Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maternity, Birth, and Newborn Photography: Shuva Rahim

Shuva Rahim of Accent Photographics is a talented professional photographer. She splits her time between the Quad Cities and Iowa City and will conduct on-site photographs throughout Eastern Iowa. In Shuva's words, "Documenting life as I see it is what I love… capturing the genuine, heartfelt moments… The accidental glances. The look of wonderment. The release of emotion. These imperfect moments are not the superficial traditional portrait, but what make up your unique Pieces of Life."

I had the pleasure of meeting Shuva and we discovered that we both work in the world of pregnancy, birth, and newborns. In addition to her wedding, events and family work, Shuva specializes in maternity and newborn photography. Her newest adventure will be to branch into birth photography.

Shuva generously offered to take my photographs for my Bamboo Birth materials. I am impressed by her professionalism. She listened. She asked what I envisioned. What message did I want to convey. She worked in my environment. She gave gentle suggestions and the results will speak for themselves.

Here are the two main adjectives that I wanted the photographs to convey: profesionalism and calm

Shuva is available to document your beautiful family through all it's stages of development. your pregnancy, your birth, your newborn, and beyond.

Contact Information
Lifestyle Images by Shuva
319-512-9344 or 563-528-2035

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do You Know These Safety Guidelines for Using Your Baby Sling?

Do You Know These Safety Guidelines for Using Your Baby Sling?

In light of the recent advisory by Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding baby sling safety, Babywearing International (BWI) would like to remind caregivers that wearing an infant in a well-constructed carrier and using proper babywearing techniques are of utmost importance. When done properly, babywearing is a very safe and beneficial parenting tool.

When caregivers learn to use their carriers properly while keeping safety and common sense in mind, babywearing can be just as safe, or safer, as carrying a baby in-arms. At BWI, we view babywearing as a skill that can be learned: many volunteers across the United States and throughout the world are committed to helping mothers learn baby carrier safety and proper babywearing methods.

"Slings are wonderful parenting tools when used properly and safely." said Dr. Lois Balster, a pediatrician and a member of BWI's board of directors. "Using a sling incorrectly is not unlike using an infant car seat without proper installation, infant positioning, and restraints. It is always important to position your baby safely in any carrier or infant-carrying device."

A correctly-used baby carrier's positioning should mimic how you would hold a baby in your arms. A normal in-arms holding position is fairly snug to your chest and somewhat close to your face ("Close Enough to Kiss"). Babywearing advocates have been teaching about the importance of correct newborn positioning for years and warning against the use of slings that do not allow for safe wearing positions.

Here are some important safety guidelines for using a baby sling:
*Check to ensure that your baby is not curled up tightly in a chin-to-chest position; this compresses your baby's airway.
*Making sure there is a fingers' width or two between their chin and chest is a good guide.
*Make sure your baby's back is straight and supported.
*Monitor your child at all times. Make sure nothing is obstructing their face.
*Be aware of how your movements affect the baby: avoid any bumping or jarring motions.
*Use a spotter during your learning phase
*Have an experienced wearer demonstrate good technique, observe your technique, and then critique it.
*The baby should be snug and in arms reach.
*To ensure safety for the carrier, the sling fabric should be distributed across the shoulder and not at the neck.
*Practice in a safe place with both wearer and wearee calm and comfortable.
*Start moving or walking to ease baby into the rhythm of your movement.
*Try and try again in different positions, with different carriers and seek advice.
[Note: list from Babywearing International; Bamboo Birth Services]

Babywearing International welcomes the CPSC warning as an opportunity to better educate caregivers and the general public about babywearing safety. We remain committed to promoting babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with numerous benefits for both babies and their caregivers.

For more information on safe babywearing, please see our Babywearing Safety page.
The Iowa City Babywearers is a local babywearing support group. Leaders Jun-Nicole Matsushita, Jennifer Hamner, and Aradia Paganus help parents and care providers with proper carrier selection, babywearing methods, and safety guidelines. The group meets from 1-3 PM on the first Saturday of every month at the Fairgrounds Coffeehouse in the back room. Participants can try on and feel the various carrier types, such as the ring sling, pouch sling, wrap, mei tai, soft structured carrier, and others. Leaders are also available to advise parents on how to use their personal carriers safely and comfortably. Local doula, Jun-Nicole Matsushita of Bamboo Birth Services also provides private babywearing consultations. She has spoken both locally and at the International Babywearing Conference. She specializes in using baby slings as tools during pregnancy and birth and then as carriers with newborns up through toddlerhood and even beyond.

Bamboo Birth Services
"empowering no-to-low intervention hospital births"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Iowa City: Chiropractic Care for Breech Presentation

For local Iowa City families who receive the news that their baby is breech the plan to have a vaginal delivery often seems daunting. We are fortunate to have an array of skilled practitioners who have the expertise and experience to successfully work with women to achieve the optimal head down position. I have worked with families who have successfuly maintained positioning throughout the pregnancy. Two families have turned breech babies under the care of Iowa City Chiropracter Dr. Ron Robinson of Robinson Family Wellness, allowing them to proceed with peaceful vaginal deliveries. Dr. Ron is trained in prenatal and postpartum care and has a stunning success rate with the Webster technique. Another Iowa City chiropracter skilled in the Webster technique and maternity, postpartum through newborn care is Dr. Renee Weir of Discover Chiropractic.

Jun-Nicole Matsushita
Bamboo Birth Services- Doula
"experience empowering no-to-low intervention hospital births"

More Research Shows Chiropractic Can Help with Breech BirthsSubmitted by Natural Baby Pros on Mar 17, 2010
ATLANTA, Georgia - February 23, 2010
Submitted by Dr. Stacey Rosenberg

Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping pregnant women with breech presentations deliver normally in such situations.

The research is the first to report on the use of a hand held instrument to administer a specialized chiropractic technique developed for "In Utero Constraint", a leading cause of breech presentations.

"Every day more clinical research is showing that chiropractic care can play a crucial role during pregnancy, labour and delivery" stated Dr. Drew Rubin, the author of the study. "Research showing that the Webster Technique can affect a breech presentation so that more aggressive interventions such as C-sections can be potentially avoided is growing. This study is the first to use a hand held adjusting instrument to perform Webster's Technique" added Dr. Rubin. [article continued]

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Cleaning? Norwex Enviro Products

Sonya Eckel is the Bradley Method childbirth educator in Cedar Rapids. In addition to her birth business, Sonya is sales representative for Norwex Enviro Products. "Live Green. Save Green. Clean with Norwex."

Microfiber cloths remove 99.9% of bacteria from smooth surfaces, resulting in a cleaner, healthier environment

Sonya discussed the importance of limiting if not eliminating chemical products in the house when pregnant and with little ones. I agree. I have made the switch for heavy duty toxic items where I needed gloves and the fan on on the green products. I still felt like I needed the fan on and I needed to wipe the surfaces to remove any residue. I also use vinegar and baking soda and am happy with those results on the bathroom and kitchen surfaces. But, I have to confess. I do not see myself wiping down doors, the walls, appliances, windows, and the floor with a vinegar solution.

Sonya enthusiastically offered to send a Norwex cloth for me to test. She said, try every surface. And I did. What a great start to my spring cleaning. With the Norwex cloths I rinsed them under water and then off I went wiping down surfaces and rinsing the cloth as needed.

The light is radiant through our clean windows and splatter free mirrors, the smudges are gone from our doors and other high touch areas, our computers and shelves are dust free, and the shower and bath fresh. I loved that I didn't have to spray before wiping and just picked up with the damp cloth.

So, to double check, I went back to the same surfaces with my generic store bought micofiber towel. It was double the work. The generic didn't grab dust and lint. It just moved it around; whereas, the Norwex grabbed the grime and marks. What a great product that I pass on with confidence. I am seriously looking at the floor microfiber mops to add to my new simply clean and chemical free cleaning arsenal.

Sonya has generously offered a 10% discount off your Norwex telephone order through her. Sonya Eckel can be contacted at 319-363-2902 or

Happy Spring Cleaning!!

Jun-Nicole Matsushita, Iowa City
"experience empowering no-to-low intervention hospital births"

Friday, March 12, 2010

BirthWatch: Pregnancy Ticker on Facebook

About BirthWatch
"Birthwatch is a fun pregnancy countdown ticker. It has two main features:

(1) A graphical ticker showing the week of your pregnancy, with a fact about what is happening in a typical pregnancy during this point of the pregnancy. This is shared with your friends as a Facebook stream post.

(2) An email sent just to you with tips on making the most of your pregnancy

You control the frequency of updates: up to daily, weekly, or monthly.

By default, we don't share with your friends in the first trimester.BirthWatch is a pregnancy countdown ticker.

It will publish updates to your friends with the developments a typical pregnancy experiences in your current gestational week.

It also emails you relevant tips for making the most of your pregnancy," Birthwatch.

Bamboo Birth Services- Doula
"experience an empowering no-to-low intervention hospital birth"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NEW: Quad Cities, Iowa chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network

ICAN of the Quad Cities is a chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

The Quad Cities Chapter of ICAN was founded in March 2010 by a group of local women who were frustrated by the lack of acess to VBAC and high rates of unnecessary cesareans, and wanted to make sure that women had access to a whole range of birthing options such as VBAC, births attended by doctors or midwives, at homes, birth centers, or hospitals. They also wanted to provide a place for women who had birthed by cesarean to share their feelings & recover emotionally as well as physically.

Meetings are held bi monthly the first Saturday of the month beginning on April 3rd, 2010 at the Bettendorf Public Library (Bettendorf, IA) 2-4 PM.

Iowa Women's Archives: History of Lamaze speaker

Here is a message from Sharon Lake of the Iowa Women's Archives: "I wanted to let you know that the speaker for Women's History Month this year will be Professor Paula Michaels, and she will be speaking about the history of Lamaze, a topic she has been researching for quite a while. It started in Russia! Maybe you knew that. Anyhow, I thought perhaps you and others in the birthing world would be interested."

March 10 at 5:30PM, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Main Library, 3rd Floor- south end

IWA announcement: At 5:30 p.m. Professor Paula Michaels of the UI History Department will present a lecture “Comrades in the Labor Room: The International Story of the Lamaze Method, 1950-80.” Most of us are familiar with the Lamaze method’s patterned breathing and conscious relaxation that became popular in the 1960s and 70s along with the natural childbirth movement (be sure to check out the very seventies attire pictured on the Lamaze books in the IWA reading room display). But who knew about the Soviet origins of Lamaze and its association with the French Communist Party? Paula Michaels will talk about the origins of the Lamaze method and the efforts to obscure these leftist ties during the Cold War in order to make Lamaze palatable to Americans.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scentsy flameless candles

Scentsy flameless candles
My sister loves candles. She loves the scent, the warmth and the ambience that they bring. I reserve candles to power outages. The flames scare me. I get so worried that something has caught fire every time I see the light flickering. I came upon a Scentsy consultant who sells Scentsy flameless candles. You can choose from dozens of fragrances, the wax then melts from the warmth of the light bulb. The units are beautiful. They come in a variety of different sizes and designs.

I was thinking that these would be perfect for blessingways and hospital births. C. gave birth in the UIHC hospital and loves candles. Of course candles are not permitted in the hospital, this would have been perfect. M. had a beautiful blessingway idea with her friends. They agreed that during the birth each friend would burn a candle as would she. The problem, was that they were worried about the safety of leaving an unattended flame overnight and she couldn't do so in the hospital where she gave birth. This would have allowed each of them to have the wonderful aroma as well as the sentiment of the candle.

Bamboo Birth Services
Certified Birth Doula
"experience an empowering no-to-low intervention hospital birth"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Help for Christine Taylor's birth

Message from doula Monica Brasile
Subject: Help for Christine Taylor's birth

I hope this message finds you well!

I wanted to put out a call to see how our community might be able to help out
Christine Taylor, the recent victim of Iowa's feticide law.

In case you haven't heard about this case, Christine is a pregnant mother of
two, living in Burlington, IA, who was charged with "attempted feticide" when
she fell down the stairs of her home in January. With help of National Advocates
for Pregnant Women, the charge has been dropped, but Christine was jailed for
two days, and her tax return was stolen from her apartment shortly after her
release. Her marriage has recently broken up. She is really struggling to get
her life back together in preparation for the birth of her third child, due at
the end of April.

I am working with her to help her have a VBAC. The hospital in Burlington does
not allow VBAC and she would like to come to Iowa City for her birth. I've
agreed to be her doula free of charge. But her two main problems are that she
does not have a car, nor does she have reliable child care for her two
daughters, age 3 and 5.

Here's what I'm trying to help figure out: If she is able to get to Iowa City
for her birth, is there anyone who would be willing to help out with child care
for her girls during the time she's giving birth and recovering? She doesn't
have anyone to watch her girls in Burlington.

And also, does anyone know anyone in Burlington, IA who might be willing to
drive her to Iowa City, or loan her a car? I could conceivably drive to
Burlington and bring her to Iowa City for the birth, but she tends to have short

I know these are perhaps strange requests, but this mama is really in great need
and under a lot of stress.

Also, if you feel so moved, I have set up a donation site to help Christine
recover some of her losses. Please pass it on!;
Here are some other news stories/blog posts about this effort and this case:;;;

If you have any questions or need any more information about this, please let me
know. Thanks in advance for any help or advice you might be able to lend!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

March/April Prenatal Classes at Heartland Yoga!

March/April Prenatal Classes at Heartland Yoga!

Offering childbirth preparation in a safe, healing environment.

Prenatal Classes -
Tuesdays, March 16 - April 6, 6:30 - 7:45PM (4 week session)
Sundays, March 7 - April 18, 12:30-1:45PM (6 week session)

These classes are based on yoga theory and are designed to safely stretch and relax the mom-to-be in each trimester. No yoga background is necessary. This is a great opportunity to do something for yourself and your baby and to meet other moms-to-be. You may chose to take both sessions for biweekly yoga, or chose to attend just once per week. If unable to attend every class, can make-up class in any other Heartland Yoga or Nia class. Taught by Jenn Bowen.

4 week session ........ $50
6 week session ........ $75

All of the prenatal classes require registration. To register, email us the class and time you want to attend at OR at 319-354-4062.

Bamboo Birth Services- Doula
"Experience an empowering no-to-low intervention hospital birth"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tweet tweet. Find BambooBirth on Twitter

Spring is around the corner, I heard the birds, the geese are returning, and I even saw a hawk today. In honour of all the bird activity I signed up for a twitter account. To get my tweets find me listed as BambooBirth tweet tweet, Jun-Nicole