From our friends at Portland Family Health

By Cydney French, owner Portland Family Health, a full-service family wellness haven devoted to balancing body, mind and spirit. Services include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, naturopathic, midwifery, lactation, spirit medicine and counseling.

Pregnancy, Birthing, and Support for You and Your Family

“If I had known what I know now.” How many times in our lives do we think this thought?

We can’t go back in time, so it falls on us to figure out what we don’t know, we don’t know. Entering into the pregnancy cycle (pre-natal, pregnancy, postpartum) can challenge any woman, her partner and the entire family constellation to step into life in a new and possibly daunting way.

I remember the difference between my first and second daughter’s births. Vastly different in the timeline, I had luckily learned a thing or two from round one. Our daughters births were almost seven years apart. Communication about pregnancy and postpartum reality had come along in that time period between their arrivals. Second time around, I was exposed to more resources. I discovered physical and emotional support that second time around that, had I known for my first, could quite possibly have changed everything about her arrival.

I had difficult pregnancies for both girls, being quite sick throughout the duration. The vomiting was not how I imagined my pregnancies to go. The hospital visits to hydrate came as a shock but a necessity for both mine and my girls’ health. I had wildly different births as well. My first was born at the hospital and my second was born at home in the comfort of my own bed. These experiences brought me up short against my own expectations and dreams of birth. This is such a common experience. Our fears surface. The question of whether we can trust our bodies to perform how they are supposed to perform, bringing in a most precious gift, our newborns. Our relationships transform with all the members of our families, most especially our birth partners and ourselves. It can be an isolating experience to walk that journey without help of experience and knowledge from caregivers that know intimately what to watch out for or explain what your body is trying to communicate.

Today, women are more empowered to know their options and look into how they might choose their birth experience. Home births and alternative care have come a long way in outgrowing old healthcare stigmas. We now know that alternative care support, a true integration of nutrition, bodywork, non-invasive monitoring and emotional providers give moms a ‘one up’ to traverse all kinds of challenges that birth can present without the added weight of isolation. New parenting holds an entire vista of places to explore and grow into. To feel empowered to receive guidance and bring awareness to this new landscape of baby’s arrival creates a wonderful entrance point to begin the journey with a team. Even if you have done it already, adding a new child to the equation can radically change established ‘modes of operandi’ into a current family dynamic.

Having a team to help offer ideas, share knowledge and normalize this truly dynamic experience is what every family deserves. Having a team that follows along through the entire cycle of pregnancy, including once baby has arrived, can save new and established families countless hours of frustration, insecurity and loneliness. Alternative care teams can prep your body for birth, help jump start a stubborn entrance to life and cradle your newborn as they process the natural trauma of being born. The gifts available with a solid team to care for you and your whole family during this extraordinary time is invaluable.

We can help. We offer a multitude of care possibilities to support you and your family as your navigate the changes that pregnancy bring into life. We offer body, mind and soul support utilizing midwifery, lactation, chiropractic, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, counseling, naturopathic care, and acupuncture. We know pregnancy. We love families.

PDX Parent Staff
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