Monthly Archives: March 2013

New Arrivals

*Benjamin Edward Hammell – 8 lbs., 2 oz. – December 10
* Elise Maria Tully -7 lbs., 4 oz. – December 30
Townes Augustine Kusterer – 7 lbs., 5 oz. – December 30
*Gillian Kate Farmer – 7 lbs., 12 oz. – December 31
Keigan Matthew Angell-Hinson – 6 lbs., 14 oz. – January 2
Elyse Jonae Frierson – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – January 3
Roxana Sol UySmith
Eesa Ibrahim Yahya Minort – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – January 7
Max Abraham Given – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – January 8
Daniel Christopher Bowden – 10 lbs., 1 oz. – January 8
Malcolm Alexander Robertson – 7 lbs., 4 oz. – January 8
Beatrice Lee Strutz – 8 lbs., 1 oz. – January 9
Anne Meadows Johnston – 8 lbs., 2 oz. – January 9
*Maxton Nicholas Chetty Hilliard – 6 lbs., 14 oz. – January 11

Ione Violet Crawford – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – January 11
Judah Ray Overton – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – January 16
Sebastian Brock Heineman – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – January 17
Luna Mae GreenCook – 6 lbs., 9 oz. – January 18
Lyon Emmanuel Harris – 5 lbs., 14 oz. – January 21
Kerickson Fox Reynolds – 7 lbs., 3 oz. – January 21
Asher Moffat Gowen – 8 lbs., 3 oz. – January 22
*Caden James Mebane – 8 lbs., 8 oz.- January 23
Faith Elizabeth Hoots – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – January 26
Mikayla Brooklyn Snyderman – 6 lbs., 15 oz. – January 27
Zera Ruth Cizek – 7 lbs., 12 oz. – January 28
Lucie Lyn Bratsman – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – January 28
Elias Alan Tompkins – 8 lbs., 5 oz. – January 29

Elena Bea Shafer – 7 lbs., 7 oz. – February 1
Norah Cathryn Stauffer – 8 lbs., 14 oz. – February 2
Isaac Eytan Hans – 9 lbs. – February 5
Daphne Avery Larrimans – 5 lbs., 14 oz. – February 5
Miles Elliott Hanner – 7 lbs., 13 oz. – February 7
Lillie Ellen Wilkinson – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – February 8
William Holt Harrington IV – 8 lbs., 14 oz. – February 10
*Blake Alexander Maldonado – 7 lbs., 5 oz. – February 10

Brielle Lorin Leedom – 8 lbs., 14 oz. – February 11
Titus Gabriel Garduce – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – February 12
Isaac Wilder Knowland – 9 lbs., 9 oz. – February 12
Wiley Holden Taylor –  7 lbs., 11 oz. – February 15

Ruby Mae Gruver – 8 lbs. – February 16
Matthias Lee Johnson – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – February 16
Evan Alexander Flowers – 6 lbs., 11 oz. – February 18
Marlowe Weller Rosenthal – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – February 19
Eliot Olsson Griffin – 9 lbs., 6 oz. – February 22
Aidan Michael Reaves – 8 lbs., 10 oz. – February 22
Levi Jacob King – 9 lbs. – February 23
Charlotte Avery Yakel – 10 lbs., 2 oz. – February 24
Norah Elise Inglis – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – February 25
Baby Boy Diehl – 8 lbs., 9 oz. – February 25
Broderick Owen Brattoli– 8 lbs., 2 oz. – February 27

* pictured above
Welcome to the world, little ones!

If you’d like your baby’s birth announced in the newsletter, send an email to  Be sure to include baby’s name, weight, and birth date, and feel free to attach a picture. We’d like to hear from all WBWC moms, whether you delivered at the birth center or UNC!

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Elliot Stevens Swanson’s Birth

by Missy Swanson

It was a Friday two weeks past my due date, and I was exhausted. I’d spent the previous night trying to sleep through mild but uncomfortable contractions on a mattress in our hallway (the only place in the house without windows) while we waited out a tornado tearing through our town.  For each of the two nights before that, I’d had contractions that were too uncomfortable to sleep through but not strong enough to be real labor.  The first night that happened, I was excited and stayed up timing contractions.  But now, I’d had enough. I decided I was through.
“I’m ready to get induced at the hospital,” I told my husband Andy.  We had a 42-week ultrasound scheduled at UNC that day, and then an NST at the birth center. “I’ll tell the midwives after our ultrasound. I don’t think I can handle another night of this.” The only alternative I could see was being pregnant forever and having mild contractions for the rest of my life as I slowly went insane from lack of sleep.  Andy agreed that an induction at this point was a reasonable plan, and we headed out to UNC.
The ultrasound showed a healthy baby with plenty of fluid. As we were checking out, the receptionist said, “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next ultrasound for Tuesday.”  I laughed.  “No!  I’m not going to be pregnant on Tuesday.”  She was insistent, so I begrudgingly pulled out my calendar to mark down the time.  At that moment, I felt an odd pop and then a huge gush.  “I think my water just broke!” I gasped in disbelief.  The growing puddle at my feet confirmed this. “Told you I’m not going to be pregnant on Tuesday,” I said triumphantly as I squished to the bathroom in my soggy flip-flops.
My water breaking gave me a second wind. The contractions stopped immediately, so my body got a break.  Even better, I was now in the frame of mind that maybe I would eventually give birth, and I could do it at the birth center!  We went back to the birth center, had our NST, and got our stuff set up in the peach room.  Since I was no longer having contractions, and I needed new flip-flops, Andy and I went out to do some shopping and have lunch.  We made plans to check back with the midwife later.  We ate, picked up a People magazine to read while we waited for labor, and walked around the mall for awhile.  From time to time, we checked in with the midwife on call, Jenny.  Nothing had changed by the evening, so Jenny decided to have us sleep at the birth center and take some castor oil and herbs to get things rolling in the morning.
We got tucked in and rested pretty well. Around six, I woke up, and Jenny filled a medicine cup with thick, slimy castor oil for me to swallow. I chugged the vile liquid and chased it with a brownie, and we awaited results.  Still no contractions.  Jenny’s shift ended, and Maureen took over.  She bound up my belly and suggested I try sitting on the ball, since the baby’s head wasn’t in the best position. 
When it got to be about noon (24 hours since my water broke) and I still wasn’t having any contractions to speak of, we decided to start the blue and black cohosh.  Almost immediately after the first dose, I learned what a real contraction felt like.  Andy and I had faithfully studied our Hypnobabies scripts for the birth, so when I told him, “You’ve got to read me something!” I figured it would be clear that I meant one of the hypnosis scripts. Instead, he looked at me in confusion. “What, like People or something?” he asked, sounding a little panicky.  “No! The Hypnobabies! Any script, I don’t care!” I settled into the rocking chair and put on my headphones while he started reading scripts to me.
Maureen came in and told us that she had to leave for a little bit, and Sarah would be taking over.

“We’ll see where you are around 8 tonight when I come back,” she said.  I continued with the Hypnobabies music, Sarah kept giving me the herbs, and the contractions kept rocking on. I had a lot of back labor; I kept wondering when I would get this “break between contractions” that I had been promised in my childbirth classes.  It just felt like a tabletop corner pushing into my back with contractions on top of it.
After awhile, I felt like getting into the tub.  Sarah said she’d like to check my dilation first, because getting in the tub too soon could slow down the contractions. Lying down for a cervix check sounded like a horrible proposition to me, so I opted for the shower instead.  The warm water on my back helped to ease the contractions, but I started to feel nauseous and needed to get out.  I went back to my rocker with my headphones on and concentrated on getting through each contraction.
Around 3:00, Sarah came in to give me yet another dose of herbs.  The thought of even stronger contractions was just too much.  “Do I have to take it?” I asked pitifully.  “Of course not,” she responded kindly.  I felt like the contractions were coming on much stronger and closer together, so I asked to be checked.
To my surprise, I was dilated to eight centimeters. We filled up the tub, and the hot water felt wonderful.  But after about 15 minutes, I felt a new, intense pressure.  “This is different!” I told Andy. “I think I have to unnnnggggg…push!”  Andy went to get Sarah, and sure enough, I only had a little lip of cervix left.
“Do you want to breathe your baby out?” Sarah asked, thinking of our Hypnobabies scripts.
“No! I need to push it out!” I told her. It truly was an uncontrollable urge. I pushed in the tub for a little bit, and on the birth stool, and in several different positions throughout the room.  Ellen, our nurse, came in to help move me around and listen to the baby.  Pushing felt like such a relief!  After about an hour and a half, it was finally time for the baby to be born.  Andy sat behind me and supported me on the bed as I eased the baby out.  “Reach down and get your baby,” Sarah told me, and I pulled that sweet little boy right up to my chest.  He was long and skinny with a funny-looking head, but he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. “It’s a boy! I knew you were a boy!” I exclaimed, a little shocked that a baby had just come out of me.  “It’s Elliot!” cried Andy.  Elliot was born at 5:09 PM.  He weighed 7 pounds, eight ounces.

Giving birth to Elliot was the most amazing, empowering thing I’d ever done. The feeling of bringing that warm, wet little child to my chest, of becoming a mother for the first time – the moment when the pain and intensity were suddenly replaced with relief, amazement, and love – is indescribable.  I feel lucky that I was able to give birth with so much support and freedom.  I thought it was so great that four months later I took a job as a nurse at WBWC, and have been dutifully having babies every two years since then.

By |March 19th, 2013|News|3 Comments

Spotlight: Lorraine Reilly, RN, IBCLC

    We’re pleased to welcome Lorraine Reilly, RN, IBCLC to WBWC’s full-time staff!  You may have met Lorraine when she worked as a nurse at the birth center part-time from 2008-2010.  Now she will be coordinating Group Prenatal Care, doing home visits, and assisting with lactation in addition to providing labor and delivery and postpartum nursing care.
     Lorraine has been a nurse for eight years.  She attended nursing school at Salisbury University in Maryland. She began her career at Duke Hospital on the pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant unit.  After taking some time off to stay at home with her children, she returned to nursing in 2008 as a labor and delivery nurse at WBWC.  She began working full-time at UNC Hospital in labor and delivery and postpartum in 2009. 
     She’s drawn to the birth center because of her own philosophy about birth. “I love the birth center because it honors birth as a natural and sacred process.  It aims to empower women through birth,” says Lorraine.  Lorraine is committed to holistic care: in addition to supporting women in labor, she’s a certified lactation consultant, prenatal yoga instructor, and Reiki practitioner.  She also plans to continue her studies in midwifery in the future. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 3 children, practicing yoga, and singing.

By |March 19th, 2013|Staff Spotlights|2 Comments

Recipe: Garlicky Leafy Greens

Brianna Honea recommends this tasty greens dish, from Hawthorn University’s website (  as a delicious way to add iron, calcium, B6, vitamins A, C, and K, and loads of other nutrients to your diet.  Serve as a side with your favorite meal! 

2 bunches tender kale, Swiss chard, or spinach (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
 Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Few drops of maple syrup (optional)

-Remove all tough stems from the greens. Chop greens into bite‐size pieces, and cover with cold water. Set aside.
-In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium‐high heat.
-Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds, just until aromatic.
-Add the greens and salt and saute until the greens begin to darken and intensify.
-If necessary, add a splash of water to cook the greens until they’re tender.
-Add the lemon juice and taste the greens. You may need to add a pinch of salt or a few drop of maple syrup to round out the flavor.

Serve immediately on a small platter.

Makes about 2 cups, serves 4

By |March 19th, 2013|Recipes|0 Comments

Group Prenatal Care: Sign Up Now!

Our Group Prenatal Care has been a great success so far! It’s the perfect opportunity to meet other WBWC moms while learning how to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.  Remember, Group is first-come, first-served, so be sure to sign up ASAP!

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Change in Class Times

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

The Role of a Doula

by Wanda Sundermann

Most pregnant women today will at some time be asked if they are planning to have a doula at her birth. For many this will be the first time she has ever heard the word “doula”, a Greek word meaning “woman who serves”.  In today’s birth culture, a doula is a birth attendant who gives physical and emotional support to a woman in labor and her partner. The doula is most often a woman, so I will use the pronoun “she” but recognize that there are a few male doulas out there in the world.  There is no licensure or required training for doulas. Most of them learn their craft by attending workshops and many births. Some doulas are just getting started and some have attended hundreds of births.

When considering whether to have a doula at your birth it is important to understand what a doula’s role would be.

A doula will usually meet with a woman and her partner at least once before the birth. The doula is available for consultation by phone or in person to answer questions or concerns that the mother may have about her pregnancy and care. The doula does not give medical advice, but can often explain conditions or procedures that the woman may not understand. 

When the woman thinks she might be in labor, the doula will talk with her on the phone to offer suggestions of what the couple can do in the very early stage of labor to either move labor along or rest and prepare for it.  When the couple is ready for more support the doula will come to their home and help them stay at home as long as possible. This is a key component in a plan for natural childbirth. In the early stage of labor the woman is very susceptible to disruptions that can slow labor. She is the most comfortable in her own home and will make more progress there.

When the doula arrives at the couple’s home she will assess the situation. Doulas do not do clinical assessments such as cervical checks, listen to fetal heart tones or take vital signs. Rather she will observe how frequent and strong the contractions are, how the mother is handling them and ask the mother how the baby is moving. Depending on what is happening, they may stay at the home for minutes or several hours. Having a doula there will usually give the couple the confidence to stay at home longer than they normally would by reassuring them that what is happening is normal and that there is still plenty of time.

While at home the doula will suggest comfortable positions for the mother and help her find ways to progress the labor. She will also remind the mother to eat, drink and empty her bladder, and offer suggestions on how to get some rest if she has been in labor a long time. The doula may use massage, give soft soothing affirmations and encouragement, perhaps suggest a bath or shower, and remind the mother to stay focused on her breathing. If the couple has been laboring a long time already, the doula may need to give the woman’s partner a break to get some food and rest. The doula will also be helpful with the logistics of transition from home to hospital or birth center.

The transition from home to hospital or birth center can be difficult for women and the doula can be a bridge for that. A doula, who has worked in that particular birthing facility can help the couple settle in, knowing what to ask for from the staff to smoothly transition to the new setting. At the hospital or birth center the doula will continue to offer the comfort measures used at home. She is also a guide and advocate for the woman and her partner. Because she works for them and not the institution her only agenda is to serve their needs. She can help them navigate the unknown territory of labor and birth.  She can give them both the reassurance that what is happening is normal and good, or in situations when labor takes a turn from normal she can help them sort through the information they are being giving by their care provider. The doula is there to help the parents get the information they need to make the decision that is right for them and their baby given the labor they have on that day.

The doula is also support for the partner, giving ideas and guidance on how to support the mother. Having a doula at the birth takes the pressure off of the partner to remember and properly implement everything he/she read in books or learned in childbirth class and frees him/her to experience the process without having to be the sole support.  In most situations the partners actually feel more involved in the birth with a doula there giving suggestions on how to support the mother.

In most cases the doula will stay with the family throughout the labor process, for the birth of the baby and usually for an hour or two after the birth. And then the doula will do at least one follow up visit with the family after they get home.

An article summarizing the study Continuous Support For Women During Childbirth review  from Cochrane Library in 2011, issue 2, reported that overall, women who received continuous support during labor were less likely than women who did not to:
-have any analgesia/anesthesia,
-give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps,
-give birth by cesarean,
-have a baby with a low 5-minute Apgar score,
-or report dissatisfaction or a negative rating of their experience.
And women receiving continuous support were more likely than those who did not to give birth spontaneously (that is, with neither cesarean nor vacuum extraction nor forceps) and have a shorter labor.

The decision to have a doula at your birth is a big one. It involves inviting someone you have just met to be involved in a very intimate and transformative time in your life. It is important that you feel good about that person. To find a doula in your area, ask friends, midwives, childbirth educators and other health care providers for recommendations. Talk with her on the phone, ask lots of questions. A dear friend or family member or a doula in training can also fill the role. Although they will not have the experience, they can be a huge support if you are unable to secure a professional doula.

Wanda Sundermann NCMBT #713, is a professional doula with 23 years of experience helping moms, dads, and babies in the triangle area. She is also a licensed massage therapist specializing in prenatal and postnatal massage and a childbirth educator teaching classes at the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill.  She is the mother of two fine young men.
For information go to .

This article was originally written for 

Wanda Sundermann offers a four-week, Saturday morning childbirth education class, 9:00 to 1:00 at the WBWC. The classes cover massage for moms, the normal birth process, common complications, labor support techniques for partners, deep relaxation, breastfeeding, adjusting to life with a newborn and newborn massage, among other things.
If you would like to learn more about these classes please contact Wanda at or
Upcoming classes are:
March 23, 30, April 6 and 13
June 1, 8, 15 and 22
August 3. 10, 17 and 24

By |March 19th, 2013|News|1 Comment

Attention New Moms!

Is Your Infant Under 3 Months of Age?
UNC lactation students in the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative are looking for volunteers! In an effort to try to help more moms understand and be able to recognize infant feeding and satiety cues we would like to collect photos and video footage of your little one.

With your permission, we will take pictures of your infant while he or she is displaying common physical behaviors that let adults know they are ready to eat or finished eating. The photos and video footage will be shared with other new moms so they can become familiar with these feeding-related signals that infants send as early forms of communication.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Rachel Davis at: or 803-673-4946

We appreciate your help! Thank you!

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

News from the Board

by Kaaren Haldeman   
     Happy almost-Spring from the board–here’s hoping the warmth is here to stay! The board met on February 20 and was introduced to Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, an anthropologist from Elon University who will be doing some qualitative research with WBWC. We welcome Dr. Palmquist and team and look forward to hearing about their work at our April meeting. Maureen Darcey updated the board on pending activities at the NC State Legislature, and we thank her for keeping us informed about current proposals and action.
As we head into the months of growth and bloom, the board wishes all at WBWC a healthy and allergy-free season!

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

What’s New at the Boutique

By |March 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments