Rebozo Assisted Birth

Rebozo Assisted Birth


I have posted a still image of this, calling this a "midwife" birth because a doctor can provide gentle midwifery care. He places himself below her and uses the rebozo. A supportive team her prioritizes her needs. I had the pleasure of connecting with this OB – a gentle soul. Brazil has an 80-90 percent c-section rate in private hospitals and 45 percent in public hospitals, which makes this just heartwarming. A woman deserves to be loved no matter where she chooses to birth. Watch a longer version at Thank you Dr. Alencar.edit- revised stats

Posted by Human Birth Project on Saturday, March 25, 2017

I love this video. I don’t know if this baby catching dude is a doctor or a midwife, but I like his style, especially given they’re in a hospital. The things I particularly love here: he is sitting lower than the birthing woman. He understands his be vigilant and do his job within this medical context, yes, but not to loom over her and her partner as the authority over their experience. The family is the locus of power here. I love that he is included in the deeply intimate birthing space, a rebozo wrapped around him, staying quiet. He is not “letting” her birth this way, clearly she is letting HIM have the privilege of being part of this deeply intimate moment. She trusts him, and she feels safe to smooch her partner and relax in his proximity. He is so chill, not at all put out by being on the floor or being pulled on while she births. In fact he seems to appreciate that he can serve in such a physical/emotional, not just clinical way. I love how gently he holds the baby out, and how mom takes it from him.

Guess what? Midwives have been doing this for millennia. I am not singling this man out because he’s a guy who’s innovating anything. He is not. He is not more special in his actions than any average midwife. Praise to those who taught him. And kudos to him for finding the sense in what he’s observed and emulating it with such a present and lovely spirit. It is sad BECAUSE he is a man that a lot of people will take notice of this and give him a ton of praise and go “aaawwwww”. (not that that is his intention, and not that he’s less deserving of it than any other awesome birth keeper…I love this guy). Hopefully this is a great use of male privilege…to show mindful, loving, respectful, family centred, intimate, trusty family care and open eyes where some would have sadly remained closed.


4 Keys to Night Time Survival for New Parents

4 Keys to Night Time Survival for New Parents

In parenting as in life, everything is about perspective. It is our outlook combined with basic biological factors which make the soundtrack of our lives, helping us transition through the common adjustments the postpartum period requires.

Becoming a parent is perhaps one of the biggest shifts in life, one that requires major adaptation. Not only do we adjust physically as mothers to allow room for another human being to grow and develop inside us, but we prepare psychologically to become parents. We seek out education, and look to our families, friends and acquaintances for guidance and example.
But truly nothing can prepare us for the reality of early parenthood. Even the comprehensive and detailed courses that bring us information that is vital to new parenthood seem millennia away!

Awake late in the night, holding your fresh baby, much of what you learned seems out of reach.
Being at home with that new little being can be overwhelming for new parents. There is so much to know and we feel often inadequate and afraid that one simple decision is the only thing separating us from calamity. Our perspective is coloured by desperate love and inexperience.
The truth is that we have everything it takes. We always had it. We just have to trust it. But how?

There are four keys which MotherWit Postpartum Doulas use to help new parents develop strategies to balance life: NUTRITION, SUPPORT, LOVE and SLEEP.

  • NUTRITION is paramount to keeping a sleep-deprived, adrenaline-pumping brain in check. Accepting healthy meals from family and friends is key. Postpartum Doulas also bring food according to your needs.
  • SUPPORT refers to asking for help, calling on family and friends, asking questions, and seeking out respectful, non-judgemental resources. 
  • LOVE speaks to laughter, joy, allowing worry to melt away from time to time and relishing this new experience. It means loving yourself, your partner, and your new family member. And throw in a cart-load of forgiveness. You may as well start now! 
  • SLEEP… ah sleep.  I leave sleep for last because the lack of it is the wrench that can throw all of the above into chaos. When we are sleep-deprived our perspective can be very warped. If you have never been woken up every hour for days on end, suddenly have a tiny and extremely demanding life depending on you absolutely and completely, then new parenthood will feel like some sort of insane Amazing Race you can’t get out of! Days and nights melt into each other and seem endless.

 Often family and friends can be a great support here. Having a set of arms to hold Baby as you nap can be a life-saver. But sometimes what is needed is a (nearly) full night’s sleep.
This is where overnight Doula support comes in.

A Doula, experienced in pregnancy, birth and postpartum care, is a great choice of person to care for you and your baby during the night hours, when things can seem even more overwhelming. Doula arrives as you are ready for bed and often spends a few moments making tea and discussing your concerns before tucking you into bed.

The Doula will take care of Baby’s needs as they arise, tending to changing, burping, and soothing. If your baby needs your breast, they are brought to you for feeding, the Doula providing hand-on support and company in those challenging wee hours.  Doulas will also feed Baby with a bottle to help you get more sleep if this is your need.  A Doula will, however, know when Baby needs that comfort only mama’s arms can provide. You don’t need to worry that your baby will be missing you.  We can find the balance between as much sleep for you as possible, and ensuring Baby’s needs for connection with you are met.

Burping, diapering and rocking are generally taken care of so the new parents can get as much sleep as possible.
What is the result? It seems it is almost a miracle! Parents rise in the morning and coffee is brewing and ready. They often have time to shower before meeting Doula with a smile.

Our goal is for you to need us less, not more. Even one or two nights of restful sleep is often a turning point for many new parents. The brain is boosted with sleep, the over active adrenal glands take a break, and sweet relaxation takes over.

The many nights I have spent caring for new families in their cozy home are some of my most memorable moments as a Doula. It is perhaps the epitome of what it is to care for and nurture a new family into being. It is a sweet and gentle time, a time to move slowly and carefully. The world slows down, and in this moment space is created for your family to take its rightful place.

We no longer live in a world where “elders” are part of our cultural structure, but we can be sought out and utilized. Nothing is more comforting that sleeping soundly as the world is cared for by someone else. That is why Doulas do this work and carry this cultural tradition forward. It is important, valuable and often miraculous!

Millie Tresierra
Postpartum Doula
MotherWit Doula Care

5 Ways to Prevent Disappointment in the Delivery Room

5 Ways to Prevent Disappointment in the Delivery Room

to studies cited by PATTCh, an organization dedicated to the
Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (,
25 to 34 per cent of women report that their births were traumatic.
comes to the path of childbirth with different values, needs, and
desires.  There are no two pregnant women alike.  As
radically different as “ideal” birth dreams are from woman
to woman, most agree that the experience of birth matters to them.
what if birth goes differently from what you had hoped? 
a doula and childbirth educator for over 22 years, I have seen some
of the hopes and dreams women nurture during pregnancy dashed
violently against the rocks of surprise.
are five ways to approach your birth day that will decrease the
possibility of not only disappointment, but of avoidable trauma.
 They will also potentially increase your chances of
feeling like a rock star about your birth.
Have Realistic Expectations
hearing women recount their birth stories, it is apparent that many
believe a labour that lasted 18 to 24 hours was long.  In fact,
24 hours is normal for a first birth experience.
will serve you better to expect your labour to be on the longer and
harder side.  This will inspire you to mobilize some techniques
to help you pace yourself.  Patience is a key element in coping
with labour. 
your expectations meet the reality of a normal labour, you will not
react with fear or concern.  You will be more prone to remain
relaxed, which actually helps you to labour more efficiently.  It
tends to be psychologically easier on women to discover they are more
advanced in their labour than they thought (providing they are in an
environment that feels safe to them). 
you expect your body will open according to a formula that can be
dictated by an app, believing that times of contractions go according
to a dependable curve and can predict how close to full dilation and
delivery you are, you could potentially a) think you are WAY farther
along than you actually are, which is mojo crushing news to hear when
labour is intense, or b) birth in the car.
clock or an app can never tell you when your baby will arrive. You
will very likely know when it is time to take labour seriously
because your body will tell you.
Prepare for the Unexpected
is a good idea to have some solid coping skills under your belt in
order to meet whatever labour throws at you with confidence.
may not end up with the natural birth you’d hoped for. You could give
birth too quickly to get that epidural you wanted.  Or, you
unfortunately find your epidural doesn’t work quite the way you
thought it would. You may not have read the chapter in your birth
books on Cesarean, end up needing one, and experience more anxiety
than necessary because you didn’t have an idea of what to expect.  
good, unbiased, evidence-based prenatal classes that respect personal
choice and furnish you with simple labour coping techniques.  Know
your options at your place of birth (including for your contingency
plans), because without clearly understanding what is available to
you and what your rights are, your options are limited.
it all up to chance with an “it will be what it will be, the
experts will decide everything” attitude can deny you the
opportunity to truly own your experience.  I have found this
approach to have a higher likelihood of leading to disappointment and
your breathing and relaxation, which can be applied to any birth
situation, expected or not.  Ensure your birth partner knows
some good massage techniques to help with comfort.  Be open to
everything and attached to nothing. Stay centred.  
Find Your Centre
the end of the day, no matter how you end up at the big moment of
delivery, it is often the baby who decides how they need to come into
the world.  
can indeed influence the quality of your birth experience with good
diet, good prenatal care, good prenatal education, and a positive
attitude which affirms that the normal birth process generally works
magnificently.  But you cannot control the outcome.  It is
ultimately a mystery.
you can do, is practice having some mastery over your responses to
what is going on inside you and around you.  You can start now.
 When something hurts or gets on your nerves, take a deep breath
and repeat to yourself “Nothing can disturb my peace,”
until you actually feel anchored to the changeless peace that rests
beneath every experience.  Think of it like being the whole
ocean instead of just the waves.
way, you learn to discern that whatever is going on in your field of
experience is just one small part of any given moment, and it too
shall pass.  Being centred helps you to refrain from jumping
down the rabbit hole of  fear and tension in response to the
challenges labour provides. This will serve you as you work through
the sensations of your birth experience, as well as in difficult
parenting moments.
ability to access this centre is the greatest tool to have when
contractions start coming on strong, or waves of anxiety threaten to
crash in on the day of your planned C-section. 
centred doesn’t mean you will behave with Zen like calm.  It
just means that while you’re coping with labour in whatever way you
do (yelling being a perfectly valid way), you feel connected to a
source of inner strength and self-trust.
Trust Yourself
witnessed hundreds of births, I can tell you that in pregnancy,
birth, and motherhood, women often develop uncanny intuition when it
comes to their bodies and their babies. They may doubt it, as
intuition is not something we as a culture have a lot of practice
validating within ourselves, but it is there nonetheless. 
a young pregnant woman, I was amazed at how intuitive I felt about my
needs for birth. I am glad I trusted them, as I sense my birth
experiences would have turned out differently had I not.
a mother of four, I rely a lot on my gut when it comes to making
parenting decisions, and you will too
you and your baby are a symbiotic unit, it isn’t a stretch of the
imagination to realize there is a deep connection between the two of
you, and can lend to your having insider information about what is
best for your situation.
Get Support
the people you have on your birth team know what you want, what your
greatest concerns are, and are prepared to stand by your wishes
whenever possible.  They should take time to address your
questions and concerns, listen to you, explain your options, and
support your choices. 
Cochrane Review, a well known medical journal states: “Continuous
support in labour increased the chance of a spontaneous vaginal
birth….and women were more satisfied.”  
can come in the form of a friend, a family member, or a professional
doula who is trained and experienced in providing information,
comfort measures, and empathetic guidance to women and their partners
throughout labour and delivery.  

felt supported, heard, understood, loved, and upheld as active
participants in their decision making process wherever possible is
what women report helped them feel good about their birth
experiences…even if they didn’t go as expected.

the day your little bundle of joy arrives, it is my greatest hope
that you feel like a rock star…no matter what!  Because your
birth experience truly matters.