Links for Thought (Mar 27)

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

  • Induced Labor May Double the Odds of C-Section. First-time mothers opting for induced labor, rather than allowing labor to begin on its own, double their odds for a C-section. Ouch!  If there is no medical reason to induce, letting baby come on his or her own timeline is safer for mama and baby.  (Reuters Health; link shared by Tidewater-area doula Leslie Cuffee)
  • Pain in Labour: Your Hormones Are Your Helpers.  A wonderful overview of the important roles that your hormones play in helping you have a healthy, happy birth.  Among these hormones is beta endorphin, which is responsible for pain relief in labor and also the “high” that follows positive, natural childbirth! (Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering; Sarah J. Buckley, MD)
  • Umbilical Cord Clamping Should Be Delayed, Says Expert. Research shows that waiting to clamp the umbilical cord until it stops pulsing (at least 3 min) has multiple health benefits for babies, yet hospitals are slow to transition away from their quick-cord-cutting ways.  (Science Daily)
  • Child Rearing Practices of Distant Ancestors Foster Morality, Compassion In Kids. Three recent studies by Notre Dame Professor Darcia Narvaez have received lots of press recently, and for good reason.  Together, they demonstrate that the parenting techniques used by our hunter-gatherer ancestors (for 99% of human history) foster greater empathy and intelligence in children than many of the techniques prevalent in the U.S. today (the other 1% of human history).  The beneficial ancestral practices include positive touch, rapid responsiveness to baby’s cries, extended breastfeeding (2-5 years), multiple adult caretakers, free play with playmates of a variety of ages, and natural childbirth.  (ScienceDaily; link shared by Richmond-area doula, monitrice, and aspiring midwife Mary Callender)
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