Entries Tagged as 'pregnancy'


Contributing Blogger Monica Sackandy: Planning a home birth

Beginning to plan for my first ever home birth, I had my first group informational meeting at Birth and Beyond several weeks ago. It was all the way in Madison, CT from 6:30 to 8 pm on a Thursday night. Living about an hour and a half away, I was not looking forward to making the drive through New Haven traffic at rush hour. Nevertheless, I was excited to see what their practice was all about and meet other moms-to-be delivering around the same time. I left early and luckily arrived just in time. Expecting an office plaza or medical building, I was happily surprised to find myself pulling into a long private driveway leading to a cozy home nestled back from the road and surrounded by tall trees.

There were LOTS of cars there…far more than I expected. A candle lit path led the way to the lower level at the back of the house where I saw everyone entering. Inside, one of the midwives Vicki (who owned the home) greeted us all warmly. Everyone sat in a circle; there were healthy snacks on a small table and ice water with lemons. So many people came in fact, that another group was sent upstairs to speak with another one of the midwives. I felt instantly relaxed. There was a full examination room directly across from me, a large yet cozy bathroom with a medical scale, and the warm inviting waiting area. We spent the next hour or so talking about the entire home birthing process and were welcomed to ask questions. We met the other midwives, all of whom were lovely, accomplished women. Afterwards, Vicki met with each and every one of us separately to set up a file and a subsequent private appointment.

When it was time to go, all of my fears about not delivering in a hospital had disappeared. I drove home thinking “I can do this.” The Midwives at Birth and Beyond said that when I went into labor, 2 CNM’s (Certified Nurse Midwives) would arrive at my home with 2 large duffel bags each, full of all the typical things the nursing unit at the hospital would have- stitches for tearing, pitocin (used only for hemorrhaging), a monitor for baby’s heart rate, a vitamin K shot for their heel after birth, a scale to weigh the baby, etc. Birthing tubs could also be provided if we wanted to reserve one. There will be no pain killers at all, that I know and have been prepping for with my prenatal yoga and breath work.  But I would be allowed to eat, drink, and move around as much as I needed for this birth- hallelujah!  My first child was delivered after 26 hours of labor. 26 hours of not eating anything but ice chips and staying mainly in a bed in one position. My second daughter was induced (still not sure why, she was only 2 days late and not that big), so all I can really remember was a drug induced haze (although pain free, not worth it). After the birth they would stay for several hours, one monitoring me and the other monitoring the baby. They would also come back several times over the course of the next couple weeks to examine myself and the baby. Paperwork would be provided for obtaining the baby’s social security number. If needed, they have a relationship with an individual who performs circumcisions. And, they even offer a service that will dry the placenta and encapsulate it into a pill to be taken later as a form of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  Supposedly this helps with healing, energy levels, and postpartum depression. Who knew?

Last week I had my final appointment at my regular OB/GYN before preparing to switch everything over to my Midwives’ Practice.  It was my 20 week ultrasound and I had told myself as long as everything was healthy and normal, we would move forward with planning the home birth. Lying on the table as the tech examined my unborn little baby, I looked on as she showed me each little part which seemed to be normal and healthy from what she could see. Thank Goodness. Being pregnant a third time is a blessing in itself, and a healthy baby can truly not be taken for granted, such a gift.

After the appointment, I felt relieved and excited to move forward with my home birth, but a little nervous and reluctant to tell the doctor before leaving the office that I would need to request a records release. I had heard mixed things from women who have decided to take the” road less traveled” so to speak, many saying they experienced push back from the medical community, attitude from their doctors, grilling questions, pressure not to do a home birth, etc.  I met with my Nurse Practitioner afterwards, and she could not have been more wonderful. It turns out she herself had studied a path in midwifery in the past and basically wished me well and told me she was sure I would “have a beautiful birth”. Wow! SO relieved.  I asked for my records, said I would see them after the baby was born, and that was that.

Praying for a healthy complication-free delivery, I am thrilled at the possibility that my next child will enter the world right here in our home, surrounded by loved ones.  Looking forward to the journey! Namaste (:

Information about Birth and Beyond can be found at:   http://www.birthandbeyond.info/

Contributing Blogger:  Written by Monica Sackandy, Owner and Director of Little Yoga LLC Ellington CT 

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New Contributing Blogger Monica Sackandy: Yoga Practice During Pregnancy

I am really excited to announce a new contributing blogger to Yoga Peach and Lil’ berry! 

Monica Sackandy is currently 19 weeks with her third child. “I am planning on having my first home birth and am looking to yoga to help manage the physical pain of birth, and to help release some of my fears about not delivering in a hospital.”  Monica will be a regular contributing blogger on Yoga Peach and Lil’ berry and I’m so excited she’ll be sharing the journey with us.  If you have questions for her, feel free to reach out and ask her!  Thanks, Monica, for sharing the experience with us.

My personal journey into yoga has been an ever changing one. After giving birth to my second daughter, our town opened up a brand new, state of the art YMCA that offered free (yes, FREE!) childcare while you work out.  I admit to have been out of loop with my fitness routine during the time I was pregnant with her. Anytime I wanted to work out required a babysitter for my older daughter, and it seemed impossible to stick to anything regular. Practicing yoga or working out at home was not as easy as I had thought. Whenever the kids would nap, so would I. So when the new, family-friendly facility was built, I jumped on it. I started going back the gym at least 4-5 days a week, taking as many yoga and Zumba classes as I could fit in.

Not only did I lose the 50 pounds I had gained while pregnant, but I developed a new found love of yoga and its spiritual side, and also began trying more challenging classes. Power Yoga, which had been difficult for me in the beginning, slowly became my favorite as I learned to truly listen to my body and find the full expression of each pose. There is a satisfaction unlike anything else when you are finally able to master a pose that at one time seemed completely out of reach. It is a true realization inside you that with practice, anything is possible.

Fast forward a year later, and I had completed a life changing journey in an amazing 200 hour RYT program. I began teaching Power and Adult All Level at studios locally. Noticing a lack of yoga programs in my community for pregnant women, mom and baby, and children, it wasn’t long before Little Yoga LLC was born, and I was officially a business owner.  This was the first major change in my regular personal practice.  I began noticing that whereas before I had frequently “received” yoga by taking a variety of classes with different instructors, I was now completely “giving” yoga by teaching all of my own classes. I developed a more regular home practice as many yoga instructors do, practicing by myself as much as possible when there would be a quiet lull in my day. As much as I enjoy the peace of a solitary home practice or the joy of teaching yoga to others, there truly is something to be said about “receiving” it. To go into a class as a student and experience what another teacher has to offer as well as the energy of a full class is a real gift that we need to give ourselves much more often.

Then came a surprise-my husband and I found out in October that we are expecting our third child! This has been the biggest change in my personal practice by far. It is true; you can practice yoga right up until your due date. However, the yoga I had been practicing had a lot of aspects not advised for pregnant women. Some of my most favorite poses are now contraindicated and will have to be put on the backburner until post-delivery. The feeling of pushing up into a Wheel, of finding the perfect balancing point to come into Crow, or inversions like Shoulder stand are out the window for the time being. Even my favorite Sun Salutation B has to now be modified, and Savasana too?! I know yoga teachers are supposed to go with the flow and not have attachment to outcomes, but I admit to feeling a little cringe of disappointment at not being able to continue working on challenging poses and to have to alter the ones I loved so much.

The beauty of the situation is that I am re-learning how my body responds to yoga as a pregnant woman. It is similar to starting over, and the “beginner’s mind” we are encouraged to cultivate in the yogic discipline. Approach each situation, each pose like it is your first time. Realize yoga is not a competition, but an ever changing journey of self discovery. One of my new favorites is now a modified Upward Facing Dog, with blocks or a rolled blanket placed under the thighs for support.  The feeling of opening the heart and getting a gentle stretch in the front body is very soothing to me at this stage of the game.  Vigorous Sun Salutes have temporarily been replaced with my new favorite vinyasa flow done on all fours: Cow-Cat, Cow-Dog, Cow-Child.  I find myself really getting into “the zone” following this simple pattern of poses and breaths. As for Savasana, the “Sleeping Buddha” on my side with pillows for support is just as relaxing and relieving as the flat on your back version.  The highly challenging poses will always be there for me to come back to, like an old friend. There is so much of yoga I still have to experience, much like life.

I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love and have it structured in such a way that supports my biggest job, being a mother to young children. I have especially enjoyed being able to take the journey of pregnancy alongside my prenatal students, and to truly share it with them. Motherhood is the greatest gift of all, and the “practice” we will have “modify” every day for the rest of our lives. I hope that yoga will help me forge through my next challenge, preparing for a home birth and becoming a mother of three.  Namaste (:

Contributing Blogger:  Written by Monica Sackandy, Owner and Director of Little Yoga LLC, Ellington CT LittleYogaLLC.com


Bump of the Week

Hi Keli!
Here’s Jack and I doing chair yoga at 32 weeks pregnant with Paz.  Do I get bonus points for yoga and dog??  Hope you are well.
Awhile back Somer shared how prenatal yoga was beneficial throughout pregnancy on Yoga Peach Prenatal Yoga.

Bump of the Week

Morning, Lil’ berry /Yoga Peach,

If it hadn’t been for yoga, this pregnancy might not have felt so amazing. I am due in three weeks, and feeling fantastic! I feel that cultivating a strong practice has helped me to combat morning sickness early on (I was REALLY sick and even lost weight the first trimester), avoid physical aches and pains, swelling and excess weight gain, as well as manage my emotions more efficiently. My OB, co-workers and friends comment on my huge energy levels this far along in the pregnancy (working 30+ hour weeks as a massage therapist and teaching yoga)…I put it down to yoga! Plus, having a deep internal awareness meant feeling my baby move sooner than most (at 14 weeks)!




Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS)

photo via everychildisablessing

Just a few weeks ago a childhood friend of mine reached out to me near her final weeks of pregnancy. She shared her experience with Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS) and the remedies she seeked out and found helpful.  A very special thank you to Rose for sharing her information and suggestions with fellow readers.

Please note that I am a professionally trained Birth Doula. I am not a medical doctor and these suggestions do not substitute as medical advise.  We suggest seeing your care provider to learn more about PUPPS and offer this mama’s suggestions as guideline to use at your own risk.

Hi Keli,

Say as a Doula, I was thinking you might want to check out and share Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPS). It’s a chronic hives-like itchy condition that pregnant women get very rarely. I’m one of the lucky ones smile It’s absolutely awful, but I’ve figured out some really excellent natural ways to deal with it.

My doctor immediately wanted to put me on Prednisone. Which I was like “oh hell no,” so I researched the crap out of it. Basically it goes away after birth, BUT it is also because your liver is over taxed.  This can happen from just the stress of the pregnancy, a poor diet, or in my case I got poison ivy, and my my hormone levels just made the production of histamine go into over drive.

So what i’ve been doing is Dandelion Root Capsules and they have cleared the hives up, 2 caps three times a day….Also, I use Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap which smells gross, but helps with the itch. You can get it at GNC or online.  I’ve also been doing acupuncture for liver support and lots of clean eating (you don’t want to detox your liver, you want to strengthen it).  Calms Forte is also good!  If you have a client or know someone with PUPPS, tell her those things can help.

Can’t wait to read your new blog!  Rose


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