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Workshop #1 - Preconception, Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, and Midwifery - Page 5

post #81 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by editmom View Post
Wow Julie, I am glad you stayed and I am very sorry you had such a difficult birth. I am glad you have a wonderful son.
Thank you! Writing it out has really helped me deal with it. I had never written it out before. Oddly it has made me very grateful for the nursing relationship I have with Paul. While his birth is some I don't like to look back on, nursing has gone wonderful.

Julie
post #82 of 93
I grew up hearing the tragic story of my mother's experience birthing my older sister. It was 41 years ago, and my mother had an undiscovered case of complete placenta previa. When she was 36 weeks, she thought she felt her water break, only to look down and see that she was standing in a pool of blood. She was rushed to the hospital where they performed an emergency c-section, both my mother and my sister died, and both were resuscitated and brought back to life. So of course when my mom got pregnant with me 11 years later, she had a planned c-section, and the same when she had my younger sister as well. I carried this fear of birth with me for such a long time. And when my older sister invited me to attend the birth of her third son in the hospital when I was 20 years old I was excited to be a part of it. She had never had her labor start spontaneously with any of her three children, she was always induced. She had really wanted a natural birth for this birth experience and had even picked out a hospital and OB that were very natural birth friendly, with birthing rooms that looked like they could be and actual bedroom in someone's home, with dim lights and couches and paintings on the wall, etc. I remember her walking the halls in her gown rolling the IV along with her. She was quite upset to have to be on pitocin once again. But she was quite adimant about her decision to not use any drugs for pain. That was, until the pitocin had to be cranked up all the way and her contractions were coming on top of one another and she was crying for pain medication. Once she had the epidural, I had to help hold her leg as she pushed. I remember the nurses counting for her and the chaos and commotion going on around her with doctors yelling orders, nurses ordering her when to push and when to stop and when to breathe. It was such an amazing thing to see that tuft of dark brown hair on the squished head start to emerge. And when his head was born and I stared at his precious face all perfect and squished, I felt so proud of her. But all along I knew that all of this commotion was unnecessary. I knew there had to be another way. And then I found out I was pregnant at the ripe old age of 20. I found some information about midwives online and I knew that was the way to go. I lost my baby when I was only 5 weeks pregnant. Six years later, I became pregnant again and right away I started researching my possibilities. There was an amazing woman who worked with my husband who was around 20 weeks pregnant at the time and she told me of her plans of a homebirth with a local midwife. I hadn't really considered a homebirth before then, but I made an appt to meet with the midwife a few days later and fell completely in love with her. I knew that this was the right way to have my baby. I gave birth to my 9 pound six ounce 21 1/2 inch baby girl after a whopping 37 hours in labor at home. There were quite a few people there at my birth and I think part of me never really let myself go completely and that is why it took so long. Fast forward 23 months later I was in labor with my second baby girl. But this time, everyone knew to leave me alone. That's what I needed, and what I knew I needed from the moment I found out I was pregnant again. I envisioned myself laying in my birthing tub, listening to soft music, next to my birth alter, completely unaware of anything around me, 100% focused on my body and my baby. It really was an amazing experience, I welcomed each contraction and imagined the tightening of my uterus bringing my baby closer and closer to me. No one even knew I was in transition, except for the fact that I threw up twice in a bowl, I was completely silent and motionless. And then I felt that I needed to change positions, I got on my knees and was shocked when with the next contraction my body forced me to push with all of my might. I startled my midwife who had just come in to check up on me, neither one of us could believe how strongly the pushing contraction came. And 14 minutes later after 6 hours of labor, I had my 11 pound 23 inch giant baby girl. I think that part of my reasoning behind choosing homebirth was to completely wipe out all of the fear and negetivity that surrounded the idea of pregnancy and childbirth that I had held inside of me since the first time I hear the tragic story of my mother and my sister's birth story.
post #83 of 93
I was 19 when I had Stephanie. In a hospital, they gave me demerol without asking me if I wanted it, made her father put on scrubs which I thought was an odd thing to do. I didn't think the demerol really did much and they kept asking me if I wanted an epidural. When they told me what it was...I was like "No way are you people shoving a needle into my back." With her I escaped induction by 3 days. She weighed 7 lbs 2 and 1/2 oz. I didn't know for a long time why the great big huge fat nurse was laying on me while I was trying to push her out.
With Michael, I was walking in the store and realized I was in labor. We went back home and when I couldn't stand it, we went to the hospital. They kept trying to give me drugs but I kept saying no, I just really didn't feel like I needed them. He weighed 8 lbs 6 oz.
With Nicholas, I got up to the hospital and they checked me and then told me I might want to get up and walk around. So we walked the halls for quite awhile until I had to vomit and I got back into bed. I was really trying to go drug free that time too but I finally grabbed Nick's dad and told him to go find the drug guy. I noticed that time that the nurses had my bed up alot further than the 2 previous times. So, finally, he's coming out and he weighed 10 lbs. 2 weeks before he was born the US showed him weighing 8 lbs. He tore me, the doctor cut me and my tailbone broke as he was coming out. I will say that this hospital was the closest I've ever had to a more natural birth in a hospital.
With Victoria I was determined that I would stay at home as long as I could before going to the hospital. The night before she was born I tried to lay down and had a massive contraction so I got up and decided to walk around my house. I did that for a long time and my contractions were pretty regular but not so hard like that one, so I wasn't sure yet if I wanted to go up to the hospital. I walked around alot more and finally at 3 in the morning I went and woke up her father. He had to leave to go get our SIL so she could watch the other kids and I just sat on the coffee table the whole time he was gone, which was about 15 minutes, I think. So, they get back and I heard the back door open and I got up and was walking through the dining room and my water broke. I was so surprised because this is the first time that ever happened on it's own but I kind of dropped to the floor and felt like I was stuck there. Her father called the ambulance then and, well, I swore after that ride I would never take another ride in an ambulance for anything. So, we get to the hospital and some doctor is in the parking lot and checks me right there. She says "Get her upstairs, we still have time." So they rush me up there and 2 minutes later she was born. She weighed 9 lbs 11 oz. I was kind of bitter about that because I was laying there later that day and some secretary walks by my room and tells me I'm not allowed to sleep with my baby. All I can remember is telling her to mind her own **** business and leave me the **** alone. I hadn't slept in quite awhile by that point and wasn't very friendly towards stupid people.
When I had Beverly, I was induced, my first time with a pitocin nasty labor. I sat up in a chair most of the time I was in labor, though I did ask the doctor if we couldn't just let my water break on it's own and they talked me into letting them do it. So I sat up as long as I could and finally got into the bed. They kept trying to get me to take something for the pain and I just kept telling them I didn't want their nasty drugs. Finally the nurse checks me and tells me I can start pushing. I think I'm doing pretty good at it and they finally told me to quit pushing because the doctor wasn't there. I really didn't care but I can remember thinking "You all are nurses, I hope you know how to catch a baby." So she came out 2 or 3 minutes before the doctor got there. He said something stupid when he walked in but I can't remember what it was. She weighed 9 lbs 3 oz.
And then there was Melody. At my last doctors visit, she stripped my membranes and then told me she did it. Then she talked me into induction...pitocin again. This time my mother was with me in the delivery room. It took about 6 hours and I was dialated to 4. Finally they talked me into some demerol. I kept telling them that I had it twice before and it didn't help either time. So the nurse is giving it to me and told me to put my feet on the bed. After that I can't remember anything until I woke up and the doctor is between my legs. I was thinking, "it's not time to push yet" and I went back out. I wok back up to the doctor saying she had to use the vacuum and honestly I just didn't care at that point, I woke up in an excrutiating amount of pain. So they did that and finally got her out. I very narrowly escaped a c-section that time. I barely remember them handing Melly to me and then I went back out. I woke up once and looked at my mom and wondered why she was in my bedroom holding a blanket. Went back out and finally woke up clearheaded. I have no clue how long I was out in total and that was my most horrible birth experience and my saddest. Now Melly is gone and I can't remember anything good about bringing her into the world. When I finally did wake up the doctor told me that Melly was a sunny-side up baby and that's why I had such a hard time getting her out.
With this new LO, I am having my homebirth. I really want it this time as this will most likely be my last one.
post #84 of 93
Hi I will try to keep this as short as I can. I've posted tons of other posts on DS's birth and not nursing and I THINK Sophia's birth story is on here.

The short of DS's birth is that I went to an OB "in case I needed it" being a first timer, i 'didn't know if I would be normal' (too much Discovery Health Channel!) I was induced 3 days prior to my EDD using what I know now had to be Cytotec. (If I had known then what I know now I would've run screaming the other way). I was told I "measured too big."

the only thing I knew about birth at that time was that my friend had a 24 hour non induced labor and a 6 hour induction. I opted for short.

DS was born after 12.5 hours, a stall-out time, and some Pitocin. I credit my doula as the reason I didn't end up with an epidural and cesearean.

He was too drugged to nurse after birth. (this I realized weeks later unfortunately. I had been told it was a 'tiny dose' of Stadol) And then he was jaundiced and wanted to sleep. And they came in after 7 hours and told me if I did not allow my child to try a bottle, he would end up blind and or mentally retarded because he was jaundiced. They told me my options were bottle or a tube down his nose to his stomach. Hmm what would you choose?

Well 4 lactation consultants and 6 months of pumping later, he never did learn to latch on and had allergies to dairy and soy that I now know were caused by the early introduction of formula as a supplement to what I could pump.

When I got the two lines on the stick 18 months later, I knew things would be different this time. I'd already chosen my CNM, who has an excellent reputation among LLL here. I sailed through the pregnancy. She allowed me to opt out of a pap at my first appointment and the diabetes test. We became friends to a point...I felt guilty making different plans for this birth! (more on 3 later)
My daughter was born 9 days before her due date in a different hospital from my son, 90 minutes after I arrived in the maternity ward. I wouldn't even say it was 'painful' until transition in the tub at the hospital, and I was 7 cm dilated when I showed up!
The entire labor from the moment I woke up and wondered if it was for real or just more pre-labor that was going to go away and the birth was 5 hours, 20 minutes, and the 20 minutes was pushing!

I had great aromatherapy and foot-massage plans for my doula, but we didn't even have time to use them!

She latched on and nursed within minutes of birth and nursed so much her second day that the nurse who kept coming in to ask said she should just write 'nursed fine all day' on her chart LOL
She is 15 months old and still nursing happily.


I'm currently pregnant with baby #3. While I would happily do Sophia's birth over a hundred times, with the addition of making it a waterbirth....we are possibly moving to where I could actually birth at home with a midwife!

So the PLAN is a home waterbirth....IF we get time to fill the tub! with Sophie's midwife and hospital as my backup plan. I felt really guilty telling her that, but she understood completely.

So far this pregnancy is easy like the others. I will go to my CNM for one ultrasound. It will give me a sense of security, and I also loved the extra sense of bonding that seemed to happen between Z and S because we could talk about HER by name.
I am again going to not do the diabetes test and won't do other interventions as long as everything stays as it is now.
post #85 of 93
I quit bc pills one month before dh and I got married because I felt they were a bad thing for my body- too unnatural, and after the wedding we learned about NFP (we're catholic, it was easy info to get lol). We were married over a year before we tried to concieve. I remember being asked if my first dc was planned and answering "Exactly how many minutes are required to call it planned?" We wanted dd very much, and got pregnant the first month we tried. My pregnancy was healthy and uneventful. I worked in a hospital, and knew very little of alternative birth choices at the time. I spent that pregnancy always feeling like my OB visits were lacking in some way I couldn't put my finger on. With my birth, I went to the hospital too soon, had an epidural, complications from it, but still a vaginal birth. Never wanted to birth that way again.

Two years later, dh and I decided to try again. This time, conception was not so easy. I had discovered MDC when dd was 1 and I didn't want to wean and needed support. I learned SO much here- cloth diapers, intact foreskins, CLW, the list goes on. So when ttc started to take some time, I came here for support. I made friends here- we chatted charts and herbs, sticks and lines. Dh and I ttc for over 2 years- it was the most difficult thing I had ever been through. I was missing a person I had never met, I felt powerless and spiritually lost. Eventually I found the book The Infertility Cure by Radine Lewis- I made radical chages to my life- I gave up wheat, dairy, raw veggies, and sugar, I did accupresser, took foot soaks and did yoga. After 3 months of that, I still wasn't pregnant. We asked my OB for clomid- she didn't really want to prescribe it, but did anyway. I got pregnant the first month!

I went back to the OB for follow up blood work, which was good. I had spotting at 6 weeks, and returned to the OB to learn that there was a sac seperation- and was put on progesterone. Shortly there after, I realized the OB experience was not one I wanted again. I found wonderful homebirth midwives and switched my care to them. They were awesome and supportive. I was happy to be pregnant, but had a lot of anxiety. After ttc for so long, I didn't feel worthy to be pregnant or have a healthy child. Fortunately that didn't matter. Five days after my due date, I had a wonderful home water birth. It was the most healing, amazing, empowering experience of my life. According to my midwife, ds was "amazingly healthy" scoring a 9/10 apgar score despite being a water birth.

Ds's great birth helped to heal a lot of the pain of my first birth, and ttc for so long. But I will carry both of those experiences with me forever. I think I would like to have a 3rd child someday, but I don't ever want to struggle to ttc again.
post #86 of 93
My first birth was at home with a midwife. I labored in a birth tub, but ended up pushing on my bed after a :jumping the gun: incident where I pushed too early(too much eagerness!). I was in labor for 18 hours and pushed for about 2. It was an awesome experience and I remember saying to the midwife, this is IT? This is what everyone freaked me out about?? It so wasn't what I expected, and all in all it was very easy(except for my failed experiment that led me to have to not push-excruiating!).

With this pregnancy, I am so much more worried about the birth(which is planned at home with the same midwife again-hoping for a water birth this time!) maybe because all of the stories I have heard about labor being more intense and faster for the second. I had a nice slow transition with #1, so I am concerned it will be too much...but I am hopeful that it will be all good.

I am just SO anxious to meet my little boy!! And I keep telling myself that labor isn't forever and I get the best prize for the pain ever-my baby!!
post #87 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
What do you do to get ready before you're actually pregnant?
These days there is so much emphasis on physical preparation for conception, but IMO being emotionally and psychologically prepared for the demands of motherhood makes a huge difference. New mothers often walk around with a sense of shock, amazed that their lives have changed forever, in ways that they didn't anticipate. I guess that I was "lucky" that way. I was so terrified of motherhood that I spent a couple of years frequenting an AP email group and I learned so much about what to expect from parents who were living it every day. I think that helped to interpret my experiences as "normal" - even if they were challenging.

I also had a different normal than most women with respect to birth: my mother birthed her four children at home over a span of 17 years. For me, the idea of birthing in a hospital was terrifying and foreign. I birthed both of my babies at home but they were very different births. In the first birth, I looked to my midwives for guidance, then later regretted overriding my own instincts and need for privacy. I birthed my second baby without medical assistance or witness. It was incredible to be alone with my family, welcoming a new baby into our family in the most private, gentle way possible .

I have also been privileged to witness a truly wonderful medicated hospital birth where the system worked beautifully to support the birthing mother . That was a real eye-opener for me, I admit it.
post #88 of 93
That's a good point, Ksenia, and as you said, one that is often missed (including by me, in these discussions). That part of my preparation, well, began with my own childhood, of course, but moreso later, when my first peers started having kids, and later still when I had the joy and privilege of doing part time care for a lovely breastfed, cosleeping toddler. And as you can see by my join date, I found MDC well before I started TTC, much less became a mother. As you did, I found I wasn't particularly surprised by much of the early days of parenting, because I was here, watching and learning all the wide variations of normal. I now like to say that really, the only reason one can't ever TRULY know what parenthood is like before one has children is because one doesn't know ahead of time the particular child one has the blessing to be parenting! The same goes for pregnancy and birth; I was expecting to not know what it was going to be like, so I knew what to expect, if you follow me. I think part of why my birth was so joyful and enjoyable (as well as painful) was that non-expectation, which I was only able to achieve by learning as much as I could and hearing so many different stories. I was able to just let go, and be in the moment while my story (my baby's story) unfolded.
post #89 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
I now like to say that really, the only reason one can't ever TRULY know what parenthood is like before one has children is because one doesn't know ahead of time the particular child one has the blessing to be parenting!
From observing my crowd of older professional types becoming parents, I think that there can be barriers to truly understanding parenthood even though the information is there. For example, some dear friends recently became parents. They had several friends (including us) who had freely shared the joys and struggles of parenthood with them. But when they became parents they were completely shocked by how it changed their lives and by how hard it was. And they had one normal, relatively "easy" baby . They later admitted that they believed that they would be able to "do parenting better" than their friends, and thus would not experience the same challenges as their friends had. They were used to being successful individuals - attractive, great careers, healthy and fit, lots of friends, great relationship, etc. For them, trying to meet their own needs while meeting their baby's needs was a very humbling experience and they recognized that they had been over-confident about the whole process of birth and early parenthood. Fortunately, they are mature and self-aware people who are adjusting to the situation. I think that Whole Child/Whole Parent is such a wonderful book that writes about the identity shift and ego adjustment that goes with becoming a parent. Another book that I think would be sooo helpful for new parents is What Mothers Do: Especially When It Looks Like Nothing. The book's title is so apt because, as a society, we have trouble "seeing" the work of parenting. Those two books really describe what the inner and outer work of parenting looks like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
The same goes for pregnancy and birth; I was expecting to not know what it was going to be like, so I knew what to expect, if you follow me. I think part of why my birth was so joyful and enjoyable (as well as painful) was that non-expectation, which I was only able to achieve by learning as much as I could and hearing so many different stories. I was able to just let go, and be in the moment while my story (my baby's story) unfolded.
Reading many birth stories was sooo helpful for preparing for my births. Even when there was a "birth emergency" during my first home birth and my apartment was invaded by first responders, I had a pretty realistic perspective about what was going on. Reading unassisted birth stories was especially helpful for understanding birth as a normal, instinctive process.
post #90 of 93

natural family living naturally

I never intended to be a birth advocate. Before I was pregnant with my first, I never imagined there was anything to advocate for. Everyone I knew talked about epidurals, episiotomies, and c-sections like they were no big deal and I don't remember thinking much about it.

When I found out I was pregnant I became obsessed with getting more information. I was so excited and just wanted to learn as much as I could about how the baby was growing and changes in my body. I was in the middle of a PhD thesis and, marooned on campus, I headed to the university bookstore to see what they had on pregnancy. Instead of "what to expect..." I found an amazing book called "Childbirth Wisdom" in the anthropology/women studies section of the bookstore. Thank my lucky stars! I believe this first read, detailing the birthing stories of women from all different indigenous cultures and the beauty of these natural processes, was the fist big push I had toward the natural family living path. After this read, I did eventually buy "what to expect" but decided I couldn't take the alarmist style... nothing about it seemed natural or helpful to me.

The second stroke of luck I had was moving to the Stanford area in the middle of my pregnancy and strolling into the ob/gyn clinic at the hospital. I still hadn't discovered the possibility of a midwife attended birth and assumed that the great stories I read in the Childbirth Wisdom book could just as easily happen for me... it is, after all a natural process, right? (I'm amazed now how incredibly naive I was). Well, the OBs were all booked, but if I didn't mind, they could get me an appointment with one of their midwives for that months visit. I thought, huh... sure, why not?

Well, after an hour long conversation with the midwife, I thought there wasn't any good reason not to continue seeing the midwives for the remaining visits and the birth. We really clicked and I liked the extra time to ask all my questions.

Also, about this time, my husband stumbled on an issue of Mothering at the bookstore and picked it up for me. He had read through it and thought that I would like it. Bonus!

Well, being with the midwives in the hospital for my birth was a real eye opening experience. I saw time and time again that she was almost physically protecting me from the rest of the hospital. She gave me the choice to not induce when a tech had told me that it was immediately necessary because of the results of a non stress test. She chased people out of the room. She chose a nurse that would put up with intermittent fetal monitoring. She calmly reminded the nurse to wait until I was between contraction to use it. It turned out to be an amazing incredible birth experience for all involved.

Since then, I've gotten into childbirth education, co-sleeping, had a homebirth, and have breastfed each of my children for more than 4 years a piece. None of it has seemed to be a big stretch or stress for me or my husband. It has always felt like the very natural way to do things although I have become more aware with time at the obstacles present in our society to this natural path.

Cheers to Mothering for supporting natural family living!
post #91 of 93
My two older sisters had pretty awful hospital births in NYC with their firsts. They wouldn't even share all the details. One moved to Australia where the system is much better, and the other opted for the illegal homebirth in Illinois. Hearing their experiences, I decided to do a homebirth with my first- even before doing my research! Then, throughout the pregnancy I read Henci Goer's The Thinking Womans Guide, lurked on Mothering, and picked up whatever information I could- everything I discovered making me more and more grateful for making the healthiest choice for me and my baby.

The birth was long- not unusual for a first, but I had my baby girl at home and am so thankful that I did! Her transition into life and mine into motherhood were incredibly smooth thanks to a drug free birth and natural parenting techniques.
My homebirth was empowering and is something I remember with pride. Repeating your birth story is like saying "I ran a marathon and won first place!" You'll never tire of saying it, and the pain is almost secondary to the outcome.

Now I try to convince all of my friends to do the research about their own birth choices, and realize that the hesitancy everyone has toward alternative birth is exactly the same way I would feel now if not for my sisters paving the way.
post #92 of 93
I wanted a natural childbirth -in a hospital, of course!- from the beginning. My mom always talked positively about birth, but about how horrid her docs and nurses were. But, in my mind, I still believed only hippies and crazy celebrities had births at home.

I had a fp I liked who delivered babies, so I stuck with her. I read up on pregnancy, dutifully buying WTE. BUT, I also had a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves and read a short blurb about possible risks to ultrasounds. What? That was not mentioned in WTE! So, I started researching online. Based on ACOG recommendations, I decided to forego the routine u/s against my doc's advice. It was the first natural, bucking-the-trend parenting decision I ever made!

Later in pg, I read Henci Goer and started getting really nervous about hospital interventions. I now realized hb was statistically safe, but it was "not for me." I hired a doula based on recommendations from a coworker. I refused induction at 41 weeks (my doc only mentioned it as a possibility and didn't pressure me). As 42 weeks approached, my doc started getting nervous, but was still listening to me and respecting me. Ds2 was born at 11:30 pm at 41 weeks, 6 days. It was a good, unmedicated birth, though not quite the intervention-free birth I'd imagined. My doc was great. The nurse and the hospital procedures were annoying. I hated getting woken up every couple of hours because a nurse had to check vitals.

When ds1 was 8 months old, I joined LLL and for the first time met real women who had homebirths. I loved hearing their stories, and started preparing dh with the idea. Ds2 was born gently at home. My birth was fast and intense, but the pp in my own bed was SOOOO wonderful.

Now I am chair of a mw friends' group in my state, and beginning my journey into full-fledged birth activism.
post #93 of 93
What did you do to prepare for birth?

We did try for Lemmie, but it was not very well thought out. I would have liked to be doing better financially before we got pregnant, so that we wouldn't have so much of that stress in the beginning. I also would have worked at managing arthritis pain a little bit better before I got pregnant. I also was not in a good emotional place when we started having her. That being said, her timing was quiet good. I will just be more conscious of those things before we try again.

Growing up... midwives were not connected with birth... I had no idea what a midwife was until probably the last 4-5 years of my life. Epidurals were the norm, as were c-sections. Hospital birth was the ONLY way to birth.

When I became pregnant I decided that I would see a midwife. I did this ONLY because they have hospital privileges. I still wanted a hospital birth, I just wanted someone to provide me with resources and support through my pregnancy. I kept saying that I would "try" to have a non-med birth, but that I wasn't going to beat myself up over not having one.

Sitting on the bus on the way home from one of my late in the third trimester appointments it suddenly hit me... WHY WASN'T I HAVING A HOMEBIRTH!? My midwives never suggested it to me, it just had naturally become what I wanted. I discussed it with my midwives and they thought that it was a good choice as well.

Fast forward to the birth of my beautiful baby girl. My entire labour was 12 hours, I pushed for 7 minutes (despite the fact that my midwife felt that it would be at least an hour of pushing judging by how far up she still was during labour). My birth was absolutely gorgeous and to this day I cannot put into words the feelings that I experienced. I am also very confident that had I been admitted into the hospital (and my induction was scheduled for 2 days after she was born) I would have had a c-section... the thought of which makes me nauseous.

Natural living is just something that has followed with the birth of my baby girl. Protecting the world that she will inherit, and changing our lifestyle to a healthier one just has become so much more important. We are her role models and she needs us to be healthy and to teach her how to be healthy. Breastmilk and cloth diapers were also not even close to being a norm when I was growing up, but they are things that I wholeheartedly embrace.
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