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How to get through the holidays with out getting bogged down….with sad emotions, with too much to do, with too much to buy, and not enough money. The days are getting shorter and the colors are changing, so to must we change. As the season hype hits….try these tips:

1) Get Outside! Walks, even in the rain are refreshing. Try to go out side in the day light, take the kids to the park. They may get muddy and dirty, but follow the trip with soup, crackers, a hot bath and stories!

2) Fill the house with interesting smells: branches of a bay tree, vanilla, or lavender.  The sense of smell has a direct connection with the brain and can calm and sooth in an amazing way. Light real candles at dinner time. Try to sit down and eat together at least once  a week. Guard this time as sacred!

3) Try to prepare some comfort foods that are healthy. Potato soup, pumpkin pudding (just like pie but no fatty crust), tapioca pudding, bread (you can buy it frozen ready to pop in the oven)

4) Turn off the TV, electronics, facebook, for a day, or more. Have your family do the same. Limiting TV at this time of the year helps you as a parent. The commercials are made to make your child want that item, those clothes, and to be that person. Numerous studies have associated depression and negative behaviors in children (and adults) with excessive computer/electronic time.

5) Practice focusing on your thoughts and body for a few minutes a day. You can do yoga, meditation, prayer, read poetry. What ever helps you to slow down for a few minutes each day, breath deeply and focus on relaxing.

6) Show gratitude and give thanks both in your heart and verbally. This helps you to improve your mood to actually feel more positive. Rather than gifts, think of ways you can help others. Cards (even ones made by the kids), art work, simple hand made items, “coupons” good for a service you can do….back rubs, making a dinner, helping with yard work of family or friends, walks, dog or child care. These are gifts of the heart and have value beyond the surface.

7) Keep busy, but try to get enough sleep. Staying up all night to get something done may backfire and leave you more tired, more cranky and difficult to live with.

8) Limit your junk food and alcohol consumption. Both can lead to depressing weight gain, depressed immune systems (you are more likely to get sick) and make the holiday even more stressful. If you are prone to depression, seek a trusted friend or therapist in which to confide. Those feelings are real and should not be ignored.

The Holiday Season is exciting and fun….when it is under control!

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2014 has been a busy year for Better Beginnings. We have developed more programs, while continuing our In- A -Pinch Doula Services and the Breastfeeding Support Program. We are currently working on a Red Tent Event for Dec. 14th that will allow women to share stories about birth trauma and other events, in a supportive environment at no charge. I will send you a copy of the flyer when we have it completed.

Today I am writing to tell you about a program available through Amazon. http://smile.amazon.com This program will donate to a charity of your choice at no cost to you! We would like to be that charity!

All of our funds go directly to maintaining programs to support families. All of our board members and committee members donate all of their time.

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Thank you for all of your support…and if you have any ideas of where we can make a difference, please let me know!

  1. Introduce yourself – “Hi, I’m Sally. I am your nurse/midwife/doctor/doula tonight. I am here to help you have the most amazing and rewarding birth experience possible.
  2. Do you have a written birth plan? –
    Yes – great I would love to see it and place a copy on your chart. We here at _______________ want you to know your expectations and plans as they are important to us.
    Now – Let’s plan what you would like for this experience. What is most important to you? Who will be at your birth? What position do you see yourself delivering? How do you feel about interventions? Are you familiar with the newborn procedures here at ______________?
  3. How can I make you more comfortable?
  4. Is there anything you would like?
  5. Let me take a minute to explain how this machine works.
  6. Would you like to get into the shower?
  7. We find warm water, like the tub or shower, is often very effective in helping women relax while in labor.
  8. Would you like a glass of water? Something to drink?
  9. Would you like me to rub on your back?
  10. Would you like a cool wash cloth over the back of your neck?
  11. Have you tried kneeling on the floor on a pillow? Women often feel safer closer to the ground.
  12. Are you hungry? When was the last time you had something to eat?
  13. Would you like some ___________?
  14. Would you like a sucker?
  15. Are your lips dry? Try lip balm or chapstick.
  16. Would you like to get up and to the bathroom?
  17. Would you like to get up and walk in the hall?
  18. Would you like to get up and walk in your room?
  19. Would you like to sit in a rocking chair?
  20. Would you like me to show you some other positions?
  21. Would you like to lie on your left side?
  22. Would you like to lie on your right side?
  23. Would you like to semi-sit?
  24. Would you like to sit on your hands and knees?
  25. Would you like to kneel?
  26. Would you like to lie on your right side while lunging?
  27. Would you like to lie on your left side while lunging?
  28. Would you like to stand with some support?
  29. Would you like to sit in a squatting position?
  30. Would you like me to show you some relaxation techniques that can help your labor be more efficient and you to be more comfortable?
  31. Would you like me to work with you on an inside focus? – pick a safe place and we will go there in our minds.
  32. Would you like me to work with you on an exterior focus? – calendar, family picture
  33. Would you like me to teach you touch relaxation?
  34. Would you like me to teach you shiatsu touch?
  35. Would you like me to massage your neck?
  36. Would you like me to massage your back?
  37. Would you like me to massage your shoulders?
  38. Would you like me to massage your hands?
  39. Would you like me to massage your feet?
  40. Would you like me to massage your belly?
  41. Would you like me to massage your legs?
  42. Would you like ice in your water?
  43. Would you like to wear your own gown?
  44. Would you like to be naked?
  45. Would you like a robe?
  46. Would you like socks or slippers?
  47. Would you like me to breath with you?
  48. Try this – slow relaxing breathes.
  49. Try this – light breathing through peak
  50. Try this – slow sounds
  51. Try this – saying words out loud like “O-U-T”, “B-A-B-Y”, “COME OUT BABY”
  52. Focus, focus
  53. Would you like lotion on your back?
  54. Would you like a hot or cold pack?
  55. If I press here does it help? – grip accelis heel
  56. If I press here does it help? – fist in lower back
  57. If I press here does it help? – finger pressure to sacrum
  58. If I press here does it help? – heels of hands compressing hips (hip squeeze)
  59. If I press here does it help? – heel of hand to sacrum
  60. Would you like some massage oil/aromatherapy?
  61. Would you like some lavender?
  62. Would you like some almond?
  63. Would you like some lemon?
  64. Would you like some vanilla?
  65. Do you ever use homeopathic remedies?
  66. Do you ever use herbal remedies?
  67. Would you like some rescue remedy?
  68. Do you believe in prayer? Would you like to hear a birth prayer now?
    1. Lord we put this birth in your hands.
    2. You have designed women to give birth.
    3. You have made them strong, and filled with love for their baby.
    4. Be with this woman lord. Grant her your peace. Give her your faith.
    5. Help her care providers to be strong and have faith.
    6. You have us all in the palms of your hands.
  69. Would you like a priest/minister to visit?
  70. Does your labor feel more powerful in your back or on the front?
  71. What have you tried for back ache?
    you heard of sterile water papules or optimal fetal positioning? Your baby is pressing down, he/she wants out. You can help the baby by ___________. You are strong, you are female, you are designed to birth.
  72. Is the room too hot?
  73. Is the room too cold?
  74. Is the room stuffy?
  75. Would you like to be alone with your doula/partner?
  76. Would you like everyone to talk a walk and give you some space?
  77. Is there anything you are worried about?
  78. Have you ever been to a birth?
    How did it go?
    How did you feel about it?
  79. Would you like me to read to you?
    SAY SOME POWERFUL WORDS TO MOM
    I feel you coming, You are coming
    Child of mine.
    Pressing, Pressing, Pressing down
    Wanting out.
    I open to you (and to you)
    Child of mine.
    Opening, Opening
    Wanting you out.
  80. (say to her softly) Your baby is coming.
  81. You are safe.
  82. You are strong.
  83. You are having your baby.
  84. You are giving birth.
  85. Everything is working.
  86. Your baby is strong.
  87. Your baby is helping you.
  88. Your baby is pressing down. Your baby wants out.
  89. Think “open, open, open”
  90. Think, relax, release, relax, release, relax, release.
  91. I trust birth.
  92. I believe women know how to birth.
  93. We are all in awe of you giving birth.
  94. You are amazing.
  95. Tell baby “come to me little one”
  96. You are ready to be a mother.
  97. You can do it.
  98. We will help you.
  99. You are not alone.
  100. We are here for you.
  101. You will give birth.
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