Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend BirthWithoutFear’s Philadelphia Meet-up. I won tickets to any of the remaining cities and Philly just seemed to be where I wanted to go. Cyndi was kind enough to accompany me on this crazy adventure and we had an awesome time!
There were a few local vendors there in the lobby selling birth jewelry, some doulas, some midwives-all our kind of people.
January was the first to get up and welcome us. I’ve been following her blog since around the time she started so meeting her and seeing all of the amazing things she has done with BirthWithoutFear was pretty surreal.
The first speaker was Kristin Hodson. Midway through her presentation Cyndi and I exchanged knowing glances. She was the reason we were there. She just so happened to be from SALT LAKE and helps mothers with both maternal mental health and sexual therapy-two things we are greatly in need of in St George.
Her presentation mostly covered postpartum depression/ocd/anxiety and was incredibly enlightening. A few highlights:
- 30% of women experience postpartum mood disorder and 10% of partners experience it too!
- The causes of PPD are Physiological, Psychosocial and Genetic.
- Many women don’t recognize postpartum mood disorder because we think it’s only depression-it can manifest as OCD behaviors, anger, scary/intrusive thoughts and anxiety.
- Up to 9% of postpartum women meet the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) following their labor and birth.
- PPD can manifest up to 2 years postpartum.
She also had some amazing resources available such as:
She focused on how to get help and how important it is to set yourself up with love and support before the birth of your child. It’s important to build in self-care everyday.
After Kristin we had the opportunity to listen to Brandon Harshe, January’s husband, talk about everything he’s learned having 6 kids. His presentation was light and fun. During the Q&A following most mothers wanted to know more about chiropractic care (he’s a chiropractor) so hopefully they’ll do something with that in the future.
After Brandon, we broke for lunch. Midway through lunch Kristin walked in and we decided to make friends! I am SO glad we met her-we have big plans for St. George. We’re just super excited to have such an awesome resource so close to us! More to come on that…
After lunch was the healing mother’s circle. We were all assigned a number on our badge and told to go sit with our table. This was an opportunity for mother’s to share their birth stories, concerns and love for each other. I got to hear several birth stories, birth plans and met 2 fellow doulas and a La Leche League Leader! It was awesome. At the end we wrapped all of our hands together with rainbow cord, cut it and threaded bead on to represent whatever we wanted (I did 2 for my 2 girls).
January closed the entire thing by telling the very diverse stories of her 6 births. She has had c-sections, epidurals, and homebirths (unassisted) so she’s well versed in birth.
Overall it was a really fun meet-up. I feel like it’s geared more toward mothers than care providers BUT meeting Kristin and acquiring the information we did was invaluable and made the entire trip worth it. And seriously, so cool to meet January in person. I can’t recommend it enough!