Blog

When Teething Disrupts Sleep

When does teething impact sleep? While teething can occasionally disrupt sleep… it’s far less the cause of sleep a disturbance than most people think. For babies who follow an age-appropriate schedule, meet their daily sleep needs, and are able to put themselves to sleep, teething will likely go unnoticed or may cause a minor sleep disruption. We tend to see teething have a more dramatic impact for those children who are overtired and/or don’t know how to put themselves to sleep. Most…

Sleep Tips for Shifting to Daylight Savings Time

As we approach “Spring Forward” for Daylight Savings Time (DST), many parents begin to dread the loss of sleep and the abrupt change to routine. The fear of the loss of progress we have made in getting our kids to sleep feels threatened- you are not in alone in feeling like this but FEAR NOT! Most children will adjust naturally based on the changes to daylight and darkness (our bodies are quite adept to adjusting to time changes!). Here are a few…

The Silent Hours

There is a magic in the dark silent hours of the night Somehow it is an honor to be one of the few awake The rest of the world slumbers as we witness the minutes become hours, the moon tracing across the sky Hands pulsate with vibrations of love Release. Relax. Open. Find the softness. Trust. Few words are spoken but they all brim with love We work to create the space for life to move in The key that only she…

How to Select Your Prenatal Provider

One of the most important factors in determining how your birth goes (particularly in regards to medical interventions, procedures, and medications) depends upon whom you choose to be your prenatal provider. Of course, there are many providers out there, often with differing views of childbirth, regardless if they are a midwife or doctor (for example, some providers take a very medical view of birth, seeing it as so unpredictable that it is safest and best to use many medical procedures during birth…

A Birth Story

Positive birth stories can be hard to come by but are essential in preparing for an empowering birthing experience. We must end the cycle of perpetuating the myth that birth is a horrible experience that we need to endure and survive. With the right preparation, support, and mindset, every woman can have a positive experience that she can hold sacred, as my dear client, Lucia, shares below.  Giving birth felt like traveling to the door of eternity or another world to me to receive the…

5 Tips to Successfully Transition Back to Work: Breastfeeding & Pumping

Many women have to return to work while still breastfeeding. This does not mean that you now need to transition to formula. With the right preparation and schedule, a smooth, easy transition for you and baby is possible. Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then continuing breastfeeding until at least one year of age with the introduction of solid foods and ideally beyond (2+ years). 1….

20 Things A Doula Does

So perhaps you understand what a doula is, but exactly does a doula do? 1. A doula supports the expectant mother and her partner throughout the pregnancy and is available to answer any questions or concerns about pregnancy, prenatal tests, and birth. 2. A doula meets with the expectant couple, usually in their home, at least once prior to the birth, around 30-35 weeks into the pregnancy. 3. Prior to labor, a doula helps the mother prepare for birth by educating her…

Doulas are for C-Sections, Too

Many assume that doulas only support natural birth or that you only need a doula if you want to have a natural birth. Doulas— especially the good ones— support all types of birth. Having attended natural, epidural, and cesarean births, I can tell you that each and every type of birth can benefit from doula support. In fact, my clients who have had births that have resulted in a c-section have needed even more support than my clients who have had natural…

The Best Growing Foods for Your Bump, Babe, and Beyond

First trimester aversions, breastfeeding struggles and colic, and toddler picky eating can all make it seem like it is impossible to get in the healthiest foods, but it is also the most critical period for optimal growth and development. I want to share some of the best growing foods to get the most bang for your buck during pregnancy, infancy, childhood and beyond. Our most vulnerable babes need protection against the toxins, refined sugar, antibiotics, pesticides, EMFs, and all the other scary things…

Why Your Birthing Environment Matters

A woman in labor is in a very vulnerable state— she is often experiencing intense physical and emotional sensations, working hard to allow her body to relax enough to open, and preparing her psyche for the birth of her baby— this is no small feat. For many women, this is one of their greatest accomplishments and, however it goes, an experience that they will remember for the rest of their life. I often think about other mammals in labor when I think…

Doulas Are For Partners, Too!

One of the most common misconceptions about doula support is that doulas replace or take away from a partner’s role. I understand where this concern comes from but most doulas (especially the good ones!) make it a priority to involve, empower, and support the partner. 5 Reasons Every Partner Can Benefit from Doula Support 1. A Doula Helps the Partner Help the Mother Most partners want to be active participants in the birthing experience but do not know specifically how to best…

A Joyful Birthing Birth Story

Four hours after my baby girl was born, she stopped breathing in my arms. We were transferred to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Thankfully after an extremely stressful and emotional 2 weeks, we were finally home with our little bundle. That’s a long story for another day, but it is one reason why writing and remembering my birth story is so important to me. It was the most amazing experience of my life and the birth I never really knew I wanted…

Happy Belly, Happy Baby (and Joyful Birth!)

Hi Joyful Birthing friends! I am thrilled to introduce myself and share some insight to a healthy and happy prenatal and postpartum experience with you. My name is Katharine Murphy and I am a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and mom of two, living in West Newbury. I am incredibly passionate about helping women to feel their best, look their best, and have an enjoyable pregnancy that leads to a healthy and happy babe. I believe with all my heart…

Your Pelvic Floor Post Baby

Hello Joyful Birthing! My name is Darcie Pervier– I am a very personal person by nature. It makes me laugh to think my passion in life is to help girls and women learn about their bodies inside and out. That means sharing with the world, my rocky recovery from child birth. I delivered both of my children vaginally while never getting past 8.5 cm….. Need I say more!??? I have been a physical therapist for over 16 years, I am a mom…

Natural Ways to Avoid Induction

There are many reasons why your provider may suggest an induction of labor. I will not go into these reasons here but– as with all medical decisions– be sure that you understand the risks and benefits and that you ultimately make an informed choice (definitely take the time to read the articles on evidencebasedbirth.com, talk to your doula, and ask your provider A LOT of questions). If you have an induction scheduled and are hoping to go into labor on your own…

How to Write an Effective Birth "Plan"

First off, let’s get rid of the word “plan”. After all, it’s not really a plan… you can certainly dream about your perfect birth, but you cannot plan your perfect birth, for every woman, every baby, and every birth is unique and often presents certain scenarios that are impossible to anticipate. So, I much prefer to call it your “Birth Preferences” or, even better, your “Birth Wish-List”, for these terms acknowledge that you understand that there are elements of birthing that are…

My Journey into Birth Work

For as long as I can remember I was drawn to the miracle of birth. Like my grandfather (a prominent OBGYN in Philadelphia) I wanted to deliver babies, but daunted by the path to medical school, I pursued a career as a high-school English teacher instead, received my MA from Middlebury College and focused on helping adolescents find their voice in the classroom and navigate life’s challenges. When I became pregnant with my first child in 2011, I was determined to have…

Better Birthing with HypnoBirthing®— A Doula’s Perspective

When I first heard of HypnoBirthing® (the Mongan Method), I was pregnant with my first child and eager to have a natural birth. I found a podcast on birthing methods and listened to the founder of HynoBirthing, Marie Mongan, talk about its philosophy and techniques, and the calm, gentle, and sometimes pain-free birthing experiences of HypnoBirthing mothers. I was instantly hooked and quickly signed up for a class. I loved every minute of the 12-hour series… it was a full education on…

Tips to Ensure Adequate Milk Supply

The most common reason that mothers wean early or add in supplemental formula is due to concerns about inadequate milk supply. As a doula and lactation counselor, this is the postpartum concern I hear the most frequently. First, determine if you need to work on your supply. If your baby has exceeded her birth weight and is producing at least 4 stools a day, then you have a healthy, adequate supply. Striving to increase your supply may lead to engorgement, sore nipples,…

How to Position Yourself and Baby for Easier Birthing

I just got back from an amazing Spinning Babies Workshop and I’m eager to share what I’ve learned with my students, doula clients, and all of those Mamas out there preparing for birth. In a nutshell: position matters— your position, baby’s position; in pregnancy and in labor. “Optimal fetal positioning” has been a bit of a buzz term lately and I have even seen some debate on whether it matters, but let me tell you— it matters, much more than you think!…

The Key to an Empowering Birthing Experience

For many women an empowering birthing experience is hard to come by. Ask around and you will likely discover this for yourself. It is all too easy for a woman’s birth to slip out of her control and into the hands of procedure, routine, the clock, concern for liability, etc. But the key to an empowering birthing experience is not complicated; it does not require voo-doo, chanting, or even homebirth. When it comes to having an empowering birthing experience, it all comes…