Birth Boot Camp® Natural Childbirth Education Classes – Online and Instructor-

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Birth Boot Camp® Natural Childbirth Education Classes - Online and Instructor-

Getting Enough Iron in Pregnancy

Many women struggle during pregnancy with anemia or iron deficiency.  Diet can often be helpful in improving this.  Having adequate iron is important for lots of reasons.  Women who have low levels of iron are often tired.  In addition, very low iron levels can impact your labor and birth and even increase postpartum hemorrhage.  Here are some simple tips to up your iron intake. 

A)  Get your leafy greens-  Foods that are dark green usually have iron in them.  Not only do greens help you get iron, they can help you absorb nutrients from your protein rich foods.  Some great choices are: spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy, asparagus, broccoli, dark salad greens, and the like.  Being sure to eat a salad daily, drink a green smoothie in the morning, or incorporate collard greens into your meatloaf or other meat dishes are easy ways to sneak in these vegetables that you may not be getting.

B)  Combine foods properly-  Calcium is known to inhibit iron absorption, so eating your calcium rich foods SEPARATELY from your iron rich foods can help your iron absorption improve.  For instance, have the burger without the cheese, take your iron supplement with an acidic drink rather than with milk.  On the flip side, vitamin C is known to help iron absorption, so adding some tomatoes to  your salad or burger may help improve your absorption.

C) Overall Nutrition- Simply understanding which foods are rich in iron can really improve your ability to make good choices.  Red meats, yams, some organ meats, greens (as mentioned above), shellfish, eggs and dried fruit are all rich in iron.  Knowing this and choosing to eat and snack accordingly can really improve your overall nutritional intake.

Part of a great birth education begins with proper nutrition throughout your entire pregnancy.  You might be surprised what a difference it will make in your health and your birth.

Breastfeeding in Public With Ease

Many new mothers worry about the first nursing session in public with their new baby.  This does not have to be a stressful time though, if mom is comfortable and prepared.

One thing you can do to prepare is to practice!  Nursing in front of a bedroom mirror may show you how covered you already are while nursing and give you confidence to do so in public.

Another thing that helps is layering your clothes.  A simple and inexpensive tank top worn underneath your regular shirt is an easy way to stay covered while nursing.  Simply lift your shirt, pull the tank down, and latch on the baby.  No tummy will be exposed and your over shirt will keep your breast covered.  While many people use covers, they can draw more attention than simply nursing in your clothes.  Also, many women find that as their babies get bigger they push off a cover anyway.

Keeping a hand near the breast to pull down your shirt quickly should the baby suddenly pull off is another simple thing that a worried mother can do that will make her feel a little more confident when nursing in public.

Nursing a baby is a beautiful and loving experience- but it doesn’t need to keep mom cooped up in the house all day!

Using a Midwife (Types of Midwives)

Many women desire the benefits of midwifery care for their pregnancy but become overwhelmed when they start to look into it and find that there are many different types of midwives to choose from.

While options, certifications, and even legality vary from one state to another and from one country to the next, here are a few basic tips for deciding what type of midwife you want.  There isn’t necessarily a right answer, just different choices for different situations.

The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)- For women who want to be attended by a midwife in a hospital setting, the CNM is a great option.  A CNM is someone who has trained as a registered nurse and then attended further training (often a master’s program) to specialize in midwifery.  A CNM has some medical background and can function in various different settings.  Many work within a hospital, some work in or own birth centers outside of the hospital, and some even attend home births (though the legality of this varies from state to state).

The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)- For women who desire to birth at home, a CPM is often what she will choose.  A Certified Professional Midwife is usually certified through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and has completed their testing and requirements.

A CPM is not required to have the medical background that a CNM has but has completed reading, apprenticing, and testing in order to specialize in normal birth and has also studied variations and emergency situations that can occur in a birth setting.

Some states also have their own state licensing and will have licensed midwives (or LM) who have passed their state licensing.  States vary in their requirements.

There are also, in some states, Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) who have studied midwifery and apprenticed but have not necessarily licensed through an organization or school.  A DEM will work in a home or birth center setting but not within the hospital.

Knowing your options and the different types of midwives is a wonderful start to making informed birth choices for you and your baby.

Morning Sickness Solutions


 

 

Many women struggle with morning sickness while pregnant.  This nausea upon waking can vary greatly, from a mild irritation to being so bad that hospitalization is necessary.  For some women, morning sickness isn’t just morning sickness, it is all day long sickness.

Luckily there are little tricks that can help ease and even eliminate the annoyance of morning sickness in some cases.

  • Protein with each meal- Many childbirth educators recommend eating a little bit of protein with each meal.  For some women, the nausea of pregnancy is caused by simple blood sugar imbalances as the body adjusts to pregnancy and the placenta is being formed.  Eating protein with every meal and snack, especially having a protein rich breakfast can really help ease your discomfort if blood sugar is the cause of your woes.
  • Ginger- Many women find that ginger can help with any kind of nausea, even that caused by pregnancy.  You can consume ginger in a spicy tea, cookies, small candies, and even in pill form.
  • Staying hydrated- Many people have difficulty drinking plenty of water at any time of life.  But during pregnancy, when the strains on your body are even more extreme, staying hydrated is especially important.  Trying to keep your fluids as healthy and natural and close to water as possible is especially important.
  • Exercise- Some pregnant women find that simply doing some small exercise each day can help with the morning sickness associated with exercise.  This can be as simple as a short walk or a relaxing swim.  Not only can this help you feel better, it can help you prepare for the work of birth.

Taking care of yourself while pregnant may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby.

Choosing a Birth Photographer

Birth is one of life’s most amazing events.  It is natural to want to capture it in images that can be shared and enjoyed for years to come.  How should you choose the best birth photographer for you?

Ask your childbirth educator who she recommends.  As a professional in your community, she will have contacts with others in the birth world.  Your midwife or doula may also be able to give you some tips on who to look for.

Also ask friends who have enjoyed the work done by their own birth photographer.  Seeing what somebody else has as memory from their precious birth will give you an idea of what to look for.

What specifically do you want in a birth photographer?  It is recommended that you look for somebody who is versed in birth photography specifically.  The darkness common in a natural birth and a mother’s sensitivity to a camera’s flash is something that an experienced photographer will be aware of and able to work with.

Not only do you want someone with good technical skills, but you want a photographer who is ethical and professional.  Find out how many photos you get, who owns the originals and how or if the photographer will be distributing them to others.  Finding out your photographer’s professional reputation for honesty and professionalism may be just as important as the quality of their work.

Taking the time to carefully choose your birth photographer is a decision that you will never regret.

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