Below is our handy list of resources for pregnancy, birth, and parenting in Williamsburg, VA (most popular pages in boldface)! Suggestions and feedback welcome. Williamsburg Mothering is not affiliated with any of the listed providers and has received no financial compensation for these listings. Inclusion on the list does not indicate endorsement of the service provider by Williamsburg Mothering.
Change is afoot on the local midwifery scene! Still no hospital-based CNMs (certified nurse midwives) delivering at Sentara Williamsburg (grrrr!), but options are expanding for women who want nurse-midwifery care and are able to travel to Newport News and Richmond to get it.
This month, CNM Kregan Brault leaves her position as (beloved!) L&D nurse at Sentara Williamsburg to join the midwifery team at TPMG Obstetrics and Gynecology, which offers prenatal appointments in Williamsburg and delivers in Newport News at Mary Immaculate and Riverside.
Additionally, the VCU Midwifery Program is undergoing significant staff change. Longtime CNM Brenda Brickhouse has retired, CNM Kathryn Beaton has left, and CNM Amber Price (pictured at right) has relocated to Henrico Doctors’ Hospital as Vice President for Women’s and Children’s Services. CNMs Leslie Fehan and Meghann Batten remain at VCU, joined by new CNMs Naomi Sullivan and Stephanie Sherrell.
To read more about Amber’s new position at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, see this press release. In the coming months, stay tuned for more details about services and staffing at Henrico and VCU!
And keep the hope alive for CNMs in Williamsburg! Someday, folks! Someday! To make it happen, keep telling Sentara Williamsburg and Williamsburg OB/GYN that midwifery care is an option you want — or ask (beg!) TPMG to seek delivery privileges at Sentara Williamsburg!
The Rise of “Mama”. Do you go by “mama” rather than “mom” or “mommy”? Are these the reasons why? (Longreads)
Exploring Birth and the Microbiome. From birth through adulthood, our health is affected by our microbiome — the bacteria, fungi, and viruses who share our bodies with us. We are continually learning about the many ways our microbiome is influenced by how we are born (vaginal vs. C-section; high-intervention or low-intervention), where we are born (hospital vs. home), and how we are fed as infants (breast vs. bottle). (Science & Sensibility)
Hormonal physiology of Childbearing. Exciting new report on the hormonal physiology of childbirth by Dr. Sarah Buckley! Conclusion: “The country’s maternity care system is… routinely intervening in labor and delivery in ways that interfere with, instead of promoting, supporting and protecting, innate biological processes that result in healthier outcomes for women and newborns.” (Transforming Maternity Care)
What’s Right About a 6-Year-Old Who Breastfeeds.”Nursing large-bodied mammalian offspring for many years, until their first permanent teeth erupt (5.5-6.0 years in humans), is ‘natural’ for humans in the sense of being what the underlying evolutionary, biological/physiological norm is for us as a species. There is no research to suggest that normal durations of breast-feeding for humans as a species — 2.5 to 7+ years — lead to ‘harmful emotional dependency.’ There is some evidence that longer-term breast-feeding (along with co-sleeping in childhood) results in children who are more independent and score higher on measures of social competence.” (NPR)
Sad Dads. Dads can develop postpartum depression, too. (Psychiatry)
Babygate: Know Your Rights. Fantastic new guide to pregnancy and parenting laws (nationwide and state-by-state), written in plain English! Know your rights as a pregnant woman and as a parent! (A Better Balance)
Pretending to Understand What Babies Say Can Make Them Smarter. I totally talk to my babies this way, and have been teased for it more than once — now I feel vindicated! “By acting like they understood what their babies were saying and responding accordingly, the mothers were helping to introduce the concept that voices, more than just instruments for making fun noises, could also be tools for social interaction. The takeaway of all this is that how parents speak to their infants may be as important as the frequency with which they do it. ” (The Atlantic)
How Toddlers Thrive. Great podcast interview on parenting toddlers with Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. Loved what she had to say about how to help kids learn empathy, sharing, independence, and how to navigate sibling relationships — the answers aren’t what many parents first think! (Motherlove)
I Miss the Village. “I miss that village of mothers that I’ve never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone’s throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones.” The village is in my daydreams, too. (Huffington Post)
Goodbye, Dr. Spock. Really loved this essay from the Anna Quindlen archive! (Anna Quindlen)
My Breech Baby is an fantastic evidence-based website with information on different breech-baby-turning strategies, the best time in the pregnancy to utilize them, statistics on ECV, vaginal breech birth, cesarean breech birth, and more.
Green Poop: When Should You Worry? Green baby poop has many possible causes, including mama’s diet, a tummy bug, oversupply, an anatomy issue like a tongue tie, or sensitivity to a food or drug that mama or baby is taking. Find out when (and when not) to worry about it! (Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC)
Dads Who Share the Load Bolster Daughters’ Aspirations. Did you see the recent finding that “fathers who help with household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to less traditional, and potentially higher paying, careers”?(Association for Psychological Science)
Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years. “Kids who try to act cool in early adolescence are more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol, and have trouble managing friendships as they grow older. And their popularity tends to fade by the time they’re 22.” (NPR)
What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing. If only this book, What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing, were standard issue to every new mother, especially those who have left paid work to now care for their babies at home! Just finished re-reading it, and my love for it, which was already ample, has only grown! Highly recommended. (Naomi Stadlen)
The Human Microbiome: Considerations for Pregnancy, Birth and Early Mothering. Babies born via C-section miss out on being colonized by their mothers’ healthy vaginal flora. We are only beginning to understand the long-term health consequences of this, as well as the consequences of the prophylactic antibiotic treatment that so many women receive in labor. Great summary at MidwifeThinking of where pregnancy/birth-related microbiome research stands, future directions it should take, and suggestions for ways to ensure your newborn is colonized with a healthy flora! (Midwife Thinking)