Podcast Episode #46

FitNest Mama Podcast episode: Birth Story: Spilling the Milk with Jessica

Today’s episode is another spilling the milk episode where I explore the birth story of a real mum. I’m joined by Jessica, who gave birth to baby Aurora just 4 weeks ago. She describes her lovely and positive home birth experience and the trip to the hospital afterwards. No matter what sort of birth you end up having, Jessica offers useful insight into how understanding the hormones and the physiology of birth helped her to feel calm and empowered throughout the whole process. It’s a lovely birth story you won’t want to miss, enjoy!

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Birth Story: Spilling the Milk with Jessica

Transcription

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. a physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three. Join me each week as we dive into all things pregnancy care, childbirth, and postnatal recovery, helping you have a wonderful pregnancy and afterbirth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Welcome to Episode 45 of the FitNest Mama Podcast. I am your host, Kath Baquie, I’m a mum of three young girls, a physiotherapist for women and I have an online community, FitNest Mama which helps to provide pregnant and new mothers with the exercises support and resources they need to feel good from the inside and out as they prepare for and recover from pregnancy, childbirth and after birth recovery.

FitNest Mama has workouts that are a tired mum friendly, aka mama friendly and toddler friendly that you can do in the convenience of your home at the end of a long day. Whilst your bubba sleeps, all whilst your toddler is running around causing havoc.

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I’m excited to be chatting to a lovely mother Jessica, who gave birth to Aurora just four weeks ago. Jessica describes a really positive beautiful home birth story. And she also tells us about a trip to the hospital afterwards. So no matter what sort of birth you end up having, home, hospital, induced, whatever it is, Jessica, I really do believe gives some great insights into how understanding the hormones and the physiology of birth, like how that really helped her to feel calm and empowered throughout the whole process. So stick around because it is really a lovely birth story that you won’t want to miss.

But before I do, dive right in. I do just want to let you know about a 7-day free trial to FitNest Mama. In this 7-day free trial, you can try one of our Pilates classes. You can do as many on demand classes as you’d like. You can binge listen to guest expert speakers, discussing topics focused on pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery, including hypnobirthing, induction breastfeeding, sex after childbirth and nutrition after having a baby and so much more. There are also heaps of Q&A sessions with myself on topics including abdominal muscle separation, pregnancy related pelvic pain, caesarean scar massage, mastitis, and more. All you need to do is head to https://fitnestmama.com/free

Right. Let’s get into today’s episode. Hello, Jessica, thank you for joining me today.

JESSICA

Yes. Hi, Kath. Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

It is so lovely to be able to have a chat to a mum who has just given birth. I think it’s something that’s very special about hearing different women’s experiences, ups and downs challenges, you know, the amazing things that happened. So thank you so much. For those who are, I’m sure there’s few people that don’t know who you are. Could you just briefly introduce yourself? Let us know a little bit about your motherhood journey.

JESSICA

Yeah, sure. So my name is Jessica and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I moved here about two years ago and 2019 from the US, hence my American accent. And I actually started my motherhood journey pretty later in life because I had a pretty demanding job back in the States. So I didn’t have a lot of time or space to think about having kids. And then when I moved to Australia, I just something switched in me and my biological clock was like okay, well it’s time to start thinking about it now. And then with the pandemic and everything. I just got really serious about it. Me and my husband have been together for a long time. So we’ve been together for 15 years and decided that it was time to start a family. So yeah, we tried and it happened right away. So we’re very fortunate. And we have a beautiful baby girl now.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing! So is your husband, Australian or American?

JESSICA

He is American as well. So we’re both from the US and we’re out here on our own, which has been a little bit of a challenge but because we’ve been together for so long, we know each other really well. And he’s been an amazing support partner through the birth and even afterwards. So it’s been great.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s amazing. Can I ask why? Why did you come to Australia?

JESSICA

So he got a job offer. And he was looking for a job at the time, he was laid off. And the timing just worked out really well for us. And we wanted to take this opportunity to see the world and go to a new place. And we heard good things about Melbourne, Australia. So like, I will just go and see how it is. And we really like it so far.

KATH BAQUIE

And you haven’t obviously, you came and you sort of got stuck here with COVID. Is that right?

JESSICA

Yes, yes. So all of our families still back in the States, which is really hard being away from them. But we at the same time, we feel really grateful to be here, because it’s a very safe place to be in the middle of the pandemic. So, yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

So how did you find that navigating? Like a new country and a new healthcare system in that journey to becoming pregnant and having a baby?

JESSICA

Yeah, that was a challenge. I went online and did a lot of Facebook research and different pregnancy groups. And I also talked to some doulas and midwives here in Australia to get an idea of what the options were as far as childbirth and the healthcare system, because I didn’t have Medicare at the time. So we had private insurance. And I wanted to know what would be better to do like private hospital? Or public hospital, home birth? I wanted to explore all my options. And I also didn’t have an established relationship with an OB or anything yet. So I had to really do a lot of research on that side and talk to people and get their opinions. And it took a while to figure it out. I actually switched providers like halfway through my pregnancy, so I had like one private OB, and then I switch to a different one. And then I ended up going with midwives, and did a home birth. So yeah, it was a journey.

KATH BAQUIE

Yes. Like, talk me through that journey. What made you first of all, switch? OBs or obstetricians? And then what made you go to a midwife? And like, were you initially planning on having a hospital birth? And then that change? Like, yeah, talk us through it.

JESSICA

Yeah, I was really open minded in the beginning. And then the more research I did, the more I realized that if I’m healthy and low risk that it would be better for me to have a home birth. Personally, that was what my intuition was telling me. And I was really afraid of being in a hospital and the middle of lockdown, and also being pressured to like have the time constraints and any other medical intervention that might not be necessary for me. So that’s really why I lean toward home birth, and I wanted to be in my own space and have the comfort of my own home, and have I like the idea of having midwives because they’re women, and they were very supportive and caring, and you just get more of that emotional support from them. Whereas at a private obstetrician, it’s all business most of the time, and I just didn’t feel like that connection. And really, obstetricians are there if anything goes wrong. So I wanted someone there that could help me throughout the whole process emotionally, physically and mentally, especially because I didn’t have any family here to support me. So I had to go the extra mile to get that support for myself.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, 100%. And like, we haven’t talked about this, like you’re a member in FitNest, Mama. And I do remember when you first announced you’d had a baby, and I knew you’d been planning a home birth, but we haven’t really had a big chat. So it’s great to talk to you about it. So that transition you went through, I’m just reflecting on the fact that, that is massive. Considering you’re alone in it or not alone, but you’re in Australia with your husband, with no family supports. And you went through a massive transition in terms of hospitals into home birth. So what helped to give you that confidence to have a home birth?

JESSICA

Well, a few things. So I actually stayed with a backup obstetrician, because I wanted to have that in case there were any complications. Because it’s my first baby, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. So that gave me some comfort level as far as if anything went wrong. And then just meeting the midwives and talking to them, I felt so comfortable and it just felt like the right decision. I just knew immediately that that’s what I wanted. And I had such a good experience with them that I didn’t worry and any worries that I had we talked about in depth so we would have like an hour long conversation about what if this happened or what if that happened. So it really put my mind at ease and then I read a lot of books as well. So I learned about the physiological, all stages of labour and childbirth and I did a lot of meditations and hypnobirthing as well. And that helped ease my fears and worries and affirmations to those were really great because I would listen to every night when I was pregnant. And it all just kind of got embedded into my subconscious. So that when I was in birth, I knew like, this is normal, this pain is healthy pain, and its productive pain. And I would just repeat that stuff to myself. And all of that got me through it and got me to feel confident and comfortable with my body and what it was capable of.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s amazing. And I think there’s a lot of power in having that pre knowledge and that education about the different stages of labour and about the different hormones that kick in and understanding as you set the physiology of birth. I think can help you know whether or not you have a home birth or hospital or whatever it is, can really help. So it was so many different areas. So that’s great. You took that all on board beforehand.

JESSICA

Yeah, and your modules were amazing as well. So the childbirth module, in particular about the four stages of birth, and what to expect are the three stages, and the pain coping techniques. So I watched that a couple times just to reiterate what I had learned and what to expect. And then all of your workouts too. We did the Qigong exercises, and pelvic floor exercises, those were really helpful. Breathing and distraction techniques. I used all of that when I was giving birth.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s great to hear. So for those that are listening, Jessica is referring to, inside FitNest Mama, there’s a pregnancy module, and there’s a childbirth module and talking us through a few sessions inside that module. And then the key goals, otherwise known as pelvic floor exercises, that is sort of embedded throughout all the workouts during the workout and at the end, going back to your birth. So thank you for that, Jessica. You didn’t need to say all that. But going back to your birth. Talk me through like when you first went into labour like what did you feel? How was that realization?

JESSICA

Yes. So the last part of your third trimester every day, you’re like it could happen at any time now. And that uncertainty, you just have to be okay with it.

KATH BAQUIE

What do they say? Pregnancy’s nine months, except for the last month, which is a yearlong loss?

JESSICA

What it feels like.

KATH BAQUIE

Yep.

JESSICA

Oh, when is it going to happen? And I, as a first time mum, I’m like, oh expected the baby to come a week late. So I was not 100% ready by the time I started going into labour because I was early, just a few days early. And it was a full man. So I thought maybe that would kick start things, which it did. And I did an exercise class that day as well. So my body was getting ready. And I could feel braxton hicks all day. And then I woke up at, like, 11:45 at night, with some cramping, went to the toilet, I lost my mucus plug. And immediately from there, it was like five minutes apart, my contractions started. So I didn’t have a whole lot of early labour. It was very intense from the beginning, I ended up putting on a TENS machine at like four in the morning because it got to be almost unbearable. And I wanted to get ahead of the pain. So the TENS machine was amazing. I actually had that on for probably 20 hours until the batteries went out. And I would just keep increasing the boost button. So every time you have a contraction, you just click the button, and it triggers the pulse, the electrical pulse. And that was a great distraction, as well as breathing through those. And because it was so late at night, I hadn’t really gotten any sleep. So I had two hours of sleep. And then I was starting labour immediately. So I was trying to nap in between contractions as much as possible. But that was hard.

KATH BAQUIE

So you went into labour 11:45 PM and then you put the TENS on at 3:00 in the morning? And it was 4:00 in the morning and it was already pretty intense. And then for the next 20 hours.

JESSICA

Yeah, so my labour was actually 40 hours total. Yeah, it was a very, very long labour. And the reason is because the baby was posterior which I was afraid of like towards the end of my pregnancy because the baby kept moving side to side in my belly and I thought I bet you anything this is gonna be more info posterior. I just had a feeling and I was doing all of the spinning baby stuff and going out for hours, you know, everything that they tell you to do. And it’s just the way that she wanted to come out. And I’m just so lucky that I had such patient midwives to wait for me and wait for the baby to come out the way that she wanted to.

KATH BAQUIE

So because she had private midwives, was she there the whole time?

JESSICA

No. So they pretty much wait until you’re on active labour to come over. But we were in constant communication with them over text message. And I had a student midwife as well. So there were two private midwives and then a student midwife at the birth. And the student midwife came over earlier just to check in on me, and she was like, yeah, it’s probably time to call them in. But to be honest, the whole timeline is a little bit of a blur to me because I was in labour land. And I didn’t look at my phone, I wasn’t trying to keep track of time or day or anything, I was just literally focusing on one search at a time. So when she came over and recommended, they come over, I think they came at like nine o’clock at night on Friday night. So 20 hours after I started labour. And then yeah, so I ended up giving birth on Saturday, at 3:18 pm. But I was planning on doing a water birth, so I had a pool ready to go. And the pool took a little bit of time to fill up. So FYI, if anyone does a pool, make sure you fill it up in advance, it took about an hour and we ran out of hot water too. So we had to use boiling water towards the end of to keep filling it. And by the time the midwives were like, “Okay, you can get to the pool, now.” They didn’t want my contractions to slow down. So they let me in the pool for a while. So by the time I got into the pool, I’m pretty sure it was going through transition. And I thought that it was going to be a lot more pain relief than it was. And I just Yeah, I just got through it. And by the time I was ready to push, I actually didn’t want to be in the pool anymore. So I got into the shower. And that was actually way better than the pool for me, because I could feel the water on my back. And I could lean over and I could stand up which was a lot more comfortable. And I used also a pull up bar to like, bear down and had a scarf attached to that. And I was using that during the pushing phase. And that helped a lot.

KATH BAQUIE

So where it was pull up, I’m just trying to picture it.

JESSICA

Yeah, so I have a pull up bar just hanging over a doorframe right next to where the pool was. So everything was all up in advance because I knew that I might want to use it. And when I gave birth, I was actually leaning over an exercise ball, which is what I did a lot during pregnancy. And my husband was sitting in front of me and I was holding his hands. And he was sitting down as well. And then I was on my knees. And that was like the most comfortable way for me to give birth. And I actually really enjoyed pushing a lot more than the contractions. I thought the contractions were a lot more painful than the pushing stage. I was pushing as hard as I physically could, which I was very surprised about. And the midwife was just amazing telling me, you know, when to do a big push, little push, and I did not tear at all, which is incredible, considering the baby came up, face up. It was all in all a very positive experience. And I’m just so grateful for the way everything turned out.

KATH BAQUIE

So lovely to hear you did have such a positive experience. And that’s amazing. Can I delve into a few things that you talked about? So correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like during that first stage of labour, were you really trying to stay in your zone?

JESSICA KOSTOFF

Yes, 100%. I really didn’t talk to anybody. I had this whole idea of what I was going to do in early labour, like I was going to have a project to do or I was going to be listening to hypnobirthing tracks on repeat and I didn’t even want to look at my phone. I didn’t want to have anything in front of me. I was just so deep within myself. And close my eyes most of the time I was breathing. Just trying to relax and kind of replaying affirmations in my head that you know, this is normal, everything is happening the way it’s supposed to happen. My baby will come and my baby is ready. All of those things. And I yeah, I just lost track of time and went within myself.

KATH BAQUIE

And Was this something that just naturally came to you or did you think, “Okay, I’m not going to look at my phone.” Like how did this happen?

JESSICA

Yeah, well, I knew because of all of the classes that I took and everything to keep the oxytocin going and the endorphins going. You had to think positively and breathe through the surges and all. So, whenever I would feel the adrenaline coming, I would just tell myself oxytocin, oxytocin, oxytocin. So that came, kind of subconsciously. But also naturally, I didn’t have to tell myself to do anything. And I just wanted to kind of be by myself and experience it within myself, and as opposed to having other people help me.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s amazing. Because what you’re describing for those that are listening is there’s different hormones of labour, and refer back to session I did with Loretta, who’s from Comverse Australia, I’ll have to link it in the show notes. But she really describes these hormones well. So we’ve got the oxytocin, which is the love hormone. And this is really important for helping to work on the sympathetic system and help to create the calmness and bonding with a newborn. And then we have beta endorphins, which subdues that part of the brain that is thinking. So I think what you’re describing there is, those beta endorphins are really kicking in and you are going into your special place. And I think this is where sometimes, like if you are having a birth in a hospital, this is where altering that environment as much as possible can help with those natural hormones. So by turning those lights down in the hospital, you know, trying not to talk to people having nice, calming music can help to keep you in that zone, which is obvious like this is what you’re talking about, I think, is where those beautiful cocktail of hormones are kicking in so that you could zone out and just go with the flow.

Moving on, you talked about when you felt it was go to time and the pushing phase began. Could you describe that in a bit more detail? Like how did you know it was time to push out the baby.

JESSICA

My body told me so I knew when it was time to start pushing when I felt this urge to bear down. And that was after the most intense part of the labour and the contractions, which they call transition. And I wanted to stand up at that point because it was more comfortable. And squatting. So squatting helps with pushing. And I felt the sensation in different areas of my body. So you feel it more towards your back and your bum when you want to push, it kind of feels like you have to take a poo, which is what other women will tell you. And then you feel less in your cervix. So it’s more towards your back and then coming down through the birth canal. So that’s how I knew it was time to push and my body just did it for me the majority of the time. And then I would push as hard as I could when I felt those sensations to bear down.

KATH BAQUIE

So you mentioned you tried a few different positions. And I think that’s really nice to note because it is possible, depending if you’re hooked up to you know, different equipment and monitoring and epidural. But let’s say you are free to move, it is possible to trial one position, then if that’s not comfortable trial, another position. Can you talk us through some of the different positions you tried?

JESSICA

Yes, absolutely. So the one that I started with was standing and then leaning over a chair in the shower. I had a tall high chair in there with me and I leaned over with my hands on the top of the chair and I was able to squat a little bit and just lean over and then have the shower on my back. That was one position. Also sitting on the toilet backwards. My midwife called the toilet the dilation station. And that was comfortable for a little bit and then I stood up and also leaned over the toilet backwards because it’s a little bit higher in the back.

KATH BAQUIE

So out of interest why sitting on a toilet backwards and not sitting on a chair backwards?

JESSICA

Well, you probably could sit on a chair backwards. It was just convenient because the toilet was there.

KATH BAQUIE

And you’re actually pushing. So yeah, you need that gap.

JESSICA

Yeah, yeah. And your brain when you’re on the toilet is already thinking about pushing. So it puts your mind in that mindset when you’re sitting on the toilet. And I also sat on the toilet, just regular way. And that’s when the baby’s head really came down. And I was able to feel her head as it was coming down. I was the first person that touched her head. So that was pretty cool.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Wow. How did you know the baby’s head was crowning?

JESSICA

The midwife told me and I could feel her. I could feel her coming and it was pretty intense. So your hips really open up and your whole pelvis opens and you can feel the baby coming down through your body.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, it’s brilliant. And it seems like you’ve just got such a vivid experience about it all.

JESSICA

Yes. So when you get to that pushing phase, that’s when adrenaline kicks in again. So you’re a little bit more aware of what’s going on. And I was surprised that I still had some relief between contractions at that point. So it wasn’t like a constant pain. There were points where I could breathe and relax in between pushing and it wasn’t unbearable. I actually enjoyed pushing a lot more than the previous part of labour where you just have contractions, and it doesn’t feel like anything’s happening yet.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, it’s amazing, like what you’re describing, from personal experience, I did not experience that in my first and second labour. Like, I just remember being in such a different headspace, I can hardly recall that at all. Whereas for my third, it was such a more pleasant experience. And I do remember being more acutely aware of, you know, being able to relax in between the pushes, and which I certainly didn’t feel for the first and second. So that’s brilliant that you felt that. So thank you for sharing.

JESSICA

Yeah, of course. Yeah, the thing that helps also was the vocalization. So moaning like low moaning noises, and deep breathing when it came time to push.

KATH BAQUIE

Can you explain that a bit more?

JESSICA

Yeah. So instead of having a high pitch screaming, you want to keep your voice nice and low, because that helps release the pain and breathe with your body. So I was able to breathe out when the contractions were coming down. And then my body would actually push even further. So it almost like knocked the wind out of me. And I could feel my body just pushing the baby out, as I was breathing.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. And I think what you’re describing there is similar to the moving/ It’s more diaphragmatic. It gets down lower in your abdomen versus like a scream or the panting which is up in the upper chest. So it doesn’t help with that. Yeah, that’s really interesting that you’re describing that because that’s what I teach my mums in. Like, we’ve got a preparing for labour, five day event and inside the membership, so talking all about the deep breathing during that pushing phase. And that not only helps with that pushing, but I really do feel that helps you that pelvic floor relaxation, too. Were you aware of the crowning of the head?

JESSICA

Yes. And I was prepared because I knew that the Ring of Fire, I heard about that. And I did some perineal massage, which helped prepare me mentally for that. And the midwife was amazing, because she had a hot compress there and oil. And so that really helped with opening the area and taking the time to come out. So I did not tear. And that’s also when the midwife would tell me when to do a bigger push, and then a smaller push. So I did have to pan a little bit when she told me to slow down. And I trusted her completely. And it was amazing, because I actually didn’t feel that much pain as the head was coming out.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant.

JESSICA

Yeah, one once the head came out, it was just a minute of rest. And then one more big push, and then her whole body slid out. And it was amazing. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And how did you learn how to do perineal massage?

JESSICA

I took a class with some midwives. And they briefly went over how to do it. And there was a diagram and a book that they gave us. And also your module where you talked about the stretching of your lips and the sensation and what that would feel like that was probably the most helpful in preparing me to do that.

KATH BAQUIE

Really? And so moving on, like that’s everything you said is so amazing what happened once your baby was born. Can you talk us through the next few hours?

JESSICA

Yeah, once the baby was born, she was perfectly healthy and cooing, and she cried a little bit. And then she just latched on right away. And we had a beautiful bonding time with my husband and my dog was there. It was incredible. And then when it came time for third stage, which was delivery of the placenta, there was some complications. So it was about an hour after the birth, I got back on the toilet to see if we could deliver the placenta and it just wasn’t happening. So long story short, I did have to transfer to hospital to get the placenta removed, and it’s a very rare complication that happened to me. It’s called retained placenta. Luckily, I did have an obstetrician as back up and he was wonderful. He waited for me at the hospital and was there when I arrived in the ambulance. The ambulance ride was very calm, as well, the paramedics were very cooperative. I was able to hold my baby skin to skin the whole time, the midwife was there with me being supportive. And then when I got to the hospital, I had to go to theatre. And my placenta was removed manually, I was put under general anaesthesia. And I was in the hospital for a couple days after that. So after talking with my doctor about what happened, he said, there was really nothing that we could have done to prevent it or know that it was going to happen. And it’s only a one in 500 chance. So that being said, I’m still really happy that I had a home birth. And I think it was the best decision for me and my family and the baby. The baby was perfectly healthy and happy. It was just that last part that I’m very grateful that we have such good hospitals here and a medical team that was ready for me and I’m on the mend now.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. And was that a bit of a shock to you? Like, were you upset having to be in hospital?

JESSICA

Initially, yes, it was a little disappointing because I had spent 40 hours in labour and had this beautiful home birth and I didn’t want to go to hospital. I really wanted to just stay home with my family and enjoy our time together. But the silver lining of going to hospital was they took really good care of us. We had our own room and they brought all our meals, we didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning. And I was really able to rest and have the midwives check in on us and make sure everything was going well, because of the blood loss that I had. It was really hard for me to walk and stand up and do things. So being in the hospital was really helpful for those first couple of days.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Great. And did you get breastfeeding support in the hospital?

JESSICA

Yes. Yes, the midwives were great there. They watched me feed her and I also brought some colostrum that I had collected. My husband grabbed those from the freezer. And we were able to use that a little bit in the beginning to get us going. And yeah, breastfeeding went really well from the beginning.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s brilliant. And so you were obviously feeling a bit like has it taken a few weeks for your strength and energy to return after the blood loss?

JESSICA

Yes. So one of the nurses told me it would take about six weeks, which seems about right, because I’m five weeks out now. And my energy’s almost back to normal. The first couple of weeks were the hardest. I pretty much stayed in my room and had people helping me go up and down the stairs. But other than that, yeah, the recoveries been good. Other than the fatigue and the light headedness from that.

KATH BAQUIE

And how did your perineal area, like the pelvic floor area feel?

JESSICA

It definitely felt stretched out. Right after the birth, which is normal. And it was, at first I was like, “Oh, my gosh, what did I do to myself.” And I think that a lot of women feel that way.

KATH BAQUIE

I think it doesn’t matter what sort of birth you have afterwards, you think, “Oh, my gosh, what’s happened to my body?”

JESSICA

Yeah. And after a couple of days, I could feel the sensations again. So I just started doing the pelvic floor exercises very, very carefully and not holding for a long time. But just the quick holds. And I do that every day. Every time I nurse the baby, I remind myself to do it.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, good, well done. That’s perfect. And I do remember it was a bit of a shock personally when you’re pregnant, and you can do nice strong lifts and holds. And then once you have your baby, I remember those first few days, I was lucky to be able to lift up for a second and then relax. And it’s a bit of a shock to the system. So it’s nice to be prepared. Yes, you will be weak, you won’t be able to hold for long, but it does improve. It does keep getting better. And it’s amazing. The pelvic floor muscles get stretched up to 300% during childbirth, which is three times its length. That’s amazing. Neither muscle in the body does it so having that period of rest and recovery, I think is so important for your long term strength as well.

Cool. So well done, Jessica. Like just such an incredible story. And I think I know you had a home birth and it was a beautiful experience for you but I feel like you’ve given so many, like little nuggets of wisdom to all women, whether or not they have a hospital birth or even getting induced, like I do think you’ve been able to provide some lovely information. And then, lovely so thank you. To finish off, if you could just have, you know, a few more words of wisdom to pregnant women listening, what are your parting words to that lovely pregnant woman listening?

JESSICA

I think the best advice would be to follow your intuition. That’s something that I did towards the middle and end of my pregnancy. And that really gave me the birth that I wanted, personally, and put me in the right headspace. So if you listen to your intuition and what you want, everything will work out for you. And also choosing the right care provider. So your care provider will a lot of times determine what kind of birth you have. So it’s important to ask the right questions and make sure that you’re setting yourself up for the environment that you want for your birth.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, which will be different for everyone. And it sounds like you did so much of that prior research. And you put a lot of energy into deciding that, didn’t you?

JESSICA

Yes, I did.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Jessica. It’s been an absolute delight to chat today. And we will see you soon.

JESSICA

Thank you, Kath.

KATH BAQUIE

And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode with all the links at https://fitnestmama.com/podcast. Have a fabulous day everyone. And I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast brought to you by the FitNest Mama Freebies found at www.fitnestmama.com/free. So please take a few seconds to leave a review, subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And be sure to take a screenshot of this podcast. Upload it to your social media and tag me, @fitnestmama, so I can give you a shout out too. Until next time. Remember, an active pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I’ll see you soon.

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