Strong Birth Journeys

Strong Birth Journeys Birth and Post Partum Doula serving the CSRA. I am honored to be serving Augusta and the greater CSRA as a birth and postpartum doula. I am a DONA trained birth doula and will have my DONA certification completed in the near future.
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As a mother of two children myself, I believe that birth is truly a transformative experience and that all women deserve and can benefit from the presence of a trained female birth companion. It is my hope that all women can come to see birth as something to be anticipated with confidence, not something to be feared. As your birth doula, I will help provide resources and information regarding birth options, so that you can make informed decisions as to what is best for YOUR family. It is my desire to emotionally and physically support you and your partner through the birth process, whether that be unmedicated, medicated, or C-section. Each mother should have the opportunity to feel empowered throughout her pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period. Once you have welcomed your new baby, you may need help with daily tasks so that you can recover from birth more easily and spend important time bonding with your baby. As a postpartum doula, I can offer breastfeeding support, run errands, perform light housework and cooking, and watch your baby or older children so that you can get the rest you need. My hope and goal is that you will truly feel that you experienced a strong beginning in your new life as a family. For more information on specific services offered, please see my website: www.strongbirthjourneys.com

08/11/2020
Empowered Birth

Looking for a virtual childbirth class! Check out this option offered by my friend, Amanda.

Join us in just one week for our last Bradley Series (and last childbirth class offering) of 2020! We are offering this 10 week series virtually, and it will start August 18 from 6-8 PM. There are only a couple spots left and they are going fast, so don't wait to register!

The Bradley Method® is an indepth course with a focus on physiologic childbirth including topics like exercise and nutrition, pregnancy, stages of labor, comfort measures and partner support, advocacy, breastfeeding, postpartum and more.

You can register by emailing [email protected] or you can visit https://www.empoweredbirthcsra.com/bradley for more information about the course. We'd love to have you join us!

#empoweredbirth #csra #augustaga #augusta #georgia #birth #childbirth #childbirtheducation #birthmatters #pregnancy #pregnant #empowered #virtual #bradleymethod

I’m catching up on a little doula industry reading tonight and thought I’d remind you that yes, Doulas are STILL here fo...
08/11/2020

I’m catching up on a little doula industry reading tonight and thought I’d remind you that yes, Doulas are STILL here for you in the middle of a pandemic! 👊

What that doula support looks like for you can vary widely based on your particular state/county guidelines and your birth setting.
Obviously, hospitals have more restrictions, and the ability for doulas to attend births varies by location. Even within my own town, 1 hospital is allowing doulas while 2 others are not.

Doulas and birthing families are typically experiencing the most freedom with birth support in home births or birth centers. However, keep in mind that you still need to communicate regularly about the health precautions you are most comfortable with.

But the most important point is that even if doulas can’t attend births in person, we have been working hard to provide virtual support! This can include texting, video chatting, phone calls, preparing videos ahead of time to demonstrate comfort measures, and so much more! It can vary based on what each family prefers, but provides vital information and support that mothers need more than ever in this unusual birth climate!

Doulas help prepare you to advocate well for yourself, make sure your partner is comfortable in supporting you, help you know your options prior to birth, and provide reassurance...all virtually!

Drop your questions below about doula support in the Covid era. 👇🏽

Breastfeeding my children was something I was so grateful to be able to do, but it didn’t come easily with our first chi...
08/07/2020

Breastfeeding my children was something I was so grateful to be able to do, but it didn’t come easily with our first child. There were so many tears over weight gain, latch, “why won’t he eat?”, and more.

Our second child was far easier. Truly, all I had to do was put her to the breast and she did the rest, gaining weight like a champ.

I try to encourage every mother I know that the journeys differ and that’s ok. It doesn’t make you more or less of a mother. Just because one BF journey is extremely difficult doesn’t mean the next one will be. And breastfeeding doesn’t define whether you’re a success or a failure as a mother. 💖💖💖

Give yourself grace, ask for help when you need it, and celebrate all victories, big or small.

As World Breastfeeding Week, closes out, what are you grateful for in your breastfeeding journey today?

📷: @maidenmusgrove

08/05/2020

The topic of informed consent REALLY gets me going. PSA: you have a right to be fully informed and either agree or disagree on any treatment/intervention suggested before it is performed.

https://youtu.be/ebrXYGkSgz0

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! No matter how long you breastfed - 1 day, week, month, or year, you have your child some...
08/03/2020

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! No matter how long you breastfed - 1 day, week, month, or year, you have your child something uniquely YOU!

I breastfed 44 months between 2 children, but one journey was much easier than the other! Every situation is unique.

What BF win are you celebrating today?

Head on over to our podcast page to enter to win a Haakaa pump and breastfeeding book!
08/01/2020

Head on over to our podcast page to enter to win a Haakaa pump and breastfeeding book!

Our first episode launches in the next few days! Enter our drawing to help us celebrate!

Geeeeeet ready for our PODCAST! One of my birth worker BFF’s, Sally Wood (IBCLC) and I are launching this baby into the ...
07/30/2020

Geeeeeet ready for our PODCAST! One of my birth worker BFF’s, Sally Wood (IBCLC) and I are launching this baby into the world next week!

NEXT WEEK!!! The very first episode of our podcast will be released next week! Stay tuned for the date AND for details about our upcoming giveaways!!

Oh hey! It’s your friendly neighborhood doula here accepting the #strongwomen challenge. And when I think about all the ...
07/29/2020

Oh hey! It’s your friendly neighborhood doula here accepting the #strongwomen challenge.

And when I think about all the strong women in my life who have impacted my life for the better (and there are many!), I really find myself pausing and smiling when I think about YOU- the former and current clients in my life, as well as friends following this account. Because you rise to the challenges of motherhood daily, and that is no easy feat! Add in pandemic pregnancy/birth/parenting and WOW - we’re on a whole new plane now!

I named my business Strong Birth Journeys 5 years ago, because I truly wanted to impart to everyone woman I serve as doula that no matter what her birth looks like, she is strong and capable. And you come through this journey of bringing a child into the world or raising a child realizing you walked through so much more than you ever thought you could. And even in moments of uncertainty and self doubt, nothing shows strength more than asking for help.

Thank you for continuing to inspire me with your journeys. It’s an extra hard time to be a mom right now, so let’s go out there and support each other with extra kindness and grace. 💜💜💜

This is a truly fascinating phenomenon we are starting to see! While I’ve personally had clients with premature babies d...
07/20/2020

This is a truly fascinating phenomenon we are starting to see! While I’ve personally had clients with premature babies during Covid, if the overall rates are down, that is amazing!

The positive side effects, or silver linings, of covid distancing are fascinating —- exponentially less SIDS cases, far less premature births, physicians specializing in childhood anxiety who have reported that 100% of pediatric patients they see with clinical anxiety have shown dramatic improvement - most to the point that they wouldn’t even be classified as having anxiety any longer... Entire practices seeing virtually no illness of other kinds among pediatric patients either.

Maybe ...maybe... there is something to be said for keeping parents and babies and children together, for not pressuring and rushing birth, for not pathologizing pregnancy, for allowing children (and new/expecting moms) the ability to get enough sleep, to cocoon together at home (not always, but sometimes), and to not be rushed around to this or that event/class/early appointment/daycare/7am school, 3pm afterschool... among *other* things... 💞 Maybe.

There are so many nations that don’t have the SIDS and childhood anxiety and birth morbidity that the US has... maybe we are catching a tiny glimpse into why this is.

During Coronavirus Lockdowns, Some Doctors Wondered: Where Are the Preemies?
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/19/health/coronavirus-premature-birth.html

Off FB sharing: http://www.DrMomma.org/2020/07/covids-silver-lining-fewer-preemies.html

Peaceful Parenting Community • DrMomma.org

Truly phenomenal!
07/14/2020

Truly phenomenal!

Biddy Bridget Mason (1815-1891) was born into slavery and given as a wedding gift to a Mormon couple in Mississippi named Robert and Rebecca Smith. In 1847 at age 32, Biddy Mason was forced to walk from Mississippi to Utah tending cattle behind her master’s 300-wagon caravan.

After four years in Salt Lake City, Smith took the group to a new Mormon settlement in San Bernardino, California in search of gold. Biddy Mason soon discovered that the California State Constitution made slavery illegal, and that her master planned to move them all to Texas to avoid freeing them. With the help of some free blacks she had befriended, she and the other slaves attempted to run away to Los Angeles, but they were intercepted by Smith and brought back. However, when he tried to leave the state with his family and slaves, a local posse prevented his flight. Biddy had Robert Smith brought into court on a writ of habeas corpus. She, her daughters, and the ten other slaves were held in jail for their own safety until the judge heard the case and granted their freedom.

Now free, Mason and her three daughters moved to Los Angeles where they worked and saved enough money to buy a house at 331 Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. Biddy was employed as a nurse, midwife, and domestic servant. She was one of the first black women to own land in the city of Los Angeles. She had the gumption to use part of her land as a temporary resting place for horses and carriages, and people visiting town paid money in exchange for the space. This can be considered the first "parking lot" in Los Angeles!

Knowing what it meant to be oppressed and friendless, Biddy Mason immediately began a philanthropic career by opening her home to the poor, hungry, and homeless. Through hard work, saving, and investing carefully, she was able to purchase large amounts of real estate including a commercial building, which provided her with enough income to help build schools, hospitals, and churches. Her financial fortunes continued to increase until she accumulated a fortune of almost $300,000. In today's money, that would be $6M. Her most noted accomplishment is the founding of the First AME Church in California. #BiddyMason #BlackHistory

Need a childbirth class? Here’s a great local option!
07/10/2020

Need a childbirth class? Here’s a great local option!

Our final childbirth class offering for 2020 will be a 10 week Bradley series beginning August 13.

I love this class for how in depth it is and how well you get to know your classmates. Not only do you leave feeling confident and prepared for birth, but you leaving having started building your village for postpartum!

You can register by emailing [email protected]

Space is limited with 5 spots still available.

https://www.empoweredbirthcsra.com/bradley

07/10/2020
The Women’s Health Podcast

Mind blowing info re: endometriosis. 🤯🤯🤯

Wow, this episode is a doozy!

We think EVERYONE should listen to this episode, whether you are a medical /fitness professional or general public....this information is so important.

After 23 years of misdiagnosis, Sallie embraced her struggles with endometriosis to forge a new pathway for all who suffer from the disease and its associated conditions. She is a practicing pelvic physical therapist specialising in endometriosis and subsequently occult hernia who has gone on to found The Endometriosis Summit - the largest patient and practitioner gathering for endometriosis in the United States with Dr Andrea Vidali and is a driving force behind iCareBetter, a new endometriosis education portal and video vetting system for endometriosis excisionists in North and South America. Sallie is currently weathering the USA's Covid life with her two poodles, and parents while doing telehealth to the endometriosis world.

In this interview we discuss:
- what endometriosis is and how common it is (one in ten women!!).
- how those lesions make their own oestrogen (and progesterone) and nerve/blood supply.
- why hysterectomies don't cure endometriosis
- the history of diagnosis of endometriosis and some of the theories that have existed over time
- how in endometriosis, the tissue can extend as far as the lungs and pericardium. The only organ in the body that hasn't been shown to have endo is the spleen!
- how birth control can modulate the period but not the disease
- how you can get endo in the skin - typically iatrogenic such as being dragged by a surgical scalpel
- how diagnosis is made. Typically imaging is not helpful. Gold standard = laparoscopy.
- Staging of the disease is not well correlated with pain experienced
- the common symptoms associated with endo - including cramps, painful periods, IBS-like symptoms, pain with deep penetration, back pain, leg pain, tailbone pain, rib pain, leaking for no reason, increased urinary frequency, issues with fertility, nose bleeds with periods, neck pain and reflux, symptoms at ovulation (bowel problems worse with periods and ovulation)
- how girls/women are often taught to be warriors and put up with pain. The message is often that period pain is normal and needs to be put up with.
- some of the changes that are happening around the world to educate high school girls about periods (see resources below)
- that symptoms may be there early in life such as inflammatory issues in the gut, but not diagnosed until older age when having fertility issues.
- how early menstruation is associated with higher risk of endometriosis
- teens don't always need to rush in for surgery. Birth control can modulate symptoms in some people. It does not treat the disease.
- some of the conversations to be had around providing contraceptive pills in children.
- how endometriosis itself can impact ovarian reserve
- the receptor site sensitivity for progesterone can be down-regulated in some women with endo. Some docs will throw more progesterone into the system, which may not do anything. So different pills need to be considered
- how the type of surgery is important - ablation just burns off the top, you need excision surgery to remove the roots
- the current limitations in the medical system - in terms of education of doctors and gynaecologists.
- how health and fitness professionals can help women with endo - by being aware of the different symptoms that can be related to endo and screen further. How exercise can help improve mobility around the scar. Try and meet your clients where they are at and tap into the activities that they enjoy.
- some of the questions that you can ask if you suspect a client has endometriosis
- how every woman deserves treatment and some of the gaslighting that still goes on within the medical system
- how as physiotherapists we can support our clients with endometriosis - through connecting with our clients and teaching them that they will need to advocate for themselves. Educate re: central nervous system sensitisation and teach the client tips to help them regulate this such as meditation/ breathing exercises and some cardiovascular exercise.
- the Endometriosis Summit - usually every March. This year was over 700 people! In October there will be an Endometriosis Reproductive Immunology conference online.
- how iCareBetter is putting together a list of excisionists and doing blinded studies on the surgeons

Resources:
https://www.theendometriosissummit.com/
https://www.endowhat.org/
https://nzendo.org.nz/education-in-schools/

You can find Sallie here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sallie.sarrel
Website: https://salliesarrel.com
Email: [email protected]

Local childbirth class option!
06/22/2020

Local childbirth class option!

LAST EVIDENCE BASED BIRTH® CHILDBIRTH CLASS OF 2020 begins on July 26!

If you're looking for a childbirth class that will boost your confidence in your upcoming birth and are wanting to learn about comfort measures, evidence based care, and advocacy, this class is for you!

All EBB Childbirth Classes are currently being offered 100% virtually. I'd love to have you join us! Space is limited to 6 couples, and with it being the last one this calendar year, you do not want to miss out. Register with the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/84260777253

#pregnancy #childbirthclass #evidencebasedbirth #evidencebasedbirthchildbirthclass #pregnant #csra #evidencebasedcare #virtualclass #childbirtheducation #columbiacounty #augusta #augustaga #aiken #aikensc #northaugusta #evansga #georgia #thingstodoinaugusta #loveaugusta #empoweredbirth

Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible dads out there! The way you raise your children is making a difference in this ...
06/21/2020

Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible dads out there! The way you raise your children is making a difference in this world.

Evidence Based Birth
06/19/2020

Evidence Based Birth

We are grateful to the Juneteenth.com World Wide Celebration resource page for the following: ⁠

"Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement." ⁠

We are commemorating Juneteenth by sharing reading recommendations for listening and learning.⁠

How will you commemorate Juneteenth today?

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Please join families in the CSRA for the Climb Out of the Darkness on June 23, 9am, Pendleton King Park. Using the longest day of the year to make the climb and raise awareness about maternal mental health, postpartum depression and other pregnancy related mental health concerns. Join Team Augusta-CSRA at www.climb-out-2018.causevox.com/team/AugustaCSRAGA
Figured I’d go through here instead of a personal message in case anyone else ever needs the info...where’s the best place to resell cloth diapers (and any advice)? I LOVED doing it, but with daycare not using them and crazy amounts of laundry already, we’ve slowly just stopped. I hate to get rid of them but it seems a waste for them to just sit there 😞