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084 Restoring Autonomous Birthing with Brittany McCollum
Episode 8417th March 2021 • Vagina Talks • Sophia Wise One
00:00:00 01:18:50

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Darling Dears!

Sophia comes out of the new baby haze to record this raw and informative show. Brittany expresses how she is actively doing her part to restore autonomy in the laboring process. She mentions the education and resources she provides to expecting families. She utilizes her knowledge of pelvic biomechanics and labor movement. In this episode, Brittany mentions, “And you know, one of the things I tell people all the time is that no matter what position it is, it's not going to be good. If you're in it for three hours, movement frequently is really, really important.”

Sophia and Brittany discuss the goal of decreasing unnecessary intervention, restoring autonomy to the person giving birth in medicated and unmedicated births, and also helping to provide comfort in labor and better oxygenate the baby as well. 

Full Transcript below

Here’s a little glimpse:

  • The importance of self-governing in the labor process
  • The benefits of opening the pelvis and movement
  • The value of good communication with health care providers

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Fire Woman Retreat is a unique four-day event designed to give us space to witness, explore and revel in our sexual natures, and to help women and non-binary folks break through the things that hold us back from being who we really are as sexual people.

The theme for this virtual event is Spiritual Transformation, Sexual Initiation & Power. The retreat is May 13-16 2021, so sign up now! SophiaWiseOne.com/FireWoman

Fire Woman Retreat is unlike any other event: it is a combination of rich teachings, transformational healing, powerful rituals and group witnessing that allows for big personal & collective breakthroughs.

About Brittany McCullom

Providing expecting families with information, resources, a listening ear, and love and support is at the core of Brittany's goals.  In helping parents to recognize their strength as humans, role models, and advocates for the needs and wishes of themselves and their children, Brittany assists families in creating birth and parenting experiences of which they feel positive, confident, and informed.  Her approach to birth and parenting focuses on building awareness of one's intuition and combining it with learned knowledge in a way that is respectful of the needs and abilities of each individual.

As always you can go to SophiaWiseOne.com for more information about the show, Reports from the Spider Queen, to order the I Love My Life Card Game and Oracle Deck, to join Sophia’s email list, and so much more!

“I am Sophia Wise One: Daughter of the Wind. I am calling you to Rise Up, Rise Up, Rise Up. Rise up and take your place.”

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Sophia Wise One  00:00

The difference between a singleton and twins is something like the difference between like our moon and Jupiter. like Jupiter, Jupiter's 300 Earths. And like, the moon, and twins are Jupiter. It's like, so wild. It's like even with five adults in the house twins still feel insane. 

Sophia Wise One  00:21

With three adults with one baby, it's like, Did laundry, made food, I got like six hours of sleep. My brother got like, you know, just like I was like, Wow, this is so different. And like, adults is like very, very helpful and necessary. I would not want them to do it with less at all. But yeah, twins was just insane. 

Sophia Wise One  00:39

I mean, I literally got an average of like, one to three hours of sleep for 16 days. Oh my gosh. Wow. Like not no exaggeration. Like I'm like, those are some wild drugs like besides between the oxytocin and like, body drugs of the twins or just being like babies. I haven't slept in 16 years like, guys. Oh, so hard. I've been, I've been saying the past week I've been weaning off of sleep deprivation.


Brittany McCollum  01:07

Yeah, totally. You have to and I feel like for parents, that's the biggest thing. That's the thing that comes up more often than not, it's how can they manage to get more sleep? And it's, there's really no answer because babies sleep patterns are so erratic, they're so all over the place, the routines don't last more than a day or two. And I feel like it's so futile trying to incorporate a routine before babies are ready, because you just you just can't and then you're stressed out. 


Sophia Wise One  01:32

And then you're stressed because it's not working. And that's easy for me. Because I use up my own life, I use a body based cycle anyway, like, I went through a massive kind of initiation transformation a few years ago. And I basically only slept one or two sleep cycles between like two to three hours at a time for my own self. And I'd wake up and I would just be like, okay, now I'm awake. 


Sophia Wise One  01:57

And so I would like meditate or do yoga or do a thing, I would just like practice in the middle of the day. And it just was this process of really untangling my like, identity associated with like sleep and needing sleep and not losing sleep and energy and in relationship to sleep. 


Sophia Wise One  02:12

So I took that totally shifted for me years ago. So with the babies and stuff, it would just be like, Oh, I'd like watch, I'd be like, okay, you don't need me right now. I'm going to disappear. And I would just like do a guided meditation or do my own meditation or give myself Reiki and pass out for like an hour. And I'd wake up or wake up every, like 20 minutes, and I go down for 20 minutes.


Sophia Wise One  02:32

And I can be like, I'm back. And my brother in law was like, how do you do that? And I was like, only 30 years of practice, casual. It's casual. I've trained my whole being to decide what state of consciousness I'm in when I need to be. So don't blame yourself. I'm an alien. It's fine. 


Brittany McCollum  02:49

Yeah, but that's incredible. And it probably makes things so much easier when you're in a situation with newborns.


Sophia Wise One  02:54

Oh, my God. Newborn rhythm is like, it's like make sense to me. Like it's not I'm like, this is the thing. Sometimes this is what life is like. And then it changes. Like, it'll change. I didn't I'm not like that. I wasn't like that all the time. It just was months. And then it changed.


Samantha Rise  03:09

I'm Samantha rise, and welcome to vagina talks, where we speak about to and from vaginas. This is a show of alchemy, where we turn poison into medicine, disconnection into wisdom and isolated wounds into communal peacemaking. here's your host, Sophia Wise One.


Sophia Wise One  03:27

You already know everything they could teach you. You already know everything they could say. We are here to remind you what you already already already know.


Sophia Wise One  03:45

I just want to take a minute to acknowledge that Vagina Talks understands that gender is fluid and dynamic and goes way beyond the binary of either woman or man, she or him. And that, in fact, it's a living and evolving thing that's actually personal person to person. And that our bodies, even our understanding, or the ways that we experienced them can vary. 


Sophia Wise One  04:12

It's important for me that that's something that has space here on Vagina Talks. And at the same time, I also am carrying this understanding that womanhood and the experience of the feminine and all of the female, in the splitting of that binary, has been injured has been hurt has been dismantled. 


Sophia Wise One  04:33

And so I'm looking to have a space where the feminine and the female and the female body is reclaimed and respected and lifted and inspected and known, as well as a space that goes beyond the binary and that acknowledges that these are limited constructs, mostly put upon us and that we're in the process of evolving into something more whole and more true. 


Sophia Wise One  04:58

Just wanted to say that, some of my guests will use incredibly binary language for whatever reason from the places that they come from. And I just wanted to let you know that Vagina Talks has a much wider understanding, and it's a living one. So feel free to chime in as we go along. Without further ado, today's episode. 


Sophia Wise One  05:21

Hello beauties and welcome back to Vagina Talks. I am your host, they call me Sophia, Wise One. O-M-G. This is the first show I've been recording since my sisters gave birth, I haven't been talking about it because one of my sisters is incredibly private. And so that's an always an interesting thing. When I get really involved in her life, I stopped talking about my personal life in my work. 


Sophia Wise One  05:46

And it's interesting because in my new relationships, I tell people, I'm like, if you want to be close with me, I will literally broadcast our business across the internet in print, video and vocal form. But I don't get that same chance disclosure with my family. And so with my sister's pregnancy, it became quiet and inside the house time. Well, both of my sisters were pregnant. Now both of my sisters are parents. 


Sophia Wise One  06:14

And I have had the honor and privilege of living with them through these newborn windows. I had twins and niblings that were born in January, and another nibling that was born in February. And we have a guest here today who I met through preparing for those for those babies. And I was just given a major compliment, which is that I sound like a new parent in the way that I feel like I'm like at 100%. But when I went to read out loud, I could barely read. And it's just in process, taking a couple weeks to integrate and take care of my own life before diving back into auntal/auntie, landscape and baby tending OMG what a magic magic. 


Sophia Wise One  07:05

I don't know, what is this OMG thing I'm doing? I don't know. It's like, let's take a trip to the 90s. And yeah, so that's, that's where I am. That's just so where I am. I'm incredibly excited to bring with you an incredible resource, a brilliant facilitator and teacher and I will tell you a little bit about her and then we're just gonna jump in here and take take a journey and share, share what we can. 


Sophia Wise One  07:31

Okay, so her name is Brittany Sharp McCollum and she's a certified childbirth educator and a certified doula and is the owner of blossoming bellies, holistic birth services based out of the Greater Philadelphia area, providing childbirth education classes, birth doula services and pelvic biomechanics training workshops for birth professionals and expectant parents since 2007. 


Sophia Wise One  07:58

That's where we met on the internet. She is honored to be a sought after guest presenting on pelvic biomechanics at international childbirth related conferences, including the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Summit of 2018, the Evidence Based Birth Conference in 2019, and then Midwifery Forward 2020 conference among many others. So obviously a sought after we got her here, excited about that Brittany lives in South Jersey with her partner and their three children. Brittany, welcome to the show.


Brittany McCollum  08:33

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. It's funny hearing people like read a bio about yours. Like it's just such an awkward. I keep going back thinking like, should have worded that differently. But it, but I appreciate you sharing all that information.


Sophia Wise One  08:51

Yeah, it took me a really...bios used to be the most like one of the most painful and annoying things about my work for a long time. And I just kept free I mean, it just, I'm 15 years into writing it and I something finally clicked were like, I like kind of I care more and I care less about it. 


Sophia Wise One  09:10

It's like a real, it's a real thing. It's like here's a snippet of context. So you and I met we were doing an infant care class, my sister and and we did this infant care class and you were just so I could tell every sentence that you said you had another 45 minute talk behind every sentence and I was like that's the that's what I'm looking for here. That's what I'm looking for. 


Sophia Wise One  09:39

So I'm just excited to have you here. And the thing that you know I also looking a little bit more into your work and co seeing the pelvic biomechanics. Something that obviously as a you know, pelvic floor specialist chapter of my life is something that I'm really into and empowerment during birth people having a sense of ownership or even more so than ownership, autonomy and capability around their body are two things that really inspired me and wanted to bring you on and share you with my listeners.


Brittany McCollum  10:16

Thank you already, there's like 20 million things that I want to say in response to all these words you're using.


Sophia Wise One  10:24

Pick one and go beauty.


Brittany McCollum  10:26

Um, let's see. So all right, I'll start at the beginning, you said that when we met in the infant care class, I have to say, though, I have to tell I have to tell the story too, because we were in a virtual group, infant care class, it's virtual. So I'm just seeing people on their screens. And you know, we're talking and chatting. 


Brittany McCollum  10:44

And I didn't know you were there. I mean, you had a question. So you were like, you were like, excuse me? I'm here listening. And I have a question. And I was like, who are you? But it was great. It was awesome. Because you were there to learn and absorb and just be part of that experience for your sister and her partner. And it was like, that is just so amazing. 


Brittany McCollum  11:08

So I wish that you had showed your face sooner. But I was so excited that you were there. And even more so than just being there and listening. So excited that you were thinking about the information and like, like thinking to the point where you had questions. 


Brittany McCollum  11:22

I love when people ask questions in the classes that I teach. And when people don't ask questions, I always think like, how could they not have questions? How can there not being more things that they want to know about? or How could this not have triggered something else? You know, so I was super excited. But it was also super funny, because I didn't even know you were there. You were like, I have a question. 


Sophia Wise One  11:40

I was like, I have a question. Because they start it, you know, I'm like, orbiting, I'm living in their house, I'm orbiting, we're doing all the things they had this class, you know, and I was like, yeah, I'll try to like, you know, catch some of it and be around. So you guys had started, and I was finishing what I was doing. And I came downstairs. So I'm sitting on the edge of the couch so everyone can picture this. It's a zoom image, right? 


Sophia Wise One  12:00

So the zoom image has my sister and her partner framed on the on the screen, you know, and then literally, I'm like sitting there and I'm like, I'm just listening. And this question is like, not going away. I'm like, this feels really important, you know, so that I was like, Hi, I'm the creepy odd like, literally the creeper in the corner that nobody knew is there. Like, it was awkward for me to, like, hop in on that, but but your babies and reframed it, so then my face was in the picture. It was Yeah. So,


Brittany McCollum  12:35

And then the another thing you said that I love, and literally could talk about for hours is autonomy and birth, and how important that is, and how it is not tied to the way that a person chooses to give birth and should not be tied to their place of birth, but instead really comes from this sense of understanding what their rights are, and how to advocate for themselves and how to communicate effectively with their providers. 


Brittany McCollum  13:00

And I think when we restore that autonomy to the laboring person, it helps them to have this positive experience that they can look back on and feel really good about. There's this kind of like idea in the birth community that people should be coming out of their births feeling like they did something really amazing, rather than feeling like something happened to them. 


Brittany McCollum  13:20

And so when we restore that autonomy, and again, like, it doesn't matter how someone is birthing that should be that literally should be someone's right and all births, whether it's vaginal, or cesarean with pain medication, without pain medication, when we can restore that to people, we can ease their, their journey into the postpartum. And also, you know, from like a, from a statistical standpoint, like decreased rates of postpartum depression. 


Brittany McCollum  13:45

And that's really important, but it's also really important for people to feel like they've been able to kind of claim or recognize that power that they have, whether it's physical or emotional, or mental or combination of the three. So I love that word of autonomy, when we're talking about birth, I think that's extremely important. And I think it's the right word to use, you know, in terms of like, helping people to feel strong and powerful in the choices that they're making and feel like they've been listened to, throughout that decision making.


Sophia Wise One  14:17

Yeah, and I want to speak to that moment of the choices that we make in planning or anticipating and the choices that we make in a moment. Right, that may be different than than the plan that we had, you know, I mean, people who plan a cesarean  and then go into labor before there's a cesarean date, right? 


Sophia Wise One  14:35

And so then they have to make choices aren't during that birth process as well as like, you know, the reverse planning, vaginal birth or planning pain meds or no pain meds and and making a different choice in that moment that it's not just, it's not that autonomy doesn't happen, just at one point in the journey, right that it happens continuously. 


Sophia Wise One  14:54

Because the best made plans are a joke. The mystic in me is like, haha, you know? You know that that notion, which isn't to say that preparedness or education or decisions or communication around visioning all of those things, like hugely supportive of that. But you know, that that's what I hear is not just like the decision not to do it this way, but like, we make decisions, and then we have to make more decisions. 


Sophia Wise One  15:24

And like, that's the thing, like, we just make decision after decision, we make a decision, and then that decision takes us somewhere. And from that place, we have to make more decisions. 


Sophia Wise One  15:33

And I think, the continued experience of autonomy, or needing support to make those decisions that that can that can maintain an autopilot, you can maintain your autonomy when doing kind of on the fly education or collective decision making. Yeah, those are all the all of those are ways of holding or maintaining an autonomy that I wanted to know.


Brittany McCollum  16:01

Absolutely. And I think childbirth is one of those rare opportunities in life where we are given this opportunity to practice our ability to be flexible. And maybe, you know, maybe the opportunity to practice our ability to be flexible happens frequently. But childbirth is more, you know, a rare occurrence. It's something that you get to do maybe once maybe a few times in your life, but I think it always offers this opportunity to explore our ability to adapt. 


Brittany McCollum  16:34

And I think that that kind of like what you're saying about it being more of a journey, rather than like a specific point in time. I really think too, that that begins early on like it begins, if we're talking about it, specifically related to childbirth. I think it begins in pregnancy, when you're giving yourself that permission to be flexible, where you're like, yes, I'm going to gather knowledge, and I'm going to figure out my preferences and prioritize what's important to me. 


Brittany McCollum  16:59

And then I'm also going to give myself that permission to make different choices in the moment if I feel that I need to. And I think for a lot of people, it's hard to give themselves that permission to not do things according to their quote unquote, plan. But that's part of what birth teaches us. And I think that's in preparation for parenting, because parenting is just one long journey of flexibility. Yeah, yeah. It's a journey for sure. It's not a point in time.


Sophia Wise One  17:29

I really appreciate the naming of the impact of postpartum, right, because, you know, watching firsthand, these two humans go through this massive process and all the focus, it's like the spotlight on the birth. And then it's, it's really, it reminds me in that way of like a wedding for a marriage, right? Where it's like, it's the wedding. And it's like, as though the wedding is the marriage, right? 


Sophia Wise One  17:56

I love this, like one day or three day event is the like decades of effort work, forgiveness, vulnerability, choice, change in power, right? But it's like you don't get to the marriage without the without the choice, right? Like without the decision in the process, to whatever degree, you know, like ritual or shift. 


Sophia Wise One  18:16

And it's like you don't get to the parenting without the birth, which isn't to say that there isn't in adopted parenting or under parenting that there's a moment, even if it's not a physical labor, there's a moment there is a moment where that transitions and you become a parent, and that that moment is full of these kind of sequential choices, decisions, autonomy, place, but that the judgment piece can be such a burden, the judgment of supposed to doing it one way or another or the the permission seeking or the forgiveness seeking. 


Sophia Wise One  18:49

I think one of the things of having, you know, when it doesn't go the way that we wanted, or we planned or we didn't feel empowered, right? We didn't plan we don't have that sense. It happened to me, right? That's, that's then that becomes its own trauma, recovery, and burnout in its most spectacular form of physically brutal journey to go through. So there's already so much for everybody to be recovering and integrating after without having it done to them.


Brittany McCollum  19:23

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I would like to use the word physically challenging, than physically brutal.


Sophia Wise One  19:32

Thank you. why you're here. That's why you're here.


Brittany McCollum  19:35

I don't mean to correct,


Sophia Wise One  19:36

No, please correct,


Brittany McCollum  19:41

No, I mean, you're right. Challenging is not a strong enough word. Brutal brings up too much negative connotation for me to feel comfortable using that word, but if you want to use that word. Of course, obviously, you use that word. Um, yeah, I think that that kind of makes me think of something totally different between go off into that tangent later. 


Brittany McCollum  20:02

But yeah, it's I love you compared it to the the wedding versus the marriage because it is like that. I mean, people invest so much time and energy into this one day, kind of forgetting about everything that comes after. But the way that somebody feels about the process of that day can totally help to set the stage for a more positive start to that, that journey that comes after. And it's really similar with that with childbirth, too. Um, yeah, so I like that you made the comparison. 


Brittany McCollum  20:35

Also, I think, you know, there's this kind of maybe something similar that that brings to mind for me is that, again, like, within the birth community, we talk a lot about how much time and effort and thought people put into things like a wedding. But then there are a lot of people that don't necessarily put that same amount of time and thought into childbirth. And I think it's, it is an up childbirth provides an opportunity for, again, like we said, for people to kind of claim this amazing power. And it's not about one way of giving birth, it's just part of this, like, growth and this identity shift that happens in childbirth. 


Brittany McCollum  21:12

And I think, you know, I think part of what makes supporting people through that journey really important to me is that it is this opportunity for them to really be invested in this personal growth that can happen. And you know, sometimes people see it as like a means to an end like it's a, it's a means to having the baby. And that's it. 


Brittany McCollum  21:31

But it also is really an amazing opportunity to explore more about yourself and your preferences. And to claim that power. And being like, this is my body and my experience and my baby. And I'm going to be as in control of that as possible. And it's birth. I mean, you can't be in control of birth. But there are lots of aspects of birth that we do have more control over than we thought. 


Brittany McCollum  21:52

And particularly things like the way that we communicate with providers, and the things that we allow or don't allow to happen to our bodies, is something that we do have control over. And I'm not really sure how we got there from talking about weddings, 


Sophia Wise One  22:07

I was gonna say, Can you name a couple examples of what you're talking about in terms of like the provider birther navigation, and you're talking about, like, we can't control all the details, but there are things that we can control that, what are you talking about? 


Brittany McCollum  22:24

Yeah, "What are you talking about? "


Brittany McCollum  22:28

So I think a really great example, that is probably familiar to most people who have just some, at least some basic understanding of birth is the idea of internal exams. So an internal exam is when a provider, quote unquote, checks the cervix, they're checking for more than just what the cervix is doing. But it entails two fingers going inside the vagina and reaching back up towards the cervix. the cervix is like this kind of tube like structure at the base of the uterus, it's literally the opening to the uterus. 


Brittany McCollum  23:01

So when a provider in labor is doing an internal exam, they're feeling the cervix to see how open or dilate It is, it is to see how thinned out or faced it is. They may also be trying to determine the position of the baby. And they're also kind of figuring out how low in the pelvis, the baby is. It's internal, so it is invasive. 


Brittany McCollum  23:22

And in many hospitals, it is standard care to do an internal exam every four hours. And I've been in a lot of situations with doula clients, where I'm in, you know, in their birthing space with them, and I'm there continuously with them in labor. And the provider comes in the room and says we're going to do an exam, that is not an opportunity for consent. And that's a situation where people often think they don't have the ability to say anything, otherwise, they're just like, oh, okay, I guess that's what we're gonna do right now. 


Brittany McCollum  23:56

But it doesn't doesn't have to be I mean, it's that person's body, you know, they can determine whether or not they're comfortable having an internal exam at that point. So one of the things that I really stress to people both in classes and prenatal visits with doula clients, is that you always have the right to ask for more information, you always have the right to consent, you always have the right to refuse, you always have the right to say, I'm not having this right now. But I'll reconsider in an hour, you know, whatever, whatever timeframe they're looking at. 


Brittany McCollum  24:23

But this notion that like, we're going to go by the schedule, and this is how we do it, and there's not room for anything different, takes that power away from the person giving birth, and particularly when we're talking about somebody putting their fingers in someone else's body. I mean, there has to be a very, from an ethical standpoint, there should be a very clear and extensive conversation about why that's being suggested, what kind of information is going to be gathered from that what that person that provider is going to do with that information and how they're going to relay that to the person. 


Brittany McCollum  24:56

What the alternatives are, if any what the benefits and risks would be of doing that exam. And then whether or not that person is comfortable with all of the all of the answers to those questions. And unfortunately, our current childbearing, you know, system is not set up to center the care, really to center the care around the person whose body is going through this challenging experience. 


Brittany McCollum  25:21

And instead, it's very centered around schedules and kind of taking notes. And like moving on to the next thing and managing this process with little regard for the fact that this is someone's body, and they have every right to decide what does or does not happen during that process to their body.


Sophia Wise One  25:38

Mm hmm. So simple. Yeah. So simple. Thank you. That's a great that that makes a lot of sense to me. Right. So it's like, yeah, you have the right internal exams. And, and, and the extension of that is, essentially, you know, I know, when we're talking to one of my sisters, doulas, they were saying like, there's a real difference in their experience in the hospital, they'll come in, and they'll say we're doing this thing. And she's like, that's really different than when something is urgent. And it's like a real that she's like, their eyes look different, that tone is different, everything's different. They come in, and they're like, we need to do this right now. For like safety of babies safety of Mama. 


Sophia Wise One  26:22

And that the rest of the time, what they're doing is they're running schedule, that there's running a checklist schedule. And that essentially, what I'm hearing from you, it's reminding me of what I heard from this other doula is like, any time it's just a schedule mark for them, you really have the opportunity to say no, why, what, even when it's urgent, you absolutely have the right to say no, you know, why, what all of that. 


Sophia Wise One  26:46

But there's gonna be there's like a difference in those in those places in those spaces. And that kind of whether it's an internal exam, or whether it's monitoring or whether it's, you know, giving medication or something like any of those things that might be happening inside a hospital birth, that, that they're on a schedule, they're just do what they do on a schedule, and that your ability to negotiate and communicate at every single one of those interactions is very different. 


Sophia Wise One  27:17

Because the idea, especially in the hospital, I think, is that notion of like, the it's like that danger, the danger of birth, and it's like, yes, there's a danger zone, and there's so much of birth, it's just not a danger zone, it's just there's just so much of it, that's not and being able to trust that even if you're in a hospital, right to take it slow, and just be like, yeah, so what happens if we wait an hour? or three hours? They're like, meh meh meh? You know, like, okay, like around?


Brittany McCollum  27:45

Yeah, absolutely. And, yeah, I think that the tone is very different. When something is emergent versus something is, you know, routine. Um, I think that the way the routine things like, again, to use that example of an internal exam, it's not framed as if there are other options, but there are totally other options. But that's the problem is that for the provider, it's easier to frame it as if there aren't any other options, because then they can just check it off their list. But that again, like, 


Sophia Wise One  28:13

I have to pause here and just do a little like meta thing that I do a lot on the show, which is that like the micro macro have like these are also normalized, like dominant behavioral, relational dynamics in the, in the culture, like dominant culture, things of like, you know, whether it's a boss, whether it's a partner, whether it's a family member, like the normalization of like, this is what I want, so I'm going to present it like, it's the only option.


Sophia Wise One  28:39

It's like a is a very prolific relational dynamic that we see that's been very normalized, and really undermines the relational habit of conversation or no good negotiation or option exploration. And so I just want to say that that's something that doesn't just happen in hospitals, and it doesn't just happen in hospitals, because of hospitals. It happens in hospitals, because that's the normalized cultural way of having an external authority figure that decides, and then presents in a way that minimizes space or inspiration for dialogue.


Brittany McCollum  29:20

Yeah, absolutely. This is just like a microcosm of what's happening in our culture from a much larger scale. Um, I also think we have made lots of strides from a social standpoint in in not necessarily allowing that in or you know, being more cognizant of the fact that that occurs in other aspects of life. And for some reason, it seems that in obstetrics, and in some midwifery relationships to that we just haven't quite made those strides. 


Brittany McCollum  29:50

Kristin Pascucci who runs Birth Monopoly, which is a really amazing website, and they offer like trainings all about like knowing your rights and birth. She says that I'm totally gonna butcher this. But she says something along the lines, which really sticks out like sticks to me as being really important is the treatment that we accept in childbirth is a form of treatment that we no longer accept in other relationships. 


Brittany McCollum  30:25

But for some reason, it's like we're going back decades, when, when we set foot in the laboring room, and we're, you know, we're accepting things being spoken to, in certain ways or being, you know, not told what are other options are or not communicating our priorities or preferences to providers, we're accepting that, like you said, you use the word normalizing. Like, we're normalizing that as being the way it is in childbirth, and in very few other areas of our life would be generally speaking, except to that sort of behavior without recognizing like, Hey, this is happening. And this probably isn't a positive thing. Like this isn't a good thing. 


Brittany McCollum  31:03

So I think that's really interesting. I also want to point out, though, Well, two things, I want to point out that I think a lot of that consent related stuff. It's not, it's not limited to hospitals, it happens in birth centers, and even happens in home births. I think when you have a relationship with your provider, though, it's less likely to happen. And that's really what's so important about like home birth, midwifery care, for example, you have a relationship with the provider. 


Brittany McCollum  31:27

So when you have that intimate relationship, it's there's less likely to be that kind of issue with the provider trying to do something without truly getting consent. On the other end of the spectrum, I also want to point out that I've worked in lots of hospital settings, and, you know, again, settings with midwives, in home birth and birth centers, where that consent is completely honored. 


Brittany McCollum  31:50

I think that more often than not, especially in a hospital setting, we see it not being honored, but there are providers out there that are gems, and they respect that, and they're very clear about answering questions and spending that time talking with someone. So it's not that it's, you know, there's never an all across the board. It's not always or never, there are some really amazing providers out there that do take that time and do really center their care around their clients. 


Brittany McCollum  32:17

And I think, you know, we just need them to be far more, you know, that that needs to be far more than norm, which, hopefully, things are changing. You know, I feel like I've been doing this work for almost 15 years, and there have been some really significant changes in that time. But there's always room to keep growing and progressing.


Sophia Wise One  32:36

Love it. I'm so glad you said that. Because I, I really hear I can like hear the echo of what I said. And to be really clear, what I was referring to was when for ourselves being in a hospital can activate this, like, I'm sick, something's wrong, something like the urgency of like, I have to listen to a doctor, I'm in a hospital, like that internal framework. I completely agree. I have heard so many glorious, wonderful hospital birth stories, I have heard some shoddy birth center stories, you know, it's like, it's it's not it is and that piece of you're saying the provider. 


Sophia Wise One  33:14

And again, it reminds me of like, it's not happening in a vacuum. You are who you are, if you have a hard time saying, No stop, I need information, let's slow down in your life or in relations in general, right? Or if you can do that with people that are strangers, but you have a hard time dealing with people that are closer like those are the same you kind of meet yourself and that I think it's kind of that personal growth part on all of these steps, like you meet yourself in that way and having a provider relationship. 


Sophia Wise One  33:42

If you're constantly along the way building that relationship asking those questions, getting more information, then you're going to be building that dynamic with that provider. So that in the birth moment, when something comes up it you have that exchange of we're sharing information, and I'm making a decision as the birther


Brittany McCollum  34:00

Yes, yes, absolutely. Absolutely.


Sophia Wise One  34:03

Yeah. Yeah, no, I definitely don't want to like shade a birth hospital births. That's not what, that's not what I was trying to do. 


Brittany McCollum  34:12

I didn't think that you were I think sometimes in the birth community, some of the things that we talked about can seem as if they're coming down on certain providers, or certain, you know, places of birth. And I think it's important that we talk honestly about what occurs in different settings and with different providers, but also leave that room for those providers that are striving really hard every day to do things differently. Even if it takes them more time and, you know, makes them like, you know, bring work home or whatever. I think that you know, honoring those people are is really important. 


Brittany McCollum  34:47

And then, you know, earlier you had asked me to give an example, which is when I talked about internal exams. I think it's also really like it well. I'm getting ahead of myself. There's like more I want to say I didn't finish my sense. I think it's really important. To recognize that with internal exams, I think generally, the average person can see like, yeah, that could totally be invasive, somebody's putting their fingers inside your body. But there are definitely, you know, varying degrees of what people consider to be uncomfortable or a, for lack of a better word like an assault on their body. 


Brittany McCollum  35:25

And it doesn't have to be as invasive as an internal exam, it could be something like someone who goes into labor and you know, they're there at the hospital. And the nurse attempts to put the continuous fetal monitor on them without consent. Like that's, that's external, it's not internal. But the fact that someone is wrapping their arms around someone's body and like kind of poking and prodding can feel like like that is just as traumatic for someone as maybe you know, an internal exam is for someone else. So there are these, it doesn't have to be internal to feel like the power is being taken away. 


Brittany McCollum  35:59

And a lot of it are these little tiny things that happen along the way, that kind of have this cumulative effect of feeling like that power is being stripped from you. Um, there's this the this amazing group out of Boston called Resilient Birth, these two, doulas and childbirth educators, they have backgrounds in therapy and psychotherapy, they're amazing. And they do trauma informed care workshops. 


Brittany McCollum  36:24

And, you know, one of the things that they talked about at a recent workshop that I thought was really powerful was that it again, like it doesn't have to be something that we conclusively think of as invasive, it can be something as simple as, at a prenatal visit, the provider says go pee in the cup, there's no choice being given there. There's no information. And so when we have those little tiny things happen along the way, it slowly sets the stage for feeling like you won't be powerful in birth. 


Brittany McCollum  36:52

And it just kind of it's like, it slowly chips away at your autonomy. So you know, it would be totally appropriate for someone to say, Why are you asking me to pee in this cup? What are you going to get out of this? How is this going to impact my care? What happens if the results aren't what you're expecting? But there's none of that conversation happening? It's just go pee in a cup. So it can be little tiny things or it can be something as obvious as an internal exam that's being done without consent. 


Sophia Wise One  37:18

Love it. Thank you so much. Those are very helpful. Very, very helpful examples.


Brittany McCollum  37:23

Yeah. 


Sophia Wise One  37:23

Yeah, I would love to hear you talk about some biomechanics.


Brittany McCollum  37:29

I love talking to you about biomechanics. Um, yeah, so I am a pelvic biomechanics educator. So I provide continuing education and advanced trainings for clinical and non clinical birth workers based on pelvic biomechanics and movement and positioning in labor utilizing the theories of biomechanics. So we can start with what biomechanics are, well, we know what the pelvis is, generally speaking, right? 


Brittany McCollum  37:59

The pelvis is that bony structure that the baby is moving through and birth. biomechanics refers to the the forces at play on shifting the space between those bones and the results of those forces. So basically, they're kind of like the the biological laws that govern how space changes in the pelvis based on the movement of things like the femurs or the sacrum, or the iliac bones or forces like gravity, you know, or the baby pressure from the baby coming down. 


Brittany McCollum  38:33

And so the workshops that I do are non clinical, meaning we're not doing anything, we're not diagnosing anything, we're not doing anything clinical, but they are educational in terms of exploring how movements affect space in the pelvis, with the goal of decreasing unnecessary intervention, restoring autonomy to the person giving birth in medicated and unmedicated births, and also helping to provide comfort in labor and better oxygenate the baby as well. 


Brittany McCollum  39:08

So those are some of the great benefits of movement and labor, oxygenation of the baby comfort and then also labor progress. So yeah, so biomechanics is like really important when it comes to birth, if we're thinking about decreasing intervention rates, decreasing caesarean rates, which is generally speaking, a goal of you know, the the United States in general and ACOG, which is American Congress of Obstetricians and gynaecologists. So caesarean birth is major surgery, absolutely. 


Brittany McCollum  39:23

It's necessary at certain times, but we have really high caesarean rates in this country, much higher than what our goals are in the United States and much higher than what the World Health Organization recommends, actually just about double what the World Health Organization recommends. 


Brittany McCollum  39:52

So incorporating movement into birth, whether that person has an epidural or doesn't have an epidural is a great way to help decrease intervention including caesarean birth. Um, so yeah, so what I do is teach all about how movement and positioning can change available space for the baby. And then we go specifically into how certain movements which are often instinctive movements are actually creating space where babies needed in the pelvis. 


Brittany McCollum  40:18

There are these three planes of the pelvis, we basically refer to them as the inlet or the top of the pelvis, the mid pelvis and the outlet or the bottom where the baby emerges. And we can shift the available space in those three different planes of the pelvis based on how we positioned ourselves in labor. And so it's kind of like taking doula skills and doula insights and applying it to trainings for clinical providers like OBS and midwives and nurses. But then also, you know, continuing to train doulas and childbirth educators and, you know, any anyone else just supporting people in labor and birth? So yeah.


Sophia Wise One  40:56

Love it. It's awesome. This may seem like really random of a thing to say in response, but it reminds me of how like, so many of the world's dancing is either fight training or birth training.


Brittany McCollum  41:10

Yeah, totally. That's not random at all. Actually. It's totally true. And a lot of the movements that we do in certain dances like, for example, like belly dancing, are movements that help to wiggle the baby down and out. So it totally is not random. It's very connected to what we're talking about.


Sophia Wise One  41:31

I literally saw flamenco dancers and like belly dancers. And I was like, yeah, these are the things we're like, I'm gonna protect my baby, or I'm gonna have my baby. 


Brittany McCollum  41:40

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That is so true. So true. You know, one of the analogies that I love to give to people, because I think it's just super simple, is the idea of putting on a turtleneck. So if you are going to put on a turtleneck, and you're holding both sides of the turtleneck, and you're wiggling your head to get it through, you might eventually get the turtleneck turtleneck on. 


Brittany McCollum  42:01

But if at the same time you can pull down on the sides of the turtleneck, as you're wiggling your head through, it's going to happen a lot faster. And that's what we do when we're moving in labor, the baby's actively involved, the baby is wiggling their way down and out, trying to find little space changes to take advantage of. And if we're able to continue to shift that space for the baby, we can make that process happen more, more easily more efficiently. 


Brittany McCollum  42:24

Unfortunately, it's not training that your average ob or midwife or nurse has it's information that really comes from disciplines like physiotherapy and kinesiology. But when we apply that information to birth, it just makes sense. Especially with high intervention rates in this country.


Sophia Wise One  42:43

Yeah, makes so much sense. 


Sophia Wise One  42:44

And I'm wondering Is this the kind of thing, 


Sophia Wise One  42:47

I imagine like a workshop is useful, but like, I imagine, like a weekly class where you like actually practice, 


Sophia Wise One  42:54

I just know for my own self, like, the different things of like, just literally, like, I just, Wow, my brain is fried. 


Sophia Wise One  43:06

I'm thinking about yoga, and I'm thinking about dance. And I'm thinking about body work. And I'm thinking about how the first time I'm like getting my quads massage, it's just feels like one mass, right? 


Sophia Wise One  43:23

But the more I work with a body worker, the more I work with my quads, those muscles begin to feel like different muscles, right? And I can relax those muscles or engage those muscles. Or if I'm the first time I do a downward dog, I'm just a big V, right? But then after years of doing downward dog are weeks of doing downward dog, I have like, my hamstrings, and I have my pelvis and I have my, you know, my deep abdominal and I have my femurs and I have my spine. And there's it's not just this outline of a V, it's this intersection of 18 different strands. 


Sophia Wise One  43:51

But that doesn't happen is like it can happen is a transmission download, and I invite anyone listening to receive a transmission download of your anatomy and the micro fascia is taking up all the space of things. But for the most part to embody those things like repeated practice is actually one of the in my experience has been one of the most powerful things to really get into those kind of micro movements that you're talking about, like femur and sacrum are great words. 


Sophia Wise One  44:17

But most people unless they've really practiced with their body have no experience of what it is to feel the femur separate from their hip or their like their separate from their pelvis separate from their sacrum.


Brittany McCollum  44:29

Yeah. So yeah, you're absolutely right. So yeah, so I teach it in a one day workshop that is like eight hours of straight up pelvic talk, which is awesome. But the thing is, whether you sit through an eight hour workshop or whether you're an expectant parent, coming to a two hour class, if you get it in the class and then you never ever try any of it again. It's probably not going to be that usable. 


Brittany McCollum  44:55

I do love, love to emphasize how all of the movements and positions that we talked about are based on completely instinctive movements that people do in birth. But caveat, though, is that the movements and positions are instinctive, but they're not necessarily what we see when we see images of birth. 


Brittany McCollum  45:16

For example, really great, super easy example is that when we see images of people giving birth, they're either reclined or semi reclined in what we call the stranded fetal position where they're lying on their back, or their legs hiked all the way up and out to the side. And they're usually pulling back on their legs and their faces purple, and they're pushing down. 


Brittany McCollum  45:33

And so we see that and we think that that's the norm. That is not an instinctive position for pushing. But we're so socially conditioned to think that that's what we should do, that our thinking brain overpowers those primal instincts that we have. So really, when we're talking about movement and positioning, because it is so instinctive, it's about creating comfort within that thinking brain so that our thinking brains, like oh, squatting is really awesome for pushing a baby out, as opposed to like, on the back, we're all fours is really great for pushing a baby out. 


Brittany McCollum  46:08

But it's like we have to get past that social conditioning. And from a provider standpoint, they're also catching most babies with people in a reclined or semi reclined position, which means for providers, they need to move outside their comfort zone and explore other options too, which are totally doable with or without pain medication, this myth out there that if someone has an epidural, they have to give birth on their back. Totally not the case. There are many different positions people can do with an epidural with the variations on sideline positions, variations on all fours positions, people can do those safely with an epidural. 


Brittany McCollum  46:42

But when we have providers that aren't familiar with that, and when we have people that aren't familiar with that as even a concept, we wind up pushing babies out on our backs, which does not use gravity and does not open space in the pelvis. Generally speaking, there are some variations you can do recline, that do open space in the pelvis. But still, we're not actually utilizing gravity to help the baby come down and out. And reclining positions can increase the likelihood of perinatal damage. And the way that we push babies out can increase the likelihood of long term pelvic floor damage, which is your area of expertise. So,


Samantha Rise  47:16

Yeah. Okay,


Brittany McCollum  47:19

Unpack.


Sophia Wise One  47:20

I love it. I love it. Unpack, I don't know, I just keep going. So my next thought is coming in here, so I'm wondering if you have any, the image that came to mind is Do you have any like videos or documentaries of births, like to be able to like imprint? Like, I just think about, like the way that like, watching those things like on repeat, do you have any? I don't know, like recommended films that people could watch where they see different positions act of birthing to, like, help rewire some of that brain stuff?


Brittany McCollum  47:57

Yeah, I mean, I, a lot of the videos that I show in my classes and share with clients are actually YouTube videos that are short, they're like, you know, eight or 10 minute videos that I've done, I've vetted because you don't want to just randomly search on YouTube videos. But a lot of them are just videos that I found that really kind of show how someone is instinctively moving in birth.


Sophia Wise One  48:20

My request is that you reach out to those people and that you create a like rewire your brain film, that is like something that is a collection that people could just watch on repeat while they're pregnant or thinking about getting ready to like, replace these images. 


Sophia Wise One  48:38

I'm really lucky. Just in terms of my own, I mean, who knows of all birth a baby but a conversation for another day, but I don't think so. But things change every day. So, but I was born at home with my mom are all fours and I have a photograph of me crowning, right? And so yeah, my association for the longest time when people be like, Where were you born? And I'd be like, I'd be like Spruce & Camac. You know, like, in my house. 


Sophia Wise One  49:10

And, and people would be like, what? And people would say like, Where were you born? And they'd say, a hospital and I would say What happened? It took me so I just my association was just so and then I just and then I learned later in life that I was like, oh, okay, like what's like, common, right? 


Sophia Wise One  49:26

But I think that for me to have that very like it very personalized imprint of like, on all fours crowning at home. Like that's my like, I'm like, yeah, sure, you know, but even so, I still when we talk about birthing, the the power and the the access point and you talking about how like as much as we get it what overrides our instincts. 


Sophia Wise One  49:50

And so yeah, so that's so you're vetted. Yeah, that's my that's, that's a personal request. Brittany, I really love it if you would get that together. Yeah, outsource that. So because when I say netting, right, like, there's all of these things, go ahead. 


Brittany McCollum  50:06

Well, no, no, no, yeah, I didn't mean to cut you off, you definitely don't want to just go on YouTube and search for birth videos, because you have no idea what you're gonna get. And also, I think a lot of there are a lot of videos that I would consider to be very fear based out there. And that's not what we need is pregnant people. 


Brittany McCollum  50:20

Again, it makes no difference how you're planning to birth your baby, whether you're choosing a medication or not choosing it, but like, we don't need more fear surrounding childbirth, there's enough of that, so that we're socially conditioned to feel anyway, 


Brittany McCollum  50:31

One thing that I do have, it's not, it's not a pack of videos from people. But I do have like a handbook on labor positions. And I do have like, lots of digital downloads, and print edition stuff available on my website that showcases different neighboring positions, and you know, also shows modifications that people can do to recline positions to open space in the pelvis or again, to restore some of that autonomy. 


Brittany McCollum  51:02

It's not that we want to say birthing on your back is bad all the time, it's just we want to know that we have other options too. Like that can be an option. But right, so could all fours or so could sideline. And you know, one of the things I tell people all the time is that no matter what position it is, it's not going to be good. If you're in it for three hours movement frequently is really, really important. 


Brittany McCollum  51:23

So someone could be in all fours, which, generally speaking is a pretty good position in terms of opening the pelvis and using gravity and allowing for mobility. But if you're hanging out in the forest for three hours, then you've lost the benefits of that position. Because movement that's so important. 


Brittany McCollum  51:39

So whether somebody decides to push for a few contractions on their back and then change it up, or whether somebody decides to like push, you know, only in positions that are on their back, all of that can be good, as long as they're remembering that movement is so important. Because again, wiggling that baby out, you know, just like the turtleneck analogy.


Sophia Wise One  51:58

It's such a life. It's such it's just life, right? It's like life with life, movement and life. Yeah, Brittany. This is great. This is great. I feel this was great. I'm wondering if there's anything else that you want that's kind of like on your mind or on your heart as we listen as you're on, on the vagina, talk someone's listening in? sure what you might want to, 


Brittany McCollum  52:26

Yeah, maybe think a good thing to kind of talk about briefly or in length, whatever you prefer, is the language that we use surrounding birth. I think when we're talking about like, again, restoring power to the person giving birth and decreasing fear, regardless of the choices people make, we have to be really mindful of the language that we use. 


Brittany McCollum  52:48

So like, for example, there's this term out there, which is slowly being replaced. But this term, which is a very common reason for caesarean birth, in fact, the most common reason versus arion birth, which is failure to progress, which is like taking the word failure and associating it with birth. 


Brittany McCollum  53:06

That's crazy, because there's never failure in birth. There's no such thing as failure in birds. But when we hear that term, we immediately know kind of, again, like it decreases our confidence, or, like a like will will often say things like that person had a successful vaginal birth. Successful? Again, like that, that kind of creates a sense of this dichotomy of like success versus failure. Or when we're talking about VBAC, which is a vaginal birth after cesarean. 


Brittany McCollum  53:39

So if someone's had a previous cesarean, now they're going to have a vaginal birth. Often times the term given for that, quote, unquote, attempt, there's another word attempt at a vaginal birth is a trial of labor, a trial, a trial of labor. There's all these words that we associate with birth, you know, that that just feed like very subconsciously feed into this fear that we have surrounding birth. 


Brittany McCollum  54:09

And like you had mentioned earlier, thankfully, you know, the vast majority of the time birth on folds really well, and things go great. And of course, there are times when intervention is necessary. And absolutely, there are times when caesareans are necessary. But when all we hear about is the need for intervention and the need for caesarean and all this negative language, then we start to feel like those emergencies or those red flags happen all the time, which is a very skewed perspective we have going into birth, 


Brittany McCollum  54:38

And I love that you shared your actual own birth story like the story of your birth, um, because I think we don't hear that like those positive kind of like, you know, I was born on all fours, like that's really awesome to hear. We don't hear that very frequently. What we do tend to hear far more often are negative or scary stories, people 


Brittany McCollum  55:00

You know, my, my thought on it is that people need a place to heal from those experiences. And so quite often they share them with pregnant people, which are really probably not the people that you want to be sharing those scary stories with. But we do, generally speaking need this place to go like to kind of share and talk about experiences that felt really scary to us. 


Brittany McCollum  55:21

But when we do that to pregnant people, then we again, like further skew that perspective of how frequently these scary things happen. So when we have that, and we have this language that seems so negative, another example, I had mentioned how failure to progress is being slowly phased out. They're using different terms now. But the term that they're replacing failure to progress with is labor arrest. Arrests? 


Brittany McCollum  55:46

Like, that brings up some negative connotations as well. So you know, the way that we talk about birth, the words that we use, if we can shift them to be more empowering, and more inspiring, and more indicative of really what's happening, as opposed to these kind of scary words, it can make a really big difference just in terms of someone's confidence going into their experience. And, again, like, it doesn't matter how someone's giving birth, we want people to feel confident and excited about their experience and come out of it feeling really awesome. Rather than going into it feeling fearful and coming out of it feeling like something happens to them. 


Sophia Wise One  56:23

Right, well, eventhese are the terms so then when they tell their birth story, these are the terms that they are the words that they're when they're telling the story, the power of the store, the power of the story. And yeah, it reminds me of people, I often have this conversation with people, when they have death, like close death, and people often will talk to people about like, somebody's parent dies, and then every will come up to them and talk to them about when their parent died.


Sophia Wise One  56:52

And I think that's indicative of our dominant cultures. And if we want to say dominant, the crumbling culture, the, you know, this, this, this kind of status quo of unresolved trauma, and then unaddressed grief. And so where the grief doors open, or where the trauma doors open, that's where people that out of necessity, like the if we don't meet our needs, through an open door, they leak out, right. 


Sophia Wise One  57:26

So that's what's happening in that space is like the leak of like, the need to tell the birth story or the need to address that trauma. And so when that door is open in any way, you know, even if it's not really necessarily the appropriate place, but we don't, why would people know that? If we're not we haven't been shown in the appropriate place. Right, there is no appropriate if there's no appropriate place, then literally, the only doors we get are leaks right now, though. 


Sophia Wise One  57:55

So the importance of just like, you know, if you find yourself like listener, if you find yourself telling your birth story to people when they are pregnant, and it's an unresolved space for you, this can be an invitation for you to like, get some extra care on that and you know, and be in that space. 


Sophia Wise One  58:17

And also if you're pregnant or people start sharing their birth stories with you, this is another place for you to say like, thank you so much for wanting to share and connect with me and I'm not available to hear other people's birth stories right now, or traumatic birth stories or other people's stories at this moment, like and being and also how there's a space where a circle, a council, an intentional space, to share many stories can be very different, because then there's a way that it can transmute it. 


Sophia Wise One  58:50

And so intentional storytelling, even if it's a hard story or a happy story, like what you know, kind of, in this way, oversimplified and accurate space, because when a trauma story is held in a deeply sacred space, it is a power story. It is a medicine story, it is a transformative healing story. So it's not that like your hard birth story is a burden. It's that it's really potent medicine and it needs space for it to reveal its full medicine. 


Sophia Wise One  59:17

So it's more of an invitation to be intentional about how we share our really powerful stories so that they can get the space and the attention and support for them to think about like herbs brewing how it's like certain herbs need a certain environment for certain medicines to come out. 


Sophia Wise One  59:33

And you don't want to over boil one certain flowers and you know, you don't want to dry out other ones and other ones you want to dry out before you bubble because they they will they will release their medicine in different ways. And so are our stories our trauma stories, be it grief or death or birth or anything is birth. Kind of in the medicine visionary landscape. It's this the the birth death door is the same door and so that space opens.


Sophia Wise One  1:00:00

And so it can often activate deep memories of both births, rebirths personal journeys as well as deaths and losses and rebirth through those transformations. And so those, those are powerful spaces. And so to be intentional about creating some of those spaces, whether it's pouring a cup of tea with a friend and saying, Let's tell our stories, yeah, joining in a group or a circle or intentional space, there's so many different ways to do that. 


Sophia Wise One  1:00:26

But that's my invitation to you is to, is to take a deep breath and say like, okay, what's the right, what's the right recipe? What's the right brew format for for my medicine, or if you're holding space for someone else, like me, being in this postpartum support space that I've been in has been a lot of listening for, you know, how am I going to help? 


Sophia Wise One  1:00:47

My sister or my brother, you know, are these beings or even these little nonverbal baby energy beings that just went through the birth door, you know, and holding them and being like, I know, that was a big deal, like, and feeling their little body tremors and being like, I know what these mean. 


Sophia Wise One  1:01:04

I study bodies like I know what you're doing, you're releasing and integrating, and how do I hold space for your medicine that's unfolding, that we get to do that for ourselves. But we also get to do that when we're holding space for other people. And so to be curious, and to to be intentional about kind of drawing those lines around those moments. So they can bloom blossoming bellies. 


Brittany McCollum  1:01:16

Wow, look how you tie that in. That was very, very good.


Sophia Wise One  1:01:36

Brittany McCollum, everyone. So I have two formal ending questions. But I do want to just hand the mic back to you. If there's anything else that you want to


Brittany McCollum  1:01:46

Oh, I, I think everything that you said is so important. And I love that you, you talked about how pregnant people can draw those boundaries. Like I appreciate you wanting to share your story, but I'm not in a position to hear it right now. I think that's really powerful. And, like, again, I feel like the theme is kind of like restoring autonomy. But it that's a simple way to start practicing how to be autonomous, whether it's in your body or in your space, or, you know, in your your plans, or in your approach of other people. 


Brittany McCollum  1:02:17

I think that's really important too, rather than sit and listen to a story. And even though you're trying to let it go in one ear and out the other, we know that that's much easier said than done. But simply saying I appreciate you wanting to share, but I'm not in the position to hear that right now. I think that's really powerful. And I also love that you gave kind of options for people who do have unresolved things with their births that they might want to share. I think that's really important. 


Brittany McCollum  1:02:41

And those spaces are hard to find. Sometimes there are there are many birth workers that do things like birth story sharing circles, which can be a great place to go to just share your story and you're also choosing to be in that space to hear other people's stories, which is very different than when somebody is not choosing to hear a story. And instead is in a position where they are kind of being quote unquote, forced to hear a story. 


Brittany McCollum  1:03:05

And I love also, though, that you mentioned like pouring a cup of tea with a friend and being like, let's share, because it doesn't have to be a formal setting. It doesn't have to be you getting yourself and your newborn out to a group to like, you know, have this intentional moment, it can be a friend coming over and you talking about you know, your stories together. And I yeah, I think that that's just really important. And I love that you gave options for both people to kind of manage the spaces that they're in.


Sophia Wise One  1:03:31

And in this time, and also just like in our time moving forward, like the power of what it is to pour a cup of tea and do it over zoom like in the same room is ideal. And sometimes not just because of a global pandemic but because it's people with newborns and getting out of the house is is the is Cirque du Soleil of in Vegas with water you know it's a real it's a real situation you know? 


Sophia Wise One  1:03:56

And so to not wait you know not need every ideal situation to be able to kind of get create again, this is that like creative, being able to say what, what can I do to have permission for that? 


Sophia Wise One  1:04:08

Love it. Yeah. Awesome. Let me see if there's something else that I want to say I feel like my brain started to go but I think that's it. I think that's great. Well, you shared some beautiful resources with us today and encourage you go ahead and check out the show notes and we'll put links in for a bunch of those resources that you put out there will obviously put your information Brittany on in the show notes for people to reach out is there a particular way that you like people to get in touch with you particular platform or a format that you 


Brittany McCollum  1:04:47

Yeah, sure. If people have like, like if they want to have a conversation like specifically want to like reach out and you know, chat about something sending me an email is always a good way to do that. And there's a contact form on my website that They can use or they can just find my email on the website and go that way. That way. 


Brittany McCollum  1:05:04

If they're kind of just looking for more like resources on public dynamics, or autonomy and birth, or people's rights or things like that, social media is a good place to find me there. Instagram and Facebook, on both of those Facebook's usually where I post things like articles and research and things like that. 


Brittany McCollum  1:05:21

Whereas Instagram is, you know, obviously more like pictures or videos and then like some, you know, descriptions, but it's things that it's definitely I try really hard to post resources that people can use and preparing for their births or healing from their births or building confidence for their birth, stuff, like stuff like that's on social media. But then if somebody wanted to actually reach out, which I totally welcome, you know, if you have questions or need some resources, or you know, want to set up a chat time or something like that, they can totally email me. 


Sophia Wise One  1:05:50

Great. Perfect. I have one more question for you. And I say this here, right now, this is not the question for you. Just just, if you're listening, if you know someone who is either getting ready to give birth, or is a practitioner, a lot of ATS from one practitioner or another, there's a lot of talk that Brittany, I didn't hear that would actually be really useful for people who are support people, not just people who, and maybe in some cases even more so. 


Sophia Wise One  1:06:17

But then also people who are birthers, or were connected or in those places, if you have any of those people that are in any of those positions, and you think this conversation would be useful or supportive for them? Or that Brittany or I may be useful or supportive to them as a resource, please forward them this conversation this episode and let people who could find this useful help them find it. 


Sophia Wise One  1:06:40

So okay, Brittany, my closing question for all my Vagina Talk episodes are, I believe that we are in a time of birthing, embodying bringing into being another reality, another culture, another way of being that we're in this cultural shift time? And the question is an assumption, which means sometimes I have to write pre question, which is like, is that are you with me on that?


Brittany McCollum  1:07:11

If I said no, with the question change? No, I'm just kidding. 


Sophia Wise One  1:07:14

I was just literally just thinking that I was like, What would I do if someone said no, I don't know. I'd figure it out.


Brittany McCollum  1:07:20

No, I totally I agree with you. Yeah. Okay.


Sophia Wise One  1:07:23

So my question is, you know, this notion of like, it can be useful, right? This image, right, this image of, of where are we going to can help us, motivate us can help guide us can help signal to us, even if when we get there, it looks a little different than we envisioned, the vision itself can be so directive, and so paint us a picture, tell us a piece show us? What is the piece that you know about where we're going? Like, on the other side, what does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it smell like?


Brittany McCollum  1:07:56

Yeah, so I'll, I will say that in relation to birth, I guess, um, because it's kind of like, what my life revolves around. Um, so I think that the vision that we can all kind of keep in mind as a, an optimal place to be gravitating towards, is this space, were in the birthing room, the person who's giving birth is at the top of the pyramid of power, and everyone else is kind of looking up at them. At this point, I think that the pyramid of power is kind of upside down the birthing person at the bottom. 


Brittany McCollum  1:08:35

And I think like we've been talking about, there are shifts that are happening, there are changes that are happening. And sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back. But there's a lot of support and a lot of resources out there to keep moving things forward. And I think if we're going to just kind of talk about it in relation to birth, I, my goal in everything that I do kind of instinctively, I guess, has this vision of the birthing person at the center or at the top and everyone else, recognizing that and changing the way that they provide care, in response to where that person is, rather than saying we're going to do this. 


Brittany McCollum  1:09:16

Instead, we're giving the options to the person who's at the top of the pyramid, and they're deciding where we go from there. And I think, you know, I'm talking about it in relation to birth, but I think it's so much bigger than that. From an individual standpoint, it's about centering ourselves in our needs, and being okay with doing that, which is hard, I think, for a lot of people. 


Brittany McCollum  1:09:37

And it's about finding the strength to use our voices and to set our boundaries and to be clear with people and to demand better from the people that say they care about us. Um, I think, you know, it's kind of more like, I think most things with birth can be like life lessons or life goals. So I'm thinking about it in birth, but I'm also thinking that it's really relative To kind of just how we carry ourselves in this world, and in this space and in our relationships too.


Sophia Wise One  1:10:06

So beautiful, the image that I see is this is a is a circle, right? It's like, um, so circle, like so. So consistently in this, like the site council space, right like that you get all this support, and it's like you're in the center, and then, you know, that being at the center of your own, like being the authority in that circumstance. Yeah. Right. 


Sophia Wise One  1:10:26

And so this, the collective, the council is there to support and cultivate the truest, the, you know, optimal, the truest I don't know, the moment in that, but that you're the it's like the literally the birthplace you're the canal, you're the access point for this particular moment. And that, you know, we're always the center of our own universe, that's just what we are. And that we have the opportunity to shift our focus, and be in support, have each person at the center of their, their own journey. So I love that


Brittany McCollum  1:10:58

The word you used, I really like cultivate, I often use the word nourish, but I think cultivated, similar, but different. And I really like that like surrounding yourself with people that cultivate who you are, I think is really important and allow for growth. And, you know, I think giving yourself that permission to grow and to change and to set your boundaries and allow yourself to be cultivated. And I think that that might be too passive of a, there's got to be a better way to say that. But yeah, 


Sophia Wise One  1:11:29

I think I think it's a power. I think it's a real I think it's a skill. I think the I think receptivity is a very active, very active position. And that. Yeah, and so to be cultivated, I think that there's a deep, there's a deep liveliness in that. I have that. Yeah, I have a strong, a strong active, positive response to that. Not as a singular way of being cultivated, or to cultivate, right, but as and click. As of one one aspect or one face of it.


Brittany McCollum  1:11:58

Yeah. Yeah.


Sophia Wise One  1:12:00

Yeah. Well, thank you so so so very much. Thank you.


Brittany McCollum  1:12:05

So much fun. Thank you so much for having me. It's been really great.


Sophia Wise One  1:12:09

I'm so glad. Thank you so much for joining us. Sweet darlings. I hope you got something, I hope you got some things and, you know, just the resources, there's so much there. I feel like we cracked a bunch of kind of edges. And if you need like more guidance or a direction, don't hesitate. I just can feel it. Brittany wants you to reach out.


Sophia Wise One  1:12:32

I'd be happy to reach out and just point you towards the the resources to really, to really if this stirred your pot and said I need more. Let us know we can do our best. And if you don't know what you need, you just are open to it. May it come to you with great synchronicity and ease. 


Sophia Wise One  1:12:51

May you tend your new growth. We are in a massive, massive time of change as always this great age of awakening that we are in. And so be gentle with yourself as you grow and change. Learn what you need. Learn how to be cultivated, learn how to cultivate yourself and drink lots of water as my mother would say drink water, fear nothing. Take care. Be well, lots of love. Talk to you next time.


Samantha Rise  1:13:21

Thank you so much for listening.


Sophia Wise One  1:13:23

Thank you so much. And thank you,


Samantha Rise  1:13:26

Sam. Thank you Sophia.


Sophia Wise One  1:13:30

Remember everything that we talked about in today's episode will be in the show notes. So go there for links. 


Samantha Rise  1:13:36

For more content that you're going to love. Subscribe, Subscribe, subscribe to this podcast. Share this episode with anybody you think you'll enjoy it and share the love with a rate review wherever you listen. 


Sophia Wise One  1:13:47

And to find out about all the mad adventures I'm up to check me out on Instagram @SophiaWiseOne or come to my website SophiaWiseOne.com.


Sophia Wise One  1:13:58

I am Sophia Wise One daughter of the wind. I am calling you to rise up, rise up, rise up, rise up and take your place. 


Sophia Wise One  1:14:10

Thank you gorgeous. I am thrilled and grateful for your support listening to this podcast. I want to invite you to come check out the Patreon. If you think this podcast is the biz-niz and you're grateful that it exists. I want you to know I'm grateful that you exist. Come join the Patreon I call it The Temple. We are healing we are musicking we are podcasting we are together. Come check it out. You can find it through Patreon/SophiaWiseOne or through my website SophiaWiseOne.com


Samantha Rise  1:14:59

You need to hear that though. You know, if you don't know,


Sophia Wise One  1:15:04

If you don't know, now you know.


Samantha Rise  1:15:05

Okay, now I'm so excited about Vagina Talks right now. Don't pretend like you don't know this is the best podcast you've ever listened to. Don't pretend like you don't know. You know.