Ep27: Birthing Wisdom: Deciphering Compound Presentations

What is a compound presentation and how can it make the birthing process potentially more challenging for both the one giving birth and baby? In this episode Chiropractor and Dynamic Body Balancing maven, Kristen Hosaka joins us! She shares absolutely fascinating insights into how she learned to identify compound presentations in utero, what to do to help baby, and why we should even consider how the baby is experiencing the birthing process and the lasting implications.

Kristen explains how observing a baby’s sleeping position can give us big clues into their go-to position in utero. We discuss how baby’s experience of the birthing process can have lasting effects and what we can do to support their best journey. The conversation moves into a beautiful articulation of the role our stress plays and the beauty of  not just a down regulated but a truly responsive nervous system.

Kristen reveals that she herself had 2 really challenging births with her first two babies in compound presentations and talks through how that had a lasting impact on the work she does today. I share a birth story from a VBAC client over a decade ago through the new lens of Kristen’s explanation of compound presentations and have a lightbulb moment that this may have been what was at play way back then. So fascinating!

We learn signs and symptoms during pregnancy that a compound presentation might be present and what to do about it during pregnancy and at birth. Even though we get nerdy on pelvic imbalances, we also share many actionable tips for birth pros and families.

Don’t miss out on this episode!

Ep26: Demystifying the world of physiological pregnancy and birth

In this episode, Adriana Lozada of the Birthful podcast joins us to jam out on all things physiological pregnancy prep and birth support. What does the term “physiological birth” even mean? How do our minds influence our physiology? How do chemicals influence our physiology? And, what is considered an intervention. Does more technology equal a “safer” birth? Is a home birth the only way to have a physiological birth? And, what is the role of the doula in supporting a physiological birth? Statistics show having a doula in the birthing space improves birth outcomes. What is the superpower that doulas specifically bring to the birth?

Adriana talks about her own birth. She mentions how it went well ‘on paper’, but it was not the experience she desired. She talks about the importance of internal work i.e the mindset along with the external work. Everything else we do will not help if we are not equipped with the mental tools we need to have a safe and calm birth.

In addition, we discuss the importance of hormones. Especially unhindered flow of the oxytocin in labor and how the modern day birthing environment is inhibiting it. We discuss inhibitors such as the pressure of giving birth on or before the due date, continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labor for low risk birthers, and the importance of surrendering to your intuition for physiological birth.

In this episode Adriana really breaks it down into actionable ways we, as birth workers and families, work towards getting the pregnancy, birth and recovery desired.

Ep25: How to provide unique pelvic floor care, birth prep, and birth support for unique bodies

“There’s got to be more to it.” This is what physical therapist and PRI teacher Hayley Kava said to herself about pelvic floor care when she was dealing with her own pelvic floor health. Nuance is key when it comes to pelvic floor care, birth prep, birth support tools and really health in general.

We are all unique beings and need unique solutions! Yet too often we slap the same quick fixes on everyone. Such as the kegel. Hayley talks about what she found to really help herself and others find the path to healing and empowerment. Yet our society is filled with quick fixes. While they may get a lot of likes and comments on social media, do they really help people see lasting change and benefit? Probably not.

Hayley shares so many knowledge bombs about the body, pelvic floor care, and birthing process. And, how we can work with people in a more empowering and impactful way. What helps someone with a certain body pattern may not be the best for someone in a different pattern. So what may be extremely beneficial for one individual, might not work at all for another. Let’s learn how to meet the body where it’s at. Let’s break out of the boxes we have placed ourselves in and learn how to support lasting shifts in the body and in birth.  The body is wise and birth is a normal physiological process that sometimes requires medical support. Not an emergency that sometimes happens physiologically.

We need to start learning how to speak the language of the body and of birth and support the physiological processes. We can then help ourselves and our clients work towards healing their bodies, having easier births, and really showing up in the world in the unique way they are meant to.

Ep24: Pelvic floor myths and mysteries unraveled

Today we are joined by Pelvic Health Occupational Therapist, Lindsey Vestal. We talk all things myths and mysteries of the pelvic floor! We start with discussing what the pelvic floor really is and what it consists of. What is its actual job? Why is this area of the body so filled with shame, trauma and tension? Does it really get more loose down there post birth or is this just a myth?

We discuss the role of the nervous system in pelvic floor health. What fear does to the birthing person’s pelvic floor and how letting go of our fears and tensions can really help us. Not only during birth but also in our day to day life.

What is the role of breathing in pelvic floor health? What is a simple way to connect with one’s pelvic floor? Are Kegels the solution? Is there ever a place for Kegels? Who might benefit from them and who might get even more dysfunctional after doing lots of kegels?

Lindsey sheds light on the mysteries of the pelvic floor and what a more holistic, individualized approach can look like (hint: kegels aren’t it!). She sheds light on the role perinatal professionals who are not pelvic health therapists themselves play in helping their clients and patients thrive. She also shares tips on how to find the perfect pelvic practitioner for you.

Lindsey and I also dig into the difference between the overactive vs underactive pelvic floor. Are there any self-checks we can do to evaluate our pelvic floor health? She goes into great detail about training and retraining your bladder to be more functional and responsive.

We dive deep into the myths and mysteries of the postpartum period and discuss realistic healing timelines, strategies and why there’s so much more to it than just going to a therapist and getting a pelvic floor release.

Lindsey offers us hope that the body is adaptable and that we do not have to “just deal” with pelvic floor dysfunction because we have given birth. It’s an honor to have her back as BRM® faculty!

Ep23: Advocacy in the birthing room

In this episode we sit down and chat about birth advocacy, prenatal prep, postpartum healing and much more with experienced doula and BRM® Faculty, Denise Bolds!

Denise shares her family history and what brought her into birth work. We discuss what is important to know for your client and for you as a doula, before going into a birth where you are not sure the doctor and the client are on the same page. How do we strategize for an optimal birth outcome? What do we do when we see the provider is going against the client’s wishes?

We also discuss birth advocacy. How to actually support your clients to advocate for what they want for their birth. How can we truly shift the paradigm of birth? And, what it looks like to doula through a medically complex birth or in a less than supportive environment. How much is too much advocacy? Should we speak on the birthing person’s behalf? Do we just come in with guns blazing or is there a different approach that tends to work better?

We come together and also discuss the importance of prenatal prep, communication, education, and collaboration between the birthing person, their support team and their care providers. Denise shares about the importance of making hospitals more ‘family friendly.’ Ensuring that not only are they designed to support the baby and the birthing person but also the support team.

How do we address the racial disparity in postpartum healing? As a birthworker, what is our role in supporting postpartum people? Should we really leave new parents alone until the first check-up at 6 weeks postpartum? Denise also shares incredible wisdom and insight on what role, if any, the insurance companies have to play in shifting the paradigm and culture of pregnancy, birth, and postnatal recovery.

Join us for this powerful episode!

Ep22: Stress & trauma during pregnancy: the role of the birth worker

Stress and trauma. We hear that we shouldn’t stress during pregnancy. That stress is bad for our health. But how can we take an action-based approach to stress and trauma reduction and nervous system regulation? What are the options provided for someone struggling with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) apart from medications? How can we, as birth professionals, identify and encourage a client to seek support? Is there a way that we can *actually* address the poor maternal health outcomes that are only getting worse in our society? And, how can we address our own stress and trauma so that we do not take it into our work.

In this episode Ja’Neen Jenkins Washington joins us to chat about all things stress and trauma during pregnancy. Touching also on how our society is set up in a way that disproportionately impacts black and brown families. How can we help? Racism is deeply rooted and can affect not only the physical outcomes of a birth but also the mental health outcomes of these populations.

Ja’Neen brings us some really important and helpful ideas. She’s someone we should all get to know. The amazing work she’s doing is combining mind and body to help the perinatal population to thrive. She takes an individualized, client-focused approach to stress and trauma. Bringing together mental health, somatic body awareness, and so much more to provide her clients with a holistic experience. Stacks the cards in their favor for a better experience.

We also discuss how critical it is that birth pros do more than just ask their clients to meditate or take deep breaths for dealing with stress. It’s important for birth workers to have their own inner resources and coping strategies. And, we discuss the importance of the post birth ritual in helping birth workers to find joy in their job and avoid the burnout that is so prevalent in our industry. Let’s shift the paradigm, together!

Ep21: The embodied approach to the body and movement

Today we chat with Lauren Ohayon, creator of Restore Your Core® and co-creator of Body Ready Method®! This is a candid conversation about the embodied approach.

How do we meet our clients where they’re at and empower them to experience new patterns in their body? And do that in a way that does not induce shame, blame and negative thought patterns. How do we shift the “right vs. wrong” narrative? Too often, we think we are suppose to rush in, take charge and “save” our clients. This puts them in the same place that the modern industrial medical complex puts them. They end up outsourcing their own inner knowing, wisdom and embodiment to a perceived expert.

Diastasis recti during pregnancy is expected, so why do we need core and pelvic floor prehab and rehab work? We talk about how society makes pregnant and postpartum people think that their body is not good enough. And the notion that there is always some ‘work’ to do.

With great knowledge comes great responsibility. Lauren and I discuss the importance, as professionals, of both understanding and being able to assess and work with clients through the deep scientific lens of movement patterns. And, doing so in an empowering way that firmly places the power back into the hands of the human in front of us. How do we educate and train our clients without inducing fear, hyper-vigilance and self blame? How do we educate and train our clients in the embodied approach? I invite you to listen in on this conversation.

This episode also shares more about the background story of how Lauren and I came to join forces. We truly feel we are here to bring this work to the world and we hope our work embodies our passion!

Ep20: Changing the perspective of physiological birth

If you’ve been around the birth world for any amount of time you have likely heard of Spinning Babies®. Today Gail Tully, founder and visionary behind Spinning Babies® joins me at my home to talk all things physiological birth and shifting the paradigm. Gail is truly a trail blazer who has and continues to inspire the next generation of birth professionals, and parents to continue to stay curious, to learn and deepen their awareness, and to heal birth on earth.

In this heart to heart episode, Gail goes nostalgic and shares what inspired her to get into this work. She shares the story of her first pregnancy and birth as a teen and how that got her interested in birth work. We get a glimpse of her relationship with her midwife. And, how beautiful a birther’s experience can be when we are all on the same side.

Gail and I also discuss how births have changed over the years. Including the possible reasons why births are not like how they used to be in the 70s and the 80s. We also discuss physiological births and what impacts it the most.

Creating a balance in the birth practice is important; knowing what to do when, when to use physiological techniques, when to use medical interventions and when to just wait and watch, letting nature do its work. Providing individualized care to each client according to their labor patterns and their physical needs is SO needed!

Listen in to catch SO many mic-drop quotables and stories from Gail. If you’re a complete birth nerd like me, you’ll truly enjoy this one.

It is an honor to have Gail Tully joining us again as faculty for the Body Ready Method® Professional Training. Her insights, wisdom, and stories are just the balm our birth pro souls need.

Ep19: Evolution of birthwork and the power of working together

What happens when two longtime birth and body workers get together and hit record? Magic, I tell you! Listen in on a very candid conversation on the evolution of birthwork, bodywork within different populations and breech baby.

Adrienne Caldwell is faculty for the Body Ready Method® our professional training for birth pros and an absolute genius bodyworker. Overall she has helped thousands of families prepare their bodies, find balance, and help breech babies find their best position for birth. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on the podcast for round two!

Adrienne and I have been in the same birth circles for over 15 years! Back in the day we would often share clients. They would come to me for doula support and exercise and Adrienne for bodywork. Adrienne was at the top of my list for BRM® faculty.

Listen in as we chat about the importance and relationship between exercise and bodywork and how the same conditions may be caused by different reasons in different bodies. Because, as we know it is not a one size fits all when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Each birth is so different. How we support the birthing person truly depends upon how they give birth! From unmedicated births to epidural birth and also cesarean births, every birthing person needs and deserves proactive prep during pregnancy and unconditional support during birth.

We then touch on how everything is ALL connected in the human body going into a deep discussion on breech birth and the efforts to normalize and support them by OBs around the world.

And, we don’t stop there! We also chat about the best approach to shifting the paradigm of childbirth, birthing in the modern world, athletic bodies preparing for birth, and the soft tissues of the body that give it its shape.

Birth nerds? This is truly a treasure trove of helpful information. From the evolution of birthwork to the niche topic of pregnancy within the athlete population. You won’t want to miss it!

Ep18: Our fourth birth: Trauma, personal triumphs and finding community

My husband, Matt McCoy, joins me again to share all about our 4th (surprise!) birth. Our final birth story unravels as a completely unplanned pregnancy. After our 3rd baby was born with a critical congenital heart defect that required a lot of medical care including open heart surgery at 2 months old, we were surprised to find out we were expecting again.

We had to work through the trauma of that 3rd birth experience going into our next experience. We talk through the depression that Matt was struggling with at the time. You’ll hear about some strategies we used to be able to come together and support one another during a stressful and challenging season of life. Matt sheds some light on how to support your partner when you are not your best self either. And, we discuss how a good birth team will not only support the birthing person but support the partners too.

Although this was an unplanned pregnancy, this time we had such a strong community supporting us. I truly had a hard time picking a doula and a midwife! Listen in to hear why we went with a different midwife this time and what was the deciding factor when choosing one.

You’ll also hear some never before shared tidbits about the beginning of Body Ready Method®. Including my best attempt at creating videos during that pregnancy. I also share about my experience breastfeeding through a pregnancy, going post dates (again), afterpains and more! Yes seasoned doulas struggle with afterpains too!

Matt also shares a golden nugget of advice for partners working 9-5 jobs. And, talks about the importance of showing up as much as possible in the postpartum period. We discuss how we were able to divide our responsibilities during this unplanned pregnancy according to what worked best for our family. You really get a good look behind the curtain in this one!

Ep17: Our third birth: 43+ weeks pregnant and on the news!

Yes! You read that right, 43+ weeks pregnant and, true story, a news crew capturing the whole experience for the local news!

In this episode I am joined by my husband, Matt McCoy to share the story of our 3rd birth. This was my first birth after having become a birth professional. It was my longest pregnancy and birth process, but also the birth I consider my easiest birth (although, postpartum was a completely different story. But, that’s a story for a different day!).

This story is really a journey into trust and intuition. Something I consider crucial throughout pregnancy and especially when due date arrives.

Listen in as Matt and I talk through making decisions that were right for us, especially as we went weeks past our guess date. How important the “bubble of peace” was in remaining calm and confident. And, what Matt as a birth partner did to help keep both of our nervous systems from going into fight or flight mode.

I discuss the ways I visualized this birth to go (I wanted it to be LONGER than the last ones! Yes you read that right.) and how it actually played out in reality. I touch on birth at +43 weeks pregnant after becoming a birth professional. I was now teaching exercises and childbirth classes. How did this impact my experience, birth choices, etc.? Can knowing more about the ins and outs of birth make us more confident or more nervous during the whole process? Where is the fine line? Tune in and find out our take on all things overdue!

Ep16: Partner Ready: Birth partners need to prep, too!

In this episode we talk all about birth partner support with my husband, Matt McCoy! We often forget about how overwhelming the journey to baby can be for the partners. Pregnancy, birth and recovery are huge physiological events and it’s really easy for birth partners to feel like a deer caught in headlights and freeze or sink into a corner when things get intense. Many partners want to be involved, but just don’t know how or what to do and just need a bit of extra support and encouragement.

But what if we empowered the birth partners?
Prepare partners so that they could show up in the way the birther needs them to. What if working together in this way could be a catalyst for even deeper connection. What if it could be a catalyst for your partner finding their flow as a parent (if your birth partner is also your parenting partner).

Yes, just like we can prepare during pregnancy for birth, partners can prepare to give the support needed! Birth support for each person looks different. There are birthers who’ll want someone near, someone holding their hand. There are birthers who’ll want their space. This is just one small example of how support can vary from person to person. Matt and I talk about our own birth experiences. We touch on ways to get the birther and the birth partner in tune to know what will be needed when the moment comes.

It is not about becoming an expert about birth. Practicing a few things together not only helps you to recall it at birth it also helps you to connect. Join us as we discuss what it means to be ‘partner ready’ and what you can do, together, to make this your reality. In this episode we talk through our stories and tips to make you feel more prepared, together. I encourage you to listen!

Ep15: Our second birth: How we achieved a profoundly different experience

On this episode Matt and I chat about our second birth. What a different experience it was! Have you ever had an experience that altered the course of your life so deeply? So profoundly that you knew your life would not be the same without it? Our first wasn’t the experience we’d hoped for. And after this birth, in our own ways, we became obsessed with figuring out why and what could be done differently.

Matt, as my birth partner, dived into research to learn more about partner support. I really got into reading and learning more about pregnancy and birth. And, how I could incorporate my background in exercise science into it.

This led us to make very different choices for our second birth experience two and a half years later.  And, it led to a profoundly different experience. An experience so deep and profound, an experience so autonomous and empowering, that it altered the entire course of our lives. This was the experience that led me to step fully into my power as a birth worker.

I thought I was leaving exercise science and my  job as an exercise physiologist behind… little did I know that I would someday combine the two to create what is now known as the Body Ready Method®.

Listen in on this episode to hear what the McCoy’s did differently and how these choices altered our lives forever! There are a few tips and tricks you can take into your next birth or your next client’s that may just make the best difference.

Ep14: Origin Story: Our first birth experience with Lindsay & Matt McCoy

Join me and my amazing husband, Matt McCoy, as we recount the story of our first pregnancy and birth, from 2006/2007. Picture two young adults who thought they had it all figured out. Who figured “people have been having babies forever, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.” Who wanted a natural first birth, but didn’t really have a plan as to how to get there.

At the time, I was finishing up my Exercise Science degree and was teaching almost every fitness class possible. From bootcamp to water aerobics to spinning. You name it, I was teaching it. I read all the right books and even googled “doula near me,” but found none nearby.

Needless to say, our first birth didn’t go the way we had hoped. We ended up at the hospital, tubes everywhere and I ended up getting an epidural. When this happened, being the research nerd that I am, I needed to know why. Really, this is the story of how an exercise physiologist, who said she’d never go into birth as the daughter of an L&D nurse and granddaughter of an OB/GYN, started the ball rolling to what would eventually become the realization of her life’s calling. It’s also the story of a partner learning what true support means during pregnancy, during birth, and during postpartum. Learning to become a parent.

As Matt and I discuss our first birth for the first time in almost 15 years, we interweave helpful tips and tricks that you can take into your own pregnancy and birth experiences. It is often difficult  to see how far we have grown until we look back at a former version of ourselves, with love and appreciation, yet here we take a look at a former version of us and the birth that started it all.

Ep13: Labor Flow State: A birth-ready mindset

Have you ever heard of the flow state? Have you ever felt “in the zone?” That zone where you seem to have effortless momentum. Where time seems to melt away and you are just flowing? Maybe you were running a race, writing, or doing artwork. Maybe you’ve also felt what it feels like to be out of “the zone”. Where everything just feels more challenging and you just can’t seem to find your flow. This is a researched state of being known as the flow state. Research has identified how to get into the flow and stay in the flow. It has also identified what keeps us out of the flow.

Also, did you know that we can use the flow state and the research behind it to have a better birth? When we are able to get in and stay in our labor flow state during birth, not only do we have more access to our intuition to know what to do, we also have access to more natural pain relief. In this episode we dive into three main things that can help or hinder the birthing person’s labor flow state.

As a birth pro, there are things you can do during a birth to help your client stay in their flow. Ask yourself, ‘what are some things that could be a great distraction to my client’s labor flow state?’ ‘How can I minimize these distractions?’ ‘How can I help them get back into the flow?’

As for my birthing friends, take some time during your pregnancy! Think of the things that would make you feel really good in your birthing space. Make a list of these things and share it with your birth team. I’ve seen it all. From adding twinkle lights around the birth room to covering the clocks. Nothing is too out of the box, we need to do what makes sense to us.

Overall, getting into the labor flow state is something that we can prepare for and should prepare for. Listen to this episode to learn how to prepare in pregnancy and what to do in birth to find and stay in the flow!

Ep12: Being too flexible during birth: How much is too much?

Have you ever thought or heard that the best way to have an easier birth is to stretch a lot? Or that flexibility = better birth? Sometimes being too flexible can actually create some problems. While yes, it is important to be mobile, there is a difference between mobility and flexibility. This episode is all about being “too flexible” during pregnancy. We are joined by Physical Therapist and creator of Train4Birth, Monika Patel.

Did you know joint laxity increases by about 10% during pregnancy?

In this episode, Monika talks about the lack of information on the musculoskeletal changes in pregnancy available to expectant parents especially if they are hypermobile. We chatted about what hypermobility is, how much of a culprit relaxing is, issues that can present themselves during pregnancy and birth, and what we should do about it. Monika shares with us the type of movements that are recommended for hypermobile people to prepare their bodies for birth. She also shares some great nuggets, including simple questions that she asks her clients who may be showing signs of being “too flexible”.

We also discuss how the labor and birth of a hypermobile person can be different from those who aren’t hypermobile. If you work in the perinatal space you will have a client with hypermobility at some point. It’s so important that as birth pros, we understand what’s going on and what we can do about it, ensuring our clients can have the most efficient birthing experience.

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.

Ep1: Early Recovery: How to support the first 6 weeks postpartum

Current guidance for what to do after having a baby is abysmal. We are maybe told to “take it easy” and possibly “do some kegels” but that is really about it. Then the 6 week postnatal visit comes around and BAM! Cleared for all exercise. Is this really the best way to support a body that has just gone through the amazing and intense transformation that is pregnancy? A body that then gave birth- whether vaginally or via cesarean birth? Pelvic Physical Therapist Hayley Kava comes on to jam with me on all things the first 6 weeks postpartum and how to safely progress your body back to the things you love!

Ep28: Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

Do you or your client have pain in their pubic bone, tailbone, or SI Joint? Pelvic pain is extremely common during pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean it’s always just ‘par the course.’ In today’s episode, Lauren and Lindsay explore the topic of pelvic pain during pregnancy including possible contributors and ways to prevent, minimize, or even eliminate pelvic girdle pain.

Ep27: Optimal Fetal Positioning

Optimal fetal positioning is the idea that there are positions that the baby can find in utero that are easier (and more difficult) for the labor process. Should you worry about your baby’s position? When should you worry? And what can you actually do? In this episode Lindsay discusses hyper-vigilance, how to stop putting out fires at the birth, and how we can stack the cards for a boring, straightforward birth!

Ep26: Informed Consent

What is informed consent, really? Is saying “I am going to check your cervix now” informed consent? How about “Let me know when you’re ready for me to check your cervix”? And what is a doula, birth partner, or birthing person to do when they are not receiving proper informed consent? How do we even know? The Birth Kweens are Karly, a midwife and Ali, A doula and they join us today to really delve deep into this important topic from all angles. The provider angle, the doula angle, and the birthing person angle. Everyone who plans to be in a birthing room at any time in their life should listen to this episode. Karly and Ali had so many important tidbits to share, yet they do so in a fun, upbeat and sometimes hilarious way.

Ep25: High Risk Pregnancy

It feels big and scary to be facing pregnancy complications or to have the “high risk” label attached to your pregnancy. It can also be scary to think about having another pregnancy after a previously traumatic pregnancy or birth. Parijat is the leading expert on high risk pregnancy and takes a unique neurobiological approach to helping pregnant people reduce their complications, risk of preterm birth, and reclaim and sense of safety and trust in their bodies that they thought had been eroded forever. Sure, there’s a lot outside our control. But Parijat helps us to take control of the controllables. Whether you are a birth professional or an expecting person, learn the keys to reducing risk of complications in pregnancy and birth.

Ep24: Gestational Diabetes: Evidence Based Nutrition

What to eat/not eat during pregnancy can already feel confusing and overwhelming. Add a gestational diabetes diagnosis to the mix and it can feel next to impossible. Lily Nicols is one of the top experts and researchers in this area and breaks it down and makes it doable. She is a breath of fresh air and you will not want to miss this informative and super digestible episode!

Ep23: The Prenatal Core: What you really need to know

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the prenatal core. Thanks to social media, this topic is definitely trending. However, with this can come a lot of bad information and false promises. What should you do/not do? Can you really prevent diastasis recti (abdominal separation)? What is the core’s role during childbirth? Lauren and Lindsay deep dive into this topic, cut through the noise and BS and get straight to what you need to know about the prenatal core.

Ep22: The Anxious Brain: strategies for parents

Anxiety is a nasty B. A huge percentage of new parents right now are anxious. Growing and parenting a human being adds a whole new level of stress that we must learn healthy strategies to manage our anxious brains. Add in a global pandemic and the current political climate and it’s no wonder a lot of us are struggling and feeling like we’re in survival mode! Today we are speaking with Olivia Scobie who specializes in perinatal mood, birth trauma, and parental mental health.

Ep21: Babies after 35

Many people are choosing to start their families later in life and are confused and unsure when they learn that after the age of 35 they are considered “advanced maternal age.” Is this something they should be worried about? And what should someone over the age of 35 be aware of when choosing to grow their family? Dr Shannon Clark is an OBGYN, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist and also became a mother for the first time to twins at the age of 43. As such, she has taken a special interest in this topic and runs the popular “Babiesafter35” Instagram page. Dr Clark has a no BS way of sharing this information and provides a lot of useful information that birth professionals and those planning to start growing their family after 35 will not want to miss!

Ep20: Craniosacral Therapy for pregnancy, birth and beyond

Today we are joined by Landon Yakovleva, who is a birth doula and craniosacral therapist (CST). We discuss when and why CST may be indicated and how it works. If you’re curious about this type of work, you’ll definitely want to take a listen! We also discuss Landon’s own pregnancy and how she, as a doula herself, is preparing herself for her 2nd birth and the unique challenges of being a pregnant birthworker.

Ep19: Womb Care

Mayte the Womb Doula is a traditional Sobadora, who was taught by her Abuelitas beginning at the age of 5 and mentored until she was given the blessing to serve on her own, she has been doing so for 19 years. This knowledge lives in her lineage and was passed to her directly. She now cares for others in Dallas, Texas at a local community centered wellness center called, Our Wellness Community.

In today’s episode we learn all about the traditional practice of Sobada. Which is a practice that aligns abdominal organs to stimulate overall health and especially that of the womb. The stimulation balances the uterus, bladder and ovaries. It allows diaphragmatic release and aids in digestion and improves pelvic floor stability. Many clients seek Mayte’s care for the amazing results in fertility, scar tissue reduction, or special conditions such as fibroids, cysts, hormonal imbalances or painful menstruation amongst others. Listen to this episode to learn more about this amazing practice and what it might be beneficial for.

Ep18: Psychosomatic Approach to Pelvic Healing

Healing from pelvic pain and dysfunction can be complex and multifaceted. A piece of the puzzle that is often left out is what is going on in the brain. Alicia Patterson deep dives into her psychosomatic approach to pelvic health. The science is clear- our mind and our body is connected so we must address both. She discusses the idea of “body armour” and how the emotions can show up in our tissues and how we can reconnect to our bodies in order to find healing and vitality. The journey to vitality walks us through shame, fear, and other emotions that most of us want to shove deep down and not deal with, yet that journey through the difficult emotions can bring us into that space of wellness and vitality.

Ep17: The Enneagram of Pregnancy+Birth with Ashton Whitmoyer-Ober

The Enneagram is an amazing personality tool that can be used to help us better understand ourselves and our relationships with others. It is also an excellent personal development tool. In this episode, we talk to Enneagram expert, Ashton Whitmoyer-Ober, who deep dives into how each Enneagram type may handle the experience of pregnancy, birth and beyond. We also talk about how helpful the Enneagram is for the birthworker- both knowing their own type and knowing their clients types. This episode may help you break away from limiting behaviors and allow your best version of yourself shine through your pregnancy and birth journey.

Ep16: Know your pelvic floor, own your birth + beyond

During pregnancy, it is important to understand what is going on with the pelvic floor. Maybe it has too much tension or perhaps it has not enough. Understanding what is going on can help prepare for less discomfort and pelvic symptoms during pregnancy. It is also important to understand how the pelvic floor can effect the birthing process. We are joined by pelvic PT, Ally Loupe, who talks about how to best prepare the pelvic floor for pregnancy+birth. We also hear about her experience during her first pregnancy of hooking her own pelvic floor up to sEMG and getting in every possible birth position to see where her pelvic floor was at most rest. She ended up giving birth in that very position and birth without a tear. So many important nuggets of wisdom in this episode on the prenatal pelvic floor.

Ep15: Prenatal yoga and preparation- Myths and more

This week we chatted with Deb Flashenberg about all things prenatal yoga! As two certified yoga teachers, it is always fun to riff with another teacher. There are so many amazing myths around what you can and cannot do as a pregnant person and we take a good stab at breaking down some of those stories. Should a pregnant person twist? How do we find a “middle path” for our clients when it comes to prenatal preparation? All this and more in this episode!

Ep14: The Pregnant Body: Bodywork and structural analysis for pregnancy and postpartum

In today’s episode we jam on all things related to the pregnant/postpartum body with one of our favorite prenatal bodyworkers, Adrienne Caldwell. She thoroughly understands the pregnant body, baby positioning, and how to create an ideal environment in the body for a more comfortable pregnancy, efficient birth, and smooth recovery. We discuss everything from glutes that don’t fire to the relationship between oblique tension and abdominal separation. Adrienne takes a detour from traditional massage – fostering relaxation – instead she practices an integrated bodywork that includes structural analysis, movement training and alignment habits. She creates the intersection between bodywork and movement that is so needed in prenatal care. You don’t want to miss this insightful episode!

Ep13: Supercharge your message and drive more sales

Why do people say one thing and do another? What drives “sales” behavior? How do we get people to want to work with us? Melina Palmer of the Brainy Business Podcast uses behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy- or not) to help us learn how to make our businesses more ‘brain friendly.’ She provides actionable tips on how to create a message that actually lands for your audience. We also discuss the most brainy way to frame your offerings, pricing strategies, and so much more! Subtle brainy shifts can make a profound impact on attracting more clients and helping those clients to take action. Work smarter, not harder, by learning how to incorporate key behavioral economics strategies into your business!

Ep12: Cesarean Recovery

Today’s episode is all about cesarean recovery. Maternity care has some blindspots when considering cesarean recovery + rehab protocol. With many other surgeries that are as serious as a cesarean, people are given clear rehab instructions and guidelines. However, with cesareans, very little guidance is given and most new parents are left to seek out resources on their own. In this episode, we take a deep dive into all things cesarean recovery and return to fitness with doctor of Physical Therapy and cesarean mom of 3, Amanda Fischer of Empower your Pelvis. She discusses special considerations for cesarean recovery, the “cesareans save your vagina” myth, and gives us tangible tips on how to support our clients in their cesarean recovery and return to fitness journey.

Ep11: Navigating Birth Choices: What’s the birth worker’s role?

What do you do when your client says they want one thing, but the choices they are making are not in alignment with that? This is a common, yet tricky situation to navigate as a birthworker. On one hand, you don’t want to disempower a client by telling them what to do. On the other hand, it’s our job to help our client’s work towards the birth they want- whatever that may be. Liz Hochman of BirthEd has an absolutely genius way of helping clients figure out what they want in a way that both empowers the client and also prepares them for discovering what it is they really want for their birth. We had a great discussion about the alignment of values between the provider and birth place choice and the client’s personal values as a medical consumer. She is a masterful doula and childbirth educator and she shares her secrets with us in today’s episode.

Ep10: Instagram: How to make it work for you and your business

It’s all about the ‘gram these days! It’s no secret that social media presence is very important to business. Yet it can be frustrating, overwhelming and it sometimes feels like you’re talking to no one. If you are wondering how to up level your Instagram strategy, this episode is for you. We are joined by Labor and Delivery nurse and Instagram maven, Liesel Teen. Liesel runs the popular “Mommy Labor Nurse” Instagram page and has amassed a following of 289K followers. She pulls back the curtain and reveals the secrets to her success and gives us tangible advice on how to use Instagram to gain followers, attention and reach more people!

Ep9: How to support the VBAC family

It is a mistake to think that serving a client with a scar on their uterus is the same as serving a client without one. Today we are joined by the ladies from the VBAC Link to discuss how to support families planning a birth after a previous cesarean. We discuss how the model of care is different and talk about all things VBAC, TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean), and Cesarean birth. We learn about what makes this population special and how to decide what type of birth one might opt for after a cesarean.

Ep8: Racism in Maternity Care: The history, the lived experience and how to be a catalyst for change

Racism in maternity care is well documented and it is time that we all wake up. Doula extraordinaire, Denise Bolds MSW, CD (DONA) CLC, discusses the real lived experience of birthing while Black educates us on the history behind the systemic racism in healthcare, and speaks to what we can and should be doing to support the fight. Black birth matters and we all must do our part. This episode is essential listening for everyone who works in maternity care, or honestly just lives in the world we live in today.

Ep7: Prenatal Nutrition: Myths, half truths and reality

There can be a lot of fear / myth around what to eat and not eat during pregnancy. In today’s episode we are joined by the Prenatal Nutritionist, Ryann Kipping, RDN, CLEC to discuss nutrition myths and what we should really be focusing on regarding nutrition with our clients during pregnancy. We even discuss a nutrient that studies show may decrease labor pain. Join us for this informative episode!

Ep6: Creating a wildly successful online offering

How, why, when, and what of getting your business online. Adapting is essential, especially with no concrete “end” insight but it is also daunting and not always so cut and dry. Our guest, Lynn Schulte, is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist who found a way to very successfully take her hands-on work and knowledge into the online space. She shares with us how to adapt your business, reasons why your offerings might not be selling, and tips for creating unique and in-demand offerings.

Ep5: What is diet culture? Real talk meets societal norms

It is no secret that our society has issues when it comes to food, dieting, and body shame. Today we talk to Jennifer Campbell of Balance365 Life, who shares her own story with disordered eating and helps us really understand the toxicity of diet culture. We talk about everything from weight loss, fat-shaming, and tummy tuck to how to love our bodies and help our clients do the same in this revealing and counter-cultural episode that may just change the way you look at food, diets, and your body.

Ep4: Demystifying Pelvic Floor Care

What’s the deal with kegels? Are squats better? What should we really be recommending to our prenatal and postnatal clients? It is no secret that there is a lot of misinformation out there about pelvic floor health. Join us as we talk to the amazing Lindsey Vestal who not only drops major knowledge bombs, but also gives us tangible assessment tools that we can use with our clients right away.

Ep3: How to get your sexy back

Satisfaction, kids, partnership, resentment. In today’s episode, we speak to sexpert Dana Myers about these super important, often taboo topics. How should a practitioner discuss sex with their client? Can marriage sex life really be exciting and amazing? Find out, listen now.

Ep2: Create a sustainable, profitable business

How can I make money doing work that fulfills me? Why is it so awkward asking for money? How can we feel fulfilled and happy with our work, serve others well, and make the money we want? Longtime money mindset coach and therapist, Agnes Kowalski teaches us key mindset shifts that we need to make to truly thrive as business owners. There is a high burnout rate in birth work and many find that it is not sustainable. Agnes teaches us why that may be and what to do to create both prosperity and fulfillment with actionable steps you can start working on today.

Ep1: Virtual Birth Support in the time of COVID 19

How can we support our clients if we are not allowed in the birth room? Join us for this timely episode with one of NYC’s top doula trainers, Jada Shapiro, where we discuss what it looks like to support an expectant family during the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode will help you long after the crisis has ended, as Jada gets deep on the what and how of virtual support. This is something that can help you serve expectant families all over the world for years to come.