Kat Grosshaupt

Kat Grosshaupt

I'm on a mission. I want women everywhere to feel empowered and strong. I want to help women see their potential and that there is nothing in life that can hold them back from fulfilling their dreams and ultimate desires. I do this through Crossfit coaching, teaching Hynobirthing, and assisting in labors as a Birth Doula. I'm a Mom first and foremost and I strive to be the best example possible for my children and those around me.

A Birthing Manifesto….. or the Pre-quel to my response to the Crossfit/Pregnancy Backlash

 

Wow. There’s been a LOT of backlash lately regarding Crossfitting and Pregnancy. Funny how one picture or one article can start a wildfire. It’s like that with anything, really. Especially things that are mis-understood or where there is a lot of fear or resistance to changing the norm.

Most people know what I do in Life. But if you don’t- I am first a Mom of 2. I am also a Crossfit Coach (4 years), Birth Doula (60+ births), and a Childbirth Educator (5 years). So I would say I have a little experience in this arena. I don’t know everything but I’ve seen A LOT- in my childbirth classes, in the Gym, in the hospitals, and in talking with hundreds of pregnant and postpartum moms. It has shaped my thinking, the way I approach teaching and supporting pregnancy and birth, and has catapulted me into doing lots and lots of reading and research. I’ve developed personalized programs for pregnant and post-partum moms and have developed a Crossfit and Pregnancy Seminar that I travel around presenting at various Crossfit gyms. This is my passion. My true path.

I would say my Professional Philosophy is fairly moderate. My personal choices and philosophy differ from what I think about birth as a whole. This is something that has been vital to my career in this field. After all, each woman is as varied as her fingerprint and each woman has a different desire for her birthing and pregnancy experience. It’s not up to me to sway her to my side. I’m only here to guide and provide information. 

Here are some of my core beliefs about Pregnancy and Childbirth. If you are thinking of getting pregnant or already are, this is a great exercise to do. What do you really think? What areas do you find you need more information about? 

  • Birth is Normal. It’s not a medical emergency waiting to happen.
  • Women are Strong. Much stronger than they realize.
  • Women have in them the deep-rooted inner strength and encoded blueprint of how to have a baby. Our bodies, as women, are made to do this. And 9 times out of 10 birth will go off without a hitch if we just get out of the way and allow it to unfold on its own.
  • Moms have a monumental responsibility to their growing Baby(ies) to provide them with the best environment possible: air, water, quality food, and exercise. It is irresponsible to lay around and use pregnancy as an excuse to eat crappy food and lay on the couch for 9 months. 
  • What is good for one Woman may not be good for another. Just because your mom, best friend, or sister did things one way or used one particular care provider doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
  • Women must arm themselves with information. Care providers are people- just like us. They know a LOT but they don’t know it all. 
  • Thank GOD for Doctors, Nurses, and Midwives. Here in Austin, we have some amazing medical professionals and I have had the pleasure of working with some really outstanding Birthing Professionals. Not all docs/nurses are out to get you…
  • Women must learn to trust themselves and their body. Tuning in to your Instincts will benefit you a million times over- not only in Pregnancy and Labor, but also when your Baby is born and you’re wondering if they are in some sort of pain, if they hate you, or if they just have gas. It’s probably the last one.
  • Birth is 80% about Mindset. Find a program (like Hypnobirthing) that will help you get in the right frame of mind to tackle labor. If you Crossfit, you’re already 50% of the way there.
  • There are quite a few factors that play into how your birth is going to play out. Some of them you can control, some you can’t. If your goal is a natural birth, arm yourself with tools and knowledge on how to make that happen. But if things need to go a different way for safety or health- related reasons, it’s ok. 
  • YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.  NO MATTER WHAT. BIRTH IS NOT A “TEST”. THERE IS NO PASS OR FAIL. 
  • See above. Read it again and tattoo it on your forehead.
  • There is a time and a place for everything- inductions, interventions, epidurals, c-sections. They are overused. So be informed and ask questions. Your care provider, you, and your nurse are all a Team. Make decisions as a Team. Then see below.
  • The NUMBER ONE way to have the birth you desire is to find a care provider you are on the same page with. Be it a Midwife or an OB/GYN- this is the most important decision you’ll make in your pregnancy. They don’t just catch the baby at the end. Their policies and philosophy determine how your pregnancy and birth will go. 
  • On the same line, hire a Doula. I’ve never met anyone who said, “That was a waste of money.” Most of the times it’s the Dads that say “Dang. I was so against hiring you but I am sooooooo glad you were here!” Then we hug it out and they become my biggest advocate. 
  • Know that Birth IS a Business. Period. YOU are the consumer. From the shiny aisles at Babies R Us to Vaccine info to the production of A Baby Story- it’s all marketed to you. Same with your Provider. If you don’t like what they are telling you- leave. Find another one. I get it. They are “nice.” You are not having them over for dinner. One of my students changed providers at 38 weeks. She ended up having the birth of her dreams. Be courageous. You may have other kids, but this is THIS baby’s only time to be born.

Geez. That was a lot more than I expected. I can’t help it. I get on a roll. I think I’m like the Zack De La Rocha of the birthing world. Rage Against the (Baby)Machine. Fist pump!

This is only Part 1, People. I had to set the stage for my next post about Crossfit and Pregnancy. I’m notorious for lengthy back story. Don’t worry. It’ll be worth it!

What’s Better Than Burpees? Burpee Pullups…

I really do. Seriously.

When teaching my childbirth classes, I always stress to parents that Labor is 80% about mindset. That’s why I love Hypnobirthing and that’s one of the reasons I love Crossfit. Yesterday our workout had the following:

  • Back Squats
  • Front Squats
  • 100 Chest to Bar Burpee Pullups

At first I was seriously contemplating going to yoga instead. I made all sorts of excuses about my shoulders and my left pinky toe (ok not really). But my friend and fellow exerciser, Kelli, texted me and said 

“Just come to class. We will all suffer together!”

So I decided to go because, really, it didn’t matter if I even finished the workout or was last, but I am committed to bettering myself and wanted to be there for and with my “team”/my classmates. Which is another reason I love Crossfit- we all suffer together :)

But back to mindset: 3 years ago if I were to see 100 Chest to Bar Burpee Pullups I would have gotten a huge knot in my stomach and stressed about it for at least a day. But when I saw it the night before, I just made a plan. I’ve been doing Crossfit for long enough to know my threshold, know my weaknesses and limitations, and plan accordingly. I love a good plan when it comes to workouts so I made one and committed to it.

My plan was to do Burpee Pullups since my chest to bar isn’t strong and I want to improve my regular pullups while maintaining a good pace with the burpee part too.  I decided to do sets of 5 with 5 breaths in between sets. I know that may sound weird to plan the number of breaths, but I’ve learned that if I don’t do that I’ll stand around forever- or until someone yells at me to move my butt!

I also chalked up between each set so I wouldn’t tear. As Winchester said yesterday- train smart. I knew that if I just powered through it I would rip and then wouldn’t be able to workout for the next few days- or wash my hair- the weekend is coming up after all- come on! 

My plan turned out to be a good one. I finished under the cutoff at 17:22. Around the 20th rep I thought, “Are you kidding me? I’m never going to finish” but then when I made it over the hump of 50, I saw the light. And by 70 I was like “I so have this” and even picked up the pace!

Today I’m heading to yoga for some major stretching and sweating. This has been a rough week and I want my body to recover and work out all the kinks. Epsom salt baths have been my friend as well as increasing my fish oil. Again, train smart. Part of that means Recovery and rest.

So the next time you face a workout that seems daunting, make a plan! Break it down into chunks and think about what’s doable for YOU. Also, make sure you talk yourself through your workout- don’t let yourself say things like “this sucks” and “when is it going to be over”- it makes all the difference- in Labor, too, by the way.

Have a great rest of your week and I’d love to hear how you plan out your workouts! What’s your strategy?

My Manifesto

 

My good friend, Erin (she drew the amazing pic above. Her site is http://withinkidraw.blogspot.com) asked me about my mission statement yesterday. I ended up writing more of a Manifesto- that’s more hardcore anyway :) This was a truly great exercise for me. I encourage you to write one- be it about parenting, your relationship, job, whatever. I’d love to hear it.

 

My mission is to help women empower themselves. Empowerment comes from within, no one can empower you. You have to find it in yourself and cultivate it, grow it, nourish it on a daily basis. Empowerment comes in many forms and through many avenues. The women who come to me happen to be in the pregnant phase of their lives. Pregnancy, Labor, and Motherhood can be a confusing time for women. 

When a woman gives birth, she is, in essence, re-born herself. She goes through a personal “birth” of herself in a new form- as a Mother. This is a whole other part of herself that she never knew existed. It lies dormant until that last heaving push when her baby enters the world. The flood of hormones, the energy in the room, the emotion she feels for this new Life changes hers forever. But after the excitement wears off, after the help is gone, when she is alone at home with this new Life, things get hairy. Self-doubt creeps in. She may feel abandoned, alone, sad yet happy, and undoubtedly overwhelmed. 

See, our society doesn’t value this time. We don’t have a system in place to nourish Moms when they need it the most. We expect them to put on a smiling face, fit back into their skinny jeans, and happily fall into their new role as Mother without ever looking back. 

But it’s not that easy. It’s a New Normal. And it can be tough navigating the road that’s often paved with judgement, bad advice, sleeplessness, and overall sense of helplessness. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. And that’s where I come in. 

I believe that every woman has a path. 

I believe that there is no right or wrong way to approach your pregnancy, birth, parenthood.

I believe in honing in on the skill of listening to your gut instinct- something many of us have let gather cobwebs or never learned to tune into.

I believe Women are Strong. Women are Smart. Women are Intuitive. 

I believe in the process of Birth. I believe that you can have a peaceful, calm birthing experience- wether you are doing it naturally, with drugs, or even a c section. 

I believe that the postpartum period can be a bitch. I’ve been there. I’ve been at the breaking point. I’ve been suicidal and thought that my kids were better off without me. I get it. I pulled through. You will too. I support you.

Birth is about Knowledge. It’s about Choices. it’s about knowing that you have the deep seeded, primal knowledge of how to give birth. It’s a perfect design and one that you, as a Woman, are made to do. 

Birth is about TRUST.

Trust in yourself.

Trust in your body’s ability to birth your baby.

Trust in the perfect design of the process.

Birth is hard. It’s hard work. It’s tough. But you can do it. You are stronger than you think. Believe that.

What I teach is much more than a birthing class. It’s a way of life.

It’s a way of looking at things- be it Birth, Life, Marriage, whatever. How you speak about, think about something determines your reality.

Our minds truly control our bodies. And when we can release Fear, we can be free. Free to lead the Life we are meant to lead. Free to birth how we want to birth. Free to make the choices that WE want to make in regards to our birth, our children’s health, our health, our relationships, our daily lives. 

YOU HAVE CHOICES

I want women to see that they are not in a Box. Just because you have a child (or 2 or 3) doesn’t mean your life is over. It doesn’t  mean you are doomed to a life of Mom jeans and spit up. I want you to feel good and look good. I want you to have energy to run around with your kids. I want to help you get back on track- whether with nutrition, exercise, sleep, whatever you need. 

We are all in this together. We are here to support each other, love each other, and give each other hugs when we need a shoulder to lean on. Parenting is tough. You don’t have to go it alone. 

Your Life is what you decide it to be. Make your own Path. 

BUILD YOUR OWN LIFE.

Listen to your inner wisdom.

Crossfit and Pregnancy in the Rio Grande Valley

This past weekend I taught an amazing group down in South Texas at Crossfit RockKore in Edinburg, Tx.  It was a group of coaches, moms, moms-to-be, and a few ladies thinking about getting pregnant in the next year or so. There were even a few male coaches in attendance- yeah!!!

We got into Edinburg on Friday night just in time to get in a workout with a few of the RockKore coaches in their massive box- it is HUGE!! Co-owner, John, and his wife Jemma have an adorable 7 month old little boy who cheered us on from his pack ‘n play while we busted out some banded deadlifts and pistols- ouch.

The next day at the seminar I was, yet again, reminded about why I do what I do. Each group I teach is unique.  Every woman (or man) has a different reason as to why they are there. I meet women who already have kids and want this pregnancy to be different. Better. Healthier. Wiser.  I meet women who want so desperately to get pregnant and are working hard to ensure they are eating right, supplementing, and keeping their bodies optimally fit and healthy as they prepare to conceive. 

I also meet women who are scared to death of Pregnancy and Birth. Some who coach women and somewhere in the back of their minds they want to have a baby one day but jokingly dismiss the idea as a death wish. These are the ones who walk away from the seminar with a whole new outlook on the process. A better one. A more empowered one. I almost feel like they feel like they walk taller. They have a more empowered feeling about being a Woman, Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood and not like it’s the end of the world.

My favorites are the women who are Hungry. That’s how I feel the women of Crossfit RockKore approached this weekend. Let me explain:

These women were hungry. Hungry for information. Hungry for knowledge about the ins and outs of keeping healthy and fit during pregnancy. Hungry about ways to bring their community of like-minded women together, to support each other during this extremely important yet vulnerable time in women’s lives. 

And also they were there for Confirmation. Confirmation that what they are doing/thinking/encouraging is ok. What do I mean by that? Here are some questions that I often get at my seminars:

  • Is it ok to eat Paleo during Pregnancy?
  • Can I start a Paleo diet during Pregnancy?
  • What supplements should I take/not take?
  • How do I talk to my Dr. about Crossfit?
  • My doc doesn’t think I should workout. How do I deal with this?
  • I’m not sure how to modify my workouts.
  • Can I do situps? Pullups? HSPU?
  • When can I get back in the gym post- baby?
  • What do you think about Homebirth? Birthing centers?

You know, I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a degree in nutrition. But I’ve worked with over 400 pregnant women in the past 5 years and attended nearly 50 births. I’ve seen A LOT! And I’ve learned a lot along the way- on-the-job training at its finest. And here’s what I’ve come to conclude:

Women know a lot more than they give themselves credit for. I feel like, in some ways, I “give them permission” to listen to their gut. With so much mis-information out there and about a billion books, tv shows, and opinions about everything pregnancy-related, it’s hard to know what to do. It can honestly be paralyzing and fear-inducing. My philosophy is simple and scaled- back.

I believe in keeping it simple, getting rid of all the extraneous fluff, and just listening to your body. Eat simply and eat well. Move. Breathe. Trust in the Process of Birth and Pregnancy. And ask questions. Lots and lots and lots of questions. 

The Women of the Rio Grande Valley now have some really great resources at Crossfit RockKore as well as some of the surrounding gyms. I have no doubt they will change the face of women’s fitness as well as women’s health during pregnancy and after.

It was truly an honor to work with each of you and I hope to see you all again soon!

Hospital, Birthing Center, or on the Side of Mopac. It’s Your Choice.

My beautiful friend, Carli, who is due any day now. Photo courtesy of Inked Fingers!

I’m taking a break from my ranting about floors and feet to talk about Pregnancy- my other favorite topic. Last night I had a discussion with a Pregnant Mom who just took my Hypnobirthing class. She is thinking about switching from her OB/hospital  to a Midwife and birthing center and wanted my opinion. 

As opinionated as I am about most things in Life, when it comes to decisions regarding pregnancy, birth, and parenthood, I would much rather be a sounding board or a Guide rather than overtake a conversation with my own opinions and preferences. I firmly believe that everyone comes from a different place, has different backgrounds, expectations, support structures, and it’s not my place to tell them they are wrong or try to convince them to do something that I believe in. I am only here to be a resource, a devil’s advocate sometimes, and help them make decisions that will best resonate with them so that they can have the best possible birthing experience.

What I have noticed is that people tend to fall into 3 categories:

  1. Those who feel most comfortable in the Hospital setting
  2. Those who feel most comfortable outside of the Hospital
  3. Those who are on the fence

I want to, once again, reiterate the fact that Birth is 90% mental. Your birthing environment plays a big part in your mental and emotional comfort level. Let’s look at Jessica- my friend and old college roommate. Jessica is a Podiatrist and took my class 2 years ago. She made an excellent point during class one night that I’ll never forget as it gave me a different perspective on where people are coming from. She basically stated that, because of her background in medicine and her Life’s work as a doctor, she feels extremely comfortable in a hospital setting. She is familiar with the terminology, procedures, and just feels a certain sense of ease in the hospital. 

A hospital birth was the most logical and most comforting place for Jessica to have her baby. 

Let’s look at myself. I had a hospital birth in Japan. Back in Austin and pregnant for the second time, I had a not so great experience with an OB and decided I wanted a more personal experience than I was getting. When I met April, my midwife, I knew she was the one for me. I felt way more comfortable in the home-like setting of the birthing center under the care of my midwife. My birthing experience ended up being everything I wanted it to be and more.

The Midwifery Model and birthing center was the best place for me. However, I would never try to convince Jessica that she should have an out of hospital birth. Just because it was right for me doesn’t mean it was right for her. This is a very important concept that so many people don’t “get.” 

Going back to the Mom who called me last night. We talked about the pros and cons of both. She asked lots of important questions and I answered as best I could. My best advice to her and to anyone else who is either on the fence about where to have their baby or is even just a wee bit curious about birthing centers and/or the midwife model of  care is this:

Go visit a birthing center. Schedule an interview/consultation with a midwife. Just like I told the Mom last night- you’ll know. You’ll know, in your gut, if it feels right or not. You’ll know if you feel a sense of comfort or a sense of anxiety. You’ll know if you click or not with the midwife and her style. And also know this: the most important decision in your pregnancy is your care provider. So take the time to choose someone- OB or midwife- who you feel comfortable with and who is on the same page as you regarding your birthing preferences. (That’s another blog post altogether. )

Trust your gut. 

Listen to your instincts. 

Remember- this is YOUR experience. No one else’s. Some people will question your decisions, but you know what? Welcome to Parenthood. People will be questioning your decisions for the next 18+ years. May as well start to get a thick skin now.

And if you need a sounding board, call me :)

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

  

Never play hopscotch with a unicorn.

Oh, were you expecting something more profound? The picture above is of my high school’s mascot. Pretty freaking hard core, huh?

All kidding aside, I’m going to use Wednesdays to shed some light on a few things I’ve picked up along the way regarding Parenthood, Pregnancy, Childbirth- all that good stuff. I’m no expert nor do I have it all figured out, but I- like many of you- am forging along this path we call Life and sometimes I feel like I need a machete to cut down all the b.s. that’s out there to find what really resonates with me.

Today I want to talk about Preparing to Have a Baby.

Numero Uno: THIS IS NOT A TEST. In most other areas of Life, you study, you make a list, you check off what you’re supposed to do, you read some books or articles, and then you take the Test (metaphorically or not). You either Pass or Fail. It’s very black and white. 

Many people approach Childbirth prep in the same way: They “prepare” as best as they possibly can:

Childbirth class: check.

Breastfeeding class: check.

4 dozen books read: check.

Birth plan written: check.

They feel prepared, educated, and ready to go.

95% of the time, birth goes off without a hitch. I’m NOT saying it’s easy, but 95% of all births are low risk with little to no intervention needed. 

BUT sometimes things don’t quite go “as planned”

#2) YOU CANNOT PLAN A BIRTH!

In my Hypnobirthing class, we call it “Birth Preferences”- I think just the wording in that phrase helps parents get their minds in a whole different place. You can definitely have things you “prefer”- intermittent monitoring, freedom to move around, a Doula present, delayed cord clamping, etc. but the truth is that there are a TON of factors that contribute to our Birth experience:

How hydrated are you?

How rested are you?

When was your last meal and what did you eat?

How fearful are you? Yes. That makes a huge difference!

Have you chosen a Care Provider who is on the same page as you with your preferences?

Have you been sedentary your whole pregnancy?

Are you moving around during Labor and not just laying in the bed?

How is your Baby tolerating Labor?

These are just a few factors that influence how your Birthing experience is going to flow. Some of it we can control, some of it we can’t. One of my favorite Affirmations from Hypnobirthing is this:

I AM PREPARED TO MEET WHATEVER TURN MY BIRTHING TAKES

I’ve seen Moms get incredibly frustrated when their Labor takes a turn that they weren’t “planning” for- it could be something small like needing a little Pitocin or could be something much larger like a C Section. Some Moms come away from their Birth depressed or angry because their birth plan “went out the window.”

My point to this post is this:

Educate yourself. Prepare yourself. Communicate your desires to your Provider and your Birth Partner. Then let Nature do her job.

All you can do is your best. Sometimes things go as planned and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t mean you failed. It doesn’t mean you are a bad Mom/Woman/Partner. It doesn’t mean you are weak. Screw what other people think. If you planned on a Natural birth and got an epidural- that’s nobody’s business but your own.

Childbirth not only gives you a beautiful new baby, but also gives you your first coat of Armor. Seriously.

Have a question/issue you’d like me to address? Email me at FitLifeAustin@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Choices, Judgement, and Parenthood… Part 1

                                             My all-time favorite job

I never really know what to tell people when they ask what I do. I do a lot of different things- I am a Crossfit Coach, Birth Doula, Hypnobirthing Practitioner, Personal Trainer, and Mom. I support and educate women about Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum in relation to Health: Nutrition, exercise, and the sometimes very rocky transition into Parenthood.

This is my Life’s Work. My Passion. My Path. I can’t do anything else. It’s what I’m put here to do. 

And I love it.

One of the most prevalent and irritating things I see amongst Women who are in this stage in life is JUDGEMENT.

Judgement about what kind of birth a woman chooses to have.

Judgement about if she decides to vaccinate or not.

Judgement about if she is returning to work or not.

Judgement about how long and if she breastfeeds her baby.

Judgement about how soon she got back into her skinny jeans.

Judgement about her C Section/Epidural/Natural birth.

Judgement about how much or little her husband/Partner is helping/not helping.

and the harshest one of all:

Judgement of Themselves for what they did/didn’t/should/shouldn’t do.

THIS HAS GOT TO STOP.

Here’s the deal: Everyone comes from a different place regarding all of those things. We all come from different support systems or lack of, different backgrounds and pasts, different levels of research and information. We all have differing ideas about Western/Eastern medicine and have you been to a bookstore lately? There are 8 billion books about Pregnancy and Parenting. It can be very overwhelming. Let’s take breastfeeding for example. One of the hottest topics and one that gets the most judgement.

In my circle of friends and colleagues (I do teach a Natural childbirth class after all!) breastfeeding is the norm. I BF both of my babies for a year. That was my goal. It was freaking hard at times. I got 8 million different kinds of advice. I got questionable looks from a few family members. I had Mastitis twice, plugged ducts, a blister on my nipple, and low milk supply with Lily.

But for ME, breastfeeding was at the top of my list of importance. I had a very supportive husband who encouraged me to keep trying. I armed myself with a ton of resources. I was constantly searching and researching things about breastfeeding. I saw a Lactation Consultant. It actually saved my life when I had postpartum depression with my son. But that’s a whole other blog post…

Even though breastfeeding was challenging, I had it good. I had support.

Some women don’t have it so good. I’ll make up a fictitious scenario based on a few women I’ve worked with.

Sally had a 36 hour difficult labor that ended in a C Section. She was completely exhausted after her surgery but really wanted to start breastfeeding and bonding with her baby. He didn’t latch on right away, the nurse wan’t very helpful, Sally was already sad and emotional about the C Section. Now she is terrified her baby won’t be able to nurse and she feels like a failure.

The next day she tries again to nurse. It’s going ok but she keeps getting different advice from nurses, her mom, her best friend (who claims that BFeeding is the easiest thing in the world and makes Sally feel like a failure), and her husband is getting annoyed because he just wants her to feed the baby a bottle so he can do some bonding with the baby, too.

A few days later Sally’s milk comes in and she is at home trying to recover from her Section and get the hang of not only nursing but taking care of a newborn and hosting her mother and all the loads of people that want to come see the new baby. Her breasts are sore and swollen and she has no idea if it’s normal or not.

Her husband is feeling left out because he can’t feed the baby and is just not very supportive of breastfeeding. His mother comes to “help” and is very vocal about how “barbaric” and disgusting breastfeeding is and how Sally is actually being selfish because she is so focused on breastfeeding and not letting anyone else comfort the baby- i.e. with a bottle.

Sally takes the baby to the first pediatrician visit and the baby has lost some weight. Nothing major, but he advises her to give formula to help the baby put on some weight.

Sally is still recovering from major surgery, exhaustion is starting to set in from lack of sleep, and she doesn’t know what to do. She wants her baby to be healthy. She is wondering if she is producing enough milk and feeling like a failure for not only a low milk supply but for the C Section as well. She is tired of arguing with her husband and mother-in-law and self-doubt is beginning to set in.

So she decides to give the baby some formula. She just happens to be at a park giving the baby a bottle and the 2 moms with small toddlers give her a look like she is giving her baby a bottle of Pepsi. 

Sally loses it and starts to cry.

Ok, now that I’ve painted that picture, just know that this is NOT an uncommon scenario. I see it all the time.

My point in writing this long post is this: 

WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

Being a new mom is hard. Period

Whatever other women decide to do we must support each other and get our own Egos out of the way. You never know where someone is coming from. What their background is. How much or little support they have at home. In my next post I will give you lots of resources for Breastfeeding, both locally and online. Until then…

Judge not lest you be judged, yall.

The Best Birth Story EVER!

Ok, people. This is BY FAR the best Birth Story I have ever received. Period! This lovely couple drove in from Corpus Christi to take an intensive weekend Hypnobirthing Class from me and I received this email from them today:

Hi Katherine!

This is a little late, but we wanted to share how amazingly well the hypnobirthing class you did with us back in April worked. We came up from Corpus Christi to do a weekend session with you. I’m not sure if you recall, but at 33 weeks our baby was still breech. 

Despite our many, many efforts, he remained breech. When I was 37.5 weeks, the OB my midwife has sent us to tried to turn him, also unsuccessfully. But he did say I could try having the baby vaginally still. The catch was that I would have to do it 100% naturally, which was fine with us since we’d planned a home birth anyway. 

My water broke at 4 am the very next day, May 17. I labored at home for 2 hours using the rainbow relaxation track. By the time I checked into the hospital I was 4cm, and by 10 am I was fully dilated. I used the rainbow relaxation track over and over again, riding my surges out pain-free. Our nurse actually refused to call my OB because she did not believe that I could be fully dilated yet, as I was not making much noise. My midwife acted as my doula, and said that she’d never seen someone labor and transition so peacefully and quietly before! 

I switched to the J breathing in an attempt to breath the baby down for about 3 hours, but given our extraordinary situation I needed to push very, very hard to get the baby out. I pushed for an hour and a half. I broke blood vessels in my face and both eyes. It required an incredible amount of energy, which I do not think I would have had if I hadn’t been so quiet and peaceful during my early labor. At 4:28 pm, he finally popped out, left butt cheek first! 

I’m not sure I got the “peaceful” birth I had visualized, but I did get to have my baby naturally instead of a c-section which is pretty remarkable for a breech. (Did I mention half the hospital came in to watch the birth since they’d never seen a natural breech delivery??) 

Despite the circumstances, I still do not remember any of it being “painful.” My labor and transition were calm, and the hard pushing I did required a lot of energy, much like running a marathon, but it was not painful.

I can’t imagine that we would’ve been able to have this birth without hypnobirthing training. I relied so heavily on the techniques and the relaxation tracks throughout every part of my labor. 

Thank you Katherine! 


Paleo and Crossfit… A Winning Labor Combination!

When Laura emailed me a few months ago, I was instantly intrigued. She is a 47- year old mother of 3 who is a Physician here in Austin. She also attends Crossfit classes at Westlake Crossfit and has been eating Paleo for the past 2 years (as has her husband and kids!)

Laura took my Hypnobirthing childbirth prep class and then hired me to be her Doula. I was really excited- for a number of reasons. 

  • As my worlds merge more and more (Crossfit, Paleo nutrition, and Birth work), I am getting to see, first hand, the effects of what a healthy Crossfit/Paleo lifestyle can do to get women’s bodies in prime condition to carry and deliver healthy babies with shorter labors and optimal recovery times.
  • Laura was super excited about not only Hypnobirthing, but Crossfit, Paleo, AND she is in the medical profession. The more we can get medical personnel to see, first hand, how a Paleo lifestyle can contribute to healthier Moms and Babies, the more widespread the message will become- hopefully!

When a woman is over the age of 36, she is considered “advanced maternal age”- Hey wait! I’m 36! I’m not OLD!!! Anyway, Laura at 47 years, was considered high risk and went to a high risk specialist in addition to her regular OB/GYN. 

Each time Laura went to an appointment with her high risk doc, he was blown away by how healthy she was and how well her pregnancy was going. No issues, no aches and pains. She was probably healthier than women in their 20s!

One of the biggest concerns with older moms is stillbirth and placenta degradation. So Laura was induced a day or so after her estimated due date as a form of precaution.

They started Laura on a low dose of Pitocin at 7am. When I walked into her room, she was smiling and excited. We chatted for a bit, I did some relaxation hypnosis with her, and I left for a few hours to get some work done.

When I arrived back at the hospital, Laura was still doing great. Her pitocin was upped every 20 minutes or so and the OB broke her bag of waters around Noon. Things began to pick up around 1pm, so I supported Laura with some massage, reminding her to breathe deeply and relax during each contraction. She had a nice rhythm going where she would sit in the rocking chair between contractions, then stand and sway with each contraction.

At 3:15pm her OB came in to check her cervix. Laura was disappointed to hear she was only 5cm and I wondered if she was going to ask for and epidural. (I would have supported her in whatever decision she made. My job is to support. Not to judge or impose my own thoughts or beliefs on my clients) 

At 3:35, not 20 minutes later, Laura told the nurse and I that there was a LOT of pressure “down there” and she seemed a lot more uncomfortable. All of the sudden, Laura screamed “He’s coming! He’s coming!” The nurse and I looked at each other and told Laura to get on the bed.

We pulled her underwear down only to see the emergence of a little head! He was, in fact, coming! The nurse pulled an emergency cord and 8 people came rushing in. I thought for sure I was about to deliver my first baby solo!

The wonderful L&D nurses sprung into action and baby Adam was crying all pink and cute in about 2 minutes flat! Laura barely had to push him out!

Laura’s placenta came out a few minutes later (this is always the part of birth that fascinates me. The placenta is the baby’s respiratory system, filtration system, and nourishment. The healthier a Mom is, the more healthy- looking her placenta is. Laura’s was a beautiful bright red. Thanks Paleo!)

Baby Adam was the epitome of health. His APGARs were all 9s. He was the pinkest baby I’ve ever seen. Had a healthy cry and latched right on to Laura’s breast and went to town! 

I will NEVER forget this birth. I’ve never experienced anything like it! But most importantly, I am thrilled to see a woman of “advanced age” beat the odds and take control of her pregnancy with the proper approach to nutrition and fitness.

I have another Crossfitting Paleo eatin’ Mama due any day now and I’ll be sure to let you know how that one goes as well! 

As promised! Everything you ever wanted to know about Hypnosis and Hypnobirthing.

Questions? Comments? Email me at:

FitLifeAustin@gmail.com