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Pregnancy, Birth, Breastfeeding

An overview of best practices for mothers and babies

on February 23rd, 2011 at 5:27:07 PM

CIMS: Coalition for Improving Maternity Services promotes its "10 Steps of Mother-Friendly Care" -- "a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs." See their free downloads, including "Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask."

The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization works with birth organizations and experts throughout the world to improve maternity care; it offers the "10 Steps to Optimal MotherBaby Maternity Services" information in many languages. It is associated with both CIMS and Childbirth Connection.

Birth - information and caregivers

on February 23rd, 2011 at 5:23:54 PM

Birthing the Future is the nonprofit organization founded by author, photographer and birth educator/activist Suzanne Arms. With a focus on birth and the mother-baby connection, Arms and her colleagues advocate for not only holistic care but also for exploration of feelings, spirituality and ways of supporting women and families. An eloquent advocate and activist, Arms' work has inspired for decades.   

BirthWorks promotes safe and loving birth experiences through education, introspection and confident action. Birthworks offers classes for pregnant women and training for doulas and childbirth educators.

CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) offers "comprehensive, evidence-based education, certification, professional membership and training to childbirth educators, lactation educators, labor doulas, antepartum doulas and postpartum doulas worldwide." Parents can search for local providers in their online directory. 

Childbirth Connection "promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care for all women and families." It offers "trustworthy up-to-date evidence-based information and resources on planning for pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum period." There are many resources on their site, see their "Choosing a Pregnancy Caregiver" page for information, book recommendations and links to directories of local midwives, physicians, and obstetricians.

The mission of Lamaze International is "to promote, support and protect natural, safe and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers and parents."

Sidelines is a nonprofit organization that offers support and information to women and families who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies. They host scheduled online chats and a discusison board.

Birth and postpartum support

on February 28th, 2011 at 2:55:04 AM

Doulas: A doula provides non-medical support to a woman giving birth, and/or to the woman and family after the birth. Childbirth Connection offers a lot of information about various types of labor support, including the option of having a friend or family member provide this support. Several organizations offer training and certification to doulas, as well as directories for women looking for a doula in their geographic area. See BirthWorks, DONA International, and CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). There are also some volunteer doula programs for people in special circumstances: Operation Special Delivery for women whose partner, due to military service, has been killed or injured or is overseas at the time of delivery. There is a listing of volunteer doula programs at Radical Doula.

Postpartum Support International is a nonprofit organization offering information and support to women experiencing mood disorders after pregnancy, including postpartum depression. They also offer education and support to family members. There are weekly "chat with an expert" phone sessions, as well as a warmline (not for emergencies): 1-800-944-4773. Much of their work is done by volunteers who have themselves experienced postpartum depression.


on February 25th, 2011 at 9:54:03 PM

Baby GooRoo offers short videos by breastfeeding expert and lactation consultant Amy Spangler. Addressing the questions most-often asked by parents, these videos offer practical help delivered right to you, instantly. 

Mothering Magazine--now, launched a contest In 2006 for the design of an international breastfeeding symbol, and this design by Matt Daigle won!  Download the image, find information and resources at the International Breastfeeding Symbol website. 

Visit for a wealth of information, resources and discussion forums on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and natural family living.

The La Leche League International mission is "to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother." In the 1950s, seven mothers in the Chicago area founded La Leche League; its rigorously trained leaders have been offering support in local communities ever since. See the "Find local support" search box near the top of their page, groups are available in communities throughout the world. 

International Lactation Consultant Association: this organization trains and certifies lactation consultants. To find help, see their directory of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

On January 20, 2011, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. On the website of the Office of the Surgeon General, there are links to download copies of the Call to Action as well as links to information about employers, breastfeeding and the law from the Department of Labor. To order printed copies of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding and other materials, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO or email and reference the publication title.

More resources from the federal government include:

Your Guide to Breastfeeding (from
Download this guide to get how-to information and support for breastfeeding successfully. To order printed copies (in English, Spanish or Chinese), call 1-800-994-9662 (TDD 888-220-5446).

The National Breastfeeding Hotline: 1-800-994-9662
Talk with trained breastfeeding peer counselors who can help answer common breastfeeding questions in English or Spanish, Monday - Friday 9 am - 6 pm EST.

Newborns: what are they telling us?

on December 5th, 2011 at 6:13:50 PM

To help new parents, Family Nurse Practitioner Jan Tedder, BSN, IBCLC developed H.U.G. Your Baby (Health, Understanding and Guidance). Ms. Tedder explains how to recognize which "zone" your baby is in -- Resting, Ready, or Rebooting -- and when the baby is sending an "SOS" (Signs of Over-Stimulation). Read the Parent Skills page, and don't miss the link to an illuminating video (in the bottom right corner). A DVD for parents is available for purchase.

Support for Loss, Death

on February 25th, 2011 at 10:01:22 PM

If you have experienced a pregnancy loss or the death of an infant, or you're trying to help someone who is facing this experience, these nonprofit organizations might help.

The mission of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc. is to serve those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or in the first few months of life.

The Compassionate Friends offers information as well as local chapters: "Whether your family has had a child die (at any age from any cause) or you are trying to help those who have gone through this life altering experience, The Compassionate Friends exists to provide friendship, understanding, and hope to those going through the natural grieving process."

First Candle - This organization helps those who have experienced the loss of a baby and it also works on research and prevention of stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome and sudden unexplained infant death. It offers online support as well as a 24-hour grief hotline:1-800-221-7437