Oh Baby!
February, 2010 - Issue #64
Babies are blessings - and a lot of work. Before your little angel even has a chance to wake you up for a 2 a.m. feeding, you may be losing sleep, distracted by too many registry options and an ever-growing "before the baby comes" to-do list.

Simplify where you can. Choose quality furniture in one convenient, local spot. Work with a birthing professional who comes to you for a change, and record this most exciting time so that you can savor it long after the pains of labor (and kindergarten, and high school graduation...) have passed.

Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
Expectant Moms: Home is where the Heart Is
The idea of being comfortable during childbirth may strike many mothers who have delivered in the hospital as impossible. They may remember being confined to a hospital bed, denied food and water, separated from their other children, supportive family members and friends, enduring frequent internal examinations and vital sign checks, being transferred from one room to another at the peak of labor's intensity and having their legs in stirrups.

In her own home a laboring woman has the "home court advantage." She can move about freely, wear what clothing she chooses, sip on energizing juices, relax in a warm tub of water, have her feet rubbed by loving friends and try different birthing positions. After the birth, the baby is never taken from its mother's side.

Excerpt from Renee Sicignano is a midwife, lactation consultant for the City of Los Angeles and owner of the Santa Clarita Birth & Women's Health Center 803-5448

Santa Clarita's First Freestanding Birthing Center
Scheduled to open April 1, the Santa Clarita Birth & Women's Health Center in Newhall could be confused for a five-star hotel. Styled like a two-bedroom house, each master suite includes an extra-large birthing tub, private bathroom and well-appointed sitting area, plus access to a kitchen and laundry. A separate treatment room is available for lactation consultations, pre- and postnatal massage and well-woman care. The space also contains a comfortable learning center for new-mom support groups, parenting, sibling preparation, new baby and breastfeeding classes; 803-5448

"HOMEBIRTH is so very special
because the process revolves completely
around the mother and her family.
The mother feels empowered to do
whatever helps her give birth, whether it is
taking a long shower, having a snack or shouting.
The mother is empowered to access her instincts
while the natural course of labor proceeds
without unnecessary interventions,"

~Callie Clark, midwife and co-owner of Haven at Home

Midwifes are there for You from Conception to Weaning
Midwifes are highly-trained medical professionals. When you partner with a midwife, you have access to a variety of services, including comprehensive prenatal care, in the convenience of your own home or birthing center; pre- and postnatal nutritional counseling; labor in a way that is most comfortable for mom: at home, at a birthing center, in the water; comfortable, convenient postpartum care in your own home; lactation consulting one on one, or in a class; well-women services: gynecological exams, pap smears and family planning.

Just the Facts
Midwifes are trained in life support for both mom and baby. They have access to the same medicines as hospitals, including pitocin.

A homebirth, with the help of a professional midwife, has proven to be safe and superior to hospital births for healthy women - including first-time mothers - with low-risk pregnancies.

Midwife care and homebirths are affordable. Haven at Home can bill your insurance, and a homebirth with Renee - including pre- and postnatal care - is only $4,000.

Many women who could afford the best hospital in the world - including Cindy Crawford, Alice Walker, Rikki Lake and Lucy Lawless - chose to have their baby at home.

Photography to Treasure Today & Tomorrow
Stork Vision Valencia 254-8100
Stork Vision Valencia 254-8100
"Storks & Co. is a Premier Prenatal Imaging Center. Our faculty welcomes expectant families to enjoy the 4D experience in the luxury of a home theater setting. Every new mommy should have a chance to enjoy getting to know her little angel a bit sooner than delivery day. Storks & Co. is committed to allowing only experienced Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers perform sonography sessions. Quality service in a beautiful setting is sure to create an experience that the entire family will remember forever," Lisa Bones of Storks & Co. Vision Valencia 254-8100

Timing Tip: Schedule your 3D or 4D sonogram between 27 and 30 weeks. Later ultrasounds reveal improved facial features. It's recommended that full-figured mommies schedule their 3D or 4D ultrasound between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
After Arrival
On the Cover: Photography by Laurie Sachs
"As a mother
and photographer I think what I've always wanted to capture is a little more than what they look like, a little bit of their essence to tuck away and save for later. I hope when I am an old woman, when my perfect children are just memories, grownups raising their own families, I can pull out a photo of one of my kids and feel it, that 'I love you so much it hurts' all over again," ~ Laurie Sachs of Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493

Coupon Clip: When you purchase photography packages, like "Belly to Baby," which includes both maternity and newborn shots, or the "Baby's First Year" plan, which commemorates milestones, you'll get reduced sitting fees and discounts on prints.

One Stop Baby Shop
Yes, there are big box stores that carry a large variety of baby furniture and accessories. Unfortunately, it seems like they rarely have skilled salespeople - or their most popular inventory - in stock.

That's why we love ABC Baby Furniture (775-0360). The family-owned business always has a trained pro available to provide one-on-one attention, and they get merchandise to clients in a timely manner. Plus, for comparable discount-store prices, you'll have access to superior furniture with solid-wood construction and a great reputation. "We primarily sell furniture made by Million Dollar Baby and AFG American Furniture Group. We are very careful about selecting our furniture manufacturers because the safety of our customers is our top priority. These two manufacturers have great reputations for safety and, in fact, have never had recalls on their products," says owner Tracy Joost.
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