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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.

Show Notes: 

 

Picture this:  You’re pregnant for the second, third, or maybe fifth time.  What do you do?  I mean, you’ve done this before.  You certainly know all there is to know, right?

 

This week’s guest, Elizabeth Bauer, takes education seriously, and just because she’s done something once doesn’t mean she isn’t going to learn and prepare even more for the next go ‘round.

 

Elizabeth takes us on a journey of her birthing experiences.  From a frenzied birth center birth to a birth without the midwife present, to finally a mindful and peaceful third birth—Elizabeth was bent in improving her experience every time. 

 

We’ll hear how:

- the clothing choices of her midwife at her first birth subconsciously threw off her game

-she learned that she knows her body better than anyone else, even professionals

- love and laughter can bring on a baby in a hurry

-and how mindfulness gave her the most beautiful, present birth yet.

 

I’m so excited to share this story, as it is a beautiful example of why I find childbirth education so important.  This episode is exactly why I am creating my own childbirth education program.  Mindful, present homebirths are what I want for all of you, and I’m making the perfect program to help you achieve that goal. 

 

Elizabeth’s journey is incredible.  I’m so grateful she was able to impart both beautiful storytelling and wisdom with us!

 

 

Let's make this childbirth education program HAPPEN! Click the link to support Katelyn's candle fundraiser. Happy Homebirth candles? I'll take 10. https://theforestrystudio.com/products/happy-homebirth-fundraiser

Show Notes:

 

Under what circumstances would you decide to give birth at home?  In the hospital?

 

Today’s episode explores this idea, as we delve into Rhiannon’s birth stories.  Rhiannon experienced two lackluster hospital births, one of which was very aggressive in nature. 

 

It was at this point that she decided to learn more about birth.  After finding out she was pregnant with her third, Rhiannon reached out to a midwife.  She was so excited to begin care… until she found out she was pregnant with twins.  What would she do now?

 

Listen in to hear how Rhiannon handled this interesting situation.

 

After Rhiannon’s twin birth, she became pregnant one more time.  With this baby, surely she’d have a homebirth.  Unfortunately, as labor approached, Rhiannon began bleeding and realized quite quickly that she was in an emergent situation.  She headed to the hospital to receive the care she needed.

 

Today’s episode is full of ups and downs.  Rhiannon’s positivity and encouragement are a light through it all!

 

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Have you ever considered what it would be like to give birth as intimately as possible?  This certainly may look different for different people.  For example—for me, giving birth as intimately as possible meant having just my husband and best friend/apprentice in the room with me for the majority of my labor, with the rest of my birth team filing in at the very end.  For Shayla and others, this means giving birth completely alone—with just their family at home.  Many people call this unassisted childbirth, or freebirth.  Although I personally love and respect midwifery and the comfort of having a Certified Professional Midwife attend my births, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize that that’s not the only way people choose to give birth at home.  I also find it important to not that unassisted childbirth is legal in all 50 states—whereas the legality for CPMs to attend homebirths varies from state to state.  Annoying? Yes.  But true.

Today we speak with Shayla, who has experienced a vast array when it comes to childbirth.  From giving birth at her mother-in-law’s house (a feat in and of itself) to a hospital, to home alone, she’s done it all (and with grace, I might add!). 

 

In the beginning (you’ll get this pun later), Shayla decided to have a homebirth with her first child.  She did this because she didn’t want to deal with the pressures and protocols of the hospital.  Shayla knew she wanted to give birth naturally, and she felt that hospital staff would make her labor more difficult.  She found a student midwife to act as her care provider. 

 

At that time, Shayla knew no one who was giving birth at home.  She’d become more natural in many ways—from learning how to cure a toothache, to fertility support, and now in relation to homebirth.

 

She went on to have her second baby at home, too, though home had moved from Mississippi to Phoenix, Arizona. 

 

With her third baby, Shayla ended up using a Certified Nurse Midwife in the hospital.  She discusses the lack of African American midwives, and how finding one can be very difficult.  We discussed the fact that Sistamidwife has a directory for these providers.

 

Although she was able to give birth naturally in the hospital, Shayla acknowledges the difficulty she experienced.  With so many people coming in and out, it was difficult for her to get into the groove of labor.  She found it frustrating that she’d have to have “tiny arguments” with the staff about what she knew she needed for her body.

 

With her fourth child, she maintained relationship with her CNM.  She went to prenatals regularly, though all the while she planned to give birth to her baby alone with her family at home, assuming she remained healthy. Fortunately, Shayla did remain healthy and confident. 

 

She gave birth to baby #4 on the floor in her front room after her children had gone to bed.  She said that once she began pushing, baby came so fast that her husband almost missed catching him!  Speaking of her husband, Shayla discusses how supportive he was, and how he has always thought she’d be a great candidate for a “freebirth”.

 

Mentions In this Episode:

 

Spinning Babies

Sista Midwife

Sista Girl Midwifery (North Charleston, SC

Liberated Birth Movement 

 

Keep up with Shayla:

 

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Blog

 

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

 

 

 

Show Notes:

 

For those of you who have experienced it—was postpartum anything like you thought it would be?  In fact—did you even spend much time considering it before your first birth?

 

I’ll be the first to say that with my first child, I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to postpartum. Sure, I considered breastfeeding… but I expected this to be the one potentially difficult aspect of new motherhood.  I didn’t expect the anxiety, and I certainly didn’t expect rage.  But postpartum hormones can be…intense.

 

Chelsea shares this experience.  As a mother who gave birth at home with her first, she felt she’d set herself up for success.  And she had!  However, that’s not the end of the work for any new mom (or at least, it shouldn’t be!).  She discusses how after a gorgeous first birth, Chelsea struggled with deep postpartum anxiety and rage. 

 

Having this experience pushed Chelsea to create Postpartum Together—an online coaching group dedicatied to the postpartum mother. She’s created a 5-month curriculum that helps mothers navigate postpartum… together.

 

This deep understanding of the postpartum experience certainly came in handy for Chelsea after her second daughter was born.  At the 20-week ultrasound, Chelsea and her husband were informed that their daughter had a congenital heart defect.  She was able to give birth naturally (and very quickly!) at the hospital, but her daughter had to undergo heart surgery at 5 months of age—another deep stress and anxiety. 

 

Chelsea’s realness and positive outlook are an amazing encouragement for all of us, and she is doing a phenomenal job of bringing women together at such a transformative time.

 

Keep up with Chelsea!

 

www.strivelesslivemore.com

www.instagram.com/chelsb.skaggs

 

Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:

www.hatchedathome.com

https://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/

864-907-6363

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Do you ever consider the similarities and differences of homebirth, and birth in general, around the globe?  Episode 37 gives a glimpse into the maternity care of women in Ireland by following Emer’s journey from hospital to homebirth. 

 

Emer is a fitness-loving mother of 3 located on the western coast of Ireland.  She owns a women’s gym where she works with women in all stages of life, with a specific love of helping women pre and postnatally. 

 

She and her business partner run an online blog called Food Fitness Fertility.  They are dedicated to teaching women how to care for themselves, track their cycles, and learn about fertility options other than the traditional route of IVF.

 

Emer’s first two births took place in the hospital, but because of her uncomplicated pregnancies and the swiftness of her second labor, she decided to give birth at home with her third baby. 

 

After a beautiful, uncomplicated pregnancy, life became hard at 34 weeks when her husband sustained a leg injury from a sports complication.  The injury required surgery and 6 weeks in a brace at 90 degrees.  Emer’s last bit of pregnancy was spent caring for her 2 young children and her husband.  Though exhausted, she is grateful for all of the preparation she did beforehand.

 

Luckily, her baby waited to be born until her husband was out of the brace and available to help.  Unfortunately, on the day that early labor began, her children were feverish and sick.  Labor took place overnight, however, and her children slept through the main event (though one did wake soon after with a fever—and woke the second child up, too!  Oh, parenthood.) 

 

Emer’s last birth was quick and uncomplicated, and her baby came out both crying and peeing! 

 

She discusses the importance of taking care of ourselves and understanding our cycles when it comes to pregnancy.  Emer discusses how much emphasis is put on not getting pregnant when we are teens, but there is no information on HOW to get pregnant, which she finds just as important. 

 

Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:

www.hatchedathome.com

https://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/

864-907-6363

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

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Did you decide to have a homebirth with your first baby, or did this decision take place later down the line?  For mamas pregnant with your first, do you ever find yourself thinking, "Perhaps I'll have a homebirth... with my second..."? 

As a doula, Alexa experienced a number of births before becoming pregnant.  This experience pushed her towards the open arms of her homebirth midwives.  She knew that she wanted to give birth naturally... and she felt certain that that goal would be more difficult to achieve in the hospital setting, where the type and attitude of whatever care providers happened to be working that day could truly color her birth experience.

And so... with the support of her husband, midwives and doula, Alexa had an amazing homebirth.

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

Believe in Midwifery  Discount Code: HAPPY20

Lactation Cookies

Alexa's Written Birth Story

 

Keep Up With Alexa

Instagram

Website

Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:

www.hatchedathome.com

https://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/

864-907-6363

 

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

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Is there anything more transformative than birth?  Than being reborn as a mother for the first, second, or sixth time?  For so many, birth is a catalyst into the next phase of life- not only on the maternal front, but also on the passion and career front.

This is exactly what happened to Stefanie.  After experiencing her own birth with midwives, she was set on fire with a passion for women and babies.  She became a Lamaze instructor, a midwife’s assistant, and a doula.  How amazing!  During today’s episode, we discuss this transformation and the birth stories that caused this shift.

 

Show Notes:

 

  • Stefanie found out she was pregnant with her first child the same week she and her husband had moved from New York to Atlanta.  She knew exactly where she would give birth in New York, but had to search for a care provider now that she was in a completely different location.
  • Luckily, Stefanie found a supportive midwife group in one of the local hospitals. She enjoyed her experience with the midwives, and was grateful for their recommendation of hiring a doula for her labor.
  • Stefanie’s first labor was arduous and full of back pain with a baby who was in the posterior position for most of labor. It was quite a long one, spanning 24 hours, so her doula came in handy. 
  • Stefanie dilated to 8cm…. and then remained there for 8 hours. She spent much of her time in the shower (accidentally flooding the room at one point!). She was quick to acknowledge that had she not been with the midwives, it’s very likely that she would have ended up with a c-section.
  • Finally, even though baby was very high and she was at an 8, her midwives encouraged her to try pushing. They tried every position imaginable, and amazingly, after 2.5 hours, her baby was born!
  • Stefanie did struggle with some postpartum anxiety after her first child.
  • With her second pregnancy, she thought, “That went so well last time- why don’t we just do it at home?!”
  • Between the two births, Stefanie had become a doula, a midwife’s assistant, and a Lamaze instructor. She knew exactly who she wanted to have attend her birth.
  • With her second birth, she realized she was in early labor at about 6:20 one evening. She was grateful that her husband was almost home.  He got home and began to take care of their toddler while Stefanie went to take a bath.
  • Suddenly, her labor took quite an intense turn. She called her midwife to let her know that she was in early labor.  Upon Stefanie’s call, her midwife said she was on her way over, though Stephanie felt certain she was still only in early labor.
  • She was not. She decided to check herself…and only got about a knuckle deep before running into the baby’s head.
  • Luckily, her midwife arrived quickly. She got out of the tub and onto the toilet, facing backwards. Suddenly her water broke, and her midwife told her she needed to turn around… neither Stefanie or her midwife could catch a baby in that position!
  • Stefanie’s baby was born very quickly at this point—in less than the amount of time it took her to push with her first baby, she labored and had her second!
  • Stefanie’s doula business is a 2-person group, which was inspired by a former interviewee, Madeline Murray. Check out her episode here!
  • Stay in touch with Stefanie:
  • doulasinatlanta.com
  • instagram.com/theatlantadoula

 

Brought to you today by my wonderful, amazing, charming, and highly skilled husband who drove around for an hour today to find Wi-Fi and upload this. He is the real deal. #Blessed #MyHero #WhoShotJFK?

I LOVE working out, and I especially loved it during my most recent pregnancy.  Something about focusing on my health while growing my new babe was incredibly empowering.  What about you?  Did you feel energized and ready to work out during pregnancy?  

 

Now that I'm postpartum, I'm biding my time until I can return to working out.  The first few weeks post-pregnancy are a sacred time of rest, so I know I must take this just as seriously as any other period of time.

 

But what happens when I get the green light?  Do I just jump back in... full steam ahead?

 

Nope, I'm going to be incredibly careful to make sure that each exercise I do is actually safe for my new postpartum body, and that it's helping build me up- not causing more distress.

 

Enter: Glowbody PT.  This episode features a mama and former World Champion athlete, Ashley Keller.  She has created both pregnancy and post-pregnancy workout plans, and she knows the ins-and outs of both intensity and safety when it comes to the fresh new mom-bod.  

Show Notes:

Ashley is an army spouse and mother of 3 young children.  Before babies, she was a professional tri-athlete for Team USA, and won a World Championship for Half Iron Man.  She then served in the Army and became a mom.  She realized she needed short, efficient workouts for herself, so she decided to share what she was doing for her prenatal workouts on YouTube-  GlowBody PT was born. 

Ashley has not created your average run-of-the-mill pregnancy routines.  No, no, my friends.  These workouts are a beautiful marriage of both intensity and safety for pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

Ashley discusses the breakdown of her pregnancy workout plan, which is divided into trimesters.  

 

First Trimester

During the first trimester, Ashley discusses the importance of maintaining consistency with whatever types of workouts you were doing before.  If you weren't working out much, now is not the time to begin something rigorous.  However if you were working out, continue in the same way.  The caveat: bring your maximum workout level from a 10 to a 6 or a 7.

She mentions that there are several things mothers should avoid during the first trimester: overheating and breathlessness (due to change in hormones).  

The first trimester is a great time to try to get the abs and back very strong, as their strength and stability through pregnancy is key.

 

Second Trimester

The second trimester is a great time to begin lifting weights, even if you were not lifting weights before pregnancy.

Ashley gives great explanation as to how helpful squats are for avoiding the "soggy bag" pelvic floor.

 

Third Trimester:

It's incredibly important to remember that the body is creating a hormone called relaxin, which increases greatly during the third trimester.  This makes the joints and body as a whole hyper-mobile, so it is very important to be careful while working out, especially with yoga.  Ashley recommends doing prenatal yoga only once or twice per week.  

Her pregnancy plan ends at 32 weeks... why?  Not because you cannot continue to work out past this time, but because she wants each individual mom to listen to their bodies rather than feeling like they must do a specific workout.  She recommends doing workouts from the second and third trimester if you feel good continuing to work out.  She reminds mothers to listen to their bodies, as it will tell you when to stop!

 

Ashley has had 3 vaginal births in the hospital on base with midwifery care.  She appreciates the intimacy of the midwifery practice, and the way that the hospital allows her to labor how she wants.  She has found that giving birth on all 4’s, either on the bed or on the floor, is best for opening her pelvis and allowing baby to engage.  She says her most recent baby practically “fell out” as she leaned against the bed.  Nurses had to rush over to catch the baby.

As we delve into postpartum, Ashley's big piece of advice for the first few weeks is toREST HARD.  While it is not time to begin working out, this is a great time to begin doing long kegels (specific description in episode).

 

Beginning to Work Out Postpartum:

After receiving the "go ahead" from your medical provider, it's important to make sure that you are also checking your body's signals.  Are you still bleeding?  This means you're not actually ready.  Are you still sore?  If you had a Cesarean section, is your incision oozing?  This would also mean that you're not ready.  Just like at the end of pregnancy, it's important to listen to your body's cues during the postpartum phase.

 “We need to retrain our body because it’s gotten a little wonky."  Ashley discusses how it's important that we are not only gaining strength, but rebuilding the very foundations of our body.  It's been stretched and relaxed, and we must be very careful as we begin to rebuild.

 The benefits of Ashley's 12 Week Post-Pregnancy Plan:

  • It's Diastasis Recti Healing/Safe
  • Saves Time (20-30 minute workouts, 4x/week)
  • Does the Brain Work for You- Just click on the video and Ashley works out with you!

 Happy Homebirth listeners receive a promo code (for being the greatest listeners in the world)!

 

https://www.glowbodypt.com/12-week-post-pregnancy-plan-2

Code: homebirth15

 

Follow Ashley:

Facebook.com/glowbodypt

Instagram.com/glowbodypt

Youtube.com/glowbodypt

 

No matter how far postpartum you are, you can close that diastasis recti gap with Ashley’s 12 week post-pregnancy plan!

 

Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:

www.hatchedathome.com

https://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/

864-907-6363

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

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