Samantha Van Vleet

Samantha Van Vleet

Samantha Van Vleet is a birth professional and birth rights activist. She resides in Alaska with her four children, owns and operates an herbal supplement business and is the director of a distance education program for birth professionals, Intuitive Childbirth. She is also an International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) leader and La Leche League (LLL) member.
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  • Why I Chose to Give Birth Without a Doctor or a Midwife
    After two cesareans and a fight for a vaginal delivery in a hospital, I found myself wanting more for my fourth birth. And I found it at home, in my own kitchen.
  • Three Medications Pregnant Women Should Never Take
    During pregnancy, a woman and her child are at an increased risk of complications associated with medication. Here are three medications pregnant women should never take due to the risks.
  • Three Ways to Delay Your Menstrual Cycle
    For women who are planning events, such as a wedding or vacation, dealing with a menstrual cycle can be very inconvenient. Here are three ways women can delay their period.
  • Is It Safe to Swim During Pregnancy?
    Many women find themselves worried about what activities are safe during pregnancy. Swimming, fortunately, is a highly recommended form of exercise during pregnancy. The chemicals in swimming pools are safe as well.
  • Why I'm Glad I Didn't Take My Toddler with Me on Vacation
    My husband and I recently went on our first vacation as a couple. Although I wanted to take our youngest daughter with us, I'm glad we didn't.
  • Five Early Signs That You Might Be Pregnant With Twins
    Women who are carrying twins may experience a large number of symptoms while some don't have a single symptom. Here are five early signs that you could be carrying twins.
  • Four Pregnancy Sex Precautions Every Woman Should Take
    Sex during pregnancy is generally safe for women who are experiencing normal, uncomplicated pregnancies. There are however, some precautions women should take when having sex during pregnancy in order to protect themselves and their baby.
  • Four Ways to Treat Ingrown Hairs at Home
    Ingrown hairs are not only unsightly, but they can also become very painful and even infected. There are a few ways ingrown hairs can be treated without a visit to the doctor.
  • Weight Loss During the First Trimester of Pregnancy
    Most women expect to gain weight during their pregnancy. For many of these women, they are shocked to discover they actually lost weight during the first trimester. Weight loss in the first trimester can be completely normal.
  • Five Signs of Celiac Disease
    When our newborn daughter became ill, her doctors believed that celiac disease may have been the cause. This disease is becoming more common, but many people are unaware of the most common signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease.
  • Preparing for international travel with children
    Traveling internationally as an adult is relatively simple, but due to abduction concerns, traveling internationally with children has a few more requirements. Here are a few things you'll need to prepare before traveling internationally with a child.
  • 3 tips for interior painting with young children
    Home improvement projects can be a lot of work. These projects can be even more difficult when working them around your childrens' schedules and needs. Here are three tips for interior painting when you have young children in the house.
  • Explaining a Cesarean to Your Child
    My oldest daughter was born by cesarean almost five years ago. She now knows (after her sister's birth) that babies come out of vaginas, but recently we explained what a cesarean is to her. We were honest and she was comfortable with our answers.
  • When Your Baby is in the Hospital: Tips for Parents
    Most parents never anticipate their baby needing to be admitted to the hospital and the experience can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for parents to cope during their child's hospital stay.
  • Four Bath Time Safety Tips Every Baby's Parent Should Know
    Babies need baths. Some babies need baths more often than others. Either way, it's important for parents to follow four very important bath time safety tips to protect their baby from harm.
  • Five Tips for Breastfeeding Comfortably in Public
    Many mothers find themselves feeling anxious about breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding in public doesn't have to be scary. Here are five tips to breastfeed comfortably in public.
  • Five Ways to Save Money on Entertainment at Your Wedding Reception
    The reception is usually the most expensive part of a wedding. Between food, drinks, decorations and entertainment, the costs add up quick. Here are five great ways to save money on entertainment for your reception.
  • Five Ways to Save Money on Flowers at Your Wedding
    Flowers are typically an important part of any wedding, but the cost of fresh flowers can be astronomical. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can save money on flowers for your wedding.
  • Top Three Websites to Help You Plan Your Wedding
    Planning a wedding involves a lot of decision-making. Wedding planning can feel overwhelming at first, but there are some great websites designed to help make the wedding planning process easier.
  • When Your Child Wants a Baby Sister
    My daughter has expressed a desire for a baby brother or sister, but right now just isn't a good time for another addition to our family.
  • Making the transition from baby to toddler
    My youngest child is 17-months-old and although I'd love to keep my "baby," she is now entering toddlerhood. As a parent, there are important things I need to do to prepare for this.
  • Five Questions to Ask when Interviewing a Nanny
    Hiring someone to watch your children in your home can be intimidating, but with patience and the right questions, you can improve your chances of finding the perfect childcare provider. Here are five questions you should ask a potential nanny.
  • Four Quick Responses to Car Seat Safety Criticism
    Unfortunately, most parents aren't well-educated about car seats. Parents like myself, are often criticized for making informed decisions regarding car seat safety. Here are four quick comebacks for car seat safety criticism.
  • Is it Safe to Lose Weight While Pregnant?
    Women who are overweight or obese when they begin their pregnancies may feel uncomfortable at the idea of gaining weight while pregnant. Regardless of weight, no pregnant woman should ever diet during her pregnancy.
  • What to Do when Social Services is Investiagting You Based on a False Allegation
    No parent ever wants to deal with social services investigating their parenting. Unfortunately, many people make false reports to social services as a way to "get even" with someone they feel has wronged them.
  • Three Signs You Need to Get a Restraining Order
    Making the decision to pursue a restraining order can be agonizing and emotional. If you are unsure whether you should get a restraining order or not, there are three things you should consider before making the choice.
  • What to do when your child is being bullied
    Bullying is often an unavoidable experience in childhood, but it can still be hard on parents. Parents want to run to their child's rescue, but sometimes this may not be the right approach.
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  • I work from home and hired a nanny
    Childcare is an obvious must-have for parents who work out of the home, however, even parents who work from home may find themselves needing childcare. Some parents, like me, opt for a nanny or mother's helper, rather than a daycare.
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  • Postpartum Psychosis: Five Red Flags Loved Ones Should Watch For
    Postpartum psychosis is rare, but can have a devastating impact on a new mother, baby and family. Postpartum psychosis is a disease related to hormonal imbalances after birth and could threaten the lives of the new mother and child.
  • Using Synthroid to Treat Hypothyroidism
    Hypothyroidism can affect nearly every aspect of a person's life. A medication known as Synthroid is commonly used to treat hypothyroidism.
  • Five Signs a New Mom Is Struggling With Postpartum Depression
    Having a new baby is an exciting time, but for many moms, they find this excitement shadowed by postpartum depression. It can be hard to admit depression after having a baby. Here are five signs a new mom may be struggling.
  • First Person: I Have Struggled With Dermatillomania for Over a Decade
    Compulsive skin picking, also known as dermatillomania, can be a very difficult habit to control. In many cases, dermatillomania may be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder or past trauma.
  • Four Home Remedies to Treat Excessive Underarm Sweating
    For some, excessive underarm sweating is a daily problem. For others, excessive sweating happens occasionally. Here are four home remedies to treat and prevent excessive underarm sweating.
  • Five Health Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
    Most people have heard of apple cider vinegar, but very few know about the many uses apple cider vinegar has. Here are five health-related uses for apple cider vinegar.
  • Three Home Remedies to Whiten Teeth
    Everyone wants to look and feel their best. For some, this means whitening their teeth. There are alternatives to expensive dentist visits and over-the-counter whitening kits.
  • Five Household Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
    Apple cider vinegar is a great product to have on hand in any household. Apple cider vinegar is inexpensive and versatile, serving many purposes around the house. Here are just a few household uses for apple cider vinegar.
  • Five Beauty Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
    Apple cider vinegar is a very versatile liquid and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Apple cider vinegar is commonly used for beauty purposes. Here are just a few beauty-related uses for apple cider vinegar.
  • Five Tips for Taking Amazing Photos of Your Toddler
    Taking good photographs of your toddler can be difficult but with a little patience and a few good tips it can be done. Here are a few tips to make toddler photo sessions go as smoothly as possible.
  • Three Creative Ways to Photograph Newborns
    Nothing is more precious than a newborn baby and many parents want to capture those moments on film. Here are three creative ways that you can photograph your newborn baby.
  • Five Easy Ways to Be More Green
    Going green can be a bit overwhelming at first. There are so many ways to "be green." Here are five simple ways to be more green.
  • Four Ways for Moms to Find "Me Time"
    It can be hard for moms to find time for themselves when they have children. Alone time is vital though and can help mom relax and feel less stressed with her daily responsibilities. Here are a few ways to find time for yourself, mom!
  • Lanolin Might Not Be a Good Idea for Breastfeeding Mothers
    Lanolin has been used for centuries and is most commonly used in nipple creams for breastfeeding women. The studies surrounding lanolin are conflicting and it is possible that lanolin could be dangerous for a nursing baby.
  • Five Ways to Treat Nipple Pain While Breastfeeding
    For women who choose to breastfeed their babies, nipple pain may become a concern. Here are five great ways to treat nipple pain while breastfeeding.
  • Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
    Many couples worry that having sex during pregnancy may not be safe. Although some positions may be uncomfortable, sex is usually safe for women who are experiencing normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and will not cause a miscarriage.
  • Four Reasons Sex May Not Be Okay During Pregnancy
    For a woman who is experiencing a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, sex is normally okay. There are some instances when sex should be avoided.
  • Are Energy Drinks Safe for Pregnant Women?
    Pregnant women have valid reason to feel exhausted, but an energy drink isn't a wise solution. Energy drinks can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies.
  • Implantation Bleeding and Pregnancy
    Many women who are hoping to become pregnant have heard of implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is normally a light spotting around the time a woman should get her period.
  • What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions and What Purpose Do They Serve?
    Braxton hicks contractions are often referred to as "practice contractions." These contractions are irregular and not a sign of true labor but they do serve a purpose.
  • Are Digital Pregnancy Tests Better Than Traditional Pregnancy Tests?
    Digital pregnancy tests offer a more user-friendly experience, displaying clear results of "pregnant" or "not pregnant." Digital tests, however, are often much less sensitive than most traditional pregnancy tests.
  • Is There a Limit on the Number of C-sections a Woman Can Have?
    Women who have given birth by cesarean section may wonder how many cesareans they can have safely. Most professionals agree that a woman can have up to three cesareans safely.
  • Smoking During Pregnancy is Dangerous for Mother and Baby
    Many women find themselves struggling to quit smoking while pregnant. Smoking has serious health risks for both mother and child during pregnancy.
  • Four Dangers of Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy
    Despite rumors that small amounts of alcohol are safe during pregnancy, researchers have not been able to determine that any amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. There are many risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  • The Dangers of Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy
    Drug use during pregnancy can have devastating effects on an unborn baby even after birth. Drug use during pregnancy is dangerous for the mother and her baby. Her baby could be born addicted.
  • Five Home Remedies to Ease Morning Sickness
    For some women, morning sickness can be very difficult to cope with. There is no cure for morning sickness, but there are ways to help alleviate morning sickness.
  • Cramping in the First Trimester of Pregnancy
    In many cases, cramping during the first trimester of pregnancy is completely normal. Abnormal cramping, however, could be an indication that something is wrong.
  • Five Tips to Save a Lot of Money on Your Wedding
    Getting married is a huge event in anyone's life. Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect. The perfect wedding day doesn't have to break the bank though. Here are some tips to save money on your wedding.
  • Five Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Reception
    The reception is often the most expensive part of a wedding. Between decorations, food, entertainment and drinks, the reception costs can add up quickly. Here are five ways to save money on your wedding reception.
  • Top Three Pregnancy Websites and Forums
    Pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman's life and there are websites designed with pregnant women in mind, offering information and communities for women to interact with other pregnant women and mothers in. Here are my three favorite pregnancy sites.
  • Four Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies
    Unfortunately, constipation is a common problem in babies and young children. Before resorting to medicated laxatives, here are four home remedies you can try to treat your baby's constipation.
  • Can I Use a Tanning Booth While Pregnant?
    Many women enjoy the sun-kissed, bronze glow that tanning booths offer, even during winter weather. However, tanning during pregnancy may not be the best idea.
  • I Refused the Glucose Tolerance Test While Pregnant
    The glucose tolerance test is used to screen pregnant women for gestational diabetes. The test, however, is inaccurate and can have very unpleasant side effects.
  • I won't ever be "proud" of my stretch marks
    Recently, I've discovered a movement on the web that seems to be trying to convince women to "love" and even "be proud of" their stretch marks. This focus on body image feels counterproductive, but I've made my peace and moved on.
  • Why I won't teach my children to "love your body just the way it is"
    I never found anything wrong with "loving your body just the way it is," until I met a woman with an obese son. I realized I needed to teach my children to love themselves enough to take care of themselves and be healthy.
  • New Study Says American Women Trust Birth Control Too Much
    Birth control can be highly effective when used perfectly. Typical use, however, has a much higher failure rate. A new study reveals that almost half of all women believe their birth control is more effective than it really is.
  • Three Reasons You Should Never Release a Pet Turtle into the Wild
    It can be hard to resist a cute baby turtle in the pet store, but as turtles age, many turtle owners find they are unable to care for their turtle and decide to release the turtle into the wild. Releasing a pet turtle into the wild is a bad idea.
  • Three Advantages of Stand-up Tanning Booths
    Most indoor tanning is done in a lay-down tanning bed, however, upright tanning booths are becoming more popular and even preferable. Stand-up tanning booths offer better coverage, quicker tanning and more hygienic conditions.
  • Four Signs of Lactose Intolerance in Adults
    Many people suffer from lactose intolerance; an inability to digest the sugar lactose in dairy. Here are four signs of lactose intolerance in adults.
  • Four Indoor Tanning Myths
    Indoor tanning has been around for decades. Despite the link between indoor tanning and skin cancer, many people continue to use indoor tanning beds. Here are four common myths about indoor tanning.
  • "Is it Safe to Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?"
    Many women have heard rumors that hair dye is unsafe during pregnancy. Despite the rumors, these claims have not been substantiated with any scientific evidence. Dying your hair while pregnant is probably safe.
  • Five Tips for Dying Your Hair Safely While Pregnant
    Many women are told that hair dye is unsafe while pregnant but evidence doesn't support these claims. Despite the lack of evidence for dangers, there are things pregnant women can do to make dying their hair safer.
  • You Don't Have to Give Up Caffeine During Pregnancy
    Many women are told that they must give up caffeine completely while pregnant. Although high amounts of caffeine may carry risks for the developing baby, amounts of less than 200mg per day are unlikely to cause harm.
  • 5 Home Remedies to Soothe a Sunburn
    A sunburn can be very painful and unpleasant. There are many different home remedies to help soothe a sunburn and promote healing.
  • A "Base Tan" Won't Prevent Sunburn
    Sunburn is not only painful and uncomfortable, but it can greatly increase your risk of skin cancer. Some people use tanning beds before vacations believing that a "base tan" will prevent sunburn, but this belief is a myth.
  • 5 Common Birth Control Myths
    Birth control is a subject that many women are concerned with. Birth control can be highly effective, however, there is a lot of misinformation regarding birth control out there.
  • Three Things to Consider Before Choosing to Homeschool Your Child
    Choosing to home school your child is a very important decision. Before choosing to home school your child, there are three important things you should consider.
  • Five Tips for Teaching Your Baby Sign Language
    Teaching your baby sign language is a great way to facilitate communication before they learn to talk. Here are five tips to making learning and teaching baby sign language as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
  • Stripping Cloth Diapers: Combat Odors and Detergent Buildup
    Stripping your cloth diapers should be part of your regular maintenance of your cloth diapers. There are numerous ways to strip diapers, but stripping diapers can help prevent and combat stinky diapers and detergent buildup.
  • Top Three Baby Carriers for Newborn Babies
    I love using baby carriers to carry my children. Over the years, I have found that I like some baby carriers more for certain phases of my child's life than others. Here are three of my favorite baby carriers for newborns.
  • Three Reasons Your Cloth Diapers Might Stink
    A common problem that parents encounter with cloth diapers is that the diapers begin to stink after a while, even when they've been washed. Stripping your diapers can help get rid of the stink, but there are many things that could be causing the stink.
  • Top 3 breast pumps for mothers
    With so many breast pumps available on the market, it can be hard to decided which one is right for you. Here are my favorite three breast pumps available to nursing mothers.
  • 4 ways to make using a breast pump less stressful
    Using a breast pump might be fairly simple, but it can stressful at times. Pumping isn't always easy and can be a bit of a hassle. Here are some tips to make pumping as stress-free as possible.
  • Parents who were abused as children: Breaking the cycle of child abuse
    The cycle of child abuse is often perpetuated in a family, generation after generation. This cycle is hard to break, but it can be done with love, support and boundary-setting.
  • My children are fortunate to have a father
    One in three American children grow up fatherless and this number just keeps growing. My daughter took her father for granted, but recently she learned that not every child has two parents.
  • 5 Ways to Help Your Preschooler Learn to Clean Her Room
    Cleaning a preschooler's bedroom might seem like a simple task for an adult, but it can be quite overwhelming for a preschooler. Here are five tips to help your child learn to clean their room.
  • How to Get Your Preschooler to Brush Her Teeth
    My daughter doesn't like to brush her teeth. With some creativity, my husband and I have figured out a few tricks to help her enjoy and even look forward to brushing her teeth.
  • Why I Decided Not to Become a Surrogate, Even Though I Love Pregnancy
    Surrogacy is an amazing and wonderful gift, however, the decision to become a surrogate is not one that should be taken lightly. There are many things a woman should consider before deciding to become a surrogate. I chose not to become a surrogate.
  • Repeat Preschool or Move on to Kindergarten?
    Our daughter's birthday is two days before the cut-off date for entry into kindergarten. We decided to have her remain in preschool another year rather than move on to kindergarten. The decision was not an easy one to make.
  • Five Essential Oils Every Parent Should Have
    Recently, I started using essential oils for myself and my children. I was skeptical at first, but have been amazed with the results. There are five essential oils every parent should have in their medicine cabinet.
  • My preschooler's hair extensions taught her responsibility
    My daughter cut her hair without understanding that it couldn't be fixed. Instead of taking the traditional route and cutting her hair, I had hair extensions put in. Her hair extensions taught her the importance of being responsible.
  • Why "gentle parenting" isn't for me
    When I was pregnant, gentle parenting seemed like the ideal approach to raising my child. After I became a parent, however, I quickly realized that parenting styles aren't one-size-fits-all. Gentle parenting wasn't working for me or my child.
  • Wells Fargo to Charge $7 Fee for Checking Accounts, Customers Unhappy with Change
    Wells Fargo recently announced that a new fee for checking accounts will come into play in the coming months. Many customers are unhappy with the change.
  • Understanding Menorrhagia
    Women who suffer from excessively heavy periods may actually suffer from a condition known as meorrhagia. This condition can be difficult to cope with, but in many cases, it can be treated.
  • Five Ways to Quit Smoking for Good
    Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions a smoker can make for their health. Quitting smoking isn't easy though, and many smokers find themselves quitting, only to start again. Here are five ways to help you quit smoking for good.
  • 5 Tips for Coping While Quitting Smoking
    Making the decision to quit smoking is one of the best decisions a smoker can make to positively impact their health. Here are five tips to help you cope while quitting smoking.
  • I Went Gluten-free for My Breastfeeding Baby
    My doctor suspected that the cause of my breastfeeding baby's screaming fits may have been a gluten intolerance. Because of this, I went gluten-free and continued to breastfeed her.
  • Five Herbal Remedies to Help You Quit Smoking
    Quitting smoking is one of the best choices anyone can make for their health. Quitting, however, isn't always easy. Here are five herbal remedies that may help you quit smoking.
  • Three First Trimester Warning Signs Every Pregnant Woman Should Know
    The first trimester of pregnancy is the hardest and most dangerous of the three. There are many warning signs that pregnant women should be aware of during the first trimester.
  • Even Babies that Are "Old Enough" Can Have Dairy Intolerances
    We recently tried to introduce cow's milk to our daughter only to realize she was having allergic reactions to the milk. Some babies, despite their age, cannot tolerate cow's milk.
  • Amanda Bynes Arrested for DUI, Dad Insists Bynes Doesn't Drink
    Actress Amanda Bynes was arrested Friday for suspected drunk driving. Her father insists she was not drunk and that his daughter does not drink, yet Bynes attempted to return to a bar just hours after being released from police custody.
  • Facebook to Acquire Instagram to Eliminate Future Competition
    Facebook has announced their acquisition of the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, for $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram users can still expect to enjoy the same features of Instagram as Instagram continues to be developed as an independent app.
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