By Samantha Garcia Gagnon, Pitt Meadows Doula
I don't know about you, but when I was pregnant for the first time, my husband was so excited to be there to support me through the birth. The thing is, he didn't actually do anything to prepare for it. He was going to wing it. And at the time, I thought that would be totally fine. After all, we would be surrounded by doctors and nurses and they can help us through it.
When birthing day arrived, we quickly realized that there was a lot to know and as hard as he tried, he needed to know more. For our second birth, he made sure to put in an effort to really get informed too and it made a giant difference in the support he was able to provide me.
Partners play a really big role in birth. They are there to give us physical comfort and that emotional support that only the person you love can give you. Birth is all about hormones - especially Oxytocin, which is also known as the Love hormone. Oxytocin is produced when you feel safe and comforted and loved - and that is totally where your partner comes in. Aside from that, your partner also needs to be able to navigate through the medical system and understand at least some of the medical terminology. If you are hiring a doula for your birth, then you have the huge advantage of having your doula share with your partner ways that he can best support you, while still being available to clarify some of the more confusing medical side. But even with a doula present, there is no such thing as a partner being too prepared.
And that is exactly where this idea of a partners only event stemmed from. We wanted to be sure to make it a fun and relaxed atmosphere and where better to do that then at the pub.
Yes, you read that right. The pub.
Partners + Pints is the pub night just for birth support.
Sorry, no baby bumps this time! Partners only.
Partners + Pints is a one-night session at the pub where a birthing person's partner can expect to learn how to best support her. Childbirth may feel overwhelming to the partners too, and this session prepares them for this special role.
The evening is designed specifically to give the labour support person practical tips that they can use to be a terrific birth partner. Whether they are a first timer, have been through birth once or twice before, or had a bit of a gap between children, they will leave with tools that they can put into practice during the birth.
We will be covering:
- Ways to help with pain relief and provide comfort during labour
- What to expect and what you should be doing with each stage of labour
- When to go to the hospital or call the midwife for home births
- How to ask questions from your care providers to make informed choices
- How to support your partner after baby arrives
All this and more will be covered in this casual pub night of practical information.
Each ticket includes a beer or a glass of wine plus a burger (beef, chicken or veggie) and a side (fries or salad).
Tuesday, 5 April 2016 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Samz Neighbourhood Pub Pitt Meadows - 19267 Lougheed Highway Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 2J5
Early bird tickets end March 15 2016
By Samantha Garcia Gagnon
Congratulations! You are pregnant! This is the start of a really exciting time of you life. But where do you begin? What do you need to do NOW that you got that positive?
These are 5 tips from The Maya's Nest Doulas on what to do now - to have a great pregnancy and eventually, a beautiful birth!
1. PICK YOUR CARE PROVIDER WISELY
Who you choose as your medical care provider is the biggest and most important choice you will make for your pregnancy and your birth. Think about the birth that you want and who will be the best person to support you in that. Are you hoping to give birth with as little interventions as possible, or are you fully comfortable with a very medically managed birth? Do you want to birth at home or in the hospital? Will you be taking every single test that is recommended or will you take it at a test by test basis depending on your unique situation? These are just some of the questions you need to think about in order to figure out who the best fit would be for you.
In BC the choices for care providers are Registered Midwives, Family Doctors, Obstetrician or a Traditional Birth Attendant (not a registered clinician and not covered under MSP).
Statistically, for normal healthy pregnancies, Midwives have the lowest level of interventions such as assisted delivery or caesarean births. If it is likely you will have a high risk pregnancy, then an OB is the best option.
If you are interested in Midwifery Care, you have to call ASAP! The saying is that you have to call as soon as you test positive - and unfortunately, that is not an exaggeration. We do not have enough midwives for the amount of women who want them - so get calling - NOW. If by the time you call you find out that everyone is full, then put your names in all the waitlists. Often times women are risked out of midwifery care and a space opens up. Don't give up!
2. KEEP MOVING and EAT HEALTHY
We get it. You probably feel way too tired, and maybe far too nauseous to even think of exercising and eating anything! The thing is - keeping active and eating right will help your over all feeling in the long run. Plus, it will greatly affect your birth too.
Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you are now "EATING FOR TWO" - as popular as that saying may be. Yes you will need to eat a bit more, but what you need to concentrate on is making sure that what you are eating is full of healthy whole foods and you are getting a great balance of the essentials. Not sure when to start? Chat with Christina Zvicer over at Be Loved Nutrition.
For the fitness side of things, it is important to not take things too far. If before pregnancy you were a regular at the gym or used to run marathons, then definitely you can keep it up that momentum (with some modifications). If you weren't very active before pregnancy, it is important to start, but keep it pretty steady. Some great options are going for walks, prenatal yoga (we love Kukoon Yoga in Port Moody and Osprey Yoga on the River in Pitt Meadows), and swimming. Aquafit for example is a really fun and challenging work out that is not too tough on the body.
3. START SEEING A CHIROPRACTOR
If you have never seen a chiropractor before, you may be a little skeptical of this recommendation - or at least wondering why it is in the top 5 things to do right away. You have probably heard your pregnant friends complain of extreme back pain, pelvic pain, heart burn - and assume that is just a part of pregnancy. While it may be common, but it doesn't have to be your normal. Chiropractic care can help with that. Also, you may have heard a lot of women say their baby was in a "bad position". Consistent chiropractic care can greatly affect the positioning of your baby and help you get baby into the optimal spot. Starting early makes sure you keep your body in check through the whole pregnancy.
Here are some Chiropractors we just love for pregnancy:
Dr. Marie and Dr. Emily at Optimum Family in Port Moody
Dr. Nareeta from Strawberries and Sunshine in Port Coquitlam
Dr. Zehra from Maple Ridge Wellness in Maple Ridge
4. START READING
In pregnancy and birth, knowledge is power. After all, "if you don't know your options, you don't have any." (Diana Korte and Roberta Scaer, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth)
Reading good books will really help you get informed. Unfortunately, not all pregnancy books are created equal. There are many very popular ones that are full of fear based text that are not based on evidence, but on opinion.
These are the ones we love, and that our doula clients get to borrow from our lending library:
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Birthing From Within
Childbirth Without Fear
The Birth Partner
And videos are great too. The Business of Being Born is a good video to start with.
5. START YOUR DOULA SEARCH
While a lot of families choose to wait to hire their doula until the second or third trimester, booking your doula early is a great idea.
As very active doulas and members of the birth community in Ridge Meadows, the Tri-cities and the rest of the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, we know the best of the best when it comes to other services in your area. Where to go for the best prenatal classes? Who are great RMTs, Naturopaths, Chiropractors and Dieticians who specialize in pregnancy? Trying to decide which tests you want to take and the risks and benefits of each one? Or simply just need help with what to put in your gift registry? Want to borrow books from our lending library? We have got you covered and have the answers for all those questions and more. Take advantage of our knowledge and our connections right from the start.
The Maya's Nest Doula provide Free consultations where we can chat birth, your hopes for your experience and ways that we can help you make your birth story a happy one to share.
Samantha Garcia Gagnon is a Pitt Meadows Doula and Photographer who loves helping families learn about their options, feel confident about their choices and feel comfortable and supported through the pregnancy and birth journey.
By Yvette Stephens, Doula
At a post partum visit yesterday, I was with a new mom who was nursing her baby. As most newborn babies do, the little one got most of her fist in her mouth first, and tried to add the breast to the mix. Finally, hands out and the magic latch. I watched as the babe rhythmically opened and closed her hand on mom’s breast as she drank. In sympathy, I winced, remembering one of my own doing the same, his paper-thin nails sometimes scratching me as he happily glugged down his milk.
The advice to all of us used to be: “Get those pesky little hands out of the way for nursing,” but a study published in Clinical Lactation*, now suggests that babies’ hand movements during nursing are actually innate strategy to help them to be more efficient nursers! The study shows babies soothing with their hand, then replacing the hand with the nipple in the exact same place. “When self attaching, infants will position their own hands and arms to help identify, move, and shape the nipple area.” The other perk is that all of the hand-to-breast action on the part of the baby actually helps to stimulate oxytocin (the feel-good hormone that aids in milk production) in the nursing mother. Not so pesky after all, but don’t forget to keep those sharp little nails short!
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
most precious moments to families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody,
New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.