Common Swelling in Pregnancy

Some minor swelling in pregnancy is not uncommon for women, especially in the final trimester. Any swelling should be discussed with your care provider as it can, in rare instances, indicate a bigger problem. Typical swelling, however, can be relieved with a few simple tips.

  • Exercise~ Light exercise like walking, swimming or yoga can help with blood flow and relieve the swelling in the feet so common in the end of pregnancy. Though it may be difficult to muster the energy to get outside or get up and be active, it can really be worth it for the relief it brings.
  • Healthy eating~ Eating a balanced diet that includes healthy protein, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and which avoids any processed foods or sugars can also alleviate excessive swelling. In fact, when your diet is this healthy, it is often fine to salt your food to taste since you will be avoiding overly salted processed foods.
  • Pelvic rocking~ Many women find that the simple exercise known as pelvic rocking can help with better circulation while pregnant. Ask your childbirth educator how to do this exercise properly. She can train both you and your partner in good technique.

With care, effort and proper education, even the common complaints of pregnancy can be eased.

Protein rich snacks

Healthy, protein rich snacks are a pregnant woman’s BEST friend!

Dear Mother,

Why a live training?

We are so happy at the interest people have shown in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor!  We have had people travel from all over the country to attend our instructor training workshops in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Often, we are asked why we don’t do “online instructor training.”

We are a company specializing in natural birth classes accessible online, so the request makes sense.  Birth Boot Camp will always teach live instructor trainings and there is good reason for that.  Let us tell you why.

The Birth Boot Camp instructor training workshops are unique in many ways.

They aren’t put on by one or two people, they are run by members of our board with various skills and responsibilities within the company.  Donna Ryan (our founder) and Sarah Clark do the bulk of the teacher training that concerns HOW you TEACH a class.  Donna and Sarah are both experienced natural birth instructors with very different teaching styles.  Their relationship with one another along with their different teaching styles compliment each other and show that all different personalities can be effective teachers.

April Francom spends time explaining all of the administrative details that are required when joining our team as an instructor. This includes how to access and utilize all of the resources that we offer.  She helps guide all of our applicants through the certification process and helps them with re-certification each year, as well.

We are very proud to offer our instructors training and support in marketing their new business. Shannon Blackwell is a marketing professional specializing in non-profit and small business marketing.  She gives our instructors information and keys to making their business a success.  Shannon’s experience and knowledge help all of our instructors hit the ground running as they build their own childbirth business.

One of the favorite aspects of our training is that every future instructor has the opportunity to actually teach. We all take a moment to teach and evaluate each other.  This isn’t scary- it is helpful!  Training is a safe place to get your feet wet and get recommendations from other experienced teachers.  There is no way we could do this part of training online.

At some point during the weekend, each instructor has a professional head shot taken for our website and their own, personal use. It is a little thing, but we love the professional polish that these incredible pictures give our instructors.

Last, but not least, each instructor is required to pass a written exam before becoming certified.

Could we create an online, virtual training? Yes, but that would lesson the program that we are offering.  We want to meet our instructors. We want them to meet us.  We want to shake your hand, look you in the eye and have a personal connection with every single person who calls themselves a Birth Boot Camp Instructor.  That might sound funny coming from an childbirth method with an online component, but it is the truth.  One of the reasons we are so busy training instructors is so that MORE families in MORE places have access to live and in-person childbirth education that is up-to-date and comprehensive.  It simply can’t be found everywhere.

So, if you are curious about why you should bother flying or driving a long distance for childbirth educator training, those are a few of the reasons.  We would love to meet you and have you join our team.  Did we mention?  Our first California training is going to be held this September in San Clemente!

Allow Your Baby to Choose His Own Birthday

Here at Birth Boot Camp we educate couples about the risks of induction and encourage allowing our babies to choose their own birthdays.

Is it safe to have sex while pregnant?

Pregnancy is a magical time. It is also a time of worry and concern for many families. We naturally want to do what is best for our baby and not endanger them in any way.

Many people wonder if it is safe to make love during pregnancy. Of course, you should always consult your care provider if you have specific problems or questions. But, in general, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe.

In fact, there can be many benefits of sex during pregnancy.

As a transitional time of life, keeping the intimacy in your marriage alive is both healthy and important for both of the partners. Also, sex during pregnancy can be very stress free for many couples. They don’t have to worry about trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid getting pregnant.

There are also known benefits to sex during pregnancy. Semen is a natural prostaglandan (cervical ripener) and some midwives report that their clients who are sexually active during pregnancy are less likely to go overdue. In fact, many women report that they start labor after making love. Sex with orgasm causes an oxytocin release that can kick start an overdue baby.

Despite the ability of sex to start labor, unless you have a history of preterm labor, sex is still perfectly safe throughout pregnancy. Your body will know when it is time.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Birth Boot Camp!

As we look back on 2012, we saw an exciting year of growth and have much to be grateful for.  Birth Boot Camp launched in March of 2012 under the direction of our founder, Donna Ryan, and our Advisory Board.  We started offering the first, full series of professionally filmed, streaming online childbirth education classes.  Our online and in-person classes have now been taken all over the country, and even in other countries.

{click photo to view interactive map}

In June, we did our first training for childbirth educators in Dallas, Texas.  We had a wonderful group of birth professionals that included a midwife, some doulas, a massage therapist and an amazing lactation consultant.  We had a great time and learned a lot.

 

This summer, Donna met with Gail Tully of Spinning Babies.  We are honored to have Gail’s Belly Mapping represented in our Field Manual (student workbook).

 

 

 

 

September brought another instructor training workshop and added teachers all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth area along with a few in Oklahoma.

Our company was featured on the Bring Birth Home website, the Australian based website Natural Childbirth World, and on Natural Parenting Tips .

We are so grateful for all the people who have reached out and helped us share the news of Birth Boot Camp with the world!

Another fabulous instructor training workshop was held in November. New instructors were sent all over the country; to Washington, Utah, Oregon, California, Oklahoma and more locations in Texas.  It was so much fun and incredibly flattering to see all those women put their faith in us and take the leap with Birth Boot Camp.

We have had over 150 students take our live and online classes in 2012 (21 different states and 6 countries!) and we know that 2013 will be even better!  Three instructor training workshops are scheduled and filling up quickly.

Thank you all who have been involved in this first fabulous year at Birth Boot Camp. We are honored to be a growing force for good in the birth world.  We look forward to serving you for many more years to come.

 

What is Group B Strep (GBS)?

Group B Strep or GBS, is a bacteria that lives in the intestines, urinary and genital tracts of many healthy people. It is generally not serious in adults, but can be life-threatening to a newborn. Most adults do not have symptoms, but occasionally will develop an infection, such as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection.

Testing:

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that all pregnant women be screened between 35-37 weeks of their pregnancies to determine if they are carriers of GBS. The pregnant woman’s vaginal and rectal areas are swabbed during the screening. According to The March of Dimes and the CDC, approximately 25% of pregnant women are found to be colonized with GBS.

Options:

Options for testing and treating GBS vary depending on birth place and region. In many hospitals the standard treatment for a GBS positive mother is IV antibiotics repeatedly throughout labor.

Some question the impact the IV antibiotics will have on the newborn baby and the incidence of thrush during nursing in both the infant and the mother.

In some parts of the world a Chlorhexidine rinse is done during labor or even before labor to rinse the vaginal area.

Talk to your care provider about what your options are regarding both the testing and the treatment of group B strep. If birthing in the hospital, discuss with your care provider your various options and how you and the baby will be treated. If you are birthing at home, discuss with your care provider what will happen in case of transfer if you have not been tested for GBS.

Be sure to further research the likelihood of transfer to the baby and the known risks to the baby of standard treatment.