Informed Choice Articles

Taking Charge of Giving Birth

A commitment to natural delivery in a birth center, without doctors or pain relief of any kind on the premises, was the farthest notion from my mind the summer I learned I was pregnant. Like many other newly expecting women, I reluctantly...

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...

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...

How to Describe Birth to a First-Time Pregnant Woman

I’ll come straight to the point: There is a severe lack of women on this planet who enjoy their birthing experience, let alone walking away from it with a profound depth of empowerment. What is going so wrong? When I tried to talk to mothers in my...

Induction

Will the baby outgrow the pelvis before she births? What do we risk by choosing to induce?The ARRIVE trial is the capstone of a decades-long effort to demonstrate that awaiting labor has no benefits and that inducing labor doesn’t...

Parents as Informed Advocates

Smart and well-behaved as he was, my fourth grader couldn’t read. Well, Ryan could kind of read, but he was far short of being a reader. My having a degree in education hadn’t helped. Yes, I had pressed the school to test him, and yes, he had an...

Also labeled: Education, Issue #63, Parenting

Breech Birth is Normal

The transition from maiden to mother is the most transformative and sacred journey I have ever taken. It’s the ultimate form of shapeshifting. I was reborn after the birth of my son, Rayan. I remember telling my midwife, “If I can do this, I can do...

Home Sweet Homebirth

There is an overwhelming cultural belief in the United States that hospitals are the safest place to give birth, regardless of the extensive scientific data that suggests otherwise. Numerous studies around the world have documented the safety of...

Actually, It Does Matter How You Give Birth

Whenever people discuss C-sections and natural childbirth, one well- meaning sentiment always rises from the fray: It doesn’t matter how you give birth, as long as your baby comes out healthy. I appreciate people wanting to remove...

The Real Causes of Birth Trauma

A study indicates 1 in 13 women experiences PTSD after childbirth. Why are we being told that it’s the mother’s fault?There has been increasing awareness about childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Several years ago, the...

What About the Baby?: The Dynamics of a Normal and Healthy Birth

On the physical level, birth happens naturally by a complex series of biological events believed to be initiated by the baby. When baby is ready, it is her biological priority to navigate down the birth canal with help from the contractions of the...

Co-Sleeping and Biological Imperatives

Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep AloneWhere a baby sleeps is not as simple as current medical discourse and recommendations against co-sleeping in some western societies want it to be. And there is good reason why. I write to...

Time to Opt Out

It was the stopwatch on the wall that did it. The colorful paint and framed pastel prints nearby tried to hide its conspicuousness, but it was there: red neon digits glowing like the timer at an NBA basketball game. I asked the hospital tour guide...

7 Eye-Opening Facts about Depression

A silent tragedy in the history of modern healthcare is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. M...

ADHD: More of It, Better Diagnosis, or Both?

“[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-V)] is a wholesale imperial medicalization of normality that will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatment—a bonanza for the pharmaceutical ind...

The Drugging of Children: A National Disgrace

In 1998, approximately 5 percent of children in the United States were diagnosed with a condition known as “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD). By 2007, that percentage jumped to 9.5 percent, and has continued to increase. In October...

There Is No Normal

I got a letter the other day from a woman training to be a special education teacher in Ohio. Reading my book Teaching the Restless was bringing up her concerns about certain things she had observed during student teaching sessions with several...

The Moral and Scientific Opposition to GMOs

Is the engineering of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a dangerous technology posing grave risks to human and ecological health? Or are GMOs a potent new tool in the onward march of modern agricultural technology in its race to feed the world?...

Choosing a Birth Class: Hospital-Based vs. Independent Childbirth Education

In our society, where birth often happens behind closed doors, and the wisdom of labor is not often shared between generations, childbirth education classes have become an integral part of the journey of preparing for birth. However, many women are...

Big Time: Do Big Babies Require a C-Section? We look at the Facts and Myths

We’ve all heard about women who were told they needed to consider an artificial induction of labor or even a cesarean section, because their babies “looked big” toward the end of their pregnancy. Many of these women were unpleasantly surprised when,...