Aligned Birth

Ep 108: Lamaze Methods with Doula Rachael (Interview with Gigi Vincent)

June 21, 2023 Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael Episode 108
Aligned Birth
Ep 108: Lamaze Methods with Doula Rachael (Interview with Gigi Vincent)
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Doula Rachael is interviewed by Gigi Vera Vincent on the Ready For Baby Podcast. Doula Rachael, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, shares all about the Lamaze Method.  Gigi is a postpartum doula, newborn care specialist, lactation educator, and mother to three amazing kids. The conversation includes:

  • What are the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices?
  • How can we find the best position for labor / birth?
  • How can we enhance our birth experience by choosing the right location and provider?


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Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Speaker 1  0:03  

Hello and welcome to the aligned birth podcast. This is doula Rachel here and I'm excited to share with you an interview I did on the ready for baby podcast with Gigi Vera Vinson and we discussed the Lumos healthy birth practices. There are six healthy birth practices per Lamaze. And I teach about these in my online childbirth education class and I share them with our doula clients. They are very helpful in preparing for giving birth in a meaningful and and so I hope you enjoy this conversation Titi and I it was super fun. I was honored to be on her show and so grateful that she shared the recording with me and I'm excited to share it with you.

Speaker 2  0:53  

I hope you enjoy it. Hello, and welcome to the Allied birth podcast. We are so glad you're here. I'm Dr. Shannon of prenatal chiropractic

Unknown Speaker  1:03  

and I'm Rachel.

Unknown Speaker  1:17  

Hello and welcome to the aligned

Unknown Speaker  1:29  

Hi, Rachel, how's it going?

Speaker 1  1:31  

Going? Wow, going well, how are you? Thank you for having me today.

Speaker 3  1:34  

Yeah, I'm so happy to connect with you. Like I already told you I loved my chat with Shannon has such a great time talking with her. And I'm really excited to learn more about the laws and the LeMans method. I think when I chat about birthing methods, it's something that like, we are so scared about birth, that we're like, craving information like someone tell me how to

Unknown Speaker  2:00  

do this. Yes.

Speaker 3  2:02  

So tell us how did you get into being a doula childbirth educator and you have your own agency?

Speaker 1  2:10  

Yes, yeah. I mean, it's quite a journey. It started over 10 years ago, 2012 When I was pregnant with my oldest son, and you know, I didn't have a lot of experience or hadn't learned about normal physiological birth. And like I had older sisters and they had had all they had had cysts Aryans are all of their births. And my mom was gave birth like under the Twilight drug, like in the 70s and early 80s. So like, the experiences weren't resonating with me. Right. And so I sort of started just gently scratching the surface about like options and like what was out there and I had a friend at the time who was also pregnant, and she shared the documentary. Everyone knows about it. And if you don't go watch it by Ricki Lake, the business of being born and it was just like, an eye opener for me. I was like, it didn't scare me. It didn't. I wasn't like how in the world I was like, yes, like, Yes, this is how it should be. And so that sort of got just me, you know, going on. I wanted to hire a doula. I changed providers. To a midwife. I went for a waterbirth. We moved during this time, so there was a lot going on. But I still did childbirth education. I took a breastfeeding class. Like I did all the things I just could not get enough and I was like, Okay, it's because I'm pregnant. Right. And then after that birth, which was very positive had a very satisfying hospital waterbirth with my doula and my husband, my sisters were there. My mom was there. It was great. But like a lot of generational healing was happening. Yeah, because of my sisters were witnessing it too. Like, and they hadn't seen that and they it was all just very emotional. And so I was like, it'll chill out after this. I'll you know, stop being so interested in birth. I mean, I was reading first or I was devouring blogs and not as much podcasts and or blogs about birds and stuff. It didn't go away. So I remember chatting with my doula. Like, hey, I'm really interested in becoming a doula. And then that just started I took my certification on my donor and slowly like I had a little head of a tiny baby or a toddler at that point. And so I kind of eased into it. And I was a solo doula. And I did that for several years. And then the pandemic happened and I decided to certify through LaMotta to get my childbirth education certification, because I didn't really have a really hard time getting into hospitals. And I was like, okay, what can I do and I thought I could kind of expand my services by doing childbirth education, and I really, really resonated with my mods. And so I did that during the pandemic and started an online course with that, and that honestly really just helped me so much as a doula and I felt like very like Polish should have an opportunity to take a comprehensive childbirth education, certification, not just a class. And so I was teaching this online at the time, and now I have an on demand class, that's still monospaced and then I partnered with a very close friend of mine. chiropractor, Dr. Shannon, who, you know, she connected me with Hannah and we decided to become co doula partner. So we came together and just came in 5050 and decided to really support each other. So it could be sustainable in our doula work because on call Life is not easy as a solo doula and we've both been kind of trying to get after it for like five or so years. And it was like no, we need we need like someone to share call with someone to share the load with emotional, physical, all the things. And so we formed a partnership. So we were taking on clients as a duo. And then we decided to expand and start an agency and we've began to bring on we have one doula team under us. So we really believe in the doula team model and then we have postpartum doulas as well. Serving the North Atlanta metro area, so it's been quite an evolution started nice and slow and steady. I couldn't have told you 10 years ago, this is where what I'd be doing. And on top of that, weaving in I have a birth

Speaker 3  6:43  

podcast that's a powerful way for other birth workers to see like you can make it sustainable and yes, for birth work. Having a partner is a game changer. There are amazing doulas birth, doulas over here doing the same thing. And the uncle life is rough. So that's a nice way to do it and going back to what you said that you started doing Omaze during the pandemic, I think Omaze is a great method for people to feel empowered, you know, similar to Bradley, but like, you can do it if you're not going to have a birth doula. I think Lumos gives you a lot of tools to maybe train your partner a little bit and educate your partner. So you are alone certified what made you like jump to laoise What like why do you feel passionate about this when you like you said you've devoured so many different methods what makes the most do it for you?

Speaker 1  7:43  

Yes, yes. Love them. I've I mean to put it simply I align with a mais but that's unless you know, kind of my philosophies on everything that that made that make sense, but you know, LeMans I feel like can meet a lot of different people where they're at, and can be applicable to a variety of different situations. There are lots of different methods and techniques for birthing classes out there, which I'm not anti anything. I'm all about finding what aligns with you as a birther. But Lamaze I'm like, you know homebirth hospital birth, if you need intervention. It's not like putting any sort of fear in there about intervention because I'm like, I don't believe there's a right or wrong way to give birth and I feel like sometimes intervention is needed. And so if we're avoiding the unnecessary interventions, and then learn how to navigate it, we can really have a more empowering, satisfying birth kind of no matter what happens. And lavas is about reducing fear instilling confidence, giving the tools that you have this it's all about filling the tool bag with ways for comfort. Ways to labor with another girl ways to breed lays like it's endless. And then if an intervention does come up, they're all about protecting the rest of the experience. For the normal physiological birth, it's not saying oh, if you get one intervention that it's all downhill from there. It's like okay, well, how do we check change? And what can you do to navigate that with more ease and confidence, and that that is what I think Lamaze embodies. And the moss has been around for 70 years. They've evolved to they've they've been on their own journey and changed with the times which I also appreciate, you know, they are adapting and providing constant updated information as it's available, and it's a reputable source. So with our students and clients, if we're like Lemov has this information on and they're able to take it to the provider. It's one of those it's pretty well well received, because they do have a solid reputation for providing that evidence based information. So yeah, that's why I chose LaMattina and it works. So you know, through Yeah, yeah. I have adopted, you know, use their, their six healthy birth practices and the framework for my class. And it just, it involuntarily leaves its way into my Doula work. And you know, when we take this approach with our clients and our students, it just feels like our clients are having positive empowering experience experiences, regardless of like, how they go because we can't predict how they're gonna go. And it's all about how we feel through that process. And I feel like we can achieve that using the Lamaze practices.

Speaker 3  10:36  

So you're talking about the six healthy birth practices. That's kind of like the cornerstone of Lamaze and its method. So let's jump into it. What are those six healthy fourth practices?

Speaker 1  10:46  

Yes. The first one is let labor begin on its own. And the reason that's important is we have really high induction rates. And a lot of practices have a standard sort of induction if you don't go into labor by a certain time, and that can lead to a whole slew of other unnecessary interventions. And so when we let labor begin on its own, we're really reducing that downline, unnecessary intervention effect, kind of the cascade of interventions. And lowering labor we got that is embracing the normal range of like, the day you go into labor between like 37 weeks is technically full term, but really, most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks, or 42 weeks like 95% of labor will start on its own without medical intervention. So knowing and trusting in that process, and it's fine to have some extra monitoring, obviously towards the end of pregnancy if it's needed, but really embracing that normal range of due dates. We kind of call it the birth month versus a due date only 5% of babies are born on their due date anyways. And so let me lay everything on its own means baby is ready. Right. So the last thing to develop for the new for the baby is their lungs, and when their lungs and that means they're ready to sustain life outside of the womb. In a healthy way. And the babies baby communicates with the buyer with the birther and releases a hormone called prostaglandins when their lungs are done developing and so prostaglandins settle in the cervical mucus and help that cervix to begin softening and wrapping and then it's the very beginning stages of labor, even when you're not actually in labor that needs to happen first. And so we like to share or I like to share that, you know, understanding that that's a signal from your baby that they're done. They're ready, you know, and it avoids a baby being born too soon. And so when you kind of look at it that way people parents are usually like, oh, wow, I didn't even think about it that way. And and then if your baby's not here, by their due date, nothing's wrong. Right? Then a lot of that is just working through societal like perceptions from, you know, what we get from movies or misinformation that perpetuates as far as like what it means to go beyond a due date. And so, yeah,

Speaker 3  13:14  

the estimated due date. I think, we're wiped remind people it's an estimation based on a machine that can't really see your baby. That's not to say they're always 100% wrong, but we can't just assume that your due date like Oh, you're 37 weeks ready to be induced, in some cases that is necessary. But there are so many cases that like you said, we can eliminate what happens down the line if we just let it start on its own.

Speaker 1  13:42  

Yes, letting us timezone and this is assuming healthy baby mom, right? Like, of course the things come up that the stuff that they all this is about avoiding the unnecessary intervention not you know, definitely sometimes babies need to be formed sooner and that's when medical technology is advantageous and we're thankful for it. So yeah, letting everything else is the first one and the second one is changing positions regularly. You know, I try and create the example of like, if you don't feel good, and especially if you're female, and you've had menstrual cycles when you're on your period and you're having cramps like, you kind of want to be able to get in the position that feels good to you. Sometimes it means moving around. Sometimes it means curling up. Sometimes it means walking, like, you know, whatever that looks like for you it's it's a we take positions that help us feel comfortable, and labor is no different. So moving and changing positions is really really important, especially for helping the baby navigate the pelvis. So you know, it's not a straight shot. The baby doesn't just come like slip and slide out there as much as we would like for it to be easy. You have a bony pelvis, and the baby has a bony head while the baby's head is made to be molded and and to squish through there. It's all designed to work together. It's just not a straightforward path and so when we move we also changed the position of our pelvis like our pelvis is made up of ligaments and stuff that are able to expand even more so during labor due to the relaxed hormone and allow that baby to descend into the pelvis and then rotate through right they have to actually turn as they're coming through in order to navigate because the top of the pelvis is wider and the bottom of the pelvis is more narrow. And so moving can really help encourage an efficient labor that can help you cope with the surges, the intense contractions that you're feeling because you the burqa, feels it on the inside so like I can offer suggestions, and I do but really how you're feeling on the inside. You're unmedicated is going to guide you into the position that is going to help you cope and most people when unmedicated during birth tend to take upright gravity friendly, slightly leaning forward positions, that's just without telling anyone what to do that's what they do because that's where they don't most comfortable and then that's what moves labor along efficiently. So what I kind of talked a lot there but the changing positions regularly is the healthy birth practice number two, so that's just like every, you know, five contractions if you wanted to put something on are every 30 minutes, you know, you can try something new, switch it up, and even if you're resting even if you have an epidural this still applies. So a lot of people are like well, I know I want an epidural. The rest of this doesn't apply to me and it very much does apply even more so you do not have to just lie their plan on your back for the duration of your birth. If you have an epidural, you can still lie on your side with a peanut ball you can set up like a metronome position, you can move to the other side in with to the ball and then go back and forth like it can still be lots of movement achieved even with an epidural. So keeping that in mind too.

Speaker 3  17:11  

Yes, that's why it's so important to have either like a hospital or a doula or a midwife that understands even if you get an epidural, you know, you could still move you still be in different positions. So also just having someone tell you, your body will want to change positions and listen to that your body is going to know and that's not all like I had a client a couple of weeks ago that they had a PFP T check and delivering on their back was a good position for them and for their pelvis, but it's not everybody.

Speaker 1  17:47  

Exactly. And that's we cover that too in a little bit because that is one of the healthy birth practices about pushing on your back so we can talk a little bit more about that too. Because I do believe machine on your back can be can be a way to push. I see lots of people end up in that position after they've tried some other words. It's really about finding where you feel grounded, where you feel like you can actually move the baby down and first time birth or sometimes have to try a lot of different positions in order to figure out what helps them feel more ground and actually move the baby and sometimes it is and up on their back but it should be because that's where they want to be met because they're being told to be there.

Unknown Speaker  18:21  

Yes, exactly.

Speaker 1  18:24  

And then number three is bring a loved one a friend and or a doula. Now I I'm like bring them both right. Have a have a loved one a partner, a mom, a friend, someone who trusts you and who you trust because having felt like a loved one there brings a level of intimacy that I can't always add the doula brain and we like to say having a partner or loved one there that's like they know the birth they're intimately and then we know birth we know birth intimately so as to gathering this beautiful trifecta. So this you know their healthy birth practices to bring a loved one or a doula bring both if you can. You only want everybody there you have exactly yeah and I'm you know if you can only have a doula is not in the cards for you. Having your partner or loved one whoever you decide to have in the birth space with you be chosen intentionally. Who who is going to support you in the way that you need and who is willing to maybe do some childbirth prep with you, you know, get on board with because I mean a partner can be very involved and do childbirth education, and help the process for sure. Whereas a doula is a trained professional who can help guide you as well. But having continuous support by someone other than your nurse or midwife, because neither of those get continuous support or provider, I guess, health care provider could be an OB or midwife. So there are proven benefits to actual continuous support. And that's like a doula. Birth doulas role is to provide continuous support during labor. And there are many benefits that have actually been scientifically proven through research and studies to increase spontaneous birth. So that helped me work practice number one, letting labor began at them actually shortening the duration of labor, decreasing the cesarean births, decreasing rate of instrumental deliveries, so forceps and vacuum, and decreasing the overall use of pain medications like epidurals and narcotics as well as improving the overall satisfaction of their birth experience. So you know, having a doula there can be really helpful in navigating the birth process. So and I love that that Lamaze is such a proponent for having doulas in the birth space and understand the benefits of having doulas there. Yeah, there's countless

Speaker 3  20:49  

benefits and just like feeling like you have someone advocating for you a partner is important. They're there for you know, love and support. But you also need someone who can navigate if you are in a hospital, just to navigate the system that you've you've never done it or even if you've done it a few times, you're not there all the time. That's not your job. So having a trained professional.

Speaker 1  21:12  

Exactly, yeah, I mean for people birthers and their partners like a lot of times isn't there for like They've only done this once, maybe a few times, like that's it. And it's a system that takes some intentionality to navigate without feeling I mean, so many people that have come to us like for their second or third bursts and they talked about that first experience and how overwhelmed they felt and how they felt like they didn't know what was going on. And they didn't feel like the providers were communicating well with them. And you know, and that's so unfortunate and having a doula can just help we don't come in there and do those things for you. We don't talk to provide on your behalf or tell you what you want to don't want. It's just they're saying, asking good questions, reminding them of what they've learned from our meetings, reminding them to slow just like really slow things down, keeping them in the driver's seat and not like because if we go in there trying to take charge, that's not helping them either. It's keeping them in the driver's seat, not help not making them feel like they've been bulldozed. And that unfortunately happens sometimes in the healthcare system. I have lots of positive experiences do happen, but it does take some effort to navigate. And then even home birth and birth center birth where normal physiological birth is supported. It's still really nice to have that extra support in case things do come up that weren't part of your plan or you need to transfer or something like that. The doulas can, again help help get through that process with

Speaker 3  22:39  

these. Yes, lots of tons of benefits of having a doula.

Speaker 1  22:43  

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so the fourth healthy birth practice is avoiding unnecessary intervention. And I kind of touched on that earlier. And I think the key word there is unnecessary. It's not about avoiding all intervention. It's about avoiding unnecessary intervention and so that means there's, you're avoiding things that aren't medically indicated or aren't for benefit of you or the baby. Unfortunately, some healthcare systems do certain interventions routinely. So when they're done routinely, that means they're doing it regardless of necessity, right? So like you come in and get admitted. They have you have IV fluids, they have to do continuous monitoring. They're offering an epidural before you're asking for it. Maybe even doing Pitocin just because not just because the like as a standard like okay, yeah, it's definitely under process. This is their process. And so, and sometimes the way I've tried to describe it, so it doesn't vilify the, the healthcare system and hospitals and nurses is that you know, a lot of people have need to give birth, and a lot of people 98% of people give birth in the hospital. So there are some systems and practices in place to facilitate managing a lot of bursts at one time or in a week or something like that. And so people are in like, these routines and these systems and they're trying to help as many people as they can and no doubt, I feel like most often, obstetricians, midwives, nurses came into this work because they wanted to help people give birth and they wanted to have a meaningful experience and they want to do good. And then unfortunately, sometimes the system just makes it hard for that to be achieved. And so it's not that they're trying to do anything wrong, in my opinion, like intentionally. I like to help people not view the places as like, we've got to go like they're out to get us or they're gonna try and hurt me. It's like, okay, well, how can we navigate this and we're all on the same team. So we're working together. And a lot of times with nurses, midwives providers, especially when a doula is present, I tend to see them being more forthcoming with information, more patient, more shared decision making happening, or even like if they're in their like routine, and we can tell they're just trying to do because it's standard. I remind my client, hey, just ask a few questions about XYZ. And they will soften and almost always when they're like, Hey, can you tell me more about this intervention or I'm really feeling nervous. Can you slow down for me or something like that? They will soften they'll sit on the end in the bed, they'll provide more information, all of a sudden, you're like, you can tell they got into this work because they care. It's just they get caught up in the system, right?

Speaker 3  25:30  

So a whole bunch of people that they have to help and this is kind of their way of doing it. But if you take a second to be like, Hey, take a deep breath like remember, I've never done this or I've only done this once you slow down and remember, I don't know what I'm doing and exactly things. Then they'll be like, oh, yeah,

Speaker 1  25:48  

exactly. 100% what you just said is a perfect way of saying it. And that's what we would encourage and we always see positive results and again, some people are kind of frightening, nervous are they gonna be mad at me? Are they gonna, you know, be upset that I'm asking questions, and then I share I usually share this this type of communication and what we tend to see and then oh my gosh, I wouldn't have expected that and I'm like, Okay, well, this is progress, right? We're learning how to work with them versus be like at war with them. And that, that that's a positive way to do it. And so with interventions, you understanding what your birth locations routine interventions might look like, and that's really does apply a lot to a hospital setting more so than home. But even if you're giving birth at home, we still encourage birthers to ask, like, what's your trends online? I see come up, right. But with hospital you can tend to see IV fluids, continuous monitoring, and neither of those are evidence based to be done routinely, unless medically indicated, so knowing that I mean that frees you up so avoiding these interventions means you have less things hooked into you, less things tied to you more freedom of movement, which is going to increase or actually decrease your pain and increase like the whole satisfaction of the experience and facilitate a more efficient labor.

Speaker 3  27:12  

So just understanding like what would be a real reason to have an intervention and why would I need continuous monitoring versus they're just doing it and that you're also referring back to me know if you're having continuous monitoring when you have like a normal like healthy baby that you're more likely to meet necessary and or they're going to say you need a cesarean. Exactly because

Speaker 1  27:34  

they're showing that yeah, they're seeing every little thing that's happening and that's going to increase the rate of intervention and or cesarean because they're, you know, they see it on a monitor then they feel like they need to act on it versus sort of a wad of patiently waiting and seeing what happens. And that is the evidence on continuous monitoring is that it does increase rate of other interventions and unnecessary Syrians hands I mean, these are by ACOG and all the all the major organizations are in agreement that it shouldn't be done continuously unless truly necessary. And so that's what like childbirth education, a good comprehensive childbirth education, especially Lamaze is going to help you learn about the what is it? What's it look like to get it? What are the risks? What are the benefits? When might I need it? And then if I do need it, what do I do then? Right? Are there options within that once I get it, like, for example, wireless monitoring, which is going to give you freedom of movement, but yet still be able to keep a close eye on baby if that's determined to be necessary. So those are just some examples of unnecessary dimensions. And the other ones that again, champion education is kind of deeper in will be like Pitocin, which is going to help the contractions going, artificial rupture of membranes. All too often I've seen a birth or get to five centimeters and be laboring just fine, and then they're like okay, let's break your water. And we're like, whoa, whoa, whoa, why? Why slow the enemy I'm not like internally that's like what I'm thinking I'm reminding the client of what they learned. But you know, that's one some people think that's just part of, oh, I'm, I've done this check. I've gotten fasteners, check for your water check. And it's like, well, no, no, no, no. You want to avoid that. And then epidurals in a lot of places are used routinely and presented as a routine intervention or a routine like procedure as far as like, okay, you've gotten five centimeters. Let's get your epidural. And it's kind of like teamwork. We're going to do it versus asking you your preferences on pain medication. And if you've said no, I don't want to have a girl then respecting that, but a lot of things like oh, don't you want this? This is how we do it. Like, especially if you're getting an induction, but knowing it's to be a choice. That should be on your terms. So

Speaker 3  29:47  

and making, learning learning that can be an opportunity for someone to put that on there. Like I have clients who will put they're like, no epidural, do not ask me unless this situation happens. So you don't have to be interrupted. And you know, you have the option if this is the certain situation, but don't just offer it because it might kind of get in their head

Speaker 1  0:02  

Use judiciously and with shared decision making, that's really all and patient is going to help you learn about all of these things and when they're needed when they're beneficial, so that you can make that decision on your own terms. So yeah, that was number four avoiding unnecessary interventions. And then number five is and we touched on this a little bit earlier, but it's avoiding giving birth on your back. Again, how a lot of people learn about giving birth and movies or even stories from friends and it's about this like, you know, purple faced and screaming and on the back and everyone likes him. And, you know, it doesn't have to look like that and it's actually encouraged to be in other positions besides your back because when you're on your back, the main downside is that it does put a lot of pressure on the sacrum which can increase pain but then it also closes the pelvis by 30% can make that outlet for the baby and much smaller. So it makes pushing harder which can lead to exhaustion, it can lead to tearing and it can lead to Syria, and if it feels like pushing has gone on too long or a baby starts not tolerating a very well. And so again, pushing on your back should be your choice. It can be in the mix of different positions that you try, and maybe that one works for you. But again, it needs to be your choice, the birthers choice of where they're pushing. And so this is an important thing to talk about with your provider like how do you support the pushing stage is one of my favorite questions to ask not Do you allow me to push in other positions it's Do you know how do you support the pushing stage and then let them it's like an open ended question right then they share about how they you know, and around here, at least at hospitals like the good ones a couple of the good ones that we like, one of them says, you push wherever you want, and we're like, yeah, and then the other one is like, you know, as long as you're in the bed, you can be in any position you want, and hope we can work with that. Right? And again, you don't just don't have to be in the bed. They're gonna catch your baby wherever you push right? But even within the bed, so many different positions you can get in moving around the room again, if you're uninhibited, unmedicated and listening to your body, you're going to assume the position that works best for you're actually coming through your pelvis and for you. And then sometimes we can as a doula offer different suggestions. That's good to learn about different positions prenatally and then know that in the moment, you're probably going to assume the position that's right for you. But when you learn about different positions, you're gonna be more like your mind has more opportunity to go to different positions when you're actually on labor. And then watching videos. I'm all about like birth blogs and you know, watching all kinds of different verbs and unmedicated birth and medicated birth and seeing different ways they push and how they sound and ways they move, just to kind of normalize it. Again, if you've never witnessed birth, and most people haven't, especially partners, then you know it's good to witness and kind of watch and learn about prenatally

Speaker 2  3:04  

I love him reframe of like, will you let me push? Like it just didn't seem like a big change to like, how do you support it's it's a powerful way to rephrase it of like, they're not letting you do things you can decline if you're at a hospital, you can decline things. And you can just explain it you don't have any you don't have to explain it. You could just be like, No, that's not how my body wants me to push or No, I don't want that cervical exam or whatever. Yeah, and they can't force you to do it. But that's again, why you need a doula or somebody there to advocate for those things. Because if you do have an OB, or you know, I think of people who are, you know, just evidence base we see marginalized communities kind of pushed around a little bit more, they can stand up and say, No, like if you don't feel comfortable, and also a lot of women feel like they can't do like you said earlier. They feel like they're being a bother, or they feel like they're not allowed to do that or they're not gonna like it but just having the knowledge and the ability to say how are you going to support me instead of like, how will you let me do this?

Speaker 1  4:18  

Yeah, are kind of present. 100% Yeah, we send like a list of questions to and I show this in my class too, but and we send it to our clients questions to ask provider and that's like one of the very first thing they get and we encourage them to take it to their appointments early in their journey. So they can begin using that language and practice using that language. And it's a shift for them, and how they view themselves and the provider seeing or being reminded of who's who's in charge here. And so we encourage that early and often type of communication and then can be put on how do you support me going beyond 40 weeks? How do you support you know, different if I need to be induced? What that look like how do you how do you got to have a gentle induction or whatever. So we we love that. Especially when it comes to pushing because so many providers don't want to see you get on your back and we're like you have so many other options, just being able to those options and like

Speaker 2  5:15  

even learning about directed pushing, is that for you is that what you want if your doctor or maybe your hospital kind of staff is more into drug pushing, if that's not something that you want, understanding, this isn't going to be a good fit.

Speaker 1  5:29  

Yes, yes, exactly. I'm the coach pushing versus like open glottis pushing. Yeah, and again, you've got to be willing to learn about that beforehand and have those conversations and then in the moment be willing to to try them out and I've given them and yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, number six is keeping mom and baby together after the birth and it's beneficial for mom, it's beneficial for baby and it's beneficial for breastfeeding or body eating, if that's what you're doing. There's a reason it's designed to benefit baby you know, being close to mom, and even the partner but but truly the birth or being skin to skin is going to regulate all the baby's bodily functions, their breathing, their respiratory, their temperature, everything and then it's going to encourage breastfeeding which also has lots of benefits. For baby. So rooming in, keep them on baby together, which around here at least that standard and that's less of a, you know, one that that people have to push on but it's still important to know

Speaker 2  6:30  

that hopefully you don't have to fight for like a golden hour or skin to skin but sometimes know how to remind your nurses and doctor about that. But those are the amazing six healthy birth practices. And we talked a little bit about positions but is there anything else that you feel is really important for people to understand like you're a birth doula, you're helping people find the position? How do you guide people, especially if they're being told no good on your back? How are you helping people kind of get in touch with listening to their body and finding the right position for them?

Speaker 1  7:07  

Yeah, it starts in pregnancy if we can work together thing and do childbirth education and and learn about their with us as doulas at our second prenatal we're going to talk a lot about it. But understanding that movement is key. And we teach about the pelvis and I have like a pelvis model and we have a baby and we show like the path that they usually take and how it's not a straight path and that with movement every time you move you change the shape your pelvis and that helps baby navigate. So really trying to like paint that picture for them on them visualize that and then giving them some things to do during pregnancy to practice some of these movements. So deep labor, squat lunges, when there's like side lunges or forward facing lunges, lunges on the ground, kind of once baby's mid pelvis how to move and then once baby has moved through the pelvis, maybe bringing your knees together, showing like examples of these positions around their house for early labor and then what what they might see once they're deeper into labor and ready to do at the hospital, how to rest like good positions to get in for resting like sideline, the exaggerated lunch on your side. All of the things we're showing them and teaching them and talking about prenatally and then maybe Mike is obviously in my class and as a doula we talked about prenatally so that they can practice we're not like, hey, this isn't it doesn't stop here. Like when we're, you know, find time in your day and in your week to try out some of these decisions hands and knees, leaning over yoga balls sitting on a yoga ball. Like showing them all of these positions and movements and then saying like what feels good to you now, you might you might feel differently during labor, but at least you have some different ones you can try and miliar with so it doesn't feel weird because we found with his big hit circle right and we show him how to actually, if they're doing hands and knees over the yoga ball, how to really like let it all go versus like maybe holding themselves in a more tension filled position. Like how are you like resting your head and where are you like all of these things. And so we really encourage lots of practice and then reminding them to trust their intuition when it comes to movement. Because so many people, many of our clients and students have given birth before and then Whoa, I don't know what to expect on your right you're not going to know until you're in it. But leaning into trusting your intuition you have innate wisdom you have innate abilities. Like vast majority of people can give birth, normal physiological birth without doing too much, but you don't have to overdo it. You don't have to, you know, it's just like breathing like your heartbeat, heart beating or your lungs, filling with air. It's a physiological response and birth is the same way so kind of reminding them of that. So helping them tap into their intuition and then in the labor space, giving them gentle reminders. So it's not a lot of time prenatally, giving them vehicles teaching practicing. And then in the labor space, where we can say Okay, now let's go sit on the toilet and sit backwards on the toilet or whatever, Emily, we've already talked about this prenatally or Okay, let's do some hands and knees. Or let's do that sideline, exaggerated sense position. So we look at enough gentle reminders there. Okay, and they can they might need a minute to kind of get there but it's fresh. It's kind of in there somewhere for us to kind of draw on. So giving them those gentle reminders, and then really encouraging changing it up every 30 minutes or so or every five contractions kind of set. Based on how long or how far apart your contractions are what's good but something like 30 ish minutes changing it up switching it up. And that's where as a doula we help so sometimes they might get into one position and they're feeling good or they're like, other movements might increase the intensity and they're like less likely to want to move because that means increasing the intensity and workout sometimes, like you gotta go there. Like if you want to kind of keep things going down. It's got to be willing to go there. So trying to change positions, and that's where duels can come in because we're like alright, it can help having someone tell you kind of what to do if you're struggling because I think people go through phases during labor of being really into intuitive and and knowing what to do and other types of feeling a little bit unsure. And especially if pain is increasing or fear is increasing. So we can help kind of lead them until they get back on top of things that you're helping them. Yes, helping them write those waves and a lot of like verbal cues, walking them through those contractions and helping them release tension between contractions. So yeah, that's kind of how we help with like a movement and position. It feels very ambiguous if you haven't done it before, but that's kind of how we do it.

Speaker 2  11:50  

It's like you're filling up your toolbox with all of the ideas beforehand and you're practicing so that you your partner or doula can guide you through it while you're actually in it, which does not ambiguous but also, it makes sense. Yes, cool. So here's my last question. One of the Lumos approaches to birth they believe that a birthing person's confidence and ability to give birth is enhanced or it's diminished by their care provider and their place of birth. So how are you seeing that play out? When you're actually either in a hospital or a home birth or birth center? And how does it feel other than the amazing like, support that you've already talked about? What are other ways that you think are really important that doulas are enhancing that?

Speaker 1  12:38  

Yeah, so the choice of care provider, and fertilization are the number one factors for outcome, whether it be good or bad. They have the most influence over how things go. So choice of care provider is so vitally important. And so for childbirth for the month of two different perspectives, so for my Lamaze class, I teach about all the different types of providers right you have obstetrician midwife, home birth, and then like hospital midwife, and trying to teach about the different types of providers who support birth most people give birth with an OB But really obese obstetricians are more for like high risk, right? They are more like if there's an actual issue outside of normal physiological birth then obstetrician should be brought in versus midwives who support typically the a more holistic approach normal physiological or less intervention, more hands off just like and there are lots of variations in between. But so many people get birth with an obstetrician and I think that is a little bit long, but no people should be aiming to birth unless they have an actual need to do with obstetrician birthing with a new episode and people don't even know that that's an option. Or in their area. Maybe there isn't a midwifery practice that gives birth in the hospital or maybe there's a reason they can't give birth at home or whatever. So again, knowing what's available in your area, what types of providers serve your area, and then exploring all of them and deciding like I even encouraged that even if you don't think you want to homebirth meet with a homebirth midwife in your area just to learn how how it can be done with available see if some answers can be questions can be answered or fears can be quelled, or whatever. And then and then check out there what hospitals are like close by, you know, one close by, have you asked around about personal experiences at different locations? Is that one that feels like resonates with you or or you have to go based on insurance or location, whatever it is, okay, great. What practices are serving the birth location, but the hospital or Burson or whatever that you're interested in? And are there midwives available or the midwifery based practices that are at the hospital? Are they OB based practice? And this takes time and effort and energy and my son exhausting but they'll meet with at least one or two of all of them and OB hospital midwife and homebirth midwife, because of the vast majority of the options of course, they're like Freebirds about it more outside of the norm ranges and that's not what we're talking about here today, but this is what I teach in my class and what we're talking about as doulas is knowing what's available in your area, meeting with them having conversations because you might have some assumptions about one or the other. And or you might be like dead set on home birth and like and by hospital and we're kind of like well, maybe one conversation with the hospital based midwife. Or OB just in case you need to transfer. So you're familiar with that process, so you're not fully in fear of it. So you can kind of have a connection there if you need to go. So choosing your care provider, but by doing that you're understanding the difference in an OB and a midwife, how they support birth differently, what that might look like and who you should be with, based on your health and pregnancy. And then choosing your location, you know, typically it's like provider or location and provider. It just depends on what route you're choosing, but we're just about exploring all options in your area and then you choose and you're the least I knew all my options, and then I chose versus doing it one way. I mean, like I didn't even know there were these other options and it can be very enlightening. And your provider has a huge influence over your worth. You have to trust them. You have to feel safe with them. You have to believe them. And in order to do that you have to have a relationship with them instead of just seeing them at the doctor. You know, you're you're asking lots of questions at each appointment. And you're you're thinking about when they give you an answer. How are they how do you feel being in their presence? Is your heart racing? Are you feeling a little sweaty? Do you feel anxious? Or are you at ease and feeling calm and confident? Think about how you're gonna feel in the most vulnerable time of your life giving birth? Are you good with them being there seeing the inevitable face giving you advice and guidance coaching you through or making tough decisions with you? So really kind of visualize and think Is this the person for me and just like, I've had the theme of these because I was 16 I love them. I've known them my whole life and there's nothing wrong with that. But definitely needed the person to give to deliver your help you deliver your baby, and that's okay. You can always go back to them for your GYN care like they can still have a role in your life, but giving birth is different. And so if you settled in or as you're interviewing, we are asking those questions to ask provider. And this we're looking for any sort of red flags that might come up as you're asking questions. Like some of the questions we mentioned. Earlier, how do you support going beyond 40 weeks? How do you support induction of anyone? How do you support the pushing stage? And how do you support me working with a doula? There's a whole list of questions that you can ask and then based on their responses, are there some yellow flags red flags, are you in alignment with them, and really aiming to be in alignment like 90% alignment? You got to have a provider who really is on board with your wishes. And if you're not sure of your wishes, as you're learning, maybe you're starting now and you're not sure and then you take your childbirth education class or hire a doula and you kind of start asking questions. And peeling back layers and all of a sudden, you're like, Oh, this isn't the right place for me. Okay. You can always change and, and explore other options if needed, as you're learning more. And so we as a childbirth educator, talk about the differences and providers talk about differences in the birth locations. Encouraging exploration of those options, asking a certain set of questions of them that are like going to help you really learn about them, and then reminding them to check in with how they feel about like that provider when they're in their presence, and making sure they're in alignment with them.

Speaker 2  18:52  

Yes. And I think about like, how much time somebody who is pregnant is asking, like, what do you think about this crib? What do you think about this wall? What do you think about this bed? Like we asked so many questions, why about the stuff? But we're not asking like what did you think of your OB What did you think of your midwife? And we're not investigating and we just kind of let our OB happen. Maybe because you've been with them forever. Maybe because it was your friend had a baby with them. And we don't even understand and they don't really make it easy to understand that there's other options.

Speaker 1  19:28  

Exactly. No, it's not. They're not offering up that information. Like you said, you really have to be intentional. And you have to kind of work through some discomfort, to ask the questions to explore options. It takes time and energy, and that's maybe not as fun as the stuff right like the nursery is kind of the easy left are the funds that in the previous step. And I think you know, I know you are in agreement. And this is what we're trying to do too by talking about it more often is shifting that perspective and putting the importance because the stuff doesn't last stuff is stuff stuff can be replaced but your experience stays with you forever, and most people don't really know it or appreciate it until they're on the other side of it. So all you and I can do is just keep keep hammering in it does matter. It does matter. It makes a difference and it sticks with you forever good or bad. So spend the time now asking the hard questions that are going to impact your experience.

Speaker 2  20:27  

I think that's a beautiful way to end and I love that you and Dr. Shannon are having your amazing podcast and you're spreading the message too. We're definitely in alignment on on that. So thank you for being here. Tell everyone how can they find you and connect with you and your grandma's education

Unknown Speaker  20:44  

and your podcast.

Speaker 1  20:46  

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share. I've enjoyed this so much. So my our doula agency is North Atlanta birth services. And so going to our website is where you can access my last class on about doula services. We also have several other classes that we offer, and that's going to be North Atlanta. Social media primarily Instagram is at North Atlanta birth all one word, no spaces. And then our podcast that I do with a chiropractor, dear friend that I've known forever Dr. Shannon, that podcast is called aligned to birth. And so the best place to find that is on Instagram. All the major platforms right and then you can like connect with us on Instagram and align underscore burke.

Unknown Speaker  21:34  

Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Speaker 3  21:44  

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