A doula is a professional who has been trained in childbirth and who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother and their birth partner. Having a doula can be an amazing help in creating the birth experience you want, and can drastically decrease your chances of requiring an intervention and a cesarean section. This episode features Nathalie Saenz of the Dearest Doula podcast. She has a passion for birth and explains everything you need to know about doulas from what they do to some great questions to ask when finding one that is the right fit for you.
Nathalie Saenz is a birth doula, and the creator and host of the Dearest Doula podcast, a free online resource for new and aspiring birth workers. She currently offers pregnancy and birth support in San Antonio, Texas.
Unfortunately, sometimes when your skin is stretching during birth it can tear. It is pretty common for first time mothers to have some tearing during a vaginal delivery and of course there is also the possibility that you could have an episiotomy, which is a surgical incision. The good news is that there are some things you can do leading up to, and during, your labor and delivery to prevent this. I know all of this can sound scary but it shouldn’t be. The benefits of a vaginal delivery far outweigh the downside of a tear or an episiotomy. Keep in mind some women make it through a vaginal birth without any tearing so it is not unavoidable. If you do end up with a tear or incision there is a lot you can do to make yourself more comfortable, give yourself some relief, and help your body heal afterwards.
There are a lot of rumors about activities you can do or certain foods to eat for inducing labor naturally. Some of these methods have some science behind them and some of these remedies are just old wives tales that you can probably skip. This episode gets into all of the remedies of inducing labor naturally to give you the information you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Of course you want to wait until your baby is fully mature and your body is ready for labor but there are some things you can do at home that can help to naturally induce labor, and some are definitely worth trying, especially if your doctor or midwife is bringing up the possibility of a medical induction.
In a perfect world everything works like it is supposed to, your body is ready, your baby is fully mature and ready to make their entrance into the world, and you naturally go into labor. As you probably know, everything doesn’t always go the way we plan and many women end up getting an induction to jump start labor. The key is knowing when an induction may be medically necessary, and when it may be better to wait it out. There are many reasons your doctor or midwife may suggest an induction and this episode really dives deep into the reasons an induction may be necessary, as well as some reasons it may be better to wait. There are many ways your labor can be induced and we go through each method, how it works, what risks are involved, and what the benefits of each method are. We get into the details on stripping and sweeping membranes, misoprostol (Cytotec), dinoprostone (Cervidil & Prepidil), synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin), using a laminaria or balloon cathedar, and breaking your water. You will definitely want to listen to this episode to get all the information you need to determine whether an induction is right for you, when is the best time to do it, and what methods you want to use.
Hypnobirthing is a practice that uses calming and relaxation techniques to create a calm, positive birth experience. This is an amazing tool you need in your toolbox as a mom-to-be! It can be applied during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and even in your parenting journey. Hypnobirthing will be useful whether you’re planning a hospital, home, or midwife-led birth. This episode features Suzy Ashworth of the Calm Birth School. Suzy is a hypnobirthing expert and has helped teach thousands of women, all over the world, her unique method for creating a smooth birth experience. Suzy explains everything involved with hypnobirthing, the science behind it, and how it can help you get the positive birth experience you want.
Suzy Ashworth is a pregnancy coach, hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and a hypnotherapist, with two children and a growing bump. She has a passion for showing women exactly why they can and should believe in themselves, empowering them to create mind-blowing birth experiences. Making women feel confident and amazing is what she rocks at.
Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic “practice” contractions that many pregnant women experience during the second and the third trimesters. This episode talks about what they are, what they feel like, what can trigger them, and how you can find some relief. There are some key ways to distinguish between Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions. Knowing the signs of pre-term labor and labor and how to tell the difference between fake contractions and the real thing will you give you the confidence you need to decide when to call your doctor or midwife, when to go to the hospital or birth center, and when you just need to relax and wait it out. Listen to this episode for everything you need to know about Braxton Hicks.
This episode covers everything you need to know about ultrasounds. It explains what ultrasounds are and how they are used and gets into the details of ultrasound safety. The scientific studies that have been done on their use, and what the World Health Organization and some other entities recommend about their use. This is a great episode for anyone who is pregnant to listen to as you will most likely have at least one, if not multiple ultrasounds throughout your prenatal care. This episode also may make you think twice about an elective ultrasound for 3D pictures or a 4D video of your little one. An ultrasound exam is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your abdomen and pelvic cavity, creating a picture, which is called a sonogram, of the baby and the placenta.
This episode focuses on invasive tests. These are tests that come with some risks to you and your baby. If you had a noninvasive screening test come back positive your care provider may offer you further testing to confirm and diagnose a condition. The invasive tests include a CVS, amniocentesis and a cordocentesis. This also covers your options for paternity testing. There are lots of pros and cons to consider before opting into these tests and ultimately the decision is yours as to whether you want to take one. Listen to this episode for everything you need to know about invasive tests and talk to your partner and your care provider and make sure you are educated so you can make an informed decision.
There are a battery of tests available to you when you are expecting and it is easy to feel like you are constantly waiting for results back to let you know everything is okay. Don’t worry, that isn’t going to do you or your baby any good. What you can do is learn about what the different testing options are and make informed decisions on what tests you want to take and whether you would like to avoid or decline any of them. This episode is focused on the noninvasive tests including urine and blood tests, the non-stress test, genetic screening, biophysical profile, and glucose screening and testing. We go into what each test is looking for and the risks and benefits.
You are probably thinking, Depression? I won’t be depressed! I am going to be so happy when my baby arrives, postpartum depression is not something I need to worry about. Not exactly. After the birth of your baby, your hormone levels drop quickly. Remember those pesky hormones estrogen and progesterone that drive you crazy in the first trimester? A major drop in these after birth leads to chemical changes in the brain that can trigger mood swings. When you combine major drops in hormone levels with a lack of sleep, your body working to recover from labor and birth, and the stress of caring for a newborn you have the perfect storm to be bummed out. From the baby blues to postpartum depression this episode breaks down everything you need to know.
There is so much attention on mom and baby during pregnancy that it is easy to forget about dad, who is so important, and plays such a huge role in pregnancy, birth, and parenting. We will be talking about getting on the same page and communicating with your partner, going to appointments, what your partner may be going through during pregnancy and how you can deal with some of the changes, sex, and so much more about the role of dad during pregnancy, birth, and once the baby arrives. This episode covers everything you need to know from finding out you are going to be a dad to bringing baby home.
We are continuing on the topic of bringing baby home and tackling some troubleshooting. There are a lot of things that can come up with a newborn and the goal of this episode is to prepare you for it and teach you what you can do to solve some pesky problems you may come across. Most of these issues are not serious, but as always, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, call your pediatrician. Knowing what issues can come up with a newborn and how to troubleshoot them, or prevent them in the first place, will give you the tools you need to rock the first few days and weeks with your baby. This episode discusses jaundice, breastfeeding, diaper rash, baby acne, cradle cap, sharp finger nails and scratching, colds, vomiting, fevers, gas, and colic.
Bringing baby home is exciting but it can also be a little nerve-racking when you are not sure what you can expect. The first few days and weeks are a challenging adjustment period. There is a lot you can do to make things easy on yourself. Do not feel like you have to have a spotless house and be perfectly put together. Ask for some help, especially from your partner and anyone coming over to visit and meet the baby. Give yourself permission to take some time to figure things out and don’t feel like you have to have it all together from day one. This episode covers everything you need to know when you bring baby home from the hospital or birth center so you can be confident when you start your parenting journey.
Breastfeeding is so important and one of the best things you can do for your baby. There is no formula that comes close to mimicking breastmilk. Your milk contains every vitamin, mineral, and nutritional element your baby needs. Babies who are breastfed are at a lower risk for ear infections, intestinal upsets, respiratory problems, allergies, dental problems, and their immune system will be stronger. Nursing produces prolactin and oxytocin, which are hormones that foster a connection to your baby and help you recover from birth better. You can do two key things to make sure you are successful with breastfeeding; learn and get help if you need it. Listen to this episode of the Pregnancy Podcast to get the information you need to get breastfeeding off to a great start!
All the episodes we have done thus far have been leading up to the big day. This is it. We are talking about the day when you get to meet your little guy or girl. We will be covering everything you can expect, some signs of labor, the different stages and how your labor progresses, procedures you can expect, and in general how everything happens. Keep in mind that at the end of the day you get to meet your baby. You may have specific plans for your labor and if you do your homework and are prepared you have a good chance of it going as planned. Listen to this episode to learn everything you need to know about birth.
An intervention is any procedure performed by a care provider, usually a doctor or midwife to assist in the delivery of the baby. Interventions include IVs, epidurals, fetal monitoring, assisted delivery (using forceps or a vent house suction cup), episiotomy, induction, augmentation, and cesarean. By learning what each procedure entails and when and why it is performed you will be better able to make sound decisions as to whether or not you really need or want it.
Some people feel like they have been planning their whole life for baby and others may feel like they are flying by the seat of their pants trying to get everything together before the baby comes. No matter which camp you are in let me tell you right now, don’t stress out. Yes there are a lot of to dos and to buys before your baby comes but if you can get by on much less than you think. Literally the only things you absolutely must have are a car seat and diapers. You could live without anything else. Of course there are a lot of things that make your life easier and baby’s life more comfortable but you do not need to get wrapped up in buying everything on a six page list of must have items. In this episode we talk about maternity and paternity leave, health insurance for baby, car seats, diapers, the nursery, strollers, toiletries, clothes, toys, blankets, breast pumps, and bottles.
Would you run a marathon without any training? No, of course not, that would be crazy. Labor is a marathon. It is one of the most physically and emotionally challenging workouts you will ever go through so why on earth would you go into it without any training? This is why you need to take a birth class. A birth class prepares you for what to expect, it prepares your partner, and even does some emergency preparation in the event something comes up that you are not expecting. In labor things can move really quickly, if you aren’t familiar with different options or procedures you could be making hasty decisions. If you are knowledgeable you will be able to make sound decisions because you came prepared. Bottom line is taking a birth class and educating yourself increases the chances that you are going to get the birth experience you want.
Welcome to the third and last trimester! The third trimester goes from weeks 28 until your baby’s birth. Your pregnancy is measured in forty weeks, but some babies like to hang out in your belly a little longer and can go a week or two past their due date. If you are in your third trimester, congratulations, you are in the home stretch until you get to meet your little guy or girl. This trimester can be a bit challenging as your belly keeps growing and you have some new symptoms as a result of carrying around more weight and you may also find yourself anxious to have your baby and ready to be done being pregnant. Keep in mind, you are almost at the finish line and when you get to meet your baby all of the hoopla that came along with being pregnant is 100% worth it, so hang in there!
Everything you can expect during weeks 13 to 27 of your pregnancy. The second trimester is also known as the golden trimester. For many women this is their favorite trimester and the period of their pregnancy that they enjoy the most. You should overall be feeling better and have a lot more energy. This trimester brings on a ton of physical changes. These 15 weeks are also a major period of growth and development for your baby. You will get to find out if you are having a boy or a girl and also be able to feel the baby kicking. This episode gets into more specifics on the physical changes you can expect to see, changes to your sex drive, maternity clothes, Braxton Hicks contractions, stretch marks, and everything going on with baby.
Everything you can expect and what to do to thrive during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. This will probably be the biggest adjustment period for you as you get used to the idea of being pregnant, make some lifestyle changes, and deal with all of the physical and emotional changes that are going on. The first 12 weeks are also a major period of growth and development for your baby. You may not see a whole lot going on outside during the first 12 weeks but you will definitely be able to tell there is a whole lot going on internally, and emotionally. We get into more specifics on morning sickness, hormones, baby's development, common symptoms, and how you can get some relief from some of the not so fun side effects of being pregnant.
Prenatal care, what is it? We get into what it is and why it is way more than just showing up to your doctor’s appointments. You can expect to have somewhere around 14 appointments throughout your entire pregnancy. So on 14 days you will see a doctor or a midwife, that’s it. For the other 260 some days that you are pregnant it is just you and the baby. You, as the final decision maker, are the biggest influence on your little one.
What the heck you are supposed to do and what changes you may need to make once you find out you are pregnant. This brings you up to speed on everything you should know from the moment you see a positive result on a pregnancy test. This episode covers everything from prenatal vitamins, health insurance, caffeine, fitness, to what you shouldn't eat and what activities to avoid during your pregnancy.
In this short episode you get a quick rundown of everything you can expect from Vanessa Merten and the Pregnancy Podcast. The Pregnancy Podcast is here to help you navigate all the crazy awesomeness that is pregnancy, birth, and being a new parent!