Author Archives: vickielson

Orange is the New Black review

 Raising Awareness or Warping Reality?   By Vicki Elson Do you have a friend in jail?  If you answered no, you are statistically likely to be white and affluent. There’s a popular TV show that’s so engaging it might give you the emotional experience of having a friend in jail, and you might learn something …

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Giant Baby: Credit Where Credit Is Due

A doctor who helped a mother give birth to a 13 lbs 11 oz baby girl was quoted as saying, “We are all very satisfied with the work which we carried out.” The hospital staff deserve to be satisfied! They did at least one thing flawlessly: supporting the mother in having a vaginal birth. They …

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Birth: a Messy, Marvelous Metaphor for Parenthood

Giving birth is painful, joyful, messy, unpredictable, and all-consuming. So is parenting. Giving birth requires surrendering to whatever happens. So does parenting. Giving birth might be something you can do yourself, or something you need people to help you with, or something you can hire people to do for you (i.e. scheduled cesarean), but ultimately …

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A WHOLE NEW REASON TO BREASTFEED

Nutrition?  Bonding?  Countless health benefits?  Baby poop that doesn’t stink?  All great reasons to breastfeed.    Here’s a new one: There’s a global shortage of baby formula.   Why?  In 2008, there was a contaminated milk scandal in China that killed six babies and sickened 300,000.  So the Chinese prefer foreign brands from Australia and New …

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Don’t cut the cord yet!

Here is a remarkable series of photos showing how the umbilical cord keeps delivering blood to the baby for a little while after birth.  Research shows that this portion of the baby’s blood is helpful in preventing anemia, and it contains beneficial stem cells.  That’s why, especially for premature babies, it’s helpful to delay cutting the cord till …

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Slow Labor? Five Good Ideas

My first labor was 30 hours long.  Nobody made a big deal about it, and nobody rushed me — at the time, I had no idea how lucky I was.  When it got really mild, I remember sitting around talking about Steve Martin movies.   My next labor was 5 hours.  That meant I had to do …

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The EBook is finished!

THE EBOOK IS FINISHED! There’s another ebook in the works: Childbirth in a Nutshell. And a new film, too! I’ve been loving my work as a childbirth educator in Northampton and also in the women’s jail. I’ve been going to lots of births as a doula, and learning so much every time! For example, one …

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What’s New

THE EBOOK IS FINISHED! Coming soon! IN THE MEANTIME… NEW CHILDBIRTH CLASS COMING IN THE SPRING! “Childbirth Education Essentials” workshop in Northampton, MA USA, SPRING 2013 This unique, intimate one-day workshop for childbirth professionals and students explores what expectant parents and their educators REALLY need to know about pregnancy, birth, cultural/media influences, fear-busting, baby-bonding, and …

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248 Women Speak: What REALLY Helped Us During Labor

We are 248 World Wide Women. We are all ages. Some of us gave birth vaginally, with and without drugs or anesthesia, and some by cesarean. Some of us gave birth in hospitals, some at home, and one in the car. Some of us breastfed our babies, and some of us bottle-fed. Some of us …

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Adapting Childbirth Services for Incarcerated Mothers: Midwifery Today article

Adapting Birth Services for Incarcerated Mothers [Article submitted to Midwifery Today Magazine, October 2011]  By Marianne Bullock, CD, and Vicki Elson, MA, CCE, CD Approximately 40,000 women who are incarcerated in the United States each year are pregnant.  85% of women in prison are mothers.  2/3 were their children’s primary caregivers prior to incarceration. The …

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