Ep 99: From Obstetrical Bullying to Compassionate Care

Your care provider.  When you think of the person who will be attending your birth, what adjectives come to mind?  Do you feel at peace, comforted and cared for, or do you feel bullied, manipulated and belittled?  Hannah has experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I’m so happy to have her on today’s episode to share with you just how difficult, and then how beautiful birth can be. 


Happy Homebirth Academy has an affiliate program for care providers.  To enter yourself in a monthly drawing for a Happy Homebirth T Shirt (or Amazon gift card), tell your care provider about it!  Take a screenshot of the text or email sending them to www.myhappyhomebirth.com/affiliate , and send it to katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com with the subject line: Midwife Message


Hannah thought her hospital birth would be totally covered, as she was actually on two insurance plans.  As it turned out, she was not, and her hospital birth was more expensive than her later homebirth.

One big red flag Hannah experienced with her OB, that she now wishes would have made her turn and run, was that when she gave the OB her birth plan, the response was “Oh, you’ll get the epidural.  Don’t be a hero.”

Hannah urges mothers— if you’re experiencing obstetrical bullying, FIND ANOTHER PROVIDER!

She actually experienced her first labor contractions while camping at 40 weeks.  The labor was long—beyond 48 hours, and she finally received pitocin, an epidural, and “purple pushed” for 2 hours.

When she became pregnant with her second child, she still felt somewhat traumatized by the first experience.  Even though she knew she wanted a different experience, she wondered, “Can I do it?”

She chose a midwife, and the difference she notes is that she felt completely secure and completely safe at home

She felt her care provider was perfectly aligned with her.

During her second pregnancy, she and her husband communicated more effectively about what she would want during labor.  This paid off, and he was able to support her perfectly.

Hannah also hired a doula, which she recommends to everyone.

She loved the book “Childbirth Without Fear,” and one of the biggest takeaways she found was this:  In Genesis, we’ve translated the discussion of the fall as Adam toiling the land and Eve experiencing great pain with childbirth.  However, the same Hebrew word is used in both: Toil.  She discusses the idea that labor is an experience of toil, not necessarily an experience of pain.Once her baby arrived, Hannah experienced “the birth pause” where all felt right in the world.  She was overwhelmed with thankfulness and connection, where she recalls feeling completely out of it after her first hospital birth.

Her biggest takeaway from birth is that when you have the right care provider, you feel in charge, not managed.


Episode Roundup:

1.If your care provider is bullying you, FIRE THEM AND RUN.  Remember, they work for you.  Remember, you are your own and your child’s advocate

2. I want to bring back this discussion of pain vs. toil.  I love this concept, and as I’ve said many times… I just don’t consider childbirth painful. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and I love to hear all of the ways that others experience it.  But toil… great work?  Certainly.  Remember that so much of our experience is often unknowingly wrapped up in our own expectations.  If we’re expecting pain, well, pain we shall likely have.  Coming into childbirth with an open mind and an arsenal of tools to provide comfort gives such a great chance at truly appreciating, if not downright enjoying, the experience.