Links for Thought (Dec 26)

A weekly roundup of helpful and thought-provoking links for mothers and mothers-to-be!

::  Stages of Labor and Collusion.  In every childbirth book and class, labor is described as having three discrete stages (latent, active, and transitional) — but rarely do women experience those stages distinctly, in the textbook-prescribed manner.  In this thoughtful post, an Australian midwife calls for the elimination of The Myth of Stages of Labor and explains the negative consequences of continuing to maintain it.  (Rachel Reed, ACM Midwife, PhD candidate, Midwife Thinking)

::  A Proactive Approach to Breastfeeding.  From one of my favorite blogs: a wonderful list of ways to ensure a successful breastfeeding experience, starting with choices that can be made during pregnancy, to decisions about labor and delivery options, to actions that can be taken in the postpartum period.  (Rixa Freeze, PhD, Stand and Deliver)

::  Pushing for First-Time Moms.  Having had my first experience with pushing just two weeks ago, I was fascinated by this midwife’s description of the phenomenon and of ways that caregivers can best allow it to unfold in a first-time mom, simply by monitoring the mother’s external signs of dilation and progress — no need for vaginal exams or direction.  (Gloria Lemay, Midwifery Today)

::  Too Much Fun: Preventing Overstimulation in Infants and Toddlers.  Holiday festivities can be great fun for little ones, but quickly can become overwhelming for them, too.  This post offering suggestions for preventing meltdowns — together with this excellent related post on identifying and interpreting your baby’s engagement/disengagement cues — will help you know when the time is right to slip away with baby for a quiet break from the party bustle. (Dr. Jane Heinig, PhD, IBCLC, Secrets of Baby Behavior)

::  Mom’s Voice Plays Special Role in Activating Newborn’s Brain.  Put down the iPhone, turn off the TV, and talk to your babies, mamas!  Your voice is special to them and to their developing brains. A recent study revealed that when a baby hears an unknown woman’s voice, only the voice recognition parts of the baby’s brain are activated.  But when a baby hears his mother’s voice, the brain regions for language learning and motor skills light up bright! (

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