Canyon Medical Center

5 things to do the moment your baby is born

July 12,2016

By: Nadia English-Williams, ND

  1. Nothing! When your baby arrives he/she will still be attached to their umbilical cord. It’s important to wait until the cord has stopped pulsating before clamping and cutting so that the baby may receive all of the blood and nutrients from the placenta, their ultimate life source for the last 9 months. A recent study published in JAMA showed that children who have delayed cord clamping go on to have better fine motor and social skills.1 Delayed clamping will also help baby to regulate his or her temperature and help to prevent anemia, a condition characterized by not having enough blood cells or hemoglobin to carry-out the body’s oxygen demands effectively.
  2. Skip the washing. It’s true; childbirth is a messy task, however your baby’s delicate skin is coated in an oily cream known as vernix caseosa. This is what protected your baby’s skin from his/her moist habitat. Allowing the vernix to remain on the skin helps to provide the baby with natural moisture, which will help to ward off peeling of their precious skin. And if it gets on your skin, rub it in! It’s the most effective toning and moisturizing cream that you’ll ever grace your beautiful skin with. For those cute baby pictures to send to grandma, it’s okay to gently wipe away blood and mucus, but whatever you do, keep on the vernix!
  3. Skin-to- Skin. By far, the immediate moments after baby is born are the most crucial to bonding to his/her parents. Many psychologists have hypothesized that this infant-maternal/paternal bonding is imperative for long-term relationship development. Immediate physiologic effects of skin-to- skin with your baby include stabilization and regulation of the baby’s heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. Skin-to-skin also help to stimulate the oxytocin receptors that in turn help to prime the breasts to make delicious colostrum (the early milk-like substance) for your baby to eat. Skin-to- skin isn’t just for mom, so dad, take off that shirt and let your newborn smell and feel your body.
  4. Establish Nursing. In case you haven’t heard, breast is best! It’s widely known and demonstrated to provide superior nutrition and immune support than infant formula. Ideally most mothers, if they are able to, will nurse their infants at least 6 months and hopefully much longer. With that being said, you and your baby’s only job for now will be to nurse and sleep. Right after birth is great time to begin practicing these tasks. Not to mention, being born is a marathon, and baby will need the glucose to replenish the energy spent making their world debut. Perhaps the biggest bonus to nursing in the immediate postpartum (the moments right after baby arrives) is to help your uterus contract down to its pre-pregnancy position. Physiologically speaking, when your baby nurses there is a chemical called oxytocin released. That oxytocin tells the uterus to contract and signals to the blood vessels that supplied the placenta that they’re no longer needed. This helps to minimize bleeding and expedites recovery time.
  5. Eat a hearty meal and enjoy what would be the most amazing oxytocin-filled nap you’ll ever have in the next year. Bask in it new parents! You deserve it.

I forgot to mention the marathon that you just went through too mom! Establishing a healthy breast milk supply is essential to the neurological and physical development of your newborn. Did you know that you need on average an additional 500 calories daily to maintain adequate milk supply? Opt for nutrient dense foods such as healthy fats, oils, nuts, proteins and whole grains. Remember when I said your only job for the next several months are to nurse (insert dairy farm joke here), sleep and love your new baby? Speaking of sleep, a full night’s rest will do your milk supply plenty good too.

1. [Andersson O, Lindquist B, Lindgren M, Stjernqvist K, Domellöf M, Hellström-Westas L. Effect of Delayed Cord Clamping on Neurodevelopment at 4 Years of Age: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr.2015;169(7):631-638. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0358.]

Summer Childbirth Class Series!

April 05,2015

Eye-to-Eye Education: Informed and Intuitive Preparation for Parents

Eye-to-Eye Education is geared toward those choosing to birth at home or in a birth center. Birthing is unique, unpredictable, and intensely personal. This class honors that reality by helping you become informed and in touch with your own intuition. It prepares you to be in sync with your partner, doula, and midwife, and resources you for the best birth possible.


Each class series includes 4 sessions, 3 hours each:

Class 1: Cultivating Your Brain and Body for Birth

Balancing your body and mind with nutrition, posture, exercise and relaxation. Helping you work with your baby to optimize labor’s progress with position and movement.

Class 2: Building Your Toolkit for Labor

Moving through labor with grace and ease, and most importantly, comfort. More than just understanding textbook labor, getting in touch with how you will meet labor’s intensities and challenges.

Class 3: The Things You’re Not Thinking About

Communicating your unique needs and preferences to your support team, whether at home or the hospital. Not letting your fears get the best of you. Preparing for the possibility of a hospital experience, and staying grounded and connected during a birth that needs more medical support.

Class 4: Life After Birth

The basics of breastfeeding, infant care & adapting to your new normal. Having realistic expectations of yourself, your partner, and your baby.




(all classes meet Sundays, 10am -1:15pm: 3 hours teaching time, 15 min break, and are subject to availability based on enrollment before deadline)

June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28. (Deadline for enrollment Friday May 29th)

To Reserve your spot email, or sign up at your next prenatal visit. Deposit of $125 is required to hold your place, with payment in full ($250) 1 week before first class.

You may also choose to add on a birth doula at discounted rate. Inquire at class for more details.


Gracie Koester

Gracie is a strong, gentle, intuitive doula. In practice since 2006, and supporting over 200 families, Gracie brings the benefit of a wide breadth of knowledge. Yet she also remains humble, each birth being a new teacher, and offering new insights. She approaches birth from psychological and physiological perspectives, guiding and supporting families to find their footing along the path to parenthood. Gracie wholly believes in the power of the birthing woman, and in the value of doula support in helping access that power and confidence. Moreover, believes that the partner plays an invaluable role in the birthing process, and that a doula enhances that role. She delights in assisting families to prepare emotionally, physically, and knowledgeably for a vibrant birth. In supporting families, Gracie brings continuity and collaboration, and an investment in making your experience unique and satisfying.


Gracie has been an educator through most of her life–spanning swim coaching, teaching English in China, and mentoring. She is a sponge for learning, and sharing information is a passion. Be thankful you didn’t know her when she was studying physics. You would have heard way too much about particle and wave theory.


She is also a full-spectrum doula, a new parent support group facilitator, and mentor to new doulas. The other passions intertwined in her life include her art and design practice, geeky anatomy-based yoga, and daily runs in pretty Portland. Her private practice is BirthRoot, her springboard for supporting families from the ground up.


Scarlett Lynsky

Scarlett has been a childbirth educator for six years and a birth doula for five. As a teen she became interested in birth, but it wasn’t until after her first child was born in 2002 that she really considered a career in birth. Even then, it took a few years to make that career a reality. Having done so, though, she can’t imagine doing any other job. A fan of puzzles, Scarlett relishes puzzling out what will help each woman and partner and how to help them be on the same page as a team.


The journey to parenthood is a wild, unpredictable ride. When you’re on that crazy ride, you want your team members to be unflappable, straight-forward, flexible and non-judgmental. Scarlett has all of those qualities, in addition to giving a very good back massage.


Her personal history includes being born at home in SE Portland and having the good luck to be able to deliver both of her children at home in water. She is married to a very supportive partner and her children are now 11 and 7 years-old. Her private practice is Hatchlings Doula Services.


Corinne Friedrich

Corinne received her birth doula certification in 2010 and postpartum doula certification in 2013 from Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, Oregon. Originally planning to travel down the midwifery path, she was greatly surprised to discover along the way that doula work was actually her calling! Corinne believes that calmness, non-judgement and acceptance are her strongest attributes as a doula, and thoroughly enjoys all that she learns from each family she spends time with.


Corinne was born at home in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1981, and attended a family friend’s birth at the age of 2, and her own brother’s birth at the age of 4. She has been keenly interested in the birth process and holistic health ever since, and is especially intrigued with each unique perspective that dads and partners bring to the birthing experience and the creation of their families.


When not immersed in the world of birth and her private practice of Cascadia Birth, Corinne also loves to garden, sew, knit, play the piano, nap, bake, read National Geographic and the Farmers Almanac, and explore the Oregon outdoors with her husband Tyson and their enormous dog, Sirius Black.

Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births

October 25,2014

This interesting journal article presents and discusses statistics regarding planned natural birth.

For the women described in this study (N16,924), the findings included:

  • low rates of cesarean birth (5.2% for planned home vs a national average of 31% for term infants)
  • low rates of birth assisted by forceps or vacuum (1.2% for planned home vs. a national average of 3.5%)
  • low rates of episiotomy (1.4% for planned home vs a national average of about 25%)
  • less need for oxytocin to speed labor (4.5% for planned home vs national average of 40% for labor induction & augmentation in term pregnancies)
  • less use of epidural analgesia (4% for planned home vs a 67% national epidural rate)


Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births  (Click to read full article)