Much of my information on this is archived, but I'm cleaning those out, so perhaps this section will contain some good tips for you.
General Resources for Pregnancy
Babycenter.com has a lot of general information for new and expectant parents.
Recommendations for Morning Sickness
Ginger tea & fresh ginger
A friend says: "we use homeopathy almost exclusively in our family, and it was a
godsend to me thru both pregnancies, because it has no side effects and cannot harm a developing fetus. nux vomica 30c is a good remedy for morning sickness (or all day sickness). take 1-2 pellets 3 times a day for 3 days and hopefully that'll take care of it for good. You can get it at whole foods; it comes in a little blue tube.
I also took papaya enzymes for acid reflux and that worked great too. It is in the vitamin's section of your local health food store."
Are you Pregnant or Nursing and Taking Meds?
This place will check medication for you if you are a pregnant woman:
I forgot the exact name of the center but their telephone number is 1-800-532-3749. And, they deal just with medication during pg. Another place that deals with meds during nursing is 1-900-288-5273.
Depression in pregnancy
Rachel Manber is a doctor in the Psychiatry department at Stanford who specializes in depression/sleep/pregnancy. Phone: 724-2377.
Someone recommended a "great acupuncure and chinese medical clinic in the city" (San Francisco, called Chinese Medicine Works. Harriet Beinfeld or Jumbe Allen. (Jumbe is male FYI). They have treated depression.
If you go to a doctor, you should beware of anyone who tries to
start you off on standard doses of meds, esp given that you're pregnant.
One referred doctor's technique is to start off with tiny doses (like, if standard
dose is a 10 mg capsule, he'd have you dissolve the capsule in a cup of
water and take a teaspoon of that) and work up.
Information about childbirth
In the San Francisco Peninsula area, the Blossom Birth Center has birth preparation classes, class on dealing with new babies, breastfeeding classes, Doula resources, baby CPR, infant massage, pre and postnatal yoga classes, Motherhood support groups for the first year, and many other services
I had my child at the Stanford Hospital, about two weeks after the nurses strike has ostensibly ended. In reality, this meant that my birth was staffed entirely by "temp" nurses. They were great, but it didn't help me to know the "real feeling" of Stanford. I will say this, though. Compared to what I expected, or what I saw at the hospital down in Mountain View on Grant Road, which is warm, comforting, etc. etc., the place was boot camp. Here I've been reading about all of these places with nice lighting, with "atmosphere," etc. etc. Ha. Didn't happen. It wasn't BAD, mind you, and I actually only had five hours of (nonstop) labor, but it certainly wasn't cushy or even remotely touchy-feely.
And in fact, I got to my room at about 5 AM (after delivering at 1). At 11, they wheeled in a roommate, who had, I believe, six members of her family with her, one of whom (a remote cousin or something) was about 7, and proceeded to come over and stare at me for a while. Never particularly social, I was even less so that morning. And my husband was out running an errand or something. So I got myself dressed and walked out of my room to the nurses area. "Excuse me," I said politely. "I really cannot deal with my room. My husband is gone right now to run errands and I don't have my purse with me. Is it possible to charge an extra 40 dollars onto my room so that I can check out and take a cab home?"
I was quite serious and felt entirely rational, but I think I scared the nurses. They asked me to please go and sit down (for heaven't sake!), and so I did, in a waiting room for a while. In about two hours, my private room was ready.
Here's a place where you can think about and type in your birth plan. When I was in the hospital, I was told that they found birth plans somewhat irritating. Heck, American employers found the five day work-week irritating too. Their point?
Actually, I know what their point was. You should go over your birth plan in a low-key fashion with your doctor before delivery. If your doctor won't be there, work to let the new doctor know. Or the nurse. Don't be incredibly rigid, don't be nasty, just be a good participant.
The funniest thing that happened after my delivery was that my somewhat odd doula turned to me and said "I just don't believe it. You said please and thank you all through your delivery. That was just so ... incredible." Hmmmph. No wonder there was somewhat of an odd feeling around the place. IMHO, EVERYBODY can be polite. Doesn't hurt at all. These people are doing their job. And their job is not to be mistreated. Period.
Finding a doula or childbirth educator
I'd post on your local mom's list. Failing that, here's a link, but I would 100% go with a personal recommendation. Here's the DONA website. That's Doula's of North America.
Lamaze versus Bradley - ways to educate yourself before having a baby
So there are, like, different "ways" to have a baby?
Yes, yes there are. More even than just Lamaze and Bradley. This link at the ALACE site describes the history of childbirth education, and is probably worth at least scanning. It talks about what has a natural childbirth focus and what doesn't, and who started the "schools of thought."
Here's the Lamaze site. We went to a two-night Lamaze class and couldn't make it to the second night. As far as I could tell, it didn't teach me a thing. (Realize, though, that I read about stuff on my own. Plus I was raised at least partially on a farm and had, um, seen cows and horses do it. I figured babies, being much smaller and lacking hooves, HAD to me a lot more comfortable to have.)
The Bradley Method is a 12 week course. (Ick. If I wanted to mingle that much I'd be back in school.) That said, I like what the Bradley Method IS much more than any of the alternatives. Does that make sense? If you can stomach classes, go ahead and take the Bradley class (people say that they love it.) If you cannot, go and buy a book on it. The premise (if I can remember correctly and, with a 3 year old that's doubtful, but here goes) is that the uterus is one of the biggest muscles in the body and it's very powerful and knows what it's doing. I found that the Bradley exercises (working on relaxing every part of your body) really helped me during my labor. My labor, btw, was five hours, with absolutely no pauses in the labor pains. During the times when I'd really work on it, I could "ride" the pains much easier and I wasn't fighting them. Quite impressive, since I'm not a yoga type and would far rather read a murder mystery than meditate. According to the Bradley website, this is what they teach. This is an interesting site. If you scroll to the end of it, you will see the opinions of people who have used both Lamaze and the Bradley methods.
The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE) trains and certifies childbirth educators and assistants. They more or less sponsor the Informed Homebirth (IH) and Informed Birth and Parenting (IBH) approach. This is more of a "natural homebirth" slant than Lamaze. Here is the ALACE Internet referrals page.
The cord blood thing
BANK YOUR CORD BLOOD. I know of so many people who are sick with all sorts of illnesses who could be helped by cord blood, some now, some in the very near future! If you or your child ever end up with, say, Parkinson's, or Leukemia, or something which might possibly (I haven''t looked up exactly what can be at this point in time) be just FIXED with cord blood.... If this happens and you didn't do such an entirely simple thing as bank your cord blood, you will never forgive yourself. And THIS is parenthood! Real parenthood! Defining and isolating those things which, if you don't do them, you might conceivably kick yourself for the rest of your life, and then living defensively!
Awesome birth links
Not so awesome birth links
Here's Nestle's "sell formula to mothers" site. Wanna see soft sell? Might have interesting info.
Want to talk with people on email?
About.com has a lot of pregnancy forums here.
Craigs List has parenting forums
UCB Parent's list has the best resources that I've found for archived parentel wisdom.