Posts in category delivery

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

you're a rock star | best doulas in jax florida

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

We’ve got to get something off our chests.  It’s a secret that shouldn’t be. It’s something that doesn’t, for some reason, get said enough or only gets said when the “right” conditions are met.  And it’s a shame.

You’re a Rock Star! Yes, YOU!

Birthing a baby and parenting said baby until they run your refrigerator out the door, is hard work no matter what. Even for us folk who seem to be floating on cloud 9 in the best breeze, there are days that are just hard. And you’re a rock star for showing up.  Giving birth to this tiny human is also an incredible feat, no matter the mode of delivery.

Society at large seems to place a higher value on certain types of birth though.

We’ve even noticed that the professionals with whom so many new parents place their trust have demonstrated public preference to birth and are biased in what they deem worthy of public merriment. As care providers and professional support persons in a position of authority, this behavior implicitly ascribes a morality to this value and as such, shames different choices and outcomes. And while it may be unintentional, many parents end up feeling like shit about their birth.

 

“I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I did all the things. I took an eight week childbirth class, hired a well-known doula, read articles, and I joined a moms group for women who were and had birthed narturally. In the end it was just me, all alone. Noone cheering me on and telling me, ‘You’re a rock star’, or ‘You rocked your birth’ after a 12 hour labor turned cesarean. I was heart broken, it would have just felt good to know others saw how hard I tried. Instead I felt like I let my doula and closest friends down.”

 

Our birth experiences shape us, whether we like it or not. How we feel as we enter parenthood matters! Words matter! Hearing, “You’re a rockstar” matters, and not hearing it matters too!

When the most popular doctor, midwife, or doula in town always posts and shares the “best” births on their social media platforms, and you notice that they always say, “Congrats to this Rock Star mama who had an non-medicated vaginal birth” but doesn’t mention the rock star parents who labored for hours and chose to pursue relief via pharmaceuticals, or the parent who chose a cesarean birth from the get-go, it hurts.

We get it.

We hear you.

Having a “natural” birth (which is a misnomer, by the way) is definitely something to be proud of and it is worth celebration. No doubt, at all. But choosing an epidural or opting for cesarean birth is an equally valid choice and one that deserves the same frequency and intensity of accolades.

This isn’t simply a matter of target market or ideal patients/clients on the part of the midwives or other birth professionals in regards to their statements/behavior online and off, because

a). not all of their patients/clients want the same things for their birth that the provider wants

b.) a provider and/or doula shouldn’t necessarily “want” anything other than a healthy, safe, and happy experience and outcome to begin

c.) they are all held in esteem in the greater health community and because of this, have influence and

d.) even if, by some chance, all their clients/patients did want a completely drug-free/intervention-free, vaginal birth, there will always be some who, for their safety and health, cannot and will not birth as originally intended.

The consequences from feeling like one “failed” at birth are very real and entirely damaging.

Not to mention, it isn’t a test to pass. By saving our “You’re a rock star” for specific people, we are effectively setting people up to believe that birth is a test of their abilities and ultimately, of their parental devotion and/or suitability. By always exclusively referring to these “mamas” (another issue for another day), we do a disservice to all those parents who need and want validation and…shared joy in their hard work.  Because let’s be clear here: non-medicated vaginal birth is hard. Medicated vaginal birth is hard. Cesarean birth is hard. Birth is hard.  So what are we saying?

There is no right or wrong way!

YOU’RE A ROCK STAR. With capital letters.  Unequivocally.  All day, every day!

P.S we recommend surrounding yourself with people who will tell you you’re a rock star without any strings. It doesn’t have to be us-we just want nothing more than your fully knowing your power.

Authored by: Heather Horrell and Elizabeth Luke

Cesarean Birth Prep Sessions

cesarean birth jax, fl | birth classes in jax, fl

Finally, a class for parents having a cesarean birth!

Will you be welcoming a wee one or ones by way of cesarean birth? Are you supporting someone before, during, and after a cesarean birth? Feeling anxious, nervous, or out of touch with what to expect on the big day and weeks following the birth? First Coast Doulas understands the diverse needs of families. Our Cesarean Birth Prep Session is a unique resource for parents in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Find out what couples are saying about the Cesarean Birth Prep Session!

Our Family 1st Birthing Classes are comprehensive and encompass the wide variations of birth choices and options including non-medicated and medicated vaginal birth, home and hospital birth, and of course cesarean birth. This break-out session, focuses entirely on the process and beauty of birthing your baby via cesarean without all the other song and dance!

Do you want to learn more about the process?

Are you aware of what comfort techniques are available?

Are you clear on what options you have?

Have you considered your partner’s role?

In the Cesarean Birth Prep Session you will discover all of those things as well as things no books tell you about!

Offered in the privacy, comfort, and convenience of your own home! We come to you, no travel or traffic required. Not only do we answer all your questions and more, but we also discuss the first hours after birth, the fourth trimester body, breastfeeding, and post-birth healing and recovery.

First Coast Doulas is dedicated to providing families with truly non-judgmental support, education, and options. We’re here to help you transition more smoothly, confidently, and in the way that is best for you and your family. Whether you are selecting the Family 1st Birthing Class or the Cesarean Birth Prep Session you will get all of your questions answered and have it all laid out for you in a professional, friendly, and reassuring way.

Not sure which class to take? No problem, contact us and we will work with you one on one to help you decide!

Private Childbirth Classes

 

private childbirth classes | Jax FL | Best Birth Classes in Jax., FL

Private Childbirth Classes

Considering private childbirth classes means you’re a dynamic individual!

When preparing for birth it’s much easier to know what you want when you are aware of what is available to you. You need an educator that is as forward-thinking as you are. Someone that can lay out all of your options, knows the ins and outs of the local birthing facilities, and presents the information in a way that allows you to explore what is best for you and your family. That’s exactly what you get with First Coast Doulas!

When attending Family 1st Private Birthing Classes with First Coast Doulas you can expect to learn about:

  • pregnancy & common ailments during
  • the stages of labor & birth
  • comfort measures
  • your rights
  • how to navigate labor in a way that works best for you in the moment
  • the physiological process of birth

You’ll also learn:

  • how to work with your body to feel more comfortable
  • positions that are helpful during birth
  • when those positions are most helpful

What’s better than that?

How about also learning tips and techniques from someone who works intimately with families giving birth and during the first six weeks after birth. Information to prepare you for what you can expect based on your birth choices, and how to care for your postpartum body, are also included.

Family 1st Private Childbirth Classes are the perfect place to explore how you will define a satisfying birth experience.

We provide you with information on un-medicated vaginal birth, various options for pharmacological pain relief including epidurals, and what to expect if you choose or require a cesarean. All the information is presented in an unbiased and judgement free manner. Regardless of your desires for your birth experience, gathering knowledge of the most common options and variations will help you feel prepared should your plans change along the way.

All of this in the comfort, privacy, and safety of your very own home.

Overall, these amazing classes will help you find what works best for you. You will complete your class feeling prepared with tools to navigate the unpredictability and intensity of your baby’s birth. Using research based information and proven techniques, you can expect to feel safer and less fearful of the birthing process. Are you ready to meet your baby?

Authored by Lacey Park agency owner at Chinook City Doulas, serving families in Calgary!

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Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is a term that you’ve likely heard of or read about if you are expecting a baby in the near future. At birth babies are attached to their placenta via their umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the wall of the woman’s uterus. Once the baby is born the cord is clamped. This stops the flow of nutrient rich blood containing iron from the placenta to the baby. When the baby’s cord is clamped matters.

Some of you just thought, “So what’s the research say?” We got you!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that, “delayed cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births, while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.” Furthermore they say that early cord clamping (less than one minute after birth) is not recommended for pre-term and full-term babies unless they the baby needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.

I especially love that they also address the fact that keeping the cord unclamped for a 1-3 minute period also helps to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage in the birthing woman.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is defined as a rapid loss of blood after giving birth. PPH can happen anytime immediately following birth up to 6 weeks postpartum. The most common causes of PPH are poor contractions of the uterus, separation of the placenta or pieces of retained placenta, or a tear in the uterus. Some women are at higher risk for PPH. Women birthing more than a singleton baby, are of advanced maternal age, who are birthing via cesarean, and those who have had labor augmented with medication are at greater risk. So, it may be important to you to note that delayed cord clamping can help prevent and treat PPH.

Even more exciting, yesterday the American Congress of Obstetricians andGynecologists (ACOG) released their latest statement and the results show the following benefits:

In preterm infants:

  • improved transitional circulation
  • better establishment of red blood cell volume
  • less need for blood transfusion
  • reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhage
  • reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal disease)

For term infants

  • increases hemoglobin levels at birth
  • improves iron stores for several months
  • helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life

ACOG also states that in most cases, delayed cord clamping doesn’t interfere with the immediate care the infant receives including the first breath and immediate skin-to-skin contact. Delayed cord clamping alone does not affect whether or not a woman can have her placenta encapsulated. Majority of women who are planning for or who need to have a cesarean birth can also consider delayed cord clamping.

So, if you’re in the midst of creating a birth plan or preference sheet, delayed cord clamping just might be something you want to include. In addition to taking a great childbirth education class be sure to talk with your provider if you have questions and make your wishes known to your support person(s) and your entire birth team.

Fun tid-bit of the day; delayed cord clamping is also known as optimal cord clamping! From us to you, happy birth and parenting! ~Elizabeth Luke

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations jax placenta

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting affirmations are one way to stay positive and feel more grounded and centered. October is the perfect month to begin a daily affirmation routine and we are going to help you get started!

The best news is you’ve already seen and used some affirmations in your everyday life. Think about those positive memes you read on social media sites and posters you see in the conference rooms, those are affirmations!

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Jacksonville, Placenta

Pregnancy will test your limits in every way.

In fact, pregnancy is a really great time to start a daily affirmations routine because it helps you become more positive-minded and relaxed before your upcoming birth! Being the best parent for your child begins with feeling good each day. Starting now in pregnancy will give you more time to practice before your baby is born and improves your chances of continuing your practice once your baby has made their arrival.

The last few weeks of pregnancy presents with its own set of unique challenges.

Your belly seems to bump into everything, you have to pee at least a hundred times a day, and two-hundred times at night. You’re not sleeping well and your feet hurt. It seems likely your baby can’t get here fast enough and you know this because every single person keeps asking, “Have you had that baby yet?”

During labor and birth you will do best of you are relaxed and at peace.

Affirmations are designed to do just that! There are very few times in your life when you’ll birth a baby. No matter how or where you are choosing or need to birth you’ll look back and remember the details of the day for the rest of your life. How you felt and how you were treated will matter. Creating a set of personalized affirmation cards that you really connect with to use through labor and birth is on my list of “Top 3 Must Haves For Birth”. Following right behind hiring a great doula, and taking an excellent birthing class! You, your partner, and your doula can utilize these cards in labor. Not only to help you directly, but to help yhem feel more grounded, confident, and calm indirectly influencing all who are in your birth space!

There is no harder or more rewarding job in the World than parenting!

Being a parent is not for the faint, you will be tested on every level and pushed beyond what you ever thought possible. From day #1 your life is turned upside down in a good, but crazy way. From one age and stage to the next, children change so quickly.

Affirmations help you connect with your inner self. They can help ground you and refocus you in times of stress. Taking time to practice and repeat affirmations will help you be the very best you can be for yourself and your family!

Be The Best You Can Be in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting With Two Rules for Daily Practice:

Intention

  • Set a reminder on your phone.
  • Practice daily for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Make the most of your time. It allows you to be the best you that you can be.
  • Create a space as a visual commitment.
  • You have to believe what you want to achieve. When beginning your practice choose affirmations that you connect with and believe in.

Attention

  • Silence your phone
  • Set an alarm for 20 minutes and do not think about the time while practicing.
  • Practice in a way that allows you to get the most of your time. You may only use one affirmation for 20 minutes or you may focus on several.
  • Completely submerge yourself while you’re practicing.

Each day in the month of October First Coast Doulas is sharing affirmations to our Instagram account making it easy for our followers to begin or add to their daily practice! Begin today with the affirmations in the attached picture, “I am stronger than my fears!” Follow us on Instagram @ fcdoulas

Doula Support Doesn’t End Where An Epidural Begins

Doula Support Doesn't End Where An Epidural Begins jax placenta

Doula Support Doesn’t End Where An Epidural Begins…At Least Not With First Coast Doulas

I remember it vividly. There I was standing at my client’s bedside plugging her phone in so it could charge up when her doctor says to me with a smile, “I guess you can go home now since she got the epidural!”

Wait, what? I did a double take to make sure he was actually speaking to me, and he was.

“Why would I do that? She’s was 6 centimeters dilated at last check and seems to be making good progress. There are lots of ways I can support them even with an epidural. Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins. Why would I leave?” I replied.

My client, she quickly chimmed in, “Don’t go anywhere. We need you here. I don’t know what I would do without you.” Her husband agreed.

What the doctor said next sort of surprised me, “Most doulas leave when the patient gets an epidural since doulas are against medication.”

A conversation ensued. Turns out, according to this doctor most doulas that come through the hospital while he was the physician on call left when an epidural was administered to his patients, their clients.

Honestly, I can’t say that I’m shoked, because I’ve heard it before from doctors, nurses, and even from a couple doulas themselves. I’d like to believe that the doulas just panicked and regretted it and learned from their mistakes, but still, where does that leave the birthing woman and her partner (if she had one)?

I’ve also had people tell me that their doula left them or made them feel horrible for opting to get an epidural, other pain medication, or for needing or choosing cesarean birth. It’s also not unusual to hear someone speak of doulas as if they’re only valueable when a person wants to birth “all-naturally”!

Well, that’s shit! Straight up, utter bullshit!

I’m not shocked, but I am disgusted. When couples contract with First Coast Doulas they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are getting unconditional, non-judgmental, full and complete support. They know that their doula comes to them agenda-free and ready to serve and support them in a way that is unique to them. Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins!

Our clients know our value and happily purchase doula support services with us because they know that there are no do-overs in birth, this is a once in a lifetime experience, they get it! They want the very best and know where to find just that!

The fact that the word non-judgemental has to be used along with support is gross to be honest! The term “non-judgemental support” seems like an oxymoron. Think about it.

Just to be absolutely 10o% clear, when hiring First Coast Doulas your birth belongs to you in every way! We will never try to “know better” than you. We will not try to “push or sway” you, or give you misinformation.

It’s your journey! It’s not about what anyone else wants or thinks.

Whether you have goals and a vision or you just want to wing, we got you! We support and encourage you and your partner in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even the fourth trimester!  We do not leave you if your plan changes or you opt for pain medication.

So, how does First Coast Doulas “support” you if you choose or need an epidural or cesarean birth? The same way we support you without one:

  • fully and completely
  • one on one
  • with encouragement
  • we help you understand your options
  • create a plan and navigate if your plan changes
  • emotional support is HUGE with or without an epidural
  • help you stay relaxed
  • can help you focus
  • help you breath more effectively
  • usinging pros and cons
  • explaining each new process
  • positioning, you’re not limited to your back!
  • comfort measures, not every epidural works, there is still some discomfort/pain in most cases

Are there actual physical ways we can support you? You betcha!

Furthermore, we do all of this while also supporting and encouraging your partner so he/she can be more comfortable and an intricate part of the experience!

With First Coast Doulas, Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins. Hire the best, hire First Coast Doulas!

 

Doulas & Epridurals

First Coast Placenta Prize Package, and The Winner Is…

First Coast Placenta Prize Package, and The Winner Is…

First Coast Placenta capsules jax

 

In early April First Coast Placenta a branch First Coast Doulas took part in The Prego Expo in Jacksonville Florida.

The expo is a place for families to learn about products and services available to them in their area, register to win prizes, and meet other expecting families. We met hundreds of new moms, dads, and grandparents. We were able to share the benefits of placenta encapsulation as well as how First Coast Placenta is leading the way in safety and professionalism.

Doctors, nurses, and midwives appreciate the level of safety we provide our clients.

They love that First Coast Placenta has training in bloodborne pathogens, is dual trained and certified, and has the highest safety standards any where in Jacksonville. Families love knowing that they are getting an experience not only the safest service available!

Many of you signed up to win the prize package and wanted to know more about the services we provide:

  • Birth and Postpartum/Overnight Doula Support
  • Family First Childbirth Classes
  • Preparing for Baby sessions
  • Placenta Encapsulation

There were so many of you!

One by one we’ve reached out to all of you via email and phone. If you entered to win the prize package we’ve sent you an email! Be sure to check your spam folder. If we were not able to reach you, this is your invitation to contact us. We’re here and want to learn about you and your family and share with you how we can help you transition into parenthood be it the first time or fifth. Contact us by phone at (904) 479-6131, or by email at info@firstcoastdoulas.com, or fill out our contact form and we will set up a time that is most convenient for you to talk.

We know all of you have been patiently waiting for the winner to be announced. The wait is finally over!

Our winner has won an amazing prize package valued at over $200. The package includes:

  • Gift Certificate for $25
  • Milkies Milk Savers
  • Diva Cup
  • Nose-Frida
  • Bummis Wet-Bag & Diaper
  • Pacifiers
  • Matching Set (nursing cover, burp cloths, and a travel wipes case cover)
  • Child Lock
  • Dr Browns Bottles
  • Mother’s Milk Tea
  • Breastmilk Storage Bags

Lauren you have 7 days, until May, 12th. 2016 to claim your prize! Contact us on facebook or by email at info@firstcoastdoulas.com and put WINNER in the subject line! We look forward to hearing from you, congratulations!!

Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?

Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?

poop in labor placenta capsules jacksonville, fl

WARNING: This blog is a little puny with some adult language. Not meant to be vulgar or offensive.

“Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?” It’s the question every woman asks.

Well, maybe not every woman asks, but majority of women at least wonder about it. As a mother who has birthed three times herself and a doula that has supported numerous women through labor and birth I can tell you that if it’s going to happen, it’s just going to happen.

There’s not a lot that can be done to stop it. I mean, after all shit happens!

The act of pooping itself is as normal function in life. Pooping is as normal as being born is. All living things must excrete waste, humans are no exception. With that said going poop to excrete waste from the body versus pooping in labor is different.

When you go to the bathroom to poop you are purposely excreting waste from your body.  In labor pooping is involuntary, sort of. As you are bearing down to push it’s similar to having a bowel movement. Yes, a huge, solid bowel movement. As you push your sweet baby out into the world your baby’s head, or other presenting part compresses your colon and rectum squeezing anything left in there out.

Like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed on the edge of the counter to remove the final bit inside, whatever is in front is coming out, like it or not.

If you’re one of the many women who get carried away with your thoughts about pooping in labor, it’s o.k. it’s a normal thought. We know that pooping is normal. We know the chance is there, but why do you even care?! Modesty and the fear of being judged are two reasons, there are others.

We know it’s normal, but now what?

Your body, as if it’s not bad ass enough already because it is growing a human, is also making hormones that help relax the muscles and ligaments in pregnancy and in labor. Some of these hormones also help naturally to clean out the “pipes” before pushing begins. So, as labor picks up, before you feel the urge to push there is a good chance you may find yourself upon the throne getting what is in the pipes, out.

Discuss this concern with your provider, your partner, and of course your doula! Your provider, along with the rest of your birth team has seen this, many times I assure you. They know that it’s a normal function of the body.  You can remind your partner to be mindful of your concern so that he or she can be kind and nonchalant if at all possible.

Many providers are masters at a speedy, discrete clean up!

Detour…

I remember well, one midwife who was witty, cool, calm, and collected during a birth in 2008. Quick story… A mom who was giving birth to her third baby was concerned about her husband seeing her poop in labor. During pushing stage of labor a little poop was pushed out, as it happened she saw it and actually apologized for pooping, as if she could help it. The midwife, being awesome looks over at the video camera and says, “No big deal, just wiping away some mucus!” This midwife remembered her patient asking, “What if I poop in labor,” and knew the video was important to the family. When the mother announced she was sorry for pooping, the midwife thought quickly on her feet to save face for the patient!

Alright, I confess, the patient was yours truly!

As silly as it sounds, even some doulas worry about their husbands seeing them poop in labor. I didn’t mind the ladies seeing me poop in labor, shoot I see more women poop in labor than those who don’t, it’s fine. I also didn’t mind my birth team seeing me poop, they understood how pushing a baby out felt, but my husband, while extremely supportive he was clueless.

As a doula I can’t tell you how many women don’t even know or give a shit, figuratively speaking, that they’ve pooped. Like mothers who proudly don their stretch marks and cesarean scars, pooping in labor is just another way to join the Mom Club!

If all else fails and none of those things reassure you, try to think of it like this. Poop during pushing means your baby is right there, closer than ever to being born! It’s his head that is pushing that poop out of you, not you! So if you need to blame your beautiful babe go for it, because soon you’ll meet the love of your life and you won’t give a shit anymore anyways!

To all the moms who have joined the Mom Club I salute you, job well done!

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette best doulas in jax

Wedding and delivery room etiquette blogs are becoming more popular for good reason. This blog goes right along with some of the benefits of hiring a doula to support you and your partner while you’re giving birth to your baby. This blog was inspired by the above linked blog!

 

To Rest or Not to Rest

Your doula can give your partner a rest. Your doula actually helps both you and your partner to get sleep and rest that’s beneficial through-out labor. yes, sleep and rest in labor. It looks different at different stages in labor and depending upon the couple’s needs.

Phone Calls or Power Off

Your doula phones home! She can reply to text messages or stay with you while your partner steps away to update family and friends if that is needed. Your mom, mother in law, best friend, and sister all need an update. You don’t have to choose, your doula is happy to help in several ways to support your birth experience!

Paparazzi or Nah

If you opt to not to have a professional photographer join your team in the delivery room your doula is happy to snap the pictures you want and leave off the rest. Sometimes support is holding your hand and helping you remain “in the zone” and sometimes it’s getting pictures using your camera or phone, we have you covered!

Feeling Faint

Doulas are there to support your partner too, our top priority is to support you both in the way that is best for you specifically. That may look like hip squeezes and counter-pressure through a few contractions and getting your partner a cool glass of water and a fan in between.

Complaints or Compliments

Partners bust their ass! They are expected to be and do so much through pregnancy, labor and birth. Hold down the calls and texts, carry the bags, get your drink, hold your leg, stroke your skin, take care of older siblings, and stay awake. All of that with no complaints! They are amazing, but doulas are there so your partner can be an intricate part of the birth experience. With a doula there to support and help lighten the expected load your partner is able to attune to you and be “in the moment”.

T.V. On or Off

Let’s face it, if your partner is a sports fan and it’s on television they may be apt to watch the game or at least the highlights. Perhaps it’s the love of the game, or perhaps it’s just needing a way to release and refocus. Doulas have you covered so mom is not alone when she needs support and you don’t have to feel guilty for stepping away for 5 minutes.

Advocate or Support

The last piece to the “delivery room etiquette” puzzle: no one takes the birthing woman’s voice from her. Her voice is powerful and can be a source empowerment for the mother. Often times people say my doula stopped my doctor from x, y, and z. Doulas have a non-medical scope of practice and we have one job, one very important, underestimated job. Our job is to support! Support, period. That is not to say we can’t help the mother articulate with her own words her wishes and desire. We do not argue with care providers or “make sure” things are done as outlined. We will remind you of your wishes, validate your feelings, and help you find your own words!

Delivery room etiquette can be easily achieved with First Coast Doulas by your side! Our clients love the unique support they receive. Your birth experience is one you will carry with you for a lifetime.  With First Coast Doulas you will gain confidence and feel supported on your path to birth and parenting.

 

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