Natural Birth in Lawrence, Kansas

Natural Childbirth for 21st Century Parents

Labor Resources

The links and information below can help you learn more about common procedures and events in labor and birth.  More information will be added, so check back often!  If you have a resource you think should be added, please email me at!

Cesarean Section

Childbirth Connection - This site gives an excellent overview of the current research around cesarean section and rates the individual risks/benefits on a scale from Low to High likelihood.

International Cesarean Awareness Network - ICAN offers support for mothers choosing VBAC, trying to avoid a primary (first) cesarean and mothers dealing with the after effects of the surgery.  The organization provides comprehensive research on cesarean and has many references on how to avoid an unneccesary cesarean.  Local chapters are available.

Risks of Cesarean Section - Robin Elise Weiss provides a short yet informative summary from the book Mayo Clinic: Complete Book of Pregnancy & Baby's First Year.  This website is not produced by medical professionals but provides an informative overview of many aspect of pregnancy.

Butcher’s Dozen - was written by Nancy Wainer, a “midwife, childbirth educator and an internationally known childbirth writer, speaker [and advocate for midwifer]. She coined the term VBAC—vaginal birth after cesarean. She is the co-author of Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and the author of Open Season: A Survival Guide for Natural Childbirth and VBAC. She is currently working on her third book, Birthquake: A Childbirth Book for Strong Women and Women Who Want to Be Strong.” Engaging, refreshing, and convincing. 

The is a “patient advocacy web site that pulls back the curtain on the practice of prophylactic cesarean surgery for suspected fetal macrosomia and illuminates the experiences of women who have been harmed by the aggressive practice of defensive medicine. The site provides information about preventing an unnecessary cesarean and resources for making fully-informed decisions about childbirth while offering an irreverent take on the maternity care crisis in the United States and beyond.”  The section, avoid and unnecesarean includes a list of medical studies in support of vaginal birth.

Out of Hospital Birth

The Safety of Home Birth is an annotated webliography of medical studies comparing home birth and hospital births, including links to three recent articles from British and Canadian medical journals:  Canadian Medical Association Journal (2009), BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (2009), and the British Medical Journal 2005); also includes image links to books about home birth.



Current Trends in Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction by Jefferson H. Harman, Jr., LT COL, USAF, MC, FS, and Andrew Kim, MAJ, USAF, MC from American Family Physician (August 1, 1999) offers the perspective of the American medical community in regard to induction of labor.  Published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Summary of Risks - This brief article summarizes 5 areas of increased risk for the baby of an induced labor.

Elective Induction of Labor - This article by birth research anaylst Henci Goer includes a very detailed look at the research on risks and benefits of non-emergency induction of labor.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Fetal Monitoring FAQ (from   Defines fetal monitoring, describes types, benefits and risks, problems with current practices, research, and personal stories about FM. 

EFM References - An annotated webliography of medical studies on the efficacy of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM).  The first reference is a review article comparing the “the efficacy and safety of routine electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) of labor with intermittent auscultation, using the results of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs)….  Conclusion:  The only clinically significant benefit from the use of routine EFM was in the reduction of neonatal seizures. Because of the increase in cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries, the long-term benefit of this reduction must be evaluated in the decision reached jointly by the pregnant woman and her clinician to use EFM or intermittent auscultation during labor.”  Results of the review were reported in:  WARREN E. LEARY.  "Routine Electronic Monitoring Of Fetuses Is Challenged in Study." New York Times (1923-Current file) 25 Oct. 1995,ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times (1851-2007) w/ Index (1851-1993), ProQuest. Web.  20 Feb. 2011. 

Electronic Fetal Monitoring - Discusses the potential risks of EFM and explains why hospitals continue to use EFM in the absence of positive effect.  Cites several medical studies.

Fetal Monitoring (from My Midwife,  Describes pros and cons of continuous and intermittent fetal monitoring; also mentions internal monitoring and the newest type of monitoring which uses telemetry and radio waves.  Source of information is "Heart Beats" by Lois Wessel, Every Baby magazine, Issue Four. 

Epidural Anesthesia

Epidurals:  Risks and Concerns for Mother and Baby (2005) details the effect of epidurals on the labor process as well as side effects to mother and baby.  Previously published in Mothering No.133, Nov-Dec 2005, as “The Hidden Risks of Epidurals” this article is well documented. 

Normal Labor

Pain in Labor:  Your Hormones are your Helpers (2010) is a simple overview of your amazing birthing hormones, and how they are designed to help you and your baby to labour and birth with ease, pleasure and safety. For more detail, about your body’s superb design for labour and birth.

Cope with Labor Pains, Naturally (from My Midwife,  Describes 14 natural methods for coping with the pain of labor

Vaginal Exams in Labor 

 coming soon...

Management of 3rd Stage / When to cut the cord

Sarah Buckley on management of third stage - Sarah Buckley (noted research authority and author in pregnancy and childbirth) discusses common practices in third stage and their effects on both mother and baby.

Henci Goer discusses using Pitocin in third stage - This discussion thread from includes 2 posts by Henci (author and speaker) concerning using pitocin in third stage.

Cochran Review - the Cochrane Review compiles and evaluates research studies on a wide variety of medical topics.  A search on "Third Stage" brings up several excellent research reviews on various aspects of medical management of third stage labor. 

Australian study on effect of early vs. late cord clamping on legth of third stage - This study documents that leaving the cord intact shortens the length of third stage labor.

IV Fluids in Labor

IV Fluids in Labor:  More Harm Than Good? - Challenges the idea that women in labor need large amounts of fluid during labor.  Describes some of the complications caused by excess fluid and identifies situations when IV fluid may be needed. 

First, Do No Harm: How Routine Interventions, Common Restrictions, and the Organization of Our Health-Care System Affect the Health of Mothers and Newborns - (Journal of Perinatal Education. 2009 Summer; 18(3): 58–62.  doi: 10.1624/105812409X461243), PDF version:  The first part of this article, “First, Do No Harm: Another Reason to Ditch Routine IVs in Labor,”discusses “…new research on the potentially harmful effects of intravenous lines demonstrates that refraining from routine interventions in labor protects the safety of women and babies” (excerpted from articles abstract).  The section on IV’s in labor is also posted on Science & Sensibility: A Research Blog About Healthy Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond (from Lamaze International).

Benefits of Continuous Support in Labor

coming soon...