Before the Birth Plan, A Pregnancy Plan

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I’m worried about the state of birth in our society. Fewer doctors know what drug-free childbirth looks like. Vaginal births are on the decline in too many places. More moms think their care providers are going to educate them about childbirth during the already too-short appointments dedicated to checking on mom’s and baby’s prenatal health. And it feels a lot like we’re conceding birth as a medical event, rather than protecting it as the wholly natural and empowering experience it can be. Let’s be clear: I don’t believe the only “good” birth is a natural birth. I don’t think OBs are the … [Read more...]

5 Tips for a Great Prenatal Yoga Class

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I’ve lost a lot of sleep during my past five years of parenting, but I still remember how I felt walking in to attend my first prenatal yoga classes. It was a total new-kid experience, with me wondering nervously who were all these chatty mamas, and why was everyone so darn happy?! Clearly, they'd all been best friends forever and were planning for their yet-to-be-born-kiddos to be BFFs too! It didn’t matter that I was a yoga teacher, or that I knew the teacher leading the class. I still felt a little alone, a little unsure—an experience that’s true for so many aspects of a first pregnancy! … [Read more...]

The Baby Comes Out Where??

The baby comes out where?

Why aren’t women educating themselves about childbirth? If our rising maternal death rate, high Cesarean-section rate, and abysmal childbirth education attendance isn’t enough to prove—or at least strongly suggest—the need for more education about birth, let me share this with you: Early in my 20s, when I had it all figured out but was typically clueless about life, a pregnant friend who was a few years older posed an important question: “Where exactly,” she asked, “does the baby come out?” She was clear about her basic bodily functions, namely elimination (or, in the mommy … [Read more...]

Birth Without Fear: “I learned I was capable of great things.”

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Most mamas will have normal pregnancies and births, but that fact alone doesn’t do enough to ease fears related to childbirth. What does lay fear to rest is knowledge. And while the internet offers a fast, easy way to gather up a lot of information related to birth, it’s also—unfortunately—too often the gateway to a lot more fear! Which is why I’m so appreciative of Birth Without Fear, a blog  and Facebook community where moms-to-be can learn a lot without scaring themselves silly. The wonder-woman behind BWF is January, a home-schooling mother to five littles age 8 and under. She’s a … [Read more...]

Your Perfectly Pregnant Body: A Meditation

Pregnant woman loving life

After a short, sweet prenatal yoga practice last night (the Be Blooma Well prenatal yoga DVD is similar), I offered the moms-to-be a gentle pregnancy meditation to nourish their beautiful round bellies and awe-inspiring bodies. It went something like this: Your body is miraculous, growing another body within. Every cell bears strength. Your bones, your muscles, your tendons and ligaments—all of you, resilient and responsive as your body changes and your baby grows. Your hormonal system is a wonder and a mystery. It communicates, between your cells and your baby’s cells, an agreement to begin … [Read more...]