Episode 75: Birth Education with Dr. Marissa Hols

Welcome to the Rooted Mind Podcast!

Episode #75: Birth Education with Dr. Marissa Hols

Your Host: Jess

Special Guest: Dr. Marissa Hols

[0:45] Introduction of special guest, Marissa

[1:12] Jess: Tell our listeners what you do

[1:24] Marissa: I’m a chiropractor by trade, that’s where I was introduced to pregnancy and birth. I loved working with pregnant women and babies.

[1:50] Jess: Marissa also adjusts dogs, that’s how I met her

[3:24] Marissa: I didn’t want to have my first baby in a hospital, I didn’t want heavy intervention

[4:15] Marissa:  I was afraid I wouldn’t have a say in some of the decisions made in a hospital setting. Once it was closer to the time of my home birth, I felt educated and non-fearful, my midwife did a great job educating me.

[5:27] Marissa: My first birth was a home birth, but I was transferred to a hospital postpartum. My second birth was  a planned home birth, but I was transferred to a hospital, so I had a full hospital birth.

[5:42] Jess: What was it like having a hospital birth when you had had a planned home birth?

[5:45] Marissa:It was scary. But the doctor asked me what I wanted; the paradigm is shifting to be more patient based, but I still had some little losses. I didn’t have a written birth plan, so I had no leverage or evidence based decisions with me to give them, so I was put on antibiotics and fetal monitoring so I wasn’t able to get out of bed and move around a lot. I wish I had advocated for myself more. So that’s where the birth educator dream came along, because I realized I cannot be the only woman in that position.

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[8:08] Jess: What is a birth educator? Tell me more.

[8:12] Marissa: I sit down with pregnant moms and talk about what they want out of the entire birthing process. We go through all the options for prenatal, birthing, and postpartum care. We go through education and paradigms and research behind how much intervention is used between different kinds of practitioners. We go over testing during pregnancy, what options you have and what tests you can decline.

[11:21] Marissa goes through pain management options for birth

[12:05] Marissa stresses the importance of finding a provider that can provide you with the kind of birth you want

[12:12] Jess: Can you mandate what kind of interventions you don’t want? When it comes to vaccines and such?

[12:20] Marissa: Absolutely. That’s what the birth plan is huge for

[12:53] Marissa explains what all a birth plan can include and how they hold doctors accountable

[14:27] You have the right to decline any kind of medical intervention

[14:52] Whether or not you want postpartum vaccines should be on your birth plan

[15:24] Birth plans help you advocate for yourself when you’re most vulnerable

[16:33] If you’re having a hospital birth and aren’t sure if you want an epidural, you can put it as a possibility on your birth plan

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[18:38] Jess: What’s the process for having a home birth?

[18:40] Marissa explains the difference between certified professional midwives and certified nurse midwives

[19:43] As long as you are low-risk, you can have a home birth

[20:17] Globally, home births are right on par with outcomes of hospital births

[22:26] Midwives are trained to call in for a hospital transfer whenever medically necessary

[22:56] Midwives often do home visits for prenatal visits, referring out ultrasounds and blood work

[23:24] It’s easier to decline testing in a midwifery setting versus a hospital setting

[25:28] Marissa: My job is to make sure we’re looking at evidence based research and evidence based practices, that way when you go to your appointments with your midwife or OBGYN, you’re up to date and ready to have a discussion with your practitioner.

[25:40] Marissa helps clients virtually

[25:50] Jess: Do you help women find midwives?

[26:03] Marissa: Yes! I get to connect with midwives throughout the country

[27:30] The importance of knowing all your options and an inclusive birth plan

[28:05] Making decisions based off of evidence, not fear

[28:19] The importance of being an active participant in your health care

[28:48] Marissa: My practice will evolve into more postpartum care as well

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[31:41] Jess: Can you give us feedback on what birthing is like right now during the COVID crisis?

[32:08] Marissa: Many hospitals are limiting one birthing partner in the birthing room

[34:17] Marissa gives advice on how to get additional support if you’re only allowed one person in the room during birth

[35:34] There is no evidence that eating and drinking during labor leads to poor birthing outcomes

[38:25] Do what’s based off of research and sound evidence and do what’s best for you and your family

[42:09] Marissa covers where to find her online and additional resources

[44:00] Outro


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