My name is Kim Martino-Sexton. Since 1998 I have had the honor of standing in the presence of thousands of newborn family miracles. My intention is to deliver up the very best education about life’s most important moments. I hope you find value in what is written here.
A birth doula is a trained and experienced labor support professional. She has a passion for empowering women and their families during pregnancy, labor and birth. Most birth doulas have attended both hospital and home births. Doulas support women and couples through all types of births. Studies have shown that a doulas presence produces more positive birth outcomes, reduces medical interventions and c-sections.
Birth doulas provides so much more than labor and birth support. Starting with your first consultative meeting you will find out that doulas possess a wealth of information about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, newborn care and much more. Whether you are choosing to birth at home, hospital or birth center there is a doula uniquely qualified to support your needs. A doula’s scope of practice is broad, here are a few of the typical services most doulas provide.
- Birth Team Construction – (choosing an ob, midwife, hospital…)
- Childbirth education overview and/or referral
- Prenatal home visits
- Phone, text and email support
- On-going doctor visit preparation and reflection
- Pregnancy exercises and relaxation techniques
- Birth plan creation and birth team communication tips
- Reassurance, referrals and support
- Empowering support for your unique pregnancy and birth needs
- Breastfeeding and newborn nutrition education
- Newborn baby care and readiness tips
- Newborn parent preparation and sleep tips
- Postpartum preparation suggestions
- Postpartum visits
Birth doula service fees range from $150 for a student doula to $1200 for an experienced doula. Most doulas work in supportive networks which offer a guarantee that you will be supported through your labor by your doula or her back up doula.
There isn’t an exact answer to this frequently asked question. However, most pregnant women can expect to gain at least between 25 – 35 pounds. In a recent, albeit very informal “poll” on my Facebook page the average weight gain was 45 pounds with a range from 20 to 70. Among my childbirth education students over the last 15 years, weight gain also ranged between 20 to 70 pounds. The body does what it needs to do when well fed, well hydrated and creating a life. I encourage pregnant women to free themselves from the scale and focus on eating healthy, colorful food at each meal.
The late renowned obstetrician, Dr. Brewer once said “It’s not about the amount of pounds you gain but the adequacy of your nutrition during pregnancy”. Dr. Brewer had a very no-nonsense approach to pregnancy nutrition, eat foods closest to their most natural source. He encouraged pregnant women to feel empowered as they chose which foods to eat since food choice is one thing a soon to be momma has control over. For more information on the The Pregnancy Diet by Dr. Brewer ~ http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id96.html
“America’s Pediatrician” , Dr. Bill Sears encourages pregnant women to “Eat Right for Two”. Dr. Sears has a great explanation of where the weight goes during pregnancy. For more information Weight Gain – Where do the pounds go? ~ http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/pregnancy-concerns/gaining-weight/9-common-questions-about-weight-gain
Dieting, restrictions and deprivation have no place during pregnancy. Moderation is the key with the exception of street drugs and alcohol. Eat to be well and feel well as soon as morning sickness ebbs.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the exciting world of Expectant Parenthood! Choosing a Childbirth Class, a Birth Doula, a Midwife, an OB, a Hospital, Birth Center, a Pediatrician and/or a Postpartum Coach are just a few of the many decisions you get to make throughout your early parenting journey. There are many choices in childbirth education. Hospital classes offer a tour and a glimpse into birth. Private, Comprehensive childbirth classes provide an in depth educational experience.
Take A Comprehensive Childbirth Class taught by the Newborn Family Coach! I hope you will invite me to walk with you on your parenting journey! As the Newborn Family coach, I have 15+ years of experience as a childbirth educator, birth doula, and postpartum coach. I have supported & empowered couples expecting their first baby, fifth baby and multiples. If you are looking for a joyful and informed birth experience, take my Comprehensive class series called Joyful and Informed Natural Childbirth. Classes are small and intimate with a harmonious mixture of lecture, experiential activities, demonstrations, and videos that create a lively & instructional class setting. My hands on coaching experience as a birth doula provides coaches with essential tools for supporting a laboring woman. I specialize in delivering calm & confident parents to newborn babies.
Why Take A Childbirth Class?
- To prepare for one of life’s most miraculous moments
- To learn about the many choices you have during pregnancy, labor and birth
- To stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy and birth
- To become a more informed pregnancy & birth consumer
- To avoid unnecessary pain during labor and birth
- To learn how to create a supportive labor team
- To coach my loved one through labor
- To learn how to avoid an induction
- To learn about pain medications used during labor
- To avoid an episiotomy
- To eat during labor
- To drink during labor
- To avoid a C-section
- To spend as little time at the hospital as possible
- To learn about my alternative birth place options
- To celebrate the joyfulness of pregnancy and birth
- To be reassured that my body can “do this”
- To enhance your relationship with your partner
- To avoid an extended hospital stay for me or my baby
- To learn about newborn procedures and choose only those procedures that work our family
- To enhance my family advocacy skills
- To remain present and involved in my labor
- To learn how to relax and let my body take over
- To prepare for the first few weeks at home with our baby
- To learn breastfeeding strategies
- To start my parenting journey off to a good start
Yes, whenever possible! What is the definition of natural childbirth? Natural childbirth is pregnancy, labor and birth the way nature intended ~ free of drugs, interventions and augmentations. Natural childbirth is completely achievable in hospitals, birth centers and of course at home. Proper preparation (education, exercise, nutrition…) and various types of support are the essential keys to natural childbirth.
Yes, our bodies were created to grow a life and give birth naturally. So, why do so woman many feel as if their only option is a medically managed birth? Here are a few possible answers: lack of extended generational family members living in close proximity, Hollywood’s dramatization of birth, the war on midwifery & home-birth, limitations placed on OB’s due to malpractice insurance and a general lack of trust in our own bodies.
Yes, we can trust our bodies to birth naturally. As a society we are hundreds of years into thinking ourselves right out of our intuition. Our amazing, highly evolved brains have been trained to override those “pesky” intuitive feelings. Women have given birth naturally since the beginning of time. Learning to listen to your gut feelings will greatly improve the likely hood of achieving natural birth.
Yes, natural childbirth is completely achievable. Here are 6 essential keys to natural childbirth…
- Support ~ Birth Team: Surround yourself with a supportive team of birthing professionals. Interview no less than three OB’s or Midwives! Become the most informed birth consumer you can be. Check out your local birth networks like Birthing 411 for supportive people, organizations, classes, doulas and childbirth educators.
- Education: Childbirth education is imperative. Choose a comprehensive childbirth class that includes information on healthy pregnancy, labor coaching, relaxation techniques, common labor medications/interventions and how to avoid them, conscious consumerism, newborn expectations and breastfeeding 101. Check out my Joyful & Informed Natural Childbirth Classes.
- Exercise: The output of energy during labor is equivalent to that of running a marathon. Train for the Birthathon that is labor by exercising your birthing muscles and increasing your stamina. Get started now! Pregnancy Exercises
- Nutrition: Eat well to grow well! Growing a life takes a diet rich in nutritious food. Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Stay well hydrated; drink at least eight 8oz classes of water at day! Dr. Sears Pregnancy Diet Tips
- Relaxation: Breathe! Learn to breathe by fully engaging your diaphragm. A full diaphragmatic breath is powerfully relaxing. Next, learn to relax all of the muscle groups in your body through a series of tense and relax techniques. Breathe Well
- Coach: A supportive birth coach is absolutely necessary! Your partner, husband, sister or close friend can be your coach. Your coach should plan to attend all childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, doctors appointments and of course your entire birth. The coach doesn’t need to be an expert in pregnancy, labor and birth. The coach needs to be an expert in loving you! The coach is someone you love and that will be there for you way beyond the birth. A coach is different from a doula. A doula is an experienced birth professional that supports women and couples through pregnancy, labor and birth.
As the Newborn Family Coach, it has been my honor to empower expectant families for more than 15 years. Check out my website for more birth education options at http://www.newbornfamilycoach.com or call me at 314-265-7407. My next Comprehensive Childbirth Class Series begins on 12/4!