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birthing with guinever on facebook February 20, 2010

Posted by guinever in : babies, birth, birth stories, birth story, doula, epidural, health, homebirth, homeschooling, kentucky, labor, midwifery, pregnancy , comments closed

birthing with guinever on Facebook

Birthing with Guinever is now on facebook. I’ll be posting the latest pregnancy related research, the best pregnancy blog posts from around the web and products that every pregnant woman should know about, breastfeeding info.

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how to induce labor naturally February 18, 2010

Posted by guinever in : doula, labor, pregnancy , comments closed
creative common license http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3295/3059144058_f467d2261d.jpg

photo by emifaulk

The information I offer here is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of medical advice from your doctor or midwife. These are all well-known ways to encourage contractions to start.

eat spicy food to get those contractions started

Why it works: anything that gets your digestive system humming can also stimulate the uterus since they’re right next to each other. The spicier the better–mexican, thai, chinese. There’s even a famous Eggplant Parmigiana available at Scalini’s Italian Restaurant in Georgia that is “guaranteed” to bring forth a baby within 48 hours or mom-to-be will get a gift certificate for another meal.  Over 300 moms have had babies after eating the parmigiana.  You can make it at home following the  recipe posted at their website.  I’ve made it a couple times and it is super yummy, yet quite time consuming to make.

walk to encourage labor contractions to start

Why walking works:  Braxton hicks contractions usually start when you’re walking. The more you have, the more prepared your cervix will be when labor starts.  Walk often. Walk fast. If it’s too hot or cold to walk outside, and you don’t have a gym membership, go to the mall or other indoor building where you can walk safely and comfortably.

make love to help labor start

Why sex works: The prostaglandins in semen help to soften the cervix, the vital first step in the cervix getting ready for labor, before the cervix even starts dilating. Oxytocin, one of the hormones that is involved in labor, is released during a woman’s orgasm.

nipple stimulation to start contractions

Why it works: the same reason as above; oxytocin is released. You can either use a breastpump or have your partner do it.  This can be tedious; it must be done for hours to induce labor. However, doing it for just a few minutes can be beneficial if combined with other techniques. Alternately, you can get in a deep tub of water and let the water stimulate your nipples.

acupressure points

If you can’t get to a professional massage therapist, you can find the points at home. . You’ll know you have the point right when you find a tender spot that hurts. Apply pressure for about a minute at a time. Apply as much pressure as is comfortable. It might sting a little.

induction massage

Go to your favorite massage therapist or find one who specializes in pregnancy and induction massage. It will feel good. Your therapist will help you to relax as well as stimulate the uterine points. It’s best to think about going into labor during the massage. If your body is ready for labor, an induction massage might just work for you.

Read things to consider before doing a labor induction at the hospital.

coming soon: inducing labor with herbs, homeopathics, castor oil, and primrose

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sweet quiverful picture December 10, 2009

Posted by guinever in : babies, birth, birth stories, doula, family, homeschooling, pregnancy , comments closed

steph-and-kids-hands-on-the-belly

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top 9 books for children when baby is on the way December 9, 2009

Posted by guinever in : birth, breastfeeding, Christmas, family, homebirth, homeschooling, pregnancy , comments closed

Need to get a gift for a little person who is expecting a new sibling? Or maybe you need a book that is just simply delightful?  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite books where there is a new baby or baby is on the way. All have wonderful illustrations and tell a story. (Many books in this category read like a text book or a self-help book, or the pictures are boring or too cartoonish and just aren’t pretty.) All of these books are on our bookshelf (except for the last one that I need to order) and they’re worn out from reading them so much.  Enjoy!

Waiting for Baby by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Emily Bolam. I love the center of this book because the pages are flaps, so you can see what Max did each day, all in a row. As you turn each flap, the pages get bigger. This is a great design for a book. My favorite is what Max did on Wednesday. He banged on his drum and marched around and chanted:

Rum, tum, tum ba-by come! Rum, tum tum ba-by come! Rum-a-tee, Rum-a-tee, Rum-a-tee-tum!

We have read this over and over at the end of my pregnancies and my kids have marched around just like Max and shouted at my tummy for baby to come out.

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baby-come-outBaby, Come Out! by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Ronald Himler. This is a sweet book with delightful drawings that tells the story of how baby doesn’t want to come out because she likes it just where she is, all safe and warm in her Mama. Each family member has his or own way of trying to coax baby to be born. Finally, baby comes out when her daddy gives everyone a kiss. She wants a kiss too. I especially like the drawings in this because it shows baby in Mama’s tummy. I think it helps young children visualize that there really is a baby in there!

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In just Just Like a Baby
, by Rebecca Bond, Father makes a cradle and then the other family members all add something to the cradle–Grandfather painted it, Grandmother sewed a quilt, brother made a mobile. Finally, mother pushed the cradle to the window and felt it was ready for baby:

There next to the windows, Mother rocked the cradle gently back and forth
She ran her fingers over the smooth, sanded wood…
She turned down the warm quilt
She watched the mobile slowly turn…
And she felt the baby move inside her.

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On Mother’s Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott and illustrated by Glo Coalson. Mom reads Michael a story who brings more and more things on his mother’s lap as they sit together in the rocking chair. Eventually, his baby sister wakes up, and when Mom goes to get the baby, Michael is upset because he doesn’t think there’s enough room. But of course there is always more room on mother’s lap.

I love reading this book with the kids, rocking back and forth, back and forth–just like in the book.

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we-like-to-nurseWe Like to Nurse, by Chia Martin and illustrated by Shukyo Rainey is a book that is especially good for toddlers and preschoolers because of the brightly painted pictures and simple text. Each page shows a different animal nursing its young. The last page with a mother nursing her baby, reads, “We like to nurse.”

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biggest-bedThe Biggest Bed in the World, by Lyndsey Camp, and illustrated by Jonathon Langley. This is such a fun book. When there’s a baby in his bed, dad says, “How am I supposed to sleep like this?” The family keeps on growing with the addition of twins and triplets until Dad finally has to make the biggest bed in the world. He even has to knock down walls so the bed will fit in the house. When the kids all move to their own beds, Dad thinks his bed is too empty, and still he wonders, “How am I supposed to sleep like this?” I love the way nursing is drawn in this story.

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welcome-with-loveWelcome With Love, by Jenni Overend and illustrated by Julie Vivas. I love this book! This is the perfect book to help prepare children who might be attending the birth because it shows the mom in several different labor positions with her husband. The midwife and other children are in the illustrations as well. This is a little different than other children’s book because it actually shows the birth. Don’t worry. There’s no blood and gore and raunchy shots, but it beautifully depicts what homebirth is all about. Mom gives birth standing up, leaning on her husband. You see baby’s head coming out from her. Next, the mom is kneeling, scooping her baby up to her with the cord still attached. My favorite drawing is the scene after the birth from overhead which shows the dad holding the placenta in the bowl; he had just cut the cord. Baby is tucked in bed beside mom, surrounded by the three other children. My favorite quote:

A little boy, Mum says, crying and smiling at the same time. She holds him close against her breast. Dad tucks the blanket around them. He’s crying too.

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berenstainThe Berenstain Bears’ New Baby, by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Cute little book. Brother bear has outgrown his bed so he and Dad go out into the woods to build a new one. When they get home, there’s a new baby sister in brother’s old bed.

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Dancing Waters, by Tara Tulley and illustrated by KC Clark “tenderly tells the story of a family who chooses a doula and waterbirth in a hospital setting” Also available by the same author and illustrator is Stars of the Sky where a mother tells her twins about their homebirth.

Dale, a childbirth educator, says,

It looks like it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the heart and soul.

I have not seen these books for myself, but they look delightful. You can find them here.

If you know of another book that might fit my list, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Go to my list of recommended pregnancy books.

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use this ovulation calculator December 7, 2009

Posted by guinever in : doula, midwifery, pregnancy , comments closed

Simply answer the questions to find out when you will most likely ovulate  to help you either conceive or avoid pregnancy.

Please select the first day of your last menstrual period:

/ /

Usual number of days in your cycle:


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