stc mom and baby

Long-time members of our community will remember that I am a huge fan of the Save the Children charity. The organization does amazing things for kids at home and around the world, from building schools, to parent education, to clean water initiatives, you name it.

Of special interest to our community, of course, is their work in maternal support, including midwifery training. In many around the world (even here in rural North America), the nearest doctor or hospital might be a 4+ hour drive away... and that's if you have car. By training midwives in local communities, Save the Children is helping to save the lives of innumerable moms and babies.

So, to celebrate the launch of our brand-spanking-new website, we're running another "Write a Review, Save the Children" fundraising campaign!

For every review posted on our site, we will donate $1 to Save the Children, up to $500!

So PLEASE SHARE, TWEET, AND LIKE this post and this link:


Recently, we were asked to take a look at POP: 50 Amazing Secrets to a Successful Labor & Delivery or C-section, by Pamela Peery. We happily obliged, because who doesn't love a good secret?

And, we thought it would be fun to do our own, NaturallyBorn take on this theme. Our mamas are so prolific and generous with their advice that we thought we'd challenge our mamas as follows:

What is the ONE piece of advice, or the juiciest "secret" you could share, about childbirth?

Tell us below in the comments for a chance to win a copy of POP! Even if you are not pregnant now, it makes a great gift for an expecting mom in your life.

I'll even kick things off. See the first comment associated with this post. :-)

Here's a bit more about the book itself...


Facebook is great, but is better! We'd love to see more activity on the website and this is why:

  • You can get to know your fellow moms better, here on the website we have the chance to build a real community with messaging, groups, and profiles with as much detail as you want to share
  • b2ap3_thumbnail_posted-to-facebook.pngQuestions and Answers posted on stay off of your Facebook "stalker" feed. You are free to be you! That means your mother-in-law will find out that you are pregnant when YOU are ready to tell her!  
  • Questions get posted to both our website and our Facebook page (but again, they won't appear on your friends' Facebook feeds. Questions that originate on our site will not include your name when posted to Facebook and will only be shown to fans of our page.)  That means more exposure for you question.
  • You can choose to ask questions anonymously or with your identity. (Hint: you get more points when you ask as yourself.  Read below about our giveaways!)
  • Questions get posted instantly. No more waiting on us to repost the question for you. 
  • Questions can be searched by keyword. You can also "follow" your question and get email notifications when you have new answers. No need to scroll down a Facebook page looking for the question you asked to have re-posted!
  • also has a wealth of other information: Blog posts, provider directories and reviews, and a library of birth stories!
  • is also the ideal place to get real-mom advice from NaturallyBorn Founders, Amy and Pam! It is where we like to hang out!

We know that dipping your toes in the water can be a scary thing, so we're going to make it fun!

b2ap3_thumbnail_advice-heros.pngOur prize closet is bursting. We have some cool Beco carriers, some books, a Stokke carrier and some gift cards to give away. All members who are active on the site will be eligible for weekly random prizes.

The more questions you ask, and the more quality answers you provide (fellow members can upvote helpful answers so the best advice rises right to the top!), the better your chances of being rewarded.

Are you ready? Jump in!

Posted by in Giveaways

I was recently coaxed by a friend into trying the hair product line from Innersense Organic Beauty

Spoiler alert: I was so impressed with the products that I was inspired to write my first-ever product review (you're reading it). I even asked them to consider doing a giveaway for our mamas and piloting our sponsor program (at no cost to them  -- NaturallyBorn received NO compensation for this review of the sponsorship).  Happily, they did.

Now, I am not the type of person to get excited about hair care products.  I have fine, thin, straight hair on a good day. No matter what I used -- fancy stuff, cheap stuff laden with toxins, or supposedly natural stuff -- my hair remained, well, flaccid. (That's such a funny word. Let's say that again.  Flaccid.)

So why my excitement?  Because these products made even my thin, fine, flaccid hair come to life.  Maybe it is just a coincidence, but since using their products for the last 4 months, my hair has been growing like crazy. I even have new hair sprouting out, which is great since I lost a lot of hair after my last pregnancy. (See our related post on tips for preventing hair loss in postpartum.)

The best part? It's as natural a hair care product as I've ever come across...


10 tips to prevent hair loss after pregnancy

If you've already had a baby, you know it's coming and you dread it: postpartum hair loss. Still pregnant or breastfeeding? Sorry, mama: those gorgeous locks you got while pregnant thanks to all those hormones are only temporary. You, too, will soon experience the dread of watching your hair fall out after baby.

Shedding hair in postpartum is completely normal. As your pregnancy hormones wind down, hair becomes dry, brittle, and dull.

But you are not powerless in the fight to keep that hair. Here's are ten things you can do to reduce or prevent hair loss after pregnancy...


Ok, so what's REALLY in your makeup? What toxins are you putting on your scalp -- which is, by the way, one of the most porous areas of your largest organ, your skin -- every time you wash or style your hair?

To get to the bottom of what chemicals are in cosmetics, we've invited Greg Starkman, founder of Innersense Organic Beauty, to educate us about toxins and chemicals that go into our cosmetics and hair care products. (We love their  products -- you can see Amy's review here.)

In the meantime, here is a brief "hello" from founders Greg and Joanne Starkman, plus a video to get you thinking about toxins in cosmetics (yikes).

Both Joanne and I are thrilled and honored by the support of Amy and Pam. It was the birth of our daughter Morgan that lead us on our mission to create Innersense and more importantly, to introduce pure, organic and toxin-free products to the market.

In the coming days, we will be posting a series of blogs to educate you through the maze of misinformation and confusion related to chemicals in haircare. Are sulfate shampoos really sulfate-free? What are the hidden chemicals that you should really be looking out for and avoiding? Did you know that most shampoos and conditioners contain plastics and resins?


When I was pregnant with my first child, I couldn't believe my luck: not only did I miraculously escape morning sickness, but I had this AMAZING hair! Now, I had never had great hair, much less AMAZING hair. But my hair was better looking than ever.  

Better still, I was getting more of it. At first, I couldn't figure out why that little baby hair was growing along my hairline. The were funny, but they and their friends on the rest of my head were boosting the hair I already had, giving my thin, fine hair way more volume than normal. Admittedly, this wasn't saying much. But I was glad for it. 

And I wasn't alone. Most pregnant women report that their hair is better -- or at least different -- during pregnancy.  Usually, women gush that their hair gets thicker, shinier, and stronger during pregnancy. 

Great hair during pregnancy is the result of hormones kicking into high gear to support pregnancy. Those same hormones are also responsible for stronger, faster-growing nails and more radiant skin.  In other words, when people talk about the "pregnancy glow", their talking about a hormone rush.  Of course, the prenatal vitamins and all that healthy eating you are hopefully doing during pregnancy don't hurt either.

But alas, what the pregnancy hormones giveth, postpartum taketh away...


When we asked, "what's on your holiday shopping list?" we were thrilled (but not surprised, considering our community) to see that "books" topped the list.  So we followed up with another question: "what are your toddler's or preschooler's favorite books?"  

The answers included all-time classics, such as Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle, and new favorites by Mo Willem and Jon Klassen.  And of course, Goodnight Moon was mentioned so many times -- and is such a library staple -- that we decided not to include it in our top ten books for toddlers.

We added over one hundred most of your book suggestions for young children to our curated Amazon shop, so you can get right to them.  Just go to our mini-Amazon store, and click on Top Picks: Books for Preschoolers.

Here are your top ten books for preschoolers (well, maybe not exactly your top ten, but these were all way up there!)


It took longer than a normal-term pregnancy and was just as painful to push out, but FINALLY, the new NaturallyBorn site is ready to go!

Seriously: we have put blood, sweat and yes, even tears (can anyone say, "hackers"?) into this redesign. And, this is beginning: new features will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

Here are a few of the improvements we have made:
  • A HUGE archive of questions-and-answers asked here on our Facebook. We weren't able to archive all of them -- you all have asked thousands upon thousand of questions :-) -- but we have about 2,000 questions categorized and tagged so far, with more to come.
  • Don't want to wait for us to repost your question? Don't want to risk having friends/family see your question? Ask it instantly by posting it on our site! The question will be posted there, AND piped back here to our Facebook page. You can still post your question completely anonymously, but either way, your name will NOT be posted to Facebook.
  • Our baby pro directory is better and bigger than ever. Find doulas, midwives, lactation pros, and more. We have also opened the directory to NEW providers such as holistic pediatricians, pediatric sleep consultants, and chiropractors.
And here are some of the things you can do right away to get involved:
We're tired and need some rest now -- it has been a long haul! But look for more announcements in the coming weeks.

And please, tell us what you think!  We LOVE to hear your suggestions and feedback.

With warmth and gratitude for being part of our community!

Amy, Pam, and the NaturallyBorn team of volunteers
Posted by in Pregnancy

prenatal yoga A couple of weeks ago, I wrote “The Bed Rest Myth” and promised that a post about preventing preterm labor was in the works.  Here is that promised post.  To re-cap, I got thinking about preterm labor a little over a month ago. A family member was put on bed rest (at 7 months pregnant) for some worrisome cramping and contracting she was experiencing. Her situation catapulted preterm labor onto my radar screen with big flashing red lights. Since then I’ve spent considerable time digging through the available research, hoping to find some clues that might be helpful to women facing preterm labor (and those hoping to prevent it).

The Role of Inflammation

There is much I could say about preterm labor and the rise of preterm births over the last two decades, but that’s not really what this post is about.  What I would like to discuss in detail is a common denominator linking many of the causes of preterm labor—inflammation in the body. It is fairly well known that prostaglandins ripen the cervix and can induce labor. Increased inflammation in the body means an increase of prostaglandins in the body.

The more I dug into the scientific literature about preterm labor, the more and more convinced I became that a large portion of women experiencing preterm labor have heightened levels of inflammation in their bodies from a variety of sources. It became a sort of game. I would discover something that had been shown to increase a woman’s risk of preterm birth and then I would do a search to see whether that particular risk factor also increased inflammation in the body. Over and over I found that it did.

Here are some examples: