What do you actually need to do or have before, during and after birth? From birth plans and hiring a doula to using essential oils or CBD rollers, finding what works for you on your journey to motherhood is essential. There is beauty in birth and in motherhood, no matter what it looks like.
In today’s episode, I am talking to Wynne Elder, mama of four helping other mamas create healthy rhythms and make room for what matters most! We’re talking all about how to have a healthy pregnancy journey, which oils to use during each trimester (and postpartum), having a birth plan that you love, and how to empower yourself through from pregnancy to postpartum.
Follow along with Wynne Elder!
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What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag – Blog Post
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Music by Taylor Ryan
“It’s a beautiful thing and it is how our bodies were created to give birth If you think about the millions of women who have given birth before you and the 1000s of women that are giving birth the same moment that you are, that is such an empowering feeling of if all these people can do it and if my body was made for this, I can do it.” – Wynne Elder
“There’s no one right way to do birth. I think I just want so bad for women to feel informed and to make their own decisions for themselves or with their partner, but not just because this is what you should do. This is what culture says, This is what your doctor says. But what do you want to do?” – Wynne Elder
Meg: Okay friends I have Wynne Elder here today and I feel extra excited about having Wynne here. I don’t play favorites but I’ve met Wynne in real life before and so it just feels like I’m really chatting with a friend today. So Wynne, thank you for being here.
Wynne: I know it’s so fun. I wish we were in person but I love no excuse to get to hang out with friends.
The Journey To Motherhood
Meg: We are talking babies and pregnancy and postpartum and all of that today so do you want to start out by sharing your story because I feel for people who don’t know you, if they just go to your page you have the most beautiful family. But it’s been such a journey to get to where you are. So do you want to share your journey to motherhood.
Wynne: Yeah absolutely I will share it in a way that does not take an hour but I got married young and we’re not a college and we did not want to have kids for like five to seven years. That was our plan in quotes and a couple years in I just felt very strongly impressed upon that the lord had told me like you’re going to be a mom and overnight I was like okay let’s go. I’m ready and that’s not always how it works.
So we struggled to get pregnant for about a year and I think in our 10 year infertility journey that first year was the hardest because I didn’t understand what was happening. I didn’t know what was going on with my body. All my friends were getting pregnant. I felt really left out. I remember one time I went to three baby showers in the same weekend and just pulled over on the side of the road and bawled my eyes out on the way home. It was just a really hard season of not knowing if I was ever going to be able to get pregnant.
After that initial year we had somebody challenge us to pray about adoption and adoption was never on my radar. I didn’t know anybody who had adopted or who was adopted. When I did, it wasn’t talked about where I grew up and so we started praying about it and within a couple weeks I felt like we were definitely supposed to adopt. It took my husband a little bit longer but we started the adoption process and that’s a whole other story.
It took about two years and we brought our kids Cam and Asher home from Ethiopia in Oof 2012. They were eight and nine months old so they’re not biologically related but basically we went from zero to two kids overnight. Now they’re like mom when I was a baby did I do this? And like don’t know sort of a filler. Then we started doing fertility treatments again and went through a lot went through loss and a pregnancy and a failed IVF. Took two a two year break after all of that and then switch doctors our embryos from our IVF cycle were actually fedexed from one town to another which is terrifying across our state, Texas, where I live.
And we did a bunch of protocols with this new doctor and ended up getting pregnant with our daughter Rivers who is now four and then we transferred our last embryo I guess at the end of 2019 or at the beginning of 2020 and we have a little second/fourth little miracle Everjoy. She is five months old.
So Everjoy and Rivers were frozen together for like five years which is insane and they look so much alike. I don’t know the science behind this, like if these are twins. I don’t know. They’re not, but they resemble each other a lot. So I just love being a mom. I can’t believe I have four kids and it’s just funny and I know we’ll talk about this but I also spent most of my life being terrified of childbirth. I remember saying when I was in junior high I don’t want to give birth. i’m just going to adopt and not from this beautiful heart of wanting to adopt but out of fear so I spent a lot of my pregnancy with Rivers fearful.
Then something totally shifted and change when I got pregnant with Everjoy and now I love being pregnant. I loved birth. I love preparing for all the things and I love to help other women so it’s sort of sad that i’m like we’re probably done having biological kids now that I’m like obsessed with birth and pregnancy.
The Pain & Hardship Behind Every Beautiful Photo Online
Meg: Birth is so beautiful. I’m right there with you. I just feel like your story is such a testament to that. We can see these beautiful photos on instagram or on someone’s blow who have this family that you’re just like wow I wish I had that or they haven’t made that so beautiful and like underneath it all is you know it’s there’s pain from the ashes
I just feel like your story is such a testament to that too. If you see something I t’s not always oh she has it so great because you did hurt and longed to be a mama for so so long. So for me like watching your pregnancy was just such a treat because it almost made it more fun for me to watch through your instagram stories. Because I knew how hard you’ve worked and it’s so exciting to be able to chat with you.
But I just want to encourage other mamas or mamas in waiting. You’re not alone. Wynne definitely knows that longing and pain and all of that. Don’t give up hope that’s what I want to women don’t give up hope you never know what is around the corner and so we’re not promised anything in this world but we can hope.
I love that okay so your youngest baby Everyjoy was born in October. So tell us about your pregnancy with her. So we’re we’re going to be talking about pregnancy but we’re really going to be talking about pregnancy and labor and postpartum specifically with essential oils and so can you kind of talk about the oils and natural products that you loved in your first and second trimester with Everyjoy
Pregnancy, Labor, & Postpartum
Wynne: Yes I love it and I think too it’s more than just oil, this is a lifestyle. When i’m talking to women who are pregnant about these products and about essential oils it’s also educating yourself on what is happening in your body. I’m a huge advocate for telling people –and maybe it’s because I didn’t do this with Rivers and I wish that I had, but I’m doing a birth course.
So whether you’re doing a birth course online or you’re doing one in person I did one online and I would sit in the bathtub with my laptop and watch my little birth course and take notes and that was so huge for me . I can tell you later for the show notes if you want to know some of the actual things that I use but I just always want to advocate for people to educate themselves to read one of my favorite books for pregnancy and babies is called Gentle Babies.
I always call it my bible of all things like natural and holistic with pregnancy and labor. So I have two copies and I would keep on by my bedside and if ever anything came up I was like okay what does gentle baby say. The other book I love was the Betty Bosoms Baby Book which is a great resource. I actually did a blog post for you guys I use in my pregnancy so like let’s go back and find that.
Meg: Yes I will pop that in the show notes for people to the last two books plus Wynne’s blog post
Supporting Your Emotions
Wynne: So something that I love is supporting your emotions because there’s a lot of emotions and there’s a lot of hormones and there’s a lot of things that are happening when you are actually growing a child. So one of my favorite rollers and it’s on this post, is with white angelica balor joy and orange and I would just carry it around with me and put it behind my ears, over my heart, on my wrist multiple times a day. Because you need to take care of yourself.
We are important. We can’t forget about our own sanity when we’re growing a human. yeah so and then obviously there are things that come up that are like okay I feel this, I feel that. My favorite thing ever is a Young Living product called ningxia red and it’s not an oil but it is a super fruit antioxidant powerhouse drink that I drink every single day still. So if you’re pregnant, if you’re postpartum, if you have a baby, if you’re just a woman, it is the best thing ever. But then I love peppermint. I never left home without peppermint for any kind of nausea and crazy things that you have going on but I think those are probably my favorites.
Meg: I would agree and for me, I don’t know if you agree with this, but I was shocked by how emotional you are especially that first trimester. Then last year just floating a tissue box. I was so emotional and I remember my first trimester watching a video from Courtney Crites who is a World Crown Diamond with Young Living for those of you who aren’t familiar with her and she has oil recommendations for the first trimester or the first few weeks or whatever were emotion oils. Interesting, right? Then the emotions came and I’m like yep I for sure need that.
Wynne: I agree it’s emotional. My favorite was Release. About this time of my pregnancy i’m bathing myself and Release. I’m like, yes, I need this is good thank you
Oils For First Trimester
Meg: So what would you say for emotions what’s a good If you could pick one oil for someone to use in their first trimester, what would you say?
Wynne: Why are you making a pick one? Well this is hard because I want to say White Angelica because it’s protection and it smells so good and it’s one of my top favorite oils ever. But then I also want to say Frankincense because it’s very grounding. I’m feeling that’s probably my go to. I love to put it on the crown of my head and then I’ll put it on my hands, smell it. You can see me and then putting it all on my hair. I want to say that because that well I probably would say frankincense if I had to pick just one.
Meg: That’s a really good one. I was trying to think as you’re talking and that frankincense is so good because it caters to everyone. Because depending on your pregnancy situation or if you weren’t planning to become pregnant you can have a whole lot of shock and all of those kind of emotions or if it took you a really long time or maybe you have a history of loss. There’s probably a lot of fear there or a guard up. But frankincense just covers all of it no matter what you’re feeling.
Wynne: It’s my desert island oil. If I were stuck on a desert island that’s what I would bring with me
A Healthier Pregnancy Journey
Meg: Okay so tell us a little bit about your pregnancy with Everyjoy
Wynne: I had a pretty good pregnancy and I had a COVID pregnancy so it was interesting. Everything was different. Going to appointments by myself. I had a drive by everything, gender reveal, baby shower, everything was outside in the yard and it looked very different than it looked with my other pregnancy.
But I really felt good and I think a lot of it is the way that we eat the way that getting actual sleep drinking water. I’ve learned as I grow more into this lifestyle of wellness what fuels my body and what I need to avoid so I feel good. I did a lot better this time because I am more attuned to my body. Yes I did still eat peanut butter and jelly and cheetos for lunch in the first trimester. Yes almost every day because it was the only thing I could get down. It was just peanut butter all the time
Finding Empowerment Through Pregnancy
Meg: That’s so good okay and then let’s talk about being empowered when we’re pregnant. Because your pregnancies from Rivers to Everyjoy were very different as far as empowerment and you being in charge and you driving the ship. Can you talk about that?
Wynne: I love to talk about this because I said before, I think that our culture wants to play labor as this very terrifying thing right? We watch movies and tv shows and the women are screaming. Yeah sure this is scary but it’s not that scary. It’s a beautiful thing and it is how our bodies were created to give birth If you think about the millions of women who have given birth before you and the 1000s of women that are giving birth the same moment that you are, that is such an empowering feeling of if all these people can do it and if my body was made for this, I can do it.
I think a lot of the difference in my pregnancies was my mindset. And I really chose to think about birth and labor differently. Not that I wasn’t nervous, not that I didn’t wasn’t able to be real and vulnerable to say, this is a little scary. I wanted to have an intervention free, drug free, as best as I could birth. And I worked towards that. And so it wasn’t, maybe I think I might, we’ll see when we get to the hospital, it was very intentional.
I said, at the beginning, I loved reading books, I loved reading an amazing book, I loved doing my birth course, I love listening to the birth hour podcast, I loved watching people’s birth stories. And I feel like all of those things, and talking to friends who had had the kind of birth that I desired. I feel like all those things really helped me feel empowered, and I could do it.
Finding A Health Provider That Fits With Your Birth Vision
And your provider, whoever your provider is, that’s the number one thing I actually switched providers from my first birth to my second. And that I think that made all the difference in the world as well.
Meg: Yeah, for sure. And knowing that you, doctors, or midwives, or whoever works for us. I was always so intimidated by doctors, I have a history of autoimmune problems. And so I’m always in there. And for years, I thought they were in charge of me, and I had to listen to them. And they’re telling me to take this or do that. And I respect doctors so much. There is most definitely a time and place for them. But in my pregnancy I also switched doctors within my first trimester because you realize wait, they work for you. And so if someone’s making you not feel great about a decision, you can be like, Oh, wait, I can find somebody who is in alignment.
Wynne: Yeah, get a second opinion and ask questions. Now that I know, there’s so many questions that I wish I would have asked my first provider on my first words, and I really believe that I don’t have regrets. There’s a season for everything. Everything happens for a reason. But yes, be empowered. Don’t just take a backseat to your health and be like, well, this is what the doctor said. So this is what I’m going to do.
Having A Birth Plan That Feels Good To You
Do your own research, ask your own questions. Read, watch, be. I just want women to feel like they’re informed. You don’t have to birth this certain way. There’s not one right way. It’s not like, oh, if you don’t do a home birth, or if you don’t do a natural birth, or if you don’t do this, no, there’s no one right way to do birth. I think I just want so bad for women to feel informed and to make their own decisions for themselves or with their partner, but not just because this is what you should do. This is what culture says, This is what your doctor says. But what do you want to do?
Yeah, feel good about? Yeah, and proud. And you know that. This is the decision I’m making. And I’m proud of this. This is what I want to be doing. My mom had an unmedicated hospital birth. And I grew up and I remember chatting with girlfriends in high school and being like, Why did she do that voluntarily? It blew my mind why my mom just signed up to not have an epidural.
But then thankfully, honestly, when I started using oils, I was exposed to all of these women having home births. Everywhere I turned on Instagram or Facebook, there were home births. And I’m just like, Why are these people? But when you’re exposed to it, your mind is open. And so I just think what you said, knowing that there are choices and just feeling good in your choice, whatever that is.
Wynne: Yeah. But my own perception of unmedicated birth before I attempted it was like, Oh, these women are just trying to prove something but that’s like not it at all. Maybe some people are but nobody I’ve ever talked to does that to like, say that they did it. There’s a reason and they have chosen that for a purpose. And so there’s just so much shame and so much stuff that can go along with childbirth and pregnancy and comparing but it’s all beautiful.
Birth Plans Don’t Go According To Plan
I might be jumping the gun here but I ended up having a C section after 14 hours of unmedicated labor and pushing and that’s just what had to happen. That was not at all what I wanted, that was not at all what I prep for plan for envision prayed about, all the things, but it happened. And that was how it was supposed to happen. So there’s no shame for me to sit here and be embarrassed.
Yeah, I haven’t had a C section at all. My baby is here and she’s healthy. And I did the best job that I could. And that’s what every mom does is the best job that they can with what they know. Right, right at that moment.
Meg: Agreed. And I was watching your birth story, you had your baby maybe five or six months after I had mine. And our story is similar. I think everyone goes in with this birth plan. And then the baby is like, Oh, actually, I haven’t signed the birth plan. And so for me, I had a planned home birth, and I labored at home for like 24 hours or some long amount of time, over 24 hours. Then we were transferred to the hospital.
For a long time, like a few weeks, I had to really emotionally process that and almost forgive myself for not being able to do it. And there was no judgment of other people. It was all I had the standard of myself. I remember my doula saying, putting this blame on yourself is like your baby, you at most have 50% say, in your birth story. And your baby has the other say. So I just wanted to share that for other people. Because both Wynne and I had these birth plans that didn’t work out, but look at our babies are here and the stories. I’m grateful for it because I feel I now have more compassion and understanding and all of that for other Mamas.
Wynne: Yeah, hurts. And there’s definitely a process of grieving and that’s okay
Meg: So okay, we’ll come back to that. I jumped the gun a little bit. What were the books that you recommended?
Wynne: Oh, I’m amazed Guide to childbirth. I did the Natural Mama. I did her book and her online birth course. Then Gentle Babies and Betsy Bosoms Baby Book are my favorite.
Meg: Love that. I also really loved the business of being born. I highly recommend.
Wynne: That was what we watched first. Actually, that opened our eyes to a lot of things.
Meg: Yeah, I have watched it like before I got pregnant. And then the day we found out we were pregnant. I made Dave watch it. And I think he’s very overwhelmed by all of the news and all of the things. We really weren’t planning to have a baby. And then I’m just like, we need like, okay, who is this hippie lady? Okay.
How To Handle The Second & Third Trimester
Let’s see. So let’s talk about the end of pregnancy in the third trimester because anyone who has been pregnant knows that the third trimester is way different than the first and second. So what would you say are like some must have, whether it’s oily products, natural products, other things that are like you have to have this.
Wynne: So I will share with you, I have a couple of blog posts that I wrote that I cataloged all the things and while I was in that season, so while it was fresh. I have one that was like, what I packed in my hospital bag, and then I have like a postpartum prepping one because I think once you get to the end of your pregnancy, especially the end of your third trimester, you’re in nesting mode, right? And you’re wanting to do all the things to keep yourself busy and be prepared.
I think something I’m really glad I did this past time was prepare for postpartum and pack my hospital bag. So I made DIY pad sickles, which you really end up needing because I had a C section. But that was something that kept me busy. I used essential oils, witch hazel and aloe vera and all the good things for that. I made rollers for when I went into labor because clary sage is a huge one once your contractions start to put on your ankles to help promote things.
So I did that. I made some homemade labor aid drink and I had it ready in my fridge so when we left for the hospital I had it. It had electrolytes and coconut water. I had all my lightning shred but I think just getting all the things together to take to the hospital is huge.
Peppermint oil was huge for . The CBD calm roller is one of my all time favorites as well. I also was obsessed with diffusing while I was in that mode. I also had a birthing center situation and a hospital. Use oils wherever you are if you can. The nurses will love you and everyone will want to come and hang out in your room . Calming is my favorite and it just reminds me of birth.
Meg: I echo all of those things. Making popsicles and just doing all of that. Back to the empowerment thing. You feel like you’re preparing and you’re having a say in how this is going to go. And instead of just being like okay i’m just gonna sit here and hope other people know what’s going on, preparing not just the baby’s nursery but having tools, too. Whether that’s rollers or whatever for when you go into labor or that kind of thing is so empowering.
And for my anxious mind it made me feel good to have a labor roller and an emotions type thing because it’s scary. But also just waiting around for Everjoy, right? How long was she past due?
Wynne: Seven days past due, which probably felt like seven months. And I love what you said because as a first time mom I was so focused on putting stuff on my baby registry and getting the perfect this and the perfect that. I wish I would have.
Setting Your Postpartum Up For Success
What I did my second time around was really focused more on setting myself up for success after the baby came home. So making snacks, making breakfast foods and putting them in the freezer. Having friends set up a meal train for people to bring you meals, making the pad, set goals. I have a little basket with all my nursing supplies and then one with all of my diaper changing stuff and getting all of those things set up where they need to go in your house so when you get home you’re prepared . I just want to encourage women who are in this season maybe they’re like okay what can I do? I’m just sitting around start to prep those things now and you will be so happy later.
Meg: Yeah seriously I agree and people take care of the baby and they bring the baby things and you will be so glad you put a little table in your bathroom for your pad set up, your panties and you’re clearing.
Wynne: And just all the things to take care of you afterwards. I did not do this the last time I don’t know if you do this Meg but I encapsulated my placenta.
Meg: Oh I didn’t do it. It overwhelmed me but I was so interested so please share.
Wynne: Well my doula, it was a service she offered so it was easy because I just paid her to do it and she was there. So she just took it but I feel like they really really helped with my postpartum emotions and all the things. So I didn’t really cry as much afterwards this time as I did before when I was still feeling the emotions. Not that I wasn’t but I feel like they were such a great support for me and I still have them. So technically you could save them and use them when you’re going through menopause, which is crazy. What crazy people said that they didn’t really make a difference, some people loved them. I loved them.
Meg: That is so good to know and the crazy thing is I feel like the biggest testimony i’ve heard is the emotions. Which is so interesting to me and when Rachel James was on the podcast for she did an episode on crystals she shared how her mom would just take a chunk of her placenta and put it in a smoothie and I just wished so badly I could watch listeners faces who are so crunchy it’s like driving their cars like what are they talking about
Wynne: Crazy people, I know it is. It says things that you think like man what? But it’s okay. I’m I am crunchy. I use the oils but I still went through IVF. You don’t have to choose this. I’m only science are only essential oils. I feel like there is a place for both absolutely and so just do your research and see what’s out there and don’t knock something until you at least are informed about it.
Meg: Yeah and do a check in with yourself. Does it interest me? No, I think it’s so weird. Then don’t do it but if there’s something in you that’s like okay that’s kind of interesting. It’s not weird. Every mammal, if you google like cow birth or deer birth they eat their placenta right after raw. It’s nature. So if you’re feeling okay this is kind of interesting, then do it. If not don’t.
What You Need To Pack In Your Hospital Bag & Have A Plan Written Down
Yeah and something I will add with the preparing with birth and all of that is because I was transferred from a home birth to the hospital. I want to do it again because I was transferred in the middle of the night. I was so out of it I didn’t have anything packed. Things were packed for me and you know how partners, husbands pack.
So I had nothing. What that taught me while I was really wishing I had a hairbrush for my thick hair and they provide you with a comb, what I really learned is how little you actually need. Because it made me realize I just missed five things. I feel if I had packed a hospital bag, I probably would have overpacked. I would have packed so much for Acre and I realized I didn’t miss anything for him. The hospital has everything for your baby besides a cute outfit and a car seat.
Wynne: They really do. I wrote a whole blog post about this too. I wrote down things I brought that I didn’t need to or things I wish that I brought but I think I wish I brought was really only an eye mask because it was so bright. You made me think about something on the empowerment thing when I got to the point where they were like you’re going to need to have a C section, my nurse, who was amazing.
I always tell people, pray that you have an amazing nurse because there really is, he was like okay i’m gonna fight for you. What three things are the most important for you? Because I had done the work and because I had researched and not from this perfect little birth plan. but I knew what I wanted. I was able to –after being up for 30 something hours and pushing for 14 –tell her because I knew because it was that ingrained in me and so many my friends were I would have just been like whatever I don’t care but you can be informed and empowered for even in those moments of stress to still know this is what I want.
Meg: That’s such a good piece of advice. I wish I had it written down to be honest. For me the flip side of that was being transferred I had my baby at the height of the COVID shutdowns.
So my doula and my midwife were not allowed to come with me which was heartbreaking. Throughout my entire pregnancy I trust my midwife so much I trust my doula so much they know what I want so why write it down? But I was sent to the hospital where I mean Dave knew but he was also up forever and worried. So I really encourage people to write it down. Or like you said have it down and printed out.
A C Section Birth
Wynne: Pack your hospital bag and have a birth plan lesson. I remember the next morning literally googling C section recovery. Because I had sort of moved past that and all the books I was reading because there’s like a mommy C section, I don’t need to know about that. Luckily I have friends who have had them that I texted and they gave me all the scoop right away.
But if you are someone who want to be prepared and know what’s happening don’t not research that because that’s not gonna happen to me. At least be aware because like we’ve said it doesn’t always go how you plan for it to go.
Meg: I’ve never thought of that but that’s so true. We probably all skip over the c section part of the book and then afterwards you’re like what How do I take care of it? This is so different
Wynne: Yeah that is such a good word and I hope we’re not scaring listeners. Like my birth plan is going to go straight because plenty of people’s birth plans don’t change. It’s just good to have what’s important to you written down and be prepared and informed and all the things.
Oils To Use During Labor
Meg: Okay so what were some oils that you used during labor besides Peace & Calming in your diffuser?
Wynne: So while I was in labor, I use Valor a lot. I feel like I was putting valor on my wrist all the time. My doula and I were laughing before I ever got pregnant that she had a client who’d tell her what to do. Tell me what oils you need and I will do it. So I can sense were huge for me CBD calm roller, CBD muscle rab. I feel like my neck and my upper back just hurts.
No matter how you’re giving birth you’re gonna be uncomfortable in some sort of way. So having something to help you is awesome. Then I had slept a few things so I kept it super simple. Oh and peppermint I would be sniffing for the nausea all the time. So that’s what I use while I was in labor.
But then there’s a couple things that I had that i’m really glad that I had right afterwards. Helichrysum is one of my favorites. It’s so good I put it literally in the postpartum right after on my abdomen and it really helped with the bleeding so that was huge. If you have a vaginal delivery, Clary Sage is the best. You spread down there and you can start using it even before you going into labor and for weeks afterwards.
Actually, after I had my c section, I was like what am I supposed to do with this? I sprayed it on my c section scar because it’s so great for skin support. It helped me there. That would be one to have and then all the emotional oils with me afterwards too.
Meg: Okay so with labor oils, I thought of this when you said CBD for. I don’t know about Steven, i’m pretty sure I thought of pictures, like Stephen was very active in your birth? Yes. So I feel like having either a deeper leaf roller or the cbd muscle rub for the partners, the husband’s because Dave afterwards was sore from holding the same position.
Wynne: I’m putting on my differently for right now. I’m like oh my neck actually hurts from nursing
Meg: Oh yeah for sure. So I made a roller right towards the end of my pregnancy for labor and I only used it once. And part of me wonders if this is because of it. Even though I ended up laboring for so long because Acre was stuck but the progression of my labor was so fast. Part of me wonders if it was from the roller. Because I had clary sage orange release and peppermint in it and I just feel like the clary sage and the Release does all the things. I remember rolling that and it was a quick progressor.
I actually have this one bottle of clary sage that I let a couple of local brands borrow. There were two of them right before I had ever joined that used it that the next day went into labor or that night that they started using it or they’ve gone to labor but actually delivered their baby. It is for real so that oil Yes, for sure you need.
It was crazy. I had Peace and Calming in my diffuser, which was so funny. My midwife has a midwife assistant. And she knew that I wanted to use oils. And she said beforehand my midwife assistant doesn’t like patchouli. So I just asked that you don’t have anything with patchouli and I’m like, I need Peace and Calming like, this isn’t okay.
I promise it doesn’t smell like patchouli. So I gave her a vial sample to bring to her assistant to smell at their next birth before mine and approve it.
I was so nervous. And I’m like, I need my Peace and Calming, you know? Yes, yes. And she approved and we had approved but I put that roller on with the clary sage and the Rrelease. And it was very early labor and then it just started. I don’t remember much after and I wish that I had told people to put these oils on me at this time. Because I was so out of it that I didn’t really ask. But I look back and think that would have been so nice if I had something put on my chest or do you know what ?
Wynne: Yes, I feel like everybody says that. They’re like, I packed all these oils and I made all these rollers. I did all this stuff. And then I hardly used it. And so I think you do it just has to be and I think mine was mostly my doula and Steven being like, here’s some peppermint. I know that you throw up. I think less is more and don’t be overwhelmed by a million things.
Meg: Less is definitely more and those vomit bags that they give you. This wasn’t even my idea. But I was super nauseous during labor and they put a drop of peppermint in the bag. And you can just hold the bag and take deep breaths and it is the only oil I don’t remember my Peace and Calming diffusing, I don’t really remember smelling it. I remember being so grateful for that peppermint and just I need my peppermint puke bag.
Okay. What are other non oily must haves for labor and birth?
Other Must Haves For Labor & Birth
Wynne: Okay, so I was thinking about this today. And I don’t know if you’ve ever done EFT aroma.
Meg: Yes. We have an episode on EFT.
Wynne: Okay, so there’s a girl on our team, her name is Kristin Maple. And she does EFT and I had done a session, a group session with her at the very end of my pregnancy while I was in the baby’s room. And I actually was reminded of it today because she led our team through it again. And I was like, Oh my gosh, doing that EFT session really got my mind right. And the mantra that I came up with during that session was like what I used while I was in labor. I really think it helped me be calm. The nurses at the hospital were like, we have never seen a more calm, pregnant woman in labor, who has no drugs and went as long as you did, like never.
I really think that so much of it was the mindset work that I did. And so much of that was through EFT. So definitely recommend that if you have access to that. I use the Christian hypnobirthing app. And it had a 30 minute track that I would listen to every day and I would go on walks in my neighborhood or when I was taking a bath and just listen to it. So I feel like that and affirmation. I had after birth affirmation cards. Yeah. Oh, I know this sort of all goes together. But just the mindset before you go here.
Setting Boundaries During Pregnancy
Meg: Yeah, it really is. Talking with other like minded women. We’ve mentioned that before but hearing other birth stories. I just thought of this but I think this is so important to say it’s okay to set a boundary. Especially your third trimester, but even your whole pregnancy. I think sometimes people are led to tell you horror stories. You’re like don’t tell me.
Wynne: Yeah, and so I think it’s fine to set that boundary of like, Oh, I’m actually really trying to protect my spirit and my emotions and that’s just not really helpful for me right now. I’m trying to get my mindset right. That’s okay. Like gotcha, good to set up that boundary. Absolutely.
Meg: It’s so funny that you mentioned Kristin Maples because that is who did our EFT episode
Wynne: That is so awesome. She is the best.
Meg: I know. So friends you can go back to that episode and book a session with her if you’re pregnant. She’s amazing.
So both of us had a doula and all the praise to them. Do you recommend a doula?
Should You Get A Doula?
Wynne: i’m so grateful and my doula. She is also a lactation consultant. She came and checked on me after I had the baby. I still text her random questions. I had a hospital birth and I still had a doula so highly recommend a doula. She was able to point me to other resources.
I did the mile circuit towards the end of my pregnancy, I did like spinning baby stuff and I want to really know about that stuff without her. One of my friends says it’s like buying a house without a realtor. You can do it but it’s way smoother of a process if you have one.
Meg: Yes that is so true. Did you have a doula with Rivers?
Wynne: No. So it was a 180 degree different experience.
Meg:Yeah I agree with that so much. I love my doula and my midwife and I really feel like they are walking angels.
Wynne: When I got done with all my appointments with my midwife, I’m like but wait, do I have to have another baby to see you again? I love you.
Meg: Seriously I had this same conversation with my midwife. Mine being a home birth midwife she came to our house a couple of days after Acre was born and she really helped me process the grief afterwards.
Wynne: My doula did the same thing. Having some doulas, you have to pay a little bit extra to have the postpartum services but do it. Take care of you.
Meg: Yes yes yes. You are worth it. Any other like must haves for labor and birth?/.
Wynne: I really loved honey sticks. That’s so random but I love honey sticks. It’s my diffuser, peppermint oil, CBD calm, nisha liberate, honey sticks.
What You Need Postpartum
Meg: Okay let’s talk postpartum. It doesn’t get talked about enough. The emotions of postpartum gets talked about which is so important and I’m so glad that it does because when our moms had babies it didn’t get talked about.
Wynne: I did not realize that I was going to have to wear a literal diaper for four months or so months. I don’t want to scare you
Meg: Let’s talk about postpartum, let’s equip listeners. What are some oily or non oily products that you gotta have postpartum?
Wynne: I already said clairderm spray number. I am sort of dorky and I took as many panties as I could home from the hospital and bought a lot more from Amazon.
Super comfortable underwear and I also have some from amazon that are dark colors that are like high waisted and I ordered a size bigger just so you can throw them away at the end so you’re not ruining underwear.
The Perry bottle is a thing and I don’t know if you follow Carrie Lochner on instagram but she is like postpartum queen and i’ve learned so much from following her instagram. She did this whole thing about how it does way more than just helping clean you up after you go to the bathroom but you can actually put like epsom salt and oils in there.
Meg: Oh I will say the haka did you use the haka?
Wynne: So the haka is amazing to catch extra milk when you’re nursing. Also I had clogged ducts this time and I never had that last time and if you put epsom salt and water in warm water and epsom salt in the haka, it helps draw that clogged duck out. Which is insane.
Meg: Yeah I feel that is definitely a mess. I always joke that water chapstick again with the cbd calm roller I wish those of you could see me but there’s this little nightlight thing that I got off amazon that I took to the hospital and I still have next to my bed that it charges with a usb. But it has all these different settings and it’s so nice to nurse in the middle of the night and not turn on your lamp or and have some light so I just keep a little basket next to my bed with all the little baby things and things for me just keep things within arm’s reach. I would say if you have a two story house, keep stuff on you. Or in two different places so you’re not running all over the house like where is that thing? So sometimes you’ll have more than one.
Wynne: Yeah I agree and back to that third trimester, don’t worry about as much. I know it’s easy to say, don’t worry about the nursery. It’s so fun and you want it to be prepared but like don’t spend so much time on that that you’re not preparing for you. Make a basket. The best thing ever was having snacks next to where I was nursing because you are starving. Set up little stations for yourself and take care of yourself.
Meg: Yes, My favorite thing are those no big energy bites. I’m talking about butter and honey. I still make those. My go to.
Getting Help Where You Can
Wynne: A lot of stuff you can prepare. But also preparing yourself to be okay, asking for help. If your mom can come and stay or your mother in law or if your husband or partner can take off work. Just having the support that you need because you can’t do it all. You’re not going to be able to cook all the meals and do all the laundry and clean up all the house and take care.
So just prepare for those things beforehand. If you have other kids prepare for who’s going to take them to school those first couple of days or who’s gonna pack their lunches. I just i’m a huge advocate for asking for help so bring your community or your family into that
Meg: Yeah and the wound in your uterus is the size of a dinner plate after you have your baby. So I feel like we push ourselves. Oh I should be up and it’s like no. There is a big wound in your belly. Your job is to feed your baby and then heal.
Wynne: Yes and rest. If you have a c section, you had a major abdominal surgery and so treat that as such. I feel like this time I forced myself to slow down those first couple weeks and i’m so glad I did because so many friends said they didn’t they push themselves and then it set them back. So take care of yourself.
I remember when Everjoy was two or three weeks old some of my college friends were coming through town and it was a Sunday night and I was in my robe and I had my baby and they were like what? You should be in my bed right now. Just soak it up. You’re right that tiny newborn season goes by so fast.
Meg: It does. It really does. I’m gonna cry talking about it.
Wynne: Those little cuddles on you like and they just nothing wakes them up besides themselves. They just sleep everywhere and oh my gosh yes the best Marjoram essential oil really helped my postpartum cramping. I would put that all over my belly and then put a heating pad on and that was a lifesaver. So somehow I missed that memo and I remember being on a team call that pregnancy when Everjoy was a couple weeks old.
They didn’t tell me about that. A friend of mine just had a baby and I drove my marjoram to her house because i’m like you need this.
Meg: So good. I feel like we could have a whole episode on nursing.Like you said with the haka and the clog decks. This is so weird sounding but I had a frozen head of cabbage and my midwife told me to rip off a frozen leaf from the cabbage and put it in your bra and you smell horrific.It’s gross but it works so well especially when your milk first comes in. It’s just as painful a little bit you’re real full cabbage leaves. You don’t smell good but it helps a lot.
When did you start using oils on average joy
Wynne: Literally in the hospital. So I know that everybody is different on when they want to start using oils for for their babies but I feel after so many years of doing it I feel really comfortable.
I love the kidsins line from young living. I will even dilute it even further but she had gaps.
Meg: Have you ever done that it’s like the I know and you massage on their stomach with the tummy?
Wynne: Oh I started doing that pretty soon after. I am a huge huge fan even with the sniffle ease for her sniffles. I love to do gentle baby lavender and frankincense and just put it on the bottom of her feet. I tried to keep it by the diaper changing station and then put it on her just to help it those are all like pretty high frequency oils
Meg: Yeah stay above the wellness line and gentle babies. When mentioned that book if you guys want to read more about or learn more about oils for babies
Wynne: Yes how you dilution ratios and all the things. You gotta make your own, do your own.
Meg: Okay now that you’ve been through pregnancy, labor, postpartum twice. What would you go back and tell your pregnant with Rivers self?
Tips For Mothers To Be
Wynne: Oh my gosh that’s so hard because part of me wants to go back to that person and be like pay attention. Don’t be scared. Don’t be so fearful. Lean into these things that you’re feeling and work through them. Don’t just push them away but I also know that that part of my story led me to the next.
So I don’t have regrets in it but as i’m mentoring and coaching and helping women who are having their first baby they’re definitely the things that I say to them are what i’ve been saying this whole time. Be informed, do your research. Here’s the book to read. Here’s a movie to watch. Know what you’re doing and be confident in that so it’s not scary. It’s such a beautiful thing you should get really excited about it.
Meg: For real. 1000s of women give birth every single day but I remember I was pregnant and I heard that number and I saw an affirmation that said, 1000s of women are giving birth alongside of you. How empowering and how cool is that ? When you’re in early labor and maybe you’re feeling nervous or even while you’re pregnant. Remind yourself, when I have my baby 1000 other women will also be having contractions or pressure waves. For those of you that do like hypno birthing, so many women before you and after you. You can do it. Were you blown away by the fact that you did it?
It’s an out of body experience. It’s like the most empowering thing ever. All that work, it was worth it. You just don’t feel like afterwards I felt if I could do that, I could have run a marathon or I could do anything. What should I sign up for?
Wynne: It’s funny you said that because I ran a half marathon before I ever had kids and I remember being like man I can do anything after that. It’s the same kind of thing after going through labor. Wow I could really do anything. my body yeah amazing
Meg: Seriously it’s so cool. Okay I’m excited for pregnant listeners. Before we head to rapid fire do you have any closing encouragement for listening mama’s or mamas and waiting or anything like that?
The Beauty Of Birth & Motherhood
Wynne: I would just say that pregnancy and birth and being a mom, even if you’re not a mom through birthing yourself is all beautiful. And it’s worth it no matter how you get there or how long it takes you to get there. It’s such a beautiful road and you were meant for whoever you end up being the mother to.
You were meant to be that child’s mother and so find peace in that. I have my kids from Ethiopia. I didn’t birth them.They have two mommies. But I was meant to be their mom. Just encourage women to who are waiting to never give up hope.
Meg: That’s beautiful. It makes me teary but it’s so true. There’s no better mom for your baby. Are you ready for rapid fire? What’s something people often get wrong about you? Just in general.
Wynne: Okay this is sort of enneagram related. Sometimes people think that I am a seven sometimes people think i’m a three I guess because I like to work. I’m also very organized and people think like oh enneagram sevens aren’t super organized or they aren’t like this. I’m like no I promise I am. So I don’t know if that’s a good one or not. Or people think that I’m shy in real life. I’m like nope, I’m way more in your face in real life than I have on the internet.
Meg: Also to add to that is just what I said in the beginning. People see a photo of you with all your kids and maybe people assume like oh she has all these babies. Must be nice. People I think and with your instagram following, I just think that sometimes it’s really easy to assume that someone doesn’t have that it wasn’t a labor of love to get to where they are.
What’s your late night guilty pleasure snack?
Wynne: Popcorn. I love boomchickapop. I get the little individual bags because I have no self control with the big bags. My really guilty pleasure is to have one of the sweet bags and one of the normal bags. My husband and my kids are always finding popcorn kernels in the bed. I’m like sorry it’s so good.
Meg: Okay. I know you’re a big reader so i’m excited about this question. What’s a book you’re currently reading?
Wynne: I’m reading like eight books
Meg: I was gonna say as I was asking this because I know you in real life. I’m like she’s reading something.
Wynne: No I like to read actual books and I like to listen to books and I like to read and listen to different genres. So I’m listening or reading a parenting book, a business book, a more personal development kind of book. But the book that I will highlight because I was listening to it this morning it’s called the Lazy Genius Way and I am obsessed with it. It’s so good, it’s so practical, encouraging it’s all these different principles on living like a lazy genius. And I since i’m so into routines and rhythms and it’s a lot about that and I recommend it for anybody.
Meg: Oh that sounds good. Okay and then since we’re Whimsy + Wellness what is your current favorite either roller or diffuser blend?
Wynne: It’s so hard. My current favorite diffuser blend I call it like my rainy day blend because we’ve been having some rainy days over here. It’s lavender, clary sage, and bergamot. It’s so good because I was clearly saved from labor and i’m like what am I going to do with this? It’s really good in the diffuser with other things
Meg: Yes you should try it. So good, just don’t use it if you’re still pregnant right
Wynne: Yeah well you use it I think if you’re still okay.
Meg: Okay I don’t know. Maybe google that friends. No, I’m just kidding. But lavender and bergamot are amazing together so even if you’re pregnant and you want to be on the safe side just try those and then when your baby comes add in the clary sage. Okay where can people find you and follow along with you?
Wynne: So everything is just my name Wynne Elder. I have a blog which on my blog I have all of these I have so many posts about pregnancy labor postpartum. So definitely check it out and then on instagram is probably where I hang out the most
Meg: I will link everything in the show notes. I’ll link Wynne’s blog and her instagram but also the books that she mentioned and just all of that so if you guys are like ah I was driving or I didn’t write it all down, I will link it all for you but when this has been so so nice. Thank you for hanging out.
Wynne: Yes me too.
Meg: I hope people are feeling encouraged and just I hope you walk away from this episode those of you listening feeling empowered I can do this thanks to Wynne and her wisdom wins wisdom