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We love a good family adventure. But traveling with kids? It's no easy feat, mamas. Gone are the days of throwing a few things in a bag and catching the next flight to the beach; now it's all about packing lists and pacifiers, diapers and dream feeds, and doing your best not to forget all the things you need to make it through the day with your little ones. And number one on our must-have travel list? A compact stroller.

A lightweight, compact travel stroller is an absolute must for a family on the move. When you're juggling kids on the go, the last thing you need to worry about is a big, bulky stroller that's going to take up your entire trunk or slow you down in the airport. (Yes, you you really do need that bigger stroller, too, but we'll get to that later!)

And if you Google "lightweight strollers" you're going to discover there are more than just a few of them... there are hundreds of options for you to choose from. Which we're guessing is just a wee bit overwhelming for you! Fear not, we tested many—actually, our babies tested them!—to help narrow down your choices. Things we considered when picking our faves: Stroller weight, maneuverability, durability, open/fold functionality, storage and, last but not least, appearance.

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So, if you're planning your next trip—or just looking to lighten your load—check out our favorite lightweight strollers that are perfect for travel!

1. gb Pockit Air All Terrain 

gB Pockit Air All Terrain

Curious as to which stroller holds the 2014 Guinness World Record for the world's most compact stroller? Look no further, mamas—it's the Pockit! (Really, it is!) Folding into the size of a purse in a matter of seconds, this 10.6-pound baby-transporting marvel is seriously amazing. We're pretty sure our diaper bag weighs more.

Even though the Pockit is small, it's mighty—it can hold a child up to 55 pounds, and is sturdy enough for whatever your travel day may have in store for you. There's not a ton of storage, but hey, sacrifices need to be made somewhere in a stroller that fits into a backpack!

More to know: Double wheels can handle everything from cobblestones to gravel with ease, and the seat back is comprised of breathable mesh, keeping baby cool on even the hottest days.

Weight: 10.6 pounds

Price: $159.95

SHOP

2. Colugo Compact Stroller

colugo compact stroller

While there are many reasons Colugo made our list—those sassy patterns!—the easy one-handed fold is chief among them. As many parents probably know, being able to fold a stroller with a baby on your hip is KEY when you're in a stressful situation (think: riding on public transportation or going through the metal detectors at the airport). With Colugo, you can multitask like a champion, thanks it its one-handed, two-second fold, and the best part is that yes, it can fit in most airplane overhead bins.

At 16 pounds, the Colugo is a bit heavier than the others on the list, but the fact that it comes with an attached carrying strap and a separate carrying backpack makes the extra heft a non-issue for short and long jaunts alike.

Appropriate from 6 months old to a max weight of 55 pounds, the Colugo also has a bassinet ($95.00) available here. All in all, this stroller has great maneuverability and can be pushed with one hand in almost all scenarios, it's the perfect grab-n-go strollers for parents, whether they're dropping baby en route to work or traveling overseas.

More to know: The sunshade canopy has UPF 50, the storage basket's got ample depth and the stroller comes with an extra washable padded seat insert.

Weight: 16 pounds

Price: $285.00

SHOP

3. Babyzen Yoyo+

If you're looking for the ultimate in compact strollers, the Yoyo checks all the boxes as the luxury splurge pick. It boasts the most amenities of all of our choices: a "soft drive" system (enabling you to navigate rough terrain without having to lock the wheels in place), ample under-carriage storage, a reclining seat, an extendable leg rest, four-wheel suspension, beautiful fabrics (that peppermint green!) and extra seat padding, custom color packs, and a carry strap, just to name a few.

Like our other compact picks, it also folds up teeny-tiny via an easy one-handed fold, and it's compatible with many infant car seats, making newborn travel a breeze. It's even certified for airline carry-on luggage, meaning you've got one less thing to worry about when you're taking your little on on the plane.

More to know: Celeb mamas like Blake Lively, Chrissy Tiegen and Jessica Biel wheel their babes around in the Yoyo. The extendable sun canopy has UPF 50 and rain covers are included. Also, it's Disney-approved!

Weight: 16 pounds

Price: $500.00

SHOP

4. Summer Infant 3DLite

Summer Infant 3D Lite

At under $100.00, the 3DLite is the most affordable option on our list—but that doesn't mean you'll need to sacrifice any of the must-have features you want in a compact stroller. This sturdy stroller weighs in at 13 pounds and features a four-position recline, a roomy storage basket, and a fully adjustable (and removable) canopy with a flip out sun visor. It even has a cup holder perfectly sized to fit your third coffee of the day. ☕☕☕

Although the fold isn't quite as compact as some of the other strollers on our list (it's a vertical fold rather than a horizontal one), it's still easy to carry with the attached shoulder strap and won't take up a ton of room in your trunk.

More to know: One of the most popular strollers on Amazon, the 3DLite has more than 3,300 positive reviews!

Weight: 13 pounds

Price: $89.99

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5. Ergobaby Metro City Compact Stroller

Ergobaby Metro City Stroller

If you're looking for a compact stroller that is crazy comfy for your little one, this is it. Comprising a highly-padded (and washable) seat with side and lumbar support, the Metro focuses—not surprising—on delivering a superb ergonomically comfortable experience to wee ones, and it delivers. The plush seat reclines almost fully flat and an adjustable leg rest (which is also super padded) means that babes can nap on the go now.

With the ergonomic well-being of parents in mind, too, Ergobaby designed the Metro go easy on mom and dad. How so? A one-handed fold, for one. And 14 pounds, the stroller requires less force to push and less muscle to heft around—the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany. That's right, mamas, this one deserves a slow clap from all of us. (Bonus: The stroller comes with a carrying backpack for those times you know you'll be lugging it around.)

As for the ride, it's a smooth one thanks to bigger rubber tires that swivel on a dime and a spring suspension system that filters out the bumps and divots of the outside world.

More to know: The ample, extendable sun canopy has UV-50 protection and the stroller fits in an airplane overhead bin.

Weight: 14 pounds

Price: $299.00

SHOP

6. Baby Jogger City Tour LUX

Baby Jogger City Tour LUX

This compact stroller is one of our favorite options for families on the go who also need the versatility and maneuverability of a much larger stroller. Weighing in at 19 pounds, it has five riding options: an infant car seat, a foldable pram, a reversible seat (rear or forward facing), and a glider board for an older child. All of these amazing features don't compromise this stroller's compact design, though—the LUX folds up small enough to meet carry-on requirements for most airlines.

The City Tour is constructed from soft, breathable fabric, and has an easy one-hand fold with an auto-lock feature. It reclines to a nearly flat position, has an XL canopy with a peekaboo mesh window, and has four swivel wheels that offer incredible handling even over bumpy terrain. (We truly forgot we weren't pushing our larger, everyday stroller instead of one that folds up into a backpack!)

More to know: It features a built-in carry strap and comes with a backpack-style carrying bag.

Weight: 19 pounds

Price: $299.00

SHOP

7. UPPAbaby MINU

UPPAbaby Minu

We've yet to meet an UPPAbaby we didn't love, and the MINU is no exception. Weighing in at just under 15 pounds, this compact powerhouse of a stroller will take you wherever you need to go without sacrificing on the conveniences you've come to know and love from the brand—a smooth ride, a multi-position reclining seat, an extendable canopy, and an easy access basket with ample storage.

And the fold? It's truly the stuff of dreams, mama. It's quick, easy and, most importantly, one-handed. (Really, we tried!) Great for on-the-go parents due to the built-in strap and carry handle, it also easily converts into a travel system with the use of adapters.

More to know: The Minu isn't only for big babies, it can also accommodate a newborn with the use of the From Birth Kit ($129.00) accessory, making it not only a great compact travel stroller, but also an all-around stroller for urban parents who may be tight on space or who need to climb stairs on a daily basis.

Weight: 14.8 pounds

Price: $399.00-$429.00

BUY

8. Mountain Buggy Nano

best travel stroller

The Nano is another one of our absolute favorite full-service, everyday strollers that also boasts the convenience of a compact, easily portable travel option. It's easy to maneuver thanks to built-in rear wheel suspension and swivel wheels, and can even be popped over curbs while you're exploring city streets.

If you're looking for a lie-flat option, there's an accessory called the cocoon that easily snaps in (and out), making the stroller newborn-friendly. And speaking of accessories, there are many! From special edition color packs to a glider board that transforms into a toddler scooter, we 💜all of the personalized options the Nano offers.

More to know: The stroller features a two-button fold that transforms it down to 21" x 12" x 20"—small enough to easily fit in an overhead airplane bin, on a train, or even on the floor of your car's backseat. (It also has a one-handed unfold.)

Weight: 13 pounds

Price: $199.00

SHOP

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There are certain moments of parenthood that stay with us forever. The ones that feel a little extra special than the rest. The ones that we always remember, even as time moves forward.

The first day of school will always be one of the most powerful of these experiences.

I love thinking back to my own excitement going through it as a child—the smell of the changing seasons, how excited I was about the new trendy outfit I picked out. And now, I get the joy of watching my children go through the same right of passage.

Keep the memory of this time close with these 10 pictures that you must take on the first day of school so you can remember it forever, mama:

1. Getting on the school bus.

Is there anything more iconic than a school bus when it comes to the first day of school? If your little one is taking the bus, snap a photo of them posed in front of the school bus, walking onto it for the first time, or waving at you through the window as they head off to new adventure.

2. Their feet (and new shoes!)

Getting a new pair of shoes is the quintessential task to prepare for a new school year. These are the shoes that will support them as they learn, play and thrive. Capture the sentimental power of this milestone by taking photos of their shoes. You can get a closeup of your child's feet, or even show them standing next to their previous years of first-day-of-school shoes to show just how much they've grown. If you have multiple children, don't forget to get group shoe photos as well!

3. Posing with their backpack.

Backpacks are a matter of pride for kids so be sure to commemorate the one your child has chosen for the year. Want to get creative? Snap a picture of the backpack leaning against the front door, and then on your child's back as they head out the door.

4. Standing next to a tree or your front door.

Find a place where you can consistently take a photo year after year—a tree, your front door, the school signage—and showcase how much your child is growing by documenting the change each September.

5. Holding a 'first day of school' sign.

Add words to your photo by having your child pose with or next to a sign. Whether it's a creative DIY masterpiece or a simple printout you find online that details their favorites from that year, the beautiful sentiment will be remembered for a lifetime.

6. With their graduating class shirt.

When your child starts school, get a custom-designed shirt with the year your child will graduate high school, or design one yourself with fabric paint (in an 18-year-old size). Have them wear the shirt each year so you can watch them grow into it—and themselves!

Pro tip: Choose a simple color scheme and design that would be easy to recreate if necessary—if your child ends up skipping or repeating a year of school and their graduation date shifts, you can have a new shirt made that can be easily swapped for the original.

7. Post with sidewalk chalk.

Sidewalk chalk never goes out of style and has such a nostalgic quality to it. Let your child draw or write something that represents the start of school, like the date or their teacher, and then have them pose next to (or on top of) their work.

8. In their classroom.

From first letters learned to complicated math concepts mastered, your child's classroom is where the real magic of school happens. Take a few pictures of the space where they'll be spending their time. They will love remembering what everything looked like on the first day, from the decorations on the wall to your child's cubby, locker or desk.

9. With their teacher.

If classrooms are where the magic happens, teachers are the magicians. We wish we remembered every single teach we had, but the truth is that over time, memories fade. Be sure to snap a photo of your child posing with their teacher on the first day of school.

10. With you!

We spend so much time thinking about our children's experience on the first day of school, we forget about the people who have done so much to get them there—us! This is a really big day for you too, mama, so get in that photo! You and your child will treasure it forever.

This article is sponsored by Rack Room Shoes. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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In America, mothers have the right to breastfeed their child in public, but what about when you're on an airplane? That's the issue one California mom, Shelby Angel, brought to light after she had a bad experience on Dutch airline KLM.

In a Facebook post that has gone viral Shelby explained:

"Before we even took off, I was approached by a flight attendant carrying a blanket. She told me (and I quote) "if you want to continue doing the breastfeeding, you need to cover yourself." I told her no, my daughter doesn't like to be covered up. That would upset her almost as much as not breastfeeding her at all. She then warned me that if anyone complained, it would be my issue to deal with (no one complained. On any of the flights I took with my daughter. Actually, no one has ever complained to me about breastfeeding in public. Except this flight attendant)."

Shelby's post gained traction but soon the conversation spread to Twitter, where another woman, Heather Yemm, asked KLM to explain its breastfeeding policy.

The airline responded, "To ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this." Twitter users didn't like this response and even started asking other airlines about their breastfeeding policies.




British Airways confirmed it welcomes breastfeeding onboard and a Delta rep tweeted that the airline's policy is to "allow a breastfeeding mother to feed her child on board in a manner she feels comfortable with."

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That sounds like a good plan to us. Southwest was also questioned by Twitter users and confirmed that "Southwest does indeed welcome nursing mothers who wish to breastfeed on the aircraft and/or within our facilities".

This important online conversation underscores how vital it is for airlines to have supportive policies in place and train staff on those policies. Back in March, a Canadian mom made international headlines after an Air Canada call center representative told her to nurse in an airplane bathroom (a suggestion that is contrary to Air Canada's own policies).

It's time for every airline to recognize that breastfeeding needs to be welcomed and that all staff members need to understand this. Whether a mother uses a cover or not needs to be up to her, not a flight attendant or other passengers.

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I grew up with three brothers and yes, it was loud, crazy, chaotic, but also so much fun. We had vacations where we laughed a lot, Christmas Eves full of staying up late to listen for Santa, and inside jokes that made me feel like I had my own little secret club. What I really loved about being in a big family was that it gave me a sense of community, so when I came home and the outside world had been cruel or harsh I had my people.

People always gasped when I said I had three brothers and no sisters like they weren't sure how I survived around so many barbarians. I never felt like I was missing out. My brothers are caring people, my mom was always around, and we all got married young giving me three sisters-in-law who I call close friends.

Now we all have our own families and we live 30 minutes from each other. We still manage to get together with all 12 of the cousins (all under 12, yes it's chaos) and laugh and make memories. My oldest brother has four kids, my second oldest has three, I have three, and my youngest brother has two and we pretty much all had them at the same time. We are also a very girl heavy bunch, only four boys total in the whole mix.

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Recently we were all on a family vacation and I was sitting around with my sisters-in-law and we were talking numbers, who was done having kids. My sister-in-law with four said she was overwhelmed, my other one said they were adopting one more and my other sister-in-law and I just said, we don't know. We both have three and four feels like a big jump.

It's funny how everyone talks about how you know when to start having kids but no one tells you how hard it will be to decide when your family is done. I know that's not true for everyone, I have lots of friends that just knew. Others never had the luxury of deciding and then some are like me living life on the fence hoping the fertility fairy will drop an answer in your lap.

I have to admit, I don't know if I'm done having babies. All these questions keep popping in my head.

If I have two girls and one boy should we go for the fourth and try for a brother?

Or if we have three girls will the level of drama be too high?

Or if one kid really likes one of their siblings and not the other should we have more?

Should we factor in age?

Should they be two grades apart or three or four?

Should we give up if it's too hard or will we regret it?

Should we adopt if we can or have another biological?

Should we close up shop and enjoy the kids we have?

Will our marriage survive another newborn season?

What is the perfect number?

There are a thousand possible scenarios and the questions just eat away at my brain. They keep me up at night. I'm not even kidding. I have laid in bed and played out every scenario and the possible outcome.

I do this because my childhood in all of its loud glory was the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. My brothers, our friendship, my parents' choice to fight for close-knit relationships, all of it was what gave me the foundation I needed.

So now as a parent myself, I want to give that same gift to my own kids.

What if there is no perfect number? What if you just choose to make family a safe, secure place, where your kids can feel valued and loved? Does it matter then if you have one, two, three, four or whatever number you have? Will the effect still be the same?

I think so.

The reality is though, I want what I had. I want a family where my kids feel this sense of community they might not get anywhere else and that's not a numbers game that's a culture thing.

I have had to come to accept that I have no guarantee and that there is no perfect number. Each family comes with its own set of complications, joys and strengths. The uniqueness is actually part of the fun.

We have two girls and a boy now and I watch my girls bond as sisters and think, oh this is what people were talking about. Sure, I wish my son had a brother but he has two amazing sisters that love on him and will even dress up like superheroes sometimes.

We still don't know if we are "done" but we do know our family is already great and the number isn't as important as what we choose to make important.

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Life

My darling,

I'm not entirely sure why I do things like this to myself, but tonight, as I rocked our night-before-turning-1-year-old daughter to sleep I closed my eyes and, for about 10 minutes, I pictured what our life will look like in 10 years.

(You're probably reprimanding me for doing that in your head right now. 😂)

In 10 years, our three daughters will be almost 15, almost 13, and 11—not a single-digit in sight. We'll be dealing with high school and middle school and hormones and the start of love interests and things that aren't diaper changes and baby proofing and teething.

We won't be rocking them to sleep anymore or cutting up their food. And I'm sure we'll miss the validation of being the ones who keep their world turning because simply put—we won't be the center of their Universe anymore.

Instead of them needing us to lay with them until they fall asleep, they will need us to remind them that it's bedtime at 9 pm, 10 pm, then again at 11 pm.

Instead of tripping over dolls strewn about the floor, we will be tripping over lacrosse sticks and backpacks and bras.Instead of needing our help to break up fights over magnatiles, they'll need us to break up fights over who stole who's shirt.

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Instead of wiping tears from a meltdown over receiving the "wrong" dinner plate, we will be wiping tears from a heartache over a fight with a friend.

Instead of needing us to carry them around when they say they're too tired to walk, they will need us to pick them up from after-school activities and drive them around town.

Instead of teaching them how to tie their shoes or say "thank you," we will be teaching them how to drive and how to stay safe and be a respectful member of our community.

It will be a whole new world.

I will become the woman who looks at a baby and can almost feel her ovaries ache. We will hold new nieces and nephews and wish that we could relive that high of meeting our child for the first time again—just one more time. We'll say things like, "Wow, it seems like just yesterday our kids were this small…"

This past weekend, when we were hosting our third first birthday party, we reminisced on when each of our children were born and how it seems like they are growing up so quickly. Because they are. It seems like we blinked, and now our newborn from last year is a walking, chit-chatting, climbing, busy toddler.

I started to cry during my little torture-myself-10-years-ahead-meditation tonight. (Not totally surprising, right?) Because 10 years down the line—while I am certainly confident we will be happy and fulfilled—everything will be different. There will be new milestones to be proud of and new adventures to embark on, of course. But it won't be like it is now.

These—right now—are the good ol' days of our future.

The stories we will reminisce on are happening now... when we discover that our toddler knows how to climb on the kitchen table and laughs at us when she sees us see her… or when we watch our preschooler tie her shoes for the first time courtesy of the bunny ear method... or the million times our heart bursts when our middle kiddo busts out her signature move of sticking her hand down her shirt and asking for a pacifier when she's tired.

The moments we will never forget are happening now… the sound of the high pitched sing-song voice belting out "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid… the giggles when we're all running around the house… the way they look when they're sleeping—so peaceful and angelic—even if they were going buck wild 10 minutes prior.

The "remember whens" we will laugh about when our kids seem too grown up and the parenting challenges seem too serious—are happening now...

Like when one of our children poops in the backyard playhouse (I won't name any names)... or how another one of our children "bakes" concoctions that consist of garlic powder, chili powder, vanilla, ginger, water, baking soda and salt (and yes, also how I try them because she always asks me to and because I always feel bad not supporting her baking endeavors).

We will look back, and we won't necessarily focus on the blood, sweat and tears that we have poured into raising young children together. Sure, we will remember how hard it was—but I really think we will look back on these physically and emotionally taxing years with rose-tinted glasses.

The feeling of utter overwhelm and constant chaos will have dimmed. The sleep struggles and multiple meltdowns will pale in comparison to the relationship drama and social media worries of the pre-teen and teenage years. We will have more time for conversation and date nights instead of often feeling like ships passing in the night.

And so my hunch is this: We will faintly remember the hard times down the line. But, in 10 years, when we look back—we will let the good times shine.

In 10 years, I'll be sad—in a happy way—looking back on the beginning stages of the life we've built together.

The days when happiness was measured in how many twirls one could do before collapsing into laughter.

The days when love was measured in sloppy, peanut butter covered kisses.

The days when peace was measured in how calm bedtime could be and how quiet the house could get post-bedtime.

The days when we were their everything; their Universe.

The good 'ol days.

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Instead of needing our help to break up fights over magnatiles, they'll need us to break up fights over who stole who's shirt.

Instead of wiping tears from a meltdown over receiving the "wrong" dinner plate, we will be wiping tears from a heartache over a fight with a friend.

Instead of needing us to carry them around when they say they're too tired to walk, they will need us to pick them up from after-school activities and drive them around town.

Instead of teaching them how to tie their shoes or say "thank you," we will be teaching them how to drive and how to stay safe and be a respectful member of our community.

It will be a whole new world.

I will become the woman who looks at a baby and can almost feel her ovaries ache. We will hold new nieces and nephews and wish that we could relive that high of meeting our child for the first time again—just one more time. We'll say things like, "Wow, it seems like just yesterday our kids were this small…"

This past weekend, when we were hosting our third first birthday party, we reminisced on when each of our children were born and how it seems like they are growing up so quickly. Because they are. It seems like we blinked, and now our newborn from last year is a walking, chit-chatting, climbing, busy toddler.

I started to cry during my little torture-myself-10-years-ahead-meditation tonight. (Not totally surprising, right?) Because 10 years down the line—while I am certainly confident we will be happy and fulfilled—everything will be different. There will be new milestones to be proud of and new adventures to embark on, of course. But it won't be like it is now.

These—right now—are the good ol' days of our future.

The stories we will reminisce on are happening now... when we discover that our toddler knows how to climb on the kitchen table and laughs at us when she sees us see her… or when we watch our preschooler tie her shoes for the first time courtesy of the bunny ear method... or the million times our heart bursts when our middle kiddo busts out her signature move of sticking her hand down her shirt and asking for a pacifier when she's tired.

The moments we will never forget are happening now… the sound of the high pitched sing-song voice belting out "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid… the giggles when we're all running around the house… the way they look when they're sleeping—so peaceful and angelic—even if they were going buck wild 10 minutes prior.

The "remember whens" we will laugh about when our kids seem too grown up and the parenting challenges seem too serious—are happening now...

Like when one of our children poops in the backyard playhouse (I won't name any names)... or how another one of our children "bakes" concoctions that consist of garlic powder, chili powder, vanilla, ginger, water, baking soda and salt (and yes, also how I try them because she always asks me to and because I always feel bad not supporting her baking endeavors).

We will look back, and we won't necessarily focus on the blood, sweat and tears that we have poured into raising young children together. Sure, we will remember how hard it was—but I really think we will look back on these physically and emotionally taxing years with rose-tinted glasses.

The feeling of utter overwhelm and constant chaos will have dimmed. The sleep struggles and multiple meltdowns will pale in comparison to the relationship drama and social media worries of the pre-teen and teenage years. We will have more time for conversation and date nights instead of often feeling like ships passing in the night.

And so my hunch is this: We will faintly remember the hard times down the line. But, in 10 years, when we look back—we will let the good times shine.

In 10 years, I'll be sad—in a happy way—looking back on the beginning stages of the life we've built together.

The days when happiness was measured in how many twirls one could do before collapsing into laughter.

The days when love was measured in sloppy, peanut butter covered kisses.

The days when peace was measured in how calm bedtime could be and how quiet the house could get post-bedtime.

The days when we were their everything; their Universe.

The good 'ol days.

Life

There are a lot of points during labor when mothers do not have any control over what's going on with their body. The one thing they usually have, if giving birth vaginally, is their ability to push. But a recent report by Vice highlights the fact that in some hospital delivery rooms, women are being told to stop pushing, even when the urge is nearly irresistible. And in some cases, this may be happening for some very troubling reasons.

"If a woman's cervix is fully dilated and she has the urge, she should be allowed to push, barring some unusual complication with mother or baby," Dana Gossett, chief of gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, told Vice.

Writer Kimberly Lawson gathered anecdotal evidence suggesting that in many situations, hospital nurses are telling women to stop pushing because the doctor or midwife isn't available to deliver the baby. In some cases, women even report nurses forcing a baby's crowning head back into the birth canal.

"I've never felt a more painful experience in my life [than] being strapped down and forced to hold a baby in," says Elaina Loveland, a mother who was told to stop pushing because there were no beds available at the hospital when she arrived. "It was almost worse than the pushing. It was horrible."

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In addition to pain, women made to resist the urge to push may experience other complications. Delayed pushing sometimes causes labor to last longer, puts women at higher risk of postpartum bleeding and infection, and puts babies at a higher risk of developing sepsis, according to a study released last year. One midwife explained in the article that holding the baby in can damage a mother's pelvic floor, which might later cause urinary incontinence.

In one extreme case, Caroline Malatesta, a mother of four in Alabama said that when a nurse forced her baby's head back in, she caused permanent damage. After four years of chronic pain from a condition called pudendal neuralgia, she won a $16 million lawsuit against the hospital.

Nurses aren't necessarily being cruel when they instruct mothers to stop pushing, by the way. They may be hoping to prevent other complications, such as problems with the umbilical cord or shoulder dystocia. A doctor or midwife is better trained to correct such situations, and can also help prevent perineal tearing.

If hospital staff are instead making these decisions because of a shortage of obstetricians or hospital beds for expectant mothers, there's a systemic problem that needs to be addressed. As people have grown increasingly aware of the high rate of maternal deaths after childbirth, issues like these could point out where there's room for improvement.

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