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.


Knoxville Birth Resource Center (KBRC)

We have a vision to bring as many resources as possible to families in Knoxville. All things related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Today we added in Delighted Doula who will be offering postpartum classes and services. Who knows what else we will add next?

If you are interested in more information about rental space and times at KBRC you can email me at kimberly.sebeck@gmail.com.

On FB: https://www.facebook.com/KnoxvilleBirthResourceCenter




New Birth Resource Center in Knoxville

I am pleased to tell you about the new Knoxville Birth Resource Center. I have teamed up with Holly Stewart who owns East TN Placenta Medicine and Holly Stewart Photography. Together we have a vision to bring pregnancy and birth resources to the women of East Tennessee. We are blessed in this area to have so many resources and we want to make sure people know they are here by a collaborative effort with this center.

As a doula and childbirth educator of 14 years, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of meeting spaces in Knoxville. Birth professionals are for the most part vying for the same few spots at public libraries or paying exorbitant fees at restaurant meeting spaces. Four years ago when I opened the local Knoxville Chapter  of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) I became more frustrated. My co-leader and I would search for a place to hold meetings and get the word out via various advertising and networks only to show up at the place we had scheduled and find they didn’t have us on their calendar. As an all volunteer non profit this was discouraging. We never knew if we would show up at the meeting place and find out we could not hold our meeting at all. For about a year we had a fantastic place at a local chiropractic office and our meetings were growing because the chiropractors believed in our mission and ensured we always had a place to meet. Unfortunately for us, they moved out of state. We miss and appreciate them! The last year has been particularly disappointing as we have had many miscommunications with a local library branch and I suspect this has had an impact on our meeting attendance. Who wants to take time to go to a meeting that might not happen? ICAN of Knoxville is currently scheduled to meet at the Homberg ChickFilA for the rest of the 2014 year. We haven’t had a meeting there yet but I now know that if it doesn’t work out we can move the meetings to the Birth Resource Center at 428 E. Scott Ave, Suite 100, Knoxville TN 37917.

Additionally there are other non profits that I would like to work with or help spread the word about and having the center will make it possible to spread the word for all of these groups without detracting from anyone’s mission and message. It will be an informational source.

As for my own personal business of being a doula and childbirth educator I look forward to having a central location to schedule consultations, prenatals, and classes. In a recent week I met various clients and potential clients in 7 different restaurants and cafes. This is not the best use of my time and resources. It is working but it can be improved. A local curiosities shop has been wonderful about allowing me to schedule classes at their store for a modest fee. I fully appreciate them and plan on still utilizing their space occasionally as it is on the west side of town which may be more convenient for a few customers. The owner and I have some visions of our own for community events we can offer. One of the most exciting things I can offer is more childbirth classes. It has been several years since I had a suitable place to offer my Comfort Measures Class, Prep for VBAC Class, 6 Week Prepared Childbirth Series and more.

Holly has been offering placenta encapsulation services to the community for several years now and a Knoxville physical office will only help further the convenience of using her fabulous services. She recently has gotten back into photography and is most interested in maternity, birth, and newborn photography.

We look forward to watching this Center grow. We are thrilled to be in an office of mostly women business owners who offer chiropractic, cranio sacral therapy, Reiki, counseling, addiction recovery and more. It is a truly healing place. A special thanks to Natalie Kurylo, D.C. of Heliotropic Healing who told us of the office space opening. We hope that all in the community will help support it in some way so that the many and varied Knoxville resources will only grow. There is some trepidation with any new endeavor however my life and business experience has taught me that whatever you put out in the community will return to you. Please help us grow!








November Events

It is short notice, but tonight is the ICAN of Knoxville November Meeting. We will be having Marty Lawson speak about Craniosacral Therapy for Newborns. The meeting is held at Earth Fare in Turkey Creek and will be from 6-7 p.m.

Due to the Thanksgiving Holidays, the normally scheduled Comfort Measures Class is moved to Saturday, Nov  19th from 11-2:30. Please pre-register at beautifulbirths2003@yahoo.com so I can have a head count and handouts prepared. The class is held at Cutie Tooties Cloth Diaper Store in Bearden. Cost is $50.00 per couple.

Knoxville Birth Network and ICAN of Knoxville are working on a screening of More of the Business of Being Born, tentatively scheduled for early December. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting event!

All Rights Reserved, 2011, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula


Birth in Knoxville and East Tennessee — Exciting!

I’m writing a quick blog out of the gratitude in my heart for all of the amazing things that have happened recently in Knoxville for birth and options involving pregnancy and birth. I say recently because I started professionally being a doula and childbirth educator in 2000 — and things were very different then. There were a handful of amazing doulas, some childbirth educators, Lisa Coomer, CPM, and of course the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center. We were here, but sometimes our time and resources were limited.

What’s changed?

Now in Knoxville and East TN we have a lot more doulas and childbirth educators! There are placenta encapsulation services offered by East TN Placenta Medicine. There is a re-opening of Cutie Tooties Cloth Diaper store this weekend — and the owner, Emelie, is opening up her classroom to many birth professionals. Some of the offerings are regular Breastfeeding and Newborn Care Classes, Meet the Doula events, Comfort Measures Classes, a Breastfeeding Circle with regular meetings… just so many events so that any mother and family in the area can explore their options. Carry Me Close is a business by a mom and midwifery student — she offers hand made baby-wearing carriers and custom makes them and meets with you to show you how to wear them. Another mama sews cloth sanitary pads and much more. ICAN of Knoxville and Knoxville Birth Network are fairly recent (in the last 2 years) but more people are becoming aware of the regular meetings and support offered through these networks and local volunteers.

Some people have made remarks about how there is more “competition” for doulas. I do not ever feel that way — years ago if my schedule was too full or I was not available for a birth due to travel, it truly hurt me to turn someone down, and I worried about those who were not aware of the then available resources.  Now I firmly believe that any woman who wants a doula has not only the option of having one, but finding the very best fit for her and her family. Now there are so many  more options for classes! Today’s schedule is hectic enough without having to worry about taking time off for classes, or missing the only one offered in a month, or before a due date. It’s nice for me, too — getting to network with birth professionals, help one another, provide and receive support and bounce ideas off of one another.

Grateful is how I would sum it up. Go get the pregnancy and birth experience you want and deserve!

p.s. I apologize for not putting links in to the great resources I mentioned, but I’m out the door for an event — I will try to add these later, or simply search on Google or Facebook.


All Rights Reserved, 2011, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula


Denied VBAC

A friend told me a story today that has had me thinking ever since I heard it. Her friend was choosing a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) for her second birth. She had arranged with her OB/GYN to attempt a VBAC when labor began. She went into labor and after some time (I do not have all of the details) headed to the hospital in the middle of the night. Her doctor was not on call. The doctor on call refused to allow her to continue laboring, refused to attend a VBAC, refused to stay on the hospital floor in the middle of the night, refused medical liability, etc.

Off they went to surgery. For absolutely no medical reason.

This story makes me sad and angry and disappointed. I don’t want to point blame here at all; instead I want to offer encouragement and some possible options to avoid this type of situation. It would be very easy to start pointing fingers and put all of the blame on the OB/GYN, who may have never had any experience with VBAC, or who had multiple other obstetrical patients taking up their time. I don’t know, nor do I feel the need to defend him or her.

So what other suggestions or options can we come up with for this? Well, a lot of them would be preemptive, such as having a provider who will attend your birth no matter what, supports VBAC, has only a few back-up doctors/midwives that you have met and who also fully support VBAC.  For whatever reasons, though, this didn’t happen and the plan changed due to a provider not being available.

As for arriving at the hospital with some laboring to still happen, a few suggestions immediately came to mind:

1.  Ask for a second opinion. See if there was another doctor working at the hospital who you could transfer your care to.
2. Refuse another surgery. Outright refuse to sign the papers. Hopefully the on call doctor would transfer your care — perhaps to someone more sympathetic and VBAC friendly. Be aware there could be consequences to this but legally no one can force you to have a cesarean without a court order.
3. Leave that hospital. Go to another hospital and see if a more VBAC friendly doctor is on call at the time. Go in through an emergency room and speak to whoever you need to speak to — head of OB/GYN department, on call doctors, etc.

I know some of these will sound extreme to many, particularly if the thought of birthing in a hospital seemed the safest route. It may not sound pleasant while in labor to run around and find a provider who will support you the way you want, need, and deserve. Please know I am not dispensing medical advice or advocating one particular course of action or finding fault with personal choices. Obviously the preferable choice would have been for everything to line up, ducks in a row, planets aligned, for this mother to labor the way she chose — with an OB/GYN provider, in a hospital. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Too many women are finding similar “switch and bait” actions when they are going for a VBAC — a provider who changes tune in the last trimester, a  provider on vacation who doesn’t have backup who provides similar care, a list of things that must happen exactly so in order for a “trial of labor” to happen for a woman wanting a VBAC.

Because of this, I do strongly encourage you to ask hard questions from your provider. Who will provide backup? Is your provider planning any vacations around your guess date? Can you meet the backup and ask the same questions? What other providers could you transfer to late in pregnancy or even last minute? What are the required protocols for a trial of labor for a VBAC? How does your hospital offer a second opinion or second provider in case the on call doctor cannot or will not support you in your birthing choices? If you have a midwife and are planning a home birth, ask where care would be transferred to in the event of further required intervention? Will she be able to go with you and help you navigate a change of birth plan?

Other suggestions: Hire a doula. Have a birth plan that is discussed, approved by, and signed off on by your provider. Know your rights.

This is not an exhaustive list, as this post was typed rather hurriedly. Any other suggestions?

ICAN can help you find VBAC friendly providers as well as scores of information to shape your idea of birth, including questions to ask providers.



All Rights Reserved 2011, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula