Archive for the ‘Charis Childbirth’ Category

Last year I started the tradition of making a Thanksgiving dinner and inviting couples I’ve been a doula for at their births. That was my first year to make a turkey! We decorate for Christmas, too, and it makes for a lovely evening.

This year, I did it on Saturday because Thurs is a regular workday here. Besides turkey, which Vitaliy helps with a lot, I made real cranberry sauce! I never knew anything could be so delicious!!! And I was pleased with the gravy, too. I also did green beans with ham bits, which was new for me, too.

It was a culinary success 🙂 My Ukrainian friends brought salads that were delicious, and the one other American involved brought deviled eggs and pumpkin pie. I also did pumpkin and apple pies. Vitaliy said it was the perfect combination of foods. I agree! We’re still feasting on the leftovers, too.

This year's crew 🙂


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It’s about my work as a doula. And for all you Russian-understanders, I did it all myself, no grammar checks, so I know it’s terrible. But it communicates me 😀

Read here.

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Anne Sokol  CCE, CD

I think that means Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Doula. (Plug for charischildbirth.org–spend some time on their website).

I was thinking about all this because I’m filling out the Christian Midwives International application for their annual missions project. I had to list my “designations.” (Plug for them also: christianmidwives.org)

I’m applying for monies to help complete the translation of Jennifer Vanderlaan’s childbirth books. (Plug for her amazing birth site: birthingnaturally.net)

Wow. Childbirth has lovely people involved in it! I can’t believe I actually know all these people!

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Vitaliy and I have co-slept with our kids for going on five years now–that is, as long as we’ve had them! I’ve enjoyed the rest, closenss, and sweet times that bedsharing provides. Sure, there are some botherations, but every place of child-sleep has those.

Science is more and more returning us to cosleeping. There are right and wrong ways to practice cosleeping, but it’s not so hard or mysterious to figure out. And it’s safe; actually, it’s a means of protecting your child.

Here’s a great article explaing the ins and outs. (HT: midwife and mentor Susan Oshel with Charis Childbirth.)

That the highest rates of bedsharing worldwide occur alongside the lowest rates of infant mortality, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates, is a point worth returning to.

The low calorie composition of human breast milk (exquisitely adjusted for the human infants’ undeveloped gut) requires frequent nighttime feeds, and, hence, helps explain how and why a cultural shift toward increased cosleeping behavior is underway. Approximately 73% of US mothers leave the hospital breast feeding and even amongst mothers who never intended to bedshare soon discover how much easier breast feeding is and how much more satisfied they feel with baby sleeping alongside often in their bed.

In short, and as mentioned above, cosleeping (whether on the same surface or not) facilitates positive clinical changes including more infant sleep and seems to make, well, babies happy. In other words, unless practiced dangerously, sleeping next to mother is good for infants. The reason why it occurs is because… it is supposed to. 

There is no doubt that bedsharing should be avoided in particular circumstances and can be practiced dangerously. While each single bedsharing death is tragic, such deaths are no more indictments about any and all bedsharing than are the three hundred thousand plus deaths or more of babies in cribs an indictment that crib sleeping is deadly and should be eliminated. Just as unsafe cribs and unsafe ways to use cribs can be eliminated so, too, can parents be educated to minimize bedsharing risks.

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Each month, Charis Childbirth sends out an e-newsletter (well, it’s online, so the notice is sent out :))

Please take a few moments to browse through this month’s edition! I write for them monthly, as does another wonderful missionary gal.

Tomorrow, I start teaching childbirth preparation to a Belgian couple living here in Kiev. They arrived only recently. I’m helping them try and find some decent options for birth here. Now there’s a challenge! But Lord willing, that will change!

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