Monday, May 31, 2010

Coming Up: A Slower Week

Many of you know that May was a very busy month here for me. With it being International Doula Month, I had several days when I had a table set up at a local business to spread the word about what doulas are and the value of having one. I was also attending the childbirth class at St Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. I did several prenatal visits, attended a birth and did a postpartum visit for one client. The day after that client's birth, I drove to Rochester for a training with midwife Karen Strange.

Looking at my calender, this week is shaping up to have more time at home and slightly less running around. I have a prenatal visit Tuesday night with my client who is 39 weeks along. I'll probably spend a couple of hours Thursday afternoon taking business cards and flyers around town and making sure local businesses get to see my smiling face again. Another mom in our homeschooling group and I are swapping childcare; I have her kids for a few hours on Tuesday, she has mine for a few hours on Thursday.

Our homeschool lesson plans for this week are all written up and I've reserved the books that we need via the library's website. Hopefully, most of them will come in soon and we'll go get them from the library.

Other than that, I'll be working out at the YMCA and waiting for this mama to go into labor.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


For my birthday, Husband Tim's mom sent me an amazon gift certificate. Since there are a lot of birthy things I want to buy, I got the MotherTouch DVD.

The movie features massage therapists, doulas and midwives using touch to comfort and guide women through labor and birth. Women on the DVD talk about how touch helped them while they were having their babies. It features both hospital and home births.

It is very peaceful overall, with nice music and women being nurtured by their partners and by other women. For people who are used to mainstream videos and childbirth education, it is probably more "out there" than they're used to, but I think it's nice to see actual natural births.

During one of the births, you see the doctor pulling on the baby's head as it is being born. I heard the chiropractor's voice from Baldwinsville Chiropractic in the back of my head going "The first subluxation often happens at birth." That night, we watched a ten minute video about Birth Trauma and how a rough doctor or nurse pulling on the baby can cause issues with the baby's spine. That was my only complaint, and while the doctor wasn't pulling that hard, I was sitting here going "She could just push the shoulders out, you know!"

I did manage to place an interlibrary loan request for the DVD of "Giving Birth," I'll be reviewing that after it arrives and I get a chance to watch it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

CNY Doula Connection

The CNY Doula Connection is a new, growing network of independent doulas who attend births and provide postpartum care in the Central New York Area. We provide networking opportunities, client referrals and educational enrichment for our members. Non-members may attend trainings, but there is a cost.

The mission of the CNY Doula Connection is to raise awareness about the value of doula support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We want to educate the local community about who we are and what we do. We also want to connect parents looking for doulas to our members.

Membership is currently open to any doulas (birth or postpartum) who aren't employed by or in contract with any other group or agency. If you are interested in joining, please email

Membership is $75/year. This money is used for marketing and for educational materials. Our financial records are available to members and we discuss our finances at each business meeting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Little People

I gave birth to all of these people. Sure, you could say that I just wanted to put pictures of my kids on my blog, but look at them. My body made four people, and then managed to get them out without the help of doctors or machines that make beeping noises. Without forceps, vacuums or scissors. Birth really does work. If you're pregnant and checking out my cute children, you can do it too. You can have your baby naturally. You don't have to be some sort of superwoman. Normal people do it every day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fun Times

We had a lovely day here today. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the birds were singing. For the Syracuse area, that's a big deal. Husband Tim tells me that we are slated to get 68 sunny days a year. For those of us that remember how many days are in a year total, 68 sunny days is not very many. (A year has 365).

In the early afternoon, two of my doula friends came over and we spent a couple hours talking, planning, brainstorming and chasing our children around. At least this time we were smart enough to meet in the backyard so that the two toddlers were out there where we could see them and we didn't have to chase them around the house. I really enjoyed myself and I think that exciting things are going to be happening here in the birth community.

The local Holistic Moms Network had their Moms' Night Out at Alladin's Natural Eatery in Syracuse. Tim watched our kids so that I could go. I got to spend about three hours (or four if you count my carpool buddy) talking about birth, nursing, vaccinations, doula-ing and the other things in all of our lives. I do recommend joining the HMN to new "crunchy" familes, and even those of us with more parenting experience. I was hesitant at first because there is a fee of about $45, but I did end up paying and I don't regret it.

Check them out:

Holistic Moms Network

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Doula Resume

I thought it would be fun to make a "resume" post.

Elizabeth Baer - Birth Doula

As a birth doula, I serve families in the prenatal period, during labor and birth, and in the postpartum period. I provide assistance with birth planning, support through childbirth, and help with breastfeeding and adjusting to parenthood.

Life Experience

  • 2000- Natural childbirth in the hospital with a nurse midwife
  • 2003- Water birth in a freestanding birth center
  • 2005- Water birth in a freestanding birth center
  • 2007- Home birth with a CPM
Work Experience
  • Birth Doula, March 2010-Present
  • WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor from 2002-2005
  • Worked with Baltimore AP group from 2003-2010
Education and Training
  • Saw Diane Weissinger speak in 2003
  • Took Bradley childbirth class series in 2003
  • Attended numerous LLL conferences from 2002-2008
  • Took DONA Birth Doula training in 2010
  • Attended "The Baby's Experience at Birth" with midwife Karen Strange in May 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back to Fully Functioning!

After attending a 16 1/2 hour labor Sunday (that went into Monday morning), then coming back home, sleeping for three hours and then turning around and driving out to Rochester for a doula training, I am happy to report that my brain is fully back online. The birth was wonderful and lovely. The laboring mama was probably the most beautiful creature I've ever seen. Just after 19 hours of being "on duty" followed by another full day Monday, it was nice to have absolutely nothing to do during the day yesterday (I did meet with a client in the evening).

The training I took was with Karen Strange, who I now wholeheartedly recommend. If you can get an opportunity to hear her speak, and you are someone who works with women, birth or babies, you should definitely go.

Karen's site: Newborn Breath

Tonight, I will be at the Pregnant Moms Night at Baldwinsville Chiropractic from 6:30-8pm. Please come out and see me if you are a local.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MILCC Fundraiser

First off, thank you to the wonderful ladies who came to spend time with me at the Barnes & Noble in Clay today. Being able to talk with you and benefit from your experience and wisdom was a real treat for me. Diane Starsiak, Chris Herrera, Roz and Carmen; you are all a wealth of information and I can't wait to meet with you again. I wish we had been able to get a picture of all the doulas that were there together.

It's not too late to purchase things from the book fair fundraiser to benefit MILCC. Here is the note that Anne sent out:

"Attention prospective and current IBCLCs interested in MILCC!

The Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification (MILCC) Board of Directors are pleased to announce an opportunity for you and your family and friends to help raise money for the MILCC scholarship fund!

MILCC is an international non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) initial and recertifying candidates.

Barnes and Noble Bookstore at 3056 Route 31, Liverpool NY, USA (near the Great Northern Mall) will be donating a percentage of proceeds from store sales on May 15, 2010.

In addition to in-store sales, a percentage of online order sales made using a specific MILCC promotion code will be donated to the MILCC scholarship fund. Use this code when submitting your online order: 10217404. The code is valid from May 15 through May 20, 2010. If you need a book or DVD (please note that the promotion does not apply to textbooks), please consider purchasing it on-line at, or visit Liverpool NY store on May 15, if you are in the Syracuse area! You could also get free shipping in the USA if you spent over $25 in eligible items!

Let your breastfeeding-minded friends and family know about this great opportunity to help MILCC!

The MILCC Board of Directors would like to thank doula Liz Bear, a new Friend of MILCC, for helping MILCC with this opportunity. The Board would also like to thank Barnes and Noble Bookstores in advance for its donations to the MILCC scholarship fund.

Thank you,

Anne Andrianos, LLLL, IBCLC

MILCC Board Chair"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baby Mamas (Put a Sling On 'Em)

I thought this video was great. Husband Tim thinks I'm a weirdo. Maybe we're both right.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


At about 9:00pm, I couldn't take waiting anymore. I had to do it; I had to go see "Babies." Husband Tim wasn't feeling well today, so I couldn't in good conscience leave him with four children while I went to the movies (I considered it though). Once they were all in bed though, I couldn't resist. I checked the times at Carousel Center and found a 9:35 showing.

After rushing there in the rain/snow (yup, it's snowing here), I made it to the theatre in time. They had it in one of their smaller theatres and there weren't many other people there.

Like you would expect, it started out with the births of the babies (only showed one actual birthing) and then followed each child on through infancy and to the beginning of toddlerhood. The movie presented the different cultures in each country represented without judging or making one out to be better than the others. The crews followed a baby in Mongolia, one in Namibia, one in Tokyo and one in the good old U.S. of A. (San Francisco to be exact). Though the cultures in which they are being raised differ greatly, the babies are all pretty similar. They all cry, coo, pee, roll, crawl, explore and put all sorts of things in their mouths that make adults cringe.

Several places I read online said that "Babes" is rated PG for Breast Feeding, but honestly, there's lots of nudity throughout. No naked dads, but plenty of undressed and semi-dressed moms and babies.

I'm glad I went. Babies are cute. They do weird, entertaining things throughout. It reminded me over and over of when my own babies started crawling and babbling. It showed, right up there on the screen, that you can raise children all different sorts of ways, and they'll be all right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Better Childbirth Class

Last night, I had the priviledge of attending a childbirth class taught by a lady named Andrea Branagan. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the hospital class I went to where they told the couples that one in three of them would end up with a C-section at their hospital (like that's what you need to hear when you're pregnant!).

The class was held at Choices West in Camillus. I was suprised that there was only one couple there. Andrea talked to them about working with your body for birth, instead of doing the things that are sometimes standard operating procedures in hospitals and tend to hinder progress in labor. She covered letting labor start on its own, staying home as long as possible, avoiding unnecessary interventions, positions for labor and effective pushing.

Andrea's business is Gentle Birth Choices and she is a wealth of information.


And now, a note from the midwives:

May 5th is International Day of the Midwife. This year, you can support midwives by acting locally and globally.

New York families and the midwives who care for them are working hard to pass the Midwifery Modernization Act (MMA), which would remove barriers to practice for licensed midwives in NY. Please take a moment to learn more about the bill at and

1. Call your State Senator and Assemblyperson. Schedule a home office visit if you can. Let them know that you are a constituent and ask them to support, co-sponsor, and vote for the MMA - Senate bill S5007 / Assembly bill A8117. Share your positive experiences with midwives! Let us know how it went… email us at

2. Ask them to urge Senator Stavisky and Assemblywoman Glick, the chairs of the Higher Education committees, to move this bill out of committee. If your legislator is on this committee, their support is even more important. If he or she is already a co-sponsor, thank them! To locate your legislators, find out who the committee members are, and find out who is a current co-sponsor, visit

3. Consider donating to the cause: NYSALM has been gathering all its resources to make the MMA a reality. Your donation, in any amount, would be greatly appreciated and will bring the women of NY closer to having more access to the midwifery care they want and deserve. Please visit

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dar La Teta Es Dar Vida

You've got to check out this awesome public service announcement from Puerto Rice.