POSTS WITH TAG: labor & delivery

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    When you're pregnant, a whole new part of the English language opens up. Suddenly you're obsessed with placentas, trimesters, and sussing out whether you should go with a sonogram or an amniocentesis to determine baby's gender. And then you hit the ninth month of your pregnancy, and a new term pops up: cervical dilation.

    It refers to the opening of the cervix, the part of the body that separates the uterus from the vagina, and according to Dr. Robert Atlas, an OB/GYN at Mercy Medical Center in Maryland, dilating is part of the body's way of getting ready for delivery.

    "As you get closer to term, the body knows to start contracting and opening of the cervix begins," he explains.

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    When Jennifer Gooddall went to battle for the kind of birth she wanted -- a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) -- she never expected that she would make national headlines and receive the kind of support she did. Nonetheless, after previously having three cesarean births, the 29-year-old mom received a letter from her hospital, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in Florida, which stated that her wishes could lead to "death or serious injury" to the baby. The hospital and a judge later determined that Gooddall could not even attempt a vaginal delivery. As a result, she was forced to deliver her fourth child via C-section on July 25.

    As you might imagine, Goodall's recovery -- from the birth and the national spotlight surrounding it -- has been challenging to say the least. She spoke with The Stir about her experience, what has helped her cope in the wake of the brouhaha, and what she would say to other moms facing pushback about the kind of birth they want to have.

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    Did you hear about a new study about giving birth? According to Mumsnet, almost half of mothers surveyed -- 47 percent -- enjoyed giving birth. These moms must not get out much. 

    Being able to close the door to pee in peace is surprisingly enjoyable. A glass of wine on the porch after a long day is enjoyable. A girls’ night out is crazy enjoyable. But giving birth? Come on now!

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    Natalie Blais, a parenting strategist, founder of A Passionate Parent, and a mom of three from Calgary in Alberta, Canada considers herself a natural-born researcher. So it's no wonder that after delivering her eldest daughter via C-section and deciding she wanted to go natural for her second, she hit the books. She made up her mind early on that she would do everything she could to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (also referred to as a VBAC).  

    Natalie talked to The Stir about how she came to this decision that's often seen as controversial in the medical community, how she faced her fears about the potential risks, and how she ended up doing it all over again for her third -- at home nonetheless!

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    Use the words "birth photography" to any mom, and you're bound to get one of two reactions. Either moms are enchanted by the idea or more than a little freaked out about having someone with a camera catching such an intimate moment. 

    Ask a photographer, on the other hand, and the reactions are much the same: birth photography, as Laura Eckert says, is addictive. Eckert is the woman behind New Creation Photography, an Iowa photography studio, but she's also the mom behind the wildly popular Birth Photography Facebook group, a place where folks like her share images of magical moments inside the delivery rooms and bedrooms where babies come into the world.

    Why would anyone want a camera in the room in one of the most personal moments of their life? Well, when you ask Eckert, the better question is why not?

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    Planning on giving birth in a hospital? You're not alone. Although home births are on the rise, out of the four million births that take place every year, a whopping 97 percent still take place in a hospital setting. And with good reason. Statistically speaking, hospitals are the safest place for a woman to have her baby. And for some mamas-to-be with pre-existing conditions, giving birth in a hospital isn't just the smarter choice, it's the only choice.

    Here, 15 reasons to give birth in a hospital.

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    Proving once again that a mom-to-be could have a birth plan, but things often don't go the way you plan, Texas mom Kristin Dickerson recently gave birth right outside a Houston hospital's doors. This after an emotionally-charged, high-speed ride with her husband behind the wheel ... and filming the labor and delivery with his GoPro camera!

    Yup. Instead of keeping his eyes firmly planted on the road, Troy Dickerson opted to multitask -- driving and documenting his wife's labor. Although he seemed pretty darn sure she wasn't nearly as far along as she seemed to believe, it turns out their son Truett (their third) was, indeed, quite ready to make his debut!

    See the drama play out in the video below ...

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    Elizabeth Keeney admits that her rural Vermont roots and the fact that she didn't used to wear makeup may make her sound a little bit "crunchy," but these days, the 33-year-old mom of two is a self-described "city person" and social worker at a public defender's office in the Bronx. With her own mother having gone through two C-sections and numerous co-workers opting for medicated, hospital births, it's very possible she could have gone that route when she got pregnant with her first child four years ago. But instead, she decided to plan a home birth.

    Elizabeth talked to The Stir about how she came to this decision and why she feels it was one of the most empowering experiences of her life -- one she chose to repeat when she had her daughter two years later.

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    When you find out you are pregnant, there are so many things to learn and think about, from choosing a baby name to how you can have the best birth experience possible. You arm yourself with knowledge and figure out the best plan for you ... then you realize that plan may deviate, so you fill your brain with more info and surround yourself with the right people. That's where the experts come in.

    To have a natural birth, sometimes you need a little help. I spoke with London King, doula and founder of Baby Caravan, and Samantha Huggins, doula and director at Carriage House Birth (both based in NYC), for their insight and tips on what should be a part of your natural birth kit. I also consulted with mother of three and natural birth advocate Nathalie Arruda, who recently home birthed baby number three. Here is their valued advice.

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    So, you're pregnant and your doctor has suggested inducing labor? Welcome to the club. An estimated one in five pregnant women end up having their labor started artificially.

    But just because your OB/GYN has suggested being induced doesn't mean it's right for you. Here are six questions to ask your physician before saying yes (or no!) to induced labor:

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