2016 Highlights for Gentle Delivery

2016 Highlights for Gentle Delivery

What a year 2016 turned out to be! I’m very thankful for the many clients I was privileged to work with, and for the many special memories that were made. When it comes to births, 2016 was extremely unpredictable, and I’ll be thankful if 2017 isn’t quite as adventurous. We had one very early baby, one very late baby, a set of twins, a baby that came so fast we didn’t make it in time (!), and about everything in between. 🙂

A few highlights and items of interest from the past year:

– Great birth team and back-up midwife:

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Rose Marie, Lynelle & Myself with twins!

I was grateful to have the ongoing help of my current student, Lynelle Martin, as well as the help, support and back-up services of Midwife Rose Marie Spicher. These ladies are great to work with! Since relocating to PA several years ago, I have really missed the network of midwives that I used to assist and work with, and Rose Marie has been such a blessing to fill this niche. I’m grateful to know that clients are in caring, capable hands during the times I need to be off-call or out of town.

 

– Opportunities to further my education: Attending one day of Midwifery Today’s International Conference in Harrisburg, PA was a great way to meet up with other

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Bridge Certificate 

midwives, listen to lectures on issues and complications during labor, and make new friends in the midwifery world. I also had the opportunity to attend the Midwives Alliance of PA Educational Retreat, where we spent two days learning about a variety of subjects such as congenital heart defect screening, perinatal mood disorders, atypical findings in newborn exams, and more. Updating my Neonatal Resuscitation Certification and CPR at the local Mt. Nittany hospital is always a great way to get better acquainted with the closest hospital in my area, and I enjoy the learning opportunities these occasions afford. Finally, towards the end of the year, I submitted the needed proof of 50 hours of continuing education credits in certain areas (pertaining specifically to emergency and complications during labor and immediate postpartum) and applied for and received my “Midwifery Bridge Certificate”. This ensures that my education and training as a Certified Professional Midwife are also up to the standards set forth by the International Confederation of Midwives to ensure competent and qualified care for women.

– Addition of CCHD screening at postpartum home visits: 

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Trying out the Pulse Oximeter

One new requirement for midwives providing out-of-hospital births in PA is that of submitting Critical Congenital Heart Disease screening result along with newborn blood screening test. This year Gentle Delivery added a Pulse Oximeter to our kit, and we’ve been successfully performing this test on all of our babies since this fall. We’re happy to be able to try to offer our moms and babies a full range of services-did you know that free hearing screenings are also now available for our clients?

 

– First Public Event: “Birth Expo 2016” & “Why Not Home?” Film Screening 

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Celebrating Birth Expo 2016

We are attempting to help educate the public on the full variety of choices they have locally when it comes to birth-this includes support (such as doulas), care providers (CNM’s, CPM’s and OBGYN’s), choice of birth location, and resources that help them to succeed in parenting (such as breastfeeding and babywearing). With these thoughts in mind, Gentle Delivery hosted the first “Birth Expo” for Centre County in July 2016. We were very excited about the support of over 30 businesses and birth professionals that came together for the day, and we’ve received alot of positive feedback from parents who found out about resources they didn’t know were available in this area. Viewing the new film “Why Not Home?” also provided a way for more families to hear about the option of home and midwife-attended birth. The big question now is whether to host something similar in 2017…if we did, would you be interested in helping to make it happen? Please contact me with your interest!

– New Resources in the Library

The library in the prenatal office continues to grow, with more books and resources added in 2016. Some of my personal favorites include “Redeeming Childbirth” by Angie Tolpin and “Your Best Birth” by Rikki Lake. Check out the list of Recommended Reading  to see all of the titles available for clients to check out.

– Gift bag for Newly Expectant Moms 

Helping moms to connect with local support services and resources is something we are passionate about! Due to being located in a university town, many of the families we interact with don’t have any family or previous connections in the area. One way we have attempted to help with this is by giving each family who comes in for an initial interview a free bag full of samples from natural-minded companies, coupons, and lots of cards, brochures and information from many area birth professionals and mommy/baby-centered support groups and businesses. If you or your business would like to be included in this welcome bag, send us an email or message and let us know!

– Our own special gift to new babies… instagramcapture_ee2d01d4-3eb4-45ec-8440-8612375dcf01

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And while not necessarily “important” news, we’ve had fun giving our babies in 2016 special onesies to commemorate their big event! I have fun taking the time to make each of these little shirts for our babies, and clients in 2017 can also look forward to this little “thank you” gift that we pass on to our families.  img_0348

Thank you for allowing us to serve you all in 2016, and blessings to each of you as you head into the new year! Remember, too, to follow this blog for future updates, “like” us on Facebook to receive current info and informative articles (Gentle Delivery), and watch for our photos of new arrivals on Instagram @gentlemidwife . We’d love to keep in touch!

 

 

 

Some Recommended Reading

Some Recommended Reading

As we’ve headed into a new year, I’ve been taking the time to update old records/files/paperwork, etc. One of the fun things I’ve updated is my current library list. While the internet can be an excellent resource for many topics, I still enjoy a good book that can stay on my nightstand, or be read while I nurse baby (one of the best things about having a nursing baby is getting guilt-free time to sit and read a book!). This past year I was introduced to a number of books that I had not read before, and I thought it’d be fun to share a few of those titles to you, in case you’re looking for something new to read!

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One of the library shelves in my office

  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin: I found this jewel at a thrift store this summer, and picked it up just because of Ina May’s name. It’s a great resource to have on hand if you’re wanting some extra help or information on breastfeeding issues. One thing I appreciated was that she actually dove into the issue of tongue-ties causing nursing difficulties, which is something that many manuals on breastfeeding overlook. Overall, this book was a great easy-to-read book that I would recommend adding to your home library!

 

  • Pushed: The Painful Truth about Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block: This book is not your “feel-good-warm-and-fuzzy” type, but if you’re in to making informed choice, and understanding the politics and protocols that go on behind the scenes, especially here in the US, this is an eye-opener. Jennifer explores the history behind different changes to the maternity care scene, how insurance companies dictate much of hospital’s protocols, how our lack of understanding our bodies and understanding the normal function of birth contributes to the rise of interventions, the limitations in so many areas of good alternative care options, and more. While it can be a bit depressing at times, it was definitely educational, and helpful in understanding risks vs. benefits of different medical choices.

 

  • The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lothian: While this one has been around for awhile, I had never taken the time to pick it up and read through it. I found that it really wasn’t all about a particular “method” for birth, but more about understanding how your body works, and how to work with it. Clear, concise information written in an easy-to-read style, with birth stories to boot.

 

  • Cut, Stapled, and Mended: When One Woman Reclaimed Her Body and Gave Birth on Her Own Terms After Cesarean By Rosanna Rosewood: This one deserves a disclaimer-while the story was fascinating, I don’t recommend or agree with everything this mama pursued in her quest for a VBAC. However, this book helped me to understand many of the challenges that brave VBAC mothers must make as they recover, heal, and prepare for birth from an emotional, spiritual and physical standpoint. I found it valuable as I seek to help mothers who desire a VBAC without having personal experience.

 

Besides the mentioned books, I’ve encountered a few new resources that I would heartily recommend:

  • Spinning Babies DVD’s: The Parent Workshop & Daily Essentials. Gail Tully, the instructor of these DVD’s and the brains behind the Spinning Babies website, has so many tips, suggestions and information to offer-and it all helps to make pregnancy more comfortable, understand your body, and encourage baby to be in good postion…which ultimately helps your labor, birth and recovery to go so much smoother! If you haven’t spent time on Gail’s website, it’s worth looking in to!

 

  • VBAC:Know the Facts by Jen Kamel: Jen has compiled an immense volume of research and facts surround VBACs, and presents them in a fascinating seminar that can be taken online or attended live. This 6+ hour seminar addresses subjects such as myths, actual research results, how and why different hopsitals have different protocols, what complications can increase risks (and how to avoid some of them!), and the list goes on and on. If you are considering a VBAC and have questions, or just want to learn more about the subject, this would be a very worthwhile investment. I learned so much from it!

 

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More books…and they don’t all fit here, either!

This past year I had a friend who contacted me-she was newly pregnant, lived in another state, and wanted to know where to start in figuring out what she wanted for her pregnancy, birth, caregiver, etc. What a list of questions! And where do you start?!? So I’ve been on a quest to find factual, evidence-based information to help new moms in making decisions and sorting through all the myriads of opinions and information. If you have a resource that was particularly helpful to you, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to comment (below), leave a message on the facebook page, or send me an email at: gentlemidwife@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you want to check out my updated Recommended Reading/Library List, feel free to look at it here:  https://gentlemidwife.wordpress.com/recommended-reading/  Remember, clients have access to this library as part of their maternity care package!