Genevieve’s first labor with her son, Griffin, was long (27 hours with 4 hours of pushing,) and she had a hard postpartum recovery. With her second pregnancy, Genevieve was proactive in preparing for birth and credits her nutrition and healthy lifestyle to the super-quick and much easier birth of her daughter, Paloma.
Genevieve Howland Bio
With over sixty million views on her YouTube channel, Genevieve Howland’s funny-but-informational videos have empowered millions of women to embrace natural pregnancy and parenting. Now, Genevieve is turning to the page and offering up the first ever week-by-week pregnancy book from a natural perspective.
The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirthis the modern (yet ancient) approach to pregnancy and childbirth. “Natural” recognizes that pregnancy and birth are normal, and that having a baby is a wondrous biological process and rite of passage—not a medical condition. Full of weekly advice and tips, Howland covers vital pregnancy nutrition, natural remedies for common concerns, and the appropriate (and inappropriate) uses of medical interventions. Peppered throughout are positive birth and pregnancy stories from women of all backgrounds (and all stages of their natural journey,) along with advice and insights from: a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM); a Registered Nurse (RN); a doula; and, a lactation consultant.
Vital Proteins helps people feel better and live fuller lives through sustainably-sourced nutrition products, and promotes health by providing nourishing collagen: an essential nutrient stripped from our diets by modern food-processing.
Vital proteins collagen is a tasteless powder you can add to any beverage to help you reach those daily protein goals, especially during pregnancy. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before taking anything. At the end of this episode, I chat with today’s guest, Genevieve, about the benefits of vital proteins, and how she uses it in her diet and with her kiddos!
Lauren is a birth photographer living in North Carolina with her husband, Vaughan, and son, Finn, who is almost two. She is passionate about sharing birth images in order to educate women about what birth can look like, and to empower them to take hold of their birth experience. You can connect with her on Instagram @laurenjollyphoto and @ncbirthphotographer or through her website: www.laurenjollyphotography.com
After months of research about unmedicated birth and creating a “birth plan” with her midwives, Lauren’s birth center birth didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. Her long labor started with slow dilation and ended with a transfer to a hospital to get an epidural and a host of other interventions. While everything turned out fine and baby was born healthy, she dealt with many months of regret, guilt, and sadness related to her birth story. Lauren hopes that by sharing her story she’ll help other women to know that it’s important to educate yourself about birth, and if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your ideal birth. You may just find community and empowerment through your experience.
In honor of International Sibling Day I thought it would be fun to interview kids who were present for their younger sibling’s births! The resulting episode was so sweet, funny and moving. Below is a slideshow featuring photographs from the births these kids attended along with their perspective on the experience via short audio clips but be sure to listen to the whole episode to get their full responses which will have you laughing one minute and tearing up the next. It is such a sweet, sweet episode!
What it Looks Like to Be There the Moment They Became a Big Brother or Sister
The below photos represent what it really looks like to have one of your older children at your birth. It’s so powerful for these kids to see their mothers going through labor and birth and to be there when their siblings first come into the world.
This episode was generously sponsored by Lily Jade Diaper Bags! Be sure to check out their #momhuddle campaign on Instagram and use #momhuddle and #ljmomhuddle to tag pictures and stories of the mom friends in your life that have been support for you through your motherhood journey!
Melissa opted for a birth center birth for her first baby. After an unexpected first birth in the backseat of the car, she chose to have her next two babies at home with the support of a midwife. She pulls from these very different birth experiences and the confidence that they granted her daily as she leads a Facebook community of over 200,000 moms.
Melissa Wirt Bio
Melissa is a mom to Nathaniel (4), Alexander (3), and Caroline (1). Empowered and inspired by the births of her children, Melissa founded Latched Mama: an online community and a clothing line for nursing moms. She spends her days outside of Richmond, Va with her husband, Eric, chasing after the kids, searching for new ways to innovate and grow the business, and trying really hard to keep it all together. As a trained (non practicing) birth doula and CLC, she is passionate about supporting all moms no matter what their journey to motherhood looks like. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram (@latchedmama, @thelatchedmama).
Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that also work for tandem feeding and pumping, Latched Mama is helping moms nurse confidently and comfortably wherever they are. Also, check out their new labor dress! Made from a super-soft fabric and featuring snaps up the front and back for monitoring and epidural placement, and snaps at the shoulders for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding access. The Latched Mama labor dress can truly bring a little extra comfort and confidence to your next birth.
Alexis is a survivor of sexual assault and never once considered how that experience would impact her birth until she read “When Survivors Give Birth” for her Doula training. It was life changing and made her realize why she hit a wall in both of her births. She shares how her birth center and hospital births were both impacted by the fact that she never felt completely safe and therefore wasn’t relaxing and opening to give birth. Alexis hopes to use her experience to hold space with other survivors and let them know their birth can actually set them free.
Alexis is passionate about every woman’s right to have informed and supported births. She tirelessly planned and prepared for her own natural births, only to be greatly disappointed by the need for intervention. Her own struggle with accepting her births inspired her to become a doula and build a holistic practice that incorporates not only birth and postpartum support services, but that also recognizes the link between birth and mental health. She created the Mindful Mama Collective with the hope of helping other mamas feel confident and supported as they heal and grow into new motherhood.
Alexis Edwards Bio
Alexis is the perpetually tired mama to two fuego babes by day and an LCSW/doula/blogger by night. She survives on all the sarcasm and caffeine and rambles about motherhood and social justice on her blog Mrs. Mombie. You can also find her daily ramblings and sometimes foul-mouthed shenanigans on her Instagram.
Listen to me chat with Sarah about BabyList at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum! Be sure to enter their BIG $5000 giveaway to prepare for baby!
Alexis’ Birth at a Birth Center in St. Augustine Florida
Alexis Ayala Bio
Alexis Benita Ayala is an accomplished artist, graphic designer, and lover of all things creative. She met and quickly fell in love with an artist/carpenter named Hudson. As free-spirited as she is, on their second date, Alexis mentioned to Hudson that if they had a baby (and it was a boy), his name would be “Sebastian”…and asked if he was Okay with that. He was! And November 2014, she gave birth to their new (most cherished) collaboration piece, Sebastian. Alexis loves being a mother, and says it has made her into a better person – for not only herself, but for her family. She feels more patient, compassionate, tolerant, and understanding. Although her journey wasn’t the easiest, or most painless, she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. You can easily connect with her on Facebook, and/or Instagram.
Alexis encourages all to read (or listen to) the book, Reform Your Inner Mean Girl and to practice self-love on a daily basis. Her passion is to inspire and uplift. She advocates creating a compassionate support system on which one can lean when those moments of self-doubt and “not enough” occur.
You can listen to Reform Your Inner Mean Girl for free with a 30 day Audible trial. Visit The Birth Hour Audible page and you’ll be supporting the podcast at the same time!