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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Becoming A Doula

A doula is a trained woman who provides physical, emotional and informational support to families during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.   How does one become a doula? A first step is to read books about birth and doula work. Some titles to start with are:   The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin The Doula Book by Marshall Klaus The Doula Advantage by Rachel Gurevich   If you are still thinking of becoming a doula, you would then look into the different doula training organizations. Some of these... read more

Nothing Fits!

What to wear becomes an issue for many women almost right away. You may find that many of your closer-fitting clothes don’t work anymore or are just plain uncomfortable. Most maternity clothes are created for women who are in their second trimester, at the earliest. This leaves some women in a real “I’ve got nothing to wear!” bind.In the past, maternity clothes tended to be quite expensive and often were not very fashionable. In recent years, this has changed. Many of the bigger name stores now offer maternity lines, and most of these offer online shopping. Most give... read more

Breast Preparation

  Experts disagree about the need to condition your nipples for breastfeeding, and most women do just fine without any preparation, but if you decide to try it -  here are some suggestions. Rub your nipples with a clean, dry washcloth from time to time during pregnancy to toughen them. Gently pinch your nipples and extend them out. Use a breast massage oi, like the one found below, that can soothe your changing breasts and soften your nipples if you feel they are getting sore. Breast Massage Oil 2 teaspoons sweet almond or grapeseed oil 1 drop rose essential... read more

Natural Childbirth in the Hospital: Is It possible?

By Christina Erl-Daniels Web Exclusive When I went into labour three months ago with my firstborn I was ready for a battle. I had heard the horror stories: women shackled down to foetal heart monitors in the hospital bed, psychologically coerced into having epidurals, abandoned by their obstetricians as an advocate, separated from their partners, and threatened by medical staff and social workers when they attempted to follow through on their intervention-free birth plans. The only midwife in our town didn't have space for me - I was devastated. I wanted a natural... read more

Building a Healthy Lifestyle

By Cynthia Mosher Steps Toward a Healthy Lifestyle Here is a four-point plan that can get you started and lay a foundation for phasing out substances and habits that could harm your baby:   Commit Yourself 100 percent: Pick a day to start: it may be tomorrow, or another day. Muster up all your determination. Most of all, be prepared to spend some concentrated time and energy on making this change. If it helps, try to adopt a “one day at a time” mindset. Evaluate Yourself Honestly: Exactly how much do you smoke or drink right now? What factors trigger the ... read more

After a Miscarriage

Carrying On After a Miscarriage By Lisa Schrader Web Exclusive I was eleven weeks pregnant when I miscarried, just about the time when experts agree that your pregnancy is "safe" and you can spread the good news. I'd already done that. I don't do well with delayed gratification. Besides, things like that didn't happen to me. After I "lost the baby" (a phrase that reminded me of the nightmares I'd had during my first pregnancy, about forgetting the baby in grocery carts or at the mall), I learned how common this experience is. One in every four pregnancies... read more

Taking Charge of a Hospital Birth: Altars, Tapestries & Tunes, Oh My!

Birth Altar set up on hospital metal tray with a sheet & a scarf Hi Friends, I had homebirths with my first two children and then, unexpectedly, found myself in need of a hospital for the birth of my third child. (Cholestasis of Pregnancy, a failure of the liver to remove toxins which can cause the placenta to collapse, especially at the end of pregnancy, thereby necessitating an induction of labor.) I entered the hospital having had two prior unmedicated five-hour homebirths, one of which was unassisted until the last two hours. I knew from... read more

ICTC Trains Black Doulas Nationwide

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) continues their unique Full Circle Doula Training Program nationwide.  This program is grounded in the legacy of the African America midwife and public health, and its’ commitment to empower women of color in an increased effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality and increase positive birth outcomes in the black community. Since 2007 ICTC has trained over 300 doulas, 85% being women of color. They have continued their trainings since; strengthening the number of black doulas and doulas of... read more

Finally A Company That Makes Maternity Clothes For Mothers Of Multiples

  In response to many forum member's questions regarding maternity clothes that fit moms of multiples, I wanted to let you know of an option I found.   I gave birth to boy/girl twins in September and I bought maternity clothes from formultiples.com.  It was the only company I could find that offered maternity clothes for mothers of multiples.    I was HUGE so I was not sure they would fit.  They fit great.  I was almost 50" around the belly when I delivered at 37 weeks. The pants covered my belly without cutting into me and the shirt had plenty of room in the... read more

Womb: The First School

The Womb: A Child's First School By Thomas R. Verny with Pamela Weintraub  Issue 132, September/October 2005 From Tomorrow's Baby by Thomas R. Verny, MD, with Pamela Weintraub. Copyright 2002 by Thomas R. Verny and Pamela Weintraub. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York. Where do we first experience the nascent emotions of love, rejection, anxiety, and joy? In the first school we ever attend—in our mother's womb. Naturally, the student brings into this situation certain genetic endowments: intelligence, talents, and preferences. However, the... read more

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