, the timing came as quite a surprise in the midst of a new life experience for our family. We had taken a huge leap of faith, left our little suburban home and moved our 3 young children into the South Side Valley neighborhood of inner city Syracuse into an 1830’s “Farmhouse”. The ½ acre plot and barn hardly made it an official farm, but we did our best to restore the perennial and rose and herb gardens, raised a flock of backyard laying hens, filled the pond with a dump truck load of play sand to make a dinosaur pit and built fairy houses at the base of “Mother Willow”. It was a country oasis in the midst of what some considered the city’s scariest neighborhood. We moved there intentionally, naively, bravely, willingly, with our hearts on a mission.
I had taken on an official staff role as coordinator of YoungLives, Young Life’s outreach ministry to teen moms. Every week, we hosted regular dinners and bible studies and playdates for teen mamas and their babies. I was homeschooling my older children, and living life in the city, orienting our whole family life around hospitality and ministry made for an incredible living education, but it also took a tremendous spiritual, emotional and physical toll on me. It was an easy choice to opt for a planned home birth for our 4th baby. Our first two babies were born in hospitals with midwives and doulas, and our third had been born at home, in a pool of water, surrounded by important women in my life - our midwife, her assistant, my sister, my mom and our doula Danielle, and my oldest daughter, Ruby. I had worked as a birth doula for several years and planned to pursue midwifery.
Working in my ministry job had made me feel like my life had somehow become more public than ever, speaking at fundraising events and churches and women’s bible studies on behalf of my program for teen moms. I felt like all eyes were on me - would this experiment of living out radical faith and social justice-oriented Christianity be a success?
Because of this lack of personal privacy, and because my children were with me 24/7, I began daydreaming about running away to give birth all on my own. I had loved having a full house of women cheering me on joyfully at my 3rd birth, but for this one, I craved autonomy and intimacy. I chose to see my midwife Meredith for prenatal care and planned for her assistance and watchful eye at my birth, but I think deep down, I knew I might need something different than I could put my finger on. I went about assembling my support “team” - because that’s just what I felt like I should do. I asked my mom and sister to be present again, asked our sweet babysitter Quinn to be our photographer, and invited my friend Julianne to be my doula.
Our baby boy was due sometime around September 14th, and I busied myself getting my kids set up for our homeschooling year. My mom camped out at a friend’s home nearby so she could be available to help with my children when the new baby arrived. I planned the last few events for my teen moms and then we just… waited. And waited.
I was so uncomfortable and so done growing babies - this was definitely the last one. I had worked hard to fight the chronic anemia that plagued me in all of my pregnancies, getting intravenous iron and eating a healthy diet to be strong for birth - but I was depleted in every way. When I look back at the pictures of my pregnancy, I am astonished by how exhausted I was then. Our old house wasn’t stable enough to support the load of a huge birthing pool of water in our upstairs master bedroom, so for weeks, our kitchen table was missing and a birthing suite was set up, complete with twinkle lights.
At my 41 week check up, a full week past my "due date", I asked my midwife to sweep my membranes to help stir up labor and get things moving. It was a long, bumpy country road drive home, and almost immediately when I got out of the car and up to the top of the stairs, I felt a big gush of fluid and ran to the toilet. I felt pretty certain my waters had released. My other babies had always come pretty quickly, so I called Meredith and she made plans to head my way. I can’t remember what errand I had sent Bob out on - perhaps a “sleepy drive” to get our littles to fall asleep easily, but somehow I was in the house all alone, blowing up my own birth tub. When I squatted down to put more air in the tub, I felt a trickle of more fluid - definitely clear amniotic fluid.
The whole team assembled in my living room around the cozy fireplace - my mom, sister, Meredith and her assistant Deb, my husband Bob and Julianne. I climbed into the warm tub and Julianne massaged my shoulders. Her presence was so comforting. But I started to feel like a watched pot that would never boil - the mild contractions I had been having started to ease away. I had my custom playlist of labor music, children sleeping upstairs, helpful hands, a warm soothing tub of water - just NO labor. I was feeling pressure in my cervix and heaviness in my belly that felt like impending labor - but no steady contractions. I had had a similar pattern of progressing into the 4-6cm range and then stalling in my second and third labors, so it seemed like it might just be a matter or time.
Everyone encouraged me to go lie down. The entire birthing team crashed in my living room, waiting for contractions to pick up. My midwife Meredith is as hand-off as she can be, and hadn’t done a vaginal exam since I had just seen her in her office hours before and was about 3-4cm already. I had consented to antibiotic treatment for my GBS positive status in spite of the fact that I had struggled with months of thrush after having antibiotics during my second labor and really did not want them again or believe that they were necessary. Still, I wanted to honor my midwife’s protocols and procedures because she was giving me the option of a safe home delivery and it was a compromise I was willing to make.
We all mostly slept all night, and then in the wee hours of the morning, Meredith offered to do an exam - NO cervical change, and a paper strip test to determine if the fluid leaking was indeed amniotic fluid - NEGATIVE. I still don’t believe it to this day, and I believe strongly that a small forebag of water did leak. It made for great jokes for the next week about how I must have just peed my pants, assembled the birth team, and hosted a great big sleepover party just for fun! I was so disapointed.
Three days later, repeat scenario. After a long day with the kids, I started to feel STRONG, definite waves of contractions just before bedtime. They were right on top of each other quickly moving from every 5 minutes apart to every 2-3 minutes. This time I was hesitant to call everyone over and just asked Meredith and Deb to come. They did, and got me set up once again for a round of IV antibiotics. It took a long time and several pokes and blown veins to get the IV going, and my labor STOPPED. I was so angry at the invasion of required antibiotics into my system. I wanted to be left alone. My contractions had been so strong and convincing that once again, Meredith and Deb spent another night camped out on my couch, only to leave disappointed again in the morning.
At 41 weeks and 5 days, I went for an ultrasound in the morning to check everything out and confirm that the baby was well and we were safe to keep waiting. Everything looked wonderful, measurements all good. I truly wanted to trust and embrace nature’s timing, but the incessant worry from friends and family when your baby is “Overdue” can drive a person crazy.
I was DONE waiting. With my midwife’s blessing, I decided to take a small amount of castor oil in orange juice and start a routine of taking black and blue cohosh and red raspberry leaf tinctures. I followed a specific protocol but I can’t remember it. I must have started around noon, and began to have mild but predictable contractions around 3pm. I told my mom that I thought I was finally in real labor but still unsure, and she left my house to go visit a friend. My contractions continued to pick up but I didn’t tell anyone as I spent the next hour quietly rocking on my birth ball in my living room while my kids played around me.
Then my mom called. “I’m going to swing by with my friend Beverly. She wants to see you and your new house and the kids.”
“Mom, I’m like - in labor.”
“Oh, that’s ok! She had 4 kids of her own! She understands! You won’t mind!”
...I WON’T MIND?!
“No, mom, I’m really in labor.”
“Oh that’s fine, we will just stop for a minute. We will be right over.”
Knowing my mother, I believed her. I may have become a bit irrational at this point (ahem: TRANSITION.) I resisted the urge to just leave the kids and run to the nearest hotel to go have my baby ALL BY MYSELF. Everybody leave me the fuck alone. Instead I yelled, “EVERYBODY GET IN THE VAN!!!! WE ARE GOING FOR ICE CREAM!”
I packed the kids into the car, and drove down the block, because lord knew I couldn’t waddle that far, to Gannon’s Ice Cream. I pulled up to the ordering window, threw a wad of cash at my 7 and 5 and 3 year-olds and told them to get anything they wanted. I called my husband and through tears told him he better come home and that I had left the house as my labor was escalating because I didn’t want to see ANYBODY. I Insisted that he leave work and go to our house to tell my mom and her friend that I would not come back to have the baby until they left. And it was FOR REAL this time. And then I sat in my car, sobbing and eating Peppermint Patty, in the middle of TRANSITION (somewhere between 7-10 centimeters dilated).
When I pulled into my driveway I saw my mom’s van and I sent my little ones to find her, then beelined upstairs to my bedroom. My husband got the little ones ready to leave with my mom (who never did bring her friend over after all, believing me that I was in serious labor). In the bathroom, I checked my own cervix and could feel it around a bulging bag of water, maybe 8-9cm-ish.
The midwife had about a 50 minutes drive from her country home into the city. Bob started to fill the labor tub in the kitchen downstairs, and then came up to find me at the very top of the stairs, gripping the railing and in a deep squat, moaning, "I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN". I don't remember this labor as painful as much as it was blindingly fast, breathtakingly intense, HARD WORK. I took one look at the walk down the stairs to where my cozy pool - "the Aquadural" was waiting and knew I couldn’t make it to the bottom of the stairs without this baby just falling out. Bob asked, “Did you call Meredith yet? Is she on the way?” and with crazy eyes I shouted, “NO!!!! It’s not time yet!!! I'm not sure if this is it yet!” Bob always jokes he knew that this time was the real deal because I got really mean. Mean? For sure - I turned into Mama Bear and all I wanted was my cave and my baby. Everybody leave me the fuck alone.
I crawled into my bed, Bob called the midwife. Our 7 year old, Ruby had been present for her sister’s birth and she pranced about happily grabbing towels and drinks for me, my little Doula. Bob laid down in bed next to me and held my hand, then ran down to check the water in the tub. I knew I couldn’t move from that bed. Then all of a sudden, while laying on my side, I felt a Pop and a Whoosh and a BIG splash on the bedroom wall behind me. “OH MY GAWD, THE CASTOR OIL….” I moaned, calling for Bob. I thought for sure I had dramatically shat all over the wall but I was so overcome by the need to continue bearing down that I couldn’t turn my head to look. (I hadn't pooped after all, it was just a big burst of amniotic fluid. Still hit the wall. Still hilarious.)
My contractions brought on gutteral groans and I couldn’t control the urge. I didn’t push, he just came. Bob got Meredith on speaker phone - 7 minutes away. “It’s OK, He’s coming now,” I said. “I think his head is out, is his head out, Bob?” I couldn’t twist and see for myself. Bob was standing behind me by the side of the bed, holding my leg up and in catcher’s position. “Yes… the head’s out… I think… I CAN’T TELL, IT DOESN’T HAVE A FACE!!!” I reached down to feel the head and it felt more slippery and smooth than I would expect. I shouted, “He’s in the caul!” As I eased his shoulders out, Meredith calmly instructed Bob to peel the membrane back off the baby’s face and just hand the baby to up onto my belly. Bob handled the whole thing like a seasoned pro. And then, there he was! My slippery, warm, crying baby in my arms! We did it!
To birth “en caul” means the baby was born with a piece of the amniotic sac remaining over his face. What Bob saw must have looked something quite like a bank robber with a stocking pulled down over his face. There is all kinds of marvelous folklore about babies who are born in the caul, and it is a very rare occurrence, usually only happening in completely undisturbed, natural birth. The baby sputtered and cried right away but his color took a minute to transition from a bit gray to purple to pink. I knew Meredith was still on her way, and I wasn’t worried. He was attached to the placenta and the umbilical cord was pumping life giving blood volume and oxygen, because it was still attached to my womb inside.
Normally a mother and baby enjoy a few minutes of skin to skin time before initiating breastfeeding, but I had a strong instinct to try nursing him right away, to stimulate contractions that would release the afterbirth and help stop postpartum bleeding. I had worked so hard to manage my anemia to stay a good healthy candidate for homebirth and I did not want to bleed! Meredith and Deb walked in and exclaimed, “You are already nursing?!” and “We had a feeling you would go this fast when the time came!” They were there just in time to help deliver the placenta, monitor our wellness, help clean up and tuck us back into bed with fresh sheets.
My mom brought Story and Clayton back home and we all piled into our king sized bed to welcome this new baby. We hadn’t been certain about his name - family names and baseball heros and musician references had been tossed around like Clyde, Joseph, Abner, and Rhodes, Caedmon... but we quickly settled on Silas Gibson. Silas is a Greek name that means “Of the Forest” and Gibson is a nod to his father’s favorite guitar maker. Just right for the littlest Wild Thing.
Ultimately, I had everything I absolutely needed from this birth experience - my autonomy and privacy, my amazing supportive family and friends, and hands-off midwifery care to ensure all was well. There is no place like home. May all babies be welcomed with so much love.
“Imagine what might happen if women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of the strength and power of their bodies, and of their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth” — Dr. Christiane Northrup
“It is not only that we want to bring about an easy labor, without risking injury to the mother or the child; we must go further. We must understand that childbirth is fundamentally a spiritual, as well as a physical, achievement. . . The birth of a child is the ultimate perfection of human love.” – Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, 1953
When a new little one arrives, so do visitors from out of town who are eager for baby snuggles. It can be incredibly helpful to have an extra set of hands or two to hold the baby while new parents nap or shower, or to prep a meal, walk the dog or load the dishwasher. I love helping my clients sort out the roles that visting family members and friends can play while also allowing space for new family bonding.
Our home in Charlotte has a fantastic walk-out basement guest apartment that we have been renting out through AirBNB. I'd love to make the apartment available to your visiting friends and family members to give them their own private space. Depending on booking availability, any friend or family member of a Sage Mama Doula client can book the apartment with a 25% discount. Just ask me for more information!
Check out my AirBNB here!
“It is not only that we want to bring about an easy labor, without risking injury to the mother or the child; we must go further. We must understand that childbirth is fundamentally a spiritual, as well as a physical, achievement. The birth of a child is the ultimate perfection of human love.” ~Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, 1953
When I had my first baby at the tender age of 24, I had already attended over 20 births as a doula and childbirth educator. I wholeheartedly believed in my body’s ability to give birth, and I was fortunate that because of my work I already had amazing connections to create the ideal team of supporters. I still wrestled with overwhelming doubts and fears as much as any first time parent, and my expectations for this birth experience were huge. I also trusted my deep down instincts. My body knew what to do.
At nearly ten days “overdue,” my husband Bob and I decided to squeeze in as many before-baby date nights as we could. The night before Ruby was born we had a perfect evening of enjoying our little city of Troy - pizza dinner at The Red Front, and a slice of rather mediocre pumpkin pie from Flavor Cafe and then an evening stroll around the Russell Sage campus where we had dated and become engaged. It was such a sweet way to celebrate as “we” became “Three”.
After Bob had already conked out for the night, I felt the first stirrings of early labor around 10 or 11pm. I was accustomed to waking up in the night multiple times to eat a snack, so I sat in the dark kitchen and ate a small cup of yogurt and sipped raspberry leaf tea. When the radiating pressure sensation around my back and belly grew in intensity, I rocked on a birth ball in the dark until the rhythm of the movement made me sleepy again. I laid down in bed next to Bob but decided not to wake him until I was “sure.” I dreamily dozed on and off through the night, knowing that solid rest would be my best bet for endurance and energy when I really needed it. I woke again around 4am and took a warm shower and then KNEW for certain that today would be the day. I labored on the birth ball, listening to my playlist of special music, letting oxytocin and good thoughts flow, while Bob filled up a massive labor tub in our spare bedroom. I called for my dear friend and neighbor in our apartment building, Susanne, to come join me, but I insisted that this must just be the beginning and we didn’t need to wake up our doula, Betsy, just yet.
Just before I had become pregnant, I had travelled to Germany to visit my dear friends and attend a Midwifery Today conference in Bad Wildbad, a spa town in the black forest. I had taken a beautifully inspiring workshop with Mexican Midwife Naoli Vinaver from Xalapa. She shared a recipe for herbal chocolate tea that she served to all of her women in labor for endurance and comfort. It was an incredible combination of ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers, fresh rosemary, other spices and thick dark chocolate - a sensual, aromatic hot cocoa. I was SO excited to have all of the ingredients and even a special pot and ladle set aside for Susanne to prepare for me in labor. I wanted to partake in a special ritual for labor and think about all of the women who had journeyed through labor for generations before me. The fragrance of the bubbling chocolate drink invaded all of the space in our tiny apartment and as I sat in the hot tub, laboring heavily, I begged for Susanne to get that horrible steaming smell AWAY from me. The aroma was so overwhelming that I asked her to just take the entire pot outside. So much for that whimsical idea.
It wasn’t long before I was feeling overcome by the intensity of my labor and I began to cry and ask for my mom (a two hour drive away). Having attended so many long, gently unfolding births with other first time mothers, I thought it was really just the beginning. I thought I still had so much longer to go, and needed to reserve my strength. Through my tears and shaky moans I insisted that we still didn’t need to bother the doula until sunrise. Susanne called Betsy anyway, smart girl.
A wave of relief washed over me as Betsy walked into the room with a big smile less than a half hour later. The sun was coming up and I felt instant peace in my trusted mentor’s presence. She would know what I needed. Betsy heard my laboring moans for only a few moments and said “Sarah, are you pushing?” “YEEEEESSSSS!!! Well, I don’t knoooowww!!” Thankfully, Betsy was not only a doula and my trainer, but also a competent homebirth midwife in her own right. I asked her to please check my dilation. I braced myself to hear something like two or three centimeters. I was in full denial that my labor could have moved along so quickly. FULLY DILATED with a bulging bag of waters. This baby was coming, and soon. A homebirth with Betsy had been my heart’s desire all along, but for our first birth Bob and I compromised and had agreed on a hospital birth center birth with Michelle, a beloved midwife I had worked with as a doula for some of my very first births. I felt confident in my decision and my team. Betsy very calmly informed me that if I wanted Michelle to catch my baby at St. Mary’s Hospital, we had better get in the car NOW. It was torture getting out of that warm tub in my own cozy little apartment. I distinctly remember a sweet moment when the waves of my contractions made it impossible to pull my own clothes on over my wet body. Susanne gently dressed me and we locked eyes and she met me with such tender empathy. “She will be an amazing doula,” I thought.
Somehow in all the chaos and confusion of our departure, Bob and Betsy miscommunicated and he pulled our car up to the front door of our apartment building on the River Street Arts District, while Betsy, Susanne and I took the elevator downstairs to the back door. While we waited for Bob to pull the car around, I was comically doubled over, hands on my knees, HOWLING, trying to avoid that persistent and growing need to push that baby OUT of me. Just then, one of our dearest friends, Lauren, just happened to be taking an early morning walk along the Hudson River behind our apartment, and in between my howls I called out a cheery, “Oh, Hi, Lauren!!” Lauren is the father of two of my first precious doula babies and husband to one of my dearest friends, Erika, who was the first person on earth to know that I was expecting. His cameo appearance in our birth story is a sweet memory.
Bob, and Betsy and I piled into my little green Saab and headed up Hoosick Street towards the hospital in MORNING TRAFFIC. I was on all fours in the backseat and my head was resting against the music speaker. The CD that was playing in the background was Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duets - one of my favorites - but as they sang “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” I yelled for Bob to “TURN THAT SHIT OFF!!!” I had a job to do…. TRY NOT TO HAVE A BABY IN THE CAR.
I had been teaching childbirth classes for almost 4 years at a local crisis pregnancy center at that point, and in my classes I always referenced the way birth is portrayed in films as a cartoon-like, chaotic, mad-dash to the hospital. “It’s never really like that in real life,” I’d always chide. WELL…. Unless you are me, and you are fully dilated and on all fours in the backseat of a car trying not to push while your doula is sitting in the front seat cursing out other drivers. Just before we made the turn to the hospital, traffic backed up and brave Betsy jumped half-way out of the passenger door and yelled at a truck trying to cut us off, “SHE’S HAVING A BABY!!!!” Imagine a mashup of the Three Stooges and a scene from Seinfeld…. That was our car ride to the hospital.
We made it to St. Mary’s. That 7 minute trek had felt like an eternity. We stepped off the elevator and in the hallway of the maternity wing my team had already assembled, waiting, having already heard from Betsy that we were coming in quickly, ready to push. I cried with relief to see familiar faces from my doula work at St. Mary’s… Lisa, Nicole, Colleen, and my kind and calm midwife, Michelle. They ushered me into a room, I leaned into the bed with two hands, caught my breath, did a semi-squat by the edge of the bed. I angrily batted someone away from doing bloodwork or placing an IV. Just - Bye, Felicia. I asked, “I can push now??!” I didn’t wait for permission. I just got to work.
I remember Michelle and Betsy being right by my side, stroking my legs and my back and my hair. Bob was a steady companion, and so sweetly excited, but I also needed the presence of these other women who had walked this kind of road before me. Michelle let me know she would catch my baby in any position I wanted to be in, but that standing and squatting would wear me out. I suddenly felt sleepy and just wanted to crawl into bed. I closed my eyes in between contractions and rested and allowed them to space out while I caught my breath in between. It was a time warp. I delivered Ruby laying on my side, and Michelle handed her up immediately onto my chest. She took a moment to make her transition from her cozy womb space to this world and then gave a mighty ROAR and turned bright red head to toe. She was just a Ruby through and through.
We named her Ruby for all the amazing songs that beared the name - from Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, the list goes on. Ok, also maybe a little bit because my pregnancy cravings demanded copious amounts of Strawberry Rhubarb pie and Bob had gotten into a habit of referring to my growing belly “Rhubarb.” We gave her the middle name Lorelei, for the mythical goddess sea nymphs who used their powerful voices to lure sailors to their doom in Greek Mythology. We wanted a strong name for a girl who would always know her voice mattered in this world. We knew even then that this girl would be full of song.
”The wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.” ~Stephen Gaskin
THE NESTED BEAN STORY
It all started with a baby boy who wouldn’t sleep unless his mom had her hand on his chest. That mom was Manasi Gangan, the founder of Nested Bean.
Guided by a mother's intuition and driven to help her baby, she created a garment of sorts that simulated the pressure of her touch with lightly weighted parts. Slowly her little one started to drift off and stay asleep apart from her.
After witnessing similar results with other babies using an early product model, Manasi realized that she just had to spread this simple idea to other mothers in need.
She had discovered that harnessing the power of a mother's touch is an essential part of soothing new arrivals, aiding their transition from the womb into the world.
In fact, as it turns out, simulated touch is so powerful that it is used on pre-term babies in NICUs to calm them, boost their socio-emotional development and bolster their immune systems.
Manasi gathered a team of professionals from engineering, juvenile product design, retail and marketing. They began by meeting with pulmonary cariologists, researchers and child safety experts in order to gather as much research as they could on infant sleep issues, touch therapy and sleep safety. Then they set about applying these principles to the creation of the Zen Swaddle, the only swaddle to truly feel like a parents embrace.
The lightly weighted and adjustable Zen Swaddle from Nested Bean allows your baby to feel like they are sleeping in your arms. Your reassuring touch can signal comfort, security and love to your baby, allowing them to calm and sleep peacefully; the weighted Zen Swaddle duplicates that sensation.
Based on the medically proven benefits of touch, the Zen Swaddle includes lightly weighted areas on both the center (where your palm would go) and sides (where your arms would go) to simulate the feeling of being held. Moms who have used the Zen Swaddle Blanket say their babies get up to two additional hours of nighttime sleep within one to three nights.
Two sizes in one lasts twice as long - a small interior to keep your baby's legs snug during the first few weeks; the extra-long sack provides additional leg room as your baby grows from 0-6 months.
Made from 100% luxuriously soft cotton for your baby's tender skin, it is washer and dryer safe. The weighted pads are filled with non-toxic poly beads, the same as you find in children's stuffed toys.
The Zen Swaddle exceeds safety standards. It has passed 12 mandatory and 7 voluntary tests. All materials are BPA, toxic and Phthalate free.
There are many wonderful ways to enjoy the benefits of music during your labor and delivery experience. From ambient, spa-like background tunes to songs that make you want to get up and dance, music can be a powerful tool to shift the energy in your labor. I always recommend that my birth clients create two separate playlists to meet two distinctly different needs: One for relaxation, and one for revitalization. Music selections are deeply personal, which is why I don't recommend using just any generic relaxation station on Pandora or Spotify. Think about the music that you personally connect with when it comes to relaxation - is it the tracks from your favorite yoga class, or religious music, with or without vocals? Think also about songs that you can use when you hit an emotional low or are just lagging in energy, what will help you rally some strength and feel uplifted.
Check out Moby's amazing FREE relaxation playlist:
Life is BUSY! Though I stand by my advice to clients to get into some kind of hands-on, in-person childbirth education series at some point during pregnancy, that is not always practical or possible for everyone. Maybe you are a busy professional with a hefty load of work before babies arrives, or maybe you are a stay at home mom with toddlers at home. We all can benefit from the convenience that the grand world-wide-web provides! Here is a compilation of my very favorite Childbirth education series and resources online. Be sure to look for my affiliate codes that often get you a discount!
Use Code "Sagemama" for a 20% discount on any audio downloads from www.rachelyellin.com
Kopa Birth is a wonderful childbirth education program that was created by local Charlotte, NC parents! They offer in-person classes as well as an excellent online video series. Please mention that you are a client or friend of Sage Mama Doula when you register!
Be sure to mention Sage Mama Doula and enter code "Pregnant25" for a 25% discount!
Sarah Eiley Cowherd
Sarah is a mama to 4 wild things and a doula in Charlotte, NC with over 10 years of experience in supporting families of all kinds. With gentle hands and a humble heart, she guides women to experience birth without fear and move forward into motherhood in confidence.