Certified Childbirth Educator

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It’s been a long time in coming, but I am proud to announce that Little Lambs now has a certified childbirth educator offering classes!

After teaching childbirth classes independently for a year (spring of 2011 to spring of 2012) I decided it would be worthwhile for me to invest in a course to become certified in childbirth education. At the time I was babbling in Bradley and Brio methods without really being certified in either, and using some of their materials as well as miscellaneous Internet resources, and though it went well, I knew my students deserved something a bit more legit.

So, I began the search for the “perfect” program for me. I wanted a course that would allow me to remain home with my son whom I was nursing at the time. I needed something I could afford. And I needed something that would leave me with curriculum to use when I finished.

My search found me at Birth Arts International. The certification program took me about eighteen months to complete considering during that time I was raising a toddler, and bakin’ up another sweet babe, having him and adjusting to all that craziness. It was a long haul, but I am finished!

The program was great because all of the homework resulted in me working on creating my own curriculum. I had required readings and assignments and the purpose of each assignment was to be able to use it as a handout in my very own curriculum. It was a lot of work, but so great because I got to pick and choose exactly what I wanted to cover in class based on the books that I was required to read.

So, what do we offer now? The course is made up of four-class sessions covering important topics like pregnancy exercise and nutrition, what to expect in labor, relaxation practice, what to expect postpartum, and a session that centers on breastfeeding. Our philosophy is centered on Grantly Dick-Read’s book, Childbirth Without Fear, and our method is that of education and relaxation. We believe that natural childbirth can best be accomplished with education about what a woman’s body does in pregnancy and birth combined with adequate practice of relaxation that can be used during labor.

Classes are $200, but discounts are offered to Little Lambs doula clients. As always, don’t let prices make your choices for you, as we are always willing to work with couples financially.

I look forward to meeting with you and sharing with you the knowledge I’ve gained in this process!
~Adrienne

Choosing a Care Provider

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Choosing a care provider is one of the most important components of having an enjoyable, safe, and healthy pregnancy and birth experience. Unfortunately, many women choose their care provider solely based on the medical coverage they receive via insurance, but there are still choices you can be aware of regardless of how your care is paid for.

  • Where do you want to birth?

The answer to this question will narrow down your choices of a care provider. Do you want to birth at home? In a hospital? Which one? In an alternative birth center? If you want to birth in a hospital, it is important to tour the facility where you will be birthing to make sure you are aware of how it functions while also giving yourself the opportunity to ask questions regarding the kind of birth you hope to have. Consider birthing elsewhere if the answers to your questions do not meet your needs or desires.

  • Do you want to have a midwife or an obstetrician?

The answer to this question may go hand-in-hand with the above question. Deciding if you’d prefer the more medically-minded expertise of an obstetrician versus the more natural, woman-minded midwife is a personal decision. You can certainly find individuals who possess the education and knowledge of an OB but serve as a midwife would with a more one-on-one personal approach and mindset.

  • Logistics

Call the offices of places you’d consider birthing or talk with care providers or their receptionists about the logistics of your care. What fees are involved? What about insurance is accepted? (Also discuss this with your insurance company to make sure the answers align). What hospital affiliations does this doctor/midwife have? Does this doctor/midwife allow for special requests and personalized care?

  • Personal recommendations

One of the best routes of finding a care provider is to listen to your friends who have used local midwives or doctors. Does their experience sound like something you’d want or something you’d prefer to avoid? This is a good starting point for ruling out certain options and taking care to consider others.

  • Questions to Ask a Potential Care Provider

Remember that at times, the provider’s answers to these questions are not as important as his or her willingness to discuss other options and alternatives with a desire to learn and offer personal care.

  • What is your certification? (MD, CNM, CPM, DEM, etc.)
  • How long have you worked in this field?
  • Approximately how many births do you attend per week/month)?
  • What is your view on birth?
  • Why did you decide to go into this field?
  • What prenatal tests do you require or recommend?
  • Will you be with me throughout my birth or come and go?
  • Will you attend the birth or will it be whomever is on call?
  • What is your view on episiotomies?
  • What is your view on cesarean sections?
  • What does a typical prenatal appointment look like?
  • Would you do a breech delivery?
  • What is your protocol for multiples?
  • What is your view on women moving around, eating, and being monitored during labor?
  • What do you recommend if a mother is “overdue”?
  • How do you identify and treat postpartum hemorrhage?
  • How long do you stay after baby is born?
  • Who is allowed in the room with me while I birth?
  • (For home birth) For what reasons would a hospital transfer be necessary? Will you stay with me if a transfer is necessary?
  • What is your protocol for postpartum follow-up?

If you are in need of local recommendations or more information, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you find a care provider that is the best match for you!

Cloth Diapering in the New World

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I think the number one non-birth-related question we get is about cloth diapering: What do I do? A Google search will reveal how overwhelming this decision can be. Post it on your Facebook or Twitter feed and you’ll get countless responses regarding what worked for this particular family, even some heated debates!

For our family, cloth diapering started out as a way to save money and grew into lowering our footprint (I don’t even want to think about all the disposable diapers piling up in landfills!) and lessening the chemicals found in our home. We’ve been cloth diapering for over five years now and while we started not real faithful, I’m happy to say ou5918653591_1356e1ef27r most recent addition (7 months old at this posting) has only had one disposable diaper on in her life!! Pretty exciting to me!

Anyway, the issue to me is that there are too many options and lots of us think our particular way is the right way! Some think the best way is to buy up a few different options and try them out before deciding on a style. I knew this wasn’t for us because I’m just a little too ‘Type A’ – I want everything to be the same and exact. I have tried a few different systems, and observed friends using their systems and have settled on prefolds with a cover. I’m going to list here what works for us and everything you need to get started, assuming you’re babe is a newborn (or not even born!) I’m using sizes and prices from GreenBottoms.com – a local (amazing!) company. The couple runs their business out of their home, so you’ll need to contact them before stopping by, but they are so sweet and very helpful. There are other online options, but I just love supporting local business, and especially this one! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE their easy to understand break down of cost savings. If this is the only reason you’re considering cloth diapers, please check this out!

  • 30 Infant Prefolds (for 7-15 lbs) – $2.00 per prefold.
  • 20 Premium Prefolds (for 15-30 lbs) – $2.75 per prefold (if your babe is new, you can put this cost off for a few months at least).
  • 4-5 Covers: Flip – $16.95 a cover. Flips aren’t made to be used with prefolds but work really well with them. They may seem a little pricey, but they are totally adjustable and will work from newborn to toddler, great cost savings! If you’re really crunched for cash, you could also start out with just a few and work your way up to a preferred number. Remember, you’re not washing these covers every diaper change, only changing the prefold.
  • 2-3 Snappis – $3.95 a piece. These are where the new world comes in! I’m so grateful I don’t have to use diaper pins like my mama! I’ve used them once on a friend’s baby and was TERRIFIED the whole time! Luckily, he survived! Of course if you would want to use pins, that’s totally an option, too! (at the time of this posting, these are not listed on the Green Bottoms site, but Laura said she’d be ordering some, ask about them!)
  • Wipes and Solution – I’m not going to list a cost for these because it varies so much. I use baby washcloths that I bought on the cheap at Toys R Us YEARS ago and a small spray bottle with water and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. Adrienne also makes wipes that I love (even for wiping up peanut butter faces!). For as many cloth diaper options as there are, there as as many wipe options, crazy, huh? From wipes to solutions, it can be intense!
  • Wet Bag (at home): Planet Wise – $16.95. This is for a pail liner. I use it in an old kitchen sized garbage can. Not available at Green Bottoms, check Cotton Babies). My Planet Wise bags have never failed me and I’ve had them all for years.
  • Wet Bag (on the go): Planet Wise – $21.95. This is for storage in your diaper bag. The one offered at Green Bottoms has a dry pocket, for clean diapers, and a wet pocket, for dirty diapers. It holds 8-9 diapers. I, personally, have never needed a bag to hold so many, so I’ve opted for a smaller one from Cotton Babies for $16.95 (medium size).
  • Rash Ointment: Earth Mama Angel Baby – $8.95. I absolutely love Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm, clears little rashes up right away and smells great. If you’re going to use something different, make sure it’s ok to use with cloth diapers. Some can cause build up and some can make the waterproof liner in the cover to deteriorate. YUCK! (also, just a note, I love ALL Earth Mama Angel Baby products, so don’t stop at the Bottom Balm!)
  • Soap: Charlie’s Soap – $12.99. Again, lots of different options here from making your own to buying. Charlie’s is a proven winner in our house for all our laundry, not just diapers.
  • Additional little note: I’ve really taking to LOVE wool soakers lately, as well. Wool is pretty phenomenal – it’s wicking and super absorbent while totally breathable. Sheep are living the high life for sure! There are several different mamas who make soakers. You can even find tutorials online on crocheting or knitting your own, or fashioning one out of a shrunken wool sweater. Our own Sarah Cupp has been dabbling in the soaker industry, testing her products on my little Lydia (approved!). I also love Anktangle‘s soakers. Not a necessary purchase, just something else I love!

So that’s all you need to get started! Like I said, there are SEVERAL different diapers out there to select from. You might find a different system you love, this is just what works for our family. I love using cloth diapers and I hope you do, too!

- Sarah Moore

Quad Cities Cesarean Rates

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Quad Cities cesarean rates. We’ve talked about this before on our Facebook page and it’s now become official that in the year 2010, Genesis – Illini Campus in Silvis, Illinois is in the top 10 ranking for the country! Not a top ten list you want to be a part of.

I wanted to share our cesarean rates from 2010 – knowledge is power. These rates are from The Unnecesarean - a wonderful resource on fighting the cesarean epidemic. These numbers are definitely a bummer, but we can sure work to improve them!

 

 

2010 Cesarean Rates in the Quad Cities:

ILLINOIS
State rate: 31.2%
Genesis – Illini Campus 40.1%
Trinity Moline 25.1%

IOWA
State rate: 30.3%
Genesis – East Campus 28.3%
Trinity Bettendorf 31.3%
Trinity Muscatine 27.4%

New Certification in the Works

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Little Lambs Birth Services is proud to announce a new certification that will soon be added to our list of qualifications!

From Adrienne:

As a childbirth educator, I have always struggled with the idea that one must be “certified” in order to pass on the information gleaned from experience and personal research. This is why I started teaching childbirth classes without any formal instruction in the matter. However, ever the eager student, I’ve decided it prudent to find a program that both met my personal needs and would also equip me with the skills necessary to offer an even better childbirth education experience for our students.

This month I started my program with Birth Arts International. Birth Arts is a well-known and respected organization that offers many resources to any curious learners and also offers certifications for breastfeeding coaches, midwives’ assistants, childbirth and postpartum doulas, and childbirth educators. Only four weeks into the program and I have already learned many new things and am really loving it.

I’m excited to gain new resources and access to materials (both pre-made and made-by-me) that will enhance the learning of the students who take our classes. Knowing that the better equipped I am as an educator, the better equipped our “graduates” will be as birthing parents, inspires me to continue my learning and add to my credentials. I will hopefully finish this certification by the end of this year, 2012.

Interested in joining a childbirth class? Contact us!

Our Littlest Lamb

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World, meet Callista.  Callista, the world.  Hope you two get along well.

The Details:

Callista Rose Cupp

February 13th, 2012 3:45pm

9lbs 3oz – 21 1/2″long

And so, so perfect.

Being new is so exhasting!

She’s pretty fantastic.  And we’re pretty smitten.

I hope to get her birth story written down, in a semi-coherent fashion, in the next week or so.  I will say most of our birth plan…went OUT the window.  ;)  But everything worked out just the way it needed to, another chance for God to show us He had the situation taken care of!

We’ve spent the last (almost) 6 weeks loving on her and figuring out how to go out in public with 3 kids, and APPEAR somewhat sane! ;)  Mostly successful, sometimes not.

Zach, Lilly & Callie

And with that, #2 is up from her nap, #3 is rousing, and I promised #1 a trip to the park.  Off we go! :)

QC Hypnobirthing with Janel Miner

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We all attended a HypnoBirthing Basics class with Janel Miner. Janel is a labor and delivery nurse at Trinity Moline as well as a student of midwifery (graduating May 2012). She also has experience as a doula, a breastfeeding consultant, and a homebirth midwifery assistant. She’s been teaching HypnoBirthing since 2002.

I think we’ve all been a little leery of HypnoBirthing just because of the name itself. I’m not to keen on Hypnosis. But, I really respect Janel and wanted to know more. I have also viewed a few births on YouTube where the mother implemented HypnoBirthing. It didn’t look that bad!

Janel shared about her personal birthing history and how fearful she was of birth. That sent her searching and landed here here: to HypnoBirthing.

The class was a basic overview of the history and the methods taught in HypnoBirthing. It was very interesting! In HypnoBirthing, The Mongan Method, the woman is taught to relax using self-hypnosis techniques. The goal is a natural labor and birth, which is something the woman already knows is within her, but doesn’t know how to access. It’s a deep relaxation, allowing the woman to get rid of fear and to let birth occur as it has for centuries. She pointed out that women in other cultures who aren’t taught that birth is “supposed to hurt” often don’t experience pain. Janel also talked about the failure to progress stemming from fear, tension and pain. The fear, tension, and pain cycle can be seen when see toddlers who are afraid to have a bowel movement. They “hold it” for so long that it then hurts, which leads to more pain and then more fear about going again the next time. When women are feeling these things, their bodies will stop working. HypnoBirthing teaches them to let go and birth their babies. Janel provided us with a list of gentle birthing terminology as well. A great resource for a mother who is fearful about labor.

I’m really glad we all went to this session – I think we learned a great deal! I’m actually looking forward to taking Janel’s HypnoBirthing class in May!

Want to know more? Visit Janel’s website and find her on Facebook!

Happy birthing <3 Sarah M.