(Photo by Meg Wintory)


“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”

-Sheryl Feldman





New Guidelines Establish The Rights Of Women When Giving Birth



For more than 60 years, it has been the standard of care to try to speed up childbirth with drugs, or to perform a cesarean section if labor was seen as progressing too slowly.

Now a new set of recommendations is changing the game.

A little history is required to understand the importance of that one recommendation, says Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, who did not work on the report. In 1955, Dr. Emanuel Friedman studied 500 women and concluded that labor is normal when, during the intense phase of contractions, the cervix opens at a rate of at least one centimeter (about 0.4 inches) an hour. “Dr. Friedman showed that 95 percent of women progressed” at this rate, says Caughey. “And that became the standard of care.”

(click to read on npr.org)

Making Pregnancy Safer for Women of Color



On its face, Joseph’s prenatal and postpartum clinic might not seem unusual. But when you look into her statistics, you find something quite rare: Almost all of her patients give birth to healthy, full-term babies. Again, maybe not surprising until you learn that the majority of them are low-income African-Americans, Haitians and Latinas.

African-American women in the United States are four times more likely than their white counterparts to die during pregnancy or childbirth. Their infants are also twice as likely to die in their first year as white infants, and two to three times more likely to be born premature or underweight — a sign of insufficient development that can lead to a lifetime of health difficulties. Native Americans also suffer from higher rates of these problems than whites, as do some groups of Latinas.


(click link to read on nytimes.com)

Give bicarbonate to pregnant women to ease delivery – new study



Women struggling in labour should be given bicarbonate of soda to boost their chances of a safe and natural birth, a study suggests.

British researchers say the commonly available chemical, given in drink form, rectifies acidity around the womb and could significantly reduce the number of women forced to undergo emergency caesarean sections.

(click link to read about this new study)

Advice to New Moms from Moms Who’ve Been There


Ahh, new motherhood. You go from dreaming of the day your baby will arrive to holding that tiny, wriggling bundle in your arms and thinking, “What the heck do I do now?” Hang tight, mamas! We’re here to help. We asked women to tell us one thing they wish they’d known when they first became a mommy. Read on for mom wisdom on sleep, self-care, getting perspective on those intense early days, and much more.

(click link at top to continue reading on redtri.com)

It’s science: Pregnancy can be contagious among friends


If it baby announcements seem to come all at once from a close group of friends, research shows there may be a reason: Pregnancy can be contagious.
“A friend’s childbearing positively influences an individual’s risk of becoming a parent,” concluded the authors of a 2014 study published in the journal American Sociological Association.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data on 1,720 women who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health) in the United States from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Tracking female participants who were at least 15 years old in 1995 with home interviews throughout the next decade, the researchers saw that roughly half of the women had a child by the time the final interviews were conducted in 2008 or 2009.

(Click link at top to read the studies)

Prodromal Labor 101: What It Is, What It’s Not and How to Cope


Despite prodromal labor not being mentioned in the most common pregnancy books, you’ll still hear it frequently being discussed among friends, with care providers and in online communities.  Because of this discrepancy, it makes sense that there is confusion and frustration surrounding the topic.  In this post I hope to define prodromal labor, but more importantly offer onlutions and encouragement if you find yourself experiencing this frustrating phenomenon.

The reason why prodromal labor is not mentioned in pregnancy books is because it is more commonly known as pre-labor or even misnamed as false labor.  It seems as if our birthing culture uses these three terms interchangeably – prodromal labor, pre-labor and false labor.  This is so confusing!  If this has confused me, I bet I’m not the only one wondering what’s going on.

(click link above to read on MotherRisingBirth.com, an amazing resource…)

The surprising factor behind a spike in C-sections



Cesarean delivery of a baby—or C-section—is the most commonly performed surgery in the world.

Rising C-section rates are a problem all over the world—but it’s particularly notable in the United States.

C-sections have skyrocketed in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. In just one generation, this country’s C-section rate has increased 500%.

One in three babies are now born via C-section—compare that one in 20 in the mid-70s.

And a mother who has a C-section for her first delivery is overwhelmingly more likely to have C-sections for future deliveries.

And while it’s incredibly common—it’s still major surgery—with a range of potential complications such as hemorrhage or infection.

It’s estimated that nearly half of C-sections may be avoidable—but to prevent them, researchers need to find out what exactly is driving the dramatic increase in their use.

(click the link above to listen to the podcast from Harvard School of Public Health)