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

76 pregnancy article submissions by the Mothering community.

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Labor Confidence

By Shannon K. Valenzuela, LCCE     I always tell my students that birth is 90% mental.  I don't know if they entirely believe me, but after having six babies of my own, I'm convinced that this is true.  You don't have to be a marathon runner or in peak physical shape to give birth, but if you're mentally unprepared for the demands of labor, birth is so much more difficult.  And if you want to give birth naturally, boosting your labor confidence is even more important.   With that in mind, try these five easy ways to enhance your mental preparation for labor... read more

Homebirth of a Grandfather

  By Kelley Powell   Today I’m proud to feature guest blogger Bert Powell, a.k.a. my dad. Normally my dad writes about motorcycle travel, but today he’s venturing off the highway and onto the rugged scenic route that is homebirth. In the span of only a generation, men’s role in childbirth has done a complete about face. As my dad tells below, he went from watching me be born on a closed circuit monitor in the hospital to being actively involved in the home births of 5 of his grandchildren (his other 3 grandchildren were born in the hospital). Here is his unique... read more

Honestly- Natural Birth ROCKS

Written by Mothering contributor Sarah Clark.   I know there is a lot of this mentality out there: "I'm OK.  You're OK.  There are no wrong choices, just choices.  Do what works for you." You are going to hate me, but that just isn't how my mind works.  I have a more black and white view of the world.  I know, so old fashioned, I still believe in right and wrong.  This isn't to say that I think I am better than somebody because I think I did the right thing and I think they did the wrong thing.  Quite the contrary.  I am fully aware of the FACT that I do... read more

Women Are Losing the Capacity to Give Birth

Breaking news from Michel Odent's conference on Birth & Primal Health Research*: data is clear that we humans are losing the capacity to give birth! How can that be? It is pure evolution in action: when we do not use certain functions of our physiology, the "message" to our always-changing bodymind system -- a message that becomes passed down to future generations through changes in DNA expression -- is, "That function is no longer needed."   Oxytocin: Liquid Peace  Oxytocin has been in the news lately, the hormone of love...the moral molecule..."liquid peace" I... read more

Maternity Center Questions

By Michelle CrouchWeb Exclusive - February 13, 2009 When I was expecting my first baby, the nurses who gave the hospital tour stressed how comfortable the hospital was with natural childbirth. Instead of asking specific questions about what that meant, I believed them. I should have known better. Though my labor was normal, the nurses would not unhook me from the fetal monitor to let me walk around the room to ease my contractions. They didn't have birthing balls or a squat bar available. At one point, they even tried to keep my doula out of the room. Despite those... read more

Natural Parenting Toolbox: Labor Supplies Checklist

Now is the time to stock up on things you might need during labor. If you are giving birth away from home you can begin to pack your suitcase. Here are things you might consider having handy at home, or packing up to take with you: A couple of your favorite nightgowns or long pajama tops. You can choose one that is made for nursing, if you prefer. Something comfortable for your feet such as slippers or socks, or maybe a pair of slipper socks with rubberized bottoms. Hot water bottles, heading pads, and icepacks. A tennis... read more

Body Wise: Breathing Exercises in Labor

There are three kinds of breathing exercises that you will want to practice during the last weeks of pregnancy and use during the first stage of labor. These are variations on the classic Lamaze-prepared childbirth breathing. The deep cleansing breath. This is a simple breath. Sit with your spine comfortably straight. Put your hands on your abdomen. Slowly inhale as you watch your belly rise. Slowly exhale. Let out a sound as you exhale. Use this deep cleansing breath at the beginning of each contraction to help focus you and then begin the chu-chu or moan-pant. The... read more

Planning for a Calm Birth

Photo by Christy Scherrer When you hear the words calm birth, do you picture a zen-like setting?  Do you imagine experiencing as little labor pain as possible or having a birth that follows a scripted plan? Ready for a surprise? Studies show that your confidence in yourself and your ability to make your own decisions about your care has a much greater impact on your birth experience than even how much labor pain you experience.  As birth doula Wendy Fowler, CD(DONA), says, Feeling in control and [being] part of the decision... read more

How Childbirth Went Industrial: A Deconstruction

By Henci GoerWeb Exclusive - November 27, 2006 “The trouble with people is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so.”-- Josh BillingsHenci Goer, author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, skewers a recent, ripe-for-the-deconstructing article in the New Yorker on the rise of cesarean sections. If you read Atul Gawande's article with mounting dismay, this brilliant, research-based riposte will leave you thoroughly restored. Gawande’s history of obstetrics begins with the premise that childbirth is a complicated, dangerous business... read more

Mothering the Mother

Mothering the Mother: The Importance of Postpartum Care by Rev. Pilar (Ma’at) GrantNov 02, 2011 What is the Postpartum Period? As a midwife, I have worked with pregnant mothers and their families for over twenty years. I myself am a mother of seven amazing and beautiful human beings. During this time, I have witnessed as well as experienced how women are almost forgotten after the birth of their babies.  Postpartum, also called the fourth trimester, puerperium and postnatal is recognized as the period just after birth and the subsequent six weeks that follow.... read more

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