Childbirth, Pregnancy

All The Gross Stuff About Birth That Other Moms Will NEVER Tell You

Two words: Poop particles.

When you wipe away the romantic veneer of bringing a new human into the world, you’re met with blood, sweat, and tears (of all kinds), for many hours. But few women will get into specifics of the messiness of childbirth because it makes for stomach churning chitchat.

While it’s not pleasant to discuss, it’s important to be aware of the grime that comes with birth to help fortify your grittiness: an essential ingredient to pushing a human out of your vagina. So, I’m going to be your inappropriate girlfriend and fill you in on the gross stuff that happens during birth and all the ickiness you can expect from a vaginal birth.

Warning: This article is not to be paired with a meal.

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Video

The Importance of Listening to Your Intuition During Pregnancy & Childbirth

Hi friends!

Here is a clip from my new online Childbirth Preparation course discussing the importance of honoring your inner voice of wisdom as you navigate the path into motherhood.

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy

Childbirth Preparation: A Complete Guide for Pregnant Women

It’s alive! My new (and much improved!) Childbirth Preparation Online Course was birthed on Udemy today!

I’m offering 50 badass preggos out there a mega-discount ($50 instead of $125!) Use the coupon code FENGSHUIMOMMY when you go here.

There are plenty of Preview videos, checklists, and relaxation recordings you can peruse for free before clicking the Buy button 🙂

 

Childbirth, Guilt & Forgiveness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Why You Should Create a Cesarean Birth Plan- Even If You’re Planning For a Vaginal Birth

Loss of control is a primary fear many women feel when considering the possibility of a cesarean birth. “I’ll have to give up my power to the surgeon. I’ll have no say over how the birth unfolds. I’ll feel like a piece of meat on an operating table.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can reclaim your right to empowerment throughout your baby’s birth by creating a cesarean birth plan — even if you’re planning for a vaginal birth.

Creating this plan doesn’t set the intention that you’ll have a cesarean birth, it sets the intention that you’ll be prepared, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances that may pop up in your birth journey.

Below are preferences you can use to create a simple one-page cesarean birth plan (that you’ll create in addition to your vaginal birth plan), which you will present to your care provider around the beginning of your third trimester. I recommend discussing each preference with your care provider to determine if they, or the facility you would be having the surgery in, would put up resistance to any of the preferences. If so, discuss why there would be resistance, and what can be done about it.

Read more on Babble!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Self Love, Uncategorized

Coming To Terms With the Negative Birth Experience You Weren’t Expecting

As a doula, I recently attended a 30-hour birth that turned the mom’s birth preferences on their head (or maybe into the breech position). The mama was elated to end up with a healthy baby but is moving through deep regrets over certain aspects of her experience (about 90 percent of her preferences had to be scrapped for medical reasons.)

It can be really deflating when you put in months of preparation to have a particular type of birth, and then fall into having the opposite type of birth. It totally sucks. But “it’s not allowed to suck” — or so everyone says — if you and baby end up healthy.

“Well at least you have a healthy baby.”

Ugh.

Yes, you had your healthy baby, and obviously you’re thrilled with that ideal outcome, but what about all the yuck in between? The dashed expectations? The missed opportunities to move through certain experiences you had prepared for? The residual trauma of moving through experiences you hadn’t prepared for? 

Read more on Babble!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

I’m a Doula and Let Me Tell You: Orgasms During Childbirth Are a Real Thing

IMG_7891The terms “orgasm” and “childbirth” sound like antonyms to most people. But, women have an orgasm when they conceive a baby (hopefully!), so maybe it’s not outside the realm of reason that they could have an orgasm while birthing the baby.

According to The Independenta survey by the Positive Birth Movement and Channel Mum has reported that 6 percent of women say they have had an orgasm during childbirth. My initial reaction when I first heard about women who reported orgasms during birth was that they were lying braggarts — mainly because I was jealous I had never experienced this phenomenon.

But since I’ve become a birth doula, my “lying braggart” theory has been crushed; I’ve witnessed many women experience multiple orgasms during birth. I’ve heard them describe these births as “ecstatic overflows,” “spiritual awakenings,” “waves of bliss,” and “the longest, strongest, orgasm ever!” 

I wonder if these will be the ladies that end up having six children?

Read more on Babble!

Childbirth, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Stop Birth Shaming

IMG_1349“If you don’t let us give you Pitocin, your baby could die.”

Her doctor said it with complete finality, but there was no medical evidence to back up his claim, as the midwife in the room attested to.

The doctor was on his fifth delivery of the day and was overheard telling a nurse he was ready to go home — and was playing golf later that day.

I’m a doula, and my client who shared this story with me, ended up having a C-section she feels she was pressured into.

Shame, which has sidled its way into the ingredients of our culture, commonly mixes into childbirth. Women are constantly being pushed to accept unnecessary interventions they’re not comfortable with, just to suit the needs of those that have a hand (often literally) in their birth experience.

There are of course beautiful exceptions to this rule in the form of doctors and midwives who put their clients’ needs first and only suggest intervention if it is medically needed or requested by the birthing woman. In fact, that needs to be the rule.

Read more on Babble

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Childbirth, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Birth Oasis Basics

IMG_1238
Look! I’m wearing the one-size-fits all gown. Do as I say, not as I do 😉

Sterile. Stiff. Bright. Harsh. Stressed. Cold. Loud.

Or…

Intimate. Soft. Glowing. Gentle. Calm. Comfortable. Quiet. Aromatic (in the most pleasant sense of the word).

Which list do you choose? The second? Me too.

Wouldn’t the characteristics of that second list make for a deeply nurturing birth environment?

Not surprisingly, a nurturing birth environment often equals a more gentle and comfortable birth.

Whether you’re having a home or hospital birth, these tips will help you manifest the birthing oasis of your (sometimes strange) pregnancy dreams:

  1. Low Lighting. Harsh overhead lighting sucks the positive energy out of a space. Opt for a few well placed lamps giving off subtle glows.
  2. Essential Oils. Choose your favorite essential oil/s and dab it on your pulse points, in your birthing tub, or essential oil diffuser. The diffuser is my favorite option as it gently disperses the scent throughout the room providing the calming, or stimulating, effect to everyone in the space. My favorites are lavender (calm) and peppermint (energizing- best for the last phase of labor.)
  3. Comfortable Temperatures. Adjust the thermostat as needed, or have a space heater and fan on hand to regulate your temperature, that will likely be in constant flux.
  4. Soft Materials. Ensure the materials on your birthing bed and body are soft and nurturing. You do not have to succumb to the one-size-fits-all hospital gowns (as lovely as they are.)
  5. Soft Voices. Place a ‘Quiet Please’ sign on your birthing room door and have your birthing companion remind your other supporters to speak in soft, calm, and positive tones.
  6. Favorite Colors. If you end up being an “eyes open” birth-er, you’ll want positive images and colors to use as your focal points. Paint your toes in your favorite color, ask your birth companions to wear this color, and bring in one or two peaceful images or items to set in your view line.
  7. Soothing Melodies. The murmurs of others, or the (sometimes traumatic) bustle of a hospital can be distracting. Have a portable speaker playing calming music or birthing specific relaxation recordings- or pop on your headphones to completely cancel out unwanted noise.
  8. Nom Noms. Have light, delicious, and nutritious snacks on hand for yourself and others. And water. Drink so much water. Water. Water. Water.
  9. A Higher Power. Invite a higher power (whatever that means to you) to enter the space and spiritually guide and support you through all phases of birth.
  10. What Makes You Feel Good? Meditate on that question and fill your birthing oasis with the answers.

The Gist- Make sure all six of your senses are positively supported in your birthing space.

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