Happy Monday ya’ll! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I am still pregnant (38 weeks and 3 days) with baby number five and I’ve got all the feels for this chapter because I know that a new one is right around the corner. I’m not wishing this pregnancy away like I’ve done in the past but fully embracing it because once it’s over I immediately get those feelings of “I wish I was pregnant again.”
During my pregnancies, ya’ll ask me all the questions… WHICH I LOVE and I’m excited to do a little pregnancy, home birth, postpartum, breastfeeding Q and A here for ya’ll to reference. I’ve done these a few times and they are always a big hit amongst my followers. I know that as a first time mom, this stage is very overwhelming and my best piece of advice is to do YOU. Don’t worry so much about what your great aunt has to say or the stranger at the grocery store. Be confident in your choices and what you want for yourself and your baby. I learned all that I learned from reading books, watching documentaries, informing myself on my choices so I could prepare and then just trial and error after baby comes. Life is NOT perfect and especially after baby… going with the flow has saved my sanity and I know it can help you keep yours.
Q: What do you think is a necessity for packing in the go bag in regards to post delivery?
A: When I first went to the hospital I had like five bags (haha) but now that I’m seasoned I only take the necessities. If need be, someone can run by your house and grab something but for the most part you can squeeze it into one bag. I’ll link all my postpartum must haves right here for you. Other than mom things you would want 2 outfits for baby, diapers, safe bath products, a few swaddles and your car seat. You don’t really need anything else while you’re there.
Q: My LO is 3 weeks old today and I feel like my milk supply is great but I just can’t tell how much she’s getting from me & so we supplement with bread milk in bottles from time to time. How do you gauge how much your infants are getting from you at the breast regularly?
A: This is one of those topics that we tend to over analyze. I’ve personally done this in the past. There are several cues to look for to see if baby isn’t “getting enough” constant crying, trying to eat their hands, not having wet diapers are all signs that baby needs more milk. There is only about 1% of the worlds population that cannot produce enough breast milk so try not to worry about the ounces. I feel like this is like obsessing over your weight on a scale and why I don’t own one. I always go with nursing every 3-4 hours, making sure babys fists are not balled tightly closed but open at the end of a feeding, making sure to pump on the other breast if they fall asleep on one. I also love my HAAKAH pump when nursing so it catches the milk on the other side.
Q: How did you find a midwife?
A: I joined a few local “crunchy” groups in my area and asked in there. You can also look them up by state as they need to be licensed. I’ve actually interviewed a few of them and Vanessa is hands down the best. I wish everyone could find a midwife like her. She delivered Mercy and will deliver this baby.
Q: Did you and your husband get to practice a delivery before the real deal?
A: I know that most hospitals or cities have birthing classes you can attend but we never did that. I am a book worm so I read a lot about birth before my first born. I also watched a lot of documentaries like “The Business of Being Born.” One of my sisters is a labor and delivery nurse so she helped prep me but I have never taken a class. I would go if you feel like you want to but you can also learn from books and documentaries too!
Q: I had all three of my babies at home. Where did your births take place?
A: Nolan and Harper were both born at a local hospital. The care was sub par and they did not like the fact that I wanted to have a natural delivery. I felt very unsupported both times and my husband and sister had to advocate for my wishes over and over again. I decided to have Scarlet Reese at a birth center that is about 2 hours away from home. That was a wonderful experience but my labors are so quick I cannot drive that far again. Mercy was born at home and then this baby will be born at home.
Q: How many water births did you have? What made you decide to have a water birth?
A: I have had two water births and I can say hands down that it’s so much better than being in a hospital bed. Being on your back is the most unnatural way to give birth and it can actually stall a labor. I love being on my knees and holding on the side of the tub or Derreks arms to push. Think about it, when you have your period and you’re cramping really bad… what are you supposed to do? Get in the bath. It almost mutes the pain. I’m not saying that it’s not painful in the water but it really does help manage it.
Q: When having a home birth do you have an option for an induction?
A: Yes and no. It’s not really called that. After 38 weeks you can have acupuncture that might help you start labor but your midwife won’t do anything to actually start labor until you’re 40+ weeks. There is a caster oil cocktail that you can take but I don’t ever want to force labor. When baby’s lungs are fully developed that’s when your labor will naturally start. it’s quite amazing. Modern medicine has put so much pressure on us to give birth by a certain time but we don’t need to focus on that. Most “due dates” are wrong so I call them “guess dates” and let’s be real… who has actually given birth on their due date? (not counting if you are induced or C Section) I’ve never had a baby on my due date so I don’t even worry with that. Nolan and Harper came two weeks before their due dates, Scarlet Reese was a week after hers and Mercy was a few days off. In my personal opinion, I’ve seen complications happen from forcing a baby to come verses letting it happen naturally. So I don’t push that.
Q: How many weeks were you before you saw a midwife?
A: With Mercy I was about 16 weeks but with this pregnancy I pretty much knew as soon as it happened so we called Vanessa and told her right after my pregnancy test. We started seeing her once a month and then now I see her weekly until baby comes.
Q: How do you control the pain of a natural childbirth?
A: Well, you don’t. hahaha just kidding. There are a few things you can do to help with the pain but we are STRONG, remember that. Our bodies were built for this. I had the stomach bug a few weeks ago and that was WAY MORE intense than any childbirth I’ve had. SERIOUSLY! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Contractions are a sign that your baby is coming Earthside and just keeping that in your head can really help you manage. When it feels like you just can’t do it anymore is right before you push your baby out. It is the most magical thing I have ever experienced. That’s another reason I love the birth tub because it helps manage the pain. Tennis balls are good to rub on low back for back labor. Chiropractic adjustments also help during labor as well.
Q: Knowing what you know now, would you have a home birth for your first pregnancy?
A: Honestly, no. I would have a birth at a birth center. I really just don’t feel like I was confident enough to not freak out at home. But you might be totally different. There isn’t that much of a difference at home verses the birth center other than more people around and it being more of a medical type environment. I really feel like my confidence sky rocketed after my first because I realized what my body was capable of.
Q: What made you decide to get your placenta encapsulated?
A: SO MANY FACTORS. It helps your milk come in, helps you not bleed as much, really works to fight PPD and give you energy. You can read more about it here.
Q: What vitamins and supplements are you currently taking?
A: I am pretty simple at this point. I love Ritual prenatal vitamins, Vitamin D3 to help with low Vitamin D levels, magnesium to help with anxiety and sleep, CBD oil for anxiety and Vitamin C gummies. When the kids start bringing germs from school during cold and flu season we amp up our Elderberry and Collodial Silver. You can read more about my back to school supplements here.
Q: How long before you start working out postpartum?
A: Let me tell ya’ll something. I know there is a stigma for us to bounce back after pregnancy but you just created a baby in a 9 month time frame and there should be NO body image pressure to be a certain size or shape after baby comes. Your body actually needs one full year to heal properly after baby. You are NOT supposed to work out or do any hard activities for at least 6 weeks after baby comes. Your body has a way of telling you you’re doing to much when you start bleeding heavily and feeling bad. Listen to your body. Eat nutritious foods, drink all the water, sleep and rest when you can and don’t worry about the rest. I can also say that even when I am a size zero I’ve still got stretch marks and cellulite so don’t be so hard on yourself.
I’ve got so many more questions to answer, I am SURE but I’ve got to run get the kids from school. I’ll be back, I PROMISE. Until then, leave any questions I didn’t get to in the comments and I’ll answer them tonight.