I wish I were superwoman and could post everyday here on this home birthing blog. I’m considering picking it back up here in the final weeks of my pregnancy. My intention was to add some content to the site and let it be a resource for those looking for information on home birth. Maybe I’ll have more time in the future to focus specifically on the home birth topic and share my experiences with home birth.
I haven’t had much time to post. We’ve been working on the launch of my other site, Penny Pantry, this month. I’ve also been dealing with that miserable sickness misnamed, “morning sickness”. I know many women aren’t sick when they are pregnant. I envy you! I can’t imagine how that is possible. Gagging, heaving and throwing up have been constant morning, noon and night. I don’t have morning sickness, I have all day and night sickness! That just makes life plain difficult! I’m hoping to start to see the daylight here in the next few weeks. Until then, I dream of feeling better soon!
I’ll be posting more when I come out of the first trimester cave
I found this website for finding natural childbirth resources in your area: BirthPartners.Com
You can enter in your zip code and find a wide selection of options. Check them out if you are looking for a midwife, doula or natural childbirth educator.
Here are some ways to buy natural prenatal vitamins for less. You can buy deeply discounted, high quality natural and organic vitamins for drastically reduced prices by purchasing these items online. Looking for Rainbow Light Prenatals or New Chapter Organics? Here’s the trick on how to get name brand, all natural prenatal vitamins for less….
There are many good natural prenatal vitamins on the market today, but avoid paying retail prices at the health food stores by purchasing natural vitamins online. I’ve been buying my natural prenatal vitamins and natural supplements online for years! Why online? Because it is drastically cheaper to buy natural prenatal vitamins online than it is to buy them at the expensive health food store. With a few little tips, you can save a ton of money on needed prenatal and natural childbirth vitamins, herbs, minerals and other supplements.
Here are a few places I can recommend for buying deeply discounted natural prenatal vitamins and some tips on how I buy my vitamins cheap:
1.) I highly recommend using Ebates! You can save even more on buying your prenatal vitamins if you use Ebates. Ebates is an online rebate tool that allows you to buy from thousands of online stores while earning you back rebates up to 25% back on your purchases.
If you sign up for Ebates, you will get $5 just for signing up. You can then pick the store you would like to shop at and after your purchase, you will notice the amount of money you earned back in your rebate account.
I use Ebates all the time when ordering my natural health supplements and vitamins off of Vitacost. Vitacost already has amazing deals and deeply discounted vitamins and supplements, so earning an extra 5% back from ebates is an extra bonus and insentive for me to buy from Vitacost . I get a good rebate check several times a year back off the products I buy already deeply discounted from Vitacost.com. I have been buying from them for years. They have flat rate shipping as well and deeply discounted natural vitamins, supplements and minerals. They also carry pregnancy tea, nursing mother’s tea and postpartum teas.
After I log on to my ebates account, I choose Vitacost to shop at. I am taken to a Vitcost page to order my vitamins and supplements. When I get ready to check out, I open up another browser and search on www.retailmenot.com or www.couponcabin.com for “vitacost coupon code”. If there is a coupon code available, type in the coupon code in the source code box when you are checking out. Usually, I can save an extra 5% off my order or get free shipping or a free sample just by putting in a coupon code.
Combining Ebates, already discounted vitamins at vitacost and searching for an additional coupon code, I can drastically reduce my costs for organic supplements and natural vitamins.
You can also find discounted vitamins at eVitamins. Save 20 to 70% off regular retail prices. You will find a wide variety of natural prenatal vitamins, supplements and mineral at eVitamins. They have $4.95 flat rate shipping too. They carry the popular New Chapter Organic Prenatal vitamins as well as the best selling natural prenatal vitamin, Rainbow Light. Click here
Or you can order Natural and Organic Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements at MotherNature.com. They also have deeply discounted natural and organic vitamins, mineral and supplements for well under what you would pay at the health food store. They also offer free shipping for purchasing a certain amount and flat shipping for all other orders.
I am always asked by other woman if I can recommend a good home birth midwife to them. I have been blessed with very good midwives. I am so grateful for the home birth midwives that have attended my 8 births. My midwives have been some of most influential women in my life and I am forever grateful for their wisdom and incredible care they have provided me over the years of birthing at home.
I have heard horror stories from other women about their disappointments in not being able to find a good midwife. As a prospective client, you need to evaluated the prospective midwife carefully to see if your expectations for birth will match how the midwife practices.
No two midwives are alike, just like no two doctors practice exactly alike. Home birth midwives are not the same type of midwives that work at a hospital. CNM midwives could be called “medwives”. I like CNM midwives, but after working with some of them as a doula in a hospital setting, I can tell you that hospital midwives are just really different than a home birth midwife. Don’t expect a CNM midwife to practice like a home birth midwife. They are usually considerably more medical in their approach.
Home birth midwives are different. There are lay midwives and CPM (certified professional midwife) midwives that deliver at home. However, within the group of home birth midwives, there are vast differences in home birth midwives and how they practice. You must first meet with the prospective midwife and see if she might be a match for your family.
Everyone is different and my opinion of what a good midwife is, may be entirely differnt to someone else. Some women may prefer their midwife just show up during labor and bake cookies for them while she labors in the other room by herself. Other women prefer having a midwife that is actively involved in helping her get through hard labor contractions through making eye contact, following breathing, verbally encouraging her and applying hot compresses through the labor contractions.
Here is my “good midwife” list which is my opinion of what I think a good midwife is:
A good midwife will require an interview or meeting with you and your husband before she takes you on as a client. She will want to meet you and your family and want to discuss what you are wanting in regards to your birth. You should want to interview her as well. The first interview between you and the midwife should consist of a lot of asking questions.
A good midwife will talk to you and your husband about her education, her training and certifications if any, her experiences and an overview of how she practices. From this, you should be able to know if she is a “hands off” midwife or a “hands on” midwife. You will need to match what you are wanting to how she practices. Many women looking to give birth at home are looking for a midwife that isn’t overly medical in her approach.
A good midwife will assess your risk factors prior to accepting your as her client. She will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for home birth and if not, she will tell you why and give you advice on how you can go about having the kind of birth you are looking for.
A good midwife will send you to the hospital when medically necessary. A good midwife isn’t opposed to using doctors and hospitals when necessary.
A good midwife has back up plans in case of an emergency.
A good midwife will be able to tell you what medical concerns or emergencies she transports for.
A good midwife will regularly schedule prenatal appointments with you and will be able to tell you what her prenatal appointment routine is: blood pressure check, weight check, fundal height check, baby heart beat check, checking on your prenatal nutrition and asking you if you have any questions.
A good midwife keeps good medical records. Your midwife should be filling in information on your chart at every prenatal appointment. If anything comes up, you will have a good prenatal record from which to refer.
A good midwife helps you maintain a low risk pregnancy. Good prenatal nutrition and proper pregnancy exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy and for preparing for a healthy birth. A good midwife should be talking a lot about good prenatal nutrition.
A good midwife has a good knowledge about herbal medicine. Natural herbal medicine is a wonderful gift! Herbs can be used safely during pregnancy and labor and your midwife should know what herbs are useful and beneficial during pregnancy and labor.
A good midwife is knowledgable. She should be able to answer all your prenatal and natural childbirth questions or be able to get back with you to give you an answer. When issues do arise during pregnancy, such as low iron or low protein intake, your midwife should be able to give you valuable suggestions and resources for treating these issues
A good midwife is a good teacher. Look for a midwife who is knowledgeable about holistic pregnancy, the natural birth process, healthy postpartum period and successful breastfeeding. She is willing and able to teach and train you in these areas.
A good midwife is ready and available. When she can not be available (she’s already at another birth, for example), she has backup resources that will be able to care for you or that will be there for you incase you have questions.
A good midwife is a good labor coach. While your husband should be the primary labor coach, helping and assisting you through childbirth, your midwife should be there actively involved with the birthing process. This doesn’t mean the midwife is standing over you at all times, but she does know what is going on and is aware of your stages of labor. Depending on your desires, a midwife can be a very vital lifeline of help during hard labor contractions, transition labor and pushing labor.
A good midwife offers suggestions for labor positions, encourages walking and frequent change of positions, encourages eating and drinking when necessary.
A good midwife encourages your husband and supports him as the head of your family and the one responsible for you and your baby.
A good midwife actively helps first time moms during the pushing stage of labor. The pushing stage of labor catches many first time moms by surprise. A good midwife should prepare you for the stages of labor. You should feel free to ask her questions about labor and what you should expect. She should guide you through transition and help you through the hard labor contractions, help you with your breathing, and guide your pushing so you do not tear. Many moms tear simply because someone was not actively guiding them through with when to push, when to hold, when to breathe and when to stop. Discuss the pushing stage of labor with your midwife!
A good midwife is equipped to deal with things like excessive bleeding, stitches for tearing, oxygen and CPR.
A good midwife, after the baby is born, makes sure you are doing well and the baby is doing well and has latched on and is nursing well.
A good midwife gives you detailed postpartum instructions about what you can expect.
A good midwife helps first time moms with breastfeeding and doesn’t assume…”she’ll figure it out”. Usually, first time moms are very unfamiliar with breastfeeding and need some help and encouragement. It is great to have a midwife, a mom or sisters who can stay with you and make sure the baby is well established with nursing. You need to have someone you can call on to help you. Most breastfeeding problems are because of lack of support or from lack of asking for help. New breastfeeding moms should not feel bad for asking for help. New breastfeeding moms should be aware that breastfeeding a baby is a very natural and normal thing to do, but it can take some time to get use to it and know what to do. Ask for help!
A good midwife checks on the postpartum mom. You should be having a postpartum appointment with your midwife soon after the birth. Some midwives schedule several postpartum appointments just to make sure everything is going well: the bleeding is within normal rage, your uterus is shrinking, no fever, breastfeeding is going well and your milk is established, the baby’s weight is good and other health issues are addressed, such as jaundice, normal stools etc.
A good midwife is a treasure. If you find a good midwife, be very grateful for her and tell her how much you appreciate her!
If you need a help in finding a good midwife or other natural pregnancy / birth providers: doulas, lactation consultants: You can search here on BirthPartners.com
Pregnant in America: A Nation’s Miscarriage is a documentary film directed by Steve Buonaugurio and produced Betsy Chasse. The Pregnant in America DVD is available for sale on Amazon.
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You can view the video trailer here and below is the summary:
Excitedly expecting their first child, U.S. filmmaker Steve Buonaugurio and his wife Mandy set out to explore their options. But instead of the intimate family birthing experience they anticipated, they soon realized they faced a sterile, hi-tech surgical landscape, scary statistics, and an insurance quagmire.
The assurance they felt giving birth in the U.S. medical system evaporated as they discovered it is safer to give birth in the Czech Republic, or any of the other 31 countries that have better live birth statistics, than in the United States. The knowledge that a baby has a better chance of surviving being born in El Salvador than in Detroit did little to give them peace of mind.
And then there was the little ‘C’ habit U.S. doctors had gotten into. .
Today, one out of every three births in the U.S. is a c-section, or caesarian delivery, involving major abdominal surgery. Never mind the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an industrialized nation c-section rate of no more than one in ten births never mind the dramatically increased risk for fatal blood clots, infection and complications of anesthesia that go with major surgery, or the 3-fold increased risk of postpartum maternal death. The nation which invented assembly line production in Detroit a hundred years ago has figured out how to make birth a medical model of efficiency. Eliminating long labors, late night delivery calls, and unexpected overflows in the delivery room, rapidly escalating numbers of scheduled hospital c-sections now guarantee the C in caesarian stands for Convenience and Cost. In some states a caesarian delivery can expense out at $45,000..
What has driven hospitals and insurance companies to turn birth into a commercial, assembly line process? What has morphed the most natural and beautiful of human experiences into a medical condition? Is it all about profits? What alternatives exist for parents who desire a more human experience?.
Determined to discover answers, Steve and Mandy traveled all over the globe, searching for guidance. They filmed meetings with doctors and midwives from Holland, the Home Birth Capital of the World. They went to Germany and England and met Janet Balaskas at The Active Birth Center. They talked to Michel Odent, Father of Water Birth. They interviewed natural childbirth advocates, American OBGYNs, anthropologists, sociologists, representatives from the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and medical supply houses. They stood in Times Square and conducted impromptu surveys, and they talked to hundreds of pregnant women, new moms and families.
What Steve and Mandy discovered shocked them. And it will shock you.
What kind of information could convince two educated American parents to not participate in the American Childbirth System? What kind of information made them decide upon no tests, no check-ups, and a home birth alone? .
The answers are revealed as Pregnant in America examines the history of childbirth, our current childbirth system and the direction U.S. obstetrics might be headed. It unflinchingly studies the causes behind the rising trend of c-sections, health insurance limitations, overuse of drugs in childbirth, fear-driven commercialism, the misconceptions around pain, unfriendly hospital environments for mothers and newborns, the safety of home births, social theories of power and control, exploitation of the family, and the culture of ignorance.
Mandy and Steves personal experiences weave this poignant film together as their cameras go behind the scenes in hospitals, birthing centers, and at-home births to explore the real physical and emotional conditions of childbirth, the safety issues, and the myths we have come to live and give birth by.
A thought-provoking, funny, inspirational movie, Pregnant in America will change the way people in America think and feel about childbirth forever.
The best way to prepare for natural childbirth is to read a lot about natural childbirth.
Check your library for natural childbirth books. You could print out this list of books and take it to your library. You can also order these books online through the links provided below. Ebay and half.com are other resources for ordering inexpensive natural birth books.
There are a lot of childbirth books out on the market.
Some are overly medical and not worth a penny. The book, What To Expect When Your Expecting, is one book that I can think of that isn’t worth your time or money. It’s horribly biased. Don’t waste your time reading it.
Here are some good books that positively and accurately approach pregnancy and childbirth. Most are specifically natural childbirth, but a few are great childbirth books that give both sides.
Naturally Healthy Pregnancy by Shonda Parker I love Shonda Parker’s books. She is very balanced and writes from a Christian perspective on natural pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and lactation subjects. This is not a childbirth book. It is a pregnancy book that mainly talks about nutrition and how to cure pregnancy ailments naturally. In a small section, she does cover some helpful information regarding preparing for labor and childbirth. I refer to this book all the time. You may find this book cheaper on ebay or on Shonda Parker’s website, Naturally Healthy.
Homebirth by Sheila Kitzinger In this book, Sheila Kitzinger gives the reader all the information she needs to plan a birth in a setting that she can control herself, whether at home, in a birth center or in a birthing room. She cites first-hand accounts of birth in and out of hospital. It’s out of print so it may be difficult to find but it is a good home birth book to have on hand.
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) by Sheila Kitzinger Kitzinger’s book is well written, comprehensive and easy to understand. The book is not a total home birth book. It is more of a well-rounded childbirth education type. She is very pro-birth and pro-family. She does not view childbirth as something awful but points out a positive view on pregnancy and childbirth. Very good book.
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition This is an excellent graphic, illustrated how to book on natural childbirth. It covers the stages of labor and give practical ways you can work with your body to naturally birth your baby. I would highly recommend it to anyone desiring natural childbirth at home or in the hospital. If I had only one book to buy about natural childbirth, this would probably be it.
The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) This is an excellent book by the Sears. Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha, talk about birth in a very positive light. The book is not a specific home birth book at all, but it covers a lot of information regarding childbirth. I would also recommend The Pregnancy Book and The Breastfeeding Book by the Sears too.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. This book provides some very inspiring natural birth information and stories by the famous midwife, Ina May Gaskin. She tells rich stories and gives practical information and helpful techniques about the birth process. She stresses that childbirth is not something to fear and should be celebrated as something wonderful.
Heart and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth For over two decades, Heart and Hands has been a beloved guide for both midwives and parents interested in the benefits of midwifery care. This all-new fourth edition has been revised from start to finish, featuring updated material that emphasizes independent midwifery, physiologic (natural) birth, and the art of nonintervention. Midwifery expert Elizabeth Davis includes valuable hints for turning breech and posterior babies, mediating pain in labor, and supporting newborn physiology. Davis also reveals the keys to postpartum recovery, with practical tips on breastfeeding for busy mothers. Comprehensive and compassionate, Heart and Hands remains a dog-eared classic for parents, midwives, and other birthing helpers.
Is Giving Birth at Home right for you?
You might be wondering is giving birth at home right for you? I remember thinking that home birth was what people did before modern technology and hospitals? Giving birth at home was something back in the Little House on the Prairie days? Wow, was I sorely wrong! Home birth has been rapidly gaining popularity. And for good reason.
As women continue to desire to give birth at home, more information and resources are becoming available. There is great support for midwife attended deliveries and home birth than ever before. More communities are becoming home birth friendly and more doctor’s are seeing the positive results from the home birth deliveries.
Is giving birth at home right for you? If you are interested in giving birth at home you should evaluate your risks and make wise decisions accordingly.
You might like to consider giving birth at home if:
- You have a healthy, normal, low-risk pregnancy. High risk pregnancies make giving birth at home more difficult and complicated.
- You may want to give birth at home if you desire to have a natural, drug free delivery.
- You may want to give birth at home if you desire to use a midwife for your prenatal care and delivery.
- You may want to give birth at home if you want to avoid labor restrictions commonly enforced in the hospital setting: freedom of movement, freedom to eat and drink during labor, freedom to take a shower or bath, freedom to labor and birth in helpful positions.
- You may want to give birth at home if you want to avoid unnecessary medical procedures like the episiotomy, labor drugs, routine I.V and other routine labor interventions.
- You may want to give birth at home if you prefer your baby not be subject to routine tests and vaccinations right after birth.
- You may want to give birth at home just so you can be in the peace and comfort of your own home surrounded by family and friends.
Regardless of your main reasons, giving birth at home can be a richly rewarding experience.
If you are considering home birth:
- Write down your reason on why you want to have your baby at home. What are your main reasons for giving birth at home?
- Research everything you can on giving birth at home.
- Talk to other moms who have given birth at home. Ask them about their experience and any tips they have for you.
- Interview a home birth midwife and ask her every question you can think of regarding home birth?
- Read online material about giving birth at home. Search for home birth, preparing for home birth, giving birth at home, natural childbirth at home. These should give you a good start for researching home birthing information.
- Read books about home birth. Here are some books you can start with.
- Watch a video of a woman giving birth at home!
- Attend a home birth of a friend or family member. This can be the best way to actually finding out what home birth is like (besides experiencing it for yourself).
Low iron in pregnancy is a common problem for pregnant women. If you find yourself with low iron during pregnancy, you will want to seek out natural iron supplementation if you want to cure pregnancy anemia naturally. If you are in need of natural iron supplements for low iron in pregnancy, there are lots of good natural iron supplements available online. Regular iron supplements cause constipation and other less desirable side effects. Natural iron supplements books iron levels naturally, efficiently and effectively.
“The National Academy of Science recommends pregnant women take a iron supplement containing 30 mg. of iron a day during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.” This section is designed to give you information on specific natural iron supplements. Iron supplementation can cause constipation so it is important to use a natural form of iron if you choose to supplement.
Here are some good natural iron supplements that I have found that are not only natural, but effective in bring up low iron levels during pregnancy. Keep reading as I will explain further on how you can buy discounted natural supplements for over 50% off health food store prices.
The absolute best natural iron supplement for low iron in pregnancy is Spirulina. Spirulina is actually a whole food. It is pure algae that is full of natural colloidal minerals. Iron is a common mineral deficiency found in pregnant women. Spirulina answers this problem because it is an iron rich food offering 10 times the amount of iron than common iron foods. Adding Spirilina to the pregnancy diet will dramatically boost not only your iron levels, but it will give you other necessary minerals naturally. Studies show that iron in Spirulina is 60% better absorbed than iron supplements such as iron sulfate. Iron in spirulina is absorbed into the body much more efficiently over other iron rich foods. Avoid ordering Spirulina from China because of contamination. Spirulina harvested in the pure waters of Hawaii is best.
Chlorofresh Liquid Chlorophyll: This is a natural supplement that can be used for bringing up low iron levels during pregnancy. Chlorophyll is often used in the treatment of pregnancy anemia because it builds the red blood cells. It helps the body utilize iron. Chlorophyll normalizes production of digestive fluids and relieves constipation. Chlorophyll promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora, eliminates water retention, aids lactation and stimulates the production of vitamins A, E and K. Chlorofresh Chlorophyll also comes in tablet form.
FloraDix Iron and Herbs: This is an excellent product that will quickly cure low iron during pregnancy. It is an all natural herbal formula that is designed to be easily absorbed, rich in vitamins and non-constipating. It is a vegetarian liquid formula that combines B-vitamins, Vitamin C, rosehip extract and digestive herbs. FloriDix Iron and Herbs has a yeast free formula. It is also safe for people with yeast or gluten allergies. FloraDix products are found at local health food stores, but are very expensive compared to what you can get it online for. I would advise ordering discounted natural supplements online using a trick I’ve found for getting discounted vitamins for 50% or more off health food store prices.
Tri-Iron is a high iron herbal formula made by Trilight Herbs. Tri-Iron is a certified organic vitamin supplement which is a plus for those looking for organic vitamins. It is a liquid, sugar free, alcohol free iron formula in a glycerine water base. It is made with nettle leaf, yellow dock, red raspberry, dandelion, anise and is designed to increase iron absorption in the body without causing constipation. This formula is a good product however it runs $35 for a 8 oz. bottle or $110 for a 32 oz bottle. Trilight herbs are sold by Trilight Health. They also have steep shipping costs.
Amazing Results with Juicing
One of the absolute best ways to cure anemia during pregnancy is with jucing. Curing iron anemia in pregnancy with fresh vegetable juice is an ultra healthy way to address a common pregnancy problem. Juicing will give you amazingly fast results! Juicing works quick and is a great way to get needed pure, natural, raw vitamins and minerals in your pregnancy diet.
If you are juicing to raise iron levels you should consume fresh juice daily or at least every other day. Don’t start off drinking gallons of the stuff…..start off with a small 6 or 8 oz. glass. If your trying to build hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, remember that hemoglobin and hematocrit levels do not jump up overnight. It will take weeks to optimize your levels. For maintaining levels, consume lots of green foods and juice about 3 times a week or more. Juicing is excellent for pregnant and nursing mothers!
You may add other dark green vegetables if you desire. Experiment with different apples to produce different tastes. I prefer Fuji apples for juicing for their sweetness.
Clean your vegetables before juicing.
Some people strain their juice but I prefer not straining the juice to retain some of the fiber. Strained juice can sometimes affect the stomach and bowels. To prevent this—keep the fiber in the juice.
You may add other dark green vegetables if you desire. Experiment with different apples to produce different tastes. I prefer Fuji apples for juicing for their sweetness.
Clean your vegetables before juicing.
Some people strain their juice but I prefer not straining the juice. You should keep at least some of the pulp in your juice because it is excellent fiber and easier on your digestive system! Strained juice can sometimes affect the stomach and bowels. To prevent this—keep the fiber in the juice.
Ask your midwife for juicing suggestions.