Wednesday Wrap Up 2/20

Wednsday Wrap Up Graphic
I hear it all the time when home birth comes up: “If I were at home, I would have DIED.” But you can’t really say that, as there are too many factors that might have been different. Here’s a well written response to that way of thinking.
Along the same line as trying to understand differing viewpoints, a very thought provoking post here, on finding your limits as far as how much you can truly accept of other ways of thinking. Every birth professional should carefully consider these questions, and if you find yourself arguing over birth choices – consider them again.
I really enjoyed reading this article about an OB in Portland, Oregon who really went out of his way to respect and accomodate those who think differently than he did. Moms and babies are definitely the winners as a result!
If you’re thinking about hiring a midwife, but don’t know what to ask in an interview, here is a list of 44 questions to ask. 37 are questions for the midwife, the rest are questions to ask yourself after the interview as part of the decision making process. You don’t have to ask them all – but it will get your brain thinking.
Found this sweet lullaby called, “Sleep Eye” by Elizabeth Mitchell. It’s from the album, “Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie,”. It’s available for purchase from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, or from her website, A little more upbeat than your typical lullaby, but I like it!

Wednesday Wrap-up, Valentine’s Edition! 2/13

Four weeks in a row for me! This week, pregnancy and birth Valentine’s Day fun:

Wednesday Wrap-Up GraphicFunny Valentine Notes from a pregnant mom to her partner. From Pregnant Chicken.

Valentine’s Gear for expecting moms and new babies, from Babble

10 Things NOT to buy a pregnant woman for Valentine’s Day, also from Babble

On to non-holiday specific stuff….in the many years I’ve been attending births, I’ve heard some doozies, but I have to agree that these 5 things you should not say to a mom in labor are the most common verbal mistakes I hear!

Interesting discussion of skinny postpartum celebrities and what that means for society from Mama Birth.

And when moms have idealistic ideas about what postpartum will be like, what can re really tell them about the realities of motherhood?

She had me at her opening line: “I cringe when I hear pregnant women say that an essential oil is natural and therefore safe to use during pregnancy.” I’ve always felt that when it comes to herbs, oils, homeopathics, etc. if they are powerful enough to have positive effects on the body, they can also have unwanted effects on the body. She sums it up nicely “they need to be respected for their potency; thoughtful consideration should be used before applying an essential oil to your skin, especially during pregnancy.”

And finally, this amazing video from YouTube, featuring women who have given birth naturally to twins and triplets! Inspiration for moms expecting multiples!

Birth by the Numbers

You’ve probably heard lots of different statistics bandied about when people talk about birth. It can be really, really hard to sort throug it all and understand what it really means for birthing women. I’ve had the chance to hear Gene Declercq speak in person, and I really appreciated his ability to make complicated statistics accessible. He’s helped put together a fantastic web site for those who are interested in understanding maternal-child health on a large scale. The video below is fairly long, but well worth the time. So grab a snack, put your feet up, and spend the next 25 minutes learning!

Wednesday Wrap-Up: 1/23

Wednesday Wrap-Up GraphicOn random* Wednesdays, I will post a roundup of interesting birthy articles I found around the web. This week:

Why every woman needs a golf caddy in labor From The Birth Activist

Three reports in childbearing in America that you don’t want to miss on the Lamaze International blog Science and Sensibility

I already participated in The Maternity Support Survey. If you are a doula, childbirth educator and/or labor and delivery nurse, please take 15-30 min to fill out the survey.

Great article on Healthier Births and Babies, from the Wall Street Journal of all places!

What You Should Know About Common Interventions from the Lamaze International blog “Giving Birth With Confidence”

A fun companion read to my own article about birth plans, this one is a non-traditional birth plan. What has this woman already done to put her plan into action? What more could she do?

What if women planned for – and paid for – their births like they do their weddings? Interesting article by a local birth videographer. And not exactly what you might think!

A thought provoking article in Time Magazine “Is the Medical Community Failing Breastfeeding Moms?” and an interesting reply by Katie Graham Anderson, published on Stand and Deliver.

And finally, a 15 minute video from DONA International on what doulas do:

Got a link to share? Add it in the comments!

* My intention is to do this weekly, but I know myself well enough to realize it may not be all that regular!

Parents holding hands during labor - doula supported birth

Online Pregnancy Resources I Love!

There are so many sites out there for pregnancy, but not all of them are mother-friendly and natural birth friendly. Here are some of my favorite places for pregnancy information that respects a mother’s intelligence and right to make decisions for herself and her baby:


  • Science and Sensibility A great blog to learn more about birth research, if I do say so myself. I am a regular contributor there.
  • Giving Birth With Confidence A great blog to learn more about birth from childbirth educators, doulas, and other moms.
  • Push for Your Baby A great site for expectant moms all about pregnancy and birth, and what you can do to improve your baby’s health.
  • Spinning Babies Great site with information about how moms can help their babies be better positioned for birth.
  • Kim James The web site of a doula I’ve only met once – she has fabulous information on epidurals.


Parents holding hands during labor

Birth Stories

  • Birth Diaries Beautiful site with many birth stories shown in pictures or video. All are rated on a “graphic” scale, so you will know ahead of time if there is anything in the stories you might find objectional.



  • DONA International Official web site of the doula organization that certifies me. Great information on what doulas are and do, details on how to become a doula, and doula boutique where you can buy doula-related merchandise.
  • Lamaze International The childbirth education organization that certifies me. A great resource for parents, and also the organization I would recommend to anyone considering becoming a childbirth educator.
  • ICEA Web site of the International Childbirth Education Association, which is the group I received my first certification through.
  • La Leche League Web site of the best-known organization supporting breastfeeding. You can access articles on various breastfeeding topics, find a meeting in your area, or join in on online group. To find a group meeting in the Salt Lake Area, you can call (801) 264-LOVE.
  • I’m listed at – you can check out my profile there.


Newborn footprints - Utah doula and childbirth educator

Recommended Reading

I highly recommend that you read at least two or more books on pregnancy and delivery. This way, you will start to see that
what some authors portray as fact is truly opinion. Also, as you read contrasting points of view, you can begin to form your
own opinions and make decisions about what is important to you. Here are some of my favorites:

Pregnancy Books
  • Conception, Pregnancy and Birth, by Miriam Stoppard
  • A Child is Born, by Lennart Nilsson
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Simkin, Whalley, & Keppler
  • The Pregnancy Book, by Willam and Martha Sears
  • Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger
Childbirth Books
  • Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel
  • Giving Birth With Confidence: The Official Lamaze Guide by Judith Lothian and Charlotte DeVries
  • Creating Your Birth Plan by Marsden Wagner
  • The Birth Book, by William and Martha Sears
  • Gentle Birth Choices, by Barbara Harper
  • The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
  • Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
  • The Doula Advantage, by Rachel Gurevich
  • The Doula Book, by Klaus, Kennel & Klaus

Newborn at Birth

Postpartum & Breastfeeding
  • Infant Massage, by Vimala Schneider McClure
  • The Baby Book, by William and Martha Sears
  • Nursing Mother’s Companion, by Kathleen Huggins
  • Your Amazing Newborn, by Marshall Klaus and Phyllis Klaus
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League
  • The Year After Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger
Special Needs
  • No More Morning Sickness, by Miriam Erick
  • This Just Isn’t What I Expected, by Kleimann (postpartum depression)
  • The VBAC Companion, by Diana Korte (for those with a previous cesarean birth)