Microbiome of Home Birth is Safer than Hospital Birth for Babies

Myth: Hospitals are cleaner.
Fact: The microbiome of your home is safer than hospital microbes.
Photo by Aimee Preston for Home Birth Aotearoa, New Zealand

By Home Birth Aotearoa

Let's talk about the microbiome!

We often hear about how dirty, untidy homes can be a hazard to babies -- and wouldn't you rather have a nice, clean hospital bed?

The reality is that sterility is not an ideal birth space, and that the bacteria that do survive in the hospital setting are dangerous.

Birth at home sets you and baby up for a diverse and robust microbiome.

Myth: Hospitals are cleaner.

Fact: The microbiome of your home is safer than hospital microbes. 

Dig into related reading on why this is the case:

Homebirth and the Microbiome: https://midwiferytoday.com/mt-articles/homebirth-and-the-microbiome/ 

Babies born at home have more diverse, beneficial bacteria:

Babies born at home have more diverse bacteria:

Home birth may start babies off with health promoting microbes:

Rethinking Sterile: The Hospital Microbiome:

Rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains on a burns and plastic surgery ward: a cross-sectional study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28413115 

Hospital Acquired Infections:

The most dangerous germs in the hospital may be those (people) bring with them:

Related Groups: 

Birthing (more holistic): FB.com/groups/Birthing

Pregnant Moms Due in [this year] (more mainstream): FB.com/groups/DueDateGroup

Peaceful Parenting Community: FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting

Research Everything.

New Baby Visitor Guide
Available for sharing with clients via Etsy.

Birth Dilation via Halloween Pumpkins

Labor dilation demonstrated by carved pumpkins.

One fabulous, fun way to demo dilation ala pumpkins! ๐Ÿงก๐ŸŽƒ

This dilation pumpkin set-up was created by workers at the Royal Oldham Hospital in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England as part of a pumpkin decorating competition.

We just love it!

Happy Halloween!

Royal Oldham Hospital Midwives

Related Community Groups: 

Birthing (more holistic)

Pregnant Moms Due This Year (more mainstream)

Peaceful Parenting Community

Saving Our Sons Community

Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole



Dilation stages during labor.

Before your baby arrives, research everything!

Mother's Account Disabled for Tandem Nursing Photo

Anthony Wanosik writes:

My wife's [Facebook] account was disabled because of this picture! She did a good thing, and Facebook is punishing her for it! Help spread the word.

Thank you for nursing in public! Breastfeeding encouragement cards to share with mothers you see at Etsy.

Breastfeeding Community


Top 100 Baby Names This Year

Expecting? Congratulations! 

The fun is only just beginning as you search for the best name for your new little sweetheart.

Some parents adore using popular names of the time; others desire a unique name of their own creation. But no matter which direction you go with a name, your beautiful little baby will soon fill your life with wonder and delight - and your heart will never again be the same.

Below are the 100 most popular names for babies born in the United States this year, based on the Social Security Administration's latest statistics.

Does your little one's name make the Top 100? We'd love to hear from you, see a snapshot of your cutie, and know what name you choose. Drop a comment below, or join in the conversation any time in any of these groups:

Most popular baby names of the past year for babies born in the United States.
RankMale nameFemale name

The above data was compiled throughout the 12 months leading up to January 2019 by the Social Security Administration (babies born in the United States).

New Baby Visitor Guide for Friends & Family
Also available as oversized postcards for sharing with clients at Etsy.

It's a BOY?

Be sure to swing by IntactBaby.org/research and SavingSons.org for useful materials before your little one's arrival. Forced retraction is an epidemic in the United States today, and your sweetheart will be counting on you to keep him safe.
Foreskin Facts to be aware of before a baby boy's arrival.
Oversized postcards at Etsy for sharing with clients.
All babies arrive into the world intact - find intact care materials at DrMomma.org, SavingSons.org, or IntactHealth.org
Vinyl stickers for use on diapers, wipes, and baby's chart at Etsy.

What Friendship Looks Like - Mom Support

This is what friendship looks like.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

I am currently walking through the hardest season of my life, and as mamas we feel like we’ve always got to put on our big girl pants and just muscle through. Never let ‘em see you sweat, right?

Oh girl... if there’s one thing this season has taught me, it’s that that sort of lie is terribly dangerous to believe.

I needed my people today. I thought I just needed to call them up and cry about what was happening, and then while on the phone, my sweet friend asked me such an important question. She asked me to just say what I needed and wanted most. I told her that I didn’t want to be alone. Her response, "I’m on my way."

I started in with all of the reasons she couldn’t and shouldn’t come...

My house is a disaster.
I don’t want to burden you.
It’s such a long drive.

 Her response, "Sister, I don’t care about any of that. You said you don’t want to be alone, so I’m coming." Not only did she make the trek from Greeley to Fort Collins, but she picked up another sweet friend along the way.

They picked up lunch, they walked into my house, gave me the biggest hugs, and asked, "What can we do?"

My disaster of a house? They helped me clean it and assured me it wasn’t that bad.

They let me cry, they made me laugh, we listened to music, and most importantly... I. Wasn’t. Alone. ๐Ÿ’•

Mama, if you’re going through a rough season... know that you don’t have to do it by yourself. You don’t even have to know what you need — just start by asking to not be alone. I know there is someone in your life who will say to you, "I’m on my way" if only you’d ask.

And Mama if you have a friend who you know is going through it, just offer to come and be there with her. Actually, don’t offer...just tell her you’re coming. Because I guarantee she wants that more than anything, and she’s having a hard time being able to say it.

Praying for all of you walking the tough roads right now... whatever that may look like for you, know that you’re not walking it alone! We love you, Mama!

-Northern Colorado Moms Blog


Newborn Nursing: Frequent, Lengthy, and Normal

I really wish that all new mothers were told that the majority of newborns want to breastfeed much more frequently than every few hours. And many even want to stay latched on, suckling for extended periods of time. This can understandably shake a new mother’s confidence and make her second guess if she’s producing enough milk to keep her nursling satisfied. Women are usually just told that their baby should nurse 'every 2-3 hours,' but frequent (and lengthy) nursing is a totally normal thing for newborns to do! It helps keep them close to mama while regulating her milk supply.

Often babies won’t have these longer stretches between feeds until they’re a little older. Even then, there are several things that could make them want to nurse more, including (but not limited to) teething, sickness, unfamiliar surroundings, or feeling tired. I can’t imagine how miserable it would be to have a fussy baby in your arms but feel like you shouldn’t breastfeed again because it’s "not time yet." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This isn’t discussed often enough and new mothers need to be reassured. If baby is gaining weight, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding more often than what you’ve been told is 'normal.' The postpartum period is all about surrendering, so cozy up with your babe and forget the clock.

--Oh Baby Nutrition


Breastfeeding Community

Peaceful Parenting Community

She is Listening, She is Watching YOU

Because she is listening.
She is watching.
She is taking it all in.
And she will remember...
-Lisa Marie

Be kind in the way you speak to yourself, in the way you speak about yourself.

Your self-image builds your child's self-image. Give her wings to fly, and not shackles to break free from.


Peaceful Parenting Community

17 Study-from-Home Career Options for Moms

Being a mom can feel a lot like a full-time job when you consider all of the duties and responsibilities that come with it. Within that hectic daily lifestyle, the idea of studying for a future career path can seem daunting. While attending a university campus may not be an option for most moms, there are many online degree programs that will let you study and complete courses from home.

Imagine being able to work towards your degree while the kids take a nap. Having that kind of flexibility is a must for many parents who simply don’t have the time or ability to adhere to an offline schooling schedule. Being able to study from home also keeps you from having to cover the cost of childcare, which can add up to a significant expense over the course of a month.

Since tuition fees, materials, and other academic expenses can already be burdensome, having the option to earn a degree without needing an on-call babysitter is a luxury that every mom will appreciate. With that said, here are the top 17 study-from-home career options that moms everywhere should look into:

1. Nursing

Studying to become a nurse at home doesn’t just equip you with the credentials needed to launch a lucrative and stable career, it also gives you the skills needed to be a better caregiver and guardian for your children in emergency situations. Although some nursing specializations will require lab experience, an entry-level degree program that provides Registered Nurse (RN) certification can be completed in just 2 years via a fully online coursework. Numerous regional schools offer online programs, so you can earn your nursing degree through an accredited university from the comfort of home. For example, Texas Woman’s University offers one of the most popular online nursing degree programs.

2. Business Administration

A business administration degree equips you with a skill set and credential that will position you as an ideal candidate for high-paying managerial jobs. In addition, you’ll also be gaining the expertise needed to increase your chances of success within your own entrepreneurial endeavors. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration in as little as two years and then study for your master’s degree in your spare time. Since most businesses are managed digitally nowadays, it makes sense that business administration courses can be completed 100% online.

3. Accounting

Accounting is another digital job that can be studied and performed remotely without being tied to any physical location. Plus, as an accountant you’ll be able to give your kids solid financial advice as you get older. This is a good career option for moms who did well in math class and don’t mind crunching some numbers in their spare time. Accounting is a mom-friendly job because it can be done from anywhere you can access the internet and use an accounting software. Plus, you’ll have the option of becoming a CPA at a local accounting firm if you’d prefer a more stable and structured approach.

4. Hospitality

The hospitality industry never stops growing because it expands along with the population and tourism rates, which are always on the rise. Knowing how to manage a hospitality venue will give you the ability to apply for a job as a hotel manager in your area. This is a good route for moms to consider because many employers in this sector will provide room & board to their managers, including full room service and on-site childcare. While that won’t be the case in all hotels, certain luxury establishments offer very cozy accommodations for their managers and administrators. Since hospitality management is mostly a digital process, degree programs in this field can be completed entirely online.

5. Human Resources

Every large company has a human resources (HR) department, so there’s an ever-growing need for qualified HR professionals in every industry. With the advent of HR software and cloud-based project management platforms, managing an HR department no longer involves dealing with stacks of paper at a desk or a cubicle. Salaries in this industry can vary widely from $50,000 to $100,000 or more, but there are usually a decent number of remote jobs available as well. Plus, as a mom you’re already managing human resources on a very small scale within your own home, so it’s a career that plays into your maternal instincts as an intuitive planner and provider.

6. Marketing

Marketing is one of the most universally applicable degree types because it gives you a skill that can help any business succeed. You also don’t necessarily need to earn a degree to be considered a marketing expert, as there are many online courses and certifications that you can add to your resume in just a few weeks or months. Any proven expertise in marketing will improve your chances of being hired a high-level employee because entrepreneurs want to put their companies in the hands of people who understand advertising & promotion in all its forms.

7. Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is another job that’s primarily performed on the computer, so there are plenty of fully online study options to choose from with this career path. During your online studies, you’ll be learning how to manage and supervise healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics. Entry-level healthcare administrators earn about $50,000. However, with a few years of experience, that figure increases to $70,000 - $100,000. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available in this sector is expected to increase by 23% within a decade.

8. Communication

A degree in communication makes you a more eligible candidate for so many different jobs, as there are many specializations to choose from within this field. For example, you could specialize in business communications or telecommunication. Generally, hiring mangers tend to favor applicants with communication degrees because all forms of business require communication in one form or another. With most kinds of business communication being digitally based nowadays, it’s possible to complete a full communications degree program from the convenience of your laptop. Being a strong communicator will also help you perform better in job interviews and communicate with your kids in a more constructive manner.

9. Graphic Design

Many moms have a passion for art but have never thought about turning it into a career. The demand for custom artwork and graphic design has never been higher, as there are millions of entrepreneurs and businesses that need logos, websites, and other visual components to complete their branding efforts. Since graphic design is purely a digital activity, every degree program in his field of study can be completed fully online. If you’re not ready to commit to 2 years of studying graphic design, you could opt for course certification instead and have a resume-boosting credential in a matter of weeks or months.

10. Web Development

Becoming a web developer is an interesting option for moms to consider because it’s a creative career that is almost always done remotely. The degree itself can help you land a job, but the biggest advantages of pursuing this path come from the skills that you obtain. Being able to design your websites and offer web development services as a freelancer will give you a level of flexibility and control over your schedule that any mom would enjoy. Plus, your kids can help you with your work by providing their opinions and feedback.

11. Fitness Trainer

You might think that you’d need to attend a gym to become a certified fitness trainer, but that’s not necessarily the case. You can take online fitness classes and become certified in the same way you would through a local gym by using video chat interfaces to interact with your instructor. As a certified fitness expert, you’ll be able to apply for jobs at gyms and physical therapy clinics, or you can start your own online fitness training service as a freelancer.

12. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Any kind of degree related to language can be earned online, but teaching English is one that aligns well with your goal of being a better educator as a mom. Furthermore, this kind of degree can give you the opportunity to travel abroad with your family, or you can choose to provide remote tutoring services through various online platforms. TESOL teachers are in high demand worldwide due to the rapid adoption of English as a universal language. Developing nations are in need of TESOL experts, so you’ll always have a job waiting on you. Plus, this kind of degree program isn’t as complicated as other English-related educational courses because the topics are meant to be introductory enough for speakers of other languages to understand.

13. Writing & Journalism

Writing is a job that you can always take with you anywhere you can bring a device or notepad. Many moms leverage journalism and writing degrees to become column writers for online magazines or other remote writing jobs. Most writers are freelancers, so you’ll not only be able to study from home, you’ll also have the option of working from home throughout your career. You can also use your newfound writing skills to start a blog or produce your own web content for entrepreneurial efforts.

14. Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is a fast-growing industry that is in desperate need of more credentialed professionals. As another digitally oriented job, becoming an IT expert gives you the flexibility of studying and working remotely. It will also make you part of the minority of moms who are tech-savvy on a professional level. Furthermore, let’s not forget that IT administrators can earn very desirable salaries. There are an estimated 500,000 open computing jobs available at this very moment, and that number is growing every year.

15. Education

Most education degrees can be earned fully online and can then be used to land work-from-home teaching and tutoring jobs. The world needs more educators, and your kids need you to be the best educator you can be around the house, so you’ll be helping society and your little ones becomes smarter, one textbook at a time. Of course, teaching is always a kid-friendly career, and with how badly teachers are needed in today’s world, you might even wind up teaching your own child's classroom. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistic reported that there would be nearly 2 million teaching jobs available from 2014 to 2024.

16. Engineering

The thought of a mom working as an engineer might seem uncommon, but this is a worthwhile study-from-home career option nonetheless. Between civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering, there are more than 750,000 engineering jobs available right now. Being a mom and an engineer can be quite the balancing act, but it’s doable nonetheless. Besides, with the hefty salaries and prestigious positions available in this field, becoming an engineer is an achievement that any mom would be proud of.

17. Diet & Nutrition

Having a professional understanding of diet & nutrition will help you give better advice to your kids while also equipping you with a job that is in high-demand everywhere. Nutritionists and dietitians earn high salaries and their jobs are relatively easy once the advanced tenets of healthy and holistic eating are learned. The number of dietitian and nutritionist jobs available in the U.S. is expected to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028. Studying and Working from Home as a Mom Won’t Necessarily Be Easy Most people who study or work for home make the initial mistake of taking a very lackadaisical approach to their own schedule. While it might seem like you have the freedom to “choose your own hours,” if you actually want to graduate and proceed with your career in a reasonable amount of time, then you’ll need to set specific deadlines and goals to keep advancing at a decent pace. Ultimately, self-paced programs could wind up taking longer than on-campus classes if you don’t have the discipline to take the same kind of structured approach.

10 Essential Resources for Parents Working with Autistic Children

Working with autistic children is a unique challenge. As a parent, you end up having two jobs. One of helping the child develop and cope with autism and second, to be their guardian.

Some days are harder than others. Some days you want to throw in the towel. It’s okay to feel this way. Everyone does at some point. If you use your resources and create a support system, you can make things a little easier on yourself though. Let us be part of your support system. Here is a complete guide on how to help your child with autism thrive.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Autism

If your child shows signs of autism or if they are diagnosed, the best thing you can do for them is to get yourself familiar with it. The more you learn about it, the better equipped you'll be to help the child through it. Read up on treatment options, ask their doctor questions, and be an active player in their treatment. If you're not sure where to start with your research, check out a few autism apps. Some of them are informative.

2. Pay Attention to Your Child

All autistic children will respond differently to outside stimuli. You should pay attention to what causes certain triggers in your child. Find out what agitates them or makes them happy for example. Once you sort out what triggers them, it will be easier to create and alter their schedule around these things.

3. Accept Everything About Them

When you see how everyone else's child is developing, you may start to compare them to your own. Instead of focusing on how slowly or differently your child is developing, learn to accept them for who they are. Autistic children have their own quirks that make them a joy to work with. It makes them unique.

4. Allow for Consistency

It can be hard for your child to retain the information they learned in class. You've got to reinforce the learning by creating consistency. Sit down with their therapists to ask them what sort of exercises they are doing in school. Apply these concepts to things that they learn at home. Also, ask their therapists if there is any way to do a few at-home sessions.

5. Create a Schedule

One thing that you should know about autistic children is that they like structure. This being said, your child will thrive best if you put them on a schedule. There are no limits to the things that you put on this schedule. Pencil in time for school, therapy, even sleep, and mealtime. Once you've written out their schedule it's important that you are strict about sticking by it. If something comes up and there's no avoiding changing things around that's fine but take the time to prepare your child for this unwelcome change.

6. Check for Non-Verbal Cues

Some children with autism don't or can't use words to communicate what they want. What they will do is give you non-verbal cues. It will be up to you to decipher these cues and act accordingly. Look at their expressions or the sounds they make when they're tired, agitated, happy, or hungry. This goes back to the "paying attention to your child" point we made above. If you miss the cues or don't bother to learn them you may risk agitating your child. You would be frustrated too if you were trying to tell someone that you're hungry and they ignored you or didn't know what you were saying.

7. Make Room in the Schedule for Fun

When you're making their schedule don't forget to leave a place in there dedicated to fun. Every child needs to have some form of play in their life in order to develop certain skills. Make sure that their playtime doesn't feel like therapy or homework. If you do that then they won't want anything to do with it. Also, don't be afraid to get down on the floor and play with them. They want to connect with you and spend time with you. Don't deny them that.

8. ADS Support Groups

There will come a time when you feel like you're at the end of your rope with your child's development. It's during this hard time that you would be glad that you joined an ADS support group. These groups are full of parents that are going through the same things that you're going through. They've been in your shoes and can offer a lot of great advice. On top of advice, they can also act as your friends by giving you emotional support.

9. Respite Care

Everyone needs a chance to breathe now and again. That includes you. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break with respite care. If you're unfamiliar with respite care, it's when another caregiver comes in and takes over things for a little bit while you take a break. You can take advantage of their services for a few hours or even a few days if you really need it.

10. Don't Give Up

The last thing to keep in mind when working with an autistic child is to never, ever give up. Your child will develop differently than other children. That doesn't mean that they will never develop or never be able to live a normal life. Your child has an entire lifetime to grow and become the person that they want to become. The best thing you can do is be there for them through it all.

A Parent's Guide to Working with Autistic Children

Working with autistic children is a fun and unique challenge, but a challenge none the less. If you equip yourself with the right of knowledge, you'll find that helping them thrive is a little easier than you thought. Try out some of the tips you read here before and after you get their diagnosis. Set your baby up for success. Being a parent can be hard, autism or no. We're here to help.

7 Things to do Before Baby Arrives

Life is completely different after the arrival of a baby. A baby comes with more responsibilities and commitment. Therefore, you might not find time to do the things that you normally do. Generally, wherever you go, your baby will go to, especially in the early days. This is not always straightforward and there may be some things you can no longer do now that you are a parent. So, prior to your baby's arrival make the most of uninterrupted sleep and freedom to go where you please, when you please. Self-care and having some good times before your new arrival comes is important.

Below are 7 things you might like to do before your baby comes.

1. Spend more time with friends

A newborn baby is a blessing. However, after the baby arrives, it means you will have to cut or rather minimise some of the activities you were fond of. Spending more time with friends is a good example of the activities you will have to compromise to accommodate your little angel. Have quality time with your friends before the arrival of your baby. Go out with them and call them often too. Some of the friends who are experienced in baby care will prepare you mentally and psychology on what to expect. Big crowds, loud music and noise from bars and clubs are not exactly baby-friendly. Visit these places when you still can, so as to not feel left out when the baby finally arrives.

2. Treat Yourself

Your self-care routines, hair and nails makeover, shopping and even time for showering will also reduce once you deliver your baby. Most of your energy will be focused on them. Now is the time to do most of the household chores, clothes and shoe shopping. Make having enough sleep at night and naps part of your daily pattern. You might miss them in the near future. You might also consider pampering yourself prior to the birth so you are ready for when your due date comes.

3.  Attend Baby Classes

Every single person aspires to be a good parent. Here is a chance to learn more about what parenthood is all about. There are various options available for couples expecting to be parents to learn about parenthood. These include counselling sessions, blogs and vlogs and clinics. Talking to older parents could help as well. This will give you knowledge of what is to come. You get to learn about healthy meals to have when pregnant as well as when breastfeeding. Also, during your baby classes you will be taught on the importance of keeping your baby safe. This will mostly include the importance of having a baby car seat, installing it correctly and in accordance with the government’s regulations.

4.  Finish up on Important Projects

Before your baby arrives consider the additional items that will need to be bought to take care of your baby. There will be items that you have to buy on a regular budget and you need to ensure you consider this. It would be advisable to consider finishing up other family projects before the baby arrives. Be it buying that car, finishing up with the construction and repairing of the house.

5.  Decide on a Pediatrician

Children are vulnerable and sensitive to most of the atmospheric reactions. A newborn baby was used to being in their mother’s womb. Coming into the world is a change of climate for them. They could possibly get an irritation or fall ill. As a parent, you need to pick on the best paediatrician before your baby arrives. You want to know where to turn should your baby need quality medical assistance. 

6. Shop for baby’s clothes, toys, and bedding

A newborn baby needs a lot of clothes, bedding and toys too. A baby will have a change of clothing at an average of six times in a single day. Often usage of the same clothes makes them wear out faster. The same applies to beddings. Toys will get broken or misplaced too. Prior to baby arriving ensure that you have adequate supplies of some of the essential items you will need when baby comes. Getting to the shops immediately after birth can be tricky and so make sure you have done a decent shop prior to baby arriving.

7.  Have Insurance Plans for Baby

Having insurance plans for a baby means that you are securing the life, health and education of the baby. Having a health insurance policy will make your baby’s clinical visits easier and affordable while giving you peace of mind.


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