Worrying about giving birth and what your vagina will be like afterwards is completely normal. Naturally, most of us want to do everything possible to reduce the risk of tearing, so today we are discussing this very topic! Be sure to grab your free download that shares techniques to help reduce your risk of tearing in childbirth!
Chelsea has had three epidural births in the hospital, each one a little different. With her first baby, she was induced a few days after 40 weeks and her son was born less than 8 hours later. With her daughter, she had a scheduled induction at 39 weeks, and was in labor 12 hours before her daughter was born. Chelsea experienced a few days of prodromal labor with her third baby, then went into labor on her own at 39 weeks. Chelsea gave birth to her third baby 7 hours after arriving at the hospital.
Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine.
She is also the author of Here's the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy-and-parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others; and, she has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country's top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @allysondowney.
Nearly every woman that labors in some capacity will need to cope with contractions unmedicated at some point. You aren't automatically hooked up to an epidural the moment you feel that first contraction! So even if you are planning for an epidural, you will find useful tips in this bonus episode and free download!
After months of Corinne worrying that the adoption and birth would somehow happen the same day, Desmond was 9 days late. Corinne's water leaked late at night, and she went to the hospital early the next morning. After spending 6 hours in the hospital with no progression, Corinne's doctor fully broke the water bag. Corinne was hopeful there would be no additional intervention, and thanks to coaching from her Mom, and constant massaging by both her Mom and husband, she was able to persevere. After 8 hours of back labor, Corinne gave birth to Desmond at 11pm. Ben ordered pizza and a turkey sandwich, Corinne's favorite foods, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.
In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth.
Elle the founder of Solly Baby shares her four birth stories. Solly is also generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.
Read more on the show notes page.
When it comes to dealing with unsupportive hospital staff or conflicting information it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or stunned, especially in the moment.
Today Stephanie and I are talking about key phrases to use when you find yourself in one of these situations and other tips to keep in mind so you are prepared for all of the different potential scenarios. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Grab your free download — How to Handle Tricky Situations with Hospital Staff
Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?
After a miscarriage, Anna and Kevin were thrilled to learn they were expecting a baby girl. Anna had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy (for which she largely credits the Pure Barre classes she took up until 41 weeks) and was hoping for an intervention-free birth. Baby girl Maggie, as it turned out, was in no rush to make her big debut into the world; and, as the days passed by without progression, Anna started worrying that an induction was in store and might throw off her birth plans. She ended up having to get induced, but Maggie’s birth was ultimately a far faster and better experience than Anna even knew to hope for.
In December 2015, Paige LoPinto had a beautiful home birth. It went so well that she decided to follow in April the Giraffe's foot steps and stream her second home birth on Facebook Live. Over 8,000 people (95% moms, doulas & midwifes) followed her journey. Fun facts about her recent birth:
Since the birth of sweet Savvy Fae, Paige has made an (unexpected) impact in the birth world. After streaming her birth LIVE on Facebook, women all over world have followed in her footsteps and are also streaming their birth live in the BirthTUBE Facebook group. Check it out!
When it comes to finding a hospital, there are some key things to look for to ensure you will be setting yourself up for the most mother-baby friendly care possible!
Today Stephanie and I are talking about questions you can ask on the tour you take of the hospital prior to choosing where you will give birth. Because many doctors only have privileges at certain hospitals, you may want to look into the hospitals early on in your care when choosing a doctor. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Natalie's first pregnancy (conceived with clomid) ended in a miscarriage. For her second pregnancy, she started right away with progesterone and blood thinning shots (she has factor v leiden). She knew for years that she wanted a home birth. She also knew the risks of home birth with her blood clotting disorder—she knew she may transfer at some point for hemorrhaging, but hoped against a placenta abruption. Her hematologist said that taking thinning injections helped cancel out that risk. She prepared for a home birth and anticipated it with so much joy. She wanted a home birth so badly. She couldn't wait to experience that 'meeting moment' she had assisted so many times as a birth photographer.
Natalie's birth began on a Tuesday morning, May 31. She labored and labored and labored. On Wednesday morning, her contractions became irregular. Wednesday night around 11 pm she transferred to the hospital, hoping to get her body back in order. Epidural didn't work. Pitocin didn't work. Her body metabolized the medicine. Thursday she pushed for over 4 hours. She was sure she was going to push him out. He was asynclitic (when a baby's head is tipped towards one shoulder) and had swelling of the scalp (caput succedaneum). Her birth ended in a cesarean. She kept imagining meeting him, how it would be worth it. Her body metabolized the medicine, once again, so they had to put her under general anesthetics. She was asleep. Then when she woke up and was in a whole world of pain.
Christine had four C-sections. The first one was an emergency C-section and the rest were repeats. Christine’s first three children are girls and her last child is a boy. When Christine found out she was pregnant, she wasn’t happy. She just didn’t feel prepared. When Christine told her husband, he was thrilled. As time went on Christine began to enjoy her pregnancy and started to get ready for the changes in their home. When Christine and Brandon went to the doctor to find out the gender of their baby, the world came to a standstill. They found out they were having a baby boy. Brandon was super excited. He started talking about matching outfits, golf outings, and playing football with his son. Christine was in shock. See, when Christine found out they were having a boy, it was around the time a black boy was shot in the back by a police officer. Christine’s anxiety went through the roof.
After baby Brandon was born, Christine did not bond with him. She was sad and had a very hard time holding him. Christine was ready to leave her kids and her husband because she was broken and had no idea of what was going on. Christine’s husband Brandon, recognized something was going on and took her to the doctor right away.
Christine was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.
When it comes to finding a doctor, does it ever make you feel completely stuck? How do you know if they will be right for you?
Today Stephanie and I are talking about why we recommend finding an evidence based care provider and how you can tell if the person you're interviewing (YES, you should absolutely be interviewing your doctors!) is practicing evidence based care. Stephanie is a doula, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator so you will definitely want to soak in all of her amazing knowledge!
Grab your free download — Guide to Finding an Evidence Based Doctor!
Still have questions? Submit them and we will do our best to answer all of them on our Facebook Live this week on 9/20/17 at 1pm CST. We'll be discussing the major warning signs that your doctor might not be practicing evidence based care and answering YOUR questions.
Have you taken our quiz?! I have been so surprised by the results so far! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality?
At 31 weeks, Kelly’s perfectly healthy pregnancy and planned home birth took a drastic change when her water broke and it was bright red blood. Even though Kelly spent a week in the hospital and saw dozens of specialists seen, she didn't receive a firm diagnosis. She was only told that she may have had a minor placental abruption accompanied by AROM which then resealed itself. With little other information, Kelly was put on bed rest for 8 weeks and ultimately decided to change her birth plan and deliver at the hospital instead of at home. At 39 weeks and 6 days Kelly went into labor naturally, going from 5 to 10 centimeters just 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. She had an unmedicated hospital birth with and episiotomy - just 12 hours of labor total. Her second son, and rainbow baby after 2 miscarriages, Stellan James, was born at home at 41+3 in just under 2 hours of labor.
Jennifer documents births as a birth photographer and believes that birth stories are love stories. She is also the co-founder of Birth Becomes Her and mama to two feisty girls. Jennifer grew up in the Midwest, living on a lake and loves the water. She has birthed two babies and describes her labors as sensual, and brave. She is a VBAC mama, and says she relate well to those who are working to achieve a VBAC. You can connect with her on her website and Facebook.
Erin didn't do a lot of research before her first birth, although she wanted to have a natural birth since her mom had done so. She ended up being induced with pitocin, getting an epidural, and then an episiotomy which led to a 4th degree tear. For her next two births, she hired a doula, gave birth in the hospital with midwives, and had the natural births she wanted.
In this episode January Harshe shares her first four birth stories: a cesarean, a homebirth transfer to cesarean, a homebirth VBAC, and an unassisted homebirth. You can hear her 5th and 6th birth stories on her podcast that she hosts with her husband, The Harshe Podcast.
A few years after getting a Lichen Scleroses diagnosis, Emmalina and Cam were expecting a baby. Her pregnancy was pretty textbook and she lost her mucous plug at exactly 40 weeks. She went into labor the following day. After 16 hours of intense labor, Emmalina received an epidural and was able to fully dilate. She pushed for 2 1/2 hours and then found her her baby was posterior and stuck.
The on-call OB performed an episiotomy and needed assistance from forceps and vacuum. Ruby-May was born at 1:06 am, May 7th, and spent 5 days in the NICU for inhaling fluids. After delivery, Emmalina's placenta detached but didn't deliver, requiring manual removal. At 9 weeks postpartum, Emmalina passed placenta tissue and had to have a D&C surgery. At 11 weeks PP, she passed the final piece of placenta and was able to begin a journey to physically and emotionally recover from her birth. Recently, Cam and Emmalina discovered Ruby-May had Sagittal Craniosynostosis- Premature fusing of the skull plates and underwent skull reshaping surgery. Ruby-May's skull diagnosis helped give Emmalina closure and reasoning for her difficult and traumatic birth.
Being surprised by her first pregnancy, Jordan found a provider off the recommendation of co-workers. After a whirlwind pregnancy of sickness and weight loss, Jordan delivered her daughter by c-section at 40 weeks and 2 days. Her postpartum was foggy and she struggled to get a grip on being a mother.
In 2014 Jordan became pregnant and knew she wanted a different experience: she wanted a vaginal birth. With the support of her husband, they were able to find a midwife who delivered in a hospital. After 41 weeks and 4 days she delivered their son vaginally and with out medication. Her VBAC was a healing moment for her, and with her postpartum period being clear she still felt as if something was missing from her birthing experience. The hospital required a lot of monitoring and she labored long and hard, she forget to be present while birthing her son.
When she became pregnant for the third time she knew this baby was to be born at home. After consulting with her midwife and doula they were able to help her find a home birth midwife. Planning for birthing at home was a new experience, having had two hospital births she had no idea what to expect. She loved the prenatal visits at her home, they allowed her children to really be involved in the whole process. Then after 4 days of prodromal labor and 4 hours of active labor it was time at 41 weeks and 6 days (her longest pregnancy), she delivered a daughter in her home.
Lizzie shares her infertility, pregnancy, and birth stories. The birth of her firstborn, Brooks, was 23 hours long. It was a very stressful labor due to Brooks' heartbeat dropping during contractions, a difficult time with her nurses as well as the epidural partially wearing off during transition. The second labor with Jace was half the time and completely different. It was a very relaxing labor that included soaking in a tub, watching a movie and having wonderful nurses. She had a difficult time during pushing as the baby's head was facing the wrong way.
Lizzie is a 32 year old mom of two sweet little boys, one of them being the first Ava baby. Lizzie lives in Saint George, Utah, with her husband and boys. They spend their free time riding side by sides in the trails and sand dunes near their house or having game nights with friends. She struggled for 4 years to conceive her firstborn and with her second was part of the first group of women to use the Ava Fertility Bracelet and gave birth to the first baby born from that group. She can be found on Instagram @mrslizziemcgee where she is more than happy to answer questions about the Ava Fertility Bracelet.
Jill Krause is the founder of Baby Rabies. This is what happens when baby fever becomes something more. Jill Krause self diagnosed herself with baby rabies (it’s not an actual contagious disease, FYI) in the summer of 2007 when she became obsessed with getting pregnant. Learn more about the definition of baby rabies here. She started blogging about all things trying-to-conceive then. 10 years and 4 babies later, Baby Rabies is now a internationally recognized pregnancy and parenting blog. Connect with Jill on Facebook and Instagram.
Caitlin Shrum lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband, Andrew, and their son, Cooper (2). Her first birth caught her by surprise as she found herself in an emergency c-section situation. She quickly realized her experience wasn’t normal and has spent the past two years educating herself in order to set up her future births for success, and has found within herself a passion for the birth space and maternal care. In this episode, she walks us through her pregnancy and childbirth experience and how she has taken that experience and is channeling it into education and learning for herself and hopefully others down the line.
Yunji and her husband Kent had planned for a natural hypnobirth with a doula in a hospital. They spent weeks taking classes and practicing hypnosis at home, only to learn that their baby girl was breech at 36 weeks. Yunji did everything she could to get the baby to turn including acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga, special chiropractic treatments, handstands in the pool (yes really, every day!) and even an external cephalic version at the hospital. Nothing worked. She ended up having a scheduled c-section at 39 and a half weeks. Their baby girl Kaya was born on August 19, 2017, just over 8 pounds - her head was in the 98th percentile, which doctors told Yunji and Kent may explain why Kaya didn’t or couldn’t turn.
On today's episode, Rebekah shares the story of her twins' birth at home. Rebekah is the coordinator of chaos in her south-of-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. She and her husband, along with 4 children and two dogs live together in her late grandfathers home. Before she became a mom, she received her Masters Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and worked at a local hospital as an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit. Rebekah has taken that passion for exercise, holistic health and faith, and transformed it into something she is able to do in conjunction with being a stay-at-home mom. She uses her passion to fuel others through her personal training and fitness ministry. In her spare time, if she gets any, she enjoys weight training, attending bible studies, and being creative. You can read her entire birth story on her Facebook page under the name: Rebekah Ashley and also on Instagram: @rebekahashley