Episodes

  • Sarah Peck was the first employee to get pregnant at the Silicon Valley startup she worked for. And while her boss affirmed things would work out, she could feel unconscious competition and misogyny in the air. Inside she was feeling lonely and wondering if she was sacrificing the career she had built. In addition to her other duties, she was tasked with helping to write the ‘maternity employee handbook’ for the entire organization.
    Since that time, Sarah has left that position to become an entrepreneur and to follow her passion for writing. She founded Startup Pregnant, a soulful space for women wanting to be intentional about the intersection of career and motherhood, based on her own experience of unpacking what it meant to be a woman in a corporate startup venture blended with her many years of blogging experience.
    During our conversation, we delve into the seldom discussed topics of how the modern world changes the way women prepare for pregnancy, how keeping up with the Joneses can add stressors to what should be a transformative experience and the myth of finding a work-life balance.
    Sarah articulates beautifully the struggle so many of us feel — how can we pursue meaningful work that matters while also desiring to create a family landscape that is nurturing and healthy?
    In This Episode:
    Having a baby in the male-dominated startup world
    The benefits of having a pregnant woman on the team
    The emotionally complex situation entrepreneurs face while expecting
    How pregnancy launched her new career
    How she created a company’s policies on pregnancy and maternity leave
    How she took a softer approach to parenting in the commercialized ‘baby market’
    Cost-justifying a Doula
    How her partner negotiated extended time off to spend with family
    How the inexpensive gift of letters from family and friends can help guide parents through their first year
    How to building body confidence during pregnancy
    The effects of the modern lifestyle on the birthing experience
    How she prepared for birth physically, mentally, and spiritually
    Visualising the tender care you want from others during postpartum
    How women can be more specific about what they want
    How to build your maternity wardrobe with style and ease online
    Show Notes:
    Startup Pregnant
    Startup Pregnant Podcast
    @StartupPregnant on Twitter
    Stitch Fix — Create a Style Profile and Have Clothes Delivered Right to Your Front Door

  • A lack of support during her postpartum transition inspired today’s guest, Kate Turza, to become a certified postpartum doula. Feelings of frustration and loneliness crept over her after the birth of her third child. Her searches for support in her rural Long Island community came up empty. She decided to offer women the support she wished she’d had by becoming a doula and by joining the board of a non-profit that facilitates a monthly birth circle.
    During our conversation, Kate shares the problems she encountered during breastfeeding due to a retained placenta and lack of hormones, how doula training brought balance back into her life, and the struggles mothers and partners face finding community and support today’s individualized culture.
    We talk about why postpartum support is absolutely negotiable, why you might want a postpartum Doula, and how to get the support you need even if there aren’t a lot of resources in your community.
    In This Episode:
    What a postpartum doula does
    What a postpartum doula does not do
    How mothers put pressure on themselves by setting unrealistic goals
    How she dealt with increased anxiety during her postpartum transition
    The struggles of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation for many new mothers
    How a retained placenta affects a new mothers ability to nurse
    How societal changes are affecting the fourth trimester
    Considering a partner’s emotional needs during the birth cycle
    Creating a support community for mothers and partners
    Where to find support in the U.S. and internationally
    How to build your maternity wardrobe with style and ease
    Show Notes:
    La Leche League — U.S. Branch
    DONA — International Doula Training
    CAPPA — International Doula Certification
    Trust Your Body Again — Motherbirth Course
    Stitch Fix — Create a Style Profile and Have Clothes Delivered Right to Your Front Door

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  • Today’s guest, Evan Manskey, always wanted a family but doubted her body’s ability to have children. A self-proclaimed late bloomer, her monthly menstruation didn’t come until after she started driving. When she experienced excessive bleeding during her first two pregnancies, both of which ended as miscarriages, she was overcome with anxiety and fell into depression. She and her husband decided to take a break from trying to conceive.
    Today, Evan and her husband have two sons and they are also foster parents to children who need temporary homes with loving families. During our conversation, Evan shares her emotional story of beating the odds, her difficult but beautiful transition into motherhood, how she fulfilled her desire to have a vaginal birth after a Cesarean (VBAC), and how fostering children affects family dynamics.
    In This Episode:
    The courage to try again after two miscarriages
    Overcoming anxiety and depression during the journey to motherhood
    How she found support and friendship in online communities
    The major life shift a new mother experiences
    Having a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
    How her doctor decided to dismiss her as a patient
    The benefit of surrounding yourself with encouraging people
    The empowering feeling of giving birth on your own terms
    The work of attachment in foster care
    What it is like to mother a child that is not your own knowing they will soon leave
    How to build your maternity wardrobe with style and ease
    Show Notes:
    Stitch Fix — Create a Style Profile and Have Clothes Delivered Right to Your Front Door

  • In today’s episode, Amanda Cunningham shares the moving story of her two very distinct birth experiences. During her first pregnancy, she was euphoric and felt a profound spiritual connection to her son but after he was born, the separation triggered a severe postpartum loneliness which lasted for eighteen months. And after struggling with the decision of her readiness to have another child, her daughter was born with an undetected, random form of Down Syndrome.
    Amanda’s feelings during her postpartum depression overwhelmed her and took a toll on her marriage. She found relief in a prescription of progesterone and the understanding that she was could affect how she allowed her feelings to affect her. Acknowledging her feelings empowered her to move forward and take the actions necessary to heal.
    We talk about the extremely complicated emotions she faced after their daughters unexpected Down Syndrome diagnosis, how different she felt about her pregnancies, and how she came to terms with it all.
    In This Episode:
    Feeling spiritually connected to an unborn child
    Experiencing extreme loneliness during postpartum
    Taking progesterone during a postpartum transition
    The expectations of others
    How to know when you are ready to conceive again after a difficult postpartum transition
    Severe, long-lasting illness during pregnancy
    The three types of Down Syndrome
    Being introduced to a diagnosis rather than a child
    The unexpected mourning of what may never be
    The benefits of a grief counselor
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    @RoryBlakeisGreat on Instagram
    The Down Syndrome Diagnostic Network
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • In today’s episode, we discuss the spiritual, mental, and emotional transitions women go through on their motherhood journey. Dr. Katayune Kaeni — aka Dr. Kat — joins us to share the traumatic personal experience that led her to specialize in maternal mental health and how she helps women to prepare for and heal from the under-discussed challenges mothers face.When Dr. Kat experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, she was unsure exactly what was happening. Like many women, she felt ashamed, embarrassed and didn’t open up about what she was experiencing. And as a psychologist, she thought she should be able to figure it out on her own.During our conversation, we learn about how Dr. Kat started her healing process with energy work and whole body healing, how she empowers women to answer the ‘what if’ questions, and the many different ways our motherhood journeys change us.In This Episode:Why many women are silent about their postpartum anxietyHow women can ask for support from a partner or their communityThe limited support mothers receive through social structuresDepression assessmentsThe relationship between the motherhood journey and the mental health journeyEnergy work and whole body healingThe unexpected ways healing occursHow to separate what is happening to you from who you areCreating an adjustable set of expectations for friends and familyHow to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through ExpectfulShow Notes:The Mom & Mind PodcastMom & Mind Podcast on FacebookMom & Mind on InstagramDr. Kaeni on TwitterExpectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s episode inspires women to shed the programming and ideals society has fed us about how we feel about our bodies and what we should look like. Licensed Psychotherapist Ellen Boeder shares insights on how to be empowered during motherhood and beyond and how we can profoundly respect the value of our nurturing, feminine, magnificent selves.
    Ellen has spent most of her career working with women through the deep-rooted confusion that can lead to eating disorders and body image issues. She helps women sort through the culturally handed-down and media-driven information that has created unrealistic ideals of what it means to be a woman.
    We get into how pregnancy and the postpartum period can be significant contributors to a woman’s perception of her body and lead to body dysmorphia, eating disorders and generalized shame about our bodies and even our worth as humans.
    During our conversation, Ellen also shares her own personal journey to motherhood including how she integrated the newfound joy of motherhood with her treasured career.
    In This Episode:
    The narrative women are offered around work and their bodies
    Society’s impact on the motherhood journey
    The use of food to distract from deeper issues
    The earning mentality: Binging and deprivation
    Motherhood as a trigger and a cure of body image issues
    Unconscious modeling
    The influence of marketing on women’s decisions about beauty, health, and wellness
    Disassembling the beliefs handed down from past generations
    The lost practice of celebrating our fertile bodies
    A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)
    Using crowdfunding to save for future college expenses
    Show Notes:
    Rearranged by Motherhood Blog
    Rearranged by Motherhood on Facebook
    Ellen Boeder Private Practice
    College Backer — Listeners of Motherbirth receive a $10 match contribution with this link

  • In today’s episode, we have an in-depth conversation with Megan Connolly, a Co-Founder of Well Made Mama. There are many resources available to women regarding the physical changes their bodies experience during motherhood but few focus on the emotional and mental transformations that last a lifetime.
    For Megan, starting a conversation and raising awareness about the importance of community during motherhood is essential. Her organization aims to offer resources and community to modern mothers to help them thrive in their transition to motherhood.
    The science of motherhood often has a gap that exists in what to expect when preparing for a baby. During our conversation, we discuss the changes in our society that have removed the community component from motherhood, how making friends can be an essential survival skill for a mother, the neuroscience of motherhood, identity shifts, and how to adapt to all of these changes in a personal, healthy way.
    In This Episode:
    The continuous state of change that is motherhood
    The role of oxytocin and dopamine during pregnancy and breastfeeding
    How having a community can ease your anxiety
    The transitions and identity shifts of young mothers
    The process of turning to information for comfort in place of communities
    Creating an assessment of the level of support a new mother has
    Tips for finding a community
    How to invest in your well-being
    Different cultures offer different levels of community support
    How friends are beneficial role models to mothers
    Extending the meaning of postpartum
    Using crowdfunding to save for future college expenses
    Show Notes:
    Well Made Mama
    Trust Your Body Again — A Course from Motherbirth
    College Backer — Listeners of Motherbirth receive a $10 match contribution with this link

  • In today’s episode, we speak with three women who were instrumental in establishing midwifery into traditional, bustling, hospital settings. Between them, they have over 50+ years of birth work experience and they continue to mentor, teach and serve women in the midwife community and beyond.
    Nel assisted her mother in the birth of a sibling at age three. The baby was stillborn. This left a lasting impression on her. After countless babies appeared in her life, she knew she should follow the path to midwifery and has dedicated her career to creating a homebirth model in a small hospital setting. She currently mentors and teaches midwifery to midwives in rural Maine. Nell has pioneered many revolutionary practices in midwifery and is well known for her contributions.
    Denise is a midwife in a hospital in The Bronx. She assists women from marginalized areas of society gain access to a midwife in high-risk pregnancies. She works to build trust with doctors who may not understand the role or purpose of a midwife and with the patients who come from various cultural backgrounds.
    Sharon is Chief of the Midwifery Division and oversees a midwife education program at Baystate Medical Center. She works with women who need care but have barriers to getting it. She helps women of all backgrounds to make informed decisions about their pregnancy with the goal of removing the anxiety and judgment sometimes related to the birth process.
    We sat with these women and heard their powerful stories and now share their power with you.
    *This is our second session of recordings with women who serve as midwives from the Motherbirth booth at the American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Conference.
    In This Episode:
    The importance of relationships
    The similarities of Midwifery in rural and urban environments
    Integrating the homebirth model into a hospital setting
    How midwives can decrease the level of trauma during birth
    Changes in midwife care since the 1970’s
    The continuity model of care
    Eliminating the judgment women have about their birth experience
    Building access to midwife care for women in marginalized communities
    Making doctors aware of the role of a midwife
    Prenatal and postpartum emotional support
    The need to reduce anxiety in expectant mothers
    Allowing the body to follow its natural birth process
    The father’s experience of childbirth
    Using crowdfunding to save for future college expenses
    Show Notes:
    Listen to Episode #68 — “Peyote In Labor, Feminism, and Running Away From the Army”
    College Backer — Listeners of Motherbirth receive a $10 match contribution with this link

  • In today’s episode, we speak with three extraordinary women who are dedicating their lives to the service of others. All three are birth workers who embrace respecting a woman’s cultural heritage and traditions. They candidly share their personal journeys and the wisdom they have cultivated over their many years of service.
    T’Karima believes that birth is a ceremony. She is an American who deeply identifies with her Mexican roots. She is researching a highly controversial topic — using peyote during labor and giving birth in sweat lodges like many indigenous Latin American cultures do.
    Missy is a certified midwife who serves all people. She is an advocate of human rights and for the LGBTQ+ community. She is working to implement an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) program within her practice.
    Mary Rose is a nurse/midwife who left the Army at 18 when she became pregnant after being raped. She gave birth to her son at The Farm in Tennessee. She stayed at the Farm for four years as a midwife assistant apprentice and she now serves Navajo women on a reservation.
    We sat with these women and heard their powerful stories and now share their power with you.
    *This episode was recorded live from our Motherbirth booth at the American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Conference.
    In This Episode:
    The importance of respecting cultural heritage and customs
    Supporting a mother’s choice of birth environment and method
    Giving birth in a sweat lodge
    Using medicinal plants during pregnancy and childbirth
    Midwife care for LGBTQ+ communities
    Implementing an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) program
    What midwives can do next
    Identifying with multiple cultures
    The importance of language while serving all people
    Running away from the army after being raped and having no recourse
    Finding a safe place on The Farm to give birth and heal
    Setting a foundation of love and peace for children
    Using crowdfunding to save for future college expenses
    Show Notes:
    American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Conference
    T’Karima Ticitl on Facebook
    College Backer — Listeners of Motherbirth receive a $10 match contribution with this link

  • Today’s guest, Ashley Logsdon, had always wanted to have children and in the most natural way possible. During our conversation, she details each of her three birth stories - all of which took unexpected turns in the opposite direction of her birth plans. Ashley had to learn to accept the way her daughters chose to came - and by her third birth, she had learned how to advocate for the birth experience she wanted, pioneering the adoption of gentle, family-centered cesarean procedures in her local hospital.
    Her experiences proved that it is possible to have an empowering experience while proactively preparing for emergency situations. Ashley is a huge proponent of educating yourself ahead of time to remove the stress and uncertainty of making big decisions in the moment.
    Ashley works as a coach and educator for families who wish to connect with each other and the world in a meaningful way. Through personality assessments and the concept of a family vision, she communicates intentional living and accountability. Along with her husband and three girls, she travels the U.S. full-time, in an RV. She advocates for women, encouraging them to make their voices known, whether that be in pregnancy, birth, health care or anywhere else.
    This was a fun and inspiring conversation full of really practical tips for mothers facing cesarean birth, but also for anyone wanting to create an intentional family life full of joy and purpose!
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    How emotions can cause physical manifestations
    How to create a family-centric home
    Her experience having a natural cesarean
    Her ‘Before You Have Your Baby’ guidelines
    How to prepare for emergency situations during birth
    How DISC personality assessments can benefit family communications
    How she allows her children to see her humanness
    Creating family vision statements
    Living an intentional life
    The power of positivity
    How women can find their voice during a birth
    The book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Mama Says Namaste
    Mama Says Namaste Podcast
    Mama Says Namaste on Instagram
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s guest, Marlene Ehrler, is a doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and comes from a long line of holistic healers. She founded Motherhood Medicine, a health and wellness resource designed to assist women on their journey to motherhood. And, she hopes to reawaken a woman’s inherent, natural healing abilities by providing lifestyle information without the bias of traditional marketing tactics through her Land and Spirit Project.
    Marlene’s first pregnancy was labeled as high-risk due to her Type 1 diabetes. Her insurance insisted she see a traditional OB/GYN and required her to give birth in the high-risk ward of the hospital, not at home with a midwife like she wanted. Bucking the system, she and her husband prepared for a home birth in spite of what they were told.
    Marlene learned the hard way that birth is the ultimate initiation into the lack of control that typifies motherhood - and when things didn’t go according to plan, she had to learn to integrate and heal from the trauma she experienced during a very difficult birth and postpartum period.
    During our conversation, she shares the powerful ways that she experienced healing, what it is like to raise a Spirited Child, and how this all integrates into her practice.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    What motivated her to study Naturopathic Medicine
    How Type 1 Diabetes played a role in her delivery
    Her plan to have an unassisted home birth
    How doctors diagnosed her false ailments
    The pain of the knife when two epidurals failed
    Having a Cesarean after her baby was already crowning
    Having an absent birth
    The power of a rebirth ceremony
    Raising a Spirited Child
    How the power of language helped her heal
    Her goal to empower women with basic, foundational health and lifestyle information through her new project (link)
    The influence of Dr. Weston Price
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Motherhood Medicine
    @MotherhoodMedicine on Instagram
    The Land and Spirit Project
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s guest, Summer Edwards, home-birthed her two sons and is the oldest of five home-birthed siblings. For her, the choice to home-birth was clear. She wasn’t aware of the philosophical reasons other women had for home-birthing, it was just something her family did. When she returned to work after her first child, she realized she wasn’t returning to her previously satisfying career but a segmented ‘Mommy track’ within the organization. She then morphed her creative side project into Lead Women Lead, a community working to revolutionize the workplace for women at a systemic level.
    During our conversation, she describes the physically empowering, 20-hour intense first labor experience and how she believes it has impacted her first born child. She attributes her ability to move past the pain and trauma of the malpositioned birth to her midwife who reminded her of the beauty of surrender. Her second birth experience was completely different, and Summer shares her birth stories with so much joy and confidence you will be inspired.
    Summer’s online course is designed for working mothers who grapple with imposter syndrome and overwhelm, and the next group will launch this fall.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    How she confronts systemic birthing and motherhood ideologies
    The difference in her first and subsequent birthing experiences
    How she learned to trust her intuition and her body’s natural abilities
    The Fear/Pain Tension Cycle
    How the childbirth experience translates to other areas of life
    The physical, emotional, and mental benefits of trust and surrender
    The hostility she faced when sharing her natural birth experiences with others
    The beginning of the Lead Mama Lead social change movement
    The benefit of a mother’s perspective in for-profit, nonprofit and government agencies
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Lead Mama Lead
    Overcoming Overwhelm Course
    Motherbirth Exclusive — Trust Your Body Again Course
    Motherbirth Podcast — Episode 60 — Vaginal Breech Birth
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s guest, Arianna Taboada, is a Maternal Health Professional, a mother, and an advocate for women’s issues including maternity leave and postpartum planning. Her private consulting practice assists self-employed, working mothers to plan for and navigate through the personal and professional support they will need before, during and after childbirth. Her clients learn to actively develop their new identities in a non-isolated way.
    Arianna’s firstborn child was delivered in her home just south of Cancun in Mexico. She knew if she delivered her baby in the local hospital there was a high chance they would perform a cesarean. She desired a low intervention birth and a level of care only a midwife could provide. During our conversation, she shares the details of her transition into motherhood and how she draws from her experience to create support plans for other women on their journey to motherhood.
    We get into how little emotional preparation women do before birth and how important it is to think about all the angles of support you will need. Arianna is inspiring and will get you thinking about your own postpartum experience and how you can support others in your community!
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    How traditional care options omit midwives
    Low intervention birth options in Mexico
    How she relied on her intuition after her excessive research
    How she dealt with uncertainty
    Her transition into parenthood
    Why she built a private practice around postpartum planning and care
    How to use a postpartum ecomap
    How local moms groups provide much-needed support
    The gaps in policy and protection for new mothers
    Dealing with motherhood identity issues
    How to navigate and design maternity leave for self-employed mothers
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Arianna Taboada
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • In today’s show, we discuss the importance of support, community, and togetherness for women. Our mission for this podcast and community is to create a safe space for women to share their stories and to experience healing and connection through the power of storytelling. We believe that when women are isolated, they don’t have the communal structures in place to deal with the emotional work that comes with motherhood.
    Research shows the positive effects of group therapy and sharing experiences on PTSD, and Laura’s research in her doctoral program has led her to focus her doctoral project on creating an important space in our community — giving women who have had traumatic birth stories a chance to find growth and healing through processing and integrating the birth experiences they have already had. Even though every woman’s motherhood journey is different, there are mental, emotional, and physical aspects of our stories that connect us all. We’ll be updating you all on the group we’ll be launching to facilitate this — you can sign up to receive more info here!
    We also talk about Mellisa’s program Trust Your Body Again for women who have experienced loss — head over to the website for more information on what we offer.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    The dissatisfaction and hurt found in many birth stories
    Why women are among the last to implement self-care practices
    The effects PTSD can have on a motherhood journey
    How people can benefit by sharing their stories in groups
    Defining the critical components of a personal motherhood journey
    The effects of trauma on the postpartum period
    The deficiency in postpartum treatment
    The importance of not judging another’s trauma
    How to process and integrate birth stories
    The journey of awakening intuition
    How to sign up for the Trust Your Body Again course
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Motherbirth on Instagram
    Trust Your Body Again Course
    Motherbirth Podcast Episode 61 with Sara Rosser
    Motherbirth Podcast Episode 57 with Rebecca Fraser
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s guest, Sibyl Almonte de Cannella, has been a mother for a long time even though she has only held her baby in her arms for a little more than a month. She has had many miscarriages including several which came during the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process. After years of having doctors tell her she should be able to have a healthy pregnancy, a rare blood disorder was discovered in her system. This diagnosis led to her decision to investigate surrogacy.
    During this extremely candid conversation, Sibyl shares the emotional, physical, and mental toll she experienced during her challenging motherhood journey. She also shares the details of finding a surrogate when surrogacy is illegal in most of the world and what it is like to have your baby born over 5,000 miles away from home.
    You can feel Sibyl’s joy and anticipation in this honest exploration of what this controversial alternative path to motherhood looks like — and also how her experience, while seemingly rare on the surface, shares so much with every mother’s path.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    Not knowing why she was having multiple miscarriages at nine weeks
    The arduous process of IVF
    How she dealt with the emotional stress of being pregnant several times without carrying to term
    How she looked to adoption in her effort to have a family
    The mental anguish brought about by uncertainty and doubt
    How her body created antibodies which robbed her embryos of oxygen
    Why she kept the news of her pregnancies private
    Why she chose surrogacy over adoption
    Where surrogacy is a legal option
    The language barriers involved with international surrogacy
    What she did when her surrogate didn’t produce breast milk
    The joy of holding her baby girl after her exceptional journey
    The importance of making connections with others on similar journeys
    How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members

  • Today’s guest, Sara Rosser, is an apprentice at the Farm Midwifery Center in Tennessee. She believes a woman should be able to choose where they deliver their baby. Her diverse family consists of a biological child, an adopted child and an international exchange student. She is currently pregnant as a gestational carrier for a single father. After her first birth left her feeling cheated out of the delivery she desired, Sara wrestled for years with what to do about it.
    Sara’s story is truly unique and amazing. In our conversation, she shares the trials she faced while searching for a midwife to assist her with the home birth she desperately desired, her family’s reaction to their adopted Ethiopian son, and how finally coming to terms with her daughter’s birth took her first away from surrogacy and then in the end, back to it.
    Our conversation about birth trauma and the oh-so-common desire for a “birth re-do” is so incredibly important - and will resonate with so many women. Sara’s beautiful story paints a picture of the selfless love of motherhood in a whole new light.
    In next weeks episode, we’ll explore the other side of surrogacy - from the perspective of the intended family!
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    ● About her work at the Farm Birthing Center
    ● How midwifery was illegal in Alabama
    ● How a hospital delivery her only option
    ● How she mentally and emotionally processed her first birth experience
    ● How she and her husband adopted an Ethiopian child at the age of 23
    ● The very different reactions her family had to her adopted child
    ● The varying types of surrogacy
    ● Her decision to become a gestational carrier for a single male parent
    ● Her decision and plan for breastfeeding her surrogate baby
    ● How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members
    Sara Rosser
    Sara Rosser on Instagram
    The Farm Midwifery Center

  • In this exciting episode, Jessica Gray describes her four births, three of which were vaginal breech births! Her bicornuate uterus, which is in the shape of a heart, is a hereditary trait that makes it less likely a baby will be able to change position later in pregnancy. By trusting herself and her body, she has given birth in hospitals, a birthing center and at home.
    Her story highlights the importance of a positive mindset during the birth experience and how a doctor/midwife can empower a birthing mother by allowing her to trust her body and intuition. Her goal is to educate and inform others by spreading the word about breech birth and other normal variations of birth that have become somewhat taboo in the world of birth providers.
    Jessica is passionate about making sure that people know there are still doctors and midwives who are experienced and comfortable with breech birth… you just may have to search! She also tries to help people find local breech-friendly providers when able through social media channels.
    Her joy and passion is contagious and this was such a fun conversation to have and share.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    ● What it means to have a bicornuate uterus
    ● Having a child outside of her home country
    ● How she was the first vaginal, breech birth in Canada after a new law allowed for it
    ● How a doctor can empower a birthing woman
    ● How having a positive mindset changes the game when delivering a breech baby
    ● A hands-off breech delivery at a hospital, a birth center and at home
    ● How to normalize the variations of birthing experience
    ● Giving a birthing mother options other than a Cesarean
    ● Getting comfortable with changing care providers during pregnancy
    ● How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members
    The Breech Book
    @BreechBirth on Instagram

  • During today’s episode, self-proclaimed birth junkie Yukie McGregor shares the inspiration behind her Dallas Birth Guide and the Birth Community that it created, her primal first birth experience at home and the relief she felt after talking with a therapist after bouts of postpartum depression started to creep in during the first few months after having her baby.
    In this engaging conversation, Yukie details the comical aspects of her homebirth and how motherhood gave her the opportunity, skills, and the light to work on herself and heal herself. We decided that her birth should inspire a new genre of birth films… comedy!
    Yukie’s Birth Guide is designed to empower women during their motherhood journey and to provide all the resources they need to make birth planning decisions based on what will make them feel the most comfortable and supported. We love her mission and the services she offers; nothing is more important than women feeling empowered in this season of life.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    ● How she was inspired by The Business of Being Born Documentary before even becoming a mother
    ● The impressive way a body can have a baby whether you are ready for it or not
    ● How birth photographers capture tender moments
    ● How she planned for a birth center birth and decided in the end to stay home
    ● Planning for postpartum like you would plan for any other major event in your life
    ● The beneficial effects of intergenerational care during a motherhood journey
    ● How birth language can include an unconscious bias
    ● Having the confidence to ask the questions that empowered her
    ● How a Doula can be a trusted guide
    ● How our parenting decisions are influenced by how we are raised
    ● How motherhood changed her forever
    ● How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members
    Dallas Birth Guide
    Dallas Birth Guide Podcast
    Dallas Birth Guide on Instagram

  • During today’s episode, Natalie Brenner shares the joy, sadness, and grief she has experienced during her biological, adoptive and foster care motherhood journeys. She describes how her love of all things motherhood helped her navigate through postpartum depression, the intense emotional responsibility of foster parenting and her passion to dispel common myths and assumptions about the connection between adoption and infertility.
    The foundation of her book, This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts of Grief and Fullness of Life draws from her wide spectrum of the motherhood experiences and emotions.
    In this extremely vulnerable conversation, Natalie shares from her heart about her homebirth-turned-emergency-cesarean, how it’s possible to experience and make space for both grief and joy, and what her crazy life is like day to day. Her heart for both mothers and children will inspire you to embrace the moment you are in and give everything you have.
    Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
    In This Episode:
    ● Fully feeling the grief after a miscarriage
    ● Her passionate response to the ‘you must have finally conceived because you adopted’ myth
    ● Meeting the birth mother of her adopted son
    ● The excitement she felt to experience birth
    ● How her body didn’t respond to epidural or spinal medication for her c-section, resulting in last-second general anaesthesia
    ● The sadness she felt after her biological birth experience
    ● The painful, post Cesarean procedure, to reduce her risk of a blood clot
    ● Her journey of breastfeeding both her biological and adopted child simultaneously
    ● Their unexpected entry to the world of foster parenting
    ● The uncertain lives of foster children
    ● Having a community of foster parents in one area to keep foster siblings together
    ● How she makes time for self-care during this crazy season
    ● How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
    Show Notes:
    Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members
    This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts of Grief and Fullness of Life, by Natalie Brenner

  • Today’s guest, Rebecca Fraser, openly shares about the heartbreaking loss she felt when she was denied the initial bonding period with her first son, after being moved to the OR to repair a severe vaginal laceration. She recounts the physical and emotional agony of her PTSD and her difficult quest to find support and healing. She also shares the contrasting pure joy and connectedness she felt when holding her second born immediately after having a planned Cesarean birth.Struggling with the length and complexity of her recovery, both physically and emotionally, Rebecca found talking about her unique experience and attending a perinatal mental health class integral to her recovery. As she considered her options for birth when she became pregnant again, she decided it didn’t make any sense to relive the experience that had caused her so much pain. Opting for a planned cesarean, she immediately felt relief and empowerment - bolstered by the support she received from her caring birth team and community both during and after her birth.Any woman who needs or wants to plan a cesarean birth (or even just wants to prepare emotionally for the possibility) should listen to Rebecca’s story - it is such an important reminder that trauma doesn’t always look like we think it does, and that support and respect can allow ANY birth experience to be positive and empowering.Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here (http://www.expectful.com/motherbirth)!In This Episode:● Having a midwife present at a hospital delivery● The difference in U.S. birthing procedures versus international care● The intense pain of back labor● Her complicated recovery after surgery to repair the third-degree laceration● How birth trauma creates physical and emotional pain● How follow-up examinations and therapies triggered her PTSD● Getting pregnant again after a traumatic first birth● The decision to plan a cesarean and the empowering and positive experience she had● A prenatal course that focuses on post-traumatic stress● Recovery after a Cesarean and how it compared to her first recovery● Finding comfort in a birthing community● How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through ExpectfulShow Notes:- Expectful — One Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members (https://expectful.com/motherbirth)- Creating a Birth Plan Part 1 (https://podtail.com/podcast/motherbirth/creating-a-birth-plan-part-i-014/) & Part 2 (https- Motherbirth Episodescode text here://motherbirth.co/2017-6-26-when-birth-doesnt-go-as-planned/)