Help! I’m Unexpectedly Considering a Home Birth

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the number of home births has been on the rise. Understandably so, many people now have hesitations about birthing in a hospital. Whether that be fear of being exposed to the coronavirus while there, being uncomfortable about the new protocols that have been put in place in many hospitals (ie wearing a mask while laboring, separation from baby after birth, etc), or some combination of the two, those who may not have previously considered home birth are now finding it a very real option. Having had 5 home births myself, I’m here to let you know some things that may help you make your decision.

The Mess
It’s not nearly as messy as you might think. Seriously, I promise. Midwives are great about protecting your home environment from mess. Yes, there will be some fluid and yes, there may be some blood, but that does not, I repeat, does not wind up all over your birthing area, splashed on walls, covering the floor, looking like some horror movie as some may imagine (and even if it did, your midwife is still amazing enough to clean that up too). While laboring, your midwife will strategically place chux pads (absorbent disposable pads) in your birthing area; these are easily picked up, thrown away when they get soiled, and replaced. Your bedding, if you choose to labor on your bed, will be stripped, stain-treated if necessary, and swept away to be washed before your midwives leave. You’ll be able to lie down and recover in a bed with fresh linens ready for your baby-snuggle sessions.

Freely Eat and Drink
One of the most wonderful things about birthing in your own home, out of the hospital setting, is that you are no longer subject to hospital policy. So, that ban on eating during labor that you may expect? It doesn’t exist in a home birth setting. In fact, midwives generally encourage you to eat and drink freely throughout your labor so as to keep your energy up and to assure you remain hydrated for optimal labor and delivery. And what’s even better than being encouraged to eat and drink during labor, you ask? Being able to eat and drink your favorite foods and beverages during labor. After all, it’s your house, it’s your kitchen; you have access to the foods that will sit best with your body and that you enjoy. This is also a huge advantage for your first post-birth meal!

What if Something goes Wrong?
This is usually one of the major concerns for people who have never previously considered home birth. Considering the unpredictable nature of birth, it is a legitimate concern. That being said, midwives are trained to respond accordingly when the unexpected occurs. They are present during your labor to monitor you and your baby and if at any point they believe that something is amiss, they will make certain you get necessary care. Midwives are in the business of safe outcomes even if it means they need to recommend transitioning your care over to a local hospital when an identified-issue is outside her area of expertise. In a scenario that involves immediate attention, midwives are trained in and equipped to provide resuscitation to both mother and baby and they also have necessary medication to stop excessive bleeding. Midwives are trained health professionals and they take the health of their clients very seriously.

No Interruptions
Birthing at home means your labor won’t be interrupted by shift-change, you won’t have to endure hearing medical codes being called out over the loud-speaker during labor or through the night. You won’t have to labor in one room on the labor/delivery floor only to have to wait to settle into another room after baby is born. You won’t be awakened near-constantly to have yours and baby’s vitals taken after you’ve given birth. The list of hospital-birth annoyances could go on. In comparison, at home, you get to relax into your own bed, surrounded by all your everyday comforts. Yes, your midwife will stick around for a couple of hours after you’ve delivered, to make sure you and your baby are feeling well and nursing well, and you’ll be made aware of any warning signs to look for in case of problems but you won’t have frequent knocks on your bedroom door for two days after having a baby when all you want to do is rest and snuggle. Your midwife will also come back to visit you and your little one soon after you give birth to make sure you’re both continuing to do well.

True Freedom of Movement
Home birth gives you freedom to move about your environment as you see fit. You can pace your bedroom, walk your stairs, lie on your comfiest couch, or even stroll your neighborhood! You’re not confined to a single room or even a single building while you labor. Your comfort is a priority to your birthing team and your comfort is more easily achieved in an intimately familiar environment like your very own home.

While home birth is not for everyone, if your pregnancy is low-risk, you’re a great candidate! These tidbits of information are just the tip of the iceberg but hopefully you’ve learned enough to determine if home birth will be a further consideration for you. Even if you’re later on in your pregnancy and feel like you may be too late in the game to change providers and start planning a home birth, I encourage you to reach out to some local midwives. Many are willing to take on clients very late in pregnancy barring any high-risk indicators. No matter where you birth, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery!

Summer Pregnancy: Tips to Beat That Heat

Comfort in pregnancy can be hard to come by. Comfort in the summer while pregnant is even more of a challenge. This summer, don’t let that summer heat get you beat. Below you find several tips and tricks to stay cool (& hydrated) during some of the hottest months of the year.

Being pregnant in the summer (or delivering your baby) means that you and baby are able to get outside a bit, which could be helpful in the postpartum healing process. Stay cool, mamas! 

Spring into Baltimore!

The long awaited winter has come to an end and Baltimore is gleaming in all its
beauty. This spring, make sure you take part in all that Charm City (and the
surrounding area) has to offer. Below you will find several outdoor, kid-friendly
events that are bound to entertain the entire family.

April 26 & 27: Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Charm City Bluegrass Festival, winner of the 2016 International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Event of the Year and 2018
Best Festival by Baltimore Magazine, invites music lovers and foodies to
gather in Druid Hill Park on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 for the
seventh annual celebration of bluegrass, folk and Americana with three
stages, 20 bands and two days of family-friendly festivities including local
food, a limited release beer from Union Brewery, artists, a kids activity area
featuring animals from Irvine Nature Center, spontaneous jam sessions and
more.

General Admission varies but kids under 10 are FREE! Parking is free with
cost of admission.

April 27-30: Day with Thomas the Train at B&O Railroad Museum

Day Out With Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages
the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as
participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 24th
year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to
welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019. For two back-to-back
weekends at the B&O Railroad Museum little engineers and their families are
invited to take a 25-minute train ride with their favorite engine, Thomas the
Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a
day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops, and more.
Tickets are $22-$26 for ages 2 & up. Parking is free and available on site.

April 27: Dia Del Nino/ Kid’s Day

Back for its ninth year on Pagoda Hill (Patterson Park), Día del Niño is a free
day of fun celebrating our community youth! Get excited for the many
activities, including piñatas, Folkloric dance performances, face painting,
sports and games, paper rockets, arts and crafts, giveaways, nature activities
and much more. Most activities are geared towards children 2 – 12 years old.
Bringing over 2,000 people to the park, all activities, performances, and food
are free and nothing is bought or sold during the event so that families can
enjoy all it has to offer without having to think about price! Rain date: April
28th.

May 8: Bug’s Life Playgroup

We’re going BUGGY! Join (cool) progeny for a Cool Tot Time that’s all about
bugs at Brown Memorial Preschool. Dress to be outside as we search for
bugs, enjoy a story, make a bug craft, and have a snack. Tot times are
designed for children ages 1-5 and their caregiver. Babies under 12 months
of age are free!

May 11: Annual African American Book Fair

Enjoy a fun-filled day focused on kids’ literature about African Americans and
people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops,
live performances, and art activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in Book
Village. 7th year. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland

May 19: Baltimore Birth Festival

Join vendors, care providers, local businesses, birth workers, and more for a
day of family fun and information on pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting
supports available in the Baltimore area. The event includes face painting,
food trucks, Kona Ice, a kid-friendly DJ, and over $4,000 in giveaways. Event
is held at Patterson Park and is free for the community.

**These are only a few of the many events held this spring in the Baltimore area. For
more events, visit www.baltimoreschild.com.**

Black Friday Offer!

Postpartum Herbal Bath: Nourishing baby, body, and mind

If you’ve been following any birth or newborn photographers on social media, you’ve likely seen the gorgeous images of a mom and her new baby soaking in a tub of tea-colored water.  There are usually rose petals or orchids floating on the surface and a blissed-out mom and baby relaxed and soaking up the nourishing water and relaxing scents.

As you can imagine, growing a baby and giving birth are hard work.  Women are practicing self-care by utilizing the healing and relaxation properties of a postpartum herbal bath.  Postpartum herbal bath, chocked full of herbs that fight inflammation and promote healing in the skin and tissues, can not only be a way to provide comfort for a sore body, but it can be a beautiful opportunity to bond with a freshly born baby.

Postpartum herbal bath, which includes plantain, comfrey, yarrow, uva ursi, and a variety of other healing herbs, can be added to boiling water, but removed from the heat of the stove.  The herbs should steep for 20 minutes, and then be strained.  What remains is a powerful brew that can be used to heal and comfort sore and bruised tissues, combat inflammation, and promote relaxation and well-being.

The herbal bath brew can be used in many ways:

1.  It can be added to a bathtub of warm water for a relaxing soak.  This can not only be a way for mom to relax, but it can be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and bond with baby as well.

2. The herbal brew can be added to a peri-bottle to rinse mom’s bottom after using the restroom.

3. The brew can be added to a maxi-pad and frozen to be used as a perineal ice pack to soothe swollen tissues. Conversely, using the herbal brew on a warm compress can be a comforting relief.

4. It may also be conveniently added to a sitz bath to soak mom’s bottom in the day following birth.

If you are planning an upcoming birth and want to treat yourself and baby, consider a warm soak in a relaxing herbal bath.  You and your baby worked hard, you both deserve it.

Our herbal bath and other products can be found on our Etsy page.

**Please check with your care provider before taking a bath in the immediate days postpartum.**

New Childbirth Classes in Baltimore

We have had the honor of providing childbirth classes in Baltimore since 2014. There are many reasons we love and use the Birth Boot Camp curriculum to prepare couples for an amazing birth. The materials are unmatched and the curriculum, which is updated with current statistics and research yearly, is the most modern and comprehensive we have found.

Since the program was launched in 2011, it has had amazing growth. Birth Boot Camp childbirth classes are now taught throughout the United Stated, as well as in Canada and Guam. The latest, and potentially most exciting change, has just been announced.  In addition to the comprehensive 10-week childbirth series, Birth Boot Camp will now offer 5 new classes to meet the different needs of birthing couples.

homebirth baltimore

 

 

Training Couples for an Amazing Out-of-Hospital Birth

This class gives you all the tools and information you need to know about the nuts and bolts of labor.  We will discuss the stages and variations of labor and tools to keep labor pain and discomfort at a minimum.  Waterbirth, labor positions, and relaxation techniques are also addressed. This 4-series class is $220 and includes a beautiful color workbook.

 

 

infant care class baltimore

 

 

Homecoming: Life with a New Recruit

Get parenthood off to a great start with this 2-series class.  Topics include: postpartum health, newborn procedures, babywearing, breastfeeding, and safe sleep.  This class includes a workbook and a 3.5 hour breastfeeding video download, which discusses feeding positions, common challenges, and pumping and returning to work.  The fee is  $115

 

 

food and fitness

 

Food & Fitness

Aside from preparation, staying low risk increases the likelihood of meeting your birth goals.  Join us for this 3 hour workshop to discuss how eating well and preparing your body can be the most effective way to remain low risk.  We will discuss nutrients that are crucial to a maternal diet as well as exercises and stretches to promote flexibility and stamina, giving you the most comfort during pregnancy and birth.  This class includes a workbook.  The fee is $95.

 

 

Classes coming in January 2018 include:

Coping Strategies for an Amazing Birth

Training for an Amazing Hospital Birth

 

We proudly provide our childbirth classes in Baltimore at The Womb Room in Hampden.  To learn more about our classes or to see our class calendar, click here.

 

Natural Pain Relief Options For Birth

Maybe you are looking to have a natural birth experience? Or perhaps, you plan on getting that epidural as soon as you get to the hospital! No matter what your ideal birth looks like, the majority of women will benefit from some great natural pain relief options and techniques to help them get through contractions!

Labor is so aptly named, as it is the purposeful hard work you do, on the final journey to meet your baby! During labor your body goes through incredible physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. This transformation of birth is often accompanied by a substantial degree of discomfort. Of course laboring women want to mitigate pain, but short of using pharmacological interventions, how do you really reduce pain in labor and birth? You support your body’s own natural pain relieving abilities! Here is the key to natural pain relief: During birth you want to reduce cortisol levels, the hormone produced in response to stress, and catecholamines, the ‘fight or flight’ hormones, produced in response of fear. And you want to increase oxytocin and beta-endorphin levels, to help facilitate labor, provide a sense of euphoria, and alleviate pain. The following seven natural pain relief options for birth help your body balance specific hormones, to ease labor discomforts.

Education
Educating yourself about pregnancy, labor, and birth will help build your knowledge, prepare you emotionally and mentally, and give you the necessary tools and techniques to navigate the modern birth landscape. Education serves as an important natural pain relief tool, because you are replacing fear of the unknown with information and excitement about your birth. When you know what to expect from the birth process, it becomes much easier to cope with the pain of labor. You can educate yourself by taking a comprehensive childbirth course, read birth stories, and find informational and supportive books about the birth process. Knowing what to expect will build your confidence and prove to be a powerful pain relief tool!

Relaxation
There are several facets to relaxation that you should consider. You want to create a relaxing birth environment and learn to relax, both physically and emotionally. Employing this trifecta will serve as exceptional natural pain relief during labor. First, you want to create a relaxing birth environment. Curating a serene atmosphere with dim lighting, candles, aromatherapy, and calming music can get the oxytocin flowing, and ease tension to help you enjoy labor.

It is also important to relax both physically and emotionally. A recent study suggests engaging in relaxation exercises, through a mindfulness-based practice during pregnancy, can help reduce anxiety and facilitate an easier and more satisfying birth experience. Mindfulness is simply a state of awareness, that arises from paying attention to the present moment. This mindfulness app, specifically created for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood, is a fantastic training tool to help you engage in relaxation wherever you are. There are also several simple, but effective exercises that will teach you how to relax your muscles during times of tension and stress. To benefit most from these physical and emotional relaxation exercises, set aside time once or twice per day during your pregnancy. Relaxation training can truly help you have an amazing birth experience.

Movement
Your baby must navigate down and out through your pelvis during labor and birth. Movement is key in facilitating this, and serves as an important pain relief strategy for you. Getting into a more upright position, or even just changing positions regularly can really help you manage even the most intense contractions. Movement can speed up a slow labor, help a posterior baby turn into a more optimal (and less painful!) position, and help you get a little more comfortable. Consider taking a walk, spending time on a birth ball, or use the support of your partner’s body to sway through contractions. Finding rhythm and ritual through movement is a fantastic pain coping mechanism.

Water
Hydrotherapy is a scientifically proven natural, stress reducing and pain relief technique. Laboring in a warm bath can provide an incredible level of pain reduction. Taking a hot shower can be exceptionally relaxing, while helping you get upright, which helps baby move down and through your pelvis.

Acupressure
Acupressure is based on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient and holistically focused wellness practice. Utilizing and applying direct pressure to specific points on the body during labor, may provide you with phenomenal pain relief. Acupressure is a wonderfully convenient and cost-effective pain relief tool. You can take advantage of the benefits almost anywhere, and without any special equipment. When direct and appropriate pressure is applied to this area of the back and on the feet, relief from uncomfortable back labor may be alleviated, almost effortlessly.

Massage
The demonstrated pain relief benefits of massage during labor are extensive. There are both physical and emotional advantages to massage therapy during labor and birth. It can relax tense muscles, easing the pain of contractions, shorten labor, facilitate rest, ease anxiety, and promote a sense of serenity. Your partner or birth support person can help you access the amazing pain relief options of massage by following these techniques.

Emotional Support
Having a supportive birth team is one of the most effective natural pain relief tools available! It is crucial to find a provider you trust, who encourages your birth philosophy, educate your birth partner, and hire a birth doula! A doula is a trained maternal support practitioner who provides emotional, physical, and educational assistance to a laboring mother and her birth partner. Evidence overwhelmingly supports having a doula as a powerful natural pain relief option. With dedicated labor support, women are more likely to have a satisfying and positive birth experience and require less medical pain management. Doulas can provide comfort with numerous pain-relief techniques that help reduce anxiety and fear, support physical and emotional relaxation, promote an uncomplicated physiological birth, and facilitate a positive birth environment.

Birth can be a joyous occasion for the the entire family. With the right preparation, support, and natural pain relief options, you can absolutely have the best (and possibly pain-free) birth experience. If you would like more natural pain relief tips, tools, and techniques, enroll in our Natural Pain Relief Strategies For Labor Workshop. This incredible class helps couples gain an amazing sense of self-reliance, so they can cope with labor beautifully.

The Nurturing Root loves to support and educate families in Baltimore. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation, and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

Why Not Home?

Why Not Home? Trailer from Jessicca Moore on Vimeo.

We are so thrilled to be bringing the eye opening documentary, Why Not Home to Baltimore this fall.  Join us at The Womb Room on November 3 at 7pm for the Baltimore screening.

Why Not Home examines childbirth in The United States and takes a deep look into birth outcomes at home and in the hospital.  It addresses the complex issues surrounding maternal health care and the cultural assumptions surrounding birth, especially at home.  This film's compelling story is told from the point of view of obstetricians, nurses, and other clinicians who ultimately chose to welcome their babies at home.

Admission: $10/person

why not home baltimore

Number of Tickets

Your receipt is your ticket.

Moms & Babies Benefit from Chiropractic Care

Pregnancy presents the perfect opportunity for us to evaluate our health and lifestyle practices. Many of us commit to achieving optimum wellness for ourselves and baby. In addition to regular prenatal visits, many moms also consider treatment from a chiropractor. Chiropractic care targets the health of your nervous system, which controls and coordinates virtually all bodily functions. It can help holistically address discomforts during pregnancy, strengthening your body for labor and birth, and help you have a gentler postpartum period.

Have An Easier Pregnancy

In just nine months our bodies transform hormonally and physiologically to support, grow, and birth baby(ies). Unfortunately, these rapid changes can be accompanied by some unpleasant symptoms.

Often an early pregnancy symptom, nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), is an ailment partly attributed to rapidly rising hormone levels and the detoxification capabilities of your liver. An adjustment targeting parts of your thoracic spine may help mitigate symptoms.

Approximately 70 percent of expectant mothers experience low back or pelvic pain during pregnancy.  Changes including the growth of baby and uterus, weight gain, increased breast tissue, and the softening and stretching of ligaments can all be sources of discomfort. A recent study shows that nearly ALL women who received chiropractic care for back pain experienced dramatic improvement in their discomfort within just one week of treatment.

Shorten Your Labor and Birth

Aptly named, labor is the work that we put into birthing our babies. A chiropractor can adjust your pelvis, allowing baby to settle in the best position for birth. A method called The Webster Technique is proven to help you have a shorter, easier birth with less medical interventions. Some of the astonishing statistics include, a 50% reduction in use of pain medication, about a 30% faster than average first stage of labor, and a significant reduction in the use of an epidural, forceps, vacuum extraction, an episiotomy, and likelihood of a surgical birth.

Enjoy A More Blissful Postpartum Period

Breastfeeding your newborn is a rewarding experience, though sometimes challenging.  According to the CDC, nearly 80% of US mothers initiate nursing their newborn, but by three months of age, less than half of babies are exclusively breastfeeding. Some early breastfeeding difficulties are attributed to our modern birthing practices. Interventions including induction of labor, IV fluids, pain medications, and separation of mother and baby can contribute to nursing challenges.  An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant can examine you and baby, and may refer you to chiropractic care for help. Mom may need an adjustment to augment her milk supply. A newborn could benefit from gentle bodywork to allow for a deeper latch or more coordinated sucking.

Colic, a newborn ailment, defined by long stretches of inconsolable crying and poor sleep, beginning within the first few weeks of life, can be disheartening to parents. Adjustments can help restore proper nervous system function to your baby.  A calm, alert baby is better able to nurse, sleep, and grow.
The Nurturing Root believes that chiropractic care enhances your physical and emotional well-being during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. We are happy to provide chiropractic and other natural parenting resources for families living in the Baltimore area.

Wishing you a well adjusted pregnancy and birth!

Written by: Alayna Spratley