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Rights in Birth

What are your rights in birth?  What choices can you make in any birth setting to support the birth you want?  This podcast discusses human rights in childbirth and many questions you may be asking yourself during pregnancy, such as:

  • Do I have to be in the wheelchair, or can I walk?
  • Am I allowed to eat in labor?
  • Am I allowed to drink during labor?
  • Am I allowed to wear my own clothes?
  • Am I allowed to leave the hospital after I am admitted?
  • Am I allowed to go to the hospital if I'm planning a home birth?
  • Do I have to be induced?
  • Do I have to have IV fluids?
  • Do I have to be augmented?
  • Can I birth on hands and knees, squatting, or in the water?
  • They're telling me I'm going to kill my baby; is this allowed?
  • They're making me feel like I'm a bad mother; is that OK?
  • Do I have to give my baby supplements?
  • Do I have to be induced to have a VBAC?
  • Am I allowed to VBAC?
  • Am I allowed to have a vaginal breech birth?
  • Am I allowed to have a vaginal twin birth?
  • Can I VBAC at home?
  • What if my hospital has a VBAC ban?
  • What if a provider tells me their policy doesn't allow eating or drinking during labor?

This rights in birth podcast explores the concepts behind being healthy during pregnancy and birth to increase your birth choices, choosing a birth location and care provider that supports your desires for birth and right to respectful maternity care, as well as the rights you have to accept or refuse recommendations and routines.

Join the FREE Esali Birth community to access the the Esali Birth Rights in Birth audio and learn how asking permission might not be the best approach to enjoying your labor, and tips on setting yourself up, and using your birth rights, for a Happy Healthy Birth.


The Prenatal Wellness Tracker helps you track your food intake, movement, and self-care routines during pregnancy for a happy health birth.  This prenatal health guide is available in both Excel and App form and helps you to document your food intake, movement routines, and relaxation routines daily and see a visual graph to easily see where you might be lacking in nutrition or other prenatal wellness routines.

Prenatal Wellness Tracker Includes

  • Due Date Calculator
  • Food Group Recommendations based on Simple Portions prenatal nutrition
  • Movement Recommendations
  • Self-Care Recommendations
  • Weekly/Daily Wellness Tracking
  • Visual Chart of Wellness Routines
  • Indicators of High Wellness, Medium Wellness, and Improvement Areas
  • Printable format for daily and weekly averages to communicate with care providers

Prenatal Wellness Tracker - EXCEL

The Prenatal Wellness Tracker Excel version is the traditional robust version of the prenatal wellness guide.  This version provides mothers that want a look at their average weekly health with a way of daily input and savings and a more accurate way of determining your balance of wellness as well as options to print off weekly charts for communicating with your care provider and for your reflection journal.

Prenatal Wellness Tracker APP

The Prenatal Wellness Tracker App provides a simple quick overview of your daily input for nutrition and lifestyle routines for great on-the-go monitoring of your wellness habits and routines.

Belly mapping helps you understand the position of your baby so you can build awareness and confidence for a happy healthy birth.  The Esali Birth Belly Mapping guide will take you step by step through this simple process, beginning around 20-24 weeks and continued through to birth.  Learn your baby's position so you can help cater your daily routine to your body and your baby's needs.

Belly Mapping Guide Includes:

  • How to Belly Map
  • Benefits of Belly Mapping
  • Understanding the Position of Your Baby
  • Visual reference for matching your belly map with baby's position

For more information on how to use the belly mapping information, download the free Perinatal Pocket Guide.

Join the Free Birth Community!

mans guide to birth esali birth

Man's Guide to Birth is member's only resource; a guide for dads and birth partners through pregnancy, birth, and the first months of parenting. This short and to the point guide for men will help you to better support a pregnant and laboring woman and understanding your needs as a birth partner and father.  The Man's Guide to Birth is easy to navigate on your phone and makes a great bathroom reader for pregnancy.

Man's Guide to Birth Includes:

  • Fertility and Conception Tips
  • Nutrition and Wellness Tips
  • Pregnancy Discomfort Relief Tips
  • Emotional Guidance for Dads
  • Emotional Guidance for Dads supporting Moms
  • Birth Partner Tips
  • Labor Comfort Tips
  • Unassisted Emergency Birth Tips
  • Breastfeeding Tips
  • Newborn Health Tips

Join the Free Birth Community!

The Esali Birth Perinatal Pocket Guide is member's only resource; a pocket doula guide for pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks postpartum.  This easy to navigate pregnancy guide can be easily viewed on your phone or printed on index cards.  The labor guide is a great labor bag reference for dads, birth partners, and doulas.

Perinatal Pocket Guide Includes:

  • Prenatal Wellness Tips
  • Baby Alignment Tips
  • Pregnancy Discomfort Remedies
  • Pregnancy Belly Mapping Tips
  • Early Labor Tips
  • Early Labor Progression Tips
  • Active Labor Tips
  • Active Labor Progression Tips
  • Birthing (Pushing) Tips
  • Birthing (Pushing) Progression Tips
  • Placenta Uses
  • Unassisted Emergency Birth Tips
  • Breastfeeding Latch Tips

 Join the Free Birth Community!

visual birth guide Esali Birth

A birth guide can be a valuable tool in the birth space.  Often referred to as a birth plan, the birth guide terminology is often better received by providers as it implies the acknowledgment that births cannot be planned.  The birth plan term has a bad reputation due to the way they are all too often presented and used.  Often in a militant perspective, families present a birth plan with the believe that a signature on that plan will guarantee a certain style of birth.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  You are in all ways encouraged to utilize all of your legal rights for choosing the birth that you desire.  You have every protected right to speak up, request, refuse, or delay any procedure.  You have the legal right to get up, sign yourself out of a facility, and birth at home or another location as well.  Providing your birth team with a holistic visual birth guide helps start the conversation to reduce unnecessary additions to the birth guide and keeps a flexible approach to the changes of normal labor.

The key with using a birth guide is to choose a birth environment (birth team and location) that supports your birth philosophy.  A birth guide should never be used as a means of changing the way someone practices.  If you need a contract to tell someone how to attend a birth... that's a huge red flag for you not being in a space that is knowledgeable or respectful of your birth philosophy. A birth guide is a reminder for your birth team to support you in the way you desire.  At times, your birth location and care provider may be more than happy to accommodate your wishes but routinely practice in a different way, in which case, a birth guide acts as a reminder to those supporting mom to speak up during these times and remind the care team of any changes.  A doula supporting a wide range of births in a wide range settings will enjoy having a copy of your birth guide to ensure your individual wishes are met.

Esali Birth has free holistic visual birth guides for download that include all of the most common requests for family-centered birth with spaces for you to fill in your individual care suggestions and emergency birth location requests.  Selecting a support environment first reduces all unnecessary interventions.  Requesting minimal interventions of any kind allows you to have more control over the procedures - even if later you decide to have a few, or all of the, interventions available.  Requesting your care team ask your permission for any procedures (which is what they should legally be doing anyway) vs. asking them to just limit procedures, provides you with the opportunity to decline as well as request a procedure and be the leading person in your birth (as it should be). Ultimately, if your birth choices have placed you in a concerning situation and you feel like you need to tell the providers and birth location how to perform every aspect of their job - it is time to explore other options.  Change practices with your choices - this is the most effective way.  If we bow to an environment's routines when we don't agree with them, they're getting paid and they'll still perform those routine procedures.  If we set ourselves up for demanding and arguing in labor, we reduce not only the positive view on our birth but the safety of our birth due to heightened adrenaline.  If we intentionally select our birth location based on compatibility, a happy healthy birth is created and the more women approach birth choices in this way, the more policy changes we see.  These options may include changing obstetricians, switching to midwifery care and should always include exploring home birth options.  The more aware you are of all the ranges of options, the more choices you have.  In most locations there are providers who offer fully respectful and individual-oriented care without you needing a birth guide for biological birth choices.

Download the birth guide from the My Journey page.

Looking for guidance developing your personal birth guide or learning about your birth philosophy?  Contact mdbergum@esalibirth.com to schedule mentoring sessions via Skype or locally in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

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