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This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers looking to have a peaceful, empowering birthing experience.
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- 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