If you began your birth class in your first or second trimester, you are likely wondering what to do now. To help, I’ve compiled a list of 4 things you should do when you have some time between now and your amazing birth.
1.Practice, practice, practice!
Make sure that you are setting aside time to practice what you have learned in class. Make sure to exercise and do the exercises to make your body strong for the marathon of birth. These exercises are also helpful for mitigating aches and discomforts. And don’t forget to stay on track with the Birth Boot Camp Kegel Program!
If you’re having a hard time getting your exercises in, set reminders in your phone and develop some incentives to motivate you. Do some bridging before you eat breakfast. Purchase a foam roller to use in the evening as you wind down on all areas of your body that we discussed. Take a break at work to do a little walking and conclude your time with a modified static lunge. While you watch a show or do a hobby like knitting or reading, practice tailor sitting.
Get comfortable with the various relaxations and do them in different laboring positions. Mix up the time of day you do these. Total body relaxation is crucial for to minimize pain and to help labor progress successfully.
2.Have a movie night!
We watched a lot of birth movies/footage in class, so now is a great time to check out a full-length birth or baby-related documentary with your spouse. A few of my favorites are “The Business of Being Born”, “Babies”, “Born in the U.S.A.”, and “Miriam: Home Delivery”. Grab some popcorn (or another snack!) and enjoy a date night in.
NOTE: If you have past birth trauma, you could find these movies (especially “The Business of Being Born” and “Born in the U.S.A.”) to be triggering or difficult to watch. Use good judgment in whether or not to watch.
3.Compile your list of resources.
If you took the 10-week Birth Boot Camp class series with me, you likely met many different professionals who you may want to consult for your birth or for the postpartum time. Take the time to visit their websites, set up a consultation, and figure out what professionals you want to see for your overall wellness as well as having numbers accessible for these various situations:
1) For help with labor progress, especially if stalled or overdue (chiropractor, acupuncture, massage therapist, doula)
2) For breastfeeding help and questions (IBCLC- lactation consultant)
3) For pregnancy physical concerns and pelvic floor concerns like incontinence, painful sex, and/or tearing (pelvic floor physical therapist)
4) For postpartum mood depression or anxiety (your provider, counselor)
4.Hash out a postpartum plan.
This portion of birth preparation is often overlooked, but is crucial for the major life transition coming up! Who is going to help in the early days? What friends or family members do you want to be in your home?
Create a list of chores and responsibilities you may need to outsource in the first few months of baby’s life. Consider other children, pets, yard maintenance, cleaning, and cooking. A meal delivery sign-up can be a lifesaver if you have friends and family members willing to organize this for you. You can also prepare some freezer meals in advance or put restaurant gift cards on your registry! Consider your return to work (if a factor) and come up with some initial plans for that time as well. While it is true that you will not fully know how you feel about these things until after baby has arrived, do your best to put some flexible plans in place now.
The final months and weeks of your pregnancy are a special and exciting time. If you’ve taken a Birth Boot Camp class, you received an excellent in-depth preparation for the events ahead. Now take time to pause, recall, and practice what you have learned as a couple.
I am looking forward to hearing your birth story when you are on the other side!
Are you pregnant and looking to take a birth class? Schedule a free, 15-minute video consultation with me to discuss upcoming birth classes in Zionsville as well as online options for couples who travel or live outside of central Indiana.
by Liz Escoffery
Dear friends wanting to start or grow their family this Christmas,
I see you gazing at the empty manger at church. I see the mixed emotions in your gaze and so I stop to say a prayer for you.
I curated this resource list over the past few weeks with you in mind. Perhaps one of several of these resources will help you know you are not alone in your sadness and acknowledge the real suffering, a suffering that is real and relentless.
Allow yourself to feel anything you need to feel right now: disappointment, sadness, frustration, anger, jealousy, helplessness, vulnerability, or even peace and joy. There is no wrong way to feel. Honor where you are at.
The Christmas season can be especially difficult when you carry this unfulfilled desire on your heart. It can also be difficult for those who have lost a loved one (of any age!) recently—or a long time ago.
The due date of the baby we miscarried was December 23. I imagined what it would be like to have to cancel Christmas plans to head to the hospital to deliver my baby. Perfecta Marie, our first, made me a mother and my husband a father. I carry a piece of her in my heart, knowing that if my pregnancy had gone differently, we would be having a birthday party for a 4-year old right around Christmas time. That is a hard realization each and every year. I find hope in honoring this little one's life through my work and my work serving YOU is part of my story of how I found goodness in the midst of sadness and despair. In other words, I doubt Indy FertilityCare would exist if I had never carried my little Perfecta for 5 weeks in my womb.
If this is not a season where you need these resources, would you consider sharing this post with a friend who is going through these things right now?
And if you need someone to listen, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here for you.
Resources for Infertility
Advent and Infertility: Rediscovering a Season of Hope – Catholic Standard, Archdiocese of Washington
Carrying the Cross of Infertility during Advent – Blessed is She
Childless at Christmas: A Survival Guide – Deseret News
Where to Get the Support You Need During the Holiday Season – Your Fertile Self
The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples by Carmen Santamaria and Angelique Ruhi-Lopez
The Organic Conceptions Program Holiday Message
More info on the Organic Conceptions Program
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System-- Indy FertilityCare
The Shared Journey Fertility Program™ -- yinRoot
Resources for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss
A Release from Remembering- HOPE Mommies
Christmas Day Encouragement “I Miss Your Baby” – HOPE Mommies
Helping Families Heal during the Holiday Season- Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
Surviving the Holidays- Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope
Ways to Honor Your Baby in Heaven- Bridget’s Cradles
After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing & Hope by Karen Edmisten
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage by Laura Kelly and Franco David Fanucci
Mothering Spirit by Laura Kelly Fanucci
Christmas Keepsake to Commemorate your Loved One
Request a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tell me, what other resources have you found helpful during your journey (whether related to the Christmas season or not)?
Also, feel free to leave any prayer requests or intentions in the comments and I will hold them in my prayers, especially at Christmas Eve Mass.
Note from Liz: It is amazing the world we live in! The author of this post, Erin Ontiveros, and I met online several years ago through the similar work we do with women and families. Although she lives in Rochester, NY I ended up having the opportunity to meet up in-person when Erin's husband's work brought them to the state of Indiana.
It is a privilege to have Erin write for the Indy FertiltyCare blog this month on the topic of breastfeeding success and needless to say, how she approached the topic surprised AND delighted me!
I am a big believer in less is more! So when Liz suggested I talk about tools for successful breastfeeding I immediately said, “ Easy, none!” I wanted to show that, in fact, you don’t need any!! Also, as a promoter and advocate for breastfeeding I don’t want “things” to be a stumbling block for anyone wanting to breastfeed. The most important thing that a mom needs to breastfeed is a willingness to do so.
However, I suppose that is not all there is to it. While breastfeeding is natural, it does not always come naturally. So here are my must haves for breastfeeding success; they may not be tools, but they will be a great resource to a new breastfeeding mom.
So now you are saying: “yes, but we do need some things like a breast pump and nursing tops? Well, now I will explain why you do not really need those.
Erin Ontiveros turned her sights onto educating and supporting mothers after realizing that society is failing to fully prepare women for birth and motherhood. She has recently extended this passion to bringing light to the postpartum period and counseling women on fertility awareness methods. Erin is a wife and mother of 3, a certified lactation counselor, a certified birth doula, and a prenatal educator who works with women locally and online via her webpage.
Certified FertilityCare Practitioner & Birth Boot Camp Instructor
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