Ep 15: Nutritional Therapist and Author Jenny McGruther’s Healthy Homebirth

We are so grateful for this week’s sponsors: Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com https://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/ 864-907-6363 Body Works Physical Therapy http://bodyworks-physicaltherapy.com/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/MamaBodyWorks Email: bodyworkspt.llc@gmail.comPhone: (864) 757-2440 Show Notes
    Jenny has been running Nourished Kitchen for over 11 years now- what started as a small hobby has blossomed into a vibrant community of people committed to traditional ways of preparing food. She is the mother of two children, ages 13 and 2. She and her husband have been together for almost 20 years now. Jenny had been struggling with poor health in a number of ways, which is how she stumbled upon her traditionally-rooted diet. She was suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Thyroid Disease, hormonal imbalances and infertility. She was told in her early 20’s that she’d likely be unable to become pregnant on her own. Jenny began working with an endocrinologist, who recommended that she shift her diet.  Jenny thought she’d been eating well: low fat vegetarian foods, lots of soy-based products, etc.  She decided, however, to take the endocrinologist’s advice and shifted her diet.  Within 3 months, she became pregnant with her first child. When her son was about 9-10 months old, Jenny came across the work of the Weston A. Price Foundation. This was in 2007, when butter was still considered an unhealthy food by many, nobody was talking about bone broth or kombucha, etc. “I’m so pleased to see how these traditional foods have become mainstream.” What are traditional foods? The foods that your great-great-great grandparents were eating.  The foods that came before the industrial revolution.  Before the processes of mono-cropping and the introduction of heavy agricultural chemical use. Examples of traditional foods include: sauerkraut, long-simmered broths, sourdough bread During Jenny’s first pregnancy, she was so concerned with her health issues that she decided to use an OBGYN. She remembers feeling that her voice was lost in the dynamic of Doctor/Patient instead of Doctor/”Client”. By her second pregnancy, she had been adhering to a traditional diet for a decade. She consumed plenty of fresh and fermented vegetables, stews made with grass-fed bison, pastured eggs, fresh oysters (rich in zinc) “I wanted the safety to be able to give birth at home. I wanted the autonomy to make decisions, and I wanted to be able to work with a practitioner who truly listened to me.” Jenny mentions how when she worked with a homebirth midwife, she felt it was a more collaborative approach. The midwife listened to her, and when it came to health, she took a more proactive approach.   During their long prenatal sessions, nutrition and movement were at the forefront of discussion. “Instead of waiting for problems related to pregnancy to arise, we made sure I was in optimal health throughout the pregnancy.” As a survivor of sexual assault, Jenny discusses how negatively the hospital experience was for her: Her birth plan was thrown out the moment she walked into the hospital. She was checked and prodded without consent, people were in and out of the room… all very strong issues for someone with previous traumas. “The homebirth experience that I did have was an incredibly healing experience.” Luckily, her midwife’s proactive approach allowed Jenny to work through much of the trauma. “It wasn’t just about giving birth to a healthy baby, it was about becoming a mother again.” “With homebirth, it’s a much more organic, holistic, respectful experience.” “We talk about these due dates like they’re set in stone… when the reality is you kind of have a ‘due season’.” With Jenny’s first birth, she was pressured into having an induction. With her second, her midwife reassured her that as long as everything looked healthy, she would be willing to wait for Jenny’s body to go into labor naturally. After a week, Jenny went in for a biophysical profile, which came back saying all was healthy and well. She continued these every few days until finally around 42 weeks, her body was ready to have her baby. At 42 weeks, Jenny remembers having contractions that at the time, she thought nothing of… she’d been having them for weeks. She mentioned to her son that her back was feeling very uncomfortable, and he told her she should call the midwife.  Jenny laughed it off. Later she went upstairs and realized that these contractions were getting more powerful. She called her midwife, who said to give her a call in an hour after she timed some.  By the end of the hour, Jenny found herself in full blown transition.  In fact, her son was born with in 45 minutes of her arrival. She remembers reading about the Fetal Ejection Reflex and thinking how odd it would be not to “have to push,” but rather that her body would actually do it.  But there she found herself, in the tub, 3 contractions of her body doing the pushing, and baby was born. At one point, not realizing her birth was only going to be 4 hours, Jenny asked her husband to turn on the tv show “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. She was not even cognizant that she was pushing, once the time came. She had a contraction, and baby’s head was born.  Another, and out came his shoulders and body. Katelyn says she feels this MUST be because of Jenny’s pregnancy tea recipe, which she drinks every day beginning in the second trimester. Jenny’s tea is a variation of “NORA” tea: Nettle, Oatstraw, Red Raspberry, and Alfalfa. She adds lemon balm, rose hips and rose buds. Jenny brings up a book that we’ve had several moms mention in relation to postpartum recovery: The First 40 Days Her midwives both told her that in the long run, it would be easier for Jenny to recover if she took the first few weeks especially slow. When it came to her diet, Jenny avoided drinking too much dairy, as she knows it can cause fussiness in newborns. She found herself eating lots of iron-rich foods, and she had her placenta encapsulated to help restore the iron she lost during childbirth (a natural part of childbirth). Jenny’s magnificent postpartum with her second child is contrasted with her first postpartum experience, where she was called back to work only 2 weeks after giving birth. Jenny recommends mothers check out the book “Real Food for Pregnancy” as a good start for learning how to eat during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Find Jenny’s book The Nourished Kitchen at your local library, on barnesandnoble.com or on Amazon. Follow Jenny: instagram.com/nourishedkitchen nourishedkitchen.com