NaturallyBorn Editor

So, you want to give birth naturally? Wonderful! The benefits of a natural, unmedicated birth affect not only your baby, but you as well. In general, natural births boast of faster recovery rates for mom, and an easier time starting breastfeeding for mom and baby. Naturally born babies are more alert at birth and often are calmer. 

However, there is more to giving birth naturally than showing up to the hospital in labor, or calling your midwife for your home birth. The more preparation that you do before hand, the more likely you are to successfully give birth naturally.

NaturallyBorn Editor
Let’s get this out in the open. I’m a naturally minded mom. I had unmedicated childbirths, I breastfed all of my kids for at least a year and up to three years, I babywore, co-slept, and cloth diapered my kids. I made most of my own baby food. I’ve homeschooled several of my kids. But the thing that may shock you is this: all six of my kids are completely vaccinated. On schedule.

When my oldest was born, vaccines were not questioned nearly as much as they are now. My biggest worry was how to afford them. At the time (nearly 18 years ago) we had rather limited insurance that did not cover well-child visits. I quickly learned that the most expensive part of this visit was the administration of vaccines. His first such visit cost us over $600. I was shocked, to say the least. My first response though, was not to forgo the shots in the future, but to find a way to have them administered more affordably. The county health department was our choice.

Why, you may ask, was I so adamant about having my sweet, clean, pure, baby,  injected with chemicals and toxins? Why would I want him to endure the pain of an injection?
NaturallyBorn Editor

We asked, you answered! We asked this question on our Facebook page: "What are your favorite toddler snack ideas?". Our awesome fans jumped right in and shared their favorites!

Lacy H. shared: "Frozen yogurt drops I make them with plain yogurt( greek is best). Mix in a little homemade jam or fruit puree.. pipe them in little dots onto parchment and freeze. "

Heather G. said: "My toddler is happily enjoying roasted red pepper hummus I made (easy!) and crackers. He also likes raisins, veggies chips, berries, apples. They like to DIP. Yogurt, hummus, peanut butter, etc. Makes snack time more fun! "

Diana W. chimed in with: "crackers with a VERY thin layer of almond butter, gold fish crackers, or bananas. my almost 18 month old LOVES bananas and can hold her own banana and eat it, while under supervision of course! my LO also totally digs Mum Mum's which are rice rusks. "
NaturallyBorn Editor

Last week I discussed my experience with breastfeeding newborn twins.

I knew, even when I was still pregnant, that I planned on breastfeeding the girls. However, I was not fully prepared for what a challenge it would be. I set several mini-goals for breastfeeding. The last goal I set was to get to the six month mark.

Once we got to six months, I knew we were in it for the long haul.

I figured at this point it would be silly (and expensive) to give up on nursing. By this six-month mark my supply was very well established and the girls were, in general, very efficient nursers. We seemed to have gotten past that tricky point where my milk did not seem to be satisfying enough.
NaturallyBorn Editor

After having a baby the last thing you may be thinking about is the relationship with your spouse. You're exhausted, sore, and covered in milk and spit up.

I'm here to tell you that your relationship is important, it is worth investing in, and may well be the best gift that you can give your children.

Today I am going to share with you five (not so simple) steps you can take to protect your marriage after baby is born.
NaturallyBorn Editor

Breastfeeding is one of the best mothering choices that you can make; for you and your baby. But, just becasue breastfeeding is natural does not make it easy! I learned how to successfully breastfeed twins. If you find that you are expecting twins, know that you too can be successful!

The day I had the ultrasound that revealed that my much anticipated fifth baby was also to be my sixth as well, I had two fears immediately flash into my head. The first was fear of a c-section, my second was the fear that I'd not be able to breastfeed two babies at once.
NaturallyBorn Editor

I'm starting a weekly series on twin (and other multiple pregnancy) tips, hints, and helpful advice. Our first installment is my top ten tips for a healthy twin pregnancy.

  1. Select a health care provider that you trust, are in synch with and are willing to work with. I went into my twin pregnancy assuming I'd have a low risk singleton pregnancy, and planned on seeing my doctor as little as possible! After all, this was to be my fifth baby! Twins change everything! Thankfully I had chosen a doctor that I liked and trusted, because I saw A LOT of him! I also spoke with his nurses a lot on the phone, so a helpful staff is a plus as well.I found out I was expecting twins at 23 weeks and I began biweekly visits at that time. From 30 weeks on I saw the doctor weekly. Frankly, I enjoyed making sure my babies were growing well and were on track, and once I was on bed rest, I was thankful for the chance to get out of the house!
  2. Be prepared for some form of bedrest. Some MOMs (Mothers of Multiples) are able to skate by their entire pregnancy while working full time or juggling other responsibilities, but most have some form of bedrest. My doctor told me from the outset that his policy is standard modified bedrest once a MOM measures full term. For me this was 28 weeks. Quite frankly, as I was measuring full term and still had a full ten weeks of pregnancy to go, I was thankful to be off my feet. I also had a few weeks to prepare and make arrangements. I used my bedrest time as a time to relax before the roller coaster of newborn twins, and I took the time to learn Photoshop, which I would have never taken the time to do otherwise!
  3. Read up on life with twins, but avoid the horror stories if you can! After had my girls I ran into website after website telling me all of the things that could have gone wrong and I am so glad I did not see them when I was still pregnant and worrying every day!
  4. Talk to other MOMs. Get advice, swap pregnancy stories, and snag some hand me down twin gear! Most MOMs love to share all of these things!
  5. Take lots of pictures, of you. Yes you...with that big old belly. You know, the belly that even sticks out of maternity clothing ...yep that one! Your kids will thank you for it some day!
  6. Drink lots of water. The water will calm your uterus, which tends to be more irritable during multiple pregnancies, and it will keep you comfortable and hydrated. I felt like I could never stay fully hydrated during my twin pregnancy!
  7. Eat high calorie foods! A twin pregnancy requires about 3000 calories a day! This sounds like heaven until you realize how little space your stomach has left, and how many things give you heartburn and reflux. Now is the time to indulge in milkshakes and ice cream. (However, avoid overly fatty foods, or you may end up in the hospital with a gall bladder attack like I did!)
  8. Don't buy a lot of maternity clothes. Trust me, they aren't going to fit. Sadly, they are meant for people carrying one baby at a time. I invested in some pajamas and one or two outfits for going out in. However, even though I spent a lot of time in yoga pants and pajamas, I tried to do my hair and make-up most days. It is hard to feel pretty when you are so big, but you do what you can.
  9. Get out and pamper yourself at least one time before the babies are born. I had a manicure and pedicure about two weeks before the babies came, and a haircut the day before my induction. The babies are six months old now, and that is the last time I did either of those things...which reminds me...I'm due for some pampering!
  10. ENJOY THIS TIME! I know that it feels very overwhelming to know that there are two or more babies growing inside of you, but you are truly participating in a miracle! The payoff is so worth it! Let people spoil you, because they will want to!
NaturallyBorn Editor

Each week we scour the internet for videos that will inspire, entertain or educate. Today, Stephanie Tallent of shows us an easy way to prevent heartburn during pregnancy.

NaturallyBorn Editor

I spend a lot of time reading to my children.

Part of this may have to do with the fact that I long ago decided that I'm a horrible "get down on the floor and play with my kids" type of mom. My brain is far to analytical and I just don't "play well".

But what I do well is read. Even my middle school and elementary aged sons want to join in when I am reading to their twin sisters.

Last night we read a book that was new to me: Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. The girls loved the repetetive story of Pete the Cat who really, really loves his white shoes. He loves them so much that he sings a song about how much he loves them . . . until he steps in a pile of strawberries, and his white shoes turn red. "But did Pete the Cat cry? Goodness no! He just walked along and sang his song."
NaturallyBorn Editor

One of the most common questions we get at NaturallyBorn revolves around whether or not a woman is pregnant, could be pregnant, or how to increase her chances of getting pregnant.

Whenever I answer these mothers I always suggest the same book. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health. This is a book that every woman whould have on her bookshelf and refer to often.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility  is 512 pages of reproductive health information. Author Toni Weshler details in easy to understand terms how to really understand your reproductive cycle at every stage in life. She details how to chart your cycles and then use that data to acheive or prevent pregnancy. For those (like myslef) who are nearing the end of their reproductive years, she details the progression of menopause, what is normal and what is not.

This is truly the book that your mother should have bought you as a teen, but didn't. This is the book that you should purchase for your daughters.

From the publisher: 
Celebrating 10 years of helping hundreds of thousands of women achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy naturally, and gain better control of their health and lives, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the classic bestseller will include:
• New 'Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition"
• Updates on new fertility technologies
• Natural approaches to conception
• Updated Resources and Books

For any woman unhappy with her current method of birth control; demoralized by her quest to have a baby; or experiencing confusing symptoms in her cycle, this book provides answers to all these questions, plus amazing insights into a woman's body. Weschler thoroughly explains the empowering Fertility Awareness Method, which in only a couple minutes a day allows a woman to:

• Enjoy highly effective, scientifically proven birth control without chemicals or devices
• Maximize her chances of conception or expedite fertility treatment by identifying impediments to conception
• Increase the likelihood of choosing the gender of her baby
• Gain control of her sexual and gynecological health

This book can be truly life-changing for many women who prefer to avoid hormonal birth control, and for those who are unsure about their cycles (fast fact: the 28 day cycle is an average, not the norm).

Taking Charge of Your Fertility  can help you answer the tricky questions about why your post-partum periods are irregular and help you determine whether or not you are fertile while breastfeeding.

This is a NaturallyBorn top pick!