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Cesarean Scar Massage | Why, When, and How

cesarean scar massage, c-section scar, c-section scar massage, reduce scaring in cesarean, facia release, healing cesarean scar

Cesarean Scar Massage | Why, When, and How

Cesarean scar massage is the topic of the day, and it’s an important one! Several of our clients and a few friends have requested this so I will thoroughly cover why, when, and how. No matter how you feel about your cesarean or the scar it leaves behind this blog is for you! I’m not here to tell you how beautiful you are, how powerful your body is, or how to love the scar left behind. What I am here for is to explain the possible benefits of these massage techniques, when you should start it, and give you guidance on how to begin this massage in a way that works well for you. Also, I’ll include a video to demonstrate how to do cesarean scar massage, because let’s face it, a video showing techniques is so much easier to follow.

This is part one (1) of a two (2) part blog series!

Part 1: Why and When to do Cesarean Scar Massage

Part 2: How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage on Yourself & Video ( coming in the next week)

Before Beginning

Before you start cesarean scar massage you should be cleared by your OBGYN to do so. You can use this blog to discuss what level of massage is appropriate for you specifically! Do not massage until your incision has fully healed and become a scar. If you massage your cesarean scar prematurely you could cause problems like tearing, reopening, and infection.

Why You May Want to Do Cesarean Scar Massage

It’s well known that massaging scar tissue and the surrounding areas can help increase blood flow, loosen up nearby tissues, and flatten bumps that incisions can leave behind. It may also help relieve some pain and itchiness and may help you regain sensation/feeling. Some woman report that they felt doing these massage techniques helped them experience less discomfort with stretching of the abdomen in subsequent pregnancies. Sometimes adhesions and scaring under the skin can be so severe they can cause lower back and pelvic pain. Bottom line, as long as you are cleared to do so by your medical provider cesarean scar massage can’t hurt when done correctly, can be a relaxing part of your self-care routine, and may be helpful to you!

When Should You Start Cesarean Scar Massage

This will depend on a number of things and can vary from one person to the next. Generally speaking most people can start some of these massage techniques about 6 weeks after their cesarean birth. But, remember to discuss each of these techniques with your OBGYN and make sure you have their go-ahead before beginning. You should plan to keep your scar out of the sun for at least the first year and scar massage will not be helpful for scaring more than 2 years old.

How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage

Generally, the first 2-6 weeks after giving birth is the toughest! You’re sore, exhausted, and likely caring for and learning all about your baby(ies). You need not worry about anything additional during this time and will need more support and hands-on help! Around two weeks post-baby your incision is healing nicely and by six weeks or more you may be cleared by your OBGYN for many things like these massage techniques, light exercise, lifting, use of tampons, and sexual intercourse.

You should NOT do cesarean scar massage until you have explicitly been given the go ahead to do so by your healthcare provider.

General Rules:

  1. It can be slightly uncomfortable, BUT should never hurt
  2. Begin gently and over time increase the intensity
  3. It should last about five to seven minutes total; aim to do this daily!
  4. It’s best to do these yourself unless the person is licensed to perform these techniques

When you first begin cesarean scar massage you’re only working with the skin of your abdomen, not the muscles. Please keep that in mind!

Begin each time by laying flat, legs out in front of you. Get comfortable. I think it’s nice to use a lotion or oil to avoid friction, but that’s totally up to you. Make sure you’re breathing and not holding your breath throughout the process. Start with a very light massage to the abdomen in a clockwise direction avoiding your cesarean scar at first. After a few passes change directions to counter-clockwise. If the oil/lotion dries apply more to your liking.

If you haven’t intentionally touched your cesarean scar now is a good time to do so. Place your hand gently on top of it. Rest there for a couple of breaths. If putting your entire hand on it feels like too much, place two fingers there and work up to your entire hand. Just rest there.

Feel what you feel.

Feelings vary, all feelings are valid, all feelings are normal, and there are no right or wrong feelings.

After a couple of minutes and while remembering to breathe, use a feather and gently stroke around your cesarean scar. Then, move lightly back and forth, up and down, and in circles on and around the scar. Next time, do the same with a clean makeup brush, like a brow brush, blush brush, or similar.

Wash, rinse, repeat daily for a week or a two depending on your comfort level.

Remember, it should never hurt. Continue to breathe throughout the massage, don’t hold your breath! Increase the intensity over time!

That’s it! High five! That’s all you need to do to start!

In Part 2: How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage on Yourself with Video I will demo how to do the following massage techniques:

  • Light as a Feather (explained here in this blog, Part 1)
  • Up & Down Technique
  • Side to Side Technique
  • Piano Fingers
  • Circle Technique
  • Rough Material Technique
  • Opposite Direction Technique
  • Pinch and Roll Technique

I hope you find these blogs super helpful. As always we would love to hear from you in the comments and if you have a request for a blog we are happy to put something together for you if it’s within our area of expertise! Also, check out the search feature for topics!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Tips for Labor Inductions | Birth Bag PRINTABLE

Tips for Labor Inductions | A Printable for Your Birth Bag

Today we’re sharing tips for labor inductions and we’ve included a FREE (shortened version) printable for you to grab at the end! At The Jacksonville Baby Company we help parents just like you prepare for birth and early parenting! In our classes we touch on these and many other topics, tips, and cool facts! Let’s jump right in!

Plan for it to take a while.

When discussing tips for labor inductions we feel it imperative to mention that it can take a long time sometimes. More times than not actually. Induced labors can take longer than a spontaneous labor, especially if it’s your first labor and if your Bishop score is 6 or less. What’s a Bishop score? It’s a measuring system used by medical professionals to determine how likely you are to go into spontaneous labor on your own.

Eat a nice meal before you arrive. It will probably be the last until after your baby makes his/hers/their arrival. This may mean no food for over 24 hours or more.

The check-in process, blood work, taking of your vitals, more paperwork, and time to begin medical inductions can take a couple of hours. Letting your birth partner rest before labor picks up is good way to ensure they show up refreshed and ready to support you best. Depending on your specific needs you may not want support for the first several hours. Support looks different for everyone! Maybe you have a lot of anxiety surrounding the intake process and need a support person upon check in, that’s okay to! Again, support is very individual so talk about this before the day comes.

Labor (especially induced) is a marathon, not a sprint. For this reason, once you’re settled try to get some sleep! You’ll need the most energy between active labor (the longest stage) 5-6cm-10cm until after your baby makes their debut!

What approach will be taken and what inductions methods will be used.

Talk with your doctors about which drugs and non-pharmaceutical methods they prefer to use. This gives you time to learn about those drugs/methods, possible alternatives, and also allows time for more discussion with your doctors before the big day if need be!

Different doctors often prefer different drugs/methods so make sure you have it charted if you have a strong preference. Even if the doctor you prefer is there when your induction begins it doesn’t mean they’ll be there to manage your entire labor and vice versa. Get to know the doctors in the practice you’ve selected.

Likewise it’s important to learn about how alternate methods such as nipple stimulation, movement, and environmental factors play into labor and birth!

Plan to labor exclusively in or near the hospital bed.

Labor inductions require closer monitoring of both you and your baby. This often means being in or most definitely near the bed. You’ll be attached to several monitors, an IV, pulse ox, blood pressure cuff, and possibly a catheter. Learn about positioning and comfort techniques that are helpful in bed and at your bedside.

Discuss pain medication before the day of your induction.

If you don’t know your options, what options do you have? Even if you have your mind made up and you don’t want any pain medicine, labor is intense and induced labors can be even more intense. Another thought is that you aren’t always a good candidate for certain pain medications/methods. So you would certainly want to know that ahead of time that way you know what’s on the table and what’s out of the question completely. Talking through your options before you need something is a good way to feel better informed and clear about what you would want versus making a decision on the fly you may later regret.

Take a well-rounded birth class!

Classes like that teach you and your birth partner about ALL of the different options, not just how to labor quietly, are priceless. Being familiar with certain terms and learning several different techniques can help you pull what you need when you need it most. Beware of method based classes.

Labor and childbirth unfold in a number of ways. It’s never one-size fits all. Not doing your due diligence doesn’t mean you will have an unfavorable birth, it doesn’t mean you can just go in an let your doctors do there thing, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t just use your intuition. However, it could just as easily be a set up for disappointment when there’s no reason to be.

We hope these tips for labor inductions help you have a happy birth! Don’t forget to grab your Tips for Labor Inductions printable here!

~Elizabeth Luke

The Jax Baby Co.

Planning for a Cesarean Birth | FREE BIRTH TEMPLATE

Planning for a Cesarean Birth Jacksonville Florida, Smiling mom holding baby after cesarean birth, Jax Florida Cesarean with The Jax Baby Company

Planning for a Cesarean Birth

Planning for a cesarean birth? You’re not alone! In fact, in the United States, cesarean birth rates account for 28-39% of all live births. In Florida, the rates are around 36.5%. That’s higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended of 10-15%. Overall vaginal births are safer for mothers and babies than cesarean births, but a planned/scheduled cesarean is safer than an emergency one. There are a number of reasons one would plan for a cesarean birth, from medically necessary to convenience to professions and time off, to anxiety and sexual abuse. The decision to have a vaginal birth or cesarean birth is a very personal one that should be made by the pregnant person and her provider because there are many things that should be taken into consideration.

Take it from an professional

From a professional who teaches birth classes, someone who has supported many couples giving birth, and who cares for new families as they bring their babies home from the hospital, the actual planning for a cesarean birth is one of the most beautiful things about a cesarean birth to be completely honest!

So, what does planning for a cesarean birth look like?

When planning for a cesarean birth you want to cover all your bases. From the date you give birth to the Obstetrician who’ll be performing your surgery, from options and atmosphere in the delivery room to recovery room, from healing and recovering at home to lining up support for all aspects of life after birth via cesarean.

Did you know there are classes you can take when planning for a cesarean birth?

There sure is! And, some providers are even requiring parents to take a class to prepare them for cesarean birth and recovering after giving birth! Yes, requiring! Our Cesarean Power class goes over the birth process itself, how to prepare before you give birth, and how to prepare for the fourth trimester, including the healing and recovery process and tips for success. In addition to all of that, we provide you with a certificate keepsake to share with your provider and frame if you so choose along with our Fourth Trimester Plan and our Cesarean Birth Goals template! You can grab the Cesarean Birth Goals template for free here!

So, if you’re planning for a cesarean birth be sure to consider all of your options and learn what those options are so you know and don’t forget to plan for after birth! Let us know if we can be of help to you via classes, consults, and of course support for when you come home so you can heal, get adequate rest, and enjoy your baby more!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Elizabeth Luke & The JBC Team

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

If you find yourself wondering, what should I ask at prenatal visits?

Don’t worry! We have compiled a list of great questions to help you! After all, pregnancy brain is alive and real, and giving birth is kind of a huge event in the life of a person! Here are 22 questions to ask before you give birth!

As with everything in parenting, feel free to pick what you want and leave the rest!

Keep in mind the more questions you ask the more information you can gather, but there are rabbit holes. If you like the list in its entirety I suggest asking a few questions at each visit. Reflecting on the answers and revisiting those of most importance to you. What’s important to each parent will vary!

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

  • Who can be with me in labor?

We are living through some crazy times right now. COVID has ensured stricter policies have been put into place. Many hospitals are only allowing one support person. Some are requiring your support person(s) to show proof that they’ve received their COVID vaccine.

  • At what point should I come to the hospital?

Most doctors follow a 4-1-1 or 5-1-1 rule meaning contractions coming every 4 or 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 full minute long, for the duration of at least a full hour before you come in. Everyone is unique and your labor may require you to come sooner while others may require them to come in a little later.

  • Do I need to bring anything special?

For the most part, you will have everything you need provided to you at the hospital, but it never hurts to ask what’s provided and what isn’t. That way if you want some of your favorite creature comforts you’ll be prepared. Likewise, you won’t have to bring things they’ll have there for you!

  • What can you do to help me avoid tearing/episiotomy?

Maybe you’re not fearful or at least a little nervous about tearing during birth, but if you are this question is even more important. There are a number of things that can be done to support your perineum during the second stage of labor. You’ll likely want to find out what your provider will do to help minimize tearing where he/she/they can.

In addition to those questions here are several others to consider:

  • What is your preferred method of induction?
  • What are some reasons you may want to induce?
  • What is your cesarean rate?
  • How many weeks are you comfortable waiting for me to go into labor on my own?
  • What steps would you take if I go past that number of weeks?
  • For what reasons might I need a cesarean?
  • Will I be able to move around in labor?
  • Can I labor in the shower?
  • If my labor is long can I eat?
  • How will the hospital help support me in my chosen method of feeding our baby?
  • How do you feel about circumcision?
  • Do you support our choice to leave our baby’s genitals intact?
  • What are some ways you would support us in making hard decisions?
  • What if I want to use another way to feed my baby in the hospital
  • Will the hospital send a lactation consultant to my room?
  • What situations might limit me from breastfeeding my baby?
  • What if our baby needs to go to the NICU?
  • Who will be there if you don’t make it in time?

Now, when should you ask these important questions you wonder.

Some questions will lead to more questions, others will lead to a satisfying smile and a nod. When you ask is up to you, but some questions may help you communicate with your provider your needs and help you understand if you and your doctor are on the same page!

The same page becomes pretty important as you move closer to your due date.

Bring it up whenever you feel comfortable, but I would certainly do so by the beginning of your second trimester. When The Jax Baby Company team was supporting parents through labor we would discuss many of these topics with parents a few times before they gave birth during our prenatal visits. In our Confident Birth & Baby Class we cover what is science and evidence-based, what’s not, and how to communicate with your providers no matter what you want or need. So, taking one of our classes before discussing it with your doctors can actually be super beneficial and may help you nail down what you would really like from your birth experience.

Often, parents are relieved to hear that many of their preferences like optimal umbilical cord clamping, skin to skin, and movement/position changes in labor- are almost all universal, standard practice now among hospitals and providers. It’s important to ask though! A great childbirth class doesn’t glorify a certain type of birth, it helps you get a clear idea about pain control, preferences, and communication. Did I mention how important communication is?

Every birth is unique and beautiful in its own right!

The Jax Baby Company wants you to have the experience that is right for YOU, in the moment, not someone else’s experience. I think we can almost all agree that none of us can control the process of birth, but we can all adjust to our expectations, even when we don’t want to. If there are specific things you are worried or anxious about, we can discuss them in our one-on-one class. We can talk about what would happen if they occur and it may ease worry to walk through the scenario together. That’s one of many benefits of taking a private class!

If you found “22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth” helpful, please share it with others and leave us a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re specifically looking for a midwife you can also check out this list.

Happy Birth and Parenting!

Elizabeth

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect | Preparation Ahead

our bodies are not perfect | Jax, FL Birth Classes, Birth Prep in Jax, FL

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect

Our bodies are not perfect! I feel no shame in saying that. We need glasses when our eyes are meant to see with. We’re born with ears and yet hearing aids are needed. We’re sometimes given legs that don’t walk and organs that grow outside of our bodies. Our bodies are not perfect and it doesn’t hurt us or reduce our existence to admit this.

Death isn’t something we want to think about, yet like birth, we will also all die. Some of us are faced with untimely deaths, this is reality. Spend any amount of time in labor and delivery or working with expecting parents and you realize that not every baby will survive while others beat all odds. I know, it’s HORRIBLE and absolutely heartbreaking to think about, but it’s true.

What’s crazier?

The natural birth culture that pregnant moms face in 2020 often leads to the conclusion that they really don’t accept the preventable death of babies. Say what?!

When we say things such as, “Your baby will come when he’s ready”, “It’s the way it was intended, the natural way” (hello tornados, earthquakes, and rattlesnakes are natural too), “It’s just a guess date, not an expiration date”, we’re ignoring reality. This reality slaps the faces of those who’ve lived through preterm birth, experienced infertility, have a chemical imbalance, and who’ve survived the death of an infant when a pregnancy becomes post-date and doesn’t beat the odds.

We should avoid saying these things altogether.

Seriously, STOP!

By saying these things it shows that the person doesn’t understand the emotional aspect of supporting a person through labor and childbirth. Learning to use better language, ask questions that challenge pregnant people to work through their nervousness, fear, or anxieties surrounding childbirth would be a better course of action or response.

Our bodies are not perfect and it’s totally cool because our self-worth is no way determined by our bodily functions!

Our bodies are not perfect and there’s more harm than I’m willing to assume the risk of by saying otherwise. Our bodies do amazing things and they do weird shit! We’re unique and have quirks. We’re different, and imperfectly perfect, sure, but our bodies are not perfect.

There is no one size fits all approach to childbirth or parenting.

There are just too many variables in play. If care providers step aside and believe our bodies are perfect and all babies will come on their own time every time, we will lose more babies. If they believe they can save every single baby by way of interventions every time, when there’s literally no way to do that, we fail by over intervention. We suffer birth injury and sometimes even death. When we believe inducing everyone at the same exact gestation can lead to more harm than good we lose babies. Vice versa just waiting until the baby is ready to come on his own can lead to post-date infant loss too.

Midwives and OBGYN’s are human beings, extraordinary ones at that!

They’re doing the best they can to the best of their ability, each and every time. Some may be too hands-off while others may be too intervention happy. It happens. They’re trying to do their very best, to save as many lives as they can, and deserve grace and kindness along the way.

Our bodies are not perfect and in many ways, we trade the risk of intervention for the risk of losing a baby.

Who should get to decide that? I believe whole-heartedly the parents should get to decide that, with or without their provider’s approval, but hopefully they’ve talked it through with their care providers, they trust their providers, and have been thoroughly and honestly counseled on the matter.

Our bodies are not perfect. The way of the world isn’t perfect.

Anyone who believes that it is foolish and has never witnessed or experienced trauma in birth. You cant eliminate all death in pregnancy or completely stop birth complications from happening. We can try, but we can’t stop it. There’s a balance that must happen.

Our bodies are not perfect, but nothing in life is!

We can be happy with how things go, we can be terribly sad, or grieve how things go, life isn’t perfect and that’s okay!

We can prepare for childbirth none-the-less!

How?

You can take a childbirth class that doesn’t set you up to feel like you’ve failed. Because there is no right or wrong way to birth, only different ways and ways you accept or ways you do not.

Take a class that helps you learn about birth, the variations, how to communicate your needs, and get answers to your questions. Find a class that is NOT focused on birthing the “right” way or on using the “best” method. The way you give birth is not the first act of love for your child. There is no right or wrong way it is simply the way your body needs to do things. If you start letting your physical functions determine your self-worth things get messy. Most aspects of birth are out of your control. Choose a class that teaches you how to advocate for yourself and prepares you for the worst and the best-case scenarios.

You can find the care providers that feel good to you!

Ask about their philosophical approach to birth. Ask the tough questions. How are your provider’s communication skills? It’s important to trust and feel good about your care providers. Are you treated kindly, respectfully, and with autonomy? You’re looking for woman-centered life-saving care, both are important.

You can line up support for after you give birth! You’re gonna need it, we all do! We may not all get it, but we sure do need it!

Our team is completely present for you as you welcome your baby home or come home with empty arms and broken hearts.

We’re there to lighten your load. We will nourish your body and ease your mind where we can. We listen empathetically, validate your feelings and concerns, and help find real solutions for the solvable issues. Our team is there to help you rest, sleep, and heal. Likewise, we’ll be there to commiserate and comfort you when there is no fixing the shit you’ve endured. People often overlook the period of time after birth, they fail to prepare and they regret it greatly. Don’t skip on fourth-trimester preparations!

Our bodies are not perfect, and we can still show up and slay!

Adjust your lens.

Trust your gut.

Trust your team!

Ask the important questions.

But at the end of the day, your body’s functions do NOT determine your self-worth! The sooner we all get with that reality the sooner we will be happy in this life!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

lochia and fundal massage Jax, FL Labor and Delivery

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

You’re probably wondering what kind of sweet treatment and yummy foods they’ll be serving up at the hospital after you give birth to your baby! I can promise you that lochia and fundal massage are not on the list of “good times” you’ll cherish. So, what the heck is lochia and fundal massage if not a kickass Asian wrap and relaxing new mama massage technique? I’ll explain!

A “New Mama” Massage Technique it is!

Fundal massage is definitely not relaxing though! It’s more like a Medieval torture practice. I’m sorry, I typically steer clear of scaring pregnant people, and you shouldn’t really be fearful of it. While it sucks, it’s necessary! So what is it? It’s a massage or kneading on the uppermost part of your uterus. When you go to your provider’s office and they check on baby, remember how your provider palpates your growing belly and measures you? They are measuring your fundal height. Essentially measuring from your pelvic bone to the top of your uterus. This tells them about how many weeks you’re measuring.

Shortly after your baby is born fundal massage a.k.a, the dance of doom is performed by your nurses and or care providers to help get your fundus (the top of your uterus) to shrink down and return to pre-pregnancy size. Why? In short, it’s to keep your uterus contracting so your bleeding will slow down and you risk of hemorrhaging is reduced.

Fundal massage facts:

  • Nursing your baby helps your uterus contract and shrink in size faster.
  • Breathing through the fundal massage will help you relax through it.
  • Contractions after birth are known as after pains.
  • They get worse with each baby you have.
  • They will perform fundal massage after both vaginal and cesarean births.

You probably guessed it by now. Lochia isn’t a yummy wrap!

By definition, lochia is a vaginal discharge occurring after childbirth.  It contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. The discharge should smell similarly to menstrual blood. Any foal odor or green or yellow discharge should be reported to your care providers right away. This discharge lasts about six weeks, sometimes less. Basically lochia is the longest, most fun-filled period of your life!

There are three stages of lochia:

  • Stage 1: Lochia rubra contains blood, vernix, lanugo, and membranes. It is bright red in color because of the large amount of blood it contains. Lasting about 3-5 days after childbirth
  • Stage 2: Lochia serosa is thin and brownish or pink and contains exudate, erythrocytes, leukocytes, cervical mucus, and microorganisms. Lasting until about the 10th day postpartum. If Lochia serosa persists more than 2 weeks after birth it should be reported to your care provider because it can sometimes indicate late postpartum hemorrhaging.
  • Stage 3: Lochia alba is just lochia that has turned whitish or yellowish-white. It usually begins around week two after childbirth and typically lasts through the third to sixth weeks after childbirth. It contains fewer red blood cells and is mainly made up of mucus, leukocytes, fat (no weight loss here ladies, sorry), and several microorganisms.

Final thoughts on lochia and fundal massage…

Nope, not really! Women are pretty badass. We can menstruate, deal with cramps, power through pregnancy aches and pains, survive the heartbreak of miscarriages, battle infertility, grow an entire human, bleed three shades of post-baby cray, make milk for another human, and still manage to keep the tiny humans alive whilst having zero issues with hanging a new roll of toilet paper for the umpteenth time. Shit’s pretty clear, lochia is just another magnificent thing we do!

If you are expecting a baby and are in the Northeast Florida area we teach some very unique classes! It’s the place to learn all the things you’ll wish you’d known about if you miss out on our classes! Get in touch and lets rock this!

Also, Costco makes some pretty amazing Asian wraps if you’re hungry now. You’re welcome, friend!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

childbirth education classes jax, fl | Best birth classes in Jax, FL | Jax, FL baby classes | give birth jax, fl

Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

I absolutely love to learn, so when I was pregnant with my first, it was a no-brainer to sign up for childbirth education classes to help us prepare. The hospital where I planned to give birth offered multiple classes and our insurance even reimbursed us a small amount for taking a few. My husband and I signed up through the hospital for a few different classes including breastfeeding and a labor one.

Several months later, I took said childbirth education classes and found them to be okay. Pretty standard.

You see, if you’ve never had a baby, you don’t really know what to expect or what info you need to know. Only after I had my first, my son, did I begin to realize just how unprepared I was. Every hospital is different, so my experience with hospital classes may be very different from yours. The hospital I gave birth at was very new and supposed to be state-of-the-art. However, the classes were too textbook and barely skimmed the surface. I’m not sure why this was the case, but, to my dismay, it was.

In hindsight, the hospital childbirth education classes did little to nothing to prepare me.

It’s both frustrating and disappointing. It also is concerning to me for other parents who seek out childbirth education classes like this in hopes of gaining needed knowledge on labor, delivery, and their lives after they bring their baby home from the hospital. To be honest, I was lost as a new mom. I mean LOST. There are so many things I wish I was taught that would have prepared me better. Here’s a few that initially come to mind:

  • Having a birth plan and being able to assert my desires.
  • The realities of hospital birth and what that entails.
  • Preparing for what happens when your birth plan is thrown out the window.
  • Your rights in the hospital.
  • Not just the physical toll, but the emotional and mental toll it takes on you during your hospital stay.
  • The realities of sleep deprivation and how to cope.
  • Breastfeeding-so many variables I never thought of or learned that I ended up experiencing.

In saying all of this, I strongly recommend you seek out in-home childbirth education classes.

It wasn’t until after I had both my children that I began to learn about the many options available. If I could go back in time, I would have hired help in the blink of an eye. One of the amazing things about hiring outside help is that most are knowledgable about the variations of birth, including cesareans, infant care, breast and bottle feeding, and the postpartum recovery process. Some even teach childbirth education classes in the comfort of your own home like The Jacksonville Baby Company. In my opinion, having a private educator prepare me would have been much more helpful than someone who is staffed by the hospital.

Here are a few reasons why in-home childbirth education classes will likely prepare you better:

  • An in-home CBE allows you to be in the comfort of your home where you feel more comfortable asking questions.
  • The CBE facilitator is not employed by a hospital and therefore can give you more honest feedback regarding what to expect at the different local birthing facilities.
  • The facilitator can personalize the information to what you are desiring through the delivery process (natural vs medicated birth, where and how you’ll labor, formula fed vs breastfed, etc).
  • The facilitator likely has a lot of very recent experience in regards to helping women through labor, delivery, and adjusting to their lives with the new baby. This recent experience means their information and advice is up-to-date to what’s going on currently in the world in which you ‘re living.
  • They will go into more depth and will include important information regarding the realities of having a newborn.

Preparing for childbirth is so important.

In this day and age, where there are so many options for every aspect of pregnancy, delivery, and parenting, it is overwhelming. It is crucial to choose childbirth education classes where you will learn more than hospital policy and skim the surface. It’s important to dig in deep. Find someone who is knowledgable and trustworthy to prepare you for every step and not just birth, but for after birth. Ask those you trust for recommendations and do your research based on what you are hoping for through your pregnancy and delivery and choose the person you feel is a good fit for you.

I encourage you to check out The Jax Baby Company and the services they offer. They are there throughout the pregnancy and provide excellent postpartum support as well.

Authored by: Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woma

Afterpains After Birth

afterpains after birth | Jax, FL Birth | Birth after pains

Afterpains After Birth

When we daydream about meeting our baby for the first time most pregnant people aren’t thinking about the afterpains they’ll experience after they give birth. Partly because it’s rarely talked about. However, if you’ve taken the Epic Postpartum class or our full childbirth education course you’ll have a good understanding of many terms, including after pains. Hopefully having this information in your back pocket will help you be less fearful of it when it happens.

You’ll have contractions of the uterus, often called afterpains, immediately after you give birth to the baby and your placenta!

For those who experience contractions in labor, it may be helpful to know that these contractions are not nearly as painful as the labor contractions. They also don’t last as long or come as often as labor contractions.

For those who are scheduled for a cesarean birth, you won’t have to deal with contractions in labor or immediately post-op because of the power of medicine.  However, in addition to the pain from the cesarean incision, you will have to deal with those afterpains too as the anesthesia wears off.

The afterpains are a necessary part of the process of involution, the process of shrinking your uterus back to pre-pregnancy size and firmness.

Without the contractions of the uterus, you would bleed, a lot. So much so that you would hemorrhage if doctors didn’t intervene. Your uterus pre-pregnancy is about the size of a grapefruit and in pregnancy it stretches to accommodate the baby, amniotic fluid, and the placenta.  After birth, it beginnings to rapidly shrink, but it takes up to a full six weeks for it to return to pre-pregnancy size. In the meantime, you’ll experience bleeding, afterpains, and can still appear to be pregnant.

What triggers the afterpains?

Medication given to you by your providers such as Pitocin, breastfeeding, and pumping are all ways to signal these postpartum contractions. They will periodically just happen, some very mild, others very intense. Your nurses will also come in and push on your abdomen to feel for your uterus and signal contractions. Not fun, not one little bit! Most nurses get right to it and make it as quick and as painless as possible, but they do have a necessary job to do, and that is to see to it that you are safe!

What can be done to lessen the afterpains?

Use your breathing and relaxation techniques if you find yourself wincing in pain. If you’ve not received pain medication it’s ok to ask for something if you feel you need it.

afterpains after birth | Birth Jax, FL

Remember those fundal height measurements in pregnancy? This is the reverse of that. The contractions or afterpains do tend to be much more noticeable with second, third, and fourth deliveries versus the first delivery.

Afterpains are just plain insane! But, like we teach in The Confident Birth and Parenting Class and the Epic Postpartum Class, these pains and labor pains are: P=purposeful A= anticipated I=intermitent and N=normal!

To learn more about our classes or to book a private consult contact our team today!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Elizabeth
Parenting is like a plate of spaghetti | Jax FL Infant Sleep

 

 

3 Things To Do Before Giving Birth

3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth

Of all the ways you can prepare for birth, there are 3 things to do before giving birth that we think take priority. At The Jax Baby Company, we’ve worked with hundreds of expectant parents and new families. As a professional who works day in and day out with new families, I want to share some insight with you!

3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth:

Take a Comprehensive Childbirth Class

More times than not when working with individuals who have previously given birth, they say that before birth they felt prepared. However, after birth, they say they wish they would’ve prepared in other ways. It’s a reoccurring theme. Parents tell us they took a childbirth class, BUT wish they knew to take a class that prepared them for the unexpected twists (that inevitably) birth threw their way. 

“In the hypno-class I took, they said I could dial down the intensity using hypnosis, but that method didn’t work for me and after that, I didn’t know what to do.”

“I gave them my detailed birth plan, but I didn’t really get anything I wanted.”

“We didn’t really understand the process of birth or what happens after birth. I knew less than I thought I did about dilation, contractions, and pushing, but the instructor didn’t want to “scare us”. She withheld valuable information.”

They didn’t know what they didn’t know to askAnd they took a childbirth class!

Comprehensive research-based classes will teach you the process of birth, the variations of birth, assisted and unassisted tools for comfort, pharmacological options, and alternative options for pain reduction. A great class won’t focus on one way of birth being superior to another. For example “natural birth” outcomes over medicated birth outcomes.  A great class will teach you communication and decision-making skills specific to childbirth and parenting.

The Confident Birth and Parenting Class teaches all of that.

It also helps you discover what “satisfying” means to you, and that not all birth partners want to be a birth coach! We break down the science behind birth in a fun and informative way that will stick! We offer something unique for all birthing people and their partners if they have one! Anyone and everyone has the ability to come away feeling confident and empowered!

Line Up Help for After Birth

Preparing now to have help for a minimum of six to twelve weeks after your baby is born is equally, if not more important than preparing for the birth itself! While we recommend your birth plan (if you have one) be short and sweet we recommend the opposite for your postpartum plan.

To put it into perspective for you we recommend a birth “plan” be no longer than one front page. The emergency plan on the back no longer than 1/2 of a page. But each family we work with gets a 20-page outline to use to for their postpartum planning!

A detailed postpartum plan will cover all aspects of your postpartum period. From meals and chores to hands-on accurate assistance and much, much more. If there is ever a time in your life where you should be surrounded with all the support it’s now!

Employ help! Immediately following the birth of your baby and for two or three days after you have hands-on help from amazing maternity nurses.  Someone there to help you get around, initiate feedings, and change diapers. A black belt at swaddling who bringing you meals, checks on you to see how you feel, gives you your meds, and reminds you it’s been x number of hours since x, y, and z.

Imagine the peace if mind you’d feel bringing one of these angels home with you?!

THAT’S WHAT WE DO!

Our team here at The Jax Baby Co. also helps you feel human again by taking great care of your baby while you shower and get much-needed sleep. We assist with feedings, both breast, and bottle. In short, we’re like an expert parent guide or a wingman for the new parents. We offer practical help and guidance as you adjust to parenting and find what works for you!

Learn As Much As You Can About Carseat Safety & Follow the Guidelines

There are only a few things in life that are unforgiving. Car accidents often end tragically when children are involved. We love babies and families! We can’t not share on this topic! Every parent I’ve spoken with has appreciated my knowledge on this matter! While we truly believe there is no right or wrong way to birth or parent your children here at The Jacksonville Baby Company, the research shows there IS a right and wrong way to install and use carseats.

Some of the most common mistakes we see are incorrect harness position, straps too loose, chest clip incorrectly positioned, seat not installed into the car correctly, aftermarket products being used on/with the seat, and of course turning a child to forward-facing too soon. Many of these things seem harmless enough, but they can be fatal mistakes. The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a statement with new guidelines urging parents to keep their kids rear-facing for as long as possible. We want your babies to be as safe as possible whilst traveling so you can enjoy and love on them for all the days of your lives! Here is a great resource for all things car seat safety-related, including where you can find a car seat technician in your area!

May this list of 3 things to do before giving birth be as helpful to you as our classes are to expectant parents!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

From

Parenting is like a plate of spaghetti | 3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth | Jax, FL Birth

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success

 Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Jax natural birth

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success

Devastated, broken, shocked, and disappointed are not words that anyone wants to use to describe their birth experience, let alone feel those things deeply as their own truth. That, however, is the reality for many parents! First Coast Doulas offers the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success in all birthing situations.

With celebrities like Serena Williams, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel bravely sharing their stories, more people are realizing that their reality is unfortunately not all that uncommon.

Preparing for the gamut both during and after birth is actually very wise! Too many times birthing people fall into the “if the mind believes it the body will achieve it trap”, to later find themselves experiencing overwhelming sadness and guilt. That is no way to begin parenthood!

Classes like hypno-yada-yada, and several other method-based classes only teach about the way to have a “natural” or “vaginal” birth.

Therefore, those classes put emphasis on “natural” and “vaginal” being of superior importance over all else in birth. With one in three births ending in cesarean delivery in 2018 why on Earth are parents still being taught that there is only one way to feel good about their birth experience? Why are parents being set up for failure from the get-go?

I don’t care how science-minded you are or how hippy, crunchy, natural you are, this class IS for you! Birth can happen safely in homes, hospitals, and birth centers! This class prepares you for it all!

Since 2013 The Jax Baby Company has been at the forefront in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as forward-thinking, wave-making, pioneers for birthing and postpartum families! We know that the power of a birth plan doesn’t lie in the execution of the plan, but rather the knowledge you gain and the communication your have in the process of creating it! We know how important and impactful birth is and we have been setting parents up for true success since day one.

The Jax Baby Company teaches the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success no matter how they give birth!

The Confident Birth and Baby Class is woo-free, science and evidence-based classes that do not focus on one way being best or right, because that is just silly and complete and utter bullshit!

So, what does the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success teach you’re wondering!

We teach you the stages and phases of labor, how you can recognize those while at home, how to know when you’re in labor, and how you might feel and be comforted during each stage and phase. You can learn how to feel safer and fear less! You’ll be taught tools you can use anywhere; at home alone, at the store surrounded by people, in the hospital shower, heading into the OR (operating room), during your cesarean, while squatting, lying, or doing head-stands (we joke), with pharmacological pain meds, and without any at all.

We help you get to the heart of what satisfying means to you on a deeper, much more fulfilling level! Your birth partner can discover their own personal support style so that you feel comfortable with their support and they feel empowered in their role!

Not only do we teach on birth, but we also cover the first few weeks after birth. Ya know, the time you’ve really been waiting for! Birth is one day, maybe two, but baby snuggles, pictures, adorable outfits, and all the other things like night-feedings, newborn cues, healing after birth, emotional and physical warning signs and what you can do to not only survive but thrive after birth, those last much longer!

Yes, thirve baby!

These classes help set birthing people up for success by teaching them about both vaginal and cesarean birth because both can be equally satisfying and beautiful. Both can be empowering, both ways can be the “best”, and both can be considered “natural”. Remember torandos, water, and death are natural. Natural doesn’t always equal best!

“How,” you ask?

Take a class and find out! What are you waiting for? Taking this class is the single most important thing you can do to prepare for birth and the early weeks of parenting!  This is a small investment in the big scheme of things!

Don’t take our word for it, read our reviews; on Google, Facebook, and our website!

For the next 4 weeks ONLY The Jax Baby Company is offering an exclusive package for those who read our blog! Get the Hello Sunshine postpartum package and The Confident Birth and Baby Class, an $1,800 value, for $1699. That’s a savings of a whopping $101.

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax
The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax

Mention this blog when you book and receive this exclusive offer! Get ready to feel more prepared, relaxed, and 100% supported as you transition into parenting!

The Jax Baby Company Childbirth Education is Success Kid Approved!

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax
“Success Kid” Photograph (c) Laney Griner / Used with Permission