DiscoverThe BirthCircle | Birth, Pregnancy, & PostPartum Conversations
The BirthCircle | Birth, Pregnancy, & PostPartum Conversations
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The BirthCircle | Birth, Pregnancy, & PostPartum Conversations


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Birth Circle is dedicated to educating and informing mothers (and fathers) about birth, and pregnancy. We currently are the most complete and up-to-date birth resource in the world, and we tap those resources to bring you detailed information and stories on everything surrounding birth. Whether you aren’t sure what you’d like for your birth or you are planning a scheduled c-section or an unmedicated home-birth or any variation in between, Birth Circle is here for you.
86 Episodes
Today we talk to Cortney and Stephanie, certified childbirth educators and doulas, and creators of My Essential Birth -- an evidence-based and holistic online childbirth education course -- as well as The Pregnancy and Childbirth Made Easy Podcast. They are dedicated to bringing the best that the birth world has to offer into one place so that new parents have the best possible head-start in preparing for their birth. We talk about how both Cortney and Stephanie got into the world of childbirth education and the different kinds of birth experiences they've had that have influenced their desire to help others. We also talk about the problems they had with other birth courses that led to them wanting to create their own that didn't feel quite so rigid in their expectations for what an "ideal" pregnancy and birth looks like. We once again cover one of our favorite topics: the importance of education in helping birthing parents to plan for the birth that they want and protect their choices against institutions and providers. We talk about the reasons that new moms seek out My Essential Birth, and how they come out knowing much more than they had originally thought they needed, and how the course's integration of everything the birth world has to offer can help them know what to seek out more information on. We talk about the first things that a pregnant mother can do to set herself up for success, including finding the right provider and doing certain daily exercises to prepare their bodies for labor.  We talk about getting clear on what sort of birth experience you want so that the experience and reality aren't dissonant. We also talk about preparing to negate and avoid birth trauma or to heal previous trauma. Finally we discuss the importance of birth education to our legacy, and how empowered births can shape generations. We talk about how the sons and daughters of mothers who have had their lives changed by positive birth will go forward and improve the birth experiences in their own lives. To Learn More Visit: For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Aisha Al Hajjar, Midwife and founder of AMANI Birth, an Islamically founded childbirth education and doula training program designed to empower and support women in the birthing decisions that they make. She works together with her husband to make this education widely available, and to date, AMANI Birth has trained over 900 educators and providers and supported over 10,000 mothers worldwide with their evidence based childbirth education.   We talk about Aisha's birth experiences and how they led her to become a childbirth educator. We also talk about the ways that Aisha saw women suffering from lack of choices and birth education after converting to Islam, and how she allowed her faith and knowledge to guide her in knowing how to help.   We talk about what is needed in an Islamic birth space and how AMANI birth helps to provide for those needs. We also talk about how a country's culture can affect a woman's needs for her birth space, as well as how AMANI education can help a woman to know whether or not she wants to adhere to cultural practices. We discuss how training birth workers all over the world can help women to preserve their own culture and empower their communities. Aisha tells us the story of AMANI Birth and how she and her husband both knew that women in the Middle East where they live were in need of Islamically based birth education and protection, and how they built AMANI birth out of that need. We discuss the scope of AMANI and how it changes lives and communities.   Finally we talk about the impact that birth empowerment has on a woman's entire life and how the mission of AMANI is to spread that empowerment as far as possible.   To Learn More Visit:   For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Nikia Lawson, Certified Birth Doula and Birth Doula Trainer through DONA international. Nikia is an international lecturer,  thought leader, and birth educator who uses her expansive knowledge to help expectant families go into their births feeling prepared. Her non-profit organization, The Natural Way Birthing Project, offers programs and services to help reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the Texas counties where she serves. We talk about Nikia's induction into the birth world and what drew her to birth work. We talk about her education and how she shifted courses to meet her calling as a birth worker.  We also talk about Nikia's approach to helping new families to start thinking about what they want for their birth and about hiring a doula We talk about what Nikia teaches in her courses and the questions that new parents need to consider when they're approaching their birth so that they can feel confident and prepared, and so that they can stand up for their choices and prevent trauma. We talk about how to create a 'see something, say something' situation in the birth space where the birthing person's choices are being protected in the moment. We talk about intersectionality in the birth space and the sorts of things that need changing, as well as how change can be made on a wide scale to protect black birth. We talk about how education and availability of birth support in every birth space can help to improve birth outcomes in marginalized communities. Finally we talk about normalizing doula work and birth support for everyone so that advocacy for birth decisions can become the mainstream rather than the exception. We challenge new parents to become educated and empower their birth space to achieve this end. To Learn More Visit: For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Nefertiti Austin, Author of Motherhood So White: A Memoir  of Race, Gender, and Parenting In America. Fourteen years ago she took a journey toward adopting a child from the Los Angeles foster system as a single woman and she shares her experience and the insight she gained from it with us today. Our Digital Media Coordinator and Executive Assistant for Birth Circle, Erin, also joins us as a guest interviewer.  We talk to Nefertiti about her initial journey toward deciding to adopt, and what informed her decision on the specifics of what she wanted from the adoption. We also talk about the stigma she came up against in choosing to adopt outside of her own community, and the way informal adoption commonly works in communities of color.  We talk about the things that surprised Nefertiti about raising her children, particularly in regards to protecting them from racial bias at school. We then talk about how important it has been for her to have a community to rely on while raising her children.  Finally we talk about the image of what 'adoptive parents' are thought to look like, and how falling outside the 'norm' can be a deterrent for single parents and parents of color against adopting from the foster system. Nefertiti talks about her book and gives her advice for people preparing to navigate the system as she did. To Learn More Visit: For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Kimberly Seals Allers, founder of Irth, an app where Black and brown parents can rate practitioners in order to address bias and racism in maternity and infant care. She is also the host of Birthright, a podcast about joy and healing in Black birth that seeks to change the narrative around Black birth being a necessarily traumatic experience. Kimberly is an award-winning journalist and five-time author, and she is an outspoken advocate for maternal and infant health in marginalized communities.  We talk about Kimberly's introduction to the birth world as a young black mother and the fear she felt facing down the statistics of birth outcomes for black mothers. We then talk about the negative birth experience that Kimberly had in a hospital that had come highly recommended by her friends and how the realization that she had been treated differently due to her race led her toward her advocacy and eventually toward the development of Irth.  We talk about what Irth is and how it helps black and brown women to be able to research and find a birth provider that is not going to bring racial bias into their care, as well as how it helps those women to report on their own birth experience with a provider in order to inform their community and provide data that can then be used to incentivize birth providers to improve their quality of care. We talk about how racial bias shows up in the medical community and how we can tell whether a birth provider is allowing those biases to influence their practice.  We then talk about how the Irth team approaches providers that need coaching on their practices, and provides them with the data that shows where improvement is needed. We talk about cultural alignment in the birth space and how that can help to improve overall outcomes. Finally, we talk about the Birthright podcast and how sharing stories of success and joy in Black birth helps to move the narrative away from fear and allows more space for healing and progress. To learn more, visit For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Dr. Laurena White, a medical doctor specializing in both allopathic and traditional medicine, an expert in fertility and pregnancy care, and director of the Eudaimonia Center. She has spent over 15 years using her skill to improve pregnancy care for her patients in a way that promotes genuine healing and avoids invasive medical procedures.   We talk about Dr. White's upbringing, her desire to be a doctor, and the cultural womanhood ceremonies that shaped her ambition to become an OBGYN and Doula. We also talk about what pushed her to reach beyond the standard medical system to find the best traditional practices to integrate in treating her patients. We talk about the changes in her life and ethos that led to her establishing the Eudaimonia center.   We then talk about the modalities used by the Eudaimonia center in healing patients both medically and holistically and how the current medical system and the birth world at large could benefit from integrating a broader array of treatment modalities. Dr. White walks us through her process of assessing patient needs and tailoring their course of care to best address their individual health.   We talk about how normalizing birth and opening education can help to repair some of the misconceptions in the process that lead to over-medicalization. We talk about how to integrate education into your birth plan in order to prevent interventions that you don't want. Finally, we talk about her family culture of vaginal steaming and how having communities of women who talk about their own bodies and health can help girls be more prepared to feel at ease with their natural processes.   To learn more, visit   For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Sarah and Matthew Bivens, hosts of Doing it at Home,  a home birth podcast sharing powerful stories and conversations to normalize home birth and support families in being as prepared and supported in their journeys. They realized the important of sharing and normalizing home birth stories after their own home birth experience, and they continue to work to make choosing home birth a normal and well understood option for any new parents who may be considering it. We talk about Sarah and Matthew's decision to have their baby at home, and the process they went through in making that decision, as well as the opposition that they faced along the way. We talk about the discussions they had as a couple to be comfortable with the decision and the research they did to get there. We also talk about approaching conversations about birth decisions with doctors or relatives that have concerns. We then talk about Sarah's labor and birth; what they were surprised by and what was expected. We talk about support for the birth partner and how Matthew was supported during the labor as well. We talk about how the home birth experience impacted their relationship and how making birth choices and honoring the experience together can strengthen a couple. Finally we talk about the questions that new parents can ask if they are on the fence about having a home birth. We talk about the importance of birth stories and how they can help other parents know more about the sort of birth they would like to have. To learn more, visit For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Parijat Deshpande, leading high-risk pregnancy specialist, somatic trauma professional, speaker, and author.  She has helped hundreds of women work safely navigate difficult pregnancies, and prevent further complications by healing past trauma with her unique neurobiological approach. She is also the author of the bestselling book Pregnancy Brain: A Mind-Body Approach to Stress Management During a High-Risk Pregnancy. We talk about the chronic structural damage that trauma can do to the brain and how it affects the nervous system in the future. We talk about how that somatic trauma affects pregnancy and how Parijat starts breaking these patterns. We also talk about humans store memory in the body and the way that pregnancy can trigger memories that cause fear and tension. We then talk about what makes a pregnancy "high risk" and some of the factors that can put a pregnancy in that category. We talk about how to prevent the stressful parts of high risk pregnancy from storing as trauma in order to help mitigate future problems. We talk about what can be done in every stage of pregnancy to work on encoded trauma and prevent the storage of future trauma. Finally we discuss the way unresolved trauma affects postpartum anxiety and depression. We talk about how partners and family can be involved with the regulation and release of trauma in pregnancy and postpartum situations. To learn more, visit For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk with Marcia Stevens, a practicing nurse and midwife in Liberia. She runs a healthcare clinic out of her front yard to serve the health needs of her community and to provide a safe birthing space for women in need. She comes from a line of traditional midwives and is passionate about preserving those traditions while also providing access to quality care for the people who need it.   We talk about how Marcia got her start into midwifery and nursing and her experience assisting her grandmother with births when she was growing up. We discuss birth in Liberia and how the economic conditions affect the ability of mothers to birth in healthcare facilities. We talk about the training process for traditional birth assistants, or "granny" midwives in Liberia, including their unique skill and the challenges they face.   We discuss the most important tools for rural midwives to have to help make births safer. We brush on how difficult it is for health care workers who aren't provided those crucial tools. We talk about "humanitarian tourism" and the problem of the help provided by Non Government Organizations (NGOs) not being implemented into the community going forward, as well as how it could be done better.   We talk about the financial burden on private health facilities because government facilities are not free to citizens. Marcia tells the story of how she was able to give birth in the U.S. and learn some techniques from U.S. midwives during her time. Then we talk about how relationships can be formed between birth workers in the U.S. and Liberia to help set up more sustainable aid for Liberian midwives and health workers. We talk about how the main disparity between the quality of birth care in the U.S. and Liberia is caused only by a lack of proper equipment and not a lack of knowledge.   Finally, Marcia shares some stories from her birth practice of mothers with difficult births who she was able to help. We talk again about how NGOs can better help form lasting connections with the birth professionals they bring aid to so that the resource will not fizzle out. Marcia lets us know what Liberian midwives are most in need of, and how to get them to the people who need them the most.   To learn more or donate, visit   For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk to Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, birth educator and practicing OBGYN. She has been involved in over 1000 births over the last 15 years, and contributes to ongoing birth education through courses on her website ( and through her podcast, All About Pregnancy and Birth ( We talk about Nicole's work as an OBGYN and how she got started, as well as how she manages long hours and how having long shifts for an OB hospitalist helps to decrease the rates of C-Section. We discuss her interest and training in holistic health coaching, how it ties in with her work as an OB, and how that led to her starting a podcast.   We then talk about how prenatal education helps to protect the choices of birthing women. We mention how U.S. hospital birth has a history of misogyny and racism that we are still battling today. We talk about being an informed participant in prenatal care and knowing the questions to ask a provider to ensure quality of care. We talk about how women should feel okay with switching providers whenever they want. We discuss the availability of childbirth education and how there are a lot of low cost resources that anybody can access.   We talk about pain management in birth and how epidural  generally wont be held back from women who want it. We discuss about writing out your birth wishes so that your provider can help to integrate them in your labor as well as possible. We brush on how to make sure that your wishes are honored. We also talk about how to adapt birth plans for COVID restrictions.   Finally we talk about the affects of racism on the birth world. We talk about the rate of maternal mortality in black women, and some of the warning signs of postnatal complications that need attention. We talk about how taking the concerns of black mothers seriously can help to reduce mortality.  We talk about persistence is important in seeking postnatal care.   To learn more, visit   For Any Questions, Email Us at  
Today we talk to Kate Rope, award-winning freelance journalist, and author of Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Happy, Healthy, and (Most Importantly) Sane From Pregnancy to Parenthood. Kate's work has been featured in multiple major publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and CNN. She is currently working on an Audible original, co-written and produced with  actor Alan Alda, about the untold story of medical research doctors drafted during the Vietnam War. We talk about Kate's early experience with motherhood and how she felt underprepared for what to expect and how talking to others who shared the same sentiment led her to wanting to write her book. We talk about the myths of motherhood that Kate covers in her book. We discuss unsolicited advice during pregnancy and how to deal with it. Kate gives some replies to give when somebody comments on your pregnancy in order to maintain boundaries. We mention that it is better to stay away from the google if you are anxious about your pregnancy to avoid misinformation that heightens the anxiety. We then talk about Kate's definition of "self-care" and how it's important to figure out what it means to you personally. We discuss how to allow yourself space for self-care without feeling guilty for taking the time. We discuss what "co-parenting" means and how to make the parenting load feel equal between partners. We talk about figuring out how to reclaim your own identity after becoming a mother. Finally we talk about how to recognize if you are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder, and that having scary thoughts about your baby is usually normal. We brush on postpartum psychosis, how uncommon it is, and how to get help if you need it. To learn more, visit For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today we talk with Thais Derich, award-winning author of Second Chance: A Mother's Quest For a Natural Birth After a Cesarean. Thais is a Master of Fine Arts and Merit Scholar at the California College of the Arts. Her work is published in a number of magazines and journals, and she is a frequent public speaker, and uses her experience with a successful VBAC to educate others on how to recognize their own birthing options. ( Thais talks about her journey to starting a family with her husband, and the birth of her first child that ended in her being pressured into an unnecessary Cesarian Section which left her feeling powerless and traumatized. We clarify that C-Sections are a life-saving procedure and that birth is birth no matter how it happens, but that consent is the key to a non-traumatic birth. We then talk about how Thais became determined to have her second birth be a VBAC. We discuss her difficulty in finding a practitioner who would take her on, and how misinformation about VBAC can color the willingness of practitioners to take on VBAC patients. We talk about Thais' decision to have a home birth and finding a Midwife who was experienced with VBAC to safely guide the process.  Thais talks about the birth of her second son and the healing work she did during her labor to recover from the trauma of the first, and the triumphant feeling of her accomplishment. We talk about the research that goes into planning for a VBAC and the importance of finding a provider that is enthusiastic about the mother's choices and willing to carry them out without overruling her. We compare the risks of an at-home VBAC and an in-hospital C-section, and how statistics show that VBACs are overwhelmingly successful. We talk about Thais' use of hypnotherapy to work through the trauma of her first birth, and the support she received from her local birth community during her second pregnancy. Finally, Thais gives her advice to people who are being denied a VBAC and tells them to "keep shopping" until they can find a provider that is willing to help them have the birth experience that they want. We talk about how COVID has made for  greater encouragement toward home birth. To learn more, visit For Any Questions, Email Us at
Today, we talk with Laurel Wilson, TEDx and international speaker, pregnancy and breastfeeding specialist, consultant, educator, and author. Laurel is also the co-author of two books, The Attachment Pregnancy and The Greatest Pregnancy Ever ( We begin by defining and discussing “the attachment pregnancy” approach to bonding with your child. We talk about how this approach can apply to circumstances such as unwanted pregnancy, disconnection with your child, traumatic birth, or surrogacy, among others. We then talk more about the different ways of bonding with your child, starting with defining and discussing the terms "conscious agreement” and “conscious attachment.” We break down specific things we can do each trimester to help our attachment and bond develop. We talk about how our babies are affected by our emotions while in the womb, and how they benefit from a wide range of emotions, including challenges and effective stress management in the lives of their mothers. We define and discuss epigenetics; how they are affected by the limbic system and our heart regulation, and how they relate to our child’s development. We then talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, and discuss the important nutritional and developmental content that human milk gives to babies. We discuss how the more we become aware of the importance of human milk, the more we will consider options like community milk sharing and other ways to get human milk to more children. We express our gratitude for infant formula and emphasize the importance of parents making educated and informed decisions that aren’t so driven by advertising or society. We talk about how any amount of human milk at any stage is good for your baby, and discuss how knowing the critical developmental periods of your child should guide your supplementing with colostrum. We discuss adoption and induced lactation. To learn more, visit  3:00 What is Attachment Pregnancy?  10:32 Different Ways of Bonding 39:07 Making the Decision to Breastfeed; Benefits of Human Milk 56:09 Effects of Breastfeeding Across Generations “We are becoming bonded at an unconscious level, a conscious level, and a physical level. And the more we recognize that is happening, and the more we put a mindful awareness to that, the better off the health of our relationship is with our children…we can start to see that it also has significant impact on long-term health of the baby as well.” 3:30
In today’s episode, we talk with Desi Bartlett. Desi has 25 years of experience in health and fitness, 2 exercise science related degrees, multiple certifications and is an internationally published author as well as a product designer. She is the author of Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy ( We start off our conversation with Desi sharing her story and the development of her career. Desi then shares what she means by a “sexy” pregnancy, and we discuss common misconceptions about sex during pregnancy. We then talk about how yoga and other physical exercises can strengthen you during pregnancy and help prepare you for birth. We talk about the muscles to focus on, and the positions, stretches, and exercises that will help you strengthen them. Desi shares the best approach to Kegel exercises, and other approaches to strengthening the pelvic floor. Desi expands on “strong is the new skinny,” and we discuss the important role of strength in your overall health. We talk about how to find the best exercise program for you, and how to determine the right level of difficulty for your exercises during your first trimester. We discuss the benefits of taking walks as a good step to build endurance and connect with your child. We talk about good exercises for second trimester of pregnancy, and focus on the importance of the squat. We then talk about preparing to push during the third trimester in preparation for labor and birth. Desi then shares her recommendations for resuming exercise after birth. We focus on allowing your body to recover and heal from giving birth, and how lochia can be a warning sign of overexertion. We talk about how to exercise abdominal muscles after birth. We also talk about the benefits of involving your baby in your exercises. We discuss care for older moms. We talk more about sex during and after pregnancy, and how you can take your pelvic floor exercises into the bedroom. We explain how everyone is different, how you should listen to your body, and how other acts of intimacy and connection can also be sexy. We discuss the role of healing of the perineum in the pleasure and enjoyment of sex. For more information, visit 4:53 How to Feel Sexy During Pregnancy 10:58 Exercise Before and After Birth 43:05 Care For Older Moms 45:44 Enhancing Your Connection With Your Partner During Pregnancy “Simply sitting on top of a stability ball, and walking forward and back with your hips, you can start to feel, oh, these are my pelvic floor muscles, and this is how my pelvis goes into anterior tilt and posterior tilt, or lateral and side to side.” 28:32 For Any Questions, Email Me at
Today, we talk with Bailey Gaddis, author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood ( and Asking For a Pregnant Friend: 101 Answers to Questions Women Are Too Ashamed or Scared to Ask About Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Motherhood (coming June 1, 2021.) She is also a Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified Birthing doula, HypnoBirthing® Practitioner, and HypnoMothering® Practitioner. She shares her personal journey in birth work and childbirth education. She then explains some of the concepts in her book, including what she means by a “Feng shui approach” to birth, as well as breaking down her “four trimester” perspective on pregnancy and birth. We talk about trusting intuition and the benefits of simplifying your life and living space. We then discuss the different practices, philosophies, and techniques involved in HypnoBirthing®, and talk about their benefits. We talk more about the applications of hypnosis and subconscious thought in daily life. We then discuss how to approach and maintain Feng shui in family life, especially when there are small kids in the home. We finish by talking about the importance of working to craft your own birth philosophy that’s best for you and your needs. To learn more, visit  4:20 What is the “Feng Shui Approach” to Pregnancy and Birth?  23:58 The Case For Feng shui 26:46 HypnoBirthing and the Subconscious 36:47 Feng shui with Little Kids 42:21 You Are the Expert  “What do we want to think about birth? What are the positive alternatives to those fears and those worries? And that’s what we focus on.” 27:50 For Any Questions, Email Me at
In today’s episode, we talk with Dr. Janetti Marotta, a psychologist who has specialized in infertility since 1990. Drawn from her own journey through infertility and those with whom she has worked, she is the author of A Fertile Path: Guiding the Journey with Mindfulness and Compassion ( Dr. Marotta is a long-time practitioner of meditation and teacher of mindfulness and also author of 50 Mindful Steps to Self-Esteem: Everyday Practices for Cultivating Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion ( We talk about what inspired Dr. Marotta to specialize in infertility. She then tells us how she defines mindfulness, and explains how it relates to infertility. We then discuss how stress impacts fertility. We discuss the “holistic approach to fertility treatment.” Dr. Marotta then breaks down her approach to helping those with infertility struggles, including acknowledgement and acceptance, techniques for reducing stress and tension release, mindfulness and meditation in breath, body, thought, and emotion. We then move on to talk about the effects of infertility on your partner. We also discuss how to ease into the process of using 3rd party fertility solutions like surrogacy and adoption. Dr. Marotta shares her own experiences of trial and error pursuing donor egg IVF, adoption, and finally going with surrogacy for her child. To learn more, visit 1:54 Janetti’s Story  7:23 What is Mindfulness and How Does it Relate to Infertility?   26:00 Breaking Down Dr. Marotta’s Approach  47:04 Impact of Infertility on Partner 49:27 Easing Into the Process of 3rd Party Fertility Solutions. “It’s not so much the thoughts we have, but how tightly we hold onto those thoughts, that accounts for our mental suffering.” 42:10 For Any Questions, Email Me at
Today we talk with Julia Jones, postnatal doula and author of Nourishing Newborn Mothers - Ayurvedic Recipes to Heal your Mind, and Body and Soul after Childbirth and Newborn Mothers - When a Baby is Born So is a Mother ( She is also the creator of the worldwide leading education resource for postpartum professionals: Newborn Mothers Collective ( We talk about how Julia became interested in postpartum care. We discuss the traditional practices for postpartum care that many of the world’s cultures had in common before Colonization and the Industrial Revolution. We discuss how losing touch with these practices has made our modern practices “abnormal” or unnatural in the context of human history. We then define and discuss the “village” model of parenting and childcare, and talk about its many advantages and how we can learn from and incorporate its principles in our own situations. We then talk about the history of the role of doula and its ties to breastfeeding. We then talk about the qualifications and role of doulas throughout the world. We discuss the need for a cultural shift toward valuing and investing in birth and postpartum worker’s care, and increasing our cultural awareness of how important the postpartum period is. Julia gives more traditional ways the world’s cultures care for newborn mothers, such as warm comfort foods, massage and body work, and belly binding. We talk about the cultures that still practice the “village” model of childcare. Julia then talks about the physical changes produced in your brain by caring for a child. We then discuss proper support for parents and others caring for children. We talk more about the science and nuances of bonding. We talk about the scientific side of intuition. We then talk about learning from other cultures without cultural appropriation. To learn more, visit  1:46 Julia’s Story  3:28 How Newborn Mothers Are Meant to Be Cared For 13:29 Becoming a Trained Postpartum Doula 19:48 Caring for Newborns and Newborn Mothers 30:56 Bonding, Oxytocin, and Intuition 44:17 Learning From Other Cultures Without Cultural Appropriation  “That’s why we really need to focus on boosting these oxytocin levels, not just during birth. Because, originally oxytocin was discovered and named ‘quick birth’ because it increases contractions, but what we’ve learned is that it’s not just for birth — it’s actually the bonding hormone, it’s the love hormone.” 37:34 For Any Questions, Email Me at
In today’s episode, we talk with Julia Aziz, LCSW-S, Rev., CCH, holistic psychotherapist, ordained interfaith minister, and faculty at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. She supports women struggling with anxiety, grief, and big life changes through individual counseling, hypnotherapy, and the Release & Empower online community, a weekly women's practice that combines writing, movement, meditation, and personal sharing. She is also the mother of three children and the author of Lessons of Labor: One Woman's Self-Discovery Through Birth and Motherhood and When You're Having A Hard Time: The Little Book That Listens. Today we define and discuss holistic psychotherapy and somatic release, and how these practices can be used to help people towards healing from anxiety, trauma, and other struggles. We discuss Julia’s spiritual background and ministry. We then discuss Julia’s approach to helping women who have experienced trauma navigate birth, and how childbirth has the potential to be a healing experience for some people with trauma. We talk about the importance of simplifying mental health and coming back to this moment by slowing down and living in the present. We also the discus the importance of recognizing how everyone is different, including with the use of medication. We talk about an intuitive approach to finding the best treatments for your problems. We talk about spirituality and rituals associated with birth. We discuss how to learn from your dreams during pregnancy. We then discuss how to help parents when a pregnancy ends in loss, as well as ways of dealing with grief. We finish our discussion by talking about how you can develop a mantra that will help you through your birth experience. We invite you to learn more at  3:07 What is Holistic Psychotherapy?  10:10 Helping Women With Severe Trauma Navigate Birth 22:18 How to Find the Best Treatments and Assistance For You 37:31 Helping Moms Manage Grief After Loss 46:25 Finding Your Mantra  “We basically do self-healing practice together. So we do a writing practice, and we do somatic release, guided meditation, and then a brief sharing, where we’re just witnessing each other rather than doing cross-talk. And so it’s like a weekly practice for women who are often caregiving for other people — like moms — to make some space for themselves.”  50:27 For Any Questions, Email Me at
  Today, we talk with Ryann Kipping, a clinically trained Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Lactation Educator, and Author of The Feel-Good Pregnancy Cookbook ( She is the founder of The Prenatal Nutritionist (, a virtual nutrition private practice which focuses on preparing women for pregnancy and conquering nutrition during and after pregnancy. We begin by talking about common myths and questions surrounding prenatal nutrition. This includes how much caffeine is safe to consume during pregnancy, as well as the effects caffeine can have on your baby. We do the same for soft cheeses, sushi, and other fish. We talk about how your diet can cause or relieve morning sickness, including how simple carbs are the most tolerable for your stomach. Ryann then gives a list of nutrients you need to focus on consuming more of during pregnancy. The first is Choline, which is important for developing your baby’s brain, and is found in egg yolks. The next is Vitamin D, which your body can produce in the sun around midday, and is found in egg yolks, fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified milk and supplements (D3 is preferable over D2). The third nutrient is magnesium, which is important for preventing nausea, gestational diabetes, pre-term birth, and preeclampsia, and is found in avocado, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, and spinach. We then talk about what causes heartburn in pregnancy, and what can be done to prevent and relieve heartburn during pregnancy. We give tips for determining which foods trigger heartburn for you. We discuss how to find the best prenatal vitamins. Ryann shares some things that she has recognized as poor nutritional advice. We discuss diet and eating habits during the first trimester. We then talk more about health and nutrition during the pre-conception period, as well as how nutrition affects fertility. We then discuss micronutrient testing and working with a dietician. We talk about nutrition and changes in diet during postpartum and breastfeeding. We finish our discussion by talking about ways to prevent preeclampsia. To learn more, visit, or look up Ryann on Instagram (@prenatalnutritionist).   3:59 Debunking Myths About Prenatal Nutrition 12:47 Which Nutrients Do You Need More of During Pregnancy? 22:11 Heartburn in Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins  33:15 Nutrition and Fertility.  37:21 Diet and Postpartum  “Micronutrient testing can get a bit expensive, so I will say if you have the means to do it, and you can afford it, then definitely do it. Testing helps you know what nutrients you’re good on and what nutrients you need to focus more on and possibly supplement with. At the bare minimum, definitely get vitamin D, definitely get iron, definitely get B-12.” 35:42 For Any Questions, Email Me at
In today’s episode, we talk with Kelly Carrington (, RMT for 19 years and male doula for the last 7 years. We start our discussion with Kelly sharing how he became a male doula. We discuss the unique experiences and perspectives of a male birth worker. Kelly talks more about what he does as a doula and as a pre-natal educator. He shares his perspective about what is going well in birth procedures and birth education, as well as what he thinks could improve. We talk more about his methods and what he tells his clients through the whole pregnancy and birth process. We talk about birth as a transitional experience, and Kelly shares his perspectives on that. We talk about women feeling like they’re not enough — how that can be amplified through the birth experience, and what we as a society do to perpetuate that. Kelly tells what he does to help reverse that for mothers. We talk about birth plans, and how any birth where the baby and mother are healthy, not traumatized, made informed decisions, and are prepared for the postpartum period, is a fully successful birth. Kelly talks about his services for postpartum mothers. We discuss how doulas can help new mother’s process their birth. We talk about setting boundaries between doulas and clients. We talk more about what male doulas can add to the birth industry and doula community.  1:08 Life As a Male Doula  14:55 Kelly’s Methods 32:19 Birth as a Transition 47:54 There’s Room For More Male Doulas “That they’re not traumatized, that they felt like they made informed decisions, and that they’re prepared for the postpartum period — that’s what I mean by [a good birth].” 41:41 For Any Questions, Email Me at
Comments (2)


FYI--CNM not CNA in the episode summary :)

Dec 11th
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