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Here is a list of online resources that you may find helpful during your pregnancy and as you prepare for childbirth and parenting. Overall, I have found the information on these sites to be valuable, but cannot guarantee the ongoing accuracy and safety of everything you might read while exploring them. If you find any broken links, or if you have a favorite site to suggest, please e-mail me at christina@birthingyourbaby.com.

PREGNANCY
CHILDBIRTH
BIRTH STORIES
BREASTFEEDING
PARENTING

PREGNANCY

Visembryo details the stages of fetal development, from one day post-fertilization to 40 weeks with some pictures and lots of text description. Also includes an extensive glossary of terms.

Your Growing Body & Baby offers finely illustrated drawings of a baby's development through pregnancy and shows how your body accomodates your baby's growth!

BabyCenter.com has been the pregnancy/baby website I've used most often. I particularly enjoyed their weekly bulletins during my pregnancy and still receive updates about Madelyn's development.

Ask Dr. Sears.com is a comprehensive website offering Sears' wisdom on pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Updated regularly with weekly topics and questions. I highly recommend this site as an extension of their excellent books.

The Lamaze website includes lots of useful information about pregnancy and childbirth, especially "Six Care Practices that Support Normal Birth". They also have a weekly email pregnancy newsletter which I think is excellent.

Patient Rights at Your Fingertips is a short document detailing your basic rights as a patient. Want a copy of your medical records? Don't want to sign that consent form? Click on this link to learn about your rights!

Maternity Bra Sizer Application provided by American Baby offers helpful information about purchasing a bra during pregnancy.

How do I choose my caregiver? The MaternityWise website provides an insightful overview that answers many of the common questions women have about choosing a caregiver and explains what types of caregivers provide maternity care.

SHARE Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support offers resources and support to parents who have experienced loss during pregnancy or after birth.

Sidelines National Support Network provides nationwide support for women and their families experiencing complicated pregnancies. There are excellent suggestions of bedrest activities, a great FAQ page, a list of questions to discuss with your caregiver, and lots more, including a very comprehensive links section which is great for any pregnant or new mom.

This is a very cool due date & pregnancy timeline calculator.

Plus-Size Pregnancy Website provides evidence-based articles and links to information geared toward possible concerns of plus-sized women as well as a more general audience. An excellent resource.

Interested in using medicinal-grade essential oils in pregnancy or birth? They're available at Young Living World.

Mothers of Supertwins is a network of families with triplets, quadruplets and more. MOST provides information, resources, empathy and good humor during pregnancy, infancy, toddlerhood and school age.

Pee on a Stick is a comprehensive collection of home pregnancy test and ovulation predictor test information and images.

The Hyperemesis Education & Research (HER) Foundation provides education & support for mothers suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum and those who care for them. The FAQ section is particularly worth reviewing.

Multi-dimensional Human Embry Atlas details the development of the human embryo in words and photographs.

Computerized model of embryonic and fetal development. Need Shockwave (Adobe) for it to work.

The Morning Sickness page on Dr. Sears' website offers great information, including "24 ways to ease morning sickness", a list of "tummy friendly" foods and a list of "discomfort foods".

Natural remedies for Morning Sickness - suggestions from Mothering magazine.

Clear explanation of how a non-stress test works and how to understand the results.

Listening to Mothers II Survey results from Childbirth Connection. Learn what 1,600 mothers across the nation said about planning for pregnancy, labor and birth, being home with a new baby, physical and emotional health after birth, and opinions about choice, control, knowledge and decision-making in childbirth.

Preventing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, an article from Childbirth Connection, offers valuable information about urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor dysfunctions - including what factors can contribute to these problems as well as what you can do to help keep your pelvic floor strong.

Joy M. Jones, RN has created a website, The Brewer Pregnancy Diet, that clearly outlines Dr. Tom Brewer's Pregnancy Diet, including an explanation of the eating plan, the physiology of how and why it works, and a variety of other useful information.

Become an Ex offers detailed information on how to stop smoking.

Help Pregnant Smokers Quit - more detailed information on the benefits of quitting, how to successfully prepare to quit, how to set a quit date, etc.

One more reason to quit: "Quitting Smoking in Pregnancy Boosts Chances of Easy-going Child".

Pocket Seafood Selector of best and worst seafood, from Environmental Defense.org.

Wondering about medication (over-the-counter or prescription) and its safety for a growing fetus? Safe Fetus.com offers a complete, searchable database of worldwide medications (generic & trade) providing information on the drugs' indications, fetal risk, breastfeeding risk, during pregnancy, according to the FDA.

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CHILDBIRTH

Midwifery Today is a website dedicated to the "heart and science of birth." It offers searches for doulas and midwives, an extensive collection of searchable articles, and a number of interesting forums. A terrific site for expectant couples and birth professionals covering pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding topics.

Ten Tips for Labor Coaches provides solid advice for labor partners. A BabyCenter.com resource.

Childbirth Connection is the website for the former Maternity Center Association. It offers up-to-date information on evidence-based in a very readable format. The sections on Ceseraean birth, labor support, and choosing a caregiver are especially worth reading. They also offer Journey to Parenthood: Your Guide Through Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, for free online and for purchase as a book. Finally, the text of A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth is on this website. This text is an excellent reference for information on evidence-based care. I highly recommend exploring it.

Is Natural Childbirth Right for You? is a quiz offered by Ivillage. I don't know if I would use it as a guide for making this decisionů but it might help you clarify what you need to do to prepare psychologically for a natural birth.

Virtual Labor game.

BirthPlan.com from Pregnancy Today and the Interactive Birth Plan from Childbirth.org are two websites I recommend visiting to help you develop your birthplan. Use these websites to get a sense of the appropriate language to use in your plan and to think about the wide range of topics to include.

Trying to decide whether (or how) to bank your baby's cord blood? Check out www.cordblood.com.

Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Banks has compiled information about public and private cord blook banks in the United States.

Planning to breastfeed? Check out this site to see how the choices you make during birth may affect breastfeeding. Keep in mind, though, that breastfeeding can be successful even under less-than-ideal circumstances. Just some food for thought that might be helpful when drafting a birth plan or talking to your caregiver about your options during labor.

VBAC.com is a "woman-centered, evidence-based" resource with information about having a vaginal birth after cesearean.

International Caserean Awareness Network's mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).

Considering using a doula for your birth? Check out this one-page chart showing the benefits of doula care.

So You Want an Epidural offers a balanced look at what's involved with using an epidural for birth, including a detailed explanation of how they're performed, the benefits, risks, and side effects sometimes involved, and a wonderful list of Eleven Things You Can Do to Enhance Childbirth Experience Before and After Your Epidural is in Place. I highly recommend this site to anyone considering an epidural.

More information on Epidural Anesthesia.

Want to know what it looks like to have an epidural? Check out this incredible pictorial "essay" of what happens. This is somewhat graphic, but could be an invaluable aid in your decision-making.

The Medical Risks of of Epidural Anesthesia during Childbirth website strives to offer some of the "under-reported" risks of epidural anesthesia. Easy to navigate to find the information you're looking for.

An eloquent essay about the role of a doula, "A Cord of Three Strands."

Wonder what to say when yet another well-meaning friend or family member has a question or comment about your planned homebirth? Read through this list of wonderful responses.

List of ideas for having the Best Cesarean possible, from Penny Simkin. Information for before, during, and after the Cesarean for mother and baby.

Cesarean Birth in the Time of Fear, from Mothering magazine.

Why the National U.S. C-Section Rate is Rising, from Childbirth Connections.

Ecstatic Birth: Nature's Hormonal Blueprint for Labor describes the various roles of hormones during birth, how common hospital procedures affect a laboring mother's hormones, and how to "optimize the ecstasy".

The Ideal Caesarean Birth, by Robert Oliver, M.D., offers an interesting perspective on cesarean births.

Bishop's Score for Induction, in table format, with explanations.

Homebirth Reference Site with answers to common "What if..." questions: "What if you want pain relief?" and "What if the cord is around the baby's neck?" etc.

Is Homebirth for You? 6 Myths about childbirth exposed.

A revealing chart about ideal (WHO recommendations) and real US Birth statistics from 2004, provided by Citizens for Midwifery.

There's No Place Like Home, on the advantages and and joys and of giving birth where you live, by Birthing From Within author, Pam England.

Resources on Midwives and Midwifery, from Citizens for Midwifery, including information on finding a midwife, safety of homebirths, US birth statistics and more.

Pain Relief and Homebirths: what pain-relieving medications are used in homebirth situations, ideas for non-medical pain relief for homebirths, and lots of homebirth stories.

Spinning Babies: Easier Childbirth Through Fetal Positioning, including information on baby positions, belly mapping, breech babies, and posterior babies.

Some helpful suggestions on how to avoid tearing or having an episiotomy during second stage labor.

Baby's Choice - an interesting article exploring what babies might want during pregnancy and birth.


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BIRTH STORIES

Birth Stories.com offers birth stories from a wide variety of perspectives. The stories are helpfully indexed, so you can read (or avoid) certain categories depending upon your interest or mood.

Making Leta is a detailed, humorous look at giving birth.

An empowering birth story.

Scroll down on the MoonDragon Birthing Services website for a list of homebirth stories, many with great photographs, including the "WaterBirth Story in 100 pictures."

My Big Ugly VBAC: It Wasn't Pretty But It Was All Mine is one mother's VBAC birth story with pictures.

Beautiful slide show of homebirths created by Open Circle Midwifery.

Birth Story Diaries offers a wide variety of birth stories, some vaginal, some cesarean, some hospital, some home, etc. Many of the stories include photos, and are rated on a scale from modest to very graphic.

Another great birth story.

Twin homebirth story.

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BREASTFEEDING

Breastfeeding is Priceless is a fact sheet on the benefits of breastfeeding your baby. Written by the Center for Improving Maternity Services.

Motherwear.com is an excellent source of nursing clothes. They have a huge range of sizes and a great return policy. Check them out if you're looking for nursing bras or clothes and/or accessories. Motherwear also started a blog.

Positions and Tips for Breastfeeding from BabyCenter.com is a collection of photos that show a variety of nursing positions and useful tips.

La Leche League is one of the best and most well-known breastfeeding support groups. You can get answers to common breastfeeding questions here, find out when your local La Leche League meets, or download their catalog to purchase breastfeeding supplies (and lots of parenting books). They have a new online bulletin board.They also offer a breastfeeding mother hotline from 9am-3pm Monday through Friday, 800-LALECHE.

The American Academy of Peditricians Policy Statement on Breastfeeding (revised as of February 2005).

NursingMother.com offers a pleasant mix of humor and useful information about pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, and parenting. The nursing bra and breastpump sections are great. A very nicely done site.

Breastfeeding Pharmocology is a website with thorough information about breastfeeding and medication options.

This website offers a selected list of medications approved by the AAP for use in breastfeeding mothers. Also includes some information about use during pregnancy. Very easy to understand.

Breastfeeding information arranged in FAQ format by The Nursing Baby website. Great questions, including information about milk supply, sore nipples, leaking, inverted nipples and more.

Planning to breastfeed twins? Check out this website for lots of photos and helpful articles.

Long list of Breastfeeding Handouts available on Dr. Jack Newman's website.

A great breastfeeding video showing how babies latch on to the breast, offered by Ameda, plus lots of other basic information.

Very sweet pictures of mammals who nurse.

Information on DHA in formula.

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PARENTING

The Growing Years is a set of monthly .pdf fact sheets on child development provided by University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Preparing for Life with a Newborn links to related resources on Baby Center.com.

BabiesRUs.com has a useful shop-online site through Amazon.com. Not only can you register and purchase items online, you can also read consumer reviews and study the side-by-side comparisons offered for common products. Even when I'm not buying something online, I often read the reviews to help me make informed decisions.

One Step Ahead is another online store that offers a baby registry. They have lots of practical baby products, including cloth swim diapers that we've tried and love!

Bad Baby Names 5 is a hilarious website with commentary on some "interesting" (read: unfortunately awful) names parents have inflicted upon their babies.

The classic source of consumer information, Consumer Reports, has a special section for baby equipment. It's not free, but we found it worthwhile for the few months we made most of our large purchases.

This Homemade Baby Food page provides basic information about making your own baby food. There are many advantages to making your own baby food. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

The Postpartum Stress Center offers excellent resources on Postpartum Despression, with pages on family support, ways to feel better, where to get help, and talking to your doctor.

Post-Partum Support International has links to information and support for mothers and for fathers.

Healthy Place offers easy-to-read comprehensive information about Post-partum depression.

14 Tips to Prevent Post-partum Depression, by Moxie, the author of the wonderfully helpful and supportive AskMoxie blog.

Lullaby Lyrics from BabyCenter.com offers lyrics and melodies of songs you may want to sing to your baby.

Here is a list of state exemptions information for vaccinations.

How to Thrive (or Survive) after Your First Baby is an article about successfully negotiating the changes in your post-baby relationship.

Mom-to-Mom of Maine is a ME organization to support Maine mothers. Most events seem to be in Portland, but I think playgroups are organized by other locations. The "keepers" sections of ideas and resources is great too.

Mothering Magazine no longer publishes the magazine, but does offer articles and active forums.

SafetyBeltSafe has everything you need to know about choosing, installing, and using carseats, including an extensive Q&A section.

The Car Seat Lady is your resource for accurate, up-to-date information about how to keep your most precious cargo safe.

Want to buy books for your baby (or suggest books as gifts) but don't know what might catch his/her attention? Check out the Starter Library page from BabyCenter.com for some great ideas.

The Maya Wrap was my favorite.

Want to make your own sling? Check out this (free!) online tutorial on sling-making, with directions and pictures, from The True Face of Birth.

Well-known doctor and breastfeeding support, Dr. Jay Gordon, has an excellent website.

A description of Kangeroo Care and how it works, from Midwifery Today.

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is a comprehensive library of pediatric information.

WHO Child Growth Standards

The Ask Dr. Sears website also has a tremendously helpful section called The Medicine Cabinet, with information on all sorts of common medicines for children including comparisons, dosing, usage and more. Very very useful!

Attachment Parenting International offers interesting articles from an AP point of view, a list of related links & books, and information on how to find or start an AP support group.

SIDS Death rate decreases in New Zealand Midwifery Today summarizes an interesting study on mattress-wrapping and SIDS.

An interesting article on SIDS and bed-sharing and breastfeeding.

Dr. James McKenna offers a complete guide to bed-sharing on the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame website, including sections on guidelines, advantages, long-term effects.

Safe Sleeping with Your Baby provides recent information on sleep-sharing from attachment parenting gurus, the Drs. Sears.

Safe Sleeping tips from Drs. Sears for all babies, those co-sleeping or sleeping in a crib.

Why Cloth offers lots of useful information about cloth-diapering - both the benefits for children and the environment, as well as practical FAQs.

G Diapers are an interesting hybrid diaper - part disposable and part cloth.

More diapering basics from Pinstripes and Polka Dots, including how to get started, care of diapers, and a detailed comparison chart of cloth diaper options.

Have you struggled to keep your child hydrated during a bout of diarrhea? Here is a website devoted to Oral Rehydration solutions.

The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) is a non-profit organization of chiropractic family practitioners dedicated to advancing public awareness and attainment of the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle. Their website offers information about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and for young children, as well as a directory to help you find a ICPA chiropractor in your area.

Muslin swaddling wraps and blankets from Aden + Anais.

An interesting study on evolutionary parenting.

10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids, by Jan Hunt. Check out Jan's other articles on parenting, too.

BabyCenter's The Discipline Toolkit: Successful Strategies for Every Age.

KidSafe Seafood offers best choices of seafood for kids, and recipes.

TIPS Unlimited Baby Skincare Awards include product descriptions for baby wash, shampoo, bum cream, lotion, toothpaste and more.

Wondering what bottles, pacifiers, and tableware is BPA-free? Check out the Z Report on BPA in Children's Feeding Products.

More on baby massage.

FAQs about massaging babies and children.

Baby massage instructions plus pictures.

Why massage is so good for babies, from the AskDr.Sears site.

Excerpts from Wonder Weeks are available online. For free! A great resource offering information about the eight common developmental leaps babies make.

Child Safety Tattoos: SafetyTat - get the tat that brings kids back. An amazing idea, especially for traveling with walking, pre-verbal kids!

Thinking about teaching your baby how to sign? We did & I can't say how incredibly helpful it was to communicate that way. Michigan State University has an ASL Browser, organized alphabetically, that offers a written explanation and a video demonstration of each sign.

Not Just Skin offers a FAQ section on circumcision, with questions like "Isn't circumcision just a little snip?", "What is the value of the foreskin?" and "If circumcision doesn't provide any health benefits, then why do doctors still do it?"

NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) offers a number useful, informative, and (in my opinion) balanced pamphlets, including Answers to Your Questions about Infant Circumcision, Answers to Your Questions about Your Young Sons Intact Penis (and also one about care for a circumcised penis), and Answers to Your Questions about Circumcision and HIV/AIDS. These pamphlets are in PDF format and are easy to print, and free.

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For more information, contact Christina Kennedy at 512-2627
or by email at christina@birthingyourbaby.com.


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