Sophie’s Homebirth | St Augustine Birth Doula -Photographer

June was a BUSY birth month locally thanks to Hurricane Irma in the fall of 2017. Kelly called me last minute and decided to hire me as her birth photographer AGAIN. This was the third birth I was her doula and photographer twice before. This time she chose a Homebirth …

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Connor Joseph Birth Story

On June 25, 2018 I was called to my 5th birth this month. Her membranes had released 24 hrs prior and I was the back up doula , and her birth photographer .  Unfortunately she was not progressing as the birth center had needed due to the laws here in …

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Amaya’s Birth Story | Jacksonville-St Augustine Birth Photographer

This is the  birth  story of Amaya . I was blessed to be her mother’s birth doula and photographer. Amaya’s father is currently deployed and sadly was not able to be  present at  her birth . Check out her story and video over on my photography blog !      

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Bengkung Belly Binding during pregnancy and post cesarean

When I  was certified as a Sacred Postpartum Belly Binder, with Sacred Pregnancy a few years ago I was  one of the first in Florida . Now do a search and they seem to be everywhere but there are only THREE in Florida certified. Since then I have worked with many moms and done my own research . Belly Binding is an effective and important part of a mama’s recovery that aids the body to shrink and recover in shorter time period, normally six to eight weeks. A sacred belly wrap provides a mama’s postpartum body with 360 support to assist the abdominal wall muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments, and provide support to the torso while vital organs returned to their pre-pregnancy size and position. During pregnancy a mama’s body retains water, fat, and air which cause her body to swell and expand, including the organs in the womb area such as the cervix and vagina. The water retained by cells supported the amniotic fluid; and the purpose of the air was to cushion the baby, a mama’s internal organs and bones, as her center of gravity shifted and the baby grew larger and larger. This is why a mama gets more and more swollen during the last months of pregnancy.

BUT Bengkung Belly Binding is not just for postpartum!

Bengkung Belly Bind during pregnancy

I have actually done Bengkung Belly Binding on women during pregnancy to help with some discomforts . I do loose binds . And my clients love it and have great success . Always ask your provider . With so many types of belly support belts marketed for use in pregnancy it just makes sense  to use this Bengkung bind. It breathes, its gorgeous too.











When a baby is born the excess water, fat and flatulence are no longer needed and the cells will naturally release and shrink back to their pre-pregnant size. However, the purpose of a post-pregnancy wrap is to speed up this process with constant pressure on the abdomen and torso area.

A longer design of a post-pregnancy wrap (unlike the short velcro ones ) provides a holistic support to all of the abdominal and pelvic organs, including the muscles, in the pelvic area. Support to the pelvic area is very important in the immediate weeks after birth as a mama’s cervix dilates 10 cm when active labor is reached; this is equivalent to the size of an average bagel. Therefore the pressure of a longer wrap on the hip area helps the cervix shrink and allows the pelvic muscles to heal without being further stretched.Steady, pressured support on the hips allows the body to “close” more easily than if just left in its expanded state. The bengkung style of binding, based in Malaysia, is known to help heal diastasis recti with the constant supportive pressure on the abdomen area.

During pregnancy, musculoskeletal changes are stimulated by hormone secretions and the continuous expansion of the uterus. Some of these changes include:

  • Abdominal wall expansion and abdominal wall separation (Diastasis recti)
  • The growing fetus and the increasing weight of the baby puts pressure on the muscles can stretch the abdomen as much as 50%.
  • The abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) on either side are joined by a narrow fibrous strip (linea alba) that thins as it stretches. Hormonal changes which happen during pregnancy also cause connective tissue to soften.
  • When the muscles separate, their strength is reduced and this can lead to back pain. The condition is more likely to occur where the abdominal muscles were weak prior to pregnancy. It is vital that the abdominal wall returns to its pre-pregnancy location to protect internal organs and properly support the torso.

Spine and Posture Realignmentphoto (9)
Posture is greatly affected as a baby grows larger in the womb. The pelvis tips forward to counterbalance the baby’s weight, which causes the pubic bones and tailbone to move backward, increasing the arch in the lower spine and creating a lordotic posture upper spine simultaneously responds to this structural change by increasing its curvature, which rounds the shoulders forward, collapses the chest inward, and slides the head forward, creating a kyphotic posture. The combination of the kyphotic/lordotic posture results in the classic “S” shaped spine of a pregnant woman and is a direct result of a shifting centre of gravity. This shifting of a woman’s center of gravity and spine can affect the nervous system and cause aching, weakness, and numbness in the body.

Pelvic floor relaxation
The pelvic floor provides balance, body stabilization, and vital organ support. The pelvic floor is the base of the core muscle system, attaching to the abdominal muscles and the sacroiliac joints. During pregnancy, hormones cause ligaments to stretch, which loosens the pelvic floor structure. This natural realignment allows the pelvic bones to open for the baby’s birth and makes a mama feel a bit wobbly on her feet. After birth the pelvic floor can remain loose and unstable for up to five months. Because the pelvic floor acts as the support
system for the lower intestine, colon, and bladder, these vital organs may be less supported for a few months immediately postpartum. This lack of organ support is the primary reason why women
suffer incontinence when coughing, sneezing, or laughing after giving birth.

Post Cesarean incision support
I recently did a Bengkung Belly  bind on a day 5 post C section mother with her Doctor’s encouragement! He told her absolutely  have it done. This is a great change for Belly binding as before it was taught to wait 6 weeks. And research is proving it is better not to wait. You want to always ask your care provider first. This client did not have staples and had a glued closure. Her healing was great . I also did not bind as tight as I would with a non belly birth. ALWAYS HIRE A CERTIFIED BENGKUNG BELLY BINDER.

Begin tummy binding as soon as you can after giving birth, ideally around Day 3, and then continue to wear it each day for at least 40 days and even longer if you are not satisfied with your healing.

The wrap should be on for 10-12 hours a day in the very beginning if possible. But some moms remove it and replace it during the day. It also helps with breastfeeding, yes you read that right. Many moms are self conscious having their new post party belly exposed. IT helps with posture as well.

When I am hired to do your Sacred Postpartum Belly Bind as a service, I  go out and bind mama every other day for at least 3 times if needed and depending on your location. I apply a special warming herbal paste and then show daddy or another support person how to do it in order to continue the practice of binding for her. I also teach you how to bind yourself. Yes it can be done.



Help for the Thiel Family

Most of my posts are about birth. Today I am sharing the most heartbreaking  unimaginable news about one of my  friends.  I was her doula and photographer and was SO blessed to witness his birth and his older brother, Owen’s birth. I have no words. I am so sad and heartbroken …

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Best Jacksonville Maternity Photographer Award

  A few days ago I opened an email that at first was going to skip over as I thought it may be spam mail. To my great surprise it was an email telling me I had been selected as one of the top 20 Maternity Photographers in Jacksonville.  I …

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St Augustine Rainbow Birth

I am so honored to have a birth story I was doula and photographer for to be featured over at Birth Becomes her! Go check it out and leave a comment !   Have a great day!!

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Huffington Post Breastfeeding Image

Pretty Stoked to have been published and featured TWICE in the last month in The Huffington Post! “Going in for the first latch! This family suffered the unimaginable losses of five babies in the womb and three stillbirths.”  

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Huffington Post Birth Image Published

Recently one of my birth images was featured in a Huffington parent article about strength in birth! I was her doula and birth photographer here is the link to birth story here My image is number 39 with the quote from the mother: This mom told me: “I was so …

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Welcome Bryson

I am so beyond happy to be sharing this very special birth story with you. I am so blessed and honored to have been alongside them. On Friday, July 1 at 10:27 pm Bryson Kenneth was born very quickly after giving his momma several days of off and on surges. …

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