Tag Archive | pregnancy

Tuesday Tidbits: International Day of the Midwife

IMG_4848Today is International Day of the Midwife and I find myself reflecting on the many midwives I have known and the incredibly diversity and gifts of the women who join this profession. In addition to the midwives I had for prenatal and postpartum care for each of my births, I’ve been privileged to know many midwives on the state and national level through our shared interest in maternity care activism and birth rights. With my first baby, I had prenatal and birth care with a family practice physician and a CPM. The CPM was gray-haired, pretty, soft-spoken and wryly witty and pretty much exactly what you picture a stereotypical midwife looking like! My prenatal care with this team was excellent, birth care so-so (I didn’t need much), but my postpartum care left a lot to be desired and I felt very cast adrift after the birth. I became very embroiled with midwifery activism and birth work after this birth and as a result my experiences with all subsequent midwives has been an interesting blend of collegial + consumer. My first birth was the only one for which I was consumer only. Though I’m not a midwife myself, my subsequent experiences all involved being a sister birthworker AND client, rather than solely a client. This has both benefits and disadvantages.

My midwife with my second baby was amazing. I loved her so much and I have felt a gap in every pregnancy following that I was not able to have her as a midwife again. She was gentle and caring and passionate and inspiring and wonderful. Cute and upbeat, full-figured, and intelligent, she had a soft and reassuring presence and gave wonderful hugs! We became good friends and she was a very important part of my life. My prenatal care and birth care with her was excellent. She was also helpful with postpartum care, but I don’t think I “allowed” her to be as helpful as she could have been because I couldn’t allow myself to be as vulnerable and needy as I actually felt.

When I was pregnant with my third baby, my much-loved midwife had moved away and found myself at a loss for who to choose for pregnancy and birth care. This baby died early in my second trimester and I found myself calling on the sisterhood of midwives for help when I desperately needed it. From the very busy midwife who talked to me kindly and patiently when I was freaking out over a retained placenta, to the Mennonite midwife who helped me from the road as she was driving to another state and connected me to yet another midwife several hours away who drove in to town to meet and help me when I was very scared and alone, it was during this experience that I realized very viscerally how much we need midwives in our lives. When I was pregnant again, I decided to choose the Mennonite midwife for my prenatal care and immediate postpartum care. She is a very capable and determined and intelligent midwife, but I felt an unbridgeable gap between us spiritually speaking and so was never able to fully connect with her emotionally. She embodied the gray-haired, no-nonsense “granny midwife” archetype. She provided great prenatal care and was very respectful of my wish for immediate postpartum care, but an unassisted birth. Postpartum follow-up care was limited due to snowstorms.

With my last baby, I felt a powerful need to feel taken care of again. I really needed to have some set aside time, Mollyblessingway 027space, and energy that was just focused on me and my baby. I knew that I needed a midwife! While I could have used the same midwife as with the baby before, this time it was important to me to develop the emotional connection I had with my second midwife—I needed a midwife with whom I could feel “safe” with all of me, instead of feeling like I had to hide my goddess sculptures when she came over! 😉 It took some work, but I was able to find that. With this experience, I came to accept that the blur between colleague-consumer is my reality and I will never re-capture the feeling of being client only and being completely focused on in that respect, because I’m simply not just a client only. That’s okay. This midwife has long brown hair, wears lots of skirts and had the hippie-ish midwife feel I was craving. She is funny and talkative and connected to the roots of what midwifery is all about. I was safe with her in the way I needed. I really appreciated the midwife’s prenatal care (and the opportunity to focus on my pregnancy and baby), her respect of my wish for immediate postpartum care rather than birth care, and her postpartum follow-up care. I felt like this midwife offered the most complete postpartum care of all of my birth experiences.

I’ve mentioned before that the only vaginal exam I had during six pregnancies was at ten centimeters dilated when I went to the birth center to push out my baby (I also had to have one for a manual clot extraction following his birth and one for help removing the placenta after my miscarriage-birth of my third baby). This is totally cool with me. Somehow I’ve managed to labor and birth four full-term babies without ever knowing how dilated I am in labor! So, I loved reading this article about the pointlessness of vaginal exams in labor and the cultural attachment, even in midwifery circles, to cervix-focused childbirth:

“…There is also reluctance to change hospital policies, underpinned by a need to maintain cultural norms. The Cochrane review on the use of partograms on the one hand states that they cannot be recommended for use during ‘standard labour care’, and on the other hand states: “Given the fact that the partogram is currently in widespread use and generally accepted, it appears reasonable, until stronger evidence is available, that partogram use should be locally determined.” Once again, an intervention implemented without evidence requires ‘strong’ evidence before it is removed. The reality is that we are unlikely to get what is considered ‘strong evidence’ (ie. randomised controlled trials) due to research ethics and the culture of maternity systems. Guidelines for care in labour continue to advocate ‘4 hourly VEs’ and reference each other rather than any actual research to support this (NICE, Queensland Health). Interesting whilst Queensland Health guidelines recommend 4 hourly VEs, their parent information leaflet states: “While a VE can provide information about how a woman has progressed so far in labour, it cannot predict how much longer you will be in labour…” and that there are “…other factors such as the strength, duration and length of contractions as well as a woman’s behaviour and wellbeing that can indicate progress in labour”. Which begs the question ‘why bother doing a VE’?

The cervical-centric discourse is so embedded that it is evident everywhere. Despite telling women to ‘trust themselves’ and ‘listen to their body’, midwives define women’s labours in centimetres “She’s not in labour, she’s only 2cm dilated”. We do this despite having many experiences of cervixes misleading us ie. being only 2cm and suddenly a baby appears, or being 9cm and no baby for hours. Women’s birth stories are often peppered with cervical measurements “I was 8cm by the time I got to the hospital”. Even women choosing birth outside of the mainstream maternity system are not immune to the cervical-centric discourse. Regardless of previous knowledge and beliefs, once in labour women often revert to cultural norms (Machin & Scamell 1997). Women want to know their labour is progressing and there is a deep subconscious belief that the cervix can provide the answer. Most of the VEs I have carried out in recent years have been at the insistence of labouring women – women who know that their cervix is not a good indicator of ‘where they are at’ but still need that number. One woman even said “I know it doesn’t mean anything but I want you to do it”. Of course, her cervix was still fat and obvious (I didn’t estimate dilatation)… her baby was born within an hour…”

Vaginal examinations: a symptom of a cervical-centric birth culture | MidwifeThinking

I also read this article about the now late, great midwife and activist, Sheila Kitzinger and how she connected her birthwork to feminism (as do I). I despise the article’s title, but it is still worth a read!

…In the Seventies, I was viewed as a radical for saying that birth was being depersonalised and treated as if it were a pathological event, rather than a normal life process.

To my surprise, it wasn’t just obstetricians who dismissed what I had to say. I also found myself in conflict with feminists, who saw birth in very simplistic terms.

Why? Because they claimed it was every woman’s right to give birth painlessly.

An article in Spare Rib, the radical campaigning feminist magazine, went further.

Without any evidence, the authors asserted: ‘Undoubtedly, hospitals, with all their faults, are the safest places in which to give birth. For this reason, we think we should press for improvements in hospitals rather than support a move to more home confinements.’

I was appalled at how my sister-feminists could fail to support woman-centred birth. Polly Toynbee, writing in The Guardian, was particularly virulent, dismissing me as a lentil-eating earth goddess…

via Sheila Kitzinger on why feminists HATE natural childbirth and why it’s harmful | Daily Mail Online.

Lentil-eating earth goddesses unite! Unlike Kitzinger’s experiences with the distance between some expressions of feminism and birth-care, I find that many midwives, whether explicitly or implicitly, understand the deep connection between midwifery care, birth activism, and feminism.

“Midwifery work is feminist work. That is to say, midwives recognize that women’s health care has been subordinated to men’s care by a historically male, physician-dominated medical industry. Midwifery values woman-centered care and puts mothers’ needs first. Though not all midwives embrace the word feminism (the term admittedly carries some baggage), I maintain that providing midwifery care is an expression of feminism’s core values (that women are people who have intrinsic rights).

–Jon Lasser, in Diversity & Social Justice in Maternity Care as an Ethical Concern, Midwifery Today, issue 100, Winter 2011/2012

via Midwifery & Feminism | Talk Birth

Perhaps this is because midwives care so deeply about mothers and feminists might actually make the best mothers…

…As a mother who works extensively with other mothers, I appreciated Caron’s acknowledgement that raising children is a feminist act with potential to create change as well. “Another strategy for change is through raising children to be just and caring people. A media image portrays feminists as being against motherhood—but in fact, feminists make the best mothers. They raise children aware of themselves and the world, of options and values, of what justice means and how to work toward it, and how to be self-critical and self-respecting” (p. 203-204). Caron also explains that “in a just society, women would be free to make whatever decisions they needed to, for however long they needed to, in relation to political action in the public and the private sphere. All people would participate in the decision-making, and women would be supported in their decisions rather than, as sometimes happens, made to feel guilty for not doing enough or not valued for what they do.”

via Thesis Tidbits: Feminism, Midwifery, and Motherhood | Talk Birth.

dayofmidwifeHappy International Day of the Midwife! Thank you for bearing witness to our journeys and for holding the space for the continually unfolding spiral of life.

“…As we ready ourselves to accept new life into our hands,
Let us be reminded of our place in the dance of creation.
Let us be protectors of courage.
Let us be observers of beauty.
Let us be guardians of the passage.
Let us be witnesses to the unfolding…”

—Cathy Moore (in Sisters Singing)

via National Midwifery Week! | Talk Birth.

In addition to midwives, we’re also celebrating mothers all week this week! First on our lineup of activities is our gift to you: our first ever coupon code for $5 off purchases over $15. Use code: MOTHER.

We’ve also got a giveaway upcoming, two new product launches, a new Facebook group, and two class announcements! Stay tuned…

April 2015 021

Two Birth Poems

I shared these on my Facebook page recently too and as long as I was updating my birth quotes, I thought I’d post the poems as well. They could be good for a mother blessing or blessingway ceremony or just to print up for a mother preparing to give birth, to to one who has just given birth, or to a birthworker (another favorite birthing poem is posted here):

Being Born

by Carl Sandburg

Being born is important
You who have stood at the bedposts
and seen a mother on her high harvest day,
the day of the most golden of harvest moons for her.

You who have seen the new wet child
dried behind the ears,
swaddled in soft fresh garments,
pursing its lips and sending a groping mouth
toward nipples where white milk is ready.

You who have seen this love’s payday
of wild toiling and sweet agonizing.

You know being born is important.
You know that nothing else was ever so important to you.
You understand that the payday of love is so old,
So involved, so traced with circles of the moon,
So cunning with the secrets of the salts of the blood.
It must be older than the moon, older than salt.

—-

Ordinary Miracle

by Barbara Kingsolver

I have mourned lost days
When I accomplished nothing of importance.
But not lately.
Lately under the lunar tide
Of a woman’s ocean, I work
My own sea-change:
Turning grains of sand to human eyes.
I daydream after breakfast
While the spirit of egg and toast
Knits together a length of bone
As fine as a wheatstalk.
Later, as I postpone weeding the garden
I will make two hands
That may tend a hundred gardens.

I need ten full moons exactly
For keeping the animal promise.
I offer myself up: unsaintly, but
Transmuted anyway
By the most ordinary miracle.
I am nothing in this world beyond the things one woman does.
But here are eyes that once were pearls.
And here is a second chance where there was none.

—-

(hat tip to Birth True for posting the Kingsolver poem—Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, but I had never read the poem before seeing it on the Birth True blog.)

Birth Quotes and More Birth Quotes

Time for my semi-regular birth quotes update post!

“Birth is the doorway for integration of body and mind.” –Gayle Peterson

“Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” – J. Willard Marriott

“Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Sometime in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself.” – Katherine Sharp

“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

(This is something I try to convey in my birth classes–that when it seems “too much” and you manage to “dig deeper,” you find so much strength that you didn’t know you had and that knowledge of strength can continue to inform the rest of your LIFE!)

“When a woman has a child, it is equivalent to taking life vows.” –Stephanie Demetrakopoulos

“You do not know how a pregnant woman comes to have a body and living spirit in her womb.” –Ecclesiastes 11:5

(I guess tecnnically we “know,” but I think this is talking about the mystery of how we get from no where to now here…)

“Childbirth is a rite of passage so intense physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, that most other events in a woman’s life pale next to it. In our modern lives, there are few remaining rituals of initiation, few events that challenge a person’s mettle down to the very core. Childbirth remains a primary… initiatory event for a woman.” –Maren Hansen

“Birth is an active, completely engaging process and requires that a woman be actively engaged, not only physically and emotionally but also in the decision-making process (before and during the birth).” –Awaken Your Birth Power e-newsletter

“Although women have been giving birth since time began, the lack of cumulative female knowledge and sharing in our society has led us to seek information about birth in books and classes rather than from the native wisdom of community experience.” –Elizabeth Noble

“…many women see the experience of birth as mystical, something they turn over and refocus on all their lives.” –Stephanie Demetrakopoulos

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” ~August Wilson

“You know being born is important to you. You know nothing else was ever so important to you.” –Carl Sandburg

“Spring has returned. The earth like a child that knows poems.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

“Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark.” ~Anonymous

“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.” –Harriette Hartigan

“Giving birth is a transformation and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve had eight babies before. It’s still a transformation the next time you have another baby, because you are no longer the same woman you were before you had that baby.” –Penny Handford

“When a woman births without drugs…she learns that she is strong and powerful…She learns to trust herself, even in the face of powerful authority figures. Once she realizes her own strength and power, she will have a different attitude for the rest of her life, about pain, illness, disease, fatigue, and difficult situations.” –Polly Perez

“It is certainly true that for an increasing number of women, the birth experience is ecstatic. But it’s very important to keep in mind that, from a global perspective, the birth experience is still not a positive one for millions of women.” –Judy Chicago

“Woman is the first environment. In pregnancy our bodies sustain life. At the breast of women, the generations are nourished. From the bodies of women flows the relationsiop of those generations both to society and the natural world. In this way the earth is our mother, the old people said in this way we as women are earth.” –Katsi Cook Mohawk midwife

“When we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” –Marianne Williamson

“Awe enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of passing the stillness of the eternal.” –Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives.” –Greta W. Crosby

“Pregnant woman, at once universal and individual, lives the compelling force of creation within her whole being.” –Harriette Hartigan

“Childbirth is a rite of passage so intense physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, that most other events in a woman’s life pale next to it. In our modern lives, there are few remaining rituals of initiation, few events that challenge a person’s mettle down to the very core. Childbirth remains a primary initiatory event for a woman.” –Maren Hansen

“Male science disregards female experiences because it can never share them.” –Grantly Dick-Read

“I usually claim that pregnant women should not read books about pregnancy and birth. Their time is too precious. They should, rather, watch the moon and sing to their baby in the womb.” –Michel Odent

(Personally, I LOVE books–of all sorts–and reading is THE top way for me to learn about anything. I think the best prep I did before having my first baby was to read and I always give a recommended reading list to my clients. However, I also “hear” what he is saying here and wanted to share the quote. My personal opinion is that in our current birth culture it is nearly impossible to go into birth just planning to “go with the flow” and let labor unfold without expectation [if you are birthing in the hospital that is—because the hospital is FULL of expectations and those will often run right over your flow]).

“No matter what your size, shape, percentage of body fat, or BMI, you and I…can start right this minute to express gratitude to our bodies for being home to our souls and allowing us to express our uniqueness on the earth at this time.” – Dr. Christiane Northrup, The Wisdom of Menopause

“In pregnancy’s sculptured beauty, one body grows within another. Energy becomes human in the alchemy of the womb.” –Harriette Hartigan

“The experience of birth is vast. It is a diverse tapestry woven by cultural customs, shaped in personal choices, affected by biological factors, marked by political circumstances. Yet the nature of birth itself prevails in elegant design of simple complexity.” –Harriette Hartigan

“Stress hormones are contagious–if someone in your birthing space is stressed, you will feel it and become stressed.” (Awaken Your Birth Power)

Tips for Emotional Well-Being During Pregnancy

I got a lot of wonderful responses to my question about emotional well-being during pregnancy (associated with my giveaway of the book Birth Space, Safe Place). So, courtesy of a lot of wise women, here are some top tips for supporting your emotional well-being during pregnancy and birth:

  • Peaceful Beginnings doula services shared “I think my best tip for emotional well-being during pregnancy (and life in general) is to let go of guilt. We can only do the best we can with the information we have at the time, no more, no less.”
  • Yasmel shared that her most helpful tip, “would be to find whatever gives you positive thoughts and use it, a lot. I loved the book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and whenever I started second guessing my homebirth decision, I would open it up and just read the birth stories in it.”
  • Heather appreciated a helpful tip from her sister: “I was having alot of people question my birthing choices and telling me that my baby and I were going to die. None of which happened. She told me that ‘you can’t expect people to agree with your choices or behave respectfully about them. All you can do is know that you are doing what’s right for you and your child and that is all the matters. Don’t let them change your mind with fear. It has no place in childbirth.’”
  • And I especially enjoyed Ahmie’s advice: “remember that cats purr while giving birth. Figure out what makes you ‘purr’ while you’re pregnant and find ways to do more of that as well as to bring those tools to the birth-space with you.”
  • One of the most simple and yet important tips was shared by bubbledumpster, “Trust yourself,” and echoed in several other comments, such as earthmothergypsy who said, “I think one of the best helps emotionally is to encourage mamas to trust in themselves, their bodies and their babies. By giving them support in a way that they don’t feel undermined they can build the above trust in themselves.” And inoakpark who said, ” learning to trust your body (and trusting the people who will be with you at your birth to hold that space), is vital for an emotionally secure pregnancy and birth.”
  • bee in the balm offered another elegantly simple tip “to breathe, just take the time to come back to center and be and breathe.”
  • Nicole d shared that her best tip is “meditation on good/safe birth… the normalcy and miraculous nature of it. So much of pregnancy stress is uncertainty and fear of the birth process. The more you can trust in the process of pregnancy and birth, the more joyful and peaceful pregnancy can be.”
  • For Lee-Ann, “emotional wellbeing came with knowledge, the more I read and the more I normalized the birth process in my mind, the more research I did, the more confident and at peace I became.”
  • Rebekah made an excellent point about honest during pregnancy: “I think being open and honest with yourself and talking to your baby openly helps. It benefits no one to ‘pretend’ like everything is perfect and is okay to have trials, doubts, and fears.”
  • Jessica benefited from midwifery care: “One of the things that helped me a lot was having a midwife that I knew and trusted implicitly. I knew that my body and my baby would know what to do, and that I had a wonderful woman who would let it all unfold!”
  • And whoz_your_doula pointed out the benefit of taking time for yourself: “For me that took the form of meditation and prayer. The early morning is my time for deep reflection before the house begins to stir.”
  • A similar tip was shared by Gentle Beginnings: “I feel it is very important for a woman’s emotional well being to take a few minutes each day to spend time alone. To sit quietly and think about the precious child growing inside them, to disconnect from the world, to envision how peaceful they want their birth to be, to take a stroll in nature and to connect with their inner self. I think we can all benefit from these simple suggestions, but feel it is especially important during pregnancy and childbirth.”
  • Helpful for birth educators as well as couples, Janet shared that her favorite tip is “teaching the mom and her partner to work together towards open and honest communication before hand. I find a lot of the mothers I teach think, ‘Oh, well we talked about it once and I think we are on the same page,’ only to be completely blind-sided afterwards. Keeping these lines of communication open before, during and after pregnancy makes for a much better emotional state for all.”
  • Jamie moved us back to the trust theme: “Trust yourself. Trust that your body knows how to be pregnant and how to give birth. Be positive in the changes your body is going through and how you are being prepared for motherhood in all facets of your being. Know that you can do this—you are doing it!”
  • And another excellent and simple tip was shared by Heather Richins: “My tip is to make sure you stay well fed and hydrated. It is hard to feel good emotionally if you don’t feel good physically.”
  • Deborah had more than one to share: “1) Eat well: increase protein and raw fruits & veggies, and drink lots of water. Decrease refined foods, white flour products and sugars. 2) Exercise: walk, swim, yoga, etc. 3) Talk: find someone you trust and be honest about how you are feeling.”
  • And finally, Kathy offered a comprehensive collection of tips: “to be conscious of their needs each day. This includes physical,emotional, and spiritual. For the physical; Eat well. Whole foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables. Protein intakes needs to be adequate for a pregnant woman on a daily basis. Eating often to keep your blood sugars level is especially important for warding off mood swings. For the emotional; Trust yourself and others who care about you. Surround yourself with positive people who support you in what your doing. Communicate your needs and wants. Be willing to be honest and vulnerable. Pregnancy can often ‘stir the pot.’ Being willing to work out your feeling and talk to someone you trust and bring about personal growth and sometimes, bring about healing the past. For the spiritual; It is just as important for the spirit to be fed, as it for the body. Fellowshipping with others of the same faith is uplifting to the spirit. Take time for reflections and meditations each day. Keep a journal.”

I appreciated all the responses and think that emotional well-being is such an important subject. I feel like, especially with a first baby, it is an often overlooked element of birth preparation—a lot of time and energy is spent on the physical health of the pregnant woman, but the emotions are assumed to kind of take care of themselves, to perhaps be no one’s business, or to be dismissed summarily as “crazy pregnancy hormones” and “mood swings of pregnancy!”

Birth Space, Safe Place Book Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed! The winner was drawn and was Jessica (of Jess Loves Being a Mommy)—please email me with your mailing address! 🙂

I am fortunate to have an extra copy of the new book Birth Space, Safe Place: Emotional Well-Being through Pregnancy and Birth. to give away to one lucky reader! 🙂 You can read my review of the book in the post below. There are three ways to enter to win the book and you will receive an entry for each method you employ (please make a separate comment for each of your entries):

1. Leave a comment on this post sharing your most helpful tip for emotional well-being during pregnancy and birth. I would like to compile these tips into a new blog post in the future (so if you don’t want me to include yours in that, please let me know!)

2. Become a fan of Talk Birth on Facebook (and post a comment here letting me know you are a fan).

3. Post about the giveaway on your blog and post a link back to it as well as a comment letting me know you did so.

Have fun! This is an interesting and useful little book and I know many people would enjoy having a copy. I will draw for the winner on Friday, January 22 at noon, so make sure to enter before that date!

Fear Release for Birth

I want to share a fear release exercise that I’ve used several times at Blessingways for pregnant friends. I got the idea from The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book and then modified the wording slightly. I think it is a powerful exercise to do in a group. We circle around the pregnant woman holding hands and then read the following together:

There goes all fear you hold about giving birth. The birth will be perfect.

There goes all fear you hold about healing. You will heal beautifully

There goes all fear you hold about not being a good mother. You will be enough.

There goes all fear of never being creative again. You have a deep well of creativity within your soul.

There goes the deepest, most private fears you have about giving birth. You will be enough.

You will be enough. You are strong enough.

—–

Depending on the setting, I’ve also changed the word birth in the second-to-last-line to “life” instead.

I have written several other posts about fear and birth.

I also use this handout in my classes when talking about fear: Tracking Your Tigers, Effects of Fear on Labor.

The Pregnant “Glow”

Earlier this year I read the book A Dozen Invisible Pieces by a childbirth educator and mother of three. In it, she explains “the glow” that pregnant women have and I really liked her description:

[during all her pregnancies] I felt a special sense of energy exuding from within me…That energy, I believe, is what makes pregnant women so magnetic to those around them. It is what encourages the unsolicited comment and pearls of wisdom that acquaintances and strangers pawn off on pregnant women. It is what elicits a sense of awe from others who have yet to experiences pregnancy either themselves or with a life partner.

This alluring force is what prompts someone to place their uninvited hand on a pregnant woman’s rapidly expanding belly. Why do some people feel comfortable, and perfectly within their right, to reach out and touch, pat, or rub a pregnant woman’s abdomen? I believe it is because on a basic, evolutionary level, they yearn to absorb, or at least connect with, some of that mystical pregnant energy.

I think this explains it! I felt really “magic” when I was pregnant. It is one of the things that is so special about being pregnant–that feeling of being magic. When I was 39 weeks pregnant with my second, I told some of my friends at playgroup (who were saying, “this is probably the last time we’ll see you pregnant!”) that I wasn’t quite ready to be done feeling magic yet! I think the “glow” comes from that inner sense of magic.