So, you wanna have a painless childbirth?

It IS possible. I did it, I’ve met other women who have done it, and you can do it too! What makes a painless birth possible? Total lack of fear & deep trust in your body & self is the basic premise, getting to that state is the part that takes some deep work.

The essential elements of a painless birth (for me, anyway):

  1. Following the process outlined in the book Painless Childbirth
  2. Practicing self-hypnosis (I used Hypnobabies, but there are several programs out there)
  3. Being loved & supported, especially by my women friends
  4. A cooperative & well positioned baby

Today I had the opportunity to interview Giuditta Tournetta, author of Painless Childbirth (you can listen to that interview here) for an entire hour and we scratched the surface on the teachings that she will be bringing to Central Florida in September when she does a three day workshop for expectant parents & birth professionals. (For details on the workshop, please click here & tell your friends about it!) I’m stoked to be able to attend this with my gal Amber, who is due in early October.

The wisdom Giuditta has gathered through her years of doula work (and her own painless birth years ago) is of tremendous value to bringing the sacred back into birthing.  She correlates each stage of development in the womb with a chakra & basic human right. Her insights are illuminating, healing, unique and very accessible to those who desire a more conscious birth experience.

I hope to see lots of you at the workshop so we can bring this wisdom into our birthing practices in Central Florida. If you register before 9/20, you will get $50 off.

Dancing for Birth

Dancing for BirthA sweet soul in our community, long-time doula Cynthia Koerner is bringing Dancing for Birth(TM) to Central Florida.

It’s this Saturday, March 27th at 2pm, and you need to register in advance. Learn More & Register

The prenatal/postpartum dance classes incorporate dance moves from around the world that best prepare you to give birth. You’ll become stronger, more agile, more at ease with your body and both mentally and physically ready to embrace your unique birth experience. Participants report experiencing low levels of discomfort, few or no interventions, brief labors and high levels of satisfaction during their births.

Lucky for all of us, Amber Melendy, owner of Shine On Yoga is expecting, so she will be a student alongside you!

For Amber

Amber, my soul sister & owner of Shine On Yoga keeps yabbering on and on about the psoas muscle. What the heck is a psoas muscle, you ask? I’m not quiet sure, but apparently I shouldn’t interfere with it by encouraging Maya to walk (or stand) prematurely. Now, I claim Maya initiated standing all on her own, and believe you me, I’m all about having mobility take it’s sweet time. She’s been holding her head up since she busted into this world, was sitting pretty at five months and now at six and a half has plenty of floor time to start crawling, which hasn’t quiet taken hold, but looks as if it could at any moment. But homeskillet reaches up and WANTS to stand, so I follow her cues (as if on cue, she just interrupted this post for just this reason) and lo and behold if she didn’t take a few steps. I instinctively just kinda held her shoulders or trunk loosely, sometimes her arms, but always at their natural level so she could find her center as naturally as possible and she takes these big ole strides with confidence like she knows what she’s doing. Like a proud mama, I was showing this off to Amber, when, I got the psoas speech. It went something like this. Since I trust Amber with all things related to the body (and most other stuff too) I think I’ll lay off the supported walking for a bit. If Maya lets me.

NYT: Lessons at Indian Hospital About Births

Wow, the New York Times…awesome!

“The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation is different. Its hospital, run by the Navajo Nation and financed partly by the Indian Health Service, prides itself on having a higher than average rate of vaginal births among women with a prior Caesarean, and a lower Caesarean rate over all.

As Washington debates health care, this small hospital in a dusty desert town on an Indian reservation, showing its age and struggling to make ends meet, somehow manages to outperform richer, more prestigious institutions when it comes to keeping Caesarean rates down, which saves money and is better for many mothers and infants.”

Read the Full Article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/health/07birth.html

Happy Half Maya Juniper Rose

That’s my girl. She’s already arrived at half a year. OMG. I love her soooooooo much. For such a local baby, this is not a local get up. Hat & onsie is from Auntie Sune in San Fran, diaper is from Jacq Down Under, purple sweater a gift card purchase from Jon and I just ordered those kickin leggin’s on impulse when I was responsibly purchasing an amber teething necklace based on this post from a local mom – I envy her camera and, yet, my last few posts were inspired by her posting style, so many gratis to her.

It’s been a big week leading up to the big halfway mark, filled with firsts. MJR has been sitting pretty since she was five months old and my bff Jen reminded me I could take her to the park to swing. Which we have done now, twice. She also had her first official meal – carrot coconut curry soup – a la Pete at Dandelion, also twice. She loved it. This was followed by her first sorta “real” poo.  She saw two grandma’s, meeting her paternal one for the first time & hanging with my mom on her way through town. She also scored a sweet hand-knitted stuffed Owl from her Aunt Jill. She also said her first purposeful word, which I missed of course. She looked right at Uncle Henry and sang: “Hennnn-ryyyyy.”  All that on top of her usual schedule of hosting a radio show and entertaining all her friends at the cafe between naps and laughs with mom. My little sidekick.

Happy half, darlin’ … looking forward to a lifetime of more wonderful days to celebrate with you!

Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy | mothering

Another reason I love Mothering Magazine, they are not afraid to report on some seriously controversial stuff. A friend of a friend (really!) had such severe morning sickness that she could not stop puking & the only thing that relieved it and gave her an appetite was the medicinal use of marijuana. I’ve met her kid and he rules. She & her mother both have a medical background and came to the conclusion that marijuana was safer than the prescription drugs that only half worked and had other serious side affects. So, since googling for an answer on this will lead you nowhere, check out this well researched article and decide for yourself:

Warnings that marijuana causes birth defects date back to the late 1960s.1 Some researchers claimed to have found chromosomal abnormalities in blood cells taken from marijuana users. They predicted that young men and women who used marijuana would produce deformed babies.2 Although later studies disproved this theory,3 some current drug education materials still claim that genetic damage is passed on by marijuana users to their children.4Today, researchers look for a direct effect of THC [for tetrahydrocannabinol, either of two physiologically active isomers, C21H30O2, from hemp plant resin] on the fetus. In animal studies, THC has been shown to produce spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and physical deformities—but only with extremely large doses, only in some species of rodents, and only when THC is given at specific times during pregnancy.5 Because the effects of drugs on fetal development differ substantially across species,6 these studies have little or no relevance to humans. Studies with primates show little evidence of fetal harm from THC.7 In one study, researchers exposed chimpanzees to high doses of THC for up to 152 days and found no change in the sexual behavior, fertility, or health of their offspring.8

Read more: Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy | mothering.

Germ-free kids may risk more adult illnesses: study

Exactly why I don’t sanitize or frequently wash my hands!

WASHINGTON AFP – Parents who let their kids romp in the mud and eat food that has fallen on the floor could be helping to protect them against maladies like heart disease later in life, a US study showed Wednesday.

“Our research suggests that ultra-clean, ultra-hygienic environments early in life may contribute to higher levels of inflammation as an adult, which in turn increases risks for a wide range of diseases,” including cardiovascular disease, Thomas McDade, lead author of the study, said.

Read Moe: Germ-free kids may risk more adult illnesses: study – Yahoo! News.

Blessing Way

I bet you wish you were me!

I bet you wish you were me!

It’s official: I’m blessed. This weekend I was the honored receipient of  preparatory ritual for motherhood surrounded by ten powerful and beautiful women in a gathering called a Blessing Way. What the heck is that, you ask? It’s the precursor of today’s modern baby shower, a ceremonial event to mark the passage to motherhood with spiritual gifts and insights shared with mama-to-be (lucky me!) in an intentional and concious way.

Mine was held at Shine On Yoga, the beautiful studio my birth partner Amber Melendy owns, and was nothing short of the best evening of my life. Each blessing way is tailored to the individual, and as this is the first one I’ve ever attended, I can only describe it as an enchanted, magical and empowering event. View all the photos here.

Blessings by Jordana Meade

Blessings by Jordana Meade

It started with a whisper walk – eyes closed, I was guided down a rose petal path as sweet somethings were whispered into my ear by each woman which took me back to my childhood of girlish giggling. Then, the ladies guided and followed me down a spiral labyrinth where they performed an Angel Wash, cleansing my aura and sending me love. It was the perfect beginning to a powerful evening!

Supported by My Sisters

Supported by My Sisters

Next, I sat in the place of honor where I was showered with spiritual gifts for my birth alter and words of humor, encouragement and love.  Then, I was the elated recipient of a foot bath, massage & belly henna by everyone at once – I had no problem receiving this gift from such beautiful women! We then tied a red string around each of our wrists to be worn until I begin breastfeeding to signify the support our sisterhood would bring me during this transition into motherhood. We finally feasted on some of the most delicious food I’ve had in awhile!

Birth Alter

Birth Alter

It was a most awe-some experience and I am still resonating from the empowering energy we all created. Leading up to this event, I noticed that my chatter about the impending arrival of my little sprout had veered into a somewhat nervous energy. Afterwards, I’ve shifted that energy. I was holding off on certain things to trick the universe to delay the onset of labor, but tonight I put the bottle of celebratory champagne in the fridge, made some mama tea ice cubes, and created my birth alter, with all sacred gifts bestowed on me and sat in gratitude, preparing for the most transformative event in my life.

Am I nuts?

I know my thoughts on birthing are not common, which is one of the main reasons I started this blog. There is so much mis-information out there in our mainstream culture about the natural & normal process of birthing which is so disempowering, that my hope is that I can share some information that shows another side so that mama’s and papa’s out there can make empowered choices from a spectrum of options, instead of the narrow choices presented to us through mainstream consciousness.

So, with this knowing, it’s not surprising that I’ve gotten some flack recently for some of my views. A concerned family member told me I was nuts and should stop believing in orgasmic and lotus birthing. Labor HURTS, after all, and lotus birthing is just plain unnatural and certainly unsanitary, for goodness sake.

Another friend just finished watching “Away We Go” and wanted me to play a joke on his film partner by talking about some “fringe concepts” one of the main characters held about parenting. Apparently they had just compared me to the character in the film and decided I might be a little odd, but I wasn’t “totally nuts” like this character. Apparently she didn’t believe in using strollers (preferring a sling), practiced co-sleeping, etc. A few Q&A’s later it became obvious the character in the film follows Attachment Parenting / Continuum Concept principals and his voice got really small as he realized I’m investigating these philosophies. Naturally, I can’t wait to see the movie.

In the family members case, I think the concern was that I might be naive about the birth process. So, let me elaborate on a few points.

Now, I have to say that an orgasmic birth is possible, but I do realize that every birth experience is different and so many factors, including the babies position and my attitude, will have a lot to do with how everything goes. It’s not my GOAL to have an orgasm during the birth, my goal is to have a baby in a natural & normal way. Creating an environment where I can be mentally, physically and spiritually OPEN will make the process go much smoother, as getting your cervix OPEN is the whole point, right? The conditions needed to have an orgasm (which opens the cervix) can be mimicked during my birthing time to help me relax and OPEN so that I work with the process, not against it. Which means: low lights, relaxing music, only having people I can “let go” completely around, being a willing participant in the process, remove any mental to-do lists or thoughts of controlling the situation. And lots of coconut oil! If I happen to have an orgasm in the meanwhile, well, shoot, that would rule.

A word on pain. I do not like to use that word, but that does not mean I am naive about the birth process. It’s work, it take a lot of focus, and your body undergoes a tremendous process which is accompanied by pressure and your body is busy adjusting moment by moment which can cause changes in blood pressure, heart rate, equilibrium etc. Now, in a lot of cultures, it is normal to have a “painless” birth as that is what they expect – this does not mean they do not have a major physical experience. In our modern culture, it takes a lot of de-programming to get into a place where you’ve lost your fear of this natural process.

I am using a technique called hypno-birthing to help with this de-programming. It teaches relaxation and focus and helps you connect with your baby in the womb. It basically gets you out of your mind and into your primal self, the self that you must be in touch with in order to give birth.

My views are not nuts, they just aren’t common. And from what I’ve witnessed and discovered about the “common” approach to birth in America, I’ll stick with the uncommon and unconventional.

Raising Baby Diaper-Free

I’m finding all kinds of fascinating things out there on the web. Anyone out there heard of this or tried it with success? – Julie

With the debate still current as to whether disposable, eco-disposable or cloth nappies are best, there is another alternative that many people are unaware of. It’s the cleanest, greenest and probably the oldest way of dealing with babies’ elimination. Elimination Communication (EC), also referred to as Infant Potty Training or Natural Infant Hygiene, is rarely practiced in Western society but it is the most common way of managing infant hygiene in the world today. While ECing makes good sense where water is scarce or disposable nappies are unavailable, there are many other advantages that babies and parents can also enjoy.

What is Elimination Communication?

Parents carry their babies before they can walk. Mothers help their baby to the breast before they can lift our shirts and self-serve. We help babies get to sleep when they are tired until they are old enough to do this unassisted. With Elimination Communication we are simply helping the baby to eliminate, just as we do, into a receptacle and not into their clothing until such time as they are capable of using a toilet independently. When a baby is never trained to use a nappy or taught to ignore the body’s signals that tell them they need to eliminate, they never have to learn to use a potty or re-recognise their body’s urges at a later date.

via Raising Baby Nappy-Free.