Fun Birth – “It’s Magical Up There!” says 3 year old big sister

February 28, 2014 in Birth, Birth Stories

Tracine Lost mucus plug early in morning, was able to go back to sleep.

Up around 7:30.  Angela arrived at some point.

Sheridan joined the party around 10:30.

Juan Supporting Tracine and Angela enjoying the day.

Juan Supporting Tracine and Angela enjoying the day.

H- Big Sister went to buy glue with Grandma and Grandpa.

Tracine enjoyed pressure waves on the Birth Ball.

11ish Angela left for awhile and Tracine, Juan and Sheridan did 5 laps around the block averaging a pressure wave per lap.

Then we hung out downstairs, prepared some herbal tea and chatted for awhile with Tracine hanging on Juan while she had pressure waves.

12:45 we were back up in the bedroom and Angela returned.

1:11 Tracine removes her red socks, still is wearing Mumu and black sweater.

1:20 downstairs for In N Out brought to us by Hazel.  She had an accidental pee, which Sheridan stepped in, requiring borrowing some very cool striped socks.

1:46 back upstairs.  Tracine and Sheridan discover they are Tiny Toenail Sisters as she sits in the rocking chair.

2:10 Angela rubs oils on Tracine’s ankles.

3:50 Lindsay arrives.  Before this pressure waves were ranging between 5-9 minutes apart.  Sometimes lasting 2 minutes.  But not a great consistency.

4:10 Lindsay checks Tracine upon request.  Scar tissue on cervix easily melts away and her cervix goes from 1 to 6 cm instantly.

4:30 Juan, Tracine and Sheridan walk in the backyard.  H – big sister, joined us for a bit.  Jake said hi over the fence.    Pressure waves were up to 3 minutes apart!!!
IMG_3693 IMG_3684

5 back upstairs and onto the ball.  Pressure waves slow down.

5:45 walk around upstairs.  Pressure waves pick up again.  Then slow down again.

6:20 Lindsay does another exam and finds there is a little bit of scar tissue left.  She helps massage it out.  Then after discussion Tracine decides to have her water broken.

Tracine gets into the rocking chair and gets into her Zone.  There is a definite shift.  The tub starts getting filled.  Courtney arrives.

7:07 Mumu comes off and the purple bra on and Tracine gets into the tub!

7:40 Linsday does another check and finds there is a lip left on the cervix.

8ish Lindsay holds lip back while Tracine gives a push and the lip slips behind baby’s head and pushing begins in earnest.  H – Big Sister is summoned!

Tracine does an amazing job pushing.  She pushes the head almost all the way out.  One more push and the head was out.   After waiting for the next pressure wave she gives a big push and Iris flies out, she is wrapped up in the cord a bit so Lindsay unwraps her and brings her up onto Tracine’s chest.

8:11 Iris arrives!

It was magical in so many ways.  As H – big sister, said to her Grandpa not long after the birth, “You should come upstairs and see the baby, it is magical up there!”

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Waiting for a baby…

February 27, 2014 in Birth, Doula, Life-As

Why does it sometimes seem to take forever for a baby to be born.  How can the days in the last weeks feel so long?  Like each day is a week!!!

My dear friend is 41 weeks and in that long stage of pregnancy.

As her doula/friend I am walking this path with her and we are all so excited and anxious for him to arrive!

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Yes I am still a doula!

February 19, 2014 in Doula

I took a break for awhile.  Then I had a birth in September and took another break.  Well, I went to a birth 3 weeks ago and it was great and I have another mom due any day.

I will see if I can post the one birth story in the next few days.  :)

Once this last mom births, I will be taking a break for an undetermined amount of time.    With 3 busy boys going 3 different directions I need to focus on just them for awhile.

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Pregnancy and Energy Types

January 20, 2014 in Pregnancy

I just read The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle and loved it.  It teaches you about Energy Types and how to determine what type you and your children are.  Then gives amazing tips on how to help parent them, from birth on!  I will write more about it later.

Here are some videos about pregnancy and energy types.

The videos are not too helpful unless you know your type. She has some free videos to figure out your type. The best thing to do is go to Carol’s blog and sign up for the newsletter.

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Protecting your kids – media and its traps!

December 30, 2013 in Parenting, Teenagers

Limitations we have set up to protect our kids from pornography and other negative things.

Computer –

Have the computer in a public place.  Ours is in our eating area.  We do have another computer in the office, it is not used for internet.  It is for making movies, recording music, etc.

Put an internet filter on your computers, even the ones that are not supposed to be used for internet.  I know my boys may go on the internet in the office.  So it has net nanny set up to the highest level of restriction.

I have tried 3 different options.  NetNanny is my favorite.  Easy to use and has many different ways to differentiate levels of “safety”.  So my 16 year old has little limits, but I am able to see where he goes so I can check on his use.  My 8 year old has very strong limits, preventing him from accidently being exposed to pornography.

Television -

Use the filters on your TV.  You can set your TV to require a password to watch things over a certain TV rating.

If you have Netflix/Vudu, etc.  Research how do to limits on those.  We have it set up so you cannot watch or order rated R  or higher movies.

Video Games –

I will admit, we don’t really play video games in our house.  We have a Wii and limited games.  The boys play maybe 2 times a month.  I think this is one reason my boys are so well rounded and get good grades and know how to interact nicely with other people.

Be wise about the video games you let your children play.  Think about what it is you want them to learn from these games and the amount of time you think is reasonable.

I don’t really know much about parental controls with video games, but definitely worth finding out if you play them.

Cell Phones –

I will look at this a strictly a phone/texting thing, though more and more kids have smart phones, see this post for handheld digital devices.  If your child has a smart phone you will need to take a 2 prong approach!


Have a place in the kitchen where they are plugged in nightly.  Have a set time – 9PM or bedtime.  But it is plugged in every night.  There are kids that are texting at 2AM.  This is not good for sleep, even if your kids are not the instigator, their friends may be texting them at that time and waking them up.  So phones go to bed too.


No Data:  I have their phones set up on our ATT account that makes it so they can not get any data.   I had to call and get this set up.  The first person I talked to didn’t know what I was talking about.  So you may have to figure this out.


This means my boys can not get or send pictures.  Hallelujah!  People send really inappropriate pictures to each other and this prevents this from happening.


It also means they can’t get group texts, which is sort of a bummer, but worth preventing the picture issue.  (though they can see plenty of inappropriate pictures on instagram and google search)

 Is it too late?

What if your kids are older and you haven’t set up limitations like this? We learn as we live.  I have had to go back and make changes to things.  My kids have had pretty positive reactions.

Here is the story of how we reduced media usage.

Here is how my 15 year old responded to new limitations on his digital device.


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Taking away my 15 year olds smart phone.

December 27, 2013 in Parenting

Going “backwards”

In May I noticed my 15 year old was on his digital device way too much.  He had a smart phone/cell phone.  So it was in his pocket all the time and I would catch him watching You Tube videos when he was supposed to be doing homework, etc.  I could see things were just going downhill.  That it was becoming an addiction.  I had worked so hard to help my boys avoid addictions, limiting TV, video games, etc.  To see him going there was upsetting.


I prayed and realized it was time to take the smart phone away.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.  We had a heart to heart with T1. We got him a dumb phone with an alphabet keyboard so he could still easily text.  He agreed to give up the smart phone cold turkey, with the thought he would get it back with limits.  We also took T2’s itouch away at that point, thought it would be beneficial for him too!


Cold Turkey.


4 days later T1 THANKED ME!!!!!!  I am not kidding.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to be angry or resentful.  But he thanked me.  It is now December.  He has chosen not to use his handheld digital device at all.  He found our OLD ipod so he could listen to music, without distraction of apps. internet, etc.  He texts his friends, but never goes on the iphone.  Sometimes he will borrow mine to check the weather or something.  But he is grateful.

I heard him yesterday telling a friend at church who was on an iphone playing a game (at church) and said, “I used to have a smartphone, but my parents took it away because it was too distracting.”  I don’t even know if the other kid heard him.  But I know that T1 is GLAD, because once he disconnected from his phone, he was able to have time to do real connecting.

Moderation is key.

My 13 year old, got his itouch back after a week or so.  But with the limits I described above.  And he is on it definitely less than an hour a day.  He has a dumbphone that he texts friends on.  He is satisfied and I can see with the limitations of plugging it in when you are not using it instead of slipping it in your pocket help amazingly!

So, I hope this helps you if you are giving your children digital devices for Christmas or if they already have them. It is never too late to make changes!  Protect your children!!!!!

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Giving your child a handheld digital device for Christmas? Here is how to keep it safe!

December 23, 2013 in Parenting

I am going to be doing a series of how to protect your child from pornography, based on my experiences mothering 3 boys. Who now range 8-16 years old.  Here is the post on iphones/fires, etc.

P**N in your Pocket

Without taking time to set up limitations (which is not “easy”) it is basically giving your son “porn in his pocket”.   For real, like giving them access to pornography, which they can bring up to their bedroom in privacy and no real way of knowing what they are looking at.

There are some steps you can do to help prevent this potential pornography exposure to some extent.

Some of these things would be easier to set up when you give them the device, but we have had to go back and adjust some things for our boys and I will let you know how that went in a future post.

Web Browsing -

We took off safari and allowed NO web browsers on the itouch.  So if the boys wanted to access the internet they would have to use the computer.  Which had the appropriate restrictions set and managed.  It is really challenging to do this on an iphone.  NetNanny does have an app now, but I am not sure how it works and for us it was just easier to say no internet on the phone.

Downloading Apps/Music/Movies

Only WE know the password.  They can not purchase or install apps without us typing in the password.  Our accounts are all linked together, so beware don’t have it do cloud installation, because if my DH buys something it will automatically download to the boys phones.  Which is OK, but be AWARE!

Google Search App –

NOT good.  Even if they don’t have a web browser on their phone, they can use this app to search.  If they have this app or any searching App, they can do a search on inappropriate words and pictures will pop up.

You may think, my son would never look up something bad.  The problem is other kids may say, “look up pretty kitty” or something innocuous looking and you would be amazed at the type of things that pop up.  My boys have been told to look up things that lead to negative pictures from friends starting in 5th grade.

You Tube –

The videos you can access online are scary. Certainly not something you want your children to have access to without limitations.  Delete any video apps!!!

WiFi access –

One way to limit their using apps that require wifi access is to have only you know the wifi password and they have to have you enter it to go on the wifi.  So for instance Instagram, they have to have you enter the wifi code to access the internet so they can see the pictures and then when their time is up, they log off.

Or another great tool is  Open DNS, is free.  You can put some filters on it, though I also have NetNanny on computer, etc.  One thing we like is you can set hours that specific devices can access the internet.  So my 13 year old knows the code to login to the wifi, but at 9PM his device can’t access wifi.  Open DNS shuts it down to his device.  :)

Time Limits –

I am all about limiting screen time.  My younger boys go to a Waldorf Inspired school and are not supposed to have any screen time during the school week.  My 13 year old does get about 20 minutes of screen time during the week days, usually spent checking Instagram.

The devices are plugged into a specific spot in the kitchen at all times when they are not using them.  He knows he can’t check instagram in morning before school.  We agreed on that together when he saw how distracting it was and he wasn’t getting ready on time.  Right after school he usually checks it and then puts it back on the charger.  It isn’t in his pocket tempting him all the time.  He will check it other times.  He will also have his device to listen to music, etc.  But if he isn’t using it, it is plugged in.  This is very helpful!

Note***  I think that the Kindle Fire is a better choice for kids, because it has pretty good parental controls you can use.  The idevices are not so great for parental control.

Here is a great webinar explaining how do set up some of these things!

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Cord Burning, and Placenta Cuisine: The Importance of Postpartum Rituals

December 6, 2013 in Birth

Whether you believe that stroking your lucky rabbit’s foot—or holding a funeral for your dead pet rabbit—makes a difference or not, research shows that it still benefits you to enact these rituals. Participating in a ritual can be an effective way to alleviate grief and anxiety. Logic would hold that the same goes for postpartum rituals, even those from other cultures that may seem bizarre to us. Countries that have postpartum traditions that serve to support mothers and reintegrate them into the community have lower rates of postpartum depression.

candle pair

While women in the United States may ritualistically shop for new nursing tops, rituals are often considered to be in the domain of subcultures, a performative accessory to birth. It may be tempting to write off January Jones’ placenta consumption as a publicity stunt, but more and more women are finding that the benefits of postpartum rituals far outweigh the ick factor.  Participation in a postpartum ritual can help boost your confidence as you enter the fourth trimester in addition to honoring the birth experience and connecting you to something larger.

Umbilical Cord Burning

The clamping of a newborn’s umbilical cord may be the closest thing that western women have to a traditional postpartum ritual. The partner often cuts the cord, which physically detaches the baby from her or his mother and symbolically welcomes him or her to this world. However, this often happens so quickly that it can be difficult to snap a commemorative photo. As we learn more about the health benefits of keeping the umbilical cord intact for the first moments of a newborn’s life, more women are choosing the slower-paced umbilical cord burning over quickly cutting the cord or the more intensive lotus birth. Coming from traditional Chinese medicine, the practice of cord burning is said to push the last of the blood through, which is said to be a tonic treatment for an exhausted newborn.

The cord burning process is simple enough that it can be done at the hospital, the birthing center, or at home. All you need is a pair of candles and something to shield your baby from the flame, such as a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil. Loved ones, or your doula and your partner, hold a flame to either side of the cord, which will cauterize the cord in five to ten minutes. The wax will melt into the bowl that holds the placenta, and as the cord thins, it can easily be twisted and broken off. This process is involved enough to allow the whole family to participate, and seems less controversial than staying inside for forty days after giving birth or ingesting one’s own placenta.

In the Philippines, women traditionally see the placenta as the twin souls of their babies and opt to bury the placenta close to their homes when they feel its time. This can be seen as a beautiful ritual that is actually contrary to what most mammals do: mammals are known to ingest their placenta. Though there is little evidence of a historical origin for this practice in the US, eating the placenta has been a tradition in the Czech Republic and Morocco and was adopted by “counter-cultural” women in the 1970s due to its supposed health benefits. The placenta can be eaten in many ways, including baking it into lasagna, freezing it and incorporating it into smoothies, or drying it and ingesting it in pill form. No clinical studies have confirmed the benefits or harm of this practice, though according to this article in The Atlantic, the “overwhelmingly white, American, middle-class, college-educated home-birthers” studied by anthropologists at UNLV found that ingesting their placenta produced positive effects.

Though these “positive effects” may not have a medical basis, eating your own placenta can serve to connect you with the larger community of mammals and symbolically mark the end of your pregnancy, increasing your sense of well-being as you start to mother. Placebo or not, research on rituals have found them beneficial in times of anxiety and grief, and birth can certainly be one of those times. Even if you don’t buy the health benefits of cord burning or eating your placenta, you have nothing to lose but ten minutes when you participate in a postpartum ritual.

Kristen Hurst is a work-at-home mother of three who enjoys writing.  She received her bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing, and now writes for Seraphine Maternity. When she’s not trying to juggle the lives of Casey, Austin and Ben, she serves as a doula in her local community and maintains a regular yoga practice.

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How I Became a Hypnobabies Instructor by, Megan

November 20, 2013 in Hypnobabies, Instructor

Hypnobabies TrainingIf you had asked me in high school, or even 10 years ago (yes, I’m that old) what I wanted to be when I grew up, “A Hypnobabies Instructor,” would not have been my first answer…or my answer at all!

The truth is, my path to becoming a Hypnobabies Instructor follows my path into motherhood.  I became a Hypnobabies Instructor because I used the Hypnobabies program in preparation for the births of my babies and loved it so much that I wanted to share my experience with other women.

It All Started With Two Pink Lines On A Pregnancy Test

After a miscarriage followed by a year of trying to get pregnant, I had scheduled an appointment to explore infertility treatment.  The Saturday before my appointment, I took one last pregnancy test…and I was beyond excited when the second pink line appeared in the test window!

Being the planner that I am, I immediately started looking at options for childbirth education.  I had always known I wanted a natural birth—women had been doing it for thousands of years, so why not me?—and I knew I would need some tools to make it happen.

My search took me to hypnosis for birth, and I stumbled across Hypnobabies.  After looking at the program and reading reviews by moms who had used Hypnobabies, I knew it was just right for me!  I ordered the course and started preparing for my baby’s birth.

My Hypnobabies Tools Kept Me Calm And Comfortable—When I Used Them

Fast forward a few months to my baby’s birthday…we couldn’t wait to meet him!  I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that this birth was a beautiful learning experience for me.  After hours of using my Hypnobabies tools and feeling great, I kept having the urge to poop.  I was fighting the urge when I wasn’t on the toilet, and now I know I was really just fighting against my body opening up and my baby moving down into the birth canal.  But while I was fighting those intense sensations, I quit using my Hypnobabies tools and decided to get an epidural.

Had I chosen a different care provider or place of birth, had a doula, or had a nurse who had seen a natural childbirth, maybe things would have gone differently.  Hindsight is always 20/20, right?  But in the end, things turned out the way they were meant to be.  I knew Hypnobabies worked because I had felt great when I was using my Hypnobabies tools.  And I was determined that the next time I had a baby I would make different choices and use my Hypnobabies tools the whole time!

A New Baby, A New Care Provider, A New Hospital

So I did just that.  With Baby #2, I again prepared for my baby’s birth using Hypnobabies (you can read my whole birth story here).  I was more dedicated with my hypnosis practice the second time around, and I had chosen midwives who were fully supportive of my birth plan.  My husband was completely on board this time (he had been a bit skeptical about Hypnobabies with Baby #1, but became a HUGE supporter when he saw how well it worked).

The birth of my second baby was one of the most amazing, empowering experiences of my life!  Things went exactly as I had planned and hoped.  Using my Hypnobabies tools, I had a completely drug-free, comfortable childbirth experience.  I actually enjoyed giving birth!

I Knew I Wasn’t Special

In fact, I’m kind of a wimp.  I knew that good experiences giving birth—especially my completely comfortable birth–were due, in large part, to my Hypnobabies preparation.  I wanted my sisters, friends and every other woman, for that matter to be able to have the knowledge and tools I had to have the best birth possible.

So when I heard about a Hypnobabies Instructor Training, I knew I had to do it!  Becoming a Hypnobabies Instructor isn’t for the faint of heart—there are extensive prerequisites, an intense in-person training, followed by taking a test and meeting additional requirements in order to teach.

Megan Kerry CaroleI LOVE Being a Hypnobabies Instructor

Though becoming an instructor was a lot of work, it has been SO worth it!  Being a Hypnobabies Instructor means that couples invite me to be part of their journey into parenthood.  I believe the birth of every baby is a miracle, and I feel honored that parents allow me to participate in their preparation for that miracle.

I love to hear my student’s birth stories—all of them.  I love to hear how they used the information they learned in class to make important decisions, how they used their hypnosis tools during the baby’s birth.  I love seeing pictures of new families—whether it’s a first baby or a sixth—and seeing the changes that families experience as they welcome their little ones. My absolute favorite is students drop by to show off their bundles of joy and allowing me to peek at or even hold their cuties!

So, I may not have known I wanted to be a Hypnobabies Instructor when I grew up, but I feel very blessed that my journey has brought me here!

What journey has life taken you on that you never would have expected?

Written by:  Megan Marshall–Hypnobabies Instructor and Doula in Las Vegas, Nevada and the mother of 3 young boys who always keep her laughing.  You can read more about Megan’s Hypnobabies and mothering adventures on her website, A Mother’s Wisdom.

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Pee on yourself when you run?

October 30, 2013 in Birth, Instructor, Pregnancy


It has been nearly sixteen months since I last posted about peeing when I run.  See blog post here. So, do I still pee on myself when I run?  Yes, unfortunately. However, I’ve learned a lot more about pelvic floor health in these months.

When you are only 32 years old…almost 33, it sucks to get an ailment that you think belongs to those in the 60 and above crowd.  You feel like you are too young to feel your uterus, bladder or other parts prolapsing out their normal positions.  You envision a lifetime of Depends and having to lay down for fear that everything inside of you will just drop out.  Your dreams of running or working out are shattered temporarily while you think that you will never lose that remaining baby weight.  But then, hope is restored when you find the right resources.  Unfortunately, Dr. Google can be scary, and if you end up on certain websites, you see lawsuits about mesh implant failures that ideally would hold up your internal organs.

So, what have I discovered in the year since I realized that peeing on myself when I ran, jumped, sneezed or coughed too hard was not normal?


Guess what? I’m a butt tucker.  I still remember when I was a teenager, standing in the shower looking at my “pooching belly,” trying to make my stomach look flatter.  I tucked my tailbone in and my belly appeared flatter.  I already had a wider, more curvaceous rear end and as a typical teenager,I was doing everything I could to hide it from my teasing peers.  However, butt tucking=weakened pelvic floor. Now, almost twenty years later, I’m dealing with the consequences of a “flatter” stomach.

In my quest to learn about all things related to the pelvic floor, I helped create a Facebook page with another friend that would allow us to discuss pelvic floor health in a positive, hope filled way.  I’ve been reading….well devouring Katy Bowman’s book Alignment Matters.  I’m amazed and disheartened that much of this could have been prevented with stretching and posture adjustments since birth.  I’m inspired to find shoes that are better suited to humans, i.e. no heels.  I realize that the physical therapy I’ve done in the past was partially beneficial, but I didn’t understand why I had shooting pains in my knees from tight IT Bands, hamstrings and more than likely a weak pelvic floor.  I feel stupid that I didn’t realize how connected everything is in our bodies.  One slight adjustment in the feet, translates to either positive or negative benefits in the body.

How am I feeling?

In the year since my third son was born, I’ve had a lot of crying bouts. I’ve felt like my insides were going to fall out. I felt that if I moved the wrong way, or sat on the toilet in the wrong position that I would being seeing my insides come out.

However, other days, I carried a twenty-two pound kid on my back up Chimney Rock in North Carolina.

chimney rock

I went bike riding on a cargo bike, loaded with three children, or my entire load of groceries.



I’ve gotten myself up on a trapeze.


I ran a single 5K without training.


I’ve walked miles with a child strapped to me, I’ve gotten stronger, and work towards improving my posture.

The other night, I experienced hot yoga for the first time and while I could have let my weakened pelvic floor prevent me from staying in the room….yes, weak pelvic floor can cause unexpected noises from your nether regions, I said to myself, I’m here to get stronger.  I’m not going to let “embarrassing” noises prevent me from strengthening and stretching the very muscles that will allow me to keep my insides inside.

What have I been doing to improve my pelvic floor?

Correcting my posture.  Pelvis in neutral. Foot positioning…or rather realizing that my foot position is incorrect and constantly readjusting the positions. Stretching, stretching and more stretching of my leg muscles, and lots of reading.  My favorite resources right now are blogs like Katy Says.  I’ve also been trying to incorporate more walking.  We like to bike ride in this family. Yet cycling can shorten the hamstring muscles and tight hamstrings can lead to a weakened pelvic floor. So I’ve been adding a daily walk to stretch and strengthen my body. If I can’t get out to walk or ride, I’m doing a Fit2B video.  I love Bethany Learn’s easy videos that are geared towards healing a diastasis, and they are great at strengthening the pelvic basket as well.  If you need a coupon code, use Alaskan to get a discount on membership.  I purchased a Squatty Potty to help get myself into the proper position for easy elimination. A child’s step stool can be used also, but it doesn’t get your legs in quite the right positions.

This past year hasn’t been easy physically or emotionally. Like I stated above, there were a lot of tears and quite a bit of depression related to the pelvic floor issues. I’ve decided I want a lifetime of strength. In my moments of despair, thinking that I will forever be in a state of worry that my bladder or uterus may prolapse outside of my body, I’m thankful I have resources and tools to remedy the current weakness in my pelvic floor.

Do you have a pelvic floor weakness?  Will you change your footwear in the pursuit of health? What will you do to help get yourself stronger? 

~Leigh Anne 


Resources to help you in your strengthening journey.

Blog Posts:


Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief by Katy Bowman

Alignment Matters by Katy Bowman


Fit2B with Bethany Learn (Use promo code Alaskan)

“Down There” for Women with Katy Bowman

Hab-It with Tasha Mulligan

Support Group Forums:

Proactive Prolapse Support

Written by: Leigh Anne Hancock – Hypnobabies Instructor in Nashville TN, blogger at State of Birthing and Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan , retired electrical engineer and mom of 3 boys born at home.


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