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Important information for every woman, whether you have given birth by cesarean or vaginally, whether you have had no children of many. Hysterectomy is the most common non-obstetrical procedure for women in our country. Approximately 600,000 are performed each year in the U.S. 1 in 9 women will have one. It’s time for us to focus on our pelvic floor health.

August ICAN of Knoxville Meeting — Pelvic Floor Health

Please join us to hear our guest speaker, Autumn Synowiez, OT, speak to us about our pelvic floor health. Whether you are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant, or have birthed your babies in the past — we can all benefit from good pelvic floor health. Those with diastasis recti, perineal repairs, and cesareans will especially benefit from this information.

Meetings are FREE, however we gratefully accept donations for our local 501c Non Profit Chapter. (suggested donation $1-$3)

Partners and children are welcome for most of our meetings. We respectfully ask that if your child is needing a quiet moment that you step out if needed.

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Pelvic Floor Therapy Guest Blog

Please enjoy this guest blog from a Pelvic Floor Therapist in the Knoxville, TN, area.

This does not have to be your current or future experience.

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Hello! My name is Autumn Synowiez and I am a pelvic floor therapist.

A pelvic floor therapist (PFT) can help treat many different types of problems that women have such as:

  • urinary incontinence (it is not normal to wet ourselves)
  • stress incontinence (when we cough, laugh, exercise) or urge incontinence (always feeling a strong urge to go).
  •  pelvic organ prolapse (yes we can reduce prolapse without surgery by two stages!).
  • perineal/episiotomy scars, cesarean scars.
  •  diastasis recti
  • pelvic pain, pressure, dyspaurenia (painful sex)
  • preparing your pelvic floor for birth to reduce these symptoms after birth and help coordinate your pelvic floor for optimal pushing.
  • postpartum check ups to make sure you truly are ready for exercise and have sex again (if not we will set you up with all the exercises needed to get you on the right path, surprisingly most women are not ready for either).

    Countries like France and Sweden have women going after their 6 week postpartum check up with their OB as the norm to make sure women are healing properly after child birth. These countries have much better outcomes for women long term (fewer women suffering from incontinence, pelvic pain, organ prolapse, etc).

    Do you have to have had a baby to need pelvic floor therapy? No! Most of us are unaware of our pelvic floor and how it works with our everyday movement. A lot of women who run, heavy weight train, cross fitters, etc.,  are not coordinating their pelvic floor properly when exercising and actually causing injury and weakness in that area.

    Having chronic pelvis or back pain? No one can fix it? Could be in your pelvic floor! We have success stories of people seeing multiple doctorss and physical therapists with no relief and sometimes after just one visit with PFT they have relief.

    C section only? Yep! Pregnancy alone can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and with your abdominal muscles being cut into, that can lead to an even more weaker pelvic floor and core. They go hand in hand.

    PFT is amazing cutting edge stuff that most women know nothing about. Women in our country have been neglected in this area or are ashamed/embarrassed to talk or look down there! It’s time to change that! You are not alone I can promise you that! There’s a whole set of muscles that are very important that we need to be exercising regardless of our age or whether we have had kids or not. These muscles are our center and help hold our organs in! Can’t wait to discuss more about this soon and offer awesome workshops with Kimberly! Please feel free to ask any questions! I’m sure I left a lot of info out!

    Yours truly-
    Autumn Synowiez OTR/L
    Women’s Health Pelvic Floor Therapist
    asynowiez@gmail.com

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All Rights Reserved, Knoxville Doula, Kimberly Sebeck, 2016

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Knoxville Doula Is Growing

Knoxville Doula is growing! I will be joining a fantastic massage therapist and a fertility and pregnancy acupuncturist at our beautiful office in West Knoxville. I will still be at my current location through the end of this month. We look forward to serving the community as a whole for your fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum needs! You can check out their info atTransformations Massage and Wellness Center and Tennessee Center for Reproductive Acupuncture. ‪#‎knoxvilledoula‬ ‪#‎doula‬ ‪#‎knoxvilletn‬‪#‎professionalsworkingtogetherforyou‬ ‪#‎fertility‬ ‪#‎pregnancy‬ ‪#‎reproductive‬‪#‎massage‬ ‪#‎acupuncture‬ ‪#‎childbirthclasses‬

Knoxville doula is

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A Glimpse Into Postpartum Work

I have been doing quite a bit of postpartum doula-ing lately. More clients request my birth services but I really enjoy being hired to do postpartum work, too. Sometimes people are not as familiar with what a postpartum doula does, or doesn’t do.

My services are really quite flexible and dependent on what each family needs. Some moms have me come over and basically “pick my brain” about feeding the baby, newborn care, postpartum recovery, infant milestones,  etc., and that consumes the majority of my block of time. I choose to come over to a home for a minimum of 3 hours but it can certainly be longer. Other moms understand how important rest is and feel safe and relaxed enough with me watching over their new baby so they can go take a blissful long nap, with maybe a shower thrown in. Other families want to soak in every second of the newborn period with their baby and I do errands and simple household tasks. I also attend doctor visits like the first pediatrician appointment or a postpartum visit for the new mom.

I don’t do heavy cleaning. It’s far less expensive to hire a housekeeper than a postpartum doula. I do light tasks: loading the dishwasher, laundry, running errands, sterilizing breast pumps and/or bottles, putting together infant gadgets like monitors and swings, making a snack for mom or starting a meal for dinner. Speaking of dinner, I actually love to cook for my families especially if I am going to be there for a good amount of hours for the day. I give them a list of recipes that I am familiar with and good at and let them send me to the store or give them a list of ingredients to pick up. Imagine how good it sounds to have a knowledgeable person come over to answer newborn questions, perform household tasks, and then be able to enjoy my now famous chicken and dumplings or a refreshing summer salad. If the partner has already returned to work they can come home and focus on bonding and family time instead of working all day and then coming home to a list of things to do.

Frequently the question comes up of: what will we do for 3 hours? Once I am there and a mom sees how wonderful and valuable a postpartum doula is they often request more hours in a day. It might seem awkward at first to have someone in your home but that feeling quickly dissipates. I can be the person you confide in when you’re having some “baby blues” or postpartum mood disorders and I have the resources of where to get help. I can be the person who helps you ease into motherhood without any judgment. I can give suggestions about trying to get enough sleep, how to soothe sore nipples, and also dispel some of the misinformation given out by family, friends, and online sites. Having trouble figuring out your K’Tan or Moby? I will help you practice so you feel confident wearing your baby. Those sheets you have been sweating in, bleeding on, and leaking breastmilk into? I can change those out for fresh ones.

I will help you find your way to being the best parent in the manner that suits your lifestyle. One day you will be the one telling me what the baby needs and that is exactly how being a postpartum doula works. I work myself out of a job as you grow into parenthood and recover through the fourth trimester.

doulakym 9116599

All Rights Reserved, Knoxville Doula, Kimberly Sebeck 2016

www.knoxvilledoula.com

 

 

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New Moms Are Fragile — Handle With Care

Occasionally a memory surfaces from the first few days following my daughter’s birth. My friend had traveled a few hours to visit us and she was holding the baby while I got a few tasks done. One of these things was the delicious feeling of trying on clothes with waistbands and seeing what could be used as breastfeeding friendly attire.

I pulled out a red floral romper and wondered if I dared try it on. Why not? I had recently reveled in my curvy body with my full breasts and for the first time had felt womanly. My body had not only grown a baby but was able to nourish this child. On went the romper. It fit differently, yes. My stomach was soft and full from where my baby had grown and only recently exited. My breasts were much larger and my thighs and hips were softer, or perhaps had spread? No matter about that, I was exuding a happy post birth high and I practically bounced out to show off my Spring outfit to my friend. Her face did not reflect the same happiness I felt. She paused and said, “You know, you don’t look bad for just having had a baby.”

Ouch. I went back to my bedroom and put on my big t shirt and some shorts.

Please know that this is a wonderfully supportive friend of mine. She had zero intention of making me feel bad. I am also aware that we can only feel inferior from someone’s words if we give our consent. This event occurred nearly 20 years ago and much has been done in the world to embrace how our bodies change during the pregnant and postpartum period . But I still think about it.

Because I was fragile.

Everything was new. My baby, a blessed addition to our family, was still a new experience. My body had gone through immense changes in the last few days and for months prior. Sleeping patterns (if I dare call it that) were new. Breastfeeding, accompanied by the joys of oxytocin and the navigation of sore nipples and leaking breasts was new. Baby blues that manifested as crying into a bowl of cornflakes at 4 am was new. The absolute and raw love I felt looking at my child was new.  Being a mother and all that comes with that was new.

So my advice to everyone is to build up a new mom. “You look amazing!” works well. Some other suggestions are:

I love the way you look at your baby.
You are handling this postpartum period perfectly.
How can I help you while I am here?
Can I run any errands for you?
The female body is miraculous/magical.
Motherhood looks beautiful on you.
I am interested in how you are feeling (then listen).

For new moms it’s also okay to have a sense of humor at some of your new experiences or at the wayward comments from people. I look back and laugh at the crying in the cornflakes experience and have told the story many times as humor. I have the perspective of looking back and not only realizing that I survived new motherhood experiences but I also enjoyed them and miss them.  Except for the sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can remain a long ago memory.

Revel in your fragility. Revel in the new experiences. You are caring for a new human, your baby, and that is immensely beautiful.

My daughter and I visiting family– she is about a week old. 1551555_10203038651304231_472403165_nAll Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, AKA Knoxville Doula, 2016

http://www.knoxvilledoula.com

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Curious About Placenta Encapsulation? Read This Interview

Art prints made before placenta encapsulation.

Art prints made before placenta encapsulation.

Interview with Leiann Saniger, doula and placenta encapsulator.

Recently I interviewed Leiann Saniger, a local placenta encapsulator and doula, about the benefits of placenta encapsulation.

Q. Leiann, there has been a lot of talk in the media about having a woman’s placenta encapsulated. Could you describe the process?

A. Yes, this is the process where placenta encapsulators take a raw placenta and preparing it raw or steamed, dehdyrating it, then grinding it and putting it into a capsule for oral consumption.

Q. So there is a choice of how to have the placenta processed?

A. Yes, Steamed is a traditional Chinese method with the idea that when a woman births her baby she is left with a cold space where the baby was. Steaming is the idea of creating heat to balance your Qi. The raw method is taking a raw placenta, dehydrating it, then grinding it up for the capsules. It is best to discuss the varying methods available from your placenta encapsulation specialist and then decide which method is right for you.

Q. Even though it is gaining in popularity there are still many people who would think this is bizarre or gross. Can you explain the benefits of having your placenta encapsulated?

A. While there are no completed studies or FDA approval yet there is ongoing research and evidence about the benefits. Most women report an improvement in or avoidance of postpartum mood disorders, replenishing iron and B vitamins after giving birth, increasing breastmilk supply, giving back some of the oxytocin levels that were high during labor, protection from infection, and more. There are studies that link low iron levels with postpartum mood disorders and the baby blues that upwards of 80% of women experience. Hormone levels drop dramatically following birth and consuming the placenta may help to level out the hormone instability.

Q. Most mammals consume their placenta, correct?

A. Yes, most mammals do and it would stand to reason there is a benefit. I believe the placenta can give back to us benefits after giving birth. We just have a more palatable way to do it by using the process of encapsulating it. Each placenta can yield many capsules for you to take over the coming months.

Q. How do the capsules taste?

A. They taste pretty much like any herbal supplement. Much more palatable than making placenta jerky or a raw smoothie, which some women do.

Q. How much does the process cost?

A. My fees are the current going rate in our area — $175 to $200 depending on the process. There may also be additional services women choose to add on, such as having a tincture prepared or making a keepsake print/art of the placenta before it is processed. Talk to some of your area placenta encapsulators to discuss all of your options.

Q.  One last question, where did you train to offer this service?

A. I trained in a hands on training with actual donated placentas through Full Circle, which is now known as IPPA. They provide training about the process and how to deal with any issues such as cross contamination and OSHA compliance. I am also approved as a trainer to teach others how to encapsulate placentas.

Thank you for sharing this information, Leiann.

All Rights Reserved, 2015, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula