Healing Unmedicated Hospital Birth Story after Traumatic First Birth During Covid

With her first birth Maryanne went in with an attitude of fully trusting the hospital system. She ended up having him during the first day of covid lockdown in Illinois, and having numerous unnecessary interventions that left her broken. She then suffered an early miscarriage between her two births. With her second, she did lots of research about birth and ended up having an incredibly empowering birth where she was able to advocate for herself and ended up having an unmedicated birth. She has always been fully trusting of science and medications and it was so illuminating when she started doing her own research into birth practices and the number of unnecessary interventions that are used. Maryanne also comes from the South Indian cultural background and she felt a lot of criticism when she told people that she wanted an unmediated birth (including her husband). In her culture doulas aren’t commonly used but her experience using a doula was amazing.

Maryanne John Bio

Maryanne lives in the suburbs of Chicago Illinois with her husband and her two sons Elijah (4 years old) and Dominic (1 year old). She is originally from Australia and moved to the States after getting married. Connect with her on Instagram at @mazzy02


Mountain Meadow Herbs

Today’s episode is sponsored by Mountain Meadow Herbs. Help prepare your body for birth with their leading herbal birth prep supplement called Gentle Birth. Gentle Birth is a midwife approved, time-tested liquid herbal formula that more than 100,000 women have chosen to help prepare their bodies for birth. Gentle Birth is a perfect blend of herbs formulated with the wisdom of Amish midwifery, like red raspberry leaf, milk thistle, wild yam root, and nine more thoughtfully blended herbs known to help lessen labor pains, improve uterine muscle tone, manage bleeding, and even ease you and baby into nursing by reducing postpartum letdown.

Trusted for over 20 years and earning thousands of rave reviews and testimonials from midwives and mothers alike, Gentle Birth is Mountain Meadow Herbs signature product. But they also have a full range of herbal remedies for all your family’s needs, from infants to adults of all ages. Find out more at mmmherbs.com and take advantage of this special offer by using code BIRTHHOUR for 10% off and free shipping on your first order.

Unintentional Unmedicated Birth Followed by Induction for Cholestasis and Postpartum Pre-eclampsia

Jeneba’s  pregnancy with her first daughter was pretty textbook and she planned for a  hospital birth with pain management. Unfortunately, Jeneba labored at home not realizing how far she had progressed and gave birth within minutes of arriving to the hospital, completely unprepared for a non-medicated birth. Jeneba experienced a mound of complications with the pregnancy and birth of her second daughter: A Covid diagnoses at 15 weeks, a diagnoses of Cholestasis at 33 weeks, gestational hypertension diagnosed during her 37 week induction and subsequently, postpartum pre-eclampsia with a 5 day hospital stay three months after her daughters birth.

Jeneba McKnight Bio

Jeneba is a married mother of four children: Ten year old Jeremiah, six year old Jaala, two year old Josephine and 8 week old Judah. Jeneba and her husband Jeromie live in Woodbridge, VA, a suburb  45 minutes outside of Washington, DC. Jeneba works as a Behavioral Health Specialist for a local county government and Jeromie owns a  home improvement business. Instagram: @BonafideLove080410


  • The Birth Hour Podcast
  • Don’t ignore itching and headaches!

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Today’s episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped millions of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps, maternity compression, and lactation education & support.

They take care of everything – including all paperwork, working with your insurance company, and explaining your options to get these free essentials shipped straight to your door. Aeroflow offers all major breast pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda, Elvie, Willow and more.

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 we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “BIRTHHOUR15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.

Changing Mindset from Painful to Pain-free Birthing and Impact of Yoga on Pregnancy/Birth

Although Mae was super fit, young, and healthy, having maintained a rigorous practice of daily Ashtanga yoga for over seven years prior to her first pregnancy, like any woman, she found herself facing many unknowns. For her first birth, she opted to birth at a small birthing center outside of Fukuoka, in the southwestern region of Japan, where she lived at the time. This was because she wanted to choose “the hand that would touch her baby’s head first.” She was able to have a natural, unmedicated birth with her then-husband, but the experience had her screaming at the top of her lungs in PAIN and left her feeling torn apart–mentally, emotionally, and physically–for weeks afterward. The sense of disconnect left an inkling of a thought in her mind that said: “If I ever get another go at this, I think I can do this a lot better next time.”

Mae went through a difficult divorce from her first husband only six months following this birth, leaving her to be a single parent to her firstborn son. In her mid-thirties, Mae met and remarried a wonderful man. They came together as a family and decided that they wanted another child.

Mae Yoshikawa yoga pregnancy

Eight years after her first birthing experience, thanks largely to the keen intuition of her husband, for the second birth, Mae switched from a clinic birth plan to a home birth at 28 weeks. In preparation for home birth, Mae spent a considerable amount of time intentionally repainting the landscape of her mind, from viewing birth as a painful process to a possibly pain-free one. Her teachers were: yoga, meditation, guided relaxation practices, and a whole bunch of wild animals on YouTube that she watched and learned from.

In the end, Mae was able to have an all-natural and almost all pain-free birth in the bathtub at home in Tokyo, assisted by her midwife and husband. Why “almost”? Wait ’til you hear her full story!

Five months after the birth of her second son, Mae lost the love of her life and the father of her children to a sudden traffic accident. The tremendous grief plunged her into the depths of sorrow and isolation for a few years. However, Mae says, “Everything she needs to know about coping with Pain in Life, she learned from childbirth,” referring not only to her wisdom from all of her years as a yoga practitioner, but ultimately from the redemptive birth experience that taught her this: If you can change your mind, you can change your experience.

Mae Yoshikawa Bio

Mae is an author, yoga & meditation practitioner, teacher, and mother. In 2006, Mae became the first Japanese woman to be authorized by the founding school of Ashtanga Yoga in India. Having graced 42 consecutive covers and penning a widely popular column for Japanese Yogini magazine from 2003~2013, Mae helped to spearhead a cultural shift in Japan—making sure that yoga would not be seen merely as physical exercise, but rather as a holistic practice and lifestyle that would restore health and balance to the busy lives of modern people. Currently, she is known as the face of adidas yoga. Her third book (her first in English) is a heart-wrenching and heart-arousing memoir titled Kizuki, which chronicles her experience of finding herself again through grief by metaphorically weaving through her experiences of childbirth and childrearing (coming soon).

Connect with Mae at https://maey.live/ or on Instagram @maeyoshikawa.

Mae Yoshikawa birth story


  • https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/tracyholloway
  • https://maey.live/


Today’s episode is sponsored by Needed. Needed is the leading women’s health supplement brand recommended by nutritionally-trained practitioners. While most perinatal supplements include the bare minimum of the nutrients needed during pregnancy, Needed’s products are based on the latest clinical research and in-practice experience of nearly 4000 practitioners. Needed has all your needs covered, from your prenatal vitamin to pregnancy-specific Pre/ and Probiotics, to egg quality support, sleep, stress, immune and hydration support, as well as your protein needs for blood sugar balance and postpartum healing. Needed’s Complete Plan delivers unparalleled nourishment for every phase — whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum! Instead of having to pair 6 different products together to meet your needs, I love that Needed has simplified things by bundling together four core products you need, in an easy and flexible monthly plan. Save 20% off your first order of Needed’s Complete Plan or any of their other perinatal nutrition products at thisisneeded.com with code BIRTHHOUR.

Emergency C-Section & Healing Cesarean Birth after Ectopic Pregnancy

Merasha is sharing the story of her 2 births and ectopic pregnancy.  Her first birth was planned to be an unmedicated hospital birth, but due to complications baby was born via c-section. Merasha struggled with breastfeeding and her mental health after the birth of her daughter while juggling her last undergrad course for her Bachelor’s degree just 2 weeks after the birth of her daughter. In the winter of 2021 Merasha and her husband learned they were unexpectedly pregnant. the pregnancy came during a time Merasha had a lapse in health insurance. unfortunately the pregnancy ended due to being ectopic and needing surgery, alone, because of strict visitor rules around covid. however, Merasha recovered and soon after she and her husband became pregnant again.

skin to skin csection

Merasha and her husband expected for pregnancy and birth to be uneventful; but baby had other plans. merasha went into labor 5 weeks early at work and was placed on bed rest in hopes to get her to full term, with a 2 year old at home. baby made his entrance about two weeks later via emergency c-section. baby number two went from being a planned c section, to a possible vbac to an emergency c section but due to more prepping, having a doula, and receiving therapy for her pregnancy and birth PTSD Merasha was able to have the redemption birth she dreamt of, even when all things didn’t go to plan. Connect with Merasha at @yagirlm on instagram.


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

Birth Center Transfer during Pushing Phase

Alexxis’ birth story had a lot of unexpected changes. From being considered high risk in the first trimester to then planning an unmedicated and intervention free delivery at a local birthing center while in her third trimester. Alexxis labored at home for 12 hours. When she arrived at the birthing center she was already 8cm dilated.  After another 12 hours of unmedicated active labor her husband drove her to the nearby hospital where she received an epidural and gave birth to their baby girl hours later. Although it was tough and she had to deviate from her original birth plan, Alexxis experienced a very fulfilling labor and is now a proud new momma.  

Alexxis Ellison

Alexxis Ellison Bio 

Alexxis is 25 years old and just welcomed her baby girl into the world on 4/4/23. She resides in Tampa Florida with her family of four. She is a full time homemaker and aids her husband in their family owned Real Estate Development business. She is a talented pastry chef, loves to cook, and avid gym goer. Connect with her on Instagram @alexxisnicoleco 


  • Hypnobirthing
  • Mommy Labor Nurse
  • Evidence Based Birth Podcast
  • The Birth Hour Podcast

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

Two Birth Center Births and One Home Birth Story with Hyperemesis Gravidarum Pregnancies 

In 2017, Chanice established well-woman care at a birth center and women’s care facility just two months before she and her husband were surprised by the news of expecting their first child. All was well until she developed Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and was hospitalized at 11 weeks. She practiced prenatal yoga her entire pregnancy. After laboring for 12 hours, she gave birth at 40 weeks + 4 days at a birth center on Christmas Day. 

After two months of trying to conceive their second child, Chanice and her husband became pregnant in the summer of 2019. Similar to the first pregnancy, Chanice battled HG, required IV fluids during early pregnancy, and was prescribed medication for extreme vomiting. She practiced prenatal yoga 1-2 times weekly. She went into labor while napping at 39 weeks + 6 days. While she prepared her space for laboring for an unknown number of hours, her body had other plans… a precipitous (rapid) labor and birth! 

After two birth center births, Chanice and her husband made the decision to have their third child at home. Her third pregnancy mirrored her first and second pregnancies but with two energetic toddlers and continuing to work full time. Multiple false alarms led up to the real event on baby’s due date on a rainy day in February 2022. Her labor was eerily calm. She birthed baby #3 in a birthing tub in her bedroom.

chanice reid birth story

Chanice Reid Bio

Chanice is a wife and mother of three. Chanice was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a proud Howard University graduate. She is a speech-language pathologist on the path to becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is passionate about serving all families but especially families of color in the Phoenix area. She can be found spending time with family and friends, eating a delicious meal, planning a community event, binge-watching her favorite shows, traveling, and avoiding doing laundry at all costs. Connect with her on Instagram @thejoyfulslp and @joyfulcommunication. 


Baby Tula

This episode is sponsored by Baby Tula. Baby Tula creates unique and expressive carriers that help parents keep doing what they love while connecting with their little ones. Baby carriers are so much more than a parenting tool! When you wear your baby, you support the emotional, social, and physical well-being of your baby as well as your own! With a variety of unique prints, small batch and handwoven fabrics, inclusive sizing, and carriers for older babies too, you can find a carrier that’s distinctly you! You can use the code BIRTHHOUR at BabyTula.com and BabyTula.Co.UK.

Optimized by Optimole