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

91 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Ten Must-Haves for Your Home Birth

  There’s a lot more to prepare when you are planning a home birth. It isn’t a matter of having your hospital bag packed. You need to have your space prepared.   I’ve created a list of things that I found helpful during my labor and delivery at home.   1. All supplies recommended by your midwife This is probably obvious. I ordered all my supplies from Precious Arrows. Look over the list, though. You may want more of some things, for example: those mesh panties that you can toss after you wear them. Some moms love them, others hate them. I loved them and was sad I... read more

The Lifelong Power of Birth Imprints

I cannot let Empowered Birth Awareness Week close without reflecting on the fact that birth leaves powerful lifelong imprints. Our empowerment lies in becoming aware of them and from understanding that these birth imprints are always available to be revised, renegotiated and healed. In a moment I will share for the first time ever the story of my son's birth imprint and its powerful healing.   Birth Imprints Birth is one of our most momentous embodied experiences. And even though we don’t consciously remember this huge event in our lives, each of us carries the story... read more

What to Buy Before Baby Arrives: 25 Truly Useful Items for Infant and Postpartum Care

  Recently a story about Baby Boxes given to new moms in Finland hit the news and struck a chord. The concept of one box packed full of everything a new mama needs for herself and baby is a great one and we wondered -- what would Mothering mamas put in such a box? What would really be useful to a new parent?    So we went ahead and asked our readers and here are the results -- the ultimate Mothering baby box packed full of helpful, safe and natural items to grab before the little one arrives!   Clothes and Baby Care   Under... read more

More Principles for an Empowered Birth

I believe that all women, consciously or not, participate in a collective knowing about the empowerment we might claim in birthing our babies. But instead of empowered birth, as birth anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd has so thoroughly researched, the majority of women have a birth experience that is demoralizing and dispiriting. And that gets parenting off to a less-than-peaceful start!   So to add to the first batch, to further enrich Empowered Birth Awareness Week, here are yet more ways to engage Parenting for Peace principles to up your odds of having an empowered... read more

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

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

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

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

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