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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Why It Was So Hard to Say Goodbye to My Midwife

  Birth Day is a momentous day in the life of a family. Even if the details of the birth become fuzzy over time, I will always remember certain things about the births of my two children. I can’t remember exactly how my contractions felt or how long I might have spent in the jacuzzi. I can’t remember all the positions I pushed in with my son. (I am pretty sure I pushed in every imaginable position over the three hours it took.) But I do remember feeling safe and honored and powerful and loved.   The memory of my daughter’s birth is less hazy; it was less than three... read more

Practical Principles for an Empowered Birth

As we reach hump day of Empowered Birth Awareness Week, how fitting that Step 4 of my Parenting for Peace roadmap is actually entitled "Empowered Birth"! The book is based on 7 principles, applied through 7 steps in time -- beginning pre-conception and going through adolescence. In honor of EBAW, here is a collection (in 2 parts) of practical ideas of how to engage each of the 7 Parenting for Peace principles in specific ways to up your odds of having an empowered birth. Principles for Empowered Birth: Part I Presence – I can think of few more potent opportunities to... read more

The Things You Should Never, EVER Say to Someone Experiencing Fertility Issues

  In the 3 years prior to conceiving my daughter, I spent 7 months on clomid, did what seemed like endless months of injections and ultrasounds through failed IUI’s and IVF’s, had 4 early miscarriages, and had 3 surgeries just months apart on my pelvic region. There were also complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, 4 ovarian cyst ruptures, one pregnancy/miscarriage I shockingly didn’t know about until I hemorrhaged badly the night before my second surgery, mysterious things growing inside of me… Sadly, I could go on and on. Each of the three surgeries... read more

Empowered Birth: What is YOUR Story?

My first birth didn't feel very empowered. My OB seemed distinctly uninterested in having an empowered birthing patient. I felt meek and under his power. I evolved, my power grew, I switched OBs, and by Baby #2, I had what felt like a very empowered birth. Details in a moment.   When a baby is born, a mother is born. Even if she already has children, each birth experience unfolds new facets of a woman's being, having to do with feeling powerful, capable, supported -- or helpless, incompetent, insignificant. These primal feelings will weave their way through her ongoing... read more

Has The Natural Birth Movement Become Too Obsessed With Moms' Rights?

               I consider myself a natural birth advocate.  I believe women have a right to choices in their care and in their birth.  The phrase, "All that matters is a healthy baby," is one that I find sadly dismissive of the experience of the mother.  I am often reminded of the tragedy that ensues for both the mother and her child when a woman is treated as though she doesn't matter and is merely a vehicle in the delivery of a child.   In reaction to this dismissal of the mother and her role in the birth process we have the modern natural birth movement.  We work... read more

My Road Through Infertility

                The year was 2006, and we had been trying to get pregnant for a couple of years, and unbeknownst to us at the time, we would still be trying for over a year before we would find success. My period was always irregular, but the doctor had put me on some medication, and it had helped me to ovulate at the same time each month for the previous three or four months. This was great news, but it made TTC much more difficult emotionally because I had a clear reminder each month that I was, indeed, not pregnant.   I woke up one day feeling awfully nauseous,... read more

The Power of Positive Birth Thoughts

I have no doubt that positive thinking and affirmations helped me achieve the two births I desired. They were med-free and very manageable, even enjoyable. My son was born in a birth center three years ago and we welcomed my daughter at home just two months ago. When I was pregnant with my first, I was a rabid consumer of pregnancy and birth-related information. I read  many books and watched many birth videos (always with tears in my eyes). I couldn’t wait for our childbirth class. I couldn’t wait to nurse. The best thing I did in my thirst for knowledge was to... read more

Induced Labor and Autism Risk

A new study linking labor induction to increased autism risk was this week's big birth story. This isn't about blame, or guilt. With new awareness comes an understandable tendency to veer in the direction of feeling angry, ashamed, and similar negatives that keep us stuck. With new awareness also comes power, which is worth us taking a deep breath, steadying ourselves, and taking our heads out of the sand about autism risk and how we do birth in America.   My colleagues like Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley have been writing about this concern for years, and I... read more

Bizarre Birthing Device from the Past

This bizarre birthing device was actually patented on Nov 9, 1965. Was it ever actually put into use? It certainly wouldn't have been the first time a strange and disturbing device or practice was used in the delivery room to "help" women have their babies.Yikes.   Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force                             Patent Description: The present invention relates to apparatus which utilizes centrifugal force to facilitate the birth of a child at less stress to the mother. It is known, that... read more

Just Because Someone Had A Bad Birth, Doesn't Mean Everybody Else Will

by Sarah Clark                   When women mention their plans for a natural birth, they are bound to hear a wide variety of responses.   “Oh, just you wait! You will be begging for that epidural!” “Well, I don't know why you would want that. I loved my c-section.” “Hmm...we'll see what you say when you actually are in labor.” “Well, I loved MY epidural.” “My induction went great! And I loved knowing just when my baby would arrive.”   Sadly, these words (that are frankly very put-downish in nature) are often uttered by those closest... read more

Mothering › Pregnancy Articles