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The BirthCircle | Pregnancy & Postpartum

  • Birthing From Within | Preparing For an Empowering Birth

    30 JUN 2020 · In today’s episode, we talk with Erika Primozich, co-owner of Birthing From Within, a childbirth education course. Erika shares how she got interested in birth and empowerment during her pregnancy with her first child 21 years ago. She was inspired to become a doula when she read Birthing From Within (, a book by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. Upon attending a training by the author, Pam England, Erika learned that the key to an empowering birth experience is by being flexible and fluid and being willing to lose your attachment to the idea of a perfect birth, and focus on self-awareness and growth as a human. As she continued attending and giving trainings, she was eventually made one of the leaders of the Birthing From Within organization. Erika shares how Birthing From Within differentiates itself from other courses by stepping away from the “information dump” approach that other courses take, focusing instead on helping mothers to develop the resilience and the personal connections that will guarantee them a powerful and positive birthing experience, no matter what happens. Their main goal is to help wake up parents’ skills around another way of being that is more fluid, intuitive, creative, flexible, and resilient, and less attached to a specific outcome and more open to possibilities. We explain how, while not everyone has to take a Birthing From WIthin course, all parents need to embrace the reality that it takes more than just information to guarantee an empowered and positive birth. We talk about how Birthing From Within treats birth as a rite of passage, because they know that birth always causes a change (physically, mentally, and emotionally) within parents. We discuss how doulas, midwives, massage therapists, and all the range of birth professionals are encouraged to join Birthing From Within’s programs to help them do their jobs well as well. We explain how the ideal birth is most likely to occur as we embrace the acceptance that is in the middle of the spectrum between avoidance and attachment. We talk about how beneficial the training can be for partners, to help them stay present, supportive, and connected during the time of exposure and vulnerability that is the birthing process. We invite you to learn more about Birthing From Within at How Erika Got Interested in Birth Work 1:00 What Makes Birthing From WIthin Different 6:41 Is Birthing From Within For You? How The Modality Can Help Birth Professionals 13:51 The Middle of Avoidance and Attachment is Acceptance 28:52 “I believe that there’s a birth class for everyone, that there’s a provider for everyone, and that birth trauma, a lot of times, is a provider-client mismatch, or an information-client mismatch. And so I’m adamant that people take the birth class that would best fit their personality, their needs, their expectations.” 5:57 Tell Us What You Thought About This Episode! Email
    44m 9s
  • Incompetent Cervix and 2 Second Trimester Losses | Improving Maternal and Fetal Outcomes

    23 JUN 2020 · Today, we talk with Vu-An Foster, an MPH (Master of Public Health) candidate and founder of Life After 2 Losses, an organization and blog in which she shares her story of the preventable losses of her two daughters, and which aims to “support, inform, and empower other women and moms to prevent them from suffering similar losses by providing advocacy through education” ( We begin our discussion with Vu-An sharing her experiences with two preventable losses in the second trimester because of inadequate treatment and medical neglect. We discuss what you can say to your medical professionals to advocate for yourself in any situation. Vu-An emphasizes the mission of her organization and shares what her professional aspirations and goals are. She talks about her experiences as a patient representative, listening to and addressing patient complaints, and how this fuels her to instigate change through policy to address these complaints. We have a candid talk about hospital policy and discrimination, and Vu-An shares what she has seen working in an inner-city hospital. Vu-An then talks about the new procedure -- a trans-abdominal cerclage -- that significantly improves her chances of a successful pregnancy and delivery (more details on the procedure can be found here: We finish by discussing Vu-An’s goals for her organization, including an upcoming website and fundraisers, providing a safe space in which women who have suffered loss can get help getting their life back. Vu-An’s Story 1:02 What to Tell Medical Professionals to Advocate For Yourself 12:23 Vu-An’s Career Trajectory; Hospital Policy 22:01 The Procedure That Worked for Vu-An; How To Connect with Vu-An 30:24 “With my second pregnancy, I showed up to labor and delivery, and I had told them, ‘I think my water broke.’ They checked me out and they discharged me. I got to the parking lot, and the rest of my water fell onto the floor. When I went back inside, they told me, ‘Well, if it was going to happen anyway, what does it matter if it happened outside or in here?’ So, I feel like, they cannot kick you out of a hospital facility. If you feel like something is wrong with you, you need to let them know, ‘I’m not leaving until you further check me out.’” 15:00
    40m 5s
  • Healing Birth Trauma | Clearing Negative Emotions Surrounding Birth and Motherhood

    16 JUN 2020 · In today’s episode, we talk with Sheridan Ripley, a prolific childbirth educator, doula, author, and hypnobabies instructor. We talk about her background in birth, including her work on 3 books on birth ( She shares what contributed to birth trauma from her first birth, and how she got into emotional clearing to deal with it. We discuss how birth trauma can be passed down through epigenetics across generations. Sheridan shares some of her methods and services in helping women to recover from birth trauma. We discuss how birth is an intense experience where so many feelings and hormones are involved, and how everyone on the birthing team -- partners, doulas -- can experience trauma from a birthing experience. Sheridan then demonstrates her emotional clearing techniques with Sarah. We suggest simple techniques you can use to help you apply these techniques at home for yourself and others. We then discuss how you can bring up the issue of trauma with partners and children. We finish by talking about Sheridan’s new podcast, Finding Joy In The Journey (, as well as the birth resources available from her website, How Sheridan Caught the Birthing Bug 1:40 Emotional Clearing to Heal Birth Trauma 6:37 Demonstration of Sheridan’s Methods 20:15 How to Emotional Clear For Yourself; Enjoying the Mothering Experience 31:10 “[In] birth you are so vulnerable, and your hormones are flooding through your body. There’s so much in it that birth is just huge, both for you and the baby, and everybody in the room.” 18:29
    42m 58s
  • Racial Disparity in Birth | Bridging the Gap of Racial Tension in Birth

    9 JUN 2020 · Today, we talk with RaSheda Williams, owner of Sincerely Yours Doula Services. We begin our discussion about racism and discrimination towards African American mothers in the birth space by sharing statistics, accounts, and personal experiences of black mothers having to deal with discrimination and racist treatment at the hands of medical professionals and other people. RaSheda talks about her own experiences. She shares how in all her births, she didn’t even know what a doula was, nor what her options were, and talks about how she became a doula with the intent to inform BIPOC who don’t receive adequate information to inform their choices in birth and postpartum recovery. We discuss potential measures the medical community can take to create equality and a greater awareness of racist attitudes and the effect they have in their practice. “If We Don’t Know, We Can’t Do Better” -- Evidence of Racism 0:53 RaSheda’s Birth Experiences; Becoming a Doula 16:23 How Doulas Can Help 31:04 Steps Forward For the Medical Community 39:36 “Black women are 6 times more likely to die in childbirth, and shortly thereafter in postpartum, than their white and hispanic counterparts, even after adjusting for socioeconomic status. That means you’re more likely to die as a wealthy black woman in labor than a poor white woman.” 1:01 Reach Out To RaSheda:
    52m 41s
  • The Physiology of Mindfulness | How To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy

    2 JUN 2020 · In today’s episode, we talk with Holly Lammer, an RN, a registered yoga instructor, and a prenatal and perinatal psychology educator, and Jayme Crockett, a student midwife, doula, and birth photographer. They do a podcast together called Mindful Birth Podcast ( We discuss the complexities of the psychological footprint that stressors like oppression, scarcity, anxiety, and danger leaves in our biology, and how these effects can be passed on through birth. We talk about the structure of the human brain, and emphasize the importance of using mindfulness to work against the potential harmful side effects of hyper-reactivity. We break down some of the tools and practices you can use to learn mindfulness to control your anxiety and stress to ensure the best future for your child. How Holly and Jayme Started Working Together 1:04 The Science of Mindfulness and Birth Psychology 6:46 Tools and Steps to Practice Mindfulness 27:20 Where to Find More Resources 55:46 “Anything that is what we call a physical stressor on a pregnancy, like high blood pressure and diabetes, is caused by an overactive stress response in the brain, and handed down through epigenetics.” 8:33 Find Out More: Jayme’s Birth Photography Service: Holly’s Embryoga Series: Any More Questions? Email us at
    59m 46s
  • Be Present | How To Maintain a Healthy Body Image During Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum

    26 MAY 2020 · Today we talk with Andrea Ohlwiler, a lifestyle coach, about maintaining a healthy body and self-image during pregnancy. We discuss the importance of giving yourself grace and allowing yourself to grow, as well as making informed and conscious decisions when it comes to your fertility, pregnancy, and nutrition. We talk about how to stay positive with dietary expectations, create good habits around food, and change from a victim mentality to a creator mentality with your pregnancy. We discuss changing your focus for a healthy recovery during postpartum. Stop, Challenge, Choose: Change Your Mindset For a Healthier Pregnancy 1:52 Maintain a Positive Mentality While Meeting Diet Expectations 10:37 Think, “Birth Happens Through Me, Not To Me”; “Before and Becoming” 21:09 Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Recovery In Postpartum 35:04 “The best gift you can give to your loved ones -- to your partner, to your children -- is to give yourself love first.” 45:13 Questions for Andrea?
    46m 49s
  • When Life Throws a Curveball | Switching To Home Birth During COVID-19

    19 MAY 2020 · In today’s episode, we talk with Dani Reed, doula and founder of Mind Over Maternity. We talk about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on birth, including how it led Dani to change her birth plan from a hospital to a home birth. She tells about the doubts, decisions, and adjustments leading up to her home birth, and shares how every member of her birth team was necessary during her successful but turbulent birth experience, making it the right choice for her in the end. We then discuss how to adjust and maintain control when your birth plan is affected by unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. Why Dani Changed Her Birth Plan to Home Birth 2:23 How Did The Birth Go? The Birth Team 11:36 How To Deal With External Forces on Our Birth Plans 22:50 “One of the biggest things is safety, and that’s I think a very common concern about home birth for a lot of people. And so, I bombarded the midwife with questions: ‘What medications do you carry? What do you do in this situation? When do you know when you should transfer?’” 6:37 Reach Out to Dani:
    35m 40s
  • New Dad? | How Fathers Can Help During Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum, Dr. Jay Warren

    12 MAY 2020 · Today, we talk with Jay Warren, a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor, and host of 2 podcasts, “Healthy Births, Happy Babies,” and “The Dadhood Journey.” He has also created online courses to help pregnant women learn prenatal bonding techniques and dads to transition into parenthood. We talk about why Dr Jay is providing these resources for new dads, discussing the importance of preventing trauma and helping bonding in new fathers. We give tips and insights about the role for dads in the birthing and postpartum process, and how this can establish an important precedent for the rest of your family life. We finish by giving a list of resources specifically for dads to help them transition into parenthood. Birth Education for Dads: Preventing Trauma and Promoting Bonding 1:14 Role of Partner in Birth Team (Different Than Doulas) 10:56 Special Circumstances and Common Myths 29:52 Resources Specifically For Dad 44:50 “So a dad really knowing the birth team -- whether that’s your OB, hopefully a doula is involved with things -- and knowing them really well, so that we as a dad can trust in their experience, and trust in their training, so we don’t feel that we have to fix it.” 13:21 Find Resources and Reach Out To Dr. Jay Warren:
    56m 8s
  • Promoting Power and Positivity In Birth | How Language Can Improve Your Experience

    5 MAY 2020 · Today, we invite Sarah Pixton, creator of the Birth Words website and Podcast, back on the show. We define discourse as language in context, and discuss the need for finding a middle ground in the language surrounding birth that will connect the different roles involved and respect the authority of each. We give examples of language or other cues which, strategically used, can help empower you in your birth experience. We talk about how to frame your birth experience to promote the positivity and empowerment surrounding birth. We finish by telling you how you can access Sarah’s resources (, and recommending other helpful resources. Dialogue: Language in Context; Connecting Different Birth Roles Linguistically 2:26 Non-Verbal Cues; Power of First Person 16:11 Framing Birth Experiences 22:00 Resources at; Labels 40:05 “I read several other birth stories from other sources, and really just was surrounded by positive language that spoke about birth as a beautiful, transformative process in which I gave the gift of life to another human being, and that I did that in my power and strength. And that’s how I experienced that birth.” 27:35
    44m 38s
  • “Mother, May I?” | The Origin and Relevance of Cristen Pascucci’s Film

    28 APR 2020 · In today’s episode, we talk with Cristen Pascucci about her film, “Mother, May I?”, a documentary that shares the stories of victims of birth trauma and obstetric violence. We talk about the making of the film, and we also dive deeper into some of the stories, including the story of Caroline Malatesta, who suffers from a permanent, debilitating medical condition as a result of medical malpractice. We also talk about Kimberly Turbin’s experience with her medical battery case, as well as other victim’s experiences. We discuss the importance of knowing your legal rights when determining the best care provider for you, and recommend Cristen’s course, which can be found at The Making of “Mother, May I?” 1:31 Caroline Malatesta’s Story And Its Implications 15:02 Kimberly Turbin’s and Other Stories; Effect of Trauma 31:36 Legal Rights; Provider Mismatch; Cristen’s Course for Knowing Your Rights 42:26 “I think it’s really important not to draw this very clear line -- as exists now -- between trauma and poor care, because these things absolutely are connected with each other. We can’t say that birth trauma is one issue, and bad or unsafe medical care is another issue.” 12:22
    59m 15s

Birth Circle is dedicated to educating and informing mothers (and fathers) about sex, birth, and pregnancy. We currently are the most complete and up-to-date birth resource in the world, and...

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Birth Circle is dedicated to educating and informing mothers (and fathers) about sex, 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.
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Author LaunchPod Media inc.
Categories Health & Fitness
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