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22 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16 - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014 Cape Gazette Herbalists, lactation consultants, doulas, others join staff By Molly MacMillan name LightHouse for our collec- mollymac@capegazette.com tive because of the symbolism of a lighthouse to help women Expectant mothers in Del- navigate." aware and across Maryland's Less than six months since she Eastern Shore have a new re- opened LightHouse, Culver has source for surviving and even assembled more than 15 birth- enjoying childbearing and the ing specialists who offer a wide months that follow, range of services for mothers For months, the LightHouse and babies. Birth Collective has been as- Members ofthecollective own sembling a directory of lactation and run their own businesses consultants, doulas, birth pho- as lactation consultants, doulas, tographers and many other birth herbalists, childbirth photogra- and baby professionals in the phers, baby chiropractors and region, even baby-wearing specialists. LightHouse founder Sarah "We offer every kind of sup- Culver said the collective was port and care no matter what developed to help expectant kind of birth a mother wants to mothers know their options and have," the collective founder said. find birthing experts. Culver said "We place an emphasis on birth she felt the need for a centralized and will care for a mother before, resource after navigating the during and after." world of birthing as a mother For now, the only male prac- and also in her role as a doula, titioner in the collective is a or birth coach, during and after chiropractor and new father, childbirth, who Culver said has perfected "When women in Delaware his own practice of prenatal and fmd out they are pregnant, I want infant care on his own family. their next thought to be, I have to Chiropractors can help babies go to LightHouse," she said with colic, sleep and even gas Over three pregnancies, Cul- pains since the cramped quarters ver said, she discovered trials of the womb may result in mis- and tribulations many women alignment of the spine, she said. face, first as a new mother shuf- Harrington herbalist Cindy fled through the hospital system, Collins is a doula who joined the and then in later pregnancies as collective this year to gain more a better-informed mother who exposure for her services, which was searching for resources that include placenta encapsulation- seemed unavailable, or dehydrating the afterbirth and Once she became a birth work- putting it into pill form- for later er as a doula, Culver said she consumption. knew more should be done to Though few clinical trials have centralize the information so tracked the benefits or effects of mothers could fmd the services mothers consuming their pla- they want, whether they feel centa after giving birth, Culver most comfortable in a hospital notes it's common among other setting or want to explore al- mammals. ternative birthing practices and As a practicing birth worker locations, for more than five years, the "Birth is beautiful wherever herbalist said she has encapsu- it happens, and as a birth pro- lated more than 150 placentas fessional it is our job to make including her own, following her sure a mother gets whatever she third pregnancy. Collins now wants," Culver said. "I chose the wishes she had taken advantage of the process sooner. "With my second, I regretted not doing it, not looking into it," Collins said. "I had an emergency appendectomy days after the birth, and so when I was released I was trying to recover and care for an infant, and a toddler." Collins said the practice is linked to increased milk produc- tion, better iron levels in anemic mothers, averting postpartum depression, higher energy levels and hormone balancing. Professionals at the Light- House Birth Collective run the spectrum from those with close ties to traditional Western medi- cine to those with a focus on alternative medicine and prac- tices, Culver said. All are trained and certified for their varying roles as birth professionals, she added. For more information about the LightHouse Birth Collective, go to lighthousebirthcollective.com, emall lighthousebirthcollective@ gmail.com or call 302-690-3784. MOLLY MACMILLAN PHOTO DOVER RESIDENT AND DOULA Sarah Culver, with lO-week-old son Casper, founded the LightHouse Birth Collective to offer options for expectant mothers. SUBMITTED PHOTO Members of the LightHouse Birth Collective, including (I-r) Bridget DiLuzio, Sarah Culver, Jill Panunto and Cindy Col- lins, offer a wide range of services before, during and after childbirth. Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital earns riendly designation A new Baby-Friendly hospital Nations Children's Fund. The is born as Bayhealth Milford Me- initiative encourages and rec- "Wt: ARE COMMITTt:D TO morial Hospital recently joined ognizes hospitals and birthing 6|VIIi6 III:INBORIIS TIlE BI:ST an elite group of birth facilities centers that offer an optimallevel I-lEAD START Ill UFE." to obtain the Baby-Friendly des- of care for breastfeeding mothers ignation, and their babies. - RONNIE KOPEC Baby-Friendly USA Inc. is the Bayhealth Kent General is also approving body in the United among an exclusive group of 198 Milford Memorial just received States for the Baby-Friendly Hos- hospitals and birth centers, out the results of the Centers for Dis- pital Initiative, a global program of 3,000 facilities in the Unit- ease Control survey of Maternity sponsored by the World Health ed States, which have achieved Practices in Infant Nutrition and Organization and the United Baby-Friendly status. Bayhealth Care. This survey is done every two years, and since 2013 is reported as soon as the statistics are calcu- lated with the rest of the nation, the results were reported to Bay- health in November. Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital's total score percentile was 98 percent, compared to all facilities nationwide. "We are committed to giving newborns the best head start in life and to helping mothers breastfeed successfully," said Ronnie Kopec, RN, MS, NE- BC, Bayhealth Women's and Children's Services director. "To accomplish optimal results, we work with our physicians, nurses and lactation consultants to provide expert guidance and support to each family." Continued on page 23