The Illusion of No Control

 

Peace is a choice. We can choose to do those things that invite peace into our lives, even when so much around us seems out of control. And that's the topic that we want to introduce to you guys this week- what you can control in your pregnancy and birth. We fear that there's this illusion out there amongst birthing women, that there is no control.

In fact, what triggered this topic for us was coming across a birth story post on Instagram. This woman shared her rather traumatic birth story and concluded it by telling her followers that there's no point in having a birth plan or preparing for the experience because it's all out of your control. 

Maybe having that perspective was a coping strategy for her, a way to process a disappointing experience. Because when you don't believe you can control anything, perhaps you're able to maybe more easily release the experience you've had, especially if it wasn't a great one. BUT! women who head into pregnancy and birth...

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First Babies vs All the Others

 
Motherhood feels new and exciting with each baby you welcome into your family. There's always a bit of a learning curve as the family makes room for a new member. As we were reflecting on our own experiences (Steph has 3 kids & Cort has 4) we realized that many of the things we worried about (our bought- haha!) with our first baby were very different from what we did for baby #2, 3, 4, etc. How many of the things below can you relate to? 
 
1. We noticed we had (or wanted) SO many more gadgets with our first baby. Can you relate? Everything from a bottle warmer to a bottle drying rack, wipe warmers, the diaper Gene, and even those special baby towels and washcloths. 
 
We were joking that you may even own variations of the same product! Take the bassinet for example...there's a co-sleeper bassinet, a pack n play, a portable bassinet or Moses basket. So many options! BUT, what you come to realize with subsequent babies is that they...
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Sick of Being Pregnant?

 You often hear how morning sickness is rough, having your insides cramped due to lack of space is rough...but not many people talk about how challenging it can be to be patient in those last weeks of pregnancy. Especially if you go past your guess date. Sometimes you're just freakin' sick of being pregnant! 
 
Maybe it's because you're tired of getting up a million times at night to pee. Maybe it's because you can't get comfortable enough to get a good night's sleep. Maybe you are just super anxious to meet your baby! Maybe you desperately want to be able to eat a full meal or take a fuller breath.
 
Whatever the reason, we're here to guide you through how to be patient, how to make the most out of those last few weeks when you really just don't want to be pregnant anymore!
 
1. The first thing you've got to have is a clear understanding of due dates and how they work. If you don't understand how due dates work, you're inevitably going to be far more...
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Is a Birth Class Really Necessary?

 
We often get asked...
  • At what point in my pregnancy should I take a birth class?
  • What kind of birth course is best for me? 
  • What should a birth course cover?
  • Do I really need one if I plan on getting an epidural?

But before we answer those great questions, will you indulge us for a minute? We've gotta get this off our chest first...

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to birth, you don't know what you don't know. And if you're reading this post or listening to the podcast, you're likely the kind of person who wants to be in-the-know! That's awesome because our entire goal is to empower you & give you the skills, confidence, and knowledge necessary before your birth.

Speaking from very personal experience, failing to prepare can often lead to a poor experience, regrets, and then (hopefully!) a fierce determination to make things better the next time! We want to find you and help you before that next time!

Birth is a natural event, but when we moved birth...

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Birth Bag Must NOT Haves

 

If you're like us, you like to be prepared! However, we've both been guilty of hauling unnecessary items in our birth bag. So! Allow us to share what we think you'll really need when it comes to packing for your birthplace so that you can avoid overpacking.

THINGS TO LEAVE AT HOME

 1. Diapers & Wipes

Diapering your newborn baby seems like a legitimate concern, right? Especially when you learn that they pee and poo like 12 times a day!, But, there is no need to bring a pack of diapers or wipes because if you're birthing at a hospital- they have you covered! In fact, they usually have really nice diapers for you (Pampers Swaddlers or the equivalent in Huggies). They even send you home with some so you're covered on the ride home too!

2. Games

If you're getting to your birthplace at the right time, you won't have time for card games or video games because when you arrive you should (ideally) be in active labor! That means contractions are...

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How To: Provider Scenarios

 
Being knowledgeable about something inside of our heads doesn't always translate to a coherent and comfortable response to a provider. Don't stress though! We're going to walk you through some common pregnancy and birth scenarios with providers and help you find and form the response that's right for you!
 
[3:38] Labor rehearsals are your time to put what you are learning into practice and this is what good rehearsal looks like.
[8:21] The specific questions that make a difference for avoiding induction during COVID
[10:00] Pregnancy Scenario 1: Let's schedule that induction
[13:00] Pregnancy Scenario 2: Moving a due date in the third trimester
[16:20] Birth Scenario 1: In active labor and your well-meaning nurse says to your birth partner "we need to get her into the bed"
[17:57] Birth Scenario 2: Adding meds to the IV without formal consent, but more of a side note
[21:40] Birth Scenario 3: Your nurse picks up a low fetal heart rate.
[25:06] Want more scenarios? Join...
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Do THIS During Contractions

 
This is probably the #1 thing moms are curious about when that due date starts creeping closer and we are here to tell you that this episode will bring great relief for when you're face-to-face with those contractions! 
 
[2:54] You WILL feel contractions even if you plan to have an epidural.
[6:50] Knowing how you handle physical pain and emotional discomfort matters for how you will naturally find comfort and work through contractions.
[8:29] You do not have to be religious to connect to something spiritual during your birth experience.
[12:49] Hands-on support is wonderful, but it needs to be practiced and done right.
[15:57] "I've heard breathing like I'm panting is supposed to help me relaxed and stay focus. Is that true?" No. No, it's not.
[17:47] DOULA TIP!
[19:22] Sometimes distraction trumps visualization when it comes to working through contractions.
[25:11] Curious about more you can do to manage contractions during birth?
 
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Things They Don't Tell You: Newborn Edition

 

It's ok to wonder why your birth team feels like you're qualified to take your baby home and keep them alive! Newborns give us so many firsts and the truth is none of us know what we are doing. Spoiler alert: you're going to be great. In the meantime, let's go over all the things that make us laugh, cry, and push our mental stability to the limit...knowing we wouldn't trade any of it for the world!

[4:42] I don't want to call myself selfish, but...
[7:23] Is my baby breathing?
[8:53] Cortney shares her experience with having a smart mom and an incredible support system for her newborn and herself postpartum.
[12:07] Can you have enough pictures and videos of your baby? Maybe!
[16:00] Kids love to hear stories about themselves as they get older. If you have boys, they especially love the poop and toot stories!
[18:02] The umbilical cord lasts for a hot minute and comes with bonus surprises! Yay!
[22:45] Electricity and depression can actually be paired during nursing.
[25:42]...
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Outdated Policies Hurting Your Birth

 
If you're unaware, there are policies from over 100 years ago still affecting your birth experience right now. The truth is that changes in policy, even when supported by evidence, take a long time to implement and can actually be hurting your birth. We cover the most common ones relevant to you today in this episode!
 
[3:54] Hospital birth is best for everyone - because it's cleaner and more sterile...right?!
[8:52] Can we please talk about being "overdue?"
[13:50] Don't eat and drink during birth!
[18:05] Time to dilate!
[21:18] Giving birth on your back just makes sense!
[23:43] VBAC is High-Risk - didn't you know?!
[26:11] Cut your perineum! It makes more space and you get some cool stitches too!
[31:52] Stop that flow of blood to baby immediately!
[35:15] Weigh and swaddle right away instead of skin-to-skin. It just makes sense.
[37:34] Ointment up those eyes and vaccinate that baby ASAP!
 
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Maybe Just DON'T

 
With all the love and adoration in the world for birth partners, we present the top 10 things you should definitely NOT be doing in the birth space. Plus, we're doing our best to make sure you don't get yourself punched during labor so you should be thanking us. Did we miss one?!
 
[3:46] Timing contractions, video chat, football scores, what are you really doing over there?
[5:32] What if mom has an epidural?
[6:48] Are you tired? Do your feet hurt? You poor thing!
[8:40] Overhearing birth videos mom is watching is not proper prep.
[10:03] Can you really understand how she feels?
[11:48] Monitors should not be used in place of watching mom.
[13:31] Are you sleeping? Where are you going? No, no, no.
[14:30] No stinking up the room!
[16:36] Are you ready for provider push-back when mom is deep into her zone?
[17:50] Relief comes by proper touch.
[19:06] Don't be scurred!
 
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