• Birth Stories

    Amelia’s Birth Story

    Disclaimer: This is a birth story! It has a lot of details which may be considered TMI. If you aren’t comfortable reading it, then please don’t! 🙂 My pregnancy and birth with Amelia will always hold a special place in my heart, since we plan on having no more biological babies after this (and we really, really, really mean it, this time). Being pregnant for the third time (technically fourth) was very challenging, as I was more sick than I’d been with my previous pregnancies. I experienced nausea throughout my pregnancy, as well as my usual pregnancy discomforts, the worst of which was heartburn nearly every day. While I always…

  • Announcements

    New Online Courses Launched

    As of early 2021, Better Birthing has moved to all online childbirth classes. Courses are available through the online platform, Teachable, and can be enjoyed as a self-paced home-study program. Each course can also be upgraded to add one-on-one video call support, which includes one session per week to go through the course together and answer any questions you may have. Learn more about Better Birthing courses and how to sign up here!

  • Birth Stories

    Cody’s Birth Story

    When I was first married, I was terrified of childbirth. After hearing all of the horror stories, and simply knowing what having a baby entailed, I questioned whether I’d ever want to go through that. I figured that Cory and I would just adopt and that would be that. In the years since then, I’ve learned so much about childbirth and all of the wonderful options available. Midwifery, home birth, water birth, Hypnobabies, and Supernatural Childbirth were all things I learned about that made me feel that I could do it. I didn’t have to experience pregnancy and birth the way that most people in our culture do—I could have…

  • Pregnancy

    Considerations for Choosing A Midwife

    There are two types of midwives available where I live in California. Direct entry midwives and certified nurse midwives, or CNMs. You may think that any midwife will offer care consistent with the midwifery model of care. Which is more conducive to a natural and enjoyable pregnancy and birth. Midwives are not all equal! Depending on the certification and title of the midwife, and their personal philosophy about birth, your experience could end up being quite similar to seeing an OBGYN, and not in a good way. Choosing a midwife who isn’t well-trained or qualified wouldn’t be best for you or baby either. So, how to choose? Certified Nurse Midwives…

  • Early Parenting

    Parenting Styles and Attachment Parenting

    Parenting is, among other things, a journey. It’s a process of learning, practicing, messing up, forgiving, adjusting, and refining. There is not one right way to parent, though I think we can also admit that there are wrong ways (think abuse and neglect, as extreme examples). So how can we make sure that we’re doing the best we can for our kids? Exploring general parenting styles is a great place to start. Many parents follow one of two approaches. They either copy what their own parents did, or they try to do the complete opposite. In either case, basing your parenting on what you experienced as a child may not…

  • Early Parenting

    Breastfeeding as a Parenting Tool

    I’m sure you’ve heard it before. There are so many benefits to breastfeeding! From health benefits for baby and mom, to optimal nutrition, to cancer risk reduction, breastfeeding is pretty amazing. It also helps babies’ brains develop better, and it’s convenient. Those are all great reasons to breastfeed. There’s another great reason, which is often overlooked, and that’s the way that breastfeeding is an excellent parenting tool. It actually makes day-to-day life easier for moms and families in several different ways! Nursing bonds moms to their babies. Not only does nursing help mom and baby bond together, but it specifically bonds the mom to the baby. It causes chemical reactions…

  • Birth

    The Cycle of Intervention

    Hospital birth is the path of choice for a large portion of pregnant women and families. Hospitals can be pleasant places, with kind and caring staff, and OBGYNs can be respectful, wise, gentle, and comforting. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Often, doctors and hospital staff pressure pregnant women into making choices that are not what is best for them or their babies. Why do they do this? Certainly not because they are uncaring, uneducated, or unqualified. They do this because they have seen it all, and they have to concern themselves with what could go wrong and who might sue them. They are doing their best within the…

  • Birth,  Early Parenting

    Newborn Care Choices

    Although parenting begins as soon as you discover you are pregnant, your parenting choices begin most dramatically at birth. In those first few hours and days, and the days and weeks leading up to them, you must make many decisions about your baby’s care. In hospital births, there are procedures that are often done routinely, which you may want to consider refusing. Even in home births, you must make decisions about how you want your baby treated immediately after birth. As you prepare for your baby’s birth, you may want to consider writing a Baby Care Plan to give to your care providers, which will help ensure that your wishes are known…

  • Pregnancy

    Healthy Pregnancy Basics

    Did you know that having a healthy pregnancy can affect your baby’s health, and the ease or difficulty of your birthing time? It’s true! Staying healthy during pregnancy encourages the best possible outcomes for birth and beyond. So what are the keys to a healthy pregnancy? Some of the most important factors are balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, good hydration, gentle exercise, and mental/emotional peace. I believe these puzzle pieces of health are even more important than any medical procedures that care providers might recommend. That’s not to say that prenatal care from a competent provider is not important, because it is. But your health, especially during pregnancy, is in your…

  • Pregnancy

    Self-Kindness in Pregnancy

    Pregnancy is a special time for women and families. It’s a normal and natural process, but it also can feel mysterious, magical, and challenging. The changes in a woman’s body, and the development of a fully formed baby from two tiny cells is an incredible process. Gestating is many things, but “easy” is not a word I would personally use to describe it. Sure, it is perfectly normal, natural, and “automatic” for a woman’s body to produce a baby; women don’t have to put any concerted effort into gestation, it just happens! (After the initial act of getting pregnant, that is!) Nevertheless, pregnancy often doesn’t feel easy. The physical discomforts…