Your BIRTH Partners

Preparing for Pregnancy & Parenthood #063

May 23, 2022 Season 5 Episode 8
Your BIRTH Partners
Preparing for Pregnancy & Parenthood #063
Show Notes Transcript

This week on the show, we are excited to be changing up our format a little bit and talking directly to a parent to be.  We are all in this work to care for people, but so often our education is not centered on parents themselves and we don't get feedback about how that care impacts them.

Our guest this week is Jessica Lorion, who is the host of another podcast called Mama's In Training.  She speaks to folks who have had their babies and other birthing professionals so that people like her who were either pregnant, preparing to conceive, or just considering parenthood are able to have more resources and more education earlier in the process.

In a world filled with so much noise about what it means to become a parent and what you should be learning in pregnancy to prepare for the transition your body goes through to prepare for birth, and then to prepare for postpartum and parenting.... We know that there are so many ways that we dropped the ball, as a birth community, as birth professionals, and as a society at large. The places where we sugarcoat necessary information, the places where we leave out information altogether, and also places that we create more stress by only sharing the traumatic aspects of it. And so there's so much to examine about how, and when we share information with folks to make sure that it's really centered around the person we're speaking with and what they want.

You are going to leave this episode, gaining more confidence around how to assess this in your clients and your loved ones, have more open conversation about what kind of information they would like to have and continue to open your eyes a little bit, to think more about the wants and needs of pregnant people.

Learn more about Jessica in her guest profile.

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Margaret Runyon  0:03  
Welcome to Your BIRTH Partners, the podcast identifying gaps, acknowledging biases, and co-creating a trauma informed standard of birth care with change agents across the spectrum of birth work. I'm your host, Maggie Runyon. I'm a birth nurse, educator and advocate who has been searching since 2010. The answers to how to provide better care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Through my own pregnancies and supporting births in home and hospitals around the country. I've seen firsthand many the systemic flaws that exist in perinatal care. Through these conversations, I'm thrilled to share with you insights and inspiration as we work collectively to transform birth care.

Maggie, RNC-OB  0:44  
This week on the show, we are excited to be changing our format a little bit and talking directly to a parent-to-be so often this work, we can really become stuck in our silos and in the echo chambers. And always we endeavor to share diverse perspectives that help us to reach out of that bubble. And to make sure that we are hearing from folks who have different experiences than us. We always want this work to be parent centered, and informed by the wants and needs of those in our care. And so I was very excited to come across Jessica Lorion, who is the host of another podcast called Mama's in training. And she is focused in her work on the preparation piece of becoming a parent. She speaks to folks who have had their babies and other birthing professionals so that people like her who are either pregnant, preparing to conceive, or just considering parenthood, are able to have more resources and more education earlier in the process. In a world that is filled with so much noise about what it means to become a parent, and what you should be learning in pregnancy to prepare for the transition your body goes through to prepare for birth, and then to prepare for postpartum parenting. We know that there are so many ways that we dropped the ball, as a birth community, as birth professionals and as a society large, the places where we sugarcoat necessary information, the places where we leave out information altogether, and also places that we create more stress by only sharing the traumatic aspects of it. And so there's so much to examine about how and when we share information with folks to make sure that it's really centered around the person we're speaking with and what they want. You are going to leave this episode getting more confidence around how to assess this in your clients and your loved ones, how to have open conversation about what kind of information they would like to have, and continue to open your eyes a little bit to think more about the wants and needs of pregnant people. I think you'll be interested to hear what Jessica has discovered through her first 100 episodes of her podcast, there were three concrete themes that emerged around what all of these guests wanted during their pregnancy and the support that they did or did not have to reach them onto the show. 

All right, well, I am just so excited to be having this conversation with you, Jessica, if you want to just queue up for a little bit our audience who you are what you do kind of how, what brings you here. 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  2:42  
Yeah, well, thank you for having me. And I think it's a nice little perspective shift on what maybe you usually do. And I appreciate kind of a different insight into everything that you all do. So thank you for having me. Ironically, I'm actually not in a mom. And so I am an actor, voiceover artist, doer of all the things as you often are when you're an actor, I live in New York City, and I've been here for the past 14 years. I started off doing more theater, and then transitioned a little bit before COVID into more TV, film commercial stuff. And then I have my own podcast about motherhood, ironically, which is how we connected so I kind of came into it through an odd direction, I guess. My husband and I have been together for quite a long time. And we always sort of wanted to wait on our journey moving into parenthood. But then we were forced to wait because of an autoimmune disease that I have and medication that I was taking. So I was kind of thinking, What can I do to focus this energy in a positive light? And so I started my podcast mom was in training. And it really aims at focusing on what we can do if we have the luxury before even getting pregnant. And then also, of course, when we are pregnant, what we can do and what we wish we had known. So I interview moms about their journey and what we can learn from them. So in a nutshell, I'm basically an overall creative, but I just love connecting with other women and people and building something is really fun for me. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  4:20  
Oh, that's amazing. Well, yeah, I'm so excited to have you here. So, you know, this whole season, I told you where we're talking about kind of change agents. So we're focusing on who are, you know, people involved in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, who are really striking out and doing something differently, who've seen you know, a hole in the system, something that has to change, and there are many, so, you know, a lot of our conversations end up being with other birth workers. However, we also know that you know, the whole reason we are involved in this work is to do better by the parents in our care. And so I love the opportunities we have to speak with other folks whether they are you know, pregnant people, parents, or like you, looking to become parents someday looking to become pregnant and get the perspective, you know, kind of directly from the ground about what we're doing, it's very easy to get caught in our silos and get stuck kind of on what we perceive to be issues. And so I'm really excited to dive in with you about what you see as like kind of the outside outside, you haven't been pregnant yet to experience it. But you really dove into this just immersive learning about pregnancy and parenthood. So I'm just so excited to have you here. I wanted to kind of start by asking, like, what, what led you to create the podcast and the community that you didn't see already? Why did it feel like something that you needed to do?

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  5:37  
Well, as I mentioned, when I was kind of hit with the reality that I was mentally ready for motherhood, but I physically couldn't, you know, start the journey yet. It was so severe actually, that if I were to get pregnant with the medication that I was on, I would have to have an abortion, no questions asked. So it wasn't even like I could try to conceive or anything like that. So when I was really hit with that roadblock, I, I needed something positive. And when I was looking for information in just like, wanting to research, everything was so geared toward when is your due date, and yeah, and they're actually I won't name the name. Since then what I'm going to tell you, they've actually made adjustments, which is nice. But there was actually a pregnancy app that I heard about. And I wanted to join, and just to learn and connect, and I went to join and you had to choose. When you started trying to conceive, when you were due how old your baby was, I think that those were the only three options was either three or four options. But there was basically no option for me. You're just someone who's looking as a mom in training to learn. And so I physically couldn't join this app because I did there wasn't a place for me. And so, you know, I also feel like I got a little bit of pushback as well, just kind of curiosity sense that a negative sense. But you know, I would say to people what I'm doing, and they're like, Wait, you're a mom? Or oh, my gosh, are you pregnant? No, I'm not. But isn't it okay for us to research becoming a graphic designer before we're actually a graphic designer? Why is this any different from motherhood or parenthood? So, I think it was a combination of just like, I didn't know, you know, I also didn't want to sit on the train in New York City and read what to expect when expected, because I'm not expecting. So I didn't really find a place for me. And I, you know, one thing I love more than anything is community. And I've, I've really like, it's like, a spotlight has been shown on it in the past two years, and how important it is, especially in motherhood. And so I was like, Well, you know, build it, if it's not there for you. So that's, that was kind of the main inspiration, I think. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  8:03  
Yeah. Oh, that's so good. I totally resonate with that. I know, when I was pregnant with my little ones, you know, the due date groups were still such a big thing on Facebook and the apps and everything, which is, is great, fine, perfect. Plenty people get support that they want from there. However, I know, when I was looking through it, so much of the content in those groups was just, it was very geared towards like, the stuff piece of pregnancy and parenthood, which you definitely need resources for. But I feel like there was just so much about like, stroller recommendations, and like, just kind of these maternity clothes, all stuff like that. Sure, I needed recommendations on those, but it felt like overwhelming on that kind of like the consumerism piece of it. And the that piece of it, and it wasn't what I was looking for. And also I you know, I came into pregnancy as a as a birthworker already. So I had, you know, I had some more familiar than the average person, but I still felt like I was looking for like that deeper community and connecting on like, what it meant to like, become a parent, which is this huge transition. And that just really, I wasn't finding a lot of those spaces, at least in kind of like the obvious, mainstream Google-able spots. And so I really love that, like you're creating this virtual piece of it, that is reaching people, especially as we've seen, obviously, over the past couple of years, like you said, how important is to have that community and also be able to connect like across you know, depending on where you live, there aren't, you're not there isn't a local shop that's doing like cute classes around childbirth stuff is digging into some of these things. Like there isn't always that access. And so I think that's like so important. I wonder too. I know, in your you know, in your journey, and as I've looked over, like the podcast episodes that you've done, you hit topics truly like across this whole spectrum, what like has inspired the topics that you look for the conversations like the questions that you've had?

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  9:54  
completely the listeners and my audience, it as 100% from them Well, I guess I should say 99.99%. Because the 1% is my own interest, obviously. I mean, I have to have an interest and think it's valuable as well. But basically kind of what I do. And what I would also recommend any sort of birth worker to do, especially if you're creating any kind of content, is I asked every single one of my followers and audience members, what they have questions about, and what they're curious about. And then I have a massive running list of ideas that have come in. And especially if ideas come in more than once, I really put it as top priority. And then I usually look for an expert that I think would really be able to speak to that topic. And that's really how I've curated so much of them. And actually, if you if you look back on my podcast before Episode 65, it used to be called the pumping podcast. And when it originally originally started, I was more focused on just like birth stories. And I thought, well, we can just learn by hearing women's journeys into motherhood and learning from their stories. But then I wanted it to be a little bit more, I don't want to say instructional but a little bit more specific, and what we can actually learn and gather from these stories. And so that's why it transformed into mamas in training, also, because I was calling myself that I'm a mama-in-training. And so back then, there were some more episodes that were just kind of general birth stories. And they came really from any mom that I would come across, you have a story that you want to share, okay, great. But I really wanted to aim at making it more specific. And so that's why now when you look you'll find you know, how to create your postpartum plan, how you know, to navigate formula feeding these different things that that come up, and that I have questions asked me all the time. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  11:57  
Yeah, I love that. And I love like that actionable piece of it. You know, I think we, it's so easy to get kind of caught in the just the noise. There are so many options when you are, you know, when you're pregnant, when you're looking at baby, as you're considering everything that's out there, and you can hear it really easy to get caught. And just that like the constant scrolling, reading one more book listen to when we're podcast, trying to just consume more information to try to like make a decision. And so I love that piece of being able to like kind of like step through it and there is like, Okay, what do I actually want to do with this information? Other than just perhaps feel overwhelmed by it? Exactly. Yeah. And then I, as you're looking, you know, as you're looking through, as you've heard from your audience, have there been like, big holes that you have heard from them that you think maybe like they're not getting that information from, who they should be whether that's from like, you know, other kind of community supports, whether that's childbirth education, doulas, lactation, if it's from their provider, you know, midwife or a physician? Have you seen like big holes that people seem to often want to hear about that you think like, why aren't we all hearing about this? 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  12:56  
Yeah, I think there's three that I can kind of pinpoint. One of the biggest ones for sure is postpartum. Which is why I feel like I've covered that fairly decently, but there's always room to cover more. I think the other one is just sort of, really the, it's like the the nitty gritty of it all, you know, like, what really is going to happen to our bodies during pregnancy and postpartum. Like, let's not sugarcoat this, there are some people that messaged me that do say, Well, look, can you just share a nice story or like, things that are good about it or whatever. So there, of course, there's that. But I think it's really like women want to know, they don't want to be sugar coated, or I should say the majority of women want to know, you know, like, what can they really expect to happen? So I would say postpartum, I would say, the reality of what truly is going to happen. And then I think the other key really where it comes into play for sure, with providers 100% is feeling like they have the time and space and are given the knowledge from their providers. And so we've actually just did an episode about it's going to be releasing next week, actually, oftentimes, we as women, you know, we have a gynecologist, maybe from the age of 18. And then we get pregnant, and we just stay with that gynecologist if they also do OB work, and that's what we kind of think is the easiest thing, but we don't really take the time to ask the questions, and make sure that what our OB has as values match up with the values of what we have. And I am really trying to empower women to ask that well, first of all, figure out what's important to you, and then ask those questions. And I think you know, there's 100% of place for medicine and the medical world and all of that stuff, but I think it's become such a machine over the years. that, it's like back in the day, women weren't told anything, because providers didn't know anything, either. You don't I mean, it wasn't as we didn't have the knowledge as much back then, now we have the knowledge. But it's such a machine of getting these babies out and turning and churning. And it's a business that we might not have the time to ask questions, or even the providers might not have the time, because they have to, you know, have 40 Something babies delivered in an X amount of time, or whatever it is. So it's the pressure that's being put on those providers as well. But I feel like a lot of women aren't feeling like they're getting all the information, or they're not getting enough time within that 15 minute checkup, or whatever it is. I don't know if that's like a systemic thing that just needs to change, I think really, part of it is just what I'm trying to do is empower the women to just demand the time, or if it doesn't work with that provider, find a new provider. But I use what I would say about this in terms of thinking like from the birth worker's mindset is, what I would say is, make sure that you're going to ask your patient, what type of experience they want. And so if they are cool to just kind of ride the roller coaster, then let them ride the roller coaster. I mean, I have a best friend who she was so cool at riding the roller coaster, she didn't really need to know too much. She knows that I had this podcast, but she never listened. Because she's like, I don't really care. But if you happen to get a patient that does want all the information, whether that's, you know, maybe you offer a tele visit, where they can just sit with you for 15 minutes, and ask questions, you know, or, I don't know, like a helpline, whatever it is, but maybe other ways that we can just have that open line of communication, I think.

Maggie, RNC-OB  16:59  
yeah, you hit on so many. They're all so good, I think absolutely agree with you about like the whole issue around postpartum we, as a society have like completely neglected that we don't do an adequate job addressing it. As you know, during the pregnancy, we have these, you know, several visits 40 weeks ish, to connect with folks. And we don't always utilize that time well; most often, we don't use them all to talk about that. And, you know, I think the whole issue around having time to ask question, it's huge. It absolutely is a systemic issue, you know, we kind of set up birth to be factory style, which doesn't serve the people who work in the factory, or the people who are having their babies in factory, it just doesn't. And yeah, you know, I think that is something that those of us who work in the system we see that it often still feels like out of our control, so much of is about, you know, for providers in the office, they have to see so many people to be able to get them all through to get the insurance reimbursement, they need to pay for the bah, bah, bah, bah, blah, like, it ends up being this kind of vicious cycle. I think the good piece of it is that like, there are models out there that show what can be done differently, you know, and so part of that involves advocating with, you know, for providers to advocate for themselves, for groups to set up things differently to work with insurance differently. You know, there's like the Centering Pregnancy model, you know, where you have like group prenatal care, which lets you kind of get all the like, bang, bang stuff out of the way in terms of like checking on the physical piece of it and have that kind of private equity partner, but then have a couple hours an hour or two, to sit there and dive into the questions get that community feel. Like my dream would be to see that all over the place. You know, Jenny, Joseph, she has shown so much progress with the way that she provides prenatal care and how she connects folks. And the evidence that she has to backup like how well her patients or clients do, when they have had this one on one time when they've had time to connect, when they have had this chance to always just come in and get their questions answered. And it's not all about this rigid schedule where you miss your appointment, and then well shoot, we're booked up-so it's gonna be three weeks, you can have a reschedule, like, all of those issues that come up that leave, that leave birthing, people leave pregnant people just, they're lost, they are in the wind, and they don't know who to turn to for reliable information, when that should be part of our relationship, the provider that trust and respect has to be there. So I mean, I think that's a huge thing that we all need to keep working at from, again, several different angles in the advocacy piece to change how we provide prenatal care. So that it serves everyone because it doesn't feel good. It doesn't feel good for the person who's pregnant to sit there and be have the provider rush in and out of their room in five minutes. But it doesn't feel good for that provider to be rushing in and out of 40 rooms in a day. I'm just trying to see people hoping that maybe they answered the questions that needed to happen. So I think that's just like a huge piece of it. 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  19:41  
I also think like, yeah, when you mentioned the prenatal community. I even wonder that that could be something that would be great postpartum, you know, like if we often tend to have I forget what it is like, two three visits postpartum is maybe and there's Almost I mean postpartum goes on forever. And there's so many different changes, like, you know, I spoke to one mom, in the beginning, this was years ago. And she was saying, like, she didn't even realize that she would have a hormonal change and shift postpartum wise when she stopped breastfeeding. Because then it was like, Whoa, what's happening now to me? And so yeah, you might be okay, three weeks postpartum. But week four, you might not be and then you're out of your visits, or whatever the timeline is. So maybe it would be really cool. If you, you know, say all the women that gave birth within the same month, throw them into a community where they can meet once every two weeks just for an hour and check in and questions can be answered. I mean, even if it's for a nominal fee. I mean, I don't know. I feel like that would be an easy solution that could give birthing persons just more support. Yeah

Maggie, RNC-OB  20:56  
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that piece of changing the way we've set it up, and again, because our postpartum care is inadequate on all fronts, you know, getting that visit, maybe Jewish weeks, if you had a cesarean birth, six weeks, if you had a vaginal birth, and then like, you're good to go, most of the time, right are not good to go, that is not enough. And that you know that that would give us that opportunity to like connect more than to see like it is postpartum is such an isolating time, you've easily feel so alone with the changes that are happening in your body, in your relationship, learning to bond with your baby, taking care of that baby, because it doesn't always go smoothly. All the myriad of things that happen with feeding and sleep and everything else, like, it is so easy to feel like you're the only person doing it. And you try to remember like, Oh, that's right, three or 4 million people had a baby this year. So there's actually like a lot of people who are right in our country who are dealing with this, like there's like people in my community who are doing this, but it doesn't always, it doesn't always feel that way. And I actually believe that, you know, as, as birth workers, as we're setting up more support groups. And you know, we've talked a lot too about how sometimes like kind of the, you know, quote, unquote, I hate the name of the Mommy Wars piece of parenting and postpartum feeling like every choice you make is against another choice, everything's black and white. And you have to fully align with people who've all made the same random choices, that can really make it even harder to connect with people when they're trying to look for a support group. And they feel like, Oh, well, if I'm not breastfeeding, and babywearing and do it, then I guess I can't talk to his people about what's going on, you know, and like all of those ways that we set it up to make it harder for people connect. And so we've talked about as birth workers, like, how we do that when you know, feeding groups maybe are addressing both breastfeeding and formula feeding and any combination thereof? And like, how do we make those spaces feel more inclusive? For everyone? How do we make everyone feel welcomed? You know, and with the Postpartum Support Groups is same? Like are there opportunities to have, you know, some weeks that both parents are there if there's, you know, another partner involved, so you're kind of getting that full peace of it, instead of just feeling like the, you know, the one primary parent or the you know, the birthing parent is the only one who's dealing with this stuff, which they're not in. So I feel like all of those are things that we absolutely need to be like, conscious of as we're we're planning this because that's so, so real. I wonder when you have, you know, your audience has a mix of other folks who may be you know, are pregnant, or recently a baby, maybe not quite yet. Have you heard from them, like feedback that they get from, like, kind of their birth worker community that has been either like that was so helpful, or like, that was the worst that did nothing to help me? Have you heard any of those kind of pieces from it? 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  23:24  
I think what it stems from is exactly what you just mentioned, actually, and it's that, you know, this is the way to do it. type thing. So what I always like to encourage my audience who are listening is, is I like the phrase "drink from the fire hose." Because that's what I aim to do at Mama's-in-training. I'm not perfect. We've only had 100 episodes. So there's still plenty of room to cover all different aspects and opinions. actually had someone reach out to me a couple months ago and say, like, could you share a positive c section story? Because I didn't even notice. But a lot of the stories I've shared about C sections, the women had a bad experience. But that's something I need to cover. And so I think it's that aspect of sharing everything and encouraging your patients to truly drink from the firehose, even if they don't plan on doing X, Y and Z. One of my favorite examples from this is I did an episode all about formula feeding. I think it's Episode 74, with Erin Moore, and she gave an amazing tip, which was even if you plan to breastfeed, go ahead and pick out a formula while you're pregnant. There's so many different kinds and styles and organic, not organic, whatever, pick it out, approve it for yourself, buy it, put it in your hospital bag, and take it with you to the hospital so that God forbid you have to go down that path. You already have one signed, sealed delivered, you're okay with it. It's mama approved, done. And I think maybe that's the type of information that we could be giving more so to our patients, so it's not like, Okay, you want to have a vaginal birth? Okay, if all goes well, great. If you have a C section that might happen. No, like, tell me what to expect in a C section. Okay, you want to breastfeed? Great. So you might want to check out this lactation counselor, you have it tell me all about formula. You know, I think it's covering everything, just so we have a general idea. And we can touch on touch on those things. And I think, you know, part of the reason why I created the podcast is like you said, there is only limited time. So I understand that not everything can be covered, but maybe it's through podcasts or through, you know, blogs or whatever, that this other information is covered.

Maggie, RNC-OB  25:57  
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I think I mean, we have a service to the people who we are caring for, they deserve our time and attention. And that can come in, in a variety of ways, whether that's right, you've handed out the, you know, the folder with all the education resources, and that has the blogs you trust, podcasts you recommend listening to, it has, you know, a couple of PDFs of kind of basic stuff that they've walked through that, you know, that birthworkers providers can make themselves or again, sort of share, like we're a big community, there's a lot of it, we don't have to recreate the wheel like, this doesn't necessarily have to be super labor intensive, for the person making kind of the referral list, making the resources but taking that time to pull it together so that whoever you're caring for just knows that, like they have that sense of having something that was vetted. They don't necessarily have to agree or want to do everything the way you want to do it. Sure. But like that these are like, safe, good resources to look into to learn more to discover more. And I think if we're, you know, like you said, I think when you were saying about your friend who wanted to ride the roller coaster, I think that's, it's interesting, because I think, as so many of us, and I've seen, especially like in the hospital, as a nurse, any patient come in, I don't know them at all, right? So we're very quick time to kind of like establish rapport, understand, we're up to know what their goals are. And so many people love when someone just comes in, and they're kind of just like, kind of funny joking about it, but just like, oh, yeah, do whatever you need to do. Like, I'm just here to like, ride the waves. Great. And that's fine. If whoever I'm taking care of doesn't care, and just wants me to decide, like what we're doing. Like, I guess there's a sense of like, Yeah, that could be easier for me, because like, okay, I guess to to do, like, whatever I think we're supposed to do and like just kind of go along with it. But that doesn't actually feel good to not know what the person wants, you know, like, Sure, can sometimes feel as writers like, don't, we want them to just kind of like, trust us, and just go with what we say. But that is like such a loaded. Trust is accountability, a loaded word is a lot of responsibility there like there is a whole relationship that has to be established beforehand, before you can expect someone to just like trust that you know, what you're doing, and that what you want to do is in their best interest, like, there are so many things out there 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  28:12  
maybe, maybe a lot of people I think could come into a meeting like that and could say those words, maybe they don't mean them. So maybe it's in like a survey, or, you know, another form of information gathering that you can really dig deeper and know like, are they just saying this? Because there's a lot of anxiety and overwhelm, or did they truly mean it? I mean, because I even know, like, I've been doing this podcast for two years now. And I, all I do is talk about advocating for yourself and all of these things. And I went to kind of like a preconception consultation type thing a few months back with my OB, and I even felt like, apprehensive and had to keep reminding myself, you know, ask questions. Don't just go with the flow. And, you know, yes, they know a lot. But, you know, focus on what you need. And so I could definitely see how we could get a little bit like, say what we don't mean, necessarily in those situations.

Maggie, RNC-OB  29:18  
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I think you know, we've talked before on the podcast, but kind of the whole, you know, there's like that fight or flight, or freeze or fawn. And I think like the fawning piece gets less as gotten less like attention. It doesn't like flow. Maybe it's easily but I think we see that a ton in birth in like high emotion, high tense situations like that where someone feels uncomfortable, something perhaps traumatic is happening. And their response is just to kind of like fawn, just like go with the flow. Okay, I understand, like you provider kind of ready it's already figured here so I'm just gonna like do what you're saying because I feel safest to me like I can just get through this. And then I can get through this. I can deal with it later. But like that is not how we want anyone to feel like they have to act. You know, and I think you're totally right. They're like Have people like say that because they don't want to seem annoying? or extra, you know, but like, I always remind people like that that's our job. Like, I am paid to support people during their birth. So like, it's not, it's not necessarily I'm saying, you know, maybe it's easier, maybe it's not, but like, it's not supposed to be easy. Like, it doesn't mean that my job is supposed to be like miserable, or make me feel bad or be like, excessively hard all the time. But actually, like its job, it's a work. So like, yeah, there are going to be parts of it that are like challenging do you have to like work through that you're like using these skills. And so I think sometimes we, because being a birthworker is also traumatic, and people are burnt out and like over it, it's easy for us to slip into those ways of like, ways of doing things that are kind of like hit the largest group. And don't personalize that care. But like, it is so worth it. For us. For the persons in our care, when we do push through that, when we take that time to say like, Oh, I know, we're all going to be working together to make sure things go, you know, as well as they can. But I'd love to know, learn more about like, what that ideally looks like to you? Are there things you really want to avoid? Are there things you definitely want to make sure we do like just taking that extra step to like clarify with someone like oh, are you trying to just make me comfortable? Because that's actually not your job. My job is to make you comfortable? You know, I think we set up this false dichotomy. Sometimes in birthwork where we can be, you know, especially in the hospital, there can be a lot of tensions and lack of understanding around policies and all this stuff. And so they're kind of this idea that patients either like don't know anything, like how could they not know anything? They've been pregnant for this long? They didn't look into any of this stuff? Or like, oh, wow, I guess they've gotten their Google degree. And now they can do all this. Why are they even here? Obviously, I think that is absolute crap. Okay, that does that attitude on either since has no place in birth care, it is very prevalent, again, because people are just burnt out and tired. But that is still our job, as the people providing birth care, to push through that deal with our own trauma deal with our stuff, figure out how we can show up better so that when we're meeting with someone whether they haven't had the time to look into anything, okay, fine. What do I need to tell you about right now? And if Okay, great. I understand you've actually researched all this seemingly more than I have. Okay, good. Let's, let's deal and go into that, too. And understand, like, Where can we meet this? And if you're somewhere in the middle, and you're kind of going with flow? You're not quite sure, like, Great, let's just take it one step at a time. But I think we have we have to do that work. You know, and I think it's for like the birthing people out there who are listening, like, that is our job, please don't feel like you have to like not that we don't want you to be mean to us. That's not necessary. But you know, not saying like abuse your healthcare providers to it, lean into it, but like you are, it's about you like this learning that advocacy piece is, is huge. And it's really hard. And I love that, that I think your 100th episode where you kind of did like your ABC takeaways of that? Do you want to share a little bit about that? Because I thought that was really cool that like, those were the themes that came out of it.

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  32:57  
Yeah, absolutely. I've kind of learned to now call them like the three pillars, that I've really discovered after interviewing over 100 women, every single one of these at least once, if not multiple of them come up in every single interview. And that's advocacy, planning/preparing, and then community. And I've really discovered that without these three things, you cannot have a good successful journey in and through motherhood. And, you know, it can look like so many different things and surface level, it can look like so many different things. A couple examples I'll just give each one of them is like with advocacy, for example, you know, in dealing with your provider speaking up when something doesn't feel right, or even as now I'm thinking about it, like, with a provider, maybe even encouraging the patient to you know, communicate with me speak out and tell me, you know, truthfully, how you're feeling those type of things. Because once again, we tend to just go into that room and think they know what's best for me. They've got my best, you know, at hand, which, yes, ultimately they do. But in some situations, you know, it's not necessarily about you. So encouraging women and birthing persons to really speak up for what they want and what they desire. And if that's finding a different provider, then so be it. With planning and preparing, it's kind of an recommendation and piece of advice that I gave about, you know, breastfeeding and formula. So drinking from the firehose and learning everything that you can and then preparing for all situations and knowing that ABC is what I would ideally like to have. But if you know LMNOP come And I still have at least a little bit of an understanding, or I know which direction I can go comfortably. And And then lastly, community and You know, we're touching on this too, and different ways that we can find community. But I always like to encourage that it's not just community in the sense of like, who's going to be in my birthing room, and who's going to set up the meal train, it's, I think there's something essential in that third party community, you know, those, those, not all of them are supportive, but those supportive Facebook communities, or those supportive online groups, or supportive in person groups that aren't with family and friends, that you really get a chance to get the support from people outside of your close knit community. And then the other thing that I think is really kind of important that I've heard a lot is, you know, second, or third births or fourth births, and having the support for those births equally as the first one, because I know, you know, we, the first birth is you get the shower, and you get this and you get that and maybe with baby number two, you might get a sprinkle. But yeah, are you really going to get any more support other than a couple extra gifts? And then, you know, good luck with three or four, you know, so I think it's continuing that support through as you also add more children to the mix is really helpful to 

Maggie, RNC-OB  36:20  
Yes, yeah. And then there's a whole how we just pile things on to you know, parents kind of all supermom narrative, then we're just like, Oh, you're having a hard like, so you must just like totally have this, like, you're so good at it. I can't imagine doing it by instead of being like, Oh, wow, this is amazing. You're growing your family? Like, let's see what we can do. Yeah, I think there's a cultural narrative there again, about like, how we, how we keep showing up for, for families in general? Oh, well, this is so good. I, I just appreciate all of your like sharing this kind of parent and, you know, mama-in-training perspective with us, as we think about how do we want to change, perhaps some of our practices around education, and how we are connecting with folks who, like you said, whether you are pregnant, or you're coming in for a preconception visit, you know, not having assumptions about what you know, what the person wants, what kind of support they need, what kind of support they have, you know, making sure to just take those couple extra minutes to dig in and, and connect and being making ourselves available for the nitty gritty.

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  37:22  
 And it's so great to the birth providers and birth workers who are listening and looking to learn more about what their patients or future patients might need or experience. And, you know, as we sort of touched on a few times, there might not be any other additional hours in the mix. To provide more of you, you know, I totally get that. But I think, at least we as mamas-in-training, want to at least have the direction towards something. So if that's directing a patient towards something like a podcast, or you know, or something else that you feel, you can say, Listen, on your own time, this is here for you, if you choose to use it, instead of just, you know, good luck. And as things come up, we'll navigate it, you know, it's really, I think just the way that we can sort of make a change long term is just for birthing persons to be more interested in curious early on. And then for all the different options to just be exposed to, to those people when they do come to birth workers and saying, like, here's other information that you can get if, if I can't cover it all, you know, because you're only one person. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  38:49  
Yeah, yeah. And obviously, you know, we talk all the time about collaborative care. And it is it is truly like the hill I will die on in in birth care is that, you know, I think we've set things up on both sides, both, you know, clinical and non clinical that like that. There's one person you know, that like the OB is supposed to do all of these things for you. They're supposed to know everything and be everything and they can't, and they're not and that's okay, because they're human. And there's a lot of us out here. And in the same way it kind of community feels like you know, you have a doula, but these doulas can be worked to death because someone is asking them a million questions, which is totally fine. But like they don't have the capacity or the answers to all of these things. And so I feel like that piece of being able to like find supportive communities having that referral network, knowing where you can send people for information like it is huge. And if we don't do that, we feel bad. We feel like we're not doing enough we flipped not reaching people enough. And it's really just about us. Like whether it's getting over like hubris or just finding the community finding people you trust because sometimes I think we feel like I have to do everything for this person. You know, I hear I hear from birth workers like doulas a lot like okay, I'm this person's extra support. Like I have to be the person to do all this stuff for them. And there can just be a lot of like pressure in that role in stead of just kind of a really that's great. I am one additional support. Okay, and maybe this client needs more. 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  40:06  
Yeah. And just, you know, if you recommend that Jane was a great resource for XYZ, I'm still going to look at you as being the expert who told me about Jane, you know, I'm not going to think any lesser of you, because you didn't have time to tell me what Jane told me. You know, right. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  40:24  
Yes. So yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think there's a big piece of feeling like we need you enough. And there's pride that comes into it too. Because, again, because we're human, you know, we want to make sure that we're doing you know, we're doing enough but sometimes being able to do enough means, knowing our lane and what to do with it, and then having that like that other piece beyond it. Well, thank you so much for this conversation. Jessica. If you can just share with our audience where they can find you best on you know, on the internet out here in the world. 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  40:49  
Yeah, absolutely. So as far as the podcast goes, you can find it on any podcast app or website is Mama's in training. There's also Mama's in And that can direct you to all the different podcasts apps. And on Instagram, I'd love to connect with anybody. That's Mama's in training pod. And it's also M A M A S. and then Instagram, it's P O D. So Ma Ma is in training pod. But I love I'd love to connect with anybody and everybody and support each other along the way. So please reach out. I'd love to connect. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  41:24  
Thank you so much. 

Jessica, Mama-in-Training  41:25  
Thank you. 

Maggie, RNC-OB  41:28  
Well, just a big thank you to Jessica for coming on and sharing so much of her perspective, and what she has learned and what we can all do to better improve the education and information that we are providing to prospective parents. So as you look to continue this transformation and learn more about your approach to education, we would love to see you join us in the Your BIRTH Partners community group on Facebook. There you'll continue your journey surrounded by other diverse change agents who are looking to transform birth care. Till next time