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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Birth in 4012

Michael Stark, Jackie Chang, Jan Tritten, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Sarah Buckley, Peggy O'Mara, Sara Wickham, Lesley Page   A panel of some of the world's leading experts on birth shared the stage at the close of last month's Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health. Their assignment? Offer a vision of birth in 4012.   Here sitting at one table were such folks as Peggy O'Mara, Sarah Buckley, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Michel Odent and other heavy-hitters in the birth world -- including the president of the Royal College of Midwives, Lesley Page, and Michael... read more

Obstetric Lie #100- Failure To Progress

  (Contributed by Sarah Clark)   Failure to progress.   Oft named as a reason for cesarean. Oft mentioned to the supine mom in the hospital as she is encouraged to get her epidural and "relax". By the naysayers in the natural birth community, it is often renamed, Failure to be Patient or just, "Doc must leave to make his golf game."    Whatever it means to you, the term failure to progress is both powerful, disturbing, and strongly indicates not just lack of ability but complete and utter physical failure on the part of the mother. Personally, I would... read more

Angry Parents

No, Angry Parents isn't the latest game application for your smartphone, it's one of the biggest challenges we face when raising children! When we find ourselves as angry parents, it shifts the entire connection dynamic with our kids, and within ourselves. It isn't a place we want to be, as totally understandable as it is. There are tools that can help us develop more mastery over our own anger, and create more ease and confidence in our parenting.   It is helpful to keep in mind that most of the time, anger is simply a disguise for another feeling. A somewhat... read more

Navigating Stress in Pregnancy

The brain development needed to equip an individual with the kinds of qualities needed for peace and prosperity -- self-regulation, creative innovation, mental flexibility, robust will -- begins during pregnancy, and it isn’t just diet and lifestyle choices that influence it. A pregnant woman’s thoughts and moods have a significant impact upon the brain development of her baby in the womb. Stress in pregnancy is associated with a daunting list of bad outcomes, but some basic "perception hygiene" can help pregnant moms navigate this reality.   While I’m confident... read more

Preventing Prematurity Early: The Stress Connection

It is good news that the rate of premature birth is down in the U.S. by about 1% from its 2006 high of 12.8%. It is bad news that one out of eight babies born in America (11.7%) is born too soon. With World Prematurity Awareness Day tomorrow, there is a flurry of coverage of the Lancet's report about five proven strategies to reduce preterm birth. But nowhere is there mention of the solid research about preventing prematurity early in pregnancy!   Curt Sandman's lab has been funded for over thirty years by NIH (National Institutes of Health) to study the effects... read more

Choosing a Place to Give Birth

Why choose the birth setting before even deciding if you want to have a midwife or a doctor? Studies have shown that a feeling of comfort and safety in your surroundings might be the biggest contribution to a smooth labor—and the best way to reduce the need for medical interventions. Which birth environment is safest? Surprisingly, homebirths, births in birthing centers and hospital births are comparably safe. Recent studies show definitively that there is no improvement in outcome, for mother or baby, in hospital births as compared to those that happen at home... read more

New Mama Survival Guide: Simple Tips for Going Natural

  The first book I ever read about pregnancy, birth, and babies was Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery.  I wasn't interested in becoming a midwife, and this was several years before I even thought of becoming a mother, but it looked interesting so I picked it up.  It rocked my world.  I had never thought of birth in such earthy terms; I had never considered mother-directed birth, and I definitely hadn't thought that birth could be pleasant or even pain-free!  I feel so fortunate to have discovered this book, discovered this whole world of thinking differently about... read more

Learning to Breathe Deeply

By Shannon Valenzuela   For better or worse, Lamaze has long had an association in people's minds with breathing -- the "ha-hee" patterned breathing in particular.  The Lamaze method is so much more than this, of course, and breathing strategies are just one of the coping tools taught in a typical Lamaze class.  But, as I always stress to my students, labor coping strategies aren't just for labor, they're for life.  And even though learning to breathe deeply is just one skill among many, it is by far my favorite -- and along with informed decision-making, I think... read more

Unique Baby Names: 30 Unusual Suggestions to Spark the Imagination

Boys   Aquila eagle Latin   Duarte wealthy guardian Portuguese   Elsu flying falcon Native American   Faolan wolf Irish   Gaagii raven Native American   Lywanu growling... read more

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Labor Confidence

By Shannon K. Valenzuela, LCCE     I always tell my students that birth is 90% mental.  I don't know if they entirely believe me, but after having six babies of my own, I'm convinced that this is true.  You don't have to be a marathon runner or in peak physical shape to give birth, but if you're mentally unprepared for the demands of labor, birth is so much more difficult.  And if you want to give birth naturally, boosting your labor confidence is even more important.   With that in mind, try these five easy ways to enhance your mental preparation for labor... read more

Mothering › Pregnancy Articles