“Fear Itself” Is Not a Thing to Fear

Franklin, you're not helping these ladies.

Sorry Franklin, you’re not helping these ladies.

FDR had good intentions when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But let’s take a look at how that plays out in pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

If you’ve done your research on natural childbirth, you’ve probably covered quite a bit of literature on the mind-body connection. It’s real. When we feel unsafe, or very afraid, our bodies may not be able to release as easily. Our muscles resist relaxation. Our happy hormones can’t flow freely. Anecdote after anecdote in natural childbirth standards such as Birthing from Within or Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth reveal that fear can inhibit the natural process of birth.

But fear is natural too. Continue reading

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Questioning the Birth Control Conversation

The Pill and Feminism

Access to birth control is a long-standing feminist issue. The argument is that women have the right to make decisions for their own bodies, which includes planning, postponing and preventing pregnancy. Advocates for robust sex education push for discussion of birth control options in the classroom, in an effort to prevent unplanned pregnancies (and abortion and poverty). I support every woman’s right to access the birth control options she feels are appropriate for her.

But there’s a problem with this conversation.

Does the way we think about birth control contribute to the cycle of oppression of women? Is the real feminist issue being completely overlooked? Continue reading

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Labor P.R.

Who to tell you're in labor

My clients are often caught off guard by one of my prenatal questions: “Do you plan to keep any family or friends updated about your labor?”

For most people, it’s a given that their parents and grandparents, siblings, and best friends will know that they are in labor. For some people, it’s a given that all their facebook friends will know. There’s certainly not a right or wrong answer, but it is a question that should be given solid thought before baby’s birthday rolls around. Here are some considerations when making this important decision: Continue reading

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Postpartum Visits

Postpartum doula San JoseMany couples find that, while they researched and prepared like mad for the birth, they didn’t think much about what life with the newborn would be like. I encourage all parents-to-be to design a postpartum plan, just as you would a birth plan, to be ready to bring baby home. Continue reading

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