Coca-Cola Offers Paid Leave for All Parents

The United States is one of only two countries in the world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. Fortunately, some companies are stepping in and providing what the federal government has not. Coca-Cola will offer paid leave for all parents. The United States does not provide paid family leave to its workers. There is a U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that applies to employers with 50 or more employees. FMLA offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child. Coca-Cola’s paid leave policy will take … Continue reading

U.S. Birthrate Increased Due to Older Moms

The overall birthrate in the United States has increased for the first time in seven years. In addition, the birthrate among teens has dropped. Where is the increase coming from? It turns out that the slight increase in births is due to older moms. The Verge reported some data from a report created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Part of the report noted the birthrate in the United States for 2013 and 2014. In 2013, there were 62.5 births per 1,000 women. In 2014, that number slightly increased to 63 births per 1,000 women. The CDC … Continue reading

How a Transgender Couple Became Parents

When a couple is ready to become parents, they will do almost anything to make that happen. The desire to produce children who carry the parent’s DNA is strong. The Bowsers are a couple who wanted to have children and were able to produce two healthy sons that are biologically their own. The thing that makes this happy story a little different is that both parents happen to be transgender. Bianca and Nick Bowser were featured on 20/20. Their story is, in many ways, similar to thousands of other couples. They met. They fell in love. They eventually decided that … Continue reading

UK Approves Three-Person IVF Techniques

Couples who are having difficulty conceiving have the option of turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF). The process allows that couple to pass their own genetic material onto an offspring that is biologically theirs. The UK recently approved a new kind of IVF that has been referred to as “three-parent babies”. The two techniques are somewhat different but each can be used to help couples produce a healthy child. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex procedure that combines an egg and sperm outside of the body. The conception happens in a laboratory. Once an embryo (or embryos as is … Continue reading

Giving Birth After Age 33 Relates to Longevity

A new study determined that women who give birth after age 33 had twice the odds of having a longer lifespan than women who did not do so. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should consider having a baby (or another baby) after age 33 in an effort to increase your lifespan. The reality is a bit more complex than that. Researchers at Boston University, Boston Medical Center (and elsewhere) conducted a study about aging. They looked at information that was gathered in a previous study that was called the Long Life Family Study. In other words, this study used previously … Continue reading

Is Natural Safe?

Because I have a midwife, a doula, and took a natural childbirth class, I hear a lot about alternative/natural/herbal methods for childbirth and child-rearing. Some of these go too far for me – the woman teaching my natural childbirth class wasn’t just into delaying vaccinations, she didn’t seem to want to have them done at all, which is not something I want – but a lot of them are appealing. When almost every medication, painkiller, supplement, or even cream that I want to put on my face has a warning about “check with your healthcare provider before use if pregnant/breastfeeding,” … Continue reading

Dealing with Placenta Previa

I’ve lucked out in having a mostly low risk pregnancy.  I had one minor complication, however, and I want to share my words of encouragement for anyone else experiencing the same thing. After my 20-week ultrasound, I received a call from my midwife telling me that I had a minor placenta previa.  Placenta previa is when the placenta goes over the cervix.  This is a problem because if it remains there during labor, the baby will have to push through the cervix, which can lead to dangerous bleeding both for mother and baby.  If previas are severe enough, caesareans are … Continue reading

Yoga Moves to Relieve Pregnancy Pain

On Monday I shared a list of positions that can help ease pain during labor.  As a follow-up, I thought I’d share some of the moves that I’ve learned in prenatal yoga that can help with some common aches and pains during pregnancy. One of the biggest complaints in pregnancy is pain in the bladder/round ligament reason.  My daughter set up shop on top of my bladder once I was about four months along, and it’s been her favorite spot ever since, much to my discomfort.  I’ve learned a number of moves in class that really help when I’m having … Continue reading

Yoga Positions for Early Labor

The other day my doula visited our home to show us some techniques we’ll use for pain management during early labor.  Our goal is to do as much of the labor at home as possible – we’re more comfortable at home, and thus more likely to be relaxed here – and so these are some moves and positions Jon and I can do to help me get through the pain. If you get a book like The Birth Partner or other books about/that have sections on natural childbirth, these positions might be familiar to you.  I don’t know exactly what they’re … Continue reading

Pregnant: Am I Doing It Right?

During my pregnancy I’ve felt a couple times like I wasn’t “doing it right.”  Not that I wasn’t taking care of my body or baby properly, but that I didn’t care enough, and that meant I wasn’t going to be very good at this whole mothering thing.  I didn’t feel that way in response to serious events, or in the face of friends with children, or anything like that. It started when I was asked “what’s your countdown?”  I had no idea what the person was talking about.  Apparently it meant how many days left until my due date.  I … Continue reading