About Ashley Barrett

I'm a Lactation Educator, Certified Babywearing Educator, student lactation consultant, and homeschooling mother of 3 children and wife of 10 years.

June Classes and Events

Happy June!  Are you ready for summer?  Here are my upcoming class dates.  Registration is available on my website here.  More information about what is taught in the classes here.  Preregistration is required for all breastfeeding classes.

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Monday, July 10, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Held at the Edmond Birthing Center

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Monday, July 31st, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Held at the Edmond Birthing Center

Please visit me at the Edmond Birthing Center grand opening next Saturday, June 10. I will be offering a giveaway and a special discount on my classes if you register at the grand opening event.

April Classes and Support Groups

Happy April!  This month I celebrate my oldest son’s 9th birthday.  He’s the whole reason I’m here supporting breastfeeding mother’s today.

In April, classes will be offered privately only.  Check out May and June dates below.  Breastfeeding classes will now be taught every 3 months, unless you would like to register for classes privately.  Registration is available on my website here.  More information about what is taught in the classes here.  Preregistration is required for all breastfeeding classes.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 11 AM. I’m pleased to announce that this class will be held at The Edmond Birth Center (14901 N Kelley Ave, Ste 102, Edmond, Oklahoma). Preregistration is strongly encouraged.

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Monday, June 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM. I’m pleased to announce that this class will be held at The Edmond Birth Center (14901 N Kelley Ave, Ste 102, Edmond, Oklahoma). Preregistration is required at least 1 week before class.

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Monday, June 19, 2017 at 7:30 PM. I’m pleased to announce that this class will be held at The Edmond Birth Center (14901 N Kelley Ave, Ste 102, Edmond, Oklahoma). Preregistration is required at least 1 week prior to class.

TWO FREE mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group meetings this month:

Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Fathers are also welcome at our evening meetings.  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Friday, April 21 at 3:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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March Classes and Support Groups

Happy March!  Here are my class dates for March.  Registration is available on my website here.  More information about what is taught in the classes here.  Preregistration is required for all breastfeeding classes.

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Tuesday, March 14: 7-9 PM at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

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Tuesday, March 21: 7-9 at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

and TWO FREE mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group meetings:

Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Fathers are also welcome at our evening meetings.  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Friday, March 17 at 3:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Wearing a Toddler or Preschooler

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This post continues the ages and stages babywearing series.  If you would like to learn more about newborn babywearing, wearing an infant until they’re able to sit up on their own, or wearing an older infant in to toddlerhood check out my earlier posts.

Babywearing in to toddlerhood and beyond is a great way to bond with your child.  It’s also a good way to build your core muscles.  Newly walking legs get tired easily.  When you can grab a carrier and put your child up on your back it can save everyone’s sanity when you are on vacation, visiting a theme park, hiking, at a festival, and more.  Babywearing also allows you to be able to go to places that strollers aren’t permitted and allows your child to interact more closely with you and the world on your eye level.

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Babywearing while hiking on the Oregon coast.  Woven wraps are warmer for hikes than a soft structure carrier but can be more supportive as well.

I have children who have had sensory defensive issues (the part of sensory processing disorder that makes them really want to push away/not participate in highly sensory situations).  We really enjoy going to festivals.

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My middle son (pictured above) enjoyed the people but didn’t enjoy the noises.  Wearing him helped him be able to interact on a level he was comfortable as well as receive the calming sensation of being wrapped snuggly (like a big hug as my children have described babywearing when they’ve had more words). My oldest son was extremely shy.  Babywearing allowed him to turn his head in to me when he didn’t want to interact and people were more respective of his space when I was wearing him (though not always but it was easier for me to tell he needed a break).

Babywearing children with special circumstances and needs can be extremely helpful for their mental and emotional well-being as well as yours (being able to provide the extra snuggles which also helps release oxytocin which soothes and promotes bonding).

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Babywearing (toddler wearing) can be very soothing when your child is upset or hurt

Toddler wearing is also very helpful to soothe bumps and bruises and fits by offering additional comfort (while being a little easier on your body and arms than holding in arms when baby begins growing larger and heavier).  Toddlers are also notorious for falling asleep in the car RIGHT before you reach your destination.  Babywearing can be a great way to help meet your child’s needs (and allow them to continue sleeping) and your needs to make it on time to your appointments!

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Toddlers are notorious for falling asleep right before you reach your destination!

Babywearing can also be a great way to keep little curious hands out of danger but caution should always be taken to watch what those hands are grabbing while you are wearing baby on your back.  This little gal (below) had recently split her head open.  She goes to a lot of conferences and events with me.  Babywearing has helped me to keep her calm while I’m working and also keep her safe too.

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So what carriers are good for toddlers and preschoolers?

It’s important to keep YOUR child’s needs in mind.  After baby is 2+ the spread squat positioning isn’t quite as important but it’s the normal position for the hips so best practices are that you continue to support that position.  If baby has hip dysplasia or is at higher risk that position is very important to support. It’s important to counsel with your doctor and physical therapist if your child has special circumstances or needs so that you may be able to meet those as well as caring for their medical situations.

  • Woven wraps can always support that position through spreading the wrap to hit knee to knee. Try different lengths-shorter wraps won’t be quite as supportive (using fewer passes over baby) but may be quicker to wrap if your child likes to get up and down a lot.  Shorter wraps are also easier to tuck in a diaper bag or even in your stroller if you go back and forth between wearing and baby strolling.
  • Soft structure carriers and more structured carriers (like mei tais) may not support this position anymore because likely the panel isn’t wide enough any longer unless you purchase a toddler or preschooler specific carrier or one with stirrups (such as the Boba carrier).  Also, it’s likely at this stage that your child has outgrown the height of the panel as well.  If it doesn’t reach the base of their arms (where their arm meets their body) or higher up on their back the carrier is not considered tall enough any longer.  There is a fall and lean back risk even if your child usually does not lean backwards.

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    This is the first time that my oldest “made cookies” with me.  Babywearing allowed me to mix cookies while keeping him secure in a new environment he hadn’t been in before.

  • Ring slings may be ok for a few minutes here and there but many parents find that their back will get really tired using one for more than a few minutes.
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Babywearing is great for all!  Even Yoda! (This is a meme that is often passed around online.  I don’t have a photo credit but if you know who made it I would love to credit them!)

I teach best practices for positioning for all babies because suboptimal positioning puts baby at risk for possible hip/spine issues down the road.  Like how drinking alcohol doesn’t ALWAYS cause liver disease or smoking doesn’t ALWAYS cause lung cancer the benefits and risks should be weighed when making decisions.  The risk is there and I recommend minimizing that risk.

I am a Boba Ambassador.  I do not receive payment from Boba but will occasionally receive new products and updates from time to time.  I am a Boba Ambassador because I believe in their products.  For more information about this as well my other disclosures please visit this page.

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area and would like some hands on babywearing help please contact me or visit my website.

What is your favorite carrier for a toddler or preschooler?

February Classes and Support Groups

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope that your 2017 is going well so far!

Here are my class dates for February.  Registration is available on my website here.  More information about what is taught in the classes here.  Preregistration is required for all breastfeeding classes.

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Tuesday, February 7: 7-9 PM at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

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Tuesday, February 21: 7-9 at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

and TWO FREE mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group meetings:

Wednesday, February 1 at 6:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Fathers are also welcome at our evening meetings.  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Friday, February 17 at 3:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Business Spotlight: Brittney Kohl of Glorious Moments Birth Services

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Welcome to my Business Spotlight series!  I am kicking off my spotlight with the fabulous Brittney Kohl of Glorious Moments Birth.  Brittney is a member of the OKC Metro Birth Professionals with me.  She is a CLC, birth doula, hypno-doula, and postpartum doula (in training).  She is the mother of two and a military wife.  I had the opportunity to interview her so we could learn more about her and what she does.

Ashley: Tell me a little bit about you! How many children do you have? How old are they?
Brittney: Hello! I am Brittney Kohl with Glorious Moments Birth Services. I am a Birth Doula, Hypno-Doula, Lactation Counselor and Postpartum Doula (in training). I am a mom of two sweet and rambunctious little boys, age 3 and 18 months.

A: Tell me a little about your family and what you like to do together?
B: We are an energetic family. Or at least my boys are! My husband is hardworking and proud to serve his country. It brings him great joy to play a small part in the Air Force.

A: What got you involved in birth work?
B: For the birth of my first son, I had a great friend who offered to be my doula. Her fantastic support blew me away! I realized I wanted to help women feel loved, cared for, respected and supported in the same way. So I jumped right in!

A:How long have you been a doula?
B: I became a doula in the fall of 2014. So, I have been doing doula work for a little over 2 years.

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A: What is your training/experience?

B: My first training was through DONA International. I really enjoyed my training, and learned a ton. But for personal, and business reasons, I chose not to certify with DONA.
Later, I decided becoming a Hypno-Doula could greatly benefit the families I supported who chose to implement self-hypnosis for their labor and birth journey. I had used Hypnobabies for my own birth, and saw how well it worked for me, as well as seeing how well it worked for other hypno-moms. So, I certified through Hypnobabies.

During my second pregnancy, I decided I wanted to spend time focusing on breastfeeding, and how I could better assist mothers in solving breastfeeding challenges. So, when he was still a little bitty baby, I attended a Certified Lactation Counselor training, instructed by the Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding and certified through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. It was interesting being a pumping mom during our training, and rushing home during lunched to nurse him! But it helped me see how I can also help
moms who choose to pump milk for their babies and still be a workin’ mama!

Right now I am certifying through Birth Arts International as a postpartum doula.

A: What do you like to do when you aren’t doing doula work?
B: When I am not doing doula or lactation work, I like to play with my boys, read, or watch movies. Right now I am spending time either working, caring for my family, serving in church or studying for my postpartum doula training.

A: What services do you currently offer?
B: Currently I offer birth doula, hypno doula, postpartum doula, and lactation services. My package information can be found on my website. I do offer breastfeeding assessments and assistance in the comfort of mothers home’s. I have a breastfeeding class that is a work in progress, but it’s not my main focus right now.

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A: If you were stranded on a deserted island with a pregnant mother and could request 5 things to be dropped down to you what would those items be?
B: I trust in birth, and really don’t believe she needs any “items”. Her baby will come, and she will bring it into this world wonderfully. I would support her in whatever way was best for her. If I had to ask for a few things though, it would probably be clean blankets to birth on, herbal/homeopathic remedies for postpartum healing, and items to feed and clothe mother and baby.

A: What is the ONE item that you think every mother should have during labor?
B: A water bottle. ALL moms need to stay hydrated. This is so very important. It helps you, and it helps your baby. Drink up!

A: What is the ONE thing (besides a doula) that a mother should do/have/read to prepare for labor and birth?
B: Moms should prepare mentally. Your uterus and your baby know what to do. Women were designed to birth.

But, sometimes we get in our own way with our thoughts and fears. Every mom will do this mental preparation differently: some use hypnobabies, affirmations, breathing techniques, mantras, prayer, scripture quotes, etc. But it’s important to remember that you CAN do it. And in the moment you ARE doing it! I believe in you. You should believe in yourself too. You are strong and wise.

A: Why do you think moms should have a doula at their birth?
B: Knowledgeable, loving support. It could be a doula, but it could also be her husband, her mother, or a good friend. So long as she is cared for and respected, she will be happier with her birth experience. The nice thing about a doula, is she is specifically trained to know how to help a laboring mother, she has a passion for this work (at least she should!), and she does this all the time. She has a lot of tools, and she knows how to connect with you so that you can have a more positive experience.

A: What should moms ask a doula they’re interviewing to help them find the right doula for her and her spouse/partner?
B: I feel it’s important to ask her personality type, or how she normally serves her clients. All doulas are different. I’m not meant to be everyone’s doula, but I am the right doula for some women.

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A: Tell me about your favorite birth moment.
B: Honestly my favorite birth moments are the birth of my own children. My 2nd child was born en caul at home, and that was really neat. But my favorite birth moment as a doula was watching a mother deliver her OP baby (facing moms front instead her back). It’s harder labor for moms to deliver this way, but I was in awe at how well this mother labored and brought her baby into the world.

A: What are your goals for the next few years?
B: This year I want to finish my postpartum doula training. Over the next few years, I plan to continue my studies by reading and attending local education opportunities, but my focus will be on serving more families. I’m not going to overload my plate, as my family and clients deserve good care.

A: Where can we go to learn more about you and your business?
B: You can visit my page by searching @GloriousMomentsBirth on Facebook, or by visiting my website www.brittneykohlbirthd.wix.com/gloriousmoments
You can also contact me at (505) 554-8441

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A: Any final words?
B: Thank you so much Ashley for spotlighting me on your blog. I know I am called to do this glorious work and I am so thankful for each family that invites me into their sacred birthing space! I hope this post helps families get a feel for me and how I can help them along their journey.

Thank you Brittney!  I really appreciate working along side Brittney because she’s very sweet and brings such a calm spirit and presence in the room.  She is very good and knowledgeable in her work.

January Classes and Support Group

Happy New Year!!  Here are my class dates for January.  Registration is available on my website here.  More information about what is taught in the classes here.  Preregistration is required for all breastfeeding classes.

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Tuesday, January 10: 7-9 PM at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

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Tuesday, January 24: 7-9 at Cardon Family Chiropractic in Mustang

and TWO FREE mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group meetings:

Wednesday, January 4 at 6:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Fathers are also welcome at our evening meetings.  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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Friday, January 20 at 3:30 PM.  This is a meeting for mothers and children not comfortable being away from mom (nursing children are always welcome).  Please bring some toys for your older children to be entertained.

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