The Mostly Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Friends and Families
Over the Weekend
Hello again, dear ones. It's Tuesday July 25th and I'd like to personally thank the weather gods for this incredible reprieve from the daily heat advisories here in Houston, however short lived it will be. Enjoy these mild 90 degree days before we're trapped under that heat dome again, friends!
Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to host two family centered HOH events. We had our sibling classes on Sunday and we're excited to be offered them again in September. We also had our second annual Queer Parent Pool Party on Saturday for members of our monthly Queer Parent support circle. We had such an amazing turnout! So many new parents and kiddos! Parenting is a spectrum of highs and lows and having a community of folks in the same chapter of life is everything. Our next support circle is Sunday August 13th.
World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7th
Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week at our exciting kick-off event on July 30th!
Enjoy educational sessions, community connections, and a supportive environment for breast/ chest feeding parents. Don't miss out on this event!
What's on your labor playlist?
So, I've been attending births for well over a decade and something that never gets old besides the whole miracle of life thing, is the variety in labor playlists. Spotify has dozens of Labor & Delivery Day playlists with the usual suspects like Queen and Bowie's Under Pressure, Salt-N-Pepa's Push it, and my wife's personal favorite, Survivor's Eye of the Tiger (insert HARD eye roll). But, it's the songs that I've never thought of in a birthing setting that surprise me the most.
Back in 2021, Mary and I sat quietly at the Clay location waiting for a mama to arrive at the birth center so we could support her during active labor. Suddenly she burst through our tiny back door, phone in hand with Nathaniel Rateliff belting out Son of Bitch at full volume. It. Was. Beautiful. Rachel marched in and sang her way through active labor and transition. Her playlist also included the Across the Universe soundtrack and even a little Otis Redding. She and her husband both have music backgrounds and it was so incredible listening to them sing and harmonize through contractions.
A few years ago I had a doula client who listened to playlist with The Greatest from Sia and Kendrick Lamar. I'll never forget the power of this verse as she was dancing with her husband and working hard to meet her first baby: Well, uh-oh, running out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
But, oh oh, I got stamina
And oh yeah, running through the waves of love
But I, I got stamina
And oh yeah, I'm running and I've just enough
And uh-oh, I got stamina
Who could have guessed that Sia would be a musical doula for this mama?! Research shows that music can, "...reduce pain and anxiety while offering a multifaceted form of psychological support to alleviate stress and promote an increased sense of control in women during labour." I love to cite the Gate Theory of Pain when I teach comfort measures classes. Evidence Based Birth breaks it down like this, "Basically, the gate control theory says that if you activate your nerves in a non-painful way at the same time that you’re experiencing pain, that that blocks the pain signals from reaching your brain. That’s because there’s a gate. There’s a limited amount of information that can go up to your brain at once, and if you flood the nerves with non-painful stimuli, that prevents the painful messages from getting through." So, stimulating all the senses, including what you hear, can lessen the discomforts of labor.
Make a couple of playlists for your big day! Keep in mind labor tempos vary from phase to phase so while a little Lizzo might work when labor is ramping up, consider something more meditative for late active and transition. Check out one of my favorites, Beautiful Chorus for a combo of beautiful vocals and empowering mantras. And of course, there's always a good chance that you'll want complete quiet and that's okay too.
Do I really need a CPR class?
A couple of months ago most of the HOH staff and some of our favorite doulas recertified their basic life support CPR cards. It was a great refresher for everyone since the recommendations tend to change every so often.
Last time we offered CPR we heard from our HOH mamas over on our Whatsapp group about the times they've had to use the techniques they learned in class. This morning as I was scrolling through our instagram account, I noticed that our friend Gail Gould tagged us in a video. Our HOH mama Andrea Arana of Las Perras Cafe shared yet another story of having to use the skills she learned in class to save her son from choking.
If you haven't taken a CPR class recently, now is your chance to refresh your skills! We encourage every pregnant person and anyone caring for a new baby to take a CPR and first aid class. Our next class will be Saturday August 12th from 10am-12pm. Class is $45 per person. Get all the details and RSVP here. Please be sure to send your payment to Gail to secure your spot!
8/2 6pm Evening Core Class Comfort Measures: This interactive class will be great practice for game day! Bring your support person(s) and cycle through the six comfort stations set up throughout the birth center for hands on practice. This class is free to current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective Members.
8/7 10am Yoga with Bee: Bi-Weekly yoga with Bee! Class is for pregnancy and postpartum. Class is open to everyone. Donation based for WHC and HOH members. MUST REGISTER
8/7 11-12pm Anxiety Support Group: Members only, expectant and new parents welcome.
8/11 6:30 pm Ask the Doula Zoom: Free and open to the public. Come chat with some of Houston's bests doulas.
8/12 10am Infant CPR: Please RSVP and send payment to instructor Gail Gould.
All events are open to HOH and WHC members. Please RSVP
New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100
Monthly Ongoing Events
Thursday In Person Postpartum Support Circle: 10-12 in the community room. Open to current HOH & WHC members. Feeding clinic first and third Thursdays of each month.
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public.
Babywearing Beginners Series:Every Third Saturday 4-5pm Free for HOH & WHC
Parents of School Age Kids Circle: First Sunday of every month 11-1pm Open to the public.
Birth workers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm midwives, student midwives, doulas, birth assistants, Obs and L&D nurses are all welcome to attend.
Mindful Movements: First and second Saturday of each month 10:30-12
Yoga with Bee: Every Monday from 10-11am Open to the public members donation based register here.