3 steps to being a Happy Camper during pregnancy, labor and birth



Dear World, welcome Miss Elliana MaeBelle! She is one happy camper! Let me tell you why... her mama ate right, exercised, stayed clear of harmful things to carry her full term and remained healthy and low risk throughout. Elliana weighed in at 6lbs. 6oz., 19.5 inches long to proud parents, Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Mosher. Here are a few other fun facts, believe it or not, her parents met on e-harmony! She was also named after her maternal great grandma, "Belle" and the same name also belongs to her great aunt. Miss Elliana wanted to assist me in sharing three simple steps to helping expectant couples better understand how they can help their baby enter the world a happy camper!


First step to being a happy camper (or the parent of one): Find a partner that shares your beliefs, your ambition level, your likes & dislikes, must have's and can't stands. Matching couples based on compatibility, is one thing Eharmony has seemed to perfect. Of course, if people honestly complete the 19+ pages of questions, lol. Now, as the writer, I am not suggesting Eharmony alone is everyone's answer, but KNOW, really KNOW the person you are dating, before you marry them or make a baby. I mean for best chances of being a happy camper. When this couple met, Kori had been focusing her attention on teaching children with autism and resided in Maryland. Matt worked as a family minister and was studying for his second masters in Georgia. Had it not been for e-harmony, odds are they would have never even met, let alone create a baby together. Let's take a quick look at their love story... the couple met May 31, 2014, each drove approximately five hours to the middle which was Greensboro, NC. They had an amazing full day of really getting to know each other over coffee, not just any coffee but Matt's all time favorite, Beansboro (which has since closed R.I.P.), where they talked for hours, then played mini golf and a relaxing walk in a nearby park. Matt defined the relationship in his car before they departed, "You're Beautiful, You have Depth and I want to pursue YOU!" Kori was certainly on board with that!


After their wedding, they came to reside in north Ga, where l had the pleasure to be their Childbirth Educator for over twelve weeks. Second step to being a happy camper during pregnancy, labor and birth is proper training. This is way more challenging in today's climate for several reasons. People think "the doctor will just tell me what to do", "it will come natural and be instinctive", "I can simply google it!" Many are led to believe childbirth education is "no longer relevant" nor do you need a doula "the nurse can be your doula".

To elaborate, if you take hospital class, expect to learn about "normal protocol at that hospital", every class is NOT the same level of education or preparation. A one day or two hour workshop is still Way better than nothing, but can only cover basic info/ highlights, (in which as a first time parent, can not begin to properly prepare you). You can learn the hard way, or learn as you go, but why would you want to do business that way? Kori and Matt would highly recommend twelve weeks and then some. Dr. Robert A. Bradley, former OBGYN, advocate to get dads into the labor room and author of Husband Coached Childbirth and the method itself, was quite adamant, "it takes nine months to properly grow and nourish a baby and it certainly takes that and then some to learn everything you need to know before the baby exits your body, no matter how it exits!". Matt and Kori chose The Bradley Method® of natural birth. The Bradley Method® to date is still the most detailed of all birthing methods, most thorough natural birth preparation, specific training to overcome obstacles and the Cadillac of all healthy pregnancy, labor and birth education classes.




The focus of the class is learning how to work with your body during labor, specific training of both DAD as coach (what to look for, how to help Mom, etc.) and train Mom to properly relax through contractions so she can get the most out of each contraction, use proper positioning and relaxation to avoid unnecessary pain, etc.. Their ultimate goal was: healthy mom & healthy baby, but not just the safest birth possible being drug-free, but also low intervention labor & birth. Now, I like to call this #SymbioticBirth, meaning the best of the medical side, coupled with the best of normality, subjecting the laboring mom and baby to only "medically necessary interventions". Here is what not to say, "I am going to have a natural birth and yet do NOTHING to prepare for it. Recipe for disaster- That is not smart. Since we have no idea what will present throughout the course of labor, one must be prepared to weather strong contractions, overcome hurdles like slow to dilate cervix, or in Kori's case, just avoid induction altogether. The choice to be induced alone, will change your entire experience by increasing pain levels throughout. Kori had also made focusing on what she could control her priority! So much of the process can be out of our hands, but when we focus on proper nutrition, prenatal exercises, training our body for labor and positions that are productive, obtain a basis of understanding of the most common scenarios that present, we also remove the fear from the process. Relaxing during labor can make all the difference, as relaxation equals progress! Kori had learned ACOG (American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology) had recently studied consuming date fruit and the effects of shortening labor successfully. She had also learned in her Bradley® training that walking speeds labor by 27%.


In addition, prior to labor beginning, she helped prepare her cervix for labor with dads help and other natural ways like: red raspberry tea, primrose oil, etc. and she worked tirelessly to prep herself for labor.


We met for lunch, walking and even pool fun, aka, "girl friend time!" She ate unusual foods and had decided she was ready for baby to come out because she was over eating weird things...lol. In the end, a relaxing day of hiking, much like their first date together helped jump start her labor. They enjoyed a picnic and hike at local state park, Watson Mill Bridge.

She is, however, not sure if she can directly relate her shorter active labor phase to the physical preparation, maybe it was the date fruit? Kori would tell you, "it was really hard to get six dates down a day." She hid them in things like pancakes, smoothies, etc. and pushed through. If it could potentially help prepare her body and more specifically her cervix, she was convinced she would somehow get them down.


She did not technically know when labor truly began, because the early focus of the Bradley Method® is not payng attention too soon. Therefore, not counting early labor hours from 1-6cm, she had approximately 8 hours of active/ late labor. ACOG considers active labor, "6cm or beyond" and also suggest the laboring Mom should be 6cm or beyond prior to admitting to her birthplace as long as no danger signs present. I always tell my clients you give yourself credit for each and every contraction because its a marathon not a sprint. So, technically Kori was in total labor around 32 hours from start to finish.


She and Matt also relied upon their faith to see them through the difficult time of back to back contractions that were all consuming. She is shown here utilizing the squatting position and doing her deep abdominal breathing. The couples favorite verse is Proverbs 3: 5-6. I have no doubt these two will do just that, "Train up their child..." I mean mom & dad were a perfect example of the poster couple for being properly educated, trained, etc.. They researched "the where and with whom to birth" to have support for their personalized birth wishes. They learned in class their choices and created a detailed birth plan in class 7 to elicit specific support for their wishes.


Final step for being a happy camper throughout labor and birth: Choose wisely the where & with whom you birth. Consider not just your birth place and practitioner but also having Doula support. Kori chose Womens Healthcare Associates in Athens, St.Mary's for her birth place. Shown above, Doula Apprentice, Nikki Reeves, applies counter pressure to Kori's low back to ease the discomfort of the contractions.


She also added YourBirthHelper.com and the #AthensDoulaDreamTeam for support in executing her birth plans. She was informed and understood the definition of "informed consent" and how to be an educated consumer, meaning "who to pay their hard earned money to during labor/birth to have their birth plans not just supported but encouraged!" There is a difference between going along with a birth plan and actually encouraging the couple to meet their goals when labor is challenging.



Kori was a champ during the Labor Down phase and allowed gravity to help bring the baby down. She used low register noise and little grunts to avoid pushing too soon. Hillary, their midwife had Matthew put on a pair of gloves, just in case he decided to help catch. He did real good, as you can see below. He accepted his "daddy helped born me" role with great pride under the guidance of Hillary Mitler, CNM.




She had stated formerly in class, she did not like the idea of utilizing hands and knees position for pushing, because she felt it would be too hard to turn over after birth while holding baby.


She began pushing in classic position and flipped into hands and knees maybe 40 minutes into push phase, once in hands and knees she also had gravity helping her and shortly thereafter with less than an hour of active pushing, well, let's just say she made reaching down and grabbing her baby and flipping over look real easy too!!




She also had a

supportive mate

to help encourage

her along her journey

into parenthood, for

9 months of

pregnancy,

throughout labor

and even after birth!

And, it didn't stop there, together they have overcome nursing challenges, as well. Matt make sure she was eating well & best managing postpartum challenges. Kori would share its not easy being a mom, the lack of sleep alone can be challenging, but it certainly can be way easier to manage when you have a basis of understanding to expect certain things and have a supportive mate by your side to encourage and assist!

Congrats again Mosher Family ~ it was our utmost pleasure to serve you during your labor of love! Remember, you begin as students, but you end as Family! Baby Elliana welcome to the best darn #BirthFamily in Georgia ~ your #AthensBirthFamily!

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