This interview was originally published in March 2014 as part of the lovely Olga Dossa’s “Inspiring Peace” series on empowered, joyful motherhood. Her amazing work on peaceful mothering, postnatal depression, and healing through yoga and meditation can be found at OlgaDossa.com – go check it out!
Olga Dossa: What was the catalyst that inspired you into mothering the way that you do?
Krystal Trammell: I became a mother when I was just 18, and my parenting style has really gone through so many shifts and evolutions since that time, when I was so overwhelmed and terrified of messing everything up.
I suppose, when I really think back to just one thing – it was my desire to succeed in breastfeeding my second child, which led me to La Leche League’s work – that was truly the first step in the journey towards Now.
La Leche League talked about babies and mothering in a way I’d not heard of before – so connected and gentle, almost synergistic in the meeting of both mother’s and baby’s needs as one unit. This led me to question everything I thought I knew about childhood, parenting, discipline, and even education….which in turn led me to the cooperative, mutually respectful, freedom-focused philosophy that is unschooling, which continues to play a huge role in the way I relate to my children, partner, and even to myself.
Olga: If you could tell a new mother just one thing that would make her journey of parenting more joyful, what would it be?
I just about lost my mind with my third pregnancy.
I wasn’t really a birth advocate then, either. Sure, I’d already had two natural births, and was very glad I’d dodged most of the common medical interventions that seemed so invasive to me.
But I didn’t yet have the depth of understanding that came from the experience of my third birth…my just-as-natural, yet very traumatic third birth.
My third birth was amazing yet terrible, and the wounds I suffered ended up evolving me, galvanizing me…
I would not be who I am today had I not suffered thru that beautiful, profound trauma – trauma of birth, something that should never have been made traumatic…
Since we’re coming up on the 8th birthday of my precious daughter, I thought it was time to share her story – our story. It is triggering, but also a story of triumph. If you’re sensitive (or expecting), please read with caution.
Eight years ago today, I was very, very pregnant with my 3rd baby, and pretty much a basket case..
Imagine for a second that you’ve gotten some upsetting news for an expectant mama to hear:
“You’ll need to have a Cesarean.”
This is NOT what I had in mind…not at all what I wanted…
Certainly I can’t speak for everyone, but I think I know how I’d feel, hearing those words…just thinking about it…
I think Cesarean birth is a spectre that haunts many pregnant women, regardless of their actual risk factor for having one…but it doesn’t have to be scary.
What can you do if you find out you’re facing a Cesarean birth?
Do you need a doula?
A doula can make a huge difference in the way women experience their pregnancy and birth.
We can provide emotional support and evidence-based information, multiple educated perspectives, and hands-on support during the hardest trials of labor.
Doulas help parents to find calm and confidence in their own skills, when they’re feeling anxious or unprepared about any aspect of pregnancy, labor, birth, recovery and parenting a newborn.
But, really – do you NEED a doula? Let’s consider this more deeply…
Learn how to use the Bach flower remedies for pregnancy and beyond to safely and gently balance the emotions for deep healing, physically and mentally.
Anyone who’s been around a pregnant mama knows – the things that bother her aren’t just physical symptoms.
Emotional wellness is a huge component of a healthy pregnancy and birth – but there don’t seem to be a lot of tangible things we can do to heal our emotional ills.
That’s why the Bach flower remedies are nothing short of a game-changer.
I’ve worked with the Bach flower remedies for pregnancy and beyond, and they were the single most crucial component in healing my depression and anxiety.
Do you need a doula if you have a midwife?
This article was originally published on the blog at ATXDoulas.com
I hear you’re planning to give birth with a midwife? That’s great!
So, have you hired a doula yet??
“Nah”, you think. “Doulas are great for hospital births, but I’m birthing with a midwife! My partner’s very supportive, too. A doula won’t really be necessary.”
Actually…you might be surprised to learn that a doula has been statistically proven to be an excellent addition to your birth team, no matter where or with whom you’re birthing.
Why cloth diapers? Well, why not??
There are a multitude of reasons, from health and environmental concerns, to baby’s physical comfort and significant cost savings.
Consider this your official crash course: Cloth Diapers 101!
From birth to potty learning, cloth doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated, or any more gross than changing ‘sposies is.
Cloth diapers are incredibly cute, and believe it or not, cloth can be even more convenient than disposables. You’ll never make a midnight run to the corner store again!
Angry. That’s how I felt when I read about the new legislation in Tennessee, which will now allow pregnant women to be prosecuted for assault if they take narcotics during pregnancy and the fetus is harmed by her actions.
As a childbirth educator, of course I am keenly interested in helping to create positive pregnancy outcomes – i.e. healthy babies! – but I am most certainly NOT in favor of making criminals out of women whose choices negatively impact their pregnancies.
It’s so much more complicated than that…
You think babywearing is about what’s best for babies? Well, yes, that’s part of it.
But many people don’t realize that the benefits of babywearing are really also for parents – because babywearing makes parenting so much easier, less stressful, and more joyful.
One common concern I hear from new moms is either surprise or frustration about the high level of neediness that their babies display:
“She cries every time I try to put her down.”
“I can’t get anything done without having to stop and nurse him.”
This is often one reason why many new moms even start to doubt whether they’re producing enough milk:
“Baby seems to cry so often, and she nearly always takes the breast when offered – clearly she must be starving!”
Are pediatricians parenting experts?
What does your pediatrician REALLY know about parenting?
It drives me nuts when I hear parents stressing out about what their pediatrician said they “HAD TO” do with their child…..and how it goes against their gut instincts.
It seems that doctors are now turned to and trusted for way more beyond medical advice in our culture, and it’s time somebody calls bullshit on that.