Bump Naturally – Childbirth Education & Doula

Natural Childbirth Education, Doula, Photographer – Bossier City, LA / Shreveport, LA


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Birth Boot Camp… Live or Online?

One thing I love about teaching Birth Boot Camp is that their curriculum is available worldwide (via online classes) and new instructors are popping up all over the country and even abroad!

While taking a live Birth Boot Camp class is ideal, if you don’t live in a location where an instructor is available or committing to a 10-week course just won’t fit into your schedule, you can take the course from the comfort of your own home!

Live Group Classes

  • Connect with other local moms expecting around the same time
  • One on one interaction with your instructor and other couples
  • Hands on comfort measures for labor

Online Classes

  • Take at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home
  • Birth Boot Camp Facebook group to connect with other students taking live/online classes
  • Slightly cheaper (Plus, use code UBIRTH25 for an additional $25 off)

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My next live group series is set to begin Tuesday March 28th, 2017 in Bossier City, LA. For more information on my live Birth Boot Camp classes, visit my website here. I also off a one day Refresher Course for couples who have already had a natural birth.


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The Story of Arlyn’s Birth

While I know only 5% of moms deliver on their due date (and it’s super common for that day to come and go), I wasn’t mentally prepared to go beyond 41 weeks. My son arrived a day before his due date, so I figured his sister would arrive in similar fashion but that was not the case.

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Photo Credit: Virginia Lee Photography

Early on, I learned that I had an anterior placenta which is not as common and can cause positioning issues with baby (they tend to favor a posterior position or even go breech). I made sure to see my chiropractor (Diamond Chiropractic Health Center) regularly to stay aligned and give her ample room to get into a good position. I was lucky that she was head down the whole time but she stayed posterior or transverse right up until I went into labor.

After trying all the witchcraft I could think of, at my 41 week appointment I decided to try a membrane strip to see if that would help get things going. I waited and still, no contractions. Finally, at 41+1 in the afternoon I started having very mild but consistent contractions. I was hopeful that this was the start of labor but with Bradley (read his birth story here) I never really had early labor (I woke up in active labor) so I wasn’t sure if this was actually it. Sure enough, around 9:30pm my contractions fizzled out and I was feeling pretty defeated. Luckily, I was able to get a great night of sleep. In the morning, I decided to use my breast pump and apply some clary sage essential oil to see if I could get contractions going again. Within an hour, I was having consistent (and slightly stronger than the night before) contractions about 6-10 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds long. We decided to labor at home and wait for our scheduled appointment that morning at 9am.

Union arrival to my OB appointment, we had an BPP ultrasound to check fluid levels (since they had been steadily decreasing) and sure enough my fluid was non existent. The good news was that she finally turned anterior!!! When my OB (Dr. Bellmann) checked me, I was fully effaced, 5cm and baby was at 0 station. Although I didn’t feel like I needed to admit to hospital (or even need of my doula yet), Bellmann encouraged me to get settled as she expected me to progress quickly!

Upon being admitted to WK Pierremont around 10:30am, I alerted my birth team and had my photographer and doula meet me at hospital. We set up my room by firing up my birth playlist, hanging my birth affirmation banner, displaying my labor candles and diffusing my lavender essential oil.

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Around 12pm, Bellmann came to check on me and I was at 7cm and starting to recognize signs of transition. My contractions were now on top of each other and I felt like I didn’t have any breaks. I was so happy to have my doula and husband there for physical and emotional support. Swaying on hands and knees was something that helped me through the tough contractions.

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My New Title: Vanessa Stepan, BBCI

On May 13th, I flew to Dallas, TX where I attended a four day intensive training course for Birth Boot Camp (and met some amazing instructors and fellow trainees). As of May 26, 2015, I am proud to announce that I am officially certified as a Birth Boot Camp Instructor (BBCI)! If you’re unfamiliar, Birth Boot Camp is dedicated to training couples in natural birth and breastfeeding through accessible and contemporary education.

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