I recently realized that I have something that others may not have when it comes to postpartum depression. I not only have personal experience and really understand it, I have tools that can help. I’m so passionate about this issue because I know how debilitating it can be not only for the mother but for her whole family. Psychologist agree that the mother and her child set the tone for their relationship within the first couple years of life and if that first year is wrought with postpartum depression it can be challenging to come back from. I’m offering my community a free document which I have titled, ‘Get out of my life: postpartum depression plan’. It’s a plan to create with your partner and I will be happy to pass it on to anyone who requests it! Placenta encapsulation can also really help, so feel free to ask me about that as well. Here’s to beautiful postpartum periods!
Here I’m showing a client her side of the placenta. This is the side that was attached to the wall of her uterus, connected to her blood vessels so it could constantly infuse her baby with oxygenated blood. It’s one that after showing her and her family, I later cut, dried and put into capsules. #cincinnatiplacentaencapsulation #cincinnatihomebirth
Almost every client is worried about tearing during the birth of her baby. Tearing is a real and legitimate fear women have and I am glad that I have the experience to address it! When I read blog posts I want writers to GET TO THE POINT so, I’ll go ahead and bullet out a midwives approach to preventing tears during birth now.
1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head.
2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth.
3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth.
For those of you who want more information about those bullets above I will go into detail now.
1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head:
The whole purpose of this is to allow the vaginal tissues to stretch instead of popping open. (I know some of you just did a involuntary kegel with that word pop! Lol.) When a client reaches term, we discuss that when she feels a burning or stinging sensation during pushing (otherwise known as ‘the ring of fire’), she should communicate that to me. This is the point where the head is crowning, or where the largest portion of the head is at the vaginal opening. Its interesting to me that slowing down at crowning isn’t something that women naturally do. Its much more common for women to feel the intensity of crowning, think to themselves that they can finish the birth real quick and just blast the baby out. This is the point when your support people come in. When I see and hear that a woman is crowning I say a couple things. First, I ask her to take a breath, then open her eyes and tell her it’s time to slow down. Then we lock eyes and take a couple big breaths together. If she can just breathe through a couple contractions, allowing her uterus to push but not putting force behind it, that is usually all the stretching that the tissues need to be tear free!
2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth:
Otherwise known as perineal support. See image below.
When I’m at a birth as a midwife, I use a folded washcloth to support the anus and perinuem as much a possible during every contraction once there is active head movement with pushing. This extra exterior support not only reminds mom to slow down but also holds the skin together to keep tearing from happening. Perineal Support is even more beneficial if the mom is providing it for herself because she can feel exactly where the support is needed, but alas, it’s difficult for her to reach! Providing perineal support can be discussed with your care provider to see what their practice is.
3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth:
An ideal baby position at birth will keep the diameter of the head the smallest it can be to lessen the likelihood or tearing. This means your babies chin will be well tucked and the babies back is towards your belly, on the left hand side. Body work can align YOU, so the baby is free to move to the best position. I always recommend a deep tissue massage therapist who is comfortable working on pregnant moms for body work.
Notes to know:
There are degrees of tear depth, that go anywhere from just a scratch all the way to through the anus. See the image below:
Questions? Feel free to contact me or comment below.
Yours truly, doing newborn footprints for clients, because those sweet feet will never be the same.
As I move deeper into my journey to become a midwife, I’m struck by the disparities that are faced by women of color in the Cincinnati Area. It is not for socioeconomic reasons like education or their yearly income that makes their statistics so much worse than their white counterparts, it’s the sheer fact that racism is prevalent and far reaching. It causes such undue stress on these women that they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and experience other pregnancy complications that could ultimately result in maternal or infant mortality.
Check out the following for more information. https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/tools/reportcard.aspx?frmodrc=1®=39
I am newly impassioned to do what I can to change these statistics. This will include offering the following to women:
-low cost birth doula services for those that are inhibited by the cost of my services
-being available via phone for questions or concerns
The above are my ideas and I understand that I may not be addressing the greater need. If you have ideas about alternatives please contact me. I am open to feedback.
Birth is a big deal and for some it becomes an even bigger deal knowing that other people are going to be looking straight at areas of your body that are the most sacred. I get it! I really do.
Yes… it’s totally true that for most moms they’re going to hit a point in labor when people seeing their body is just not a worry to them anymore. They become more concerned with riding the waves of each contraction and how tight their clothes begin to feel that they just start tearing them off their body. Hint: Anything that has a waistband goes first. ; )
For some moms this just won’t happen. They will stay covered up and that’s fine. As long as they feel comfortable enough to roll with what their body is asking them to do in labor, there is no problem!
What I really want all moms who are struggling with this issue to remember is that this is their birth, no one else’s and they get to decide what they want to wear and when. It’s just that basic. Because #empoweredbirth
If you want to have a modest birth experience I would suggest that you have a few of the following items on hand…
-Nightgowns: ones that you think are beautiful, completly un-constricting, and dedicated to the birth so you won’t be disappointed if they get stained. You will want at least 2 in case one gets wet or dirty. At least knee length is ideal, calf length is better and sleeveless because labor is hard and sweaty work. Oh and I love cotton because it breaths. Make sure it’s not see through because that just defeats the purpose. Check out Latched Momma dresses, they will open easily for nursing and are my absolute favorite!
-Sportsbra: again at least 2 is ideal in case one gets wet. Nursing bras might be great too as it would open easily to do skin to skin with the baby afterwards.
Early labor clothes: these are the clothes that you love, are comfortable and make you feel safe and warm. #loveyourself
I would love to hear what you wore in labor and if you have any additional tips that readers might find helpful!
There is no doubt that you will work hard during a natural birth. We all know it! Any of us who have done it have heard comments like, “I could never do that” and “You are way stronger than I am”. The thing is that those comments aren’t true and I think it gives the wrong idea to New Moms who are considering a natural birth. What really is the hardest part? It’s not that contractions are so incredibly painful, it’s that you have to LET GO. Some of you reading this will know exactly what I mean immediately but I’ll explain for the rest of you.
Letting go is a process that ideally you will begin at the beginning of your pregnancy and continue working on until your birth. It means letting go of expectations of exactly how your birth will go, letting go of fear, and allowing your body, heart, and mind to do exactly what millions of women’s before you have done. Allowing a baby to pass through you and out into the world. That’s the hardest part! Letting go and allowing trust of the process in.