Improving Birth’s National Rally for Change

On Monday, September 3rd, 2012–Labor Day–Improving Birth hosted a nationwide Rally for Change. The goal? To raise awareness about the unnecessarily high cesarean and induction rates, promote informed consent and birth options, and rally for evidence based care. Birth matters, birth is safe, and we can do better.

The rallies were held in every state, in over 100 cities, with nearly 10,000 total people in attendance. Our rally itself had about 80 people. There were several in IL, which is wonderful–our state is in desperate need

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How to get newborn screenings after a homebirth

Last month I wrote about newborn screenings and the resources you can find on Baby’s First Test. Typically, the newborn screenings (heel prick, hearing test, and–in some states/hospitals–pulse ox) are done after birth while still at the hospital. That makes it pretty easy! You can check what your state tests for specifically–you may have to ask for the pulse ox if it’s not done routinely.

So what if your baby is born at HOME?

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Top 5 reasons for hiring a doula at a homebirth

Some women don’t know what a doula is (no worries, my computer is also trying to auto-correct the word like it doesn’t exist)… some know, but don’t want one for their birth… and some think doulas are only beneficial in a hospital setting.

We didn’t hire a doula for our first birth. It was in a hospital and while we knew what a doula was, we just didn’t think we’d NEED one. I knew what I wanted–a natural birth–and I had my husband by my side. I mean, come on, we read The Bradley

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do you know what your baby is screened for at birth?

“Newborn Screening” is a general term applied to the tests your baby typically gets at birth. But do you know what the screening includes? I believe I first heard about them when I was pregnant with Ryan, but it took some research to really learn what the testing included and what Ryan would be screened for.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents submit their child to testings or screenings with no idea what they’re for or what their child is getting. But I understand that sometimes the information can either be

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Our homebirth VBAC story

I’d been having “prodromal” labor for a couple weeks. I hate to call it that, but they were stronger than my normal braxton-hicks that I’d been having for months and they were consistently 1-1.5 minutes in length and 5-minutes apart for hours at a time. There were three specific times that I surely thought I was in labor! But every time, the contractions died down and stopped… usually after a sleepless night. I was frustrated, discouraged, and exhausted. Contractions are hard work! And I wasn’t used to daily workouts, haha.

I remember waking up

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postpartum feelings: a c-section to VBAC comparison

The differences postpartum between my first birth and my second are like night and day. Completely different experiences, mindsets, and feelings. I don’t even know where to start…

After Ryan was born, I was depressed. It was absolutely beyond the baby blues and although I was never diagnosed with PPD, I believe that is what I had. PPD manifests in different ways for different people. I wasn’t angry and I didn’t hate my child…. I was a zombie. There were just simply no emotions at all. Of course I spent lots of time crying,

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essential oils: aromatherapy for labor

One thought that kept repeating through my head while I was in labor: “wow, you just don’t get this type of special treatment in a hospital.” I mean, I was pampered. I ate well, my feet were rubbed, my hair was brushed, the supply of water and juice was never-ending, my shoulders were massaged, I got plenty of warm showers and baths…. it was amazing. Okay, apart from the pain of labor lol, it was amazing.

The part I want to focus on right now is the use of essential oils

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