Our sunny funny photo booth

Our sunny funny photo booth

I wanted to do something really fun for the girls Easter pics this year. Short on time and money for a professional photographer, I decided to create my own funny bunny photo booth. But once I made the booth it was too cute to keep to ourselves. So, we invited a few friends for an impromptu bunny bash. Luckily, my very awesome (and talented) friend Danielle brought her fancy camera along to get some great pics of our little party goers.  A total bonus!

Our photographer Danielle and her daughter Sydney

Our photographer Danielle and her daughter Sydney

I selected a fun background to give our photo booth a casual feel. I used a chevron designed wrapping paper taped to an extra piece of paneling we had lying around. You could tape it to your wall, but hanging the paper on the wall is a two person job and I am a one mom operation. Using the panel was easier and allowed me to hide the back drop so I could surprise the girls in the a.m.

Use painters tape to keep wrapping paper in place

Use painters tape to keep wrapping paper in place

I strung a line of foam shaped chicks across the patterned paper. I simply taped some twine to the back of each chick. You could easily skip the paper and just hang a string of fun themed shapes to a clean colorful wall inside your home. Or, move outside and hang the shapes along a fence, around a tree, or on the side of your house.

Tape foam shapes to a piece of twine for an easy garland

Tape foam shapes to a piece of twine for an easy garland

This time of year you can find bunny ears at every dollar store- a must have for a funny bunny photo booth!

Bunny ears from Target

Bunny ears from Target

To make a bunny face I used a wooden mustache prop I found at Michael’s.  I added a fuzzy pom-pom nose and some colorful pipe cleaner whiskers for a touch of whimsy. I tried to use Elmer’s glue, but the hot glue gun worked the best.  Of course I had to add in some recognizable bunny teeth. I used white craft foam with adhesive backing and attached directly to the mustache.

Easy to make props

Easy to make props

I situated our photo booth in the sunniest spot of our house. Natural lighting makes for the best photos! Then, we handed the kids the props and let them have fun! I wasn’t worried about them posing angelically; I was just shooting for nobody crying. My goal was to make some fun memories with our friends. Mission accomplished! How cute are these kids?

Friends posing as bunnies

Friends posing as bunnies

Bunny buddy

Bunny buddy

Little bunny

Little bunny

For less than $10 I now have some fun pics to commemorate our Easter holiday. I can print as many photos as I’d like and email copies to distant relatives (thank you Danielle!).

A themed photo booth is a great alternative for kids who are afraid of the Easter bunny, or maybe too little to meet the EB yet. It’s also an easy, affordable, fun activity to do for birthday parties, play dates, or holidays. Just change up your props!

 

 

When Sara was 4 she contracted encephalitis. After a major illness like this you can expect delays and health issues. Some residual problems were more of a surprise than others. Sara takes medication that help with her seizure disorder with the unwanted side effect of altering the way her food tastes. If we change a medications we often change her likes or dislikes of a particular food. Sara would LOVE baked Ziti in December, in January, after a medication change she might not.The next eating challenge she has is with her medical device, a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. It is a small pacemaker like device that sends a signal up to her Vagus Nerve in the brain, helping with seizure control. This signal then travels down through her bariatric system causing many of the food issues we now have. This signal will make Sara feel full or giver her indigestion. The device has settings which the doctor will increase over time. When the gastro-intestinal side effects started getting worse our doctor and our family thought we should hold off any increases in the Vagus Nerve Stimulator settings. Slowly we have been able to increase the setting on Sara’s device and slowly we have seen an improvement in her appetite. This can be rough on a Mom, the one who takes care of the family. Feeding difficulties are real issues for many families with or without children with special needs. Once I adjusted to the new challenge, breathed, and accepted that this would be one of the difficulties of the new device, I was able to focus on things that help Sara at 25 eat more, eat healthier, and gain improved health.

 

Sara is a social eater. She loves people, inviting friends over for lunch always helps her eat more. When we dine out buffets and salad bars are a great choice. There is no waiting, Sara can find foods that appeal to her visually. Sadly, it is fine to serve Sara the same thing over and over again. If she is not in the mood for a vegetable, sliced strawberries and bananas make a great dinner side dish, not just for breakfast. Feeding Sara before she is hungry helps. If she helps cook the meal it tastes better. Get some substitute cooks. Sara will not complain to friends or other family members about what they cook as easily as she can complain to Mom. When Sara’s Dad started making breakfast into animal shapes there was a huge increase in her interest in breakfast.

 

 

 

 

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When the going gets tough, the tough get help. I was lucky to attend a feeding conference presented by Ingrid Lucas of Lucas Speech Pathology in Warwick. She can offer advice that would apply directly to your family member. If your child receives special education services you might benefit from a feeding evaluation from your child’s speech teacher. Many students who have Autism need more than just the evaluation, many schools have speech therapists that are certified in feeding therapy .For more information about the services at Lucas Speech Pathology go to

http://www.lucasspeechpathology.com/

 

For more information about the Vagus Nerve Stimulator try http://us.cyberonics.com/en/vns-therapy/ .

 

Good luck, hope your family is eating healthier in no time. Lisa Bock

 

Washingtonville Soccer Shop 027

 

How do we find the time to do it, Moms? And yes, I mean “Do It,” as in, “Have Sex.”

Once we’ve successfully figured out how to hit on our husbands when are we supposed to do this thing that created our children, the thing that we would actually enjoy if we stopped thinking about the grocery list while we were unzipping our jeans?  (You know you’ve done that at least once)

The most logical time, and possibly the most popular time among us parents, is after the children go to bed.  The kids are down for the count, you’ve got a good two hours before you’re turning in, why not spend it rolling in the hay?

Well, because five minutes in, someone calls for a drink of water, and then a hug, and then you realize you forgot to feed the dog and you can’t concentrate until you do, then since your downstairs anyway, you run to the basement to throw the wet clothes into the dryer so they don’t need to be rewashed, AGAIN, and then by the time you get back to your bedroom your spouse is passed out with one arm in the tee shirt and one arm out… and secretly you’re a little relived because now you can binge watch your favorite Netflix series.

How about the morning?  I know someone who always made time for lovin’ in the a.m. She called it “Set it to Get it.”  She would set her alarm a half an hour early and start her day with a bang. In college this was cool because we didn’t get out of bed until at least 10am, but in the grown-up world, Set it to Get it means 5am sex, maybe even earlier.  This is not for me.  I find it painful to even speak to anyone before coffee.

I watched an interview with a famous mom who was dedicated to co-sleeping.  She insisted that co-sleeping helped her sex life because her and her husband became more adventurous by doing it in strange places around the house.  First of all, she probably had a live-in nanny, so we can ignore any of her parenting and/or marriage advice.  But in the interest of being fair,  if you are a mom who chooses to co-sleep, please tell me she was lying.  If not, I’ll have to consider starting a new trend; I can see the headline now. “Co-Sleeping with your Middle Years Children Will Improve Your Sex Life.”

Let’s face it Mamas, we’re tired and constantly surrounded by people under four feet tall, so the when is always going to be tricky.  I think the key is to focus on the why.  Why is getting busy, even when we’re so busy, important?

Tune in next week.

 

I always tout the benefits of a budget, but I’ve been thinking that what I’m doing is more like frantic tracking. I’m more or less trying to track our money and spend it on needs before the wants devour it all. I like metaphors so I’ll use a boat.

I have a vessel I want to sail us to our goal – debt free island, but I find myself plugging more holes that doing actual steering. I’m careful to steer around the big ship sinkers, but anyone who’s struggling with finances knows that it’s those little rocks that cause all the little leaks that have you constantly in repair mode. That’s how I feel; fix, correct, repair, repeat. I am the nagging wife telling my husband to quit frequenting the ATM like it’s giving out free lottery money, or buying fishing gear when we have bills that have yet to be paid. Some small budget busters I’ve slowly overcome and others are still a struggle. So here’s my lists of what I’ve learned to get free, cheap or do without and what I’m still struggling with.

Things I no longer buy:

1. Paper products with the exception of toilet paper. I have a dishwasher so I get the lure of not having to wash dishes, but unless I’m throwing anything larger than a 10 person dinner party I use real dishes, cups and utensils. I use sponges, dish towels and rags for cleaning. I use cloth napkins and they don’t take much extra room in the washing machine. Oh and possibly the biggest mess saver of all – mandatory hand-washing after meals before my kids touch furniture or anything else with dirty hands.

2. Hand soap – I use dish soap instead. No difference except the cost in my opinion.

3. Vitamins – Kids’ prescriptions and prenatal vitamins are free at ShopRite pharmacy. So my kids complain when their friends have gummy vitamins in super hero shapes, I’m still not paying $12 a bottle for vitamins when I can get them for free. For the record I have been doing prescription vitamins for a long time, but I switched the prescription to ShopRite so I no longer have to pay a co-pay.

4. Commercial cleaners. Baking soda, vinegar and a little dish soap clean almost anything.  I have a steam mop with a washable pad for my floors. I like having less chemicals in my house with little kids anyway.

5. Expensive makeup, hair dye and primping products. I know some women can’t live without these little goodies, but it’s amazing the wonders not caring what everyone thinks about your appearance does for both self esteem and the wallet. I say this even as someone with pregnancy induced acne right now. It occurs to me I should be slathering on the coverup like I did when I was pregnant with my daughter Hannah, but it usually makes my skin worse and usually only makes me think about my skin more, not less. This time I just feel like well if this is the price of having my daughter growing in me, then let it be a sign that I’m lucky because I know there are other women who would gladly pay this price for a child.

6. A cell phone. Yes I realize I’m probably the only person on the planet without one, but I’m ok with that. I’m usually home or a handful of places and honestly I think we’ve all forgotten how nice it is not to be reached about pointless stuff 24 hours a day. I remember a time when nobody answered a phone in a public restroom, when lunch dates didn’t consist of two people texting people that were not in the same room while ignoring the people with them, and not receiving notifications every time someone you kinda sorta know messages you on Facebook. It occasionally drives my husband nuts, but I don’t miss having a high cell phone bill either. He has a pre-paid cell phone which costs $49 a month.

The Leaks I NEED to Plug:

1. Eating out. I like to be able to eat out a couple times a month for my sanity. I try to use coupons when I can, but this still takes a good bite out of my budget.

2. Fast food. It’s easy to fall prey when you’re out with the kids, but all those hamburgers, fries or cups of coffee at the drive thru actually account for more than $100 each month that we don’t need to spend. That makes me feel sick in more ways than one.

3. ATM fees. This one is ALL my husband who loves having “fun money” in his pocket at all times. Here’s the problem- all those $2 and yes sometimes $3.50 fees add up. I have a credit union in Orange County, which is far for us so cash is not king in our household. I have an Emergency Fund in a bank nearby, but we don’t touch it. Whoever said you spend less money when paying with cash never met my husband. He has no emotional attachment to it whatsoever.

4. Entertainment – I try to limit it, but it’s still nice to take the kids to do fun activities and I can’t begrudge my husband all spending on his hobbies.

What budget leaks do you deal with every month? What have you learned to do without. Maybe we can inspire each other to stay the course.

 

Last night I didn’t sleep very well. I’m sure many of you know the feeling.

The next morning I contemplated playing hooky. “Do what is best for you,” said my husband as her hovered over me.

What is best for me? Not sure, but then I remembered that I was speaking at a PTA parent group at 10, so I’d better get moving.

I walked around the apartment thinking about the best parenting advice I could share. After all, I am a mom of two grown sons and a grandmother to 8-year-old Lia and 11-year-old Robert. And then I spotted the Pet Rock that my youngest son made for my mom.

(For those of you not familiar with Pet Rocks, they were developed in the 70s. It was a gift you gave, that does not need to be fed, walked, bathed or groomed.)

ImageI found my mom’s Pet Rock when we were cleaning out her apartment after she died. She moved several times and Eliot’s Pet Rock always held a place of honor. Eliot had to be about seven or eight when he created his masterpiece.

For Eliot’s 41st birthday, I asked him want he wanted. “Shoot some photos of where we were brought up,” he suggested. So there I went with my trusty Flip camera walking our Monroe neighborhood, shooting what ending up looking like the Goldstein version of the Blair Witch Project. The videos are not blockbusters, getting about 100 views, but my son was thrilled.

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So now I realize that the first thing I would share with the PTA moms is that sometimes it’s the simple things you do with your kids that last a lifetime. Has nothing to do with money or time. It’s that special moment of sharing.

Then I skip ahead ten years. My son was a member of a group that ran for county offices, like judges and the county executive. The video he created caused an uproar among adults but the kids loved it, and got voted into office. Like bad boys we were called into the principal’s office where we were told that Eliot could not take the judgeship for the day.

My husband and I turned to my son and asked him what he would like to do. Regardless of what he decided, we would support him.\

This lead to me sharing my second piece of advice: as parents it is our role to support our kids so they feel comfortable standing up for themselves. Or in situations where they cannot stand up for themselves, we have to be strong advocates for them.

You may wonder, ‘What has this to do with the Common Core Uproar?’

For some parents fighting the common core battle is their way of standing up for their kids and that’s their right. But for me, it is the small acts we do all the time that help our kids grow up to be strong individuals who love life and enjoy learning no matter how old they are.

I have mentioned before that I am not athletic or competitive, so you might be surprised to learn that I have signed up for a Spartan Race- (go ahead and click on this and just listen to the intro-insanity)- one of those ridiculous races with barbed wire to crawl under, fire to jump over, and walls to climb.  What business do I have to do this race you ask?  None really, except I have a very convincing and competitive friend who caught me at a weak moment.  She asked me to join her team with six other women to compete in the race and since I was in the middle of a self help book encouraging me to say yes to everything in attempts to bring more happiness into my life,  I was obliged to say yes.

 

Since we are all mothers, meeting up and working out are not really options, many of us running on the treadmill in the basement after the kids are in bed.  There were a few teammates that I had not even met, and the race is closing in on us.  So, in order to face a fear of heights, get some climbing practice in and get together with the team, we planned a girl’s night.  However, this was not your typical girl’s night- drinks were involved but not until after spending much of the evening rock climbing.  Yes, rock climbing.

 

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Photo Credit: The Inner Wall

 

The Inner Wall is an indoor rock climbing facility in New Paltz.  None of us had ever rock climbed before and that was ok.  We were set up with two instructors who taught us all we needed to know to climb the wall and to belay for one another. (Belay- vb. to be attached to the other end of the climber’s rope  making you solely in charge of their safety and essentially their life.)  A pretty good lesson in building team trust if there ever was one.  After we learned the basics, we were set free to climb away.  It was scary and fun and exhilarating all at once.  For a moment, I really thought this could be my thing… then I looked down and immediately ruled that out.  But, I was tremendously proud of myself for having the tenacity to conquer my fear and the physical capability to make it to the top.  I was warned but was surprised nonetheless at how sore I was the next day and in places I never even knew I had muscles.

 

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We did this as a girl’s night, but it’s also a really great place for kids.  In fact, we have plans to return with our kids in the near future.  The Inner Wall has had kids as young as two climb, but I will start with my five year old.  She was the most impressed with my new skill and immediately begged to go after seeing my pictures.  Inner Wall has different levels of climbing walls from beginner to advanced.  They host birthday parties, scout programs, summer camps, and after school programs.  The staff was friendly and extremely focused on safety taking the time to teach us everything we needed to know to be safe.  We got a group rate which included the instruction, equipment, and three hours of climbing for $28 a person.  However, they have several different options so check out their website to see what is the best fit for you.

 

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The Team!

 

If you have an adventurous and/or energetic kid (and whose kid isn’t energetic?), I would definitely add this to your list of spring break stay-cation activities.

Top view of binders.

Top view of binders.

How often do you find awesome projects on Pintrest and think, “who has time for that?” Or, “I would never think of that!” That’s what inspired me to create these super simple busy binders! I used items I found at dollar stores. No need to use up my ink to print off a ton of pages. No need to laminate. These are re-usable, inexpensive and require very little time to make.

Materials for busy binder.

Materials for busy binder.

I found activity books at the Dollar Tree. (Target  has similar books in their dollar section). I picked up some colorful 3 ring binders at Big Lots for .90 cents each along with matching zipper pouches for $1.00 each. I reused some plastic page protectors and dry erase markers I found at home. So, each binder cost around $2.90. (I made 4).

Zipper pouch to always have pens on hand.

Zipper pouch to always have pens on hand.

The zipper pouch in the front of each binder holds dry erase markers for easy storage. I especially like the dry erase markers with the felt tipped eraser caps. This way the girls can erase their marks on their own if necessary.

Be sure to use dry erase markers.

Be sure to use dry erase markers.

Use book cover as first page in binder.

Use book cover as first page in binder.

The first page of the binder holds the cover of the activity book. If you want to get fancy, buy a binder that includes a front and back clear view pocket. Place the front cover of the activity book in the front clear view pocket and the back cover of the activity book in the back clear view pocket. The clear view binders run about $3-$4 each. The plastic page protector is my cheater version.

Insert individual pages in pockets.

Insert individual pages in pockets.

The following pages include activity sheets I detached from the book. I inserted one page per plastic sleeve.

Page protectors make it easy to erase use again.

Page protectors make it easy to erase use again.

Now the girls can re-use the pages as many times as they’d like. I simply erase when they are finished, or encourage them to clean with a paper towel before putting the binder away. If you forget to erase and the ink dries, a baby wipe cleans the page super quick!

Inside binder.

Inside binder.

I keep the binders on a shelf for easy toddler access.

Binders on shelf.

Binders on shelf.

I have an open shelf area at the end of our counter that I keep busy activities for the girls to grab and play with any time they like. This has saved me during phone calls, while chatting with other adults and that rat race called dinner hour.

Open access to activity shelf.

Open access to activity shelf.

I assembled all 4 binders in less than 20 minutes! The materials are easy to find, inexpensive and assemble quickly.No printing! No coloring! No laminating!

 

What are some busy projects you use to occupy little ones?

 

Every night after story time, I lean in to give my three year old a kiss; every night I suffer the same rejection, “No kisses!” he states.  So I just stand there, like a puppy near the dinner table, hoping he’ll toss a scrap of affection my way.  I’ve resigned myself to being satisfied with pressing my cheek up against his head.

Sometimes I imagine playing hard to get: throwing out a reserved, Downton Abbey-style, “Good Night, then,” from across the room as I flick off the lights and walk briskly out the door without looking back.  “That’ll show him,” I say aloud to no one in particular.  “A few weeks of that and he’ll be begging for a kiss.  He’ll love me soon enough.”  (Cue the evil laugh)  That’s the moment when my husband tells me I’m coo coo, and my slightly Oedipus-like revenge fantasy goes out the window.

My oldest, on the other hand, can’t get enough hugs and kisses.  Every night he calls me in when he is done reading,(his brother having already fallen into what I can only imagine is a peaceful, yet emotionless sleep.)  He pretends we forgot to say good night so he can get one more squeeze and one last smooch.  I can see in his eyes that this last show of affection releases his worries, and he is finally able to drift off to sleep.  I know how important this moment is for him, yet there are still many nights when I begrudgingly return to his room because he called for his final hug right when I sat down with a piece of chocolate (or 5) and a glass of wine (or 2).

We spend our entire lives balancing different needs:  our needs, the needs of friends, parents, co-workers, spouses…the list goes on and on.  It is a challenging task, whether you are a parent or not.  But it is parents, in particular, that live in this tricky world of balancing the emotional needs of themselves and their children.  And in that extremely difficult task, there are blurred lines (No, not the Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus kind)  The kind of complex emotional situations that make you ask yourself, “Am I doing this for me or my child?”  “Whose need is this, anyway? And “Whose need should take precedence?”  The answers aren’t always clear, the questions come up on a daily basis, and as they grow, things get murkier.

When it comes to kisses, I give my boys what they need for now, holding on to the hope that when sorting through all these needs, I am doing the best job I can at the hardest job there is.

Our homes may come in different shapes, sizes and price ranges, but one universal truth is that we all have clutter. That stuff that creeps up, hangs around and by some bizarre trick of nature seems to multiply. With a new baby coming in a few months, I’m realizing that with all the gear and things this new little person is bringing into my house I truly have to cut the clutter and make room for the people in my house.  Here are 4 tips to help kick clutter to the curb.

1. Separate The SentimentalWhen I was younger we weren’t encouraged to get rid of our excess stuff because my mother believed everything was sentimental. Now I’m learning to figure out what is sentimental and what is just stuff. Yesterday I donated my wedding dress (GASP) to a photographer friend who is going to turn it into a new creation. I know what you’re thinking- “how is that not sentimental?” If I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned that memories do not live inside of things, but inside of us. My wedding day was one of the best of my life, but was it really necessary to keep a dress I wore once in the back of my closet for the rest of my life? Nope, especially since I have tons of great photos of it. At least now it’ll get a chance to see the light of day again and maybe make someone else happy in the process.

Honoring Lost Loved Ones

What is sentimental then? For me, it’s those few special items that really remind me of lost loved ones. Unfortunately I have a LOT of those items collecting in my closets right now. I hope to buy some shadow boxes and display them with some photos of those family members who have passed. If it doesn’t fit, I’ll take a photo of an item that meant a lot to that loved one. At least they would get looked at and not forgotten about.

Make Kids Part Of The Process

I’ve also taught my kids to make decisions when getting rid of their old toys. It took a good four hours, but every toy has been gone though, and put in it’s place – in a toy box, in a box for the new baby, consigned or thrown out. I think it’s important that they see value as something they use, not something they own – big difference. Before birthdays and major gift-giving holidays is a great time to do this. It also gives you some perspective on how much your kids already have before you embark on a shopping spree.
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Thanks to some decluttering I can actually close toy boxes now and keep the floor clear (most of the time anyway).

2. Value Is Relative – Another lesson I’ve learned is to forget about what an item cost me. The cold fact is that once you take something home from the store it’ll never be worth that purchase price to anyone else. This is also a good rule to remember when making those purchases in the first place. So when clearing out the clutter, price it fairly (start at half off retail) and be willing to donate it if it doesn’t sell.

One Woman’s Trash…

I had a glider with an arm that needed a screw and once my son wasn’t a baby anymore it was taking up much-needed real estate in my house. It would have cost me money to throw it out so I listed it on Freecycle.org. A lady came and picked it up at the end of my driveway within a day and wrote me the sweetest e-mail thanking me for something that would have ended up as trash, but which she was thrilled to have.

3. Use The One In Two Out Rule - You’ve probably heard this rule to taming clutter before, but it goes for every one item you bring into your house you should take two out. Since acquiring things is so much easier than getting rid of them it’s also a great rule to keep in mind when shopping. My husband recently asked to purchase some fishing gear that is not in the budget and he offered to sell his brand new power washer (still sitting unused in the box) in order to get it. It was given to him and he really wanted it, but he has come to see that he’ll most likely never use it and I’m proud of him for learning to let go of something he won’t use for something that he will. Now to list that along with at least a half-dozen other thing in my basement. Craigslist.org here I come.

4. Don’t Let It Live Forever – This baby is a blessing in more ways than one. I really need to renovate my finished basement into a master bedroom so I can’t afford to let the clutter live down there for too much longer. It’s a great idea to set a time limit like a year. If you haven’t touched something in a year it’s probably time to let it go. A cool trick with clothes is to hang all your hangers facing out and then when you’ve worn something rehang it with the hanger facing in. At the end of a year, any item still hanging on the out hangers can go.

Many towns hold spring clean up days so this could be a great deadline for your clutter. If you can’t donate it, sell it or give it to someone by that date then throw it out. Check with your town about times, locations and limits on what you can throw out.

How do you tame the clutter in your house?

ican-bannerAmong many other things, April is Cesarean Awareness Month. In the U.S., 1 in 3 babies are delivered by cesarean section. To be clear, as a doula, I am not anti-cesarean. I am pro healthy mom and baby, and pro informed choice. With the exception of certain very high risk medical situations, a vaginal delivery is the healthiest option for both mother and baby for a multitude of reasons. (That is a topic for a more detailed discussion in a different blog post).

Here are the most important steps you and your partner can take to avoid an unnecessary c-section. (If you or your baby develop a medical condition that warrants a medically necessary cesarean delivery, this does not apply to you. Again, I am not against all cesarean deliveries)

 

  1. Just say no to induction. The last few days and weeks of pregnancy are very draining, both emotionally and physically. I’ve been there. You’re tired, you’re achy, you are anxious to meet your new baby, and you just want it done and over with! For mothers and care providers alike, induction may seem like a very appealing option. Depending on which study you refer to, the chances of cesarean delivery raise anywhere from 40-60% after an induction is started. New guidelines set by the ACOG no longer recommend non medically indicated induction until at least 41 weeks of pregnancy.
  2. Labor at home longer. Many hospitals have a policy about how long you are ‘allowed’ to labor before they will throw out the infamous “failure to progress” diagnosis and recommend a c-section. Thankfully, the ACOG has just recently relaxed their guidelines to extend this timeline, but it may take a while for hospital policy to catch up. Speak with your care provider about how long you should labor at home before heading to the hospital, and when at all possible, spend more time at home before heading to labor & delivery.
  3. Hire a doula. Of course I’m going to be partial to this one. However, numerous studies have shown that the continual presence of a labor support person such as a doula reduces your chance of cesarean delivery by up to 50%. This is due to multiple factors. A doula helps you ask questions, make informed choices, and helps you better manage your labor. Hiring a doula also lessens the chance that you will require pain medication or an epidural, therefore lowering your risk of needing augmentation such as Pitocin (see point 1).
  4. Take care of your pregnant body. By this, I mean exercise lightly as recommended by your care provider, and see a chiropractor or physical therapist of possible. Many c-sections are performed due to breech presentation, or a prolonged labor (failure to progress) because the baby is simply not in an optimal position. There are exercises that can be done daily during your pregnancy to better alight your pelvis to help baby settle into a proper position. Seeing a chiropractor who specializes in the Webster method, or who is familiar with pregnancy, will also greatly increase your chances of beginning your labor in optimal conditions. www.spinningbabies.com is a wonderful resource. Check with your care provider about using these exercises.

In some instances, a cesarean delivery is truly a life saving operation. It is my hope, and the hope of doulas worldwide, that enough information can be shared to women to help prevent the many c-sections that are not medically warranted.

For more information on Cesarean Awareness Month, visit http://www.ican-online.org/cam/april-cesarean-awareness-month-0

 

 

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