Dakota Solt is a modern-day Renaissance woman against a backdrop of California palm trees. She’s a fashion designer with her own line of luxe boudoir wear Dakota Jinx, founder of the all-natural wines company Super Real Wines, and a RISD-trained painter who sells her fine art at Form + Color. She’s also a new mother to Ynez, her first-born daughter, who was delivered in September 2020 via the increasingly rare vaginal breech birth, which is when a baby is born bottom-first. She, her husband Taylor, and Ynez reside in Los Angeles. We spoke to Dakota about preparing for a vaginal breech birth, postpartum self-care, and the first glass of wine she had as a new mom.
You gave birth to Ynez during the pandemic. Congratulations! How did the pandemic affect your birth plans?
I changed practitioners three times—it was quite an adventure. My doctor who I had seen for years retired just before I got pregnant. We then decided to switch to the UCLA Health Midwives Program in Santa Monica, which was more in line with how I wanted to deliver. I loved working with the midwives, and my husband was allowed to come to those appointments with me. You know, the midwives don’t do many ultrasounds—it’s not part of their practice. I didn’t find out that our baby was breech until week 34.
At that point, I started doing everything I could to try to flip her. My doula gave me these exercises from Spinning Babies. I went to my acupuncturist who burnt moxa sticks by my pinky toes, which is like burning incense. I also brought the sticks home and my husband would "smoke my toes out" twice a day. I went to Dr. Elliot Berlin, who is an amazing chiropractor, and he would try to flip her in our sessions through massage and alignment. I did that for two weeks and nothing changed.
Dr. Berlin has a podcast called Informed Pregnancy, and he’s an advocate for vagina breech delivery. He’s friends with the only doctor who does vaginal breech deliveries at Cedars Sinai Hospital, Dr. Barry J. Brock. I watched a documentary called “Heads Up: The Disappearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery,” and it really opened my eyes. I didn’t know anything about breech deliveries until then. Doctors aren't even taught how to deliver breech babies in medical school anymore. It’s a dying art, and midwives aren't allowed to deliver breech babies in California.
I met with Dr. Brock the next day after watching the documentary. He does a procedure called the ECV, or external cephalic version, to physically try and flip the baby at 37 weeks. I chose to go through with the procedure. First, he gave me anti-contraction drugs, which sped up my heart, but kept me from going into labor. Then Dr. Brock oiled up my belly and tried to flip her. It was quite a physical feat! He tried shifting her in both directions, but she didn't budge. After that, I realized that my baby was stuck in her own way and accepted it.
A couple weeks later, Dr. Brock delivered Ynez vaginally at Cedars. It was a successful breech delivery! I'm so grateful it worked out the way it did.
Even with such a great team behind you, were you scared at all?
I accepted the situation. I did everything I could in my power to change her position. I'm very grateful to have found Dr. Brock, who can perform a safe vaginal breech birth. It's really devastating that most women don't get the opportunity.
My best friend, Laura Francis, gave birth to her daughter, Elka, the day after Ynez was born. We were together in a pod our whole pregnancy. She was an incredible teacher and helped me through it all. We're so lucky to have had each other during this pandemic, best friends and best baby-friends-to-be!
What was your postpartum recovery process?
I came home the next day and worked with an amazing doula, Patti Quintero, who guided me on how I should plan the first few weeks at home. We didn’t have a night nurse—it was just the three of us and our parents, who would come over during the day. For my first three weeks, I was just in bed. I drank a healing tea. I ate warm, cooked meals that were nutritious and easy to digest. After I delivered, the first meal I wanted was sushi—and I actually got cold body chills after eating it! After that, I stuck to eating warm soups, which was very healing. I spent 7 days in bed, 7 days around the bed, and 7 days around the house. I suggest staying horizontal as long as possible!
When I got pregnant right before the pandemic, I had imagined going out to restaurants and taking the baby out. It obviously didn’t work out like that, but it’s still a very special time to share together. We’re home all the time, we’re watching her develop, and we’re so in tune with her every step of the way.
Did you have a glass of wine?
I waited a bit to have wine after she was born, to see how my body was adjusting. The first glass of wine that I had was our Super Real Wines Unfiltered Natural Orange Wine, with a skin contact of Grenache Blanc grapes, made in our family vineyard. It’s delicious. We’re in our second year of our wine brand. It’s been an exciting project to have at the same time as a baby! People have been ordering and picking up wines from our porch.
What was it like launching a wine brand and having a baby at the same time?
It was surreal. This year, it was really great having the new vintage come out right after having Ynez. She’s my “Harvest Baby” because we pick the grapes in September and she was born on the 22nd [of the month]. I worked on the art labels and branding the first couple months when I had some time. And then by the time the wine was ready at the end of January, I could take Ynez to bottling. For me, it’s been great having my own identity through work, as well as being a new mama. I will always remember the launch of Super Real Wines with Ynez first being in my belly, and then being in my arms at four months old, watching the bottles get filled with the wine.
Have you been using any Evereden products in your self-care routine?
We love the Baby Shampoo and Soothing Baby Massage Oil. We use the Nourishing Baby Face Cream when she’s been a little dry, especially since there is a lot of saliva dripping around right now. I do the night massages after her bath to calm her down before bed. I use the Golden Belly Serum on my belly and breasts and also the Lifting and Firming Lotion, too, even though I didn’t really get stretch marks.
What is your Eden?
My Eden is usually traveling to a beautiful beach and being on the water. I haven’t done that in quite some time, but I look forward to being able to travel with my family in the future. Right now, we’ve created our own little Eden at home. Ynez’s giggles are beyond special. We can’t even believe the noise that comes out of her mouth. I make up songs to sing to her all the time, and she seems to love them. She rolls—she moves from back to front. We call it independent study, as she plays on her own. She’s already an independent lady!