When birth goes well in all of the physical ways, does that necessarily mean that it carried the emotional depth you desired?
This week we're speaking with Cortney Steffensmeier.
Cortney is the mother of 3 littles who ignited her passion for breastfeeding and maternal postpartum support. After working for nearly 10 years in western medicine, Cortney received a deeper calling to stay home with her babies while cultivating a network for her local moms. She is an IBCLC, postpartum doula, and CFT provider.
All three of her birth stories are quite different, with the common denominator being the Lord's goodness throughout each labor. She's here to shed light on how she came into her own and began to advocate for her dream birth over the years. Ultimately, we'll hear how she achieved the birth she wholeheartedly desired.
1. It’s common for the perception of birth that we had growing up to be counterproductive when it comes to preparing for our own birth. Cortney shared how she had never witnessed an unmedicated birth before having her second baby, and the only image she had of birth was from the video of her mother’s birth: a large epidural needle and a sterile-looking room did not provide excitement in Cortney’s mind for giving birth herself. If this is all that you have known of birth up until now, I’m so thrilled that you’re here gleaning a new perspective of what birth can be.
2. Next, Cortney shared how her third birth experience was an experience that bonded herself to her husband even more than before. Those who witnessed the birth were able to see just how palpable their love was, and even more, they truly represented what it means to be a team together. There's no way that this hasn't carried over into their parenting together. We already know it led into their postpartum, which brings me to point number 3.
3. Cortney shared that they finally gave postpartum the attention it deserved this time around. My friends, if there's anything I can share with you, it's that more than likely, your expectations of rest for postpartum need to INCREASE. Cortney and her husband were willing to accept the help of their friends and family when it came to taking care of their little ones, dropping them off and picking them up-- really, receiving help in all of its forms. They recognized the importance of those first weeks together solidifying their connection. I pray that you'll take this to heart. This is such a critical practice... I know it isn't always easy, and it may come with its own set of difficulty--how do we prepare to make this even feasible? But please, begin to consider this as early as possible so that you can make it happen to the best of your ability for your family.
4. And finally, Cortney's openness and willingness to have friends and loved ones around her during her birth experience was such a gift to those who witnessed. Just like we mentioned at the beginning of the roundup, Cortney had never seen an unmedicated birth before, much less a homebirth... and now she's passing along the beauty of what birth can be to all those who were in attendance. Community birth. What a blessing.
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