Birth Your Way SA-Lamaze Classes

#Lamaze Birth and Breastfeeding Education. #VBAC, and Birthing Multiples classes. pregnancy and birt We also offer Medela breast pump sales and rentals.

Diane Chihal Smith, RN, LCCE, CLE has opened The Woman’s Place in Wilmington NC. It is a maternity/baby boutique offering pregnancy, Lamaze, and breastfeeding classes and consultations.

Operating as usual


Check out my newly opened business—The Woman’s Place in the RiverLights area of Wilmington NC. The Woman’s Place is a maternity/baby boutique offering in-person and Zoom pregnancy, Lamaze, breastfeeding and 4th trimester classes and lactation assistance in our comfortable classroom and consultation room. The retail space includes maternity/nursing and baby clothes and accessories, hand crocheted baby blankets, handmade baby quilts and diaperbags, baby slings and carriers and gifts made by local artisans.

Follow us on Facebook at The Woman’s Place


For all who have lost a little one💕

We are always honored to hear your baby’s story.


Baby-led weaning

Couldn’t resist sharing this cute video about baby-led weaning and introducing foods to babies. So cute!

How NOT to use a Haakaa - Milk and Motherhood 08/01/2020

How NOT to use a Haakaa - Milk and Motherhood

Here is the best info I’ve seen about using (or not) the popular Haaka. Thanks to milk and for posting this.

How NOT to use a Haakaa - Milk and Motherhood So you’ve probably heard about this thing called a Haakaa. You might even have one! Maybe you used it and loved it and spread the word to all of your new mama friends! And yep, indeed, it was pretty revolutionary when it was first released: A one-piece, soft flexible device that you just stick ont...


Good news in New Hanover County. 🙂

UPDATE: As of yesterday, New Hanover Regional Medical Center has stated that doulas are permitted to accompany birthing clients "with approval of the OB team." We are aware of Coastal OBGYN Specialists & Midwifery being in support of their clients having a doula's support, and we will update as we learn of other providers.

Visit for professional and experienced doulas in our area.

For additional information from NHRMC:

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth 07/18/2020

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth

A peanut ball can be a valuable tool during labor. It is important to know how to use it properly. Some positions help baby come into the upper part of the pelvis and others help to open the pelvic outlet so baby can rotate and come down through the pelvis for birth.

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth The peanut ball is a labor support tool shown to lower cesarean rates by 12%, and decrease both the first and second stage of labor. These low- cost and safe...

WHO recommends breastfeeding, says no live coronavirus found in mothers' milk 07/17/2020

WHO recommends breastfeeding, says no live coronavirus found in mothers' milk

Good info about Coronavirus and breastfeeding.

WHO recommends breastfeeding, says no live coronavirus found in mothers' milk Breastfeeding mothers do not seem to be passing on the new coronavirus to their infants, and based on current evidence the benefits outweigh any potential risks of transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.


Here you go👍🏻

Cravings and pregnancy usually come as a package deal. An estimated 50-90% of women experience cravings during their pregnancy! Read the latest sponsored post from Nightfood on Lamaze's Giving Birth With Confidence blog and find out how you can satisfy your cravings--guilt free!


This is a very good example of hand expression of breastmilk!

Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury - Neuroscience News 06/28/2020

Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury - Neuroscience News

Important information about Covid-19 and pregnancy. I have seen discussions about this in clinical groups that include nurses concerns about high numbers of stillbirth and preterm birth in Covid positive people as well as pictures of placenta damage including cysts and clots.

Please be cautious and contact your care provider if you have symptoms or concerns.

Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury - Neuroscience News The placentas of sixteen women who contracted COVID-19 during pregnancy showed evidence of significant injury, a new study reports. The placental injuries were consistent with abnormal blood flow between mother and baby in-utero, suggesting another complication of coronavirus infection in pregnant w...

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth 05/19/2020

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth

Here is an excellent video of correct use of a peanut ball during labor to help shorten labor, decrease need for interventions and decrease the chance of needing a cesarean. Use of the ball cgamges friending on where the baby is in the pelvis in order to open the pelvic inlet, help with internal rotation and then open the pelvic outlet as baby nears birth.

I’ve been teaching the use of a birth ball in labor for many years and can help you learn to use a peanut ball. Become an active participant in your birth.

Using the Peanut Ball to Promote Vaginal Birth The peanut ball is a labor support tool shown to lower cesarean rates by 12%, and decrease both the first and second stage of labor. These low- cost and safe...


Active and Deep Sleep

Here’s a nice short video showing some of baby’s different sleep stages. Enjoy watching this cutie.

Timeline photos 05/15/2020

This information on Perinatal Mood Disorders is so important for women and their families to be aware of. Help is available. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice these feelings.

This is particularly important in our current pandemic with so much uncertainty and isolation. Be aware and reach out.

Symptoms and risk factors of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

New Moms Need To Set Boundaries Now More Than Ever 05/14/2020

New Moms Need To Set Boundaries Now More Than Ever

Here are some excellent tips on setting visitor boundaries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Moms Need To Set Boundaries Now More Than Ever Pregnancy has never been so anxiety-ridden as in the time of coronavirus. A patient recently told me, “My No. 1 priority is keeping my baby safe and healthy — but the thought of telling my in-laws that they can’t see their granddaughter makes me…


Lots of good information at

We are working to bring you Zoom classes now. Watch for more details soon.

Looking for more information about pregnancy, birth, parenting, and more? Visit to access the latest trending insights on everything from the pregnancy experience to safe delivery and nutrition.

COVID-19: Separating Infected Mothers from Newborns: Weighing the Risks and Benefits 04/04/2020

COVID-19: Separating Infected Mothers from Newborns: Weighing the Risks and Benefits

Here is some good information from Harvard Medical School analyzing recommendations for care of mother/baby when mother is Covid-19 positive.

COVID-19: Separating Infected Mothers from Newborns: Weighing the Risks and Benefits Breastfeeding expert Dr. Melissa Bartick reviews conflicting guidelines around breastfeeding and COVID-19.

Protecting Yourself and Your Clients as a Postpartum Doula During the COVID-19 Pandemic | CAPPA 03/23/2020

Protecting Yourself and Your Clients as a Postpartum Doula During the COVID-19 Pandemic | CAPPA

Here are some guidelines from one of my certifying organizations for Post Partum Doulas during the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar safety guidelines could be used by lactation educators who are helping new families with breastfeeding issues.

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Protecting Yourself and Your Clients as a Postpartum Doula During the COVID-19 Pandemic | CAPPA These are unprecedented times as there has not been a serious health situation such as coronavirus/COVID-19 in recent history. This has left many postpartum doulas wondering how to handle in home support for clients. As evidence-based professionals, we want to follow the guidance of the most recent....

Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding During The Coronavirus Pandemic 03/15/2020

Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Some good info on breastfeeding and Carona virus here.

Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding During The Coronavirus Pandemic Health organizations, including the WHO and the CDC, recommend avoiding crowds and maintaining a distance of a few feet to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Basically, we should stay at home as much as possible. Inside the home though, what do…


This might be a great time to consider a private birth/breastfeeding class in the privacy of your home or mine.

I am concerned that local group hospital classes may be cancelled due to the Corona virus issues and necessary visitor restrictions being implemented.

I have been offering private classes for a long time and enjoy being about to tailor the class content to your needs.

For more information and to register for private classes:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know 02/27/2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know

Important information on breastfeeding and the Corona virus from reputable source

Hopefully, this will not be needed, but it is important to have credible resources.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know How to protect yourself and your children


Something to discuss with your care provider. Full time fetal monitoring may not be necessary for you and your baby. Intermittent monitoring can safely be used in low risk laboring moms who choose to not have an induction of labor or an epidural. This allows you more flexibility to walk and choose the right position for good labor progress and greater comfort. Certain position changes can actually shorten labor and birth.

Can good intentions backfire in ? Learn more about electronic fetal monitoring (EFM)!


This is what a post partum doula can do for you👍🏻

So what exactly DOES a Postpartum Doula do?

A Postpartum Doula…

Mothers the mother. The doula understands that when a mama is nurtured the better she can care for and bond with her newborn. She is who we are pouring into, so she can pour into her baby the best.

Supports the partner. The better dad is cared for, the better he can support the mother and baby. So many people forget about the partner, we see them.

Reduces anxiety and fear. There are so many feelings when bringing a new baby home. Postpartum doulas lighten the stress and allow parents to feel not alone.

Offers evidence based information on basic newborn care, mama care, infant soothing, feeding, co-sleeping.

Cleans. Yup! Don’t you feel that weight lifting already? With a doula in the house you can expect the dishes and the laundry to be done.

Picks up diapers and cat food on the way to your house.

Cooks your favorite foods. Plus, doula will hold the baby so you can eat WARM meals.

Comes in handy with tips, tricks and more helping hands to work with twins or triplets.

Works in home even if grandma and auntie are there to help. We fill the gaps and work as a team.

Assists with baby wearing education. Learn more on how to find the right baby carrier.

Is a shoulder to cry on. She will offer her listening ears and safe space for you to release the tears and emotions – cause trust us, each mother has them come up, and we are there to listen and understand ALL the feelings.

Brings essential oils to give mom a foot massage. Yes, we really truly want to rub your feet and paint your toenails. You deserve it!

Holds the baby(ies) while mom and partner get a much needed nap, shower or bath.

Changes the diapers, makes the bottles, or whatever you need while you clean. Some parents like to take a baby break and connect with themselves through house, yard work, or maybe a yoga youtube session.

SLEEP!!!! We are there so you can get a nap during the day, sleep in or even get a full night sleep that is so desperately needed for mental and physical health!

Normalizes what you are going through. Yes, this is hard! Yes it is normal to be super sweaty, crying, and crampy. No, you are not crazy! Yes you can do it, you already are!

Helps you establish a flexible rhythm as baby is growing and changing. Anticipating growth spurts and endless breastfeeding days so you don’t feel crazy.

Stays un-biased and non-judgmental. Everyone seems to have an idea of how you should be doing something. We don’t! While friends and family mean well, doulas believe in your innate ability to know what works for you and your baby. We support your decisions and trust your instincts.

Offers pumping and bottle feeding guidance. Can make a plan for going back to work if needed.

Gives you referrals if you need help outside of our expertise (pelvic floor health, chiropractic, lactation, counselors etc)

Has ideas for sleeping solutions for babies that never sleep or are all mixed up with their days and nights.

Can help you process the birth experience. This one is huge! Birthing is a big deal. It is so healthy and healing to talk about it! We are here for you to listen.

Brings you water, tea or a smoothie while you are stuck on the couch breastfeeding.

Makes sure you are getting nourishment during the day. Moms need energy stores and we are there to bring them healthy snacks, otherwise they forget.

Takes care of baby while mom and dad take some time for themselves.

Will bring baby education to all the firsts – baths, finger nail clipping, cloth diapering, name it!

Is a professional toolbox. If we do not have the answer right away, we will figure it out!

Helps you with to do lists and delegating family or friend support.

Has great organizational skills. Whether it is helping you organize the nursery or clearing corner clutter, your postpartum doula is eager to help.

Makes sure your basic needs are met. She will refill your water and have food making before you have even asked. She will be pushy about naps (or at least resting). Self care is our priority for each mother.

Takes the time to connect with you personally to understand your needs and what specifically will support you best.

Helps you with the basics of breastfeeding such as latches and positioning. Referring out when we see the need to get you supported by a Lactation Specialist so you can have breastfeeding success.

Will sit with you during late night nursing/bottle feeding sessions. Some mommas love to chat/vent at this time.

Will take over night care for the baby so you can have a full night of rest. Uh yah! That’s right. Trust us – one night of full sleep is like a reset button miracle!

Brings ideas for natural healing products to recover and heal the lady parts after birth.

Will take older siblings outside to play, or read books while you nap with baby or check your emails.

Brings a calm presence to help lessen anxiety. She also knows how to bring humor when appropriate. Quiet when needed.

Respects your cultural and family values.

Clean your breast pump supplies.

Understands and educates you on the proper ways to store breastmilk and formula.

Wants you to understand that you are not a host, but a mother who is in need of attentive care during this rite of passage.

Will help tend to your fur babies so they get some love too.

Normalizes newborn behaviors. Nothing easy about a baby that cries or has an gassy tummy. Your postpartum doula will give you tips to prevent or care for these normal situations.

Help you to create charts for feeds, poops, pees, and sleep. This is helpful to make sure baby is eating well, and getting enough rest in the first weeks to thrive.

When partner needs to go back to work, it’s common to feel anxious and alone, postpartum doulas are there to help bridge that gap and build confidence for mom to do the job on her own.

Helps you find your village with resources for local mom meet up groups. We all need a village.

Will take the garbage out, wipe the counters, make you coffee all while making sure you and baby are bonding and thriving.

We are there to give you the nod of confidence, the “YES! You just rocked that. Your baby is so lucky to have you! You are doing a great job. You can do this on your own now!” moments.

[Little squish posted with client’s consent]


Interesting! Don’t know about you, but I still do the Mama sway after all these years.

Hold your babies, people!! Preferably up, as far as the child is concerned... and much to the dismay of tired parents around the world who are exasperated at an infant’s insistence at holding them standing.

A study by Esposito et al. (2013), published in the Journal of Current Biology, demonstrated for the first time that the calming response to parents holding them is a coordinated set of central, motor, and cardiac regulations and is a conserved component of parent-infant interactions in mammals.

Using electrocardiograms (ECG) to monitor twelve healthy human infants’ heartbeats, along with their behaviour and vocalisations, they recorded mother-infant pairs during behavioural tasks that consisted of the child lying in a crib, being held by the mother who was sitting on a chair (), or being held by the mother who was walking continuously ().

The researchers found a sustained elevation of heart interbeat intervals due to carrying in awake infants could not be explained by any known cardiac vagal reflex, including the orienting reflex (brief period of heart rate deceleration by mild sensory stimulus), suggesting that carrying evokes a sustained heart rate reduction in concert with the rapid behavioural changes in human infants via a novel mechanism.

The researchers furthermore found that in mouse pups, carrying induced calming responses similar to those in human infants, even though maternal carrying methods differed. This draws parallels between the carrying-induced state evoked in human babies and other mammalian young such as cats or squirrels who adopt a still, compact posture with their hind legs drawn up when maternally carried. The reduced mobility, reduced distress vocalisations, and reduced heart rate appears to be adaptive.

The calming responses evoked by carrying are thought to be an evolutionary measure to increase the survival probability of the infant in cases of emergency escape by the mother and child, and so ultimately works to strengthen the mother-infant relationship. There is adaptive value in this behaviour in carer-infant relationships and, as a consequence, infant survival.

The study found that the effects of carrying on the infant’s parasympathetic nervous system were significant, and it provides a scientific understanding of this physiological infant response that could be beneficial for parents and early childhood educators to understand.

Considering the physiological response of the infant when being carried may lead to greater parent and carer patience, reduced frustration and an increased appreciation of age-old parenting techniques such as and parenting.


Some nice ideas.

This 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻


This is beautiful❤️

Mothers being born is a beautiful thing 🥰

I exclusively pumped—and there's not enough support for moms like me 02/05/2020

I exclusively pumped—and there's not enough support for moms like me

Here is some wonderful info for exclusive pumpers.

I exclusively pumped—and there's not enough support for moms like me Lactation consultants and hospital staff need to support moms who choose exclusive pumping, instead of making us feel like we’re taking the easy way out. - Online Support for After Birth 02/03/2020 - Online Support for After Birth

This is a great resource for new parents created right here in North Carolina. - Online Support for After Birth There's no shortage of books, advice, supplies, products, medical support, and general information on pregnancy, birth, and new babies. You might argue that there's too much out there (and I agree!). What's missing -- and it's a big one -- is solid support and information for parents who have rece.....


Wondering if VBAC is right for you?

If you've had a , you've probably heard a lot of myths about Vaginal Births After Cesarean (VBAC). The truth is that VBACs are an option!

Rising U.S. Birth Costs Elevate Childbirth Education’s Role in Improving Birth Outcomes 01/22/2020

Rising U.S. Birth Costs Elevate Childbirth Education’s Role in Improving Birth Outcomes

Evidence continues to show that comprehensive childbirth education reduces the need for birth interventions and increases the likelihood of a non-complicated vaginal birth. (Gluck, Pinchas‐Cohen, Hiaev, Rubinstein, Bar, & Kovo 2018)

Rising U.S. Birth Costs Elevate Childbirth Education’s Role in Improving Birth Outcomes A recent study from Health Affairs found that the average out-of-pocket costs (i.e. costs incurred with comprehensive health insurance) of delivering a baby in the United States now exceeds $4,500. (Moniz, Fendrick, Kolenic, Tilea, Admon & Dalton, 2020) The average out-of-pocket cost for vaginal bir...


It sure can! If done right, pushing with your knees together and your feet apart will open your pelvic outlet to give baby more room to make the journey. Try this—sit with your hands under your “sit bones”, move your knees together and your feet apart and slightly Alfred with toes pointing together. Feel your “sit bones” move outward to a more open position?

Learn all you can about various positions and when they can be used to help baby move through your pelvis by attending a high quality childbirth class.

I can teach you how to work with your labor and how your partner can best support you during labor, birth and breastfeeding.

Register now for spring Lamaze and Breastfeeding classes. I offer private classes in your home that are designed to meet your needs.

Can putting your knees together help push your baby out? Hear from this educator who explored this possibility in this post!


Some great tips for supporting your partner during birth. Surprise her by joining us for a private birth and breastfeeding class tailored to your needs.

Uncertain about how best to support your partner in labor and birth? You're not alone! It's not something you're born knowing and it doesn't always come easily. With these tips from this post, you can feel more confident in knowing just how to help and be the best, most supportive partner possible!




2512 Independence Boulevard, Suite 100
Wilmington, NC

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12pm - 6pm
Wednesday 12pm - 6pm
Thursday 12pm - 6pm
Friday 12pm - 6pm
Saturday 12pm - 6pm

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