Natural Childbirth ~ Really?

Yes, whenever possible!  What is the definition of natural childbirth?  Natural childbirth is pregnancy, labor and birth the way nature intended ~ free of drugs, interventions and augmentations.   Natural childbirth is completely achievable in hospitals, birth centers and of course at home.  Proper preparation (education, exercise, nutrition…) and various types of support are the essential keys to natural childbirth.

Yes, our bodies were created to grow a life and give birth naturally.  So, why do so woman many feel as if their only option is a medically managed birth?  Here are a few possible answers:  lack of extended generational family members living in close proximity, Hollywood’s dramatization of birth, the war on midwifery & home-birth, limitations placed on OB’s due to malpractice insurance and a general lack of trust in our own bodies.

Yes, we can trust our bodies to birth naturally.  As a society we are hundreds of years into thinking ourselves right out of our intuition.  Our amazing, highly evolved brains have been trained to override those “pesky” intuitive feelings.   Women have given birth naturally since the beginning of time.  Learning to listen to your gut feelings will greatly improve the likely hood of achieving natural birth.

Yes, natural childbirth is completely achievable.  Here are 6 essential keys to natural childbirth…

  1. Support ~ Birth Team: Surround yourself with a supportive team of birthing professionals.  Interview no less than three OB’s or Midwives!  Become the most informed birth consumer you can be.  Check out your local birth networks like Birthing 411 for supportive people, organizations, classes, doulas and childbirth educators.
  2. Education:  Childbirth education is imperative.  Choose a comprehensive childbirth class that includes information on healthy pregnancy, labor coaching, relaxation techniques, common labor medications/interventions and how to avoid them, conscious consumerism, newborn expectations and breastfeeding 101.  Check out my Joyful & Informed Natural Childbirth Classes.
  3. Exercise:  The output of energy during labor is equivalent to that of running a marathon.  Train for the Birthathon that is labor by exercising your birthing muscles and increasing your stamina.  Get started now!  Pregnancy Exercises
  4. Nutrition:  Eat well to grow well!  Growing a life takes a diet rich in nutritious food.  Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains.  Stay well hydrated; drink at least eight 8oz classes of water at day!  Dr. Sears Pregnancy Diet Tips
  5. Relaxation:  Breathe!  Learn to breathe by fully engaging your diaphragm.  A full diaphragmatic breath is powerfully relaxing.  Next, learn to relax all of the muscle groups in your body through a series of tense and relax techniques.  Breathe Well
  6. Coach:  A supportive birth coach is absolutely necessary!  Your partner, husband, sister or close friend can be your coach.  Your coach should plan to attend all childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, doctors appointments and of course your entire birth.  The coach doesn’t need to be an expert in pregnancy, labor and birth.  The coach needs to be an expert in loving you!  The coach is someone you love and that will be there for you way beyond the birth.  A coach is different from a doula.  A doula is an experienced birth professional that supports women and couples through pregnancy, labor and birth.


As the Newborn Family Coach, it has been my honor to empower expectant families for more than 15 years.  Check out my website for more birth education options at or call me at 314-265-7407.  My next Comprehensive Childbirth Class Series begins on 12/4!

Halloween Candy Woes Cured with Operation Shoe Box

It seems of as if our children collect enough candy on Halloween to last for a year.  Donating extra candy is an option, but I always feel like I am endangering some other child’s teeth.  Making up care packages for our soldiers feels better to me since they have very little access to treats from home. Go to Operation Shoe Box for more information about sending those excess treats off to comfort a soldier.  This article in Parenting Magazine has several creative ideas for all of that candy.   Ideas for Leftover Halloween Candy  Happy Halloween!

Newborn Dad’s Rights

Did you know paternity must be established before Dad has any rights to his newborn baby? In most states, paternity is only established when Dad’s name is added to the Birth Certificate.  A birth certificate will be issued approximately 30 days after birth in most states. Which means at the hospital Mom must give the staff permission to place the “coveted” wristband on Dad.  Mom is seen as having sole responsibility in the eyes of the law.

So, what is a father to do?  If you are not married, drawing up a legal document is crucial in the event of an emergency where mom becomes incapacitated.

Once Dad is clearly assigned his “role” as the other person responsible for baby, He must still follow all hospital policies regarding newborn security.  Security protocols are in place to keep all newborns and their families safe.  Any family member violating the security protocols will be banned from the hospital.

Most newborn families never have any problems while at the hospital.  The safety protocols are clearly explained to you after baby is born.  Typically, the only thing you have to remember is that you may not leave your hospital room carrying baby in your arms.  Babies must be transported via the bassinet.

Knowing what to expect at the hospital under both “normal” and emergency situations will ensure the best birth experience possible for all family members.  Take a tour of the hospital where you plan to give birth and ask lots of questions.  The more you know in advance the better your experience will be.

Click here for more information Father’s Rights.

Sex & Babies LIVE!

Having babies never changes, but how we think about having babies has changed considerably in the past few generations.  New technologies have given me new ways to deliver the best education about one of the life’s most important moments.
I am thrilled to announce the birth of  Newborn Family TV, a web-based show about all things Sex & Babies!
Please join me LIVE on Newborn Family TV at  After only a few shows, Newborn Family TV has been selected by the cool techies at as a “Staff Pick”.   I am so thankful for the opportunity to reach thousands of newborn families!

Tune in LIVE to Newborn Family TV as often as possible through the end of October and help us reap all of the benefits of being a Staff Pick!  Don’t miss tonight’s show – Natural Childbirth… Really?  at 8:00pm Central Time.  The Vokle platform makes it easy to chat or video into the show. Log on and share your wisdom and get your questions answered!  See you all on the stream at Newborn Family TV on Vokle.

Date & Time                                                                                 Topic                         

Tuesday, 10/23 @ 8pm Central Time                      Natural Childbirth, Really?

Wednesday, 10/24 @ 2pm Central Time                Baby’s Schedule

Thursday, 10/25 @ 7pm Central Time                    Pregnancy Nutrition

Sunday, 10/28 @ 8pm         Central Time                Breastfeeding 101

Monday, 10/29 @ 8:30pm Central Time                 Sleep & The Family

Wednesday, 10/31 @ 2pm  Central Time                 Spooky Halloween Birth Show

Having A Baby?

Take A Childbirth Class!

Childbirth Class exercises

30 Reasons to Take A Childbirth Class

  • To prepare for one of life’s most miraculous moments
  • To learn about the many choices you have during pregnancy, labor and birth
  • To stay healthy and low risk during pregnancy and birth
  • To become a more informed pregnancy & birth consumer
  • To avoid unnecessary pain during labor and birth
  • To learn how to create a supportive labor team
  • To coach my loved one through labor
  • To learn that sex during pregnancy is safe and healthy
  • To learn how to avoid an induction
  • To learn about pain medications used during labor
  • To avoid an episiotomy
  • To eat during labor
  • To drink during labor
  • To avoid a C-section
  • To spend as little time at the hospital as possible
  • To learn about my alternative birth place options
  • To celebrate the joyousness of pregnancy and birth
  • To be reassured that my body can “do this”
  • To enhance your relationship with your partner
  • To avoid an extended hospital stay for me or my baby
  • To learn about newborn procedures and choose only those procedures that work our family
  • To learn more about breastfeeding
  • To enhance my family advocacy skills
  • To remain present and involved in my labor
  • To learn how to relax and let my body take over
  • To learn how to help my body heal faster after the birth
  • To learn about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with baby
  • To avoid the hospital nursery
  • To create a birthplan/birthwish list
  • To start my parenting journey off to a good start

Check out my upcoming Childbirth Class Schedule for Class Date and Times!

Cracked Nipples?

      Breastfeeding? Cracked Nipples? It happens. Typically cracked nipples are a result of a poor latch. Correcting your latch will help significantly. Healing the cracked nipples requires BREAST MILK and AIR (of course a little sunshine would be nice too)!  Yes, just express some breast milk and coat your nipples with it. Leave your bra flaps down and let air dry the breast milk on your nipples. Repeat often.

Walk around Topless!  If you must wear a shirt, make it a white cotton t-shirt.
In as little as 24 hours your nipples could be healed and MUCH less painful.No Protectants! Notice that I never mentioned lanolin or any other protectant. Breast milk is healing and that is necessary for healing cracked nipples. Breast milk is free and you have plenty of it!

Keep Breastfeeding!  Keep putting baby to breast but be hyper vigilant about the latch and your posture. If the pain is too much, pump and take a break through the night. By morning your nipples will be healed enough to get right back at it!

Mouthing Off Middle Schooler

As some of you many know, I blog for the Clayton/Richmond Heights Patch.  Here is an interesting question posed by a middle school parent:  Suppose your son just got suspended from middle school for three days. He was impudent and talked back to his teacher in front of everyone.

 So onto this week’s question: What do you do now as a parent to make sure this never happens again?

As the parent of a tween and a teen, this one hit close to home.

Concern & Respect: Of course it is essential to immediately express your concern for your child while making it clear that disrespecting adults in this manner is unacceptable. Clearly the child is experiencing something he is unprepared to handle.  Listen to your child’s side of the story, pay attention to your child’s perception of the “incident”.  Validating your child’s feelings is important.  Once you have taken care of your child’s needs, ask your child how the situation could have gone better.  Encourage him to come up with alternative strategies for dealing with this and similar situations.

Consequences: The school probably instituted a quick and logical consequence (notifying parents, lunch or after school detention).   You may not need to add a further consequence unless you feel more is necessary.  As always the consequence should be as logical as possible.   For some children the public format of the school consequence is plenty.  You may enlist your child in creating an appropriate consequence.  I am always surprised at how thoughtful children are when creating their own consequences.

Future Strategies: If mouthing off to adults is way out of character for your middle school child, I suggest that a total reconnecting with your child is in order.  Our tweens and teens are so independent these days that it is easy to forget that they are still learning how to navigate the wider world.  We all have busy lives and tend to let the little things slide like dinner together or hang out time together. Take the time to reconnect through some seemingly mundane activities.  Tweens & teens are more likely to share what’s going on with them while doing a parallel activities like raking leaves.  Nonchalantly schedule some one-on-one time with some sort of parallel activity. Make the space for conversation without the intensity of having a “big” talk.  Once you understand what is going on with your child you will be able to help him advocate for himself in an appropriate manner in the future.

Saying Goodbye to the Crib

Toddler Transitions: Saying goodbye to the crib is a big milestone for both parents and children.  Most parents will miss the safety of the crib and wistfully wish for the days when their little one couldn’t climb out of bed. Toddlers are usually excited by the new sleeping arrangements and a little fearful of this newfound freedom.  Whenever possible, a gradual shift from crib to toddler bed is best for most children.

Goodbye Crib:  Some children benefit from a formal goodbye ceremony.  While other children are too interested in the new bed to look back at the crib.  Gage your child and find the best solution.  If you own a crib that converts into a toddler bed, have your child “help” as you transform the bed.

Naptime Experiments:  Testing out the new bed during naptime gives you all a chance to acclimate to this change in sleep routine.   Lowering your expectation for actual sleep during naptime may help you feel better as your child tests the boundaries of the new bed.

Take a Deep Breath:  As always, approaching this new twist in the routine with a matter-of-fact or nonchalant attitude will help your child see the change as “normal”.  Center yourself and keep your energy in check as your toddler learns the ins and outs of the bed.  Remember that all children are unique and respond differently to change.

Safety First:  A safety gate or half-door is a must as your little one learns to stay in bed and in the room.  Pushing the bed up against a wall and placing a safety rail on the other side will help your child avoid rolling out of bed.  Toddler beds also utilize the same or similar crib safety mattress.

No Fun Zone:  If your child is used to playing in his or her room, naptime or bedtime with a toddle bed can be challenging.  With no barrier, children can just hop out of bed and play.  Creating a “no fun zone” during naptime and bedtime may help the transition.  Parents have very creative ways of taking the fun out of the room.  It may be as simple as relocating the toy box.  While other parents have a special quilt that covers the toys during naptime and bedtime.

Smooth Transition:  Enlist your child’s help in making up the new bed.  Ask your child to choose who will share the bed with him/her – a stuffed animal or special blanket?  For most children this is the first time a pillow is introduced.  Point out how your child’s bed is just like your big bed with a pillow and everything.  Encourage your child to test out the bed, while you state how comfy and snuggly the new bed feels.

Total sleep independence is within your reach.  Toddlers are growing and changing so quickly that their sleep is often disturbed.  Be patient and know that this to shall pass; every child learns to sleep in a bed when they are ready.  You are the expert when it comes to your child.  With a little thought and planning you can institute the best transition method to meet your child’s needs.  For more information on toddler sleep transitions contact Kim at


Delayed Cord Clamping?

As you know, parenting your newborn begins at conception.  The choices for your child’s health and wellbeing are numerous while in utero and increase exponentially at birth!  One of the choices you get to make immediately after birth is whether or not to delay the clamping your newborns’ umbilical cord?

The placenta miraculously oversees all of baby’s needs in utero until it detaches from the uterus after baby is born. Up until the placenta detaches the umbilical cord carries all of the messages to and from baby’s body. I consider there to be an ongoing conversation between the placenta and baby’s body – the umbilical cord keeps the conversation going. Clamping and cutting the cord at birth before the placenta detaches i.e. without waiting for the conversation to be completed, may deprive baby of blood, nutrients, hormones and much more. Several studies support delaying cord clamping for at least 3 minutes, if not until the placenta is detached.

Here is a link to article by on OB on the subject.


Stop the Soda Sipping Habit Today

Are your children drinking too much soda?  

Image  The soda sipping habit can be cured by employing a few simple strategies.  However, the adults in the family may feel more “pain” during the habit breaking process than the children.  The old adage of “do as I say not as I do” doesn’t usually work with children.

Strategies to Stop the Slide down the Soda Sipping Slope

  1. Model The Way: If you don’t want your kids to drink soda, don’t drink it yourself or at least not at home.  Model the behavior you want to see in your children.  If you want them to choose healthier beverages, choose them yourself.  I know this may put a crimp in your style, but in the long run your children and your body will thank you.
  2. Limit Availability & Access: Do not make soda available at home.  If there isn’t any soda chilling in the easily accessible fridge, they will have to make a different beverage choice (and so will you).
  3. Establish an Occasional Junk Food Holiday: Institute a family rule that soda is only allowed on certain occasions, like at the lake or at grandma’s house.  You may need to place limits on the amount available on these special occasions as well.
  4. Water – the new Soda:  Replace sugary soda with all natural, free and healthy water. If your child goes on a beverage strike and refuses to drink – IGNORE the beverage strike.  Your child will eventually drink water when they are truly thirsty.  Purchase some fun new cups and straws for water drinking.  Have your child help you make some flavored water.  See the recipe below.

Please keep in mind that you can make these changes with out big discussions and tantrums.  The next time you go to the store, do not purchase any soda. When the kids ask about the missing soda simply state “We only drink water at home.”.

Lemon Mint Water

1 pitcher of water

1 sliced lemon (remove seeds)

5-8 fresh mint leaves

Stir, then place in the fridge until cold.