Abby Block, CD(DONA), CBC

Doula & Breastfeeding Support ~ Serving Brooklyn & NYC

birthing center

Beautiful Birth Photos

Abby BlockComment

These photos are beautiful! Whether it's a home birth, hospital birth, natural birth, cesarean birth, midwife birth, water birth, OB birth, breastfeeding or formula feeding, or it's a first or second or third child... there's no one right way to do it. Take a look here.

NYC's Newest Birthing Center at LOMA

Abby BlockComment

Finally, earlier this year, New York City unveiled a new in-hospital birthing center. Until recently, our only in-hospital birthing center was the Birthing Center at Mt. Sinai West (formerly known as St. Luke's Roosevelt). As of this winter, women have another in-hospital birthing center option: The Birthing Center at New York Presbyterian/ Lower Manhattan Hospital. I had the pleasure of attending a birth there as a doula just a few weeks ago, and the facilities are beautiful! (Not to mention the birth, too, of course!!)

Hopefully this trend will continue in NYC. There are so many women looking for low intervention birth settings, with the option to labor in a tub amongst other great options available in the birthing center. NYC residents also have the option to give birth at the Brooklyn Birthing Center, an out-of-hospital freestanding birthing center, and New York City's only independent birthing center.

Read more about the opening of Lower Manhattan's Birthing Center here.

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New Birth Plan Template

Abby BlockComment

Many of my birth doula clients - whether they are planning a natural birth in a hospital or birthing center, or birth with medication, or a home birth - want to create a birth plan. One hospital in NYC (NYU) provides a fairly succinct birth plan template, which is great, however I don't know many other hospitals that do provide a template. You can find some templates online, some simple and some that are pages and pages long (which I don't recommend). The image above is of a new one that I came across and thought I'd share - link below. Enjoy!

https://thebestseasonofmylife.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/a-downloadable-visual-birth-plan/

 

Birth Matters.

Abby BlockComment

I love this article! Read the full text here.

Excerpt below:

"The problem with saying “It doesn’t matter how you give birth” is that if women take that to heart, they may not take the time to educate themselves on their choices or vet potential providers to find the right fit since the birth process doesn’t really matter anyway. Empowerment starts with women educating themselves on the childbirth process and understanding that they are the drivers of that process. Birth attendants are primarily experienced navigators who know what to do if inclement weather hits or if the car breaks down. They should not take the wheel unless there is truly no other choice.

Childbirth is the likely the hardest, most overwhelming thing a woman will ever do, so of course those experiences matter. If you walk away from your birth feeling powerless, that’s important. No matter how your baby ultimately enters the world, how you experience birth and how empowered you feel throughout the process does matter. Let’s stop telling women that it doesn’t."

Evidence Based Care for Pregnant Women

Abby BlockComment

Ever wonder what evidence-based care is? This great free video series by Rebecca Dekker, PhD of Evidence Based Birth does an excellent job of explaining what evidence-based care is and how to get it. A must watch video series for expecting parents - even if you are not pregnant yet! In fact, the sooner parents-to-be have access to this kind of information, the better. Whether you are interested in a natural birth, home birth, hospital birth, cesarean birth, birth with a doula, or birth without a doula, midwifery care or medical care model, this video series is for you! There's also a great video on the evidence for birth plans. Very enlightening. Enjoy!

Click here to watch the Evidence Based Birth video series: Do Birth Plans Really Work?

YOUR BIRTH, YOUR CHOICE!

Abby BlockComment

Seriously! As a doula, I support my clients' personal choices. Only each woman can know what is right for her when it comes to choosing a birth location, a care provider, and what type of care she would like to receive. There are so many different ways to give birth, which is wonderful, because there are so many kinds of women!

I love this quote from this recent article that explains some of the current controversy going on in the birth world:

How and where and whether someone has a baby is, by and large, every bit as personal as the business that led to conception in the first place.

Isn't that the truth?

Read the full article here.


The Rise of the Birth Center

Abby BlockComment

Unfortunately in the NYC/Brooklyn area, birthing center options are very limited. Hopefully, as the demand continues to increase, we will see more birthing center options for women. An excerpt is below from a recent article by CNN on the rise of birthing centers.

"There are nearly 4 million births a year in the United States and 98% still arrive in hospitals, but the increase in birth centers run by midwives has obstetricians, health insurers and hospitals taking notice. The number of babies born annually in birth centers has jumped 56% since 2007 to about 16,000, while total U.S. births have dropped nearly 10% in the same time, according to federal data."

Read the full article here: Not a Hospital, Not a Home Birth: The Rise of the Birth Center.