The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families
July 12, 2022
Happy Tuesday, friends. What a crazy hot weekend! We hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July and stayed relatively cool. We've had a busy couple of weeks at the birth center. We've welcomed SIX new souls into the world over the last two weeks. Our team of midwives, student midwives and birth assistants are enjoying all these sweet summer babies!
This surge in babies has really given us all the chance to work together and establish a rhythm and let me tell you, we have found our groove! There is so much to love about birth work but loving the team you work with makes it less like work and more like a birth nerd playdate. We promise to keep it mostly professional when you go into labor.
Over The Weekend
This past weekend we had another orientation for our newest Whole Heart Collective Members. Often we find that expectant parents will do all the things to prepare for labor and birth and then are caught off guard by the challenges of keeping a tiny helpless human alive. A common theme around this past weekend's group was the amount of anxiety many of our expectant families are experiencing.
The past couple of years have been so difficult for just about everyone. More than a million Americans lost their lives to COVID and cases are on the rise as I write. Our nation is fractured in ways that feel insurmountable and could this planet get any hotter? We are at capacity. Our bodies are the vessels that hold onto all of these stressors even when aren't aware of it happening. All of that to say that things that might not have felt so heavy two years ago can today spark anxiety in brand new ways. We want to help update your tool box with new ways to address these stressors.
Starting Monday July 25th our friend and interning family therapist Mary Alice Carpenter will lead a support group with a focus on managing anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Group will be held every other Monday from 12-1 at the birthing center and will last five weeks. If you are interested in learning more about this new program or if you'd like to enroll please send me an email by Friday the 22nd.
Meet Shirley Chan-Ramirez, MD IBCLC of
How do you serve/help the pregnant and postpartum communities?
I am a pediatrician and lactation consultant. I love helping moms, newborns, and their families during the 4th trimester and beyond. I am an expert on newborn care and can answer all your new parent questions. My lactation support can get your feeding goals off to the best start. I offer home visits for 4th trimester care, so that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to have your baby and yourself cared for. I also do a prenatal consult for postpartum planning, so that you can be prepared beforehand!
How did you get into this line of work?
Having a tough time postpartum with both of my babies, struggling with lactation problems and tongue-ties, I recognized the need for more comprehensive support during the 4th trimester. As I gained more lactation knowledge, I found that I could make a huge difference guiding other moms past the potential pitfalls that could derail their breastfeeding relationship. I also greatly enjoyed seeing how my advice and assistance allowed moms to gain confidence and success in their breastfeeding journeys. Ultimately, this work brings me joy and purpose and I get a huge sense of fulfillment doing it!
What do you wish more people knew about your area of expertise?
That lactation support can really make a difference in how a mom’s breastfeeding relationship, goals, and expectations play out. That we can truly be your partner and guide in your journey. That 4th trimester support needs to be more accessible to every mom!
What is most rewarding about your work?
Getting to interact with newborns and new parents, having the privilege to care for and guide them — it’s the best feeling.
Tell us about something or someone you love!
I learned about self-care pretty late in life. As a mom and professional, it was easy to put myself last. I realized that I have to take care of myself first before I can keep taking care of others. So one thing I value a lot and prioritize nowadays is self-care.
Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself to our community, Dr. Chan-Ramirez!
Just a quick reminder that we ask anyone visiting the birth center to wear a mask for the entirety of your visit. We are experiencing a rapid increase in positive cases in our area. Although many cases of this recent variant are considered "mild" it is highly contagious and our goal is to limit exposure to immunocompromised folks like newborns and pregnant people. Also, keep your birth team updated on any exposures or positive cases in your home prior to in-person appointments. Keep washing your hands, wear your mask and avoid crowds when possible. Please reach out if you have any questions!
Pregnancy Core Class- When Plans Change : July 17th 2-4pm HOH zoom room Midwife Mary Love will discuss what happens when your birthing plans have to change. We'll cover common interventions and ways to prepare for the unexpected. We strongly recommend class for every brithing person, regardless of where you are planning to give birth. Please register HERE Link to zoom room will be email on Friday 7/15
End of Summer HOH Baby Pool Party: Save the date! We'll have a HOH pool day Friday July 28th from 10-1pm at Jessica's place. Hang out before or after morning nap! More details in the members area.
This Week's Events
Postpartum Support Group: Every Wednesday from 10-12ish and Thursday 9:30-11:30. Zoom link 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 starting Jan 2022 time 11am-1:30pm