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Episode 179

Kat O’Connor

In this week’s episode I chat to Kat O’Connor about her dreamy homebirth with baby Rafi. As the eldest of seven children, Kat always knew she wanted to be a young mum and she approached the start of her pregnancy with as much preparation as she did her birth; adjusting her diet, connecting with her baby and practising conscious conception with her partner, Tully. Their home among the gumtrees was an idyllic space to bring their firstborn into the world and they did so with the support of their midwife, doula and birth photographer. Kat talks at length about her postpartum period, the benefits of rest and her choice to slowly and gently re-enter the world after giving birth.

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Image by Gabby Del Pio Birth Journeys

Living in Margaret River in the SW of Western Australia, Kat admits that although she’s only 23, she’s been mothering all her life. “Every two years there was a new baby in our home and I was really privileged to see my youngest sister being born when I was 15,” she says.

She wanted to have a baby with Tully not long after they met but they chose to wait a few years and approach conception consciously and with a lot of preparation. “We practised pre-birth communication which involved taking the time to connect with our baby from an energetic and spiritual place. In my meditations and journaling I connect with my future children and that energy was very strong pre-conception. Rafi would come in my dreams and other times I would get a strong intuitive hint that I should eat a certain way or move my body…”

Kat could feel exactly when she was ovulating and believes she felt a tingling sensation when Rafi was conceived. Regardless of the fact that her mum and everyone in her social circles birthed in hospital, Kat had watched home births and water births on youtube for years and she knew exactly what she wanted for her own birth. As soon as she did a positive pregnancy test she booked in with her local homebirth midwife as well as a hypnobirthing course and pre-natal yoga studio. Her hypnobirth teacher became her doula and, more importantly, a friend who supported Kat and Tully throughout the pregnancy, at the birth and during the postpartum period.”It was so heartwarming, especially after the birth, to have someone to talk to who was at the birth and knew what happened. That emotional support is priceless.”

Her exhaustion in the first trimester came as a shock and she was grateful to have announced the pregnancy to friends and family who offered their love and support in the way of nourishing meals and comforting text messages. It wasn’t until 32 weeks that she discovered her iron levels were dangerously low, hence her debilitating exhaustion. An iron infusion improved her wellbeing immensely and was necessary for her health leading up to and during the birth. She admits she had no idea about the integral role of healthy iron levels in the third trimester, birth and postpartum.

Topics Discussed

Slow postpartum, Home birth

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If you’d like to connect with Kat you can find her @the.kat.oconnor

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