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)

Celebrate Autumn With Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Autumn has finally arrived in Maryland and that means that is it pumpkin season. Almost everywhere you’ll find lattes, pies, and soups with its namesake. We are celebrating the harvest with the seeds of this seasonal squash. Also called pepitas, these little seeds are extremely nutrient dense, and contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Here are why pumpkin seeds are fall’s favorite superfood!

Protein During pregnancy you should be consuming an extra 25g of protein per day. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vegetarian protein with about 5g in a one-ounce serving. Adding some seeds to a salad or a smoothie is an easy way to increase your protein intake. Pepitas are also particularly high in tryptophan, one of the 9 amino acids that comprise protein. Tryptophan is used by your body to synthesize the hormone serotonin; which is partly responsible for nervous system health, sleep regulation, and muscle growth and repair.

Minerals Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of several essential and trace minerals.

  • Zinc Just one-quarter cup of pepitas provide nearly 20% of your recommended daily allowance of zinc. Consuming adequate levels of zinc helps maintain your metabolism, improves immune health, and facilitates digestion. Zinc is also vital to proper fetal development. Increasing your intake will help ensure you have a healthier pregnancy, birth, and baby.
  • Magnesium Pumpkin seeds are also a fantastic source of magnesium. This macro-mineral used by the body to form teeth and bones, synthesize proteins, regulate metabolism and maintain heart health. Obtaining more magnesium may also increase blood flow and nutrition to baby via the placenta.
  • Iron During pregnancy, blood volume increases 40-50%, and iron is required to make all those new red blood cells to transport oxygen through you body and to baby. Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of this essential mineral.

Omega-3  These fatty acids are crucial for brain growth and fetal development. Consuming sufficient amounts of Omega-3’s from foods like pumpkin seeds is linked to better birth outcomes including a higher placental weight, lower risk for preeclampsia, longer gestation, and higher birth weight.

B-Complex Vitamins  There are eight ‘B’ vitamins. All are crucial to normal body functions and a healthy pregnancy. The B-complex vitamins are essential for proper metabolism function, immune support, and normal nervous system growth in baby.

After you are finished carving your pumpkin make sure to set aside the seeds. Here are twelve plant-based recipes featuring pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Nourishing Recipes For The First Trimester

Nourishing recipes for the first trimester

Obtaining Essential Nutrients With Whole Foods

Eating a colorful, varied, and minimally processed diet is ideal for optimal health, and during pregnancy this becomes more apparent. Your body requires specific essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support and grow baby.

In these three recipes, I will explain why certain foods are ideal during the first trimester, and how their specific nutrients help you and baby. These nourishing dishes are all free from grains, dairy, and refined sugars.

First Trimester Smoothie

Coconut milk is a great alternative to traditional dairy; it is a rich source of several B-complex vitamins including B1, B3, B5, and B6. (There are 8 B-vitamins) Some of the many benefits include immune and nervous system support, and enhanced energy production. During pregnancy, you also require more protein to support the rapid growth of your placenta and baby. Almond butter is a delicious addition to the smoothie and a great source of plant protein.

½ sliced, frozen banana

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

3 tbsp almond butter

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ cup full fat coconut milk

¼ tsp lemon zest

Place all ingredients in blender and mix.

Ultimate Prenatal Lentil Salad

Adapted from My New Roots

This salad is particularly delicious! Lentils are an amazing source of folate, a B-vitamin that helps baby’s neural tube develop properly. Folate also helps support red blood cell production, which is important as your blood volume increases throughout pregnancy. Lentils contain a ton of protein and fiber, which really increases the satiety factor of this dish.

1 cup black (du puy) lentils, rinsed, cooked, and drained

¼ cup dried tart cherries

handful of finely chopped fresh herbs. (I enjoy mint and parsley)

3 tbsp chopped capers

¼ cup chopped almonds

Vinaigrette:

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp strong mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cinnamon

Place salad ingredients in bowl. Prepare vinaigrette by placing all ingredients in a jar with lid. Shake well to combine. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss everything together. This dish tastes best fresh at room temperature.

Wilted Greens with Creamy Lemon Tahini

Adapted from Love and Lemons

This recipe is loaded with superfoods. Dark leafy greens including spinach, chard, and kale are rich in vitamins and minerals. Greens like spinach are a surprisingly great source of calcium, which is needed for baby’s bone development. The addition of avocado lends more than creaminess to the sauce. It also contains high levels of vitamin B6, which helps baby’s brain development. Vitamin B6 can also ease nausea, a common first trimester symptom. Dark greens and the sesame tahini provide a superb source of iron, which supports red blood cell production, helping to prevent fatigue and anemia. Adding lemon to this dish enables your body absorb iron more effectively.

4 cups dark leafy greens (I prefer baby spinach)

1 cup broccoli florets

⅓ cup sesame tahini

½ avocado

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté greens and broccoli in olive oil and set aside. Blend tahini, avocado, and lemon together in food processor. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, to thin, if necessary. Plate greens and pour sauce on top.

Enjoy!

Salt & Protein Can Reduce Risk for Pre-eclampsia

Salt & Protein can reduce risk for preeclampsia

Eating a whole foods diet, with adequate amounts of protein, and water to thirst, can help alleviate many of the complications women face during pregnancy.  A diet high in protein can help repair and grow muscle, stabilize blood sugar, and can lower a mother’s risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Pre-eclampsia, a potentially life threatening condition, affects between 5-8% of mothers.  Symptoms include high blood pressure, edema, rapid weight gain, visual disturbances, headaches, and pain in the upper right quadrant.  The only cure for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby.

When I was pregnant with my first son, my midwife suggested I eat 80-120 grams of protein a day.  Without fully understanding why this was so important, I gave it a shot, but really didn’t track my protein intake too closely.  Around 35 weeks, my blood pressure started to rise, and at every prenatal appointment it was higher and higher.  In an effort to reduce my blood pressure, friends and family told me to cut my salt intake, and unfortunately, I listened.  As a result, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks and risked out of my homebirth.  At 37 weeks, I went to the hospital for an induction and had a very difficult birth that ended up being vastly different than anything I had hoped or planned for.  I learned the hard way just how important protein and salt intake is in the maternal diet.

As someone who has experienced pre-eclampsia, it is important that I help spread the message about how diet can impact your and baby’s health and birth.  This graphic explains how the body reacts when mom does not consume enough protein, calories and salt.

pregnant woman prepares a meal

(The Brewer Diet can be very beneficial to pregnant mothers and focuses on a whole foods diet that is high in protein. This website is a wonderful resource to for those interested in learning more about The Brewer Diet. Proper nutrition really can make a huge difference in your birth experience.)