Ceridwen is now teaching childbirth preparation in New York City.
Here's how to book a class:
For a group class, go to TribecaParenting.com.
For a private class, email Ceridwen@TheNewMom.com
In private classes the curriculum is tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Classes take place in your home or on the Upper West Side. Discounted rates are available for more than one couple.
These classes help expectant couples understand:
* How birth works: the signs of labor, when to call, what it feels like, what it looks like, what is happening...
* The many ways you can cope, including positioning, support, vocalizing, massage, medication and more
* How to make informed decisions that are right for you
* What to expect at the hospital, birthing center or at home
* What happens right after birth
* Newborn care including sleep, swaddling, soothing, bathing and more
* Baby-feeding basics including breast and formula feeding options
Ceridwen is a certified childbirth educator via the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York .
We've been posting our greatest hits over on our From The Hips facebook page. "Like" us, and you can stay in touch with the latest pregnancy, birth and baby news. Or just like us because you like us.
Here is the link.
Please join us. We'd love to have you.
Ceridwen + Rebeccaby ceridwen at 2:37 PM
in media momming | parenting | pregnancy
We are currently blogging every day on babble.com on a blog called "Being Pregnant" so come read us over there...by kanarick at 1:21 PM
in animalia | baby | baby poetry | birth | breastfeeding | daddy world | diversions | from the hips | health | in a perfect world (ie: sweden) | media momming | parenting | pregnancy | products | sex | the balancing act
Here's a hilarious short graphic novel about birth. Very refreshing *take* on the whole ideal, au natural, birth scenario.by ceridwen at 12:25 PM
Oh, Judith. You and Hanna Rosin both bring up a lot of great points. Pumping may not be the perfect answer to a working mother and hungry baby's needs. Breastfeeding advocacy can go way too far. Women should be given some flexibility on the question of what to feed their babies. Pressure and guilt are bad.
But your piece was laced with such disgust! Words like "grotesque" and "undignified"? How do those sound to the man on the street? To a pregnant mother, who’s thinking about whether to nurse or not? Who cares if your argument was ostensibly about pumping, not breastfeeding? The image of a lactating woman as a cow will linger a lot longer than those tiny disclaimers about how much you loved nursing. You say you wouldn’t have traded breastfeeding for the world. But you may well have made that trade for the women who read this piece and think, hmm, dignity vs. breastfeeding… maybe not.
We know there’s a strident voice out there saying “breast is best,” and we know it can royally suck to hear it when you’re struggling. But there’s a reason for that liquid gold fetish you’re talking about. It’s a defense against the much bigger fetish: breasts. As sex objects, not food sources. It’s easier for people to think in terms of science and statistics than think about where that fluid comes from. And let’s put this into perspective: Formula has been the primary food for the majority of babies in this country for more than half a century. There’s still a very squeamish attitude about nursing from the sexist camp (Bill Maher) and the old schoolers (Barbara Walters). If our New York Times feminist hero is telling everyone breastfeeding is disgusting, what will happen next?
We are more than sympathetic to the plight of the pumping mother. We have enjoyed many a bovine joke. But the pump is more than just a tool of oppression to help women strive toward some impossible standard of exclusive bf perfection.
Pumping is part of the reality of breastfeeding for lots of reasons: a premature baby; a job that resumes while supply is still being established (within the first 6 weeks postpartum); a life that includes random time away from the baby during which the mother doesn’t want to ejaculate milk on flight attendants, develop mastitis or otherwise suffer through engorgement. For these people, and for other women who may just like the idea of sustaining their babies on the milk their bodies produce, your piece was offensive. Is it necessary to take down breastfeeding to make it okay to not do it some of the time?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding challenge how we define our bodies and their purpose, and force us to see ourselves dually as we move forward as both mothers and women; animals and citizens. Pumping can make us painfully aware of these dualities. It can be annoying, emotional, enraging. Oxytocin—the bonding hormone—floods a woman’s body when milk is released. To feel all that bonding with no baby present can be hard. So is the solution to throw away the pump? Or throw away the job? Or throw away the baby? Or write letters to your congressperson demanding more maternity leave? How about women are given the choice to pump and/or feed formula as they see fit while we wait/fight for all the maternity leave and flexibility we deserve. What we don’t need is a guilt trip from the “breastfeeding Nazis” in one ear and a sneer from the New York Times in the other.
Yes, the breastfeeding zealots are a nightmare, but so are the backlashers.
What about the real women caught in the middle of all this?by rebecca and ceridwen at 10:47 AM
in breastfeeding | media momming | the balancing act
I had to pull myself up off the floor (where I have been lolling with our new baby, Sylvia, for approximately six months) to get back to this blog and write about the latest birthing scandal. In case you haven't heard, the medical establishment is really pissed off about all the feel good home birth stuff that's been going on (thanks to Ricki Lake) and they want it to end. So they've come up with some kind of official statement about how hospitals and birth centers are the safest places for births. The long-term intent is to encourage states to make home births illegal.
Here's my opinion for what it's worth. I think home births are not the solution to what has shaped up to be a genuine crisis in maternal care in America. But the fact remains that home births are entirely appropriate for some people and there is no question that the thousands of excellent, experienced midwives who work tirelessly in support of women and babies would not be doing home births if they had women and babies dying on them! Here's the deal: home birth is really only advisable given certain factors, including a low risk pregnancy and ready access to a back-up hospital. Please believe me when I tell you that home birth midwives and women who want to live and have their babies live, know this! So it's not at all a question of what all women should be doing. And sadly, though Ricki Lake says she's all about "choice," her documentary--most of which I really loved--did go over the edge in terms of making home birth seem the only way a thinking person would go. It's a great movie, so there's no reason to alienate people who might support the idea but for so many possible reasons cannot have a home birth of their own.
Home birth isn't safest for everyone. There's no doubt. But does that mean the hospital "the safest" place for everyone to give birth?by ceridwen at 10:17 PM
in birth | in a perfect world (ie: sweden) | media momming
The pacifier most certainly has its place.
But this is not it.by rebecca at 10:08 AM
A new solution to the poison-leaching plastic baby bottle problem: it's glass, but kid safe. We've been trying to phase out the dr.brown's ourselves. But we're finding that a lot of the less toxic options have other problems, like leaking out large quantities of milk on a regular basis. This new option sounds kind of appealing in an old school/new kind of way. Any other suggestions?
(found this bottle via the new Dwell magazine kitchen blog, which I'm reading even though I'm feeling somewhat disillusioned with their evolving brand message.)by rebecca at 10:46 AM
All this scary health news has dragged us out of a months-long blogless inertia. Among the disturbing health findings this week is a new study reporting that one and a half cups of coffee daily can double your miscarriage risk in early pregnancy, much less than previously thought. And then there's the NYT exposé on mercury in tuna sushi (login required).
Tests of tuna from twenty purveyors (high end restaurants and stores) produced such high mercury ratings that a good 1/3 of the fish could have been seized by the FDA. According to the readings, a single plate of tuna sashimi could exceed your maximum recommended mercury intake for a week. And that's not counting the yellowtail app or the toro scallion hand roll that finishes up the meal.
Mercury quotas are calculated for adults. My four year old is crazy for tuna sushi. I've been letting him have a piece or two every month or so, thinking how much mercury could be in one little piece? So much for that. Even a bite seems questionable when you're thirty-seven pounds.
I've been pretty tuna-avoidant for the past five years since I've been pregnant or nursing most of the time. Even when we went to Masa, I only got a half portion of the toro parfait. But we're a sushi-loving family... I can't just blow the whole thing off. I try to consult the NRDC's incredibly useful mercury in sushi chart when I can, often while sitting at the table (thank you, iphone).
And Sara Kate of The Kitchen (a fellow recent gestator herself) just wrote about Kona Kampachi, Hawaiian yellowtail that's supposedly toxin-free. I've got high hopes... and a lot of post-post-pregnancy cravings that need sating.by rebecca at 10:25 AM
in breastfeeding | health | pregnancy
This definitely falls under the category of "wish I'd thought of it." It's a DUE DATE CALCULATOR that gives you a "safe range" for a term birth instead of pinpointing just one day. I typed in my LMP and discovered that my range is between Dec 2 and Jan 6th, not the precise December 25th every other calculator has produced. I'd much prefer to say to people I'm due "in December" than "December 25th". (For one thing there would be fewer jokes about what's in Santa's bag.) Only 5% of babies are born on the so-called due date. Full term can mean anything between 38 and 42 weeks, and it's time the calculators started to reflect that reality. We've seen too many mothers shocked to go into labor two weeks "too soon" or agonizing over being "late." So thank you Mothersnaturally.org for making normal pregnancies seem more normal!
I learned about this website from Jennifer Block's Pushedbirth.com. Blocks' book, Pushed, was one of my favorite reads of the summer. She does an incredible job explaining how and why maternity care in the US is such a huge mess. It's actually a page-turner, which is pretty amazing for a book in which every other line has a footnote. Rebecca and I were happy to have met Jennifer in person last Friday night when we all appeared on the Joey Reynolds overnight radio show. It aired at 3 AM. Lucky for us it was taped.by ceridwen at 3:45 PM