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The latest episode of CHD.TV’s “Tea Time” featured a conversation with SheéLee Rock, certified childbirth educator and doula, about the sometimes traumatic experience of hospital births — a trending topic as home births have risen in the U.S. and U.K. during the COVID pandemic.
She and her hosts, Polly Tommey, Kari Bundy, Jessica Vanhille-Hart and Sarah Kenoyer told viewers why they chose home births aided by doulas after having their first babies in the hospital.
Bundy, a doula, described how she lost her 4-month-old son following his routine vaccinations and explained why she now helps moms with home births. “I’m the anti-vax doula,” she said. “I’m fine with that.”
“I’m a bodyguard more than anything for that baby after birth, because those parents are hiring me because they’re afraid that their baby is going to get eye goop or the heel stick just to do the newborn screening that some parents don’t want,” Bundy said.
When parents want to opt out of routine hospital interventions, Bundy said the doula’s sole purpose is to be there for the mother and the baby.
“Especially in the height of this COVID madness these past two years. The hospitals have been a mess,” she said.
The conversation covered how doulas can protect mothers from coercion and scornful doctors during the pandemic.
“This is five mums getting together just talking tea time,” Tommey said. “We’re trying to educate you on maybe some of the mistakes we made more than advice to you, so we can warn you of things we’ve done that we regret.”
Rock, whose birthing business Rock That Birth! also provides birth education for mothers, said:
“We do see that [bullying] sometimes in hospital settings. It’s really, really unfortunate. I tell my students, ‘You can get a natural birth in a hospital setting — it is possible — but you are going to have to fight for what you want. There may be some compromises you have to make and that is not for everybody.’”
Rock opted for a home birth for her second and third babies. She said:
“In a home birth you can do what you want. You can stand on your head. You can demand people leave. You can eat freely — you don’t have to hide your food and drinks during labor. You have a lot more freedom.”
Watch this week’s episode here:
Watch a new episode of “Tea Time” every Friday on CHD.TV at 9 a.m. PT / Noon ET.
Join the hosts of CHD.TV’s “Tea Time” for an hour-long chat with new guests each week as they spill the tea on current events and important topics related to children’s health. Regular guests include: Polly Tommey, CHD.TV programming manager whose son Billy was diagnosed with autism at age 2 after his measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination, Kari Bundy, CHD translations coordinator whose 4-month-old son died following his routine vaccinations, Jessica Vanille-Hart, co-host of PeepsTV and home-schooling mother of two sons, and Sarah Kenoyer, a Texas mother new to the medical freedom movement.