s3 e9: Happy homebirth with katelyn fusco

In this episode, I am talking with Katelyn Fusco of the Happy Homebirth Podcast to answer your questions about homebirth! Katelyn is a homebirth mother, a childbirth educator, and an experienced homebirth attendant. She has seen birth from many angles (literally), and knows the impact this transformative event can have on you, your baby and your entrance into motherhood for the first, second or fifteenth time. This knowledge is what spurred Katelyn to create Happy Homebirth: A brand dedicated to supporting, educating and encouraging homebirth mothers.  Through birth stories and expert interviews on the podcast to intimate education and coaching inside of The Homebirth Collective, Katelyn’s goal is to provide mothers with the tools to empower themselves in their birthing experience.

Homebirth 101 podcast episode 17 
Happy Homebirth podcast episode on what could go wrong
Katelyn’s birth story episode with her husband 
Mana safety information
Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance
Mineral Imbalance Quiz

Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian. And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner. And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods. Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health. Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey. We hope you enjoy it.

In this episode, I am talking with Caitlin Fesco of the happy home birth podcast to answer your questions about home birth. I put a question box on my Instagram. And we got a lot of questions. I was excited for this one. Obviously I shared my birth story at the beginning of the season. And I really enjoyed home birth but I know that there’s a lot of confusion, I think some myths and like misconceptions around it. So Caitlyn is gonna clear that up for us. She is a home birth mother, a childbirth educator and an experienced home birth attendant. She has seen birth from many angles literally and knows the impact this transformative event can have on you, your baby and your entrance into motherhood for the first second or 15th time. This knowledge was what spurred Kaitlyn to create happy homebirth a brand dedicated to supporting educating and encouraging home birth mothers through birth stories and expert interviews on the podcast to intimate education and in coaching inside the home birth collective. Caitlin’s goal is to provide mothers with the tools to empower themselves in their birthing experience. And I love that you are transitioning to helping home birth mothers after they go through their birth experience as well, which I think is just as important. So thank you for being here. Caitlin. Thanks, Amanda. I will say that I was listening to your podcast episode about your birth story before hopping on with you. And it was such a beautiful story. And I love that you shared how it wasn’t. So I’m like ah, easy peasy. No big deal experience. I think the reality and the rawness of that is something that mothers are really yearning to hear. So thank you so much for that. Yeah, I can’t tell you the reaction. I got online of a lot of a lot of women homebirth or not, that did like unmedicated births, and or even medicated, and they just were like, Yeah, I did not. I thought I did all the preparation, all the Hypno birthing, which now I like very much. So question and would never do all that kind of stuff. And they still they felt like they didn’t have the birth, that’s a like dreamed up in their mind. For me, I’ve had a pretty challenging postpartum when my husband deployed. And I’m like, Well, if I got through that labor, I think I can get through anything. So I feel like it was me know, I was meant to have the birth that I had. But yeah, I think it’s important. I know, You’ve had like a whole wide array of guests on your podcast, share their stories. Yeah. And I think that you just hit on such an important topic that I could talk on all day. But that idea of our birth experience being our it’s, I say it’s like a microcosm of the macrocosm. You know, the lessons that we learned in our birth are so often the exact ones that we need going forward into motherhood. So when we treat childbirth, not only home birth, but childbirth in general as the rite of passage that it has, traditionally and historically been, and we learn to prepare in a way that helps us kind of assimilate and integrate those lessons, then I see us having much more impactful experiences in the whole next phase, which is motherhood. So that’s really neat to hear it. That’s how that has played out for you. Yeah, and I love you commented on my post today, oh, my gosh, what was it interventions and instincts or something? What was in the the idea that safety lies in instinct, not instruction, so and of gosh, we can totally go into that. But that that’s not just in terms of like having a home birth versus a hospital birth, that’s like, okay, are we truly tapping into our instinct in our intuition, or are we listening to what somebody else is telling us? What to do? It’s critical and, and you I’m sure you can already attest, that is a lesson that doesn’t end at the end of labor. That is a motherhood lesson. And is the most important one like people have asked me like for tips postpartum and I’m like, you just like stop talking. Don’t ask people questions. You know, there’s certain things that are helpful to learn. Like I just went through a biological sleep course. Very helpful. Yeah, we’ve had some sleep not nighttime challenges, but daytime, which apparently like no one else has. Everyone talks about nighttime sleep and like the nighttime sleep is great guys. The nighttime sleep is amazing. The daytime sleep is very hard, but we’re working on it and learning about biological sleep and infants did help me but ultimately, what I learned from that course what

Katelyn Fusco 5:00
was that I need to, like, connect to my intuition more and listen to her. And like, that’s ultimately what helped us with a daytime sleep. So it is always going to be your instincts and intuition, but I love that like safety things. I think that’s it. That’s a lot of the questions, like a section that we had from people was like concerns around safety. But before we get into all that, let’s just talk about what homebirth is some of the benefits, and then who can do it because that was, those were some of the questions we had as well as like, Well, I was told I can’t do a homebirth. But what are the benefits in your mind to doing homebirth? Oh, okay, so a million of them, but we can break it down to just a couple. The first one would just be if you are looking to avoid abdominal surgery, you know, if you’re looking to minimize your chance of having a cesarean section, let’s look at those statistics. When we give birth in a hospital setting, our chances of having a C section are it depends from hospital to hospital state to state, but sometimes between that 32 to 36% chance. Whereas if we look at Planned home births, whether or not they obviously whether or not they end in the home or not, the risk is at 5%, which is a lot less. So I mean, that alone can be a huge encouraging factor for some mothers who are thinking I want my postpartum to be easier. I don’t want to have to recover from surgery while I’m trying to learn how to breastfeed. And of course, not that all C sections are bad. It’s the overuse that is so unfortunate, when they’re necessary, thank the Lord for them. But 36% is not necessary. And then another thing that we really need to consider is this idea of satisfaction. When we compare, there’s actually a study, it’s in the Netherlands from the Netherlands, where they’re comparing satisfaction rates of our birthing experience between hospital and home, the satisfaction rates of those home birth mothers is drastically higher. And I think that it makes sense when we consider what the midwifery model of care is versus like your traditional obstetric care, you are seen as a whole human being and you are treated as such, you are known, oftentimes very loved by your midwife and your team, you forge true relationships and connection. And then you know, the the typical obstetric model, there’s literally not time for that, like you’re in, you’re out, you have your you have your appointment, you’re usually in the waiting room for most of it, you pee on a stick, and then you know, it’s it’s so quick, you oftentimes don’t even know who’s going to be there at your birth, that’s pretty uncomfortable. And an in that situation, oftentimes it can feel like birth is happening to you, instead of it happening with and for you. So I think that that’s a huge, huge thing for us to consider is how our birth experience is impacting our postpartum experience, how our birth experience is impacting our motherhood journey, when we walk into motherhood, feeling encouraged and empowered and confident, it’s gonna be a lot easier than if we feel defeated, beaten down, like something traumatic just happened to us not to say that every hospital birth is traumatic. But like I said, those satisfaction rates speak for themselves. I love that. And I think it’s something people don’t think about when they think about their own birth experience. But you do want to be happy with the birth that you have, if you can. And even if it doesn’t go exactly how you planned, I think you can still be happy with it. If you know how to advocate for yourself and set boundaries and communicate with your providers. And it’s so true about the birth team, I still talk to my midwife and one of the birth assistants. So it’s there. And I’m like, I miss you guys, you know, can we get together? I agree. And I think that you I mean, you brought up such an important point. It’s not about actually the events. Because No, we cannot control the outcomes. I cannot guarantee you a successful homebirth I can’t guarantee you a pain free homebirth just like you experienced Amanda. But can you prepare in a way where you feel like you are in control where you are the number one person on your birth team? Because you are you have the most responsibility? And I think that sometimes that can be very difficult for us, maybe especially our generation, I’m not sure but our society as a whole. What have we been taught? We’ve been taught that, okay, well, doctors know better. They have gone to school for this. They know they’re the they’re the person, I have to just succumb to whatever it is that they say. And I’ve experienced this, you know, I went to the ER not too long ago because I thought I was like having an active appendicitis rupture. Turns out it wasn’t and they couldn’t even diagnose it but

Oh, my myofascial worker got it guys don’t worry. But I, as soon as I walked in, I was like, Oh, I have to submit to what they say, I let them do things to me that normal Caitlyn would never have allowed. And after that experience, it was just a couple hours in there, I turned to my husband, I was like, This is why I give birth at home. This is why because I am not comfortable giving over my power. And so when we realize, Hey, it’s your responsibility, either way, either you’re giving it to somebody else who doesn’t have the same desires, as you do, like, nobody’s going to care about your birth experience as much as you are. Nobody’s going to care about your baby as much as you are. That’s just reality. So when we’re giving that responsibility over to somebody else, we have to remember, it’s actually still ours. So it’s better if we can take that up and appreciate it and respect that. It’s heavy, but it’s good. And once again, that’s what motherhood is. Motherhood is a pretty responsibility heavy endeavor. So So yeah, I think that being able to accept that and prepare in a way that allows us to feel in control of our choices, whether things go 100%, smooth sailing or not. That’s what’s going to lead to those positive outcomes in the end.

Amanda Montalvo 11:19
I love that. And I love the transition to motherhood, I think that’s like probably going to be the biggest takeaway from this episode. So who can have a home birth? Because I think that, you know, there’s a lot of questions about concerns and emergencies, and we’ll talk about those. But I don’t think people realize that like, not just anyone, unfortunately, can have a home birth, you do have to qualify to work with a home birth midwife. And it’s, it’s not just like a set in stone, like, you’re definitely going to qualify. So can you talk about, like, we specifically had a couple of people asked about type one diabetes and high blood pressure? And would that type of person be eligible for homebirths?

Katelyn Fusco 11:55
Yeah, these are great questions. And I do think that this comes down to like, how are we framing this? How are we reframe? How are we framing taking on this responsibility? Because everything really comes down to risk tolerance? Can anybody make you give birth in the hospital? No, they cannot. Nobody can make you do that. Will different factors come into play in terms of whether a midwife is going to feel comfortable working with you or not? Yes, absolutely. But I always want to remind mothers that you have, you have choice, you may not like your choices, but you have choices. So I mean, there is nothing illegal about giving birth unassisted. What I personally want to know, I really like having a skilled and qualified midwife with me. Some mums are happy not to, can I still go to the hospital and advocate for myself there and have an empowering team with me there? Yes, absolutely. There are definitely ways that we can also work with our midwife one on one and especially when they know that you are someone who is taking responsibility who’s not going to just fling everything onto them and throw them under the bus, you know, at the at the drop of a hat. And that’s really helpful. But yeah, type one diabetes is definitely something that a lot of midwives are going to say, you know, what I’m not comfortable with taking you as a client. Others will, though, there. I have seen so much back and forth about this. I’m in a few midwife groups. And it’s, it’s a pretty polarizing topic. So midwives are like, Are you kidding me? Absolutely not. That’s not safe. And others are like, I have had wonderful success. So it is really a it’s a care provider to care provider situation. When we talk about hypertension, that’s another one. That’s like, one question would be okay, well, why is that happening? And is there anything that you can do to get that to be in check at which from what I have found? And I’m sure Amanda, you know, like, so much of that is can be nutritionally and mineral influenced. So can we work on that before we’re entering this time, like in that preconception time? And then, of course, so blood pressure is one of those things, though, that our vital signs really kind of tell the story of what’s going on inside of us and what’s going on with our baby many times. So that is one of those things that’s checked throughout your pregnancy, to really check on your body, but also like, Okay, well, what’s going on with baby? So, you know, every time we go in for a prenatal check, they’re going to be checking our blood pressure. So once again, are we able to do things that will keep that within a good range? Are there some outside factors that are influencing that like stress? So those are definitely questions to ask. But my main point is that, yes, there are things that could prevent you from working with a midwife. But remember, this is all your responsibility. So you have a choice. You can choose to keep searching for different care providers. You can choose to just go to the hospital and have a doula you can choose to go unassisted. Remember that you hold that responsibility.

Amanda Montalvo 15:05
And I did have some people reach out saying, like, I couldn’t afford a home birth. And I’m like, I would double check with your insurance. Because I don’t have the most amazing insurance. We have military insurance, just TRICARE and they covered over half of my home birth. So it’s like a really want to again, like take responsibility, talk with your insurance company, see if like the type of plan so I had to change the type of plan I was on to get more covered. So I did that research before I got pregnant. If you can, if not like you could just change it before you go to the doctor for your pregnancy. And then the other thing I would consider when I hear doula I hear a lot of people. I know some people are gonna think luxury, right. And I get it. I understand that, especially right now, like times are tough right now. I know doulas that work on sliding scales, which I think is amazing. I also know doulas that they do a certain number of like free clients, a month or a year, maybe it is probably more accurately a year depending on how active they are with like home birth and the birth community, and doesn’t have to be a home birth. But if I were going to go to a hospital and give birth, I would have a doula that I really trusted with me. And I think that would greatly improve my experience, of course, also taking responsibility and just learning you know, what could happen? What could go wrong? What type of interventions might someone want to make? And these are all things you can ask your provider of like, you know, how do they handle certain situations, that could be like a really great thing so that you can be picky with your provider, I know homebirth midwives are hard to come by, I get that I had three options, really only two because I was too far away for one of them turned out. So I understand that I ended up absolutely loving my birth team. So it all worked out. But I think there are options to have an empowered birth, and even unmedicated or even if you choose an epidural, but like still have choice and feel like you’re enjoying that birth and have good satisfaction, you just need to do a little research. And if you feel like it’s out of your budget, I just really recommend trying to like join Facebook groups for home birth or doulas in your area. That’s where I found my birth team. And ask around if you know someone that has had a home birth or had a deal that they liked. And if you can’t afford it right away, you got nine months. So maybe you can save up for it and then talk with them and see if you can work something out. But a lot of doulas just have like the best heart. So yeah,

Katelyn Fusco 17:34
and it’s so a few things that you mentioned, I think that are so important. Yes, checking with your insurance. Also, if you are not pregnant yet, and you’re considering health shares are usually really, really good about this. So we have Samaritan ministries, they cover homebirth. Like, just cover it completely, because they recognize like actually, this saves us a ton of money, guys. I mean, when we compare, like, seriously compare a hospital bill to a homebirth midwife spill, like yes, I understand that one of them, you may be paying more out of pocket, but they’re charging you like 400 bucks for an Advil guys. Like it’s it’s ridiculous what happens in the hospital, that’s not happening. When you’re working with a midwife, you are literally supporting a small business, you’re helping someone who has a heart to serve, but also has to, you know, put food on their table. So I think that it’s important to remember that when you’re working with an individual, I don’t know, it’s, it’s easier for me to swallow that pill. And then also, we need to remember, okay, yes, I understand that labor is a few hours, a few days at most. But that experience does not just go away. That experience has so much impact on like we said on motherhood. The other thing is that you’re not going to forget it, you are not going to forget how you felt as your birth was unfolding. And that’s because when we go into liminality, or like the active stage of labor, we are actually way open and way receptive, like on a subconscious level. So we are just soaking things in like a sponge. And so if we want to walk into motherhood, continue on in our lives, feeling confident and empowered. Our birthing situation really is important. The people that we’re surrounding ourselves with, that really is important stuff. So I know that it is upfront. It can feel like Gosh, this is this is expensive. Yes, but this is a lifelong investment. This is an investment in your mental health for years and years and years to come. Ask moms about their birth experience. 20 years down the line, they’ll still tell you most of the details, they’ll still remember. So keep that in mind. If you have to get scrappy, I would encourage getting scrappy. I know that there have been things in the past where it’s like, I really wanted this thing. I want it it’s out of my budget like it’s totally out of my budget and I will think like Okay, what can I do to make this happen? What can I sell to make this happen? Like, I can get rid of things to make this happen, midwives typically have payment plans, and they will typically be very flexible with you. So don’t just count yourself out and be like, Oh, well, it’s too much I can’t do it. Get scrappy if this is important to you. And as much as I am like an I don’t want any debt, I will say that would be something that I would I would go into debt for, because I recognize the importance long term.

Amanda Montalvo 20:34
I mean, it also, I can’t even tell you how many friends I’ve gotten that they end up with a huge bill after having a hospital birth. And it’s like one of those things that they weren’t even anticipating which is what makes it way worse. I feel like mentally and you just have this brand new baby. So it’s a lot. But finding finances for homebirth. I think it’s really going to depend on your midwife. I typically from people I talked to it was between five and $6,000. Sometimes it is less I’m in North Carolina, so it could be different depending on where you are. They all had payment plans, like Caitlin said, and I mean it my friend did a birthing center. And it was like $3,000 more than my home birth. So you know, which is sad. But

Katelyn Fusco 21:14
it’s also interesting when we think I mean, I get it, because just the the fees for running a birthing center, that’s going to be more but you know, a freestanding birthing center versus a home birth are really the same thing. It’s just like who’s driving where I think a lot of times people are like, oh, I’ll just feel more comfortable, like at a birth center. If you’re not attached. Like if it’s not a hospital related thing. It’s literally the same thing. I mean, it’s they have they bring all the same stuff to your house.

Amanda Montalvo 21:40
Yeah, which we’ll talk about. And I don’t think people grasp because I had a few people ask about like, the dangers. And I’m like, I don’t think you guys know what a homebirth midwife is, which is why we’re doing this episode. Really quick. What I will say one of my friends, she did do birthing center, she loved her experience it, she did have to save a lot for it, it cost her a lot of money. They weren’t necessarily in a position to do it. But she had a hospital birth for her first birth and did not have a good experience. And she said her house stresses her out. And I was like, that’s a very valid point. Because she’s like, Yeah, I just didn’t like the idea of being home because like, she’ll just, she’ll see stuff around her house. And like, it’s not like a super, you know, she’s kind of toddler and now she has a new baby. So I get it. So that’s something to consider too.

Katelyn Fusco 22:22
For sure. Yeah, we got to remember that the best place to give birth is the place you feel most comfortable. And that place you feel most open and willing to be vulnerable. That’s really what it comes down to whether that’s in your home or at a birthing center or at the hospital. That’s what we want.

Amanda Montalvo 22:36
Yes. And some people do feel that at a hospital. And I think that’s great. So let’s talk about finding a midwife and team. Do you have any tips for finding a home birth? midwife? Yeah.

Katelyn Fusco 22:47
Okay, well, so in terms of just like finding one finding options, I highly recommend if you have like a local kind of like crunchy Facebook group, I know my area has one that is like solid, but they will oftentimes give you the rundown like these are the midwives in our area, this is who we use, we love them, or you know, whatever it is. So if you can tap into that, like on social media, that’s one of the it’s one of the highs of social media, I think is being able to find those kinds of providers. Also, inside of our on Facebook, we have the happy homebirth podcast community, and a lot of moms will go on because there’s their moms from all over. And so if you ask him there, a lot of times there will be people in your area who can give you options. And then in terms of actually like, figuring out Okay, here I am, these are the midwives in my area, who should I choose? I think that so much consideration needs to go into this. Now, just kind of like what you mentioned, Amanda, depending on where you are, I recognize you may not have the same types of options that I had, it really varies. But one of the things that we really need to do is make sure that we’re asking the right questions of these care providers. Before we even get into relationship with them. We want to make sure like, Okay, does my view of birth, my perception of birth? does it align with yours? You know, do you view birth as the same physiologically, like the same physiological process that I do? Or are you more hands on? Are you going to be like telling me what to do? Those are questions that we need to ask and and you need to before you even even are asking these questions, you need to know your answers. So you need to know what you believe about birth, what’s important to you about birth, how you want to be treated, because how I want things to go could be totally different from you, Amanda, what the midwife for you could be one that I’m like, You know what? I don’t think so. So we need to know individually what’s important to us, so that we can then ask the questions of the midwives we are interviewing to see if we are on the same page. And even if we’re not on the exam, Same page because spoiler alert, midwives are humans too and have their own opinions. But are we finding someone that we’re willing, that’s willing to work with us that we can have a back and forth, and we can find common ground. The other thing that I would certainly want to be knowing is what’s going to risk me out of care with you. Because that can vary from midwife to midwife. It can vary because of many different things like regulations, like you know, Certified Professional midwives versus certified nurse midwives, or state to state there are all kinds of different regulations and preferences of midwives. So I want to know, if I reach 42 weeks, are you telling me to go to the hospital and induce? Or is there some wiggle room here? Are there things that I can do? Am I going to be required to have an ultrasound? Or is that something that I get to choose all of these different pieces of informed consent? I want to know from my midwife, what’s going to be okay, like, are you okay with me pressing decline on everything? Because that’s reality for me. So like, that’s pretty important. So making sure that we’re asking those kinds of questions at the beginning, not when we’re 28 weeks in, and are being told, like, Oh, you have to take the glue cola drink, and you’re like, I don’t want to. That’s not when I want to find that out. I want to find that out. Before I hire you.

Amanda Montalvo 26:25
I love that. And I like some of the other things that I asked, I did ask about like, do I have to have any ultrasounds, they just preferred an anatomy scan, but she didn’t technically require it. And then which is good to know. Right? And in case I changed my mind at the time, we ended up doing it. And then I also asked about breech babies, what happens if the baby’s breech Will you not deliver? Because I’m doing it, but you know what I mean? Can I still give birth? Yes. And then I also asked her C section, right? Because while Caitlin mentioned, like, 5%, like, my providers was only like, two, I’m sure, maybe even less, and things like that, you know, and like, what what happened? Like Caitlin said, is it going to rescue out like, okay, so what if I get a positive test on my gestational diabetes, like the glucose test? What happens then? What are the next steps like? And it can be really hard to know all these questions at first, hopefully, you guys are taking notes. I know a lot of you do that when you listen. But even just even if you just go through like, okay, what are all the things that are, you know, done is about iron and hemoglobin because hemoglobin is one for homebirth, where I’ve had my midwife did not have requirements, but I’ve had a lot of clients, for their midwife had a minimum where hemoglobin had to be so like, that’s important to know. So you can keep an eye on it and like intervene sooner, right? Before all of a sudden, you’re about to give birth and the but the hemoglobins not where they want it to be. I mean, this rare, I haven’t actually seen this happen, but like, potentially, you might not be able to do it at home. So all things that like just make a list. I will say that like as far as a lot of like, how how you are, you know, as my personality type, they, we didn’t really like dig into a lot of that till towards the end when we were making like my birth plan. And but like, I mean, my team was cool. Like, they’re like, we just want to make you comfortable. And have you feel supported. So like, if you don’t want us to talk to you, we won’t, you know, like, but if you do, we’re happy to do that. And I don’t I cannot imagine a homebirth team that is not like that, but possibly they’re out there. So I think those are just really good questions to ask and consider. Okay, this was a I don’t know what your answer is going to be. But someone and I was like, Well, I don’t know. Just don’t do homebirth. But someone asked suggestions for someone without a home birth midwife nearby, like to have a positive birth experience, like what would you tell them? Yeah,

Katelyn Fusco 28:51
I think that’s a great question. And so this is what I have seen. Of course, like I said earlier, it’s legal to give birth, unassisted. Now, whether that means that you’re actually unassisted, or whether there you have some, like, traditional midwife or traditional birth keeper who’s unlicensed, it could be a number of things, or are you able to travel somewhere else? Where homebirth is where there is that option? I attended a an Airbnb homebirth. So you can you can decide like, alright, I obviously there aren’t any options here, but like two hours away, there are options. So let me get in touch with this midwife and find out if it would be possible to set something like this up. I also interviewed someone on the podcast who said she was giving birth like up in the I think it was in New New Jersey, New Jersey or New York and the there they weren’t allowed to have a VBAC. And so then she decided to travel to Texas where her family was before you know, before she went into labor, and so she had a midwife down in Texas, and gave birth there. Yeah, so there really are are ways around this if we really want to make it happen, if it’s if it’s not important to you, there are options, they may not be your favorite options, but there are definitely things to consider. And then of course, yes, you could, you could certainly just choose to find a supportive team and and go for the hospital would certainly recommend like, okay, probably you’ll want to stay home for a good while if that’s if your plan is to make it as much like a homebirth as possible. But and then also reaching out to those midwives who are further away and saying, like, listen, there’s nobody in my area. I’m, I’m begging you. Can you know, can you? Can you help me out? There were some clients that my midwife had served that were out in the sticks. I mean, like really, really far out. But they didn’t, they also didn’t have a hospital super close by I mean, they needed care. So you guys deserve care, too. So I would certainly be asking those midwives, even if it feels like a stretch, even if they may say no, there is no harm in asking.

Amanda Montalvo 31:01
Yeah, if I had to do it, if I could not find someone, then even the closest birthing center was it’s like an over 90 minute drive, I probably would have labored as long as I could at home with a doula that I trusted. And then they would have gone to the hospital with me and my husband, and then had that as support. Like, I think that’s what I would have ended up doing. So it’s like you can and that’s what they tell you to do. Anyway, they tell you to stay home, you know, so like, a part of their part of what they’re doing is correct. So, but it can be really hard to do that. If you’re like, I don’t know what’s going on. I feel like I really need support. So it’s like have someone that you trust there it hopefully you can at least have a doula or maybe a friend that has given birth many times or something. I feel like those people are also just like, they get it. And they’re like, they can just be there for you. But yeah, there’s I just wasn’t sure, but I feel better about that. Because like, I don’t know what to tell this woman like, I’m so sorry. You know, but there are it sounds like there are definitely like some options. And just you know, I think you can control how you are approaching birth for yourself and your partner, please make sure your partner is on the same page because they are so important. Yep. Okay, prepping for a home birth. This is a whole podcast episode, I realized that, but how can you prepare for a home birth?

Katelyn Fusco 32:19
Okay. So, obviously, you and I both are very into this idea of education, like you need to know what’s going on. Now, when we think back to how birth used to happen. The mother’s, you know, cave woman, Amanda didn’t need to take a birth class, because cave woman, Amanda was surrounded by her family of women, and you saw birth unfolding, consistently, like you saw your cousin give birth, you saw your sister and your mom give birth, before it was your turn. And there wasn’t all of this societal indoctrination about how scary birth is. So we really need to get back to that primal mother back to that cave woman, Caitlin. And so I highly recommend finding a way to prepare that is not only focusing on just how to get through labor, how to get through your home birth, but actually focusing on okay, what is this really about? What is this entire experience really about? And what does it mean to me? And how is it going to influence the rest of my life? So, yes, we need to be learning what physiological birth is sure, I want moms to understand the milestones of labor so that as we’re going through it, it feels familiar, even though maybe you’ve never done it before. I want moms to have coping techniques where they know how to relax, they know how to release even in the face of that discomfort or pain. Those are really important things for a childbirth program to cover. However, what I have noticed and Amanda we kind of mentioned this, I know you went through happy homebirth Academy, I’ve changed the way that I present childbirth preparation at this point, because I do feel like childbirth courses as a whole that model is just lacking. There’s only so much you can do in a few little modules to teach a mother compared to this discussion that is so much deeper of like, okay, well what defines a successful birth to you, Amanda? Like what is a successful birth to you? And then discussing like, Okay, what role is fear playing in terms of like, What fears do we need to release that are just like totally societal fears? Versus Okay. Is there such a thing as healthy fear? And all? What about boundaries? How do boundaries enter act with your birth team, with your spouse with your future child? I know that I grew up at a time where you know, boundaries were like, not a super much a thing in my family like I had no understanding of them and So now learning like, Oh, this is how to have safe and healthy boundaries, like very cool. That’s super helpful to know as I go into birth, learning about the nervous system, oh my gosh, like, if we want to have a birth experience where, like I said, it’s happening with and for us, as opposed to like, Oh, it’s just happening to me? Well, that’s going to require us to be inside of our body, you know, we need to be safely embodied instead of immediately dissociating. So there are all of these factors. And then in terms of preparing with your spouse, having them involved, just like you alluded to, that is a huge factor in terms of birth satisfaction, I like to say that birth is very magnetizing. And what do magnets do, like they either repel, or they pull together strongly. And so if we’re preparing with our spouse, I’m telling you that pulling together is going to be beautiful, and it is going to serve you in this next phase, adding a new human to your family is like kind of a big deal. And as wonderful as it is, it’s a big change. So being together and on the same page is massive. Some other things we need to learn about a okay, what the heck happens with postpartum, like, what is that even about? And then intuition and connection, we talked about this, with like, you know, this idea of instinct is greater than instruction. Okay, well, that’s fine and good. But how do you actually start listening to your intuition? How do you actually connect with this baby that you’re growing before you even meet them face to face? These are all the things that like holistically can allow us to confidently step into labor and confidently step into motherhood, as opposed to like, alright, well, I’ve got these pain relief techniques. And I’m going to get through I’m going to get through labor, you know. So I hope that that answers your question.

Amanda Montalvo 37:03
Hey, Amanda, here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode, to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health through mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation, are you putting the foundations in place, especially what we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the, the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there, too, you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this, and how to get started with all that just you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it. I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode.

If it does, and I love that idea. I and I know that people and we’ll talk about comfort items, someone asked about that, we will talk about that. But I think that people want like a checklist and they’ll give you one Don’t worry, your home birth midwife will give you a checklist of all the things you have to have prepared in your home. You know, all that fun stuff. My husband was on top of that checklist, thank God, because I was like, I’m very pregnant. And I’m like trying to prepare for maternity leave. And I just have too many things on my plate. So he like did the whole checklist. But you’ll get all that information from your provider. I think this key takeaway of trying to tune in now if you are pregnant, or if you want to conceive soon, having that sooner. And I do think this is something that my midwife helped me do. I remember asking her what position the baby was in and she goes, What position do you think she’s in? And I was like, I was like, I don’t know. Like, you know, like, let me see. I took she was like, just take a few minutes and feel around your belly and like, let me know where you think she is. And I was like, wow, and ever after that moment, I always knew where she was, which was really fun and cute. And same thing with like, preparing for the actual, like birth plan and everything and they’re like, Well, what do you think you’d want to do? If that came up? You know, and just like having them reflect back on you very similar to like, if you go see a counselor when they ask you really good questions and they make you think that’s that’s what really helped me like build that intuition when I was still pregnant. And then I honestly think that’s where it came from. Like I had this team where they were looking to me I wasn’t looking to them during my birth. Oh, that’s and yeah, so I just think that’s that’s what that’s how I think people have successful birds or at least that’s how I did. But just like with like someone on their healing journey and like hormone issues or minerals, they like we want to Hand our health over to someone else, right? We want to outsource it. And I get it because we all have way too much on our plates. But birth is so important. And I just think that taking that time to think about what do you want? What kind of birth Do you want? Do you feel better with a hospital birth? Do you feel better with a home birth? Do you want to do birthing center, maybe you want to have a midwife at a hospital birth, whatever combination it is for you. I just think you have to figure out what that is. And I love I love that you that’s like your birth prep, I think that’s really just the best advice ever.

Katelyn Fusco 40:31
A whole thanks. And I do think that one of the things that I’ve noticed is in terms of social media, in terms of Instagram, you know, homebirth, this, this concept of homebirth is now more popular, probably partially because of the pandemic and all of the fallout from the way that the hospital was treating people. And then also, because like, we’re just seeing these pictures, these glorious images of these super peaceful mothers, and, you know, they’re just like, signing their babies out. And that’s wonderful. And that I mean, my second baby, listen, I was quiet with her I not that I plan to be, but it was very calm and quiet. My first I sounded like a beluga whale. So what I what I want moms to know is that if you are looking at these curated pictures on Instagram, and you’re thinking that success, like that is what success looks like, then I want to caution you, because birth is raw birth is wild, it is so real and messy and gritty and the best ways. And so if in our mind, we’re thinking, Well, I have to be quiet, I have to look serene, I have to have this very specific aesthetic, and so that I can have a successful birth. Like, if that’s how we’re measuring success. I just caution you, because Amanda, when I look at your pictures, and I see the way that you’re talking about your birth and saying like, yeah, it was painful, and it was intense. And it was really hard. Like that is actually, to me far more appealing. I want to experience it. I want to feel it. And I want other moms to feel empowered by that. I mean, how, how incredible do you feel now on the other side, after experiencing that intensity, and then recognizing, oh, my gosh, I had the stuff like I had stuff to get through that. I can take on anything,

Amanda Montalvo 42:30
literally like it. And that’s that’s I think that’s just it is that the whole experience, whether it is like amazing and super pleasant and fast. I know I was very, I was just like, I don’t want to know how long it’s been, I wanted nothing to do with time, because the time just like I knew that was gonna get in my head. And I just think like, again, like you talked about boundaries, it’s so important. But just having having that knowledge of like, okay, I did this even when I didn’t think I could, like, it’s just, it’s so it was very symbolic for how my postpartum has been. So it’s you will have the birth that you’re meant to have. And but I still, it’s like one of those things were just kind of like, well, what do you mean, like, trust your instincts, you will know, if you do not have people constantly telling you to do things in your ear, if you just get that time. Like my husband was with me the whole time minus when I was in the shower, he was like, it was like you’re too big Get out. You’re taking up all of the water, like, the whole time we were together. But like he wasn’t really talking to me, he was just there. And that peace and quiet is what allowed me to know exactly what to do. And like you said, we don’t grow up seeing birth now. I saw my sister give birth, traumatizing she ended up having a C section I have birth trauma for her. And that is actually why I chose a home birth because I was like, I can’t go to hospital because I know that I still will like so much is going to come up for me. And so it’s one of those things where we’re not seeing it, if you can, if you get the opportunity, amazing, but also like just talking to people about their burgers, you know, and I know they say just hear positive birth stories and like, yes, but also like, we need all of our stories to be shared.

Katelyn Fusco 44:13
Yeah, and what is positive anyway, like, you know, I’m sure that like, there could be someone who’s like, oh, like, But Amanda said the word pain and so you know, I don’t really want to hear that. It’s like, that’s a positive birth story like you were a warrior and it was amazing. So, broadening our concept of what is positive and that is such a perspective thing. And I feel like so much of this so much of our birth experience and that transformation into motherhood. That is perspective. That is your mindset. So that is definitely something that you can fortify and work with before you are in labor to prepare and that will you know, I talked to my students about like, yes, put on your rose colored glasses. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s why would we I’m not saying to just Brightside, but I’m saying like, why would we not think the best of our experience when that’s an option?

Amanda Montalvo 45:18
And one question for you, how many hombres

Katelyn Fusco 45:20
Have you had to?

Amanda Montalvo 45:21
Two? So when you were preparing for years, what what were things? I mean, probably you knew even more for your second. But what were the things that you were like, I have to have like these items here?

Katelyn Fusco 45:35
That’s a good question. So when I became pregnant with my first I was actually working as an assistant, a student midwife. So I was attending home births at the time, which was actually very interesting. Because, yes, I’d seen a bunch of births, I’d seen all variations and knew like, okay, it can be a whole bunch of different things and still be really, really good. But one thing that I will say that I missed out on and my husband missed out on, and we changed dramatically for the second time, was that because I knew what I was doing. My husband thought I had it handled like, Oh, she’s got it. Yeah, yeah. Oh, this is big. This happens to a lot of people, I think, where the mom is the researcher, you know, like, yeah, a lot of your audiences this way, kind of more on that, quote, type a style, like they’ve got it down. They know what they’re doing. They know what they want. So they’re in charge of all of the preparation, and the husband’s just like, okay, yeah, I support you. But then there’s no actual coming together, and no, actual back and forth and dialogue of like, Okay, how are you actually going to support me? How do you actually want to be involved? And how do I want you to be involved. So with my first birth, now, I will give him the the fact that it was a long one. And so for whatever reason, he couldn’t stay up for 48 hours straight, you know, but. But like, I felt like there were times where we kind of miscommunicated and missed each other. And it could have been a very strong bonding experience. And not that it was a negative experience. But we just didn’t kind of soak all of the nectar out of it that we could have. So with our second birth, we and I had, I had done a hypnosis based childbirth class for the first he attended with me. So that’s something that I think is important for us to understand. It’s not like we weren’t doing stuff together. But none of that stuff actually got to the root of like, communicating with one another and being there for each other and being on the same page. So the second birth is actually when I started creating resources, because I was like, well, here’s all the stuff I as a student midwife still didn’t know and understand, like, here’s what we really need to be focusing on. So yes, like different comfort items, like, warm water, for sure is like my fav I will I think that that is the best. I also like to say like, what are the things that when you are not feeling well, like, obviously, birth is not sickness, they’re not the same thing. But a lot of the same comfort items, a lot of the comfort items will be the same. So like, what makes you feel good when you’re feeling under the weather? Think about that. And then you can apply that to birth? Do you like to be in the tub? If so, then maybe a waterbirth? is going to be something that you gravitate towards? Do you want someone snuggled up with you and you know, rubbing your hair? Or do you want someone to like give you some kind words, but actually don’t touch me? Those are all you know, those are things that we can be considering. Not to say that that’s always how it works out. But it’s, it’s a really good way for us to get in the right mindset. I will say, though, that when it comes to comfort when it comes to what did I actually need in that birth experience, I needed to trust myself, I needed competence, I needed to lean on that intuition so that I could get into whatever weird position my body was telling me to get into. Because there is there’s instinct in that. And I needed my husband to be my number one support and to, for me to feel like we really understood each other. So it’s a lot more mental, emotional, spiritual work than it is like, oh, here are the items.

Amanda Montalvo 49:19
Yes. I love that. And I’m happy. You mentioned that. I also had a hard time answering that question for people because I just needed water and like space, it but I will say like my husband, reminding me to eat and drink was very helpful. And I did not tell him to do that. I mean, he knows how to make like adrenal cocktails and he knows what I like. So like, it was easy, but he was like, you know, you really need to eat again, like, and then like the midwife would kind of like try to get her to eat, you know, and then he would kind of push that but that was really comforting for me because I was like, oh, yeah, I’m like not remembering to feed and nourish myself because I’m just so I mean, you’re just so tuned in. You just don’t know what’s going on. Yeah, up.

Katelyn Fusco 50:00
Yeah. And I think that what you’re saying totally relates to this idea of, you know, birth is 1/4, physical utmost like, it’s so mental, spiritual, emotional. So it makes sense that our preparation would be three fourths not like, oh, what actual like coping techniques or you know, what physical items do I need, it’s going to be so much deeper than that. I did

Amanda Montalvo 50:27
like the dark to I like to very dark in our room, we set it up that way, we already had like salt lamps and stuff. One of my friends, she had a homebirth. And she had extra like twinkle lights. So she gave me those when we set those up. So that was nice. I would say that’s like, but other than that, you don’t really need anything, you just need yourself and some nourishment and a really good support system. So let’s talk about some of the concerns around home birth and having a baby at home. A lot of the questions were what is the plan for like a true emergency? Like what happens? I think we probably have to define emergency. But can you talk about that in like the safety around home birth?

Katelyn Fusco 51:07
For sure. So I think that one thing we need to recognize is the image of the midwife. A lot of times I feel like I’ve even had people say very specific things like a midwife is like some witchy woman that rides down the mountain on her horse and like walks into your house barefoot, like, not usually she may not be wearing a bra, depending on how fast she had to get there. Fast you are progressing. But these are usually very skilled weapon, and especially if you are choosing someone who is you know, hold some type of licensure has been through some type of apprenticeship and schooling, they are very well trained. And we need to remember also, there’s so much safety in the way that the midwives model of care works. So you have been getting to know this woman for your entire pregnancy. She knows you, she knows your baby, she knows your baseline normal. Can we say the same thing about obstetrics? Not usually. So when your midwife knows you so well, she can tell when some little red flags are starting to pop up. And that I will say is far more common. The way that any type of like transport to the hospital occurs, the vast majority of them are non emergent. It’s like, oh, okay, your blood pressure is spiking, like, Okay, let’s try to do some things to change that K, baby’s heart rate went had a D cell for a little bit longer than we prefer. Let’s see if we can switch positions. But all of these little tiny things are telling your midwife a story of what’s going on with you and what’s going on with your baby. So if these things start to vary from what we would consider normal, then we can start to do some things to encourage that to get back to within the range of normal. And if not, then a transport is typically going to be a Okay, well, why don’t we like I think it’s time like let’s get in the car and not call the ambulance, like, let’s get in the car, your husband is going to drive you to the hospital. And you know, that just seems like the safest place. And that’s a conversation that you guys will have. So let’s remember number one, they’re extremely skilled, they have a lot of knowledge, they understand who you are, then usually there’s not an emergent transport, it’s usually an emergent, it’s usually let’s head this off before it becomes something else. very proactive. Now, then some of the I would say the three things, the three common things that happen in the homebirth setting that would be emergent in some at some points. But they’re also just the most common issues would be a shoulder dystocia, a postpartum hemorrhage, and then neonatal resuscitation. So let’s just like talk through those very briefly. So when it comes to a shoulder dystocia we have to remember that there is so much once again, there is so much safety and instinct not instruction. And the good thing about when we are giving birth at home is that we can assume or whatever positions we need to assume. So if your baby a shoulder, so what happens when your baby’s head is come out, but the actual shoulders are stuck inside of the pelvis. So it’s a bone to bone issue. It’s not like a bone to tissue issue. And so, oftentimes the only thing that needs to be done is a quick positional change, you know, it may Gaskin the, the gasket to maneuver is what it’s called, but it’s literally just getting into tabletop position. Like how basic is that? But almost all the time that is enough to resolve a shoulder dystocia if you are in the hospital, my question would be do you think that’s what your OB is going to go to first or are they potentially going to go straight for an episiotomy? Or a for subsequent, you know, all of these different ins are mental, more aggressive, intense ideas, as opposed to like, hey, let’s actually just move positions, let’s midwives understand the pelvis. So we know how to move and manipulate the pelvis to help the baby out. And if that doesn’t work, let’s say the Gaskin maneuver doesn’t work, then a lot of times, they’re gonna have you move one of your legs up into a runner’s lunge. And then this and then that. The thing that’s important to know, is midwives, it’s always continuous movement. Alright, we’re gonna move to this position. Now this one now this one, now, this one, until it’s resolved. Whereas at the hospital, that’s, it’s not oftentimes going to happen that way your flat on your back, and especially if there’s no medication involved, it’s hard to get out of that position. So there’s actually a story on the podcast of a mother who did have a shoulder dystocia with her first at home, and she talks about how she’s like, thank the Lord, I was at home, I’m so glad that I was at home with that shoulder dystocia with my midwife who knew what to do, as opposed to potentially getting an episiotomy, potentially having something far more aggressively managed, the other thing that we need to discuss would be the postpartum hemorrhage. Now, postpartum hemorrhage, it is something that we can do a lot of things naturally first before we’re just like jumping to medication, which is really wonderful. Because in the hospital, of course, that’s the first thing is going to be medication and medication is is fantastic, if if it’s necessary, but always you know, there are there are going to be side effects, they’re going to be different ways that that’s going to influence and affect your body and physiology. So midwives oftentimes do bring a host of different herbs, you can learn about homeopathy, and maybe have like some Arnica, 200 C, on hand or some Bellis Perennis on hand, there are actually studies that have shown that those like a mixture of those two homeopathics, before, during and after labor, are hugely helpful for postpartum bleeding. So that’s great to know. And then so they’ll try some herbs, they would try maybe some of that. One thing that I always recommend, I know sounds gross, but it’s pretty cool. You know, our body has so many protective mechanisms inside of it. And simply putting the umbilical cord in your mouth, if the placenta is still attached, can oftentimes slow or stop bleeding. And then if the placenta has already been released, then actually taking a tiny piece of the placenta and putting it in your cheek can slow or stop bleeding as well. I did that personally with my first birth, and it was my midwife was like, Whoa, like, I am very impressed with how quickly this worked. Because the placenta has fibrinogen in it. So that’s like going to help your blood clot and coagulate. So it’s just helping all of the bleeding, like stop. So there are natural things that we can do. And then after that should more be needed, then midwives typically carry or you’re overseeing, like doctor or provider would oftentimes prescribe to you Pitocin, which would be injected intramuscularly. That’s a great, great one for for stopping bleeding and contracting the uterus down. Cytotec or methanogen, or misoprostol, like all these different ways that our medications to stop bleeding. And depending on how much it is, you know, maybe you will transport to the hospital, maybe you’ll decide, you know, what I’d like to, you know, have a transfusion, or, you know, whatever, maybe just fluids, or a lot of postpartum hemorrhage is are managed at home. So moms will stay home even after that. So that’s another one that is a really common concern. But then when we realize oh, like, they actually have ways to help with this, it’s not just like, well, you’re bleeding, everyone’s dying, sorry, you go by. That’s not how it works. And then the final one would be neonatal resuscitation, which is oftentimes like that, when would be more common if there were something like a shoulder dystocia or something like that. But it’s important to know that some type of stimulation will be needed for a baby, usually one out of 10 births. So that’s pretty common. So for us to think like, oh, no, like, this is so bad. And this is so dangerous. And this is so scary. No, it’s not like that. Usually, just a little bit of stimulation on the feet, talking to your baby, maybe your midwife you know, puts the bag and mask on and gives just like one or two stimulating puffs of air to help that baby come around. That is usually all that they need. And then something that I think is really important for moms to recognize is that the difference between the hospital dealing with neonatal resuscitation and home is this in the hospital that cord to the placenta to the baby’s blood supply and oxygen supply is going to be immediately cut, and the baby is going to be taken away from the only safety that it knows, which is you. And then in the home birth setting, if something like that needs to happen, any type of resuscitative measures are going to be done with you with the mother and with the baby connected to its safety line, which is the placenta. So keeping that in mind, like the way that physiologically things need to unfold, it’s just like, wow, homebirth midwives like they really get it. So that’s really important to recognize. And then of course, like, worst case scenario, midwives are trained, like I said, in neonatal resuscitation, but they’re also trained in CPR. And if a if an ambulance were needed, then that is always an option. An ambulance can be called, people can be stabilized, and then and then we can transport to the hospital. That’s, that’s okay.

Amanda Montalvo 1:00:51
And I love that you brought up like the medications and stuff they have, like, yes, they have our rules. My midwife I’ve been she had a ton of stuff in her med kit. But they have medications. I think people don’t I’m like, they’re like, What happens if you’re hemorrhage? I’m like, I mean, they have side attack, like, that’s one of the main ones that my midwife had. And they know how to use it, you know, so I would just keep all that stuff in mind. And I think the other kind of like, fear mongering thing, like a lot of people ask, like, what about family members that are scared, you know, we told my mother in law, and she was had a heart attack. I mean, I just personally don’t care. I’m like, but I don’t really care what people think. So not everyone is like that. And some people’s family members have a bigger influence on their life, which I totally understand. But it’s one of those things where I’m like, Okay, well, if you just don’t have the education around what a home birth midwife is, and the type of birth team and care that I’ll have one night when she hears about it. Now, she’s like, that sounds amazing, you know. So I think that you have to make sure that one if you’re educating yourself or others, it’s coming from a home birth expert, preferably a midwife, because if you ask a doctor about these things, or a midwife in a hospital, they won’t know, I would never do a home birth with a doctor ever, because they’re not trained to do that. That’s not how they’re designed to help support someone give birth. They don’t know all the tools, right? So I do think there’s a very distinct difference, but that you can have safety and a home birth. It’s just like talking to your birth team. They did a whole safety class with me and my husband. And we’re both like, man, we feel really good after that. I don’t know if every team does that. But it that those are things you can definitely ask.

Katelyn Fusco 1:02:32
And one, one quick reminder is that the difference between when we’re giving birth at home and when we’re giving birth at the hospital is it oftentimes comes down to intervention? So are you being poked, prodded and made to do different things inside of the hospital? Well, then your chances of you know, needing, quote, needing some type of something postpartum, postpartum hemorrhage that like super increases, as opposed to being left alone, as opposed to you being the one that’s in charge, and you working through birth, the way that you need to your chances of having those things happen are significantly less because you’re not being messed with. So that’s important to remember. And then when we when we come over to talking about like, Okay, well, what do we do in terms of family? You’re right, Amanda, I think that there are kind of two approaches to this. Number one, it’s none of their business, like, it’s your medical decision, they don’t have to know about it, you don’t have to feel obligated to tell people what you’re doing. You can and if you want to, and you want to educate them, then give them all the resources, send them to the happy home birth podcast, like I’ve got a lot of episodes, there’s I think it’s episode 17 was the one that I did that was like home birth one on one, and it was like a midwife talking through the safety. And then episode 59 is where I’m talking to two midwives. And they go over the things that we just talked about an even more depth, you know, the postpartum hemorrhage, the shoulder dystocia, the neonatal resuscitation, that’s my, probably my most sent out episode. And then the other thing for us to talk about, it’s something that we touched on earlier boundaries. If you are having a hard time because you are a people pleaser, and you feel like you have to do the thing that your family is telling you to do. Well, that tells me that maybe you could focus on the boundaries more so that you don’t feel hurt and you don’t feel like you have to do something for somebody else. No, this is your experience. This is your transition into motherhood. It’s your thing. It’s not your it’s not your mother in law saying it’s not your great aunt Betty’s thing. It’s it’s your thing. So make sure you are once again taking that responsibility.

Amanda Montalvo 1:04:42
And I’ll put those I just took notes on those two episodes. So I’ll link those in the show notes. I think those are LinkedIn my birth story one too, but we’ll do it again and getting your spouse on board. A lot of people like what about my husband? This was hard for me at first but it was just education and you know He had to not be lazy. And he had to listen to the episodes and do some reading. But I was like, this is important to me. And this is not something that I’m just going to drop. So it ended up working out. But what advice do you have for moms trying to get their husbands on board?

Katelyn Fusco 1:05:14
The first thing that I want to acknowledge is the fact that oftentimes, we feel very attacked by our spouse not immediately being on board. And what I want you to remember that a lot of times it is a fear thing, because they love you so much. Because the the idea of like, what I’m going to get let you give birth at home, like away from a doctor, like no way, I love you, I love this baby, I want you safe. So it’s fear, it’s lack of education, you’re right, it comes down to if I provide you reasonably with the information, I feel like they’re rare has hasn’t happened, that all of the information has actually been provided. And that husband hasn’t been like, Okay, I see, I understand, especially when they go talk to the midwife, you know, actually ask them all the hard questions like, they’re the one you’re going to be working with, and they have been asked these questions before, you’re not going to like scare them by asking, but it does come down to like, Okay, number one, yes, of course, this is your experience as a mother, like you need to feel safe, where you’re giving birth, and then your spouse, they have an obligation to listen to that and to support you, and to genuinely try to understand and to genuinely do the research before just like saying, No, I do have a I have a discussion that I actually did as we’re recording this. So I know this is a few weeks later, but on Instagram, it’s called husbands five things to consider with childbirth education, that is going to kind of talk about why is it actually important to prepare in the first place. And then my, my birth story with my husband, it’s episode 30 goes into goes into this as well. But I do believe that preparation together and and actually taking the time to explain why you want this to explain the benefits. A lot of times it’s showing the numbers like give them the research like they’re all you have to type in is homebirth safety statistics, or homebirths and B study, and there will be an article that pops up it’s a manner in a in a safety study. And it will show all of the all of the research and it’s like, oh, when you look at that, it’s kind of hard. Kind of hard to say no. When you see like, oh, the studies show that it’s it is safe. So yeah, that’s that would be my recommendation, I definitely don’t feel like it’s worth spending the time and effort on other people. But absolutely working with your husband and try and working to get on the same page. That’s critical.

Amanda Montalvo 1:07:49
And I’ll put those links in the show notes. I love like the husband’s five things to consider with childhood education. That’s great. So those resources will be there for you. But I you know, share why it’s important. And I haven’t listened to this episode. Right, we answered a lot of like the basic kind of questions. Let’s end with postpartum, we had a question about what happens after you give birth with the baby. And like, you know, you’re at home a lot. I had a few people that were like, how do they monitor you right after? Because typically in a hospital, you’re there for a couple days. So what does that look like when you have a home birth?

Katelyn Fusco 1:08:24
Well, I mean, oh, darn, you have to like snuggle up in your own bed and your own sheets, not the sheets of some random stranger with what who knows what kind of laundry detergent don’t get started. But yeah, you get tucked into your own bed, your midwife team, they’re going to stay for a number of hours after your birth, they’re going to do the newborn assessment, which is kind of like the shining moment postpartum for so many people where you see them do all of these different reflex tests, and then they weigh your baby and measure your baby at such a special time. And all throughout this, they’re going to be taking your blood pressure, they’re going to be monitoring your vitals to make sure that you are you’re looking good like nothing is going wrong. No nothing’s arrived. Midwives also are going to leave you typically the ones that I’ve worked with, they leave you with instructions. Usually you have the any type of bleeding medication beside your bed, and list of things that you would want to do if you notice that bleeding was increasing. And so they’ll say things like rubbing the top of your fundus urinating nursing your baby, so they leave you with instructions. And then guess what, they come back. And this is what’s so significant and so different from the hospital. Yes, you’re in the hospital for 24 hours or 48 hours, but then you’re done. Your midwife team should be checking on you every few days and then weeks for up to six weeks postpartum or possibly even further. And I think that that’s what’s so important to notice is that you’re actually getting longer and more personalized care for For longer when you are working with a midwife postpartum, it’s not just like, Okay, goodbye, we’ll see you in six weeks to tell you whether or not you can have sex again, like, it’s so much more than that. And you do have eyes on you and your baby more consistently.

Amanda Montalvo 1:10:14
And it’s just that continuity of care. It really is like your whole pregnancy. And I’ll tell you what I mean, depending on what like breastfeeding is like for you if you have any issues with the baby, I mean, you are you’re going to be tender, right? You’re going to be a little I mean, just like fractured like I mean, I was I Eliana had ties and like eating issues, and she lost a bunch of weight. I was so stressed out. And if I had to go somewhere with her I just I in like, see someone that didn’t know my situation and didn’t know me, it would have been very difficult and a huge added stress. So I was like, man, yes, I love their birth experience. And I’m so happy I had her home for the actual birth, but it was so nice to be able to stay home. And then, you know, my midwife she knew she came like I had her Wednesday, she came again Friday, and she had lost a little weight. And she, you know, she’s texting me, she was just checking in the lactation consultant on the team also checking in, she came to see me early because they knew there was an issue because we were communicating. You know, like, there’s just so many benefits and even if it’s just for the postpartum care, I was like, Man, I I just felt so comfortable in a time where I was very uncomfortable and like unsure and a new mom and just like scared. So yeah, I cannot stress like the aftercare is so important.

Katelyn Fusco 1:11:35
I love that you mentioned that. And one thing when one of my favorite midwife groups, they’re out in California, wish they would move to South Carolina. But anyway, beautiful one midwifery if you guys want to follow them on Instagram, they’re so funny, but they are so knowledgeable. One thing that they offer to their community is postpartum care, no matter where you gave birth, so you could have given birth in the hospital, and then they still provide you with postpartum care. I would love to see more of that around the country. That would be huge.

Amanda Montalvo 1:12:05
Yeah, I love that. You’re in South Carolina. I did not know that. But thank you so much for doing this. Caitlin. I hope that this gives people a little bit more of an idea like behind the curtain with homebirth. I’ve been a link to all your podcast episodes, guys, she has so many episodes, and it’s all homebirth I people want me to do a homebirth episode. And I was like that there’s like a whole podcast already got, you know, but I get it, I get it. So hopefully now anyone that is interested, feels encouraged and checks out those episodes, if they want to get a spouse on board. I’m gonna link that safety study if you’re just still considering things for yourself. But ultimately, you don’t have to have a homebirth to have a great experience or to feel empowered or to take responsibility. And I just hope that you know, you guys understand that. But anything you want to leave people with.

Katelyn Fusco 1:12:54
Honestly, Amanda, I just want to thank you, I love the information you provide. Like I honestly whenever I look at your Instagram, I’m like, How does she do it? Like it’s so much good information as a podcaster. I feel like, I don’t have time to listen to a lot of podcasts. But I will make time for yours. Whenever I see that there’s a new episode out because they’re always so informative. So I just want to thank you for all that you’re doing with the community and for the way that you have been so transparent with your pregnancy, all of the updates that you gave all of the struggles and wins that you went through. I think that is incredibly beneficial for people to see like the wrong reality of pregnancy, and then of home birth and postpartum as well. So I just wanted to thank you.

Amanda Montalvo 1:13:40
Thank you. No, I appreciate it. And I think hopefully people that I just think a lot of people in my community obsess over their health and it was just really important for them to see that you don’t have to have perfect health in order to have a good pregnancy to have a home birth to have a good postpartum we can’t control everything you know and that’s like one thing I was talking about someone my membership the other day she was like oh like any like advice for like prepping for home birth I was like start surrendering now

Katelyn Fusco 1:14:10
balance of control and surrender is huge. Do what you can prepare how you can let the rest fly baby. Got it. We got to be flexible.

Amanda Montalvo 1:14:20
Yeah, but it was too funny. But thank you so much for coming on.

Katelyn Fusco 1:14:24
It was an honor. Thanks so much Amanda.

Amanda Montalvo 1:14:39
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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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