Monthly Archives: January 2014

Our New Arrivals December 2013


Hudson James Davis – 6 lb, 9 oz. December 1
Austin Bret Wisenbaker – 8 lb, 2 oz. December 2
Zoey Angelina Koplar – 7 lb, 10 oz. December 3
Jonathan Thomas Lujan – 9 lb, 10 oz. December 5
Rhett Michael Hancock – 7lb, 8 oz. December 7
Paul Hercule Mark Hartley – 7 lb, 15 oz.   December 9
* Kiersten Chardonnay Bowles – 7 lb, 8 oz. December 9
Juliana Helen Dias – 7 lb, 13 oz. December 9
Lena De los Angeles Villegas Palacios – 7 lb, 2 oz. December 11
Naomi Ehresman – 8 lb, 11 oz. December 11
* Liam Verhaeghe – 8 lb, 11 oz. December 11
* Zuri Noelle Johnson ​- 7 lb, 8 oz. December 13
David Gregory Pan – 7 lb, 3  oz. December 13
Jericho Maliyah Codispoti – 7 lb, 5 oz. December 15 
Victor Marcus Ruff – 7 lb, 15 oz. December 19
Archer Miles Henry Gottschalk – 7 lb, 5 oz. December 22
Gabriel Ransom Bean – 8 lb, 5 oz. December 23
Gavin Josiah Auwaerter – 8 lb, 2 oz. December 27
* Monica Jolie Bennett – 6 lb, 5 oz. December 28

* pictured above
Total WBWC December babies 29
 Previous months
Ellis Marie Coxen – 7 lbs, 2 oz. September 29
            Ivy Pier – 5 lb, 2 oz. October 29
* Cameron Joseph Poplak – 7 lbs. November 25
Welcome to the World, Sweet Babies!

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Women’s Healthy Weight week 2014 January 19th – 25th

 by Sarah Akers, CNM

 When I was asked to create an article for our newsletter about Healthy Weight Week, I hesitated for just a moment. After all, my BMI puts me far outside the “normal weight” range! 
I agreed to write about Healthy Weight Week because I am both a healthcare provider and a woman who has struggled with her weight throughout her lifetime. While I know the health benefits of maintaining a normal weight, I know all too well the health effects of being outside of it. 

 My Struggle with Weight
 Although I am in the “obese” category according to my BMI, I am at the healthiest weight I’ve been in 20 years. It is no exaggeration to say that my weight has been an issue for me almost my entire life. Manipulation of food and dieting is so widespread in my family that they have become a sort of pastime for many of us. What I have not learned to address until recently are the reasons that I manipulate food and consume it for uses other than the nourishment of my body. Food has been a comfort to me in hard times, and been a part of the celebration at joyous events. It has required vigilance and great effort on my part to find other ways to cope with difficult times and celebrate during the happy ones.

 Motivation for Change
 Change is difficult and, at times, even painful. One must have some sort of motivation to initiate and sustain change. New Year’s resolutions, graduations, and job interviews have been some motivators in the past. Those events have been strong enough to help me to lose as much as 30 pounds in the past, but when the occasion passed or “life got in the way”, I would go back to my old habits and re-gain every bit of weight I’d lost. A few years ago, I fell in love with my fiance and found my biggest and best motivator: becoming a mother. My desire to some day have a healthy pregnancy and be the best mom I can be led me to make drastic changes in the way I eat. It is also what drives me to get out of bed early in the morning to exercise!

 Baby Steps
 At my highest weight, I was more than 130 lbs away a “normal” BMI.  Setting that as my goal would have been way too overwhelming. Evidence has shown that even small reductions in weight (5-10% of body weight) can cause improvement in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and reduce the risks of other chronic diseases. Making several “mini-goals” along the way can help us eventually reach our ultimate, “big” goal. Other evidence-based tools to help with weight loss are: keeping a food diary and having a workout buddy. Keeping a food diary helps us to keep track of what we eat- even if we’re not counting calories. When we’re aware of what we eat, we can begin to make needed changes. It makes us accountable to ourselves. Having a workout buddy has been shown to increase the frequency with which people exercise.  When we have someone waiting to meet us on the walking trail or gym, we’re more likely to show up! 

 Now You Go
 Whether it’s welcoming the New Year or celebrating Healthy Weight Week, I invite you to think about what healthy changes you’d like to make in your life. What are your “mini-goals”? Don’t forget to let your nurse practitioner or midwife know about your health goals when you have your next visit. We’d love to cheer you on!

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

One day before “Turkey Day”

 by: Laura Morganti 
 On November 27th, my due date, I was SO ready to have my baby, as are most women at the end of their pregnancy. I was very uncomfortable and it was getting difficult to take care of and be patient with my other three young children who are ages 5, 3 and 2.

   Also, I thought I was carrying a 10 pounder because my last baby was 9 lb, 10 oz. and each one had been bigger than the last! That morning I was happy to wake up with contractions that seemed stronger and more “real”, so I told my husband that oddly enough, it looked like baby might come on the due date. We did not know if we were having a boy or girl, as we had waited to find out with every pregnancy. We love surprises!
  I was discouraged when the contractions seemed to get less intense and were only coming about every 15 minutes. I already had an appointment scheduled that afternoon, so thankfully a friend came over to watch our girls and my husband drove me to my appointment. I was 4 cm dilated, but was told I should schedule an ultrasound and a non-stress test just in case I was still pregnant in a week. That was not what I wanted to hear, but what could I do? I told my husband we should go to the grocery store before heading home because our cupboards were quite bare. 
  Remember, this was the day before Thanksgiving, so this store was crowded to say the least. Much to my surprise, I started having contractions VERY close together while walking through the store, all while trying to breathe deeply and maintain a fake smile for the sake of the swarms of concerned looking people around me. By the time we were checking out in the grocery store, I was gripping onto the cart so tightly that my hands were turning white. Now THESE were real contractions. I whispered to my husband (get a mental picture of the grimace on my face) “I’m dying. We need to go NOW.” I called the birth center and God bless Maureen, she told me to come back and they would get me set up in a room. When we came back less than an hour after leaving my appointment, I was 6 cm dilated!
  Wow, talk about labor picking up speed quickly! Thankful that we hadn’t driven all the way home, I walked around and labored for about a half hour, then asked to get in the tub. About a half hour and 1 very, very, fast push later, our fourth mermaid, Anna Gabriella, was born in the water!

  She was caught by Allison, who had also caught my first and second girls! I was so happy and felt so blessed to have my fourth smooth water birth. I was surprised she was so “small” at 8 lbs 6 oz, but didn’t mind as I was able to push her out so easily. She was born at 5:38 pm, and we left to go home at 9:30 pm! I love the birth center’s 4 hour policy if mommy and baby are doing well, as I like to sleep in my own bed. 
  I just adore the WBWC and the people who work there, but I especially have a special bond with our CNM, Allison, who delivered three of my babies! I’m always sad after my 6 week appointment as I know I won’t be able to go back as often and will miss everyone. But, as Allison said after catching my fourth, “come back next time”. 🙂
Maybe we will be shocked and our fifth will be a boy!

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month!

 by: Rachel VanBree, FNP/WHCNP

 Did you know that cervical cancer used to be the leading terminal cancer among women in the United States? We have seen a 70% decrease in cervical cancer rates over the last 50 years, thanks to the introduction of the Pap test. According to the CDC, cervical cancer still accounts for a quarter of a million deaths annually. However, 85% occur in developing countries due to lack of screening and access to preventative care.
 In the United States, we are fortunate enough to have access to cervical cancer screening with the Pap test and the capability to detect human papillomavirus (HPV). Almost all cases of cervical cancer are linked to persistent HPV infections. The Pap test has allowed us to detect an increased risk of developing cervical cancer in women of all ages.

 The climate surrounding cervical cancer screening is shifting toward a “less is more” approach. Historically, many women associate their annual exam with getting a Pap test. We now know that cervical cancer screening isn’t necessary every year for the majority of healthy women. Due to its sensitivity and our increasing knowledge about the progression of cervical cancer, annual Pap tests may create false alarms that needlessly subject women to painful follow-up tests. Evidence based research is finding that we can actually detect precursors to cervical cancer too soon. Most cervical cancers progress slowly and some of these precancerous cells will go away without medical treatment. Cervical cancer’s slow progression has allowed us to now recommend less frequent screening without compromising health outcomes. The idea is to improve health by avoiding unnecessary procedures and painful biopsies that may be harmful.

 According to the American Cancer Society, Pap tests should begin at age 21 and be offered every three years for low risk, healthy women. At ages 30 to 65, we recommend
a Pap test every three years or every five years if women are HPV negative. A shift in the frequency of testing is a significant and promising change in the health care environment that opposes the “more is better” mind-set. By understanding your risk and current recommendations, WBWC hopes to empower you to navigate your own health care. Our Birth Center offers cervical cancer screening and the time to discuss your individual screening needs during wellness appointments.
 Always love your body, especially your cervix.
 But, maybe not every  year. 

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Compare / Contrast: Hygeia vs. Medela double electric breast pumps

 by Liz Blodgett

I’m a PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill,  I’m exclusively pumping and do five sessions a day, two at work and three at home. I was lucky that my mom paid for one pump and insurance paid for the other. Rosalind at Women’s Birth & Wellness Boutique helped us decide that the Hygeia EnJoye was the best fit for my needs. However, the durable medical equipment supplier that my insurance used didn’t offer Hygeia, so I chose a Medela Pump in Style Advanced. I keep the Hygeia at home and stash the Medela at Mercury Studio Durham, NC in a locker.

 Overall Experience
I like my Hygeia better than my Medela based on how they work. The Hygeia has two separate dials, one which controls strength and one which controls speed. The Medela has one dial that controls strength and a button that changes speeds to either fast (for let-down) or slow. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I feel like it’s easier to respond well to the pump when I can have more control over it. Both pumps are around the same size and weight. The Hygeia at full speed, full suction is louder than the Medela.
The Hygeia comes with a set of buttons to record and play back sounds that can encourage letdown, but I never got in the habit of using them. I just occasionally accidentally play the sound of myself accidentally hitting the record button. It would be nice if there was a way to cover these so they don’t get bumped.

The Medela does one thing better – it’s really good about not getting milk or moisture in the tubes, and the Hygeia tends to have a problem with that. However, it’s easier to clean out the Hygeia tubes because they’re softer and bigger. 
I clean the Hygeia tubes this way:
 1. Soak them in warm soapy water
 2. Run tap water through them
 3. Blow gently into one end with your mouth about an inch away to clear out most of the water.
 4. Pour some rubbing alcohol through the tube and squeeze it through the tube from the outside.
 5. Hang from the middle and squeeze out any additional liquid.

 There are other methods but this is the one that I’ve found to work best. So far I haven’t needed to clean out the Medela tubes, I just let the pump run for a few minutes without the flanges if the tubes collect a bit of moisture. Both the pumps are about the same in terms of the ease of cleaning out the flanges and bottles.

With either pump, I would recommend keeping some spare parts around for convenience. Extra bits are easy to come by for the Hygeia if you plan in advance – the Boutique has them, or you can order them through their website. If you friend them on Facebook, you can watch for sales, which they seem to offer every month or two. They sell spare parts kits with extra filters, tubes, flanges, etc.  Medela parts are more widely available, at stores like Target and Walgreen’s, but you can use Medela parts with your Hygeia pump!
The components of both seem equally sturdy so far, after four months of regular use for the Hygeia and two months of regular use for the Medela.
There are two differences I would note:
 1.Hygeia containers have the oz marks printed onto the side and they wear off very quickly, whereas Medela is molded into the plastic.
 2. Medela valves involve a fiddly little flap (membranes) that can fall off and go down the drain, while the Hygeia valves are sturdy rubber duckbills.

I 100% feel good about getting my Hygeia first, and if I could have only one, it would be the Hygeia. I also feel good about the fact that it’s a closed system, so I can pass it along safely after I’m done – or send it to Hygeia for their recycling program. However, I’m not disappointed with the Medela at all, and it definitely earns its spot at the office (where I don’t feel like taking the time or space to clean even more parts) by not getting milk in 
the tubes. Both have slight advantages and disadvantages in different areas, and finding which one works better for you will depend on what you prioritize. 

   Liz is a PhD student in health services research at UNC, Chapel Hill. She studies clinical and political interventions for people with disabilities, especially those with mental illness. Liz’s daughter, Lydia Geneva Wood, was born at WBWC on July 26, 2013. 
Her birth story and many, many pictures are on

By |January 16th, 2014|News|2 Comments

Childbirth Education Classes 2014 Chapel Hill

   Candor Plaza brings years of experience as a doula and advanced Birthing from Within mentor to this lively and empowering childbirth preparation class. In this six week series you will gain a good understanding of how labor works and what you’ll need to know about your new-born babe. You’ll learn effective pain-coping practices and comfort measures to get you through the intensity of labor; while being supported to address concerns or fears you have about giving birth. We will also explore what’s most important to you for your unique birthing journey.
Other class participants have said: “I will always think of that class as one of the happiest, most fruitful, and meaningful parts of my pregnancy.” ~Mom
“I feel like this class series brought us closer together. It helped us bond in preparing to become parents.” ~ Dad
“She is fantastic! These classes truly encompassed the whole picture — not just the birth of our child, but all of the emotions and changes in our lives that come with a new baby.” ~ Mom 
 Small group size ensures individualized attention and limited space. 
Contact or visit for details.

   Susan Rotman has been sharing her experience with The Bradley Method® since her first birth 12 years ago. Her evidence and experience based class covers all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. Keys to staying healthy and low risk, the role of hormones, the stages of labor, positions and pain coping techniques are just some of the many topics explored in her Bradley Method® class. Her series includes breastfeeding instruction led by an IBCLC® board certified lactation consultant. Couples learn the benefits of breastfeeding, how the body produces milk, how to determine if baby is getting enough, and how to address common challenges. This comprehensive introduction helps ensure a rewarding breastfeeding experience for mom and baby. 
 New  for 2014… American Red Cross® Infant CPR! Susan has completed her instructor training with the American Red Cross® and is now able to train and certify her students in this lifesaving skill. Susan Rotman’s class prepares couples for the challenges of labor and ultimately parenting an infant. Susan teaches out of her Raleigh home and on Tuesday evenings at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center.  
Please visit or 
call Susan at 919-622-1668 to learn more.  

   Wanda Sundermann, a massage therapist and doula practicing in the community for the last 20 years, brings a knowledge base to her childbirth education classes that address the physical, emotional and logistical needs of birthing couples. She is familiar with the practices and protocols of most of the “triangles” birthing facilities.
 In her experience working with over 500 couples as a doula and birth assistant she has seen the wide range of possible birth scenarios. In recognizing that every couple comes to their birth with different needs and expectations Wanda is aware that we all have a different experience on the day our child is born. Her goal is to empower couples to discover the options they feel most comfortable with and give them the tools they need to follow through on their plans, and adjust if things go in a different direction.

 The class covers normal birth, coping techniques, complications of the birth process, natural and medical ways of dealing with those complications, relaxation for birth, newborns and their care, breastfeeding, infant massage and other related subjects.

Saturday morning classes, a four class series,
are held at WBWC 9am -1 pm.
Please contact Wanda at 919-933-5562 for details.

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

January Boutique Bulletin

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Cookie dough, then milk. An event!

Our boutique will hold a “meet & greet” tasting of the newly released dairy-free, vegan,
Milk Boy. original chocolate chip &
Milk Boy+ choc. chip with Fenugreek 
 lactation cookie doughs
Wednesday February 12th 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

 Sold by the dozen, these wonderful, delicious, refridgerated cookie doughs help-out nursing mamas produce milk and are made right here in Durham, NC.
 Since they’re vegan they can safely be eaten raw too. Made with organic, unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil & organic golden flax to replace the traditional butter and eggs making each cookie contain 6g of heart healthy natural saturated fats and 4g of protein.
 Roxanne Bellamy, the creator & maker of these handmade doughs, will co-host our hour long event to chat about her “one-woman” company and answer any questions about her product’s nutritional data and the like. 
For the entire event’s hour any pouches sold 
will be $2.00 off the regular price! 
Truly a healthy indulgence for all — we hope you will come by to taste these cookies!
   Roxanne is a Hillsborough, NC resident. She’s a home-birthing,
 breast-feeding mother of one.

By |January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Staff Spotlight: Nora Weatherby Boutique Associate

 Nora is a writer, oral historian and doula. Born and raised in upstate New York, she has spent some of her most valued years traveling, singing, and collecting stories in varying cities, villages and rural outposts around the globe. She has lived in Germany, Bolivia, The Republic of Georgia and a handful of places in the Northeast.

 Nora first began attending births in 2003. She is a ToLabor (formerly ALACE) trained doula and has been involved in birth work in a variety of settings. She has provided education and advocacy for women and their families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum and has facilitated birth story circles and other related community events. She believes deeply in encouraging opportunities for people to make informed choices.

In December of 2010, she graduated from The New School University in New York City where she studied writing, documentary methods and oral history. In 2012, Nora moved to Durham to pursue a Certificate in Documentary Arts at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies which she completed in May 2013. Nora is the creator and director of The Birth Narratives Oral History Project that collects archives and produces stories about childbirth from women and men around the United States.
She is very excited to be joining Women’s Birth & Wellness Boutique team!

By |January 16th, 2014|Staff Spotlights|0 Comments