Pregnancy & Birth Articles

The Beauty of Fathering During Pregnancy: What Babies are Teaching Us

Our core understandings of babies and early human experience are in the midst of a fundamental paradigm shift. In my article “Consciousness at the Beginning of Life,” published in the previous issue of Pathways [Issue 57, Spring 2018], I...

The Flow of Life in Pregnancy and Birth

Everything we see and feel and do is about movement and flow. Daily, we watch the sun move from the eastern horizon to the west. We feel the wind tug at our bodies as we walk outside, see the flight of birds from one point in the blue sky to...

Dando a Luz: Rediscovering the Ancient Wisdom in Birth

There exists a moment just before a baby takes that first breath that holds a significance only paralleled by the final one. These short periods of in-between, the sacred pauses before our entrances and exits, provide us with an opportunity to...

Consciousness at the Beginning of Life

I began my career in the 1970s, as an obstetrical nurse and childbirth educator in Kentucky. I loved caring for parents as they birthed and raised their babies. To be at the leading edge of my work, I earned my master’s degree in early development a...

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...

In The Flow: Bringing the Moon Inside

Ah, childbirth classes. For some of you reading this they may be a memory—or they may be yet to come. There you gather, in a room full of pillows, partners, and other blossoming mothers-to-be, to receive the great secrets about this most mysterious...

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,...

Why You Should Think Twice about Prenatal Ultrasounds

I’m now in my second trimester—14 weeks, to be exact—and I have yet to hear my baby’s heartbeat. It’s a weird feeling, to be honest. During my first pregnancy, I had no idea about the dangers of prenatal ultrasound. The second I saw those two pink...

Present from the Start

Allowing Your Child to Attend a Sibling’s Birth and Ways to PrepareI’m often asked whether it’s a good idea to have siblings attend the birth of their new brother or sister. It’s a question that’s almost impossible for anyone other than a...

Birth Trauma and the Issue of Informed Consent

At first, Erin Shetler was angry the doctor had performed the procedures without her knowing. He had cut her vaginal opening, used vacuum extraction to deliver her baby, and reached into her uterus to remove the placenta—all of which carry risks....

Birth Story

The Power an Adjustment Can ReleaseBy Mallory Josh

Honoring Mother

The BlessingWay Ceremony, ancient yet still practiced today, is an organized tour through the mysteries of transition and of great psychological import. It is the traditional Navajo way to honor a young woman entering fertility, a pregnant woman...

Love for the Unknown

After dating for eight years, followed by 14 months of planning, my husband and I finally tied the knot. Then, about six weeks before the wedding, we conceived. So, we thought, what better time than our wedding to announce our pregnancy? Everyone...

Creating Your Own Power of Eight Circle

Assemble a group of eight like-minded friends who are open to the possibility of healing and intention. You can use a book group, a church group, or the members of your neighborhood. It’s not necessary to be physically present with the members of t...

How Chiropractic Reduces Interference at Birth

Lindsay was in labor all day. Her water had broken nearly 24 hours before and her progression was slow; her midwife, Elizabeth Charron of the Palms Birth House, was uncertain if she’d be able to continue at the birth center. That’s when she reached...

A Proven Method for Lowering the Caesarean Rate

Yet another article in my local newspaper last week bemoaned the fact that the caesarean rate keeps rising, reporting that physicians are concerned not only about the high rate of surgery, but also the future complications that increase after...

Being Admitted to the Hospital is Not Implied Consent

Even in 2017, women’s consent rights in childbirth are disturbingly unclear to the professionals and institutions delivering their medical care. One aspect is the idea of “implied consent”— a concept mischaracterized by hospitals to a number of women...

5 Ways Mothers Give Away Their Power

Dear Mama, You have more power than you might think. You are the master of your domain, and the domain is you and your children. Your mastery should not be confused with dominance and control. I do not mean that you are here to control your...

Birth Principles Workbook: A Soulful Alternative to a Birth Plan

You’re pregnant, and now that the initial shock, excitement, and/or morning sickness has worn off, you’re starting to think about your birth. Maybe you’ve read every book on pregnancy and birth on your library shelves; maybe you’ve heard more of your...

If Making Love Were Treated Like Birth: A Sadly Hilarious Video

Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for birth, sex, and love. It’s often referred to as the “love hormone” and plays an important role in these pivotal social interactions. During birth, oxytocin causes the uterine muscles to contract and it also acts...