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.

The Perks of Pregnancy Support Leggings and Shorts

When you’re pregnant, it can be difficult to find clothing that changes with your body and is comfortable to wear all day, but Motif Medical’s pregnancy support leggings are going to check all the boxes! They are available as leggings or as shorts and are buttery-soft, machine washable, and provide just the right amount of support for your bump and your back. If you aren’t convinced that you need at least one pair of these in your closet, here are the top 3 perks to wearing support leggings or shorts during pregnancy.

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Spring Cleaning Safely During Pregnancy

If you’re expecting a little one, you may have noticed that your desire to clean your home has increased—that’s normal! Most people call it ‘nesting’ when it happens in the third trimester. However, some people feel extra vigilant about cleanliness throughout pregnancy. And the fact is that pregnancy is the perfect time to take a closer look at the cleaning supplies you use at your house. A maternal instinct can kick in once you’re pregnant, and that instinct is to do whatever you must to protect your baby. Unfortunately, in many ways, today’s environment isn’t the safest place.

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5 Pregnancy Myths According to a Certified Professional Midwife

When pregnant, you start getting advice from friends, family, neighbors, and even complete strangers! All of it is well-intentioned, but sometimes pregnancy advice and old wives' tales are misleading or even flat-out wrong. Let's tackle 5 of the common pregnancy myths I've heard and see if we can separate fact from fiction.

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Valentine’s Day Self Care Tips to Make Pregnancy a Little Easier

February 14th is right around the corner! Do you have big plans for love day this year? Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally spent loving the people around us, it’s also a good reminder to love ourselves. So many women struggle with body image issues during pregnancy—everything is different and changing, and some people don’t even feel like themselves. So why not spend some of the days loving yourself? Take this time to thank your body for doing such a fantastic job growing your baby, and give yourself some appreciation for all your hard work!

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Ask a Midwife: Your Questions from Instagram Answered!

Finding a healthcare provider to care for you and your baby throughout pregnancy and birth is no small task. Sure, you could go to your sister’s obstetrician or the practice that all of your friends went to—but what if you have different opinions about how you want your birth experience to go? For example, maybe your friend’s doctor specializes in high-risk pregnancies, but you’re low-risk...or what if that midwifery practice that everyone loves only does home births? How can you ensure that you and your provider are on the same page about the aspects of birth that are important to you? The best way to do that is to interview the people you’re considering using for your prenatal care.

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Do Braxton Hick's Contractions Feel Different From Real Labor Contractions?

Almost every pregnant person has one question: “How will I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and real labor contractions?” It’s normal to start feeling your uterus tighten with irregular Braxton Hicks contractions in the second trimester, often around 16 weeks of pregnancy. These practice contractions help strengthen the uterine muscle as it grows and helps your body get ready for birth. By the time the third trimester rolls around and you’re getting closer to your due date, most people are feeling Braxton Hicks contractions off and on throughout the day, which is a good thing! How your uterine muscle gets strong enough for real labor contractions will bring cervical change and help you give birth.

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Labor and Birthing Positions

Movement during labor is essential in helping to progress your labor and manage the intensity of the contractions. We often think of the baby making their way through the birth canal, and it’s true—they are certainly doing that! But two people are involved in the birth process—the baby and you. When you move, you help baby navigate the available space. If you think about pouring spices through a funnel, when they get stuck, you could put a spoon into them to stir them around and get them moving again, but you’d probably have better results by tapping the outside of the funnel: when you move the funnel, you help the spices move through the space. The same process works for birth! When you move yourself, particularly your pelvis, you enable baby to find its way through. 

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Using Your Compression Wear Postpartum

Compression garments are wonderful tools to have on hand, even after labor and delivery. Whether you gave birth by c-section or had a vaginal delivery, you may find that wearing a postpartum recovery garment helps you feel more comfortable. Let’s talk about the five best ways to use compression wear during your postpartum recovery.

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How to Plan for a Home Birth + Free Birth Plan Template

When pregnant, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is who you'll see for your prenatal care. This is one of the most important choices you'll make because the provider you choose will also impact where you plan on giving birth to your baby. Most doctors or Ob/Gyns only deliver babies in the hospital. However, certified nurse-midwives (CNM) can attend births at birth centers, hospitals, or homes. Certified professional midwives (CPM) attend births at home and in birth centers. 

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The Golden Hour and Breastfeeding

The first hour immediately after your baby is born is called “The Golden Hour.” This time has been given this distinguished name because of the immense benefits that come when the mother-baby dyad are allowed to spend this time in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact. The postpartum transition is important for both the birthing parent and the baby and the studies continually show that placing baby directly on the mother’s chest promotes an uneventful adaptation to postpartum life.

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