NEW FOR SPRING! PARENT BABY YOGA and NEW MAMA SUPPORT (UWS/Harlem)

ROMEMU’S NEW MAMA SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Julia Mannes, Certified Childbirth Educator, Doula, Lactation Counselor, and Yoga instructor.

Connect with local mothers, get some tips and ideas, and have a great destination for you and your baby this spring! Topics include: baby and family care, sleep, baby feeding, work considerations, birth processing, hormones and emotions, relationship changes, and more. In this unique, in-depth series you will also dabble in some infant massage, parent baby yoga, babywearing, recipe exchanges, and basic mama operations. You will also receive helpful birth and postpartum preparation materials, and have generous support from the facilitator.
Find your tribe. ALL types of families welcome.

Six Thursdays
10:15 am

starting May 8th
$150 (50% discount Romemu members)

43 Central Park North, Suite 1A
Limited space available
direct questions to Julia at malkayoga@gmail.com or
register here for MOTHER’S GROUP

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ROMEMU’S PARENT BABY YOGA THURSDAYS
Come take time for yourself with your baby! Gain strength, increase energy, meet local parents, and learn poses to help you and your child relax and bond. For parents with their children aged 6 weeks to crawling.

Beginning Thursday, May 8
12:15-1:30 pm
$60 for 3 sessions; $30 for drop-ins; half off for Romemu members
43 Central Park North, Suite 1A
register here for YOGA

Holistic Newborn Care March 27th

YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. YOU CAN FEEL PREPARED AND DELIBERATE IN YOUR ACTIONS

In this workshop, you will learn the basics of newborn care and a few techniques to find your own voice as a parent. Topics covered include breastfeeding, bathing, sleep, diapering choices, babywearing, bonding, soothing, and some holistic practices to consider for fever or other illness. You will also receive practical handouts, a reading list, and websites to serve as a useful reference as your baby grows. Appropriate for moms, dads, grandparents, friends, birthworkers, and more!

Julia Mannes, CD(DONA), CLC, RYT, MOM is a birth and postpartum doula, Lamaze trained, multidisciplinary childbirth educator, Lactation Counselor, yoga instructor, and pragmatist who will help you on both ethereal and concrete matters.

Thursday, March 27th – 6:15 – 9:30 pm

UPPER WEST SIDE

$60pp/$75 per couple – reductions always available for those with demonstrable need

CONFIRM YOUR SPACE: 917.216.1991 or send paypal payment to malkayoga@gmail.com

Romemu’s New Mother’s Support Group on the UWS/Harlem

Useful gift for a new mama you know and love!

NEW MAMA SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Julia Mannes, Certified Childbirth Educator, Doula, Lactation Counselor, and Yoga instructor. Hosted by Romemu!

Connect with local mothers, get some tips and ideas, and have a great destination for you and your baby this winter! Topics include: baby and family care, sleep, baby feeding, work considerations, birth processing, hormones and emotions, relationship changes, and more. In this unique, in-depth series you will also dabble in some infant massage, parent baby yoga, babywearing, recipe exchanges, and basic mama operations. You will also receive helpful birth and postpartum preparation materials, and have generous support from the facilitator.
Find your tribe. ALL types of families welcome.

Six Tuesdays
10:15 am

starting March 4th
$150 (50% discount Romemu members)

43 Central Park North, Suite 1A
Limited space available – direct questions or confirm by sending paypal to malkayoga@gmail.com

Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication for Families

Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication for Families
Sunday December 8
2-4:30 pm
43 Central Park North, Suite 1A
In conjunction with Romemu

*Are you taking out anger, exhaustion & frustration on family?
*Is there too much yelling and frazzled nerves in your household?
*Do you feel guilty for how you spoke/lonely not communicating?
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WAYS TO CHANGE THIS?

Come to this workshop for Nonviolent Communication in family life. We will learn practical skills and consciousness for creating and deepening honest, compassionate and effective communication within your family. We will practice skills for communicating what is really important to us and hearing what is really important to the other person. Singles, parents and couples are welcome to join this workshop. Open to beginners as well as veterans of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Cost: $35 per person; $60 per couple
To Register send PAYPAL to: info@steps2peace.com
For more information contact: malkayoga@gmail.com or 917.216.1991
Roberta’s Website: www.steps2peace.com
Part of Doula Julia’s Parenting Series

Patience and Trust


Sometimes you need to go backwards to move forward. Sometimes when you’re lost, you need to just stop the car before you can proceed. Sometimes in labor you may even need to get upside down to let your baby back up off your pelvis and re-enter at a slightly different angle. And sometimes you need to get really unhappy before you’re motivated to figure out what you need.
Basically, sometimes we need to STOP WALKING INTO A WALL. We need to STOP, maybe reverse just a little, and take a moment to see the paths around the blockade.
And then… sometimes…
We need to run, with force, right into the wall.
And create a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure that leads to a storm.
Bina had a 102 degree fever this morning. My dear husband has started a new career. Basically, there’s been a lot going on. There have been some major upheavals in my family, and for friends who are like family to me. I hope most of you are having an idyllic, languid summer, but it has felt like something unsettling is in the air for most everyone with whom I’ve spoken.
The air has been thick, we’ve had a HEAT wave, and now boom – 60 degrees.
So where’s my storm?
I thought I needed a drastic storm. I was sure that when it rains, our new baby will be born. And maybe it will. At some point we’ll have a rain – a hard, cathartic, healing, cleansing rain.
But the temp already dropped, and 3 dear babies in my life were already born before the storm. So maybe my personal lesson for the moment is the one I started with. No armor, bracing to run into the wall. For now, reversing, or just stopping, and practicing what I preach – patience and trust.
And some of the work of walking will dissipate. Our feet will get unstuck from slow steps. And we forget with temporary intoxication all that got stuck in the air, we feel light and playful, it will be an innocent summer day… with a giant golden sun and just a few feathery passing clouds to take the edge off.
And our hearts will grow another notch again. Like the rings along the circumference of a tree. Not innocent but just as good. Our hearts will hold and give a little bit more again. As it does each time we start the cycle of holding our challenges and moving to the next stage, marked yet healed.

“When the heart cries for something which it has lost, the soul rejoices for that which it has gained” -Rumi

Written in an admittedly pensive and poignant moment, but with a light and happy disposition,
-Julia

How To Modify Your Yoga (or other) Practice for Pregnancy

People often ask me how to modify their yoga practices (or other exercise regimes) for pregnancy. Many assume that they should be able to do everything normally until they’re too big to do it! But there are factors to consider in all trimesters. In the first trimester, you want to protect implantation and modify according to mother’s wooziness. It can be helpful to keep your arms beside you rather than reaching overhead if you get dizzy, and also to move slowly between upright and folded positions. In general, your first trimester is a good time to avoid deep twists and jumping (some women return to jumping forward and back in vinyasa practice in later trimesters). You also want to avoid any breathing exercises that have you hold your breath or churn your abdomen (though again, specific abdominal strengthening can be appropriate particularly in later trimesters). There are plenty of women who do high impact exercise like running while pregnant and the pregnancy is fine, but this is to be judicious.
In later trimesters modifications are designed for the mother’s comfort and being practical (like not laying on your stomach). A few of the other perhaps less obvious ones to avoid are full wheel and other deep backbends – the two sides of the abdominal muscles (abdominal recti) can get pushed apart by the growing uterus the deeper and more often you take your backbends, even if it feels fine while you’re doing it. In general, pregnancy is a perpetual state of backbend! So it is helpful to focus on shoulder and upper back stretches and save the deep backbends for later.
As you stand or walk down the street, focus on rooting your feet without turning out the toes in a pregnant waddle. Think about lengthening your tailbone without clenching your butt muscles so you minimize swayback and keep your low back comfortable. Think of rolling gracefully from heel to toe, just being mindful with each step (call this your meditation practice for the day if this feels daunting – just practicing it a little will set the body’s rhythm and it becomes second nature before you know it). And again to error on the safe side, if you have any conditions you’re not sure are safe to practice with, you might ask your midwife what amount/type of physical exertion is appropriate, and then ask the teacher of the class how taxing the class is (I know I teach a challenging prenatal, others stick more to stretching). Make sure the teacher is pretty familiar with prenatal (everyone knows to tell you to avoid deep twists, but some teachers don’t really know much beyond that, and you’re better off finding someone who does, even if it’s in their general class and not their prenatal).
According to ACOG, In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women. So move and breath and feel good.

Homebirth/Natural Birth Preparation beginning June 25th – Childbirth Ed ‘Shorty’ Series

STAY TUNED FOR FULL-LENGTH, ALL-INTERESTS CLASS IN THE FALL!!

Late pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood feel interrelated, manageable, and nourishing with positive childbirth preparation. In this series, we meet our current needs and use that to calmly prepare for future needs in a supportive environment surrounded by families making similar choices.

Three Tuesdays, June 25, July 2, and July 9
6:30 – 9 pm
UPPER WEST SIDE
$200/couple
– reductions always available for those with substantial demonstrable need
CONFIRM YOUR SPACE: 917.216.1991 or send paypal payment to malkayoga@gmail.com. To insure intimacy, space is limited.

*INCLUDED IN THE COST OF THE SERIES IS:
one half hour private consult by phone or skype on any topic you’d like to explore further as well as continued postpartum support from class teacher
Holistic Newborn Care Workshop FREE add-on to this series (MAY 13TH OR SEPT 16TH)
handouts, reading list, websites

*SOME TOPICS COVERED INCLUDE:
Approaches for the labor process (mindfulness/relaxation techniques, hypnobirth, yoga, anatomical/hormonal underpinnings of straightforward birth and breastfeeding, the basics of what to expect)
Comfort techniques (counterpressure, acupressure, massage, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, use of hot and cold, positioning techniques, rebozo, and the breath. You don’t need all these techniques, and there’s no one best way to breath or move)
Tub preparation/home preparation
Back-up plans
Self-advocacy (ie – your midwife is not a mind-reader :)) and self-care
History and resources for further learning
This class will assume homebirth as the default, but may be appropriate for those who want a more holistic hospital experience – we must discuss to make sure you have other resources in place to use what you learn in this class.

Taught by Julia Mannes, CD(DONA), CLC, RYT, MOM, birth and postpartum doula, Lamaze trained, multidisciplinary childbirth educator, Lactation Counselor, yoga instructor, homebirth mama, and pragmatist who will help you on both ethereal and concrete matters.

CONFIRM YOUR SPACE: 917.216.1991 or send paypal payment to malkayoga@gmail.com

Some New “Questions For Your Care Provider”

As you go through your prenatals, you might want to ask providers a little bit about what they do during the birth itself.  The questions below are useful whether you are meeting a new potential provider or your current one.  
You don’t always need to know what someone’s rates of “this or that” are (and you can look up NY rates on Choices In Childbirth’s site)- it may be more important to ask a few litmus test questions.  Many times this conversation is saved for closer to your estimated due date, but to make sure you’re in the right practice, you might want to learn some things sooner.  

NOT SURE WHETHER YOU WANT A NATURAL BIRTH OR NOT?
Then your questions may want to address the basics for receiving respectful care and whether your care provider is likely to be the one attending your birth. Some questions are “how many other doctors are in your practice?” or “what days/how many days of the week are you on call?” or “when I am active enough in labor to come in to the hospital, will you be meeting me there, or will I be attended by a resident until I’m pushing?” If you’re considering a hospital-based midwife but feel like you might get locked into a natural birth, some questions are, “how do you support clients with epidurals?” “What are the epidural rates in your practice?” They can be fairly high. You might also want to ask any provider, “how do you help ensure privacy at my birth if I don’t want cleaning staff or students observing/entering my room, or if I don’t want many residents asking me distracting questions only for the sake of practice (as opposed to one person doing a valid initial intake)? If I have a cesarean, will it be you or a resident doing the actual suturing? In case nursing at the breast will be delayed, can you help facilitate a breast pump waiting for me in postpartum to stimulate milk supply?” In two systematic reviews, researchers identified the following factors associated with women’s satisfaction with their childbirth experience: personal expectations, sense of control, caregiver support, the quality of the caregiver–patient relationship, and maternal involvement in decision making (Hodnett, 2002; Hodnett, Gates, Hofmeyr, Sakala, & Weston, 2011). So notice your care provider’s vibe during these questions – is she engaging you in dialogue or does she seem uncomfortable including you in the behind the scenes?

FOR A MORE NATURAL HOSPITAL BIRTH:
When asked, “do you support natural birth?,” I have never heard of a care provider saying “no!”  But if you want more clarity on their level of experience supporting natural birth, some litmus-test type questions are “how do you support women who want a natural birth?” and “what are some of the positions you have delivered (caught) babies in?” If you hear things like, “Oh, you’ll want to labor at home as long as possible, try staying active and mobile throughout, bring a friend familiar with natural birth or hire a doula, oh, there’s a book Natural Hospital Birth you may want to read! And also I’m really mindful of how I touch my clients without epidurals, because some doctors may not be as gentle helping baby come out when they’re used to women all having epidurals!”– well, you have an idea that they have done this before. If the first response is, “well, birth isn’t really conducive to being planned…” you might be working with someone who thinks the luck of the draw is all that determines if you can see it through.  If you hear “we do whatever you want…” or “we can deliver your baby in any position you want,” it sounds good but is somewhat simplistic – you might ask the follow-up question, “how often do you find yourself helping women who planned a natural birth?” (as opposed to those who labor so fast that you just have to catch the baby).  “Can you tell me about a time you delivered a baby in a position other than back-lying or side-lying?”
You probably already know to ask about policies regarding food and drink in labor (“how often do your patients end up completely free of intravenous fluids?”) or episiotomies (you might hope to hear “oh we rarely to never do it” as opposed to “only when it’s necessary,” which is vague).
Basically, someone who is open with you and has thoughts and suggestions can be a better sign than either yessing or doubting.

FOR A HOMEBIRTH:
Beyond questions about insurance, transfer plan, and where prenatal meetings take place, you may want to find out, “What types of medical procedures do you do routinely? And what types of medical skills do you have in case of an emergency?”  These questions get at two different things – the first gets at routine interventions, and the second gets at skill in case of an emergency.  In my opinion you want the answers to the first question to sound modest and the second question to sound robust.  For example, some homebirth midwives will more likely automatically give the baby a shot of vitamin K after birth – others will talk to you about ordering oral Vitamin K drops for the baby.  Some will automatically hang an IV at some point during labor, others would never unless something was wrong.  Some midwives and doctors say they trust a woman’s body to labor and birth spontaneously but routinely reach inside while the baby is emerging to “help” you stretch, and others truly have a hands-off approach that focuses on following your lead or at most assisting with positioning techniques without being prescriptive about them.

You can also google for a comprehensive “list of questions for your care provider” to jog your thoughts about what’s most important to you, but of course you don’t need to hit every question on a list, and some you will know instinctively based on answers to other things. 

In short, no matter who you choose, a satisfying birth is often the result of you feeling like you’ve been treated with respect and involved in decision-making.  I’ve seen women give over their voice and power as soon as they are in the hands of a midwife, as if they don’t need to participate anymore!  Absolutely give up second-guessing when you find a care provider who jives with your birth philosophies. And still remember that if you made the decision to hire someone offering personalized care as opposed to treatment by the numbers, your voice is essential in the dialogue.  

Holistic Newborn Care May 13


YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. YOU CAN FEEL PREPARED AND DELIBERATE IN YOUR ACTIONS

In this workshop, you will learn the basics of newborn care and a few techniques to find your own voice as a parent. Topics covered include breastfeeding, bathing, sleep, diapering choices, babywearing, bonding, soothing, and some holistic practices to consider for fever or other illness. You will also receive practical handouts, a reading list, and websites to serve as a useful reference as your baby grows. Appropriate for moms, dads, grandparents, friends, birthworkers, and more!

Julia Mannes, CD(DONA), CLC, RYT, MOM is a birth and postpartum doula, Lamaze trained, multidisciplinary childbirth educator, Lactation Counselor, yoga instructor, and pragmatist who will help you on both ethereal and concrete matters.

Monday, May 13 – 6:15 – 9:30 pm

UPPER WEST SIDE

$50 pp/$75 per couple – reductions always available for those with demonstrable need

CONFIRM YOUR SPACE: 917.216.1991 or send paypal payment to malkayoga@gmail.com

Speak Powerfully and Get What You Want (in labor & beyond)

Doula Julia’s Key Self Advocacy Skills for Childbirth

-embody a person you know who is very skillful and pleasant about stating their needs

-use language powerfully – say “I plan to,” “I expect,” or “I’d like to” 
(NOT “can I…?” or “will they let me…?”)

-distinguish “no biggies,” things big but not important to overtly address, and things that deserve negotiation

-your caregivers are human – appeal to the human side more than the clinical

-proactively do things that will make your caregivers comfortable, so that you feel more appropriate doing things you want (ie – suggest monitors when convenient for you)


-PRACTICE asking for something specific of family members, people in stores, on a bus, etc. on the day before an important conversation with your care provider

-at meetings dress your best, stand tall, maintain eye contact, try not to fidget, giggle, or apologize, allow for silence in the air if your question hasn’t been answered or more can be said. Practice positive body language in the mirror, it is an acquired skill

-In labor, state your need for a private moment to think about your decisions

-play with the lights in the room and open the cabinets, wheel around the furniture until it feels right to you, look around, so you feel an ownership of the space


-do the things that feel right without asking permission


-say it is because of your spiritual/cultural beliefs


-bring someone with you to “the important conversation” meetings, and the birth

-assume your own basic “rightness” (you are the expert on the sensations you feel)

By Julia Mannes, CD(DONA), CLC, RYT, MOM

One further note on self-advocacy:
It’s easy to hear one compelling concern and get focused on it, but considering the rest of this context helps you get out of a frozen place of fear and into a dynamic place of thoughtfulness and trust.
Always ask yourself, when an intervention is suggested: What are the present risks? How likely are the risks to manifest and how serious or not serious would they be? How likely is the treatment to fix what we are concerned about?  What are the benefits of not doing the treatment? What are the risks of the treatment?  How likely are the treatment’s risks to manifest and how serious would they be? What are the alternatives?  Have we considered doing nothing as an alternative? How time-sensitive is this decision?