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Our History Informs Our Future

By: Angie Rosier

When my daughter was nine years old she had a fascination with fish.  We learned about and purchased all the components for a fish tank then filled it with guppies, platys, and mollies.  She is nearly fifteen now and we still have that fish tank in our home.  Toward the beginning of this venture she bought a small red fish.  This little fish is still with us, swimming strong, and thriving.  If you know anything about the life expectancy of guppies, platys, or mollies, you understand it’s truly remarkable that (I’m gonna say it’s a “she”) she has survived so long.  She has experienced a lot of change during her little fish life.  She’s lived with frogs, shrimp, snails, and countless other fish.  Sometimes she’s been the only inhabitant of her tank, another time she was inundated with 30+ baby guppies when we unknowingly bought a pregnant fish.  She is a survivor and has witnessed much change.  

As I consider the Utah Doula Association I am also impressed by her endurance and how she has experienced much change.  Founded by Kristi Ridd-Young in 1992, the UDA has an impressive history, tied to some significant influences: Karl Jones, Penny Simkin, and DONA on a national scale and countless doulas on a local level.  The UDA is older than some childbirth methods and older than the internet. She has seen change in policy and birthing trends, has been here as many new hospitals have been built, and watched the role of doula from its inception. Technology has changed dramatically and it’s been years since the UDA needed a sizeable budget for postage stamps.

The Utah Doula Association remains the largest and oldest local doula association in the United States.  Imagine if she wasn’t here.  Consider the role she plays in our birthing community.  The UDA provides a solid foundation for its members including education, marketing, networking, and mentoring– an influential body that elevates and supports the doula profession.  She has been and continues to be a resource for thousands of families along the Wasatch Front.  She champions each member and supports the individual doula in her own business.  The Utah Doula Association has been fortunate to have many amazing women serve on its board and in leadership roles.  

What the UDA has and continues to accomplish could never be done by one or two women.  It takes the thought, talent, and work of many to ensure her success. These are women who have volunteered their time for the benefit of all.  Serving on the board takes work, but the work has a great reward. The UDA has weathered some challenging times and has nearly ceased to exist, but today she is a strong and thriving organization thanks to the work of many incredible women.  I think the jewel of her accomplishments is CONNECTION.  The UDA connects doulas to clients, and, perhaps even more importantly, connects doulas to doulas.  Utah’s doula market has long boasted a collaborative and congenial doula community which fosters connection and friendship, not competition.  Some of my closest friends over the last 14 years are doulas.  The UDA connects a doula in Ogden with a doula in Provo and offers them opportunity to interact in meaningful ways.  

Photo Credit: Britney Hales w/ Illuminate Life Photo + Films

This year will be the third time I have been president of this amazing organization and I am reminded how much I love the Utah Doula Association, its founder, and its members.  It has been led by impressive leaders and continues to expand and improve each year.  Karina Robinson and I have some goals for the organization that we are excited about as we continue to grow and strengthen together.  Thank you for being a member, and thank you for your support of this great organization.  We hope to see you at one of our events this year.

 

Angie has been a doula in Utah since 2003, attended nearly 1,000 births, and lives in Salt Lake with her awesome, supportive husband and 5 kids.
Connect w/ Angie:
angiesdoulaservices@gmail.com

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Birth Doulas Business Conference Speakers Postpartum Doulas

Spotlight: 2018 UDA Spring Conference Speakers

The Annual Utah Doula Association conference is fast approaching. During this uplifting and educational event, we will hear from several experts on a variety of topics that will enrich and improve our birth-centric businesses. With many opportunities for continuing education credits, tips and tricks for improving our business skills and networking opportunities galore, the 2018 conference is bound to be the highlight of the year.

Dr. Shoshana Bennet

 

This year we will have the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Shoshana Bennett. Internationally recognized as a leading maternal mental health expert, clinical psychologist Dr. Shoshana Bennett has inspired and transformed countless lives worldwide through her radio shows, books, lectures, interactive tele-classes, consultations, and videos. Affectionately known as “Dr. Shosh”, she educates, engages, and empowers her audiences while discussing serious and often uncomfortable topics using humor, the latest research, solution-based protocols, and firsthand knowledge she gleaned after experiencing life-threatening postpartum depression.

She emerged from this personal nightmare to become a leading national advocate and pioneer in women’s mental health, establishing Postpartum Assistance for Mothers, which offers education and emotional support for women experiencing PPD and related disorders. Dr. Shosh also helped develop the official training curriculum for professionals and served as president of Postpartum Support International.

Dr. Shosh is an Executive Producer of the new award-winning documentary, Dark Side of The Full Moon.  She is the author of Postpartum Depression for Dummies, Pregnant on Prozac, Children of the Depressed, and is co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. Dr. Shosh is the creator of the first PPD mobile phone app PPD Gone!  She co-founded the newly launched Postpartum Action Institute to train community leaders and parent advocates.

Dr. Bennett has traveled extensively throughout the US and internationally as a guest lecturer and keynote speaker, training medical and healthcare professionals. She is well known for her popular Dr.Shosh.com Radio Show and has appeared as a guest expert on countless television and radio shows including 20/20, Ricki Lake and The Doctors.

Dr. Shosh will be presenting our keynote address Launching Happy Mothers – The Dos and Don’ts. Which will offer practical tips and strategies to address signs of mood disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

She will also be presenting a workshop entitled Moods during Pregnancy and Postpartum – What’s Normal and What’s Not? In which she will be teaching us about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and their symptoms. She’ll give us information we can use to comfort mothers suffering from postpartum depression and describe mental health information that professionals should present to all new parents.

 

Joe Staples

And to give us practical advice on the business side of birth work, we will also have the pleasure of hearing from Joe Staples. Joe is a senior B2B executive (CMO/SVP Marketing for 18 years) with primary emphasis in SaaS, MarTech, and customer experience sectors. His expertise is in two areas: building a recognizable, differentiated brand and fueling the growth of the revenue engine. He prides himself in providing a good blend of strategy and execution.

Joe has led two successful corporate name changes and brand over hauls. As the CMdO of one company, they took raw brand recognition from 6% to 70%+. He has developed multiple award-winning ad campaigns (B2B Magazine, CEB, and Starch awards).

Joe understands the in’s and out’s of the revenue engine, from initial inquiry through to closed-won. He has built demand generation teams from scratch, implemented strong digital marketing campaigns, and has led a marketing team that delivered 90% of all sales opportunities for the company.

Joe received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Technology Marketing Corporation and was Employee of the Year at Novell Corporation.

Joe will be presenting “Simple ways to Make a Big Impact on your Business!” During his presentation Joe will give us things doulas can do (without spending a lot of money) to effectively market their services. These includeestablishing your personal brand, using storytelling as a marketing tool, developing good client testimonials, leveraging influencers as referral sources, and the importance of differentiation. Join Joe for a lively, interactive session that will include Q&A and group discussion.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the 2018 UDA conference click here

 

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National Cancer Prevention Month


By: Stacie Rupp, CD(DONA)
laboryourway.com

 

Stacie has been a birth doula since early 2015 and has recently begun teaching Childbirth Preparation classes through University of Utah Perinatal Education. She loves sharing her excitement about all things birth with expectant couples. She also strives to offer understanding and support to women who have had cancer or who are BRCA+ as they navigate their way along a difficult and life changing path.

When we think of PREVENTING cancer, here are some things that might come to mind:

  • Eat healthy
  • Don’t use tobacco
  • Attain and maintain a healthy weight
  • Protect yourself from the sun
  • Get regular medical care
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don’t drink excessively
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • Avoid exposure to industrial and environmental toxins 

While this is a great list and contains healthy habits we should each follow, I’d like to talk about prevention in a deeper way. I’ll start by sharing my story.

My Story

My aunt (my dad’s sister) was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40’s (around 2005). While cancer is always scary, hers was caught incredibly early and didn’t seem too devastating. At the time, I was in my early 20’s and just beginning to have children. Because breast cancer at such a young age isn’t incredibly common, my aunt spoke with a genetic counselor. After discussing family health history, other cases of breast and ovarian cancer within our family were uncovered. My aunt decided to have genetic testing done and ultimately tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. You may have heard this referred to as the Breast Cancer Gene. “BR” stands for breast and “CA” stands for cancer.

(Here is a 2 minute video explaining the BRCA gene mutation: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=UasHCMudOO0)

Huntsman Cancer Institute was conducting a study on the BRCA gene mutations and asked our family to participate. My aunt’s siblings (which included my dad) underwent genetic testing and my dad and another aunt tested positive as well. Many people think/hear that breast and ovarian cancer risk is only passed through females. This is absolutely not the case! My dad’s children and my aunt’s children each had a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene. I chose to test in 2007 and, while holding my infant son in my arms, was given the news that I was positive. That test result changed so much about the next 10 years of my life.

Because of my BRCA1+ status, my genetic counselor and doctors confirmed that my risk for breast cancer was 87% and my risk for ovarian cancer was 65% (varies by individual). Also, the age of cancer onset in BRCA+ individuals is very young. When the odds are so completely stacked against you, and the question is “when” not “if”, the conversation quickly turns to prevention. Ovarian cancer is especially difficult to detect, and once found, is generally in the late stages. Every doctor I spoke with (and I spoke with many) recommended that I prevent by having my breasts removed (double mastectomy) and my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed (salpingo-oophorectomy). Even as I write this now, years later, I feel a wave of nausea come over me.

As doulas, you know the importance of ovaries and breasts. They affect a woman’s identity, fertility, ability to breastfeed, hormones, sexuality, etc. In 2007, at the age of 24, I was not ready to alter my life in such a huge way, by removing these vital organs. So, I chose to do extensive screening instead. I had a mammogram and a breast MRI with contrast annually, alternating every 6 months. I also had a TVUS (transvaginal ultrasound) done each year and a CA-125 blood test, to detect ovarian cancer. Some of my mammograms came back with irregularities, so I was often called back for further screenings. All of this was incredibly draining, both physically and emotionally, not to mention expensive. In the weeks leading up to each screening, I would stress and worry about what they might find (or about what was there that they may not find). Also, waiting for results is the absolute definition of torture.

Thank heavens I did not struggle with fertility. I was able to have 3 children, and my husband and I completed our family. I feel so overwhelmingly grateful that I was able to create, grow, and breastfeed all 3 of my babies. This gratitude continues to grow with each passing year. After I had my last child, I began researching and making plans for preventative (prophylactic) surgeries. I opted (partly for insurance reasons) to have all my surgeries in the same year, 2016. I basically pushed pause on all areas of my life and focused on my health.

I started with the salpingo-oophorectomy, January 2016, just before my 33rd birthday. Removing your ovaries puts you into instant menopause. I no longer had hormones and so much changed. Some of the side effects included: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain, body odor changes, memory loss, loss of libido, vaginal dryness and pain, fatigue, and dry skin. In the year that followed, I was able to find an amazing endocrinologist who helped me semi-regulate with artificial hormones. This lessened the noticeable side effects, but also will help my bone and heart health long term, which are at risk from early menopause.

In April 2016, I had a nipple sparing double mastectomy. My surgeons cut along the crease under each breast, and removed almost all of my breast tissue, up my chest and out into my armpits as well. I say “almost” all of my breast tissue because removing all breast tissue would require removing the skin as well. They do their best to scrape out the breast cells/tissue, while still leaving enough along the skin to have adequate blood flow. If they scrape too deep, the skin in that area will die and skin grafts will be needed. Breast self-exams and annual doctor visits are still crucial, because caner can still form in the remaining breast cells. I’ve just drastically reduced the odds.

Because I decided on reconstructive surgery, tissue expanders were placed in my empty chest cavities, underneath my chest muscles. These are basically thick plastic balloons that can be filled with saline, through a magnetic port. The chest muscle is normally under a woman’s breast tissue. But, in order to protect my skin and implant, the muscle is lifted and the expander is placed underneath. Over the next months, my surgeon injected saline into my expanders weekly, slowing lifting the muscle. Expanding it all at once would cause excruciating chest pain.

I also awoke from surgery with 4 surgical drain tubes and drainage bulbs. The trauma of the surgery causes excess internal fluid production that can lead to infection if it isn’t removed. For the next few weeks I had to empty and measure the drainage. Actually, my husband and friends were kind enough to help me with this awful job. The range of motion and strength I had in my arms was incredibly limited, so I needed help with most everything. Who knew how connected our chest muscles are to our arms! I was SO glad when the surgical drains were finally removed.

Once I had recovered and my expanders were filled to my old chest size, I had reconstructive surgery, September 2016. The tissue expanders were removed and implants took their place. These will need to be replaced every 10-20 years.  Though I now looked “normal” with my clothes on, I certainly did not feel “normal”. I have honestly been amazed at how much losing my breasts has affected me. For starters, my entire chest is now completely numb. Since all of the nerve endings were cut, there is no feeling. The loss of sensation is the thing I miss the most. As wonderful as my surgeons were, things still aren’t perfect and I am a bit lopsided. Surgery might correct this, but I am so tired of surgeries that it isn’t worth it to me.  At this point, I’d like give you a high five if you’ve read this far!

I’d also like to address a reaction that some of you might be having. “Why the heck did you have a mastectomy when you didn’t even have breast cancer!?” I can answer this question best with the following analogy.  Imagine you are on board an airplane, ready for a journey. The pilot gets on the intercom and says this: “We have run the numbers and thought we’d bring some information to your attention. This particular flight path has been flown thousands of times before, and 87% of the time, the plane crashes. About 9 out of 10 times. Sometimes it crashes in the beginning of the flight. Sometimes in the middle or towards the end. But if you take this journey, you too have an 87% chance of crashing. You may not die in the crash, but really, we just don’t know. There are so many unknown factors. Most other planes, on other flights, only crash 1 out of 10 times. But that’s not the plane you are on. So, think about it. Make the decision that is best for you. There is still time for you to get off the plane, if you choose.” This is how many women with the BRCA gene mutation feel. It’s how I felt, so I chose to get off the damn plane! The decision came after a lot of research and heartache. If you still don’t understand, talk to any woman who has been through breast cancer treatment and see if she wishes she could have avoided it.

Know Your Risk

So what does all of this mean for you??? The science of genetics has made huge strides in recent years. “Know Your Risk” is a catch phrase that encourages people to evaluate their genetic risk for certain types of cancers. Everyone should take the time to talk with family members and write up a family tree of sorts. This can help you uncover cancers that may have a genetic link.

http://www1.cbn.com/healthyliving-17 can help you evaluate if you should speak with a genetic counselor. If you see any red flags, genetic counselors are specially trained to help you assess your risk and can assist you with next steps and possible genetic testing. Be aware that the cost of genetic testing is decreasing every year, with many insurance companies covering costs. So don’t let the possible expense keep you from researching your risk. In terms of breast and ovarian cancers, the website assessyourrisk.org is an incredibly valuable resource. In just a few minutes, you answer questions that help determine your risk. Without knowledge of your risk, you can’t have the power to take preventative steps. Knowledge is power, in a very real sense. While I respect that some BRCA+ women choose to NOT have prophylactic surgeries, I truly believe that the knowledge of my genetic mutation likely saved my life.

Changed For The Better

I obviously would rather be BRCA negative, and I wish I could have avoided these surgeries, but I do feel I am a better person, and doula, because of what I’ve been through. The things I’ve experienced have been life changing, to say the least, and my ability to empathize with others and withhold judgement has increased. I feel better equipped to hold space for those around me, especially my clients. We can’t “fix” what is going on in the lives of others, but we can be present and we can show love. The financial strains of medical bills are familiar to me. Physical pain, endurance, and the bodies amazing ability to heal are thoughts I’d pondered. All of this has also been a reminder that we don’t know why a woman might choose (or have the ability) to have children, to not have children, to have them at a young age, to have them old, to birth one child or to birth a dozen. It is absolutely none of my business. I will love and care for the women who surround me, regardless of their fertility.

I feel particularly equipped to understand women who are having hormone imbalance issues, whether that is during pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, or any other phase of life. I also have gained so much gratitude for the human body, especially the female body. Our reproductive organs are truly miraculous! Let’s embrace and appreciate all they do for us. Breastfeeding is also such a personal experience, and I hope to validate the real mourning process that occurs for women who are unable to breastfeed their babies, for whatever reason. I also want to empower women who desire to breastfeed, but are unable due to mastectomy, to explore their options with SNS (supplemental nursing system) and skin to skin. The bonding and closeness that comes through a mother’s breasts doesn’t need to be tossed aside because milk isn’t produced.

I can relate to the struggles that women have through pregnancy and postpartum as they get used to a new and ever changing body. Body image and identity issues are close to the surface and tug at my emotions. The struggles in an intimate partner relationship are real and difficult to navigate, especially when one person isn’t comfortable in their own skin. But I am here to offer hope. An evolution can take place and comfort with our own body can return, regardless of the destruction that has occurred. A very experienced Labor & Delivery nurse once explained childbirth as being dealt a hand of cards. We don’t get to choose what we’re dealt, but we can equip ourselves to play our hand well. That is the same with each of our lives. We take the cards we’re dealt and we work to play our hand well. I don’t like many of the cards I’ve been dealt, but it turns out, I can still win the game, in my own way.

If you would like to read more details about my story, or to find further information about the BRCA gene mutation, I have blogged about my experience at bonjourkitchen.blogspot.com, January 2016-September 2016. Another wonderful resource is: facingourrisk.org

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How to select the doula for you

By: Destiny S. Olsen CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), RYT, TPYT

  
801-361-9785
shaunteahealthandwellness@gmail.com
www.shaunteahealthandwellness.com

What is a doula?

Doulas are involved in the pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum processes for expectant families. They provide educational, physical, and emotional support for anything that may arise during your journey. Here is a how-to-guide for selecting a doula not only for you, but also for your growing family.

When to hire your doula

Choosing your doula can seem overwhelming, so start looking early to allow the process to be pleasant and enjoyable. If booked in advance, you can utilize the depth of their knowledge and services, gain access to their network for your needs during pregnancy, and have extra time to get to know one another. If the search for a doula doesn’t come until later in your pregnancy, no need to worry, there are always doulas available to ensure you have support. Keep in mind; your dream doula may be booked far in advance, so start your search early to ensure the perfect fit.

What kind of support are you looking for?

To begin, write a list of what’s important to you and your family for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum transition. Your personal needs and desires will determine which doula fits best for a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Start by asking friends, family, and people amongst your social circles if they’ve had any experiences with doulas in the past. Loved ones know you best, and can provide you with information you may not have considered to help you find the perfect match.

If you’ve already selected a care provider, ask them for referrals. Although OBGYNs and Midwives don’t work directly alongside doulas, as families independently contract doulas, it is important for your birth-working professionals to have a good report. The healthy cooperation of your support team will further your birth experience.

Where to look

Professional affiliations

Look for local and national doula members through organizations who have experience, and who have built a reputation. Most of these organizations require a fee, and it is important to research what else it entails to become a member of the organization. Some features to look out for are a code of ethics, standards of practice, and accountability for unsatisfactory services.  Groups like the Utah Doula Association provide community support and education to doulas. Other organizations–including DONA International, CAPPA or ICEA–require current continuing education, as well as, care provider and client reviews to maintain membership.

Is this a good fit?

Additionally, you can look up Doula business websites to read their biographies, photographs a research more about them. Find business social media pages to read reviews from previous clients, and write down any further questions you may have for them.

Once you gather a list of doulas that you like, start with the interview process. Most doulas are available for a FREE interview to get acquainted with one another, this typically lasts 30-60 minutes.

Here are some questions to consider when interviewing your doula:

  • What got you interested in the doula profession?
  • What is your doula philosophy?
  • Have you ever had clients with similar age, life experiences, birth desires as me?
  • Where did you receive you education for doula work?
  • What was your process to receive your training and/or certification?
  • Can you provide evidence of your credentials if desired?
  • Was there any hands on training with your education?
  • Are you part of any alternate organizations pertaining to doula work? If so, what?
  • What does your contract look like?  Can you show me a copy and walk me through it?
  • What is your availability surrounding my due date (trips planned, other clients due, untreatable obligations)?
  • Are there times you will be unavailable? If so when?
  • How close do you live to me?
  • What do you do if you can’t attend my birth? Do you provide a backup?
  • Do you have any time restrictions if I have a lengthy labor? If so, what are the details?
  • What do you charge?
  • What services are included with your doula pricing/packages?
  • What type of payments do you take? What is the timing of those payments?
  • Do you offer any additional services outside of your doula service (I.e. Prenatal yoga, placenta encapsulation, belly binding)?

After holding interviews, discuss as a family how each doula could serve you during this time. As you cross compare, know that for every family, there is a perfect doula – you don’t have to settle for anything less than extraordinary! This process should be thorough, but enjoyable, and you will be able to rest easy knowing that your birthing experiences, and your new baby’s journey, are in good hands.

 

 

Destiny S. Olsen CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), RYT, TPYT is the proud owner of SHAUNTEA, a company focused on individualized health and wellness. She has taught Somatics since 2005 through yoga, dance and meditation. As a DONA certified birth and postpartum doula she believes developing mental and physical health throughout the childbearing year is essential to creating well-balanced children, happier parents and a overall healthier lifestyle.

 

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The Utah Doula Association Outreach Committee 2018

By: Rachel Winsley

Welcome to another year of the UDA blog! This blog explores pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. All of the blog posts are written by birth professionals local to Utah. An introduction to the members of the UDA Outreach Committee is included below. We would love to hear what would you like to know more about! You can submit your ideas here or contact a committee member below if you have ideas to share for a blog post.

Contact a Committee Member Directly

  

Rachel Winsley – Outreach Chair

Rachel Winsley is a military veteran, La Leche League Leader, International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) Leader, Holistic Moms Network Coordinator, homeschooler, and chairperson of the Utah Doula Association (UDA) Outreach Committee.  She has just over ten years of experience as a doula and has served in several different positions on the UDA Board of Directors.  Rachel is passionate about supporting local business owners, mentoring newer doulas, and volunteering in her local community.

Rachel enjoys guiding and empowering pregnant and birthing women throughout their birth journey. She has experience supporting women through unmedicated birth, home birth, hospital birth, VBAC, birth at advanced maternal age, using epidural as a tool, special needs birth by cesarean, and vaginal breach birth with multiples. She has worked with couples practicing a wide variety of childbirth education and coping methods such as Hypnobabies, Bradley, HypnoBirthing, Birthing from Within, and Mindful Birthing. She can provide excellent referrals to midwives, OB/GYNs, chiropractors, IBCLCs, and a myriad of other practitioners spanning from Salt Lake City to Logan, Utah. She feels that a good doula will strive to maintain a positive working relationship with your provider(s), so as to foster a safe and peaceful birthing environment.  She will primarily focus her column on spotlighting birth professionals who are doing really special things across Utah.

Connect with Rachel
         
Mindful Birth – DoulaMatch
mindfulbirthutah@gmail.com
(801) 837-7435

  

Lindsay Dougal – Special Interest & Diversity

Lindsay is a certified birth doula who believes in the power of a strong support network for birthing women and their families. She grounds her practice in empowering women to remain informed of their options, pursue learning of evidence-based birth education, and—most importantly—feel supported in their journey.

Lindsay has both personal and professional experience with pregnancy loss/stillbirth, and pregnancy after loss. She has assisted women through various types of birthing experiences, including unmedicated hospital births, assisted vaginal births, epidural births, and cesarean births. Lindsay is excited to work on the blog this year, and hopes to create a space where we all feel safe and encouraged to own our stories, and—in the process—step outside ourselves and onto a path of connectedness.

Connect with Lindsay
      
https://www.lindsaydougaldoula.com/
(801) 860-4391

 

  

Sheri Rysdam, PhD – Birth

Sheri Rysdam teaches college writing and yoga. Her scholarship is rhetoric, including feminist medical rhetorics. She works as a doula in the Salt Lake City area, where she focuses on supporting young women with limited financial resources.  Sheri advocates for women as they prepare to have positive birth experiences. In addition to the comfort techniques and approaches she learned through her DONA-approved doula training, her work is influenced by extensive experience as a yoga instructor. Her goal is to assist laboring women in finding comfortable and safe alignment during labor and delivery. These movements are similar to, or the same as, yoga asanas and pranayama, or deep breathing, during labor.  Sheri’s focus on the blog is to explore topics related to prenatal and birth timeframe.

Connect with Sheri
www.sherewin.com

  

Alyssa Moulton – Postpartum

In her free time, she loves to experiment in the kitchen with new healthy recipes, teach youth and adult cooking classes, garden, hike and spend time with her husband and two children.  It is Alyssa’s belief that you birth your way! Whether you are desiring a natural water birth, a medicated birth or a planned cesarean the continuous support of a doula provides you with continued support for you and your birth preferences.  For her postpartum clients, Alyssa prepares nourishing foods, provides breastfeeding support, home cleaning/organization, facilitates sibling bonding, and runs errands.  Alyssa will share with us healthy recipes, sleep tips, breastfeeding information, and helpful tips from professional relationships she has developed as a doula.

Connect with Alyssa
           

http://www.daybreakdoula.com
daybreakdoula@gmail.com
(815) 501-5035

  

Shannon Shepherd – Editor

Shannon stands out as a placenta encapsulator and birth doula in Weber County.  She has her own commercial kitchen, dedicated to only processing placentas.  As editor, she’ll make sure that readability is on point!

Connect w/ Shannon
      

Northern Utah Doulas – DoulaMatch
http://www.bloombirthutah.com
shannon@bloombirthutah.com
(801) 309-3636

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Ectopic Pregnancy Loss: My story

What does ectopic pregnancy feel like?
By
Charity Wheeler

Conception

In 2011, my husband and I had been married for 2 years when we started seriously talking about adding children to our family of two. We had just purchased our first home, and were excited and anxious to fill it with joyous laughter and hope for the future.  I had been on hormonal birth control pills a little over two years when we decided to stop preventing pregnancy.

I had heard from friends that after going off hormonal birth control it can take a while to have a period.  Many mothers said that it is common to have long or super sporadic cycles for a while until your body regulates. I never had a period when I was on the pill, so I went out to stock up on tampons and waited.

Symptoms

After about a month and a half I began to bleed like a period. It seemed like the typical length and flow of my pre-pill periods and I had some cramping but nothing out of the ordinary. After about 5 or 6 days the bleeding stopped so I figured I just had my first post-pill period (say that 5 times fast). Since I had been bleeding, I assumed that I wasn’t pregnant.

After about a week and a half I started spotting but I brushed it off and credited it to hormones. The spotting continued a few days, and I started feeling very bloated and then the stomach pain overwhelmed me. For about 45 minutes to an hour I would have debilitating pain.  I felt nauseated and cold chills overcame my body. This happened a few times in 24 hours, and then my symptoms dissipated for a few days. I thought I must have had food poisoning, but then a few days later the pain started again. I lost a lot of blood. My stomach was so bloated I could only fit in sweat pants. Because the pain wasn’t going away in the middle of the night, I told my husband we needed to go to the emergency room.

Treatment

After arriving at the ER and waiting for a few hours, we finally saw the doctor. He had me pee in a cup. Fifteen minutes later, he told me I was pregnant. So many emotions went through my head–I was shocked, then excited, and then worried.  This emotional roller-coaster ended in the realization that something must not be right.  Everything I was experiencing pointed to danger, disappointment, and confusion.

After sticking an ultrasound wand up my ladybits (I didn’t know that was a thing), the doctor confirmed that my pregnancy was ectopic. Wait, a what? I had never heard of that. I was told it’s when your body “doesn’t work right” and the fetus implants outside of the uterus. They guessed that I was about 6-7 weeks pregnant and said I would have surgery to remove the fetus from my fallopian tube.

 

My Emotional Journey

I had started to hemorrhage at this point and they told me to take off all of my clothes to prepare for surgery. There I was in shock, bare butt, blood dripping all over my socks, and torn between the reality that a baby was growing inside of me, and yet, I would never cradle him/her in my arms.  I had to ask the nurse if I could put my underwear back on.

I had never undergone a surgery or been pregnant before, so this was a lot of firsts for me and my husband. I hid behind the cold sterile doors of the OR and when I woke up, I was no longer pregnant–I had been cut open and my baby was removed from my body. I was devastated and had no idea what this meant for the future.

At my follow up appointment, I asked about future pregnancies and was told that since I opted out of having my tube removed, I was at an increased risk of  a future ectopic pregnancy. The doctor impressed upon me that, with only one functioning tube, I may never be able to get pregnant on my own. I felt broken.  I felt like my whole world had changed in a matter of just a few hours.

We stopped to eat at Olive Garden on the way home and I sat next to a table of young mothers with their babies. I had to excuse myself to the restroom to cry. For the next two months, I was very emotional and would cry during diaper commercials, or just seeing babies in Target. When I told family, friends and co-workers, they were relieved I was okay.  Yet, nothing was ever said about my baby. I wanted people to at least acknowledge that I had lost my baby but it was like our baby had never even existed.  It felt like there was an expiration date assigned to my grief.

Pregnancy After Loss

It has now been 5 years since my ectopic pregnancy. I still think about my baby.  What would our child be doing if he or she had implanted in my uterus rather than my fallopian tube?  Would our baby look like me, or favor daddy?  Our baby was never named or held. Our baby died so that I could live. Very few people know about this journey, this love, this loss.

I have personally never experienced another miscarriage. I have been able to naturally conceive and birth two healthy children since my ectopic pregnancy. How has this experience changed things for our family?  Now, as soon as I get a positive pregnancy test, I have to schedule an ultrasound and blood draw right away.  I re-live the stress and heartache until placement and HCG levels are confirmed.

If you have personally experienced an ectopic pregnancy, be grateful that modern medicine can save you. Don’t be afraid to talk about or mourn your loss. You may know someone that has had an ectopic pregnancy. Don’t forget that not only did they just go through a scary experience, but they also lost a very real and precious child. Our baby was real to me and should be honored.

Charity Wheeler of Pure Love Doula

Charity’s goal as a doula is to help her clients and their partners feel empowered and confident about their pregnancy and birth. “Birth is so beautiful and I want to help families experience a strengthening and empowering birth.”
Connect with Charity:
http://www.purelovedoula.com

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Your Doula and Her Bias: How to find a doula who will support you unconditionally.

On the heels of the recently drafted open letter to the Fed is Best campaign, it occurred to me that many Utah parents might be on the search to build an unbiased team of birth professionals.  I’ve got news for you.  No one is unbiased.  Because of our human experience, level of education, personality quirks, professional acquaintances, passions, and personal trauma (YES! I said trauma.), we ALL come away with fiercely and closely guarded value systems and opinions.

“I’ve got news for you.  No one is unbiased.”

The good news is that having biases doesn’t prevent a doula from providing unbiased birth support.  The Utah Doula Association actually doesn’t maintain a position on ANY of these divisive statements, in an effort to avoid mixing causes.  The Utah Doula Association has a primary purpose: to provide evidence based information, support, and mentorship to doulas of Utah as they seek to provide quality birth and postpartum support to local families. As an organization, the Utah Doula Association is neither for nor against any other cause.

“The Utah Doula Association actually doesn’t maintain a position on ANY of these divisive statements, in the effort to avoid mixing causes.”

Our goal is solely to offer information and support to Utah families who want to find a professional doula to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support expecting parents before, during and shortly after childbirth to help achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.  This singleness of purpose does not prevent interaction with other organizations with compatible purposes, but the Utah Doula Association will carefully guard against mixing causes, however worthwhile that cause may be.  Why do we do this, you ask?  To create and maintain a unified, focused professional organization, able to work together to support a variety of families from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences, regardless of differences of opinion on other issues.  So, how do you find a doula that will provide you with empathetic unbiased support?

First, turn inward.

Examine your observations and impressions of the doula you hope to hire.  What do you feel?  If you are looking for a place to see the doula and her interactions, come to a free local event, participate in the Utah Birth Forum, find a support group near you, or watch for guest blogposts by local doulas here, on the UDA blog.  Some of my favorites are International Cesarean Awareness Network, La Leche League, and local Positive Birth Groups in the area.

    • Do I feel comfortable around this person?
    • Is she warm, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable?
    • Does she communicate and listen well?
    • Does she seek to understand and empathize first?

 

Next, formulate questions for the doula you are interviewing.

How do the questions you have designed relate to the underpinnings of your own goals and beliefs about childbirth?  Take a look here for a list of the top 10 questions to ask in the interview.  Observe how she responds to your questions.  Does she put you at ease?  Does her communication style and skillset empower you?  Do you think clearly in her presence?

Know that the interview process is more about you finding who is the most comfortable fit for you.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it, as long as you find the fit you are looking for.  A good doula will listen to you, hold space for you, and tailor referrals to your needs and hopes for the future in the event that she isn’t the absolute best fit for you.

  • Are you looking for someone who mirrors your thought process or who sets aside their own thoughts and experience in order to focus solely on you?
  • Will she support your choices or will she bring her own agenda into your birthing space?

“Bias and advocacy aren’t the enemy, a pervasive and divisive agenda is.”

Bias and advocacy aren’t the enemy, a pervasive and divisive agenda is.  Consider having a conversation about your/her biases, and ponder on how they might influence your hopes for the future.  In the interest of transparency and to satisfy your curiosity, here is a list of MY biases.

  • Kindness is always the answer.
  • The best provider will be one who believes in your ability to birth your baby.  Find a caregiver/hospital who ALREADY provides the options you want as an outgrowth of their birth philosophy and confidence in you.
  • My doula practice believes in purposeful inclusion of all people. Every family who hires me will receive the best of me and my skillset; irrespective of birthing philosophy, age, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender and its expression, family structure, marital status, race, cultural identity, nationality, mental and physical health/ability, political perspective, and educational/class status.
  • Breastmilk is the superior infant food, but it won’t be the best choice for every family.  “Fed is required.  Breast is the biological norm.  Making informed choices is best.”
  • I am a combat veteran of the United States Air Force, and that comes with a different perspective than many other birth workers out there.  You are not a “birth warrior”.  You are so much more than that.  You are a creator of goodness, a safe haven of peace and nurture, a normal woman who can call on the warrior when needed just like every other woman in your birth lineage going back centuries.  You are enough, and that is extraordinary.  Together, we make a good team.

 

***I recognize that not all doulas are female, however for simplicity and readability of this post, I refer to doulas using female pronouns.***

Rachel is a La Leche League Leader, mindful birth doula, childbirth educator, mother, military veteran and polyglot.
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Birth Photography Roundup: A UDA Mother’s Story

Look at more photography from Elizabeth Ashdown here.

“You know that saying ‘be careful what you wish for?’ Well it’s apparently true when you joke that you’re giving your partner a small human for Father’s Day!”

We welcomed Zekiel Cyr Griffith into our family at 2:10pm June 18th!

Around 7-7:30 am I started noticing that I was uncomfortable and had slight cramps. I’d had cramps all day Wednesday, so I didn’t think much of it. Got some breakfast, and decided to get a hot shower. You know the list eat, walk, nap, shower… Well, that didn’t help much but it didn’t change much either. So I figured we’d sit on couch and watch cartoons and let Chris sleep in. By 9:30 am, the cramps had gotten stronger and I started thinking it might actually be today (so much for letting Chris sleep!) I wasn’t comfortable sitting so I walked around the back yard with Ror trying to see if that changed anything. Still uncomfortable but my cramps/mild contractions were maybe 30 second in length and had varying intervals between; from 2 to 10 minutes between! I called my midwife and she suggested I take a bath and soak. Since I couldn’t get comfortable being in 1 position it took me until 11 to actually get in the tub, after wandering the house making sure every last thing was ready for our home birth. Instead of a relaxing tub, I got back labor! I spent 30 minutes or more on my hands and knees in the tub trying to get comfortable! Poor Chris, he came up to check on me and found me stuck in the doorway of the bathroom, mid contraction with tears in my eyes. I swear I went from “Huh, this might happen this evening” to “oh crap, this is happening NOW” within 30 minutes! So, Chris called our midwife and helped me get downstairs,  all while filling the birth tub and managing a 2 year old! Babe, you’re seriously amazing!

“Our birth team arrived between 12 -12:30 to find me, completely naked, laboring on the stairs and Chris literally doing laps around the house checking on me, the toddler and filling the tub.”

Our birth team arrived between 12 -12:30 to find me, completely naked, laboring on the stairs and Chris literally doing laps around the house checking on me, the toddler and filling the tub.  Although the stairs gave me relief, and a great position to have my hips squeezed (thank you Adrianna!!) that birth tub is fantastic!!! Warm and soft and even the floor is inflated to provide comfort. (Seriously, if you decide to have another baby in the future, consider this!!)

Anyway, by the time I got in the tub around 1 pm my contractions were very regular and getting stronger. I can’t tell you exactly when transtion hit time wise, but I can tell you that drugs weren’t on my mind. Instead I told Chris, “I never want to do this again.” Apparently even if your birth is much more comfortable and relaxed and you truly have control over your body and how you handle the pain, you still hit that wall and think why on earth would anyone do this again?! I will tell you Adrianna was totally right about the low tone moaning! With each contraction I would take a deep breath and start to exhale right before it peaked. With each exhale I would moan and make it as low as I could.  The lower the sound, the less the pain! I even napped between contractions!!!! It was amazing. And when you let yourself get through your contractions like that you really do go into labor land and are kind of separated from yourself. I had to remember to do this each and every contraction, but it made such a difference!

Anyway, around 2 pm it was time to push. I’m not going to lie, I was Terrified to push since I tore so much last time. And I regret letting that fear surface and take control when I was pushing because I lost the ability to get those low tones and trust my body. As Z crowned I screamed! Which did send my toddler running from the t.v. back to the birth tub, so it worked out in the end. 2 pushes in (maybe 3) and his head was out. But I was sore and shaky and convinced that I had torn so when Adrienne said 1 more push I literally responded, I can’t! It wasn’t that I couldn’t as much as I was afraid and that made it impossible to direct the energy where it needed to be. A few deep breaths and encouragement from all, I pushed that last time and Z was born!

“I wish I had believed in myself in those final moments as much as I had the 9 months leading up and as much as everyone else in the room believed in me.”

I tell you this in detail because I wish I had believed in myself in those final moments as much as I had the 9 months leading up and as much as everyone else in the room believed in me. Don’t let one experience dictate the next. They may be completely different!

Z  was born totally healthy and I didn’t have a single tear. Z was 7 pounds, 19 inches. (Almost a full pound lighter than Ror and 2 inches shorter! And I was in labor 15 hours with Ror, pushing for 1.5). It’s just amazing how different this experience can be the second time!

“It also helps to have an amazing team that you trust.”

It also helps to have an amazing team that you trust. Both Adrianna and Adrienne were comforting, supporting, and just absolutely incredible. And I loved that the banter we had in class with Adrianna continued while I labored. It was fantastic to be able to laugh, joke and enjoy ourselves during the whole process. Granted I missed a good portion of the conversations but it was great for Chris and I have a few  photos of him and Adrianna laughing and joking while I am in the tub! Home birth is also amazing because you are home. I went from tub to couch where I was able to nurse Z, eat, have fun with photos with our stellar birth photographer Elizabeth and just enjoy the moments. Adrianna helped me get cleaned up and up to bed, all tucked in with my new little squish. Sorry, I just can’t tell you how much I wish I had done this with Rorrin and I know that we will do another home birth if we have more kids! (Despite what I said during transition!)

Congratulations to all of you who have your babes in your arms! To those still waiting, believe in yourselves and each other. Find what makes you most comfortable through labor and know, it really is when you are just done, when you can’t anymore that you’re at the end and your babe is almost here!

“Find what makes you most comfortable… your babe is almost here!”

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Diversity Uncategorized

Challenges in Childbirth: What You Need to Know About Trauma and Military Veterans

 

Guest post by UDA Vice-President Rachel Winsley

 

Most people in our community know that I am a combat veteran, and have worked to support women in childbirth, breastfeeding, and peaceful parenting for many years.  What you may not know is that I am also someone diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).  My experiences have enabled me to truly empathize with the unique set of challenges many women face throughout their childbearing and breastfeeding years.

What is Military Sexual Trauma?

Military sexual trauma results from an unwelcome sexual advance on the military person without implied consent while on active duty.  You may not know, but sexual assault is underreported in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men.  In an interview with NPR, Eve Davison, a clinical psychologist at the VA hospital in Boston said, “It’s not uncommon for patients with PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to screen positive for something called MST… More than 48,000 veterans screened positive for Military Sexual Trauma (MST) just in 2008.”  Military service men and women pride themselves on being leaders and warriors; self sufficient, strong, and ready to fly, fight, and win.  With that mindset, it is very difficult to be vulnerable or ask for help.  A recent documentary, The Invisible War, depicts the experience of several servicemen and women under the looming shadow of MST in haunting detail.

Military Training on Sexual Assault:  The Bystander Effect

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program is responsible for oversight of the Department of Defense’s sexual assault policy. Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) works hand-in-hand with the Armed Services to educate, prevent, and protect service people from sexual harassment and assault.  This program is driven by annual e-trainings on a concept called “the bystander effect”, advocacy roles assigned as an additional duty to service people within each squadron, and operation of the reporting process when MST occurs.  The program is not standardized across the entire military, and resources are governed and limited by officers in charge.  Jackson Katz is just one of the individuals who works within the SAPRO.  In some areas of the Armed Forces, the program is very well developed and supported, but there is a lot of room for improvement.  This matters!  Your client shouldn’t be expected to have the same experience as another military person.  There is a great amount of variability when it comes to training, support, resources, and even the involvement within the chain of command.  Don’t assume anything about what your client may or may not have been through as a patriot and service member.  Jackson Katz is a great boon to the success of the program, but he is only one person in a large patriotic machine with many moving parts.  He recently spoke at a TED conference on the subject.

What does this mean for you and your client?

Abuse issues are sometimes triggered unexpectedly during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Intrusive thoughts or flashbacks to the abuse and unconscious body memories (i.e. tension, anger, sick feelings, or physical manifestations) arise when someone is triggered.  There are several potentially triggering experiences that may arise during the birth process.  As a doula, you can help to alleviate and navigate through these instances if you are prepared and knowledgable about PTSD and MST.  There are tools to understanding and empathizing with the anxious mind.

It is not necessary to be told about abuse or trauma in order to provide sensitive and effective care. While being able to discuss personal history openly is helpful, your client may not be at a point in her healing process where this is possible or constructive.  Your client hired you, because she trusts and values your skillset, and the way she feels around you.

Your words matter.  The language our society uses to refer to people shapes its treatment and beliefs about them. Words are powerful!  Antiquated, inaccurate, and inattentive descriptors create barriers to quality care. When we describe people by their labels of medical or psychological diagnoses, we devalue them as individuals. In contrast, using thoughtful terminology builds trust.  Read more about how to use person first language, here.

Examples:

  • Diagnosis First:  “My MST client is strong and capable.  She has everything she needs within her.”
  • Person First:  “Rachel copes well with Military Sexual Trauma, and she is a strong capable woman.  She has everything she needs within her.”
  • Diagnosis First:  “Your ‘tubie’ is a cute little cuddler and a fighter.  You’ll be out of the NICU soon.”
  • Person First:  “Baby Alice is tube feeding great!  What a fighter.  You’ll be out of the NICU soon.”

Fostering Resilience in Childbirth and Beyond

Many doulas find that connection is the antidote to anxiety and a disordered labor pattern.  Finding connection and vulnerability looks different for each person, but here are some tried and true suggestions for fostering resilience in the birth space.

Bonding with Baby

When your client, diagnosed with PTSD or MST, connects with her baby, she is doing two very important things.  She is developing a sense of awareness within her body and creating space for positive feelings surrounding her child.  This is a powerful coping tool, and it also mitigates her increased risk for postpartum depression.  When I was pregnant, my favorite way to connect with my own baby was to sing, read, or write letters to my baby.  I set time apart everyday to do this, and even now when my child is upset we sit down to connect in the same way.  Listen to Penny Simkin, a world renowned doula, and her thoughts on this very practice.

Mindfulness & Affirmation

If birth could feel like a violation, how can the birthing person feel in their body that this is different — that there is a purpose?  You can work to pinpoint with your client the root of the violation.  At that point, designing affirmations and mindfulness practice around those discoveries can be a powerful tool. There are several Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) workbooks that you might find to be a helpful tool.  My favorite are “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety” and “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy“.  These are a good preparation for childbirth and processing trauma during the postpartum period.

Here are some examples of affirmation.:

  • Consent: “I will be choosing to work with my baby as we spread my pelvic bones wide for his/her descent.”
  • Motive/Intention: “This baby was created from an act of love, as is giving birth.”
  • Safety: “My people are there to protect and support me.  ______ stands watch at the door to guard me and my baby.”
  • Power: “I will give birth. I am in control, and my provider hears me.”

Creating a plan around the fear

Many people who struggle with PTSD and MST will experience a seemingly insurmountable wall of anxiety when they are triggered.  Consider changing your focus from management of pain to management of anxiety.  Most childbirth preparation classes teach techniques to manage pain through mindfulness, breath, hypnosis, etc. Your client can use the same and similar techniques to practice coping with anxiety. This technique and mindset works like a muscle. Your client will respond best to the technique she is most comfortable practicing. There is no wrong way to mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically prepare for the intensity of labor.

At a certain point, usually in transition, the intensity of labor can become a distraction from managing anxiety, and therefore presence of mind.  Create a plan around your client’s fears, and design a birth environment where losing control and being fearful will be accepted without judgement. Anyone in the birth space should be able to ‘be with’ fear.  Encourage your client to talk to the baby through fearful moments.  This takes us back to connection, back to the present, and back to the goal.

Communication

It may be helpful to ask your client, “How do you usually cope when you are stressed out?” This question can reveal if it is important that she stay in the present or dissociate in order to cope.  Depending on the answer, you might explore ways you can support her in staying present or help her to turn inward and cope from within.  In my own personal doula practice, eye contact, firm pressure on her shoulders, squeezing her hand, etc., are all ways I have found to bring the birthing person back if she has “checked out,” or is dissociated and not communicating.  Having this conversation ahead of time can prepare you to effectively and empathetically meet your client’s needs in the birth space.

If your client wants to use medication as a tool, encourage the family to research what that might be like.  I have a Google Drive folder dedicated to activities, graphic organizers, and conversation starters to aid my clients in decision making and communication.  Thinking through potential decisions and their implications can help us cope with the risks and benefits of any choice we may make in the birth space.

The postpartum visit

Every doula has a different philosophy around birth and the postpartum period, and this philosophy shapes the way the client processes a birth and bonding experience. Thoughtfully explore which tools are most relevant in the postpartum visit. You might think about doing a fear release, listening to the birth story, preparing a meal, etc. This visit is a good time to ground your client in connection, honor the journey you’ve embarked on together, and watch for warning signs of struggles ahead. If your client seems to be anxious, make sure basic needs are met first.

Local resources for your client

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars – This is a social club and support group for combat veterans.
  • American Legion – This is a social club for all military people who have served during a time of war.
  • The Vet Center – This is a resource for combat veterans seeking treatment for trauma and PTSD.
  • Veterans Administration in Salt Lake City – The VA in Salt Lake City has a women’s only clinic and recreation therapy options.  They provide access to retreats, a sweat lodge, yoga, mindfulness and coping classes, etc.

Read More:

 

Rachel Winsley is a combat veteran, DONA trained doula, childbirth educator (ICEA), La Leche League leader, and birth story author. She is also the current vice-president of the Utah Doula Association. Rachel has extensive experience empowering laboring women to make their own choices and decisions throughout the labor process. Learn more about Rachel on her website.

 

 

Editor’s note: Rachel is a strong proponent of music therapy as a therapeutic modality. It is an important coping tool for her and others with PTSD and MST. Music therapists work with clients to help them manage a wide range of emotional, social, and physical difficulties, using music as the tool for change. To learn more about music therapy with military populations, click here . Locally there are several music therapists, who can be found on the Utah Association of Music Therapy website. Rachel recommends Harmony Music Therapy and Heart Tones Music Therapy & Birth Services.

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How to find a Certified Pediatric Chiropractor in Utah for your baby

For many Utah families, a holistic approach to health and wellness is a priority.  Chiropractic care is an integral piece of the puzzle of health and wellness. Many mothers find that a Webster Certified chiropractor works wonders on sore hips, back, and sacrum.  Many swear that it prepares the maternal body for normal physiological childbirth.  So much so, that we find ourselves being asked by our clients: “How do I choose a Chiropractor for my family?”

Did you know that you can have your infant or small child adjusted as well? Families often tell us that taking their children to regular visits with a professionally credentialed chiropractor can help with breastfeeding latch, ear infections, colic, and many other childhood ailments.  This video will show you just how gentle an experience this is for your tiny baby.

Just like there are different kinds of doctors dedicated to a myriad of specialties, the same is true for chiropractors.

Chiropractors who specialize in infants and children are called Pediatric Chiropractors and undergo an extensive education outside of what is required for their certification from the The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Fully credentialed Pediatric Chiropractors go through a rigorous two part program that totals 400 additional hours of classes, research, and a final examination.

This extra step in their education shows that they value your child’s health to the extent that they commit themselves to continuing education.  These chiropractors are on the cutting edge of evidence based practice.  Their aim is to give you piece of mind that they are fully prepared to gently care for your entire family.

Next time you are looking for an excellent chiropractor consider visiting our certified pediatric chiropractic partners.  You can take a look at our partners here.  To find chiropractic care for the whole family or visit the ICPA website to find a provider in your area.