You've peed on a stick, now what?

9 steps after two pink lines appear.

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First and foremost congratulations and welcome to the journey of parenthood! This journey can stir up several emotions and questions. We have put together a lil list to provide a jumpstart on this wild ride.

Step 1 - Breathe

Breathe and allow yourself a moment to soak it all in. Whether this is your first or tenth, it is a big life change.

Step 2 - Acknowledge the pregnancy

When there is a faint line or uncertainty, acceptance can be difficult, but time is crucial throughout a pregnancy.Your at-home pregnancy tests are generally up to 97% accurate but only if directions are followed correctly. They are designed to detect a pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG for short) in a woman’s urine, the test works best first thing in the morning.  Once you have acknowledged that you are indeed pregnant, how do you feel about that?

Step 3 - Take a moment to write

Write a list or outline of what is important to you for your birth. Where do you feel safe? Birth is a very intimate and loving experience, as well as overwhelming and intense. Those experiences are usually had in a private space where safety should be considered.

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Step 4 - Ask yourself, “Do I feel heard?”

As a woman, this pregnancy affects your body. Do you have a relationship with a care provider that listens? If you do not feel heard or taken care of, it will be difficult to build trust. This is the beginning of your long term sexual health. You are putting your life and your baby’s life in the provider’s hands. Trust is important.

This is your birth.
— Sara Badger, CPM

Step 5 - Choosing your care provider

Pregnancy is a long journey and your care provider will be walking alongside you for the duration. There are different types of providers, our hope is that you are able to choose the best one for your needs.

OBgyn practices do not typically offer a meet and greet appointment without an initial exam. There are several providers under one roof. Appointments do not often get rescheduled, they simply assign you to another provider for the scheduled prenatal.

Another option within a OBgyn practice is a CNM or Certified Nurse Midwife, their education path begins with nursing care then midwifery certification. They work under the license of the OBgyn.

If you’re looking for more individualized care, and an out-of-hospital birth is a consideration, a CPM midwife may be a route to consider.

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This is unknown territory, find time to ask questions, interview one or two providers in each type of practice. Bring a prepared list of questions with you.

Step 6 -Take a child birth class

Many people find themselves unsure as to how birth works. Gone are the days that birth was a family affair. We don’t always experience birth until it is happening to us. Then add in our partners, most often they do not know birth can take place out of the hospital, let alone that labor has phases. Knowing how labor works and becoming educated about your body, helps to alleviate the overall fear.

If you are in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area we highly recommend: https://www.grnaturalbirth.com

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Step 7 -

Stop Googling!

Step 8 - Read

Choose three books that will guide you to your desired birth. Throw away “what to expect when you’re expecting” and get “The Mama Natural week-by-week guide to pregnancy & childbirth” There are great new books out there, find them!!

Step 9 - PLAN YOUR POSTPARTUM!!





Encouraging Safe Co-Sleeping

One of our Dock-A-Tots in one of the birth suites

One of our Dock-A-Tots in one of the birth suites

Sleeping with your baby has several benefits for moms and babies. Studies show that sharing a sleeping space offers some protective effects against SIDS, and most moms will tell you that sharing a bed with their baby ultimately helps them get more rest, even when frequently night-nursing, as it requires them to get in and out of bed fewer times in the night. 

In keeping with our commitment to providing parents with eduction and information so that they can make informed choices about every aspect of their pregnancy, birth and parenthood journeys, we keep open conversation with all of the families we serve about the benefits and risks of co-sleeping. James McKenna and his team at the University of Notre Dame are doing some important and thorough research on mother-baby sleep behavior, and from that research has come a set of guidelines for sharing sleep safely

At the birth house, we utilize a Swedish product called Dock-A-Tot to give parents who give birth at the birth house the opportunity to test drive bed sharing with the extra layer of support and safety it provides. Our friends at EcoBuns in Holland (which is our favorite place to go for all things cloth diapering, too, by the way!) donated two of these to the birth house this spring. We've obtained some stylish covers for them (of course!) and one is available for use in each of the two birthing suites. 

Babies in the fourth trimester are most contented when they're kept close to their moms, where she can be smelled, her breath heard, her body heat shared, and her breast available at a moment's notice. We love that Dock-a-Tot helps support that closeness. 

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Baby Maeve (age 4 months), who's been tagging along to prenatal and postpartum appointments at the birth house these days with her mama (Brooke), has given the Dock-a-Tot her stamp of approval. She thinks it's a great place to take a nap while her mama does her student midwife thing. :)