Tag Archives: pregnant

Meet Ann Myhre: DONA Trained Birth Doula

We recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Ann Myhre, a mother of three and DONA trained birth doula located in Dallas, Texas. In our Q&A  below, she shares her extensive knowledge on birth and postpartum doulas, the benefits of having one, how to make pregnant life easier and more! She even had an at home session with our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, where she taught Lindsay comfort and labor techniques. There’s so much great information here – read on!

Q: What are some of the services women can expect from a birth and postpartum doula and why are they beneficial?

A: I think it is important to first define what a birth doula is and her role within the realm of pregnancy and birth.  I believe that there is a misconception that a doula is only used for someone who wants an unmedicated birth. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  A doula, by definition, is a person who provides emotional and physical support to the birthing person during pregnancy and childbirth regardless of the way they choose to plan their birth. At North Dallas Doula Associates we support all types of birth and all types of birthing families. We create a safe and encouraging environment for the laboring mother through getting to know each other during the pregnancy, focusing on specific goals and fears and lastly by providing continual labor support for the family so they can achieve their optimal birth experience. The great thing about a birth doula is that they can help you learn how to advocate for yourself through evidenced based research so you feel prepared when it is time to have to make certain decisions. Having a doula by your side can also help the birthing person and their partner feel more connected by helping provide comfort measures and allowing the partner to focus on supporting their partner. I have used the same doula for all three of my births and I could not imagine giving birth without her by my side. We were a team (myself, my husband and my doula). It is also statistically proven that having a doula reduces the risk of a cesarean, increases the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth, and increases the overall satisfaction of the birth.

A postpartum doula’s role is to support the birthing person in a variety of ways after birth. Like a birth doula, they get to know each other during the pregnancy and their role begins as soon as they leave the hospital or as needed. A postpartum doula can assist with overnight care for mother and baby, basic breastfeeding and baby care, help with siblings and serve as a mentor for the mother.  If I knew I had this option after my first child I think my postpartum experience would have been vastly different. I underestimated the shift that would take place in my life after becoming a mother and how finding time to even take a shower or go to the store with a newborn could be a struggle. Research shows that the entire family has an easier time with this transition if a good postpartum support team is in place. I think it is important to also differentiate the difference in a postpartum doula versus having childcare in place. While both are important, a postpartum doula has been trained on what I mentioned above and their primary role is to support the mother while a child care provider’s support focuses on the child.  

Q: What are some of the latest tools and techniques that help make the lives of pregnant women easier?

A: I wish that there was a magic wand that could be waved to make the lives of pregnant women easier. It really takes a village not only to raise a child, but also to support a pregnant person and the biggest takeaway from this conversation is that women do not need to go through this journey alone. Taking a childbirth class, getting regular massages, chiropractic care, having a birth plan and feeling empowered and prepared prior to birth are the biggest ways I see of making their lives easier. I am also a huge advocate of maternal mental health and allowing oneself the ability to work through any emotions or trauma that might affect one’s birth experience. Every birth is different and it is so important to try and process experiences and enter into this journey with a fresh mindset and that can sometimes be difficult to do. We often refer to a great local therapist that specializes in maternal mental health named Kim Kertsburg with Dallas Postpartum Support.   

Q: BFC’s Founder & Owner and her donut pillow have been best friends during her pregnancy. What are the benefits of a donut pillow and when would you recommend expecting moms to grab one?

A: As I mentioned before, every pregnancy and birth is different and the body can respond differently. Lindsay had been telling me about her tailbone pain and I just happened to have a beloved donut pillow and yoga ball at my house. This piggybacks a little bit on the previous question regarding the latest tools and techniques that help make the lives of pregnant women easier. Not all expectant moms may be having lower back or tailbone pain and might not need tools such as a donut pillow. Or they may find that during the postpartum period they could benefit from one for a variety of reasons. I am a huge advocate of chiropractic care during and after pregnancy. There is a wonderful practice here in Dallas called Cafe of Life Chiropractic. They specialize in prenatal chiropractic care and their goal is to get you comfortable through regular adjustments and to get your pelvis in an optimal position for birth. They will also help you by suggesting comfort measures you can take to help alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with growing a baby.

For more information on Ann and North Dallas Doula Associates, click here.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

You’re Pregnant During a Pandemic, Now What?

I found out I was expecting in late December 2020. I was thrilled and also terrified. Not because of normal expecting worries, but about a whole new slew of worries associated with Covid. After three different appointments with my OBGYN, endless research, feedback from friends, family and other doctors I decided to get the vaccine after my first trimester at 14 weeks. Terrified and relieved, I cried on my way home from both inoculations. I had my husband drive me both times, fearful of side effects. Thankfully, I felt well, I think fear was making me sick. After the first shot my arm was sore and I felt a bit tired, but I’m tired a lot because I’m pregnant, so it’s hard to differentiate. After the second dose, my doctor recommended I hold ice on my arm 10 minutes before my shot. I did, and felt fine till 12 hours later. From hours 12-24 I had some arm soreness and a mild headache, which felt like if a bee was buzzing near my head the whole time (weird description I know).

According to a recently published article from CNN, research from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology supports that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are effective in pregnant and lactating women, who can then pass protective antibodies to newborns.

“Nearly all the moms were getting a pretty decent level of antibodies to their babies,” said Alter, who added that additional research is needed to understand how long those protective antibodies last in newborns.

What exciting and relieving news for expectant mothers during the pandemic! For a full article around this topic, visit the GTM website.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

Have a Birthing Experience Like an A-Lister

Giving birth to your newborn child is one of life’s most precious things to experience (or so I’ve heard). That doesn’t go without saying that there are some not so precious things that occur during labor. To spare everyone of all the glorious details, let’s instead talk about how giving birth can be one of the most luxurious experiences of your life!
You’ve heard it here first; labor can be an experience where you feel like a queen, and it may leave you never wanting to leave that hospital room again.
In an article published by parents.com, they introduce some of the most luxurious birthing suites in the US. That’s right ladies, think spa treatments, 24-hour concierge service, and a private chef! It’s time to leave the roommate life behind, and experience a birthing experience as Amal Clooney would.

  1. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    Birthing suites are designed to look like the outdoors! Oh yeah, your food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing “food ambassador.”
  2. Rose Medical Center in Denver
    Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, rocking chairs, and flat-screen TVs. To be totally low key, VIPs can enter one of the luxury suites, and be offered the services of a private chef.
  3. Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles
    If a three-room suite isn’t enough, mom can treat herself to an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or haircut. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, and Victoria Beckham have given birth here, so start planning your totally casual celeb run-in now.
  4. The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
    Enjoy your luxury suite overlooking Central Park and have your newborn wrapped in muslin cotton swaddling blankets. And no mom leaves without a postpartum massage!
  5. The Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Centennial in Nashville
    How about a 24/7 concierge service to handle your requests? From making sure your car gets an oil change to delivering food from Nashville-area restaurants – can we say VIP?

 
We provided the top five luxurious birthing suites. For the remaining five you can read the full article, here.
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Top Baby Names for Bell Family

When you or someone you know is expecting, how many baby name lists will you admit to look at? There are so many sources to go to now for baby name inspiration. Pampers offers an impressive “Baby Name Generator Tool”, Parenting.com provides a search engine along with several sub categories (historical, unique, pop culture, etc.),  not to mention the countless magazines and books that give you thousands of suggestions.
Our families at Bell Family continue to grow, and that means our list of baby names is too. Below, you can find some of the top names amongst our families from the past year. No thanks necessary for giving you another resource to help mix up your list that you (almost) narrowed down.
Top boy names:
1. William
2. Conrad
3. Sebastian
4. Bedford
5. Weston
6. Alexander
7. Luke
8. Harrison
9. Griffin
10. Colton
Top girl names:
1. Charlotte
2. Clara
3. Shannon
4. Louisa
5. Sophie
6. Eleanor
7. Lucie
8. Mia
9. Skylar
10. Annabel
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell 

BFL – Baby Bumps

It’s no secret that my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. This has been my master plan since I realized I could have my own baby. It is definitely an inexplicable feeling once you are ready…really ready!

Even though I already feel immersed in the mommy/baby world, I am still constantly learning new things. There are so many resources out there, but one convenient spot I like to get new information from is The Bump. They do a good job of informing, and I like how the content is non-judgmental, just recommendations.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.03.40 AM

Every woman’s body and life is so different between different stress levels, financial means, hours worked, etc.; I think its fair to say that each woman makes the best decisions for her body and should follow her gut. However, there are some generally accepted practices surrounding pregnancy. I knew when a woman is trying to conceive that she should start taking prenatal vitamins, have one glass of wine instead of two, not smoke, lay off tuna, etc.

Here is a shortened list (because I know you don’t have time to read an epic article, nor do I have time to write it!) of what The Bump recommends paying attention to  as you prepare:

  1. Caffeine in moderation
  2. Don’t smoke. (I don’t know anyone that does anymore anyway…)
  3. Repeat: have one glass of wine instead of two
  4. Keep your weight stable
  5. Did you know there are foods that make you most fertile? This one was my favorite
    -Men: eat ketchup, lycopene is your friend!
    -Ladies: eat spinach, you want lots of folic acid
  6. Make a dentist appointment and keep it!
  7. Be active, but don’t overdo it. Try 5-10 minutes of yoga every morning; even something small helps!
  8. Don’t drink out of plastic bottles (as I have a plastic bottle in front of me)…I just threw it away.
  9. DON’T STRESS!! I have not figured out this solution yet, but I’ll get back to you
  10. High mercury fish-just say no!

 

Lindsay Bell Wallace is Bell Family Company’s fearless leader. Lindsay has been a mom-in-the-making since childhood, where she was charged with babysitting her four younger sisters. Lindsay and husband Brad are hoping to add a new member to the Bell Family soon!