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I am a certified Birth Boot Camp instructor, teaching childbirth education classes in Texas. Please look around my blog and contact me with any questions. You can also find me on Facebook.

Our mission: Birth Boot Camp is committed to training couples in natural birth and breastfeeding through accessible, contemporary education. Birth Boot Camp is for couples, moms AND dads. You’ll learn to work together to bring your baby into this world as a team.

Amazing Birth Stories and Confessions

Baby B’s Amazing Birth

I’m happy to say that I had the most perfect birth. It was everything I hoped for and more. Baby B was born 7 days after his “due date” on Sunday, November 18th, at 1:35pm. He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. My water broke at 1am on Sunday and I began having contractions right away. I went back to bed for a few hours until they got too intense. I woke my mom up, who was staying with us from Indiana, and she labored with me for the next couple of hours. I used the birthing ball and tried to stay as relaxed as possible. At about 8am they started to become almost unbearable and were lasting a minute and a half and coming every few minutes. We packed up and headed to the birth center. I thought for sure I was a 7 or an 8 but when my midwife checked me I was only a 4! I started to get discouraged and had a moment where I was second guessing myself that I could actually do this. The best position that I found to get through the contractions was standing up leaning against a bed post, my husband or my mom. My husband massaged my back with a tennis ball which helped. The next couple of hours became a blur and I think I was in what they call labor land. I labored standing up and finally was so exhausted that I laid in bed with my husband and tried to rest between contractions. They were coming so fast though and I thought I had to be in transition. My midwife didn’t think I could be because it had only been a couple hours, but finally I talked her into checking me because I desperately wanted to be in that tub (I tested positive for GBS so since my water broke I couldn’t get in the tub til it was time to push). She looked at me in shock and said you’re a 9+! Time to get in the tub! I went from a 4 to a 9+ in 3 hours. The warm water was a relief, but only for a second. This was the hardest part for me- not letting myself push until I was 10cm. All my body wanted to do was push so the only thing that stopped me was doing the Brrrrrrrrrrrrr with my lips at every breath. I must have looked crazy, but it seriously was the best suggestion my midwife gave me. After about 10-15 minutes of that I was finally at 10cm! I tried sitting and leaning back in the tub but that was so uncomfortable. The only thing that felt right was being on all fours. The pushing part was the easiest for me and wasn’t really painful. After about 20 minutes of pushing with contractions baby B’s head was out! One small push and the rest of his body came out. My husband caught him and then pushed him under my legs for me to catch him too. It was incredible! Boone let out a cry right away and was a bright pink healthy boy :-) I had no tearing thanks to the water birth and all the kegels :-) I labored a total of 12 hours, 5 of which was active labor! I think staying relaxed and breathing low moans really helped me. I was not quiet at all, but it’s just what my body wanted to do! Sorry this was so long! I am so excited to share it with you :-) Brooke

Vanessa and Blake’s Testimony

Taking Birth Boot Camp with Daniela Lee was one of the best decisions we ever made. She is a positive, caring individual with a lot of knowledge and a gentle spirit. Throughout the course with her we learned about all the aspects of birth and labor, including the different types of births we could have, risks and rewards of common interventions, techniques to create a gentler labor, and so much more. Because of her class, we felt confident in our decisions up to and including the birth and were able to create exactly the birth experience we wanted. During her classes we were able to delve as deeply as we wanted into any of the subjects, and nothing was off limits. Because of her teaching and the material we went over, my wife felt confident and relaxed during her pregnancy and especially her labor. I got to feel like I could actually contribute in a real way to her health and the health of my child.

My wife also experienced a great benefit by taking Daniela Lee’s prenatal yoga classes. During her yoga classes my wife learned various breathing techniques, performed postures to prevent issues during and after labor, and maintained her flexibility and mobility even at the very end of her pregnancy. Daniela’s instruction and personality was instrumental in her having a smooth and relaxed birth. And, for a birth, it really was. Of course it was no walk in the park, but she utilized the breathing techniques she had learned in Daniela’s yoga classes and, with the knowledge and confidence she had gained from Daniela’s Birth Boot Camp classes, she stayed unexpectedly positive and graceful throughout her entire labor and birth. We are now parents of a very healthy and very beautiful little girl. We are so grateful to Daniela for her insight, wisdom, and generally uplifting attitude.

Ideal Birth

I am so happy with the birth that I was blessed with! She came quickly and easily – she and I were both ready mentally and physically. A lot of that is because of your yoga class – thank u so much for being a guiding light and inspiration to me. . I am writing down my story and will hopefully have it for you soon. It won’t be a long story though, I was in active labor for only an hour and a half, two pushes and out she came!!! I will have more details for you including my methods for pushing and breathing through the contractions. It was amazing and perfect (and so is she). Definitely my ideal birth!! Britney

 

Surrender

…..The main thing that helped me was remembering what you said about not fighting the contractions. I just tried to surrender to them so I was working with them and not against them. I also had the wonderful support of my husband. When I reached transition and I thought I couldn’t do it, he helped me by distracting me with these really sweet quotes he had memorized (I didn’t know about them beforehand). He said things like “you’re giving Baby E the best start in life” and a few other amazing affirmations that helped me get back my focus and make it to the end.
I also did several yoga poses in the early stages. From about 2-6 cm I was on the floor doing some kind of pose you taught us (lots of cat/cow and child’s pose for resting).
I also waited until I thought I was really close to transition before getting in the water. And when it was time to push I envisioned that “J” the whole time! He came so smoothly and I never forced a push. I truly waited till my body told me to push and he came out so easily (well as easy as birth can be I imagine ;).
I also kept reminding myself to put my tongue on the back of my front teeth to keep my face relaxed because I remember you saying that if your face is tense, your body is tense. That made a big difference! I had also told my husband beforehand that if he saw me tensing my face to tell me….

 

 

 

Prenatal Yoga: From Start to End

New age, crunchy or not, yoga is  an ancient practice that is taking over the West and more and more people attribute their sense of well being to this practice. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit “yoke” witch means to unite, to join, to attach, and reality is that you won’t ever be as united with your baby as you are now. Your baby is alive because you are and depends exclusively on you.

So how yoga can help moms- to- be?

The first trimester of pregnancy is the time to learn to slow down. There are a lot of changes going on in your body and key organs are forming in your baby. You are even developing a new organ yourself!  About 12 weeks into the pregnancy you will have a fully functioning organ- the placenta. This will support your baby’s life and be in charge of cleansing and keeping the hormonal balance of your babies new home- your womb. Keeping your body relaxed and oxygenated will surely assist in this process. Breathing exercises and meditation will ensure a good start.

With the return of the energy and the cessation of morning sickness in the second trimester you might feel ready to show off your growing baby bump in some yoga pants!. A prenatal yoga class will benefit you in relieving some aches and pains associated with the extra weight in pregnancy. You might feel extra nimble now, but do not rush into that split. “Relaxin” is the hormone in pregnancy that prepares your body to open up when time is right, so you need to remember to go just a 70 % of your capacity.  Kegels exercises should also be part of your rehearsal for birth. Kegel exercises will support a strong pelvic floor and may  lower the chances of tearing during birth, and even lower your chances of peeing in your undies when you sneeze or when you have a good laugh. Hip openers, pelvic tilts and squats will help to develop strength, stamina and muscular memory so when you approach the birth your body will recall what it felt like in your yoga class and it could be a good tool for coping with pain and adopting the right position for birth.

Your third trimester will have some spurts of energy now and then ,but you might just enjoy the breathing exercises or the gentle postures lifting your uterus and providing relief for your bladder. Perhaps even the stretch of your legs and feet and more kegels and of course enjoy the  bonding that,  by now,  you’ve created with your baby each time that you take a breath for the two of you, every time that you picture her in a long meditation, or each time that he kicked and let you know he was feeling good too!

Namaste

The birth of my children

Having  to go through the life trial of infertility and then loss of my twin boys at 20 weeks of pregnancy helped me to develop compassion and empathy for all of those couples struggling to make their dream of having a baby a reality.

But, I was blessed later on with not one, but four! pregnancies and natural births and beautiful, healthy babies. Each of my babies were born in a different states, with a different birth attendant.  Each one was born in a different room of the house too ( I had one hospital birth and three home births) and in a different birth position! Despite the differences, every birth  had two things in common: 1) they were un-medicated,  and 2) me and my babies fell in love the first time that we looked in each other eyes. I call that an amazing birth!

I prepared more or less for each of the births but it was not until I became pregnant with my fourth baby that I took a holistic approach and I prepared physically, mentally and emotionally for her birth. It made a huge difference! There was no fear, no doubt, baby and I were in-sync and worked as a team, and I am sure all this helped me to experience no pain.

I am convinced that knowledge of what to expect and how the partner can help his loved one to cope with the discomforts of birth, are  huge factors in the way a lot of moms experience birth.  I am honored to help couples in their journey have a natural birth and share with them my experience and knowledge.

Daniela Lee