When I decided to expand my business from services to products, there was a greater purpose in the back of my mind. When you reach a larger audience you have the ability to make a greater impact. To share the story that is at the core of who you are and why you do what you do. Many of you may not know that I’m a trained doula and childbirth educator. I pursued both because I firmly believe that every woman in the world deserves to have the birth of her choice, and by educating myself on the matter I’m able to share what I’ve learned when given the opportunity. I’ve had the honor (and truly it is the most humbling honor) to attend a few births helping women get through the labor of birthing a new life into this world. And while it’s not in the cards for me to pursue that full time, I knew I still wanted to find a way to help. It was around the same time I started thinking through the idea of an online shop that I found Every Mother Counts. And I knew this was the organization that was going to be part of my new venture. They are dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. And they work worldwide, including here in the US.
A portion of all sales from my shop goes towards helping them achieve their mission. As a business owner, I truly believe this is one of the best ways I can give back to a cause I feel so deeply about. I encourage you to visit their site to learn all about the tangible ways in which they are working with women in various cultures, breaking down barriers and focusing on the common thread that binds every mother together.
PS: You can see my birth plan and read my birth story to learn more about my personal journey with birth.
Like every subject out there, the number of books on pregnancy and childbirth can be overwhelming. I’ve found over the past year that there a few I continually recommend to people based on what type of material they want to read and how much information they really want to know. The four listed above are among my favorites, and here’s a rundown on each of them and why:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility: Whether you are thinking about pregnancy, have been trying for some time, or you are already pregnant, this book is absolutely wonderful. It’s more than simply learning a natural method of birth control (which we all know means ‘preggers whether or not planned’, right? Not necessarily! We practiced this method for 3 years before ‘trying’ and I knew the exact day I got pregnant because I understood the info from this book – perhaps more on that another day). It teaches you how to learn your body’s cycle and when it’s even possible to actually make a baby. It offers an alternative to the chemicals, hormones and crazy side affects you may be experiencing on birth control. It goes into detail about how your body is created and what all is going on so you can feel more in control and know that you’re really not crazy a few days each month. It’s a great starting place to better understand the entire birth cycle that begins before conception. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth: This book is a good option if you want facts, statistics and heady material. Henci Goer is an award-winning medical writer and is an acknowledged expert on evidence-based maternity care. She covers everything from induction of labor, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), and more to help you make informed decisions based on practical advice. Again, it is heady but it is full of good information if you are ready to dive into the specifics and be reassured that birth is not meant to be a fearful experience. The Birth Partner: This is the book I recommend most often. The information is well laid out and written in an easy to follow format so you don’t leave feeling overwhelmed or confused. It’s perfect for both mom and dad/partner because it includes specifics on labor and birth, including the medical side as well as coping mechanisms for experiencing birth without medical intervention. In my opinion, this book most closely resembles most of what you should learn in a birthing class, and it expresses the importance of having labor support (which is so very important!). Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: Written by one of the leading midwives in the US, Ina May’s guide includes pages upon pages of birth stories as well as statistics and information about birth. Before I recommend this book to someone I preface with the fact that she is ”hippie and homely” in her approach. This means some of the birth stories may be uncomfortable to read. Don’t let that scare you away! Every person’s birth experience is unique and very personal. One of the best things about this book is that it gives us a look into those personal stories and allows the opportunity to see birth as normal and safe. Whether our experience is similar to someone else’s isn’t the point. It’s that we all have a story to share, and what a beautiful thing to learn from each other in this way. I think reading other birth stories is one of the best ways to prepare for your own birth.
I hope this list helps a bit in figuring out the best resources for your birth. If you have any questions about these books, or if you are thinking about reading another book and want to ask about it please do so! Feel free to share your favorite resource in the comments section for others to know about, too. Enjoy the day. xo
It’s true. We didn’t send out birth announcements for little R. Between moving cities (when he was 5 days old!), Greg starting law school, and my adjusting to work/mama routine, well, I admit birth announcements were not at the top of my to do list. We decided to include one of our family photographs from when little R was two weeks old in our Christmas card along with an updated photo of him so family and friends could see the little chunk he was becoming. All that to say, I do love the idea of sending out a birth announcement especially when loved ones tend to be spread across the states. These are a few of my favorite ideas I have seen lately. Did you send out an announcement? Was it traditional or do you have another creative idea to share with us?
It is with great joy that I can share I’m officially an Alpha childbirth instructor! I’ll be teaching the class to women and couples giving birth in southern Louisiana. So, what is Alpha exactly? Here’s the info from their website…
If you or anyone you know are looking for a class that informs and educates on all aspects of labor and birth please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Alpha website to learn more and register for an upcoming class. I look forward to offering this great curriculum to anyone interested!
I watched this video last night and was in awe. Seriously, I couldn’t wait to share it with you in the chance you haven’t already seen it yet. It was part of a story on The Huffington Post that you should read here. But first just watch in amazement as Alexander Tsiaras, chief of scientific visualization for the department of medicine at Yale, journeys us through the development of the fetus from conception to birth.
“My goal is to visualize life in all its glory.” *alexander tsiaras
Every time I watch this, I am amazed at how we are each so intricately designed and created. Isn’t it absolutely fascinating?