Articles for new parents by Cheryl Murfin, CD

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Rock, Roll, Rinse, Lift

Supporting a woman in labor is not rocket science. In fact, at least while you are laboring at home, and even in a hospital setting, it often isn’t science at all.  I’ve been serving as a birth doula for 15 years, and in that time I’ve tried every new massage…Read More. . .

Top 10 Reads for New Parents

Sidle up to the “Parenting” section in your local bookstore, and it’s easy to feel a little intimidated, especially if you are brand-spanking-new to this parenting business. That’s why we turned to the experts – 50 Seattle moms and dads who have become first time parents within the past two years – and asked them to share their favorite books on parenting through the first year. Here are their picks. Read More . . .

Lying In

The age-old idea of a new mother “lying in” bed (figuratively, if not literally) for several days or weeks with her newborn baby has its merits. According to Dr. Jane Dimer, an obstetrician at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, multiple studies show that maternal-infant bonding, milk production and the fragile physiology of the early postpartum period all benefit from a period of quiet... Read More . . .

FDA Warns Against Terbutaline, Popular Drug for Stopping Early Labor

After years of promoting the drug for use in maternity care, he U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is released a warning this week terbutaline injections should not be used to stop pre-term labor in pregnant women because the drug may "serious maternal heart problems and death." Read More . . .

Baby Talk Leads to Better Development, So Goo Goo All You Want!

It turns out that the funny high-pitched voice so many parents use when oogling their babies is a developmental benefit to the wee ones. Research now shows using baby talk builds your baby's brain power and leads to better language development. Read More . . .

To Pump or Not to Pump

A breastfeeding mother should consider a pump “only if she anticipates regular separations from her baby, separations of more than three to four hours,” says Ginna Wall, RN, MN, IBCLC, head of the UW Medical Center’s lactation services. Wall is a widely known and highly respected instructor in the art and science of nursing. Read More . . .

The Diapering Decision

So many choices, so many considerations! Who would have thought that deciding how to catch your kid's pee and pood would be such a difficult and complicated decision? Learn about the politics of diapering. . .Read More.  . . 

IRS Gives Tax Break for Breast Pumps

Lots of Washington families will be able to take a tax deduction that was not allowed until this week – they can now claim rental or purchase of a breast pump as a tax deductible medical device. According to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Washington State has…Read More . . .

Tips for Soon-to-Be Siblings

Welcoming a new baby into the world is a joyful thing. But it can be confusing to children who are all of a sudden thrust into the role of big brother or big sister. Once every month, longtime childbirth educator Penny Simkin teaches a class,...Read More . . .

The Great Ganja Debate: Marijuana in Pregnancy

Now that marijuana use is legal in Washington, some moms and childbirth professionals are hoping there can be an open discussion about its use to treat common pregnancy issues, including chronic vomiting, sleeplessness, anxiety, labor pain and postpartum stress. Currently, most health care providers recommend that pregnant and nursing women abstain from marijuana use. However, scientific research on the drug's long-term effects on children is incomplete and sometimes conflicting. Read More . . .

Reality Check (When Labor & Postpartum Don't Go as Planned)

The dreaming starts the moment your pregnancy is confirmed: you’ll enjoy nine months of carefree eating and your libido will go into overdrive; your birth will come off exactly as you outlined in your birth plan, right down to your partner in tears as he cuts the cord; you will…Read More . . .

Think Breastfeeding Will Come Naturally? Maybe Not.

Jennifer, a new mom who delivered this spring in Seattle, didn’t expect breastfeeding her daughter Elena to go off without a hitch. “I'd heard that it wasn't always a breeze, but I was committed to breastfeeding 100 percent. I thought we'd figure out any bumps along the way,” Jennifer says.…Read More . . .

Is Your Newborn’s Yellowish Skin a Sign of Serious Illness?

Is it a medical crisis if your newborn baby suddenly turns as yellowish or orangey? The answer is probably not. About 70 percent of newborns get a mild case of neonatal jaundice within the first few days of life as their systems work to remove toxins built up in the…Read More . . .

This Tool Get's a TEN! (Using a TENS Unit)

Mind-altering narcotics or leg-numbing epidurals are not the only means of true pain relief in labor. There are alternatives, and one that is rapidly growing in popularity is the nonpharmaceutical TENS unit. . . .Read More . . .

What to Do if You Have Postpartum Mood Disorder

“I think I have postpartum.” These are words I hear repeatedly as women seek help with their difficult transitions to motherhood. Three to five years ago I rarely heard anything so clearly defined. Thanks to growing awareness, many women (or their family and friends) are able to recognize the signs…Read More . . .

Penny Simkin Looks Back on 50 Years Serving Birthing Families

Over the years, I’ve seen many fluctuations in maternity care, women’s lives, family structure, medical economics and the impact of risk managers and litigation lawyers in defining safety in obstetrics. It seems almost as if the well-being of mother and baby is only one of many dominant controlling influences. I…Read More . . .

The Doula Business

If there is one thing that Seattle childbirth education and doula pioneer Penny Simkin knows, it is this: Women never forget giving birth. And how a woman is treated during this transformative experience — whether she feels cared for, nurtured and empowered during birth or directed, coerced and ignored — matters more than whether a mother labors with drugs or without, or whether her baby comes out vaginally or by Cesarean section.Seattle Woman Magazine, May 2010

Who's Best for You: A Midwife, Family Doctor or OB/GYN?

Youve gotten the clear POSITIVE on the pregnancy test, but the next big query on the path to parenthood can seem far less pink and white to expectant moms. Midwife, doctor, obstetrical specialist who should care for my baby and me? There are a...Read More . . .

Bringing Baby Home

Looking back on their pre-parenthood days, Dan and Deborah Baumfeld describe their marriage as very solid. When they were expecting their son Olen, now nearing in on 2, they made it a rule to carve out time for each other, looked forward to growing...Read More . . .

Meditation: The best Rx for New Parents

Clinical psychologist and best-selling author Laura Kastner is passionate when it comes to connecting parents with the age-old practice of meditation."Every parent should meditate – every parent," stresses Kastner. . .Read More . . .

Born to be Good: The Science Behind a Meaningful Life (Book)

Everything about Dacher Keltner's new book is about parenting. Not only does the science of emotion outlined in Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life provide ample clues toward raising happy, compassionate, emotionally secure... Read More . . .

 The Business of Being Born (Review)

After giving birth to her second child in her home with a midwife, television talk-show host Ricki Lake is on a mission: Birth is big business in this country, a billion dollar business, Lake recently told a Seattle audience. I think people...Read More . . .

Date: 03/01/08 | Year By Year

Flying While Pregnant: Tips from a Pro

When Paul West learned he was going to be a dad in his mid-40s, he had the same worries most new dads or birth partners have: How is the new baby going to impact my relationship with my spouse? How am I going to get close to the baby since I am not...Read More . . .

How Can I Loose Weight Safely While Breastfeeding?

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