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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pictorial History of Betrayal of Women

In the past seven years of study of birth psychology and in healing my own birth and the births of my four children, all born in US hospitals from 1975-1993, I have come to observe what I call, “The Feminine Betrayal.” It came up in my healing as the “Feminine Betrayers in White” – those nurses who participated in taking the power away from women in birth. Nurses who held my mother down, drugging her, watching and supporting men to violate her, and then it happened to me in birthing my first child, and to lessor degrees in each subsequent birth.

My father was present in my birth, rare for 1956, but common now. Which is worse? To be out in the waiting room for hours and hours and not know what your wife has gone through -- drugged, unspoken violation, but that he'll have to live with thereafter as she lives and acts out her feelings of betrayal and powerlessness. Or, is it more demoralizing to be a witness to the violation of their partner and unable to intervene as men are now?

I am concerned for the men who powerlessly watch their wives tied down, drugged, overpowered, probed by strangers, and their baby treated with careless brutality (in the name of medicine to do unnecessary interventions such as weighing, scrubbing, eye ointments, etc.) How does this play out in intimacy between the couple and in how their baby feels protected and nurtured by them, or not? NO WHERE else in society will a man watch strangers do what medical caregivers do to his partner and child without becoming a raging protector. Parents of a newborn -- tired, exhilarated, hormonal -- watch helplessly in a daze the brutal treatment of their baby that would be hotlinable behavior in any other situation.

Women in white (now green, blue, and purple) brutalize a baby in his or her first moments of life -- the neonatal nurse who laughed wickedly and loudly to my grandson (who had resisted even the gentle checking of the male neonatal doctor) as she stuck tubing down his throat, “You can ruuuuuun from the doctor, butcha can’t hide from the nurse.” – they are betrayers of the feminine.

Forty years of indoctrinated training promoting the drugging of women in labor and birth, and our society is oblivious to the harm to the newborn baby. Look at the pressure on the cheeks of this baby to the right. Look how his arms are in a helpless posture, his abdomen sucked in. He is being traumatized. He is not breathing. He is in shock which will stay in his NERVOUS system as his body, brain, and soul is recording everything.

Is it possible we don’t trust each other as women because of the generations of violation to us women and our babies by WOMEN in medicine? Are they themselves not extremely wounded? On a really bad day (like watching the violation of my grandson or other babies) I liken them to Charles Manson’s girls, and some days more victimish themselves, like Patty Hearst. None of these young women started out to be killers or a bank robber with her kidnappers.
Either way, ppowerlessness begins with the simple, with trust or lack of options, and is coupled with increased brainwashing, and it simultaneously creates women who carry out the dirty work against other women.

None of the woman who fell into bad situations with violent men, nor those in white, those angels of mercy, and wonderful women who were the first nurses planned or intended to harm other women. Quite the opposite. They intended to be caregivers. The treatment of women in the male dominated system (feelings denied, voices silenced) leads to the mistreatment BY WOMEN of OTHER WOMEN in the medical birth machine. It is a condition of the male dominated usurption of birth from the realm of women. Sadly, it is institutionalized into the medical and nursing training so that it is SO ACCEPTED as NORMAL-- for forty years going on one hundred -- that women numbly do it and never question authority -- even today in 2006. Where are the feminists? And, why are they denying the attachment research and focusing on women's workplace rights and child care for working women?

These are actual pictures used in the early sixties to propagate male dominated medicalized birth in the hospital as the safest and most respectful. No wonder valium was prescribed like candy to women and shock treatment kept women's emotions under control during those days.

This is the legacy of American obstetrics -- control, shame, and covert violation of women's bodies and womens' souls. From the time men took over birth at the turn of the century there was a marked decrease in death due to many factors such as sanitation, antibiotics, and surgery.
What is so overlooked in the senseless, personally demeaning, betrayal in the debate of birth is the fact that AT THE SAME TIME that male dominated medicine improved mortality, it is also true that the misuse of lifesaving gifts to humanity have been misused. Obstetric medicine improved maternal and infant mortality rates -- to a point, and then began another problem. Control and misuse of the technology. Seems obvious to me -- neither homebirth or hospital birth is safe without looking at the needs of the baby and all caregivers working together. Other countries prove this.
The disregard and disrespect towards womens' bodies and souls in the process is a major wound in our culture.
Disempowered women participated to force these new way on other women and it’s easy to see how that started. It is easy to see how it perpetuated when one reviews the historical culture. It’s even easy to see how it continues today – how callous we have come so that a woman’s body and psyche are sacrificed in the medical machine.

We have to start with seeing that women are hurt, humiliated, manipulated, and shamed in the medical machine . We have to start with seeing what she feels is critical to how her labor and birth will progress or not. We have to see that babies are sentient beings that feel and remember what they and their mother felt, and they are fully engaged with their environment being imprinted in their brain.

From my perspective, BIRTH and making birth SAFE for WOMEN and BABIES is a feminist issue – because birth is that last place a woman should be made to feel like a doormat.

Birthing her baby is the absolute last place a woman should be dominated by a man, shamed, and violated, or drugged. Betrayal of women by other women in the male dominated system has profoundly harmed us women and our babies (sons - boys and men). What is being acted out in obstetrics?

Coming next ... the BABY'S EXPERIENCE of birth


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creepyUCmama said...

I wish I had written this and it gets me all fired up again, in a good way. And I often think back to my first birth and the horrible things that happened and I wonder about my husband who stood there and watched all of it happen to me, and sometimes it's hard not to feel betrayed by him as well, that he didn't come save me from being violated. I wonder how much this goes on with other women who later feel like they can't trust their husbands? I wonder how many marriages later feel apart because of it? I thankfully worked much of this out with my husband but not all women can do that. It was like my husband stood there and watched me be violently raped and did nothing, and that's exactly what it was.

Gena Glenn said...

This is wonderfully written, and exactly how I felt with my first son. It truly is sad how we just assume that this is how birth is. That's what all of our friends tell us, what our mothers tell us and what the mainstream books tell us.

Thankfully I did things the right way the second time around with my second son being born at a freestanding birth center. No drugs, no constant monitering, no poking and probing, all natural in every way. No one understood why I wanted to drive 2 hours when there was a "perfectly good hospital" 10 minutes away.

Not only was it emotionally easier, it was physically easier in the long run.

Hopefully more woman can stand up against the "medical machine" and take back their right to their bodies during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

"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