Over the Moon birth services

Birth and Postpartum Doula services (including overnight newborn care) provided to women in the Western Massachusetts and surrounding areas.

A birth doula is a trained labor assistant hired to provide continuous support to the mother (and her partner or team if she wishes) during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum periods. Continuous labor support has been linked to (in many cases) shorter labors, reduced use of interventions, and increased satisfaction with the birth experience in general. A postpartum doula comes to the mother and family at a scheduled time to provide services to assist in the postpartum period. This can mean cooking a meal, doing some light cleaning, providing childcare while naps are taken, providing information about breastfeeding or newborn care, and so forth. The mother discusses her needs with the doula beforehand.

[08/03/18]   To my wonderful birth-world families and friends : Thank you for allowing me into your homes, your hospital rooms (with or without my lavender oil), and your experiences. Words cannot describe how moving and precious it has been to share such moments with you. I am needing to put this meaningful work on pause, taking very few clients, while I focus on Over the Moon house cleaning. Sometimes life calls for a change and this is necessary. Just as we birth workers encourage our families to honor their changing needs, so must we honor ours. Much love and peace to you. -Pauline

Seth Is a Dad! Again!

Alexi and Seth Meyers welcomed their 2nd baby in their lobby, supported by Alexi's mom and their doula (and with help from afar via people in the building). Seth, I don't think you need a house closer to the hospital. 😉 https://youtu.be/BYG1qf3XJNM

Seth Meyers tells the dramatic story of his second son's birth. » Subscribe to Late Night: http://bit.ly/LateNightSeth » Get more Late Night with Seth Meyers...

[04/02/18]   And then it snowed. Was your baby born during any type of storm? On my agenda today (for fun as well as professional use): check on any updated/more recent studies around the effect of storms (barometric pressure, more specifically) on labors. I think the last I read was from births between 1997-2003 and concluded "spontaneous delivery is related to barometric pressure." :)

[04/02/18]   The days are longer, the weather is finally warming up, and those warm-weather babies are coming. Did you know I offer overnight newborn care services to allow you to get a better night's rest? It's been helpful for parents who wanted to be more alert with their child during the day, or on the job in their professional life. Contact me for more information and availability.

New Life Blessings

Hip squeezing has been one of the most loved techniques among my laboring parents. I love that the cover photo is of just that. :)

The gift of judgment-free support. These breathtaking #BirthPhotos highlight the strength of #Doulas

Birth Services

"Twin Births: Vaginal Delivery Safer Than Caesarean: Vaginal delivery of twins is associated with less neonatal morbidity and mortality than cesarean delivery, and should be the birth method of choice when the first twin has a cephalic presentation, the authors of a large, population-based study report.
The findings "call for planned vaginal rather than cesarean delivery between 32 and 37 weeks of gestation and strongly support recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendations," Thomas Schmitz, MD, PhD, from the Gynecologic and Obstetric Service at the Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France, and colleagues write in an article published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
This shows that "a lower rate of [caesarean] delivery in women carrying twins is not only achievable, but that it is also safer for their neonates," Dwight J. Rouse, MD, adds in an accompanying editorial.
At this time, 75% of twins in the United States are born through cesarean delivery, Dr Rouse, associate editor (obstetrics) of Obstetrics & Gynecology, writes. Reducing that even to 50% would help nearly 17,000 women each year avoid surgery that is both unnecessary and potentially harmful to their newborns.
The additional risk associated with cesarean delivery was seen only when the infants had a gestational age less than 35 or 37 weeks, depending on the risk level of the pregnancy.
The data come from the Jumeaux Mode d'Accouchement (JUMODA) study, a national, observational, prospective, population-based cohort study conducted in France from February 10, 2014, through March 1, 2015. All maternity units that handled more than 1500 pregnancies annually were invited to participate.
The analysis included women who gave birth to twins at or after 32 weeks' gestation, with the first twin in a cephalic position. They were enrolled by their obstetricians immediately after delivery and categorized according to planned mode of delivery: cesarean or vaginal.
The study included 5915 women who delivered twins in 176 maternity units across France. Of those patients, 1454 (24.6%) planned cesarean deliveries, and 4461 (75.4%) planned vaginal deliveries. Ultimately, 61% of the women in the entire cohort delivered both twins vaginally, including 25 women (1.7%) in the planned cesarean group.
Women who planned a cesarean delivery had a mean age of 32.8 ± 5.8 years compared with a mean of 31.4 ± 5.1 years among women who planned a vaginal delivery. Women planning a cesarean delivery also were heavier than women in the planned vaginal delivery group, and also were more likely to have had previous cesarean deliveries and complicated pregnancies and to deliver smaller neonates at an earlier gestational age.
The primary study outcome was a composite of intrapartum mortality, neonatal mortality during the first 28 days of life, and neonatal morbidity, defined as the presence of one or more characteristics such as 5-minute Apgar score less than 4, birth trauma, or respiratory or neurological complications. Overall, this outcome was seen in 5.2% of infants born to mothers in the planned cesarean group and 2.2% of infants in the planned vaginal delivery group (odds ratio [OR], 2.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.86 - 3.05).
To control for potential bias introduced by the differences in risk between women planning cesarean or vaginal delivery, the authors conducted a propensity-matched analysis comparing a subgroup of 2288 women (1144 in each delivery category). The composite neonatal morbidity and mortality rate among infants in the planned cesarean group was 5.3% compared with 3.0% among infants in the planned vaginal delivery group (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.29 - 2.67).
The most common cause of neonatal death in both groups was multiple malformation or genetic syndromes.
In another subgroup analysis that excluded high-risk pregnancies, 564 (14.2%) of the women had planned cesarean deliveries and 3410 (85.8%) had planned vaginal deliveries. "Analyses by gestational age in this subgroup showed that planned cesarean delivery was associated with higher composite neonatal mortality and morbidity only between 32 0/7 and 34 6/7 weeks of gestation," the authors write.
"The propensity-matched and secondary analyses in the low-risk population demonstrated no significant association between planned cesarean delivery and the composite primary outcome."
Two main conclusions can be drawn from these findings, the authors say. "First, high vaginal delivery rates with low neonatal mortality and morbidity are possible for twin pregnancies with a cephalic first twin at or after 32 weeks of gestation nationwide."
Second, planned cesarean delivery was associated with higher neonatal morbidity and mortality, but only among twins born at less than 37 weeks' gestation in the overall cohort, and at less than 35 weeks in the low-risk cohort. "Cesarean delivery before labor is strongly associated with respiratory distress in term and late preterm neonates."
The findings of this study are similar to those obtained in the Twin Birth Study conducted in Canada, Dr Rouse adds. Both trials have shown that, when the first twin has a cephalic presentation, and the appropriate equipment and personnel are available, "at least from 32 weeks of gestation onward, an attempt at vaginal delivery should be the default plan, regardless of the presentation of the second twin."
One study author reports having been a consultant for Procter & Gamble France, and another reports having been a consultant and lecturer for Ferring Laboratories. The other authors and Dr Rouse have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Obstet Gynecol. 2017;129:974-975, 986-995.

Karyn Loftesness Photography

Oh, simply beautiful. Take a look at the video attached at the bottom as well, for some breech discussion. Pauline Delton

Full series, y'all. **GRAPHIC BREECH BIRTH PHOTOS**


Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation offering free admissions over...

FREE this weekend: entrance to Massachusetts state parks and forests. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful... ;)

masslive.com In recognition of Thanksgiving, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has announced that entrance and parking fees to state parks and forests will be waived over Thanksgiving weekend.


Free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available for Holyoke residents

Free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for Holyoke residents. Btw, an expired smoke detector can still work, but may give more false alarms. And what do people do when their alarm keeps going off unnecessarily? They disable them. Something to keep in mind! Have a great day. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/free_smoke_and_carbon_monoxide.html#incart_river_mobile_home

masslive.com City homeowners may be eligible for a free smoke or carbon monoxide detector.

[11/05/15]   Homeschool anatomy lesson (skeletal system, specifically) would be incomplete without discussion about our amazingly adaptable pelvis.

[10/10/15]   What couple of words or phrases would you say apply well to the laboring and birthing experience or a person involved in them? So many, but I'll choose STAMINA and DETERMINATION. Regardless of what the experience looks like, I'm always in awe.

[10/09/15]   Oh, sweet families on Facebook, thank you for checking in with me. All is well, I'm here working with families and loving it, but have focused my Facebook energy on another endeavor (NOT one that will take me away from this birth work I love!). Must practice that Facebook balancing act, mustn't I? :) That will be my area of improvement this week.


Have a 4th grader in the US? Your family gets free admission to national parks. Here’s how.

"Students just need to sign up online and they will then get a voucher that grants entrance to the student and a carload of passengers to federal recreation areas for one year." Sign ups start Sept 1.

matadornetwork.com Part of the White House’s “Every Kid in the Park” initiative, this program is made possible by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation.

[08/20/15]   I think we're on a roll with milestones! FIRST CRAYON WASHED AND DRIED WITH LOAD OF LAUNDRY! Whatever did we do before the internet**? Off to attempt a fix. :) **Back in the day we passed knowledge on through word of mouth. I know that. ;)

[08/20/15]   I don't know, this feels like an appropriate thing to post here. We left our son this weekend while we visited dearly beloved friends in Pittsburgh. This was the very first time he had been left without one of his parents and it was for 4 days. He's 9 1/2 years old, a little particular about some things, but it went really smoothly. I cannot describe the relief and happiness...and the gratefulness to our friends who helped relieve the sitter for a bit here and there. :) Here's to a new milestone reached. And, yes, he seemed ginormously tall when I laid eyes on him after those 4 days. LOL.



Children's Summer Theater series at the Majestic Theater In West Springfield, $9 per show. Always really well-done, not a bad seat in the place. We used to read the book and then see the play and the movie versions so we could compare them. :) http://www.majestictheater.com/mct.html



Children's magic show scheduled at Westfield's Stanley Park

Free magic show at Stanley Park in Westfield. If you haven't been there, the playground is fairly extensive and fun, there is a large field in which to play, there are ponds and little trails through the woods. So, consider checking it out. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/07/childrens_magic_show_scheduled.html#incart_river

masslive.com Friday Mornings for Children at Stanley Park is offered free of charge.


Many Moms May Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly: Surprising New Research - Mothering

THIS is exciting! http://www.mothering.com/articles/natural-breastfeeding/

mothering.com This article from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA was featured in Holistic Parenting magazine, Issue 9 (May/June 2015). Nancy is a wealth of knowledge and a light to many breastfeeding mothers! During the more than 30 years I’ve been helping breastfeeding families, it’s been thrilling to see the ris…


5 Things You Need To Hear When You're Feeling Stuck

This applies to so many scenarios, but of course I thought "labor and birth!"

huffingtonpost.com Life has my back. Find the place in my heart, the part of me that knows what it is to trust freely. Connect with that source of trust, embody it, meditate on it and I'll know. Trust the Universe.

[07/07/15]   If you were to have a doula in your postpartum period, even if only for a couple of hours, how would you utilize her? I remember just chatting with ours for pretty much an entire visit, then another time we (Shawn and I) napped while she held K, and then at our last visit we took her up on her offer to cook for us while we went for a walk. And honestly each visit felt well-used! I'm always happy when folks feel comfortable enough to ask for what they want, but I totally remember how hard that was for us, too. :)


Photo by Pauline Delton

A bona fide Rebozo, gifted to me by a client. So so very sweet.



Fenway Park first MLB stadium to offer lactation pod for mothers

Sounds very sci-fi, but what a great option for those who wish for someplace private/shaded/quieter to feed their little ones! I'd love to hear from anyone who's used one. Are they air conditioned or climate controlled in any way? Here is a link to the manufacturer. http://mamava.com/mamava-lactation-suite/

wpri.com Fenway Park has hosted the World Series 10 times since it’s opening in 1912, and now it's playing host again. But this time, to breastfeedin…

[07/01/15]   Folks, I just have to say that it lights up my day when an unexpected text comes through with pics of your little ones! Most of my work is with the grown ups, and I LOVE that. I've posted about it before. But it sure is a special surprise to get those surprise snapshots days later. I melt into a little puddle of squeals and babytalk (in my head, of course...that would be weird in the supermarket!). :)

Sesame Street: Kermit and Joey Say the Alphabet

Anytime I need a giggle or smile, this could be on my list of go-to videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIRO97dhII

If you're watching videos with your preschooler and would like to do so in a safe, child-friendly environment, please join us at http://www.sesamestreet.org ...


Breast Crawl - A Scientific Overview - Initiation of Breastfeeding by Breast Crawl

Such an amazing phenomenon. Regardless of how a baby finds the breast, it's always nice to see the beginning of a breastfeeding journey go smoothly (when breastfeeding is the chosen method of feeding baby).

breastcrawl.org Immediately after birth the child was dried and laid on the mother's chest. In the control group a regular behavioural sequence, previously not described in the literature, was observed. After 15 minutes of comparative inactivity, spontaneous sucking and rooting movements occurred, reaching maximal…


Ten Things Women Say in Labor (that are totally normal!)

You? For me it was a variation of #1 and #5. For #1, I was back home after having spent the previous night and that morning at the hospital. Leaning over my couch I said I would never do it again. Fast forward to after the birth when I said excitedly that I would absolutely love to do it again. :) #5 Was a combination of not being able to get comfortable and being tired. I really should have gone to sleep (or tried to sleep/rest) much earlier on, and instead I focused on labor very early. Thus, when I had no CHOICE but to pay attention to labor, it felt like I'd been working forever. Oops!

northstarmidwifery.wordpress.com Written by Aly Folin, CPM, LM, North Star Midwifery & Erin Stertz-Follett, CD(DONA), Flutterby Birth Services After attending many births, it is safe to say that we as midwives and doulas have ...


12 Phrases Said to Birthing Women that Steal Our Power, and How to Change the Conversation

Yes! All of these. I just want to stress, this: make sure you take the time to ask questions and get clarification. If a procedure is mentioned right at the end of your appointment, insist on getting more information about it even if you'll be going over your "allotted" time. The end of the appointment is not the time to bring it up to you.

opetchildbirthservices.com As a linguist and language researcher prior to my work with expecting families, it has always facinated me to listen to how our culture speaks about birth. Since I began working as a birth ...


Food Stamps Are Worth Double at These Michigan Farmers Markets—Helping Families and Local Businesses

I know the Northampton Tuesday Market doubles the value, too. It says so clearly on their website. I'm not sure about some of the other locations, though, like the Forest Park one in Springfield. But, it's worth looking into your local farmer's markets!!!

yesmagazine.org The USDA is putting $31 million behind a program the helps low-income families take home twice the veggies, and local farmers make twice the money.

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Norman Street
West Springfield, MA

General information

I provide birth and postpartum doula services, breastfeeding support, babywearing assistance, cloth diapering insights and more to women in Western Massachusetts and the surrounding areas. In one study showing how women benefit from having a doula, the mothers had not met their doula prior to the birth. Knowing this--and understanding that some women do not have the means, the time or desire for the more commonly offered doula package--I do offer a labor and birth option. I also offer options that include prenatal appointments and postpartum visits. Please contact me for more information.
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