A Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families and Friends
Ahh, Houston. Look at you, winning championships and shutting the entire city down to celebrate! What an incredible weekend for Astros fans everywhere. More than a million people gathered to celebrate another world championship after our embarrassing cheating scandal made us the most hated team in the MLB. And oh the sweet satisfaction of knowing that they will hate us still. Congratulations boys!
Over the Weekend
Saturday Midwife Mary and student midwife Anya helped a hard working couple meet their baby boy safely at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. Welcome to the world little one! I promise to catch up on the birthday bulletin next week. On Sunday we welcomed Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist and Sexualty Councelor, Aya Cardellini of Empower Yourself PT. She shared some common signs of pelvic floor dysfunction and the role it plays in both pleasure AND giving birth. As the pregnant person's body changes, so might self image and feelings of desirableness. . Because pregnant folks experienced changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, many experience fluctuations in their sex drive. So don't be surprised if the relaxation techniques you learned in comfort measures class leads to more than just a foot rub. Aya's advice is to remember that orgasms are full pelvic workouts. All of the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvis are engaged and kept active with contractions at climax. So, win-win! Another great activity for pelvic floor health is walking. Not quite as fun but definitely good for everyone.
Walk with me
After the birth of my first baby in September of 2015, I was excited to join local walking groups where I could enjoy being a member of a support group. The first group I joined was offered by grand midwife Afua Hassan. She called her walks, "Healing Mondays" and everyone was welcome. Every Monday a group of newly postpartum folks would meet at various parks around the city and well, walk. I met some great folks during those walks and saw parts of the city that I'd never even knew were there. This group still meets once a week and is open to the public. Those walks were so helpful for my physical and mental health. Some days it took everything I had to get us out the door but at the end of our walks I was always glad I made the effort.
When we opened Heart of Houston and began our postpartum support groups I knew this was something I wanted to offer as well and we enjoyed weekly walks until it was too hot outside. Now that the weather is cooler we are meeting again. Next Wednesday the 16th we will meet at the Houston Arboretum at 10am. We are opening it up to anyone who'd like to attend. We'd love to see some pregnant folks too, this is a great chance to get that connective tissue around your pelvis moving and flowing. Hope to see you there!
Meet Mary Bratcher, LMT, SpBAP
I seriously have the very best job in the world. I get to witness folks become and grow into their role as parents. I get an unlimited supply of baby squishes on the regular, there is very little downside to this job. Another benefit is working with some of the very best people in this city. Mary Bratcher is one of those people. Mary has been a part of the birth community here in Houston for over 10 years and we are so happy to welcome her to the HOH family. She is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) with training as a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner (SpBAP), Bodyworker, Arvigo Practitioner, Labor Whisperer, and Strength Coach Student. Mary is also one of the kindest and funniest people you'll ever meet and I can't wait for you to get to know her. Mary will have office hours here at the birth center every Wednesday and Saturday 10-5pm. You can book your massage with her here. Heart of Houston clients and Whole Heart Collective members receive a discount on services. Learn a little about this big hearted friend of mine below.
Who are you? Mary Bratcher, Licensed Massage Therapist How do you serve/help the pregnant and postpartum communities? Over nearly 2 decades I have served the Perinatal community as a Doula, Bodyworker/Massage Therapist, Emergency Medical Technician and Midwifery Assistant. All of my experience informs my current offerings in specialty massage modalities for balance and comfort in Pregnancy and Postpartum. I am a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner and an Arvigo Therapy® Practitioner. How did you get into this line of work? In college I read an article about Doulas and the rest is history. I was simply interested in being helpful, and there are so many ways to support and assist in the childbearing year. What do you wish everyone knew about your area of expertise? I wish everyone to know how transformative abdomino-pelvic massage techniques can be. That they are safe and effective (sometimes life changing) for addressing cycle discomforts, complimenting fertility journeys, finding comfort and soft tissue release in pregnancy and receiving nourishment postpartum. What is most rewarding about your work? When someone returns home to their body after feeling safe and being cared for. Tell us about something (or someone) you love. How about 7 someones? I love BTS. Hang with me long enough and you'll love them too💜
Welcome to Heart of Houston, Mary B!
Still time to sign up!
We're super happy to partner up with Megan Rasmussen, founder of Crazy for Car Seats for a Saturday morning class here at the birth center. If you've wondered what car seat is best for your vehicle or how long you should keep your baby in which seat, this is the class for you. Megan will demonstrate how to correctly install your seat and how to pick the best seat for your family. Class is $25 and open to the public. Included in this price, "a free virtual seat check and parents can text me a picture of their newborn before their first car ride so I can do a quick visual check. It will also give students a discount on a future in person seat check." Space is limited so snag your spot soon.
This Week's Events
New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100
Walk with Me: Wednesday 11/16 10am we will meet at the Houston Arboretum. Text Jessica if you plan on coming so no one gets left behind. Everyone is welcome!
Wednesday Evening Core Class: Newborn Care Q & A with Dr. Sharifa Glass, MD, IBCLC of Vine Pediatrics and Lactation. We'll discuss everything you can expect from a newborn and how to prepare for the first few weeks of life. Dr. Glass will share the most common questions she gets in her practice. Please register for this event here.
Ask the Experts: Grief as Part of the Journey into Parenthood Friday 11/18 6:30 pm HOH Zoom room. Jodie Gonzalez, LCSW, an expert on grief, will discuss the very real season of loss many first time parents experiance but is rarely discussed. Your world is about to change in ways you cannot even anticipate right now! The goal of this chat is to give you tool to recognize and ease the distressing emotions that can surface during this time of incredible change. This event is open to Whole Heart Collective Members. Please register for this event here.
Postpartum Support Group: Alternating Wednesdays 10-12 on Zoom. Every Thursday in person 10-12. Link to zoom room has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Feeding Clinic: Twice a month during Postpartum group. Keep an eye on schedule for specifics
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public!
Birthworkers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm