5 Ways to be more Mindful

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


5 Ways to be a More Mindful Mama

(This article was written by HeHe Stewart - originally posted to Family Education, read the full article here.)

While emails are still filling up your inbox about last minute gifts and holiday steals, your busy trying to plan the right amount of holiday activities for your kids/family/friends, and trying to stay sane and jolly all the while- we are dropping in to remind you of a few simple ways to stay more mindful, present, and calm during this time of year. These five small mindfulness tips are enough to keep your day from spiraling and simple enough that it won’t get lost in your busy schedule.

What have you done for yourself this year? If your answer is nothing, we gotta change that, sister. Have you ever heard someone say you can’t pour from an empty cup? Of course you have, but the reality is, it’s true. Moms are a superbreed of humans that always put their needs behind everyone else’s. While this sounds very caring and selfless, it actually has the potential to disrupt the functioning of your family in a big way.

Meditate Daily

Ten minutes in the AM and 10 minutes in the PM could be the difference between losing your cool on your kids and reacting when they push the boundaries. As Rachel Hollis always reminds us, if you don’t have an hour a day to set aside for yourself, are you even living? You’re worth 20 minutes. 

Say No

Say no your kids, to your partner, to your boss, your colleagues, to yourself. Say ‘no’ more often and practice healthy boundaries. You know how. Learn to set boundaries so you don’t feel overwhelmed, rush, drowning, or just plain exhausted. Prioritize your obligations/jobs/tasks, decide on a specific number of things you will do that week and when you’re maxed out, you’re done. The answer is ‘no.’ 


Get those feelings out, then journal a little bit more. Get it all out. Then you can write down your goals on paper so they can come alive. Speaks your goals into existence. See them written in permanent ink. Write about how good it feels to achieve that goal and how you’re going to get there. 


Move your body! Those hormones that get going during exercise will make you feel happy. I promise. Give it a try. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too! Water is such a key component to staying healthy and balanced.

Dry Brushing

This is a fun one and most people have never given it a try! Dry brushing helps drain lymphatic stagnation and supports the elimination of toxins. It is exactly what it sounds like—brushing the skin (your whole body, not just your head) with a dry, soft-bristled brush. It’s so relaxing and provides a great time to check in with your body after a long day!

You deserve the time and space to ask yourself questions like “How do I feel emotionally today?” “How do I feel physically?” “Do I feel safe and loved?” There are so many things that constitute self-care and it truly is whatever you make it. Find something that is easy to incorporate into your daily life and make the promise to yourself to do it everyday for 30 days. If you don’t keep promises to yourself, who in the world will you keep them to? This could be eating one sweet a day without a second thought, taking a quick 30-minute nap once a day, or allowing yourself the time to take three long (sometimes very long) deep breaths before responding to your child’s 64th tantrum of the day. Allow yourself the space to be mindful.

Do Inductions Really Rise Around the Holidays?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Do Inductions Really Rise Around the Holidays?

As long as I can remember in my doula career, I have been told, both seriously and sarcastically, that inductions rise around the holidays because doctors want to control the births they will have to deliver on..let’s say Thanksgiving day or Christmas Day. 

I have to be honest in that I never really paid much attention to it because our team typically takes off the end of the year! It has been an intentional decision in years past to not take births in the months of December and January. This provided us with the time to disconnect, visit family and friends, and wrap up one year + dive into the next with a solid foundation. As you well know, 2020 has changed so much of what we knew and, for us, this meant not having the space to disconnect without leaving birthing people vulnerable in a global crisis and not traveling for this holidays. With this, we decided to work straight through 2020 into the start of 2021. And in this moment, the entire idea of ‘inductions increase at the holidays so doctors can be home with their families’ became utterly relevant. 

So I did what I do best. I dove in head first. 

Do inductions really increase when the holidays approach?

This is a map of the number of babies born on every single day of the year (2004-2014), see here. The darker the date, the more number of births. The lighter the date, the fewer number of births.

The first thing you notice is that the fall time is a hot time to have a baby with September being the overwhelmingly most popular month. This makes sense to me because the end of the year holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc) are 9 months before that and people are getting jiggy with it during the holidays. The seasons impact our birth patterns and we have observed this within Tranquility by HeHe. I wrote about it here

Next thing that we notice is that January through April is light. So I begin to look for the lightest and that turns out to be January. Calculating 9 months before that is April which doesn’t mean much. Tax season is stressful? Spring cleaning has people too tired? Allergies got you too stuffy? Eh. I wasn’t buying it. So I began to go the other way. 

January, December, November. Well, well, well. Jackpot. This is what I had been warned about thousands of times before and it was unveiling itself right in front of my eyes. I could NOT believe what I was seeing. New Years Day, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas (12/26) basically melted into the background indicating there were virtually no births occurring on those dates. How bizarre. New Years Eve and January 2 was a close second. I was floored.

As I continued to scan, I noticed that December 19 & 20 were a deep color indicating a ton of births occurred that day right in time to ensure they are discharged by Christmas--vaginal and c-sections so a provider might not even have to come in and do rounds. I continued on and, again, I noted a sequence of deep plum on December 28, 29, and 30 seemingly squeezing in births between holidays. Fascinating. I was hooked and had to look into this more! 

Also, on this list of questionable birth patterns is July 4th! It’s the lightest shade of pink which says not a lot of births happen on this day.. Coincidence or intentional?

What do the numbers say?

So, let’s look at the hard numbers. (I rounded up in all scenarios since you can’t have .38 or .48 of a baby) If we take Christmas day, we see that 6,574 babies were born across the United States. It obviously won’t be an even split, but for the sake of this I divided the number of births by 50 (states) and that comes out to 132 births per state. That means that from Wyoming (state with the smallest population, 580K residents) to California (state with largest population, 39.51M--yes million) there are less than 150 births in each of these states--does that feel right to you? Does it feel like nature orchestrated that or human intervention? Check out the numbers for yourself here.

Let’s do a few more-- New Years Day has 7,792 births across our nation and that’s roughly 156 births per state. Christmas Eve has 8,069 births and that translates to roughly 162 births per state. The entire week of Thanksgiving is a light pink indicating not a lot of births are happening this week. One more and it’s July 4 with 8,796 births with means each state would have around 176 births. On all of these dates, we are talking about less than 200 births. To give you a reference point, there are between 33K-43K OB’s in our country with New York, California, Texas, Florida and Michigan having the most OB’s in comparison to the rest of the country

Matter of fact, our country is experiencing a shortage in OB’s at the moment and it’s steadily declining. I like to think that we are shifting from highly medicalized birth to midwifery care and a more hands off approach. Time will tell. 

They are human too. But you chose to be a doctor. 

We must consider that doctors are humans, too. They want to be with their families on the holidays just like the rest of us, but then there’s a layer of, “but you chose to be a doctor.” We must remind ourselves how lucky we are to have servicemen and women, first responders, nurses, doctors and all other essential workers. However, this also opens the door for manipulation to have the chance to weasel its way in.

Our healthcare is broken. 

If you missed one of our most recent Instagram posts (if you aren’t following us over there, you certainly should! It’s a fun time!), we shared about how money may be influencing the c-section rate in the US. A 2013 study found that the more educated someone was on the birth process, their options, and the medical system the less likely they were to have a c-section. This study looked specifically at physicians caring for other physicians and wouldn’t you know it—they perform SO MANY LESS c-sections on fellow physicians. They found that when the patient is another physician, they are less likely to end in a c-section. The authors suggested that since the patient (a fellow physician) is so educated on their options, the birth process, and the medical system, they are less likely to experience manipulative care that so often leads to unnecessary c-sections.

This study also shares an interesting fact that c-sections earns providers and facilities hundreds to thousands of additional dollars in revenue. So it makes sense why traditional CBE classes taught by hospitals are teaching people how to be compliant and not question the system. Yet, if you’re educated enough to know better, your odds of a c-section drastically decrease. I quickly recognized this critical flaw in our healthcare system years ago at the start of my birth work journey. I created The Birth Lounge to give pregnant folks unbiased, honest (not always pretty), transparent childbirth preparation.

You must advocate for yourself. 

You still have so much control over your birth even if your due date is one of the dates we know tends to have few number of births. Be sure to do your homework on knowing how to advocate for yourself. Hire a our team to be with you--in-person or virtual doula support. Make a birth plan and discuss with your provider beforehand. 

Here are a few resources that will be helpful to you in navigating this as you head into the holidays! First, knowing the research and science on inductions and c-sections is imperative. Here is a c-section bundle of resources that will help you understand how to avoid a c-section

You may find that your provider tries to pull a fast one on ya in order to keep their holiday plans! Knowing the hard facts for yourself is the best way to ensure you will not be manipulated with false reasons--well, i’ll say reasons that are not evidence-based. The first one that comes to mind is The Arrive Study. This is the study that looked at whether inducing everyone at 39-weeks yielded better results. Some providers will try to use this study as a blanket statement, but there were big limitations to this study. You should read up on it before agreeing to be induced at 39-weeks--it’s not quite as simple as many providers might lead on. You can read the science here or listen to episode 147 of The Birth Lounge Podcast

It’s also wise for you to know the science behind other reason that are *not* evidence-based reasons to be induced or have a c-section across the board: big baby, low amniotic fluid, due date, and advanced maternal age!

The Bottom Line:

You are in control. You get to call the shots here. The biggest and most powerful tool that you have in your toolbox is your knowledge. The more you are prepared for what to expect, the better you will be able to navigate these conversations and advocate for yourself. 

“If you are due around the holidays, you should always question an induction or scheduled c-section.” -Dr. Sarah Leahy

If you want to learn more about how to have your dream birth, check out this free 30-minute masterclass, How to Craft Your Ideal Birth!

HeHe Top 12 Breastfeeding Essentials

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Breastfeeding your baby is no easy feat! No matter what society tells us, learning to breastfeed does require patience.

1. Haakaa: This thing will honestly change your life. Not only is it a hand pump, but it can be a total game-changer for building supply! The Haakaa is a silicon bottle shaped hand pump that attaches to your breast by suction and that’s how it removes your milk.  I’ve seen nursing parents say things like, “This boob just can’t make more than an ounce,” but when we put the Haakaa on, 3 ounces collected! It takes a time or two to learn how to attach it, but once you master it, you’ll never forget. 

2. Hand Pump: I know, I know, the Haakaa is a hand pump so why do you need this? Well, because I suggest using this over an electric pumps for so many reasons like you’re in much more control and the convenience factor is through the roof. You can easily stick a hand pump in your purse and that’s not true about an electric pump.

3. Breastfeeding pillow: This is one that everyone needs, but it’s a matter of finding the right one. There are two that I love. First, the My Breastfriend nursing pillow. It’s firm and wraps all the way around you and is supportive of tons of nursing positions. Next, the boppy. This one wraps around your front, but not all the way around. It’s not as firm so many women need to put a blanket or pillow under it. However, it’s a must-have for your baby to be lounging space and can be a fun addition to tummy time! If you decide to get a different nursing pillow over the boppy, then I suggest ordering the Boppy Lounger (for a safe space for baby and supporting tummy time) rather than the open-bottom boppy. 

If you're looking for more information about breastfeeding basics, check out our Breastfeeding Bundle here!

4. Silverette cups: Don’t be deterred by the price. Hear me out, these Silverettes are an investment, but they are pure magic. Silver holds tons of great healing properties like antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. This can be fantastic in preventing things like thrush. They also help heal cracked and sore nipples. They are cooling (you can even throw them in your fridge for extra relief!) so they might just be the answer to your sore nipple problems! 

5. Nipple Cream: This one is weird because I go a bit rogue. Instead of traditional nipple butter, I recommend and use Primally Pure Baby Balm for sore nipples. I actually use this baby balm for so much--healing pimples, dry skin or dry patches on my skin, on my cuticles and on cuts & scrapes. It’s made of all organic ingredients (you can eat almost all of them) and smells so good. I also love Motherlove Nipple Cream

6. Storage bags: These are a must for all that milk your Haakaa is going to collect, plus anything that you pump to build a stash! Don’t underestimate your body before you even give it a chance to do its’ job. Even if this is not your first child you are breastfeeding, this journey will be different than last time. You’re older, it’s a different baby, and you’ve already done this before. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging. I digress.. You are going to want to be able to store the ounces of milk that you pump and the way you do this is storage bags. Here are my fave bags. I suggest taking a sharpie and writing the date + AM or PM like this: 11/4/19 PM. I also love this affordable lie-flat stackable system! Stackable systems are such a space saver if utilized correctly. 

7. Sunflower Lecithin: This is a supplement that I always suggest talking to your doctor about if you get more than 1 clogged duct. The way I look at it is, they are preventable. This can be a combination of lots of things like not wearing bras that are too tight and watching your sugar intake, and not going too long in between pumping/feeding sessions. If you have one clogged duct, I give our bodies one slip up. If you’re having recurring blocked ducts, that isn’t right. I mean, just listen to the name--blocked ducts or clogged ducts. Sunflower Lecithin can be so helpful in preventing this. Talk to your doctor about using Sunflower Lecithin to help support healthy breasts and a smooth breastfeeding journey. 

8. LaVie Massager: Mastitis is a bitch! The biggest culprit causing mastitis (that we see) is clogged ducts! These two pesky speed bumps can sneak up on you and really throw a kink in your breastfeeding journey (temporarily). You can get a clogged duct from various things like going too long without nursing/pumping, wearing bras that are too tight or that have underwire, and not draining your breasts completely at each nursing/pumping session. You can check out HeHe Clogged Duct Rescue Kit here! One of the best tools for releasing a clogged duct is a vibrator! We love the LaVie massage, but a traditional vibrator will do the job, too! Here’s one for $6 (plus batteries) that has been a lifesaver many times in many homes we serve! If you don’t already have a well stocked bedside table, now’s the time! 

9. Nursing Comfort Pads: I love these because they do both, hot and cold! These are lifesavers--- or should I say nipple savers?! Either way, you will not want to breastfeed a baby (or exclusive pump) without these handy things! I also recommend buying a pair or two of these and storing them in your freezer for the first few weeks as your nipples adjust to al the “action” they are getting right after birth.

Sidenote: It’s normal for your baby to feed every 1-2 hours in the first two weeks of life. It’s also normal for your baby to stay latched and nurse continuously for a few hours at a time--this is known as “cluster feeding” and your baby will do it for many reasons. First, they are adjusting to this new life “on the outside” and will find immense comfort in nursing (you’re not creating any bad habits so comfort nurse away at this age). Second, they are sloughing off all the neurons that they no longer need while creating new neural pathways for skills they do need since being born.

10. Nursing Tanks + Nursing Bras: There are so many options when it comes to finding a nursing bra (and tanks!). I definitely recommend purchasing one bra from a few (three to four) different brands and seeing which one you best after your baby is here. Why would you want to wait? Well, your breasts are going to change. They are not filled with milk now, but they will be. They aren’t sore or learning to regulate a milk supply right now, but they will be. They aren't being taken out of your bra every 1-2 hours right now, but they will be. Your milk supply will absolutely impact which bra is best for you, so it’s wise to just wait. The same thing with pumping bras (this allows you to be hands free while you pump because the bra hold the pump in place on your breasts). This Momcozy bra is a multi-use bra that is a nursing and pumping bra, plus it’s so soft! This bra is like a sports bra, but made for nursing! Finally, this nursing bra has thicker straps to accommodate bigger breasts or anyone who needs support for their back. This Motherhood Maternity bra is nursing friendly and appropriate to wear under dress clothes if you’re making the return back to work.

11. Bamboobies Breast Pads: Breast pads are always something that women ask, “Do I really need them?” No, you definitely don’t need them, but they do play a supportive role in this breastfeeding story. Imagine this: you're walking in the grocery store and you notice that people are staring at you. You think they must be noticing your darling new baby. As you’re headed down the bread aisle, another mother with her 2-year old, gently whispers “It’s time to change your pads,” as you walk past one another. Immediately, you think your postpartum bleeding has bled through your pants like a middle schooler in math class. You hightail it to the restroom only to discover the front of your shirt is soaked with breastmilk! You think to yourself, “How did I not feel that?!” So… you don’t need breast pads, but they are handy. I particularly love Bamboobies or these bamboo breast pads that are so soft and come with a handy wet bag to store used breast pads throughout the day.

12. Legendairy Milk Supplements: This is one of my go-to’s, my first defenses, my staples. I absolutely love Legendairy Milk and I have seen their supplements completely turn around so many nursing parents’ journey. Their supplements are made from organic herbs and ingredients! I also love that they are a US-based, women-owned business. They have 10 different formulas for you to choose from to achieve your exact breastfeeding goals! Their supplements support things like increasing the fat content in your milk and increasing supply as well as supporting the mammary glands! I’ve linked a few of my other favorites in our Amazon Storefront so you can simply add to cart and be on your way!

*We’ve put all the necessary supplies in our Amazon Storefront to make it easy peasy for you to round-up everything you need!

Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

8 Reasons Why Being Pregnant for the Holidays is Awesome

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

The holidays can be a time of stress for so many of us. I wondered if pregnancy provided women with a sense of comfort or was an added factor to the holiday hustle and bustle. I reached out to moms in various stages of their pregnancy and parenting journey to see if the thoughts surrounding their holiday bumps were of sugar plums and presents or stockings filled with coal. This is a countdown to the number one reason why it is merrier than mistletoe to be expecting a tiny human during the holidays.

This is a countdown to the number one reason why it is merrier than mistletoe to be expecting a tiny human during the holidays. There's nothing better than being pregnant during the holiday season!

(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 
"Welcome to The Birth Lounge"

14 Gifts for a Wish List as a New Parent

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

14 Gifts for a Wish List as a New Parent

Shopping for pregnant people can be so hard. Knowing what to tell people to buy you as a pregnant person is so hard! One of the most meaningful gifts you can buy someone is something they need but one purchase for themselves! We’ve got you covered when it comes to gifting the pregnant people in your life things that will help make their pregnancy and postpartum a little bit more luxurious! 

  • Totum Women Cookies - These are cookies that taste good, support your milk supply, and have a wonderful mission! The mission behind this company is so much more than just lactation cookies! There is an online community aspect, online resources, and virtual events to help you know you are not alone! These are a wonderful gift for the new mama friend who is nursing or pumping! 

  • Thinx underwear - These are the best gift for a friend who you aren’t afraid to give an intimate gift--but one that will change their life! (Kinda like the friend who has never owned a vibrator-- you get her a vibrator!) These period underwear are perfect for postpartum! Matter of fact, they just created a postpartum set that was designed for supporting postpartum bleeding!

  • Silverette cups - These are a must have for any nursing or pumping parent. These tiny, but mighty silver nipple covers will be a game changer! Silver has natural healing properties such as being antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. They are all you need to heal your nipples and keep them healed while feeding your little one!

  • Mama strut pelvic brace - This is the ultimate gift for a postpartum, birthing parent. Anyone who has carried and birthed a baby needs one of these pelvic braces! This brace can be used in pregnancy to support that growing belly in the last few weeks of pregnancy and in postpartum to support your healing pelvic floor! It has a fun gel pack that can go in the crotch for vaginal deliveries and in a pocket on the belly for cesarean births. It also has a place to hold in place postpartum pads. It’s an investment, but if you can use it third trimester through the fourth trimester and beyond, it’s worth considering! 

  • Baobei maternity leggings + Baobei Pro Bump - When folks are buying for pregnant people, usually they are really buying for baby. But, what happens to the bump? As it grows, it will need support and Baobei’s maternity leggings + Pro Bump belly support band are perfect for giving your pregnant pal a boost--literally! The leggings are so comfy and the Pro Bump is just the hug you need to get you through the third tri! 

  • Kindred Bravely Hospital Bag Bundle - This is a gift that you can’t go wrong with because it is the essentials that any birthing person needs to have a baby! A buttery soft robe, a nursing tank, nursing bra, a labor and delivery gown, plus undies and socks! This is so luxurious and is sure to bring a huge smile to an expectant person’s face this holiday season! 

  • Lavie massager + Haakaa - Breastfeeding is hard work and one of the most influential factors in someone’s success of breastfeeding is the support they have around them. Give your friend a gift that says, “I support your choices” by gifting them a Haakaa and a Lavie massager! The haakaa is a milk collector that is so handy in collecting the letdown of the breast not being nursed or pumped! It can also be used to unclog blocked ducts and relieve mastitis! The Lavie massager is the perfect compliment to the haakaa! It is a handheld massager that can be placed in your nursing/pumping bra to help milk flow and to stimulate milk production! 

  • Audible subscription - Finding the time to read as a new parent can feel impossible, but a subscription to audible can be the game changer you’ve been waiting on! Audible is an audiobook subscription that has all of today’s latest books! You can find any genre and search by title or author! Each month you get a book credit so it’s easy to make ‘me-time’ a priority when it slips so easily into your day as an audio book! Listening to audiobooks during nursing sessions are a great way to keep yourself away in the early hours of the morning! 

  • Soy based candles + slippers - Candles are such a big hit when it comes to holiday gifts but the candles we give to pregnant friends (and friends who are trying to conceive or have little ones in the home) matter! Traditional candles are filled with all sorts of icky chemicals including perfumes and fragrances that are known hormones disruptors! If you are gifting candles, please make it a soy candles! And, no candle is complete without a cozy pair of slippers!

  • Natural Deodorant + Spa Kit - You know how much I love primally pure and all of their products! Well, their spa kit is to die for and a guaranteed hit with any new parent! It comes with 2 bath salts, body oil, and a dry brush! While you’re at it, pick them up some of my favorite deodorant! (Another product that is extremely harmful to pregnant and postpartum bodies!) This is the perfect gift to say, ‘Relax! You’re worth it!’

  • Kitara yoni steaming kit - Remember when I said the perfect gift was a gift someone wouldn’t buy themselves--well, this is it! Yoni steaming has incredible benefits and can be especially helpful in the healing process after birth! Steaming can help bring sensation back, return blood flow, and help nourish tissues that were involved in labor and delivery. A yoni steaming kit is the perfect gift for the hippie friend who loves to be in touch with her spiritual side! (Yoni steaming should be avoided in pregnancy. Always check with your healthcare provider before incorporating anything new into your routines!).

  • Ember cup - This is the ultimate mom gift for the early riser! She probably doesn’t get to drink hot coffee often. With little babes running around, coffee seems to get cold so quick! The Ember cup will keep coffee warm for hours! This cup can be controlled by your smartphone and it learns when to heat and when to turn off! You can get really fancy and customize the temperature of your coffee with the range of preset temps!

  • Expecting You Journal - This journal is the perfect place for writing out your feelings, emotions, experiences, and desires during pregnancy! We encourage our clients and members of The Birth Lounge to journal about their ideal birth! Did you know that journaling has health benefits that can pay off in labor? Studies have shown it can reduce intrusive and avoidant thoughts, reduce stress, problem solve more effectively, get clearer on your expectations, and increase self-esteem! This journal has cute illustrations and quotes throughout to keep you positive and motivated towards a healthy and happy birth!

  • Expecting Better + Cribsheet - Professor Emily Oster is a Economist and research junkie! When she had her own children, she was shocked at the discrepancies in advice and the wide spectrum of information thrown at new parents! Naturally, Dr. Oster turned to the stats and data. Through this, we all get to enjoy the benefits of her hard work through her books. She has broken down the science of many pregnancy taboos (like drinking coffee, cleaning the cat litter, and eating deli meat) in her first book, Expecting Better. This is my favorite book to suggest to pregnant people. Her second book, Cribsheet, is diving into the science of parenthood (like sleep training, breastfeeding, and the language development in your child!)

The holidays look a little different this year! But, that doesn’t mean the spirit of giving is any less strong! We will be spending less in travel costs and more in shipping, but know this is temporary. I look forward to spreading the joy of the holiday season with those I love by the gifts I give!!

*Some of these are clickable links! Tranquility by HeHe makes a small percentage on some of the links included. We appreciate your support!

A Survival Guide: Holidays After a Loss

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

(HeHe's article is published for Birch Baby HERE in its entirety.)

The holiday season can be hard for those who have experienced a loss this year. At a time of year that people are expected to automatically be happy and be cheery and bright-eyed, it can be painful to have to pretend to be enjoying yourself while you are dying inside. One mother described it as “a dark place of heartbreak and anger.” 

Through my work with Mothers’ who have experienced loss (or any kind of trauma), I have found that having a structure of mindsets to help you survive in high-stress situations is helpful. I was considering a survival guide for the holidays for expectant parents who have experienced loss, but then I thought why not just a general survival guide to help when you are coping with loss, no matter what time of year it is.

  • Know your limits (It’s people's’ job to respect that boundary). You have the right to pick and choose which events you attend and which events will too overwhelming emotionally. You can be honest with folks, too. It’s okay to say you aren’t ready, yet. If that’s too painful, have an excuse thought out beforehand. 
  • Share your feelings -or don’t- either way, you must advocate for yourself. By asking to be left alone or acknowledging the fact that you want to share is helping those around you learn how to best support you. Otherwise, you can politely tell people how they can best support you when they ask. 
  • Respect your own personal boundaries. At one point or another, you will find yourself in a situation that you thought you could handle, but turns out you weren’t ready. That’s okay, but know when to take a minute to be alone. Connect with your body, begin to recognize your body’s signs of feeling overwhelmed, and begin to remove yourself before you feeling out of control. 
  • Know when it’s bigger than you. Check out this blog on the “bigger than you approach” to interacting with challenging situations. We all have that one relative or friend of a friend who just won’t get it--no matter how hard you try. That’s okay. It’s not your job to help every single person you encounter understand, but it is your job to recognize when you’re causing yourself more stress than will pay off in the end. 
  • It’s OK to not be OK (and to say no). This is an important one. Refer to #1 where it says it’s okay to not only pick and choose which events you attend but to also be honest with people. See #3 where it says recognize and remove yourself from situations. I can’t stress enough how ok it is to not be ok. Literally, everyone has had moments when they were not okay and no one should expect you to be okay before you are ready. 
  • Start a new tradition to remember your baby. This one can be fun and can look like anything. I urge you to make it a celebration rather than a remembrance. I used to work with a family that got donuts each year to celebrate their angel baby’s birthday. They had two kids after their loss who knew what the holiday was and looked forward to the discussions about their brother each year. It can be as formal as you’d like, if that is your style, or as laid back as a donut date.

Part of the healing process is pushing yourself a healthy amount, but also recognizing the healing and work you still have to do. It’s okay to remember that sometimes the only cure is time. Surrounding yourself with those who care about you and will support you during this time is essential. Be vigilant on how much you push yourself during the holidays as it is already a stressful time of year. It’s okay to say no and to respect your own boundaries.

Happy Holidays to all the parents anywhere on this parenthood journey! Stay strong out there and remember to lean on your village when you need!

Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

How to Choose a Good Prenatal

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

How to Choose a Good Prenatal

This is one of the most common questions we get! It can be so overwhelming to dive into what seems like hundreds of brands. How do you know what to look for? How do you know what brands are trustworthy? Let’s dive in because the answer might surprise you!

What are you looking for?

Choline: This is one of the most important nutrients that pregnant people need, yet so many providers don’t share (or know?) that it is SO important! Many older docs don’t keep up with updated research and their patients pay the price! (This is a shameless plug for yet another reason to join The Birth Lounge so you have direct access to all updated research to make your own choices about your care + know what questions to discuss with your provider.) Choline is essential in brain and spinal cord development-- specifically the hippocampus which is involved in memory! Most pregnant women in the U.S. are not achieving choline intake recommendations of 450 mg/day. The yolk of eggs is very rich in choline! You can also get Choline from fish, nuts, & legumes! Be sure to get your daily Choline intake as a new Cornell University study suggests “When expectant mothers consume sufficient amounts of the nutrient choline during pregnancy, their offspring gain enduring cognitive benefits.

Folate or Folic Acid: This is a vitamin that helps support neural development and spine development. Sufficient amounts of it can prevent birth defects like anencephaly (baby is born without parts of their skull and brain--fatal) and spina bifida (parts of baby’s spine is exposed at birth--requires surgery). It is important to note the difference between the two. Folic Acid is synthetic (lab made) and is not the naturally occurring form of Folate. It’s very important to get adequate folate and to consume it everyday since your baby develops everyday. The CDC recommends every pregnant person consume 400 micrograms daily (there are a few risk factors to discuss with your provider to determine if you need an increased amount) and March of Dimes recommends 600mcg/day . You can get folate from food in broccoli, brussel sprouts, leafy greens, avocados, nuts/seeds, and eggs. Some fortified foods (confirm they are fortified with folic acid or folate) like cereals, breads, flours, and other processed grains can be a good source, too!

Iron: We know that iron levels are important in all humans--even outside of pregnancy. Iron is a mineral that helps prevent anemia and this is especially important in pregnancy. The risk of iron deficiency during pregnancy is extremely likely because as the baby grows, your blood volume changes and it becomes harder for your healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your whole body. Iron gives you energy and low iron levels can lead to an increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression. It is recommended to have 27mg per day while pregnant. 

Vitamin K2: Vitamin K is involved in a lot--your baby will received vitamin K after birth to control bleeding and you need it in pregnancy because it supports bone health and heart health (think blood clotting, too). It helps prepare your body to absorb and use calcium, which builds and maintains bones (so you and your baby need this vitamin). A good source of Vitamin K is fortified cereal, brown rice, and eggs! You can also eat lots of leafy greens like brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Talk to your provider about the amount of Vitamin K you need in pregnancy based on your weight!

Magnesium: This is a magic mineral!! I use magnesium everyday and recommend people talk to their doctors about it, too! It has so many benefits in pregnancy like reducing your risk of preterm labor and pre-eclampsia! It also reduces anxiety and aids in better sleep! Magnesium helps regulate your body temperature and the formation of new tissue (maternal and fetal). 

Iodine: Iodine supports healthy brain development (low levels have been linked to lower language skills) and your daily requirement of iodine increases during pregnancy. The World Health Organization calls the increase ‘substantial’ and recommends everyone consume iodized salt. They even say to talk to your provider because even iodized salt may not be enough. A 2008 study shares that iodization actually does matter. A 2015 study negated this in saying that we should be very careful with suggesting every pregnant person substantially increase their iodine intake because excess iodine can also have detrimental impacts (as does too little). The CDC (and American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends every pregnant and breastfeeding person consume 150 micrograms daily. Talk to your provider to make sure you are getting the recommended amount from your diet + prenatal.

Selenium: This is an essential element to our thyroid’s function and, like so many other things, it decreases in pregnancy. It plays a role in fertility and selenium deficiencies can be the reason for miscarriages or even damaged nervous systems of newborns. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are getting the correct amount of selenium!

What are brands you can trust?

To be honest, it matters a lot because not all prenatals are equal! We aren’t so much worried about the brand you choose, rather looking at how much of each vitamin and mineral you are getting each day. Also, we want to make sure they don’t have a bunch of fillers and unnecessary ingredients. This is a great resource to see everything you may see in prenatals, why you need it, and how much you need of each. 

You’ll also want to consider your diet in this equation, but a lot vitamins and minerals require a large consumption of certain food groups (as in, more than what a typical person would eat) to get enough. My friend and Prenatal Nutritionist, Ryann Kipping (also the creator of The Prenatal Nutrition Library), says that her motto is always “Food first,” meaning try to get the majority of your daily vitamin/mineral consumption from the food you are eating before we turn to additional supplements.

What if you are taking a prenatal that has some of the crucial things, but not all?

Talk to your provider about supplementing! First, do some research on the amount of each vitamin and mineral you are supposed to have during pregnancy. Then, compare that to what is in your prenatal and journal what foods you eat each day for 14 days. Find the discrepancies and share that with your provider at your next doctor’s appointment so you can determine the best course of action to getting you the recommended intake of each essential vitamin and mineral needed for your baby’s development. 

You can supplement things like iron, magnesium, and folate! 

The Bottom Line

Choose a prenatal that feels most aligned with you and doesn’t make you feel icky! Don’t be afraid to test out various prenatals. If you think your prenatal is making you feel off/nauseas, please don’t continue to take them ‘because you have the whole bottle left.’ This is your body telling you that the current prenatal you’re taking isn’t a best fit for you. 

Find a shelf stable prenatal that is certified third-party tested so you can be sure all the ingredients are what they claim to be and safe for consumption (rather than fillers). When you choose your prenatal, do your own research on any vitamins or minerals you may need to supplement with then ask your provider about additional supplements! 

Ps. Always take your prenatal with food! Here’s one last really cool resource for you! 

Podcast Recs: True Crime + Women's Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Podcast Recs: True Crime + Women's Health

This isn’t going to be the typical blog that you find here! In true Halloween spirit last week, I asked our Instagram audience if they were into True Crime Podcast. This led to most folks saying “Duh!” and me digging deeper by asking who wanted to hear about my favorite podcasts that blended True Crime and women’s health?! The overwhelming majority said ‘hell yeah!’ So, here we are! 

Before we dive into these, I want to provide a brief trigger warning. These podcasts combine true crime with women’s health. Some readers & listeners may find the content traumatic. Fetal Abduction Podcast* may be especially triggering for anyone who is reading and pregnant. 

Sick Podcast 

This was my first introduction to an investigative podcast about women’s health (I am a long time listener of Crime Junkies). This podcast was the tiny hairline fracture I needed to fully break the dam and open my eyes to just how deep the deceit and corruption runs in women’s reproductive health. This podcast follows the story of Dr. Donald Cline who was a fertility doctor in Indiana. Cline used his own sperm throughout the 70’s and 80’s to father more than 50 children. He told patients that his ‘donors’ were medical residents and wished to remain anonymous. The podcast interviews a number of his children including footage about a face-to-face meeting where the children confronted Cline. Thanks to this story, there are laws being put through legislation in recent years to protect victims of heinous crimes like this and to make such acts illegal. (Surprisingly, there were no laws about this before…)

The Immaculate Deception

This podcast dives into a very similar story to Sick. This time we are in the Netherlands and following Jan Karbaat who was a very successful doctor at Rotterdam Clinic. In the 80’s, Dr. Karbaat took advantage of women in the most vulnerable situation—artificial insemination. Dr. Karbaat did not screen his donors, used his own sperm, and used the same donor hundreds of times. He made his clients sign a ‘secrecy contract’ and if they refused to sign, e refused to treat. Vile! Like Cline, his secrets were exposed by his own children —nicknamed ‘The Karbaat Kids’— and listeners are taken through a few of their lives. The podcast even interviews a patient of Dr. Karbaat’s and the emotions of navigating fertility issues before it was so widely known and then again years later when the news broke about the horrific scandal.There is currently a court case against him by his victims so some of the information can’t be shared with the public yet.

Fetal Abduction*: A True Crime Podcast

This is a true crime podcast. This was the most triggering for me—I think because it involves so much death. If you are pregnant, I caution you to listen to this if you are susceptible to recurring thoughts or anxious feelings after reading stories involving pregnancy. This is a true crime about pregnancy. If you don’t know what a fetal abduction is—it’s the monstrous act of cutting a baby from the womb of it’s parent. This podcast follows the history of fetal abductions in America. The podcast shares that the first known case happened in the 70’s and is incredibly rare. This one is insanely psychological—the host dives into the minds of the evil people who commit these crimes. 

Up Next on My List? Verified: Dust Up 

This podcast looks so good! I’m excited to dive in! It dives into the allegations that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder causes ovarian cancer. It follows a group of women diagnosed with cancer and the lengths the nationally known brand goes to convince consumers that the product is safe and should still be a trusted household name. Apparently they are demeaning of the scientists who are speaking out against this. I always say if someone has to belittle you to prove they are right, they’re probably hiding something! I’ll report back! 

Okay, that got heavy, but they are such good podcasts…if true crime and women’s health is your thing. If you’re here for pregnancy tips, let me share this 45-minute free masterclass. I share my top 4 things birthing people need to know going into labor! Enjoy!

Failed Inductions: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Failed Inductions: What You Need to Know

When we talk about inductions, we often speak of them like they are 100% guaranteeing us a baby at the end. While this is true most of the time, you’d probably be surprised to learn that indcutins can fail and you may be sent home to wait it out a bit longer. Or, if the option isn’t presented to you, you can ask or take yourself home. It is important to ensure that you and your baby are safe to go home.There are thousands of women each year that experience a failed induction and it can be very hard emotionally. 

What is a failed induction?

A failed induction is the inability to reach active labor while being induced.

There is a certain process we want to take when it comes to induction. I call this your ‘individual induction equation.’ It’s truly individual to you and you get to introduce various induction methods as you see fit which makes your equation unique to you. First we want to ripen the cervix--it needs to be soft. You have options of how we achieve this. Then we need to begin dilation. Many times in undisturbed, unmedicated (no narcotic use or induction) labor, the first few centimeters are accomplished with little or no pain. Many times birthing people will unknowingly walk around a few centimeters dilated in late pregnancy--this is completely normal! You’re that much closer to your goal and didn’t have to work for it! That’s amazing!

If your cervix is effaced and not dilating at all, it’s possible you aren’t ready to have a baby. If you choose to keep going, the next step is to get contractions going. You have a few choices of how you can do this! You can try walking and physical movement. You can try natural oxytocin like nipple stimulation, intimacy with your partner or visualization. You can also try pitocin which is artificial oxytocin. Your body metabolizes it differently so it will impact your contractions. Finally you can break your waters. This is an especially important decision for birthing people who are GBS+ as you will no longer have the option to leave because you will need to begin receiving antibiotics. You can also choose (GBS+ or GBS-) to save this for later in labor plus it allows you to return home.

When using Pitocin, be very mindful of how much you are using, for how long and how your body is reacting. Pitocin is a drug that needs to be used with respect (25% of people who receive Pitocin will have a c-section). If your body is truly not ready to birth a baby, you may find yourself experiencing a failed induction. You want to be educated on a reasonable amount of time to try to induce before you call it and say, “we’ll try again later because my body is clearly not ready.” There is evidence to support the idea that the longer it takes a laboring person to reach 6cm, the less likely they are to have a vaginal delivery. If your body is not responding to medical induction (and you + your baby are safe), instead of forcing it, you could consider going home and giving your body more time. Also, your baby would probably appreciate the extra time, too! That same study also shares that women who were in the latent phase and receiving pitocin for 12 hours still were able to achieve a vaginal delivery meaning we should not call it ‘failure to progress’ before at least 12 hours of pitocin.

TIP: Failure to progress is defined as 6 hours with no cervical change after 6cm. Failure to progress cannot be deemed before 6cm. It is also evidence based to expect a “pause” in labor around the 6cm mark for women who have very long labors. We should be patient as their bodies are typically just resting for active labor and pushing. Evidence Based Birth says, “if more care providers begin using evidence-based definitions of labor arrest and failed induction, we will begin to see fewer of these diagnoses, and a simultaneous, safe lowering of the Cesarean rate.”

A few reasons your induction may fail:

Your baby is not ready. Check out the science on what actually initiates the start of labor (if you were not induced). It will probably be surprising to you! It has quite a lot to do with your baby! Inductions increase your risk of further interventions, including c-section, and this is called ‘the cascade of interventions.’ As c-sections rise, so does infant mortality and NICU stays for respiratory distress since babies were born before spontaneous labor started. Obviously there are tons of evidence reasons to wait for your labor to start on it’s own and one of the most important is your baby’s lung development!

You were induced with a low Bishop Score. You can see here that it is flawed, but also the best tool we have at the moment to predict your chance of a successful induction. Read more about the Bishop Score here!

If you are wondering if a 39-week induction is for you, here is a breakdown of what you need to know about The ARRIVE Trial. If you doctor mentioned this to you, make sure you read this breakdown so you understand why it may not be applicable to you!

The Bottom Line

Be mentally and emotionally prepared when you go for an induction that it is not guaranteed to work! You can have a ‘failed induction’ and I highly suggest you listen to your body and baby on this one. Remember, your baby’s development is very much a driving force of labor starting! There are also things you can do to check your chances of having a successful induction like knowing your bishop score and having a plan of when to call off a failed induction.

If you want to learn more about your birth choices or how to advocate for your birth goals, join The Birth Lounge!

The Arrive Study

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Arrive Study

I get asked A LOT about The ARRIVE Study. It’s a hot topic. For some people they are thrilled to hear there is science backing up an induction and some folks are terrified because they feel pressure from their provider and don’t feel aligned with a 39-week induction. Before we dive into the issues with this study. Let’s take a look at the history that you should know. 

Around 41% of all pregnant people will have an induction suggested to them and 44% of those will be because you’re close to your due date or ‘full term.’ (quotations because we think one absolute date determines a baby’s readiness to be born and that’s simply not how it works) This means almost half of all labors are suggested to be medically initiated….where has our trust in ourselves gone?! 

Let’s take a quick pause for one moment and think about birth for what it actually is--a natural event. Without human intervention, there would be so much less birth trauma, so many less c-sections, far fewer inductions, and our trust in our bodies (and in nature) would be restored. Pregnancy is not an illness. Birth is not a medical event (90% of the time with a healthy respect for the 10% cases who truly require medical support and intervention). You are doing a very natural thing that billions of women have done before you for millenniums before you. Truly, take a moment to think about that. Millenniums. 

There are a few things to know when discussing The ARRIVE Study with your provider!

Number 1: The ARRIVE study set out to prove something and it did just that. That shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s exactly what experiments and science are supposed to do. But don’t stop there. Challenge it. Look into it. Ask questions. Make sure it is applicable to YOU and YOUR birth goals. 

My thoughts: That is true with all research. Listen, research is funded--you can’t hold that against them. However, you can (and should!) look into the funding of research and look into how the study might have shown bias in any way. Again, it doesn’t make it bad science or a bad study necessarily, but it does make it something you want to know just to keep in the front of your mind. 

Number 2: There are some pretty big holes in this study like the criteria you need to meet to yield these same results for yourself is pretty strict—people who feel strongly about a low intervention birth, people who have care by a provider with a high c-section rate, and people who do not feel like induction is aligned with their birth goals are all not recommended to use this approach. This can be seen in their recruiting—22,533 women were invited to participate and only 6,106 did.

My thoughts: Yikes! That’s a huge number of folks who said, ‘no thanks!’ I believe this is because you are hard pressed to find birthing people who don’t have preferences on how their labor begins, how long their pregnancy goes, or the outcome of their labor. That’s a very specific type of birthing person to not have preferences on all of that. Therefore, if you do care about one of these, these results might not be applicable to you.

Number 3: There was a slight decrease (3%) for 39-week inductions compared to spontaneous labor. We must balance someone’s birth goals with such a small decrease. Lastly, the researchers did not specify an induction protocol so all of these inductions were done in whatever way each provider felt was best. That’s a lot of variability to try and generalize to every birthing person.

My thoughts: For so many birthing people, when they consider the small decrease and the idea of benign induced, they just don’t line up. Most folks would rather take on the 3% risk for the chance to go into labor naturally. Since we don’t have a single method for induction, this is going to be highly dependent on your provider--what their preferred method is, their c-section rate, their comfortability using varied methods--and your education and preferences--do you know about balloons and cervical ripeners. What standard protocol for pitocin is and what your alternatives are for that? The more educated you are on your options, the less risk you have for a c-section.

Number 4: Many providers aren’t actually presenting it as an option--rather the recommended route. In addition, most providers are not taking into account or having intentional, informed discussions about the three criteria The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology set’s forth: the values and preferences of the pregnant woman, the resources available (including personnel), and the setting in which the intervention will be implemented. In addition they also state, “A collaborative discussion with shared-decision making should take place with the pregnant woman.” This is direct instruction to offer it as an option, discuss risks and benefits, and share about the criteria to determine if the patient is a good fit. Finally, another issue with the way providers proceed with The ARRIVE Study is that many providers take into account the Bishop Score. While it’s not the best scoring system, it’s at least helpful data! Read more about the Bishop Score here!

My thoughts: I’ve actually never seen a provider do a bishop score as part of this. While it’s not recommended by ACOG or included in the criteria, it makes logical sense to see what someone’s cervix is up to before we induce them.This would be a fantastic place for providers to think outside the box in order to give easy, individualized care that truly makes a big difference in patient satisfaction and, possibly, outcome---just imagine if we stopped inducing people without checking their cervix first. A simple conversation with the patient about what the bishop score is, what it tells us, and why it may be helpful to evaluate before moving forward with the ARRIVE trial findings would probably be a game changer in so many lives. 

What about a failed induction?

Did you know you can leave and go home after a failed induction? It’s true, you can. If you and your baby are safe, and you have not made any decisions that require continuous monitoring, you have the option to go home. (You always have the option to go home, but that obviously wouldn’t be advised if you or your baby weren’t safe.)  Read more about failed inductions, here.

It’s also important to know that ACOG recommends “if the maternal and fetal status allow, cesarean births for failed induction of labor in the latent phase can be avoided by allowing longer durations of the latent phase (up to 24 hours or longer) and requiring that oxytocin be administered for at least 12–18 hours after membrane rupture before deeming the induction a failure.”

The Bottom Line

We are not treating pregnancy as a healthy medical event, rather something that is uncontrollable and dangerous. We aren’t providing birthing people with individualized care, rather blanket statements that leave them with emotional and physical scars. 

Evidence Based Birth says “Current research evidence has found that elective induction at 39 weeks does not make a difference in the rate of death or serious complications for babies. For mothers, induction at 39-weeks was linked to a small decrease in the rate of Cesarean compared to those assigned to wait for labor (19% Cesarean rate versus 22%)” 

It’s ultimately up to you! You know your baby and your body! You are the most qualified person to make this call!

If you want to learn more about your birth choices or how to advocate for your birth goals, join The Birth Lounge!

The Bishop Score

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Bishop Score

Have you ever heard of a Bishop Score? This is the ‘rating’ that we give a pregnant person’s cervix in order to determine its readiness for induction. There are a few key flaws in this scoring system and I want to chat it out! 

The History of The Bishop Score

The original Bishop score (Developed by Dr. Bishop, OBGYN in 1964) is based on 5 criteria: dilation, effacement, station of baby, position of cervix, consistency of cervix. You will be given a score of 0 to 3--0 being not progressed and 3 being the cervix is showing favorable progress-- for each of these criteria(Note: the highest score for position and consistency of cervix is 2). You will be given an overall Bishop Score which will indicate if you are a good candidate for induction or if you are not. The highest score is 13 and any score 9 or above is considered ‘favorable’ for induction meaning the numbers suggest your body will be receptive of induction. (Note: some providers will use 8 and this will be up to you as to what number you feel most comfortable)¹. You can see a Bishop Score card here! 

However, this 2012 study used a ‘Simplified Bishop Score’ that only considered dilation, effacement, and baby’s station. It showed a similarly high predictive rate to the original bishop score. This means if you are favorable in those three out of five, you may be a great candidate for a 39-week induction (if it aligns with your birth goals). 

The Problems with The Bishop Score

Interestingly enough, it is not a great tool for people who have had a baby before. Since your body has already done this a time or two, your cervix can change on a dime. Anyone’s cervix can rapidly change (which is why this is flawed to begin with), but a person who has already given birth is more likely to have faster cervical change making the Bishop score less reliable for second and third (and beyond) time mothers.²

One final problem is--and I eluded to it above--but providers are not consistent in their expectations or usage of the Bishop Score. Some use 8, some use 9 as an indicator of a ‘favorable’ cervix. Some use a 8 or 9 until they realize that the patient isn’t achieving that score then they throw in a ‘well, by the simplified bishop score you meet criteria’ which is equally confusing and infuriating. Many women leave feeling confused if they are a good candidate and infuriated with a provider that was not clear on such a big decision. 

Here’s the thing: it is a flawed tool, but it is the best we have at the moment.³ It does a pretty good job of indicating your body’s receptivity to a medical induction. This is definitely a tool to be aware of and to know your personal boundaries of what you consider a good number to induce your body. Remember consent is a discussion with your provider--make sure that is being done around the topic of induction especially. 

What you need to know as a consumer?

First and foremost you should understand the reasons for medically necessary indcutions. As a consumer, you have a responsibility to take control of your birth experience and this includes being an informed consumer. You need to know the evidence behind bogus reasons for inductions like ‘big babies,’ ‘advanced maternal age,’ or ‘late babies.’ You also need to understand how to navigate sticky places like Gestational Diabetes. It doesn’t always mean you have to be induced or that you’re doomed for a ginormous baby that’s going to rip you to shreds. (Note: Sometimes, GD does require an induction to keep parent and baby safe) Those are fear-based approaches and I hope dearly your provider isn’t trying to pull this with you. Here is a list of medically necessary reasons to consider being induced.

This is a good study to be aware of! It is older (2006) and shares that if you have a positive Bishop score, and use a specific method of induction (This is really nice to know exactly what protocol to follow--unlike The ARRIVE Study!) This study had 99 participants, 47 first time moms, 52 moms who had given birth before (did not decipher second, third, etc). The median time of labor time for first time moms was 15.5 hours and for those who have given birth before, median labor time was 12.5 hours. 20/47 first time moms got an epidural and 11/52 moms who had birthed before got one with 83 vaginal births. They had 16 total c-sections with 8 due to fetal distress (funky fetal heart tones). There were also 8 first time parents and 8 parents who had birthed before. 45% of participants were in labor after only one Misoprostol and 45% were in labor after two doses. This left 9 participants whom seven need 3 doses and two needed 4 doses. 11 newborns required a NICU stay.⁴

If you are facing pressure from your provider about The ARRIVE Study (a study that shares a 39-week induction may lower your risk of a c-section). You can read more about that study and how to understand whether it applies to you and your birth goals, here.

If you have a failed induction, you are allowed to leave the hospital. We will be covering this SOON!

If being induced is not aligned with your birth goals and you have a preference to wait or to wait for labor to initiate unassisted, then that is absolutely your right. You can read all about due dates here and how your due date is a guess! Science is on your side if you decide waiting is best for you! 

If you want to learn more about your birth choices or how to advocate for your birth goals, join The Birth Lounge


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