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...]

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...]

The Big News: How did you announce your pregnancy?

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Last week, I found out that one of my former prenatal yoga students, Buffy, will soon be back on the mat: She and her husband are expecting their second little one. Her reveal was pretty spectacular, I thought. She broke the news to her friends on Facebook by sharing a video that captured the moment when she tells her mother she's pregnant again. The video of her mom is the sweetest thing, and it had me all teared up. Here's how Buffy broke the news to her mom: I love when her mom says, “No wonder you look so beautiful!” What a great mom! What a great gift from her … [Read more...]

Dancing with my Daughters

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Three years ago, more or less to the day, I was just a few days shy of 40 weeks pregnant with my second baby. We lived in Minneapolis at the time, and the amazing Krishna Das was in town. With my belly full, I ventured out to the kirtan, surrounded by yoga mamas, music lovers, and KD devotees. The call-and-response music moved through my body, the deep rhythms vibrating with bliss and lifting my heart. I danced with my little one nestled in my pelvis, and about a week later, we danced again as she made her way into the world. I’d hoped that the powerful intonations and the sound of voices … [Read more...]