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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Natural, Ideal Cesarean Surgical Birth

Doctors at Queen Charlotte's hospital in London are pioneering "natural caesarean" births with the aim of making the surgery less traumatic for mother and baby.

Full story at:
BBC News Pictures of "Natural Caesarean"

Also check out:
The Ideal Cesarean by Robert Oliver, MD

The key focus of this natural cesarean is clearly to preserve the relationship between mother and child and to create attachment. On another blog that denies the safety of homebirth, the issue of mother-child attachment and the fact that this attachment is harmed in hospital birth is also denigrated.

The information here from the BBC showing a new approach to surgical birth in the UK is the sort of information that you won't see on other sites trashing natural vaginal birth and the growing movement of homebirth, and especially homebirth among women who previously gave birth surgically. What is it about American doctors that has them so entrenched in their denial and in their positions -- that they are the only ones who refuse to recognize the critical human need to re-connect with the mother on the outside of the womb in order to create the attachment that supports health, harmony, and wellness?

The impact of surgical
birth on baby and mother is ignored there in order to perpetuate a war against natural birth. One site in particular refuses to allow a discussion of even the possibility of a detrimental impact of surgical birth on the mother and baby. What never enters the discussion is the baby's experience of the surgery -- EVEN IF it is done for life-saving reasons. To do so , that is, to entertain the possibility that any surgical birth is traumatizing to the baby, so that UNnecessary surgical birth is a very, very huge issue, well, this would lead to a very serious discussion in far corners about the MISUSE of cesarean surgery.

What women know, and what doctors especially know is that when a woman enters the hospital it increases the chances of a perfectly healthy woman and baby experiencing unnecessary, physiologically and emotionally traumatizing surgical birth. The discussion of the cost of this on many levels -- physiological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, for their lifetimes -- never happens on another site that is so adamantly, rabidly opposed to homebirth with qualified caregivers.

Since homebirth's popularity is stemming from the conditions of birth in the hospital and the increased chances of a life-threatening surgery for no good reasons, it is an important discussion. They -- doctors and labor/delivery nurses (the "experts") -- further refuse to discuss how any surgical birth could have life long consequences for baby and mother. It is all said and done in the name of science. Yet, here we have those from the same party-- obstetric science-- confirming that surgical birth is dangerous and we do need to make attempts to do surgical birth more kindly, and with awareness of the impact on the baby and mother.

Why would we not!?! Do we really need empirical studies done over twenty years to finally tell us, "be kind to the baby", "make sure mother and baby make eye contact and touch", "make sure minimal interventions and touch by strangers in the first hours of life." No, the research on that is clear and has been for many decades. It is time to EXPECT and DEMAND that obstetricians everywhere follow the evidence-based science and to treat our babies gently and kindly.

Who should the public listen to? Who should pregnant women go to? Those who promote a balance between science and what we know logically and from our ancient history of birthing from the vagina? We need to create SAFE hospital birth by acknowledging that the human being is profoundly impacted by their birth experience ... wherever it happens. We need aware, kind caregivers willing to do what is morally and medically right for the human being coming in to the world, not what "has always been done" or is best "for my license" or to "prevent malpractice litigation."

Scroll down for my Christmas greeting to you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby Story

I just watched TLC's "Baby Story."

Oh, my, why do I do this to myself? I don't have television but I am visiting someone who has cable.

The mother went to the doctor and learned she was dilated to four and so they sent her to the hospital. The next doctor's immediate plan of action was to induce because her labor wasn't productive. Four cm? She was still just 5cm after some time on Vitamin P. The doctor added that women can do this for weeks; that is have sporadic pains. The medical profession is so apt at creating the illusions that allow them to manipulate and control women in labor.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Half of U.S. doctors mum about incompetence: survey

There is a measurable disconnect between what physicians say they think is the right thing to do and what they actually do," said Eric Campbell of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the survey.

When considering where a woman and baby are safest -- hospital or home, one needs to consider what the current researchers and hospitals are saying about hospitals and doctors in general. There are many posts here on this blog that raise the question of particular interventions and protocols of obstetric medicine.

Virtually every study done shows that homebirth is AS safe as giving birth in the hospital for babies and it is safer for the mother to birth at home. Every other industrialized country where mother and baby are safer (lower mortality rates) than in the US have midwives caring for low to moderate risk and doctors caring for high risk. In those countries midwives work in partnership with doctors.

Have you seen Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko" yet? He compares hospital care in the US with several countries with universal health care. Ricki Lake's move, "The Business of Being Born" is also being shown in select cities and addresses the "business" of obstetric medicine. She follows a midwife on several homebirths. Viewers can watch the experience of birth at home as one with out chaos and trauma, which is critical for the human baby as she or he IS experiencing birth. Reviews on both sides point out that the midwife does not wear gloves (so I will too). Midwifery supporters lament that this will be a detractor for many women and that doctors will make a big deal of it when it is very rare in practice.

I would like to add that it seems the medical perspective for wearing gloves is much more about self-protection. I have seen myself, a nurse in a hospital take a glove out of her pocket and use it for a vaginal exam. She was protecting herself, with no regard for the mother and baby. Detractors will always find some relevant, but not critical thing to look at to verify their point that homebirth is dangerous. So, if you watch the movie, know that the midwife won't be wearing gloves. Feel your feelings about that part and then focus on the experience of the baby.

The baby ... that's what birth is about .... or should be.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Prenatal and Birth Memories

Prenatal and birth memories are a little more complicated than what we think of as memory. Prenates and newborns are very sensory. Their brain is recording every event from conception forward. Language develops over time as the human infant and toddler put words to feelings and make connections. A good example came up today at my house. My 14 year old was talking about "remembering" seeing her father and I in bed and how she didn't know what it was about. Now she does. That is how children learn everything --- just because they don't have words for the experience as an infant or toddler doesn't mean they don't remember it. By the time she KNOWs the language to understand and speak about sex, she has known about it for a very long time.

It is well- known and accepted that the brain wires in response to experience. Research and technology of the 90's confirmed and deepened our understanding of the brain. This development of the human brain begins in the womb, begins at conception and during the first weeks of life the neural tube is one of the earliest structures. The experience of the newborn and infant is as real as yours or mine is now. The baby is experiencing something -- and the brain responds and wires connections ... safe or scary, happy or angry, fearful or relaxed ... their sensory oriented body takes it in and it is recorded in the brain. This is why we talk to and touch the baby, and it is why we give them visual stimulus. It is known if this interaction with the environment is minimal or violent or distracted the baby won't develop intellectually or appropriately.

According to Gerald Vind, a neurobiologist and expert in prenatal brain imprinting and reimprinting"

Norepinephrine acts in the developing nervous system of a prenate to suppress the growth of irrelevant and undesirable neural connections, while at the same time facilitating the formation of relevant synaptic connections. Norepinephrine also provides protection in the brain, especially a part of the emotional center (limbic system) that is called the amygdala. It prevents damage to the amygdala and suppresses abnormal kindling activity (seizure activity) when operating under conditions of peak activity. Under conditions of acute or repetitive maternal stress, norepinephrine levels are depleted. This is typically accompanied by the secretion of natural opiates that also exert an inhibitory effect on the release of norepinephrine. During pregnancy these natural opiates are passed through the placenta and influence the development of the prenate. At any stage of a developing brain, the depletion of norepinephrine, along with excessive amygdala activation, and opiate release, can lead to permanent structural and functional alterations affecting brain interconnections, synaptic size and densities, as well as their responsiveness. With repeated instances of heightened stress activities, an abnormal form of neuronal interconnections can develop along with a reduced response threshold. In other words, severe maternal stress while you are carried inside your mother’s womb can really mess up the way your brain is "wired." This is how the foundational capacity for empathy and socialization is handicapped. 

And people get so "jiggy" about babies remembering birth and early infancy --- babies who are fully formed human beings from second trimester on, awake and looking around at birth, and their brains don't remember? Basic brain development is that the human baby experiences and interacts with the environment and the brain responds and "wires" up in response. Was it happy or sad, joyful or painful, stressful or gentle?

Once one understands that consciousness is present in the cellular matter of the egg and the sperm one begins to see how everything happening outside the womb of the baby is contributing to his or her development. Some say it's inappropriate to speak to children about their birth?? On some level that is so laughable, because of the utter ridiculousness that the baby doesn't remember -- as if the baby wasn't there and didn't experience the birth. HIS or HER birth.

There is a field of scientific research looking at the primal period of life and specifically the last trimester when the human fetus has been shown to be interacting, tasting, feeling, sensing, and hearing and responding to the environment. There is also a field called Infant Psychology and most major universities have a research lab looking at the ability of the human newborn's effort to interact with his or her new environment. Yet, we are expected to believe that this development from primal period to infancy is somehow in the "off" position during labor and birth? So, that a baby is not impacted by the experience?

We have evidence about prenatal period so it is inappropriate to dismiss the birth experience. THEN, one can begin to look at conception and the first imprint of perception, based on the mother's hormones in response to HER experience -- love, ambivalence, guilt, rape. Emotions result in hormones. How the cells join together to create the one cell of the new human in a particular hormonal environment is the first experience of the human being. It's so logical that in every cell that develops from that cell, the being knows what happened at conception. This continues through gestation, labor and birth. How can we logically and morally and scientifically say that process and experience of birth is insignificant to the baby?

Anti-homebirth folks rail against women for thinking only of their own experience. They are chastised for putting their baby in great harm and putting their need for a good experience ahead of the baby's. Most birth caregivers refuse to consider the baby's experience.

What would it hurt to consider how the birth might be experienced by the baby and that same science about development applies to the period of labor and birth as it does to the prenatal and post-birth period?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Re-Programming Prenatal Experience

Re-Programming Life from Our Zero-Point
by Gerald Vind, PhD

Visit the website at: Transforming Dragons

Prenatal Re-Imprinting (PNRI) is a technique for accessing and re-imprinting the first-forming embryonic patterns that imprint at a cellular level. Thus, PNRI accesses the biological origins of maladaptive patterns, that is, their biological zero-point* of their existence. These zero-point maladaptive patterns, once located, can be easily re-imprinted and a permanent re-programming can be made to replace negative patterns with positive patterns.

How does that work?

Our personality begins to develop at the same time as our embryonic nervous system. And from our conception (our zero point) and throughout our development in our mother’s womb, we are imprinted with various foundational neurochemical response patterns. Our embryonic and fetal imprinting follows our mother’s response to her life experiences. Our mother’s emotional experiences (good and bad) produce many different emotional neurochemicals that pass through the placenta and imprint cellular-level response patterns. We become imprinted, and we adapt to our mother’s neurochemical “soup.”

This imprinting occurs in the emotional center of our brain (limbic system). And, it is our emotional center that will later guide our attention, awareness, attitude, mood, emotions, and motivation. Our embryonic imprinting establishes our foundational thresholds and set points that we become programmed to reactivate throughout out life.

After we are born, our life becomes organized around creating events that produce the same “flavors” of neurochemical “soup” in our emotional core that we experienced in our mother’s womb.

This is so important, and yet, it is astonishing that no one has addressed this problem in any meaningful way. That is, no one except PNRI practitioners.

PNRI is a science and methodology that takes us back to our zero-point to re-experience our prenatal imprinting. Through a novel and highly effective PNRI system, practitioners work with clients to transform their maladaptive personality patterns into positive and self-actualizing patterns. The results are achieved in a few sessions, and they are zero-point life readjustments.

The zero-point of our being is where we started to form the personality “grooves” that we continue to follow after birth, digging our early prenatal “grooves” deeper throughout our life. PNRI focuses on the early imprinting of maladaptive “grooves” or patterns because this is the place where profoundly beneficial changes take place with PNRI.

Locating the zero point of a maladaptive pattern and transforming it with PNRI releases negative foundations for our present problems (tracing all of the way back to the zero point). Without the negative foundation, our associated contemporary problems are able to resolve themselves and clear up quickly. Thus, PNRI is zero-point life readjustment that is effective and efficient. The power and potential of re-imprinting prenatal patterns is truly remarkable.
* The term “zero point” is borrowed from its use in quantum physics. There, it is used to describe the threshold of existence where, for example, a photon “pops out” of the vacuum of space into our observed local space-time. In quantum field theory, zero-point energy is synomous with “vacuum energy” that can be drawn from the vacuum of empty space; that is, the natural process of creating “something” out of “nothing.”

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hollywood Images of Birth

From a very interesting blog, Feminist Mormon Housewives at

The poster wondered about how common the Hollywood birth images are actually are in real life. That is one topic that neither Heather nor I have written on. One hundred forty some people responded. Here's mine:

The images we see of childbirth on television, Hollywood style, are like everything else on television …. designed to numb us, entertain us, and sell us. Rarely, does a woman go from not much happening to full transition, at the worst possible time … or most timely for entertainment. Like other forms of violence that humans watch mindlessly for hours every day, modern birth in the hospital is crammed into brains as the “normal” way, the safe way … they are selling epidural and the control of women’s bodies, minds, and souls just like they are selling the newest car, line of clothes, improved mop, and sexy shampoo. Like violence, like the sexual images our children are exposed to, the message of the horrible pain, the need for a crew of medical people pushing, probing, and coaching … all keeps us hyper aroused, over-stimulated and numbed — all at the same time. Our children hear shampoo commercials of orgasmic sounds, see women sprawled and wiggling in bras .. selling everything from cars to microwavable rice. And, they are expected to abstain — with images of sexual relationships everywhere … and, since society doesn’t question or confront this, it’s zero surprising that the images of birth — meant to draw women to the hospital where it is very lucrative — are indoctrinating our society. The walking wounded and numb make good, compliant women, consumers.

Thanks for this topic … it is one I haven’t written about on my blog … but will.

Comment by janel — November 29, 2007 @ 12:43 am

I couldn’t read all of the messages, but I did pick up on one vein of thought and posted a summary of what I wrote so extensively on last year ….

With all due respect to Janet’s husband, an anesthesiologist, apparently, I would like to ask him if he might be someone who could answer my challenge —

Throughout the history of modern birth, starting with morphine, twightlight sleep, ether and including Scopalamine, Demerol, Cytotec, and now epidural, these drugs have all been used on laboring babies and women with ZERO research to show their safety. ALL of them have been shown to be damaging and dangerous and were stopped because of the consequences … after use on millions of babies and women. Twenty years ago the choice drug was Demerol … and it is rarely used because of the impact on the baby. Since then epidural has increased in spite of the research in the late 80’s and early 90’s that shows it is dangerous. The drug, bupuvicaine that made it dangerous was counteracted by using fentanyl, an opiod … ALSO NEVER shown safe for laboring babies, but known to be extremely dangerous for adults. Mothers are encouraged and supported to give birth UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF NARCOTICS?? What a horrible contradiction. Yes, I have given birth under the influence of epidural. We are not just numb from our waist down — we are altered, drug-impaired while birthing our baby. And, this is considered normal. In the early 2000’s one study took 120 pregnant women and divided them into ten groups and each was given a different dose of fentanyl to see which dosage works best to counter the effects of narcotics. !?!?!? These babies and women are UNinformed and NON consenting subjects in a research study …. animals get better consideration. Women and babies (some who grow up to be men born “under the influence” of drugs) are one long research study. Psychology, medicine, human development, addiction studies. prevention, and treatment, and the myriad of other social and health issues, etc totally ignore the impact of birth on the lifetime of the human and certainly doesn’t consider that drug use and the resulting disruptions so well known, and the trauma form a foundation for life.

For a long time I have been looking for someone in the obstetric or anesthesiology field to give me ONE study that proves that ANY drug used EVER in modern medical birth was shown to be SAFE prior to USING on BABIES and WOMEN.

Doctors, nurses, and women will all … out of their own guilt, not imposed by others … resist the truth that drugs affect the baby ….because when we have chosen that or had it imposed upon us, or learned it was “fine” and “safe”, we face a huge journey.

There is a whole new field of understanding fetal and newborn learning, consciousness, and healing of whatever happens — whether it was truly lifesaving technology or doctor-induced for doctor convenience and malpractice avoidance (my ex is an OB), or by maternal choice. Ultimately, humanity has to begin to see that birth IS THE BABY’S experience of coming from somewhere into this physical life — and that the baby does not go to “OFF” during labor and birth. We know that the fetus is learning, responding in relationship with the mother and the environment … hearing, tasting, sensing, developing. And, we know that the newborn IMMEDIATELY is negotiating with a new environment during major physiological transition, and is interacting … LEARNING … It is clear that something very serious is amiss in medicine about the importance of labor and birth and how babies are also experiencing, responding, learning. All bundled together, that is results in memory. Prenatally, postnatally, and during labor and birth. The baby is experiencing everything. It is his or her birth. We can’t deny it away. Birth can’t just be about the mother’s need for pain relief or convenience, or the doctor’s needs.

Again, with all due respect and sincere wish for a real dialogue about what is really happening to babies in birth, I share my passion here.


I hope sometime soon, someone who is trained in anesthesiology will respond to my request for ONE research study that shows ANY of the drugs EVER used were studied BEFORE using on babies and women. The question is basically ignored by those promoting banning homebirth, and the wrong promotion of it as safe so that more women than not, now in 2007, will see it as perfectly safe. Drugs at birth is a collective consciousness that allows the cycle of dependency and drug addiction we see to be perpetuated. THAT could be a hypothesis for someone to study -- as it has never been studied. EVEN in addiction studies, with 80% of the present population born under the influence of drugs, IMPAIRED, with impaired mothers, the use of UNRESEARCHED drugs at birth has NEVER been studied as a causal or related factor.

The use of narcotics in labor and birth (while discouraged and even warred against in every other aspect of life) is disguised at giving women freedom from pain in birth … with no regard for her baby’s lifelong consequences of being born while they both are impaired “under the influence” of narcotics. In ANY other situation in life, a woman would be chastised and judged for being impaired while doing something so important, and she’d be seen as harming her child if she is impaired.

In this bi-polar society in seems daunting for anyone, especially medically trained people to see that even when they are using a substance for the right reasons, to facilitate the birth so that either or both mother and baby will survive, it STILL has consequences. Refusal to see that and to engage in ways of supporting the baby afterwards create this growing belief -- a monster that everyone ignores and denies -- that babies are unaffected by what we do, what they experience, what they have circulating in their body, and that their systems must work and struggle to adjust because of drugs and disruptions.

The research in the late eighties and 90’s were very clear about what the physiological response to epidural was for the mother and baby. This does not change just because they added ANOTHER harmful, unresearched drug to counteract (fentanyl). It doesn’t change because we deny it with the belief that women’s rights to pain relief, doctor’s time schedules, and convenience are as important, if not more, than the rights of a human baby to be born free of harmful, addictive chemicals.

It seems to me that the lack of any research and the ongoing research ON babies and mothers to find the right dosages with least complications, and the obstetric shop-talk sharing how to’s is outrageous.

Using Cyotec in the first place was done on women and babies without study and it was done between doctors and residents, in online chats, and general “shopt-talk” fashion. Dosages, complications, and responses was figured out like how we teach our young people to prepare, stuff, and cook a turkey. AND, meanwhile, simultaneously, THEN they began to research it …. THOSE who have it in their interest to continue using it. Same with epidural anesthesia …

YEAH, I AM blue in the face ....

I met a local anesthesiologist recently ... our conversation started over the war. It was a week after my son went to Kabul and I was working at being numb. He started giving me all sorts of things to send my son to read ... including something about the Heroin War, or something. I started to share my perspective that our violence and addiction starts in the primal period ... as I shared my oft cited research where 120 babies received different doses of bipuvicaine and fentanyl to determine the best dose combination, this new acquaintance smiled .... I said, "What, you are a doctor?" He, who is as crazed about the war and heroin use as I am about making birth safe for the baby by creating science-based protocols and using drugs and interventions only when needed, was shocked when I suggested that he and his colleagues have created the drug addiction crisis and asked how is it that any of you would be able to consider what it is that you have done to so many humans? I said it would take a spiritual crisis and awakening ... and our society does not support that. Anyone in any sort of emotional, psychological, or spiritual crisis is "diagnosed" and pumped with drugs that cause a myriad of other issues. We see it on television, in the advertisements .... around and around we go.

Progress in the "war on drugs", the "war on crime", the "war on gangs", the "war on violence", the "war on poverty", the "war on cancer" will happen ONLY when we start bringing babies into this world in an aware, safe, gentle, connected, drug-FREE, violence-FREE way. (Medical birth is violent).

We can conceive, gestate, labor and birth, and care for our infants with awareness, protection, gentleness, our time and touch EVEN when or ESPECIALLY when medical intervention ARE necessary. What is wrong with this world of obstetrics that promotes all or nothing ... either their way or no way.... zero compromise so that woman blindly follow, or live their lives damaged in silent rage and illness, unable to connect with their children in the way that both their mind and souls strive for and miss over and over and over.

Oh, my ....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Midwifery in Afghanistan

When I learned my son was going straight from Kuwait into Afghanistan a month ago, I had a huge mix of feelings.

One was ENVY ....

Four years ago I was considering going back to get my RN degree and I retook a lot of pre-requisites. My GI Joe was in college and asked, "Why in the he** do you want to do nursing school at your age!?" (Jeesh, I was only 47! Youth.) I told him if I just had that nursing degree that I had started to do twenty years before and if I was without parenting responsibilities (ie, his younger sister), "I would SO be in Afghanistan helping to bring midwifery back there."

He replied, "Yeah, you and your *#^% hippy friends, and when you'd get in trouble WE'D have to come save YOUR A**ES!!"

I exclaimed, "YEAH ... of course!! EXACTLY. THAT is what the military should be doing!! Providing protection for us to go do good there ... bring the things that they need to survive and to create self-sustainability."

(And, I zero mean Walmart, McDonald's, and StarBucks.)

So, yeah, it was envy ... one of the seven sins .. not simple jealousy. I was envious ... how could he do that? Go to Afghanistan while I am still here?

So, as usual, GI Joe's soul, in the body of a human brought through my body, is my muse, and his path (our "soul contract") is dragging me along (mostly kicking and wailing) this year, only this time, not quite happily, but with interest beyond wailing about my son being in a war. I so want to contribute to the rebuilding of the lives of the women there.

I pray his soul and his consciousness remember our conversation ... about how the peace nik, hippy, rabble-rousers AND those who are courageous and strong and willing to risk their lives in battle can come together and work together towards a common good. Harmony within the self and in the world.

(Raise them in the ways, and they'll return, right?)

WOW, what if the US would raise it's collective consciousness level and marry the MILITARY and the PEACE CORPS? What if we did that and spent our lifetime together seeking to bring health and wellness to all peoples of the planet, rather than seeking to maintain our consumer-driven lifestyle in the name of Jesus. (Watch for new documentary this week, What Would Jesus Buy?) I wrote about this marriage of polarity (like most human marriages) then, when I learned my son's second year deployed in Afghanistan, but I''ll mention it again ...

What if the 500 Billion spent on decimating Iraq had gone towards wedding this union ... the compassionate, skilled people of the US, either via military or the Peace Corp working together? There are so many Americans who would gladly do a rotation in a third world country ... sharing their personal and professional skills ... IF they didn't have to KILL and BOMB, and IF they deploy on mission of good and could do so without living in poverty (as most Peace Corp and Vista workers do.)

The expected trillions of dollars in Iraq and all of the consequences from it, could have been spent on going in to build roads, electrical plants, public communication, sewage plants, schools, and hospitals. My son says that Kabul is like every other city -- but without sewer systems and people blow themselves up. I have followed the plight of the Afghan women for a decade -- and, recently a high number of them are setting themselves on fire - because their lives are still so tragic.

There are some good things going on there, but do we hear about them, or the continuing needs? What if we were to fund creating healthy water, nutrition, and necessary BASIC medical supplies such as antibiotics. Women are not allowed to see male professionals, so the women desperately need female doctors, nurses, and midwives.

Last fall I researched and wrote a lot about the role of midwifery in making birth safer in every other industrialized nation in the world that has LOWER MATERNAL AND INFANT MORTALITY rates than in the United States. (Dec, Jan, Feb posts). While the United States allows physicians, drug companies, and lawyers to control women's bodies in birth and maintains that induction and surgical birth are as safe, or safer, than natural birth -- when their own research shows us this is false -- other countries have better outcomes for both mother and father. Spreading this way of birthing is part of the war on humanity.

Meanwhile, in Canada, of course, there is a group who is contributing to the plight of women in Afghanistan and making birth safer by training women in midwifery. Yeah!! Canada. Thank you!

I waaaanaaaahhaa go, too .... and take the CanioSacral healing work there ... and, my cameras, of course, so I can share it with you all.

(I did not get the RN degree .... THAT is another story .... ONE day a colleague sneaked me into the newborn nursery in central IL. I was a "job shadow". Me, the birth trauma therapist and Baby Keeper. Oh, mama. I knew if I couldn't make it one day watching what they do to babies -- while calling it normal and scientific -- I couldn't make it through two years of BS.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Birth with Dolphins

Star Newland, dolphin researcher in Hawaii on on YouTube.

Below, and at

Star discusses the Sirius Institute, dolphins and dolphin birthing and communities, the pod (community,) and the Domestic Harmony Initiative in Hawaii.

I, Baby Keeper, co-wrote the Safe Baby Resolution with Star in late 2006 and it was introduced into the Hawaii legislature in 2007. Baby Keeper is moving to Hawaii to complete work on the Domestic Harmony Initiative and Safe Baby Resolution.

Safe Baby Resolution asked legislators in Hawaii to study the early primal period of conception through infancy as the foundational time for health, wellness, and harmony as well as foundational time of the myriad of social and physical concerns of society. The resolution looks at what both our hearts and the science tell us that a human being needs from pre-conception through infancy as the foundation for a safe, healthy, and harmonious life. We seek to make gestation and birth gentle, drug-free, and safe for mothers and babies as well as for medical caregivers and society. The resolution supports all parties working together in partnership to create this foundation to support harmony for our babies -- and for the world.

It is up to each of us to seek the harmony within ... to seek harmonic resonance within and with others in order to live harmoniously in the world. Many on the planet are seeking "PEACE" in these times --- as am I, as I my son deployed directly from the Iraq war into Afghanistan for another year. I, like many families of deployed loved ones, have come to learn much about finding peace within. Rather than seek Peace --- somewhere out there, dependent upon what others do or don't do, and while failing to make sacrifices on behalf of others --- we propose seeking to BE and LIVE harmoniously, even when, or especially when our personal lives and/or the world around is so fearful.

Happy Birthday, Blog - Happy Thanksgiving, Friend

This blog is ONE YEAR OLD this week -- and thanks to it, I am a bit wiser, as well as older (my birthday is this week too).

This blog was conceived and born out of my angst of my son's departure to war and another blogger's disregard for women and natural birth. I found my voice this year, in thanks to standing up to her and starting this blog. Like most women, I was terribly violated in birthing my babies -- three grown and one teen. Since I was violated, so were my babies. It took me twenty-five years to acknowledge within me that my body remembers and my baby's body remembered, and to begin this almost decade long journey of healing to claim my body, soul, and mind. Claim myself from the insidious socially ingrained denial of the impact of medicalized birth on women, on me, and on all of us when we are born.

I had already participated in years of healing at a level that medicine and psychology deny, (because to do so would require they themselves to go within to heal, and it would require they change what they do that is so financially lucrative.) I have studied pre and perinatal psychology since 1999 -- and, I sought to share it here on this blog -- my personal journey and the new science and the application of the logic and science we've know for eons. Women are so disempowered and silenced in their experience of birthing. Their souls and bodies are violated, the baby is traumatized and brutalized, and the father of their baby, if there, is profoundly disempowered. This blog let me get it all out. Oh, mama, did I get it out.

I wrote 600 pages on this blog from November to May ... THREE books worth.

As my son deployed the experience shook me to my core. I had to look at ALL of the fifty previous years of denying my personhood and self. I had to look at my gifts and shadows, failings and successes, and prepare for the next decades --- making life safe; making birth safe. It opened up the floodgates. I found a bottom reservoir of grief ... I cried more tears last year than in my entire fifty before. And, then, like Forrest Gump's marathon back and forth across the country, I just stopped writing one day. I had to get out of "the cave" and walk this path it opened up.

The day after Earth Day, April 2006, I joined the local community radio station and was on the air within two days reading announcements. On Memorial Day I interviewed people and created a montage that is the opening for my segment, Until They All Come Home, a tribute to the men and women who are serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on KOPN 89.5 ( on the News at 5, sometimes Tues and/or Thursday. (May 28th post). I did the fast track training to be able to "run the boards", do programming, and music shows. If you have a community radio in your community, check it out. In June I joined the Community Access Television (CAT) and I have been working on my documentary about birth ... a film for fathers about their babies experience of birth.

Please watch for a trailer coming very soon .... and an introduction version, hopefully in January, for midwives, doulas, women, and men. The introduction will be fund raiser to complete the documentary.

I am very thankful for all of the blessings of this year ... especially you. Have a blessed holiday.

P. S.

Below is a segment of my first posting on November 23, 2006. My challenge to the physician who stills taunts and verbally assaults women, to the neonatal doc blogger who devoted a post to me to dis' my work (Debunking the Pseudoscience of Infant Memories), Sunday, April 22, 2007 and my April 25th post here), and to the anesthesiologist I just met at the health food store the week after my son didn't come home and who screamed at me, "You've got to pray your guts out" when I said numbly, "I won't ever seen my son again. He'll die there" ("Dude, it's just a stage of grief), and to anyone else in MEDICINE who controls women's bodies ... is SHOW ME THE RESEARCH THAT INDUCTION, EPIDURAL, and SURGICAL BIRTH ARE SAFE ..... AND, that BABIES DON'T REMEMBER BIRTH (it IS the baby's birth and s/he DOES experience it! The unborn baby's brain is "ON" even during labor and birth. DUH!):

It is abhorrent that peer-reviewed, doctor/medical business and drug industry controlled research are medically and socially sanctioned to do decade after decade of medical and drug research on the bodies and souls uninformed, non-consenting women -- and their babies. The generational impact of this to the human baby, male and female is an outrage. It is morally, ethically, legally, and spiritually wrong.

It is obscene to promote the use of narcotics at birth as safe for the birthing human, WHILE "America's War on Drugs" rages on, and while school children (with poor impulse, motivation, and boundaries) are being drugged with prescriptions of narcotics but taught in billion-dollar programs to "Just say no!" It is immoral and negligent to promote cesarean birth as safe when there is no research to prove this WHILE the incidence of every devastating childhood illness goes up.

In pre and perinatal psychology we know that poor impulse control, motivation, follow through, integration, and boundaries are all established in the brain of the laboring and birthing baby. Medical establishment is fighting like hell to prevent this research that PROVES that disrupting by induction, drugs, interventions, surgery, and brutality of the first hour of life. THAT is the problem. A win would mean that women and babies are treated with aware, gentle, safe, and respectful care knowing that every single word, thought, and action is experienced and remembered by the birthing baby's brain.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pregnant Patient's Bill of Rights

Full credit to:


Many pregnant women are not fully aware of their right of informed consent or of the obstetricians' legal obligation to obtain their patient's informed consent prior to treatment. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) first publicly acknowledged the physician's legal obligation to obtain his or her pregnant patient's informed consent in its 1974 publication, Standards for Obstetric-Gynecologic Services, (pg 66-67) which reads:

"It is important to note the distinction between 'consent' and 'informed consent'. Many physicians, because they do not realize there is a difference, believe they are free from liability if the patient consents to treatment. This is not true. The physician may still be liable if the patient's consent was not informed. In addition, the usual consent obtained by a hospital does not in any way release the physician from his legal duty of obtaining an informed consent from his patient.

"Most courts consider that the patient is 'informed' if the following information is given:

  • The processes contemplated by the physician as treatment, including whether the treatment is new or unusual.

  • The risks and hazards of the treatment,

  • The chances for recovery after treatment.

  • The necessity of the treatment.

  • The feasibility of alternative methods of treatment.

"One point on which courts do agree is that explanations must be given in such a way that the patient understands them. A physician cannot claim as a defense that he explained the procedure to the patient when he knew the patient did not understand. The physician has a duty to act with due care under the circumstances; this means he must be sure the patient understands what she is told.

"It should be emphasized that the following reasons are not sufficient to justify failure to inform:

  1. That the patient may prefer not to be told the unpleasant possibilities regarding the treatment.

  2. That full disclosure might suggest infinite dangers to a patient with an active imagination, thereby causing her to refuse treatment.

  3. That the patient, on learning the risks involved, might rationally decline treatment. The right to decline is the specific fundamental right protected by the informed consent doctrine."

American parents are becoming increasingly aware that well-intentioned health professionals do not always have scientific data to support common American obstetrical practices, and that many of these practices are carried out primarily because they are part of medical and hospital tradition.

The distingquished obstetrician Dr. Roberto Caldeyro-Barcia, while President of FIGO, the world congress of obstetricians-gynecologists, cautioned two decades ago:

"In the last forty years many artificial practices have been introduced which have changed childbirth from a physiological event to a very complicated medical procedure in which all kinds of drugs are used and procedures carried out, sometimes unnecessarily, and many of them potentially damaging for the baby and even for the mother".

A growing body of research makes it alarmingly clear that every aspect of traditional American hospital care during labor and delivery must now be questioned as to its possible effect on the future well-being of both the obstetric patient and her unborn child.

There has been a three hundred percent increase in the rate of autistic children in the United States in just one decade. One in every 35 children born in the United States today will eventually be diagnosed as retarded; in 75% of these cases there is no familial or genetic predisposing factor. One in every 10 to 17 children has been found to have some form of brain dysfunction or learning disability requiring special treatment. Such statistics are not confined to the lower socioeconomic group but cut across all segments of American society.

New concerns are being raised by childbearing women because no one knows how drug induced changes in brain chemistry, oxygen depletion, head compression, traction and skull fracture by both forceps and vacuum extractor the fetus and newborn infant can tolerate before that child sustains permanent brain damage or dysfunction. The findings regarding the cancer-related drug diethylstilbestrol have alerted the public to the fact that neither the approval of a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the fact that a drug is prescribed by a physician serves as a guarantee that a drug or medication is safe for the mother or her unborn child. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Drugs has stated that there is no drug, whether prescription or over-the-counter remedy, which has been proven safe for the unborn child.

The Pregnant Patient has the right to participate in decisions involving her well-being and that of her unborn child, unless there is a clearcut medical emergency that prevents her participation. In addition to the rights set forth in the American Hospital Association's "Patient's Bill of Rights," the Pregnant Patient, because she represents TWO patients rather than one, should be recognized as having the additional rights listed below.

  1. The Pregnant Patient has the right, prior to the administration of any drug or procedure, to be informed by the health professional caring for her of any potential direct or indirect effects, risks or hazards to herself or her unborn or newborn infant which may result from the use of a drug or procedure prescribed for or administered to her during pregnancy, labor, birth or lactation.

  2. The Pregnant Patient has the right, prior to the proposed therapy, to be informed, not only of the benefits, risks and hazards of the proposed therapy but also of known alternative therapy, such as available childbirth education classes which could help to prepare the Pregnant Patient physically and mentally to cope with the discomfort or stress of pregnancy and birth. Such classes have been shown to reduce or eliminate the Pregnant Patient's need for drugs and obstetric intervention and should be offered to her early in her pregnancy in order that she may make a reasoned decisions.

  3. The Pregnant Patient has the right, prior to the administration of any drug, to be informed by the health professional who is prescribing or administering the drug to her that any drug which she receives during pregnancy, labor and birth, no matter how or when the drug is taken or administered, may adversely affect her unborn baby, directly or indirectly, and that there is no drug or chemical which has been proven safe for the unborn child.

  4. The Pregnant Patient has the right if Cesarean birth is anticipated, to be informed prior to the administration of any drug, and preferably prior to her hospitalization, that minimizing her intake of nonessential pre-operative medicine will benefit her baby.

  5. The Pregnant Patient has the right, prior to the administration of a drug or procedure, to be informed of the areas of uncertainty if there is NO properly controlled follow-up research which has established the safety of the drug or procedure with regard to its on the fetus and the later physiological, mental and neurological development of the child. This caution applies to virtually all drugs and the vast majority of obstetric procedures.

  6. The Pregnant Patient has the right, prior to the administration of any drug, to be informed of the brand name and generic name of the drug in order that she may advise the health professional of any past adverse reaction to the drug.

  7. The Pregnant Patient has the right to determine for herself, without pressure from her attendant, whether she will or will not accept the risks inherent in the proposed treatment.

  8. The Pregnant Patient has the right to know the name and qualifications of the individual administering a drug or procedure to her during labor or birth.

  9. The Pregnant Patient has the right to be informed, prior to the administration of any procedure, whether that procedure is being administered to her because a) it is medically indicated, b) it is an elective procedure (for convenience, c) or for teaching purposes or research).

  10. The Pregnant Patient has the right to be accompanied during the stress of labor and birth by someone she cares for, and to whom she looks for emotional comfort and encouragement.

  11. The Pregnant Patient has the right after appropriate medical consultation to choose a position for labor and birth which is least stressful for her and her baby.

  12. The Obstetric Patient has the right to have her baby cared for at her bedside if her baby is normal, and to feed her baby according to her baby's needs rather than according to the hospital regimen.

  13. The Obstetric Patient has the right to be informed in writing of the name of the person who actually delivered her baby and the professional qualifications of that person. This information should also be on the birth certificate.

  14. The Obstetric Patient has the right to be informed if there is any known or indicated aspect of her or her baby's care or condition which may cause her or her baby later difficulty or problems.

  15. The Obstetric Patient has the right to have her and her baby's hospital- medical records complete, accurate and legible and to have their records, including nursing notes, retained by the hospital until the child reaches at least the age of majority, or, alternatively, to have the records offered to her before they are destroyed.

  16. The Obstetric Patient, both during and after her hospital stay, has the right to have access to her complete hospital-medical records, including nursing notes, and to receive a copy upon payment of a reasonable fee and without incurring the expense of retaining an attorney.

It is the obstetric patient and her baby, not the health professional, who must sustain any trauma or injury resulting from the use of a drug or obstetric procedure. The observation of the rights listed above will not only permit the obstetric patient to participate in the decisions involving her and her baby's health care, but will help to protect the health professional and the hospital against litigation arising from resentment or misunderstanding on the part of the mother.

Prepared by Doris Haire ©2000
American Foundation for Maternal and Child Health

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mothers and Babies in Afghanistan

These articles are several years old. Recent reports are that life in Afghanistan, especially for women and children is worse this year. Billions and billions of dollars later ...

Birth shadowed by death

Afghanistan: A Johns Hopkins-linked program combats tragically high maternal and infant mortality by training midwives

"We have a local midwife," Abdul said. "But she has no education."

23,000 Afghan mothers die in childbirth each year, making it the nation's leading cause of death for women.

Biggest cause of death

It's also the single biggest health threat that Afghan women face, claiming the lives of more expectant mothers each year than malnutrition and war. It is a public health catastrophe with few parallels elsewhere in the world.

In the United States, the lifetime risk of death in childbirth is one death out of every 2,500 women - the risks for any individual depending greatly on the number of times she gives birth. In Afghanistan, the figure is one in six.

Giving birth is perilous here partly because of the nation's poverty; the lack of roads, clinics and health workers; and partly because the country's culture has blocked health care advances.

In the US only 3% of birth are at home. One third of all births are surgical births and many of those are believed to be unnecessary and doctor-induced. In Afghanistan women do not have the option of hospital birth.

Only 8 percent of Afghan births occur outside the home but that figure might soon rise. In interviews, village elders across eastern Afghanistan said that they want their wives, sisters and cousins to go to clinics or hospitals to give birth.

another article:

Feature-Women dying to give birth in Afghanistan

By Angie Ramos

ISHKASHIM, Afghanistan, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Gulnama Shamsali sips tea and tries to calm her screaming six-month-old son as her husband and his four siblings quietly nibble their lunch -- a few pieces of stale wheat bread -- in their cold, dark mud house.

In two months, Gulnama, still only 22, will give birth to her second child.

And she could die from doing so.

The nearest hospital is 100 km (60 miles) away, four to five days by donkey, the most common transport in rural Afghanistan.

But Gulnama, whose youthful face is scarred by patches of frostbite from the bitter winter weather in her native Badakhshan province, says she is not worried. "I will give birth and their destiny belongs to God. He will save them," she said.

According to U.N. data, Afghanistan has among the world's highest rates of maternal mortality, and remote, impoverished, Badakhshan has the highest rates ever recorded anywhere in the world, with one mother dying in every 15 births.

It is not difficult to see why.

The province is spectacularly beautiful, with high mountains and deep valleys blanketed by green in spring and summer, red in autumn, and white in winter.

But this beauty masks extreme poverty, an absence of physical infrastructure, a lack of skilled health workers, high illiteracy and social pressure on women to bear many children.


More Great Scientific Research

Bipuvicaine and fentanyl and other narcotics are also considered safe and without harm by those who use them and those same people who do the research and have a lot to gain.

MMR: It's safe when you remove the damaged kids

Around 7,000 American families have joined a very long queue to try and win a cash settlement after their children suffered permanent, or longterm, damage from one of the 'safe' vaccines such as the MMR. To win their case with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VCIP), the families must prove a direct causal link between the damage done to their child and the vaccine.

For this, they must locate good scientific evidence which would be recognised and accepted by the VCIP board.

Unfortunately, as we're always reminded, scientific studies have consistently proven that the vaccines are absolutely safe. Even Dr Andrew Wakefield's infamous claim of a possible link to autism has been discredited by medical research.

And, as luck would have it, in the very week when the VCIP started reviewing the merit of the parents' claims, the august New England Journal of Medicine published another study that suggested that the vaccines - and especially the thimerosal preservative used in the vaccines - didn't affect neuro-psychological functioning.

To discover the safety of the vaccines, the researchers looked at the health records of 1,047 children aged between 7 and 10 years who had been given their first thimerosal-loaded vaccine as a baby. They couldn't find anything out of the ordinary among the children.

However, in making their selection, the researchers took out any children who had existing neuro-psychological problems, such as encephalitis, meningitis or hydrocephalus, as this might have caused 'bias' to the results.

So let's get this straight. The children who were removed from the study had been vaccinated, and they were displaying neuro-psychological problems. Once removed, the researchers were left with a group of healthy children, whose very well-being 'proves' the vaccine is safe.

Don't expect any pay-outs any time soon from the VCIP.

Published 26 October 2007 14:36 by Bryan Hubbard Filed under: , ,

Birth Extremism

Seems there is a discussion elsewhere about BIRTH EXTREMISM ..... isms are everywhere and a daily part of life ... birth extremism though? hmmm ... seems some folks, especially medical folk, who have much to gain financially from winning converts to the belief that birth is dangerous and that vaginal birth causes brain damage, while Cesarean surgery is safe .... well, these folks believe that women who choose natural birth and other lifestyle choices that protect their child from abuse and toxins are extremists ... braggarts even. Oh, those women who brag about birthing without drugs, at home ... who "think only of themselves" and not the safety of their baby.

By the way, how did the neophyte, "Medicine", become the One, real, and true way, and the natural way (through eons of time) become the "Alternative"?

"Birth Extremism" just might be necessary to bring the pendulum back to mid-line.

Here's an epistle I really enjoyed ---

See, I for one honestly don't get why anyone is actually bothered by "birth extremism". YES there are fanatics, as there are in every walk of life. I once knew an OB who honestly subscribed to the old fashioned "iron clad perineum causing brain damage in baby's tender heads". He cut an epis on every single woman, had like a 50% cesarean rate, and openly stated that he hated vaginal birth and thought that individuals born vaginally ALL had some degree of brain damage. I kid you not! Clearly he didn't represent the viewpoint of all OBs, or all physicians.

There's a very large percentage of docs practicing defensive medicine, despite knowing that it's application may often be against evidence and even against the well being of women. Do they represent all docs? Obviously not. AmySue herself has railed against defensive medicine often - just do a google search on her and it.

So yes - the lotus-birthing, placenta-print making, elimination- communicating, breatfeeding until age five and then only raw food eatin', handmade toy only playin' parents out there ARE extremists. Big flippin' deal!

There are thousands of "extraordinary groups" out there in American present and past (nuns, hippies, gypsies, amish, brethren, survivalists, trekkies... the list goes on and on....). It's part of what makes any culture interesting, for pete's sake. Celebrate diversity!

On the point that these women/parents may "make other's feel bad" for choosing an epidural or bottle-feeding -- again, BFD! Christians make me feel bad for living in sin, do I care? Health food nuts make me feel bad for liking sugar, whoopdee. Greenies make me feel bad for driving an SUV, oh well.

My point is - cultural extremism in many walks of life has always and will always wax and wane. There will always be dreamers. There will always be those who hate authority. Why do you guys have such a problem with it??!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Our Boys ... We have good news!

Mine first! He's coming home!! My GI Joe who is partially responsible for my inspiration for this blog a year ago will be home within a week. He deployed to Kuwait and Iraq from Mississippi on October 16, 2006.

I am traveling to Mississippi to meet his plane and to count his fingers and toes, to touch and smell him, kiss him and look into his eyes to tell him how happy I am that he is here. Sound familiar? It FEELS familiar!!

A HUGE congratulations to my co-blogger Heather and her family on the arrival of her son as well. He was born at home as Heather planned -- unassisted, with only family present. What a wonderful, beautiful story awaits the readers. You are the BOMB, Heather.

We want pictures! We want pictures! We want pictures!!


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Babies faces -- we wash them too much, and with chemicals

I love this letter I get from this fellow and am posting it in full.

I was reminded of my teenage years when I decided to wash my face multiple times a day to improve my skin. My complection was clear and I got many compliments on it but decided I wanted it even better. My skin broke out! and so I went back to my routine of soap and water morning and night -- if I remembered. My grandmother had given me cod liver oil to take for my skin --- she knew. I have never used a lot of cremes and makeup and didn't blow dry my hair. My younger sister who did looks older than me. I always wondered about that.

I am also reminded of another natural way that we mamas have for washing our baby's faces, especially in a pinch when nothing is available -- our saliva. My older daughter absolutely hated that as she got older. She will be thirty in November and so this was waaaaaaaay before the days of "wet ones".

By the way, I know a brilliant, mother Earth mama who used old receiving blankets and made her own "wet ones" with natural indredients. I scratch my head and say, "Wow, and a wet washcloth used to do the job just fine, and it was Earth friendly too." We just keep evolving into such "civilized" beings -- and, but, what is the cost to the planet?

I suppose that for eons now, since women have been giving birth, that they knew all of the ways that they could use their body to care for their babes. I wonder what women did when water was not immediately available? Don't we all still do that sometimes? Babies were rescusitated by mouth. Women today can't even imagine it -- we're so evolved. It seems so gross to me now, but did women clean up burps by mouth and what about the other end? Sorry ... but, I do think about such things. How did women do it? Is there a reason that breast milk poop is not offensive?

So ... here's the letter.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Good Life Letter
9th September 2007

Dear janel,
Did you know that WE may be increasing the cases of eczema in British society…

…because we wash our babies too often?

Bless poor Mums and Dads these days. Terrified by scary ‘EVIL GERMS’ adverts into scrubbing their tots to oblivion in boiling water every night.

But it could be true….

The number of kids suffering from skin conditions like eczema has doubled in a generation. A scary 35% of babies suffer from sore, flaking and itchy skin.

Around 25 ago this figure was 17%.

This is not as widely reported as it should be. But it’s a growing theory. Even the bloke off This Morning – Dr Chris Steele – claims that these sorts of stats could owe much to the over-washing of babies.The reason?

Well, a child’s skin is delicate, and the skin needs time to strengthen of its own volition. So it’s no surprise that over-cleaning is going to cause damage.

Especially with modern soaps and lotions.And it’s not only children….Over 5% of adults in the UK now have eczema, which involves red, dry, itchy skin… lumps, blisters and weeping sores.

Many experts believe a lot of it is down to our crazed dependence on the artificial cleaning agents, solvents, detergents, oils and other gunk.

Again, this wouldn’t surprise me at all.

But before you run screaming for cover at another Collins outburst…. I don’t want to get into a rant about the perils and pitfalls of modern living… not today at least.

I want to offer your a few specific, NATURAL ways to help avoid – and ease – skin problems like eczema.
Because as sufferers will already know, the side-effects of conventional drugs can be worse than eczema itself.Steroids can cause muscle wasting, weight gain, osteoporosis, poor immune system, ulcers, high blood pressure and glaucoma.

And while antihistamine drugs can reduce inflammation, they can also make you drowsy.They key for a long term solution is to find natural ways to correct your body’s metabolism so that it tackles the root of the problem.

In short, let’s see if you can help give your body the tools it needs to clear up the problem for itself.
3 supplements to help fight the symptoms of eczema

First up. Try out supplements of essential fatty acids. They are said to bring you relief of eczema symptoms.
For instance, a study in Denmark showed a 58% success rate in treating patients with fish oil supplements over a 4 month period.

Even better, eat oily fish like mackerel as part of your diet. They’re packed with Omega-3 and also vitamin D, which is good for the skin.

Upping your weekly fish quota is not such a struggle to do either… (unless the slightest whiff of mackerel causes you to erupt into the nearest wheelie bin.)

I recommend smoked mackerel and scrambled eggs for breakfast 3 times a week. Absolutely delicious.

Fish oils can also reduce levels of leukotriene B4, an inflammatory substance that has been linked to eczema.
In one trial I’ve seen reported, the results were amazing. In the test group, 73% of eczema sufferers who were given fish oil saw improvement after just 12 weeks.

There’s also Zinc….

It helps make the enzymes involved in your fatty acid metabolism. And it helps your stomach produce hydrochloric acid.

Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry are good sources too.
Or, if you’re vegetarian, pumpkin seeds are the most concentrated source of zinc outside meat products.
Also try dairy products, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals.

A useful FREE resource for you

If you have a serious skin problem here’s a non-profit organisation for you to turn to.

They’re called the Skin Care Campaign, an umbrella organisation for British people with skin diseases. It’s a subsidiary of the National Eczema Society, a registered charity.

Write to this address:
Hill HouseHighgate HillLondon N19 5NA

Or check out their FREE website:

In my opinion, the only problem with sites like these is that they tend to offer only conventional medicinal treatments. I’d much prefer to see a whole range of treatments offered..

For people who’ve been failed by the treatments they’ve tried already, where’s the lifeline?

That said they do give you support, champion your cause and a network to rely on, which is a good thing in my opinion.

And offering you information on alternatives, so you can be empowered to make you own choices is what services like The Good Life Letter are here for.

Or, you can try great handbooks like this… which I love.

No, this isn’t for eczema, but another skin condition I’ve had a tonne of email about recently…

Hope for psoraisis sufferers

If you or your loved ones have psoriasis, here’s a great handbook. It shows you all the conventional treatments… AND the alternative options, too. What causes psoriasis and a range of tips to help treat the symptoms Revealed!

  • The factors that increase your risk, including stress and worry
  • Lifestyle changes that can help including food and drink you should avoid.
  • Possible serious complications that could put your at risk
  • The low-down on new medicines your doctor may prescribe
  • Natural homeopathic remedies that really work
  • The key ingredient in the Eskimo diet that keeps them psoriasis-free
  • An effective, little known treatment that has helped thousands
  • Helpful addresses for psoriasis sufferers

You’ll also learn from actual case histories of psoriasis sufferers and how they treated their agonisingsymptoms and now successfully keep psoriasis at bay.

Go and take a look at it here:

I hope some of this helps you. I’ll keep looking out for more resources, research and natural remedies

Yours as ever,
Ray Collins

The Good Life Letter

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Senator Loudon: Language inserted to protect babies

Senator Loudon: Language inserted to protect babies

Springfield New Leader

I supported tort reform and sponsored medical malpractice insurance reform so obstetricians would not leave Missouri because of high insurance costs. This and my desire to see babies born safely to Missouri families prompted my insertion of the midwifery and Down syndrome language into House Bill 818, recently signed by the Governor.

My wife and I prefer hospital births but find it shocking that Missouri is the only state where midwifery is a felony. I had strong majorities in the House and Senate for my bill ensuring licensure restrictions on midwifery. When one senator up for re-election filibustered at the behest of one lobbyist, thwarting the voice of the Legislature, we employed the constitutional measure allowed exactly for this purpose.

Over 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, yet in January, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) mandated its members suggest a Down syndrome test to all pregnant women. Columnist George Will called this a "search and destroy mission," which "borders on eugenics." Lobbyists obstructed my efforts to change these provisions.

Savvy lobbyists know it is easy to kill a bill. You only need to buy one senator's filibuster. This is an abuse of the process. So, when trying to create a new freedom in the face of that filibuster, there are few choices. You can compromise. We did that. You can negotiate with fellow Senators. We did that. In the end, when there is no dialogue from the other side, constitutionally there is one option, which we exercised.

I inserted language in HB 818 to counter their "search and destroy" mission against babies with Down syndrome, and to de-felonize midwifery. It seems inconsistent that ACOG would attack the midwifery language but not the Down syndrome language, while attempting to strip both from the same bill.
All of the outrage is based on about 30 women delivering babies in a birthing clinic or home, to 1-3% of families at the most (based on other states' data). Why should we let ACOG hold the monopoly in Missouri? They have failed to prove their case with raw data, so they have resorted to fear mongering. Seeing through this, senators voted overwhelmingly (21-11) for midwifery, despite lobbyist rhetoric.

Now, Missouri women, not the state, decide where to deliver their babies. Mothers carrying babies with Down syndrome will have full information (high false-positive rates, resources available, adoption) before making critical choices.

My hope was that de-felonizing midwifery would bring ACOG lobbyists to the table to create a law that works for both sides. ACOG prefers to make midwifery a felony again.

Instead of civil debate, the medical groups have chosen the uncivil course of filing a lawsuit which the taxpayers will have to defend.

In a perfect world, one senator would not serve a narrow special interest and block the will of 21 and another Senator would not resort to maneuvering around him in pursuit of freedom. Until the.

This is also personal to me. Our baby, Robert, hospital birthed by an OB, would not be here but for the pre-natal suggestion of a midwifery advocate regarding an undiagnosed clotting disorder that caused three prior miscarriages. We also adopted a precious little boy with Down syndrome, Samuel, and we are passionate about his right to be alive. I think all Missourians should have the access I had. ACOG's lawsuit may block that.

Published Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

A tearful day

I responded to a dear friend who wrote kinds words of support today. She lost her beautiful daughter four years ago.

Thanks, Sista.

I know you get it. Over time I came to articulate that it is sort of like when a family has a baby in NICU or a child missing. We know where they are and fear the worst and then the element of how wrong it is and our child is doing it, participating in it. His soul has a mission and I totally support that. I am in awe of him sometimes and the shared journey of ours. I saw him come in at conception and he was so dear and cherished. So awesome. So much anguish is from the time of his early teens when Mario was so brutal to me and I was "hiding" it and our relationship, from the ga-ga begining to the abuse, harmed Joe. FORGIVENSESS ... knowing HE chose ME for whatever his purpose. He is a loved, cherished, and cared for being. I am curious about WHO he will be when he returns. How will he be and his thinking ... what will he be led to do? WHAT is HIS role in this? Looking back at his articulations as a child becoming a man, he was so about the world changes. The Warrior Soul.... the GENTLE warrior ... clearly, Mario (soul level) was part of Joe's plan.

The hard part is like when you were with Rachel in ICU ... the waiting for the prognosis ... that part is part of this. WHAT, when, how .. will he be ok? Survive .. keep limbs, vision, brain? We he live his life like so many VN vets? Last year this time I wrote him a "love letter" when I realized he was going AWOL on me --- I am, had to be, as I am sure you considered, inspite of your premonition, of the possibility of caring for a disabled child for the rest of life.

It's also a bit like parents who know their child is abducted or a runaway (as Joe chose this) -- the "just can't get to him or stop anything or protect him" part of it. If only all of these people in between me and him --- from the Guard Family Assistance people who have direct contact with the redeployment who can have direct contact with him or his commander to the Alaska television journalist who was embedded in Joe's unit and SAW him, to my senators, to congress, to the Pres --- would do something. It's like sitting in NICU day after day and NO ONE seems to see or notice that I am unable to function wholey. I can't (Couldn't) take care of my basic needs.

I think often of the mother of the young woman who disappeared in Aruba last year. She was a maniac to some in her vicious vigilance. I totally get it --- I FEEL it on the inside. A mother does not stop her innate, physiological response to her child in danger. I imagine my eighty year old grandmother still feeling this way about her sixty year old son. I think of the next forty years (I plan to be at least ninety when I finish up my own mission here). I think of Joe being in the military for the next tweny years. Will this SCREAM -- the physiological response stuck in my gut -- EVER stop? How does the mother of that young woman or the parents of the two US soldiers MIA ever breathe? Or, the families of the men and women who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq .. or anywhere for any reason?

I haven't cried for about three weeks. Yesterday and today I am teary. I sent a birthday package that had come back, and a new one with ten dozen cookies. Enroute to the PO I heard Diane Reams on the radio speaking with soldiers sharing their experiences. I sat listening in the parking lot to a very articulate man in the same rank as my son. He spoke of his experiences of going into Iraqi homes and terrorizing them, ah, I mean interrogating them. How do people hear believe that all of the terror is out there and directed at poor little ole us who have seventy percent of the world's resources? I wondered how is my son't experience of the the war affecting him? The boy conceived and raised by a rabblerousing, grassroots, anti-stupid rules naturalist hippie and a conscientious objector in VN gone to prison for five months instead of going to war -- who came to admire Colin Powell as his hero-- WHO will he be when he comes home?

I imagine he'll come home and like others in his generation to whom this world now belongs, fallen in on them, will have fix this mess. My imagination and hope that sustains me some days is that he will come home to the next phase of the unfolding of his soul's journey - MY HERO, who will know in his soul and his bones (because of genetics and upbrinign) how to go about creating peace and equality in the world. I am so proud of him.

Tears are falling now. I would give anything to hear my son's voice, see his face, and nuzzle in his neck taking his scent into every cell of me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Homebirth Attended by Amish midwife

I attended a birth on July 4th. You guessed it; of course, it was a homebirth. I s'posed that the baby might be one of the very few babies born on the holiday during 2007. Most of the babies due anywhere near were induced in order to have the holiday free. Imagine what havoc the Wednesday holiday created for obstetricians --- getting births in on Monday and Tuesday. I bet that was tricky. Do you suppose that they just induced the week before to make sure the weekend was free as well? You can go to your local hospital website and track births. I started doing that two years ago when my cousin's son had a baby in St Louis, MO. My mother couldn't pull up the picture and I was helping her. DAMN!!! I noticed immediately no babies on the 4th and a spike in the days before. I got to looking and DAMN! again! BIG drop in the numbers of birth on Saturday and Sunday and every holiday. *#($(& $(&#(* (*#&(*. Makes me angry to think about how obstetricians are given free license to do whatever they want even when the science shows the danger and consequences to women and babies (induction, then the needed epidural ANESTHESIA, and then surgical births they lead to.) I wonder how NICU census numbers range near holidays.

ANYWAY, back to sweeter things ..... the homebirth I attended. Baby number four. Second homebirth. The first two were cesarean births. (I could get into that, but will save it.) The midwife for the birth was an Amish midwife who was two hours away. I was seventy some miles. The baby was "over due" and not much happening. The mother woke in labor about 6:30 am and she called me by 7. I headed out about 8 ish to drive the 78 mile trip. I arrived about eight minutes before the baby was born at 9:30 am, and the midwife was about four minutes behind me.

No one answered the door and I crept in quietly, whispering, "Haaalllooo." Grandma stuck her head out of the bathroom and said, "We're in transition!" I was unwrapping video camera cords as I approached. I looked in and thought, "Ah, you are way past transition." Baby's head was crowning. Grandma said, in a panic now, "Have you been to a birth before?" I was there to video the birth for my documentary AND to support the baby and mom to have minimal disruptions and to do the self-attachment sequence. She said, "I don't know if this is normal -- I have never seen it from this end." (She did two homebirths too.) I noticed that it was only the dad sitting on the side of the tub supporting the mother, and the grandma. No midwife. A flushed and relieved and now-panick feeling Grandmother moved aside for me to "take over." I was still fumbling with the camera cord and my camera battery seemed uncharged. The father said the electricity had gone out. As I put the camera aside, I said to the grandmother, "It is, (normal). She's crowning." To the mother I said, "You're doing great. I see baby's head. " To Grandma I asked, "Do you have gloves?" My fleeting thought was a plan to support the mother to catch her own baby and to get ready to activate a transport. I was grateful I'd taken neonatal resuscitation certification with Karen Strange in January and had just reviewed it. Country birth. Amish midwife. Seemed like a good thing to do. I was more grateful it wasn't necessary.

In that couple of minutes, between the crowning head contraction and the next one that pushed baby out, while I was thinkin' 'bout what to do about no gloves (and blood and fecal matter), the midwife arrived. She walked into the bathroom, pulling on her gloves. I moved to the side by grandma who had moved aside for me. The midwife leaned down between us and the tub (like we were playing Twister -- bathrooms aren't made for five people and one birthing a baby) and she caught the baby. Easily. Peacefully. Gently. It could not have been orchestrated more perfectly and beautifully if we'd tried it. Minutes, literally. If I had stopped along the way to go to the bathroom, or if I'd gotten behind a slow vehicle, or if I'd hit the lights wrong going through town, or stopped to talk with my friend when I dropped off something to her, I would have missed it. Three hours of labor were basically transition. I left about six hours later and I went to my fourth of July party.

That night my father was transported two hours by ambulance from the rural area in other direction to Columbia. Rural Missourians have next to zero options for ANY kind of medical care, birth to elderly. Today I finally got to have a long talk with the happy, rested mama. I told her (I'd been awed by this thought) that her baby is the least traumatized human being I have ever seen. She was so well cared for in the first hours of her life, and in a quiet environment where no one hurt her. She did cry and cry for twenty minutes, and I believe it was about the pressure on her head. Going fast is very painful for the baby.

She had not one sonogram, or vaginal check, or monitoring between contractions. No shots, no scrubbing or bath. Weighing done at one hour just before the midwife left . Otherwise, baby in mama, daddy, or Grandma's arms, and mine briefly in the first minutes of her life. Only people the mother trusts and chose. I held her briefly during the first moments of her life while the mother repositioned herself on her knees, then to support self-attachment, and to carry her to the other room where mother wanted to sit after two hours. Baby's head was not constantly poked and prodded as in a birth I attended recently at home where baby was monitored in between every contraction. So disrupted. Why? Because the doctor has to document and protect herself. Not from the parents necessarily, but from the system that will go after her should anything happen. The mother held the baby while she was still on her knees, holding her, talking to her, touching her .... what she wanted that she'd missed in the first births. She held the baby below the level of the placenta -- just as Dr. Morley says is optimal ( When the cord was cut it was white -- indicating transfer of blood and cessation of pulsing. The midwife was holding the baby. The father softly said, "Give her to me" and the midwife did immediately. It was SO BEAUTIFUL --- SO the way it is supposed to be. Isabella is HIS daughter. It's his home, and mama is his wife. There was zero resistance from the midwife. She trusted the woman's body to care for the baby during labor and birth, and she trusts a father to care for his baby in the first minutes of life. There is nothing like seeing this.

Later when the electricity was back on I got video of him cleaning the bathroom and working in the kitchen. It was amazing to watch -- he was instinctual. While mama and baby cuddled, touched, and nursed he would go do caretaking chores --- getting the laundry started, making food. He was circle around and check on his baby and wife. It was like watching the male of an animal species caring for his baby and partner.

Welcome to the world, little one, little Isabella. She is so cute. She did self attach by the way. She did it her way and in her timing, of course. Self-attachment is so awesome to watch. The baby at the previous birth I videotapped also got to self-attach. I stopped the midwife from interfering -- the baby was crying and struggling, as they do and are supposed to. Baby and mother, just like in labor and birth, interacting together. It's ok for the baby to struggle with soft, gentle guidance and support from mother -- to attach at her breast. Welcome, Phoenix. Sweet, amazing baby.

So cool. SO COOL.

"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