Empowered Birthing, Doulas, Women’s Business & The Role of Men in Birth | Nadine Richardson from She Births {Podcast #023}

About Nadine Richardson

Nadine Richardson​, mother, yoga teacher, doula, speaker, creator and founder of the world’s only scientifically verified childbirth education program, She Births® and host of ​The She Births® Show​ (Podcast & YouTube).

Over the last 20 years Nadine has become an expert in childbirth, pregnancy and prenatal yoga. She is an inspiration to all parents, female entrepreneurs and those passionate about making birth better. She knows that together we can shift the cultural meme of birth from a medicalised traumatic event​ to something so much better.

“My role is to awaken people to their birthing potential. Through our innovative education every family can create not only a more normal birth but also a beautiful birth; bonding, enriching and empowering, the perfect start for every family.”
~ Nadine Richardson

It is Nadine’s mission to take the fear out of childbirth and help couples continue the joy of pregnancy right through their labour and into early parenting. By helping women connect to, and trust their bodies while also equipping partners to not only provide effective support but become an active participant in the journey we shift the locus of control. Discovering that we have agency and our choices are critical to individual birth satisfaction shifts the way we see ourselves and our role on the planet.


In This Episode We Discuss

What is a Doula

An ancient service of women helping women through birth.

“Doula” in latin = to serve.

They play a significant role assisting women through the psychosomatic experience of birth.

The Role of an Obstetrician

"Obstetrician" in Latin means "To Observe."

They should be there to intervene if more advanced medical interventions are required. Which in Australia is 10-20% of woman at high health risk.

Midwife in latin = “Be with woman.”

Midwife does the safety and vital checks - heart beat, blood pressure etc. But unfortunately they don’t get to “be with woman” as much, as they are more doing paper work. 

0.6% birth in Australia are home births.

Why every single woman should do a doula training.

It is the primal role of woman. Assisting at births is an important rite for one’s womanhood, femininity and fulfilment.

Having a Doula present at birth is the best intervention a woman can have to reduce C-Section rates.

The Role of the Partner (Mostly Men) In Birth

Have we placed to much expectations on male partners? 

Are men actually fit for the job of assisting a birthing experience? Let alone asked to be the primary! support person in an experience they have no knowledge of, what so ever!

Traditionally, birth has always been womens business. Men should not go anywhere near that.

It is criminal to send anyone in a birthing room without good education and preparation. 

C-Sections

30% C-Section rate in most western countries.

Aus has some of the higher C-section rates in the world, at 32% in public hospital.

47% in private hospitals! - nearly 1 in 2.

Causes for increasing C-section rates:

  • Over-managing low risk people.
  • Litigations.
  • Money.
  • Schedules - “Doctor Dinner: wants to shorten his day at work and get home for dinner”
  • Culture, fear and control amongst the woman.

Why you want a vaginal delivery over C-section:

  • When a baby is born via C-section they have a significant reduction in microbiome.
  • Babies born via C-section are more likely to have life-long asthma.
  • Babies born via C-section are less likely to continue breast milk.
  • Babies born via C-section are linked to increases in austism.
  • Babies born via C-section are correlated with lower IQ.
  • The recovery and “bounce back” of a mother is significantly better with vaginal delivery than a 6 week recovery from major abdominal surgery.
  • Woman who endure C-sections and more likely to get a hysterectomy in the future.

Knowing that you can make a beautiful birth no matter what unfolds (e.g. C-section, epidurals) is really critical to less fear for everybody.

C-sections are still a monumental birthing experience and we can make it beautiful with birth education programs like She Births.

"You cannot put your faith all the time in one system. If you go into these systems without education, you will get funnelled down a conveyer belt, and that is where we get great amounts of intervention and dissatisfaction. Education is key to empowerment."
~ Nadine Richardson
"You need to be open minded and have a little element of belief that birth can be something different to the medicalised traumatic event that has been showed to you on television."
~ Nadine Richardson

The post-natal hormonal orchestra that floods the mothers brain

  • 200-400x more oxytocin than the best sex orgasm.
  • Beta endorphins flood the neo-cortex which shut down the analytical mind. These are also opiates and allows the woman to transcend in between contractions and go through this extraordinary ego dissolution. 
  • Adrenaline comes at the end of labour to deliver the baby.

The Brain-Uterus Connection

Via the Ferguson reflex - a positive feedback loop between uterus and brain.

  1. Baby’s head stretches cervix and feedbacks on pituitary.
  2. Pituitary secretes oxytocin into blood and travel down to uterine muscle via specific nerve pathways. 
  3. Oxytocin stimulates the uterus to further contract of the muscles in the wall of the uterus and pushes the baby down, the cervix stretches further. oxytocin is released from the brain back into the body and goes back to the uterus for more stimulation, , cervix stretches etc. 
Ferguson reflex

The Vagina as the Seat as Consciousness

Active Birthing and why a woman should not be lying on her back during labour.

  • Squatting, on all fours, standing, whatever is comfortable for the woman.
  • Upright and active. Gravity. Shorter labour. Nishkarma yoga - do less and achieve the most. 
  • Don’t ask a woman to lie supine - this is dangerous, damaging to the pelvic floor. They have to go up a U bend. It’s a miracle they can go out. 
  • All fours are the best.
  • Mother should be dancing, move bum.

She Births: The Better Birthing Method

  • 65% reduction of epidural rates
  • 44% reduction of c-section rates
  • 53% reduction in resuscitation of babies.
  • 32mis shorter (2nd stage) labour.

The clinical trial from the prestigious British Medical Journal of Medicine. 

“Our mission is to restore the sanctity of birth, build stronger families and hand the power of birth back to every woman.”
~ Nadine Richardson

The curriculum is based on three pillars; Knowledge, Inner Strength and Outer Support.
She Births® combines evidence-based and holistic techniques for a better and safer birth experience – including active birthing, yoga, massage, acupressure, breathing, relaxation and effective partner support.

She Births® provides a comprehensive toolkit of skills for mum and partner, empowering mums to have better births and enabling partners to provide effective support. Utilising a unique philosophy the course prepares couples for every birth scenario enabling them to create a beautiful birth experience, no matter what unfolds.

She Births® is available as a ​Weekend Course or an ​Online Program via App – making it accessible across the world.

More than 8,000 expectant parents have completed She Births® from all around the world.

The Essential Post-Natal Support Network

Beyond nannies and baby sitters. The importance of immediate family. 

Soul Mama Circles - Real support and connection amongst new mothers.

The importance for women to share their birth story at least 8-10 times in a sacred space.

Post Natal Care Regimen

Ayurveda Post Natal Care Plan

  • The important to rest after birth - simple and sacred - “40 days or rest for 40 years energy.”
  • Post natal herbs to balance vata and erratic hormones post birth.
  • The fourth trimester.

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Golden Milk Elixir

Just like grandma used to cook up for you with love and foresight. This nightly sleep aid and anabolic tonic holds great wisdom, incorporating one of the most nourishing foods: cows milk, with the intelligence of natures herbs and spices. You’ll sleep like a baby and super charge overnight.

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

This Ayurvedic remedy will reduce your stress to allow you to switch off and gain a more restful and undisturbed sleep.

Supersede the Stress

Insomnia, which can increase the risk of most degenerative diseases(1) is mostly caused by stress. When we are under stress, cortisol levels (stress fighting hormones) do not decrease, rather they keep us revved up throughout the night and we don’t have the energy to calm them back down.

Modern science has once again proved ancient wisdom by showing milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%. The improvements of sleep are remarkable:

  • Promotes deeper sleep (3)
  • Supports more restorative sleep (3)
  • Provides relaxation at the level needed for sleep (4)
  • Calms anxiety (4)
  • Improves numerous stress markers (5)
  • These peptides further support digestion, emotional state, cognitive function and even cardiovascular function. (6)

Interestingly, these peptides in milk activate GABA receptors.(4) Pharmaceutical drugs that are widely used as sedatives for stress, anxiety, and sleep target these same GABA receptors!(7)

Ojas Building

Even if you sleep well, this night-time tonic will not only upgrade your sleep to be more deep and restful, but also build your Ojas.

Ojas (OH-jas) is considered to be the most refined by-product of digestion, said to reside in the heart. Ayurveda considers ojas to be a bio-celestial substance that is our vital essence.

Our vitality, immunity, vigour, skin, sleep, digestion, spirituality and physical strength are all directly influenced by our reserve of ojas.

Ojas builds our inner silence. It Increases the ability to genetically connect with the circadian rhythms allowing the body to resonate with the rhythms and thrive. If your body is under stress, emergency alarm bells will keep ringing (flight or fight response/sympathetic nervous system) disconnecting you from the genetic ability to hear these rhythms.

Building ojas is an art. Yoga, pranayama breathing exercises, meditation, spending time in nature, sleeping at the right times, laughing, showing love and affection and giving to others, spending time being creative, relaxing, and doing things that make you happy all build ojas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build ojas is to eat a diet of fresh, unprocessed whole foods in the appropriate season.
Further, there are certain foods and herbs in Ayurveda that are great ojas-builders. These were traditionally blended with warm milk and taken before bed as a sleep aid and an ojas-builder.

 

Ayurveda’s Super Sleep Recipe:

  • Boil 3/4 cup of unhamogensied cows milk + 3/4 cup of water + 2 strands of saffron + 1 chopped date + 3 crushed and peeled almonds. Boil till it reduces to approximately 1 cup or till it fully foams up.
  • After the milk has boiled. Add:
  • 1/4tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2tsp ghee.
  • 1/4 tsp Ashwagandha powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • 1/4 tsp Shatavari powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • pinch of Ojo or Samadhi (Raju family herbal preparation)
    (Can modify herbs and spices according to season and body constitution).

Sitr well, then drink and enjoy.

When to Drink It:

  • Have between dinner and sleep - approximately 45-60mins after dinner and 45-60mins before bed.
  • You can even make this your dinner.
  • Drink one cup of the golden milk each night for 3 months to rebuild ojas levels and support sleep patterns.
  • You can also have this in the morning approximately 45 minutes before breakfast or make it your breakfast, (good for people who don’t have an appetite in the morning). It is also a great replacement to coffee.

"But I Don’t Do Dairy"

If you are intolerant to dairy, it is probably indigestion, some weakness and/or your mind getting the better over you by 'accepting' the intolerance. Additionally, most milk is difficult to digest because it is unnecessarily homogenised, pasteurised the wrong way, added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

However, drink the right milk and correct your agni, and you may find you can slowly introduce this medicinal lactation back into your diet.

Most places you can find milk that is non-homogenised without all these nasty additives. Getting non-pasturised or vat-pasturised, (heated at low temperature for short time), is a bonus, but the main precept is to drink non-homogenised milk. This has become so popular that mainstream supermarkets in Australia and New Zeland are now selling it. Additionally, most health-food stores will have it.

If you are very sensitive to milk, I suggest first correct agni, then slowly introduce dairy by drinking thin Lassi with lunch.

You may substitute substitute coconut or (freshly made) almond milk. Though you won’t get the benefits of the milk peptides, you’ll still have a vehicle for the ojas-building foods and herbs and some calming benefits from the warmth of the milk.

Take this milk to build some resiliency towards the stress that prevents us from sleeping like we should.

It’s tasty, nourishing and a great way to end the day, plus it’ll send you off with the clouds for the night.

References

(1) Occup Med (Lond). 2010
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) J Dairy Sci. 2000 Jun
(4) Ther Umsh. 2009
(5) Eur J Nutr. 2005
(6) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007
(7) FASEB J. 2001