We have a special guest, Dominika Buck on the podcast for this episode! Dominika is a certified postpartum nutrition coach and business owner, she owns Above and Beyond Doula Care, which supports women in labor and during breastfeeding.
We get into a deep conversation about how birth can impact not just the early weeks postpartum but the impact it can have on years to come.
Preparing for a friendly birth experience is what everyone wants to do but they rely too much on childbirth.
What I mean by this is they tend to take childbirth classes and have an idea of what childbirth is “supposed” to be, and when that expectation doesn’t happen, they are left dealing with fear and overwhelm. But on the other hand, if you go into childbirth with no expectations you will feel like childbirth just happened to you and be left feeling out of control with the entire process.
Having a doula, (which is what Dominika is and explains about so much in this episode) will help you feel like you have complete control over the birthing process.
Come listen in on all the goodness that Dominika shares in this episode, and be sure to share it with all your friends and family.
I highly recommend that you go check out Dominika and all the amazing things she has to offer. She is out here sharing her amazing wisdom with the world!
~~Find Dominika on instagram >>>>here
~~Find Dominika on Facebook >>>>here
~~If you would like to work with Dominika >>>>here
In this episode, we share with you:
- Introducing Dominika
- Preparing for a friendly birth experience
- Preparing for childbirth is more common than preparing for postpartum
- Traumatic birth accounts for over 30% of all births in the USA only
- Our confidence in ourselves is shrinking because our childbirth is filled with so much fear
- Picking the doctor that you can trust 100% will help with the childbirth process
- Our partners, and the role and effect they have during birth
- How a doula can help you through the childbirth process
- How to recover from a traumatic birth experience
- Breaking the generational traumas of childbirth and postpartum
- Understanding the physiology of postpartum
- Breaking generational trauma starts with you.
Resources & Where to Find Dominika:
Dominika’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beyond.doula/
Dominika on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beyond.doula
If you would like to work with Dominika go to her website: https://aboveandbeyonddoulacare.com/
We all get it. Postpartum and the years after having a baby is no walk in the park. But you know what? It isn’t just about depression or anxiety either.
Hey, my friend! I’m Maranda Bower, a homesteading mama with four wild kids. My life’s passion and education is all about supporting mothers and providers in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. What we know as common sense in the postpartum years has many women feeling just plain awful. It’s time to bring back the truth and get you the tools you need to heal and thrive in motherhood and beyond.
Hello, my friends. Welcome to today’s episode, “How Birth Impacts Your Postpartum Years”. With me today is a very special guest. If you’ve been listening in on this podcast, you know that my guests are certified postpartum nutrition coaches through my certification program. We are just simply setting the high bar so you have the best available information. This is one of the ways in which we can assure that. So, I’m going to introduce to you Dominica Buck. She owns Above and Beyond Doula Care and supports women in labor, VBAC care, postpartum, breastfeeding, infants, and truly all things birth-related. Her background is phenomenal, you guys, and she has four kids too, just as I do. So she gets it. She knows exactly what it means to be in this space.
So, welcome to the show, Dominica.
“Hey, thank you, Maranda. It’s such an honor to be here and to just have the opportunity to talk about all the things I’m so passionate about. Thank you.”
Yes, I often get asked this question because, you know, moms who are pregnant want to prepare for their postpartum experience. There is so much more that they can do, but we’re going to save that for another episode. One of the biggest and most important things they could do is really prepare themselves for a mother-baby-friendly birth experience. So I’m hoping that you can tell us about what that means and really how birth can impact not just the weeks postpartum, but also the years postpartum.
“Oh my goodness. Okay, so there is like so much I can say. I’m gonna try to keep it short. But how birth can affect the postpartum and the motherhood, I would say there are two ways it can affect. One of them is, of course, emotional and mental, and the other way is physical. That being said, it’s all intertwined together. Our physical recovery affects our mental health and our mental health or emotional state affects our physical recovery after childbirth. I think that where I see in my own experience, and also in my professional experience, working with families… you said a woman likes to prepare for postpartum, but it is way more common for people to prepare for childbirth. That’s just way more talked about. We have childbirth classes, and the whole time leading up to pregnancies is primarily about childbirth. I feel honestly like postpartum is way neglected, and I think that is why we see what we see in our society today with families just having a generation of hurting mothers. Preparation for childbirth definitely has its place because it does affect motherhood. The more knowledge we have, the more we prepare for childbirth, the more we understand what is going on in labor, and the whole physiology of it, that can help us to feel really empowered in childbirth and kind of have control in a way. You know, there are some people who just don’t really want to do any preparation. They go to labor, things just happen, people make decisions for them, and they come out of the experience thinking ‘this just happened’. But people I work with, naturally, many who hire a doula or purchase a childbirth education class, are people who want to be prepared. In my experience, families who are prepared and know what to expect in childbirth feel way more empowered and come out of the experience feeling in control. We can’t really control what goes on, right? Birth is a journey, and we can try to plan, but we really can’t plan for birth. That being said, even if the birth doesn’t go the way we hoped or expected, we can still come out feeling like this was a positive experience because, for one, I understood what was going on because I prepared for it. I was able to make my own decisions because I knew what was going on, and I had supportive people around me. I felt heard, cared for, and felt like this is my journey, and I can decide what I want for it. And so with that, when you come out of your birth experience feeling that you were hurt and you were supported and trusted, that really sets up a great start to your post-partum, to your journey, right?”
Yeah, and I think that’s so key. Like, you know, here in the U.S. alone, traumatic birth accounts for over 30% of all births. And the rest of the people who actually talk about it. Exactly. And thank you for bringing that up. The statistic is, you know, absolutely phenomenal. We need to draw attention to how trauma can affect the birth experience.
There was a study that was done not too long ago that talked about it. It wasn’t the interventions that made it traumatic. It wasn’t that the birth didn’t go as planned. What was viewed as traumatic was the lack of support, the feelings of loss: loss of autonomy, loss of control, loss of support systems. That, in turn, was what made the birth experience traumatic.
When we look at post-partum, if we’re entering post-partum having experienced a traumatic birth or a birth where we did not feel empowered in the least bit, that plays a huge role in how your brain is shaped post-partum. Your overall support and whether or not you’re feeling like you’re going to have to do this all alone affects your nervous system. Physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually, everything comes into question.
Imagine you come out of your birth experience traumatized, unheard. “This is what I wanted, but nobody was listening to me. Nobody trusted me. Nobody trusted my body.” And then you’re a mother with a newborn baby. Your self-worth and self-trust is sinking because in labor you were not trusted and heard. Taking care of a baby is hard for everyone, even for an experienced mom. Each baby is different. Your confidence sinks further if your childbirth experience was filled with fear.
We cannot choose our circumstances, right? We can’t control everything. But what we can control is the support that we have, the birth team we choose. You can’t always choose the nurses in the hospital, but you can choose your OB, primary provider, or midwife. Do they really hear me? Do they respect my wishes? Do they trust me? Or are they the kind of doctors that think, “I have the degree, and you have Google.” Do they trust my instincts?
I’m a doula. Having a doula by your side is invaluable. When I support my clients, I trust them because I know it’s their body. They can make their own choices. They’re smart and intuitive.
It’s not just about the mother. The partner, husband, or whoever is with you during childbirth also matters. With proper education and support for the partner, they are more likely to feel empowered during birth because they can actively support the mom. That experience can bond them and set them off on a great start postpartum with the new baby.
However, if the partner feels lost, thinking, “I don’t know what to do. My partner is in pain, and I’m freaking out,” that’s a problem. Men often want to fix things. In labor, they might feel helpless. If they leave the childbirth experience feeling they couldn’t help, that can lead to feelings of inadequacy as they transition into fatherhood.
I appreciate this conversation because it can dive deep quickly. I had a client who said that her partner’s fear during labor shaped her experience. When she saw the fear in his eyes, she discarded all her wishes just to alleviate his fear. So, the support, education, and well-being of our partners are crucial during this process.
Hiring a doula is beneficial not just for the mother but also for the partner. It gives the partner a break and a moment to breathe. Of course, their experience doesn’t compare to the laboring mother, but they play a significant role during this time.
And, as a doula, I can also assist the partner. Simple reassurances like, “This is normal. She’s okay,” or suggesting a technique to try can be empowering. The key is confidence and empowerment during childbirth, and it carries over to postpartum and parenthood.
Traumatic birth experience impacts your mental well-being in postpartum. Your mental health affects your physical healing and vice versa. It’s all interconnected. What stands out is the importance of education and support.
“Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. What do you recommend for those mamas who don’t have the birth experience that they hope for? How can they recover from trauma, or something that is not even necessarily trauma, but something that happened unexpectedly that really shaped maybe who they felt they were, or just their overall experience entering into postpartum?”
Yeah, that’s a good question. And I feel like, you know, we struggle so much with guilt and shame, even if we don’t have to. But it’s just part of motherhood. There’s just, you know, part of it all. And it just really depends. But I feel like, I guess the way I try to support people around me is just to listen, to give them the opportunity to talk about it, just talk about your experience. Because so often when we try to talk about what happened to us, we are shut down with, “Oh yeah, but in the end you have a healthy baby, right? You can’t complain.” Or, “Well, I had a cesarean too, so, and I’m fine, you’re fine too, you know, that’s a birth, whatever.” Or, you know, we just get shut down with, “Well, in the end you’re okay.” So nobody really cares about how you feel. So I guess when I support people, I just give them the opportunity to talk about it, say how you feel, say it over and over again. Like, reach out to me again if you need to say the exact same thing and say your feelings, because how you feel matters. Yeah, you have a healthy baby, great, but your experience matters.
And also, I think it just takes time. It takes time to come to the point where you are ready to think of yourself as worthy, worthy of self-care, worthy of healing, of being loved. Because no matter what happens to us, we tend to think of it as our fault. And somehow we always find ways to explain circumstances as “it’s my fault.” And then, you know, comes the guilt and shame. And then, we feel inadequate, we feel like we failed, and then we go on to years of motherhood, feeling like “I’m just not worthy.” Of course, subconsciously, right? We don’t say it out loud. We don’t wake up with the feeling and look in the mirror and say “I’m just gonna neglect myself today.” But it’s deep inside of us. We try to overcompensate for where we feel like we failed by giving ourselves one hundred percent and more into everything and everyone else, and we just neglect ourselves for years and years because we don’t feel worthy of healing. And this is the generational trauma. Yeah, women carry the burdens of it, and we pass this down to our children. And many of the people who are listening in on this are the women who are here to break those generational traumas, to break those generational molds that we’ve been unconsciously or subconsciously passing down to our children. But to be here and to take in this knowledge, or to say “I am going to hire a doula” or “I’m gonna work through this trauma,” or “I’m gonna support myself in postpartum by doing the things that I know I need to,” and subsequently breaking the “need” – quote-unquote “need” – to feel guilt and shame. Wow. Those are just patterns that have developed over time. They’re ingrained in who we are. But they don’t have to be for us, and they don’t have to be for our children. And we have that power to break that. And that’s the beauty of being here and doing the work that we’re doing together.
And you’re doing phenomenal work. You know, even without me, he’s doing so much in this world and in relation to birth. And I just want to bring that to light, how significant that is. And, of course, we’ve also worked together. You’ve taken the postpartum nutrition certification, and I just really want to touch base on that very quickly before asking you some other really important questions for the audience. But I really want to know, how has that information that you learned in your certification really changed your understanding, or even how you support women in pregnancy and postpartum and labor and birth and all the things? It changed a hundred percent. It was… It just… So you know I have four children, right? And I never healed from my postpartum. I mean, from the childbirth. I never recovered. I never ate right. I starved myself. I am one of those moms, like one of those… Well, one of us, all of us. And so, for me, getting all of the knowledge of, you know, just understanding the physiology of postpartum, what happens in childbirth, and how it affects the postpartum, and all about the nutrition… It just made so much sense. You know, how I felt as a mom for years and years, it made so much sense.
“So it honestly started with just understanding myself. And it gave me the permission to think, ‘Okay, there is a reason why I feel the way I feel, and there is hope and healing for me.’ And so, from there, of course, now it completely changed how I support my clients. I am able to provide them with great and deep education, not only about childbirth but also about postpartum. And, like I said, we don’t talk about postpartum well enough. We don’t educate about postpartum enough. So I am able to do that now. And it’s not only about how to take care of your baby and vagina, but it’s about how to heal deeply from what just happened to your body and to your soul. So that information was life-changing, not only for me but for everyone I get to support, and for the generations to come.”
I appreciate that so, so much, and it’s a big part of what we talk about in the certification program as well. This healing journey and the breaking of these generational traumas begins with ourselves. We can offer the world all of the support and all of the tools necessary, but if we’re not doing it ourselves, we’re carrying that energetically. We’re carrying that physically, we’re projecting those things onto our clients. I just think that’s absolutely amazing that that’s where you open the conversation.
I’ve been watching your posts over the last several months and seeing all of the amazing work that you are doing and putting out into the world. Everyone needs to hear what you’re sharing. So share with my listeners: where can they find you? Where can they go to get your information and what you’re putting out there?
“Well, I’m working really hard trying to be active on Facebook. My business page on Facebook is ‘Above and Beyond Doula Care, AK’. You guys can follow and like. I’m trying to put out education and all of that, and just really connect with the world. I’m also on Instagram, which I find way harder to be active on, but on Instagram, I am @beyond.doula. My website is www.aboveandbeyonddoulacare.com where you can find information about me and the services I provide. Yeah, all of them. And we’ll have all of that in the show notes too for those of you who want to go check her out and the information that she’s putting out there to everyone.”
I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Dominica, thank you so much for being here and a part of this show and sharing your amazing wisdom with the world. So many women are going to benefit from this. Thank you.
“Yeah, thank you Maranda, and thank you for the initial education.”
Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to learn about how to support your body and deep healing. We don’t do this work just for us or for you. Your healing impacts your children, your relationships, and your community. We do this work because the health and vibrancy of our world begins with its mothers.
I hope you have taken some valuable information today and applied it to your own life. If you aren’t sure where to begin, reach out about working together one-on-one, or at a minimum, learn about my postpartum nutrition plan, which is where I start every single one of my clients. You can do that by going to Marandabower.com.
Hope you enjoyed this episode. Let us know by leaving a review, and we will see you next time.
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