March 1, 2023

How To Advocate for Yourself During Pregnancy and Birth with HeHe Stewart

Imagine, you’re at your 38 week check up and your care provider wants to do a cervical exam. For some people this might sound great, but what if it doesn’t? Do you have to have the exam because your care provider suggested it? What about continuous fetal monitoring during your labor, birthing on your back, or limited contact with your baby after birth? If these things are hospital policy, are you and your family required to comply? The answer may surprise you, you’re allowed to say no.

So how do you respectfully communicate your desires and boundaries with your care provider and birth team? To answer this question I’ve invited HeHe Stewart to be my guest on today’s episode of Yoga| Birth| Babies. HeHe is a doula, founder of Tranquility by Hehe Maternity Concierge, and host of the podcast The Birth Lounge. HeHe is an incredible advocate for pregnant folks. While the topics we’re covering today, advocating for yourself during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, respectful communication, informed consent, and hospital policy sound heavy, HeHe brings a fantastic light energy to the conversation.

I had such a great time speaking with HeHe, she is amazing. You’re going to get so much wonderful information. We do some role play, so you’ll have examples of what to say if your care provider presents something that you’re not feeling great about. HeHe offers solid examples of how to respectfully decline and shift the power in the room back to you. We also talk about informed consent and that you don’t need to straight off sign the hospital consent form as is. There is so much great information in this conversation!   

In this episode you will learn:

  • Learn about HeHe and what led her to birth work.
  • How pregnant folks can advocate for themselve
  • Routine interventions that you may not realize you have a choice whether to accept or decline.
  • Standing up for yourself against your doctor.
  • Find confidence and words to advocate for yourself.
  • Informed consent and consent forms, how to tailor a consent form to reflect your personal desires. (You don’t have to sign them as is).
  • The difference between true informed consent and feeling coerced into consent. 
  • Helpful phrases for you and your birth team to help advocate for yourself during the birth.
  • Respectful communication.
  • One final tip/piece of advice HeHe would like to offer new and expectant parents.
  • Where you can find HeHe’s work. 

About HeHe:

HeHe Stewart is the Founder of Tranquility by HeHe Maternity Concierge, the creator of The Birth Lounge membership and podcast. With a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and 10 years in the Family Life Education field, HeHe helps people prepare for childbirth with research-backed education and data-driven support to have a confident birth experience while feeling informed and in control of labor (without fear or coercion). She is also a pro with preparing for postpartum, helping you master feeding your tiny human and understanding newborn sleep! HeHe hosts The Birth Lounge Podcast which features leading experts in pregnancy, women’s health, and newborn development so parents can understand how to have an informed and confident birth!

Connect with HeHe:

IG: @Tranquilitybyhehe 
TT: @Tranquilitybyhehe 
Podcast: The Birth Lounge Podcast 

  • Don’t forget to grab your FREE guide, 5 Simple Solutions to the Most Common Pregnancy Pains HERE 
  • If you love what you’ve been listening to, please leave a rating and review! Yoga| Birth|Babies (Apple) or on Spotify!

To connect with Deb and the PYC Community: 

Instagram & Facebook: @prenatalyogacenter

Youtube: Prenatal Yoga Center




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