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Callie Corless                                                                                          

Comprehensive Childbirth Classes - Birth Doula Services                                        

theswayingdoula@gmail.com 


Flower Mound, Tx

Callie provides childbirth classes in North Dallas and Flower Mound, TX and birth doula services in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. The Swaying Doula provides birth services for pregnant mothers and their families, as well as prenatal exercise and dance fitness to help pregnant mothers have a healthy pregnancy and prepare their bodies for labor, birth, and postpartum recovery.

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The Swaying Doula - birth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding information and natural birth classes in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Denton, Coppell, Lewisville, Grapevine, Irving, Plano, Frisco, and The Colony TX.

How to RELAX – Tips For Birth, Tips For the Mom Life!

Callie Corless

Relaxation for birth can lead to less pain, shorter labors, and a more satisfying birth experience. 

Relaxation for birth can lead to less pain, shorter labors, and a more satisfying birth experience. 

Relaxation comes in handy (read: IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY) for so many things related to parenthood – postpartum, colicky newborns, headstrong toddlers…

Anxious about birth

Whether you are pregnant with your first and preparing for your birth, or a busy mom of multiple children (or a human being...), relaxation is an important tool for life!

When I became a Birth Boot Camp Instructor, I discovered that relaxation would be a big part of the birth classes I teach in Denton, TX. I was a little wary at first since relaxation was not my strong suit. (Confession: I am the conductor of the anxiety train.) During my original training, and after practicing the relaxation exercises, I was sold on how effective and important relaxation was to a healthy, happy birth. But I still did NOT get it. How??!? I was determined to become a relaxation guru.

I went on a google frenzy, and here are a few quick relaxation tips I’ve picked up along the way:

Stop and B R E A T H E 

If you were to stop at any given time during the day, what would your breathing really be like? Slow and steady? Or shallow and irregular? I do breath checks throughout the day, and most of the time I notice I “catch” my breath and hold it. When I take in a deep breath, and slowly let it go, I notice my stress levels go down. My shoulders drop and relax, my jaw loosens. So much changes when we really BREATHE. Imagine how much easier birth could be if careful, intentional breathing became a habit. 

Don’t be afraid of scripts 

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I bought a book of a popular birthing method that included a CD of a birth script/relaxation. I was supposed to listen and practice regularly and then my baby was going to come into the world with a calm, peaceful, half-asleep mother(okay, I exaggerate, but you get the point). There was one problem; I could not stand the voice on the recording! Listening to this recording became a chore, and once I realized that it caused more agitation then relaxation, I needed to move onto something else. But before you give up on relaxations, consider this – sometimes you need to shop around. Keep trying until you find something you like! I sometimes peruse YouTube for meditations to help me fall asleep. Sometimes I start and stop a dozen before settling on one I like (What can I say? I’m picky about voices!). If you want some birth specific recordings to try, there are some great birth script downloads on the Birth Boot Camp website: I use these sometimes in class. You can purchase Birth Relaxations here
Another great option? Have your partner read them to you. A familiar voice might be just what you need.

Picture a river 

This is a trick I heard from a few different sources. Do you ever have a hard time falling asleep, because a thousand things suddenly come to mind? I often jolt up in bed at least once as I’m falling asleep because I forgot to put dinner in the fridge, or I didn’t send that email I’d been meaning to… so this trick is good for the anxiety ridden and busy minded.
Instead of fighting off thoughts and trying to "clear your mind", which doesn’t work very well, picture a river that floats by in front of you. When a thought comes, you simply imagine taking it and placing it in the river, and watch it float away. If it comes again, you just repeat. Place it in the river, watch it float away. The more you practice this, the more you create pathways for your brain to let go of thoughts quicker. Keep at it. It will get easier! 

3 Simple Things To Add To Your Birth Bag

Callie Corless

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1. Hair Ties

Have you ever gone to a workout and realized just how important that little band of elastic is? Hair plastered to the side of your face, stray strands falling in your eyes - majorly annoying. Birth is another equally bad time to forget a hair tie. Pack a few extras in your bag asap. You won’t regret it.

2. Depends

I brought this up at a visit with a client recently and they scoffed a bit at the suggestion. Then we discussed what it’s like if your water breaks early on in labor, and you’re leaking everywhere you go. Yeah. The benefits of not having to worry about constantly changing pads/clothes, and the many other charms of having these on hand soon won her over. Plus, they beat those flimsy mesh panties you get at the hospital any day!

3. Phone Charger

It’s no secret most of us really like our phones. But if you want to catch a sweet moment in labor, or tell family when the little one has arrived - only to find your battery is dead? Not good! It’s even worth it to buy an extra to keep in your bag so there’s no last minute scramble when it’s go time. 

Now go and have an AMAZING birth! 

The Lowdown On Postpartum Belly Binding

Callie Corless

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*Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare provider. I strongly encourage you to seek out the advice of your healthcare provider and to see a physical therapist who specializes in postpartum pelvic floor restoration as part of your postpartum recovery plans. Belly binding is intended as a tool for support while your body heals, not as a treatment plan or a cure for a postpartum condition.

Traditional belly binding is used in many countries around the world, and the Bengkung Belly Binding method as shown originated in Malaysia. It uses a very long strip of woven fabric - which means non-stretchy - that you wrap in a specific way around your belly postpartum to support healing after birth and shorten recovery time. 

I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea when I first heard of it, but like most things - don’t knock it ‘till you try it! (Or at least until you hear about the kind of benefits/results you can get from it.) Once I became more familiar with belly binding and had the opportunity to try it out firsthand, I was fairly amazed at what a great tool this can be for postpartum mothers. (And did you know it can be worn to help reduce cramping and discomfort while on your period? Genius.)

How can belly binding help?

When you are pregnant, your uterus expands, putting pressure on the abdominal muscles and causing them to separate. (If you’ve heard this many times before, stick with me here, there’s more! I promise.) Your hips also widen, and your pelvic floor and surrounding ligaments are stretched and weakened. Once your baby is born, your body is left without a lot of support to encourage it back towards its original position. Our bodies have amazing capabilities to stretch and give, but they also need a lot of love and support as they heal and come back together. 

Belly binding is a great option for women that want to be proactive in supporting their bodies in the immediate postpartum period. When wrapped properly, it can support these muscles and areas that may have a hard time on their own. The point is not to just “shrink your tummy” - although many women report a noticeable difference when wrapping on a regular basis after baby.

When we talk about Diastasis Recti(separation of the large abdominal muscles), this is more than just developing a “pooch”. It is a sign of core and pelvic floor weakness that can lead to other issues such as incontinence, uterine prolapse, or back pain, etc. Supporting these muscles just makes sense.

How do you wear a belly binding wrap?

Postpartum herbs - Not as weird as it looks! Simply mix with some coconut oil and rub on your belly. A flannel panel is placed over it to protect your clothes and wrap. If you aren't up for the mess, no problem. Binding alone can still be very beneficial. 

Postpartum herbs - Not as weird as it looks! Simply mix with some coconut oil and rub on your belly. A flannel panel is placed over it to protect your clothes and wrap. If you aren't up for the mess, no problem. Binding alone can still be very beneficial. 

The wrap is first anchored firmly around your hips, then carefully tied and knotted upwards over your belly until it is finished off and tucked in a few inches above your belly button. When you hire a belly binding professional, they will teach you how to wrap for comfort, and how to apply herbs if desired(there are certain herbs that can be rubbed onto the belly underneath the wrap that may assist in the recovery process). Not into herbs? The belly binding itself is still extremely beneficial.

Since the objective of binding is to support your postpartum body, it is important to have someone who understands how to use it to assist you. Binding incorrectly can actually be more damaging than not binding at all if it is done in such a way that it is pushing the uterine and abdominal muscles downwards. We want to be lifting and supporting this area.

In the end, belly binding can be a great addition to your postpartum recovery plan, especially as a head start to healing well before you begin an exercise plan.

Have more questions, or are interested in scheduling your own Belly Binding in or near Denton County, TX? Find more info. about belly binding here

Happy Postpartum!