Birth Photography Special – Summer 2013 –

I am so excited to announce I have a new photography partner in crime and we have a special deal just for mammas due this Spring and Summer!

2 birth photographers for less than the price of one!

BBBandBailey

What is “the price”?

The price for BOTH  photographers to attend your birth will be $225.

Birth photographers in the DFW area charge on average $600 per client and some are upwards of $1000

Why so cheap?

We prefer the term affordable rather than cheap. This is a new partnership so we have a system to work out and portfolios to build so we truly appreciate clients who are willing to work with us as we get off the ground. We promise just because our price is reduced we put in the same amount of work and effort all of our full price clients receive. We hope to reach clients that would not be able to afford a full priced birth photographer.

Why 2 photographers?

We formed this “alliance” because we both bring something valuable to the table.

I (Kelsey) have experience in the birth field as a doula and birth instructor. I am proud of my artistic ability and was a photographer for several years, but am a bit rusty on all the latest technology.

Bailey is a more experienced photographer with a great eye and west coast style. She is more technically inclined and has the equipment to back it up. She is also a lighting guru, which tends to be the hardest aspect when it comes to labor and birth photography.

Together we are everything you need to capture the irreplaceable moments of birth.

Having 2 birth photographers on call also reduces the likely hood of the photographer missing your birth

What kind of images will you capture?

Anything you want! Some clients want us there from the moment labor starts and other prefer us to wait outside until right before baby arrives.

You can see my photography archives here.

Bailey’s portfolio includes maternity and newborn photography as well.

What if I don’t want 2 extra people in the room while I birth?

We completely understand and respect your privacy. Birth is a very intimate time and we do not want to disturb your environment. If you prefer one photographer we would discount the price even further to $175. Which ever of us was on call first when your labor begins would be the one to attend.

What happens after the birth?

We typically stay about 1 hour after the birth to capture the first family moments. We would then put together a sneak peek for you available to view within 1 week of your birth. We would then put all of your proofs online in a protected gallery. You can choose from there to order prints or digital copies.

Please contact us with any additional questions you have. We look forward to working with your family during this life changing journey!

Kelsey Schwartz and Bailey Hall

(K) 214-477-2898 (B) 325-669-9336

email: bumpbirthbaby.northtx@yahoo.com

New New New

I am excited to announce several new services from The Bump, Birth, and Baby Network!

Shower Planning

Belly Cast Design

Birth Photography

Birth Announcements

and

Newborn / Family Photography

Please take a moment to check out our (now easier to navigate) website for more details!

We also now offer gift certificates for classes, photography, and doula services. If you know an expectant mom, a Bump, Birth, and Baby Network gift certificate makes a perfect present!

Our 2013 spring calendar should be ready soon so get ready for more announcements and  events!

Afternoon Affirmation 8/9/12

Pregnancy Affirmation #1

I will accept each stage of pregnancy as a new and wonderful adventure

Pregnancy comes with its share of good, bad, and ugly for each woman.

Each pregnancy is different even for the same woman.

Approaching pregnancy early on as an adventure will put you at ease throughout each trimester and up till the moment of birth.

Yes the morning sickness will be unpleasant and you may feel like a whale sometimes, but take a moment (preferably many moments) to embrace the BEAUTY of pregnancy.

Understand you are sustaining life within you and only you can provide for your child before they enter this world.

Give yourself peace of mind and don’t worry about how others view you.

I hope you feel beautiful and empowered throughout your pregnancy.

Rise above critisizm and surround yourself with loving support.

YOU AND YOUR BABY ARE WORTH IT!

Evidence Based Birth

I just began following a blog called Evidence Based Birth written by Rebecca L. Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN.

Her latest post about what a hospitals maternity care SHOULD be like really struck a chord with me. I absolutly  love the way she has broken down the meaning behind “patient centered” care.

 I have a feeling I’ll be sharing more of her research in the future!

“According to the Institute of Medicine, patient-centered care takes into consideration patients’ personal preferences, cultural traditions, values, families, and lifestyles. Patient-centered care empowers patients to be responsible for their self-care. It reduces the use of healthcare interventions that are unwanted, inappropriate, or not needed.

Another definition has been offered by Donald Berwick, the President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

Patient centered-care includes transparency, individualization, recognition, respect, dignity, and choice in all matters– no exceptions– related to one’s person, circumstances, and relationships in health care. In other words, it is care that is wanted and needed provided at a time when it is wanted and needed.

I would argue that because the majority of pregnant women are not sick, they are not patients. Technically we should be talking about “woman-centered” care or “family-centered” maternity care. But for the purposes of simplicity, I will be using the medical term “patient-centered.” “

check out her full article and the rest of her site here!  http://evidencebasedbirth.com/2012/07/24/what-is-patient-centered-maternity-care/

science vs technology

This is a wonderful article from the latest issue of The Atlantic. If taking care of a 6 month old wasn’t so time consuming (I’m not complaining though cause I love her so stinkin much) I’d like to write articles this  long and in depth! It talks about the same things I have shared in the past about birth choices, education, and having a “medically uninteresting” pregnancy. Enjoy!

—————————————————————————————————————–

When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus. What they don’t envision is the omnivorous, pants-wearing science geek standing before them.

Indeed, they become downright confused when I go on to explain that there was really only one reason why my mate — an academic internist — and I decided to ditch our obstetrician and move to a midwife: Our midwife could be trusted to be scientific, whereas our obstetrician could not.

Many medical students, like most American patients, confuse science and technology. They think that what it means to be a scientific doctor is to bring to bear the maximum amount of technology on any given patient. And this makes them dangerous. In fact, if you look at scientific studies of birth, you find over and over again that many technological interventions increase risk to the mother and child rather than decreasing it.

But most birthing women don’t seem to know this, even if their obstetricians do. Paradoxically, these women seem to want the same thing I wanted: a safe outcome for mother and child. But no one seems to tell them what the data indicate is the best way to get there. The friend who dares to offer half a glass of wine is seen as guilty of reckless endangerment, whereas the obstetrician offering unnecessary and risky procedures is considered heroic.

When I was pregnant, in 2000, and my mate and I consulted the scientific medical literature to find out how to maximize safety for me and our child, here’s what we learned from the studies available: I should walk a lot during my pregnancy, and also walk around during my labor; doing so would decrease labor time and pain. During pregnancy, I should get regular check-ups of my weight, urine, blood pressure, and belly growth, but should avoid vaginal exams. I should not bother with a prenatal sonogram if my pregnancy continued to be low-risk, because doing so would be extremely unlikely to improve my or my baby’s health, and could well result in further tests that increased risk to us without benefit.

According to the best studies available, when it came time to birth at the end of my low-risk pregnancy, I should not have induction, nor an episiotomy, nor continuous monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat during labor, nor pain medications, and definitely not a c-section. I should give birth in the squatting position, and I should have a doula — a professional labor support person to talk to me throughout the birth. (Studies show that doulas are astonishingly effective at lowering risk, so good that one obstetrician has quipped that if doulas were a drug, it would be illegal not to give one to every pregnant woman.)

In other words, if the regular low-tech tests kept indicating I was having a medically uninteresting pregnancy, and if I wanted to scientifically maximize safety, I should give birth pretty much like my great-grandmothers would have: with the attention of a couple of experienced women mostly waiting it out, while I did the work. (They called it labor for a reason.) The only real notable difference was that my midwife would intermittently use a fetal heart monitor — just every now and then — to make sure the baby was doing okay.

My obstetrician and his practice had made clear that they were rather uncomfortable with this kind of “old-fashioned” birth. So we left, and engaged a midwife who was committed to being much more modern. And the birth I had was pretty much as I have described. Yes, it hurt, but my doula and midwife had prepared me mentally for that, assuring me that this kind of special pain did not have to result in fear or harm.

We did end up with one technological intervention: because my son had meconium in his fluid (this means he’d defecated in the womb), the midwife explained to me that right after birth, the pediatricians would be scooping him up to suck out his trachea (his windpipe). The idea was to prevent pneumonia. They did this, and three months later over breakfast my husband presented me the results of a randomized control trial that had just come out: it showed that babies in this situation who only had their mouths and not their tracheas cleaned actually had lower rates of pneumonia compared to those who got the tracheal intervention. Another intervention that turned out not to be worth it.

So why is it that, over a decade later, when the evidence still supports a low-interventionist type of pregnancy and birth management for low-risk cases, we’ve made virtually no inroads to making birth more scientific in the United States.

I put that question to a few scholars who work on this issue. One of them, Libby Bogdan-Lovis of the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University, happens also to have been my doula. (Lucky me.) Libby noted that a big part of the problem is the way birth is conceived in America — as “dangerous, risky, and in need of control to ensure a good outcome.”

Libby pointed out that institutional strictures contribute to the problem: “Insurance companies generally cover hospital birth, not home birth, they are more inclined to compensate doctors over midwives, they compensate doctors and hospital-based midwives for doing something over doing nothing, and the health care system’s risk management approach backs those who can demonstrate that they did everything possible in terms of intervention.” All this in spite of the fact that, as Libby notes, “attempts to control birth are fraught with real medicalized risk and commonly lead to cascades of interventions.”

Raymond De Vries, a sociologist in the University of Michigan’s Center for Bioethics and Social Science in Medicine, has compared birth in the U.S. to that in the Netherlands, where he is a visiting professor at the University of Maastricht. He finds that, in the U.S., “obstetricians are the experts and the experts have come to see birth as dangerous and frightening.” De Vries suggests that the organization of maternity care in this country — “the limited choices that American women have for bringing their baby into the world, what women are not told about dangers of intervening in birth, and the misuse of science to support the new technologies of birth” — actually constitutes an ethical problem, although we typically do not recognize it as one. Medical ethicists “would rather look to the [comparatively rare] problems of in vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic diagnosis than to the every day issues of how we organize birthhere in the U.S.; they would rather talk about preserving women’s ‘choices’ than to explore how those choices are bent by culture.”

So true. Ethicists love to talk about women’s birthing choices as if they are informed and autonomous, but I can’t count how many women have said to me that they “chose” pain medication during birth even though they were never told the risks of pain medication, never had anyone express confidence in them that they could birth without medication, and were never offered a doula to walk and talk them through the pain. What kind of “choice” is that? As Libby Bogdan-Lovis told me, “Today’s average childbearing woman thinks the notion of an unmedicated birth is the equivalent of suggesting that women should eagerly embrace torture.”

I think of all the choices I made, the one that shocked my peers most was not getting a prenatal ultrasound. But just a few years before I became pregnant, a major U.S. study — involving over 15,000 pregnancies — published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that routine ultrasounds did not leave babies safer. That work was led by Bernard Ewigman, now chair of family medicine at the University of Chicago and NorthShore University Health System.

I recently called Dr. Ewigman and asked him why so many low-risk pregnancies now involve routine ultrasounds. He suggested that it was partly emotional — people like to “see” their babies — and partly due to the unsubstantiated belief that knowing something is necessarily going to lead to better outcomes than not knowing. But, he agreed, routine prenatal sonograms in low-risk pregnancies (that is, pregnancies in which there have been no problems) do not appear to be supported by science, if the outcome you’re seeking is reducing illness and death in mothers and children. Routine prenatal sonograms don’t seem to be dangerous, but they are also not health-giving.

Dr. Ewigman told me, “The approach you took to your pregnancy was rational and well informed. But most decision-making when it comes to medical issues involving a pregnant woman or baby are not well informed and not based on rational thinking.” He added: “We’re all very interested in having healthy babies and it is pretty easy to make the kind of cognitive errors that people make, and attribute to technology benefits that don’t exist. At the same time, when there are problems in a pregnancy, that very same technology can be life-saving. It is easy to make the [problematic mental] leap that technology is always going to be necessary for a good outcome.”

Dr. Ewigman and I talked about how some people derive false certainty from prenatal sonograms, thinking that if the clinicians see nothing unusual, the baby will be born perfectly healthy. I explained to him that that was one reason I didn’t bother; I knew from my own research on birth anomalies how often sonograms mislead. He observed that our culture has “a real fascination with technology, and we also have a strong desire to deny death. And the technological aspects of medicine really market well to that kind of culture.” Whereas a low-interventionist approach to medical care — no matter how scientific — does not.

I’m not against taking into account, when making birthing choices, the kinds of hard-to-measure outcomes that may matter deeply to some pregnant women. I get that there are some women who don’t want a baby shower like mine, where most of the gifts consist of yellow and green baby clothes, instead of pink or blue. I get that some want to have those fuzzy pictures of the babies in their wombs. I get that some might want to abort if a sonogram were to show a major anomaly.

And I get that some women want a particular experience of birth — I mean, I really get that now that I have had a birth that left me feeling more powerful, more humble, more focused, and more devoted to my lover than I ever thought I could feel.

But I wish American women were told the truth about birth — the truth about their bodies, their abilities, and the dangers of technology. Mostly I wish all pregnant women could hear what Libby Bogdan-Lovis, my doula, told me: “Birthing a baby requires the same relinquishing of control as does sex — abandoning oneself to the overwhelming sensation and doing so in a protective and supportive environment.” If only more women knew how sexy a scientific birth can be.

By: Alice Dreger

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/the-most-scientific-birth-is-often-the-least-technological-birth/254420/1/?single_page=true

———————————————————————————-

parents to be

There are few things more touching than a father to be showing off his pregnant wife and talking about how excited he is. When I met my husband, I had always said I didn’t want kids. He, like many other people throughout my life, said I would change my mind. Well, he was right. I had no idea what kind of mother I would be, but I knew instantly Thomas was going to be an amazing father. After my first trimester I was not allowed to vacuum, he really didn’t want me doing laundry or dishes, and was always worried when I would take the dog out for a walk. Turns out he wasn’t crazy and over protective, he was just going through a hormonal change like I was.

Pregnancy obviously changes a woman physically, emotionally, mentally, and biologically but did you know it does the same her partner? A study has found that sympathy weight isn’t the only pregnancy symptom the partners of pregnant women experience.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

By Curt Autry

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We’ve all heard the stories – your wife is pregnant, so you gain a little weight – maybe have a few sympathy pains. But those stories aren’t just “wives-tales.” A new study finds that men go through real, verifiable, biological changes when their partner is pregnant. Apparently, it’s nature’s way of making us better fathers. 

It’s a Sunday afternoon in the cramped basement of a Carytown storefront where Melanie Headley holds her natural child birth class. All of these young couples are first time parents…and while the changes the women are going through are obvious to anyone – the men here are also experiencing psychiological changes, some they don’t even realize. 

In a recent study – first time fathers were given weekly blood tests with their wives…and the blood analysis was startling. Just like the expectant mothers – the dad’s saw documentable changes, namely a lowering of testosterone and a spike in a hormone called prolactin. 

The hormonal shift that most men experience when they father a cause very real symptoms. 

Typically, expectant father’s gain weight, usually as much as 10% of their body weight. The loss of testosterone lowers sex drive – making them less competitive, and less likely to stray from their partners. A spike in prolactin acts like an opid…arousing tender & protective feelings toward their spouse.  

When I told them about the results of the study, it was like a light bulb went off. When the men in the class thought about it almost all admitted they worried about their wives, like at no other time in their relationships. 

“I worry about even silly things, like her picking up stuff – and I don’t want her to injure herself or hurt the baby,” said one man. 

“I know, she’s an adult, she can take care of herself. Yeah, I definitely feel more protective,” another added. 

“We have a routine. And when we step out of that routines, it makes me worry that something happened – and makes me want to check and make sure everything is alright,” said a third. 

Another male symptom is phantom pains – experiencing cramps, back-ache, even the swelling of the feet – just like the women. 

“I’ve been getting more leg cramps recently and I think he’s been getting them too. So, we thought maybe that was because of the syndrome, but we didn’t know,” one man said. 

Melanie Headley has been teaching this class for years and has 4 children of her own. The results of the recent study came as no surprise to her. 

“The changes that she’s having in her body — biologically, are gonna take a toll on her husband, as well.  They’re gonna go through the same type of cycles, and they’ gonna synch up – I believe in that,” Headley said.

http://www.nbc12.com/story/17007664/male-pregnancy-symtoms

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

As a birth instructor myself, I love seeing husbands come to class excited and willing to participate. I speak from experience when I say it makes mammas very happy when you show you’re genuinely interested in what’s going on during a pregnancy.

I have to say I always thought the quote “A woman becomes a mother when she’s pregnant. A man becomes a father when he holds his child.” was right until I lived it. It may be different for each couple, but between Thomas and I, he definitely embraced the parenthood concept before I did. There were many nights of self-doubt with the typical pregnant brain thoughts of  “I’m not good enough…I’m going to screw this kids life up…she deserves better and she’s not even born yet.” It may have all been an act (I doubt it though) but Thomas was always there with a brave face to tell me I was going to be the best mommy in the world. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive man in my life. 

Here’s a little note to all the mommies to be….if you have a loving, caring, understanding partner do not take him for granted. This is harder on him than you know. Yes the pregnancy hormones will get to you, and he will just have to understand if you call him names or say you hate him during labor 😉 but this journey will be so much more rewarding if you take it on as a team. There are many women out there that do not have the blessing of an involved and supportive husband so try your hardest to show your gratitude.

As for you father to be out there….as a male you will never truly understand what pregnancy feels like but try your hardest. Listen to your wife, reassure her, help her even if she doesn’t ask for it, be involved, talk to your baby, and talk about the future. As I said above, this is a team “sport”. Yes it can be done alone, but you can make it a thousand time more rewarding to both of you if work together.

Birth is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life. In a single moment your life changes forever. You will never be 100% ready and you cannot predict how your life will change. Enjoy being a parent-to-be because, even if you have more kids in the future, this is a once in a life time experience.

Choices

“Home birth on the rise in the US” scrolled across the bottom of the TV as we were watching the local news the other night. In an overdramatic way I stood up and yelled “YESSS!”. Would I ever have a home birth? Probably not. But I am still thrilled that women are realizing they have CHOICES when it come to the birth of their baby.

When I told my mom at 6 weeks pregnant I wouldn’t even consider a hospital birth unless 110% necessary she looked at me like I was crazy. Then as I continued to explain that I wanted to birth at a birth center and planned to be home within hours of birth with my baby she thought I was making things up. She didn’t even know you were legally allowed to have a baby outside of a hospital intentionally. It’s been a year now since we took the tour of the Allen Birthing Center and met the midwives and I’m proud to say my  mom told me “I made a believer out of her”. I want all women to be “believers” and to know that even if you’re in a hospital to birth your baby you have choices and a say in how things happen! There is a birth revolution going on that I am so proud to be a part of.  Babies were born at home for years and years but we have gotten so far away from the beauty of birth and turned pregnancy into an illness that women are voluntarily being cut open to be “delivered of their children”. Deliveries are for pizzas, births are for babies.

Now, I have written several blogs and Facebook status about this topic and I always feel it necessary to state that I am not anti-doctor or think that cesarean should be banned etc etc, I just feel there is too much unnecessary intervention in the birth process for perfectly healthy low-risk pregnancies. There are times when a cesarean is 100% justified and saves lives. I am thankful that we have the technology and resources to be able to perform them or to intervene when the situation calls for it however the c-section rate should be around 3% not over 30% like it currently is!

By starting this online community I hope to reach women and families and give them the resources they need to educate themselves. What ever choices you make are best for you. I am not here to condemn anyones way of life or their parenting style. I simply want all expectant parents to know there are choices and it is your responsibility to educate yourself and to make the decisions right for your family and your situation!

I could ramble on and on about this but then I wouldn’t have any content for future blog posts 🙂

I have many plans for the future and hope that the Bump, Birth, and Baby Network will someday be a big part of  the North Dallas community.

Wish me luck on this new venture!

Kelsey