FAQs

Fertility

1. What is covered in the Natural Conception Class?

The Natural Conception class is a great detailed overview of many different simple holistic ways to enhance your health and your fertility. It is a great place to start learning about fertility and also includes a one-hour Yoga for Fertility session.

2. What are the benefits of Yoga for Fertility?

Yoga for fertility helps the circulation and alignment of your reproductive organs, helps balance your hormones needed to successfully conceive, and reduces stress and anxiety. It has been shown in several studies to increase fertility.

3. What is the Billings Ovulation Method and how does it work?

The Billings Method is a natural, safe and simple method that can be used throughout your life to achieve or avoid pregnancy. When you work with me to learn the Billings Method, we begin with one class where I teach you the basics of the method so that you can begin to identify your own signs of fertility. Then, you begin charting on your own, and I follow up with you on a regular basis to answer questions, review your charting, and help you become confident and familiar enough with the method to continue using it on your own to identify when you are fertile.

4. How about Cooking for Fertility?

My mom and grandmother were both professional chefs and I grew up in a kitchen with them. My mom was also obsessed with healthy eating and nutrition, so even before I was interested in nutrition and health, I had a head start. I am an experienced home cook, not a chef. My cooking classes for fertility focus on how to maximize healthy, whole, organic foods in your diet, balancing the different food groups, so that you get the vitamins and minerals needed to support health and fertility. There is a lot of flexibility in each session. A session can include grocery shopping, farmer’s market excursions, learning cooking techniques, and actual meal preparation.

5. What is a Preconception Doula?

“Preconception doula” is a term I created to encapsulate the work of providing emotional support and information to families trying to conceive a baby, just like a labor doula does for a pregnant woman or a postpartum doula does for a new mama. My interest in being a preconception doula probably comes from growing up an only child as my parents struggled to try to conceive again. I know first hand that the preconception period is often a time of stress and anxiety, but I believe that those feelings can be worked through with good social support and education.

Pregnancy

1. Do you focus on natural birth in your childbirth education classes?

What if I know I want pain medication during my labor? My classes do talk about natural childbirth as well as all of the possible medical interventions that may happen during labor. Knowledge is power and I believe that each mom and family should have a basic understanding of both unmedicated and medicated birth. Though you may be planning to have pain medication in labor, labor is unpredictable, and you may simply not have time to get the pain medication you were planning for or there may be a delay in you receiving it. On the flip side, a mom who is planning a natural birth may require medical intervention. One of the benefits of my classes being private is that I can tailor the classes to your preferences and can spend more or less time on any given section.

2. How are your classes different from the classes at my hospital?

Hospital based childbirth education classes are not usually very thorough. Hospital based classes generally focus on the practical matters of what will happen at the hospital, rather than informing the mother and family about labor and birth.

3. How are your classes different from other independent childbirth education classes like Lamaze or Bradley?

When I decided to become a childbirth educator, I seriously considered several different routes for my training. I decided against Lamaze and Bradley because their curriculum is very rigid, and I prefer to be able to tailor my classes to each mother and family. Instead, I spent several months writing my own curriculum that incorporates intuitive exercises, relaxation techniques, hands on learning, and take home reading in an informal, discussion based class environment. My classes do not support only one method or philosophy of birth, but rather try to inform the mother and family so that they can make their own decisions about what might work best for them.

4. When in my pregnancy should I take your classes?

The Healthy Pregnancy Class is designed to be taken as early in pregnancy as possible, but will still be useful throughout pregnancy. I recommend taking the Empowered Childbirth classes in the second half of pregnancy. The Early Parenthood Class is designed to be taken during the third trimester of pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga and Cooking for Pregnancy can be taken at any time.

5. How about Cooking for Pregnancy?

My mom and grandmother were both professional chefs and I grew up in a kitchen with them. My mom was also obsessed with healthy eating and nutrition, so even before I was interested in nutrition and health, I had a head start. I am an experienced home cook, not a chef. My cooking classes for pregnancy focus on how to maximize healthy, whole, organic foods in your diet, balancing the different food groups and avoiding foods unsafe during pregnancy, so that you get the vitamins and minerals needed to support your health and the development of your baby. There is a lot of flexibility in each session. A session can include grocery shopping, farmer’s market excursions, learning cooking techniques, and actual meal preparation.

6. What do you focus on in Prenatal Yoga sessions?

My sessions vary considerably from one trimester to the next and depending on how you are feeling each day that we meet. In general, prenatal yoga aids in proper digestion, circulation and breathing during pregnancy and increases your sensitivity to your baby and your body. My focus is maximizing openness and support for your baby while helping you learn to listen to your body more deeply.

Birth

1. What is a doula?

A doula is an experienced, professional labor support person who provides comfort measures, emotional support and information to women and their families during pregnancy and birth.

2. What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

A midwife is a medical professional that acts as a primary care provider during pregnancy, works with the mother to deliver her baby, and provides postpartum medical care. A birth doula is a professional labor support person who is not medically trained and does not provide medical care or advice to her clients. Doulas work with moms and families during pregnancy to help them develop an understanding and intuition about the birth process and then support the mother and the rest of her birth team during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period. Doulas attend hospital births, birth center births and home births and work with moms who choose a doctor or a midwife as her care provider.

3. Why should I consider hiring a doula?

A doula is a resource for you and your partner. Having a doula on your birth team ensures that you will have an experienced birth professional whose focus is on your emotional well-being and physical comfort rather than the medical aspects of your birth. Studies have shown that having a doula reduces the need for pain medication in labor, decreases the likelihood of Cesarean birth or instrumental delivery, increases a mother’s satisfaction with her birth experience, assists breastfeeding, and decreases the likelihood of postpartum depression. Mothers who have a doula during their birth report being happier with their birth experience.

4. What should I look for in a doula?

Choosing a doula is a very personal decision. I recommend interviewing several potential doulas. Factors that you may want to consider include experience, location, price, personality, flexibility, supportiveness, reliability, responsiveness, open-mindedness and comprehensiveness of care, but, in the end, I recommend choosing the person that you feel most comfortable with to be your doula. For more thoughts on this, click here.

5. When in my pregnancy should I hire a doula?

I recommend hiring a doula as early as possible in your pregnancy, so that you can develop a level of comfort with your doula and so that your doula can better understand your thoughts about labor and birth and be of more benefit to you during your pregnancy.

6. Should I consider a doula if I already have a partner who will be helping me during my birth?

Yes! Doulas do not replace dads or other birth partners! In fact, doulas love working with dads. Doulas can help birth partners know how to help the laboring woman more effectively and can also support the birth partner, physically and emotionally as well as giving them information and perspective if labor varies from what they were expecting.

Postpartum

1. What is a postpartum doula?

A postpartum doula is a trained professional that offers physical and emotional support to new mothers and their families. Services may include breastfeeding support, newborn care education, light household maintenance and meal preparation, and errand running. Postpartum doulas do not provide medical care or advice, do heavy housecleaning, babysit the baby when the mother is not there, or transport mother or baby. Postpartum doulas are trained to work with newborn infants through the first three to six months postpartum.

2. What is the difference between a postpartum doula, a baby nurse, and a nanny?

A baby nurse is a medical professional who comes into the home to help care for the baby, but does not care for the mother or family or do household support work. A nanny is a childcare professional, usually for slightly older children, that may come into the home for a year or more to “babysit” and care for the child or children.

3. What is the Billings Ovulation Method and how does it work?

The Billings Method is a natural, safe and simple method that can be used throughout your life to achieve or avoid pregnancy. When you work with me to learn the Billings Method, we begin with one class where I teach you the basics of the method so that you can begin to identify your own signs of fertility. Then, you begin charting on your own, and I follow up with you on a regular basis to answer questions, review your charting, and help you become confident and familiar enough with the method to continue using it on your own to identify when you are fertile.

4. How about Postpartum Yoga?

After the delivery of a baby, women often neglect their own health and recovery. Practicing yoga after delivery can strengthen your pelvic floor, abdominal and back muscles, help bring your abdominal organs back into their correct position, sooth sore neck and shoulder muscles, manage fatigue, and balance your hormonal system improving lactation, reducing moodiness and postpartum depression.

General

1. What does “pura” mean?

“Pura” means whole or complete in Hindi. It can represent whole bellies, whole families, whole people and holistic care.

2. What are your private yoga sessions like?

Before our first session, I will ask you questions about any health issues you may have and your goals for taking yoga and then tailor a sequence of active postures, relaxing restorative poses, and breathing to your specific needs. I will check on you between sessions so that we can modify each class to best suit your needs. In private sessions, I can completely tailor the class to you and your needs, rather than having to consider the needs of an entire class. Especially during preconception, pregnancy and postpartum, every woman is going to have different concerns, issues and needs. A private session is a great venue in which to learn the yoga poses and sequences that will be most beneficial to you.

3. What if I prefer a public group yoga class?

Please contact me for my schedule of public classes or for a referral to another teacher.

4. What is the Iyengar method?

The Iyengar method was developed by Sri B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune, India. He is now 93 years old and still practicing and teaching therapeutic cases. Iyengar’s method focuses on the proper alignment of yoga postures. Postures are taught one by one, with each posture being demonstrated by the teacher and then modified for individual students with verbal correction, props and adjustment. Sequences vary from class to class, but are always specific and progressive. Classes are taught in silence, rather than with music and without added heat in the room. Students generally begin by working with standing postures as beginners and, over time, forward bends, back bends, twists, inversions, restorative asana and pranayama (breathing practices) are introduced. Postures are generally held for a longer period of time, rather than a more flowing/movement oriented class. Becoming certified as an Iyengar teacher is a long journey involving at least 3 years of dedicated practice as a student, 150 hours of apprentice teaching, mastering teacher training curriculum, and two weekend long assessments, taken two years apart, that include written tests, demonstrated practices, and observed teachings. It takes at least five years to become a certified Iyengar instructor and is more like graduate school than earning a traditional yoga certificate. As of November, 2010, I have passed my Introductory I assessment and plan to take my second (Introductory II) assessment in 2012.

5. How often should I practice yoga and what about practicing at home by myself?

Eventually, it is ideal to have a daily practice of yoga, even if it is a short practice. At first, I recommend coming to a class once or twice per week and then beginning to do some of the postures and sequences taught in class at home. My philosophy as an instructor is to nurture and encourage your budding yoga practice. It is my goal for you that, over time, you begin to practice more at home, making the practice your own, and just come to classes periodically to learn new things or adjust what you have been working on.