Now that burnout is an official medical diagnosis, I think it’s a good time to bring some simplicity back into our lives this summer.
There is always the temptation of the zillion great summer camp options available. I’ll admit I signed up for a week long one, one for each of my kids with the school they will be attending in the fall. The intention was to practice getting used to that school so drop off in the fall would be a breeze for both kid and me… mostly me.
This simple summer phenomena is not genius. It was how I was raised and probably how most of you and your parents were raised. With how complicated life seems to be today, here is what we will be doing to bring simplicity back. Beware, your kids may be bored at times, but I think that’s good! That’s when creativity is born!
Set up a safety town outside in the driveway. Grandma sent kid size street signs that are easy to set up and take down.
Host a lemonade stand and have your child make flyers to drop off at the neighbor’s house (this is the entrepreneur in me).
Swim, swim, swim! At home or a local pool (invite friends over, play pool games, etc.).
Play in the back yard. Sit toys or objects out and let the kids use their imagination to build and play.
Set up different areas in the house with different activities (e.g., front yard is sidewalk chalk, media room is trains, office is reading).
Go on a walk.
Go to a splash pad.
Pick vegetables at your garden or a local garden.
Water plants and teach your child about taking care of the environment.
Help clean up and make it a game.
Help mom cook! Teach your child about measuring cups, measuring spoons and practice the names of the ingredients.
We recently partnered up with Carly Snyder, M.D., who specializes in comprehensive reproductive health care and makes it her mission to help moms feel empowered and achieve life balance. Read below for our Q&A to learn more about Carly and her wonderful work with women’s health.
Q: What is your approach to help mothers optimize the body and mind pre- and post-birth? Are there certain services you provide that you find most beneficial for new moms?
A: The changes that occur in life from conception through baby’s first year of life are astronomical, and the impact of these changes on a woman’s sense of self is similarly huge. I spend a lot of time talking to my patients while they are still pregnant about identity and ways to incorporate their new identity as a mom into their current self, rather than feeling as if they are losing part of themselves with the arrival of their baby. I also work with women a lot on ways to feel proud and to own their changing bodies.
We focus a lot on living in the moment with a woman’s partner during pregnancy and enjoying the time until baby comes as a couple, appreciating one another and strengthening the relationship and continuing to function as a couple once baby arrives in addition to acting as co-parents. Too often after having a baby, couples transition to being parents and intimacy goes out the window. It is imperative that a strong bond be nurtured during pregnancy and then be reinforced after baby’s birth by having date nights and baby-free conversations. Pre-planning these date nights in advance, setting up a schedule with baby sitters lined up on a regular basis, establishes that the relationship remains important even after baby has arrived.
My patients and I also work hard on communication, speaking up about how a woman feels in the moment and making her needs known. During pregnancy and especially after the birth of a baby, new moms can feel as if their needs are secondary to their babies, but it is incredibly important that women feel empowered to speak up for themselves and to talk about their feelings and their needs openly. We explore what barriers they may have to opening up with loved ones about their experiences and then how to surmount these barriers so that open communication can occur freely going forward.
Another area that I focus on with my patients is making a sleep schedule during pregnancy for once the baby arrives to ensure that mom continues to get adequate rest. Whether mom is breast or bottle feeding, it is imperative that she sleeps at least six hours a night and ideally that she has can have uninterrupted sleep of three or more hours at a time. Moms are already exhausted as a result of labor and delivery when they leave the hospital with a newborn, and our country has no established supports in place to help new moms, so we must pre-plan to ensure that mom does not have to face feeding a baby every 2-3 hours every night on her own from day one onwards. This is only possible if mom has supports in place in advance, be it her partner, a family member, a postpartum doula or a baby nurse. A plan must be set up before baby arrives because otherwise mom will take on the full responsibility, and then she will undoubtably become exhausted and this can steam roll into feelings of sadness and a sense of being overwhelmed very quickly.
I also spend a lot of time discussing what are ‘normal and expected’ levels of anxiety and tearfulness during and after pregnancy, and at what point symptoms can be considered more significant and would warrant treatment, perhaps with more intense therapy, or with medication or with an increase in dose of medication if a woman is already taking something. Pregnancy is inherently anxiety inducing, and so is having a newborn. It is expected that new parents will be scared at times and will feel overwhelmed. At the same time, it is also important that women are able to control their anxiety and not feel that their anxiety or moments of sadness are engulfing them or taking over their lives. Parenthood will forever be scary because we love our children more than anything but cannot protect them from the outside world. We need to be able to compartmentalize our fears rather than allow the fears to control us because living in such a state of terror is not good for us or for our children.
Q: Why is it so important for mothers to focus on their mental health throughout the child bearing process?
A: Mom deserves to enjoy her pregnancy and the postpartum period as much as possible and this is impossible while struggling with a Perinatal Mood and/or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). Mom’s mental health is intimately connected to her baby’s physical and emotional health both during and after pregnancy. Research consistently demonstrates that mom’s emotional state impacts her growing fetus and that feeling consistently severely anxious and/or depressed during pregnancy can have negative implications for a baby in the short and long run. Similarly, having a postpartum mood disorder is hard not just for mom, but also for everyone in the family.
Q: Tell us about your radio show, MD for Moms. What can listeners expect to hear and learn from tuning in each week, and how can listeners tune in?
A: MD for Moms is a show dedicated to helping women enjoy life more, to maximizing health and wellness and to improving women’s relationships with themselves and with others. For the last year and a half I have focused on what I call my “Mama Docs On Call” Series where I introduce my listeners to physicians who are also moms, like me, and they are on the show to provide information and support geared to moms and their families. We discuss topics ranging from women’s health and wellness issues to child-related concerns. It’s really a conversation between myself and a leader in a field of medicine, and listeners are invited to call in live with their questions throughout the show. For example, some recent shows included one with an OBGYN who answered every GYN question we all have but never remember or want to ask during our annual appointments, another show was with a pediatrician who is also a Lactation Consultant and we discussed breast feeding; another show was with an ER pediatrician who has taken on a special interest in keeping kids safe on-line, and we did a two part series on how to keep kids safe on social media… upcoming shows include a discussion on autoimmune diseases and fatigue, on childhood headaches, infertility, having a baby in the NICU, and so much more. The show is booked all the way through the new year and beyond – it is really exciting. Each week I post the upcoming show information on my blog as well as on social media. The shows air live on the BBM Global Network (on the internet), on TuneIn and iHeart Radio at 1pm ET every Wednesday or you can listen to it as a podcast. Just search for MD for Moms on iTunes podcasts and there are about 115 or so shows available for download.
ATTN New Yorkers – It’s time to get out and help others living in that beautiful city of yours! Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes, and no volunteer activity is too small.
We had the opportunity to learn more about New York Cares and the amazing volunteer opportunities that they offer. We were particularly taken by their kid-friendly volunteer opportunities where children and their parents can learn, give back and grow together, all while doing some good. Read below for our Q&A with Cynthia Chovan-Dalton, Director of Development, Individual Giving & Special Events at New York Cares and learn how your family can give back!
Q: Tell us about New York Cares Family Day on September 22nd. What does the event entail? Who can volunteer?
A: The New York Cares Family Day of Service on September 22nd will be a fun and educational event to introduce children to volunteering and giving back to the community. There will be eight stations that families can travel among to learn about different issues areas and participate in service projects such as packing baby boxes for families with newborns, making cards for seniors to brighten their day, creating seed balls for New York City parks, and learning how a family can collect coats to participate in New York Cares 31st Annual Coat Drive. The activities are designed for children ages 6-12, but younger and older children can attend (space for stroller parking is available). Parents can attend an express orientation for New York Cares volunteers, and then sign up for additional volunteer projects that are family-friendly. There are projects open to children as young as 6.
More information on the event can be found on our website.
Q: What are some other family-friendly volunteer events that you offer?
A: New York Cares Day for Schools on October 19 will have a family-friendly site. The New York Cares Family Council will plan additional volunteer projects over the course of the year that are exclusively for families, including a family-friendly coat sorting for the Coat Drive, a card-making opportunity for seniors or veterans, and a park revitalization project. Families can also search here for additional opportunities that allow children.
Q: How can someone sign up to be a volunteer? Can people of all ages sign up to volunteer?
A: Parents and guardians must create a New York Cares volunteer account and attend an orientation. They can then sign up for volunteer projects; for each project they must complete a Family Friendly Waiver. If a project is not one of the exclusive family projects organized by the Family Council, the parent or guardian must email the Team Leader of the project to let them know they will be bringing their child.
Q: What are some benefits you see families receiving after volunteering together?
A: We’ve heard from many parents that their time is limited and while they want to volunteer, they must prioritize family time. The solution is to volunteer with your kids! This will allow parents to pass on to their children the values of giving back and civic engagement that they feel are important. And research indicates that service-learning activities can reduce stereotypes, facilitate cultural and racial understanding, and increase interpersonal development, leadership, and communication skills. Children who volunteer are more successful in school, are three times more likely to volunteer as adults, and are more apt to vote.
A special thanks to Cynthia Chovan-Dalton for working with us for this Q&A blog post. Happy volunteering, readers!
Growing up, my sisters and I knew all about what the word “discipline” meant. For us, it usually involved things like the time-out chair, stripped phone privileges (we’re talking landline phone here), weekends spent at home, or the mega, Mom uttering the words, “Wait till your father gets home.”
It seems as if over time the definition of “discipline” and the actions around it change as the generations do. I’m guessing the word meant something completely different for my parent’s parents, and will evolve again with young children today.
So, how can parents all be on the same page as to what discipline means, and how can it be implemented in parenting styles so it is successful with children?
In a recent article published by The Bump, they focus their subject around discipline. Researchers, Scientists, and Experts gathered a list of 27 tips to help parents make sure that discipline sticks with their children. Read below for a snapshot of the four discipline rules and for the full article and tip list, visit The Bump.
Rule 1: Stay calm – Showing composure will teach your child how to properly manage their emotions from angry to a calm state.
Rule 2: Teach a lesson – Turn to timeouts when your kids are old enough to potty train.
Rule 3: Set expectations – Bring up the possibility of discipline and try to articulate that specific rules are not flexible.
Rule 4: Don’t tolerate violence – Don’t use violence. Modeling proper behavior is more practical than telling a child how they should act.
While doulas are becoming a more common addition to an expectant
families birth or postpartum plan, many still aren’t quite sure what a doula
actually does. Below is a brief overview of the ways Birth and
Postpartum Doulas help the families they work with.
We recommend families start interviewing Birth Doulas during the second trimester of pregnancy. It can take a few weeks to line up interviews to find the perfect doula fit. Once hired, your doula is available to you for any questions you may have over email, phone or text. You can also expect:
Pre-birth: during the third trimester, your doula will schedule prenatal meetings. These are valuable sessions to help plan for the day of birth. Your doula will review any childbirth education classes you may have taken and answer any questions you might have. She’ll also help you make a few logistical plans for the day of birth. We never know exactly how labor will unfold, however having a few different plans for how labor may start can be particularly helpful.
Your doula will also help you practice different comfort
measures for labor. This may be a combination of movements, breathing
techniques, guided imagery, hypnosis, massage techniques and more. She’ll help
your partner be prepared for when labor starts, with some guidance on helping
you during early labor when contractions are mild.
Day of: on the day of your birth your doula will be on call and ready to meet you when you need support. She can meet you either at your home or hospital, whichever works best depending on how your labor is progressing. Your doula is your guide – she’ll help you manage contractions by coaching you through breathing and comfort techniques. She’ll encourage you every step of the way. For your partner, she’ll help normalize the experience and be a reassuring presence.
At the hospital, your doula will help you settle in and be as
comfortable as possible. She’ll help you dialog with medical staff and make
sure you have all the information you need to make decisions should they arise.
If an epidural is requested, doulas have lots of techniques to help clients
rest in different positions to help facilitate the baby’s decent into the birth
Every step of the way during your labor, your doula is there for
you and your partner, whether it’s gathering supplies, getting you a drink of
water, or offering a massage.
Following the birth of your baby, your doula will help you with
the first latch, get you settled in with a high protein snack, take some family
photos if you’d like, and help you be as comfortable as possible for those
early bonding hours.
Postpartum: after you’re settled in at home, your Birth Doula
will return within the first one to two weeks after the birth to have a
postpartum check in session. This is a wonderful time to recap the birth
experience together. This is also a good time to trouble shoot any lactation,
newborn care or postpartum healing questions that may have come up. Your doula
will be able to direct you to community resources if they’re needed.
Preparing for the postpartum period, aka “the fourth trimester”
is incredibly important for the whole family unit. You’ll never regret setting
yourself up with help so you can rest and focus on feeding your baby during
those early weeks and months.
Postpartum Doulas are available to assist families either during
the day or overnight. Daytime doulas spend a lot of their time focusing on
guidance and education for the new family. This might include assisting with
breastfeeding and latching, teaching newborn care such as bathing, swaddling,
and soothing techniques.
In addition to baby care, the postpartum doula can also run
errands, prepare meals, tidy up the home, and attend to things that help the
day move forward for the household. Your postpartum doula is your guide- she’ll
help you develop and strengthen your parenting confidence so that when she’s
not there, you feel secure with your baby.
Overnight doulas are typically hired so new parents can get as
much sleep as possible. For moms who are breastfeeding, the postpartum doula
can provide support during nighttime feedings if needed. Although mom will need
to wake to breastfeed, the doula handles all the diaper changes, swaddling and
soothing so mom can get some much needed rest in between feeds. She can also
make you a middle of the night snack, and have breakfast ready for you in the
Postpartum doulas typically work with families anywhere from the
first 2-3 weeks following the birth, all the way up to the first 5-6 months
depending on the family’s needs. We recommend families interview postpartum
doulas in the third trimester of pregnancy, though many clients hire postpartum
help after the baby is born.
If you’d like to learn more about birth and postpartum doula services, or have questions about your particular situation, feel free to reach out to Baby Caravan: firstname.lastname@example.org or @babycaravan on Instagram.
About Baby Caravan
Caravan provides holistic support for families, from pregnancy through
returning to work postpartum. Founded in 2014, Baby Caravan’s mission is to
provide families in New York City with exceptional birth and postpartum
knowledge, guidance and resources through our network of professional Birth
& Postpartum Doulas. We connect families with vetted doulas, to best meet
their needs during this special, yet challenging time. In addition to doula
services, Baby Caravan coaches moms returning to work following maternity leave
to help smooth the transition back to work.
Written by our guest blog partner Jennifer Mayer, Founder Baby Caravan
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an all-star sitter at Bell Family?
Each month our Sitter Service team sits down and picks one extraordinary babysitter to become our Sitter of the Month. What makes this honor so cool? Well, not only is it highlighted in the sitter’s profile for all families to see, but it’s also displayed in our monthly newsletter that is distributed to all of our member families and BFC sitters. That means that thousands of people are seeing just what an awesome person and sitter you are!
Here is what it takes to be Sitter the Month:
Leader in the childcare community
Parents give extraordinary feedback on your ability as a babysitter
You always provide the best quality care
You do not cancel last minute on families
You are not on your phone or distracted
You are fully engaged with the children and the children always seem happy in your presence
Will you be our next Sitter of the Month? Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media
Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.
We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special. Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective?
A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need. Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them?
A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.
Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:
Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
Session 4: Newborn care
Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?
A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.
I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.
Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible. Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?
A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here. Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding. Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class?
A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.
TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!
To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age. Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media
What if I told you that you could reduce the amount of stress in your life by sipping a natural and truly healthy beverage? Have I got your attention?
Sweet Reason Beverage Company introduces a sparkling water with hemp CBD, so everyone can achieve an easier and more seamless lifestyle. Learn more about the awesome product below through our Q&A with the team. Q: A big part of Sweet Reason’s mission is to make life easier. To slow things down, relax, and pursue a life well-lived. How does your sparkling water help implement this lifestyle?
A: CBD helps calm and focus the mind. I find it takes the edge off of my anxiety, makes me more present and allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. To me, that is a life well-lived. Q: Tell us more about CBD: What is it? What are its benefits? And how is it used in Sweet Reason?
A: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that can either be extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, so as the hemp plant and all of its extracts become legal (thank you, 2018 Farm Bill) you’ll see many other cannabinoids with a wide range of health benefits hit the market. CBD helps calm the mind, reduce random stress and ease discomfort. If that sounds vague to you, it is because companies that are making over-zealous health claims are getting in trouble with the FDA, so we like to encourage consumers to try CBD themselves. CBD affects everyone differently, and pure CBD is a safe to consume (see World Health Organization’s Critical Review of CBD in June 2018, which notes that CBD is, “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”), so experiment and see how you feel. Sweet Reason is the perfect beverage for the CBD-curious, because it is delicious and at an approachable dosage (7mg). At Sweet Reason, we believe in creating beverages that are truly healthy (aka no sugar or sweeteners and simple ingredients), so that you don’t have to think twice about getting your daily dose of CBD. Q: Your packaging of Sweet Reason alone makes me want to buy it. Where and how can people go about getting Sweet Reason in their lives?
A: Sweet Reason is in over 150 stores in New York (check out the map on our website for where to find us), including Dean & Deluca, West Side Market and Westerly. And if you want it to come right to your doorstep, order online! We even have a subscription program for the people who want to drink it all day, everyday (like me). Q: What was the biggest inspiration for creating a product like Sweet Reason? How has it impacted your life for the better?
A: I started Sweet Reason because I couldn’t stop thinking about the future of cannabis beverages and how they will change our culture and social interactions, and challenge deeply held beliefs around cannabis. When I learned about CBD and discovered that it helped take the edge off of my anxiety, I couldn’t resist starting Sweet Reason. Sweet Reason has made my life better in so many ways (where do I begin?), but mostly because it allows me to share the health benefits of CBD with so many different people. Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media
Are you ready to escape the winter blues and head for the sandy beaches? What if you could get to the sand stress-free and with one of the most trusted private aviation teams in the business? You’re in luck with our awesome partners at Wheels Up.
Turn your travel time into quality time
An innovative membership-based company, Wheels Up provides the most trusted and intelligent way to fly private for all your personal and business travel needs. When compared to aircraft ownership and jet card programs, Wheels Up greatly reduces the upfront costs of private aviation—while increasing flexibility and efficiency, so you and your family can fly comfortably on your own schedule and enjoy more time at your destination.
With a Wheels Up Core Membership, you will receive guaranteed access to the members-only fleet of 90+ aircraft, including the exclusive King Air 350i and the Citation Excel/XLS—up to 365 days a year, with as little as 24 hours’ notice. Through the Charter Marketplace, you’ll also have unlimited access to a network of 1,000+ Wheels Up safety-vetted and verified aircraft, including many options that can be booked instantly, for travel to almost any destination worldwide.
As a Core Member, you and up to 3 guests will be able to attend dozens of unique experiences and celebrity meet-and-greets around the country each year, in addition to the world-class Wheels Up signature event activations at the Super Bowl, The Masters, and Art Basel. And you’ll also receive over $35,000 worth of lifestyle and hospitality benefits.
Wheels Up Bell Family exclusive benefit
Bell Family clients receive a $9,000 flight credit with the purchase of a Wheels Up Core Membership for $17,500.
To learn more and redeem this benefit, please email us today!
Wheels Up does not operate aircraft; FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers participating in the program exercise full operational control of all flights offered by or arranged through Wheels Up. For on-demand flights and shuttle flights operated as scheduled service, Wheels Up acts solely as an agent for Wheels Up members and guests in arranging these flights on their behalf. For shuttle flights operated as Public Charter service, Wheels Up acts as principal in offering these flights subject to the DOT’s Public Charter rules contained in 14 CFR Part 380. All aircraft owned or leased by Wheels Up are leased to the operating air carrier and are operated exclusively by that air carrier.
We want to introduce you to our friends at Village Obstetrics™ and the wonderful support and care that they provide their patients. We partnered up with them for a Q&A to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about their impressive work. Q: A big part of Village Obstetrics™ mission is to follow a minimally invasive approach. Why is practicing this important to your mission, and what have you seen as benefits for your patients with this approach?
A: We see newly pregnant couples who are concerned about interventions meddling in the natural process of pregnancy and birth. And it’s true that the medical profession has become concerned about the high rate of unnecessary c-sections. So, our approach is one that respects the natural process but uses modern medicine and technology to check and see how the natural process is unfolding. If everything looks good, our job is to stay out of nature’s way, but if there’s a storm brewing our job is to figure out together with our mom what the best course of action is. Minimally invasive obstetrics is doing the least necessary to get the job done and it yields low rates of c-section with well-informed satisfied moms. Q: What are the benefits of unmedicated v medicated birth or c-section? Is there a time in the birthing process where its too late to get an epidural?
A: Birth has lots of variables – the size of the baby, the individual pain tolerance, the length of the labor, the strength of the contraction, head position and on and on. So, it’s fair to say that keeping an open mind is especially important as you approach birth. In general, for first time labor we have seen great benefits from trying to get as deep into labor as possible before getting medications for pain relief. At that stage if you want an unmedicated birth we see how much further you have to go and if its not too far, you typically will make it without medication. Alternatively, if you are at the end of what you can manage and you still have a long way to go, or if you plan on an epidural, that’s a great time to go ahead and get relief.
After you’ve already had a vaginal birth and you are in labor with the next baby, then you need to decide sooner if you want an epidural or not. Probably when your pain is still manageable but now starting to get your attention (say a 6 out of 10 on the pain scale) then it’s time to either get the epidural or commit to finishing it as an unmedicated delivery. The last part of labor could be very fast with second or third babies and there might not be enough time to get an epidural if you wait until pain is an 8 or more out of 10. With the first vaginal birth however, its almost never too late to get an epidural because the progress of labor is much slower usually. Many of our moms now also consider using Nitrous Oxide which is available at our hospital as an alternative to epidural or to maintain control until getting the epidural later. Q: New patients have lots of questions both pre- and post-birth. How do you help new moms and dads with the transition of becoming parents?
A: One great new addition to the information for new moms and dads is Dr. Worth’s new book, “The New Rules of Pregnancy: What to eat, do, think about, and let go of while your body is making a baby”. We are so proud of her! So many of the existing guide books are so packed full of information that they can be overwhelming and even scary. We needed an expert to sift through those big books and pull out the key information and present it in a format where you can take in a little information at a time while keeping it positive and with beautiful uplifting illustrations that provoke imagination and calm. Dr Worth made that happen and we hope you give it a read. Beyond that we intentionally structured our practice for only pregnancy and birth care. We unapologetically exclusively devote all our time and talents to this important field of obtetrics. Not doing gynecology and well woman care allows us the time to really get into questions and controversies in our office visits. We also hold our own free of charge birth class for our clients that we call our “Pregnancy Chit Chat” – it’s a group Q&A with their doctors. We also reply to our clients e-mails and we try and provide continuing community education speaking, blogging and posting whenever we are invited to by groups involved in pregnancy and birth care.
To learn more about Village Obstetrics,™ click here. Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media