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.