Share a Birth Bead For My Necklace!

28 01 2014

Those of you who follow the page and the blog might be aware that I am due with my 4th and final child on February 14! It’s coming up so soon. I’m very excited as I prepare for the baby’s arrival.

If you’ve ever been to a Blessingway or Mother Blessing, you might be familiar with the custom of giving a birth bead to the mother. The bead is then strung on a necklace for the mother, which is sometimes referred to as the birth necklace or mother necklace. When a person selects a bead, it might be a certain color of significance, or bear some other intended meaning or symbolism. The necklace as a whole becomes a source of strength, love, and empowerment for the mother. It is a really great idea for something beautiful and creative for the woman about to give birth to know how she is supported. Sometimes, it is even accompanied by specific wishes or words of wisdom for her, special verses or poems of inspiration, etc.

Here’s an example: this one made for me by friends and loved ones during my pregnancy with Sage. (He was my freebirth baby from the book.)

If you’d like to participate in this special moment with me, consider this your invitation! I’d be honored to have you join me for this. I know some of you have gotten to know me over the years, and for some maybe I’ve made a difference to you or you to me, and it’s only right that we are connected during this time. I’ve been “with you” for some of your pregnancies and births and now you can be with me in mine as I close this chapter.

So, if this sounds like something you’d enjoy being part of, send your bead to me ASAP before the due date to:

Elizabeth McKeown
PO Box 1133
Keystone Heights, FL 32656

Thanks so much for being a fan and a friend. I’ll take pictures later to show you all how it turns out.

UPDATE:  Here is the necklace! Thank you everyone! Love you.

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The Importance of Excluding Onlookers From Freebirths

13 12 2013

If you’re going to be of service to women and want to be taken seriously, having a well-rounded education is important. There are many things you’ll want to know before you can safely feel adequate to provide “care”. One important thing to know on laboring women is, when it comes to witnessing their homebirth, UC (unassisted childbirth) is not a spectator sport.

ImageEven if you allege to be hands off, the problem of the observer is one hopefully known to all UCers and would-be UCers. It is one of the reasons (maybe even a main reason) why many women decide on freebirth at all. One of my favorite writers on natural birth, Michel Odent, talks frequently of the mammalian needs in birth. Of our four basic needs, privacy is one of them. Without it, the mother senses danger and this complicates the labor.

‘To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent. Any doula, midwife, or doctor should read this book. 

You can read more here: Do Not Disturb: The Importance of Privacy in Labor, Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, The Journal of Perinatal Education- Advancing Normal Birth, from the US National Library of Medicine- National Institutes of Health (PubMed Central). Sidenote: This link also discusses the fetal ejection reflex, for the interested.

Now some may argue that it is possible to give a woman a feeling (or an illusion) of privacy and still have onlookers or caregivers. I will not debate that at this time, but I will state that if one is trying to observe a birth to determine their own readiness to venture into the fields of midwifery and the like, this learning experience is a detriment to the mother.

“There is no privacy without a feeling of security.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Odent.

Anything you bring into the birthing space, the mother can sense. Any fears, hesitations, reservations, doubts, lack of confidence, lack of understanding of anything, lack of skill, lack of intuition, she spots like a dog smells fear. She taps into her primal state and the neocortex (rational, human, intellectual thought) attempts to disengage. If she has the awareness in any aspect of her consciousness that you are here to test yourself, this can generate feelings of insecurity in the mother. This is particularly true if you are not in an intimate relationship with her. Feelings of insecurity and lack of privacy will, again, complicate labor.

“Most women who understand what is going on are keen observers not only of their own actions, but of the reactions of those about them to every fresh event or incident. I have laid stress upon the sensitiveness of the mind of a parturient woman; if you wish to deceive them, you will fail.”

Confidence rests upon the knowledge of perfect preparation.”

“During labor, women spot doubt in a doctor’s mind as quickly as a kestrel sees a rat in the stubble… However good an actor or however suave a humbug, confidence has no counterfeit.” – these quotes from Childbirth Without Fear, Grantly Dick-Read.

The woman in labor, sensing any lack or fear on the part of anyone present, is hormonally receptive to those suggestions. This initiates the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. Labor becomes hard or even dangerous for woman and child.

It is more important that we honor and respect the birthing space of the laboring woman and her most basic, primal needs as a mammal than to use her as a test subject for our own reassurance and education.

There are other ways we will be able to give ourselves a proper education on birth and physiology in order to ascertain in what capacity we may be of assistance to birthing women. Like the saying goes, “reading is fundamental”. I urge people to read, read, read, and learn everything they possibly can about true physiological, natural birth and the actual needs of a birthing woman in labor.

Privacy is one very basic and simple method of providing safety in the birth space of a well-prepared woman. We live in a culture, though, where the most basic methods of prevention are overlooked in favor of the most technical hands-on repairs we can put our logical minds to. But, what if we could avoid those dilemmas?

For example– Instead of relying on knowledge of which massage, drug, or herb will treat a post partum hemorrhage, what about understanding the seemingly invisible causes? The brain-body connection has a lot to do with our most commonly feared childbirth complications, and yet our culture does precious little to recognize and avoid creating the issues to begin with. We must look to the interconnectedness of our systems, hormonal responses to environment and stimuli, etc. If we were to know the birth process from an unhindered, natural, physiological perspective, know the stages of labor through all non-intrusive signs, and respect the mother’s primal birth space needs, our shopping lists and interference levels would dramatically decrease. Healthy, normal births would be the result.

I have noticed that there are many UCers or those researching UC are preoccupied with the fix-it methods, though. They read almost exclusively midwifery and obstetrics texts (if they read at all), they focus on which tools or drugs or herbs can be used in a pinch to solve a dilemma or crisis. In the process, we are neglecting the very root of why freebirth is so important– the undisturbed aspect of birth only it can provide. When we more fully grasp what is primal and physiological, our tools and medicines become more and more useless and unnecessary. This is  such a worthy goal! To lose sight of that and to attempt to mimic health care professionals in all regards in many ways defeats the purpose. We aren’t trying to take over their work, we are trying to transcend their methods.

In other words… If I wanted a medical approach to my care, I would hire a medical professional. But, I digress. Because I associate onlooking with interference, I have touched upon the issue of hands-on as relating to eyes-on. Getting back on track–

For anyone questioning if they could handle the pressure of attending births for a living, I would strongly advise they find their confidence elsewhere than at a woman’s freebirth. I would suggest educating oneself to the utmost of one’s abilities, reading books like the ones quoted here (as opposed to a lot of the more mainstream, feel-good, interference-happy “natural birth” literature). I would recommend reading things which are very pro-unassisted childbirth, where lack of attendants is understood and encouraged on a scientific level, because this will provide technical and biological knowledge and a foundation for what makes this birth safe. That is knowledge that would become confidence-instilling for anyone of the right composition to attend women.

Even starting as a trusted doula for attended births of people you are personally close with (at home or in hospital) can give one an idea of their own abilities. Anything… anything to avoid adding hindrance to what could otherwise be an undisturbed birth. This would be one of the gravest insults to natural birth and the natural birthing woman. The needs of a woman in birth are more important than any education we hope to glean from their experience for our own gain.

In order to properly care for a woman, we must first be able to put her needs above our own wants. Anyone unwilling to do that already has the answer to their own question– they are not prepared to attend her. Let us not behave the way that doctors have which caused us to leave the hospital environment in the first place.

“Every woman is different, and so are her needs in childbirth,” you might say. Yes and no. Psychologically every woman is different. The complex thought processes that make up our personalities and make us especially human varies. On the primal level, however, all of our needs are the same.

We are all mammals, we have built-in instincts designed to protect ourselves and the species. We do not deny our other needs as “individual”– whether a woman needs food, water, oxygen, sleep, and shelter is not up for debate based on her individuality. We all require these things as our physiology dictates. As mammals, we have physiological and hormonal reactions to childbirth events and our environment– even over the subtlest of things– that may go unrecognized or misunderstood to the untrained eye. Since it is the primal nature which gives birth, not who we are psychologically, it is the primal which we should be careful to honor!

What a woman chooses is her right, but it sometimes becomes a battle of what she is willing to partake in on the psychological level versus her most primitive instincts. I would not want to battle with the instincts, personally. You cannot reason with them.

So, even if a woman planning a homebirth or freebirth is gracious enough to invite someone to her birth as an observer or onlooker, this does not mean it will not in some way have a negative impact on her birth. A woman would be unfair to herself to promise someone that she would be comfortable with their presence (and it would be unfair for the onlooker to accept, with that knowledge). The primal need for privacy and the intuition of the laboring woman will strongly overtake most conscious psychological desires she has to be sharing, educational, brave, outgoing, or accommodating. Even a peaceful, knowledgeable, and experienced freebirther may find such an invitation to be a naive and inhibiting undertaking in hindsight. Whether it becomes merely a nuisance or precipitates a crisis, the would-be birth attendant must ask themselves, “is it worth it?”

Anyone considering UC for themselves should likewise acknowledge and honor their deepest needs in childbirth and respect the science of the process. This is the way you give yourself the best, safest chance at the healthiest birth.





A Perfect Birth! Freebirth After Previous Induction & Epidural (Guest Post: Birth Story)

6 12 2013

The following is a guest post from a first-time UC-er (unassisted childbirth). She has had one previous birth, with medical assistance (epidural and induction). She was joined by her supportive husband and older daughter. Names* have been changed.

Sorry for lack of times in the story. it was all too quick for me to check the clock. The whole thing was only 3 hours.

I woke up around 4:30 am Saturday morning having some stomach pain. This was not an unusual occurrence as I have been waking up in the middle of the night like that for weeks. Usually once I emptied my bladder I felt better. My husband heard me get up and asked if I was ok. I said I don’t know. He said are you in labor? I said if I am then this won’t take long because there wasn’t much breaks between the pain at all.

I went to the bathroom and closed myself up in their alone. I was trying to figure out if I was in labor or what was going on. I felt like I had a stomach virus, I was on the toilet with diarrhea 3 or 4 times. The pains didn’t come in measurable waves at that moment. My husband says he knew I was in labor lol. So I started to try and clean up the bathroom a bit. If it was labor I wanted to be able to birth in a clean bathroom lol. So I threw a load of laundry in, cleaned the toilet and lastly cleaned the bathtub. All this was quite difficult to do because i had to stop and breath through the contractions. The contractions were now coming in definite waves and there wasn’t much time in between. It went too quick to actually time it. I would say maybe two min a part. I filled the bathtub. My husband kept checking on me and I said I was fine.

I asked him to bring the laptop in and put on a CD my friend Rowan* gave me at my Blessingway. I had previously listened to it about a week prior and I liked the sound. It was beautiful and meditative. He put the music on for me, and lit some candles. He only came in the bathroom and spoke to me between contractions. I liked that he gave me my space. I didn’t need him there I could get in the zone better by myself and he picked up on that. He told me to call him if I need him.

He said he was going to run up to 711 and buy eggs and bacon, lol. Him and Sloan* were hungry, haha. She woke up and was very excited. I asked him to buy me two coconut waters when he came back I was in the bathtub laboring. He brought in my drink.

The contractions were intense, but in my head I never referred to them as “pain” and I never let fear creep into my zone. I just listened to my body and moved around with whatever position felt natural. I was mostly hands and knees. At the point that I got in the bathtub is when I switched from concentrated breathing through the contractions ( which is what I did though out the bathroom cleaning and prepping ) at that point I started moaning through. I honestly didn’t think I would moan like that but it really did help. I remember other friends telling me to try and keep the moaning at a low octave , so I did …

My back started hurting so I drained some of the water and turned the shower on instead to let the water run down my back: it felt nice. But standing was so intense. I just told myself the gravity would help and to just do it. Once it became too much to continue standing I let the bathtub fill up again and got back down. I have a standard tub so it was small but the water still felt good. The water started to get cold so I hopped out of the tub it was hard to move from place to place.

I asked Tony* to get me the birthing ball. I leaned on that for a bit, I was on my knees leaning over the ball. I rocked back and forth moaning. The rocking was good. All I can say is contractions were intense and yes I guess painful, but I kept thinking back to my induction, where there was no break in between the pain, there was no peak, it just felt like my body was being torn in half. So compared to that this was nice. Yes i got the epidural eventually but I still remember being confined to the bed and the machines and the pain. I liked how I could tell that the peak was reached and the sensations started to decrease from there. The breaks in between even tho short were heaven and made it bearable.

At this point I told Tony to get the bed ready. So he made the bed. Protecting underneath with plastic. Sloan helped move my drinks in there, I would have to haul ass to the bedroom. My house is tiny but there was so little time in between contractions. So once one was done, I got up and went to the bed. My lovely husband had more candles lit the bedroom cleaned up and ready and my music. I got up on my bed, hands and knees and this is where it got bad. I think transition. My back hurt a lot so Tony massaged it for a while, he also put massage oil and peppermint oil on it. This felt good during contractions. Sloan fetched the heating pad and we used that on my back too. Sloanie was so much help she got towels and stuff too. I started to whimper and whine and drop a few f bombs. And then apologized. Tony laughed.

I was talking to myself and told myself to get it together. Tried to keep deep growling moans, thought that was better then me starting to Cry. I begged my body for a break, because I wasn’t getting much of a break any longer. Tony ran and got the large pads we got to lay under me. I told him I didn’t know if I should push or what. I was afraid of pushing too soon because I know that can cause a cervical lip, but Tony said I think your pretty close babe, try to push. I still didn’t quite feel an urge, but it hurt so bad that I didn’t know what else to do. At this point I started saying “it hurts, it hurts” LoL. ” I’m crazy for wanting to do this!” Then I just started pushing. And then my water my broke. That was kinda my confirmation of like ok it’s time. So I began pushing and holy hell it hurt. I was definitely screaming.

I knew I had to push harder but I knew I was going to poop lol. Tony was like its ok, he had those pads under me, he was very encouraging, and told me I was doing great and to go ahead and push. I would say a few pushes and she was down there. I started to feel the ring of fire. And Tony and Sloan screamed they could see her head. I was like yeah, I know!!!! Haha. I was scared to push her out it hurt so bad. So she went back in a little, and then I pushed a little , I did this a few times. I told myself that it was good to do it that way anyways I wouldn’t tear. Finally I got the balls to push her head out.

Tony didn’t see a cord. I had to wait for the next wave to come because it felt I was going to need to really try to get the body out. So I waited for a wave, took a deep breath and pushed with all my might and the rest of her body came out. Tony picked her up and handed me her through my legs, he said its a girl!!

She was perfectly pink , let out a cry and starting breathing right away, so I was not worried. We just were looking at her and admiring her in front of us.

Tony asked about the placenta and I said I wanted to try right away, I gave a good push and out it came. Inspected. Looked whole. Sloanie got warm towels from dryer, Tony sterilized the scissors and string. When the cord was done pulsing , we tied and I cut. I tried to breastfeed right away but she wouldn’t, so I went to go clean myself up. I didn’t bleed a lot on the bed. But into the bathroom, throughout my shower and after I kept bleeding, thin red blood.

I was starting to worry even tho I didn’t feel faint or weird, I took two doses of anti hemorrhage tincture my lovely friend Miette* made me, then I made my way back in to be with my girl. Tony cleaned up the mess real quick as I gazed at our little girl. Beata Fayruz Fikru* was born at 7:20 am. Unfortunately the scale I got keeps giving me different readings but she averaged 9 lbs. still haven’t bothered to measure her length lol.

It was literally a perfect birth, exactly how I imagined it. Tony worked perfectly together with me. I was so worried that I should have him do more reading or tell him how to be there for me but ultimately I knew that we knew each other well enough, I knew he would be great. I love him so much. He never doubted me or had any fear from the moment I mentioned unassisted. His faith in me carries me through always

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To learn more about the following subjects that were involved in this birth story, please see the following links! -Elizabeth

Pushing and Knowing When/If/How to Push

Pushing For First Time Moms, by Gloria Lemay, Midwife Thinking
Birth is better left alone and pushing should be at the mother’s cues.

Don’t Push the River, It Flows by Itself, by Laura Shanley (an excerpt from her classic book Unassisted Childbirth), Peaceful Parenting
It is more a matter of “allowing” it to happen rather than “making” it happen.

Pushing: leave it to the experts, Midwife Thinking
A birthing woman is the expert regarding when and how she pushes.

Cervical Lips (Pushing With/Against)

Pushing: leave it to the experts, Midwife Thinking
The most common reason for telling a women not to push is that her cervix is not fully dilated.

The Anterior Cervical Lip: how to ruin a perfectly good birth, Midwife Thinking
Telling women to push or not to push is cultural, it is not based on physiology or research… It does not require management and is best left undetected.”

What You Don’t Know About Your Cervix Can Ruin Your Birth, Birthologie
Not everyone dilates to 10 cm when their body is ready to expel the baby, and you dilate in an ellipse, not a circle.

At some point in labour almost every woman will have an anterior lip (meaning the top of the cervix isn’t completely dilated) because this is the last part of the cervix to be pulled up over the baby’s head.”





Responsibility in Birth: What it Does & Doesn’t Mean

28 09 2012

“I’m taking responsibility for my body and birth now.”

So, you’re having a home birth or a UC (unassisted childbirth, freebirth). You’ve said adios to the medical model and the conventional hospital birth via OB.

“I take full responsibility now.” Has that sentiment been misunderstood? What does and doesn’t it mean? While I can’t speak for everyone, I know that in speaking for myself I will be echoing the voices of many.

It does mean:

  • I’m done letting other people make choices about my body or baby to our detriment.
  • I see the fallacy in mainstream literature which has been filtered and misinforming.
  • I know that Science and Medicine do not always align.
  • I know that doctors are not always right.
  • I, therefore, see the need to educate myself on a point of view contrary to those who may be incorrect.
  • I will recognize that no one cares about me and my baby like I do.
  • I understand that even doctors/midwives with hearts of gold and my best interests at heart are capable of being misinformed or indoctrinated into systems which lie.
  • I know that I contain in me maternal wisdom that cannot be learned by professionals while in college or in practice, and I honor that.
  • I will listen to my intuition in pregnancy and birth; if something doesn’t sit right with me and I ignore it, I know that only I could be responsible for the outcome.
  • I admit the illusory nature of being “under someone’s care”. By giving over my body and health to another individual, however well-trained or well-meaning, I mistakenly believed to have opted out of learning how to manage my own health and have taken a child’s role in my own health. I am not an infant and childbirth doesn’t have to be a surgical procedure, so I will take care of myself.
  • I fully accept the reality that I am the true authority over my life. I am truly the first and sole protector of my baby, as we are connected in a way that can only be felt personally to be best understood. I can no longer deny that I am in the driver’s seat and pass the buck to someone else, who may make the wrong move.
  • I trust myself. I am in tune with my body and intuition, and baby.
  • I recognize that others do sometimes make the wrong moves, and that a lot of that time, they are just doing their best. It is not always their fault, but I reject their best.
  • I accept my best instead.


It doesn’t mean:

  • I’m fully aware of the fact that I’m risking my baby’s life and that if they die, it was all because of me.
  • If the tragic occurs, it is automatically my fault, even if the tragedy were unavoidable.
  • There is no such thing as unavoidable tragedies.
  • All baby or mother deaths or injuries were “meant to be”.
  • I will be at liberty to blame everyone else for whatever happens, immediately revoking my own authority upon bad outcome.
  • Everything magical is automatically promised to me.
  • God loves me so much and my trust in “Him” is so great, that my baby and I would never die in birth.
  • I’m just going to listen to and surround myself with certain people and get sucked in by everything they say, and take their words for everything.
  • I’m not going to prepare in any way, mentally, physically, or educationally. I’m just going to leave it all up to God and accept whatever outcome “He” provides.
  • Medicine and C-sections are never necessary in birth, and I will avoid them at all costs.
  • I have no idea how birth works, natural birth just sounds really cool.
  • I have no emergency plans in place. That’s how I roll.
  • All’s well that ends well!

Being responsible means that you open up your eyes and you take in the various truths from whatever direction. They aren’t always nice or convenient, and sometimes they rock and shake your world views. Being a mature and evolving adult means having to accept that, and adapt.

If you cannot accept your role in a bad outcome when you made choices that had an obvious negative affect on your birth, that is not responsibility. If you were not totally helpless and you knew something was wrong, you had the responsibility to act on it. If you were just ignorant as to what to do, it is your responsibility to rectify that so that it doesn’t happen again.


If you can understand that this universe is a mysterious place and that life is sometimes full of senseless suffering of which sometimes truly no one is to blame, you may not only have responsibility for yourself, you may also possess tremendous grace. Not every tragedy is explainable.

I’m known for recommending homebirth and UC to any and everyone, but it comes with a catch:  first, you must be balanced. Everyone can prepare, and UC or homebirth can be for almost everyone. However, if you go into it without the appropriate intellectual or spiritual fortitude, it could be a recipe for disaster. If one is psychologically unwell or ill-prepared beforehand, and doesn’t have their ideas of what their responsibilities truly are firmly in place, the hospital may actually be their best bet. You’ll still be responsible for choosing the means, but trusting another may be more suitable for your state.

The good news:  you don’t have to start there. You don’t have to accept that. A severely out of shape person may be unfit to run a marathon today, but with training and in the right time, they become able. Get right in the head if your heart is set on homebirth. Meditate, read, learn, grow, and you’ll be ready to understand what your responsibilities are and embrace them happily.





Avoiding Post Partum Hemorrhage (PPH)

11 07 2012

One of the things that concerns laboring moms (particularly freebirthers, but not limited to these women) is a fear that they may “bleed out”, and experience post partum hemorrhage. “Oh, I’m a bleeder”. “Oh, all redheads bleed more.” Whatever. Whether this is true or not is usually not studied in such a way that we rationally take into account that various factors which lead to post partum hemorrhage. Know the causes and you can eliminate the undesired effect. Here are some scenarios.

Problem: laboring too long or too hard/fast.
Solution: Take it slow and easy. Sometimes birth is precipitous and sometimes it is slow, but if you are able to have control over the circumstances, we should take care to keep everything balanced. Labor on your own time. When labor is unhindered and undisturbed, things take their own course and tend to flow beautifully. This is not to say put a time frame on your labor. If you are consciously or subconsciously holding a stopwatch to your birth, you may be inadvertently sabotaging yourself. Your mentality will set you up to tense your body and create fear around your timing. However, if you’ve had a calm mind and body and instinctively and logically feel this labor has been too long or that something isn’t right, you may require additional expert medical assistance. Also, avoid purple pushing or letting someone else tell you when to push. Dilation of centimeters and counting to 10 to push are birth management techniques that are standardized, not personalized… your body is unique and playing by those rules (unnecessary exams, forced pushing or cessation of pushing) can lead to swollen cervices, hemorrhage, further invasive intervention, and worse. Letting the body push the baby out naturally in a normal birth has the gentlest impact on mother and child. Pushing only when you have the urge and being as easy on yourself as possible is very important.

Problem: having a disturbed birth space.
Solution: honor what mammals require during birth. Women are animals who experience a specific kind of brain activity in natural labor. Work with it, not against it, for a peaceful birth by providing them with dimness/darkness, warmth, quiet, and solitude (no feelings of being observed… even cameras may add to this). If you don’t, the consequences include activated fight/flight adrenaline response, heightening the mother’s fear (subconsciously or otherwise), thereby adding risk and difficulty to the birth for mother and child.

Problem: rushing the third stage (placenta delivery).
Solution: be patient and do not manually extract it. I took a nap after my 2nd stage of labor. This meant for a couple of hours, I ignored the third stage. I was exhausted. My baby and I needed to sleep, and I was comfortable and secure enough to know what was best for us, and I honored that.  Some women get really worried if the placenta doesn’t arrive after 20 minutes, or 1 hour. While some women can deliver the placenta within 10 minutes, there is no sense in panicking if yours doesn’t come right away. Give it time. Enjoy your solitude and warmth and peace and quiet in this stage. Getting freaked out and attempting to use cord traction or going to the hospital for a doctor’s manual extraction often leads to avoidable post partum hemorrhages. Remember… the placenta wants to come out. It’s meant to. Unless you are certain something isn’t right, don’t assume that something is wrong. If your instincts tell you to acquire assistance, follow through. If you retain placenta due to hasty interference, this will increase your risks of infection and PPH.

Problem: laboring on your back.
Solution: labor freely in positions that come to you instinctively.Being on your back is unnatural and makes labor longer and harder for you and baby. You want to allow labor to flow along, not impede it. Not only does back delivery increase tearing and produce more immediate blood loss, but the various effects stemming from the disadvantage of the position could stress the body out and increase PPH risk.

The baby actually has to move in a way not conforming well to the pelvis if the mother is on her back. This can distress the baby, overwork the uterus, and cause detriment to the mother.

Problem: being induced or having other unnatural interventions.
Solution: don’t give in to induction. Drugs can cause hyper-stimulation of the uterus. Forceps and other instruments can cause undue damage to mother and baby; simply laboring naturally on one’s own and in natural positions would eliminate their “need”. Blood loss can be significant with these invasive factors. Any stimulation of labor outside of the baby’s hormonal signaling of readiness to start is usually totally unnecessary. C-sections also increase the risk of PPH.

Problem: doing too much after the birth.
Solution: stay off your feet and get some rest. Spend time nursing your newborn in a cozy bed, darkened room, and have that one on one skin to skin time whenever possible. Skin to skin contact directly after birth is desirable, anyway, for the health of mother and baby (especially if the baby is premature). It is normal, acceptable, and healthy for  the mother and baby to stay in a relaxed and peaceful environment for many weeks after birth. Overextending yourself may not create a hemorrhage but could still result in excessive bleeding, so take care.

Most people will also tell you that how you look after your own health in pregnancy, specifically nutritionally, will have an impact on whether or not you experience post partum hemorrhage. Surely that (so eat healthy), these factors, and many more play a role in what your risk is. By eliminating as much of this static as possible, you increase the probability that your birth will be as peaceful and healthy as possible. Armed with this, you’ll be taking responsibility for your birth and doing the best you can to have the safest outcome for you and baby.

If you fear your bleeding may be a bit excessive after birth, consider consuming some placenta. Swallowing it raw can reduce bleeding greatly and quickly. Avoid rough uterine massage as that can increase pain and bleeding. Things you need to watch for are fever, symptoms of shock, and long, slow, steady excessive bleeds. None of this is to be construed as medical advice. Do your own research and be well.





Winners: 1 Year Anniversary Giveaway

5 06 2012

As luck would have it, the winners of this Giveaway ALL won from the entries in which they tweeted about the giveaway. I’ve never seen this before! Tweeting was a great reason to win, since it alerted people to the giveaway and exposed more people to all the wonderful pages involved. And, a couple of you won MORE than once.

Thanks to everyone for all your entries and support. Thanks to Pink Moon, Inside Vaccines, and Unassisted Childbirth/Freebirth for sponsoring. Special shout-out to Lactastic Mommy for sharing our giveaway just because she’s a nice friend and fan who wanted her readers to have a chance at winning that beanie. 😉 Now, on to the winners.

The Grand Prize Winner is… Tamika Renee!

Tamika won by tweeting about our giveaway on June 3rd. Tamika’s prize:

A signed copy of In Search of the Perfect Birth– one of the last First Edition copies remaining in print. [Second Edition is now available for sale with most major booksellers.]

1 Cloth Diaper of her choice from The Perfect Birth, including one microfiber insert. We are also giving her a bonus bamboo insert.

1 Boobie Beanie in winner’s choice of size and color, by Pink Moon

 

1 pair of crocheted baby shoes by Pink Moon, winner’s choice of size and colors.

 

Tamika, please contact info@theperfectbirth.com to tell us where to send your book and how you would like it signed. Also, let us know which cloth diaper you select from the choices above (see also: our store).

Contact Pink Moon to let her know where she can send your items. Be sure to tell her your shoe color preferences and size– choose from: Newborn size fits foot up to 3″;  0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″;  3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″; 6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″.  For the beanie, please tell her your color and size preference from the following: 1. Cream/Pink; 2. Tan/Pink; 3. Tan/Med Brown; 4. Mocha/ Med Brown; 5. Mocha/Dk. Brown; 6. Chocolate/ Dk Brown. Sizes: Newborn size: 12-13″; 3-6 months: 15-17″; 6-12 months: 17-19″; child: 18-20″; tween: 19-21″.

 

Second Prize Goes to… Tamika Renee!

Yes, you won again! Tamika won this by tweeting about our giveaway on May 30th.  Tamika, you won an additional copy of the book. Why not give one to a friend? When contacting Elizabeth (see above), let her know how you’d like this signed. She will be more than happy to only sign her name if requested.

Third Prize Goes to… Haley Skelley!

Haley won by tweeting about our giveaway on June 1st. Haley also  won a recent giveaway at Pink Moon… looks like she is on a roll with us! Haley won a randomly selected cloth diaper from The Perfect Birth, plus a microfiber insert to go with our new pocket diapers.

She’ll be receiving: Economics (black).

Haley, please e-mail info@theperfectbirth.com to let Elizabeth know where she can send your new diaper!

Fourth Prize Goes to… Jessica Miller!

Jessica won by tweeting about the giveaway on May 30th. Her prize:

Crocheted baby boots from Pink Moon, winner’s choice of colors and sizes!

Jessica, please contact Pink Moon to discuss your choice in colors and sizes. Here are the size options: Newborn size fits foot up to 3″; 0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″; 3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″; 6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″. Please tell her where she can mail your prize.

Fifth Prize Goes to… Jessica Miller!

That’s right, you were our other double winner! Jessica won by tweeting about the giveaway on June 1st. It really paid to keep doing those daily tweets! She wins the Boobie Beanie, pictured above (see Grand Prize pictures)! Her choice of size and colors.

Jessica, when you contact Pink Moon about your shoes, be sure to give her your details in choice for the beanie as well.

That’s it! Thanks everyone for taking part! And congratulations to Tamika, Haley, and Jessica for winning such cool prizes! If you feel like it, please let us know how you like your prizes once you receive them. I know Pink Moon and I would love to hear your reviews. And naturally, if you like us, don’t be shy about telling your friends. 😉





Happy One Year! Giveaway

30 05 2012

It has been one year since In Search of the Perfect Birth was published and our website and Facebook pages begun. It was a proud moment in my life and it’s been satisfying to know that my story resonated with so many of you.  I learned a lot from my own life and if anyone else is learning from my stories, I can be exponentially assured that this was not in vain. It is my privilege to have ever helped anyone because it gives my life added meaning. Thank you!!!

The Second Edition was just released earlier this month, and it’s better than before. Still the same book in content, it is more polished and hopefully an easier book to enjoy than before.

We are celebrating with a giveaway.

The following pages we are proud to announce as our honorary sponsors:

Unassisted Birth/Freebirth
Inside Vaccines

Our active contributing sponsor, we are happy to announce, is:

Pink Moon

Follow our simple Rafflecopter form here at our Facebook page for super easy entries/chances to win.

Prizes

1. The Grand Prize:

One signed copy, one of the last remaining, of the First Edition of my book, In Search of the Perfect Birth.


One Cloth Diaper (plus microfiber insert) from The Perfect Birth. Your choice of colors from the new Scholar line!

One (additional) Bamboo Insert from The Perfect Birth

   One pair of crocheted baby shoes by Pink Moon. Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows:

***SIZES***
Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

One “Boobie Beanie” in your choice of size and color by Pink Moon!

1. Cream/Pink
2. Tan/Pink
3. Tan/Med Brown
4. Mocha/ Med Brown
5. Mocha/Dk. Brown
6. Chocolate/ Dk Brown
***SIZES***
Newborn size: 12-13″
3-6 months: 15-17″
6-12 months: 17-19″
child: 18-20″
tween: 19-21″

This grand prize above is SIX great gifts.
The following gifts are single gifts to other lucky potential winners.

2. One of the last remaining First Edition copies of the book, signed.

Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows
***SIZES***
Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

3. 1 Cloth Diaper from The Perfect Birth. Color chosen for winner randomly; comes with a microfiber insert.

4. These crocheted baby boots from Pink Moon

5. A “Boobie Beanie” from Pink Moon, winner’s choice of color and size (see above).

So enter the Rafflecopter form NOW for a chance to win the Grand Prize of five prizes, or one of the other 4 single prizes! Many thanks for all who’ve supported me over the year. I promise that there is only more to come. Happy Birthday to Us!