The Birth Chronicles Volume #1

The Birth Chronicles

November 2014

To order your e-copy

Iron County Support Services

Wic: Provides coupons for food such as milk and cheese for pregnant women and children up to age 6. They offer education regarding nutritional needs. 260 DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City; 435-586-2437.

Teddy Bear Den: Sponsored by The March Of Dimes. Offers incentives to low income women for practicing healthy pregnancy skills.  Michelle at 435-463-1229 or Kelsy at 801-391-4553

Utah Doula Association: Non-profit organization providing education and resources. Find a Doula for your birth.

Hope Pregnancy Care Center: Non-profit organization offering education and resources. Free pregnancy tests. Go to

Free to Feed: Breastfeeding support group meets every Monday from 9:30-11:30 am. Free to Feed is a free breastfeeding and mothering support group created by moms for moms. For more information go to

Table of Contents

Pg 3……………………..Introduction to Prenatal Chiropractic Care

Pg 3………………………Nutrition During the Last Trimester of Pregnancy To Prepare for Labor

Pg 5……………………….Three Words to Labor By

Pg 9………………………..To Hire a Doula Or Not

Pg 10…………………………Managing Postpartum Blues


Introduction to Prenatal Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic is based on how structure and function (of the nervous system) affect health.  There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy.  During pregnancy, women gain an average of 25 to 35 pounds.  The combination of the additional weight and the excess stress that is placed on the body by the baby can cause muscle strains and severe discomfort on mothers-to-be.

Studies have shown that nearly 50% of pregnant women develop low back pain at some point during their pregnancy.  As the baby develops, a woman begins to lose her center of gravity.  The normal lordosis in the lumbar spine begins to increase causing additional stress on the intervertebral discs and joints.  The thoracic spine begins to increase its kyphosis in order to compensate for the growing breasts preparing for lactation.  This modified posture can often alter the cervical spine causing headaches.  During pregnancy, relaxin is released causing joints in the body to become unstable; this can aggravate previous injuries and can amplify current imbalances.

Not only does chiropractic care provide relief during pregnancy, but prior to pregnancy, chiropractic care can promote regular menstruation, improve blood flow to the uterus, ensure proper nerve supply

Here are a few eating tips to help you prepare, starting at around week 35 of your pregnancy….

  • Eat good, healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds (ground or oil). These fats help your tissues to be strong and pliable, making them less likely to tear and possibly helping to avoid an episiotomy. A handful of walnuts or half of an avocado with a bit of vinaigrette makes a delicious snack!
  • Eat as many vegetables as possible. Your plate should consist of half vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter whole grain starch. This ensures that you eat the calories you need while consuming the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals necessary for strength and endurance. Protein in the form of eggs, chicken or meats should be pasture raised, organic, hormone and antibiotic free for optimal  nutrition and to keep your body from working hard to process unwanted pesticides and hormones. Whole grains such as brown rice, steel cut oats, barley and millet are more nutritionally dense, keep you satisfied longer and contain important vitamins and minerals not found in white rice or rolled oats.
  • Avoid dairy products. Substitute with organic almond milk, hemp milk or rice
to the reproductive organs, and prepare the body for healthy implantation.

Candace Gesicki, DC, DABCA

Doctor of Chiropractic

Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture
6497 Brecksville Rd.

Independence, OH 44131

P: (216) 952-3830

F: (216) 373-4969

Nutrition During the Last Trimester of Pregnancy

To Prepare for Labor and Delivery

How many times have you thought that what you are eating during pregnancy affects the quality of your labor and delivery? Preparing for your baby’s “birth day” by eating right can make a huge difference in your endurance and the way you feel/

Most women eat well and take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy as they know how important proper nutrition is for growing their little one’s brain and body. Eating healthy foods to prepare for labor is compared to training for a marathon, you are in the home stretch and you want to make sure you are in optimal shape to welcome your new bundle of joy!

(Continued on page 2)

milk. Dairy contains hormones used to

stimulate milk production in cows. These hormones  interfere with our own hormone production and can interrupt important signals to your body to properly progress labor along.

  • Drink water and tons of it! You need to stay hydrated and may not want to drink enough in labor. If you need flavor, add a couple of slices of melon, strawberries or a few mint sprigs. Avoid all coffee and coffee blended drinks, black tea and soda.  Caffeine interrupts your sleep/ wake cycles and stresses your adrenal glands, leading to undue stress and fatigue.
  • Avoid sugar of any kind (except 1-2 small pieces of fruit per day). Sugar contains empty calories, leads to unnecessary weight gain, wrecks havoc on your overall blood sugar, and does little to satisfy your hunger.
  • The day of….As labor begins, eat small snacks or a light meal before going to the hospital as many doctors do not allow eating once you arrive. Soups and broths, whole grain toast, eggs, brown rice and veggies are all great options but remember to keep it light and don’t over eat! Stay hydrated with lots of water!

Deborah Snyder Warshauer

L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), FABORM

Licensed Acupuncturist and Birth Doula

22554 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 130

Woodland Hills, CA  91364

(818) 222-1120

Three Words to Labor By…

If you’ve ever taken a childbirth class, or even read a book on pregnancy and childbirth you’re surely familiar with the words “contraction”, “oxytocin”, and the importance of “relaxation” in labor. If you’ve previously given birth you can probably remember a time in your labor where forgot absolutely everything you heard, saw and read, and relaxation was impossible!

So what is the connection between labor contractions, oxytocin, and relaxation; specifically in terms of pain relief? –We’re friends here, so let’s be honest! Pain relief, or the absence of pain all together was one of your main objectives when you read those books or attended those classes.

To set some ground work, the above image simply shows what happens when the brain releases Oxytocin:

Oxytocin released ➼ The Uterus Contracts ➼ Pressure causes cervical change ➼ All of which signals the brain to continue producing MORE Oxytocin.

This happens over and over and over through out labor. Before we get ahead of ourselves lets take a moment to pay our respects to the wonderful hormone Oxytocin and all it does for us!

This is Oxytocin! I want you to memorize it’s chemical make up… no, not really, but I do want you to forever associate Oxytocin with cute hearts, cuddly puppies, or even a huge chocolate bar! Oxytocin is known as the Love Hormone, and for good reason! Sure, you know it’s responsible for starting Labor, but did you know it started way before that!?


Then comes marriage

Then Comes baby

In a baby carriage!”

This silly school yard song was used to embarrass two unsuspecting children that probably had no idea what a baby carriage was, but were surely red in the face and confident they’d never K-I-S-S anyone!! Silly as it is, it has a point! When was the last time you thought or said “I Love…” be it chocolate, the new season of Orange is the New Black, or Your Prince Charming; you can be sure that you were experiencing the Love Hormone, Oxytocin.

When we feel love, our brain releases this hormone, which in turn helps us make and maintain lasting relationships.

I know, I know you’re thinking there’s no way that Crazy Eyes makes you feel all warm and bubbly, but I’m telling you oxytocin is present in all of our lives and it’s time we all understood the how and why!

There’s something else you need to understand about Oxytocin…              This incredible hormone is Shy.

There are always exceptions of the rule, but most of us prefer to be alone when we use the bathroom, when we kiss, and when we make love. Giving birth to a baby may be the most intimate experience of your life, and you need oxytocin to get the job done. Oxytocin is shy, it will not make it’s presence known if you are scared, cold, uncomfortable or unable to relax.

The blinding white-bright lights, the antiseptic-hospital smell, the beeping machines and numerous unfamiliar faces waltzing into and out of your hospital room. How can relaxation even be possible??

These simple graphs show the commonly used Fear, Tension, Pain cycle… and the even more important Knowledge, Control, Relaxation Cycle:

The more you know and understand, the more confident you’ll feel. With easy to learn breathing and relaxation techniques you and your birth support person can significantly lower pain in labor.

How can they do this?

“I Love You”

It’s been said:                                             A woman, safe and loved can accomplish anything.

This is true for labor, and will undoubtedly have an enormous affect on your pain level. In preparation for labor, you main support person should understand the importance of oxytocin, and how they can help your brain release more. Not only will higher oxytocin levels make for a more efficient labor, but also a more enjoyable birth experience.

  • A husband or partner could repeat the most important words ever to be spoken! “I love You” over and over again.
  • A family member or friend could also say these words, or vary it by saying: “I’m with you” “I believe you.” “You are safe”

In my experience as a Doula, fathers are initially hesitant to say such intimate phrases. My best advice? Get over it! This isn’t a request, this isn’t something a laboring woman wants, she Needs to hear these words.

If the only thing you learn from all your research, let it be how important YOU are to laboring mother. It is your responsibility to make the laboring mother feel warm, safe and Loved. You may never again see the countless nurses, doctors, and even the all important Doula you hired, but…

“A mother Will Forever Remember The Day Her Baby Is Born.”

Want extra credit!? K-I-S-S her… throw caution the wind and let her know verbally and physically how much you love her…

“…there is no drug to match the effects of L O V E.”

Lea Garner

(808) 489-7365


2. drink plenty of this during pregnancy
4. released during pregnancy causing joints to be unstable
7. is a good healthy fat
8. oxytocin is
9. Greek word meaning a women’s servant
10. percent of women affected by postpartum blues
11. a magical hormone released during labor
1. chiropractic care can cause relief during
3. how to have a happy postpartum
5. doulas do not provide this type of care
6. does research support using a doula


To Hire a Doula or Not?

As more and more women are becoming educated and taking control of their own births.  The question arises:  Should I Hire a Doula?

First let us define the word doula.  The word doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant.  For centuries women have been serving other women in childbirth and have proven that support from another woman has an impact on the labor process.  A doula is trained in childbirth and provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.  Most doula relationships begin early in the pregnancy.  The mother and doula form a relationship where the mother feels safe to ask questions, express her fears and concerns, and creates a birth plan. Most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone in order to respond to her questions or explain any developments that might arise during the course of the pregnancy. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labor and delivery.   Doulas can help their clients gain a better understanding of the procedures and possible complications of late pregnancy or delivery.  During delivery, doulas main focus is to provide comfort with pain relief techniques that include breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, massage, and laboring positions. Doulas try and get the partner involved.  A doula does not speak on behalf of the mother but instead guides and encourages the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whether an un-medicated birth or cesarean.  After the birth, many labor doulas will spend some time helping mothers begin the breastfeeding process and encouraging bonding between the new baby and other family members. Numerous studies have shown a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present  With the support of a doula, women are less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to

have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.  Other studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%.  Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor.The presence of a doula can be beneficial no matter what type of birth you are planning. Many women report needing fewer interventions when they have a doula. But be aware that the primary role of the doula is to help mothers have a safe and pleasant birth–not to help them choose the type of birth. For women who have decided to have a medicated birth, the doula will provide emotional support, informational support and comfort measures through labor and the administration of medications. Doulas work alongside medicated mothers to help them deal with possible side effects and other needs because even with medication, there might still be some degree of discomfort.  For a mother facing a cesarean, a doula can be helpful by providing constant support and encouragement. Often a cesarean results from an unexpected situation leaving mothers feeling unprepared, disappointed and lonely. A doula can be attentive to mothers at all times throughout the cesarean, letting them know what is going on throughout the procedure. This can free the partner to attend to the baby and accompany the newborn to the nursery if there are complications.  I can’t afford a doula, many doula’s will help you if you just talk to her, they might offer payment plans, discounts or might barter if you offer a different service.  Remember a doula is there to try and help you and ease all those fears and concerns you might have.  There is no such thing as a perfect birth but you can get pretty darn close.  So “Should I Hire a Doula”  Why YES, YES I should.

Arlene Norman

Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula

Serving the DFW Metroplex

(817) 717-0735
If a Doula were a Drug

It would be unethical not to use one

–John H Kennel MD


Managing Postpartum Blues

Postpartum blues affects roughly 80% of women who have just given birth. Postpartum blues usually begins about 3-4 days postpartum when a major shift in a woman’s hormonal system occurs. However it can happen anytime up to 3-4 weeks postpartum.

The main difference between postpartum blues and postpartum depression is that postpartum blues will last a couple of weeks. It is when the postpartum blues does not go away that it becomes postpartum depression.

Postpartum blues can be just as devastating as postpartum depression. It reduces a new mom’s ability to bond with her baby. It can reduce her ability to establish a nursing relationship. It can take away her confidence and her ability to see herself as a great mom for her baby. It is a continuum that may not end.

There are several ways to help a new mom have a positive postpartum experience. A new mom needs to create a postpartum plan. A pregnant mom worries about creating a birth plan. She needs to also create a postpartum plan before giving birth. A postpartum plan includes things like exercise, resting, meals, her support team. All of these things can help her have a positive postpartum experience.

Placenta Encapsulation is another way to help mom have a positive postpartum. Placenta Encapsulation research has shown that it can help minimize fatigue, reducing postpartum blues and increasing energy. Placenta Encapsulation also helps mom establish her breastmilk, reduces postpartum bleeding

and recovery time, as well as helps her uterus contract back to normal state.

One of the goals of Placenta Encapsulation is to avoid the hormonal shift that occurs postpartum. This is done by slowly weaning mom from the increased hormones that occured during pregnancy. This will then decrease the risk of postpartum blues.

The natural iron content in placenta has also be shown to increase energy thus decreasing fatigue. Postpartum blues often starts with fatigue. Therefore, increasing energy helps decrease risk of postpartum blues.

There are too many new moms being affected by postpartum blues. It is time to start looking at ways to help them recover from postpartum blues. So they can begin bonding with their new baby. These are just a couple of things new moms can do to reduce their risk. There is much more that can be done. Like I always say have a happy postpartum, encapsulate!

Stacey Davis B.S.HDFS

Doula, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist,

Postpartum Wellness Coach

Covering Southern Utah


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