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

568 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Health Changes to Make When You Are Pregnant

Part of this early time of celebration of your new pregnant state includes taking stock of your lifestyle. Are you living a life that is compatible with the growth of a new human being? Are there changes you need to make? Most women start by questioning their health practices. Many worry about what they may have done in the weeks just prior to finding out they were pregnant. It's important not to get too hung up on what you've done before this moment. You can't change the past, but you can start to take care of yourself and your baby now. It is best to approach this... read more

Belly Warming with Moxa

Moxa, or mugwort, is traditionally used to strengthen the mother’s overall system and tonify her uterus after birth. This hot-burning herb, commonly used as an accompaniment to acupuncture, can be purchased in stick form at health food stores. Light the moxa stick and blow on the tip until it starts to glow. Hold the moxa stick over your belly, 1 to 2 inches from your navel and slowly move it around in a circle.With your other hand, rub your belly to disperse the heat. After 5 to 10 minutes, stop and distinguish the moxa stick by cutting off the... read more

Homebirth at the Hospital

By Doula Giuditta Tornetta Web Exclusive Your question: I'd love to have a natural homebirth, but I feel safer in the hospital. What do you suggest I do to create a homebirth environment at the hospital? Will a doula help me at the hospital? Answers: Many people believe that doulas work with homebirths more than hospital births. Truth is 95 percent of the births I attend are at the hospital. In fact I'd say the majority of doulas work in hospitals, helping women have natural, home-like childbirth experiences. There are five steps to help you realize... read more

Cesarean Birth in a Culture of Fear

By Wendy PonteIssue 144, September/October 2007 When I tell someone I am working on a story about the escalating rate of cesarean sections in the US, it often leads to a conversation that goes something like this: "C-section rates are up to 50 percent or higher in some hospitals," I say. "Doctors often feel they must do a C-section to protect themselves from a malpractice suit. And many of them seem to feel that a C-section is actually better than vaginal birth. A lot of women are being given unnecessary surgery." "I had a C-section," my acquaintance will say. "But... read more

Attachment Parenting and the C-Section

By Catherine McTamaneyWeb Exclusive It never occurred to me that anything might go wrong. My partner and I had asked all the big questions as we got ready for the birth of our son. We'd prepared ourselves both physically and spiritually for what we expected to be a smooth, beautiful childbirth assisted by our midwife. It just never occurred to me that we would need anything besides each other to welcome our child into this world. Okay, okay. I can hear the knowing chuckling of mothers everywhere. Yes, we should have known better. But we didn't. We were... read more

An Interview with Unassisted Birth Advocate Laura Shanley

When we were researching unassisted childbirth before Baby Leone was born, I read Laura Shanley’s book, Unassisted Childbirth, from cover to cover, flagging pages for James to read as well. I borrowed the book from my friend Jenny (who’s pregnant with her fifth baby and probably wants it back). I dutifully returned all of Jenny’s other childbirth books right after the birth, but have held onto Unassisted Childbirth for an extra long time. It’s so full of wisdom and fascinating stories that I’ve found myself re-reading parts of it several times. So I’m... read more

Deadly Delivery: Amnesty International Demands Action to Improve US Maternal Health Care

March 13, 2010 In a press release dated March 12th, 2010, Amnesty International called for actions to improve maternal health care for American women. A recent report entitled "Deadly Delivery" from Amnesty International showed that the US ranks 41st in the world for a risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications. Amnesty International has outlined several key areas that need addressing, stating that as many at half of the maternal deaths in the US could have been prevented with improved maternal care. Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director,... read more

VBAC: First, Do No Harm

I just spent the first part of this week at the National Institutes of Health VBAC Conference in Bethesda, Maryland.  If you you’ve read a newspaper or listened to NPR in the past couple of days you may have read about the conference panel’s major finding: that the medical evidence suggests most mothers who have had a cesarean should be able to safely deliver their next baby vaginally. This is BIG news because, as most mothers who have had a c-section know, currently less than 10% of mothers in the United States are having VBACs (a severe decline from... read more

Blue and Black Cohosh

Along with raspberry leaves, blue and black cohosh have been used in later pregnancy for hundreds of years to prepare women’s bodies for childbirth. They are not safe to use during early pregnancy, but can be safely consumed in tea form during the last 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Like raspberry leaves, blue and black cohosh have both stimulating and relaxing properties which facilitate childbirth. Blue cohosh tones the uterus and promotes regular and effective contractions. Black cohosh is a powerful painkiller specifically for nerve and muscle pain.... read more

Home Alone: Giving Birth Unassisted

The United States reportedly spends more money on childbirth than any other nation, yet it has one of the world's worst records for infant mortality and maternal mortality. With modern medicine treating childbirth more like a medical illness than a natural event, and Cesarean birth at an all time high of 32% of all births, more and more women are making the choice to give birth at home. Yet, while most choose a midwife to attend their birth, a growing number of women are making the decision to birth at home without the assistance of a medical professional. Mothering... read more

Mothering › Pregnancy Articles