Friday, December 31, 2010

My Hippie Versus My Heathen

I might look modern on the outside, but there’s a hippie on the inside is sportin’ hairy armpits and listening to Grateful Dead in a tie-dyed sundress. OK, maybe not the hairy armpits part. I actually find hairy armpits to be scratchy. And stinky. (more on THAT lovely postpartum change on another blog!) Maybe my inner hippie has dreads instead…yea, dreads….now THOSE are cool! I love me a little “goin’ green” IF it doesn’t interfere too much with my whoops-what-happened-this-is-crazier-than-it-should-be-life. For example, when I go shopping, 9 times out of 10 my recyclable bags made of old recycled bags that I bought with wonderful intentions is left behind in the entry closet, stuffed behind the vacuum and 16 little pair of shoes. I hustle to the checkout in record time, but not fast enough to stop my screaming 16 month old from having a fit out of boredom. As I clutch him in one arm, he throws his solid 29 pound self in an attempt to escape and like a seasoned prison guard I use the other hand to separate the 6 and 7 year old girls as they begin to push and shove each other out of the way so they can both play with the stupid $5 fan toy filled with candy. I’m flustered. I’m sweaty. And the cashier at the grocery store asks the question “paper or plastic?” I will tell him proudly “PAPER!” and in the next breath, “Oh. Wait. Do they have handles on them?” If they do, (and sadly, ONLY if they do) I will walk out with my loud ass kids and my groceries packed in my brown bags feeling like I did my part save the earth for the day.
When my doula friend Mary approached me about trying cloth diapering, I had a flashback to my childhood. My head was filled with images of me gagging while my mom scraped turds into the toilet and then choking on the stink from the diaper pail as she stuffed the soggy, wet mess into its belly. I remember the look on her face as she struggled to diaper up my little brother as he wiggled like a pink little pig, desperately trying not to skewer him with what looked like the hugest, sharpest pins in the world. No thanks. But Mary assured me that those days were gone and it was MUCH easier to cloth diaper nowadays. Plus, dangit…I just read a statistic that said it takes 500 YEARS for ONE diaper to decompose in a landfill. Take 3 kids in diapers for a combined 7 and ½ years, and well, I’m pretty sure MY landfill pile is taller than my own house.
After Mary swatted away all of the excellent excuses I used about why it was great for her but there was no way I could possibly do it, I bought 6 of the cutest cloth diapers WITH velcro tabs (having snaps was one of my excuses…couldn’t take the time to snap with my carpel tunnel and such!) and there they sat, on my counter for 2 months. Finally, I took the plunge. I washed and dried all 6 of the Rump A Rooz SIX, yes, count it, SIX times, (apparently you have to do that to get the maximum amount of pee soakage possible) put one together, and slapped it on Grady’s butt. Although it LOOKED like it was going to be tough to figure out, it was amazingly easy…and that’s coming from the girl who has self proclaimed ADD and can’t focus on ANY project that takes longer than 20 seconds to complete. Grady is now sporting his FIRST cloth diaper while taking a trip to Sports Authority with his dad, walking around with that telltale cloth diaper big ole’ booty. Dang it’s cute…and I will update you on how it goes. Mary PROMISED it would be easy. I’ll be sure to let you know if she was telling the truth…or if these will go in the closet next to my recycled recycle bags!

Friday, December 17, 2010

BONUS! Breastfeeding Class! by Mama to be: Abby Jordan

To start off our bonus class we learned that 2 out of 5 couples from our class had their babies. OMG! I was completely freaked out for the first 15 minutes of class. Both of them had premature emergency c-sections. I just kept saying, "We're not ready!" Let's just keep this in mind baby, mommy and daddy could use a few more weeks and you need to keep baking. :)

Instead of waiting until after the baby is here the brilliant ladies at Baby Love Birth Services threw an extra class at the end of the 6 weeks. We were invited back for a night to learn about breastfeeding. It's rewards and a lot about it's challenges. There are so, so many schools of thought on what's right. Binkies, no binkies, nipple confusion, supplementing bottles, when dad can take part, formula every now and then is that cool?, etc.

The first thing we watched was a video of a baby put skin to skin on it's mommy right after birth. The baby bobbed it's head and scooted it's way to her nipple. Animal like instincts. Isn't that amazing??

We also learned that newborn bellies are the size of tiny marbles. They don't need to eat a lot at first. They might get on for about 10 minutes and that might be all they need. We learned about cluster feeding, latching and nursing cues. We learned why it was so important to keep your baby with you in the hospital all night so you don't miss their feeding cues. This is a crucial part of getting the breastfeeding foundation set down between you and your baby. I have always heard to send them to the nursery so you can get a good night's rest before you go home with baby. It turns out, if you want to breastfeed, you really shouldn't do that.

There are so many little tips and tricks that you can learn about before you have a sweet little tiny peanut relying on you for food. I was so thankful that they added this bonus class to our 6 week course. We feel like knowing a few things before everything hits us will be great.

Next up, we will taking the Sanity Series. Why doesn't every parent take this class?? Seriously! They go through breastfeeding and any problems, complications, what's working, is it safe?, etc. Babywearing, did you know that colic symptoms don't even exist in some cultures? It's called the 4th trimester and you learn all about how wearing your baby and keeping them close reminds them of the womb. They can't help but be content. The last thing, which I'm sure we will learn so much more, is learning how to turn on our babies calming reflex. I CAN'T WAIT!

Okay, I guess I am ready for that sweet little tiny peanut to get here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Acupuncture in Pregnancy - WHAT"S THE POINT?

At Essentials Family Chiropractic, we get asked - "What can you treat with acupuncture?" The truthful answer is just about anything. However, acupuncture was (when it was discovered over 5,000 years ago) and is (primarily in Eastern cultures) intended to be used as a preventative or wellness treatment. For example, people in China will go have acupuncture to stay healthy. They know that by keeping their energy in balance with acupuncture, they will prevent any ailments like pain, digestive problems, foggy headedness, headaches, menstrual cramps, anxiety, depression, etc...
In western society, we are raised in more of a "sick care" model, meaning we usually seek treatment after we are having pain, symptoms or sickness. Although this isn't ideal for many reasons, there is hope! The good news is, acupuncture can be used to treat a lot of "ailments" even after they have started (AND, is still great for wellness or preventive care, too!!!)
We all know that pregnancy is a time of dramatic change in a woman's body. A lot of the unpleasant (to put it nicely!) symptoms of pregnancy can be treated with acupuncture. AND, It's a great option for the pregnant mama because it is safe for the mom and growing baby, relatively affordable and very effective.

Here is a list of some of the things our pregnant patients come in for:
First Trimester: Insomnia
Morning sickness/Nausea
Second Trimester: Headaches
Sciatica/Lower back pain
Depression/Anxiety/Mood changes

Third Trimester: Heartburn
Pubic bone pain
Induction of Labor (naturally, without the use of artificial hormones)

And, for the lucky pregnant women that don't experience any of these symptoms (your friends will HATE you, by the way!), acupuncture is a possibility for wellness, relaxation and immune boosting.

Our very own pregnant mama, Abby, was willing to try an acupuncture treatment. She experienced a normal session, where we insert the very teeny tiny thin needles into specific points and let you relax for about 15-20 minutes. I think she would tell you the treatment was comfortable and even relaxing.

AND - I would be neglectful (I don't know that I've ever used that word in a sentence) if I didn't mention one of the biggest reasons that women seek acupuncture in our office - TO GET PREGNANT in the first place! Acupuncture is extremely effective in helping achieve fertility and pregnancy. We'll be discussing how and why it works in January at the "Mama said Knock You Up" class. Please check out for class dates and times and for more information on acupuncture!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dr. Kate, My Fifth Visit, An Adjustment Sounds Nice? by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

The week before last I absolutely could not wait for my end of the week adjustment. I felt like I had overdone it and literally NEEDED to see Dr. Kate. This week by Thursday night I started thinking that an adjustment sounded good. I wasn't dying for it but was happy that I had an appointment scheduled for Friday morning.

She checked everything that she normally checks and found the same old offenders. My neck, the middle of my back, my pelvis, my hip and my knee. I'm not being technical at all but these are the little things that slip and slide a little (remember relaxin?) and start the hurting. She also adjusted my pubic symphysis. I had no idea that was hurting but when she applied some pressure it felt tender. My pelvis had been tilting back, causing my, let's say it again: "pubic symphysis" to get out of alignment.

To me, it seemed like all the adjustments Dr. Kate had been making for the last 5 weeks had been gradually getting everything back into place. I asked her how she thought the progress was and she explained a few things. She was seeing less of a shift from the offending vertebrae and other bones because they were starting to feel more comfortable back in their original positions. She also explained the muscles around them were healing a bit from the damage to them after being out of alignment for so long. The last thing she explained was that the reasons that these same places continue to slip and move could have to do with being a creature of habit. Maybe my neck is always off in the same place because of how I sleep or work at my desk. They could all be factors.

We've decided to push the next appointment out for two weeks. I'm 33-1/2 weeks pregnant and will definitely continue to see her up until I deliver. Ideally, she will give me an adjustment and then I will go into labor so I know that everything is perfectly aligned! Wishful thinking, of course.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 hours of labor rehearsal and we lost a mom...

Weeeeeell, that was new! Read on and I'll tell you what happened.

During week 4 and week 5 of our Not Your Mama's Childbirth Class we do a labor dry run with ice. The first night we simulate labor as if it begins in the middle of the night when they're home (most common if labor goes on it's own, it seems!) and I holler out "your contraction starts!" The mamas hold baggies of ice in both hands until the "contraction" passes. After 45 seconds (average-ish time a contraction lasts in the early stage!) they let go of the baggies and their job, or rather their PARTNER'S job, is to get them to fall asleep by using relaxation techniques I taught them in the class 2 weeks before. As the class progresses the test begins for the partners. They have to remember EVERYTHING we talked about on how to comfort their mamas and help labor progress. I love it. They have their position cheat sheets lying next to them, pens and stopwatches on their phones in hand, and some have looks of pure concentration that is adorable to watch! Since we start the labor rehearsal with contractions coming about 8 minutes apart, the partners seem pretty darn confident and think this labor thing might be a breeze since 8 minutes feels like a lifetime to just lay around and figure out their next position.

Then, as it happens in REAL labor, the contractions get closer together, last for longer periods of time, and get more intense. As the hours pass, I have them switch from baggies of ice to submerging their hands in buckets of ice, to the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, the dreaded ice and water combo, or as I like to call it, the Black Finger Bitch. The moms begin to see the benefit of distraction and WHY those positions help to lower their perception of pain and the partners begin to see that they have a HUGE role in this labor...In fact I teach that the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON when Mom's labor begins is NOT's the partner!!

On the next week we continue the ice rehearsal and begin the class by having them "check in" to the hospital while contractions are coming 3 minutes apart (as I advise them to have them be when they head in!) And of course, epidural or not, they WILL feel that strong Black Finger Bitch level of intensity if they wait for the epidural until they've progressed into hard, active labor. (this helps to reduce the number of interventions and problems all the other educators teach you about) I have my doula friends acting as nurses and we go through typical hospital check in procedures from patient intake, IV insertion, and fetal monitoring, while mom is having those contractions. This is usually the REAL eye opener to the couples as they see how easy it is to become a medically managed patient instead of an informed laboring couple in charge of their own birth. It's a WHOLE new ballgame when the partners are in charge of nurturing their mamas while playing interference with the "nurses"...they see how quickly things can spin out of their control since mom is only able to focus on handling the pain of the "contractions."

Now, some of you might be thinking to yourselves, "Uh huh...I knew this was an all natural hippie bullshit class!" because I didn't mention anything about the epidural. BUT, my naysayers, the moms that have chosen to have an epidural as part of their birth plan get to dry off their hands, climb into the "beds," and resume positions that I've taught them to use when they're numb to get that baby moving down and out toward the end of this class.

During this second session of labor rehearsals we had a mom who had extreme nausea from the intensity of the ice contractions and had to take a break from the ice. Her face would flush and she'd feel sick to her stomach during the contractions...she told me the next week that although it sucked, she realized that this COMMON REACTION TO PAIN was an eye opener to what labor would be like. (and just so you know, barfing is VERY common in active labor and again in transition!)

I'm not stupid...and I don't act like my students are. Ice does NOT feel as intense as contractions. But I do feel that after this exercise they have a VERY good idea of how to handle labor when it comes. And they realize that they have all the ammunition in their brains (and their cheat sheets!) to help them have the birth they have envisioned...they just have to assert themselves and use it when the moment comes!

Class #6 Ready, Set, Baby! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

We had our final class of the 6 week session at Baby Love Birth Services this week. This was the okay you have had the pregnancy talks, the labor training and now you are going to get the baby.

You've worked so hard to get baby here and all you want to do is squeeze it and cuddle it and kiss, kiss and kiss it. Sure people are still down around where the baby came out checking in on things, maybe sewing things up (ouch) but you have your baby. The pain has subsided and you have your baby.

This was another class where I kept turning to Scott saying, "write that down!". There was a lot I didn't know about what happens after you have the baby and what your options are. I've heard of immediate skin-to-skin contact and definitely wanted that to happen. We've also talked about Scott cutting the cord. This is another thing I had no idea about. Instead of the doctor clamping the cord right away so dad can cut it, she can wait until it stops pulsating. This continues to give baby tons of oxygenated blood and nutrients for a few more minutes. At that time she can clamp and dad can cut. Now, you can have the sweet little baby up by your face loving it up. Who would ever want that to end? So, if requested there should really be no reason that baby can't stay there for the next hour while they give he/she an Apgar score once or twice and perform a couple other tests. They
don't have to whisk him/her away right away and poke and prod the sweet little peanut just yet. This will also give you the opportunity to breast feed within the first 15 or 20 minutes of life which could be one of the biggest favors you ever do for your child.

So, once that baby is born our plan is for it to come directly to my naked abdomen or chest for comforting and body temp regulation. Not having the cord clamped immediately but waiting for it to stop pulsating, breastfeeding as soon as possible and then to have some very tender first moments as a family with our brand new baby.

I talked to my doctor about all of this and she said it was possible and that the nurses were all very familiar with all of these practices. She also did not hesitate to say, if there is any trauma while the baby is being born this all may have to pushed aside so they can work on baby. We get it, but this is our ideal situation.

We also had graduation this week complete with a hospital bed cake. Barbie is on a birth ball and Ken is coaching her. They are not cake, just decoration.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pregnancy Massage, Oh Baby!! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

So, I've told you about Kristi and the Baby Love Birth Services classes, the amazing Dr. Kate Hansen from Essentials Chiropractics where the classes are taught but allow me to introduce you to Cat. Cat is the licensed massage therapist at Essentials Chiropractics. Don't just wait until your pregnant to see her, she does way too good of a job.

After my 4th adjustment I had a pregnancy massage appointment. Yay!!! In an effort to have overall bone, joint and muscle wellness this just makes sense, right? Well, it does. Dr. Kate Hansen talked to Cat about what she had adjusted and where she felt the tight muscles and then Cat came in and went to town. I feel like I was on the table for a good four hours. It was not that long but everything she did and touched felt purposeful. Each of her techniques and procedures had a point and it wasn't just about making me feel good. There was more to it. We talked about what Dr. Kate had done, relaxin taking it's toll on me, where my problem areas were, had been, and might be in the future. She took care of me and I wish I was still lying there.

As you know from the, "I overdid it blog" I am not always the best at letting pregnancy restrict some of the things I normally do. I'm not the type of person to let people take over and do everything for me because I am growing a baby. I would never compromise the health of our baby. The way I look at it, women have been doing all sorts of things during pregnancy for years. As long as I have the baby in mind when I make my daily limit decisions, I should be just fine.

I did not know anything about Baby Love Birth Services or Essentials Chiropractics for the first 24 or so weeks of pregnancy. Now, I really don't know where I would be without them. I might be wearing a baby brace from the doctors office but my tailbone would be still be out of whack. I wouldn't know that back pain is a normal part of pregnancy but also can be alleviated. I would be showing up at the hospital ready to be the best patient they have ever seen, and REALLY crossing my fingers that the nurses constantly refer to my birth chart and guide me through labor accordingly!!

Dr. Kate, My Fourth Visit, I Totally Overdid it This Week! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

I work in retail. I pretty much always have. The Holiday season is a long one. I mainly focus on meeting sales goals, the last big push of the year, what can I do to literally bend over backwards to get those last sales!!! Well, I've never been pregnant for this lovely season before.
In an effort to get the season started off right, we shipped our biggest order ever on the Monday following Thanksgiving. It was a lot of manual and mental labor but I think the main thing that took a toll was the way I managed the lifting, packing carrying etc. Before you get upset, these were 8 lb boxes at the most. I wasn't carrying 50 lb bags of sugar. The weight was manageable for a pregnant lady. It was just that there were 650 of them. To get through it, I took a tylenol and didn't stop until it was over!!

By that evening I knew I had probably pushed some of those tiny little vertebrae out of their comfortable positions. Not to mention my hip was locked up, my knee was shifted in, I was in need of some adjustment love. My appointment was for Friday and by then I was so excited to see Dr. Kate Hansen!!

Have you ever heard of relaxin? It is a hormone your body produces tons of when you are pregnant to "relax" your pelvis into opening up and letting the baby out. It can also have a negative effect by relaxin' your lower back and joints into falling out of place. I figure this and my bending over backwards for sales have a lot to do with why I keep ending up in pain. The good news is, it can be adjusted. The even better news is I can take proactive steps to helping as well. Heard of yoga? Yeah, I almost forgot too. I used to be so good at stretching every night and somehow over the last few months I have really slowed down my efforts. I'm going to really try and pick it up for the home stretch. Overall, bone, joint and muscle wellness. That's my goal for me and for baby! Good luck to me!! ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Class #5 Delivery Rehearsal, OMG! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

On the way to class tonight my husband and I remembered that we would be continuing our labor "dry" run and rehearsing the birth. To be honest, I wasn't very excited for more simulated contractions!! And what would a labor rehearsal be like?? All I can say is, I wish we were rehearsing this every week from now until the big day.

Scott and I were able to work through each situation. My controlling self was able to hear how Scott would answer the nurse when she went through the motions of trying to get things "moving" along. For the most part, he did such a great job. He kept telling her that while we are open to the procedures she was suggesting, we will be switching positions and doing our own thing for now. Great job, honey! I'm so glad we got to practice!

The other thing we really focused on in class was our birth plan. It was great to hear Kristi say that no matter what you put on your birth plan, things will most likely change. I have heard this from so many people, including my doctor. That was definitely reassuring.

After going through the first 5 classes I feel like we have a really good idea of what our ideal birth would be. We are excited to put a birth plan together and to have a guide to follow on the big day. Even with all this preparation I still really have no idea how things are going to go, how I am going to feel or what our baby is going to need through all of this. It is so important to me that my husband and I are on the same page with our vision of the perfect birth but that we might need to take some detours along the way.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Class #4 Labor Dry Run! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

How many of you actually acted out what might happen when you went into labor for the first time? I had never heard of such of thing. Well, last night that's exactly what we did. We spent an hour and a half timing contractions, changing positions and being coached by our partners. My husband and I are still on the fence about a doula so this was a very important class for a few reasons. It gave him a chance to practice being my husband during labor and to practice being my coach. It gave me a chance to let go and to let him do the coaching. It also helped us work out some quirks, like breathing and the way he rubs my back.

Labor will be hard enough (so I've heard) as it is but I'm especially scared because I really like to be in control, of every situation. If you know me, you know it's true. I can't help it. So, labor is going to be a tough one for me. We know we really want to try and have our baby the most natural way possible. Mostly, I don't want pitocin and I don't want a c-section. I think I've mentioned this before. Therefore, we signed up for these classes to get a better understanding of the things we can do to help make this happen.

Last night we used ice to simulate the intensity of contractions. First we held onto bags of ice for the length of the contractions, next we had to put our hands in a bowl of ice and by the end we were dipping our hands in ice water. Ouch! Now, I'm sure those of you who have experienced labor thinks this probably pales in comparison to real contractions. I'm sure it does too. This was not to show us the level of pain. We used it to practice with our partners, what they should be doing and NOT doing during the different levels of intensity.

We want to stay at home and labor as long as possible. We want to be comfortable and in our own space. We practiced different positions so we could keep moving and get that baby moving in the right direction too. I really liked the lunge pose and the birth ball. Scott was there to remind me to take sips of water, change positions, rub my back and remind me to breathe. As of now, he's my couch. He really has the biggest responsibility. He has to keep me calm and focused. Eyes on the prize! Afterall, we are getting a baby out of all of this!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Class 3 = Stick it in!

That's what she said. OK, that's what I said when I was pregnant with my first baby with regard to the epidural. I sat through the childbirth classes and used it as a "moment" for the hubby and I to share in our pregnancy journey and that was it. I totally tuned out the c-section talk because there was no way that would happen to me, and we giggled as he sat behind me squeezing my ample butt in a poor attempt at the double hip was supposed to help me handle contractions, but there was a little secret my childbirth teacher didn't know. I didn't need all that pain management crap since I was getting the epidural the moment I felt my uterus THERE!

Induction day arrived and I went into the hospital ready to get the pitocin and epidural package. But to my horror...that bitch nurse made me contract for HOURS without getting the pain relief!! WHY didn't anyone tell me I had to dilate at LEAST until 3 to get it?? Or had she? Who hurt like hell and all I did was lie in the bed in the fetal position and grab my husband's hand and cry and hiss for "that boy" (AKA the hot resident) who was chatting it up during my contractions (which, by the way, hurt so bad I could ignore his bedroom eyes and curly black hair...OK, I noticed it!) to get the flick out so I could writhe in my own misery without anyone looking at me.

Fast forward to last winter. I decided it was time to teach women that A. Normal Birth is GOOD. (notice I didn't say natural...although that is good, too!) B. If you want a natural and normal birth, it doesn't make you crazy, a martyr, a fool, or any of the other BS people tell you if you dare to say those words. C. You can have a healthier birth WITH an epidural...yes, you heard that right...WITH an epidural. That's what my classes are about. Teaching those that want a normal birth to have one, and those that want an epidural how to do it BETTER than I did and how most women in Omaha the baby and they can have the best start possible.

Ok...that's as serious as I get. Next week we're on to labor rehearsal. OOOOOOH boy..I LOVE it! These mom's and dad's can put the info they've had so far to use!

'Till next week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Class #3 Start Asking Questions! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

Our 3rd Class at Baby Love Birth Services was all about medical intervention and natural techniques that actually might work. Let's just start by saying after watching 2 or 3 videos of women giving birth at class last night, I definitely was trying to give birth in my dreams. I also want everyone to know that I am not afraid of getting some pain relief. I'd like to think I'm pretty tough and can manage the pain but let's face it, I'm no hero and I'm not trying to be. I honestly just want to focus on what's best for baby, so here is how I see it. Getting an epidural off the bat, 5 or less centimeters dilated, will most likely slow down your contractions to the point where the hospital is not comfortable with your progress. They will then most likely administer Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug you get to help you have contractions. Yay! Except they are not really natural contractions. They are harder, longer and more stressful on your baby. You are now on two pretty strong drugs and the hopes of getting up and moving around to help with labor is probably over. You'll be lying in the bed asking if your having contractions and hoping they move along fast enough so you don't have to have a C-section from the pure exhaustion of the experience. I am terrified of having a C-section. I'm not afraid of surgery in general, I'm just afraid I will not bounce back as quickly. I've pretty much heard from my mom my whole life, you'll probably have C-sections. My pelvis was too little and yours probably is too. Who knows? Maybe it is? My whole point in taking these classes and learning the non-medical side of giving birth is to get a little bit a knowledge about how the system works. What I've described above just might be the way it all goes down for us but knowing my options makes me feel better about our birthing experience. Plus!!! Dr. Kate is going to make sure my pelvis is looking good and optimal for delivery. She will also assist and possibly work some magic if we find out our sweet little tiny is breech.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This won't hurt a bit!

ALRIGHT, OK! I have no idea how to write a blog and I’m sure you’ll all be able to tell that this is my first attempt, BUT, there is something I am SO passionate about that I’m willing to step way out of my comfort zone to talk about it. Pregnant women…..the myths stop here! In my six years of practicing chiropractic, I have heard a recurrent theme: my back hurts, but it’s just because I’m pregnant.


I can tell you as a pregnancy chiropractor and as a mom that has been pregnant twice, you don’t have to be uncomfortable while you’re pregnant. READ THIS CAREFULLY – Back pain during pregnancy isn’t normal. In fact, pain anywhere in your body isn’t “normal”. It’s common, because we often try to ignore it or figure it’s just there, BUT, it’s actually your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Most often in pregnancy, it involves the joints (and muscles and nerves) because of ligament laxity and the changing biomechanics that come with carrying (the BEAUTIFUL!) growing baby belly. I will spare you the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of pain for blogging etiquette sake, but put simply, back pain is not normal (EVEN WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT!!!). You don’t have to suffer!

From a woman that has been through pregnancy twice myself, I can assure you that chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy are extremely helpful! There is not enough money in the world to make me go through a pregnancy without getting chiropractic care to prevent back pain. (NOT to mention that getting adjusted makes labor faster and easier….but that will be a topic for another time).

I know you might think my opinion is skewed because I do this for a living, SO, I hope you’ll take into consideration what our “pregnant mama”, Abby, had to say.

Check out her blog entry about her first chiropractic experience. (I’m honored to be her first!!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dr. Kate, My Second Visit, But I've had this pain for years!! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

I went to my second chiropractic appointment in my life on Monday. It is so enlightening. I was feeling really good and probably would not have made another appointment but I just kept hearing a voice in my head saying, you need to make follow up appointments to make sure things stay in place. So, I did it. I ran in there thinking, I'm already all good, this will be super quick. I was wrong. My little lower discs had started slipping back to where they had been for the last God knows how long so she moved them back into place, again. I then started complaining about all my ailments from childhood through now. The first thing I told her about were how my knees and hips always hurt really badly after a day of standing or other physical activity. I told her the pain had been way less recently and I read it was because of the glucosamine that your body releases during pregnancy. She agreed but checked me anyway. Well, one of my hips needed to be popped. I say popped because that's what I heard. I am not sure what she did but I went through rounds of Xrays, MRI's etc in college because of this darn hip. I can't wait to feel the results. It already feels better but to not have to baby it or pop ibuprofen will be sweet! Another successful visit with Dr. Kate Hansen. Next, we are going to do acupuncture. Can you imagine the things she is going to discover about me then?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So class two is where they get to see the money shot....

The Big Hoo Hoo. The mighty V. The live birth. It always makes me laugh when my adorable couples squirm in their seats during the birth video...the dad's look pastey white and like little deer in headlights and the moms..well, it appears by the looks on their faces that they are connected to the mom on the screen and can actually feel the crowning sensation that she is.(which, if you hook your fingers into the corners of your mouth and PULL until it burns, that my friends, is similar to what the "ring of fire" feels like!)

In class two I try my best to give them an idea of what happens inside their bodies during each stage of labor and what their partners can do to provide comfort and support during each stage. It's A LOT to take in...I think many of them feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that is truly put on the partners' shoulders the moment a mama's uterus begins to twinge. At the end of this class I pick the parents' chins up off the floor, wipe the sweat off their brows and I introduce the idea of hiring a doula as one of their options for pain management.

A DOULA is a greek word which translates into "woman's servant." No, really... A doula is an educated (and hopefully certified!) woman hired by an expecting couple to continuously provide emotional and physical support to them during the entire course of labor. I tell my couples that the doula bascially takes the thinking part out of the labor and delivery so the couple can focus on eachother and the doula can be the one to remember which positions help to dilate quicker, or rotate a sunny side up baby, or to slow down the delivery so she reduces tearing, etc. She encourages, massages, suggests, explains, and supports during the labor. Basically she's the walking book of knowledge that guides the couple into having the birth they've envisioned as best she can.

Here is a more detailed description of what Baby Love Birth Services doulas will do if they are hired...

Check out this link that shows a few minutes of what a doula does!

Until next week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Class #2 To Doula or Not To Doula? by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

Our second class at Baby Love Birth Services flew by! Before we knew it, it was over. This class was all about the three stages of labor. I think Scott and I were so enamored by all that was going on that we didn't realize how much time had passed. I just kept leaning over to him and saying, "Write that down!" When is it okay to take a bath? What should I do in between contractions? When should we go to the hospital? I think I was more worried about if he would remember all these things for me. There's so much that goes into what the coach needs to know that I'm worried he is going to be just as scared as me and not remember some of the simple steps and techniques that we learned tonight.

Since becoming pregnant I have never really thought about using a Doula. My main concern has always been about this being an experience for my husband and I to share. I bought him a book on husband coached labor etc. I honestly thought a Doula would get in the way of the experience we were sharing together. As we went through the class last night it dawned on me that not only would a Doula ease my mind but she would really take the pressure off of my husband. She would do all of the guiding and let us focus on each other and the experience. It's funny to me now thinking that she would take away from the experience. We are going to be in a hospital with lots of unfamiliar faces. Bringing along another familiar face could only ease my mind more.

My husband and I still have some talking to do to figure out what is going to be best for us. We are still not quite sure if we are going to have a Doula but I definitely understand the benefits and would recommend at least looking into what a Doula assisted birth might be all about.

OMG! Dr. Kate is AMAZING! My First Chiropractic Visit! by mama to be, Abby Jordan

For as long as I can remember back I have sworn off of chiropractics. I love massages but for some reason I thought the whole back cracking thing was pushing it. I also love yoga and thought, "Listen, I can get myself aligned okay?" Well, turns out I can't. Since I've been pregnant I've been especially lazy with yoga. I have really been doing it on an as needed method to stretch out sore muscles. Last weekend I had taken things too far. My lower back had been sore all week and finally on Saturday it was almost too much to take. I spent Saturday and Sunday alternating heat and ice. It relieved some of the pain but I thought I would check out a Chiropractor. Since I had been taking the Baby Love Birth Classes I knew about Dr. Kate Hansen. She specializes in prenatal care and I thought she'd be perfect for my leap of faith.

Today, I had my very first session with Dr. Kate Hansen. I had an assessment and it turns out my pelvis and my tail bone were not aligned. Can you believe it? I could!! As soon as she made the adjustment I felt a difference. I know I will need more treatments to ensure everything stays all lined up (something else I've always been skeptical of) but it makes sense. Who knows how long I have been off the track? Of course, my bones and muscles are going to try to revert.

I have been pregnant for almost 30 weeks now and I kept thinking that back pain was part of the process. I kept thinking, "I am gaining weight up front and it must be putting pressure on my back ." I really didn't know that you could go through pregnancy (or life) without back pain.
I'm thrilled I finally hung up my misconceptions and tried it out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our First Class! Episiotomy, Ice Chips, 12 Pound Baby, Oh My! We're Learning Already! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

My husband and I attended our first class with Kristi at Baby Love Birth Services and we were thrilled!! Okay, so we weren't sure what to expect. Are there going to be other couples like us? Are people going to judge if we want an epidural? Will it be all home birth this and only ALL natural that? We were, of course, so happy that the other couples in the room were there for what seemed like all the same reasons we were. They wanted facts, stories, answers and scenarios from people who were trained in the field, who have been there and who weren't being influenced by what's best for the business side of having babies. They wanted information about the birth of their child, what happens and how it all works. Personally, I kept looking online for a book or guide to help us get mentally prepared and then I came across these classes. They are perfect for people who, like us, want to be as prepared as possible to make all kinds of decisions on the greatest, most exciting and most adventurous day of our life!

After the first class alone we already feel like we are a step ahead. Did you know that your baby really, truly decides when natural labor starts? A chemical is released from the baby's brain and it starts the process. I had no idea! I thought it was up to these old bones to get things moving. See?! So much more to learn. We can't wait! Thanks, Kristi! See you next class!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alright, all you mother-bloggers...

and mother-to-be bloggers! It’s time to introduce Baby Love Birth Services and all the phenomenal birth-tastic women behind it to my pregnant (and not-so-pregnant) sisters in Omaha! Starting with me…My name is Kristi Wilson, the tired and fierce mother of 4 kids (3 from my loins and one awesome stepson), wife of almost 10 years (holy crap!) to my quieter other half, and birth junkie. I am a certified doula, certified childbirth educator, certified baby whisperer (seriously..there’s a certification for that!) and breastfeeding advocate offering something to the women in Omaha that has never been offered before…Uncensored, up-to-date information about birth and newborn care taught from a mainstream mama’s point of view. And damned if I’m not funny, which changes the feel and face of Prepared Childbirth and Newborn classes into something to be ENJOYED, instead of having to pull that partner kicking and screaming every week for two hours of vagina talk. 

I partnered up with a fantastic chiropractor that had the same mindset as me…She wants help Omaha families have healthier pregnancies, births, and after, but does it with her hands instead of her mouth. (that’s what she said…sorry. If you take my class I can hardly contain myself and NOT say that when the opportunities are too perfect!) Dr. Kate Hansen is not only a certified acupuncturist, but also focuses on pregnancy, women, and baby chiropractic care and AMAZINGLY can cure tons of those common pregnancy and newborn ailments that we were always told was just part of being pregnant by a crackin’ here and a pokin’ there. Her office now houses all the Baby Love Birth Services classes AND we’ve recently expanded to include a store with all kinds of goodies for our mamas and babies to indulge in.

With another series of "Not Your Mama's Childbirth Class" starting up on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to follow a mom-to-be through the last trimester and first few months after her first little cherub arrives. I think my classes are pretty awesome, but I thought it would be better to find out what a real Omaha mom thinks...and see how she uses the information when the D-day actually stay tuned to learn more about our Not Your Mama mama, Abby Jordan!