Archive for April 2016

10 Things I Wish All Pregnant Women Knew About Fetal Monitoring

In labor, continuous monitoring increases the risks of many interventions, including pitocin, epidurals, and cesarean birth, without improving birth outcomes for mother or baby. Asking a woman in labor to be still (and often in bed) so the monitor can do its job is not a benign request since it can result in a longer…

Read More

Early Labor is a Time for Distractions

Have you thought about what you’re going to do in early labor? A friend of mine who is a midwife suggests baking cookies in early labor. I think this is excellent advice. First of all, then there will be cookies. But also, having a fun activity will help you pass the time in early labor.…

Read More

Pregnant? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Now About Your Labor

What is my fantasy of the perfect birth experience? Do you want to squat to push out your baby in your bedroom? Labor in water? Get an epidural in the hospital parking lot? While no one can predict how your labor will go, thinking about your ideal will help you make decisions now and in…

Read More

Top Tips for Birth Partners

Help her stay in the moment while you plan ahead. A laboring mom’s job is to take one contraction at a time. But the partner can help by thinking ahead. Maybe you’re slow dancing together, and all is well. It’s helpful for the partner to think about what to suggest when mom is ready to…

Read More

Pregnant? Prepare Now for Breastfeeding!

Our new scientific understanding of the microbiome and epigenetics is helping us to understand how babies who are fed human milk, and those who are fed formula, are inhabited by different microbes. Our comprehension of why babies who aren’t breastfed are more likely to have health issues is deepening. One reason is there is a…

Read More

Why I Became a Childbirth Educator by Ann Tohill

When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2009, I signed up for Childbirth Education classes. I had done so much reading and watched so many births and documentaries and as prepared as felt I could be, I was also still really fearful of the labor and birthing process. When it was time, I attended…

Read More

In Labor, Gravity Is Your Friend

Imagine a woman giving birth. What position do you see her in? If, like most people, your views on birth have been shaped by what you see on tv and in the movies, you likely imagine her lying flat on her back in a hospital bed. Traditionally birth took place at home, and people formed…

Read More

Pregnant? Increase Your Chances of Birthing Vaginally

Most women plan to give birth vaginally, yet more than one in three babies are born by cesarean in the United States. There are many things you can do prenatally and in labor to help to lower your risk of cesarean. Start by asking your provider what his or her cesarean rate is, and compare…

Read More

Milk Banks and Donor Moms Save Lives

I recently got to tour the Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast. What an inspiring field trip for someone who is fascinated by all things lactation! I watched donor milk being pasteurized, toured the freezers, and learned about the bank’s operations. It was awesome to see so much human milk at once! The American Academy of Pediatricians…

Read More