Ep 50: 10 Things to Help You Have Your Best Pregnancy, Birth, and Life

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Happy New Year everyone, and thank you so much for sticking with me through 50 episodes! It's been such a rewarding journey, and I love being of service to you all. 

I thought I would kick off this year with ten pieces of advice that I hope will help you in pregnancy, birth, and life beyond. I wanted to share ten of the things I think are most important for not only having a healthy and happy pregnancy & birth, but for building a fulfilling life, too. 

We'll start off with some practical advice like how to make sure you're getting the best care possible from your doctor or midwife, and what to do if you have concerns about your care. We will also talk about why I think all moms should rethink their baby registry & shower, and how to prepare for the postpartum transitions you'll experience.

We'll finish up with some advice about life in general and talk about why it's so important to take great care of yourself. The first step in raising a healthy child is being a healthy mom - and that means physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm wishing all of you a wonderful 2020!

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • Why you really need to get to know your doctor, midwife, and/or the practice where you'll be giving birth
  • How to approach a discussion with your doctor if you're not happy with your care 
  • Why you shouldn't be afraid to advocate for yourself and your birth plan
  • How to rethink your baby shower and get more than just cute baby clothes
  • Why it's so critically important to get some quality childbirth education
  • Why you should prepare for the postpartum transition & period while you are still pregnant
  • How and why you can accept and ask for help during and after your pregnancy
  • The importance of learning to trust yourself and taking good, holistic care of yourself

Come Join Me On Instagram

I want this podcast to be more than a one sided conversation. Join me on Instagram where we can connect outside of the show! Through my posts, videos, and stories, you'll get even more helpful tips to ensure you have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. You can find me on Instagram @drnicolerankins. I'll see you there!

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Speaker 1: Happy new year everyone. I am kicking off the year with an episode of 10 things to help you have your best pregnancy, birth, and life.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a board certified Ob Gyn physician, certified integrative health coach and creator of The Birth Preparation Course, an online childbirth education class that will leave you feeling knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered going into your birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and it's not a substitute for medical advice. See the full disclaimer at www.ncrcoaching.com/disclaimer.

Speaker 1: Hello. Hello. Hello. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 50 and I want to start off this episode, the first episode of 2020 by saying a big thank you. This episode marks a year for the podcast and this little podcast that I started a year ago has now been downloaded over 55,000 times. It's at about 9,500 downloads a month and growing every single day. I want to thank everyone for your support, for all of the kind words via email, comments on social media posts or direct messages or reviews. All of it truly warms my heart and confirms for me that I am doing good work y'all and I am fulfilling my purpose, which is to be of service to women during pregnancy and birth. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

: Now I will give a specific listener shout out to Naughty624. She left me this review in Apple podcast and the title of the review says incredibly informative and the review says, "I'm a newly pregnant and wanted to find a podcast that will walk me through what I can expect the next nine months. Dr. Rankins is fantastic and is always citing the latest data available and breaking it down, which is very important to me. There are lots of sources out there but not always evidence-based, which makes this podcast more reassuring. Not to mention Dr. Rankins has a great calming voice to help you not be too alarmed when sharing scary but important things you need to know. Thank you for all the information and for guiding me through this journey." Well, thank you, thank you, Naughty624 for those kind words. It means the world to me when you take the time to leave a review like this and I so truly, really appreciate it.

Speaker 1: All right, so as I said, this is the first episode of 2020 and I thought I would kick off the year, the new decade, really, with 10 pieces of advice or recommendations to help you have your best pregnancy birth and some of these really apply to your life. So let's go ahead and hop right in. So number one is this...for your prenatal care, who's caring for you during your pregnancy and birth, you really want to know that doctor or midwife or at the practice. Your doctor will have a huge influence on your pregnancy and birth experience. And you want to feel confident that you are in good hands for one of the most important events of your life. You deserve to feel well supported, you deserve to feel respected, you should feel that your concerns are addressed and you just really want to have that trusting relationship because when you have trust, when that energy surrounds your pregnancy and birth, it's so much better than having a fear based relationship.

Speaker 1: Now the way that you get to know your doctor or your midwife is to ask questions. And I'm not going to go through all of the questions. I have a couple of resources that I'll give to you, but in general I want to say this. It's important that you ask the right type of questions, so you really want to ask what and how questions as opposed to yes or no questions. So an example is instead of saying, do you support low intervention birth, which most doctors are probably gonna say yes because why would they say no? They would look bad if they said no. You want to say, what are your thoughts about low intervention birth or how do you approach low intervention birth? You're going to get much more information when you ask that what, how question instead of yes, no questions.

: Now as far as specific questions to ask, like I said, I've got a couple of resources for you. There is episode three of the podcast which talks about how to be sure you have the right doctor and I included a list of questions with that episode and I'll include the link to those questions in the show notes for this episode. And the show notes for this episode are www.ncrcoaching.com/episode50 and episode is spelled out. And that just talks about things like asking your doctor what's their philosophy towards pregnancy and birth, what happens if I have questions after hours, who will I see during my visit? So those are just some of the questions that are covered.

: And then the other resource is my free online class on how to make a birth plan that works. I go through several questions in that free online class that you can ask so you have a better understanding of how your doctor will be towards your birth. And you can register for that class, again it's totally free, at www.ncrcoaching.com/register and this information again is really important for you to know so that you know you have the right people with you to approach your pregnancy and birth in a way that supports you.

: Okay, so number two, similarly to how you want to know the doctor or midwife, you also want to know the hospital where you plan to give birth. The culture of the hospital has a huge influence on your birth experience. What a lot of people actually do not realize is that your doctor actually is not there for most of your labor. Your doctor will probably come in at the beginning, they may come in a couple of times during your labor and then they'll pop in again when it's time for you to give birth. So it's really the hospital staff and specifically your labor nurse who is with you during most of your labor. So the culture of the hospital again plays a significant role in your labor and delivery experience. You want to be in a place that supports you and your vision for your birth.

: Now there are a couple of circumstances where this can be really important. If you want an unmedicated or low intervention birth, then you definitely want to know things like how do they feel about people moving around during labor? Do they support intermittent monitoring where you're not attached to the monitor all the time? Do they have wireless monitoring options available? Exactly how many women get an epidural? Do you have nurses that are experienced in supporting women who want an unmedicated birth? Are there options for tubs or showers? Because hydrotherapy can be a very effective pain relief during labor. So those are just some of the questions that you want to ask in that particular circumstance.

: Another circumstance where you want to really be sure you understand the hospital is if you are interested in a tolac or a trial of labor after cesarean or VBAC. Not all hospitals support VBAC and not all doctors either and you want to have a doctor in hospital that is VBAC supportive, not just VBAC tolerant, so you definitely want to ask if they are. So you can get more questions about hospitals in episode four of the podcast. That's www.ncrcoaching.com/episode4 and that is where I give you more questions to ask to make sure you have the right hospital.

: The other thing you want to do for sure is take a tour, for goodness sakes, please take a tour of the hospital so that you know the place where you are giving birth. And then the free online class as well. My free online class on how to make a birth plan, it also talks about questions to ask for the hospital when you go on that tour, so check that out as well.

: Okay. Number three, if you are not happy with your doctor or the hospital where you're supposed to give birth, please do not ignore it. I have seen countless times where women have regretted that they stayed in a situation or with a doctor who they knew was not right for them and what they wanted for their birth. They felt like they didn't want to hurt feelings or they had been with this person for most of their pregnancy or even before their pregnancy. Maybe the person was their gynecologist. And let me tell you, somebody can be a different doctor when they're a gynecologist versus during pregnancy. So if you find that you're in a situation where the doctor is not right for you, then don't ignore it and you really have two options.

Speaker 1: One option of course, is you may decide to change to another doctor, and that is perfectly reasonable. And again, that episode 3 will give you some questions to ask to make sure that the next time around you have the right doctor that supports you. And then the second thing you may decide to do, you may decide to have a conversation and work it out. You may want to say, "Hey, it seems like we're not on the same page about things that I want for my birth and the way that you're practicing. So, I want to talk about that." And you don't want to ever go into those conversations if you decide to have this type of conversation, with an attack mode or confrontational mode. Doctors and midwives are people too and they have feelings and they also have bad days. So maybe they were just having a bad day and you know, maybe having a conversation will help. But don't go into it like in this attack and confrontational mode, what you want to do is try to connect with the humanness in people.

Speaker 1: So talk about how you feel. Talk about your fears, talk about your concerns. Most doctors actually do go into medicine because they care about taking care of people. So connect to that humanness. Now, if you still find that after that conversation that it still is bad, then you know by all means, peace out and head on to the next person. You definitely don't want to stay in a situation that isn't supporting you, but if you find that it's not working and you have that conversation, then start from that human connection first. That human connection works well, not just in this situation, but really in life when you have confrontation.

: Okay, number four. Please, please, please do not be afraid to advocate for yourself. I know sometimes it can feel difficult to sort of challenge or stand up to someone in a position of authority, but in this case, sometimes it can even be life and death. Really, you really need to do so. If you have a concern about something, be persistent. That may mean that you have to ask a question repeatedly. That may mean that you have to escalate and ask for someone's superior. It may mean that you have to leave a place and go to a whole other hospital all together. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. But if something is telling you that something is not right and you're not getting the answer or the response that you feel like is adequate and addressing your concerns, be persistent until you get your concerns addressed. Now if you're a black woman, then you may have to advocate for yourself even harder. Study after study shows that the concerns of black women are not taken as seriously. So if you are a black woman and you have concerns then you especially may need to push harder to advocate for yourself.

Speaker 1: And I will say the same thing that I said regarding the conversation. If you're not happy with your doctor, start from that place of trying to connect with the humanness and people. So talk about your feelings, talk about your fears, connect with that human piece to get your concerns addressed. At least start there. Now, if that doesn't work, then by all means, if you have to take it to another level, if in some cases you have to get insistent, demanding or even mean about it, then do so because at the end of the day, it's your health. It's not, you know that person's health, it's you and what's happening to you. So if you've got to take it to that level to get what you need to get done, then absolutely 100% do that. But start from that place of human connection first to see if that can help in getting your needs addressed. And again, if you're a black woman, then you may have to advocate a bit harder for yourself as those studies show that the concerns of black women, that people actually in medicine tend not to be addressed as seriously.

: Okay. Number five, I want you to rethink your baby shower. We tend to focus more on things when it comes to the baby shower. And I don't understand these days y'all, I don't know if like baby shower and gender reveal parties are the same thing. Or if they're like, do you have the gender reveal and then had the baby shower? I dunno, you guys can school me on that in the Facebook group. But anyway, I want you to rethink your baby shower and add more than just things to it. So I get it. The cute clothes, the toys, that stuff is fun. But I want you to consider adding services to your baby registry.

Speaker 1: And by services I mean asking for a doula, whether that is a doula during your pregnancy, whether it's a postpartum doula to help you at home. Ask for cleaning services, ask for meals, ask for help to pay for an in home pediatrician if your insurance doesn't cover that. That's becoming a more popular thing where pediatricians come to your home instead of you having to take the baby out that first couple of weeks after birth. I have an in home pediatrician on the podcast, episode number 27, where she talks about in home care and breastfeeding and I'll link to that in the show notes. Now the way that you can ask for that, there's a registry called www.babylist.com and I'm not affiliated with it at all. I don't get any money or anything or whatever if you sign up for it. But www.babylist.com allows you to ask for things like doula services or meals or house cleaning along with other things if you're interested.

Speaker 1: And I will say about the things, like I said, I'm not saying don't ask for the things, but from experience you end up having a lot of that stuff. Like, you don't need like 40 different onesies. Number one, children grow out of that stuff so freaking fast. They grow like every three seconds. That stuff won't even be useful fairly soon after your baby is born. The clothes especially, definitely do not invest in getting like 40 different types of toys, like 10 different types of toys. You'll find that kids have a couple of things that they like and they'll stick to those and some of the stuff that they're not even going to like, so you don't want to invest a lot of money in toys. You don't get a lot of mileage out of those necessarily.

: For sure consider accepting hand me down clothes and toys if you, if you want to. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have done that before or just going with less expensive options. I for sure I got like less expensive stuff off Amazon, Walmart, Target like clothes and things like that because again, they grow so freaking fast. Now of course you can have like special occasion outfits or a few special pieces if you'd like, but just consider that you don't necessarily need all of the things on your baby registry and those services will go so much further to help in the postpartum period. Now, I do want to say there are a couple things that you will use over and over again. So if you want to ask for help for those then for sure, a car seat, a good car seat and a good stroller, you will use those over and over and over again. So those two things are important. But as for the clothes, the toys, and then, I mean I'm not saying that you don't get any of that cause my God, that stuff is so cute and you look at it and you're like, Oh my goodness, that's so cute. But just maybe get a balance and consider adding some of those services because I guarantee you afterwards you'll be so happy that you did.

: Okay. Number six, you need childbirth education. Most women unfortunately do not take a childbirth education class and that is a big mistake. You are so much more likely to be satisfied and happy with your birth experience. If you take a good comprehensive childbirth education class, you will better know what to expect and you'll be better able to advocate for yourself if you need to. I know a lot of folks will say, well, I'm just going to trust sorta what my doctor says and that's fine, but you want to have some background knowledge yourself. I guarantee you're going to have a better experience, a more fulfilling experience if you take good childbirth education. Now there are of course different options out there. You do have to be a little bit careful about hospital childbirth education classes because sometimes they really are just kind of geared towards getting you into the hospital systems. So be a little bit careful about those, but there are other in person classes.

: Of course, I have my online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course. And my course ensures that you are knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered for your birth. My course is a bit different in that I start off in the very beginning. The very first lesson of the course is on mindset because your mindset is really important for your birth. So I take you through a really important series of exercises to help you with your mindset. And then of course I cover all of the things like the stages of labor, how to push, how to avoid tears, pain management techniques. I talk about possible scenarios like cesarean or vacuum or forceps, how to deal with that or labor induction and information that you need for the postpartum period with breastfeeding and what to expect and all of those good, great things.

: So definitely check out my online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course. Oh, I also talk about things that you don't hear a lot about in other classes, like the risks and benefits of circumcision if you have a boy or how to approach placenta encapsulation safely, if that's something you've heard about or interested in. So go to www.ncrcoaching.com/enroll to check out the class and at the very least take my free class on how to make a birth plan that works. That gives you some tons of great information as well. And that's www.ncrcoaching.com/register.

: Okay. So number seven, and this is something that I am guilty of not doing very well, is you need to prepare for the postpartum period while you're still pregnant. I kind of liken the postpartum period to how we do all of this preparation for the wedding and then sometimes not so much preparation for the marriage, the part that lasts a whole lot longer. So you definitely want to start thinking about the postpartum period and being ready for the postpartum period. Starting really in your third trimester. Having a baby is such a huge transition physically, emotionally, your relationships and unfortunately like prenatal care in the US isn't really designed to help you deal with that. It's not something that obstetricians are taught to deal with or help women through other than just really like a six week checkup, which is completely inadequate and too late. And we do have more of a focus on postpartum depression, but we really don't have good systems and information in place to help you deal with some of the physical changes, the emotional changes, the relationship changes that are going to happen postpartum, and don't get me wrong, you can't necessarily prepare for every single thing that's going to happen.

Speaker 1: It's certainly an ongoing process after you have a baby and how you adjust, but you can have a better idea of what to expect. Now as far as resources, I do talk a bit about immediate postpartum period in The Birth Preparation Course. So I talk about some of the normal physical changes, postpartum depression, breastfeeding, those kinds of things, some other resources. Next week on the podcast, I'm going to have a perinatal psychologist on who focuses on pregnancy and the postpartum period. She actually thinks that we should start talking about this at 28 weeks for everyone. So that's Dr. Alyssa Berlin. She is actually the wife of the prenatal chiropractor who I had on a few episodes back, Elliot Berlin. And then also I came across an Instagram account of an OB GYN who focuses a lot on the postpartum period. She even has a course for the postpartum period. Her name is Dr. Christine Sterling and I don't know her, I just happened to come across her page. But looking through some of her stuff, it looks very useful and good and she has a couple of free resources in addition to paid resources to help you get ready for that postpartum period. So I will link to her website in the shadows.

: All right. Number eight is you need to be comfortable with getting help if you can pay for it, if you have money for it or accepting help when people offer to help or asking for help if you need it either during your pregnancy, but especially after you have a baby. And the specific things that I'm thinking about that you can get, accept or ask help for are meals, making meals, cleaning up, doing laundry, help with the postpartum doula. Maybe you want somebody to come and watch the baby so you and your partner can go on a coffee date. Doesn't have to be anything major, but just to get out of the house for a few minutes. And I will say that a lot of times people will ask, you know, what can I do? What can I do? What can I do? Don't be afraid to be specific about what they can do. So don't be afraid to say, you know what, we love lasagna. So can you make us a Turkey lasagna because that'll last for a while and we can freeze up the rest. Or oh, you know what you can do? I ordered some groceries from my grocery store and can you please go pick them up? You just have to pull up to the parking space and pick them up. If anybody doesn't do that, I hope you do. Or grocery delivery, we do grocery delivery, which is like the best thing ever. There's still some kinks sometimes in what they choose, and I'm a little bit anal about some of the produce that they choose, but overall grocery delivery is a great thing.

Speaker 1: Or you can, like I said, have them pick up your groceries where you just pull up to the car and they load your groceries in the car, you can ask somebody to pick up your groceries for you. You can order them online. So definitely don't be afraid to be specific about asking for help. You know, oh, we got a whole load of baby clothes and laundry to fold that we haven't gotten to, have your friend come over and y'all can chit chat and fold laundry together. Do those types of things. So ask for help, accept help or pay for help if you want to. And paying for help may go back to that one that I said about changing what you ask for in your baby shower registry so you can afford those things when the baby is here. Now, one thing I do want to say about help is that just be sure that the people who are coming around you to see the baby afterwards, that they, you know, yes, people want to see the baby and you want them to see the baby, but really their role should be to support you as you get comfortable with your new relationship with this tiny human being that you are responsible for.

Speaker 1: My mother tells this story of how for my older sister, when she was born, my grandmother came to visit and I love my grandmother, God rest her soul. But my grandmother came to visit my mom and my grandmother just kind of sat around and held the baby and my mom ended up having to cook and do more stuff for both my grandparents who were visiting the baby. So it really wasn't helpful. So when people come to visit you, especially if they're staying for an extended period, their role is to support you. Yes, you can let them see the baby and all that great stuff, but their primary role is to support you so that you can spend more time getting to know your baby and getting comfortable with being a mom.

: All right. The last two things are not just specifically about pregnancy and birth. They apply to pregnancy and birth, but they will really help you for your life. So number nine is trust yourself. I want you to be comfortable with or get used to or good at learning how to trust your self. Learn how to connect to that inner wisdom, that inner voice that you have. People call it different things, they call it, you know, whispers from God, the universe, intuition, whatever you call it. But that voice exists for a reason and it's to help you and to guide you. So I want you to get comfortable trusting yourself and trusting that inner voice. Now I will say that trusting that, it's a skill, it's something that you have to practice, it's something that you have to get in tune with and get good at. But the more that you listen, the more you connect with that, the more you get in tune with it, the easier it will be and the better you'll be at hearing it.

: And ways that you can connect with that inner voice, your inner voice, your inner wisdom and trust yourself are meditation. I highly, highly recommend regular meditation and if you don't already meditate, then I have a free guide that can help you get started. And I'll link to that in the show notes. Or just quiet. So stepping away from the TV, from electronic devices, taking a walk in nature, those things, just kinda connecting and taking time. Some quiet space for yourself will help you strengthen listening to that inner voice and knowing when you can trust it. Because sometimes you'll hear chatter and it's not really your inner voice, it's something else. So like for me, sometimes I hear thoughts and it's actually not like inner guidance or wisdom. It's anxiety because occasionally, sometimes I have trouble with anxiety and I have gotten better at understanding the difference between no no no no no, that's just anxiety acting up because I feel different. My body feels different.

Speaker 1: There's a tightness that's there that clues me in that this is anxiety and not my inner wisdom, inner voice or guidance. And it took time to get there. I'm 45 now and I can't say that I got that overnight, but you don't have to be 45 before you can trust yourself and strengthen that connection to your inner voice. You can start doing that right now, no matter what your age is. So with practice and with time you will get, you will get better at this. I feel like I'm very good at this now. I feel very comfortable about that. And you can get to that point to where you can trust yourself and trust that inner voice in that guidance. Because let me tell you, if you don't listen, and I think I got this analogy, I want to say I heard it from Oprah, but God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, sends you signals about things.

Speaker 1: And it starts off with like a pebble. You know, just like hitting you on the shoulder and you're like, oh, what was that? You know what? Just to grab your attention, to get you to pay attention and look up. And if you don't pay attention to the pebble, then the next thing that comes your way is a brick. So if you don't pay attention to the pebble next time you can get a brick thrown at you and that'll get your attention a little bit more. So up here comes a brick and it's like, oh wait, what was that? That hit me in the back of the head, a brick. And if you don't pay attention to the brick, the next thing that's common is a boulder that's just gonna roll you right over. So you want to learn to pay attention to that inner guidance, voice, wisdom, so that things don't escalate in your life to those boulders.

Speaker 1: All right, and then the last thing that I want to say is that you need to make space and time to take care of yourself in a holistic way. So what I mean by that is that you need to make space and time to take care of yourself physically. That means moving your body with exercise. It doesn't have to be anything terribly complicated, but moving your body with exercise, being mindful of what you put in your body, food as energy and nutrition and as nourishment. You need to be mindful of taking care of yourself physically with adequate rest. Sleep is so important. You need to be mindful of taking care of yourself emotionally. You need to do those things that rejuvenate your, your spirit, your soul, whether that's reading a book, it may be nature. Maybe you like to dance things to really help rejuvenate yourself.

Speaker 1: You need to nourish your relationships, whether it's personal relationships, it could be peer or working relationships because honestly your work environment influences your health as well. You may need to even do therapy. I think therapy is great. I have seen a therapist for the first time in the last year. Everybody should have a therapist. You want to take care of yourself financially so that you have the things that you need to use, money to support your life and the things that are important to you. Take care of yourself spiritually. That may be meditation, that may be prayer. Those are the two things that I do on a regular basis. Maybe you are a regular church goer, maybe you fellowship with other women or people in different ways through things like book clubs or groups or meanings. Those things may help nourish you in a spiritual way.

Speaker 1: You want to take care of your physical environment, like what's actually around you helps support you. Again, something that I want to say I heard Oprah say is like your house should rise up to greet you. So that doesn't mean that it has to be anything fancy or overly expensive, but taking care of your physical environment. And the reason that all of these things are important in taking this holistic approach to health is because they certainly all influence each other, but really a healthy baby starts with having a healthy mom. So the healthier that you are as a mother and a woman, the better able you'll be to have a healthy baby, a healthy child, and be a good parent. Now I know that I've said a lot in that last sentence about the thing or that this last bullet point or whatever you want to call it about what you have to do and things you have to work on and they can feel overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time.

Speaker 1: Work on a little bit here a little bit there. Just keep making forward progress because all of that progress adds up and it all snowballs into each other and also give yourself some grace because sometimes you'll have setbacks and you won't always do things perfectly. For example, there was like a work party the other night and I was good. I only had one cookie, but then I subsequently turned around. I had like a plate of chips and dip, like stuff that I don't ever eat at home because I don't buy it, but it was at work and it was there and I just went for it in a way that was a little bit extra, but just gave myself some grace to start over again and regroup and know that it's a process. But when you keep working at that process of improving your health in that holistic way physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, your environment, all of those things in the long run will add up to help you have healthy pregnancy, healthy birth and healthy life.

Speaker 1: Okay. Just to recap those 10 pieces of advice to help you have your best pregnancy, birth and life. Get your 2020 off to a great start. Number one, know the doctor, the midwife or the practice who you're seeing for your prenatal care and I will link to those resources in the show notes that you can go to. Number two, know the hospital where you plan to give birth and again we'll have some resources for you in the show notes there. Number three, if you're not happy with their doctor or hospital, do not ignore it. You need to address it head on, either change to another doctor or try to work it out. Number four, do not be afraid to advocate for yourself if you need to be persistent, and if you're a black woman, you may need to be extra persistent about advocating for yourself.

Speaker 1: Number five, rethink your baby shower. You want to add some services in there in addition to the things, as those services will go a long way to helping you in the postpartum period. Number six, you need childbirth education. Comprehensive childbirth education is a must and of course I encourage you to check out my option, The Birth Preparation Course and I will link to that in the show notes as well. Number seven, start preparing for the postpartum period while you're still pregnant and I will link to a couple of resources for you there. Remember that having a baby is a big change physically, emotionally, and in your relationships, so you want to get started so that you're ready for it when it happens. Number eight, get help whether you pay for it, accept help if it's offered, or ask for help if you need it. Number nine, trust yourself. Connect with that inner wisdom, that inner voice that you all have. And then number 10, make space. Make time to take care of yourself in a holistic way, having a healthy baby. The first piece is having a healthy mom, so take care of yourself in that holistic way, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually. All of those things are right.

: So that is it for this episode of the podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast in Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know a lot of folks listen in Spotify as well, so shout out to those who listen in Spotify and if you feel so inclined, I would really appreciate you leaving an honest review in Apple podcast. First of all, I love reading them. They like make my day, so leave me a review in Apple podcast and they also help other women find the show and they help the show to grow. So please do that.

: Also, if you're not a part of my free Facebook group All About Pregnancy and Birth, then definitely come join us in the group. It's a great place to connect with other like-minded pregnant women. I am in the group, the community manager for the group Keisha is an experienced doula. I do tips, advice. I also give away the course in the group from time to time. So come check out the group. It's All About Pregnancy and Birth on Facebook and you can join there. I would love to have you join me next week on the podcast. We will have Dr. Alyssa Berlin. She is a clinical psychologist. She specializes in pregnancy, postpartum and parenting and we had a really fun conversation. Lots of information. You're really going to enjoy it. So come on back next week. And until then, I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth.

Speaker 2: Today's episode is brought to you by Women's Wellness Coaching by Dr. Nicole Calloway Ranking. Head to www.ncrcoaching.com to check out my free one hour mini course on how to make your birth plan as well as my comprehensive online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course with over eight hours of content and a private course community. The Birth Preparation Course will leave you knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered going into your birth. Head to www.ncrcoaching.com to learn more.