Mamma Yoda's Pregnancy and Birthing Tips

Sherry at Chocolate for Your Brain writes on something she knows a lot about -pregnancy and birthing them babies. She's guest posting here but remember to check her out at her place. Here's Sherry:

When you sit in an OBGYN office as often as I have, you run into rookies who have understandably romantic notions of pregnancy and birth, you've also heard every crazy birthing idea ever conceived. As a Jedi Master of Gestation, I offer these some tidbits of wisdom garnered from 10 years worth of time in the waiting room of Dagobah.

10) Gentlemen, husbands please, unless you are volunteering to go through a root canal minus the Novocaine, do not presume to tell your pregnant wife that she really ought to try for a purely natural birth if she does not herself actually want it. Women, you were born in a world of technologies and wonderful medicines, take advantage of your blessings. Like I told Padme, they don't give out extra prizes for biting the bullet, only the actual babies delivered.

9) Yoda Mom says, "Fine Breathing is, epidural better."

8) La Leche women will leave your room much sooner if you just nod your head and bleat after them, "Breast is best." or have your husband do his best wookie imitation, it Will scare them off.

7) "Glu"cola is aptly named. But it still taste better than most food served in any of the films.

6) No matter what the fashion magazines for expecting women say, Yellow is never a good color after the fourth month. The styling young Jedi wears clothes that will not recall the form of big bird.

5) Something at some point, will not go as planned. You will feel like a rookie quarterback after the first sack in the first game of the National Football League season; this will be your wake up call to the roles of Mother and Father. You will never forget this first hit, though more will most assuredly come. Welcome to the NFL.

Sorry, broke the form for a moment, what I meant to say is, "You have taken your first step into a much larger world."

4) After birth, on the third day, male or female, you will feel crummy. Quoting Han Solo, "I feel terrible."

3) As much as you may cry the first time you catch yourself in a maternity swim suit, I promise you it feels beyond fabulous to get in the water. My own inner critic still tells me, "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."

2) For me, as reliable as an Ultrasound was my emotion-meter. If I had energy and could handle anything, it was a boy. If I cried at the schmaltz of a McDonald's or Maxwell House coffee commercial, I knew for certain, it was a girl. "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

1) I don't care how ethically pure it may be, the idea of eating the placenta is beyond gross. I mean, and what would you serve it with anyway? Even the mitochondrians draw the line somewhere and I concur with their wisdom. There are many fine things to eat in this world. The temporary liver type organ used to sustain your baby for 9 months, is not one of them.

Mother Yoda's Ten lessons garnered from 17 years of Potty Training will be revealed at some point when I discover actually how to encourage a bull headed two or three year old to consent to such indelicate matters without offering a dog, pony, SUV and a year's worth of M& M's and swimming lessons. Then we'll move onto discussing surviving adolescence and eventually, paying for college. Say you're not scared? "You will be. You Will be."


  1. Hahaha! I love this! I have three weeks until I pop, and I've been moping around and feeling sorry for myself. I needed the laugh!

  2. Hahahah! Yeah, but "Who's your Daddy?!"

    That was fantastic. A woman's perspective is a nice and refreshing touch on this blog:)

  3. Awesome! Coming from a Star Wars crazed family and pregnant with our 7th, this was perfect this morning. I'm glad I'd already finished eating my granola before reading!

  4. My good friend Karen came up with these supplementals. They are I think, even better.

    Push the admitting nurse for a private room. Tell her that you are trying to avoid any "imperial entanglements."

    When your OB recommends Pitocin, boast that you made the "Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs." Ask, "Is that fast enough for you, old man?"

    At the critical moment, turn off your targeting computer, trust your instinct, and drop that baby down the shaft.

    Lastly, after successful delivery, when your partner professes love, respond simply, "I know."

    Awards ceremony and gold medals optional upon return home.

  5. Well at least you're not channeling Jar Jar Binks.

  6. Toooo funny, and soooo true. Good laugh for the day!

  7. It isn't part of being Catholic to have one attitude or another towards pain mediation in birth. I for one thing that the majority of women having normal labors do not need pain mediation. By normal I mean, not induced with pitocin, and probably, not with posterior presentation of the head .
    The one two punch of induced labor plus epidural is one of the main reason for the outrageously large number of C sections being done these days. The national rate is up to about 30% and it is much higher in some places.
    Think of that. Nearly a THIRD of women can't give birth to their babies????? This is not even remotely possible.

    I had one C section, one midforceps rotation delivery with paracervical block and pudental block, one unmedicated spontanous vaginal delivery in the hospital and then six -of course unmedicated-home births. It took me some practice to get it right, but I know labor.

    One of the reasons people wind up needing epidurals is that nurses want to keep them in bed so the monitor doesn't go haywire. Insist on intermittent monitoring, ten minutes every hour on the strip while you sit in a rocker, and the rest of the time, walk around. Insist on a saline/hep lock if you must have one, rather than a running IV. Drink juice or eat popsicles if they won't allow you anything else, to stay hydrated. Take a shower. Use the pool if they have one. Walk some more. Stay OUT of the bed! Bed is the absolute worst place to labor. If you do these things you are much much less likely to feel that you need an epidural.

    By the way, here are some behind the scenes comments overheard on an L&D floor.

    Susan Peterson

  8. Hi Susan,

    I'm with you :-) Loved my natural births and loved not feeling crummy afterwards. Thanks for your post.

  9. Btw, several popes have weighed in on the importance of breastfeeding.

  10. Are we overthinking this, gals? Speaking as the mother of two babies who presented in the posterior postion, hours of non-productive back labor leaves one with very little strength to push, without some tiny bit of relief from a little medication. It seems a blessed relief in those circumstances. My middle child was in a breach positon, and was manually turned during labor, and was delivered with absolutely no medication whatsoever, at 9 lbs. 5 oz. Of course that is preferable, but sometimes a little help with some medication is the compassionate and safer decison after 20-some hours of back labor. As to breast feeding, I was having my babies when the tide was only beginning to return to the sanity of breast-feeding (I'm 60) and so only my youngest reaped the benefits of breast feeding. The point of the Mamma Yoda article is to insert a little humor into the mix....women have had various funny, painful and regretable experiences regarding pregnancy and childbirth, but at the heart of it, we all just want to to the best we can, with our individual situations, and find the commonality and humor in the age old occupation of childbearing. All I can say is thank God for women! That was something oft repeated to me by my OB/GYN for years. How lucky we are to be privileged to cooperate with our Creator in this most awesome miracle! And goes know, there's an awful lot of ironic humor to be had from it.

  11. The humor is definitely appreciated.

    But I have to say thank you Susan. I think 10 is a bit presumptuous. Under normal circumstances, birth sans pain medication is better for mommy and better for baby. Pain medications introduce the risk for more complications in the birth with potential negative impacts for the crucial period immediately after the birth. Sometimes those risks are completely justified, often they are not.

    For the Christian husband, it should very much be our role to advocate for what's best for our wives and children .. even when that means confronting OB/GYNs and the assumption of the modern birthing industry. But we must do it out of love and understand that the ideal is not always available .. and be thankful for those things like pain medication and c-sections that make the non-ideal better.

  12. I mentioned posterior presentation as a possible indication. Not having had any persistent posterior presentations, I really can't speak to this.
    My concern is that women are now routinely induced with pitocin for all sorts of indications, and for no indication at all, which makes contractions harder to handle. They are then made to stay in bed on a monitor and with an IV. In that situation, a majority of women will not be able to handle contractions without an epidural. This situation leads to more distress in babies, from the pit, and less efficient pushing by the women, and in combination to more C sections. C sections do have a higher incidence of complications for women, especially if they wind up having large families and have to have many of them. (Since it is so rare now to be allowed to have a vaginal delivery after C section because of insurance regulations.) The maternal mortality rate for women is significantly up in this country recently. For instance, placenta accreta is much more common when there is a scar in the uterus, or several scars.

    I am also sixty. I was lucky to have a faculty wife (Catholic convert and mother of 8) give me her copy of the La Leche League manual upon my announcement of pregnancy. I nursed all nine of my children without difficulty.

    La Leche League, if anyone doesn't know this, was begun at a Catholic Church picnic, and was named after one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin "Our Lady of an Easy Delivery and Bounteous Milk." One of the founding mothers of La Leche, Mary White, was married to the Dr. White who wrote the manual "Emergency Childbirth" still used by many emergency crews. It contains instructions in how to baptize the baby if it appears to be in any danger, right in there with the medical instructions without skipping a beat. Dr. White also started a society of OB's who did home births, and many of the La Leche founding mothers, mostly the mothers of large Catholic families, gave birth at home and unmedicated.

    So natural childbirth and breastfeeding have a good pedigree as Catholic movements in this country.

    Of course some other people with different values on other issues also see the sense of not interfering unnecessarily with natural processes!

    Susan Peterson

  13. Yes, and it is very wise to seek midwives, OB/Gyns who come from a Catholic prospective. A Roman Cathoic OB/Gyn practicing out of a Cathoic hospital, at least back in my day, was a very good thing. No pushing amnios was a big perk there, esp. since I was almost 40 when my youngest was born, and would have been pointless anyway. Everyone I knew was having them, unless they went to the Catholic doctors. Running into them at Mass on Sunday felt a little awkward, and when one of them coached my daughters softball team that gave us quite a few laughs. What is important for young mothers is to remember that this has been going on since the beginning of time, without much help, except from a mother, grandmother, neighbor, etc, and perhaps a wet nurse, when necessary. Accept the process as being natural, and be grateful for the advanced technoloy and meds when absolutely necessary. And yet, its still pretty darned funny, in looking back, and that too is a good thing to keep in mind. Just became a grandma for the first time on Thanksgiving day (how cool was that!) and witnessed my own daughter going against the tide as to medication, taking flu shots during pregnancy, and being determined to do the best she could. Almost two solid days of labor led to a c-section, which made her and me cry.

  14. I mean NOT taking flu shots during pregnancy. Her doctor actually stormed out of the office and left her sitting there, when she refused.

  15. Haha... suddenly this comment section looks like the message boards at!

    I enjoyed the Star Wars/pregnancy humor. I do happen to have a shirt that says "DARTH PREGGER" on it.

  16. Kathy, sorry about the C section. Maybe she will be able to VBAC. I did. See ICAN, the International Cesearean Awareness League as one site to research this at, and also for help in mentally processesing the C section.
    There are some C sections which are necessary and life saving, and for those we should be grateful. Maybe 5% of births minimum, maybe 10-15% with more sensitive risk criteria, need to be C sections. While it isn't true for every woman who is told this about her birth, it is true that some babies just won't come out vaginally, brow presentations, asynclitic heads, etc. Sometimes inducing too early forces a head down into the pelvis in a malpresentation so that a C section winds up being necessary which might not have been so if baby was allowed to find its own way in its own time. But sometimes babies just get themselves into these positions. And if there is a baby which just won't come out, the alternative is C section or death to both mother and baby. We all ought to be grateful for the safe C section.
    I was able to welcome my first grandchild on my 41th birthday. She was not quite two years younger than my 9th child. It was a wonderful feeling!

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  18. Kathy - I'm sorry too about the c-section. However, congrats to you and Susan! We welcomed our first grandchild this spring when I was 29+ weeks pregnant with our 8th baby.

    Of course, we are all grateful for life-saving technology, that goes without saying. This does not mean we are thrilled with every intervention out there nor does it mean we have no sense of humor. For example, I know Beate personally and she is funny! There is plenty of funny stuff about pregnancy and childbirth that we shared laughs over!

    Maybe those of us with a tendency toward more natural pregnancy and birth and a more tolerant attitude toward La Leche women could get together to write a bit of humor for CMR to share with their readers?

  19. It was meant as a humor piece.

    For the record, I have nursed 8 of my 9 and was not trying to be lactation intollerant, just amusing.

  20. Congrats to eulogos, that was pretty wonderful, and double congrats to mostly young! Maggie, you are right...but isn't that just so like a group of women, to take the thread of conversation off into a whole other direction! and we're all probably doing twenty other things at the same time. Also, such a womanly trait!! Have a great evening, all!

  21. That's why I suggested we were "overthinking it". It was a very humorous, in fact made me laugh out loud. I also see the humor in the fact that we have taken off on a tangent with a very humorous piece and wound up talking about some serious stuff. But, we shouldn't ever get so caught in life that we miss the "funny" in it. I'm a fan of your blog for sure now!

  22. About #1: My husband and I were fascinated when our childbirth educator informed us that 'in some primative cultures, they eat the placenta!' Because it sounded unsanitary, and primative people don't usually go in for auto cannibalism.

    So we did a bit of research--the only confirmed cases of placenta eating seem to occur in the primitive culture of........ Berkely, CA.

  23. Susan - I agree that natural childbirth is pretty awesome. Not always possible (my first was back-to-back, and the sciatic pain was horrendous), but it is great. (my second was completely unmedicated, at home with some great midwives).

    Sherry - I'm going to have to remember that line about the Kessel run. LOL

  24. As a woman who has had two c-sections, I am so offended by the directions these comments have taken. Do you assume we walk into the hospital, and tell them to break out the knives? I had a very complicated and long labor with my first child, she was under a lot of distress, and I chose to trust my doctor and delivered a healthy baby girl. Birth may have been happening since the beginning of time, but wrapped up in the birthing process has also been death. You may have been lucky enough to have an all natural childbirth, but quit belittling, demeaning, and judging those of us who don't. It doesn't make us less of a woman or mother. And by the way, I have never once regretted the decision to have a c-section. The author is right, "the prize is only for babies actually delivered."

  25. No one is disparaging c-sections that are indeed necessary and save lives. However, the c-section rate in this country is incredibly high. Some women do actually schedule c-sections, so yes those women do actually tell their doctors to break out the knives. Not all these scheduled c-sections are repeat c-sections or high risk pregnancies either, some doctors and women prefer c-sections to vaginal birth.

    No one that I know belittles, demeans or judges women who have c-sections because those women needed one to save their life or their baby's life. No one here or that I know in person thinks a woman is less of a mother or woman for needing a c-section and I would really like to know what makes you say that.

    However, doctors (and other medical professionals) put women and babies at risk each and every day with unnecessary interventions, women and babies die due to those interventions and that is a travesty! Not everyone who has a c-section needs one and just because doctor says it is needed to save a life does not mean it is true.

  26. Whoa...hey, hold up, girls....this, as the author said, was meant as a humorous piece, and we have really taken it to a contentious level. Let's just go back and read the post again, and laugh out loud. It was FUNNY!!

  27. Kathy - I've went back and re-read your comments and very much appreciate your perspective. I especially liked this: What is important for young mothers is to remember that this has been going on since the beginning of time, without much help, ... Accept the process as being natural, and be grateful for the advanced technology and meds when absolutely necessary."

    Re-reading the post was not helpful to me because it comes from the perspective that technology and meds are great even if they are not absolutely necessary. My first two births included unnecessary interventions that the doctors insisted where needed and caused us considerable pain and heartache. Not FUNNY....

    I do know what you mean though, hey, hold up! and sometimes, ok - many times - I have to tell myself, "Just drop it already!" :-) I understood the humor and how if you are of that mindset that it was funny. However, the topic touched on a vitally important subject which lead to what unfortunately became a contentious conversation. It might not show but I try hard not to be contentious in my blog comments.

    Also, not every funny comment is a kind comment. Having kids, we have seen some very funny teasing that at the same time is hurtful. I do judge, while recognising the humor, the comment about La Leche league women was unkind. Funny things do happen relating to breastfeeding and breastfeeding advice. For example, a lactation consultant who has a paid position in a hospital tells a mother of five who has nursed for 11 consecutive years at that point in time that the mother has a breastfeeding deficiency because her 34 week-er has trouble latching on. Trouble latching on? Really?!? The mom thought, "Maybe since this is my fifth time nursing a baby and you've never actually done it, I've probably got a pretty good grip on things!" Besides, had she seen a boob compared to a baby's head? I wonder if God didn't see there was a rather large size ratio discrepancy between the newborn mouth and mom's nipple.....

  28. Four children, no pain meds, all breast fed. Wouldn't change a thing.

  29. What a lovely, tongue in cheek look at pregnancy and childbirth as we know it...yes, whilst it is a highly contentious issue and there are stories, both positive and negative, from all walks of life where there has been pain relief or not, it is still highly amusing to look at things from a lighter angle for a change...just for the record, my 3 children were all born naturally without need for medical intervention and pain relief, which I am most thankful for, am hoping that when next time comes around it will be just as wondrous a journey...


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