Chapter One: The Many Faces of Home Birth

First Time Moms Choose Home Birth

The Many Faces of Home Birth contains eight very different chapters that showcase the diversity of modern home birth. This is the first post in a short series on the blog to introduce you to the women and families you will get to know in the book. I also want to give you, wonderful readers, a glimpse into the book before it’s on your night stand, book shelf, or, if you’re like me, in your purse:-).

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“The Many Faces of Home Birth” Book Cover Reveal and Pre-Sale!

The Many Faces Of Home Birth Book CoverI can hardly believe that “The Many Faces of Home Birth” is now available for pre-sale! Equally as exciting is the debut of the cover and a little taste of what you can expect if you decide to purchase the book. *Spoiler: 25 amazing home birth stories from several countries, several states in the US, perspectives from moms and dads, and unique circumstances that aren’t often associated with home birth (single mama, twins, over a certain age, rainbow babies, home birth after Cesarean, and so many other beautiful tales).

Click here to see all the goodness!

If you order now, the book will ship to you as soon as it releases on September 5th, 2017.

Your support of this project means the world to me, and I can’t wait for readers to experience the very real and positive home birth stories shared in the book.

A Collection of 25 Home Birth Stories From Around the World?!? Yes Please.

Untitled design (1)You know when you have a little idea that whispers to you night and day? My little idea started over six years ago while I was embarking on my first home birth with our first born. Of course I read ALL the Gaskin books and searched the Internet until my eyes bled, but I was left wishing for home birth stories that were more like me. More modern. More inclusive. Less “woodsy”.

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Want To Rock Your Birth?

If you don’t mind a few colorful words and are eager to be connected with one of the most passionate ladies on the birth circuit, then allow me to introduce you to Shalome at Rockstar Birth Magazine.  (Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the F bombs!)

I first heard  about Rockstar Birth  while doing research for the upcoming book ,”The Many Faces Of Home Birth”. Shalome has created an amazing podcast, and her voice is hypnotic! After listening to every episode of the podcast, I did what any normal person would do when they instantly feel connected to someone on the Internet: I stalked her every social media account! I then got up enough courage to see if she would submit her home birth story for the book. She replied with a big “YES” and even volunteered her husband’s version of their home birth=generous and insightful.

I recently learned about the Rockstar Academy. LADIES, if you are pregnant, please check out this awesome opportunity.  For less than a typical birthing course at the local hospital, you could have four weeks of tailored mentorship with Shalome (the lovely lady to the left). You get to unpack whatever is holding you back from diving head first into rocking YOUR birth. You will receive more than 10 hours of video content and TWO hours of live chats to keep YOU in on the conversation. It’s a bargain. A real deal bargain.

The academy begins the first day of every month, so get to it!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I simply wish to share the rocking resource that is all things Rockstar Birth. 

 

 

 

 

The Positive Birth Book Review

Milli Hill, creator of The Positive Birth Movement, has written the most refreshing and updated pregnancy book you can currently get your hands on!

I reached out to Milli Hill with a long lost hope that she would respond to my little email about being a contributor for our upcoming book, The Many Faces of Home Birth. I couldn’t believe her willingness to be a part of the project especially as she was working on finishing up her own book. I stalked all things The Positive Birth Movement and anxiously awaited the release of her book, The Positive Birth Book. 

On March 16th, the book was released and magically showed up on my Kindle! I spent the evening reading through Milli’s engaging and entertaining words. After three home births we are done having kiddos, however, the desire to learn and know as much as I can about birth never fades. I still get excited when I get to read any birth story or when I get to hear a positive perspective regarding birth- any birth. That is really the soul of Milli’s heart. Milli’s goal is to help all women experience the birth they wish to have. I love that! The goal isn’t to try to get every woman to have a home birth; the goal is to provide women with resources and information that is positive, accurate, and welcoming. When women have choices and resources to explore and plan the birth right for them and their family, everything about their perspective on birth changes. The fear fades and excitement takes over.

One of the greatest aspects of The Positive Birth Book is the overwhelming feeling that you are about to be welcomed into a group of women who are empowered by their birth choices, confident in their choices, and supported for those reasons. Because at the end of the day, it’s YOUR birth. No one else is going to be pushing that baby out or having the Cesarean. It’s all about you and your birth team.

Isn’t it exciting to know that YOU are in charge. Never before have women had the opportunity to be so educated about their births. Never before have I heard women sharing so openly and honestly about birth. Please join in the conversation, no matter what stage you are at in your family planning- it’s never too early to get educated and it’s never too late to share your wisdom:-).

Love,

Shantel

 

 

Pregnancy and Acupuncture: Spin Your Breech Baby

True story: Susan burned moxibustion (moxa) on my sister-in-law’s toe, and my nephew flipped from breech to optimal, head down position almost immediately.acupuncture-and-pregnancy

Top Five Benefits of Acupuncture and Pregnancy:

  1. Conception
  2. Alleviating Discomfort
  3. Spinning that Baby
  4. Riping for Labor
  5. Postpartum Care

Susan McMigas at Flourish in Vancouver, WA has created a beautiful and healing space for women to receive care before, during, and after pregnancy. She is committed to sharing resources to ensure women have access to tools that make a real difference in their motherhood journey.

Unfortunately, I first met Susan after I had all three kiddos. After ignoring an issue with a swollen knee for three months, I finally made an appointment with Susan thanks to a suggestion from a dear friend. As I was dropping my kids off at my sister-in-law’s house on my way to acupuncture, my sister-in-law exclaimed, “Susan flipped Luke [her son], during the last week of my pregnancy!”. I’m not sure how this wasn’t discussed between us before. I told Susan of our connection the moment I met her, and we spent the better part of 20 minutes talking about the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy.

True story: Susan burned moxibustion (moxa) on my sister-in-law’s toe, and my nephew flipped from breech to optimal, head down position almost immediately. “According to TCM theory, moxa has a tonifying and warming effect which promotes movement and activity.  The nature of heat is also rising.  This warming and raising effect is utilized to encourage the baby to become more active and lift its bottom up in order to gain adequate momentum to somersault into the head down position. This technique can also be used to re-position transverse presentation, a situation where the baby’s has its shoulder or back pointing down, or is lying sideways across the abdomen” (Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond).

Susan is clear that several appointments may be needed, but they won’t be a waste of time. Take it from me, the relaxation involved is worth the effort of getting a sitter, time off work, and spending the extra money if acupuncture isn’t covered by your insurance.

 

Conceiving Naturally With Acupuncture

I like to say my acupuncturist helped get my baby into me and helped get my baby out of me! I won’t hesitate to go back to see her when my husband and I are ready to try for our next baby.

conceiving

Missy is so kind to share her experience with acupuncture and her pregnancy journey. Enjoy!

I was diagnosed with PCOS at age 33 in 2012. At the time, I knew I wanted children, but was not in a relationship, so I decided I would do everything I could to get myself in the best shape I could to be ready to conceive once I was in a position to do so. I began taking Metformin and started a workout program. I lost about 20 pounds, but still had long, irregular cycles. My husband and I got married in 2014 and were immediately open to getting pregnant. As I was already 35, I gave us 6 months of no interventions to try to allow nature to take its course. After 6 months, I was going to return to the doctor who had said I would probably need Clomid to conceive.

Around this time my trainer mentioned that his wife had used acupuncture in their efforts to conceive. As I was hoping to avoid more invasive fertility treatments, I was willing to give it a try. I met with the acupuncturist and after reviewing my history, we developed a plan. I saw her twice a week in the beginning, and then after several weeks we went to once a week. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I conceived after about 6 weeks of treatments (after my first period I had after I started treatments). I continued treatments until I realized I was pregnant (approximately 11-12 weeks of treatments). Unfortunately, I lost my first baby between 6 and 7 weeks. After consulting with my acupuncturist and midwife, we agreed I could resume treatments after my first cycle post-miscarriage. I conceived again on that first cycle. I fully credit acupuncture with helping me get pregnant twice in 4 months.

After an uneventful second pregnancy, I sailed past my due date and was at 41+3 when I had reached my breaking point. I thought to seek out my acupuncturist again and see if she did anything for induction. She mentioned she had an induction protocol and could see me that night. I conferred with my husband, who said “What’s the worst that could happen?”, and I left immediately to see my acupuncturist. She told me that if the session worked, I would most likely wake up in labor the next morning, but that it could take several sessions. I went to sleep that night around 2 a.m. (not my smartest idea) and woke up in labor at 5 a.m.. I had a long but steady, 20 hour hard labor and gave birth at home to my 9lb 8oz baby girl in May 2016. I fully credit acupuncture with jump starting my labor, although I know it would not have worked if my baby wasn’t ready.

I like to say my acupuncturist helped get my baby into me and helped get my baby out of me! I won’t hesitate to go back to see her when my husband and I are ready to try for our next baby.