Labor Basics Series: What is an Epidural?

Labor Basics Series: What is an Epidural?

I know you’ve heard of the term “epidural” when it comes to having babies.  Pretty much everyone has.  You may have even had an epidural in a past birth.  Most people know they have something to do with getting rid of pain. But do you really know what an epidural is beyond that?  Do you know what it involves?  Let’s dig in and learn about them a little bit deeper. Continue reading

Labor Basics Series: What is Station?

Labor Basics Series: What is Station?

We have talking about cervical exams and progress during labor.  So far we’ve covered dilation and effacement, so now it is time to discuss the last measure of cervical progress:  station.  In reality, station doesn’t really address the cervix, but rather it assesses the descent of the baby into the pelvis.  However, we routinely record station with dilation and effacement. Continue reading

Labor Basics Series: What is Effacement?

Labor Basics Series: What is Effacement?

We’ve covered dilation, but is that all there is to it? Of course, the answer is no. Why else would I be writing this post, right??  Now we need to talk about the next measure — effacement.

Dilation is actually not always the most important measure of labor progress, though it might be the only number you ever really hear. Effacement tells you more, especially in early labor.

So what is effacement?

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Labor Basics Series: What Is Dilation?

Labor Basics Series: What Is Dilation?

The Basics of Dilation

A nurse or provider measures cervical progress serially throughout labor in most labor settings.  The measurement has three parts. First of all is dilation.  Dilation is a measure of how “open” the cervical portion of the uterus has become.  Dilation takes place over a period of time as the body begins and progresses through labor.

The uterus is the organ that carries a baby as it is developing from implantation until birth.  It is made up of involuntary muscle tissue that “squeezes” (contracts) the baby out over time during labor.  The cervix is the bottom portion of the uterus.  This neck-like section stays closed tight under normal conditions until the baby is fully developed and ready to be born. Continue reading

How to Deal with Postpartum Hair Loss

How to Deal with Postpartum Hair Loss


I looked in the mirror this morning after my shower and thought, “Seriously, how am I NOT bald???”  This was after recovering a hairball the size of a mandarin orange out of the shower and then cleaning out my brush FOR THE THIRD TIME after drying my hair.  It’s a sad, sad time in a mom’s life.  What am I talking about? Postpartum Hair Loss.

It is quite possible that you have never heard of something called “telogen effluvium”, or more commonly, postpartum hair loss.  Even if you’ve had a baby before, you might not have heard the term.  You may remember feeling like you were going bald a few months after having your babies, but I bet at least 90% of the women reading this article never had their provider warn them about this reality….

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77 Questions to Ask the Hospital Where You Will Give Birth

77 Questions to Ask the Hospital Where You Will Give Birth


We’ve now covered questions for both maternity providers and pediatric providers, but there is still an important aspect you need to investigate — THE HOSPITAL — if you’ve decided that is the location where you will deliver.

hospital room flower

The questions you ask your provider are important, no doubt.  But often in the hospital setting, the doctor or midwife only pops in from time to time and then when it is time for the birth.  The hospital policies and staff are frequently the elements that will impact your birth experience the most.  Continue reading

29 Interview Questions to Ask a Prospective Pediatric Healthcare Provider (with 20 Follow-up Questions to Ask Yourself)

29 Interview Questions to Ask a Prospective Pediatric Healthcare Provider (with 20 Follow-up Questions to Ask Yourself)


Choosing a primary care pediatric healthcare provider for your baby is a big deal.  You are hiring someone who you will trust to give care to your precious child in some of the most stressful, harrowing times. You need someone who is competent.  You need someone who cares.  You need someone compassionate who will give you the guidance and wisdom you need to get you through if your baby is sick.

Like I said, it’s a big deal.  It’s a huge responsibility and not one to be taken lightly.

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52 Interview Questions to Ask a Prospective Midwife or Physician (with 17 Follow-up Questions to Ask Yourself)

52 Interview Questions to Ask a Prospective Midwife or Physician (with 17 Follow-up Questions to Ask Yourself)


Have you ever felt like your doctor was looking down their nose at you?  Ever had a provider make a suggestion you didn’t want to follow but they didn’t respect your choice?  Did you take time to interview them before you hired them?  Probably not, huh?  Most people don’t and sometimes they end up regretting it.

It’s easy to forget that providers are humans.  They are not robots.  They have personalities and opinions, and they all practice differently.  Because of this, it is vital that you make a good decision when choosing a provider.

I hear you.  You’re asking, “How do you decide who to choose?” Continue reading

BREAST CRAWL: What Is It and HOW To Do It

BREAST CRAWL: What Is It and HOW To Do It

Have you ever heard of the breast crawl? If not, you’re about to see something that is truly amazing.

We are told that breastfeeding comes naturally. Many doubt it after having had difficulties in their own experiences, and that is understandable.

Unfortunately, in the American medicalized version of birth, breastfeeding is often hindered by any number of interventions. Babies are often behind the curve for being ready and able to breastfeed from the time of birth.

However, when you see a baby born as nature intended it with few or no interventions, something magical can happen. It is called the BREAST CRAWL.  It is beautiful. I have had 3 natural births, and I was able to see this first hand with my last one soon after her birth. I couldn’t believe it. Continue reading