Bump Naturally – Childbirth Education & Doula

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


Leave a comment

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)

unnamed

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.


Leave a comment

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.

stepanmaternity-3

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.

dsc_0561dsc_0547

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.

dsc_0168-1 Continue reading


Leave a comment

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.

NursingMini_Brenda-6NursingMini_Jessi-3 Continue reading


Leave a comment

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.

13662359_530883370429824_673098572048879114_o

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


1 Comment

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

PiperWei-2

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


Leave a comment

Hospital Birth? What to Pack…

So you’ve decided to deliver your baby at a hospital and you’re wondering what you need to bring with you, right? Well, first of all, make sure that you take a hospital tour and get to know the environment/what kind of amenities they offer (do they have showers/tubs, birth balls, squatting bar, etc.). Keep in mind, even if they do have birth balls, some hospitals have limited quantity, so it’s a good idea to bring your own or have your doula bring one!

Here is a list of things you may want to bring: Continue reading


1 Comment

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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 6.57.35 PM

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