On today’s episode of Birth Re-Imagined, Elle and Taylor sit down with Mikki Bell, a birth doula and childbirth educator in the South Bay, where Mikki shares the birth story of her oldest child. Mikki shares why she chose home birth for her children, her dramatic water breaking moment at LAX, and the importance of doing a “run-through.”
One of the things they discuss is using labor lines instead of vaginal exams to tell how far along labor is progressing. Labor lines are a dark red or purple line that extends upward from the butt crack up the back, and gets darker and longer as labor progresses. Not everyone has labor lines (roughly 75% of birthing people have them), but they are a different way to assess labor progress without the invasiveness and risks associated with vaginal exams.
They also discuss the use of a TENS Unit during labor to help take the edge off of contractions. A TENS Unit is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and is used to treat everything from back pain to menstrual cramps to labor pain. A TENS Unit floods the nerves with small electrical impulses along the spine so that the brain is distracted by the sensation in the spine instead of focusing on the uterine contraction.
They discuss the importance of setting yourself up for your best birth by doing the work and making sure you are well-informed and well-supported going into your birth. More information and more support means being better prepared no matter the way your birth progresses.
“Make sure that you are very well supported for your birth.” – Mikki Bell
“Do a little work beforehand and really set yourself up for a well-informed, well-supported birth.” – Mikki Bell
“Helping connect people with support systems they might not even know are available to them.” – Elle Kennedy
“I didn’t even know that there were so many different kinds of birth workers out there that offer ALL kinds of different support.” – Elle Kennedy
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Mikki Bell is a birth doula and childbirth educator in the South Bay and on the west side of Los Angeles. She and her husband have had three mini versions of themselves all born swiftly and safely at home.
You can find her on Instagram @thedoulabell.
Resources related to today’s episode:
Husband Coached Childbirth (Bradley Method book)
Who are Elle and Taylor?
Elle Kennedy is a maternity, birth, and family photographer and doula based in Orange County, California. She’s a mother of two, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate for consent and respect for personal preferences during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. She homeschools, is polyamorous, loves tea and scones, and loves using her free time to create and bake.
Dr. Taylor Garcia is a Webster Certified Chiropractor located in the Orange County, California area, with a family practice that focuses on pregnant persons and babies. She is currently going through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s certification program and plans to have that completes by 2021. While not a mama yet, she is the consummate “mom friend,” and hopes to adopt with her partners in about 5 years. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and polyamorous. She believes in focusing on health and wellness from before birth, and using that as a firm foundation for health and wellness throughout life. She believes in the importance of connection and consent in all aspects of life. She is a dancer, a writer, a bookworm, and a fan of music and musicals.
Facebook: Elle Kennedy Photography
Facebook: Dr. Taylor Garcia, DC
Looking for More Content?
Check out Episode 5: Chiropractic for Pregnancy – with Dr. Taylor Garcia, where hosts Elle and Taylor dive into the Webster Technique, what chiropractors do and don’t do, and how chiropractic care addresses the physiological health of the pregnant person (and the baby) during pregnancy and during labor.