Miscarriage, Postdates Induction, & Postpartum Cyst

Victoria suffered an early, yet stressful, miscarriage with her first pregnancy, but quickly became pregnant again. Her pregnancy was relatively uneventful. She ended up being induced for postdates at the hospital after her at-home methods for induction did not work. After a night of very painful labor and close contractions, Victoria was able to get an epidural at 0 cm dilation. Following this, labor progressed rapidly. Although she had been a postpartum nurse, Victoria had a difficult experience breastfeeding and adjusting to the exhaustion of motherhood. She also ended up requiring surgery postpartum for a cyst discovered at 41 weeks.

rainbow baby after miscarraige

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely.  From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to this episode for a special coupon code!

Planned Homebirth turned Emergent Hospital Induction

After two straightforward, unmedicated births (one hospital birth with an OB, the other a homebirth with a midwife), Grace planned another homebirth with a midwife. Those plans changed immediately when she noticed her baby had stopped moving at 41 weeks and her birth quickly changed to an emergent hospital induction. She was able to have a vaginal birth after a host of interventions to bring her son into the world safely. Despite the change of plans, Grace didn’t feel traumatized or even really disappointed after her son’s birth, because she was educated and understood that a hospital induction had to happen, because she was part of the decision-making process and was treated with respect throughout.

Her experience taught her a lot which in turn has helped her be a better doula and childbirth educator as she can speak with firsthand experience about undergoing interventions, and she can also sympathize with moms having to make choices they didn’t foresee after setting large portions of their birth plan aside.

Her experience of delivering her son safely after he stopped moving led her to become an ambassador for Count the Kicks in her home state of Mississippi to help educate other parents on the importance of fetal movement to monitor their baby. Read more about the important role paying attention to her baby’s movements played in the outcome here as well as how to use the Count the Kicks app.

Grace Greene Bio

Grace Greene is a wife and mom of three who lives in Jackson, MS where she is a childbirth educator, birth doula, and the Mississippi Ambassador for Count the Kicks. She became interested in birth work when she was pregnant with her first child, and has been doing birth work in some capacity since 2013. She became passionate about the work of Count the Kicks after the birth of her third baby in 2019 when she noticed decreased fetal movement and spoke up so that he was born safely. She wants all moms to have the knowledge and support she has received, which is why she loves teaching childbirth classes and working to advance the work of Count the Kicks in Mississippi as a state-wide ambassador.

When not trying to keep her children occupied during the pandemic and help her second grader finish virtual schooling, she likes to run, do CrossFit, read, participate in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), cook, and decorate her house. She really wishes she were more organized and motivated to clean. You can find her on Instagram at @graceinbirthing (her account for birth work) and @gracebgreene (her personal account). You can also check out her website or birth video here.

Resources

https://spinningbabies.com (especially the Daily Essentials yoga)
https://www.countthekicks.org
https://www.plumtreebaby.com
https://evidencebasedbirth.com
https://www.thebusinessof.life/the-business-of-being-born

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Ergobaby is dedicated to helping families bond, grow, and thrive by creating premium baby products where function and quality are not compromised. Ergobaby has created a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet.

What it Means to Count Baby’s Kicks

This is a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.

My son is what Count the Kicks calls a “baby save.” He was born safely after I paid attention to his movement, noticed when something was off, and spoke up to my provider.  His birth, and what I have learned about fetal movement since then, have propelled me to become an ambassador for Count the Kicks in my home state of Mississippi. The information about why it’s important to use kick counting to monitor your baby’s well-being is too important not to spread widely to expectant parents!

What is Counting Kicks?

Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program that was started in Iowa in the early 2000s by five mothers who each walked through the heartache of losing a daughter to stillbirth or infant death. Bound together by their collective grief, they started Count the Kicks when they learned about public health research that showed a 30 percent reduction in stillbirth by teaching pregnant women how to monitor fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. These mothers agreed that their work would be worth the effort if even one baby could be saved, but they have greatly surpassed that mark with their simple and effective campaign. Since Count the Kicks began in Iowa in 2008, their state stillbirth rate has been reduced by nearly 32% while the national stillbirth rate has remained relatively stagnant.

Stillbirth-comparison-Updated

Stillbirth and stillbirth prevention are not often talked about, even though a family is 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS. According to the CDC, 23,500 babies are born still in the U.S. every year. This is one in every 167 pregnancies. Racial disparities exist as well, with stillbirth occurring in one in every 94 pregnancies for Black moms, one in every 191 pregnancies for Hispanic moms, and one in every 204 pregnancies for white moms. Count the Kicks is committed to removing these racial disparities in stillbirth by working to make sure their important information about kick counting reaches all moms across the country.  

How to Count Baby’s Kicks?

So how does the program work? At 28 weeks (26 weeks if high-risk), all moms should download the FREE Count the Kicks app (it’s available in 12 languages on Apple and Android) or use their printable paper chart and start counting their baby’s kicks daily. Pick a time of day when the baby is normally active and time how long it takes to get to 10 movements. After a week or so, you will see a pattern of how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements. By knowing what is normal for YOUR baby, you can quickly notice when something is off and contact your care provider to check in on your baby. I remember thinking often in previous pregnancies that I wish I could know if all was well with my baby. Thanks to the Count the Kicks campaign, moms can easily check in on their baby and will be able to quickly notice if something is off.

All expectant parents should count their baby’s kicks beginning in the third trimester. In addition to being easy, low cost, non-invasive, and a great way to bond with your baby, many moms report feeling less anxious, as they are reassured when they monitor their baby. Most importantly, it can save babies. Count the Kicks has more than 60 baby save stories on their website from moms who wrote in to share how Count the Kicks helped save their baby.

Misconceptions about Fetal Movement in Pregnancy

Some common misconceptions about fetal movement show why it’s important to track movement daily. The first misconception is that babies move less as they get closer to their due date. This is false! Babies might move differently, and moms might feel less sharp kicking and more rolling, but they will not move less as the pregnancy progresses. If you are monitoring movement at the same time each day, it should take about the same time to get to 10 movements. Babies will continue to move up to and during labor and birth and won’t run out of room the bigger they get.

count the kicks

The second misconception is that it’s not really necessary to count movements if a baby is always active. The truth is that even active babies can experience distress, sometimes quickly and without other warning signs. Tracking fetal movement daily will remove any guesswork from wondering if your normally active baby has slowed down.

The third misconception is that if you can hear a baby’s heartbeat on a home doppler, you don’t need to worry about tracking movement. This is false because a change in the baby’s heart rate is one of the last things to occur when a baby is in distress, whereas decreased movement is an early warning sign and can alert you to a problem much sooner. 

The last misconception (and information that you will find if you google fetal movement) is that a mom should feel at least 10 kicks in two hours. This common misconception is based on outdated information about fetal movement. The latest research shows that a mom should be focusing on fetal movement in general and understanding their baby’s pattern, which you will understand by using the Count the Kicks app regularly. Every baby is different, and once you know what is normal for your baby, that is the metric you should follow for determining if something is off.

Counting Baby’s Kicks & COVID-19

During this time of COVID-19 when we are all united and working towards not unnecessarily burdening our health care system, Count the Kicks is a solution to take some of the pressure off. Through the early warning system of counting kicks, there is a community of moms who are in tune with their bodies and their babies and can let providers know when something feels off. Some parents are worried about going to the hospital or contacting their care provider during COVID-19, however all expectant parents should know that it is important to speak up and check on your baby if you feel something is off. Even in a pandemic, don’t don’t delay if you are concerned about your baby.

Count the Kicks has the incredible goal of saving 7,500 babies a year in the U.S. If the rest of the country could experience a 32% decrease in stillbirths as Iowa has done in the first 10 years of the campaign, this goal would be reached. The truth about stillbirth is that there can be warning signs if moms know what to look for. When armed with this information, moms can feel confident to identify when a baby is moving normally and will be empowered to speak up for their baby if something is off. I am eternally grateful that I knew to call my provider when I noticed a decrease in fetal movement and that my concerns were taken seriously. My son truly was in distress and by acting quickly on his behalf, he was born safe and healthy.

count-the-kicks-founders

Learn More about Counting Baby’s Kicks & Download Count the Kicks App

Want to learn more? Count the Kicks has an academy for expectant parents on their website that is full of additional information about fetal movement, including videos with more information from providers and moms who have used Count the Kicks during a pregnancy. For providers they have a continuing education course, a provider academy with the latest research on stillbirth and fetal movement, information on how to implement the program in your practice, and the ability to order materials for patients.

I would encourage you to first download the app and start counting if you are pregnant, then follow Count the Kicks on all social media channels to learn more about their campaign, tell your expectant friends to download the app and start counting, and let your provider know about this important program if they have not yet implemented it in their practice. 

Knowledge is power, and I hope you feel reassured and confident about your ability to monitor your baby’s movement during pregnancy and speak up if something is off.

This was a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.

Giving Birth during COVID-19 with Preeclampsia, Cholestasis, & Terminal Diagnosis of One Twin

After naturally conceiving twins, Alina and her husband were told by doctors that one of their twins would pass away shortly after birth. This terminal prenatal diagnosis led to many difficult conversations and decisions. The pregnancy came to a close when at 31 weeks pregnant, Alina developed severe preeclampsia in a matter of days. This led to the early delivery of her twins, which ended up being more complicated than they could’ve imagined.

twin loss birth story

Alina Bazyler Bio

Alina and her husband have been married for eight years and have three children. You can find Alina on Facebook.

trisomy 13

Resources

  • Book: Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s brief Life
  • Article: Delivering a Stillborn Baby Taught Me the Transience of Death
  • Bible verse that was helpful to Alina: 1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Crane

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com. Check out their new top fill drop humidifier here or via Wal-Mart.

Positive Hospital Birth with Hypnobirthing & Midwife

Justina conceived in 2019, and saw the same midwife for all of her pregnancy care and for her baby’s birth. Justina gives credit to the midwifery model of care and a Hypnobirthing course for her positive birth experience. 

She kept active as a part-time group-fitness instructor and continued teaching spin classes until 22 weeks. She enjoyed swimming and walking as exercise in her 3rd trimester.

Justina planned for an unmedicated birth. Her vision was to labor in the tub and that her baby would emerge by using relaxation techniques and in a very peaceful way. Her birth plan was to limit any intervention, no medications, and allow her baby to come when she was ready. 

Justina endured 36 hours of prodromal labor at home until “real” labor began in the middle of the night.  She labored in the tub at the hospital, which allowed for tub-labor but not birth.

Once the baby’s heart rate decelerated, there was a team effort to get the baby out quickly and safely. Justina was instructed to push on all-fours and that was how she ultimately birthed her baby girl.

Something about that position allowed the baby to be in better alignment and to avoid tearing. The nurses helped her flip over with the cord still attached. They did skin to skin and the baby breastfed. Justina was surprised by how much coaching she needed for pushing even during an instinctive birth. 

hypnobirthing hospital birth story

Justine Perry Bio

Justina Perry is a Physical Therapist from New Bedford, Massachusetts who specializes in pelvic health. She lives with her husband and 1 year old daughter in their hometown. Where to find me: linknd Justina Perry southcoast.org/pelvicrehab

Resources

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!


Textbook Pregnancy and Labor But Unexpected Ritgen’s Maneuver During Pushing

Emily had a textbook pregnancy. At 39 weeks and 6 days, she asked her midwife to perform a membrane sweep and labor kicked in soon after. Within a couple hours, Emily experienced some cramping and she began losing a bit of water every 15 minutes. Five hours after her water broke, and zero contractions later, she arrived at the hospital with her husband. Eventually contractions did begin and Emily’s labor progressed naturally. She dilated one inch per hour like clockwork. Her labor was easy, calm, and quiet thanks to her attentive husband, supportive doula, and hands-off birth team. After an hour of pushing, the doctor assisted Emily using the Ritgen’s maneuver and Elijah David was born. 

Moments later Emily began hemorrhaging and the labor room became a flurry of bright lights, multiple doctors, and Emily fading in and out of consciousness. With the help of a ton of medication, and a bakari balloon, Emily stabilized. Weeks later, Emily got clarification for why the Ritgen’s maneuver was performed and she has since reflected on her birth with positive thoughts. She is grateful for modern medicine, an amazing midwife for appointments, the best husband, and her kickass womb.

ritgen's maneuver

Emily Griffith Bio

Emily is a 27 year old mom of an 18 month old little boy named Elijah. She’s married to David, a navy Pilot, and works as a mechanical engineer for the Department of Defense. She is located in Norfolk, Virginia where her husband is stationed and where they met 12 years ago. Her Instagram is @emilieavenue.

Resources

  • Mama natural
  • The business of being born
  • Pregnant chicken (comedy)
  • Babywise (helped us sleep train)
  • Spotify birth playlists

Britax

Today’s episode is brought to you by Britax Child Safety, Inc. For over 50 years, Britax has been focused on safety you can trust from the very first day. They welcome new moms and dads to parenthood with award-winning car seats and strollers for every lifestyle while providing extra confidence for the journey ahead. At the end of today’s episode, I talk with Britax safety advocate, Sarah Tilton, all about traveling safely with baby during the winter months. Learn more about Britax products and safety tips at us.britax.com.

Rainbow Baby Hospital Birth with Midwives After Miscarriage

After suffering a difficult pregnancy and miscarriage, Mimi planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with midwives. She shares the story of her rainbow baby and discusses how her husband prepared for and took on the role of doula.

Mimi Maitrichith Bio

Mimi is a first time mom living just north of Seattle, WA with her husband and one year old baby boy. She works in healthcare as a data analyst. Mimi can usually be found spending quality time with her family, learning new recipes, and connecting with her network of fellow moms.

Resources

Babylist

The people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.

Repeated False Labors, Bedrest, & Homebirth Birth Story

After a successful home birth with her eldest son in 2017, Caroline and her husband Brett sought the same birth team to deliver their second son in January of 2020 at home again. When Labor started at 35 weeks they spent the night at their local birth center where the staff readied themselves to deliver a preemie but by morning labor had stopped. A few more false starts and almost a month of bedrest, they finally welcomed their son in the afternoon light on a cold late January afternoon.  

Caroline Snider Bio

Caroline lives in upstate NY with her Husband Brett and their two young sons Casper and Rufus Originally from the UK Caroline has called America home for over a decade now; first on the West Coast in Los Angeles where she and Brett met working in advertising and now the East Coast in the beautiful Hudson Valley where she’s a full time Mom and aspiring writer. You can connect with her on Instagram where she loves to talk openly and honestly about her experience of motherhood.

caroline snider waterbirth

Resources

Hypnobabies Home-study Course

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!

Peaceful Birth Center Birth and Hospital Induction with Posterior Baby

Jasmine gave birth to her firstborn in what she likes to call “the frozen tundra of Minnesota.” She and her husband Phillip were southern transplants with few friends and connections and entered the world of birth and parenthood as newlyweds. Wynn’s birth was a slow and steady, peaceful birth center experience. During her pregnancy with Wynn, Jasmine’s biggest fears were 1) an induction, 2) having her water broken, or 3) birthing a sunny-side-up baby. All three of those unforeseen circumstances happened two and a half years later with Langston, and he was born in a completely different but equally beautiful way in a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.  

sunny side up baby
all photography by @jemmiephotography

Jasmine L. Holmes Bio

Jasmine is the author of Mother to Son: Letters To A Black Boy on Identity and Hope, as well as a contributing author for Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Our Identity in Christ and His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God. She teaches history at a classical Christian school in Jackson, Mississippi, where she and her husband, Phillip, are parenting two young sons. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @jasminelholmes.

Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

How to Get a Free Breast Pump Through Insurance

You may know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, breast pumps are covered by most health insurance companies for free. But, you may also know that dealing with your insurance company for anything at all can sometimes be more work than it’s worth. That’s why The Birth Hour is proud to partner with Aeroflow Breastpumps to help you navigate this process.

3 Steps to Get a Breast Pump Through Insurance

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door.

Step 1 – Fill out a quick form with your info

Head over to Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their completely FREE and easy, Qualify through Insurance form. On this form you’ll be asked for your name, email, due date, and insurance information.

Step 2 – Get Verified

Aeroflow does all of the legwork for you by determining your level of coverage through your insurance carrier and verifying your due date with your care provider. You will be assigned a breast pump specialist and they can assist you through email, text, or by phone—whatever is easiest for you.

Step 3 – Choose your Breastpump

You will be sent a link where you can view all of the breastpump options available to you for FREE. Aeroflow carries all of the major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. You can narrow down your choices based on brand or certain features you’re looking for (double electric, manual hospital-grade, hands free, battery operated, etc). Your breast pump specialist can help by recommending the best breast pump for your lifestyle and breastfeeding goals as well!

And, Aeroflow has free shipping on all pumps!

Just a handful of the many options available through Aeroflow, availability will depend on your insurance).

Getting a Breast Pump Through Insurance – FAQs

Getting a breast pump for free through insurance may seem too good to be true and if you still have some questions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we see.

When will I get my breastpump?

It depends on your insurance company. Some plans require that you wait until 36 weeks to receive your pump while others allow it to be shipped right away. Aeroflow will find out this information and can let you know!

Do I need a note from my doctor?

Nope! Aeroflow will contact your care provider to verify your pregnancy and due date. They take care of everything!

Will I have to deal with contacting my insurance provider?

Nope! Aeroflow takes care of everything and you will never have to speak to your insurance company. If for some reason your insurance company isn’t serviced by Aeroflow they will give you instructions on who can help you.

What about breast pump accessories and resupply products?

When you go through Aeroflow, they will recommend supplies and accessories that will benefit your pumping experience and they will also determine whether select supplies and accessories are available for free under your insurance plan. My favorite part is that Aeroflow will contact you at regular intervals after baby arrives to send you free replacement parts!

Is it possible to upgrade my breast pump beyond what I qualify for through my insurance?

Yes! After your insurance information is verified, Aeroflow will send you a link that is personalized based on your coverage. It will show you which pumps your qualify for free and which ones you can upgrade to for an additional fee.

I’ve heard that some insurance companies also cover the cost of maternity compression garments. How does that work?

Yes, you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment. Aeroflow will check your insurance information automatically to let you know! PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes.