Share Your Birth: A woman's journey of cesarean, homebirth and VBAC

Hey Tribe! On The Village Blog I love connecting with people in the community to share their knowledge regarding all things health and family related. This week we have Zara Middleton, mom of 4, wife and Christian who has an incredible birth journey of cesarean, homebirth and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (vbac)! Born in Jamaica, raised in Delaware she moved to NC for undergrad at Campbell followed by her Doctorate from the UNC School of Dentistry.

We hope her story ignites and inspires you to reach for the birth you desire. Zara will also be joining us at our Cesarean Support Group this month, Wednesday November 30 at 6pm to share her story. Enjoy!

My birth journey began when I became pregnant with my oldest at the end of my residency at UNC Hospitals. I had a yearning to find something different but at the time I started searching for a different provider I was too far along in my pregnancy to qualify for the local  midwife birth center so I stuck with my ob/GYN that I always had through my matriculation at UNC SOD. It was a group practice of several doctors and NP. Some of who I liked and disliked. I did all that I could to prepare for this journey by exercising daily, attending classes at the hospital and local baby store on breastfeeding, baby care, carseat safety, baby growth and development, you name it...almost a class a week, some times twice.  

As the time drew close I was completely ecstatic and in full anticipation my bundle of joy making an entrance into the world. This birth was a culmination of everything I'd hoped and dreamed of. Except my story had a slight twist, I was 2 weeks late and due to the fact that I didn't progress within the doctors time frame after what seemed like an eternity...many tears and somewhat forced decision... my beautiful baby boy was delivered by cesarean. Although I was over the moon with love and anticipation for mi hijo, it was hard overcoming the disappointment that followed because I worked so hard, did everything that I knew about to have a vaginal, unmedicated birth. I knew I needed to heal so I went on a mission to do just that.

In the year that followed I talked to other moms, including my own. I was surprised to find out that she had a midwife. I knew I was a big baby and that my sister was even bigger which gave me the courage I needed to know that having big babies was possible. That was just the beginning, then I found out that I was expecting again.  This time I went after what I wanted, so I got a midwife.  I initially went to the midwife group that delivered at the hospital because again I didn't qualify the local birth center because now I was classified as a new patient with a history of a c-section. As time went on, I grew to know the midwives. Then one day I learned that my favorite midwife was leaving to start her owned home birth practice. I was intrigued! In fact, I'd never thought of it before until that very moment. After deciding to pursue this interest, doing research and attending informational sessions, I was introduced to a wonderful community of women from every walk of life that had taken the journey of homebirthing. So subsequently,  I decided to follow her and became a patient in her start up homebirth practice.

Although I was over the moon with love and anticipation for mi hijo, it was hard overcoming the disappointment that followed because I worked so hard, did everything that I knew about to have a vaginal, unmedicated birth. I knew I needed to heal so I went on a mission to do just that.

It was a beautiful experience. My son was allowed to participate in every aspect of my prenatal visits. It was completely different from any other experience I'd had thus far. I was at peace with my decision. But I knew that I had more work to do in order to overcome my fear that history would repeat itself. So I sought after the help of a doula ,  who introduced me to Reiki healing, and Hypnobabies. Additionally, I utilized Chiropractic care, and acupuncture. This was just what I needed to get over my fears. I went on to have my beautiful daughter 2 weeks late at home with medication or c-section after 4 days of intense Braxton hicks and hours of laboring. She also came with a twist ...not in the birth pool but on the bed. Thereafter, my confidence was restored! So I vowed to only have home births from then on.

As luck would have it, homebirth in the state on North Carolina came under fire due to some adverse outcomes. So when I found out that I was expecting my third baby, my amazing team was no longer together and even then though I had a successful VBAC I was still ineligible for birth at the local birth center. I tried going back to the hospital midwives but they weren't what I was looking for. It was hard for them to live up to what I'd come to expect from my experience with midwives. They, in effect, told me within a certainty that I'd most likely have a cesarean again. I knew that they were not the place for me. I had to find another alternative. My doula suggested driving 2 hours to nearest birth center in Statesville (Natural Beginnings Birth and Wellness Center). She had been to classes there and heard great things from moms who delivered there. Even more surprising, they took new patient moms who had c-section in the past. I took a chance and decided to drive and it was a great choice. They lived up to the expectations that I had for midwives, allowed my doula, son and daughter to be a part of the process and they honored my choice for a natural unmedicated birth.

My second son came 3 weeks late, unbelievable, and was 10 pounds. It was an amazing waterbirth! It was an amazing journey especially after laboring in the car for 2 hours prior to arriving. 3 years later I was expecting my 4th baby, a girl. This time I knew the gender because of a gender reveal celebration. I knew that I wanted to have her at the birth center.  This time the twist was that I was of advanced maternal age. so there were precautions to take and more testing. I moved closer to the birth center during that time so I knew it would be less car laboring. I expected her to come at least 2 weeks late and she did. However, what I didn't anticipate was that she'd be over 10 pounds and that I'd have her on the bed not in the birth pool . I'm grateful to have had these indescribably beautiful array of birth experiences. I wouldn't trade them for anything. 
 

Being Prepared and Supported for Birth

Hey Tribe! On The Village Blog I love connecting with professionals in the community to share their knowledge regarding all things health and family related. This week we have Sandra Nishihata, owner and certified DONA doula at GreensboroDoula sharing about the importance of being prepared and supported during, before and after birth! Enjoy!

Dr. Kim

Did you ever think about what a woman’s body is going through during pregnancy and childbirth? We all see the obvious belly growing and we know that there is a baby born at the end of the pregnancy. But what are the important physical changes that we don't give enough attention to?

Hormones are responsible to make a woman’s body flexible and strong at the same time to be able to grow a little human being and give birth. Let this sink down a little bit:

Growing a little human…

That is a lot of work! While the uterus, which is a huge muscle, is growing and stretching with the growth of a baby, the cervix tissue is not giving in and keeping the baby where it belongs.

Our abdominal muscles are doing also a fantastic job by getting ‘out of the way’ and keeping the body upright at the same time. The abdominal muscles that are creating the ‘six pack’ are moving to the side to create space for the growing little human. The pelvic floor muscles are holding everything together, so uterus and baby are not falling out, and during birth, they stretch together with the cervix to an extend to let a baby out. Isn't that amazing!?!

Of course a woman’s body should know what to do instinctively, so why should we interfere with nature?

First, let me tell you that we are supporting and not interfering. And second, our lifestyle has changed a lot in the last few decades. And that is the main reason why it is a good idea to support our bodies a little when it comes to childbirth. Like every good and healthy lifestyle, it just makes you feel better and more prepared of what is coming.

An athlete wouldn't attend the Olympics without intense preparation, right? They have a whole team of chiropractors, physiotherapists, coaches, support people, dietitians, and more. It is not guaranteeing them the gold medal, but they are going to be in the best ‘mood’ and ready to win it!

The same applies to childbirth: You don't really know the way you will give birth in the end, but being mindful about your body and the life growing inside of you and a great team on your side is giving you a good start.

Who should be on your team?

A chiropractor, who is making sure your body is aligned and your nervous system is clear from interference can help dramatically for a comfortable and successful pregnancy, labor ,delivery and recovery postpartum. The Webster Technique is a way to get your body in good balance and specific for pregnant woman.

A healthcare provider, who you can trust and is fitting your needs. Women’s hospital in Greensboro, the birth center in Statesville, or Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, for example, give you plenty of options to find a midwife or OB that fits your idea of good care.

A doula, who will guide you through the whole process with nonjudgmental support, resources, and knowledge around pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. While doulas are getting more common to attend births, still few people know that doulas provide important support in the postpartum time.

Enjoy your pregnancy and check out our upcoming blogs around pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and how you can make the best out of it.

Stay healthy!

To connect with Sandra visit her website here. GreensboroDoula in Greensboro is providing full service to their clients. You will find everything from prenatal and postpartum exercise classes, over doula services, to placenta encapsulation.

Bengkung Belly Binding for Postpartum Recovery Support

Hey Tribe! On #TheVillageBlog I love connecting with professionals in the community to share their knowledge regarding all things health and family related. This week we have local doula and VBAC mama Cameron Trader sharing about the amazing benefits of Bengkung Belly Binding for postpartum recovery and support. Check out her upcoming class at Village Family Chiropractic to learn more! Enjoy!

Bengkung is a traditionally Malaysian method of binding or wrapping a mother’s midsection after the birth of her baby. Bengkung Belly Binding provides many benefits and aides in speeding recovery in the postpartum period.

During pregnancy, a mama’s body makes incredible changes to accommodate her growing baby. Organs become displaced from normal position, abdominal muscles stretch and can separate, ligaments are loosened to allow for baby’s passage through the birth canal and extra fluids and fat are retained. In the postpartum period, Bengkung Binding helps to encourage a quicker healing, shrinking and recovery in these areas.

Benefits of Bengkung Binding include:

*slims hips, tummy and ribcage
*gently applies pressure to encourage organs to return to pre-pregnancy
position.
*supports and assists abdominal wall healing including diastasis recti
 recovery
*stabilizes hips and supports lower back
*supports abdominal strength which supports the entire back. Many
breastfeeding mothers note that Bengkung binding helps them prevent back
pain and from sloughing as they feed their babies.
*decreased postpartum bleeding time
*aides in support of abdominal wall and uterine incisions after a cesarean
birth
*hastens loss of extra fluid
*supports the pelvic floor muscles
*IT FEELS AMAZING!

The Bengkung Binding method is superior to postpartum girdle type pieces available to moms today because:

- it is customizable to your unique shape

- it provides complete support for your entire midsection, from below your hips to your breastbone.

- it is more comfortable as it has no velcro or firm edges

- it’s breathable and is made from batik fabric

- it doesn’t move

This unique binding technique externally imitates the abdominal wall muscles. This allows your body to function function in a less stressed manner. It puts the muscles in proper alignment,as they were pre-pregnancy. The abdomen or core is very important in protecting the rest of your body.

For best results, moms should bind 2-3 days after baby’s birth. The bind should be worn 10-12 hours per day for at least 40 days, but can be worn longer. Most moms that follow this protocol return to their pre-pregnancy size in 6-8 weeks. Mothers recovering from a cesarean birth should wait for their incision to heal and can usually bind around 4-6 weeks after delivery.

Village Family Chiropractic is hosting a Natural Baby Doulas Binding class:

Thursday, August 18, at 6pm.

Belly Binding Class: $20 to attend class, $75 for bind (class fee waived)

If you can’t make the class, there is the option of a private binding class in your home. $100 (bind included)

Or a premier postpartum healing package which includes 1-2 hours of postpartum support, herbal bath preparation and belly binding teaching. $200 (bind included)

Please email Cameron Trader at cameron_trader@yahoo.com to RSVP, to reserve your bind or connect through the Facebook.

 

Preparing for Birth: Childbirth Classes

GUEST BLOGGER INTRODUCTION

Here on The Village Blog I love connecting with professionals in the community to share their knowledge regarding all things health and family related. This week we have Lanette Tyler.

Lynette showed up at a Bradley Method natural childbirth class with her husband Brad about fifteen years ago, hoping to have a natural birth. Six naturally born babies later she is a Bradley teacher herself. Lanette is from North Carolina, studied engineering at Duke University, and worked for a medical device manufacturer and a Christian campus ministry before embracing her current gig as a homeschooling, homesteading, natural-living mother of six. Her passions include faith, marriage, motherhood, books, world cultures, and Duke basketball.

DR. KIM


I recently met a new mom, and our conversation naturally turned to her birth experience. “Everything was fine until the pitocin,” her story began. I smiled at her in solidarity, and said, mildly, “Sometimes you just have to say no to pitocin.” She agreed fervently. Since 47% of US births involve accelerating labor with pitocin, expectant parents should be familiar with it. A good childbirth class would have helped this mom better understand the pros and cons of using pitocin, so she could have made a more informed decision. In general, a childbirth class is a good idea because most expectant parents don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know how medicalized birth is in our culture, they don’t know what birth is really like, and they don’t know that commitment is required. The birth experience is a momentous event for any family. If mom wants it to be natural, she should prepare for it.

Parents often do not know what hospital birth can be like. It tends to be more medical than well-meaning but uninformed naturally oriented parents realize. There is a path of least resistance when it comes to birth, and a mom with dreams about her birth probably does not want to be on that path. Artificial acceleration of labor with pitocin isn’t the only birth intervention that happens too much. Labor is artificially induced for 42% of first-time moms, and 34% of births occur by C-section. Expectant parents need the knowledge to turn their preferences into plans so that they do not contribute to the statistics of overused birth procedures. Routine procedures and common interventions are not necessarily in the best interest of mom and baby, and can open the door to even more negatives.

Parents also do not know what birth itself is like. At one extreme people consider natural birth an experience so harrowing that it is not possible for modern women, and at the other people view birth as a simple, natural process easily handled like animals in nature. For most women, with preparation, the reality falls between these extremes. Healthy lifestyle choices like good nutrition, exercise, and relaxation help prepare mom and baby for the birth and make complications less likely. Knowing what actually happens and how to best work with mom’s body and emotions through the process make it possible and doable, though challenging.

Finally, parents do not know that they must commit. Natural birth rarely happens when parents simply hope for it. Moms with a wait-and-see approach to pain medication tend to choose pain medication. That’s the way the hospital system works. It’s the way moms tend to work emotionally, as well, when the medication is readily available. It takes commitment and preparation to forego pain relief. Choosing beforehand to do it and learning beforehand why and how to do it matter.

Why take childbirth classes? Take childbirth classes to learn how to navigate the medical birth system to your advantage, to learn what birth is like and how to cope with it, and to solidify your commitment to natural birth. Must this be learned in classes? No, but it is best learned in classes. An experienced and knowledgeable guide teaching a respected and effective curriculum is worth the time and money considering the significance of birth in your life. This birth is your entry into parenthood for this child, and odds are it will be a formative experience. Prepare for it.

Source for Statistics: Maternity Practices in the United States Table by Rebecca Dekker at evidencebasedbirth.com

Lanette holds Bradley classes Monday evenings in Winston Salem. Her next class starts October 17th. To learn more contact Lanette at: lanette.tyler@gmail.com.

Wear Your Baby!

Guest Blogger Introduction

Here on The Village Blog I love connecting with professionals in the community to share their knowledge regarding all things health and family related. This week we have Jade Chiu, babywearing expert, loving mother and wife, local birth doula, postpartum doula, birth photographer, and waterbirth tub manager with The Labor Ladies LLC - located in Greensboro, NC. Jade's two beautiful children, Zoey and Brian, inspire her daily to bless others through sharing support with other parents, walking with them on the journey of birth and parenthood. Enjoy!

DR. KIM


Hey everyone! Summer is here and I'd love to show you one of my favorite ways to wear my baby at the beach, pool, fresh outta the bath, or anywhere! This style torso carry is inspired from African and Asian cultures, where they use what is called an African Kanga, or a Korean Podagie. Torso carries are amazing for full and uninhibited arm range of motion! All you need is a towel that can wrap around you with a little extra room for your kiddo. If you have never worn your baby on your back, please be cautious and consider asking someone to spot you, or stand next to a couch or bed, just in case.

Step 1: Get your baby on your back.

Step 2: Put the towel over you and baby.

Step 3: Bring the top rails in and overlap snuggly, then roll downward.

Step 4: Gather the bottom rails making sure the towel goes knee to knee, then snuggly twist, tuck inside, and fix your shirt if needed.

index_Step4_1of3.jpeg

Make sure baby feels secure! This is a tension carry and there are no knots.

For more information, questions or to connect visit: http://www.thelaborladies.com/#!jade/odibl or email me at:

BY JADE CHIU

Bringing Back the Balance: A Chiro Mom’s Perspective

My introduction to chiropractic care came after the birth of my first child. As a new mother I found myself bombarded with facts, stories and ideas of what everyone else seemed to think was best for my child. Walking into a mom’s group at my local chiropractor’s office was like a breath of fresh air, confirming my natural mother’s instincts that told me to trust in my ability to make good decisions for myself and my baby. Chiropractic care not only supported this drive toward finding myself as a new mother, but also taught me to trust the inner wisdom of my body.

I believe we are all seekers by nature, looking for answers that resonate deeply within us. Quite possibly these answers reside in the unmapped areas of our own truth. These answers might not necessarily be what the doctor would order, but instead are what might make sense to us as individuals. I try to listen to my heart when making decisions for myself, my children and my body. Our hearts hold a deep knowledge that is sure to guide us in the right direction if we take the time to listen.

“All paths are the same, leading nowhere. Therefore, pick a path with heart!” —Carlos Castaneda

Every living thing on our planet possesses an innate knowledge as it comes into creation. Wonderful examples of this can be found in nature. Each tree unfurls its leaves and blossoms at exactly the right moment for its personal stage of growth. We witness this same inner knowing unfold as a baby nurses for the first time, never having been taught to do so beforehand. As humans, we are all born with a natural drive to learn, create and be one with our surroundings. As we grow older, it seems that most of us forget this truth. We forget how our bodies are actually capable of functioning on their own, and that we do usually know what is best for ourselves and our children.

Life also holds an abundance of learning opportunities. There are times we may struggle to maintain a sense of balance and harmony in our lives. In these times, we all could use a gentle and loving reminder to help set us back on track. A hug from your partner after a trying day with the kids or a chiropractic adjustment after a collision playing tag might be just the nudge we need to fall back into step, emotionally and health-wise. These struggles also serve as a wake-up call, guiding us toward a new way of thought that nurtures who we are in a gentle and trusting way.

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." —Charles R. Swindoll

As a homemaker and a mother, I am constantly surrounded by the everyday chaos of home life. When things get very chaotic, I have the opportunity to hear my lessons loud and clear. This is when I know that I need to slow down and focus on the things in my life that mean the most to me. All of the “other stuff” can wait. Similarly, our bodies find numerous ways to call us back to a place of overall well-being. Fevers ward off nasty intruders, diarrhea rids our body of harmful toxins, and major illnesses alert us to make major dietary and lifestyle changes. It is in these places of distress that we have the opportunity to strengthen our core, as well as to take a hard look at what life means to us. Everything happens for a reason and our bodies are constantly working toward a state of balance. Remembering how our body does these things to protect itself, we can trust that it can also heal itself properly without forced intrusion.

Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle

Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. For more information: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.icpa4kids.org. Compliments of ICPA Member: Chiropractic is one of the most profound forms of holistic healthcare that my family and I have experienced. When we visit the chiropractor, we receive a gentle adjustment, correcting subluxations and bringing our bodies and minds back to a place of balance and clarity. When our bodies are in balance, they can function at optimum levels. When our spines are aligned we can grow and thrive as we were intended to, warding off unnecessary illness and discomfort. We also feel at peace with ourselves and our surroundings when our minds are clear. This mentality gives my family freedom and ensures that our bodies are always functioning well.

Our bodies are our vehicles in this lifetime. Just as I treat my family gently and with respect, it’s natural to treat my body the same way. Chiropractic provides a gentle approach to healthcare, nurturing us inside and out, and helping us to be the best we can be. Outside my body is my family; outside my family is society. As a whole we make up the world. If we take the time to nurture ourselves, our bodies and our children, we can affect the world as a whole and the future of the planet. The next time you feel out of balance or under the weather, take a few moments. Listen to what your body truly is saying.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”—Thomas Edison

 

 

Lisa DeNardo – Lisa DeNardo lives in the beautiful mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania with her five children. She loves the color purple, wildflowers, and adventuring to new places. Her biggest current passions are Crossfit and photographing weddings. Lisa runs her own wedding photography business, and her work and contact info can be found at www.lisadenardophotography.com