During pregnancy, there’s a lot of focus and planning that goes into prenatal health, pregnancy support, childbirth education, and labor and birth support, but our postpartum time period needs just as much emphasis and focus (if not more!). In today’s episode Doula Rachael and Dr. Shannon break down a very small aspect of postpartum: the physical healing, which includes:
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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.
Dr. Shannon (00:01.198)
Hello, hello, hello. This is the Align Birth Podcast. I am Dr. Shannon. I'm one of the hosts of the show. And Dula Rachel is here with us today as well. You've got both of us. It's been a hot minute since we've done this, but today we are talking about navigating the fourth trimester, fourth trimester being that postpartum time period. And I guess we're focusing a little bit on...
the physical healing aspect of things. So having a goal to create a plan that facilitates rest, proper nutrition, bonding. There's lots of things that go on in that fourth trimester, that postpartum time period. So yes, we have lots of other episodes on it too, but when we were coming up with this outline, we're like, you cannot talk about postpartum enough. So here we are trying to focus a little bit on some important factors as far as like support, what the recovery period looks like, self-care.
Also looking at common postpartum discomforts and kind of in that immediate postpartum time period and then ways to gather meaningful support during that postpartum period because that I don't know I think that tends to be one area that is lacking in society, so We have a really good show today, and I am so excited to see you again today, Rachel
Rachael Hutchins (01:26.27)
Hi Dr. Shannon. Love, love, love you. So excited to see you. It's been a minute. Oh my gosh. I didn't even count the weeks, but it's been a minute. But we have found ways to keep carrying on. But what's been going on with you?
Dr. Shannon (01:33.043)
It's been a minute.
Dr. Shannon (01:45.654)
Um, so I know it's been a minute that we've recorded, which is funny because the last episode we were together on was our hundredth episode. So that's the last one that we've recorded. And so just last week, what came out recently as we've had six other episodes since then. Yeah, because no.
Rachael Hutchins (01:56.266)
Rachael Hutchins (02:04.478)
We're at 116 as of this one.
Dr. Shannon (02:04.758)
How many, we're at 116, yeah. So if, I don't know if that was the last episode we recorded. I don't even remember when we last saw each other. So people, I don't know if people realize that. It's like we don't see each other like every week. And even right now we're, you know, in the internet world. So we're not even together.
Rachael Hutchins (02:18.23)
But when we record, it's like our time to, we'll do like, we'll catch up with each other. And that's just the nature of life, but it's so nice because we get a chance to see like a quick, how's it going? How you doing? So it's been a minute. We got through summer. I mean, I really think we together only recorded once, basically over our short, you know, eight or nine week summer. And you did a lot of interviews. I think I was able.
Dr. Shannon (02:23.764)
Dr. Shannon (02:31.574)
How's it going? Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (02:42.059)
We had some interviews.
Rachael Hutchins (02:46.442)
to do like one solo, but like you and me together hasn't happened. We made it through summer. School has started for us. School started August 1st. So now we are three weeks in and that's a good like.
Dr. Shannon (02:49.766)
Yeah, so we survived. Yes. First.
Dr. Shannon (02:59.598)
Mm-hmm. I just had open house last night for middle school, so that was fun. They let us come in and you go through your kid's schedule. So, and you go through the halls, and you spend like seven minutes in each class. And I don't know, I always have fun with those. I'm glad that they do that because sometimes they'll go to school. And then I remember when Dylan would come home, my youngest and he would be, or even Ethan, they'd...
Rachael Hutchins (03:09.914)
Yeah, so from like each room.
Dr. Shannon (03:26.69)
talking about elementary school and they'd be like, oh, specials and connections. I'm like, I don't understand any of these words. I'm like, what do you mean a special? Like, what is a special? So you get to see, yeah, where.
Rachael Hutchins (03:31.986)
Right, right. What is that? So when you go through the schedule that you learn a little bit more acquainted, does your elementary school not do a curriculum night?
Dr. Shannon (03:43.518)
They do, but they already had their open house, but I feel like they've changed it. In the years that I have been at the same school and the amount of principals that we've been through as well too, it's like there's constantly something different. So they'll do it differently this way. So yeah, it took a minute for me to learn specials, but I'm excited to be recording today because I'm in a new location.
Rachael Hutchins (03:50.419)
Rachael Hutchins (03:58.623)
Dr. Shannon (04:12.45)
So for anybody that watches our YouTube channel, you should watch our YouTube channel because you could see us as we talk. But yes, you check out our YouTube channel. My 13 year old is real excited that he's gonna YouTube your mom. Yeah, we did a lot this summer, but I'm recording in his room while he's at school. So I know you've got a great, you've got a great room bud. So, but yeah, what's new?
Rachael Hutchins (04:12.594)
And it looks good.
Rachael Hutchins (04:18.618)
Yeah, that's a reminder shout out Aligned Birth YouTube. Yeah. We managed to get that out this summer. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (04:32.714)
Thank you 13 year old for having a great setup for mom to record her podcast.
Dr. Shannon (04:42.146)
What's new in your world? You've been rocking some berths.
Rachael Hutchins (04:44.09)
Um, yep, we're rocking and rolling lots of bursts. Um, this summer we actually had the past couple of weeks have been kind of quiet. And that's always nice. Like it ebbs and flows. It feels like we got a lot at one time and then we get some mellow time. And I always welcome it because then we get busy again next month. Um, September, October, November. Um, but yeah, we're growing, got some new postpartum doulas on our team, um, offering lots of wonderful services. New, we've got now four childbirth education classes.
Dr. Shannon (04:54.222)
Dr. Shannon (05:05.316)
Rachael Hutchins (05:13.898)
that we got different ones, very different Ford, like very different childbirth education classes, massage services, our normal birth and postpartum doula services. So it's been really fun, lots of growth there. In my mind, when I think about summer, I'm always like, okay, we're gonna go a little bit slower. In my mind, I just wanna like, cause there's a lot going on with the kids home from school and trying to balance work, but nevertheless, we're charging ahead with, so that's the North Atlanta birth.
Dr. Shannon (05:17.802)
Dr. Shannon (05:31.31)
Dr. Shannon (05:39.05)
Uh huh. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (05:44.186)
services agency, right? And then podcasts, been working on that, been working on getting our flow for getting things, with our new editing system, or really recording, editing many, many things. Riverside FM, been enjoying learning about that, getting us up on YouTube, taking control, taking power over our own edits and content, doing it all ourselves, which has been super exciting.
Dr. Shannon (05:54.251)
Dr. Shannon (06:10.99)
I feel like it's interesting, but you know, because then you hear a lot about making time and especially as a mom and then business owners, it's like, what can you delegate? So we were kind of delegating this because we would record with Zoom and have someone else edit it. But yeah, we've added a little bit more work to the table, but I like it. Like we do have more control over things. And I don't know, I think it's been really fun. Mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (06:31.687)
Rachael Hutchins (06:35.566)
Yeah. And it was the what we needed to do to kind of do the next thing we wanted to do, which was video. And we really are, we added work, but then we streamlined some things like with how we gather our transcripts and even, yeah, the tools within Riverside, I think, are giving us like more capabilities with like different things. So I've really enjoyed getting to know that and excited for where that's going. And then family-wise, we've just been
Dr. Shannon (06:45.186)
Dr. Shannon (06:55.689)
Rachael Hutchins (07:04.702)
I mean summer was normal. They did a lot of camps. I worked. We did as much fun summer. I laugh at the last week of summer. I was like we are doing as many fun things as we can possibly pack in because I feel like I had weeks go by where I was like wanting to do some fun summer things. So we went you know up to a lake jump park and we went to
Dr. Shannon (07:09.09)
Dr. Shannon (07:16.822)
All the things.
Rachael Hutchins (07:33.042)
I was like, you want to go out to eat Chick-fil-A three times this week? We're doing it. All right, let's go. And then like the next week was school and it was like hitting a brick wall, you know, but it was really fun. And since then we've even done some more. We went tubing down at a wall river, um, which is.
Dr. Shannon (07:37.264)
Dr. Shannon (07:40.876)
Dr. Shannon (07:46.659)
I've won. That's what I wanted to do this summer, especially with Murph Serfs, because he is a, I don't know if he's still a firefighter, but he's a firefighter with my husband. And so that's what I remember knowing him and knowing his name. And then when we went up to the mill recently or whatever up in Canton, I love that such a cute area. And then I saw Murph Serfs. That was one of my goals. Oh, how was it? No, I know. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (07:50.355)
Rachael Hutchins (07:55.262)
Rachael Hutchins (08:00.69)
Yeah, yep, that's we did that this past. Well, you can still do it. It's actually not as busy now. I think that people are kind of back to sports and school and stuff. We went this past weekend, had a ball. It was so much fun. Why we had tubes for the boys, I'm not sure they didn't stay in them. They just like floated in their little life jackets down the river. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. It was super fun. Highly recommend it. You got to go do it. You still got lots of time. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (08:14.934)
That looks like fun.
Dr. Shannon (08:21.069)
Dr. Shannon (08:25.938)
Yes. I know we do. I know. I want to. I know. Uh-huh. Yep.
Rachael Hutchins (08:29.042)
And you can just book it online. Let me know when you do it. I'll come meet you up there. And then we went to Reformation afterwards, got the kids ice cream. We got a little actually didn't have a beer. I had they have they make ranch water, which is what tequila, the kind of hard tequila, kind of like a heart, a seltzer, but it's with tequila. Really good, really good. And the biggest thing for us right now is we're now in I mean, four nights a week, we have.
Dr. Shannon (08:41.182)
The filter. Yeah. Look at that. Sounds amazing.
Rachael Hutchins (08:58.378)
kid activities. So Marshall is in starting his first year of competitive lacrosse and we joined a league that's like further away. So, right. And then, so he's in second grade, first year of competitive lacrosse, doing awesome in school, like really adjusted well. He's, you know, awesome at Cypher Lacrosse. And then Everett does taekwondo two nights a week, which is kind of ongoing. That's not really like a season. Your kids do taekwondo too. So you get that. And then since he didn't want to really do another
Dr. Shannon (09:05.588)
Dr. Shannon (09:24.502)
Rachael Hutchins (09:27.99)
quote unquote sport, like a team sport. We signed him up to do this, it's called OTP Academy. And it's basically two nights a week, it's basketball. And it's a group of like 20 kids, fourth to, I don't know the highest grade that it goes. But it doesn't include little ones, so like Marshall's not doing it. And Everett's in fifth grade, so it's perfect. And he really loves basketball. And he is just getting a lot of really good.
like dedicated skills and drills and like the energy with this group is amazing. I'm like this is what he needs because when we play basketball for the league, it's like parent coached and like it's usually like me or someone they know. I'm like he needs to be coached by someone else. And this is like a guy who he's getting paid to do what he's doing. He's eager to be there eager to help these kids grow. I love it. So he's doing basketball until basketball season begins. So this is like
Dr. Shannon (10:06.369)
Dr. Shannon (10:11.138)
Rachael Hutchins (10:26.198)
pre-season. Uh huh. Just help them kind of get ready. Yep. And then I mean we've had I mean on and off sickness since school's been back like bronchitis and congestions and coughs and sniffles and just trying to keep everyone healthy. Throwing all the vitamins at them. Make them drink their smoothie. They come home I'm like did you drink enough water today? You know just trying to keep them healthy because this first...
Dr. Shannon (10:26.874)
Okay, like a little precursor. Okay. Yeah, keep the skills up and everything. Good.
Dr. Shannon (10:38.038)
Yeah. Uh huh. I know. Throw everything. I know. I've been telling people too. Yeah. Do it now.
Rachael Hutchins (10:54.714)
month of school is always like all the germs. Yeah, um, I think that's it. What about you?
Dr. Shannon (10:56.594)
Yeah, it can always be a little rough. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (11:03.394)
That's so good. I know, all is well here. Just, yeah, just staying super busy. I mean, the office has been, the office has been really busy, which is nice. You know, just trying to finagle all the things. I've got fun things that I'm trying to, I don't know. I'm also been trying to add in things for forever. And I'm like, why is it taking so long for me to like...
make progress, right? So, you know, just kind of delving through some of that as far as like, okay, what's the hold back? Am I just, I just need to get started. I just need to get started because I have some things that I wanted to do.
Rachael Hutchins (11:30.433)
Rachael Hutchins (11:37.898)
Hmm. What is the thing you're wanting to get started on if you are talking about it?
Dr. Shannon (11:43.326)
Yeah, so I signed up to do, at the beginning of the year, to do some functional medicine courses. So going back to school, yeah, I have done zero work on that. Zero work. My friend, she's been on the show, Tiana, Tiana and I were doing it together and I was like, girl, we can do this, because we've done some work together with like GI map and so looking at people's like gut health and stuff like that. So I've been working on that with her.
Rachael Hutchins (11:51.454)
Oh yeah, I remember. Uh-huh.
Dr. Shannon (12:10.09)
And I wanted to add in those aspects. I don't want to add more hours to the office, but I would like to have some other ways to help people still without, I don't know, I get tired of adjusting. Adjusting's really hard. So I don't, without like, yeah, tax me, body. In that realm. Mm-hmm. Yeah, so in my mind, I'm like, oh, this is perfect. And then I was like, oh, we can get our continuing education credits and blah, blah. So obviously.
Rachael Hutchins (12:23.242)
Yeah, it's another way to help without adjusting. But typically people are looking for that type of help when they're in chiropractic.
Dr. Shannon (12:38.926)
that continuing education credits are not happening. We're gonna pick a different seminar to do. But that's okay, that's okay. But yeah, on a lot of my runs lately, I'm like, what is the holdup? And it's, I guess it's the logistics of it. I want everything, it's kind of like the podcast. I try to remind myself, like, I want it figured out. Like, this is how it's going to flow. And I'm having a hard time figuring out that flow of what it's gonna look like. And I just need to get started before, do you see what I'm saying? Like, I'm two steps ahead and I haven't.
Rachael Hutchins (13:01.542)
Mm-hmm. You can't figure it out until you're doing it. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (13:07.086)
you're doing it so but then it's just me so the podcast is different because I have you to be like okay let's do this let's work on this or like you're holding me accountable to things whereas me it's just like he's just me like I don't know and then I also have I'm also trying to run the businesses of l2 so then there's also a million other things behind the scenes of like taking of the notes dear god taking of the notes so
Rachael Hutchins (13:16.534)
in the chiropractic in your office.
Rachael Hutchins (13:27.754)
Oh, that's a lot. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (13:34.254)
So that's a little bit of it, but yeah, office has been really good. Family's been good. We're just doing Taekwondo. They do that three nights a week, but the middle school hours are so different. Mm-hmm. So I'm kind of glad that we don't really have extra. Yeah, extra. So we've kind of... It's different seasons.
Rachael Hutchins (13:46.326)
They are later.
Rachael Hutchins (13:52.662)
a lot. Mm-hmm. I'm going to go ahead and close the video.
Dr. Shannon (13:57.63)
It's just different seasons of life. And so I know they'll come another season at the end of this year, because we're graduating elementary, we're graduating middle school. So I'm really, I guess every quarter, I try to like analyze things and see where I'm at and just remind myself of like, this is a season and it is temporary and I wanna enjoy it, the good, the bad, the ugly. All the things, so, but yeah. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (13:58.806)
Rachael Hutchins (14:14.838)
Rachael Hutchins (14:18.778)
I'm saying that all the time to myself, especially right now when I'm shuttling. Just call me Uber driver, Rachel. I'm like, I love this. I wanted to do this. It's it's finite. It will not last forever. Two things at one time. Absolutely holding. Yeah, and it is because I really do enjoy all of it. But it's also equally exhausting. So it's OK for it to for both to exist.
Dr. Shannon (14:26.198)
Dr. Shannon (14:31.147)
Mm-hmm. It's that dual like, you know, a couple things at the same time
Dr. Shannon (14:41.106)
Uh huh. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (14:45.662)
Yeah, we were driving back from the middle school last night for the open house and we have to pass by this church where we used to do Cub Scouts. And I saw all the Scouts that were out because they have it on Thursday nights. And when we drove by, I remember looking at my husband and I was like, I'm so glad that we did Scouts. And I was like the leader, the Cub Scout mom for the group and everything. But I was also like, I'm so glad I don't do that anymore. Like it was, it was very, yeah, it was at that, you know, what we needed at that moment in time.
Rachael Hutchins (15:08.754)
Mm-hmm. Too much.
Dr. Shannon (15:15.934)
and then we've moved on. So, you know, what's working, what's not working.
Rachael Hutchins (15:16.058)
Yes. Hey, you got it. You got it. Thankfully, you did it. Glad you're not doing it anymore. Yeah, I'm always teetering and torn because I'm going through this now deciding about coaching for basketball and I'm committed to now. I'm happy to be an assistant coach, but I can't be head coach and that's really hard and especially because I coached last year. They're like, you're going to coach again, right? And I'm like, I don't know if I can.
Dr. Shannon (15:29.266)
Dr. Shannon (15:37.73)
Dr. Shannon (15:42.318)
Did I tell you the story of I was with friends and it was like a girls brunch thing we were doing and someone had said when we were no longer doing scouts she goes, oh, I didn't know you guys quit that. And I was like, I don't quit. I'm sorry. Did you just say the word quit? I got so offended. Even though that's
Rachael Hutchins (16:05.003)
Quit? I know.
Dr. Shannon (16:11.134)
That is not where that person was going. So I get that. And so now I'm like, oh yeah, I quit. Like I'm like, this was it. Now I, oh no. I was like, wait a minute. So I get, you know, I get that. Like, and that's also too, you know, if I've said I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it. You know, like I'm gonna stick with it. Mm-hmm. This season right now is not optimal. Yeah. I was gonna ask, how are you doing that again?
Rachael Hutchins (16:17.246)
You're owning it now, but when someone else says it too, it sounds different. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (16:28.662)
Oh yeah, and I'm gonna go all out, and that's why it's really hard. I have to kinda say I can't do it.
Yeah, I'm room-momming. I'm, you know, doing other things, participating in other ways. So yeah, I mean, hey, you know, you do what you can. And I know my excuse is similar to many other parents. I saw some of our coach, or our gym directors last night, and they were like, that was one of the ones, they were like, you're coaching again, right? And I was like, no, and you know, you immediately go into your excuses. And I know, and I'm like, and then I stopped, and I was like,
Dr. Shannon (16:43.324)
Dr. Shannon (16:48.384)
You do, yep.
Dr. Shannon (17:01.971)
Rachael Hutchins (17:05.522)
You hear this from everyone. I'm not the only one with a million things going on. Y'all probably have a million and one things going on as gym directors. I just, I can't do it, period. And like, I have to just own that. Yeah, yeah. And just, but immediately you wanna.
Dr. Shannon (17:05.898)
Dr. Shannon (17:16.686)
No is a complete sentence. Uh-huh, uh-huh.
But this is why. Yeah. Uh-huh.
Rachael Hutchins (17:23.714)
so that they understand. And they just smiled and I'm like, okay, I know you hear this all the time. But they need, I know they're gonna need coaches. So never say never if you hear from me in a couple months. And I'm like, oh, I'm coaching basketball. Yeah, don't be surprised. Don't shame me and just say, okay, great. But it is a fun season. I'm loving the boys' ages. I am, there's lots of growth in my life right now. And
Dr. Shannon (17:34.115)
We do an update and it's like, oh, this is what I'm doing.
Dr. Shannon (17:42.775)
You're doing great.
Dr. Shannon (17:47.03)
Yep. You've got some good ages, yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (17:52.834)
equally hard and I know you have similar things but um it's fun so
Dr. Shannon (17:56.866)
Mm-hmm. Yep. Lots of fun. I know. But one thing that we do have in common besides just having the two boys is that we are forever postpartum. So that's our good... I keep coming back to this. Uh-huh.
Rachael Hutchins (18:09.03)
We are forever postponed. Maybe that's why we keep circling back to this topic. And thank you for bringing us back to while we're here, which is to talk about healing, physical healing specifically. Okay. So tell you how this topic for this recording came to be. I thought of an out, you know, kind of worked on doing some research, gathered an outline. It was surrounding the four trimester and, and Shannon was like, let's pick.
Dr. Shannon (18:21.623)
Rachael Hutchins (18:37.93)
one of these things to talk about because it's so cumbersome. There's a yeah, right. Right. This could be a series, but so in with my work and I know you see it postpartum in my years of doing this just consistently is the thing that's most underprepared for and takes people by surprise in the way we talk about postpartum like culturally and
Dr. Shannon (18:40.627)
I did. There were six segments or something and I was like, we're gonna need to do another series.
Rachael Hutchins (19:06.662)
It's definitely not even really portrayed in movies. Like there's no real true understanding of the breath, breath. Is that the, is that a word breath of postpartum? And you just said it, like we are forever postpartum. I mean, you are 13 and what's your youngest 10, 13 and 10 years out. I'm 10 and seven years out. Um, and a, it feels.
Dr. Shannon (19:15.158)
That's a hard word, yeah.
I'm going to go ahead and turn it off.
Dr. Shannon (19:24.598)
10, yeah, 13 and 10.
Dr. Shannon (19:30.494)
And I still remind myself daily that like, um, you're still postpartum. Like,
Rachael Hutchins (19:34.506)
forever postpartum and like, and once you've had children, it just changes everything and it's just, um, your body is different. Your mind is different. Your hormones are different. Your DNA is different. Your brain is different. Everything is different. Um, but definitely want to talk about. So I see it a lot with our clients, like focusing on rest and recovery in a really meaningful and effective way. So that physical healing, like your body, like, I just think there's a lot of effort and emphasis on the birth.
which hey, I'm a birth doula, I'm here for that, that matters. Listen to many, many of our podcasts, birth matters. But it's like the postpartum, what comes after that sweet baby is here is what we wanna talk about so that you can have maybe an exposure to some ideas about how to approach the postpartum, especially with an emphasis on healing, because honestly, I think healing is the root of all postpartum recovery.
Dr. Shannon (20:08.866)
Dr. Shannon (20:33.582)
Mm-hmm. I know I agree and I guess I look back on my like 13 When I after my first I had given no thought to postpartum Yeah before my first no thought I don't even think it was brought up in an OB appointment or anything Never
Rachael Hutchins (20:48.682)
Same, before your first, like no thought about the postpartum. Same.
Like your visits, how are you preparing for postpartum? Wow, that's a meaningful, I mean, we ask that all the time and people are like.
Dr. Shannon (21:02.566)
Yeah. And so I think that was... So yeah, and then my postpartum was very difficult as well, because recovering from that emergency cesarean and just the emotions and everything with it, but then the physical healing, it was difficult. And so then I remember with my second, I don't know that I really planned a postpartum, but obviously second time around, you know you can expect a little bit better. So...
I remember that time I was like, Ethan's going back to daycare and I'm hanging out all day with this baby. I think I've said this before, but I would watch Ellen every day and I would eat this really big salad and I have dark chocolate. That's what I remember from my first part of. It was amazing. It was the most amazing. I took the full 12 weeks that I was given, even with the doc pay or whatever that we have in the United States. That was just... Yeah. I know, right?
Rachael Hutchins (21:45.127)
Rachael Hutchins (21:50.774)
Mm-hmm, right, right. That feels like so much, but in reality, it's like, okay, that's just a fraction of what we need. But okay, 12 weeks is gay. We still celebrate it.
Dr. Shannon (22:00.87)
Exactly. So I'm thankful for that. Still need some change, but thankful for that. And it was just a different... It was different. So yes, the birth was different. So then that made postpartum an easier recovery as well because I was able to have the VBAC. But I just think even if nobody gets anything out of this episode, at least you hear the words planning for postpartum. That can set you up.
Rachael Hutchins (22:25.901)
Dr. Shannon (22:30.19)
for success in that because I hear most often in the office, I hear especially from new moms, it's kicking their butts and they weren't really expecting it to be as difficult as it is. I don't wanna paint like doom and gloom, you know, it's not like, it's not that, it's just, yeah, it can be difficult.
Rachael Hutchins (22:43.462)
Yep. So Mike, no, it's realist. It's hard. It's a really hard time. It is again, two truths. We can leave that probably in every episode. Postpartum is really hard. It is full of many, many ups and downs. Like, and for some, the ups are greater than the downs. And for some, the downs are greater than the ups. And for some, it's like a steady flow. Like there's, and there's no way to predict what yours is going to be, but the planning part. So.
Dr. Shannon (22:54.579)
Dr. Shannon (23:01.865)
Dr. Shannon (23:13.291)
Rachael Hutchins (23:13.382)
My co-dula partner, Hannah, created actually a class, a course, it's called Postpartum Planning and it is exactly that. And so I wanted to highlight that too, on top of the other things that we're talking about. And it came from her own postpartum experience and then talking to so many people and even most of the time and not to generalize, first time moms who hear about this opportunity to take a class about planning for the postpartum or hear you say,
Dr. Shannon (23:23.279)
Rachael Hutchins (23:39.894)
playing for the postpartum, it really does go in one ear and out the other. A lot of people, and again, this is culturally ingrained in us, women, we can do it. We will figure it out. This is my child. I will know how to take care of it. I, yes, I will. Yeah. Or they think, I have friends and family, they will help. Like how Hannah likes to talk about it. And what I've learned from her is,
Dr. Shannon (23:43.318)
Dr. Shannon (23:53.913)
Mm-hmm. I just will know innately, like, you know? I'm instinctually going to know how to do this. Mm-hmm.
Dr. Shannon (24:03.81)
Rachael Hutchins (24:10.166)
Yes, great. Then let's make a list of the actual people who you can touch base with before birth and make a plan of how they are actually going to show up because you might have friends and family and but half of them are only going to come and maybe want to hold the baby and leave. Maybe they'll bring food. A lot of people bring food, right? But how can they meaningfully support who can you actually reach out who like can help with other children, child care, animal care, household chores?
Dr. Shannon (24:23.97)
Rachael Hutchins (24:39.314)
running errands, picking up groceries, and not just bringing lasagna. Like, can they bring snacks? Can they bring breakfast food? Can they bring other things? Lunch meats? You know, so meaningful support. And the planning part of this is working out like actual list of who can I reach out to for mental health counseling? Who am I going to go see for my care after birth? Who can I call if I need?
specific things. So you get real like specific and it's written out so when you're in the postpartum you know you're a little foggy, you're tired, your hormones are all over the place. You're not thinking in the way that you're thinking pre-birth. You really aren't. Things are, it's interrupted right? So how can you, doing that pre-all that front loading helps you feel kind of do it a little bit easier. It's still hard but you have resource. You've done a lot of that research ahead of time. So um
Dr. Shannon (25:13.395)
Dr. Shannon (25:19.724)
Dr. Shannon (25:31.605)
Rachael Hutchins (25:36.214)
Tangent, postpartum planning call, Hannah does it.
Dr. Shannon (25:37.958)
No, I know, because I was looking at her outline and I was like, wait, this is all stuff at the end of our outline, girl. No, but that's good. But then, no, but we'll come back to it. We'll just, we'll touch on it. But I'm so glad that she has that class, you know, and offers that.
Rachael Hutchins (25:42.07)
I'm sorry, okay, sorry, we'll come back to it.
Rachael Hutchins (25:51.034)
Yeah, and it's under people just don't it's not really valid. Like why people get it an hour when they get our full package with it. And we talk about it a lot, but people it's surprisingly not something that is like flying like people are just getting it left and right because they don't again, I think there's a cultural you don't know what you don't know, even if we sit and we tell you from our experience. Right. That this can help you and to take it seriously. And so I think that's why we're talking about it. And we've we made a quick list of.
Dr. Shannon (25:55.378)
I don't think people value.
Dr. Shannon (26:04.038)
Mm-hmm. You don't know what you don't know a little bit. Even if we tell you that you don't know what you don't know.
Dr. Shannon (26:16.366)
Rachael Hutchins (26:19.826)
some of our other episodes where we talk about the postpartum. Again, we can, we'll just keep talking about it because we want to change because it's all about how postpartum's talked about. Like my older, I have older sisters and my mom and like the focus is on the baby. No one was like, how are you preparing for the postpartum? Right. And if they did forgive me for forgetting, it went in one ear and out the other. I didn't process it. I thought I could 100% speaking of like personal experiences.
Dr. Shannon (26:28.563)
Dr. Shannon (26:34.894)
Dr. Shannon (26:44.122)
Rachael Hutchins (26:48.87)
after my first birth, I was in hosting mode. I had family from out of town in town day after baby was born and they were at our house. And I'm like.
Dr. Shannon (26:51.937)
Dr. Shannon (26:57.57)
Dylan was born just two weeks before Christmas. So it was like, oh, we're going to Christmas things and stuff and I remember, yeah. I remember having a mental breakdown with Brendan and I was like, I need to go. I need to go. Yeah, exactly.
Rachael Hutchins (27:07.714)
Yeah, I had many times where I just like had to walk away, but I wasn't able to communicate like as well as I could with my second, like the space I needed, the boundaries I needed, all of that came after one and I get it a lot of people more confident the second, but it's even more important with the second because you have other children involved and it's even harder because you're being you're being torn in like a lot of different ways. So, um,
Dr. Shannon (27:28.598)
But we also have that episode of how to support someone who just gave birth. And I think that's another good one because it's maybe there's ways that you could use help that you don't necessarily know. So it's great to listen to if you are pregnant or sending to someone sending to your friends and family. If you are pregnant saying like, hey, this is how I could have some meaningful support because a lot of people are just thinking, oh, well, I'll just bring food and I'll hold the baby.
Rachael Hutchins (27:32.504)
Rachael Hutchins (27:49.791)
Dr. Shannon (27:53.526)
But what else could we do? I remember my mom like cleaned up my fridge. I didn't ask for that. But like at checking in with who is giving birth and say, what is it that you would need? Some people don't want you to come in and clean their house. Cause I told one mom that and she's like, oh, that sounds like a nightmare. So she doesn't want that, but there could be something else that she needs help with or like taking the other children to do some sort of activity or something like, you know, like check in with that episode. Mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (27:58.046)
Rachael Hutchins (28:14.718)
You kind of walk, you got to walk through all the things that still need like the world keeps going on while we want it, we want you in your bubble. And we want you to focus on mom, baby, breastfeeding, rest, recovery. But it's hard to do that. Like bills still need to be paved. Food still needs to be prepared. Like how still needs to be tended to, even if moderately, because we're always like, OK, how you operate your house pre kids and pre pregnancy is different than in that early postpartum. You got to say what is most important?
Dr. Shannon (28:31.881)
Dr. Shannon (28:40.418)
Rachael Hutchins (28:44.522)
to get taken care of and like helps my mind be at ease. Like if you are a clean freak and you really like tidiness, like, okay, what's most important just to keep the counters cleared off and things kind of organized versus like deep cleaning the whole house. So can someone come in and just tidy and then that gives your brain peace and you're able then if you feel more at ease, I would tell that person who was like, you know, heck no to the house cleaner, I'd be like, okay, well, who's gonna clean your house? Like
Dr. Shannon (29:02.974)
It clears the clutter from the brain too.
Rachael Hutchins (29:12.69)
You want your house clean, right? So for the first eight weeks, would it be reasonable to have someone come in twice to help clean your house? That's it. After that, you can return to doing it yourself. But think about how nice it'll feel, even if it's not done perfectly, to have it done at all. And then you are focusing on rest, recovery, baby. But they understand that all those things can still get taken care of. But with and people want to help to your point about like
Dr. Shannon (29:18.539)
Dr. Shannon (29:21.96)
Dr. Shannon (29:31.21)
Mm-hmm. And you get that much recovery. Mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (29:41.982)
people just showing up and wanting to hold the baby and bring a lasagna. Like they want to help. So when you have the list of like, how can they meaningfully help? And if you are like, heck no, I don't want anybody else doing my laundry. Okay, fine. Don't put that on your list. Figure, figure out what is most important to you and what you're okay doing your part. And then knowing that your husband, a lot of people say, my husband will, my husband will be here. He'll do it. He's still going through a lot too.
Dr. Shannon (29:56.476)
Dr. Shannon (30:00.658)
what is meaningful.
Rachael Hutchins (30:10.342)
Is that reasonable to say that they're going to do everything? Yes, they can be a huge help, like huge help, but they're going to be worn out too. So they need rest so that they can show up. Love that episode. I made a note about it. How to support someone who just gave birth. So, so good. Thank you for bringing that back up.
Dr. Shannon (30:22.123)
Dr. Shannon (30:25.846)
I know, that's a good one. Okay, so we went down a rabbit hole for just a minute with our family support, partner family friends, and then the benefits of that meaningful support as well too. There's also the professional support, and that can even be outside of OB. I guess I'm thinking more outside of the.
a medically managed birth because even with a home birth midwife, you're probably getting more check-ins postpartum than you are in the OB world. And I think that just has to do with patient load and how they run their offices and stuff. So not bashing there, but just kind of understanding the facts. But there's other people that you can, when you're creating that birth support team, there's other people that you can have on it. And then there's other people that you can...
add in even to that postpartum birth support team. And I always like to just give people words, even if you don't reach out to say a lactation consultant while you're pregnant. It might be good to have that info in your back pocket. So I have some moms that go ahead and get established. They maybe take breastfeeding classes with a lactation consultant, or they take them in a childbirth education class, but they get the information, but they have...
in their back pocket that lactation consultant. So like I have some people that go ahead and meet with them preemptively, and then I have others where it's like after the fact, going and getting some support there, but it's knowing that that's an option. You know, sometimes you don't necessarily, just knowing about it, knowing these words and knowing that there is that option there can really, really help with that postpartum time as well.
Rachael Hutchins (32:16.402)
Yeah, yeah. And home birth midwives do offer more check-ins after the birth, but again, they're still just focused on your overall health, clinically and emotionally, like they're checking in with you, but really just making sure like medically that you're good and the baby's good. So knowing that there are other professionals who can come in and really like, so you have your familial support, which we've already highlighted, like how the partner can support, well, not exactly how the partner support. They have a whole episode on that.
but like, you know, like identifying how familiar support can plug in a meaningful way. And then considering someone like a postpartum doula and postpartum doula, like their main goal is to facilitate rest, proper nutrition, healing, recovery, while you focus on baby and rest. Like they are helping take care of all the things we sort of touched on here, like household chores.
Holding the baby while mom naps or rests or showers you know Helping with other children helping with animals, you know laundry Like it's really
Dr. Shannon (33:25.014)
And you know, maybe you don't want friends and family coming in and helping with those things. So then maybe what you want and you actually really need is that postpartum doula. Hopefully they were there for your birth as well, but they don't have to have been. You can still hire a postpartum doula and not have had a doula during your actual childbirth. But maybe that gives you, yeah, totally separate. Maybe that gives you a chance of setting some boundaries with family and saying this is, yes, you can come over see the baby after a certain point, but maybe you let that postpartum doula come in.
Rachael Hutchins (33:28.782)
Rachael Hutchins (33:39.399)
Yeah, they're separate.
Dr. Shannon (33:55.138)
and do all of those things because they probably know a little bit better in their wheelhouse. They've got the training.
Rachael Hutchins (34:00.114)
Yeah, and it's easier. It feels like it's easier to let a professional do the chores versus maybe your mother-in-law or your aunt or sister or best friend or something, because like you feel it's harder to ask them. And if it's hard to ask them and you want them to really just come over and love on you and meet the baby and hang out, or you don't want them to come over at all for the first couple of weeks, having a postpartum doula come in. And a lot of what we see, some clients want like full time postpartum doula support, I would say that falls in the rare category.
Dr. Shannon (34:10.548)
Dr. Shannon (34:14.766)
Rachael Hutchins (34:29.63)
Whereas we see a lot of moms wanting like two to three days a week and we look at, it's usually like five hour shifts on average. So it's not like crazy. And just knowing that they've got someone coming in sort of on this like every other day, every few days. And it's going to they can kind of let the laundry go. They can let the chores, they can rest of these knowing that professional is going to come in and check on them, they're going to see how they're doing emotionally, mentally.
Dr. Shannon (34:39.511)
Dr. Shannon (34:48.675)
Rachael Hutchins (34:56.426)
physically help with breastfeeding, help answer questions, help process your birth, as well as all of those other household items. It is like a breath of fresh air. Like rarely, if ever, have we had anyone be like, yeah, that didn't help at all. Like. Yeah, and it's a lot of people also have a miss like it is like it sometimes falls into this like it's a luxury category and.
Dr. Shannon (34:56.429)
Dr. Shannon (35:11.162)
Yeah, sure wish I hadn't done that. Yeah, no, no.
Dr. Shannon (35:21.614)
Rachael Hutchins (35:23.438)
It does cost money. You want to pay them and you want to pay them well. You want them to be trained and experienced and all of that. But in the whole scheme of things, like if you were to maybe shift your registry a little bit, which we talked about this in our episode with, uh, Caitlin and Graz with be her village. If you shift how you register for, um, items for your pregnancy and birth and include postpartum support that would quick could quickly get funded and you could get kickstarted with, you know, 20 or 40 hours.
Dr. Shannon (35:36.566)
be her village.
Rachael Hutchins (35:53.35)
of postpartum support, which can be a game changer. And you can use it right away. You can maybe use it when your partner's going back to work because that feels like that might be a shift where you might need more support. And then you can always add on. And again, it's one of those things you don't know until you've experienced it, but a postpartum doula, their main goal is to do what we're talking about here so that you can recover faster, feel better sooner, focus on baby time and really just have a more satisfying.
Dr. Shannon (35:56.258)
Rachael Hutchins (36:21.182)
Postpartum experience, we talk about satisfying birth experience. We want you to have a satisfying postpartum experience too. And postpartum dealers are also another point of contact where they can give referrals for lactation support, pelvic health, mental health counselors, chiropractic, massage, and that might feel overwhelming in a lot. And rarely does everyone need all of those things. But if you just say this could really help me, like you were saying, think about it now.
Dr. Shannon (36:25.934)
Dr. Shannon (36:32.319)
Dr. Shannon (36:36.042)
Mental health, yeah.
Dr. Shannon (36:43.341)
Rachael Hutchins (36:49.742)
build that team now, think about birth support team and then also think about postpartum support team. And hopefully if you've been seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy, go see them as soon as you can get out of the house postpartum. Because that can just again facilitate overall recovery for mom and baby and baby. Hey baby, get your chiropractic adjustment. We tell babies, we tell moms that all the time how it can help with digestion, you know, how they turn their head from side to side, latch, so many things.
Dr. Shannon (36:51.33)
Dr. Shannon (36:59.542)
Dr. Shannon (37:05.986)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I know, getting baby-adjusted.
Dr. Shannon (37:17.167)
nursing and latch, yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (37:20.246)
And of course, pelvic health therapy, mental there's like so many professionals if you need them. And the more you have the better, like you have all this exposure to people checking on you and encouraging you. A lot of them are to say a lot of things we're saying here. Like, are you resting? Are you eating well? Do you have support? Who can you ask for support? Like you're going to get it on multiple fronts.
Dr. Shannon (37:22.914)
Dr. Shannon (37:32.674)
Rachael Hutchins (37:44.746)
versus like just your, especially if you're just seeing like an OB or a traditional practice, you're gonna see them at six weeks, one time, that's it. So chiropractic, like you're gonna see them right away. Pelvic health, you can be in touch with them right away. Mental health counselors, right away. Your doula team, they're there, like we support our clients as on the birth doula side for 12 weeks, we're checking in on you, helping answer questions about lactation support. So like, understanding.
Dr. Shannon (37:51.146)
And that's it. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (37:56.61)
Rachael Hutchins (38:11.146)
how all of these people can play roles and be really, really helpful in your recovery and prioritizing it as not like, oh, I can't take care of these things myself. It's like, no, cause for the first six weeks to three months, you need to be focusing on physical mental recovery, letting your body heal. You have a wound the size of a plate on the inside of your uterus that needs to heal. Like
Dr. Shannon (38:36.703)
Rachael Hutchins (38:37.278)
Your pelvic floor thinned out so much. Like it needs to heal. Walking up and down stairs is like, it's a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor. Like your hips widened and they're trying to kind of figure out how they're going to come back together. That's where like chiropractic can come in. Like so many things.
Dr. Shannon (38:52.902)
I know when I'm dealing with the postpartum moms or even when I'm dealing with pregnant moms coming into the office, I do when I'm going over care plans with them, I always mention that postpartum time period and the aspect of being sure to continue under care. A lot of times I'm usually saying like, oh, really to just help us kind of put things back together again, but to really impact how the nervous system is functioning because it's controlling all the functions of the body. So you want to make sure.
motor nerve supply is good there as well. So that's just that one little tidbit with kind of that postpartum care.
Rachael Hutchins (39:26.598)
Yeah, and I know when they come see you, like you're talking, you're checking in with them, like mentally, emotionally, like, and you've got all those amazing resources. Like if it feels like if they're like, yeah, I'm really having a hard time getting baby to latch and you're like, well, okay, I can adjust baby. But then also check with this lactation consultant. Like they're in your area or they'll come to your home. Like you just like us prioritize that networking and referral system so that you can really meaningfully help. I promise when you go to follow up, if you're in traditional medical model of care.
Dr. Shannon (39:30.302)
Yeah, that's another little touch point of, hey, I think we need this resource.
Dr. Shannon (39:41.619)
Dr. Shannon (39:50.754)
Rachael Hutchins (39:56.178)
and you go to follow up, even if you're with an MNY, they are not providing recommendations for postpartum doulas, chiropractic care, pelvic floor health, mental health, unless it's severe, they're not, you know, rarely are they addressing it. And just knowing that maybe that's just because their priorities is just like making sure medically you're fine. So understand like you can't just be like, oh, I'm seeing them, I'm good to go. And that's all we talk about, that's all we care about it.
Dr. Shannon (40:05.73)
Dr. Shannon (40:09.271)
Dr. Shannon (40:17.742)
Dr. Shannon (40:23.567)
And sometimes that can be a lot for moms. You know, when I'm seeing moms in that postpartum time period, a lot of times they're like, they just have a lot of appointments, especially if there are issues with latching and then we have some pelvic floor issues and then throw in a little bit of, you know, postpartum depression and anxiety. That could be four extra people. So pelvic floor.
Rachael Hutchins (40:34.439)
Rachael Hutchins (40:47.292)
Dr. Shannon (40:48.362)
health, lactation, and chiropractic that you are trying to see as well.
Rachael Hutchins (40:51.794)
Yep. We had someone the other day that was like, I can't do, I'm not, I don't want to do one more thing. And we were like, herd, herd.
Dr. Shannon (40:55.202)
That exactly and I do the same I do the same thing. It's like you've got to prioritize you got to do What you can so it's just being mindful and aware of those things as well, too
Rachael Hutchins (41:05.57)
Yes. Not trying to overwhelm, just trying to have exposure. And then I would say choosing whatever is like most pressing or most important at that moment and then knowing you can kind of address these things. Postpartum is forever, y'all. You can.
Dr. Shannon (41:13.926)
Dr. Shannon (41:19.834)
Exactly. So it's not like you're going to be going, you know, once a week to see these people for forever, two times a week. It's like what's happening now? And then...
Rachael Hutchins (41:25.666)
No, and you can kind of address some things a little bit later. Like it's OK if things aren't happening right now. But knowing like down the road, you can tap into these same people. Like I'm just now getting my pelvic health in shape and I'm 10 years postpartum. So like, you know.
Dr. Shannon (41:35.002)
Dr. Shannon (41:39.907)
Mm-hmm. It's never too late.
Rachael Hutchins (41:42.418)
It's late. That's a little late. I do not recommend that. I'm learning. I'm a puzzle.
Dr. Shannon (41:44.734)
and that's late. Yeah, we don't recommend that. But don't, yeah, but don't like, oh, because I haven't gone, I'm just not going to go now type of thing. You know, don't do that. Yeah. But don't wait 10 years.
Rachael Hutchins (41:53.574)
Right. So you don't have to do it all at once. And just because you didn't do it right away doesn't mean you can't do it later. Right? I think that's what we're trying to say is that there's like, identify the things that are of most need, address those now. If you feel overwhelmed, chill, slow it down. Don't overdo it. Like we're not saying you have to go to all of these people right away. But again, if you like lactation support can come to your home, doulas come to your home. You can do mental health virtually.
Dr. Shannon (42:09.601)
Dr. Shannon (42:14.167)
Dr. Shannon (42:19.194)
Mm-hmm. What can you do? Yeah. Yeah, I like that. Uh-huh.
Rachael Hutchins (42:23.434)
So what can you like, there are ways to sort of ease it too, based on who you've chosen and knowing that there are options in there. So yeah. But we did want to also point out with physical healing in the postpartum, like that there's like these periods of time that are very different from each other. So like the first six weeks of postpartum is where I feel like the biggest
Dr. Shannon (42:30.414)
Rachael Hutchins (42:52.118)
amount of healing is occurring. You're figuring out breastfeeding, your pelvic floor, like your perineal area is healing. You're figuring out like engorgement and milk supply regulating. Your uterus is clamping down and getting smaller over time. And that wound on the inside is healing. Like a lot of this is happening in the first six weeks.
Your organs are kind of getting back into place. Hormones are balancing out ish, but you're having the biggest spikes of hormones in those first six weeks. So recovery period wise, like I'll never forget when my doula was like six weeks. She was like, it is not the end, but if you can just keep your mind on six weeks with breastfeeding, with how you're feeling emotionally, she was like, it does get better. And for me, as far as like,
Dr. Shannon (43:21.658)
Dr. Shannon (43:28.935)
Rachael Hutchins (43:48.218)
being able to just put my mind on that and just say, okay, I'm going to do whatever I can until six weeks. And then by then I felt so much better. I did. It was true for me. It's not true for everybody, but just knowing that a lot can get easier after the first six weeks. That's the bulk of the healing. That's really when you need prioritizing rest. Think about what, you know, think about nutrition, gentle exercises, um, in that first six weeks.
Dr. Shannon (43:56.575)
Dr. Shannon (44:02.856)
Dr. Shannon (44:12.478)
Mm-hmm. Nope. I agree. I agree. I know. Definitely. And then, but I do want to mention, and I will come back to kind of those time periods because then it does kind of ebb and flow in there. But my friend, Dr. Rachel, she's a naturopathic doctor. She's on social media. She's on there a bunch.
Rachael Hutchins (44:33.93)
Dr. Shannon (44:37.878)
but she's constantly posting a lot about postpartum. And then she has even mentioned that postpartum depletion syndrome in that your nutritional aspect of things, and it can take 10 years for your body to refill that nutrient bank after having one baby. One lady commented, so she's like, so I've had four kids, it's gonna take 40 years. 40 years. Yeah, like, wait a minute, what happens here?
Rachael Hutchins (45:02.078)
Yeah, is it cumulative like that?
Dr. Shannon (45:06.218)
but I think it's important to mention so that you give yourself a little bit of grace in those time periods too, and to know all of those little things that you could do can add up to a better healing process, kinda like what you were mentioning, especially in that like first six weeks of just like allowing yourself.
to rest as much as possible, but some meaningful movement, very, you know, light, easy, that restful aspect of things can, to try to help with that postpartum depletion syndrome.
Rachael Hutchins (45:40.466)
Yeah, well knowing that when you have that information about the depletion that occurs from giving birth and how long it takes to recover, it's sort of like, okay, well, I can give myself a lot of grace here because some people have some uneasy feelings when they're not feeling themselves in the timeframe that they feel like they should. That's when we're like, you know, postpartum can last forever. Like we have this big shift and it takes for some people longer than others to really sort of find the new balance, the new, not new you, but like.
Dr. Shannon (45:53.879)
Rachael Hutchins (46:10.034)
the new normal and if you don't feel 100% figure out if there's something you can ask for help but also just being graceful and patient with yourself. So when I talk about the first six weeks and when we talk about rest, proper nutrition, bonding, gentle exercise in that first six weeks it is to lay that foundation so that each phase after that hopefully you're building on it so then there's like the first 12 weeks right so I feel like by six weeks you're
Dr. Shannon (46:11.603)
Rachael Hutchins (46:38.77)
You're starting to feel like you have an idea about what's going on, right? You're starting to get your feet under you, not one week, not two weeks, like six weeks. And for some people, it's longer. So don't beat yourself up if it's not. But you're starting to like taste. OK, I'm figuring this out. I'm starting to like maybe you're getting a little bit more sleep, maybe, you know. And then there's 12 weeks, which is that the fourth trimester. So we're talking about four trimesters, the first 12 weeks. And it feels like.
Dr. Shannon (46:43.602)
Dr. Shannon (46:53.382)
Yeah, a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (47:02.41)
Rachael Hutchins (47:05.31)
If you're going back to work at six weeks or eight weeks, if you're just really kind of peeking out of recovery, just peeking. So then to have another six weeks is really nice. And then beyond that, like, you know, getting to like six months is where you're really, I think, out of a lot of it. And then that full really first year is...
Dr. Shannon (47:26.978)
Mm-hmm. Well, yeah, because it took how long for your pregnancy, you know? Like it's...
Rachael Hutchins (47:32.05)
Yeah. Right. To think that it's just going to all go back to normal in three weeks, six weeks is, and there's no really going back to normal, like ever, like we said earlier, everything has changed. Um, and so I think we talk about it in this way of like, just to, so people to just try and like help you take it seriously and, and see the bigger picture and see that there's no like really, once you decide, if you're just, if you've decided to have the child, like the, there's no going back to.
Dr. Shannon (47:43.797)
Rachael Hutchins (48:01.234)
whatever health you were before, whatever like person you were before, yes you can return to very healthy but it's like you're just still not the same that you were. So like letting go of any sort of expectation that you need to be a certain way because you are relearning. Like your baby is born and now you're born as a mother like you're relearning some things. So give yourself time. Give yourself time.
Dr. Shannon (48:18.622)
Dr. Shannon (48:25.058)
When I, yeah, give yourself some time and some grace.
Rachael Hutchins (48:28.838)
And I think something else I wanted to talk about is, well, I think we've said it a lot, but we're like, get rest, like rest, rest. Like what does that mean? And I think it's easier said than done. And I think I say it a lot because we talk about it a lot with our clients. And then I immediately am like, however, we understand it is easier said than done, but you have to have a plan to get rest. You can't just say, Oh, I'm going to rest. It's like, what's the plan for rest?
Dr. Shannon (48:37.046)
What does that look like?
Rachael Hutchins (48:57.814)
So like one of our recommendations is like for the nighttime is if you have a partner in the home with you who's helping with the baby, your loved one, your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, you take shifts in the night. So like someone goes to bed early and sleeps for five hours. And during that time, the other person is taking care of the baby. And if the mom is the one sleeping, the one if they're breastfeeding, then
Dr. Shannon (48:57.902)
Dr. Shannon (49:11.052)
Rachael Hutchins (49:25.354)
The one who's awake, who has the wake shift brings baby to mom, helps they get, they nurse. That's all mom does. Or if you're pumping and giving bottles, like they would maybe wake up for a pump session and then like leave the pump parts on the side table, go back to bed. It's like, we're focusing on. And so the other person is involved and they are up for five hours, but it's not that crazy if you go to bed early, like if you can go to bed at eight or nine and then you sleep until like 12 or one, and then you shift.
Dr. Shannon (49:41.774)
Dr. Shannon (49:48.823)
Rachael Hutchins (49:55.282)
You make you trade shifts and maybe you still get some rest during that time, but you're kind of dedicated. If the baby stirs or wakes or needs soothing, that's you. So each partner is getting ideally a five hour stretch. So like that's a tangible way that we can get more sleep, but you have to have an active participant partner. You have to be willing to ask for help and surrender during that time and say, if I hear the baby crying in the other room, I'm going to put in earbuds. I'm going to put on an eye mask. I'm going to turn on a sound machine. I trust my partner.
Dr. Shannon (50:14.239)
Rachael Hutchins (50:25.29)
They are taking care of the baby. It's easier said than done. But you can, that's how you get rest. And then during the day, and I really even hate saying sleep when the baby sleeps because I know that's not easy, but if you're able to prioritize at least one or two of the sleeps while the baby sleeps, do it. Like an aim for, you know, in a 24 hour window, can you get eight, nine, 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour window? So forgetting, yeah.
Dr. Shannon (50:29.959)
Dr. Shannon (50:36.608)
Dr. Shannon (50:42.978)
Dr. Shannon (50:52.111)
Right, not continuously, yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (50:54.226)
Yeah, that what we're used to now, putting our head down at nine or 10 and waking up at six or whatever it is. No, and trying to get, you know, that good one good stretch in the nighttime, but it's not going to be eight hours. And then so in a 24 hour window, can you get an eight hour, eight hours of sleep? And I think because over time that depletion of like not getting sleep, like day after day, you've only gotten four hours of sleep. Like, what do they say? Like every day that you go without like
Dr. Shannon (51:05.869)
Dr. Shannon (51:16.069)
that eats at you.
Rachael Hutchins (51:22.566)
your required hours of sleep is like two days of recovery. I've learned that because in birth work, if I go to a birth for the night and I'm awake kind of for 24 hours, it then takes me two days to recover. So like you can't just like, you know, I just want to talk about like tangible ways to get rest. And when you do when you have a postpartum doula, they're helping with that. And when you when you plan, when you do something like a postpartum planning class or you really try and say, how am I going to get sleep truly?
Dr. Shannon (51:27.458)
Dr. Shannon (51:32.35)
you've got to recover.
Dr. Shannon (51:43.308)
Rachael Hutchins (51:50.174)
That's how you get rest. I don't want to just flippantly throw like rest around like, Oh, just rest. Cause then people are like, okay. That's how tell me how.
Dr. Shannon (51:53.424)
Dr. Shannon (52:00.818)
Yeah, I usually love to I'm telling parents to put a baby on their chest, especially newborns little ones, you know, and just having that contact there. It's that baby wearing but if they're laying on your chest, they're laying on their belly, they're getting lots of good sensory information up to the brain that tummy time aspect of things, then they are getting a good head rotation and try to make sure that each cheek can you know, rest down on to chest or whatnot. So
Rachael Hutchins (52:18.314)
Rachael Hutchins (52:24.854)
Dr. Shannon (52:29.342)
even giving yourself a little bit like, I might just be laying here with the baby and the baby has fallen asleep on me, but that's really good. Like you've got a lot of good things going on. So just using those opportunities too, to just be like, okay, you know what? I'm gonna let baby rest. I'm gonna rest. And I know that lots of good things are happening for their brain there too, instead of feeling like you're not doing anything, you're not being productive. I don't know. That's me. That was my, yeah. Yeah, I feel entrapped or like, I didn't get enough done today. I really liked to-do lists. So if you're one of those people, sometimes shifting that like,
Rachael Hutchins (52:45.444)
Rachael Hutchins (52:49.138)
Well, yeah, you feel trapped. Some people feel trapped. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (52:59.056)
did today. Baby napped on me and they got really good sensory information. Uh-huh. Yeah. Exactly. Those are the homework assignments I'm giving patients. I will make you a checklist. Just surviving. Just surviving. I know. Mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (53:01.994)
But you could say, yeah, baby, the tummy time, we worked on head rotation, bonding, like stimulating milk supply. If you want a checklist, we'll make you a checklist of things you're doing, just doing skin to skin for an hour. And we like to say rest is productivity, especially in the postpartum. Like rest is like a dirty word for some people. And I get it, I'm a mind racer, I'm not a good napper, but I can rest. And if I can just like go.
Dr. Shannon (53:29.806)
Rachael Hutchins (53:31.014)
And usually it requires like not being on a phone or watching TV. Rest is like, you know, sound machine or some soothing noise in the background, closing your eyes. If you don't fall asleep, fine. You need to probably stay alert and attentive to your baby. If they're on your chest anyways. But just resting is different than sleeping too, sometimes. But I love that.
Dr. Shannon (53:48.55)
Mm-hmm. You had mentioned a few things too with the aspect of, you hear a lot with postpartum and like a comeback, you know? Here's a coming back. And I remember I had done, I did a postpartum episode and it was mainly about the fitness and really not calling it a come back because you are different. It's more of that.
Rachael Hutchins (53:59.811)
Dr. Shannon (54:14.918)
I always called it like a come into like into this new person who you are because you have cells of your you know Your children in you forever. So you are forever changed, but it's not forever changed in that like in a bad way You know, it's just a new it's a new way So I think it's kind of fun to flip the script a little bit about the come into yeah come into that Yeah
Rachael Hutchins (54:26.399)
I love that re.
Rachael Hutchins (54:34.058)
Love that. Love a good flip of the script. Come into, not come back or bounce back. Love it. And that's just flip it, again, culturally. We can change, try to change the conversation the way we talk about it. Real quick, just wanted to touch on some of the, the like, when we're talking about healing, like physical healing, some of the areas that you want to think about preparing for and learning about is perineal care. So your perineum,
Dr. Shannon (54:39.746)
Mm hmm. So yeah, I'll call to come back.
Dr. Shannon (55:00.79)
Rachael Hutchins (55:03.038)
down there. I won't go into too much detail. Don't want to get censored. I was trying to describe it, but then I got to use words that might who knows.
Dr. Shannon (55:10.79)
Yeah, between the tush and the front part. Yes.
Rachael Hutchins (55:14.746)
Yeah, where the baby comes out. That's the that's the perineum. And that area goes through a lot during childbirth. So and it's OK. You don't have to you don't have to be scared of it. Your body is designed to stretch and thin and make way for your baby. Learning about this process through like childbirth education is really important. Learning about how your body works. You don't have to be scared of it, because one of the things we hear all the time is about tearing. So this is the part of the body.
Dr. Shannon (55:21.114)
Dr. Shannon (55:43.412)
Rachael Hutchins (55:44.478)
that would tear in birth if it's going to. It's a range of normal to tear. So learning about that process, how those tissues are designed to stretch and also come back together if they do tear is really important. So the recommendation for that area, regardless of tearing or not, is icing for the first 24 hours. And then you can go to warm. Warm compresses help.
you know, bring blood flow to the area and help with circulation and help promote healing. One of our greatest tips is to do, so a sits bath is something that gets recommended for healing in the postpartum. So taking that up a notch and doing an herbal sits bath so you can get herbs specific for perineal care. And something we tell our clients to do is put those herbs, like you do a concentrated amount like in a mesh.
Dr. Shannon (56:14.621)
Dr. Shannon (56:27.04)
Rachael Hutchins (56:38.902)
stocking or something and put it into a crock pot and let that gently warm up. And then you put washcloths in the crock pot and then you take those washcloths just a few times a day, wring them out and then put them on your perineum. Put them in like if you're wearing a Depends or something like that and then just sit for 15 minutes. And it's similar to sitting on a sitz bath but a lot of people don't really like sitting in a sitz bath.
Dr. Shannon (56:54.338)
Dr. Shannon (57:04.146)
Yeah, this is that can be difficult. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (57:05.798)
And even if you do the one that's like the smaller one that you put on the toilet, a lot of people just don't enjoy being in that position or being in a tub with just a little bit of water. So this is a way that makes it easier and then it gets stronger as it sits in the crock pot and all you do is add water and salt throughout the day and that's how you can put a warm herbal compress on your perineum several times a day.
Dr. Shannon (57:11.25)
Dr. Shannon (57:28.466)
Oh, I like that. I think I would like that better than the sitz bath. I know I had a hard time with the sitz bath. I was like, I understand. Yeah. I would have done that too. Or I would have had someone make it for me and then I would have used it. No. Yes. Yes, exactly.
Rachael Hutchins (57:32.774)
Everyone told me to do a sitz bath and I was like, okay. And then I didn't do it. I would have done this.
Rachael Hutchins (57:44.094)
Well, and that's the thing too. Yeah, that's what I mean. That's what I mean. I would ask someone to make it for me. Yeah. Support. Ask for help. Don't do it all yourself. And then another thing that can help with the care and the healing of your perineum is the five rule. So five days in the bed, five days around the bed, five days around the room and maybe around the house.
Dr. Shannon (58:08.644)
Rachael Hutchins (58:11.198)
Really trying to set up your space that's like where you don't have to go up and downstairs if possible. Now, we understand all houses are different, but trying to think, can I be in my room and not have to leave it and have things come to me, you know, from downstairs if needed. Really avoiding stairs for the first couple of weeks or really minimizing. If you need to go up and down once in a day, fine. Really avoiding carrying anything heavier than your baby.
Dr. Shannon (58:16.912)
Dr. Shannon (58:25.198)
Rachael Hutchins (58:38.854)
Again, this is all because every time you do stairs or hold heavy things, it puts force and pressure on your perineum and it makes it harder for it to heal or you're not able to fully restore healing. If you did tear, keeping your legs together, so no crisscross applesauce, no crossing your legs for seven days and that's just going to help it heal fully and sometimes you can avoid even getting stitches if you can like really just like commit to that.
Dr. Shannon (58:46.546)
Mm-hmm. You're engaging. Yeah.
Dr. Shannon (58:57.335)
Rachael Hutchins (59:08.678)
Manuka honey, you can put that has microbial properties and healing properties right there. You can put it right on the wound using a peri bottle with witch hazel warm peri bottle with witch hazel every time you pee.
Dr. Shannon (59:10.572)
Dr. Shannon (59:22.182)
Ah, I did have that. I liked that. I remember that now. I remember someone, like someone, yeah, like someone gave that to me.
Rachael Hutchins (59:25.082)
Yeah, I did that for sure. I didn't put witch hazel in it, but I would definitely put witch hazel in it now. And then tux pads you can buy at the grocery store. And that helps if you have hemorrhoids, which are common from pregnancy and pushing. So just a few tips for perineal care. And then there's, you know, your breasts are going through a lot of changes in those early days, like when your milk starts to come in.
Dr. Shannon (59:38.687)
Dr. Shannon (59:44.224)
Dr. Shannon (59:50.067)
Rachael Hutchins (59:54.758)
So again, I can't say lactation support enough, but just a couple tips for getting comfortable during that time is I like the cycle of doing warm compress, feed your baby cold compress as your milk is coming in and regulating. And if your breasts are engorged and have a lot of milk and they're too hard for your baby to latch, hand express or do a hand pump.
Dr. Shannon (59:59.094)
Dr. Shannon (01:00:10.026)
Dr. Shannon (01:00:19.826)
Mm-hmm. The hand pump. Mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (01:00:22.334)
You really don't need an electric pump for this, but you just need to kind of like take a little bit off until it's soft.
Dr. Shannon (01:00:27.734)
Just yeah, until that let down. Yeah, because then it's normalizing and establishing your let down as well too. So yeah. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Rachael Hutchins (01:00:33.818)
Yeah, but not communicating that you need more milk to come out than necessary because that and that's the other thing with engorgement is some people pump To like release the pressure It's a feedback
Dr. Shannon (01:00:44.206)
But it's a feedback loop. It's a beautiful, amazing way that we are designed. However, if you do pump to alleviate that, the body's like, yay, we'll make more. And then you're like, no, stop, I got to pump. And the body's like, yeah, we'll make more. So, yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (01:00:58.322)
And then you end up with like really engorged breasts or an oversupply. And so just pump enough to let off and then you can incorporate pumps like to build like a freezer stash or something like that once you've established, once your milk has regulated.
Dr. Shannon (01:01:08.846)
Mm-hmm. I want you to... Don't... I get so many moms and it's like in the early postpartum, yeah, yeah. And I'm like, you will be fine. Let's establish this latch. Let's establish this communication. Let's establish this bond.
Rachael Hutchins (01:01:15.37)
Pump pump pump.
Dr. Shannon (01:01:26.002)
it will come. I know it can be difficult because in the back of your mind, you're like, I got to go back to work if this baby doesn't take the bottle, if I don't have enough milk, and then your supply goes down because you're stressed out and you got all of those other things. It will come. I would highly recommend establishing that nursing relationship with baby early on. So I would highly recommend lactation consultant as well and getting baby adjusted. That has been one of the biggest things I've seen in the office.
Rachael Hutchins (01:01:40.127)
It's a cycle.
Dr. Shannon (01:01:55.198)
That's one of the biggest things I hear from parents that bring infants in is how breastfeeding, nursing, latch, bottle feeding, whatever, all of that was so much better with care and adjustments. Sorry, I'm in the sidebar.
Rachael Hutchins (01:02:10.198)
That's awesome. Now that's huge. And again, getting comfort, trying to seek out comfort during that time is so important. So I love that you highlighted that. The other thing would be like nipple care would be using your own colostrum or breast milk on your nipple and letting it air dry is a good way to heal. There's other, or you can do like creams. They have organic creams or you could do like lanolin, you know, something just to help protect the nipple and let it heal.
Dr. Shannon (01:02:19.607)
Dr. Shannon (01:02:29.646)
Rachael Hutchins (01:02:38.706)
or you can just do breast milk and let it air dry. But letting your boobs be free, like trying not to do restricted bras or tops in those first while your milk's regulating because if you wear too tight of a bra and things are in, it's very uncomfortable and it can cause like swollen ducks and just discomfort unnecessarily. So be free, be topless, loose robe, loose t-shirts, something like that. And there's definitely lots to probably talk about more on breastfeeding, but just wanted to talk about a couple comfort.
Dr. Shannon (01:02:43.207)
Dr. Shannon (01:02:48.918)
That's uncomfortable. You can get swollen dugs.
Dr. Shannon (01:02:55.682)
Dr. Shannon (01:03:05.786)
Mm-hmm. And we have a ton of episodes too. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (01:03:08.842)
Just looking for comfort and healing of your breasts and your nipples in the early days of postpartum. And then the last thing is about hormonal fluctuations. And this is physical because it's you quite literally are sweating like through entire shirts and your sheets in the middle of the night. And you have the greatest, oh, I saw it. I screenshot it. I'm going to pull my phone open because I, after doing this outline, you know how the universe works.
Dr. Shannon (01:03:29.185)
Dr. Shannon (01:03:37.782)
Rachael Hutchins (01:03:38.282)
Like a quote was in my social media that I was like, I need to save this for. So I'm looking at my phone because I'm bringing it up. Okay, so this is from Postpartum Support International. And they said, the postpartum hormone drop is considered the single largest hormone change in the shortest amount of time for any human being at any point of their life cycle. So, you're going through a lot.
Dr. Shannon (01:03:44.101)
for our episode.
Dr. Shannon (01:03:49.759)
Dr. Shannon (01:04:01.994)
pretty big. Yeah.
Rachael Hutchins (01:04:04.766)
Like when you feel weepy or you feel stressed or you feel anxious or you feel over, like so happy, you want to, do you think you are on cloud nine? Like hormones, it is so much. And so when you have support and you're fostering healing, I think you have the space to kind of let, let the hormones do what they need to do without feeling crippled by them, hopefully, but also knowing what's normal and that your body is going through.
Dr. Shannon (01:04:15.366)
of the emotions when you feel it all.
Dr. Shannon (01:04:30.283)
Rachael Hutchins (01:04:32.678)
You know, again, this whole bounce back or return. No, no, it is like just letting your body do what it needs to do and that there's a lot going on. And so the hormones can really play a big role. And that's one of those things. You can't see it really unless you're sweating, you know, like you can't. It's not tangible. And again, societally, culturally, like. People don't have the like patients for like they just expect you to be yourself or normal again, and so many moms say.
Dr. Shannon (01:04:36.347)
Dr. Shannon (01:04:41.436)
Dr. Shannon (01:04:46.803)
Rachael Hutchins (01:05:01.386)
just don't feel myself. I just don't feel like I want to do X, Y, or Z. Like I just feel, and it's like, that's okay. We can tell you that. I know you would tell your patients that, but like, they're not getting it from that, from most other people, like normalizing that you might not want to leave the house for a couple weeks or that you don't want visitors or that you are, you're crying and you don't know why or your stress, you know, I don't know. There's so many things, but the hormonal fluctuation is a big one.
Dr. Shannon (01:05:03.172)
Dr. Shannon (01:05:10.498)
Dr. Shannon (01:05:13.826)
from the rest of the, yeah.
Dr. Shannon (01:05:24.534)
There's so many things I know. It's big. I know. That's crazy. I guess I never thought of it like that either as far as that big hormone shift. I mean, yeah. Yeah. No. I'm glad you read that though. That's important for us to know.
Rachael Hutchins (01:05:36.51)
I mean, I knew there was some stuff going on, but I wouldn't have ever said that.
Rachael Hutchins (01:05:43.998)
Yeah. So I think we've touched on all the things.
Dr. Shannon (01:05:48.71)
I think we did. I know because we did the bottom of our outline that we have. We go by, we try to go by outline. Yeah. All of our benefits of meaningful support. So I think we, I think we touched on all those things. We'll put things in the show notes too. And then we have a lot of other episodes that touch on postpartum as well too. So we'll definitely put those in the show notes too.
Rachael Hutchins (01:05:53.171)
with all the benefits.
Rachael Hutchins (01:06:09.366)
Rachael Hutchins (01:06:13.202)
Yep. Stay curious, keep learning, check out the other episodes. It's been fun chatting about this today. Bye.
Dr. Shannon (01:06:19.39)
Yes, I had so much fun. See you soon.