SRS: When did you decide to hire a doula? Was it always in your plan, or was there a moment when you decided?
Charity: With my first I wanted and planned for an unmedicated birth but ended up having a c-section due to him being breech. So when I became pregnant with my second, just 5 short months after my first was born, I knew immediately I wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)! I knew hiring a doula would greatly increase my chances of that VBAC.
SRS: What was the single most helpful thing a part of your birth team did for you while you were in labor?
Charity: Have confidence in me that I could have an unmedicated VBAC!
SRS: Did you seek out a specific care provider when you knew you wanted a VBAC?
Charity: I didn’t seek out a specific care provider as I was already with a midwife. I did take a class with Beth about VBAC’s which was extremely helpful!
SRS: What two things do you wish you would have been told before you were pregnant?
Charity: Your baby only needs YOU! Be confident in yourself as a mother.
SRS: What do you wish no one would have said to you while you were pregnant?
Charity: You’re pregnant again? Wow, that was quick!
SRS: What is the most indispensable thing that you have needed as a new mom?Charity: Help with everyday household needs!
SRS: What were you not able to do while pregnant that you couldn’t wait to do again?
Charity: Sleep on my belly!
SRS: What was the biggest surprise with the immediate postpartum time?
Charity: How quickly I adjusted to having 2 little ones. And how much easier nursing was the second time around.
SRS: What other life event should have a “doula”?
Update! I am no longer teaching for Pregnancy Arts as Deb has retired from CBE and commenced her career as a Certified Nurse Midwife! It’s very exciting for her, and our area is very lucky to have her in that roll. Therefore, I will continue teaching at Ypsi-Arbor Childbirth Education, Ariana and my joint venture. Check us out!
I get to teach childbirth education! This has been a dream for awhile, and while I have taught a few private classes here and there, I haven’t found a class model that I really wanted to teach in a group setting. Well, that’s not quite true, but the style of class I wanted to teach was already being taught, and by a fabulous, inspirational teacher.
Deb Rhizal, of Pregnancy Arts and Mara’s World, a doula, mother, and wellness coach, has the most fantastic, evidence-based, and feel good class I have attended. So much of her class has gone directly to my clients, as I try to emulate the feelings I left her class with, and share them with new families as they ask me questions about what to expect, and how to manage labor, birth, and the postpartum time.
Recently, Deb has been super busy with all sorts of new life adventures and letting go of the 6 week course was a necessary change to her schedule. I jumped on the opportunity! I believe this class, Birth and the First Three Months is important to have in our local Childbirth Education resource list. I think that it is essential to have available to help families really prepare, to be empowered to make the right choices for them and their birth. So, I asked if there was a way I could be entrusted with her curriculum, and continue to share it with the community. And she said YES!
The reason this class is so great is that it does an amazing job of speaking to all people. We all come to pregnancy and birth from a different place, with different stories, and different belief structures. This class can speak to everyone, from those planning a home birth, to those who feel most comfortable in the care of an OB. It covers labor and birth, but also the postpartum time, as families really do the hard work of adjusting to the major changes that come when you add another (tiny) person into the fold. This class is truly about encouraging women to do their research, both by reading, and asking questions, but also by looking inside and seeing what feels best.
So, here we are, just a month away from the start of class, and I am so excited! I am working on perfecting my presentations, and getting some feedback as I go along. It is going to happen, and I am so honored to get to work for Pregnancy Arts in this way. Check out all the great information Deb has on her website about the class, and please let your friends know that there is a really great class starting up again this fall! Registration is on the Pregnancy Arts website. I will be teaching at Indigo Forest in Ann Arbor.
Deb also teaches this class in a condensed version, as well as a breastfeeding class. Check those out too!
I have danced my whole life.
I’m sure my mother felt something while I was in the womb that told her I was going to be the first person on the dance floor at a wedding. Its in my blood and something I have to do. I know there are many others like me out there because I see you on the dance floor next to me or standing around tapping your feet waiting for the right time to bust a move.
When I became pregnant late last year, I was concerned about what physical limitations may be put on me and how it would effect my ability to shake a tail feather. Through education, research and advice from fellow doulas and friends in the community, I worked to develop my own dance class for pregnant and postpartum women based off of Dancing for Birth.
Dance For Birth Class
Through my Dance for Birth class I was able to remain active, become stronger, more agile, more at ease with my body, and both mentally and physically ready to embrace my unique birth experience. I combined birth dancing movements inspired by ancient dance forms such as Belly dance, African dance, Latin dance, and Caribbean dance. It’s a workout that challenges yet relaxes and uplifts you.
Since the birth of my son, I have continued to use the Dance for Birth movements to calm and soothe him. Its amazing how quickly he settles once I begin the movements he felt for months in the womb. He also participates with me in a wrap/sling while I teach class. Its a wonderful bond we have through dance. I will still be the first one on the dance floor pregnant or postpartum with my son…watch out!
For more information on Khaylen’s Dance for Birth class or to sign up, please visit hygeiacenter.org
Winter Session starts November 14th. Classes meet every Wednesday from 6-7:30pm