Two Birth Stories and Perineal Massage – Dr. Joanna Ellington

In spite of being a Large Animal Veterinarian (Board Certified in Animal ObGyn) and a Reproductive Physiologist studying human fertility, Dr. Joanna Ellington was surprised when the flu threw off her ovulation cycle and an unplanned pregnancy occurred. Using excellent classic references like Active Birth and Spiritual Midwifery, Joanna used perineal massage to prepare for childbirth, and was maybe a little too active with a 2 mile hike that turned into 5 miles the day before her membranes began leaking. An induction resulted in a normal birth where Joanna used her knowledge of birth and lactation in animals to enjoy the process as much as possible, even telling her midwife “That was kind of fun!”

Joanna’s second son was born within 10 minutes after she arrived at the hospital. In the chaos and discomfort of having two male doctors she had never met working on her son and her private parts, Joanna coped by switching into “medical professional mode” and talking to them about her research. But, she lost her focus on her baby and the moment. Sadly, she forgot to invite her waiting son and mother in to see the birth, as she had planned. This was a valuable lesson of not “taking care of others” or outwardly focusing during birth, but staying centered and baby focused.

pregnant

Between her two births, Joanna used her knowledge of the safety of isotonic (balanced salt) environments and her discovery of a plant sugar that protected sperm, to create the first FDA approved Fertility Lubricant safe to use while trying to conceive (Pre-Seed). Along with her Doctorate-of-Pharmacy husband, Joanna has gone on to create a new platform of isotonic women’s healthcare products in partnership with Fairhaven Health. These include: BabyIt Perineal Massage and Postpartum Comfort Gel. Best practice medical-evidence now supports perineal massage to increase a woman’s chance of intact perineum (not tearing or having an episiotomy), decrease the risk of chronic postpartum pain and increase a woman’s sense of control and positive feeling about labor and delivery.

Use coupon code BIRTHHOUR to get 10% off at Fairhaven Health.

Lindsey Bliss Shares Her Birth Stories

Lindsey Bliss shares her six births in four stories: a birth center birth with Mia (now 11); a vaginal twin birth in the hospital with surprise-twins, Birdie & Hazel (now 8); another surprise set of twins, Luke & Rocco (now 5.5) who were born at home; and finally, baby Olympia (1) who was also born via a planned homebirth. I love Lindsey’s down-to-earth approach to birth, postpartum, and parenting!

 

lindsey bliss

Lindsey Bliss Bio

Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.

Connect with her on Instagram at @doulabliss and @carriagehousebirth

Brentwood Home

Go natural in the nursery with Brentwood Home! This family-owned company has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades, using natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase! We are also giving away a Wildfern mattress to one lucky winner. Enter below!

Painless & Laughter-filled Birth with Birth Singer

A Redemptive Second Birth

After a long (64 hours) and traumatic first birth, Melissa decided to take a wholistic approach in preparing for her second birth by addressing aspects of mind, body, and soul. The book Mindful Birthing was pivotal for Melissa in holding an open hand about what her second birth would look like. Melissa had a team prepared to support her, including a birth doula, birth photographer, and a birth singer.

After going to 41 weeks and 2 days with zero contractions, Melissa went into labor while hiking by herself. After a long first birth Melissa was expecting the same for her second. After mooning the entire town on a speedy car ride, Melissa gave birth minutes after arriving at the birth center. Melissa had never imagined that she could give birth without feeling pain and laughing throughout the entire process. This is a story you have to hear to believe. Her birth singer, Meghan, is featured on this episode singing some of the songs that were sung over Melissa before and after her daughter arrived.

Melissa Dohse Bio

Melissa is a mother of two and a licensed clinical social worker living in Flagstaff, AZ. Melissa is an avid travel, passionate about building community, and seeks to create spaces for survivor voices to be heard. Melissa has a private counseling practice, Cultivate Counseling, and can be reached at melissa.dohse@gmail.com.

Meghan Callaghan MT-BC Bio

Meghan is a board certified music therapist and music director for the Flagstaff Threshold Choir, a women’s choir that sings in small groups at the bedside of those nearing end of life. Meghan draws upon her background in facilitating music experiences with young children, women’s circles, and people in hospice care to provide supportive music for laboring and birth celebration. Find out more at mountainhealthmusic.com, meghan.callaghan@gmail.com.

birth singer

 

Resources

Cultivate Counseling Flagstaff
Mindful Birthing
Affirmation Cards
Parenting with PTSD

BellyBuds

Today’s sponsor is Wavhello. BellyBuds by WavHello are adhesive speakers that gently adhere to mom’s baby bump and safely play music to the womb. BellyBuds help relax and reduce stress, stimulate early development and promote positive connectivity in the brain through music. Learn more about BellyBuds at wavhello.com. Right now take 10% OFF BellyBuds on their website with code BBMOTHERSDAY through 5/14/17.

Hospital Waterbirth Story with Tayler Gunn

With her first son, Remy, Tayler went a week past her due date and had a very long labor (over 30 hours). Looking back, she realized that she had been resisting every contraction. So for her second birth, Tayler wanted to do things a little differently. During her pregnancy, Tayler practiced hypnobirthing; and during labor, she remembers repeating the word “opening,” and actually feeling herself dilating. Tayler’s second son, Sage, was born in the water and en caul very shortly after arriving at the hospital.

tayler golden birth story

Tayler Gunn Bio

Tayler lives with her three boys and two kitties in Southern California. She and her husband Nate both own their own businesses and love what comes with it. Tayler owns Wildbird ring slings, a babywearing company. They spend a lot of their free time at the beach and running around with their boys. Connect with Tayler at @taylergolden or @mywildbird and see her ring slings at Wildbird.co.

Resources

Bellybelly.com.au
Childbirth Connection
Hypnobirthing

Babylist

Listen to me chat with Alexis about today’s sponsor, BabyList, at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!

3 Unmedicated Births – Hospital & Birth Center Stories

Three Unmedicated Births – Hospital & Birth Center

In her lighthearted and quippy style, Crystal hilariously details her three births: a hospital birth at 42 weeks involving “The Devil’s Urine” and a hemorrhage; a 3 week early and extremely fast water birth; and, a one-push water birth with a hospital transfer solely to get a rest from her preschooler and toddler at home. Crystal talks about how her love of ramen noodles made from placenta-broth helped her adjust to the news of an unexpected pregnancy, and about how her “Birth Boss” midwife and doula made all the difference through three unmedicated births. Crystal’s births taught her that she has an extremely high tolerance for pain, and that absolutely anything is possible if you trust your body and allow yourself to be nurtured and supported by the community of people who love you.

Crystal Harris Bio

birth center birth story
Crystal has made it her mission to make life easier for pumping moms. After she nursed her two sons as a work-from-home mom, the birth of her daughter (during an on-site contract that could not be breeched) led her to invent the Brauxiliary Band: a bra attachment that turns any bra into a hands-free pumping bra. She has three “amazingly gorgeous children” John IV (5), Bennett (3), and Josette (1) who “look and act just like their mama,” and is married to her husband John III, a man who “understands and celebrates her particular neurosis.” Church, Dunkin Donuts, solo grocery trips, and the fact that all three of her children were born on Sunday mornings make Sundays her favorite days. Her family resides in Charlotte, NC. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram (@Brauxiliary) or visit Brauxiliary.com.

Earth Mama Angel Baby

Below are the products and resources from Earth Mama Angel Baby that I talked about at the end of today’s episode!

Lying in Postpartum Plan
Bottom Spray
Bottom Balm
Postpartum Herb Baths

Detoxifying after Endometriosis, Natural Hospital Birth — Vani Hari

Vani Hari Bio

After overcoming a severe case of endometriosis in her 20s, Vani changed her diet and lifestyle, but still worried that she’d have trouble getting pregnant. When she and her husband were finally ready to have a baby at age 38, she conceived after just one month of trying! Vani chose to have a natural hospital birth, and assembled a team to help her get there. She says she couldn’t have achieved a natural child birth without the coaching of her doula, supportive doctor, and a very positive and helpful nurse. She also says there were a few moments during labor where she asked the team “can I do this?” and they would say “yes, you can do this,” and that really motivated her. Taking drugs, however, didn’t enter her mind once. She says that after having her daughter a few months ago, she has been in pure bliss enjoying breastfeeding; and, that the happy-hormones from nursing help her overcome the sleep deprivation that comes with juggling motherhood and business.

Connect with Vani on Instagram at @foodbabemama where she shares natural and organic pregnancy and motherhood tips! You can read more about her journey at foodbabe.com

Resources

How to Conceive Naturally after 30
Vaccine-friendly Plan
Mama Natural Affirmation Cards
Mama Glow

Latched Mama

Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that work for both 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, it features 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. Latched Mama also has an extensive plus size line up to 4X.