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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Natural Childbirth: Resources Around Greater Indy

May 04, 2015 08:14PM ● By Lanette Er

Resources for natural childbirth became scarce as medicalized practices nearly replaced traditional birth by the 1930s. Natural birth began a comeback in the 1940s and is now utilized by a growing number of families desiring a deeper connection to the birthing experience. As studies continue to support the efficacy of methods like acupuncture, bodywork, yoga and massage on childbirth, resources for traditional birth are more widely available for a safer and more comfortable experience.

Some say getting pregnant is the fun part, but for many having difficulties doing so, that simply isn’t true. Studies have shown acupuncture enhances the physiological mechanisms necessary to support successful conception, pregnancy and birth. Whether trying to conceive naturally or with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), acupuncture combines ancient methods with modern research to improve ovarian function by regulating hormones and the menstrual cycle, reducing stress, regulating the immune system, decreasing inflammation, improving blood flow and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining.

“We use natural, straightforward treatment protocols to improve your overall health and reproductive function,” says Erica Siegel of Indy Acupuncture.

Acupuncture is also used throughout pregnancy to treat morning sickness, fatigue, swelling, stress, heartburn and pain, plus assists with turning a breech baby, labor preparation, post-partum recovery, lactation support and miscarriage prevention. Also, acupuncture for men can improve sperm quality, motility and morphology, while decreasing DNA fragmentation.

YinROOT is a holistic health and bodywork practice based out of Noblesville that also specializes in women’s health and fertility care. They provide services to women (and men) struggling with infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles and those simply seeking a more balanced lifestyle through diet and nutrition.

“Our therapy is a deep, gynovisceral manipulation that addresses adhesions, scar tissue and the malalignment of the reproductive organs, while increasing blood flow and circulation to the pelvic floor,” says owner Joelle Samples, a certified holistic health coach and Merciér Therapist. “It provides a safe, gentle, and naturally minded option for women facing fertility challenges, experiencing pelvic pain, recovering from gynecologic surgery and having undergone traumatic birthing experiences.”

Samples also coordinates HUSH, a Meetup group focused on breaking the silence of infertility. Participants share personal experiences and learn how to advocate for themselves regarding care.

Once pregnant, it is important to minimize stress. One way is by making sure to be prepared for baby’s arrival. Birth Boot Camp makes learning the steps of birth fun, effective and accessible with classes to best fit the needs of couples that want an un-medicated, natural birth. This 10-week course offers a live, instructor-led class, plus an online option in cases of military separation or conflicting work schedules. This guided instruction eases stress and helps all involved to enjoy pregnancy.

Pre-natal yoga is another natural approach for parents-to-be to improve relaxation through pregnancy and birth.

“You can learn techniques and insights that empower you to trust your intuition, reveal your strength and hone the capacity to surrender in grace,” says Lisa Daugherty, who’ll be teaching a Prenatal Yoga + Childbirth Preparation Workshop at Blooming Life Yoga from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23.

The workshop includes prenatal yoga practice and the sharing of techniques and insights into the labor and delivery process. Daugherty is a mother and a doula.

The word doula comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to describe a trained and experienced professional that provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and immediately following birth.

In response to the increasing demand for the support doulas offer, Certified Birth Doula Patti Crawford founded the first full-service doula agency in Indianapolis—Indy Doula Associates (IDA) in 2014. IDA offers private consultations at home, and strives to build an educated, close-knit community of mothers by offering free classes on birth, breastfeeding, babywearing and more to clients.

“A doula will take hours answering your questions and providing research-based information about pregnancy and birth during prenatal visits to your home,” Crawford explains.

Although the agency is already operating, IDA will host its official grand opening from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 2, at Source Yoga, at 8609 East 116th Street in Fishers. IDA also hosts group brunches and “Materni-Teas” at which families can connect to each other and to expert advice from the doulas and lactation specialists who make up IDA’s team.

Different than a doula, a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. A CPM is a practitioner qualified to provide medical services under the Midwife Model of Care, that’s based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

Preserving Indiana Birth Choices (PIBC) was created to promote awareness of birth choices in Indiana, and to support the licensing of CPMs for a safe experience proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma and cesarean section. The group has also hosted the Red Tent Event, to promote awareness, education and a sense of community for the Indy birthing community.

Indy Acupuncture & Health Services, Inc. is located at 6155 N. College Ave., Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-255-3030 or visit

Birth Boot Camp holds classes in Carmel, Fishers and Anderson. For more information and to find the nearest class, visit

Admission to Prenatal Yoga + Childbirth Preparation Workshop is $30. Partners may attend at no additional charge. Blooming Life Yoga is located at 30 S. Elm St., Zionsville. For more information, call 317-800-4039 or visit

YinROOT is located at 1095 Conner St., Ste. 230, Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-379-9529 or visit

For more information or to arrange a consultation with Indy Doula Associates, call 317-435-7567 or visit

For more information on Preserving Indiana Birth Choices and resources for finding a midwife, visit

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