5 Steps to Creating a Positive Birth Bubble

5 Steps to Creating a Positive Birth Bubble

Birth Bubble? Do you need one? What does it mean?

During a recent private refresher birth class, a phrase was used a lot...lock it down. What does it mean and and why is this phrase important to birth and the postpartum period?

It's time to LOCK IT DOWN!!!

It happens all the time...unsolicited advice and words of fear about birth coming from strangers...and family/friends. They may have the best of intentions, but typically its garbage that you don't need screwing with your head. Here are a few suggestions on how to LOCK IT DOWN!

1. Set-up boundaries. Being honest about your intentions, especially with close family, in your pregnancy can be freeing. Your birth is not about them. Sit down with your partner and hash out a plan. Then, have a conversation with the individuals that you are closest too. He needs to talk to his mom/sister/dad/aunt if you aren't comfortable. Only attend family events that you want to attend in the weeks leading up to your due month.

2. Hide the Facebook groups or take a Facebook hiatus. People say dumb stuff and its gets worse over the internet when you lose tones. Either limit it to groups that are more focused on positive help or ditch it completely. Negative information and stories get a lot more attention than positive. It's okay to block it out. And remind people that you and your partner will announce your birth when you are ready!!

3. Don't tell people your estimated due date. People ask because they are curious. And then they inquire daily once you reach that date. Their intentions may be good, but you don't need the added stress. Give them a due month or tell them something a few weeks later. Keep in mind that only 50% of women have their baby by 40 weeks 5 days.

4. Keep your babymoon time limited to select people that will provide you with the support you need. Once baby arrives, its a whole new ballgame. Your little family needs time to figure each other out and get to know each other. A constant stream of visitors prevents you from resting and nesting with your little one as well as introduces your babe to germs that are not needed. Keeping the people limited to true support, ie. people who will make you food and whom you feel comfortable hanging out naked from the waist up in your pjs, will help make the transition easier. If you feel like you have to entertain or feed your guests, you will become stressed and so will babe. Plan for this before baby arrives and make your intentions and needs known. Some people may have hurt feelings, but they will recover and hopefully understand it not about them...its about your new family. I made a cute little poster to help stop traffic at your door during the immediate postpartum time.

5. Don't tell people that you're in labour. Limit the people to a needs-to-know basis when labour starts. Labour can be long and boring. The more people that know, the more constant the buzzing of your phone with people who have good intentions...but are constantly checking in with you. Your partner needs to be focused on you and you need to be able to let go during labour. Its a special and intimate time.

Don't feel guilty. Right, easier said than done. Parenting is essentially about feeling guilty LOL. As women, we tend to put others needs above our own or try our best to not offend people. F it. Take care of yourself and your family. Your needs matter. Don't feel guilty blocking out negative people. Don't feel guilty telling a stranger it's none of their business when they say you look like you're going to explode at any minute (or feel free to ask them when they last had sex...anything awkward...).

To summarize, don't be afraid to LOCK IT DOWN!

With love and light,



Birth Secrets: You Get to Choose Your Birth Team

Birth Secrets: You Get to Choose Your Care Provider in Calgary


Did you know you have a choice of prenatal care providers in Calgary? We have access to three types of care providers, two of them specific for low risk pregnancies. Midwives, low-risk physicians and high-risk obstetricians. We spend Class 3 of our natural childbirth series in Calgary talking about the differences in care and how to go about changing providers. Please note: if you would like a midwife, stop reading this and register right now here: https://www.aamclientcare.ca/waitlist/register.

I discussed this topic in a recent Facebook Live video and you can watch it below!

Sometimes, we risk out of our chosen provider, but that doesn't mean we don't have a choice. I recently risked out of midwifery care due to carrying twins. It still hurts...it's still a disappointment...I can't lie. I wanted nothing more than being under the care of a knowledgeable midwife and to have a homebirth that my family and kids could participate in with me. Twins mean a transfer to an OB. I was given a choice as to where to be referred. I haven't met the OB yet, so I will put informed consent on the table once we meet. We still have the ability to change care providers within our system if our reasonable needs are not being met.

Who did you choose for prenatal care? Did you know there were options? Please share your choices in the comment section.

With love and light,


July 26, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

An Unexpected Pregnancy Announcment

Unexpected Pregnancy Announcement Twins

Sometimes you end up with beautiful surprises in life

They are overwhelming and chaotic but they are part of your life. We found out a few weeks ago that we were expecting a new babe! It was a bit of a shock, but I registered for a midwife immediately and was accepted the same day at a clinic 2 blocks from our home. After two rounds of sub-par prenatal care that I received in Fort McMurray, I was going to be under the care of a midwife. Midwifery care in Alberta has something I've been using my voice to bring attention to throughout elections and changing policies. I believe in midwifery care as a prenatal/postpartum option for all low risk women. I was so happy at my first appointment...10 weeks and a great start!

And then it all changed...

I decided to have a dating ultrasound to confirm my dates as I was fairly certain but I didn't want the pressure to induce at the end of the pregnancy to be so great if I was mistaken. I took my two girls, 6 and 8 years, along with me (summer break from school) as they have been thrilled with the idea of being big sisters to a new baby. Right at the start something looked off. It looked like the there was two sacs and two babies...

Yes, there were two. The tech kindly showed me both babies and asked if I was surprised. Umm, WTF!! I covered my eyes with my hands and then look over to the girls to ask them if they understood what she meant. They were busting with excitement! TWINS!

They got to share the news with their dad once we got home. We are still in a bit of shock and I'm starting to prepare as twins are considered high risk...no more midwife and no more home birth. My disappointment in those losses is still high, but the idea of two babies is growing on me!! I'll be sharing insights, ups and downs throughout the pregnancy here on the blog.

I'm starting a new Birth Boot Camp 10 week childbirth series in NW Calgary August 16...how cool is it that I get to be pregnant along with my students!! There are a couple spaces open. I'll be sharing loads of information for low and high risk births including discussions about prenatal testings, supporting each other with relaxation techniques and comfort measures, prenatal nutrition and exercise, breastfeeding and life with a new baby! Our evidence based information aims to help  facilitate discussions between mom and her partner as well as her caregiver.

Partners love the Birth Boot Camp curriculum as it gives them tools to fill their birth tool box. Moms love the confidence they build!

Unsure? Call me and we can set-up a 15 minute online meeting to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks for joining me and my family on our next adventure!

With Supporting Arms,

Laurie McGowan

July 03, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

Baby & Me Chat: Partner Tools for Childbirth Calgary

Baby and Me Maternity Chat Monthly Information Sessions

Baby & Me Chat

I am pleased to be collaborating with Baby & Me Maternity to offer a FREE Labour Support Class to expecting parents in and around Calgary! I'll share my top tips for supporting mom during labour. Each month there will be a different topic from our resourceful community! Head over to Baby & Me's website to register and see all the upcoming events!
With Love & Light,
Laurie McGowan
April 25, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

Birth Affirmations You Need

Birth Affirmations You Need Calgary AB


Surrounding yourself in positive feelings and with positive people is one of my biggest tips for making your birth matter. This includes family, care providers, friends, service providers and your own personal environment. Part of setting up a positive atmosphere is finding one or more birth affirmations that really strike deep within yourself. In the Birth Boot Camp classes, we talk about affirmations for mom and for the partner. You can take a live birth class with me in Calgary or sign up for the online childbirth classes!

I've taken some of my favourites and made them pretty, just for you! If one of these doesn't work for you, I challenge you to find one that does and make it beautiful! Digital, watercolour, acrylic, pencil crayons...whatever speaks to your soul! Feel free to download the images, print the images or share.

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With Love & Light,

Laurie McGowan

April 20, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

Vulnerability and Birth: Letting Go of Shame

Vunerability and Birth: You Can Let Go of the Shame
Understanding the level of vulnerability of birth as a first time mother can be mind blowing. With each client and student, I talk about vulnerability and what it can mean to us an individuals. Many of us as women have experienced shame throughout our lives. Sexual, verbal and physical abuse. Never ending thoughts of obtaining perfection. Push to change ourselves to meet other’s expectations. Shame of bleeding and the symptoms that go along with our menses each month. Shame with normal bodily functions like pooping and farting.

Good girls don’t...

Birth is a time where we need to say FUCK being the "good girl". Allowing ourselves to do what our body needs, move as we need to move, release those noises that help us to relax and roll through each contraction. To accept the changes our bodies have made.
Please take a real through this awesome Mother Magazine article that talks about vulnerability and birth. She says it all. Birth Makes You Very Vulnerable, and That’s a Good Thing by Sarah Clark.

People fear vulnerability, and birth is deeply vulnerable. When you speak of the realities of it, it triggers some of our deepest fears and things we have been trained since childhood to feel shame for." ~ Sarah Clark (aka Mama Birth and my super hero).

Looking for more information on shame and vulnerability?

Brene Brown has some amazing resources in the form of TED Talks and books. Her research into shame and vulnerability has been life changing for myself and many others.

With Love & Light,

Laurie McGowan

Transformation to Parenthood Episode 2: Within Whom We Birth

Transformation to Parenthood Choosing your Childbirth Class Calgary
In 2015, an epic series called Transformation to Parenthood was compiled with love. It is a lovely collaboration that brings the many choices parents make along the journey and highlights the people that support families along the way.

Does It Matter Which Class I Choose?

I was fortunate to be interviewed for one of the segments talking about support from professionals other than the caregivers in Episode 2. In my opinion, a comprehensive childbirth class is part of the puzzle as we make this transition into our roles as parents. Being well prepared nutritionally, physically, mentally and emotionally allows the parents the ability to make informed choices and feel confident in themselves. Parents also learn about themselves: how to relax each other, how to comfort each other, how to talk to each other, and what other professionals can help. A method type birth class will provide you with a limited set of tools that are not individualized. A class that provides birth tools and the time to practice them gives you options.
Please enjoy this episode and check out the other episodes that have been released!

Transformation to Parenthood - Episode 2 from Business on Camera on Vimeo.

Expecting a baby in Calgary, Cochrane or Airdrie in 2016? Check out our class schedule for NW Calgary or our online option!

With Love & Light,

Laurie McGowan

Calgary Doula Review: Twins are Double the Fun

Twins in Calgary!! Preparing for twins was double the fun! I loved being part of this great couple's support team as they prepared to welcome twins into their family.

Laurie McGowan Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator Certified from Birth Boot Camp in Calgary Alberta YYC

I continue to learn from each and every birth I attend. I strive to meet the needs of each family where they are at and how they wish to be supported.

Are you looking for a doula in Calgary or Surrounding area? Contact Tender Touches Doula Services to inquire about Laurie and our team of Birth Doulas ready to serve your family!

With Love & Light,


February 17, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

Calgary Doula Review: A Family Home Birth

I truly love it when a doula client gives me permission me to share their intimate thoughts about my role within their birth journey. I love my job!

She was an integral part of the team. My husband was able to focus on our daughter and meet her needs and my midwives were able to focus on their work because Laurie was there to focus on me. Laurie was exactly the right support for myself and my family in welcoming our new member earthside." - Maureen


Calgary Birth Doula Review Laurie McGowan Home Birth


I continue to learn from each and every birth I attend. I strive to meet the needs of each family where they are at and how they wish to be supported.

Are you looking for a doula in Calgary or Surrounding area? Contact Tender Touches Doula Services to inquire about Laurie and the team of Birth Doulas ready to serve your family!


With Love & Light,


February 04, 2016 by Laurie McGowan

A Collection of Really Good Breastfeeding Resources

A Collection of Really Good Breastfeeding Resources

There is a lot of information out there about breastfeeding...mostly good, some crap and some dismal. This post will be continually updated with great breastfeeding links as I come across relevant and well informed information on breastfeeding. Think I'm missing something? Please post the link in the comment section and I'll add it if its good. Pregnant and want more info? Sign up for Birth Boot Camp where you get a 3.5 hour breastfeeding video plus lots of class time spent on the topic BEFORE baby arrives!

Breastfeeding After Cesarean

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding

5 Secrets to Breastfeeding Success

Newborn Breastfeeding and the 10 Day Growth Spurt

Insufficient Glandular Tissue and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding after Reduction Surgery

Breastfeeding Resources for New Moms

Preparing for Breastfeeding

Hand Expression of Breastmilk Tutorial

Maximizing Breastmilk Production Tutorial

Breastfeeding: What is Normal? KellyMom

How Does Breast Milk Production Work?

Find a La Leche League Group in Alberta

Breastfeeding and Community Support

With Love and Light,

Laurie McGowan

January 06, 2016 by Laurie McGowan