The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to

The trailer

Friday, December 01, 2006

Get it in writing

Women -- this is your body, your baby, and your baby's birth. You have rights and options. Become a partner with your caregiver. Get it in writing.

From Amy Tuteur, MD:

Kelly: "having a doula there to advocate for me seems like a good compromise"

Another thing that you might ask your doctor to do is to label the front of your chart with your requests. For example, he could write that no one should rupture your membranes without your explicit consent, and no one should even ask to do so unless there is a defined problem that will be solved by rupturing them.

Safe Baby Partners:

In "Hey! Who's Having This Baby Anyway?", Breck Hawk, RN in NICU (neonatal intensive care), midwife, doula, and childbirth educator suggests,

There’s an important secret about birth plans that will make them effective: During the last couple of visits with your provider review the birth plan with him and then have him sign it. Make a couple of copies and take one to the hospital when you go into labor. Your provider’s signature changes your birth plan from your "desires" to his orders and the chances are very good that you’ll get (if medically possible) everything that you requested.

Order the book at

A woman can take charge of her baby's birth and her body. She can require her doctor to sign her birth plan AND make the appropriate notes on her chart. The entire birth plan can be negotiated so that during labor and birth, in the event a woman changes her mind, or the medical need arises, her caregivers can adjust accordingly (without further fear of liability).

It is important to clarify her Doula's role and authority with medical staff. Acceptance of a Doula by medical staff still widely varies. A Doula is trained to not intervene with medical caregivers and must often just watch the overpowering of a woman when staff want, for example, to "break the membrane and get things going faster." One of the things a woman can specify in her plan is that the medical staff rely on her Doula's participation and authority to speak for her during the labor, or allow her time with her Doula to discuss options, etc. Many times Doulas are ignored by medical caregivers even though it is the Doula may know -- even more than the woman's partner and family -- why and what she really wants. Many woman are afraid to do this type of negotiation with their physician because of the power differential.

Aside from that, as per Kelly's statement above, why does SHE have to compromise what SHE wants for her and her baby, particularly when obstetrics is widely known to be non-scientifically based? And, importantly, when it is ignored by medicine that the experience of laboring and birthing in the hospital has a profound emotional and physiological impact to the baby's developing brain and systems (the pituitary-stress axis that Dr. Nathanielsz's research shows is established in utero). When a pregnant woman is engaged in preparing to go again to labor and give birth (be open and vulnerable) in a place where she has experienced fear and violation, how could this not affect the developing brain and the birth? Are we not creating little warriors, people who are vigilant and reactive, and who must worry about their safety and boundaries, rather than people who are empowered, respectful of others, and able to self-regulate? The literature abounds for decades about how the birth experience affects one for life. Brain research in the nineties confirms it. The last to "know" will be those who have the most to gain from the current practices -- Dr. Amy herself says it is a business.

Regardless of the type of experience (birth, rape, loss, accident, etc), one does not typically do well when they must return to the place of a previous violation --- especially if the experience has not been resolved in the body-mind connection. One does not need to have a full-blown medically documented case of PTSD to experience the effects of being in a frightening, overwhelming, painful, or violating situation. The denial of the experience leads to depression. The experience of birth in the hospital is not openly acknowledged in medicine and psychology as detrimental to mother and baby psychologically and physiologically so that the appropriate help is not available. It is not to the advantage of those in position of power and income to admit to what they do as creating trauma for others to live out. Neither is there a social, political, or legal "checks and balance" that would insist the the inappropriate situations and behaviors be mediate; therefore, obstetric caregivers are allowed to blunder along freely, justifying their actions when the science tells us otherwise.

It is up to women to be informed and educated and prepared when the accessibility of out-of-hospital care is so minimal, when insurance companies favor hospitals, and when doctors are held liable for a woman's baby's birth.

No comments:

"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth