Last time, we talked about how to prepare for a home birth and I focused on getting your home ready. I confess, I am the world’s greatest slacker when it comes to consistently working out. My favorite pregnancy exercise routines are found in Shoshanna Easling’s Making Babies series , as well as Natural Child Birth The Bradley Way. Child birth is taxing on a woman’s body and we need to help our body do it’s job well! Herbal Iron– I take this in tincture form twice daily to prevent pregnancy and post-partum anemia. Probiotics– I take a daily probiotic (Tummy Tune-up from Beeyoutiful) to keep my gut flora healthy, not only for digestive health during pregnancy, but also to help prevent yeast overgrowth. Gentle Birth Formula– my midwife recommends this tincture starting at 35 weeks gestation. But what about sleeping habits?  Do we stay up too late at night?  Do we take opportunities to lie down with our children during the afternoon, or rush around trying to fit too many activities into our already busy day? As difficult as it is to find time to rest and relax, I really believe that both these habits are a valuable investment in the health of an expectant mother.  Our bodies are going to be tired and taxed after giving birth, so we need to give ourselves a fresh start by teaching our body how to effectively rest and relieve stress. While it’s true that birthing a baby is a very natural process and  your body does know what to do,  I firmly believe in the wisdom of educating yourself and aiming for the best possible birth experience you can have.
In the end, your birth story may or may not turn out exactly as you planned or desired (and home may not be the best place for you to give birth), but it certainly feels good to know you have done your best to prepare for your big day!
Kristy HowardKristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time!
Morgan, I am no expert, but I am a mom who is struggling with diastasis recti after my second as well, and am now 14 weeks from expecting my third. It IS a precious time… one that can quite easily be piled under by stress and fatigue! PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, April 30 (UNHCR) – Natural disasters are a fact of life in Papua New Guinea.
The developing nation, which lies on the "Pacific Ring of Fire," is ill-equipped to cope with nature's wrath.
UNHCR took part this week in a learning workshop on contingency planning organized by PNG's National Disaster Centre.
The event, supported by UNHCR's Japan-based regional centre for emergency training, was attended by senior officials charged with handling disaster management at the national and provincial levels.
They dealt with simulated emergency situations such as a volcanic eruption in eastern Papua New Guinea, spewing clouds of ash and a flood of lava that threatened to engulf nearby villages. The 32 participants analyzed hazards, assessed strengths and weaknesses and developed response plans, gaining skills and confidence to conduct the process with local stakeholders back in their respective provinces. The workshop also provided participants from the provinces with better understanding and enhanced skills with which they can facilitate the process of contingency planning, while also assisting contingency plans to be developed in each of the seven provinces represented at the workshop. The strengthened capacity to conduct planning at the local level is expected to translate into greater preparedness and, ultimately, more effective response for people affected by disasters.

Winter in northern Pakistan has not been as harsh as many feared, but earthquake survivors are still experiencing dangerously low temperatures, along with snow, heavy rain and landslides.
To help people survive the tough conditions, UNHCR has distributed blankets, plastic sheeting, tents and stoves. UNHCR is responsible for supporting the Pakistan authorities in some 160 relief camps housing nearly 140,000 people left homeless by the October 8th quake. Pakistan EarthquakeThe UN refugee agency is providing hundreds of tonnes of urgently needed relief supplies for victims in northern Pakistan. UNHCR does not normally respond to natural disasters, but it quickly joined the UN humanitarian effort because of the sheer scale of the destruction, because the quake affected thousands of Afghan refugees, and because the agency has been operational in Pakistan for more than two decades.
While refugees remain the main focus of UNHCR's concern, the agency is integrated into the coordinated UN emergency response to help quake victims.
Pakistan Earthquake: The Initial ResponseThe UN refugee agency is providing hundreds of tonnes of urgently needed relief supplies for victims in northern Pakistan.
The UN Refugee Agency: Our StoryThose whose lives have been uprooted and torn apart by conflict or natural disaster, UNHCR exists to help them. Why is light and energy crucial for refugees?Every year, millions of children and their families become refugees.
Just to be clear, there are distinct differences between these two roles: a doula offers non-medical support, while a midwife is trained to actually deliver babies. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. In the final trimester, my goal is to be adjusted bi-weekly, or even weekly if possible, until birth.
Truth be told, this has been my biggest worry throughout my pregnancy so far, but I have found one exercise that has seemed to be helping me.
You name it, PNG's got it – volcanic eruptions, cyclones, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods. But the UN refugee agency has been taking part in a programme aimed at boosting Papua New Guinea's (PNG) ability to respond to natural and man-made disasters and associated population movements. Staff from the UN Development Programme and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also assisted with the three-day programme, which ended on Thursday. The managers had to prepare a response, aware that their decisions would affect the lives of thousands of people. Vulnerable children in Danna village, north of Muzaffarabad city, have received warm clothing. UNHCR is sending family tents, hospital tents, plastic sheeting, mattresses, kitchen sets, blankets and other items from its global stockpiles. North West Frontier Province (NWFP), one of the regions most severely affected by the quake, hosts 887,000 Afghan refugees in camps. The temple, constructed in 1848, is undergoing renovation and restoration during which natural ingredients extracted from palm cactus, aloe vera and tamarind mixed with sand are being used by a workforce of 125 labourers.
So, you should strongly consider hiring a doula, a midwife, or both when planning your baby’s birth.

I do it in the morning and at night while I brush my teeth, because that’s the only way I can remember to do it consistently ?? You stand with the best posture possible (knees slightly bent, shoulders back, bum tucked in just a bit), take a deep breath, and then let it out forcefully, pulling your abs in as tightly as you can (my doctor recommended gently crossing my arms over my belly and applying gentle pressure to guide the abdominal muscles together), and hold it for a few breaths.
The agency is also helping the government prepare a policy covering asylum-seekers and refugees. In camps in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), communal, heated tents have been set up, while in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where there is not enough space for communal tents, stoves are being distributed to individual families.
Within a few days of the earthquake, just as its substantial local stocks were all but exhausted, UNHCR began a series of major airlifts from its warehouses around the world, including those in Denmark, Dubai, Jordan and Turkey.
They find safety and shelter in the UN Refugee Agency's (UNHCR) camps like this one in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. Because most of us no longer live in societies where women go through the birthing process in the company of other women in our homes or dwellings or even in special birthing tents, few of us (unless we’re in the medical field) have watched someone go through labor and delivery. We’ve written multiple times about when you should hire a doula and how to choose the right one as well as about midwives and birthing centers and their benefits. UNHCR staff are training camp residents on the safe use of stoves and reducing fire hazards. However, C-section rates have increased dramatically along with other medical interventions.
We also recommend taking notes or keeping a journal to keep track of what you want to get out of your birth experience or what you want to learn more about. My doula (see step 3) let me borrow several DVDs before I had my son, and it was extremely helpful to see the experiences of several other women going through the beautiful and intense process I was about to go through!
Finally, UNHCR partners are registering people displaced by earthquake, gathering information vital for both the provision of aid to survivors now and the reconstruction that will come later.
UNHCR was able to help millions of the affected people, but this would not have been possible without the special partners who supported the agency's life-saving work.
For most of us, natural childbirth is an attainable goal, and we've come up with some tips (and first-hand experience) to help you have the birthing experience that's best for you. We encourage you to talk with friends and family members regarding their birth experiences, just as long as you remember that everyone and every birthing experience is vastly different! We also recommend The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born to educate yourselves on birthing environments and your choices. Any of these resources (or attending birth education classes) can be a good way to delve into varied aspects of childbirth, from hypnobirthing to using rebozos during labor.
And keep in mind that at various medical facilities, there are different rules: some hospitals rely only on doctors, others welcome midwives as part of their staff.
My doula was a great resource: she also has three kids of her own so it felt reassuring to have an experienced woman on my side!

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