Welcome to the blog of Doula Angelita!

Bring your brain to be refreshed and inspired!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas!

This is the time of year when family and friends become more preeminent, when food, fun and merriment are the order of the day, and when there is a general interest in renewing and refreshing of the body, mind and spirit.

In this season, let a spirit of calm tranquility and an eveness of temprament prevail. Getting into fights, arguing about small and useless things, these eat into your own personal tranquility and ease of mind.

Take care of you this season. Do not lose your mind, nor your soul in harried trips to the mall. Rather, keep a cup of good cheer nearby, and sip on it liberally to refresh your soul. Rejoice and celebrate that which is good, mourn that which is lost, and let the Star which guided the Wise Men in their quest guide to to an oasis of quiet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pregnorexia: A cry for help....

In consulting with a new mother-to-be, I asked her what her concerns were. To my surprise, her calm exterior dissolved into a torrent of scalding tears. As I comforted her, and prepared a cup of tea, I braced myself for the worst: is her husband abusive? is she concerned about finances? maybe she doesn't have any food or clothing...

The problem was revealed through hiccups. "I gained ten pounds! I am so fat, I will never lose this weight!" This set off a red flag in my head. It is normal to have some concern over weight, and in this country of weight consciousness, somewhat acceptable. The warning to me was of the utter hysterics posed by the idea of losing her perfect figure for even a few months.

To this client, gaining weight was the negative of pregnancy, and she fought every step of the way to keep slender: she exercised for an hour a day, she drank slim and non-fat milk, she tightly regulated her snacks and was rigid on her portion controls. Any deviation from her plan(one pound a month) made her desperate. She spent hours on the internet, researching low-calorie foods that she could eat and looking for tips of the trade on how to keep her weight down.

When she calmed down somewhat, I asked her when her next appointment was with her OB/GYN, and asked permission to accompany her, along with a professional friend of mine. She agreed.

At the next appointment, I and my friend, who is a psychiatrist, showed up. We listened as the client told the doctor how everything was fine, she was eating "loads and loads" and she nodded vigourously as the doctor admonished her to eat nutritious meals in order to have a healthy baby. Again, the client agreed.

There was a short pause. I gently said, "Is there something which you want to share with Dr._________? A concern that you raised with me?" The client stared at me, a mixture of fear and anger on her face. She denied vehemently that she had something to add.

I again said gently, "Don't you know that if your health or the health of the baby is in jeopardy, I cannot stay quiet?" At this point, Dr.__________ let the client know that I had sent a report, indicating that there might be some trouble regarding eating, and that I was very concerned with her nutritional balance.

The client was, to say the least, not happy.

This is when the doctor took over and asked if the client wanted to continue with my services. Livid,...well, we can all picture what happened next.

Would I change it again, perhaps hinted and prayed that the client would come to her senses? Surely I could use the retainer fee, especially in this season of Our Lord's birth, and hardly anything in the house. I could have just shrugged and let it pass from my eyes.

I could not, and cannot. This woman needed help, and I, as San Jose's Community Doula, could not turn my back on that fact, no matter what the consequences....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

99 Luft balloons: well, only ten...

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers beat out five hundred of their closest competitors and correctly identified the location of ten red balloons released in select areas around the country.

Using the MIT website, text message advertising and other social media tools, the researchers received input from over 4,000 volunteers to accurately pinpoint the location of the cheery globules. The project was an exercise in determining the speed, accuracy and reliability of information culled from social media. In addition, the feasibility of using alternate communication in national emergencies or during situations such as Amber Alerts or interstate kidnappings was probed.

The researchers, basically were glad of the opportunity to use their skills to prove their work, which reflects on themes of social media in society. They plan to divide the money amongst charities and the top spotters.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shaniya Nicole Davis

I am tired, weary, heartsick of reading the stories of parents who become monsters. Shaniya Nicole Davis was sold to a man who, through his forcible violation of her five year old body, choked the life out of her. Her mother, who carried her for nine months, who had other children, sold her precious daughter, who loved earning high marks in school, for drugs.

The time has long since come for all of those involved in birth to take a stand. We have all seen mothers and fathers too incompetent, too unaware, too monstrous to be caregivers. Their black hearts are full of poison and their children are their prey.

No more.

It is well-documented somewhere that there were problems in the family, problems with drugs, problems with maturity, etc. There were relatives who loved and cared for little Shaniya, relatives who returned her to her mother, who consigned her to a horrible, cruel, twisted death.

Shaniya Nicole Davis.

This is the focus. Her life was taken by the one who gave her life, and the one who gave her life is no longer human, she is strung out on drugs and not in her right mind. Once a human has committed such a monstrous act, there is no human redemption.

If there were true justice, the woman who procured the death of Shaniya Nicole Davis would be walled up in the cask of amontillado.

Let God forgive her. I spit upon her who deliberately deprived her own daughter of both innocence and life and my heart is cold toward her.

I only have tears for the prey, Shaniya Nicole Davis. Poor angel, rest now, far from the ravaging hands and clawing horror of your final hours...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving is no reason to go to pieces...

Many clients are calling, emailing and coming by to ask for hints and tips for surviving this holiday season. Frazzled, jangled, at loose ends and ready to throw in the towel, they are trying to balance the perfect meal with the perfect house with the perfect baby with the perfect husband.

Some have physically recoiled when I simply, cheerfully, say to them: "Sit down, have a hot cuppa, and by the way, not happening, lovey. "

One client burst into tears, convinced that she was a wretched failure.

This set me to write upon this subject. The time has come, as my grandmother says, for some good, solid facts and hard home truths.

First, let us be frank. If you are not an octopus, you will not wake up and just magically have a sitcom-worthy house with all of the Norman Rockwell trimmings.

Second, no one does it by themselves, with no help, with no planning and with a squalling newborn.

Third, if help is offered, DO take it, with as many thanks as possible.

Fourth, a small, well-cooked dinner is better than a disasterous six-course meal.

Fifth, if you have never prepared Thanksgiving before, for heaven's sakes, get help.

Sixth, restaurants are accepting your reservations for Thanksgiving dinner.

Seventh...calm yourself, dry your eyes, and be thankful for what you do have.

Eighth...have a wonderful, calm, peaceful, safe Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to handle Thanksgiving's Temptations

For many, Thanksgiving is a time of good food, good drink, good times with family and friends. It is also a time when overindulgence and relaxed rules on dieting overcome the usual common good sense and moderation. This is why it is important to have both an entrance and an exit strategy for the upcoming holiday season.

One strategy that I prescribe for my clients to combat the holiday stresses and rich food is PREVIEW. With this plan in mind, the holidays become more manageable and more enjoyable.

P is for pacing. This means think about what is important and necessary for you to do this season; many invitations can be tempting, but leave you drained. Balance what you have to do with what you need to do.

R is for resting. Naps are not just for little kids;adults often suffer from sleep deprivation and need to compensate. This in practice is to allow yourself a period of 15-45 minutes to relax, put your feet up, place a cool compress on your head and collect yourself before racing off to the next holiday fete-or struggling in the kitchen with a holiday meal.

E is for energy. Take your vitamins, do your yoga-whatever it takes to naturally keep your energy levels optimal and even. Do not skip snacks nor overrely on caffeine.

V is for vitality through vegetables. Many are robbed of it this holiday season due to lack of planning and overcommitting. Save your vital energy for what is vitally important: vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. At the least, pack in a case of V8 and drink it all through the day.

I is for integrity. Keep your schedule intact. Keeping to a schedule, more or less, will help keep your equalibrium intact. One or two late nights are okay-so long as you maintain rest periods for yourself.

E is for exercise. Do not gleefully abandon exercise; in fact, keeping to an exercise routine will help to ground you and keep you from overindulgence.

W is for water. Water is vital to maintaining health, keeping digestion going strong, and eliminating waste from the body.

Give PREVIEW a try and you will have a holiday to remember!

Have a wonderful, happy and safe Thanksgiving! Thank you to all my faithful readers and I thank you for supporting me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Have a Happy Monday!

Nice Monday

If you, like me, are a fan of the classic movie "Office Space", you groan along with our hapless worker bee when a co-worker cheerily and cheekily says, "Looks like a case of the Mondays." Well, take heart and pluck courage, no longer will anyone accuse you of having a case of the Mondays when you log onto the site http://www.doonenicething.com

No, that bit of code at the top of the post is not random bits of scrambled nonsense. Rather, it is information to paste onto your own blogs and to pass along to others. Do one nice thing is a call to arms and action: let's not gather around the water cooler and have a moan, let's get to work and help others, for a few minutes at least.

From sending postcards to wounded soldier to purchasing new underwear for the homeless, founder Debbie Tenzer and her team keep on top of the best and most expansive ways to help others. Recommending good deed ideas as well as profiling those who do them is one way that Debbie does good for the world, one small act of kindness at a time.

So, dropkick those Monday blues and put on your kindness shoes and log onto http://doonenicething.com now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Doulas are an investment, too

Doulas are an integral part of the new mothers life, yet many mothers reject the aid, assistance and comfort that having a doula can bring.

Anyone who has experienced the joys of a new baby can also attest to the steep learning curve that comes with the responsibility of the new little one. Pile on the lack of sleep, the getting to know your baby's personality and clues, the struggle to heal after childbirth and to adjust to your new body and new role, and this can be a delicate time for the new mother.

At this time, a doula is equipped to provide immediate relief and to lend a sympathetic ear. Her experience with babies proves invaluable when applied to the situation of the new baby at the home.

It is prudent to be careful with resouces, but weigh carefully being overly cautious against getting a best start to motherhood.

Doula Angelita writes a column for the San Jose Examiner on birth, parenting, nutrition and women's issues.

Please visit my column http://ekahnav.notlong.com, subscribe and comment!

Looking forward to hearing from you! http://ekahnav.notlong.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pink Thoughts for Health and Breast Cancer Support

As a trident doula/parenting coach/nutrition guide/women's health advocate, I urge all women to take a moment during this month of Breast Cancer Awareness and do these few things for your health:

1. Check yourself, from top to toe. If you feel ill, run-down or just not right, make an appointment to get to the doctor.

2. Reach out to your female family and friends to do the same thing.

3. Donate pink items to your local pregnancy research shelter. They can always use baby things for the new little ones, and the pink colour will evoke a reminder to be in the pink of health for the new little one!

4. Resolve to drink more water. Start with one full glass in the morning, and one full one at night.

5. Get up, every morning and do 2 minutes of exercise. Touch your toes, walk around the block, stand up and sit down in a chair. Just get the blood moving, to bring pink to your cheeks.

6. Eat some tomatoes, and some cauliflower at least one time this week. Red and white make pink!

7. Now that colder weather is settling in, invest in some good moisturizer to keep your glowing pink skin at its loveliest.

8. Pick up a pink Sharpie. The specially made Sharpie with the pink ribbon will donate a portion of the proceeds to City of Hope.

9. Yogurt is good for you; buying Yoplait's pink lid yogurt will not only be good for your health, it will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

10. volunteer. Even if it is donating books, holding a hospice patient's hand, or teaching a youngster to read, you will get a pink glow all over at the good will you have generated.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A doula is worth a bag of gold...

I recently read an interesting quotation from Ms. Indra Nooyi, chairwoman of PepsiCo, Inc. regarding prenatal care:

"Where I was born in India, pregnant women receive months of pampering from their mothers and other family members. Because my mother received this care during her pregnancy with me, she was there to give me the same treatment when I gave birth to my two children in the United States."

How interesting. Pampering and nurturing the mother, ensuring that she is well-looked after, is an integral part of Asian culture. This watchfulness, as well as good medical care in the form of access to healthcare providers and prenatal vitamins, pays off with the reward of a healthy baby and healthy mother.

Yet, many women are quite resistant to prenatal pampering. They insist on going it alone, working despite tiredness, trying to be a superwoman through morning sickness, pushing themselves when they need to rest. Many will argue that they do not want, have time for, or need any additional help.

My response is this: if you cannot accept and cherish help at this special time of your life, when will you?

Be informed. Be confident. Be empowered.
Birth into motherhood with Doula Angelita

Monday, September 28, 2009

Homebirth in Ohio

The following is an open letter to the birth community from a family that is under fire for a homebirth-even though the child was born whole and healthy. It is a terrible indictment for the birth community at large, and never think that just because this example occurred in Ohio, that it will not happen in all parts of the United States.

This issue is so important to me that I am broadcasting it on my blogs, and tweeting about it. I ask all those concerned with birth and motherhood pass this information along, and please find a way to help. The family is requesting HELP ONLY; further antagonizing the prosecutor with fiery letters is NOT a useful idea.

### #### ####

As many of you may know, we had our pre-trial hearing this morning. We were hoping once the lawyers got a chance to hash things out, the charges would be dismissed. That was not the case. The prosecutor offered us a plea-bargain for the charge of disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. As much as my husband and I would love to close this horrible chapter of our lives and put it behind us, we didn't take the plea. First of all, we are not guilty of anything, and don't want a guilty plea following us around for the rest of our lives. Second of all, we felt that a guilty plea would validate the charges against us. Also, I thought that a guilty plea would give the impression that homebirth is wrong, and possibly open the door for other families to be prosecuted.
Right now, we don't have a trial date, and there is still a possibility that the charges could be dropped before going to trial. I want to consult further with my lawyer before involving the media, or unleashing a firestorm of letters and calls to the prosecutor. I just wanted to update everybody with what's going on and let everybody know what they can do to help.
This is always the hard part for me, as I'm not comfortable asking for things, but so many people keep asking how they can help, and we do need help, so I'm learning a lesson in humility. Obviously this is affecting us financially since we are a single income family, and my husband's hours at work have been reduced indefinitely. So far this whole fiasco has cost us $6427 in legal and medical bills. To pay our attorney, we took a $4000 cash advance on a credit card (at 20% interest). We have already raised quite a bit through fundraisers and individual donations, and we are grateful to everybody who has helped us so far. Paypal donations can be made to sweetchildofmine@live.com . You can also e-mail any questions to that address.
I know some people may be hesitant about sending cash, and I completely understand. Anything that saves us money on things we regularly have to buy would help too. Gift cards for groceries, gas, restaurants, clothes, etc are definitely welcomed. Also we definitely won't turn down local people who feel like dropping by with a pizza, bucket of chicken or a bag of your kids' old clothes!
There are also plenty of ways to help that are FREE!-Send us your prayers and positive thoughts!-Help out with a fundraiser.- Be supportive of other families who make choices that may seem out of the ordinary to you.
I started a Facebook group page as a means to keep everybody updated. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140938029710
Please feel free to repost this message on Facebook, e-mail or any forums where it will enlist more supporters for our cause. Please do not alter the message in any way, except to remove anything that may be a violation of the TOS of the site you post it (namely fundraising info).
It's time for us to stand up for our rights as women, parents and law abiding citizens who don't want the government trampling on our rights to live and raise our families as we choose! If they succeed with prosecuting us, it won't stop there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to get children to try new foods!

Here are my tips for getting children to try new things:

1. Cook it the way you normally cook it. Put 2-3 on the plate. Admire the colour, texture, smell. Eat it first. Offer it to the child. This may take 5 exposures, but patienct and good humour will always help the process rather than yelling or threats.

2. Use a small amount of ketchup or other sauce to aid in the taste. I personally do not like brussels sprouts but with hollandaise sauce and or ranch, they are bearable.

3. Cook the food a dfferent way. Sometimes, cooked vegetables do not please, but raw ones taste better.

4. Tricky foods, like seafood, often do take repeat offers. One way is to use a building system: most kids like tuna fish. Then move to canned salmon. Cook a white flesh fish. Scallops often are accepted, as are mahi-mahi or chilean sea bass. Again, small portions, and the child not being tired help with the acceptance process, as do the fact that these should not be unfamiliar foods in the household.

5. Pair familiar foods with unfamiliar ones. For example, fish and chips is a good dish for introducing seafood. The familiar chips paired with a mild fish, again in small portions should brighten up most kids.

6. Eat outside and grill. Of course, weather permitting, but the smell of fresh air, combined with grilled food often induce a heartier appetite and desire to try the food.

Good luck and let me know how these tips work for you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The recent answer to "Who Am I?"

I am a trident doula/parenting coach/nutrition guide/women's issue advocate firmly committed to helping women wherever they are along the childbearing continuum. I pride myself on being San Jose's Community Doula! and love to offer all my knowledge and expertise to them, and love working with other birth professionals to help women blossom into the mothers they secretly want to be.

Born to a Caribbean family of healers and women's advocates, I have found my path and vocation as a doula. I am also studying to be a midwife; have EMT training and nurse assistant experience, constantly learn/lecture/write about birth and have a wonderful time being both wife and mother in beautiful sunny San Jose!


As a doula/parenting coach/nutrition guide/women's issue advocate, these are the top snacks/drinks I recommend for moms on the go:

1. juice boxes. do not need refrigeration, can keep for one to two months or more, compact.

2. homemade trail mix in a ziploc bag. Fruits, berries, cereal, little chocolate chips: easy to keep energy on the go.

3. EmergenC. Keep a box or two in the car; just add water, which is also a necessity.

4. Water. A case of small bottles or one jug, whatever. Cups as well. Warm or cold, water is good for your body.

5. Cereal bars/protein bars. There is a balance of nutrition and taste in there.

6. Dried fruit. There are many varieties and they give you a quick burst of energy and health.

7. Vitamins. Many people forget to take their vitamins, but keeping them in the car usually ensures that they will take it.

8. Pita bread, especially wheat pita,can keep in the car for up to a month.

9. Natural popcorn(already popped) Low sodium, low fat, good snacking.

10. peanut butter/cashew butter. I have clients who keep some type of nut butter with them in their cars. A spoonful of these is filling and nutritious.


What pregnant women should do to avoid the flu!


Talk to your healthcare provider about any measures that you need/want to take to reduce you/your baby's risk.

Keep hydrated. Water is cleansing and a moist, cool environment does not harbour germs.

Take your prenatal every day. Your body needs all the help it can get to be as strong as possible during your pregnancy.

Have a flu shot ASAP. The sooner you take even the "regular" flu shot, the better your body will be prepared to fight off infection.

Air out your house/apartment twice daily, once in the AM, once in the PM for 15 minutes each time. Stale air retains germs.

Limit the traffic in your home in terms of visitors; the fewer the number of contacts, the decrease in the opportunities for infection.

Pack a travel kit: hand sanitizer, plenty of tissues, gloves, extra plastic bag for used tissues, mask. Put one in every bag.

Checklist yourself every day; if you have a fever greater than 100F, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose-STAY HOME.

Stay home if you feel run-down but have no symptome. Rest and fluids can sometimes turn the tide if your body is on the borderline of illness.

Wash your hands for at least one minute, scrubbing front and back, up to the wrist. EVERY TIME YOU WASH THEM.

If you do get sick, stay home for at least seven days until the symptoms disappear.

Think positively: you are doing all you can to bring a happy, healthy baby into this world!

-- Doula AngelitaResurgam BirthingWell8899760 458 7070mobiledoula4hire@gmail.comhttp://doula6angelita.blogspot.comhttp://resurgambirthingwell.wetpaint.comtwitter.com/doula6angelita

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on the Dayton, OH Homebirth Arrest Case

First, before I begin, I want to thank Ms. Stephanie Beck-Borden, press liasion for Ohio Families for Safe Birth, for her extreme patience and understanding as I woke her and her child up to speak about the case. She was very pleasant and helpful, and again I apologize for my brashness and rudeness! I feel terrible!

Now, for the meat of the matter:

1. The story that has been on the message boards for the past two weeks is TRUE. The woman has been charged with giving birth in her own home, even though the birth was vaginal delivery and the baby is fine.

2. The reason that I could not find information on this through the usual media outlets is that the family wants a)privacy, and b) not to antagonize the authorities any further as there is a court appearance later on in the month.

3. People in Dayton, OH who are aware of the facts and the case, are having garage sales, etc. to help raise funds for the legal defense of the family.

4. The best thing to do at this moment is to do nothing. We support the family as members of the birth community, but we do not want the prosecutors to feel that they have to make an example of this family. THIS IS ALSO THE FAMILY's WISH.

5. I will be on top of this case and will post as soon as there are new developments.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please contact me via Twitter and I will obtain feedback from the source.

Be Informed. Be Confident. Be Empowered.
Birth Into Motherhood with Doula Angelita, San Jose's Community Doula!

Checklist for Postpartum Health

I was on a web radio station tonight with Dr. Derrik Da Silva, an MD who is interested in a holistic approach to health, including the use of complementary and alternative medicine. We talked about some things to look for to make sure that you, and your s.o. are in tip-top physical and emotional shape after birth.

Here are the suggestions that were generated for those that missed the show:

1. Make sure that you both get plenty of rest. Tiredness promotes crankiness and feelings of isolation.

2. Keep hydrated. Water will help flush toxins and postpartum weight, and keeps both of you in the pink of health.

3. Keep affection, romance and touch alive. A simple touch of the hands, looking into each others' eyes, or falling asleep together on the couch sparks the feelings that attracted you to each other.

4. Ladies: TAKE YOUR PRENATAL FOR ONE YEAR AFTER THE BIRTH OF THE BABY. Many women discontinue the prenatal right after birth, or let it drift out of their lives. Maintaining the concentrations of vitamins and minerals in your body will promote optimal health.

5. Ladies and gentlemen: daily fish oil will boost your immune system and encourages organ health.

6. If you are feeling run down about 3-6 weeks after giving birth, at about the time of your 6 week checkup, ask your health care provider about routine tests to check for:
vitamin D deficiency
thyroid functioning
postpartum depression

Give your body, mind, and soul time to heal and to come back into a semblance of order. Your body has been through a year of hormonal shifts, stretching of the skin, respiratory compaction, etc. You will come back; just concentrate on keeping healthy, bonding with your baby, relaxing and caring for yourself!

Be Informed. Be Confident. Be Empowered.

Birth Into Motherhood
with Doula Angelita, the San Jose Community Doula!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Early Birdie: BOLD Red Tent Event

A red tent...mothers' voices...intimacy...truth...

After BOLD New York's hugely successful Red Tent Event in 2006, a thought struck:

"Why not have BOLD Red Tent Events around the world throughout the year?"

BOLD's Red Tent Events concept is simple: gather women under a "red tent" to listen to mothers' birth stories and then record their stories via film, written word or visual expression as part of BOLD's Library of Birth Truths.

A BOLD Red Tent Event is an excellent opportunity for communicating throughout the world to be BOLD any time of the year and to showcase every community's local birth resources.

There will be a BOLD Red Tent Event:

18 October 2009

Further details provided by: Doula Angelita

Watch this space for more information!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Destressing 101

For this Labour Day weekend, I wish all of you at least one hour of relaxation, renewal, rejuvenation and resurgance.

With all the stresses, cares and worries of daily life, it is necessary to make time for the contemplation of peace, of the beauty of creation. Did you really need more than 200 studies to prove that mind, body and soul need time to destress and detoxify?

Salons and spas make a living at pampering and beautifying our physical selves, but what time do we give to pampering and beautifying our mental outlook?

Yoga does a great job of reviving mind, body and spirit. Tai Chi, and meditation also are great for reinvigoration. But, what about building such practices into your daily care plan?

One suggestion is to have a certain spot in your home dedicated to peace, serenity and tranquility. I have a curtain, behind which I have a picture of my green Tara, a picture of Jamaica, a notebook, fresh flowers, a bowl of stones and my yoga mat. When I get stressed during the day, I take a moment to close my eyes and think about how lovely it will be to take time for myself in my little cubbyhole.

Just the thought of a calm spot is enough to lower my stress level. Here are eight more suggestions for destressing 101:

2. Take a warm bath. Remember the old commercial? "Calgon, take me away!"

3. Read a good book. Choose a bestseller, chose an old favourite, just choose one!

4. Listen to good music. Remember how good it feels to just dance and enjoy music? If it's Mozart or the Pogues, just put on what you like and let it go, baby!

5. Take deep breaths. Here's an easy one: inhale in for 5 seconds, exhale out of your mouth for 5 seconds, repeat 5 times.

6. Use aromatherapy. My favourite is lavender, but there is a world of fragrances that will calm, soothe and relax. Candles, bath beads, body scrubs...let your imagination flow!

7. Use visualization. Shut off the tv, dvd, computer, blackberry etc. Get into your comfy chair, sofa or on the floor. Close your eyes. Think of the place you would like to be most, of the person you love the most, of the best time you ever had in your life. Don't worry if you fall asleep; that means your body needs the rest and you did it through relaxing your body.

8. Spend time outdoors. Get to a place where there are trees, by the ocean, by the mountain top...just get out!

So use this long weekend to revive the inner you. Your life will thank you!

"As I continue down this journey of life, I know one thing: It's the beauty that sustains and nourishes me..."

Kate Porter, Life In Beauty

Monday, August 31, 2009

Postpartum depression : A Structured Approach to Care

As a doula who works with mothers before, during and after birth, these have been my experiences of postpartum depression:

1. Catch it early. Most tragedies occur when the mother hides her feelings, or family/friends never notice- or tell her to get over it.

2. Open communication with the maternal health care team. If the mother suffers depression before the baby is born, the chances are excellent that she will be a candidate for postpartum depression. Clear communication between patient-health care provider and among all members of the health care team will provide for better access to recognize the symptoms and assist the patient.

3. De-stigmatize depression in all forms. More women would feel free to come foward and reveal their true feelings if they were not burdened by people telling them it will be all right, buck up, you will snap out of it, etc. Some women fear letting their family down; others fear that they are inadequate to motherhood. They need support and encouragement from others who have been through the same cycle.

4. Caregivers need to recognize and understand the signs and symptoms of post partum depression and the best ways to address them. It requires a team of care in which the medical and psycho-social aspects are working jointly to elevate the woman's mental outlook.

5. The plan of care needs to be implemented immediately; too often, people wait, hoping for the best when in reality time is of the essence, and the sooner the intervention, the better.

In my practice, postpartum depression is automatically screened for in all new mothers. Even if there are "borderline" symptoms, a rapid and reassuring response is taken immediately to ensure maximum mental health for the mother.

Some of the resources that I use include:
recommendation of counseling, postpartum doulas, visiting mom programs, judicious diet and nutritional supplements, yoga or other physical activity and medical care.

Recent research done by Denver investigators has revealed that postpartum depression can interfere with and even derail the mother-baby bond.

Thus, it is imperative that a national standard plan of care be instituted, effective immediately.

For further information, please feel free to contact: 760 458 7070 M-F 8A-1P.

Smiles and blessings,

Doula Angelita
-- Doula Angelita
Resurgam BirthingWell8899

Breastfeeding with breast implants

Many times, women feel inadequate or hesitant about trying to breastfeed when they have had implants for breast augmentation. There is no need to be shy or reticent; with support and information, breastfeeding can be accomplished.

Here are some tips to follow:

1. It is important to note that women who have implants are able to breastfeed. It may take more time, and some intervention, but it is possible.

2. Working with a professional doula/lactation consultant prior to giving birth will give the woman the necessary confidence and information to begin on a good start with her newborn.

3. The type of incision made to insert the breast implants is important to know; incisions under the breast or via the armpit will cause less nerve damage rather than the more common "smile" incision under the areola.

4. The best way to know if a woman can breastfeed with implants is to attempt breastfeeding, with a supportive and knowledgeable person there to give them the confidence and knowledge to continue trying.

5. At times, the problem may not be with the implants; it may be the breast tissue themselves. This can be overcome with diet and an agressive and consistent pumping schedule using a hospital grade pump.

6. Neither saline nor silicone from implants will harm the baby; in fact, the silicone that is found in most over the counter gas remedies is bioidentical to the silicone used in implants.

Famous celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson are enthusiastic to attempt breastfeeding and have been cleared to do so by their doctors.

For more information, please contact: 760 458 7070 M-F 8A-1P.

Thank you and good luck,
Doula Angelita
-- Doula Angelita
San Jose Community DoulaResurgam BirthingWell8899
760 458 7070mobile

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Five conditions conducive to pregnancy

Pregnancy is the delicate minuet between biology and art, when two disparate genders unite to create another distinct being.

In this dance, it is important to keep these five things in mind:

1. Ovulation

2. Motile, viable sperm

3. Lovemaking during 4-5 days of fertility

4. Falliopian tubes are open and clear.

5. Both parties are under 35.

Another important component is to be sure to eat nutritiously, take a daily multivitamin and other supplements which will bring your bodies to the peak of fertility.

Working with a fertility specialist early can also be beneficial.

Thank you to Dr. Amos Grunebaum for providing information for this report.
twitter.com/Amos Grunebaum MD

Friday, August 28, 2009

Capture the Prey/Elude the Predator!

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion-or it will die.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle-or it will starve to death.

It doesn't matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion...
when the sun comes up, you'd better be running!

Doula Angelita is up with the sun, running ahead of the competition, working, learning and striving to be the best doula providing platinum service to you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Introducing...Twitterview Tuesday!

Twitterview Tuesday!
I am proud to announce the launch of Twitterview Tuesday! tomorrow at: http//twitterviewtuesdayd6a.blogspot.com.

My first lovely guest will be Ms. Renee, a doula from New Jersey, who has graciously accepted my invitation to be the inaugural guest on this weekly series!

All sorts of people will be interviewed; but in the interests of full disclosure, the majority of interviews will be with those involved in birth, complementary/alternative medicine, etc.

Interviews are by invitation only, so watch for a tweet from me, and I hope that you will enjoy this newest offering from Resurgam BithingWell8899 and Doula Angelita!

Keep on Tweeting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Texting 4 Doulas

P.O. BOX 240506


One piece of advice that I give to my fellow doulas who also work with pregnant teenage girls is to use texting to connect with their clients.

Most girls have some kind of mobile device, whether a Sidekick, a Razr or iPhone. Teenagers are notorious for 1) purposefully forgetting important things, and 2) accidentally forgetting things of importance.

When it comes to prenatal vitamins, diet, exercise and checkups, I text my clients. For example, one young miss that I am working with loves McDonald’s, hates vegetables and frequently forgets her prenatal vitamins.

The first thing I did was to find out who her friends were, who her nurse was at school, and then we all sat down together. I explained that this baby was very special, and very important to Patricia*, and that Patricia would need all of our support to be a good mom.

Next, with the permission of her two best friends, we all exchanged cell numbers.
Then, Patrice and I set up a schedule: 6AM alarm to take her prenatal vitamin, along with a V8 juice. Lunchtime, she would eat at least one vegetable, and her McDonald’s would be limited to a kid’s meal. If she “forgot” or really forgot, at least one friend would remind her. The nurse was kept apprised through the use of JOTT.COM’s text-to-email system.

Now, we all know how to get out of doing things we do not want to do, right? Well, to ensure that my young miss was indeed in compliance with her pregnancy regimen, she sent me a photo of her doing the three requirements each day. I organized them into an on-line album, and not only was it a record for me and for her nurse midwife, it was a nice keepsake for Patrice and her friends, who frequently mugged for the camera!

This is just one example of how technology can be a good friend to doulas. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would love to hear from you1

Smiles and blessings!

Doula Angelita

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A new tool for my doula bag!

Now, friends and family laugh at me when I say this, but I really am crazy about the new KGB text information service. Not only are the commercials cute and snappy, but the service itself is quite impressive. However, what does KGB have to do with being a doula?

When you have a question, are unsure about something, or need clarification, you turn to an expert, right? Well, KGB has a plethora of experts just waiting to fulfill your every whim, enquiry and query.

Still not clear on why it's my new BFF? Well, recently I was in hospital with a client, and the doctor recommended that she take a certain medication to help ease/slow down her contractions. The doctor then left, and the client asked me what medications would the doctor prescribe? I texted 542542-and for .99 cents I received a list of them. Now, usually I have my nurse's drug reference with me, but didn't on this occasion. Thus, the client was prepared with options, the doctor could focus on specific concerns, the nurse on duty was able to continue with her other clients undisturbed, and I was able to to provide information to my client in a timely fashion.

Other uses I could forsee in the future: pediatrician appointments, product comparisons, looking for doulas in the area....the possibilities are endless!

KGB542542: it's my new tool and I feel 2cool4school!

To contact Doula Angelita, especially now that she's the #1 fan of KGB and really ready to help you to be superinformed, be confident, and be empowered in birthing and parenthood, contact:


Babies are aware-and they are listening!

Dr. Timothy Johnson presented a news segment for Good Morning America(ABC news) in which researchers discovered that a foetus at week between 30-34 is able to retain memory for up to four weeks. Researchers placed a buzzer on the abdomens of consenting mothers. The noise was repeated until the foetus no longer reacted, then repeated at intervals.

On subsequent days, the foetus, accustomed to the noise, reacted at first and then settled down. When researchers shortened the duration of the noise, the foetus reacted, even if the noise had not been heard for some days. The longest period that the foetus remembered and responded to the noise was four weeks after last hearing it.

The findings, besides adding another layer to the abortion debate, highlights the vast importance of prenatal care, something that I stress repeatedly to my clients, and the one area that many busy, harried women find difficult to comply with. Many women feel that as long as they take a prenatal and make most of their appointments, that they are golden. Some women simply feel that the heavy lifting of motherhood begins after the baby is born. Other mothers ignore or stretch recommendations to rest as needed, exercise daily, keep hydrated, wear comfortable, supportive clothes and shoes, and practice stress management techniques.

Of course, there are many wonderfully concientious mothers, and it is easy to sympathize with the high-powered career woman or single mom working daily for enough money for food and rent. It is not easy to find the time to take care of yourself, and just take care of yourself and your baby without yielding to the tempation to multi-task. However, your baby is just as important as everything else, if not more so.

In our rough-and-tumble, it- was -due- yesterday culture, where practically everyone has a Blackberry IV in their veins, , this news, this uncomplicated study, has wider ramifications. All mothers, whether bearing their first child, or their fifth, ought to carve out a cave of time in which to take care of themselves, bond with their infant through talking, singing, and reading, and preparing themselves to become mothers. That elusive element of time spent with the baby before birth is not a waste of time with no result, but active steps on the pathway to bonding with the your baby.

Whether high-powered career woman, or single mother living check to check, it is advisable for pregnant women to hire a doula. Antenatal or antepartum doulas provide emotional support, practical life advice and coaching, and hands-on support for mothers-to-be. With a doula, the decision to focus on bonding with the baby is easier, as an extra pair of hands are available to assist with housework, cooking, etc. Many antenatal doulas will provide the guidance necessary to help the mother begin to place quiet oases throughout the day. Some antepartum doulas will even provide massage, or guided meditation. An antenatal doula is an invaluable asset and ally in the strategy of bonding with the aware foetus.

This study leaves no doubt that the transformation from woman to mother begins at conception. If you factor in elements such as the need for pre-pregnant women to take 400-800mcg of folic acid daily to prepare both their bodies and any eventual foetus for a healthy start in life, then the circle of life is presented and the evidence is quite difficult to ignore that the embryo then foetus is much more than a lump of inert tissue. It is a vital life force, teeming with possibility, and the best thing that you can do is to make time to welcome your little one. Babies are listening to you, and aware.

Something to sink your teeth into: Advice from dentists




As parents, we worry about our children’s health, and how to keep children healthy. One aspect of health that is surprisingly overlooked, for both children and adults is good oral health. A recent survey of dentists from around the country done for Reader’s Digest revealed some insight into the importance of regular and consistent oral hygiene:

¨ Did you know that you should spend at least ten minutes brushing and flossing per day? Most adults spend 2-3 minutes tops, and children one minute or less. The same rule that applies for washing your hands applies to your teeth, cleanliness comes with time and good technique.

¨ An electric toothbrush is a good ally to good oral health, especially for
¨ kids. In some dentists’ opinion, the more expensive $75 and up models
¨ are the best.

¨ .If you can find a WaterPik, use it. Every day. No skipping. The device eliminates the circle of germs carried in the saliva that surrounds each tooth.

¨ Many dentists report seeing children from affluent homes with multiple cavities, and well-dressed children with rotten teeth. Dentists do feel that these conditions can be prevented with more stringent parental supervision.

NEVER, EVER, EVER let your baby or toddler go to sleep with the bottle and BE VIGILANT about keeping gums and budding teeth clean and free of milk after every feeding. This includes breastmilk.

The bacteria that causes cavities can be spread from mother to baby through the mother’s saliva. So, please, do not put the baby’s food in your mouth and then into baby’s mouth. Or let baby eat from your spoon/fork.

If you find that your child/ren are having difficulty in school, make an appointment with the dentist. At times, the squirming and not paying attention are symptoms of tooth problems, not ADD/ADHD.

Pay attention to baby teeth. If they are decayed or abscessed and have to be pulled, then the teeth that come in oftentimes crowd the spaces that should have had baby teeth in them.

For those teenagers who want to pierce their tongues, dentists recommend not to do it: if the environment is not 100% sterile, the risk for tongue infection increases, and in the most severe cases, pieces of the tongue have to be excised in order to stop the infection from spreading. Even if the tongue does not become infected, the front teeth usually suffer from chipping.

For parents who worry about mercury fillings in amalgam, most dentists state that removing the fillings to avoid mercury contamination will release more mercury than leaving them in.

Dentists know that most people avoid them like the plague; however, especially if you have insurance, the twice or thrice yearly visit to the dentist is a must. Dentists are vital components of the health care team, and can identify such conditions as diabetes and heart disease at an early stage. This is especially true when pregnant, since good health for the mother is good health for the baby.

*Reader’s Digest, July 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick Survey: I, Redundant?

I recently spoke with some pregnant women from the community. Extolling the virtues of being a doula, and waxing ecstatic about how wonderful it is to provide one-to-one help, I did notice that some members of the birth circle were less than thrilled. Breaking out of my cocoon of happiness, I stopped my presentation and enquired as to what was wrong.

May I say that I was blown out of my shoes when one individual spoke out loudly and said, "You can save your breath. I ain't getting no doula. My mom didn't have one and her mom didn't have one, I am going right to the hospital, they can give me an epidural cocktail, I won't feel nothing!" There was general laughing and agreement, with some members volunteering that they didn't know that women needed help during labour, other women who are "weaker" needed doulas to hold their hands, the nurses and doctors would take care of everything for them.

Faced with this outpouring of sentiment, I asked them for a few moments of quiet. I thanked them for sharing their views with me. I then asked them to do a visualization with me: imagine that you have to carry a heavy box, up a steep hill full of potholes, and over slippery slopes. It is 95 degrees. There is no shade. It is humid, the goal is far and getting farther. You thirst, there is no water. You must go on; your feet are blistered, every bone aches.

Now, imagine the same scenario: a heavy box, a steep hill. Halfway up the hill, you meet a stranger, who wipes your face and hands with a cool cloth, and pours out a tall glass of iced lemonade. The stranger smiles at you, and holds the box while you stretch and refresh yourself. There is even a green tree to sit under; you plop, thankfully underneath the verdant shade and lean against a root and close your eyes. After a time, the stranger bids you to rise, and continue your journey. To your surprise, the stranger takes the box and walks with you. When you stop again, you are surprised to see how far you have come...

I concluded the imagery by saying that doulas have been around since after Eve, that slaves in Egypt and in America both used experienced older women to give birth(see the story of Moses), that every culture on earth uses woman-centered care, that it is the exception for "women to give birth alone in the rice fields and keep on going". I then reminded them, the child that they carried along in their wombs, needed them, needed them to be strong, and that the strong and the clever are always the first to ask for help.

I will not boast of success or of failure; the important thing is that those women had a new perspective to contemplate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If I were an octopus....

Unless you are an octopus……..

you need a doula!

Doulas are a helping hand when you need them!

Resurgam Birthingwell Support Services Ltd is a multi-service doula agency dedicated to the care, support, and assistance of women in the community during the childbearing years.

Doula Angelita provides wraparound care before-during-after birth wherever you want: home-hospital-birth centre.

Doula Angelita
resurgam birthingwell support services ltd
p.o.box 240506* boston ma 02124*doula4hire@gmail.com

A tragedy in San Antonio

Otty Sanchez woke up Sunday morning, looked at her three and a half week old baby boy, took two swords and a steak knife, dismembered and ate parts of her child.

Is this the plot to a horror movie? Yes, a horror movie that a good percentage of postpartum women endure. Otty Sanchez is a troubled young woman who fell through the cracks of the medical system.

The stories are now emerging and are heartbreaking: she was on meds, she wasn't. She was hospitalized, she left without her medications. No one seemed concerned about her mental outlook-or the safety of her newborn. Her family seems to have known something was amiss, but stayed quiet out of guilt and shame. Her partner, himself a schizophrenic, says that she was allright since she was breastfeeding.

There was at least one incident with the police. Something was wrong, but no one thought that leaving an unstable mother in a house decorated with samarai kitana was not a good idea. When the horrific deed occurred, there were two people asleep in the next room, yet she was screaming and swearing and covered with blood.

Whatever the truth, the absolute fact is that NO ONE, not the maternity care team, the pediatrician, the family, the partner, the police, seems to have realized that Otty Sanchez had gone to a dark place of madness, where her psychoses multiplied and her baby was the target of insanity.

People knew what was going on, and simply shrugged, hoping for the best. Others were too busy to delve below the surface. Still others were not ready to accept what was in front of their faces.

As a mother, as a doula, I am truly horrified, horrified that once again a mother was allowed to be alone with a defenseless infant. Tears come to my eyes. The statistics state that there are some 14%-20% of women who experience some sort of postpartum reaction, from baby blues to a whole spectrum of postpartum disorders.

The partner of Otty Sanchez blames her, as the mother, says she should be executed. When in the grips of an altered mental state, people do not know, and/or do not care what they do, or say. This is why an outside observer is necessary to spot the signs that inadequate care and bonding are occuring. The mother may not notice, may think she is being rationale, or is beyond the beyond and cannot care.

As a doula, I screen every woman in my care for postpartum reactions-especially if there has been a history of depression or other altered mental state, including from drug/alcohol use. This is to the mother's benefit, as early and vigilant interventions can save both her and her child(ren) from grief and heartache.

Working together with the mother and the mother's care providers, as well as the pediatrician, and other support providers, the doula is a part of that care team who all have the goal of optimum mental health for the mother in mind.

Mothers suffering in this vulnerable state are not left alone, where guilt, shame and loathing compound the situation. All care providers are there to help, not compound the issues.
There was a tragedy in Texas, and the baby was only one victim, the smallest, the most vulnerable, the one who should have been uppermost in the minds of all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

6 care practices that I believe in!

Six Care Practices from Lamaze I believe in
Q. What types of care should I expect when I go to the hospital? Are there any specific things I should look for in terms of the care practices?
A. In my estimation, the guidelines put forth by Lamaze International are sound. Of course, each individual mother needs to follow the recommendations of her care provider, and the situation varies from hospital to hospital, and of course from hospital to birth centre.That said, here is my take on how birth, uncomplicated by medical concerns, should proceed if conditions augur:
1. Labour should begin on its own.
2. Labouring women should have the freedom to move about during their labour without restraint.
3. Labouring women should have continuous support during labour(woo-hoo for doulas!)
4. No routine interventions, or as I like to say, interventions only when and if necessary for optimum maternal-foetal health.
5.Women should not give birth on their backs. Again, my provision is unless there was an unavoidable Caesarean.
6. A. Mothers and babies should not be separated at birth.

B. Unlimited opportunities for breastfeeding should be given. Again, my provision is if the mother wants to breastfeed, then that is fine. I most certainly am NOT going to force the mother to breastfeed if she wants to use the bottle.
So, my take on number 6 is that mothers and babies should have the time and space to get to know one another through the feeding process.That was a great question, and I encourage more questions! Ask away!