I wanted to share the comments that we are getting from the women who attended our BOLD Women’s Weekend and Couples Series. I have been amazed at how so many women have been hungry for the wisdom that they had within them and never knew how to tap into before. Here are some of the comments we have heard so far:

Thank you Charlotte and Teresa for an amazing weekend. If you are a pregnant lady, regardless of your birth plan or whether or not you have one, you MUST take the Women’s Circle BOLD class. It was the most trans-formative and empowering weekend I’ve ever had. I came in with many fears about birth, and now I feel strong and confident that I can manage those fears and have the birth experience I want. THANK YOU!!!

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I feel so bold after being with you guys for those two weekends!! Thank you for giving so much energy to us to help us carve out our paths!

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This should be a REQUIRED class for anyone having a baby. This class is poetry! I thought that all I needed was facts to be prepared….Little did I realize that birth is so much more than just knowing how to pronounce Erythromycin! And just when you have faced your fears in weekend 1, Teresa and Charlotte bring in your partners for weekend 2 to explore your relationship, create intimacy and make sure the dads learn the basics and the facts right alongside the moms. Charlotte and Teresa are like bread and butter – the perfect combination of instructors who love what they do like no one I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad I found this class. I have no more fears…only anticipation for my big day!!
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A true delight for right-brainers, and an absolute necessity for left brains. I will admit that there was some mystery to exactly what would be covered when I signed up, but those of you brave enough to welcome a challenge will not regret it.

The woman’s weekend is a true bonding experience, with yourself and the fellow moms embarking on a similar journey. The classes will go beyond your comfort zone, into your true, raw self, but the reward is an awesome understanding! The couple’s class was a great way for me to connect with my husband on such a deep and intimate level that our relationship is likely changed permanently. Technique, positioning, and coping mechanisms are also taught, and much more thoroughly than you would find in a hospital class!

Both Teresa and Charlotte have such an obvious love for women, the birthing process, and the motherly spirits. They are like old friends I wish I had known a lot longer! The fluidity with which they teach is perfect, sometimes hilarious, and always informative. I felt prepared going in, but now I feel as if the perfect birth is truly awaiting me! Thank you both!! xoxo

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Thank you and Charlotte for an educational, emotional and empowering weekend! I got even more from the class than I was expecting and truly believe it will have a tremendously positive impact on our birth experience!

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I can’t wait to hear how their births unfold with BOLDness!

I wanted to share how great our experience with Charlotte was. Being committed to having a natural birth experience, I loved having Charlotte to support me on that journey. When I went into labor, Charlotte supported me over the phone and then came to our house when I felt I was ready and needed to have her there. During her time with me, she was constantly encouraging me to keep moving and do things to further my labor progress. Charlotte was very good about helping me work through the discomfort of contractions, and being a first time mom, she really helped me stay calm. When I started to get anxious, she talked with me about how I was feeling which I was feel was invaluable at helping me keep my anxiety level low and allowing me to stay focused on my baby and not my fear. Without her support, I am not sure I would have been able to maintain such control over my emotions.

When we arrived at the hospital, Charlotte continued to help me move through my contractions, and even though I was only dilated to a 4 when we arrived, it only took 4 hours from that point until I delivered which I give so much credit to Charlotte for. She encouraged me to get in certain positions that I would have never known to do on my own, especially not in the midst of active labor, that really helped my body open up and progress. Charlotte’s confidence in me allowed me to have so much more confidence in myself when I reached the point where I felt I couldn’t go on. With the support of Charlotte and my husband, I got through that brief moment and continued on to have the perfect birth experience I had been dreaming of. Even though I was nervous about how well my husband and Charlotte would work together since my husband was a little skeptical about needing a doula, it ended up being such a blessing for my husband as well. Afterwards, he told me that having Charlotte at our birth was the best decision we could have made. She really helped ease both our nerves throughout the entire process.

I would recommend Charlotte to anyone, she was invaluable to us. If we decide to have another child, we will definitely be using her!

Elizabeth Martin

Well sorta.. actually these are referrals from folks who used our placenta encapsulation services with Melanie Belk! Melanie has a biology degree  and is also the mom to four and a labor doula- although she rarely doulas much any more. She recently realized she had encapsulated over 100 placentas! She loves her work and here are some words from those who have benefited from that work! Here is a link to a previous client’s blog you may enjoy as well- L&MBLOG

melanie nasmyth

I used the placental encapsulation services for my third child.  I was petrified of having postpartum depression and anxiety … with two big kids in the house I could ill-afford to be blue.  My pills lasted for about two months and I don’t regret taking them one bit.  I do feel my energy was stronger and my mood was steadier than after my previous two births.  If I were having another baby, I wouldn’t hesitate to take the pills again.

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I decided to give placenta encapsulation a shot after doing much research on the benefits of it (decrease in baby blue and depression, increase in energy, increase of breast milk, and provides natural iron just being a few of them). I figured let me give it a try, it defiantly can’t hurt. As per Melanie’s instructions I got my cooler and bag ready to take to the hospital. She was great as soon as my husband called her she was there to pick up the “goods” and the next day she already delivered them to me and I was already taking the pills. I really believe these pills helped me with the baby blues. Since the start of me taking the pills I felt like I stayed positive and energetic. Placenta Pills defiantly aid in healing a mother’s body!!!

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We had a client whose baby was presenting breech. They went to Intown Midwifery and were full supported by Dr. Brad Bootstaylor in having a vaginal birth although this was their first baby. The couple prepared with a great childbirth class and hired a doula. During the labor, the baby made the decision to never drop into the pelvis and instead of the planned vaginal birth, a family centered cesarean was the means for the birth. I received a request to use their labor doula for additional services for postpartum. These are the kind words from the father regarding their doula:

We had a good postpartum plan for plan A birth, but since we used birth plan B ( more like F -revision 3) we are under prepared and need the help  of a postpartum doula. We would like to extend our work with Leigh William for our postpartum doula.
Leigh was so great during the labor and birth it could have been a very negative experience for us if we hadn’t had her guidance, experience, kind words, and love to keep us centered and focused on the beautiful birth of Miles.
Gino
It is always nice to hear such wonderful words to describe our services! Thanks Gino!

We recently asked  our previous students for some input on the new classes we teach- a combination of the FEAR to FREEDOM, now called ROCK Your Birth and our training as doulas and the Dancing for Birth facilitator training we have. And here are some of the comments that may give you some insight into how it may have helped these students.

“Taking this class was an excellent way to tune into the emotional/psychological side of giving birth. It made me feel connected to my baby and the journey of giving birth. The most fun part was dancing, meditating and using the scarves.  The Rock your Birth class is an excellent way to connect with other pregnant women. I was able to focus on myself and my baby. I learned a lot about the strength and focus that I have within myself that will guide me through the birth of my baby. Many different activities and techniques were presented as well as a little “woman to woman” therapy. I like that there were so many different exercises to pick and choose from. I loved writing a birth mantra and felt very empowered after the class. Labor of Love is providing an outstanding service for expecting moms and families. I love being in an environment where having a normal birth is a positive and empowering experience!”  Colleen Eilola

“I felt the class was empowering and challenged me to rethink traditional thought/acceptance of “the way things have always been” in birthing.  I appreciated being asked to think outside of the box and being encouraged to embrace my own picture of what my birth story should be. I would have liked an additional exercise on creating a birthing story with some complications.  We did at least one of these, but it was only two scenarios because we only had two groups to craft stories and act them out. I’m pleased by information, so just learning more about my body, how it works, talking through scenarios, practicing positions on the birth ball, and viewing birthing experiences really satisfied my need for examples of what I might see in my own birth story. I am a spiritual person, but was uncomfortable with some of the guided relaxation.  I know it works for some, but not for all.  I’m not someone who can just zone out and tune into my breathing. I would say overall the class was worth it – I was able to spend time with other women who are sharing my same anxieties about birthing and being in that space was incredibly rewarding and valuable.  I would also say that I felt more confident about the choices I made for my birth plan after I went through the class, and it affirmed my belief that I do have the power within me to do what needs to be done to birth my child the way God designed for me to do.”  Michelle Barnes

“This class was about finding that peace within yourself for whatever experience you have during labor and delivery. I did not realize how much it prepared me until I was in the moment.  We all do what is most natural to us during labor. I feel this should be emphasized more. The dancing was the most fun!  I should have taken the class earlier.  . It is a class where you can find peace and trust in the process that is birth. I was able to give up control and let my body take the reins” Beth Chambers

“It took me a while to really get it.  I had to do some thinking about it before I was really able to get it straight in my head that for me the critical thing to remember was that this pregnancy was different, the birth would be different, and the baby is most definitely different!  It didn’t quite sink in in the two days of the class, but the seeds were planted.  I really enjoyed the dancing.  It was totally out of my comfort zone, but I liked the exposure to it.  This class is a class that will help you do the mental preparation to prepare for your birth and leave behind any baggage or fears that you carry with you about birth.  It is not a class for people who have had traumatic birth experienced, but rather a way to help you think through any anxieties that you may have and find ways to overcome them so that you can prepare for your best birth. I enjoyed the retreat like feel that it had as well as the balance of movement and discussion time.  I wish that I would have waited a little later in my pregnancy to do the class.  I did it just before I was 20 weeks and it felt like a long time before my birth.  Doing the class closer to the birth could have encouraged me to follow through with more of the activities after the class.  I really give a lot of credit to this class for helping me move past my concerns from my first birth and let go of the anxiety I had for how this birth would go.”  Natalie Caldwell

Quick back story: 3 weeks before I gave birth, my father passed away unexpectedly. Our relationship was very complicated. About 5 years ago he came to live with my husband and I because he could no longer take care of himself, so for most of my adult life our roles have been reversed in terms of a traditional parent/child relationship, but he was still my dad and it was earth shattering when he passed away. He was looking forward to becoming a grandfather for the first time, so the timing of everything made it especially heartbreaking. I had spent so much of my pregnancy mentally preparing for birth, and losing my father suddenly set everything into chaos for me mentally and emotionally.

My official due date was February 27th, but I was certain I was going to be late. First babies are always late, right? So when good friends set their wedding date for the 25th, we didn’t hesitate rsvping yes. At this point I was huge and only one dress fit, but I knew this would probably be the last event we’d attend before baby came and we were looking forward to celebrating after how heavy the last few weeks had been for both us after losing my father. When we got to the country club for the reception I began to experience what I would describe as pressure in my lower back. I didn’t think anything of it because even women who experienced back labor felt contractions in their stomach and I was feeling absolutely nothing in my stomach, so I thought this could possibly be the back pain some women complain about later in pregnancy or I had to go the bathroom. So for the next 3 hours the pressure remained and I probably visited the ladies room 30 times thinking my body was telling me I needed to use the restroom. I didn’t mention it to my husband because I didn’t think anything of it and he didn’t notice my frequent bathroom trips b/c I’ve been peeing every 30 minutes for the last 9 months. As we got closer to the sparkler departure, I began to question whether this could possibly be labor because this “pressure” began to turn into waves of pressure and even though I was only experiencing everything in my back – I knew the wave sensation could be an indication of contractions.

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8/18/2011

Hey Melanie,

I just wanted to thank you for your help getting my placenta pills made.  They have made a dramatic difference (I can tell because my schedule is so nutty right now that I’ll forget to take them and then find myself an emotional puddle, then I recover quickly after taking one or two).

I also loved that you included the cord – I still marvel at it (it’s shrinking so fast!).

If there’s ever a need for a testimonial or to speak to someone who is considering your services about my great experiences, I’d be happy to.  Just let me know.

Best,

Brittany

 

For more information on this service contact Melanie@alaboroflove.org for more details and fees involved.

Recently I was able to attend a lovely birth. The mom labored at home and then arrived to the hospital actively pushing. I had been in contact with her by phone a few times earlier. She sounded calm and in total control. Later she told me she was mostly just being polite! She went from early labor to fast and furious while in the tub and headed straight in to be there less than a half hour before having her daughter in her arms! Here are some kind words she shared with me in an email:

I was so glad to have had you at my birth.  Aris and I have been chronicling what might have been different if it had not been for you.

  • No one else might have answered my questions about contraction length and coupling and I may have gone to the hospital sooner out of fear.
  • The attempt at belly dancing through contractions at home helped a bit and may have lined her up and helped her descend.
  • Since the cord was around her neck if I had been monitored more I may have had a c- section- ( the stitches aftermath is bad enough)
  • No one else told me what was happening during the birth- how to push more effectively, that she didn’t cry right away because of the cord and  the effects of a fast birth on a baby.
  • My milk came in the second day thanks to your help nursing immediately after her birth (it is just now less difficult to do this nursing thing- I had a great head start that I don’t believe the hospital would provide.)
  • I had the confidence to delay the bath, the vitamin K shot, the eye ointment.  We did these things the next day
  • We have great photos
  • we bathed her with the nurse privately and it was lovely not to mention educational- she explained to us as she did everything and I was able to see that Abbie was not distressed during these procedures.

I had a fantastic birth with no regrets.  Thanks again.  The support before the birth was just as important to me.

 

Dear Teresa,
I want to share with you and anyone else you’d like just how happy my husband and I were that Charlotte Scott was our labor doula for our first child’s birth this February. We first saw Charlotte at one of your Meet the Doula teas, although my husband and I didn’t talk to her or any other doulas that night. Instead we went home, talked about her and the positive feeling we had about sharing our birth with her, and decided to get in touch. I was intrigued by her calm, gentle nature and the fact that she loves drumming, as we do too.
When I first wrote Charlotte, I expressed my concern that a labor doula might take the “place” of my husband and asked her to explain how she felt their roles would differ. Charlotte was sincere and genuine, and said she could already tell that my husband is my rock and would be my anchor through my labor, but that she would be there for both of us. We knew she would support our vision of a calm but powerful and spiritual birth for our daughter. We decided to hire her, and at our prenatal at our house Charlotte’s presence was instantly calming. It was incredible! We were again certain that her wisdom and experience would be a great asset to us through my labor. (more…)
Renee was my Doula at my son’s birth in September of 2010.  I did not have a doula with the birth of my first son in 2007 – having Renee there made a huge difference.  She helped keep me calm and focused on having a natural child birth.  She graciously blended into the scenery and was supportive when I needed her and also seemed to fade into the background when I didn’t.  She helped my husband support me in ways he didn’t know how and brought us closer in the process.
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