Episode 193 Lindsay's CBAC + Chiropractic Care
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We are so happy to be joined by Lindsay on the podcast today who is sharing her birth stories and her chiropractic expertise. Lindsay is a beautiful example of how to create a healing birth experience after a traumatic one. We discuss how making empowered decisions can help you feel more in control in the birth room.
Also, as the owner of her own chiropractic practice, Lindsay explains the benefits of the Webster Technique during pregnancy, as well as why every woman and baby should seek chiropractic care during the postpartum stage too.
Lindsay’s Practice: Bluebird Chiropractic
The VBAC Link Blog: How to Plan for a Family Centered Cesarean
How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
Note: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words.
Meagan: Happy Women of Strength Wednesday. It is Meagan and Julie.
Meagan: And we are so excited to bring you another story. Today is actually a CBAC story and we were just talking about this before the episode. We are going to call it an elective CBAC. Is that what we decided?
Julie: I don’t know. I think we will just leave it at CBAC because she labored. Her plans changed during labor. So I think we are going to keep it at CBAC.
Meagan: She did, yeah. Okay, a CBAC story. It was definitely something that she chose and that’s one of the reasons why I love the story so much is that she stood her ground, advocated for herself, and chose something that not even her provider wanted her to choose. I am not going to give away too much, but we have a Review of the Week and then we are going to go into this lovely episode with our friend Lindsay.
Review of the Week
Julie: Yes, a Review of the Week. I like this review. I picked the longest one I could find on our spreadsheet.
Meagan: Oh good because I can’t read and you know that.
Julie: Meagan can read, everybody. Meagan can read. She just has a hard time reading and speaking. But you have actually gotten quite a bit better since we first started The VBAC Link four years ago. You have improved leaps and bounds. I’m actually quite impressed with your skills now.
Meagan: Well, thank you.
Julie: You’re welcome. But this review is a little mini VBAC story in one. I just think it’s really cool. This is from Abby from, oh my gosh, an email. It’s an email. She said– oh my gosh, we love emails. Guys, email us. Talk to us. We love talking to you and connecting with you guys. We got this in an email which is why it is longer. That makes sense now.
And so she says, “Hi. I’ve been wanting to send you a message for months now to let you know how you have encouraged me. Your podcast was referred to me near the end of my pregnancy and I listened often while cleaning. The facts and stories shared absolutely solidified my confidence in what my body is capable of despite the exaggeration surrounding uterine rupture. It was by far the most important stuff I learned from you gals, so thank you.”
Just a side note, we have a podcast episode and a blog about uterine rupture talking about all of the myths and stuff surrounding there. Anyway, I love that. Sorry, where was I? Oh, there we go.
“Thank you for doing the work to learn this stuff and sharing it. My first four children are two sets of twins, naturally conceived.”
Wow, two sets of twins. I’m going to have a commentary on the story while I am reading it. Okay, I’m going to get back on track now.
“I had two C-sections without issue. In the first one, I barely knew anything. For the second, I was pressured by my doctor just doing all of the textbook things to get me to believe that surgery was the only real option. Both were scheduled, but the second time around, I had gained a lot of knowledge about all things natural birth.
“With this third pregnancy and a new doctor, I knew she was giving me all of the typical fear-mongering, ill-informed information that she could. She did not like that I refused to schedule a C-section. I was planning to wait for labor to happen on its own, even if that meant going two weeks beyond “due”. All indicators pointed to her not allowing me a true trial of labor. She waved all the red flags in her words.
“I had planned to labor at home as long as possible and my dear friend who used to work as a doula offered her friendly and experienced support to get me through the home laboring. My husband couldn’t get down with hiring a midwife while we had health insurance to cover hospital birth, so sadly I accepted that we would ultimately not birth at home. Well, I labored at home all day and when the intense contractions hit around the time that our kids were going to bed, my mindset was, ‘These are probably going to be intense for the next four or so hours.’
“I had bloody show around 9:00 p.m. or so and wasn’t checking the timing of contractions. None of us even thought about that. Someone called another friend to come and stay with the kids and in what seemed like ten minutes' time, something changed. I told my friend that I guess it was transition. I wasn’t going anywhere in the car. My baby boy, Schallom, was born at 10:40 p.m. on the bathroom floor assisted by my friend and my husband. Healthy! That wasn’t the plan but was the original hope with a midwife. Knowing we wouldn’t have a midwife, having a baby at home was out of the question.
“At one point during labor on the bathroom floor, I asked, “Is there someone else we can call?” But I knew that even EMTs would just deliver right there and my husband is a first responder, although he has not delivered nor assisted a birth. Thank you for your encouragement and knowledge that absolutely helped and enabled my mind to be at peace enough to smoothly deliver my baby at home, a VBAC after two C-sections. There are so many other details but I really wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your podcast and the integral part that played in my third birth.”
We need this girl on the podcast! Who is she? Abby.
Meagan: That is an awesome, awesome story.
Julie: Oh my gosh. Well, she is in an email. We have got to find the email. It came in on February 2nd, so I’m going to go scoping through emails. We are going to find Abby and we’re going to share her story on the podcast because I was on the edge of my seat just reading the review. I can’t even imagine. Oh my gosh.
Meagan: Okay. Well, expect a podcast sometime from Miss Abby, but today we are going to share Lindsay’s story. So Miss beautiful Lindsay, let’s turn the time over to you.
Lindsay: Thank you, guys.
Meagan: Thank you.
Lindsay: Okay, so for my first C-section, I was induced and then had every induction method/intervention under the sun and nothing was working. I wouldn’t progress and every time contractions came, they tried to up Pitocin to up my contractions, then my son’s heart rate started dropping. At one point they couldn’t get it up, so it turned into an emergency C-section after that.
For my second birth, I was definitely planning a VBAC. I tried to prepare myself. I read all of the natural things, did lots of chiropractic care, and was mentally prepared. My son was 11 days late and then I got to the point where I was almost 10 days late, I believe. My midwife kept pushing, “Hey, we need to induce you,” but everything was looking good with baby and I knew I just go late with babies.
I kept saying, “No,” but my husband and I had talked and we decided that if I didn’t go into labor naturally or anything like that, then we just wanted to elect for a C-section. With my son, my first baby, everything was so out of control and very traumatic that we just wanted something in our control. We were just not ready to go down the intervention route. We knew that didn’t work for us the first time and who knows? Maybe it would work the second time, but we just didn’t want that.
Luckily this time, I went into labor on my own. I labored hard for about 12 hours and it got to the point where it was so intent that we figured we should probably head to the hospital.
Meagan: Yeah, you even sounded pushy and grunty at some points.
Lindsay: My whole pregnancy, I really wanted a home birth and I just didn’t like the idea of going to the hospital. I still wasn’t fully satisfied with my midwife. I bet I was probably further along when I was at home, but then when we got to the hospital, I think they said I was a 1.5, but 90% effaced. Still, very intense contractions and some were even like, what is it called? Coupling– where they are one on top of the other and no break in between.
And so they decided to let me labor a little bit longer. Since I was past due, they weren’t going to send me home by any means because, at this point, I believe I was 12 days past due. So I labored for a little bit longer in the hospital. They checked me again and I still hadn’t progressed at all. And so my husband and I decided, “Let’s just do the C-section.” There was no point to push it off, getting an epidural, trying more interventions, or anything like that.
We were very happy with the decision even though it wasn’t what we exactly wanted. This felt in control for us. My midwife did not like that.
Meagan: She really didn’t.
Lindsay: She didn’t.
Meagan: She was not happy. In fact, tell them about how we were waiting.
Meagan: We were waiting for her, anyway–
Lindsay: Yeah, so she wasn’t the one on call. They finally called her in and it felt like it took forever. Also, I don’t know if she was mad at me, but she gave me her number too to text her at the end of my pregnancy. I told her I was in labor and she didn’t respond, so it was just one thing after another. But I think I came out of the bathroom and she was standing against a cabinet or the wall or something with her arms crossed and was like, “Are you sure you want to do this?” And my husband and I were like, “We already made the decision. This is what we wanted.”
And so it was just sad that we didn’t have the support from her, but with Meagan and my husband, I had plenty of support otherwise. I mean, all of the nurses were super supportive and I just wanted to make sure we were making the decision we wanted for us. We believed it was the right decision and honestly, it was the best decision. If I wasn’t going to go into labor or progress through labor on my own, then this was what worked for us because the C-section was so healing.
I know not many people can say that but it made me and my husband feel like we were in control and we got to talk about what we wanted in the C-section. It wasn’t an emergency and it was just a different experience. My husband feels as well just healed from our first traumatic experience and the recovery was better. It was easier. I’m not saying C-section recovery is easy by any means, but it was easier than my first just because mentally, we were prepared.
I got to hold my baby girl as soon as they cleaned her off. They put her on me and I got to hold her the whole time they were stitching me up. I never let go of her which was so fantastic compared to my first where he was swept away to the NICU. I didn’t get to see him for six hours after birth, so it definitely was a healing C-section.
Meagan: Absolutely. You came back and even though you were so tired and everything, you came back and you looked so bright.
Lindsay: Oh yeah.
Meagan: And free. It was so good. It was so good to see you that way.
Meagan: Because I was with you after the first and it wasn’t necessarily– I don’t want to say you looked bad.
Lindsay: No, I looked bad.
Meagan: You looked different. You looked different. The first time was really rough and it was a lot and this time, it wasn’t. We don’t know exactly why things didn’t progress. Maybe it was a mixture of feeling stressed when you got to the hospital because I swear to you that you were seeming very progressed at home. Even the labor pattern changed once we got there, but I just was so proud of you. Your midwife, yeah. She was like, “Are you sure though? I could just check you right now.” And you were like, “No.”
Lindsay: Right. I was like, “I don’t want to be checked again.”
Meagan: “I’m good. I am good.” And even after, she was like, “Ahhh.”
Lindsay: Yeah. I mean she never even came back and saw us. She said she was going to and she never came back and checked on us to meet my daughter or anything like that.
Meagan: Yeah, which is just so crazy. I just don’t get it. I don’t know. Maybe she had a chip on her shoulder. I don’t know.
Lindsay: I don’t know.
Meagan: I don’t know but I was proud of you for making the decision that you felt was best for you and doing it. I love hearing that it was so healing for you because that is how birth should be, you guys. No matter the outcome of what you want, even if it’s not what you desired, I would love for birth to be healing for everyone. I know it doesn’t happen to everyone like this, but I would love for it to be a healing experience.
My repeat Cesarean wasn’t what I wanted at all, but I felt more a part of it and it was healing for me because I felt more a part of it. But I just wanted to drop that message out there to everyone who is listening that it’s okay to make these hard choices and do what you can to make your experience a healing one even if it’s not what you want. We talk about gentle Cesareans and family-centered Cesareans. We have blogs on it. But really, Cesareans can be healing. They really can.
Meagan: I’m so happy for you. So, so happy for you.
Lindsay: Thank you. I mean, I definitely couldn’t have gone through it without you and my husband as well. There were definitely hard decisions. I remember laboring in the tub and we went over everything a million times about how this could go. My daughter was also a surprise gender so we got to the point where we were like, “Let’s just figure out what this baby is,” after being 12 days late and everything. So that helped too but I know that with labor and delivery and all of pregnancy, you can’t be in control. That baby isn’t controlled by you, but it just felt nice to be able to make a decision that was something we wanted.
Meagan: Absolutely. Yep. So we are going to make a little shift. This is a part-birth, part-education episode, but I would love to talk a little bit about what you do as a profession.
Meagan: So for anybody who does not know, Lindsay is a chiropractor. She is amazing. I would love to talk about chiropractic care and anything you would like to share. Maybe discuss why you feel chiropractic care is important, especially in labor and delivery and why it may be important in the postpartum stage.
Lindsay: Yes, yes.
Meagan: I feel like in all senses, sometimes, we forget about postpartum. We just forget about it and we forget that there is definitely something that happens after. We still have to take care of ourselves and we still have to prepare for that, so is there anything you want to share or would like to talk about with any of that?
Lindsay: Yes, thank you. I am a Webster-certified chiropractor which basically means I specialize in pregnant mamas. The Webster name gets thrown out all the time and definitely, if you are pregnant, look for a Webster-certified chiropractor in your area. We’ve taken extra education and seminars to prepare us to help take care of pregnant mamas, but that technique, basically, is very gentle on mom and baby.
First, I’d like to say that I never adjust baby. I’m only adjusting mom, but in turn, to have less tension in the pelvis and motion in your joints and in your spine, you take the tension out of the uterus which then helps baby go head down or just have optimal space. If they have trouble going head down, the Webster technique helps babies go head down.
But just in general, it’s very safe for mom and baby. We are not adjusting baby. We are just adjusting mom, but it’s the one thing that you can really do for yourself that can take away some pregnancy aches and pains, discomforts, anything from round ligament pain, some SI pain or low back pain, pubic symphysis pain, SPD, but then also, that bra line, midback pain just because of the changes that pregnancy does to you. It puts a lot of tension in that midback.
Getting adjusted while you are pregnant is– I don’t know how I would have survived pregnancy without getting adjusted myself. It brings so much relief when you are growing a human and you can’t do much about it. You can’t take pain medications or anything like that even if you wanted to. It definitely relieves some pain but is also taking care of yourself during pregnancy. Chiropractic care has been seen to reduce labor times, help with labor, and definitely get baby head down and in a good position so it definitely makes labor a lot easier.
But also, get yourself checked postpartum because your pelvis went through a huge shift and change to get that baby out. Even if you had a C-section, once you feel up to it, start getting some bodywork because as moms– I definitely feel like we don’t take care of ourselves postpartum. We always get adjusted or get massages or anything like that during pregnancy, and then we just kind of get forgotten about afterward. Chiropractic care, especially some chiropractors can really help postpartum moms as well.
I work on moms during pregnancy and during postpartum. I really push that in my office to come to see me afterward because you are always hunched over breastfeeding. Get your pelvis realigned and feel good so that you can take care of baby and be present because you feel good for your family. But also, get checked for diastasis recti and stuff like that. Some chiropractors, including myself, can check for things like that, so that’s really good.
Meagan: Question on diastasis recti– we had a question from a follower asking about how diastasis recti could impede delivery. Do you know?
Julie: Actually, it is on next week’s episode too, so you are getting a little sneak peek. Yeah, so that’s okay. I love it. Ask, ask.
Meagan: Yeah. I’m just curious if that is a thing because I didn’t think that it did, but I don’t know. Does it? Do you know?
Lindsay: Well, from a chiropractic standpoint, I would say that it is pressure management. Your belly, from your diaphragm, your abdominals, your low back, and then your pelvic floor is like a canister. It is pressure management. If you have that separation in your abs, the pressure has to escape somewhere. Instead of down through your pelvis, it is probably going to escape out. Sometimes when it escapes, it is pressed into your SI joints, so a lot of moms have low back pain.
But I would say during labor that you wouldn’t have good pressure management. You just can’t get that good pushing technique that you need to get the baby out.
Meagan: Mhmm, okay. Okay good to know. Sorry to interrupt that. I was like, “Oh my gosh, we just read that on another podcast,” so okay. Keep going. Keep going. Sorry.
Lindsay: No, that’s fine. The other thing I was going to say is also baby adjusting which seems crazy if you ever see an adult getting adjusted, all of the pops and cracks and stuff like that, but baby adjusting is also really important as well. Even if you have the most perfect birth and it’s non-traumatic or anything like that, it’s still very traumatic to the baby because they go from this nice warm womb to the outside world. Get them checked because chiropractic care, also, is related to the nervous system. We adjust the spine which, in turn, can affect the nervous system.
A baby’s nervous system is basically on fire when they come out. We have moms that have babies with colic or they have constipation. Anything like that is usually because their nervous systems are going crazy. It’s in that fight or flight mode because it was traumatic. And then if you have a traumatic birth, that also goes on to the baby too. They are going to feel that stress and everything. And getting their spines checked helps calm the nervous system.
It can help with colic. Like I said, it can help with constipation, but then also latching difficulties. Always check with your lactation consultant, but I always ask my moms if they are sore on one side compared to the other when they are nursing or anything because it could indicate that the baby can’t turn their heads enough so they can’t get their latch proper and so then, moms get sorer. It could be a combination of some other things too, but it is just one part that you can also check.
Like I said, baby adjusting is super safe and super gentle. There is no popping or cracking. It’s as much pressure as you put on your own eyeball and it looks like I’m barely doing anything to the baby, but it does so much for their nervous systems and for their little spines. Even though they don’t have solid bones, they still have bones. They are just a little bit softer than adult bones. It’s still much needed.
But then also, if you had a traumatic birth and maybe their shoulder got stuck or they were pulled out, you’ve just got to get them checked to see if they have a head tilt or anything along those lines.
Meagan: Yeah. My second daughter had torticollis and the doctor was like, “Yeah, you need to go to PT.” Nothing against PT, but I did PT forever and it wasn’t changing anything. It was actually a fight every day to force her into positions and stretches. We ended up going to chiropractic care. We only went a couple of times and it totally fixed everything.
Lindsay: That’s awesome.
Meagan: And so, yeah. It was so awesome. And I also, my son hadn’t pooped forever.
Lindsay: Oh yeah.
Meagan: He was having constipation issues and my husband’s buddy, my friend is a chiropractor and it was 9:30 at night. He was like, “Just come. Just come” Because we were crying, just so desperate.
Lindsay: It’s so stressful.
Meagan: Yes, and so we went, and oh my gosh, biggest poop ever.
Meagan: And then he passed out for hours and hours because it took so much energy to get it out. But yeah, chiropractic can be so big, especially for these babies and like you said, they go through so much. They really do and some births are really, really, really hard on them physically.
Lindsay: Right. Yes, absolutely. Love it.
Meagan: Love it. Love it, love it. Yeah. We love chiropractic care. We obviously feel that everyone should see a chiropractor if they can. We just love the information. We love what you do. We love that you work on my own personal clients.
Lindsay: Thank you for sending them to me. I love them all.
Lindsay: I get so excited.
Meagan: I know. I do too. I’m like, “Okay, great. We’ve got chiropractic care going on right now.” So it does matter. Even for births that aren’t VBAC, chiropractic care still matters. It is a big deal and a big component.
Lindsay: Yeah. I just feel like moms don’t have to live with discomfort. Some discomforts just don't go away. It just happens, but for the most part, round ligament pain, your mid back pain, your low back pain– you don’t have to deal with that. You are growing a human. You should feel good. Not everyone loves pregnancy, but love it as much as you can. Feeling your best and not being in pain is definitely a huge plus.
Meagan: Mhmm, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story.
Lindsay: No, thank you.
Meagan: And your advice.
Julie: It was great to see you again.
Lindsay: Yes, you too. I love you guys so much.
Julie: Aww, thank you. We have a great community of birth workers here. Chiropractors, midwives, doulas, birth photographers, out-of-hospital, and in-hospital obstetricians. We really do have a great community here. I just love it, especially when we have local people on that we get to love on a little bit. So thank you.
Lindsay: No, thank you.
Julie: And how can people find you if they are local to the Salt Lake Valley?
Lindsay: Yeah, so my clinic is called Bluebird Chiropractic. You can go to bluebirdchiro.com It’s c-h-i-r-o and you can find me there. Look at my website and make an appointment online.
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