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Advocating For Yourself During Birth

Advocating for Yourself During Birth with HeHe

Hey Tranquility Tribe! This week, HeHe told the story of Caroline Maletesta of Alabama, whose nurses aggressively prevented her from birthing how she needed to, leaving her traumatized and permanently injured. While situations like this are rare and unfortunate, it’s important to arm yourself with information and techniques to advocate for yourself in birthing situations extreme or small.

Things to Know

HeHe wants you to know that it’s rare to not be able to have a choice in almost all aspects of your maternity care! Outside of special situations like having a medical condition that requires certain stipulations, you truly are the person in charge in the labor and delivery room. That’s why it is so crucial to arm yourself with knowledge concerning evidence-based care regarding all sorts of situations that may arise during your birth, so you can walk away from your birth feeling confident and content with the choices you made. Here are some of HeHe’s go-to resources to prepare you for all things pregnancy and birth.


HeHe suggests the following books to open up your eyes about the realities of birth in America and to prep yourself with evidence-based information:

Additionally, HeHe suggests her top 3 favorite books for birth preparation in general:


HeHe knows that for some people, seeing birth up close and personal before the big day can create nerves rather than calm nerves, but suggests these documentaries for those who believe they will find comfort/feel better prepared by watching them!


These websites are all great resources filled with free and digestible information! These websites are the most common websites that HeHe and The TBH Team refers to during their time coaching clients prenatally. is run by Dr. Rebecca Dekker and she does meta-analysis reviews of topics relating to birth. She takes a topic that her audience has given her and she looks into all the research --the US and other countries, plus far back into history of obstetrics-- and the journey of whatever topic. She also looks at stats and hard numbers birthing people would be interested in such as the rate of Group B Strep in pregnant people and the success rate of using moxibustion as a means to turn breech babies.
MaMa Natural is run by Genevieve Howland and she has articles on anything and everything that you can imagine. HeHe's favorite part? It's as organic and natural as possible within boundaries. The site does have mention of medical help, but you know TBH is in support of medical care when it is necessary. Bonus: HeHe is featured in this article on the mama natural website! is an amazing resource for breastfeeding parents! This is site HeHe's go-to for the rules on cleaning breastpump parts and breastmilk storage! Another wonderful resource is La Leche League.
Spinning Babies Again, one of HeHe's staples. This is a major pillar in every birth client's care. You can see HeHe prepping birth clients with SB techniques and helping postpartum women with those same techniques!
And, of course, the TBH blog is a staple resource for anyone trying to plan their birth experience!

Things to Do

HeHe also 5 suggestions on concrete things you can do to be prepared to advocate for yourself and stay in control of your birth!

  1. Research, research, research  HeHe can’t emphasize this enough - start off with all of the resources suggested today and keep delving deep into the parts of pregnancy and birth that are important to you! HeHe suggests even checking out the practices of other countries to see what they do and what their outcomes are - you may be able to incorporate some of those practices into your own birth!
  2. Speak Up Ask all of the questions - no question is too big or too small! Learn about alternatives whenever you can - there are always plenty available and if you have a doula, she has this sort of  information in her back pocket, so use her as a resource!
  3. Communicate with your birth support This includes not only the people who will be in the room when you give birth but also those in your immediate circle that you come into contact with every single week of your pregnancy. Stay control of the energy around you, communicate your expectations for pregnancy and postpartum, and create space away from people who don’t respect your boundaries.
  4. Mind your headspace This one speaks for itself - try your hardest to keep up a positive state of mind. Use intentional language and ask the people around you to do the same. Learn to reframe whatever you can into a positive way.
  5. Be Intentional Be intentional about everything throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Bring intention to the things and people you are surrounding yourself with and the way you practice community. You truly can control your pregnancy and birth experience, you just have to dig deep into the power within you!

Finally, you can truly take control of your mindset by exploring your options when it comes to your birth. Tune in to Episode #37 of The Tranquility Tribe Podcast found on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and GooglePlay.

If you are interested in joining our tribe to support you on your journey of mastering your mindset, trying to conceive, planning for your birth or taking control of your health, please email us at

To get a taste of the magic, don’t forget to join our private Facebook, The Tranquility Tribe  and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe!

"Welcome to the Tranquility Tribe"

Written by our Guest Blogger, Lauren Sierra. She is a Senior at Harvard studying Sociology and Public Health. 


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