April 24, 2014

Birthing Gowns for Labor

by Cindy Lintel, creator of BG Birthing Gown

“Do I have to wear THAT?”  Is the question that changed my life.  My name is Cindy Lintel.  Lucky for me I have been a Labor and Delivery Nurse for over 30 years.

In 2009 a gal came in to my Birthing Center and asked if she really had to wear ‘that hospital gown’.  It was this question and Kristin’s birth that changed forever the way I see women birthing their babies.

Wearing her favorite maternity dress, Kristin seemed to sashay through her labor.  She was having her first baby and yet, there was an energy…a confidence … an ATTITUDE that I rarely saw and I wondered what Kristin’s secret was?

Unlike generations of women before her, Kristin had not been stripped of her personal belongings and made to wear a worn out ill fitting “gown” that some stranger had worn the day before. Instead of being dressed like a sick patient, Kristin kept her clothes on!  She wore a dress that FIT her, made of a soft COMFORTABLE fabric, a dress that COVERED her!   My Ah-ha moment came when I realized Kristin was dressed for her baby’s birth!

After much research, I realized there were very few birth wear options, so I went about to create the BG Birthing Gown.  I knew the dress had to be medically appropriate. I didn’t want women to be told they could not wear it.  For the medical staff, I put Velcro at the shoulders for easy access for IV’s, vital sign monitoring and EKG accessibility…More importantly, I put Velcro at the shoulders to create the easiest access for breast feeding babies! In the BG,  moms only expose one breast at a time, as compared to the hospital gown, where women wind up bearing all while breast feeding in a hospital gown.

The BG was designed as a wrap style dress, as a one size fits most design, in a soft and stretchy Rayon/Lycra blend.  Women are CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE knowing they are COVERED and wearing a dress that FITS! If mom wants a back massage, or if needs anesthesia in the BG, she unties and the back opens from side to side for best in back exposure.  The BG has belt loops in the front, so when she is untied, her ties always stay in the front! 

It is a joy to know I have helped thousands of women to Celebrate their Births Beautifully well beyond the walls of my Birthing Center.  Knowing women like Kristin are empowered instead of feeling vulnerable, more inclined to participate in their birth process, walking the halls, moving, swaying and sashaying through their labor with a new energy…confidence…a great attitude, being mindful of their births, not worried about being over exposed in the hospital gown.

To Dress for Your Baby’s Birth, please visit WWW.BIRTHINGOWN.COM or WWW.BIRTHWORKS.ORG. Best of luck at your Birth!

April 8, 2014

Birth: The Mystery

by Mali Schwartz

A physician who specializes in infertility problems told his colleague the following: "One day I was peering through a microscope at a fertilized ovum, and I realized that all that this cell will have is carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and a few trace metals; and from this single cell will develop a whole human being, with a brain comprised of two hundred billion specialized cells." I knew at that moment that there must be a G-d.

Marianne Littlejohn, a professional nurse and midwife in South Africa, feels that “Giving birth and raising children is the most life-changing event a woman ever experiences. It is both a peak experience and deeply spiritual at the same time. ”  Marianne has three adult sons, all born at home, which fueled her interest in birth and child development and she facilitates peaceful parenting practices.

She has attended home births, water births and hospital births and facilitates calm birth, gentle birth, undisturbed birth and ecstatic birth, as well as assisting women who require a caesarian-section to stay connected with their baby skin-to-skin after the operation.

A husband of one of Marianne’s clients expressed the wonder he felt as a witness to his wife’s water birth:  How could I possibly explain, as a father, what it feels like to have the silky soft hair of my baby’s head stray gently through my fingers during the very earliest stage of a water birth?  Is it not something surreal to stroke your wife’s back with one hand, comfort her with kisses and gently hold our baby’s head in the palm of the other while awaiting the next contraction?  When the shoulders popped out our appointment with relief seemed ever more tangible yet those vivid moments have been indelibly engraved upon my being: such awareness, such an awakening. One almost feels guilty sharing it. The first contractions bring small pieces of hope and excitement but the very last one sweeps you away like a car in a tornado – a baby, head to toes came into (our) being.

What a beautiful homage paid to the process of birth!

From a physician who understands the difficulties that have to be surmounted when couples deal with infertility, to a husband who expresses his wonder at the mystery of birth, these two individuals beautifully express a sense of awe that surrounds the miracle of birth.