Jessica Biel Opens Up About Her Perfect Birthing Plan Gone Wrong

https://www.vogue.com/article/jessica-biel-emergency-c-section-recovery-natural-birth-psychology

“The birthing plan: Whether it’s set at home with a doula or in a hospital surrounded by family members, many expecting women have their perfect version in mind. And the location and company one keeps during delivery are just the beginning—with highly curated extras like pressure-relieving birthing balls and soothing “push playlists” growing in popularity. But the reality is that when it comes to child birth, there’s only so much you can control.”

(click to read link on vogue.com)

 

 

 

Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html

The answer to the disparity in death rates has everything to do with the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel. In one year, that racial gap adds up to more than 4,000 lost black babies. Education and income offer little protection. In fact, a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.

(click link above to read this powerful piece on NYTimes.com)

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

https://www.motherrisingbirth.com/2017/11/prodromal-labor-101.html

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

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/multimedia-article/csections-delivery-risk-podcast/

 

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)

The Benefits of a Mindful Pregnancy

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/well/family/the-benefits-of-a-mindful-pregnancy.html

Many expectant mothers worry about the physical pain that accompanies labor and childbirth. New research suggests that including mindfulness skills in childbirth education can help first-time mothers cope with their fear.

(click link to read this great post on NY Times website)

30 Birth Photos That Show Pure, Beautiful Love

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/30-birth-photos-that-show-pure-beautiful-love_us_58068a7fe4b0b994d4c24b9a

(click link above to see some amazing photos of ALL types of labors and births…)

Oh, my heart…

No matter how a baby’s birth unfolds ― whether it’s a first-time mom having a C-section, or a third-time mother fighting through a labor that lasts two full days ― childbirth is hard and it is messy.

But in between all the, well, laboring are moments of love. Love between partners, love between families and doctors, doulas and midwives, an)d that very special love when parents and babies lock eyes for the very first time.

Here, talented birth photographers share photos they’ve captured that celebrate those moments of pure joy and connection in childbirth.

 

Photo by Capturing Joy Birth Services:

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Avoiding These 4 Things May Help You Have the Birth You Want

http://www.mothering.com/articles/researcher-advises-stop-thinking-avoid-4-ls/

(click link above to read on Mothering.com)

For those of you who don’t know, Michel Odent is a world-famous researcher and obstetrician who ran a maternity unit in France for, I think, 86 years. Yeah, he’s that good. He is recognized for his extensive research concerning how we are born. All the stuff that midwives and women have known for generations, he is putting the science to. All of the interventions and procedures that have come about in the last few generations, he’s questioning if they’re best for women and babies.

Much of his work is concerning the fact that how we are born matters. Reading his books changed the way I think about birth and the way I teach about birth.

Your own mind gets in the way.

Of supreme importance is that a woman can STOP THINKING. To birth easily and quickly, you have to turn off the human part of your brain–the neo-cortex. We are the only animal with such a huge thinking part of our brains. We’re pretty smart.

The problem is the the neo-cortex inhibits physiological actions. When you are thinking–when your neo-cortex is in control, you don’t release the right hormones, your body can’t relax. Birth is harder and longer.

It’s like sex. (Isn’t it always?) You have to turn off your brain first in order to enjoy it. You have to be making the right hormones and the right brain waves to get into it. You can’t orgasm if you’re full of adrenaline and cortisol. You can’t birth, either.

It’s like how some people don’t poop on vacation. Sphincters don’t open in the presence of adrenaline. You have to feel relaxed and totally safe.

Who feels totally safe and relaxed giving birth these days? Almost no one. We’ve socialized and medicalized birth too much. Birth is not inner work anymore. Instead of softening into the birth process, we spend most of our energy avoiding risk. Birth is a reason to be on high alert.

Michel Odent says that is to our detriment.

“To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” She needs to turn off neo-cortical control.

Here are four things that turn on the neo-cortex and make birth hard:  (click link above to read the blog)