My classes will combine the practice of kundalini yoga asana and meditation with doula tricks of the trade and birth empowerment. Enjoy connecting with other mom’s to be while we explore and discover our strength as women and the goddess within each of us! I will be teaching at the following locations, stay tuned for additional classes coming soon. I look forward to seeing you there!
The Yoga Garden on Wednesday’s at 5:30-6:45 pm. The Yoga Garden– 903 South St. Philadelphia
Amrita Yoga & Wellness on Sunday’s at 9-10:15am. Amrita– 1204 Frankford Ave. Philadelphia
Become Yoga on Sunday’s at 11-12:15pm. Become Yoga– 31 North Lansdowne ave. Lansdowne, PA. Above the Lansdowne Theatre.
Brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini yoga uses breath and movement to open the mind and body. Kundalini meditations are particularly useful in preparing for labor because of their ability to physically challenge the body and break through the mind’s doubts and fears. Giving birth is a moment that will re-define a woman’s trust in her abilities as a mother, partner, lover, and human being. I believe that trust in one’s self comes from unlocking the power to overcome challenges. Prenatal yoga will help to build trust in your ability to embrace your labor with grace and confidence.
There are few things I encourage moms to go out and buy during their pregnancy: an affordable birth class at a center you trust, yoga classes, maybe some herbal suggestions AND Gurmukh’s book: BOUNTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BLISSFUL.
Gurmukh is the founder of Golden Bridge Yoga, a student of Yogi Bhajan, and an inspirational teacher who aids all people in connecting to their truest self and finding their limitless power. Her name, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, was given to her by Yogi Bhajan and means “one who helps thousands of people across the world ocean”.
This interview with Dawn Thompson, a doula in San Diago, has been passed around within the doula community. I believe it to be insightful for doula’s, mothers, and mothers-to-be. So many of us have experienced stalled labors that have led to Caesarean sections. Often the reason for the C-Sections is a “failure to progress” or “the baby was just too big”. My belief has long been that our bodies wouldn’t make something that we could not push out on our own. So when I read this article about cervical scar tissue forming knots and restricting the cervix from dilating I let out a sigh of relief. Care providers, doulas, and all women must know that this cause of restricted dilating CAN potentially be avoided.
The rise of HPV and the increased presence of abnormal cervical cells and cervical cancer has resulted in more cervical procedures among girls. One of these procedures, called a coloscopy, conducts a biopsy by removing cervical tissue containing abnormal cervical cells. Another procedure, called a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), uses a thin wire loop electrode attached to an electrosurgical generator. The generator transmits an electrical current that cuts away cervical tissue in the immediate area of the loop wire. This causes the abnormal cells to rapidly heat and burst and separates the tissue as the loop wire moves through the cervix. Each of these procedures potentially leaves scar tissue especially when a woman has this procedure more than once which is common.
Unfortunately, the cervix has to be greatly effaced to know whether or not there is scar tissue and a doctor or midwife will not feel the scar tissue during a routine check. Asking your care provider to look for and break up scar tissue is an easy way to increase your likelihood of a vaginal birth. I am now asking my clients if they have had any cervical procedures, because this bit of knowledge can possibly change the direction of a labor and its outcome.
Dawn wrote a blog about this 6 years ago after experiencing this with her sister and it has changed her life as a doula and educator.
Birth Doula Jordyn Cutler awakens the soul and eases the spirit in this two hour birth preparation and prenatal couples yoga workshop.
This class covers a couple’s spiritual, emotional, and physical journey through pregnancy and labor. Birth partners will learn a mix of yoga, mediation, breathing and relaxation techniques, and ways of communicating needs in order to ease discomfort during late pregnancy and labor.
The nature of a doula and the partner illustrate two very different roles, individually essential, however, when coupled together the true benefits are revealed. The work that has been put in during the pregnancy ensures that both the partner and doula know the exquisiteness of this woman. With such knowledge comes unconditional support for the soon-to-be mother as she moves through her labor. It’s important to remember that there is nothing that can replace the physical love and support of a partner.
It is very difficult to see the person you love experience any kind of pain, even if it is beneficial; for example, contractions. A dad may be alarmed by the natural processes and reactions during birth, maybe even ask “How can I fix this?” where the doula, armed with an intensive training, experience and instinctive knowledge will see the signs and know what support is needed and where it is to be applied. Because it is so important for this woman to feel encouraged and empowered through every contraction, the doula’s sense of serenity and objectivity gives her the ability to ease the dad’s concerns; letting him know that the sounds and frustrations are normal. The wisdom of a doula is the bridging factor between the profound love of a partner and the uncertainty of the birthing woman.
It is expected yet impossible for the modern father (to-be) to know everything about birth after four childbirth education classes and a generic book on what to expect when expecting! He is expected to know the physiology of pregnancy, labor and comfort measures. He is expected to be well versed in hospital protocols, medical language and routine procedures. Moreover, he is expected to be the sole support for the mom and have an ability to read her needs based on the emotional and physical signs of labor. This is a huge job with an overwhelming amount of pressure attached. Imagine reading a couple Poly Sci books, watching the world news, visiting the White House and then be expected to run the country. Having a doula allows the dad to take a nap, get something to eat, take a walk or even a shower, all the while knowing that his partner is in hands of the doula; the hands of a “woman who serves”. If and when dad wants to take a more active role in the birth, the doula can and will assist him with helpful ways to best support the mom.
Birth is incredibly complex; with many layers and emotions that are shifting moment to moment. It takes patience and a willingness to reach deep inside of yourself to find that Devine light; a renewed faith and sense of power. Your doula is there to take on any responsibility that is presented to her as she supports the whole family and protects their sacred space. Thanks to the doula, the couple can come together in a new way as they learn what it means to truly surrender.
Not only is Tia a Postpartum Doula, she is also a holistic health care counselor and a dear friend to me. She is in the business of listening; helping people in achieving total health and a balanced lifestyle through plans that are specific to the needs of each individual.
As a Postpartum Doula Tia provides education, non-judgmental support, and companionship to new mothers and families in culturally diverse communities and home based settings. She offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and will make appropriate referrals when necessary. Tia is trained in breastfeeding support, postpartum adjustment and newborn characteristics, care, feeding and development; assisting and promoting parent-infant bonding.
As a mother once told me :
“Tia helped me get to know and understand my baby, she helped me communicate with him as in what sounds and looks meant what needs, I could not have done it without her”
I personally have never met a better listener, friend and guide into self acceptance and self awareness which in turn equals learning to care for myself and my body. It does not always happen over night, in my case years, which feeds my point that Tia has never judged nor “given up” on my process and helps me in not judging myself. Lets face it, we all judge and critique ourselves in an unforgiving way the most.
The same goes for a new mom, if not more; in a culture that is constantly generalizing, even force feeding what moms are “supposed” to be, what babies are supposed to be doing. Sleep schedules, feeding, co-sleeping or not?, do we let the baby cry it out or not? and again, this is “supposed” to be the happiest time of your life. The weeks following a birth are exhilarating and joyous, however, they can also be an isolating time for a mom and these pressures even if intellectually we know “shouldn’t” matter, our inner critic can override intellect especially in the moments where we are most sensitive or alone. Having a person with Tia’s qualities by your side is invaluable and one of the best choices you can make.
The words of another mom:
“Tia Zlotnikoff is hands down the very best postpartum doula that you could hire. She is warm, engaging, knowledgable, and just generally outstanding. She was a fantastic resource for breastfeeding, and thanks to her I am still happily and easily breastfeeding my 10 month old daughter. My daughter was born with PKU (an autosomal recessive disorder that we did not know about in advance) in August of 2008. My husband and I fell apart after learning this news on day 4 of life, but Tia was a pillar of strength, calm, and support. She had never dealt with this rare metabolic disease before, but managed to jump in with both feet and really get us through a tough time. She did everything and anything we needed her to do. She even thought of things that we didn’t, and was full of helpful postpartum tips for moms. I cannot say enough good things about her. She was wonderful with our daughter, was extremely patient with our silly dogs, and was an amazing help to us as new parents. We were truly sad to see her go. I (and my family) give Tia our very highest recommendation. I would be happy to speak to anyone about her amazing work and dedication.”
Orgasmic Birth is a documentary that examines the intimate nature of birth, an everyday miracle, and the powerful role it plays in women’s lives when they are permitted to experience it fully. This documentary asks viewers to reexamine everything they thought they knew about giving birth and the potential it holds.
Undisturbed birth is revealed as an integral part of women’s sexuality and a widely neglected human right. Couples share their birth experiences, discussing their fears and how they found the support, nurturing, and ultimately the power and strength within themselves to labor and birth their babies in a beautiful, loving, and ecstatic way.
It is possible to have an ecstatic birth—in fact, that is the best natural high that I know of. And these states of consciousness are best reached when a woman is fully aware and fully awake. Women don’t have a way to know how their body works until they really try it out in birth. I think that women can be just completely surprised by the change in them from giving birth—you have something powerful in you—that fierce thing comes up—and I think babies need moms to have that fierceness—you feel like you can do anything and that’s the feeling we want moms to have.- Ina May Gaskin