Don’t Lose Your Mind: Tips for Raising a Toddler and a Newborn

Today we have a guest post from Tara, a mom and longtime reader of this blog. It’s true that having a newborn and toddler can be daunting, but you can do it! And Tara’s tips can help.

Being a first-time parent certainly is a challenge. If you’re like most new moms, you had no idea what you were in store for, or how difficult it would be to figure out what you are doing. After all, you have this tiny little individual who is completely relying on you for survival; it only makes sense that this is a difficult job – and the most difficult job you will ever have!

However, once your little baby grows into a toddler, you consider yourself an old pro. You have your routine, you understand each other, and you know what to expect, even when he throws you a curve ball every now and again. But, just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, you find out that you are about to welcome a new little bundle to the world. Of course, this is a blessing, but many parents get a little nervous about the idea of raising a toddler and a newborn.

If this is you, don’t panic. Raising two kids becomes much more manageable with a few helpful tips; and some coffee, of course.

Image courtesy of ShutterStock

Image courtesy of ShutterStock

Multitask

You’ve already become quite skilled at multitasking, thanks to your firstborn; however, with another one in the picture, you’ll have to figure out even more inventive ways to do a million things at once – but you can do it! If your newborn needs to be soothed, try rocking him while you are dancing with your toddler. If you need to go to the grocery store, wear your infant and push your toddler in the cart. Creativity is one of the best skills a mother has.

Be Willing to Adjust

It took you some time to adjust to having just one baby, and it’s going to take you some time to adjust again. You may have had this great routine when you had just one, but realize that things are definitely going to change with another one in the picture. You have to be willing to roll with the punches and make adjustments if you want happiness to reign.

Ask for Help

Although it’s easy to pride oneself on being self sufficient, when there are two kids in the picture, a little extra help can mean a world of difference.. Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse, your parents, your friends, and whomever else you are close with to lend a helping hand. Don’t think of asking for help as a sign of defeat-think of it as a means of survival!

While it may be a little nerve wracking thinking about how you are going to manage with a newborn and a toddler, trust in yourself and know that things will all work out. And don’t forget to put on your Super Woman cape and proudly show it off every now and again!

TaraTara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. Spending her time as a health and family writer, she contributes to the Candy Concepts Inc. blog and enjoys being with her family.

Guest Post: Do We Really Need Laws to Allow Breastfeeding?

Hello all! Today we have a guest post from Rachel outlining some of the important reasons that we need laws to protect breastfeeding mamas and babies in all states. I hope you all enjoy!

ID-100172758Do We Really Need Laws To Allow Breastfeeding?

With breastfeeding on the upswing in recent years, there are more and more women who are breastfeeding in public out of pure necessity. Everyone else, including bottle fed babies, are allowed to eat in public, so it’s no big deal for breastfed babies, right? One would think this is the logical answers, but it’s not always the case. There has been a surprising outcry of people stating breastfeeding in public is indecent and moms have been dealing with it ever since. Now lawmakers have decided to get involved. But do we really need laws to allow breastfeeding? There are some things to consider.

1. Safety – This all began because some people decided to become vigilantes and take matters into their own hands. Moms have not just been spoken to, but actually yelled at in public places while they’re breastfeeding their babies. Women have even been asked to leave the establishment they’re in, even when they’re paying customers. It’s nearly impossible to educate everyone enough to understand that breastfeeding is a completely natural thing, so laws are put in place to ensure women don’t have to endure public humiliation.

2. Workplace Protection – While most working mothers aren’t able to actually breastfeed their babies throughout their work day, there are laws that allow breastfeeding moms enough time to express their milk. The need to pump doesn’t always work around a job’s break schedule, so this allows mothers any extra time they need to pump without fearing losing their jobs because of it.

3. Protection of Rights – This coincides with point number one. A breastfeeding mother may be asked to leave a business by the owner or, in rare circumstances, escorted from the premise by the police; without enforceable laws in place protecting the mother’s right to breastfeed wherever she is, her rights would essentially be taken away from her. She could actually be arrested and charged if they see fit.

4. Health and Nutrition – Without laws to protect a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby regardless of where she is, she may have to supplement with formula. Now, this doesn’t say that supplementing breast milk with formula is a negative thing, but a woman shouldn’t be forced into the decision just because she has to leave the house. All doctors agree that breast milk is the healthiest choice for babies and a baby shouldn’t be denied the right to eat the healthiest food available just because there are people around who don’t understand. Breastfeeding is also healthy for the mother: not having the ability to feed when necessary is uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of serious health problems. No woman should be denied her rights to these benefits, regardless of where she is.

Basically, breastfeeding laws have become a necessary part of life to ensure babies are getting the nutrition they need, when they need it. Breastfeeding mothers have the right to leave the house and have social lives and shouldn’t have to feel shamed or shunned when their babies are hungry. Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t understand that mothers are people, too; people with real feelings and real rights. These laws need to be put in place and enforced in order to protect these rights.

rachelRachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.

Observing Fertility Signs to Conceive

Today’s post is a Guest Post from Novelette Simonds, who runs a site called Fertility Haven. If you’re looking to get pregnant, or just learn more about your fertility, I’d definitely check it out! 

Scrambled EggI was sitting enjoying a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, when a strange thought suddenly hit me, I thought, I wish we women were like hens. Why would something like that occur to me? Probably because I had yet again heard another woman express disbelief at learning that women do not constantly produce fresh eggs and that we are born as little girls with all the eggs we will ever have and there’s no chance of making a fresh batch, absolutely no chance. That means your eggs are always as old as you are. I remembered that seven years ago when I started studying fertility, this one left me reeling. I hadn’t found Mr. Right yet and was in my mid-twenties and busy doing my second degree and working. I didn’t have motherhood in mind for at least another five years, it certainly was not the happiest fertility fact I had encountered. The truth is we have limited eggs and they age with us, by the age of thirty about ninety percent of them will have been used up or deteriorated. Fortunately in the early thirties most women still have a good set even if there are ten percent left, so they have babies just fine but it becomes harder as you get further on into the thirties. It is difficult to believe that with all the advances in modern science, they still haven’t figured out how to prevent our eggs from deteriorating.

On a happier note, here is an interesting fact, all of us were once inside our grandmother’s tummy. How is that possible? Well your mother had all her eggs in her ovaries while she was in-utero, which means half of you was inside her, while she was inside your grandmother. Amazing!

I think it’s time though that we dispel one fertility myth that still exists today about when women ovulate. Many people still believe that a woman can ovulate at anytime in her cycle and that women are constantly ovulating and popping eggs out, this is simply not the case, ovulation happens once per cycle and that’s it, if you don’t catch the fertile window then you have missed your opportunity to conceive that cycle. The fertile window begins about five days before ovulation and lasts about one day after ovulation has occurred.

I remember the first time I told my cousin that I was trying to get pregnant, she told me that I should get an ovulation predictor kit. I never did buy one, I have always preferred more natural methods. I began watching my cervical mucus instead. I will confess here, that I don’t consider it to be the most pleasant of activities to perform on a daily basis but I did it anyway because it is the best way to find out whether or not it is baby making time. A check of the seat of the underwear usually does the trick or using a piece of tissue to check whenever you use the bathroom is always better or if you are brave enough, trim your nails, squat and just reach in with two fingers and see what’s happening by pulling some fluid off the cervix. Cervical mucus is of course the natural fluid that your cervix begins to excrete after your period ends, it usually starts off sticky or pasty, a bit like paper glue then moves on to being lotiony or milky, in the final phase it becomes eggwhite, this is prime baby making fluid. I remember running out of the bathroom and screaming, “Eggwhite! Eggwhite! Eggwhite!” to my spouse and he would say, “That’s so gross, could you just say it’s babymaking time, please.” The key to getting pregnant then is recognizing the fertile window, once you see lotiony or milky fluid it time to start trying to conceive and when egg white hits then you know that an egg is about to pop. The reason that you should start even before you notice eggwhite mucus is because sperm can survive for up to five days, so in case you miss your eggwhite days you still have a chance at conceiving. You should always keep in mind though that there is only a twenty five percent chance to conceive every month, so don’t let those negative tests turn you off, unless you have been trying for a year, then medical intervention should be sought but otherwise, just keep at it! After a baby making session try lying flat on your back for at least fifteen minutes, it has been found to help women having artificial insemination conceive, so I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t help those of us going about it the natural way as well.

Remember too to look out for secondary fertility signs, such as dull achiness in the area of the ovary as well as a sharp pain, this is often a sign of impending ovulation and serves as a backup for confirming cervical mucus changes.

Whether you are trying to conceive that first, second, third or whichever number child. Cervical mucus observation as well as observation of secondary fertility signs is always the most effective and most reliable method of predicting ovulation, so you have the best chance of conceiving.

Site logoNovelette Simmonds is the founder of Fertility Haven, the website provides comprehensive information about fertility, as well as your pregnancy and childbirth visit the site and take control of your reproductive health today.

Babywearing 101: Part 2

Happy New Year! We’re back with the second post in this two part series (see the first post here) from my friend Jillian. Today we get to show you the actual carriers! If you love the one you see in the picture, go ahead and click on it and it’ll send you to the site where you can buy it. Enjoy! 

Now that safety has been addressed, we can discuss the many different types of carriers that are available that support your baby in the proper way to provide you with all the neat benefits that babywearing brings…

Types of carriers:

ocean2_1(1)Stretchy or Elastic Wrap– I like to call these the “Gateway Carrier” because they are very popular for newborns and are most mamas’ introduction to babywearing. Stretchy wraps can only be used for one carry on the front of your body. It consists of a very large piece of fabric (about 5-6 yards) that is tied around your body. Once the baby is put in, there should be at least 3 layers of fabric covering baby to hold them securely. Once the way of wrapping it is learned, putting it on is very quick and easy. These wraps are great for the smaller babies but can become rather uncomfortable and non-supportive after 15-18 lbs. although the manufacturers will state that they can carry a higher weight.

Examples: Boba Wrap, Moby

chakrasWoven Wrap– Woven Wraps are the most versatile carriers on the market and are the only carriers that can truly go from the newborn stage through toddlerhood without needing any modification whatsoever. This carrier can be tied in many different ways and offers front, hip and back carry options. Woven wraps have a long learning curve and it may take many attempts to feel comfortable with it (especially back wrapping) but the payoff is huge and there are so many ways to wear it. Woven Wraps are probably the most classic carrier that is used in many cultures around the world and come in many colors, weaves and weights.

Examples: Didymos, Girasol, Neobulle etc.

img_9066Ring Sling– Ring slings are a piece of fabric laid on one shoulder to form a sling for baby to sit in and are adjusted with metal rings. This carrier offers front and hip carry options. Back carries are not recommended. Because a ring sling supports baby’s weight only on one shoulder, this is not a good choice for anybody with back problems or sensitive neck or shoulders. Babies can be worn in front or on the hip, with hip probably being the most popular. There are several different styles of ring slings and it is the best option for quick errands and the up and down stage of toddlerhood. A lot of the comfort of a sling depends on its shoulder style and fabric.

Examples: Sleeping Baby Productions, Maya Wrap

thumbnailMei Tai– the Mei Tai is an Asian inspired carrier with a waist belt and shoulder straps sewn onto a rectangular piece of fabric. The belt and shoulder straps are knotted. A Mei Tai offers front and back carry options. This is a great carrier for all ages in a front carry and from about 2 months-toddler (with good head control). These carriers offer a back carry option that is easier to learn than a woven wrap and is fully customizable to each wearer with simple ties to secure. A Mei Tai is easy to share between Mom and Dad because of the easy to adjust straps. There are many different Mei Tai’s on the market and some can be unsafe because of cheap materials or unsafe sewing techniques. As with all carriers, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Examples: Kozy, Mother and Bebe, Infantino etc.

_mg_8279_1_Soft Structured Carriers– Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) are patterned after backpacks and the shoulder and waist strap are usually padded and they have buckles to secure the carrier and customize the fit. These carriers offer front and back carry options. Every brand of carrier varies greatly in many aspects like back lengths, crotch widths, back widths, fabric, and belt straps (buckles or hook and loop tape). Soft Structured Carriers are best tried on with your child before purchasing and torso lengths and build of the babywearer will greatly affect the comfort. These carriers are preferred by many Dads because of their backpack look and they are easy to share between Mom and Dad because of the easy to adjust straps. There are many different SSC’s on the market and each has pros and cons; you have to find one that works for you.

Examples: Boba, Ergo

So, if all this info has made your head spin, join the club! Getting into babywearing can be really overwhelming at first, but there are so many online resources that can help! The Babywearer is probably the best place on the internet to go for babywearing info. Babycenter and Diaper Swappers both have babywearing forums as well. With any luck, you may be able to find a babywearing group in your area that can help you learn and grow in your babywearing journey. My mothering experience would not be what it is today without babywearing and the freedom it has afforded me. Raising two under two is always daunting, but being able to wear one and play with the other makes it MUCH easier and dare I say, enjoyable?! Get with babywearing and “wear your kid in your shirt” as often as possible. You will never regret it!

Jillian is the mama of two growing boys in a house where even the dog is a man.  She uses her “Free Time” to make slings, wraps and cloth diapering things over at Pretty Paisley Productions and is one of the Administrators for the Babywearing group in her region of Utah.  She loves to laugh and usually spends most of her time laughing at herself.

Babywearing 101: Part 1

Today we have a guest post from my good friend Jillian. Jillian is one of the administrators of our local babywearing group and is just starting up her business to sell carriers. And since I tested a ring sling for her, I can say they’re great carriers! I was sad to give mine back! You all know how much I love babywearing, so I’m glad to present these wonderfully informative posts. Be sure to join us tomorrow for the second part in this two-part series! 

Gira NL RSI had a dream last night. In my dream, I had a beautiful newborn baby. My baby was adorable and perfect with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes. My days were so happy. My baby hardly cried at all. I knew within moments when he was hungry and was able to soothe him with ease. I kept him safe from the germy pass the baby game and gave him a safe place to snuggle all with my hands free to get on with my life. I rocked him to sleep easily whenever he wanted and was even able to make dinner during the process. But, this wasn’t a dream… this was real and it was just a few months ago when I had my second son. I am Jillian and I am a Babywearer. Yup… one of those crazy ladies you see at the store that seems to have a kid hidden in their shirt. I am here to tell you why you should hide your kid in your shirt too.

The idea of carrying a baby on your person while you keep your hands free is not new. Do you really believe that Cro-Magnon women had strollers? Did they even have the wheel yet? I don’t think so. No, this is not new. It has been practiced in every culture in the world since babies were born and it really only seems weird in the U.S. but, that is slowly changing. There are so many fantastic reasons to wear your baby that it seems a little overwhelming so I will just highlight a few:

Babywearing=Happier Baby=Happier Parent=Awesome: Babies that are worn cry less over all. Since crying causes stress for babies and parents, it would naturally follow that less crying would mean less stress for babies and parents and that is just common sense. Who hasn’t heard the “This baby just wants to be held ALL THE TIME!” Well… wear them and you can hold them and have your hands back.

Babywearing promotes development: When a baby is worn, they tune into the rhythm of your breathing, the sound of your heartbeat, and the movements you make – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses, and helps him to learn balance control. Wearing your baby creates a “transitional womb” and helps your baby learn to control his movements. It also provides a safe, comfortable place for your baby to get restorative growth sleep at any time of day. Seeing the world at your level helps baby learn faster, stimulates their learning and keeps them feeling secure and safe. Wearing your baby can provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace and it can even dramatically increase the chances of successful breastfeeding!!! What a miracle, right?

Babywearing is convenient and FUN: Having your hands free while carrying your child provides endless opportunities to get things done that you normally would not be able to get done. When you wear your baby, you can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Removable car seats are heavy and awkward for parents and they are not safe to be put on top of shopping carts, no matter how many people you see doing it. A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding a distractible baby and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home. Cook dinner, play with another child, go for a walk or play on the computer. All these things can be done more easily while wearing your baby. So be selfish; do it for you!

Lincoln MTAfter all of these fantastic and exciting reasons to wear your baby, you may be wondering to yourself, “Self, how do I go about wearing my baby?” Well, I will tell you, but first, you need to know about safety. I do not want to minimize the importance of the next statement so I am putting it in all caps so you really pay attention: WEARING YOUR BABY CAN BE DANGEROUS IF NOT DONE CORRECTLY!!! Really people, sweet little babies have died while being worn incorrectly and that is just a sad, true fact. Just like any children’s product, if you do not use it correctly and safely, it can harm your child. Strollers can be safe, unless you push them off a cliff. Baby swings are safe, unless they are underwater… What I am saying is that if you use some common sense and a few pointers, babywearing will be an extremely safe experience. Here is the safety low down:

Keep your baby UPRIGHT: Your baby should be upright with their stomach against you and the carrier should be tight. If you leave slack in the way you tie or tighten the carrier, over time while wearing it, you will be sad because your back will be aching and your baby will slowly migrate down your torso and look like a limp noodle. Don’t wear a limp noodle!! Also, please make sure that your newest babies have good head support. Their little necks just can’t support their big noggins for a while.

Close enough to Kiss: Your baby’s head should be close enough for you to kiss (obviously not possible in back carry) When you are putting your baby in the carrier, you want them to be up high enough that you can literally bend at the neck and kiss them on top of the head. It will be more comfortable for you and them that way.

Open Airway: This seems like the most important thing so maybe it should have been first, but it wasn’t so pay attention… a baby being worn should never have their chin curled towards their chest. This can restrict air flow and cut off their breathing leading to suffocation. This is the main reason why I do not recommend a “cradle” carry in a sling (where baby is lying down example: here). Check your baby’s breathing often and having them upright and close enough to kiss will make that a very easy thing to do.

Knees above Bum: The carrier must support the Spread Squatting Position (SSP). In this position, the baby’s legs will form an “M” shape from foot to foot. This seated shape ensures that the spine and hip joints develop properly. This ergonomic positioning helps to shape the hip joint in our babies, which is actually soft cartilage until the age of 2. There is so much more to this that I cannot possibly do it justice, so here are some awesome links to check out that will expand your mind…

Babywearing School

Hip Dysplasia Prevention

Boba Family Research

Jillian is the mama of two growing boys in a house where even the dog is a man.  She uses her “Free Time” to make slings, wraps and cloth diapering things over at Pretty Paisley Productions and is one of the Administrators for the Babywearing group in her region of Utah.  She loves to laugh and usually spends most of her time laughing at herself. 

To be continued next year! By which I mean tomorrow. Have fun celebrating tonight! -Claire

The Milky Way: A Guest Post by Kathleen McCue

Today’s post is a guest post from Kathleen McCue, a lactation consultant and wonderful writer. Kathleen was nice enough to send me a copy of her book Mother to Mother, a truly charming and heartfelt book full of advice from other moms. For this post, she’s writing about low milk supply, a subject that is dear to my heart. I struggled to keep my supply where it needed and have heard many experiences from moms who believe to have had low milk supply, even though it is incredibly rare to have a supply low enough that you truly cannot nurse. Kathleen offers some very interesting theories on how our society and routines can hurt milk supply. 

As a lactation consultant, I spend a substantial amount of time counseling mothers on milk supply. “I have too much milk” or, “My supply is so low, I have to supplement with formula at every feeding.”

For some reason, how successful a mom is with breastfeeding is directly related to her idea of how successful a mother she is. So, you can see where low milk supply issues can drastically impact a mom down to her core. So, what happens to cause low supply? Where does this phenomenon originate. My thought is that it often happens during the first hour after birth when, instead of coming right to breast, babies are whisked away for weights, measurements, footprints, vital signs, apgar scores, suctioning and placement of what I call “the LoJack” around the ankle. I do realize the suctioning and possibly the apgar scores are critical functions after birth but believe these can be done while baby is skin-to-skin on mom.

There’s a beautiful video of a baby girl being delivered vaginally and immediately being placed right on top of her mom’s lower abdomen. During the 45-minute video, the baby CRAWLS from that position all the way up to her mom’s breast and drops her head right over the nipple! Of course I saw this movie with a group of other lactation consultants and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. So miraculous when you think of it and so different from what usually happens.

I constantly hear stories of babies being taken from their moms during that first hour to satisfy hospital protocol. When baby is usually returned to the mom, washed well and wrapped tightly in a blanket, they’re too tired to do anything. There’s ONLY that ONE golden hour to take advantage of before the baby naturally does some pretty deep sleeping for the next 23 hours. Although skin-to-skin is still important after that hour, it doesn’t have the exact same impact.

Another supply killer is the practice of some hospital personnel and nursing staff offering to take babies away to the nursery so moms can get some sleep. Afterwards, they return with results of a hospital protocol heel stick showing the baby now has a low blood glucose level. Really? Moms are advised to immediately give formula (not sure why we can’t give colostrum), and it’s there that the slope becomes even more slippery.

One mom I worked with last week told me a story of a post partum nurse telling her that her baby was “crying because he wants a hamburger and all you have is a French fry.” A real confidence boost, don’t you think?

Another mom told me that when she arrived home from the hospital, her mother was there heating up formula because “Breastfeeding doesn’t work well for Smith women” (not the real name).

What do people think formula is? Just the name alone makes it sound important, doesn’t it? Lactation consultants frequently call it “Artificial breastmilk.” For one, it’s not even species specific since it’s made from cow’s milk. Having said that, I highly recommend it to women with inadequate supply; at least until we get the maternal supply up. Babies can’t wait and aren’t very subtle about letting moms know where they stand.

Bags of formula and other treats for moms do nothing more than undermine womens’ sense of self. It’s akin to handing out six-packs at AA meetings….Here’s the 12 steps for recovery madam, but if it doesn’t work out, here’s a six pack of Bud Light.

We need to support women, right from the start with their “Breast Intentions.” Baby to the breast within the first hour, rooming in, frequent skin-to-skin, lactation consultants in Baby Friendly hospitals and more community resources for follow-up.

I often tell moms struggling “I believe in you. Your breasts are 3 million years of evolution sitting right there on your chest.” Melodramatic? Perhaps, but that’s what women need for this confidence game called breastfeeding.

About Kathleen McCue:

Each mother and baby is an individual with unique needs and circumstances. With the knowledge of many years (38 yikes!) as a nurse practitioner and assisting well over 5,000 mothers achieve a positive and nurturing breastfeeding experience, Kathy is also able to respond to a broad range of medical circumstances, that arise in the course of breastfeeding a baby.

“I feel it is paramount to understand what the mother’s objectives are for the nursing experience. By listening to the mother, I can help her create an environment of peace and understanding where both the mother and baby can thrive and grow.”

After understanding the mother’s objectives and lifestyle needs, her philosophy is to then approach the teaching of breastfeeding from the perspective of the baby. After explaining the needs and reflexes of infants, she then matches the breastfeeding goals of the mother to help the mother-baby couple create a unique, synergistic nursing relationship.

http://www.bethesdabreastfeeding.com/

http://www.allbabybasics.com/

Planning a Water Birth

Today’s guest post is from Maria, one of my readers. I’m always happy when someone enjoys my blog and even happier when I read their work and find I enjoy theirs too! This topics is near and dear to me because, while I never said I was “planning” a water birth, I knew I wanted it as an option and now that I’ve had one, I’ll never go back!

Water births are constantly gaining popularity and it’s no surprise why; they are known to reduce pain and stress for the mother and to give the baby a relaxing entry into the world. The warm water is supposed to be a similar environment to the amniotic sac so that when the baby is delivered they don’t feel the transition to be too stressful.

The Opinion of Others!

When you’re planning for a water birth, you may notice people trying to put you off the idea or scoffing at it. This is most likely because during a water birth you cannot have an epidural or anaesthetic. However, don’t let others influence your decision. If you have decided you wish to experience a pain-relief free labour then a water birth could be perfect for you as it is known to naturally reduce pain. It’s also known to reduce the chance of tearing the perineum therefore lessening the chances of the mother needing an episiotomy. If you do decide to have a water birth, remember you can always change your mind and leave the pool if you decide you want an epidural.

Where To Do It?

When you’ve made your decision that you want a water birth, perhaps you’ve been considering it since your first pregnancy symptoms, the first thing to do is to decide where you wish to give birth. If it’s at hospital, you need to speak to them to make sure they support water birth, will have a birthing pool available or whether they will let you bring your own birthing pool into the hospital. The hospital may charge an extra fee for use of the birthing pool so look around to see if you can purchase your own for cheaper. The alternative is to give birth at home. For this you will need to find a midwife who is experienced in home water births and you’ll need to buy your own pool.

Secondly you’ll need to find an obstetrician or midwife who is happy with your decision. Some may not feel comfortable with your decision to water birth so make sure in advance you will not face any pressure to change your mind unless there is a medical emergency.

Keeping an Open Mind

Throughout the pregnancy and labor you will need to keep an open mind about the birth. Sometimes it will not be safe to have a water birth and you will be recommended against it. As long as there are medical reasons for you not to water birth you should listen to your midwife or obstetrician and be ready to change your plans. It is not recommended that you water birth if you: have had any bleeding in late pregnancy; your baby is in distress; you’re going into labor early; you have herpes or other health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease; you have high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia; your labor was induced; you’re having multiple births, your baby is in the breech position or your baby is very small.

Lastly, you should try to labor in the water else you may not have time to get into the pool before your baby comes. It is advisable not to get into the water too soon otherwise the warm water may stop your contractions in early labor. Before you go into labor you will want to find a birthing tub, a midwife or obstetrician who is willing to assist with your water birth and a fetoscope.

Maria loves writing and researching about pregnancy and helping other people to learn about the different options they have. She is a keen blogger and loves hearing stories about everyone’s birth experiences.