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Pregnancy

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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Natural Parenting Toolbox: How to Find a Doula

  Contact one of the following certification groups:Doulas of North America (DONA)BirthworksAssociation of Labor Asssistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE)International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) Check with local childbirth educators Look at bulletin boards in local pediatricians' offices Get a referral from a friend who has recently given birth and who has used a doula Ask your midwife or obstetrician Call local birth centers Go to a La Leche League meeting and ask members for referrals read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Finding a Breastfeeding-Friendly Birth Setting

Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding Research has shown that information and support are essential to successful breastfeeding. While it is likely that midwives at home and in birth centers will recommend and support breastfeeding, if you are giving birth at a hospital, look for one that is breastfeeding friendly. An international health initiative, The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), will help you to recognize such hospitals and birth centers. To be certified by BFHI, a facility must follow the Ten Steps to Successful... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Preparing Siblings for Childbirth

  There are many things you can do to prepare your children for both pregnancy and for the birth itself: Share children’s books and videos about childbirth and becoming a big sister or brother. If you have been struggling with fatigue or nausea, reassure your child that you are okay and that this is temporary. Explain that you may not be able to give him as much time and attention as you would like to because you aren’t feeling well. Make sure that he gets attention at other times, or ... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Birth Inventory Questions

Answer each question as truthfully as you can. You need not be concerned about accuracy. Remember, there are no right answers – only what is true for you. Give three answers for each question. It may be helpful to do this exercise with your partner, or with another friend who is pregnant. What do you believe about your own personal birth (not your child’s)? What does your mother believe about your birth? What does your father believe about your birth? What do you believe about women? What does your mother believe... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Postpartum Warning Signs

Your birth attendant will check on you several times during the postpartum period and your doula will help you to understand what is normal. Here are some warning signs that indicate you should contact your birth attendant right away. You soak more than two pads in a half hour or four pads in four hours. You have any bright, red bleeding after the fourth day postpartum. Your lochia has a strong, unpleasant odor. You have a fever of over 101 degrees (aside from the first 24 hours after birth). Your breasts are red, hot... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Perineal Healing Tips

  Sit on a doughnut or half-moon shaped pillow to avoid placing more pressure on the area. Apply an ice pack to the area as often as you like. Leave it on for no more than 20 minutes at a time and take a break of at least 20 minutes between using the ice. Prepare a soothing sitz bath. Run warm water until the bath is just deep enough to cover your hip bones. Many women find a sitz bath several times a day more convenient than a full bath. Add 3 drops lavender essential oil and 3 drops cypress oil, and mix ... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Reasons to Have a Homebirth

A homebirth is defined as any birth which does not take place in a facility, such as a birth center or hospital. It doesn’t actually have to be your home, it could be your parents’ or your best friend’s. Reasons To Choose Homebirth It is the birthing environment you will have the most control over. In your own home you have the best shot at deciding what visual elements, sounds, smells and faces will surround you when your baby is born. You can lower the lights, play Reggae music, or invite anyone you want to have around you to attend, if you like. Women who give... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Questions to Ask Birth Attendants at Home

What is your emergency procedure? Under what circumstances do you transport to the hospital? What hospital back-up or doctor back-up do you use or recommend? Are you trained in CPR? What emergency drugs do you have on hand, and for what purposes? What emergencies have you handled? What equipment and supplies do you bring to a birth? What is the procedure for checking progress during labor? blood pressure? fetal heart rate? Do you have preferences for position at birth? How do you feel about having older children attend the birth? Is a newborn exam done at... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: 10 Steps of Mother-Friendly Care

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) was formed in 1996. It is made up of midwives, physicians, hospital associations, public health workers, doulas, scientists, and many others. As a group they meet to review scientific reports and make recommendations for evidence-based obstetric practices in birth centers and hospitals.   To qualify for CIMS designation, a birth center, hospital, or home birth service must fulfill these Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care: 1. Offers all birthing mothers unrestricted access to: birth companions of her choice,... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Reasons to Choose/Not to Choose a Hospital Birth

Hospitals are where most births have taken place in recent years. Teaching hospitals are somewhat less expensive than other hospitals because you, the patient, are providing students with a living example of what they need to know to become doctors and nurses. Reasons To Choose A Teaching/Large Hospital You are a high-risk patient. You are most likely to need access to the latest medical technology that a teaching hospital has to offer. Your midwife attends births in a hospital and you prefer to use her for the birth over anyone else. Having a midwife-supervised... read more

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