A New Podcast Is Delivering Strength To The Cleveland Birth Community

Delivering Strength a podcast about pregnancy and birth The Nurturing Root

Expectant and young families in Cleveland now have access to a fresh new resource for pregnancy and birth! Delivering Strength is a Cleveland-based podcast that addresses a variety of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum health topics. Delivering Strength is co-created by Dr. Candace Gesicki, a chiropractor practicing in Independence, Ohio, and Anna Marie Murphy, a marketing professional, new mother, and holistic health aficionado, living in University Heights, Ohio. Dr. Candace and Anna Marie are thrilled about the opportunity to give mothers and families resources and support, so they can have an informed and empowered pregnancy, birth, and parenting experience. Delivering Strength’s mission is to educate and empower women to become their own biggest health advocates! The podcast format includes interviews with a variety of local birth and wellness professionals and experts, and explores topics and resources important to the overall health of Northeast Ohio women and families.

The release of the Delivering Strength podcast comes at a very special time for both Dr. Candace and Anna Marie. In addition to being a chiropractor, certified in the Webster Technique, specializing in prenatal and postpartum health, Dr. Candace, is a regional director with BirthFit, a fitness-based wellness and education program for expectant and new mothers, and is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, offering acupuncture services. She is also expecting her first child in late 2017! Anna Marie’s desire to support the birth community with this podcast, was bore from her somewhat challenging journey to motherhood. Frustrated with the lack of support, concern, and resources from her obstetrician and family doctor, Anna Marie researched more integrative approaches to assist her with fertility challenges. Anna Marie intimately understands the difficulties families endure looking for support outside the scope of mainstream medicine. Thankfully, her intuition, research, and resolve paid off, big time. Anna Marie welcomed her first child earlier this year. Anna Marie and Dr. Candace’s dedication to achieving optimal wellness and supporting the birth community brought them together to create Delivering Strength.  We are so grateful to them both, for this amazing new resource!

The Delivering Strength podcast has released four episodes, as of August 2017. Listeners have the opportunity to learn more about Delivering Strength’s mission and its co-creator’s wellness journeys, hear a great pregnancy and birth story about an unmedicated hospital birth overseen by the Midwives at Lake West Hospital, and learn about postpartum thyroid concerns with Dr. Jerrica Sweetnich, an Akron-based Naturopathic Doctor. Additionally, hear all about building the most supportive and encouraging birth team. The episode we recorded with Delivering Strength, is dedicated to providing resources, facts, and information about how crucial it is to surround yourself with the best birth team. Listen to the episode featuring Alayna Spratley, Ohio Director of The Nurturing Root, here! The Delivering Strength podcast is a wonderful resource for expectant and new parents looking for a community of birth support in greater Cleveland. You can listen to all of the episodes from the Delivering Strength podcast, here.

The Nurturing Root is delivering strength to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio families with a thoughtful array of holistic pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support services. We help couples on their journey to parenthood with natural childbirth education and parenting classes, in-home placenta encapsulation services, and postpartum doula and infant care. The Nurturing Root is honored to support and educate the Cleveland birth community. Please contact us for more information!

How We Are Improving Birth For Cleveland Families

The Nurturing Root Rally to Support Improving Birth Chardon Ohio

Improving Birth is a non-profit coalition of organizations that advocates for evidence-based care, and the right for women to make informed decisions in childbirth! We are proud to share Improving Birth’s mission, which is to inform, support, engage, and empower families and community members, with strategic tools, to improve our cultural and institutional birth climate. Here are three ways, The Nurturing Root is Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

We are Improving Birth by giving families access to evidenced-based childbirth education!
It is an honor to serve Cleveland families with our extensive offering of childbirth education workshops. We teach a variety of Birth Boot Camp childbirth education courses. This curriculum is largely based on the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, which was written by Improving Birth, as part of, The Consensus Initiative From The Coalition For Improving Maternity Services. Our childbirth classes are intended to educate and empower families with facts, resources, and support, so they can truly make informed decisions for their pregnancy and birth. We offer classes to help couples have an amazing hospital birth, training to prepare families for their empowering home birth experience, and comfort measures workshops, to give pregnant couples tools and techniques, so they can stay positive and enjoy their labor.

We are Improving Birth by advocating for expectant families!
We absolutely love serving pregnant and new Cleveland families by providing doula support. We are an advocate for you and your birthing wishes! We provide encouragement, support, practical assistance, and information during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Our purpose is to support your desires and expectations in childbirth.

We are Improving Birth by providing access to trusted community resources!
There are several organizations and services supporting pregnant and new families in Northeast Ohio. As active and engaged members in various Cleveland area pregnancy, birth, and parenting communities, we are happy to offer referrals and recommendations to providers that are also Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

Please join The Nurturing Root, on Labor Day, at the Improving Birth Rally in Chardon, Ohio. We are tremendously thankful for Shauna Rich and Danielle Breach, co-owners of Mother Rising Women’s Studio, for organizing the Improving Birth Rally. It is with great excitement, that we support and participate in this empowering event.

If you would like more information about how The Nurturing Root can help your family throughout the childbearing year, with childbirth education classes, doula care, and placenta encapsulation services, please contact us here!

Five Reasons Couples LOVE Birth Boot Camp

childbirth education classes in Cleveland Birth Boot Camp

We are thrilled to offer Cleveland families Birth Boot Camp® childbirth preparation classes. This comprehensive 10-class course is designed for couples planning an unmedicated birth. Birth Boot Camp offers a modern, fun curriculum to help parents achieve an amazing birth! Our Birth Boot Camp training can help you have an intentional, empowering, and positive pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. Here are the top five reasons couples love their Birth Boot Camp courses!

Thoughtful and Complete Curriculum
Birth Boot Camp presents the most current, evidence-based information from midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, chiropractors, and a community of birthing experts. Our 10-class series offers approximately 25 hours of in-person instruction time, complete with birth and prenatal exercise videos. Couples also receive a beautiful 170-page workbook featuring weekly nutrition and fitness information, labor comfort measures, and relaxation exercises. All students also receive a breastfeeding video download from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over three hours of pertinent breastfeeding and troubleshooting information. Additionally, after each class, we send couples a weekly email containing further research, information, and articles related to that evening’s topic.

Supportive and Encouraging Community
It feels awesome to be surrounded by supportive people that share your values. All of our students come to Birth Boot Camp because they want to have an amazing birth. Birth Boot Camp instructors love helping couples access the resources and information they need to have a healthy pregnancy, empowering birth, and restorative postpartum experience. The 10-week series is also wonderful because it allows students to connect with other couples planning a natural birth. The Birth Boot Camp village is strong, thriving, and growing!

Your Partner is Prepared to be an Amazing Birth Companion
The Birth Boot Camp 10-week series is for couples, not just mom, and this is purposeful. The pregnancy and birth journey is a transformative time in your relationship. We help teach your partner how to lead you into deep relaxation, find and support your rhythm, and confidently provide labor comfort measures. Dads also learn all about the physical and emotional side of pregnancy, labor, and birth. Birth Boot Camp gives couples so many tools to be successful partners-in-birth.

Infant Care and Postpartum Planning Resources
Birth is just the beginning! Many couples have an awesome birth experience, but once baby is here, they are unsure about how to proceed with their little one. Caring for a fragile newborn can be a cause of anxiety for new parents. Birth Boot Camp knows this, and we dedicate an entire class to infant care. We discuss common newborn procedures, typically performed just after birth, and the alternatives. As prepared, informed parents, you will learn to confidently decide what is right for your baby. We also learn about newborn sleep patterns, normal infant behavior, breastfeeding, and soothing techniques. We help mothers and their partners prepare and plan their best postpartum experience. We want parents to have a realistic understanding of what birth recovery and infant care may look like. We talk about postpartum nutrition, healing, setting expectations and boundaries with family and friends, finding professional support and resources, postpartum emotions, breastfeeding, and even, sex and intimacy!

Birth Boot Camp Works!
Our students rock their natural births. The statistics from 2016 report that 84% of Birth Boot Camp graduates achieved a vaginal birth, and only 16% of students delivered their baby by Cesarean section. Of our students that had vaginal deliveries, nearly 80% birthed WITHOUT ANY pain medication! By comparison, the national C-section rate (2015) was 32%, and only about 20% of women who delivered vaginally did so without pain medication. These statistics speak truth! Birth Boot Camp students have the information, resources, support, intent, and confidence to have their ideal birth experience!

birth boot camp classes birth statistics 2016

It is such an honor to teach Birth Boot Camp childbirth education classes in Cleveland and help couples reach their birth goals! Birth Boot Camp childbirth and parenting education classes are now available through Cleveland Natural Birth. Please check out their website for a full description of courses and workshops and upcoming community events. (updated April 8, 2018)

Ohio Offers Free Baby Boxes To New Parents

baby box program The Nurturing Root

Ohio is now offering new parents a free Baby Box filled with essential newborn items. Learn about this awesome universal initiative and find out how to get your Baby Box!

The Baby Box Company is working with hospitals, community health organizations, and the non-profit Babies Need Boxes Ohio to give away cardboard box beds, for every newborn in the state this year, in an effort to reduce high infant-mortality rates.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported a decline in sudden unexplained infant deaths since the mid-1990’s, after introducing the ‘back to sleep’ campaign. Health officials began telling parents to place babies on their backs to sleep in an effort to reduce infant death rates. Though this campaign was quite successful, thousands of babies still die every year from from preventable sleep related deaths. Ohio has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the country, and the number of babies dying from sleep-related causes has actually increased in recent years. It is, largely in part, due to these statistics that The Baby Box Company brought this program to Ohio.

The Baby Box program may be a new idea to Ohio families, but is actually a 75 year old Finnish tradition. During the 1930s, Finland had very high infant mortality rates. In an aggressive effort to lower these deaths, Finland introduced a universal maternity care package in 1938. The initiative entitles every expectant woman in the country to a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from  healthcare professionals. This effort is credited with radically decreasing the country’s infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013. Finland now boasts one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

Ohio is now the second State to offer this program to all new and expectant parents. New Jersey launched the inaugural Baby Box program in January 2017.

Supporters of this effort say the box-beds can be used during an infant’s first months to reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths. The Baby Box Company and its affiliates want to distribute as many as 140,000 boxes this year, which is about the number of annual births in Ohio. “We don’t really think that this in itself is going to stop infant sleep-related deaths, but it’s a way for us to give parents the education and tools to make that less likely, [and to] help them succeed,” said Celina Cunanan, Director of Midwifery Services for University Hospitals in Cleveland. The universal approach of this program will help all babies have equal access to a safe sleep space and essential items.

To get your baby box, register with Baby Box University, select the ‘Ohio Syllabus’ and complete the watchlist with quiz.  The videos discuss various topics, including: prenatal health, safe-sleep practices, breastfeeding, child-spacing, and perinatal mental health. Once complete, you can print your certificate and pick-up a baby box at participating locations, or have it mailed to your home.

The Nurturing Root is very excited about the Baby Box program. We are committed to helping expectant and new families with evidence-based information, education, and community resources. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about Northeast Ohio Baby Box pick-up locations.

Is Placenta The Perfect Postnatal Supplement?

placenta encapsulation Cleveland

While pregnant did you take a prenatal supplement? And what about after baby is born; have you considered taking a postnatal vitamin? It is well known that a high quality prenatal supplement can provide you with extra folate, vitamin D, and magnesium to support a healthy pregnancy. Once baby arrives, you may still need additional vitamins to facilitate breastfeeding and healing. Your placenta may be the perfect postpartum supplement! In this post I’ll discuss what hormones, nutrients, and vitamins are present in your placenta, various research supporting placenta consumption, and how it can help you heal and find balance during the postpartum transition period.

What hormones, nutrients, & vitamins are in my placenta?

Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH) Stress relieving hormone.
Human Placental Lactogen (hPL) Regulates maternal insulin, protein, and fat levels; promotes breast tissue growth.
Oxytocin Decreases pain; controls uterine contractions; enhances ‘letdown’ reflex; counteracts stress hormones.
Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF) Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids reducing pain.
Prolactin (PRL) Promotes lactation and increases milk supply.
Interferon Signaling protein that stimulates the immune system to help fight infections.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Regulates metabolism and energy, and supports recovery from stressful events.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Type of antibody that protects against infections and enhances immune system response.
Fibrin Stabilizing Factor (XIII) Enzyme that stops bleeding and promotes wound healing.
Vitamin B-6 An essential vitamin that supports metabolism, energy levels, and nervous system function.
Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) An iron-rich protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.

What research supports postnatal placenta consumption?

The research surrounding the positive attributes of placenta encapsulation is very promising. Your placenta is the lifeline to your baby, and this temporary organ is made to nourish. It brings vital nutrients and exchanges waste, to support the normal growth and development of your baby. Your placenta is also an integral member of your endocrine system. It produces and contains critical hormones, nutrients, and molecules, including: corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), human placental lactogen (hPL), oxytocin, placental opioid-enhancing factor (POEF), and more.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone is a stress relieving hormone usually produced by the hypothalamus. But during pregnancy, your placenta takes over synthesization of CRH. A woman’s level of CRH increases three-fold during pregnancy. After birth, it takes a few weeks for the hypothalamus to begin re-regulating CRH. Low levels of CRH in postpartum women may be linked to depression.

Human placental lactogen is responsible for regulating maternal insulin, protein, and fat levels, to benefit the growth of the baby. It is crucial for milk gland stimulation and for the initiation of colostrum production. In a small study from the 1950’s, 210 new mothers were given dried placenta, which is rich in hPL. Over 86% of participants in the study noted an increase in milk production.

Oxytocin, often called ‘the love hormone’, is responsible for uterine contractions and the ‘letdown’ reflex while breastfeeding. Oxytocin also promotes love, empathy, and bonding. When you consume your placenta, its high levels of oxytocin can help slow your postpartum bleeding, relieve discomfort, and facilitate breastfeeding.

Placental opioid-enhancing factor is only present in the placenta and amniotic fluid. POEF can stimulate the production of your body’s natural opioids, reducing pain and enhancing your sense of wellness. In one study, the benefits of placenta ingestion by nonhuman mammalian mothers (rats) are significant. It provoked an increase in mother-infant interaction, and increased the effects of pregnancy-mediated pain relief.

How can a postnatal placenta supplement help me recover from birth?

Our culture of childbirth and the postpartum period are rife with trauma, stress, anxiety, and depression. Placenta encapsulation presents a gentler, and perhaps, biologically normal, way of balancing the chaos that can come with a new baby.

Placenta is ancient medicine for modern healing. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using placenta as a remedy for 1400 years. The many hormones and nutrients found in your placenta can help you heal, and find optimal balance, during the postpartum transition period. Choosing to encapsulate your placenta may help:

Balance Hormones
Support Lactation & Enhance Milk Supply
Replenish Iron, Minerals, & Vitamins
Mitigate Postpartum Bleeding
Provide Natural Pain Relief
Ease ‘Baby Blues’
Decrease Severity of Postpartum Mood Disorders
Boost Energy

Welcoming a new baby is a joyous occasion, but this exciting time of transition can be challenging. Our placenta encapsulation services can help you have a calmer, more peaceful, and restorative postpartum experience.

3 Things Every Pregnant Mom Must Know

Pregnant in Baltimore

You’re pregnant, congratulations! There is so much to do to prepare for a new baby and even more to learn. We recommend taking a quality childbirth education class, but in the meantime, here are 3 things every pregnant mom must know.

Eat protein.

Eating adequate protein is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Not only does it help grow and heal muscles (we are going a human after all), but it provides moms-to-be with energy, all while stabilizing blood sugars and helping reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Blood volume increases 50-60% during pregnancy, and daily protein intake supports that extra volume.  Without it, mom’s blood vessels constrict, increasing blood pressure and potentially leading to pre-eclampsia.  It is recommended that pregnant moms consume 80g of protein daily.  Eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, yogurt… eat all the protein!

 

An epidural is more than just a needle. 

I support women in their birth choices, regardless of what they are.  I also believe in true informed consent.  Many times, women decide to get an epidural and they don’t realize or aren’t told all that comes with the epidural.  Epidurals, like dehydration, can lower blood pressure.  Therefore, before the epidural can be given, mom must receive 2 bags of IV fluids to ensure she’s hydrated.  Once the epidural is given, mom will be hooked up to an electronic fetal monitor.  A pulse oximeter will be placed on her finger, and a blood pressure cuff on her arm.  Because mom won’t be able to get up to use the bathroom, a catheter will need to be placed.  Epidurals are known to slow contractions, so pitocin will likely be given to make contractions stronger. As you can see, there’s a lot more to an epidural than just a needle.  

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Choosing a care provider and birth location are the biggest decisions you will make during your pregnancy.

You can prepare for your birth for 9 months.  You can eat well, take a childbirth class, and hire a doula, but if you don’t choose your care provider carefully, it can derail the birth you are hoping for.  It is imperative that you and your care provider are on the same page and have the same values regarding birth.  For example, if you are desiring a natural birth, choosing a provider with a high induction or cesarean rate will only make achieving your birth goals an uphill battle.  It’s important to ask your care provider tough questions, but it’s equally important to get satisfactory answers.  If you feel rushed, blown off, or mocked, it might be time to shop around.

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If you’re pregnant in Baltimore and looking for a modern, comprehensive childbirth education class, take at look at our Birth Boot Camp curriculum.  We cover these topics and many more in our 10-week class and will leave you and your partner feeling confident and ready.  Contact us to discuss how we can help you and your partner prepare for an amazing birth!