High Risk Pregnancy in the Internet Age

My husband and I were cautiously excited when those two pink lines showed up. I had experienced a very early miscarriage a few months earlier and was afraid of the same thing happening again. As those first weeks ticked by though, everything was fine. I made it to almost seven weeks, and then the bleeding…

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Charlottesville: A Call to Examine Ourselves

In episode 7 of the first season of the beloved political drama television The West Wing, White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler meets with a representative of Indonesia named Mr. Bambang at a state dinner to ask for the favor of releasing Toby’s friend who is a political prisoner there. The main characters have struggled…

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Healing Birth: Midwifery and a Rainbow Baby

I chose midwifery for the birth of my son because I believe in the intricate design of the female body and its ability to birth unassisted and in an unaltered physical and mental state. Selecting a care team for labor and delivery is not to be taken lightly—according to the most recent data published by…

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Can you use NFP while breastfeeding?

So you’ve made it through the first few weeks with your new baby at home and now it’s time for your six-week follow-up appointment. You’ll finally be cleared to resume relations with your partner (or maybe the idea of anything going on down there is still terrifying). Regardless of how you’re feeling about resuming your…

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More Than Our Sexuality

  In the Summer of 2016, I read – among other things – what turned out to be one of the most disappointing books I’ve invested time in. My copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been collecting dust under my bed for about a year now, but within the past six months, the…

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Phone-Based Apps: A 21st Century Facelift for FABMs

I’ll never forget their conversation on that car ride home. I was driving back from a nationally recognized nursing research conference with graduate nursing students in my research group. I was horribly intimidated by their knowledge of research methods and how they could tear apart a study in minutes. They knew so much more about…

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Fertility Awareness as a Path to Health

This week, July 23-27th, we celebrate Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week. As a new face to the Guiding Star Project blogging team, I thought it would be fitting to share how my passion for the work of GSP originated with my own journey to health through learning about my body by studying NFP and…

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An Open Letter to Melinda Gates

The timing of your recent article, “Keeping Our Promise to 120 Million Women and Girls,” and the Global Family Planning Summit in London could not be better in light of the upcoming Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week. We are in agreement that, “the conversation around contraceptives is one of the most important conversations the…

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The Alternative Care That Women Need

Last year I was treated for endometriosis, which is a disease that affects more than 5.5 million women in North America. However, it took seven years of doctor visits before I was actually diagnosed—which, believe it or not, is shorter than the national average of ten years. Why does it take so many years of…

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4 Ways to Stay in Love this Summer

Last night at quarter after nine in the evening, there was still light outside my window. As usual, summer has fully arrived almost without me realizing it! I don’t know about you, but this summer is a particularly busy season for my family. We’re juggling selling one house, buying another, moving, keeping up with growing…

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Not Knowing What to Do: A Husband’s Perspective on Postpartum Depression

Before you read this, you should read my wife, Abby’s articles about postpartum depression. Most of what I write is a response to what she has written about her struggle with PPD: WALKING THROUGH DARKNESS: MY JOURNEY INTO POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION PART I  WALKING THROUGH DARKNESS: MY JOURNEY INTO POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION PART II THE BEGINNING It…

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Walking through Darkness: My Journey with Postpartum Depression, Part II

As we continue our series on postpartum depression, we bring you the second part of  the story from Guiding Star Project board member and pro-life speaker and advocate, Abby Johnson, who shares her experience of this illness.  If you missed the first post, you can find it here:  https://theguidingstarproject.com/walking-through-darkness-my-journey-into-post-partum-depression-part-i/ I got back in and drove home….

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Walking through Darkness: My Journey with Postpartum Depression, Part I

In honor of Maternal Depression Awareness month, we are re-publishing Abby Johnson’s series on postpartum depression.  Abby is a Guiding Star Project board member and pro-life speaker and advocate and she shares her journey with postpartum depression in this powerful series.   The day I found out I was pregnant with Grace, I don’t remember being happy. I…

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Giving Women More Choices: An Introduction to Executive Director Jamie Rathjen and Guiding Star Cedar Valley

photo credit: Waterloo Courier I recently had the privilege to interview Jamie Rathjen, the Executive Director of Guiding Star Cedar Valley. I was so encouraged by her vision, insight, and desire for true societal change. Jamie, who is trained in the Creighton model of fertility charting and holds a Masters degree in Community Health Education, first…

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Is Your Birth Control Sustainable?

Spring is in full swing here in the Midwest. I can hardly believe it’s already April 22nd, Earth Day! First established in 1970, Earth Day was designed to promote awareness of environmental issues and to celebrate our precious natural resources. It is a day that reminds us of the importance of conservation, personal responsibility, and practicing sustainability….

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NFP is Just Too Hard

Sometimes Natural Family Planning (“NFP”) is just too hard. Maybe you’re avoiding pregnancy and your fertile time aligns with your wedding anniversary (or worse, your wedding itself…).  Maybe you’re breastfeeding and your postpartum cycles are so confusing that you have to switch methods when you don’t even have enough energy to take a shower.  Or…

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Cutting the Cord with my Doctor: Exploring Alternative Methods of Care

The twenty first century woman has access to unlimited information at the swipe of a finger. This creates an interesting paradox in no matter what phase of your motherhood journey you find yourself—opinions flow freely and are not often kind. The information management struggle is so real whether preparing for the birth of a child,…

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