On Labor Day, A Birth Rally

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On Labor Day, women and families in more than 100 cities around the country rallied for what ought to be a given: evidence-based maternity care. In my hometown, Nashville TN, more than a hundred people gathered along West End in Centennial Park for our Rally for Change —organized by local doula Holly Heveron-Smith. The solid show of support speaks to the vibrant and dedicated community of birth doulas, midwives, educators, and advocates who dedicate themselves to making birth better for women and their babies. The demands of evidence-based maternity care aren't extreme: No inductions … [Read more...]

World Breastfeeding Week: Holla!

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Happy World Breastfeeding Week, mamas! The theme for this year’s celebration is communicating the value of breastfeeding, especially to kids, teens, and young adults, to help create more acceptance for nursing. One easy way to support that mission: Tell your children their breastfeeding story. Even if your little one stopped nursing at an early enough age that she won’t (or doesn’t) remember being nursed, you can still make it part of her childhood story. Ask what your little one remembers about nursing. Help evoke the details of feeling safe and secure in your arms, being nourished by milk … [Read more...]

And the Winner is…

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Congratulations to Shoshanah Blaiss, who won this week's Birth Goddess charm giveaway. Shoshanah shared what gave her confidence during her birth experience: "The thing that gave me the most confidence during my recent (May 14) VBAC was knowing a lot of women had my back! The mamas of ICAN of Atlanta, the members of the yahoo groups for HBAC and Hypnobabies, and the women who participated in my blessingway were all very much present during the amazing and transformative experience. And, of course, my two awesome doulas had a lot to do with it as well! They all believed in me, and it … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth

5 Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth

During introductions in the prenatal yoga classes I teach, there’s often a mom-to-be or two who say they’re “thinking about” natural childbirth, or they “might try for a natural birth.” That kind of hedging makes me feel nervous for them. Natural birth isn’t something that most women can just “try.” It’s a powerful, physical experience, and one that calls for physical and emotional, even spiritual, dedication and preparation. Natural birth is possible—and for far more than the 14% of women who experience it, I believe. But you have to get ready for it. Few and far between are the mamas whose … [Read more...]