122: A Healthy Baby Is NOT the Only Thing That Matters (& Is Home Birth Safe?)

A Healthy Baby is NOT the Only Thing that Matters (& is home birth safe?)

All that really matters is a healthy baby. Truer words were never spoken, right? But wait … if I’ve learned anything from my birth stories (and trust me, they run the gamut) a healthy baby is only part of it. Certainly a healthy baby matters very much, but someone else gets swept under the rug way too easily: a healthy mom!

It Takes a Village to Raise a … Mom?

Listen to this excerpt from today’s guest, veteran midwife and legend in the birth world, Anne Margolis:

There was a time throughout history and around the world where we used to live in communities, tribes, or communal settings where a woman who just gave birth was treated like a goddess. She was left to heal, and rest, and breastfeed. All the women in the community took care of everything else … childcare of the other children, her work responsibilities if she was working outside the home, errands, cooking, cleaning, all of that.… The woman was so surrounded by this circle of love and support.

Wow. Something tells me times have changed!

Anne Margolis, Midwife Extraordinaire

After two difficult births of her own, Anne Margolis left her career as an obstetrics nurse to find a better way to birth. Now Anne has personally ushered over 1000 healthy babies into the world in her 22 years as a Licensed Certified Nurse Midwife and OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner. Her single mission? To help moms feel safe, honored, and supported, in the hospital or at home.

Here’s just a bit of her empowering message:

Women who are pregnant: I just want you as much as possible to know that your body knows how to grow, and birth, and breastfeed a baby. Your baby knows how to be born, and you have the strength in you. Even in the heat of things when you think you don’t, you still do have the strength within you to do it.

As a doula, I’ve seen moms do incredibly hard (and beautiful) things. Above all, let’s bring back a culture that celebrates the strength of moms in all types of births and supports them for as long as they need.

Getting off my soapbox now … and turning it over to Anne!

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • Anne’s own birth stories and how they set her on a path to a new calling
  • why the U.S. ranks so low in healthy baby and healthy mom birth outcomes
  • ways the current health system marginalizes and disempowers women during birth
  • how to be at peace with the unexpected happening in childbirth
  • whether home birth is really dangerous (and which major health institution actually recommends it)
  • when it is actually safer to choose a hospital birth over a home birth
  • the forgotten fourth trimester of pregnancy, and what a mom really needs to heal
  • why it seems like more women face postpartum depression or even psychosis (and what we can do to reverse the trend)
  • what Anne is doing to empower moms to change the system from the ground up
  • and more!

Resources We Mention

Do you have a birth story to tell? Please share and tell moms everywhere that this conversation matters!

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Four Sigmatic. You’ve heard me talk about Four Sigmatic before because I love their coffees, teas and hot chocolates. They’re delicious combinations of coffee, cocoa and adaptogen herbs, now with the benefits of Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lions Mane for an extra brain boost and clean energy. My longtime favorite is their instant coffee but lately I’ve also really been enjoying their caffeine-free blends. Try out all of these delicious drinks at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and make sure to use the code WELLNESS MAMA to get 15% off of your order.

This podcast is also brought to you by ButcherBox. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a great company that ships really high quality meats to your door. They carry 100% grass fed beef, organic and pastured chicken, and heritage breed pork and they deliver it directly to your door. All of their products are humanly raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. And as a Wellness Mama listener, you can get $15 off plus free bacon in your first box. Go to butcherbox.com/wellnessmama and use the promo code HEALTHYMOMS (in all capital letters).

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. I have had 2 positive births in hospital. Drug free, support of an amazing doula and essential oils. It’s hard, but it’s fine- your body is made to do this.

  2. I tried for a home birth with my first…after 3.5 days of real labor (I got to 7cm!) we transported to the hospital because there was meconium. It took another 9 hours of labor, 4 hours of pushing, and a vacuum to get my baby out. I was a bit sad that we didn’t get to have him at home, but I was SO thankful to have experienced midwifes by my side. Without the days of hard labor at home, the hospital would certainly have forced me into a c-section. I’m also thankful that my midwifes knew when we needed to go to the hospital. If we have another baby, we would certainly choose a home birth again…it kept us safe until we needed the hospital.

  3. My first was a complicated birth in a hospital. My doctors were overly cautious with everything.
    My second was a natural and easy birth in a hospital. This was by far my best birth.
    My third was a home birth. I hemorrhaged and developed pretty severe postpartum depression afterwards.
    All of my labors were at least 18 hours.

    As for my homebirth, midwives aren’t licensed where I live. Luckily my supporting midwife was from another state, and she was licensed to carry pitocin. Otherwise, I would have died. We’ve decided that all remaining children will be born in a hospital. It just isn’t worth the risk for us.

  4. I have had two empowering births in my home. I wasn’t planning on a home birth before I got pregnant, but a documentary called “The Business of Being Born” opened my eyes and helped me realize ALL of the options I do have as a birthing mother. I wanted the least amount of medical interventions as possible, so I chose to give birth at home with a midwife. I researched so much during my pregnancy, read so many stories and hired a doula too. My labor was 23 hours long but manageable and I was so empowered from this experience! My 2nd pregnancy, I saw an OB because a midwife wasn’t available in my area. I chose to give birth with 2 doulas at home, unassisted by a midwife. This birth was 6 hours and still, such an empowering experience. I am currently pregnant with baby #3 and excited and looking forward to another home birth!!!

  5. What advice would you give to a mom-to-be in Kentucky who is considering home birth–i.e., who might be looking for a home birth midwife. I am currently seeing a certified nurse midwife, but I am just trying to explore my options, should I now or in the future experience complications that the hospital is unwilling to deal with in a natural manner (possible breech birth, the need for VBAC, etc.).

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