Posts Tagged ‘ giving birth ’

“What Makes a Baby” by Cory Silverberg: A Unique Picture Book About Where Babies Come From

Friday, June 28th, 2013

What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg“Where do babies come from?” is a question that most parents may not feel equipped to answer on the spot. Thankfully, “What Makes a Baby” by Cory Silverberg recently came across my desk, and the picture book immediately grabbed my attention (and the attention of several colleagues) with its bright colors.

The book starts with the basics of conception by introducing an egg and a sperm and explaining how both are needed to create a baby. In a smart move, the story avoids elaborating on the physical ways babies are made (i.e. through sex, IVF, and surrogates) and focuses instead on the behind-the-scenes biological process. Short and breezy sentences explain the fertilization of the egg and sperm (“When an egg and a sperm meet, they swirl together in a special kind of dance. As they dance, they talk to each other.”), the baby’s gestation period in the uterus, and the baby’s eventual birth. While it may feel odd to read and say words like egg, sperm, uterus, and vagina out loud to your kids, the book presents these natural terms in a matter-of-fact way to temper any squeamishness and embarrassment.

Silverberg, a sex educator, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book and  to cover the cost of illustrations and the printing. Good thing he surpassed his goal since the drawings by Fiona Smyth really give the book an extra special zing. Even though there are drawings of a uterus and two birth scenes (vaginal and C-section) that may also seem jarring at first, the round cartoon shapes and the neon colors give the book a fun, happy, and modern feel. The book is appropriate for ages 4-8, and you can find it on and

Now parents can have easy-going, straightforward, and (hopefully) painless discussions with kids about the miracle of birth!

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Can You Control When You Go Into Labor?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Unless you have a scheduled C-section or are induced, you have no say over when your new bundle makes its debut, right? Maybe not, suggests a new study at the Yale School of Public Health. After examining U.S. birth stats over an 11-year period, researchers found a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births on Halloween and a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births on Valentine’s Day. The theory? Cultural connotations surrounding the holidays affect a woman’s desire to deliver and they’re able to will themselves to go—or not go—into labor if they’re due around those days. Now, before you read any further, it should be noted that I’m a person who believes in mind over matter. I’m convinced that I’ve successfully fended off a cold or the flu simply by repeating, “Now’s really not a good time for me.” Is this likely the reason I didn’t get sick? No. And even I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I heard about the study. But might I prefer to have my baby on a day associated with hearts and flowers or not have him on one characterized by witches and ghosts? Sure. And if you end up delivering or not delivering on those holidays, who does it hurt to believe you willed it to be so? In my experience of staving off sickness, it’s a bit of a confidence boost! So, in light of the fact that Halloween is on Monday, I’m willing to get swept up in the supernatural and say, “that’s some powerful thinking, expectant mamas! I’m impressed.”

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