Category: Birth & Pregnancy

Hospital Birth Tour Even Though I’m Planning a Home Birth

May 19th, 2010 by

Today, at 36 weeks and 1 day in my pregnancy, we took a tour of the nearby hospital labor and delivery ward where I’d mostly likely go in the event of an emergency transfer. So, although we have a home birth planned (and I am going to do everything in my power to keep it that way), I thought I’d be more relaxed about the whole thing if I knew more about the logistics of that option. I went in there armed with the book, Your Best Birth, because there is a section for hospital tours where Ricki Lake offers a list of questions to ask (I highly recommend this terrific book). We were one couple among four others, and I asked about 95% of the questions. I even stumped the tour guide a couple of times, but she was a trooper and found the answers for me. :)

Here is what I asked and found out:

1. What are the chances I will have a private room? Can baby room with me? – Good news! From the triage area to the labor and delivery room to the post partum room… they are all private with baby rooming in. The labor/delivery room has a TV, DVD player, CD player, mini-fridge, microwave, private bath, etc.

2. Do you honor birth plans? – Yes, they claim that they do and I should bring it with me. (By the way, I recommend having a birth plan written before conceiving if possible. It’s less stressful that way, you have a clear head, and it’s not something you have “to do” while pregnant – you already have enough to do during that time, not to mention the possibility of not feeling well – so get it done beforehand! I will share some details of mine in the near future here on my Green Mommy Blog.)

3. What can I do if I’m not happy with my nurse? – I can get a different one.

4. Who can be in attendance of the birth (in the delivery room)? – Anyone I want pretty much so long as the doctor and nurses can do their jobs.

5. What non-drug pain relief is available? (tub? birth ball? squat bar?) – Each labor/delivery room has a bath tub with jets, and birth balls are available. I’d probably bring my own birth ball.

6. Can I eat or drink during labor? – NO! (Arghhh! I’ve heard that the way around this is simply to sneak it in.)

7. What percent of women get epidurals? – About 99.9%

8. What is your c-section rate? – About 28% (I’m still amazed that about 1 in 3 women get c-sections in this country)

9. Who can accompany me in the operating room if I end up getting a c-section? – Birth coach (a.k.a. my husband for my situation and I would probably push to get my doula or midwife in there, too).

10. Can I wear my own clothing? – Yes.

11. Can I video tape the birth? – Yes. And, photos are also allowed in the operating room for c-sections.

12. Can I have the lights dimmed during my labor and delivery? – That is up to my doctor.

All in all, I was impressed with the hospital and I’m really glad we took the time to tour and ask questions. Heck, it was worth it just to learn the parking situation – that alone could be a nightmare.

Kristen Hospital Birth Tour

May 19th, 2010 by

Kristen Hospital Birth Tour

Pregnancy and Baby Books

April 16th, 2010 by

A few of the books I’ve read.

I get asked all the time about what books I recommend for pregnancy and baby information. I thought I’d list them here. They are not necessarily vegan, but most are friendly toward that, as well as natural childbirth. Some of the books I’ve read entirely and some I have only flipped through because I haven’t needed to use them yet (I glossed through them to become familiar with the topics in the event I need to use them in the future). Some of the books I love and find very useful and some of them were pretty good. In truth, they were all great, it’s just that by the time I read some of them, I’d already exhausted the topic.

Rainbow Live-Food Cuisine by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this book has information about nutrition and food options for babies. I’m a big fan of Dr. Cousens.

Conscious Eating by Dr. Gabriel Cousens – this big book has a nice section about pregnancy and nutrition (as well as covering so much more about health in general).

Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein – I can’t stress how important it is to read this book if you’re trying to conceive or already pregnant. There is so much useful information about the different birthing scenarios (home birth, hospital, or birth center). Read why I’m having a home birth here.

Evie’s Kitchen by Shazzie – I really like this book for pregnancy and children nutrition information. This is the one book that is filled with lots of info about raw foods. She covers many natural alternatives and health food options that you won’t find in other books.

Baby Greens by Michaela Lynn and Michael Chrisemer – This book gives information about living foods for children of all ages.

Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin – I’m a huge fan of the Skinny Bitch books (they’re my style – total sass and fun). This energizing book details the vegan diet and pregnancy.

The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm – This book was useful for learning about the women’s journey from baby’s conception to birth. Romm is a midwife and herbalist which is what turned me on to this book.

Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm – This is one of those books that I haven’t read yet, but I’m looking forward to it because, again, I like the idea of learning from someone who is a midwife and herbalist. The book covers herbal remedies, nutrition, hygiene, etc.

Baby Matters by Linda F. Palmer – This book supports natural parenting practices… “rebuts cry-it-out parenting and the frequent usage of various drugs and vaccinations in children, reveals incredibly common, yet seldom diagnosed food intolerance symptoms???even from foods in mom’s diet???and how to treat them, and discloses the real causes of ear infections, colic, reflux, ADHD and SIDS.”

Wise Woman Herbal Childbearing Year by Susan S. Weed – I didn’t use this book much because I didn’t need to, but still glad to have it in my library. It offers simple remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns (including herbs for fertility and birth control).

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May – By the time I read this book, I’d already read some others on breastfeeding, but it was still enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of Ina May and recommend this book.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May – One of the best books ever. I read it before we conceived and I’m reading it again now in preparation for birth. I bought copies for my mom and mom-in-law to read. Highly recommended.

Permission to Mother by Dr. Denise Punger – A nice book by a doctor with expertise in breastfeeding.

Natural Health after Birth by Aviva Jill Romm – This is a guide to postpartum wellness that I haven’t read yet, but I’m a fan of Romm’s so I suspect I’ll really like it.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley – I really liked this book. I enjoy reading books by medical doctors who support natural childbirth. Buckley covers birth choices with sections interwoven about her own four home births. It also includes information about attachment, breastfeeding, and baby sleep.

HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan – My husband and I took hypnobirthing classes in preparation for our home birth and this book was a part of the course. I think it would be of great use whether you took the classes or not. I wrote a blog post about our experience after a HypnoBirthing class here.

The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh – As many of you know, we’ll be trying our hand at Elimination Communication (blog post here). This book was very helpful in teaching us about it.

Good Nights by Dr. Jay Gordon – This is a great book with information about cosleeping and having a family bed. (I can’t wait to cosleep with our baby!)

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff – This is a book about attachment parenting. It was recommended by many people… call me crazy, but I did not think this was a page turner (although I’m very interested in attachment parenting). I recently listened to a current interview with the author that I enjoyed very much. (Thanks, Deb, for reminding me to add it to my list here… oops, I forgot about it – lol)

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, N.D., Robert Rountree, M.D., and Rachel Walton, MSN, CRNP – I haven’t read this book yet, but I suspect I will put it to good use over the years. It offers “safe and effective relief of common childhood disorders, using nutritional supplements, herbs, homeopathy, acupressure, diet, and conventional medicine.”

UPDATE (5/2/10)??The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Vegan Eating For Kids by Dana Villamagna and Dr. Andrew Villamagna – I just purchased this book for my Kindle2 and started reading it tonight. I’m only part way into it and it’s a page turner. I grabbed this from the product description on Amazon: “The guide presents all the nutritional needs for children up to 12 years old, outlining what they need at what stage in their lives, and what vegan foods can provide those nutrients.
???The only book to present a complete plan for raising a vegan child
???Includes delicious vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks
???Includes complete nutritional lists of fruits, vegetables, and nuts
???Features tips for teaching children how to cope in a non-vegan world”

Whew! There were some others I read, but this is a good list to help get you started. I also read about 5 books on vaccinations, as well as plenty of research online. is a great resource (both the magazine and the forum).

Update: (1/25/11) Disease-Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is another great book that helps answer many questions on how to ensure you’re feeding your children the healthiest diet possible. Disease-Proof Your Child is filled with references to study after study showcasing the extreme importance of how your child’s long term health is connected to the foundation you establish in the first 10 years of life via food.

Are there any books that you loved?