Blog


Birth Options: Use your BRAINS

rains(5)Have you heard of the BRAINS decision making tool? It is one birth support tool I teach to all my clients and it just might be helpful to you as you prepare for your birth and parenthood.

So, how does it work?

When you are coming upon a point where a decision needs to made, think about the following in regards to your options: What are the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives? What does your Intuition say about it? Does it need to be decided upon Now or do you have more time to think things over? Would this decision provide you with a Safe and Satisfying result?

Big or little decisions can be worked through with the help of the BRAINS tool. It can be helpful when deciding where you want to give birth, which care provider you want, etc.

When talking with clients about their upcoming birth experiences, I see a lot of them trying to learn about everything that could possibly happen. Talk about information overload! Information can be powerful but it can also be overwhelming! Sure, I am all for being as informed as possible, but I also see value in letting things in as they happen. I mean, millions of women gave birth before our generation, and they didn’t have nearly as much information at their fingertips. So, if you haven’t studied up on every possible thing that could happen during labor and birth, you can feel confident that you’ll be able to work through your options in labor when you’re using your BRAINS. Whether you’re giving birth at home or the hospital, whether you’re planning a cesarean birth or waterbirth, learning to speak up for yourself and your baby to get the information you need if a decision is needed can make your experience so much better. Feeling informed, feeling like an active participant in your experience, can make all the difference.

The best part about this tool, it works for parenthood, too! Trying to decide which pediatrician to choose? Use your BRAINS! Should you keep your newly-five year old home for another year or send her off to kindergarten? Dust off your BRAINS!


Meet Babywearing International of Tallahassee

In honor of International Babywearing Week, I interviewed my friends Ashley Anderson and Stephanie Lynn of Babywearing International’s Tallahassee Chapter. If you’d like to learn more about babywearing, there are regularly scheduled meetings, typically the First Friday and Third Saturdays each month, please visit the BWI of Tallahassee Facebook Group for current event details.

Babywearing International of Tallahassee

How did you ladies meet? We actually grew up about 30 miles from each other, but we never met until ICAN and Babywearing.

BWI TallahasseeWhat is your favorite part about Tallahassee? Ashley: I love the small town feel, even though it is much bigger than where I grew up! Stephanie: FSU football! It’s a big deal in our house and my husband bought me a wrap just because it reminded him of garnet and gold.

What is your favorite part about babywearing? Ashley: I love the closeness of babywearing and helping others experience that same closeness with their children. It was very natural for me to babywear, I was drawn to it immediately. Stephanie: I love wearing babies, mine or anyone else’s! I love the newborn snuggles, the infant who falls asleep from the motion while being worn. I love being able to contain the toddler-crazy, and being able to give my preschooler a ride when his legs have had too much walking.

BWI TallahasseeWho inspired you to become a Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE)? Ashley: Becky Lewis, the founder of the local BWI chapter, inspired me. She easily “tossed” babies on her back while continuing to calm them while teaching another mom to do the same thing was fascinating. Stephanie: Becky also inspired me to start babywearing and helped me figure out how I wanted to parent my children. It was never a talk that we had, it was just watching her with her kids (and other kids) that told me that was something I wanted to do. I enjoy helping families new to wearing find something that really works for their lifestyle. I became a VBE and helped establish BWI Tallahassee because I wanted to connect with other families in our area. That’s still true! I am thrilled to see returning families at our meetings and I hope it becomes a place where families can come enjoy time with other families, even if they don’t need babywearing help.

What is your favorite carry? Ashley: Lately, I’ve been loving the double hammock, but it changes frequently!   Stephanie: My favorite is the Pirate Carry (reinforced rear rebozo ruck), though we don’t get to use it much lately because leg straightening is my 14-month old’s new hobby.  

BWI TallahasseeNow for the fun questions! Where is one place you’d love to visit? Stephanie: I’d love to visit Bora Bora, but unless we hit the lottery it’ll never happen.

What’s your favorite holiday? Ashley: It is a tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would gladly start Thanksgiving in July to have 3 full months of each. Haha! But fall is definitely my favorite time of year. The colors are amazing! Stephanie: My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It’s all the fun of Christmas without all the headache of shopping!

What’s your favorite animal? Stephanie: Kangaroo, of course because I’d we wearing my baby!

Most hated household chore? Ashley: I hate folding laundry! I’ve mastered the laundry mountain lately and somewhat miss its presence. Stephanie: I detest laundry and mopping. I do at least one load of laundry every day, but I make my husband do all the sweeping and mopping.Babywearing Tallahassee

Do you have any hidden talents? Stephanie:I have the entire carrier library memorized, including colors and most weight limits. I also easily remember number sequences.

What is your biggest moment? Ashley: Having my son Colin was my biggest moment. He is amazing. I sometimes have a hard time believe I had a hand in creating him.

 

 

 


Using Essential Oils Safely

Essential Oils Tallahassee

You hear a lot about essential oils in the birth world. No matter which brand of essential oils you use, or WHEN you are using, please make sure you are using them SAFELY. Like REALLY safely.

What does this mean? Do not use essential oils willy-nilly or solely based on what the manufacturing company says. Seek out what aromatherapists say about that particular oil for your particular situation – small children, pregnancy, or whatever stage your family is in.

As a doula, I am not trained to use essential oils during labor but have had many, many clients who have used them to ease labor pains and discomforts. I am totally cool with whatever families choose for themselves and I personally love using lemon oil while cleaning and even used the same during transition to help ease my nausea!

If you need more info on what essential oils are safe for your family, check out Using Essential Oils Safely​ or their Facebook group: FB.com/groups/UsingEOsSafely/

According to the aromatherapists at Learning about EOs, “Pregnant women need to be especially careful when using essential oils, as some oils are never okay to use during pregnancy.” Two books I’ve seen frequently mentioned while researching EO use for my family are Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child and Natural Babycare. Here are direct links for more information about essential oils for my typical audience:

Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Essential Oils and Children

The takeaway from this I really, really want you to get, is that we all need to be doing our own research on the oils we are interested in BEFORE we buy them, getting the information from sources that are not looking for our business. These oils, even though they’re natural, they have strong medicinal properties and should be treated with respect and caution just as you would any other medicines for your children – and yourselves!


Tallahassee Car Seat Safety

right car seatDid you know this week is Child Passenger Safety Week? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.” If you’re interested in learning more to make sure that your children are in the proper car seat, visit safercar.gov now.

There are certified professionals who are trained on how to check car seat installations to confirm that your child is in the right seat and that the seat is properly installed. I interviewed a local Child Passenger Safety Technician, Patricia Leidy, about what drew her to the field.

What made you interested in becoming a CPST? In November 2012, my middle daughter and I were involved in a side impact collision. I suffered major injuries (and have car accidentrecovered). My daughter did not have a scratch on her. Before I was a CPST, I knew the very basics regarding car seats. After the accident, I start to research – I wanted to make sure I could continue to keep my kids safe in the car. It was a very enlightening process. I learned all about Safe Kids (the certifying body for CPSTs), CPSTs themselves, how common car seat errors are (9 out of 10) and my own misuse. It was then that I decided to pursue certification.

What is your favorite part about being a CPST? Playing with car seats! When a new car seat enters the market, I feel like a kid at Christmas when I get to my put my hands on it.

car seats

39 weeks pregnant at the 2015 Good to be Green Festival

Who has inspired you? I am so very lucky that my inspiration comes from many different people. First and foremost, my husband as he is the one who pushed and encourage to certify. My family and friends for their ears, cars and children for practice. Car Seats for the Littles, as it was their resources that provided most of my enlightenment mentioned above. Finally, my real life CPST resources – my instructor, Dr. Willis of the Florida Occupant Protection Center for her vast knowledge and allowing me to sit in her class, and Danielle and Tina at Safe Kids of Northeast Florida for expanding my knowledge and numerous volunteer opportunities (and the use of Tina’s guest room!).

What is your favorite part about Tallahassee? I grew up here and I love the rolling hills and the great oaks.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? liedyFree time? With three kids, I am not sure of what you speak! Just kidding. I like to study my LATCH manual (CPST bible). I also help run a babywearing buy, sell, trade.

What is one place you’d like to visit? Poland. My dad was a first generation American and the food and culture just fascinates me!

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend? Load up the family in the van, pick a direction and just roam. We have so much beautiful land to explore.

Do you have any hidden talents? Most people do not realize I was a serious musician in my “before kids” life. Maybe one day, I’ll reclaim that.

If you’d like to reach out to Patricia to have your car seat and installation checked, she can be reached at pbliedy@gmail.com.