After conceiving quickly, Jeni had an easy pregnancy apart from fear and changing plans due to COVID-19. She planned a unmedicated childbirth at the birthing center in the University Hospital System where she worked. 2 days before her due date, she went for 2 2-mile walks and did some prenatal yoga, only to start to have some irregular contractions that evening.

She went through early labor throughout the night, and went to the hospital the next morning, and learned she was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced (only 1 cm more than at her last antenatal appointment). She continued to labor through the day both outside the hospital and then at home again, and things intensified further that evening. She returned to the hospital at midnight, only to find out she was still 3 cm. Jeni’s lack of progress resulted in her birth-plan changing to include 2 walking epidurals, a spinal block, an epidural (which was delayed for almost 5 hours for multiple reasons), and Pitocin. After an epidural, she had a peaceful, mindful, and quick second stage labor and her beautiful daughter Teagan was born on her due date, after 36 hours of labor. Despite things not going to plan, she had a very positive experience and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Her knowledge as a pelvic health physical therapist, combined with a good breastfeeding experience, has resulted in a wonderful postnatal experience despite her fears about this time period. 

positive hospital birth

Jeni Thornton-Jones Bio

Jeni Thornton-Jones lives with her husband, daughter Teagan, and dog Bowie in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a board-certified specialist physical therapist in Women’s and Pelvic Health, registered yoga instructor, and certified pregnancy yoga instructor. She is the creator of Mama’s First Steps, a blog for pregnant, birthing, and postnatal persons, designed to provide evidence-based education and improve holistic physical and emotional health. Connect with her via Email at or on Instagram, @jenimjones.



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 Check out their new top fill drop humidifier here or via Wal-Mart.

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