Happy Homebirth

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.

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 katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, 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:

  1. Reminder that freestanding birth centers and homebirths are incredibly similar.  The main difference is who gets in the car.
  2. 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.
  3. Go check out Tori’s book, Ready to Unpop!

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)

  1. 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.
  2. Communicate with curiosity.  Consider, “Am I trying to defend, or am I trying to learn more?”
  3. Make a plan for post-conflict communication
  4. Questions to ask one another:
    1. What does compromise look like in our relationship?
    2. What will our relationship look like after baby?
    3. How can we support each other through change?
    4. What does it look like for you to be vulnerable with me?
    5. How can I find the courage to be vulnerable?
    6. How will we split up responsibilities?
  5. Focus together on how you can play on the same team
  6. Let go, have grace— for both yourself and your partner
  7. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

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: 

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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 <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. 

 

Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you back here, next week!

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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 

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

 

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!

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. 

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 katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com 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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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