Del Mar Birth Center Blog

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Eleanor’s Birth Story

By Michelle S., Mother~ I delivered my son, Trey, at DMBC in March 2017. When my husband, Tommy, and I found out we were expecting our next child, we immediately knew we wanted to be under the care of the midwives at DMBC. I was so excited to make our first appointment and be back […]

In Honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month. Below, expectant parents discuss a recent experience of miscarriage and offer tips for coping with the physical symptoms. They found that talking about their experience losing little “Pip” is helpful for their grief process and hope that sharing their story may help others grieving the loss of […]

Postpartum Contraception

by Jamie Hatcher CNM~ You may have heard your midwife or doctor recommend spacing your children 2 years apart or waiting at least 18 months after birth before becoming pregnant again. It’s important to allow time for your body to heal and recharge after having a baby. Pregnancy and birth place a lot of physical […]

Breastsleeping: Co-sleeping for the Breastfeeding Infant

By Margo Kennedy, CNM~   Breastsleeping describes the practice of a breastfeeding mom safely sharing a sleep surface with her baby. This phrase was coined by an infant sleep researcher, James McKenna, PhD from the University of Notre Dame. Sleeping with a breastfeeding baby is a biological norm. Mammals are known to breastfeed throughout the […]

“Water Birth”: Hydrotherapy during Labor and Childbirth

By Taylor Morrison CNM~ Women have sought out hydrotherapy (water immersion) for labor and/or birth since the 1800s.  It has become increasingly popular in the last few decades and is commonly cited as a major reason for women choosing out-of-hospital birth.  While the safety of laboring in water is generally accepted, there are differing opinions […]

Embracing Postpartum: Care for New Mothers

By Lisa Britt, RN, SNM~ A New Beginning During the Postpartum Period There is a lot of time spent preparing for labor and birth during pregnancy, but the weeks following birth are also a critical period for a woman and her infant. The time following the delivery of your baby is called the postpartum period. […]

Could My Baby Have a Tongue Tie?

By Kate Zachary, IBCLC~ As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) I hear these same complaints on a daily basis with both my private practice clients and at the very busy hospital I work at in Los Angeles: “My nipples are cracked/bleeding/so sore I don’t know if I can continue beastfeeding.” “My baby eats […]

The Secret Art of Swaddling

By Jamie Hatcher, CNM~ Why swaddle? Swaddling is a technique used across many culture for soothing, calming, and keeping baby warm. Baby lived in a tight, confined, cozy space while in the womb. Once outside the womb they have infinite space to move in, which may feel disconcerting. Furthermore, their neurological systems are still immature […]

Late-Term Fetal Testing

By Taylor Morrison CNM~ Your “due date” came and went, and there are still no signs of labor! Not to worry. The average length of pregnancy is actually 40 5/7wks for first-time mothers and 40 3/7wks for subsequent pregnancies. Remember that your “due date” is really a “guess date” that provides us a 5-week window […]

The Womb is a School and All Babies Attend

By Margo Kennedy, CNM~ Babies are conscious and aware in the uterus. They hear your heartbeat, voice and sense your love. They feel touch and feel the intention of our words and actions. As we grow into our brain as babies, in our first year, our experiences create the design of our brain growth and […]

Mindful Nutrition for Pregnancy and Beyond

By Kathy Killebrew, CCCE, CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator~ Pregnancy is an absolutely amazing time of growing a human being! Did you know that, just before birth, the vessels in the umbilical cord carry about 300 quarts of blood a day, back and forth, from the placenta to the fetus, at a rate of about 4 […]

A Review of Childbirth Education Classes

By Jamie Hatcher, CNM and Taylor Morrison, CNM~ Why is attending a childbirth education course a good idea? You may be thinking, “I’ve done my research. I’ve hired midwives and maybe a doula, I’m planning to go to a birth center. Why do I need to take a class?” Birth is not something you can […]

The Breastfeeding Basket

By Taylor Morrison, CNM~ Imagine this: It’s 3 a.m. Your baby wakes up. She’s crying and ravenous! You stumble out of bed, change your baby’s diaper, calm her down, get settled in your rocking chair, adjust your breastfeeding pillow, get a good position, and achieve a deep latch. Baby starts eating, and you both settle […]

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

By Dr. Rion Zimmerman, D.C.~ During pregnancy a woman’s body goes through many changes in order to grow a baby and prepare for birth. These natural changes may result in misalignments such as: • Increased back curve due to weight distribution in the belly • Changes in pelvic orientation • Postural changes Due to these […]

The Transformative Power of Pain

By Britta Bushnell, PhD ~ It is difficult to talk about childbirth without a conversation about pain. No one definition, singular description, nor individual approach can encompass the totality of an experience of pain. I tell the parents I work with that the sensations of labor are too big, varied, and multidimensional to capture in […]

Cranio Sacral Therapy and Newborns

By Margo Kennedy, CNM ~  In my practice of working with families and their babies, I’ve noticed some infants seemed to struggle with being comfortable in their bodies in the earliest days of life. In search of a modality that could help these little ones, I discovered biodynamic cranial sacral therapy (BCST). What is cranio […]

Diastasis Recti in the Postpartum and Exercises To Restore

By Heather Jeffcoat, DPT ~ Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period. These changes are common, but should not be considered your new normal. The most common outward physical presentation of women I see after childbirth is the presence of a Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA). This is a separation of the […]

Does Perineal Massage Work?

By Jamie Hatcher, CNM ~ Perineal massage is a simple technique that can be done before the birth which may reduce the incidence of perineal trauma or tearing. The technique works by gently stretching the perineal tissues, thus increasing the elasticity of the perineum. Regular practice of perineal massage may also help the woman anticipate […]

The Pelvic Paradox

By Dr. Elliot Berlin, DC ~ Have you heard of pelvimetry? Hopefully not. Pelvimetry is the process of clinical examination and/or imagery such as x-ray, CT scan or MRI to determine whether or not a pelvis has adequate space for a baby to pass through during labor and delivery. If the clinician determines that a […]

The Circumcision Decision

By Taylor Morrison, CNM ~ Circumcision is one of the most controversial topics in newborn care. Parents of male newborns are tasked with making a decision about their baby’s foreskin – to leave it intact or to remove it by way of circumcision. What is foreskin? The foreskin (or prepuce) is a double layer of […]

Balancing Motherhood and Work Postpartum

By Laura Gimbert, Mother, Business Owner and Influencer ~  Motherhood and work are two big life roles, and each deserve a lot of attention and dedication. And although balancing both can be challenging, it can also be satisfying – helping you maintain your identity through postpartum (if working was a big part of your life […]

Philippa’s Birth Story

By Jess G., Mother ~ This is the birth story of my daughter, Philippa… I had a really great pregnancy. Minus weeks 5-10 when I was extremely nauseous and exhausted and eating snacks constantly at work to try to keep from throwing up, I actually really enjoyed being pregnant. I loved talking to my little […]

Revel’s Birth Story

By Renee M., Mother ~ (Adapted from Renee’s Instagram account @reneemorrison) …our birth story…@_matthew.morrison_ & I were playing around & unpacking our stroller and car seat for the first time. Then we proceeded with our weekly massage that induced my labor! My @_r.e.v.e.l.a.t.i.o.n_ was ready, to say the least. For a few weeks he had been […]

Consuming The Placenta: Making An Informed Decision

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ As a midwife, I often am asked the question, “What do you think about placenta encapsulation?” Although, it’s reported that placentas have been used in traditional Chinese medicine since the 1500s, consuming the placenta (aka placentophagy) in the postpartum period has become a recent trend in the last 15-20 […]

Sofia’s Birth Story

By Laura G., Mother ~ The story of Sofia’s birth starts on January 15th, at 2:22 am when my water broke. I was asleep in bed and the sudden soak (BIG SOAK) woke me up. Yes, like in the movies – although they kept telling me it was not going to happen like that. I […]

How To Find The Right Pediatrician

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ Finding a pediatrician who’s right for you and your family’s needs is important – your child’s health and wellness will be in their hands. Here are some things to consider when choosing a pediatrician: Insurance coverage It’s important to find a pediatrician within network of your insurance provider for […]

Finley’s Birth Story

By Taylor R., Mother ~ This is the birth story of our sweet Finley Rose. She was born on January 2nd, 2018 at 8:39 pm, weighing 7 lbs. 4.4 oz. and measuring 20.75 inches – changing our world in an instant forever! We thought we were going to have a Christmas baby, just like her […]

Breech Baby & A Mother’s Options

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ One of the most common questions we are asked by prospective clients is, “What happens if my baby is breech?” The short answer is we don’t deliver breech (‘bum’ down versus head down) babies at the birth center. We are an accredited birth center (via the American Association of […]

I’m Pregnant…Now What?

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ ‘I just found out I am pregnant.’ ‘Congratulations! We will see you in 5-6 weeks.’ ‘What? What do I do until then?’ Many women assume they need to be seen right away after finding out they are pregnant. But there’s not much to do in monitoring the baby until […]

Sunny’s Birth Story

By Stephanie A., Mother ~ (with midwife commentary by Callie Clark, CNM)  This is the birth story of Alistair June, “Sunny”. He was born on a Thursday, May 11, at 11:43am. He was eight days early. I was fully prepared to be two weeks late, so when I woke up just after midnight Thursday morning […]

Left Side Lying

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ So, what’s the deal with hearing that sleeping or laying on your left side is best while you’re pregnant? Well, firstly, your liver is on your right side and with the growing weight of the pregnant belly, it’s best not to put pressure on it so that it can […]

Have You Had Your Annual Well Woman Exam?

By Molly Mack, NP ~ “I’m a healthy woman, so why do I need an annual well woman exam?” This is a common question raised by healthy, fit women of all ages. So, why do women need their annual exam? With the recent change in Pap smear recommendations now being every three to five years, […]

Your Baby’s Food: Year One

By Jennifer Buchanan, CNM WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ In the first year, many of you may be breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of age. During this time, the sole form of nutrition should be breast milk (whether that’s at the breast or pumped and fed from […]

Ari’s Birth Story

By Anne L., Mother ~ This is the birth story of our son, Ari: Our journey through pregnancy and birth with Del Mar has been the most treasured experience. Around 39 weeks, I had some bleeding after cleaning horse stalls, which worried me so I went in to the birth center to get checked out. […]

Reducing Stress in Pregnancy Leads to Fewer Complications

By Nkem Ndefo MSN, CNM ~ I became a nurse-midwife because I realized what a special time pregnancy and birth are in the life of a person, their child, and family. It’s a time when we know that what we eat, what we do, and how we feel has deep and lasting impact. Sometimes that […]

Why Hire A Doula When You Have A Midwife

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ A mother choosing an out-of-hospital birth with a midwife might not consider hiring a doula for labor support. The usual rationale is that she has her midwife and partner for support, so a doula is one extra person who may not be necessary. Plus, it’s an added cost to […]

Damian’s Birth Story

By Katie C., Mother ~  This is the birth story of our son, Damian. I had my 39 week appointment with Callie on the afternoon of June 29th. I told her I was eager for labor to start and asked her to see if I was dilated at all yet (even though I knew that […]

Transferring to the Hospital

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ Photographs by Shoots & Giggles Photography The majority of the clients who choose to give birth at the birth center do so because they either don’t feel comfortable in a hospital setting or are afraid of medical interventions that could lead to an ‘unnecessarian’ (unnecessary cesarean birth). I find […]

10 Myths & Facts About Breastfeeding

By Jennifer Buchanan CNM WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ The process of breastfeeding and how it works can be a mystery for many. There is so much information shared on social media, the Internet along with constantly new research coming out of what is best or harmful around the childbearing year. Some of it can be factual, […]

Protect Your Perineum

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ Second to the fear of the ‘pain’ (although I like to call it intensity) of childbirth, I find that most women are nervous about the idea of vaginal tearing during birth. Or some women have little to no fears about the birth but a heightened anxiety about tearing and […]

8 Helpful Tips of How To Introduce A Bottle

By Jennifer Buchanan CNM, WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ As once a nurse in the Institute for Maternal-Fetal Health at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and now a nurse midwife working both in out-of-hospital and hospital settings, I meet many moms who are intimidated when it comes to knowing when and how to introduce bottle-feeding to their babies. As […]

The Benefit of Cloth Diapers For You and Baby

By Jennifer Buchanan CNM, WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ Cloth diapers…I know what you’re thinking! But continue reading and you may consider switching to cloth diapers for your bundle of joy. Before I read the many reviews and searched the Internet for information about cloth diapers, I was riding the disposable diaper wave. Something in me changed […]

Posterior and Right Sided Babies

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ One of the things I loved most about co-teaching Two Doulas Birth (an LA-based childbirth preparation series) was their curriculum and emphasis on optimal fetal positioning. As once a doula and now a licensed midwife, I have seen many births in these past seven years and believe that a […]

The Importance of Baby Wearing

By Jennifer Buchanan CNM WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ In the United States wearing your baby may seem like a new concept, but this activity goes back thousands of years and spans the entire globe. In a time before babysitters, daycare or maternity leave (and in some areas of the world where culturally this is not the […]

High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force with which your blood moves through the blood vessels in your body when the heart pumps. The blood pressure reading is a reflection of how hard the heart has to work to adequately circulate the blood. The systolic pressure (the […]

Handling the Heat for Pregnant Moms & Newborns

By Jennifer Buchanan CNM WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~ The rising temperatures of spring and summer can be a fun but physically uncomfortable time for everyone – especially pregnant mothers and babies. A pregnant woman circulates more blood than the average woman due to the increased demands of getting enough oxygen to her growing baby in her […]

Optimal Preparation for the Out-of-Hospital Birth You Planned

By Hayley Oakes LM, CPM ~ While birth can be an unpredictable process and approximately 23% of first-time mothers planning an out-of-hospital birth will transfer to the hospital (with the majority being due to non-emergent issues, i.e.‘failure to progress’ or a desire for pain relief), (2) there are a few things you can do during […]