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Pregnancy

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

569 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Cravings During Pregnancy

I’ve read that cravings can start as soon as you’re pregnant, as soon as you conceive, in fact. I’ve also read that they don’t start some two or three weeks after conception, or even four, eight weeks-then again, maybe not at all. Of course, I’m no expert. I suppose it all depends on the individual. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I remember having a massive craving for pickled eggs. I would consume them by the quart jar. I had it made, because this woman I worked with previously, canned and preserved her own produce-including those pickled eggs.... read more

Childbirth Secret #1: The Baby is Not Coming Out of Your Butt

“Birth” in Boston, Massachusetts, 2007   If you’re a mom with young kids any mention of bodily parts and their sounds – butt farts, mouth burps – has the potential to produce roars of laughter that could be heard on a boat off the Swahili coast of Lamu. In 2005 when I wrote my play “Birth”, a portrait of how low-risk mothers are giving birth in America today, the cesarean rate was 25% and rising. Not hugely uplifting material to present to an audience. I needed a laugh desperately. And that’s when I met a mother who gave me playwright... read more

Got Loving-Kindness to Share?

I took a Mindfulness Birthing class during my first pregnancy. On the last day, our teacher guided us through a Metta Meditation, cultivating loving-kindness towards ourselves and our babies-to-be. Our teacher had us repeat intentions including, “May my baby be healthy,” “May my delivery be safe,” and “May my baby be happy.”   In the spirit of the New Year, I invite you to participate in a collective moment of compassionate meditation. Feel free to add sentences in the comments sections.   May my baby be healthy.   May my baby be safe.   May my baby be... read more

The Nature of Natural Birth

By Laura Alvarez Laura Alvarez from Wisconsin is the second place winner of the Birth Matters Virgina video contest. Critiques include: “Very sweet birth video - and of course we love the song and used it in the Business of Being Born!”—Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein “Gorgous photos of homebirth, nicely balanced with information. Well done!”—Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD “Amazing editing. Very professional. This film isn’t afraid to show birth as it really is.” “Lovely. Powerful. Very sweet.” “I think the whole room was tearing up by the end of this one!” “So sweet and... read more

Home Safe Home: A VBAC - My Way

By Rachel GathercoleIssue 110, January-February 2002 When I tell people I had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and did it at home, they are often incredulous. "Is that safe?" they ask. "Did they know you'd had a cesarean before?" Perhaps in their minds they ask other questions: "What kind of quack let you do that?" "Are you crazy?" The truth is that many women have had home VBACs. And, although some people believe that we sacrificed safety to have our babies at home, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I believe that being at home actually made my... read more

Don't Take a Childbirth Class Unless You Know Who's Really Paying the Instructor

In the last post here at Mothering Outside the Lines we were talking about how to have an empowered labor and delivery. You might have noticed that I did not suggest taking a childbirth class to prepare. In her book, Misconceptions, Naomi Wolf writes about how many childbirth instructors are actually employed by hospitals. If they aren’t being paid directly (as many of them are), they are getting their clients through hospital referrals. Instead of giving true information and really empowering first-time moms, these instructors are often... read more

How to Have an Empowered Birth; or the Second Longest Post in the History of this Blog

In December I visited a labor and delivery ward at a prominent hospital in Boston. There were four women in active labor while I was there. They were all young and healthy with no risk factors of any kind. Three were having their first baby. One was having her second. One was a vaginal forceps delivery after the woman was given an epidural and pitocin (a synthetic hormone that mimics oxytocin and is used to intensify contractions) and had spent most of the labor and two hours pushing flat on her back, one was a vaginal delivery with a second... read more

The Epidemic of Unnecessary C-Sections

In my last post here at Mothering Outside the Lines I wrote about an amazing mom who decided to have a home birth to avoid a fourth C-section. I emailed Aneka’s story to my friend Denise who still has angry, unresolved feelings about a second C-section. Denise was fully dilated and pushing when the doctor told her there was “no way” the baby would be able to slip under her pubic bone. Any birthing woman is incredibly vulnerable. Her senses are heightened. She looks to those around her for support and love and encouragement. What if that doctor... read more

A Mom Says "No Way" to C-Section Number Four

  The safest way for a baby to be born is vaginally but the C-section rate in this country is skyrocketing. American women are starting to protest. If doctors don't let them do VBACs in the hospital, they're choosing to have their babies at home instead. Last week we were talking about nursing past three and I’ve been reading through all of the comments now that Baby Leone and I are back from a hectic week in Boston. Thank you to those who weighed in on extended nursing. I’ve been fascinated to read the discussion that series started and I’m inspired... read more

The Amazing Placenta

By Sarah J. Buckley, MDIssue 131, July/August 2005 Jacob's conception was unexpected, and unknown to us for several weeks. We'd been on holiday in Tasmania, Australia's small "south island," and on the ferry trip home had carried not only Emma (four years) and Zoe (one year), but also their brother-to-be—a tiny mass of cells barely a week from conception. As I slept fitfully on my bunk, Jacob's blastocyst, looking like a tiny blackberry just 2 millimeters in diameter, had already rolled down one of my fallopian tubes and was busy burrowing into the dark, thick lining of... read more

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