From "Your Birthing Family" ~
In This Issue
Charis "Labor Support" Workshop
October 3, 2015
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
with Cashew Cream
Charis Around the World
Childbirth in Kenya
To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Join us in congratulating
Charis midwifery student Esther Smith,
Professional Midwife (CPM)!!! Esther
has worked hard and faithfully to become a midwife
and the birthing families in Virginia will be truly blessed.
Her gifts are amazing and she will serve the Lord for years to come
helping babies peacefully and skillfully into the world. Congratulations
Esther! We are soooo proud of you!!!
Mark Your Calendars
Teaching, and Coaching”
Saturday, March 5, 2016
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Midwifery in North Port, Florida
For childbirth educators,
doulas, midwives, or anyone who would like to improve their ability to
communicate with and educate expectant families.
Just a sneak peek to plan for our next
workshop! Look for more information and the registration form in a future
Childbirth Preparation Classes
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Presented by: Birth InSight
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)
January 7- February 11, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
February 18- March 24, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
December 11&12 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
For more information and to
register visit our
or call 757-270-0437
You will love the flexible, thorough, distance academics
course offered through Charis Childbirth!
Check it out!
Want to serve childbearing families as a Certified Doula or Childbirth
Become trained and certified through Charis Childbirth!
Take a look
at our unique certification process!
If you seek a school that offers the convenience of self-paced distance
learning, personal mentors for each student, a commitment to the highest
excellence in education, a family-like network of students and birth
professionals, and education from a Christian perspective, Charis may be just
the right fit for you!
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We at Charis are extremely grateful for our wonderful members. This past
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correspond with people in areas of the world where internet is spotty at best.
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more world-impacting outreach. Thank you!
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December 31, 2016.
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Our Director's Heart
A Receiving Season
As we enter the month of November, I am reminded of what this wonderful season
is all about: Thanksgiving. We leave our normal, day-to-day routine and gather
together as friends and extended family to reflect on all of our blessings and
thank God for his continued provision. Perhaps it was my upbringing that has
caused me to love times of celebration so very much since my mother had a way of
making each season magically special. Year after year, her child-like way of
celebrating caused each season to be remembered with profound significance.
Annual holidays are certainly wonderful times of celebration, but there are also
other seasons in life that deserve the same amount of preparation and setting
aside of normal routines. My mother has been good at honoring those seasons, as
well. Those seasons are not necessarily annual, but when they come, they are
worthy of special celebration. We all have different seasons in life; some are
giving seasons where we have time and energy to give to others, and others are
receiving seasons where we are in a position of receiving help from others. Each
should be embraced and honored for what it is.
The specific season I feel is under-celebrated in many cultures is the
postpartum season for new moms. In my own postpartum seasons, my mother knew the
importance of setting aside her normal life routine to celebrate the new life
that had entered our family and to ensure my recovery post-delivery. She eagerly
awaited the call that the new baby was on its way and came immediately over to
be there for me. She made sure my other children’s needs were met during and
after my births and took care of household needs. Friends and family members
made sure meals were made, dishes were done, the house was clean, and that my
husband and I received the peace and privacy we needed to rest. I was in a
receiving season and we celebrated that season appropriately.
Unfortunately, in our culture in the United States and in many other countries
around the world, most women do not receive that kind of celebration and
honoring of the season after they birth. Instead, they are applauded when they
get back into the swing of things quickly; or, worse, they are expected to
continue caring for their families and households as if nothing had happened.
The repercussions are enormous. Women have less of an opportunity to bond with
their newborns and establish breastfeeding and milk supply, causing them to be
less successful at long-term breastfeeding. They suffer from mastitis,
postpartum depression, greater blood loss, and pelvic floor weakness. I believe
wholeheartedly that a misunderstanding of the newborn’s transition to life
outside the womb and the postpartum woman’s body and need for rest and recovery
has led to many avoidable problems, both short- and long-term.
As a midwife, I feel it is my responsibility to communicate to my clients the
importance of honoring this season. (The advice I give today is shaped in part
by a book I read in the mid-1990’s, After the Baby’s Birth: A Woman’s Way to
Wellness by Robin Lim.) I explain in detail to my clients the healing
process that must take place and the conditions under which that process is
helped or hindered. I let them know that overdoing it will cause their placental
site to bleed more, leading to loss of their own blood directly out of their
bloodstream, rather than just losing the blood-like lining of the uterus that is
normal postpartum bleeding, and causing them to be weaker and less able to
completely get back to normal when the timing is right. I inform them that doing
too much too soon will cause their pelvic floor to tighten prematurely and
incorrectly, setting them up for leaking urine when they sneeze or laugh later
in life. (I don’t care how old you are, Depends undergarments are not sexy!) I
ask them to spend most of their time skin-to-skin with baby to ensure successful
establishment of breastfeeding and healthy neurological development of baby. I
tell them that their only job description for the first 21 days of baby’s life
is “nurse the baby”, everyone else does everything else. The dust bunnies
can wait while momma relaxes in bed, enjoys the company of invited guests from
her sofa, or sits in the sun on the patio nursing baby. After the 21 days of
rest have passed, she is still to do less than she feels like she can, but
gradually add things back into her life so that she arrives at her new normal by
6 weeks postpartum.
Sadly, I do not hear this advice coming from very many others. In fact, I often
hear that other birth professionals do not give this advice because they don’t
want to ask women to do something that seems impossible due to the current
cultural norms. How sad is that? How will things ever change for the better if
someone doesn’t challenge the cultural norms? I am asking everyone who reads
this today to come up with a plan for honoring and celebrating the postpartum
season for each new mother you know. If you are a birth professional,
tell them the truth about the healing process. If you are a friend or family
member of a new mom, set aside your day-to-day routine, just as you would to
celebrate your favorite holiday, to honor the new mother and make her postpartum
season special by taking her a meal, cleaning her home, doing her laundry,
taking her other kids to the park, or offering to run errands for her. If you
are a new mom, allow your friends and family members to serve you during this
wonderful receiving season you are in. These celebrations are the things that
make community so sweet and create precious memories that last a lifetime!
With a heart of gratitude for all of you,
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.
For our directors and
administration: Wisdom, guidance, energy, and provision
from God as Charis enters this season of growth
For the Charis Childbirth Educator, Doula, and
Midwifery students: sharp minds to learn, opportunities for lots of
For the Charis CE’s, doulas, and midwives: rest, peace,
protection, wisdom, discernment
For the Charis missionaries and
humanitarian workers: protection, peace, divine guidance, financial
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only
and is not intended to take the place of medical care and advice
from your health care provider.
'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them
from the ends of the earth,
Among them the blind and the lame,
The woman with child and The one who labors with child, together,
great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
Jeremiah 31:8, 14
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