Giving Birth During Coronavirus

Kristen Seward’s First Hand Account Giving Birth During COVID-19

Kristen went into birth thinking it would look a lot like her previous birth— in a hospital, with midwives and a doula, and pain-medication free. However, after her 38 week appointment, the U.S. coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions went into place and she had to adjust her expectations and plans for birth. Connect with Kristen in our listener-supporters’ Facebook group by joining here.

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers 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. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Kelly all about the new Embrace carrier from Ergobaby.

IUI Pregnancy & Homebirth Story

Ndeya and her wife, Kourtney, knew even before they were expecting that they wanted to have a home birth. After a simple IUI in January 2018, they were pregnant! Armed with knowledge and the support of her wife and fabulous midwives, Ndeya went into labor and birth feeling confident and excited. After 20 hours of early labor, 10 hours of active labor and 25 minutes of pushing (in a squat) their daughter, Aminah, was born, in the middle of their living room.

breastfeeding after homebirth

Ndeya Snow Bio

Ndeya is a queer woman of color who works in the San Francisco Bay Area creating learning and development programming at a local non-profit. When she’s not at work she enjoys singing all the high notes in her community choir, crocheting granny squares, and singing silly songs with her wife and daughter. Connect with her via her Blog: ndeyasnow.com or on Instagram: @ndeyaloves.

Crate and Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is sponsored by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids believes in rooms that welcome little ones and their grown-ups. Ready for each stage of childhood, their inspiring, versatile designs celebrate your family’s unique way of living, and help make yours a creative home to grow in.

Use code TheBirthHour10 at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of Kids furniture and more at crateandkids.com. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details.

Infertility, Using an Egg Donor, & Hospital Birth Story

Kimberly and Matthew began dating when they were 38 and 40 years old. About a year later they committed to each other and planned to have a family. After nine months of trying to conceive, and with a diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve, they proceeded with their first unsuccessful fertility treatment: intrauterine insemination (IUI). When Kim was 40 years old, they underwent three rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) consisting of three egg retrievals followed by four embryo transfers, with a total of 10 embryos.  Three embryo transfers resulted in negative pregnancy tests, and one in a chemical pregnancy, which terminated around 6 weeks gestation. Despite the heartbreak, Kim and Matt were inspired by a friend’s experience with egg donation. About two months after their last unsuccessful embryo transfer, Kim was pregnant with Matt’s baby, using a frozen donor egg. Every parameter of this pregnancy was strong and healthy! 

Jacob was born at 40 weeks 2 days gestation, when Kim was 42 years old. They hoped to have an unmedicated birth in a hospital, assisted by their doula, Melissa. Labor started around 11 pm on Friday night, and Kim was 8 cm dilated by 8 am Saturday morning. However, her progress plateaued and at 5:30 pm Saturday evening, she was still only 9 cm dilated, and Jacob was in a posterior position. Kim’s contractions were coming fast, she was tired, and requested an epidural. Once the epidural was placed around 6 pm, they all rested, and Melissa positioned Kim on a peanut ball to help turn the baby and labor down. At 11 pm Kim started pushing and Jacob was born at 11:52 pm Saturday night.

Now Jacob is a happy, healthy and talkative seven-month old! Kim and Matt will forever be grateful to their egg donor, doctors, doulas, and support from family and friends to make their journey to parenthood possible. Kim, Matt and Jacob live in Atlanta, GA. Connect with Kim on Instagram @kemw28.

Resources

  • Support group: Parents Via Egg Donation (pved.org)
  • Book: Let’s Talk About Egg Donation, Marna Gatlin and Carole LieberWilkins
  • Doulas: TheAtlantaDoula.com
  • Podcasts: Beat Infertility, Heather Huhman; Birth Kweens, Karly Nuttall and Ali Feroah; Living Childfree with Erik and Melissa
  • IVFMEDS.com

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.

Switching from Hospital to Home Birth at 34 Weeks

When Monique got pregnant she didn’t have a lot of information on birth. She only knew that it was her desire to have a vaginal birth. At 34 weeks she decided to switch from having a hospital birth to a homebirth. Labor started at 38w6d, but contractions were only lasting 35 seconds on average. Waiting for them to reach the 1 minute mark, she almost waited too long to call the midwife, who arrived only 15 minutes before her baby was born.

hospital to homebirth transfer of care

Monique Lamhut Bio

Monique is a stay-at-home mom to her 2 year-old-daughter. She is from Brazil, but currently lives in The Netherlands where she just finished her doula training. Connect with her via email at lamhutm@gmail.com

Resources

Grove Collaborative

Today’s episode was sponsored by Grove Collaborative. Join over 2 million families who have shopped Grove Collaborative to buy products that are good for their homes, their family, and the environment. Make your home more sustainable this year. Now for a limited time when my listeners go to Grove.co/birthhour, you’ll get a FREE FIVE PIECE set from Grove so you can swap out plastic in an easy way. Plus, you’ll get free shipping AND a free 60-day VIP trial!

Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum While in Prison

Danielle Edwards was arrested for a parole violation related to drug charges and sentenced to prison while pregnant with her daughter. In this episode she shares her experience with being pregnant while incarcerated, giving birth without any family support, and the physical and emotional toll of recovering from childbirth while in prison and separated from her baby. I was connected with Danielle for this interview by the Executive Director of Motherhood Beyond Bars, a non-profit organization that offers services to pregnant and postpartum women in prison in the Atlanta area.

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

Patreon Member

Become a listener supporter and gain access to archived episodes, a private Facebook community, and bonus content each month! This month we featured Amy Ard of Motherhood Beyond Bars, an organization that supports pregnant and postpartum women in prison.

Birth Center Birth Story & Postpartum Experience

Bekah and her boyfriend discovered they were pregnant after 3 short months of dating, and struggled to navigate their new roles as partners and future parents throughout an otherwise uneventful pregnancy. She prepared as much as possible for the birth; researching, reading, taking birth and breastfeeding classes, hiring a doula, listening to and watching birth stories constantly, and seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist. Bekah planned for an unmedicated experience at a local birth center with midwives.

At 40 weeks + 2 days she went into early labor on the night of Thursday, January 31st. Early labor continued throughout Friday until nightfall, when active contractions began to kick into gear. Bekah continued to labor at home with her mother by her side late into the night with little contact or support from her doula. Very early in the morning on Saturday, February 2nd, they headed to the birth center with Bekah dilated to 9cm. After a few hours of difficult pushing, Ruth Ray De La Luz Leonard was born into the water and world at 10:14am. 

Despite feeling somewhat prepared, Bekah experienced a rough first few weeks of postpartum healing and baby blues, which she found harder than the birth itself. She hopes that others can educate themselves on the postpartum period and create a plan for support so that they can ease their transition into motherhood. 

bekah bachelor birth

Bekah Martinez Bio

Bekah is a former reality TV star, podcast host of Chatty Broads, professional “instagrammer” (@Bekah), and 25-year-old mother. She loves sharing her journey through the ups and downs of navigating life, relationships and parenting. Bekah lives with her boyfriend and one-year-old daughter in Long Beach. They’re expecting baby #2 in June and planning for a home birth. Check out Bekah’s podcast, Chatty Broads.

Links to her birth video on Youtube and IGTV

Aeroflow Breastpumps

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. 

Bonus — you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes. 

All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!  

Twins Born on Different Days Birth Story

Jackie and Albert tried for a year to get pregnant before they had a successful IVF transfer. Jackie had a pretty good pregnancy until the end when she had kidney stones and then the wild ride of the twins’ birth! 48 hours from beginning to end, baby A came vaginally on September 10th, and 15 hours later, baby B was born on September 11th from an emergency C section. The babies were in the NICU for about a week before they got to take them home and they are now happy and healthy!! 

identical twin girls

Jackie Laino Bio

Jackie lives in New Jersey and works at a medical device company as a Marketing Manager for the US Region. She is happily married to her husband, Albert, who is a solutions consultant and they’ve been married for three years. They have identical twin girls named Amelia and Shea, and a 90lb fur baby named Gus. You can follow their life with twins on Instagram @jakk__ & her husband @all_day_alay, or you can join her twins community @tipsfortwinning.

March of Dimes

Today’s episode was sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode we’ll be discussing 5 main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help your baby have a strong start. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.

Collaborative Care – Preparing for a Hospital Birth & a Homebirth

Yoga teacher Brett Larkin wanted a natural homebirth (despite objections from her husband and family). As a compromise she and her husband decided on a plan for collaborative care, wanting to be prepared for both a hospital and a homebirth. Brett got more than she bargained for when her son arrived so quickly that she gave birth at home in her bathroom! Her midwife talked Brett and her husband through the birth on FaceTime while she drove to their house. The midwife arrived 15 minutes after the baby was born and cared for Brett and baby in the comfort of their bedroom.

brett larkin birth story

Brett Larkin Bio

Brett’s an accredited RPYT prenatal yoga teacher at the highest level with Yoga Alliance. She also certifies other yoga teachers in prenatal yoga. Brett’s been practicing yoga for 16+ years, teaching for 10+ and has graduated over 600 yoga teachers in her Uplifted Yoga™ Teacher Trainings. Brett’s award-winning yoga Youtube channel has 5 million minutes watched a month and close to 300K subscribers. Prenatal yoga is a cornerstone of her offering. She’s also a mom to her beloved son, to whom she gave birth in October 2017. Connect with her on her website or via Instagram.

Brett’s PreNatal Yoga Resource

Grove Collaborative

Today’s episode was sponsored by Grove Collaborative. Join over 2 million families who have shopped Grove Collaborative to buy products that are good for their homes, their family, and the environment. Make your home more sustainable this year. Now for a limited time when my listeners go to Grove.co/birthhour, you’ll get a FREE FIVE PIECE set from Grove so you can swap out plastic in an easy way. Plus, you’ll get free shipping AND a free 60-day VIP trial!

Birth Center & Hospital Unmedicated Births + Getting Help with PPD

Karyn Brown had two unmedicated births with midwives, but both experiences were very different.  Her older child, Cecily’s birth was an empowering Birth Center experience: she went into labor at 41 weeks and arrived at a full birth center on Thanksgiving day.  She spent time laboring in an empty birthing classroom, eventually moving into a birthing room, then Cecily was born after a long pushing phase.  

Her younger child Caleb’s birth was in a hospital due to moving towns.  Labor started at 38.5 weeks with a water leak, and a slow early labor at home that took a lot of walking and distraction to progress to active labor.  Once at the hospital, after transitioning in the tub, her water broke and her body began pushing baby out on its own. Baby came out fast and furious, and then Karyn had a postpartum hemorrhage.  The next morning, Caleb was taken to the NICU for Tachypnea (fast breathing due to fluid) and he was there for 5 days. Karyn experienced Postpartum Depression and NICU PTSD and ultimately found a postpartum counselor to help her through it.  

birth center birth

Karyn Brown Bio

Karyn is a working mom who lives the greater Philadelphia area with her husband Julian and her two children, 4 year old Cecily and one year old Caleb.  She is a babywearing educator with Central New Jersey Babywearing, a sewing and crafting enthusiast, and a regular contributor on the Everything Is Permitted podcast. Connect with her on Instagram: @orangutangy

Resources

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • Mama Natural visual birth plan template
  • www.cnjbabywearing.com
  • Clue cycle tracking app

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!

Bradley Method Birth & Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

Having attended the home births of three of her siblings, Victoria knew she wanted an unmedicated birth from the start.  Living on an island notorious for its horrible traffic made Victoria nervous about birthing at home (if by chance there was a medical emergency), so after touring a local birth center, she decided that was where she felt most comfortable. 

She completed the Bradley Birth Method course that the center offered on site, and credits the Bradley Method with allowing her to speak up for what she wanted, and not be pushed into an induction by an OB-GYN in her group practice who also swept her membranes without permission.

After a long walk up and down a steep hill in her neighborhood, Victoria went into labor at 39 weeks and 4 days, and proceeded to vomit non-stop from 3:30am until arriving at the birth center the next day at 1:30pm. She received fluids to help with her dehydration, and then labored for three more hours until she was ready to push. Her daughter Frances was born at 5:02pm, after 40 minutes of pushing.  

Despite having attended many La Leche League meetings as a child with her mom, breastfeeding did not come as intuitively as Victoria had imagined it would.  A cracked and bleeding nipple and her infant throwing up blood convinced her to seek out her local La Leche League, as well as a Mommy Hui, where she felt very supported, and most importantly, not alone.  She went on to nurse her daughter for 3 years and 3 months, and is grateful to the example that her mom set as a home birthing and breastfeeding mom. 

birth center birth

Victoria Hill Bio

Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Victoria Hill has lived mostly in Honolulu since 2005.  Victoria has worked in higher education as an Administrator and ESL teacher, and is currently the Director of Online and Graduate Admissions at Chaminade University of Honolulu.  In her free time she enjoys hiking with her daughter (now 5), and spending as much time as she can at the beach. You can see pictures of her life in Hawaii, and reach out to her on her Instagram at @victorialoha.

Resources  

Crate & Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is sponsored by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids believes in rooms that welcome little ones and their grown-ups. Ready for each stage of childhood, their inspiring, versatile designs celebrate your family’s unique way of living, and help make yours a creative home to grow in. Use code TheBirthHour10 at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of Kids furniture and more at crateandkids.com. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details.