In this article, we’ve asked Bodylove Mama instructor and New Mama Jacqui Minnell (@jacquiminell) a few questions about her birth story and her bubba.
What’s your baby’s full name & why did you choose that name?
William Alexander Veall. We had discussed girl and boy names throughout my fertility journey (about 14 months before he was conceived) and for boy names I didn’t want any ex-boyfriend’s names and we wanted a ‘strong’ ‘normal’ name that suited all ages. We actually only came up with two names in the end – William and Edward. I preferred William so we picked that and will probably pick Edward if we have a second boy. We also found out at about 15 weeks it was a boy which was helpful because we kept debating girl names, so we can park that till the next one. For the middle name, we were keen to use a grandparent/ great grandparents name but we didn’t really like any of them.
What time did you give birth?
8.18pm (on the 18/8/22)
What’s your baby’s star sign?
He’s a Leo but was born 1 week early so he was going to be a Virgo!
What was the best thing about his birth?
Gosh this is a tough one – I did soooo much prep and research before and it completely went to plan for me so it was amazing that I was able to have the best birth for me. Some things that made it good was that my active labour started at 4pm and he was born just over four hours later so it wasn’t a long and painful labour. He also did the breast crawl so well after being put on my belly.
What was the biggest challenge about his birth?
The car ride in peak hour for 45 minutes (usually 20 mins) was pretty tough while so nauseating, I was very illegally on all fours straddling the backseat… we don’t have tinting. I also went into involuntary pushing after being in the bath for two minutes and then they asked me to get out which felt physically impossible.
What helped you prepare the most for your labour?
All the research and learning I did before – probably started back in 2019 when Ali did the first prenatal training before Bodylove opened (which I remember put me off getting pregnant for a while… I remember thinking, yep i can wait a little longer for this :P). The She Births course was amazing too. I also listened to podcasts on pregnancy, labour, birth, 4th trimester everyday and listened to probably 100 birth stories.
I then had a plan from about week 30 which included drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating six dates a day, using an epi-no, perineal massage, taking evening primrose oil, acupressure, induction acupuncture, clary sage oil, daily meditation, expressing colostrum with the labour inducing eggplant parmy for week 39 (I had it on Tues and Wed night and he was born Thurs) and a castor oil smoothie to help progress labour.
What was your first meal post birth?
I think it was some dates and a muesli bar we had packed because it was 11pm when we got to our room and the hospital kitchen had closed. I don’t think I remember being hungry though and then I was brought scrambled eggs and prunes at around 7am. There was definitely a coffee from either the machine or Calipress across the road too. Unfortunately, it was mainly hospital food for the first four days but it was actually quite good and was like a hotel where you fill out your options the day before and hang it at your door. When I got home I had lots of broths and warm Ayurvedic food ready for me.
What is your top birth tip?
Do what is important to you! – I love to research and have all the knowledge I can find to help me make decisions. I knew I wanted to know all my options, pros and cons of everything and preferred to know different pathways to take if things didn’t go to plan. For some this isn’t important so I recommend just doing what makes you feel comfortable which could be a 100% home birth, 100% elective c, 100% induction, or 100% spontaneous labour and vaginal delivery.
If you are into knowledge like me then i’d recommend a birth course that covers a wide range of topics delivered in a format that suits you and listening to lots of birth stories and podcasts with topics that interest you. I would also write down your birth preferences and share them with your birth team. I would also consider creating a pregnancy/ birth and postpartum team which includes people that support you – for me this was my job, women’s physio, naturopath, acupuncturist, lactation consultant, Bodylove and James ofcourse!
Also don’t forget to plan for your postpartum before the birth! and have lots of pregnancy massages from preggie bodyworkers or preggie spas.
Jacqui Minnell. is a Certified Pilates, Barre & Yoga instructor (@jacquiminell) & new Mama! Jacqui used Bodylove Mamas’ 500 + on-demand prenatal pilates workouts from home to build strength in her body to carry her through her pregnancy, her birth and to get her ready for her life as a Mama. She is now completing the Bodylove Mamas Strong Mama Self Care Challenge for her postpartum pilates workouts as she’s feeling strong again after her birth and knows that she is in safe hands with Ali.