Transcript: Trusting Your Intuition When It Comes To Pregnancy and Childbirth
This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Trusting Your Intuition When It Comes To Pregnancy and Childbirth and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.
When it comes to the topic of pregnancy and childbirth, our society has a lot of preconceived ideas as to what is considered acceptable and what isn’t.
I always enjoy talking with women on First Time Mum’s Chat who put society’s general expectations to the test and this week’s guest is no exception. When it comes to childbirth, mother of 9 Angie Taylor has done it all!
As you’ll hear from her during our interview she refers to herself as a Fairy GodMentor which was suggested by her clients. She is a midwife, birth insider, an international board certified lactation consultant, a birth doula, life coach and more!
Angie’s aim is to be there for families and help them navigate their way through all birthing options to create the best experience for their unique situation.
Helen Thompson: Hi Angie and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. I’m delighted to have you here and I’m looking forward very much to hearing your pearls of wisdom. To get started, can you please tell me about yourself and how the Fairy God Mentor concept came about?
Angie Taylor: So, I am a birth insider as well as a life coach and by birth insider, I’ve done all the things from teaching childbirth to being present as a birth doula, to being a home birth midwife and lactation consultant. And that is where the Fairy God Mentor comes from. As I have spoken with my clients after we’re all done with this stuff. Their baby is here and they’re through their postpartum period and we’re just hanging out with each other and I just asked them very candidly. So what is it that you share with people about me? What’s the favorite thing that you have about me and across the board, I would say that about a hundred percent of them replied with you, are the mom I never knew I wanted!
Yeah, so kind of like a fairy godmother. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. The one that always believes in you, that is helping you figure out how to get the stuff done that you want to do. Doesn’t say you can’t do it but asks the tough questions so that you really know what it is you’re getting yourself into and loves you anyway. So that is how Fairy God Mentor came to be. And so my podcast, your Fairy God Mentor we talk about pregnancy and birth and we also talk about all of the tough topics of parenthood and motherhood and fatherhood that nobody seems to be talking about, but we are all fully aware of. The importance of touch, the importance of autonomy, the importance of coming from a standpoint of trauma informed. So knowing that everybody has experienced trauma at some point in their lives at this point.
Helen Thompson: I love this idea of the autonomy and the touch and the bonding and bringing moms together to help them support that. Because as you know, we, we had a I had a podcast with you on baby massage so I think we’re on the same wavelength that it brings in autonomy, touch and so much more from what you do. So what kind of things would your clients come to you for?
Angie Taylor: Most of them came to me because they wanted to do things their own way. Their intuition was pulling them to do a specific thing a specific way. So for instance, a mom who had only experienced a cesarean surgery wanting to birth at home. Not just a logical brain telling her I need to birth at home, but a feeling being drawn to it and being very adamant about this is where my baby needs to be born and not finding other midwives who would support her.
The clients that have trauma in their lives and need someone to understand, you must ask me for permission before touching me even to take my blood pressure. Other midwives refer to that kind of mom as the control freak, you know, has to be in charge of everything. And in my mind, well, of course it’s her major event.
It is her body, right. She should be in total charge of it. She honestly doesn’t need anyone else beside herself. The fact that she is searching for someone to invite into her sacred space is huge. And so the women who come to me know that they’re finding someone who knows what she’s doing and knows it well enough to leave it alone until it needs help.
Helen Thompson: I think that’s so powerful because intuition and knowing what your body wants. It’s so strong and people accepting that I think is so important because as you say, some doctors and midwives just say, oh, well, this is what we’re going to do. They don’t listen to the mother. And especially if she’s had a, as you say a trauma of cesarean section, and she wants to have a baby at home now, I think that’s not only powerful for the mother, but it’s also probably powerful for the baby because they’re both in tune with each other until she gives birth and then they’re separated from when they cut the cord. So as a midwife, how do you help mums in that respect? How do they find you to get the support that they need?
Angie Taylor: Yeah, I’m kind of a rare bird in that, first off when you are meeting with an obstetrician, you might see the obstetrician for 10 minutes. If you’re lucky, it’ll be 10 minutes. It’s usually more like five minutes because the nurse does everything prior to the obstetrician coming in. Most other midwives, you might see them between 20 minutes to an hour. And the longer you see them, that is an indication that that’s a midwife that understands that they need to have some type of relationship with you for oxytocin to flow freely.
My clients learn very quickly that their prenatal visits are going to be anywhere from one to three hours long, just because we start talking. And it doesn’t feel like that long! We are all stunned, when we look at the clock and it’s been three hours and it’s having those conversations, letting the guard down because I have to teach her that my marketing isn’t marketing. That what I say I do is actually what I do. And that takes time. It takes time for her to know that she can lower her guard, that she can tell me everything that’s going on in her relationship with her sweetheart, with her in-laws, with her own parents, with siblings, whatever it may be, whatever is scaring her, whatever she’s fearful of, whatever concerns she has.
She has to have a place where she can let those go. A place where she knows she’s safe to say the words, because once she releases that, once she’s got that safe space, that’s when intuition can really take hold. That’s when she knows that she has someplace where she’s free to really be who she was designed to be, which is a woman specifically designed to bring another human being into the world.
Helen Thompson: Yes and you’re giving her the space to do that.
Angie Taylor: I’m giving her the space, I’m giving her the permission. A lot of times women just need to know that they have the permission. They don’t need permission. A woman can absolutely give birth in the middle of a field without help from anybody. But our society says that that’s dangerous and so this, this feeling of motherhood, we have the innate desire to protect our child, to make sure we’re doing things in a safe manner. And so when our intuition pushes us and guides us to a direction or a location where very few women end up, we do begin to question, is this really safe because there’s not a lot of women doing it this way. And so we do need to find somebody who is able to say, you know what, you were designed for this. So why can’t you do it in your backyard? Why can’t you do it next to the lake? Why can’t you do it just in your bedroom, just you and your sweetheart.
And so talking through all of those concerns and undoing, it’s a type of unschooling that I do with women and with their sweethearts and teaching them that because this is a part of a woman’s biology, we don’t need permission from anybody to give birth. It’s like, if you thought that you had to have permission before going to the bathroom. So, the moment we hear that it’s like, well, that’s ridiculous. And yet every woman feels they have to have permission before giving birth in the way that they were A designed and B being intuitively prompted to do.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, it’s interesting you say that because I live in Australia and the Australian indigenous people, the Aborigines, they used to give birth in the bush. And when the white man came along, they thought, this is dirty, this is horrible. Why is the mother giving birth in the middle of the bush and I think it’s interesting you say that because they weren’t given the permission to be able to give birth where they wanted to. They were told, this is where you have to go, this is what you’ve got to do. And I think a lot of them have found that really tough because it’s where they wanted to be. It’s where they wanted to give birth. And I’m not a hundred percent sure on this, I need to check my history, but I think from what I understand, they also buried the afterbirth into the soil or something like that. I’m not a hundred percent sure if that’s accurate, but that’s what I’ve heard.
Angie Taylor: There are a lot of groups of people that used to do the same thing. The placenta is very sacred. It wasn’t until human beings decided that a woman had to birth in the hospital, that we even started separating the baby from its placenta within moments of birth. Prior to that, they stayed connected because how else are you going to know that the placenta has really completed its job if it’s not falling off all on its own?
I was thinking about that this morning. We know for a fact that when that placenta is kept intact, so the umbilical cord is connected to the placenta and to the baby that we know that when that’s left alone, That up to 10 hours after the baby’s birth, that placenta is still delivering. Oh, it just left me. Stem cells that are there that belong to the baby, to the baby. So it’s still transferring vital stem cells needed for lifelong health from itself to the baby 10 hours post-birth. It’s no longer inside moms. So I like to tell people the placenta has got to have a brain, all of its own. There is something telling it what it needs to do, and it just continues doing it.
And when it’s done, the umbilical cord dries up and it detaches on its own from the baby’s belly button.
Helen Thompson: So you’re saying not to cut the cord until it’s ready to be cut? Is that what you’re saying?
Angie Taylor: It dries up usually within anywhere from five to seven or eight days, it will disconnect on its own from the baby. There’s really no need to cut the cord. When I have couples, it’s called Lotus birth. When a woman keeps her baby’s placenta attached to the baby and just waits.
But when I have couples that aren’t really sure about that and they want to know, well, how long should I leave it on? And I’m like, well, this is what we know. You’re the mother, you have the intuition, when does it feel right to you? To go ahead and either cut the cord or some families are choosing to burn the cord. So when they burn it there’s cauterization that happens at the ends. But that is something else where mom can tap into her intuition and just say, I think it’s time to just disconnect this baby from the placenta.
Helen Thompson: Can the umbilical cord be attached to the mom for 24 hours? If that’s what they want or more? Can that happen?
Angie Taylor: So after the baby is born, the placenta is usually out between an hour and birth. Right? There’s bags that can be purchased that are called placenta bags, that you can put the placenta down inside and tie it up around the umbilical cord and it just goes, wherever baby goes. Some people will use essential oils on the placenta to keep it from smelling because it is tissue, so it will start to decay. Some people use salt as a preservative. The biggest question for a mom is, is she going to use her placenta postpartum. If she’s going to have it encapsulated or if she’s going to have it, there are some moms that have their placenta cut up into pieces and then blended to kind of liquefy it. And they will use that in a smoothie post-birth to help. Yes. Yes. It helps with the hormonal rebalancing. It’s also been shown to help stimulate lactation. So there’s quite a few benefits to using placenta post-birth. So it’s just, if mom wants to do those things, and those are the conversations she needs to have with her birth team to find out, okay, so how long can I have the baby still attached to its placenta before I absolutely must cut the cord so that we can tend to the placenta before it’s no longer viable for use.
So, yeah, it’s pretty fascinating. The placenta is my favorite organ, you know, it’s the baby’s organ. It’s not the mother’s organ. So we have not truly completed the birthing process until we have birthed the placenta. That is the final piece of the baby. That must come out, in order for us to say that a birth is actually complete.
Helen Thompson: I think from what you’re saying, I think it’s nice to be able to have that choice and to say, right, well, I want to cut the cord when the placenta is out. So if the baby’s still hanging in there and still attached to you, then that to me is so important and it’s important to let that happen and not midwife or a doctor saying, right, we’re cutting it now.
Angie Taylor: Right, because in order for a baby to be born, a percentage of their blood has to be in the placenta. Otherwise they would be too big to be born. And so when they are born and we go ahead and cut that cord within minutes of them being born, they don’t have their entire blood supply. So this is why we have a increasing number of human beings who are anemic.
They didn’t receive their full blood supply at birth and their body struggles to produce it later on. So the best thing for baby is to allow them to stay intact with their placenta for as long as possible. The other fascinating thing, Helen, is that when we leave a baby attached to their placenta, if we start even an hour or so after birth, the placenta’s out of mom, let’s say the baby starts having some breathing problems and we need to do some resuscitation.
We can actually use the placenta to help with that resuscitation. So it’s got the baby’s blood. We can submerge it in warm water. We can pump it like you would heart massage and it helps to stimulate the baby. So the best thing that we can do for a new human being is leave them attached to the placenta until we know with 100% certainty that they are okay and we can separate them from that organ.
Helen Thompson: That’s fascinating. I’d really never thought about birth that way. And I think that’s absolutely fascinating that we can do that because so many people just go in like a bull in a China shop and just do what they want to do without even thinking about A, what they’re doing for the baby and B not listening to the mother and C not supporting the baby or the mother. And I liked what you said about the smoothie, that sounds really intriguing. So if the mother drinks that, then that goes back into the baby’s bloodstream.
Angie Taylor: So it’s for use for the mother. However, what we do know also is that you can take a small piece of that placenta and you can create a tincture from it that becomes a lifelong remedy for the child. So if the child gets sick, you can use the tincture to support them through whatever illness, because it’s their placenta. And, and when people talk to me about birth, when I hear a woman lamenting about how awful her birth was, I just really want to sit down and cry with her because she was robbed.
She was robbed of something so amazing. And then when I start to share with people what birth really is, and what it really does and from beginning to end, I just get a lot of people who are either fascinated or they think I’m just telling a fairy tale. Because oh birth, isn’t like that there’s no way that any woman can get through birth and feel that way. And I’m like, it’s happening every single day. That’s why we still have midwives. But when you understand the microbiome and how that plays a role into everything and you just start to see the importance of human beings coming into the world as designed. So into their own home, into the hands of their parents.
While also understanding sometimes it can’t happen that way. Sometimes the mother’s intuition says I have to be in the hospital and that’s okay. We just want to make sure that it is coming from her intuition and not pressure from somebody else.
Helen Thompson: Yeah and that’s the key to what I wanted to discuss with you about bringing humans into the world naturally with autonomy and getting the mother to explain what she actually wants.
And you don’t get many midwives like that as far as I’m aware.
Angie Taylor: No, we’re a small group.
Helen Thompson: I think that is so powerful for a mother to be listened to and respected and understood, because birth is hard enough as it is, birth can still be hard for the mother. Giving birth is not a piece of cake for a lot of people.
Angie Taylor: One of the things that we as women aren’t taught, because I don’t even think obstetricians understand it. I know that midwives aren’t being taught it, it’s something that I learned attending births and paying attention and being intuitively aware of what was going on. But we’re not taught that birth for the woman is not about pushing a baby out. Okay. That baby is going to come out whether the woman pushes or not. Birth for the woman is about breaking her down physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, bringing her down until she feels like she’s goo. Every woman says just before holding her baby, I cannot do this anymore. And she’s not just talking about the contractions and pushing and all of that. She is talking about the entire process that is coming to her brain in such a way that she can’t express what’s happening. She can’t express how she’s feeling. There’s no words for what she wants to say.
She just knows that she is at that point. For lack of a better word, broken down and not able to move forward. And that is because we have to be broken down so that the end of the birthing process, the shortest piece from feeling that urge to push, to pushing that baby out to holding that baby, is when we get rebuilt into the woman and the mother our brand new family needs us to be, and we come out of each and every birth, a completely different human being than when we started the pregnancy.
Helen Thompson: You need that support, not only when you’re giving birth, but also beforehand. So you know that that person is going to be there to support you 100% to how you want to go.
Angie Taylor: And the person that is so well connected with their own intuition, that they know how to become intertwined with your intuition. And so when a mom is lost in her birth brain, when she can’t say what she’s feeling, when she can’t speak the words, to know that she has someone in the room that can feel where she is and can just on their own, touch her the way that she needs to be touched, speak the words into her ear that she needs to hear or just simply give her permission to scream, to yell, to use whatever words she needs to use. But to know that there’s somebody there that is feeling what she’s feeling. And that’s a very special part of being a woman. It’s not to say that men can’t do that too, but as women, we have that ability and I think all too often, it scares us.
And so we do things to block it, to keep from feeling that because, oh, that’s just too much.
Helen Thompson: Yeah and it’s interesting. Some dads go through the process as well. So it’s what you’re saying about your intuition. Sometimes the father, is exactly in tune with their wife. So they know what she’s going through and how to support her because they’re actually not physically giving birth, but they’re going through every stage with them.
Angie Taylor: Absolutely. I’ve had some sweet dads come out of their birth experience and they just look at me and they’re just shaking their heads and they’re just like, I had that contraction timer on my phone and I never opened it once. Why was I able to feel, I just kind of felt like there was something coming and I wasn’t sure what it was, but I would just tell her, I think your contraction is starting or it’s going to be starting soon.
And I was just like, because you were intertwined with her intuitively. And so you were picking up on the ebbs and flows of her uterus and what it was doing. That is such an incredible experience, especially for the woman, because then she knows that her sweetheart gets it, that he gets her and that they are truly a team and they can do anything together.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I think that’s so powerful. And allowing the dad to come in if the mother wants a husband or sweetheart to be there, I think that’s so important too. I watch a show called Call The Midwife, which is set in the 1960s and it’s so taboo for the dad to be in there. It’s always women who are in there who are supporting the mother to give birth. But now it’s important I think for the husband or the sweet heart to be in there as well. If that’s what the mother wants of course. The mother may not want the dad to be in there.
Angie Taylor: Absolutely and to remember, I think the most important information that we have, that has come to us in probably the last hundred years is the fact that from conception as human beings, we are already collecting data in ourselves before the brain is even formed. And some of that data is the emotions and thoughts of the mother. But that once that brain is formed, it already has the data of how to be born and how to find the breasts, to breastfeed. And so because of that, I like to remind people, especially when I hear someone say, well, birth is woman’s work, so of course, he’s not going to understand how this works. And I say, but wait a second. He was born. And so, because that data, because we come into the world, pre-programmed for birth and breastfeeding and that data is not deleted upon entry. It is simply stored. And it can be drawn upon by him as well as by her, when they are bringing another human being into the world.
And that’s what we’re seeing when we see that couple working really well together. And even though they’ve got a midwife or they’ve got an obstetrician, but they’re not needing support from anybody. They just know what to do and they do their thing. And it just an amazing thing to watch unfold. Because he has tapped into the information that was stored from when he came into the world and was born.
Helen Thompson: Which I think is great because we were talking about the mum being born again. But then, so is the father, because they’re intertwined and they’re bringing this beautiful little baby into the world and they’re there to support that baby 100%.
Angie Taylor: And so the birth that I see unfold actually strengthens families. It strengthens the relationship between the mother and the father. I was blessed to support a family during three hospital births and then her last baby she had at home and hired me as her midwife and I didn’t know what to expect when I got there on the day that she was in labor and neither did she. We talked during the prenatal visits, we didn’t know how things were going to happen because in the hospital he would sit in a chair in the corner of the room, watching TV or playing a video game on his phone. Because it wasn’t his place. He felt like it wasn’t his domain. Therefore he wasn’t really involved. He was just being allowed to be in the room.
And so we were prepared for the same thing to happen, even though this baby was going to be born at home. And when I arrived, she was in the middle of a contraction. And so I knocked on the door and they just yelled come in. And so I walked in and he was totally on top of everything.
He was intertwined with her. I just sat in the chair and just watched mesmerized as he supported his wife in the way that he had always wanted to, but didn’t feel comfortable doing in the hospital. He did in their home, it was just amazing to watch. Wow, absolutely amazing. And from that moment, she saw him in a different light.
She knew that he loved her. She knew that he loved their family. But she was just frustrated that he wasn’t really supportive during the previous birth experience. Exactly. And to see him in his element inside his own home just completely changed the way that she saw him.
Helen Thompson: Did you have to intervene at all or did it all just come?
Angie Taylor: I didn’t! Baby came, dad caught the baby and so I just helped with the cleanup. It was absolutely beautiful. It was perfect.
Helen Thompson: Oh, that sounds amazing. And you’ve had a few children yourself. So if you don’t mind me asking, did you experience positive birth? Did you have the birth that you wanted to have?
Angie Taylor: You know, when I had my first. My oldest is 33. I knew that I was designed to give birth, so I didn’t go into it afraid or anything, but I was totally unaware that there were midwives. I had no idea that home birth was even an option. I still had the birth that I wanted. I don’t have any regrets. There was no trauma. I look back at it and I can see now from the lens of what I know now how things could have been. But it was my first and I didn’t know then what I know now. We have nine children total.
One was born at home. It was an amazing birth experience. And he was born at home simply because we were choosing at that time to not have health insurance and the hospitals couldn’t tell me how much a completely natural no-frills birth was going to cost so that we could start saving up.
They said that they wouldn’t know until after the baby was born and so my husband, who’s an engineer, started talking with his buddies and come to find out. All of his friends, all the engineers, thought that it was crazy that he was having his babies in the hospital. He says, you got to be kidding me, it’s cheaper to have him at home. There’s nothing wrong with her having them at home. And so he came home from work with a list of midwives and so I started calling midwives and that is why we have one that was born at home. Our youngest who was born after that one. I had a very complicated pregnancy at 28 weeks they found multiple blood clots in both lungs. The clots were about the size of a US quarter and they didn’t know what to do with me simply because I was alive. Usually a woman in that condition dies. The blood clot kills her, but that didn’t happen with me.
So I was put on blood thinners to the extent that there was not going to be a home birth. I couldn’t have a home birth, but I did get to call all of the shots. And that was mostly because by that point I knew what OB to hire because I had been teaching birth and I had been doing birth doula work. I had supported, I think at that point, like 40 of his patients so he and I knew each other really well. And he just let me know. He said, you know, all of this and I’m going to follow your lead. And so you tell me. They wanted to do an induction because with blood thinners, it’s best to know when the last dose was taken. And so we ended up doing an induction only because I could feel my body trying to start the birthing process.
And my son’s heart rate had gone from 160 to 120 in four weeks. And still born is a side effect and risk of taking blood thinners during pregnancy. So I had gotten to 40 weeks and I looked at my doctor and I said, I’m not coming in here next week to not hear a heartbeat. So we need to bring the baby. And he met me at the hospital the next morning and he broke my bag of water and we waited and it took 90 minutes for the birth process to start. And then 90 minutes later, I was holding my son. So, my body was ready. It was just the blood thinners were keeping it from getting things going. But all of it was led by intuition. All of it was, I know what needs to happen.
You’ve got to have someone that’ll listen to you as a woman when you’re telling them this is what has to happen. Especially when your response to, why does that have to happen? Is simply, well, I just feel, I just like, this is what needs to happen. Yeah. Yes.
Helen Thompson: It’s amazing how it happens so naturally. I’m just sort of in awe. I don’t quite know what to say, because I just know how important that is for a woman to have that experience and I think it’s so valuable.
Angie Taylor: Absolutely. We have so many women who have health issues that are being misdiagnosed simply because the doctors aren’t listening to her and what she is saying. When a woman walks into a doctor’s office and isn’t exhibiting any symptoms that they can pick up on, but is saying, this is how I feel. We need to stop discounting that. She’s telling you, she’s giving you advanced notice that something big is about to happen. And so we do need to be respecting a women’s intuition more and accepting the fact that as women, we have a heightened intuition for a reason. It doesn’t make us weird, it doesn’t make us mystic, it doesn’t make us witches or anything such as that. It just means that we are more in tune with ourselves and with our bodies.
Men could have the same experience if they would become more in tune with themselves. But that’s just not taught. It hasn’t been taught for centuries to men. But for women, we just come into the world with it and we know that it’s always there and we somehow hone it and make it stronger, until someone tells us that that’s wrong. And so that’s one of the things that I do as your fairy, God mentor is help to get that reconnection to that intuition, so that you have that guidance to get you through life in general.
We touched a little bit on body autonomy. And we’ve talked about being trauma informed and that’s not just knowing and understanding that everybody on the planet has experienced some kind of trauma, but it’s also acknowledging your own trauma and becoming strong enough and brave enough to stand up and say I’ve been hurt.
Knowing you don’t have to give all the details. Nobody has to know the entire story. It is okay to say I’ve been hurt and because I’ve been hurt, these are the boundaries that I need to set for myself. And if you’re not willing to follow these boundaries, then we can’t be in the same space and that’s okay as part of healing because when we have experienced any kind of trauma, our boundaries at first are going to create this very tight, narrow space for us that we can easily navigate.
And as we heal, we’re able to push those boundaries out further and further and further because we feel safer and safer and safer with other human beings. So my biggest and ultimate mission and vision for the world is that all human beings always know that we are loved, respected, and safe with all other human beings and I just look forward to that day.
Helen Thompson: I look forward to that day. I try and be positive to think that that day will happen. You’ve just got to keep positive and the magic will happen.
Angie Taylor: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’m right there with you. Sometimes I hear things that have happened in the world or as my husband’s watching news, I hear something and I just go, come on where we’re more intelligent than this! We know how to treat one another with respect and with love, and we just need to do it consistently. But we allow, humanness to get in the way. And when we are able to get connected with our intuition and we allow our intuition to guide every step that we take, that is when we will be on a path to all humans, knowing that they’re safe with each other and that they’re loved and respected.
Helen Thompson: Well, let’s hope the politicians believe that! So if somebody wants you to get in touch with you, how would they go about doing that?
Angie Taylor: They can come to my website, which is AngieTaylorFairyGodMentor.com and they can scroll down to the bottom and there’s a button there where they can download five ways to strengthen and get to know your intuition. And this is a short little PDF that I put together that helps get people on that journey of getting connected and becoming more aware of their intuition, how it speaks to them and how to best follow it’s direction.
Helen Thompson: Thank you, Angie, I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you and I’ve learned so much by talking to you and thank you for being a part of this wonderful First Time Mum’s community. And I look forward to connecting with you down the track. So thank you for being here.
Angie Taylor: Thank you for having me Helen.