Supine Hypotensive Syndrome: An Epidural Blackout

Imagine the horror as you welcome an epidural, relief, into your body after a long stretch of contractions (and having to hold a specific position for several minutes while the anesthesiologist placed a needle the size of your face into your spine), only to instantly start blacking out while you hear rapid, loud beeping in the background. The nurses faces start to get fuzzy and you notice your breathing getting slow and short, but you cannot seem to force your body to take a deep breath to help your oxygen flow…

This horror is not an allergic reaction.
This is not a labor complication.
Your body is not broken.

This is Supine Hypotensive Syndrome.

What is Supine Hypotensive Syndrome?

SHS is defined as a sudden drop of blood pressure in a pregnant woman when she lies on her back, due to Caval Compression (compression of the abdominal aorta – the main artery in the abdominal cavity – and the inferior vena cava.)

The only cure to this is to GET OFF YOUR BACK and GET INTO A DIFFERENT POSITION!

Have you experienced dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, even fainting/unconsciousness when you lay on your back while pregnant? Has a doctor ever talked to you about why?

Position Matters!

Have you ever been told your body isn’t capable of birth?
What if it wasn’t your body, but instead your epidural restricting you to only laying on your back?
Or, what if it was the need to be monitored in the bed, on your back, every 20 minutes?
Did you push for a certain amount of time, only to become absolutely exhausted because it was so hard to breathe?
Did you/your baby’s heart rate drop so rapidly after the epidural that your birth resulted in a cesarean?
ALL of these ‘complications‘, and many others, could have simply been fixed by allowing you to move and change positions.

It’s infuriating to think that, isn’t it? I get it, because I have been there.

Final Thoughts

Doctors don’t talk about this, they likely don’t even know about it actually because their textbooks won’t tell them this, but I will. Even if they did know, would they say anything? Would they make the effort to roll you onto your side or encourage you to move around, if they knew it could allow you to have a birth that didn’t leave you with trauma? Or is it prime and optimal to have you lying on your back in stirrups for their convenience? They are well-trained surgeons so whats another cesarean to them?

And yes, YOU CAN move into a different position with an epidural. Ask for the lowest dose possible, and ask exactly what medication they are using for your epidural. Are you comfortable with Fentanyl, for example? A WALKING epidural can allow for much more movement, and quicker leg function and healing post-birth, too.

Have your support team help you get onto your hands and knees. You may put a ball or a stack of pillows in front of a bed placed in seated position, face the back portion of the bed, hold the ball or stack of pillows and rest comfortably on that, while still allowing gravity to do its job on your pelvis. Using a peanut ball in between your legs as you lay on your side can be optimal as well, as it keeps your pelvis open and ready for baby.

Take control of your birth with education, one step at a time!


Birthkeeper/Doula Training in Baltimore, MD

As a growing number of families are actively seeking out doulas to attend their births, a huge opportunity for employment opens up to many. And, while more and more doulas are just beginning their journey on this remarkable career path, they seek mentorship, community, and hands-on training.

On August 3, 2019, only in Baltimore Maryland, HERBAL is offering and exclusive hands-on doula training opportunity! With a unique and personal touch, HERBAL is providing a training unlike any other!

During this training, you will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • The Physiologics of Childbirth – Discuss the varying hormones and natural chemicals in the body, and how they play a role in birth, what disrupts them and how you can orientate your birth or birth support to gear towards the physiological birth process.
  • Herbalism for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum (Make your own tincture, sitz bath, yoni steam, etc)
  • Nutrition – Discuss how nutrition impacts fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum, how you can relay this to your clients and how to help families build meal plans (and learn how to eat healthy yourself!)
  • Placenta 101 (WE DO OUR BEST TO FEATURE REAL PLACENTAS SO YOU CAN EXPLORE THEM – If you would like to donate one or know someone who would, please us our Contact page to discuss how this would work!) Discussing anatomy, physiology, hormones, anecdotal benefits, safety and sanitation, variations, complications, encapsulation, other methods of consumption and non-consumptive methods.
  • Birth Scenarios – Role play different birth settings, practice handling a range of emotions, complaints (non-medical) and discussing options with your clients, with our birth scenarios. Includes bereavement/loss, adoption, surrogacy, planned cesarean, change of birth plan due to emergency, precipitous birth, prolonged labor, hospital interventions that may arise, birth center roles, home birth roles and unassisted birth roles, and how to protect yourself and act professional in every setting.
  • Natural Pain Management Techniques – Learn how to best support yourself or your clients through labor with inexpensive pain relief options, including JUST YOUR HANDS. Discusses an array of rebozo techniques, counter pressure, position practice, reflexology, and more.

Which is safer, Hospital or Home birth?

This morning, someone told me hospital birth was safer than birth at home.
I thought that was an interesting, yet scientifically unsupported, claim! As I am fully aware of the safety of home birth, I personally only had information on unassisted birth, so I began to look for credible studies with certified midwife assisted birth!

What I had found was incredible!
First, this article listed below shows that home birth is all around, a better option! The ones listed at the end follow in agreement.

Outcomes of Planned Home Birth with Registered Midwife versus Planned Hospital Birth with Midwife or Physician – NCBI

Planned home birth with a certified midwife vs. A planned hospital birth with a midwife vs. A planned hospital birth with a physician/OB

The most notable stats of babies born via planned home birth with a midwife in assistance:

  1. Lowest amount of perinatal deaths
  2. Lowest mortality rate over all
  3. Lowest chance of adverse maternal outcomes (postpartum hemorrhage and 3rd & 4th degree tears)
  4. Lowest rates of infection
  5. Lowest amount of intervention needed
  6. Lowest chance of pyrexia (fever)
  7. Lowest chance of birth trauma for both mom and baby
  8. Lowest cesarean rate
  9. Lowest need for resuscitation
  10. Lowest need for oxygen in their first 24 hours of life
  11. Highest maternal satisfaction

I mean, it speaks for itself! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Here are a few other articles/studies 👇

Planned Home Birth: Benefits, Risks, and Opportunities – NCBI
Planned Hospital Birth versus Planned Home Birth – NCBI
New Studies Confirm Safety of Home Birth with Midwives – Midwives Alliance
Dueling Statistics: Is Out-of-Hospital Birth Safe? – NCBI

👆 This last one concludes that a Hospital birth is not safe for low risk pregnancy/birth. No kidding!

Due Dates Calculated by the Moon


Did you know you can calculate your due date by the moon? The baby will be due appropriately 10 moons after the first day of her last monthly bleed.

If her period started on a quarter moon, the baby will be due 10 quarter moons later. If her period started on a full moon, the baby would be due around 10 full moons later.

Obviously, nowadays we have more accurate ways to pinpoint a more precise week, even day to expect an arrival. I mean, we use calendars. This is how things used to be done though!

Another way would be by measuring the woman’s fundal height. I personally feel this can be an accurate way to pinpoint an expected delivery week, for most women! (With out means of ultrasound)

Mentality Manifested in Pregnancy & Birth: How your Thoughts Impact Outcome

Mindset prior to conception, during pregnancy, and during labor is paramount. Our thoughts, both affirmations and doubts, do play a role in outcome. This is a part of the spiritual aspect in conception, pregnancy, and birth that many pay no mind to, or simply have no clue about. All of this will be covered in HERBAL’s newest course in the works, stay tuned…!

What if I told you your mindset could prevent your baby’s conception?
What if I told you that your thoughts could cause pregnancy complication?
What if I told you your deepest fears and concerns can literally be manifested to occur?

In both mom and baby, every cell responds to the messages we believe to be true. Because these cells operate at a subconscious level, they can only be impacted at a subconscious level. Think law of attraction. In other words, the thoughts held in our brain act as an internal command center for our body, as well as baby’s while they are in utero.

Those who have had a miscarriage, experienced medical/birth trauma, or struggled with other fertility complications may need help with emotional healing in order to carry out a healthy pregnancy/achieve their healing birth.

I’ve seen multiple women’s personal fears manifest into reality, just as they feared. They had the opportunity to replace their fears and concerns with knowledge and empowerment, but left the fear and self-doubt to manifest in the back of their mind. Some women will simply never rid their mind of fear and self-doubt because the previous damage was too significant. One great reason to avoid birth trauma in the first place, the best you can!

I always tell women to rid themselves of doubt and fear before laboring day, or prior to conception for those who are struggling while trying to conceive. Lack of knowledge and past trauma are the two primary causes of fear surrounding pregnancy and birth. More often than not, acquired knowledge will replace fear. Know that you can speak your desires into existence! Proclaim your outcome. Talk to your baby prior to conception, during pregnancy, and during labor! Tell them they are welcomed, they are healthy, that they are loved, and that all will be well when they arrive earth side. Manifest your pregnancy and birth!

Of course, things can go wrong even if you manifest nothing but positivity; nothing with pregnancy and birth is black and white. I am simply claiming it impacts outcome and is something to consider.

As the first article link below states, “Beliefs are like ‘Internal commands’ to the brain as to how to represent what is happening, when we congruently believe something to be true. In the absence of beliefs or inability to tap into them, people feel disempowered.”

Be educated and empowered. Manifest the healthy pregnancy and birth you desire. Your mind is a helpful steering wheel – keep your thoughts positive! To get started on reading the science behind manifestation, these are some great articles below.

The Biochemistry of Belief – NCBI
‘No Worries’ – Uppsala Universitet
The Influence of Women’s Fear, Attitudes, and Beliefs on Childbirth on Mode and Experience of Birth – NCBI

The Essential Understanding of The Gallbladder

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In America and Western-style medicine concepts, the gallbladder is seen as an optional organ that serves us no real purpose. If that’s the case though, would evolution have not seen it fit to cease developing and shift our bodies to be most useful to the world we know like it has plenty of times in the past? Half a million people in the United States are getting a “non-essential” organ removed every single year, whether due to gallstones, infection, pain, bile sludge, scarred bile ducts or cancer. Is all of this removal necessary and what is removal doing to our bodies, after all?


I had a few gallbladder spasms which began in my twin surrogacy, and but it really flared up when I was separated from my son, Noah (if you do not know our story, you can read more here). I recently had an encounter with my gallbladder that was alarmingly painful, and so much so, that it required a visit to the hospital to receive strong anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain. I had sweaty chills with no fever, intense back, and abdominal pain. The hospital admitted me, did an ultrasound, found gallstones, and recommended removal within 24 hours. According to the doctor, if I did not have this surgery, I would very likely be back in the hospital within days, potentially with pancreatitis.

I begged to differ. The way I see medical problems is that there is always a root cause, whether it be a nutritional deficiency, a hormonal imbalance, lack of movement/blood flow, or toxin exposure. I checked out Against Medical Advice (AMA) and was determined to find a solution that did not require parting with one of my organs; and yes, my insurance still covered my stay. An extremely common misconception when checking out AMA is that insurance will not cover your stay; this is not true.

The Importance of the Gallbladder

So what is the generally recognized function of the gallbladder that even most Western-based medical professionals are aware of?

The gallbladder is about the size of a regular chicken egg and stores bile produced by the liver. It becomes heavily concentrated through the removal of water and electrolytes in the process. The gallbladder’s primary digestive purpose is to respond to high fat-content to help break the fat down to be more easily digested. After consuming fat, the hormone CCK signals bile release, and the bile travels through the bile ducts into the small intestine to emulsify the fats. The gallbladder also plays a detoxifying role, helping the liver remove toxins in the body. The gallbladder encourages the removal of old red blood cells, dirt, metals and more.

Much to the surprise of many, the gallbladder also has a relationship with hormones. Women and non-binary individuals on estrogen and progesterone supplementation are much more likely to experience gallbladder issues, and gallstones especially, than men. But why?

Higher estrogen levels increase the biliary cholesterol saturation which can lead to crystallization of the bile in the gallbladder, making it thicker and more compact, eventually leading to gallstones. A higher progesterone level can lead to less contraction of muscles and organs, including the gallbladder, making it more difficult for the gallbladder to release bile salts and fully empty/cleanse itself. This is why it is so common to start seeing gallbladder issues that were never present before occurring after a loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding cessation, birth control shift, and/or hormone replacement therapy. It doesn’t help that our hormones are being so disrupted nowadays by toxins in the environment, vaccines, cleaning products, and our food. It’s really not hard to understand why, even those of us that have never conceived or touched birth control, may still have issues. After learning this, it makes sense to me why my gallbladder issues arose in my surrogate pregnancy. Not only was I pregnant with twins (hello, hormone central) but I was on hormone supplementation at the beginning of the pregnancy in order to properly conceive the twins.

What are the downfalls of removal?

The risks of removing my gallbladder were not properly discussed with me in the hospital, which obviously made me even more uncomfortable with consenting. Generally, the symptoms of someone suffering after gallbladder removal are placed into the diagnosis box of Postcholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS). This may include bile dumping (either throwing up or instant bowel elimination after meal), abdominal pain, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), pancreatitis, liver disease and/or Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD is when the pancreatic and biliary valves do not open and close properly, causing an array of issues). The risks of these side effects of removal, after I had researched, seemed worse to me than dealing with gallbladder attacks.

So, what can you do to avoid removal?

I have found through research and anecdotally, that diet, hormone balance, and herbal remedies are becoming more essential for not only health in general but gallbladder function, specifically. It is best to consume the highest quality and most balanced nutritional plan that is possible for your body. Eating a fibrous non-processed, whole-food diet, is an excellent way to lay the foundation for gallbladder health and restoration. Acupuncture, castor oil packs, oxygen therapy, and certain yoga poses appear to have anecdotal evidence to support the gallbladder. I am also using a Gallbladder Essential Oil to reduce inflammation, but it also smells amazing and seems to give me peace as well. The blend is: Geranium, Clove, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Juniper Berry and Rosemary (YUM).

Even with a healthy lifestyle, flares can and likely will still happen, if you do not cleanse your gallbladder. The cleansing of the gallbladder involves a cleansing of the liver and kidneys too, they all need to be in sync. The cleanse I have been actively pursuing for two weeks now is as follows:

  1. 32 oz of apple juice per day (find some I recommend here)
  2. 8 oz of ACV per day – mix w apple juice (I recommend this one)
  3. Nettle Tea – 1 cup per day (I love this one)
  4. Moringa Tea – 1 cup per day (I recommend this one)
  5. Milk Thistle Tea – at least 1 cup per day (this is a great option)
  6. Mag Sulfate water with Reishi Tea – one cup per day except on the intensive day, following the Andreas protocol which requires 4 cups (this IS a laxative be mindful!)
  7. ProMax Protease Enzymes
  8. Turmeric blend (must contain black pepper and coconut oil to be effectively absorbed) (this one is great)
  9. Betaine HCL with every meal (I take 2 with each meal) (this one is awesome quality)
  10. 1-2 capsule Cayenne
  11. Cell Salts (I take 3 in the AM, 3 in PM)
  12. Dr Morse’s Gallbladder Support Tincture (Two droppers full under the tongue in the AM, same in PM)
  13. Weekly Green Coffee Enemas

Intensive Day (this is recommended to be done on Day 6, but being a birth worker, it did not happen until Day 10 after starting the above protocol). As part of my final day of intensive gallbladder cleansing, I will finish off my night with the following:

A brief afternoon fasting after our Fourth of July meal

About 2 cups of Mag water intermittently within a 4 hour time span

Then this mixture right before bed…

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup Grapefruit/Lemon/Apple Juice

Citric Acid

Black walnut hull tincture

And my beloved heating pad to go to sleep on with a castor oil pack.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article could be helpful and insightful in trying to keep all of your organs in your body! If there is absolutely nothing that you can do to resolve the pain and it is hindering your daily lifestyle, you have to do what you have to do, and sometimes that requires removal. That is nothing to be ashamed of, I simply wanted to provide insight on my different choices, and the relationship of the gallbladder in the body!







IATROGENIC CARE; Your Body did not Fail – The Medical Establishment Did

IATROGENIC : “induced inadvertently by a physician, surgeon, medical treatment, or diagnostic procedure. ”

When a mother tells me about her previous complication during labor/delivery, I like to keep in mind that sometimes complications naturally arise. It’s an undeniable fact. More often than not though, these complications are induced by the provider; also an undeniable fact.

It’s no surprise that after a woman is given Pitocin, her baby’s heart rate tanks. This often ends in an emergency cesarean. Pitocin use often results in a c-section. A mother’s body starts failing to respond to labor after having fentanyl injected into her spine. No surprise! To numb the body and expect all to be well is not logical thinking.

A woman’s blood pressure is off the charts after being given Pitocin. Now her and baby’s life are at risk due to an unnecessary induction. No surprise here, either.

A woman’s cervix starts to swell and backtracks in regards to dilation after multiple unnecessary cervical exams. No surprise there. Vaginal checks can irritate the cervix and interfere with labor.

I could go on. All of these complications occur after hands interject into a natural bodily process. Then you are left with a complication that needs addressed. It quickly can turn into an emergency, all due to unnecessary interventions.

The worst part is that after it’s all said and done, providers claim they saved the day. That they saved the woman and baby’s life.
Yet, in truth, they caused the unnecessary emergency.

Most complications that happen during labor in a facility are iatrogenic. Caused by the provider who many trust to keep them safe. We have one of the worst infant mortality rates in all of the developed countries, according to the CDC. We are failing mothers and infants. It’s time for people to wake up, research, and realize what is going on here.

To find more information about iatrogenic care in the delivery room, see the latest research here: