We continue on our “Birth Stories” for the summer series! Today, Chantal Shelstad shares the impact that having a Cesarean birth due to a breech presentation had on her psyche, her ensuing struggle with postpartum mood anxiety for years to follow, and how preparation and determination were key in finally having the VBAC she wanted. Check it out.
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Some of what we talked about:
- Options for flipping a breech baby
- The fog of her daughter’s birth
- Her struggle to process her cesarean
- A tough and long recovery with postpartum mood disorders (PPMDs)
- Healing back from darkness, and finding a way to help others
- Doing all the things to avoid another breech
- Actively preparing for a better pregnancy and birth
- Switching from military hospital to independent birth center
- Finding a provider that would do a breech – just in case
- Feeling ready and determined
- The mental challenges of a birth that’s slow to start
- Sometimes the trick is having your other kids leave, sometimes the trick is having your other kids come back!
- Not loving the pushing stage
- Healing from a tough vaginal birth
- Difference between feeling anxious and experiencing Postpartum Anxiety (as a mood disorder that should be diagnosed)
- An upcoming surprise for next summer!
Resources mentioned by Chantal, and other good links:
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
- The Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Natural Childbirth
- International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
- Head’s Up: the Disappearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery (info about the movie)
- All about breech babies, at SpinningBabies.com
Related Birthful episodes:
- Asking More of Your OB, with Dr. Stu Fischbein
- Birth Doulas, with Sharon Muza
- Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, with Nancy Wainer
- Chiropractic Care, with Dr. Elliot Berlin
- Baby’s Position and Labor Flow, with Gail Tully
About Chantal Shelstad
Chantal Shelstad is a doula, placenta encapsulator, childbirth educator, an Army wife, and a mom of two! She’s a fan of birth stories and loves sharing hers.
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