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

76 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

Ina May Gaskin Reviews Groundbreaking Book, The Heart in the Womb

About The Heart in the Womb: An Exploration into the Roots of Human Love and Social Cohesion   Modern-day life and our highly stressed, “risk-averse” society has led to a medicalised, fearful model of childbirth, one that has stripped the process of its wondrous magic. In this groundbreaking book, consultant obstetrician Dr Amali Lokugamage discusses ways in which every woman can aim to give birth in the most natural, supportive way possible, and looks at the wider implications for society at large.    This book includes a foreword by Dr Luke Zander, founder of... read more

Untrue Assumptions About Homebirth

By Megan Leary   Out of all of my hippie ways, I surprisingly get the fewest inquiries as to why I decided to birth from home.  My theory is that people have already decided that homebirth is a bad thing and do not want to broach the topic in order to avoid awkwardness.  However, if you are one of these people I want you, most of all, to ask me about my decision.  If you have a hard time understanding why a mother might choose to homebirth, it is likely you are drawing conclusions about birthing at home from assumptions that are simply not true.    The most... read more

The Labor Box: Preparing For My Second Homebirth

By Megan Leary     A year and a half ago, I was 42 weeks pregnant with my first and I was walking around 9 centimeters dilated.  So, it should come as no surprise that when labor finally did come it only lasted three hours from the first contraction to meeting my darling girl.  I didn’t get to experience or put to use the knowledge I had acquired on how to manage a long and laborious labor.  This is not to say that I didn’t have any pain.  My labor came hard and fast and I had grueling all back labor for the totality of the three hours.  However, my preparations... read more

Birth Requires Work

    Sometimes it seems that everybody wants something for nothing. Free advice all over the internet just there for the taking.  Free information.  Free samples, free printers, free encyclopedias and even religions.  I hate to rain on the parade, but I don't think there is a such thing as something for nothing.  Sadly, on this one point, my hubby just might be right- "You get what you pay for." The recent reports of that gal Jessica Simpson and her elective c-section to "avoid" labor pain (this isn't about JS so please don't comment about her.  Hold... read more

New Study Shows Midwife-Led Birth Centers Improve Outcomes

Talk about your birth plans in our Birthing forums!   Just out from the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC):   As health care costs and the rate of cesarean births for expecting mothers have escalated over the past two decades in the United States, a new study released today shows that women who receive care at midwife-led birth centers incur lower medical costs and are less likely to have cesarean births compared to women who give birth at hospitals.   Conducted by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) and published in the most... read more

Empowering Intuition

By S.K. Valenzuela   I was teaching a baby care class the other week and we were discussing soothing strategies for newborns. I was taking them through a scenario and asked for a mom volunteer to demonstrate. I began, "Let's pretend your baby is crying in her bassinet. What's the first thing you would do to calm her?" The mom picked up her baby as the class echoed the suggestion. "Okay, excellent," I said. "Now let's say she doesn't stop crying. Can you think of something to try next?"   And then the most wonderful thing happened.   This mom sat there,... read more

Birth in 4012

Michael Stark, Jackie Chang, Jan Tritten, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Sarah Buckley, Peggy O'Mara, Sara Wickham, Lesley Page   A panel of some of the world's leading experts on birth shared the stage at the close of last month's Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health. Their assignment? Offer a vision of birth in 4012.   Here sitting at one table were such folks as Peggy O'Mara, Sarah Buckley, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Michel Odent and other heavy-hitters in the birth world -- including the president of the Royal College of Midwives, Lesley Page, and Michael... read more

Obstetric Lie #100- Failure To Progress

  (Contributed by Sarah Clark)   Failure to progress.   Oft named as a reason for cesarean. Oft mentioned to the supine mom in the hospital as she is encouraged to get her epidural and "relax". By the naysayers in the natural birth community, it is often renamed, Failure to be Patient or just, "Doc must leave to make his golf game."    Whatever it means to you, the term failure to progress is both powerful, disturbing, and strongly indicates not just lack of ability but complete and utter physical failure on the part of the mother. Personally, I would... read more

New Mama Survival Guide: Simple Tips for Going Natural

  The first book I ever read about pregnancy, birth, and babies was Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery.  I wasn't interested in becoming a midwife, and this was several years before I even thought of becoming a mother, but it looked interesting so I picked it up.  It rocked my world.  I had never thought of birth in such earthy terms; I had never considered mother-directed birth, and I definitely hadn't thought that birth could be pleasant or even pain-free!  I feel so fortunate to have discovered this book, discovered this whole world of thinking differently about... read more

Learning to Breathe Deeply

By Shannon Valenzuela   For better or worse, Lamaze has long had an association in people's minds with breathing -- the "ha-hee" patterned breathing in particular.  The Lamaze method is so much more than this, of course, and breathing strategies are just one of the coping tools taught in a typical Lamaze class.  But, as I always stress to my students, labor coping strategies aren't just for labor, they're for life.  And even though learning to breathe deeply is just one skill among many, it is by far my favorite -- and along with informed decision-making, I think... read more

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