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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Giving Birth with Confidence

"It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
-- Upton Sinclair

I have started a counter blog, to provide an opportunity to have a reasonable counter debate with Dr. Amy about what is safe for the laboring and birthing baby. She would not allow the link to be posted on her site, however. Many people are banned from Dr. Amy's blog and the ones who remain are just engaged in a futile fighting.

My goal is to build bridges between medicine/technology and midwifery/physiological birth based on WHAT IS SAFE FOR THE LABORING AND BIRTHING BABY?

I have studied prenatal and birth imprinting for seven years. I did the Castellino Prenatal and Birth Therapy training and I do this modality of birth trauma healing. In the pre and perinatal psych and trauma healing field we know that the baby is affected by everything that happens in the birthing environment and it is imprinted on the brain. We know that conception through infancy is the foundational time of the mother-infant relationship and what happens here will impact every other relationship. Labor and birth are not excluded.

There is much research to collaborate this and to demand that the mainstream obstetrics and psychology look at what they do and have done for generations without scientific foundation. We are creating warriors in hospital birth. Not even in violence and addiction studies in the mainstream is the use of drugs and interventions during labor and birth even considered as contributing.

I was banned five times from Dr. Amy's blog after posting relevant research and links to the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health ( and leaders in the field who show that the birth experience is critical for the human being.

I asked Dr. Amy in May on Dr. Crippen's blog and again on hers for the research that shows that ANY of the drugs ever used in obstetrics (ether, scopalamine, Demerol, cyotec, narcotics, etc) were ever shown to be safe for the LABORING and BIRTHING baby's BRAIN and hormonal system. She can't - none of the drugs ever used were ever shown to be safe BEFORE USING, and historically usage is stopped only after excessive consequence and loss of life -- just like too many new drugs on the market today for adults.

Research on the use of epidural narcotics compare DIFFERENT NARCOTICS and the effects on women and babies to see which is the least damaging. The literature before 1992 (way before the explosion we now have of epidural use) clearly showed the physiological issues of using narcotics. And, yet it is still promoted as safe and now even called "normal".

NO LONG TERM studies have ever been done to show there are no long term effects and that it does not contribute to drug addiction later in life. There is much research in fetal programming, cellular biology, brain studies, infant mental health to indicate the need to stop what is being done to the laboring and birthing brain as routine. WHAT KIND OF SCIENCE IS THIS!?!?

Women and their babies have been one long non-consenting, uninformed research population. Where is the research that shows that NARCOTICS are safe for the laboring and birthing baby? We DO know the effects of narcotics on the adult brain and emotions, and we know that use of narcotics has a high risk of addiction, evidenced by the increasing narcotic drug addiction in this country. Yet, it is scientifically sound for a woman to give birth "under the influence" of narcotics? Is not labor and birth an aspect of "parenting?"

WHERE is the research to DISPROVE this hypothesis:
1) Drugs and violating interventions at birth contribute to violence and addiction, poor motivation, poor impulse control, defiance, etc. It's NOT TRUE? Do we really know this? Who is going to do such studies and/or fund it? Obstetrics? ACOG? Drug companies? Universities controlled by funding by both??? Not likely.

I have asked Dr. Amy to provide us the research that shows that babies are NOT affected by drugs and interventions. Every obstetrician who is promoting the safety of induction drugs and narcotic epidural anesthesia and surgerical birth as safe and NOT AFFECTING the BABY, ought to have such research at their finger tips. It doesn't exist. She did just recently mention that cyotec was approved for use in laboring women, but has yet to post one actual citing of a research study --- for all of us to read. I do recall an OB list a few years ago where doctors shared experiences and "recipes" of finding the right dosage and how to deal with the complications. Cytotec was in pill form and they originally used quarters of the pill. The learned from each other ON WOMEN and sweet NEWBORNS in their practice without scientific studies to show it was safe BEFORE USING is and making it protocol. Because they can.

Babies are the victims here.

Meanwhile, a live birth and "baby seemed ok" to assess affects of drug use at birth is ANTECDOTAL and just plain BAD SCIENCE. I have challenged Dr. Amy to look at the development of the APGAR by Virginia Agar in the forties. It was developed because of the serious infant and maternal death rates and other consequences of ether use for the mother and baby. First, I can't find any documentation that the APGAR was ever normed or scaled to evaluate and access healthy, non-drugged babies. Second, it is used today to access babies born with totally different drugs and surgical birth. Third, when women and babies were dying, why wasn’t ether stopped altogether? fourth, who was and is regulating such care of women and babies? Who was and is regulating such care of women and babies? THIS form of scientific experimenting on non-consenting, non-informed women and babies continues today with the study of different narcotics to see which is least damaging when clearly the science fifteen years ago indicated it harms the baby. Why were there never longitudinal, foundational, mental and physical health studies done with babies born under ether or any other drugs or cesarean birth or forceps? Why are we allowing this abhorent disregard and treatment of women and babies to continue??

Towards this ABSENCE of SCIENTIFIC STUDY of the impact of induction, epidural, interventions, hospital environment, and surgical birth, I have challenged Dr. Amy to consider how it is that the proliferating brain studies can show us the infant brain is permanently altered by stress and abuse, but which she adamently insists that the drugs and interventions and surgical birth do not affect the laboring and birthing baby? Because medicine/obstetrics "say so" without the studies?? THE BURDEN OF PROOF for what they continue to do and claim as safe and normal is on the medical profession.

I have asked Dr. Amy to consider the fetal programming field that clearly shows that the gestating baby is being programmed during gestation so that we know the environment and emotional and physical well being of the mother is critical. She removed those links.

We know that babies learn music, math, and language in the womb. We know the gestating baby has had ten months of language at birth and this language is preverbal and stored in the early brain. We know that it is the foundation for mental constructs as the neocortex develops.

We know the baby is fully interacting with mother, sound, light, and motion prenatally. We know that in the first moments of life outside the womb, a baby is immediately interacting with and negotiating the environment (fists clenched, pushing people and interventions away, jumping and screaming when given shots, or looking for and responding to mother's voice, squinting at lights, etc.).

Homebirthers and caregivers know the profound capability of the newborn to engage with the new environment. It is logical and scientific that the baby has emotions and reactions and memories associated with being induced, laboring "under the influence" of drugs, and experiencing stress and violation. We know scientifically and logically that the human baby's brain and body does not somehow become a blank, blob during labor and birth so that the experience of interventions, noise, strangers, lights, drugs, mother's fear and powerlessness are not remembered.

We know now that every single second, every single emotion by everyone in the room, every single experience is RECORDED in the billon of neurons in the laboring and birthing brain. We know that when we talk of where birth is safe, the discussion must include the issues of the baby's sentience, awareness, and how to use MEDICALLY necessary interventions with consciousness and compassion for the birthing brain.

THE BURDEN OF PROOF for what they continue to do and claim as safe and normal is on the medical profession.

Please check out the And, also check out my other blog, about a project I am working on for the state of Hawaii. We invite supporters of Aware, Safe, and Gentle Conception, Gestation, Labor and Birth, and Infancy to join to create a national movement of creating consistent protocols for birth.

Thank you.
Janel Martin-Miranda


Someone said...

Bravo, I completely agree. I'm not impressed that Amy complains about her comments not being posted in places, her site not being linked here or there, but refuses to link sites in disagreement with her or to allow users to disagree with her without banning them. This is so very well-said, while being respectful of all instead of condescending. This will be a much more pleasant place to debate if it catches on. If only there were a site run by unbiased parties, or at least parties that would offer both sides of the story. :/

Safe Baby Partners said...

Thank you for your comments. My wish is to provide a site to offer both sides with respect. I would be happy to turn it over to someone who would like to moderate in. However, my wish is for the focus of the debate to be what is scientifically safe for the laboring and birthing baby.

If you read my other postings, you see I am advocate for the baby, who is ironically the lost focus of the debate on Dr. Amy's blog, in obstetrics, and in society.

Birth is the BABY'S BIRTH. It is not the mother's birth or the doctor's. They had their birth. Baby and mother are co-pilots each with a different perspective. Rarely, is baby's experience of his or her birth even acknowledged as the most profound experience of their life.

As an advocate for the baby, I am a supporter of natural, non-medicated birth with minimal interventions, before, during, or after birth. I believe in the event that such is needed they should be done with utmost regard and care for the baby and with conscious interaction with the baby. I am a strong believer in the need for quality medical care. I am alive because of skilled, quality obstetric care when I was born. I believe that doctors are held disproportionately responsible for outcomes because women's responsibility for her body and her birth has been usurped. I believe the treatment of newborns in the first minutes of life is brutal in the hospital. No where else in society to trained professionals and new parents smile while such violent treatment is done to their newborns. It's going to take a lot on each side to move together to make birth SAFE for the BABY.

Currently the tired old debate about the small margin of difference in infant mortality between homebirth and hospital birth is such a senseless discussion.

Our focus now ought to be on questioning the use of drugs and violating interventions and on the QUALITY of the baby's experience. It is long over due to look at long term consequences of non-necessary use of drugs, technology, and surgery on the life time of the human being.

Check out www.safebabyresolution.blogspot.comwhere a plan for creating partnerships is gestating.

Thanks again,

I would gladly share this site with someone who want so co-moderate. Or, please EMAIL ME with your own articles that you would like to post -- janel underscore Miranda at yahoo dot com.

heather said...

I agree with you that birth is about the baby. While the mother is certainly important, the child needs to be considered as well. It is unfortunate that people think those who chose to birth at home do so for their own selfish reasons rather than because they believe it is best for the baby. I would love to comoderate; I've volunteered my time to several communities & forums online, so it would be nice to help out with one whose cause means as much to me as this. I am working on an article that I will submit to you as soon as I finish. :) You can email me at I've hesitated to post with my name, mainly because of how often Amy's appears on other people's blog sites. I'm not interested in being googled and having my personal places on the web invaded by argument. I suppose if I am going to stick around to engage her I'll have to come out of the closet eventually. Hopefully the debate will be carried on where it is appropriate, rather than following me about the web. :)

Highland Midwife said...

Very well-said, thank you.

Even ultrasound was never proven to be safe before it became the "norm", and the research from Sweden that shows the long-term effects on humans, combined with the recent mouse study that offers an explanation of why (how the brain is changed), indicates that we should be looking at u/s with a very sceptical eye.

But "modern, scientific" medicine has not seen fit to prove that interventions are safe before they use them needlessly.

Good topic, long ovedue.

"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