Pregnancy & Birth 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...

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...

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...

Birthing in Peace

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

Why Home Birth Is Necessary

When there is no home birth in a society, or when home birth is driven completely underground, essential knowledge of women’s capacities in birth is lost to the people of that society— to professional caregivers, as well as to women of childbearing...

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...

What Do We Know? Anthropology and Birth Activism

During a birth advocacy dinner I once attended in Seattle, a doula raised her glass and made the last toast: “For all the women who don’t know.”My reactions trembled on the existential brink. As both an anthropologist and a birth activist, I am...

Vision of a Freebirth Community

Imagine a world where childbirth was a sacred event in the family cycle, where the birth of a child was completely free in all senses of the word. The word “free” historically connoted an affectionate relationship— between members of a house...

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...

A Way of Blessing

The blessingway ceremony has its roots in the traditions of the Navajo hoshooji ceremony in North America. It celebrates a feminine rite of passage, inducting women into new and venerated phases of their lives. Customarily, the blessingway ceremony...

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...

Birth, Baby, and Breastfeeding

In a typical C-section, a small incision is made in the mom’s abdomen and the doctor, hands around baby’s neck, pulls upward and maneuvers the baby out. This is how one out of every three babies in the United States enters the world. This is how Owe...

Midwives

As I attend and present at midwifery and birthing conferences on behalf of the ICPA, I am constantly reminded that midwives and doulas are aligned with chiropractors in numerous ways. Some of the common bonds we share...

Pain in Labor: Your Hormones Are Your Helpers

Imagine this. Your cat is pregnant, due to give birth around the same time as you are. You have your bags packed for the hospital and are awaiting the first signs of labor with excitement and a little nervousness. Meanwhile, your cat has...

Birthing with the Wisdom of the Ages

It is sometimes called our “inner knowing,” a “gut feeling,” or “the wisdom within.” Whatever its name, the experience is universal. It is a feeling, a word, or an image that stands out bolder than the regular stream of conscious thought and makes a...

The Growing Role of Chiropractic in Childbirth Education

There are few things harder for a childbirth educator to watch than a couple who tried desperately to achieve a natural birth have it slip through their fingers. How do well-prepared people sometimes end up with a birth very different than the one...

Matters of the Heart During Pregnancy

Finding Home Together in an Evolving WorldWe live in an exciting yet uncharted time. The 20th century Newtonian worldview that considered our core nature to be physical has expanded exponentially into a 21st century multidimensional,...

Understanding and Assessing Labor Progress

The current framework for understanding and assessing labor progress is inaccurate, not supported by evidence, and fails to incorporate women’s experience of birth. Given those realities, how best can we assess labor progress without vaginal...

Postpartum Doulas

Even After the Birth, Professional Expertise Can Make a Big DifferenceSometimes pregnant women say they don’t need a postpartum doula because they have their mother/husband/sister/great aunt coming to stay. Which is all well and good. But...

A Woman’s Alchemy

Since the publication of my book, The Valley Spirit, many things have evolved in my life. Some of the dilemmas I faced at that time have now been resolved and borne fruit. The most pivotal changes have been becoming a wife and mother, sacred roles...