Perfect Birth, Part 2: It’s Personal

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my heart about an issue that I know plagues expectant mothers everywhere: what does it take to have a perfect birth?

I touched on the fact that while childbirth education is imperative, and support during labor is helpful, we still don’t know how any woman will react to the labor process until she is already in the moment. I made the point that all births, no matter what they look like, are victories to be celebrated. And I mean that. All births are their own brand of perfect. But sometimes, for some women, the truth is this:

Even perfect birth can be traumatic.

I would be foolish not to acknowledge that some women have frightening or even life-threatening births and are forced to come to terms with their experience. For one reason or another, the process simply doesn’t “work” in some situations. For some of these women, my testimony about my disappointing birth experience and my injured feelings of self-worth might be exactly what they need. But for others, well… maybe not so much.

Beyond our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies, we are each also composed of our own complicated list of experiences. We have a mind, which we discuss in class, but we also have a subconscious mind, which we couldn’t even begin to cover: immature in its ability to make sense of our experiences, and endlessly vulnerable to the hoaxes of the enemy (again: see the Devotional). Working quietly behind the scenes, beneath our cool, collected exterior, it shapes our reactions to every one of our life experiences.

It’s personal.

In the five years since starting my childbirth services company, I have had no choice but to grow as an individual. I have been brought to my knees by some of my own life experiences. Shaken to the core of my beliefs. The shaping of my character as an adult has been arduous, and I have fought hard to find—and hold on to—what is true. In the process, I have also come to see some of that which is not.

I have learned something very important: We are each fighting our own battles. Maybe that sounds cliché, but this is relevant in all areas of life – including the quest for a great birth. For me to come alongside a woman and preach “worth,” when her own personal life experiences have shaped her to need a message of “safety” (for example), would mean that I have missed her altogether.

But how can I help? How do I know what someone needs, when it is beyond their own understanding? How do I discern the tune of their song, unless they themselves can sing it to me?

It’s possible.

The message I offer in my classes about worth and birth idolatry and relationship problems is—in all humility—good. It is quality stuff, and I will continue to teach it. But if I am to partner with God in caring for souls, then I must work from the heart with all of the skill allotted to me. There is more I can offer on an individual basis, seeking hearts and re-adjoining them to God’s in a way that is so much bigger, so much more personal, than the quest for the perfect birth.

It’s time to integrate more. Eden’s Promise is ready to offer you – each mother, father, and child- more than I ever dreamed possible. Click here to find out more!

Jennifer DeBrito, CSP, CCLD, CCBE is a Master Splankna Practitioner  Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator.She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional, and the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer was the 3-time doula to Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (esteemed author of Expectant Parentsa pregnancy/childbirth/parenting book by Focus on the Family). In addition to coaching expectant parents toward a Christ-centered childbirth, Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching and Splankna Therapy Colorado Springs. Jennifer is a featured blogger for My719Moms.com. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.

Natural Childbirth: 3 Things You Didn’t Know Insurance Covers

Everyone knows that having a baby can be expensive. But really…How expensive, you ask? According to BabyCenter.com’s Baby Cost Calculator, the first year of a baby’s life (not including medical bills) is likely to run anywhere from $4,000-$10,000–or more! From fun purchases like nursery decor and baby clothing, to not-so-fun expenses like medical care and hospital stays, the cost of a baby adds up quickly. But here are few things even insured couples are paying out-of-pocket for that they don’t necessarily have to:

1) Childbirth Classes

Many insurance companies consider Childbirth Classes to fall under the realm of prenatal care. Classes can be located through your local hospitals, or a quick search online should help you locate a private class. (If you use a private educator, just make sure they are certified and teach from board-reviewed material like this.)

2) Midwives

While most insurance companies won’t cover home-birth midwives, many insurance companies have no problem at all with covering a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who attends in-hospital births. If you are very natural-minded and want a midwife, but need insurance to pay for it, then look for an OB/GYN office with a CNM on staff. (It is also good to note that the current medical trend is leaning more toward the ‘mother-baby initiative.’ So even if you can’t find a CNM, chances are good you will still be able locate a natural-minded, supportive doctor.)

3) Doulas

Doulas are non-medical support persons who are helpful during labor for the emotional care of laboring mothers and their spouses (or birth partners) throughout their childbirth experience. Because a doula’s presence statistically tends to decrease the need for expensive medical intervention during labor, many insurance companies are willing to cover all or part of a doula’s fees. When interviewing doulas, ask if they have a Provider Identifier Number (PIN) that can be submitted for insurance.

To find out whether your insurance company/plan covers these services, it is important to actually call your insurance company and ask. (Few companies offer an exhaustive, printed list of all the services they cover.) Lastly, If your plan does not cover the services, don’t despair! HSA and FSA will often reimburse in part, or in full. A few quick phone calls to the right people, and savvy parents could potentially save thousands.

Jennifer DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE is a Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop:Devotional, and the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer was the 3-time doula to Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (esteemed author of Expectant Parents, a pregnancy/childbirth/parenting book by Focus on the Family, releasing October 2014). In addition to coaching expectant parents toward a Christ-centered childbirth, Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching. Jennifer is also a featured blogger for My719Moms.com. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.

Helping baby sleep through a cough

So your baby’s cold has moved into her lungs and coughing is keeping her up at night? Whether you’ve read through my previous posts about how to help your baby overcome a cold, or are just starting here, here’s what you can do right now to re-introduce that coveted, restoring beauty sleep:

1) Clear her sinuses with a bulb syringe before bed. It’s usually drainage that causes that “tickle”, so help eliminate the source for her before going to bed. Plus, leaving that yucky stuff in there overnight is probably the number one cause of ear and sinus infections.

2) Do a eucalyptus treatment while they are in bed. The menthol (and other similar “-ol” chemicals) which are present in eucalyptus not only help curb the need to cough, but also fight airborne bacteria and viruses. I covered how to do these in my previous post; this time, just place it under your baby’s crib.

3) Give your baby a lavender body rub. Just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to some oil or lotion (don’t apply it plain or it will irritate your baby’s skin). Lavender has great antimicrobial properties, and rubbing it into the skin is a direct means of safely introducing it into the blood stream.  Plus, it is known for its relaxing properties as well. If my baby seems especially uncomfortable, I also add some chamomile. Coughing is less likely to occur during the deeper stages of sleep, so the idea is to get them into a deep sleep as quickly as possible. Lavender and chamomile are both good for that.

4) For toddlers, a sippy cup of water can be kept in the crib so that if baby should wake up at night,  will she will see it and take a drink. Sometimes room-temperature water is just what she needs.

5) Also for toddlers, consider pulling milk and dairy from their diet for a day or two. We’ve even gone as long as a week for our little guy. Milk and dairy make mucous thicker, whether in the sinuses, lungs, or digestive tract. Pulling it from your child’s diet for a day or two and giving them clear liquids instead will help them overcome this last stage more easily. (If your child is less than a year old, keep giving milk or formula as usual, and just hang in there!.)

6) A note on homeopathic cough remedies: It is important to understand that while the correct way to identify a homeopathic treatment for an illness is through its symptoms, that does not mean that taking a homeopathic cough remedy will make your child stop coughing. It means they will overcome their cough more quickly. (More about homeopathic remedies in previous posts). Still, I recommend using one. We like Hyland’s.

Jen DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE

Jennifer is a Holistic Christian Doula & Birth Educator in Colorado Springs. In addition to coaching couples through Christ-centered childbirth, she also specializes in wellness coaching for prenatal and postpartum mothers and their children. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional and the proud owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC.

To learn more about Jennifer, please visit: www.edenspromisellc.com