Gold Star Providers: Molly Deutschbein
Part of what we consider our job as your doulas is to connect you with the people that are going to provide you with the best care possible. In our series “Gold Star Providers” we will highlight some of our most trusted, respected, and all around amazing professionals and providers in their respective fields. When you hire a doula, you are also gaining access to their extensive resource lists. Need a chiropractor? You got it! How about a doctor with a holistic approach and a low cesarean rate? Yup, you bet! Want a waterbirth? We will connect you to those amazing midwives. So let’s start off this series with one of our most beloved community members, and current president of the Rochester Doula Cooperative, Molly Deutschbein.
Molly is a licensed massage therapist, a craniosacral therapist, a certified abdominal therapist, and a birth and postpartum doula. Molly is also a Spinning Babies Aware practitioner, one of only two in Rochester!
Here is our interview with Molly:
What is your occupation?
I am licensed as a massage therapist. I got my massage license so I could become a craniosacral therapist (CST). I am certified both as an Upledger CST and as a Biodynamic CST. I am also certified in abdominal therapy by the Arvigo Institute.
In what capacity do you work with people during pregnancy and labor?
Pregnant (or hoping to be pregnant) people usually come to me for either fertility challenge, pregnancy support, or overcoming a pregnancy challenge or discomfort. I was an independent childbirth educator in the ‘90s and started going to births then, before “women who will come and help at your birth” were called doulas. I resumed doula work three years ago so I could take pregnant people all through the childbearing year and be with them at the birthing time, too.
What drew you to become a “Spinning Babies Aware” practitioner?
I was impressed by Gail Tully’s blending of midwifery and bodywork. As a massage therapist and doula I was already working with the importance of helping baby, uterus and pelvis find good relationship, and Gail’s materials package it all together in a very common sense way.
Why do you think body balancing is important for people to understand during pregnancy and labor?
We live in a culture that asks us to hold and move our bodies in ways that make having a balanced, well-toned body a bit of a challenge. The pelvis needs lots of different kinds of movement to stay symmetrical and in proper tone (with soft tissues not too tight or too stretched and/or weak). The female body is made to carry a baby without much effort if the mother’s body is able to maintain natural posture. Pregnancy discomforts are usually due to unbalanced skeletal muscle so the muscles are holding weight that should be evenly distributed on bone.
The baby has to negotiate the soft and bony tissues of the pelvis to have a physiologic birth. A balanced pelvis allows the uterus to be well-aligned in the body, and the baby can align well in a uterus in proper relationship to the pelvis. Sometimes strange things happen; such as a short cord or a strangely placed placenta that could prevent a baby from aligning well no matter what, but that is unusual. Labor patterns can tell us a lot about how baby is positioned and where baby may be encountering soft tissue obstacles as the baby is trying to position his- or herself for birth.
How can people find help if they feel they would benefit from body balancing?
There are a number of modalities that promote body balancing. We are fortunate to have two Spinning Babies AWARE practitioners here in Rochester: Amy Kochersberger and myself. We both have combinations of training that make us ideally suited to help pregnant people find better body balance. If a person reading this is not in our area, they can go to https://spinningbabies.com/spinning-babies-aware-practitioner-directory/
How does the Spinning Babies training help doulas better serve their clients?
For doulas the Spinning Babies one day training is a great overview of what doulas can do to help promote body balance in pregnancy and how labor patterns can highlight body balance issues. Most importantly the Spinning Babies handy birth reference guide can give doulas real tools to use during birth to figure out ways to cope with a labor stall. During pregnancy I would prefer they referred their clients to a bodyworker so we can help the client become as well-balanced as possible before labor begins.
If you could give one piece of advice (I know that’s hard) to a person who is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant what would it be?
I wish I could tell more pregnant or soon-to-be-pregnant people that exercise is not movement that promotes balance in the body. I see pregnant athletes in my practice precisely because exercise has caused more imbalance. A wide variety of everyday movements that take all of the body’s joints through their range of motion as we live is tremendously beneficial. Instead of arranging our cupboards and seating for ease, we can arrange our lives with natural incentives to use our core, squat down and reach up high. Using full range of movement as we go through our day can do wonders for our bodies. From painful periods to fertility challenge to long labors, many of our obstacles to satisfying physiologic experience are in an unbalanced musculoskeletal system. A well-trained body worker can help anyone achieve better body balance and a more pleasant relationship with their body in all ways. Why start at the end of pregnancy or in labor to apply these principles because there is a problem, when you could be doing it now and possibly avert some or all difficulty?
Why WE love Molly:
This woman is a maternal figure in our little birthing community. She has so much wisdom and guidance to offer and she does it in a way that is both challenging and compassionate. Not every person or provider will tell you what you need to hear without a trace of judgment or condescension, and that makes her a treasure. We love her for that reason and also for the fact that she is so entirely holistic in her care. She takes all parts of her patients into consideration and does everything she can to support not only their physical well-being, but takes into account their emotional, mental, and relational well-being and encourages them however she can. Trust us. Find this person and make her part of your pregnancy journey. You will not regret it.