Back Labor and Postpartum Anxiety
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
Jack Newman breastfeeding videos
The Farm with Ina May Gaskin
The Beginning of Life series
The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chopra
Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler
The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Childcare by Sally Fallon Morell
Unassisted Birth by Laura Shanley
The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger
My Mastitis E-book, coming soon!
Podcasts besides The Birth Hour: Health Births Happy Babies; Nourishing the Mother; Freebirth Podcast; and, Birthful podcast
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Bianca was not yet a doula when she was pregnant, it was actually what sent her into this line of work immediately after the birth of her daughter, Gray.
She went into early labor in the morning of August 7, and she knew that she would have time with her early labor as a primip. She also thought it would be a good idea to ‘help labor along’ because her doctor had told her that he would not let her go passed 40 weeks. She also did not know how to advocate for going to 41 – 42 weeks. Now she knows.
The summer Gray was due, there was a bacterial breakout in the NICUs at 2 major hospitals in Toronto and it was: (a) impossible to get midwifery care, hence Bianca’s home birth dream went out the window; and, (b) people were being rerouted out of the city to have their babies.
Bianca was more than a little nervous about the climate in her city with hospitals either closed or overflowing. She was worried she would be rushed along by the hospital staff and under NO circumstances was she to have interventions… that was about the extent of her birth plan.
She labored at home for 24 hours and then went to a breakfast buffet the next morning with her partner at the time and mother-in-law because she felt like she wanted ALL the food that morning. It was there that labor picked up and she knew she needed to get to a care facility.
After hospital hopping to find one that had room for her, she spent the next 45 hours in active labor and transition. She advocated hard, and with the help of her doula (who was really green), Bianca got her unmedicated vaginal delivery. She ended up needing the vacuum for Gray’s birth and struggled with the repair to her perineum. She felt so exhausted at the end after a 72 hour labor that her bonding with Gray was impacted. It shows so much in the birth photo that was taken an hour after Gray was born. It makes Bianca so sad to look at that moment captured.
There are parts that feel really traumatic, like the vaginal repair that was done without any anesthesia, and parts that make her feel really proud, like the unmedicated labor part.
Bianca suffered in silence with her PPD and her difficulties bonding with Gray as she had no family, partner, or community support. There was a lot of grief around this and it was magnified after her hysterectomy 5 months ago, officially removing the ability to carry another baby. She is planning for her wife to carry their next baby in the next year or two.
Bianca Sprague Bio
Bianca Sprague (CEO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a badass queer entrepreneur and mom to Graydon. She lives in Toronto and co-parents with her partner, Alana. Bianca feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. Most recently, Bianca elected to undergo a hysterectomy and has a lot of insight to share on her experiences navigating the health care system. Connect with her on Instagram @BiancaSprague, Facebook @bebomiainc or at www.BiancaSprague.com & www.bebomia.com.
- Because I struggled SO much with my postpartum period I made a tool to support others to ensure they make a plan in pregnancy.
- I firmly believe that birth plans make a difference! Here is why in a video as well as a free cheat sheet to make one:
- Support mental wellness! It is SO important. Olivia Scobie does this SO well and she had made a free guide around mood in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
- This awesome link of TED talks for expecting and new parents is fab!
This episode is sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes 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.
Positive Vaginal Hospital Epidural Birth Stories & Postpartum Depression Discussion
Bert Anderson had three positive vaginal births in hospitals. She used epidurals for all three births and for the most part she had uncomplicated pregnancies. After her first birth she was diagnosed with postpartum depression when her son was four months old. Since then she has become aware of her mood and depression so she can recognize the warning signs.
Bio Bert Anderson
Bert is a Minnesota mom of three, blogger at FirstTimeMommn.com and the author of the upcoming book Me Before Mom: Putting on Your Oxygen Mask First. Her writing has been featured in Huffington Parents and TODAY Parents.
Cesarean Birth Stories & Postpartum Depression
Christine had four C-sections. The first one was an emergency C-section and the rest were repeat. Christine’s first three children are girls and her last child is a boy. When Christine found out she was pregnant, she wasn’t happy. She just didn’t feel prepared. When Christine told her husband, he was thrilled. As time went on Christine began to enjoy her pregnancy and started to get ready for the changes in their home. When Christine and Brandon went to the doctor to find out the gender of their baby, the world came to a standstill. They found out they were having a baby boy. Brandon was super excited. He started talking about matching outfits, golf outing and playing football with his son. Christine was in shock. See, when Christine found out they were having a boy, it was around the time a black boy was shot in the back by a police officer. Christine’s anxiety went through the roof.
After baby Brandon was born, Christine did not bond with him. She was sad and had a very hard time holding him. Christine was ready to leave her kids and her husband because she was broken and had no idea of what was going on. Christine’s husband Brandon, recognized something was going on and took her to the doctor right away.
Christine was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.
Christine McNabb Bio
Christine is mom to four beautiful children and a dog and is married to the love of her life, Brandon. Christine is the founder of the blog This Mama Wines which is a community of moms that talks about the good and not so good in parenting. This Mama Wines also holds events such as Mompreneur Happy Hours, Mom Social Hours, Documentary Screenings and Mom Fitness hours, throughout New Orleans; and the blog will soon have events nationally.
Connect with Christine at www.thismamawines.com and see events she’s planning here.
This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression
When the Bough Breaks: Documentary on Postpartum Depression
This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!
Cesarean Birth Story
A self-described “professional Type-A planner,” Courtney feels she spent “too many hours” crafting the “perfect” birth plan… only to toss it out the window during labor and delivery. At 38 weeks, after learning Jackson was breech, and that she was Group B positive and only dilated .5CM, Courtney scheduled an induction for 40W6D; but, she went into labor 1.5 days before induction day.
At the hospital, Courtney learned that meconium in her fluid would require a NICU team at birth; and, while Jackson had turned, he was still in the occiput posterior position. Eventually, after several hours on Pitocin, Courtney’s amniotic sac had resealed (which required an amnio-hook) and her contractions were ineffective, causing her cervix to swell and making the situation potentially dangerous for mama and baby.
After taking what she describes as “hit after hit,” her birth story ends via C-section, including a failed epidural and hemorrhage. She and Wes welcomed baby Jackson at 8:38PM… 8 minutes after her previously scheduled induction time.
During postpartum, Courtney struggled with breastfeeding Jackson, and made the very difficult decision to stop after a few weeks. She also experienced intense postpartum anxiety for which she eventually (around 6 months pp) sought professional help through her Primary Care Provider and licensed therapist. During this time, Courtney relied on the tremendous amount of support she received from her husband, family, friends, and even her client, Sarah, who candidly shared her own new motherhood stories and encouraged Courtney to make the best decisions for her and her family. Today, about a month shy of Jackson’s first birthday, Courtney has established her “new normal” and couldn’t imagine life without the stubborn, giggly, busy little boy she made.
Professionally, Courtney is one of the voices behind Sarah Wells Bags as Sarah’s primary marketing consultant. She loves supporting other new mamas in their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, wherever (and for however long) it may take them, and can’t get enough new baby pics. Feel free to reach out to her anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtney Byrd Bio
Courtney and husband, Wes, welcomed their first (and likely only!) child, Jackson, in August 2016. Courtney experienced a miscarriage in October 2014, had a somewhat difficult pregnancy, and ultimately delivered Jackson via C-section. Given her experience working with Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags and the several newborn and breastfeeding classes she attended, Courtney was confident her fourth trimester would be a breeze … until she began experiencing difficulty breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Now, her advice to new moms is: “Set yourself up for success even if you have to ‘fail’ first.” For example, she recommends knowing what your breastfeeding resources are and who to talk to if you’re experiencing any type of postpartum depression or anxiety. Courtney and family now live in Austin, Texas, where they survive off of breakfast tacos and “weird” vibes. Courtney works with Sarah Wells Bags and is one of the several voices behind @sarahwellsbags on social media and their blog.
KellyMom (“For those 3AM feeding SOS searches.”)
Motherly (Courtney subscribes to the week-by-week motherhood guide.)
“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise.” – Unknown
Sarah Wells Bags
This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com. Use promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com. Be sure to check out their World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway and FB Live over on their FB page.
Alexis’ Birth at a Birth Center in St. Augustine Florida
Alexis Ayala Bio
Alexis Benita Ayala is an accomplished artist, graphic designer, and lover of all things creative. She met and quickly fell in love with an artist/carpenter named Hudson. As free-spirited as she is, on their second date, Alexis mentioned to Hudson that if they had a baby (and it was a boy), his name would be “Sebastian”…and asked if he was Okay with that. He was! And November 2014, she gave birth to their new (most cherished) collaboration piece, Sebastian. Alexis loves being a mother, and says it has made her into a better person – for not only herself, but for her family. She feels more patient, compassionate, tolerant, and understanding. Although her journey wasn’t the easiest, or most painless, she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. You can easily connect with her on Facebook, and/or Instagram.
Alexis encourages all to read (or listen to) the book, Reform Your Inner Mean Girl and to practice self-love on a daily basis. Her passion is to inspire and uplift. She advocates creating a compassionate support system on which one can lean when those moments of self-doubt and “not enough” occur.
You can listen to Reform Your Inner Mean Girl for free with a 30 day Audible trial. Visit The Birth Hour Audible page and you’ll be supporting the podcast at the same time!
Lily Jade Giveaway!
Be sure to check out today’s sponsor, Lily Jade luxury diaper bags and enter the giveaway below — two lucky winners will receive a $300 credit to Lily Jade!
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