Podcast

Pregnant women are being bombarded with a never-ending stream of opinions and advice. How can we find that middle ground, where we feel prepared and knowledgeable without surrounding ourselves with so much noise and worst-case scenarios that we become overwhelmed and fearful?

Joining me this week is board-certified OB/GYN Shieva Ghofrany. Dr. Shieva and I discuss ways to reduce anxiety during pregnancy, how to be resilient during labor (and in life) and the importance of establishing a trusting and collaborative relationship with your OB/GYN and the support systems you surround yourself with.

Dr. Shieva (00:00):

I say all the time to my patients. I really wish, like as much as I love to manifest, I don’t want my patients to singularly focus on, I want to have a vaginal delivery. I want them to focus on, I want me and the baby to be happy and healthy in the end.

Dr. Sarah (00:19):

It seems that webMD has made us all into doctors, but really anxious, paranoid, and worst case scenario doctors. We are living in a time where we can find just about anything on the internet, but unfortunately, that abundance of information isn’t always healthy or even factual. Joining me today is board certified OB/GYN, co-founder of the Tribe Called V and the creator of the popular Instagram account @biglovefiercejuju, Dr. Shieva Ghofrany. Dr. Shieva’s mission is to increase women’s knowledge about health in order to decrease their anxiety. So we are very aligned on that front, whether you are a parent to be, or already deep in the parenting mix our discussion about women’s health, establishing, supportive relationships with your doctors and letting go of our need to plan for and control everything is something I think just about everyone will be able to relate to.

Dr. Sarah (01:20):

Do you sometimes feel that while you love parenthood, it’s also overwhelming, messy, confusing, and not always exactly what you thought it would be. Do you wish that you could stop worrying if you’re doing it right, and just feel confident, trusting yourself? Let me clue you into one of the best kept secrets that I’ve discovered through my clinical practice and my years as a mother, when you understand the basics of child development, psychology, and neurobiology, you are able to work with your child’s brain and body rather than fight against it. You develop a true sense of confidence and you feel in control knowing that prepared to navigate whatever challenge parenthood might throw your way. And that is exactly why I created The Authentic Parent: Finding your confidence in your child’s first year. Whether you are a brand new parent, or maybe you’re thinking about how to approach a second or third child with a different set of skills, this six-week course will arm you with all the knowledge you need to feel grounded and confident in your parenting journey. Enrollment is limited. So make sure to sign up for the waitlist now. Go to my website, drsarahbren.com/TAP to sign up and learn more. Let’s increase your confidence and help you create a strong parent-child relationship to use as your parenting compass. Don’t miss your chance to take part in the authentic parent and learn to confidently move through parenthood during your child’s first year.

Dr. Sarah (03:00):

Hi. I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and parenting insights. So you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.

Dr. Sarah (03:32):

Hello. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to introduce Shieva Ghofrany. She is an OB/GYN. She is the co-founder of Tribe Called V, and we’re gonna talk about what that is. And thank you so much. Welcome.

Dr. Shieva (03:46):

Thank you. This is fun. This is the end of a long day in my office. So this is really fun to be able to talk like this.

Dr. Sarah (03:51):

I know me too. I literally, we were both like, let’s finish up with our patients and then get on this zoom. Yeah.

Dr. Shieva (03:58):

Talk and engage. Good.

Dr. Sarah (03:59):

But yeah. Tell us a little bit about the work that you do. What have you been up to cuz I you’re doing some really interesting things right now.

Dr. Shieva (04:09):

Thank you. Well, I mean, I’ve been doing this meaning I’ve been an OB/GYN for 22 years and I always joke like, how is that possible? I’m so young, but I’m really not that young anymore. And so I’ve loved every minute that I’ve, I mean not every minute, I love most of what I’ve done. It’s exhausting. It’s stressful. It’s wonderful. It’s rewarding. All the things I’m sure you feel in your career, but really like the resounding theme I’ve seen and heard is an overwhelming theme of anxiety and nerves about what happens to us as women throughout our life. Regardless of whether it’s, again, abnormal pap smears, herpes, perimenopause, birthing, miscarriages, cancer, all the things. There’s so much anxiety. And the internet has only added to that anxiety because it’s dribbled out a little bit of information that has served really to just make people more scared. I don’t know if you’ve heard me say this, but people often say to me like I’m so scared and my response is always, nope, we should not be invoking fear right now. We can be anxious. We can be nervous, but fear is a different situation and a different feeling that we repetitively invoke. And that’s not good for our cortisol. Not good for our mindset. So we, me and my business partner, Jenny Hayes Edwards, decided that we really needed to start a program where we had more information. Preemptive information I always say. Cuz if I can tell women before they’re gonna go through something, what they might experience, then it can help make their anxiety less. For example, what might you experience when you have a pap smear? What might you experience before you get blood tests and you end up finding out you have herpes, what is it gonna feel like to go through perimenopause? What might you experience during your pregnancy? So our initial programs through Tribe Called V is pregnancy related because Jenny herself was pregnant at age 45 with frozen embryos. I know. And but now that I am stepping away a little bit from the office practice, we’re gonna be focusing on a lot of the gynecology content too, because you know, I always say you spend more time in your life as a gynecology patient than as an obstetric patient because many people either choose not to be pregnant or can’t be pregnant or don’t wanna be pregnant. And even if they do become pregnant, that’s only a limited part of their life. And I really wanna highlight how much women are not defined by their uterus or their ability to birth or by birthing at all. And it’s really important for women to pay attention to their body. I mean, anyone who owns a uterus and ovaries and tubes and a cervix needs to understand their body.

Dr. Sarah (06:26):

Yes.

Dr. Shieva (06:26):

And I think that the internet hasn’t helped that yet so much, but hopefully programs like yours and mine.

Dr. Sarah (06:31):

You’re working on it.

Dr. Shieva (06:31):

Yeah, we will.

Dr. Sarah (06:33):

There’s also like a movement in parenting right now, I think, to start talking about our body parts with accurate language and start naming these things now. There’s this book I wish I remember what it was called, but I saw it the other day. I’ll put it in the show notes. [Your Whole Body by Lizzie DeYoung Charbonneau] I’ll have to look up what it’s called, but it was this beautifully illustrated book for children about all of the body parts in the most really just accessible, beautiful, validating, honest way. And I’m like, yes, kids can handle that.

Dr. Shieva (07:03):

They really can. Because they won’t know the difference that it’s uncomfortable or weird unless we make it uncomfortable. Which we often do.

Dr. Sarah (07:10):

Right. What you were talking about makes me think of the fact that like, okay, so I often like describe my anxiety formula. Cause I work with a lot of people who have a lot of anxiety and this is kind of what I teach them about anxiety. And that is that if you picture like a fraction and the numerator is lack of control plus the unknown and, and then the denominator is our confidence in our ability to cope. And that is your formula for anxiety. And so what you are doing is you’re attacking the numerator. You’re really attacking the denominator, right? Cuz you’re saying…

Dr. Shieva (07:53):

We can’t attack the numerator.

Dr. Sarah (07:55):

Right. Well, you can do some of it, right? The numerator a bit. Right. You can say like, the unknown makes us more anxious. So let’s know as much as we can. It doesn’t mean we can tell the future. It doesn’t mean we can control all these variables, but the more you know, about what does happen to our bodies, what, what could happen to our bodies, what we can do. If certain things happen to our bodies, then that confidence in our ability to cope goes up because now we can cope ahead. We can practice things that might be helpful in the moment we can like build our skills and we can say to ourselves, I know I can handle this. And that’s what makes anxiety go down.

Dr. Shieva (08:35):

Yeah. I love that. You know what I also think helps which kind of goes along with it. I don’t know. I say to patients a lot when they’ve just gone through something hard, whether it’s a miscarriage or a biopsy that they were worried about or a cancer diagnosis or a family, you know, someone who was lost in the family, I say to them like right now, when you’ve just gone through this and it felt horrible. I want you to remind yourself how well you did, because there will be another thing that comes along, right? Like I say to my kids all the time, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. Stuff is gonna happen in your life, but you can cope with it better than you think. It’s the anticipatory anxiety of, oh my God. I can’t even imagine if X, Y, Z happened. And patients will say that to me, who I’ve seen through much worse things than they’re claiming their anxious about. And I’ll say to them, don’t you remember like two years ago you went through whatever it was. Let’s say like a really challenging delivery or again, cancer. And I say, you got through it. You were okay. And they’re like, yeah, you’re right. I forgot about that. So I think we’re so ingrained to believe that we’re supposed to say things like, oh my God, I would be devastated if X, Y, Z happened or, oh my God, I could never imagine if ABC happened. Or I’m so scared that such and such will happen. When in reality, yes, you’re anxious. You’re nervous. You don’t want them to happen, but you’re realistic. You know what could happen? And if you keep reiterating to yourself and creating those neuro pathways, where you say, wait, I already went through that and I actually did survive it. And I did okay. You know, today a patient had said her mom, she was pregnant and her mom was 41. When her mother who’s now 61 had had breast cancer. And I myself had ovarian cancer five years ago when I was 46. And I said to her, this is a perfect example. I want you to remember this right now. You’re telling me how your mother’s gonna quit her job and come babysit your new baby. Who’s gonna come. I’m sitting in front of you five years after my cancer diagnosis. So you now know two women who had cancer in their forties, who are absolutely healthy enough to be okay. So let that inform us as women. Now that doesn’t mean everyone gets through it. There unfortunately are people who do pass from it or have longer term illness from it. But many of us, if we’re proactive might be able to find it early. Sometimes it’s luck. Sometimes it’s being proactive. Sometimes it was just the way things are meant to be. But I think that we need to remind ourselves. There are so many people in the world who’ve been through terrible things and they’re still in front of us. And it’s often we ourselves who have been through those things, but we don’t almost give ourselves enough credit. So we keep voicing how anxious we’re gonna be.

Dr. Sarah (10:47):

Right. It’s the power of what we focus on. Right? Like I often give this metaphor to my patients. I’m like, okay, picture yourself. You’re on a train. The train is going to the station, right? You’re on the train, it’s moving and it’s going to this place. You can sit in, you can choose on this train to sit in the janky seat with the broken springs and the dirty window and like the stain on it. Or you can go sit, you can go choose to sit in the chair that’s clean, the right clean window, fresh, you know, just the nicer seat. You’re still going to the same place. Right? Where do you wanna sit for this ride?

Dr. Shieva (11:26):

Right? It’s gonna happen? Have you heard that? I don’t even know. Do we call it a meme, but I’ve seen it on the Instagram. There’s a little meme where it’s the same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg, and then the byline is like, not what you’re made of. It’s your, it’s not your circumstances. It’s, what’s, you’re made of, and it’s so brilliant.

Dr. Sarah (11:49):

I love that.

New Speaker (11:50):

What softens the potato hardens the egg, and this is what I say all the time now to my kids. Like guys, I wish I could say life is gonna be easy, but it’s just not. And so I think that, you know, that doesn’t mean that we can’t be sad and upset and process our emotions and complain and all the things that you help people through. But it means at the end of the day, we still have to choose, do we wanna be miserable or not?

Dr. Sarah (12:11):

Right. And I think like, just knowing that there are ways to have support around that. Like it’s very hard, not, it’s very hard to pull yourself out of misery if you are stuck in that head space of, I really can’t do this. And sometimes you really do need somebody else. Whether it’s your OB or your therapist to just be like, hold my hand, I’m gonna pull you out of this right now. And let me give you some tools for that. Like, you don’t have to feel like you have to do this and figure this out all by yourself. That’s, I don’t think that’s what we’re saying. But I think, you know, the resources that you’re creating too, like they’re in response to a system that doesn’t give us the right resources right now, like a lot of women do not have access to really robust care when it comes to their maternal physical health or their maternal mental health.

Dr. Shieva (13:05):

Right. Well, and I think what’s even harder nowadays is like, our moms probably didn’t have a lot of access to it. But the honest truth is things were just simpler. The expect were different. The expectation was, and sometimes a sad paternalistic way, but the expectation was you’re pregnant. You’ll come in. These are the things that might happen. You don’t need to know more. Now I wouldn’t advocate for like dumbing it down and saying like, honey, you don’t need to know. But I would say that the advent of the internet with all of its information has actually not served to enhance our experiences. It only made us more anxious because now what’s constantly being barraged towards women and humans with uterus is, you must have a baby. You must deliver vaginally. It must be amazing. You must breastfeed. So even those women who don’t really have diagnosed psychiatric illness, I would say, right, or diagnosed anxiety or diagnosed depression are becoming so much more anxious about the process because their belief, because they’re being told by the external world, is that it should be this way. And so the minute it deviates from what they were told, it should be, we have this like self propagated and, you know, externally propagated anxiety, right? And I’m sure you’re seeing even more anxiety than before and people who otherwise would not have had it, but for the information that’s being fed to them, that’s making them feel that their expectation of what they’re supposed to produce is so much greater than what they, they feel like they can’t.

Dr. Sarah (14:32):

And I would say, it’s not just anxiety, it’s shame, a ton of it. And, and then that turns into this sort of like this doubt, this, you know, sort of pervasive doubt, like, wait, if I’m supposed to be able to do this this way. And I, can’t not only do I feel like I’m failing, there’s the shame, but now I’m not trusting my gut. I’m not trusting myself. I’m not, I don’t, can I do this? Maybe I can’t do this. And it’s just this really vicious, downward spiral that can happen. Doesn’t always happen. But it can happen when, when we’re fed these kind of BS lines about how this is supposed to go.

Dr. Shieva (15:12):

Yes. And that’s, don’t you think that with the advent of the internet, it’s only gotten worse because now people are not only like seeing, you know, they see people on Instagram, they see a lot more information. They see these idealized versions. You know I always joke about the unicorns and liars. Like all the people who tell you that they’re like having sex 10 times a week with their husband of 20 years, or like all the people who tell you they absolutely loved everything about pregnancy. Like these people exist, but they’re unicorns or they’re liars. And again, it makes me sad because I think that so much of these anxieties. I think there are obviously neurotransmitter, chemically imbalanced things that cause us to have anxiety and depression, which we really, those are, that’s a completely different set of things to discuss and address. Right. But I think there’s a lot of the anxieties that I’m seeing that I think you probably are too are, again, I don’t wanna say self perpetuated, but fabricated because of these expectations, just like we’re seeing in our kids. Right. There’s so much higher expectations of children and what we, we, as parents expect them to achieve that we’re creating these anxieties in a lot of them.

Dr. Sarah (16:10):

Yes. And it’s so interesting. Cuz when you were saying before, like the sort of patronizing older version that maybe our parents went through in the medical system of women’s healthcare that’s like one really kind of problematic, extreme, but then you’re describing, we kind of got flung straight into like the polar other end of that extreme. Right. Not enough information cuz people thought we were too dumb to be able to handle it versus so much information that we have complete sensory overload and we are overwhelmed and we just wanna shut down because it’s just too much. Yeah. It’s like one that’s happening. And the answer is to come into the middle space. And how do we help people do that? But two, you made me think of when you’re talking about kids, it’s the same with, with I think with parental expectation of children. I think before, if you go back to like our parents generation, it was like, don’t be seen, kids should be seen and not heard. It’s like, they’re not, I’m not even like, kind of even paying attention to you and that’s not a particularly good end of the spectrum. And then you get flung to today’s world where you’re like, again, all the way over on the other end of the spectrum where it’s literally like my expectations of my child are through the roof. They’re so high, they’re so rigid. And they’re so based on these artificial things that we are thinking we know about kids that we see on social media or from all these millions of parenting books out there telling us this way and that way, and the other way is how we do it right. And so then again, like we’re not attuned to our kids. Our parenting is so not connected to our child. So again, like on either end of this spectrum neglect or dismissal or not attending at all to the needs of the mother or the child not great. Right. Overdoing it and being so consumed with it and being like obsessively checking and reading and Googling, not great, not great. Like how do we come into this center space? Where we can just be like, Hey, who are you? What do you need?

Dr. Shieva (18:13):

Well, and you know, what I think is what I, what I feel like helps me as a parent. And what I try to remind patients is I think that when I think about my kids and how I wanna parent them. I want them to be independent and resilient. Those are the two adjectives I always use. And I say, everything will trickle down from there. If, if they’re independent, resilient, they will be happy. If they’re independent, resilient, they will have careers and love of their life and all those things, will it be perfect? Not at all, but independent resilient. Because if I set my sight on making them happy or telling them they should be doctors or lawyers that won’t work. So everything I do like withholding the cell phones from my almost 14 and 11 year old children, because I believe that that will help them be independent, resilient, all these little things. If I stick with, I want the end result to be this kind of fuzzy general, independent and resilient. I’m not saying I want them to be married and doctors and lawyers and have three children and this much money, I don’t wanna do that. I don’t, I don’t care what they do. And I joke with my friends, like try to poke holes in argument because if you tell me, well, what if they said, they’d be happy you know, working in a fast food restaurant. I see all the time. I don’t wanna disparage fast food restaurants. I think they’re amazing. And we need people to work there. And some people truly have to work there, but most people who are privileged enough to have the education, to be able to be independent and resilient would probably choose to work differently. So if my children were very satisfied making minimum wage again, if they’re really happy, that’s wonderful. But I would have to question, how can they be that independent and resilient when they’ve been given an opportunity to have an education, for example. So again, I think depending on where you are in life, you want independence and resilience that might come in the form of working in a fast food restaurant, depend on who you are and how much resources you have because you might have been an immigrant. And that was the most independence and resilience they could get. Or you might have the opportunity to provide your children with more because you’re privileged and therefore them working in a place that only provides the minimum wage might not be where they’re really thriving and being independent, resilient. Or they might be at Harvard and not be independent, resilient because you’ve only gotten them in there. So, I think it requires us to not be specific.

Dr. Shieva (20:16):

And I think the mistake I see a lot of parents make that you probably have to take care of is parents wanting their children to be the best at soccer. They want them to go to the best college. They want them to, you know, be the best, whatever ballet dancer. Those are such specific things that, to your point, they’re not thinking about their children. And if we extrapolate that to, for example, birthing, I say all the time to my patients, I really wish like as much as I love to manifest, I don’t want my patients to singularly focus on. I want to be, to have a vaginal delivery. I want them to focus on, I want me and the baby to be happy and healthy in the end. In the end, quote, unquote, meaning between now and the end, you might have an emergency. You might unfortunately have a hemorrhage. You might need an emergency C-section you might have preeclampsia. You might have any number of things happen. And I don’t want those things to sound scary. I wanna say, kind of aggressively that I will help take care of you. I wanna say it casually so you don’t get nervous, but I also wanna be very clear that I can’t tell you these things won’t happen. They might happen, but we can still have a great end result if you and your doctor collaborate and you feel trusting of them and they trust you, cuz it’s gotta be a two-way relationship. So it, to me is the same idea. Let’s not stick to any one necessary endpoint other than that kind of fuzzy me and the baby are gonna be happy and healthy. And the people who tend to buy into that with me, they do great meaning they don’t all deliver vaginally, some need C-sections, but they feel like they’ve had a great experience, regardless. Even if it was a grueling labor, four hours of pushing and a C-section, they still feel validated. They feel collaborated with, they feel heard and they feel like their process was one that made sense. And I think, that’s what I wish for, for humans with uteruses and people who are gonna birth. Is that they don’t take these courses or read these books or listen to this Instagram or who says, you know, empower yourself against your doctor, cuz it’s gotta be vaginal and they’re gonna try to do this to you. Cause it’s just not how we work.

Dr. Sarah (22:13):

Right. And it turns you guys against one another. It makes it so that we’re like, it’s, it’s my goals versus their goals. And we’re adversaries in this when in reality like we’re team. And if I can lean into that team and communicate my needs, like I ended up having a C-section with my second. And I had a really hard time wrapping my head around it, cuz I had a vaginal delivered with my son. It was very meaningful to me. And I had this, I was sort of stuck in this rigid picture of like, it’s gotta be the same because that was what I needed. And I thought I needed it again. And I had a really amazing, had a really amazing OB/GYN who basically was like, so she was breach. And so that was why. And so we knew, we knew I’d tried everything impossible in the world I could think of to flip her. She wasn’t flipping. And later my OB was like, she was wedged in your pelvis. She was never gonna flip. So all the work and stress that I went through to try to flip her and the shame that I felt that I failed it’s flipping her. Like I had to work through that. And then, but she, I was like one of the things knowing I was gonna have a C-section going into this scheduled C-section I was like, my doctor’s name is Beth Simon. She’s amazing. I was like Dr. Simon, like I really want delayed cord clamping. And she was like, listen, it’s not always safe when you are cut open, you know, when you’re losing blood, like I might have to sew you up right away. And I cannot promise that I can give you delayed cord clamping and she basically prepared me for a no. And then in the moment in the actual operation, she said out loud to everyone, she’s like, you know, my daughter had been delivered, everything was done, was like Sarah wants the cord clamping to be delayed, set the clock and we’re gonna see how long we can delay it. And she did, she totally honored my wishes, but she set me up with a very realistic, grounded no. Because she didn’t want me to go in there wondering, I think, and like the fact that she honored my wishes afterwards felt so meaningful to me, but that’s because we felt like she felt like my team, I felt like I was taken care of by her, even when she said no, at first it wasn’t like, I was like, she doesn’t honor my wishes and you know, she’s also trying to keep me alive.

Dr. Shieva (24:41):

Right. Well, and this is where I think, I think what many patients’ tactics are, is come into your doctor, empowered with questions and with what your desire is. I think that’s the notion now of the birth plan, unfortunately. And what I always say is if you’re with a practitioner, whether it’s your therapist, your doc, your OB/GYN, your pediatrician, whoever, if you’re in a position where you feel like you need to empower yourself against them and come in with a list of, not even questions, cause questions are appropriate, but kind of demands or tell them what you want. Then that might be a sign that, you know, don’t feel faith in them. And that might be them. And that might be you who knows, but maybe you’ll do better to actually find a practitioner that you do feel faith in than just over kind of over magnify some of the problems between you and the doctor. Because then the doctor and you as the patient don’t feel validated and heard. And you know, I say, I don’t even mean this selfishly. I just think it’s a fact like you and I, as practitioners want to enjoy our daily life of taking care of our patients. Like we do this, it’s hard, it’s exhausting. And I wanna be there and engage with my patients. And so if I think that someone is really already, so distrusting of us, then I feel like maybe they’re better off finding someone different. I’m glad and lucky. I don’t think that happens that much in our practice, but like anything else it could, right. Not everyone, we’re not everyone’s flavor. And so I think the key is really engaging and talking and being open. So it sounds like Dr. Simon, like talk to you through things so that you understood the why. Now, interestingly, I would ask you as the mental health person, why do you think your brain felt so attached to the notion of it had to be vaginal and it had to have cord blood, you know, delayed cord clamping and all those things. Was that societal, was that you, was it you’re comparing two children?

Dr. Sarah (26:24):

Yeah. And it’s something that, since that, since point in time, I’ve put a lot of thought into cuz it’s, it was for me, like a very important kind of, it took me a little, it wasn’t like an instant aha moment, but it took me, I ended up having postpartum depression after my daughter was born. And I actually think this was a big part of why not the only reason, but a part of why was that I have, I was holding on so tight to this one vision and you know, I’ve done some of my own personal work and trying to figure that out and understand it. And I think part of it is that for me, something happened when I gave birth to my son, it was this really moving moment where like, it was an intense labor, it was intense. And I remember like them handing him to me and right after it was like, oh, and I was just like, I had this moment of like, we did this. We fought this battle to get to this moment together. And we like, you know, we like overcame. And I think it was such a powerful moment for me that it planted the seed in my head that I had to recreate that moment with my daughter. And I was like, craving that. Almost like a reenactment, which is not necessarily like, and this was a big journey that later I had to go on. With, after my daughter and going through my postpartum depression with her and trying to understand why did I have it? Cuz I didn’t have it with my son. Right. And just really having to kind of look at what, what preconceived notions did I have about having a second child that I needed to recreate my first? Did I needed to be the same parent for my second that I was for my first? And I, now I talk a lot. Like I do lots of workshops on like the fourth trimester or having a second child. I have a workshop that I often do for like sibling, you know, helping a big sibling prepare. And I talk about parenting guilt in that. And the fact that we actually really need to give ourselves permission to be a different parent for each of our children. And that’s actually really healthy and really important. And it helps challenge parenting guilt.

Dr. Shieva (28:36):

Right? Well, and, and I would go so far, say not even permission, but I think the onus is on us to be different parents. Because if we consider, you know, I, I joke to my kids all the time. I love you all each equally. I love you equally. There’s no doubt. Love is to me, it’s not even a choice. Like I love you merely because you grew in my body and you came out right. You could be terrible people and I would still love you, but I like you differently depending on the day, the behavior, all these things and that has to do with just, I have to parent you each differently and you’re each different kids and you’re each gonna be different kids in your entire life. So right now I might be particularly annoyed with one kid and the other two are okay or vice versa, or three all the same time. But I think again, the reason I asked you that question initially is what I think trips us up the most as, as humans. But again, especially as like the species with ovaries is that our expectation is often a certain thing. And then we rarely meet that expectation. And so expectations are a funny thing. On one hand, it’s so important to have them, right? Like I have expectations of myself and I want my children to make sure that they’re working hard so that they can be independent and resilient. But I think we need again to let our expectations be much more fuzzy and not concrete. Like your expectation was reenacting that beautiful like Simba moment where the baby is like held up and beautiful. Cause it sounds like it was. I mean, I love deliveries like that. They’re so fun. But the truth is, I’ve said to patients like today, I said to two patients who need C-sections for various reasons. I said, my desire is to recreate a very engaged, beautiful experience regardless of whether this is vaginal or C-section. So what we need to kinda remind ourselves as women is our expectation should be a beautiful engaged experience in whatever capacity that it is, whatever.

Dr. Sarah (30:24):

And this is like, you were talking about resilience, right? Whether we’re talking about raising resilient children or being resilient as parents resilience, one of the main things that I teach people, if you wanna have a resilient kid, one of the things you wanna make sure you do is focus on the process, not the product. And this is exactly that like, what is the process by which you wanna bring this, this person into the world? What is the process by which you wanna become a parent or become a parent to this child. How engaged and connected can this be for you? And how much do you feel like you have support of a team throughout this process versus your battling your doctor or right. That’s more important.

Dr. Shieva (31:05):

Right. Well, and I’ve seen it myself, not only with my own deliveries, but with my, my patients that I have had patients who’ve had easy vaginal deliveries with very little connection. Which is rare, luckily. I think our patients are pretty connected to us, but you can have the most challenging delivery and still feel deeply engaged. And so again, to me, the process is not even the process of vaginal versus C-section, right? It is the process through which you feel that you are in a mindset where you know, that your end goal is getting through this and feeling validated and heard and understood. The problem is that nowadays with the advent of the internet and people urging you to feel validated, heard, and like your desires are being listened to, but those desires are very specific things. Like I want my cord to be cut at a certain time and I don’t want my epidural and I want it to be vaginal. And, and I feel like I wish we could really, really help women understand what you want is validation that you and your doctor are discussing. And again, engaging and collaborating. What I think you shouldn’t want though, you’re told you want is specific action items that you say, you know, it’s the same thing. Like with a teacher, I could sit here and be like, well, I really want Xander to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah X, Y, Z. But the honest answer is, I don’t know if he’s gonna do that. I can’t tell if he’s gonna do that. The teacher can’t tell if he’s gonna do that. So wouldn’t, I do better if I felt like, wow, that teacher really trying to listen to who my child is and how my child behaves and what my particular child needs versus the other kid. But I think if we set end points that are so concrete, and I think the reason we do that is because in the world, it’s just easier, right? It’s easier for me to give you a checklist. Like you go to that doctor and you ask them what is their episiotomy rate and what is their C-section rate and all these like hot button items that actually have nothing to do with whether or not the doctor’s a really good doctor. But it’s an easier way to…

Dr. Sarah (32:51):

And also those checklists are coming most often from social media, from people who are like, where are you getting all these checklists? You’re getting them from random pins on Pinterest or like, you know, like, not always, I mean, actually my doula, her name’s Megan Davidson, she wrote this book called Your Birth Plan: A Guide to Navigating All Your Choices In Childbirth. And it is, it is a really great book. I’ll put it in the show notes, but she, she is like an advocate for knowing like kind of like you talk about with the Tribe Called V is like preemptive knowledge. What are your options? Why are they, might they be your choices if you want them? How do you advocate for them? But also how do you understand what’s gonna happen? What could happen? All the thing. It’s a very comprehensive book. Like it is not a pin, you know what I mean? It can’t be reduced to a checklist. It’s really great. And so like, yeah, is the think kinda thing…

Dr. Shieva (33:45):

I hear things like, I don’t want an episiotomy. And I feel like, okay, you mean like, never because again, like we can’t, we can’t necessarily agree to that because that’s not what safe. Or I had a patient a couple months ago, such a, such a kind woman. And she needed to be induced at 35 weeks because the baby was very growth restricted. And she said, Ugh, I didn’t wanna be induced this wasn’t part of my plan. And I said, well, tell me more. She goes, well, in my birth plan, I didn’t wanna be induced unless I had to be induced. And I was like, oh, okay, well, but you do have to be induced because your baby’s not thriving inside. So it’s still part of your plan.

Dr. Sarah (34:19):

So you checked that.

Dr. Shieva (34:21):

And she literally stopped me and she goes, I didn’t think about it that way. And I said, yeah, but again, in most of the plans it’s like, induction is bad. C-Section is bad, you know? Breastfeeding. Good. And again, I think that’s the way our brain just tends to file things away, but it really becomes so much more harmful.

Dr. Sarah (34:39):

Okay. So what can we give parents? What can we like? I’m sure there’s lots of moms or parents listening right now that are like, okay, well I just wrote this whole birth plan. What do I do with it? Like, should I throw it in the garbage? Should I, should I, well, what can we, right? Like what can we, what are the important things that we want people to feel empowered to do that, that maybe are a little more productive in this? Like we’re moving towards resilience, we’re moving towards process, over product. We’re moving towards what’s what do I want this experience to be like?

Dr. Shieva (35:11):

Okay. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna start a little bit farther back. I think it’s really important to find a practice that you like generally doesn’t always mean you’re gonna like every single doctor in the practice, but I think it’s really valuable and important to meet all the doctors in the practice. Not every practice does this. I will just say for us, we have essentially three to four doctors in our practice who deliver babies still. And we require our patients to meet all of us because we want to feel comfortable with you. And we want you to feel comfortable with us. And I actually think that practices should do that because unless you can guarantee that the one doctor you see the entire pregnancy is gonna be at your delivery, which would be impossible. The problem becomes you might have seen one person the entire time only had their voice and then have a totally different doctor at the delivery. That doctor, the delivery might be amazing, but you don’t know her necessarily.

Dr. Sarah (35:56):

You don’t a relationship with them, yeah.

Dr. Shieva (35:58):

And she doesn’t know you. And so that to me is like the first and foremost is if you really know your practice, as well as you can, and you feel comfortable with them, then honestly you probably won’t care as much about a birth plan because ideally you’ll go into it saying actually genuinely think they have my best interest at heart. So I don’t need to micro manage and tell them that I want X, Y, Z, because they’re actually gonna do the things that are necessary. And if something is happening that I’m kind of confused about. We’re gonna talk about it as opposed to being a black and white contract. I do think it’s valuable because on the birth plans nowadays, there’s so many things that are so basic, like delayed cord clamping is basic. Nowadays skin to skin in is basic nowadays making sure that they don’t do a, they do a delayed bath to get the baby’s microbiome. That’s basic. So a lot of those things to me are like, you don’t need to tell me on the birth plan, because guess what we do that at the hospital. In fact, we don’t even tell you that we’re necessarily gonna do it to the point where even if you don’t want it, we actually try to do skin to skin, which that’s a whole other subject. I think that’s not always fair to women. Right? Some women deserve to have, you know, the baby go over to the bassinet, cuz they’re not ready to hold the baby right away. When the baby is sticky and gooey. But a lot of those things you’re, you’re better off just saying to your doctor, Hey, do you guys do this at your hospital? Because if you do, then I don’t need to write it on my list. Other things that tend to be on the list are like I would like the lights off because I want some different mood and I want music playing, you know. Which I always joke, then when you’re there, we can have your birth partner turn off the lights and we can, you know, you can turn on your music. Like in other words, most of the things in the birth plan, I don’t think need to be written out. I think they’re easy enough to discuss. Especially, like I said, if you are in a practice where you really feel like you’ve gotten to know them enough that they’re not gonna cut an episiotomy, unless you really need it. Like none of us nowadays, I would say the majority of doctors would not cut an episiotomy unless it’s necessary. They really won’t. We won’t do C-sections unless you really need it, but need can vary based on even your desires as a patient. Right? I have some patients who do not want a very long drawn out labor. And if we think it’s going in that direction, they are happy to have a C-section whereas others are like no I really wanna wait until every last possible minute short of anything unsafe. And again, that’s, what’s valuable and important for me to know my patient and their desires.

Dr. Sarah (38:10):

Right. And I think that, I think also, maybe we’re really talking about shifting our idea of a birth plan, being a list that we hand our doctor versus a birth plan, being a process by which you think about what’s important to you and a conversation that you have a dialogue that you have ahead of time, you know, not walking into the labor room and delivery room, but being like, you know, Hey, these are my values. These are my fears. These are things that I would love to see happen. How do we get ourselves close to that space together? Like when I think about a birth plan, I actually think about a conversation, not a list.

Dr. Shieva (38:52):

Yeah. Well, and I think to your point, that’s where I that’s what I mean, in other words, well, some people will talk about discussing it as birth preference instead of plan. Cuz we always joke, like the minute you try to plan, like we know how that goes in life, right? Like I didn’t plan to be 52 having had ovarian cancer and six miscarriage. Like I didn’t plan any of that. And yet here I am happy and healthy with actually a really like, I feel like a very charmed, wonderful life, despite all the lousy things that have happened. Right. So that why, you know, I was saying to you before, I like to look at labor the way I would look at life. I did not plan this life. If someone said to me, you know, I always joking. If someone said to me at 26, Hey, guess what’s gonna happen in the next 20 years of your life. You’re gonna go through six miscarriages. You’re gonna have a kid with an intrauterine stroke. You’re gonna have a kid with a club foot. You’re gonna have ovarian cancer. Like those are just the highlights. My mind would’ve been like, that sounds horrible. No, that’s not my plan. That’s not how I wanted it. But again, now years later, I would say even during those things, they weren’t terrible because I somehow did have the mindset of like, well this sucks. And yet here’s the good parts and I’m still okay. And I think if we look at birth like that, like you plan that it has to be a certain way. You’re inevitably gonna be disappointed cuz it’ll deviate from their plan. But if you instead say there’s a lot of different things that could happen during this, but I really trust, again, my team, I feel confident in the hospital, I feel confident in the doctors that I’ve chosen. They know, you know, in general that I’m leaning a little bit more towards a C-section or a little bit less towards a C-section. Those generality are very valuable to know. And then you’ll have a good outcome. Right? And so I think that is where I think the conversation could happen. And the truth is, again, if you have a good relationship with your doctor, you might not even need to have that very concrete conversation because you’ll have just developed that relationship where you have that trust. Right. I think what I’m advocating for is obviously a little bit ideal. It doesn’t always work because not everyone has a practice with only four doctors. They might have 10 doctors where they it’s harder to get to know everybody, you know?

Dr. Sarah (40:44):

Well, they might have a doctor who really doesn’t feel like they respect, I mean, who they do not connect with. They don’t feel safe with, they don’t feel respected by. I mean, obviously I’m hoping that’s the exception, not the rule, you know? I think that people who go into this line of work tend to really want to help women feel empowered in their bodies and have these like wonderful experiences and be healthy and safe. Right. Right. And I also know that there are women who don’t feel that way or don’t have that experience. And so I think it’s important. Like if that’s your experience, like try to find some else who makes you feel safe. Like if you don’t feel safe, listen to that.

Dr. Shieva (41:23):

Listen to that. Absolutely. I mean, I do think your intuition is important. I think the hard part nowadays again, is we have our true intuition that would maybe really tell us, like, I actually really like this doctor, but I mean, let’s say for example, like she talks a lot about C-sections and I’m told C-sections are bad. So why is my intuition telling me I’m liking her? But at the same time, that to me is very different. Then you should listen to your intuition cuz maybe your intuition is, is actually correct. That she’s just being very open. And honestly, and I say that, cuz I’m very open. I love it. Good vaginal delivery. I also love a good C-section and I wish we could be very equitable about both because I think that would actually decrease the amount of discontent between doctors and patients. Cause I think some patients do walk away from an experience feeling invalidated or unsafe when in reality it’s actually not that they were unfounded or unsafe, they just disagreed with their a doctor. Yeah. And, and some doctors let’s face, it are jerks, but some doctors aren’t jerks. They just don’t know how to communicate that. Listen, I had to do the C-section because that’s what was safer for you. And so their lack of communication, coupled with the patient’s expectation that C-sections are bad because that’s what, you know, everyone tells me that’s what creates the discontent. So it’s like the is perpetuation. Right. And I say, it just, it makes me so sad for the state of womanhood because creating humans and birthing humans is already so hard that adding to it, all of this that we have to think about nowadays, it’s it’s a lot. So I’m so glad to have, you know, platforms like this where we can just try to kind of generally discuss, changing our mindset a little bit.

Dr. Sarah (42:54):

Yes. I think, and I think healthy mindset shift is really, it’s got a lot of value and I think anything that brings us more into this middle space, whether it’s in our parenting or in our own maternal mental health or maternal, maternal physical health being in this gray space of like, I wanna be present, I don’t wanna have these rigid preconceived ideas of how things should go, you know? And this is true for parenting also. And it’s true for the way we talk to ourselves, right? Like we were talking about before, like if I have a C-section I failed, right. That’s not no doctor telling you that. But if you are telling yourself that that’s really rigid, that’s really making it. So that, and I, and I say this as someone who went through, even though I know all the stuff I know about mental health and you know, being able to be in this middle space in the moment, I like lost touch with that because I got stuck and, and this happens, this happens to people who generally get it and then they get stuck. But I think anytime we can notice we’re stuck and unstick ourselves like O that is a really useful skill to be able to have.

Dr. Shieva (44:04):

And try to remind ourselves, I guess, are we stuck because we had an expectation and it was it that expectation that created the stickiness, right? Yes. And, and if we can recognize that, you know, it was funny as I was cleaning out my office last night, since I’m switching gears and not gonna be in this space as much, there was that part of me that was like, oh my God, it’s gonna be so emotional. And like, you know, 22 years of doing this and this office, like, I’m the one who designed this whole office space and oh my gosh. And then I’m, I’m cleaning everything out. And I’m like, it actually feels really good because I’m still gonna be here with my partners and I’m still gonna be teaching the gynecology part I love. And it felt good. It didn’t feel like. And then I got into my own head of like, well, my expectation was that it was gonna be really like sad and emotional. And yet here I am not feeling sad and emotional I’m feeling happy. So I should have just been happy, but that female part of my brain kept mulling over the like, well, but my expectation was I was gonna be sad now. I’m not sad. Is it okay that I’m not sad? Should I be more sad? Why am I not more sad? Meanwhile, I wanted to say, I did say to myself, why can’t I just be happy that I’m happy. But again, it’s this perpetuated…

Dr. Sarah (45:06):

And I think, and I think I’m sure there are people listening who are like, I know that, I know that, like, why did I do this? And does this mean this? And now I’ve noticed this. And if you catch yourself in that sort of rabbit hole of like self doubt and questioning your gut, I think a strategy that I always recommend is to like, whenever you can, you gotta notice right. To unstick yourself. You must notice that you’ve gotten stuck. Right. It’s kind of the first step. So you gotta notice that you’re in that kind of ping pong game in your head and then you just name it. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. You have to say, I’m doing that thing where I doubt myself. Right. Or I’m doing that thing where I play mental ping pong or I’m, you know, whatever funny little phrase you wanna use, but just something that catches you, you know, and relocates you in the moment. And is like, oh, because when we like can label the thing that we’re doing, it creates a little bit of space between us and the thing. And then now we can look at the thing instead of being in the thing. And that’s just one little strategy for like, just not, then you can go into the, ah, okay. Now that I’ve noticed that I’m doubting myself, then I can check that like, do I need to doubt myself? Can I get myself some self compassion instead? And then, then you’re golden.

Dr. Shieva (46:26):

Right. I know we do a number on ourselves. I wish so much that we could all remind ourselves. Just not to could catastrophize everything as much as we do. Right. Like when I do this still with my kids, like one of my kids will be doing something lousy. And in my mind, I’m like, this means they will not grow up to be kind and good human beings. They don’t read enough. They’re never gonna like learn. They don’t ask about like the stray animals. This means they’re unpassionate people. Right. Like I catastrophize all the time and, and I’ve learned very much not to do it in my own health or whether regard to like being a gynecologist and an OB. But as a parent, I still do it. I catch myself to your point and I name it and I’m like, okay, this doesn’t mean that if I remind myself what I was like, when I was growing up, I was a bit of a hot mess for a lot of things and I turned out. Okay. but I think that that’s really, you know, I think for anything, and again, if we’re talking about in my world, like birthing or going for a mammogram or any of those things where we’re like, oh my God, the worst thing I could hear is an abnormal mammogram. And yet millions of your friends have had abnormal mammograms. Millions of friends might have even had breast cancer and the vast majority have been okay. So if we could all stop catastrophizing so much could just make everything feel better.

Dr. Sarah (47:34):

Right. Right. And one of the reasons why, if you could do that in parenting, like it has this extra bonus because when we catastrophize, we get dysregulated and when we get dysregulated, it leads to our children either staying in a dysregulated state or getting dysregulated themselves. Yeah. And that’s like the last thing we need. So like, if you’re parenting and you notice that you get dysregulated or you, if you notice your catastrophizing, like check into your body, like how fast is your heart beating? How clenched is your jaw? How like, are your shoulders up to your ear? And like breathe and like loosen that body like regulate that nervous system. Because as a parent, like the most valuable tool you have as a parent is your regulated nervous system.

Dr. Shieva (48:20):

Uh, which is the hardest one!

Dr. Sarah (48:21):

I know, I know. I have a tantrum course that is coming out and I’m gonna teach parents exactly how to regulate their body so that they can calm their kids body. But like, cuz that, cuz that’s the thing that everyone keeps asking me about and I’m like, okay, fine. I will make a course about this cuz I don’t, it’s a lot of information and I need to like. But yeah, that’s really, if you wanna consolidate it down to one single nutshell, it’s like, if you can figure out a way to calm your body down, that’s a really useful parenting tool because your child’s nervous system and your nervous system are connected. So if you want them to learn, if you want them to cooperate, if you want them to behave, if you want them to just be quiet, to calm down, you gotta calm down and then share your calm with them. And we can’t do that if we’re catastrophizing, if we see our child’s behavior and we’re like, oh my God, this is a sign that this and this and this and oh my God, now I’m up here. And so are they right? And so it’s like, we both have to come back down and like it’s the same with birth and labor and like frankly going into labor with the, oh, this and oh God and oh, oh now you’re up here. And it’s like, oh God, that’s not gonna make for a good labor. Right.

Dr. Shieva (49:34):

Well, and that’s why I always say to women, like think of all the people, you know, who’ve had C-sections or had again had preterm deliveries at 28 weeks and they’re still okay. And their babies are okay or a major postpartum hemorrhage, meaning I don’t want any of these things, but these things can happen and most people are still okay. Think about those people who have had kids who are really crappy and the kids turn out okay. Like all those things, right? Yeah,

Dr. Sarah (49:56):

Yeah. Yeah. So I guess our takeaway here is, we can handle these things. Obviously. Some things are harder to handle than others, but really believing in our confidence and like our ability to cope with really hard things and lack of control and the unknown and the fact that we’re very strong and capable human beings. And we hopefully have a support team who is going to help us remember that when we can’t remember it in the moment. Like that’s really the most important thing.

Dr. Shieva (50:29):

Yes. If we could all remember it, we would be, we would do so much better for ourselves and for society, right?

Dr. Sarah (50:34):

Yeah. So if people wanna learn more about the work you’re doing or wanna learn more about Tribe Called V where can they figure that stuff out?

Dr. Shieva (50:42):

So they can either come to my Instagram, which is @biglovefiercejuju. So that’s where kind of am the most in that it’s just the easiest. And then we have our own Instagram, which is @tribecalledv or tribecalledv.com. And now we actually finally have a YouTube page where all of my videos and Jenny’s videos, she’s a holistic nutritionist. So our videos from Instagram are actually now on YouTube, just so they’re easier to search for sometimes. But really like in the next couple of months, we’ll be putting out more of the gynecology content, meaning short little video series on again, HPV herpes, perimenopause, contraception, all the things that women really need to learn about, you know, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, the things that really tend to scare us because we don’t know about them, but yet they’re so present and, and frequent in common that you’re gonna end up hearing about it at some point, either for yourself or your sister or your daughter or your, you know, your wife, whoever it is so better to learn about it. Ideally preemptively would be my choice.

Dr. Sarah (51:38):

Yes. And I think that will help people feel less anxious. So if you notice that you, I mean, if you notice that you’re an anxious parent or an anxious woman, and this might be a really nice way to get information, to manage that, you know that the unknown piece of anxiety. Um well, if your content, the gynecological content is anything like your OB content on @biglovefiercejuju, like I’m down for that. Cuz I love your Instagram. I watch it all the time. I think it’s, I appreciate it. It’s it’s so real. Like your, like your realness is in it, but then it’s, it’s like really validating. I don’t know the way you present this information is like, I’ve never once been like, oh, I feel worse after watching that, it always makes me feel so goof to watch your videos.

Dr. Shieva (52:29):

I’m so happy. You’re like, you know, and I joke, listen, I say all the time, I think I have the, like the luck quote, unquote of having been through all of this stuff. And so it just helped me relate between like, you know, whether it’s pregnancy issues, weight issues, gynecological issues, cancer issues. Like I’ve been through it all. I mean, not all, thankfully I always joke like, okay, God, I don’t have to go through all of it. I can relate, but it does really help you. Like you going through your birth experience has really helped you inform other women and other parents. Right. So thank you for saying that to me about my stuff, because I do feel like it’s, it’s it sounds funny to say it’s fun to do. It’s fun to do because I feel like the feedback I’ve gotten is that people do wanna hear realistic stuff. So I’m glad cuz I, I think a lot of people mean well on the internet, but they end up only on the glorious stuff of their lives.

Dr. Sarah (53:12):

Yes. And yes. And I’m, I mean, I’m with, with you, like I feel like, you know, I love and hate social media and I’m on it and I’m in it and I’m consuming it. And I think one of the things that I always tell people and I try to practice myself is do an audit of your accounts and make sure that you are following and unfollowing the people that make you feel crappy about yourself and you are, you know, attending to the people who lift you up and give you hope and give you validation and not like gratuitous validation, but like honest. Like how do you feel at the end of that scroll or that video or whatever, like that’s information, that’s biofeedback and you should be listening to it because if you close your phone at the, turn, your phone off at the end of the day and feel absolute, you’re, you’re doing something that’s not good for you. And so you should really do a little inventory. I tell people in my practice, like I want you to go and do an inventory through your follow, you know, your feed like every couple months and delete. You know, get it outta there.

Dr. Shieva (54:19):

And don’t let your kids be on it. They don’t like that. I say no, but it is. It’s not good for them, let’s face it.

Dr. Sarah (54:25):

It’s not good for them. It’s really not. And I’ll have to do a whole other episode on that and I’m working on one cuz it’s deep, deep wells of stuff coming up for that one. But, and it’s hard cuz everything it’s everywhere. Anyway, this was really illuminating and, and frankly cathartic for me even just to tell my story to you. Cause I didn’t, I didn’t plan on sharing all that. It just kinda came outta me.

Dr. Shieva (54:52):

I’m glad you did. By the way, how long did you push with your first with your boy?

Dr. Sarah (54:57):

20 minutes.

Dr. Shieva (54:59):

You’re kidding. So I bet there’s something a little different about the shape of your uterus because the shape of your uterus or your pelvis is what often dictates the baby’s position. So if your daughter was breach, your uterus probably, like 20 minutes for a first baby is amazing, but it’s actually so short that it makes us think like, huh. Because many women will have very long drawn out labors. Like mine was really long and drawn out with my first because we found out at my C-section what we suspected, which was the shape of my uterus was a little funny. So I had a vaginal delivery, very challenging, three hours of pushing long labor. My uterus was a little funny, chose a C-section and at the C-section my partners pulled out the baby and they were like, oh yeah, your uterus is a little funny and, and just differently shaped. And then my third, which was, which was also a C-section she was breach and it made sense. Right. And so I say to patients all the time, like these things do make sense. And I say that so that women don’t start to feel like personally responsible for things like a breach baby, you know, it’s just the shape of your uterus or the shape of your pelvis.

Dr. Sarah (55:54):

Yeah. It’s just the way it is. And reality is, is one of the things that really helped me too, from a mindset shift perspective was to remember like, had I not had a, C-section had I not lived in a world where that was an option for me yeah. Of us or both of us probably wouldn’t have made it out of that, of that pregnancy. So this is how I have myself and the family that I have today. So like I’m grateful. Yeah. It took me a minute to get there, but that was like my own that I kind of had to work through.

Dr. Shieva (56:23):

And I think in hope that that was only put forth on you or maybe you did it to yourself purposely so that you could be an even better therapist because you now really understand the mindset of that. Right. Like I always say like, all right, I guess I had to have the cancer and the miscarriage as well. So cause now I can relate, but I keep joking, like I’m done relating now I can empathize without having been true.

Dr. Sarah (56:44):

Right. Yeah. Yeah. Well I think, you know, I think we’re both called to this kind of work for a very important reason and we’ll never fully get it, but I do think our experiences, our collective experiences bring us to these places.

Dr. Shieva (56:59):

They inform us, yeah.

Dr. Sarah (56:59):

Yeah. Well, thank you so much for being here. Please come back.

Dr. Sarah (57:09):

Having proper and appropriate information makes us feel less anxious. When we go into things with a clear understanding of what we can expect and realistic expectations of the outcomes, we often feel prepared to even life’s toughest challenges. This is true for your pregnancy and birth as well as how to prepare for and tackle parenthood. We spend so much time in our culture preparing for our birth, making that birth plan and then parents kind of fall off of a proverbial cliff when it comes to receiving support during the most challenging part, how to actually parent our kids and manage our own mental health while we’re doing it in my upcoming course, The Authentic Parent: Finding your confidence in your child’s first year. I’ll give you a raw, real and honest look at parenthood and equip you with the information you need to successfully navigate your first year from an emotional interpersonal and physical level. In this six week course, I break down the foundational basics of psychology child development and attachment science into simple to understand and actionable insights. So you can parent from an informed and confident headspace.

Dr. Sarah (58:17):Each week you’ll receive video modules, interactive workbooks reading lists and the best part live coaching calls with me and no more than 11 other families. So you can connect, share wins, combat isolation, and build a community all while I serve as a moderator grounding the conversations in psychologically sound and research backed information. If you’re interested in learning to calmly and confidently respond to any problem that arises, connect authentically with your child and truly enjoy parenting, go to drsarahbren.com/TAP and add your name to the waitlist. That’s drsarahbren.com/TAP. Space is limited. So add your name to the list today and be one of the first to get access to register for my February session. Thanks for listening. And don’t be a stranger

 


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35. Rethinking the birth plan: How to create a plan with your OB/GYN that supports resilience and reduces anxiety during and after pregnancy

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