Pregnancy & Birth Articles

Molecules of Love

Oxytocin, the hormone of love, stimulates cells in the heart muscle to release a chemical messenger called “atrial natriuretic peptide.” In other words, oxytocin affects the heart! Oxytocin molecules are molecules of love, the neurotransmitters of...

Why Are We Asking Doctors if Women Should Have Midwives?

New pro-midwife guidelines have recently been issued in the United Kingdom. But in the United States, doctors are all too often the gatekeepers for women’s birth care.A few months ago, I was bumped from a national radio show. The c...

The Birth Pause

If a “pregnant pause” is a breath held in a story, a moment’s stillness where we linger between what has been told and what is yet to be told, then what we are calling a “birth pause” might be thought of as a breath at the moment of birth: a...

Master Controls

How chiropractic enhances life by removing obstructions to the nervous system’s communication with the body. Have you ever considered how you were made? Let’s take a moment to expand on this question: Have you con...

If You Lay Down, The Baby Will Never Come Out

An Overview of Traditional Native American Birth PracticesAs I celebrated Thanksgiving this year, I couldn’t help but remember the culture and heritage of America’s indigenous people, a culture mostly lost because of the establishment of...

Siblings at Birth: A Rite of Passage into the Family

We birthed all six of our children at home. Although the first four were what are now called “unattended” births (meaning no official birth practitioner was present), all but our first were attended by their siblings. For my husband and me, the...

Seeking a Balance

The Biomedical and Systems Approaches to Labor and Birth“My pregnancy was normal and I went to the hospital to give birth. They kept offering me pain relief, and I ended up with an epidural and complications that led to a cesarean that...

A Letter to a Midwife’s Mamas

Dear Mama,I actually hope you don’t remember my name. I was your midwife and I’ve always thought that if I did my job well, you would only remember how amazing you were when it was time to birth your baby. Birth is hard work, and I hat...

Birthing in Peace

A Conversation with Ina May Gaskin on the Forces Surrounding Birth Interview conducted by Michael Mendizza

Mindfetalness

Why Being Mindful of Your Baby’s Movements in Pregnancy is so ImportantIn a time of obsessive multitasking, instant gratification and digital distractions, it’s not surprising that stress levels continue to escalate for expectant parents....

A Chiropractic Pregnancy

Every pregnant mother wants to have a healthy, safe and natural pregnancy. A birthing mother who is connected to her own body, who looks deep within herself, trusting her own body to do what it is hardwired to do, is much more likely to experience...

My Birth Story: How Baby No. 3 Was Different

The pregnancy and birth of our third child was so much better than the births of my previous two children. My firstborn was induced at a hospital three weeks early due to low amniotic fluid. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. The labor...

The Rituals of American Hospital Birth

Why is childbirth, which should be such a unique and individual experience for women, treated in such a highly standardized way in the United States? No matter how long or short, how easy or hard their labors, the vast majority of American women...

Human Studies Condemn Ultrasound

We want to trust. We want—almost need— to believe that medical and pharmaceutical interventions have been vetted. When our doctors tell us not to worry, we want to take their word for it. Unfortunately, history has shown us that every rec...

Ultrasound: 8 Reasons it's Not Safe or Painless for your Developing Child

Except for the slimy goo and full bladder, Maureen Markus remembers her first ultrasound fondly: “My husband was with me and together we heard our son’s heartbeat for the first time!” She was 10 weeks pregnant. Before she left the doctor’s office,...

The Biology of Ultrasound

Ultrasound is exactly that: an auditory waveform ( sound ) that occurs above the upper limit for human hearing ( ultra ). Like all sounds, this flow of sound pressure occurs in waves, broken into half-cycles of compression and expansion. What...

Antibiotics Given to Laboring Mothers

Obstetricians are aware that when a bacterium known as group B strep (GBS) is colonizing a mother’s vagina during pregnancy, her baby is more likely to develop an early infection with this bacterium after birth. Around 20 to 30 percent of mothers i...

The Bittersweet Reality of Birth Intervention

Every decision we make has a direct impact on our lives or the life of another, whether we foresee that impact or not.In our daily haste sometimes we don’t contemplate how these decisions impact our physical, mental and emotional well-being....

You’re Not Allowed to Not Allow Me

Reclaiming the Rights of Mothers During BirthFor most women, pregnancy and childbirth are one of the few times we let other adults tell us what we are “allowed” and “not allowed” to do with our own bodies. It’s time to change our language...

Trial of Labor

Up until the early 1900s, there was no good option for delivering high-risk births that would be safe for both the mother and baby. Joseph Lister’s use of carbolic acid as an antiseptic during surgery paved the way for surgical deliveries in which...