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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.

Make Time for Exercise

  Early pregnancy is an excellent time to start a regular exercise program that fits in with your changing body and energy levels. Movement is good for your health and for your baby’s health, of course. Exercise is known to facilitate digestion, improve your mental outlook, and help individuals avoid depression.     Exercise can also help you to get to know your body. Merely taking time out for yourself to exercise can enhance your self-worth. Focusing on yourself through movement will help you to understand the language of your body. You might discover areas that are... read more

Breast Preparation

  Experts disagree about the need to condition your nipples for breastfeeding, and most women do just fine without any preparation, but if you decide to try it -  here are some suggestions. Rub your nipples with a clean, dry washcloth from time to time during pregnancy to toughen them. Gently pinch your nipples and extend them out. Use a breast massage oi, like the one found below, that can soothe your changing breasts and soften your nipples if you feel they are getting sore. Breast Massage Oil 2 teaspoons sweet almond or grapeseed oil 1 drop rose essential... read more

Audio: Childbirth Teleseminar with Karen Brody

Subscribe here to have Mothering's newest audio content delivered to you as it is published. Please enjoy this teleseminar on childbirth by BOLD founder Karen Brody. And don't miss Karen's Mothering Community birth course for a unique chance to discover support and information on your birth journey. Karen Brody is a mother of two boys, born in 1999 and 2001. In 2005 she wrote a documentary-style play called Birth, offering a portrait of how low-risk mothers are giving birth in America. As a consequence of Birth Brody founded BOLD, a global movement inspiring... read more

Fighting VBAC-Lash: Critiquing Current Research

By Jill MacCorkleIssue 110, January/February 2002 For updated information about ACOG's stance on VBACs read "ACOG Recommends Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) as Safe and Appropriate," July 23, 2010. The July 5, 2001, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contained a study by Mona Lydon-Rochelle et al.1 and an accompanying editorial by Michael F. Greene, MD,2 which together generated much media attention and discussion of the risks of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Although the study actually contains little new or groundbreaking information and relies... read more

Home Safe Home: A VBAC - My Way

By Rachel GathercoleIssue 110, January-February 2002 When I tell people I had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and did it at home, they are often incredulous. "Is that safe?" they ask. "Did they know you'd had a cesarean before?" Perhaps in their minds they ask other questions: "What kind of quack let you do that?" "Are you crazy?" The truth is that many women have had home VBACs. And, although some people believe that we sacrificed safety to have our babies at home, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I believe that being at home actually made my... read more

Mommy Lit and Medicalized Birth

By Joanne RendellWeb Exclusive - September 22, 2008 Over the last few years, the publishing industry has given birth to a new genre: mommy lit. Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes, Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic and Baby, Jane Green's Babyville, Emily Giffin's Something Blue, and Risa Green's Notes from the Underbelly (to name a few) have arrived in bookstores with their glossy covers and tales of pregnancy and contemporary motherhood. Whether the authors like it or not, their books have been given the moniker mommy lit—usually by reviewers who see such works as an... read more

The First Stage of Labor

Once you are having regular contractions, you are considered to be in true (or active) labor. The duration and distance between contractions will differ from labor to labor, but they may be around 5 minutes apart or less. You cervix will, at this point, probably be dilated to about 3 or 4 centimeters. You are entering the first stage of labor. The first stage of labor continues until it is time to push the baby out, which is the second stage of labor.Throughout history, women have given birth in upright postures: sitting, standing, and mostly squatting. We know this is... read more

Easing Tension and Fear in Natural Childbirth by Understanding Sphincter Law: A Conversation with Ina May Gaskin

By Erika-Marie S. Geiss According to the December 2007 report "Births, Preliminary Data for 2006" issued by the National Vital Statistics System at the Centers for Disease Control: "The cesarean delivery rate in the United States increased in 2006 to over 31 percent, a new record high and further evidence pointing towards a nationwide change in obstetric practices. The cesarean rate has increased more than 50 percent over the past decade." Among the mitigating factors for planned or scheduled caesarean deliveries are multiple births, obesity, and other health... read more

Birth Art as Part of Your Birth Preparation

By Kathryn Valdal FourieWeb Exclusive - June 12, 2006 While this might be a little known subject in most birthing circles, birth art has been used for centuries: to honor the mother and her transformation, to help women confront their fears with creative energy, and to help enrich the birth process by tapping deep inner resources. Today, you can create and explore your own birth art to do the same. Whether through drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, dancing or singing, your birth art can help you understand how you envision birth at the deepest level. Like dreams,... read more

Together

By Susan Yoder Ackerman Web Exclusive The blizzard howled as if it wanted to strip the tin roof from our log house. "Here, Robby darling, take this aspirin," I whispered, trying to hold my bathrobe closed across my pregnant belly. My husband turned to glare at me, his breath coming in short, rasping gasps. Let me wake up from this nightmare, I thought. This stranger is not my husband. He rolled the pills around on his fingertips, then swallowed them and slipped back into fevered sleep. I crawled under the covers beside him, but there was no sleep for me. All that... read more

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