Six Birth Blogs Every Childbirth Educator Should Be Reading
Today on Science & Sensibility, I wanted to share with readers some of my favorite birth related blogs, after Science & Sensibility of course! I subscribe to over 400 blogs, on a variety of topics, not just birth. I hope that someone has a larger blog list then I do, otherwise I will start to worry about how this might be an obsession.
I really enjoy reading what experts in the field of maternal and infant health have to say on their blogs and frequently find myself sharing information in my classes and with the families that I work with as well as with other professionals. I appreciate the effort, the research, the time and the energy that goes into making my favorite blogs so rich and useful for me, and so relevant to the work I do as an LCCE.
Here are six of my favorite blogs, in no particular order:
Midwife Gail Tully has long been well known for her website, Spinning Babies and her blog is an added bonus! Gail frequently answers questions from readers, describes some new research she came across or shares a new technique to help babies move easier through the pelvis. Here you can frequently find a video snippet you can use in your childbirth class, a book review or an inspiring birth story usually related to babies who chose to do things their way, as they work to be born.
This blog burst onto the scene in mid-2012, and has been a fantastic resource ever since. Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN is an assistant professor of nursing at a research university in the U.S. She teaches pathophysiology and pharmacology, but has a strong personal interest in birth, and hence the blog was created. The mission of Evidence Based Birth is to “promote evidence-based practice during childbirth by providing research evidence directly to women and families.” Rebecca takes a look at the big issues (failure to progress, big babies, low AFI, for example) that face women during their pregnancy and birth, and does a thorough job of evaluating all the research and explaining it in a logical, easy to understand post. Rebecca sums up her posts with recommendations based on the evidence and gives readers the bottom line and take-away. Additionally, there are “printables” that are concise versions of some of her blog posts that families can print out and take to appointments with their healthcare providers in order to help facilitate discussions about best practice.
3. VBAC Facts
Jennifer Kamel has created a plethora of useful information on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) facts and statistics. She founded her blog after doing a huge amount of research on the benefits and risks of VBAC, after her first birth ended in a Cesarean and she prepared for her second. The amount of information, statistics, research summaries and discussion found on her blog is amazing. Jen is a “numbers gal” and does a great job of explaining risks and numbers in an easy to understand presentation. I frequently find myself going to her blog when I want to know the risk of placental complications after a cesarean or to better understand some of the new research and policy statements from ACOG and other professional organizations. When 1 in 3 women in the US will give birth by Cesarean, it is good to have a resource such as VBACFacts.com to go to that can help me understand and explain options to families birthing after a cesarean.
Pamela Vireday has written “The Well-Rounded Mama” blog since 2008 and it has been a valuable resource for women of all sizes, when they are looking for answers and facts about options for birth. The mission of the blog is “to provide general information about pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, to discuss how to improve care for women of size, to raise awareness about the impact of weight stigma and discrimination on people of size, and to promote health by focusing on positive habits instead of numbers on a scale.” Pamela does an awesome job of gathering, explaining and summarizing research, particularly related to women of size, but in all honestly, extremely relevant to all birthing women. I appreciate her plus size photo galleries of pregnant and breastfeeding women of size. If you might be a woman who is larger than many of the models in today’s pregnancy magazines, seeing the gallery of women who look beautiful pregnant and breastfeeding, with a wide range of body shapes, can be comforting. In addition to providing evidence based information, Pamela answers some of the questions that plus sized mothers might have, but are hesitant to ask their healthcare provider, such as concerns about about whether fetal movement will be noticeable if they are larger sized. A great blog, with relevant articles for all women!
This blog is written by Rachel Reed, an Australian PhD midwife, who enjoys taking a look at the research and sharing her thoughts on how well the research is applied to application. I enjoy reading her blog for that reason, and often find myself amazed that she chooses to write about the very topics that I wonder about and want to learn more on. Rachel’s aim is to “stimulate thinking and share knowledge, evidence and views on birth and midwifery. ” I also appreciate her “Down Under” perspective and celebrating the commonalities of birth across the many miles. Rachel is not afraid to agree when the science backs up the “less popular” treatment and care amongst childbirth advocates, allowing the evidence to speak for itself and carefully explaining why. Rachel does a great job of normalizing many of the topics that bog women down during labor and birth, such as the “anterior cervical lip” or “early labor and mixed messages.” I like to share Rachel’s posts with families who are experiencing the very situation she is writing about.
Every week, the current president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) writes a blog post on a matter of importance to women. Not all the posts are on birth related topics, but I find it very interesting to see what Dr. Jeanne A. Conry, M.D. PhD shares with readers. While some of her blogs are directed at her fellow physicians, many of the posts highlight information and resources directly related to women’s health, especially during the reproductive years. I enjoy learning more about what Dr. Conry feels is important, and especially what messages and information she is directing to her colleagues. I appreciate her middle of the road approach and look forward to a new post every week.
I hope that you might consider following some of the blogs I mentioned here, if you are not already doing so. I would also love if you shared your favorite blogs with myself and our Science & Sensibility readers. I always have room for more good birth related blogs in my blog reader! What blogs do you read?