EP 13: From Pregnancy to Beyond: Learn the Key Roles A Midwife Can Play in Your Life


When it comes to having a baby, you want someone there that you know you can trust. You build a bond with your provider as they stand by your side during your entire pregnancy. A great way to receive the ultimate in care with a holistic approach is through midwifery.

Cassy Kurtz is a midwife with Essentia Health. Cassie and her team provide great care through your entire pregnancy journey, continuing through your life journey. A common misconception is that midwives only care for you during pregnancy, yet the truth is they can care for you as a primary care provider from puberty all the way to post-menopause. Tune in to this episode to hear all the benefits midwives can offer.


Check out our collection of helpful podcasts and start your wellness Journey with Checkable, with everything from supplements to at-home tests to tips and advice. We have what you want to help you thrive.


Connect with Checkable:



Connect with Patty Post:


Full Episode Transcript:

0:00:00.6 S1: There is no doubt when you go into labor, you want somebody there that you know and that you trust, and you build such a huge bond through pregnancy care with people. And I get it, when I was in labor with my first baby, had my doctor not been the one that showed up there, I think I would have had a total hissy fit. I would have been scared, scared out of my wits. Where are you? And so we're very open about that. I might not be the one that's there for you, so you should meet everybody, but I think it's also really cool because we talk about our patients as a group, like, Hey, this one we need to be on special alert for, this one desires this, and then we all practice the same... We all have the same rules of care in a way, or the same way that we provide care. If you're not getting the exact person that you desire, you're still getting the same concept of care.


0:00:57.8 S2: Welcome to the Wellness Essentials Podcast, where we invite you to join the conversation and get inspired to be in the driver seat of your health and wellbeing. On this podcast, you'll get an all-access pass inside the minds of MDs, experts and thought leaders in the industry. No topic is off limits, and we're asking the questions to get you the answers across the gamut of topics when it comes to optimizing your health. This is the WE Podcast. Well, welcome Cassie, I'm so excited to have you on the Wellness Essentials podcast today. And I am just so excited to share about what you do as a midwife and be on, and the services you provide to women, and maybe clear up what your role is and what it's like being a midwife and helping women on a variety of different levels, so can you share a little bit about your back story and how you got started in the work you do?


0:02:07.7 S1: Yeah, hi, I'm super excited to be here too. This is super fun. I love talking about midwifery, it makes me smile, it makes me giddy. So my back story is that I was first an RN in a small rural hospital for about nine years by the time I graduated midwifery school, and I worked in all departments, I did Med Surg, ER, OB. OB just for some reason, was where I wanted to be all the time and where I'd liked to spend my hours, and so after doing that, after doing labor and delivery for several years, I was asked by my sister to come and be a part of her birth, which I was super excited about, and so I went to be part of her birth and she had a midwife team, and you know how kids when they see somebody really cool, like a police officer, and the jaw drops and they're like, You are my idol. I was like, Oh my gosh, what am I doing? This is what I need to do, this is what I should do. So I thought about it a bit more, it was hard to go back with kids and everything else, but I did finally decide to go back to midwifery school, and here I am a couple of years down the road...


0:03:17.5 S2: I love that back story. It's so fun to have that kind of that spark of inspiration or sharing that story of how you fell in love with what you do and... That's really awesome. I absolutely love that. So as your role as a midwife, what makes you passionate about going into work every day?


0:03:39.0 S1: Yeah, so lots of things I... First and foremost, I love women's health. I always knew I wanted to be an advanced practice provider of some sort, but of course, then the labor and delivery piece is what nailed it down. I love the hospital side of things, I didn't want to be just in the clinic, I wanted to work in the hospital still. But I think the coolest part about midwifery is being able to watch women go through this quite long stage of their life, and being able to be a part of that, watching them from the time that they get pregnant until they give birth and watching them become mothers but not only that, then we get to care for them through their life span too, which I think is super awesome, and it makes me empowered to do what I do. I love watching women go through birth. Afterwards, they feel like they've won the lottery, they're exhausted and they say to you, I can't do this anymore. And then you put a baby on their chest and it's a whole different person, and then they're like, I just did that. Did you see me? I just did that.


0:04:44.8 S1: Yes, you did.


0:04:46.2 S2: That is incredible. I'm not a mom myself, but just to imagine what it would be like and just to have you go through that experience, and you have this little baby, you have this little person next to you, so I can imagine it's kind of magical at times. Definitely, definitely. Do you have any personal stories that really touched you, I'm sure each and every person you care for is incredible, but do you have any stories that really stand out... Maybe in the last year that you can share?


0:05:23.9 S1: Yeah, I can give you a few. I think it's easy to be super passionate too, when you really like what you do, and so that's really easy for me because even in the days that I'm like, Oh, my pager goes off at 2 AM and it's like, you're exhausted, then I get to the hospital and I'm all of a sudden not exhausted anymore, and I wanna be with you as much as you want me to be there, of course. This is kind of just a general story, but I call my laboring women, I've always done this since I was a labor nurse, I call them my Sour Patch Kids, because first they're sour then they’re sweet, and so when they're in the hard part of labor, they’re sour, and they'll maybe smack you or say naughty words or something... Sorry, I'm sorry, they'll say... And no, it's okay. This is completely okay, what you're doing, you are... This is your story. We get them through labor, they have their baby, and then they're sweet, so they're my Sour Patch Kids. I'm trying to think of a specific story. I have... Most of my stories that resonate with me so much are the sad ones, unfortunately, but also are equally as rewarding in a way, going through the birth of a baby who we know isn't going to be with us when it is delivered because that's so different.


0:06:46.3 S1: You get to be with these women through the saddest part of their life and their family too, and then you get to do the other side of it, you get to follow up with them and get them through the hard part, and do the mental health side of it...


0:07:00.0 S2: Yeah, I can't imagine that. I was actually gonna ask about that too. Going into that, 'cause on this Wellness Essentials Podcast, we like to share aspects from all women who've experienced all sorts of things, and sometimes that experience is going through something where you have to leave and you don't have a baby in your arms. So what is some of the care that you give to those women who go through something like that? 


0:07:28.3 S1: Personally, and I've done all sorts, from the early miscarriages to the first-trimester losses that they need to deliver, to the second trimester, and then all the way to full term, of course. And I'm just a very real person, and I will be very real with you, sometimes when we give birth and dads cry, that overjoyed happy when the baby comes out screaming and crying. Sometimes I cry 'cause that's a cool thing, but then when I have a baby who say doesn't have a heartbeat, I will cry with you too, and I will hold you and hug you and I won't leave your side until we get through it together.


0:08:06.1 S2: That's like, you're a strong person for that, you're a strong person for that, and it's a beautiful thing to know there are people like you out there who can be a resource for women as they're going through some of these experiences, the positive and the negative, but just knowing that they have you as that rock in their corner, that's huge, so it's really awesome to know that. Kind of leading me into my next question, what are some of the misconceptions of being a midwife?


0:08:35.8 S1: Oh my gosh, there are so many. When I was just graduating from midwife school, I was asked to do a presentation poster at a women's health night, where they would come through and see different posters and things, and so I did mine on midwifery and I actually had a lady in my small town walk up to me and say, Oh, those witch doctors, I’m not that letting a witch doctor come to my house, and I was like, Whoa, what... What did you just say? And I think most people don't feel that way, obviously, but I think the biggest misconception is that people think that all we do is pregnancy, and I like to describe it more as like... I try to tell people we're a little more like a nurse practitioner in the sense that we have the same advanced practice degree, and we can do all sorts of women's health things, not just pregnancy, and we can see people from the time that they get their first period, all the way through menopause. And so just knowing that women can come to us for a variety of different things. And then there's a lot of people that think that midwives are only home birth, and while there is a fair number of home birth and birth centers, there's also a lot of midwives - I would say actually probably majority that deliver in the hospital setting, and so that's a big misconception. And then there's a lot of people that think that we don't prescribe medicines or that we don't use modern medicine, and that we don't support, say, an epidural birth, and all of that is untrue.


0:10:07.6 S1: Of course, we're still very... We like to use as little medicine as possible, in a sense, we do talk about a lot of vitamins and supplements and self-care and things like that, but we also do practice modern medicine and use medicines when they're appropriate.


0:10:24.6 S2: Yeah, it's all encompassing. And I love that aspect, I love that you touched on that you can be with a woman from her first period all the way up through menopause, and that's something... I think that's a huge one. Even when I was researching what you do and listening to your video, I didn't know that and that was really... That really sparked me, I think. Would you say you offer like a primary care or a care for a woman through that time where she may be first married or wanting to know about birth control and things like that?


0:11:02.9 S1: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I feel like we're more... Almost like a primary care, you know, it kind of depends on where you work too. I used to do a lot more primary care when I worked in a rural setting, I did jump to a larger city now... Or a larger town, I should say. So depending on what you need, like if what you need is out of our scope of practice, we'll just get you to the people that you need to go to, so... say you come for a physical and your thyroid is out of whack, or your blood pressure is high, or anything like that, we can still tackle all of that together and do health promotion and disease prevention, just like most people would. And then of course, like I said, if it's out of our scope, we're gonna transfer you to the people who can appropriately care for you.


0:11:50.2 S2: Wonderful. It's great to know there are so many options out there and to know that midwives are an option for women who maybe want that more, that holistic care or that... Just that different perspective. So that's really cool. What makes midwifery a unique practice?


0:12:10.3 S1: What makes midwifery a unique practice as with any advanced practice provider, is that we all started out as nurses, maybe some, not for as many years as others, but we all started with that bedside aspect. And so for me, in the hospital setting, I still love to go in and help start your IV or sit at the bedside with you while your labor... A lot of providers in the hospital, it's a time crunch, and they might not come to your bedside till it's almost time to have that baby because they don't have time to. But I think midwifery is really special because we spend a lot of time with our patients. I feel like even our clinic visits are a little bit longer, we do a lot of education, we do a lot of bedside nursing still, a lot of laboring with the mom, doing different positions and just coaching breathing and just being there through the entire thing. And then I think what's really cool about midwifery is that we really support any type of birth plan you have, or you want all the way from natural birth to epidural. Even if you end up needing a c-section per se, we're still gonna be there by your side through that process.


0:13:23.1 S2: It sounds like something that a lot of women will... I could see them really enjoying the service and just that having that person next to them, almost like a coach or coaching them through this, just really intense time in their life of bringing a child into the world, so that's something I really appreciate. I really appreciate that, about what you've been sharing with me so far. So how can... You talked about being in a rural community, how was being on that small team, and what were some of the benefits of being on a team that size?


0:14:00.0 S1: Yeah, so many... And I'm actually, I still get to be on a small team, which I love, and I now only practice with six other midwives or... Six midwives total, sorry. So five other midwives. Whereas where I came from just a few months ago, I was just one of three. And then one of two, what I like about the small team, even having six of us, is that for the most part, our patients, we really encourage them to like, You should meet all of us, because there is no doubt when you go into labor, you want somebody there that you know and that you trust, and you build such a huge bond through pregnancy care with people... And I get it, when I was in labor with my first baby, had my doctor not been the one that showed up there, I think I would have had a total hissy fit, I would... Scared, scared out of my wits. Where are you? And so we're very open about that. You know, I might not be the one that's there for you, so you should meet everybody, but I think it's also really cool because we talk about our patients as a group, like, Hey, this...


0:15:00.9 S1: one we need to be on special alert for this one desires this, and then we all practice the same... We all have the same rules of care in a way, or the same way that we provide care. If you're not getting the exact person that you desire, you're still getting the same concept of care.


0:15:20.2 S2: That's really good to know too, 'cause as a woman, as if I was going into labor, I could see myself being really scared...


0:15:27.6 S1: Oh yeah.


0:15:29.3 S2: 'cause they work with you all through their pregnancy and then come to delivery, at least they know that they're gonna get that same service from whoever is there if something came up. So that's really cool. Yeah. So now moving into this group, you're with five others, how have you as a team taken on some of these things, do you have any stories you wanna share as the team that you're with?


0:15:59.2 S1: Yeah, more specifically when I worked in my old job, we would bounce ideas off each other, even if we weren't on for the day, even if it was our day off. I once had this patient, and she very well knew that she might not get the midwife that she's been seeing for her primary care in labor and delivery, but then that day came and she happened to be a patient that was extremely anxious, had kind of a mental health background, and being a small team, I just said, You know what, this is... She was a wreck, she was crying, she couldn't get it together, and I will tell you that if you can't get it together in labor, things aren't gonna be super successful for you, you have to have your mind, body, spirit all together. I just felt like I couldn't help her appropriately, she had never met me before, and I knew that my partner understood that and actually was going to be devastated that she wasn't on call the day this woman gave birth. And so I messaged her, it was like 8 O'clock at night, and I said, Hey, do you wanna take over your call shift earlier? Patient really needs you.


0:17:05.6 S1: And I think that that was what we needed to do. That patient talked and talked and talked about how I was willing to do that and how her provider was willing to come in and how comforting that made her and... So that's one example. Of course, it's not an option all the time, but for that particular patient, that happened to be what we did, or if we have say, a fetal demise where the baby passes away, we will try to get the provider who's cared for that patient during that time, during their pregnancy to come in because that's a really, really vulnerable time in your life, and a really personal time. And so just things like that. We're very real people. We just want you to have the best experience that you can possibly have. And so the same for if one of our patients delivers, even if we're not on call, we'll go up to the hospital and say, Hey, meet their baby, those sorts of things.


0:17:58.9 S2: That is really incredible and it's cool to hear about the team effort behind it and just working with the patients, and you mentioned a holistic approach of the mind, body, spirit, can you dive in a little deeper about what that all means? Especially in delivery. Yeah.


0:18:17.3 S1: So encompassing the whole person. I think in labor and delivery, especially when we're thinking about addressing the whole person, there's so many research studies out there that are just incredible that say things like, if the labor nurse isn't completely supportive or the patient doesn't connect with their labor nurse, that they may not successfully dilate past six centimeters, it's incredible the amount of research that is around that, so same goes for the provider. That if they're not completely comfortable with you or if we can't get them to relax, then they're not gonna have a successful birth. Those sorts of things. We also, if you haven't heard of it or seen it, Spinning Babies is a huge thing in the midwifery practice, there's a woman who teaches Spinning Babies and she's very popular, she does classes all over the place, and what she teaches is different pelvic exercises and different positions for labor and things, if you have a baby who's kind of stuck or the mom's not diluting or doing certain things, really thinking about the physical aspect of it and the size of the pelvis, or shape of the pelvis and what the mom is doing in her labor, so that's really a neat thing that we can change the progress of labor based off of different movements and things like that. And then not using medications overboard is another part of holistic care, using the minimal that we need to, but at the same time using whatever is necessary for that particular patient.


0:20:01.9 S2: Does having a healthy mind and healthy body always seem to be a bit out of reach? I'm here to let you know the Checkable team is in your corner when it comes to healthcare, our selection of supplements were chosen to address everyday health challenges, so you can live your healthiest and most vibrant life. Checkable products were made to be convenient and to fit into your busy life. They're formulated to be easy to absorb, so you can begin to feel and see the results faster. If you're ready to start looking and feeling your best, visit our website, and find the right supplements for you. With Checkable, your healthcare begins at home. I really like how you're talking about each patient as being their own experience, and I feel a lot of times in the medical world too, sometimes people get lumped together, like, Okay, pregnant women, they categorize, but each patient is a unique case and a unique baby. Can you go into how you and your team advocate for that?


0:21:18.2 S1: Yeah, and I think that's a big part of midwifery too, is that we're such big patient advocates. I guess if a patient has their mind... Well, it starts in the clinic, okay, so you have a patient who has a specific birth plan, and they say, I really want to get through this without medication, then I go through with them, you have to go into labor with that full mindset, you have to have practiced your breathing, you have to have thought about what it's gonna be like, you really have to have your mind made up and you have to be strong, and then you have to have your support person on board. S starting in the clinic with a plan, and then getting into labor and trying to support that plan, but not pushing it, if that makes sense, there's no award at the end for not having an epidural, there's no trophy, and there's nothing wrong with an epidural. Some patients truly, I've seen women who have gone through hard labor for hours and hours on end, and then at the end, I just say to them, you're exhausted. You're not dilating. Let's try an epidural and they'll say, Okay, and we do an epidural and their body...


0:22:32.6 S1: The tension goes away. They relax, they take a nap, they wake up, they have a baby, so... Yeah. Everybody is very, very different.


0:22:42.4 S2: It actually reminds me of a story. One of my best friends, she just had her first baby a couple of years ago, and she did the all-natural route, and she talks about it, she shares her experience and she tried things like different essential oils and different things, and she went through that and she's really, she's kind of proud of that, but then she... With her next baby, she's like, I'm doing an epidural... Yeah. But she was in labor for, I think, 48 hours. She had a lot of... Sorry if that was a... I'm on a noisy street, she had a lot of Braxton-Hicks beforehand, she kept calling in and they're like, We can't do anything for you yet until you're going to labor. But she ended up with this bouncing baby boy. But she likes to share her story about that.


0:23:41.7 S1: I love that...


0:23:45.5 S2: So kind of switching gears a little bit outside of birth and prenatal care, how should women, especially now in the modern age, we see a lot of issues that are coming up in women's health, and we're kind of scratching the surface of women's health, and in your career, how do you feel women should be tuning into their health in a more general sense?


0:24:10.4 S1: Yeah, I wish all women would learn to love themselves no matter what shape or size. What I’ve found, I will never be the provider to push your BMI... I might get in trouble for saying this, I hate the BMI chart. It's my biggest controversy in my job, I feel like, is the BMI chart, and I just wish I could teach women all the time that it's what you do that makes you healthy. It's how you eat, it's how you move your body, it's how you feel. Of course, within reason. Of course, there's a rhyme and reason for the BMI chart, I get that, but just to love yourself, and I think... I wish everybody would learn to exercise even a tiny, tiny bit, because it will help your back pain, your neck pain, your mental health, your stress at night. A lot of health issues revolve around what we're doing in our day-to-day, and learning self-care. So I wish women would tune more into self-care, and that goes for taking girl’s nights out away from your kids or away from your husband, or going on a date with your husband, or going to the spa to get your hair done once every couple of months.


0:25:32.1 S1: Just really remembering to do self-care to keep yourself...your whole mind, body, spirit healthy, because I do feel like mental health is a huge part of not just women's health, but all health, especially right now, after everything we've been through with the pandemic and everything...


0:25:47.9 S2: I couldn't agree more. A lot of this really touches on what's dear to my heart, and then especially even at the Checkable team, the same thing, we're trying to get women connected through this podcast, get women to connect to people like you who can help them and guide them through not only having a child, but just treating themselves well, giving themselves that movement, finding something they love to do that brings them joy outside of family life or like you said, go on a date with your husband. How many of us, I think it's been at least a month since I've been out with my husband and I don't even have kids... I agree, just love ourselves a little more or a lot more. We have time for a few more questions. So is there anything you wanna add to the conversation that maybe I didn't mention? 


0:26:44.8 S1: You know, I was actually thinking about this, talking about birth, you have this plan in your head and you have this vision of how it's gonna go, and everybody sees the movies and everybody thinks that birth is totally beautiful sort of a thing. Right, and I was thinking about all the women in my past who have almost come out with a small amount of birth trauma because they don't get the birth that they thought they were going to have, it's that mom who wanted the natural birth who had got an epidural, and she's so disappointed in herself or the mom who thought she was gonna have a vaginal birth and ended up in a C-section, and now she feels like less of a woman because she had a cesarean, which is not true, you are still giving birth... You are still a mother, you're just giving birth in a different manner, so I want women to realize that the birth plan might change a lot, and so go into it with a really open mind. And then talk about it afterwards. Birth is a blur, and so even if you have a nice, beautiful smooth birth, you're gonna kind of forget what you went through that day, so ask your birth partner, Can you tell me the story of my birth? Because you're not gonna remember every detail of it, and it's fun to hear it back. Also take pictures, whether you hand your camera to a nurse or get your husband on that duty or whatever you need to do, it's a little harder now, 'cause we have visitor restrictions, but definitely take pictures, you will never regret them, but I think about birth trauma a lot, and it makes me really sad when women come out of labor sad because they feel like they let themselves down, and that's not the case.


0:28:26.5 S1: Every type of birth is birth, and everybody goes through it and has their own story to tell at the end. It might not be the story that you thought you'd be telling, but it's a story.


0:28:37.6 S2: Wow, that's such good advice. Because it kind of goes along with that self-love and self-care again, and as women, it feels like we take on these burdens of whatever, and we kinda blame ourselves for things and sometimes we can't control what our body needs and wants, or how the baby's positioned. And that's a really good point to share with women through this podcast is, you guys, love yourselves. And whatever you go through, you know what matters at the end is taking care of yourself and you have your little baby, or even if... Like you said, you go through something very traumatic and just to care for yourself. So do you offer or recommend any aftercare to women who have went through that, even just like a quote, regular birth up to something more traumatic, to offer an after care for those things?


0:29:33.5 S1: Yeah, you know, when we meet with them after their birth for their initial visit, I'll always ask them, Tell me your birth story in your eyes, and then once they do that, and then we do, of course, we do a postpartum depression screening questionnaire with everybody. First say, that's positive, I'm very passionate about postpartum depression as well, being through it myself actually, and so I feel like there's not a ton of support groups that revolve around postpartum, so just reaching out and making sure that you're asking the right questions with your patients to try to get that unburied, 'cause a lot of moms will think too, this is normal, that I feel sad, or This is normal, that I'm not wanting to spend time with my baby and it's not... And it's not your fault that you feel that way, your hormones just jumped off a cliff and that's normal, so getting them the help that they need, whether that be a medication for a little while to just get their hormones balanced, their serotonin balanced, or even just some therapy, I always wish when I went through it, that there would be a group of moms that I could get together with and talk to. I always imagined like I would feel so much better if there were 10 women in a room all going through the same thing right now, but there's not...


0:30:54.0 S1: We are definitely as providers and midwives especially here for you and want to do your follow-up care, and we do have a half hour to talk to you, and we do want to do that and we want to make life better for you.


0:31:05.8 S2: That is such a huge topic and I agree. I think it's one that's... It's almost still shied away from, or women feel that sense of guilt, having that sense of the postpartum depression and things like that, and they blame themselves, in reality, it is that hormonal flux that we go through and it's very normal. You think even just going through a little PMS each month, you get a little fluctuation and imagine going through... Your whole body is going through a huge transition, and to seek out that care is huge. And I can see it being a very lonely place at times, and just to know that you're there to help is huge. Speaking of that, they talk about that fourth trimester, that three months after birth, when you're really going through a lot, are there some tips and tricks that women can utilize to help ease some of those months?


0:32:03.7 S1: Oh, sure, sure. I think initially, after birth, it's a lot of mood changes, a lot of fluid changes, and you feel really secluded as a new mom, it doesn't matter if it's your first baby or your fifth baby, you're feeling kind of secluded in those first couple of weeks, because you are kind of stuck to your house and stuck to your coach and your baby’s stuck to your boob most of the time, you just... You feel really kind of alone, so... Have things planned. After the baby comes, I want my mom here for four days, and then I want my mother-in-law here for four days and I want my best friend to come visit, or we're gonna go out to eat on Day 8 or... You have to get out of the house. It's easier said than done, especially in the summertime, of course, when you can get the stroller out and about, and then I think making plans to start trying to add a little bit of activity back in after two weeks or so, whether that just be short walks outside, listening to your body is a huge, huge thing, because your body...


0:33:04.9 S1: It does take a full six weeks for your body and your uterus to heal, you've just been through a huge, huge life-changing process, and so you do have to respect your body and you do have to listen to your body, so say you're going stir crazy and you clean your whole house on day six, and now you're having some heavy bleeding again, you need to put your feet up, take a bath and rest, drink some water. So just really tuning into your body and listening to that, and then remembering to get your self-care in, your husband gets home from work, get in the bathtub, have somebody take the baby for half an hour so you can take a nap. Let people meal prep for you. Those types of things. And then one of the biggest things that I feel like I've found is helpful for women in that fourth trimester is to really think about your pelvic floor, when you grow a baby and your whole abdomen stretches, it takes months for you to get that core strength back, that muscle strength back, and that strength goes all the way from the top of your belly, all the way down through your rectum, so looking up different postpartum exercises that you can be doing each day to strengthen everything and get back to feeling normal.


0:34:21.4 S2: That is such great advice, 'cause that's something we've been... I've been hearing more about lately is this pelvic floor, it's been there forever, but we're just kind of finally shedding some light on it in more of a general sense. So that's really good to hear. There are some things out there you can do to help your body and your mind and your spirit just kinda heal up and get back to more of a normal. I had one more question that kinda came to the top of my mind, you know, there's a lot of stigma around women “bouncing back to their pre-baby body”, it's something that I feel there's a lot of pressure out there on women, or you see the models out there, who all of a sudden have a flat belly after a month or two of having their baby, can you shed some light on the realities of that and how women can give themselves a little grace during this time?


0:35:17.5 S1: Yes. Oh my gosh, this totally hits the heart, right. Most women do expect to just go back to pre-pregnancy weight and pre-baby weight, and for some that's easy to do, some women don't have to work too hard at it, and some women don't gain a lot of weight in pregnancy, but I think it's not normal to expect no stretch marks. Funny story for you, I actually tell my kids all the time, they ask what's wrong with my stomach, and I tell them that I was attacked by a tiger because there are so many stretch marks from four kids... But you know what, just love your body, you just grew a whole human being, you just did something totally miraculous, and you're probably going to have five extra pounds after each baby, that's pretty average, just be your healthiest self and do what you can do and remember that if you're breastfeeding too, you're burning lots of extra calories, but you also need to feed yourself very, very good to keep a nice milk supply up, so I don't feel like hardcore diets postpartum are a good thing to do either. I want women to eat normally and of course, make healthy choices, but just knowing that whatever your body comes back down to...


0:36:31.7 S1: It was all for a purpose.


0:36:33.9 S2: That's so true. And just like I really like that how you ended that, which is that simple approach, this is all for a purpose and love yourselves, and this has been a special joy to interview you and hear your insights as a midwife as well as a mom, too. Do you have any closing thoughts you'd like to add before we wrap up?


0:36:57.0 S1: You know, just kind of fully encompassing all that we talked about, I think that doctors are great, I think that midwives are great, I think whatever birth plan you want or whatever you want for yourself as a whole in your health journey can be supported either way. One other thought I had too, is that as a whole, I wish women would be really big advocates for themselves in their healthcare too, so just having your voice and going for what you desire...


0:37:30.5 S2: That's great. That's a great closing thought. I can completely agree with that. Take care of ourselves, ladies, and thank you so much, Cassie, I really appreciate you shedding light on this and being part of the wellness essentials, and is there any way people can get a hold of you or maybe if they're looking for services, how can they find you?


0:37:49.2 S1: Yeah, so right now I'm working for Essentia Health in Fargo. And so on the website there, at Essentia Health and they can certainly message or make appointments through there if need be or want be, and also on social media, so you can certainly search my name up there and find me if you have questions.

0:38:10.0 S2: Thank you so much, Cassie, and thank you guys so much for tuning into the wellness essentials podcast, and we're looking forward to hearing and sharing more stories like this, next time. Take care of you guys. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode. We hope you got a lot out of it. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you can stay up-to-date with our latest episodes. Also, you can find us on social media by searching, Checkable Health. We look forward to seeing you again soon.