It takes a village to raise a child, and it is an incredible act of self-care to ask for help. This chapter looks at ways to build a support system with family, friends and skilled birth workers who will be there for you each step of the way.
While it is completely normal to feel stress or fear around pregnancy, labor, and parenthood, remember that hope and joy are important parts of your journey too. Take this time to ask the questions on your mind, create a birth plan, and prepare for the newest addition to your family — you got this!
All people deserve a safe and positive birth experience, but all too often that is not the case for Black people. Meet doulas and midwives who reflect on how to center Black birthing people and ensure that every person has respectful, culturally aligned care that meets their needs and keeps them safe.
The care you receive after birth is just as important as during your pregnancy. Meet doctors, midwives, doulas, lactation consultants and new parents who share what the postpartum period is really like and how to find the support and care you need.
All people deserve a safe and positive birth experience, but all too often that is not the case for people who have language barriers. Meet doulas and midwives who reflect on how to ensure that every person has respectful, culturally aligned care that meets their needs and keeps them safe.
when the muscles of the uterus tighten and then relax to help push the baby out during labor
to open. Typically the birthing person’s cervix will begin dilating in the last weeks of pregnancy; in labor the cervix will dilate to about 10 cm to let the baby out.
making milk in the breasts, and/or feeding a baby from the chest.
a bodily response to maintain health or promote normal function
before birth / during pregnancy
speaking up for yourself, your needs and your desires so you can make informed decisions and have your decisions respected
when a provider and a patient work together to make a health care decision that is best for the patient. The optimal decision takes into account evidence-based information about options, the provider’s knowledge and experience, and the patient’s values and preferences.
anyone in the pregnant person’s life whose purpose is to physically or emotionally support them
WIC is short for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is a federal assistance program designed to provide nutrition and nutritional information, including lactation (breast feeding) services, to parents and children in financial need.