Author: Mama

April Birth Blog Roundup

April is Cesarean Awareness Month. The good news is that the U.S. cesarean section rate seems to have leveled off in the past couple of years, after skyrocketing well past the safe zone. We’re currently sitting at about 31%. The bad news is that the number is still too high and isn’t on it’s way down. With increased awareness of the safety of VBAC, newly revised OB protocols on attending first births, and the many resources available to help parents navigate the world of cesareans, vaginal births, and VBACs, I hope that the leveling off of cesareans is an indicator that the number of women having them will soon begin to decline. It is proven to be more dangerous in most cases, even for twins and possibly for breech babies, and most women do value the self-autonomy that a vaginal birth experience provides.

If you are planning a VBAC, I would love to chat with you more about preparing for your birth. Feel free to email me for preparation ideas and resources,



normal pregnancy ~ a handful of ideas for quick and easy, super healthy snacks for pregnancy

birth stories ~ A while back I had the pleasure of attending a birth in which the mother laughed her baby out. Read this neat perspective shared by a nurse who witnessed a similar experience.

birth environment and caregivers ~ One study based on a survey for doctors shows that the docs with the least anxiety perform the fewest cesareans, and those with the most anxiety perform the most cesareans. Check it out here.

variations of normal birth ~  My post on giving birth vaginally with a j-pouch has been fairly popular. Now you can read the true story of a mom who gave birth at home with one, and she says that instead of birth injuring her j-pouch, it’s working better than ever.

complications and interventions ~ Similar to Kangaroo Care, having a volunteer “cuddler” to fill in for parents when they can’t be with their NICU babies can make all the difference to their health.

after the birth ~ 5 unusual sounds that may help sooth a fussy baby. I would add the sound of a washing machine or dryer – I’ve seen those work!

March Birth Blog Round Up

Happy Spring everyone! At least, it’s almost here anyway :::smile:::

My youngest nephew was born a month ago already. I had the honor of attending his birth, which means I have now attended the birth of three of four of my niece and nephews! His birth was a very special one for me though, as the highs and lows of his challenging birth taught me a valuable lesson in not taking the preciousness of birth for granted.

As a doula, I am most helpful to my clients when I can think objectively instead of emotionally, but being reminded about the raw emotion that can be a beneficial experience when attending births is essential to providing truly empathetic and supportive care. My nephew and his parents gave me a gift by inviting me to support them through their birthing, for which I am very thankful.


As I have gotten behind with my monthly birth blog roundups, the resources I have collected for you are quite varied. Here’s what I have for you today ~

normal pregnancy ~

  • Planning a home birth? Check out this article by Birth Without Fear which shares the ultimate supply list for a birth at home.
  • An interesting book review by Giving Birth With Confidence for The Attachment Pregnancy
  • If you enjoy coloring you will love this really neat pregnancy coloring journal through A Birth Story Blog.
  • An exercise by Spinning Babies to encourage your baby to choose a good position.

birth stories ~

birth environment and caregivers ~ 

  • “The percentage of U.S. babies born outside of hospitals has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” An announcement by Yahoo News.

variations of normal birth ~

complications and interventions ~ 

December Birth Blog Roundup

In remembrance of the birth of Jesus, this month’s birth blog roundup is all about stories. Birth stories to be exact. Stories can be very powerful – messages of hope or of fear, joy or sadness. If you are expecting a baby, one of the most empowering things you can do to prepare for birth is hear the stories of women who have faced birth, even difficult births, and found joy.

Each of these stories, everything from an unassisted birth to a unplanned cesarean, shares wonder and joy, strength and beauty. Through their births, these moms became warriors, and share some powerful lessons about what helped them, and what can help you, to have a safe and empowered birth.

One happy mommy: Donita and baby bonding after birth

A sensual, home water birth @

Miracle baby, a hospital water birth @

An unassisted Christmas birth @

“We did it baby! It was hard, but we did it!” (A Natural Birth Center Birth) @

A beautiful family-centered cesarean birth @

Merry Christmas everyone!

May you have a peaceful Christmas with your family.

November Birth Blog Roundup

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, as promoted by the March of Dimes and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blogs and news sources are using this month as an opportunity to reflect on the seriousness of preterm birth and provide resources for parents, to prevent prematurity and cope with it if it happens.

I’ve sifted through some of these resources, and found some that I think would be helpful, including a beautiful story via video of one baby boy who was born very early and survived despite the challenges he faced.

If you have any questions about premature birth or premature babies, please comment. If I don’t know the answer I’ll point you in the direction of one who can!

100_3121(a BAMS client’s premature baby at 35 weeks)

normal pregnancy ~ how to prevent or stop preterm labor, an article I wrote few years ago about common drugs used to prolong pregnancy

birth stories ~ Ward Miles’ first year. Born 3 1/2 months early, this little boy’s story is an incredible story, and his dad’s short film is a wonderful celebration of his life.

birth environment and caregivers ~ what to know about premature birth, an article by

variations of normal birth ~ “Mothers carrying babies skin-to-skin could significantly cut global death and disability rates from premature birth, a leading expert has said.” Kangaroo Care is key for premature babies, article by

complications and interventions ~ Risk of preterm birth has been found 2 to 5 times higher among women with elevated levels of the chemical phthalates, found in personal products and processed foods, says new study in JAMA Pediatrics.

after the birth ~ If you know someone with a premature baby in the NICU, here are five things you can do to support the family, an article by

October Birth Blog Roundup

When you learn you are pregnant, you quickly realize how this changes your relationship with others – beginning with the sudden flood of opinions and advice from well-meaning loved ones, as well as strangers.

Who can you trust? What can you believe? And what if you have different ideas about caring for yourself and your unborn baby?

This list of articles will provide you with a few trusted resources – information that is backed up by research and many years of personal experience of mothers.

I especially enjoyed the military base homebirth story. Sometimes we hear mixed things about alternative birth, especially in unusual locations. This couple chose to hire a midwife and give birth at home, and their story is a beautiful one.

Enjoy! And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.


normal pregnancy ~ Expecting Better, a book by Emily Oster about the scientific evidence of how to have a healthy pregnancy

birth stories ~ Military Base Homebirth @

birth environment and caregivers ~ Preliminary birth statistics are available from the CDC for 2012

variations of normal birth ~ How to Use a Yoga Ball During Labor @

complications and interventions ~ Childbirth Connections survey shows many mothers are pressured to accept medical interventions during birth

after the birth ~ Why Don’t You Write Your Birth Story? @

birth blog roundup

Fall has officially arrived, and the new routine of school, work, and for many, finishing up their garden, are well under way. I have been very busy with my family this summer, working on our small off-grid homestead, making preparations for building our new house. Progress feels slow right now, but we now have our foundation dug out, building plans and a permit, a new storage shed, and more home canned quarts of produce than we have ever had before. We’ve also begun our home schooling again. Our kids are now ages 6 (seven next month), 5, 3, and 1, all very busy and imaginative, and we’re proud of them all.

My work as a doula has been a little slower than usual this year. Most of my clients come in waves through referrals, and this year happens to be a quiet one for births. My next birth will likely be in January, and it already looks like there will be more in 2014. Between births and working at home, being a doula looks like educational support and counseling for expecting mamas online and in person. It is such a pleasure to encourage families and help them to find the resources they need.


Speaking of encouragement and resources, it has been my desire to continue posting here about pregnancy, birth, and early parenting, but because of other responsibilities, it just hasn’t been happening. Then I realized, how silly it was to worry about writing when there are so many excellent birth bloggers active online right now. Perhaps the best thing I can do, besides personally support each woman who contacts me, is to point you in the direction of some useful and inspiring posts and articles I have found.

Will this become a regular this? I hope so, but no promises. I will do my best to update you at least every couple of weeks with new resources that I believe you will enjoy. If you have any questions about my doula care or how I can support you personally, don’t hesitate to email me at

This week, under categories I normally write about, here are the posts I recommend you visit ~

normal pregnancy ~ Better Pregnancy Outcomes with Midwives @

birth stories ~ The birth of Eleanor @

birth environment and caregivers ~ How to Communicate Your Birth Preferences at the Hospital @

variations of normal birth ~ Why I Love Transition Labor (and you might too) @

complications and interventions ~ Family Centered Cesarean Birth video @

after the birth ~ Circumcision and STIs / HIV @

featuring The Maternity Gallery

Hello all you beautiful mamas!

Jenn, owner of The Maternity Gallery invited me to share my personal belly photos from my four pregnancies, and I am very happy to share them with you on my new profile at her website here.

The Maternity Gallery has been around for almost ten years, and has been host to about one million visitors, curious about what it looks like to be pregnant. Jenn should be commended for her work. I agree with her that pregnancy is a vulnerable time for many women, wondering how they will look and feel as their bellies grow larger before birth.

37wks_1st_boy_naomi  39wks_2nd_girl_naomi 36wks_3rd_boy_naomi 38wks_4th_girl_naomi

(the last photos taken of me during each of my four pregnancies, all featured on Maternity Gallery)

To help women feel more comfortable with their changing bodies, she has invited women to share photos of their pregnant selves with others through her website. She now has 35 contributors, including photos from all stages of pregnancy, carrying anywhere from one to three babies. She also features painted bellies, professional photography, and more interesting perspectives.

So check it out!

Inspired Birth now available on Kindle!

Two years ago I published Inspired Birth: A Fresh Perspective on Childbirth for Christian Maternity Care Providers on paperback, but now, it is available for just $6.95 on Kindle! If you have a Kindle reader and prefer developing your career as a maternity care provider through digital means, I can help you. The resources, information, encouragement, and challenge presented in my book are just as applicable as they were the day Inspired Birth was first published, and I am confident you will inspired and challenged when you read your Kindle copy.

Here are two reviews about Inspired Birth:

“Naomi Kilbreth provides a fresh look at birth practices while addressing the spiritual foundation for healthy birthing and maternity care practices.” –Susi Delaney, CPM, founder of Red Tent Midwifery

“Mrs. Kilbreth has admirably and eloquently taken on the task of teaching the teachers. She has filled a void in the market by presenting a truly inspired look at maternity care through a biblical lense.” –Marlene Waechter, CPM

So please, if you are a Christian and you are a nurse, doctor, midwife, doula, or a student of maternity care, please purchase your copy of Inspired Birth on paperback or Kindle today, and see how you can make a positive difference in maternity care.

New study shows cesareans are no safer for twins than vaginal birth

For so long we have been led to belief by the medical system that vaginal births are not safe for twins. Limited research has shown conflicting evidence, and it has resulted in lack of access to homebirth with well-trained midwives, and even vaginal births in the hospital. Finally, we may have a breakthrough!

The Center for Mother, Infant and Child Research (CMICR) at Sunny Brook Hospital in Toronto, enrolled women in a central controlled study between 2003 and 2011, following each mother and infant for 28 days after childbirth.

“We found no reason for doctors or women to plan to deliver twins by cesarean section, as the babies’ outcomes remain the same regardless of how they are delivered.” says Dr. Barrett, Chief Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. Also the study found that women, who planned a cesarean, delivered their babies early which is not good for babies and should be avoided, according to Dr. Barrett.

To see the article for yourself, visit here.