Cincinnati Postpartum Support

Postpartum is hard. There’s so much to do and mothers can use all the support we can get. Here in Cincinnati, it’s still the norm for mothers or mothers-in-law to come help the new parents for a week. Then the parents are on their own. Mothers still need support after that and theres two ways that I can help.

I provide Cincinnati Placenta Encapsulation, which many feel normalizes their hormones and mood. They feel more ready and able to do the work that is ahead of them with these capsules on board. Placenta Encapsulation is a service I have provided to 100’s of clients, with many purchasing the service again with subsequent pregnancies because it has been so helpful.

I also provide Cincinnati Postpartum Doula services to clients as well. Giving them the help they need after the birth of their baby. I walk with them through feeding, bathing, changing, and navigating all the household chores. I provide daytime and overnight support.

I’m here for the grand transition into the postpartum!

Cincinnati Postpartum Therapist

Joslyn Reedy-Kay, LISW-S

Joslyn is one of our few Cincinnati Postpartum Therapists, who specializes in trauma, EMDR, maternal and paternal mental health. Joslyn Reedy-Kay has been working in the mental health field as a psychotherapist since 2009.  In 2017 she opened her own counseling practice specializing in perinatal mental health in response to her own difficult adjustments to parenthood, including postpartum depression and birth trauma. She builds on her lived experiences and extensive professional training in perinatal mental health and trauma to help the mamas she works with find healing.  She is one of only a handful of therapists in the Cincinnati area who has been trained through Postpartum Support International in perinatal mental health.

As you work to create a plan for your postpartum, add her to the resource list! She will be part of mine.

Joslyn Reedy-Kay, LISW-S: Cincinnati Postpartum Therapist: Dreamcatcherbirth.com

Interview Questions:

Dream Catcher Doula:How would you describe the work that you do? Why do you think its important?

  • Joslyn: I started my counseling practice with the deepest desire to support Moms (and Dads) in one of the biggest emotional and relational transitions we ever go through- parenthood.  I specialize in and have extensive training in what is called perinatal mental health- so basically everything that can impact us in the beginning years of having kids… from infertility to loss to birth trauma to postpartum depression and anxiety (AND SO MUCH MORE!).  My biggest hope is that through counseling mamas can feel more confident, show themselves more grace and feel they can be the best version of themselves as a parent.  The work we do together addresses the practical day to day ways we can make things better and the deeper roots of the issues and find healing.  When we don’t address what is going on in our minds it can run rampant and impact everything from how we physically feel to how angry we get with our kids to the emotional connection with our partner… that’s important work!  Our mental and emotional well-being often goes unaddressed, especially when pregnant and postpartum.  I’m a huge advocate that postpartum mental health planning is as important as your birth plan and all the other planning we do when having a baby.  

 Dream catcher Doula: Tell me about one of the most memorable experiences you had while working with a client experiencing a postpartum mental issue?

Joslyn: There are so many memorable and meaningful experiences that happen.  One of the most recent memorable experiences is with a mama who nearly died postpartum due to hemorrhaging several days after delivery.  Her anxiety, worry and sheer panic about being able to stay alive could be literally felt when around her even several months after delivery and the doctor’s reassurance that everything was “fine” now.  She was having panic attacks at any sight of blood, constantly crying, unable to sleep, disconnected from her kids,  You could feel the anxiety “buzzing” when you were around her and when she talked.    Through trauma processing with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and creating a truly safe space in our sessions together within even just a couple weeks being around her “felt” significantly different.  Within 4 sessions we processed the bulk of her medical experience postpartum and no longer cried or had significant negative emotions attached to the experience.  She was sad it happened but could think and talk about the experience without fear or panic.  It was amazing to witness the transformation that occurred in such a short time.  It was also amazing to see how she could visibly be present in a different way with her kids.  She shared that she felt like she got her life back and it was so rewarding to be a part of that.

Dream Catcher Doula: What 3 things to do think all pregnant people and their families should know about perinatal and maternal mental health?

  1. Intrusive scary thoughts while pregnant or postpartum are normal (for example, “I’m going to drop the baby and she will die.”….). About 75% of moms experience them.  We have these thoughts because our brain is trying to problem solve difficult scary situations and protect our babies.  It’s a natural protective mechanism hardwired into your brain, normal and doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with you.  There are very straight forward and simple ways to combat these thoughts that I or another counselor can teach you and it will be ok! 
  2. Two of the biggest contributing factors to postpartum depression or anxiety are lack of sleep and lack of support.  Planning for how you can get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (taking shifts with your partner!) can be hugely beneficial to your mind!  Plan who can come help even for an hour or two every week the first several weeks can make you feel just a little more human.
  3. Negative birth experiences happen.  Miscarriages, stillbirth and infant loss happen.  Infertility happens.  Our society doesn’t let us talk openly and authentically about these things and that’s to the detriment of our mental health.  All of these things are tied to so much grief, emptiness and isolation.  We have intensely negative and even traumatic experiences attached to what we think will be one of the happiest times in our lives.  You are not alone!  Don’t leave all of the emotions attached to these experiences in your brain.  Get them out in safe conversations, writing, drawing or whatever feels authentic to you.  If you don’t have a safe space to process and grieve what you have experienced find a good counselor with perinatal training.

When and how should clients contact you

  • The best way to contact me is either via email (jreedykay@gmail.com) or phone 513-914-1777.  Be sure to leave me a message with good times to call back if you get my voice mail.  To find out more information about me please visit my website: http://joslynreedy-kay.com

For more information on my Postpartum Success Plan see my blog here. To contact me, what clients call, “The Best Doula in Cincinnati”, click here.

Top 10 Must-Haves on your Baby Registry for Natural Families

Some people would call me a experienced mom, I mean I have had two children now, both of which I took a very natural route. I ate as well as I could during pregnancy, trying to drink a gallon of water a day, eating 60-80 grams of protein and big handful of kale or spinach each day. I had natural waterbirths at home with a midwife, breastfed and cloth diapered. I have now worked with hundreds of clients who were also looking for a similar natural approach. Clients have said Im the best Cincinnati doula for this. Coming from those experiences, I am bringing you my top 10 must haves on your baby registry for natural families.

Top 10 Must-Haves on your Baby Registry for Natural Families

  1. Cloth diapers: Theres nothing that screams natural mom like cloth on your babies bum. Bumgenius are my favorite brand. A couple pro tips here…
    • Get lots, like 24 or so. The baby goes through lots of diapers and you dont want to be doing laundry more than once every two days… just trust me on this one.
    • Wait until after the first days of meconium poop days to begin to use them. Have a pack of newborn disposable diapers for this. Im telling you, that tar poop does not come out of your cloth ones!
    • Try to buy second hand diapers first. Natural mom local Facebook groups are good for this.
    • Dont fall prey to the diaper sprayers that connect to your toilet, the amount of watery poop that you will spray on your toilet and walls will have you regretting it. Get used to the fact that you will be dipping your poopy diaper into the toilet and you’ll get it on your hands. Gross… but what is being a natural mom about anyways if we are afraid of baby poop.
  2. Changing Pad for Home: This pad is something that I really liked and used to change a dresser into a changing table. Simply clear off the top of a dresser and put the pad on top. Boom! You have a changing table thats cute, functional and easy. This changing pad comes with a cover, but I would buy an extra.
  3. Diaper Bag: You need a bag. This one can be worn like a backpack and is so nice because your going to need your hands for holding the baby. It has the bonus of being neutral in color for your partner to use it too AND has a diaper changing pad. You NEED a pad because I honestly don’t think they clean the changing tables at restaurants and stores!! The times I have had to change my baby without a pad at a restaurant, I try to create a barrier with toilet paper, one handed, of course and then mutter apologies to the baby though the change. I make myself feel better by telling myself that if I do it fast enough the germs wont have time to attach! Just bring a pad, its must easier on your conscience.
  4. Baby Carrier: Oh my! There is a whole rabbit hole to go down to determine which carrier to buy and how many. There are so many colors and designs to choose from, Im talking neutral, bold patterns, etc. I’m a minimalist, so I love the Ergo Baby Carrier that will take you though newborn to toddler.
  5. Swaddle Blankets: So the thing about newborn babies is that they are used to loud muffled noises and being pressed tightly inside the womb. Hence the comfort in being swaddled and all the other tricks that Happiest Baby on the Block will teach you. Swaddle blankets come in handy because they are plenty big, breathable and these are sooo soft. Adien and Anias swaddle blankets are my favorite.
  6. Wooden Teething Toys: You’ll soon find that babies don’t need many toys. They will be just as interested in a tupperware lid, but these are fun to have around anyways. They are beautiful and natural. Wooden teething toys are the best.
  7. Teething Necklace: These are actually pretty useful. When your baby is getting their teeth in, drooling and wants to chew on something, your out and you know your baby is going to find anything to grab, a necklace thats made for this purpose is great! Its right in their face and ready to go. Heres the silicone teething necklace. Its cute, isnt it?!
  8. Teething Necklace for Baby: These amber necklaces are a hit. Do they work? They might, but they cant hurt and look cute. Cutting teeth is painful so might as well try to make it a little easier on these little ones. Im telling you, its one of the ten things I would buy again.
  9. Sleep Sacks: Newborns really don’t need real clothes, they just need to be kept warm and these sleep sacks do just that. You can put a onesie on and then slip them into this sack and they are good to go. Its easy for you to get on and off, the baby likes it because they can move their little legs freely. Its a winner.
  10. Glider: Theres nothing like having a cozy chair to sit in while you feed your baby. This glider is so nice, with its soothing motion, foot rest and pocket. All I have to say it…. “Treat Yo Self”!

Bonus Must-Haves!

  • Postpartum Doula: A postpartum doula will be able to answer any questions you have about baby care, self care and healing from birth. They will help you with your older children, stabilizing your home and making you feel a little more normal. They are incredible for the transition into parenthood and worth every penny, leaving you confident in parenting your baby.
  • Meal Delivery Service: Look folks, you are going to be putting in some long hours in the early days of having a newborn, and Im telling you, it is hard to find time to eat. You need things that are ready and waiting for you. Im not talking about cheese-sticks, though Im not above them, Im talking about meals with protein, greens and fresh ingredients. Heres a local option. While your at it, have a friend set up a Meal Train for you and make sure you stock your freezer with meals.

Let me know what you found most helpful! What did you find helpful in the newborn stage?

Postpartum Success Plan

As many of you could probably guess, postpartum mood issues range from mild – severe. Mild to moderate postpartum mood can be supported at home with some simple steps. These are tools you can use before you even have symptoms and then you add in the next step if you begin to feel worse. Thats pretty much the premise of my whole postpartum success plan…. Just work on up.

I am passionate about talking to clients about making a plan for their postpartum during their pregnancy. Its something we cover at our scheduled prenatal visits or through my Postpartum Consultation Services. Its better to have a plan and not need it than not have one at all right?

  • Tip: Remember to ride out the first week postpartum, as its completely normal to feel Baby blues. After the first week, begin to watch for symptoms.

Make a Postpartum Success Plan

These tips listed below can be implemented into a plan for your postpartum success. Think of these tips as step one on your journey to postpartum bliss.

Postpartum mood tips from a professional doula. Dreamcatcherbirth.com
Postpartum Mood Tips: Dreamcatcherbirth.com

My midwife taught me a teared approach to combat Postpartum Mood issues that starts with easy things to do on a daily or weekly basis and then you work up, adding in more help as needed. At the bottom of the plan are the little things like eating, drinking water, and getting exercise. At the top are things like therapy, then medication and then hospitalization or a trip to the emergency room for moderate to severe mood issues. Ideally this is a plan that is outlined in pregnancy, with a partners help. As with labor, sometimes a partner sees a change before the client recognizes it. The plan should include time frames as well as the Who, What, and Where of each step.

Postpartum Mood tips from a therapist. Cincinnati Doual Dreamcatcherbirth.com
Postpartum Mood Tips: Dreamcatcherbirth.com
  • Tip: Your Obstetrician can prescribe a anti-depressant medication if you need it.
  • Tip: PTSD is strongly correlated with mood issues and there is a 30% chance that a birther will leave the labor/birth experience with clinically significant symptoms of PTSD.

Local Resources

Because the plan ends with hospitalization, I did take the time recently to interview Dr. Johnson at the Linder Center of Hope. They are a local hospital based resource with a couple ways to help. They have a rapid access program, which offers appointments with a psychiatrist within a few day period so waiting is at a minimum, as well as a temporary stabilization area. Dr. Johnson did remind me that in the case that a mood disorder became so severe that the client was worried they would hurt themselves or others, that the appropriate response is to go to the Emergency room to minimize risk. Let the ER do the work of finding help for you if its at this level.

*Interview with a local therapist who specializes in Perinatal Mood Issues is coming soon!

Click on the button below to request my FREE postpartum Success plan document

Labor Day Super Sale

Cheap Cincinnati Doula Services only come around occasionally. We all love discounts, heres one for you!

Terms and Conditions

Discount applies to:

  • 1. Booked Placenta Encapsulation
  • 2. Birth Doula services with Estimated Due Date on or before 2/1/2019
  • 3. Postpartum Doula services, three shifts.

*Placenta encapsulation must be booked with deposit paid by 9/4/2019. The client must contact the business for a consult by 9/4/2019 and the deposit must be paid by 9/15/2019 for the discount to apply. Limit of 5 full discounts available. A 10% discount will apply for 5 additional clients. Limit of 10 discounts in total available. Discounts rarely offered! Cheap Cincinnati doula services only come around so often.

Self-Care

Self-care Dream Catcher Doula Anna Taylor

Self-Care is all the rage now. Its vital. Period. The end.
The problem for some of us, is that healthy self-care hasn’t been modeled well AND it’s a vulnerable skill to learn. To do self-care well, a person has to: -Acknowledge that they have needs -Know their needs are just as important as everyone else’s (including their childrens) -Be willing to ask for help -Accept help when its offered (without shame) -Know that they are worth it

I think a lot about an idea that #brenebrown says in her parenting book. The idea is that children learn how to be healthy from their parents actions (way more than from what parents say). So if I want my children to value themselves, I can start by valuing myself. It doesn’t have to be a big thing and it doesn’t mean that I’m most important. Just that my needs get thrown in too when we are working on schedules for the day/week. Family life is all about compromise and meeting each person’s needs as best as we can. Your a person too!

Hello

Hello everyone. I’m Anna Taylor founder of Dream Catcher Birth Services here in Cincinnati. I’m a birth and postpartum doula, and do placenta encapsulation. In my free time I blog, continue learning about all things birth, mother my kids and work on rehabbing my home. I specialize in natural birth, and have a holistic and optimistic outlook. Send a little heart if you can relate to the challenge of balancing it all.
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#cincinnatidoula #cincinnatiplacenta

Real life Self-Care

I made a list recently of my needs on a daily basis, so I can stop always putting myself last. If I add myself to my To-Do list then I’ll succeed. It really works!

My list includes:

  • 20 minutes of silence
  • 20 minutes of exercise
  • wearing clean clothes
  • being in a tidy environment
  • connecting with each member of my family for 20 minutes each day
  • drinking at least 2 quarts of water (can you tell we use mason jars as cups around here LOL)
  • eating enough protein
  • connecting with a friend or loved one
  • etc

Don’t forget yourself as you care for your families. You’re important too!

Cincinnati Doula

Providers for your birth

If your new to the birth world you may be confused about what care providers titles mean. You may be asking, “Is a midwife and a doula the same thing?” Or you may want to know the difference between types of midwives. Let me take a couple minutes and break it down for you.

Care providers for birth

Cincinnati Doula; Dreamcatcherbirth.com

(OB/GYN) Obstetrician & Gynecologist : An OB/GYN is a doctor who is specially trained in reproductive health, pregnancy, birth and postpartum (immediately after babies birth). They can manage complex/ high-risk pregnancies and are qualified to preform cesarean surgeries (c-section). Specifically, a Gynecologist manages women’s reproductive health, while an Obstetrician manages pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Note: A provider can be a GYN without being an OB, but an OB can not be an OB without also being a GYN.

(CNM) Certified Nurse Midwife: A CNM is a nurse who has specialized in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They can deliver your baby as long as you are low risk. If complications do come up during their care, they will transfer your care to an OB/GYN. In the Cincinnati area, CNM’s work in the hospital or birth center setting. There are midwives that work in most of our local hospitals.

(CPM) Certified Professional Midwife: A CPM is a midwife that specializes in low risk pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They are trained to provide very natural, holistic and low intervention care. In the Cincinnati area, CPMs deliver babies in the clients homes. Caring for homebirth clients, CPMs are trained to transfer care to the hospital at any signs of complications, where the client would then be under the care of an OB/GYN with the support of their CPM. (Who I have trained under and assist at homebirths.)


Support for birth

(RN) Registered Nurse: These nurses are trained to monitor laboring and postpartum people. They are the nurses who are taking your vitals, the babies heart rate and doing the majority of the communication between you and the care provider. They help your care provider with the delivery, then care for your and baby after the birth.The RNs are who you will see the most during your stay at a hospital. Note: The RNs are most likely Labor & Delivery nurses.

Anna Taylor; Cincinnati Birth Doula

Birth Doula: Birth doulas are trained individuals, who provide emotional, educational and physical support during labor and birth. They know the process and systems of labor and birth well and are able to guide you though. They provide constant care, focusing on the birthers comfort and supporting them in gaining any information they need. (What I am.)

I hope these few definitions help clear up the basic differences in care providers and support people for your birth. Did I forget anything? Who else did you have at your birth? Who would you want to have next time? I would love to hear from you.

Nitrous, what do you think?

Nitrous oxide recently came on the scene in Cincinnati hospitals. Its used as a inhaled pain relieving agent and as its new in the area I would love to know what you think of it! I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. My most recent experience was with a doula client using it when natural pain relief was no longer working for her. She thought it helped…at least a little.

Do you know someone who has used it, used it yourself? Tell the community here.

Dreamcatcherbirth.com

Self-Advocacy during Pregnancy & Birth

I am often asked by my clients, how can I advocate for myself during pregnancy and birth? Simply put, advocating for yourself can be a challenging but necessary goal. Allow me to elaborate.

Women have Basic Human Rights that allow them to self-advocate during pregnancy and birth. You have the right to know your options and Informed Consent. The right to safety and equal treatment and the right to basic human decency. Too often, women are pressured by their partners, friends, family, media, and health professionals to ‘listen to the doctor’. While it’s important to consider all information presented, it’s also important to know you have power in your experience.

What does self-advocacy actually look like? I recommend using the acronym BRAIN to gather information from those providing you with care and council.

  1. Benefits
  2. Risks
  3. Alternatives
  4. Intuition
  5. Nothing

Remember, it’s okay to ask questions. Some clients tell me they feel uncomfortable asking questions for various reasons. Others tell me they feel like they are being pushy or will upset someone. Your goal is to make an informed decision about your pregnancy. Another tip is to always be as polite, tactful but direct as possible to get what you need. Lastly, it’s the care providers job to answer your questions and your right to utilize informed consent.

Finally heres a list of where to find quality research when you need:

  1. Evidence Based Birth
  2. Cochrane Library
  3. ACOG: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  4. NICE Guidelines

You can do this!

Lowering Cincinnati Hospital Episiotomy Rates

I am just so excited to share this news!!!

Not only was my blog post shared in a meeting with Hospital staff BUT now an initiative to lower their episiotomy rates has started!!!! I recently found out from an internal source, at a local hospital, that they found my blog post comparing Cincinnati hospital birth practices Blog Post found here: Comparison of Cincinnati Hospitals  and were affected! My lips are sealed about who and which hospital but we can all take heart that change can and will happen. I was told that the hospital did not want a poor statistic to turn potential clients away. Watch as I get all pumped up to share more information with all my readers. This was the first step in making me believe in the power of what a little blog can do. 

An initiative to lower their episiotomy rate has started!!!

At this Hospital the rates of episiotomy are higher than needed and there’s an opinion that they are even higher than being reported. It seems that there is some routine use of episiotomy being used. There are very few clinical reasons where an episiotomy needs to be cut. As it is a cut at the opening of the vaginal canal, it is rare that this one cut, is what would allow an infant to be born. The tissue will tear if it really can not stretch to accommodate the circumference of the infants head.

The idea is that routine use of episiotomy will keep a woman from tearing, or tearing more, this is a belief that is no longer supported by research.

Since not all vaginal births result in perineal trauma, some women are subjected to unnecessary incisions and their associated complications and morbidity as a result of a ‘routine’ episiotomy policy. Even in obstetrical emergencies such as shoulder dystocia, and in instrumental-assisted deliveries, episiotomy may not reduce severe perineal tears (Steiner 2012).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449575/.

I’m a strong believer in there being a different way for women to birth their babies. When women are able to choose the position that is most comfortable for them to birth, and are encouraged to slowly stretch the vaginal opening at crowning, the risk of tearing drops dramatically.

Have you experienced an episiotomy? Share you experience with us? Have an idea of what you will like to read about next? Contact me.

Comparison of Cincinnati Hospitals C-Section Rates and Reputations

I have been curious for a while about my cities c-section, and episiotomy rates for our individual hospitals. Up until the writing of this blog, I have just had the general statistic of Cincinnati hospitals having a 30% cesarean section rate and then each hospitals reputation. Their reputations would come to me through other birth workers and be passed around like a cute baby. I knew I had to share these reputations as a service to the pregnant population of Cincinnati. Anyone utilizing these hospitals should have all the information possible so they can make an informed choice. In this blog, I’ll share the general reputations and the statistics that I have been able to get my hands on.  As a warning, take my opinions with a breath. I understand that any woman can have an amazing birth anywhere and any negative comments from me, is only my understanding and is in no way meant to discount your experience. That being said, if you would like to share your experience, please comment below or contact me directly. You can help round me out, LOL.  

I know, as much as any birth worker, that the type of delivery a pregnant person has will depend largely on the provider, followed by the characteristics of the support team and finally by the practices of the hospital that is utilized (if she uses one of course). I can think of a provider I would recommend at most of my local hospitals who knows natural birth well and supports women making informed choices. As could be assumed, I highly recommend a laboring parent having a support team that will encourage her labor and delivery preferences. Ideally that will mean a supportive partner and a doula. But the statistics of our local hospitals, which give solid information about their tendencies, was new to me. Finding these statistics was challenging, and will be a work in progress. As I gain more information with my questioning, I will update this post.

Tri-Health Bethesda North Hospital: 10500 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 17.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4.5% (1.)

Bethesda North, or B. North, like we like to call it, has a pretty good name for itself, especially because this is the hospital that Dr. Daniel Bowen http://thebowencenter.com/ works out of. (Update: Bowen can no longer work out of Bethesda, he delivers out of Good Samaritan Hospital) Bowen is the OBGYN who has a HUGE following of natural birth mommas, and a while back he was so kind as to even work as homebirth clients backup physician. Though he has moved away from being backup, his name is the most commonly mentioned as the go-to-guy for a natural birth. Too bad his office staff makes patients cry, #bekind.

Good Samaritan Hospital of Cincinnati: 375 Dixmyth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 23.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4% (1)

Good Sam has a poor reputation for natural birthers but is the place to be if a baby needs intensive help. This hospital, along with only two others has a Level 3 NICU, with the highest level 4, being at Cincinnati Childrens, a few blocks away. (Update:Dr.Bowen is now delivering at Good Samaritan, so this reputation may very well change.)

Christ Hospital: 2139 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 27.2%

Episiotomy rate: 9.8% (1) Whoa!!!

Christ Hospital has a poor reputation for natural births, but… then there’s the respected Michelle Zamudio, CNM, who works with two others, Jacqui Martin and Jessie Bertsch. Michelle provides patients with incredible care. Search her on Facebook, with the key words ‘Cincinnati Midwife’ and the praises don’t stop. They are also certified as Bag Free https://www.ohiohospitals.org/ohiobagfree, and have a Centering Pregnancy program. Watch this YouTube video and you’ll see how transformative this program can be to women’s prenatal care.  https://youtu.be/oixaRbS9Tww .

Mercy Health- Anderson Hospital: 7500 State Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45255

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 24%

The rate of women who pursue a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC): 19%

The rate of women who are successful in their VBAC: 88%

Episiotomy rate: 7%

Epidural rate: 75%

All this information is self-reported to me from the manager of labor and delivery. It has not been assessed for accuracy by a third party.

Mercy Anderson follows the 10 steps for Successful Breastfeeding https://www.unicef.org/newsline/tenstps.htm, is Bag free and has a great reputation for those wanting a natural birth. It is also the home to Dr. Patridge and Dr. Varnau, http://bcwh.org/staff.htm who many homebirthers choose when they need a hospital birth. They are incredibly comfortable with allowing birth to unfold, while simultaneously being up to date on all the latest studies. Dr. Patridge is sure to keep the room laughing in the immediate postpartum, with her slightly crude jokes.

University of Cincinnati Medical Center: 234 Goodman Street Cincinnati, OH 45219

*Does not self report to the public

University of Cincinnati is a teaching hospital, they have a Level 3 NICU, and are certified Bag Free. They also have a Centering Pregnancy program https://uchealth.com/womens-health/centeringpregnancy/  , which I am totally stoked about.

Are you a hospital representative? Please contact me to let me know about the great work your doing.  I would be more than happy to conduct a interview with you to Feature your care.

Resources:

  1. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/hospitals/search/list/location/Cincinnati%2C%20OH%2C%20USA/50

Spotlight: Atrium’s Natural Beginnings Birth Center Interview

Shared below is an interview I recently had the pleasure of doing with our local birth center! Natural Beginnings is just outside of Cincinnati, and have a great record of supporting natural birth. I am so excited to give all of my blog readers more specifics about what they offer.

Interview:

Describe what Atrium Natural Beginnings Birth Center offers to pregnant parents that sets you apart from other birth institutes.

Atrium Medical Center, conveniently located off Interstate 75 at exit 32, has the feel of a boutique hospital; patients and their families receive extra care and attention during their stay. The hospital’s Natural Beginnings Birth Center offers a birthing and postpartum environment that fosters self-responsibility and family empowerment, along with access to emergency medical care and a Level II Special Care Nursery should complications arise. Going through the childbirth process through Natural Beginnings, you will be surrounded and cared for by midwives, nurses, and board-certified obstetricians who believe and support your goal of having a non-medicated birth experience, and you will not be separated from your baby after delivery unless complications arise.

Tell us about the prenatal care you offer. Do patients usually have to wait, and how long are the visits with the midwives?

As with any birth, your routine prenatal care will first and foremost consist of visits with an obstetrician or midwife. To find a midwife that delivers at Natural Beginnings, you can call the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness in Mason at (513) 770-2797.

In addition to routine prenatal appointments, expectant mothers who wish to enroll in Natural Beginnings must take a few additional steps.

First, you must attend a Natural Beginnings orientation class. The orientation class is a one-hour group class that includes a tour of the birth center. This class is ideally attended during your second trimester, around 22 to 32 weeks. The class explains the philosophy of Natural Beginnings, what to expect, and the required paperwork. It is highly recommended that both the mother and her support person attend this class. Enrollment in the program is required to utilize the Natural Beginnings Birth Center for a birth. You can call (866) 608-FIND (3463) to learn more or enroll online.

The next step is a Natural Beginnings prenatal visit at 36 weeks. The appointment takes approximately 45 minutes. We will ask questions regarding your health history, have you sign consent forms, and collect paperwork distributed during your orientation class. Please call us when you are 34 to 35 weeks to schedule your appointment.

All first-time parents are required to attend childbirth education classes. Atrium Medical Center also offers childbirth education classes specific to Natural Beginnings that teach natural coping techniques for labor and birth. Information about all of our childbirth education classes is available online.

Expectant mothers who are at 34 weeks or more can speak with a Natural Beginnings nurse directly to discuss late enrollment options. Returning parents can speak directly with a Natural Beginnings nurse about re-enrollment requirements. To speak with a Natural Beginnings nurse, call 513-974-4291.

Describe the postpartum care received by patients.

For postpartum care, Natural Beginnings has 24-hour rooming-in with no separation of the family unit unless complications arise. We support you in breastfeeding; therefore, pacifiers or formula supplements are not given without parental consent or medical necessity. Breastfeeding consultation is available during your stay and at home, with lactation specialists available daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We also make postpartum phone calls to ensure the long-term health and safety of you and your family.

Pregnant women with low risk pregnancies can utilize Natural Beginnings; can you describe what low risk means?

We are unable to enroll women who:

  • Are under a physician’s care for medical conditions that can affect pregnancy
  • Are expecting any pregnancy complications that can influence labor or birth
  • Are anticipating complications with a newborn
  • Had a previous cesarean delivery
  • Have a condition that can require a difficult course of treatment or intervention

What comfort measures for labor are offered? How often are they utilized?

The center offers two private, home-like suites that have been designed to allow you to labor, deliver, and recover in the same room with no separation of mother and newborn unless complications arise. Each suite features a queen-sized bed and ample space for a family-friendly experience. Our nurses are dedicated to the natural childbirth process. They will support you through natural labor without traditional interventions and encourage you to use positions for delivery that feel right to you. You will have access to movement, aromatherapy, massage therapy, music, positioning, and labor tools to help you cope with labor. Additionally, each room is equipped with a large Jacuzzi® tub for hydrotherapy and water birthing options. Natural Beginnings is truly low intervention: You can eat, you can move, and we don’t have medical monitoring for the baby during labor (we only use a fetal Doppler ultrasound, which is like a microphone stethoscope).

Please share any current statistics you have available, initial cesarean rate, successful VBAC, episiotomy, etc. for Natural Beginnings. Could you share for Atrium Medical Center as well?

Atrium Medical Center had a primary C-section rate of approximately 15 percent in 2018 – currently the lowest in the Premier Health system. Mothers enrolled in Natural Beginnings who end up requiring a C-section will deliver in the operating suites of the hospital’s Family Birth Center. While the hospital does have successful VBAC deliveries, these deliveries are unable to be performed in our Natural Beginnings Birth Center.

What else do you think patients should know about Natural Beginnings?

Natural Beginnings Birth Center is the first comprehensive natural birth center in the greater Cincinnati area located within an acute care hospital, offering the comforts of home alongside the safety net of nursing and medical staff who can respond with emergency and surgical care if necessary. Natural Beginnings is the second natural birth center operated by Premier Health, which opened Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital’s main campus in Dayton in 1995. Decades of experience with Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital served as the model for the natural birth center at Atrium Medical Center, offering much-desired natural childbirth services closer to Cincinnati-based patients. In the past two years, we have supported more than 300 mothers in their goal of having a natural childbirth experience without epidural anesthesia.

To learn more about Natural Beginnings, visit atriummedcenter.org/naturalbeginnings or call 513-974-4291.

DISCLAIMER

The information provided herein by Atrium Medical Center/Natural Beginnings Birth Center is general medical information provided for informative and educational purposes only. This information should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician.

This information is not a substitute for personal, professional advice given based on your medical history, your family medical history, your medication history, and other factors. Because these factors are different for every person, you should always consult your physician before relying on information provided herein.

Atrium Medical Center/Natural Beginnings Birth Center is in no way affiliated with dreamcatcherbirth.com. Inclusion of the information provided herein does not imply affiliation, endorsement, or adoption by Atrium Medical Center/Natural Beginnings Birth Center of any site or information contained herein.

Published March 13, 2019

Doctor, nurses, partner, doula… Oh my! There’s a place for everyone

Its part of the learning curve to figure out everyone’s role at birth and can be a little overwhelming. For those of you who like to know what’s going on, let me see if I can give you an idea.

Let’s break it down. First of all, you should know that your doctor plans to only be in the room with you for the very last moments of your birth.  Like, once they can see the head, they will be with you and stay until the birth of the placenta. Then they are saying, “Congratulations!” and are out the door. It’s not that they don’t care about you,  its just that they don’t want to be a disruption. So they do their work and wait to be summoned by the nurses.  At the very end, it’s very exciting, you can feel how close you are and the doctor flies in like a burst of light! They catch your beautiful baby and then are gone to let you mask in the glow of one of the sweetest babies you have ever seen!

The nurses are in and out of the room.  There’s no way to tell who you will get, and shifts change whether you want them to or not.  They are smiling at you while they monitor you and the baby.  They do vitals, listening to the babies heart rate and charting everything.  If you need ice chips or more pillows, they will be happy to grab them for you.  They are so sweet but usually have other moms to help too.

Your partner is your rock.  They aren’t leaving your side and are supporting you through every contraction. They are encouraging you,  massaging you and sneaking you honey straws. Your partner is a dream until they don’t know what to do anymore.  Here’s where the doula comes in. 

The doula is the gap filler, the runner, the second support to the partner and laboring mom. It can get tribal during labors, because well, I’ll say it… it hurts! Not only does it hurt but you also have to give in to the sensations (blog post about that here https://dreamcatcherbirth.com/2018/01/01/the-hardest-part-of-birth/). You can get interrupted, lose your flow and start getting anxious, scared, or feeling out of control. The doula is there to know what to say, and what positions to try next. The doula reminds everyone that this is normal, that we can continue to say, “yes” to the process, and that, “this is the feeling of your baby getting closer to meeting you”! She will also do little things like making sure your cup is full, you are emptying your bladder and that your partner doesn’t need anything. She is well educated in birth and can give you a really good idea of where you are in the process and will help you know your options when things come up. She is your constant support, ready to fill all sorts of roles.

Laboring mom, partner and doula are the three constants in the room. While nurses and doctors come in and out, the partner and doula are charged with maintaining a calm and supportive atmosphere, your doula especially is a sponge of things that could affect the couple.  Simple questions, comments, opened curtains are no match for her! 

Really, with a role for everyone, it works together really nicely. You can even add a photographer in there or best friend who’s only job is to hold your hand and it would be great.  

*Refreshed from my prior blog post in August of 2017. It’s too good not to share again.

Encapsulation, Raw Placenta Smoothies or both!

Convinced??

The cows say it, soooo… Eat Mor Plasinta 😉

Did you see I have options? You can encapsulate, have me prepare raw smoothies for you OR both. The benefits of eating more ‘plasinta’ await you.

Whats the process of placenta Encapsulation

I’m sure you know all the great benefits of placenta encapsulation, like increased milk supply, mood stability, and increased energy. So I’ll go ahead and explain the process. Once you decide you would like to move forward, and I have received your intake form that Ill attach below (and encapsulation deposit of $50), you will want to mention to your care provider that you will be taking your placenta home. I have not worked with the hospital you mentioned before, but all hospitals have a policy around this. Each is different, so you will want to find out yours. You will probably want to know how soon after the birth you will be able to take it (some hsp don’t allow you to have the placenta until you are discharged in case they need to send it to the lab). Also ask if they will store the placenta for you until you can have someone pick it up, or if you need to bring a cooler when you go into labor. The main reason I wouldn’t be able to complete the encapsulation for you would be if they had to send the placenta to the lab/pathology.
I work hard to have your capsules back to you in about 24 hours, so you can experience the benefits right away. My process of working with the actual placenta is easy. I simply cut the placenta into small pieces, place on my dehydrator until all moisture is removed, grind into powder and then put into capsules so you can take them like vitamins every morning. Each placenta will make anywhere from 80 to 160 capsules. I average at around 120. I dry the placenta until there’s absolutely no moisture remaining, so the capsules are shelf-stable. If you want to keep them for years I would suggest that you store them in your freezer.
As always feel free to reach out with any other questions or comments!

20% off Placenta Encapsulation services for due dates in January and February 2019

I know that there must be a lot of pregnant people out there who have been working to take care of others during this holiday season. Now I want to take care of you! Any clients who are due in January or February of 2019 will get 20% off of My Placenta encapsulation services, just for being you. That is a $50 value! Tell you friends.

Coming soon… Comparison of Cincinnati hospitals C-section rates

Thank you for your patience as I work to find information about each of Cincinnatis hospitals c-secton, episiotomy rates and more. I believe in informed choice and am excited to offer Cincinnati’s pregnant population concrete information so they can choose for themselves which hospital is best for them. Stand by and keep a look out in the next week for a totally informative, and important post.

Postpartum Plan

Postpartum mood disorders are increasingly prevalent with, 1 out of 9 women experiencing it. This depression can begin during pregnancy, soon after birth or even six months postpartum. It’s caused from shifting hormones, lack of sleep, and can be compacted with all sorts of risk factors. Trauma during childbirth is one, as well as unplanned pregnancy, history of depression, low income, single parenting, etc. It is a huge issue and one that’s not talked about.

It has been one of my passions since experiencing postpartum depression myself to help other women make a plan. My postpartum plan is newly updated with resources and a visualization. Feel free to reach out for a copy for yourself.

PS: Placenta Encapsulation can help ward off postpartum depression. Its a low cost and high reward tool to try.

What I really needed for my new baby, myself and my family after birth

If your anything like me then, you may be anxious about the possibility of forgetting something that you should have for after your baby is born. Let me tell you, people WILL be running out to get things that you didn’t think of and, that’s okay. Just remind yourself that the stores will still be open after you have your baby too, so you really dont need to stress all that much.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I didn’t know what I needed to have ready for my baby. I actually sat at my sisters house and wrote down her list of must-haves before a baby to get me started. I wish I could remember what she said now, lol. I guess it has been 8 years! There are a million baby products and it can be really overwhelming. The thing about parenting is that everyone has their own preferences and you’re going to have your own parenting style that will dictate what you “need”. I’ll go ahead and share with you what I would personally have on hand before having a baby.

For your new baby:

  1. Safe place for you to lay them down, a bed inside your room is ideal for those first few months with lots of clean sheets for it.
  2. Blankets that are preferably cotton so that they are breathable and won’t irritate the baby’s skin
  3. Cotton burpcloths
  4. Some sort of dye and scent-free detergent because baby’s skin is so sensitive and newborn rashes look sad
  5. Cotton sleep sacks
  6. Diapers, disposable (newborn and size 1) for the first couple weeks and cloth for after
  7. Wipes: like lots of wipes. It is the very worst to run out of baby wipes
  8. Appointment preemptively set for tongue tie revision
  9. Baby monitor because my house is big and I’m going to need to put the baby down to shower sometimes

As an added bonus, heres my For Mom list!

  1. Breast pump in case of engorgemeant that cant be relieved with lots of nursing
  2. Breastmilk bags for freezing
  3. Big stash of my favorite snacks for next to my bed, including coconut water
  4. Luxurious nightgowns that are nursing friendly
  5. Hip earrings to wear
  6. Encouraging and beautiful quote on the wall to look at while I’m sitting in bed for the first week and a very tidy room
  7. Fresh flowers
  8. My tiered approach to combat postpartum depression if it showed its ugly head again (I share this document for free on request)
  9. Everything set up to have my placenta encapsulated
  10. Water dispenser in my room with my favorite water bottle
  11. Pad of paper and pen to write down things that I need or thoughts to share.
  12. Baby name books ready to go so the baby can have a name by the end of the week

As a extra added bonus heres a list of what to have on hand For the Family Unit

  1. Books on my phone that are family friendly for when my older children come to hang out with me
  2. Simple arts and crafts put away that my children can do quietly
  3. Meal plan and grocery list made for two weeks so my husband can focus on other things, like me and the new baby
  4. A freezer full of freezermeals
  5. A list ready of people and what specific things we could ask of them
  6. Play dates set up for the older children
  7. Gifts for the older children, from their new sibling (lego set for my son and new baby doll with diaper changing accaccessories for my daughter)
  8. Lots of discussions beforehand of what we expect of the children and what they could do that would be really helpful

Take it easy momma, and I hope this list finds you happy and wholehearted.

Its your body, your cervix, and you can do your own cervical check

If you’re interested in feeling your own cervix before or during labor, check out this blog post. It will walk you though the when, how, and why of a self check. It’s just another way to take your birth experience in your own hands.

https://www.babble.com/pregnancy/can-i-check-my-own-cervix-to-see-if-im-dilated-2/amp/

Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwife-friendly laws and regulations tend to coincide with lower rates of premature births, cesarean deliveries and newborn deaths, according to a U.S.-wide “report card” that ranks each of the 50 states on the quality of their maternity care.

The first-of-its-kind study found a strong connection between the role of midwives in the health care system – what the researchers call “midwifery integration” – and birth outcomes. States with high midwifery integration, like Washington and Oregon, generally had better results, while states with the least integration, primarily in the Midwest and South, tended to do worse.

As with most population health studies, the statistical association between the role of midwives and birth outcomes doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Other factors, especially race…. read on at https://www.med.ubc.ca/midwifery-linked-to-better-birth-outcomes-in-state-by-state-report-card/?fbclid=IwAR1uUUv79adj85mgaCSichkCjGKpTMlYNogWxZXUTQwBqJFrEV0wRxuvkBI

How to pursue a homebirth

So you want to have a homebirth but dont know where to start? Here a guideline to push you in the right direction.

  1. Find a midwife (or three) to talk to. Ask all your questions of what it will be like and make sure you voice any big fears you have. Your midwife will be used to talking through these with clients and may have a perspective that you haven’t even considered yet.
  2. Reserve your spot! Pay your deposit for the midwife you want to work with so your spot is held. Midwives have a small number of clients they can take each month and they usually book up far in advance. If you want in, then it makes sense to work fast.
  3. Read through all your paperwork, make sure you understand the expectations your midwife has of you and what you can expect from her. Write down important dates in your calendar.
  4. Stay invested in your care. Continue to eat and drink according to your midwives guidelines. Work to be informed about your care and ask all your questions as they come up.

I hope this is helpful for all you soon-to-be-pursuing-homebirth clients out there!