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How to Prevent and Heal Birth Trauma in Babies

 

In part two of birth trauma in babies, we’ll be looking at how to prevent birth trauma in the first place for your little one. We’ll also look at how to help your baby heal from trauma, if it did already happen.

Your baby will learn about care, love, and healing; it’ll benefit him or her for life!

How to Prevent Birth Trauma in Babies

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In terms of prevention, a healthy pregnancy and beautiful natural birth are sure ways of encouraging healthy outcome and without birth trauma for you or your baby.

So, let’s quickly look at what you can do to promote a healthful and deeply fulfilling experience, while preventing any need for intervention that can lead to traumatic experiences.

Having a Natural Birth

So, what can you do to put in place the kind of birth that will support you and your baby to come into the world as nature intended?

Begin with preparation in pregnancy.

Attend my webinar on preventing birth trauma.

In it, I go over crucial tips that’ll help you develop a comprehensive plan and prepare for a natural birth. You must prepare well in advance, like you would for running the 26 mile marathon, or your own wedding.  If you want to succeed in getting what you want - rocking and loving your experience and have a healthy outcome physically and psychologically - you can not afford to just wing it. Not in today's world. 

Yes, your body knows how to give birth, when we get our modern minds out of the way and we are with people and in settings that support it and do not disturb it when everything is normal and healthy. 

Look for a midwife or doctor and birth setting setting with high rates of successful natural births, without routine unnecessary interventions, that completely allows you to have your voice, and respects and supports your decisions.

You may need to learn a complete mindset shift, especially if you do not know anything about natural birth, or have not been around it as women were throughout history; this is extremely important if you don't feel confident, have lots of fear and do not feel supported.  Although underestimated, preparing your mindset is also a powerful and a foundational place to begin when creating your birth plan and getting ready for your birth. When you set your intentions for your experience, you’re more likely to manifest what you want. 

The mindset plays a huge role in the success of famous athletes, performers, as well as business men and women - they all have coaches to help them with that so they become the rockstars they are. You do not need to be famous or perform. But you do need to take back your birth so you can have a healthy one that you love, and without trauma. Your ability to do this rests in your attitude and mindset, that needs to transform and be different than the herd mentality.

And do hire a doula - who can be your coach for your big day. It is another must.

Do any of the following situations apply to you?

  • It is your first baby,

  • It’s your first time planning a natural birth,

  • You want a vaginal birth after cesarean birth, or

  • You already had a traumatic birth and want to plan for a much better, and completely different, experience next time around.

If you answered yes to any of the above, then I recommend you take my online Love Your Birth  course as it goes over all of this in much greater depth. I literally teach you how to transform your mindset so that it serves you on this journey of a lifetime.

The lessons in the course come from my extensive experience guiding and and empowering women and their families in my practice. They’ve led to the awesome birth experiences that I have been honored to witness for over 20 years.

All mamas who have been through it benefited from it immensely. Take a look.

What to Do During and After the Birth

Babies are way more capable than we give them credit! Your unborn baby—when he or she is ready—is naturally inclined, with the help of your body's labor, to move through the birth canal of their own will and effort, when given the opportunity. 

 Photo by @senhoritasfotografia.

Photo by @senhoritasfotografia.

In part one of this birth trauma in babies blog series I discussed how babies are actually more alert, cognizant and sensitive than we realize. If we interrupt the birthing and postpartum process when all is well, with any kind of medical or surgical procedures, testing and interventions, the baby will feel terrified, unsafe, their own agency taken away, their space violated and threatened. Then the trauma reaction ensues! Interventions that can cause trauma can include drugs, internal electrodes on their head, forceps, vacuum, cesarean, immediate cord clamping, suctioning their airway, rough handling, or separation from mom. All the more so when there are complications and interventions are truly needed. 

We need to be sensitive to the baby’s psychological experience when giving care during and after the process of delivery. In the womb and certainly as a newborn, baby is fully aware and conscious and is even more vulnerable to trauma than an adult, as baby's nervous system is still developing.

In addition to the prevention mentioned above, we can help minimize risk of birth trauma by creating a homey and private atmosphere for both mom and baby - in all settings.

That includes dim, soft lighting, and a quiet, peaceful, slow paced environment.  Also, if a mom feels loved, honored, supported and cared for, if she feels calm, safe, intimate and sensual, she’ll not only labor real well, but also will have yummy hormones that pass over to baby, so baby is bathed in them and feels this as well.  Check out my birth trauma series about mothers for more on how we can prevent and heal trauma in moms.

When I talk about gentle care, I’m talking about gentle handling, soothing reassuring voice and touch, eye contact, being held, breastfeeding, and a lot of skin-to-skin contact with mom or partner —this should begin after birth.

 Photo by @sehorhitasfotografia.

Photo by @sehorhitasfotografia.

Don’t cut the cord immediately either. That is baby's life line to oxygen, blood volume and essential nutrients and immunity to help baby transition to life outside the womb. Clamp it only after the pulsing stops or the placenta is birthed. 

Babies also love relaxing music and bath water - and who wouldn't like flower petals floating around, the ambiance of real or electric candles, and a delicious light scent of lavender or citrus?  If you have a water birth, watch them open up, move their arms and legs, and look around when held in the birthing pool. 

This is a sacred time for meeting, connecting to and bonding with each other, so unplug from your phone and computer, and have someone else in charge of spreading the exciting news and taking pictures.

If a cesarean birth is needed, it can be gentle, to simulate a family-centered, natural birth as much as possible, so it feels like a huge personal celebration rather than an operation. These same concepts apply however baby comes into the world.

Furthermore, any procedures or exams that need to happen after the baby’s birthed can be done at mom’s bedside while she’s holding and soothing her baby, explaining what’s going on if something is being done to either of them. A healthy baby needs to stay with parents at all times and not be rolled away in an isolate crib, taken to the noisy and brightly lit nursery of strangers for any examination or intervention. 

How Can Babies Heal from Birth Trauma

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In today’s technological world, there are more stressful, scary, drug-induced labors and surgical births than ever before, especially here in the United States. Healthy birth has become an impersonal medical and/or surgical event, a potential crisis waiting to happen in an intensive care like setting in many hospitals; is not a normal, beautiful part of life, the humane, cozy, family-centered celebration it once was.

At least there are some improvements happening here and there, such as:

Needless to say, a lot of healing needs to take place in the last several generations, once birth was moved to hospitals in the early part of the 1900s!

Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to help heal birth trauma in babies.

After the Traumatic Birth

In working with traumatized babies and infants, the most important thing in giving care is love. This may seem obvious but don’t take this parental superpower for granted!

As a parent, lead with your heart. It is full of wisdom and does not lie, but rather sends you in the right direction.

When interacting with your baby, always have tenderness, comfort and compassion in mind—for yourself and your baby! The more compassion you have for yourself, the easier you can extend it to others in abundance.

Practice Kangaroo Care - while in the hospital, if intensive care is needed, and definitely at home. This simply involves holding baby (clothed in a diaper only) against your skin and cover yourselves with a blanket. Its benefits are well documented and can be done safely despite baby's attachment to medical devices in the NICU, depending on baby's condition. Basic closeness, touch and attention improve their health and healing immensely.  

Your baby needs to know that even when life gets difficult—because it will—there’ll always be love. You can provide ongoing reassurance you are there for your baby. Talk to your baby in a soothing manner, and allow them to tell their story with their body and in the nonverbal way that they do. They have much to say without the ability to talk. 

Their excessive crying or “fussiness” is not simply difficult baby behavior—they’re trying to tell us something. Validate their scary experience and let them know that they’re safe now. Sing to them. Rock them. Calm them.

Take a look at renowned midwife Karen Strange’s resources on baby trauma healing. She is an expert and international educator in neonatal resuscitation and works fully from the baby’s perspective. You can begin using these incredible tools of connecting with baby in pregnancy. 

Working with a Therapist

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In treating traumatized babies, Dr. Graham Kennedy tells us that a therapist will be observing and interacting with the affected baby through movement as well as through “hands-on palpation using craniosacral therapy.”  Therapists skilled in somatic experience and cutting edge trauma healing modalities for babies are ideal. You can find a list of some wonderful ones here. 

Usually, the movements the baby begins to make are similar to those he or she made in the womb during labor, but this time giving us the story of what happened to them.

“Working with babies involves holding a space in which they feel supported enough to begin to tell us the story of what happened to them, what they experienced and where it became difficult or even traumatic.” (Graham Kennedy, November 2008)

This reenactment can have a profound change on the baby’s brain, rewiring them to experience what they would have experienced in labor were they to have had a stress-free and intervention-free experience.

There are many possible imprints and effects of birth trauma, but they can all be healed. This is well backed by much literature, science and research, especially as we are growing in our understanding of trauma, its impact and how to heal from it when we get stuck in trauma responses. 

For example, down the line, you may notice your infant or young child having trouble starting or completing tasks (or both!). This may be an effect of their birth having been interrupted—this may have caused your baby trauma, it is stored in their bodies, and now they’ve learned to carry with them a certain passivity.

Babies born by forceps, vacuum or cesarean may later on feel they have to be rescued, can't do it alone, support is painful, get angry with authority, being controlled or manipulated, or they may not want to be here at all - and that can impact every aspect of their lives.

Babies who were drugged from their moms getting pain medication, may suppress their aliveness, have issues with addiction, feel spacey, out of it and trouble being conscious in their own lives.

Babies who spent time in an incubator away from their parents, feel separate and alone, have deep longing for connection and touch, develop a psychic wall of protection, and are easily triggered by abandonment.

In later childhood through adult years, this can be completely resolved with Clarity Breathwork - I do sessions locally in my practice, and online for the global community. 

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The trauma response is an important part of our lives and it is our brain’s and body's way of protecting us at the time of perceived danger. It is a normal instinctual reaction in animals, including humans of all ages, and does not become a disorder unless it is interfered with and suppressed.

It does however, need to be treated with expertise for complete effective healing. If there is a traumatic response dysfunction, it is not a life sentence. You don’t have to hold on to those scripts anymore and neither does your baby. Full recovery is possible.

Healing birth trauma in babies is one of the most caring and giving things we can do for our children. 

Do you want to heal from trauma, inner stress and emotional pain that is negatively impacting your life? Let me help you! Attend my free webinar to learn how you can heal your own birth or other trauma, get yourself back and reclaim your inner calm and joy that is your birthright!

 

Birth Trauma for Moms, Part 2: Prevention and Healing

 
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If you’ve confronted birth trauma or are dealing with it now, then you’re not alone. Learn more about how you can prevent it and about what you can do to begin healing.

I discuss birth trauma for moms and babies, so prevalent in the US and parts of the modern world, and how to prevent it, in greater depth on my free online masterclass. It is a must watch, as birth trauma is on the rise, effecting over 1/3 of women according to what has been reported - and many suffer silently - so how many go unreported? The numbers of people and lives this impacts are staggering. 

Prevention

Mindset Shift

Our Model of Conditioning

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The model of pregnancy and birth we’ve been conditioned to believe in these past 100 years or so has grossly skewed a modern woman’s natural ability to give birth in a natural way.

In part one of this Birth Trauma series, I briefly explained how birth around the world was, since the beginning of time, widely seen as a normal part of life, and a celebration rather than the medical event that it is today in the U.S. and parts of the modern world. But, in moving births from the home into hospitals, we’ve since lost our intuitive response to birth as a natural process.

Our bodies know how to birth a baby—it’s the same way we’ve been doing it for 1000s of years before medical procedures and technology.  So, a big part of preventing birth trauma would be a mindset shift—in fact, it’s a return to what we already know.

A first step in the gradual shift of your mind would be to forgive yourself the conditioning you’ve been taught to rely on—that you must hand over your body (and, essentially, your power) over to your doctor, hospital, modern medicine and technology.

We’ve been raised a certain way in this era of medical and technological advances. It’s not your fault! If there’s any trauma you’ve experienced or are experiencing now, it’s not your fault!

It might be worth asking your own parents, if you can, about the process of pregnancy and birth that they’d experienced in bringing you into the world. As you’ll inevitably learn with trauma, it is not simply forgotten.

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Traumatic experiences can begin in the womb. Babies are born fully conscious. A baby in the womb feels whatever its momma feels - keeping a file, so to speak, of cellular memory within the subconscious. Traumatic birthing experiences, like the use of drugs to induce labor and numb pain, internal electrode probes screwed onto baby's scalp, forceps, C-section, immediate cord clamping, suctioning, rough handling, bright lights, separation from mom and being left alone in a nursery incubator etc., can be hard-wired into a deep memory base that you, as a now functioning adult, can’t even remember, let alone access!

Psychology news  tells us that the more traumatic and hard-wired habits we’ve developed are because of experiences from before the age of 9. Imagine that: most of our decisions and personality today are based on our childhood and baby selves! 

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Therefore, the emotional component of pregnancy and birth needs to be honored even more so - as it impacts mom as well as baby. In the shift from home to hospital, birth became a medical and often, now a surgical event - sterile and almost emotionless, stripped of humanity. The huge psychological impact of childbirth on mom and baby is widely disregarded, and when care is given without this sensitivity, there is increased risk of birth trauma for them both.

A return to our emotions is essential in giving birth. Needless to say, this is supposed to be a time of love and honor and joy—when a birth is led with these feelings, the chances of it being successful, natural and healthy are that much higher.

A Return to Confidence

With this mindset shift comes a return to the confidence of knowing that we as healthy women, have a feminine capacity to grow, birth, and breastfeed our babies.

With confidence, you’ll feel more capable of taking on the responsibility of your pregnancy and outline what you want for your child’s birth—not what the medical system deems it should be or believes it is.

Confidence in pregnancy and birth comes from an understanding that women birth like they breathe - naturally. (You don’t have to teach your organs to function, your heart to pump blood, or your lungs to fill with air - they are brilliantly designed to do that without your involvement.)

But, this confidence is also best supported in a space where a woman can feel at peace and that she is being celebrated in a gentle and beautiful way.

If a woman is stressed, if she’s being monitored in a way that is invasive, where there’s poking and prodding—especially without consent—then, this woman is definitely not going to labor well and most definitely not as quickly or easily as she otherwise would. She’ll then need to be medicated  to “get things moving” which will cause a faster and more intense labor, and that results in the need for pain relief medications.

Our current maternity care system’s disconnected and medical treatment of birth is what’s causing the need for more medical and surgical intervention and emergency situations in the first place; it leads into a cascade of further interventions and more serious problems like the high rates of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality that plague the United States.

This is why a woman’s physical and mental and emotional state and space are so important in avoiding birth trauma. In a space where a woman feels respected and heard, she will feel safe enough to birth in a way that is natural and healthy for her and her baby.

Planning

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This is why excellent childbirth education is a must, why planning for your birth is so important today, and is a major reason why I created my Love Your Birth course. It is a comprehensive online course that teaches women what they need to know about planning and carrying out the birth that they want in all settings - the hospital, birthing center or at home. It’s a course on how to have a holistic, healthy pregnancy for the body, mind, and soul - and is how I have guided thousands of women and their families in my midwifery practice for over 20 years. It contains a rolodex of my favorite resources with over 200 of the best books, movies and supplies I use personally and professionally with my clients, family & friends. Even diving into a fraction of this list will have you feeling empowered and prepared for conception, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting...It includes resources on improving and even ensuring ensuring healthier pregnancy and birth outcomes than the status quo, and preventing and healing from birth trauma so prevalent in the modern world!  Be prepared to do some research on your own, but knowledge restores your power. I also help you prepare your mindset for such a task, to debunk myths, and to reframe any current ideas or conditioning about pregnancy and birth that can use a change in perspective or that are simply incorrect and do serve you. After finishing the course, the idea is that you are now able to create and have the healthy, beautiful and empowering pregnancy and birth that you want. 

You can get a free nugget from my course - all about creating your ideal birth plan here. A huge part of preventing birth trauma is getting clear your birth preferences, knowing the pros and cons about all the tests and procedure, all the interventions your may be faced with, so you can make informed decisions - rather than simply give over your body, your choice and voice to your health care providers and institution you choose.

In looking for that supportive birthing space I talked about earlier, seek care providers and settings that have a low intervention rate (low rates of medical interventions like inductions and epidurals, low rates of cesareans, etc.)—their practices are more likely to be in line with your goals.

Hire a doula.  What’s a Doula and Why I Recommend One

Birth, for most healthy women, is a normal process that needs no intervention but sensitive support and enouragement when all is well —the medical system does have its place (which we’ll get into later) but normal birth requires no invasion and therefore need not be traumatic whatsoever!

In fact, as a midwife, I’ve had women tell me not only that they feel proud of their labor and birth, but also,  that they even feel in ecstasy with their experiences - even if intense and challenging.

 Photo by Senhoritas Fotografia

Photo by Senhoritas Fotografia

A birthing woman should feel private, safe, sensual, gentle and undisturbed. The same vibration it took to get the baby in (the intimate, sensual, vulnerable and safe feelings involved in making love), is the same vibration needed to get the baby out.

Read a mom in my practice blog of her experience giving birth in this way: Birth Story - Sacred, Sensual, & Laughing Baby Out.

HEALING:

Acknowledgment, Validation, Support

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Now that we have a sense of what it takes to put in place a birth free of trauma, how do we heal it if we’ve already experienced it?

Full healing is possible. I want you to feel that, imagine that for you, and know that it is true. I have not only felt it myself, but have witnessed it in countless others just like you, who have sought my guidance for their trauma healing in the last two decades.

The foundation of healing any sort of trauma is acknowledgment, validation, and support. If you need more personal guidance, let me know: Heal Your Birth Trauma

Acknowledgement and validation seem counterintuitive to our culture of suppression but don’t repress your feelings. Embrace every single one of them - joyful and mournful. Just as it is part of life to have light and dark, sun and rain, there is joy and pain. They are all sacred. Feeling all of your feelings makes way for the processing them, but also the allowance to trust them—yes, I said trust them! And healing is in the feeling and expressing emotions healthfully so they do not get stuck and cause physical and psychological health problems.

“Bad” feelings aren’t bad in and of themselves—and you certainly should not feel guilty for having them (that definitely doesn’t help create any path toward healing!). Bad feelings are actually guides toward helping you find what’s upsetting you, to find what’s imbalanced in your body. Your body is brilliant and does not lie. Our mind can make up all sorts of false stories, but your body tells the truth. It is wise to listen to its messages. In this way, holistic intervention looks a lot different than medical and surgical intervention.

As a midwife, holistic practices search through the painful feelings of birth trauma and look to see what are they telling us and what can be done to help relieve or remedy the root cause. 

What can we change in terms of lifestyle habits that can help you cope with any of the feelings you're worried about? We look at how can we help your body, your mind, your heart heal. What is truly the soothing for all of who you are?

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The idea is to listen to what’s really going on with you as a new momma. What are you eating and drinking? How are you sleeping? How can you get more quality sleep, eat foods and take supplements that support your well-being, and avoid what harms you?

Sometimes it simply goes back to needing that sense of support. We’ll look at perhaps you need extra help if feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you need more regular outings with a good friend and a cup of tea. It may help to join a support group of mothers who have experienced birth trauma and connect with those who have healed from it. One day you can be that mentor for another suffering momma.

Maybe you need a daily walk by yourself or to take a dance or yoga class. Maybe you simply need more time to yourself, to unplug and be outdoors in nature, and to ensure quiet moments where you’re simply breathing.

Maybe you need to feel and express certain emotions more deeply - can we do that through song and dance, listening to sad and/or angry songs, and then something uplifting and moving it through your body? I have been in many healing workshops of small groups to several thousands dancing the dark emotions as well as dancing the joy. You fully felt, expressed and moved through your emotions in childhood, so you can do it now, and music helps you remember how. I have over a thousand songs for this that I use myself and to help others. Here is a sample playlist to help you dance your 'dark' emotions.

My healing advice includes making sure you get a good laugh, a good cry, and a good hug every day!

Surgical/Medical Intervention

Medical and surgical interventions have their place as I always say, and when they are needed, they are something for which to cultivate immense gratitude. In cases of high risk where the mother and/or baby are in real danger, these interventions can absolutely make all of the life saving difference. But, please take note that these situations are emergency or high risk situations and when it comes to normal and healthy pregnancies and births,  pharmaceutical drugs and surgery should not be the norm. They usually cause more sproblems - especially when all is well; and even when there are issues, they do not result in true healing. What is needed is a more comprehensive holistic approach.

When there is severe postpartum depression and a mother’s feelings are so grave that she feels the need to harm herself or her baby, psychiatric care can be a complete necessity as part of larger healing regimen. When there is symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental illness, I prefer to build the foundation and start with best selling author of A Mind of Your Own and integrative psychiatrist's Dr Kelly Brogan's natural and highly effective modalities  - which is now also available as an online course

Somatic Healing and Clarity Breathwork

According to decades of cutting edge research in trauma, we are learning that the best way to heal trauma is not necessarily through the traditional practice of cognitive and medical therapy but somatic therapy. You literally have to reset the nervous system wired to the trauma response, and to shake it off! This sounds trivial but the body, quite literally, physically stores its trauma and it can impact our health and well-being, and just about every aspect of our lives.

Related: Somatic Experiencing - How Trauma Can Be Overcome

If you’ve ever noticed an animal shake itself as they all do, or a bird flap its wings profusely (usually after after a particularly intense situation for them), that’s because they are alleviating themselves of the initial and sudden stress that the situation created within their bodies. A deer in the wild, after escaping from a tiger and reaching safety, shakes off the trauma energy and resumes being in a calm state without carrying emotional baggage. 

Babies, toddlers and young children authentically feel, express and move their emotions - joy, as well as sadness and anger in full blown temper tantrums, then get up and resume play. Cultural conditioning has caused many of us to shut down, tune out, repress, deny, escape from and numb our uncomfortable feelings.

When humans encounter the stress of an intense situation, the fight or flight response kicks in and we often hold our breath, or breathe more rapidly and shallow. Any emotion felt at the time is stored as trapped energy in the body. Think of a horror movie you’ve watched, when you’re suddenly surprised, scared or horrified,  the typical reaction is to take a quick and sudden gasp, not to breathe slowly and deeply into your lungs and focus on inner peace. 

We live in a society today that is in constant overdrive fight or flight mode without a means of release and reset; we are storing more and more stress energy in our bodies, and this one of the main causes of modern chronic physical and psychological illnesses. 

A great way to begin the somatic healing process is by Clarity breathwork and this process is what truly helped me move through and out of my own birth traumas, even the trauma of childhood abuse and major adult stresses. 

Clarity Breathwork is a powerful and effective modality that uses a specific type of breathing to release the trapped trauma energy and psychic pain that is stored in your body, without having to think or talk much about it. It allows your nervous system to reset to optimal original settings. It enables your body to more easily shake off whatever stress it’s been storing. It leaves you feeling an incredible and lasting relief.  You will notice more ease, flow and joy in your life and relationships. It's healing effects are so profound, I had to become a practitioner myself and share the gold.

Whatever trauma you’ve felt or are feeling, please know that your pain is real, it’s not your fault, you are not alone, there is support and healing for you.

Every woman has the right to the pregnancy and birth that they’ve envisioned for themselves and their baby. A woman who is treated with a sense of respect and dignity and whose choices are honored will not only labor well but will be far less likely to look back on her birthing experience with a sense of guilt, shame, failure and deep emotional pain.

It is possible to have a return to Self and allow your body to experience pregnancy, birth, and life afterward in a safe, peaceful, sensual and passionate way. It is possible to get back your inner calm and joy. This is your right!

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Was your birth upsetting or traumatic? Do you have more questions about processing your birth and need help healing? Arrange some time to chat with me. I’d love to answer your questions and help you heal and get yourself back - I have a program specifically got you, that can also include this revolutionary and last natural healing modality called Clarity Breathwork.  Helping women heal from birth trauma is one of my passions and areas of expertise. I have officially published and prelaunched my first two books on Amazon on prevention and healing from trauma...and they both became #1 Bestsellers! They will be released in March, but feel free to check them out. 

Natural Birth Secrets: An Insiders Guide How To Give Birth Holistically, Healthfully and Safely, and Love the Experience! Kindle Edition
by Anne Margolis CNM, MSN, Yoga Teacher, Clarity Breathwork Practitioner (Author)

Trauma Release Formula: The Revolutionary Step by Step Program for Eliminating Effects of Childhood Abuse, Trauma, Emotional Pain and Crippling Inner Stress, to Living in Joy without Drugs or Therapy Kindle Edition
by Anne Margolis CNM, MSN, Yoga Teacher, Clarity Breathwork Practitioner (Author)

If you are pregnant, learn to prevent birth trauma in the first place. Come join my FREE online masterclass, to learn all about Birth Trauma for moms and babies, so rampant in our country and parts of the modern world. Its called  "Secrets To Holistically Healthy Joyful Birth Without Birth Trauma" Discover 5 simple but crucial things you can do right now to drastically reduce your risk!  Sign up Here!

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I have a holistic approach to life, including healing after pregnancy and birthing. Nothing replaces abdominal toning and exercise for restoring muscle strength and tone - which I encourage for all mamas as soon as they feel up to it postpartum. Nothing replaces touch, slow deep abdominal breathing, and a 'love your postpartum body' perspective that I promote.  But I have found many mamas simply feel comforted by this support garment, especially early postpartum and temporarily as needed....to be used without forfeiting abdominal toning and strengthening exercise, breathing well and touch. I have found Bellefit supportive garments to help like they use belly binding around the world such as in Indonesia. They do aid in early postpartum healing and provide support many mamas feel comforted by. I deal with human beings and the reality is many postpartum mom's struggle with body image, feel frustrated that getting back to themselves takes longer than expected. Being into holistic health and healing includes being sensitive to real human struggles - the mind, body, heart and soul of each person and their unique situation. Having helped countless women with these issues after having a baby as a midwife, I have found many still love that binding and feel better with this support, and ability to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it - especially when they have to dress up and fit into a certain favorite outfit for a special occasion or wedding not long after having a baby. For more info on the Bellefit girdle, check out my blog about it here

Have a Great Postpartum Recovery (with a little help from Bellefit)! I am thrilled to announce that you get a $20 Off with code: ANNE20 at checkout - if you purchase here.

 

 

My Two Books Pre-launched #1 Bestsellers

 
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I have some exciting news to share with you! I have officially published my first two books on Amazon today...and they both became #1 International Bestsellers! The titles are below. 

I am forever grateful of your support and would love for you to share this with any of your friends or family that you think would enjoy this as well! 

 

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Trauma Release Formula: The Revolutionary Step by Step Program for Eliminating Effects of Childhood Abuse, Trauma, Emotional Pain and Crippling Inner Stress, to Living in Joy without Drugs or Therapy Kindle Edition 

by Anne Margolis CNM, MSN, Yoga Teacher, Clarity Breathwork Practitioner (Author)

If you’ve experienced intense stress, emotional pain or any type of trauma, this program is a must - it represents true hope that saved my life and the lives of countless others. Once you know the key that unlocks the emotional pain, suffering, your ongoing personal life, work and relationship issues, and ongoing stress related physical symptoms and illness, and how to unlock it all, you experience such a powerful healing. 

For the last 22 years I have worked as a holistic nurse midwife, then with the added expertise as a yoga teacher, advanced grad and volunteer staff of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, and Clarity Breathwork practitioner. I have shared the most intimate experiences with women and their families as they move through young adulthood through and beyond menopause, and as they have their babies. I have held space for the huge powerful transformation of birth – that involves challenging situations of extreme intensity and vulnerability, pain of all degrees, facing enormous fears head on, surrendering to a process far greater than all of us…as well as great joy, love, and miracles. There is no pain – physical or emotional – that scares me – I am comfortable with it all; I have either felt it myself, heard about it, witnessed it, and helped others move through and heal from it. Over many years, the women in my practice, their partners, extended families and friends have shared with me and sought my guidance for their deepest darkest sufferings.

I would say just about everyone has baggage, past trauma of some sort, emotional pain and inner stress that is part of being human. Or it comes out as physical problems. Even if there is no apparent history of physical, sexual or verbal abuse unfortunately occurring at staggering rates (beyond 1:3 what is reported), most -people tell me they are one or more of the following:

 From my book signing trip!

A Doctor and Midwife Recommended, Guide For Pregnancy To Postpartum Bliss Whether Birthing At Home, Hospital or Birth Center- even if this is not your first baby! 

This is a unique approach on how to have a deeply positive, empowered, and joyful journey through pregnancy, birth, and becoming a mom postpartum. Whether you have visions of a cozy home water birth, giving birth in a birth center free of pain meds and intervention, or a hospital birth with the latest technology and emergency care access just in case, this is the ultimate pregnancy to postpartum training so you can be prepared from an emotional, physical, and spiritual perspective to relax into birth and momma-hood with excitement and ease.

This comprehensive training will help you find your center and feel balanced, strong, relaxed, and calm within yourself during this special rite of passage into momma-hood- in the midst of all the chaos of life along the way. It will help you tune into your deepest desires and create joy and pleasure in your pregnancy, birth, an life as a mom - to take you and your family higher.

I’ve taken everything I’ve learned, trained and supported thousands of women, babies and their families with for over twenty years in my private practice locally and around the world, to create this book and do my part in improving maternity and newborn care and experiences, by empowering women and their families to speak up. These are my insiders secrets to increase your likelihood of avoiding high rates of risky medical and surgical interventions, serious complications including birth trauma for you and your baby, and having the birth of your dreams.

- stressed out, worried and anxious,

- overwhelmed, overworked and depleted, burned out, taking care of everyone but themselves

- filled with resentment, anger, rage

- irritable, cranky, and reactive

- unhappy, uninspired, unfulfilled, sad or downright depressed – do not feel joy

- addicted to harmful habits and do not do much to take care of themselves

- embarrassed or ashamed by some part of their body or not liking the way they look

- struggling with eating disorders,

- stuck and can’t make decisions

- disconnected from themselves and others

- shut down, powerless without a voice

- longing for something more and better, but don’t even know what they want, or thinking something outside of them will rescue them and make them happy

- plagued with self loathing, self doubt, not feeling valued, worthy or good enough, like a failure

- filled with shame, blame or a sense of being wrong

- lonely and isolated – without community, or even within their circle of friends and family

- sensually and sexually shut down and turned off

- troubled by relationship issues (immediate, extended, friends and/or professional)

- battling  career and work problems

- suffering with ongoing physical symptoms or chronic health conditions from body aches and pains, to migraines, intestinal issues, acid reflux, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer …the list goes on. If you can relate or have some of these feelings or issues, you are in the right place.

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I want to thank my mentor Mike Koenigs for guiding me to prelaunch two books on my two passions for helping people!!! Both are available on Amazon already! Will be released on kindle in March and paperback in April!! 

 

Let's Talk About Sex...Postpartum; Discussing Sex After Birth

 

Let’s Talk About Sex….Postpartum; Discussing Sex After Birth

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You’re not the only one to wonder about or struggle through this topic: sex after birth. In this article, let’s be unafraid to get honest, and open up that discussion.

There are so many psychosocial pressures to maintaining a strong and healthy loving relationship these days. One of the most concerning and yet least talked about pressures is reviving your sex life after having given birth.

  • How extensively will a baby affect our sex life?
  • Will it ever be again like it was before?
  • Will it hurt?
  • Do I have to think about this now???
  • I have little or no interest in sex and I feel so unattractive and guilty - what to do?
  • My partner wants to have sex again, but I can't even deal with the whole thing. I just need a hug. Is this normal? How to get in the mood?? 
  • Not only is sex after birth not often discussed, especially on a mental/emotional and relational level, but the so-called “fourth trimester” is practically completely forgotten in many parts of the modern world.
  • Let’s begin to shed some light on an important topic in an open manner, shall we?

Where to Begin?

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Many studies have been conducted on sex after birth. But, there were always two factors that limited our social perception and perhaps our understanding of how to effectively prepare couples for intimacy after pregnancy.

Namely, studies were always done on a biological level, and they were always focused on the mother who’d just given birth—almost always never the partner.

In a recent study done at the University of Michigan, they focused primarily on sexual desire in the partner after their child was born.

They discovered that a good portion of a woman’s sexual and sensual desires, after giving birth, were mainly dependent on her partner’s own perception of her at the time. This is just one study, and studies have flaws: but what seems more true in my experience and research, is that a woman's sexual desires are more dependent on her. This is empowering!

Suffice to say, this is indeed an extremely self-conscious time for the new momma.

We’ve also discovered that this could be an equally insecure time for the partner as well. Many partners felt excluded from the family due to the new and acute bond between mother and baby.

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It’s evident that communication is so crucial at this stage between partners. If both partners knew how vulnerable they each were, the pressure to “perform” or “satisfy the other’s desires” would probably greatly diminish. And what you can learn, is that if a woman knows her desires and her desires are satisfied, her cup is full and she will naturally want to please her partner...or not. If a woman is turned off and unsatisfied, you can forget about her interest in desiring to serve her partner. But no one really talks about it.

This lack of communication isn’t only within the couple itself but throughout society and even between client/patient and midwife or doctor.

“Sexual problems are common among new parents, but discussing them with doctors or close friends is not.” (“Sex and Intimacy,” New York Times.)

Are There Any Practical Steps?

While there’s no one trick to get your sex life rocking and rolling again, much like the first time (fortunately or unfortunately!), you’ll both have to rediscover yourselves and find your own groove.

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But again, here is the big and empowering news. A crucial ingredient to a wonderful life that includes awesome sex, is largely dependent on the woman. Reclaim and own your feminine power, which defies logic. As a woman, it helps to dig deep to know what your desires are and what turns you on - using all of your senses, so that you can create what you want, stay in your pleasure, be turned on and communicate your requests to your partner.  Partners tend to really want to please, and do not always know how or what their love is thinking. There’s probably nothing easy or nonchalant about finding your desire again either, but know that it takes time and that it is doable.

Regina Thomashauer has been advocating for women and studying the discipline of female pleasure for years - in all aspects of life, “so as a woman, you can actually design a life that will allow you to experience pleasure any time you wish, ongoingly.  Pleasure is deliberate, not casual. She requires planning, she does not happen by default.”

In her latest NY times best selling, provocative but life-changing book, Pussy: A Reclamation, “you’ll discover what no one taught you about the source of your feminine power and how to use it. It’s no secret that women today are still undervalued at home, at work, and in a relationship. Too many of us are at war with our bodies and disconnected from our truth.

See, we live in a culture that teaches us to turn off. To play small. To take care of everyone else first. To keep a lid on our dreams and a cork on our truth.

This book is written to reacquaint a woman with her own power source—which is the part of herself she has been taught to ignore, push down, and despise...

It’s a call for her to tune in, turn on, and not drop out—but live more richly, fully, and lusciously than she ever thought she could.”

Here’s what else you’ll learn - how to know and speak your truth, how to radically accept, love and celebrate everything that is you and feel the rewards of this life-changing practice, how to move from depletion, obligation, overwork and resentment into embracing what life brings your way and all of what you feel, how to cultivate an attitude of immense gratitude, how to healthfully process your emotions, how to listen to and trust your sacred inner wisdom, creating sisterhood, and passionately creating and loving your life. This will ultimately rock your sex life, but you will also learn practices on how to further enhance it. I am convinced this book is a must-read for all women.

Some other must have sexual resources

Women’s Anatomy of Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston CNM

The New Art of Sexual Ecstasy: Following the Path of Sacred Sexuality by Margo

Anand

Pure Sex: The Intimate Guide to Sexual Fulfillment by Anne Cooper

 

But Let’s Talk Basics First: When and How to Resume Sex After Birth

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For most new mommas, sex after birth can be as daunting as the very first time. While much of social convention will have you thinking that partners are more than ready to jump right back into bed, this is most often not exactly the case. And they can be exhausted too, doing what they can to help, keeping up with work, also getting broken and less sleep, while adjusting to being a dad of this new baby.

At this stage in your relationship, open and honest, kind and sensitive "nonviolent" communication are the key.

On a practical level, most practitioners recommend waiting between 4 to 6 weeks before trying intercourse again in order to give the new mother time to heal - at least until the bleeding stops and any tearing has healed. But, we are finding more and more that this recommendation is based mostly on physical readiness. Many women after giving birth, report not being ready for sexual intercourse for much longer.

What about your psychological readiness? How do you work through the possibly daunting task of beginning sex again after birth, when you may feel some or all of the following: your breasts are full, tender and leaking milk, baby is nursing every few hours, you feel overtired and are not getting the sleep or help you need, you feel dry and still sore vaginally, you feel fat and less attractive than you used to, you are preoccupied with caring for your new baby and balancing all of your other responsibilities, you are afraid to get pregnant again, you can barely find the time to eat, you are feeling emotional and overwhelmed, you just need hugs and cuddling, have very little, if any interest in sex, but feel guilty and pressured to do it for your partner when you really don’t want to, and you are just madly in love...with your baby.

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A great way to begin is knowing that what you’re feeling is totally normal and very common.

Not only is it normal for your libido to be low during this time after birth but many women have expressed how intimidating it is to have the sex conversation at the six-week mark. They don’t even want to think about sex for another 6 months, sometimes even longer.

And, there are many reasons for not feeling ready or downright apprehensive.

The key is to listen to and honor your feelings, talk your feelings through with your partner and get to know what your partner’s feelings are as well. You might be relieved at what your partner reveals. But do not have sex if you are feeling pressured into in it, out of guilt or obligation, if you really do not want to. That is not intimacy; it is actually is non consensual sex, which can lead to an unhealthy sexual relationship, or worse if it becomes ongoing - deep psychic pain and sexual trauma.

Dealing with Discomforts After Birth

Social perception tends to emphasize birth as the predominant and climactic purpose of pregnancy. But, in uncovering this forgotten “fourth trimester,” we’ll find that the numerous discomforts, huge lifestyle adjustments a new momma has to make after giving birth can be just as strenuous if not more so than labor and birth. Even though this is part of life, we have been birthing and mothering since the beginning of time, we had a village, a community of support; but today many women are alone. That is why I urge preparing for postpartum support during pregnancy and provide extensive planning guidance in my Love Your Birth online course, as I do with the mommas in my practice.

Here are just a couple of examples of predominant issues to deal with after birth - not to make you fear them but to know what is normal, to prepare and find support for them. While these may be fairly obvious, I’ve paired them with some of the worries and concerns a partner might be feeling and not telling you.

Hopefully, this opens the door to more real and meaningful conversations that deepen your connection.

*Related articles: How Can Prenatal Yoga Help in Birth, Postpartum, and Beyond?

Welcome To The Club

Tearing/Lacerations

There are ways to prevent you from tearing when the baby emerges at birth; many women do not tear, or tear a little but do not need stitches. But sometimes, despite all you and your attendants efforts, tearing occurs and needs to be repaired with stitches under a local anesthetic. Tearing, of course, requires the proper time to recover. So take it slow and cultivate patience and trust. The body has an incredible capacity to heal.

It’s important to note that episiotomy is another aspect of more severe tearing that has recently been deemed no longer necessary; it is actually one of the most harmful unnecessary routine procedures that had become so widespread, and remains despite the evidence that does not support its use in normal childbirth. Now, it’s been found to actually cause more damage than any natural tearing would. It can, however, be necessary in rare emergencies in which the baby needs to be delivered right away. 

Many women who had tearing and stitches fear sex will worsen the tear or open the stitches after they are healed, which you can rest assured, this does not happen. Many women feel lingering discomfort and dryness, which some organic natural lubricant can relieve. Explore the various natural scented and unscented sensual massage oils and see which one is your favorite. Partners also may feel uneasy or nervous about penetration for these reasons. You might be thinking that the sex in your relationship will not be the “same” for a long time. But in time, if you do the work to cultivate and grow personally, and deepen your intimate connection and sexual relationship...it will get better and better. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, and have fun with it.

Invite the ambiance that is important to you - the scented candle or massage oil, the music, the feel of your lingerie or sheets, the lighting, anything in the environment that sets the mood. Experiment with doing something you enjoy together, watching comedy, games and role playing, slowly and sensually feeding each other strawberries or dark chocolate, reading erotica or romantic poetry together, looking into each other’s eyes, placing your hands on each other's heart, caressing in a variety of ways. Expand the focus of intimacy way beyond sexual intercourse.

'Foreplay' is a huge part of arousal for a woman, but I am not crazy about the word.  It implies less important activities that have value only in that they lead to sexual intercourse, but do not really count as sex. It makes the end goal of the man's happy ending the main focus, when in actuality, these 'foreplay' activities enhance pleasure by themselves, build stronger intimacy, and are all part of the sexual experience - not separate from it. In addition, over half of all women do not reach orgasm from sexual intercourse alone; more women have an orgasm through oral and manual stimulation of their clitoris. The clitoris has 8000 nerve endings designed only for a woman's pleasure and ecstasy, so it is really essential for the both of you to get to know her. A woman's sexual pleasure is just as important as a man's. So bring on the whispered loving words, the soft touching, massaging, caressing, licking, kissing and hugging - it is not only such fun for both of you, it also will ease reintroducing sexual pleasure into your relationship and strengthen your connection.

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“One study found manual genital stimulation to be a form of sexual activity considered most exciting and most pleasant by both genders postpartum,” (Sexuality and Breastfeeding: What Do You Know?, pg. 221). A woman's clitoris has 8000 nerve endings designed only for a woman's pleasure and natural ecstasy, so it is really essential for the both of you to get to know her.  It is very sensitive and honest, and takes its patient feminine time. It knows what it likes and what it does not like. It tends to like to be touched softly or stroked gently, especially around the left upper quadrant. Sensations can move. Experiment with your clitoris. Learn what feels real good, so you can help your partner touch you in ways that are deeply pleasurable. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Gratitude and communication in loving honesty are key, as is a playful sense of humor!

Breastfeeding

While breastfeeding is a very intimate and tender part of motherhood, it does cause hormonal changes which also contribute to vaginal dryness. Using one of the lubricants mentioned above will make all the difference. This is more commonly talked about in the literature and with your midwife or doctor.

What is less discussed are the feelings of jealousy and exclusion that the mother/baby dyad might create in the partner. While this may not be a concern readily brought up by your partner, it does create an opportunity to validate and embrace your partner's feelings as well as your own, discuss the importance of more partner/baby time, and quality time alone with just you and your partner.

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A partner can feel quite out of the loop especially if they don’t have much or any parental leave at this time. So, how can they feel more involved and nurture their own special relationship with the baby?

Having this discussion with your partner can create a more unified and open relationship, making it easier for each partner to feel vulnerable with the other and so facilitate maybe not a resumption of your sexual relationship itself but at least the conversation. Also, as soon as you are able and feeling ready, ask a family member or hire a trusted babysitter, so you and your partner can go out - I would say aim high, once a week, even if only for a few hours, leaving behind a supply of pumped breast milk. Do something you love and make it simple - especially in the beginning. It might be just to have a quiet cup of tea, eating at a lovely restaurant, going on a walk, playing a game at a coffee shop or in the park. With time, you can expand into going to a concert, sports game or show, doing a meditation or taking a tango class together.  Imagination has no limits. You can play with taking turns planning and surprising each other with fun activities.

Contraception - Fear of Getting Pregnant Again, Before Feeling Ready or Wanting To Be

Full time exclusive breastfeeding has been relied upon since the beginning of time to space children - at least for the first 6 months, as it causes a rise in hormones that suppresses ovulation. While there is no guarantee and much variability here, there are things you can do to enhance its reliability in preventing pregnancy. It is called the Lactation Amenorrhea Method - and it is as effective as the birth control pill. But I have women in my practice that are nursing a toddler a few times a day and have not yet returned to their menstrual cycling, and women who get their periods back within 6-8 weeks after birth - despite exclusively and frequently breastfeeding on demand, keeping baby close, and not using pacifiers or bottles. It happened to me with all four of my kids. We did our best.  Dr. Sears explains why.

Once the first period comes, breastfeeding is not a reliable form of contraception; and those who get pregnant unexpectedly in the early months postpartum, doing all they can to exclusively nurse, get pregnant because ovulation occurs BEFORE the first period - they were not aware they resumed fertility. The World Health Organization actually recommends waiting 24 months after birth before getting pregnant again, to have the most optimally healthy outcome for you and baby. If you are sure you are not ready for another pregnancy, it is important to understand your fertility signs, to look into and discuss options for contraception with your midwife or doctor - there are several effective ways to prevent pregnancy safe for breastfeeding, naturally or not. You will feel better and more relaxed about resuming sexual intercourse knowing you have a good contraceptive plan that works for you.

How to Reclaim Your Sensual/Sexual Self After Birth

Sexuality is a part of Self that cannot be ignored or glossed over, and, just over the last 9 months, you, as a new momma, have become more of an expert on using the senses. All of them. You might have noticed a heightened sense of smell, taste, hearing, seeing and feeling. 

But postpartum, you’re probably all “touched-out” as we’d say—your baby has been growing and developing inside you. You gave birth to your baby, which took a HUGE amount of your energy and strength, is a HUGE transformational event in your life and an incredible accomplishment! Now that he or she is here, baby constantly needs you from a physical standpoint as well as a nurturing one. Your breasts are being nursed frequently.

Your greatest desire right now is probably a shower, take a nap, eat delicious meal that someone else prepared, and for no one to even touch you!

That being said, how do you nurture yourself without feeling like you’re neglecting your sexual self and your partner, and equally somehow betraying your newfound momma-hood?

How do you and your partner become intimate once again after a long while of focusing on the baby?

This is a great time to get to know yourself and your partner again. As I said, honest nonviolent communication is focal and crucial at every level of any kind of relationship, more so now than ever. Your relationship will probably never be the same. But, that doesn’t mean your intimacy can’t be as great as it was before...or much deeper and closer.

It really can be better!

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The conversation might not be easy. But, this is an opportunity for you both to see who you are now that you’ve crossed over to this new phase of life.

Don’t be afraid to take things slow and do things in a new way. Read and discuss together the books I mentioned above - start in pregnancy if you can, but if you already gave birth, start now - even a few pages a day.

You’ve probably only had a few hours of broken sleep; your baby could wake up at any minute for nursing; you feel fat, nothing fits, and you didn’t have time to take a shower or put on any makeup.

Embrace the postpartum, beautiful self in all of its empowering, draining, frustrating, and glorious moments. Give yourself lots of self-care. A human being just came out of you--cut yourself some slack!

In fact, I hope you’ve tuned into the empowering sense of motherhood and what it means to be a woman.

This is why I really recommend reading Mama Gena’s book, Pussy: A Reclamation. Please don’t be deterred by the title. This is a great work of writing encouraging women to be turned on to their life and their pleasure.

To give you an idea of the book’s content, I want to share with you Mama Gena’s thoughts which she shares in an interview with Dr. Kelly Brogan. Here, Mama Gena is speaking about what her work is all about:

“[when] a woman begins to plug into what it means to have the privilege of 8000 nerve endings dedicated to pleasure, what it means to have her emotional truth embodied and considered important and righteous, and not try to be “sugar and spice, and everything nice” but to actually feel free to express the full range of her passion, her grief, her rage, her devastation, her joy.”

Related article: The Strength of a Woman
 

Sex, despite being a big social topic, is the least talked about in an honest, caring, compassionate, and vulnerable way--sex after birth even less so.

The best way to figure out how to go about getting back into the mood is through talking openly with yourself and your partner, nurturing your relationship with yourself and your partner, and making sure you are living a turned on life that you love - not simply turned on sexually, but turned on and excited about all aspects of living. Safeguard your own self care and joy, and consider them as important as eating and drinking healthfully. A happy fulfilled mama takes everyone higher, including her family and relationships.  

The “when” is entirely up to the both of you and shouldn’t be before you’re ready.

Always take the time to learn about and nurture every part of the Self--you’ll be giving your partner as well as yourself the best of you.


Do you have more questions about sensitive topics and are looking for honest answers and personalized support? Schedule a conversation with me. To connect more in general, get helpful tips, exciting news and promotions I do not share anywhere else, sign up for my free monthly newsletter called Ask the Midwife.

I have a holistic approach to life, including healing after pregnancy and birthing. Nothing replaces abdominal toning and exercise for restoring muscle strength and tone - which I encourage for all mamas as soon as they feel up to it postpartum. Nothing replaces touch, slow deep abdominal breathing, and a 'love your postpartum body' perspective that I promote.  But I have found many mamas simply feel comforted by this support garment, especially early postpartum and temporarily as needed....to be used without forfeiting abdominal toning and strengthening exercise, breathing well and touch. I have found Bellefit supportive garments to help like they use belly binding around the world such as in Indonesia. They do aid in early postpartum healing and provide support many mamas feel comforted by. I deal with human beings and the reality is many postpartum mom's struggle with body image, feel frustrated that getting back to themselves takes longer than expected. Being into holistic health and healing includes being sensitive to real human struggles - the mind, body, heart and soul of each person and their unique situation. Having helped countless women with these issues after having a baby as a midwife, I have found many still love that binding and feel better with this support, and ability to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it - especially when they have to dress up and fit into a certain favorite outfit for a special occasion or wedding not long after having a baby. For more info on the Bellefit girdle, check out my blog about it here. Have a Great Postpartum Recovery (with a little help from Bellefit)! I am thrilled to announce that you get a $20 Off with code: ANNE20 at checkout - if you purchase here.

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life and Best Prepare for a Most Supported Postpartum...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma, planning a VBAC

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are intending to birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams, ROCK your VBAC

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom and communicate with baby in your belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth
  • Learn exactly what postpartum is, how long it lasts, and how long it takes to feel back to yourself

  • How to prepare during pregnancy for adjusting to caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, healing and recovery (many modern day women are stunned today about all that is involved!)

  • Learn priorities during this time for what is needed, how and what to delegate to ensure everything that can be, is taken care of by others and off your plate

  • How to transition from 'doing' and accomplishing your-to-do list, to 'being,' and living in tune with your and your baby’s needs

  • Essential nutrition, hydration and whole food/herbal supplements for postpartum

  • Self-identify signs of postpartum depression, anxiety and psychiatric illness vs normal emotional changes so you can get help early for postpartum depression or anxiety

  • Receive comprehensive head to toe training on what to expect physically and emotionally, and the reasons why, with some suggestions/natural remedies for common issues such as:

    • Lack of sleep and exhaustion

    • Breast changes
    • Nipple soreness
    • Colostrum to breastmilk
    • Bleeding patterns
    • Cramping
    • Perineal soreness and stitches
    • Constipation and hemorrhoids
    • Return to pre pregnant weight
    • Return to cycle and fertility  
    • Return to sex
    • Relationship changes
    • Sibling adjustment 
    • Body image: how to love your postpartum body
 Image by Megan Hancock Photography

Image by Megan Hancock Photography

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

Postpartum Depression: Ending The Stigma

 

Postpartum Depression: Ending the Stigma

Guest Contributor: Haley Rolff

"The exact rate of postpartum depression is unknown because there are so many undiagnosed cases.  In the US, it’s estimated that up to 80% of women who give birth will experience some form of it, whether it’s the “baby blues” or a more severe type of postpartum depression (American Pregnancy Association). There are 4 million live births a year which means that 3.2 million women are at risk! This is before taking into account the women who have experienced stillbirths (about 24,000 happen each year in the US) and miscarriages (which happens between 660,000 and 880,000 times a year in the US) (CDC, Mayo Clinic).

As for clinical postpartum depression, specifically, about 900,000 cases are diagnosed each year (Postpartum Progress). Medical experts estimate that, when taking undiagnosed cases into account, that number could be twice as large!

Why are there so many undiagnosed cases? After conducting research and going through over 250 interviews (with moms, dads, and postpartum specialists) a team of students at Northwestern University speculate that the culture around postpartum lifestyle in the US may be a major factor.

When asked whose health came first (between the mom’s health or the baby’s health) the universal response of parents was the baby’s health. Moms think that the baby’s health comes first so much so that many of them don’t eat enough, rest enough, or practice enough self-care. Instead, they overexert themselves trying to obtain the “perfect motherhood” which many characterize with impossibly high standards in terms of the state of a mom’s baby, home, and over-all image.

Let’s start with the standards around the baby. It begins with the baby shower, where the mom receives stylish onesies, blankets, and tiny socks for her baby, who, not only is too young to enjoy its ‘gifts,’ but will quickly outgrow most of it. Those things then turn into more clutter for a mom to worry about.

Beyond the culture around the baby’s style, moms are most worried about their baby’s health. They also feel pressure to spend as much time as possible holding and interacting with her infant for the good of its development (an overwhelming message that is constantly pitched on parent blogs and other social media). Moms then feel incredibly guilty if her baby cries excessively, have issues feeding, or get sick because they see it as a sign of failure as a mom. In reality, these problems are normal and actually shared by most parents.

On Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, however, no one posts about these problems which make them seem uncommon and a sign of bad parenting. Parents on Facebook mostly post about the positives. Why would you want to update your friends, family, and coworkers about the fact that your infant isn’t taking to breastfeeding, or is causing you to suffer from sleep deprivation? It’s easier to post cute pictures of infants’ moments of joy and pretend that life is always blissful. Moms on Pinterest post about incredible DIY baby projects, intricate baby fashion, and picture perfect homes. They don’t post about the house getting messy when parenting gets super demanding, or the sweatpants they throw on when they don’t have time to choose a stylish new mom outfit (which is much more common). Instagram is where celebrity moms and fitness-bloggers-turned-moms post their rapid postpartum recovery: somehow they get a six pack a month after giving birth, and their makeup is always perfect. In reality, the postpartum recovery process takes a while and each body has different needs and fitness restrictions.

All of this culminates into unrealistic standards for motherhood. According to the interviews, many moms who looked back on past pregnancies admitted to buying into some of these standards and regretted the toll it took on their own well-being (some interviewees revealed that they had undiagnosed postpartum mental illnesses).

Not only do these standards play a role in damaging the well-being of many moms, but it also plays a role in creating a stigma around postpartum mental illnesses, by constantly plugging that motherhood is an overall joyful experience. Although some people (even celebrities like Chrissy Teigen) are starting to talk about their experiences with postpartum depression, it is still vastly overshadowed and stigmatized by much of the media, or simply downplayed to “baby blues” which invalidates those who actually have clinical postpartum depression.

If you or a mom you know may be suffering from a form of postpartum depression, seek help from a doctor, (midwife), or a support group. Talking to people and sharing experiences is the only way to end the stigma, because it normalizes what has been wrongfully projected as obscure and shameful: mental illness. More importantly, it provides moms the support they need. Every mother deserves to be healthy, and every baby deserves a healthy mother.

Bundles of Health, a startup born out of Northwestern University, aims to give new moms better care postpartum. The company offers a curated selection of the most useful gifts to include in a baby registry. Instead of onesies, blankets, and socks, Bundles of Health allows family and friends to gift the mom-to-be a month of housecleaning, food delivery, or a postpartum doula. To add to your Amazon, Babylist, MyRegistry, or Target registry, click here. Help your loved ones give you the gift of health and happiness, time and peace of mind!

Check out Mayo Clinic’s description of postpartum depression signs, symptoms, and advice here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/basics/symptoms/con-20029130 "

For Postpartum Mommas Worldwide

Whether it's banishing postpartum depression, healing birth trauma, or balancing me time, I'm an expert in postpartum care and can help you, no matter where you live. I've went through it all personally and professionally. I know postpartum blues, depression and anxiety well, and have helped thousands of women through what I call the "Forgotten 4th Trimester," to prevent or overcome postpartum depression and anxiety in a wholesome, effective and lasting way.  When you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, exhaustion, mild to moderate feelings of depression or anxiety, newborn care or breastfeeding challenges, or finding a sustainable new momma rhythm, I can help you with personalized guidance for your unique situation.