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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Beads and Blessings

By Anne Nicholson WeberWeb ExclusiveWhen my friend Sandra was pregnant with her second child, she had a blessingway instead of a baby shower. Eight of her closest women friends came together one afternoon, each with an offering for a birth altar: a fan (to symbolize opening), a candle shaped like an egg to burn during labor, stones and feathers and talismans of all sorts. Each woman spoke in turn, placing her offering in the center of our circle and explaining its meaning. Some brought poems or other readings. We ate good food, and Sandra told us she felt strengthened to... read more

Anatomy Of A Miracle

 By Sara Schley Web Exclusive “Birth has a purpose for the mother,” my friend, home-birth midwife, and teacher Terri Nash told me as I sat on her screen porch on a late summer morning, three months pregnant with twins, my feet in her lap. “It initiates her into the next phase of her spiritual development,” Terri continued. “For the deepening of her soul.” A few weeks ago Terri’s words would have made no sense. After five years of infertility treatments, I was finally pregnant. Forty-one-years-old, I was also more physically ill than I had ever been in my... read more

Revealing the Real Risks: Obstetrical Interventions and Maternal Mortality

By Marsden WagnerIssue 118, May/June 2003 Recently, a woman in Iowa was referred to a university hospital during childbirth because of possible complications. At the university hospital it was decided that a cesarean section should be done. After the cesarean section was completed and the woman was resting in her hospital room, she went into shock and died. An autopsy showed that, during the cesarean section, the surgeon had accidentally nicked the woman's aorta, the biggest artery in the body, which led to internal hemorrhage, shock, and death.1 A cesarean section can... read more

Historic Home Birth Consensus Summit releases statements

In late October, sixty-eight national and international experts gathered to discuss home birth at the Home Birth Consensus Summit, held in Warrenton, Virginia, an hour outside of Washington, D.C. Yesterday, the group released nine “statements of common ground around home birth and other controversies in maternity care.” The statements are available in full at http://homebirthsummit.org/. In addition to various health care professionals and home birth consumers, stakeholders at the summit included lawyers, policy makers, researchers and ethicists. Chair of... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Preparing the House for Homebirth

This is a good time to get everything together that you will need, if you plan to birth at home. In the first stages of labor you will have ample time to set it all up: A comfortable mattress if you plan to birth in the bed or a birthing tub for a waterbirth. A plastic sheet or shower curtain to place over the mattress to protect it. An old set of sheets that you don’t mind getting stained. Reusable (or if necessary, disposable) bed pads. You should be able to find disposable ones at a pharmacy or medical supply store but large prefold... read more

Third Time's the Charm

By Christina WypijewskaIssue 129 March - April 2005 After laboring at a birth center and in a car, this mom finally found her way to birthing at home. Every woman should have the opportunity to . . . give birth as she wishes in an environment in which she feels nurtured and secure, and her emotional well-being, privacy, and personal preferences are respected. —Coalition for Improving Maternity Services My water broke one sunny afternoon—a week before the due date for our third child. Not knowing quite what to expect, I realized that our family was about to... read more

Not in Kansas Anymore

By Emily Berns Web Exclusive "Please make underneath free," the nurse said, pointing to a semiprivate nook in the spotless, modern gynecology office. I looked around, locating a mirror and a hook for my clothes, but no hospital gowns. After a few moments of confusion, I realized this was no oversight on the nurse's part: There were no hospital gowns. Gritting my teeth, I emerged bottomless from the dressing area for my examination, feeling exposed and slightly ridiculous. Dimly I recognized that, to paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I was not in Kansas... read more

Portrait of a Tree, Taking Root

Portrait of a Tree, Taking Root by Emily Zebel Oct 18, 2011 I have never been known for my patience, and yet here I am, in waiting, in unbearable anticipation. It is the height of summer, late July, and it is early—I watch the horizon, watch the sun wobble towards the gate of the still-closed day and wait to see what sizzling pomp it will bring of another heat wave. My body aches, coupled with the weight of my moon belly and the umpteenth restless night spent on the futon in an attempt to find a comfortable sleeping position. Our first baby is now five days late.... read more

Solitary Sadness: The Need to Grieve Miscarriage

By Wendy PonteIssue 113 July/August 2002 Ten years ago I stood in a temple in the Kamakura district of Tokyo, staring at hundreds upon hundreds of gray Buddha statues. Ranging in size from around 4 to 12 inches, they lined walkways, went up steps, and edged paths. Some were adorned with beads and flowers or wore little hand-knit caps; others had bibs with cartoons and white, ruffled baby hats. They stood silently amid the rock arrangements and soft bamboo trees. Their sheer numbers were breathtaking. Later I learned that this temple was a place specifically... read more

Grace's Gift

By Sarah Bain Web Exclusive Tonight, my seven-year-old son, Carver, asked me to tell him the story of his birth while I was putting him to bed. It used to be a story I told him often when he was two, three, and four-years-old, but I realized when he asked me that I hadn't told any birth stories in a couple of years. Birthing stories had become too frightening for me, causing a lump in my throat and too many tears to surface. Carver had heard the story of his birth many times when he was little as well as the story of his sister's, Sophia's birth. It was his favorite... read more

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