Positive Hospital Birth with Postpartum Preeclampsia that Resolved Quickly

After Bella’s first baby was born premature at 34 weeks, doctors took steps to prevent another preemie during her second pregnancy. She had a wonderful pregnancy but at 36 weeks she went into labor. An incredibly positive  laboring process that included coping with yoga ball, counter pressure, bath tub, & eventually an epidural. Her baby’s head was born with the water bag intact but eventually broke when her shoulders came out & Bella was able to reach down & deliver her baby herself. It was a dream hospital birth but postpartum got complicated when she was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia.

Bella Strapp Bio

Bella is a stay at home mother who lives in Rochester, NY with her husband Greg and two children! She loves camping with her family, biking, cooking, & a good cup of coffee. Connect with Bella on Instagram @bella.m.strapp or Facebook: Bella Strapp.

Resources


SNP Therapeutics

Today’s episode is sponsored by SNP Therapeutics, makers of the Genate Test. Based on over 16 million dollars in NIH grants, and more than 30 years of nutrition and genetic research, SNP Therapeutics is leading the charge in the field of prenatal, precision-nutrition genetic testing.

SNP Therapeutics is committed to providing accurate and usable information to help mothers provide the best possible nutrition to their babies through The Genate Test: a prenatal, precision-nutrition, genetic test that offers personalized dietary adjustments and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. 

You can rest easy knowing that your prenatal nutrition has been optimized by tailoring it to your genetic code. Find peace of mind about your prenatal nutrition with the Genate Test by SNP Therapeutics. Learn more at genate.com and Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your order.

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

Resources

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.

Homebirth Birth Story with Retained Placenta Complication

Rayna was pregnant in 2021, and as a medical health professional working in a hospital she had to endure the unrelenting workplace stress of the Delta wave of covid. On top of that, it wasn’t the easiest pregnancy due to severe migraines and iron deficiency anemia both starting in her second trimester. After a few provider changes, Rayna finally settled on using a home birth midwife because it seemed to be the right choice to address her hesitance towards the hospital setting and what she perceived as the over-medicalization of laboring women and birth.

At 41 weeks, Rayna received a healthy baby born after 20 hours of labor at home. However, she had a dangerous, unexpected complication. Although Rayna had ended up not loving her home birth midwife throughout her prenatal appointments, her provider really came through during this moment and handled the complication with unexpected confidence. As a result, Rayna did not have to transfer to the hospital and her birth story ended on a good note. Rayna plans to have a home birth again in the future.

Rayna Gardner Bio

Rayna grew up in the Raleigh, NC area. After going to college in Asheville, Rayna worked around the USA as a zookeeper for 6 years before deciding on a career change. After going back to school, where she also met her husband, Rayna has found her true calling as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. She now works in a hospital laboratory analyzing specimens and providing diagnostic testing. Rayna and her husband currently live on the Space Coast of Florida with their two dogs and their toddler

Resources


SNP Therapeutics

Today’s episode is sponsored by SNP Therapeutics, makers of the Genate Test. Based on over 16 million dollars in NIH grants, and more than 30 years of nutrition and genetic research, SNP Therapeutics is leading the charge in the field of prenatal, precision-nutrition genetic testing.

SNP Therapeutics is committed to providing accurate and usable information to help mothers provide the best possible nutrition to their babies through The Genate Test: a prenatal, precision-nutrition, genetic test that offers personalized dietary adjustments and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. 

You can rest easy knowing that your prenatal nutrition has been optimized by tailoring it to your genetic code. Find peace of mind about your prenatal nutrition with the Genate Test by SNP Therapeutics. Learn more at genate.com and Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your order.

Missed Miscarriage + Fast Unmedicated Hospital Birth with Marginal Cord Insertion

After a traumatic and eye opening missed miscarriage with their first pregnancy, Sean and Brianna managed to get pregnant again. Brianna quickly found that pregnancy after loss is its own unique journey filled with underlying grief, anxiety, and insecurity. They chose to go the hospital route finding great care at a local OB. Knowing that brith is very hard to plan and predict, Brianna prepared for every possible outcome, but she knew she wanted an unmediated birth. She spent much of her pregnancy doing everything she could to give her body the best chance at success. Partway through the pregnancy they discovered a 7cm+ ovarian cyst and that her placenta was anterior with Marginal Cord Insertion. This prompted the need for several growth scans in the following months to ensure that the baby was growing appropriately. Brianna also had Covid during her third trimester which added to her already overly abundant fears. Thankfully the MCI did not end up having much of an impact so the pregnancy was allowed to play out without intervention. After several weeks of many Braxton hicks and off and on labor, they decided to schedule an induction for 40 weeks and 5 days. In the early morning of the day of her induction, Brianna woke to her water braking and contractions began in full force. Six hours later Marcus was born. Although it did not go perfectly to plan, Brianna had the empowering unmedicated hospital birth she wanted. For Brianna, navigating the postpartum period proved challenging, yet it paled in comparison to the physical and emotional pain she endured while recovering from her loss. Cradling her healthy baby in her arms, made everything better.

brianna voron birth story

Brianna Voron Bio

Brianna is an artist and woodworker based in Phoenix, Arizona. She lives with her husband Sean and their 5 month old son Marcus. She believes in a deep connection between life and art. She is in awe of her body’s ability to nurture and create life, and now draws much of her creative energy from her identity as a mother artist. Connect with her on her instagram: @briannavoron and visit her website to view her work: www.briannavoron.com

Resources

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

Homebirth in an RV

What it’s like to give birth in an RV

Zoe Racca shares her experience with pregnancy and planning a homebirth while traveling around the U.S. in an RV. She bought an RV sized birthing tub, installed a tankless water heater to provide enough warm water, and gave birth to her son in the family RV with her two older children present.

A little bit about Zoe and her family

“We are The Boho Hobos! A family of 5, 2 cats and a dog. We have been Fulltime RVing in our 200 square foot home on wheels, for 3 years now. We live this lifestyle to follow the projects my Husband manages for his job. I work from home, introducing Young Living Essential Oils into people’s lives. We home and roadschool our two girls, ages 10 & 4 1/2, and we also homebirth, which has been our most recent adventure! We just had our 2nd homebirth IN our RV, which was nestled in the snowy, Colorado Rocky Mountains. It has certainly been our most exciting & memorable RV experience to date. We safely welcomed our beautiful little boy, Cedar James, to our little boho tribe, on December 19th.” Connect with Zoe at www.BohoHobos.com or on Facebook and Instagram.

big sister at homebirthhomebirth with siblings
zoe racca birth story

Birth Resources

Gentle Babies Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children

All photos by Kristi Williams Photography; See all images from Zoe’s birth here

Ergobaby

This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. 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. Check out Ergobaby’s new Life with Baby Podcast and follow Ergobaby on Instagram and Brandi Sellers-Jackson (host of their podcast) as well! Use code BIRTHHOUR for 15% off at ergobaby.com.

Four Miscarriages Followed by Empowered Birth & Hard Postpartum and then a Traumatic Birth with an Empowered Postpartum

Katy’s journey to motherhood was fraught with heartache, marked by four miscarriages before Jack’s birth—a journey colored by fear and trauma. Diagnosed with preeclampsia at 36 weeks in the first pregnancy she’d carried to term, the terror was palpable, affirming her darkest fears about what she believed were her body’s failures. In the week before her induction, Katy turned to her greatest strengths: research and advocacy. Armed with knowledge and a newfound sense of empowerment, she faced her 37-week induction with a trust in herself and her body she’d never felt before with pregnancy. The 12-hour labor, guided by an incredibly supportive nurse, concluded with a powerful affirmation as Jack entered the world: “I hope you know that you did this,” her nurse told her. “Your knowledge and advocacy is the reason he made it here so fast.”

Four and a half years later, Branham’s birth story unfolded differently. Without the familiar storm of preeclampsia, Katy was plagued by a different kind of anxiety. Fearing the doctors were missing something that would harm her baby, Katy was unable to believe her body was a safe place for Branham after 37 weeks. She underwent a semi-elective 39-week induction, and the fast-paced, four-hour labor was far from the relief it might seem, leaving her feeling unprepared and vulnerable. This experience underscored a crucial lesson she now shares passionately: the importance of preparing for every birth, including the birth you don’t want, and advocating for yourself relentlessly. This has become a cornerstone of Katy’s advocacy in all realms of motherhood–teaching moms to embrace the unpredictable nature of motherhood with knowledge and courage, while always staying true to their own desires. 

Katy Huie Harrison, PhD Bio

Katy is not just an author but a crusader, redefining motherhood’s narrative after a decade of academic study and personal challenges, including recurrent pregnancy loss and severe postpartum anxiety. This journey led her from academia to founding Undefining Motherhood, a movement against the centuries-old, unrealistic expectations placed on mothers. With a suite of resources—her engaging website, insightful newsletters, transformative books and planners, and an engaging new podcast—Katy champions a new era for moms, focusing on real change and empowerment.

Her innovative pregnancy planner, Expecting & Organized, has already shifted over 20,000 families’ journeys, earning acclaim as an Etsy Bestseller and one of Amazon’s Top Picks in 2024. Anticipation is building for her upcoming release, The Postpartum Playbook.

Featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, and Wondermind, Katy brings light to the often-shadowed realities of parenting. She fosters a space where moms at all stages feel acknowledged and understood. Follow her journey and transformative advice on Instagram at @undefiningmotherhood and dive deeper into her conversations on the Undefining Motherhood podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Resources

Undefining Motherhood

Undefining Motherhood creates resources to support moms during all stages of pregnancy, including the weeks & months after birth. It’s your home for judgment-free information…so you can take care of baby and yourself, mama. Their Expecting & Organized Planner provides tools for pregnancy, sure–but it’s also about caring for yourself during those for the days, weeks, and months after birth. Check it out at undefiningmotherhood.com to join the more than 20k moms raving about how they now feel relaxed, confident, and prepared. Get 10% off with code BIRTHHOUR. And be sure to check out the new Undefining Motherhood podcast for your weekly dose of mom support. 

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