Posts Tagged ‘Gail Tully’

Secrets to an Easier Birth?

February 11, 2013

There are many ways to help facilitate an easier birth for you and your baby. One of those ways is to get your baby into a position ideal for rotating and moving through the pelvis. Turns out, there’s more to it than head-down!

Join Gail Tully, Certified Professional Midwife — also known as “The Spinning Babies Lady” for an afternoon of learning and fun all about Optimal Fetal Positioning, Saturday, March 2, 12:30-4:30 p.m. at Blooma Minneapolis.

Gail Tully shows an expecting mother how to correctly do an inversion.

Gail Tully shows an expecting mother how to correctly do an inversion.

You’ll learn easy, easy exercises to encourage baby into a sweet spot for birth. These exercises also come in handy during labor!

Bring a birth partner to the workshop, and please wear yoga/sweat pants for easy movement. (No yoga experience necessary for this workshop.)

Gail travels the world teaching these exercises and concepts to parents, doulas, midwives and OBs — now it’s your turn to learn it, too!

Sign up online or call Blooma at 612.223.8064. Learn the best ways to use balance, gravity and movement to your advantage!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

BELLYRAMA Outdoor Yoga – Save the Date!

July 16, 2012

Blooma’s 3rd annual Bellyrama yoga festival is coming up Saturday, Aug. 25, 9-11 a.m. As always, this FREE event will be held at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis, rain or shine, bring your own mat + water + sunscreen.

ALL mamas — whether prenatal or postnatal — families, sisters, friends, grandmothers and kiddos are welcome to attend this FREE, fabulous morning of sunny energy, live music, and inspirational yoga taught by Sarah Longacre (with a couple of surprise guests!).

Bellyrama yoga starts promptly at 9 a.m., followed by kid + family yoga at 10:30 a.m. by the Adventures of Super Stretch.

You’ll also have the opportunity to have your beautiful pregnant belly painted by Gail Tully of Spinning Babies. This is a favorite of mamas every year!

Mark your calendar now for Aug. 25 and bring the whole family! Though this event is free, we’d love it if you signed up online, too. Come kiss the sunshine with us!

Big Love!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Birth Story: Laughter, Fear, Highs, Lows — The Whole Shebang

January 5, 2012

You saw this mama’s birth announcement last week, now read her whole story.

Through the intensity of labor and all her very, VERY hard work, Allison still enjoyed some laughs along the way: “My family used a lot of humor to keep things light. This is easy to do when a very pregnant woman is doing figure eights in paper underwear.” 

What’s more, when fear creeped into this mama’s mind, she verbalized it, then “cried and released it.” Ahhh.

THIS is birth, mamas: laughter, fear, highs, lows, perseverance — the whole shebang. (And little Aiden was an 11/11/11 baby!) Thank you Allison for sharing your story of stamina and strength with us!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{By Allison}

Although we were hoping for a shorter labor this time Aiden took his sweet time. My daughter’s labor was 27 1/2 hours from water breaking to delivery. She was delivered without pain medication vaginally but I had needed some Pitocin to move things along.

My water broke with Aiden on 11.10.11 at 3 p.m. Although, I had been 4 cm dilated since Thursday, Nov. 3. I had actually starting having contractions or “surges” on Friday, Nov. 4 that continued throughout the weekend and progressed to about 5 minutes apart by Sunday.

Both Matt and I thought that Aiden would be joining us soon but the surges stopped around dinner time on Sunday to my great frustration and exhaustion. Our doula, Summer and midwives at Park Nicollet in Shakopee were such a wonderful support. We decided to go to the hospital for an evaluation and it was suggested that Aiden wasn’t engaged enough to keep labor going. So the midwife and nurse did robozo, Gail Tully’s stretching and recommended lunges, yoga and a Webster adjustment.

I spent Monday through Thursday doing all of that. I felt like my body had tricked me and that I couldn’t trust it. But Sarah and the other women at Blooma along with Summer offered so much love and support I was able to move forward.

Following a class with Jesse on Thursday I felt things start again and then my water broke. I was very worried that I would be on a time line like I was with our daughter and end up on Pitocin. But Matt and I rested and listened to the Hypnobirthing CDs while our daughter napped. We played with her, fed her dinner and took a walk outside in the evening.

Summer, my sister Brett and my mother joined us after we put our daughter down to bed. By this time the surges were regular and I was showing signs of my cervix changing. We rested and kept on playing the CDs until 3 a.m. when I was feeling that I would be more comfortable in the tub at St. Francis. My mother stayed home with our daughter and the rest of us were on our way.

When we got there, the midwife, Dawn, and the nurses were so welcoming and respectful. They were all very excited, as we were going to be the first water birth at their hospital. They had reviewed our birth preferences and were supportive of them.

I was 5 cm when we arrived and Aiden had finally engaged! We decided to do some walking and lunges to keep things moving. Then I got in the tub and everyone else slept!

I was able to use the breathing techniques and meditate while floating in the water. After a few hours Matt and I showered and used nipple stimulation. I knew I was approaching transition as the sensations intensified and I started to feel nauseous.

The nurse checked me and I was 7 cm but my cervix was thicker on the left side, so Summer had Matt and my sister help me to lunge and squat. All I could think of was the red wall at Blooma and the image of bowls of water in my hands.

My family used a lot of humor to keep things light. This was easy to do when a very pregnant woman is doing figure eights in paper underwear.

Matt and I did some walking and I did pelvic tilts during surges to engage him further while they adjusted the temperature of the tub. Matt and I got in the tub together around 11 a.m. He gave me prompts to relax and let my body to do what it was suppose to.

When the midwife checked me she told me that I was nearly complete, I squatted in the tub with Matt’s support to finish the dilatation. Although I had been in labor for 20 hours, I remember being surprised how much energy I had and feeling how manageable it had been.

I knew it was time for the birthing phase, and so my fears crept in. I had pushed for 3 ½ hours with my daughter and she had been stuck on my pubic bone. I struggled with a fear that this would happen again and I wouldn’t be able to push my son out.

I tried to use the J-breathing from Hypnobirthing but I knew it wasn’t working. When I was able to verbalize my fear, I cried and released it.

My sister held my hands; Summer reminded me that my body knew what to do and Matt told me remember my birth mantra. “She believed she could so she did.” (The phrase that I stared at through countless yoga sessions).

The midwife (who was familiar with my daughter’s birth) was firm but calm. She encouraged me to try the position that I birthed my daughter in. Matt helped me float onto my back and supported my entire body; holding my “knee pits” and I pushed but still I could tell he wasn’t moving.

When I told the midwife she checked and reported that he was stuck, as my daughter had been. She told me she would have to move my pubic bone and that it would hurt, but that it would help him to come out faster than my daughter. All I could think of was meeting my son and I didn’t even feel it.

Summer and my sister held my hands. Matt gripped me tighter and pushed me forward. All of them supporting me as I faced my fear and pushed my baby out.

A few pushes and he crowned. A few more and his head came out. I would love to say that it didn’t hurt and that I kept my focus inward but at this point I started to yell.

Everyone reminded me to keep my chin down and voice low but it was hard. I kept thinking he should be out by now.

The midwife was real serious and told me “you’re going to have to push really hard.” And I did. As I moaned, pulled on Summer and my sister’s hands and pushed into my husband. The midwife with her arms up to her armpits in the water — I thought I was going to bring my whole birthing team in the tub with me!

Finally, Aiden came out with both shoulders forward (he never turned!). The midwife caught him and I pulled him out of the water onto my chest.

The feeling of relief and awe washed over me. However he didn’t start breathing right away and so they had to take him to the warmer and give him some oxygen. Matt hurried to him and in what felt like an eternity but really was only moments. Aiden was screaming. I said “oh he’s pissed, its okay honey I’m pissed too!”

Matt and I welcomed Aiden Robert on 11.11.11 at 12:49 p.m. He weighed 8lbs, 13 oz and was 20 1/4 in. after 22 hours labor.

Initially I was frustrated because I hadn’t been able to do it myself. To be quiet and calm while birthing my baby. To stay inward and focused. I had done it with my daughter, why couldn’t I this time? But after processing Aiden’s birth with those who attended it and writing this story I realized that it is okay that I couldn’t do it all by myself. If anything having my daughter and becoming a mother has taught me that I cannot control everything. I need to ask for and accept help.

Throughout this process Blooma and Hypnobirthing taught me to trust my body, and when I couldn’t, or fear crept in, those around me believing in me centered me and brought me back to believing in myself. In the end I was able to let go of my expectations about what I had envisioned for my labor and to recognize what a beautiful birth story he gave us. He was born without medical intervention into a watery and loving welcome. We were surrounded by support and respect. And most importantly we had a beautiful, healthy son.

Bellymapping – FREE this Sunday!

December 2, 2010

Mamas, come to Blooma Edina Sunday night to bond with your baby and learn more about the position of your baby (best at 30 weeks or later). Certified Professional Midwife Gail Tully, Spinning Babies maven and author of the Belly Mapping Workbook, leads this workshop, Sunday, 6-8 p.m.

It’s free for expecting moms and their partners ($25 for birth professionals), but please register online in advance or by calling Blooma at 952.848.1111.

Midwife Gail Tully helps a mom, Crystal, feel her baby's shin during a Belly Mapping session.

Belly Mapping is a three-step process for identifying baby’s position in the final months of pregnancy. The course of labor can be affected by baby’s position. Gail likes to call it a game of “fetal hide and seek!”

“Belly Mapping’s unique and fun approach helps you to connect to your body and your baby in pregnancy,  and gives powerful techniques to create ease in labor and birth,” says Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, family physician and author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.

As Gail says, “Come play bellies with us!”


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Belly mapping!

July 12, 2010

Last night’s Belly Mapping workshop with certified professional midwife (CPM) Gail Tully was a hit! You may know of Gail from her web site,, or because of her new book, The Belly Mapping Workbook (which we sell at Blooma!). Or perhaps you’re wondering, what the heck is “belly mapping?”

Gail Tully drawing baby's position on the belly of mama Miriam Johnson-Dunkirk.

In short, it’s paying attention to baby’s kicks and wiggles in utero to identify baby’s position in the final months of pregnancy. And why is that important? If you discover that baby is not in an ideal position for birthing, your doula (and can help by suggesting specific movements and strategies to help baby turn into a more optimal position. When it comes time to push your baby out, a well-positioned baby can often mean a more straight-forward labor.

If you were at Blooma last night for Gail’s Belly Mapping workshop, leave us a note and let us know what you thought. Hoping to see another Belly Mapping workshop? Let us know that, too!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Amanda Henderson, 34 weeks pregnant, after Gail Tully's Belly Mapping workshop.

Miriam, with a drawing of her baby's position on her 26-week belly.

Art + belly love — all in one place!

May 12, 2010

Everyday Miracles' new location. Gorgeous!

I ADORE the annual Art-a-Whirl open studio and art gallery tour in Northeast. It’s the largest such event in the country, runs from Fri. evening through Sunday evening, and the art is incredibly diverse. What’s not to love?

Even better, this year Everyday Miracles (which provides education and doulas to low-income moms) is taking part. Located at in their new building, 1121 Jackson St. NE, #121, Everyday Miracles (EM) is hosting a ton of fun events all weekend during Art-a-Whirl. Proceeds from the events go to EM programming, specifically to “Isis Rising,” a doula program for incarcerated women in Minnesota. Check out the line-up:

Belly Mapping! Come meet midwife Gail Tully of for an individual session to figure out the position of your baby in your womb. Then you can choose, if you wish, to tailor your childbirth preparation accordingly to help you and your baby have an easier, more straightforward birth. (Suggested donation of $10 per session.); Saturday, 2-8 p.m.

Belly Casting all weekend for $50 (call 612.353.6293 to make an appointment)

Photo courtesy of Henna by Victoria at

Henna by Victoria, Saturday noon-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-4 p.m.

• Professional family portraits; $50 for 20 minutes. Saturday noon-6 p.m. and Sunday noon-4 p.m. (call the above number to schedule)

• Art gallery and craft sale all weekend

Whew! I want to be sure to stop in and see Everyday Miracles’ new space and take part in at least one of these fun events. Hope to see you there!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma