Talk About Your Good Birth Experiences!

Those of us who have embraced birth in all its power and strength should start sharing about it!

We need to share, with all who are interested, what we have accomplished.  Have you ever noticed that people are so fast to tell you about how bad or scary their birth was, or a family member’s birth?  Do you realize that the more we stay quiet and let those be shared but not our stories the more we perpetuate the lie that birth should be feared!  The only way to counter the fear of birth is to let people know that it does not have to be a fearful event!  We all must have a respect of birth and realize that ultimately we are not in complete control but that we can for sure effect our outcome by the things we expect birth to be.

So many people expect birth to be a scary, painful and fearful event.  When they have this expectation this is generally what they get.  This is so sad because it does not have to be the case.  With knowledge and the right support we can have a better experience.  We can and should fill our minds with positive thoughts, expectations and outcomes. We can build stronger confidence, faith and belief in our body.  If we do these things we will come to find that our bodies are so much more capable and we are more powerful and stronger than we every knew!  We can help others do this when we share our own experience of powerful birth.

Now….do not get me wrong!  Birth is not a cake walk!  It will always bring you to a place of surrender and doubt!  The majority of us have had to work very hard, even when birth was a great experience.  We should never be afraid of hard work!  In reality birth will be easy compared to the next 18 years of loving, nurturing and raising a human.

It is my belief that the fear of birth is what drives up the complications and poor outcomes.  Of course this is not always the case, we cannot always fix every problem with our mindset.  What we can do is have positive expectations but also an open mind to respond to whatever may come our way.

When we share our story of a good outcome and birth experience it allows others to see what is possible.  I know I am so thankful for the person who first told me about her home births and her sharing is what started me down the road of seeking out the same type of care for myself.  We are also able to let others see that we have a confidence that they too can have.

I think the reason we are reluctant to share our great stories is  because we don’t ever want to offend anyone.  I am sorry but if someone gets offended because you had a good experience that is their problem not yours.   Of course this does not mean you should pin everyone down and tell them everything.  What I am talking about is for example…..you are sitting with a group of other women, perhaps at a park or moms group or playdate….a pregnant mom is talking about her upcoming birth and everyone starts telling her about how terrifying theirs was.  This is a perfect time to also chime in with how you had a good experience and that it is also a possibility for her.  Do not be forceful in your approach but also do not be afraid to share because you have a different perspective than everyone else present.  Of course we should never force our opinion on others but for sure at least put the idea out there that birth can be good!    You have no idea what futures you may impact by letting other people know how safe and good birth can be.  Your story is just as valuable and important as all the other scary birth stories.

I know this can be sensitive but as an elder mother, (I only say that because I have been a mother for 27 years now, 8 times over and have worked with many women) I have seen how one woman sharing her story can impact other women.  Even if you only ever impact one other woman to think deeper about her choices you have impacted society for the better.  Do not discount the power of this duplicated.

Have your good birth stories been received well?

Have you been shut down from sharing your good birth story?

Have you been reluctant to share? If so why?

 

Home birth is a valid and safe option with the right provider.

As a birthing mother I wanted to make sure that the provider I chose was someone who knew what they were doing and who I knew would keep me and my baby safe.  I also wanted someone who I liked personality wise.

Now as a legally practicing home birth midwife I encourage potential clients to ask questions of the providers they are interviewing, be that Dr’s or midwives, about their statistics.  How many births have they attended?  What was their training like?  How many complications have they managed, what type?  How would they manage this specific complication?  How many moms were successful in VBAC?  How many moms ended up with a c-section? And many many more questions.  It is important that you are comfortable with your midwife, not only from the standpoint of personality compatibility but also from an education and experience perspective.

What makes me really sad is when people simply call themselves a midwife but have not done any work as an apprentice under the supervision of a senior midwife.  In the home birth world it is imperative to have worked under supervision of someone more experienced so that you can have a guiding hand should you need one in, at least, your first 50 births you manage.  Book knowledge alone is never going to cut it when it comes to complications that can and do arise in birth!  It honestly infuriates me when a so called ‘midwife’ gets a bad outcome but she never had any formal training or apprenticeship and was someone who simply asserted herself into the birthing world only a few years ago.  Some say that if midwifery was legal in all states this would never happen.  I disagree because we often have properly credentialed and legal midwives who also end up with bad outcomes.  There really is no perfect scenario.  Licensure cannot possibly address the entire issue because there will always be those ‘under the table’ midwives and there is no way that just because you hold a credential means you are going to always make the best judgement calls.

We also have the problem of hospital staff looking down on midwifery and legal midwives.  This creates a tension for the families that should not be there.  The reality is that in countries where midwifery is respected and more common they have much better outcomes for women and babies.  This is a fact that cannot be denied.

Then we have the other issue of is hospital birth really safe?  This is a direct quote from an article I recently read written by a hospital based OB/GYN (1): “Unfortunately, giving birth at a hospital isn’t universally safe. NPR reported that the United States is the only developed nation with an increasing rate of maternal death, which has more than doubled from 1987 to 2015. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, it is now nearly twice as dangerous to give birth here as it is in Britain, France or Germany, despite the fact that the United States spends more on health care per capita than these countries. ACOG notes that the statistics are even more dire among minorities, with black women being three to four times more likely to die than white women.”

As a Certified Professional Midwife I hold the only national credential that specializes in the home birth setting.  This credential also requires book knowledge and many months, and often several years, of apprenticeship under a senior midwife.   This is the only credential that focuses on out of hospital care.  My specialty is providing respectful patient participation prenatal care along with peaceful, gentle and safe birth for mom and baby.  My clients participate in shared decision making and are never shamed for their decisions.  Their babies are born gently and safely at home.  I carry all the needed items to respond to any emergency.  When the need arises to go to the hospital we go!

I have one more baby to arrive to finish out 2019 but I did go ahead and compile my statistics so far for 2019.  To be totally honest this was a very difficult year for me in my practice.  I had to learn many lessons and solidify theories, some of which are:

  • Transferring to the hospital does not insure a good outcome. In fact, going to the hospital can cause greater harm than staying home.
  • Babies can be born early and perfectly healthy with no need for medical intervention after birth.
  • Breech babies can be born at home as a planned event with no bad outcomes.  I already knew this as I had a couple of surprise breech babies in previous years with grandmultips but this year 2019 started off with a planned breech at home which was a first for me.  When I really researched what was best for my client and for her baby in respect of their wishes it was clear that she was not guaranteed a better outcome by us choosing to go to the hospital.  We practiced shared decision making with clear guidelines of what we were all comfortable with and had a great outcome at  home.  Disclaimer…I take these cases very individually and reserve the right to decline this service for anyone at any time.  This is not something I will offer every family with a breech.
  • Chiropractic care can help a struggling baby, better than NICU teams, when the baby endured a difficult delivery.
  • There are many unknown causes for infections in babies and no matter how many spinal taps and NICU stays Dr’s require they are often clueless as to the cause or the best treatment moving forward.

In regards to that here are my statistics for 2019:

Home birth is safe with Sabrina Bias CPM

I support natural birth out of the hospital with great respect for the fact that we do not have perfect bodies and therefore things do not always go as planned.  I am not afraid to transport a mom or baby if it is needed.  Most of the time birth is perfect and beautiful and needs nothing more than encouraging respect, love and support.  However, I am comfortable with and do have the skills to respond to any emergency that may come up.

I am so very thankful for the years I spent working under the supervision of more experienced midwives.  I was able to encounter a wide variety of complications that now help me to have a more well rounded view of birth and emergency response, critical thinking skills and respect for each family’s wishes and desires.

Midwifing is not a right it is a very great responsibility and I am very grateful for each and every family who trusts me to be on their team!

 

1  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/opinion/home-births.html?fbclid=IwAR2qKzrXsJ5hrCkojp4IL01U7O6aZFFJlthKbaxMEyc7BiqeCnE37aACVH8

What are my options if my baby is breech?

Breech delivery is a very controversial topic in the birth world here in the United States..  I recently read an article(*1) from a Dr speaking about her own experience of having a breech baby.  She shares so many of the common concerns that expecting women have when they find out their baby may be or is for a fact breech.   These feelings include fear, worry, doubt in their body’s ability to birth naturally,  and the list goes on and on.   The women in this case who have had natural healthy vaginal deliveries before feel conflicted because they are hearing a Dr telling them vaginal birth is too risky but this woman believes in her body and in her gut instinct and she believes her body is more than capable.  What is this woman to do when her Dr is telling her vaginal birth is not an option?  The reality is that women are not being fully informed on the true risks and benefits of the vaginal option with their breech baby and this must change!  Providers need to start having an open and true informed discussion with their patients about the real risks of both vaginal birth and Cesarean section delivery.    All too often women find that they do not even have an option, if their baby is breech they are required to have a c-section.  Is this the best option?  Is this really safer for mom and baby? Let us open up the discussion to find out what is really behind this controversy.

In the year 2000 there was a clinical trial called the Term Breech Trial (*2) and they came to the conclusion that c-section was safer and therefore ACOG recommended routine surgical deliveries for all breech babies.  Let us dig deeper into this trial.  In this trial there were 2083 participants.  1041 planned c-sections and 1042 planned vaginal birth.  Of the 1042 planning a vaginal birth only 591 actually delivered vaginally which is about a 57% rate of the total who attempted it.  (The c-section rate(*3) in this country overall is 32% on average.)   Of the 1042 babies who were either born vaginally or planned a vaginal birth but ended up with a c-section,  a poor outcome(either trauma or death) occurred 52 times or 5% of the time.  Of the planned c-sections this occurred 17 out of 1042 or 1.7% of the time.

This can seem as if it is a clear cut case.  Let us now examine  the rate of maternal death or severe trauma.  In the planned c-section group this happened 41 out of 1042, 3.9% and of the planned vaginal deliveries it occurred 33 out of 1042,  3.2%.
So the risk to the mothers is pretty much the same between those who had vaginal birth and those who had a planned c-section.

However, we really need to dig deeper into these results. Some of the babies born vaginally died of circumstances that had nothing to do with the route of delivery.  Specifically, 2 of the vaginal birthed babies died of infection that began several days after delivery, not at all associated with their mode of delivery.  Another investigation(*4) into the Term Breech Trial done 2 years later states “Most of the children with serious neonatal morbidity after birth survived and developed normally. In this cohort, 17 out of 18 children with serious morbidity in the original study were normal at this 24-month follow-up. Another explanation is that the use of pooled mortality and morbidity data at the time of birth overstated the true long-term risks of vaginal delivery.”

Based on the few follow up trials done, beginning in 2002, ACOG went on to change their statement on vaginal breech birth and are now in support of informed consent!  This is exactly what they say right on their own website published in June 2006:  “Since that time, there have been additional publications that modify the original conclusions of the 2000 Term Breech Trial. The same researchers have published three follow-up studies examining maternal outcomes at 3 months postpartum, as well as outcomes for mothers and children 2 years after the births.”  “There are many retrospective reports of vaginal breech delivery that follow very specific protocols and note excellent neonatal outcomes. One report noted 298 women in a vaginal breech trial with no perinatal morbidity and mortality. Another report noted similar outcomes in 481 women with planned vaginal delivery. Although they are not randomized trials, these reports detail the outcomes of specific management protocols and document the potential safety of a vaginal delivery in the properly selected patient.”

In light of this information we need to more closely consider that the bigger issue here is the fact that women deserve true informed consent and to be lead to the more up to date research.  We recognize that it is very hard to find a provider who will consider ‘allowing’ a breech birth.  This does not mean that surgical delivery is safer, it is just what is more convenient for some providers.  Keep searching!  There is a provider out there who might be willing to work with you!

We, as women, need to speak up for ourselves. We need to do our own research and bring this information to our Dr’s or midwives.  Unfortunately, many Dr’s and midwives are not giving full informed consent.  This means they are not giving you ALL the information.

The reality is that c-sections, although now routine, are not risk free or easy.  They severely interfere with the mother baby bonding hour after birth.  C-sections are also a major operations that take weeks if not longer to recover from.

We as women need to listen more to our own inner voice.  If you do not agree with what you have been told then keep seeking until you find the right answer that you can feel good about.

This brings us to the deeper and more important issue of the relationship between women and their providers.  This is why midwifery care is so paramount to pregnancy and birth.  I, as a midwife, help families feel respected and valued.  I also help babies to be born gently.  What I provide for my families is a trusting relationship.  I support their decisions.  We are able to work together to come to a care plan that we can all be comfortable with. This is important in every single pregnancy and birth and not only in the breech situation, but MOST important when we are facing a breech baby.

 

1-https://slate.com/technology/2019/10/breech-babies-c-section-vaginal-birth-evidence-trust-women.html?fbclid=IwAR1Mzt8Le5tlIfQAUj8UEFnwU1i1ydB3UN5dk2Ft6Z6iLNaT136d3nCnfcA

2-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052579?report=abstract

3-https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/cesarean_births/cesareans.htm

4-https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Mode-of-Term-Singleton-Breech-Delivery?IsMobileSet=false

 

Items I suggest during pregnancy

During your pregnancy there will be times when I suggest that you supplement with certain products. While I have total faith in our bodies to do what they are designed to I also know that there are times when we need to support our body to do it’s job more efficiently.

Here are some of the things I may suggest you take during your pregnancy.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, you may drink this anytime after 28 weeks.
Is a great way to get in vitamins and minerals and to help your uterus warm up for labor. RRL tea has properties in it that support a healthy reproductive system and during the last stage of pregnancy it helps your uterus to be strong and ready for labor.

Evening Primrose Oil, to be taken only under the advice of your midwife or Dr.
I will sometimes suggest a woman take EPO in small quantities (500mg 2 times a day max) if she has a history of very long first stage labors or if she has a scared cervix.

Vitamin C E & Zinc
I suggest this combination to have a strong amniotic sac and nice supple skin that reduces the severity of stretch marks and also helps your perineum stretch nicely for delivery.

Multi Vitamin, complete for every pregnant woman
The Master Formula is a whole foods multi vitamin that literally has every single thing a pregnant woman needs! It also has nothing you do not want or need! This multi is safe for those who are carrying the MTHFR mutation too! This is a plant based vitamin from a very well known and reputable clean and organic company. You can order this from me and I deliver it to you or you can order online here: Master Formula Complete Multi Vitamin Supplement

Super B Complex
Women need a great B complex during pregnancy to help support a healthy nervous system and to support healthy digestion and mood. I have all my moms take this as it is the best I have found in the way it supports my mommas to simply feel great! Super B Complex

Book List

Preparing for a natural birth, breastfeeding and parenting can be a BIG job and
I strongly encourage you to read all you can on the matter to learn as much as possible!

I have many books that I recommend families explore!

Pregnancy and Birth related books listed in the order of importance

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

This is the book to start with! This book builds a solid foundation about normal, natural, healthy pregnancy and birth, read this before anything else!

 

Hypnobirthing

This book is great to help you get your mind right in preparation for a natural birth!  This is my number one required reading for all clients!

 

Gentle Birth Choices

This book talks about why Gentle Birth is so very important to babies long term!

 

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition

This book is what I want all my families to read to prepare for labor and birth! You may not love everything in this book but it is so good for helping you realize what your body is doing and what you can expect emotionally! It also teaches some very simple yet most effective tools for coping with natural birth!

Breastfeeding

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

 

 

Parenting

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

This book is revolutionary when it comes to guiding the young mind while keeping in  mind that their little brains are not even fully developed until well after 5 years old.  I wish I had this information when my children were babies!

 

These next 2 are a couple of books on the topic of vaccination for you parents to study and come to your own decision about this very confusing topic. This is not something most healthcare providers speak much about but it is a very BIG decision all parents must come to make and you really do need to be fully informed.

Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies

Vaccination is Not Immunization

 

 

I’ve given birth…NOW WHAT?

As a midwife I feel that my work really only begins with the birth!  Pregnancy is one thing and then postpartum is a whole ‘nother story!

I practice a holistic approach to caring for women which is based on a relationship and involves at least 5 or more postpartum care visits to help you get started on a good foot.  The sad thing is that only about 1% of women in my local area are choosing home birth midwifery care!  I am on a mission to get as many women as I can to realize that individualized care is the better way to go but until more women start actually choosing out of hospital providers we all have to work harder to change things for ALL women!

It is appalling to me that when women deliver in a hospital they are turned loose in 24-48 hours and are not seen again by their care provider for several weeks!  So many things can go wrong during the first couple of weeks after having a baby!  Women are experiencing so much more crammed into a few short weeks then the entire 9 months of pregnancy combined!

ACOG is announcing in their May release that they are recommending a change in the postpartum care schedule from 1 visit over 6 weeks to 3 visits over 12 weeks.  While I am very glad to see this recommendation I hope the Dr’s will begin implementing this, I am not holding my breath!  (ACOG has made many recommendations that have not been embraced by Dr’s.) They are also supporting a full 6 weeks of PAID paternal leave with 100% benefits!  Finally they are hearing the women and responding, now all we need to do is get the Dr’s themselves and the employers on board!

In a typical relationship with a family who has allowed me to serve them for their care I see them at least 5 times in the first 6 weeks after birth.  I will see them more if needed.  The reality is that the transition to motherhood, even if it is not your first time, can be extremely difficult.  Half of all women who die from pregnancy related complications do so in the first few weeks after actually having their baby! So these things are happening at home when you have already been released from the hospital!  This is one reason why midwifery care is better because we come to you whenever you need it during that important postpartum period of at least 6 weeks.  You need a competent and supportive provider who will actually be present to help you with the many different issues:

-Breastfeeding

-Engorgement  -Helping baby latch on

-Evaluating for tongue or lip ties

-Healing after birth

-Mood variances

-Watching for complications that can be life threatening

-Evaluating the health and well being of the baby

-Supporting the emotional variances in each unique woman

-And so much more!

There is so much that needs to be done to support new moms!  This begins during the pregnancy through educating women on what to expect, how to prepare for this difficult yet wonderful time and helping women set up the right support system to help her in those early days.

Mentally prepare yourself to take VERY special care of yourself for an additional full 12 weeks, this is sometimes called the 4th trimester.   This is honestly likely the most important phase of welcoming a new baby. This is the time when you really have the HARD life struggles of caring for a new life, a new body, and all the issues that come along with breastfeeding and an expanding family.

So what does this really look like?

Before the baby even gets here make it clear to your extended family and friends that they are only allowed to come over to see baby if they are willing to:  -bring a meal  -do laundry  -clean a bathroom  -do some dishes  -or anything else you may need done!

They also should not come unannounced! They need to check in first to make sure it is a time when mom and baby are not resting or feeding and only stay a short while.

You need to give yourself a full week of doing nothing but caring for  yourself and your baby!   Do not plan any outings, stay home.  Mom and dad and other siblings need a good several days of bonding without a lot of visitors!  Breastfeeding can be hard those first few days and very few women are comfortable doing so in front of visitors.  Have another adult or older responsible teenager in the home to help with the other children, laundry, meals and basic household duties.  This should be the partner but if there is not a partner or if he must return to work right away then plan for this!  Women should NEVER jump right back into their normal work load! They need at least a week to do nothing, then another week to slowly start doing a few more things then still take it easy for a while longer.

As mothers, sisters and friends we should also support and encourage other women to do the same when they become a new mom, I do not care if you are having your first or your 6th baby, the same rules apply here!

I do what I can with my clients who are having home births. I would like to be able to reach more women with this vital information.  Please share this with as many as you can and be this support when you have a close woman going through the 4th trimester.

 

*Link to the ACOG update 

Are You Giving Away Your Power?

Dear Momma,

You are more powerful than realize!

You are the master of your domain, and the domain is you and your child(ren). You are in 100% control of the decisions you are required to make for your child.

There are so many ways that we as mothers give away our power and authority to people and systems as a given, without thought, because we don’t realize there is any other way. We allow our bodies/souls and our children’s bodies/souls get overided by people who we think know better than we do when it comes to our lives and the lives of our children. But they don’t.

As mothers we are constantly being thrown shame about our choices as a parent, no matter what we do. Now, it is important that we talk openly about evidence based practices that are proven to have better outcomes for our children, but many cases, people want us to just go with the status quo. Just do what was done to them, the way their parents did it. Don’t ask questions, don’t be too loud, don’t speak up, don’t question the “experts,” ignore that gut feeling. You know, the one you might get at a doctors appointment or sending your kid off on the first day of school. We are told these feelings are “normal,” and that every mother goes through it. I agree, they are common, but they are not normal.  Stop giving some people’s opinions priority over what we intuitively know. This happens so much so that most of us no longer feel the sense of that  motherly intuition.  We are filling our kids bodies and heads with things that we don’t even have the slightest clue what is it, because we think we have to. That there could be another way, doesn’t even occur to many people.

This isn’t about convincing anyone to do things my way (how boring a world that would be!). But if you don’t know that you have choices beyond the mainstream world, then you aren’t actually making decisions from a place of truth and desire. You are living on autopilot and not considering the impact of living a life in accordance to the status quo, whose only agenda is to keep you relying on it.

So what do I mean by giving away power?

Well, your  power is your deep internal knowing, and then the actions that support it. It is standing up for what you know to be true and not fearing the potential backlash from those who feel confronted by how you live. Actually, you might feel fear, but you do it anyway, because you cannot function living for others and out of alignment with what you know to be best for you and your family.

I see mothers give away their power to others all the time. Sure, there are going to be women who live by the book. They do what they are told, trust the “experts” no matter what, never venture far from their predetermined path as a mother and will insist that they are not run by fear and not giving their power away. That is fine. I am not speaking to them. I am speaking to those who know something feels off. They get that feeling that things aren’t right or they want to change something, but that something goes against everything they are told to be okay and right about raising children. I am here to tell you to listen to that. It is ok, and very empowering to never feel confused or afraid in your choices as a parent. I love how much freedom I have there, and I have that freedom because I don’t listen to other people and have cultivated a deeper trust within myself. I truly believe that if you have that, then it almost doesn’t matter what you do, that faith and confidence will carry you. Even if you do everything totally opposite than what I personally believe to be true, if you feel so good and right doing it, then your family and children will feel that.

Here are 5 places I see mothers giving away their power, where they should not, ever, anymore:

  1. Doctors during pregnancy

This isn’t about how I think you should be pregnant and give birth, but it is true that 99% of women follow a predetermined agenda once they see those two blue lines. From that point on they are under the control of a doctor. They see it as them working for the doctor and not the other way around. Remember, this is your body and your baby.

Your caregiver works for you.

-If you don’t want to drink a nasty glucose drink, you don’t have to!

-If you don’t want to be induced, you don’t have to!

-If you don’t want to labor on your back strapped to a bed, you don’t have to!

-If you don’t want an episiotomy, you don’t have to get one!

-If you don’t want your baby taken out of your sight, she doesn’t have to be!

-If you ever have that “bad” feeling about ANYTHING, listen to it!

I cringe when I hear a woman say, “my doctor won’t let me…”

If that is the case, then I wouldn’t hesitate finding someone who works FOR YOU and honors your wishes. I understand that there are special circumstances where a woman has to do something she didn’t originally desire or plan, but this isn’t what I am talking about.

Women have so much choice and power around how they bring their babies into the world. Excerise that right! Question and research everything!

2. Parenting experts.

The problem with listening to the experts is that they come from all ends of the spectrum. Some will say never ever leave a baby alone to cry, others will suggest you go in the nursery just to clean up the vomit, make no eye contact and get out (ok, that is just cruel, but that line of thinking actually exists). You were given this child, listen to YOUR own intuition on what YOUR child needs.  Ultimately, you know what feels right and what doesn’t.

One example is parent’s confusion over sleep and letting babies cry alone. Many feel if they pick up their baby or sleep near their baby then they are somehow spoiling their baby. On the other hand, they feel terrible letting and listening to their baby’s screams. This is a perfect example of listening to our intuition and how it often goes in the exact opposite direction of what the “experts” tell us (not all experts, of course).  It is rather sad that we believe a vulnerable baby can have too much love and care, or be made to feel too secure. Or to think a baby’s needs go away at night. Understanding child development and listening to our intuition will make examples like these pretty clear.

3. Your mother-in-law, or your own mother.

This might sound a little harsh, but it needs to be said.

I often see mothers posting in mom groups about how to deal with a mother-in-law or their own parent strongly disagreeing about how they do something as a parent. They complain about their beliefs and ask for advice on how to get them to “see their point of view.”

Honestly, the problem isn’t your MIL, the problem is lack of boundaries on your (the mother’s) part. I get that some women deal with really nasty MILs and mothers. It still comes down to boundaries and confidence. If you know your deepest truth and you are confident in carrying it out as a parent then there is no need to convince anyone or make them see it your way (unless they ask or are curious, of course!). If anyone in my family (or friends) wanted to give me a hard time on a regular basis about how I do something then I have no problem setting a boundary, whatever that would need to look like. I think my own mother knows this about me, which is probably why she doesn’t give me a hard time, despite the fact she might not agree with everything I do. Seeing her grandchild and having a relationship with him is more important to her than questioning my choices. That said, I love having open, respectful conversations about it when she wants to.

I do believe some people just like the drama and want to appear right (been there!), but if you just honestly want to be left alone about your decsions then I promise, you can make that happen.

You also don’t need to give away your power by doing something that you feel uncomfortable/unsure about  just because that is how your mom raised you and you don’t want to upset her or make her feel guilty. I know some women are very aware that if they did something opposite of what their mothers did, then that is indirectly telling them that we are not okay with how it was done to us, and that could feel offensive to our own mothers, and we don’t want to hurt them, of course. It is actually more unkind to go along to get along with your mother and protect her from feeling the truth of who you are and what you believe. It prevents potential growth for the both of you.

4. Pediatricians

This goes back to my number one point, but I see mothers putting up with pediatrician bullying so much more. I see women dreading going to check-ups because they don’t want to feel bullied into giving an injection or medication that they feel uncomfortable with or still have very little knowledge on. It is horrible how much we shame women for questioning substances that they must choose to put or not put in their child’s body. No matter what you choose, I think we can all agree that it is totally legitimate to know what you are consenting to give your child and possible side effects. To not ask about any of these things feels totally irresponsible, but we treat women who question as the irresponsible ones.  Only you knows what is really best for your child. Do not let any Dr shame you for demanding information or standing your ground.

Mothers remember, you are not obligated to keep a care provider who makes you feel horrible. You are also not required to attend check-ups until and unless you feel good about going. These experiences can and should be mostly care free and without stress and dread. If you find yourself feeling that way every time you go to the doctor, I would start to consider another game plan. I can weigh and measure my children myself and I don’t need to be told that my clearly healthy and happy child is, well…happy and healthy.

5. Schools

Somewhere down the line we fell for the belief that once our child turns five then we give them away to a system who can supposedly better raise and educate them than we (or the world) can.  We turn them in to a life of much less freedom for the safe bet that when they come out, they will be “educated,” because they can’t possibly learn outside of the starkness that is the school walls. We fall for the lie that learning can only be done one way, at one place, for everyone.

Once again, we are told to abandon our power as mothers and hand our children’s lives and education over to strangers, but we are told these strangers are “experts” so we feel justified in this decision. We tell ourselves they must be educated, even though in reality there are far more experiences and resources available in the rest of the world than are within the confines and limits of schooling. We tell ourselves that our children must be socialized, even though that is all we ever got in trouble for as kids in school. We know very well how much socializing is discouraged in the traditional schooling environment.

I know my condemnations of schooling will get a lot of backlash. I am not so much saying what you should and should not do. I am simply suggesting you know the reality of your choices and question why you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously) this path, because that is all it is. *A* path. Not *the* path. It is not in any way a given or required. It is a relatively new created system designed to create 9-5 workers for a capitalistic society. Why have you chosen it? Was it a conscious choice or simply the next step in what you consider of living life? Are we considering how much of our time, attention, energy, and life we give away to the schooling system? We are on their clock all year, and having to constantly make sure we get in assignments, wake up at a certain time, abide by their laws and rules, etc. These things affect the entire family unit, not just children. Did you choose a life and learning path based on the wants and needs of your family? Or are you molding and shaping your life to fit the requirements of the school you send your child to?

Again, if you think you made the best decision and your children love school, then maybe you don’t need this message. My message to you is still that you have more power than you know, and if you ever feel off or that your child isn’t thriving in this environment, then your job isn’t to ignore those feelings or “fix” or medicate your child or put them in a special class with other children who are acutely aware of a broken system. Your job is to change the environment, not change your child.

Sometimes we resist this notion because it would require us to take a good, hard look at our deeply held beliefs. It would require us to realign our priorites and make big (but often very neccessary) changes in our own lives. And oh it is so much easier to try to change our child than it is seeing them as people who are reflecting back at us what we need to see and change about ourselves, but that is why children are so great and magical. We just have to look and listen.

I know these ideas are not always easy to hear, nor are the results always happy readers. Luckily, I am not in the writing business to make people happy. I am in it to tell the truth and express that which I am most passionate about. I am curious your thoughts on empowering ourselves as mothers and taking back our rights to our own lives and bodies. What is available to us when we live our lives fully and truly for ourselves and the needs of our children, rather than assuming what life with kids is supposed to look like? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Am I Cut Out For Natural Birth?

I hear women say all the time,

“I want to be in the hospital in case something happens” or

“I want to have my first baby in the hospital and if it goes well I will maybe try a home birth next time” or

“If I were at home I would have died!” or or or ……….. it goes on and on.

The problem with this thinking is that it is all backwards.

The rate of intervention and c-sections in the hospitals is not conducive to any of these lines of thought.   The reality is you have a much better chance of having a great birth if you do it at home with a skilled attendant!   Women are dying because of all the routine interventions and because they are not getting the individual personal care every single women deserves!

You see the midwife model of care is so vastly different from the medical model of caring for pregnant and laboring women they cannot even begin to be compared!  In the hospital there are so many rules, regulations, restrictions and policies that hinder a healthy women from having an all natural birth.  The environment itself is a huge issue and you have all these people in and out. You have cultivated a relationship with a Dr over your pregnancy and the chances of actually getting that Dr are slim to none, unless you schedule your delivery which leads to a whole host of other huge issues that cause interventions that cause bad outcomes.   It cascades into a mess and then you arrive at home a few days later wondering how your actual experience veered so far off track and how you ended up with so much that you never wanted and you may even have some type of trauma just because so much happened to you and it happened so fast that you were not able to wrap your head around it at the moment.

You see……the deal is most healthy women do not need that!  This does not have to happen to you!  Most healthy women do just fine and have beautiful healthy babies and have an experience they will cherish forever, even first time moms!

You have choices and you can have a beautiful, empowering, respectful home birth with a caring attendant who will include you in every decision made and you will cherish the memory!

As a midwife I have a deep relationship with my birthing clients and am vested in the very best outcome for them and their babies!!  I monitor you very closely and will get you to a medical facility right away if you or your baby need to be there.

What has got me on this topic?………Just in the last week I have come across so many articles where women are being severely overlooked with severe health issues during labor or in the immediate postpartum period and they are dying or coming very close to it.  NPR is doing a huge ongoing investigation to the death rate of women because these things are not being tracked and no one is being held accountable for them.   These things are not happening in homes this is all happening in big respected hospitals.  It is very scary.   Many of those situations that women come out of saying, “I would have died if I were at home” are often brought on because of unnecessary interventions that never should have happened to begin with that actually put them in danger.  Those things will not happen at home, at least with me as your midwife!!

I do not want you to read this and be afraid of birth.  I want you to read this and realize that you are not necessarily safer if you choose to birth in the hospital.  It is just a different place with many more restrictions on you that make a natural birth more difficult.  Yes, if something really bad were to happen you are where needed interventions can take place but those real emergencies are literally only about a 1% occurrence in normal birth.

You are POWERFUL.

You are STRONGER THAN YOU REALIZE.

You have the POWER to birth your baby safely at home!

I would love to answer specific questions if you are wondering if home birth can be an option for you!

Lifestyle of Natural Living and Wellbeing

As a midwife it is very important to me to be healthy and strong, both physically and mentally.

I have been going down this path for almost 16 years now and I have been learning how to do this first hand very strongly since 2014 when I had an adrenal crash.   It is one thing to do things in a natural way because you know it is best .  It is totally different to be pushed to do things in a natural way because you have become so allergic to everything and sick that your body cannot handle anything but NATURAL and safe and pure.

You see, our environments have become so overwhelmed with toxic overload from man made chemicals that some of us just cannot handle it anymore.  This is me!  My body has forced me to go the alternative route which really is the natural route for most things anymore.  Now I have come to LOVE the all natural life style.  Many of my clients are already here!  Many are much further along in the all natural lifestyle than me.  The thing is there is always someone who is a little behind you and you can always encourage support and guide them!

My natural life has evolved very much over the years.  I have been using herbs and making my own tinctures and herbal supplements for years and have been using essential oils too! However, very recently I just decided to learn as much as I can about essential oils and work harder at implementing them into my life for every day uses!  This is just a natural flow from herbs to oils as and essential oil is just a very condensed herbal infusion.  So different circumstances in my life exposed me to a specific brand of oils and I have felt as if I should be incorporating them into my life and my practice.

This lead me into finding a new and wonderful addiction!

Not only to oils but to a specific brand of oils!

Young Living has opened a whole new world up to me and my senses!  I love these oils!  I have been using health food store oils for many years but recently made the switch to Young Loving and I have been so blown away at the much greater quality of them!  I wish someone would have explained this to me a long time ago!

If you are like me you think an oil is an oil! NO WAY that is WRONG!  The purity and quality and potency of the Young Living oils can NOT in any way be compared to any other oil on the market!

Young Living has a Seed to Seal* promise which is the highest level of qualify control out there!

I have shared these oils with others who have used other brands and they too are shocked at the difference!  I love them so much and a tiny bit goes a long way!

Young Living not only has oils but also has many different health and well being supplements!

These are high quality and I am happy to refer families to use them because I trust the source and they have only natural ingredients.  I can even safely recommend my clients with the MTHFR gene mutation to use these!  I suggest all my expecting and my postpartum moms to use these!

They even have a baby line called Seedlings* and an oil specific for babies called Gentle Baby*

So If you want to know more about essential oils then hit me up!   I will try not to overwhelm you with my enthusiasm!

Media outlets

I was happy to have the privilege of speaking with a local reporter about natural birth!

You can check out that page by clicking here.

The new low intervention birth program at one of our local hospitals drew the attention of Sarah Shahriari, a local news anchor for a talk radio program.  She invited me to speak about my role as doula and natural birth in general.  We had a wonderful conversation about why some women seek a more natural birth and what inspired me to work in this field.  You can read her words and hear a small portion of that interview HERE.

My ultimate passion in life is sharing the good news that all women have the power within themselves to birth naturally.  It takes education (awareness) and a will to do so, however, with the right team and tools anyone can do it!  I am here to help you to realize the potential you have with in yourself to truly embrace the entire birth experience and cherish it for what it is.  You have this primal power within yourself to do this lost art of birthing your baby naturally.  I am just here to make you realize this and bring this out in yourself.

Anytime I have the chance to share this information I am excited.  When more women learn that they have options and find the right team to achieve their goal the more babies there are that come into the world gently.  Babies deserve to born gently into this world with a team who understand that transition needs to be gentle and respected.

If you are seeking a natural birth at home or in the hospital and have any questions at all please contact me.  I would love to connect you with the right team to support you in your desires.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!