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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Popular Baby Registry Items… Yay or Nay

So you’re expecting and excited to start your registry for all the baby gadgets and goodies, right? First off, I highly recommend building your registry on BabyLi.st. Using this site you’re able to add items from any store and even add invaluable chores friends and family can commit to like walking your dog, doing laundry, etc.

{Yays}

Puj Tub Infant Bath – After trying out several different infant tubs this one was by far my favorite! I love the comfy and lightweight material that’s easy to dry off and store without taking up tons of space like most other tubs. I also love that you can have the water continuously run during the bath which helps keep baby warm and calm.

Bassinet or Co-Sleeper – Especially if you’re breastfeeding, life will be much easier for everyone if baby has a designated sleeping spot close to mom. Not only can mom quickly meet baby’s needs before reaching a full awake hysteria, sleeping next to mom helps to regulate baby’s heart rate and breathing.

Swaddle Blankets  If you think about what baby’s life was like in the womb, they were always the right temperature and hugged tightly by the uterus. Baby’s find open space unsettling and even if they at first fight the swaddle, most babies are comforted by a snug swaddle.

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Babywearing in my Sakura Bloom ring sling

Babywearing Apparatus  Multitasking just became possible! Not only will baby be comforted by being close to your heartbeat and warmth, they are soothed by the movement of your walking. Ring Sling baby carriers (like Sakura Bloom or Wildbird) are great for around the house and running errands since they are easy to get baby in and out of and easy to breastfeed in!

10483564_353429401476417_1327107135_n.jpgJogging Stroller – I was told my running days would be over and not to waste money on a jogging stroller… I’m glad I didn’t listen. *If* you are an avid runner prior to having a baby, chance are you will want to get back into running! I love my Bumble Ride Indie and even ran a half marathon with my son. Continue reading


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Nessa Nicole Photography

As a Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth educator and doula, I have had the opportunity to be a part of such special life moments and have always offered to take photos with my “fancy” camera. A few months ago, I decided to sign up for photography classes online so I’d be able to help families professionally capture these precious moments (at affordable prices).

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#StepanBirth: A Natural Birth Story

First, let me introduce you to my little angel, Bradley Ayrton Stepan.

ImageBradley was welcomed into the world on June 5th (one day before his due date) weighing in at 6lbs 13oz and measuring 20 1/4 inches long. We are over the moon in love with this little blessing.

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