Category Archives: Childbirth Education

Creating A Birth Plan That Works For You!

The most important thing to remember about a birth plan is that it is not to inform your provider about your wishes, it’s for you to inform yourself and your process.

You see, only you can decide what priority each item has on your birth plan and how you far you are willing to advocate for yourself or your new baby. Only you know which battles to pick.

If your birth plan degrades to fighting every item with your provider once presented, remember that they cannot say no to something you decline in labor. Only you can consent or decline a procedure. This is important.

Equally important is to realize that fighting at every stage of labor is hard. It takes your focus off your labor, your baby and adds stress hormones. If you are already having to fight prenatally to get even a chance at what you want, this is a sign to shop around for a new provider, get more support for labor and/or really advocate for yourself prenatally.  This is vital if you want your expectations and needs to even come close to meeting the outcome you wind up with. Even if you are the strongest person willing to fight like a wildcat, fighting your entire labor is not the sign of a healthy client-care provider relationship.

Some good things to remember when designing your birth plan are:

  • What is an IV? A heplock?
  • Does your birthing location have waterbirth or water for labor?

(stay tuned for updates! This post is not complete!)

Learning Your Car Seat? Here’s some local help!

From their website:


There is a NEW addition to the Car Seat Safety Program. It is an identification system for children in car seats or boosters called W.H.A.L.E. Check. W.H.A.L.E. stands for “ We Have a Little Emergency.” This is program is used in 35 states to help EMS and other first responders get help for children involved in a car crash. Please read the attached description.

What is WHALE Check (Posted on 1/29/09)


Car Seat Safety


If you are pregnant or the parent / guardian of an infant, toddler, or young child, the Health Department can provide a safe, new car seat or booster seat at low cost.

Eligibility is based on financial need.

  • 1. Call 726-1731 ext. 242 and make an appointment to bring your child to the Inverness office of the Health Department to attend a short car seat safety class.
  • 2. Safety seats are provided at the class, where you will learn how to use and install the appropriate car seat or booster for your child.
  • 3. The program provides only one safety seat per child.
    The Health Department also offers car seat check ups by appointment at the Inverness office.

A certified child passenger safety technician will check your child’s car seat for any current recalls, adjustments needed for safety and secure installation. Allow 20 minutes per car seat.

What is the Value of Taking Childbirth Education Classes?

While pregnant, a mom needs choices, support and confidence. Childbirth education classes are to get YOUR questions answered, to help you find better options for pregnancy and birth and to really make sure that you have the best birth possible, with your choices respected. Good childbirth education can help you to meet those goals without making you feel like you’ve flunked motherhood!

So, Lamaze? Really? Yes! Breathing is something we do every day and learning  some options for focused, healthy breathing is such a small part of what Lamaze is. If we could get every mom out there to understand that learning more about informed birth, safe and healthy birth and evidence-based information allowing moms to weigh their own choices, then more babies and moms would be much happier with their births.

Shannon also has experience with other classes of childbirth education training, so you receive a very well-rounded approach to birth.

Plus! Childbirth Education with Shannon can be in class or individualized. Don’t have time for you and your partner to make it out to classes? She can come to you and we can tailor the classes to your needs!


Important Questions to Ask

When you are newly pregnant, most people will ask what kind of colors or theme you want, but there are a lot of important questions to consider as you move forward into motherhood for the first or the fifteenth time!

  • Where are you giving birth? home, hospital, birth center or other location?
  • Who are you giving birth with? CNM, LM, Non-LM, CPM, DEM, OB, FP or unattended/family birth?
  • What are my hospital’s cesarean rates?
  • What are my provider’s induction, episiotomy and cesarean rates?
  • What is my midwife’s transfer rate? What is the most common reason?


Welcome to Exhale Birth Services, formerly “Your Birth Path”. I originally chose the name, “your birth path” to describe meeting women where they were at and helping them to travel their own path through pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting. As time has moved forward, I find that more and more women are looking for a space to breathe, to feel good about pregnancy, to let go of their worries while learning more about their specific needs, options and choices.

You might be looking for guidance, you might be looking for a friend on the journey or you might be looking for a change in direction. Whatever your needs are, I hope that you find something here that you can take away for your journey.

Shannon Mitchell