Mandy Alexander got pregnant at 40, having had bariatric surgery 7 years before that. During pregnancy, she worked through her fear of childbirth and ended up with the unmedicated and collaborative birth experience she was looking for. However, breastfeeding was a whole other beast. Mandy was prepared for many difficulties, but not that her body may just not make milk. Go listen.
What we talked about:
- Her bariatric surgery 7 years before pregnancy
- Finding love, getting married, getting pregnant, all in two years
- “I’m comfortable with surgery. Give me a cesarean.”
- 180-degree turn, and figuring out how to prepare
- Figuring out how her bariatric circumstances affected her pregnancy care
- The Glucose Tolerance Test after bariatric surgery and “dumping syndrome”
- Overcoming the fear of the unknown
- Then, the baby was breech!
- Doing all the things to “flip a breech,” plus a New Kids on The Block concert
- High blood pressure at 39 weeks
- Being heard during the induction decision-making process
- Cervidil does the trick: full-blown labor with contractions, shakes, feeling cold
- In and out of labor land
- “She’s right there!”
- “Stop telling me how to push.”
- The unexpected finger in the anus
- An onslaught of breastfeeding difficulties
- Meeting with a doctor in lactation (after many IBCLCs)
- Realizing when to stop
Resources mentioned and other helpful links*:
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
- Hypnobirthing International Institute and Hypnobabies (two different hypnosis approaches to birth)
- Glucose Tolerance Test during pregnancy related to bariatric surgery – A long list of available research links, provided by Lily Nichols.
- Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), by Medela
Related Birthful podcast episodes
- Self-hypnosis for pain management, with Julietta Appleton
- Gestational Diabetes, with Lily Nichols
- Shaking and the Primal Nature of Birth, with Lesley Everest
- Low Milk Supply, with Diana Cassar-Uhl
- Milksharing, with Amber McCann
- All About Pumping!, with Nancy Mohrbacher
About Mandy Alexander
Mandy Alexander and her husband Jason have been married since July 2018, in May of 2019 they welcomed their daughter, Hazel Ruth. Mandy works as a sign language interpreter in Indianapolis. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, camping, and roller coasters. She can’t wait to do all those things with her new family!
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