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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Another Strike Against C-Sections

A Team of Doctor Perform a C-section (the doctors are huddled around the woman's abdomen working to extract the baby, the mom's view is blocked by the blue barrier sheet) I was at my friend A.’s birth two years ago. After laboring all day and well into the night, A. was getting exhausted. The fetal monitor showed that the baby’s heart beat was dropping during contractions and the labor nurses, who called the doctor (she was at home sleeping), were starting to act worried. The doctor made the call: A. needed an “emergency” C-section. The... read more

The Birth of Kai

By Lisa LimIssue 97, November/December 1999 Our second child, a boy, was born on a Saturday afternoon last fall. The sky was blue, a gentle breeze rustled the leaves, and the clouds floated along as I labored. The midwife arrived at our home at 2:30 p.m. I was dilated 2.5 centimeters, very excited, and a little scared. We went for a long walk in the neighborhood, and in a little over two hours, at 4:49 p.m., Kai James Lim was born in our living room. His eyes were a dark blue, his hair tinged with red, and he weighed a bouncing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. I chose to stay in... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Certain essential oils are best avoided while expecting, for both external and internal use. They include: Basil Cinnamon bark Clove Hyssop Marjoram Myrrh Origanum (oregano) Pennyroyal Savory Thyme Wintergreen Sage read more

Labor Music

By Robert Thacher (a.k.a. fat bobby)Web Exclusive - November 24, 2007 My wife Erica went into labor with our first child, at 11:30 PM on a Friday night. We were exhausted when her labor began, and fortunately we had no inkling that her labor would last for 25 hours. As neophyte expectant parents, we were at once overprepared and hapless; we brought what seemed like trunkloads of extraneous items with us to the hospital, including books, playing cards, massage oil—and all would go unused. The one invaluable accoutrement that we brought, however, was an iPod seeded with... read more

Off Her Back

By Cynthia OvergardIssue 145, November/December 2007 The summer I learned I was pregnant, the notion of making a commitment to natural delivery in a birth center—without doctors or pain relief of any kind on the premises—was furthest from my mind. Like many other newly pregnant women, I reluctantly envisioned my hospital birth to mirror that of every other actual and fictitious birth I had ever heard about: Agonized and disoriented, I would be rushed urgently into a medical scene amid bright lights, confusing equipment, and an assortment of intense, unfamiliar faces. I... read more

Third Trimester Concerns

Third Trimester Common Concerns Trouble with sleep: One of the most common problems for women in their third trimester of pregnancy is sleep, or lack of it, to be precise. It is reported that fully 97 percent of pregnant women fail to sleep through the night, according to researchers at St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania. Your sleep positions have probably become limited to lying on your sides. The baby’s movements might wake you up, or you might feel pressure on your bladder, causing you to use the bathroom more frequently.Try these ideas: Try to get a little... read more

Caretakers of Homebirth: Doctors Who Come to You

By Wendy Correa Issue 112 May/June 2002 On a bright May morning, 17-year-old Matthew Smith and his 15-year-old sister Emily watched their mother, Elaine, give birth to their baby sister Katherine. Until the early 20th century, this would have been a very common family event in rural America. But this was 1993, in Chicago, and the setting was not a hospital but the Smiths' own home.  Matthew and Emily themselves were born in hospitals. Both births had been induced with pitocin; for Emily's birth, Elaine was flat on her back, feet in stirrups, attached to a myriad of... read more

Juicy Labor

By Esty SchachterWeb Exclusive - June 2007 "Do you want some juice?" My baby may have been on his way out, but the hospital staff was offering me refreshments. I was in labor, in one of many triage rooms in a Boston city hospital, about to give birth to my second son. I had spent the day walking around our apartment building with my husband, Jon, contractions coming and going with no real pattern. When my water broke and I could no longer speak in full sentences, the doctor on call for my practice told me that I might as well come in, but he sounded unconvinced. The... read more

Medical Indications for Inducing Labor

Medical indications for inducing labor may include, but are not limited to, the following conditions in either mother or baby: High blood pressure Premature rupture of the membranes Maternal infection or medical problems, such as diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, or chronic pulmonary disease Suspected fetal jeopardy Fetal death Severe blood incompatibility Severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia Postdate pregnancy, where there is a proven danger to the baby Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists read more

In Praise of Telling Too Soon

By Katie SilbermanWeb Exclusive, January 28, 2008 That thing they warn you about: it happened to me. I got pregnant. I was thrilled. I told a bunch of family and friends—and then I lost the baby in my second month. I had to untell a whole lot of people. That story was swirling around in my head. You know the one. The one "They" always say about how you're "not supposed to tell people too soon." I always hated that one. I hated it when my sister would whisper that her friends were pregnant, and then warn me, "...they're not telling people yet." It seemed so negative and... read more

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