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DIY Baby!
Your Essential Pregnancy Handbook

DIY Baby eases all your pregnancy worries with the gentle mentoring a a double-insider’s view: that of a mother and obstetrician who’s delivered over 3000 babies. DIY Baby won the 2008 Silver Mom’s Choice Award for the category: Pregnancy and Birth. It also garnered a stellar review from Reader’s View, and is a finalist for the 2008 Foreward Magazine and Eric Hoffer awards for independent  publishers.

Contact Me DIY_Baby_PROOF_3-14[1]-1and I will email  you a free section of DIY Baby: Your Essential Pregnancy Handbook. Make sure you tell me what question you’d like answered or where you are in your pregnancy so I send you the most applicable chapter(s). A detailed Table of Contents Appears Below.


Chapter 1: The Case of the Missing Period

  • When am I due? Naegele’s Rule: An Easy Way to Find Your Due Date
  • Early Ultrasound
  • What Causes Twins?
  • Sciences Notes: Fertilization to Implantation
  • Pregnancy Dating
  • Folic Acid and Early Nutrition: Alcohol, Tobacco,Drugs and Medications
  • How Much Weight Should I Gain?, Body Mass Index, Exercise in Pregnancy
  • Early Symptoms of Pregnancy: Breast Changes,Genital Changes,Cramping,Fatigue,Nausea,Spotting and Bleeding,Emotions
  • Choosing Your Ob Provider
  • Lay Midwives and Home Birth
  • Choosing Where to Deliver: Hospital or Birth Center
    Your First Prenatal Visit
  • For Dads: Mom’s Early Pregnancy Symptoms; How They Impact You
  • Office Notes: Ambiguity About Pregnancy

Chapter 2: Miscarriage and Early Pregnancy Loss

  • What is a Miscarriage?
  • Incidence and Causes
  • Diagnosing and Treating Miscarriage
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Incomplete Miscarriage
  • Second Trimester Pregnancy Loss
  • Office Notes: Terry’s Twins

Chapter 3: Hormones and Optimism: Ten to Twenty Weeks

  • Estrogens: Physical Effects, Mental and Emotional Effects
  • Progesterone: Physical Effects, Mental and Emotional Effects
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (the Pregnancy hormone):Physical Effects, Mental and Emotional Effects
  • Fetal Adrenal Glands and Hormones
  • The Importance of Cholesterol
  • Other Hormones, Relaxin
  • Second Trimester Physical Symptoms: Bleeding and Spotting, Energy Level, Appetite Changes,
  • Science Notes: Fetal Movement
  • Early Genetic Screening: Nuchal Translucency and Early Ultrasound, First Trimester Serum Screening, Second Trimester Serum Screening, Mid-Trimester Ultrasound, Amniocentesis, Chorionic Villus Sampling
  • For Dads: Intercourse and Mood Changes

Chapter 4: Viability: Twenty to Twenty-Six Weeks

  • Viability Defined
  • Preterm Birth: Defined and Incidence
  • Gestational Age and Survival
  • Preterm Birth: Prevention and Recognition, Risk Factors
  • Preterm Labor Symptoms
  • Round Ligament Pain or Contractions?
  • Diagnosis of Preterm Labor
  • Early Symtpoms Change
  • Treatments for Preterm Labor
  • Medications to Stop Contractions: Terbutaline, Magnesium Sulfate, Nifedipine, Indocin, Sulindac
  • Betamethasone
  • Antibiotics
  • Consequences for Newborns of Preterm Birth
  • Science Notes: Cerebral Palsy
  • Office Notes: Story of Mom to a Preemie

Chapter 5: Nesting: Twenty-Six to Thirty-Six Weeks

  • Prenatal Visits: Tummy Checks and Heart Tones
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Pre-Eclampsia
  • Rhesus Facor (Rh)
  • Group B Strep
  • Physical Changes in the Third Trimester: Pelvic Pressure, Constipation, Sleep Changes, Braxton Hicks Contractions, Breast Leakage, Vaginal Discharge, Sex in the Third Trimester, Emotional Status
  • Fetal Movement: Sleep Cycles, Breathing, Hiccups
  • Prenatal Classes
  • Perinatal Massage
  • What to Pack
  • Birth Plans
  • For Dads: Pregnancy “Mania”

Chapter 6: It’s Time! Labor and Deliver Me

  • Keys to Successful Vaginal Birth: Passenger, Pelvis, Power
  • Condition Your Body for Labor: You Can Affect the Outcome
  • Condition Your Mind: Abdominal Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Your Birth Plan
  • When will IT happen?
  • How long will IT take?
  • Phases of Labor: Early, Active; First, Second Third
  • Science Notes: What Causes Labor to Begin?
  • Early, Prodromal, and False Labor
  • Spontaneous Rupture of the Membranes
  • Bloody Show
  • The Delivery Center
  • The Labor Nurse
  • Other non-Ob-Provider Delivery Personnel: Baby Care Providers, Nursing and Medical Students
  • The Labor Room (LDR)
  • The Fetal Monitor
  • Fetal Heart Rate During Labor
  • Maternal Position Change and Oxygen Administration
  • Cerebral Palsy and Intrapartum Hypoxia
  • Internal Monitors: Fetal Scalp Electrode, Intra-Uterine Pressure Catheter
  • What Will Labor Be Like?
  • Admission and Early Labor, Wearing Your Own Clothes, Walking and Eating, Early Labor Contractions, Active Labor Contractions, Walking, Swiveling, “Doing the Ball”
  • Science Notes: Rotation and Descent of the Baby in Labor
  • Pictures: 20 pages of photos with detailed explanations of what happens inside the body during labor
    • Positions of the Baby in the Uterus
    • Important Diameters of the Fetal Head
    • Pelvic Anatomy
    • Fetal Monitors and Intra-Uterine Pressure Monitors
    • The Faces of Labor
    • Positions for Active Labor
    • Positions for Pushing
    • Supporting the Perineum
    • Delivery Maneuvers
  • Back Labor
  • Asynclitism or “Tilted Head”
  • “Transition”
  • Pain Medication Options: Intravenous Narcotics, Regional Anesthetics
  • Pushing
    • The “C” Position
    • Hips Flexed and Out
    • Normal Duration of Second Stage
    • Special Techniques for Delivering the Occiput Posterior or Asynclitic Baby: Pushing With a Towel, Hand and Knees,
  • Baby Delivers!
  • Tear vs. Episiotomy
  • Science Notes: Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor
  • “Shredding”
  • “Caput Succedaneum” (Funny Looking Head)
  • Science Notes: Baby’s First Breath
  • Delivery of the Placenta
  • For Dads: “Shock and Awe”
  • Office Notes: Birth Plan Takes a Left Turn

Chapter 7: Help is On its Way: Medical Intervention at Term and During Birth

  • Delivery Usually Uneventful: The Big Picture
  • The National Cesarean Section Rate
  • The Breech Position, Breech Delivery of a Second Twin
  • Induction of Labor
  • Some Reasons for Labor Inductions
  • Prostaglandins Ripen the “Unfavorable” Cervix
  • Augmentation of Labor with Amniotomy
  • Induction of Labor With Oxytocin
  • Augmentation of Labor with Oxytocin
  • Labor Dysfunction
  • Other Reasons for Intervention: Fetal Intolerance of Labor, Cord Compression, Placental Insufficiency
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Assisted Vaginal Delivery
  • Safety Requirements for Vacuum/Forceps
  • Vacuum
  • Forceps
  • Science Notes: Vacuum vs. Forceps Delivery
  • Illustrations: Vacuum Delivery
  • Cesarean Section
  • Recovery from A C-Section
  • VBAC versus Elective Repeat Section
  • Patient Choice Cesarean Section
  • Management of Third Stage (Delivery of Placenta) and Post-Partum Hemorrhage: Uterine Atony, Retained Placenta, Lacerations
  • Birth Plans Revisited
  • Home Births
  • For Dads: Going to C-Section
  • Office Notes: The Longest Labor

Chapter 8: DIY Baby! What You Need to Know if You’re Considering Home Birth

  • Home Birth–Why: Personal, Financial, Spiritual/Religious, Access to Care
  • Home Birth–Safer Than You Think??
  • Are You a Good Physical Candidate to Attempt Home Birth?
  • Are You a Good Mental/Emotional Candidate for Home Birth?
  • Establish Relationships Prior to Delivery
  • Contraindications to Attempting Home Birth
  • Who Should Attend Your Birth?
  • Preparation is Key: Supplies Necessary for Home Birth
  • Managing Labor at Home
  • Delivery of the Placenta
  • Dealing With Heavy Bleeding
  • Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Chapter 9: A Perfect Love, A Perfect Life: Newborn and Post-Partum Period

  • A Love Like No Other
  • The First Week Post-Partum
  • Inconsolable Crying (Colic)
  • Pacifiers and Artificial Nipples
  • Breast-Feeding and Lactation: Latch-On, Inverted and Flat Nipples
  • What is Breast Milk and When Does  it “Come In”?
  • Science Notes: Composition of Breast Milk: Why “Breast is Best”?
  • Milk Let-Down
  • Foremilk and Hindmilk: Empty One Breast Fully Before Switching
  • Asymmetry in Production and Size
  • Setting
  • Nursing Holds
  • Frequency of Nursing: How To Tell if Your Baby’s Getting Enough
  • Duration of Nursing Sessions: Nourishment vs. Comfort Nursing
  • Milk Supply, Breast Pumps
  • Introducing a Bottle: Feeding the Baby Pumped Milk or Formula
  • Storing Pumped Milk and Supplementing
  • Formula Feeding
  • Nipple Problems
  • Mastitis
  • Suppression of Milk Supply
  • Neonatal Jaundice
  • Baby Blues and Post-Partum Depression: Why They Occur and How to Tell the Difference: How to Know When You Need Help
  • Feelings of Detachment
  • Rehabilitating Your Pelvic Floor
  • Kegels to the Rescue!
  • Sex After Baby, Sex Drive Rebounds, Anatomic Changes
  • Mile Markers: Six and Twelve Weeks
  • Some Nuts and Bolts of Infant Care: Head Control, Car Seat, Pediatrician Visits, Circumcision, Preventing SIDS: Back to Sleep and No Smoking
  • For Dads: Why the Breasts May be Off-Limits

Chapter 10: The Leading Man–Knight in Shining Armor: Tips for Dads

  • “Shock and Awe”
  • Fatherhood: Long-Term Commitment, Not a Rite of Passage
  • Conquering Fear
  • How to Be the Knight in Shining Armor
  • You Will Be Ignored–It’s Nothing Personal
  • Transform Setbacks Into Opportunities
  • Ambiguity
  • Breasts
  • Sex After Baby–Patience–She’s Not There Yet
  • How to Get Her Interested Again
  • Work and Family Balance; Consistency
  • How to Recognize Post-Partum Depression
  • The Family Bed
  • Dad’s Baby Blues: No Phase Lasts Forever
  • Office Notes: Matthew’s Story (of Becoming a Father at 50)

Epilogue: What I Learned from My Own Pregnancies

Knowledge is Power

I want to empower you with knowledge and de-mystify pregnancy. Many of the questions I answer on cafemom.com and other pregnancy sites are thoroughly covered in DIY Baby. Many of my posts on pregnancy are excerpts from the book. I regularly add content to the book via  healthewoman.org.

Contact Me

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Ellen April 7, 2009, 4:27 pm

    I’d love to give it a review. You can contact me at the e-mail with this post.

  • Mr. Gunn April 26, 2009, 3:47 pm

    My wife and I would be happy to provide you a review on Amazon, Twitter, and my blog as well in exchange for a complete copy. If you’d rather just send a chapter, Chapter 3 would be the right one for us.

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