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Meet Nicolle Kasch of Mind Body Baby in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicolle Kasch.

Nicolle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I always knew I was destined for motherhood. What I didn’t realize was how my initiation into motherhood would transform me in the most unexpected ways.

Growing up, my mom always spoke very highly of her pregnancy and birth with me. A bra-burning hippie to the core, who witnessed her sister give birth at home twice, she approached the journey with a calm confidence. Due to medical reasons she chose to birth me in a hospital with an OBGYN but had a low intervention birth without pain medication and described the experience as joyful and the best day of her life. She told that story so often, with so much enthusiasm, that as I grew up it became annoying – especially as I entered my teenage years. Nevertheless, a seed was planted, though it became buried under the usual “dirt” of negativity surrounding pregnancy and birth. For many years I saw pregnancy as disgusting (you get so FAT) and birth as terrifying (it looks so PAINFUL) so while I knew I wanted babies, I tried not to think too hard about how they’d come to me.

In 2013, I became pregnant with my first child and was very apprehensive about how it would play out. Luckily, I had a very healthy and comfortable pregnancy so I enjoyed the experience much more than I anticipated. Ever the planner, as my birthing day drew near I figured I had to start educating myself. I started booking classes at the hospital we planned to deliver, started doing research online, and even booked a tour with a local birth center. Feeling scared and unsure of how birth would unfold as a first time birther (all you ever hear are the horror stories) my husband and I decided to stick with a hospital birth but I wanted to arm myself with more support. While taking the “Prepared Childbirth” class at the hospital though, I was extremely disappointed. The classes were dull, outdated, and boring. The breathing techniques were ridiculous and made me feel like hyperventilating, and we didn’t really have a chance to connect with other students. The teacher wasn’t available outside of class for all of my endless questions, the birth videos were horrifying, and the whole focus seemed to be on birth being a very medical event.

Cue pregnancy panic.

I had heard about birth doulas somewhere, and we hired one around my 33rd week of pregnancy. At the same time, I had learned about HypnoBirthing and bought Marie Mongan’s book at a local store. As soon as I opened that book and began reading, it was like the clouds parted and birds began to sing! The information was positive, supportive, and empowering – the breathing techniques were intuitive, and the relaxation tools were familiar. THIS is what I had needed the entire time, but sadly I was too late to join a five weeks series. Fortunately, my doula was a HypnoBirthing instructor and guided me through some of the techniques.

I was ready. No – I was EXCITED!

Our birthing time came at 38 weeks, five days with a big gush of amniotic fluid in bed. I labored at home throughout the night, resting as much as possible and following my body’s lead. We met our doula and my mom at the hospital the next morning and much of my labor was a delightful blur. I swayed, moaned, rocked, leaned, and surrendered. I had back labor which my doula dutifully comforted with deep massages into my sacrum. Eventually, I pushed my darling baby boy out into the world with no medication and no issues, and it was the happiest day of my entire life. Just like my mom described it.

A week after the birth, I told my husband “I want to do that again!” and I didn’t just mean another baby. I LOVED giving birth, even though it was hard work. It was as if a portal had opened within me, with a hunger for knowledge about physiologic birth and the female body that had never been there before. I couldn’t help myself but keep reading and researching about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding. I kept telling our birth story to anyone who would listen and felt emboldened by their responses – “Wait you didn’t get ANY drugs?!” I didn’t realize what a feat this was, as I certainly hadn’t done it for any bragging rights. I didn’t even go into my labor planning to go without pain medications, it just never got to the point that I needed it. Sharing this and inspiring others led me to my passion for birth work. HypnoBirthing had been the catalyst for my awakening so I decided to train to become an educator at six months postpartum and have been teaching ever since. Shortly after, I began attending births as a doula as well.

Reflecting on my first birth experience, after becoming much more educated about how birth truly works, I began to realize how much being in the hospital actually hindered my labor; the unfamiliar environment and constant interruptions made it harder to stay comfortable. So when I became pregnant again in 2015, I knew I would give birth at home, which was an even more ecstatic experience than I could’ve imagined. Even my prenatal care with my midwife was downright luxurious! Everything I knew intuitively about what birth could be, I got to experience and it emboldened me to continue down this path I started. I never went back to my corporate job in the apparel industry, and life has never been sweeter.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely not been smooth the entire time, but it’s been worth it. In the beginning I was teaching classes, working full time outside the home, and parenting a toddler. It was a lot, and more than my husband and I expected from me after having our first child. There was no way I could give it up though, so I pressed on and thought that if I worked from home after having our second, it would be easier. I was SO WRONG! My children are night owls like their mother so my husband struggled with their sleep habits while I was away at births. Adjusting to life with two kids and beefing up the little business I had started was absolutely more difficult than either of us ever anticipated. I imagined being Betty Crocker with a perfect house and home cooked meals, but honestly I don’t enjoy those things as much as I thought I would once I had the time, so it took some work to shift our expectations. It’s still a struggle, trying to find that balance, but I don’t know any other way of being. I like to think I’m inspiring my children to follow their dreams and pursue careers that help others.

Mind Body Baby – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
After years of teaching Hypnobirthing, I decided I wanted to branch out into more areas – so Mind Body Baby was born!

Mind Body Baby offers loving support and education for families from pre-conception to postpartum and beyond. I offer Fertility Support Services for those trying to conceive, Peaceful Pregnancy Circles for pregnant people to take time out to connect to their babies and deepen their relaxation practice, free workshops, and of course Hypnobirthing classes. I also offer virtual birth doula services, and complimentary birth/postpartum doula matching for all clients. In the future, I am hoping to add more services and classes like a Conscious Conception Circle and postpartum support groups.

The mind/body connection is at the heart of everything I do. I believe this is so much more powerful than any of us give it credit for, but when we have tools and support to tap into that power we can accomplish AMAZING things! It’s not a magic pill by any means, but it is quite magical.

I think what I am known for is my passion. People tell me that it permeates from my being anytime I’m talking about pregnancy or birth. I am committed to improving the most important journey of pregnancy and birth for both parents AND babies. I truly feel that great change across the globe can come from allowing children to come into the world in a more gentle manner.

I also never stop learning and can pass this knowledge and wisdom onto others in a non-judgemental way. I keep an open mind and offer compassionate support to all of my clients. I’m also committed to my connections with clients which is something I’m pretty proud of and sets me apart. I don’t want anyone to feel they are navigating these journeys alone, and if I can be some small part of that I will do whatever I can.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is making a difference; having an impact. This could show up as the number of families I’m supporting, getting positive feedback, having good connections with other professionals in my field, in addition to income. I also feel successful when I am valued for my work, as I put a great deal of energy into it. Most importantly though, it’s a feeling that I’m helping others in any way possible, even if it’s just one family at a time!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Debut Photography, Lindsey Meehleis, Alanna Farmer

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