Learning About Childbirth

Learning About Childbirth | Intention learning about childbirth | http://ladonnaharris.com/learning-about-childbirth | #childbirth #birth #pregnancyAs part of Zen Habits Sea Change program I am participating in a month of learning. The premise is to pick a topic or an activity that’s on your bucket list, so to speak, and learn everything you can, forming a habit of learning for 10 to 30 minutes a day. With the exciting arrival of our baby coming later this summer, I chose the topic of childbirth. Everyone thinks I should know everything about this topic as I’ve experienced it 8 times before this year but technology and techniques are always changing. There are things I’ve never heard of that I’ve read about in the last 10 days. I’ve had many things confirmed that I suspected to be true. The majority of my beliefs have been reinforced while others have been challenged over and over again. I chose the topic of childbirth to refresh my mind and my soul about the amazing upcoming experience. I chose to educate myself to combat the fear that creeps in.

So what have I read? What am I planning to read?


  1. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – This was a re-read for me; the first time through was in 2012 after our fire and before Axle’s birth. Ina’s sensible approach is comforting and encouraging to moms-to-be who are looking for more than what the hospitals and medical systems provide.
  2. Unassisted Childbirth – This is also a re-read but I don’t remember reading half of what I’m seeing this time. I’m beginning to think I skimmed this one quickly, thinking it didn’t apply to my situation in 2012. Laura Shanley shares many stories of do-it-yourself homebirthers. I’m finding this one more difficult to read having experienced a less than perfect home birth experience in 2004. You can only read so many happy-ever-after experiences when you know they don’t all end that way.
  3. Homebirth in the Hospital – I found this book by accident and am thoroughly enjoying it. The doctor-author trained with Ina May prior to attending med-school. Her passion is creating the homebirth experience in a hospital setting and she shares numerous stories of her success in this venture. I’m not very far into the material to give a complete analysis but so far so good.
  4. Birth Book – The Sears family has written numerous books on pregnancy, birth and early childhood. I’ve enjoyed all their material but nothing like this book. I’ve read this book a number of times in the past – 2005, 2012 – and I plan to read it again in the next couple of weeks. The most significant thing I pulled for here is about relaxation – the face muscles mirror the birthing muscles. Relax your face!
  5. Midwifery Option – This is a a Canadian guide to the birth experience and is new to me as well. I have chosen my caregiver (same midwife for all my pregnancies – love her to pieces!) but I want to see what the authors (Miranda Hawkins and Sarah Knox) have to say about the options we have in Canada, specifically related to midwives. The book was written in 2003 and much has changed since then, so we’ll see. I’ll probably skim the material more than read intensely.
  6. Heart and Hands – This is a midwifery training manual recommended to me by my midwife and others. I’ve skimmed through it in the past; at the very least I will do so again.
  7. Wise Childbearing – I bought this one and never started reading the content. Honestly, the format (large sized book) makes handling it difficult. I know it’s such a silly thing but when you’re trying to read in bed it’s awkward.


  1. Human Studies Condemn Ultrasound – I’ve always suspected that ultrasounds weren’t safe; this article re-enforces that belief. That being said, I’ve had 2 ultrasounds in pregnancy over the last 14 years – one to confirm Cora’s breach position and the second to guesstimate the size and weight of Wyatt.
  2. Being a Hypothyroid Mother and Nursing – Basically, if you are on medication you are okay to continue nursing; supporting your immune system is essential as the additional tax on your system can cause frequent illnesses.
  3. The Anterior Cervical Lip: How to ruin a perfectly good birth
  4. Are Hospitals The Safest Place For Healthy Women To Have Babies? An Obstetrician Thinks Twice
  5. Maternal Death Rates Are Decreasing Everywhere But The U.S.
  6. Routine ultrasound testing not proven safe for pregnant women
  7. Avoid Fetal “Keepsake” Images, Heartbeat Monitors


If you could pick a topic for the next month, what would you choose to learn?

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