Ep11: Normalizing and navigating the twists and turns of becoming a parent

In this episode we talk about the twists and turns of becoming a parent with Nikki Johnston Beaudoin. Nikki is a Body Ready Method® pro, expecting mom, and collaborating author of the newly released The Mom Babes, An Anthology of Motherhood.

Nikki gets really vulnerable as she talks through her unique journey to becoming a parent. She discusses her fertility, pregnancy, birth, and recovery journey. She sheds light on the taboo of discussing fertility issues openly and why she thought sharing her own journey will help other people. What does it look like to use holistic support alongside the need for medical intervention? And, how do we as a birth pro and/or birthing person live in that space between? Do we have to choose between one of the two paths, or is there a middle ground?

Nikki is also a pre and post-natal Fitness Specialist who has dealt personally with fertility struggles, premature birth, and at the time of recording was expecting her 2nd child! She discusses her NICU journey with her first baby and talks through what she is doing differently this time and the unique struggles of being an expectant perinatal professional. She also sheds light on how being a Body Ready Method® Pro has changed her perspective towards birth.

We also discuss the power of prenatal prep, and the role of doulas at birth. The presence of a well prepared doula can support the birthing person in many ways to shift the birth environment. As a birth pro, we get so obsessed with the to do’s that we sometimes don’t let ourselves just be. A doula in the birthing room allows us to let go while they do the observing and suggesting. This is a great episode that both birth pros and expecting folks can truly enjoy!

Ep10: Navigating stress, trauma and the effects of epigenetics

Navigating stress. Trauma. Drama… We all deal with it in one way or another. How do our lived experiences and that of our ancestors impact our bodies, our births, and even what we pass on to kids? When we are living in a prolonged state of stress it can become our baseline. Maybe we always feel rushed. Or on edge. This not only impacts our mental health, it impacts our physical health as well. And that of our children. Our brains are powerful. And learning how to hone the power of our brains can allow us to change our world (including our pregnancies, births, recoveries, and even the stress response of our kids).

Yet too often we may feel like our brains are working against us. Navigating stress can be difficult, especially when we have negative coping mechanisms that we can’t seem to take control of. We yell, freak out, or sometimes we shut down. And then we are expected to be calm during birth? It’s normal and sometimes necessary to react with fight-flight or freeze. This is our nervous system’s way to protect us from danger. What happens with trauma, however, our bodies internalize and store that. Essentially we are ‘running from danger’ internally, all the time. Causing not only mental struggles, but physical as well. In this episode we chat with Ashley Makan and dig deep into the stress and trauma response including studies looking at prenatal stress and trauma’s impact on the developing fetus and go into ways to take control rather than feel controlled.

Ep9: Postpartum Planning: What you need to know

On this episode we speak to Amanda Gorman all about postpartum planning. While getting ready for a baby, oftentimes we miss one of the most important pieces of postpartum; planning for the 4th trimester. That immediate recovery time can be intense and incredibly overwhelming, especially if we aren’t ready for it. Having to care for a newborn baby within a day is a huge transition for many. We spend a good deal of time getting ready for birth, and that’s important too. However, not preparing adequately for postpartum is akin to preparing for the wedding, but not the marriage.

The wedding is very important, don’t get me wrong. But without preparing for the marriage, there is likely to be more struggle. We must take the time and the forethought to get ourselves ready for the big transition into caring for a tiny human while also recovering from the process. Postpartum planning should be what you want your postpartum period to look like, what is healthy for you, plus the reality of what your unique situation is, how much is doable and what more you need to do to achieve what you want.

Amanda and I chat about the importance of setting expectations between partners and asking for help, what postpartum planning should look like, items that we should include in our postpartum plan, hormonal changes that impact the postpartum period and get real about the ways our society fails to support new families. We talk about how postpartum planning is much more than just meal planning. Listen in and learn what postpartum planning should really look like.

Ep8: Fatphobia in Maternity Care

Let’s face it, we live in a culture that allows for fatphobia. Where mocking larger bodies is socially acceptable. A culture that glorifies a certain body type as the epitome of “health.” This has created a lot of issues in maternal health care, and healthcare as a whole. This also makes those living in larger bodies feel as if their size correlates to their health. This causes internalized fatphobia, thinking that all their ailments are due to their size. “Just lose weight,” they are often told. The weight stigma in the medical system often shames larger bodied folks into not receiving the care they really need.

Brooke discusses how fatphobia affects not only larger people, but all of us in some way or the other. A lot of people constantly live under the stress of gaining weight and often may resort to fad diets to fit in, causing adverse health outcomes. Because let’s be honest, most of those fad diets are not about health, but about being smaller. Brooke joins us to discuss how it is never okay to discuss and police someone’s body size. Especially not while they are pregnant or postpartum, being in an already vulnerable state.

So what is really going on? And is it really just that they need to lose weight? Does “optimal” weight really equate to health? If a pregnancy is labeled as high risk only because of the birther’s BMI then is it really considered evidence-based? And where did the BMI even come from? Join this revealing episode with the amazing Brooke Patmor to learn more about fatphobia. We discuss the barriers faced by large bodies in the birthing world; what is really going on, how to be size inclusive in birth work and how we can support our larger bodied clients better.

Ep7: Doula Support: Going beyond comfort measures

Join me, Lindsay McCoy as I hit “record” and jam out on all things professional birth support, including doula support during birth. There is a revolution in birth support. While holding the space and offering sips of water and a cool cloth is really important, there’s also so much more a doula can be doing!

In this episode, I talk about the role of a doula and their impact on the client’s birth experience, and what it really looks like to support birth physiology as a doula. I believe we can do more than just randomly using comfort measures. If a doula knows the biomechanics of labor and birth; the science of what to do when in labor and the “whys” of it, they can really make a difference in the client’s birth experience!

What do clients really need in a doula? Our job is to help the clients protect their space, help them find their voice and achieve the birth they want; and that not only means hands on labor support but also working with the client prenatally to prepare their body for labor so that they can have a smoother, uneventful birth.

I also talk about the essential skills in professional birth support. With over a decade of being a doula and helping pregnant families achieve the birth they desire, I have seen it all! In this episode I wanted to share why this role is not “less than” but complimentary to the provider role and should be treated as such.

Ep6: LGBTQ+ Healthcare: Transgender Pregnancy and Birth

On this episode we speak with Jacoby Ballard on LGBTQ+ healthcare and transgender pregnancy and birth. What does it mean to be transgender or non-binary? And what would it be like to go through pregnancy, birth and recovery being transgender male or non-binary? We dive into the real-lived experience of pregnancy, birth, and recovery while trans or non-binary with the incredible Jacoby. He opens up about his own experiences. He shares about his work in the perinatal space as a prenatal yoga instructor.

As birth professionals, it is our job to support our clients and patients through the transformative journey of pregnancy, birth and recovery. Jacoby talks about the vocabulary of inclusivity in the perinatal space. He also discusses options to self-educate about working with queer expecting parents. We also discuss about creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ folks in the birth work and what to do when you mistakenly do or say something offensive to a queer client.

Transgendered people face a higher rate of harassment in the perinatal space. And with gender being so ingrained into social norms of the perinatal space, harassment only increases. Sadly, this means they are also more likely to delay seeking medical help when needed due to fear of discrimination.

Unfortunately, this group, more often than not, feels unwelcomed, excluded or unsupported in the perinatal space. That’s why it is important that we open our hearts, listen, learn, grow and learn how to do better. This discussion brings important inclusion issues to light. We touch upon how we can show up, even if imperfectly, with the love and support that every human being deserves.

Ep5: The evolution of Diastasis Recti treatment

On today’s episode, Munira Hudani joins us to talk about the evolution of diastasis recti treatment. Our understanding of diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and evidence based treatment approaches has been evolving throughout the years. The pendulum has swung from the days of wrapping a towel around the midsection and crunching to avoiding movement altogether in fear of making things worse to where we are at today: a more holistic diastasis recti treatment approach.

Munira Hudani is a game changing diastasis rehab physio that is leading the charge in this more holistic understanding of how to approach diastasis recti. Join us and hear from Munia Hudani about how treatment protocols have progressed through the years and take a look at the most up to date approach to diastasis recti treatment.

Ep4: Dynamic Body Balance: The story behind your favorite birth techniques

Have you ever wondered the origin of some of your favorite prenatal and birth balancing techniques such as the forward leaning inversion and the side lying release? Join us in this informative episode as we meet the amazing Dr. Carol Phillips, a chiropractic doctor and craniosacral therapist who shares how she discovered these effective techniques that have become so well loved and used in prenatal care and birth support amongst those who understand the importance of balance for birth efficiency. Carol also educates us on what it means to have a body in balance and what it looks like when the body comes out of balance. She also touches on what we can do to achieve a balanced body for overall wellness as well as a more comfortable pregnancy and more efficient birthing process.

Ep3: The Doula Profession: What you need to know

Being a doula is an incredible job. We witness the amazingness that is pregnancy and birth, but it’s also a job with a high burnout rate because of how demanding and unsustainable it often is. Today we bring on the amazing doula and doula trainer, Rhonda Fellows, to discuss sustainability of the profession, what we believe doulas should know, scope of practice, and how to have a collaborative relationship with providers and hospitals. If we are going to impact real change, we need sustainability and proper education. Moreover, we need to build relationships with the hospitals and providers our clients are going to. Rhonda has been leading the charge in collaborative relationships in her local birth community and we believe this is something that every birth community should strive for!

Ep2: How to support a hypno-birther

Did you know that hypnosis is a normal state that you’ve been in before? That hypnosis for childbirth is really about honing the power of our brain to support a more comfortable birth experience? Yet there are many myths out there about what hypnosis for childbirth really is, especially amongst birth professionals. If someone is planning to use hypnosis for birth, it’s really ideal that their birth team “gets it.” Too often, an unsupportive birth professional can derail someone’s plan. Join Hypnotherapist and Hypnobirthing instructor, Erin Stertz-Follett and I as we discuss how to best support families using hypnosis for birth. From what to do if someone is having a difficult time, to what not to do during hypnobirths. Learning the power of our brains and our client’s brains can also help us support all types of birthers better.