Ep 52: How to Have a Liberated Birth

Liberated birth.  

What a powerful phrase.  What does it bring to mind to you?  For me, I think of a woman who has decided to take full ownership of her birthing experience.  A woman who is completely in—no matter where or how she’s decided to give birth.  A woman who has taken the time to educate herself on the intricacies of birth.  I’d love for you to ponder this idea of liberated birth as we speak to today’s guest, Ilka Bee, the founder and creator of Liberated Birth Movement.  You’ll hear all about what that is, along with Ilka’s own liberated birth experience as we dive into this episode. 

And this perspective is so useful- I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my birthing comfort zone is at home with a certified professional midwife.  However, this is, of course, not the case for everyone!  Some moms prefer more, some less.  This episode will focus more on “less” variety, and I love it for that.  And what’s more, we’ve got two episodes coming up at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 that will delve into the freebirth stories of two moms.  And if you’re looking for another episode on the topic, be sure to check out episode 40, Shayla Has an Empowered Freebirth.  

Okay, switching gears quickly.  I want to take a minute or two here to be super open and honest with you guys.  If you caught last Friday’s Facebook live, you heard a bit of this already.  I want to acknowledge something: I haven’t been practicing what I preach lately.  When it comes to postpartum care and sustainability as a whole, I have really dropped the ball in the last two or three months, and I’ll tell you why.

After having Lillian, I was hit with this amazing, wonderful surge of creativity and clarity.  If you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while, you know I take my faith seriously, and I knew the holy spirit was urging me to create a childbirth education program.  This happened to me before—in fact, it’s exactly how this podcast was created in the first place.  It’s how I decided to launch this podcast on January first of this past year. 

So… when I was hit with the realization that I was to create a childbirth education program for homebirth mamas, I went full steam ahead.  I never asked for guidance on the timeline, I just decided—Let’s do January 1st of 2020.  Plenty of time, right? 

Well, turns out wrong.  And now, a few months in, I’m so burnt out and overwhelmed.  I’ve been staying up well past midnight most nights, I work through my girls’ nap time, and when I’m not able to be working on the course, I’m stressing about the course.  I’ve allowed it to consume my life—all because of this arbitrary date I created before recognizing how much work this course would entail and without acknowledging the fact that the season I am in requires slowness and rest. 

So.  All that to say—I’m not going to launch the course on January first.  I’ve got most of the content created, as I am nearing the end of the live version with my founding members… but there is just so much more to do, to create, to clean up.  I want this course to be perfect and I want it to be made in a manner of glorification, not desperation.

After the holidays I’ll have a much better idea of when an appropriate/healthy launch date is, and I’ll certainly let you know.  In the meantime, if you were really looking forward to the January launch, just shoot me an email.  I’m sure there’s a way we can still work together to prepare you, it just won’t be in the form of my beautiful, complete digital childbirth education course.

So thank you guys for my quick little… admittance.  I’ve definitely blown off course and it’s time to get back on.  If you’re in a similar season as me and you’re overworking, consider this your reminder to cool your jets, mama.  We’ve got to take care of ourselves so we can continue take care of our sweet families. 

Alright, sidebar closed.  Let’s get on with the show.  Take a screenshot now!  Upload it to Instagram stories and tag happyhomebirthpodcast so I can share it in my stories, too!  Leave me a review on iTunes so I can send you a happy homebirth sticker and read it on air! 

Show Notes:

  • Ilka is a liberated birth coach- educating women about how to have a pregnancy and birth outside of the medical system
  • Moved from Germany to India to California and became a prenatal yoga teacher
  • Studied massage therapy and prenatal massage
  • Began being asked to attend births- got kicked out of several hospitals because she was adamant about protecting her clients
  • Started apprenticing with a midwife- 4 years of schooling, was about to take her NARM exam to license and suddenly her intuition began telling her not to
  • Attended the Indie Birth Conference in Sedona and felt very connected to the movement.  Decided she did not want to work for the State, and only for her clients.
  • Works as an online birth coach to teach women how to get through all the pitfalls of birth and pregnancy
  •  Ilka discusses the trauma of watching obstetric violence occur in the hospital
  • In a freebirth with a “witness”- Ilka feels it’s important for the communication between the two parties to be deeply in tune.  She feels that often the problem is that women don’t even know what they want and do not know what is possible
  • Ilka says the most important aspect of birth is the mother taking full responsibility.  Often times, women do not take that responsibility because they’re scared
  • She states that prenatal care is not the 15 minutes at the Dr.’s office or even the 1 hour appointment with the midwife—prenatal care is what you’re doing 24/7: Mindset techniques, nutrition, exercises, emotional stability tools,
  • Liberated birth: discuss all of the previously mentioned techniques, and then how to get your partner on board, as well as what type of birth attendants you want, physiological/natural/mammalian birth, what does labor actually feel like, and how to bond after birth
  • Traveled the world while she was pregnant
  • At 38 weeks they road tripped back home from California to Montreal.  At 39 weeks they traveled 10 hours to her husband’s brother’s wedding.  Danced all night
  • Began having surges so drove the 10 hours home
  • Ate scrambled eggs and canned oysters
  • Set up the birth space beautifully
  • Spent about 8 hours  in the tub- fears of not being an adequate mom
  • “Either our son has a very tiny penis, or we’ve got a daughter”
  • The cord was wrapped around her neck twice and once around her shoulders.  She was born en caul
  • The placenta was born 5 minutes later
  • She left the placenta attached for several hours and then cut the cord
  • She didn’t see anyone for the first 40 days of her life except for her mother and father.

Get in touch with Ilka! 

Listen to Shayla’s Freebirth Story