FAVORITE RESOURCES {for pregnancy and birth}

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers -- strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength."

-- Barbara Katz Rothman

 

It takes a village and you are not alone.  There are people, resources, networks and communities to support you in your journey.  Below are a few starting points to explore and more specific recommendations can be made after we get to know each other:

EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH ON BIRTH

  • Evidence-Based Birth Blog- A fantastic selection of useful and well researched articles/videos for a range of common birth issues (i.e. prenatal vitamins, pain management during birth, skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, etc.)
  • Childbirth Connection- A detailed and fact-based site that explains all stages of the pregnancy journey, providing both medical and real-world insights.
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews- Clinical trials, case studies and reviews (scroll down the homepage to the "Pregnancy and Childbirth" section and/or "Complimentary & Alternative Medicine" section. Note: the filter and search engine on this site are very helpful).
  • VBAC Facts- A combination of research and personal experiences about the risks and advantages of having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
  • The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services- An advocacy group focused on promoting The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative and raising awareness about the experience of childbirth.

OPTIMAL FETAL POSITIONING

  • Spinning Babies Website- Leading resource on natural techniques to shift fetal positions and understand the importance of positioning in the birth experience.
  • Is your baby in the "ideal" fetal position? - This website offers an informative visual of each fetal position and offers anecdotal examples of methods of influencing your baby's position.
  • Seeking Professional Help- This article offers an overview of some professional services to support creating ideal fetal positioning such as physical therapy, massage, chiropractic sessions, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, etc.  
  • 10 Reasons Prenatal Yoga will Help- by Prenatal Yoga Center


NUTRITION 
(Remember to consult with you provider before adopting a new diet during pregnancy)

  • March of Dimes Overview of Nutrition, Weight & Fitness- This site offers many links about why specific nutrients are important and addresses many commonly asked questions.
  • Mayo Clinic Diet- This is a basic and simple overview of nutritional guidelines for pregnancy.
  • Ayurveda and Pregnancy- For mothers who are familiar with Ayurvedic principles and would like to continue through pregnancy and postpartum, this blog offers some helpful and holistic advice for nutrition and overall balance.  Vaidya Shaaranya, the author and Ayurveda specialist, is also available for private consultations remotely.
  • The Brewer Diet- A diet developed in the 1950's and 1960's to support both normal and high-risk pregnancies (especially incidence of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia(toxemia)). The Brewer diet is high in protein and whole grains and relatively high in fat. Here is the original sister site that also offers some more information on this diet. (NOTE: Both websites are not well maintained but are still full of treasures.)
  • Mama Natural - A simple breakdown and summary of key things to keep in mind to nourish your body through the pregnancy journey.

COMMON CHILDBIRTH TECHNIQUES & TOOLS 

  • How to Choose a Childbirth Class by Brandy Ferner on Huffington Post
  • Expectful- A wonderful companion throughout your pregnancy and birth experience providing grounding meditations for every moment.
  • The Miles Circuit-  A precious tool prenatally and during early labor to help regulate and/or speed up labor.
  • The Bradley Method-Also called husband-coached birth, the Bradley method prepares the mother to deliver naturally without pain medications and prepares the baby's father to be mom's birth coach. That said, parents are also prepared for unexpected emergencies and shifts in plan.  There is also a focus given to prenatal diet and the overall well-being of the parents.
  • Lamaze International- This technique does not promote the use of interventions nor discourages it.  Lamaze education helps women to gain confidence in their bodies, to trust their innate ability to give birth and to make informed decisions about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting.
  • Hypnobirthing / The Mongan MethodA technique of natural childbirth that uses complete relaxation, self-hypnosis, visualization and breath to release fears and soften the intensity of birth. Teachers emphasize pregnancy and childbirth, as well as on pre-birth parenting and the consciousness of the pre-born baby.

     

CESAREAN & VBAC SUPPORT

BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT

  • La Leche League International- An international organization focused on providing one-on-one support and develops peer-to-peer environments for new parents.  Every city has its own chapter and hosts various free events and free professional consultations.
  • Health Direct, Pregnancy, Birth & Baby- This is one of my favorite and most practical sites that explains the basics of breastfeeding, while addressing some common challenges and misconceptions.
  • Kelly Mom- This site addresses a wide range of breastfeeding myths, facts and tips (as well as a wide range of other pregnancy related topics).
  • Healthy Children Project, Center for Breastfeeding- This site lists informative videos and books for both medical professionals and new parents. 
  • Is my Baby Getting Enough Milk? This is the most common concern for mothers days after birth.  This overview is a quick guide of what to look for to answer this question. 

PREPARING FOR POSTPARTUM


POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION RESOURCES

  • The Postnatal Project- You are not alone and there is no 'one size fits all' approach. This site/movement seeks to shed light on the realities of the postnatal period and provide soulful support through skilled consultations, connection, experience and facts.
  • Postpartum Support International- This is the number to a postpartum helpline 800-944-4773. There are links on this site to connect you to local resources for support.
  • Fact Sheet on Postpartum Depression-  This site offers an overview of common questions about depression and lists ways to recognize they symptoms after birth.
  • Tips for Postpartum Dads & Partners- Depression effects everyone and it is important to remember that you are never alone.  This link offers some helpful tips for mom's support team.
  • HealthyChildren.org- This site does a good job of differentiating between baby blues, postpartum depression and psychosis. There are also some relevant links on the bottom of the article for follow-up.  

IDENTITY & TRANSFORMATION


PARENTING RESOURCES

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean within a drop."

-- Rumi