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Articles in Category: Pregnancy

Ending the silence

๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ข๐ซ๐ญ๐ก

๐Ÿ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Œ๐š๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐›๐ž ๐ž๐ญ๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ข๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ!

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ

๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™ฎ๐™˜๐™ก๐™š๐™จ

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข (๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ)

๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™– ๐™™๐™–๐™ง๐™  ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ค๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ดย 

๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ข๐™š ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™–๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ฆ

๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™—๐™š๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™™๐™จ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ

๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ

๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ง๐™ ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™š๐™ง๐™– ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™š ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™›๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™– ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ง๐™ ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™š๐™˜๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด!

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Prior to my stillbirth

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŠย  ๐š–๐šŠ๐š–๐šŠ ๐š‹๐š•๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ๐šŽ๐š ๐š ๐š’๐š๐š‘ ๐Ÿธ ๐š‹๐šŽ๐šŠ๐šž๐š๐š’๐š๐šž๐š• ๐š‹๐š˜๐šข๐šœย 

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŠ ๐š–๐šŠ๐š–๐šŠ ๐š ๐š‘๐š˜ ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐šŠ๐šŒ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š–๐š™๐š•๐š’๐šœ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐šŽ๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š›๐šข๐š๐š‘๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š ๐š˜๐š›๐š•๐š ๐š๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š–๐šŽ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šœ๐šž๐šŒ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœย 

๐šˆ๐šŽ๐š ๐™ฝ๐š˜ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š›๐š ๐š˜๐š ๐š–๐šŽ ๐š๐šŽ๐š•๐š ๐š•๐š’๐š”๐šŽ ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šœ๐šž๐šŒ๐šŒ๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ๐š๐šž๐š•ย 

๐™ด๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š›๐šข ๐š™๐šŠ๐š›๐š ๐š˜๐š me ๐š๐šŽ๐š•๐š like ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐šŠ๐š’๐š•๐š’๐š—๐š

ย ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐šŠ๐š’๐š•๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŠ ๐š–๐š˜๐š–ย 

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐šŠ๐š’๐š•๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŠ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š›๐š๐š—๐šŽ๐š›ย 

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š›๐š ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š•๐š–๐šŽ๐š ๐š ๐š’๐š๐š‘ ๐š ๐š˜๐š›๐š” ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐š’๐š ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š‘๐š˜๐š  ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šŽ ๐šŒ๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š๐šŽ ๐š‹๐š˜๐šž๐š—๐š๐šŠ๐š›๐š’๐šŽ๐šœ

ย ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŒ๐š›๐šž๐š–๐š‹๐š•๐š’๐š—๐š ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŽ๐šก๐š‘๐šŠ๐šž๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š‹๐šž๐š›๐š—๐š ๐š˜๐šž๐š ๐™ธ

ย ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š˜๐š— ๐šŠ ๐š–๐š’๐šœ๐šœ๐š’๐š˜๐š— ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐šž๐š•๐š๐š’๐š•๐š• ๐š–๐šข ๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š– ๐š˜๐š ๐š‘๐šŠ๐šŸ๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š—๐š˜๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š› ๐šŒ๐š‘๐š’๐š•๐šย 

๐™ฐ๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š ๐š˜๐šž๐š•๐š ๐š‹๐šŽ ๐š–๐šข ๐š๐š’๐šŒ๐š”๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐šข๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š ๐š‘๐š˜๐š–๐šŽย 

๐™ฐ๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š ๐š˜๐šž๐š•๐š ๐š“๐šž๐šœ๐š๐š’๐š๐šข ๐š–๐šŽ ๐š‹๐šŽ๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š‘๐š˜๐š–๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐š›๐š’๐š—๐š ๐šž๐š™ ๐š–๐šข ๐š—๐šŽ๐š  ๐š‹aby

ย ๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐š’๐šŒ๐š”๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š๐š˜๐š– that ๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š‹๐šŠ๐š—๐š”๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š˜๐š— ๐š ๐š’๐š๐š‘ ๐š๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š› ๐š•๐š’๐š๐šŽ

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๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š๐š‘ ๐š๐š˜ ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—๐šŒ๐šŽ๐š™๐š๐š’๐š˜๐š— ๐š‘๐š˜๐š ๐šŽ๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š› ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐šŠ๐š— ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐šœ๐šข ๐š˜๐š—๐šŽ

๐™ธ ๐šŒ๐š˜๐šž๐š•๐š ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š™๐š›๐šŽ๐š๐š—๐šŠ๐š—๐šย 

๐™ธ ๐š˜๐š™๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐š๐š’๐š•๐š’๐š๐šข ๐š›๐š˜๐šž๐š๐šŽ

๐™ธ ๐š๐š’๐š ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š›๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š•๐š’๐šฃ๐šŽ ๐š’๐š ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š–๐šข ๐šœ๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š›๐š ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š•๐š– ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š๐š๐šŽ๐šŒ๐š๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š–๐šข ๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐š๐š’๐š•๐š’๐š๐šขย 

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š“๐šž๐šœ๐š ๐šœ๐š˜ ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šž๐š๐š‘๐š ๐šž๐š™ ๐š’๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š–๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐š ๐š‘๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š• ๐š˜๐š ๐š•๐š’๐š๐šŽย 

๐™พ๐š ๐š‹๐šž๐šœ๐šข๐š—๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœย 

๐™พ๐š ๐š๐š˜๐š’๐š—๐š

๐šƒ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐™ธ ๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š–๐š’๐šœ๐šœ๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š›๐š ๐šŠ๐š‹๐š˜๐šž๐š

๐š‚๐š•๐š˜๐š ๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š˜๐š ๐š—

๐™ฐ๐š‹๐š˜๐šž๐š ๐šœ๐š’๐š–๐š™๐š•๐šข ๐š‹๐šŽ๐š’๐š—๐š

ย 

๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™™, ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™œ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉย 

๐™„ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ข๐™š๐™ก๐™ก ๐™›๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™ค๐™ขย 

๐™๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› โ€œ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™ฎ 3๐™ง๐™™ ๐™—๐™–๐™—๐™ฎ โ€œ

๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™–๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™๐™จ,ย 

๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š,ย 

๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™—๐™š ๐™– ๐™ข๐™–๐™ข๐™– ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™งย 

ย 

I was working long hours,ย 

Doing as much as I could, cause,ย 

In my heart this was all soon coming to an end

ย 

๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ

๐˜‘๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆย 

๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜–๐˜ค๐˜ต 31 ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜บย 

๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ธ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ

๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅย 

๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅย 

๐˜›๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜Œ๐˜™ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ฆ

๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ

๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ on ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ตย 

ย 

So now I was laying in home on bed rest

Not working, free from the overwhelmย 

Yet felt so overwhelmedย 

ย 

I was given permission to lie down and not do anythingย 

Wow a break from the constant rushing around

Did this make me feel relieved? Happy? Freedom?

No in fact, I was laying in bed wishing to be back in the hamster wheel that I was familiar withย 

ย 

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐š–๐šข ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š— ๐Ÿบ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐Ÿป ๐šข๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š› ๐š˜๐š•๐š ๐š‹๐š˜๐šข๐šœ ๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐š›๐š’๐š๐š’๐šŽ๐š

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š– ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—๐š๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š ๐š‘๐šข ๐š–๐š˜๐š–๐š–๐šข ๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š•๐šŠ๐šข๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š˜๐š— ๐š‹๐šŽ๐š

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š– ๐š ๐š˜๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐š ๐š‘๐šข ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š—โ€™๐š ๐šœ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ ๐šž๐šœ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐šŠ๐š›๐š” ๐šŠ๐š—๐šข๐š–๐š˜๐š›๐šŽ

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š– ๐šŒ๐š›๐šข ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐šœ๐š” ๐š ๐š‘๐šข ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š—โ€™๐š ๐šœ๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š™๐šž๐š ๐šž๐šœ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šŽ๐š ๐šŠ๐š—๐šข๐š–๐š˜๐š›๐šŽ

๐™ธ ๐š ๐šŠ๐š๐šŒ๐š‘๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐š– ๐š•๐š˜๐š˜๐š” ๐šŠ๐š ๐š–๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š ๐š˜๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š› ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ ๐š ๐šŽ ๐šŽ๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š› ๐š๐š˜๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐šŽ๐š ๐š˜๐šž๐š› ๐š–๐šŠ๐š–๐šŠ ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š”?

ย 

While it appeared that I should be relaxing and enjoyingย 

As I had just got a โ€œget out of jailโ€ card

The truth is I was so filled with fear and anxiety that every moment felt like an eternityย 

Every moment was one that I had to faceย 

Every moment was one that reminded me that I was not safeย 

Every moment that made me question if baby was ok

Every moment I felt guilt, watching my partner run around and do everythingย 

Every moment I wondered is this the end?

ย 

The end and the beginning

ย 

The end came when I least expected

At 38 weeks, I celebrated that we had made it

And on that exact day of celebration

She chose to soar with her beautiful angel wings

She died in my womb, I was rebirthedย 

It was the end of our dreamsย 

But the start of ones we had never dreamed off

ย 

ย 

To the mama who is/has been on bed rest I want you to know

That I feel you, I see you

That I know how lonely it feels even though your loved ones are right there around you

That itโ€™s ok to not feel relaxedย 

That of course you would not feel safe

That your protective mama bear instinct is super activated

That the fear of losing your baby may rob you from the joy of acknowledging his/her presence in your womb

ย 

To the mama who has witnessed a loss, miscarriage, still birth, I want you to know

I hear your silent cries

I feel the tightness and pain you are feeling in your heart

I see you crying in the middle of the night

that what you feel is real

that a loss is a loss, no matter at what stage you were in your pregnancy

it is a loss of dreams and hope of how you see your family grow

it is a loss that is worthy of acknowledgement!

ย 

As for me in the now,

ย yes there are times when grief still visits

and I welcome grief and allow the tears to cleanse me in ways I will never know

and yes in my heart I will always carry her

she is my angel

she is my gateway to my journey of living in the now, of slowing down, and for that I am eternally grateful

ย 

Ummul Patrawala isย a yoga instructor and facilitator of The WOMB Healing Circle at The WOMB: The World of my Baby in Milton, ON. She is a mom to 3 wonderful and active boys and a former marketing executive. Ummul has grown up with yoga and has been actively sharing and teaching yoga to her own kids and within her community since 2010. She is currently preparing a program called Birthing into Motherhood - a prenatal yoga and mindfulness childbirth and parenting preparation class.ย 

@ummulpatrawala on IG, https://www.facebook.com/groups/consciousmotherscommunity

Prenatal Yoga:

The Many Reasons It Works to Prepare Women for Pregnancy and Birth

With experts recommending at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day for pregnant women, prenatal yoga is an excellent way for expecting mothers to unwind and stay physically fit all at the same time. If you're not familiar with prenatal yoga, here is a quick run-through of how it can help improve your quality of life and even promote your baby's health while in the womb.

The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Most childbirth preparation classes take a multifaceted approach to helping mothers stay active and healthy as they prepare to give birth, and prenatal yoga is no different. A prenatal yoga class works to encourage:

  • mental clarity
  • physical stretching, and
  • focused, controlled breathing,

All of which can lead to a number of benefitsโ€”including better, deeper sleep. In turn, that can lead to more physical energy during the day.

Research supports the safety of prenatal yoga along with its many benefits for both expectant mothers and their children. Aside from improving your quality of sleep, prenatal yoga has the capacity to reduce your stress and anxiety, both of which are linked to poor sleep, poor nutrition, and low morale. Meanwhile, prenatal yoga can increase your strength while helping you improve flexibility and even improve your muscle endurance, all of which is very beneficial for you're impending childbirth.

Prenatal yoga can even help you conquer some of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as lower back pain. It can also help in relieving headaches, nausea, and help you avoid shortness of breath by giving you powerful breathing techniques and exercises that you can utilize both in and out of the classroom. Finally, prenatal yoga gives you the opportunity to bond with other expectant mothers through shared experiences as you progress through your pregnancy journey.

What Does Prenatal Yoga Entail?

If you have never attended a prenatal yoga class before, let all of your worries fade away! There is nothing strenuous about any prenatal session and every class centers on gentle stretching, deep breathing, and a number of postures that mix sitting, standing, and prone positions to develop your balance, flexibility, and strength. Props, including cushions and blankets, are also often used to provide added support and keep you comfortable.

Every prenatal yoga class also includes a proper cool down and relaxation session where you'll get to relax and restore your body to its resting heart rate and breathing patterns. This is often when attendees are able to focus on their sense of inner calm and work on clearing their mind, which is another big part of prenatal yoga's focus.

Would you like to see for yourself what prenatal yoga can do for you? Angela Del Franco - Certified Optimize Coach and Yoga professional, currently teaches Prenatal Yoga at The WOMB (World Of My Baby) in Burlington every Thursday at 7pm. Visit thewomb.ca to learn more.

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy โ€“ What do Kegels Have to do with it?

Hello! Iโ€™m Jenny Telfer-Crum and I am a Womenโ€™s Pelvic Health Physiotherapist (aka Pelvic Physio). This means I have regular Physiotherapy training (ie looking at pain and movement patterns through the neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees etc), but have also taken extra courses to be able to assess and treat the Pelvic Floor muscles. My goal is to educate and empower women so that they can be comfortable and confident regarding their pelvic (and general!) health. There is a lot of misinformation about bladder leaking, pelvic pain and discomfort out there, so in this blog Iโ€™m going to talk about the Pelvic Floor muscles, signs that something may not be working well for you, and how Pelvic Health Physiotherapy works.

What are the Pelvic Floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are at the bottom of the pelvis, between the pubic bone at the front, the tailbone at the back, and the sit bones side to side. They go around the urethra (where we pee), the vagina in women and the rectum (where we poop). These muscles also interact with muscles and tissues in the abdomen, back, and hips (ie glutes and hip flexors). Just like any muscle in the body, we want the Pelvic Floor muscles to be strong, flexible and coordinated in order to function at their best.

pelvic floorpelvic floor2

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=zm6406

https://www.risephysicaltherapy.com/blog/an-essential-part-of-the-core-the-pelvic-floor

Common Myths about the Pelvic Floor:

- bladder leaking/dribbling is normal after having a baby or as I get older

                -FALSE! This is something that is โ€œcommon, but not normalโ€. Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help to address this, without surgery.

- pain with sex is normal

                - FALSE! Pain with sex can be due to tight pelvic floor muscles/related tissues and hypersensitivity of the nerves in the pelvis. These can be addressed through Pelvic Health Physiotherapy.

- my pelvic problems are not related to my back pain

                - FALSE! All of the muscles in the body work together. If you have wrist pain, Physiotherapists look at your hand, wrist, elbow, even up into the neck! If you have back, hip, abdominal or even leg pain the pelvic floor muscles and structures can be contributing and/or reacting to the pain and muscle patterns you are using. Itโ€™s important not to overlook this piece of the puzzle.

When should I see a Pelvic Floor Physio?

The Pelvic Floor muscles work with the nervous system, abdominal pressure system and connective tissue system to support our pelvic organs (ie bladder, uterus and bowels). That means that training these muscles to contract and relax appropriately can help with problems such as:

-  bladder urgency and/or leaking (urinary incontinence)

                - stress incontinence: leaking with laughing, coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, running

                - urge incontinence: getting the sudden urge to pee then leaking before you get to the bathroom.

- bowel urgency or leaking (bowel incontinence)

-  pelvic organ prolapse (heaviness or falling out sensation at the vagina or rectum)

Because of the location of these muscles, they can also influence sexual function such as:

- women: pain with sexual activity (dyspareunia, vaginismus), sexual arousal

- men:  prostate-related pain (non-bacterial prostatitis or recovering after a prostate surgery), erectile dysfunction

As I mentioned above, the pelvic floor muscles also work with the neighbouring muscle of the back, hips and abdomen. If you have pain in the pelvis or these neighbouring regions it is always worth getting the Pelvic Floor muscles assessed to see if they are contributing to or responding to the pain response in the body.

back pain pregnancy

Another time to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist if you are a woman is during pregnancy and/or after birth. There are a lot of physical changes that happen during pregnancy and Pelvic Health Physios have extra training to help your body move and cope itโ€™s best during this time of change and preparation. We also have a lot of information regarding birth and recovery strategies that you can integrate into your birth plans/preferences with your midwives or OBGYNs. During vaginal birth the pelvic floor muscles and tissues are stretched and often have some degree of tearing or injury that occurs. During caesarian birth, the abdominal tissues very close to the pelvis are involved, which often contributes to changes to the pelvic floor.  Not to mention that birthing and caring for a baby is a big physical, emotional, cognitive and social demand! Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists can help to assess and address any pelvic, abdominal, back or hip concerns related to pregnancy and birth recovery. This includes rectus diastasis (the abdominal stretch that happens to nearly everyone during pregnancy to make room for Baby).  Pelvic Physios have lots of exercise ideas and recommendations to help you return to your fitness activities of choice (including lifting a three month old in their carseat!) while respecting any changes or healing that is occurring throughout the body.

What happens in a Pelvic Health Physiotherapy appointment?

Just like during a regular Physiotherapy appointment, I start by getting to know who you are and any concerns that you have. This might mean talking about any pain, pressure or leaking sensations you are having, but I also ask questions about lifestyle factors such as work, exercise, and stress levels, as these factors directly relate to pelvic AND whole body health. A Pelvic Physiotherapy session is a unique and safe space where you can ask about anything โ€“ bladder, bowel, mental and sexual health questions are always welcome, and I will share any information, strategies, exercises and resources that I have to help you along.

physio appointment

For the physical part of the Pelvic Health assessment, I tend to look at how you are moving in standing (ie back movement, walking and standing patterns, squats and lunges), then we look at the abdomen and pelvis. At the abdomen I am looking to see how you like to breathe and move your arms and legs off the bed โ€“ this gives me an idea what patterns your body is already using to get work done.

From there I can assess the Pelvic Floor muscles at the entrance of the vagina. Unlike other internal exams women are used to at the Doctorโ€™s office, I am not using a speculum or any devices, just feeling for muscle patterns at these pelvic floor muscles. I am looking at strength (can you kegel?), flexibility (can you relax the kegel?) and coordination of these muscles (do they work well with other muscles?). I can also look to see if there is any movement in the pelvic organs, which is assessing for any pelvic organ prolapse. This internal assessment is extremely valuable to get the full picture of what is happening at the pelvis, and is always done within your comfort level and it is always your choice to start or stop this assessment at any time.

Once I figure out what your body likes to do on itโ€™s own, my goal is to help you reconnect with the pelvic, abdominal, back and hip muscles through breath and movement. I work with you to help your muscles figure out a different way to work together in order to relieve any symptoms or concerns that you have. Treatment often consists of home exercises, a little manual therapy (often through the back and abdomen to help with general relaxation) and some lifestyle recommendations to help with bladder, bowel and stress management. We might also talk about Pain Science concepts to help calm the nervous system to decrease levels of pain or discomfort in the pelvis or neighbouring areas.

mom babe snuggle

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is an extremely valuable modality to explore for whole body health and wellness. The best part of my job is teaching women about their bodies so that they feel more connected and in control of their own bodies and well being. I hope this blog provided some insight about your Pelvic Floor muscles. If you have any questions or want to learn more you can email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Take care,

Jenny

Pelvic Health Physiotherapist MSc (PT)

Helping Your Body Help Itself through Education, Exercise and Empowerment. 

Call (905) 842-2434 or book online at http://thewomb.ca/index.php/make-an-appointment 

Navigating Pregnancy Options for New Canadians

By Abigail Corbin RM, Hawthorne Midwives

It can be overwhelming when you are new to Canada and pregnant. Every country arranges their healthcare differently. Even if a title - such as โ€œmidwifeโ€ - is the same, what they do and how they are trained can be very different. 

pregnant woman asia

In Ontario, when you are pregnant, you can decide whether you want to have a midwife or a doctor. Both options are paid for, though slightly differently. Doctors are paid through Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) and midwives are paid through the Ontario Midwifery Program. This difference means that residents of Ontario do not have to pay for midwifery services, even if they donโ€™t have OHIP. In fact, clients of midwives without OHIP have access to a grant that pays for their laboratory and ultrasound tests and any consultations with physicians. 

In Ontario midwives are experts in low risk pregnancy and birth. They follow you throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth, and for 6 weeks after your baby is born. Midwives can order any routine tests and can consult with a physician if complications arise. Midwifery appointments are longer than doctors, which is particularly beneficial if English is not your first language. Some even provide interpretation services. 

Midwives attend births at home and in the hospital. If you do not have OHIP you will need to contact your local hospital to arrange for payment for the birth (there is no cost for a homebirth). It is best to contact the financial office as soon as you know which hospital you want to deliver at.

midwifery

An obstetrician requires a referral from your family doctor (or walk in clinic if you do not yet have a family doctor). Midwives take self referrals - this means you can access midwifery care by filling in an intake on their website or calling their office. If you know you will be moving to Ontario you can request care before you arrive.  

AbigailCorbinAbigail Corbin is a registered midwife with Hawthorne Midwives in Milton.  Hawthorne Midwives specializes in providing care for new Canadians. For more information, go to their website www.hawthornemidwives.com

Gratitude for the Gift of Life

A Blessingway Start

Kuepfer Tammy Maternity 2015 Apr 12 18 Edit WEB 2

Life is full of gifts. Receiving life in the form of a child, is one of the most beautiful of them. I have four of these gifts in my life and with each one, Iโ€™ve learned something along the way. And for each of these lessons, whether challenging or easy, I am grateful. 

My first son taught me about the unknown. Standing at the threshold of a new life I pondered: How do I give birth โ€œthe right wayโ€? Is my relationship with my partner ready to be โ€œruffledโ€ by a new soul in the house? When will my child arrive? Will I be a good mother? In the end, his gift to me was that of fulfillment โ€“ I was finally a parent. 

My second child, I will admit to you, was brought into the family so our first wouldnโ€™t be an only child. I couldnโ€™t help but worry that if something happened to us, our first would be left alone. We couldnโ€™t do that to him. So, my second taught me โ€œfamilyโ€. He taught me that โ€œspecial timeโ€ was time together โ€“ not time individually. We were a unit bigger than just me, my partner and a child. We were a pride, a gaggle, a herd. BUT I also learned that looking after two children is challenging (to say the least!) and canโ€™t be done alone. You will sacrifice your whole being if you donโ€™t have any supports or resources in place. You will need your circle of support to remind you that even in those moments when you believe with all your heart that โ€œI wasnโ€™t meant to be a motherโ€, they will be there to tell you, โ€œYa, I felt that way too!โ€ 

michkeith

With the arrival of our third son, I relaxed finally into parenthood. My first two could play together and I could sit back with my newborn on my chest and just watch and spectate the beauty of their interactions and glory in different personalities and passions. I saw myself no longer as someone โ€œtryingโ€ to be a mother, trying to meet someone elseโ€™s standards, to do it in a blogger, Baby Center kind of way. Instead I stopped caring what anyone else thought and listened to my own intuition and what was right for me. 

Having a fourth child just solidified that belief that intuition is the success to my parenthood. I know my children best (despite what google or someone in the grocery store says), I know their ins and outs and I know that I donโ€™t need to force anything for them to grow, love and develop. I have said on many occasions that I wish everyone could have their 3rd or 4th baby first, to have the confidence in their heart to listen to their own wisdom and to relax into the process. So Iโ€™m writing this blog so that you can have a sample or starting point at which to begin to understand who you are as you become or grow into being a mother - a place to begin to listen to your own inner voice called intuition.

History has shown that in these beautiful times of planning, gestating and anticipating new life, people turn to things that have deeper, greater and more enduring meaning. As mothers and mothers-to-be, we stand at a threshold of unknown - searching books, sites and asking other mothers about โ€œwhat to expectโ€ physically, mentally and spiritually. Will I know how to do this? To birth, to be a good parentโ€ฆ Who will I be? What will the โ€œnew meโ€ be like? 

prenatal yoga picture

What you need to know first is that allowing the spirit of โ€œwho you will becomeโ€ after your childโ€™s arrival, is a gift โ€“ probably one of the most important for yourself. Opening your heart to the unknown and allowing the process of life to unfold in front of you can be both challenging and rewarding. With a baby coming, there is so much to worry about, so much to prepare, so much to buy and have ready, so much to know! Have you ever sat back and considered what YOU need to be a mother? Write it down. Move toward it. Have you sat in a quiet room, by yourself and listened to your inner voice and just followed it? Try it. Practice it. It will be courageous of you to see what happens when you follow your own advice. 

While you await the gift of your child, another way to receive for yourself and open to your new self is by celebrating the woman-you-are-to-become through a Blessingway or Mother Blessing. Traditionally, a Blessingway (in the tradition of the Navajo) or Mother Blessing (a north American term) is a birth ritual or ceremony that celebrates a womanโ€™s passage into motherhood. The ceremony acknowledges the changes a woman is going through in the months leading up to her babyโ€™s arrival, and the greater impact of birth and early parenthood on her, as a person. In a close circle of women, the mother-to-be is nurtured in storytelling, adornment, gifts, blessings and food. Bead bracelets can be made, which the mother-to-be will carry with her into birth as a reminder of the strength and support her circle of women sends with her. The group can hold a red string ceremony to connect each with the other as women, and when the announcement arrives that baby is earth-side, the red string around the participantโ€™s wrist or ankle is cut and released free. From all of this, the mother-to-be comes away with a strong sense of belonging, support and confidence that she will need as she nears the birth of her baby and after her baby is born. 

WOMBMoms

Chances are you have attended or have heard of a โ€œbaby showerโ€. This type of celebration is a wonderful chance to rain baby presents upon the family so they are prepared with the materials they may need for their child. A Mother Blessing can be another option or in addition to a Baby Shower. Celebrate and recognize the mother-to-be as she transforms and transitions. You donโ€™t have to follow any set agenda or order. Mother Blessings can vary in proceedings and rituals, so choose what you would like to do in yours. You can make it as โ€œNorth Americanโ€ or โ€œGranolaโ€ as you like. Receiving your gift of love, belonging and support will give you the confidence to listen to your inner voice and be the mother you were meant to be โ€“ one who can also teach your children to live the life of gratitude for their gifts and inner voice too.

AngieStenback3If you have any questions about blessingways or Mother Blessings, or would like to host one, The WOMB has space in Milton or Burlington for rent. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., cofounder of The WOMB and Doula can also help you facilitate the right ceremony for you.

Three things every birth needs

A Birth Doula answers the Partner's questions

Stanleybirth31Photo credit: Kieran Darcy

Over the past 5 years, I have had the honour of walking alongside so many wonderful families all over the GTA as they welcomed their awesome babies. It is my dream job (although it doesnโ€™t feel like a job!) and I am so thankful for the many moms, dads, partners, grandparents and extended families that have trusted me over the years. As people find out more and more about birth doulas, the most common questions I get are โ€˜what does a doula doโ€, โ€œwhatโ€™s the difference between a doula and a midwifeโ€, and โ€œwhat about the dad/partner? What role will they have if you are also there to support the birthing mom?โ€ All of these are great questions! But I have to say my favourite question was asked early on in my doula career by a hands on partner who wanted to know โ€œWhat are the 3 things you use at every birth?โ€

He asked this question because he had taken lots of classes and read lots of books and felt that he was pretty well versed on how to support his wife. But, due to all of his knowledge, he also felt that he wasnโ€™t trained specifically in the ebbs and flows of birth and wanted to know what role on their team I would uniquely fill. I LOVE this question as it is one that most people I meet with want to know but donโ€™t think to ask.

So, here is my list of the 3 Things That I Use At Every Birth. 

#1: My Voice

During birth, your senses as the labouring mother are all heightened. And as labour progresses and gains in intensity each mother needs to find her own rhythm and ritual to aid her in breathing and letting tension go through each contraction. This is where I come in. I use a variety of gentle, guided relaxation breathing prompts as the birth sensation begins, builds and then recedes. I use the knowledge that Iโ€™ve gained in my prenatal visits with moms to use words and phrases that would best suit and motivate her. Although I do not teach Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies, etc, I am trained in stepping in and supporting a mom who has taken these classes and wishes to use these techniques. I believe that, although there are some similarities to how each birthing mom needs support, that each birth is unique and specific to each mom. So, I pride myself in my adaptability to support every mom where she is; not to guide her to where I think she should be.

Where the partner fits in

As I am guiding mom in the breathing and relaxation techniques, this is where your parter shines! Your partner knows you better than anyone in the room. Your partner loves you more than anyone in the room does. And it is this connection with you that has amazing benefits! Oxytocin is the natural love hormone that is necessary for birth sensations to begin and to build. Who better to help foster an oxytocin friendly environment than your partner? Often partners arenโ€™t sure what to say and how to specifically guide you through each sensation.  Thatโ€™s the benefit of having me there! :) I can support mom in the ways I am trained to, and your partner can, with a touch, a presence and words tell you how amazing you are, how strong you are, and how they canโ€™t wait until your baby is here.

#2: My Hands

Stanleybirth1Photo Credit: Kieran Darcy

How to provide hands on support for a labouring mom was a key part of my doula training. There are many different positions that not only support mom and give her some relief, but are also great positions for baby as they make their way to her arms.

Applying counter pressure via a double hip squeeze during each sensation is something that most moms absolutely love at some point during their labour. As baby makes their way out of the uterus and into the birth canal, mom can often feel more pressure in her lower back. This is where applying sacral pressure to her sacrum (located in the middle of her back, at the very bottom) can greatly assist in comfort for mom. I also have a rebozo (a long flat piece of fabric) that I can use to bring comfort to moms and also can be used to aid in babies positioning during labour. Having experienced labour and childbirth personally four different times has also heightened my senses and intuition of what may give relief and support to a mom during each sensation. Often something as seemingly innocuous as a gentle massage on mom's back in between sensations can help her greatly in getting into her rhythm and ritual mindset. Iโ€™ve often gone from performing the double hip squeeze to a rhythmic massage on her back and if I stop to take a drink, mom will turn her head and say โ€œPlease keep going! That helps so much!โ€ :)

Where the Partner Fits In

Similar to how the parter can provide support with their words, your partner's touch can bring a huge amount of relief and reassurance. I love to show partners how I do certain counter pressure techniques and love when they gain confidence as they do them. Iโ€™m a visual learner and have found that a lot of partners are too. They often watch for the first little while and then when I suggest they step in and try, they are quick to learn how to do it. Aside from the technical moves, having your partner right beside you, holding your hand, stroking your hair or face, or giving one of their awesome back or foot rubs can bring amazing support and relief as you labour.

#3: My Patience (Holding Space)

Just like it took 10 months for your babe to grow and develop, birth can take time. Your body may have a few starts and stops over several days (or weeks!) as it preps for active labour. This pre-labour and early labour stage can be emotionally and physically draining on both mom and partner. I make it a high priority prenatally to really go over the importance of patience during this stage. I make it a point to simply BE with moms and partners during this stage. This may be to just listen, or it may be to encourage them to shift perspective - to make these next few hours and/or days before babe, a special bonding time with just them - to see how special this time is..the time between โ€˜almost and not yetโ€™, and to hold space with them there. Then once labour actually begins and babe is ready to get things moving and I am on my way to them, I am very conscious of the need for me to model patience for them, and to be in tune enough to recognize the moments when my voice or my hands arenโ€™t needed...that the greatest tool in some moments of birth is simply holding space.

And finally as baby is birthed and mom and her partner finally get to see and hold and kiss and love their new sweet baby, I quietly take pictures and videos of those amazing first moments. And as much as possible, foster an environment in the room that respects those first incredible and life changing moments.

Where the Partner Fits In

stanleybirth2 1Photo Credit: Kieran Darcy

The most common thing I hear partners say at births or prenatally is โ€œI just want to help her.โ€ And it really wasnโ€™t until I became a doula that I fully appreciated how difficult and emotionally draining the role of the support person could be. And that is amplified 1000% for your partner as they love you and it can be so difficult to see the one you love in pain. And because of this enormous love and concern they have for you, sometimes it is difficult for them to remember what your birth wishes are - especially when all they want to do is take your pain away. But once your partner is able to see the tremendous value in simply holding space for you and simply BE by your side, itโ€™s really amazing to watch what happens. It empowers the birthing mom in an amazing way! She can "read" her partner better than anyone else, so when her partner's face is lined with worry or doubt, she can see that. But, when she sees her partner calmly and confidently just BE-ing, the calm and confidence transfers to her and empowers her to trust her body.

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So those are the 3 things every birth needs! I have many other tools that I bring and use at different births and during different stages of labour, but these three things - My Voice, My Hands and My Patience are the 3 that I use every single time.

AngieStanley

Angie Stanley is a Birth Doula. She is passionate about supporting women and families and has worked with various non-profit organizations over the past 15 years.  She truly believes that the pregnancy and birthing stages are some of the most life changing and special times of a woman's life.  She considers it an honour to be present to walk alongside women and their families at such a special stage of life. Setting up a FREE consultation with a Birth Doula is easy! Visit us here!

Exercise During Pregnancy

When & What? Advice from a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

A common question I get as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is: โ€œWhat kind of exercises are safe to do during pregnancy?โ€. The short answer is that most forms of exercise are safe and advocated. Maintaining fitness, preventing health issues such as gestational diabetes and preparing the body for an optimal birth and recovery are a few of the reasons why regular exercise is important. Of the different types of exercises, โ€œcore exerciseโ€ is often a hot topic for pregnant women. Although your deep core muscles do assist in breathing and pushing efforts during birth, your uterus does most of the work so you donโ€™t need abs of steel to to have a smooth birth (another blog to come on this topic). Engaging in different types of exercise will keep you well in pregnancy and beyond.

pregnancy pool

Safety: When shouldnโ€™t I exercise during pregnancy?
In rare circumstances there may be reasons to more drastically modify standard exercise recommendations or avoid exercise all together. If there is an underlying condition involving the uterus, placenta or your overall state of health, your primary care provider will typically indicate when this is the case. Refer to this link for more information.

What kind of exercise should I be doing?
General exercise guidelines still apply during pregnancy โ€“ cardio for lung and heart health 30 minutes, 5 times a week; muscle strengthening 3 times a week; and stretching daily. There is also a lot of new research outlining the importance of daily mindfulness to counteract the chemical stress response that most of us have in our busy lives. Try a 15 minute guided body scan (lots on YouTube), meditation, prayer or gratitude journaling.

Some women find during the first trimester symptoms of morning sickness limit them from doing strenuous activity. Be patient with yourself and give your body some time. Starting with a gentle walk for 15 mins 2x/day just to get the blood pumping and muscles moving is still beneficial. The same principles apply if you are new to exercise โ€“ start slow and gentle and progress as you are able.

What about Kegels?
A โ€œkegelโ€ is a sustained and repeated pelvic floor activation named after the OBGYN who started advocating for them in the 1940s (Dr. Arnold Kegel). Yes, we want our pelvic floor muscles to be strong but we also need them to be flexible; they need to be able to relax, and to be coordinated with our muscles. As a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, I can help you set up an inner core program incorporating pelvic floor muscle training that will support you through your pregnancy, during exercise, throughout labour and into your recovery post partum. 

What about Yoga?
Prenatal yoga can help with flexibility and relaxation during pregnancy and also has the added benefit of meeting other Moms-to-be for you to connect with during pregnancy and into motherhood. Yoga is a great compliment to your strength and cardio program. Note that hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy as the increases in core temperature can impact fetal development.

prenatal yoga

High Impact Exercise: What about Running? Crossfit? HIIT? Power Lifting?
In the media there tends to be an all-or-nothing approach to pregnancy โ€“ either all you do is yoga or you continue to power lift until the day you birth your baby. If you were performing high intensity or high impact exercises before pregnancy it is typically safe to continue these, but the intensity will taper down during pregnancy. Here are some things to remember:

You must acknowledge that your body will change during pregnancy and it is wise to honour these changes. There are a number of physical adjustments that affect your posture, breathing and your muscles' ability to generate power as the length of muscles change and the relationship of structures adjusts. Good form when executing high-impact exercise is always very important and simply put is more difficult to do when pregnant. Unfortunately, most trainers do not have the adequate knowledge to guide women through these high impact exercises in a safe and appropriate manner. Sit ups, curl ups, toes to bar, V sits, boat pose, Russia twists and double leg lowers are examples of traditional core exercises that increase abdominal pressure and overrecruit our external core which can contribute to rectus diastasis or โ€œMummy Tummyโ€. To prevent pelvic floor issues and abdominal wall issues, you are best to touch base with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist who can appropriately guide you through the exercise program you desire.

pregnant running

Donโ€™t forget that pregnancy is a time for maintaining your strength and endurance then tapering the intensity as your needs change. The goal is not to develop fitness at this time through max lifts or personal bests, so an adjustment in your approach to exercise and fitness is important. During pregnancy you should be able to talk throughout your workout, recover quickly and modify your movements easily.

I hear I am supposed to listen to my body โ€“ what am I listening for!?

  • Pain โ€“ of any kind, especially in the back or pelvis.
  • A feeling pressure or heaviness in the pelvis
  • Loss of control of urine โ€“ leaking with lifting, running, coughing, sneezing, laughing
  • A โ€œtentingโ€ or โ€œconingโ€ through the front of the abdomen with any movement
  • A tendency to to hold your breath to perform a movement
  • Development of hemorrhoids or varicose veins

These events signal there is a muscle and pressure imbalance through the body that needs to be addressed. Again, as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist I can help you connect with these imbalances and educate you as to how to manage them going forward.

Take Home Message: Exercise is Medicine in Pregnancy and Beyond!
Exercise during pregnancy is safe for most women and should be fun, engaging and rewarding โ€“ physically and emotionally! You can start at a low intensity and build your way up, or continue with the work you were already doing and make modifications along the way. At the WOMB we have workshops, fitness classes and our Pelvic Health Physiotherapy team ready to support you through your pregnancy and into motherhood. 

jennytc

 

Jenny Telfer Crum is a Registered Pelvic Health Physiotherapist at The WOMB. She has a special interest in helping women exercise safely during pregnancy, prepare for labour and return to their exercise intensity of choice after birth while honouring their body along the way.

 

What you need to know about Postnatal Doulas

There is a big difference between a Postnatal Doula, and a Night Nurse or a Mother's Helper

The incredible treasure that people donโ€™t know aboutโ€ฆand itโ€™s at the WOMB!

Imagine, after a long and tiring process of trying to conceive, finding out you have finally been blessed with what you were praying forโ€ฆand then someโ€ฆyou are pregnant with twins. As you move through that first trimester you start to process the awesome reality of what is happening to you. As you start to notice some of the difficulties managing your new circumstances with the babies contained within your womb, you wonder how you are going to manage once these two precious humans enter the world? An exciting and daunting prospect!

This was me. Although I was more excited than anything else, I did wonder how I would be able to enjoy those early days of motherhood. How might I manage to cherish the blessings that had been bestowed on me when I felt like I did not know a thing about being a mother, and I was in for double duty?

It was my sister who was the one who educated me on the existence of Postnatal Doulas, upon learning about my pregnancy she unequivocally said, โ€œYou need to get oneโ€. At that point I was aware of the existence of a Birth Doula, however, I have never heard of a Postnatal Doula. In my sisterโ€™s enthusiastic words, she declared a few descriptors of a Postnatal Doula: โ€œbaby expertโ€; โ€œhelps get you on a rhythm as you transitionโ€; โ€œeliminates chaosโ€; โ€œassist with family sleepโ€. I did not need to hear moreโ€ฆโ€sign me upโ€!

007 DuforFamily HRM 1My Postnatal Doula support did not disappoint!! In fact, my expectations were far exceeded. I can honestly say without a doubt is was the best money I have ever spent in my life. My husband and I used to joke that we had been so lucky to find an incredible treasure that no one knew aboutโ€ฆour Postnatal Doula, a real-life Mary Poppins, who just made life better!

So, what did the support look like for us? Well, we started with having support 3 nights a week (for approximately 7 hours at a time) and this pared down to twice a week and then once a week until we were all managing really nicely on our own. At this point I changed my support to 1 day a week, (for approximately 4 hours) to assist me as we adjusted to other transitions as our children developed.

Now, I do want to clarify that there is a pretty big difference between a Postnatal Doula and a night nurse or a mommyโ€™s helper. It is the role of the Postnatal Doula in particular that is golden, so let me elaborate.

A Postnatal Doula is an expert in postnatal family support and baby care. She understands the transitions parents and siblings make when adding a new baby or babies to the family. Here are some common supports our WOMB Postpartum Doulas provide:

Mei 1

โ€ข Teach you how to soothe baby
โ€ข Provide assistance with food and hydration so you can care for baby
โ€ข Support your breastfeeding/feeding efforts and help you problem solve
โ€ข Help you and baby to sleep better at night
โ€ข Allow you time to nap by taking care of the daily household chores
โ€ข Help you keep the house organized so that you feel less stress
โ€ข Teach you about your amazing newborn and stand by you as you learn, reminding you that you are doing a great job!
โ€ข Help you look after your other children so that they feel engaged and can adjust to their new sibling AND so you have time to bond with your baby

I know what youโ€™re thinking. โ€œThis really exists? There are people who can do this?โ€ Yes, it does. Wonderful right? Here at the WOMB we have these amazing treasures and their goal is to support you through empowerment, so you have the tools and skills to be on your own and be the best mother possible.

I continue to be surprised, six years after my own experience with Postnatal Doulas, that people still do not know about this incredible resource. As one of the Pelvic Health Physiotherapists on the WOMB team I have an opportunity to see the value of all our Doulas have in our clients lives. There are many instances when my feeling is that a client of mine would benefit more from Postnatal Doula support than from the pelvic floor intervention that have sought me for. More people need to know about Postnatal Doula support. We are talking about an incredible treasure that should not be hiddenโ€ฆspread the word!

Sinรฉad Dufour PT PhD

Hey Birth Partner! Why you don't need to be a Superhero...

So Iโ€™d like to get right to the pointโ€ฆ.Birth Partner, you are important!

Often times with all the excitement and preparation for labour and birth, the role of the birth partner is taken for granted. Society has placed unrealistic expectations on partners to be the hero for the day but without enough sleep, food and some simple items, itโ€™s hard for partners to hold it together for the birth let alone help mom. But the birthing mom will notice if you arenโ€™t meeting your own needs and this can make her more anxious. The more anxious she is the more pain she feels. So by looking after your own basic needs, mom can relax without worrying that youโ€™re ok. You are not a superhero but a human being about to share in one of the most exhilarating yet exhausting times of your life. Here are some things that a birth partner can do to prepare and feel ready for the big day.

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Pack a bag โ€“ for a hospital birth bring a change of clothing, sweater, flip flops, bathing suit, mints, phone charger, lip balm for mom, and your toiletries. Youโ€™ll be staying more than 24 hours and youโ€™ll want to freshen up too! Having fresh breath is so important when your face to face for so long! Youโ€™ll definitely feel like a hero if you casually pull lip balm out of your pocket when mom complains that her lips are dry.

Pillow for mom and a pillow for you โ€“ hospitals usually arenโ€™t generous with pillows, so if you do get a chance to rest, itโ€™ll be so much better with a pillow.

Eat and stay hydrated โ€“ I canโ€™t count the number of times as a doula that Iโ€™ve looked over at a partner and begged them to take a break and eat something. I think that there can be some guilt when they canโ€™t take discomfort away from mom so sacrificing eating can alleviate that feeling of guilt. However, this is the one discomfort that has purpose and that needs to be there for baby to be born, so feed yourselves!! Energy bars are a great item to bring and are easy to bring in any bag, so youโ€™re not away from mom for a long amount of time. Every time mom has some water, so should you! Dehydration symptoms are pretty harsh and you need to be on your game. Hospitals are notoriously dry and coffee is also dehydrating so be good to yourself and balance everything with some H20.
and last but definitely not leastโ€ฆ.

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Emotions โ€“ you will be going through some crazy emotions that may take you by surprise. Itโ€™s ok, your feelings count too. Let yourself feel them and share them with your partner. Watching your partner birth your baby and then meeting your baby for the first time is an amazing, life changing experience โ€“ enjoy itโ€ฆ feel itโ€ฆ live it.

Sincerely,
The Doula

For more information on Doulas attend one of our Ask A Doula Nights or contact the WOMB at 905-842-2434โ€ฆ

DanielaSimone

Daniela Simone is a guest blogger and Certified Childbirth Doula and Postpartum Doula.  Danielaโ€™s goal is to help women find their labour style, find strength in their choices and appreciate the amazing experience of giving birth in awareness. She loves being a wife to her supportive husband and mother to her two wonderful children.Setting up a FREE Consultation easy! Connect with us Today!

What everyone should know about Caesarean birth

The following is written by Dr. Sinรฉad Dufour, PT PhD, our a pelvic health physiotherapist at The WOMB and professor at McMaster University. She is also the proud mom of twins and gave birth by Caesarean birth under the advisement of her obstetrician. Since then, Dr. Sinรฉad has come to understand the health implications of caesarean birth and has an important message to share with women: one that she wishes she had known 5 years ago when she gave birth to her twins.

I first met my Obstetrician when I was 15 weeks pregnant. Since I was pregnant with twins it was suggested that my perinatal care be provided by the โ€œhigh riskโ€ OB in town. In this first (very brief) meeting, I was reassured that so far things looked good, but given I had not yet had children it would be in my babiesโ€™ best interest, particularly that of baby B, to be delivered via Caesarean section.

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At this time in my life, I was over half way through my PhD, so my inquisitive mind needed to know, โ€œwhat is the evidence to substantiate a C- section? Is it in the BEST interest of baby Bโ€? 

In response, I was given a somewhat detailed answer pertaining to a recent five-year research trial that determined consistently poor outcomes for baby B when delivered vaginally. I accepted this, agreed to the recommendation and as I left my appointment, I was given a card with my scheduled Caesarean section date indicated. In a way, it was a bit of a relief. My trust in our health care system at the time translated to me not giving much thought to the type of birth I would have.

However, I am most grateful (especially now!) that my naturopathic doctor did. In addition to helping me conceive, she ensured that โ€œdespite my impending Caesarean sectionโ€, I would be armed with the best possible health strategies for my future children.

What did she mean? She was talking about the microbiome. Birth through the vaginal canal is the time when a baby ingests some of the first bacteria that will colonise its gut. But babies born by caesarean birth miss out on this process, and end up with a different set of bugs โ€“ including some from the hospital environment.

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Tons of studies have found evidence that this C-section microbiome could make the child more vulnerable to problems later in life, such as asthma, food allergies and even obesity. We are finally coming to understand how important the collection of bacteria in our guts is for our health.

It is only now that I understand how important certain aspects of her plan were โ€“ probiotics!! My children are now five years old and itโ€™s only in the last two years that Iโ€™ve given more thought to how they were brought into the world, and how I was duped by the very care system in which I work. In retrospect, I was not given accurate information on what was in my babiesโ€™ best interest. Rather, I was offered a recommendation based on a biased perspective, one that medicalizes birth, disrupting our precious evolutionary fabric in the process.

My increasing knowledge and understanding of the microbiome has stemmed from one of the many hats I wear โ€“ a professor of pathophysiology at McMaster University. Simply put, the scientific evidence is now very clear: a well-functioning microbiome is the key to health โ€“ it represents the foundation and the evolutionary matrix that allows us to exist. This important new research SHOULD be transforming our health care approach, especially as it relates to perinatal care. Almost one third of babies born in North America are now birthed by caesarean. These babies can still receive the microbes theyโ€™re missing โ€” and hopefully some of the health benefits โ€”

explaining how the microbiome is the future of medicine. Colonization of the intestine with important bacteria begins at birth, mainly due to transfer of bacteria from the mother, but also from the environment โ€“ to which the influences are many. Mode of birth, place of birth, breastfeeding and antibiotic use have been clearly demonstrated to influence the composition of the microbiota.

So, what exactly are the implications regarding Cesarean birth? We still donโ€™t have all the answers. What we do know, is that when your babyโ€™s gut is colonized by the micro-organisms in the hospital operating room rather than from you, it doesnโ€™t bode well for the long term health of your child. More disturbing is the fact that this is now understood to have a multi-generational effect.

So, what can we do with all of this information? Our conventional practices that medicalize birth require a major upheaval. It is not to say we never need medicalization โ€“ of course there are times when medical intervention saves lives. This is where our current systems approach shines. However, the pattern of routine unnecessary intervention is a big issue and frankly the health of our population is suffering as a result.

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Regardless of where you fit in the perinatal care process, you need to be informed. Beyond being informed, you need to be supported and empowered to make the best decisions. Thankfully our bodies are designed to adapt towards a state of wellness. We do however need the correct guidance on how to get there in a world of conventional practices that are hazardous to our health. I am so grateful to now be working with an incredible team in a one of a kind centre called The World of my Baby (the WOMB), who can provide this much needed help.


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