What is Active Birth?

Active Birth is a term coined by Janet Balaskas, author and founder of the modern Active Birth movement. The idea of Active Birth was introduced in the late 1970’s, but it is not a new idea. In fact, Active Birth is the way women gave birth throughout most of modern history. According to Balaskas, around three hundred years ago, doctors changed the way women birthed from the active role the mother played in her own birth to the more passive role of patient that continues for most women today. The Active Birth movement and center founded by Balaskas in London … Continue reading

How to Have a Natural Birth in a Hospital Part 2

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about the impact your choice of hospital has on your birth experience. The other part of the picture when you want a natural birth, free of interventions is the health care provider you choose to attend your birth. Your health care provider has a big impact on your birth experience. In many hospitals, you can have a doctor or midwife attend your birth. Choose a provider that is supportive of natural birth and won’t use interventions unless medically necessary. Doctors are very different in their approaches to labor and birth. Some are quicker to … Continue reading

How to Have a Natural Birth in a Hospital Part 1

Many mothers and most proponents of home birth would argue that the current medical model of maternity care in the United States makes it difficult to have a natural birth in the hospital. Interventions are so routinely used in some hospitals that it is almost impossible to make it through the birth without any. However, with some planning it is possible to have the birth you want. The two most important factors in having a natural birth in a hospital setting are the health care provider and hospital in which you will deliver. In the first part of this blog, … Continue reading

Pusing Positions for Natural Birth

There are many benefits to natural birth. One of the benefits of drug free birth is freedom of movement. When drugs are given, many hospitals restrict the mother to the traditional hospital position of lying on your back, or the newer semi sitting position for pushing, throughout labor and birth. However, this is often not the best position for birth. This position is the most convenient for the doctor attending the birth and nurses doing exams, but is not the best for mom. When women are free to get into the most comfortable position during labor, they rarely lie down … Continue reading

The Pregnancy Blog Review for Sept 10-21

The pregnancy blog review is a regular synopsis of recent posts in the blog. I try to cover all topics related to conception, fertility, pregnancy, labor, birth and beyond. Catch up on recent topics in the review. If you have any suggestions for future articles, they are always welcome. Placental abruption is a condition in which part of the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus. The severity of the tear can range from mild to severe. Learn more in What is Placental Abruption? The other main complication involving the placenta is known as placenta previa. This is when … Continue reading

Is Natural Birth Better for Bonding?

Proponents of natural child birth have long maintained that giving birth naturally results in better bonding with baby compared to c section births. In fact, women choosing VBAC often cite this as one of the many reasons for making this choice. Mothers who have had a c section may disagree with these statements, but recent research is adding credibility to this long held belief. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine looked at bonding in mothers and babies with the method of birth. Women were divided into two groups for the study, one group having had vaginal deliveries and the other … Continue reading

The Benefits of Home Birth

There are benefits to having a baby at home, for many women. The mother benefits during labor and in her ability to bond as a family with her baby and other children. The baby benefits by bonding with mom and may have less risk of infection after birth. If you are considering a home birth, make an appointment with a midwife to determine if you are a good candidate for home birth. As long as you are healthy and your pregnancy is not complicated, you may be able to give birth at home. There is increased bonding time for the … Continue reading

Optimal Fetal Positioning

If you are planning on having a natural birth, you may want to look into optimal fetal positioning. Optimal fetal positioning involves naturally helping the baby to rotate and move herself into a position that makes birth easier for both mom and baby. Often babies present themselves in posterior position, also referred to as “sunny side up,” which can make labor much more difficult, drawn out, and sometimes lead to an increased risk of cesarean. In posterior position, your baby is facing the same direction you are, with her back against yours. This happens more today than it used to … Continue reading

How Many C Sections Can You Have?

In the United States, c section is often performed as a matter of choice for women. When a woman has had one c section, doctors sometimes offer a choice between VBAC and a repeat c section. In many cases, doctors pressure women into the repeat c section. This is often done because doctors worry about uterine rupture, which is a rare event. What few doctors do is inform their patients that having repeat c sections may limit the number of children they can have. Repeatedly cutting and stitching the uterus greatly increases the risk of uterine rupture in subsequent pregnancies. … Continue reading

You Are Still a Parent In the NICU

Ideally, you gestate for nine months, you give birth, and in a few days, everyone goes home. But as we know that doesn’t always happen. Premature birth can happen to any mother, but some women are at a greater risk. Multiples almost always come early with a mere 5% making it a full forty weeks. Nonetheless, whether you are prepared for the NICU experience or not, when it happens, it can be nothing short of devastating and depressing. A Difficult Birth Babies who are born early are almost always born via cesarean section. While I realize that the surgery goes … Continue reading