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Callie Corless                                                                                          

Comprehensive Childbirth Classes - Birth Doula Services                                        

theswayingdoula@gmail.com 


Denton, 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.

Filtering by Tag: Labor

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! 

How to: Birth Affirmations

Callie Corless

Birth is a big event (understatement of the year)! You'll spend a lot of time planning and preparing for the arrival of your baby, but are you also preparing yourself emotionally? When you think of the moment of birth do you feel a twinge of fear? Apprehension? Anxiety? Do you struggle viewing your labor and birth with confidence, peace, and ease? Expressing concerns to your provider, talking with a safe partner, and hiring a doula(yes, definitely hiring a doula!) can help calm your mind and strengthen your confidence, but there's something else you can do for a few minutes each day that can make drastic changes in the way you view birth. 

Introducing....Birth Affirmations!

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out! The way we talk to ourselves-positive or negative-has an impact on the way we view the world, other people, and our experiences. The subtle things we think or say alter how we feel. If we say "I'm not sure how I'll handle the pain", our mind creates a pathway of thinking towards doubt, fear, and potentially, an unfavorable outcome. 

But how can I say "I birth with strength and power" if I don't know if I can?

Fake it 'till you make it m'dear.

It will feel awkward, uncomfortable, and just plain weird, but before you know it, the daily habit of saying out loud "I've got this" eventually provides you with the gift of mind over matter. You've been saying it to yourself so much that your brain will start to believe it. After all, where does the signal of pain, or pleasure come from? That's right, it comes from the brain. 

So let's get started with all the easy, simple ways to sift out negative thoughts and replace them with positivism(yes that's a word, I looked it up).

Keep affirmations positive

When you start writing out your affirmations (or use the list at the bottom of the article) always keep them positive. The brain latches on to negativity and it can cause a downward spiral that undoes all your hard work. For example, instead of "I will not give in to fear", you can say "I will face challenges with confidence and strength". Using the words "not", "don't", or "won't", etc. can hang around in your brain, ready to pop up at the first sign of doubt. By simply inserting positive words or phrases in place of negative ones, the pathway to positive thinking becomes more automatic and frequent.

Daily Routine

Now that you have your affirmations how do you use them? Here are a few ways:

  1. Write them on post it notes on your bathroom mirror so they are the first thing you read/see when you get up in the morning.  To take it one step further, stand in front of the mirror with your hand on your heart, and look right into your eyes as you say it. Adding visual memory makes it even more effective.
  2. Pick a few from the list to memorize throughout the week, and add each one you memorize to an affirmation workbook so you can keep track of them and bring them out for later use(or the next baby!).
  3. Use meditation: Play meditation music on headphones, or as you lie in bed before you get up in the morning. Read through a few affirmations as you practice controlled breathing(great for labor prep, kill two birds with one stone!). You can even write a birth affirmation script and record yourself over your favorite meditation track, so you can listen each day, when you are feeling apprehensive about your upcoming birth, or during labor.

Affirmations for pregnancy and labor

  • My body is strong and healthy.
  • With each contraction, my baby is one step closer to being in my arms.
  • I love my body and honor the power I have to create and bring forth life.
  • I give birth with confidence.
  • I surround myself with those who love and support me.
  • I am relaxed and open as I birth my baby.
  • I love myself and my baby.
  • I honor my body and the life it creates.
  • I listen to the wisdom inside me.
  • I know what is best for my baby and my birth.
  • This day is a gift and I am full of gratitude for this pregnancy.
  • I feel connected to my partner as we welcome our baby.
  • I trust my body to grow and birth my baby with ease.
  • I am full of joy and light.
  • My head and heart are connected to my body and the process of birth.
  • My body and my baby work as one.
  • Just as my body knows how to breathe, it also knows how to birth my baby.
  • I am connected to mothers throughout the ages who have given birth before me; their strength and confidence flows through me as I labor.
  • I welcome the birthing process in all it's power as a gift to bring my baby into my arms.

*Take note: affirmations are not a magical spell that will insure you will have a perfect birth. Sometimes things go wrong or plans change, and that's okay. Once the experience is over, you can take all the time you need to process, or grieve and feel the loss of unfulfilled dreams for birth if necessary. What affirmations will do is help prepare you to be relaxed, confident, and in your best "emotional" shape so that you have done everything you can to set the stage for the birth you envision. 

Where to go from here

Now you have all the tools, and you are prepared the next time doubt comes creeping in. Such as when a well meaning friend tells you her birth horror story. Or a stranger walks up to you and says you look ready to pop and if you go much longer there's no way that baby will fit (And you still have 2 months to go!). When this happens you'll know what to do. Stop for a minute. Close your eyes. Breathe. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the air and the warmth of the sun on your face. You've got this. Your body knows how to birth your baby. With each breath you send love and confidence to your baby. You surrender to the birth the universe has in store for you.

You are going to rock this birth. 

 

 

 

Do's and Don'ts of Doula Work

Callie Corless

I often encounter the question "what does a doula do?" when someone finds out that I'm a doula. They usually ask how a doula is different than a midwife (in short, the midwife is responsible for the medical aspect of the birth process for you and your baby, whereas a doula is a labor coach, akin to a personal trainer for birth). 

It can be difficult to sum up all that encompasses being a doula, especially since that role can look different depending on your birth experience(ex. cesarean birth and homebirth have dissimlar logistics, and while the emotional and physical support are still necessary, they will most likely look different), so if you want a better idea of what I "do" as a doula, and what I "don't" do, read on!

As your doula I “do”:

-Provide un-biased physical and emotional support throughout pregnancy, labor, and birth. I’m available by phone, text, or email before your birth for support and to address your questions and concerns. Once you are in active labor I am present where you are laboring to provide continuous support until a few hours after baby is born.

-Attend births at home, in hospitals, birth centers, cesareans, natural births, water births, with or without epidurals. However you choose to birth your baby, I will support you every step of the way.

-Assist you in preparing for the birth you want, as well as the postpartum period. We will discuss your concerns and questions about labor and delivery, as well as your plans for feeding your baby after he/she is born. 

-Provide local resources regarding pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

-Suggest position changes during labor when necessary, hold a washcloth or hand, equip your spouse or partner with tools to support you in labor, and work alongside each member of your birth team harmoniously.

-Encourage you to speak up if I see that your wishes for your birth plan are at risk of being disrupted.

 

As your doula I "don’t" :

-Tell you what to do. Your birth is about you, and I leave my own beliefs at the door. This is your big event!

-Speak on your behalf to your provider or those attending your birth. I work with you before your birth so that you have the information you need to make decisions for your birth, and I help remind you of it if necessary.

-Give medical advice or suggestions outside of my scope of practice. I don’t check blood pressure, dilation, heart rates, etc. I leave that in the hands of your medical provider, so that I can focus on supporting you and your partner through the process.

-Replace your partner. I work with your partner to create a team that can bring you enhanced support. I encourage them to support you at whatever level feels best. If that means they want to do most of the physical comfort, great! If not, that works too. I’ll be there to share tools and information if they would like some direction, and when they need a break to eat or rest, I’ll be there ready to step in!