Birthing Classes: Birthing from Within

Maybe you are pregnant, maybe you are hoping to become pregnant, maybe you have a friend who is pregnant and are curious about childbirth options.  If you haven’t discovered already, there are many different childbirth classes available.  Today Sue Holsonback, a certified childbirth educator, is telling us about the birthing class she offers, Birthing From Within. I began offering Birthing From Within Childbirth Classes mid 2013 in the upstate.  This is a worldwide birth preparation concept that not only prepares parents for childbirth but viewing the birth experience as a transformative rite of passage into parenthood.  In this class series, we build a foundation for birthing in awareness in our birth culture, whatever the birth location or outcome or events of the birth. It is the only childbirth class that devotes up to 1/3 of class time to proven pain-coping practices by having the parents practice during uncomfortable “ice contractions” in which they hold ice.  This leads to a pain-coping mindset that readies them for the intensity of birth. By expanding possibilities, be open to all birth outcomes, and bringing awareness to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, Birthing From Within can prevent or minimize emotionally difficult births (for parents and professionals) through compassionate and honest preparation. I am excited to add this last piece of service to Empowered Birth Choices, as I now serve the entire childbearing year from birth preparation through postpartum and breastfeeding.  Classes meet on Thursday nights at The Wild Radish.  Learn more at: http://empoweredbirthchoices.com/childbirth-classes.html My name is Sue Holsonback and I never imagined I’d work in the birth profession until I had my son in 2010. Some parts of my birth were unexpected and challenging. Different aspects of breastfeeding seemed at times impossible. Parenting a toddler: can anyone be ready for that? Yet, with support, practice, and determination, I rose to each of these...
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Birth Services: Placenta Encapsulation

There are many services related to birth out there.  Some are worth the money and time and some are not.  Placenta encapsulation has a LOT of benefits and is one of those services that is worth your time, attention, and money.  While it may not be right for everyone, it is a wonderful option for many moms as they rest and recover after the birth of their child.  Sue Holsonback, a certified placenta encapsulator in the Greenville, SC area, explains the benefits of placenta encapsulation below.  Be sure to visit her website for more information. The benefits of consuming your placenta are considered anecdotal.  However, we know that most cultures in history considered this organ sacred and utilized the many benefits in different ways.  I can tell you from personal experience as well as that of MANY of my clients: The postpartum recovery is REMARKABLY better when the placenta is prepared according to Traditional Chinese Medicine and encapsulated!  My clients have to be reminded they just had a baby 7 days ago and to take it easy because they have so much energy! The basics are that the placenta is an endocrine organ that takes over production of stress relieving hormones from the hypothalamus in the third trimester.  Yep, the hypothalamus goes on vacation.  The placenta is born.  No one is making those hormones for 7-10 days before the hypothalamus gets the message to start producing hormones again.  During that time (7-10 days) is the most common for “baby blues” to set in.  No wonder.  So, ingesting your placenta ensures that your hormone re-balance goes more smoothly, as the dosage schedule helps to bridge that gap.  The other BIG factor in postpartum depression is iron.  The second main ingredient in placenta is iron.  Iron shortage leads to fatigue, fatigue to depression (clinically proven).  And, we just don’t know why exactly but think it might be the prostaglandins, placenta capsules also help in lactation.  So, the mamas that tend to benefit MOST from capsules are those with histories of depression or anxiety, previous milk supply issues, or those with a vegetarian diet or history of anemia, or just any mom that wants to experience a smoother more energetic postpartum recovery. The encapsulation process takes place in the mom’s house and not mine.  Not only is this a requirement of my PBi certification, but meets CDS and FDA standards for controlling blood borne pathogens.  In addition, the placenta process has...
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Meredith’s Birth Story

Lindsey’s story of Meredith’s birth reminds us that our birthing time requires mental as well as physical strength.  Having the right, supportive people around you can often help you achieve the outcome you so desire! My Third Birth Story A little background first… after giving birth naturally in the hospital to my first daughter, I became a certified childbirth educator.  After the homebirth of my second daughter, I went to the next level and began serving as a doula, and eventually transitioned into serving as my own midwife’s assistant and student at homebirths. I had full intentions of training to be a midwife, but life sometimes gets in the way of our best laid plans and I eventually had to make the hard decision to discontinue my midwifery studies and focus on just being a stay at home mom and occasional doula. I found out I was expecting our third baby shortly after our 10th wedding anniversary.  We already had two daughters (ages 5 and 3), so from the get go I was convinced this new baby would be a boy.  My 5 year old had been saying for a year that she wanted a brother named Gideon, after her favorite brother on her favorite movie, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”  It had been something we had jokingly referred to so many times that we just immediately started calling the baby-to-be Gideon, the name had grown on us so much.  If you asked my daughter what she would name the baby if it was a girl, her answer was “Acorn Nut.”  Obviously she was convinced I had a boy baby on board too. While I was thrilled to be expecting this third baby, I was in a bit of a quandary.  My home birth midwife had moved out of state in between my second birth and this new pregnancy, and besides that, I was feeling a little gun shy about another home birth. After attending so many in the recent years I had seen a few rare complications play out (thankfully, all with happy endings) and suddenly now I was just not sure if I wanted another homebirth for myself.  I chalk it up to the normal fears any mother would have, coupled with a little too much information and real life experience about what CAN (but usually DOESN’T) happen at births.  I took my own advice and, like...
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Finlay Roe’s Birth Story

This story of Melissa’s fifth birth is beautiful and shows us just how different each and every birth can be.  This story is full of wonderful pictures…wait till you read who took them… The year 2012 was full of big changes for our family. We moved to a new state when I was about 3 months pregnant with our fifth child. Our fourth was our first home birth and we knew we wanted to birth this baby at home. Finding a new midwife in a new state can be a daunting task but we found one that fit. My pregnancy continued normally. I love pregnancy! I even decided to do underwater maternity pictures; my first professional maternity photos ever.  We planned for my mom, who was present for our 4 other children’s birth, to fly down when I was 39 weeks pregnant. During my third trimester I told the baby daily that he needed to wait for grandma. Well, he had plans of his own. On 10/24/12 at 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant (the day before my mom was scheduled to arrive) I woke around 1:30am to use the bathroom. I noticed a contraction. I went back to bed and had a few more. I got restless in bed so I went downstairs for water and a snack. The mild contractions continued. Shortly before 3:00am I decided to tell my husband, Adam that our baby may be on his way! Sleepy Adam asked me to come back to bed. I snuggled up with him until the next contraction came that made me sit up in bed. I told him that I had to get up, lying in bed no longer felt right. I quietly walked around my house feeling a sense of excitement! Adam came and joined me downstairs. Around 3:30am I decided to give my midwife, E, a heads up call. She didn’t answer so I left a brief message.  At this time my contractions were starting to pick up a bit in frequency but they were still rather mild. I decided it was time to start gathering our birth supplies and my husband hauled the pool up to our bedroom. I love heat during labor so I asked Adam to heat up my old rice pack for my lower back pain however it smelled horrible and was rather annoying. Sometime after 4am I decided to call...
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Violet’s Birth Story

All too often we hear birth stories that end with mama in pain.  Pain for an experience that wasn’t as beautiful as she hoped and sadness over the loss of choice during her birthing time.  Thankfully, many of these mamas go on to have another baby and a birth that helps them heal.  Samantha’s story is one of those experiences. To get the happy ending…I need to start from the beginning. When I first announced my pregnancy with my son on April 1st, 2010 (yes that was on purpose), I remember one of my former friends telling me I should look into a midwife and giving me a recommendation to one. I told her I was completely uninterested and trusted a doctor more than I would ever trust a midwife. Even so, there was NO way I was capable of a natural birth. I had seen the movies and heard the horror stories. It also didn’t help that my books all talked about the “ring of fire”. How could I possibly survive something like that? I chose to continue ahead with my plans of an OBGYN office and delivery at a hospital. I ended up disgruntled about my care pretty early on and the doctors never really listened to me or cared about my opinion. By my 6th month, I felt like cattle and that the doctors were only interested in getting me out of their office ASAP. I was so naive and stuck with them…I was too scared to switch to anyone else that far out in my pregnancy. The office visits ended up being the least of my problems. On November 4, 2010, I woke up with what I thought were just cramps. I sat in the tub for a while and found them to not be anything unmanageable. I was so sure it wasn’t labor. My husband was the one who insisted on taking me to the hospital…when they hooked me up, my contractions were every minute and I was at 3 cm. Despite how little I was dialated, they decided to keep me. They asked me if I wanted the epidural right then and there and I told them to delay it (probably the smartest thing I did). When they moved me in the labor/delivery room, however, it all went downhill. I started getting intense cramping and I thought that if that was how I...
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