Katie and Heather are back in the sauna for round two of the Saunacast! This time, they are talking birth freedom, gut healing, microbiomes, and resistant starches. Listen along…
The conversation starts with Katie and Heather talking about birth freedom. Katie has been spending a lot of time at her state capitol as women in her state work to license professional midwives and expand birth options. Currently, while 31 states license and recognize certified professional midwives (CPMs), Kentucky does not, making it risky for midwives to attend birth.
Katie’s birth experiences range from life-saving c-section to home breech water VBAC. Both Katie and Heather are vocal advocates for women to be able to choose how they birth.
Due to the microbial aspect of birth, the conversation then turns toward the microbiome and gut health. Research is just starting to understand the microbial transfer that happens during the birthing process. This is one aspect that may be vital to the home birth vs. hospital birth conversation as the microbial environment is vastly different.
When birth happens at home, the mother is already microbial adapted to her environment. This means that her vaginal bacteria and the immune factors in her breastmilk are specifically designed to match her environment. If a mother switches to a hospital in labor, she is encountering a new microbial environment and we don’t yet know how this affects babies. We do know that c-sections and antibiotics in labor can interfere with this microbial transfer.
Some researchers recommend that women who are birthing in a hospital, especially by cesarean, bring blankets that the mom has slept with and that have been colonized to the home environment to help this microbial transfer.
Skincare and the Skin Microbiome
Just as we have gut bacteria, we also have skin bacteria. Certain antibacterial ingredients have been banned recently as new research discovers that soap and water are just as effective and that there are harmful effects from them. These products, and many others, can reduce skin bacteria over time and change the skin microbiome. We’re also deficient in exposure to dirt and the soil-based organisms that it contains.
Companies like Mother Dirt work to address these problems with revolutionary products like an Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria spray (AOB spray). Some people find they don’t even need to wear deodorant and have drastic skin changes after balancing skin bacteria.
Many people end up resisting starch when they switch to a healthy diet when it turns out that maybe they should be embracing resistant starch instead. Resistant starch helps improve gut bacteria. There can be a time to limit starches, even resistant starches, during times of intense gut healing. This is especially true for issues like SIBO and candida, but once those have been addressed, resistant starch can help nourish gut bacteria in a healthy way.
Heather’s favorite sources of resistant starch are natural forms like cooked and cooled white potatoes. She also makes these delicious resistant starch cookie dough bites that are gut friendly and definitely kid approved.
A Word About Saunas:
Wonder why Katie and Heather keep talking in a sauna? They’ve both talked about the benefits of sauna therapy. See Heather’s post and Katie’s post on this. You can find the ones that Katie and Heather recommend here.
Resources We Mention:
This podcast is brought to you by Pregnancy Exercise. If you are pregnant (or recently pregnant) and looking to get in shape, this website has workouts that can be done from home while your baby naps. Unlike other many workout programs, Pregnancy Exercise classes come with built-in education on issues like diastasis and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. They even have a program (I wish I had known about this in pregnancy!) for turning your baby if your baby is in a non-optimal position for delivery.
The founder, Lorraine Scapens, is such a joy to listen to, and her courses are really well made and well explained. (Fun fact: They’re based in New Zealand.) If you want to check it out, go to PregnancyExercise.co.nz/wellnessmama and use the coupon code “wellnessmama” for 10% off.
This episode is also sponsored by The Wellness Mama Cookbook. My kids helped me test these recipes so they are definitely family-approved. They’re also mom-approved and here’s why.
I know what it is to be busy. I made sure the majority of the Wellness Mama Cookbook recipes can be made in under 30 minutes and many of them only one pan (who wants to wash dishes?). All of my 200+ grain-free recipes replace processed sugar and flour with nutrient-dense foods and vegetables kids love!
You can check out the cookbook at any major bookstore or on Amazon. I’m delighted to share my family’s favorite recipes with all of you!