In this week’s episode, I sat down with Dr. Cara Goodwin to address 3 huge parenting topics and explain what the latest evidence-based research says.
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Hey there, you’re listening to the My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.m, and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook at My Sleeping Baby.
Okay, Trish, thank you so much for being here today on My Sleeping Baby podcast. I’m so happy to have you here.
I am so excited to be here. We’ve been trying for a minute.
Yes. And we were finally able to connect and make this recording happened which I’m excited about because I know that my people are gonna wanna hear from you. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Yeah, so my name is Trish. I am a mama of seven and a very long time labor and delivery nurse. For most of my career, I did travel nursing at some of the top facilities in the us, but about, I don’t know, five years ago, gosh, may have been longer, now it’s 2017, do some math. I really felt driven to figure out how I could educate women before they step foot into the labor and delivery room, because I am definitely passionate about birth for sure. That’s my calling and my gift. But I’m also passionate about education. And throughout my career, I was seeing things very consistent with women who were not educated when they came into the labor room. And that lack of knowledge led to a lot of decisions that I knew they were going to regret, regret or question <affirmative>. And so in 2017, I started my shop and my blog and then really started working on the blog in 2018, and it took off and I realized really quickly that women are just as hungry for this knowledge and understanding of their rights and what is happening to me and why is that being offered, How can I say no?
How can I say yes? And it just took off. So in 2019, I took it to Instagram where it exploded, and most people know me as labor nurse mama over on Instagram. So that’s my story.
That’s amazing. So right now, do you still work as a labor and delivery nurse, or is this more full-time thing now?
So I, it’s full-time thing now. However, my business has grown to a point where now I actually have a team, and so I have more free time than I did when it was just l me. And so I am thinking about taking a PRN because like I said, birth is my calling. I did not go to nursing school to be a nurse. I went to nursing school to be a labor and delivery nurse. And so I really miss that patient care, although I’ve jokingly said I should just be a once a month free doula or something like that because I love birth so much.
And you know what, I can totally relate to what you were describing about moms just being thirsty for knowledge and understanding so that they can empower themselves. I had my first baby in 2011, and I think the biggest mistake that I made was not empowering myself and putting all my trust into my medical team, which at that point was my midwife, especially since, and this is nothing against the midwives, and later on it was a doctor that I was transferred to oversee my care. It’s just that at the end of the day, for you to be able to be your best advocate, you still need to know what’s going on and need to know what your options are. And sometimes when you put too much trust, then it can backfire the other way. I it’s, and it’s not that we’re now gonna replace the needs of doctors and midwives, but rather it’s just to be able to empower ourselves with enough knowledge and knowhow to be able to actually make an informed decision and be able to have proper discussions with our medical providers so that you feel comfortable with the decisions that you’re making.
I think it’s important to note that and we’re gonna talk about the best ways to repair for birth, but I think it’s important to note that it is a business <affirmative>, this is a business, and hospitals and providers are doing it for a business. And so to wing your birth or to completely put your trust into another person, <affirmative>, because your provider is a person. And as people, we have personal preferences as people in our career, we have ways that we do things. And it may not be like it’s a bad thing, they’re trying to do a bad thing, but it may not be what’s best for you. Correct. Not necessarily harming you, but not best for you. And so I think to go in blindly thinking that your provider or your epidural or the facility is gonna do all they need to do and you don’t have to do anything is really not wise. Right.
No, I agree. And even though, as my listeners know, I’m based in Canada, and so technically our healthcare system is not privatized. So it might not be an actual business per se. In terms of what you were saying, I think everything else still applies across the board. Just because our hospitals here are publicly funded, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t systems in place any easier ways for professionals to do things that might not be what is best for you in that moment, regardless of whether or not it’s a public hospital or a private hospital. So let’s delve right in. It’s 2022 the day that we’re recording this anyways. And birth has, I’m sure, changed quite a bit the landscape over the last number of years that you’ve been in this industry. Oh yeah. So what would you say are your top three biggest tips for expecting moms who are going to have a baby in either 2022 or 2023?
So it’s such a great question because I feel like the things that I recommend really are interwoven. I think the very first thing that you have to do is wisely choose your provider <affirmative>. And I know, so inside of my birth courses, we have a team doula who is also from Canada <affirmative>. So I’ve learned a lot when we did a podcast on my podcast with her. And it was literally the shock factor to find out just you guys have a lot of things that are much better than things that we may have, but the majority of my listeners are in the US <affirmative>. So choosing your provider can make or break your experience. So I know in Canada it’s a tab different <affirmative>, and you guys have options for home births and Right, different things. So <affirmative>, keep that in mind. I’m speaking more from a US type of mindset, but that this is one of the top most vulnerable, intimate, life changing moments.
And you own that room, it’s your birth <affirmative>. And no matter where we are to the provider, it’s another day at work. And it’s not life changing for them, but it is life changing for you. And I feel like it’s just choosing the people who are gonna represent you in your wedding, your bridal party <affirmative>. You don’t wanna have a negative Nancy or someone who is gonna challenge everything you say or make you feel like you’re not a part of the decision making process. So I think choosing a provider is very important. And there should be, I recommend here, I don’t know exactly the process for you guys, but I recommend that you choose them through an interview process, <affirmative>, but also starting with maybe local moms groups on Facebook or somewhere that you can get real opinions about those providers so that when you start the process of choosing your provider, it’s more like an interview.
And if you start out interviewing them, then you’re showing that you have an investment and you realize that your decision making part of the birth is priority. And so I think it just sets it up. I’m not talking about that first visit where you’re legs up in stirs getting a pap smear sitting across from a desk as two adult people <affirmative> and are hiring them. And so I think that is my number one tip. Now, the problem with that is that for a lot of first time moms, they don’t know what they don’t know. Of course. So when you’re in these mom groups and when you’re investigating providers, it’s really hard to know what do I value in my birth journey? What is important to me during my delivery? Am I in alignment with them? If you don’t know what you don’t know, <affirmative>, that’s where you have to do a little bit of investigating.
And I have students that join calm labor, competent birth, and the Vback lab while they’re trying to conceive. I mean, I have one student right now, she’s not even at the point of trying to conceive her second baby, but she wants to be so empowered that even the choice of her provider is based by her knowledge. And so that’s a hard one. How do you know what you want in a provider if you don’t know anything about birth? So sometimes I would say a lot of my followers on Instagram are not yet trying. So they’re learning a lot about what they can say no. And yes to <affirmative>. I think the women having babies now compared to when I became a labor nurse, which I’ve been a labor nurse for since 2006. So <affirmative>, the landscape has changed tremendously <affirmative>, and I think that more power to you guys, the people having babies right now have a lot more knowledge than I did when probably thanks to the internet, I’m assuming, right?
Yes. And social media and just understanding. I mean, I think of my 17 year old daughter, and she’s a spitfire. She is. I just look at her and I think what a strong woman she’s gonna be because she understands her power and her rights and in a way that someone’s gonna bully her during her birth. I will not let that happen. But I think in general, women who are childbearing age are seeking out knowledge and knowledge is power. But I mm-hmm. <affirmative>, take it a step further, knowledge is power if you use it. So you have to have the courage to speak up. And I think you and I are both outspoken. I don’t think we have, I’ve never been one to bulk at speaking up, but
I’m empowering them. To be able to do that is important too.
I’m so curious when you say that the landscape has changed tremendously since you started doing this in 2006, what specifically are you referring to? Is it the fact that women are coming into pregnancy and their births that much more knowledgeable because of the internet and social media, and so they have more questions, more feedback ideas than maybe someone who was giving birth in the pre-internet age?
So there, there’s a lot of aspects of this. So when I first became a labor and delivery nurse, providers had this, there was much more this sense of a doctor is a God, you can do delivery once, and there was no accountability. So I think internet and social media now holds them to accountability, <affirmative>, because you can bet your bottom dollar if you deliver a 22 year old that you piss off, they’re gonna blast it on the internet <affirmative>. And you find out all back when I first started, women were sort of isolated in their experience because even now, still to this day, if you tell a friend or a family member, a lot of this is something that really drives me crazy. But a lot of times when birth trauma happens and a woman shares her feelings, she’s told things like, Well, at least you’re healthy baby’s good. Just be thankful that being terrible happened, even though she didn’t get the birth experience she wanted, or she felt, she felt like she was bullied or coerced into decisions that she didn’t agree with. But now you post that and the education that, and just this day and age, people are going to validate that and through validation, they’re gonna feel empowered to speak up and make change. And I think right, that’s really, really important.
That’s huge. Because I do think that that whole mindset of, well, it could have been worse, so be grateful that it could have it wasn’t worse than that is such a slippery slope because technically then that just means that you can’t suffer from any challenge of any magnitude and feel it because no matter what, there’s always gonna be somebody that has it worse than you. So just always be grateful. And while gratitude is an incredibly important and wonderful trait to have, it shouldn’t also involve invalidating whatever trauma you did experience. Even if somebody had had something worse than you, no matter what, there’s always gonna be something, somebody that has a worse outcome or a worse situation or a worse life experience than you. And by no means should that mean that suddenly your challenge is not something that’s worth struggling over. And you’re right. And I think that that mindset has more or less shifted away that people are able to get the validation that they need, even if it could have been worse.
I think that it has shifted away in the online space, but I think there’s still a disconnect in face to face with people that know you and in your life, and especially with the older generation, that to these girls who have just had a baby and my generation and the older generation than myself, we were taught to just be thankful and shut up. And
I quit complaining.
Yeah, quit complaining. Be grateful. Yeah, no big deal. Baby’s healthy. You’re healthy. Okay, so you didn’t get this, And I think you’re right. One thing of the reasons my birth courses were born was because of my dms. I would get hundreds of dms a day <affirmative> from women who had no safe space to share with what happened. And they felt, and even when I first started posting about birth trauma, I would get knocked on my butt by people saying that birth trauma is when a catastrophic event happens. And that is not true. It’s this person’s perception of their birth experience. And you cannot say that they were not traumatized if they were only they can. And so we’ve created, inside of our birth courses, my birth courses come with a ton of support. I do weekly coaching with these girls. We do, we meet via Zoom and my team doula, and then we have a labor bat signal at the end of their pregnancy.
Once they hit 37 weeks, they have access to me and my doula. And the reason we are doing that is because those feelings that you’re walking through and those are valid and you should be allowed to experience them, be in them <affirmative>, and then heal from them. But the only way someone can heal from their trauma or their feelings of an experience is to be allowed a safe space to speak about it. And when my girls well after we have the labor bat signal going, and then always invariably they’re silent <affirmative> they, they had to have the baby, they had the baby, the baby’s here, where are they? And then they’ll come back and be like, whatever their birth story. And so if they come back and last time we talked to them, they were eight centimeters in transition, and then they come back four or five hours later and say that they ended up having an emergency C-section or they ended up having to have a vacuum or whatever it or <affirmative> or I ended up getting the epidural and they feel this guilt and this, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, my birth story wasn’t how I wanted, We will be like, That sucks, man, I’m so sorry.
And validate it with them because there’s so much power in that and giving them a safe opportunity to speak about that, which we have gotten way off tangent of preparing for birth. But this is super
Important. It all connects to your provider because there are some providers out there where you do a little bit of research and you speak to people who have used them and they might tell you, Oh yeah, that only likes to do things this way and doesn’t, like Vbacks is very quick to do C-sections and is very quick to do X, Y, Z. And then doing that basic research can then allow you to avoid those types of outcomes that you know might not want. I wanna say something really, really quickly because about what you were saying about trauma, because I think that I am not a therapist, but I have a client who is, and she enlightened me to the term small tea trauma. So there are big tea traumas and there are small tea traumas. In other words, when I feel like it’s easy for someone to hear someone talk about their traumatic birth where something happened and it landed in an emergency C-section, it wasn’t what they wanted. And it’s easy for someone to say, that’s not a trauma. It’s not like you were fighting in Afghanistan and you’re a war veteran and now you have pt, you severe ptsd. No one is saying that all traumas are of the same magnitude. And so to simplify things, she says there are big tea traumas and there are little tea traumas, but the little tea traumas are still worth talking about and still worth validating while at the same time recognizing it’s not the same thing as fighting in Afghanistan, but it’s still a trauma regardless.
Well, and I think it’s important to note that our body reacts to fear in the same way, whether you’re in Afghanistan or suddenly you’re laying naked and people are running around and you’re not sure if your baby’s gonna live.
So I would say our system reacts and she’s gone through that <affirmative>. I agree with you, but at the same time, tell your system that
<laugh>. Yeah, yeah, I hear that. And
The triggers that happen. And that’s one thing. So you said about VBAs and a lot of people are like, What the hell’s a vback? Yeah A vback is a vaginal birth after cesarean. So part of the Vback lab, which is our other, we have two signature courses, and I did that on purpose because I didn’t want just a module slapped onto my birth course about VBAs. I wanted the Vback lab to be infused with information that these moms needed because they are walking a slippery rope with being supported. They have so many more roadblocks, they have so many more fears, and they’ve been there, they’ve done that. They know what the lack of education can do. They know what choosing the wrong provider can do. They know what it’s like to put your hands into the team and think, Oh, they’ll make all the right decisions for me, whatever.
So it’s completely different. My prayer is I keep the girls in calm labor out of the Vback lab <affirmative>, but it is for women who are prepping for a vaginal delivery after cesarean. And part of that, when I created that was adding a entire module on birth trauma and debriefing your birth and navigating your first birth story. So in light of that, I realized how powerful that was. I have a ton of students in calm labor who have already had babies. I have students on their fourth and fifth baby, and they’re there because of, they realized how powerful and they want this birth to be redemptive and different <affirmative>. And so we added the trauma module to the end of calm labor. That way once they’re done with their birth, they can walk through it and figure out those triggers and figure out maybe this could have gone differently.
And let that go there at the door so that when they move forward into their next pregnancy, they’re not going into it with fear and apprehension, but with more knowledge and more power and knowing what they would do differently. So I think it’s really important that women are given the space and the knowledge that they don’t have to stuff. They don’t have to stuff it down and worry. But again, it goes all the way back to choosing the right provider and the right people to be in your birth suite. So I always tell my girls, of course, when I launched my birth courses, it was April of 2020. So what I taught them in my birth course was pertaining to how it’s always been, which it used to always be women could have four other people inside their birth suite. Now I look at that and think, really, really, should you have your partner and four other people in your birth suite?
Probably not. But they had that option. And I’m sure at some point we might go to some sort of option about that. Right, right. That being said, if you have Aunt Sally who is insisting on being in your room and you’re too scared to speak up, I want you to really think about this is the most vulnerable experience and intimate experience and you have every right to create the scene. You want <affirmative>. And if Aunt Sally is saying things like, you can’t even get your teeth worked on without crying, you’re gonna, all these things that’s negativity that’s coming into your birth room and you need to nip it in the bud. Correct. So I always tell my girls, if you’re hesitant, then try out something like, Hey, I know if it’s your mother-in-law and trust me, I know this is difficult, but if it’s your mother-in-law who wants to be there, or your mom and you say something, I just wanna give you a heads up that my partner and I are still trying to debate what we want our birth room to be like, and whether we just want it to be us or you, I know you have your heart set on being there, but I just wanna give you a heads up and do this early.
And her reaction is really rude and really condescending. Oh yeah. Then you know, probably shouldn’t have her in there because it’s not about her at
No, it is entirely about you. And if your partner’s not supporting you in that, then I would just keep speaking up because it should be about her. It’s her. I tell them they are the birth queen and it’s throne and their inner symptoms.
That’s really important.
Agree. Agree with all of that because the energy that those people bring into the room can really impact the overall experience. Maybe the decisions that you end up making if you’re getting pressured to do something that you might not necessarily wanna do or vice versa gonna hinder your overall experience. And you’re not gonna wanna look back and say, Oh, dra, yeah, I really shouldn’t have had Aunt Sally in my room after all.
And just know that’s okay. If they get offended, they’ll get over it. They’ll get over it. And I tell this to my kids just in parenting when they’re trying to say, I’m making a bad decision, or when I’m like, Okay, you’re right. And I have the right to make a bad decision and learn from it, and if I’m wrong, I’ll come back and apologize. And so I think the same thing, and I think that I’m sure that goes into your space as well, is during that immediate postpartum period, in those early days of having a baby <affirmative>, you can say no to visitors. It’s okay. And it’s not gonna somebody to see baby on day four instead of day one. Yes,
Yes. Absolutely. So yes, choose the right provider if only in the states the right provider was always covered by your insurance plan, which I recognize as a whole other can of worms that we won’t bother opening up. But I have a good friend who’s expecting her second baby in New York and she, there’s no, she wanted a midwife and there’s no midwifery clinic within the near vicinity that is covered by her insurance. And so she’s with an OB and it’s not a good fit. And so yes, thankfully we don’t have that problem here in Canada. In Ontario where I live, you wanna go with a midwife, if they have space, they will take you. Yeah. There’s no insurance insured versus uninsured situation. But I digress there. Okay. Yeah. Tip number two, biggest piece of advice for expecting parents in 20 22, 20 23.
I mean, it’s gonna be the biggest one of all of what I say is taking a birth class <affirmative>. And I know I’m saying that, and I have a birth class, and of course I want you to choose mine, but you need to take a birth class because everything else hinges on that. And I, I equate that to, if you were planning a big vacation, let’s say for four years you’ve been planning to go to the Middle East or to Asia or another country where they don’t speak English and you don’t really necessarily know the culture, you are going to invest in that. It’s an investment <affirmative> and you’re going to make plans, you’re gonna study the culture, you’re not gonna wing anything. You’re not gonna like, Oh, my trip is here. I’m gonna get on the plane and I’m gonna land and then I’m gonna choose where I stay and then I’m gonna choose how I get to where I stay.
And then I’m gonna figure out what I’m going to eat and where I’m going next and how I’m traveling around the country or whatever. No, you’re gonna do a lot of research. You’re gonna do your due diligence and going into a birth, twofold, your first baby, more than likely, for most of us, it’s the first time we’ve ever been a hospital patient. If you’re doing it in the hospital, <affirmative>, that in itself is a learning curve, which can create fear and anxiety and fear and anx anxiety destroys your birth the most. The more you can wipe out beforehand, the better <affirmative>. So taking a birth class that teaches you what’s happening inside you, around you, the choices you can make, What are these interventions? I mean, thank God we have interventions. They save lives, but when are they being used out of convenience? When is it curiosity?
When is it for someone else’s convenience? If it’s something you’re choosing for your convenience, totally different story <affirmative>. But if it’s for someone, you need to recognize that. And you need to recognize when is this an emergent situation? And then going back to choosing the right provider when there is something, cuz there’s gonna be some weird wackadoodle thing that might happen during birth that you weren’t prepared for <affirmative>. Now I hear 100% from my students, there was nothing that surprised them. And so that in itself surprises, even if they’re good surprises can shock you a little and change the course. So what we teach our students is that your birth plan is a birth map. It’s not exactly a birth plan and the exotic vacation, this big vacation you’ve planned for is the baby. And so we learn all the different avenues so that if you get to one, let’s say just like if you were going on a trip, we just went to Europe in March, if we had woken up, we had an Uber scheduled.
If the Uber hadn’t shown up, we wouldn’t have been like, Well screw it all. We’re not going now. Yeah, no, we have a second plan. And we know, Oh wait, that road is blocked. Let’s go to the right. So they need to know the different avenues that they can turn and go to and mm-hmm <affirmative> the choices they have, they need to know why. Always during my classes I’ll be like, Do you know what an FSE is? Because we use them and they’re like, What the hell is an fse? Well that’s exactly what I’m saying to you because everything we’re saying is a different language <affirmative>. And I want you to understand which for those of you who are like what is an fsc? It’s a fetal scalp electrode internal monitor where we monitor the baby’s heart rate and it’s very invasive. And so a lot of times over the course of my career, the majority of my time, I’ve had a provider come in very non informative, Oh, we’re not really tracing the baby, we need to put in the internal monitor blah, blah, blah. And they don’t explain what is happening and they don’t explain, yeah, why are we using this? They don’t explain what are the alternatives. And so I think it’s really important to have a baseline knowledge so you can ask the right questions, You can ask when something else is available, <affirmative>. And that all goes back to education because everything I say to you, everything your provider says to you is going to be like,
Sure. You just don’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. So my biggest tip on choosing a birth class is, and this is why I do every couple months we do, I was telling you before, the fearless birth experience, <affirmative> where I come in, I live stream into the Facebook group and I teach five little classes. And the reason I do that is because whoever you take your birth class from, you’re gonna be spending some time with them. And for those of you doing mine, you’re gonna hear my voice a lot and my way of doing things. And so testing out, looking for what might resonate with you and what connect with you. Cuz again, you’re inviting me into your birth story, which is such an honor. So one thing I 100% say, don’t do.
Don’t use your primary education as a hospital provided course. And I can tell you this from years of experience and I was offered one time, asked if I would be their childbirth educator for their class. Once I looked over the cur curriculum, I was like hell to the no no, because it’s all leaning towards hospital policy, which hospital policy is not your golden rule. You don’t have to do it just because it’s their policy. You created it to protect them.
So that’s in essence what a hospital birth course is sort of educating you on how they do things
And what they want, right? Yes.
And what they want most is for that bed to be emptied. <laugh>.
Yeah. They wanna get you outta there as quickly as possible so that they can get another patient in which might not be in your best interest. <affirmative> specifically,
If they’re choosing a home birth or they’re in a freestanding birth center or something like that, that provides education, sometimes those are fine as well. <affirmative>, I also say find one that provides community. There’s so many different options nowadays. And I know we provide a community and our girls, they pretty much stick around last night. I do a weekly, we call it the happy hour, which usually I’m the only one drinking wine unless it’s one of my trying to conceive girls or one of my girls that are eight months or what have you. But we will hang out and usually last night I had 40 mamas on were Zoom, some of them open their cameras, some don’t. And I had a student in the Middle East, I had a student in Japan and we’re all over the world. I’ve got mama’s nursing newborns. I had one mom that was two days postpartum.
I had one that was 40 days postpartum. And we have a community where we come alongside each other and some of these girls have connected outside of the group and become friends. One of the outside of birth. And being a mom, my oldest is 32, I had him very young. My youngest is seven. I had him very old <laugh>. But one thing I can tell you 100% that has been the most powerful thing in my journey as a mother is having other moms that I trusted <affirmative> and that I could lean into and who gave me real nitty gritty wisdom and allowed me to make my mistakes and learn from them and to learn from theirs and get that. So that’s one reason I am a people person. <affirmative> and not being able to be bedside, I needed to have that connection with my girls.
I love my mommas. I’m doing a live today with one of my mommas. So having that relationship is really important to me. And throughout my life as a mom relationship is so important. So I would say try to choose a birth class that provides a community that you have access. I know I took Bradley with me, baby number four, I took a Bradley class and the provide, the teacher did give us access, however she was like militant <affirmative> choices. And I still felt like I was getting from her. The reason I came to her to to have knowledge, I was still getting her choices. So
This is the best way to be giving birth. These are the choices you should be making. This is where you should be having your baby. This is how you should be having your baby. Oh my gosh. Yeah. That defeats
The purpose. And so one of my students said it perfectly that I lay it out like a buffet or smorgasboard and then you choose what’s best for you. So like I said before, I teach them nothing out of convenience or curiosity unless it’s yours. <affirmative>, if you’re curious to what your dialectic girl get a cervical exam. But if they are, say hell no. Yeah. If I’ve had tons of military wise, if your husband’s only gonna be home during week 39 and 40 and you wanna get induced because you want your partner there, do it. Yeah.
But if your provider’s going outta town and wants you induce so he can be there, then don’t do it. So I think it’s just, again, choosing your, this birth is you will never birth this baby again. <affirmative> this baby. That’s it. And so it is an investment and I will 100% say from being the labor nurse and crying on the way home because I could not believe this first time mom was taken back to the OR. And I know damn well that it was so this provider could go home and go to a baseball game and and she doesn’t know that. And I’m crying on the way home. I can 100% say invest in a birth class before you invest in the top dollar stroller. Take that extra hundred 50 off of getting the best stroller out there <affirmative>. Because if you’re pushing this baby and a thousand dollars stroller and you’re traumatized,
You don’t want that. No,
No, I agree. And I can’t agree with you more specifically about ensuring that when you go with a birth class, that you’re not going with a class that’s going to preach one philosophy, one way of doing things. The most ideal way to give birth without an epidural in your home in a bathtub. And anything less than that is down the ladder, down that fire people. That’s gonna
Cause that’s fear and anxiety, which is gonna destroy her birth. For some people, the thought of delivering in their own bathtub in their home is not okay. And
No, they would never even dream of it. And then the last thing that you would want is to then feel lesser than because you’re delivering, you’re choosing to deliver in a hospital with an epidural. Oh, she’s one of those.
You don’t have to be a hero and go unmedicated
<laugh>. Right, right. Exactly. It’s interesting because recently, I don’t know if this was an issue in the States, but a little while ago, I can’t exactly remember when I guess there were some medical supply issues shortage here. The epi, Did you guys have the epidural shortage here? Yeah. There as well. Yeah.
I think the reason that it came came from a facility in Ohio. Oh,
Okay. Do we get Canada gets the, I guess that we get our epidurals from the states. Yeah.
I mean I don’t know there, there’s been some weird shortages in my lifetime as a labor and delivery nurse who knew that IV bags and IV tubing came from Puerto Rico. Do you remember, I don’t know if you knew this, but in 2017, after Irma and Puerto Rico got wiped out, we had IV shortage. Oh my gosh. A lot of the medication bags and the IV stuff and antibiotics came from Puerto Rico where the entire world was affected by that. So back to the epidural
Shorts. Right, Right. So going on, it was fascinating. So obviously on my Facebook newsfeed, these news stories would pop up about the epidural shortage. And then seeing the comments from just regular members of the public, just to me reinforces how important it is to find a course that is going to respect your choices and simply empower you with what the choices are out there as opposed to making it seem like there is one choice that is most ideal. Because while there were tons of comments talking about how horrible the epidural shortage was, you obviously have your people saying something along the lines of, Get over Steve. Well I had six babies completely, naturally. So maybe all these moms can just do that as well. Or we’ve been delivering babies naturally for thousands of years and it’s only the last few decades that suddenly we need epidurals. Let them deliver the weight that they’ve been doing since the dawn of time. And of course so much to unpack there.
They also did surgeries on their camp table without anesthesia. <laugh>.
Yeah, there’s a lot of things that we did back in the day that we don’t do. No, today
Is coming very obvious reasons.
I’ve had, funny that you said six, I’ve had six unmedicated deliveries, <affirmative>. But it was my choice and I love it. I love it. But I tell my girls all the time, there is literally nothing worse than a labor patient who thought her epidural was gonna be the end all of all things. And she ends up feeling pain. So what I teach my girls is no matter what your pain management plan is, I teach them both <affirmative> because I also on the flip side, have my girls who are dead set on going unmedicated <affirmative>. And they end up choosing an epidural, which is their choice and that is fine. But I want them to be prepared because if you’re listening right now, the epidural shortage, well first of all it was the kit that we used to place it <affirmative>. So they were make shifting kits and it was all fine.
But I did sell a lot. I have a six pack workshop that we sell very low priced and it comes from my fearless birth experiences or no five pack. And inside that class we just briefly, it’s like a little foundation of education, which I’ve had a lot of my mommas go on to birth with just that <affirmative>, it’s not everything. And I trust me when I say it’s not everything, but we sold a lot of those because of the epidural shortage. Because I teach a lot about where labor pain comes from. <affirmative>, you shouldn’t be afraid what fear does to it and being prepared because epidurals are not guaranteed <affirmative>. And I will tell you again, there is nothing worse than a mama who comes through the door at two centimeters and is like, I’m gonna get my epidural and go to sleep <laugh>. And then she has to wait for two hours because her provider hasn’t given an order to say it’s okay for her to get it. Cuz he has to order, she has to order it. You can’t just get it cuz you want it. They have to say, okay, is this parameters then we have to wait for your labs. So what if your platelets come back and they’re too low <affirmative> or what if it’s a full moon and six other moms are ahead of you and you have to wait five
For another girl? You’re going to have to cope with pain in some form or fashion. So you better have your tool bag filled
Not want to have to figure it out on the
Fly. Or speaking from experience, what if it’s your second baby and your labor’s really, really fast and by the time you get to the hospital you are eight centimeters and it’s a two hour wait to get an epidural and you have your baby an hour 15 minutes later
And there’s a really ignorant person in the waiting room not letting you through the doors.
Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. I’ll tell that story. I’ll tell that story. You
Have to come to my podcast to hear that
Story cause it’s really funny. Well you gotta hop on on hers. But yes, that was good times. Namely that, yeah, you might not forget having to wait two hours for your epidural. What about the possibility of not being able to get your epidural at all? Which that was inherently traumatic for me. The entire
Al. Yeah. And I’ve done it. I mean the women who create birth horror stories are nine times outta 10. The women who thought that they would get an epidural when they won it and wouldn’t have to deal with labor pain and then they’re gonna scare every other woman in the world. Yes. Because, not because labor pain is the worst thing in the world, but because they didn’t have any coping tools. So I teach all my girls coping tools and how to understand labor pain. And one of my most popular classes in that bundle is my labor pain where I break it down <affirmative> and I have a very unique flip on labor pain and trying to allow them to understand it. And I would say that 90% of my girls that come to that class leave with a much different understanding. I can’t tell you how many of them leave and oh well if I have to go on medicated then I can do it. But again, whether you’re going unmedicated and everyone in your life is saying, Oh you don’t have to be a hero or you want an epidural and everyone in your life is like, why would you not wanna experience the natural process of birth? It’s your choice. Yeah, it’s your choice. Absolutely.
So being empowered in that, and I also teach my students, and I do this during every fearless birth experience because if someone comes along and doesn’t take the next step with me, I want them to leave knowing that they have the power to speak up and at least have a dialogue about what they want and then have a non-emotional conversation with their provider. Cuz that’s really important. And there’s a lot of coercion and bullying, at least in the US when it comes to providers and what they want for uber birth and what they will allow and what they won’t allow. And that’s just bullshit. Sorry, I probably shouldn’t be potting mouth on here, but
No, that’s okay. That’s okay. After 12. So swear
Mouth. That’s fine. <laugh>. Yeah.
It can be fired out. Completely, completely, completely agree with everything that you said because yeah, the epidural shortage, you’re right. Just the main problem there. And then the main problem with those smart alki comments was that it means that there was no choice for those moms who, whose hospital didn’t have an epidural because of the shortage. And they were given no choice but to have to go through that naturally. Which for someone like me who’s a redhead, and I didn’t know this until I was pregnant with my third redheads, experienced pain, physical pain more intensely than non redheaded people. Well
I’ve not heard that, but
If no it’s
An came into my, I would have the postpartum hemorrhage kit on hand. Yeah. Because redheads also bleed a lot.
No, no, no. So I’ll tell you, I I’ll this. So it was my midwife who was explaining that it’s actually a known fact that redheads when it comes to anesthesia and other pain relief methods, that they respond weirdly to them and oftentimes need more because they feel it
More. See a redhead naturally. What’s that? I must be a redhead naturally cuz I swear my dentist has to practically knock me out to get mad
Maybe Cuz I’ll tell you, I shared this with my husband because it felt so validating to hear that is that why that natural birth that I had with my second accidental natural birth was so 12 outta 10 painful. And my husband’s going like, No, I don’t believe it. No, that’s just a bunch of hocus pocus and stuff. And it happens to be, I have a first cousin who’s an anesthesiologist and my husband says to me, he goes, Call Darrell, call Darrell and ask him if there’s any difference with redheads. And I said, Okay, I’ll try calling him. I’ll see. Maybe he won’t answer cuz he is working. Darrell the anesthesiologist answers. Yeah, I guess I happens to catch him. I put him on speakerphone and my husband’s like, Don’t lead him. Ask a leading question here. So I purposely, I’m a lawyer by training
Question. I was totally thinking
That <laugh>. And so I said, No, no, no. So I purposely, I said, Darrell, I have a question for you. I said, when you walk into your, or you walk in to meet your patient who requires some level of anesthesia and you see that your patient is a redhead, do you do anything differently? That was my question to him. And he immediately says, Yeah, I jacked them up with 20% more anesthetic. And I said, Why? He goes, I don’t know cuz you redheads are crazy and for some reason require more anesthetic than the average person. And I can tell you the third time around when I had an epidural and it worked, I could feel 10 to 20%, the pain went down by about 80%. But I was still able to feel a good chunk of those contractions all straight through until the end. It did not knock me out completely.
So yeah, there’s a keep in mind, I know most people listening to this are not redheads cuz redheads only pertain to a very small portion of the population. But as a redhead myself, I feel like I have to screen this from the rooftops because that is something to keep in the front of your mind when you are choosing, when you’re making these types of choices, keep in mind that if it legitimately feels a lot more painful for you because of how you are genetically wired. And by the way, there’s all kinds of really interesting articles on the internet. If you read about it then that is something to consider as well if you end up requiring an epidural. So anyways, I just wanted to get that off of my chest because it’s something that I feel very deeply, very, very, very deeply about. Tip number three for having a baby, for being pregnant and having a baby in 20 22, 20 23.
Well the other aspect is preparing. We’ve talked about preparing the room, we’ve talked about preparing your mind, but you also have to prepare your body <affirmative>. And I think it’s very important to at the very least, take care of your body, which eating a healthy diet get up and move. And I am not a work exercise person, I just naturally hate it. <affirmative>, get up and take a walk, do something, commit to something. Whether it’s baby steps, You’re taking a five minute walk every day until you graduate to a 10 minute walk every day or three times a week doing a 25 minute walk, getting on the exercise ball, doing deep squats, doing all the things that you can. Prepare your pelvic floor because birth is one of the biggest workouts you will ever do. <affirmative>. And if you’ve now educated yourself and you understand your body and what is happening and that your uter is muscle and how to isolate that, how to relax your body, all of those things are really important.
Preparing through breath work, <affirmative> learning how the different movements you can do to get baby into proper alignment. Fact is we could do nothing and our bodies know what to do, but how can you work with your body to make it a better experience for you? And so I think preparing your body, learning all the things I tell my girls, we, we have a whole module on this and we teach all the things you can do to get your cervi, cuz you’re your uter is muscle. So how can we tone it? Your pelvic floor is the gateway to let it all let the baby out the door door. So how can we prepare it? <affirmative>, you’ve got the cervix which needs to soften and open and how can we prepare it But that the same time doing all the things but also taking care of you, going and doing something you enjoy resting, nurturing your body in ways that mean something to you, which might look different for you than for me.
So we have a third trimester class that we teach and inside of it we talk about creating a schedule for that third trimester cuz a lot of moms hit third trimester and holy moly, this is real. Yeah, the baby is coming and they start trying to do all the things and all this. So we try to say, okay, pick the things, make a schedule, but also schedule self care and learn that now before your baby comes. Because that is critical as a mom to remember who you are and remember to take care of you and to be you. New you granted cuz you are a new <affirmative>. And that even goes into educating for when we have a newborn academy, you have a sleep program. And <affirmative>, I tell my girls all the time, don’t just prep for the birth and wing the rest because the birth is a few days max. Yes. Then you have your postpartum period, which lasts up to a year <affirmative>. So being prepared for that, How am I gonna take care of this little person? How am I gonna get sleep? Yes. Which is like you and I were talking about that. I mean sleep deprivation, there is a reason they use it in prisoner of war camps.
I’d I tell that to my people all the time that there’s a reason why it’s used as a form of torture. Yes. Cause it’s effective.
It is horrific <affirmative>. And if anything you can do to be prepared for that is really important as well. So preparing your body, preparing your mind and preparing your home is important as well.
I wish someone had told me this when I was pregnant with my first, because I did zero prep, zero, I was finishing up, I was at my last year of law school and I was literally studying to write the bar exam and that’s what my focus was. And I just figured I was flying by the state of my pants and I just sort of was like, yeah, I’m gonna be go with the flow when it comes to this. Yeah. Because I’m naturally such a type A personality. I’m gonna be type B when it comes to this sort of thing. And I wish I, I was much more prepared because the outcome there, it was traumatic and I did end up with a baby in the NICU and there were complications and so many things that we did not foresee ever happening. I could spoiler alert, for those of you who I guess haven’t heard this story, my daughter’s now 11, everything is totally fine.
She’s a perfectly healthy happy, sociable, 11 year old kid. But when she was a few hours old and we did not know what the future was going to be with her, and it was pretty darn frightening as well as everything leading up to that point. And flying by the seat of my pants was not the right strategy. <laugh>, I can tell you after the fact, even if things completely 100% smoothly, you still wanna be prepared for all the various different route that your birth can go. It’s one thing to think, Okay, this is what my plan is gonna be, as you said, I’m gonna go into later, I’m gonna go to the hospital, I’m gonna get my epidural, I’m gonna take a nap, and then I’m gonna eat a popsicle and then I’m gonna cough and the baby’s gonna come out and then I’ll go home. That could happen it. There’s probably
Maybe number two.
Yeah, there’s probably a thousand other things other options that your birth could look like as well. And so being prepared so that you don’t have any sort of surprise and you are able to go with the flow in that sense. And then being able to make those educated decisions based on how your birth is going will make you feel so much more empowered as opposed to the way I felt where it was sort of like, Oh, is this supposed to happen? Is this normal? What does this mean? Oh, they’re saying they want me to take Pitocin cuz my labor isn’t progressing. Is does this mean something is wrong? Oh my God, is that bad? Is it dangerous? Should I wait? Should I ask them to hold off on the Pitocin for longer? I’m asking myself all these questions and I don’t know the answers any of ’em. Cause all I knew leading up to my birth was what was in my law school textbooks. And that was basically about it. And man, do I wish I knew even a little bit more about what could possibly happen and what my choices are throughout that whole ordeal.
And I think that’s important too, is that one of the things we’ve added to our birth course is what we call warning signs in roadblocks, <affirmative>. And so if one of my moms is diagnosed with gestational diabetes or preeclampsia or cholestasis or all the different things that literally slaps you in the face, <affirmative>, you go into a prenatal appointment thinking everything’s fantastic and you leave with this diagnosis and it’s like you have to be prepared. And like you said, what is normal labor progression? When is it necessary, when is it not? And why would I say no? And just being able to ask good open ended questions. And even asking your providers for studies to back up what they’re saying to you,
<affirmative>. Yeah, that’s
Important. And I’ll tell you what happens a lot of times when my students do that, is the providers, Well, it’s your choice. If you don’t wanna do, that’s fine. I’m just telling you from my experience, blah, blah, blah. Or if they say your baby could die, Well what are the chances of that? And it’s like 0.0 0 0, 0, 0.
Your baby could die. The sky could also turn purple. What are the chances
If it is an option, right? I mean babies can die, right? But what is the legit chances of that? Why are you using such coercive
Language? And then what’s the risk? What are the risks that you’re recommending me to take in the name of my baby, not dying. And
Alternatives to, well, yes, okay, my baby could die. My baby could also die if I do what you’re saying.
Yeah. That as well.
Yeah. So just being able to have good dialogue with your provider, <affirmative>. Yeah. We’ve covered a lot
<laugh>. We have Holy smokes. Well, I tell you, I feel like I needed this podcast episode in 2010, 2011 to kick me in the butt when my approach was like, I don’t need to know anything. I’ve got a midwife. I trust her. I’m delivering in a good hospital. I’ll be in good hands. Why do I need to know anything more than what my care provider is telling me? And the answer is because you just do trust me.
Well, again, you don’t know what you don’t know. You
Don’t know what you don’t know. And man, I did not know a
Lot. This is your baby’s birth. This is your birth. This is the moment you become a mother and your baby is born into life. This is a significant event for your family
You should invest in it and you should prepare for it. Don’t swing it. There is nothing worse than unmet expectations.
And I feel like the law student in me would need to hear, and you don’t have to spend hours and hours and hours watching classes and videos and whatnot, but we’re not talking spending copious amounts of time preparing it. I can imagine that your lessons are probably very succinct in bite
Size. So each of my modules, I started out with an overview video where I’m telling them what to, They’re gonna learn <affirmative> and then I end them with insider tips. This is what the labor nurse really wants you to know about it. And then the module or the lessons are anywhere from six to 20 minute video. They can also listen to it. Audio. My course program comes on an they can download the app and do it. Their partner can log into the app and they can skip parts that aren’t relevant to them. <affirmative>. So let’s say she joins and her third trimester, she loves her provider, super happy. She doesn’t have to do navigating your early pregnancy choices, <affirmative> choosing provider, you can skip that. So they can do all of it in less than six hours, probably a lot less than that. That’s just being generous.
And then, Or they can skip some of the stuff and do it less like the real nitty gritty, less than four hours <affirmative>. And I feel like we made it very engaging for the most part. It’s that, like I said, those videos and then we have graphics and slides where they’re just listening to me so they can look over if they need to look at it. But I’m definitely, I homeschooled for a lot of years, so I learned with my own children that some of them learned visually, some of them learned audibly, some of them. And we also have a 94 page ebook that goes with it. So they can actually write things out and take notes, give them birth mantras. We give them tip sheets, labor positions. So <affirmative>, just however it is, they learn. Then if I were taking it, I probably would listen to it in the car, like a podcast online, because I definitely like that way <affirmative>.
But everybody learns differently. And then we meet weekly so that when that weird thing comes up that you weren’t prepared for, you can talk about it with us. And if, I don’t know, cuz sometimes I don’t know, a lot of moms have these weird autoimmune disorders or what have you, <affirmative> so then I can do some research and reach out to some professionals I know and I’ll get back to you or connect you. If my mom comes and says like, I’m not sleeping, then I can say, Oh, you need to talk to Eva, or what have you. So it’s just a really great resource. The happy hour. I feel like that I know a lot of the other educators in my space, the online educators, and I know for a fact that I’m the only one who offers this aspect
And that’s gold. It’s worth its weight in gold. Just having that as that, just having that access to you and the community and for that kind of support, I think it’s massive. Oh my gosh, this has been amazing. Okay, so where can everyone find you if they want more of you in their life, What’s your website, your social, where are you
At? So the website is labor nurse mama.com, <affirmative>, and then my handle on Instagram is labor dot nurse dot mama. I think it’s the same on TikTok and maybe some of the other ones. But if you look up Labor Nurse Mama. Okay. And then we also have the podcast, The Birth Experience with Labor Nurse Mama, which I had Eva on. Yes,
Great. If you wanna hear about that crazy birth story where I was literally knocking down someone making me go to the waiting room about to give birth. And there were threat personally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There were legal threats made. You gotta listen to that one. It’s
Great. So yeah, so you can find me there as well. And we are venturing into YouTube. That’s a new, awesome country.
Amazing. All right. Thank you so much for your time, Trisha. Thanks everyone for listening. I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Thank you everyone for listening, and I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listener, so feel free to DM me on Instagram at my sleeping baby or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, have a wonderful restful nights.