We know that most parents turn to online resources when they have pregnancy-related questions. Sadly, Facebook and message boards can be a terrible place to get real information; often, comment threads end up full of outdated or just plain incorrect facts. Other websites might have incomplete or biased content. And other places might just not be all that user-friendly. So, where should parents turn when they have questions? Well, here is a list of great info that can get you started.
- Lamaze.org- We know we might sound biased, but Lamaze International’s website is absolutely full of up to date, evidence based information all designed to help families achieve healthy pregnancies and births. The have an absolutely awesome parent section, where you will find helpful links. Our favorite part is way at the bottom, where you can find a link to tip sheets with information on everything from pregnancy to bathing your new baby. You can also sign up for Lamaze’s weekly pregnancy newsletter, which will deliver week-by-week info to your email inbox. Yes, we know other sites have a similar feature, but we especially love Lamaze’s because it is confidence-building, not fear-increasing. The Lamaze website is also the only place you will be able to find the Lamaze Magazine; as is the case with many publications, the cost of printing the free magazine became too much and it now is available digitally.
- ChildbirthConnection.org- Founded in 1918 as the Maternity Center Association (later changing their name to Childbirth Connection), this national non-profit has worked on every level of our health care system to help improve care and outcomes for mothers and their babies. Their evidence-based information is fantastic for parents who understand how important quality information is to making informed decisions. Their information on things like choosing care providers, choosing place of birth, Inductions, Cesarean, and VBACs is rarely matched anywhere else on the web for being so accurate, up to date, supported by best evidence, and most importantly, women-centered.
- ChoicesinChildbirth.org-Another non-profit that seeks to improve our outcomes in maternity care, Choices in Childbirth has some really wonderful articles on labor, inductions, choosing care providers, and postpartum mood disorders. You might have been given a copy of their Guide to a Healthy Birth, a fantastic little booklet full of information with one of the most comprehensive list of resources in the appendix.
- MarchofDimes.com- Pretty much everyone knows about the March of Dimes. What you might not be aware of, though, is that they have been a very important force in reducing the number of elective inductions before 39 weeks in the United States, which they found was a contributing factor to our rising premature birth rate. They have also been really instrumental in raising public awareness that mothers need to wait until their baby is ready to be born with their various campaigns. Their pregnancy section has wonderful information on how to have a healthy pregnancy (and, thus, help increase the chances of having a healthy baby–something every mother wants), articles to help you get ready for and take care of baby, and, of course,information on preterm labor.
- Preeclampsia.org- We had a chance to meet someone from this organization last July, and have continued to hear many great things about the information and support available at this website. Preeclampsia is a very serous condition, and the Preeclampsia Foundation works to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of preeclamsia and related disorders. They have information for mothers and a section for care providers, as well a place for mothers who have been diagnosed with preeclamsia or it’s related HELLP Syndrome to get support.
While this list is not exhaustive, hopefully you will find these websites helpful. No online information is enough to replace good, quality childbirth classes, but they can help supplement those classes.
What about you? What are some of your favorite websites for pregnancy?