After enduring difficult births with her first two children, Brittney Torrance of Amissville, Virginia, knew she wanted a different experience with her third child. Starting with the decision to move from a hospital birth to a home birth with a doula.
"I didn't have a doula for my first two children's births, but I had learned about the benefits of having one," Brittney says. "My husband took some convincing at first, because he worried the doula would cost too much money, or that she was going to take away his role. But that's not the case at all. Doulas are worth every penny, and they don't take over for partners. They actually help partners get more involved."
With her husband on board, Brittney began working with a doula. Throughout the course of her pregnancy, she realized that not only did she want a doula present for her labor — she wanted to become one herself!
"I had our third child at home with my doula, and it was a beautiful experience. Especially compared to my first two birth experiences, which were really horrible," Brittney says. "I knew a lot of women had had similar experiences, and I wanted to do something to help with that, so I became a doula."
Brittney had been working full time as a biologist, which was interesting, but it wasn't "pulling at her heartstrings." After a year and a half of training, she's been able to change careers and is in now a full-time doula. In fact, Eliza Wilcox, the doula who helped support her through birthing her third child is now her business partner! The two run Aveta Holistic Birth Services, which serves mothers in Warrenton, Virginia, and the surrounding areas.
"It's all just aligned perfectly," she says.
Battling Postpartum: Herbal Allies to the Rescue
In addition to sparking her career change, Brittney's third pregnancy journey also stoked her interest in herbalism.
"It's something I've always been interested in," she says. "I truly believe that your body knows best and that we should get our medicine from the earth."
Brittney had already been busy educating herself through herbal medicine books and visits to her local apothecary. But her interest grew as she progressed through her pregnancy and immersed herself in her local birthing community.
"When you give birth in the hospital, they usually send you home with super-strength ibuprofen or prescriptions — really intense drugs. There are benefits to them, but there are also risks," Brittney says. "With my second child, I also struggled with terrible postpartum mood fluctuations."
Although she generally tries to avoid prescription medicines, Brittney's postpartum problems progressed to the point where she was prescribed a pharmaceutical. It helped with the mood issues, but she wasn't happy with the side effects.
"There are times from my older children's lives that I don't remember anything," Brittney says. "It's like I wasn't there."
This time around, she wanted to get ahead of any potential postpartum issues. So, she turned to her new community for advice.
"Everyone immediately started telling me that I needed the WishGarden AfterEase for post-labor contractions," Brittney says. "So, after I gave birth, I tried it. And I immediately thought to myself, ‘this stuff is magic.'"
Knowing that Brittney also wanted to avoid having to take prescription medication again, her new colleagues also urged her to try WishGarden's ReBalance tincture, which is formulated to support healthy hormone levels and promote a sense of well-being after birth.
"I cannot tell you how amazing the ReBalance After Birth Hormonal formula is," Brittney says. "It's changed so much for me. This postpartum journey has been totally different from my last one, and I truly believe that taking ReBalance every day has contributed to that. I feel amazing. I feel like myself, which is wonderful."
Her only regret?
"I just wish I had known about it with my first two!"
Helping Other Mothers
Since experiencing them for herself, Brittney has started suggesting AfterEase For After Birth Contractions and ReBalance Afterbirth Hormonal to her doula clients as well.
"I've been recommending ReBalance to all my clients, especially those who have already had children and know that they're susceptible to postpartum mood fluctuations," Brittney says.
"I also introduced it to one of my clients who was struggling with prenatal blues, which isn't talked about but is very common. She was at the point where she couldn't even get off the couch. She started taking it and began feeling a lot better. She was able to get up and play with her kids again and get out of her funk."
Brittney's own relationship with herbs continues to evolve each day. She's started an herb garden in her yard, drinks herbal tea every day, incorporates herbal tea products in her doula business, and even makes homemade fruit leather with herbs in it for her kids.
"Now I'm that person who always says, ‘hold on, I have an herb for that.'"
Valerie Gleaton is a professional writer and editor. She has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she also earned a certificate in science and environmental reporting.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.