Information about Pregnancy and Childbirth
“You are going to a place you know not where and bringing back you know not what”
We hope that you will find the information below helpful in making informed decisions. While we can provide you with facts and advice, and good sources for more, such information is not knowledge and is only one step on your journey. Whether this is your first baby or you’ve already given birth, each birth is different and brings forth not just a new baby, but a new mother and a new family as well. Each birth is a unique and amazing experience that will stay with you forever.
Childbirth is a normal, natural, and profound event in a woman’s life. Your body is designed to grow and birth your baby. Because we do not live with birth in the US, however, we are vulnerable to myths and misconceptions about birth and standard maternity care practices. As a result, pregnant women and their families in this country need to actively seek out knowledge that is more readily accessible to those women who grow up watching other women give birth.
We encourage all women and their families to learn as much as possible so as to make informed, thoughtful choices about their care and the care of their babies. There is no such thing as a “right choice” for every woman and no guaranteed path to a “perfect birth.” Grace and luck play a powerful role, and you cannot control birth. You can make conscious choices, however, about where you choose to give birth, with whom, and how you are treated. You can make decisions about the environment, setting, and provider, and your consent to routine medical procedures.
We encourage you to seek not just information but knowledge -- birth stories (positive as well as negative) and birth videos can be a good source of understanding about birth and the long-term effects of birth on mothers, babies, and families.
Most importantly, trust your instincts -- not just the cognitive thinking part, but the gut instincts. You know more than you think you know, and if you are uncertain or afraid, your body will know it and will have a harder time doing what it needs to do. Your instincts will serve you, your baby, and your family well now and in the future.
We hope the information provided here will help lead you to the knowledge you need to have a healthy baby and a strong, happy start for your new family.
We offer you information about the following topics, as well as resources to help you on your journey:
BirthNet Basic Information
Where to Find out More about Pregnancy and Childbirth