In pregnancy and parenting, we are hit with information overload from the very first day of our pregnancy. There is so much to learn, navigate, master, and prioritize. I bet you’re wondering how to sort it all out. Are you looking for a sage to help you navigate pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting?
In the Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I go deep and explore issues in pregnancy, birth, and parenting so you can make informed decisions to help you move forward in confidence, peace, and power. My number one goal is to offer you my insight as a doula, educator, and parent, so you can get in touch with your true dreams and desires for your family.
I want YOU to discover your own voice and vision as you become the center of the spiral of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.
Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice of any kind. I’m not a medical professional and I do not make medical recommendations. I’m offering you ideas to support you in your decision-making process.
The Mindful Mama Birth Podcast Episodes
Episode 27: Do They Really Put Soap in the Birth Canal?
In this episode, I talk all about this somewhat secret and strange practice of putting soap or disinfectant in the birth canal as a baby is crowning. In truth, most birthing people are probably unaware that this happens at all. I share my experiences with this as a doula and offer you some tips to avoid getting your vagina “sudsed up” in birth.
Episode 26: All About Induction of Labor
In this episode, I take a deep dive into the topic of induction of labor. I briefly share what the induction process might look like and how it affects labor. I answer some of the most common questions I receive about induction. Also, I offer my top tips to have the best induction experience possible.
Episode 25: Birth Story - VBA2C with Ivania Montero
In this episode, special guest Ivania Montero shares her VBA2C home birth story. Listen in as she tells us her transformational and inspiring tale of her vaginal birth after two prior cesareans.
Episode 24: How to Use Time as a Tool for a Better Birth
Are you worried about being “on the clock” as soon as your labor starts?
One of the most powerful tools you can use in pregnancy and birth is the tincture of time. When you don’t know what to do, advocate for more time. In this episode, I talk all about how time relates to pregnancy and birth. How did we move from living in natural time to living in this fast-paced world of numbers and measurements? Listen to this full episode to learn more about how to use time as tool in birth for a better birth experience.
Episode 23: What's Your Bishop Score?
Want to learn more about induction of labor?
Have you heard of something called the Bishop Score?
If your provider suggests that you schedule an induction as you near your due date, you can ask for a calculation called the Bishop Score. The Bishop Score is a tool you can use to understand how favorable your body is for a vaginal birth and how likely it is that a medical induction will lead to a vaginal birth. Listen to this episode to learn more about how to use this tool for a better birth experience!
Episode 22: The Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle
Have you heard of the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle?
Are you wondering how fear impacts the birth experience?
Do you want to have a more comfortable birth?
In this episode, I take a deep dive into the topic of the fear-tension-pain cycle in birth. Fear in birth leads to a set of physiological changes that build tension in the body. Tension in our bodies create resistance and more pain in the birth experience. Learn all about how this works and what you can do for the best birth experience possible.
Episode 21: Labor & Birthing Positions - How to Support Your Physiology
Did you know that you don’t have to give birth lying on your back?
(Unless you want to…)
In this episode, I take a deep dive into labor and birthing positions. Upright positions for labor and birth have many evidence-based benefits and can be safer for birthing people and babies. Why are we still giving birth on our backs? How can you advocate for your autonomy in birth? Listen to this episode and find out more.
Episode 20: A Letter to Myself on the Anniversary of Loss
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I share a letter I wrote to myself on the anniversary of loss. This letter was written to honor the loss of my first pregnancy, which happened seven years ago this week.
Episode 19: Top 10 Must Have Items For Your Birth Bag
Are you wondering what to pack in your birth bag?
What do you really need to be prepared on your big day?
Listen in to this episode where I discuss my TOP 10 must-have items for your birth bag.
Episode 18: Prenatal Nutrition - Go With Your Gut! With Andrea Langston
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Podcast, I share an amazing interview with Andrea Langston. Andrea is Western New York-based integrative nutritionist with a passion for helping her clients feel their best by understanding and harnessing the power of the food they eat. She believes in meeting each client where they are and offering personalized support to help them reach their goals. She gave birth to her first child last April, and loves speaking with women (and their support system) about how to prepare for and support a healthy pregnancy and family with nutrition.
We created a great nutrition journal to accompany this episode as a resource just for you!
Episode 17: All About Waterbirth
Have you ever thought about using water in labor?
Are you waterbirth curious?
Is waterbirth safe?
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I take a deep dive into the world of waterbirth. I discuss the benefits, risks, and logistics of using water in labor to support your birth experience. Listen to the full episode to learn more!
Episode 16: What Parents Really Need to Know About the Postpartum Time -With Betsy Schwartz
Are you wondering what to expect in postpartum life with your new baby?
Are you so focused on your birth that postpartum has become an afterthought?
Learn what you REALLY need to know about postpartum life.
In this episode, I speak with Betsy Schwartz as we talk all about the postpartum time. Betsy Schwartz is a visionary leader, trainer and Reiki Master. She teaches, mentors and nurtures aspiring postpartum doulas to serve families with confidence. When she isn’t working, you can find Betsy drumming, swimming, practicing with her dragonboat team, drumming with her tribe, reading, writing or playing Mah Jong. She created a mentorship program for postpartum doulas called Doula Quest and she is founder of Birth in the Know.
Episode 15: Five Warning Signs That You're Going Against Your Intuition
Do you ever get that “feeling” in your stomach?
Do you ever have a gut feeling about something?
Can you think of a time when something felt “off” but you’re not sure why?
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I examine the mind-body connection of intuition. I talk all about the art and science of intuition and how you can learn to hone it as a skill for decision-making. Learn how to recognize the signs you may experience when your intuition is telling you that something isn’t right. You can practice this like any other skill to help you prepare for birth, postpartum, and parenting.
Episode 14: Building a Community Birth Center - With Bridget Strub
Have you heard about birth centers? Are you curious to know what a birth center is? Are you wondering why there aren’t more birth centers available? What does birth center care look like?
In this episode of the Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I talk with Bridget Strub. Bridget is a doula and educator with Wildflower Birth Support and she is spearheading a community project to start a birth center called the Radiant Birth Center in Rochester, NY. In this chat, I talk with Bridget about what birth centers are, how they help families, and why we need this option for low risk birthing people. We also talk a little about why there are so few birth centers in New York State and the challenges that surround us in supporting birth choices for families.
Episode 13: How to Release Your Fear For a Better Birth - With Sheri Fitzner
Do you want to learn how to release your fear of birth? Do you want to replace your fear and anxiety with peace and calm confidence?
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Birth Podcast, I have a great conversation with Sheri Fitzner. Sheri is a hypnotherapist with Hypno For Healing, and she supports birthing and postpartum families with hypnotherapy services in the Western New York area and virtually. Sheri is also a Hypnobirthing Educator and helps birthing families release their fears and trauma surrounding birth so they can have the best experience possible.
Episode 12: How to Be a System-Savvy Birth Partner for a Gentle Birth
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Podcast, I talk all about the birth partner. Historically, partners have not always been welcome into the birth space. Since the 1960’s, the birth partner has been increasingly welcomed and celebrated. Partners are often seen as scared, quiet, or even demeaned and infantilized in pregnancy and birth. However, I feel that the role of the birth partner should be elevated as an important advocate for the family’s wishes in birth. I want to destroy the stereotype of the “bungling, terrified, fainting dad” and offer real support strategies for birth partners of all identities.
I’m going to offer you some proven strategies to become a system-savvy birth partner for a gentle birth in any setting. Check out this episode to learn more!
Holistic Doula Care for a Confident, Comfortable, and Powerful Birth
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Podcast, I talk about the benefits of Holistic Doula Care for a confident, comfortable, and powerful birth. I take a deep dive into holistic doula care and what it’s like to work with me. I do an awful lot of talking about birth and support, so I thought it was time to paint a picture of what it’s like to work together.
As a holistic doula, I create soul-level connections with parents based on trust and nurturing so you can follow your own compass in birth. I support you as you become the center of the spiral in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Check out this episode to learn more!
Birth as an Altered State of Consciousness
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Podcast, I share one of my favorite topics of all time. I talk all about the idea of birth as an altered state of consciousness. In birth, our hormones and brain waves changes to allow labor to progress as it is intended. There are a variety of changes in brain wave patterns that happen as you move deeper and deeper into labor and birth. In our culture, we focus a lot on preparing for the physical aspects of labor. How can we prepare for the spiritual transformation that occurs as we move into the cosmic consciousness of birth?
This episode is heavily influenced by the teachings of Whapio from The Matrona.
Listen to this episode in FULL to learn more about the experience of birth as an altered state of consciousness.
The Illusion of Choice: Navigating the System Without Making Your Birth a Battleground
In this episode, I explore the idea of the Illusion of Choice in our care for birth. At this point, you might be familiar with the term informed consent. In informed consent, you can ask for the benefits, risks, and alternatives and use that information to make a decision about a medical procedure. However, most childbirth care providers operate under the pressure of standards of practice for their hospital. This means that they are under a lot of pressure to make sure you make choices that align with the standards of care of their employer, facility, or license.
It’s difficult to truly make an informed decision when the information you receive is heavily biased towards getting you to say YES to something. I think it’s more appropriate to call this the “illusion of choice” in care.
What You Need to Know RIGHT NOW About GBS and Your Microbiome
In this episode, I explore the topic of GBS (Group Beta Streptococcus) in pregnancy. I share a little bit about what this is, procedures for testing, and the risks you need to understand. I find that many parents (including myself in my first pregnancy!) don’t have much information about this topic and often do not understand why they are being tested. Learn about the testing procedure, risks of GBS infection, and discover your choices and options in birth.
This episode is different than many conversations about GBS because I take a holistic perspective on the issue. Group B Strep in pregnancy is often treated through the medical lens and there is a huge emphasis on trying to get a “negative” result to avoid routine antibiotics in labor. What if you had a strategy you could use to improve your wellness in pregnancy that can help you avoid the issue of GBS entirely?
My Totally WILD First Birth Story
In this episode of The Mindful Mama Podcast, I share the story of my first birth. As a doula, I support a lot of first time parents. I feel like there is this perception that because I have had so many births at home that it must just come easily to me. I’m sharing this story today particularly because it was a challenging experience. It highlights the importance of having a strong support team and a supportive care provider so that you can stay confident, strong, and powerful no matter what challenges arise in birth.
Yes, You CAN Eat and Drink in Birth!
In this episode, I talk all about the importance of eating and drinking in labor. In many hospitals, birthing parents are restricted from eating and drinking in labor as a matter of protocol. However, there is no evidence to support this policy with current birth practices. I explore the history of this policy and its origins. I also share some studies and evidence that illustrate how banning nourishment in labor is not only unnecessary but harmful to birthing families.
The Magic of the First Trimester
In this episode, I take a deep dive into the magic of the first trimester. This is such a magical and transformative time, yet our culture has so many taboos surrounding early pregnancy. The first trimester of pregnancy is full of physical, mental, and spiritual transformations. Your body and your baby are making rapid changes and development. Yet, we are taught to keep the first trimester a secret. This culture of secrecy carries over into our views on birth and death. I talk about my own pregnancy loss experience and the wide array of emotions that come up during the first trimester. In this episode, I encourage you to break free from the ideas of others and make your first trimester your own magical experience.
10 Questions You Need to Ask Right Now for a Blissful Birth
Are you wondering what questions you need to ask your doctor or midwife? How do you find the best care provider for your family? How do you know if your care provider is right for you?
In this podcast, I offer you the strategy I teach clients and students to help them find the best care provider for their birth. You’ll learn all about how to find a provider that fits your vision for your birth. One of the most important things you can do is discover how you want to feel in birth and find your vision. These questions will help you determine whether your doctor or midwife is the right person to support you in birth.
The Vitamin K Shot – Questions to Ask Yourself
In this episode, I dive deep into the evidence and history of the newborn vitamin K shot. It is standard practice in the United States to routinely administer an injection of vitamin K to newborns within the first few hours of life. Learn about the science behind vitamin K and the history of this routine procedure. I also go over the evidence behind routine vitamin K injections and offer some important questions to ask yourself when considering this element of newborn care.
The Pushing Stage – Wait For it!
In this episode, I talk all about the pushing stage of birth. This is also known as the second stage of labor. I share a bit of the story from my first birth, and I discuss how a lack of knowledge on the pushing stage of labor affected my birth experience. Most of us enter pregnancy and birth with no idea what it actually looks like to birth a baby according to our own instincts. Instead, we’re trained to default to someone else’s direction and time table. This can have consequences for our bodies and our babies, changing our perception of birth.
I talk quite a bit here about what the second stage looks like in physiologic and undisturbed birth. Learn what to expect from your body during this time and gain some great insight into how the pushing stage can unfold.
Erythromycin Eye Ointment – Mandates, Oh My!
In this episode, I explore a popular routine for newborn care where a baby is given Erythromycin eye ointment after birth. This is an antibiotic eye ointment administered to newborns to prevent eye infections and blindness associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. This is given as routine prophylaxis, despite the fact that nearly all birthing people are tested for these infections in pregnancy.
This is a standard policy – protocol – procedure in most hospitals across the United States. However, other countries (Canada included) no longer administer antibiotic eye ointment after birth as a routine procedure. Many states, including New York, have laws that mandate that all newborns have this eye ointment.