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When Family is Against Your Home Birth Plan (or Using a Midwife at a Birth Center or Even Hospital)

 
 
 
 
Photo @diahpodcast

Photo @diahpodcast

Thanks to documentaries like The Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth, as well as celebrities like Alanis Morissette and Gisele Bundchen sharing their testimonies of ecstatic births at home, modern women all over the world are stepping into a positive experience of birthing their babies in out-of-hospital settings and sharing it all over the media; and more are returning to giving birth at home, where women have birthed their babies since the beginning of time. Home is still the most common setting to have a baby globally.

To begin, a little bit about homebirth

The Business of Being Born
Starring Mary Helen Ayres, Julia Barnett Tracy, Sylvie Blaustein

I believe many women and their families are not informed of homebirth or a midwifery model of care, and this is where much of the uncertainty and discomfort comes from when discussed among partners and family members.

Despite the latest statistics showing that a home birth with a qualified midwife is just as safe as birthing a baby at the hospital – if not safer – many are still apprehensive about the perceived risks involved.

Even so, women continue to birth at home because they feel the calling within their bodies, within their hearts, within their souls. Many women have shared with me that they desire greatly to have a home birth experience and know that it’s what they feel is best for them and for their babies. Many very educated professionals of all career types are making well researched and informed decisions to have homebirths with a midwife.

Although I am optimistic about healthcare moving in the direction of more prevalent home birth midwifery model of care, our society still expresses an opinion that babies are to be born in hospitals….

Photo by @yogawithalanna

Photo by @yogawithalanna

Or at the very least, in birth centers.

There is an overwhelming cultural belief in the United States that hospitals are the safest place to give birth, regardless of the extensive scientific data that planned homebirths with skilled midwives suggest otherwise. Numerous studies around the world have documented the safety of planned homebirth by trained professional midwives, with outcomes at least as good, if not better than those occurring in a hospital. 

This is especially true of women who have delivered vaginally before. The total slight increase newborn mortality risk of home birth is estimated to be 10 per 10,000 babies born at home, and that 1 in 1000 babies born at home may be adversely effected by the extra transport time in reaching advanced care in the hospital; the absolute risk is small however.

Although the United States spends the most money on obstetric care, it still ranks among the lowest of industrialized countries around the world in neonatal mortality and morbidity, and ranks quite low in maternal mortality and morbidity as well.

Countries that consistently demonstrate the best maternal and newborn outcomes have a large percentage of midwife led maternity care for healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies, which constitutes the vast majority.

These countries have a higher percentage of homebirth midwifery care with supportive hospital/medical transfer arrangements when needed, while the obstetricians attend to the women with high risk complications and serious illnesses, which is how they are educated as surgeons and medical doctors. 

When midwives and obstetricians work together as a team, both using their unique skills, knowledge, expertise and training, the outcomes for moms and babies are far superior. Midwives are trained in guarding the normalcy of pregnancy, birth and postpartum, not disturbing it when all is well, knowing when to compassionately observe with loving support, and when and how to use holistic remedies, or medical intervention only when necessary as a last resort; they are also educated in prevention, assessment and treatment of complications, which most times can be managed simply and naturally, but sometimes involves consultation or referral to an obstetrician.

Although unforeseen events and emergencies can occur in any birth setting (some of which can be best handled in a high-risk hospital), a low risk healthy woman entering the typical U.S. hospital expecting a normal vaginal birth is subjected to a routine barrage of procedures and interventions that dramatically increase the risk of complications and problems, with potentially longstanding physical and emotional ramifications for both mother and baby. 

There are many other benefits of homebirth midwifery care, in addition to safety, which provides an alternative to the impersonal, fear-based, law-suit prevention oriented medical and hospital care that has become prevalent in our society.

These benefits include but are not limited to:

·       the power of the human touch and presence

·       being surrounded by supportive people of a family’s own choosing

·       security in birthing in a familiar and comfortable environment of home

·       feeling less inhibited in expressing unique responses to labor (such as making sounds, moving freely, adopting positions of comfort, being intimate with her partner, nursing a toddler, eating and drinking as needed and desired, expressing or practicing individual cultural, valueand faith based rituals that enhance coping) -- all of which can lead to easier labors and births

·       not having to make a decision about when to go to the hospital during labor (going too early can slow progress and increase use of the cascade ofrisky interventions, while going too late can be intensely uncomfortable or even lead to a risky unplanned birth en route)

·       being able to choose how and when to include children (who are making their own adjustments and are less challenged by a lengthy absence of their parents and excessive interruptions of family routines)

·       enabling uninterrupted family boding and breastfeeding

·       huge cost savings for insurance companies and those without insurance

·       increasing the likelihood of having a deeply empowering and profoundly positive, life changing pregnancy and birth experience

 

Getting holistic prenatal through postpartum care and birthing in one’s own home attended by a skilled midwife, is a refuge for those who want to protect the normalcy and sanctity of pregnancy and birth.

Focusing on the normal, however, does not mean that problems go unrecognized or unattended; rather they are viewed as imbalances that need to be righted, not expected or feared. 

With that said, certain hazards do exist in all settings, whether childbirth occurs in or out of the hospital; and there are risks unique to each setting. 

Some of these risks will never be eradicated no matter what our state of technology or medical advancement. The practice of midwifery, nursing and medicine are not exact sciences and no assurances can be made regarding the results of examinations, diagnostic tests, treatments, procedures, or interventions.

It is impossible for any provider to guarantee a normal healthy birth, mother or baby. However, especially in our country, when “poor” outcomes occur at home, even if the outcome would have been the same if the birth were to have occurred in the hospital, the choice of homebirth is often called into question; yet when there is a “bad” outcome in the hospital, people rarely challenge the hospital care and are much less likely to question whether or not the same outcome would have occurred or been avoided if the mom birthed at home. If problems occur at home, a home birthing family will invariably be challenged by friends, family and other professionals as to the wisdom of your choice to have a homebirth.

It’s ok to question all options, and we are seeing more of that with hospital births and women searching for an alternative.

What to do when partners or families are not supportive of a home birth

 A partner or family that may not be on board

Photo by @diahpodcast

Photo by @diahpodcast

I have worked with women who gather as much information as possible and share it with their partner, in hopes of helping their partner understand where they are coming from. Sometimes these are the women, and I have also had partners of the pregnant mom feel very passionate about having a home birth although she wasn’t completely sure.

In my experience, when partners feel heard and validated, they oftentimes come around. This is through meeting with me as the months go by and having the opportunity to ask questions, get answers and receive support through the pregnancy process. But a woman who is unsure must dig deep, as she will labor best where she feels safe – and that may be the hospital; if her spouse is zealous, yet she agrees only intellectually, I am wary of her being able to relax and give birth at home.

Some extended family had homebirths themselves or are very supportive.

But some are very against the idea, especially if it’s a situation they don’t fully understand, like going to a midwife or having a homebirth; and they may be very vocal about their opinions. If family members don’t have knowledge, direct experience with home or even natural birth, it understandably may not sit well with them and they have safety concerns.

I have dealt with these situations often as well.  Every situation is different.  It is not a time for the pregnant mama to get into debates defending her position. I help empower her to set boundaries and maintain a fortress of positivity around her. In some more challenging situations, after discussion, we agree that the couple does not need to tell their family they are planning a homebirth at all or until after birth. They can just say they are seeing a midwife, mention the back up hospital if asked - end of conversation. In most cases, I encourage expectant couples to bring their anti-homebirth family members to prenatal visits to ask me their questions and discuss with me their concerns. They see the licenses on the wall and medical equipment - like for labs, checking blood pressure and fetal heart rate – even if tucked away in the homey office setting, and they relax a bit; but most significantly, the more time we can spend together and they receive answers and feel lovingly validated, they come around to at least stop resisting; but many times I am amazed how they transform to offer support and even excitement around the upcoming homebirth. Some do tell me they won’t relax until it’s over and everyone is healthy – but then after the birth, they become big homebirth supporters, telling everyone how wonderful the experience was.

How to listen to your intuition when planning a homebirth

Photo by @miniateam

Photo by @miniateam

 This plays a large role as we discuss this topic. I have found that pregnancy is a sacred time and it’s important for women to keep their space sacred during this time.

Here are some ideas for keeping your space sacred:

·       Create your vision – Take some quiet time where you can close your eyes and relax. Take slow deep breaths, releasing on the exhale, and use your mind as a clean slate. Envision on that clean slate, the vision you have for you, your baby, and your birth. What does it look like, and more importantly, what does it feel like? Take notes in a journal or draw anything that helps to hold this vision. Spend time with this vision every day and hold a feeling of gratitude that’s already been delivered.

·       Share little with those who aren’t in alignment with you – A mama may have her partner, her midwife, her massage therapist and/or a few real close friends in her circle…. Be mindful about who you share your vision with, because not everyone is able to connect with high energy like this… and that’s ok…. It’s important to recognize that everyone is on their own journey, but you don’t have to lower your standards to make others feel more comfortable about your life choices. And you must avoid conversations or sometimes people who lead you to feel inner tension and fear, which does not serve you at all during this most sensitive time. Remember, it is your body, your birth, your baby, your life, not theirs.

·       Get comfortable setting boundaries – You may simply need to tell those stressful family members that you love them, you appreciate their concern, but you are pregnant and sensitive, trying to keep positive, relaxed and upbeat, and you’d rather not talk about it or get into any disagreement. Many women, myself included, have spent time in life accommodating others. This is not one of those times, and pregnancy can help women shed their fears, limiting beliefs, and negative habits. Pregnancy is a time for a woman to focus on herself and her baby and for some women, this may be the first time in her life when she experiences this. I give you permission to pleasantly exit the conversation, hang up the phone or leave the room if they do not honor your request. Most will eventually learn and stop harassing you.

·       Focus on surrounding yourself with positivity – this includes positive affirmations, inspirational birth stories, books, movies, radio shows, podcasts, and people. It’s important for you and your baby to keep stress low and spirits high…. Pregnancy provides an opportunity to release unconscious beliefs and emotions, so although it’s rarely a completely smooth ride, it’s one where you can always get back on board your wave of high vibes. Keep negative news media to a minimum and be mindful of toxic people that just don’t need your attention at this time.

Where and how a woman births her baby is her business…. Feel confident in listening to your body, your baby, and your intuition when it comes to this very special time. It’s not your job to convince anyone of anything, but only to show up for your own assignment… strengthen your faith muscles and know that you come from a long line of birthing women. I have helped many women over the years face the critic in their own minds and of others, and once they start listening to the voice of their inner truth, they let go and enjoy the ride.

 

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 hereHave 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...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

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

Regardless if you are planning a 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.

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 andcommunicate with baby in 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

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. 

 

Get a 10% discount on your Sleepod purchases at askrembla.com

-use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount. 

 

I am passionate about changing lives. This 44-day course is changing lives. Vital Mind Reset is a program that will hold your hand and help you heal your life without a prescription. It will also introduce you to a community of people just like you – all working to transform their lives and revive their power and joy. Be a part of this community. Be a part of something greater and get yourself back! This course is a must, by renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of NY Times best seller 'A Mind Of Your Own', a dear friend and trusted colleague I can vouch for personally and support whole heartedly. 

 
 
 
 

Birth Story: When Things Did Not Go As Planned

Usually births do not go as planned, and the unexpected happens. I encourage pregnant mamas to actually expect the unexpected, make birth references known and fully prepare for the birth they want, choose their provider and birth team wisely, then be very present, flexible and surrender to and actually embrace whatever happens each moment as meant to be because it did happen (a higher level would be to know it happened for your benefit - but that is a spiritual perspective); I do what I can to help them know that they did their absolute best - there is no judgement, no place for shame and blame, while acknowledging their feelings and telling them it will take time and support to process. Most of the time the unexpected is innocuous and could simply mean you birthed in your bed when you wanted a waterbirth, you told your mom to take your kids out when you previously wanted them there, or you wanted your partner to help catch your baby when he ended up holding you in a standing squat and you told him not to move as baby was crowning. Sometimes it could mean medical intervention was needed in any setting; sometimes, less commonly, it means transfer to the hospital from a freestanding birth center or home, when being there is no longer safe or appropriate because of complications, and sometimes that could even mean surgical birth. This mama @holisticnutritionandme loved her birth and was extremely grateful for her care and the outcome, because she had excellent, personalized, compassionate, sensitive and respectful care and because of her attitude and mindset. She know she did her absolute best and interventions were needed. She writes her beautiful birth story in spite of the challenges. #BirthWithoutFear  

"My baby girl, Liliana Dylan, was born on July 5th at 41+2 weeks pregnant, weighing 7lbs 13oz and 21" long. I was in active labour at home for 12+ hours with my midwives, doula, husband (Daniel) and mom. I got through contractions by alternating between using a birth pool, my exercise ball, walking and moving around. Staying still intensified the pain for me. My#midwife broke my water and I reached 6cm dilation. For hours my contractions continued to get longer and stronger but I wasn't dilating further than 6cm. My baby was posterior which made it harder for her to drop and gave me excruciating back pain. My #midwives recommended we transfer to the hospital for an epidural and pitocin due to lack of progression. So Daniel and mom drove me to the hospital while I was on all 4s in the back seat trying to make it through my contractions. Another 19 hours of labour at the hospital and 2 hours of pushing and my baby finally arrived! Although I didn't get the natural home birth I had planned for, I'm so grateful for the way everything turned out. Birth plans are great to have, but ultimately you have to roll with whatever you're served with when the time comes. Getting my baby out safely was always my one and only priority. My midwives and #doula were warriors and cared for me from start to finish. Daniel and mom were my rocks and did everything to make me as comfortable as they could. I couldn't have done it without every member of my birth team. Liliana has been doing great, she nurses like a champion and is the light of my life." What an inspiring #BirthStory and outlook to learn from @holisticnutritionandme. It is also an ideal model of supportive home to hospital transfer for the compassionate use of epidural and needed interventions that enabled mama to have a deeply positive birth experience despite the challenges, despite her #homebirth not proceeding as planned, despite hospital care that became necessary.  All#BirthIsBeautiful and #WomenAreAmazing.

 I compiled a list of my favorite reads on the journey from birth to birth and postpartum, that also include inspirational books about being in the now and embracing what is - all with links on where to get them. Below is one for LIFE, as most of it does not go as planned and we all inevitably face unexpected challenges. I hope this helps!! 

The benefits of cultivating a regular yoga and simple meditation or spiritual practice are huge, when it comes to staying present, calming yourself, and embracing all of life - even when things happen that we do not want. To create your own home sanctuary, a place where you can practice, here are the supplies I use and recommend. Yogaglo.com has wonderful online classes and here are some great prenatal and postnatal yoga classes on my favorite list of movies - when you can not get to a local class.

Enjoy radio shows from some of the world’s greatest teachers in spirituality, health, and wellness. Begin your journey of personal growth and healing now by listening to HayHouseRadio.com – radio for your soul.

Educate and inspire yourself, ready your body, ready your mind, ready your heart with my list of TOP BOOKS of every category you can imagine listed  - with links on where to get them as books, listen on audio, or read them on kindle. The better prepared we are for a situation, the better the outcome will be. I feel passionate about empowering and educating women to get the most out of their womanhood, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, mama, yoga and life journeys!

Birth: Expect The Unexpected

Certified Nurse Midwife Anne Margolis discussed what happens when labor does not go as planned. She talked about the importance of understanding what a cesarean section is and why it's important to know what happens in case of an emergency.

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When it comes to birth, oftentimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes this means a woman never makes it to the birthing tub she prepared, filled up and dreamt about birthing in, because in the moment of giving birth, she found her groove and prefers to stay on the squatting stool or her labor progresses quickly, and she needs to push before the tub is filled with water. Sometimes this means certain family members or friends aren’t present for the birth like originally intended because for example a mama is not laboring well with her kids present, they want to leave, or her best friend is sick and could not come to help.

Other times, when things don’t go as planned, this means a woman might need medical or surgical intervention. A common example: a mama is experiencing a hard back labor at home or free standing birth center, her baby persists in the posterior position, she is not progressing for hours despite trying everything and is exhausted; she is transferred to the hospital for Pitocin to augment her labor and the compassionate use of an epidural. A less common example is baby is not tolerating the labor, and is showing signs of worsening distress in any birth setting, and a cesarean is needed to save baby’s life.

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Overall, we must surrender to the process of labor and birth and know that we are being guided and well cared for. To avoid needless suffering, we must embrace what comes our way that is not in our control, as what is meant to happen – because it is happening or did happen; and we can raise to the level of being grateful that we were given exactly what we needed for our benefit, what we each needed on our own journey as a soul temporarily living in a body, even if we do not understand the whys. I am not apologetic about my spiritual perspective and my firm belief that the infinite all powerful being, Spirit or G-d of our own understanding is pure goodness and love for each and everyone one of us.

I’d like to address a question I get asked frequently.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Why do I mention cesareans in my online posts?

Cesareans can be both planned and unplanned for serious complications or illness. In both cases, they are indeed a birth. They are a birth for baby, a birth for mom, a birth for dad, and a birth of a new family unit.

I want all women to feel lovingly supported and cared for however they birthed and that includes a cesarean.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

I like to post information on what I refer to as a gentle cesarean. It’s still using a home birth model of care, with the principle of restoring humanity to maternity and newborn care – especially in the operating room. A gentle cesarean would include possibly pulling the curtain down, allowing the baby to birth itself gently through the incision, encouraging mom to receive her baby directly from the surgeon, hold her baby skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and early breastfeeding; it can also include allowing her partner, doula and anyone else she needs in the OR by her side.

I want to offer support to all women, and especially women who feel their birth did not go as planned. Although it’s rare for normal births to lead to complications or emergencies requiring life saving medical and surgical interventions, most births don’t go as initially planned.

Photo Credit: @albanydoula

What do I do when things don’t go as planned?

In general, healthy mamas with healthy pregnancies have healthy births. The stats on homebirth  and free standing birth center outcomes are excellent when there is a trained experienced midwife in attendance.

My transfer rate from home to hospital in labor is 7% and that is comparable to those of my colleagues. The vast majority of transfers are non-urgent. In most cases, it’s usually first time vaginal birthers whose labor stops progressing with exhaustion despite us trying every one of our "tricks" to remedy the situation. The need to call 911 and have an urgent ambulance transfer has been a handful of times in 20 years.

The midwife is of course there as a lifeguard - as rarely emergencies do occur. I bring the same emergency equipment and medications that any free-standing birth center has. Most of the time I don't use it and all is well. But when I need it, I have saved lives, as any seasoned midwife can say.

I saw much more catastrophic events when I was an OB nurse in the hospital. I have never lost a mother, but our country's maternal mortality rates are among the highest compared to most modernized countries, and this is largely from risky hospital interventions, which are not happening at home.

I have had to resuscitate significantly less babies at home – we have a screened healthy low risk population, are watching closely and WITH the mama in active labor. We do not intervene unless medically necessary and do not cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsing or placenta is birthed, unless there is a problem or a request for lotus birth.

In 20 plus years of homebirth midwifery practice I have had to transfer 3 babies to the hospital who did not respond to resuscitation and needed intensive care due to unrelated complications, and this is significantly less than our country's high newborn morbidity and mortality rates.

Yes, we need to be prepared for and have to manage a rare shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulders) but it happens less as our mamas are laboring and birthing in positions that use gravity and maximize the diameter of the pelvis. Yes we have had to treat postpartum hemorrhage not responsive to natural remedies, with medication and IV fluids.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

I do not convince anyone to have a homebirth as it needs to be each mama's decision. I do provide information so she can make an informed one. She needs to birth where she feels safe or she won't labor well. 

It is one of my passions and areas of expertise to help mama's with these sorts of questions. I offer online consulting for mama's just like you, whether a one hour discussion or a package of consultations and email access from pregnancy through postpartum – which is great for mamas who want and need more personal attention and guidance to a holistic midwife as they have no access to one in their area.

To really best help a mama make a decision unique to her situation - I recommend a conversation. This is not something simply answered on social media, without discussion.

If you want to schedule an online consultation, please go to my website:  - I look forward to connecting more and answering your personal questions.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

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

Regardless if you are planning a 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.

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 andcommunicate with baby in 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

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. 

Check out my pregnancy herbal tonic recipe and some of my favorite supplements I recommend below, to augment a wholesome healthy diet, so you can meet the increased needs of your body and your growing baby.

 

Do you need supplements? Here are some of my favorite I recommend to mamas in my practice.

Make your Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle herbal infusion.....rich in needed nutrients and specifically nourishing for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Place 1 oz of dried red raspberry leaf, 1 oz of dried nettle leaf in a quart-sized glass canning jar with strainer, fill it with boiling water, cover and steep for at least 2 -4 hours at room temperature. Strain and place in a covered pitcher. You can make it in larger quantities and store in the fridge. For taste, dilute with water or steep for less time (but no less than half an hour), add lemon or lime juice, mint leaves or a teaspoon of honey. Drink 1-4 cups daily hot or cold.

10 Supplies to Rock Your Birth in Any Setting

1) THE BIRTH POOL IN A BOX  - a regular size is ideal, as it fits your support person and allows for complete immersion of your uterus for more freedom of moment, comfort, relaxation, and easier birthing.  It comes with repair patch kit, disposable liner and carrying bag. A smaller size is available, but I would recommend it only if space is an issue. An electric pump for inflatables   fills it up quickly and easily with air, and a submersible drain pump empties it after use. It is common to poop during pushing. To easily scoop the poop, get a fish net.   

Photo by Allison Lucienne Photography

Photo by Allison Lucienne Photography

2) REBOZZO  - a traditional Mexican fabric with multiple uses for pregnancy, birth and postpartum, from comforting and supporting you, to aiding in optimal positions for you and baby during labor and birth, to baby wearing. 

3) BIRTH BALL - is a wonderful ergonomic tool to support you in the most comfortable and ideal positions during the childbirth process. It can be used for exercise, and is great to sit or lean on during pregnancy; postpartum, it can be used to rock and calm a fussy baby.

4) SQUATTING STOOL  - (like that or this one) assists you in a supported squat for birth, going to the bathroom and sitting - the healthier way we used to sit before there were chairs; it prevents many ailments, and can also be used for potty training. 

5) NOW WALL CLOCK - to keep you focused only on the present moment, the only place you need to be during labor.

6) BLENDER WITH 16 OZ CUPS, COVER & STRAW PORT - for easy nutrient rich smoothies and hydration needed for laboring well.

7) THERAPEUTIC CORN FILLED HEATING PAD AND COLD PACK  - so soothing for areas of discomfort, and smells yummy when heated, 

8) ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER WITH CHANGING LED LIGHTS - to distribute your favorite fragrance, and relaxing healing aromas and light to set your desired ambiance. You can try a delicious assortment of professional, therapeutic grade, 100% pure blend of essential oils for calm, romance, energy and uplift, clarity and focus.

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

9) POSITIVE and EMPOWERING AFFIRMATION CARDS - to hang in your birth setting to inspire you and remind you of your incredible,capacities as a woman. 

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

Affirmation Art by Spirit Y Sol

10) ELECTRIC CANDLES and STRING LIGHTS - for an lovely and enchanting environment in the hospital or birth center. In the home setting, you can use candles with care - I like the pure naturally scented pillars encased in glass for added safety and heavenly aroma. Himalayan natural crystal salt rock candle holders give a soft relaxing glow, are balancing and purifying; those can be filled with and tea light candles

PLUS - MAKE THREE PLAYLISTS: one with calming relaxing sounds, one with sensual soulful songs (like R & B)  that arouse you to tap into your sexual feminine self and slow dance alone or with your partner, and one with upbeat songs that create fun happy energy, make you want to move your hips and shake your booty or belly dance (like hip hop, funk, African, Latin, tribal, Indian/Arabian). I love a good waterproof and splash-proof portable wireless speaker for your smartphone or other devices. 

A more comprehensive list of oh so helpful supplies for your birth are listed in my Online Holistic Childbirth Course.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

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