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Babymoon Inn’s Guide to Early Labor

February 20, 2015

A common question we hear at Babymoon Inn is: “How will I know when I am in labor… and what do I DO?” After months of waiting and preparing, early labor has begun and baby is on the way! Regardless of where you ultimately intend to birth, early labor is best spent in the comfort of your own home, where you feel safe and comfortable and labor can unfold on its own without any external influences or interruptions. And while every labor is different, below is a general idea of what you may feel and experience during early labor.

IMG_5075 copyWhat Early Labor May Look Like:

  • Contractions far apart and possibly irregular
  • Labor may start… and stop… and start… and stop. This may continue for days.
  • Contractions may be increasingly uncomfortable but are fairly manageable
  • Mom can talk through contractions
  • Mom feels energetic, excited, optimistic

What To Do in Early Labor:

  • Stay home. It’s probably not time to go to the birth center or hospital yet.
  • REST.  If it is the middle of the night – attempt to sleep even if you aren’t able to fully fall asleep between contractions. Your birth partner needs to rest too, so he/she will have the necessary energy to be a source of strength and support as labor progresses.
  • Eat nourishing foods; hydrate.IMG_6860c
  • Carry on with your day as normal, being mindful to conserve energy.
  • Sit on a birthing ball.
  • Snuggle with your loved one.
  • Go for a light walk; get some fresh air.
  • Finish packing your bag for the hospital or birth center.
  • Nest! Wash baby clothes, reorganize the bookshelf, and set up the co-sleeper.
  • Ask your partner for a massage.
  • Take a bath (if your bag of waters is broken, check with your midwife first).
  • Watch TV or work on a project (baking cookies, knitting, crafting, etc.).
  • Deny, deny, deny… Try to ignore your contractions.
  • Listen to your body. Do you want to stand? Walk? Sway? Lay down? Trust your instincts.
  • Call your midwife or doula! Especially if you or your partner feel anxious, your midwife is available to encourage and reassure you, and to determine when is a good time to come to the birth center. Don’t ever hesitate to touch bases with your midwife or doula. We are there for YOU!

What NOT To Do in Early Labor:

  • DON’T panic! Not only is it safe to labor at home, but mom’s body will make quicker progress in the safety and comfort of your home. You have been preparing for this for nine months: Remember that birth is a normal event, and you have all the tools you need to labor peacefully at home with a supportive birth partner.
  • DON’T time every contraction. Having a general idea of how often contractions are occurring is enough; there is no need to time all of your contractions. The intensity of the contractions is as important as the timing.
  • DON’T stay up all night thinking about labor. REST!
  • DON’T exert excessive energy.
  • DON’T announce on Facebook that you are in labor. Should your labor stop and start or be somewhat lengthy (which is NORMAL), you will then be dealing with constant inquiries as to your progress! Try to avoid external influences such as these that may cause unnecessary stress (which in turn slows oxytocin production and therefore progress in labor).

Remember that the process of labor and birth is usually (but not always!) a marathon and not a sprint. It may take hours, or it may take days. How you handle early labor will affect on the rest of your labor and birth, so use this time to rest, relax, find peace, and enjoy these last precious moments while your baby is still on the inside!

To learn more about early labor and the rest of the birth process, sign up for Babymoon Inn’s Ready, Set, Grow™ series of childbirth preparation classes. Read about it here:

© 2015 Babymoon Inn All Rights Reserved.


A Doula for EVERY Woman

January 8, 2015

It is with great joy and excitement that Babymoon Inn announces the launch of the Babymoon Inn Doulas.  After more than a year researching, interviewing, and fine-tuning this concept, our doulas are ready to bring expecting families the highest level of support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond.

The Babymoon Inn Doulas aim to bring the support of Babymoon to the birth location of your choosing, whether it be the hospital, your home, or a birth center.  This passionate team of women is ready to help you achieve the birth you desire, wherever it may be.

When you choose the Babymoon Inn Doulas, you get all of the support Babymoon Inn has to offer.  Included in our doula package is our entire series of childbirth preparation classes, a prenatal massage, unlimited phone/email support, basic birth photography (see sample photos here!) a birth plan meeting, access to our in-person and online support groups, and discounts on a variety of services including placenta encapsulation, photo shoots, and lactation consults.

Our doulas have an extensive and diverse background but all share the same goal: to serve women and their families during the sacred and beautiful journey of birth.

Visit our web page  here
to learn more about our doulas and what is included in our package.  As a launch special, we are offering 10% off to anyone who books in January. Call 602-314-7755 or email to schedule your free consult!

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It’s a… MIDWIFE!

October 30, 2014

Amy Lebbon CNM, IBCLC recently graduated from Frontier Nursing University with a Master’s degree in midwifery.

We could not be more excited to welcome a “new” midwife to the Babymoon Inn team!  Our very own Amy Lebbon RN, IBCLC has officially added CNM to her name and will now be transitioning into the role of certified nurse-midwife as our beloved Ashley prepares for maternity leave in a few months!

Amy has worked at Babymoon Inn for two years, providing labor support at the birth center and also serving as our facility manager while in midwifery school at Frontier Nursing University, the home of nurse-midwifery in the U.S.  She brings more than 15 years of labor and delivery experience to Babymoon and has trained with and worked alongside some of the best midwives in Arizona.  Amy is also a board-certified lactation consultant and feels strongly about providing immediate and continuing breastfeeding support to new mothers.

The oldest of nine children and a mother of four, Amy has traveled a journey through midwifery and breastfeeding education influenced by her own experiences and those of her mother.  She is passionate about birth and breastfeeding and it shows.  Ask her 12-year-old daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, and she will proudly reply, “A midwife and IBCLC!”

The Babymoon Inn staff recently had a blessing ceremony for Amy where we blessed her hands and officially welcomed her to the family in her new role.

Congratulations, Midwife Amy!  We could not be any happier to have you on the Babymoon Inn team!

It’s World Breastfeeding Week!

August 5, 2014

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Babymoon Inn is committed to helping families succeed in their breastfeeding journeys. Check out the events and classes we have coming up!


Prenatal Lactation Counseling with Lori Isenstadt, IBCLC

A good breastfeeding relationship begins before baby has even arrived. Education and support beforehand are key components to a successful breastfeeding journey.

Babymoon is fortunate to provide in-house lactation services offered by Lori Isenstadt, IBCLC. Lori is a board-certified lactation consultant with extensive experience assisting mothers and babies with breastfeeding.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Lori will be offering complimentary walk-in prenatal breastfeeding counseling this Thursday, August 7 from noon to 5 p.m. This is an informal opportunity to meet a lactation consultant and discuss any specific concerns about breastfeeding, such as milk supply, flat/inverted nipples, medication concerns, emotional issues, or previous breastfeeding challenges. Addressing any concerns before baby arrives helps to eliminate fears and increase confidence.

If you already have a baby and are in need of lactation counseling, you can schedule a regular appointment with Lori by calling the Babymoon office at 602-314-7755.


Ready, Set, Back to Work™

 One of the most common concerns to arise in our breastfeeding class is how to manage breastfeeding when Mom will be returning to work full time. Babymoon is so excited to be offering a class devoted specifically to this topic. We will be covering breast pump basics, your rights in the work place, supply/demand and pumping, and practical tips for getting out the door to work with a baby.

This class meets August 28 at 11:00 a.m. and babies are welcome. It is currently free to Babymoon Inn Midwifery practice and doula clients.


Ready, Set, Breastfeed™

Ready, Set, Breastfeed covers the benefits and mechanics of breastfeeding, positions, latch, and how to get support for breastfeeding. Partners are highly encouraged to attend with the mother-to-be. This class, like all Babymoon class offerings, is informative, engaging, personal, and fun. Participants report leaving the class knowledgable, confident, and excited about their upcoming breastfeeding experience!

You can register for Ready, Set, Back to Work™ and Ready, Set, Breastfeed™ at



Ready, Set, GROW!

June 13, 2014

In April, we announced the launch of our educational series Ready, Set, Grow: A Prepared Childbirth Education Series for Informed Families.  The feedback about our new classes has been phenomenal, as has the attendance!  To meet the demand, we have tripled our class offerings and now have three sessions a month of of each of our core Ready Set classes:  Baby, Birth, and Breastfeed!  These classes are open to families birthing at Babymoon, at home, or in the hospital.  You can read more about our core classes here.

In addition, we are thrilled to be expanding our Ready, Set, Grow™ series to offer the following new classes!



Ready, Set, Sibling™ is a class designed just for the brothers and sisters-to-be!

Ready, Set, Sibling™

This module is geared toward young children who are going to be welcoming a new sibling into the family. Celebrate the new BIG brother or sister in your family during this class all about them. We will share stories, make a special craft for the new baby, and explore what life will be like with a new baby. One parent is required to attend with his or her child.

Classes are held Saturday or Sunday mornings.

Cost: $20 materials fee per child for Babymoon Inn clients.  $30 for non-Babymoon clients.



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Will it benefit you to bring family and friends to the birth center while you are in labor? Bring them to this class and have an honest conversation about how they can be an asset to your birth experience.

Ready, Set, Team™

A Babymoon Inn birth is unique, and deciding if and which people should attend is an important decision that can hugely impact your birth experience. This module is designed to help foster a positive outlook and relationship with the select family or friends that have been invited to be a part of a birth team at Babymoon Inn.  This class will help determine if those on your birth team will be a greater asset at the birth center or in other parts of your life during your time at Babymoon. During this course, participants will role play scenarios on how they can be an asset to the birthing mother and her partner before, during, and after delivery. Team members will leave with a better understanding of what to expect at the birth center as well as their role on the birth team.

This class meets in the evening during the week.

Cost:  Free for Babymoon Inn Clients


Ready, Set, Back to Work™ is designed specifically for breastfeeding mommies returning to work after baby arrives.

Ready, Set, Back to Work™ is designed specifically for breastfeeding mommies returning to work after baby arrives.

Ready, Set, Back to Work™

One of the most frequent concerns to arise in our Ready, Set, Breastfeed™ class is how to transition into becoming a working, breastfeeding mommy.  This class is recommended for mommies who will be returning to work after the birth of their baby.  We will cover the basics of breast pumps, the mechanics of pumping, how to build a stash of breast milk, your right to pump in the workplace, and other practical tips for returning to work as a mommy.

This class meets once a month on a Thursday morning beginning in August.  Babies are welcome to attend.

Cost:  $25




Ready, Set, Blitz™ is a fast-track childbirth prep class that covers the stages of labor, comfort measures, and positions for labor and birth.

Ready, Set, Blitz™ is a fast-track childbirth prep class that covers the stages of labor, comfort measures, and positions for labor and birth.

Ready, Set, Blitz™

You have loads of options when it comes to childbirth education classes. Some last five weeks and some 12 weeks.  Are you short on time and in need of information ASAP?  Have you read every birth book already and want a quick refresher?  This is the module for you.  Babymoon Inn’s Blitz gives you all of the basics you need in 2.5 hours. Learn about pre-labor, stages of labor, pain management techniques and more.

This is a private 2-hour class.  Please contact to schedule!

Cost:  $65


Class dates for all of the Ready, Set, Grow™ modules are listed on our calendar, and you can register here.

Please contact our Director of Education with any questions at

What’s in the bag?

June 3, 2014

Families who choose Babymoon Inn believe birth is a natural process that doesn’t involve the routine use of epidurals or narcotic pain relief.  We agree!  It’s why we offer childbirth classes to prepare you and your support person for the birth experience.  It’s why we have a highly-trained staff also ready to support you physically and emotionally.  It’s why we have a birth center tailor-made to facilitate your natural birth, with two bath tubs for laboring, a shower with endless hot water, birthing balls, birthing stools, squatting bars, rebozos, massage tools, essential oils, and more.

The Babymoon Inn Doulas travel with their own bag of tricks to help you labor at home, the birth center, or the hospital.

The Babymoon Inn Doulas travel with their own bag of tricks to help you labor at home, the birth center, or the hospital.

The Babymoon Inn Doulas are also present to facilitate your birth.  For clients at the birth center, a Babymoon doula gives you the benefit of a labor support person with clinical skills who also does a mean hip-squeeze and can be your cheerleader if the going gets tough. For families who choose to have a natural birth in a hospital setting, a Babymoon Inn doula can be hired to support you and give you the birth experience you desire.  For Babymoon families who may transfer to the hospital unexpectedly, your doula goes with you to the hospital to provide continued support.  In either situation, our doulas are there to help provide the birth you want even if it’s in a location you didn’t expect. For families who aren’t at the birth center, our doulas all carry a little bit of the birth center with them in the fabulous Babymoon Inn Doula bag!  Each doula carries her own bag that contains the following items:

  • Rebozo:  A rebozo is Mexican shawl that can be used for comfort or to reposition a baby.  Families who take Ready, Set, Birth™ will learn basic rebozo techniques, and our team of midwives and nurses are experts in rebozo technique.
  • Fan:  Mommies in labor often run hot, then cold, then hot, then cold.  Your partner or doula can keep you cool with this sandalwood fan
  • Honey sticks:  Honey provides an instant energy boost for a mommy in labor, which can be especially advantageous if in a hospital setting where food and drink are being restricted.
  • Electric candles:  In their written birth plans, many of our families express a desire for dim lighting during their labor and birth.  Our doulas carry a bag of electric candles with them to help provide a calm, peaceful setting regardless of where birth is taking place.
  • Babymoon Inn Lavender Massage Oil:  Massage it is a wonderful pain-management tool to be used by either your doula or birth partner.  Our massage oils are custom-made with organic fractionated coconut oil and lavender essential oil.
  • Wireless speaker:  Our wireless speaker can connect to any iPod or Smartphone with Bluetooth, allowing us to play your custom birth playlist or a Pandora station during your labor and birth.
  • Poofy Organics lip balm:  Women’s lips tend to inexplicably get very dry during labor.  In the event you’ve forgotten your own lip balm, our doulas are always sure to carry USDA certified organic lip balm in their bags.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil:  Nausea is common in active labor, and peppermint oil is known to keep it at bay.  It can be used on your temples, placed on a washcloth or cotton ball near by, or inhaled directly from the bottle.
  • HotSnapz:  Relaxtion during labor is key.  If you find yourself holding tension in a certain area, or of you are experiencing back labor, HotSnapz can be “snapped” to provide instant heat.
  • Rescue Remedy:  Rescue Remedy is an all-natural tincture used to calm nerves and help with stressful or anxious situations.
  • Rosewater Facial Spray:  If you are feeling hot or worn out during labor, this herbal facial spray can provide a refreshing break.

Every Babymoon doula carries her own doula bag to births outside of Babymoon, and of course the birth center itself has its own bag stocked with all of these items and more.  We are always looking for natural, healthy ways to support our mommies during labor! *If you are not birthing at Babymoon Inn and are interested in hiring a Babymoon Inn Doula, please go here.

More Breastfeeding Myths: THE RULES

May 30, 2014

Myth #2: BREASTFEEDING RULES – how many feeds a day, how long to feed and one side or both sides per feeding.

Ahhhh, some more silly little rules that moms are told. Feel free to fill in the blanks of whatever you may have been told.

1. Babies only need (a certain amount) of feedings a day
2. Babies get all they need in (how many minutes)
3. Babies only need one side per feeding.

Herein lies the interesting part of breastfeeding advice. I call them “nuggets of truth.” There are many times that a mom is given advice and there is some truth to some of the advice. Part of the advice may be relevant to one mother and baby pair, but awful advice for the next mother and baby pair. The inherent problem with this comes from treating all mother and babies the same. The myth being that all mothers and babies are the same, and they are definitely not.

There is something called breastmilk storage capacity. Your storage capacity has nothing to do with the size of your breasts (another myth to be buried). Babies get a different amount of milk per feed and this fact is what makes the time spent at breast, how many feedings in a 24 hour period, and whether babies need one side or both, variable from baby to baby. Given this information, how can we possibly limit our babies frequency or time spent feeding? I often have new parents contemplate this thought: How would you like having to wake up the same time your partner does, only eat at the same time, the same food, in the same quantity as they do? If you are thirsty in between meals, there is no fluid or snack allowed until your next meal. This happens with every meal. If you are like most of us, you would be one very grumpy person!!!

Nancy Mohbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, author of several books on breastfeeding, has researched and written quite a bit about this subject. She has given permission to share a flyer that she designed on the subject. Please take a look at this link as it will provide more information that I am able to in this post alone.
You can easily see from the visual graph, that mothers have a small, medium and large storage capacity and how this directly reflects the number of times a baby needs to breastfeed in order to gain appropriately. I use this chart a lot in my practice to help bury the myths surrounding feeding schedules. I encourage breastfeeding mothers to learn their babies feeding cues and not be so stringent about schedules. Feel free to copy this flyer and share it with your family members who may not understand why your baby does need frequent feedings. The information in this post is geared towards mothers who are experiencing normal breastfeeding. While not a complete list, basically normal breastfeeding consists of a baby that is full term, breastfeeding effectively, gaining well and the feedings are comfortable for the mother. If you are experiencing pain, milk supply issues, baby weight gain issues, or anything out of the norm, this info might not apply to you.

My posts are designed to be informative and thought-provoking. I appreciate the responses to my previous post and hope you found the thread interesting. I welcome you to join in the discussions and share your personal experiences. As always, I request that you be kind to the moms who post, be honest, tell your truth and be open to learn and think outside the box.

Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC – Lactation Consultant on Staff at Babymoon Inn



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