Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling And Start Connecting by Laura Markham- This book has changed a lot of things about how I work with my kids on behavior. It has a lot of great strategies in it.
Talk, Trust, and Feel Therapeutics– Incredible site by Lynne Namka, Ed. D. on how to deal with anger, abandonment and narcissism and how it impacts your relationships.
Brene’ Brown- Brene’ is a professor at the University of Houston who is best known for her work on vulnerability, courage and shame. Shaming is one of those common, yet potentially corrosive categories that we often fall into as parents. (I know I have.) I have found Brene’s work on understanding shame to be a huge light bulb for me with parenting. Helping our kids understand that making a bad choice doesn’t make them bad people changes everything. I highly recommend her TED Talk “Listening To Shame” and Tim Ferriss’ podcast interview with her.
Diaper Free Before Three by Dr. Jill Lekovic M.D.- Dr. Lekovic is a pediatrician who was introduced to more traditional potty training methods by the nanny she and her hsuband hired from her husband’s homeland in Eastern Europe. She has used it with all her children and recommends it for parents as a lower-stress and more effective way of helping children learn to use the potty. I found it to be a great way to potty train my middle child and am starting it with my daughter.
Pregnancy and Birth
The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born– When it came out in 2007, The Business of Being Born was a groundbreaking documentary about the history and current state of maternity care in the United States, both homebirth and hospital birth. The sequel is a four-part investigation into a number of other related topics such as midwives, sky-high c-section rates in Brazil and interviews with celebrity moms and midwife Ina May Gaskin.
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon- Whether you use the Bradley Method or not, I personally think this book is one of the best resources for understanding what is biologically normal for childbirth.
ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2012– This details what pain medications should and should not be used for mothers during labor and recovery.
Stand and Deliver, blog of Dr. Rixa Freeze, Ph. D.- Rixa’s blog has a wealth of cutting-edge information on birth from some of the most recent international conferences on breech birth and human rights in childbirth. Over the past eleven years she has written on many topics related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting and women’s studies. I highly recommend this blog!
Spinning Babies– Having your baby in a good position for delivery can reduce the risk of difficult labor and cesarean birth. This site has tons of information on exercises you can do during pregnancy to reduce the chances of your baby being a less-than-optimal position. Also has exercises for turning breech babies.
Home Birth Reference Site– This is a fantastic site with tons of research and personal stories from women who have had home births under almost every circumstance imaginable. Even if you are not a supporter of home birth, the large collection of accounts from women who have had successful home shows the potential for natural birth under a variety of circumstances.
Evidence Based Birth- This is a really popular site, and for good reason. The articles are very detailed and draw on a big picture view of the medical research on birth.
Cesarean, VBAC and CBAC Support
International Cesarean Awareness Network– If you’re interested in a vaginal birth after cesarean but feel you don’t have the research, support and resources to get one, get in touch with ICAN. Their mission is to support mothers desiring a vaginal birth after one (or more!) cesareans. Look for a local chapter in your area.
Birthing From Within by Pam England- This book is great for almost any mother desiring a natural birth and dealing with the psychological side of giving birth. I think it’s kind of like sports psychology for birth. I’ve known several moms planning a VBAC who have found this book particularly helpful though because it talks so much about the mental side of giving birth and cesareans. Birthing From Within was written by a midwife who is a VBAC mother herself, so it’s a great look at both sides.
More Business of Being Born– There is a part in this documentary that is specifically about VBAC’s and the real and perceived risks and interviews with doctors on the politics of cesareans and VBAC’s and interviews with moms who have successfully and unsuccessfully had a VBAC. This is one of the best video resources I have seen on this subject.
The Gentle Cesarean– Article about how family-centered c-sections are being offered at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, TX.
Natural C-Section– Dr. David Ghozland practices in Los Angeles and talks about the benefits of mother-centered cesarean sections.
Skin-to-skin contact is an important part of a C-section for both mom and baby– Article from Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee on how they do skin-to-skin contact after c-sections.
The Family Centered Cesarean– Page from ICAN on how to write a birth plan for a family-centered cesarean.
The gentle c-section: What it is and how moms, babies and families benefit– Article from Intermountain Healthcare in Utah about gentle cesareans and some of the hospitals offering it along the Wasatch Front.
Hospitals doing C-sections that allow families to bond immediately by Andrea K. McDaniels in the Baltimore Sun about some of the hospitals offering family-centered c-sections in the Baltimore area.
Barstow Community Hospital– C-section moms can recover in the birthing suites and I have heard from their IBCLC that they are doing skin-to-skin in the OR for c-section moms and babies.
Breastfeeding Positions– Great slideshow from the Mayo Clinic on basic breastfeeding positions.
Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth, by Raylene Phillips, MD, ICBLC- Amazing article on the benefits of skin-to-skin contact after a c-section and how it helps breastfeeding!
Breastfeeding with Flat or Inverted Nipples– Really great page from the LLLI’s website on how to tell what type of nipples you have and techniques for getting a good latch with your baby.
Breastfeeding in Combat Boots– Nationwide online information and support for mothers in the military. Includes a complete list of policies on breastfeeding and maternity leave for enlisted women.
Herbs to Avoid While Breastfeeding by Kelly Bonyata- Wondering if an herb is safe for breastfeeding? This is a great page to get started.
It’s Only Natural– Public health education campaign for African-American families about the benefits of breastfeeding.
The La Leche League International– Just about every conceivable topic related to breastfeeding is on their website. You can also locate a group in your area.
Lactancia Latina– Breastfeeding information and support for Latino families.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Weissinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman- This is the original book on breastfeeding by some of the pioneers of the La Leche League. It’s very comprehensive with information on breastfeeding under many different circumstances and how to handle almost any breastfeeding issue you can possibly think of.
The Innocenti Declaration– in the summer of 1990 the World Health Organization issued the Innocenti Declaration stating the importance of breastfeeding for both women and children’s health and setting goals for higher breastfeeding rates around the world.
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative– The WHO and UNICEF launched this initiative in 1991 to encourage breastfeeding. On this page you will find the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. This can help you choose a hospital or birthing center whose practices are inline with current public health recommendations or advocate for yourself and your baby.
The International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes– Because of the potentially damaging effects that artificial infant milks can have on babies and mothers’ health, the World Health Assembly adopted this code in 1981 that dictates how artificial infant milks can be marketed. This page has a link to the entire code.
KellyMom.com – This is a fantastic site with tons of great resources and articles written by a mom and lactation consultant.
Primary Lactation Failure
Hypoplasia/Insufficient Glandular Tissue, Kelly Bonyata- This is an excellent article on primary lactation insufficiency and insufficient breast tissue. There are some moms whose breasts are physically not able to provide fully for their babies. Kelly Bonyata, ICBLC talks about how to tell if you might have insufficient breast tissue and how to cope with it.
Not Only About Milk, Robin Stansel- This is a beautiful account of a mom who had primary lactation failure despite trying very hard to breastfeed. What’s beautiful is how she learned to weave time at the breast into her relationship with her son.
Chiropractic for Hypolacatation– Case studies from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association where chiropractic adjustment helped mothers whose milk hadn’t come in.
Legal Rights and Ethics
The Pregnant Scholar- Know Your Rights: Breastfeeding– Some good information on strategies for pumping in college.
Breastfeeding State Laws– Great site with a pretty comprehensive list of laws protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed on a state-by-state basis.
Obstetric Violence– It’s actually not ethical to physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually abuse laboring women or to coerce them. This is a problem in all parts of the world. The World Health Organization has materials on defining laboring women’s human rights.
Adoption and Induced Lactation/Relactation
Protocols for inducing lactation– The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation has published two protocols for mothers who want to breastfeed an adopted baby or baby via surrogacy. One is for a longer lead time and the other is an accelerated schedule.
Breastfeeding the Adopted Baby, by Debra Stewart Peterson- This is a short book, but it’s full of all kinds of practical information about how to get started and continue breastfeeding and adopted baby. A “must read” for any adoptive mom!
Adoption and Birth Mothers/Fathers
Adoption.com Pregnant and Considering Adoption– Lots of information on choosing adoption as well as prospective adoptive couple profiles.
Adoption Doulas– Website of doulas supporting adoptive parents and birth mothers through the process of pregnancy, birth and adoption. They have listings for adoption doulas for both birth and adoptive parents in the United States and Canada. Also has resources on birth plans for adoption.
Babywearing and Carriers
Babywearing International– Information on babywearing and list of local chapters. Contact your local chapter for access to a baby carrier lending library so you can “try before you buy”.
Life Me Up– This is a non-profit that provides free ergonomic baby carriers to families of special needs babies. I wish they had been around seven years ago!
“How Do I Wean My Baby?” La Leche League International- Great article with some strategies to gradually wean your baby or toddler.
Special Needs Babies
Spina Bifida Naturally– This is a great resource for parents who want to explore more natural ways for their child to live well with spina bifida. Has a list of practitioners along with books, blogs and personal accounts of different treatments and therapies from surgeries to essential oils.
Prenatal Surgery for Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and C-sections and spina bifida– I have seen some centers that are actually very unethical in how they present this new option for spina bifida myelomeningocele management. They pass of standard outcomes for children who have closure after birth as being revolutionary and extraordinary. C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan has some of the best information on this procedure, in my opinion. I also love that their statement on cesareans and spina bifida reflects the latest research. This is the link to their information page.
Every family’s journey is different and some babies only visit for a short time. But there are resources out there for continuing your pregnancy and planning end-of-life care.
Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care- This is an excellent site with lots of resources for parents including support groups, information for parents who have just received a diagnosis, video interviews with other parents who have dealt with infant loss, funeral planning and information on how to write a birth plan for infant palliative care. This site also has a listing of perinatal hospice programs by state in the US and internationally.
Jacqui’s Preemie Pride– This site sells stylish clothes in preemie sizes, but also has several infant burial gown sets for boys and girls starting at micro-preemie sizes at 1 lb. and up to 12 lbs./0-3 size.
Still Birth Day– This organization trains bereavement doulas who support parents through the birth and loss process. You can find a doula using their site.
Baby Loss Family Advisors– This organization trains doulas and advisors to help families through infant loss. You can locate an advisor near you on their site.
Birth Arts International– International organization that trains doulas in many aspects birth including infant loss. Demetria Clark, founder of BAI, developed the bereavement training program from her own experience working as a doula with many couples who experienced infant loss. They have listings for doulas in the United States and internationally.
Milk banks– Lactation still occurs after infant loss. There many milk banks what would be thrilled to receive your milk to help sick babies.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH- This is a must-read for every woman! This book covers birth control using the Fertility Awareness Method and also how to use charting and fertility awareness to increase your chances of getting pregnant, if desired. This is the definitive source women’s fertility and the menstrual cycle.
The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis, Ph D, OMD- If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, I highly recommend this book. After her own infertility was resolved through Traditional Chinese Medicine, Randine Lewis switched tracks from becoming a gynecologist to becoming a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. In her practice she has seen many couples who were told their only chance at being parents was to get a donor/surrogate or adopt who were able to conceive and birth healthy babies- even if their infertility was attributed to unknown causes.
Meditation has been one of the most profound tools I have encountered in my own journey through postpartum depression. I have practiced daily kundalini yoga and meditation for three years now and highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling through postpartum depression or even just the “baby blues”. Generally, meditation can be used in conjunction with other therapies. Please consult your healthcare provider for exact recommendations for your specific condition and circumstances.
Tree of Life Kundalini– A 40 day Christ-centered introductory meditation course, specifically for Latter Day Saints, though anyone is welcome to take it. This is the one I started with.
Emotional Freedome Technique, a.k.a. “Tapping”– This has been quickly gaining popularity for treating PTSD. It involves tapping acupressure points while narrating a personal account of a traumatic incident. Tapping the acupressure points helps the brain re-wire itself after trauma so that an incident no longer causes anxiety and depression . This is a great article from Psychology Today on how tapping can be used for traumatic experiences.
Can Trauma Improve Our Psyche?– Interesting article on how trauma can get us to reach out and strengthen our relationships with others, potentially leaving us mentally stronger.
Stories of PPD Recovery from Clarks Condensed– Katie Clark of Clarks Condensed shares stories from other mothers who have struggled through postpartum depression and come out the other end. You are not alone!
Hathor the Cow Goddess– Heather Cushman- Dowdee’s blog with her hilarious comics on breastfeeding.
“Ruin Your Day”– This deliciously sarcastic song remains one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time. My sister shared it with me when we were both breastfeeding. Made by the Australian group called Sparrow Folk, it satirizes the double standard on breastfeeding. The chorus is super catchy and you may find yourself singing it all day long…
The Practical MPH– This is my blog I started for all the public health topics I wanted to write about but couldn’t in my classes. (Mostly because my sarcasm levels would be too high for academic work.)