Various viewpoints on consent

Expectant parents discussing with midwife

Some people think of informed consent as a two step process. The care provider tells you the information and you consent. That’s the quick and easy way of doing it and it’s the way some care providers prefer it. But TRUE informed consent isn’t quick and easy. It involves a conversation, not just a recitation […]

Did high school make birth and parenting hard for you?

High school students being shown a scary birth video

I’ve noticed the ghost of high school health class reverbating into adulthood in a couple different ways. And not in good ways! Scary birth videos I honestly LOATHE the idea of high schools using birth videos as birth control. Maybe it is because I get those same women 10 years later and have to work […]

Relocating to a new city during pregnancy

I moved during one of my pregnancies. Or, more accurately, I *prepared* for a move during one of my pregnancies. The actual move took place on the day my daughter was born, after the main event was over and I went to the hospital from the old apartment and came home to the new one […]

Dr. Facebook Will (NOT) See You Now

Pregnant woman staring in frustration at her cell phone

Monday, 4:30 am. A new mom posts to Facebook that she is struggling with her baby being fussy at nighttime feedings. Within 2 hours, she has received four different diagnoses from fellow Facebookers: Dairy allergy, thrush, lip and tongue tie, and reflux. She’s been prescribed probiotics, gentian violet, nystatin, 4 different herbs, and a plastic […]

The Fallacy of False Labor

Woman in early labor, with partner timing contractions

It is a very common theme: Women in my classes want to know “how do I know if it is false labor?” Posts on Social Media “Is this real labor? I’ll be embarrassed to go in if it is false labor!” Expectant neighbors or family members calling at all hours “should I go to the […]

27 Smartest Things Partners Say in the Labor Room

I’ll admit it. This is a VERY reactionary post. I saw this list: 27 Dumbest Things Dads Have Said in the Delivery Room and it bugged me. Because in the many births I’ve attended, the amazing, supportive, helpful and loving partners have far, far outweighed the fumbles. And I’m really tired of the “dad as […]

If you don’t want it, just say no!

Cartoon woman holding sign that says No Thanks, with cartoon doctor in the background

Warning: Rant ahead! I wrote this years ago – the original version was a little more, um…passionate. I’ve just now toned it down to where I feel comfortable posting it. Still pretty opinionated. This rant doesn’t apply in the least to moms who want exams and get them. This rant is about moms who feel […]

When birth does not go as you’d hoped…

New mom depressed

Can you think of anything worse to say to a mom who is opening up about feelings of disappointment or pain after a difficult birth? I can’t. The unsaid subtext mom hears goes something like this: “Just be glad you have a healthy baby. Any other emotions you have don’t count. There is only one […]

Surfing the Labor Waves

Pregnant woman sitting in ocean waves

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” This quote (attributed most commonly to Jon Kabat-Zinn but occasionally to others as well) has been commonly used to apply to labor. It is a good one, and one that definitely applies. Last week my husband and I went to California to celebrate our […]

Packing for labor

Pregnant person with suitcase

I know there are LOTS of lists out there for what to pack for labor, but I wanted to post my own. If you’re planning a hospital birth or a birth center birth, this list is for you! (One nice thing about home birth is you don’t need to pack…) You won’t need EVERYTHING on […]

To tweet, or not to tweet? Social media during labor

Partner taking picture of mom and new baby

Most people would not dream of streaming their birth live on the internet or inviting strangers to be there as a piece of performance art. But just how public and immediate should your birth story be? With social media, it’s easy to have an audience of friends and family waiting for the minute by minute […]

The Birth Plan of ACTION!!

You can find boatloads of information out there on birth plans. But most of them miss what I consider to be the most important part: Putting The Plan Into ACTION! I consider there to be 4 steps in writing a birth plan: Researching your options Deciding what is important to you and what you want […]