Pregnancy & Birth Articles

Birthing in Peace

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

The Vital First Adjustment

The baby was born without respiration or a heartbeat. There are moments in one’s life where time seems to slow down and you truly do experience an out-of-body sensation. There were so many things going on around me, but all I could do was stare at t...

Fathers Present at Birth

In 1952, British author, anthropologist and humanitarian Ashley Montagu wrote: “Women are the mothers of humanity; do not let us ever forget that or underemphasize its importance. What mothers are to their children, and to others, so will men be to...

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...

Natural Birth Isn't Beneficial

Hey, what’s up with that headline? Is that a typo? Aren’t you a proponent of natural birth? Why, yes. Yes, I am. What I want to share with you is an idea that has been spreading in the breastfeeding world for some time now, and I thi...

Also labeled: Author Amy Hoyt, Issue #45

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The Potential Dangers of Epidural Anesthesia

The modern woman is task-oriented. We live in a world that places demands on our competence, attention and efficiency. We use technology, tap into our communities and plumb the depths of our reserves to navigate an often hyper-masculinized world...

10 Things I Wish All Women Knew About Giving Birth

When I was pregnant, I seemed to be a magnet for birth war stories—cords around the neck, emergency cesareans, and more. It took a lot of inner conviction to believe in birth as a natural, beautiful event that my body was capable of, rather than a...

Birth Is the Key

A natural birth unlocks breastfeeding potential and so much more."Breastfeeding is complicated, and most mothers can’t do it.” That’s what this culture has thought for decades. But the more we learn, the more we realize that human newborns are...

Enhancing Our Babies' Innate Expression

When my husband and I became parents, we had a strong recognition that children were intelligent, conscious beings responsive to their surrounding experiences. The world around us was waking up with what was termed the “Human Potential Movement.” Fro...