Archive for the ‘natural birth’ Category

Sunday Surf: Homebirth and Natural Childbirth: Dads and Siblings

This is the last of a series of three posts on birth. The first was on labor, postpartum and other birth information. The second included links to birth stories and videos. This post is intended to gather links for dads or birth partners as well as resources to prepare siblings.

I worried about my daughter’s role during my second homebirth. As it turns out, she was fantastic and everything was natural and easy. She makes appearances in a few wonderful shots in video slideshow of my son’s homebirth. Having her there was so special to me. In fact, when I needed to not be alone, she was the only one there! I love that girl…..




Sunday Surf: Natural Birth, Homebirth and Unassisted Birth Videos and Stories

This post has moved to the new A Living Family site!

Please check out the awesome, powerful videos and stories at this new link.

Sunday Surf: Birth from Pregnancy to Postpartum: Information

[I planned to start this birth series before baby came. I expected to be going into labor a day or two from now. Instead, my son is two weeks old(!), and I post these as a new mama of two. (This has inspired an ongoing Tandem Nurturer series.)]

This is the first of a series of three posts on labor and birth. Following this will be a post with resources for dads/partners and siblings and one with birth videos and stories. These are not all the resources out there. (For instance, I don’t have books, film and product suggestions…a fourth post?). These are some of the links I have gathered along the way and found helpful. I hope they help others, too.


This post has moved to the new A Living Family site!

Please check out the awesome, powerful videos and stories at this new link.

Sunday Surf: The Real Deal

Usually I cheat and make Sunday Surf on a theme to provide information. Today is the real deal. These are just articles and things I’ve looked at that I think are worth sharing:

Building a Table (from Palumba)

From Conception to Birth

Trying to Conceive Naturally: What Are the Next Steps? (Natural Parents Network)

TTC (trying to conceive) is a hard place to be. I didn’t explain in my miscarriage post, but trying to conceive after that felt like a whole to do. About the only thing that actually helped was acupuncture. (I had an extra long cycle that got cut down by about a week, and regulated my hormone levels a bit, I believe.) Still, I did the thermometer, ovulation kits, herbs and more. In the end, I got fed up and gave up trying and that was the time we conceived my daughter. Interestingly, it also happened to be one year to the cycle of my lost baby’s conception.

This is a great NPN post sharing the range of options available to those TTC .

Please Sign Here, You Have No Rights (Birth Without Fear)

Technically, you can go into a hospital with a napkin that says “I consent to

Mother and Baby: Positioning after Birth (Delayed Cord Clamping: Cord Clamping Information and Research)


“I do wonder if more women gave birth without interference (or out of water maybe), would we be more accustomed to seeing mother-directed third stage of labour – where women might have a short rest before attending to her baby – and have a greater appreciation and understanding of physiological fetal-to-neonatal transition?

It is instinct in some mammals to rest in the first 30s-1m or so after birth – leaving the baby undisturbed during placental transfusion. Do we have these same instincts, to be above our babies, to gaze at and touch our babies, to watch them breathe and check the cord…before lifting our babies up?



I found this company after looking for solid wood tables for my daughter. They are pricier than plastic counterparts (or DIY, if you can/are interested in making your own things). All of their products are beautiful, however, so they make a good suggestion for folks trying to buy you stuff that maybe you don’t want… grandparents. This stuff is built to last and inspire the imagination. Here’s more about them:

“We specialize in organic, natural, sustainably built, handmade children’s items created from all natural materials. Palumba’s offering of safe, non-toxic childrens toys, musical items, art supplies and clothing are all dedicated to the natural home.

Best of all, 80% of our toys are made in the USA; the rest are crafted in Fair Trade Cooperatives. All of our toys are made without any toxins or unsafe parts. They are all of heirloom quality, hand crafted and sustainably made with care and integrity.”

Understanding Brain Development in Young Children

Some recent research on how the brain develops, how it is constructed and periods of brain development (language, physical, emotional and so forth). Of course the point is that children’s brains are laying the wiring down in the first years. Here’s the conclusion:

“The development of a child’s brain holds the key to the child’s future. Although the “first years last forever” in terms of the rapid development of young children’s brains, the actual first years of a child’s life go by very quickly. So touch, talk, read, smile, sing, count and play with your children. It does more than make both of you feel good. It helps a child’s brain develop and nourishes the child’s potential for a lifetime.”

Idea List for Toddler/Preschooler Activity Bags (Intrepid Murmurings)

This post is an absolute gold mine of ideas for keeping little hands engaged and exploring — easy, quick and packed full of potential! Seriously, every one is something doable, creative and fun!

Finished Chair!


Best of 2011 from Natural Parents Network Volunteers

Take the time it takes to surf through these links — awesome stuff! These piqued my interest:

        • Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before? — I don’t want to give things away because it’s an important read….
        • An-depth and informative post about the menstrual cup option, specifically the Diva Cup.
        • A bittersweet post about an (abrupt) child-led end to a cosleeping relationship — of course this made me want to stare at my daughter in the middle of the night and hug her close, especially with another baby on the way and our solo time in bed ending….
        • 80 Uses for Coconut Oil gave me lots of ideas of what to do with the super good stuff I got from a local guy at our coop. This stuff is good for you–all of you!
        • The Best First Food for Baby made me understand why my daughter might have eaten the way she did on our baby-led solids journey. Fascinating!

One Teacher’s Approach to Preventing Gender Bullying in a (1st Grade) Classroom

One of my former students brought this to my attention. It made me think about all the ways in which my environment as a parent trying to raise my daughter is gendered from before birth. Try finding a “girl” shirt that doesn’t have ruffles or puffs or shiny bits or flowers. Even Melissa and Doug has a toy in a “friendship” set (pink and flowery) and a “vehicles” set (primary colors and all vehicles). This article took a glimpse into the classroom to see how these gendered realities are affecting children and their relationships.

Don’t Fix These Toddler Struggles

Loved this post because it not only normalizes the struggles that toddlers have but gives confidence and encouragement to caregivers to trust children and their natural learning processes. What seems like a problem to the adults isn’t necessarily problematic to children…

The Tandem Mommy (

As someone hoping to see if the tandem experience is for my daughter and I (and baby #2), this post felt like a real, honest and helpful post. As always, the comments are good to go through as well.

Sunday Surf: Alternative Parenting Info for Family and Friends

Holidays and celebrations usually mean family get togethers and all that comes with those situations.

For many, this is a joyous time when perhaps people who rarely enjoy sharing the same space have a day or more to “live together” in some ways. What happens when the small family unit chooses to live differently than the family at large? For parents who subscribe to alternative/gentle/positive/natural/attachment whatever you call it parenting, the coming together of different styles of raising children can cause tension and frustration. Some families also have a hard time over the phone or the internet.

A few things I think cause trouble are a lack of compassionate understanding of the various “sides” and feelings of judgment and defensiveness that block communication. This happens for everyone, but it seems that the hows, whats and whys of a less typical type of parent are less known (and also, therefore, respected?). I know I wish that my family could read some of the articles that shape my parenting choices.

What follows is a rough draft of my dream list of 10 blog posts to give someone a sense of where I am currently coming from as a mother. (Yes, I reserve the right to change and learn and grow.)

***Last minute addition!***

I just found this post on the 10 RIE principles of caregiving, and it addresses all the main issues I’ve been trying to raise with my own family. I may even share it with said family…….

10 Articles to Help Understand My Parenting Aspirations

Sunday Surf: Birth

As I face and prepare for another homebirth, I have been seeking inspiration and information. I find that in all kinds of places, not just stories about homebirth. Here are some of the spots I’ve stopped along the way:

Woman Belly Dances through “Pain-Free, 4-Hour Labor” (video)

Want to birth naturally but feel safer in a hospital? Looking for natural pain management tips? Try out of the box, yet ancient, technique! I know I feel more freed up and interested in creative movement this time around. Last time I kind of went to Birthland and rode things out without too many tricks. I don’t want to be caught in my head or body without extra tricks to help me and to help my husband help me through the tough spots. Bellydance is just the thing. (Also good for heartburn and other pregnancy aches and pains….)

Homebirth of an 11 pound Baby

Worried about a “big baby?” Since my first was a six-pounder with a head circumference in the .5%, I have been working on getting my mind around birthing a bigger baby. Of course I hear women tell me all the time that they were/are unable to birth a baby over 8 pounds. (Someone is telling them this, too, obviously.) I find joy in reading big baby natural birth stories because they strengthen my faith and understanding in the power of a woman’s body. Trust is everything in birth and life, in my experience. (This is an awesome story about a 5 hour, second time birth, too.)

Fetus Ejection Reflex and the Art of Midwifery

I may be getting carried away because of my own ambitions toward a gentle birth, but I think everyone should understand this reflex. Essentially, if you wouldn’t tell a breastfeeding mother to “let down” so milk would flow or wouldn’t tell a man to ejaculate to release sperm then it follows that you wouldn’t need to tell a woman in labor who has had uninterrupted hormone flow to push. Brilliant. Gave me some great ideas for letting go and letting my body and baby work.

What are the risks of epidurals?

I feel strongly that homebirth is right for me. This means epidurals are not an option. I hate needles, so I can see me going without in the hospital, too. I guess since I haven’t considered it for myself and because it seems so common among people I talk to, I never considered the risks of epidurals — a medical pain management technique. (I found natural methods highly effective in my first birth, and there is no risk to swaying, moaning, visualizing, breathing, and saying mantras/affirmations in my head.) Our friends, the Dyen Family wrote this blogpost….or there’s a video version if you prefer.

What You Don’t Know about Your Cervix Could Ruin Your Birth

Ahh, the cervix. Mysterious little thing in the unknown darkness. Lots of myths surrounding this body part that is most significant during childbirth. Here are four of them. The point? The cervix is capable of doing things that you cannot imagine. Give it some credit, and let it do it’s thing.

Birth Art

I am a strong believer in birth art. “Birth Art is an incredible method of teaching you what you already know about your birth, but didn’t know you knew it!” For both mamas and dads, for first time moms and moms of multiples, before and after birth. Birthing from Within gave me the idea and the encouragement in the first place. I am no artist, but, as I describe in my birth story, making the 4 drawings I did and sharing them with my midwife before the birth meant that a lot of stuff that could have come up as obstacles during labor didn’t. I like seeing other people’s birth art, want to incorporate art into Birth Story Circles and will definitely have it as part of my childbirth classes when I become an Birthworks educator.

I Can’t Help but Cry

I’m free with my emotions. I admit it. But I think most people must feel or think something when they read this article…..from the BABY’s perspective. “What Natural Childbirth Means to Your Baby” at the least, I think, would help people understand and advocate for mothers and babies and families much more than they do.

She also had great related posts:

  1. We Choose Natural Childbirth Because We Know What Goes On in the Hospital
  2. Childbirth Without Fear – What You Need To Know About Fear And How It Affects You And Your Baby
  3. An Unexpectedly Unassisted Natural Childbirth
  4. Giving Birth At Home – The Benefits Of Home Childbirth
  5. How to Get Your Partner on Board With Your “Crazy” Natural Childbirth Idea- A Mans Perspective
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