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Pregnancy is normal. Birth is safe in any setting. Discover your choices.

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Fathers: You Play a Key Role in a Safe and Healthy Birth

  Lamaze International Offers Five Tips for Expectant Dads to Prepare for Labor and Birth   When it comes to childbirth, popular media often love to portray fathers as helpless and incompetent during labor and birth.  When labor starts, the mother-to-be calmly manages her contractions as the dad sets into a panic, leaving behind the pre-packed bag, taking a wrong turn to the hospital, or running the halls searching for a nurse.   In reality, dads often play a critical role in supporting mothers during pregnancy and birth and advocating for safe care.  As Father’s Day... read more

Reckoning with Birth

By Nancy Linnon Web Exclusive I always imagined birthing him in the middle of the night, a velvet midnight-blue kind of experience. Instead, he started into the world at 5:30 a.m., just as the sun drained the light from the moon, and I remember mostly pale shades: the beige interior of my car speeding to the Birth Center; the light peach on the birthing room wall; the egg white tile on the Jacuzzi tub; the ivory lace that hung over a set of French Doors opposite the bed. He is a fire sign, but I think of air on the day he was born. Early on a Wednesday morning, 10 days... read more

Language about Labor

By Louise Rachel QuigleyWeb Exclusive The word “contraction” to describe the working of the uterus during labor has bothered me for a long time. True, it is technically correct: like any other muscle, the uterus bunches itself tight, makes its length shorter, contracts itself in that sense, to do the work of pulling the cervix open. But the connotations of the word “contract” create precisely the wrong psychological effect. Before becoming a childbirth educator, I earned a doctorate in English; I have taught writing at the college level; I am a poet. Many times I... read more

Postscript to Ewan’s birth story: Part Two

Living with failure I shall never know whether within such a peaceful, familiar environment we would ever have achieved a natural birth; I can only say the chances would have been much higher. Instead, I missed the birth of my son and the first hours of his life. I still carry within me unresolved birth trauma, which at unguarded moments suddenly pulls at my heart strings, with it a feeling of inadequacy when I hear of natural birth or see it on the TV. I live with this failure, not helped by some women who believe you cannot truly bond with... read more

Hollywood Helps Bring Placenta Consumption to the Mainstream

Thank you to JoAnna Woods for this guest post. Find out more about placenta encapsulation on her website Twice Blessed Encapsulation.  Throughout the last decade placenta inferences have been popping up in the Hollywood buzz. GQ quoted soon to be parent Tom Cruise in 2006 (supposedly joking), “I’m gonna eat the placenta. I thought that would be good. Very nutritious.” In keeping with Australian Aborigine tradition MatthewMcConaughey buried his son’s placenta in their yard and planted a tree over it in 2008. January Jones (Mad Men) learned from her doula that... read more

Doctors and Hospital Midwives Need to Stop Bullying Pregnant Women

Thank you to Jennifer Margulis for sharing this excerpt from her most recent blog post with us. You can read the full article on her blog. Doctors and other care providers want you to do things their way. But often their way is based on habit, fear of liability, or expediency. Unlike homebirth midwives, obstetricians almost never request their patients keep a food and exercise log. They almost never take 45-minutes to review the foods you’ve eaten in the past week, counsel you on good nutrition, and strategize on how best to exercise during your... read more

Postscript to Ewan’s birth story: Part One

  Why a postscript is necessary Writing and sharing Ewan’s birth story has been cathartic; helping me come to terms with the experience and accept the loss I suffered of not being able to birth Ewan naturally. The response from my family, friends and now the blog community has been amazing, which is why I have decided to add a postscript, as final points to this series of writings. So many people have shared with me, in person, on Facebook and on my blog, their own experiences of giving birth. All these contributions are to be celebrated,... read more

Building Bridges: Health Disparities, Midwives and Culturally Competent Care--and Education

This is a guest blog by Marinah Farrell, Certified Professional Midwife and Licensed Midwife, and one of the women featured in Midwives Address Health Disparities—the latest video from the new online series I am a Midwife all about midwives and what they do.  From the Midwives Alliance of North America. Marinah Farrell (far left) and other community activists Currently, in this country, the statistics are abysmal when it comes to maternal health care for communities of color and, correlated, educating maternal health care experts from those... read more

Midwifing Future Midwives

By Mai Ling Slaughter 05/15/2011 It was the activist in Suzy Myers that first attracted her to the field of midwifery, and as she's helped bring nearly 2,000 babies into this world, that activist has remained vigilant. "When I first got involved in the health care movement, I hadn't even really considered becoming a practitioner," says Myers, who is now the chair of the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Wash.  "I was more interested in being an activist." But when Myers moved to Seattle in 1971, the energy surrounding the women's movement and... read more

Part Seven: Returning home, time to reflect and question

Returning home Like all new mums I was desperate to show my baby his new home. Six days after Ewan was born, we returned home. The landscape shined with brightness from the sun, viewing it as if seen for the first time. The past seven days felt like a year. The house appeared somehow different. I wept in the car. What was the meaning to all this? I stood holding my tiny son in the garden, bewildered and sleep deprived, yet the proudest mum on the planet. Our son was home. Our new life as a family of three could begin. Reflection Back... read more

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