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A photo of Rebekah Mustaleski, CPM

Rebekah Mustaleski, CPM

Rebekah Mustaleski is a Certified Professional Midwife with Roots & Wings Midwifery in Knoxville, TN, where Rebekah promotes evidence-based maternity care for families seeking an out of hospital delivery. She is working to improve maternal outcomes during the childbearing year and to promote a sustainable business model for midwifery practices across the country. Rebekah is co-owner of Roots & Wings Midwifery, LLC as well as Treasurer for the Tennessee Midwives Association.

Fourth Trimester Tips

Fourth Trimester Tips

Did you know that the time after you give birth to your baby is called the “Fourth Trimester?” The first three months after delivery is a time when there are enormous changes happening in your body. You’ve spent the last nine months growing and nourishing your baby inside. Now you are continuing to support your baby once they’re on the outside, so this is a time where you need to focus on taking excellent care of your physical self. Your body needs physical, emotional, and nutritional support during the Fourth Trimester to transition from pregnancy to postpartum in a healthy and uncomplicated way.  

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Recovery After C-Section

Recovery After C-Section

Bringing a new life into the world is a miraculous experience, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges, especially if you delivered your baby by cesarean section (C-section). Whether you had a planned surgical birth or the events of labor led you to having a cesarean birth, recovering from a C-section involves more than just physical healing--it requires holistic self-care that encompasses your body, mind, and spirit. Here’s some tips to help you nurture yourself during the postpartum if you gave birth via C-section:

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Sleep Your Best to Feel Your Best During Pregnancy

Sleep Your Best to Feel Your Best During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant this year, I want to help you start the year feeling your absolute best! First thing we’re going to look at is your sleep during pregnancy. How much are you sleeping? Do you wake up in the morning feeling rejuvenated or exhausted? Are you in a comfortable sleeping position or wake often in the middle of the night? When you sleep and how you sleep can have such a profound impact on how you feel and function throughout the day. This is because sleep is a vital part of our life. Our bodies need a restful night to flush out toxins and to repair and restore on a cellular level. A lack of good sleep will eventually affect us on a mental, emotional, and physical level. So what can you do to create an environment that enables you to get the best sleep possible? Here are my top 5 tips to help your body get the rest it needs at night so you can feel your best during the day:

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Natural Pain Relief Methods for Labor: Tips from a Midwife

One of the most common questions I get as a midwife is: what are the best comfort measures to use during labor for someone who wants a natural birth? One basic truth of labor is that it is a lot of hard work and everyone who is planning an unmedicated birth is trying to figure out methods that will help them work through the labor surges. And I’m so happy to be able to share this information with you! Another birth truth is that pain management in labor doesn’t have to mean medications or an epidural, it can also mean incorporating movement, aromatherapy, and other support people to help you cope with the pain and intensity of labor contractions. Everyone’s birth will be different but having a positive birth experience depends, in part, on feeling capable of the work you need to do. So let’s talk about some pain relief options that are available for people who desire to give birth without medications.

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Top Three Reasons a Midwife Can Benefit Your Pregnancy

One of the first decisions you’ll make when you start planning to have a baby is who you will see for your prenatal care. The majority of pregnant women in America plan to have their baby in the hospital with an Ob/Gyn, often the same provider they go to for their yearly women’s health needs. But recently more families have been choosing a midwife as their healthcare provider during pregnancy.  Midwives are medical professionals who specialize in women’s health care, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. Some midwives also provide well-woman and newborn care. In this blog we will speak about my top three reasons a midwife can benefit your pregnancy.

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Five Reasons Being Pregnant in the Fall is the Best

I don’t know about you, but love the fall! I love the crisp feel of the air, the changing leaves, and wearing sweaters. It’s one of my favorite seasons and it reminds me of how you feel so good in the second trimester after dragging through the first trimester (for me that’s the heat of summer!). Because I love fall so much, naturally I think that being pregnant in the fall is just about the best thing ever. Here’s my thoughts on why this is the perfect time of year to be growing a new little person inside:

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Choosing Care for Your Pregnancy: OB/GYN vs. Midwife

When you find out that you’re pregnant, one of the first steps on your new to-do list is to search for a provider. You may know some people who went to a midwife for care, but in the United States, most women will go to an OB/GYN during pregnancy for all of their prenatal checkups. So what’s the difference? Why would some people choose one kind of provider over the other? Let’s take a closer look.

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Pregnancy Fatigue Tips to Stay Energized

It goes without saying that many women experience fatigue during pregnancy—for some people, it can even be their first sign of pregnancy! It’s typical for energy levels to ebb and flow throughout the trimesters. And many pregnant people find they struggle the most with fatigue in the first and third trimesters, but they return to feeling normal energy levels during the second trimester. It shouldn’t be surprising that feeling so tired comes with the territory of pregnancy! After all, your body is working hard 24/7 and growing a whole, completely new person. That takes a lot of effort! What exactly does that mean? Even when you're sleeping, your body isn’t getting the deep rest it usually gets. Remember it is still busy building a baby. While there’s nothing that can be done to decrease your body’s need to work all day and night, you can help support your body in doing that extra work. Here are my top 7 tips to help you stay energized during pregnancy:

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How Postpartum Compression is Different From Shapewear

How Postpartum Compression is Different from Shapewear

If you’re looking around online, you might wonder if postpartum recovery garments are the same thing as shapewear. If you already own a corset or body shaper, you might be tempted to wear those after the baby is born. However, I  don’t recommend doing that! Postpartum compression garments are specifically designed to help your body heal after birth. Shapewear helps smooth the curves of your body—those are very different functions! To be even more specific, let’s take a closer look at five differences between postpartum recovery garments and general shapewear.

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Finding a Midwife: Questions to Ask and What to Expect

Finding a Midwife: Questions to Ask and What to Expect

Aren’t all midwives the same? No! They are different! While all midwives are trained in natural childbirth, their specific ways of practicing and protocols for their work might vary quite a bit. This can feel confusing while looking for your midwife. There is good news! You can meet with your potential providers before you try to decide who to choose for your prenatal care. So, what does an interview with a midwife look like? Let's learn about questions to ask. The best way to interview the people you’re considering using for your prenatal care.

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