Saturday, April 25, 2015

Helpful Tips For Parent Allies.

     On April 22, 2015 our collective hosted the "Don't Leave Your Sisters Behind" workshop at CalState LA as part of the Mujeres De Maiz 2015 Spring event series. This workshop focused on exploring issues parents and families face and how to find solutions to these issues collectively. For those who were unable to attend this workshop, we are sharing a list of helpful tips that can serve as guide to parents and parent allies. We hope this helps and sparks ideas to create avenues of support for us all...

Thank you to Mujeres de Maiz and to MALCS for all your hard work and aide during this workshop and beyond!

-Ticicalli Yahualli

  • Offer help in any way
  • Provide Self-Care gifts such as: Massage, Acupuncture, aromatherapy candles and pregnancy-safe teas
  • Assist them in raising funds for their labor support (Doula) and/or Midwifery Care
  • Check-in: Keep an open line of communication. Ask how they are doing and how you can support them
  • Provide positive affirmations about birth
  • Help set up a meal train: Drop off warm ready or frozen meals for the family
  • Offer to help clean the house
  • Hang out with older siblings
  • Gift them a massage
  • Assist in raising funds for a postpartum doula
  • Check in: Again, keep an open line of communication. Ask how they are doing and how you can support them
  • Wash your hands before holding the newborn baby. Even though it’s hard to resist, refrain from kissing the baby. If you sick wait until you are better to see the family

Holding Space for Children
  • Children play a major role in Society. They are the future generations and everything we model they will be imprinted with
  • Babies need to held and loved. Keep a positive environment around the baby
  • Understand the developmental milestones for children. Be mindful of where they are in present moment
  • All adults in spaces where children are present are responsible for safety and security of children
  • Be mindful of what you may be modeling in the presence of children

  • Be intentional in your parenting journey
  • Be aware of different parenting styles. Refrain from judging or shaming other parenting differently
  • Be gentle with yourself in your parenting journey
  • Seek support when times are tough
  • Don’t be afraid to seek community and/or intuitional resources such as parenting classes
  • Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Image result for April cesarean awareness month

This guide was prepared April 28, 2013 at a Cesarean Awareness Healing Event hosted by Ticicalli Yahualli and created by some members of ICAN, and mothers that had cesareans births.  This was created for community and parents to have more knowledge about cesarean birth, be better prepared and create a support system in order to help the healing process.  I hope it may provide some guidance.

1.       Education with of variety of ways and sources.
2.       Knowledge of choices.
3.       Knowledge of models of care.
4.       Understanding your own body (ability to listen to your gut).
5.       Trust and connection to people attending your birth.
6.       Dispell myths of birth.
7.       Choose who you share your birth plan with, not everyone needs to know if they will not support it.
8.       Find ways to address traumas and fears of labor, birth, motherhood, and life. (Therapy, meditation, journaling, etc.)
9.       Scar remediation if necessary.
10.   Educate partner and have him/her address own traumas and fears.
11.   Knowledge of birth process and evidence based reasons for a cesarean birth.
12.   As workers do not push women to places where we cannot deal with.
13.   Always include a cesarean birth plan alongside a vaginal birth plan.
14.   Choose a birth team where everyone has a specific role to fill.

Cesarean Birth
1.       Have Cesarean Birth Plan ready. (Exp. Keep conversations in operating room low or not at all)
2.       Have someone present to support you during the birth.  This person should have knowledge of procedure and possible ways to offer support.
3.       Know and trust C-Birth is going to happen, there are reasons for it and let go.
4.       Have immediate contact with baby after birth.

1.       Receive Scar remediation
2.       Get records regarding previous c-birth and the reasons why it was necessary (or not) at that time.
3.       Address traumas and fears
4.       Find a VBAC friendly provider and hospital (ask lots of questions)
5.       Research stats and become literate of medical model (
6.       Educate partner and have him/her address own traumas and fears.
7.       Create a birth plan and discuss with Dr/midwife have them sign it before labor.
8.       Knowledge of birth process and evidence based reason for another c-birth.

1.       Change language-use cesarean birth or surgical birth instead of c-section or sectioned.
2.       Organize care with family and friends such as prepared meals, housework, and childcare if there are other children.
3.       Validate feeling (we are on the journey with you)
4.       Connect mother/family to resources such as ICAN or therapists especially those that specialize in this type of trauma.
5.       Be mindful of stomach being extra gassy use specialized meal plan avoiding gassy foods.
6.       Have extra support ready if choosing to breastfeeding such as breastfeeding pillows or be aware of positions that facilitate breast feeding for you.
7.       Refer to scar remediation.
8.       Give permission to recover at your own pace.
9.       Practice spiritual work and/or rebirth ceremony.
10.   Find ways to modify traditional birth practices to include them in your care such as; baths, teas, massage, closing of hips, etc.
11.   It is okay to have people help you.  Remember that they choose to help, do not feel bad because of this.
12.   Use technology to organize your postpartum care such as; apps, facebook, meal train, etc.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reflections on my midwifery journey

Into these Hands. Amy Swagman. 2010.

Just a year ago I started my fundraising campaign to complete the initial tuition fee for my midwifery program. Whoa! Coming up with my tuition from love donations, scholarships and prayers from my family & friends has been such a blessing. A true surreal experience! I am so humbled by all the support & love that my gente has and still to this day provides me. In May 2014, I became officially enrolled at the National College of Midwifery, Class of 2017.

For those who know me intimately know the love, sweat and tears, hard work, community support and prayers it has taken me to get me to where I am today. I didn’t choose midwifery, midwifery chose me. It’s been an ancestral calling that only gets deeper every single moment of my life.  And looking back to 2009 when this journey began manifesting, I now see how it is one of the best journeys that I can ever surrender to.
  I have two more years to go before I can sit for my licensing exam with the Medical board of California. I can only imagine how I will feel when I reach my completion in 2017. I realized that to truly be the midwife that I am called to be, it will take my whole life time. One birth, one family, one healing session at a time, I know I will get there.

Here is what I have learned thus far:

I am so grateful I took my time in choosing a midwifery program. It literally took me years, before I finally found a program that felt right for me. Choosing a midwifery program is like getting married. I consulted with most of the schools in this country. To get more insight information, I talked to different midwives, midwifery students and clients. I crossed referenced, read up on my laws, cost of tuition, etc. I found that the apprenticeship was the closest to the traditional way of learning with the combination of college level academic curriculum.

 There is real power in believing 100% in what your higher self sees.Understanding that the “Universe always provides,” has been a challenging lesson for me. I come from real humble beginnings, always finding ways to make life work for us. Growing up and even on a genetic level, I was imprinted with “we don’t have enough.” I have had to stubbornly heal from this “scarcity mentality.” I would like to thank all my healing arts teachers for this! Because the universe only knows the love and patience they needed to have to hold space for me. So now instead of “ I don’t have enough” or “ I can’t do this because of x,y,z,” I say to myself “ I am doing it” and “ I will find a way to make it happen” or “ All in due time.” Focusing my energy on what I already have and putting in the work to manifest magic with a sprinkle of prayer, I am finding ways to flow with the waves of this midwifery program.
Birth ain’t pretty sometimes! There are some intense issues that can come up in pregnancy, labor, birth & postpartum. I’ve seen some wild stuff. I see how it’s all part of the process. After all, I am training to be a midwife, so that means that need treat & prevent and know when to refer out for medical complications. There was literally a month, where I had a lot of consults for miscarriages. It was the trippiest thing. I’m grateful for having strong counseling skills, because I was able to hold space for them.
My heart goes out to you if you have experienced a loss. May the universe fill you with a lot of love to help you heal and transform. <3

Self-care, Self-care, and more Self-care! I can continue doing this work as long I am healthy, full of vitality and grounded. Otherwise I would be a disservice to myself and the families I am supporting. I am still learning how to balance work and self- care, but I try my hardest to take good care of my-self. I have my rituals that I do before, during and after a birth to keep me grounded and with an open heart. This all helps me to endure the long hours being up without sleep, or even food sometimes. Thank goodness for Self-care.

I can keep going on and on about what I have learned. For now, I am content with what I am sharing with you. Now, I have to go pick up a placenta to encapsulate for a beautiful mama warrior.  Thank you for reading my reflections.

Link to AlterNative Birthing Ways Webinar

If you missed the live broadcast of our AlterNative Birthing Ways Webinar, you can still view it on our YouTube playlist by clicking the link below.

Video 1 is the final edit of the webinar itself, without the Q&A period.
Video 2 is the live broadcast along with the on-air Q&A session.

Feel free to share with your family and friends.

-For Educational Purposes.

Playlist link: AlterNative Birthing Ways Webinar Playlist

Thank you all for your support!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Honoring Our Sacred Journey to Mictlan

After working as a birth doula for 5 years, I am now able to provide support in another great transition the beginning and the end in this earth.  I am a Certified Death Doula and and am currently receiving education to become Certified Death Midwife. My experience with the birth of my daughters & death of my Grandmother has allowed me to see the beauty in the sacred transitions from womb to tomb. Both are scary since you dive into the unknown but also beautiful and sacred.  The spirits coming and going...the cycle of life...our spirit's rebirth...lifecarriesdeathcarrieslife and on and on and on. Never ending spirals.

I am excited to be on this journey and be able to provide to my community an affordable and dignified way to die in this world and honor the spirit that is reborn in Mictlan while providing a celebration of life to those left living here on earth. I believe we should have choices and sacredness in birth and death it should NOT be so expensive, it should Not be so destructive to the earth, and it should NOT feel so detached and in the hands of "professionals." Let us take it back and make it sacred again!!  Death is a sacred part of life it should be honored not feared.

As a Death Midwife I would like to: honor the transition into the spirit world; minimize fear for the person transitioning & family members and provide affordable & Eco-friendly burial options. I am doing this not only for myself but for you, my community....for all of you that are seeking for sacredness and support in these often challenging transitions.  Please ask me questions, start a dialogue about death with family and friends, think about how you would like your life celebrated, live as if it were your last day on earth, and feed your spirit every breath you take.

Stay tuned more death talk and workshops coming up.

My death poem:
We are spirals of love
Spirits coming and going
No beginning nor end

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

AlterNative Birthing Ways Community Forum

We hope you enjoyed the webinar...

Please post all your questions and comments here... We will answer them ASAP!!