Bump Naturally – Childbirth Education & Doula

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


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You Are What You Eat (& What You Slather on your Skin)

As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my son, I immediately cleaned up my eating habits (started buying organic, added lots of protein, made sure to drink half my body weight in ounces of water) but it never even crossed my mind to look at what I was slathering ON my body and belly on a daily basis. I eventually heard through the grapevine that the acne regimen I was using was not recommended during pregnancy or nursing (which was confirmed by my doctor). I figured this was only the case because it was a harsh acne product… I never thought that my “natural” and “organic” shampoo/conditioner and makeup products from Target and Sephora could be “toxic”. Clearly, they wouldn’t be for sale if they weren’t safe, right?

#SwitchtoSafer w/ Beautycounter

To my horror, I learned (soon after the birth of my daughter) that I was blissfully unaware that companies could and were green-washing products with marketing buzz words like “gluten free,” “organic,” “botanical,” and “natural” that hold absolutely no meaning in the self regulated market of personal care products. Did you know that the U.S. hasn’t passed any major protective legislation banning harmful ingredients in personal care products since 1938 (despite the introduction of over 80K new ingredients since then)?! I quickly discovered that the majority of the products I had been using my entire life were full of yuck. And when I say yuck, I mean carcinogens, hormone disruptors, allergens and God knows what else.

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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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Celebrating #WorldBreastfeedingWeek

Well my son has been officially weaned for a month and I was without a nursling this #WorldBreastfeedingWeek so I decided to celebrate in a special way. I offered free Nursing Mini Sessions (via Nessa Nicole Photography) so local mamas here in Bossier City/Shreveport could capture some precious memories with their little ones. I was so grateful that during our Christmas card photoshoot last year, our photographer (Stephanie Lynne Photography) captured a sweet nursing break during the session. I am forever grateful to have that moment captured.

The response was so overwhelming that I decided to add another day of mini sessions (for a small fee of $20). Here are some of my favorites from the sessions with mamas and their nurslings ranging in age from 2 weeks to almost 2 years.

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My Decision to Plan a Home Birth

Choosing to birth at home was not a decision I made lightly… In fact I never even really considered the idea until recently. I’m still not 100% committed but I have decided to plan for my dream birthing environment! I certainly don’t want to take on any unnecessary risks and if any red flags come up (GBS+, blood pressure issues, etc.) I will certainly change my plans accordingly.

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The birth of my son Bradley was a literal whirlwind. When labor begin, I was basically in hard active labor immediately and was in transition just few short hours later. Since subsequent babies tend to come even quicker, I was having a lot of anxiety about when to head to hospital and worrying that I wouldn’t have time to set up/use all of my birthing equipment (birth tub, stool, etc.). I kept envisioning my husband lugging all my birth swag and struggling to get everything set up in our small hospital room only to have to follow hospital policy and get out of tub every 20 mins… It just seemed overwhelming and stressful. Not to mention, if I decided to labor at home… we may have a baby born at home by accident. I decided it made more sense just to prepare for the possibility of birthing at home and now I’m pretty excited about that option 🙂  Continue reading


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Preggo Product: Piper Wai

Since I’m pregnant, I’ve decided to start a new blog series about products I love to use during my pregnancy. First up is the natural deodorant, Piper Wai

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Our skin is our largest organ and while pregnant it’s even more important to limit the amount of chemicals and yucky stuff we lather on our skin. One thing, that’s a must is deodorant… but I hated using the aluminum kind (especially while growing another human). I had been searching for an alternative but had no luck and kept going back to my aluminum-laced Secret deodorant. Continue reading


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Best of Both Worlds

Being a stay-at-home mom was something I really wanted, however, I didn’t want to completely give up my career either. Prior to becoming a mom, my passions were rooted in social media marketing. After taking a natural childbirth class and having an amazing birth experience, I knew immediately that my passions had shifted.20160222-_DSC5120

I set my sights on becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor and later a doula and birth photographer as well. My background in social media really helped me be able to promote my classes and become established in our new city of Bossier City, LA. As a childbirth educator, I started making nursing necklaces as a prize for my students which led to me make several other birth-related items (Rice Sacks, Birth Affirmations, Birth Ball Covers, etc.) and decided to add them to my NessArsty Etsy shop! I have now expanded my shop to include custom mugs and onesies as well.  Continue reading