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.
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
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.
Prior to this pregnancy, Teisia had two chemical pregnancies back-to-back. She had never heard about chemical pregnancies before trying to conceive, so they were devastating. She thought something was wrong with her and that she might never have a successful pregnancy. She wants all women who have experienced any kind of loss to know that there is nothing wrong with them, they are not alone and there is hope. She hopes to see more light shed on how common this is so that women can feel less alone and more supported.
Teisia had planned an unmedicated water birth at a hospital attached Midwifery Center. She prepared with hypnobirthing methods in anticipation. She went into labor at 39 weeks and left for the hospital soon after her water broke at home. While the midwife staff were blowing up the birthing pool, she was able to labor peacefully in the bathtub. It was the serene, beautiful experience she had imagined. Later on, the baby’s heart rate got too high and she was asked to get out of the tub. Once she was out of the water, the labor became much more difficult.
She was told at 37 weeks that the baby was posterior but tried a lot of different things to get the baby to turn at home – so she thought that the baby had turned by the time labor started. No one told her that the baby was still posterior and therefore pushing was very hard. After an extremely challenging 3 hours, her baby girl was born. Her husband, Brian was there every step of the way and was the most supportive and amazing birth partner she could’ve asked for. Everyone was joking about how he was a “dude-la”. Although she didn’t get to have the calm water birth that she wanted, with the help of hypnobirthing and the support of her doula and husband, Teisia was able to go through with the unmedicated birth she had planned. It was the most magical and empowering moment of her life.
Teisia Wantuch Bio
Teisia is a working mom (software engineer) and lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Brian, daughter Eleanor and two cats (Mozart and Dwight). She loves the outdoors and seeing live music. After becoming pregnant with her first, she has become very passionate about pregnancy, birth and motherhood – and loves to talk about it and follow companies that are empowering women and mothers. You can connect with her on Instagram @_teisia.
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.
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Zahra Kassam, an early childhood education entrepreneur, delivered her two children with unmedicated hospital births using midwives and the hypnobirthing method. Having experienced both postpartum bliss and postpartum depression, she contrasts her two births, her miscarriage, and discusses the importance of mothers caring for themselves.
Zahra Kassam Bio
Zahra Kassam is Founder and CEO of Monti Kids: the only subscription service for children ages 0-3 that provides an authentic Montessori education, proven in schools for over 100 years. Zahra holds a BA in Psychology from Harvard and a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an internationally certified Montessori teacher at the infant, toddler, and preschool levels and a mother to two young boys.
Through Monti Kids, Zahra is filling the education void from birth to preschool, the most critical years of development when 85% of the brain is formed. Zahra has been invited to the White House Early Education Summit, named a Global Education Influencer, named a ‘World Changing Woman’ by Conscious Company Media, and was nominated for the Dalai Lama Unsung Heroes of Compassion Awards for her work with children. Zahra has appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and recently gave a TEDx talk on education for babies. Follow Zahra on Instagram @zahraikassam.
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Megan became pregnant with her first child unexpectedly after 4 years with an IUD. Fortunately, the pregnancy was healthy and viable and continued uneventfully until her son decided to enter the world earlier than she anticipated (37 weeks and 3 days). After being in labor almost a full day without realizing it, Megan made it to the hospital at 10 cm and delivered a healthy baby via waterbirth almost 3 hours later.
Megan Freeland Bio
Megan is a public health pharmacist by trade and a healthcare copywriter by profession. She has a husband, son, and is awaiting the arrival of her daughter.
Motif Medical 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.
Hypnobirthing and Partner Support for Hospital Birth
A doctor told Chelsea there were no trophies for women who have an unmedicated birth; but, Chelsea felt passionate about having a serene, med-free experience in the hospital. When she had to be induced at 38 weeks with gestational hypertension, her preparation and self advocacy paid off for a successful hypnobirth experience.
Chelsea Lane Bio
Chelsea lives in Kansas City with her partner of 7 years, Stephen, their goldendoodle, and their sweet baby boy. Chelsea is a family advocate for a local school district, and she also supports children with developmental delays in their homes. Over the last several years, Chelsea has become passionate about mindfulness and self-regulation. She hopes to inspire and encourage other women to embrace the power of their own minds and bodies and share their unique, positive stories about the beauty of giving birth. You can connect with her at Chelsealane23@gmail.com.
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 1 gallon adorable animal-shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH19 at www.crane-usa.com.
Morgan’s first baby was born during her 3rd year of medical school. She and her husband (then-fiance) planned a home birth with local midwives and took Hypnobirthing classes at the birth education center in San Diego. Contractions started the evening of her son’s due date and he was born two days later, at home, after an exhausting 36-hr back labor with a 9lb 3 oz posterior baby. Morgan’s postpartum was marked by multiple layers of breastfeeding complications that lead to recurrent mastitis and the development of postpartum anxiety that stuck around for the first 10 months of her son’s life. This was a Dark Night of the Soul learning experience for her, and it has shaped her life and practice with women in her practice.
Fast Intense Birth and Postpartum Bliss
Morgan’s second baby was born three years and two days later – they had the same due date! The birth of her daughter was a wildly different experience. She had more than 24 hours of light early labor that then quickly turned into a 1.5hr active labor that totally shocked her in its intensity and speed. She felt like dancing right after birth, even though her daughter was exactly the same weight as her son, and had a nuchal hand like him! Her postpartum was characterized by pure baby bliss and she was equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate the breastfeeding struggles that inevitably came from having another tongue tied baby.
Morgan MacDermott Bio
Dr. Morgan MacDermott is a rising leader in women’s reproductive health dedicated to transforming the struggles of the modern mother. As a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and mother of two young children, she blends medical expertise and gathered communal wisdom to help women in-person and online to navigate wellness throughout this revered metamorphosis. Although she felt very prepared for motherhood the first go-around, she felt gut punched by the universe with her postpartum issues of recurrent mastitis and postpartum anxiety. These experiences helped her immensely – not only in how she would go on to create an entirely different postpartum for her second child, but also with the women she works with as patients in her private practice. She currently lives in Encinitas, California with her husband and their 3 year old son and 4 month old daughter, as well as a good friend who has shown them the power of living communally. Morgan believes that the best way to advance the health of future generations is by revolutionizing the health and wellbeing of our current mothers, and she is a powerful voice for natural medicine in the fields of preconception, fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum. Connect with Morgan on IG: morganmacdermott or at milkmedicine.com