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postpartum depression

Postpartum Struggles Are Real

 

Statistics show that about 15% of new mommas experience postpartum depression. And 70-80% of us experience “baby blues,” that 2 week period after the baby’s born when we can feel confused, overwhelmed, sensitive and just not ourselves.

If this is you, you’re obviously not alone. Here’s what you need to know: There is no failure in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

You can move with grace through potential sadness, grief, fear, and anger to embrace and heal from your experience. When you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, depressed or anxious, unconfident and unsure, a holistic postpartum plan can give you back your joy and confidence. You got this. But it takes a village to raise a baby and new parents. Sometimes we just need a little guidance and support - especially in modern times.

I know what it’s like to experience birth trauma and struggle to put it behind me. Or to try to find balance when there’s a new baby in the house - when the idea of “me time” seems like a cruel joke.

After My Own Last Birth I was Sick and Alone

Even as a nurse-midwife, I found myself in a postpartum situation that confused and scared me.

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Several weeks after the baby was born, I began to feel like I was over caffeinated. My thoughts were racing, I was extremely agitated, panicked, completely overwhelmed and unable to function. Making decisions felt impossible and I couldn’t sleep. I felt faint, and was losing weight.

I was ashamed and embarrassed. How could I, an expert, find myself in such a state of confusion and intolerable symptoms of anxiety? I didn’t want to ask for help. The people I did ask were unable to treat me, and my husband was confused and worried.

I started to have scary and repetitive thoughts. Noises seemed too loud. Faces seemed too big. What the hell was wrong with me?! I felt like I was drugged. Somehow I suspected my thyroid was off, so I asked my colleague to draw my labs. Then I nearly passed out.

After a call to 911 and subsequent visits to a postpartum stress center, I learned that I had postpartum thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid initially makes too much hormone, before not making enough.

The diagnosis gave me the confidence to finally accept help. I knew now that I wasn’t crazy. I knew I shouldn’t be embarrassed...but I was at the time. I stayed with my mother, who lived several hours away - near the center - for an entire month. And my husband and friends all worked together to care for my other kids at home.

I had to stop work for an entire year while recovering from my illness. And it took me a number of years to fully heal using a comprehensive holistic approach. My yoga and meditation practice were life changing, but the complete healing happened after intensive Clarity Breathwork sessions. It was the most delicious and miraculous feeling of relief I ever experienced.

The Forgotten Fourth Trimester

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Throughout history, children were raised in communities. When a woman labored, she was surrounded by friends and family. She was attended to by the community midwife, often the same person who was there for the births of all the other babies in the area and potentially even her own birth. After birth, she was off duty to rest, recover, and get the breastfeeding, while her tribe cooked, cleaned, took care of the other kids, and did needed errands.

Now, we live separated from our families, often experience pregnancy through postpartum more or less alone, and deliver our babies amongst strangers. A sister or mother-in-law might stay with us briefly after our babies are born, but then we’re on our own.

In the US, women are sent home alone after a few days in the hospital, and maternity leave is shockingly brief. We’re expected to pick up at work right where we left off after just a few short weeks at home with our new baby. Paternity leave is almost non-existent in this country, except for some more progressive family friendly workplaces.

Of course so many of us experience depression, anxiety, worry, and a lack of confidence! This way of viewing motherhood is simply unnatural. You can’t institutionalize the sacred.

But, thriving postpartum is possible. Especially when you go into it with a plan.

How to thrive postpartum

If you’re currently struggling in your “fourth trimester,” here are some tips you can implement right away to take the edge off.

Exercise. Try to make time for whatever type of movement feels good to you. Have someone take the baby while you go to a class. Put her in the stroller and go for a walk. Put on a workout video while she’s napping. Turn on some music that reflects your mood and move your emotions with your body; then turn on something upbeat and dance like noone is watching.

Connect with your community. Join a mommy support group either online or in-person. Reach out to friends and family that tend to cheer you up or make you feel comforted. Ask a neighbor to join you for a walk. Take a postpartum mommy and me yoga class. Don’t be afraid to open up about how you’re feeling. You might be surprised how many people can relate. And make sure to get daily soul nurturing hugs.

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Meditate. Taking time to center down can make a big difference in our energy and confidence. Spend quiet time in nature. If you’re not accustomed to meditation, find a guided audio to listen to or just turn on some relaxing instrumental music, get comfortable and focus on your breath.

Nap. Now is not the time to stress about housework. Sleep deprivation leads to depression, anxiety, reduced memory and concentration, weight gain and a host of other health problems. Allow yourself to nap when the baby’s napping. The housework can wait.

Skip the sugar. Regularly eating sweets and simple carbs like breads and pastries puts us through a vicious cycle. Sugar crashes lead to low energy and low moods, which lead to carb cravings. Stick to fresh whole foods - and add more protein and healthy fat for a balanced diet and a balanced mood.

Do what you love. Each day, do things that bring you joy - even if it is for a few minutes at first. Think about what excites you and try to do more of it in your regular routine. Let it be easy and simple. That may be a quiet cup of tea, a visit with your friend, a stroll in the park, a flower or herbal bath in candlelight, watching comedy, getting a massage, doing some yoga. As baby gets older, make taking some time to yourself each day to do these things a non-negotiable like eating, drinking and sleeping.

Seek help. When your sadness or anxiety feels like more than “baby blues,” seek a qualified professional to help you through it. If, like me, you have an undiagnosed medical condition, the suggestions above just won’t be enough.

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.

“Anne Margolis was my incredible midwife. She is practical, science-based, and vastly experienced, but most importantly, she’s an awakened woman here to light the path to your most joyful self. Anne is the incredible midwife who taught me, through this process, how to midwife my own patients’ rebirth experience. Her own educational course is a deep but manageable dive into her accumulated wisdom, packaged for your journey. Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.Yours in the truth.”    — Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

“Anne Margolis was my incredible midwife. She is practical, science-based, and vastly experienced, but most importantly, she’s an awakened woman here to light the path to your most joyful self. Anne is the incredible midwife who taught me, through this process, how to midwife my own patients’ rebirth experience.
Her own educational course is a deep but manageable dive into her accumulated wisdom, packaged for your journey. Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.Yours in the truth.”

— Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

Excellent childbirth education and preparation in advance are crucial for rocking your birth and postpartum experience, and are major reasons 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 through postpartum - for the body, mind, and soul - and is how I have guided thousands of women and their families in my midwifery practice for over 21 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! I also help you prepare your mindset for such a task, to debunk myths, and to reframe any current ideas or conditioning about pregnancy, birth and postpartum 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 journey through pregnancy, birth and new parenthood that you really want. 

 

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.

 

Healing Depression and Anxiety Naturally

Check out the course  here .

Check out the course here.

I feel compelled to feature an excellent article 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. It's about something that touches just about all of us, and me deeply as a woman, mother and midwife who cares for them.

It took my own illness postpartum after my fourth baby and the subsequent failure of western medicine to cure it, let alone treat it risking terrible side effects, for me to do years of research on alternative natural modalities and find complete healing, and to understand and best help the countless expecting and postpartum women who seek my help to heal their suffering. It took a tragedy I witnessed with a baby girl who, after a beautiful normal birth and fetal heart rate, was unable to transition to life outside the womb despite the best of efforts and tragically died in the NICU, for me to become most passionate about this topic; the autopsy report said the death was caused from fetal exposure to a common medication to treat mama's depression prior to and during her pregnancy, prescribed by her psychiatrist and approved by the perinatologist for her to take while pregnant and proceed with a homebirth, as she was not interested in other holistic modalities. A year later the autopsy report was amended and all mention of the woman's depression and the medication she was taking was completely removed not only from the report, but from the hospital chart. I was mortified. I shared the case with other colleagues and physicians, and with a leading midwife in one of our organizations that collects the data and outcome stats of midwives around the world, which continuously documents the safety of homebirth midwifery care; she was shaking as she told me the same events were reported by midwives in other states - she had just reviewed a case two weeks prior.  The physicians I spoke with casually brushed it off; they suggested when the case was reported to the pharmaceutical company per protocol, there was probably some financial incentive given by them to the hospital to amend the record. No one was interested in or could afford pursing this any further. I never really comprehended the power and corruption in the health care industry.

The Drug-Free Solution to Ending Depression

Adapted from A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan, MD

When I talk about medicine and mental health to large audiences, I often start with the following imagery and facts: think of a woman you know who is radiantly healthy. I bet your intuition tells you she sleeps and eats well, finds purpose in her life, is active and fit, and finds time to relax and enjoy the company of others. I doubt you envision her waking up to prescription bottles, buoying her way through the day with caffeine and sugar, feeling anxious and isolated, and drinking herself to sleep at night. All of us have an intuitive sense of what health is, but many of us have lost the roadmap to optimal health, especially the kind of health that springs forth when we simply clear a path for it. The fact that one in four American women in the prime of their life is dispensed medication for a mental health condition represents a national crisis.

Humans have used mind-altering substances to try to dull and deaden pain, misery, sorrow, and suffering since time immemorial, but only in the last few decades have people been persuaded that depression is a disease and that chemical antidepressants are the remedy. This is far from the truth. Many of my patients have been to multiple doctors, bumping up against the hard ceiling of what conventional medicine has to offer. Some have even tried integrative medicine, which aims to combine both traditional medicine (i.e., prescriptions) with alternative treatments (e.g., acupuncture). After all, they are told that there are great natural complements to all the wonders pharmaceutical products have to offer. But the reason they can’t find a solution is because nobody has asked why. Why are they unwell? Why are their bodies creating symptoms that manifest as depression? Why didn’t they stop to ask this important and obvious question the first time they experienced a flat mood, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic exhaustion?

Before I even get to the answers, let me be the first to tell you that the only path to a real solution is to leave the medical world you know behind. This, the journey I will take you on, is not just about symptom suppression, it’s about health freedom. First let me tell you that I was once a typical doctor, not to mention a typical American who loved pizza, soda, birth control, and ibuprofen. My message is from a personal journey and thousands of hours of research that has compelled me to share the truth about prescription-based care: we’ve been duped.

Yes, my entire training was based on a model of disease care that offers patients only one tool—a drug—and never a shot at true wellness. We’ve handed over our health to those who seek to profit from it, and we’ve been buying into a paradigm based on the following notions:

  • We are broken.
  • Fear is an appropriate response to symptoms.
  • We need chemicals to feel better.
  • Doctors know what they are doing.
  • The body is a machine requiring calibration (via drugs). A little too much of this, too little of that.

I call this collective set of notions the Western Medical Illusion. It sets up a vicious system that ushers you into lifelong customer status, dependent and disempowered.

As you can likely guess by now, I love to rant. But I do so with the best evidence science can offer, and there’s a lot we know today about the real root causes of depression—and how to treat the condition safely and successfully—without a prescription pad. If there’s one lesson I will drive home, it’s this: shed the fear, take back your inner compass, and embrace a commitment to your best self, medication free. Even if you don’t already take a prescription drug, I bet you question living the rest of your life prescription free and reliant on your own inner intuition to know what’s best for you. The idea of supporting your body’s innate wisdom may sound quaint at best, or like dangerous hippie woo-woo at worst. I want to tempt you with these possibilities:

  • Prevention is possible.
  • Medication treatment comes at a steep cost.
  • Optimal health is not possible through medication.
  • Your health is under your control.
  • Working with lifestyle medicine—simple everyday habits that don’t entail drugs—is a safe and effective way to send the body a signal of safety.

In holistic medicine, there are no specialties. It’s all connected. I am a practicing psychiatrist with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from MIT, an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, and clinical training from NYU School of Medicine, and I care deeply for women struggling with their well-being. I’m compelled to share what I’ve learned about the corruption of modern psychiatry and its sordid history while investigating holistic methods that focus on nutrition, meditation, and physical activity—what some practitioners are calling lifestyle medicine because the approach involves changes in everyday lifestyle habits, not the use of pharmaceuticals. While such drug-free methods are entirely evidence-based, they are virtually unknown in this age of the quick fix. For my patients to be well, I know they will need to approach their health with an extreme commitment to the integrity of their mind and body.

Why?

Because we are looking at the body as an intricately woven spiderweb—when you yank one area of it, the whole thing moves. And because there is a more powerful way to heal.

It’s so simple that it could be considered an act of rebellion.

Depression is an opportunity. It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance. Rather than symptoms as a sign that you are broken and weak, born this way, and condemned to a struggle with low serotonin—simple, powerful changes can begin to send the body a signal of safety, and then free the mind. When the body and its interconnected systems is healed, symptoms resolve and the mind is no longer the enemy but a trustworthy tool for transformation.

Basic lifestyle interventions can facilitate the body’s powerful self-healing mechanisms to end depression: dietary modifications (more healthy fats and less sugar, dairy, and gluten); dietary modifications (more healthy fats and less sugar, dairy, and gluten); natural supplements like B vitamins and probiotics that don’t require a prescription and can even be delivered through certain foods; minimizing exposures to biology-disrupting toxicants like fluoride in tap water, chemicals in common drugs like Tylenol and statins, and fragrances in cosmetics; harnessing the power of sufficient sleep and physical movement; and behavioral techniques aimed at promoting the relaxation response. I’ve seen women transformed in a little as 30 days. Dare to be one of them! Learn the tools you’ll need in A Mind of Your Own.

Kelly Brogan, MD, is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is a mother of two.

Depression has become an epidemic in which psychiatrists commonly make a diagnosis label and quickly write a prescription. Depression effects 1 in 4 women of reproductive age, and anxiety and stress induced illnesses are rampant. Dr. Brogan's course is a must. I recommend it to professionals who serve women so they can best help them or themselves, and I recommend it to all those who seek my guidance. I feel it is especially critical to help pregnant and breastfeeding women prevent and effectively treat these mental illnesses naturally, as the medications not only impact mama but can seriously impact baby; these effects are real, I have witnessed them, yet they are downplayed by the medical community and pharmaceutical companies. I am passionate about dis-ease prevention, helping people heal their suffering and live in joy, and changing lives. Her 44-day course is changing thousands of 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! 

Check out the course  here .   

Check out the course here.

 

DOWNLOAD Dr Kelly Brogan's FREE E-BOOK:   Change Your Food, Heal Your Mood   and discover 3 simple steps to a healthier body and a healthier brain — without psychiatric drugs!

DOWNLOAD Dr Kelly Brogan's FREE E-BOOK: Change Your Food, Heal Your Mood and discover 3 simple steps to a healthier body and a healthier brain — without psychiatric drugs!

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!

Placentas

The placenta is the essential organ that forms during the womb in pregnancy and attaches to the baby via the umbilical cord. It belongs to the baby. It is the only organ essential for fetal survival, but is not needed by the baby post birth, after baby receives the cord blood (1/3 of the baby’s blood supply that backed up into the placenta during birth). It is the organ that gives baby life; it provides oxygen and nutrients, and also filters waste products. It makes hormones that support the pregnancy, help baby grow and develop, and provides protection against bacteria and infection. Toward the end of pregnancy, the placenta passes antibodies from you to the baby, which can provide immunity for up to three months after birth.