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Getting Pregnant Naturally & the Benefits of Natural Childbirth

26 Jul

Demystifying the Doula

28 Nov

What is a doula?

As a naturopathic doctor having also received training as a midwife, I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, hospital birth? Should I use a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.? No matter what you choose, I recommend that you have a doula at your birth.

A doula, as it pertains to childbirth, is a woman trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and some informational support to the mother before, during, and right after labor.

Let’s cut to the chase. Doulas of North America (DONA) International reminds us of the following facts:

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans.
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.

Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • feel more secure and cared for.
  • are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
  • have greater success with breastfeeding.
  • have greater self-confidence.
  • have less postpartum depression.
  • have lower incidence of abuse.

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog

Holistic Childbirth Preparation and Education

26 Nov

ONGOING | 7 Week Series | Private Sessions

Please email to schedule
Holistic Childbirth Preparation and Education
with Kate Naumes ND & Shannon Driscoll of Oil & Cotton Creative Exchange

This private class brings couples together in an inspiring environment to prepare for childbirth as they explore their pregnancies and unique experiences through journaling, discussion, and creative hands-on projects.

Do you desire a natural childbirth with as few medical interventions as possible? Are you planning a hospital or home birth but would like to find a Childbirth Education Class that helps you and your partner to prepare for a natural birth in either setting?

Natural birth is labor that proceeds without unnecessary medical interventions such as cesarean section, epidural anesthesia, or artificial induction of labor. When there are problems such interventions have their place, but for the vast majority of women, these medical interventions are simply not necessary.

Instead, what is needed is a holistic approach to childbirth education. Over the course of 7 weeks we will:
-Learn through interactive, creative participation, in a spirit of fun and curiosity
-Help give mothers-to-be insight about what labor and birth will be like from her perspective
-Prepare ourselves to be in labor & give birth as a mother
Practice relaxation and pain coping techniques weekly
Prepare ourselves to be new parents: baby care basics, getting breastfeeding off to a good start
-Get out of our heads and into our bodies

Who is this class for?
– “I’m having a home birth and I just need to find the right class to prepare for natural childbirth.”
– “I just know you’re supposed to take a childbirth education class.”
– “I already had a baby in a medicalized environment and was not happy. I am looking for a different approach this time around.”
– “I’m having a hospital birth but I’m hoping to avoid epidural, C- section and/or induction (ie medical intervention).”

7 week series –
To inquire about prices or to signup for a series appropriate for your due date please email

Natural Childbirth: Is it worth it?

1 Dec

Most expecting women will go out of their way to prepare for a healthy baby and to ensure the safest and healthiest birthing experience.  However, today epidurals are de rigueur, and many women mistakenly believe that a hospital birth is the best – or only – option. The fact is, for most women a natural birth is statistically safer than a medicated or Caesarian birth.

When it comes to having a baby, the least amount of intervention is best, assuming there are no complications. Ideally, a birth would take place at a free-standing birth center, or in your own home, with the care of a certified professional midwife (CPM) and a doula for support. CPMs are some of the best trained professionals for non-medicalized births.

Other options include, in order of most hands-off to most intervention-driven, certified nurse midwives, family practice doctors and OB/GYNs. Your chances of having an instrumental delivery go up just based on where you go.

If you want to have a healthy, safe, and natural birth, there are a few steps you should take to prepare yourself:

  • If you aren’t convinced that attempting a natural birth is right for you, educate yourself on the risks of epidurals and Caesarian deliveries to your baby and yourself.  For example, epidurals increase the risk of a forceps delivery and of vacuum extraction, both of which can negatively impact you and your child’s health.
  • Take child birth education classes to prepare for your big day.
  • Hire a doula to comfort and care for you.
  • Make sure your partner is prepared and supportive – this can come in many shapes and sizes.

Sometimes, due to complications, women cannot always deliver their baby naturally.  However, education and preparation through simple measures during preconception, as well a  professional midwife and doula, greatly increases the chances of natural birth. If an epidural is necessary or preferred, there are steps new mothers should take.  Ideally schedule an appointment or two with Dr. Naumes before your birth and then another one in the first week after delivery so that she can help support you during this healing process.

Keep in mind that although natural birth may be painful, it is worth it. Giving birth is a peak life experience, and normally the discomfort you will feel during a natural birth will be outweighed by the euphoria and love you feel after you deliver your baby.