September 22, 2016

5 Things You Should Know About Home Birth

Thinking of having a home birth for your baby? We've compiled a list of 5 simple things that you should know and consider if you're thinking that this way of birthing is right for you.

Having a home birth means being able to create your environment

While is same is true of hospital births, birthing at home means having even more control over your environment. You are in familiar surroundings, which instantly lowers stress and keeps adrenaline low, letting oxytocin flow. To prepare, think about what your ideal environment looks like, smells like and feels like for birth. This may be the smell of a freshly baked batch of cookies, the blanket that you love to curl up with on the couch during movie night, or photos from your favourite vacation spot.

Embrace all of what this environment will be for you. Set up those pictures, wrap yourself in something lovely and comforting, bake cookies (or have your doula bake you cookies!).

Home birth can be messy

Well not can be, it is! All birth is messy! Have a shower curtain (or a few) on hand to protect your home and surfaces the best that you can and don't worry...everything can be cleaned!

Visitors may want to come earlier since you're already at home

This is definitely something we see with our home birth clients, and we encourage you to consider it carefully. At the hospital, if you've given birth in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, chances are you won't be sharing the good news and visitors won't be knocking on your door much before noon. With a home birth, visitors seem to think that because you're already at home, you're free game for visitors. If you want space following the birth of your baby, you're perfectly within your rights as a new (or new again) parent to not share your news until you're ready, or post a sign on the door indicating when you will be accepting visitors.

Home birth isn't for everyone

If you are having a particularly difficult or strenuous pregnancy, are considered high risk or simply do not want a home birth, that's perfectly fine. There are loads of different conditions such as elevated blood pressure, prior cesarean birth, and prior significant postpartum hemorrhage, that make home birth a less than ideal option for some women. If you're still wanting a low intervention birth and to control your environment, discuss what your options are with your medical team and make a plan that includes as much of your home birth ideals as possible.

Only midwives attend home births

If you're considering a home birth and are under the care of an obstetrician or family physician with maternity specialty, chat with them about your options as only midwives (at least in Ontario) will attend home births. A simple transfer of care may be all that you need to carry your home birth wishes!

Remember! This is your body, your baby and your birth. Only you know what is right for you!

Having a doula present at your home birth provides a great deal of benefits, and we mesh incredibly well with the care of a midwife. While they are tending to your medical needs, we can provide emotional and mental support.

Put us to work! We're happy to head to your kitchen and make food to keep everyone energized. We can run out and grab supplies if they are needed. We can entertain older children if they are at home during the early stages of labour.

We can hold the space and help with the environment.

Wishing you all the best for a happy, safe, and healthy home birth!


September 14, 2016

Mommy Time Out

We have had such a great time with Moms Get Social over the past year - connecting with local moms and their babies in London, Ontario for a weekly social walk at Westmount Mall and Springbank Park.

It seems, though as with most things in life, that the needs of the moms who come to MGS are changing and shifting. Getting out for a walk and chat with babies in tow is awesome, but need a time out.

What can you expect at the new monthly Mommy Time Out events? Well...the biggest change will be that the babies and children will be (when possible) left at home. This is a chance for you to get out, have some space to yourself and do things that you want to do...when you want to do them.

Drink your coffee while it's hot
Go shopping and be able to try things on alone in the dressing room
Catch that movie you've been wanting to see
Eat a meal in peace and quiet
Unwind on your mat in a yoga class

Is Mommy Time Out just for local moms in London, ON? Absolutely not! We encourage you to get involved! Join the facebook group, engage, chat, find your community and something you can call your own. Reach out to local moms in your own area and start your own Time Out evenings! It doesn't have to be anything that breaks the bank or takes a huge amount of time, either! A quick coffee, sitting at the park and chatting, going for a walk.

Keep it easy
Keep it simple

and enjoy your time away. You're worth it!!


September 12, 2016

The Placenta

We are thrilled to announce that Janice is in the midst of her Placenta Encapsulation Specialist training, and will be adding this incredible service to her doula work in January 2017!

The placenta: best friend to your baby for 9 months, the transient organ you miraculously grew to support life, the main ingredient in pills you ingest postpartum?!

It might be an odd thought when you consider placenta encapsulation - even I admit I was grossed out by a friend years ago who got hers done – shhhhhhh BUT I’ve seen many dogs and cats birth their babies and eat their placentas and kind of thought ‘well, they do it’… Ingesting your placenta is now a growing trend, even celebrities are doing it!

After my experience postpartum, maybe ingesting my placenta would have helped my body level out hormone levels, prevent the hives that came up and make my milk not take 5 days to come in. 

Maybe. But would I pay someone to come into my home, prepare my placenta, dehydrate it, grind it and put it into capsules for me to take IF it meant I never had to go through that? YES! A resounding yes. So if you think it is trendy or healthy or natural, whatever your take on the process, would you consider it to as a preventative measure for a known health issue?

There is not a lot of research behind placenta encapsulation and should be noted that much of the information online comes entirely from women who have tried it themselves. Traditionally the pills are taken by the mother shortly after birth and can be stored to take when your menstrual cycle returns. Also it can be made into a tincture for help with menopause symptoms.
Among these possible health benefits are:
  • Increased oxytocin levels
    • helps the uterus return to normal size
    • decreased postpartum bleeding
    • encourages mother/baby bonding
  • Increased CRH, a stress reducing hormone
  • Increased milk production
  • Increased energy levels
  • Decreased in post-partum depression and anxiety
  • Decreased insomnia or sleep disorders
  • Balancing postnatal hormones
  • Restoration of iron levels in the blood
There are currently no known negative side effects to ingesting the placenta. However, some mothers experience dizziness, headaches, engorgement and even become hyperactive. These symptoms can easily be remedied by lowering and/or changing the timing of the dosage given to the mother by her certified placenta specialist. Each placenta is unique to each mother and baby and can affect each women differently.

Placenta encapsulation is an alternative option for a healthy postpartum and it is an amazing and natural alternative to antidepressant and antianxiety medications. Whether it is just a fad and has a placebo effect on you and make you feel like super mom, if it can give you extra energy and a great milk supply, why not? If you have experienced post-partum depression or anxiety in the past why not try to prevent it. 

When in doubt I’m sure you will get a good laugh out of your family and friends reactions to eating your placenta! I bet they will think twice next time you invite them over for dinner.


September 6, 2016

Bonding with Baby during Pregnancy

Do you know the reason that newborns stop crying to the sound of their moms voice once they are born? The answer is so simple, pure and raw.

At around 18 weeks gestation, baby is starting to pick up sounds in utero. By 25-26 weeks, they respond to noises and voices, and are able to distinguish familiarity.

That gives almost 15 weeks from the time that baby can recognize mom's voice to their birth



Find a favourite book that you want to teach your baby about, maybe something that you are exceptionally passionate about or your family history if there are important people in baby's life that have passed away. I used to tell the boys stories about their Grandpa all the time while I was pregnant, and would sing the Beatles to my belly all the time.

To this day, they still ask for Yesterday at bedtime.

Making those memories starts while you are pregnant. Find your voice, and let your baby get to know their mom in the most simple and pure way during your pregnancy.

If there are others that you want baby to recognize by the sound of their voice, encourage them to talk to baby too! This is a great way to get a soon-to-be big brother or sister involved and bonding with baby before the big day!

Once baby is here, you may be surprised at how quickly they settle to a familiar voice and song, and how the books your read to them during pregnancy become their favourites as they grow into toddlers!


September 2, 2016

Be Present For Your Children

A few weeks back during an online essential oils class I was attending, we were asked what three goals we had for ourselves when it came to our health and lifestyle.

I started thinking about the point of life I am in right now an recognized that there has been a massive shift in our lives lately. While we are absolutely active parents and embrace everything of who our kids are, we've both transitioned and have been taking on more professional responsibility within our respective businesses.

What it made me realize is that my top priority is shutting off and down, and being more present for my boys.

Laughing with them
Going on adventures in the woods
Reading to them
Getting outside and getting dirty
Building forts out of blankets
Having ice cream for breakfast

They are only little for so long, and that message struck really loudly when we were a few days before back to school. My oldest was starting Grade 1 and Mr. Graeme was about to start daycare. While I knew in my heart that it was the best decision for everyone involved, and that it would allow him to grow in ways that I could only dream of helping him with....I was struggling in my heart.

Owen was home with me until he was 4, at which point he started school. Graeme has had a part-time nanny since the Spring, but this daycare thing would be different. A huge piece of my heart...a piece that is represented in a dimply-red-curly-haired-giggly boy...would be away from me.

So in the time when we are together, in those precious moments where my heart is full and beaming...I vow to be present.

To laugh
To explore
To hold him close

He will only be (sorta...he's 34lbs!) little for so long!

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