Tuesday, July 26, 2011

that first time breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is incredibly, significantly, enormously important.  The benefits of breast milk compared to formula are vast, ranging from the actual physical and mental health of your child and yourself to the amount of money you're spending every month.  Learn all about breastfeeding here at La Leche League.  There are consultants across the world who can help out if you are in need.  Try for at least two months; it takes about that long to get into a good routine.

The best time to start breastfeeding is immediately after birth.  After that doctor places your little one onto your stomach and you and your husband have had a bit of oohing and cuddling, start watching for your baby to open his mouth, stick our his tongue, or move his head from side to side. Most babies will do this almost immediately.

Those first few moments after birth are quite important in your baby's life.  They are incredibly alert and awake ... you will find after a couple of hours and then for the following few months your baby will practically want to sleep his young life away.  But for those first moments, your baby will typically be wide-eyed as he takes in your face and your husband's for the first time.  Use those precious minutes to look him in the eye, to touch him skin to skin, and to start working on breastfeeding.

Some babies catch on almost immediately.  For others, it takes a bit of practice.  Remember you aren't the only person who is new at this; your little one is a first-timer as well.  Most hospitals will have a breastfeeding specialist on hand to help with whatever you need.  Ask for them.  Get all the advice you can.  When you get home, call La Leche League if you have more questions.  Talk to friends.  Look things up.  And read this simple list of tips here.

Breast feeding, like birth, is something your body is built for.  Some women face unforeseen problems and are blessed to have the option of formula, but for the vast majority breast feeding is the best way to help your baby to grow into everything he could be.  Work at it.  Make it a serious goal.  One day nursing ends too, just like pregnancy and just like childhood.  You won't regret giving it your all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ask for your bishop's score

Score Dilatation Effacement Station Position Consistency
0 closed – 30% -3 Posterior Firm
1 1 – 2 cm 40 – 50% -2 Mid-position Moderately Firm
2 3 – 4 cm 60 – 70% -1 Anterior Soft
3 5+ cm 80+% +1

Have you ever heard of the Bishop's Score?  It's a tallying system most doctors use before inducing labor.  Your score will tell you how likely it is that the induction will work and that you will have a successful normal delivery.  

This table is analyzing the readiness of your cervix for labor.  It measures the dilation, effacement (how thick it is), the station of the baby (how low is he/she; are they sitting on your cervix?  This helps with dilation), the position of your cervix (your cervix rotates till it is in line with your vagina before you will give birth), and the consistency of it.  A score is given to each area, and then are added up.  If you get a 9 or higher, you are in good shape.  3 or lower could be trouble.

If your doctor decides the benefits for you and your baby are better by ending the pregnancy than letting it continue, first ask what your bishop's score is.  This will help you determine if you are okay with an induction or not.  If your score is low, you might be headed for a cesarean section.

All healthy births are good births, just make sure you are prepared so you will not be taken by surprise and can comfortably and happily take care of your little one when they finally come to the big outside world.

There's a good little article on the bishop's score here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

after having a little experience under my belt ...

I have now attended five births; three of which I served as the actual paid doula.

I absolutely love this.

It is such an honor to be asked to participate in such a moving, life-changing moment in a young family's life; and to be trusted that you will bring something positive and vital to the experience.  I am in awe of the strength and will of the mothers as they work with their bodies to bring these little ones into their open arms.  I adore the doting fathers; all of those I worked with were excited, nervous, and itching to find a way to work with his wife and lighten her load.  I remember one man after his wife decided to get an epidural.  She went straight to sleep, and he stood next to her, watching her breath.  Finally, after a few minutes, he turned to me and said, "Is there anything you would suggest I could do for her right now?"

The love and the raw emotion that surrounds this event are positively gripping; I won't lie, I shed a slight tear or two at every single birth.  It has been amazing to me how focused and consumed the parents will be with the hard work of labor; the atmosphere is generally quiet, inward, and intense.  But then, when that little one finally comes out, all intensity vanishes.  Laughter, tears, and gasps are all that remain.

Is there anything more holy than watching that little threesome gaze into each others' eyes, marveling in every little bit of each person?  I surely can't think of much.

I am so incredibly grateful to have this experience, to know that I have done some good in the world, and have gained so much more in return.

I pray that I will continue to have these opportunities to serve.

my current resume

Allison Gunn                                         Resume
Trained doula                                                                                             435 512 4861
            The family unit is the fundamental unit of human society.  I am a firm
            believer that if things are well in the home, it trickles out to create a
            world-wide effect of peace.  There are many elements to creating that
            loving home, but I have decided to aide in the beginning of that family.
            Through emotional support, physical comfort measures, and non-biased
            information,  I believe I can help couples achieve a positive experience
            in the birth of their little one, and therefore feel more empowered
            and confident in their own abilities to raise and love that child to the
            best of their abilities.
Completed Doula Training Oct. 3 2010 Trainer: Ellie Shea RN, CD, HBE, BSN (310) 326-2764 

A s   y o u r   d o u l a,   I   c a n   p r o v i d e :
Basic Massage                                             Infant Wrapping
Information                                                    Help with Hypnobirthing
Training for your partner                             Breathing Techniques
Birthing Ball                                                  Breastfeeding Tips
Photos                                                           One on One Meetings
Your child’s Birth Story                               Resources you might find helpful

B  a  c  k  g  r  o  u  n  d :
MOTHER OF ONE – To MacAlister Gunn, born September 13, 2009
CHIROPRACTIC  ASSISTANT – Holland Chiropractic
Dr. John Holland                   
562 694 8347                         
How does this apply to my doula work?
This job enabled me to do more hands-on work with the patient’s body than I had previously been able to.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the “natural” atmosphere and learned much about the body’s ability to heal itself.
Doriann Pye-Petersen            
 435 753 3686                        
How does this apply to my doula work?
Here I learned much about the complexity of the female mind, and the power therein.  I watched these girls overcome incredible things, and was amazed by the abilities we posses when we are determined, informed, and loved.
PHYSICAL THERAPY AIDE – Mt. West Physical Therapy
Brad Thomas PT                    
435 755 0781                         
How does this apply to my doula work?
This job was my intro the workings of the human body.  I witnessed people come back from some incredibly difficult circumstances, and learned that a little movement can go a long way in helping the body perform the functions needed.