Tubal Ligation: Risks, Reversals, Alternatives

It can be really frustrating for those of us that really want to end the path of motherhood revolving pregnancy, whether that be due to being overwhelmed, financial restrictions, health concerns, or something else. Your doctor may tell you it is such a simple procedure, with minimal scarring, and a small recovery window, but are they really providing you with full informed consent? Is it really that easy to cease having babies, with no consequence? Not at all, and it is really important that you are aware of all risks, before proceeding with any life-altering medical decision.

What is Tubal Ligation?

The constricting and manipulating of the fallopian tubes in order to prevent eggs from being fertilized. It can be done by cutting, tying, burning, clipping or removing sections of the tubes, or a combination of multiple of those.

The possible reactions following a litigation include: Frequent Abnormal Hot flashes, Chronic fatigue, Irregular or heavier periods, Loss/Decrease of libido, Increased depression and/or anxiety, Achy, sore joints and/or muscles, Weight gain, Infection, Memory lapse, Personality disturbances, Pain at site of incision, Bleeding from incision site or abdomen, Damage to surrounding tissue, Pelvic pain, Increase in headaches, Castrative menopause, Ovarian Isolation, Imbalances of hormones or hormone shock, Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, Increased risk of heart disease, Severe pelvic adhesions, Bone loss/osteoporosis, Misplacement of female organs, Damage to other organs inside the abdomen, Side effects from anesthesia, Ectopic pregnancy (an egg fertilized outside the uterus), Incomplete closing of a fallopian tube resulting in pregnancy and more!

Around 40% of women experience these symptoms/medical issues after their tubal ligation.

So, what if you have already had one done?

Rest assured, a tubal ligation reversal IS possible! This is an excellent choice if you have decided your family is not complete, or you are having symptoms as a result of your ligation.

A reversal is considered an outpatient surgery, lasting about an hour, and does not typically require overnight stay, unless there are complications as a result of the reversal. Reversals are successful in un-blocking the fallopian tubes 98% of the time. This does NOT mean that they are 98% successful in restoring fertility, however about 67% of patients that choose a reversal, are able to conceive and maintain a pregnancy post-reversal. Success depends on the type of ligation that was performed, mostly. Reversal is less expensive than IVF, with typically a higher conception success rate, as well.

The risks of a reversal surgery include: Hemorrhaging (always ask to get your blood counts checked prior to consenting to surgery, every good doctor should do this anyways), infection, and anesthesia complications.

We get it, you REALLY, REALLY do not want to get pregnant again. What are the alternatives?

Natural Family Planning! When you dedicate yourself and commit to checking BBTs, cervical mucus and being aware of your cycle, you can absolutely be successful in preventing pregnancy long-term! Stay tuned for HERBAL’s Womb Reading Fertility Course coming out soon!!

Neem Oil and Wild Carrot Oil are both excellent sources, from the Earth, to kill sperm and prevent conception when used properly.

**We do not recommend hormonal forms of birth control at HERBAL, at all! They are extremely toxic, have long term effects, and are not even very effective, honestly. Please research hormonal forms of birth control before putting them in your body**

Resources for more information and support:

Coalition for Post Tubal Women

http://www.tubal.org

Coalition for Post Tubal Women Facebook group

https://m.facebook.com/groups/Tubal.org

Using cancer to sell surgery

Female sterilization – Post implant syndrome 

http://tubal.org/post-implant-syndrome.htm

The Late Sequelae of Female Sterilization

http://tubal.org/late-sequelae-female-sterilization.htm

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PTLS?

https://www.tubal-reversal.net/…/post-tubal-ligation-syndr…

CAN TUBAL LIGATION CAUSE PROBLEMS?

https://www.tubal-reversal.net/…/tubal-ligation-syndrome-d…

Risk and contraception : What women are not told about tubal ligation

http://reducetheburden.org/risk-and-contraception-what-wom…

[Late effects of sterilization in women].

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9505666…

A prospective cohort study of menstrual symptoms and morbidity over 15 years following laparoscopic Filshie clip sterilisation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20106612…

Post-tubal sterilization problems correlated with ovarian steroidogenesis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3197418…

Oestrogen deficiency after tubal ligation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2858712…

[Tubal sterilization and pelvic venous stasis syndrome].

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12267331…

Q&A: Tubal Ligation and Your Hormones

http://www.natural-hormones.net/…/qa-tubal-ligation-and-you…

Is there any evidence for a post-tubal sterilization syndrome?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9496325

Pituitary-ovarian function after tubal ligation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7308505

Human endometrial perfusion after tubal ocduslon

http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/13/2/445.full.pdf

A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF BILATERAL TUBAL LIGATION ON MENORRHAGIA AND DYSMENORRHOEA (POST-TUBAL LIGATION SYNDROME)

http://repository.uwc.ac.za/…/Muntanga_Systematic%20review_…

Risk and contraception : What women are not told about tubal ligation

https://reducetheburden.org/risk-and-contraception-what-…/…/

“I Don’t Need a Man”; Choosing to be a Single Mom By Choice

I recently attended a really special birth! (Honestly, they are all pretty special – but this one is a little different!) This mama went a completely different route than I ever knew was possible! I seriously meet and serve the COOLEST women! With this woman’s permission, I will be sharing about her route to motherhood.

She is my age- 26, healthy, single, and a mom to a 3 year old. Her 3 year old was conceived the same way as her recently born child (same donor as well)! She is what is referred to as a “Single Mom By Choice”. Also known as SMBC, “Solo Mum by Choice”, “Choice Moms”, and TBM “Turkey Baster Moms”. These are single women who choose to be a mother without a partner. I’ve heard of people getting sperm donated from a friend, or going to a lab, getting tests, being inseminated, etc. But I have never heard of one going the route this mama did!

Nitrogen tank mailed with the sperm!

This mom bought her sperm online through an online sperm bank. They mailed the sperm she chose to her house, along with a nitrogen tank! How neat?! You are able to look at the donors profile, hear their voice, read their medical history, and see their infant photos. Many of the sites require a doctors permission, I am told. The site this mama went through does not require a doctor’s permission, though! Why would one need a doctors permission to have a baby when Jane, Mary, and Susan are able to get pregnant with their partner with no permission?! Here is the site she ordered from, Cryos International, if you might be interested: https://usa.cryosinternational.com/

How would one do this?

You would track your menstrual cycle using basal body temperature, charted cervical mucus, and ovulation tests to pin point ovulation– TOTALLY my jam, huge fertility nerd here! Once LH surge/ovulation is pin pointed, you would use the syringe to inseminate your own self! Rebecca, the mama who went this route, said she is willing to help anyone who reaches out to her, learn more about tracking to pin point ovulation. I also created a video on ‘Fertility Tracking’ on my Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10205470927288218&id=1701878656

20 MOT vial of donor sperm, bought online!

I think it is INSANELY empowering that she chose to be a mother and was like “I got this, I can do this myself, I don’t need a man! & while I’m at it, I’ll have an unassisted birth because I am THAT competent”. And competent she was, as she brought her baby earth side all on her own. No coaching, no instruction, no rules, no equipment. She navigated her birth on her own, the same way she conceived her child. How STRONG and EMPOWERED of her?

WHEW! *shakes head in humbleness* These women are incredible, guys. I am kept humble.

Only moments after he was born, she reached to meet her baby for the first time.

Why Your Partner’s Attendance and Participation at Birth is Crucial

The partner’s role in labor and childbirth has changed drastically over the course of time. It used to be that men would not be around for labor or birth, they would go off and do their own thing while the woman birthed their child. But now, it has become the norm for the partner to be with the birthing woman. Not only this, but his involvement is proving to be highly valuable.

In fact, it is even suggested that having the partner absent from pregnancy, labor, and birth could lead to adverse health outcomes for both mom and baby. Here is a portion from this study, which briefly discusses the harms of not having the father present. “..fathers who are absent at birth, having already largely withdrawn from the child’s life beforehand, are more likely to have children with health problems at 3 months old.”

This study divulges how the father’s involvement with cord cutting has impact on their bond going forward. Those who did cut their child’s cord showed continuous improvement in emotional involvement with the infant. These partners found empowerment in being able to participate in this life changing event, which encouraged their continuous connection with their child. This connection, love, and affection from the father/partner benefits the child’s emotional development and overall health.  

This study reveals that fathers are beneficial in comforting and calming baby in the first 2 hours postpartum from elective cesarean birth. Birth where mom might not have been able to experience skin to skin, so the father filled this role. These babies found comfort and security being skin to skin with their father. As in, they stopped fussing and became calm within 15 minutes of being placed on the father.  

This is beneficial to the infant’s crucial emotional development. This experience also leaves the father feeling empowered in his role, and more emotionally connected to the child. This supplies a great start for a lifetime of healthy bonding.  

I mean, there are hundreds of studies and articles produced discussing the impact of the father’s participation and attendance of birth. It has a positive impact for everyone! – Mom, Baby, and the Father/Partner themselves.  

In the births I attend, I like to encourage partner/paternal involvement as much as possible. I see with my own two eyes how this empowers them. I see how this makes the partner confident in their role. I also see the child who is soothed simply by their fathers voice and touch.  

Ways that the father can be incorporated in labor and birth are endless, they will also vary depending on the birthing woman’s desires. A few ways I would suggest a father’s participation and involvement would be: 

  1. Being a physical and emotional support for mom during labor. Applying counter pressure, holding her, reminding her how well she is doing; offering her water/snacks, and giving her intimate affection (whatever that means to the individual couple). 
  2. Catching baby as they emerge. I personally feel this plays a huge impact on the father’s empowerment. This is such a special moment and it often leaves them feeling overwhelmingly competent in their ability to fill the parental role.  
  3. Cord cutting! This is something I also encourage the partner to participate in. The tying of the umbilical tie as well as the severing of the cord itself.  
  4. Weighing of baby! Nothing is quite as special as seeing the father read and reveal the stats of their newest little love! They almost always smile, just permeated with pride! 

The ways a partner can positively impact a labor, birth, and postpartum experience are endless, as are the benefits. Did your partner play an active role in labor and birth? How did you, as the birthing mother, feel about your partner’s involvement? 

Embracing The Inevitable Morning Sickness

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…..or more appropriately referred to as round-the-clock, spontaneous pregnancy sickness, which can include indigestion, heartburn, nausea and/or vomiting.

We know, we know, you are tired of hearing about Ginger tea and Peppermint Essential Oils. Maybe they work for you, but it’s certainly frustrating to hear the suggestion over and over again when they don’t, especially when you are just feeling puke-y and not the vibrant, glowing pregnant that you expected.

WHY does this happen to so many women? (Over 80%, in fact).

Well, there are many, many theories. Some say that this sickness and discomfort in the beginning of, or throughout pregnancy, has a protective benefit to give, while others say it is a product of nutritional deficiencies, poor gut health, or toxins.

Can it Actually Be Beneficial?

First, let’s address the protective benefits theory. You might be thinking, how could something that makes me feel SO BAD be good for my baby and myself at all? Well, based on a 2016 study, women that experienced morning sickness by eight weeks gestation were 75% less likely to miscarry, than those that did not experience it. This may bring you comfort.

Now, if you are 10 weeks gestation, reading this and realizing you have not had any morning sickness, DO NOT panic! This was not at all a cause and effect study, and not having morning sickness does not indicate that you will not carry a healthy baby to term. While a lack of morning sickness can be an indicator of a low amount of hormones, it can also indicate that your body is just amazing at handling a perfect normal balance of hormones and you have a higher tolerance for not experiencing symptoms, which is definitely something amazing!

Surprisingly enough, morning sickness does not occur for all mammals, and mostly exclusively in humans, especially those of us in Western culture (Things that make you go hmmm…). There is suggestion that it is simply because we are more toxic beings in regards to our air quality, foods, and lifestyle, and that our body specifically rejects toxins through vomiting during pregnancy to protect the growing fetus in it’s most sensitive and developmentally critical stage.

Our consistently sick episodes may also be related to gut health. You may have instantly defended yourself in your mind such as, well, I take probiotics, that must not be true for me. But wait, just because you have been working on your gut health does NOT mean that your gut health still does not need improvement, and that you do not have H Pylori in your system. H Pylori is a bacteria that lives and thrives in your gut. It exists in water sources, can spread through families very easily by sharing foods, drinks, bathrooms, and you would never know you have it, unless you got tested for it, and shockingly, 90% of the Western population HAVE IT. H Pylori is associated with increase risk of anemia, pre-eclampsia and neural tube defects. It very easily leads into Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which goes well beyond morning sickness, and is actually very serious and often requires many trips to the hospital for fluids, intravenous medications and heavy monitoring to make sure mom and baby are okay. Treatment with antibiotics has a very low success rate, as low as 30% effectiveness, and antibiotics certainly come with risks while pregnant, so be weary.

Some natural, and more effective, ways to approach H. Pylori would be:

Mixing baking soda with water, and doing regular enemas can also be effective against H. Pylori, but be mindful that even herbs can come with risk while pregnant, so assess them properly for yourself.
Also, just a side note, if your nausea couples with pain in your back, or under your right side ribcage, you may actually be experiencing gallbladder problems, rather than common pregnancy sickness. To read more about what to do about that, start here.

Can You Avoid Morning Sickness?

The theories on what to eat to prevent or alleviate the sickness are extremely conflicting, but high sugar, high acidic foods – such as citrus, coffee, pastas and certain vegetables, being avoided, seemed to show a positive relationship in decreasing the prevalence of nausea and vomiting, for some. Some organizations will claim that high-protein is better, while others lean towards a plant-based diet, then others toward very high-fat. We take the stance that you should intuitively eat!! Intuitive eating is simply just listening to your body. Avoid the aversions, meet the cravings, find out what certain cravings mean if your body is obsessing over them, especially if they are non-food based cravings like dirt, or ice, and meet those deficiencies. Even if you are not having odd cravings to indicate deficiencies, it does not hurt to go get a nutritional panel to see if you still have underlying deficiencies, either!

Naturally Approaches to Morning Sickness

You may benefit from acupressure, if you have not tried it already. A commonly known acupressure point is on the wrist, but one that is lesser known is found near the sternum! Applying pressure to your sternum also relieves your adrenals. See the photos below to get an idea.

Cannabis is another natural remedy that some choose. As a disclaimer we do not encourage breaking the law, selling, nor purchasing illicit drugs, so there’s that. Check your state laws and proceed with caution! There are no current studies completed and published in the USA, so if that bothers you, cannabis may not be up your alley, but there have been studies done in other countries and they all point to no harm, no risk. Smoking ANYTHING in general, is not ideal, but edibles, tinctures, topicals, and suppositories are all options. Vaping THC oil IS an option, as well, but be mindful that many vape cartridge packs contain preservatives, flavors, fragrances, and other chemicals that should definitely not be in anyone’s body, let alone a pregnant body. If THC is illegal in your state, but you still want to take advantage of hemp as legally as possible, give CBD oil a try. Full-spectrum is excellent, but for some, it does make them test positive for THC on a drug test even though the amount is legal in every single state, so if your work would have issue with that, be mindful. There is absolutely COMPLETELY THC FREE CBD oil. WILL it definitely help nausea and vomiting? Not entirely. Most people see THC as a psychoactive component of cannabis and think that by removing it, you solve the whole issue of “getting high,” yet still reaping the FULL benefits of cannabis, but this is a myth. THC has medicinal properties in itself, and when you remove THC from the picture, you unfortunately lose some of the benefits, and that is just a reality, so weigh your options!

Otherwise, in come the Doctors Orders! A solution that some have to resort to in order to function, is pharmaceuticals to treat consistent nausea and vomiting. While we completely validate that, we also cannot claim that HERBAL as an organization stands for informed consent, without expressing the risks of the drugs, as well. Zofran can lead to arrythmia, dizziness, headaches and loss of memory, as some of the more common effects. We will not scare you with the rare effects. Phenergan/Promethazine can lead to disorientation, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, edema (swelling), jaundice, anemia and seizures. Diclegis can make you sleepy, enhance nausea, induce vomiting, and cause itching. All of these also deplete nutrients in their own unique way, so be sure to test your nutrient levels before and about every couple weeks after utilizing these prescription medications, to see what you also need to be fulfilling as far as nutritional gaps.

If you want to read and learn more about nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, check out this study that evaluates all the risk factors, associations and more.

Final Thoughts

To close, I would like to discuss what exactly I mean by embracing this horrific feeling for the first months, or the entire span, of your pregnancy. I have found that welcoming the nausea, the vomiting, accepting its presence, navigating how to work through it even when nothing is helping, and see it as another piece of the puzzle (even if it’s a really yucky piece) to your amazing body and the creation of life within you. Now, if you have HG, do not embrace that, please get help, because HG is beyond awful. There are meditations available on Youtube and Insight Timer for relieving and embracing morning sickness and making peace with the beast that have been found to be incredibly soothing and helpful! You certainly have the right to complain, and even roll your eyes, especially if you are going through morning sickness right now, but hopefully this article can bring you some sort of relief, even if that relief is simply knowing that you are not alone.

Here is to a happy pregnancy, with or without puking involved! Tell us what helped you through, if anything.

Orgasmic Energy Sacrifice Manifestation

 

I never once thought I’d share about this. It is not your average topic and a bit left field. If you do not agree, just keep it moving! 

Everything in the universe revolves around energy! The universe will take your sacrificed energy and turn it into what you are requesting in your manifestation. Orgasms hold high energy content, they are powerful! You can use this energy to bring forth your desires.  

There are many ways one can go about an orgasm sacrifice. You can complete it with a partner, a friend, or alone! You can manifest anything your heart desires! I’d warn against manifesting ‘ill will’ towards another, though. That can be extremely harmful and come back to harm you and/or your family. It will likely work, your wishes will manifest, but you will reap consequences regardless of the boundaries in place. I’ve seen this first hand, I do not suggest. Positivity only! 

So, how does one complete an orgasmic sacrifice? Great question! Prior to beginning, you would set intentions. Whatever you are looking to manifest, you state those intentions. You also want to include a clause of boundaries. This is to limit what can be taken from you/inflicted on you. You would speak your intentions, state your boundaries, then begin! Here is an example for manifesting a child: 

“I am offering this orgasmic energy to the universe in exchange for the conception, healthy growth, and birth of my desired child. Nothing else can be taken from me, my family, or anyone involved. No illness or ailment inflicted on the desired child or those involved. Only the granting of my desired child.”  

Then you would work for your orgasm, offering the energy! Thinking/speaking of what you are manifesting during your endeavors. You can do this with a partner if they are on the same page with it, if they are not, you can do it alone. It will still be effective completing it alone. Personally, my husband was not with it, so I did it on my own!  You can also use crystals and crystal grids for this, I know many do! I incorporated fertility crystals into mine along with clear quartz (strengthens any stone in its presence). They were all laid out around me, I did not set up a grid for my own sacrifice. You may notice an overwhelming feeling when the sacrifice is occurring. If you are spiritually in tune, you may feel a spiritual presence. Everyone is a bit different! 

If this resonates, feel free to try it! You can manifest anything your heart desires, a new home, income, a child, etc. You can even manifest positive things for others! I tried to find links better explaining, I couldn’t find a single one. If you know of an article explaining, please feel free to share in the comments for others!

Perineal Tears, To Stitch Or Not To Stitch?

When it comes to discussing perineal tears, there seems to be so much misinformation, so let’s chat.

First of all, we must touch on the fact that there a several different degrees of tears.

An intact layout of the exterior genitalia, as a baby crowns.

First degree

Second degree

Third degree

Fourth degree

WHY do Tears Occur?

Sometimes tears are unavoidable, especially small tears. Some babies come out with such force and pressure, pulling the perineum tight in response, and can cause the skin to rip. In the moment, during a natural birth, will you feel it? Maybe, but you will probably be more focused on the fact that a child is emerging down your birth canal and about to come into the world to greet you, you won’t notice until afterwards, if you check, or if you go to pee and it burns on your perineum.

This study discusses how episiotomies, larger babies, an assisted vaginal delivery (with forceps or vacuum), an epidural, and induction, potentially being factors in tears.

This study reiterates how instrumental vaginal delivery can increase prevalence of tears, as well as length of transition (longer transitions were more so associated with tears, but we cannot help but wonder what caused those long transitions, but they don’t mention that).

Preventing Perineal Tears

  • STAY UPRIGHT, listen to your body and allow baby to descend naturally, without coached pushing or purple pushing, let FER take over
  • Gently apply a warm compress on your perineum as baby descends. If you can do this yourself entirely this is optimal. There’s no need to push on babies head, pull on your perineum, or enter your vagina like some providers do. As baby is naturally and successfully descending, simply place gentle pressure with a warm wash cloth (can add oil as well if desired) on the perineum
  • There is no indication the pre-labor stretching, massaging of the perineum, or kegels work to strengthen or loosen the perineum, so this is truly unnecessary. See a pelvic floor therapist if you are concerned about the firmness or lack thereof of your perineum during your pregnancy, a pelvic floor therapist may will have some good tips to protect those pelvic floor muscles!!

Can Perineal Tears be Managed Without Stitching?

There are many reasons why someone might want to avoid stitches. This includes the infamous “husband stitch,” prolonged healing, improper healing, lack of sterility, pain, swelling, pelvic floor impact, and more. Not to say that NOT getting stitches does not come with risks, because that choice does come with risks, too.

If you have a first degree or second degree tear, you may choose to heal naturally!

  • Comfrey root (found here), an herb that contains natural Allantoin (which also helps form the umbilical cord and the baby’s bladder in the womb), is an amazing all around healer and helps bind skin. Mixing this with warm, raw manuka honey (found here), turmeric (found here) and witch hazel (found here) can make a soothing, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal natural stitch to encourage your body to heal quickly on its own. Apply warm Nori wraps (found here) and/or gauze over the area to gently seal, and prevent mess and stickiness all over your underwear/postpartum pad.

Be sure to cleanse well with a peri bottle mix after every bathroom trip, and re-apply to prevent bacteria growth. This does not always work for every individual and even after making this choice, it’s very possible to decide to get stitches. Should you change your mind, you can always go to the local ER to request stitches. Or, you may decide to get stitches right away, that’s fine too!!

A common misconception is that a hospital transfer is required for stitches. Nope! If you have a midwife, she can stitch you, too!! And luckily, tear repair is not something that you have to absolutely rush to the ER for right away even if unassisted. You should give a hustle if you have a severe tear, but for a tiny tear, enjoy those golden hours with your babe and then go, and do not admit baby, then check out once you’ve been stitched. There’s no reason to be admitted for 48 hours for stitches, because they will dissolve in a few weeks anyways, but if you want to stay, you can do that too.

An example of perineal stitches:

How To: Choose A Back-Up Doula

I always joke that you should be as picky with your Back-Up Doula/Business Partner, as you are about your Life Partner/Spouse and to not be afraid to date, take a break, break-up entirely, or stay together forever… LOL but honestly, that’s pretty valid!

You want to seriously know their values, their experience, their comfort zone, their training and capabilities, availability, financial requirements, childcare situation, what supplies they bring to the table, and more!

Can you genuinely work together without conflict? Would you want this individual at YOUR birth? Would you feel comfortable at theirs?

Taylor’s sweet back-up doula, Hope, when they attended a birth together in 2019

When choosing a back-up doula to take on a client, or clients, of yours, you need to discuss and agree in several areas.

  • Fee that will be provided in the event that one of you back up the other (does it change whether the back up is there 2 hours or 24 hours?)
    Tip: I firmly believe that 30-50% of the birth fee is fair, especially if you provided a few prenatal appointments and intend to follow up postpartum, but also have to consider how the back-up doula has to be on-call and attend the birth, which genuinely is a lot of work. It is much easier if you collect the full payment from the client prior to birth, and pay the back-up doula yourself, so there is no confusion between the client, you and the back-up.
  • What circumstances you can call them in (any and all, preferably, because emergencies get weird)
  • What their availability timeframe will be (36 weeks to 42 weeks, or a slimmer timeframe? Weekends only? Weekdays only?)
  • How quickly can they get to a birth? Where is their home-base (where they live)?
  • What can they bring to a birth? What if they do not have the same tools in their bag that your client prefers?
  • What experience/training do they have? Is it pretty equivalent to yours? If not, how can you ensure they do?
    Tip: I prefer to attend a birth or two with my back-ups before relying on them AS a back-up, so I can see their style, if they are honest about their availability, their energy in a birth space, and more. If it takes them 2 hours to get there when they live 20 minutes away, they seem confused or intimidated in the birth space, this does not necessarily mean that they are completely written off, but it does mean we need to have a new discussion on realistic expectations, needs, and how we can address their energy and how to improve. You have to be able to have open communication.
  • Do they have a friendly face, demeanor, and energy in general? If you were interviewing for a doula for your birth, would you hire them? You definitely do not want your clients feeling disappointed in the services your back-up doula provided because then they will feel disappointed in YOU and your business, and will be less likely to recommend you, and hire you in the future.

A Back-Up Doula is a Must Have

ALWAYS discuss the possibility of a back-up with your clients, even if you see no way that it could happen. Your clients need to have their contact information, business information, and potentially even an option to meet them – just in case! If you got struck by lightning, got into a severe car accident, or had a serious family emergency, you would want the comfort of knowing your back-up doula had everything covered and your clients would not be left feeling alone.

Whomever you hire, remember you are not stuck with them forever if they are absolutely terrible and do not be afraid to break it off if the relationship stinks, because your clients are a priority! Interview and meet with several different people as potential back-up doulas.

Some doula businesses even run on a two-doula method, where two doulas attend prenatal appointments, births, and postpartum together, or they alternate attendance. There are also doula agencies that clients may receive one of several different doulas. If this is something you are interested in, you should definitely explore it for your business, they are cool models of business!

Three of our Doula students supporting each other!

Hospital Birth Makes My Skin Crawl

I love birth but some aspects of birth are very triggering to me, it literally makes my skin crawl.  
 
I support women’s choice to birth wherever they feel most comfortable. The woods? I’m with that. Your house? Call me, I’ll show up! Birthing center? I support it, but you won’t be hiring me. The hospital? I support that choice too! – but I, physically cannot support you there. I have nothing to offer a woman that chooses a medicalized birth. Be it a birthing center, hospital, or any other assisted setting. 

Image from YouTube

If a woman births in these locations, she is literally signing her birth over to the provider’s power and discretion. If the provider feels mom needs an episiotomy, forceps use, a cesarean, etc., she will endure this and it will be legal, even if she is screaming “NO”. She can sue, but from what I see, she will not win. How can I support a woman with zero rights, who legally, cannot support herself? I’d be happy to explain, feel free to ask. 

Image form megancrown.com

The trauma that occurs in these facilities is not worth any set dollar amount for me to endure witnessing. I’m not down with the secondary trauma involved in assisted birth. Some women are strong enough to watch this all play out, and sleep at night – I cannot.  

Here’s something many people do not know; I have never attended in support at a hospital birth. This does not mean I have not seen hospital birth. Don’t get it twisted, sistah. I am triggered in this setting – it is hard for me to watch all that a hospital birth has to offer, play out. Even in social media shared videos or photos – I won’t look, I do not want to see that. In fact, I will not step foot into a facility unless there is a case of an emergency. In this case, I would be the most fierce guard dog for mom. This has not been necessary thus far. I personally will only attend births where the mother is 100% in control of her birth and choices being made.

Image found on google

When I see assisted birth photos or videos, the items listed below are what make me cringe. I literally want to throw up when I see these things. I wasn’t always this way! Only after learning what birth could be for women, do I cringe at the sight of anything less.
 
 
The room itself, the setup, the equipment, the tubes and cords, the bed, the baby table, the hazardous waste bin, and the privacy curtain.  

The needle in mom’s arm, taped to her with cords and tubes. 

The crowd of people in the room, most being random strangers mom has never met before, and the excessive energy that will impact mom. 

The harmful constant fetal monitoring bands on moms’ belly, penetrating baby constantly.  

The unnecessary interventions being performed by the medically mined provider. 

Mom confined on her back, like a helpless victim. 

Mom’s positioning during birth and there immediately after – often, legs spread, up in the air, with a light shining right on the women’s vagina. Very degrading and disempowering. 

The provider pulling baby from the vagina or interfering manually in any unnecessary sense.  

The Placenta being pulled/tugged only an hour or less after birth as if they cannot wait for the woman’s body to release it. 

The bracelets on mom. Plastic rubbing against laboring women’s skin. 

The horrid hospital gowns, making one look like an unwell patient of illness. 

Gloved hands being the hands welcoming baby earth side. 

The immediate wiping off of the baby. 

The separation of mom and baby immediately postpartum.  

The suctioning of baby’s mouth and unnecessary handling of baby. 

The staff uniforms, from the shirt to the shoes. 

The gloves and masks worn by people present, as if it is a toxic event. 

The rough handling of baby after birth. 

The plastic bands placed on the newborn’s arms and legs after arrival. 

The ointment in baby’s eyes, interfering with physiological bonding and wiping out all good flora/bacteria. 

The band aids on baby’s legs from the injections they snuck in almost immediately postpartum. 

The unnecessary and hindering hat placed on the newborn baby. 

The hustle and bustle immediately postpartum 

The PURE lacking of autonomy and biological normality’s in labor, birth, and postpartum.  

I could go on but it is impeding my energy.  

Image from Instagram

Nothing about any of the above or the actions occurring in this setting are physiological. It starts out medicalized from the second mom walks in. Putting plastic bands on her arms, needle in her arm, monitoring bands on her belly, and whatever else they can deem necessary. Almost as if there is some sort of emergency occurring, not a biological function. 

Image from Youtube

I am not comfortable with this, and that’s okay! Many women aren’t comfortable with unassisted birth either, I’m sure. Seeing something I know is often better off untouched, being touched and turned into a medicalized event, brings me so much anxiety. I stay away from settings that can contort my view of birth, give me anxiety, or are likely to leave me with secondary trauma and stress. The medicalized birth setting is not for me, I simply am not best fit to serve in this setting. It literally makes my skin crawl. 

 
*NOTE: This is simply my perspective and feelings surrounding hospital birth. I do not need your agreement or understanding to make them valid. I also know that not all of the list above occurs in all facility birth, no need to point out the obvious. 

Image from Google

Become a Certified Doula in Tampa this September

Who:

Anyone wishing to certify as a doula/birthkeeper and obtain hands-on placenta training. This certified program is best suited to those who are interested in the more holistic route of birth support.

What:

A one-day training program (which includes access to an online course) which will certify you as a birth doula and cover topics like placenta encapsulation, herbs and homeopathy during childbirth, and much more!

When:

September 21, 2019 from 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where:

Hilton Garden Inn Tampa-Wesley Chapel
26640 Silver Maple Pkwy, Wesley Chapel FL, 33544

IMPORTANT! If you would like to participate in the training, you must send our Facebook page or email a request for a Paypal invoice. Please provide your paypal email address in this message. Our Facebook page is Holistically Empowered Rebel Birthkeepers Academy of Learning and our email is herbalbirthkeeping@gmail.com

All HERBAL training payments are sent via invoice. It is required.

What’s In The Doula Bag?!

HERBAL is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This list can be used for not only birth workers, but birthing peoples may want to gather these items for themselves!

The items I have marked as a rental means they are items doulas should not necessarily be using on a client, as doulas are not medical professionals, but they are items that most clients need/want, therefore it’s a great idea to rent them out during prenatals/births, rather than the clients having to purchase their own!

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You may click any of the supplies you are interested in, to be taken to a link of the product brand that we have used, and recommend!

Aloe Vera Gel (excellent to replace lubricant for a doppler, minor burns, skin healing and more)

Helios Homeopathy (hundreds of remedies, comes with a guide book)

Cramp Bark Tincture (for those brutal postpartum cramps that some mamas get)

Shepherds Purse Tincture (for excessive bleeding post-placental delivery, NO USE BEFORE PLACENTA HAS BEEN DELIVERED IT MAY CAUSE RETAINMENT)

Motherwort Tincture (excessive bleeding prior to and after placental delivery):

Washcloths (Mamas can use for compress, or cool cloths on the back/forehead/chest):

Authentic Rebozo (ALWAYS support businesses that derive from the culture that originally crafted the utilization of the Rebozo)

Baby Blankets

Heating Pad

Snacks (for you and whomever else needs them)

Birth Ball

Blood Pressure Cuff (for rental, no diagnosing allowed on your part as a birth worker)

Doppler & Fetoscope (for rental as well), check on LetGo, OfferUp and Marketplace for barely used ones!

Baby/Fundal Height Measurement Tape (rental)

Baby Scale (rental)

High-dose Vitamin C & Bromelain capsules

Sitz Herbal Blend

Essential Oils.. My favorites are Rose, Orange, Lemon, Myrrh, Frankincense, Patchouli and Sandalwood 

Phone Charger

Contact Solution/Glasses (if you wear them)

Handheld Mirror

Hair Ties 

Ziploc (Gallon Freezer) for Placenta

Honey Sticks

Combs

Non-Latex Gloves 

Cord Ties

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Multiple copies of client’s birth plan

Your ID, especially for hospital births, it will be REQUIRED to enter!

Did I miss something that helped you?? Drop a comment!!