Monday, April 30, 2012

Confessions of a Former Babywise Advocate

 A few years ago I had a mom in class that asked a lot of questions about Baby Wise vs. Attachment Parenting and it spurred me to write a blog post on the topic.  Fast forward 2 1/2 years and this same mom wants to become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor.  I knew she had "done" Baby Wise with her baby and that is not what Birth Boot Camp teaches.  She came clean and told me her story of scheduling her 1st baby and practicing Attachment Parenting with baby #2.   Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story here.

"I am writing this post in hopes that I can encourage mothers in the art of mothering. I prepared for my first birth like many moms. Regular prenatal care, vitamin supplementation, proper protein, reading birth books, taking natural childbirth classes, and making a birth plan were all a part of the wonderful anticipation of being a mother for the first time.

We all receive tons of unsolicited advice when expecting, don't we? It may come from family and friends, but some times complete strangers at the check out, checking you out, nodding their head) saying, "So.... when are you due; pretty soon, huh?" I first heard of "Baby Wise" in line at a check out, then from a friend who it to me. I put it on my list to read along with all the other books Donna had us reading for class. 

One thing about me is, my personality lends itself to a schedule.  I like having a game plan and being in control. My mother always motivated me with check lists and it actually worked. I used to put things on the list I had already done, just so I could check them off and see the accomplishments. Yes, I am one of those "A-type" people. This may have been because I was a first born, or because of the influence of my mother who was a first born, or just because that's my God given organized personality. Any how, when seeking a plan for my firstborn, I went ahead and read "Baby Wise" because I had heard a baby needed to be on a schedule.

Our first born daughter was born at home! So, we got the unmedicated, natural birth we had planned for and loved the experience. I remember saying to my husband, directly after birth, "If that is how birth is, than we can have lots more kids!" I had my husband, midwives, their assistants, my doula, and our new baby all in my master bathroom at the time of her birth. I believe there were nine in all.

She latched on to nurse like a pro just after birth. She loved her sling, "The Over the Shoulder Baby Holder". After much research, we decided not to vaccinate at all. My two main goals were to exclusively breastfeed our baby for the first year and to have her sleeping through the night by at least 10 weeks. What was I thinking!!! What I did not know at first was that my two goals were diametrically opposed. I went on believing that if I scheduled her and followed the eat, wake, sleep pattern like what the "Baby Wise" book said, I could have the best of both worlds. "Baby Wise" made us think that if I we were going to be wise parents, we would follow a written schedule.

I live my born-again life with integrity towards God. 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." I believe a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving Jesus Christ. I love my husband and we both wanted to give our daughter the very best. Unfortunately, we were misinformed. 

It is true that a baby can sleep through the night at 8 weeks, can move to a crib in his/her own room at 6 weeks, can be a happy baby, and can nurse well for a while. I know because mine did. If there was ever a "just like the book baby" it was Alayna. Her patterns of eat/wake/sleep were exactly as the book said they would be. When she went "off her schedule," this is what we call now going through growth spurts, teething, or crying. Sadly, we looked in the book to see what to do for her, as if it were an all purpose magical baby users manuel. I hate to say it, but it's true. People stopped me all the time to tell me what a sweet, happy baby she was. They told me she was an easy baby and I was "lucky" to have her sleeping through the night so soon. She was very contented and seemed to be thriving in every way we knew of at that time until she was 7 months old.

I began seeing her demand for more milk and I was not producing enough to satisfy her. Up till then, nursing had been wonderful for us, but I soon realized that her metabolism was geared for large amounts of food at set intervals and that my milk supply was hindered by scheduling. It made my body so rhythmic that it would not let down until a certain time had lapsed. Unlike demand feeding, where a child communicates hunger and mother's milk is always there ready to flow! We were both getting so frustrated. She was hungry and unhappy and I was worried my dreams were vanishing. I went out and bought the best pump I could find. I had never tried a pump before until she was 8 months old. While this did help my supply a little, it turned out to be a big pain. I was nursing my daughter on schedule and tied down to a pump the rest of the time. I began realizing that my 2 goals were not compatible. I wish I had known that exclusive demand feedings at the breast were the most healthy and natural way to go. Sure I was told, but I had not experienced the freedom from a schedule yet.

I shared my frustrations with a close friend who recommended us visit her "Natural Doctor" in Houston, TX. My husband and I prayed about it and decided to get some professional help. We had never been to a Wellness Doctor before. Dr. Hopkins at CWA taught us many things about wellness, healthy eating, nursing, and how our bodies work best eating foods designed for us specifically. I was given whole food supplements to strengthen and richen my milk supply. He taught us and challenged us not to schedule our daughter anymore. In time a demand nursed baby will find his/her own routine that promotes his/her individual health. We prayed some more and chose to put a fresh priority on our baby's optimum health. We quit "Baby Wise" thinking and stepped out in faith to the unknown world of possibilities available through what the book calls, "Attachment Parenting!" My husband and I tried to un-schedule our 10 month old. The most surprising thing happened. I could not, try as I might, to un-schedule her. It was the hardest thing in the world, but I was able to get off the breast pump and go back to just nursing her for another 4 months. Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise:" I am so thankful for the true wisdom of our Christian Doctor.

It was so impossible to unschedule our scheduled baby. For 8 months out of 10, that schedule had become such a part of her we could not separate the two. I am sad to say, she only knew life through the "glasses" of a schedule. She was quite addicted to it. I mean, if she did not have meals at set times her sugar levels would plummet. With it, came crashing down tears and unrest. If we were away from home during "nap time" she would have a melt down. She seemed to "need" her schedule for weeks and months after we took it away. The regular ups and downs of daily living without a schedule were hard on her at first. It was not until she weaned herself at 14 months (too early for me) that we really saw full improvement in her ability to enjoy life to it's fullest. Who knows how long she may have nursed if we had never introduced a schedule?  Her mood swings went away and her over all health improved by 94% from her first check up with Dr. Hopkins at 10 months old.

I always felt very attached to my baby, but compared to my second born, she was actually too independent.  I would even say, she was unattached emotionally and we didn't even know what we were missing.  I am grateful our 3-year-old has recovered, but we will never have those early years to do over again.

After our second home birth, we talked about how, in some ways, it would be like parenting for the first time all over again. I was looking forward to guilt-free co-sleeping! I loved it and we got better rest than we did following "Baby Wise".  My husband cherished more time with our baby in our bed than I had ever dreamed possible. And because we were doing many things more naturally like demand-feeding, it was easy to go on dates. We were not on a time schedule dependent on when the baby would need to be in bed . 

Hannah nursed exclusively for 12 months and 1 week. Around 13 months we bought a king size bed to accommodate for needed space. I did not want space to be the reason to move her out of our bed before she was ready. She still nurses on demand and loves snuggling in her sling at 18 months old. I had never allowed myself the privilege of napping with my first baby in my bed, so I made up for it with our second. She stayed in our bed at night for over a year and then occasionally on an as-needed basis. She was still in our room in a pack-and-play until one particular night when she motioned "up, up" to the old out-of-use crib in her sister's room. Now that Hannah is 18 months old she sleeps in her own bed in her big sister's room because she wants to do things just liked Alayna. If she is sick and needs to nurse more frequently she knows she is always welcome back with us.

Recognizing that God has called me to function as His agent defines my task as a mother. I believe our culture and "Baby Wise" have reduced parenting to providing care. Parents often see the task in these narrow terms. The child must have food, clothes, a bed and some quality time. In sharp contrast to such a weak view, God has called me to a more profound task than being a care-provider.

Mothering is a pervasive task. It does not end even when we are sleeping. In our homes we need to parent our children in God's behalf. Whether waking, walking, talking, singing, resting, or nursing, I must be involved in helping my children to understand life, herself and her needs from a biblical perspective. The best advice I can leave with you for mothering comes from Deuteronomy 6:5-7 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." 

The task God has given me is NOT one that can be conveniently SCHEDULED."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jessica Simpson's Fear-Based Elective C-Section

Another celebrity -- this time Jessica Simpson -- chooses a c-section and it makes the headlines.  Unfortunately, women are choosing to have surgery in order to avoid the "pain" of labor and childbirth every day in America.  I can't help but think that the media and the "horror stories" from friends and family about how hard and awful the experience is contributes to this elective e-section phenomenon. 

Some of the highlights, in case you missed it, are that Ms. Simpson is "terrified of pain" and "too scared to push."  ''The thought of going into labor scared the bejeezus out of her. She was so anxious, she was even breaking into cold sweats at night.  Jessica has no tolerance for pain. She even turned to hypnotherapy to calm her fears about it, but nothing was working.  She desperately wanted to experience the joy of a natural birth, but decided to go with what made the most sense for her.''

She obviously has her choice to elect to have surgery, and I don't really care about taking that choice away from her.  I am more concerned with where the fear comes from, and how do we conquer this fear that is so prevalent in our modern society?

I was scared to death when I was pregnant with my first baby.  I've written his birth story here, but in case you missed it, here it is again.  I was, like Jessica, terrified of the pain. Everything I knew about birth came from the movies and TV sitcoms.  Elective cesareans had not taken off (I wouldn't have chosen that option anyway) so I had to face my fear -- which I bravely did by demanding "my epidural"!

The two things that helped me overcome the fear of natural childbirth were:   
1)  Knowing someone who had actually done it
2)  Education

So, while I am sad that so many women are missing out on the amazing -- and even hard -- experience of natural childbirth, I understand the fear.  If you have had a natural childbirth, talk about it!  Encourage the women around you.  They are strong and capable.  I always believed I was strong.  Now I know I am strong because I faced my fear.  That knowledge is powerful as a woman becomes a mother.  It's powerful in other areas of your life too.  The more you know, the less you fear.  Get educated! 

Conquer your fears!  Each time you do, you become a stronger woman.  I spent my entire life being terrified of bees.  One year I planted a garden, and in doing so, learned how necessary the bees were to the survival of my 20 tomato plants. Without pollination, there would be no fruit.  You've seen The Bee Movie, I'm sure. As the summer went on, I welcomed the bees and simply worked around them.  I overcame my fear because the desire to have my garden flourish was stronger.

Birth is no different.  Get educated, surround yourself with people who believe in you, make informed decisions and conquer your fearYou are stronger than any fear you currently have.  Put that in your pocket, Jessica Simpson!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Effects of a Crowded Room

For years I've been talking about emotional relaxation.  Emotional relaxation is how you feel about your laboring environment.  For example:

Are you confident in your care provider?  
Do you feel that your nurse is supportive of natural birth?  
Is the on-call doctor respectful of your birth plan? 
How is the temperature in the room?  
Are people talking during your contractions?  
Do you feel supported not only during contractions, but between them as well?  
Are your needs anticipated by those around you?  
Do the people at your birth really know how to help you?
How is the lighting?
What does the room smell like?
Are you hungry?  Are you encouraged to eat/drink?

The answers to these questions will impact your labor.  Someone posted on my Banned From Baby Showers Facebook page wanting to talk about prodromal labor and someone else about "longer than normal" labors.  When I hear about a woman having a very long labor, there are some things that pop into my mind, the first one being how many people were in the room?  What did she do in early labor?  Did she watch the clock and wait for contractions to get closer?  Or did she announce it on Facebook and deal with phone calls for the next 3 days?  Did she feel like a watched pot?

My two bits of advice for all my couples in early labor are:  1) Depending on the time of day you realize contractions are regular, SLEEP.  2) Depending on the last time you ate, EAT.  Eventually, you may want to do both of these things and will likely not be able to.  

The 4 top things that women worry about for their labor:  
1) The sounds they will make during labor and birth
2) Modesty and being/feeling exposed
3) Fear of tearing
4) Fear of pooping during the pushing phase

Let's look at this list further.  The only one that is actually a physical fear is #3, the fear of tearing.  The other 3 have more to do with how she is perceived by others in the room.  There are few times in a woman's life where she is more vulnerable than when she is in labor.  She may act like a wild animal, making sounds that might be embarrassing otherwise.   Or, her sounds might be low and sexy -- and she may stop when her mother or mother-in-law comes into the labor, even though those sounds were her "rhythm" and helping her through contractions.  

Very carefully consider the people you invite into your birth.  Often, women feel the need to "perform" for their audience.  Maybe it's for your mother or best friend who never had a natural birth and has been very negative about you having a homebirth.  You feel like you have something to prove.  Maybe you have "media" at your birth, a photographer or are recording a video.  The pressure to "perform" can really hurt a labor.  I feel strongly about recording your birth, but not at the cost of not being able to give in to your labor.  It's just another thing to evaluate and be flexible during labor.

As hard as it may be, you may need to banish these people from your labor.  Most women labor best in dark, quiet, undisturbed places The more people involved in your labor, the harder these conditions are to achieve.  Mom needs to feel free to move and vocalize.  We have this idea that if we are vocal, we are not doing well.  This simply isn't the case.  In fact, the opposite may be true.

Of course, there may be physical reasons for a long labor, but the people in the room is something that each couple has direct control over.  Even in a hospital birth, if you don't like your nurse, request another one.  Have your doula or midwife do it if you can't.  If they suggest it, acknowledge that they may able to see something you can't see in the throngs of labor.  Many people don't want to believe that having their mom or sister in the room is slowing their labor, but I've seen it many times over the years.  Hindsight is always 20/20 too. Often, women can't see the effects of the "spectators" until after the birth.

If you feel self-conscious about how you will sound, act, or look, you might consider not having anyone not crucial to your birth team at your birth.  Birth is not a spectator sport!

Monday, April 9, 2012

An All-American Birth Story

With permission, I'm sharing this email I received from a mom I met in Walmart.  I know what you are thinking, and, yes, I talk to pregnant mamas everywhere I go!  I rarely hear what happens after our encounters, however.  This is one of those emails that has been hard to forget.  This story is indicitive of how women are treated in American hospitals everyday.  It makes me terribly sad that women reflect upon their birth with sadness and powerlessness.  There is a saying that a woman will always remember how she felt -- or was made to feel -- on the day she gave birth. 

Hi, Donna. You probably don’t remember me because we met only briefly almost a year-and-a-half ago, but our meeting had a very profound impact on my last birth experience and on the way that I am looking at my present pregnancy and future labor. My husband and I lived in Mansfield for a short while when I was pregnant with our third child. We were shopping at Walmart when I was seven months pregnant when you approached us at the check-out lane. You asked where I was going for maternal care and when we told you, I was surprised to see your facial expression change so dramatically to serious and concerned from happy and congratulatory. We were so thrilled to be accepted at such a ritzy clinic because it is difficult to find quality care with Medicaid. I had not yet met with my doctor, but I was excited to receive good care at such a late time in my pregnancy. You informed us that our OB group had an extremely high c-section rate and encouraged us to look further into our decision before you gave us your card and told us about your work. We had considered ‘alternative birth methods' with our son, but home births are illegal in South Dakota where we had moved from so we had never followed through – midwives, although not as expensive as hospitals, are still a luxury that we cannot afford. This is why we have Medicaid.

However, since I had already toyed wistfully with the idea in my head, I was intrigued with the idea that natural births are better than hospital births and doctors and hospitals are the equivalent of the Big Bad Wolf and I went home and looked around on The Unnecesarean and Banned From Baby Showers websites. I was shocked to find so many statistics and the underhanded methods of physicians. The things that they will say to coerce a woman into a cesarean and the way that they will take cruel control in the name of ‘health’ shocked me. I showed the site to my husband and we went to meet my new doctor fully prepared with a few questions about his personal cesarean rates and a list of my expectations for my birth.

I told him my doctor the only way that I would have a cesarean is if my baby was in serious and immediate risk of death. Period. He quoted a cesarean rate much lower than the one that you gave us and explained that many cesareans rates quoted from their clinic included the cesareans for women who have already had cesareans in the past. He completely agreed that I should not have to undergo surgery unless the situation called for it loud and clear. We left feeling more confident and happily attended our ritzy high-end doctor’s appointments for the next several weeks, until…

I went in for a regular appointment at 35 weeks and the doctor checked to see if I had begun to dilate yet. To both of our surprise, baby girl had moved from the head-down to the butt-down position near the end of my pregnancy! This had happened with my son at 38 weeks as well, and my previous doctor had simply done a little sliding motion across my belly and he went right back into place quickly and almost painlessly. She then sent me next door to the hospital to be monitored for an hour and sent me home.

Dr. Ritzy informed me that this is a very difficult and risky procedure and I would need to go to the hospital in Arlington in a week to have baby moved if she hadn’t already done so on her own. So we went into the hospital a week later and found that our baby had not yet moved. They put me on a bed, prepped me for surgery for ‘just in case’ and gave me a drug in the IV to relax my uterus and make moving the baby easier. I thought that this was quite a bit of hoopla just so that the doctor could gently run his hand over my belly as my previous doctor had done for me, but I let him have his way and waited for the magic. What happened next was not magical, at all. He dug his hands into my belly and wrenched the baby to the side. It hurt more than anything I can describe to you, more than anything I have ever felt. They kept telling me to breathe, but I just couldn’t. Over and over he wrenched at my belly until I thought I might die. Just before his last try, he asked me if he should just stop and schedule my cesarean. I gasped out ‘no’ and he did it again. He failed. He moved her, but she was still not in the head down position and he didn’t dare try anymore. He informed me that he would schedule me for a cesarean in a week. I asked why we needed to do this- what if the baby moves herself? He told me that if the baby moved we wouldn’t need a cesarean. He would simply induce me and I would have they baby vaginally as I wished- YAY… wait. Why wouldn’t we just wait until I went into labor myself? That would give the baby more time to move and grow and become ready for the outside world, right? 37 weeks is not premature, but it is still early. Then he started with the lines that I read about on your site: ‘The baby is getting too big’, ‘You’re tired, it’s time’, ‘For your safety and the baby’s’… He went on and on over my protests and then walked out of the room. The nurse came in a couple minutes later to inform me that the doctor had scheduled me for the next week and had ordered me off of my Valtrex (I have genital herpes. Taking Valtrex in the end of my pregnancy ensures that I won’t break out and require a cesarean). I told her that I needed to take it. What if the baby moved? She walked out and came back to tell me that the doctor said I could continue taking the Valtrex.

We left the hospital devastated. I cried the whole way back to Mansfield and spent about an hour-and-a-half in despair, trying to accept what had happened to my pregnancy. I couldn’t though. I kept on thinking about your site and I slowly became angry. I spent the rest of the day trying to find a clinic that would take me in the end of my pregnancy. I found one and made an appointment for the day that my doctor had scheduled my cesarean. They did ultrasounds and monitored the baby immediately. Not only was she head-down already, but she was NOT too big at all. She was perfect.

You would think that this would be the happy ending, right? No. I went into labor at forty weeks and went to the hospital. My doctor was not on call. I spent the day being bombarded by all these different nurses and doctors that I had never met. Some were nice, some were pissy to be at work and it showed. When shift change came, I was assigned my last nurse. She came in from time to time to ‘check’ me but basically just kind of left us alone, which is what we wanted.

I had an epidural (I blame this on uneducation) and it started to wear off so my husband called her in. She told me that the anesthesiologist was working on a cesarean and would be about another 25 minutes. She checked my dilation and I was 6 ½ centimeters. Less than two minutes after she left, I had another contraction and felt the baby move into my birth canal. I almost jumped, it was such a surprise. I told my husband and had another contraction that sent the baby even lower. I sent my husband out to find the nurse. She told him that there was no way because she had just checked me and sent him back to the room alone. The next 25 minutes were so beyond painful that, again, I am unable to describe it. The act of fighting my urge to push only made my labor more painful and I was so scared. My husband went so far as to tell me to just push. I didn’t though. Who would catch the baby? (silly me) I wish I had. When the anesthesiologist came in I told her that I needed to push now and she immediately got my nurse. My nurse came in scolding me. She scolded me again when she checked me and was unable to find my cervix because the baby's head was in the way.  "Girl! I just checked you!" and then she put my legs in the stirrups, turned on the bright light, and told me to push. Half-way through my first push, her head crowned, but was blocked by the hand of my nurse. Half-way through that wonderful, relieving push I was ordered to stop and my baby’s exit was blocked. The nurse then paged the doctor and made us wait in that position for the doctor to arrive. When I asked if this was safe for my baby, the nurse scolded me again and told me that it was her job to worry, not mine. My baby was born with her cord wrapped around her neck and a slight case of jaundice.

Thankfully, they allowed me to nurse her for an hour before they whisked her off to a room where, contrary to the information in their brochure, my husband was not allowed to follow. Privacy and all that. Just as my husband was not allowed to tape or take pictures of our daughter’s birth.

If not for our chance meeting at Walmart that day, I may have let that first doctor cut me open. I may have fallen for his lines. My daughter was born 8lb 3oz, smaller than my son who was 8lb 8oz so his whole ‘baby too big’ line was a complete lie. I wish I had not gone to the hospital at all. Now I am pregnant again and I am facing a dilemma that I am sure many women face. I can’t afford a midwife or a birth center. My husband is unemployed and I am a stay-at-home mom. I get nauseous and anxious when I take my kids to their doctor’s appointments. I feel like I will be coerced into some sort of treatment that I don’t want for them. My last birth experience seems to have turned me into a bit of a mouse with doctors and I often take my husband to their appointments for support and a little bit of muscle.

(The midwives we are seeing) still go through the hospital and I am afraid of another hospital birth. I fear their policies, and I fear that when I am in pain and in labor they will take advantage.I fear that I don’t have the strength to stand up to them. 

 I don’t want wires and tubes stuck to me. 
I don’t want to have my water broken or a timer set for me.
 I don’t want my baby taken into another room at any point after his birth. 
I don’t want to be checked over and over by strangers who change with every shift. 
I don’t want my control over my body to be taken forcefully when I am at my most vulnerable. 
 I’m scared. 

I want a wonderful empowering beautiful birth experience where I find myself and my child. I want long hours of bonding and nursing uninterrupted by strangers and tests. What can I do? Please give me advice.  Is it possible that the hospital could drop their policies for a patient? If I was experienced at all I would consider an unassisted birth, but I am not and I don’t have the money for supplies. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for intervening with my last pregnancy. Things would have been very different without your concern for my baby and I.

I cried while I wrote this, as it is the first time that I have told my story to someone outside of immediate family. It took me quite a while to recover from (my daughter's) birth. I felt kind of empty afterwards and even a little bit ashamed. I felt like it was partially my fault because I didn't stop the nurse. Sometimes when I remember it I change the ending so I can kick the nurse out of the way and deliver my own baby or give birth to her before the anesthesiologist came in. I keep remembering the smug look on her face when the doctor walked in. She waved her hand over my daughter's crown like we were a show piece on The Price is Right, or like she had done something great and deserved a cookie. The doctor wasn't surprised which tells me that this is some sort of normal procedure there and they have done it to other women.  

I am working on a list of my birth expectations, complete with arguments for why it should be that way in case I come across any resistance. I get pretty busy with the kids and school so I haven't finished and I don't want to go to my first appointment unprepared. Also, it's always so busy there and I'm not even sure that the doctor will have time to listen to me. 

I have put her in touch with a fabulous Certified Professional Midwife that lives in her area since recieving this email.  I don't want to be a loud-mouth (well maybe I do), but I believe that change begins with each one of us.  We must speak up for ourselves and for each other.  Fathers need to know how to advocate for their wives and their babies.  Spread the good news of natural and normal birth, my friends.  Support the care providers -- in and out of the hospitals -- that provide Mother-Friendly maternity care.  Don't be afraid to speak out against the ones who are not.  If the demand is great, the change will be great! 

Send good thoughts this mama's way come September, that she'll have an empowering birth experinece, feeling loved and supported along her journey. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Online Childbirth Classes

This is a great option if you cannot, for whatever reason, get into the full 10-week class. Some people live in a city where there is no Birth Boot Camp instructor. Some people don't find out about Birth Boot Camp until they are 35 weeks into the pregnancy. Your schedules may conflict, making a live class impossible.   If you can, take a live class. 

The online classes are really good, however.  They are professionally recorded and edited, peppered with lots of birth stories from couples who have taken my class.  You'll also hear from birth professionals on a variety of topics.  It's childbirth education -- documentary style!  The online classes are $295.

After you have registered and paid, you will have immediate access to the classes.  Within 1-2 business days, I will mail you your workbook and breastfeeding DVD via Priority Mail.  I am also available for questions at

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's in a Name?

It's a tough thing to name a baby.  Their identity is wrapped up in his/her name forever.  The responsibility is huge.  If you missed the post from last week, I've given birth!  Our baby's name is Birth Boot Camp!

A brief recap:  Birth Boot Camp is a 10-week online childbirth education course and we'll also be training instructors to teach live classes.  The curriculum is modern and relevant, no matter where you are planning to give birth.

There have been a lot of questions this week about where the name came from.

First, we wanted a name that let people know this is not a fluffed up class.  It will be hard work and you'll come out stronger on the other side of it. 

Second, we wanted dads to know this class is for them too. Our branding and color schemes were created with him in mind.  He plays a crucial role in the pregnancy, labor, and birth -- even if he doesn't know it yet!

And third, this course is about natural birth.  In fact, after many hours of debate, the Birth Boot Camp Board established the importance of an instructor having had a natural birth in order to teach others how to have a natural birth. 

Rest assured, there are no whistles or push-ups involved, although we did run with the military theme for the names of the classes:

Defining the Mission:  Why Natural Birth?

P.T. & Chow:  Physical Training and Nutrition

Setting Up Camp: Choosing Where to Birth
 Chain of Command:  Who is in Charge of Your Birth?

Countdown to "D" Day
Deployment:  Baby on the Move

Supporting Arms:  Mom's Most Important Ally

Cadence:  The Sights and Sounds of Natural Childbirth

The Fog of War:  Keeping a Clear Head in Labor

The Plan of Attack:  Establishing Your Priorities and Making a Plan
Mission Accomplished!   The Immediate Postpartum Period

Life With a New Recruit

Check out more about the classes here.  While we like to think the names are catchy, there is so much more behind them besides being wickedly clever.  

If you want a natural birth, we will help you get there.  We'll do our part and you do yours!  Welcome to BIRTH BOOT CAMP!