From the WBWC Blog:

Onyx Coston’s Birth Story

Onyx Coston’s Birth Story

By Deja Nicole I’ve always wanted to be a mother. When I reached my twenties, it became something that I put in the back of my mind in order to achieve my academic goals as well as finding a career. Now approaching thirty, I started to question whether I would conceive sooner than later. In June of 2016, after noticing some unusual weight gain, I found out that we were pregnant. Although it took both my partner and me by surprise, it was a moment we both celebrated immediately. My thoughts swirled. What would we name him or her? Am I ready to be a mom? Would I want a girl or a boy? We contemplated what our new life would be like with a sweet addition to the love we already had. One thing was for sure, I wanted a completely natural birth. I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of epidurals and hospitals never feel welcoming. I wanted this new soul to arrive in the world as peacefully and calmly as possible. I wanted an atmosphere of love and positivity, not continuous prodding and beeping. Women’s Birth & Wellness Center offered us that and more. Time started to fly by. Month after month we would watch our baby grow in my belly and before we knew it, February had come and we were expecting a little girl. I had a few Braxton Hicks during due date week but nothing to shout from the rooftops. As the day approached I became more and more anxious. 40 weeks came and went and although dad was patient, I was starting to feel tired and nervous. Four days past baby’s due date I was ready to try anything I could to get this show on the road. My partner Jamar and I decided to get up that morning and take a walk around the lake hoping it would get something going. After our walk we stopped for breakfast before returning home. Jamar was going to work that day so I planned on doing some work at home. As soon as he left for work, I started to feel strange. Soon after I felt the first wave that labor had begun. From that point everything happened so fast. Within the hour my contraction went from every eleven minutes to every six. I knew it was time to go. I first called my doula … Read More

Claire’s No-Bake Strawberry Pie

Claire’s No-Bake Strawberry Pie

Crust: 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/3 cup coconut oil (can substitute butter) 1/4 cup sugar Filling: 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (reduced-fat optional) 5 cups of sliced strawberries (reserving 1 cup, can substitute or mix with other in-season berries) Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup sugar 2 tblspns cornstarch mixed with 2 tblspns water Mix the crust ingredients with a fork in a large bowl (or pulse in cuisinart). Pat crust down into a pie plate. Blend the maple syrup and cream cheese until smooth and pour over the crust. Chill for about an hour in the fridge while preparing strawberries. Reserve about a cup of the sliced strawberries, and place remaining 4 cups into a pot with the lemon juice and sugar. Cook on med or med-low for about 10 minutes and bring to boil. Quickly mix in the water-cornstarch mix until it thickens. Take the pot off the stove and cool to room temperature. Spread the reserved cup of uncooked fresh strawberries on top of the cream cheese and then pour the cooked strawberry mix on top. Chill at least an hour (can be made a day ahead of serving.) Serve with whipped cream. Recipe courtesy of Claire Caprioli

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

By Nancy Albrecht, RN, BSN, IBCLC Do you know a pregnant or new mama? Ask her how she is doing, how she is really doing. LISTEN to what she says: no matter how many people you think are supporting her, there are often way too few who ask and listen. Everyone wants to know how the baby is: how baby is growing and moving or how baby is sleeping, eating, pooping, etc???. Nobody is asking mom if she’s getting rest; if she’s eating regularly; if she gets to take a shower when she needs or wants to. Ask her how much she slept last night. Ask her what she ate today. Ask her if she is okay. Be prepared if she says NO. During May, Maternal Mental Health Awareness month, we want all families to know that mood disorders in pregnancy and postpartum are real, unintentional, and treatable. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop symptoms during pregnancy or the first 12 months after childbirth. Baby blues may affect most new moms, but the blues are mild, brief, and last less than 2 weeks. 1 in 7 mothers experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum: severe symptoms that persist longer than 2 weeks. Symptoms may include feeling sad, angry, or confused, having extreme anxiety or scary thoughts, feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or guilty, having difficulty bonding with the baby, having lack of interest in usual activities, or having thoughts of hurting yourself or those around you. The most common time when new moms recognize postpartum depression or anxiety is when the baby is three to four months old. If you or a new mom that you know are having trouble coping with the transition to pregnancy or motherhood, please ask for help. Treatment is available and most women recover fully with treatment.  A 3-point approach works best for most women: individual therapy, medical evaluation with medication, if needed or desired, and a support group. WBWC offers a support group, Coping with Motherhood, on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 10:30 am – Noon. It’s mother-to-mother support, facilitated by Nancy Albrecht RN, MA, IBCLC. Coping with Motherhood is free and confidential for any pregnant woman or new mother who is struggling with a perinatal mood difficulty. Email Nancy at nancy@ncbirthcenter.org if you have any concerns or questions about your mood or the group. Other resources … Read More

MILC Moment: The Growth Chart Puzzle

MILC Moment: The Growth Chart Puzzle

By Rebecca Costello, IBCLC We sometimes hear from parents concerned that their breastfed children’s growth “slowing down” around 4 months – the baby’s weight percentile dropping and the baby slipping down the growth curve. Sometimes these concerns are accurate – but sometimes they are not! Why?? The fact is, some medical offices still use growth charts developed in 1977, based on a small sample of babies in Ohio who were primarily formula fed. Similarly, even the 2000 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) growth charts are based on a sample of mixed breast/formula feeders. Formula fed babies grow more slowly than breastfed babies in their first few months of life, then begin to grow more quickly than breastfed babies. When we chart breastfed babies on the formula fed growth chart, it makes breastfed babies look nice and high on the chart for the first few months, and then start to look like they are faltering. What does it look like when breastfed babies are tracked on charts that accurately reflect their growth? To do that, the newest World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts are a far better choice than any of he CDC charts. The WHO charts are based on a worldwide sample of infants who received optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding. This article from the Journal of Nutrition does an excellent job of discussing some of the differences between the CDC and WHO growth charts. They have several great illustrations as well to help you visualize how the growth charts differ: This chart shows the difference between weight-for-age curves in boys ages 0-60 months. You can see how around 4-6 months, the CDC chart line crosses over the WHO line and generally stays above – sometimes quite high above – the WHO line up through age 5. This chart is even better, which shows how an average infant from the WHO sample would track on each chart. A baby who tracks normally on the WHO chart (staying fairly even in growth after an initial drop) looks very different on the CDC chart: after an initial rise the baby appears to slowly fall down the growth curve from the age of 2 months on. The CDC formally recommends that all clinicians switch to the new WHO growth charts for ALL infants and toddlers up to 2 years of age. (Note that this means not just breastfed babies – the CDC recognizes … Read More

Cash Brockman’s Birth Story

Cash Brockman’s Birth Story

By Danielle Brockman It was the night of my son’s birthday party – the day after he turned four years old. I was still in shock that he was growing up so fast, and I was thinking about how four years ago I was blessed to have delivered at WBWC with Sarah, to hold such a sweet baby boy, and to give my husband his first Father’s Day gift (as he was born on Father’s Day). I had this weird feeling that I just needed to take a pregnancy test, so as the party was coming to an end, I did. I waited, and as I picked the test up, I saw very faint lines. Instantly my eyes filled with tears. I felt so much joy, but fear as well, due to having two previous miscarriages back-to-back. All the pregnancies were surprises. I got my composure back together and hid the test. I felt my husband should know as I did, but I wanted to tell him after the family left. I couldn’t wait for the next day as it was Father’s Day. After going to WBWC, confirming the pregnancy, and getting an early ultrasound, I felt so much at ease and more excited, but I knew I still couldn’t tell anyone. As 12 weeks was coming I had planned a family cookout and told them it was for my husband’s birthday, since we were going out of town for it. We had taken pictures of our oldest son Cage with the ultrasound and placed them in frames for the grandparents. As the day came for the cookout and everyone who could make it arrived, we gave my husband’s grandparents and his parents the frames and they opened them. That’s how we told our family and everyone was happy. I was starting to show and was trying my best to hide it from them until we told everyone. My dad and grandma were not able to come so I took them the frames I had put together. Everyone was very excited for us and wished us the best. I continued my care at WBWC, where I absolutely love going and talking with all the staff. When it was time to find out the gender of the baby, we planned a special reveal: we had a balloon with confetti inside and allowed Cage to pop it as I recorded for our family to see. IT’S … Read More

Upcoming Events: May

Upcoming Events: May

Click to view detailed calendar Babywearing Class – Saturday, May 6, 10 AM-12 PM, FREE Breastfeeding Basics – Tuesday, May 2 & 16, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple Coping with Motherhood – Thursday, May 4 & 18, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE Babywearing Dance Class – Every Friday 9:15-10:15 AM, $10/adult or $40 for 5 classes Weekend Breastfeeding Cafe – Saturday, May 13, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE NEW Meet the Doulas of Triangle Doula Collective – Saturday, May 13, 2-3pm, FREE La Leche League Meeting – Wednesday, May 10, 7-8:30 PM, FREE Caring for Your Newborn– Thursday, May 11, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30/couple Breastfeeding Cafe – Friday, May 12 & 26, 10:30 AM-12PM, FREE Develomental FUNdamentals with Maryska – Friday, May 19, 1-3:30pm, $20/person Cloth Diapering Class – Saturday, May 20, 10-11:30 am, FREE Meet the Doulas of Piedmont Community Doulas – Wednesday, May 17, 7-9pm, FREE Craniosacral Therapy Clinic – Saturday, May 27, 2-4pm, FREE Express Yourself, Pumping and Breastfeeding Class – Tuesday, May 23, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple

Birth Announcements

Birth Announcements

Welcome, Sweet Babies! Jackin Conanaiah Byrd – March 1 – 9 lbs., 3 oz. Eli Allen Brown – March 1 – 7 lbs., 3 oz. Lorelei Wynter Rose Knapik – March 3 – 7 lbs., 3 oz. *Rosalyn Moriah Elizabeth McCabe – March 3 – 5 lbs., 4.3 oz. Alathea Ringger – March 4 – 7 lbs., 1 oz. Elias James Everrett Hilchey – March 5 – 9 lbs., 1 oz. *Ashlynn Willemina Will – March 6 – 9 lbs., oz. Charles Denton Reese – March 10 – 8 lbs. Ellery Belle Corey – March 15 – 7 lbs., 14 oz. Emma Jean Murphy – March 16 – 7 lbs., 5.5 oz. Osma Meky – March 17 – 7 lbs., 10 oz. Sadie Adele Denard – March 22 – 6 lbs., 15 oz. Alexis Lynell Griffin – March 23 – 7 lbs., 8.5 oz. Wyatt Edward Hobbs – March 23 – 8 lbs., 2 oz. Cora Jane Sweeney – March 27 – 8 lbs., 2 oz. Margot Beatrice Thomas – March 28 – 7 lbs., 10 oz. Eleanor Mae Forbes – March 30 – 7 lbs., 5 oz. Adalyn Jane Walsh – March 30 – 7 lbs., 7 oz.   March stats: Total babies born: 35 Biggest baby: 9 lbs., 11 oz. Smallest baby: 5 lbs., 4 oz.  To be included in this celebratory list, please email Tori at tori@ncbirthcenter.org with your baby’s birth announcement information that includes their name, date of birth, and birth weight as well as a photo, if available. If you would like to send us your birth story along with photos, we are happy to include that in a future newsletter!

MILC Moment: Breastfeeding Update 2017

MILC Moment: Breastfeeding Update 2017

By Rebecca Costello, IBCLC Twice a year, the WBWC lactation consultants organize a “Breastfeeding Update” for all our midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurses. This spring we covered several topics, one of which was a quality improvement project by our UNC intern, Anna Caudill. Anna pulled data from charts for 6 months of WBWC births, looking at breastfeeding outcomes, specifically whether a baby is at or above birth weight at 2 weeks of age, which is an indicator of whether baby is breastfeeding well/getting enough milk. Her work was an update to a similar assessment conducted 2 years ago, which had enabled us to identify possible early warning signs of breastfeeding issues. As a result of the previous study, WBWC implemented several additional screening measures as part of our routine postpartum care. Anna’s research showed that over the past 2 years, we cut our rate of babies who were not back to birth weight by 50%! Because our rate 2 years ago was already similar to other comparable populations, this result now means we are doing much better than average. We credit this progress to our focus on early intervention – noticing breastfeeding problems in the first few days of life, and helping fix them quickly. We want to thank the entire WBWC team for making this progress possible, and of course you, our WBWC families, for working so hard with us to make breastfeeding successful for you and your babies. Anna also looked at the percentage of babies who lost more than 10% of their birth weight in the early days after birth (another sign that breastfeeding is not going well). We found that our rate is consistent with other comparable populations. Our next step is to see whether we can reduce that number as well. We have been in touch with another birth center that successfully reduced its numbers with some baby-friendly changes, like continuous skin-to-skin for 48 hours postpartum. We are interested to pilot some new ideas in the service of happy, healthy moms and babies. Stay tuned! Image courtesy of Heart in Hands Photography

Now Hiring: Labor & Delivery Nurse

Now Hiring: Labor & Delivery Nurse

Are you an experienced nurse interested in supporting women in an out-of-hospital setting? We are currently looking for full-time Labor and Delivery Nurses to join our team. This is a unique opportunity to support mothers in labor and postpartum. Email Emily Slaughterbeck, RN, emilys@ncbirthcenter.org, with your resume or any questions. “As a nurse at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center I love deeply connecting with women and families as they bring their little ones into this world. I love being empowered to truly provide the type of care that all women deserve whether it is here at the birth center in a birthing tub or sitting cross legged with them on their bed as I assess there newborn during a homevisit. The midwives make me feel like a valued part of the team as we talk through the plan of care whether it is discussing which herb or homeopathic remedy we should use next or if we are dealing with an emergency resuscitation of a baby. I love using my full range of nursing skills from supporting a mom in labor to teaching a newborn class to assisting a postpartum mom with breastfeeding.” – Asha Oakes, RN, IBCLC  

Wish List 2017

Wish List 2017

Women’s Birth & Wellness Center is dedicated to providing women of diverse backgrounds with comprehensive well woman, maternity and preventative healthcare throughout the life cycle. On behalf of the staff, volunteers, Board of Directors and, most especially, those individuals whom we serve, we thank you for considering a donation. More than ever, our independent fundraising efforts go to ensure and sustain the work of Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. We are a 501 (c)3 charitable organization and all contributions to our center are tax deductible – we will gladly provide a tax receipt for any donations received. Thank you on behalf of the staff and special women who give birth and receive care at our center. Laptop computer/computers for the nurses who do home visits: Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon Glider Rocker Refrigerator for Lab Baby Blankets Full Size Fleece Blankets Coffee Supplies for kitchen Digital Scale Juice Boxes Full size sheets with pillow cases If you’re interested in making a donation, please contact Brianna Honea at brianna@ncbirthcenter.org or by phone at 919.933.3301, ext. 218.

From Prenatal Appointment to Documentary Film

From Prenatal Appointment to Documentary Film

By Bradley Bethel If I could make one recommendation to every expectant dad, it would be this: accompany your partner to her prenatal appointments (with her permission, of course). For many of us men, pregnancy seems like an unfathomable mystery. Obviously, if we’re about to be become dads, we know something about how a woman becomes pregnant — that’s the easy part. Beyond that, however, society does little to help us understand pregnancy itself or how to support our partners through the process. For generations, we’ve been socialized according to gender norms that minimize men’s role during pregnancy and keep us ignorant about it. No wonder we’re often bewildered by the whole experience. Unlike the days of Call the Midwife, men are now welcome, even expected, to be with their partners during labor. Yet often our only preparation is a short series of weekly childbirth classes. Somehow, in six weeks, we’re supposed to undo a lifetime of exposure to sensationalized, frightening media depictions of childbirth and then feel prepared to assume the role of a calm, supporting partner. When my spouse, Tracy, became pregnant two years ago, I was eager to become a dad. But like most expectant fathers, I was anxious about my role during childbirth. Would I be able to provide adequate support to Tracy while she labors? What if something were to go wrong? Would I know what decision to make? How could I possibly remain calm and supportive through something as seemingly terrifying as childbirth? Fortunately, by the time Tracy woke me up on a Thursday morning several months later to tell me today is the day, my fears had subsided, and I felt ready to provide the support she needed. My change in confidence began when I accompanied Tracy to her first prenatal appointment with a nurse-midwife at the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. Midwife means “with women.” Midwifery is a fundamentally woman-centered approach to maternity care, based on respect for women’s bodies and women’s autonomy over their bodies. Many women who choose midwifery-based care describe it as empowering. Sitting by Tracy’s side at her first appointment, I found it empowering, too. And so I decided to go with her to every one of her prenatal appointments after that. At each appointment, we learned what was going on with our developing baby and Tracy’s body. As my understanding of the whole process grew, I felt … Read More

Cooper Jax’s Birth Story

Cooper Jax’s Birth Story

Some births are short and calm; other births are long and intense; all births can be powerful and sweet! Not all births go according to plan but WBWC midwives are there for every step of the way when mothers need to be transferred to UNC Hospital. This is the story of a long and intense birth: By Hillary Prazak I wanted to be done with my pregnancy around week 37, so January 4th. By week 39, I was miserable. My stomach was still growing, 2-5 pounds a week, sleeping was near impossible, and walking was out of the question. My life revolved around sitting at the dog park until I had to pee and reading books on the couch. Then my due date, January 25th, came and went and I wanted to cry. Each passing day I knew I was one day closer to meeting Cooper, but I also had a fear I would never naturally go into labor. Once a woman reaches week 40 each day counts as a week – or it should. Based on these conditions I got to 49 weeks pregnant ;). Let me reiterate I was miserable and pregnant. Labor. Could. Not. Come. Quick. Enough. Then week 41 came around – February 1st. Brent and I went to UNC Hospital for an ultrasound to make sure baby Coop was still doing well in utero; he was, yay!! The midwives would let him bake for one more week, and if he didn’t come out by February 8th I would be induced. By this point, I thought about pulling the trigger and being induced even if Cooper was safe. I’m glad I decided against that. On Thursday February 2nd, I was 41 weeks +1 day pregnant. This is the average date when first-time moms go into labor. I woke up around 3 a.m. having period-like cramps. I crossed my fingers they would get progressively worse and turn into labor pains. But a couple hours later I was back to feeling my new ‘norm’, which was a big fat freaking whale. And then I had a HUGE burst of energy. Fellow mom friends have told me this is a sign labor is right around the corner. I hoped. I was in the shower and started panicking about the house being dirty. It definitely wasn’t. But when I got out, I deep cleaned everything for about the millionth time this … Read More