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Happy Homebirth

English, Children-Kids, 1 season, 265 episodes, 3 days, 10 hours, 48 minutes
About
The Happy Homebirth podcast is your source for positive natural childbirth stories, and your community of support, education and encouragement in all things homebirth and motherhood. This podcast takes a deep dive into the the authentic stories of mothers who have given birth (usually) at home, as well as the care providers who tend to them. Although typically upbeat and fun, Happy Homebirth is unabashedly unafraid to examine the rawness, the pain and the struggle of some birthing situations. Host Katelyn Fusco is a former student midwife, who joyously shares her experiences and provides a space for her guests to share theirs as well. From pre-conception to pregnancy, to postpartum and beyond, Happy Homebirth is a podcast that focuses on how victorious birthing mothers are from around the globe and encourages you to have a magical birthing experience. To learn more, head over to www.myhappyhomebirth.com
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Ep 264:The Opposite Of A Traumatic Birth with Regina Lowenfield

Once you've experienced a traumatic birth, the best you can hope for from that point on is just-- a birth without trauma, right? It's best to just play it safe- not to push the envelope....?   Regina has been married to her husband Miles for 11 years and mother to their 3 children. Currently the Lowenfields live in Southern Indiana where they are building an events venue on their 75 acres. Today we'll hear how Regina and Miles experienced trauma, tried to cope, and then went big with their most recent birth experience.   Before we jump in, I want to share an important update with you all. The release of this episode coincides exactly with the 5 year anniversary of this podcast. I am just so thrilled to look back over the last 5 years and to celebrate the 264 episodes that have been shared in that time.   I also want to let you know that I am now going to be going on hiatus with the podcast. I am so excited to focus my energy on a few projects that the Lord has been drawing me into over the last year, and most importantly to spend every waking moment soaking up the beauty of my three little ones. I'm not sure if anyone's told you, but holy moly time goes FAST and one day you wake up and your oldest is seven years old and you wonder what the heck happened.   So in the meantime, know this: I am still honored to provide you with the deepest homebirth childbirth education through The Homebirth Collective or Happy Homebirth Academy, both of which are self-paced and accessible in the show notes, at myhappyhomebirth.com, or through my instagram bio.   I'm not going to be checking in on instagram or facebook often, so if you need anything, the best way to reach me is at [email protected].     If this podcast has meant something to you, would you take a moment now to leave a review? It would mean so much to me.     Episode Roundup:       If you've experienced a traumatic birth in the past, don't feel that you have to settle for 'not traumatic'. The opposite of a traumatic birth is not merely 'not traumatic', but it's ecstatic, and that's something that you can prepare for, pray for, and quit often attain.   Alright, my friends. What an honor this has been. I look forward to coming back in the future with more beautiful stories, but in the meantime, I am praying for all of you. That you'll enjoy your pregnancies, your births, your babies, your children. That you'll feel the love of the Lord covering you like a blanket, realizing that it's somehow even deeper and stronger than that insane love we feel for our babies. I'll see you back here next time.
1/1/20241 hour, 23 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 263: VBA3C?! You’re Not High Risk Until You’re High Risk with Jan DeAngelo

You can't have a homebirth after 3 c sections, pre-eclampsia and being a "geriatric pregnancy", can you?   This week, we're speaking with Jan DeAngelo, 43 year old mother of 4 babies who changed EVERYTHING in between her third and fourth births. We'll hear how she took control of her care and her family's wellbeing, and gave birth with confidence to her most recent little one.   Episode Roundup You're not high risk until you're high risk- Jan's midwife said this, and I find it such a beautiful way to approach each pregnancy individually. She wasn't focusing on the past, but looking at Jan and her pregnancy NOW. Instead of forcing fear and uncertainty onto her client, she trusted her abilities as a care provider, yes, but more importantly-- she trusted Jan's ability to give birth. Your mindset plays such a role in your birth. As we shared, in the past, Jan's doctors pathologized her pregnancy and birth up and down, and Jan accepted what they had to say. Because of this, she saw herself as high risk- as a disaster waiting to happen. This totally changed for her fourth birth, when she realized that she was designed to give birth. She changed her mindset and recognized that her body and her baby were not pathologies. She was able to approach this pregnancy and birth with excited anticipation, along with the knowledge that she could and would do things differently. Let's end with this-- it can be different this time. Maybe you've had a cesarean or several, maybe you've had preeclampsia or gestational diabetes or any number of "pathologies" in the past. Remember that this experience doesn't have to be the same as last time. Give yourself space to imagine something different. Visualize it, feel it. Find support who feels it, too. Of course, consider your own risk tolerance, but know that however events do unfold, you can experience your birth from a perspective of being the authority.
12/28/202358 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 262: The Body-Mind-Birth Connection with Erikka Homer

Which is more important in birth preparation and birth itself? The body--or the mind? This week we're speaking with Errika Horner, a stay-at-home mom of 2 girls and blogger in her spare time, sharing healthy recipes and intentional homemaking inspiration on her website: thehomeintent.com.   Episode Roundup As Errika's story demonstrated, it is possible to have a positive birth experience in the hospital, if that’s the option you feel you need this time around, keep this at front of mind, as it can be extremely encouraging to hear those positive examples. Errika acknowledges that yes, her body was made for birthing, but it was her mind that made the difference between her two experiences. Errika had a much better understanding of what her body was doing in labor, and she visualized it all, even talking to her body during contractions. Errika feels that's what really made the second experience smoother and quicker. And finally, you don't have to learn every single possible coping technique. In fact, having just a few specific strategies planned to use during the birth can help, so that you know exactly how to prepare and focus.  
12/25/202353 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 261: A Beautiful Shoulder Dystocia? With Coco Brown

When you imagine a beautiful homebirth, what comes to mind? Everything unfolds perfectly, or nearly perfectly, right?   This week, we're speaking with Coco Brown. Coco is a mother, currently navigating the labyrinth that is postpartum using ancestral knowledge and intuition to guide her. She is a maternal health and nourishment advocate sharing her intimate journey through home birth, postpartum, intuitive motherhood and well being through her online presence in hopes to deeply connect women and mothers around the world.   Our story with Coco will challenge the idea that beauty is equivalent to a perfectly smooth birthing experience. As the title suggests, there will be discussion of a shoulder dystocia, so of course please consider this as you listen. However, I do want to share that Coco is a wonderful storyteller and she shares her experience both gently and realistically... and spoiler alert, but all went well in the end.     Episode Roundup:     Imagination. Many of you know that I view the world through a biblical lens, and something that's been on my mind for the last few months, and that relates in such a special way to this episode, is the idea of the imagination. Just like Coco shared how she took time to deeply envision her birth experience, and so much of it happened in the way that she'd put thought to. Lately, I've been reflecting on how The Lord uses our imagination for our good and His glory. We were given this ability to imagine-- to see things in our mind-- and it is such a gift. We're called to renew our minds and spirits and to think on whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—using our imagination to renew the mind and think on these things in our day to day life is the stuff of miracles. Use your imagination! Think on your pure, excellent, praiseworthy birth, mama. Next, I want to focus on how, between her first pregnancy and birth and her most recent, Coco learned to lean into her intuition and to truly listen to it. This is what led her to choose to give birth in her own home, and to choose a midwife who truly embodied what that word is supposed to mean-- someone who trusts, believes in physiological birth, and who is there to wisely step in when the time is right. As Coco told this part of the birth story, I pictured these three women, with Coco as the spearhead, along with her two midwives flanking either side. Supporting her, keeping her safe, but always recognizing Coco's lead. That's what this relationship is all about. And finally, a word on integration. Coco's journey from first pregnancy through her most recent birth has been full of ups and downs. Triumph and troubles. And labor is a microcosm of this very experience. I loved her labor depiction. "I am an ocean." Oceans are many things. Mighty, flowing, majestic, serene, cataclysmic, and tranquil. What a wonderful analogy for the process of integration. Taking all of the aspects of her journey thus far-- breaking them down and then building them back up together. Letting it all wash over her in waves. And like waves, the integration of an experience ebbs and flows. It's not all at once. But this ability to take our experience and pull it into our being-- absorbing the meaning and allowing it to transform us-- that is an abundant gift to ourselves and our families alike.
12/19/20231 hour, 26 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 260: A Failed Epidural and a Victorious Homebirth with Brianna Peters

When you've had a hospital birth but your epidural failed, why not bring it on home for baby #2?   This week we're speaking to Brianna, who did just that-- decided to head home after the frustrating experience of a failed epidural. We'll hear how she was able to tap into her intuition and her primal instincts to make her homebirth a wonderful success.   Episode Roundup:   Brianna experienced the intensity of labor with her first birth, as her epidural migrated and failed. Because she had expected to HAVE the epidural to cope, she struggled through her active labor and transition. However, what I find amazing is that when she gave birth at home, pain was a non-issue. Simply having coping skills available to her and knowing how to let her body do the work allowed her to experience a FUN, joyful birthing experience. I also loved the way that Brianna invited her daughter, Ella in to her birth experience with her second baby. Ella was able to come in and see her mother give birth to her new baby sister. Brianna mentioned that she hopes her daughter will remember this experience, and I agree. I want to encourage those of you who have young children at your births to remember to tell them the story! Turn it into family lore! My daughter tells me little details about the time that she watched me give birth to her baby sister. "Remember when I tried to get in the pool," she'll say. Now, whether or not she actually fully remembers the event itself or the retelling and retelling of it-- does it really matter? In her mind, it's solidified as a beautiful, joyous strong experience. We have the ability to use storytelling to help our children understand the beauty of birth, whether they fully remember or not. Honestly, whether they're even present or not!   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
12/19/20231 hour, 26 seconds
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Ep 260: A Failed Epidural and a Victorious Homebirth with Brianna Peters

When you've had a hospital birth but your epidural failed, why not bring it on home for baby #2?    This week we're speaking to Brianna, who did just that-- decided to head home after the frustrating experience of a failed epidural. We'll hear how she was able to tap into her intuition and her primal instincts to make her homebirth a wonderful success.     Episode Roundup:   Brianna experienced the intensity of labor with her first birth, as her epidural migrated and failed. Because she had expected to HAVE the epidural to cope, she struggled through her active labor and transition. However, what I find amazing is that when she gave birth at home, pain was a non-issue. Simply having coping skills available to her and knowing how to let her body do the work allowed her to experience a FUN, joyful birthing experience. I also loved the way that Brianna invited her daughter, Ella in to her birth experience with her second baby. Ella was able to come in and see her mother give birth to her new baby sister. Brianna mentioned that she hopes her daughter will remember this experience, and I agree. I want to encourage those of you who have young children at your births to remember to tell them the story! Turn it into family lore! My daughter tells me little details about the time that she watched me give birth to her baby sister. "Remember when I tried to get in the pool," she'll say. Now, whether or not she actually fully remembers the event itself or the retelling and retelling of it-- does it really matter? In her mind, it's solidified as a beautiful, joyous strong experience. We have the ability to use storytelling to help our children understand the beauty of birth, whether they fully remember or not. Honestly, whether they're even present or not!
12/11/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 259: Responsive Sleep for You and Your Baby with Taylor Kulik

Sleeping with your baby-- we've probably all done it once or twice, but is it actually safe?   This week we're speaking with Taylor Kulik. Taylor is an occupational therapist and holistic sleep and parenting educator who developed a passion for helping new mothers overcome their sleep-related fears and helping them get back to trusting in their intuition. She provides radical re-education about how babies and children should sleep, and offers holistic and responsive sleep support to parents who do not want to sleep train.   I know the topic of sleep can feel extremely sensitive to many, so know that this information is provided with love and respect, and it's given as an option for those who want or need it.   Please remember the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not medical advice-- it's an educational tool-- so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   Episode Roundup Our communities are no longer designed in a way that is supportive to childrearing as a whole, truly. We're extremely silo'd and so unbelievably busy. On top of this, mothers are inundated with the message that they can have it all and they can do it all. They can lose the baby weight, sleep all night, work all day and come home and take care of their home and babies with love and compassion. This just isn't realistic. When we realize that we've been fed a lie, we can slowly begin to untangle ourselves from it, step by step. One of the best first steps that we may be able to make is reconsidering how we view infant sleep, as Taylor shared. The lack of safety in sleeping with our babies comes with not being provided information on how to do it. There is, however, information out there to help you respond to your baby's nighttime needs, while also supporting your ability to get more rest, too. Taylor is doing a phenomenal job of sharing this information. And finally, let's remember that we are our child's regulator. We get to be our child's regulator-- their safe, snuggly, trusted space. If we can approach this with the perspective that this not a curse, but a gift-- we can enjoy these young years, acknowledge that there will sometimes be struggle... there will sometimes be difficulty, give ourselves and our babies grace. This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
12/4/202352 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 258: How To Turn Your Passion For Birth Into A Full-time Career As A Doula with Kyleigh Banks

Exclusive Free Training: How To Turn Your Passion For Birth Into A Full-time Career As A Doula – So you can feed your soul AND your Family… even if you don’t want to be on call 24/7! Register here: Myhappyhomebirth.com/birthworker    This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
11/27/202358 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 257: From Questioning Yourself to Questioning the Birth System with McKenzie Ulmer

What does it look like to take charge of your birth experience after a previously disempowering one?   This week, we'll be speaking with McKenzie, a mother to two children and student from The Homebirth Collective--with two very different pregnancy and birth stories. We'll learn how McKenzie's first pregnancy and birth laid a groundwork for questioning herself, yet how that's absolutely not the end of her story-- and what she did to change her experience of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.   Episode Roundup   The way that we feel about ourselves and our experience in pregnancy is extremely related to our birth experience, our postpartum and our motherhood journey. McKenzie's pregnancy with her daughter Cora involved care providers who left her feeling uncertain about herself, her decisions, her ability to give birth and mother her baby.... all of this dynamic was already in play before she even headed to the hospital to have her baby. When the nurse asked, "do you want to try to push?" Her mind immediately began to question, "Well, should I? Surely someone should tell me..." This type of care is so common, and I truly believe that it leads so many mothers to question themselves on all kinds of matters when the truth is that YOU KNOW. You know your body and baby more than anyone else ever could. You are not a small piece of this puzzle... you ARE the puzzle. When McKenzie switched to homebirth and midwife-attended care with her second child, she began to truly embody this reality, which led to starkly different choices, feelings, and experiences. She shared how because of where she is mentally and in her heart, she's able to navigate through the challenges of motherhood with more grace, ease and fluidity than ever before. It's amazing to hear such an undeniable change.     This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
11/20/20231 hour, 40 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 256: From Changing Care Providers to Midwife Continuity with Shayna Piva

Have you ever felt like you were seeing a revolving door of different doctors throughout your pregnancy? HOW can you feel confident and comfortable with the provider if it just. keeps. changing?   This week we're speaking with Shayna- a mother to two precious boys, one born in the hospital and one at home. We'll hear how Shayna dealt with switching doctors in her first pregnancy, and how a revolving door of doctors in her second pregnancy sent her seeking the continuity and CARE of a midwife.   As you prepare for YOUR homebirth, I want to remind you that my desire is to serve you as deeply as possible. While so many mothers gain so much from this podcast, a totally free resource, I know that many of you are seeking deeper preparation. That's exactly what we do inside of Happy Homebirth Academy and The Homebirth Collective. I give you a clear-cut framework for preparing for your homebirth, or preparing for your homebirth AND the transformation into motherhood. No wondering if you have what you need. No stone goes unturned.   Click the link in the show notes to join, and don't forget to apply the code PODCAST at checkout for 10% for being a listener of the show.   Episode Roundup   How amazing was that? As we head into this week's episode roundup, I want to ask you- how do you think it impacts our transition into motherhood to be supported continuously by the same person, or the same small group of people, as opposed to a massive conglomerate of doctors who may or may not know anything about you?   I think we can all agree that the sacredness of this transition into motherhood is deserving of respect and individualization. Without continuity of care, it's sure hard to truly receive either. If you're on the fence about how you want to give birth, keep this in mind as you consider your options and seek care.   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
11/13/202325 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 255: Deep Familial Connection Through Homebirth with Anna Rivera

Did you know that you can use your birth to deeply unite your family unit?   Today we're speaking with Anna, a mother of three precious children with a bend towards all things holistic. Anna and her husband decided to use their third birth experience as a catalyst for the entire family-- truly restructuring the way that they experienced parenthood and the culture that they wanted to present to their family. I can't wait for you to hear how this played out.   Anna was a student inside of The Homebirth Collective, and it was so powerful to watch her grow and prepare for this birth experience. Now, being on the other side, I feel honored to have been able to support her into her newest, strongest version of motherhood. If this is what you're looking for in your life, I would LOVE to have you inside of The HBC. Click the link in the show notes to join today, and use the code PODCAST for 10% off at checkout.     Episode Roundup For many in the mainstream, it can be easy to be fooled into the belief that complexity is akin to safety. The hospital system- with its procedures, its protocols, its uniforms and medications- it can provide an, unfortunately, false sense of superiority to simplicity. To allowing our bodies to do exactly what they were designed to do- exactly how they were designed to do it. When we put our trust in a medical complex instead of our own brilliant innate physical intelligence, we almost always leave something beautiful on the table. Next, this very same system... it so frequently minimizes the magnificence of birth. And how can it not? It's a routine. It's a job. The goal is to prevent disaster, not to allow for transformation and beauty. When this is the environment we're in, it can be easy to miss the absolute wonder of what you've just experienced. If you find yourself in a hospital, be sure to remember that even though this is a regular day for your OB or midwife, it's a day of life-change for you. Do not let them downplay the magnificence of what has just happened. And finally, let's end where we began. Birth is a family event. It can involve your little ones, and it can serve as a catalyst to a new way of being together. I always say that birth is magnetic-- may it pull you all together-- never to be separated.   Before we go, I wanted to mention that Anna has started a blog. To learn more from her beautiful wisdom, be sure to follow along at: PARA SIEMPRE   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off  
11/6/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 254: From Interventions to Undisturbed with Bree Darby

Has your perception of an event ever changed after a period of time? If so, how did that impact your future decision-making?   And today we're speaking with Bree Darby. Bree is a mama of two girls, 4 years and 3 months, and a bonus mom of one boy, 11. She is a working/stay-at-home mom in the suburbs of Philadelphia who spends her time outside of work exercising, enjoying the outdoors, or spending time with her family. After a hospital birth filled with interventions, she was determined to have the un-disturbed, unmedicated birth she longed for with her first, and she knew that homebirth was the way to go. Throughout pregnancy, Bree overcame the struggle of harnessing her power to overcome the fear of homebirth through education and exercise.    As you prepare for YOUR homebirth, I want to remind you that my desire is to serve you as deeply as possible. While so many mothers gain so much from this podcast, a totally free resource, I know that many of you are seeking deeper preparation. That's exactly what we do inside of Happy Homebirth Academy and The Homebirth Collective. I give you a clear-cut framework for preparing for your homebirth, or preparing for your homebirth AND the transformation into motherhood. No wondering if you have what you need. No stone goes unturned. Click the link in the show notes to join, and don't forget to apply the code PODCAST at checkout for 10% for being a listener of the show.   Episode Roundup:   How cool was that? Hearing mothers gain education and make new choices never gets old to me! As we head into this week's episode roundup, one big thought is coming to my mind:   Sometimes our perception of an experience may change with time. When Bree had her first daughter, she didn't consider her care to be anything but normal. However, as time passed and she gained education, she realized that there were aspects of her care that she no longer appreciated. If this is you, I want to remind you that this is totally okay. AND... we have the option to gain new information, recognize that we would do things differently next time, and yet not condemn ourselves for previous decisions or think "wow, if only I had done xyz instead..." We are all learning and growing, and as we do that, our opinions and choices may change. Let's embrace that and move forward with confidence, just like Bree.   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
10/30/202348 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 253: Finding Joy While Experiencing Secondary Infertility with Shyla Brown

What happens when becoming pregnant goes from being quick and easy to long, emotional and difficult?   This week, we're speaking with Shyla Brown, a mother of 4 babes- 3 of whom were born at home. We'll walk through Shyla's experiences of pregnancy, which range from fast and unexpected to long-awaited while she struggled with secondary infertility. Shyla will share what she learned from that experience and the pelvic therapy that made SUCH a massive difference for her. And for those of you who are interested, that information is in the show notes, so go check it out!   Shyla was a student of mine inside of The Homebirth Collective while she prepared for her fourth baby. While she'd already had 3 births under her belt, Shyla knew that she wanted to re-enter birth and motherhood differently-- more sacredly-- this time around. And that's where the HBC came in. If you're looking to prepare for both your homebirth and the deep foundations of your sacred motherhood experience, I hope you'll join me inside of The HBC. The link is in the show notes, and you can use the code PODCAST for 10% at checkout.     Episode Roundup   What an incredible journey Shyla has been on. As we head into this week's episode roundup, I want to focus on the hope and joy that came alongside the pain of Shyla's struggle with secondary infertility. She did not give up on her dream of more children, she continued to learn and search, and she found such an amazing resource. There was so much pain in the losses she experienced, both of babies and her father, but there was a rainbow, indeed. And even moreso, I love that Shyla, CONTINUED to focus on her emotional healing after her third birth. When she became unexpectedly pregnant with Ulysses, baby #4, she knew she needed to take her mental and emotional preparation seriously, and that's exactly what she did inside of The Homebirth Collective. She didn't have to bring the hurt and sadness of her previous experiences into her birth, and that made all the difference.   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off  
10/22/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep 252: Minerals, Lymph, Fascia, Oh My! With Margaret Barry

How do we encourage optimal growth of our bodies and the bodies of our babies in pregnancy and birth? What are the foundational pieces to this?   This week we're speaking with Margaret Barry. After a history of restrictive dieting and over-exercising, Margaret decided to seek out a better understanding of physiology that goes beyond the unsustainable diets and quick fixes commonly promoted in the women’s health world.    After successfully resolving her digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, and healing her relationship with food and exercise, Margaret completed her Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner training in 2014 and immediately started working with clients.    Her Motherhood journey began with an intervention-heavy hospital birth of her daughter, after which she went on to have her second child- a son- at home, in a full-circle redemption of her own autonomy.    Over the years, she has continued to expand her knowledge base with a wide range of additional certifications, including HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) functional blood chemistry, fascia fitness, perinatal corrective exercise, and lymphatic exercise.    She specializes in mineral balancing, women’s metabolic health, and fascia-focused exercise. Margaret is passionate about helping women feel strong, energetic, comfortable, and confident in their bodies. She works with clients via her group programs, courses, and classes.     Episode Roundup   How amazing is it to speak with someone who is so well-rounded in all of the systems that so deeply support our health in pregnancy, birth and motherhood? As we head into today's episode roundup, I really just want to take a moment of gratitude for the exposure of these concepts. When we learn this kind of information, it may be the default to think, "UGH! Why didn't I know this before... this could have helped xyz...." And I totally understand that, because I've certainly felt it. But even moreso... how exciting to know now. How exciting to learn about our minerals, our lymph, our fascia, our bodies... so that we CAN become more aware stewards, and that we can influence our children's lives, whether they've yet to be conceived or they're already 25. This information is powerful, and we can use it with excited optimism.   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
10/16/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 251: A Deeper Understanding of the Transformative Power of Birth with Karey Hoffmann

How can we lean into the primal nature of birth and experience it as the full right of passage that it was designed to be?   Today we're speaking with Karey, a stay-at-home, soon to be homeschooling mom of three. In this episode, we'll uncover the work that Karey did, particularly between her second and third birth, that led to a deeper understanding of the transformative power that birth holds for those who seek.   Episode Roundup We talk about communication being extremely important, and Karey's story truly highlighted this. She and her husband Matthew truly spent time before their third birth working on communicating with one another about their hopes and desires of the event. This so clearly paid off in their experience together, and this birth was an extremely magnetizing event- pulling them even closer together. I love how Karey brought up this concept of the sanitization and sterilization of birth. You know, in the medical world, it seems as though the goal is to totally subdue the experience of birth. To pretend that #1, nothing can go wrong when in the hospital (which, of course we know isn't realtiy) but also to #2 prevent mothers from feeling...from EXPRESSING. Birth is meant to be expressive for goodness sake. But because of the way society has repressed this from mothers for so long, it often times takes deep exploration before birth to feel comfortable with this in the moment. And finally, there is so much power in our perspective. After her extremely in tense car birth at 70 miles per hour, Karey was left feeling uncertain about her experience. Between working with The Birth Story Doula and unpacking her feelings even further inside of the HBC, Karey is now able to look back on those events with a totally different perspective. And she was able to enter her third birth with an open mind and the feeling that this birth was going to be beautiful- and it sure was!   Tag @thebirthstorydoula This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
10/9/20231 hour, 28 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 250: Coming Into Your Own and Advocating for Your Dream Birth with Cortney Steffensmeier

When birth goes well in all of the physical ways, does that necessarily mean that it carried the emotional depth you desired?   This week we're speaking with Cortney Steffensmeier.   Cortney is the mother of 3 littles who ignited her passion for breastfeeding and maternal postpartum support. After working for nearly 10 years in western medicine, Cortney received a deeper calling to stay home with her babies while cultivating a network for her local moms. She is an IBCLC, postpartum doula, and CFT provider.   All three of her birth stories are quite different, with the common denominator being the Lord's goodness throughout each labor. She's here to shed light on how she came into her own and began to advocate for her dream birth over the years. Ultimately, we'll hear how she achieved the birth she wholeheartedly desired.   Episode Roundup   1. It’s common for the perception of birth that we had growing up to be counterproductive when it comes to preparing for our own birth. Cortney shared how she had never witnessed an unmedicated birth before having her second baby, and the only image she had of birth was from the video of her mother’s birth: a large epidural needle and a sterile-looking room did not provide excitement in Cortney’s mind for giving birth herself. If this is all that you have known of birth up until now, I’m so thrilled that you’re here gleaning a new perspective of what birth can be. 2. Next, Cortney shared how her third birth experience was an experience that bonded herself to her husband even more than before. Those who witnessed the birth were able to see just how palpable their love was, and even more, they truly represented what it means to be a team together. There's no way that this hasn't carried over into their parenting together. We already know it led into their postpartum, which brings me to point number 3. 3. Cortney shared that they finally gave postpartum the attention it deserved this time around. My friends, if there's anything I can share with you, it's that more than likely, your expectations of rest for postpartum need to INCREASE. Cortney and her husband were willing to accept the help of their friends and family when it came to taking care of their little ones, dropping them off and picking them up-- really, receiving help in all of its forms. They recognized the importance of those first weeks together solidifying their connection. I pray that you'll take this to heart. This is such a critical practice... I know it isn't always easy, and it may come with its own set of difficulty--how do we prepare to make this even feasible? But please, begin to consider this as early as possible so that you can make it happen to the best of your ability for your family. 4. And finally, Cortney's openness and willingness to have friends and loved ones around her during her birth experience was such a gift to those who witnessed. Just like we mentioned at the beginning of the roundup, Cortney had never seen an unmedicated birth before, much less a homebirth... and now she's passing along the beauty of what birth can be to all those who were in attendance. Community birth. What a blessing.   This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
10/2/202352 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 249: Surrendering to Physiological Birth and Motherhood with Jessica Livengood

Surrendering to Physiological Birth and Motherhood with Jessica Livengood   What does it mean to surrender to your birth experience? To surrender to motherhood?   This week's episode, we'll be speaking to my friend and Homebirth Collective student Jessica about her experiences with surrender in birth and motherhood. This conversation is so deep and SO useful- I know you're going to gain amazing insight from it.   Before we jump in, I want to share how deeply this concept relates to what we learn inside of The Homebirth Collective. You may wonder-- what makes The HBC different from other childbirth education? And the answer is that it's not strictly childbirth education. Yes, it's that, but it's so much more. Inside of The HBC we're focusing on the preparation of birth-- physical birth, and the spiritual, mental, emotional birth into motherhood. We spend weeks tending to the primal mother and learning how to lean into what we already have and have been given. If you're looking to use your birth experience as a transformational catalyst into a grounded motherhood, I'd love to have you inside of The HBC. Click the link in the show notes to join, and don't forget to use the code PODCAST for 10% off at checkout.   Episode Roundup Goodness, Jessica's story and her perspective of her birth are so beneficial to all of us. As we head into this episode roundup, she's given us so much to mull over. I'd like to start with the fact that Jessica has very clearly considered her birth and worked to integrate this experience into herself, her role as a mother and her life as a whole. My friends, this is critical. We talk about this inside of The HBC- the fact that truthfully, it matters less what the events ARE than it does how we INTEGRATE them. Jessica has considered her birth, noted how things unfolded, used her experiences to shape future decisions in motherhood and grown tremendously. This, in my opinion, is the definition of succes. I want to talk about a concept that I really love to flesh out inside of The HBC- this idea of instinct over instruction. When Jessica was shaking her belly and thighs through her waves... WOW. How powerful was this?! This was such a beautiful example of primal movement and intuitive knowing. Her body knew exactly what she needed to do to relax, and chances are it was even deeper than that- her body knew exactly how she needed to move to properly position and align her baby for birth. Our bodies aren't acting randomly. There is purpose to what they are inclined to do-- our biggest task? Get out of the freaking way. Get out of your thinking brain and let your feeling brain kick in. Jessica had to intentionally decide that she was going to continue to do what worked for her-- even in front of her birth team. THAT was the right decision. I love that she shared with this how she realized she was at a crossroads, and she made the decision that was most supportive of her labor, even if it felt awkward the first time she did it. And now- let's chat about what happens when instruction overrides our instinct. Jessica knew that the birthing process would be a time when her brain would be susceptible to outside opinions and instruction, and she learned firsthand how this could unfold. Despite her preparedness to listen to her body and follow her intuition when it came to all aspects of birth, particularly pushing and releasing the baby, she also felt a desire to go along with her midwife's instructions at the end. My friends, I am certainly not questioning the well-meaningness of this care provider, but I do have to remind you that NOBODY is in your body like you are. The reality is that many mothers are NOT as connected and intuitive during birth, because they haven't taken time to reconnect to the primal mother that they are-- but when you HAVE... oh my goodness. Your body knows what to do- your job is to surrender. Instinct over instruction. Talk about Surrender This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
9/25/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 248: Game-Time Birth Decisions with Katelyn and Thomas Fusco

What happens when you live and breathe homebirth, but you can't quite visualize how you want your birth to unfold.   Today I (Katelyn) am sitting down with my husband Thomas to share the birth story of our precious son, Thomas Jr.     For our previous birth stories: Lillian's Birth Janie's Birth     This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
9/18/20231 hour, 32 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 234: Making Birth Choices From a Place of Empowerment with Leigh Anne McGiff

Making Birth Choices From a Place of Empowerment with Leigh Anne McGiff   How do we respond to the unexpected? We know we can't control all of the circumstances of life, but what do we do when we're faced with new choices that must be made?   This week, we're speaking to my friend and Homebirth Collective student, Leigh Anne. Leigh Anne will be sharing about her two birth experiences and how she and her husband Colton were able to navigate "game time" decision-making in a way that led to a sense of pride and accomplishment.   Before we jump in, I want to encourage you to consider joining The Homebirth Collective, which is currently open for self-study. Throughout her story you'll hear the lessons that Leigh Anne learned inside of the program, and I am so grateful to hear how beautifully she was able to apply what she learned to her experience and her perspective of that experience, even now. If you want learn how to prepare for your homebirth, yes, but you also want to take seriously this transition into or back into motherhood as the sacred right of passage that it was always meant to be, join me inside today. Click the link in the show notes, and don't forget to use the code PODCAST for 10% off at checkout for being such a dedicated supporter of the show!     Episode Roundup Leigh Anne and Colton were confident and excited in their decision to give birth at home from a logical standpoint, but this didn't mean that there weren't mental aspects that had to be considered and dealt with during the end of her second pregnancy. Leigh Anne had loving, well-meaning family around her who were truly concerned for her decision to give birth at home. I loved how Leigh Anne was able to consider the WHY behind the actions and feelings of the people closest to her. Listen, not everyone is going to agree with your choices in birth.... just as they won't for the rest of motherhood. It comes with the territory. But being able to pull the positive meaning from something without changing your own decisions is an incredible skill, and Leigh Anne showed that quite gracefully. Some of us KNOW that we're homebirthers well before we get pregnant. We're confident, we're on fire and ready to go. On the other hand, some of us are more tentative. Maybe we see the benefits and accept them, and yet we still have aspects to work through. You're both welcome here. My prayer is that you'll gain courage and encouragement through these stories, yes, but even moreso my desire is to serve you on a deeper level by being able to walk through preparation with you. Whether that's in Happy Homebirth Academy or The Homebirth Collective, my desire is to have you excitedly anticipating the experience that is to come. And finally, decision-making. My friends, I've said it before and I'll say it again. We can't control every outcome. We can, however control our mindset. We can control how we make decisions. When we remember that we ALWAYS have a choice and we GET to make the choice that's best for us, even if it doesn't feel like a super fun choice-- like transferring care to a new provider 8 weeks before birth, or transporting to the hospital when we have extended fetal heart decelerations-- we still get to decide what we're going to do. And when we can OWN that choice, we are able to maintain our agency in the situation. We can look back confidently on our choices and feel proud of what we did with the information we had. Just like Leigh Anne and Colton. This Week's Sponsors: Araza Beauty: Code HOMEBIRTH for 15% off Informed Pregnancy+   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
9/11/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 233: Birth in Captivity to the Freedom of Homebirth with Esmeralda Carrillo

How did your birth location make you feel during your birthing experience-- confined and imprisoned, or totally set free?   This week, we're speaking to Esmeralda, a mother to 3 children, doula and homebirth shop owner. We'll hear how Esmeralda went from a confined hospital experience to absolute freedom in her homebirths.   If you're looking to prepare for your homebirth and motherhood, and you find yourself aligning with the information that I share, I would love to have you inside of one of my programs: Happy Homebirth Academy or The Homebirth Collective. Whether you're simply looking for straight-forward but REAL childbirth education for homebirthers inside of HHA, or you're ready to deeply prepare for not only your homebirth, but for motherhood as a whole inside of The Collective, I am so excited to support you. Click the link in the show notes to join today, and use the code PODCAST for 10% off at checkout.     Episode Roundup   Goodness, as I reflect on Esmeralda's story, one major, beautiful point comes to my mind. Instinct requires us to go internally. We've got to stop listening to the outside noise and focus on that depthy, God-given inner-knowing that we all hold as Primal Mothers. When Esmeralda did this for her third birth, it truly shifted everything. She found complete freedom in her birth, and she knew exactly what she was capable of as a mother-- that she had everything she needed inside herself all along.     Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
9/4/202353 minutes, 12 seconds
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Encore: Birthing Instincts With Dr. Stu

The wait is almost over, are you ready for the Fall2023 season of Happy Homebirth? Join me from your favorite podcast platform on September4 for our first brand new episode and mark your calendars for September 18, when my husband and I will be sitting down to tell all about our most recent birth experience.  It is completely unlike our previous experiences, and you don't want to miss it. What do Obstetricians have to say about homebirth?  Well, the one we're speaking to today certainly has some opinions that may surprise you in the best way.   This week, we're speaking with the incredible Dr. Stu Fischbein, a homebirth-attending Obstetrician, founder of Reteach Breech, and one of the two lovely co-hosts from the ever-inspiring podcast Birthing Instincts.   In this conversational episode, Dr. Stu, as usual, holds nothing back and shares his opinions regarding the current state of the medical oligarchy and how the last two years of pandemic chaos have exposed the realities that have existed for a long time, how this encroaches on midwives, mothers and people as a whole... and we discuss the responsibility that each one of us can choose to take in regards to our own health.   He shares the massive shifts in perspective that he's had over his career in terms of how maternity care should be managed, or better yet left alone, and he unabashedly shares his thoughts on the Covid, the vaccine and more.    Episode Roundup:   10 or so years into his career, Dr. Stu made a choice. He decided to recognize the fact that the way he'd been caring for patients did not align with the new knowledge and perspective that he was gaining. Honestly, it could have been a lot easier, a lot more comfortable for him to have stuck his head in the sand, continued down the ol' path of typical obstetric care and never be faced with the discomfort of change. I'm so grateful that he didn't do that. It's important that we listen to medical professionals--who have seen how things work on the inside-- when they share that things are often not done for the best interest of the patient. Of course, I'm sure many of this know this, but experiential knowledge is a whole other kind of knowledge.  Dr. Stu was pushed out of his hospital position and privlidge because he wouldn't cow to the mainstream model.  How frustrating to hear that those who DO truly care for the patient are often the first ones to be removed. And finally, let's end on something to consider and meditate on:  You, the mother, should be the one deciding the risks you are willing to take.  Yes, it is incredible to have trusted advisors and providers, but the authority of how and where and with whom you give birth should remain in your hands.  You have options. Resources FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective   Links: Birthing Instincts Atlas Shrugged Dissolving Illusions Casa Blanca The Business of Birth Control The Highwire
8/28/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 22 seconds
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Encore: Appreciating Rites of Passage, Releasing Fear, and Healing During Pregnancy

The wait is almost over, are you ready for the Fall2023 season of Happy Homebirth? Join me from your favorite podcast platform on September4 for our first brand new episode and mark your calendars for September 18, when my husband and I will be sitting down to tell all about our most recent birth experience.  It is completely unlike our previous experiences, and you don't want to miss it.   What the heck is a rite of passage… and why does this matter in regards to birth?    This week, we are speaking with Rachael Jean, a homebirth midwife and birth rite enthusiast.  In this episode we delve into the meaning of rites of passage, why they’re important, how to reclaim birth as a rite of passage, and… how to prepare for birth through healing.  Immediately I can tell you this will be an episode you’re going to want to save and listen to a couple of times.  I’m so excited for the wisdom that Rachael brought to this conversation.      Show Notes   Rachael Jean is a midwife practicing in Maine   She’s been working in ceremonial work, and feels that midwifery is her mission.   Rites of passage: a normal social and cultural event that brings societies together:  It brings honor and celebration.   birth, puberty, marriage, eldership, death   There is not a very strong entrance into adulthood in our current society   How do we begin to prepare ourselves for this rite of passage?   -It’s about healing: Birth was robbed from women with “twilight sleep” and midwives having to go underground   -Rachael’s main goal is to go back through childhood and heal generational traumas: relationship to mother, to father, to child, and wounding patterns related to the elements   -Rachael strongly feels that babies are master teachers— they come down and know exactly what lessons you need to learn   “Birth is the utmost of the feminine….”     The goal is to gain awareness and presence so that we can create space to make choices.   Women deserve to love their birth story, no matter what.    It’s about honoring the mother, the father and the child.  In presence, we get a chance to bring honor back to daily life.     Rachael’s recommendation: Unpack the baggage while you’re pregnant!   Episode Roundup: I promise I didn’t pay Rachael to talk about this— But the topic just keeps coming up, and I know it’s vitally important.  The concept that we can choose not to feel like victims of our birthing experiences.  We can ready ourselves for the balancing act of both birth preparation and feminine wildness, and we can positively claim our birth stories, no matter the specifics of how they unfold. I love the concept of honoring these rites of passage in order to more deeply appreciate the beauty in our day to day being. The element of presence in each moment— wow, it just adds such depth to every experience, both big and small. Finally… unpack your baggage.  I love the emphasis Rachael puts on finding a way that works for you to heal yourself in pregnancy.  You know, gestation is such a time of transformation already, adding this highly important work of healing only makes sense in such a time, and it seems to reason that our minds are already in a place of willingness to take on such a task.  As she mentioned, there are so many ways we can approach healing, so find what works for you.  Counseling, Rachael’s course, self-directed.  During my second pregnancy I found such great healing and fear release through reading the Psalms.  But whatever you choose, set the intention to heal those wounds and I know the results will overwhelm you.   elementalbirthrites.com Reclaiming pregnancy and birth as a rite of passage (facebook) elementalmidwifery.com Elemental Birthrites IG  
8/21/202346 minutes, 48 seconds
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Encore: Homebirth and Chiropractic Wisdom With Dr. Courtney Kahla

Let’s say you’re a birth expert- you’ve been working with pregnant mothers for years, and you’re finally having the homebirth of your dreams.  Is firm education enough, or will there possibly be unexpected tests in the emotional and mental aspects of birth? This week we’re speaking with the marvelous Dr. Courtney Kahla.  Dr. Courtney is a nervous system centered chiropractor specializing in families. She is the owner of Our Well House: a multidisciplinary wellness center in Dallas, TX. Her mission is to encourage others to experience freedom in their physical, mental, and spiritual health. She is passionate about empowering others to take control of their health by living a lifestyle that honors their God-given innate ability to heal.   We’re going to spend part of this episode discussing chiropractic care, and then the rest diving deep into Dr. Courtney’s own homebirth journey.  And wow, you’re in for so much wisdom sprinkled throughout her story.   One theme we discuss in Dr. Kahla’s story is the need for emotional and mental preparation when it comes to homebirth, beyond the basics of childbirth education.  With that in mind, I want to invite you to join me as you prepare for your own empowering homebirth experience.  Let’s use the unbelievably transformative time of pregnancy as a catalyst into the most incredible motherhood journey.  How?  Join me inside of Happy Homebirth Academy, where preparing for your homebirth is both thorough and joyful.  Learn to comfortably step into your role as the responsible, intuitive mother that you are, and hone those lifelong skills while we educate you on all aspects of midwifery care, physiological birth, and preparing your heart and home.  We cover the physical, yes, but we also go deep into the importance of emotional and mental preparation, all while inviting your spouse to be deeply involved and connected from pregnancy, through labor and on into the blissful postpartum period.  You ready to transform?  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/hha to get started today.   As always, please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not medical advice, it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for yourself and your family.   Episode Roundup: I loved the way that Dr. Courtney approached the selection of her care provider.  Yes, there were a number of providers in her area that she liked and trusted, but she knew that she needed someone who was going to be comfortable with the informed decisions she was planning to make during her pregnancy and labor.  She knew the right questions to ask.  “What would cause me to risk out of care with you?  What procedures would you be uncomfortable with me declining?”  Knowing what you want in a care provider before you walk in for the interview makes this so much easier.  Make sure you check out episodes 157 and 159 if you’re looking for more specific help in this area.  I’ll link those below. I really appreciate the discussion of how vulnerable we are to ideas in labor.  Dr. Kahla knew she wanted to fully listen to her body, but when her midwife gave her the very loving tip of giving a few pushes if she wanted— Dr. Courtney did, even though outside of labor she had adamantly wanted to experience Fetal Ejection Reflex on her own.  Listen, midwives are human and like Dr. Courtney said, this was totally well-intentioned.  But it does go to show us that nobody outside of your body can feel what’s going on inside of your body as well as you can— This is a great lesson for all of us to learn from.  If your midwife gives you advice, it can be really easy to just go along with it— of course—we trust them— but remember to trust yourself, too.  Listen to the advice, but then try to take a moment before you accept it just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. And finally, wow.  Labor can be so, so mental.  Dr. Courtney, the mother that her midwife said she had ZERO worries about desiring to transfer because of her endurance and grit, got to a vulnerable place where she needed her team’s support and reminder that she could, in fact, do this thing.  And do it, she did.  Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy Episode: Communicating With Your Birth Team About Expectations and Desires Episode: When Your Midwife Choices are Limited Free Homebirth Essentials Clickable List Waitlist for The Homebirth Collective Dr. Courtney's Instagram Dr. Courtney's website
8/14/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 18 seconds
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Encore: Simplifying Birth, Simplifying Childhood with Ginny Yurtich

Have you ever been disqualified from something?  Maybe you were in a swim meet and your feet touched the bottom of the pool.  Maybe your scholarship essay was too short and you were taken out of the running…. But have you ever been considered disqualified in your birthing location?   This week we’re speaking with an incredible woman, Ginny Yurtich, founder of 1000 hours outsideJih, and mother of 5 children with very different birth stories.  In her first birth, Ginny’s pre-eclampsia “disqualified” her from her birth center experience, and we’ll see just how she handled this in subsequent births.      Episode Roundup: The people who surround us can play such a huge role in our decisions.  When we look back at Ginny’s first birth, she was considering an elective c section, as her friend very much enjoyed hers.  But then, her brother’s roommate introduced her to the work of Ina May Gaskin, and her whole story was changed.  Though the first two births did not work out nearly how she had desired, the seed was planted, and Ginny’s perception on birth was forever changed.  Small changes can add up to massive results.  Ginny discussed how after simply “getting through” her third pregnancy/first homebirth, she was ready to start making changes during her next pregnancy.  She was able to head off her pre-eclampsia symptoms with liver support and appropriate nutrition, and her labor was dramatically shortened. And then… Ginny learned that birth was her responsibility.  She took complete control in her final homebirth, and that 95 minute experience taught her so many lessons.  We are always responsible for our birth, but when we recognize that and actually capitalize on it— what an incredible difference it can make in the lives of our entire family. And finally, simplicity is so beautiful.  Ginny simplified her birth through unmedicalizing it, and she simplified her life by putting the focus on spending time in nature.  The real nectar comes from the basics, and Ginny’s life is a glorious testimony to it.    Follow Ginny: @1000hoursoutside Ginny's website: www.1000hoursoutside.com
8/7/20231 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
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Encore: Elizabeth’s Peaceful Surprise Twin Homebirth

What surprised you most about your homebirth?  Was it… the way you vocalized during your surges?  Or maybe it was how incredibly accomplished you felt afterward?  Or… was it the number of babies that you gave birth to?   This week we’re speaking to Elizabeth Parsons, who really brought the surprise factor to her fourth birth and first homebirth.    Episode Roundup: Can you imagine that experience?  The shock of thinking you’re pushing out a placenta, but then being handed a second baby?  Absolutely incredible.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I wanted to focus on a few things that came up. I love that Elizabeth brought up the ridiculousness of due dates.  Number one, they’re not even a good average of first time labors.  Number two, why?  Why must we assign this additional stress to our bodies and our babies when they’re simply just trying to grow and work together?  Elizabeth brought up some great points regarding the immediate postpartum, and just how… not conducive the hospital can be to bonding, and not even conducive to healing or establishing our milk supply— nutrition is so important, and jello just doesn’t really cut it…. You know, unless it’s grass-fed gelatin made at home, which is actually my favorite. One of my favorite aspects of Elizabeth’s final labor was when her midwife so tenderly read her affirmation and scripture cards to her.  I’m sure it was such an encouraging moment in her labor. And finally, my friends…birth is a mystery.  Sometimes it unfolds similarly to what we expect, and other times we birth a surprise second breech baby.  No matter how it presents  itself (pun intended), birth is so beautiful, and so transformative.  And mamas, we can do amazing things. Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and purqelyparsons and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!    Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off
7/31/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 46 seconds
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Encore: Birth as a Rite of Passage with Dr. Rachel Reed

Today's guest: Dr Rachel Reed is a midwife, academic, author, and international speaker who focuses on childbirth physiology, midwifery practice, and women's rights (and rites). She has provided midwifery care for many women and has attended births in a wide range of settings and circumstances. Rachel is the author of the award-winning blog MidwifeThinking and the co-host of The Midwives' Cauldron podcast. She has published widely in journals and magazines, and her first book Why Induction Matters is a popular resource for women and care providers. Her most recent book Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage: weaving ancient wisdom with modern knowledge will be published early 2021. Further information about Rachel and her work is available at www.rachel-reed.website. and….she’s just delightful.    I find myself getting sucked into her blog archives for hours at a time, and for today’s episode I decided to ask her about several topics that she covers quite wonderfully there.  I know you’re going to deeply enjoy this episode.  With that, let’s jump in!    Show Notes:   Big Babies Most women having homebirth in Australia have “big” babies, and they’re not scary.  In hospital, however, it can be a different story.  If a doctor diagnoses a mother with a “big baby” on ultrasound, it can begin to cause stress and fear for her. Dr. Reed mentions that the research does not separate healthy, normal big babies from those whose mothers have gestational diabetes.  These babies tend to have bigger shoulders and can have more difficulty coming out (though most of them come out just fine, too). “Big babies don’t scare me, but what people do about big babies does scare me.” Women who are told they have a big baby: C sections, tearing, poorer outcomes are more likely— so it’s the outside causing the problem. A care provider’s fear of the big baby can cause many of the interventions   Gestational Diabetes as a label— fairly nonsensical If there are abnormally high blood glucose levels circulating, that does impact the baby and potentially the birth.  However, the blood glucose levels being used are not evidence-based In Australia, around 17% of women are now labeled as a gestational diabetic. When Dr. Reed was training, we only tested those who had risk factors. The issues with challenge tests: it’s an abnormal test— many pregnant women are not drinking sugary drinks, so the tests results can be very off.   VBAC- Mountain or Molehill?  Is this as dangerous as the medical community seems to happen? Research related to this is mixed with those who are having inductions and those who are not— when we remove those who are having inductions, we see the already small number of issues become all the smaller. Statistically a <1% chance of uterine rupture, compared to all of the issues that may occur during a Cesarean (there is a higher chance of losing the uterus due to hemorrhage during c-section than having a uterine rupture). Inside the hospital, there’s been higher support for VBACs… if it’s done the right way: prepared for surgery, continuous monitoring, etc. Many women are choosing to have home births because they’re having VBACs to avoid all of the issues that can occur in the hospital   The woman is the decision-maker.  It’s her body, her baby, her experience.  Dr. Reed discusses how the care provider’s role is to support the woman in whatever decisions she is making.   It’s so important to make sure that the midwife and client are on the same page at the very beginning of the relationship.    “This is who I am, this is what I want, this is what I expect of you” from both client and midwife.   Fear Around Childbirth   Dr. Reed considers fear to be an important aspect regarding birth, as ancestrally we always would have had some amount of respect/fear for birth.     Separation Phase (early labor)— There’s anxiety and stress because you’re feeling the contractions begin.  The neocortex needs to be functioning at that time to prepare your surroundings.   Liminal Phase (active labor)— High endorphins, you look stoned— a woman should not be frightened significantly during this phase   Emergence Phase (birthing baby)— Requires neocortex function again, as you need to be able to push out your baby and then care it.    How does this happen? (transition)  The body sends a huge serge of adrenaline— many people experience this as fear.  “I can’t do it” “help me” “I’ve had enough”     Preparation phase— all about the woman building self-trust.  Instead of trying to get rid of fear, we should focus on nurturing self-trust.  What do YOU need in order to trust that you can do this?   Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage   It’s been a very long labor, post dates!   Chapters: Herstory Legacy Blood Mysteries Childbirth as a Rite of Passage Preparation (physiology, rites of passage, rites of protection, Separation Liminality Emergence Integration Medical Birth Rites     Episode roundup:   I really want to end today’s episode focusing on the first two words in the title of Dr. Reed’s upcoming book: Reclaiming Birth.  What does that mean to you, to reclaim birth?  The honest truth is that this momentous event, this life-altering rite of passage has indeed been stolen from mothers.  Generations of women didn’t even realize this, and many in my own generation still do not see that their power to be decision-makers in their own birthing experiences has been removed.  But… now, there’s such easier access to information.  Now we can look back, see the atrocities of the medical system in regards to birth, and CHOOSE something different.  We can choose to be in charge of our care, in charge of our birthing experience, in charge of our motherhood.  I want to thank Dr. Reed for adding to the evidence with her continued work.       
7/24/202347 minutes, 7 seconds
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Encore: Homebirth is a Team Sport

Show Notes:   Christine and Andrew started their pregnancy journey traditionally with OB care.  However, as the pregnancy progressed, they began feeling more and more frustrated about the fact that appointments were fast and shallow.  There was not in-depth preparation for childbirth, and they felt there must be something missing. The couple decided to begin their own research, which led them to switch to midwifery care and homebirth. Their commitment to giving birth at home grew as they became closer with their midwife, and as she answered their questions and prepared them deeply on what to expect during the entire process.  Both Christine and Andrew recognized the added layers of safety in their homebirth experience because they did know their midwife so well. Whenever there were questions about what happens if something goes wrong, their midwife always had a quality answer on what to expect and the protocol. Christine expected to go beyond 40 weeks, for at 38 weeks she and Andrew decided to go camping.  On the trip, her water began leaking.  They went home the next morning and prepared for the onset of labor. Throughout the process of labor, Christine and Andrew worked together.  He kept up with what she needed and encouraged her through contractions— reminding her to breathe and relax.  This was incredibly helpful during Christine’s long and arduous pushing phase. Andrew recalled how amazing it was that the midwife was able to recognize when to step in and provide feedback and when to stay back and remain an observer. He truly understood that it was his duty to be Christine’s support person. After baby was born, he needed resuscitative breaths.  Christine and Andrew were calm and confident during this experience. Once he was breathing and stable, the midwives began tended to Christine, as she was bleeding a good bit. After a while, the midwives had to perform an internal examination of the uterus to see what was causing the bleeding. Though uncomfortable, Christine and Andrew both felt completely calm during what could have otherwise been a traumatic experience, as the felt heard, understood, and like the most important people on the birth team.   Episode Roundup:   I am so appreciative of this episode and the perspective it brings.  It’s so important to focus on mothers and their experience of birth, yes, but what a disservice we are doing if we’re not showing up for dads and helping them see how they fit into the equation.  Christine and Andrew worked together so beautifully before, during and after their birthing experience, and Andrew’s understanding of his responsibilities as the birth partner certainly added massive value to their homebirth.  I hope this episode acts as inspiration and as a roadmap for other fathers who are looking for ways to be involved in the birthing experience.  You’re part of this team, and you’re incredibly important.    
7/17/202344 minutes, 53 seconds
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Encore: Emily Catches Her Own Baby

Did you know that you could be so intimately aware of what's going on in your labor that you could be the one to reach down and catch your own baby?   I sure didn't with my first daughter, and there's absolutely no way I would have been able to take the death grip off of my husband to do any such thing.   But Emily... Emily planned and prepared for a mindful homebirth, and her goal was to catch her own baby (her first birth!).  She was a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy, and I'm so excited to say that darn it, she did it!  Listen in to hear just how she achieved her goal.   Show Notes:   Emily's start to motherhood was different from the traditional route: She and her husband were called to foster-to-adopt immediately after Emily met her son at work.  She knew he was hers, and she would do anything for him.   After a long and stressful road, their son finally legally became a part of the family.  At this point, he was 3 years old.  Emily was suddenly hit with baby fever!   Emily began looking into homebirth.  She had had a traumatic time in the hospital at 19 and did not feel that it would be a healing place to have a baby.   After watching Katelyn's birth video of her second baby, Lillian, Emily decided she wanted to have the same type of empowering birth.  She joined Happy Homebirth Academy and put in all of the effort required to achieve her goal.   Emily woke up at 2:30 am in active labor.  She labored on her side for several hours, knowing that this was the position she was comfortable in. Once she moved to the tub, she stayed in the same kneeling position for the remainder of her labor... except when she did her best to switch positions for just a moment.  Although she decided to return back to her previous spot, this movement was enough to dislodge her baby's head (turns out she way asynclitic!) and begin the process of crowning. Emily reached down and caught her own baby--triumphantly!   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off 
7/10/202355 minutes, 29 seconds
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Encore: Real Food for Pregnancy (and Postpartum!) With Lily Nichols

Pregnancy and postpartum.  Many of us strive to maintain a healthy diet during these pivotal times, but what does a healthy diet look like?  Should we stick to the guidelines?   Enter Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE.  Lily is an expert on all things nutrition pertaining to the pregnant mother.  She is the author of two books: Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, and Real Food for Pregnancy.   Lily sheds light on what it looks like to eat nutrient dense foods, how our food choices affect ourselves and our babies, and how real food can set us up for real success in the postpartum period.   Check out these links from the show!   https://lilynicholsrdn.com/real-food-postpartum-recovery-meals/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/prenatal-guidelines-updated/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/choline-pregnancy-folates-cousin/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/postpartum-iron-deficiency-anemia-rethinking-low-iron-requirements/
7/3/202348 minutes, 50 seconds
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Encore: How Did We Get Here?! The History of U.S. Maternity Care

Have you ever been on a drive and say 15 minutes in you think to yourself, “Woah, how did I get here?  You realize you’ve lost your way and you need to turn it around and go back to the start.    In this week’s episode, we’ll be taking a look at the past, the history of midwifery and women’s care as it pertains specifically to the United States, and delving into some of the reasons that compared to many other westernized countries, women and babies in the US have abysmal outcomes. We’ll be sharing just how lost we’ve become when it comes to maternity care, and how we should really turn this car around.   Janelle Alier is a Certified nurse midwife local to me, and one of the coolest women around.  As she’ll explain momentarily, she’s worked with moms and babies in a number of capacities, and she recently opened her own homebirth practice, Paris Mountain Midwifery.   Show Notes:   Anciently (ex. Ancient Greece), women were held in high regard and valued as healers.  When the mindset began to change, in a way this was the beginning of the end.  This change corresponded more with religious and theological changes, not the dawn of medicine. Protestants burning “witches”—women healers Much of the knowledge gained over time began was lost with these women   Colonial America- childbirth attendants were women/midwives/family matriarchs   1800s- medical schools are popping up.  Physicians were around, but not trying to be involved at all   19th century—we could charge a fee! Began being interested in birth.  Obstetrics   Midwifery predates medicine: Rachel’s midwife is mentioned in Genesis   Varney’s Midwifery includes transcripts from Doctors meetings talking about the “midwife problem”   One doctor said the answer was to “educate the ignorants”.  This started a campaign to portray midwives as dirty and uneducated.   Laws began to change—it became illegal for midwives to practice the way they had.  They now had to obtain licensure by the state, which was almost impossible to do.    What’s happening to birth at this time?  Physicians recognize that the midwives are more skilled and have better outcomes, but they did not try to work with or learn from the midwives.   Obstetrics in its infancy—it’s not going great!  Many deaths in the early years are now attributed to anesthesia   They were giving morphine and narcotics, which we now know doesn’t lessen the pain, it just makes you care less… and forget.   Culturally there was not a lot of accountability.  Family members were told that the women didn’t survive because “birth is dangerous.”   Late 50’s, early 60’s- nearly all birth occurred in the hospital   In the late 60’s and 70’s, there was a small subset of the population who revived the natural childbirth movement, but by that point, the medical model was so mainstream that this movement was considered radical   80’s and 90’s- c section rates soared   In the last few years, we’ve realized we’ve lost our way.  The profession of midwifery is becoming more organized, though there’s not tons of money for research, scholarships etc. as there are for medical students.   In South Carolina, Black Grand Midwives were the women delivering babies and taking care of the communities.   What do we do?   More midwives,  more midwives of color, better integration of midwives and the hospital setting  (if a mother needs to transport to the hospital, that should be easy).   In other areas of the Westernized world (Europe, Scandanavia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc.) midwifery wasn’t wiped out the same way it was in the United States. And their outcomes are much better than ours.    In the UK—there are 5-6 times more midwives than OBs.  Everyone starts with a midwife, and if you need a physician, you get referred by your midwife.  The OBs manage higher risk care while midwives manage low risk birth.   In the US, only 10% of births are attended by midwives.  In Alaska, it’s up to 30%, whereas in Arkansas, it’s more like 1-2%.    If you overlay a map of birth out comes by state and the integration of midwives… you see that where there are more midwives practicing, there are better birth outcomes.   In the US, we have 1% of planned homebirths in the home.  Most American midwives work in the hospital.  Globally, not only do they have more midwives, but they also have more options.  You can have a midwife at home, or she can follow you into the hospital and continue care (this is not the case in the US).    Episode Roundup  The first thing I want to emphasize is the idea of encouraging the little ladies in our lives to embrace their healing and intuitive natures. What a spiritual gift—And truly, the best way to encourage this is to embrace it ourselves. Isn’t it amazing how in a matter of just a few generations our country lost so much birth wisdom? I’m grateful for the resurgence of midwifery, but how heartbreaking to think of where we could be now if circumstances had played out differently.  Perhaps our outcomes wouldn’t be so abysmal. And finally, looking towards the future, we have a chance to make things better.  We have the ability to speak out about the inexcusable rates of maternal and infant mortality.  We have the ability to inform other moms of their options, so that they’re willing to speak out, too.  On a local level, this can be as small as sharing your birth choices and experiences with others.   This is a perfect moment for me to give a huge thank you to all of the mothers who have so willingly shared their stories on this podcast.  Thank you for inspiring other mothers and showing how beautiful birth can be.  
6/26/202355 minutes, 47 seconds
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Encore: Leah and Her Midwife Handle a Complication

Show Notes: Leah is a registered nurse engaged to a UFC fighter, Brandon Davis. They have just grown their family with a new baby! She had a homebirth with her first baby. When asked how she decided to have a homebirth, she said she’s always been fascinated with it, but she doesn’t have any friends or family members who had had homebirths previously.  That being the case, it took a large amount of research on her part to come to the decision and know for certain she wanted to give birth at home. As a registered nurse, she did have some negative reactions from coworkers and friends about her decision. “I think that labor is best left untouched.” Leah’s fiancé was very uncomfortable with the idea of a homebirth. Early on, she asked him to visit several care providers, and he quickly disagreed, saying she needed to give birth in the hospital like every other “normal” mom! Not wanting to argue, Leah began seeing an OB. She continued with this care provider up until week 26, when she began feeling very uncomfortable with the idea that she was now going to be having a hospital birth. She decided to set up a quiet little meeting with a local midwife without involving her fiancé until afterwards. She immediately felt connected with this midwife and said, “This is it.  I know that whatever my birth story is going to be, you are going to be a part of it.” Leah continued to see both her OB and her midwife up until week 36, where she completely transferred care over to her midwife.  Though she liked her OB, Leah began feeling pushed to do things she didn’t want to do, including a  3rd trimester ultrasound and weekly cervical checks after 35 weeks. She felt that her prenatals were far more in depth with her midwife; they discussed issues like nutrition, which never happened with her OB- not because she didn’t care, but simply because there was just not enough time. In fact, her OB was so busy, that she had a patient due every single day of the month that Leah was due. She had warned Leah that she would likely not be the person delivering her baby anyway. Leah’s midwife was able to discern that her baby was posterior, and explained how that had the potential to complicate, or at least prolong, labor. She recommended chiropractic care and yoga to help get baby in a more optimal position.  She appreciated how much more hands-on her care was with her midwife. The OB pushed for a 3rd trimester ultrasound to see baby’s position, but her midwife already knew baby’s position by consistent belly palpation.  “I felt like she was almost a sister or a mom to me, as well as a care provider.” Leah decided to work up until the day that she gave birth.  She was healthy and her baby was healthy, so she decided to continue. During her 39th week, she got up on a Friday to go to work and noticed some bloody show. She let her midwife know, and asked her what that meant in relation to when labor would start.  Her midwife responded that it could be any time between the next 24 hours and week! Leah went to work and worked the full 12 hour shift. She was on her feet all day, and by the time she got home, she was feeling crampy and “not good,” but she hadn’t realized at that point that she was on the cusp of labor. Leah tried to go to sleep early, but couldn’t sleep. Although she was feeling crampy, she thought that maybe she was just experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions.  At about 3:30 in the morning, the discomfort was feeling less tolerable.  She thought that maybe she should start timing them to see if they were actually contractions.  At this point, she was having contractions every five minutes.  At 4:30, she called her best friend who lives hours away and let her know that she thought today was going to be the day, so get in the car and head her way whenever she was up and ready. At 5, Leah called her midwife and let her know what she was feeling. An hour later, she called her midwife back and let her know that she was still consistently contracting. At 8:30, Leah’s midwife arrived. Leah says, “I remember walking to the door and saying, ‘Hey…I feel like crap.’” Her midwife checked her and said, “Strong work, girl! You’re a 6!”  Leah was very happy to know that her contractions were doing something! Leah’s midwife had an assistant with her, who also acted similar to a doula during the experience. In the late afternoon/evening, she was checked again and was at 9cm with her bag of waters still intact. Her midwife gave her the option of continuing with labor uninterrupted or breaking her water.  Leah decided to wait and see and did not want her water broken at that time. She labored on for another hour and began feeling exhausted. At that point, she decided to have her water broken.  She as laboring on the bed at this time, but her midwife told her she should try to decide where she wanted to be when they had the baby since they were getting close.  She labored for about 26 hours total, but only spent about 45 minutes in the pool.  She decided she wanted to go back to the labor pool. Leah’s midwife told her that would be fine… but she was worried that they wouldn’t actually have time to get the birth pool set back up before baby arrived. Leah decided to go for the next best thing- her shower! At this time, she was already feeling pushy.  With her next contraction, she made a clear pushing sound, so her midwife came back into the room…. Only to realize that Leah had already birthed the baby’s head! Her midwife came behind her and provided perineal support to help prevent tearing. After a few pushes, Leah’s midwife that the baby wasn’t coming out.  She asked Leah to give her everything she had during the next push.  At this point, Leah was doing all that she could, and wondered what was happening.  Her midwife told her that she would need to get out of the shower if baby didn’t come with the next push. Baby still did not come, so Leah stepped out of the shower/tub and her midwife had her get onto her hands and knees on the bathroom floor. Her midwife had her alternate lifting one knee into a runner’s lunge, and then the other knee.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Baby still was not coming, though Leah’s midwife did free a nuchal cord that was wrapped twice around his neck. At this point, about 5 minutes had passed. Leah’s midwife had her lie down on her back and lift her knees up as high as possible (this is called the McRoberts maneuver).  Baby came at this point!! Leah’s baby was not crying or vigorous when he was born- he was absolutely exhausted. It took a bit of stimulating him to finally get a solid response.  Of course, he was attached to the cord this entire time, so he was still receiving oxygen via the placenta.  Even after this entire situation, Leah did not tear at all during her birth. She and her midwives spoke after everyone had calmed down. Leah was curious to hear how this situation would have played out in the hospital.  She learned that she certainly would have received an episiotomy, which she mentions is not a very helpful intervention because a shoulder dystocia is not a skin-on-skin issue, but rather a bone-on-bone issue.  Leah says that she felt so good postpartum that she probably didn’t take it quite as easy as she should have. Postpartum bleeding ended up being somewhat of an issue. She had a hard time just lying in, so she admits that she ended up doing too much and being on her feet too much! She felt such a sense of empowerment after the experience, and so did her fiance. He was very upfront that he didn’t want her to give birth at home, but after the experience, he couldn’t stop bragging about her. He was so happy with their birthing experience.   Episode Roundup This is an amazing example of a rather large complication being handled at home. Notice how calmly and skillfully Leah’s midwife managed the shoulder dystocia.  She had her get up, then hands and knees, then alternating lunges, and finally had her move onto her back with her legs pulled up.  She also knew the importance of course of keeping the cord attached so that Leah’s baby still had a direct flow to oxygenated blood, even if he wasn’t quite breathing yet. Just because you’re feeling empowered and strong doesn’t mean you should go make dinner! Once again, make sure you are taking care of your body and recovering appropriately after birth.  If your gut is telling you to go with a certain care provider, please be in tune with that.   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off 
6/19/202340 minutes, 38 seconds
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Encore: From Valley to Mountain: Laura’s Spiritual, Pain-Free Birth

Pain-free childbirth is a myth.... right?   Laura is a mother of 3, and she and her husband were newly married when they became unexpectedly pregnant.  They had recently moved, and found themselves moving back into Laura's parents' house as they got their finances in order.    Because she had never spent time around babies, Laura took a nannying job for a newborn during her pregnancy.  When he napped, she would read books.  A family member gave her Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and at 35 weeks her entire outlook on birth shifted.  She even considered a homebirth, but soon realized this would not be possible in her family's house.   Laura switched to midwifery care within the hospital and had a beautiful natural birth.  She wanted to give birth in the water, which she did.   When she became pregnant again 11 months later, she prayed for a shorter birthing time.  That's exactly what she got-- though the experience left her reeling and feeling out of control, even slightly scared of birth.  She did have a natural birth, and it was short, but it was quite stressful for her.   During this postpartum experience, Laura struggled immensely.  She had an incredibly emotional time and leaned on her faith like never before.  She learned about grace on a personal level, and worked through many problems and emotions that had previously never seen the light of day.  Finally, she felt like she could see the light at the end of the tunnel....   And then Laura found out that she was pregnant again.  This came as a massive shock to her, as she and her husband were not planning for this.  While the realization that she was carrying new life initially thrilled her, once the thought set in, Laura began to panic with fear that she would have to go through all of this postpartum pain and suffering again.  She worried that she was nutritionally depleted, and that this third pregnancy would cause more depletion.   Laura continued to rely on her faith and her husband, and she prayed about her upcoming birth.  She was finally going to be able to have a homebirth, and she wanted this experience to be not only spiritual, but also pain free.  She dedicated time and prayer to this end, and she created space for this to happen.   When Laura had her third baby, all were shocked to see her raising her hands in worship during her contractions.  When her baby crowned, and then the head was born, Laura truly did not realize it had happened.  Her birth was 100% pain-free.   Laura emphasized the fact that this can be the case for anyone-- creating space for this type of positive outcome is so important.   Episode Roundup:   I wanted to touch once again on this idea on creating space for the positive experiences.  I love that Laura cleared her fears when necessary and focused on the notion that she could indeed have a beautiful, pain-free experience.  It's a great reminder for us all: Clear fears and create space for the beautiful experience that birth can be!     Resources: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off 
6/12/202345 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 232: A Primal First Time Homebirth with Sara Middleton

First births: You don't know what's going on with your body, they're long, and mothers enter them feeling uncertain and needing reassurance.... right?   This week we're speaking to Sara, who lives in Travelers Rest, South Carolina with her husband Rob, their first child and son, Charlie, and their two big all american mutts, Captain and Bucky. Sara and her husband Rob strive to live a gospel-centered and holistic/ancestral lifestyle to create the best and safest environment for their children to learn and thrive. Homebirth was their Plan A and Charlie’s birth Story wasn’t exactly what Sara envisioned, it was BETTER and one of the best and most intimate memories she and Rob will ever share together.     Episode Roundup:   Just because it's your first birth does not mean that it's going to be long, that you're going to feel uncertain and need reassurance and that you don't know what to do. Sara walked into birth with confidence. Did she expect to give birth to her baby in the closet? No. But did her body know exactly what it was doing? Absolutely. Sara had admitted that she felt totally confident in her ability to birth her baby, and Rob's ability to support her. With their lifestyle and their deep trust in the birthing process and the Lord, this experience was so... them. And postpartum- there is just so much going on during this time. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I love hearing Sara gush about how Rob has been such an incredible support throughout. This is such a special time for your spouse to step up. To shower you with care, to be your hero, and to leave the two of you feeling more drawn together than ever before.   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code BABYBOY for 20% off (June 5~11, 2023) Code PODCAST for 10% off   
6/5/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 231: Reclaiming Primal Movement to Improve Your Family’s Wellbeing with Paris Latka

What does your posture communicate to yourself, your baby, and the world? Perhaps it seems unimportant or insignificant, but as you'll learn today-- there is SO much to the way in which we hold ourselves.   This week we're speaking with my incredible friend, coach and mentor Paris Latka. Paris is the founder of her business IAM Health, which stands for Intelligent Alignment Movement Health.  It is her greatest passion to support people feeling fantastic in their bodies, connected to their hearts and clear in their minds. She does this through Bowspring primal movement therapy, myofascia release, holistic nutrition & smart supplementation. She loves to geek out about fascia, postural alignment, and its role in our well-being nutrition, movement and anything that optimizes health.  All of her work is geared towards realizing and increasing the love frequency in our bodies and on the planet.   Paris and I will be speaking about the Bowspring method and how it's changed her life and already begun to transform my own. I pray this information will be of unbelievable use to you and your family, as it has been to mine. Let's jump in!   Episode Roundup:   There's so much more to our posture than just "how we stand". Our posture indicates so much to ourselves and others about-- who we are, what we believe, and how we feel. We can influence our mindset simply by adopting a healthier posture over time. How amazing is that? How we feel in our bodies and in this world is contagious, especially to those with whom we are deeply connected... I.E. our families. Our spouse, our children.... when we begin to expand and open, we really are providing in invitation for those around us to do the same. What would it be like to grow up in a family who is open, expressive and vibrant? Who is rooted and confident in who they are? We can give our children such a gift by being the fullest version of ourselves, both physically and emotionally... and as we've spoken of in previous episodes, this so deeply impacts how these children grow in THEIR bodies. What if we can prevent the collapsing in-- what if we can encourage beautiful broad faces and functional airways and so much more-- simply by encouraging our own expansion? And finally- I want to reiterate what Paris said- this isn't something that we're learning. It's something that we're reconnecting with. Something to rediscover. We're simply turning off the noise around us and connecting with the primal movement that is truly a gift of health from our Creator. This so deeply relates to my approach to preparation for childbirth and motherhood, and it's why I feel the Bowspring is such a beautiful movement pattern to implement as we prepare for, grow, birth and nurture our babies and ourselves. Be sure to check out the show notes and join Paris for her next cohort of movement!   Resources: Paris' Course Code: HAPPYHOMEBIRTH Instagram: @paris_latka   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off  
5/29/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 230: Finding Freedom in Motherhood with Naomi Reyes

Motherhood-- It has a way of bringing up the things that we thought were stored deep, deep down... it pulls 'em right to the surface. How can we find freedom in motherhood, be the most loving version of ourselves and heal our families at the same time?   This week, we're speaking with my dear friend Naomi Reyes. Naomi is the creator of Finding Freedom Collective where she leads Mothers to transform their lives from exhausted to empowered. Naomi is a Transformation Coach and MINDSET expert. She teaches women how to access the full power of their unique mind so that they can create lasting change in all areas of motherhood. Finding Freedom is a collective group for Mothers to experience true connection, support, and transformation.    Naomi is a compassionate leader, a mother of 4, a believer in the power of the present moment, and a woman who is constantly seeking to evolve and grow in her own journey of life.   Episode Roundup:   These conversations are so full of hope and possibility-- can you imagine actually WORKING on yourself with such a loving support system? Naomi has been so unbelievably generous with my listeners, in that she's offering a huge discount on entrance into her Finding Freedom Collective for you, happy homebirthers, for this first week only. Use this link to access this beautiful community before May 26th at 7pm EST at this discounted price. I will absolutely be involved as I navigate postpartum and seek community as I heal mentally, emotionally and physically.     Resources Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy Code PODCAST for 10% off   Raising Children While Healing Your Inner Child with Greta Zukoff Healing the Nervous System for Birth & Motherhood with Theresa Piela   Finding Freedom Link:  Access before May 26th 7 pm EST for discount   Naomi's Instagram : @findingfreedomcollective 
5/22/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 229: Have an Informed Pregnancy with Dr. Elliot Berlin

What does it mean to be truly informed regarding your pregnancy and birth?   This week, we're speaking with Dr. Elliot Berlin, who is an award-winning prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator, labor support bodyworker, and co-founder of Berlin Wellness Group in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Berlin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Life University of Chiropractic in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Atlanta School of Massage.     His separate schooling in massage therapy, bodywork, and chiropractic form the backbone of his innovative pre- and post-natal wellness care techniques. Unique ‘Chirossage’ sessions soothe and relax tight, painful muscles and restore motion to restricted joints.  These 30 to 45-minute treatments effectively address most pregnancy aches and pains in just a few visits and promote healthy, comfortable, and functional pregnancy and an ideal environment for labor and delivery.     Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy® Project aims to utilize multiple forms of media (podcasts, YouTube series, documentaries, and online workshops) to compile and deliver unbiased information about pregnancy and childbirth to empower new and expectant parents to make informed choices regarding their pregnancy and parenting journey.     Dr. Berlin lives in Los Angeles with his wife, perinatal psychologist Dr. Alyssa Berlin, and their four fantastic kids.     Episode Roundup   Our bodies are so innately intelligent. Dr. Elliot shared how he and his wife Dr. Alyssa were trying so desperately to become pregnant, and yet there was something going on in their bodyminds that just wasn't ready for the grand task of creating a child. When they began focusing on their minds, their hearts, their physical bodies and even their location, they were then able to conceive-- safety had been met. Healing the nervous system allowed their bodies to feel comfortable with the idea of conception. I love Dr. Berlin's discussion of the conscious and unconscious mind. How our ability move our worries out of our conscious mind can be so powerful in terms of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I'm always reminded of Matthew 6:27 when I consider anxiety and my own struggle and recovery in that area-- where Jesus says, Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And finally, let's talk about the Bread and Butter of Dr. Berlin's message- Information. It is just so critical to recognize that no one, not even your precious midwife, is going to care about your outcomes and experience as much as you are. Nobody will be as affected by how your birth experience transpires as you and your family. SO. That being the weighty truth, what do we do? We take seriously both our gaining of knowledge AND our ability to listen to our intuition. When we know what's possible for us in both of these realms and use them together wisely, we can walk into our pregnancy, our birth experience, parenthood.... feeling like the confident, primal parent we were designed to be. Use code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off The Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
5/15/202346 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 228: Midline (R)evolution: Evolution of The Lip and Tongue Tie with Michale Chatham, Dr. Molly and Natalie Healy

Tongue and lip ties... are they a nothing-burger, all-important, or perhaps misunderstood?   This week we're speaking with Michale Chatam, the clinical mystic, Dr. Molly of Living Adjusted and Natalie Healy, IBCLC. This conversation was recorded... a YEAR ago... and was somehow lost... I have searched for it so many times and couldn't find it, and suddenly, I found it... and I can't help but thinking that this is being released right on time.   We'll be discussing the lens-changes that make all the difference in the world when it comes to how we, along with our babies, are flowing in the world-- from a postural, emotional, and spiritual approach.   Episode Roundup:   If your mind is blown and your nervous system is feeling a little dysregulated after the influx of information from this discussion, I'm sure Michale, Molly and Natalie would highly recommend you go hug a tree and pick up some dirt to root and ground. How incredible was this conversation? As we head into today's episode roundup, I simply want to remind you of the resources that were shared.   Parents, if you're looking to help your baby have a healthy foundation and not to feel RUSHED into a frenectomy, you'll want to join Midline (R)evolution's Evolution of Lip and Tongue Tie course. I'm going through it right now as I prepare to welcome baby #3 any day. Moreover, if you want deep care and to know that your baby's frenectomy, or simply their healing without a frenectomy, is being approached in an extremely mindful way, reach out to Dr. Molly and Natalie at ..........   And finally, licensed practitioners... if this feels like a whole new world and you want to incorporate this into your practice or totally rebuild your practice, Michale is the clinical mystic you need to know. I have everyone's information in the show notes, so head on over to find what you're looking for.   Okay, my friends. That's all I've got for you today. I'll see you back here next week.   Resources Midline (R)evolution Discount Code (10% Off): KATELYN Instagram: Michale Chatham Dr. Molly Natalie Healy, RN IBCLC Schedule your fly-in with Dr. Molly and Natalie: They do bespoke packages and have tiered offerings depending on if you're planning to do a frenectomy in Maui. Email your request at  [email protected]
5/8/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 227: Similar Births Internalized Differently with Lauralee Kirkland

When you have fast, uncomplicated births, does the location really even matter at that point?   This week, we're speaking with Lauralee Kirkland, a mother to 3 babies earthside and one in heaven. We'll hear how Lauralee's decision-making has changed with each new birth, and how she's been able to step into both labor and motherhood more confidently each time.   Before we jump in, I'm going to give a little spoiler alert. Lauralee shares about the benefit of truly preparing for the birth experience you desire, and how it's really not up to anyone but YOU to educate you. This is such an important piece of advice, and I completely agree. In fact, this is why I've created Happy Homebirth Academy. The reality is that no one is going to care about how this birth unfolds as much as you will-- so let's get educated. Let's take the time to decide what's important to you, to prepare for all of the potential situations that may arise, to learn how to not only cope but ENJOY our birthing experience, and to deeply ready ourselves for postpartum.   And...I've got a coupon code for you: use the code PODCAST to get 10% off at checkout!     Episode Roundup: Like I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, It’s so important for you to invest in your growth if you have an idea for your birth— as opposed to leaving it to chance. In Lauralee's journey, she spent so much more time preparing for her 3rd birth, which led to a sense of preparedness and joy in her actual birthing process that she had yet to feel before. She also felt far more settled in her third postpartum, and I have to imagine that her preparation played a role in this as well. Even with births that looked both "good" and similar on paper, the reality is that this doesn't necessarily mean that they're experienced the same way. Lauralee was able to internalize and metabolize her third birth experience immediately in a positive, joyous light because of, once again, the type of preparation that she did beforehand. And finally, this type of preparation leads to one more amazing birthing aspect: The feeling of being PART of your birthing process as opposed to it simply happening to you. When we've prepared thoroughly, we are able to feel like an active participant with AGENCY in our birth, not a helpless bystander whose body just happens to be birthing a baby. What a mindset shift with lasting implications.     Use code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off The Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide   Make sure they're the pre-countdown links! 🙂
5/1/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 226: Balancing Hormones in our Childbearing Years with Leisha Drews

When it comes to postpartum periods, what can we do to encourage healthy cycles? And... what do our cycles tell us about our health status?   This week, we're speaking with Leisha Drews, a holistic hormone coach, and host of the podcast Happily Hormonal.   Leisha is going to help us understand how our hormones postpartum will affect the return of our cycle, and what we can do to support those hormones, and thus support our entire health and wellbeing. And once you're finished with this episode, jump over to Happily Hormonal and listen to the interview that she released with me this week, too!   Quick reminder that my heart is to serve you in your preparation for both homebirth and postpartum. While we're able to cover the surface of a number of topics on this podcast, if you're looking for an in-depth and step-by-step approach to preparing for your Happy Homebirth, I would love to have you inside of Happy Homebirth Academy OR The Homebirth Collective. Inside of Happy Homebirth Academy, we prepare diligently for your empowered homebirth experience, including postpartum. And the homebirth collective? Well, it's all that and SO MUCH MORE. We focus on the transition from maiden to mother and prepare on a foundational level so that you can experience motherhood from a place of sacred comfort-- feeling grounded and joyful-- beginning in pregnancy. The link to both programs can be found in the show notes, and don't forget to use the code PODCAST for 10% off at checkout for being a loved listener.   Episode Roundup:   How helpful was that?! I love how Leisha made this information so accessible and so, so bite-sized. Wherever you are in your journey, whether that's preconception, pregnancy or postpartum, this is for you. You can begin right now. Right where you are. We can focus on our nutrition, our minerals, our hormones now so that when we experience the normal, beautiful stressors of birth and postpartum, our bodies are ready carry us through. And we can provide them with the support that they need, little by little.   Podcast: Happily Hormonal with Leisha Drews Instagram: leishadrews Courses + Coaching: msha.ke/abundantlifewellness   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
4/24/202351 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 225: Supporting Your Body Through Physiological Postpartum With Kela Futrell

We speak a lot about physiological birth around here- but how do we prepare for and experience a physiological postpartum? What does that even entail?   This week, we're speaking with Kela Futrell, a postpartum wellness doula with three babies of her own. Kela has had one hospital birth and two homebirths, and she's had quite an array of postpartum experiences between her three children. Today we'll hear her stories and glean from her wisdom.   Before we jump in, I want to remind you that if you're looking to plan in-depth for both your homebirth and your postpartum, check out Happy Homebirth Academy and The Homebirth Collective. My heart is to serve mothers in their transition from maiden to motherhood or back into motherhood, and my program are where you can gain streamlined, easy-to-apply information for all things birth and motherhood. And for being a podcast listener, you get 10% off at checkout when you enter the code PODCAST. I can't wait to see you inside!   Episode Roundup: Fascia and all of its fascia-nating glory strikes again! When Kela's third child began showing midline defects at birth and as time went on, her intuition began to buzz. She decided to reach out to a fascia-knowledgeable provider and ask some questions. Upon further discussion, Kela and her family traveled 5 hours for a 3-day intensive for her son Bear. And the results? They were incredible. My friends, I recorded this episode before hosting the Craniosacral fascial therapy conference in Greenville, and now... listening back.... I'm just so excited. We had an infant travel to receive bodywork for craniostenosis, the very same diagnosis that Bear had. And just like him, this baby experienced massive change. This work is just constantly amazing me. If you ever wonder "Could this be related to the fascia?" please consider reaching out! I'll once again link the Gillespie Approach facebook group where you can search for providers in your area. Next, we've got to talk about the lessons Kela learned between her first and second postpartum. She realized just how little she'd allowed herself to heal the first time around, and she was determined to "know better, do better" as she puts it, with both baby #2 and #3. And because this change was so profound to her, she now dedicates her time to supporting other mothers as they move into their fresh, new role. What a gift. And finally, when it comes to experiencing a beautiful postpartum... just like homebirth... it typically takes planning and consideration beforehand. Birth and postpartum are physiological events. As natural as can be. But our society is so disconnected with the process that we have to build up an arsenal of support for BOTH beforehand. It's so much easier to prepare ahead of time than to try to figure it out as we're wading through the thick of it... though if that's you, REACH OUT FOR HELP... it's not too late! Instagram: @KelaMFutrell Beyond Birth Wellness podcast Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective Facebook: Gillespie Approach - Craniosacral Fascial Therapy
4/18/20231 hour, 1 minute, 38 seconds
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Ep 224: A Beautiful Birth and a Stretching Postpartum with Caitlin Cooper

What happens when birth goes well, but postpartum throws you for a loop?   This week, we're speaking with Caitlin Cooper, a first time mom to her 4 1/2 month old son named Luke. Caitlin and her husband and I have been married for 5 years and they live in Hagerstown, MD about an hour and a half away from DC and Baltimore.    Caitlin will be sharing the rawness of her pregnancy, labor, and deeply important to her, her postpartum experience.   We CAN prepare. We DESERVE to have access to this type of information. Inside of my childbirth education programs, I make sure that mothers know what to expect and know how to receive help. Because I was drowning during my first postpartum experience, and I never want that for any other mother. As you consider how you'll prepare for your birth and postpartum, I pray you'll consider Happy Homebirth Academy or The Homebirth Collective.   My heart's desire is to serve you deeply. And.... as a special token for listening to this podcast, I've got a 10% discount code for you! Use the code PODCAST at checkout for 10% off today.     Episode Roundup:   I am so grateful for Caitlin's rawness and real insight into her experience. What a helpful story. As we jump into today's episode roundup, I could talk about ALL of the possible resources that you have at your disposal and should consider while you're pregnant. But we'd be here all day, and you can certainly find that information inside of HHA or The HBC. Instead, I want to take just a moment to shed light on a few lesser-known options that are fabulous for the immediate postpartum.   If you're currently pregnant, consider finding a Craniosacral Fascial Therapist in your area if at all possible. Fascial restrictions are behind sooooo much of the postpartum struggle.... for baby, yes, but for mothers, too. For mothers...Our fascia is so deeply tied to our nervous system. If we're feeling stressed out and anxious and overwhelmed, finding a CFT practitioner can do so much to help us find balance. And for babies... oh my goodness. Let's not forget that they've been in quite a confined space for quite a while. If there's one thing I could give to every baby, it would be a CFT session within hours or days of their birth. This can be so helpful in terms of breastfeeding struggles, and it's generally unknown. Any type of fascial bodywork can be amazing, but I know the specific benefits of CFT for myself and my family, so I'm happy to take a moment to shout it from the mountains.    And I want to end with this. If you're struggling, you are not alone. Don't allow yourself to sink into isolation. Reach out for support in whatever way you feel will be best for you, but please, do not be made to feel alone or strange for your experience. There are so many people who would love to support you through this experience.     CFT/Gillespie Approach Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/128162437281535   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy
4/10/202343 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 223: Jacy’s Grief of Stillbirth and the Redemption That Followed

When we've experienced tragedy, how do we heal and maintain a positive outlook?   This week, we're speaking to Jacy, a teacher-turned-homeschooling mom of four living children and a daughter in Heaven.  After four very different hospital births (including a stillbirth), Jacy unexpectedly became a homebirth convert.  Her fifth baby was born healthy at home in August, which was an incredibly healing experience for her.   As you can tell, this birth story is going to cover some extremely sensitive content. Jacy hopes to provide encouragement to bereaved mothers, as the Lord placed several women in her life that had been open about their experiences with loss before she had her own. This was extremely helpful to her, and her desire is to help others with her story of both heartaching pain and at other points, heart-bursting joy.     Episode Roundup:    I'm so grateful for Jacy's willingness to come on and share such a vulnerable piece of her life and her heart with us. As we head into today's episode roundup, I wanted to simply focus on this one aspect: When we come across those who are grieving, for whatever reason, but especially those who have lost a child at any stage- I think that far beyond our words, we can love people with our actions. Bringing a meal, offering to watch the other little ones, providing house cleaning services. acknowledging the personhood of the little life who is no longer here, and acknowledging the physical trauma and need for recovery of the mother, too. We don't have to have the perfect words, but having a servant's heart is a treasure above all else.      Related Books: Safe in the arms of God by John McArthur The Moon is Always Round by Jonathan Gibson   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy  
4/3/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 222: A Honeymoon Baby and Homebirth with Kelly Benner

When you get pregnant on your wedding night and thrown into prenatal decision-making a little sooner than expected, what kinds of decisions do you make?   And this week we're speaking with my friend and student, Kelly Benner.    We'll learn about how Kelly and her husband Ian were thrown straight out of wedding prep and straight into baby prep.   It was such a joy and an honor to work with Kelly inside of The HBC-- where we dig so much deeper into preparation than simply looking for coping techniques. If you're interested in taking a mentorship approach to pregnancy, homebirth and motherhood, I'd love to have you check out my free resource, the Achieve Your Empowered Homebirth mini-course. You'll get to see where we're missing the mark in terms of typical childbirth education, and what we can do to prepare instead. Send me a DM on instagram @happyhomebirthpodcast with just the word homebirth- all one word, no emojis or exclamation marks, however excited you may be, and you'll get access immediately to the course. Or you can click the link in the show notes and have it sent to your email.   Episode Roundup: Sometimes our spouse is not going to be immediately on board. I always love to remind mothers that this is typically coming from a place of love, concern and protection, not just a strong desire to not support you in what you want. So what can we do? We can lovingly educate our spouses. Share with them what you're learning. Bring them alongside you. Invite them to learn with you. This facilitates bonding and encourages you to work together as a team. Variations of birth don't have to be a big, dramatic, scary event. Kelly and her baby experienced a shoulder dystocia, but this was not a traumatic experience. In fact, her midwife was able to quickly free baby and Kelly was still left with the feeling that he "shot right out". Sometimes the biggest "what if's" happen.... and they still don't cause any issues. And finally, the transformation from maiden to mother is huge. This is caterpillar to butterfly stuff, and there are growing pains, just like there are in puberty. If we can walk into this experience supported and with an understanding of what's happening, we can be gentle with ourself and recognize that we're upgrading. I mean, how much nicer to have wings and drink nectar than to slowly amble around eating leaves? But, the transition is still very real. When we can acknowledge this and be supported by our spouse, family and friends, we end up with a strong, confident mother, even if the transition is still hard.   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy  
3/20/202345 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 221: Exploring Matrescence with Anisha Patel

What is matrescence and how do we prepare for it?   This week, we're speaking with Anisha Patel, published author, speaker, postpartum coach and founder of MasalaMommy.com. Anisha has a heart for supporting women in their transition into motherhood, and she's going to be sharing her understanding of Matrescence and Ayurveda with us today.   I've got a free gift for you-- The Achieve Your Empowered Homebirth Mini Course. This course helps break down where we're having breakdowns in terms of preparation for homebirth and motherhood, and what we can do to prepare instead. If you're interested in joining me inside of The Homebirth Collective, my group mentorship program for mothers who want to truly prepare for birth and motherhood on a foundational level, this is the best way to learn about my approach. To grab the mini course, send me a DM on instagram with just the word homebirth-- all one word, no excalamation, no emojis...seriously the chat is so sensitive... and that will send the course right to you! Or click the link in the show notes to have it sent to your email.     Episode Roundup:   Yes, preparation for birth is so important. This is an experience that will live with us forever, and the way that we prepare for it, no matter how it actually unfolds, can highly influence our transition into motherhood-- AND ALSO... postpartum. This huge life shift into matrescence-- this is so critical to understand, appreciate, and to prepare for. The birthing process lasts for a few hours or a few days... and motherhood lasts forever. Let's take both aspects seriously.   Find Anisha Here:​ ​www.masalamommy.com​ Instagram: @masala.mommy​ Facebook: facebook.com/masalamommy Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy
3/13/202332 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 220: Aimee Uses Homebirth to Reclaim Her Motherhood Journey

When your first birth leaves you feeling the victim, and when that feeling pervades into your experience of motherhood-- is that it for you? How do you recover?   This week, we're speaking with my incredible friend Aimee Rowden. Aimee is the wife of Ben and mother of Benjamin & Ivy. She and Ben are working towards a more sustainable future for their family. Aimee enjoys time with her family, a strong cup of coffee, and living life unconventionally.   Aimee took part in The Homebirth Collective, and I am so thrilled for you all to be able to hear the incredible transformation of this amazing woman. Her story inspires me to my core and brings about so much hope for the weary mama- I know you're going to love this.   Speaking of The Homebirth Collective, I want to ask you- what does it mean for you to achieve your empowered homebirth? What does it mean to be prepared for birth and motherhood? I'd love to give you a free gift: a mini course that discusses and teaches on that very concept. This is also the very best way to learn more about my techniques and perspective and more about The Homebirth Collective. Easiest way to get the course sent straight to you? send me a dm at happyhomebirthpodcast on Instagram with the word homebirth-- JUST THE WORD homebirth, the chat is very sensitive about that... no emojis! Homebirth is all one word-- and I'll send you my course right over. OR click the link in the show notes!   Episode Roundup: Aimee's first birth was felt as a traumatic experience, while her second was not-- despite the fact that both included extended time in the NICU. What does this tell us about trauma? SO. Much of trauma is based on how we're treated, and how much control we feel we have over a situation. Aimee was a new woman when Ivy was born, and she felt confident in her ability to stand up for her child, to know what to do, and to make the best decisions for her. Despite the fact that the situation was difficult, it was not something that her body or heart perceived as traumatic. This is so critical to understand. Next, I want to talk about preparation. Aimee had already given birth before, so in her mind, why on earth would she need another program to prepare? And honestly, I quite agree with her... when most childbirth education is merely slapping a band- aid on birth and teaching how to "deal" with labor.... it truly can be more harmful than helpful. But Aimee realized that despite the fact that she'd given birth before, she needed a deeper type of preparation. She needed to dig down to the depths of her being and find the primal mother that she was designed to be. Inside of the homebirth collective, THIS is our focus. My desire isn't just to help you have a painless labor-- no-- I want you to transform into motherhood in a way that's so powerful that others around you can't help but take notice. I want you to feel so confident and courageous in your own skin-- in who you are as your baby's mother. Isn't that so much more of what we need for both birth and... life? If you want to learn more about this philosophy, be sure to dm me the word homebirth on Instagram at happyhomebirthpodcast so that I can send you my thoughts. And finally... it's not too late. Did you have a less-than-ideal previous birth? Have you- up unitl now- felt anxious and overwhelmed in your motherhood? It doesn't have to be this way. We can choose a new path forward. We can step into the role that we were designed to fill, just like Aimee did. What an incredible, uplifting message. And what a change our generation of mothers can make for the future of humanity- if we all step into our confident, God-given role.   Join The Homebirth Collective Join Happy Homebirth Academy    
3/6/202355 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 219: Katelyn’s Third Trimester Update

This week I'm sharing all of the updates! From pregnancy to family to business... I want to give you a peek of what's going on in my world.   ⚡FLASH SALE⚡ This week only- 40% Savings on The Homebirth Collective & Happy Homebirth Academy:   Join The Homebirth Collective   Join Happy Homebirth Academy  
2/27/202358 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 218: Surprise Pregnancy Brings Healing to Old Traumas with Amanda Lopez

When you found out you were pregnant, what emotions ran through your brain? Excitement? Thrill? Joy? Or did you experience fear, shame, or a resurgence of old traumas?   This week, we're speaking to Amanda Lopez. A mama to 3 children, two of whom were born to her while Amanda was still a teenager. We'll be discussing Amanda's experiences as a teen mother, and how her most recent homebirth brought incredible healing to her previous perceptions of pregnancy and birth.   I have a free gift for you! The Achieve Your Empowered Homebirth Mini Course. If you're looking pull back the curtain and see what it means to truly prepare for your homebirth experience and motherhood as a whole, THIS is the resource for you. Get your hands on it, and learn more about my approach inside of The Homebirth Collective, by sending me a DM in Instagram @happyhomebirthpodcast with the word homebirth. JUST the word homebirth. All one word. No emojis. No exclamations. It's very sensitive, seriously. But that'll send the course right to you.   OR, click the link in the show notes to have it sent to your email!   Episode Roundup:   What an emotional, incredible episode. I cannot get over Amanda's strength, and I know that will certainly pour into this episode round up.   I am so blown away by how Amanda used her experience of becoming pregnant at 14, having a baby at 15 to propel her forward in her aspirations. At a time when she felt so alone and was struggling so deeply, she still saw the worth of her child and knew that she was worth the struggle and toil. She turned something so difficult into something so triumphant, even graduating from high school with a 4.0 GPA. When Amanda became pregnant for the second time as a teen, she felt so much pain and confusion, and yet... she looked at her other daughter and knew that this baby was going to be a blessing. I am so overwhelmed at the beauty of Amanda's choices to celebrate life. And what seemed so tragic at the time, having two daughters as a teen herself, turned into the beautiful blessings of her daughters. As Amanda and her mother discussed, sometimes the things that seem so difficult at the time are, in retrospect, the things that save us. Praise God for his provision for Amanda in terms of her ability to raise her babies, and in the loving support, yet firm boundaries that her parents set out for her in the process. And finally, when Amanda became pregnant with her third child... DESPITE the fact that she is a fully grown adult woman and certainly capable of taking care of another baby, one of the first things that happened when she sat looking at the pregnancy test was a rush of old traumas... of feeling down on herself because this pregnancy was "unexpected". But what I loved about this story was the fact that Amanda now so clearly sees... this pregnancy, along with her two other pregnancies... they weren't unexpected. They were known, they were seen, and they were expected by the Creator. Amanda was able to triumphantly and confidently give birth to her third baby, safely in her own home. She was able to reclaim motherhood with a new sense of power and confidence, and I am so thrilled that Amanda's children are able to see what a strong, loving, beautiful mother they have-- one who will lay it all down for them.     Related Links: Gain Instant Access to the Mini Course: DM @happyhomebirthpodcast with the word HOMEBIRTH Have the Mini Course Sent to Your Inbox   
2/20/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 217: Michelle’s Very Similar, Very Different Births!

Two births: One at home and one in the hospital-- the exact same situation arises in both scenarios-- do you think they'll be handled the same or differently?   This week, we're speaking with Michelle, owner of Alma Aesthetics, wife and mother of two precious children. Michelle and her husband experienced both hospital and homebirth, and we'll hear how similar some events were in both births. We'll also hear how they were handled in each setting.   I have a free gift for you! The Achieve Your Empowered Homebirth Mini Course. If you're looking pull back the curtain and see what it means to truly prepare for your homebirth experience and motherhood as a whole, THIS is the resource for you. Get your hands on it, and learn more about my approach inside of The Homebirth Collective, by sending me a DM in instagram @happyhomebirthpodcast with the word homebirth. JUST the word homebirth. All one word. No emojis. No exclamations. It's very sensitive, seriously. But that'll send the course right to you.   OR, click the link in the show notes to have it sent to your email!   If you're interested in helping your family, friends, and even creating a career with fascial work-- There are still seats available for the Greenville Craniosacral Fascial Therapy training coming up! The dates for the foundation class is March 15-17, and the infant class is March 18-20th.   Craniosacral Fascial Therapists are in HIGH DEMAND, I can tell you that. If you'd like to know more, check out episode 175 of the podcast: The Gillespie Approach: How Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Can Optimize Health for Your Infant.    Episode Roundup: The best way to make a in informed decision is by.... gaining information. We can so easily believe that we know what something is or something is like based on... minimal understanding. This is common when it comes to homebirth! The immediate feeling is, "What!? That's dangerous!!" Until we realize that... oh, actually... insert facts here. Michelle and her husband decided to go straight to the source. They saw a midwife, asked all of the questions, and suddenly... they have the information they need to make a confident decision and be on the same page. And next, The energy surrounding birth is so important. When in the hospital, Michelle's daughter was quickly removed from her, almost intubated... there was massive commotion and upheaval. This left Michelle feeling shocked and traumatized... and then mere minutes later she's being pushed out of the room and everyone's acting like life is back to normal. How are we supposed to internalize this? Let's compare that to her experience with her son. Her midwife slowly helped her untangle the baby's cord, he was placed immediately with his mother, and then a gentle breath was given to help stimulate him. No trauma. No drama. No upheaval-- Just a calm, loving, supportive energy that encourages the physiological process of birth and bonding. What a difference this makes. Michelle was able to re-enter motherhood feeling more confident, more capable, and more like the mother she was designed to be. How incredible. Related Links:   Episode 175 https://www.craniosacralfascialtherapy.com/trainings Gain Instant Access to the Mini Course: DM @happyhomebirthpodcast with the word HOMEBIRTH Have the Mini Course Sent to Your Inbox   
2/13/202334 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 216: Made for This Birth with Mary Haseltine

Do you know-- that you were made for this birth?   This week, we're speaking to my friend and birth colleague Mary Haseltine. Mary is a doula, author, and birth educator for 10 years; She has had seven full term babies - 5 born at home, 2 in the hospital and one home miscarriage; Her births include had 2 precipitous births, 1 vaginal breech, 4 babies in water, 1 unintentionally unassisted, 1 home birth with a doctor and 3 different midwives for the others. She has experienced it ALL.   Before we jump in, I wanted to let you know that my free resource, the Achieve Your Empowered Homebirth mini course if officially open and available to you! The easiest way to get it? DM me on instagram with the word homebirth-- all one word-- and the mini-course will be sent right to you. We're breaking down what it means to truly prepare for birth. What is it that you REALLY need? Is it all about learning to 'cope' in labor? Spoiler alert, it's not. You can also grab access by clicking the link in the show notes!   Episode Roundup. Mary and I are in total agreement of this: Birth is meant to be one of the most spiritually transformative experiences of a woman's life and the process of pregnancy and birth is meant to prepare her for the work of motherhood. This isn't just a physical experience, it's so much more. Which...is why I put SO much emphasis on recognizing what it means to truly prepare for this event! No matter how many babies you have, each birth is incredibly precious, unique, challenging, transformative and as Mary insinuated-- maybe a little addicting, especially if you love listening to beautiful birth stories!! And finally, I just love the way that Mary uses her calling from the Lord to support others. God has given her SO many different experiences, what a blessing that she can be so relatable to her clients, no matter how it all unfolds. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective Register Here! instagram.com/madeforthisbirth/ madeforthisbirth
2/6/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 215: An Unpredictable Homebirth with Miriam Kleynerman

Which birth story was your birth like? Did you hear an experience that was similar to yours as you prepared, or was your experience totally different from anything you'd imagined?   This week, we're speaking to Miriam. Miriam is a first time mama to a 9 month old baby girl, Noah Ivy, a social impact consultant and Brooklyn transplant turned aspiring homesteader. Once she decided on homebirth, she prepared thoroughly, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, reading stories... and yet... we'll hear how her birth differed from all she had expected.   Episode Roundup   Making difficult decisions in your pregnancy and birth feels... not fun. Setting up boundaries, especially for those of us who feel a need to please others, feels difficult, sometimes even wrong. But here's the thing... it's not wrong. In fact, it's necessary. Miriam began setting boundaries where she needed to at the end of her pregnancy, and continues to do so postpartum. This is one of the key aspects of fully owning our role as a mother. Are we willing to forsake all others for our nuclear family? Truly? It's not easy, but it's what we've been called to do, and when we live our lives this way, I believe we will find more satisfaction in our role. I wanted to mention the fact that Miriam's birth was really different from what she'd expected. 6 hours, nonstop back labor, and a nuchal arm wrapped in an umbilical cord.... this wasn't on a previous podcast episode. But I think the amazing thing about preparing for birth holistically is our ability to look back at our experience with pride. She worked incredibly hard through her labor. She brought her baby from womb to world.... this experience couldn't have been predicted, but it's certainly not any less amazing or valid than any other birth experience. It's incredible. If we can see birth with this sense of open-mindedness, we can appreciate our experience, however unexpected it may be. And finally, isn't it amazing that because Miriam was at home, she didn't get disturbed once her magical golden hour was up. That didn't mean "free rein! anything goes!" No, she was still left to snuggle with her newborn, as she was finally returning from the difficult experience of giving birth. Sometimes it may take us a while to come around, especially after an intense birth like Miriam's. To think that if she would have been elsewhere, she may have been completely interrupted once she was beginning to truly bond is heartbreaking. https://www.startingsunday.co/post/the-first-40-days-can-make-or-break-your-postpartum-healing   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
1/30/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 214: Managing Gestational Diabetes and Achieving Homebirth with Cassidy Lilly

Is Gestational Diabetes a birth-ruiner, or is there more to the picture than just a label?   This week, we're speaking to Cassidy Lilly, a mother to 3 babies, born 3 very different ways. Today we'll hear Cassidy's story of cesarean, then medicated vbac, and finally an incredible homebirth. We'll learn about how she was diagnosed with GD in her third pregnancy, and how she chose to manage that experience.   As you'll hear in Cassidy's story, the way that we enter motherhood can truly play a role in how we navigate the experience of being a mother as a whole. You'll hear how Cassidy's confidence and connection soared once she was truly ushered into motherhood the way she was designed to. And that's what I want for you. Whether it's your first or fifth, inside of the Homebirth Collective, I help homebirth mothers achieve the empowering birthing experience of their dreams by deprogramming the mainstream mistrust of birth, reconnecting with their intuitive feminine wisdom, and relaxing into the birthing process.  All within the loving arms of an unbelievably aligned community. Are you ready to truly experience birth as the God-given rite of passage it was designed to be?     Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
1/23/202346 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 213: First Time Peaceful Homebirth as a First Time Foster Mom with Alexis Meisenholder

Change can be tough. How do we integrate the arrival of our new baby? Moreover, how do we integrate the arrival of our new baby mere weeks after the arrival of our foster child and a move into a new home?   This week, we're speaking to Alexis. A foster-turning adoptive mother to a 7-year-old daughter, and homebirth bio mom to a 1 year old baby boy. Alexis and her family experienced so. much. change. during her pregnancy, and leading up to her birth, and yet you will love the attitude and perspective with which she holds all of this as we hear her journey.   Episode Roundup: Alexis found confidence in herself as she navigate pregnancy and motherhood, and so much of this was because she was in control of her care. She wasn't being told what to do or forced or coerced. Alexis was surrounded by midwives who truly cared for her and wanted her to be in charge of her experience. What a massive difference this makes in terms of how we feel about ourselves as mothers. What a beautiful gift of an experience to know that we've got the stuff we need to be who we were designed to be. Alexis said that, overarching, she sees how God's timing was so perfect in her story, despite the fact that she certainly couldn't see that or even fully feel that during the process at times. Isn't it so humbling to realize that our perspective just isn't as big as that of our Creator's? What feels like pain, a struggle, something incredibly difficult or even wrong from where we're standing.... that can be used, too. Alexis celebrates the fact that in His timing, she gained two beautiful children-- two children she wouldn't trade for the world. How amazing. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective    
1/16/202346 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 212: From Mothering Struggle to Success with Blythe Hoerr

What was it like-- finding out that you and your spouse were pregnant with your first child? Were you thrilled, shocked... utterly horrified?   This week, we're speaking to Blythe, and incredible mother to two precious boys. We're going to hear how Blythe's entrance into motherhood- beginning at the knowledge of her pregnancy was tumultuous and difficult, and yet she experienced so much healing.... and then was able to go on to have an absolutely joyous second pregnancy.   I do want to share that Blythe is so wonderfully open about her experiences with us, and I feel that this can be so encouraging, especially to those of you who have found yourself in a similar frame of mind as Blythe in your pregnancy. Maybe you even feel that way now. At the same time, I do always like to give a good heads up when content may be difficult, and this is the case with the first part of today's story. Blythe will share of her perinatal depression along with her postpartum mood disorders, including the hallucinations she experienced.   But, as I said, this is a story of hope and redemption, and there is so much beauty to follow. As always, please decide for yourself what you feel comfortable taking in in terms of stories, but I'm thrilled to be able to share hope with so many mothers who can relate.   Episode Roundup: How amazing was it to hear the way that Blythe's mother's choices regarding birth set her and her brothers up for success? They grew up not feeling fearful about birth, but believing it to be a normal, beautiful event. This is what you're doing for your children right now as you make this decision to. embrace pregnancy and labor as it was physiologically designed to be. How incredible. Blythe struggled. Truly, truly struggled. From conception through the first three years, she had a long, dark road to walk. It included symptoms of psychosis, anxiety and depression, and it was just heavy. If you've been there or if you're there now, I want you to know that you're no less worthy of a human because you're struggling. There can be such grief and shame added from ourselves, which simply compounds the pain. Instead, I would love to share about one of many avenues we can consider to heal. I believe that so much healing can take place when we focus on the nervous system. This can look like many different things, but tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique is one of my favorite ways, and it's got the research to back that it truly works. There are so many incredible practitioners out there, but I have a package that has be created specifically for my listeners and students by two amazing women, Greta Zukoff and Naomi Reyes. Greta has worked with me over the last year healing my relationship with myself, with my childhood, with the deepest parts of my core.... and Naomi specializes in working with pregnant and postpartum mothers. She deals with these exact issues. If you are struggling and you know that you're tired of struggling, just how Blythe began to feel, let's begin to heal. The link to contact them and sign up is available in my bio. I would love for you to take advantage of it. Finally, I want to end with the incredible joy that came with healing for Blythe and her family. Not only was she able to reconnect with Gibson in such a powerful way, but she was also able to experience a pregnancy and birth that were truly marked by joy. And Gibson was able to see and feel that, too. What a gift and what a beautiful reconciliation. If you've experienced a pregnancy or postpartum that reminds you of Blythe... I want you to focus in on that. It does NOT mean that you won't experience joy in the future. Blythe surely did, and how beautifully healing is that. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective    
1/9/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 211: Becoming the Decision-Maker of Your Birth Experience with Courtney Paba

What does it mean to have a ‘good’ homebirth? What does it look like, and how does it feel?   This week, we are speaking with Courtney Paba. I’m so honored to be interviewing Courtney, who was the very first of my students in The Homebirth Collective. Since then, we’ve had many more, including one just yesterday to ring in the New Year! I am overjoyed to be able to make such deep connections and watch the members of these cohorts form such lasting relationships.   Episode Roundup:   let’s start where we began: What does it mean to have a ‘good’ homebirth? What does it look like, and how does it feel? Do you have to breathe your baby out and be super quiet? Absolutely not. Remember- the way that a birth unfolds, whether it’s loud, quiet, “breathy” or “screamy” it can all be empowering. Or disempowering. So what makes the difference? The decision-maker is what makes the difference. Who was in control? Who held the authority? Truly, the decisions that are made and the exact outcomes matter far less if we recognize that we are in the driver’s seat and our decisions are respected. and finally- you are so strong. Your body is so strong and capable. And at the same time, I see so much beauty in the reliance on something more. On the crying out to the lord and acknowledging that we can’t do this without him. He takes us the rest of the way. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
1/2/20231 hour, 52 seconds
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Ep 210: Opting Out of the Hospital and into Homebirth with Jamie Murphy

What do you consider a normal pregnancy and birth? And how does your idea of normal stand up to the routine birth procedures we find in the industrial-medical complex? Same? Different?   And today we're speaking with Jamie Murphy. Jamie is a fertility awareness educator with a passion for body literacy and menstrual activism. Through her work, Jamie teaches others to understand their menstrual cycle and use this knowledge to either avoid or achieve pregnancy. Following a medically managed first pregnancy and hospital birth, Jamie realized her experience was common but not normal. This prompted her to seek out a more traditional model of care for her second pregnancy and led to the first home birth in her family in generations.   You are going to love this encouraging episode, and everything about Jamie. She shares tons of wisdom in Instagram, so we've got her handle linked in the show notes.   Outro Wow, what an incredible and thought-provoking episode. As we head into this week's episode roundup, I've got a few thoughts Common does not equal normal. Unfortunately, the cascade of interventions offered--forced-- at the hospital under the guise of safety are anything but and so disempowering to the mothers who realize... wait a minute, I didn't need that.... And the vast majority of the time, that's absolutely the case. Jamie realized that this second time around, she was ready to get into the deep work of preparation. As her husband stated, homebirth is a lot of work! And the truth is-- yeah! Taking responsibility after generations of handing over responsibility means that we have to do a lot of additional work. But you know what's so cool? Because Jamie and her husband bared the brunt of the hard work.... their daughters WON'T have to work so hard. They'll grow up in a family that understands and appreciates birth as a natural, beautiful process, and they'll likely feel far more confident and prepared without having to do nearly as much work to ready themselves for birth. What a gift. And finally, your body is amazing. Jamie's body is amazing. It knew exactly what it needed to do to get her daughter unstuck, and despite being tangled up in the cords, she was birth just fine and just beautifully. I love Jamie's beautiful perspective of how her birth was perfect-- rescue breaths and long-holding placenta and all. The beauty of birth is in the variations, and the fact that our bodies are capable of handling them. Be sure to check out Jamie's work at @followingmybody.   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
12/26/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 209: I Wanted to be the BEST Mother. Here’s How Homebirth Prep Helped!

𝗜 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗘𝗦𝗧 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿… 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗽 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗲𝗱! So often we get lured into this trap of an idea: you can prepare for Birth, but you can’t really prepare for motherhood. It just happens. ‼️SPOILER ALERT‼️ They’re intimately linked. The problem? Traditional childbirth classes: ➡️ focus on simply avoiding pain. So… if we experience pain… what? Did we fail? ➡️ ignore the fact that childbirth is a rite of passage, and it’s sacred. They focus on just getting through, not appreciating and *gasp* enjoying it. ➡️leave us unprepared for the new version of us we’ll be meeting on the other side. If the whole time we’re just learning to relax (which, relaxation is good!), we aren’t focusing on the aspects that will build confidence in ourselves in birth AND motherhood for the long haul: tapping back into our intuition, setting boundaries (and why we need to!)… what our actual thoughts and opinions even are about birth! Kind of… a big chunk of info. If you’re anything like me, your desire is to be the absolute best mother that you can be. Here’s the deal. We become that mother when we’re prepared to meet that mother. When you learn to connect to your primal mother, to soothe and regulate your nervous system, to take charge of your decision making… you better believe you become a force to be reckoned with both in birth and motherhood. And isn’t that what we truly want? To step into these experiences feeling confident and prepared for whatever awaits us? If this is you, I highly encourage you to apply for our next cohort of the Homebirth Collective, running Jan 2- March 24. It’s not childbirth education- it’s so much more. Perfect timing for mamas who will be about 12-28 weeks pregnant at the beginning of Jan! The link to apply is in my bio, or send me a DM for more info. ✨   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective
12/19/202229 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 208: ”But What If I Fail?” - 3 Ways to Overcome Your Homebirth Fears

“𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝗳 𝗜 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗹?” - 𝟯 𝗪𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗙𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 We’ve got to: 1. Stop letting fear drive the bus (he doesn’t even have his license) 2. Determine who you’re willing to gain your information from. 3. Realize that failure has far led to do with outcomes than it does mindset and surroundings. Are you the hero or the victim? Listen in to hear a thorough breakdown! And if you decide that you’re the kind of woman who is ready to kick fear to the curb and break generational chains around birth and motherhood, make sure you apply for The Homebirth Collective today! Our next cohort runs from Jan 2nd-March 24th, and it’s perfect if you’ll be around 12-28 weeks pregnant on 1/1! Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective  
12/12/202230 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 207: From Addiction and Homelessness to Hope and Homebirth with Gabrielle Manier

What was life like for you before you became pregnant? Were you pretty much the same person then as you are now, or have you changed drastically?   Today we'll be speaking with Gabrielle, and precious mother who has truly been pulled from death to life. From addiction to heavy narcotics and homelessness to being pulled out and called into life through Jesus. This story is unbelievably powerful, and I'm so thrilled that Gabrielle's heart desires to share how she has been forever reborn.   Outro: God makes messy things beautiful. I've seen it time and time again in my own life and in the lives of others, and how clearly was this put on display in Gabrielle's story. Gabrielle shares how she overdosed and flatlined 3 times-- died- and yet now is a whole new, reborn creation who is pointing others to her Savior. What a beautiful testimony. And next, I think it's so incredible to see how the life experiences that she's had, of dysfunction, of such severe struggle-- she's used those to change the paradigm for her own family. Gabrielle and her husband are taking their children down an entirely new path-- one that's functional and full of love and grace. And lastly, I just want to share about the beauty in Gabrielle's decision making. Despite the fact that she's off of social media and thus not being bombarded with pretty homebirth images, she prayed for discernment and knew that what she wanted for her babies was different from the conventional path. I just find it so powerful that Gabrielle trusted and obeyed and had two beautiful girls in a way that empowered her and granted her confidence in motherhood. Applications for The Homebirth Collective open next week, so be ready to apply early!  Seats are extremely limited, so the earlier you can apply and get a suitability call, the quicker we can reserve your spot. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective    
12/5/20221 hour, 26 seconds
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Ep 206: Raising Children While Healing Your Inner Child with Greta Zukoff

What do we do if we notice that we have some negative patterns of thinking?  Or maybe we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes over and over…feeling totally blocked.  How can we become unblocked?  How can we view the world from a positive lens.   I’m so thrilled to have my guest today, Greta Zukoff.  Greta is my own personal tapping coach, and I’ve worked with her to heal some of the consistent patterns that were showing up over and over in my life.     Today we’ll be diving into what causes these patterns, and what we can do to begin shifting gears and considering the world and our experiences in a new, truly positive way.     Tapping and inner child work is helpful at any point, but motherhood?  I know that personally my interactions with my children can often expose my anxieties, frustrations, fears and patterns.  Greta, and her business collegue Naomi have created a group program where we get to work with other mothers together.   We’ll have 4 group tapping calls, as well as 2 group prayer/meditation calls, and a private FB group.    Applications for The Homebirth Collective open next week, so be ready to apply early!  Seats are extremely limited, so the earlier you can apply and get a suitability call, the quicker we can reserve your spot.   Episode Roundup The inner child: It wasn’t something that naturally called to me.  I thought it was a bit silly— that I’m not a child, and I should just do better.  But when we realize that so many programs that we’re running are created in those first few years of life, we can see that, perhaps some of those programs may be outdated!  Are these serving me?  Are these TRUE?  This can be an incredible place to start. Tapping Specifically: EFT has been a huge help for me in my life.  Like Greta and I spoke about, it’s so beneficial for both the “acute” and the “chronic.”  During the panic attack, and to deal with the deeper layers of reprogramming.  Pregnancy and postpartum are massive times of flux.  We may be drawing on a lot of subconscious programs, and we’re certainly in hormonal flux.  I love tapping to connect with my baby, and I’m thrilled to have it as a resource in my postpartum phase so that If I do begin experiencing any type of postpartum mood disorders, I already have this massive tool.   If this information was helpful for you, please be sure to join us inside of Finding Freedom.    Finding Freedom (4 month Subscription): $149 pay per month price  $ 119 pay in full incentive ($476 total) Includes: -4 group tapping calls (per month) -2 group prayer/meditation calls (per month) -Private Fb group for support Ready to join us? Email [email protected] with subject line: Finding Freedom Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective    
11/28/202255 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 205: Free Your Family From Harmful EMFs (and 2 freebirths!) With Courtney Taylor

Are you ready to have all of your EMF questions answered?   This week we're speaking to Courtney Taylor.  Courtney is a freebirth mom to two children, and she works as a researcher and customer support provider for BluShield USA.     In this episode, we'll hear Courtney's two birth stories, and then we'll spend the remainder of the show answering the listener questions submitted regarding EMFSs. Courtney does such an incredible job of breaking this information down in a way that's both understandable and empowering.   Episode Roundup: Courtney shared about the fact that nature never repeats the same pattern consistently.  In fact, it never repeats itself exactly!  This repetition, which is found in harmful EMFs, is what actually causes our bodies to be on guard.  BluShield's mitigation products, like nature, provide a variety of frequencies that allow our body to enter safety. Another incredibly important topic that Courtney covered is the idea of taking responsibility for our own health. Courtney did this in terms of her birth experience: giving birth free birth unassisted with her first baby. She felt so strong and confident in her decisions, and she chose not o outsource t her health. It's the exact same when it comes to her journey with EMFs. Finally, we must remember: Let's do our best. Let's do what we can to protect our families, and then let's not stress about the rest.  Additional stress and fear is only going to cause more inflammation, more chronic illnesses, and more acute illnesses. For me, this involves trusting the Lord--trusting that He is the true source of provision and protection.  I'm doing my part, and then letting go--having an hand open with the rest.   Don't forget BluShield's Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale! The code HOMEBIRTH is going to get you 18% off during this time, and 10% off at any other time of the year.      Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective BluShield Products Discount Code: HOMEBIRTH (10% year-round, 18% off for Black Friday-Cyber Monday!)
11/21/20221 hour, 49 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 204: Conscious Conception and Conscious Protection of Our Families

What you can't see can't hurt you, right?   This week, we're speaking with the incredible Natalie Amalani. Natalie is an accomplished woman who strikes a delicate balance between her personal and professional life. She has a bachelor's degree in art with an emphasis in painting, she is an entrepreneur who owns and operates two businesses, which we'll be discussing today, all while making time for her husband and 2 young daughters.    Natalie had two successful, all natural home births, and lovingly raises her children with a holistic mindset. Today we'll be discussing Natalie's births and businesses, one of which focuses on mitigating electromagnetic fields. Natalie and her husband own Blushield US, which happens to be my favorite EMF-mitigating company.   We'll be sharing information regarding EMFs after her birth stories, and we'll be going into even more depth answering your specific questions regarding EMFs next week as well. This is all perfect timing, as blushield is about to have their most massive sale of the year for Black Friday through Cyber Monday, and if you decide you're ready to begin protecting yourself and your baby, my coupon code 'homebirth' which is all one word, will get you a full 18% instead of the 15% you'd get from their discount code. I'll have the link and code in the show notes-- but make sure you wait until black friday for those unbelievable savings!   If you're excited to join the next cohort of The HBC, which will run from January to March, make sure you're signed up for our waitlist! You'll be the first to know when applications are open, and you can grab your spot quickly, as spots are incredibly limited! Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/collective to learn more and sign up.    Episode Roundup:   Natalie's births were all conscious conceptions- thoroughly planned and prepared for. While this is certainly not the case for many of us, isn't it so neat to hear? What deep consideration and thoughtfulness that went into their welcoming of these new lives. I like to think that that deep consideration of Natalie and Brandon extends into every endeavor they take up. It's so clear to see that very same thoughtfulness in both of the companies that they run together. The body is so incredible: Who knows how long Natalie was sitting at 10cm.... I love how her midwife did not encourage her to push until she was ready, which leads into the realization that size of the baby matters less than our ability to tune into what our body is asking from us. Natalie was able to listen to her body instead of outside opinions, and this led her to have a beautiful birth with her baby at 43 weeks. NORMALIZE 43 WEEKS, BABY! And finally, there's so much to constantly be learning in terms of how to protect ourselves and our families in a modern world where technology is changing daily. Unfortunately, these big companies and massive decisions don't always have our health and best interest at heart. As the caretakers and shepherds of our children, we have a responsibility to look into what's going on, and decide how to best protect our little ones. I'm so grateful for Blushield for making this easier. We've seen such massive differences since purchasing our cube, and I would never be without it at this point.   Special Links: https://shenblossom.com/ http://www.natalieamalani.com/ https://www.blushield-us.com/   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide The Homebirth Collective BluShield Products Discount Code: HOMEBIRTH (10% year-round, 18% off for Black Friday-Cyber Monday!)  
11/14/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 203: From Hormone Healing to a Happy Homebirth with Amanda Montalvo

When your Nutritionist is on point and you're doing everything seemingly correctly and yet you still have trouble conceiving or maybe even going into labor, where can we look? What is it that may be impacting our experience? This week, we are speaking with my friend Amanda Montalvo she is a Hormone healing Rd (@hormonehealingrd) on Instagram if you follow her there. She also has an incredible podcast called Are You Menstrual we're going to be discussing her journey of how she got out of the Hormonal birth control pill had really had to help rebalance and then became pregnant eventually and went on to have a home birth. We're gonna get to hear how all of this unfolded and some of the really beautiful gems that she has learned along the way. One issue that we are going to discuss several times throughout the episode is this idea of stress and how it can impact us in so many ways how you can be doing everything seemingly right but if we are overwhelmed with stress there are still going to be issues you know kind of consistently popping up so be sure to listen through on that theme and hear some of the advice that Amanda gets throughout.   If you're excited to join the next cohort of The HBC, which will run from January to March, make sure you're signed up for our waitlist! You'll be the first to know when applications are open, and you can grab your spot quickly, as spots are incredibly limited! Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/collective to learn more and sign up. Okay, let's jump into this beautiful story with Courtney.   Episode Roundup:  You can prepare all you want, you can do everything right and still struggle to conceive and what we need to remember is that stress can play a critical role in this and you know truthfully timing is everything Amanda wanted to get pregnant and thought she would get pregnant very quickly and yet it took a year but once it was finally the right time, everything was in position she was in a feeling environment she and her husband were able to conceive and what a precious little baby they did make. Now on that same idea same concept if we move that over to labor what talk about how stress can also play a role in win that begins you know part of the importance of going into labor is relaxing letting loose getting comfortable if we are in a state of stress and panic it will be hard to get into that separation phase to get the contraction moving and going obviously it's gonna happen at some point. We're going to come to labor but the best thing that we can actively let go to actively release our responsibilities as much as possible and focus inward on the massive transformation that is about to take place. Once Amanda was able to let go of that go go go intensity really actively focus on relaxing she was of course able to step into that separation phase and to relax and release into the laboring process and apparently reflexology really really help together there. Next, we were trying different time is not linear it's not the same thing that we experience from day-to-day and why is that well we're in what's called liminality we're in this other worldly out of our typical mind experience which is beautiful but don't expect the clock to make sense when you're in labor because it's going to be totally different from what you expect almost always. It’s one of those experiences where a minute may feel like an hour or an hour may feel like a minute. It is an absolutely unlike clear version of time so relaxing into that and allowing the process to just unfold without the concerns of protective “Oh no did you get that contraction timer down like if everything written and recorded” that's going into liminality releasing all of that thinking brain allows that to be OK no matter whether you're labor is 30 minutes or 30 hours. Finally Amanda stated that birth forced her to truly look in word, Can you do this Amanda? Do you want to meet your daughter? or Do you wanna transport? Do you want to outsource to the hospital have them do something for you to stimulate labor to relax you in some way? But you know what and Amanda in this situation decided to dig in and meet her baby and this is what motherhood is about. Digging into your intuition no matter what it takes that doesn't necessarily mean they get home every time it may be something very different but digging into your intuition and what's right from you. Instead of immediately outsourcing to somebody else's idea or what somebody else thinks is right for you. This not only served Amanda during labor but it has served her already tremendously and motherhood and making those decisions for her family making those decisions for Eliana with confidence. That is what motherhood is all about and that is what labor can teach us if we are open and willing and ready to accept it alright my friends I hope that you enjoy. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective instagram@hormonehealingrd Are You Menstrual      
11/7/202259 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 202: Birth is Medicine: Courtney Valdez Steps into Sovereign Motherhood

What does it mean to fully embrace motherhood? To fully embrace the God-given responsibility of caring for your children?   This week, we're speaking to Courtney Valdez, a 26-year old mom of two beautiful girls + a business owner/hairstylist, with a love of homemaking and holistic wellness. Courtney's experience of pregnancy and birth has changed the way her family lives in every way for the better, as we are going to hear in this powerful journey of growth and strength.   And not to give a huge spoiler alert, but I do want to say this. The mother that Courtney becomes during this experience-- powerful, confident, radically responsible-- that is who I want you to meet and become inside of The Homebirth Collective. In the HBC, we dedicate 12 weeks to getting to know the deepest layers of yourself. To meeting that primal mother inside of you, and encouraging her to to take the driver's seat-- not only of your pregnancy and birth, but of your life.   We work in sisterhood, as community is so vital to preparation for birth, and so missing in most contexts. How unbelievable is it to be able to share a common goal with a group of mothers-- a group of aligned mothers who totally supports your decision to give birth at home? Who wants to form deep relationships and connect authentically?   It's been incredible to see these mothers enter and re-enter motherhood after having completed The HBC. Seeing them take radical responsibility in their births, and knowing how deeply this will impact generation after generation-- because they chose to invest in themselves and their families.   If you're excited to join the next cohort of The HBC, which will run from January to March, make sure you're signed up for our waitlist! You'll be the first to know when applications are open, and you can grab your spot quickly, as spots are incredibly limited!   Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/collective to learn more and sign up. Okay, let's jump into this beautiful story with Courtney.   Episode Roundup: Let's start with how Courtney views her first birth experience. While there is plenty for her to be upset and frustrated about in regards to her care, I love the way that Courtney chooses to frame her experience. She isn't sitting in victimhood, but accepting responsibility-- accepting the experience for what it was, and choosing to see and appreciate the beautiful moments. Sometimes we've got to tease through the event to find the beauty, and that can feel frustrating, but how much more powerful than to allow the event to pull you down into despair? We don't always have a choice in regards to outcomes, but we can ALWAYS choose our perspective. Sovereign motherhood. Courtney felt that she shed her old skin-- the questioning, uncertain skin of the past-- in the birth pool when she met her second daughter. She was reborn as the sovereign mother to her two daughters that she was designed to be. No more questioning herself, no more outsourcing... she understands that her intuition was given by God, and she will us it. And lastly, I want to take a moment to touch on care providers. Courtney's experience were both at the hands of midwives. We've got to remember that a title alone means absolutely nothing. One manipulated and pushed for her own way, while the other sat on her hands, peacefully watching Courtney enter back into motherhood. We've got to remember that who we select as our care provider does carry a massive amount of weight. I understand that some of us have more options than others, but this is something to be considered deeply. Does your midwife see herself as a hero or a servant? The answer will dictate much. Resources:   FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective    
10/31/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 201: Navigating Birth with Power

How do you navigate a situation in which your birth plans must be modified?   This week we're speaking to Jocelyn, mama to 3 with 3 very different birth stories. Today we'll hear about Jocelyn's experience in the birth center, in the hospital, and finally at home.   Episode Roundup:   I'm struck by Jocelyn's ability to keep positive and to advocate for herself when her birth plans changed after a diagnosis of hydrocephaly with her second son. She could have been bullied out of her plans, but she remained strong and pushed for what she desired. In the end, she saw that her strength paid off and she was able to avoid an unnecessary c section. Your thoughts, opinions and desires DO matter, and it would seem that some obstetricians tend to lean towards "NO" instead of "YES". With this in mind, remember that you are always the one in charge of your care, and you do have options. Sometimes we may not like our options-- I'm sure Jocelyn would have preferred to have the original birth she'd desired, but within the context of her situation, she still made the best of her situation and made the decisions that were best for herself and her baby. You can do the same, too.     Resources:   FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective  
10/24/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 200: Giving Birth on the Go: Shelby’s Baby is Caught by Jenna in the Car!

What makes for a birth that encourages immediate connection with your baby? Was "surprise car birth" the first thought that came to mind? No? Maybe it will be after this story!   This week, we're speaking with Shelby and Jenna. Two sisters who have supported each other throughout their pregnancies. We'll be talking about Shelby's stories specifically today and how Jenna was a part of her very unusual experience.   Episode Roundup: Sometimes the situations that unfold can impact us in ways that we were not expecting. After her first birth, Shelby ran into difficulties with bonding and breastfeeding, much of this due to harmful hospital policy. When these things happen, it can be difficult not to carry our concerns into our next experience. Shelby experienced perinatal depression with her second baby, and I'm so glad that she was able to bring up the struggle and difficulty that it brought upon her pregnancy, because we see that once she felt comfortable bringing up what was going on, she was immediately validated, loved and understood by her husband and sister. When we can find the courage to speak up about what is troubling us, half of the work is done already. We are then able to have the people who love us support us through whatever it is that we need. There are plenty of counselors and therapists who support women through perinatal depression specifically, so if you find yourself in this position, I lovingly encourage you to seek that support. Finally, sometimes the gift of our birth experience comes in a very unexpected package. Despite the fact that Shelby wasn't envisioning an unassisted car birth on the side of the road, this turned out to be a beautiful gift for herself and her son. They were able to bond and breastfeed immediately, and she was able to bathe in the beautiful connection that she wanted so desperately during her first experience. Resources:   FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
10/17/202254 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 199: LaDaiju’s Dream Homebirth After Cesarean

How can we enter pregnancy and labor with excitement and anticipation after a previous birth that ended in Cesarean?   This week, we're speaking to LaDaiju, a mama who decided she was not accepting the same birthing situation as before as she prepared for her most recent birth. HBAC stories are some of the most requested on the podcast, and I know you're going to love the perspective that LaDaiju brings to this discussion.   Episode Roundup: LaDaiju walked into her second birth with the confidence and deep knowing that her body was made to do this. She had been thoughtful, prayerful and so considerate, and she knew this birth experience at home was exactly what she needed. So much of this confidence came through education. Between her first and second birth, LaDaiju took education seriously. She knew she wanted something different, and she worked hard to make it happen. What an amazing experience. LaDaija, I'm so thrilled for your successful homebirth, and so glad you made it onto the podcast to share!   Resources:   FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
10/10/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 198: 3 Ways a Successful Homebirth Sets You Up for a Successful Postpartum

𝟯 𝗪𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗮 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗦𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗺 Don’t be fooled into believing that birth and postpartum are two separate, disconnected events and experiences! The way we experience birth can embolden us in our postpartum experience and motherhood! If you’re ready to prepare thoroughly for both, make sure you get your application in for The Homebirth Collective. This cohort runs from Oct 10-Dec 31st. Applications close Tuesday, 10/4!
10/3/202231 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 197: Here’s How to Heap on the Joy

Our birth is NOT something we just have to power through. It’s not something we must “endure” to meet our baby. No, no. There is so much joy in the transformation into motherhood, and it begins NOW! We can soak up every birth of nectar from this joyous preparation and experience. If enjoying your pregnancy and homebirth and transformation into motherhood is your desire, make sure you apply for The Homebirth Collective today. Applications are open through next week, then we’ll be closing our cohort. Don’t miss out on the Oct- Dec cohort!
9/28/202226 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 196: If You’ve Read Ina May’s Guide...

Is the goal of your Homebirth to have pretty images, or is it to seize the experience of motherhood and revel in all of its glory? Depending on your goal, you’ll want to consider how you prepare. If you merely want to “get through labor”, then a course focused on coping techniques may be just fine… But if you’re looking to enjoy the full blueberry pie, not just the outer edge of the crust… If you’re looking to experience childbirth as the honorable, noble right of passage that it was always meant to be… A surface level approach to childbirth preparation isn’t going to cut it. Inside of The Homebirth Collective, our focus is on the internal experience far more than the simple external sequence of events. Why? Because you deserve more than to just “get through labor”. You deserve to see this event as the life-changing, sacred, rite of passage, mother-making, God-given experience that it is. That it was designed to be. If you’re ready for more and you can already see The Homebirth Collective is the answer for you, I want you to fill out the application in my bio and send me a DM saying “ME!” Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
9/26/202224 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 195: Preparing for Birth Holistically with Tanya Grazione

When you experience a truly empowered birthing experience, certainly it affects your motherhood journey. But what else can it potentially impact?   And this week we're speaking to Tanya Grazione, a mama whose birth experience propelled her into a totally new career and desire to serve other women. Tanya is a homebirth mama, doula and childbirth educator, and she has so much wonderful insight to share with us today.   She help first-time homebirth mothers achieve the empowering birthing experience of their dreams by deprogramming the mainstream mistrust of birth, reconnecting with their intuitive feminine wisdom, and relaxing into the the birthing process.   Episode Roundup: In regards to Tanya's first experience, her cervix moved so quickly from relatively closed to quite open, which explains why Tanya felt overwhelmed and opted for the epidural. We've got to remember that the cervix doesn't open on a specific timeline, and just because we're 3cm one minute doesn't mean we won't be complete and pushing just minutes later!  With her second birth, Tanya was able to feel the transformation into motherhood in a far more active way. This experience, though it didn't take away her first birth, allowed her to integrate it and her second birth more fully into herself. She was able to re-enter motherhood feeling extremely proud and confident. A number of the mothers inside of The HBC join specifically for that reason. They were left feeling like something was missing from their previous birth or births, and they're ready to do all of the inner work with their current pregnancy to experience the transformation back into motherhood on a cellular level. In order to do that, we have to take radical responsibility and learn to dig into our own self-knowledge and trust. I love that Tanya is on the exact same page and is teaching this to her clients as well.   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
9/19/202254 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 194: Husbands! 5 Things to Watch Out For with Childbirth Education

Question for you, dads: If you knew you were preparing for something intense and life-changing… let’s say battle… how would you want to prepare? Would you prefer to read a book or two and hope for the best? Would you want to watch a general self-study course and try to implement on your own? Or would you prefer 1:1 preparation with a skilled instructor who has actually experienced what you’re preparing for? Wouldn’t you want to have access to other peers who were preparing for the same event to work with, relate to, and lean upon? And would you want this preparation to simply show you how to hold a sword, or would you want it to teach you to think like a warrior? Which would be more helpful. Now let’s think about your wife and the life-changing experience she’s about to have: giving birth. Just like battle, she will leave this experience changed. Wouldn’t it be far more helpful if we were able to help her prepare for all of the aspects of birth and motherhood beforehand so that she walks into this event confidently and courageously? Listen in to this discussion to learn the 5 questions you can ask your wife when she’s selecting a method of childbirth education. And remember that YOU can be her hero simply through your support!   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
9/16/202229 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 193: Preparing for Birth When Plans Change Last Minute

When you work yourself up to have a homebirth, and then those plans change last minute, what do you do?   This week, we're speaking with Therese Dansby. Therese Dansby is a wife, nurse, lactation consultant, and homeschooling mom of 3. She recently moved from a big city to a small town in Nebraska where she is thrilled to have found herself amongst plenty of homesteading, home schooling, home birthing friends. Motherhood has been nothing like she expected, but as she rises to the challenge, she learns new things about her own strength and resilience in the process.     Therese's final birth experience ends with some unexpected trauma.  She gives a trigger warning before she goes into depth, so if you'd prefer to avoid that discussion, you're welcome to end the episode at that point.   Episode Roundup:   Despite my great love and desire for mothers to know about homebirth as an option, that does NOT automatically mean that home is the best option for everyone. The best option for a mother is for her to give birth where she feels safest and most comfortable. We are asking our bodies to open up and be fully vulnerable. If they are most comfortable doing that in a hospital, there is absolutely no shame in that. The People Pleaser Tendency: This is very common in pregnancy and birth, and it's something we need to be aware of so that we can prepare ourselves beforehand. Strengthening our boundaries during pregnancy can be incredibly useful. Finally, birth can be beautiful and still have complications. There can still be traumas after something amazing and lovely. Therese shared so many wonderful ways that she's been able to integrate her experience in these last months, and I will be posting them in the show notes   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective https://www.livingrootswellness.com NAPRO link More On Napro Episode with Theresa Piela
9/12/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 192: Pelvic Floor Problems? Here’s how to “Tighten Your Tinkler”

What do we need to know about supporting and healing the pelvic floor?  Is it super complex?   This week, we're speaking with Christina, one of the creators and trainers of Tighten Your Tinkler. Christina and her business partner Jen are a physical therapist and exercise physiologist duo who are dedicated to helping mothers heal their pelvic floors in a way that keeps physiology in mind.   Christina and Jen are guest experts inside of the Homebirth Collective, and I am thrilled to be able to share a glimpse of their expertise here, too!   The HBC applications for our next cohort that runs from mid October through the end of December 2022 open up next week on September 12th 2022. This cohort has been absolutely life-changing for the intimate community of mothers who has participated, and the friendships that have been built ALONG with the depth of both knowledge and wisdom regarding the physiologic birth process and the transformational experience of childbirth are far beyond anything I've ever experienced before.   Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/collective if you know you're ready to join us in October!   Christina brought so much helpful information to us regarding the Pelvic floor and how we can support it.  If through this episode you've realized that you'd like further support, don't hesitate to reach out to Christina and Jen at Tightenyourtinkler.  The name is funny, but the results are serious!  I've personally been through their program and I'm currently incorporating their exercises into my daily life, and I absolutely love what they're doing.    Resources FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective Tightenyourtinkler Maternity support belt  V2 vulvar / pelvic floor / prolapse support belt  Favorite Electrolyte Drops   
9/5/202245 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 191: From Elective Cesarean to Homebirth Mama: Jorda’s Big Shift

When you choose an elective cesarean for your first birth, you're about as far from the homebirth experience as you can get-- there's no way you'd ever consider a homebirth later on, right?   This week, we're speaking to Jordan Adams- a student and stay at home mother of 3. She lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband, three children- Emerson, Lennon & Auburn as well as two dogs, so it's never boring. Jordan's home birth was my first VBAC and she's been birth obsessed ever since!   Speaking of this beautiful community, I want to go deeper with you, and we are about to open up our enrollment for the Homebirth Collective. Our second cohort will be underway in October and we are going to run through the end of December. So, you know, Homebirth is a transformational experience, unlike any other, and I want to invite you to take full responsibility and full control over the joy of that experience through the Homebirth Collective, where we will be diving so much deeper into preparing. By really invoking the Primal mother, which is what I call it which is that mother inside of you who already knows what to do. And then once we have that Foundation laid, once we understand our nervous system, once we understand our boundaries, once we understand what it actually means to have a successful birth. If you were interested, go to  myhappyhomebirth.com/collective.  I can’t wait to connect with you and support you further.   Episode Roundup So much of our fears stem from the unknown. Jordan didn't know what to expect with her first baby and birth, and at that time, it felt safer to just not know than to have to come to terms with what it could be. Obviously, this changed greatly for Jordan with time, but it really highlights just how stressful the idea of birth can be-- and if we don't even feel safe looking into what's happening, it's no wonder that we would want to consider an elective cesarean. Have someone else do it for me- I don't even want to know. But on to my second point, what power did Jordan exhibit when she realized.... "wait a minute... I'm in control here!" She truly became a force to be reckoned with, and it was amazing to see that sense increase throughout her two subsequent births. Once you realize the smoke and mirrors of the idea that someone else has the power-- not you-- once you realize it's YOUR body and YOUR baby.... you can't unsee that. Jordan certainly never did. I love that Jordan so openly has continued to grow, learn and change. When her midwife recommended some dietary changes that seemed pretty basic, she suddenly had insane improvements in her health-- how incredible is it to see that we sometimes DO have the ability to greatly increase our health with just a few simple changes. This was such an encouraging aspect of Jordan's journey to me. And finally, how wonderful was it to hear all of the supportive people around Jordan. Her husband, her mother-in-law, her midwife, her sister in law-- all of them playing such integral parts in her experience, and she will never forget how these wonderful people treated her during such a special time. It just fills me with joy to hear when mothers are rallied around in such a beautiful way.   Resources FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective @jordann.adams
8/29/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 190: Birthing Instincts with Dr. Stu

What do Obstetricians have to say about homebirth?  Well, the one we're speaking to today certainly has some opinions that may surprise you in the best way. This week, we're speaking with the incredible Dr. Stu Fischbein, a homebirth-attending Obstetrician, founder of Reteach Breech, and one of the two lovely co-hosts from the ever-inspiring podcast Birthing Instincts.   In this conversational episode, Dr. Stu, as usual, holds nothing back and shares his opinions regarding the current state of the medical oligarchy and how the last two years of pandemic chaos have exposed the realities that have existed for a long time, how this encroaches on midwives, mothers and people as a whole... and we discuss the responsibility that each one of us can choose to take in regards to our own health.   He shares the massive shifts in perspective that he's had over his career in terms of how maternity care should be managed, or better yet left alone, and he unabashedly shares his thoughts on the Covid, the vaccine and more.    Episode Roundup:   10 or so years into his career, Dr. Stu made a choice. He decided to recognize the fact that the way he'd been caring for patients did not align with the new knowledge and perspective that he was gaining. Honestly, it could have been a lot easier, a lot more comfortable for him to have stuck his head in the sand, continued down the ol' path of typical obstetric care and never be faced with the discomfort of change. I'm so grateful that he didn't do that. It's important that we listen to medical professionals--who have seen how things work on the inside-- when they share that things are often not done for the best interest of the patient. Of course, I'm sure many of this know this, but experiential knowledge is a whole other kind of knowledge.  Dr. Stu was pushed out of his hospital position and privlidge because he wouldn't cow to the mainstream model.  How frustrating to hear that those who DO truly care for the patient are often the first ones to be removed. And finally, let's end on something to consider and meditate on:  You, the mother, should be the one deciding the risks you are willing to take.  Yes, it is incredible to have trusted advisors and providers, but the authority of how and where and with whom you give birth should remain in your hands.  You have options. Resources FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective   Links: Birthing Instincts Atlas Shrugged Dissolving Illusions Casa Blanca The Business of Birth Control The Highwire      
8/22/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 189: Birth lessons of an RN turned Homebirther

Raise your hand if your doula became a doula at 17 years old before having her own children and before coming an RN? No, just Ellie?   And this week we're speaking to Ellie Mickle, birth doula turned RN turned homebirth mama. We'll be sharing her 3 beautiful stories, and I'm really putting an emphasis on 'beautiful.' This is a great pep talk episode and reminder that birth can go SO beautifully, and it does so often!   Episode Roundup When it comes to birth, our lens is crucial to how we view the situation. Ellie recognized that the only thing standing in her way from fully enjoying or appreciating her second birth experience was an internal battle based around the idea that her experience was supposed to be something different than it was. It is crucial for us as mothers to enter each birthing experience with curiosity and a beginner's mind, knowing that the experience will bring to us whatever lessons we need most. A positive and curious lens can make all of the difference. And ultimately, birth is normal until proven otherwise. Entering this experience recognizing that physiological labor was designed to work allows us to relax and release into this process with confidence and comfort. Having trusted care providers and a trusted location can truly help mothers sink warmly into the headspace needed to submit to the birthing process. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective  
8/15/20221 hour, 50 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep 188: Healing the Nervous System for Birth & Motherhood with Theresa Piela

This conversation is not directly homebirth, or even totally birth related, but this information is so applicable to every single one of us, whether we're struggling with chronic illness or not. There is so much we call pull from this discussion with Theresa and apply to our pregnancy, birth and motherhood.   This week we're going to be speaking to Theresa Piela who is as a guest expert and leading an in-depth tapping session for our students inside Happy Homebirth Collective. Theresa, is such a gift.  We are so honored to have her as a guest expert inside of the homebirth collective, and I love that my students get to learn from you in this intimate setting.    Episode roundup Learning to release in one area of life often times allows us to soften and release in other areas. This is such a great reminder for motherhood. A we learn to soften and sink in and release, our experience of motherhood will be positively impacted.           "No one has the answers but you" and there's freedom in that. Ultimately, you get to take full responsibility. Theresa mentioned this in relation to her search for health during chronic illness, and the very same applies for birth. Yes, it is wonderful to find others who can support us, encourage us, and teach us... but ultimately, this is your life. And it's so much more fulfilling, despite the fact that it may at first feel daunting, when we embrace the responsibility.                             If you have the time to think to yourself, "Oh man, I'm not thinking or feeling the way I wanted to...." THAT IS YOUR CUE! You can take that one little moment of awareness-- that's all you need is one little moment-- and remind yourself to refocus. And the more you do this, the more aware you will be come, and the quicker and easier it will be to refocus as time goes on.                                                                                             And finally, I love this one...Remember that we cannot control the craziness around us. We live in a world that can be dark at times, and there is undeniably trouble and struggle within the human condition. But despite this.... or even in light of this...how important is it for us to connect to our babies and let them know how well they are loved. As Theresa said, It's the biggest gift a mother can give their child.   For all of you listening, I highly encourage you to follow Theresa at livingrootswellness on instagram, and I 10/10 recommend her tapping membership, Tapping with T. If you're looking for support, she's giving it out consistently.   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective    
8/8/202252 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 187: Jocelin’s Road to Homebirth

How can we teach our body that it can trust us and rest, when we have previously had a difficult time allowing it to rest?   This week we're going to be speaking to Jocelin North. Jocelin is a mother who has been through quite a bit of difficulty through her pregnancy and birth experiences. And I do want to share this up front because Jocelin does a really beautiful job of really sharing the details of her experience and I want you to keep that in mind. If you feel that you are at a place in your pregnancy where you are vulnerable to difficult stories, this may be one that you want to come back to at a later time though. I do believe there's so much value and in hearing how she went through these experiences and how she's come out.   On the other side as a stronger mother and someone who is able to listen to her body and provide it what it needs in an easier way.   Episode Roundup:   I feel like Jocelyn story had so many difficult aspects to it and what I love and find so comforting and it is that through all of those things, she was able to continue on, she thought the Lord's help in the times that she needed it and she did what she needed to do for her babies.   That being said, we as mothers often times will sacrifice and sacrifice and sacrifice and forget that we are people too who need help and support. So I'm so grateful that Jocelyn is now on a path to helping her body rest and allowing her body to heal, and these things do take time. So I am so grateful to Jocelyn for sharing her birth stories with us.   I will remind you that Jocelyn took Happy Homebirth Academy. Happy Homebirth Academy is currently unavailable, but we have the waitlist open for the home birth Collective. And our second cohort is going to be beginning in October, you can hop on to the waitlist. This first cohort has been mind-blowing, absolutely beautiful. The relationships that are forming between these mothers and the depth that we are able to get to in terms of coaching plus education. There is absolutely nothing like this anywhere else on the market. I am so honored and blessed to be able to provide such an amazing experience. So do not miss your opportunity to be a part of this next cohort.   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective    
8/1/20221 hour, 42 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 186: Recognizing Birth Trauma with Christie Sheffer, CPM

What is birth trauma, and how can we move through it?   This week we're speaking to Christie Sheffer, a Certified Professional midwife who also created the Perinatal Trauma Center. Today we are going to be discussing birth trauma, what it is, how it oftentimes presents, and how it impacts us and our loved ones. Christy has recorded this interview, and she also recorded a follow up discussion for the Home birth collective. So she's one of our guest experts inside of the Home birth Collective, where she gave practical tips on how to prevent birth trauma and then how to heal from it afterwards if it were to happen.   Episode Roundup:   The first one being that trauma is a physical response. It's not an emotional feeling. It's something that we physically experience inside of our bodies. And it's when our body thinks that an event is happening in real time, it cannot differentiate or distinguish past from present. So when we go to heal our trauma, we are simply trying to show our body that it is safe right now. What a blessing to be able to give our bodies that. If you have experienced birth trauma, whether you deem it yourself big or small, it is worth healing. It is worth digging through and finding the truth and healing it. Your trauma impacts your day to day functioning whether you recognize it or not. It also has implications on your family, on your children, on your spouse. For us to be able to work through our own healing, we also provide healing for those around us. What a wonderful example to everyone around us. Finally, if you are finding yourself feeling uncomfortable when you talk about your birth, when the idea of birth comes out, when your friend mentions her birthing plans, that's when we want to really check-in and make sure that we are getting the support that we need.   Be sure to checkout Christie's website and the amazing self-diagnostics quiz that she has so that you can see where you fall in terms of how you are processing you Birth experience.   Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
7/25/202237 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 185: The 3 Pillars of Motherhood with Jessica Lorion

How can we set ourselves up for an empowered motherhood experience?  Are there any specific values or ideals that we can practice and exercise in order to ready ourselves for the great task that motherhood is?   This week we're speaking with Jessica Lorion. As an auto-immune disease fighter, Jessica's motherhood journey is postponed.  While she navigates her health journey, she has decided to learn all about motherhood before she becomes one. As a Mama in Training herself, she decided to take that concept and support other Mamas in Training on their journey in and through motherhood. Today we'll be taking time together to discuss how to best prepare for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond with Jessica's 3 pillars of motherhood.   Episode Roundup   Advocacy. Let's remember that you are yours and your baby's best advocate. Wear that title proudly, and don't allow others, even those with white coats, to bully you. This can feel like a daunting weight, but you were made for this and created for this. Spend time thinking, praying, meditating on this fact so that you can go forth confidently. Next, let's talk about planning and preparing. You know this is near and dear to my heart, as we go through a strategic planning and preparation sequence inside of Happy Homebirth Academy. From preparing the mind to preparing the relaxation techniques, to preparing your partner, heart and home, body, and for postpartum... this idea of taking the time to consider what's important to you, consider all of the options, and create a fluid plan is essential. And finally, community. I love how Jessica divided up this concept of community. We've got care providers and professionals, close friends and family, and then third party community. I love the idea of having outside input. Each group is important and can bring us something slightly different. Learning to lean into our communities for support is a lesson that can sometimes be challenging, but it is truly so rewarding for both yourself and your family. Resources: FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Collective
7/18/202249 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 184: Kati’s Homebirth Hesitancy Turns to Confident Success

How do you go through with a home birth when you start your pregnancy terrified of home birth?   This week we're speaking to Kati Gannom, a mama who agreed to a home birth during her second pregnancy, even though she really wasn't sold on it in the beginning.   Episode Roundup:   Kati is a perfect example that your cervix is not a crystal ball, and the fact that it's out of one during one exam means absolutely nothing about when your baby will be born. This reality really presented itself in both of her labors. Before I go on a tirade about the absolute insanity of cutting an episiotomy, especially without consent from the mother first, because I'm feeling a whole lot of angry feelings about that, let me just skip to the good part. Katie toured during her second birth, which, sure, nobody wants to do, but this is a great reminder that the perineum was made to stretch, yes, but it was also made to heal. And healing from a natural chair is generally a much easier experience than healing from intentional incisions, as I am sure Kati would attest. Mindset is everything. I mean, really, your body already has everything it needs to give birth to your baby, barring very special circumstances. The really important task is assuring and reassuring your mind that that's the case. Of course, understanding physiological birth, knowing all the types of positions and pain relief and coping techniques play a part in building that mindset. But it's important that you know that you've already got everything that you need. Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
7/11/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 183: Here’s How We Swap Anxiousness for Peace About Our Homebirth in 12 Short Weeks

Childbirth education isn’t enough. How many homebirth mothers do you know who “did everything right” and yet still felt unfulfilled after their birth? Listen, when we don’t treat birth as sacred and prepare for it as such, how can we expect to feel like it was scared afterwards? In order to reap, we must first sow. Let’s sow the seeds of preparation with intentionality. Let’s prepare our hearts and our feminine intuition and wisdom before jumping straight into “how to cope with labor” Join me for 12 weeks and let’s get to work so that when it’s time for the harvest, it’s absolutely abundant. Send me a DM saying ‘me!’ If you’re ready to prepare with intentionality inside of The Homebirth Collective.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective
7/4/202223 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 182: 4 Warning Signs to Re-Prioritize HB Prep

4 Warning Signs that You Need to Re-Prioritize Your Homebirth Preparation So you want an empowered Homebirth. Are you preparing in a way that will provide you with empowerment? 1️⃣ If you think you’re going to just go with the flow ➡️ ✨reprioritize✨ 2️⃣ If you think that relaxation techniques alone give you empowerment ➡️ ✨reprioritize✨ 3️⃣ If you think that hiring a midwife guarantees success ➡️ ✨reprioritize ✨ 4️⃣ If you’re not preparing for this with the same dedication that you did when planning/preparing for your wedding ➡️ ✨reprioritize✨ Wanting an empowered birth experience is doable with the right tools and preparation. But let’s remember that it isn’t going to just drop in our laps. We’ve got to take radical responsibility for our preparation.   Resources:  Happy Homebirth Collective
6/30/202235 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 181: Remove Anxiety From Your Homebirth Preparation

Here’s a belief shift for you: Knowledge about birth is key and knowledge is enough ➡️Wisdom should be our emphasis. Takeaways from today’s chat: ✨We’ve been taught that the way to prepare is to acquire information (from social media, the stories of others, birth classes) BUT this isn’t reducing anxiety because none of that is directly applied to YOU. We need to to focus on your own internal wisdom and self knowledge before adding “science”. ✨If you want to feel peace, but you’re stressing about finding peace... that’s not going to lead you to peace. ✨When you have a framework that integrates knowledge AND wisdom, then you can release the anxiety and feel JOY.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective
6/27/202220 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 180: Increase Attachment With Baby Prenatally

You don’t have to wait until your baby is in your arms physically to begin attaching and bonding. In fact... how much closer can you get than being inside of someone?! Let’s emulate that close physical proximity with mental and emotional proximity, too! This weekend we’re running a challenge! #chorionicconnection We’re going to set aside a little bit of time each day for the next 3 days to intentionally connect with our babies. Day 1: spend time thinking about what it will be like to work with your baby during labor. How will the two of you work together? What will that look like? Day 2: Focus on what the newborn connection will be like. Joyfully imagine the new baby snuggles, smelling that precious little head, nursing and changing diapers. Let your baby know that you’re a safe place and you’re going to take care of them. Day 3: let’s visualize this connection 5-10 years down the road. What will this beautiful love look like then? Imagine your baby, now a child, and imagine you helping them solve some type of problem. Let them know that this isn’t a short term relationship- you’ll be bonded and connected for life. SHARE YOUR DAILY EXPERIENCES! Post about it on your stories and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast so I can see where you are, how you’re doing, and what about this is most valuable for you! Use #chorionicconnection Is this the type of in-depth, actionable preparation you want for your Homebirth? If you’ve got 16+ weeks left in your pregnancy and you want to be fully prepared on all levels, send me a DM (chorionic connection) to learn more about The Homebirth Collective.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective
6/23/202221 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 179: The 3 Reasons You’re Not Feeling Confident About Homebirth

The 3 Reasons You’re Not Feeling Confident About Homebirth 1. You’re feeling isolated and misunderstood by your closest family and friends who consider what you’re doing to be dangerous 2. You’re looking in the traditionally right place for connection (family & friends), but unfortunately that’s not currently the place where you’ll find what you’re seeking 3. You’ve got to somewhat disengage or remove your energy from these toxic situations and reengage in a community where you will be built up and given both knowledge and wisdom. Sound like you? Send me a DM with the word ‘engage’ to learn how we’re healing these issues at the root inside of The Homebirth Collective!   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective
6/20/202224 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 178: Here’s the Unexpected Secret for How to Have a Peaceful, Empowering Birth Experience

You’ve been sold the idea that if you know the states of labor and the hormonal interplay and if you practice your relaxation techniques that you’ll be all set for an empowering birth experience. BUT... We need more than science; we need wisdom. We need more than head knowledge; we need heart knowledge. We need the right container so that we can appropriately integrate our experience. We need: ✔️ COMMUNITY ✔️ CEREMONY ✔️ CONNECTION Listen in to hear how we’re cultivating this inside of The Homebirth Collective.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective
6/16/202227 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 177: The Intimacy of Homebirth: Using Birth to Strengthen Connection

Birth serves a purpose, yes, but can it be more than just bring a baby from within to the outside?  Could it actually be... intimate?   This week we're speaking with Annalee Ford who is a a civil engineer/makeup artist in Denver, CO who, as she says, spends way too much time on Tiktok. Annalee and her husband actually work together (on the engineering side, not makeup!) and have been together for 10 blissful years. Together they have two beautiful daughters (Elliott and Collins), three crazy dogs, and love spending lots of time together as a family.    And this family-love is what we'll be exploring inside of this episode. The way that we can take birth from being a medical event to a familial affair.   Episode Roundup: I want to reiterate the fact that postpartum rage is a thing that many mothers experience. Sometimes completely alone, and other times intermingled with anxiety and depression. I experienced this quite strongly after the birth of my first daughter, and I felt totally alone and embarrassed that I was experiencing these emotions. Do not make the same mistake as me. If you're experiencing this, reach out to someone. Look into the emotional freedom technique- you can find all kinds of videos online for free, and that's amazing, but I do feel like finding someone to work with one on one can help you uncover a lot more roots a lot quicker. I'm going to put some of my favorite resources in the show notes Let's talk about interventions. Often times I speak on the down sides to interventions, but here's the truth. They can be super helpful sometimes. Annalee chose to have cervical exams and membrane sweeps, and the world didn't fall apart because of it-- in fact, they seemed to truly help her as she progressed throughout her labor experience. Here's the deal. When you have informed consent-- when you truly know the pros and cons to each practice and you confidently choose, that's beautiful and amazing! Interventions are not automatically BAD things... they can serve a purpose... but having informed consent is absolutely key. Next, one more time-- how COOL was it to hear how Annalee's subconscious really seemed to pick up on the impending transport and emergent feelings right at the end of her labor. And what did it do? It cause a STRONG physical reaction. Her baby went from high to ON the perineum in no time flat, all thanks to a well-timed pukefest. I am constantly in awe of the Divine nature in which we were created. And yes, I'm talking about vomit and our divine creation in the same breath. And finally, let's end where we began. Birth does not have to be some big medical to-do. How much more connecting and strengthening is it when we prepare with our spouse, work together as a team, and experience birth as an intimate family event. This is the glue that binds us and can build us up. It was so beautiful to hear how Annalee and Ethan did this together, fortifying and strengthening their connection through the experience. Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide  
6/13/202244 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 176:The Midwife’s Visit: How to Involve Your Children in Pregnancy and Birth With Kelly Jenkins, CPM

Do you desire to involve your children in your pregnancy, birthing and immediate postpartum experience, but feel a bit uncertain as to how to prepare them?   This episode is full of wonderful, easily attainable ways to discuss birth and midwifery care with your children, no matter what age.  Kelly will be giving us such wonderful examples of how to involve your children and bolster their self-confidence.     Episode Roundup: One of the very best things we can do for our children is involve them in daily life- both the little and small events. From the daily routines like folding the laundry and washing the dishes to the extraordinary moments of pregnancy and childbirth, to the sweet and intimate moments like feeding our babies. Allowing our children to be a part of our lives facilitates confidence and creates young ones who feel at home in our world. When answering our young children's questions, we don't have to give them a full college essay in response, but it is important to feel out what it is that they're truly wanting to know, and to do our best to give a response that is at their level when possible. I love Kelly's example from Corrie Ten Boom about not asking children to carry more than they can hold-- but on the other end, as parents, we are their safe place to ask questions and learn. Creating a relationship and an atomosphere that lets our children know it's okay to ask questions and to know that their parents are going to do their best to involve and include them goes such a long way when it comes to security. And finally, we can make birth preparation fun and enjoyable for our children. By involving them in the actual appointments, talking openly and often with them, and reading beautiful books like The Midwife's Visit , we let our children take part in this incredible, transformative event-- giving trust to the process now, and allowing that trust to grow over a lifetime so that they too will be excited for their own birthing experiences. This is how we change the perspective of birth in our culture-- by teaching our children the truth. Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
6/6/202249 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 175: The Gillespie Approach: How Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Can Optimize Health for Your Infant

What if you had the know-how to help your newborn baby relax and release all of the tension accumulated from growing in utero and from his or her birth experience? What if YOU were able to help regulate your baby's nervous system? Wouldn't it be incredible?   Over the last year, I've heard more and more people discussing the Gillespie Approach and sharing how working with a trained practitioner truly changed their lives, as well as the lives of their little ones. I began looking into the program myself, as the though of being able to help my family release tension and feel better certainly intrigued me.   Now, after learning more about the approach, we're hosting two trainings in my hometown, Greenville South Carolina March 9-14th of 2023. I can't wait for this event, and If you're excited to learn more after hearing this episode, be sure to reach out to me at [email protected] to have your information added to the interest list.   HappyHomebirth Academy is going to be closing to the public for the foreseeable future as of June 14th. We have more exciting program with Homebirth Collective soon!   Episode Roundup   You're the expert on your family. We talk about this in relation to birth, but it certainly doesn't stop there. You are allowed to take radical responsibility, and you are allowed to acquire the skills it takes to help your family heal. Motherhood is powerful, and you are not "just" a mom. You are the expert.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Collective FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide  
5/30/202254 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 174: An Interview with a Homebirth Convert, Becky Zale

Is it too much to ask for a change of expectations when you’re pregnant with your seventh baby?  I mean, is that even possible to shift the paradigm and take birth on from a new perspective?   This week we’re speaking with Becky Zale of Approaching Home.  Becky is a converted homebirther. It’s something she said she’d never do. But things have a way of changing and not only did she experience her first homebirth with her 7th baby but she also experienced her first free birth. It is now the highlight of her life. She is a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 7 children-5 boys and 2 girls.   Episode Roundup:   Let’s start with talking about the transformation that Becky has made as a mother over her 7 births.  From walking into the hospital ready for her epidural with her first to having a homebirth…. Without her midwife with her last.  What a journey.  I want to remind you that just because you’ve chosen to give birth in other ways in the past, that does not mean that you can’t try something new.  Becky learned and grew with each experience, and they all finally led her to a birth so inspiring and powerful.   Next, boy– pitocin makes a difference, doesn’t it?  All of the moms who have labored with and without it are most certainly nodding their heads in agreement.  I mean, look at this.  Becky was so used to the intensity of pitocin contractions that she didn’t even recognize the fact that she was DEEP into labor.  Our bodies have a hormonal cocktail that just WORKS.  It works with us and for us, and it’s not too much because it IS us.  When medications get involved, we don’t always have that same experience because now we’ve got outside interference.  This was a great reminder to me that, gosh, you just can’t outdo nature. And finally, I have to touch on Becky’s willingness to pray- and to pray specifically.  Each time she did, she was given support, comfort, and peace.  I know that I was deeply comforted by her story, and I hope that you were, too.  Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide  
5/23/202245 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 173: Is Homebirth Still Safe After a Diagnosed Disability?

When you have a child with special needs, does that mean you’re automatically risked out of homebirth care for your future pregnancies?   Today we’ll be speaking with  Bekah, a 30 years old mom of 3 living in upstate SC. Bekah is a licensed cosmetologist turned stay at home mom, whose oldest child was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome when she was 2.5.  This has played a huge part in she and her husband’s journey as parents. Bekah lives for birth stories and she’s incredibly excited to be able to share my 3 home birth experiences.   Episode Roundup:  You can’t judge a book, or a laboring mother, by the cover.  And this goes both ways.  A mother may be presenting as totally zen, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t truly having to reach down deep within herself to work through her birthing experience.  And likewise, we certainly cannot assume that a loud, vocal mother is feeling out of control.  Heck, it can be so cathartic to ROAR a baby out, and sometimes that’s just the noise our body chooses to make– it having nothing to do with how perfectly calm we’re feeling on the inside. Next, I want to remind you that giving birth at home is not for a small handful of mothers.  Bekah knew that she wanted to give birth at home not only with her first, but continuing on.  Despite Alice’s genetic condition, Bekah recognized that had no bearing on her ability to give birth at home, and it didn’t make her feel uncomfortable in the slightest. And finally, I’m just so humbled by birth and by motherhood.  Just like birth, we can prepare spectacularly, yet no outcome can be guaranteed.  It’s the same with motherhood, and every aspect of life.  Bekah did not expect for her daughter and her family to be faced with the hurdle of Rett disease, but that is the reality that they face as a family together.  This life- our expectations- we must constantly remind ourselves to hold it all with an open hand, as we realize that so much is outside of our control.  And just like with labor, we can fight against it, or we can release into it and find the beauty.  It’s one of the things that I love about Bekah– the way that she is finding beauty even in the midst of difficulty.  I’m so grateful to know and learn from her.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide Approaching Home
5/16/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 172: The Ring of Fire

Have you heard horror stories about The Ring of Fire?   So what is "the ring of fire?" More accurately, it's the sensation of crowning: when the pressure of your baby's head, or crown, is applied fully to your perineum as his head begins to actually exit your body.    We will: Take a few minutes to work through concerns related to the ring of fire and Give you a few practical tips, and ready ourselves with a more open and excited mindset.    Resources https://www.cochrane.org/CD005123/PREG_antenatal-perineal-massage-for-reducing-perineal-trauma https://www.cochrane.org/CD006672/PREG_perineal-techniques-during-second-stage-labour-reducing-perineal-trauma https://midwifethinking.com/2016/01/13/perineal-protectors/ https://midwifethinking.com/2015/09/09/supporting-womens-instinctive-pushing-behaviour-during-birth/   Happy Homebirth Academy   FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
5/9/202217 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 171: Parenting and Birthing Gently with Caitlyn Doerksen

How do we go about decision-making in pregnancy and parenthood?  Do we float along on the wave of current culture, or is there possibly another way?   This week we’re speaking with Caitlyn Doerksen, a wife of almost seven years, a mom of 3 kids, who is passionate about all things surrounding the home. Home schooling, home birth, and a dream to one day soon home stead. She has such a beautiful way of looking at and interacting with her family, and I know you’re going to gain so much insight from this incredible episode. Episode Roundup: It’s okay to do things differently from other families and to focus on works in your family’s culture.  Just because your aunt or mother in law or neighbor did things one way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.  It’s not disrespectful to choose your own path.  I’m sure many of you resonate with that already– I mean, we’ve probably all had the experience of a little backlash to our birthing decisions, am I right? Next, I loved the way Caitlyn truly tuned into her intuition.  She didn’t push the voice away, she leaned in and listened harder.  She had her husband pray over her and encourage her, and together they worked on honing in on their God-given parental intuitions.  We were designed to disciple our babies, and when we tune out the noise and tune into what is working for our family, I think we often times do know how to do that so beautifully well.   And finally, let’s discuss the beautiful balance of Caitlyn’s births.  What did we learn?  Well, we learned that birth CAN be exactly what you want, pray for, ask for, envision, meditate upon… It can be.  There is so much power and excitement and thrill in that!  It happened for Caitlyn three times, despite difficult external circumstances with her most recent birth.  And now… on to the flip side.  Not everyone is going to experience this, and if your mind is SET on having a very specific experience that does not pan out that way, it can sometimes lead to disappointment or a fear that maybe you didn’t do something right, or you didn’t deserve a good birth or, or, or.  And just like Caitlyn so beautifully affirmed, that is straight up false.  I like to remind myself that every birth has a lesson for us.  Sometimes those lessons go down easy like a spoonful of honey, and others feel a bit more abrasive.  But, no matter the specific events our birth holds, please remember… we are the one who chooses how we get to integrate the experience.  We can choose what our birth means to us, and we can choose to approach birth with the knowledge that however it unfolds, there is beauty in it.  I hope that makes sense.  Every mother, every baby, every labor are different.  But whatever our labor brings us, we can take those lessons and apply them to our lives, to our motherhood, to grow and stretch us in the most beautiful ways. Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide caitlyn_doerksen      
5/2/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 170: Cross-Country Homebirth

When you’re unable to have a homebirth in your area, what happens?  Are you totally out of luck…. Or are there other ways to get creative? This week we’re speaking with my friend Shanies Pearcey- a stay at home mother to 8 children and minister’s wife in Northwest NJ. Shanise enjoys cooking, sewing, and spending time with her precious kids, and I can tell you right now you are going to gain SO MUCH from this interview, as we unpack her journey to a homebirth… across the country from her own home. Get ready for a beautiful, uplifting story. Episode Roundup Question everything, unfortunately.  Shanise was told with her twins that her hips were “too small” for a 5 pound baby– and yet, she was able to give birth to an 8 pound baby just fine later on.  Another example of this could be seen when her OB told her that if she wanted to give birth without an epidural, they should totally break her water.  It’s so unfortunate when we hear these examples of care providers looking out for themselves and not for their patients. If you find yourself in a situation that seems unfavorable, like Shanise did with her 8th pregnancy and upcoming labor, keep your mind open to other ideas.  It could have been so easy for Shanise and her husband to dismiss the idea of traveling to Texas for a homebirth, but look at what they would have missed if they’d ignored the idea– and consider the hostility that so many women were facing in hospitals in that area at the time.  What a beautiful experience Shanise’s family had– all because they were open to ideas outside of the norm. And finally, how incredible are our bodies.  The way that Shanise’s body gave her an opportunity to process her fears and anxieties by stopping labor– that was so beautiful to me.  She was able to reach out to a friend, who, by the way owns a beautiful merino wool shop called Truly Charis, for all of the cloth diapering mamas out there, be sure to look her up– and process the feelings and emotions that were welling up inside of her.  And once she did that– her body knew that it was now safe to give birth.  What a blessing that entire experience was.  As we wrap up this amazing episode, I can’t help but share Philippians 4: 4-9   Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
4/25/202257 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 169: Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood with Jenna Dodge

When you’re pregnant and not feeling well, what’s your first line of defense?  Have you ever felt the need to turn to pharmaceutical medications quickly, feeling like there aren’t any other good options? This week, we’re speaking with Jenna Dodge.  Jenna Dodge is a Mother of four children ages 3-11. She lives in Bozeman, Montana with her children, husband, and two dogs. She owns a homeopathy practice serving clients anywhere in the world via Telehealth (www.ProjectHomeopathy.com) and teaches Homeopathy online courses at www.jennadodge.com. When she's not working with clients or teaching homeopathy, you can find her spending time with her family, lifting weights in her home gym, baking sourdough bread, or playing the piano.   Jenna is actually my homeopath, and I was so excited to find out that she was a homebirth mother herself.  So today we’ll be taking our time going through her birth stories, as well as a thorough rundown of homeopathy and how you can use it as an empowering tool for your family.   Episode Roundup:  It just hit me as I was speaking to Jenna about the way that… when we tense our body up during labor by putting pressure on ourselves to look a certain way, or to not gain a certain amount of weight, or whatever the case may be… it’s just like the action of tensing and tightening during contractions.  No, pregnancy isn’t an excuse to overindulge, but it’s a perfectly good reason to relax and release the preconceived notions of what your body SHOULD be like and SHOULD do.  Relax into this process and be gentle and graceful with yourself. And lastly, I just want to encourage you to look into homeopathy.  It’s been a huge blessing to my family over the years, but especially now that I’m actually working with a certified homeopath.  Jenna’s been able to help me unwind so much disease and distress that’s been going on in my body for years, so I highly recommend checking out all of her information, which is linked below in the show notes.  Alright, my friends, I hope you’re feeling excited and empowered!  That’s all I’ve got for you for today.  I’ll see you back here next week! Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
4/18/20221 hour, 45 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 168: Birth on the Road: A Missionary’s Birth Experiences

What's the most surprising birth location you can think of?   For many, the idea of giving birth at home is totally shocking and surprising. For Vicki, the most "normal" location that she gave birth was FINALLY in her own home on her own bed. Vicki's personality and her extremely unique birth stories made this discussion absolutely riveting. I can't wait for you to hear it.   Episode Roundup I find it worth noting that Vicki and her husband were very attuned to the personalities of the potential midwives they were working with-- despite the often times quick opportunities that they had to talk to them beforehand--It seems there was an understanding that for them, having a care provider who didn't fit what they needed could actually be more uncomfortable or dangerous than birthing unassisted Vicki is a testimony to the fact that the body will give birth when it's ready to give birth, but it also does sometimes seem to hold off for just enough time. In both of her first two births, she at some point recognized that it was TIME to settle down, and luckily she had JUST enough time to do just that. Was she cutting it that close, or was her body actually waiting for her to get settled, darn it? Either way, she was able to get settled just in time on both occasions! And finally, and I think you will all agree with me on this one, I hereby give Vicki the Happy Homebirth superlative of most unusual string of birth stories. What a truly impressive honor that is in this incredible group of interesting birthers, isn't it? Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy FREE Homebirth Essentials Guide
4/11/202259 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 167: ”What if it’s painful?” Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

I want to give birth physiologically and at home… but what if it’s painful?   Today we’re going to take a few minutes to discuss the very common, very understandable fear of pain when it comes to giving birth at home….without medication.   We'll be discussing this from several perspectives today/using several guiding questions: 1. What makes you think it will be painful? 2. What can we do to mitigate the potential for pain?  3. So what?  What if it is painful?   And throughout we'll include a number of tips for coping with discomfort during labor.   Resources Happy Homebirth Academy Essentials Homebirth Guide (free)
4/4/202217 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 166: Uncharted Euphoria: Rose’s 3 Homebirths

When you describe your labor and birth, what words come to mind?  Difficult? Intense? Powerful?  What about…. Euphoric?  Today we’re going to be talking to my friend Rose, of Rose Uncharted– Rose is a wife and mother of 3 children born at home. She began cultivating an online presence on instagram by sharing her unconventional lifestyle choices and ideas, and by pushing back against the societal norms of how we should live and raise our babies in this modern age. Her signature message has been to encourage women to tune back into their simple innate God given intuition and to take their bodies and their health into their own hands.   She’ll be sharing her 3 homebirth stories, and I can pretty much guarantee that there will be chills or tears by the time we finish this episode, specifically around that very idea of a euphoric birth.     Episode Roundup We’ve got to start asking midwives the right questions from the very beginning.  Every midwife deserves to operate her practice how she sees fit, just like every mother deserves to find a care provider who is comfortable with her desires.  Not every mother and midwife are going to make a perfect pair, and that’s not a bad thing.  Not every man and every woman make a perfect pair either– it’s all about having discernment, asking the right questions before signing any paperwork, and then working together as a team from there on out.  Yes I just compared midwifery and marriage and I’m just going to keep rolling.  Listen, like Rose said, we’ve got to find alignment.  If at all possible, we’ve got to find that midwife who you trust and who trusts you right back.  It makes a world of difference.  So many mothers ask me, “what questions do I need to ask?” And before giving out any specifics, I always like to say– you’ve got to figure out what you want first.  I may want very different things from my care provider than you do.  What do you want, what’s non-negotiable?  Figure it out for yourself before you even begin formulating a list of questions.   Next, I loved Rose’s explanation of labor waves.  Sometimes you may find yourself riding the crest, and other times you’ve got to go limp in the undertow for a bit.  Relaxation is the way through, as Rose described having her husband Isaac hold her body weight as she went completely limp through the heavy surges. And finally, labor can be euphoric.  Not just the moment that our baby enters the world, though that certainly is part of it– but the entire experience can be exactly what we’ve prayed for, just like it was for Rose.  It’s one of the reasons that we talk about envisioning your birth so much throughout happy homebirth academy– it’s so wonderful to spend our time thinking of good, beautiful things, and that is absolutely what our labor can be.   Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy [free] Homebirth Essentials Resource Rose's Website and Store Kori Meloy Full Monty Panel Vitamin A for Increased Hemoglobin Meta-analysis
3/28/20221 hour, 25 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 165: Homebirth on Historic Family Land

Midwives are great, but OB’s are definitely better when it comes to diagnostics and testing, right?   This week we’re speaking to Hannah White, a sweet, sentimental mama who switched to midwifery care later on in her second pregnancy.  And she was shocked to find out that her midwife was more thorough in keeping up with her health than even her obstetrician.   Episode Roundup: I just love the historicity of Hannah’s story.  She was able to give birth on family land, in the home that she grew up in, and the same land where her Grandfather was born.  What a full-circle experience.  Where we are and who we’re with during labor matters.  Just ask Hannah’s bag of waters— This little tidbit Hannah gave shows just how much our subconscious mind can impact labor.  Her body was quite literally holding on until her midwife arrived.  And as soon as her midwife got there, as soon as Hannah felt safe, she released and so did her waters. Finally, let’s end at the beginning.  Midwives are great, but OB’s are definitely better when it comes to diagnostics and testing, right?  It comes as a surprise to many that midwives do indeed perform the same routine testing that one would receive with an OB… though sometimes even more effectively.  When her midwife put together that Hannah had PCOS, she realized that her blood sugar could be affected, so she had her check her blood sugar directly instead of relying on the GD glucola results alone.  And what a wonderful difference that made for Hannah’s health and pregnancy.   Resources Free Homebirth Essentials Guide Happy Homebirth Academy- Join Today!
3/21/202231 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 164: How to Release Your Fears of Transporting

Let’s say you’ve decided that you want a homebirth…but….you’re feeling some uncertainty.  Maybe you’ve heard stories from other moms who wanted the very same, but then their births took another direction, and they didn’t end up with the intimate birth at home that they’d envisioned.  How do we come to terms with this possibility, yet not expect negative outcomes?  Several weeks ago, one of our community members, Danielle, shared her story of planning a homebirth, but having to make the difficult decision to transport to the hospital during labor, and eventually making the even more difficult decision to have a cesarean section.  After such a moving, emotional, and deeply connecting episode – one that truly seemed to touch something in the mothers who experienced similar stories, and the ones who have not alike….I wanted to continue exploring this idea of the hospital transport. I want to take a look at another side of transporting, in a way– another angle to view it from.  How can we hear a story like Danielle’s or any other mom who planned for homebirth and ended up needing or wanting to transport— how can we listen to that, but not fear our birth or fear the possibility of transport?  I love that we’re able to look at birth through so many contexts and lenses.  That we can take personal experiences, mindset exercises and pure old statistics and blend them into a comprehensive, comforting inspection of homebirth and the likelihood of transporting.   So with that in mind, today I want to go through some practical thoughts, tips and reminders regarding homebirth and hospital transport, and the relationship between the two.  As always, this is not medical advice, this show is an educational tool, so continue to make empowered decisions for yourself and your family.   We will: Discuss the most common reasons for transport, and several ways to help discourage their necessity Share some internal and external pain relief techniques Discuss how we control the narrative and the perspective-- no matter where we give birth   Resources: Join Happy Homebirth Academy  
3/14/202218 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 163: Kelsea’s Fast First Time Homebirth & Empowering Second Homebirth

First births are always long and hard.  Period.  Right?  Or…. This week we’re speaking with Kelsea, a precious mama of two, who surprised herself and her birth team with her first labor.  We’ll dig into both of her beautiful experiences.   Episode Roundup When Kelsea broke the news that she was having a homebirth to her OB, her OB said, “we always see unsuccessful homebirth attempts.”  Well, duh, doctor.  You certainly don’t see the successful ones… they’re…. Not at the hospital.  I just want to use this as a reminder to you.  If you’re receiving dual care, your OB likely doesn’t have any experience with successful homebirths.  He or she likely has no idea how many home births are happening successfully in their very own city all the time.  So be sure to take their perspective with a grain, of salt. Kelsea’s explanation of Fetal Ejection Reflex with both of her births was just so perfect.  She recollects to how her body just forcefully pushed on it’s own.  She couldn’t stop the pushing.  Instead, she could focus on concentrating and on her breathing.  Remember this.  Your body knows how to push.  It’ll let you know when it’s time to do that.  You can focus on the breathing and let those amazingly powerful muscles do their thing. And finally, remember that you may need to ask for help postpartum.  There’s absolutely zero shame in the struggle.  Whether it’s your first or fifth child, the transition and addition of a new member to the family, along with the recalibration of your hormones, may lead to some feelings of stress or depression.  Please reach out.  Share this with your family, share it with your midwife- make sure that you’re getting the love and care that you need. Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy The Homebirth Collective- Waitlist Free Homebirth Essentials Checklist
3/7/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 162: Homebirth and Chiropractic Wisdom from Dr. Courtney Kahla

Let’s say you’re a birth expert- you’ve been working with pregnant mothers for years, and you’re finally having the homebirth of your dreams.  Is firm education enough, or will there possibly be unexpected tests in the emotional and mental aspects of birth? This week we’re speaking with the marvelous Dr. Courtney Kahla.  Dr. Courtney is a nervous system centered chiropractor specializing in families. She is the owner of Our Well House: a multidisciplinary wellness center in Dallas, TX. Her mission is to encourage others to experience freedom in their physical, mental, and spiritual health. She is passionate about empowering others to take control of their health by living a lifestyle that honors their God-given innate ability to heal.   We’re going to spend part of this episode discussing chiropractic care, and then the rest diving deep into Dr. Courtney’s own homebirth journey.  And wow, you’re in for so much wisdom sprinkled throughout her story.   One theme we discuss in Dr. Kahla’s story is the need for emotional and mental preparation when it comes to homebirth, beyond the basics of childbirth education.  With that in mind, I want to invite you to join me as you prepare for your own empowering homebirth experience.  Let’s use the unbelievably transformative time of pregnancy as a catalyst into the most incredible motherhood journey.  How?  Join me inside of Happy Homebirth Academy, where preparing for your homebirth is both thorough and joyful.  Learn to comfortably step into your role as the responsible, intuitive mother that you are, and hone those lifelong skills while we educate you on all aspects of midwifery care, physiological birth, and preparing your heart and home.  We cover the physical, yes, but we also go deep into the importance of emotional and mental preparation, all while inviting your spouse to be deeply involved and connected from pregnancy, through labor and on into the blissful postpartum period.  You ready to transform?  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/hha to get started today.   As always, please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not medical advice, it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for yourself and your family.   Episode Roundup: I loved the way that Dr. Courtney approached the selection of her care provider.  Yes, there were a number of providers in her area that she liked and trusted, but she knew that she needed someone who was going to be comfortable with the informed decisions she was planning to make during her pregnancy and labor.  She knew the right questions to ask.  “What would cause me to risk out of care with you?  What procedures would you be uncomfortable with me declining?”  Knowing what you want in a care provider before you walk in for the interview makes this so much easier.  Make sure you check out episodes 157 and 159 if you’re looking for more specific help in this area.  I’ll link those below. I really appreciate the discussion of how vulnerable we are to ideas in labor.  Dr. Kahla knew she wanted to fully listen to her body, but when her midwife gave her the very loving tip of giving a few pushes if she wanted— Dr. Courtney did, even though outside of labor she had adamantly wanted to experience Fetal Ejection Reflex on her own.  Listen, midwives are human and like Dr. Courtney said, this was totally well-intentioned.  But it does go to show us that nobody outside of your body can feel what’s going on inside of your body as well as you can— This is a great lesson for all of us to learn from.  If your midwife gives you advice, it can be really easy to just go along with it— of course—we trust them— but remember to trust yourself, too.  Listen to the advice, but then try to take a moment before you accept it just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. And finally, wow.  Labor can be so, so mental.  Dr. Courtney, the mother that her midwife said she had ZERO worries about desiring to transfer because of her endurance and grit, got to a vulnerable place where she needed her team’s support and reminder that she could, in fact, do this thing.  And do it, she did.  Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy Episode: Communicating With Your Birth Team About Expectations and Desires Episode: When Your Midwife Choices are Limited Free Homebirth Essentials Clickable List Waitlist for The Homebirth Collective Dr. Courtney's Instagram Dr. Courtney's website  
2/28/20221 hour, 26 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 161: How to Process a Homebirth Cesarean and a Negligent Provider

How do we process birth when we don’t experience the outcome we intended?  How do we manage changing our plans and accepting what comes to us during the wild and uncontrollable ride that is birth?  This week we’re speaking with Danielle, accompanied by her doula Tracey.  Danielle was raised in a homebirth family, so naturally, she was planning her own.  We’ll listen to how her story unfolded and how she’s processing through it all now on the other side.  I always like to give a heads up when the content of an episode may be especially difficult.  This is certainly an episode where things go awry, and if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and feel that this isn’t the right time to listen, please take that into consideration.  However, these are, of course, real examples of birth, and gosh, birth is sacred no matter how it happens.  I’m grateful that Danielle is willing to share her experience with us today.    Episode Roundup Danielle’s midwife wasn’t her savior, and yours isn’t yours, either.  Hopefully your midwife will support you in the way that you want to be supported, but even so, birth is still ultimately your responsibility.  Danielle had to decide what she wanted in regards to her birth— did she want to stay home and continue to attempt labor there, or did she want to transport?  Ultimately, she made the decision that she was most comfortable with, knowing that no one else could make it for her. The events that occurred throughout her birth experience were unfavorable to her desires, to put it lightly.  But because of the way that she has chosen to perceive her experience, Danielle has been able to integrate her story into her motherhood journey in a way that brings positivity and success.  Remember, it’s impossible for us to control every outcome.  What’s totally possible, though, is how we perceive the experience and how we choose to integrate it.  That doesn’t mean that it’s easy, and you absolutely may need help, and grief over not experiencing what you desired is a very normal reaction.  But long term suffering over something that’s done— remaining in the victim state— it isn’t going to easily build joy.  I love the way that Danielle has approached her story and the way that she’s choosing to heal.  Because it is, in fact, an active choice. Finally, I want you to know that if your story is like Danielle’s.  If you planned and prepared for a homebirth, yet your experience led you to a different outcome, this community is still for you and here for you.  You are loved and you are still an integral part of the Happy Homebirth and Homebirth in general, community.  Thank you for sharing with us.  Resources Happy Homebirth Academy Waitlist for The Homebirth Collective
2/21/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 160: Advocating for what you need when the mainstream says “NO”

What do you do when your mainstream care provider won’t listen to what it is that you need?  When you KNOW something isn’t right, but they totally blow you off?    This week we’re speaking to Michelle Rodas, who had to go to battle with her care providers in order to keep her baby safe.  We’ll hear how she advocated for her child in utero and what she did to avoid further disruptions later on in her pregnancy, which, believe it or not led her to to out-of hospital midwifery.   Episode Roundup   Did you get goosebumps?  I totally did when Michelle shared how she did what she had to do to get progesterone for her baby, and seemingly just in time.  As we head into this week’s episode round up, you can bet your bottom dollar that’s what we’re going to discuss.   Michelle took it upon herself to do research and see what it was that she needed.  She took on additional financial responsibility through testing, knowing that the safety of her baby could very well be on the line.  Even when her OBs spoke down to her and acted as though her desires were silly and unnecessary, she continued.  This is huge, and it leads me to the most important thing you can ever know:  NOBODY knows your body and your baby like you know your body and baby.  And as harsh as it sounds, nobody is going to care about your body and your baby as much as you will.  So don’t bow down to people simply because they have the air quotes authority of a white coat.  You’re an intelligent human being and you can advocate for what your baby needs.  And if your intuition and prior experiences are telling you that something may be off, listen to that.  And act- even if you think others might call you silly or think you’re wrong.  Who. Cares.  Michelle is snuggling her baby right now, and I doubt she gives a flying flip about what her OB thinks about progesterone.  Okay, my friends.  What an incredible episode.  It’s all I’ve got for you for now, and I’ll see you back here next week.   Resources: The Homebirth Collective Happy Homebirth Academy  
2/14/20221 hour, 1 minute, 21 seconds
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Ep 159: When Your Midwife Choices are Limited

What do you do when you’re sold on the idea of homebirth, but your area has either no midwives or no midwives that you like?   Resources Believe In Midwifery Episode (sustainable midwifery) https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode23/   Shared Decision Making (book) https://www.amazon.com/Shared-Decision-Making-Bring-Mothers/dp/B089M59Z35/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2TAOKXFRMHUYP&keywords=shared+decision+making&qid=1644082050&sprefix=shared+decision+making%2Caps%2C110&sr=8-2   Shared Decision Making Episode https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode84/   Airbnb Homebirth https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode112/   Shayla’s Birth https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode40/   Dr. Sarah Birth Uprising https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode144/   Freebirth Resources (Curated by my amazing friend, Sophia- @sage.fertility)   Yolande Norris Clark’s website: https://freebirth.ca/ Freebirth Society: https://www.freebirthsociety.com/ Fertility and Freebirth with Noelle Kowalski https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/episode131/ The Complete Guide to Freebirth Course (extremely thorough): https://www.freebirthsocietycourses.com/a/24099/zgzoH6FJ (btw this is my  affiliate link as an RBK) Freebirth Society Podcast: https://www.freebirthsociety.com/blogs/the-free-birth-podcast   Gestational Diabetes, GBS, Ultrasound Technology, and RH Negative: A New Perspective https://www.freebirthsociety.com/blogs/the-free-birth-podcast/gestational-diabetes-gbs-ultrasound-technology-and-rh-negative-a-new-perspective?_pos=2&_sid=f8289d5c1&_ss=r Unpacking Ultrasound With Yolande Clark https://www.freebirthsociety.com/blogs/the-free-birth-podcast/unpacking-ultrasound-with-yolande-clark?_pos=1&_sid=604819694&_ss=r The Ecstatic Hormonal High of Childbearing - Dr. Sarah Buckley #35 Pain in Labour: Your hormones are your helpers https://sarahbuckley.com/pain-in-labour-your-hormones-are-your-helpers/ The Anterior Cervical Lip: how to ruin a perfectly good birth Vaginal examinations: a symptom of a cervical-centric birth culture Pushing: leave it to the experts Unassisted Family HOME BIRTH | Natural + Positive Free Birth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiSpXcFUVwI Unassisted Home Water Birth | POSITIVE NATURAL BIRTH + surprise gender https://youtu.be/AEKWv4sVBdo HOME BIRTH: gentle, Natural FAMILY WATER BIRTH https://youtu.be/rOeNa0NCc44 DIY Placenta Preparation https://youtu.be/g3pi_8JhkaQ Rethinking the Pushing Stage, with Whapio https://birthful.com/podcast-pushing-stage/ (Also awesome resource list in this podcast description) Odent Fetus ejection reflex https://www.wombecology.com/home/fetus-ejection-reflex Small Magic Birth Instagram (priceless pelvic health and freebirth information) https://www.instagram.com/smallmagicbirth/ Wild Sage Womb DIY Prenatal Wellness Journal https://www.wildsagewomb.com/offerings/p/diy-prenatal-wellness-journal Wild Sage Womb Birth Vision Workbook https://www.wildsagewomb.com/offerings/p/birth-vision-workbook
2/7/202223 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 158: Farmhouse on Boone: Lisa’s Homebirth Journey

Once you’ve had 6 babies, 4 of which were at home— you pretty much know everything there is to know about birth, right?   This week we’re speaking with Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone to hear all about her most recent birth.  Lisa shares some of the new insights she gained during this pregnancy and labor preparation, and sheds tons of wisdom throughout her explanation of how she began having home births in the first place.  Lisa is a wealth of wisdom when it comes to homemaking and wholesome living, and it’s such a joy to have her on today’s podcast episode.    Episode Roundup: Relaxation is the key, and it looks different for everyone.  What has helped you cope during labor?  For some, it’s touch, it’s your spouse holding your hand, it’s the encouraging words of a doula.  For others, it’s quiet.  Complete calm, and being alone to focus inward.  So many stories are shared where there’s lots of interaction, I’m glad to hear Lisa share how for her, less is more. I loved the encouragement that Lisa gave regarding labor and motherhood in general:  The empowering recognition that you CAN do it.  You can do the research, you can advocate for yourself and your family… you don’t need a fancy degree to dig in and understand what’s going on… you CAN make informed decisions for your family. And finally, it doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or fifteenth birth, there’s always something new to learn.  Lisa spent several weeks leading up to her birth listening to positive birth stories, and even gained new insight regarding transition.  And during this labor, she was able to relax through the pressure- something she’d never been able to do before. Resources: Happy Homebirth Academy Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way Farmhouse on Boone
1/31/202258 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 157: Communicating With Your Birth Team About Expectations and Desires

How do we make sure that we’re on the same page with our midwife? Begin with open communication before you even hire your midwife Make sure that your preferences of how your midwife will operate and interact match with what she is willing to provide Be certain that YOU know what You want in a care provider Are the two parties in agreement? Feel comfortable asking questions as you come from a place of initial agreement an understanding Be careful adding additional social checkmarks to your list of needs.  Your midwife does not have to be your bestie Do not expect your midwife to bear the weight of connection.  If you want connection, you must be open and vulnerable.   Resources: Join the Homebirth Mom Panel Happy Homebirth Academy Perfect Supplements use the code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off
1/17/202222 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 156: A ”Stale Crunchy” Homebirth

When you picture homebirth mothers, what image comes to mind?  Do you imagine the totally crunchy, completely alternative health mom who’s making her own bone broth and sourdough?  Although I may be "that" mother, one thing I love about the homebirth community is that, although we often have much in common, this group is diverse and brings many viewpoints.  For example, today we’ll be speaking with Gabby and Daniel, a homebirth family who self-describes as “stale crunchy”.  So kind of crunchy, kind of not.  It’ll be so great to hear how they approached their first homebirth after two hospital births.   Episode Roundup: I appreciated how Gabby and Daniel were considerate of the feelings of their two sons when it came to the involvement in the birth process.  They didn’t force their involvement, but met each son where he was and allowed home to be involved to the extent he was comfortable.  It’s so neat to be able to share this experience with your kids when that’s what they want, but remembering that each child is an individual and has his or her own preferences is critical. We can hold expectations for when and how our baby will arrive all we want, but just like Gabby did with her expectations of labor itself, it’s important to remember that we’ve got to hold all of these ideas of when and how with an open hand.  I remember being so certain that my second daughter would arrive several days before 40 weeks that when she was 3 days after, I was almost frustrated at the wait.  Every gestation is different, so if we can try to keep the expectations vague, it may make for a smoother end of pregnancy. And finally, let us remember that we were divinely made for this work of giving birth.  Gabby described herself to me as a wimpy stale crunchy mom who had a homebirth— and she says that should be great encouragement that you can do it, too!  And though I see nothing wimpy in Gabby’s story, I think she brings up such an important point.  Your background, your preferences, your previous experiences with pain and endurance— none of those things should deter you from giving birth physiologically if that is what you desire.  You were made for this, and you hold far more strength than you know.    Resources The Homebirth Collective- Join the Waitlist! Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE  
1/10/202241 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 155: Healing Birth Trauma: 4 Places to Start

What do we do when our previous birth experience wasn’t so happy?  How do we overcome the trauma?   4 Tips to Begin Healing: 1. Reframe your birth with someone outside of the situation 2. Write down everything in stream-of-consciousness style 3. Emotional Freedom Technique - Tapping      Resource Mentioned: @LivingRootsWellness 4. Fascial Work- Craniosacral, craniofascial, myofascial, etc.     Body Rolling Resource 5. Recommendations from Instagram   Resources The Homebirth Collective- Join the Waitlist! Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
1/3/202214 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 154: What Does Birth Feel Like?

Today I’m tackling perhaps the most elusive question about labor…. What does it actually feel like?     In this episode we discuss: Some of the ways my followers and those inside of the Happy Homebirth Podcast Community on Facebook described the sensations Some of the most commonly used words:  Intensity.  Pressure.  Power. My personal perceptions of feeling during my births How YOU can prepare for the feelings of birth, no matter how they present    Resources The Homebirth Collective- Join the Waitlist! Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE  
12/27/202121 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 153: How to Keep Your Birth Space Sacred

In this episode we discuss how to keep your birth space sacred: Consider who you let in- take time prenatally to form deep connections Consider who you leave out- you may want your mom and mil and cousin, but is that a genuinely good idea? Consider how you set up- this might not matter to some, but may be more important to others Be on the same page with your spouse- this is sacred You’ve got to convince yourself or consistently remind yourself that it’s sacred If you treat your pregnancy journey as sacred, the birth will automatically flow from this Remember that postpartum is sacred, too.  Get on the same page about how those first minutes, hours and days will go.  Are you going to call your family asap?  Will you wait several hours or days?  When will visitors come by?   Resources The Homebirth Collective- Join the Waitlist! Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
12/20/202120 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 152: Tough Births Can Be Empowering, Too!

What has more of an impact- the exact details of your labor, or the way you feel you were treated throughout?    This week we’re speaking with Katelynn Bolt, a mother whose births were both difficult, yet she was left feeling quite differently about herself and her experience based on her care providers and support. *I’ll be taking a little winter break from releasing episodes.  This will be the last episode I release in 2021, as I plan to take some time off in December and January to focus on some other aspects of Happy Homebirth.* Reviewer of the Week- KatelonVB The BEST ever!! I started listening to this after I found you on Instagram!  I have neber been pregnant but I have always been intrested in natural birth and home birth.  This is SUCH a good tool for new moms, moms that want something different, or even women that aren't expecting yet but hope to start a family in the near future (that's me) lol.  As my older sister said, "knowledge is power!"  You can't learn enough about what your body is capable of doing and how it naturally knows what to do and when to do it!  Katelyn, I love this podcast and what you're doing to try to help turn birth back to what it used to be.  It is my first thing I look forward to listening to and makes Mondays awesome!  I will forever be listening and hopefully someday soon can put the knowledge to use!  Thank you!!! If you’ve been enjoying this podcast, would you consider taking a moment to leave a rating and review?    Episode Roundup What a wonderful journey Katelynn shared with us.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I really just want to expound upon the opening question:  What has more of an impact- the exact details of your labor, or the way you feel you were treated throughout?    As I’ve said many times before, we cannot control the outcomes of our birth.  Though we can prepare and set the odds in our favor for a smooth, uncomplicated labor, that can never be promised.  However, part of preparation is choosing a team that you trust and who knows you, understands you, and supports you at the deepest level.  Katelynn’s second birth was difficult, yes, but she knew that she had options, she was the choice maker on her team, and she was surrounded by people who loved her, trusted her and respected her wishes.  And that makes all the difference.   Resources Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
12/6/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 151: A Labor Nurse Has a Freebirth

When your job consists of helping mothers give birth at the hospital, then you’re definitely going to… give birth at the hospital when it’s your turn, right? This week we’re speaking with Georgia— a labor and delivery nurse and…. Freebirth mama?  Oh, my friends.  You’re going to love this story.   Reviewer of the Week- herwildsunshine Such a joyful & empowering podcast:  I am not into podcasts- I never have been- but these are amazing!  I learn so much & get to see such a wide variety of positive births.  This podcast has a way of pulling me in and I'm hooked! If you’ve been enjoying this podcast, would you consider taking a moment to leave a rating and review?     Episode Roundup:  I first just have to comment on Georgia’s resolve.  As a pregnant mother working in labor and delivery, she certainly experienced plenty of traumatic events— perhaps events that may make others choose not to give birth at home.  And yet, she had the deep understanding that the outcomes occurring at the hospital were not necessarily the same outcomes that would occur if those labors were not happening inside of the hospital.  Again, thank goodness for medical care during emergent situations, but Georgia was able to separate these events from her own pregnancy experience. I love that she had zero expectations for when and how labor was going to begin—except for maybe the expectation that it would never happen!  The way Georgia discussed nit-picking symptoms was such a great point, and I know that it can be so easy to fall into this trap of, “oh, is it time?!”  “maybe it’s time!”  “is that labor?!” “was that my mucous plug?” Which truly can throw us into an anxious state.  And finally, Georgia was scared.  She admits it.  And that’s okay.  We’re designed to give birth, and part of that design is a beautiful interplay of hormones.  Sometimes those hormones might make you feel fearful, and that can be protective.  I think that much of the time we end up getting a fear of our fear, which is far less helpful.  But experiencing the emotions and allowing them to be there is all part of this big work that we’re doing.  Like Dr. Rachel Reed has said and I’ve quoted before, “feel the fear and give birth anyway.” Resources Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE (use code THANKFUL21 for 10% through this Friday)      
11/22/202150 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 150: Birth in the Church...Bathroom?!

If you’ve already given birth before, I’d love to know- did your labor turn out the way you’d imagined it?  This week we’re speaking with Steffanie Allen, mama of 5.  Steffanie’s experienced a vast array of births, and some of them turned out far different from what she, or what anyone for that matter, could have predicted, especially her most recent birth.   Reviewer of the Week- ThePond “so positive and encouraging!  I’ve listened to a lot of birth podcasts.  Like, a lot.  This one is by far my favorite!  The tone is so positive, encouraging and wholesome . I wish I had found this before my home birth last year, but I’m listening like crazy to start mentally preparing for whenever I have my next baby."   If you’ve been enjoying this podcast, would you consider taking a moment to leave a rating and review?       Episode Roundup Steffanie and her midwife were still willing to give birth to her twins at home once they realized that there were indeed two.  However, after further evaluation, it was realized that a birth with healthy outcomes in this particular situation was not looking like a strong possibility.  What I find so helpful about this decision was that Steffanie was informed enough to know that although under other circumstances she’d be willing to have this twin birth at home, during this time she knew that her decision to have a c section was the best choice for her.  Steffanie did not feel coerced or pushed, she was still able to take responsibility for her care and accept the benefits afforded by the hospital. I’m so glad we were able to discuss the importance of nutrition.  Listen, growing birthing and feeding babies is not a low-energy process.  We give so much of ourselves, quite literally to these new lives, and we do become depleted.  It’s incredibly important to make sure that we take this into consideration pre-conception if possible, certainly prenatally, and absolutely postpartum so that we can actively replenish our bodies. And finally, let’s tie up that loose end.  You can do all of the prep work in the world, but there’s a chance your birth is going to look completely different from what you expect.  I mean, who visualizes giving birth in their church bathroom?  But our bodies are designed for this great work, and the rest we must learn to surrender.  What a humbling lesson it is for all of us, yet how beautiful at the same time. Resources: Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
11/15/20211 hour, 54 seconds
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Ep 149: Conscious Conception with Loren de la Cruz

  How can we prepare for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby?  Is there any way to positively improve our chances of health and mitigate risk?  This week we’re speaking with Loren de la Cruz, a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Root Cause Protocol Consultant, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner that specializes in preconception nutrition. Her mission is to empower women with the tools and the knowledge they need to regulate their cycles, balance their hormones, heal their metabolism, optimize their fertility, and have a thriving pregnancy.  And our discussion today is just packed full of information to help you, whether you’re preparing for pregnancy, currently pregnant, or postpartum.  She’s got such an encouraging message, and…I just love her. Episode Roundup: As Loren mentioned, we aren’t always expecting pregnancy, and if that’s you- know that this information is still so relevant— wherever we are in our pregnancy or postpartum journey, nourishing ourselves is the greatest step we can take for ourselves and our families.  As I mentioned in the episode, I was certainly depleted before my first pregnancy and through my second.  Only recently have I truly begun to grasp how to replenish myself wholly.  This information is so empowering— recognizing just how much we can improve our health with relatively simple steps forward. How frustrating is it to recognize how little women are taught regarding hormonal birth control, especially related to coming off of it and how it can impact fertility for months to come.  I’m so glad women like Loren are out there sharing this information, if nothing more than to give hope to those who are struggling with fertility shortly after coming off the pill— knowing that this is very normal, and this time can be used well to replete your body before pregnancy. Finally- isn’t the body amazing?  The intricacies of how it processes micronutrients and how they all work together.  I’m especially fascinated at the vitamin A, iron and copper connection, and I look forward personally to increasing my retinol and copper intake, especially in regards to any future pregnancies. Mentioned: Perfect Supplements (use code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off)   Resources: Follow Loren Conscious Conception Course Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
11/8/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 148: Hurricanes and Homebirths: The Calm After the Storm

  What do you do when your birth suddenly feels as though it’s swirling in chaos?  How do you keep calm and remain focused? This week we’re speaking with Holly, who weathered a Category 4 Hurricane just as she was about to give birth.  Talk about an unexpected turn of events.  I can’t wait for you to hear the incredible mindset that Holly brought to her experience, and the twist at the end of this story   Episode Roundup I wanted to bring up the safety idea.  Holly decided with her fourth baby that she would feel SAFER at home than in the hospital.  Isn’t it so interesting— the mainstream narrative is that hospital automatically = safety is just not ringing true for many of us anymore, and we are feeling more safety and a chance at an intervention free birth away from the hospital.  Choosing midwives gives many women a stronger sense of safety, and that’s because of my second point… Midwifery and homebirth are relational.  This isn’t a fast food experience.  It’s a dine in, take off your coat and stay a while event.  We spend our prenatal months getting to know one another on a deeper level, allowing friendship and trust to blossom.  We aren’t patients, we’re clients and friends. Holly felt like she was being set up for a potentially very traumatic birth, but she knew she had to block out the fear.  Fear is like a mental roadblock.  “If I let the fear take over, I’m not going to be able to do this and it’s going to be traumatic for everyone.”  So instead she got into the mindset of, “I’m going to do this and it’s going to be so great.”  Mindset is the key to your birth, my friends.  It all comes back to mindset.  No, we can’t control the events- from how our labor sensations will feel all the way to the weather outside- it’s out of our hands.  But what we can focus on prenatally and learn to wield with confidence, is our mindset. Just like Holly.   Mentioned: Happy Homebirth Candles   Resources: Free Homebirth Mythbusters JOIN HAPPY HOMEBIRTH ACADEMY HERE
11/1/202145 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 147: Preparing for a Positive Birth, and Big Babies Born at Home

What can we do to prevent the experience of trauma?   This week we’re speaking with Kasey, who, despite having two homebirths, experienced quite bit of trauma from her first birth.  We’ll listen in to hear how it unfolded, and what she did differently to prepare for her second experience.   If you’re enjoying the show and haven’t yet left a review, would you consider taking just a few minutes to head over and leave a few positive words?  It’s THE way to get this show into the ears of more mothers, and I am so deeply grateful for all of you who help support me in this mission!   Episode Roundup: What a wonderful story.  As we jump into this week’s episode roundup, I want to focus on the concept of trauma.  I don’t want anyone to ever get the wrong impression about homebirth: Choosing to give birth at home is not a guarantee that things will go 100% perfectly, and it’s certainly not a guarantee that you won’t experience difficulty, or even trauma.  There are no situations that we can control completely, like Kasey’s first baby having a large head combined with a nuchal fist.  However, what we can control is how we prepare ourselves for the vast variety of experiences that we may have.  This is our only certain defense against trauma.  No, we can’t control outcomes, but we can do everything on our end to prepare ourselves both physically, yes, but more importantly, mentally and spiritually.  Kasey learned this after her first labor which was unexpectedly long and surprisingly difficult.  She brought these lessons into her next birth, and I loved when she said that she was determined not to leave this birth with trauma, no matter what. I feel so strongly that this outlook helped her through the difficult parts of her second birth, and even improved her view of postpartum, allowing her to bond more easily with this second baby.  If you’re looking for a way to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for your homebirth, don’t forget to check out Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers.  I cover preparation on every level, leaving you feeling confident and prepared for your homebirth, no matter how it unfolds.  If you’re interested, go to myhappyhomebirth.com/happyhomebirthacademy and I’ll drop a link in the show notes.  Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.   Happy Homebirth T Shirts Happy Homebirth Academy
10/25/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 146: The Value of Homebirth and Unexpected Hospital Costs

How do you afford a homebirth?  In the words of the wise women from Beautiful One Midwifery, you assign more value to it. This week we’re speaking with Amanda, who realized just how much value there was in giving birth in a private environment, and how the cost of hospital births aren’t always what they seem.   Episode Roundup Amanda mentioned how in her first birth, the simple act of asking questions to her OB brought out a side of defensiveness and anger.  When she was asked to sign a paper consenting to a cesarean while still pregnant, she knew things were not going the way she wanted.  If this happens to you, please remember that you, like Amanda, can ditch that care provider and search for one who respects you as…. oh, I don’t know, a living breathing capable human being.  I love how Amanda was able to use diet to help her body through her second and third pregnancies.  I cannot stress enough just how much what we eat can influence our pregnancies, babies, births and postpartum.  This shouldn’t scare you, it should empower you.  As she mentioned, we have a full module inside of Happy Homebirth Academy regarding robust pregnancy foods.  And the Weston A. Price foundation is an amazing place to go to start looking for more information. A quick note about the perineum, as I know so many mothers are afraid to tear.  The perineum was made to stretch.  It was also made to heal.  Remember that when you give birth physiologically, even if you do experience a tear, your body was designed to heal, just as Amanda’s has with her most recent pregnancy. And finally, let’s end where we began.  Affording your homebirth.  How do we do it?  We won’t go into the weeds here of specific how-to’s, though I highly recommend looking into health share plans like Samaritain if you aren’t pregnant yet but know you’d like a homebirth.  But the depth of it is this— this experience is a vital one, and you need to be supported.  Amanda did everything “right” in her second birth, and yet still dealt with hospital staff who pushed a NICU stay and a whole heap of trauma.  Value must be determined with more than dollar signs, though of course that is a factor.  This is not to say that I don’t understand the struggle—trust me, I do.  I just want to encourage you to to be scrappy if you have to, ask for help on your registry, barter if you must… but remember that your experience is vitally important, and you and your baby deserve to be supported.   Mentioned Products: Crucial Four Icelandic Salt Discount: HOMEBIRTH10 Happy Homebirth Academy Free Top 8 Homebirth Resources
10/18/202157 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 145: Leslie and Kevin‘s Birthing Journey

  Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third? This week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.   She and Kevin got married, later decided Kevin would attend seminary in the Netherlands.  They moved there, planning to wait to have children until finished with school.   Leslie experienced culture shock depression, and surprisingly became pregnant 6 months into their move.   Kevin had a feeling this was happening— He had been reading Psalms and felt the Lord conveying to him that Leslie might be pregnant.  At the very least, that children were a reward, which is not how he’d been viewing the idea.   The labor was exhausting, and she ended up at the hospital with an episiotomy.   After such an exhausting, grueling labor, Leslie didn’t feel like she bonded with her baby for weeks.  She felt maternal instinct, but didn’t feel a bond until at least 4 weeks.  She thinks that’s related to the vast amount of trauma involved with the birth.    Leslie broke her tailbone during the birth, which took 7-8 months to recover to where she could even sit comfortably.     Looking back, Kevin realizes he wasn’t well prepared, even though he thought that he was.  The sight of her being in pain was very upsetting to him, and at one point he remembers strongly telling they doctors they needed to do something about it.     Leslie wanted to have a fully medical birth with her next child after the trauma of her first attempted natural birth.   She had a silent miscarriage at 9 weeks during her second pregnancy, which was heartbreaking.   Moved back  to the US and used midwives in a hospital.  They planned to have an early epidural, so when she got into the hospital, she got an epidural and a bit of pitocin.   They went to sleep, and Leslie woke up and said, “Hey, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.”    Grey was born quickly and was healthy, as was everyone.  It was a much more comfortable birth for her.    The frustrating part of the birth was simply the postpartum aspect, both in the hospital at the interventions, and then the early months.    The baby had many food allergies, was unable to sleep at night and Leslie struggled with postpartum psychosis.   Because the postpartum experience was so difficult, Leslie and Kevin decided they were done with babies.  They got rid of all of their things.   When Grey was around 3, suddenly Leslie and Kevin began feeling individually that they had another child.   Leslie went into this birth knowing much more about the birth community in Greenville.  She reached out to myself (Katelyn), her midwife friend, and a wonderful local doula before she was even pregnant letting them know she wanted them as her team.   Once Leslie told her friend she was pregnant, her friend told her she’d be praying Psalm 65 over her.   Leslie has struggled with prenatal depression during all of her pregnancies.   This birth was incredibly spiritual for her.  She felt completely ready to have her baby, but it kept… not happening.  On the night of the blood moon, Leslie woke up with contractions.  She woke up in the middle of the night and walked around her street.  She decided at that point that if she had her baby tonight she’d be thankful, and if her baby waited 2 more weeks, she’d be thankful for that, too.   Once she went into labor, things happened quickly.  Before she knew it, she was in Captain Morgan trying to help maneuver her baby out.  About 4 minutes later, his head was born, and then her midwife needed to help a little bit with his very large shoulders.   He ended up being 10lbs, 13 oz.    From start to finish, her labor was about 2.5 hours.    Leslie has not experienced the severe ups and downs this postpartum as she did before.    Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third?    Hey there Happy Homebirthers episode 145. And this week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.   Recommendations: Perfect Supplements (use code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off)
10/11/20211 hour, 51 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 144: Birth Uprising with Dr. Sarah Leahy

How do you know if you’re making the best decision for yourself and your family— and what does it look like to have true informed consent?   This week we’re speaking with Dr. Sarah Leahy of Birth Uprising.  We’ll hear about how she slipped into the medical birth model, how she was burned, and then, not to sound too cheesy because seriously it’s true… how she took matters into her own hands and rose from the metaphorical ashes.      Episode Roundup   I can’t tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Sarah.  She is such a wealth of knowledge.  As we head into this week’s episode, I’ve picked a couple of the amazing aspects that she discussed to revisit.   Dr. Sarah’s first full term birth experience, her second pregnancy, left her feeling like a shell of herself.  I wish this were uncommon, but how many times have we heard such a similar sentiment?  What’s just another day at work to the care providers at the hospital is a defining, life-altering event for the mother, and to treat it as anything less than such is not justice.  Which leads me to my second point. The system isn’t even set up to recognize birth as a life-altering rite of passage.  It has no idea.  And as Sarah mentioned, it really has no idea how poorly it’s failing anyway due to the lack of postpartum care and lack of attachment to its clients.  And finally, picking just one last point even though there are a solid 10 I’d like to cover, you cannot have informed consent without understanding your options.  Without asking questions.  Without doing your own research.  I love the fact that Dr. Sarah not only encourages mothers to do this, but that she’s one of the women out there providing resources to help them along the way.  I can so deeply resonate with this idea that, heck, I don’t care what you choose for your birth, I just care that you are informed and confident when doing it.  Follow Dr. Sarah: @birthuprising birthuprising.com    Episode Sponsor: Kindred Bravely www.kindredbravely.com   Use code HAPPYHOMEBIRTH20 for 20% off your purchase!  (Some exclusions apply)  
10/4/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 21 seconds
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EP 143: Healing Bodywork for Babies

  Does your baby need an adjustment after experiencing the birthing process?  This week we’re speaking with the Boyhans, Dr. Christopher and Heather, who are a dynamic duo as both a chiropractor and Cranialsacral therapist.  They’ll be sharing their experiences with homebirth, as well as their expertise in bodywork and neural work for newborns.   It’s no secret that I love these forms of care, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share with you exactly how and why they can be of such help for your family.     Episode Roundup   Birth isn’t intense only for us as the mothers— it’s important to remember that there’s a second life involved in this, and he or she is doing quite a bit of maneuvering with you to meet you on the outside world.  Let’s honor the fact that this sweet little soul has worked hard, and let’s remember this when considering what we can do to help their bodies recover   Which leads me to my next point: Bodywork isn’t just for adults.  I am constantly reminding mothers of the importance of chiropractic care and fascial release, and we discuss it thoroughly inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t stop with us.  We can assess our infants and use our God-given intuitions to seek support when our babies are showing signs of tension, discomfort, disregulation… It’s so wonderful to have so many options.   One of my biggest recommendations is to find these care providers in your area before giving birth so that they’re at the tips of your fingers postpartum should you realize you need them.    And finally before we head out, if you’re local to the Asheville North Carolina area, make sure you get connected with The Boyhans at Align Life East Asheville— they host birth- related gatherings and do their best to inform the community of their options.  
9/27/202154 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 142: Kelsey Improves Her Intuition Through Birth

Is there really any benefit in preparing for a birth when you’ve already had two previous births?  This week we’re speaking with Kelsey Rose, 2x birth center and newly homebirth mother.  We’ll learn all about the differences in Kelsey’s experiences, as well as how she prepared for her change of birth location.   Episode Roundup   What an episode.  As we head into this week’s roundup, I have a few discussion points that really stood out to me.   Kelsey discussed how the membrane strips performed by her midwife with her first baby caused quite a bit of confusion and discomfort, and she wasn’t expecting them.  There were several events that occurred without consent, and this is an important piece of information for moms to hear, as well as midwives.  Mothers, remember that you have the right to decline.  Midwives, remember that in order for a mother to be able to decline, she has to know what the intentions are.  It’s vitally important for midwives and mothers to be on the same page as to what’s going on and to feel comfortable with the decisions being made. When it comes to creating your birth team, listen to your intuition.  Kelsey felt like she “needed” a doula because duh, everyone says doulas a great, but when it came down to it, she really didn’t feel that that’s what this labor was asking of her.  She honored that, and she’s grateful that she did.  Listen, I love doulas, but it’s also important to remember that every situation is different, and leaning into prayer and your own intuition are the best ways to decide. Kelsey said several times just how loved she felt throughout the entire experience with her third baby.  She was surrounded by a team who truly cared for her, and was there to support her.  And THAT makes all the difference.   Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back her next week
9/13/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 141: An Aloha Homebirth

What does it look like to have true informed consent?  What does it mean to be trusted by your birth team?   This week we’re speaking with Zo’e Cole, a mama to two who just had her first Happy Homebirth.   I’m looking forward to this episode, because Zo’e brings up some aspects of both of her births that truly paint a picture between obstetric abuse and informed consent.  Let’s jump in.   Episode Roundup Wasn’t that the picture of a Happy Homebirth?  I’m so thrilled for Zo’e and the fact that she was able to experience such a peaceful event after having such a traumatic first birth.   As we dive into this week’s episode roundup, a few discussion points come to mind.   Zo’e discussed how she really felt she was on auto pilot with her first pregnancy.  I feel like this happens to so many women, and I really think this is a societal issue— not recognizing birth for the totally transformative, life-altering rite of passage that it is.  And what’s so sad is that when we don’t realize this, we can’t prepare for it with the honor that it deserves.  So… make sure you’re shouting this message from the mountain tops, whether someone wants to give birth at home or in hospital, preparation for this event is of course paramount. Holy obstetric abuse, batman.  Listening to Zo’e’s experience, although it’s common, still brings a blood boiling feeling.  I know that there are some amazing OBs out there, but dang, the ones who do things like break your water and then call it discharge or fuss at you to be induced at 39 weeks…. They’re all too common.  And of course, there are midwives like that, too.  We’ve got to be so selective when it comes to our care providers ,for our own protection and the protection of our babies. Finally, what a difference between her first and second babies.  Zo’e truly took her pregnancy and birth into her own hands with her second baby, and boy was she blessed by the experience.  Zo’e took Happy Homebirth Academy, went to the chiropractor, did acupuncture, nourished herself… everything she could to honor this birth and this baby.  As she said, her first birth experience taught her so much, and with her second, she was able to step into motherhood for a second time totally transformed. Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
9/6/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 140: From Reluctant to Triumphant: Kelli’s Happy Homebirth

Do you remember episode 134 with Kelli Ingram? Where she was suuuuuper reluctant to be planning her first homebirth after 5 lovely hospital epidural births? We’ve got an update for you, baby! \This week we’re catching back up with Kelli to hear exactly how her homebirth story went down, and I can’t wait for you to hear it.  I’m SO proud of Kelli.    Before we jump into her story, I would love to thank our reviewer of the week, SamiNeblett, who wrote “A treasure in the sea of fear based content” Sami, thank you so much for your review!   If you’re enjoying this show, would you help me spread the word?  Leave a review, share on your instagram stories, tell your neighbor… all of it is so helpful and so meaningful.  I’ve noticed a few people lately sharing what they’re doing as they listen, and I’m loving it!  Thank you all so much for your support.   Episode Roundup:   How cool is it that we were able to take that journey with Kelli?  She was nervous, even when she entered labor, but she was triumphant.   As we jump into this week’s episode roundup, there are a few things that really caught my attention:   Kelli mentioned how this pregnancy felt very similar in manageability to her second pregnancy.  She shared how even though that was a decade ago, she was able to take care of herself, and especially appreciated the care she received from her chiropractor. Kelli said, “I really wanted to see what my body would do naturally…”. I love that she allowed her body to go into labor on its own this time.  It can be such a mind game to just relax and allow our babies to come on their own terms, but how incredible is it when the process does go perfectly according to its own plan.  I pushed myself into labor with my first and didn’t with my second.  And I’ll never push myself into labor again.  I could cry at what Kelli said, “I’d do it again 1000 times, and it exceeded all expectations.  Remember!  This is coming from someone who was so nervous about the pain of her experience.  And that leads me to our final point for this week.  Kelli said, “If I can do it, you can do it, too.”  I hear that from mothers all the time, and I love it.  Listen, that’s what this community is all about.  To bolster one another up and let each other know that we’re here for support.  If I can do it, you can do it too.   Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 
8/30/202152 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 139: Simplifying Birth, Simplifying Childhood with Ginny Yurtich

Have you ever been disqualified from something?  Maybe you were in a swim meet and your feet touched the bottom of the pool.  Maybe your scholarship essay was too short and you were taken out of the running…. But have you ever been considered disqualified in your birthing location?   This week we’re speaking with an incredible woman, Ginny Yurtich, founder of 1000 hours outside, and mother of 5 children with very different birth stories.  In her first birth, Ginny’s pre-eclampsia “disqualified” her from her birth center experience, and we’ll see just how she handled this in subsequent births.    >>>I want to celebrate!  Happy Homebirth Podcast just hit 10k followers on instagram!  In order to thank you for your incredible support, keep your eyes peeled for an amazing giveaway this week. Be sure you’re following @happyhomebirthpodcast for all of the details.
8/23/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 138: Trusting Your Gut and The Importance of Care Provider Selection

You’ve hired a midwife, so you’re fine, right?  I mean, all midwives are totally amazing, totally wonderful, and totally good at honoring you…. Right? This week we’re speaking with Bethany, who has given birth to all of her babies at home.  However, her first birth experience was not the beautiful, gloriously supported homebirth that we talk about so often on this podcast.  No, it was marked with negligence and abuse, and it’s an important conversation for us to have.  Luckily we’ll then get to hear the beautiful difference to this experience with her subsequent births.   Before we jump in, let’s take a quick moment to think our reviewer of the week, K Riord who writes Love this motivational podcast!  I am currently pregnant and have enjoyed this podcast so much!  I have learned so much about birth.   And if you’re gaining value from this show, would you hop over to apple podcasts and leave us a review?  They’re basically Christmas presents to me, and they help tremendously with this show’s reach.   Okay, let’s jump in. Please remember the opinions of my guest many not necessarily reflect my own vice versa; and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.     Episode Roundup   So… I think we’ve learned some things in this episode, eh?  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, here’s what I’m mulling over…   Red flags.  Little oddities.  Gut feelings.  Don’t push these to the side, as much as you may want to explain them away.  If you’re feeling uncertain about your care provider, that’s a good sign that more interviews with other care providers is a great next step.  There’s nothing wrong with a second opinion or four.  Speak with other midwives, notice how they engage with you, and really consider your situation.  My heart breaks with how Bethany was left feeling, and I know she’s not the only one who has ever had an experience like this. Obviously as this story demonstrates, using a midwife isn’t enough. Just as there are some truly incredible, amazing obstetricians, there are some downright bad midwives, and we can’t just turn our eyes from that and pretend like it isn’t true.  If you have a negative experience with a midwife, as hard as it may be to do so, don’t be silent.  Whether it means speaking to your midwife individually and discussing what happened and sharing how you feel about it, or whether it means warning others in your community so that they don’t go into a relationship blind, speak up.  And finally, look at the difference between Bethany’s stories.  So much of our well-being and comfort and peace in labor can be wrapped up in our care provider.  Bethany mentions how scared she was to go into labor with her second baby because of her first experience.  But by the time she was entering labor with baby number 3, she was excited.  Yes, she knew there would be discomfort, but she also knew she was supported and she could do it.  
8/16/202153 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 137: Girls Who Know with Laurisa Paul

What was your expectation of birth as a young girl?  Did you feel nervous about the experience?  Did you give the thought of childbirth any thought?  What did you know?    This week we have the amazing privilege of speaking with Laurisa Paul, a mother of 5 and the creator of a new, powerful organization called Girls Who Know, where she teaches girls all about what their bodies do and what their bodies are capable of.  We’ll be learning how this organization was created after hearing Laurisa’s own journey and realizations through her 5 births.  If you’re listening to this episode as it airs, I’m so excited to let you know that this organization has enrollment open THIS WEEK for their next class of girls, aged 14-17, and classes will begin on August 14th 2021 for this group!   Before we jump in, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Cdehan who writes: Yes, there IS diversity in homebirth!   Thanks so much cdehan.  And if you’re listening and loving the show, would you mind hopping over to apple podcasts and leaving a *hopefully* 5 star rating and review? You’re helping other mothers find this show when you do that.  Thank you so much.     Episode Roundup I am just blown away by Laurisa, her story of growth and her journey to where she is now, along with what she has been able to create for girls who need to hear that they are capable.  What a life-changing program.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I feel like I could touch on so many different aspects, so let me try to narrow it down:     Although it took Laurisa two births to begin to tap into it, I love hearing how her intuition told her something was off about her experiences—how something told her to dig deeper.  We as mothers do have access to the “mama gut”, and what a gift it can be when we choose to listen, even if it’s saying something we aren’t expecting. This differentiation between being strong-willed and tough versus having confidence in who we are and what we’re doing:  So often we as mothers think “I CAN do it… I’ll just will myself through it and make it happen” I KNOW I’m a major offender on that front, but… is that where we really want to be? There’s so much more empowerment when we can step into the confidence of our motherhood, where we’re mothering from a place of rest, from the perspective that the end goal isn’t to do it all and hustle for the sake of hustling.  And finally, Laurisa mentions how with her first two births, she just didn’t know.  She had no idea what her body was capable of, what it could do….and isn’t that where so many women and girls are today?  It’s exactly WHY Girls Who Know is such a powerful concept.  Laurisa is now able to be just like the nurse who stood up in class and told the room that mothers CAN give birth unmedicated and without intervention, and it can be life-changing.  Laurisa is able to impact the trajectory of so many young women, simply by exposing them to the fact that their bodies were innately designed to WORK.  What a gift.   If you’ve got a girl and you want her to know, or if you’d like to sponsor the education of girls, be sure to check out Laurisa’s website girlswhoknow.com. It’s linked in the show notes. Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.  
8/9/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 136: Erin’s Essential Lessons in Homebirth

  What lessons have you learned through your pregnancy, labor and birth?  Did you learn to surrender?  Did you learn that you’re more powerful than you thought?….. Did you learn that your baby may be born on Valentine’s Day even if you really didn’t want that?   This week we’re speaking with Erin Wilkins, who you may know on Instagram as @essentiallyerin__. Erin has had all of her biological babies at home, jumping on the homebirth train 8 years ago during her first pregnancy… even though she was working as an RN!  I know you’re going to love this episode.   I was also blessed to have my best friend and fellow homebirth mama Emily join the conversation, my co-host this show, and it was so fun to get her perspective on a number of questions and topics.  She’s growing a beautiful community over at @emily_authentically if you want to follow along   Before we jump in, let’s take a quick moment to think our reviewer of the week, Lexi Fab.   And if you’re gaining value from this show, would you hop over to apple podcasts and leave us a review?  They’re basically Christmas presents to me, and they help tremendously with this show’s reach.   What an incredible discussion!  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I want to go over a few points that stuck out.   Every mother experiences labor in her own way.  For Erin, there’s a sense of solitude that she walks, and I certainly remember that feeling.  Yes, we’re surrounded with love and support, but nevertheless we’re the only one who can bring this baby forth into the world.  This task is daunting, but it leads me to my second point As Erin discussed, she also knew that she wasn’t alone.  She likened her experience to that of her savior, and she felt the holiness of his presence in her labor, even during the solitude.  There’s such a spiritual, connective aspect to birth, and I love how Erin tapped into that during her labors. And finally, every birth brings with it new lessons to learn, to internalize, to add to our motherhood.  With her most recent birth, the recognition that Erin truly had no control over the outcome— when her baby would arrive, whether or not she’d experience another cervical lip— it all brought the difficult, but important, and somehow freeing realization that we’re not in control of our outcomes, but we are in control of how we apply those lessons to our life.  And that’s where the beauty is. What a fun conversation that was.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot or picture of you listening and share it to your stories?  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast, @essentiallyerin__ and @emilyauthentically and let us know your favorite takeway.  Okay my friends that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 
8/2/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 135: Assessing Your Risk Tolerance in Birth

When it comes to giving birth, what’s your risk tolerance?  Are you more comfortable with the risk of giving birth at home and assessing the situation as it comes, or are you more comfortable with the risk of the often unnecessary interventions and fallout that come with them of the hospital?   This week we’re speaking with Erycka, a nurse by trade and mother of two.  Erycka, like all of us whether consciously or unconsciously, had to decide the level and type of risk she was willing to accept during her births, and she then had to face some of those risks head on.  Her two birth stories start the same… her water breaks… and from there they are completely different experiences.  I know you’re going to enjoy these two stories!   Episode Roundup:   Wow, what a discussion.  As we head into this weeks episode roundup, I want to delve into the concept of spectrum of risk just a tad bit more.   Birth carries risk.  If anyone tries to tell you that it doesn’t, they’re either lying or just not thinking.  Because life itself carries risk.  Every moment, every decision— we have no idea how any little event will turn out… and birth is a perfect example of this.   But does that mean that birth, specifically homebirth is inherently dangerous?   No, and I would argue that it’s often times less dangerous and risky than walking into the hospital as a low risk laboring mother.  You SHOULD BE  to be the one in charge of the decisions being made for yourself and your baby, as they impact you two directly.  When we hand our care over to others, we shouldn’t be surprised when they act in THEIR best interest instead of our own.   So yes, giving birth carries risks.  We can mitigate many of them through education and through preparation (of course I highly recommend Happy Homebirth Academy for this), and through choosing a care team with whom we feel comfortable and confident.    And does that mean everything’s going to go perfectly?  Of course not.  But we also don’t know if everything’s going to go perfectly when we step outside of our house to get the mail, either.    So let’s celebrate birth for the swirl of control and chaos that it is, and prepare ourselves— to understand our responsibilities, to understand what we can do to encourage a positive experience— and then let’s enjoy the ride.   Alright, let’s wrap up.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  And I’ll see you back here next week.
7/26/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 134: A Reluctant Homebirth?!

When you think about your upcoming homebirth, how do you feel?  Excited about meeting your baby?  Prepared to embrace the experience of labor?  What about…. Scared out of your mind of the pain?     This week we are speaking with Kelli Ingram, a mama who has decided that after having 4 lovely epidural births in the hospital, she’s bringing it home…. Though she’s the first to tell you that she’s terrified of the pain.  This week’s episode is a little different, as Kelli won’t be sharing her homebirth story— because she hasn’t had her baby yet!  She’s sharing her experience as a hospital-loving mother who turned to homebirth so that her family could be involved even amidst the pandemic restrictions.  So Kelli and I go through some discussion of mindset, some options and plans for her preparation…. And then we wait.  We’ll be doing a follow-up episode with Kelli after her baby is born in August.  I’m so excited to hear how this all plays out in real time.   This show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   Episode Roundup: I am so excited for this super unique opportunity! I can’t wait for Kelli to come back on the podcast after diving into HHA, and after giving birth to her precious new babe.  It will be such a blast to learn how her preparations went, how she felt as birth arrived, and how she feels after the experience. As we head into this week’s episode roundup, one point sticks out to me the most, and it’s what I want to focus on now.  Kelli loved her hospital births.  She enjoyed receiving an epidural, and she didn’t feel traumatized by any of her experiences.  In fact, it seems that the choice to switch to homebirth care was the most difficult of all, because she had no complaints about the hospital!  This is just a reminder that the simple hospital=bad narrative isn’t the whole story.  Mothers can enjoy that experience and find great empowerment in it.  It’s refreshing to hear a perspective like Kelli, who has no qualms with her previous births, even though she’s doing something different this time. Like I said before, I’m excited that she’s taking us all on this journey with her, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.   Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  And I’ll see you back here next week.
7/19/202139 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 133: Elizabeth’s Peaceful Surprise Twin Homebirth

What surprised you most about your homebirth?  Was it… the way you vocalized during your surges?  Or maybe it was how incredibly accomplished you felt afterward?  Or… was it the number of babies that you gave birth to?   This week we’re speaking to Elizabeth Parsons, who really brought the surprise factor to her fourth birth and first homebirth.    Episode Roundup: Can you imagine that experience?  The shock of thinking you’re pushing out a placenta, but then being handed a second baby?  Absolutely incredible.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I wanted to focus on a few things that came up. I love that Elizabeth brought up the ridiculousness of due dates.  Number one, they’re not even a good average of first time labors.  Number two, why?  Why must we assign this additional stress to our bodies and our babies when they’re simply just trying to grow and work together?  Elizabeth brought up some great points regarding the immediate postpartum, and just how… not conducive the hospital can be to bonding, and not even conducive to healing or establishing our milk supply— nutrition is so important, and jello just doesn’t really cut it…. You know, unless it’s grass-fed gelatin made at home, which is actually my favorite. One of my favorite aspects of Elizabeth’s final labor was when her midwife so tenderly read her affirmation and scripture cards to her.  I’m sure it was such an encouraging moment in her labor. And finally, my friends…birth is a mystery.  Sometimes it unfolds similarly to what we expect, and other times we birth a surprise second breech baby.  No matter how it presents  itself (pun intended), birth is so beautiful, and so transformative.  And mamas, we can do amazing things. Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and purqelyparsons and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  And I’ll see you back here next week. Episode Sponsor: Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat ttps://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.
7/12/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 132: Influencing Your Own Hormonal Responses in Birth and Breastfeeding

How much influence do we really have on our hormones?  And… how much do our hormones really influence our experience of labor, anyway?   And this week we’re speaking with Heather, a mother of two who decided to experiment on herself regarding her ability to influence her hormonal responses.  It’s… fascinating and honestly so exciting.  I can’t wait to jump into her two birth stories.  Before we do— I’d love to thank this week’s reviewer of the week, militarybigfamily.   If you’re finding value in this show, would you take a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave us a *hopefuly* 5 star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to help support the show!  And of course, share it with your friends!   Also— if you’re finding value in this show, would you take a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave us a *hopefuly* 5 star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to help support the show!  And of course, share it with your friends!     Episode Roundup: Wow, I got some gold from this episode and I can only imagine that you did, too!  Let’s head into this week’s episode roundup and let me bring up some of my favorite little nuggets. 10 centimeters does not always equate to time to push.  It sounded like Heather even had a bit of a feeling that it wasn’t time as she experienced her first labor, but when someone with experience lets you know that “it’s time”…. well, that’s pretty impactful.  I love how Heather expressed that this was a great learning experience for her, and how she entered her second birth feeling more confident when it came to listening to her body and doing things in her own timing. Related to my first point, Heather was at home for her second birth.  She was able to #givebirthonyourturf, which truly puts you in the power position. This is your space, and the confidence of doing things your way just comes naturally. I also want to bring up Heather’s need for nobody, as we could put it.  Her uterus, much like my own, doesn’t want the spotlight.  She realized that having an additional student and a birth photographer was just not right for her body in her first labor, and it was causing a bit of stalling, perhaps even anxiety.  Once she cleared the people away, she was able to let her body focus. Next, heather mentioned one of my favorite concepts.  The balance between control and surrender.  There are so many aspects of preparation that we can control: Where we are, who we’re with, what we learn before entering labor (shout out to happy homebirth academy)…. But at the same time, we’ve got to let go of the outcome.  We’ve got to let go of our desire to control and know exactly how it will play out, because we can’t.  And, honestly, that’s above our pay grade anyway, right?  At some point we must come to the moment of surrender and release, and what a beautiful place that can be. And finally, let’s end where we began, and with my favorite golden nugget of all.  YOU CAN IMPACT YOUR HORMONES!  Holy moly, this was so insightful.  Heather took it upon herself to begin practicing relaxation and seeing how it influenced her milk letdown.  Isn’t she the coolest scientist in the world?  I’m just overwhelmed at how cool that was.  And… it came in handy, didn’t it?  She entered her second labor knowing how to relax on a deep level, and knowing just how much that relaxation could encourage her body and baby to progress in labor.  I just… wow.  I’m still overwhelmed at how amazing this is.  And how much it makes sense.  Thank you, Heather!  You really blew my mind with that one. Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!     Sponsor: Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat  https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20
7/5/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 131: Fertility and Freebirth with Noelle Kowalski

Who do you picture surrounding you when you give birth?  Or….do you picture anyone else besides your spouse?   Today we’re speaking with Noelle Kowalski, whom you may know as Noelle Kovary on instagram.  She’s a functional therapy nutritional practitioner, Ayurvedic practitioner holistic health coach, business owner, and… she gave birth to her first baby with her husband and no one else.  This episode is so amazing and covers some incredible topics like healing from medical injuries, working on your fertility, and of course, giving birth at home.  Take a screenshot of you listening into this episode and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and @noellekovary and let us know your favorite takeway.       This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat   Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   Noelle is a Functional Therapy Nutritional Practitioner, an Ayurvedic Practitoner, Holistic Health Coach, and she and her husband own an organic, non-toxic beauty company called Forever Healthy Hair. They also have created online courses that teach people how to heal the metabolism and digestion, and they are currently working on their fertility course. Her background: Noelle became very sick around 13/14- diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder and harmed by the HPV vaccine She had PCOS, Hashimoto’s, Basal Cell skin cancer, and more.  She knew that nutrition needed to be addressed.  Noelle began working with chiropractors, and then went to school for holistic nutrition and bioenergetic healing.  She ultimately healed her body to the point where she felt she was in a higher percentage of health than most people. Lifestyle and herbal allies were used. This is where her passion comes from: she was mistreated, misdiagnosed and abused within the medical system, and she wanted to give people another route to heal.   Specific to healing from HPV Vax: It took her roughly 10 years to fully recover The bulk of healing happened within the first couple of years -Reduced her endotoxin load through diet -Activated coconut charcoal -Reduced heavy metals in her body by supporting natural detox pathways -Supporting thyroid by eating regularly -Consuming nutrient-dense foods -Reishi mushroom, ksm-66 ashwaganda, pine pollen -Adequate minerals through diet and supplementation (magnesium bicarbonate) -Mitigate Stress Master Mineral Drink -Shilajit -Epsom salt baths, vitamin C, and borax -Red light therapy -Infrared sauna -Aviyanga Massage -Dry brushing   Noelle’s pregnancy: Pretty easy and smooth Increased her topical dose of progesterone and added B6 and it went away She’s always wanted to do a homebirth, and having gone through so much difficulty in the medical system throughout her life, she knew the hospital would not be the place for her. They did interview one midwife, but Noelle felt like she did not have the type of knowledge regarding physiology and nourishing mother/baby Noelle felt best when she thought about doing her birth alone with just her husband She and Nick discussed what they would do in each situation and how they would handle each aspect She was completely unafraid of any “pain” women experience when giving birth, as she’s been through so many unnatural procedures. What she needed to learn was “what do we do when baby’s born?”  What does a midwife do?  What does the doctor do? If something went wrong, she knew she would go to the hospital.  Throughout labor, she was extremely happy that nobody was there because she was so deeply relaxed. They weighed the pros and cons, and Noelle intuitively knew that doing it on their own would be the most peaceful way to bring their baby into the world— just the two of them. At one point their son was transverse, and Nick was able to help flip him head down (around 28 weeks) They did get one ultrasound at 18 weeks Noelle didn’t tell anyone that she was having a freebirth- she didn’t want anyone else’s worries projected onto her, so she kept it a complete secret. She woke up one morning and felt that her contractions were not Braxton hicks anymore.  She felt intuitively that the baby was coming soon. She got the house ready: cleaned the bathroom, set up the bedroom, and got her postpartum kit together. She ate a lot of nutrient-dense foods, and made some labor-aid. They did a partial lotus birth, so they got all of the supplies ready for that as well. By 10pm the contractions got a bit stronger and she felt she’d be entering active labor soon. At midnight Nick filled up the bath tub and Noelle had a contraction that brought her to her knees. The contractions were erratic 10 minutes, then 1 minute, all over the place. 1 am- Full on active labor She had 5 very strong contractions, then said, “I think I don’t want to labor in the tub… I think I want to get out.”  She got out, had a contraction, and said, “Oh no, tub is good!” She reached down and was able to feel her baby’s head.  She took a deep breath, relaxed her whole body and her body just pushed her baby out. Her baby was born at 1:23 am- in the amniotic sac! His eyes were open, looking at her.  She did a quick sweep of his mouth and gave him a breath, then brought him to her chest.  He latched within the first 10 minutes. She then told Nick she wanted to birth the placenta.  She did that, then he checked to make sure it was intact, which it was. Noelle washed off her body, and they moved to the bed.  He didn’t cry at all until they tried to weigh him! They chose to keep the placenta attached for almost 48 hours, and then they burned it off with a candle.  Noelle’s postpartum was great- her baby was born in the summer, so they spent every day outside in the back yard in the sun. Nick cooked and cleaned and was a full support to Noelle.  All she had to do was feed Olek and nourish him. She ate very nutrient-dense foods as she healed Her body stopped bleeding after a week, and her uterus shrunk back in only a couple of weeks She breastfeeds on demand, and they co-sleep, which made for an easier time during the evening. She increased her calories: Anywhere between 3,000-4,000 for a nursing mother Noelle discusses how important it is NOT to add exercise early on in postpartum. Both physically and energetically. Smoked or fresh oysters, beef liver, bone broth, raw milk, raw honey, fresh fruits are all extremely nourishing.  Most are higher in calories, which helps meet the calorie requirements.   Postpartum hair loss, postpartum acne: high estrogen, low progesterone.  The way to heal it is to feed your body nutrient-dense foods and heal your thyroid.   Fertility tips: Reduce your toxic load: get rid of toxins in skin care, bedding, makeup and clothing. Reduce your estrogen load: support your thyroid and liver with adequate protein and carbs (shellfish, beef, beef liver) Increase your mineral intake: through food and supplementation (our soil is depleted)— magnesium bicarb or glycinate, as well as shilajit resin Get yourself set up emotionally: The transition from maiden to mother is a shift from the inward to the outward.  Lots of the anxiety and depression can come from the lack of preparation and lack of support Iron- reducing the iron overload and getting more bioavailable copper Working on your relationship with your partner.  Fertility can be an emotional blockage as well.   She’s working on a fertility course now that will happen in the future, but in the meantime she recommends checking out their “Perfect Thyroid” course, as it will give you a good understanding of the body and metabolism, and much of the information will overlap with fertility.   Follow Noelle: @noellekovary @foreverhealthyhair
6/28/20211 hour, 42 seconds
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Ep 130: Home is Where the Birth is with Talise Homebirth Queen

What does it look like to have full confidence in yourself, your body and your baby?  How does this look in the birth setting?   This week we’re speaking with Talise Homebirth Queen, who lives up to her name in every way.  She gave birth to all 6 of her babies at home, without pain or fear.  She’s given birth to twins, she’s gone unassisted, and she’s written a book about it: Home is Where the Birth is Talise brings so much insight and wisdom to today’s conversation, I can’t wait to get started.    This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20  Okay, let’s dive into Talise’s story. Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   Show Notes Talise was raised in a homebirth family- she was a breech c-section, but her mother did more research and realized that it wasn’t necessary to have a c-section just because it was a breech baby. Keep your children and yourself away from the false narrative that birth MUST be painful “You put in what you get out” when it comes to birth and preparation- She halfway prepared for her first birth, because she didn’t fully understand that you “should” prepare.  There was lots of screaming, cussing, and it was very dramatic.  She realized that she wanted to have a different experience. With her second birth, her midwife helped her heal from her first birth— this is highly important, learning to heal from previous birth traumas. With the second birth, she exercised more and read more affirmations.  The birth went much smoother.   With her third birth (twin birth), she did hypnobirthing and visualizations every day.  She changed her wording Pain —> Pressure Contractions —> Waves She exercised daily, visualized daily, ate well and focused on mental preparation. Talise encourages women to use their voices to help their babies come down (low tones) She only had a doula for this birth (not a midwife) Her doula came in and Talise had her leg up.  Her doula said “Stop!  That’s the baby’s booty!”   Baby was born, an hour later, she realized she was still pushing. And suddenly another baby booty came out with two little “chicken legs”   Talise always reminds women how important it is to really interview and meet with your doula and midwives and find someone you’re comfortable with.  They hoped to have a specific midwife, but she wasn’t going to be available because her own daughter was going to be giving birth. They decided to have an unassisted birth.   All of her children were there until the very end— she gave a massive roar and all of the kids left!    Once again with this birth, she was incredibly consistent with preparation.   For her next birth, she had another unassisted birth again.   Talise prepared the MOST for her postpartum to make it easier for everyone.   She woke up her husband- he filled the pool   She was talking and laughing until her baby was born.   Talise said her baby’s name just came to her.    Home is Where the Birth Is Book : https://www.amazon.com/Home-Where-Birth-Stories-Homebirths/dp/1704081637/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=home+is+where+the+birth+is&qid=1624035215&sr=8-2   Website: https://www.talisehomebirthqueen.com   Episode Roundup: Isn’t Talise such an encouragement? Her energy and confidence just radiate, and they’ve got me feeling like a homebirth queen, too.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, here are a few topics that came to mind for me. What a blessing that Talise’s mom took the initiative to learn and research about birth.  Even though she had a c-section, she raised her daughter to know that she could give birth to her babies safely, vaginally and at home.  I’m so impressed by that, and it’s what I wish for the upcoming generation. Maybe my favorite quote and concept, Talise said when it comes to birth, “You put in what you get out.”  Doing minimal preparation and just leaving it up to chance may leave you feeling out of control and lost during labor.  But when you take the time to prepare, and Talise is such a great example of this, beautiful things can happen. Finally, with that preparation… comes confidence.  The ability to know your body, to trust yourself and to take charge of your own experience.  Talise was comfortable giving birth unassisted, understanding the risks and benefits and choosing what was best for her family.  And that’s what I ask of everyone— to make informed decisions for their own family.   What an incredible woman and an incredible story.  Be sure to check out all that Talise has to offer at her website, and go buy that book!  Alright my friends. Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and talisethehomebirthqueen and let us know what takeaway or strength you drew from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
6/21/202132 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 129: Healing Trauma Mamas: How Trauma Can Impact Pregnancy and Birth and Why We Must Heal

Trauma— how does trauma of all types impact or influence your pregnancy, labor and postpartum?   Today’s episode is beautiful, but very serious.  We’re speaking with Midon, who has experienced a long journey of learning about early childhood traumas, and how they greatly impacted her most recent birth.  We’re going to share about the importance of talking about these traumas, not leaving them unattended to fester, which can feel like the easier path.  Now, I always do my best to be up front regarding difficult content so that you can make the choice to listen now, or perhaps save it for later when you feel more prepared or in a safer mental place.  This is very likely an episode that you’ll want to listen to with ear buds if you’ve got young ears around. Starting now, because I’m going to tell you what’s coming.  We will bring up some very triggering topics including growing up in a cult, sexual assault and mention of rape, birth assault and trauma, and alienation from family members.  I know it sounds heavy, and it is, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and Midon is an absolute joy to speak with.  You’re going to gain so much from what she shares about herself and several clients who agreed to let her share bits of their stories, and even if you don’t relate directly to her experiences, this story has given me a whole new compassionate lens for the experiences of others.    Let’s thank our reviewer of the week, Blessed Momma 0525   And finally, before we head in, here’s something really exciting: This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat   I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.   Show Notes Midon was born into a cult in 1983 in Missour- her great grandfather was the Patriarch Had barely any memories before the age of 10 She lived in 2 cults, lived there until 18- met her husband and was married 4 months later Midon became pregnant 1.5 years later She’d been told her whole life she’d never have children- because of a bicycle accident (that she had no memory of) She wanted a midwife, but ended up with an OB in the hospital- it was an incredibly traumatic birth- forceps, couldn’t stand up for 9 weeks, broke her tailbone The nurse forced her to keep her eyes open 6 months later she became pregnant and husband ok’d homebirth When she left the cult, she was shunned by her family Her family left the cult, her mom contacted her and wanted to be there- her body held baby in until her mother left It was a quick, 6 hour birth- her midwife was very compassionate She had a great third birth 4th- longer labor- it was a stressful time of life- she wonders how much that impacted her In her 4th pregnancy she began having pelvic issues Her husband then had a vasectomy Midon was legally adopted as an adult They had the vasectomy reversed- Midon became pregnant immediately after She had to find a new midwife- it was the fastest birth yet, 4 hours She became pregnant again- lost the baby @ 12 weeks Finally called her biological brother and he confirmed a lot of her “dreams”— that they were real events -7th pregnancy: Lots of pelvic pain began to come up- couldn’t sleep Had preterm labor @ 35 weeks, but they were able to stop the labor and he stayed in until 40.6 It was the roughest labor she had ever had She was in so much pain, but she didn’t say anything- she thought she was screaming out loud, but she never did.  It made her wonder, “why does this happen?” People with trauma don’t know how to speak -3m pp- broke down to her adopted mom -Interview with pelvic floor specialist- asked lots of questions that made Midon begin to question her childhood “bicycle” accident. Healing Trauma Mamas   Episode Roundup: Wasn’t that such an amazing story?  Midon’s still on her journey to healing, and I highly encourage anyone who recognizes a need to heal trauma to join her in the new community she’s created. As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d like to discuss   We need to keep our eyes out for obstetric abuse and report it when we see it.  Midon experienced deep birth trauma at the hands of an abusive nurse and OB team, and this my friends is why we have such abysmal outcomes compared to other countries.  When situations like this are allowed to unfold in the hospital setting, when there is no care for the people you’re supposed to be serving…. This leads to nothing good.  If you hear stories like this from your friends, perhaps you can encourage them to reach out and report it.  We have to be the ones demanding change. It was very eye-opening to hear how Midon became aware of her trauma over time.  As care providers, you may assume that your clients know if they’ve experienced some sort of deep trauma, but these may be the ones who know the least, as their minds do their best to protect them.  This was a great reminder for me.  I also appreciate the way that Midon expressed her inability to express— she couldn’t speak, and even when she thought she was speaking, screaming even in labor, she wasn’t.  This being the case, we must be vigilant, as so many midwives are, to continue the deep observational skills that midwives are so good at. Finally, I want to end on the positive note— that there is help.  There are others who have walked this road, if you’re walking through past traumas, and there are so many who would love to walk it with you.  You don’t have to be alone, and you don’t have to be silent.  Finding a counselor or therapist who understands trauma, and even just finding the strength over time to open up to those that you love will hopefully not only work on your own healing process, but also give others the courage to heal, too.  Be sure to look into Midon’s group Healing Trauma Mamas for additional community.   Thank you Midon for your willingness to share and expose the difficulty through which you’ve walked.  It was such a blessing to have you on the podcast.   Alright my friends. Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and let us know what takeaway or strength you drew from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.   Take Your Homebirth Education to the Next Level: Top 8 Essential Homebirth Resources Homebirth Mythbusters Masterclass Happy Homebirth Academy
6/14/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 128: The Importance of Mindset and Language in Birth

Do words really matter?  I mean, you’ve got to give birth one way or another— so is the language that’s used around your experience actually important? This week we’ll be speaking to Frankie Sena, a mama of two and graduate of Happy Homebirth Academy.  She had two very different perceptions of feeling during her experiences of giving birth, and we’re going to hear what influenced that.   This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.       Episode Roundup: What an amazing story.  I love getting to follow back up with graduates of Happy Homebirth Academy, so this was such a special interview for me.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, a few points really caught my eye.   I loved Frankie’s discussion of placenta encapsulation.  I feel like it’s such a perfect example of the “crunchy” lifestyle, and even the homebirth experience.  When you hear about it for the first time, you can have a knee-jerk reaction of, “oh my gosh, no!”  And then… it grows on you.  And suddenly you’re asking for the placenta girl’s info, or asking for that midwife’s number….  Sometimes it can be hard to release the mainstream point of view, but then… oh man, the other side can be so enjoyable and helpful.  Let’s talk about labor thoughts.  Frankie shared with us some of the very specific thoughts that she had that turned out not to be true:  I’m 7 cm which means I’m going to have to walk the parking lot, I definitely have a cervical lip…. I imagine that so many of you can relate to this!  You feel something certainly in your bones in labor that is… come to find out, pretty off base.  I was confident that I had a shoulder dystocia with my first daughter and that my midwife had to reach her arm up inside to pull her out…. That was decidedly not true.  Remember to approach these things gently and with a sense of humor later— our brains are in a whole different place in labor, and they’re doing their best!  It can be somewhat amusing to look back and think of the interesting jumps they made while navigating labor I want to bring up how well Frankie and her husband worked together.  They took the time to prepare with one another inside of Happy Homebirth Academy— which is certainly my recommendation— to have your husband involved with childbirth education— and the pregnancy was “theirs” together.  What a beautiful, critical outlook that can magnetize you to one another. Finally, let’s end where we began.  WORDS.  MATTER.  And even more, mindset is so important.  Frankie had endured a fear-mongering hospital birth class that ensured her of the deep pain she would experience during labor, and her midwife discussed the pain of the ring of fire right before she experienced it— because Frankie hadn’t yet tapped into the power of her mindset, these words were highly influential on her experience.  Now, I do believe the good news is that once your mindset is fixed and prepared, those words can bounce off you much easier.  But, still, the preference is certainly positive words combined with a fortified positive mindset.  If this sounds good to you, make sure you check out Happy Homebirth Academy.   Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
6/7/20211 hour, 1 minute, 38 seconds
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Ep 127: Maple Syrup and Two Sweet Homebirths

] What happens when you’ve desired and planned for a homebirth for a decade… but then you’re faced with a long, intense exhausting labor?  How do you cope with what you’ve wanted, yet what you’re experiencing?    This week we’re speaking with Caitlin Ackermann, who met her midwife in her high school health class.  She’s experienced two vastly different births, and she’s going to share them both with us today.  Caitlin’s stories show the two extremes of labor, so you know there will be so much to glean from this one. Let’s take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, ilovepodcastsrrkkrr, who writes “Great for all expecting parents!” This is a fantastic podcast and goes through lots of different pregnancy and labor/birth stories.  Very empowering and educational at the same time.  Thanks so much ilovepodcastsrrkkrr, I’d love to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker, so email me at [email protected]   And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it.    And finally, before we head in, here’s something really exciting: This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat   I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.   Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   Show Notes Growing up, she loved the book “A Child is Born” and wanted to be a “baby doctor.” In high school, her best friend’s mom had homebirths In health class growing up, her health teacher had a midwife come speak.  She felt the midwife was incredibly calm and nurturing— She knew immediately she wanted her to be her midwife one day. In college she watched The Business of Being Born and was completely on board Her husband, whom she met at 17, was always on board as well. They became pregnant immediately after beginning to try, which was unexpected for Caitlin.  She was so excited to finally call her midwife, Bonnie! She loved the flexibility of her midwives.  She doesn’t eat white sugar, so her midwives allowed her to do gestational diabetes testing by eating a pancake breakfast with the correct amount of maple syrup When she was 6 months pregnant, she had severe back pain for 6 weeks that made her think she’d never want to have children again. Luckily it did go away. She was due 10 days before her best friend’s wedding- she made it to the wedding!  The next morning, she had a membrane sweep, which she felt was the culmination of midwifery care: It was done comfortably and gently at her midwife’s. The night she went into labor, she was awake until 2 am— she decided to take a Tylenol PM to get some sleep… and then at 3am labor began “I wanted to be prepared for everything but not set on anything” She began throwing up at 5am (after 2 hours of labor) Caitlin labored in the tub for 8 hours- her body stopped regulating temperature, so she got out. At 1 pm, her midwives came and she was 6 cm At 5pm she was feeling very tired By 7 pm the midwives mentioned the baby having a heart arrhythmia.  They chose to wait 15 minutes to see if it went away or to transport She honestly wanted to transport— she was exhausted by that point.  But her husband reminded her that she wanted this homebirth, and he asked her to take it hour by hour.  She needed the reminder that she wanted it and could do it.  At midnight she was 10 centimeters, she got in the shower, squatted and gently pushed, but he wouldn’t budge Suddenly, everything changed, his head came down, and he was out within 2 pushes This baby was born with a tongue tie, and breastfeeding was very painful.  Her midwife caught it immediately and clipped it, but it was still very difficult           Episode Roundup If you’re in Vermont, you’re definitely going to want to hire Caitlin to be your doula, right?  She’s experienced so much, and she is so insightful.  In today’s episode roundup I’d love to discuss a few of the aspects that she so brilliantly brought up.   It was so much fun hearing how Caitlin and her midwives chose to replace the traditional glucose test with a maple syrup test.  Talk about individuality of care.  And that’s what I love, and what I bet you love too, about the midwives model.  This is your pregnancy, your birth and your baby.  In the ideal midwife client relationship, You make the decisions, and your midwives support you.  They tailor their care to you.  I love that Caitlin felt empowered in her second pregnancy to do even less testing and be more lowkey.  Not because there’s anything wrong with wanting tests— if you do, that’s great!— But because she clearly felt the confidence and power to choose for herself.  And that’s what I want for all of you. Favorite quote award goes to:  I wanted to be prepared for everything, but not set on anything.  And this…. This is why Caitlin is going to make such an incredible birth worker.  This is wisdom, my friends.  Take note of it.  Rigidity in birth can be cause for dashed dreams and sadness, even when everything goes right to the outside world.  This concept— of being prepared for it all, but being accepting of what’s to come— this is it.  This is what it’s all about.  If you can adopt this frame of mind, you can give your birth the credit it is due, no matter how it unfolds.  That’s not to say that you have to think it was perfect when it was hard— obviously, Caitlin is a great example of that.  But I feel strongly that this attitude can greatly cut down on the feelings of “my birth wasn’t good enough because…”. Thank you, Caitlin, for putting it so eloquently. I also want to bring up what Caitlin mentioned about her postpartum.  It was hard having visitors.  Gosh, it can be so tough turning people away, especially with your first baby.  You’re proud, and you know your well-meaning friends and family want to see this sweet new life.  But when you’re in the throes of learning your newborn and learning the skill of breastfeeding, it can be all too much.  Inside of Happy Homebirth Academy we talk about this in depth— setting those boundaries prenatally so that you already have a plan to stick to postpartum.  I was the same as Caitlin— It took me learning through experience the importance of being alone as a family in those first special days and weeks.  I pray you can learn through our experiences, those of you who are preparing for your first— and set the boundaries the first time.  You won’t regret it! And finally, let’s end on the reminder that sometimes things go “wrong”, even at home.  Caitlin’s second son took 7 minutes to really perk up and come around after birth.  But Caitlin, when sharing this part of the story, was calm.  She was calm in the moment and felt confident in her team.  This speaks to two things: 1. The fact that midwives are skilled workers and have the necessary techniques to handle these types of situations and 2. Caitlin did a wonderful job at selecting her midwives.  Women she trusted and had great confidence in.  This is so important.  Not every midwife is for you, and it’s important to feel confident in both your midwife’s skills and demeanor. Okay, my friends.  What a beautiful episode.  I’m going to go finish my coffee with maple syrup… and that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 
5/31/202159 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 126: HBACS and Healing Your Metabolism

When I say metabolism you say….what? Really, what comes to mind?  Skinny teenagers and being able to gorge on whatever you want with no consequences to your pant size? Or… that thing that just totally quits on you once you have a baby?   Hey there, episode 126   Today we are speaking with two women who I stumbled across recently (shout out to my bff Emily), and who in the span of just a few months have absolutely changed my health for the better.  Kori Meloy and Fallon Lee are the two metabolism-loving women behind the new podcast, Freely Rooted.  They’re incredible resources on Instagram as well, so I know you’ll be excited to follow along.  Even better?  Fallon and Kori both have experience in the homebirth, with Fallon having a successful HBAC during her third birth, and Kori currently planning for her HBAC.  This episode is basically a 2-Act performance, with birth in the front and metabolism in the back.  I can’t wait to share all of this incredible inform BUT… I do want to warn you— some of what we discuss regarding your metabolism may feel… uncomfortable… even counter-intuitive if you’ve been running in some of the same health circles I have.  All I ask is that you bring an open, curious mind.  Either way, this episode is sure to be a blast.   Before we get started   though, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, EllieAustin.  And Ellie’s review was actually specific to our most recent HBAC episode, episode 123 with Julie.  Ellie says, I relate!   Thank you so much for this review, EllieAustin.  If you’ll e-mail me at I’d love to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker And hey, If you’re loving the show, would you hop on over to apple podcasts to leave a quick *hopefully* 5 star rating, and even a review?  I can’t tell you how helpful it is in getting this show into the ears of new listeners who will benefit.   Okay, let’s waste no more time.  Please remember,,, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.   With this acute focus of our imbalances, we are missing the bigger picture-  Our imbalances and our symptoms showing up in the first place, are just a result of a broken metabolism.   Thriving metabolsim: Warm hands and feet Waking temp near 97.8 Resting pulse around 75-95 Regular, comfortable BMs Shiny, strong hair and nails Strong, healthy sex drive Symptomless period Morning hunger Good energy throughout the day (no 2-3pm crashes) Stable mood Fast wound healing Sleeping through the night (excluding children waking you up!) Seamless transition into menopause   Trashed Metabolism: Freezing Resting pulse is slow Irregular BMs Miserable PMS & period Mood dysregulation Losing hair Waking up to pee in the night Lack of hunger   Pregnancy and Postpartum are a state of stress.  When stress elevates, it decreases thyroid function and metabolism.  So what do we do to mitigate this stress?   Simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that will support the metabolism to reduce the stress hormones.   Metabolic eating is looking at the cell function of the body and asking our bodies what they need in order to thrive— and then eating that way.   We can force our bodies to live off of whatever… but it comes at a cost.  Often times, the cost is living off stress hormones.   When I nourish myself, I nourish my family with love.   Tips: Eat Early (within 30-60 minutes of waking) Mitigate Stressors of all kinds Eat often Eat Enough   Find Kori and Fallon at:   The Freely Rooted Podcast   Kori’s Instagram Kori’s Course   Fallon’s Instagram Fallon’s Website   Episode Roundup I’m still so blown away by this episode, I don’t know HOW I’m supposed to do an episode roundup.  I’m almost feeling like a slow clap and fade to music would be better, but I’m going to give it a shot! Let’s cover some of the topics that truly stuck out: Fallon mentions how her homebirth was not picture perfect.  It required an episiotomy, which is indeed such a rare necessity, but very clearly a true one in this case, and thank goodness for a skilled and competent midwife who could perform this conservatively and without requiring any type of transport.  It’s so important to remember that we can control how we prepare for birth, but we cannot control how it unfolds.  Balancing our ability to prepare with our ability to surrender is so important. When considering Kori’s story, I think what sticks out to me most is the concept of responsibility.  Kori recognized that during her first birth, she gave her midwife the responsibility and power of… being in charge of the birth.  But now?  She’s had such a massive mindset shift, and she recognizes that she’s driving the bus— If you’re inside of happy homebirth academy, you know that’s basically my running mantra.  This is your birth, my friend.  Nobody else’s. Embrace that beautiful responsibility for the God-given gift that it is. Trauma— it can influence so many aspects of our life: Our health, our births, our relationships.  Learning to unpack our baggage and accessing the tools necessary to do so is of so much importance, and it’s a gift to not only ourselves, but our entire families, including the babies we’re growing and raising… especially them. And finally, the metabolism.  It’s not just some thing that allows kids to eat whatever they want.  It’s how our body is functioning on a cellular level.  I’m going to be honest, I was so uncomfortable with the idea that maybe my body wasn’t thriving off of starvation, and maybe I DID need to add some previously off-limits foods to my diet.  But as mothers and mothers to be, our bodies are doing and will do amazing things.  They deserve to be nourished and nurtured.  And if it takes stepping out of my comfort zone to do it, so be it.    So there you have it, my friends.  I know this was a lot, and I imagine some of you are probably thinking this is all crazy talk.  I promise, I get it.  Go check out the Freely Rooted Podcast and Fallon and Kori’s work and just see what you find.      Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
5/24/20211 hour, 12 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep 125: Brittany’s Untouched Birth Works Best

Which leads to better outcomes do you think, high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space? Space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?   This week we’re speaking with Miss Brittany Pride, a mother of 4 daughters and new member of the homebirth community.  Through Brittany’s stories, we’ll learn what style of care worked best for her and her family.   Before we jump in, let me take a moment to welcome all of the new students who took advantage of the Mother’s Day sale and joined Happy Homebirth Academy last week.  I’m so thrilled to have you!  If you didn’t join last week, don’t worry! You can still access Happy Homebirth Academy any time— just go to myhappyhomebirth.com and click on Happy Homebirth Academy in the upper righthand corner.   And let me thank our reviewer of the week, Can I get more to like? Thank you so much can I get more to like?  Can I get you to email me at [email protected] so I can send you a happy Homebirth podcast sticker?   And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it.    Show Notes   Brittany is a mother of 4 girls: 8, 5.5, 3 and 8 months   She lives outside of Nashville TN   Stay at home mom/ social media influencer/content creator   Brittany is a proud crunchy mom who loves to empower mothers to take charge of their families health   Her 4th daughter was her first homebirth   First pregnancy- it was amazing.  She was a stay-at-home mom, so she was able to rest and nap whenever she was tired or sick. She went into labor on her due date, she did not have a doula, which she learned was really important for her next time.   Her first labor was incredibly difficult, as her baby was malpositioned.  She didn’t know how to get her baby repositioned without help.  When she went to the hospital (using midwives), she was only 1 cm dilated after 20hrs.  Her cervix was behind her baby’s head— baby was low, but not putting pressure on the cervix.  On top of that, he water broke during triage, so there was no cushion beyond that point.   She ended up receiving an epidural as she was unable to relax.    Brittany feels that she learned so much from that birth— she did deal with PTSD after that birth.    “If you’re feeling bad about your birth, remember that it’s not your fault, you did your best, you’re still a rockstar, and you can have a better birth next time.”   Brittany notes that each baby and placenta and story is different— it can be different next time!   For the second birth, she found a doula who knew how to manage malpositioned babies and who knew how to use essential oils.  She brought over a birth pool   Having a doula does not negate a husband’s role, it enhances it.  Brittany’s husband says they’re so worth the price because it takes the pressure off the husband.  Long labors, malpositioned babies… so many things can happen that are unexpected.    Hiring a doula is a great way to capitalize on the experience and to allow your husband to focus on the aspects on birth that he wants to focus on.   With their third birth, they chose a freestanding birth center.  Brittany thought it may be her last birth, so they thought this would make the experience even better.   She enjoyed her experience, except for the fact that she was encouraged to push (even after she told them she didn’t want to yet— she already had a history of swollen cervices), and when her baby came out shockingly quickly, she had a difficult time breathing (said the midwives) and had to be transported to the hospital.  The midwives were frantic when this happened, and it was an incredibly chaotic experience.  By the time they got to the hospital, baby was screaming and crying just fine.   After this experience, Brittany knew that she would have a homebirth if she had any additional children.      With baby 4, they became pregnant in Oct of 2019.  Again, her husband said “this is the last baby!”  As soon as he learned more about homebirth’s safety, he was sold.   They decided to have a homebirth around 11 weeks.  Several of Brittany’s friends had used the midwife that she chose.  She has 40 years of experience and has basically delivered babies in the middle of the woods.  Brittany met with her and felt incredibly comfortable with her skills and experience.   Brittany’s due date was July 24th, and she’s always gone past her due date.  She loves being pregnant, and the end of pregnancy especially, so she wasn’t in a rush at all.   The week after her due date, she began encouraging good positioning and opening with walks, sex, prenatal massage and clary sage.   She had zero signs of labor over the weekend of her due date, but she woke up with leaking water.    She told her oldest to wear her “big sister” shirt to bed because you never know when you’re going to wake up with a new sibling!   Around dinner time, contractions began coming closer and closer.  They began doing pressure points around midnight, and her husband said he was going to go clean out the garage.   She said okay, and then texted him 3 minutes later asking him to fill up the birth pool!  “What happened in 3 minutes?!”   Brittany’s doula headed over around 3am and had called her midwife to come as well.  Her doula had her lie down on her side, and they did slow down a little bit, but not too much.  The midwife came around 4:45 am and her midwife checked her.    Brittany’s baby was 4 cm, but her baby was low (which was important to her).  Her midwife told everyone to rest until she just couldn’t rest any longer. About an hour and a half later, she was already 7 cm.  They began blowing up the birth pool, which took about an hour—at that point Brittany was desperate to be in the birth pool!   In the meantime she was using a TENS unit, which was incredibly helpful for her.    For Brittany, the most important aspect of relaxation for her was breathing.  Breathing in for 4, out for 8, which brought her back to center each time.  She said she couldn’t focus on the discomfort of the contractions because she was focusing on that.     Her doula kept reminding her “that’s one step closer to meeting your baby” with each ending contraction.   By 8am Brittany was getting in the birth pool.    She loved being in her own home, knowing where everything is, and not having to worry about when to leave the house.   She was born at 8:59 am, so it wasn’t much longer from that point.   Brittany had her midwife check her again at 8:30 to make sure that she was genuinely ready to push— she was so concerned about swelling.  Her midwife said, “Everything’s perfect Brittany, you don’t have any swelling.” Brittany’s midwife knew that’s exactly what she needed to hear, even without saying it.   Her husband had found an aquarium hookup for $4 that would allow for the water to be let out from the same hose, then put new water back in.      She pushed/her body pushed for 3/4 pushes   Her husband wanted to catch, because he’s caught all of the other babies.  He hopped in at the last minute and caught her.  The baby was behind Brittany, so they maneuvered the baby under her legs and to her chest.    Her oldest daughter came in right after the baby was born to watch the cord be cut.  The fact that everything was done right beside her on the bed and that her family got to be a part of it was amazing.     “In my head I kept thinking, ‘this is what birth should be like.’”   The least invasive birth ended up being the safest, most comfortable birth. Episode Roundup   So many incredible aspects of birth came up in this episode.  Let’s go over a few together in this week’s episode roundup.   First of all let’s talk about dads and doulas.  I love how Brittany and her husband recognized the fact that having a doula didn’t take away from her husband’s role, it added flexibility and an ability for him to focus on the aspects that he wanted to focus on.  We discuss this throughly inside of HHA and even have several worksheets for you to go through as partners to figure out exactly how you want to work together As you’re going through your contractions, it can be so beneficial to have certain elements to focus on.  Brittany used counted breaths as a way to relax, and her. Doula spoke an encouraging phrase “that’s one step closer to meeting your baby” to her.  These may seem like small aspects, but we don’t need that much to hold onto, truthfully.  Just a few simple elements to cling to through birth can make a vast difference.  Love, support and relaxation can take you so far. And finally, let’s end where we began.  What tends to work best— high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?  In Brittany’s experience, and in the countless births of my guests, my students and clients, wow… it sure seems like letting a mother’s body work while providing reassuring support and love almost always leads to the very best outcomes.
5/17/202157 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep 124: A Tokyo Homebirth

When your birth plans change, what do you do?  Do you jump to a place of self-loathing and frustration, or do you take it in stride and choose to love your experience?  Hey there…   And although my first question is easier said than done, Jasmine and her husband Julian have some lessons to share with us today all about this subject and many more.  From a hospital birth that turned out differently than expected to a homebirth abroad in Tokyo, get ready.  This story is incredible.   And… Happy Mother’s Day!  Whether you are preparing to conceive, mourning a loss, planning your first homebirth or driving around in your 12-passenger van full of offspring, I want you to know that you are so important.  Mothers, no matter what stage, are just incredible.  You have done and will do amazing things.  And I want to celebrate you this week.  So to all of the mamas who want to prepare like Jasmine does in this episode, with Happy Homebirth Academy, use the code MOM20 at checkout and get 20% off.  This deal expires Friday 5/14 at midnight, so be sure to jump on it early! Okay, before we get into Jasmine’s beautiful story, let’s take a quick moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Girl_Mom, who wrote: So encouraging!  My sister just told me about this podcast and I’m so happy!  I love that there’s a podcast d directly dedicated to home birth stories.  I’m going to attempt my 3rd home birth in a few months after having my first baby at home with a transfer for the baby, second was a hospital transfer during pushing with vacuum delivery and now I’m hoping for my healing 3rd home birth.  These stories are giving me hope and I even had a dream last night after listening to this about having a pain-free birth.  It was so lovely and I love this resource as I’m preparing for another homebirth!   Girl mom, what a beautiful review.  I’m praying that pain-free birth over you and hoping you continue to feel confident and empowered as you listen to this story, as well as all of the others.  If you’ll send me an email at I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.   And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it.    Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.     Lives in Tokyo— moved right before Covid hit, as her husband works for the government.  Jasmine now says she will definitely have all of her kids in Tokyo!   With her first child, she gave birth in the US in a hospital with midwives.  They pressured her through fear tactics to have an induction at 41.3 days.   During the induction, she was at peace, but it was difficult.  The contractions were back to back, and Jasmine says “It felt like an attack on my body.”   The way that a woman is supported in her decisions in her birth, and the way that we speak over a woman in her birthing situation makes all of the difference.  Jasmine told her husband she wanted an epidural and that she was sorry.  He said, “Don’t be sorry!  This is a game time decision, and it’s amazing that you know what you need.”   As soon as she got the epidural and was able to relax, her body opened up.  Just a couple of hours later she was pushing!   Because of the perspective Jasmine and Julian took, Jasmine never looked back on her birth experience feeling any amount of shame.  Savannah’s birth taught her the importance of support.   “the way we frame our births has such an impact on us postpartum, how we connect with out babies, and the start we give our little ones when they enter the world.”   Sometime in the early summer Jasmine and her husband had a discussion that they wanted to start trying for another baby in the fall.  Jasmine says it was a wink, wink that they were both ready—they made their baby the very next day!   She was grateful that she was planning a homebirth, because even if she had to transfer care during, she would be able to have her midwife with her in the hospital—which wasn’t allowed for anyone else in Japan at the time.  Mothers were giving birth on their own.   Jasmine discusses how her midwife Sosan would have all of these rules like “don’t eat ice cream, don’t expose your joints etc…” and they would know when she didn’t follow the rules! Her midwife also recommended “bone therapy” which Jasmine says is like chiropractic, only more gentle.  She was required to nap after the adjustment, and she would feel almost out of it afterwards.  She felt she was in fantastic alignment for this birth.   The morning of birth Jasmine dropped off her daughter, went to bone therapy, went to the birth house and had a full day of treatments, reflexology, checking on the baby etc.  Jasmine asked her midwife about castor oil, and Sosan told her she didn’t think she needed it, but she could give her some to try that night with milk.     That evening, Jasmine began really feeling her surges, and realized that they were coming rhythmically.  She texted Sosan, who texted back, “Don’t take the castor oil!”   Sosan told her to rest— Jasmine realized this was because Sosan was probably at another birth (she knew there was another mom who was about to give birth).   Jasmine was using Hybnobabies and created a beautiful “safe space”… the private beach where she and Julian got married.  Savvy was there, and Nile was there already.  Even when Julian went to take a nap, Jasmine said it was like he was with her.    Jasmine mentions how different the surges were this time compared to her induction.  She was actually able to sleep between them, and then she would slowly wake up, experience the contraction, then relax again.    Sosan came to check her and she said, “you’re only a 3”. Jasmine let go of the number and went right back to her safe space.    All of the positions she got into during her birth felt primal and innate. She felt like her baby was guiding her positions.   One of Jasmine’s contractions woke Savvy up, which Jasmine loved.  She got to have her come in the bed and snuggle with her.  She felt in her heart that it was a moment where Savvy was ready   Jasmine’s midwife was down low ready to check heart tones, and Jasmine’s water broke in a massive gush— her midwife was soaked!   Once her water broke, the surges felt different.    Jasmine thought she had to poop, and while she was sitting on the toilet, she started feeling her body push on its own.    She went into the water, and absolutely loved it.  She felt released and relaxed.   Jasmine wanted Julian to get in the pool, and Sosan said he just needed to go rinse off upstairs first.  Julian didn’t understand that it needed to be a quick rinse— he was taking a full shower!  So while he’s showering, baby’s head begins to crown.  Sosan began screaming for Julian to come downstairs.   Jasmine and Julian laugh because since he had just taken a shower and hadn’t dried off, he is soaking wet in the pictures— looking like he took a swim in the birth pool! Sosan told Jasmine to get her baby, but Jasmine is still somewhat out of it— so Sosan got the baby!   Sosan told her to turn the baby over and stand up slowly—   “So we have these pictures where he’s turned  over and he’s facing down towards the pool, and we’re standing up— and it looks like something from a National Geographic, like some type of, like some animal just gave birth to her baby and it’s just… Wow.  That’s how I felt, too, in the moment.  That’s how I felt.  So powerful.”    Episode Roundup: Your change of plans does not have to feel like a failure, it can feel like a party.  Can we please talk about how amazing Jasmine’s hospital experience turned out?  What I love about this is that it’s not what she had planned, but she and her husband made the decision in the moment to be positive, work together, and make the most out of their birth.  They chose to make a game time decision after laboring for hours upon hours with pitocin contractions to get an epidural.  And was it a failure?  No.  Jasmine and Julian accepted their change of plans gracefully and enjoyed their journey. A change of plans in one birth does not mean a change of plans in every birth following.  Remember that each story is different, each baby is different, each labor is different.  Jasmine was confident in her ability to give birth at home without pain medication, even though she opted to use it during her first birth.  She knew this was absolutely not something that would hold her back in her homebirth.  And here we see it again, pitocin contractions and natural oxytocin-induced contractions are two very different things.  Jasmine kept wondering when the feeling from her first birth would arrive, and it never did. And finally, I love what Jasmine said about her preparation for her second birth.  It felt like a full-time job.  There’s no denying it, preparing our bodies and minds and spirits for birth does take some amount of work— fun work?  Sure… but it’s directed attention.  Just like an athlete prepares for the upcoming event, so we too as mothers can set aside time to connect to ourselves and our babies, prepare our hearts and bodies, and truly acknowledge the intensity and power that is birthing a new human.  Okay, my friends.  Happy Mother’s Day!  Don’t forget that Happy Homebirth Academy is on sale this week only with the coupon code MOM20 at checkout.  Click the show notes for the link to the sales page, or go to myhappyhomebirth.com and click on Happy Homebirth Academy in the upper right hand corner.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I’ll see you back here next week. 
5/10/20211 hour, 38 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 123: A Secret Homebirth After 2 Cesareans

What do you do when your doctors don’t believe in your body, but you do?  What happens when hospital policy is so counter to your own beliefs that you have to be constantly on guard and fighting for your rights?  Where do you turn?   This week we’re speaking with Julie, who was faced with a number of situations and circumstances that required intense decision-making for herself and her family.  I know there are so many mothers out there who are hoping and planning to have successful homebirths after cesarean sections… I know this episode is going to be an inspiring and encouraging one for you.  Julie is such a strong mother, and her drive to do what’s best for her family is so obvious.     I want to give a quick heads up— the sound quality of this episode is definitely sub-par.  I’m not sure what’s going on with my mic while I record in zoom, but the quality lately has been driving me crazy. Just know that I know it’s a thing, and there were some feedback issues, too… so not the best quality, BUT I guarantee you’ll barely notice because Julie’s story is absolutely riveting.   And before we jump in I’d love to give a big thank you to our reviewer of the week, JandRFarmsTN.   Thank you so much, JandRFarmsTN, if you’ll e-mail me your address at [email protected], I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.   Alright, my friends. Let’s dive in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.  Show Notes Julie had 3 miscarriages before having a full-term baby: The first two were from a luteal phase defect, which she finished.  The second occurred immediately after a flu shot that her doctor counseled her to take.  She realized then that she had to take research into her own hands.   Julie wanted a midwife- her husband wasn’t comfortable with the idea of a homebirth, so they chose midwives at the hospital.  Julie said they were basically doctors with other letters beside their names.     She had diet-controlled Gestational Diabetes, though they pushed her to be induced.  Her body was not ready, she ended up with a c section.   Julie went back to the same midwife with her second, and they said she could only have a vbac if she went into labor naturally before 39 weeks.  When she didn’t, they scheduled her for a c section.  It was a traumatic experience— the room was loud, the doctors found a uterine “window” where, the scar opened up just upon touching it.  The doctors then began chastising Julie’s husband to “wear a rubber.”   Although Julie practices ecological breastfeeding, her fertility returns very quickly.   During the pregnancy of her third baby, they knew they would need to flee from New York because the vaccination laws were removing religious freedom.   Julie was pregnant in NY, but researching hospitals in CT to see who would let her attempt a VBAC.  All of the hospitals were saying “no”.   Finally, she called Yale, and she happened to reach one of two doctors who are VBAC-supportive.   Julie drove 2-2.5 hours each prenatal for the rest of the pregnancy. They moved around 30 weeks, and when she reached 40 weeks, she began to realize that 2 of the providers would support her, but the 6 others were barely going to tolerate her attempting a vbac.   After weighing their options, Julie decided to go in at 41 weeks when she knew the OB would be a supportive one and have them do a gentle induction, rather than waiting for labor to begin on its own and have to deal with a care provider who was unsupportive of her plans.   Julie successfully had her VBAC with a 9lb baby, which was 2 pounds heavier than her others!   For a hospital birth, Julie says it was the best she ever could have expected in terms of care and support.     She did want students present so that they’d know that women can have a successful VBA2C, and she had practically every Yale student in her room by the time she delivered!  She hoped she could provide them with a positive image, and she did.   When she became pregnant with her 4th baby in April of 2020, the hospital policy was that she couldn’t bring her nursing infant with her to her prenatals, which was going to be practically impossible at that time.  She decided to go to another hospital who would allow her to bring her baby.  This was fine, until she found out the procedures for COVID… testing upon entrance, laboring in a mask, possible removal from her husband and her baby…   She came home and told her husband she wasn’t doing it.  She went back and forth between going to the hospital and simply refusing the test or doing something else.  She knew this would be creating a combative experience at the hospital, which would make things more stressful, possibly leading to a c section, or at least leading to a difficult time bonding with her baby postpartum under stress.   Julie decided to find a midwife who would take her, and she found a CPM who would.  She loved the care.  She mentions that her shoulders relaxed and she felt like she didn’t have to be on guard— they were on her side.    She decided not to share with her family that they were planning a homebirth, as she knew they’d be concerned.  After the birth, they said it all made sense that she wasn’t calling them complaining about her appointments with her doctor!   Her family said they were happy that she didn’t tell them because they would have been a nervous wreck!   The night she went into labor, she felt an urge to really clean her house.  Later when she went to the bathroom, she thought she’d dribbled some pee— but then she realized it was her water!  The water was not clear, there was meconium in it.  She called her midwives and shared a photo of the water, which they said was not of concern—it was just a light staining.   She called her mom and had her come from Long Island to pick up the kids— her mom arrives and gets comfy on the couch, thinking she’s going to be sleeping there (obviously, thinking they’re heading to the hospital).  When they start waking the kids up and putting them in the car, she’s completely puzzled!   After being in the pool for a bit, Julie’s midwife told her, “You’re a little too comfortable in the pool, I think we need to get out for a bit.”  Though she didn’t want to, she knew it would be best.  Instantly after getting out, Julie was practically in transition.     After her baby arrived, Julie was able to soak into the experience and the love instead of freaking out over what was going on around her.   Julie discusses how her midwives were adamant for her to rest postpartum, which none of her previous doctors ever discussed or pushed.     Okay, isn’t Julie incredible?  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I want to cover a few topics a little deeper.     Julie’s family’s response to the news of her homebirth was very illuminating, don’t you think?  It shows that sometimes withholding your plans to anxious family members is the kindest thing you can do not only for yourself, which of course is the most important aspect, but also for them!  So if you’re feeling guilty for not sharing your news, maybe this will serve as a little feather in your cap. After her two cesarean experiences, Julie was ready to make a change.  She had to fight an uphill battle, yes.  But Julie wasn’t going to let a uniformed, disconnected medical entity make her biggest decisions for her.  She decided to take birth into her own hands.  At first in the hospital, and then at home.  My friends, it doesn’t get any more empowering than that, does it?  She knew the risks, she knew the benefits, and she chose what was best for her.  Now maybe that decision wouldn’t feel the best for you, and that’s okay!  The point is that birth is our responsibility, whether we acknowledge it or not.  And we’ve got to make the decisions that we feel will serve our families best.  Julie was willing to take on the responsibility, and it paid off greatly.
5/3/202158 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep 122: Appreciating Rites of Passage, Releasing Fear and Healing During Pregnancy

What the heck is a rite of passage… and why does this matter in regards to birth?    This week we are speaking with Rachael Jean, a homebirth midwife and birth rite enthusiast.  In this episode we delve into the meaning of rites of passage, why they’re important, how to reclaim birth as a rite of passage, and… how to prepare for birth through healing.  Immediately I can tell you this will be an episode you’re going to want to save and listen to a couple of times.  I’m so excited for the wisdom that Rachael brought to this conversation.  Before we jump in, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, DannyWannyzzz. If you get a moment, would you stop on over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating, and perhaps even a review?   Show Notes   Rachael Jean is a midwife practicing in Maine   She’s been working in ceremonial work, and feels that midwifery is her mission.   Rites of passage: a normal social and cultural event that brings societies together:  It brings honor and celebration.   birth, puberty, marriage, eldership, death   There is not a very strong entrance into adulthood in our current society   How do we begin to prepare ourselves for this rite of passage?   -It’s about healing: Birth was robbed from women with “twilight sleep” and midwives having to go underground   -Rachael’s main goal is to go back through childhood and heal generational traumas: relationship to mother, to father, to child, and wounding patterns related to the elements   -Rachael strongly feels that babies are master teachers— they come down and know exactly what lessons you need to learn   “Birth is the utmost of the feminine….”     The goal is to gain awareness and presence so that we can create space to make choices.   Women deserve to love their birth story, no matter what.    It’s about honoring the mother, the father and the child.  In presence, we get a chance to bring honor back to daily life.     Rachael’s recommendation: Unpack the baggage while you’re pregnant!   elementalbirthrites.com   Reclaiming pregnancy and birth as a rite of passage (facebook)   elementalmidwifery.com   Elemental Birthrites IG     Wasn’t that powerful?  I just love speaking with someone who has both intense passion and insight, and that’s exactly what Rachael brought to this conversation.  As we head into the episode roundup, let’s go over a few of these incredible topics Episode Roundup: I promise I didn’t pay Rachael to talk about this— But the topic just keeps coming up, and I know it’s vitally important.  The concept that we can choose not to feel like victims of our birthing experiences.  We can ready ourselves for the balancing act of both birth preparation and feminine wildness, and we can positively claim our birth stories, no matter the specifics of how they unfold. I love the concept of honoring these rites of passage in order to more deeply appreciate the beauty in our day to day being. The element of presence in each moment— wow, it just adds such depth to every experience, both big and small. Finally… unpack your baggage.  I love the emphasis Rachael puts on finding a way that works for you to heal yourself in pregnancy.  You know, gestation is such a time of transformation already, adding this highly important work of healing only makes sense in such a time, and it seems to reason that our minds are already in a place of willingness to take on such a task.  As she mentioned, there are so many ways we can approach healing, so find what works for you.  Counseling, Rachael’s course, self-directed.  During my second pregnancy I found such great healing and fear release through reading the Psalms.  But whatever you choose, set the intention to heal those wounds and I know the results will overwhelm you.   So there you have it, my friends.  What a lovely and helpful conversation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Be sure to go check out Rachael’s website and course, and get to healing! That’s all I’ve got for you today, and I look forward to seeing you back here next week.    Hey Mamas, I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  Okay, back to the show!
4/26/202146 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 121: Mama Midwife: When Your Midwife is Your Mother

Midwives… have you ever experienced that moment in labor with a client where you know it’s a fork in the road?  What do you do and say?  What… if that client is also your daughter?.   And this week’s interview is special indeed.  We’re speaking with Tori Justesen and her mama and midwife Stacey Bufkin all about what it was like to hold both a mother and daughter and midwife/client relationship.     This interview is phenomenal, and Stacey and Tori bring up aspects of birth that are going to be so valuable, so make sure you’re hanging onto every word— don’t worry, it’s impossible not to.       And hey, if you get a moment, would you stop over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating and review? It’s..   Okay my friends, I can’t leave you hanging any longer.  Let’s hop into this interview with Stacey and Tori.  Please remember   Show Notes Stacey has been working in the birth world for 2 decades now. She is a licensed midwife in Alabama, and she has been very involved in the political aspect of midwifery on a state level for many years.  She has fought for the decriminalization and licensure of midwifery in that state.   Tori, Stacey’s daughter became pregnant with her first child/Stacey’s first grandchild in 2019, due April 2020.     She knew she would have a homebirth, and she knew exactly who would be on her birth team.   She became pregnant easily, telling her mother of the pregnancy by dumping a pile of supplements on her mother’s bed and asking “which of these should I stop taking?  I’m pregnant.”   Tori’s chiropractor helped her both with adjustments and supplementation, which she attributes to her easy pregnancy.   She and her husband did the Bradley Method   She exercised throughout pregnancy, and went in healthy and low risk.    In April of 2020, of course Covid fear had set in, and the implication on birth and the hospital setting was massive.     Stacey and Torie decided together that she would take on a few additional clients.  Stacey made out a list of the types of clients she would be willing to take: She wanted to make sure her clients weren’t merely running away from the hospital, but who were running towards homebirth. Stacey also has a lung condition, which concerned Torie and her son.     Tori says, “Well, I was a typical first time mom, so I did way too much trying to get my baby to come.”   At 41.6, Tori realized her water had broken, and she noticed that there was some meconium (baby’s first poop).  This threw her off a bit for a moment.      90% of her labor was in the shower or tub.     Tori was experiencing back labor, so her mother did an exam to see if there was a positional issue, or if this is just how Tori was going to labor.  It turned out to be both position and sensation.  Stacey helped Tori’s baby renavigate and reposition through 6 hours of positions, one of which being Walcher’s (very intense)   When Stacey was ready to have her midwife support person come, both of the women she had on call for her were at other births.  Stacey thought to call her friend Luicelli, who she and Tori both refer to as Mother Teresa.  She came to their aid, and she was the perfect person.  They consider this divine intervention.   Tori realizes now that when she was at the brink of “I can’t do this,” it was much because she was still trying to hold onto the reins of control in her labor instead of surrendering.   Luicelli took Stacey out of the room and asked her, “What needs to happen now?”  Stacey knew Tori was at a fork in the road, and she knew exactly what she needed to go say to her— she just didn’t want to be the one to say it (though she knew she had to be).   Stacey went to her and said, “I don’t care what you do— but this about you owning your birth and stepping into your power.  You are not a victim of your labor or birth, this is what you were given.  And your decisions moving forward need to come from a place of power.”     Soon after, Tori gave birth to her baby.  She loved pushing and feeling the progress.  The funniest part of her labor was after the head was born, Tori said to Stacey, “pull him out!” Stacey replied, “I can’t do that for you!”   Stacey was very intentional with caring for Tori postpartum.  Her parents made certain to make all of the meals, had champagne brunches and herbal baths every evening.  Gatekeeping was highly important, too.   They always had fresh sheets, room spray, snacks, laundry etc.  Her mom gifted her with an IBCLC and placenta encapsulation.   Stacey shares how deeply important it is for families to care for mothers postpartum.     Episode Roundup   WOAH.  I’m blown away with all that I gained from this interview.  I believe it’s one I’ll need to go over several times to really glean all of those golden bits of useful advice.  As we head into the episode roundup, I want to pull out the three that I found to be deeply invaluable.     You are not a victim of your birth.  Now, as Stacey and Tori alluded, this may not ALWAYS be the best way to speak to someone in labor- relationship and an understanding of what is needed is key.  But assuming we are NOT currently in labor as we listen to this, I want you to really begin to contemplate this concept.  Listen, whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  When it comes to preparation, we can do it all.  We can check every single box, prepare 100%, and the wildness of birth can take us to a situation we did not expect at all.  There are no guarantees in birth and there’s no way to will a specific outcome.  Of course I believe preparation is massively important, but we can only control so much.  But… our perspective?  Our outlook?  Our FRAME through which we view our birth and situation?  That’s really up to you, friend.  And hard as it may be, choosing step into empowerment about your birth, beforehand if possible, but it’s never too late to reframe after… it can make all of the difference. I love the discussion that came up regarding transition and the flip that switched for Tori.  I’ll say it again, I believe that that switch is never turned off, and it’s what propels us so strongly into motherhood.  It’s so fascinating, this exact conversation was brought up inside of the Happy Homebirth Podcast Community just the other day.  If you aren’t in there, you’re missing out on some incredible conversation! And finally… POST. PARTUM.  You know, I think this episode, whether the whole thing or even just the end on postpartum, would be great to share with friends and family who may be around to help you postpartum.  Mamas, we need help postpartum.  We need support.  We need a community.  Because of the medical industrial complex and the way it’s pulled mamas and babies apart for generations now, we can’t expect our parents to know how important postpartum is.  Many of our own mothers didn’t receive the care that they needed postpartum— it’s foreign.  So sharing this information could be a great way to open up conversation about how you could receive help in the days and weeks following birth.  Taking time to heal is a gift so much deeper than anything else on the baby register.   Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.    
4/19/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 120: Navigating Homebirth While Being Youtube Famous

Have you always known that you wanted to have biological children, or is that something that came with time?   Nikki’s decision to have biological children wasn’t one that she and her husband had in mind for the majority of their 13 years of marriage. Her decision took time and much consideration, as you’ll soon hear.   Before we get started, can I ask you a favor?  If this podcast has been of help to you, could you hop over to apple podcasts and leave a 5 star rating, and hopefully even a review?  It’s an easy, free way to support the show, and it truly means the world to me.   Okay, let’s waste no time and jump into Nikki’s incredible story!   Show Notes:   Nikki listened to to every single podcast episode leading up to her pregnancy, and she felt it truly helped her prepare for what was to come.   She originally thought she and her husband would only foster/adopt their children.  She explains how that changed in this Youtube Video: Why I Changed My Mind About Having  Babies   Nikki’s dealt with chronic pain since she was 13 years old, so the though of being pregnant terrified her. Now that she’s experienced the miracle of creating life, Nikki would love to have lots of biological children, though they may also still adopt, too Therapist said, “You think you can’t do it, you don’t KNOW you can’t do it.” Nikki’s pregnancy: It was half horrible, half perfectly fine! She was sick the entire time— throwing up until days before she gave birth She aimed for a very low-key stress-free pregnancy.  She ate well through the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols As soon as she became pregnant she began researching She went to a birth center and met with a midwife there.  When she left, she thought, “This is like a fake version of what I actually want.”  She then did a vlog in a Kroger’s parking lot sharing about how if she weren’t pseudo internet famous, she thinks she’d have a homebirth, because it’s what feels right for her pregnancy. So many people messaged her saying “don’t let that stop you!” At the original appointment, the midwife bothered her in two big ways: She didn’t interact with her husband Dan at all, and they thought of the pregnancy as “their” pregnancy She didn’t get the feeling that the birth center would actually support informed consent   She reached out to one more midwife, Jen, and she immediately realized she was the one for her.   Nikki’s opinion: If you’re not going to prepare, you’re going to end up with something you don’t want.   She dove down and read books and consumed 70% positive birth content with some bits of “what if” transport stories to feel prepared no matter what.   The end of the pregnancy was hard for her, but she doesn’t feel confident that she felt any worse than any other woman   Nikki thinks she was in prodromal labor for a few weeks before labor began   She mentions that she didn’t have many checks or tests during her pregnancy, and for the next she’ll do even less.  She did the glucola test, which didn’t give accurate results because she never has sugar.  She learned that next time she’ll decline or test her blood sugar at home instead.   The night she went into labor, at 12:30am her husband was feeling sick, so he took some Nyquil.  Not long after, Nikki had to go pee.  When she wiped, she realized there was blood.  She tried to wake Dan up, but he couldn’t get up— He’d just taken Nyquil!   Nikki labors by herself for a few hours, then wakes Dan up.  He goes to fill up the birthing pool, and she suddenly feels something “stuck”….He looks to see that her bag of waters is bulging out of her vagina.  Dan snaps a picture and sends it to their midwife, Jen. Jen heads out and lets Dan know that he may be catching the baby without her there.  He’s excited!   Nikki remembers her mom saying, “Oh, you’ll love your baby so much that you’ll forget the pain.”  She says that she didn’t forget the pain— it was painful to her—but because she was so loved and supported during it, she has nothing but love and positive feelings around it.   She feels like it’s important to note that there are people who come out of the birthing experience and into postpartum unscathed.  Her recovery was relatively easy, and she feels that much of that is related to the fact that she had such a wonderful birthing experience.     Nikki Phillippi on Youtube and Instagram!   Nikki's Birth Video   Episode Roundup: Isn’t Nikki so personable AND insightful?  Honestly, choosing the clip to play at the beginning of the episode was so hard, because she had so many great points!  As we head into the episode roundup, let me cover a few: “if you don’t prepare, you’re going to end up with something that you don’t want.”  I think this is such an important point.  Culturally, we often times put so much emphasis on things like weddings and baby showers and nursery decorations… but the reality is that the decisions made regarding your pregnancy, labor and postpartum… they have the ability to stay with you and impact you indefinitely.  Doing your best to prepare, no matter the actual outcome, whether things go completely according to plan or completely off track…. The actual energy that you put forth into preparation provides so much empowerment in your experience. Which leads to my next point: Our need to balance the concept of control and…. Lack of control.  You know, I’ve noticed lately a number of mothers who are unhappy with their birthing experiences, even those who have “successful” homebirths.  I think somehow the idea that if birth doesn’t look exactly a certain way, sometimes moms may feel as though it’s a failure.  To me, it seem so important to appreciate your individual experience for what it is.  To appreciate what was given to you, and to recognize that we only have control over our own small sphere.  There’s a massive amount of unknown to our stories, and we have to be willing to hold it all with an open hand.  You can still have an empowered experience even when things don’t go quite as planned, or don’t look quite how you’d imagined.  I loved hearing how Nikki recognized that from the very beginning. And finally, I love hearing how Dan and Nikki worked together so wonderfully in labor.  Truthfully, I imagine much of this comes from the way they approached their pregnancy and labor as “theirs”.  Both took ownership, both felt connected and responsible.  Dan’s comfort level with potentially catching their baby alone showed how connected he was to the experience.  What a beautiful story. Okay my friends,  make sure you go check Nikki out on Youtube and Instagram.  Like I said at the beginning, she’s such a lovely balance of personality and insight.  It was a blast having her on the show.  Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
4/12/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep 119: A Homeschooling Mama's Seventh Pregnancy and Supported Homebirth

    If you had your baby at your due date or after… how did you feel?  Tired?  Ready? Frustrated that it was taking so long?  Taylor?  Well, she was thrilled to carry her baby as long as she did.  After experiencing several preterm births, she loved every moment of her longer, seventh pregnancy.  This birth story is so lovely, I can’t wait to share it!   Before we jump in, may I ask you a favor? If you’re on facebook, can you run check and see if you’re following Happy Homebirth Podcast?  We’re growing and excited to get our resources in front of more and more mothers.  So help us out by clicking ‘like’, and maybe even sharing with your friends!   Okay, let’s get to the good stuff!   Show Notes 7 Kids- Decided to leave the number of children up to the Lord With their third child, they began following Mama Natural, and Taylor began becoming interested in homebirth Taylor experiences Hypremesis Gravidum during her pregnancies, which occurred again during her seventh pregnancy. During that time, her husband would help when he could homeschool after work, and she would do educational videos and audiobooks  After she got through the first weeks of sickness, she actually felt amazing.   Her midwife very much encouraged nutrition during pregnancies, so she feels she’s improved her nutrition more with each pregnancy As someone who has gone into labor prematurely several times before, she was concerned that she’d begin having prodromal labor.  However, this last pregnancy, she didn’t even have any noticeable contractions in the last month. She felt great, went on plenty of hikes, and went to the chiropractor Magnesium supplementation was highly important in this pregnancy, and she felt it was of great help at keeping pain away Taylor took Gentle Birth tincture and ate dates at the end of her pregnancy Her midwife came and checked her and she was 7 cm.  Everyone expected a quick labor from that point.  Little did they know, they were in it for the long haul. Typically with Taylor’s births, as soon as her water breaks, she has her babies very quickly However, because her baby’s head was never in a good position, her midwife did not feel comfortable going that route. Taylor finally had a moment where she cried out to God, then said she felt like he wasn’t answering.  It was around this time where she realized that she was still holding onto quite a bit of fears from earlier in the pregnancy:  they initially thought the pregnancy may be ectopic, then they received scary news from an anatomy scan when the baby’s stomach couldn’t be visualized.  Though another scan revealed the baby was healthy, the fears still lingered. Taylor realized during birth that she was holding onto the fear that she may not get to meet this baby still. Once she released these fears, suddenly her baby moved position and came down the birth canal.  Her midwife was able to break her water, and Taylor got into the birth pool. At one point in the water,  Taylor was trying to read the scripture cards that she and her children had created together.  Her doula and assistant midwife came over and read the scriptures over her during labor. The song that meant so much to her during pregnancy, Peace Be Still, was actually what was playing when her son was born.     Episode Roundup   What a lovely story!  Let’s head into this week’s episode roundup: I first want to point out how deeply the events of our pregnancies can impact our births.  Taylor realized in the throes of labor that she was still holding onto fears that had been with her from the early days of her pregnancy, as well as the middle.  These stressful experiences and certainties reared their heads as she fought to bring her baby forth in labor.  It took the release of these events to truly help her baby get into position for birth. How wonderful to hear of Taylor’s midwife’s wisdom.  Though they felt confident that breaking Taylor’s water would speed up labor, her midwife knew that doing this before baby was in a quality position was not at all a good idea and did not recommend it, instead attempting positions to help baby shift into a better place. And finally, how wonderful to be surrounded by a birth team who truly knows you and and recognizes what you need.  The picture of Taylor’s doula and birth assistant coming over to read scripture over her was just such a gorgeous vision.  Choosing the right people to be with you in labor makes such an important impact. Alrighty, Before we head out, can I ask you to head to apple podcasts?  If you’re loving this show, could you support us by leaving a 5-star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to support the mission of Happy Homebirth.  Okay my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week!     Mythbusters Info: Hey Mamas, let me interrupt for a few quick moments to share some great news!  I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  Okay, back to the show!    
4/5/202134 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 118: A Last Minute Homebirth, A Heartbreaking Loss, and a Rainbow Baby

When did you decide to have a homebirth?  Was it at 6 weeks pregnant? 12? 29? ….Were you in labor and 9.5 centimeters?  Not to give it all away, but Ren’s decision to give birth at home wasn’t an early one by any stretch of the imagination.  I know you’re going to love how it all unfolded.     Now, before we dive in, I always want to be very careful and upfront about particularly difficult content.  You have the right to know if an upcoming topic could be traumatic for you for any reason.  In between Ren’s two lovely birth stories, she shares her heartbreaking experience of loss and medical termination.  This is very heavy subject matter, and Ren’s story is so important, and she shares her heart in the situation.  But if you are at a place in pregnancy, or simply life in general where you feel that particular topic could cause trauma, please know that it will be between the two stories. We’ll begin that part of the discussion after the homebirth mythbusters ad, for anyone wanting a marker. And because the situation was so heartbreaking for everyone, and because it was quite similar to a situation that happened to someone I love very deeply, I have spent some time searching for resources to add to the show notes for anyone who has experienced, or is currently experiencing, a situation like Ren’s.  Please be sure to check out the episode roundup, as well as the show notes.    As we prepare to jump in, if you’re loving this podcast and you’d like to support it, an amazing free way to do that is by heading to apple podcasts and leaving a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and a review, if you’re willing and feeling extra loving!  It’s truly a fantastic way to help other mothers find this information.   Okay, my friends.  With all of that being said, let’s dive in.  As always, please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, your midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.   Show Notes Ren and her husband Got married at 29, and although she loved children, she didn’t want to get pregnant.  Mostly because she feared the discomfort of pregnancy.   Eventually, at age 36, she and her husband decided they’d try for one year for a baby.  If it happened, that would be the answer.  If it didn’t, they were comfortable with that being their answer as well. On month 2, Ren got a positive pregnancy test. She was shocked!   She had nausea for her first pregnancy, the second trimester was golden, and she was simply tired.   She decided to use midwives, and though she knew that midwives did homebirths, she had no plans to do that.  She joked with them that she wanted her epidural placed a week before labor.   Ren and her husband did choose to hire a doula, especially because they don’t have any close family living in their vicinity.     As labor approached, Ren experienced prodromal labor.  She went for a Non-Stress Test at 41 weeks, and the doctor shared with her that she’d only had one contraction the whole time.  She thought she might be pregnant for quite a bit longer.   That night, she was struggling with prodromal symptoms again, but her doula was firm that she wanted to come over.  Ren said no, that it could go on like this for days, but her doula was adamant.   The doula arrived at 2… her baby was born at 5.   Ren’s doula told her later that when she arrived, she had a suspicion that she was already in active labor, though she didn’t want to get her hopes up.   That night, the hospital Ren wanted to go to was not accepting new pregnant patients, as one of their 2 doctors had a medical emergency.  She was now going to have to go to another hospital further away.    Her doula encouraged her to go to the hospital to get some pain medication.  She said that even if she wasn’t in active labor, she hadn’t slept in several nights and it would be good to get some relief.  So the doula called the ambulance to come transport her, and she also called the midwife on call, because she knew she lived close to Ren.  She asked her to come check before the ambulance got there.    The midwife arrived right as the ambulance did, and realized Ren was already 9.5 centimeters.   The team informed her that she could of course get in the ambulance, but that there was a good chance that the baby would be born en route, which could be difficult. It was at that moment that Renee decided she’d have a homebirth!   She did have to push for a few hours, but Ren ended up giving birth on her yoga mat in her living room.   Renee did have a third degree tear, so she actually ended up having to transport to the hospital after the birth.     After this birth, Renee thought that she’d be a “one and done” parent.  She’s an attachment parent, and wanted to make sure that she could give her daughter the emotional resources she needed.   However, as her daughter edged closer to 3 and a half, she started thinking about how she wanted her child to grow up with a sibling, and how being an only child could be difficult as an adult, especially in regards to navigating the death of parents.   At 39, Ren and her husband decided to “give it another year” as they had the first time.   In Dec 2019 Ren got a positive pregnancy test.     Her first trimester was very difficult with sickness.  She didn’t want to share with her daughter why she was sick or why she was so sure she would get better, so navigating was quite hard!   After her first ultrasound, Ren got a call that said there was an anomaly detected with the baby, and she would be referred to another specialist for further ultrasounds.   With further check, it was found that Ren’s baby had anencephaly, where a portion of his skull was missing, and that there was brain tissue floating around the fluid-filled sack of the hole.     More testing revealed that this baby was a girl, which is what she and her husband had hoped for- two little girls.   She learned that there was a high chance that she would miscarry in the upcoming weeks, that if the baby were carried to term it would likely not survive birth, and if she did, she would likely not live long after.  If she were to beat all odds, she would have significant genetic impariment.   Ren and her husband made the agonizing decision to terminate the pregnancy, as she felt the odds were too stacked against her.   She spent 3 months processing what had happened and taking a prescribed prenatal pill.     After the first month of trying, Ren got a positive pregnancy test— which she didn’t believe!     Ren decided to wait until she was a bit further along to reach out to her midwives, as she didn’t want to make the appointments and then have to cancel them.   That first trimester was even worse than the previous, as she was so incredibly sick.     She knew she wanted to have a homebirth, but especially with covid, they were very glad to be planning a homebirth.   MFM recommended that she be induced at 39 weeks, so then Ren had to grapple with the idea of “is this unsafe to have a homebirth” even though her midwives did share that this was not backed by great research.   Ren began doing acupuncture at the beginning of the 3rd trimester.  Her acupuncturist knew that she wanted to give birth before before 39 weeks in hopes of avoiding even the concern of choosing between an induction or homebirth.  She began trying to help things along once they were further into the 3rd trimester.   At 38 weeks Ren realized that she was leaking fluid in the middle of the night.  Labor progressed very slowly, and babe wasn’t born until 48 hours after she began leaking fluid.   During those 48 hours, she bounced on the birth ball, she went to a last minute chiropractor appointment, and her doulas came over to “shake the apple tree”.     Ren encourages women to make sure that they’re preparing mentally for birth— more time focusing on mindset.   In the evening, her doula came over to give support.  Ren’s husband went upstairs to try to comfort their daughter back to sleep, but she wanted her mom.  She ended up coming downstairs to snuggle, which Ren believes was the oxytocin boost she needed to really encourage labor.   She noticed that this labor felt more painful because of her mindset.  She felt like it hurt much more, she was far more noisy and felt like she was having more breakdowns.     She was trying to avoid urges to push, as the second midwife was not yet there.  But finally, a shift was made and there was no holding back the push.  Ren was pushing and apologizing at the same time (her midwives assured her that it was okay!).    Ren’s daughter was able to cut the cord, which was a beautiful experience for everyone.       Episode Roundup   Wow, what a story.  It’s filled with love, loss, heartache and beauty. As we head into this week’s episode roundup, my heart is heavy. I know that Ren is not the only mother out there who has experienced or is experiencing a painful diagnosis for their baby and all of the fear and sorrow that accompanies such an event.  In preparing for this episode, I did reach out to a group of midwives and doulas and even a bereavement doula, who provided me with some resources that their clients have used in the past. Those recommendations have been put in the show notes for you.  If you’re unsure of how to check show notes, usually you can just swipe up on your podcasting app, or go to myhappyhomebirth.com/episode118. Ren also sent me an organization that she found very helpful, and that will be included as well.   You know, I so deeply value the sanctity and sacredness of life, and I so greatly mourn with the mothers and families who are faced with these situations and all of the aftermath that comes with such painful diagnoses.  More than anything, if this pertains to you, I want you to know that you’re not walking this alone.  And if you need support, encouragement or hope, please reach out to me.  I will gladly help you navigate in any way that I can.  Thank you Ren for for feeling safe to share your heartache with us.  And not only your heartache, but your triumphs. To decide at 9.5 centimeters in your kitchen that it’s time for a homebirth… when you previously declared that you wanted an epidural a week before labor… that’s incredible.  My friends, it goes to show you… it’s never too late to change plans! Next, the oxytocin boost of her last labor… this truly caught my attention.  I love that Ren’s daughter’s presence was the catalyst for the increase of intensity in her second birth.  Our hormones are so important when it comes to the physiology of childbirth, as Ren’s snuggly daughter so perfectly showcases.   Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  Thank you, thank you for listening, and I look forward to seeing you back here next week. Ren's Recommended Resource: https://www.sayinggoodbye.org   More Resources: https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/how-to-handle-a-difficult-prenatal-diagnosis/ https://www.stillbirthday.com https://www.umbrellaministries.com https://www.benotafraid.net https://www.carryingtoterm.org https://www.care-net.org     All about Homebirth Mythbusters and Happy Homebirth Academy: Hey Mamas, let me interrupt for a few quick moments to share some great news!  I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  Okay, back to the show!
3/29/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 117: Fixing Your Period

Alright ladies, let’s talk about your period.  If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, think back to before you were pregnant or breastfeeding and let’s be honest:  How was your period?  Hey there Happy Homebirthers, and welcome to episode 117 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.   And today we’re delving into the wild wild world of our hormones and how they relate to our cycle and overall health. I know that many of you are currently not having a period as you’re pregnant or early postpartum, but isn’t this a perfect time to stop and reflect on your cycle and plan for its eventual return?   We’re speaking with two of my very favorite women, Kelly and Tiffany of Beautiful One Midwifery.  They’re licensed midwives and period experts, and they’re going to be sharing the importance of healing your cycle if it is indeed out of balance.   Get ready, because this episode is a gold mine for considering what may be going on with your hormones.    Before we jump in, I want to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, jmccormack1315.   Show Notes Tiffany and Kelly’s goal when opening their practice: To remind families that midwives do more than just help catch babies Well women care is a huge part of their practice Their goal is to help women take control and ownership of their health journey They created a podcast to reach more people with this information They want to help more people more easily, and decided to create a course to help mothers: Fixing Your Period The attitudes around normal, healthy cycles in our bodies is totally off They wanted to create a program that was actually accessible and doable 90% of women who come in for well women care come in with health issues that they can’t quite put their finger on— and it almost always comes down to hormones We have a new opportunity each cycle to try again and see what gains we can improve Many mothers notice their cycles and periods get progressively worse after babies and postpartum   @beautifulonemidwifery beautifulonemidwifery.com/shop Podcast: Lady Stuff with Kelly and Tiffany     Episode Roundup: Just because something is common does not mean it’s normal. Just because most women are struggling with their cycles in some way does not mean that we SHOULD be struggling with our cycles indefinitely.  Which leads me to my co-point, Being a woman does not mean we have to be mood-swingy emotional heaps with acne and migraines.  There are small steps that we can take that can make a massive impact on our hormonal health, which not only helps us, but it helps our families, our relationships, and darn it, our overall enjoyment of life.     So if you’re struggling with your period, or if you’re ready to start preparing BEFORE your cycle comes back— because you KNOW this type of care is going to benefit you whether you’re cycling or pregnant—then I highly encourage you to go check out Tiffany and Kelly at Beautiful One Midwifery and get to Fixing Your Period!   Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.    
3/22/202132 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 116: Unexpected Pregnancy, A Husband's Deployment, and Reframing Birth

What do you do when you become pregnant unexpectedly…and your husband is scheduled to deploy…and you have two littles at home to take care of? For Holly, this was her reality.  You’ll hear how Holly managed her last pregnancy and birth, along with her learning process related to hormone health.  It’s a fascinating episode!  And before we jump in, I want to take just a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, mama bookworm. Mama book worm, thank you SO much for taking the time.  It means so much to me.  If you’ll reach out to me at [email protected] I’ll be sure to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker.   If you’re loving these incredible stories and you have a few free moments, would you scoot over to apple podcasts and leave the show a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and maybe even a review?  It’s a wonderful, free way to support the happy homebirth mission and to get this information into the ears of mothers everywhere!   Okay, let’s get to the fun stuff!    Show Notes: Holly and her husband Will have 3 kiddos- first homebirth was her most recent birth.   Last semester of nursing school, Holly and her husband decided to start trying for their first baby.  They weren’t sure how long it would take them to get pregnant due to some hormone imbalances Holly had. She went to visit her husband on spring break, happened to be ovulating, and got pregnant the first time! They moved to Ohio to finish up the pregnant, and Holly ended up having a midwife at the hospital for her care.  She enjoyed her experience. She found out that her baby was posterior towards the end of pregnancy Labor started in the late evening, and Holly looks back and remembers that she didn’t rest- instead she decided she needed to shave her legs and fix her hair She went to the hospital at 3am and was sent back home She came back to the hospital and was still not “far enough along” to be admitted Soon after, Holly’s water broke, and once that happened, it wasn’t long before baby was born. Holly had one high blood pressure reading—when they were placing the epidural… so they required her to stay an extra day in the hospital At 18months postpartum, Holly and her husband decided to try to get pregnant again.  This was when her hormonal issues began to truly show.   She had several chemical pregnancies and went see an endocrinologist.  They requested that she’d try one round of Clomid + a “trigger” shot to force ovulation, and they got pregnant At 22 weeks, They moved to GA, and they got on with a local OB. Another posterior baby Holly experienced a good bit of prodromal labor with this baby Holly asked to be induced at 41 weeks.   They had to arrive at 4:30, but couldn’t go back until 9— apparently there were a number of emergencies on the floor earlier that day (not what you want to hear!) She does feel that she and her husband were far more prepared for coping during this labor Once again, within an hour of receiving her epidural, Holly was ready to push Another easy-going hospital birth! The transition from one to two children for them was super easy. Between her last two children, Holly began really considering what she was putting “in, on and around” her body She knew that if she wanted to have the experience of the natural birth, she would either have to accidentally get to the hospital too late, or she’d have to have a homebirth.  The epidural was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse! They knew they wanted to have a baby, but they were going to wait until after her husband was deployed in the spring of 2020. He left for training, and Holly wasn’t feeling well.  When he came home, she decided to take a test—- and they were pregnant!  They were excited, but worried since he was deploying. She was excited, though, because she’d been working so hard to rebalance her hormones. They realized that her husband was scheduled to still be deployed when baby was born—by a month and a half She told her husband she wanted a homebirth, and he was uncertain.  They watched The Business of Being Born and Why Not Home, and he was completely on board after that. Even though she was excited for her homebirth, she was feeling anxiety throughout the pregnancy because she knew her husband wouldn’t be there Holly did decide to see an OB first, as she wanted to have the anatomy scan, and to have that covered by insurance. She was not concerned with emergencies, but she was worried about being able to cope with the pain, especially since her husband wouldn’t be there.  That’s where Happy Homebirth (Podcast and Academy) came to the rescue! Even though Holly is a nurse, she realized that there was quite a bit that she didn’t know or had forgotten that was covered inside of HHA.  It was incredibly helpful in here preparation! Holly struggled to take care of herself during her third pregnancy.  Some days she would get to the end of the day and realize she hadn’t yet eaten.   There was quite a bit of emotional up and down, as they realized that Will might make it back in time for the birth.  He arrived home 2 weeks before the baby’s birth. Holly decided to have chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy.  She ended up with an optimally positioned baby! The evening of labor, Holly woke up and went to take a bath.  She listened to Happy Homebirth and relaxed! Holly points out that birth does not always go the way you expect— she untangled her baby’s umbilical cord, and exhaustedly leaned back against the birth pool.  She says she can even see it in pictures— how she looked blank, when she expected to be crying and excited about her baby.  The joy came minutes, later but she was surprised by the wait.   When processing this with her doula and mentioning how it made her feel, her doula shared a quote “it is said that during labor, women travel to the stars to collect their babies and bring them back down to Earth” This completely reframed the way she felt about her exhausting and pause after labor—in the best way. Holly’s birth team became some of her best support while her husband was gone.  Once her care ended postpartum, it felt like quite a loss for her.     Episode roundup: Having someone there to process your birth with you is so encouraging Closing the relationship postpartum can feel like a loss for both parties, and that’s okay.  In the realm of hormones, they make such a massive difference.  If you’re interested in learning more about what Holly did, check out the show notes.  She sent me some resources to share with you.  If you don’t know how to access the show notes, by the way, usually you can do it straight on your podcast episode by scrolling down.  You can also go to myhappyhomebirth.com/episode116 to check them out on the website.  AND… be SURE to tune back in to next week’s podcast episode, where we’ll be learning all about hormones and how they impact your cycle with the incredible midwives of Beautiful One Midwifery.  Don’t miss it!  But that’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.
3/15/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 115:Covid Positive at 37 Weeks... Where Will Kate Give Birth?

So many people have chosen to forgo the hospital for childbirth because of Covid… but what happens when you’re planning an out of hospital birth and test positive for covid…at 37 weeks?     That’s what happened to Kate, and it was quite a difficult time for her, as you’ll see.  But you’ll also see that Kate’s quite resourceful, and her experience certainly makes for an action-packed episode.   In fact, topics covered in this episode include: teen pregnancy, a forced induction, unexpected pregnancy, testing covid positive at 37 weeks, birth center births and becoming a midwife   Before we get into this incredible story, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, KianaMichelleR. And I just have to say, that review was so deeply touching to me, Kiana.  Thank you for such a kind and specific compliment, it truly meant so much to me.  And, it’s a great opportunity for me to just stop and say thank you to all of you for listening.  I know sometimes it’s weird, and podcasts seem like a one way relationship, but I feel like I know you guys, too.  And I genuinely care about you.  So thank you for making this such a lovely space.  Kiana, if you’ll email me at [email protected] I'd love to send you Happy Homebirth podcast sticker.   And hey, if you get a moment, would you head over to apple podcasts to leave a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and maybe even a review?  It’s a free, easy way to support the show and make sure this information gets into the ears of other mothers who would benefit from it.   Okay, that’s good for now.  Let’s get into the good part.    Please remember the opinions of my guests may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you're like me, your chiropractor.   Show Notes At 16, Kate decided to get pregnant.  The relationship disintegrated during the pregnancy, but her mother was great support. She didn’t get great childbirth education for that birth.   She did her best to breastfeed her first, but she’d never seen anyone nurse before.  The breastfeeding relationship lasted 6 weeks.   With her second pregnancy, she waited until she was in a good relationship (5 years later) before becoming pregnant.     Wanted a girl but didn’t want to know the gender, but the ultrasound tech accidentally gave away that it was a boy at 15 weeks.   She was in pre-nursing school at this time.   At 37 weeks, she had one high blood pressure reading, so they recommended induction.  She was only 1 cm dilated and baby at -3 station, yet they broke her water.  Luckily, there were no complications.   2 hours later she was complete.  The nurse told her to do a practice push, and the baby began crowning.  The nurse shoved her legs together and told her not to push.  She waited 10-15 minutes for the Dr to come in from a C-section.   She’d asked for delayed cord clamping, but the Dr. Clamped it immediately after birth.     The nursing staff made the baby take formula because he had jaundice, and she was incredibly disappointed with that.   Went back to work at 4 weeks postpartum.   10 months postpartum, she jokingly took an ovulation test with a friend— it was such a strong positive, that she worried that the HCG was high meaning she was actually pregnant.  She took 3 pregnancy tests.   Her husband had just told her that he didn’t want more kids— so she was terrified when she found out that she was actually pregnant.   One month later she found out that she’d been accepted into nursing school.   Kate used podcasts, especially Happy Homebirth, to prepare for her pregnancy.  She couldn’t go to a childbirth education program in person because of covid, so this was her form of preparation and even almost “hypnosis”   With all that was going on, and her inability to start nursing school in August, she began looking into schooling to become a Certified Professional Midwife.     At 37 weeks, they found out that her husband was positive for covid.  Kate tested negative at that time.  She was absolutely crushed and frustrated.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to go to the birth center for 10 days.   Her midwife advised her that if she were to go into labor within the next 10 days that she go to the hospital— which Kate was not willing to do.   She searched high and low, and finally found a midwife who agreed that she would attend her birth at home if she went into labor within the next 10 days.  That night she started having contractions and was concerned that it was time.  The midwife told her to take a shower and see how things went-  Luckily the contractions calmed down and she stayed pregnant.   On Oct 8th she had some minor contractions, but she didn’t think much of them because of the previous false alarm.   Decided to go to the birth center that evening to get checked.  When she arrived, another mother was there having a decently long labor.  She was in the birth room Kate had wanted!   Kate laid on the peanut ball for several contractions, and suddenly she was in very active labor.   Kate got in the birth pool at 9 cm, and she soon began to push.  She only pushed 3 times,    She remembers that her husband said something to the baby, and the baby looked up at him directly.   Kate loved the fact that her birth team completely respected her wishes.     She did a cord burning, which she loved so that all could be involved.   She loved the fact that while she was settling down, she could hear a mother in the next room beginning to push.   Instagram: Katedecker99   School is going great for her, and she now works at the birth center where she had her baby.   Episode Roundup:   Stress has a physiological effect, as Kate discussed when she went through her covid scare at 37 weeks.  She began having contractions and the like.  This is just a small example of why it’s so important for us to mitigate that stress whenever possible.  Obviously, Kate couldn’t control the situation around her… but sometimes, a hot shower will do just the thing! Isn’t it so neat to hear stories that have such an unexpected twist?  The fact that Kate went to the birth center assuming she’d head home soon… hops on a peanut ball, and suddenly she’s ready to push out a baby!  Our bodies are just amazing. And finally, we need more midwives.  I’m so excited that Kate is working towards joining the ranks, and if you’re out there wondering if birth work might be right for you… this is me saying, hey!  If you’re feeling called, try it out.  We need you! Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.
3/8/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep 114: Pivoting in Birth and Preparing for Postpartum with Pure Motherhood Co.

How do we prepare for the unknowns of birth and postpartum in a holistic, positive way, even when we know that we can’t control every aspect of our experience?   This week we’re speaking with Jenny and Wendy, sisters and owners of Pure Motherhood Co.  Jenny and Wendy have experienced their fair share of birth plan pivots, and they’re teamed up to provide resources for mothers from pregnancy through postpartum regarding the process.  I know you’ll enjoy this conversation.  Stick around until the end—so many amazing nuggets are shared!   Before we dive into this episode, let me take a quick moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Aloha Zo.  Thanks so much, Zoe, and if you’ll send me an e-mail at [email protected], I’ll be sure to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker!   Okay friends, let’s jump into our chat with the founders of Pure Motherhood Co, Wendy and Jenny!   Show Notes Jenny Gallard and Wendy Davis both live in Florida   Jenny has three children, and Wendy has one sone   These sisters own Pure Motherhood Co.:  They launched January 2020, and it came from a need that they felt was missing in the motherhood/birth industry. Both sisters were in business separately in the motherhood world, and they decided to join forces. Both sisters had somewhat traumatic childbirth events, and they wanted to help others prevent that experience, but also recover. Puremotherhood Co is a one-stop shop for products and services from pregnancy through toddler age They want to give a space for mothers “in the middle”.  They’re holistic, yet they want a place for mothers to be able to come and say “I’m struggling”   “Yes we use essential oils, but also sometimes our kids eat cheetos!”   Jenny’s first birth was a c-section.  In order to have a supportive VBAC, she realized she would have to have a homebirth.   She planned and prepared for her homebirth.  During the birth she ended up needing to transport to the hospital.  After 57 hours, she ended up needing another cesarean section.   She wants women to know that it’s incredibly important to plan for birth, but that you also have to be open to pivoting    Wendy knew that she was going to plan for a homebirth after seeing the experience Jenny had at home   Just like Jenny, at exactly 27 hours of laboring at home, Wendy’s midwife recommended her going to the hospital because her water had been broken for 24 hours.   After some time in the hospital, Wendy was labeled with “Failure to Progress” and ended up with a c section.   Even more traumatic for Wendy was her postpartum experience.  She dealt with postpartum anxiety and depression, and it was a terrible struggle.     It’s important to balance the idea that we can do so much to prepare for birth, but we also have to remember that birth is unexpected and untamable.     In regards to postpartum, it’s once again so important to prepare for postpartum.   Jenny and Wendy recommend a “code word” for postpartum to use when moms are ready to have visitors leave— such a great idea! It’s important to educate the partner on signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression   They also highly recommend having a plan already set in place:  Who will do the dishes and clean up the house?  Who will we call if we have breastfeeding issues or postpartum depression issues?   puremotherhood.co   instagram: puremotherhoodco   Pure Motherhood University     Episode Roundup:   Woooah, some good points were brought up in this week’s episode!  As we head into our episode roundup, let’s do a quick recap of a few:   It’s important to realize that we can do plenty to positively influence our birthing experience.  Preparation, mindfulness and education can highly impact our experience… HOWEVER… we’ve got to balance this with the understanding that birth is not something for us to control, it’s something for us to surrender to.  So sometimes our plans may change, and that’s okay.  When we’re coming from a place of empowerment and a place of authority over our experience, rolling with the changes is much easier. We’ve got to continue planning… not only for birth, but throughout the postpartum period.  Creating a list of resources beforehand is massive, as Jenny and Wendy shared, and as I mentioned my students do inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  Getting ready before you’re in the throes of newborn life is a great way to help out future you.   Surround yourself with community.  It makes a world of difference to know that you aren’t going through any of these life changes alone.   Thank you so much Jenny and Wendy for coming on the show and sharing your experiences and useful resources, and thank you all for tuning in.  That’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.   Sponsor Message: Hey Mamas, let me take a few quick moments to share some great news!  I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  
3/1/202139 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 113: Homestead Homebirths: A Long Labor and A Precipitous Birth

For those of you who have given birth before—when did you KNOW you were in labor?  Was it a slow, gradual realization, or did you only know for sure when you started feeling your body pushing?!   For Megan, who dealt with prodromal labor for weeks…. well, it wasn’t until she felt herself pushing that she finally realized “Okay yep, this is definitely happening”.  Her second homebirth was vastly different from her first, as we’ll soon hear.  But before we jump into the episode, I’d love to thank our reviewer of the week, Alexa J B.  Thanks so much, Alexa!  And if you get just a moment today, would you mind hopping over to apple podcasts and leaving a rating… perhaps even a review?  It’s such a great, free way to support the show, and I’m so appreciative.   Show Notes   Megan’s first baby—was lost to a miscarriage, but she feels like this baby saved her in a way.  She has Graves disease, and the doctors wanted to take out her thyroid.  They checked to see if she was pregnant, and she was. Megan then decided to heal her thyroid with herbs She became pregnant the next month, and began seeing the midwife who is the “family midwife”— This midwife has caught babies for her mother in law and sister in law! Her first pregnancy went well With the first labor, she was in transition for 3 hours, then also had to push for 3 hours— She had cervical lip, which was highly uncomfortable. She planned to have a water birth, but once she got in, it started sagging.  They realized the cat had put a hole in the birth pool, so Megan’s husband and midwife had to bail the pool as fast as possible while Megan sat on the couch.   She moved to the birth stool, the cervical lip finally released Megan became pregnant 6 months postpartum with her second baby.  Her milk supply began dropping before she realized she was pregnant, and was so concerned and confused— until she realized she was pregnant. She felt she didn’t “experience” pregnancy as much with her second baby, as she was trying to  keep up with her first babe.  She did the raw milk formula from Nourishing Traditions, which was very labor intensive. Megan had prodromal labor for 3 weeks. Because of the prodromal labor, she wasn’t certain she was actually labor until she was in transition. That night: she began have contractions, but that was common.  She made some tea, tried to relax, and then was suddenly DEEP into labor.  She’d been in labor for only half an hour when her contractions were lasting 60 seconds with only 60 seconds in between.   Even though her body began to push on its own, she was still in a bit of denial— she thought that she might still only be 2 cm. As his head is coming out, Megan’s husband still has absolutely no idea what’s going on.  She lunges, and he says, “What are you doing!?”  Her midwife barely missed the birth.   Megan began shaking rather violently after the birth because of all the adrenaline She worried that having two children so close in age would be nearly impossible, and that she wouldn’t be able to function well.  This has not been the case at all!  She’s still been able to work her homestead, run an online business, and even can an entire year’s worth of food for her family.   Episode Roundup: What a fun conversation.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I’m thinking of how different everyone’s experience of not only labor, but also early motherhood can be with each baby.  I’m specifically thinking of how Megan was so concerned that her life would be incredibly difficult with two babies so close together— that she wouldn’t be able to get anything done— and then, it wasn’t that way at all!  I think of how if someone asks, “Which was the hardest transition— going from no children to one, or one to two, two to three…” when you ask 3 different mothers, you’ll likely get three different answers.  It’s an important reminder that each story and experience is different, and the best option is to go into the journey with an open mind, and a willingness to ask for help when we need it.  And hey, maybe we’ll need it, maybe we won’t! Maybe we’ll be able to be the one offering the help to someone else.  And Megan, I’ll still take you up on that offer to come can food at my house!
2/22/202144 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 112: A Homebirth Not in Your Home: Kadie's Airbnb Birth

  When you imagine your homebirth, what do you picture?  Where are you?  Maybe you’re laboring in your bedroom, your kitchen or living room….  But… do you picture yourself giving birth in a home other than your own?  Sometimes it happens, my friends, and we’ll learn today with Kadie’s birth story.     Kadie and Sarah, two sisters and two of my favorite gals, are going to share the very interesting, sometimes very difficult journey Kadie had to face throughout her pregnancy, and even labor.  But… as you’ll learn, a plan came together and Kadie was able to have her homebirth… even if it wasn’t in her own home.   Now before we jump into this super amazing interview, I want to remind you that Happy Homebirth Academy is back on the market for the general public!  New material has been added, and new bonuses are available.  We even mention one inside of the interview.  And… did you miss the free class Homebirth Mythbusters last week?  It was a PARTY.  I received so much positive, encouraging feedback from it, so I’m not done.  There will be ONE MORE opportunity to join this free masterclass this coming Thursday, February 18th.  Seriously you don’t want to miss this.  And there’s a live Q&A at the end, that has been fulllll of great information both times.  Ask me your burning questions!  So myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters is the place to go to reserve that seat.   Now let me thank our reviewer of the week, KaylinBattiste.   Thanks so much, Kaylin.  If you’ll email me at [email protected], I’ll send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker!   Speaking of that, if you have a free minute, would you head over to apple podcasts and leave a (hopefully) 5 star rating and review?  You guys are seriously the best at helping the show grow its reach, and this is just one way of doing it.  If you’re getting benefit from listening to the stories of these incredible mothers, would you spread the word?  I so appreciate it.   Alrighty, friends!  That’s enough jabbering on my end.  Let’s bring in my lovely friends.  Please remember.     Kadie and her husband had to “work” to get pregnant- she and Jeff decided to try chiropractic care, and they became pregnant within 2 months.   She had to move across country at the END of her pregnancy- From Las Vegas to Georgia   She struggled while being pregnant during Covid because of zoom appointments and the lack of ability to hug and be close.   She planned to give birth in Georgia, but the relationship with that midwife fell through.  She realized she would have to change her plans   Sarah said, “Let me put something in place for you up here.”  Sarah called her midwife and asked if she’d be willing to attend Kadie’s birth if she came to town.  She said “yes!”  Everything fell together within 2 hours, and Kadie just went into her husband’s arms and collapsed with happiness.   Kadie came to visit on Thanksgiving, went back home to Valdosta, then 2 days after having gotten home.   On the way from Valdosta, Kadie booked an Airbnb (at 3 am!).  She slept as much as she could.    Sarah and her daughter went to a Dollar Tree to grab supplies to make birth affirmations to decorate the room.   It was important for Kadie to go into active labor— she was GBS+ plus her water had broken beforehand…. This put everyone on a bit more of a clock than normal   It was important to Kadie to allow her body to do whatever it needed to do.  With everything around her changing, she wanted a few pieces to be stable.   The one thing she envisioned was bringing her baby up to her chest.   Kadie did rest, but when she woke up, she threw up.  Because of Happy Homebirth Academy, she knew this was a “good sign”!   When Katelyn arrived, she was in the dark bedroom with her husband, Jeff.     Kadie moved to the living room, swayed with Jeff, kneeled on the floor, then sank to the floor.  She wanted to lay on the cold hard floor and wanted as much counter pressure as possible.  She laid on her side, and Sarah and Katelyn pressed her body into the floor.  The cold floor and the blue from the tv were very comforting in that moment.   Katelyn and Sarah took turns setting up the birthing space.  Kadie suddenly felt her body beginning to push without her trying.  Sarah asked her to go to the bathroom to pee.  She felt her moan changing and her body beginning to push on its own.   Kadie went to the bedroom as she pushed.  She leaned over the bed, then somewhat “jellyfished” to the floor.  She lifted one leg into a runner’s stance.     Another moment that was very important to Kadie was feeling her baby’s head as she was pushing.   Kadie mentions how knowing what was going on with her body allowed her to feel comfortable… it also helps her remember very specific moments of her birth, where she connected what she had learned to what she was experiencing.   Kadie’s first words to her baby were, “Are you going to be a Mama’s Boy?!”   Katelyn remembers seeing Kadie lean back with a look of both exhaustion and complete peace.  A mixture of, “I just gave my everything, and now I have my Everything.”     Kadie’s husband then shouted out the baby’s name, which they hadn’t 100% decided upon.  He felt certain that the name Kadie wanted was the exact name that he was supposed to be named.   Happy Homebirth Academy- Homebirth Dad Panel is a bonus available right now     Kadie and Jeff did HHA together.  She loved the fact that she could go through the program, then as she got closer review many of the modules.   Kadie mentions how HHA discusses the importance of understanding the postpartum experience, which she needed desperately.  She was so happy to feel comfortable with what was going on in the postpartum experience and felt like she totally understood everything was happening to her.   Kadie had to move to a new Airnbnb.  It had tons of massive stairs, so the men made a sling chair and hoisted Kadie up into the house (she was healing from a tear).   Kadie did have to deal with a great number of disappointments- having to move, having to switch to a birth in an airbnb instead of her new home.     The fact that she was able to hold onto her mindset in the midst      Episode Roundup   Situations can change.  This can happen in so many different ways for so many different reasons.  But even when we can’t control the situation, we can control our mindset.  Kadie knew she’d have to give a little, but she held dear the aspects that were most important to her, and she focused on those.  Allowing her body to do what it needed to do, touching her baby’s head when pushing, and being the one to reach down and bring him to her chest.  Sisters are the best, aren’t they?  Sarah and Kadie’s relationship is such a beautiful example of family coming together and helping in every possible way they can.  I sure love ‘em, I know you do too after this interview.   Understanding what is going on in your body is not only a wonderful way to remain calm and relaxed during labor as different events begin unfolding, but it’s also a great way to remember very specific aspects of your labor, as Kadie mentioned.  How incredible that you’ll have these mental snapshots to hold dear and remember simply because you knew the landmarks of labor.  And though I may be slightly bias, I do believe that Happy Homebirth Academy truly prepares you for the variances of labor and what it may hold for you.  I do believe that it gives you the information you need to be an active participant in your birthing experience.  SO.  If that’s what you want, make sure you join us.  Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/enroll
2/15/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 111: Nicole Attempts a Homebirth After a Previous Hospital Transport

When your first homebirth turns into a transport, what do you do with baby #2?  Do you plan for the hospital, or attempt another homebirth?   Today we’ll be speaking with Nicole, who had to decide just that— should I try again at home?  Now before we jump into the episode, I want to remind you of some super exciting news.  This week I’m hosting a free learning event— Homebirth Mythbusters: The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth.  This masterclass is perfect for you, whether you’ve already chosen to give birth at home, or if you’d just like to have some questions answered before you make a decision.    Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat.  A replay will be available, should you not be able to make it live.  But… attending live is perfect so that you can have all of your questions answered!    I’d also like to thank our reviewer of the week, Jersey Girl 1223455667   Thanks so much, Jersey Girl!  Please send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll send you a happy homebirth sticker   Okay, my friends.  Let’s head on over to the interview.  Please remember   Show Notes Took Nicole and  her husband a year to conceive her first— struggled with hormonal imbalances She delved into homebirth stories at that time— she didn’t think it was something that she would do with her first, but they watched The Business of Being Born and decided to look into it  At 41.3, Nicole’s midwife did cervical acupressure, which dilated her from 2 cm to 3 cm She was desperate to have her baby— she was doing everything she could to get labor started. She had a large birth team and felt like she needed everyone there After 36 hours of labor, they transported for pitocin   With the second baby, there was no doubt that they’d attempt a homebirth.  However, Nicole did have concern that her body might not “work”. However, the transport was so successful, she wasn’t worried about being under the care of a midwife again anyway.   Nicole learned about Happy Homebirth Podcast and began listening.  When she realized that Happy Homebirth Academy was available, she immediately purchased it and immersed herself in the program. She and her husband bonded through preparing with one another again.      On her due date, Nicole and her family decided to go camping.  They camped, then in the morning they went on a 3-hour hike.  She was exhausted, so she took a nap, which was irregular for her.   Later on in the day she noticed that her Braxton hicks contractions seemed a bit crampier.    That evening, Nicole’s parents suggest that they go home just to be safe.  Nicole agreed, but not because she thought she was in labor—only because she wanted to sleep in her comfortable bed!   35 minutes into the ride, she had her first “very real” contraction.  Suddenly they were coming consistently.     The second midwife came to check her when she got home and let her know that she was at 2 cm, so likely in early labor, but it could be a long time.   Nicole rested through the night, even though she was experiencing contractions throughout   She noticed that at this labor she was able to cope much better this labor.  Where last time she NEEDED people to hold and help her, this time she only needed her husband to remind her to breathe during contractions.     Suddenly, Nicole’s labor went from 0 to 100.  Her husband texted the midwives, and one headed over.  Once she arrived, she checked Nicole and told her she was complete with her bag of waters bulging   Nicole was in shock that not only did her body “work”, but it worked so quickly! She wasn’t ready to push, though, but finally realized that it was her bladder was completely full, but she wasn’t able to pee.     Her midwife realized that he baby was asynclitic, and his head was untucked.  Because of this position, Nicole had to lie down on her bed with her knees to her chest.  Her midwife helped maneuver his head with each contraction to help him exit the birth canal.   The end of the labor was a lot and very difficult.  In fact, the labors were complete opposites.  With the first, the labor itself was long and difficult, but pushing was fast and easy.  With the second, it was fast and easy, but pushing was long and difficult.   Once her placenta was removed, they realized that it was bi-lobed, which means it looked almost like two placentas.  It was anterior, so between these two issues, that’s probably why her baby was having a difficult time exiting in the right position.     Episode Roundup:   What a lovely episode.  As we head into this weeks episode roundup, I’ve got a few thoughts I’d love to cover.   A hospital transport is not a failure.  Nicole was able to get the additional support she needed, and she ended up having a successful vaginal birth.  That’s a huge win. Just because Nicole’s first birth ended up in a hospital transport, this did not deter her from homebirth midwifery with her second pregnancy.  She loved the care that she received and knew that she likely would have a successful homebirth this time and even if she ended up needing to transport again, the care she would receive prenatally was completely worth working with her midwife again. Nicole and her husband rededicated themselves to preparation in their second pregnancy.  They took Happy Homebirth Academy together, and Nicole felt far more mentally prepared for her second labor with this style of preparation.  If you’re curious to learn more about Happy Homebirth Academy, make sure you’re signed up for homebirth mythbusters masterclass: Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to sign up Every birth is different—and sometimes they’re completely OPPOSITE!  Nicole went from a long labor with a fast pushing phase to a fast labor and a long pushing phase.  Each birth is its own story, so go into it with an open mind.   Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you this week… I’m looking forward to seeing you at our homebirth mythbusters masterclass!  
2/8/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 110: From Fearful to Fearless: Franchesca Overcomes Anxiety and Gives Birth at Home

 Let’s say you struggle with anxiety.  Does that automatically count you out as a candidate for homebirth?   Welcome to BONUS Episode 100!    Because of all of the exciting things going on around Happy Homebirth, I felt a bonus episode was warranted for this week.  What exciting things?  Well if you haven’t heard, I’m hosting a totally free, totally awesome masterclass next week.  It’s called Homebirth Mythbusters: The 5 Myths You Need to Bust to Have a Happy Homebirth.  So…. Are you pregnant and considering homebirth?  Curious, perhaps, but you’ve got some reservations?  Or maybe you already know that you’re FOR SURE having a homebirth… either way, this free learning opportunity is for you!   I wanted to share Franchesca’s story in celebration of this event. Why?  Well, I’ll give you a two-fold reason.  First, Franchesca’s concern with homebirth was very anxiety-based.  However, as you’ll soon hear, she took steps to work through the anxiety, and decided to give birth at home.   Second, Franchesca is a successful graduate of my childbirth education program, Happy Homebirth Academy.  She used my course to prepare herself physically, mentally and emotionally to give birth at home.  Because I’m now hosting a FREE learning opportunity, I wanted to share a story from someone who entrusted me with their education and had a great experience with it.  So, what are you waiting for, and what do you have to lose?  Go sign up for Homebirth Mythbusters -- right now!  There are several times and days available, and there will be a replay sent to everyone who signs up if the times don’t work for you.  But of course, try to show up live—so that I can answer your burning questions on the spot! Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to reserve your seat now!   Okay, let’s waste no time and jump into Franchesca’s incredible story!   Show Notes Franchesca and her husband grew up across the street together.  He was 3 years older than her.  They lost touch for 10 years, then reconnected.  They dated for a year and got married exactly a year later.   She “definitely didn’t want kids”, and her husband said he could go either way. They got married in 2018.  About 4 weeks later, Franchesca began balling because she realized she wanted kids.  Her husband laughed and said that’s totally okay. They waited until spring of 2020 to begin trying They became pregnant on their first attempt   Franchesca wanted to use a private OB so that she would know who would deliver her baby.  She expected to use pain medication to avoid anxiety Unfortunately, she did not mesh with her OB very well.  The OB was very nice, but did not understand Franchesca’s anxiety.  She seemed rather dismissive and would tell her, “You don’t want to rub anxiety off on your child…”   Decided to meet with a midwife to see if she could hire her to watch her at home only for labor   The midwife came over the same day and chatted with Franchesca.  Eventually, she asked— Have you considered homebirth? Franchesca mentioned that she had big fears about emergencies, particularly related to bleeding.  Her midwife shared how she carries Pitocin and other medications should bleeding occur.   She decided to tell her OB her plans of laboring at home, especially when she found out that her OB was friends with the midwife.   One issue she had with the OB was that she was wishy-washy.  She said she supported Franchesca working with the midwife, then she suddenly began pushing the idea that she shouldn’t work with a midwife.   She began considering homebirth more, though she always allowed herself the feeling that if she needed to go into the hospital or wanted pain medication, she would easily go in.     Franchesca decided to purchase Happy Homebirth Academy.  She mentions the thoroughness of the course, and how knowing each step that your body is going through during labor is incredibly important.     At 37 weeks she was checked by her OB…. She said that she assumed she would be in labor within the week (She was only 1 cm dilated).   Towards the end of pregnancy, Franchesca began attempting to help her baby out: sex, nipple stimulation, red raspberry tea   On the day before her baby was born, she and her husband went on a walk, had sex, went on another walk, went to the mall and had a massage: Perfect recipe for labor!   Towards the end of the day, she felt like she was getting lots of downward pressure, and maybe even contractions.  She was trying to continue on with normal life, but it was very difficult for her to stay distracted.   She texted her midwife to let her know that she was having contractions, though they weren’t painful.  She told her to take a bath to see if they’d go away.  They intensified somewhat.   Her midwife told her to take a Benadryl and try to get some sleep if she could.     At 5:30 or 6 she woke up and knew that she was truly in labor.     Her midwife came over and checked on her, then said she would give her the IV antibiotics for Group B Strep, though her veins are very small and difficult.  Her midwife allowed her to have an intramuscular shot instead.   She got in the birth pool at 3pm and stayed in until 8pm—when she was in transition.  At that point, she asked her midwife if it was too late to go to the hospital.  She said, “I can prep you, but if you want an epidural I’ll have to give you 2 bags of fluids first… by the time you get to the hospital and actually get the epidural, you’ll be ready to push a baby out.”   Finally her mom and husband asked if the midwife could break her water.  The midwife said, “let me check her first…” she went to check Franchesca, and her water burst on its own…. Suddenly Franchesca felt the deep urge to push.   Her baby began crowning, and she felt it was intense, but not her least favorite part of labor.  The head emerged, so her husband caught the baby and handed it to her.     Her midwife said, “At one point, I asked God to give you this experience so that you’d know that you are healthy and strong.”  Franchesca says that it did change the way she believes in her body.     Episode Roundup:   Anxiety does not have to opt you out of a homebirth.  You CAN take steps to conquer your fears, learn about your body, and learn your strengths as a woman through the process of midwifery care and homebirth. I found it so interesting, and such a neat perspective that Franchesca was in no way dogmatic about her choices.  She allowed herself the grace to choose where she would finally give birth all the way up and through her labor.  Though this may not be the way others view their home birthing decision, I certainly appreciate Franchescha mentioning this, and I do believe it could be a very helpful approach for some. Finally, as Franchesca mentioned, knowing what is happening during the labor is over half the battle!  When you know that what you’re experiencing is normal, you can relax, let go, and allow your body and baby to work together.  To learn more about this process, make sure that you’re signed up for my free upcoming masterclass, Homebirth Mythbusters- the 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth.  Remember, head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to reserve your seat.  Spaces are limited, so don’t wait!  Okay, my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  I’ll see you back here next week.  
2/4/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 109: Prepare Your Partner for Homebirth with The Paternal Partner

Did your spouse have any quality resources to help him prepare for homebirth?     Today, we have the privilege of speaking to the man behind the coolest YouTube find ever, The Paternal Partner.  Sam Evans, a homebirth dad of two has taken the guesswork out of the dad birth prep.  This episode is full of insight when it comes to partner preparation, and Sam gives us some incredible tips and resources along the way.   This episode is so perfectly aligned with some crazy exciting news I have for you all.  There’s a new *totally free* learning opportunity for all of you, and it’s perfect for everyone considering homebirth and for those who have already made the decision.  It’s called Homebirth Mythbusters, and registration is available now!  To reserve your seat and learn the 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth, head over to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters.  And tell ALLLLL of your friends, because this event is going to be a party!  GO NOW!   Thanks so much, Ellie!  If you’ll send me an email at [email protected], I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.  And if *you* have a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5-star rating and review, I will be forever grateful.   Show Notes Sam's wife, Sarah, knew she wanted to have children, and she knew she wanted a homebirth.  When she met Sam, she let him know this from the beginning. Sam was totally on board, and when they became pregnant with their first babe, they knew they'd be hiring a midwife. The experience went wonderfully, though Sam realized there were some aspects of preparation that he'd overlooked.  He didn't realize how much there was to know-- what the heck is Vitamin K?!! He also learned that his feelings of tension and stress could impact both his wife and the baby. Second time around, he and his wife were once again on the homebirth train.   Their daughter was born on the later side of the spectrum, which can increase the possibility of meconium aspiration. She was born safely and was a beautiful pink.  However, as she rested on her mother's chest, she suddenly became limp and was struggling to breathe.   Sarah and Sam's midwife took confident control of the situation and performed neonatal resuscitation until the paramedics arrived.  The family was transported to the hospital, where their daughter Maggie was able to receive more help.     This experience, although not what they would have hoped, was still what they would have chosen over the hospital.   Since that time, Sam has created and founded The Paternal Partner-- a YouTube channel and website designed for dads.  He's teaching dads what they need to know about pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting in fun, quick videos.     This is such a fantastic resource, and I'm so grateful to be able to share it with you all!   Sam gives his top 10 tips for dads in the episode, so click to listen!     Show Links: https://www.thepaternalpartner.com Home Births Demystified for Dads Castor Oil Video  Home Birth: How to Talk to Your Worried Loved Ones (R&B Jam) The Price of Labor & Delivery   Episode Roundup:   What a solid episode!  I’m thrilled to have had Sam on the podcast, and I look forward to seeing his channel take off— it’s such a needed resource!   As we head into the episode roundup, I want to linger on two important points we made today. A homebirth doesn’t have to be perfect to be safe.  The story of Sam’s second baby’s birth is a perfect example of emergencies are handled at home.  Yes, emergencies still happen at home.  Albeit, rarely, but they do happen!  Luckily, Sam and Sarah had a midwife who was experienced and fully trustworthy.  She took confident control of the situation and kept everyone safe as they transported to the hospital for more support. We can use birth to capitalize on our relationships.  When we come together as partners and spend time considering how we’ll work together, both in labor and in parenthood, we truly set ourselves and each other up for success
2/1/202140 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 108: Labor logistics in the Home vs. the Hospital with Julia Pelly

Does homebirth affect your partner’s involvement?  I’m excited to share Julia’s stories, as we see quite a difference in how she and her family were able to work together in the hospital versus the home.  This isn’t an aspect we’ve covered much on the podcast, and Julia’s story brings up some amazing points.  Let’s dive in!   Show Notes Julia and her husband became pregnant earlier in their marriage than they had expected, though they immediately became very excited.  When they lost their first pregnancy, Julia and her husband realized they were ready to begin their family and decided to try to become pregnant again.   Once pregnant again, they prepared for birth with a Bradley class.  They found the information to be incredibly helpful, and they looked forward to a natural birth in the hospital.  However, once they arrived at the hospital, Julia struggled with the intensity, especially because her husband had to continuously be pulled away from her do paperwork, etc.    She was checked and realized she was only at a 4.  Because of the intensity and the expectation that labor would go on for hours, she agreed to an epidural.  Only 45 minutes later, she pushed her baby out.  She did have a terrible tear that shaped her postpartum experience.  It was very difficult to recover. Julia had another miscarriage, and then shortly after became pregnant again.  With this pregnancy, she chose to go back to the same OB practice, as it had now added midwives (though the OB would still deliver the baby).   She still wanted a natural delivery, but her confidence was shaken.  She decided to hire a doula and assumed this would keep her from a medicated delivery.  However, once in the hospital, the story happened similarly to the first.  Things felt intense, but she was checked and found only to be at 4cm.  She tried to continue on laboring, but eventually said to her doula, “I can’t do this anymore- I want the epidural.” The doula agreed and went to fetch the Dr.  Julia remembers thinking, “Wait, I thought you’d talk me out of it!” After receiving the epidural, she was checked 30 minutes later and found to be complete.  She did decide to wait longer until she felt an actual urge to push, so she waited 45 minutes. Her baby was born soon after with minimal tearing.  She was able to use a hand mirror to see him come out, and the Dr. Helped her reach down and put the baby to her chest.  This postpartum was much easier without the severe tearing.   3 years later, Julia became pregnant again.  She decided to work with a CPM in NC, where midwives are unable to obtain licensure.  Julia lost this baby at 12 weeks, which has become even more devastating each time.  Especially this time, as they had shared the news with friends and family.   With her next cycle, Julia became pregnant with her most recent baby.  She chose to work with the midwives again, but decided to stay on care with her current OB/Midwife office throughout the 20 week anatomy scan so that she could have insurance coverage through that time.   The reasons she particularly wanted a homebirth: she wanted her kids and family involved, and she didn’t feel that she could have an unmedicated birth in the hospital.   On July 30th, Julia slept in until 10:30.  She stood up, and her water broke.  She went much of the day without contractions, so she spent time with her kids and prepared some snacks. Around 6:30 she began feeling contractions. At 8, she called the midwife. Her husband and 6 year old were amazing supporters, both helping her through contractions.  Her son was so excited for a baby sister, and he was very happy to be involved with the birth. At 10, Julia’s midwife checked her and found that she was at 6cm and baby was at -1 station.   The midwife told her it may helpful to get out of the pool, as contractions were so far apart.  Perhaps she should eat and walk around.  She had her husband go downstairs to get a snack, and at that moment, she suddenly felt her baby shift all the way down to crowning.  The midwives called for her husband and son, they came back, and she pushed her baby out in one contraction.   Julia felt so overwhelmingly loved and supported during her homebirth.  She felt like her husband was able to take on the perfect birth partner role now that he didn’t have to worry about all of the logistical issues of hospital birth. It was an incredibly redemptive birth.     Episode Roundup: 1. Children can be amazing to have at the birth, and they generally handle it very well.  Especially when they have a job!  I loved having my daughter present for my second baby’s birth.  We had my sister here to help keep her entertained when necessary, but it was beautiful having her involvement as her baby sister was born. 2. Where you give birth can have an impact on how your partner is able to care for you.  This is huge, and such a great point to consider!  When you’re leaving the home, there will be more logistical issues, more tasks… simply put, more things for him to do and consider.  When staying home, he can be focused on caring for you.  This gives such a sense of empowerment to both parents, and allows for a family birthing experience.
1/25/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 107: Ready to Unpop! Two Homebirth Stories and An "Unpopular" Book with Tori Smith

What unpopular child birthing or childrearing practice do you partake in?  Homebirth?  Cloth diapering?  Bed sharing?  I find myself checking many of these boxes… and truth be told, these “unpopular” choices are actually gaining popularity!   I’m so excited for today’s interview with Tori, who is a homebirth mother to two, and author of the new book Ready to Unpop.  She dives into the “unpopular” practices in her book, and sheds light on the benefits and why mothers may choose to make those decisions.  She’ll be sharing her two birth stories with us, and then explaining how this led to her writing this exciting and helpful new book.   Before we jump in, would you take a moment to head to apple podcasts and leave a 5 star rating for us?  Maybe even a nice review?  You’re helping the podcast beyond measure when you do this.  I’d love to thank Rachel Clare, who left this sweet review: Rachel, if you’ll email me at [email protected], I’d love to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker!   And— exciting news!  Happy Homebirth has joined the Pinterest world!  If you’re on pinterest, come follow along!    www.pinterest.com/myhappyhomebirth   Show Notes: Tori Smith   Her first birthing experience went unaccording to plan.  She was initially seeing an OB because she thought that her pre-existing condition of arthritis would risk her out of homebirth.  When her OB told her that was not the case, she decided to switch.  He was willing to serve as her backup. She knew that she wanted a natural birth, but her partner and family were uncomfortable with the idea of a homebirth.  Instead, they planned to give birth in a freestanding birth center. As her labor began, she called her doula.  She was feeling intense contractions, but was confused, as everyone expected her first labor to be very long.  After conversing with her midwife, the midwife decided to come to her home and check up on her.  Once she arrived and performed an exam, she asked, “Would you be okay with having the baby at home? I don’t think you’ll make it to the birth center.” Tori’s midiwife went to grab her equipment, her partner grabbed extra towels, and they readied themselves for an unexpected homebirth.  The birth went beautifully, and Tori knew that if she had another baby, it would most certainly be a PLANNED homebirth. Her birth team was preparing for a super fast birth, so when she went into labor, Tori was nervous that she wouldn’t call everyone in time.  She had her doula come over, and contractions seemed to slow a bit.  They all decided to sit down and watch Titanic.  Later, Tori found out that her daughter was born on the day the Titanic set sail, and her due date was for the day it sank.  She had no idea of this when she picked out the movie! Soon, contractions started back.  Her midwife came over, and helped her with suggestions to have her water naturally break.  Once it did, the intensity greatly increased. Tori hopped into the birth pool and gave one push, and the head of her baby was out.  Once she was fully out, the midwives recognized that the baby was not yet responsive.  They performed resuscitative measures for 3 minutes, and her baby took her first breath.   Tori’s experiences have led her to write a book, “Ready to Unpop,” which she hopes will bridge the gap between the mainstream and more holistic models of care.  Her goal is to show mothers that these holistic practices aren’t just for hippies— and that no matter where you choose to give birth, you deserve to be supported!   Ready to Unpop on Facebook Ready to Unpop on Instagram readytounpop.com   Episode roundup: Reminder that freestanding birth centers and homebirths are incredibly similar.  The main difference is who gets in the car. This episode is another amazing example of how things don’t have to go perfectly and there is still safety and amazing outcomes.  Although Tori’s baby took several minutes to come around, the midwifery team was ready and trained on exactly how to proceed. Go check out Tori’s book, Ready to Unpop!
1/18/202141 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 106: Preparing Your Relationship for Postpartum

Prenatal appointments? Check.  Childbirth education program?  Check. And I’m sure it’s Happy Homebirth Academy.  You’re feeling prepared for your birth… but have you considered your relationship in the postpartum phase and how you can prepare it for the certain shifts that will take place?  Hey there….. Today we’ll be speaking with my friend Laura Spencer, a postpartum coach who has been in the trenches, experienced the difficult postpartum season with her relationship, and now so generously comes to share what she’s learned with us.  I know you will love this conversation and take away some incredible ideas.   Show Notes-- Laura Spencer With her first pregnancy, she had expectations of how she wanted her birth to go, but felt completely blindsided by postpartum. She hadn’t considered what becoming a mother would be, and what parenting together with her husband would be like. Laura found herself in a place feeling like she had to perform.  She wanted to quit her job.  She wanted to be with her baby.  However, her expectations, values and desires were not being expressed easily, and her husband did not understand.  This led to great conflict.   Fortunately, Laura realized that she had the power to change much about the situation.  She began reading “The Power of a Praying Wife,” and she went to counseling and worked with a marriage coach.   After her own difficult experience, Laura now has so much to share with others: Prepare Your Relationship for Postpartum (Prepare Your Communication) Make sure you are in the right place when you prepare for conversation: Spend time with yourself and know what you want so that you can convey it to your partner. Communicate with curiosity.  Consider, “Am I trying to defend, or am I trying to learn more?” Make a plan for post-conflict communication Questions to ask one another:What does compromise look like in our relationship? What will our relationship look like after baby? How can we support each other through change? What does it look like for you to be vulnerable with me? How can I find the courage to be vulnerable? How will we split up responsibilities? Focus together on how you can play on the same team Let go, have grace— for both yourself and your partner Consider how you are nurturing yourself.  Without self-love and care, you cannot truly give love and care to your partner. To learn more about Laura, find her on Facebook and join her group: Motherhood Mentoring   Episode Roundup: Remember that the birth of your baby is not the finish line!  We spend so much time preparing for this, and very necessarily.  But building up the foundation of your relationship with your partner is so critical in this time.  In fact, there’s a whole module on this inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  It’s crucial. Remember that you and your partner made (or are making) this beautiful child together.  You can make a great team, but it’s so important to remember just that— you’re a team.  The goal is to work together, even when it’s hard and even when you’re functioning on like 2 hours of sleep.  Preparation beforehand helps so much with these expectations.  
1/4/202155 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 105: Teen Pregnancy, Threats from the Hospital, Home Miscarriage and a Rainbow Homebirth with Alissa Otto

You're listening to episode 105 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast. How long did you wait to tell your friends and family about your pregnancy?  No time? 8 weeks? 12 weeks?  What about 6 months?  Today’s episode with Alissa covers an incredible array of stories, and she bears her soul with her experience.  I feel so honored that she shared her stories, and I know you’ll feel the same when you hear them.  I do of course like to mention when stories contain especially difficult situations, and I will aware you that she did have some very traumatic events occur at the hospital, and we will discuss a miscarriage.  These topics are so important to discuss, but of course I want to be sensitive to those who are approaching birth or who are in a place where they would prefer to wait until a later time to listen.  Otherwise, enjoy this amazing woman’s stories.   Show Notes:   Alissa’s first experience of pregnancy came at the age of seventeen.  She herself did not realize she was pregnant for quite a bit.  In fact, she ran an entire season of Cross Country and began the basketball season before anyone knew.  The realization of her pregnancy, however, came in a very public way, as she danced during a half-time show with her dance team.  Her shirt came up, and all saw that she was pregnant.  She hadn’t even told her family at this point, and she was 6 months pregnant.   Alissa says that no one gave her a hard time about her pregnancy, and everyone stood by her.      Once everyone found out, she and her child’s father went to planned parenthood to receive care and figure out where to got an OB.  They measured her belly and told Alissa there was nothing they could do to support her.   Her first labor was incredibly fast, and she was actually only at the hospital for about 15 minutes before her baby arrived.  However, in that time she received both an episiotomy and had a vacuum delivery. Immediately following, she was simply proud of herself for having an unmedicated birth and knew she would do so again in the future (she’s highly afraid of needles—no way she’d have an epidural!)   13 years later, after marrying her husband, she became pregnant again.  They were in Texas for the majority of the pregnancy, and were planning a birth center birth with a midwife.    Their anatomy scan showed bilateral choroid cysts, which had her very stressed.  Apparently it usually self-resolves, but when it doesn’t it can be fatal.  There’s nothing to be done for it, so they decided to remain calm and not do any additional testing.    Around 28 weeks pregnant, they moved back home at the end, and decided that they would give birth in the hospital with a community OB who was greatly recommended.  She seemed to be comfortable with natural options.   She went into labor at 41 weeks, when her water broke, though there was no fluid.  She had another traumatic birth experience where no one listened to her requests— even the ones the doctor had signed off on.  She was only in the hospital an hour before baby was born, but her rights were trampled on constantly.  The next morning, they planned to leave, but the doctors told her that her Hep B results came back as positive, and they couldn’t leave the hospital without giving the baby the Hep B injection.  She refused, and knew that the results were incorrect.  She told them again and again to recheck, and they wouldn’t budge.  Finally they signed papers “allowing” them to leave, although legal action was threatened.  A week later, her doctor called to tell her the original results were wrong—they’d given her someone else’s results.  During that phone call, Alissa’s milk finally came in.   Alissa’s 3rd birth was a heartbreaking miscarriage at 10 weeks.  They learned that the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks, and she wanted to miscarry naturally at home.  This happened over the span of a week, which she was very surprised about.  After losing a large amount of blood, they went to the hospital and found out that a small piece of placenta was adhered to the cervix.  Once the piece was removed, she stopped bleeding.  Alissa wants to shed light on the fact that miscarriages are labor and birth, and they should be treated and understood as such.     She became pregnant with her rainbow baby two months later, and her family was thrilled.  She finally had the beautiful, peaceful homebirth that she deserved.   Episode Roundup:  Birth trauma is real, and it can impact our postpartum, our bond, and our mental and physical health.  This is a reminder that if you experience trauma or abuse with your care provider or nurses, you can report it.  There can be serious consequences for these types of situations for mother and baby, and those responsible should be held responsible.   Miscarriages are labor and miscarriages are birth.  I’m so grateful for Alissa sharing how her natural miscarriage happened, how she experienced it, and how it impacted her.  I know so many of you have been in her shoes, and my heart goes out to you.  Your baby matters, and your experience matters. And finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  After several incredibly difficult experiences, Alissa went on to have a glorious, triumphant homebirth.  A birth that was a huge step in the direction of healing, and that is what I wish for us all.
12/28/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 104: Birth as a Rite of Passage with Dr. Rachel Reed

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, Episode 104   Today's guest: Dr Rachel Reed is a midwife, academic, author, and international speaker who focuses on childbirth physiology, midwifery practice, and women's rights (and rites). She has provided midwifery care for many women and has attended births in a wide range of settings and circumstances. Rachel is the author of the award-winning blog MidwifeThinking and the co-host of The Midwives' Cauldron podcast. She has published widely in journals and magazines, and her first book Why Induction Matters is a popular resource for women and care providers. Her most recent book Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage: weaving ancient wisdom with modern knowledge will be published early 2021. Further information about Rachel and her work is available at www.rachel-reed.website. and….she’s just delightful.    I find myself getting sucked into her blog archives for hours at a time, and for today’s episode I decided to ask her about several topics that she covers quite wonderfully there.  I know you’re going to deeply enjoy this episode.  With that, let’s jump in!  Show Notes: Big Babies Most women having homebirth in Australia have “big” babies, and they’re not scary.  In hospital, however, it can be a different story.  If a doctor diagnoses a mother with a “big baby” on ultrasound, it can begin to cause stress and fear for her. Dr. Reed mentions that the research does not separate healthy, normal big babies from those whose mothers have gestational diabetes.  These babies tend to have bigger shoulders and can have more difficulty coming out (though most of them come out just fine, too). “Big babies don’t scare me, but what people do about big babies does scare me.” Women who are told they have a big baby: C sections, tearing, poorer outcomes are more likely— so it’s the outside causing the problem. A care provider’s fear of the big baby can cause many of the interventions   Gestational Diabetes as a label— fairly nonsensical If there are abnormally high blood glucose levels circulating, that does impact the baby and potentially the birth.  However, the blood glucose levels being used are not evidence-based In Australia, around 17% of women are now labeled as a gestational diabetic. When Dr. Reed was training, we only tested those who had risk factors. The issues with challenge tests: it’s an abnormal test— many pregnant women are not drinking sugary drinks, so the tests results can be very off.   VBAC- Mountain or Molehill?  Is this as dangerous as the medical community seems to happen? Research related to this is mixed with those who are having inductions and those who are not— when we remove those who are having inductions, we see the already small number of issues become all the smaller. Statistically a
12/21/202049 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 103:Emotional Midwifery Support, Homebirth Childbirth Education, and a More Intense Second Labor

You're listening to Episode 103 of the Happy Homebirth podcast!   Today's episode features Elena, who was interviewed previously in episode 46: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/happy-homebirth/id1446934537?i=1000453404935   After having a hospital birth with her first daughter, Elena knew with her second pregnancy that she would be giving birth at home.  It took her several years to feel ready to have another child, but in the meantime she continued to prepare and educate herself even further regarding birth.   Once she became pregnant, Elena committed herself even further to her traditional diet and the practices of the Weston A. Price foundation.   Elena heard about Happy Homebirth through the Wise Traditions podcast (Katelyn was interviewed):   Elena followed along with the show, and when she found out that Happy Homebirth Academy was in the making, she decided to jump into the founding member's group.   Other noteworthy aspects of Elena's story:   Felt like she was in transition for several hours— later realized that she had a cervical lip.  Elena's midwife eventually pushed the lip back during a contraction. Soon after, Elena felt she needed to get out of the tub.  Instinctively she got into a squat and began to push.   Postpartum Elena had mastitis: Used phytolacca, belladonna homeopathic and steeped herbs to put on her breast, took sunflower lecithin 
12/14/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 102: A Thoughtful Approach to Conception, Pregnancy and Homebirth

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast- Episode 102! In today's episode we're speaking with Robyn Riley all about her journey to having her first baby at home.   She decided that homebirth was the appropriate path for her well before she was pregnant-- in fact, 10+ years before!     Robyn and her husband met in their early 30's, and they were both eager to settle down and start a family.  They decided to court for one year, and then if they were the right fit, they would get married and start a family immediately.   Robyn began preparing her body for conception well ahead of time.  She cleaned up her diet and supplemented with important nutrients like Iodine. As soon as they were married, Robyn and her husband began attempting to conceive.  During the second month, Robyn became pregnant!   Her husband was away on a job interview trip (they were hoping to move from Brussels to Canada) when she found out, and she decided to wait until he was home to tell him-- it was incredibly difficult not to tell him on the phone!   Once they moved to Canada, Robyn found a midwife.  She shared with her midwife that she was a Christian, and she was shocked and comforted to find out that her midwife shared her faith.  Robyn discusses how incredible this was-- especially because this was the only midwife anywhere near her area!   Her pregnancy went very smoothly, and at the end, she began seeing a chiropractor and pelvic floor physiotherapist.   Robyn practiced pushing and stretching using a device called the Epi-No: https://www.epino.de/en/epi-no.html   During labor, Robyn found herself lying completely still- something she did not picture!  Once her baby was born, she learned that he had a nuchal hand (a fist up next to his head), which she feels is the reason she needed to remain still.  Fortunately, Robyn did not tear. She chose to use a protocol for the third stage of labor (pushing out the placenta) that requires the mother to stand up at 3 minutes after birth, cut the cord, and push out the placenta.  The belief is that this helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344429308_Expedient_Squatting_Third_Stage_technique_to_prevent_bleeding_at_birth   Robyn mentions how amazing her midwife was in the postpartum period.  Right as her son was born, the world went into Covid lockdown.  Her midwife visited daily, bringing soups and nourishing foods from Robyn's church community.  She cared for Robyn and helped her immensely in what is such a critical phase.     If you'd like to learn more about Robyn and her Youtube channel, follow along here: https://www.instagram.com/realrobynriley/ Youtube Channel: Motherland  
12/7/20201 hour, 25 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 101:The Importance of Community Birth and Creating More Birth Workers

You're listening to episode 101 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.   In this week's podcast episode we'll be hearing from Jessica Johnston, CPM and co-founder of the Pacific Birth Institute.   Jessica and her co-founders are bent on bringing birth back into the community, which requires more hands and feet on the ground-- more birth attendants, more midwives.  But how, when becoming a birth worker is fraught with barriers? Not everyone can give up their life to be constantly on call, sacrifice everything to attend school, and work as an unpaid apprentice for years on end.   Pacific Birth Institute is on a mission to help break some of the barriers.  They've released an online pre-requisite birth assistant program (available for all), and they've created an incredible training program in Alaska-- one that I hope will pick up steam across the country.   This is so important, as we recognize that bringing birth back into the community is the best way to begin decreasing our national maternal mortality rate.     If you're considering working in the birth world, be sure to go to pacificbirthinstitute.com and check out the program!
11/30/20201 hour, 4 seconds
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Ep 100: Homebirth is a Team Sport

You're listening to episode 100 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast! In celebration of this milestone, Happy Homebirth Academy will be available for this week only (until the new year). Join here: www.myhappyhomebirth.com/HHA   Show Notes: Christine and Andrew started their pregnancy journey traditionally with OB care.  However, as the pregnancy progressed, they began feeling more and more frustrated about the fact that appointments were fast and shallow.  There was not in-depth preparation for childbirth, and they felt there must be something missing. The couple decided to begin their own research, which led them to switch to midwifery care and homebirth. Their commitment to giving birth at home grew as they became closer with their midwife, and as she answered their questions and prepared them deeply on what to expect during the entire process.  Both Christine and Andrew recognized the added layers of safety in their homebirth experience because they did know their midwife so well. Whenever there were questions about what happens if something goes wrong, their midwife always had a quality answer on what to expect and the protocol. Christine expected to go beyond 40 weeks, for at 38 weeks she and Andrew decided to go camping.  On the trip, her water began leaking.  They went home the next morning and prepared for the onset of labor. Throughout the process of labor, Christine and Andrew worked together.  He kept up with what she needed and encouraged her through contractions— reminding her to breathe and relax.  This was incredibly helpful during Christine’s long and arduous pushing phase.  Andrew recalled how amazing it was that the midwife was able to recognize when to step in and provide feedback and when to stay back and remain an observer. He truly understood that it was his duty to be Christine’s support person. After baby was born, he needed resuscitative breaths.  Christine and Andrew were calm and confident during this experience. Once he was breathing and stable, the midwives began tended to Christine, as she was bleeding a good bit. After a while, the midwives had to perform an internal examination of the uterus to see what was causing the bleeding. Though uncomfortable, Christine and Andrew both felt completely calm during what could have otherwise been a traumatic experience, as the felt heard, understood, and like the most important people on the birth team.   Episode Roundup: I am so appreciative of this episode and the perspective it brings.  It’s so important to focus on mothers and their experience of birth, yes, but what a disservice we are doing if we’re not showing up for dads and helping them see how they fit into the equation.  Christine and Andrew worked together so beautifully before, during and after their birthing experience, and Andrew’s understanding of his responsibilities as the birth partner certainly added massive value to their homebirth.  I hope this episode acts as inspiration and as a roadmap for other fathers who are looking for ways to be involved in the birthing experience.  You’re part of this team, and you’re incredibly important. 
11/16/202054 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 99: From Obstetrical Bullying to Compassionate Care

Your care provider.  When you think of the person who will be attending your birth, what adjectives come to mind?  Do you feel at peace, comforted and cared for, or do you feel bullied, manipulated and belittled?  Hannah has experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I’m so happy to have her on today’s episode to share with you just how difficult, and then how beautiful birth can be.    Happy Homebirth Academy has an affiliate program for care providers.  To enter yourself in a monthly drawing for a Happy Homebirth T Shirt (or Amazon gift card), tell your care provider about it!  Take a screenshot of the text or email sending them to www.myhappyhomebirth.com/affiliate , and send it to [email protected] with the subject line: Midwife Message   Hannah thought her hospital birth would be totally covered, as she was actually on two insurance plans.  As it turned out, she was not, and her hospital birth was more expensive than her later homebirth. One big red flag Hannah experienced with her OB, that she now wishes would have made her turn and run, was that when she gave the OB her birth plan, the response was “Oh, you’ll get the epidural.  Don’t be a hero.” Hannah urges mothers— if you’re experiencing obstetrical bullying, FIND ANOTHER PROVIDER! She actually experienced her first labor contractions while camping at 40 weeks.  The labor was long—beyond 48 hours, and she finally received pitocin, an epidural, and “purple pushed” for 2 hours. When she became pregnant with her second child, she still felt somewhat traumatized by the first experience.  Even though she knew she wanted a different experience, she wondered, “Can I do it?” She chose a midwife, and the difference she notes is that she felt completely secure and completely safe at home She felt her care provider was perfectly aligned with her. During her second pregnancy, she and her husband communicated more effectively about what she would want during labor.  This paid off, and he was able to support her perfectly. Hannah also hired a doula, which she recommends to everyone. She loved the book “Childbirth Without Fear,” and one of the biggest takeaways she found was this:  In Genesis, we’ve translated the discussion of the fall as Adam toiling the land and Eve experiencing great pain with childbirth.  However, the same Hebrew word is used in both: Toil.  She discusses the idea that labor is an experience of toil, not necessarily an experience of pain. Once her baby arrived, Hannah experienced “the birth pause” where all felt right in the world.  She was overwhelmed with thankfulness and connection, where she recalls feeling completely out of it after her first hospital birth. Her biggest takeaway from birth is that when you have the right care provider, you feel in charge, not managed.   Episode Roundup: 1.If your care provider is bullying you, FIRE THEM AND RUN.  Remember, they work for you.  Remember, you are your own and your child’s advocate 2. I want to bring back this discussion of pain vs. toil.  I love this concept, and as I’ve said many times… I just don’t consider childbirth painful. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and I love to hear all of the ways that others experience it.  But toil… great work?  Certainly.  Remember that so much of our experience is often unknowingly wrapped up in our own expectations.  If we’re expecting pain, well, pain we shall likely have.  Coming into childbirth with an open mind and an arsenal of tools to provide comfort gives such a great chance at truly appreciating, if not downright enjoying, the experience.
11/9/202044 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 98: Kyleigh's Out-of-the-Box Homebirth Preparation

You're listening to episode 98 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast! Has Happy Homebirth influenced you in a positive way?  As we come up on episode 100, would you take a few minutes to go to speakpipe.com/happyhomebirth and leave a message telling us how it's impacted your life and pregnancy?  We'd love to share your message on episode 100!    What does preparing for a homebirth look like to you?  Do you prefer a done-for-you checklist, or do you enjoy putting the puzzle together yourself?  Although I am, of course, a huge proponent for childbirth education, particularly childbirth education FOR homebirth mothers, I love hearing how mothers choose to prepare for homebirth.  There’s no one right way, and in today’s episode, we’ll hear how amazingly Kyleigh did with her preparation.  From creating a birth labyrinth to practicing pain management techniques, there is so much to learn from this episode.     Show Notes Kylie decided she wanted a homebirth before she became pregnant by listening to birth podcasts and realizing she didn’t like the sense of lack of control many seemed to experience in the hospital.  Once pregnant, she read the book Mama Zen, which she credits for her comfortable, mindful attitude during pregnancy and birth.  She feels it truly set her up for success. At 37 weeks her baby was transverse, so she began going to the chiropractor 3x/week, which helped baby into a good position. Before labor, she spent lots of time on her birth ball doing puzzles.  She also practiced pain management techniques by holding ice. Kyleigh’s labor was 9 hours: 5 hours of active labor, then 4 hours of pushing. Favorite books: Spiritual Midwifery, She Births, Unassisted Childbirth She created a “labor labyrinth” for herself   Episode Roundup: Preparing for birth doesn’t have to look any specific way. When I spoke to Kyleigh before the interview, she was like, “Yeah, I really didn’t prepare.  I just went with the flow.” And she’s definitely not giving herself enough credit.  Kyleigh thoroughly prepared for her birthing experience, she just didn’t attach any unnecessary expectations.  She was there for it, whatever it would be.  I love the sense of mindfulness she brought, and this is absolutely something we harp on inside of Happy Homebirth Academy. Chiropractic care!  Whew, I can’t recommend it enough, and now I know Kyleigh is on board with it, too!  How incredible that she was able to create space for her baby to get in the correct position. Finally, I loved Kyleigh’s discussion of her ability to relax and be exactly as she needed to be to get her baby out of womb and into arms.  She was surrounded by a loving team, and she knew that she could make the noises, move in the ways she needed to move and be completely uninhibited.  THAT. Is what we need more of.  The understanding that we can do exactly what our body is telling us to do.  Whether it seems serene and quiet, or it sounds like a freight train coming at you, it matters not.  Birth is incredible, and allowing yourself to experience it fully— the way your body needs it to happen- is amazing.
11/2/202049 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 97: A Generational Baby Catch at Home

You're listening to Episode 97 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!    When you have a perfectly lovely hospital birth, why on earth would you change things up with your next?  I’m excited to share Imogen’s story with you today, as she and her husband did just that.  Of course, we know that many mothers seek out a “better way” after having a traumatic and emotional birthing experience in the hospital.  But of course, that’s not always how it happens!  And I can’t wait for you to hear about the generational baby catch.  Let’s jump in!   Imogen lives in England, and is the mother of two children.  Her mother has worked as a midwife for over 30 years, so she grew up with somewhat of an understanding of childbirth.  However, she wouldn’t consider herself completely educated on the subject prior to her own births, and she decided in her first pregnancy that she wanted to keep it that way!   She was, however, hoping for a natural birth, as she does not typically like to take medications of any sort. Imogen’s midwife had a hunch that she would go quickly once she was in labor, so she warned her that she should head to the hospital soon after contractions began. 9 days after her due date, she was sitting in the nursery on her ball.  She decided to try out her breast pump, and her water dramatically broke!  She and her husband headed to the hospital with her mom.  Upon arrival into the birthing center, she was checked and only at a 4.  They told her they wouldn’t officially write down that she was in labor, but that she could go to the early labor room to see how she progressed. She was, however, very much in labor!  After a while of laboring on the floor, her mother gave her some gas and told her she’d be back.  She went to the midwives and asked them to check her. Imogen was beyond 9cm dilated, so they walked/wheeled her to one of the delivery suites.  She hopped in the tub, and soon began to push.  She had to push for over an hour, turning her baby from posterior into an anterior position.   Baby was born, and her husband asked if they could just go home.  The midwives agree, and only a few hours after giving birth, they were tucked into their beds at home.   Soon after becoming pregnant again, Imogen told her husband she was interested in a homebirth.  He was very excited and supportive of the idea, as he mentioned that going to the hospital had felt somewhat traumatic with the first— hospitals generally being a place of sickness and sadness.   She began searching for podcasts and found Happy Homebirth, which she listened to throughout her pregnancy. Imogen said that it made a huge difference feeling that she had a community of support, and that the stories helped her feel confident in her decision.  She also reached out and found local homebirth mothers to connect with.   Though her pregnancy was healthy, the pandemic added a cloud of stress and exhaustion.  She wasn’t able to have help with her toddler, and she was still working full time—but from home.  This caused more aches and pains than with her first.   3 days after her due date, Imogen woke up at 6:20 with a pain in her belly.  She flipped over, and a few minutes later felt it again.  After a few minutes, she realized she could be in labor!  The contractions were 3 minutes apart.  She told her husband, but had him stay in bed with their daughter.   She called her mother and had her come over.  They worked through some contractions together, and eventually discussed with each other that the midwife should be called.    Imogen wanted to get her birthing space set up with the pool, so her mother went to do that.  Suddenly, though, she knew birth was imminent.  Her mom ran upstairs to find Imogen’s husband preparing to get in the shower.  She told him to head downstairs or he’d miss the baby’s birth.  He came downstairs, sat their toddler in his lap, and Imogen’s mother ended up catching her grandson before the midwives arrived.     Although it wasn’t the water birth Imogen had imagined, the empowerment and wonder of her mother being able to catch her grandson was amazing.   Episode Roundup: You don’t have to have a negative hospital experience to choose to do something differently the next time around.  If you feel empowered, go for the homebirth! Community makes a difference.  Imogen listened to happy homebirth, she was active inside of our Facebook community, and she connected with other local homebirth mothers.  This was incredibly helpful for her as she prepared, especially with all of the pandemic lockdowns of her pregnancy.
10/26/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 96: Twin Sisters Experience Pregnancy and Homebirth Together

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, episode 96!   What would it be like to go through pregnancy and birth with someone you loved dearly?  Whether it's a friend or family member, experiencing pregnancy with someone close can be amazing.  But... when it's your twin?!  From in the womb to full-wombs together... what an incredible story today's episode entails!   Join me as Sharina and Latrina share their most recent (perhaps final) pregnancies with us-- and how they shared the experience together!    
10/19/202050 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 95: From Postpartum Psychosis to Postpartum Bliss

You're listening to episode 95 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!   Show Notes: Although Angelique looked forward to her first birth (she planned a homebirth from the beginning) her labor experience did not go as planned.  Both her midwife and her backup midwife were attending other births at the time she went into labor.  Her labor was intense and felt fast-- she never felt like she could catch up with the contractions.  A third midwife arrived before her son was born, but not long before.   Angelique's postpartum was devastatingly hard.  She and her husband were functioning on almost zero sleep, and although she tried to explain the situation to others, people were not realizing just how serious the issues they were experiencing were.  This lack of sleep turned into hallucinations and terrifying thoughts for Angelique.  Eventually she and her husband came up with a way for Angelique to get more sleep, and although she didn't fully recover until about a year after, things did begin to get better.   Everything was different with her second baby!  Angelique had a beautiful experience, and went into labor right after a tornado came through--knocking out the power.  It was a gorgeous day, though, and a birth surrounded by all of the people she wanted there.  Her second baby was born peacefully, and she had a blissful postpartum experience the second time around.
10/12/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 94: The Social Influencer's Happy Homebirth

You're listening to episode #94 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!   Join me as we do a mash-up episode.  I interviewed Julie Solomon of The Influencer Podcast on her own show.  We discussed the details of why and how she gave birth at home.   This was such a joyous show.  Make sure you check out her podcast, especially if you're of the female entrepreneurial spirit!
10/6/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep 93: The Fertility Awareness Method and Understanding Your Cycle

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, episode 93!   I’m excited to switch things up today.  This podcast episode is going to be all about fertility awareness, and why understanding our menstrual cycle can be hugely empowering.  We’ll be discussing this with my good friend Sophia Zafares, who is a Fertility Awareness Method Educator.  So… basically the perfect person to get the low down on what this all means.   And exciting news!  Check out the happy-Homebirth podcast on nstagram this week, as Sophia and I will be holding a giveaway together.  You don’t want to miss it.  Literature and a useful tool!   Show Notes:   Sophia is a fertility awareness method educator.   FAM- understanding the biomarkers of your fertility to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, or keep up with your general hormonal cycles.   Training through FEMM: Fertility Education and Medical Management   Pills, IUD, Shot, Implant: It’s important to know that they have basically the same forms of synthetic hormones. These hormones do not interact with our bodies in the same ways that our natural hormones do.    These hormones are administered at consistent levels, whereas during our natural cycles, the hormones go through rhythms instead of a steady-state.    Hormonal bc: steady state, masculine stability FAM: tuning into the body and noticing what it’s doing, feminine rhythm     Hormonal bc (side effects/ EFFECTS): Remember that hormones are involved in every part of our bodies and all of our systems Prevent ovulation - without ovulation, certain hormones cannot be created.  Depleted nutrients, lower ability to absorb and use the nutrients Affects attraction and mate selection- choose someone they wouldn’t typically choose, come off of bc and are very unhappy Depletion of bone density     It takes several years for a girl’s cycle to fully mature.  If a young girl is put on bc, her maturity stops, and her cervix will be aged.      Lisa Hendrickson-Jack: The Fifth Vital Sign, Fertility Friday     Follow Sophia: @sage.fertility on Instagram Website: www.sagefertility.co  
9/28/202043 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 92: Learning That There's Something To Learn About Birth

Congratulations to the newest members of Happy Homebirth Academy! Check out myhappyhomebirth.com to access the interview application.  It's open this week!   Show Notes: In her first pregnancy, Katie felt excited about her birth, but did not think there was anything for her to learn.  She knew that God had made her to give birth and she would.  She thought that any education she found, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting would be negative and unhelpful.  Looking back, Katie says this was well-meaning, but very naive.   With her first labor, she was in Mass and noticed that she was having “stomach pains” almost every 6 minutes.   Once she went to the hospital, she labored all night without any coping mechanisms.  She just knew that she wanted to have an unmedicated birth.   She called her mom and asked her to make her way there- a 5 hour drive.  Katie’s labor stalled the entire 5 hours her mom was making the drive.  As soon as she arrived, her labor began progressing immediately.     Once her baby was born, they were taken to a recovery room with an amazing queen-sized bed.     With her second birth, her husband was deployed.  Her mother came to support her.   Once she went to the hospital, she met up with her doula, who was an amazing support.     They walked the hospital halls, then went to their room.  Once Katie’s water broke, her baby was born about 4 minutes later.   Because she had declined antibiotics for GBS, Katie had to stay for 3 days.   Katie learned so much about birth between her 2nd and 3rd birth.  Because she didn’t want another experience like her previous hospital one, she began looking into birthing centers.  Her doula asked if she’d be interested in homebirth, to which she replied “no way”.  Later that very week, Katie decided she did in fact want a homebirth!   Her doula accompanied her into the bathroom, then yelled for the midwife to get in there.  Katie was adamant that she didn’t want to have her baby in the bathroom,, so she walked over to the tub, where her water broke and Fetal Ejection Reflex kicked in.  She flipped over onto her back and then pushed her baby out.  She found out that her baby had a nuchal hand.   Katie loved the experience of her third pregnancy and adores homebirth.
9/21/202058 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 91: Preparing for a Homebirth in a Time Crunch!

Happy Homebirth Academy is open for enrollment through Sat, Sept 19th!  Head over to: https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha to sign up!   Joelle and her husband did not choose to have a homebirth until only a few weeks before giving birth.    She and her husband watched The Business of Being Born early on in the pregnancy, but decided their hospital would be just fine, as it was considered Baby Friendly.   However, as Covid-19 hit and Joelle was forced home to work (virtual school), she spent more time looking into her options.  She decided to meet with a local midwife, and it was decided that homebirth was the best option for her family.      
9/14/202051 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 90: The Story Behind The 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth

Happy 100,000+ Downloads, Happy Homebirthers! We're celebrating today with a replay of the episode that played when we hit 10,000 downloads (only a little over a year ago... we're growing fast!).   This episode is also the story of my own birth... the inspiration for all of the childbirth education I've begun creating since.   The 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth live event is this week, September 8th-10th at 8pm EST. Make sure you join! www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars
9/7/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 89: Homebirth.com and a Homebirth Story!

*IMPORTANT*: Don't forget to sign up for the FREE 3 Day Event: 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth!  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars Happening Sept 8-10th (replay will be available)   Show Notes: Jocelyne noticed that pregnancy was listed as a “condition”, which felt incredibly wrong for her.  She did a google search and found a birth center located only 5 minutes away from her home.  Jocelyne and Eddie were so excited for their lovely birth center experience. Unfortunately, as the date approached, Jocelyne and Eddie found out some devastating news… The birth center would be closing down before their due date.  They were going out of business, and the midwives sent an e-mail discussing local hospitals to choose from. Jocelyne drove up to the birth center to ask what was going on. She spoke with one of the midwives, who told her she could consider homebirth with another local midwife.  “Is that even safe?” Jocelyne remembers asking.   After much research and consideration, Jocelyne and Eddie were sold on their homebirth experience.  They were even able to find a doula who spoke Spanish— perfect for their situation! Jocelyne’s labor was long and arduous, but when she looks back, she says the experience was perfect for herself and her husband.  She relied on Eddie, as she says she always has in their relationship.  He was her perfect comfort and support.   A while after their daughter was born, Eddie realized that the domain homebirth.com was for sale.  They chose to purchase it, not knowing exactly what they would do with it at the time, but they knew they wanted to help pregnant women.   Jocelyne and Eddie have begun with plans to use homebirth.com as a way to educate mothers about this birthing option, and to create an online midwifery matching service.  Families will be able to search their location and add in specific credentials and preferences about their midwife in order to find their perfect match.   To learn more about this amazing growing resource, go to homebirth.com or check them out on instagram: instagram.com/homebirthdotcom
8/31/202057 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 88: Lindsey's Thoughtful, Meditative Birth

Join the Happy Homebirth Live event!  Sept 8th-10th:   3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth
8/24/202052 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 87: Gentle Hands Get the Job Done

What happens when your baby flips to breech when you’re 6 cm dilated and planning for a homebirth?   Hey there happy homebirthers, and welcome to episode 87 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.  I’m your host, Katelyn Fusco, and I’m excited to dive into this week’s episode.  Would you take a quick screenshot of you listening to this episode and upload it to your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll be sure to share in my stories as well.   I’m so excited to share Cesia’s two homebirth stories with you, so let’s jump on into the interview.   Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and we are not acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your Dr., midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.     Show Notes   Cesia hosts a podcast called Parenting in Queens, where she shares stories and helpful information about her beautiful borough.   When she became pregnant with her first, she and her husband watched The Business of Being Born, though she still intended to have a hospital birth.  She just wanted to be informed.  As the weeks went on, however.  She began feeling that something was missing.  She did not feel connected to her care providers, as she rotated between them.   As she left one appointment, Cesia asked her husband what he thought about the idea of a homebirth.  He responded, “Weren’t you going to have one anyway?”  With his support and encouragement, they went on to hire a midwife team! With her first baby, she went to 41 weeks and decided to have an acupuncture appointment.  The next day, contractions began.  Cesia labored throughout the day, and at midnight her midwife came to check her.  Cesia was a 7, and her midwife stretched her cervix.     3 hours later, her midwife was back at her house, as the stretch had pushed Cesia deep into active labor.  One hour later and her baby was born.   With her second birth, Cesia was having cramps that she thought were due to the beans she’d eaten the night before!   Her midwife decided to come check on her since she was in the area anyway.  Her doula came as well.  The 3 women sat together knitting while Cesia bounced on a birth ball.     When the midwife checked Cesia, she found something interesting:  The baby was breech!   The midwife told Cesia that she could try to turn the baby if Cesia wanted, and she did want her to try.  The midwife began massaging Cesia’s belly using rose hip oil.  After a few minutes, Cesia asked when she was going to flip the baby.  Her response was, “I already did.”   Cesia’s second labor was only 3 hours long.  She pushed her baby out on the birthing stool, and he arrived en caul.   @queensknits was Cesia’s doula, and she felt she was an amazing asset.   Cesia’s midwifery group is now planning to open an nonprofit birthing center in 2020.   Episode Roundup: As we jump into the episode roundup, I’m struck by the ability of midwives.  How amazing, that hands off and yet still hands on balance they have as care providers.  And the gentleness with which they are able to manage situations.  I find it so incredible that Cesia’s midwife was able to gently massage her baby into the correct position, where in her previous pregnancy, Cesia dealt with a stressful and painful doctor’s palpation.     I also want to mention how beautiful I find it that Cesia was so willing to allow others new to the birth work world to witness such a gorgeous birth.  Her care team was so loving and supportive, and she clearly returned that love for them.   Alright, my friends.  Go check out Cesia’s work and follow along.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I’ll see you back here next week.  
8/17/202034 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 86: From Valley to Mountain: Laura's Spiritual, Pain-Free Birth

You're listening to episode 86 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.   Pain-free childbirth is a myth.... right?   Show Notes: Laura is a mother of 3, and she and her husband were newly married when they became unexpectedly pregnant.  They had recently moved, and found themselves moving back into Laura's parents' house as they got their finances in order.    Because she had never spent time around babies, Laura took a nannying job for a newborn during her pregnancy.  When he napped, she would read books.  A family member gave her Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and at 35 weeks her entire outlook on birth shifted.  She even considered a homebirth, but soon realized this would not be possible in her family's house.   Laura switched to midwifery care within the hospital and had a beautiful natural birth.  She wanted to give birth in the water, which she did.   When she became pregnant again 11 months later, she prayed for a shorter birthing time.  That's exactly what she got-- though the experience left her reeling and feeling out of control, even slightly scared of birth.  She did have a natural birth, and it was short, but it was quite stressful for her.   During this postpartum experience, Laura struggled immensely.  She had an incredibly emotional time and leaned on her faith like never before.  She learned about grace on a personal level, and worked through many problems and emotions that had previously never seen the light of day.  Finally, she felt like she could see the light at the end of the tunnel....   And then Laura found out that she was pregnant again.  This came as a massive shock to her, as she and her husband were not planning for this.  While the realization that she was carrying new life initially thrilled her, once the thought set in, Laura began to panic with fear that she would have to go through all of this postpartum pain and suffering again.  She worried that she was nutritionally depleted, and that this third pregnancy would cause more depletion. Laura continued to rely on her faith and her husband, and she prayed about her upcoming birth.  She was finally going to be able to have a homebirth, and she wanted this experience to be not only spiritual, but also pain free.  She dedicated time and prayer to this end, and she created space for this to happen.   When Laura had her third baby, all were shocked to see her raising her hands in worship during her contractions.  When her baby crowned, and then the head was born, Laura truly did not realize it had happened.  Her birth was 100% pain-free.   Laura emphasized the fact that this can be the case for anyone-- creating space for this type of positive outcome is so important.   Episode Roundup: I wanted to touch once again on this idea on creating space for the positive experiences.  I love that Laura cleared her fears when necessary and focused on the notion that she could indeed have a beautiful, pain-free experience.  It's a great reminder for us all: Clear fears and create space for the beautiful experience that birth can be!  
8/10/202044 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 85: A Midwife's Homebirth

A midwife's homebirth... it should be easy, right?  I mean, come on... you're a pro at this!   Madeline, like so many other midwives, shares just how incorrect that assumption can be with the birth story of her second baby.     Show Notes: After experiencing a LONG, arduous labor with her first child, Madeline decided to prepare differently for the birth of her second child.   She saw a new chiropractor   She focused on visualizations   She took Happy Homebirth Academy   She learned to release her pelvic floor (accounts to follow will be linked at the end)   Madeline did all that she could to prepare herself for a faster, calmer, more peaceful birthing experience.   However, "peace" is not the description Madeline would use for her second birth.  Peaceful as a tornado, maybe!   Madeline's fast and furious birth left both her midwife and mother brains reeling.  Her mind couldn't keep up with her body, as her body forcefully produced her new daughter.   Episode Roundup:   Although I love the idea of having a peaceful homebirth, and I think it's an important desire to discuss, Madeline's experience has taught me just how important it is to emphasize the empowerment of birth, not only it's potential peacefulness.   No matter how you do it: fast, slow, loud, quiet.... bring a baby from inside of you, out... that's incredible.       Resources: https://www.instagram.com/pelvicpotential/ https://www.instagram.com/thepelvicperspective/ https://www.instagram.com/pregnant.postpartum.athlete/ https://www.instagram.com/the.preconception.pt/    
8/3/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 84: Shared Decision Making With Dr. Brad Bootstaylor

You are listening to episode 84 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast. Today, our guest is Dr. Brad Bootstaylor, author of the book Shared Decision Making. Dr. B Bootstaylor helps expecting parents to get an enlightening birth experience without being fearful of having their voices heard by using Shared Decision Making. Drawing on over 30 years of academic and clinical experience, Dr. Brad Bootstaylor provides you with a resource guide to having an “empowered” pregnancy and birth experience. Through a series of defined principles, birth stories, and real-world clinical scenarios, the model of Shared Decision Making is readily accessible, extremely practical, and can be applied to the many different scenarios that occur during pregnancy and birth. Shared Decision Making: Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers Vol1 is outlined in a clear, concise fashion. Six information-packed chapters build upon each other, guiding the reader to adopt a new way of viewing themselves and the power derived from this model of care. THE QUEST - Shared Decision MakingGUIDED DISCOVERY - Planning Your Birth JourneyTHE JOURNEY - Understanding DatesTHE DETOUR - UltrasoundsTHE DELIVERY - BirthplacesBring Birth Back - FAQsBonus insight into the “B Score,” as described, provides you with the foundation to make safe, healthy choices in pregnancy and childbirth. By the end of “Shared Decision Making; Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers,” you will understand that this process is intuitive, and the tools provided will enable you to practice it in an empowering and meaningful way. Buy a copy of the book! https://amzn.to/3gZkNjf Join the Happy Homebirth Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth
7/27/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 83: Graduation and a Baby!

Can you really do it all?   Okay, let’s talk about today’s guest.  Our interview is with Megan, a mother of 4 and a jack of all trades.  You’re going to love hearing all of the activities this woman did throughout her pregnancies, and how she continued to make stronger and stronger empowered decisions each time.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to cover all of her birth stories, so she’s going to definitely have to come back to share.  You’re going to love her bubbly personality! Show Notes During her undergraduate studies, Megan and her husband became pregnant with their first child at 22.  She had vocalized that she wanted to have a natural birth, but Megan didn’t know that there were really any ways to prepare for this.  2 hours into labor, she received an epidural.  Once her baby arrived, family and friends descended upon the young couple and their new baby.  Looking back, she recognized that this situation was not ideal, and she decided that she would not handle postpartum in the same way going forward. For her second birth, Megan began doing more research and learning more about natural childbirth.  She learned about a birth center 2 hours away, but felt unsure that she could actually go through with a natural birth. After they toured the birth center, Megan immediately felt calm.  She decided to go for it!  On the day of labor, Megan rode the 2 hours to the birth center in the backseat of the car facing the opposite direction.  The 2 hour drive turned into a 3-hour drive due to road construction. She spent the short amount of time at the birth center in the tub, until her midwife required that she move to the bed.  Megan had her baby on hands and knees, and later recognized that her baby had somewhat of a shoulder dystocia. Once they were discharged from the hospital, she and her husband and newborn stayed in a hotel for the night, as they knew the baby would need a 24 hour checkup the next day at the birth center. Because of the driving and discomfort of staying in a hotel, when Megan was unexpectedly pregnant with her next child, she began looking into other options.  She found a midwife and connected with her immediately and deeply.  So much so, that on the front porch of her midwife’s house, she called the birth center and told them she was transferring care.   Megan’s third pregnancy came when she was in graduate school.  In fact, her labor began on the day of her graduation.  She was having rather intense contractions through the ceremony, and when the president of the college found out, he had the camera pointed on her and told the entire crowd that she was in labor.   Immediately after walking across the stage, Megan and her husband went home.  They filled up the tub, her doula and birth photographer arrived, and her midwife was on her way.  Megan hopped in the water and immediately felt the urge to push.  Her husband put the midwife on speaker phone and helped Megan catch their baby. Episode Roundup I seriously love Megan’s style.  Maybe because she reminds me of myself?  There’s always something going on!   There’s always something that’s got to be cooked up!  As we head into the episode roundup, I just want to call attention to how incredible the modern mother is. Megan went through school, worked, cared and nurtured her babies, began running, and researched the heck out of birth.  Mothers are amazing, and the things we do for our families and the world… wow.  It truly is overwhelming. 
7/20/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 82: The Business of Midwifery

You're listening to Episode 82 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast. Midwives, are you set up to be in practice for a long, long time, or are you feeling the sensations of burnout taking hold? Today’s episode is going to be of great benefit to midwives and mothers alike. So mamas, if you love your midwife, make sure you share this podcast episode with her. Why? Today’s guest, Leslie Cornwell, is a midwifery business consultant, and she has a passion of helping midwives grow and run thriving, brilliant practices that stick around for 30+ years by preventing burnout. 
She’s a midwife herself, and she’s struggled with the same burnout issues as many of my listening midwives will surely have experienced themselves. I’d love for you to take a quick screenshot of you listening in and post it to your Instagram stories. Tag Happy Homebirth Podcast, and I’ll be sure to feature you in my stories as well. All right, let's hop on over to the interview with Leslie. Please remember that the opinions of my guests may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as your medical professional, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor. Show Notes / About Leslie's Services: "Becoming a midwife has been a lifelong dream. I didn't realize that this wonderful profession would lead me down the path of business. I have found over the years that midwives need to understand business, accounting, financing, marketing, negotiating, and so much more to be successful in today's health care system. I love supporting women. By being able to participate in leadership roles and create amazing private practices, I can support midwives just as much as the pregnant women they care for! I am passionate about women's empowerment and women business ownership. We can serve families best with independent successful midwifery practices. I have had over 16 years experience in health care. I have worked in hospitals, birth centers, and home settings. I have worked for large non-profit hospitals, small community hospitals, privately run birth centers, hospital owned birth centers, and my own homebirth / birth center practice. Being able to understand the business and financial side of midwifery has really shown me how much easier a midwife practice can be profitable and successful in today's health care ever-changing climate. Let me help you start your own practice or improve the current midwifery business you are struggling with. I have years of billing, accounting, contracting, business plan writing, and midwifery clinical expertise to make your midwifery practice thrive no matter what stage it is in! Whether you want a small homebirth practice, large birth center practice, or booming hospital midwifery practice, I can provide guidance, support, and resources to make your midwifery practice dreams a reality!" Conclusion: I'm so grateful for the business professionals who have a heart for mothers and midwives. Thank you, Leslie, for supporting mothers by supporting midwives. When we work together, we can make sure that more and more women are able to receive the intimate, loving care they deserve through thriving midwifery practices. All right, friends, that is it for this episode! I look forward to seeing you back here next week. Don't forget to join our thriving community at Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpodcastcommunity
7/13/202027 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 81: Bonding Interrupted: A Mother’s Persevering Love

Homebirth… despite the podcast name, Happy isn’t the only adjective that can be used to describe it. No, my friends. Birth experiences vary so widely, and things do not always go perfectly easily. Today’s story is one of those tough births, but wow. Our guest, Sophia sheds so much insight and through her struggle brings so much encouragement to us all. There’s such a balance. Of course we want to be positive about childbirth and understand that it can be beautiful and peaceful. But we also need to recognize that birth is untame and raw. It is such a thin-veiled experience. Today’s interview leans into the raw experience of Sophia’s homebirth and postpartum experience. I encourage you to embrace the intensity, but you know that I also like to be up front about these episodes so that if you are nearing your birthing time and concerned about hearing any difficult stories, you can save this one for a later date. Okay, let’s jump into our interview. Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me your Chiropractor. Show Notes Sophia has always found herself on the more natural side of things, so she knew that when she became pregnant, she would prefer to have her baby at home. Her husband grew up in a more medically minded household, so before they even became pregnant, she and her husband went to interview local midwives. This put him at ease and was a great way to remove the pressure around the situation. Once they began the process of trying to conceive, they became pregnant immediately. Sophia was seeing a naturopath before her pregnancy to make sure that her hormones were balanced, and she continued this through the first four months. She was very in tune with her body, and felt her baby’s first movements at 11.5 weeks. At 37 weeks Sophia fell forward on ice. Luckily all was fine, but she hoped she’d stay pregnant for a bit longer for her bruises to heal. After 8 days of contractions, right at her due date Sophia felt stronger contractions. She felt a wave of grief that her pregnancy would soon be over, but joy at the same time of it being over and time to meet her baby. As contractions began, while her husband was still asleep, Sophia went to their prayer corner and prayed for this to truly be labor. And truly, it was! Soon, her contractions were one on top of the other, and she was so engrossed in them that she was not remembering to hydrate or eat. During her labor, Sophia experienced a sense of hyper awareness, but a haze at the same time. She could hear everything, even her midwife and husband talking in the other room. Sophia was so prepared for labor that she thought she’d handle it easily and comfortably. Instead, she had moments where she truly felt fear. Once Sophia had been feeling the urge to push for a while, her midwives noted that she had an anterior (front) cervical lip. 

She moved to the bed where they asked her to lie on her back. After a while she moved to the birthing stool, where she thought so deeply about her mother and her mother’s strength. After having felt out of body for so long, Sophia felt she returned to normal for a bit as her husband began praying for her. She began praying with him, and she could tell this was incredibly meaningful for him. Sophia moved back to the bed for a bit, and finally when she went to the toilet, she begged her baby to come out. At that point, Sophia began crowning. She moved to the birth stool. Once her baby arrived, it was determined that she had a nuchal hand (very likely causing the 4 hour pushing difficulty and overall strange labor pattern). Her baby was white and not breathing, so her midwives began rescue breaths. After 5 breaths, her baby had still not come around, so her midwife began trying to help Sophia remove her placenta so that they could move the baby to do more resuscitative measures. They did give some cord traction, and the placenta plopped out. Sophia then lost 4+ cups of blood, and almost immediately passed out. Sophia finally came to a while later, having no understanding of what had happened. She didn’t know where she was or that she’d had her baby. She then saw that her husband looked terrified, which is very out of character for him. He later told Sophia that he was terrified that he was about to lose his wife and baby. Sophia and her baby both eventually did come around. Sophia’s midwife put a piece of placenta in her mouth to help stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, this all led to a very difficult postpartum experience. She was weak and exhausted, and did not feel the overwhelming oxytocin rush due to the circumstances. But she knew that she loved her baby. She knew that she would do anything, endure anything for her. When nursing troubles began, Sophia sought help and learned that her baby had tongue and lip ties. Once again, Sophia endured and continued to fight for a bond with her daughter. Now, Sophia feels the bond that she hoped she would experience immediately. In fact, she feels that her bond with her daughter is even stronger because of the difficult experiences they faced together in the beginning.  
7/6/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 80: A Sister's Virtual Birth Support During Covid-19

Babies wait for no one or no thing.  No matter what’s going on in the world, they will still be born, and we as mothers have to figure out how to cope.  I know that so many of your births were and are being affected by Covid-19.  My heart goes out to you, as this has changed the landscape of birth on many levels.  Of course mothers who planned to give birth in the hospital have been affected, but this is also true of mothers in the homebirth setting.  Today we will hear from Yosefa, who gave birth at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.   This interview was incredibly special, because we were able to be joined by Yosefa’s sister Yakova, who currently resides in Israel.  Yakova is a midwife with several credentials, I might add, and although she was not able to physically be at Yosefa’s birth, she was able to support her virtually.  It’s such an amazing story! Show Notes:   Yakova went to a friend’s birth and ended up acting as support person.  With this one experience, she realized she was called to some type of birth work.  She began working as a doula, then became a midwife.  She gained the Certified Midwife credential, then went back to nursing school and became a Certified Nurse Midwife.   She and Yosefa were pregnant with their first children at the same time, giving birth only 10 days apart.     Yosefa’s first two children were born in a hospital birth center run by midwives in Australia.  When she became pregnant with her third child back in America, she realized that having a homebirth would be the most similar experience for her in this country, given our more medicalized approach to birth in the hospital.   Once deciding on a midwife, she mentioned her choice to her sister.  It turned out that Yosefa’s midwife was the exact same midwife Yakova had used for her third birth, and the assistant was one of Yakova’s former roommmates.     Yosefa went into labor only one week after schools closed.  This was an extremely fear-based time of the pandemic.  She had concerns around bringing in any support personnel, and even family.   Yakova was planning to travel with her children to the US to be at Yosefa’s birth, but Israel was very quick to shut down travel through infected European countries.  Because Yakuza’s flights were to go through either Italy or France, she was unable to travel.   Because Yosefa’s labor began with the rupturing of her membranes, she decided to try some activities to stimulate labor.  Acupuncture and nipple stimulation were very helpful in this and brought on intense contractions.     As labor progressed, Yosefa relied on her sister Yakova for support.  She kept her AirPods in and Yakova monitored her labor in that way.   Yakova was even the one who called the midwife for Yosefa!  She also spoke to Yosefa’s husband about tasks that needed to be done.  Yosefa’s birth was happening right around the beginning of their Sabbath day.  Because of their religious practice, Yosefa’s husband was uncertain about whether he would be able to clean the birth pool and set it up for Yosefa, as when they opened it up, it was moldy.  Yakova spoke to him about how in one of their Holy Books, it says that a laboring mother supersedes all else.  So much so that if a blind woman laboring asks for a candle (typically not lit on the Sabbath), a candle should be lit for her.    Yosefa’s third labor was far more intense than she expected.  She felt that this labor truly showed how different each birth is.     Episode Roundup:   What a beautiful story.  I’m so delighted we were able to make this 3-way interview work!  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d love to share:   The power of the feminine in the birthing situation:  How incredible that Yakova and Yosefa both had stories of feminine connection regarding their births.  Yakova experienced a beautiful blessingway, and Yosefa was able to rely on her sister even from afar and in the midst of a pandemic. It’s so fascinating just how different regulations and laws are not only from country to country, but from state to state.  Fascinating, and frustrating, honestly.  Of course, it’s my prayer and hope that homebirth becomes more and more accepted and considered the norm, as we know the great benefits of physiological birth when possible. Finally, let’s end where we began.  Birth happens, whether there’s a global pandemic or not.  I know this has changed the plans of so many, and in a number of ways it’s caused great isolation.  I hope that this podcast has brought some sense of community to you wonderful mothers, and that it will continue to do so in the future.  If you’re looking for more connection, I’d love to have you in our Happy Homebirth Facebook group.  Just go to facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth to join. Or type in Happy Homebirth Podcast Community
6/29/202051 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 79: Plus Size Does Not Equal High Ris

Is weight alone a pregnancy risk factor requiring intervention?     Brylee is a mom to 3 precious babes, and she’s experienced both negative and positive birthing experiences.  Today we’ll jump into the reasons behind both.   Show Notes Brylee had been told for many years that pregnancy would be very difficult, as she was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager.  She and her husband became pregnant as soon as she stopped taking birth control. Her OB was so convinced that she wouldn’t be able to become pregnant, that she said she’d give her 6 months to try for a baby before exploring other options. Little did her OB know, she was already pregnant at that appointment!   Brylee had terrible implantation cramps with her first daughter.  They were so bad that she was scared it was a miscarriage (the day after her positive pregnancy test).    Her interest in birth began early, as her mother had Brylee’s brother in a birth center unmedicated.   After watching The Business of Being Born, Brylee let her OB know that she wanted a natural birth.  The OB always dodged the questions and said “we’ll see”.   Brylee woke up with (what she now knows was typical bloody show) and called the on-call doctor.  The doctor acted as if the bleeding was an emergency, and had her come in.  The OB did everything she could to pin pre-eclampsia on Brylee, which she feels was because Brylee is a plus-size mother.   She had one high blood pressure reading, which she feels confident was related to the stress of the situation… she had had zero high readings throughout the pregnancy.  Brylee refused induction, finally was released the next morning, and went home for the weekend.    On the following Monday, Brylee saw the same OB again, and had another high reading.  She told her mom, “I am TERRIFIED of that woman.”  She felt it was a case of White Coat Syndrome, just as her dad has.   The OB sent her straight to the hospital to be induced:   Cytotec 4 times   Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth gives an informative review of why Cytotec can be dangerous   They then started Pitocin.  After laboring for a long time, Brylee received an epidural.     After 30 minutes of pushing, Brylee had her baby.   There was absolutely no continuity of care for Brylee: Her Doctor was on vacation, another OB sent her in for the induction, another started the induction, and another delivered her baby.   With her second birth, Brylee knew she wanted to have a different experience.  Her friend had a birth with them that was wonderful, so Brylee was excited to use the practice of 8.     Brylee had one high blood pressure reading, and so her midwives sent her Maternal Fetal Medicine.  They put her on medication, and the medication constantly made her pass out, as it was bottoming out. At her 3rd midwife’s appointment, the midwives used a blood pressure cuff for a plus-size woman, and low and behold… she had a normal reading.   Because of Maternal Fetal Medicine’s diagnosis (Chronic Hypertension— which she knew was not the case), the recommendation was for Brylee to be induced at 38weeks.   She failed the first Gestational Diabetes test, so she was required to take it again, which she passed.   One doctor at MFM told her that if she’d been in any other state, her blood pressure would not be an issue.  For whatever, in the south, particularly in Tennessee, this doctor said that other doctors hold very strongly to very specific numbers.   Brylee convinced her doctors to let her wait to be induced until 39 weeks.  After a long day of waiting for a room, and laboring, Brylee’s doctor told her they needed to break her bag of waters.  The baby was high, and they did not tell Brylee the risks associated with this.   Fortunately, the baby was fine, and once she began pushing, the baby was out in two pushes.   Unfortunately… soon after she gave birth, a nurse came into her room and switched her blood pressure cuff from the larger size to the standard size.  Brylee’s blood pressure numbers then spiked with the new cuff.   Because of her terrible experience, Brylee decided she was NOT going back to the hospital.  Her third baby was a huge surprise!     Brylee began searching for a homebirth midwife in her area that would take her.  In a local birthing center, her BMI was too high to deliver.      She found a midwife who serviced her area, and set up a meeting.  After deciding to work with her, several appointments in, Brylee had a high blood pressure reading.  Her midwife mentioned that she thought this was likely due to the blood pressure cuff being the wrong size, not her actual blood pressure.  Her midwife ordered a new cuff, and Brylee never had a high reading again.   Brylee’s midwife referred her to a CNM just to have check her out as a backup, and the CNM was incredibly encouraging.  She said Brylee was a perfect candidate for homebirth.   During her anatomy scan, the tech that saw her ended up ripping her skin.  It was a horribly painful experience for Brylee.   As she entered labor… Brylee’s water broke at her parents’ house on their couch.  She tried to get contractions going by walking, dancing, and using a breast pump.   Her midwife had come over in the morning to see what her dilation was (she was a 2).   Brylee decided to try the Miles Circuit    When Brylee called her midwife to let her know it was time for her to come, her midwife responded that she had a fever, so she was going to have to send her partner.   Brylee went from 4cm to pushing in a matter of minutes.       Episode Roundup Wow, what a difference in care.  As we head into the episode roundup, that’s the topic I want to discuss.  What I love about midwifery, particularly the homebirth variety, is the level of individual care.  The midwifery model of care lends itself to truly learning about the mother, gaining a full understanding of her health, and then proceeding with the intention of keeping her risk factors low and in check. Conditions were never pushed on Brylee based off of the fact that there “just must be something,” and she was given the opportunity to absolutely rock her birth, which she did.     Individualized care, my friends.  That’s what it’s all about.  Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.   Links From today's Show:   Miles Circuit Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth The Business of Being Born     Join the Facebook Group!
6/22/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 78: Why Healing Your Pelvic Floor Matters!

Show Sponsor: Happy Homebirth Academy   Postpartum recovery is important for some people, but not everyone, right?  Not for athletes, right? Show Notes Chelsea, a triathlete, thought that postpartum recovery would be simple for her body after her first.  She assumed that she could push through the pain, having no idea that postpartum rest is critical.    Unfortunately, Chelsea’s body struggled for 12 weeks with on and off bleeding.   She resumed normal activities, including crunches and jumping jacks.   During Chelsea’s second pregnancy, her mother was diagnosed with a uterine prolapse.    She went into labor at the same time as she did with her first baby, so she assumed it would go similarly. It did not!  In fact, Chelsea had her baby before the midwife’s arrival.    Once again, Chelsea resumed strenuous physical activity early, and this led to a bladder prolapse.   She sought help from a pelvic floor physical therapist, but her first experience with this was not ideal.  Kegals were strongly recommended, which were not helping Chelsea’s situation.   Chelsea then found another PF PT who taught Chelsea to relax her pelvic floor.  This made all of the difference and helped her recover.   Recovery postpartum is critical.  If you are struggling with heaviness in your pelvic region, seek help!    Mentioned in This Episode: Birth Fit Happy Homebirth Episode 9 
6/15/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 77: Accepting the Realities of Birth

Did your birth live up to your expectations?   Now, you all know by now that I’m all for the happiest, most rewarding childbirth experiences ever.  I mean, come on.  Pretty clear by the Show Title.  But in today’s episode with Anna, we’ll discuss the reality that sometimes birth isn’t a fairy tale.  Even if it goes relatively well each time, it might not be your “dream birth”  I’m really looking forward to unpacking this through Anna’s stories, and I’ll share more of my thoughts, as always, in the episode roundup.   Announcements There’s a giveaway going on over on Instagram this week.  My good friend Helen is an artist, and one of her specialties are birth related!  She paints custom baby in utero designs on pebbles.  Check out the details at @happyhomebirthpodcast, and go ahead and give @rosiebluebirdart a like   Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and post it in your stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast so I can share it in my stories!   Similarly, if you’ve ordered a shirt from myhappyhomebirth.com/merch, please send  me a picture or tag me in your stories!  I would LOVE to see the apparel out and about, and you know I’ll feature you in my stories!   Show Notes: Anna is the mother of 3 babies. Her first 2 births were unmedicated at the hospital with midwives.  At the time, she was too nervous to give birth at home. She feels that her first birth was the perfect amount of time for labor. Second birth, family decided to use the hospital again.  Her husband was a resident at the time, so their birth in the hospital would be free Anna spent most of her second labor in triage.  Once she got to her L&D room, she jumped into the birth tub and had a baby 7 minutes later Her second birth taught her that she might be able to do things easier at home without all of the transitions of going to the hospital, waiting in triage, etc. Her 3rd birth: Her husband agreed to having a homebirth, provided they could find a CNM There was a CNM 30 minutes away, and she even scheduled all of the prenatal for when he would be home Labor began at 9pm on her due date.  Anna went from feeling uncertain that she was in labor to deep, deep labor within just a moment Her husband called everyone to the house while Anna roared through contractions in the shower Because everything happened so quickly, the midwife did’t have time to grab gloves, so Anna’s husband was able to catch the baby.  He narrated the whole thing.  “I wasn’t sure I was in labor until she was basically born” “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay”   Episode Roundup As we head into the episode roundup, I really want to discuss this quote from Anna: “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay.”   As I mentioned in the episode, and as is abundantly clear in my childbirth education program, the goal is an empowered birthing experience.  And truth be told, I believe there is SO MUCH we can do to move the needle in the direction of this outcome.  Taking preparation seriously, working with our mindset, learning the tools and techniques that can encourage presence… it can all do so much. In fact, the results my founding members have experienced through Happy Homebirth Academy really make me feel this is possible for so may.  But at the same time, we’ve got to remember that birth isn’t a fairy tale or a pinterest pin.  It varies vastly, and your perception of the events can be just as varied.  I say this as a reminder to be kind to yourself.  Even if on the outside you had a birth that was “good” or “positive”, remember that your feelings of the situation are valid and worth discussing.   And this brings me to another point, which is NOT related to Anna’s experience, but a tangent I arrived at later:  Remember that not everything is as it seems.  Social media is flooded with the most gorgeous birth photos, and perhaps it leaves you feeling like your experience was somehow less.  Please remember that the beautiful photo of the mother glowing with twinkle lights behind her might have been taken mere minutes after that mother barfed her entire lunch on her midwife’s shoes.  Birth.  It’s messy and unpredictable and beautiful and everything in between.
6/8/202049 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 76: When Braxton Hicks Visits Too Early

When did you begin experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions? And… What did they feel like?   Sponsor This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy!  The premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers seeking a peaceful, empowering, mindful homebirth.  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha is where you can find all of the details.    Today’s guest, Meagan Brown had quite an intense go with BH contractions  So much so, that I hate to even call them that.  But we’ll learn exactly what she did to cope, and we’ll see how that served her in her two labors.    Updates/Reminders:   There are new shirts in the store! With…matching onesies for your babe and shirts for your child!  Adult shirts read “homebirther” and onesies/kid shirts say homebirthed.  I can’t wait to get my matching shirts.  Just head to myhappyhomebirth.com/merch to check out all of the cuteness.   Take a screenshot when you’re listening to podcast episodes and upload them to your insta stories.  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll share in my stories!   Would you mind leaving a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts?  This helps the show get found!   Please remember that the opinions of my guest might nit necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.    Show Notes Meaghan Brown is a wife and mother of two living in Ontario. She and her husband became pregnant with their son just weeks after getting married… not their plan, but they jumped into parenthood excitedly!  Unfortunately, Meaghan experienced painful Braxton Hicks contractions begging at 20 weeks.  So uncomfortable in fact that she was constantly worried she was heading into labor.    In her 36th week, while out to dinner with her friends, Meaghan experienced contractions that she of course assumed were her constant Braxton Hicks contractions.  Only this time… her water broke.  She sprinted to the bathroom, where her waters fully released.  And then… the mucous plug followed.   Her friend drove her home, where she met her husband and doula and headed to the hospital (in transition)!  She arrived to the hospital, had a team of doctors descend upon her room (because baby was not term), and because Meaghan struggles slightly with Claustrophobia, her husband Jonathan announced to have everyone step back (which they did!). Meaghan’s baby was safely born and did not need a NICU stay.   With her second pregnancy (this one was planned!), the contractions started even earlier… at 16 weeks.  Luckily, her daughter decided to stay put until term.    Meaghan was able to have her desired homebirth this time around, with her midwife making it just in time.    Once her baby arrived, Meaghan was excited for her contractions to finally stop.  Unfortunately, they did not.  For 8 days, she continued to experience the contractions of her uterus shrinking.  Terrified that something was wrong, she finally went to her doctor.  Upon examination, he found all to be well.  He proposed that Meaghan may be acutely aware of her uterus, which would explain why she was feeling contractions all along.   If you have a sensitive uterus, check out this podcast episode about Vaginal Steaming by Wine & Gyn!    Episode Roundup     Pregnancy, like birth, is wild!  It can be experienced differently from person to person ad pregnancy to pregnacy.  And let’s be honest.  Sometimes it just does not feel good.  Meagans constant experience of brat nhicks contractions during her two regencies is a great example of things just kind of stinking sometimes.  This is why it’s so important to listen to your body… when it says rest, rest.  Meagan did this when needed, and it’s so important to remember, even if your experience isn’t as intense as hers This is just me taking a moment to celebrate those loving, in-tune partners.  When at the hospital, Meagan’s husband jonathan realized she was struggling with having so many people descend upon her room.  He was not afraid to speak out and let everyone know that they needed to back up.  I’m sure Meagan will never forget that kind act.  Working on your relationship with your partner during pregnancy and connecting as much as possible is such a good reminder for all of us. 
6/1/202059 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 75: Recovering After a Careless Care Provider

The Podcast Application is Live (through June 7th)!  Click Here to Apply! This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers looking to have a peaceful, empowering birthing experience. Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and share it on your instagram stories! Ta @happyhomebirthpodcast and use the hashtags #givebirthonyourturf or #homebirther   Show Notes: Shante is the mother to 4 children ranging from 11 years to just a few months old. Shante’s became pregnant with her first child at 16, so she was working two jobs and in school.  She recognizes that she didn’t have much time to relax and enjoy the pregnancy, but she remembers Her first baby’s labor was only 3.5 hours from start to finish!  The experience with the hospital was not terrible, but she thinks because she was young, people told her what to do instead of giving true informed consent. Her second pregnancy, 6.5 years later, was not so easy.  She was very sick for the first 17 weeks.  Even more interestingly, her second labor was 25 hours long (with a posterior baby boy)! As Shante began pushing, her midwife noticed that Shante was bleeding.  She had her get on her back on the bed, as she was worried about the amount of blood.  Her baby had a bit of a shoulder dystocia that shante didn’t realize she had until afterward. Because she was expecting a repeat of her first birth, Shante felt her second birth was traumatic.  “You cannot decide not to prepare simply because a previous birth was easy— because each birth is different.” With her third pregnancy, Shante felt active and energized and ready to do anything. Shante did more childbirth preparation for this birth.  She mentally prepared herself for a longer labor. “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come” Shante’s way to get things going: 2nd trimester- Red Raspberry Leaf tea 2 date bars per day at 37 weeks on and 1 full quart of red raspberry leaf tea Lots of walking and light hiking This labor was only 1 hour and 20 minutes! The midwife had not yet arrived, so it was just Shante and her husband. At the end of Shante’s care, her main midwife had to have surgery, leaving Shante in the care of another midwife that she never felt very comfortable with. The midwife was clearly irritated with Shante for having her baby without her. Shante had a piece of retained membrane that was obvious to see.  She is extreme in her belief of not intervening at all- So she did not remove the membrane, even though Shante was continuously bleeding. The midwife told her to go to the bathroom, but as Shante stood up, she began to black out.  She forced her to crawl to the bathroom.  Shante continued to pass out and felt completely humiliated.  Finally, the attending midwife catheterized Shante A year later, Shante found out from her main midwife that her charts were incomplete and the midwife had lied about a number of issues. Another client had a similar experience, the midwife left the practice and started her own practice.  Shante struggled with deep postpartum anxiety and depression.  She was able to manage this through homeopathy.  During her most recent pregnancy, Shante worked with a homeopath and worked with a therapist who specialized in prenatal and perinatal mood disorders.  She was able to heal and process through these two modalities. Shante developed food sensitivities during her most recent pregnancy so she had to avoid many carbs and sugars. She did a homeopathy pregnancy protocol, which helped a lot.  Cell Salts. Shante prepared a homeopathy chart with the symptom, the remedy and the frequency of the dose. She felt incredibly prepared. Shante’s contractions never got incredibly close together, and she did not experience transition.  Her baby was born after only 2.5 hours of labor! Her most recent birth was incredibly healing and helped her recover from her previous birth.   What an amazing set of stories.  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few topics I’d love to discuss.   The first thing I want to mention is just the quick little reminder that each and every pregnancy and labor (and heck, baby) is different.  Shante learned this when she went from a 3.5 hour first time labor to a 25 hour long labor with a posterior baby the second time around.  I loved when she said “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come.”  Such sound advice. I love how Shante added to her preparation routine as she continued having babies.  From red raspberry leaf tea, to dates, to delving fully into the world of homeopathy… Shante continued to learn and add methods of preparation to her routine. And even more significant, Shante spent time truly coming to terms with a traumatic birth situation and postpartum.  She saw a therapist who specialized in postpartum mood disorders and worked with a homeopath.  She was serious about healing herself, which we all know goes a long way for the health of your entire family, even the littlest of babes.  I am so encouraged to hear mothers taking those kinds of steps. And finally, this is where we need to discuss care providers.  Although in Shante’s situation she did not choose the care provider who caused such trauma, it’s important to remember that just like in every profession, there will be some midwives who either do not jive with you, or perhaps who really are just… not great midwives.  I don’t want to sell you a false narrative that every single midwife is perfect and beautiful and a unicorn, though I do think that’s often the case.  No, midwives are people and people can range the spectrum from incredibly helpful to harmfully abusive, as we saw in Shante’s experience.  Do remember this and remember that in choosing homebirth you’re making an awesome decision— but that’s not the ONLY decision.  It’s the first in a long line of decisions.  If ever you feel your care provider is not in it for you, find someone who is.  There are plenty of wonderful ones out there who would love to take you on.  And…. we need to #makemoremidwives Learn More About Homeopathy!
5/25/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 74: The Power of Preparing for Birth

This Episode was Brought to you by: Happy Homebirth Academy   The Premier Childbirth Education Program for Homebirth Mothers   Do you really need to prepare for birth?   Show Notes: Amanda's plan with her first child was a beautiful birth center birth The first 20 weeks of her pregnancy were full of sickness—  She even partially dislocated her shoulder after throwing up once. After laboring for quite a while, her midwife came over to check her and see if she could go to the birth center.  She was checked and was only 2 cm, so she said they could not go to the birth center yet. She began saying to herself during contractions, “Open, open, open.  Everything open.”  Her attention was specifically on opening and relaxing. Suddenly, soon after getting out of the tub, she feels the fetal ejection reflex.  “Breathe this baby down?! I’m going to eject this baby across the state!” The midwives made it just in time, and Amanda found out that what she thought were her insides coming out was actually just her baby’s head! Once he came out, she was in a state of confusion.  He looked different than she’d expected, and she had clearly been through a shocking experience.  When her midwife said, “Do you want to hold him?” Amanda’s immediate response was, “No, who is that?!” During her second pregnancy, she had Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction
5/18/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep 73: Emily Catches Her Own Baby

Did you know that you could be so intimately aware of what's going on in your labor that you could be the one to reach down and catch your own baby?   I sure didn't with my first daughter, and there's absolutely no way I would have been able to take the death grip off of my husband to do any such thing.   But Emily... Emily planned and prepared for a mindful homebirth, and her goal was to catch her own baby (her first birth!).  She was a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy, and I'm so excited to say that darn it, she did it!  Listen in to hear just how she achieved her goal.   Show Notes:   Emily's start to motherhood was different from the traditional route: She and her husband were called to foster-to-adopt immediately after Emily met her son at work.  She knew he was hers, and she would do anything for him.   After a long and stressful road, their son finally legally became a part of the family.  At this point, he was 3 years old.  Emily was suddenly hit with baby fever!   Emily began looking into homebirth.  She had had a traumatic time in the hospital at 19 and did not feel that it would be a healing place to have a baby.   After watching Katelyn's birth video of her second baby, Lillian, Emily decided she wanted to have the same type of empowering birth.  She joined Happy Homebirth Academy and put in all of the effort required to achieve her goal.   Emily woke up at 2:30 am in active labor.  She labored on her side for several hours, knowing that this was the position she was comfortable in.  Once she moved to the tub, she stayed in the same kneeling position for the remainder of her labor... except when she did her best to switch positions for just a moment.  Although she decided to return back to her previous spot, this movement was enough to dislodge her baby's head (turns out she way asynclitic!) and begin the process of crowning. Emily reached down and caught her own baby--triumphantly!   If you're interested in having a similar birthing experience, make sure you join Happy Homebirth Academy for your childbirth education program.  This program is the first of its kind- geared specifically towards homebirth mothers!  
5/11/202057 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 72: Student Success Story- Amy's Mindful Birth

How do you picture your birth?   I this weeks episode, we learn how Amy Lutz, a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy prepared for her first homebirth.     With a combination of books, positive stories, and Happy Homebirth Academy, Amy went into her birthing time feeling confident and at ease (even with her husband having a virus at the very same time)!   If you are interested in having a mindful, peaceful homebirth, get ready for Happy Homebirth Academy-- The premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers.  HHA launches May 11th, 2020.  
5/4/202029 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 71: From 3 Inductions to a Beautiful Homebirth

By your fourth birth, there’s no way you’re trying anything new, right?   Hey there Happy Homebirthers, and welcome to episode 71 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast, where we’ll be speaking with Kerrie, who went from a string of 3 inducted hospital births to an intervention-free homebirth.   Before we jump in, I’ve got news!  Happy Homebirth Academy is set to launch in just a few short weeks!  Tell all of your friends!  And if you’re a birth worker interested in checking out the program, give me a holler at [email protected] or DM me on instagram.  I’m hopeful to let some fellow birth workers take a look before launch day… provided I have it ready.   I am so excited about the content of this course.  It’s perfect for your first, fifth or tenth birth, whether you’ve had them all at home or all in hospital, and it gives you the tools have an empowered, mindful, peaceful homebirth.  It’s my third baby.  SO.  To keep updated with the launch, be sure to join the Happy Homebirth Pop Up group on facebook, or check out my free homebirth essentials mini course! It’s a quick little guide to some of the most important aspects of having a peaceful homebirth.  Just go to myhappyhomebirth.com/essentails for your download.   Show Notes:  Kerrie used a traditional obstetrician practice for her first baby. At the end of her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with Cholestasis of pregnancy, which is when the liver stops filtering out bile acids, which can be dangerous for the baby. She was induced at 38 weeks pregnant Looking back, there were several aspects of the labor she was unhappy about.  They did internal fetal monitoring, so her baby had a probe stuck in her head, and Kerrie wasn’t able to move around because of this.  The doctor threatened to wheel her to have a c section, and then said she was going to cut an episiotomy, which she also was very unhappy about. At that point Kerrie roared the baby out! For her next pregnancy, she thought that she had Cholestasis again.  She felt uncomfortable, so she went in at 37 weeks to have an induction. Her second labor took a very long time.  Once her water was broken, her son came 15 minutes later. She had been asking them to break her water for a long time! Her third pregnancy, she had no symptoms of Cholestasis. At 39 weeks, she was given the option to have an elective induction, and she said, “Yes, please!” With her third baby, she elected to get an epidural.  Once she finally got it, she laid back and his head emerged. Her third birth was the first time that she had requests that went against the typical routines of the hospital.  She didn’t want the baby bathed or vaccinated, and she felt that she had to fight and wasn’t being heard When she found out she was pregnant again, she was confident that she was having a homebirth. When she began telling people she was going to have a homebirth, people told her she was crazy. Her midwife connected Kerrie with a neighbor who had also had a homebirth.  This neighbor introduced Kerrie to an entirely new, crunchy tribe, who accepted her family with open arms. With her 4th baby, she was convinced she wasn’t in labor because she was so used to pitocin contractions. Kerrie’s water broke, and she got in the tub. Her neighbor called the midwife, and the midwife told her not to let her get in the tub.  She knew Kerrie’s baby was big, and she knew that getting in the tub would likely let her relax, and she worried she’d have the baby without her. Her labor was only an hour and a half in length. Kerrie’s community gets together with all 40 children for dinners weekly.  This was so special for her postpartum.  Everyone was checking in on her and taking care of her— never expecting to hold the baby, only doting on her.   Episode roundup: Just because you’ve had 2, 3,4 or 10 babies one way doesn’t mean you automatically have to do it the same way next time.  Kerrie went from 3 inductions to an unmedicated, untouched homebirth.  You can change your situation! Wasn’t it beautiful to hear how Kerrie gained such a supportive community?  This is so important postpartum, and it sounds like she was truly cared for and doted upon postpartum.  I loved hearing how she was cared for so well as her baby struggled with breastfeeding.  What a difference our community can make.  I encourage you to reach out to the other mothers around you.  Even having one or two friends or family members who can walk through the postpartum journey with you can make a world of difference. Okay my friends, that’s all I have for you this week.  Go download that free mini-course, and I’ll see you next week!
4/27/202037 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 70: Homebirth on the School Bus

Homebirth… on a school bus?  If you think that’s the wildest part of this upcoming episode, buckle up, baby.  My guest, Caroline Campbell is a homebirth mother of two, and both of her experiences were intense to say the least.  I always like to be up front when episodes contain difficult topics, and this one contains quite an emergent situation during her first birth.  Be prepared for that, but know that she and her midwife do an absolutely bangin’ job of handling the situation.  It’s truly powerful.  However, if you’re close to giving birth and are concerned that hearing a story of an emergent situation might upset you, you might want to come back to this episode.    Before we jump in, just giving another quick update on Happy Homebirth Academy.  I’m in the home stretch!  Just a bit more work to go, and it will be ready for all of you lovely women seeking a homebirth-centered childbirth education course.   Secondly, I’m a few weeks behind on sending out stickers for reviewers of the week.  You’d think that being at home all of the time would give more opportunity to keep me on track, but I feel like it totally doesn’t.  So if you’re waiting on a sticker… sorry!  I’ll get it in the mail!  To add to my list of mail, I’d like to thank this week’s reviewer: Bailadora Del Mundo   And if you would, go ahead and take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, upload it to your instagram stories and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #givebirthonyourturf!    Finally.. if you aren’t in the Happy homebirth pop up group on facebook, you’ve got to get over there.  So many stories, so much amazing, supportive homebirth goodness.   Show Notes Caroline is the mother of a 2.5 year old daughter and 4.5 month old son. Her husband was born at home (freebirth!), so she was familiar with the idea of homebirth once she became married. In high school, her friend became pregnant and the father was not in the picture—she stepped in and took birthing classes/witnessed her friend’s birth.  Though her friend had a healthy pregnancy, Caroline was uncomfortable with the hospital birth. During her first pregnancy, Caroline glowed.  It was easy and beautiful—she did prenatal yoga, she focused on her diet, and had a wonderful time.  She and her husband were living in Virginia, but knew they were going to move to Ohio.  They traveled 6.5 hours to their midwifery appointments. They planned to have a structure prepared to live in before the birth—that didn’t happen.  They ended up moving into a school bus conversion! Caroline went from living in her childhood home in Virginia to living in a school bus… without running water (they had a spring on the property) She and her husband nested in their school bus- they spent time with the dogs outside, with their new chickens.  They worked on the property and enjoyed their time. Little known fact: 2015- I bought a school bus! Caroline went through early labor during the night.  She woke up in labor with contractions that were 5 minutes apart. She didn’t have cell phone service where the bus was parked, so she would walk up and down a big hill to text and call her midwife. Caroline’s birth team arrived around 11.  Her midwife checked her, and found out that she was 8 cm dilated.  With her first baby, Caroline didn’t feel an urge to push, which frustrated her.  After her baby was born, her first words were, “That was so easy!” Caroline experienced a legitimate emergency during her first homebirth.  Postpartum was also difficult, as her child had severe tongue and lip ties. Caroline decided to wait a bit before getting pregnant again.  She wasn’t ready to commit to a homebirth again quite yet. They waited a year and a half to become pregnant again, and her second pregnancy was not a fun one.  She was very sick, and her pregnancy lasted 42 weeks. Once she finally went into labor, she felt everything in her back and was unable to find relief. Once her son was born, she had him nurse so that contractions would continue and she could deliver the baby. The placenta was born 20 minutes labor. Caroline’s pregnancies and labors were total opposites of each other. Breastfeeding went much better with her son than with her first baby.  She jumped quickly into action, and she had her mom visiting for the first few weeks postpartum, which was of great help. Because Caroline was so concerned about breastfeeding, her baby developed a “breast aversion,” which was very difficult for her because of her strong desire to achieve, especially in relation to breastfeeding.  After 36 hours of pumping and using a bottle, he accepted the breast again.     Episode Roundup   Emergencies DO happen at home.  Luckily, midwives are highly trained professionals who are prepared to do what they must.  I love the fact that Caroline was still involved in the decision-making process, even during an emergency.  When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s an amazing idea to know the resources at your disposal.  There are certainly hiccups that can be had, and as Caroline shared, it was much easier for her to navigate the second time around when she already had a plan.  Even if this is your first baby, it’s a great idea to learn of the different care providers in your area, should you need them postpartum.
4/20/202054 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 69: Oxytocin Changes Everything

Oxytocin- it’s a powerful drug!   In this episode, listen to hear how Bess, a mother of 3, experienced more and more oxytocin and bonding with each birth.  From a medicated hospital birth, to an unmedicated hospital birth (where the baby was still whisked away quickly), to an intimate birth center setting… it becomes quite clear that the less we intervene with physiological birth, the more room we give to oxytocin.  This allows mothers the ability to connect deeply with their babies from the beginning- forming that unbreakable love bond.  Be sure to check out the new Facebook group.  It's so empowering!  www.facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpopup Happy Homebirth Academy... it's coming to you soon!  Show Notes 1st pregnancy- Bess says she was young, and even though she knew about homebirth (her mom had 4), she opted for a hospital birth for financial reasons Bess had a low-lying placenta. Fun fact!  The placenta can move as the uterus grows (it also can move on its own!) Bess went into labor on the night before her due date Bess had a horrific first birth. She had a terrible nurse who bullied her and coerced her into receiving fentanyl.  She then had an epidural.  As baby emerged (with both her hands by her face), Bess received a 4th degree tear. She did not have a loving feeling towards her daughter when they first handed her over. They pushed her to breastfeed immediately, though she could barely even comprehend what had just happened. Bess was living in Korea during her second pregnancy. She began prenatals at a local Korean hospital. In this hospital, Bess was made to wear a gown each time in public, and she had to have an ultrasound at each appointment. At 20 weeks, after her doctor told her that he was concerned with how big her baby was, Bess switched to an army hospital. She asked far more questions this time around and had a successful unmedicated birth. Her husband was a huge support. She and her husband decided they didn’t want more children… until one day, suddenly, she knew she wanted one more baby. She bought her husband some beer, they discussed the matter, and they conceived that night! With her 3rd pregnancy, Bess started back at Ft. Hood hospital. At 16 weeks she decided to look into other options and found a birth center. Her final birth was redemptive of her previous experiences. She was able to experience the full effect of oxytocin.   Episode round up: What a redemptive story.  Bess was able to improve her birthing experiences each time, ending with a beautiful water birth at a birth center that allowed for physiological birth to take place.  As we head into the episode round-up, I want to focus on just that:  The importance of staying out of the way.  The ability to bond with your baby is critical—it sets the two of you up for success in the days, weeks, months and years to come.  When babies are unnecessarily removed from their mothers, as so often happens in the hospital setting, a new hurdle is added to the mother/baby team.  I love how Bess’s joy over her third birth was so palpable.  It is the true proof that the ability to give birth on your own terms, without unnecessary intervention, and of course—to actually hold your baby immediately after—allows oxytocin to do its magical work.  What a joy to hear so much love in a mother’s voice.
4/13/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep 68: The Mysteriously Missed Birth

There's a first time for everything.  Sometimes midwives miss births, sometimes they *almost* miss births, and sometimes....  Well, you'll have to listen in to hear the odd in-between!   Important Updates:   Happy Homebirth Academy is almost ready to launch!  In the meantime, check out my free mini-course, and join the facebook pop-up group!   myhappyhomebirth.com/essentials facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpopup   Resources Mentioned in this episode: Coming Alongside A Friend Who Has Experienced Loss   Show Notes: Cierra is a Le Leche League Leader who love supporting parents in breastfeeding. Cierra’s first pregnancy ended in miscarriage weeks after she thought she was in the “safe zone” Cierra never forgets the compassion of the OB that was on call when she learned that her baby had passed. She gave her a massive hug and support in a time of need. The “at least” comments are so painful to the grieving parent stillbirthday.com Second pregnancy was several months later—this time there was less jubilation, more “survival mode” Cierra opted for an epidural, which she says began the “cascade of interventions”. The delivery was very difficult, requiring forceps. The next birth was much faster, and she had a baby at a hospital-based birth center. On the way to the birth center, as Cierra was very far along, she said, “THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HAVE HOMEBIRTHS” Their baby was born only 30 minutes after arriving With their third baby, it was easy to decide to have a homebirth Cierra’s midwife helped her as she decided to stop tandem nurse during the pregnancy of her most recent baby. Cierra experienced prodromal labor with this pregnancy Cierra is laboring on the tub. She stood up to walk to the birth pool, but as she stood, she felt that her baby was coming immediately. Her third baby “birthed herself”—fetal ejection reflex! The bathroom was dark, and nobody could see. Everyone thought the baby was about to be born….. The baby had already been born! She caught herself on the toilet seat. There was a true knot in the cord Cierra’s midwife said, “I’ve missed some births, and I’ve almost missed some births. I’ve not missed a birth right in front of me before.”