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Click on the blog post {aka Show Notes} for any podcast below and the links are at the bottom! Enjoy!

Prepare for an Empowered, Informed, and Supported Birth with Grace Pastuck, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Show Notes:

[2:13] Our Reviewer of the Week is MurphyMLW: "So happy to have found this podcast! I found My Essential Birth at the end of my first trimester. We had hired a doula very early on and was so grateful to have the resources to be able to do so. However, being a military family I think My Essential Birth is awesome for anyone who may not have those resources readily available."

[3:57] Our guest, Grace, is a birth and postpartum doula in Canada. She became a doula about a year and a half ago. She supports families from home births to planned C-sections to epidurals. She does baby wearing education, childbirth education, and truly just found her passion!

[4:56] Grace got into doula work after hiring a doula for herself around 38 weeks pregnant. Her doula encouraged her to take some training and become a doula. She put herself out there and went from having one birth a month to being completely booked out!

[9:03] Grace's first birth experience was in a hospital...

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Getting Your Body Ready for Pregnancy & Tracking Ovulation

Show Notes:

[2:10] Our Reviewer of the Week, courtmess412, said "I went through and hit “play next” on all the episodes I didn’t want to miss at 38 weeks pregnant (when I realized the books I picked out were never going to get read). I had to be induced but had the confidence to ask for the least [amount of] interventions (so my waters were broken instead of Pitocin given right away). I advocated to walk around and get in the tub and ended up delivering baby without medication (and not even realizing I was about to do it ). This podcast gave me the confidence to believe in myself! Thank you!!!"

Quick Tip If you've purchased the My Essential Birth Course and haven't had a chance to start yet, just listen to it like it's a podcast! You can go back and watch the videos to tie all the information together. Listen and re-listen to get the information and understand. It gives you that confidence and will make you more empowered. You're going to understand...

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Preparing Her Body & Mind for her Redemptive Birth Story with Courtney Hart

Show Notes:

Sometimes a negative experience can be the catalyst we need to make a change in our lives. Courtney Hart talks about how her first birth experience changed her life, how she prepared her mind and body for her second birth, and how our podcast made all the difference!

[1:11] The Reviewer of the Week is Andrea.mn and she says, “I love listening to this. She has such a great soothing but energetic voice to listen to and I love all of her knowledge she shares, as well as the birth stories we get to hear! Thanks for what you do!”

Today’s episode is a birth story with one of our previous interviewees! We interviewed Courtney Hart: a Labor & Delivery nurse and certified breastfeeding counselor who works in the Labor Delivery Recovery Postpartum (LDRP) unit at the hospital.

[1:54] I have Courtney Hart reintroduce herself. She is a Labor & Delivery nurse and certified breastfeeding counselor. She has come back to share her positive birth story and...

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Pelvic Floor Therapy with Amanda Fisher & Marin Cole

 Show Notes:

[1:11] Our reviewer of the week is Courtney Clare, and she says: “I love this podcast so much, not only as a pregnant mama myself, but as a Registered Labor and Delivery Nurse! Stephanie does such a great job at covering ALL the relevant and important topics in digestible segments of information, and then turning that information into concrete resources and talking points for women to bring to their birth team. AND offers such a great balance of clinical and “crunchy.” Thank you for the work you do getting this essential information into the hands of moms everywhere!”

This week, I’m bringing even more evidence-based, excellent conversation today! Something we probably don’t spend enough time talking about is pelvic health during pregnancy and postpartum. If you’re anything like me, even with all of my study of birth, you may not even know that pelvic floor therapists are a thing. Well, lucky for you . . . that’s...

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Birth Bag Must-Haves

Feeling a little unsure of what to pack in your birth bag? Not to worry! We asked our mamas what items they think are essential, and we’ve made a free checklist for you to make packing so much easier!

[1:12] Our reviewer of the week is, AutumnFugate, says “I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with our first baby, I found your podcast on here about a month ago, and I have been binge listening ever since! I tear up with happy tears mostly every time [welcome to pregnancy, that’s me every time I’m pregnant, lol!] Instead of music in my car, I listen to an episode.” Autumn is planning on having an unmedicated, water birth at a birth center in September. “This podcast has truly given me so much confidence and understanding of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.” She is also starting the birth course this week, and she recommends this to all the mamas she knows!

 What a sweet review! We love to hear that you guys are binge listening! We hope...

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Interview with the Editors

Imagine training for a job but walking in on your first day and having no idea of what you were going to be asked to do! "Have you ever wondered what males really know about pregnancy and birth?"

The My Essential Birth Podcast began an intimate conversation between two childbirth educators and doulas. Since that first recording in an office after hours, things at My Essential Birth have grown. I now record in a studio with my incredible podcasting team Corbin, Trent, Dallon, and Savannah. With the exception of Savannah, my team is primarily male.

As you can imagine, they knew very little about pregnancy, the birthing process, and how women's bodies function! In this interview, my Rockstar editors will share the episodes that made them redefine the pregnancy journey, what it means to advocate for expectant moms, and the episodes that made them say -- "Wait, is THAT what happens during pregnancy?"

Sit back and prepare to laugh while gaining insight into how movies and media...

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Induction: When Is It Necessary & How to Make It Successful

Women are being forced into unnecessary inductions which makes me pose the question, do women’s bodies need to be forced into labor as much as they are being right now, and if there is a medically-necessary reason for this, how can we make it an excellent experience? In this episode I want to discuss what would constitute some medical reasons for inductions AND what you can do when an induction becomes necessary. This is something I get asked quite a bit. Once you do have a medical reason for induction, how does that change the birth plan? What do you need to know? I want you to have all of the best evidence-based information that will help you ask good questions, get all the information, and ultimately be able to make the decision that is best AND feels best for you. 

Show Notes

4:48 - I talk about the number one reason women are typically encouraged to get an induction. I discuss how moms should be approached by their provider & when this conversation should occur....

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Achieving Balance in the Pelvis for Pregnancy and Birth with Deb Flashenberg

Tune into this excellent conversation we had with prenatal yoga instructor, doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and mother, Deb Flashenberg as we discuss why it's so important to have balance in the pelvis throughout pregnancy and birth.  Deb shares her personal and professional experience including how she went from a five-hour pushing stage with her first baby to a five-minute pushing stage with her second baby all due to balance in the body and mind. We also discuss how having the proper preparation for the mind and body is crucial to your birth experience no matter how you're choosing to birth. 

Show Notes

2:44 - Why the topic of achieving balance in the pelvis lights Deb up. She has had some excellent personal and professional experiences to gather information and be able to share that on the podcast.

7:58 - There is so much more than just baby being head-down when we are talking about positioning. Listening to pain and discomfort can help us move into...

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Your Biggest Challenge in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

It's not that you can't eat a ton, or that you're swollen, the heartburn, exhaustion, or crazy pregnancy dreams, so do you know what it is!? We have seen a massive increase in this challenge for pregnant women especially since Covid hit in 2020. Don't worry though, we've got you covered. We'll tell you what you need to know, what your options are, and how to be prepared for this. We know...we haven't said what it is. But that's what the episode is for! So take a guess and a listen!

Show Notes

2:21 - Your biggest challenge in the third trimester is not that you can't eat a ton, or that you're swollen, or your crazy pregnancy nightmares. So if you're wondering what it is, listen in here.

8:34 - This is our absolute biggest pet peeve with inductions plus everything you need to know about how it's done and what your options are.

15:32 - More managed births affect our mental state while we birth. It's easier to believe that a mother's body "doesn't work on its own" when we jump-start it...

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When Do I Leave for My Birthplace During Labor?


This is probably the thing moms are most curious about as they approach their due date! When do I head into the hospital? When do I call the midwife at the birth center? How will I know it's really time? Whether you are birthing medicated or unmedicated, we have some excellent tips for you to know when it's time to get into the car and head to your birthplace, as well as when it's just fine to labor at home for a while. Of course, much of this will depend on your vision for your birth so we walk you through what the ideal birth looks like for you in order to pinpoint that right time.

Show Notes

3:20 - What happens if my water breaks? What if you want to stay at home? How do you know when you need to head in?

11:13 - What to look for so you know it's the right time to head in (depending on your goals for birth.) If you're wondering what contractions feel like and when to pay attention, we talk about that here.

20:12 - First-time moms, listen up. These are the magic numbers we...

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