The Other Side of the Glass

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

The trailer

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Transparency and Disclosure in the Health Care

The middle ground exists in other countries where they have home births, birthing rooms, and hospitals. Some women have good outcomes and some women have bad outcomes in all populations those in a hospital setting to those in a home setting. Fight the good battle which ever side you’re on but make sure that you’re there to support your side when the going is bad.
-- second year obstetric resident in previous post

BabyKeeper said, "Why should the government -- the PEOPLE, the tax payers -- pay to care for children who are damaged in birth, especially since we know that much of what is done medically unnecessary but to avoid malpractice."

Anonymous said, "Because if they did, (Gov pay for harmed babies) then it could (theoretically) pave the way for practises to changes so that they weren't to avoid malpractice suits, but were a result of evidence based, best practise. That's really the whole point. Whilst blame WILL be cast, nothing will change and it's only going to get worst for anything which deviates even slightly from the norm. Whereas if emphasis was shifted away from blaming to dealing, there is an opportunity to change. This doctor did nothing wrong. He respected the woman's wishes. She chose not to have monitoring and it is arguable whether this could actually have changed anything if he'd overrode her wishes. In these circumstances, no one is really to "blame" - it's just one of those things. As it stands, she could still sue the hospital and stand a good chance of making mega bucks, so there is no real onus on anyone to change to more woman centred care. Whereas if there were a central government sponsored fund, practise could truly reflect BEST practise, which would in theory drive the need for payment to birth damaged babies right down."

and, also said,
"pony is out of the gate for too long now" Unfortunately, that's the real problem. I know my idea is wonderful in theory but unworkable in practise. For things to change it's going to take a massive cultural shift in society, but that's not going to happen any time soon, especially since we're conditioned to conform and suffer from white coat syndrome.

Well, some GOOD NEWS!! Physicians and hospitals are looking at these issue as well albeit from their own perspective. We need WOMEN, CONSUMERS to begin to look at their safety and care in birth, and to speak and act. Collective, collaborative action from many perspectives can bring together parties to make changes.

Accountability: A Case for Transparency and Disclosure in Health Care
March 19 and 20, 2007
Bellagio Resort - Las Vegas

Want to learn how to overcome the hurdles facing institutions striving towards transparency and disclosure? Want to learn from national leaders who are involved in the transparency and disclosure movement? Want to have the opportunity to network with fellow professionals interested in disclosure and transparency? Then, we have the meeting for you!

Presentation topics include:
  • The Increasing Gap between the Public, Hospitals and Physicians
  • Pay for Performance: A Payer Push for Transparency
  • Transparency and the Health Care System
  • The Impact of Transparency: The Duke Experience
  • Accountability and Her Evil Twin, Blame: How to Avoid One and Embrace the Other
  • Legal Ramifications of Transparency
  • Sorry Works! Making the Case for Full Disclosure
  • Failure is Not Final: Doing the Right Thing
Check here for a brochure:

Monday, January 29, 2007

What do you think? When babies die regardless of location.

What about those situations when no matter what one does the outcome is that the baby doesn't live?

“ …. we don't know if they'd have been fine at home! But...the same is true of homebirth deaths. We don't KNOW if being at the hospital would have saved them.”
--- Heather B. on this blog

This circular argument has been going on regarding hospital versus homebirth deaths for mother and baby -- for a long time. It can’t be answered. It can’t be researched. While people debate it mothers and babies are dying and being harmed in medical birth and in improper homebirths. Physicians and midwives bear the moral and legal responsibility for the women and babies.

I am sharing below the experience of an obstetric resident caught in the middle between trusting nature, honoring woman's choices, and going against what he was being taught is necessary because “birth is a medical crisis” (and that maintains the system that pays him and his malpractice insurance). The resident supports her wishes and he advocates for her and the outcome is not a healthy, live baby. It is tragic for every one involved. Who is "responsible" will always be the first and last question -- too often settled in court.

His experience in the birth of a baby born brain dead is a perfect representation of all aspects of birth in our society that are being debated about not only WHERE is a baby safe, but what care provides safety while respecting the mother's body, choices, decisions, and responsibility. How can this society develop the best and safest care for the baby and respect the needs of all parties, including the physician and midwives.

My intent is to engage women, obstetricians, nurses, psychologists, malpractice attorneys, educators……anyone who wishes to contribute to making birth safer wherever a woman chooses to give birth -- home, birth center, or hospital. This effort to reform birth practices and develop partnerships between midwives and physicians is so that our society focuses on the well being of humans from conception on. It is so babies are not only born alive, but that they are conceived, gestated, labor, and are born with the least drama and trauma possible.

In order to facilitate what I have proposed here -- a beginning of coming together of all parties to dialog -- in order to heal birth, I invite you, whoever you are, to respond to the following correspondence from a second year resident in an obstetric residency program in an inner city Chicago hospital.

This story is about a woman who comes to the hospital wishing to claim her body and birth and be without interventions. To do so in a hospital, a woman must come to that place very defensive and resistant. It is very eerily similar to many homebirths that result in fetal death -- the mother's wishes are supported and the need for emergency care happens fast and too late. This story is likely to have ended the exact same way if the mother had chosen to birth at home.

In our society, regardless of the best efforts by a mother and her medical caregiver, clearly some babies will die. The attitude prevails that “someone has to pay” and there are plenty of malpractice lawyers to take up the cause. For damaged, but living human beings there is a huge cost on many levels for the family. Our society does pay to support their care and treatment, often life long services. A myriad of social service programs and therapists will be paid by taxpayer money to provide for the child, often for decades. The resident's heart-felt questions about this, "who will take care of the brain dead child" are touching. This baby's birth and death, while trying to "do birth right" was a turning point situation for this resident -- he stepped out the "between a rock and a hard place" and into the medical machinery. The pressure from all sides -- family, legal teams, attendings, etc -- is too much. Living with the questions of self-doubt and losing a baby is life changing for a physician (or nurse or midwife.)

How can we give women power over their bodies and choices in birthing their babies, and support those caregivers -- physician, nurse, or midwife -- to also be cared for and supported?

This is an opportunity to express your concerns and needs, either personally or professionally, but it must be done with respect and regard for the differences of others and their choice, especially the mother, baby, and family, and resident. I am looking for sincere answers as this story demonstrates what I believe are big issues.

1) Doctors are disproportionately responsible for birth outcomes ;

2) Legal liability of any caregiver - physician or midwife allowing the mother to make the choice and how to personally live with the consequences; because

3) Sometimes babies will die regardless of where, or with whom, the mother and baby give birth.

Remember the FOCUS is the HUMAN BABY in relationship to the mother and family, and what a baby needs to be safe and supported, nurtured, and to be born according to his or her own biological impulse (physiological science tells us the baby begins labor).

Rules of engagement

1. Use “I” statements and refer to people in general as "one" as "you" often creates misunderstandings.
2. Express your perspective as your own
3. No personal attacking of individuals or groups
4. I reserve the right to not publish those that are offensive or attacking
5. Consider the Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz as a guide
-- Be Impeccable with Your Word (say what you mean, mean what you say and don't gossip)
-- Don't Take Things Personally (love you or hate you -- others project their beliefs)
-- Don't Make Assumptions (what you assume is more about yourself and your beliefs)
-- Do Your Best Everyday (and acknowledge others doing their best are as well)

Last night I had a woman who was at the hospital as she was in labor. Her family did not want to take her home and when in pain after offering her different methods of pain relief she refused. Then she continued to labor very slowly (doing it all on her own) after rupturing her membranes on her own earlier in the morning. She only allowed us to examine her a few times and by the way she was progressing I knew that it was going to be a long night. The baby's heart rate was now in the 180's and she would not allow us to intervene. At 1230 yesterday night I got a call from the nurses to perform a stat c-section for absence of fetal heart tones. I was in the operating room at 1231 and tested the mom’s stomach for adequate anesthesia. She screamed in pain, but after 6 minutes she was under general anesthesia and I made the first incision and had the baby out in 40 seconds. When I pulled the baby’s head out it appeared limp and when I pulled the rest of the body out it appeared lifeless with no pulse in the cord which I clamped. I placed the lifeless infant in the isolette and after fifteen minutes they were able to revive the infant but had to place it on a ventilator. Both its pupils were already fixed suggesting massive hemorrhage in the brain.

After the neonatologist informed the parents of the baby’s condition they both hugged one another and started to cry. Later they both asked the staff and me what went wrong?
If you want to labor on your own no one should stop you. Yes, it was the right of the woman to refuse anesthesia/epidural, and to refuse monitoring; but now she has a brain dead infant and is looking for answers which only God has the answers to and it is God who would have predicted the outcome. But who is standing up for the baby who is now going to be in a vegetative state.  

Who is going to pay for it? Which one of the women who supported this woman in her decisions is going to give her comfort? Which one is going to pay her expensive medical bills and who is going to help her raise child that is possibly going to be in a vegetative state for a long time, if not forever?

The middle ground exists in other countries where they have home births, birthing rooms, and hospitals. Some women have good outcomes and some women have bad outcomes in all populations those in a hospital setting to those in a home setting.

Fight the good battle which ever side you’re on but make sure that you’re there to support your side when the going is bad.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Midwives and Doulas -- the salt of the Earth and

Midwives and Doulas-
the salt of the Earth and guardians of our future.
by Colin Knauf

Next only to the power of the universe and motherhood, midwives, doulas and natural birth facilitators are our hope for a future. These dedicated souls offer wisdom of the ages, loving support and the natural order of things to enable healthy birth. They are our saving grace for a planet degenerating into chaos and catastrophe -our front lines fostering change for a better more peaceful tomorrow.

Every mechanical birth foisted upon us by our technology driven medical industry leads us closer to disaster. This industry and it's share holders put more value upon control and self perpetuating income than healthy birthing outcomes. Sadly they rule political policy and the planet.

Health, love and joy- being the natural byproduct of natural nurturing from conception through to birth and beyond - push us toward a life of health, tolerance, love, joy and compassion. Alternately every needless birthing intervention moves us away from nature's perfect path. Science has shown it predicates poor health, emotional dysfunction and violence which support the number one global industry: WAR MACHINES and number two profit centre: PHARMACEUTICALS!

As our second saviours, and I do not use that word lightly, Michel Odent and cohorts have shown through robust research and cross cultural study of birthing practices; a much better way is possible, easy, affordable and warranted. Science research has rediscovered what we have intuitively known all along. Science articulates what our innate genetic handbook of life is trying to tell us: pervasive modern methods of intervention and medication are unhealthy and impede the natural order of birth. Thinkers outside the box have shown scientifically and empirically: when all things natural are set in motion for birth to proceed - it does...most beautifully. Natural birth offers us health, well being and smiling babies not screaming, quivering, frightened souls predisposed to perils and problems that are totally unnecessary except for obscene profit and greed.

Baby and mother know best -by reading each others 'hormone chart', accurately timing and prompting each other to invoke the 'birthing ballet'. Later this dynamic duo interact to trigger mother's 'milk of human kindness'. The amazing elixir of life that fosters health, long term wellness and comfort. Perfectly sustaining babies who are so fortunate as to receive it.

'Labour' is a strange word to describe the natural course of events for this wonderfully sacred time. It is a word likely coined by modern medicine. Highly indicative of a limited perspective and descriptive of the horrendous effort involved in pushing a baby uphill uncomfortably confined in stirrups and balanced on a cold narrow operating table. Immobilized with wires and IVs dangling, tethered to beeping machines, in a too bright 'birthing theatre' permeated by foreign smells, anxiously distracted by too many poking and prodding people. Maybe 'labour' is an apt name for birthing in the disquieting and unfriendly environs of a conventional hospital. Compromising confusion, defensive hostility and feeling under siege is no recipe for a happy, healthy and imminent new life. Not the ideal setting for tranquil thoughts or attendant hopes and dreams for a long life of happiness with your emergent little one. What an unnatural way to begin a partnership that should sustain both, through all the ups and downs of life. Demeaning a woman by depriving her of her privacy, control and innate empowerment; and then setting her up for "failure to progress" is a sure path to post partum depression and all the attendant risk to mother and baby. It is a perfect catalyst to unhealthy dependency on the medical and pharmaceutical industry and other addictive behaviours which spawn our burgeoning western economy.

Leboyer, Odent, Prescott, Pearce, Bowlby, Montigu, Liedloff, the Harlows and a vast number of other leading and questioning thinkers have exhaustively researched and studied birthing and nurturing around the world. They have as much as proven: medical interventions predispose us to poor health, violent and addictive behaviours and many other malevolent life outcomes. They have illuminated our understanding of the important junctures in our primal period: preconception, conception, birth and postnatal development.

They have shown nature lays these milestones in perfect order and sacred balance. Resulting in healthy brain development invoking natural endocrinology and biochemical setup for a good life. Offering a life of joy, health, compassion, love, tolerance, production, fulfillment and best of all an innate understanding of the harmony available in the universe.


Thank you for embracing nature,
Guiding us and pointing the way to harmony,
In a world so desperately in need of it.
You are making a difference – a huge one,
-- one happy birth and family at a time.
This bodes well for our future and world peace.

Maternal Deaths During Childbirth

On homebirthdebate,
From Someone:
Amy, I posted the other day numerous stories of deaths that occurred as a direct result of birthing in a hospital with careless attendants who were healthy and would have been fine at home. All you have to do is go read stories where deaths have occured in the hospital. How did the baby or mother die? Were they otherwise healthy? Would they have survived if the intervention or a different model of care had been applied? That's not too easy to figure out, and I've posted already SEVERAL stories where being in the hospital caused a death that wouldn't have occured at home.

Someone, please feel free to post your information here.

There are those who believe that the woman who choses homebirth is putting her needs before her baby's (based on one person's belief in the excess of neonatal death rates at home).

First, judgements and decisions ought to be withheld until there is a thorough study of the long-term impact of the interventions that save babies' lives in the hospital. Based on evidence-based research about when and what is appropriate (induction, supine, coached pushing, time-frames, resuscitation, etc., etc.) that is not adhered to in daily obstetric practice, a majority of babies receive MEDICALLY UNNECESSARY inductions, drugs, and other interventions. (Drug were never shown safe before using and retrospectively are shown to be dangerous, but still used for the majority of births).

Medical caregivers shrug their shoulders over the maternal death rates from induction with cytotec, ignore FDA and nursing association warnings about the danger of vacuum extraction, and don't mind sounding stupid when they say there is no cause for colic and advise "It'll just go away anyway. " With these and the ongoing money and efforts to research, educate, and lower the incidence, cause, and cure for asthma, autism, and SIDS, for example, how does the public blindly trust (and ignore) the danger of hospital birth to the SURVIVING baby. How is it that none of these high-caliber scientific endeavors EVER look at the most important physiological experience of life? So that the causes of infant mortality rates are not ever related to birth trauma? Who pays for and supports the research that supports the medical field? Those with vested interests. There has not been an adequate, honest, scientific look at the REASONS for infant mortality rates within the first year of life.

Second, please check out the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project. This is a memorial project for the women who have died in childbirth since 1982. Few, if any of these women, died in homebirths. I have seen this quilt twice and it is powerful. I was honored to hold it for others to pass by and read the names of the women as Ina May Gaskin shared each woman's story. Start with the story of Lynne Saiter, 30, died in December, 1999 at a small hospital in Sydney, New York. She is survived by three children from earlier pregnancies, all born vaginally, and the baby from this pregnancy, who emerged from the experience severely brain-damaged. Click on Quilt Pieces to go back. Any woman with birthing experiences in the hospital, such as myself, induced with cytotec, can not help but whisper the prayer, "But by the Grace of God, go I."

Also, visit The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation. Thirty-two year old healthy Tatia Oden and her baby, both died as a result of Cytotec induction. Perhaps, one of the many reasons we have to be sad for and honor Tatia, her baby, and her family is that she and her baby were NON-CONSENTING, UNINFORMED research subjects. Because of women like Tatia and her baby, the medical establishment was able to learn more about induction with a drug contraindicated in pregnancy.


In Dec. 2001, Tatia Oden French entered a well-known and well-respected hospital to deliver her first child. She was 32 years old, in perfect health, and looking forward to a natural, unassisted childbirth. There were no problems during the pregnancy. According to her doctor's calculations, she was a little under 2 weeks overdue. She was given the drug Cytotec to induce her labor. Cytotec, also known as Misoprostol, is a drug manufactured to treat ulcers. It is NOT approved by the FDA, or the drug company, to induce labor. Ten hours after being administered Cytotec, Tatia suffered hyper-stimulation of her uterus, an amniotic fluid embolism (AEF) was released, an emergency C-Section was performed because the baby was also in distress. Both Tatia and her baby Zorah died in the operating room.

The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation, a non-profit corporation, was formed in March 2003 to give ALL women of childbearing age complete information concerning medical interventions and drugs which are administered during childbirth. We do this hoping that women may then be able to make FULLY informed decisions regarding the birth of their children. The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation offers presentations regarding the issues of maternal mortality, informed consent and the off-label use of drugs-specifically the use of Cytotec to induce labor. We strive to provide as much information as possible to as many people as possible regarding these issues. We believe that ALL known side effects of the various drugs and procedures used in labor and delivery, should be explained to women BEFORE they agree to these interventions. Without this information it is impossible to give fully INFORMED consent.

Natural Birthing Options: Technology in Birth- First Do No Harm
By Marsden Wagner. M.D.

To understand why so much unnecessary technology is used during pregnancy and birth, it is necessary to understand how technology comes to be used. We must first ask, is the use of a new technology preceded by careful scientific evaluation, then followed by official approval for use and requirements for education of doctors in its use? Sadly, the truth lies in another direction. An example of a recent birth technology now rapidly spreading in the United States will illustrate the reality.

Several years ago a drug with the generic name misoprostol (called Cytotec by the drug company that manufactures it) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a prescription drug to be used for certain ailments of the stomach. It is known that one of its side effects is severe cramps or contractions of the uterus, and for this reason the label says it should never be used on pregnant women. Obstetricians, however, discovered that given orally or vaginally, Cytotec, because of its side effect of violent uterine cramping, can induce (start) or accelerate labor.

So without any prior testing of Cytotec for labor induction, obstetricians began to use it on their birthing women. Doctors on the Internet began to describe their experience with this new way of inducing labor. One doctor wrote, "I must say I have heard some great things about Cytotec myself. Just be careful. The stuff turns the cervix to complete MUSHIE" (web message emphasis, not mine). A few studies have appeared in obstetric journals but all are too small to give adequate scientific evidence about this use of the drug. But these studies did show some risks, such as a tendency for the fetus's heart to start racing and show other signs of fetal distress, and for a few women to have their uterus explode or rupture.

A review of the scientific evidence by a highly prestigious scientific body says that because of the lack of sufficient scientific evaluation and the reports of serious side effects, the use of Cytotec for labor induction "cannot be recommended for routine use at this stage." That Cytotec is not approved by the FDA for labor induction, is not approved for this use by the drug manufacturer (who still states on the label that it is not to be given to pregnant women), is not endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or midwifery organizations, nor does it have scientists' approval for routine use-all has had no apparent effect on the enthusiasm with which doctors are starting to use it. And there is nothing to stop doctors from using Cytotec for this "off label" purpose because although the FDA must approve a drug before it goes on the market, once it is on the market for a specified purpose, any doctor can use it in any dose for any purpose on any patient. After one obstetrician in South Dakota proudly told me over lunch that he was the first doctor in his community to use Cytotec for labor induction and now urges other doctors to use it, he justified his actions: "We will wait forever for the bureaucrats at the FDA in Washington DC to approve drugs, so we must try them out ourselves if we want progress." When asked, he admitted he doesn't tell the women to whom he is giving Cytotec that the drug is not approved for this purpose, nor does he ask for informed consent. He scoffed at my suggestion that he is experimenting on women without their knowledge, much less their consent.

The Oregon State Health Department told me their records show Cytotec to be the most common way of inducing labor in that state, and it is used on thousands of laboring women. The use of Cytotec on birthing women has spread like wildfire for a very simple reason, told to me by many doctors: its use brings back the possibility of "daylight obstetrics"-that is, women brought to the hospital first thing in the morning and induced with Cytotec will give birth by late afternoon and the doctor can be home for dinner. How many women will have their uterus ruptured before a court case finally applies the brakes to this practice? I personally welcome learning of cases where Cytotec induction was used without fully informed consent and there was subsequent uterine rupture, cervical laceration or other serious complications. The unsystematic, untested way in which Cytotec for labor induction was introduced and disseminated is typical for the technologies used during pregnancy and birth. Ultrasound scanning during pregnancy and electronic fetal monitoring during labor are further examples of uncontrolled introduction and dissemination of untested technologies. There is a big gap between what we know to be the best scientific maternity care practices and what is actually practiced. As a result, there is no consumer protection except litigation. Doctors blame lawyers and women for the fact that over 70 percent of American obstetricians have been sued one or more times, but litigation is the only way a woman and her family can protect themselves against malpractice.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Midwifery care in Afghanistan

Young Woman Battles Nation’s Biggest Killer

Tales of suicide bombers and battles with Taliban insurgents continue to dominate the news from Afghanistan, but there remains a far more pervasive threat to human life in the troubled nation.

Afghanistan has the second-worst infant mortality rate in the world. One in six newborns die before their first birthday, and 6 out of every 100 mothers die during childbirth. Cultural constraints mean it is rare for male doctors to assist women giving birth and there are few midwives, especially in rural areas.

But one young woman helping reverse the trend is Zahara Zamani.

While a refugee in Iran, Zahara, 22, says she dreamed of becoming a health professional. “Sometimes I would see people with health problems, especially women,” she recalls. “I wanted to help.”

A Life-Changing Tragedy

Later, following her return to Afghanistan, she remembers one case that especially touched her — a pregnant neighbor suffering from anemia who went into labor. Her child died almost immediately. Meanwhile the mother experienced massive hemorrhaging and died the next day.“

She was at home with her family. They didn’t understand what was happening. They weren’t educated about anemia. They didn’t take her to the hospital,” Zahara says sadly.The experience spurred her to complete a World Vision-supported midwife training program based in Herat, western Afghanistan.

Following graduation in 2005, she returned to Jibril, in the Herat Province, where she took a job with a health clinic that serves 40,000 people in the village and neighboring communities.

As a midwife in the town of Jibril, Zahara sees some 50 womeneach day. Photo by Mary Kate MacIsaac.

It’s a busy job. Over 120 patients visit the clinic daily; about 50 of them are women seeking Zahara’s advice and expertise. Many travel several miles by foot or donkey to reach help.Among those who are delighted Zahara has brought her newfound skills to Jibril is Dr. Abdul Wali Alami, director of the clinic.He recalls the situation before Zahara began working there — women suffering childbirth complications seldom had the support they needed.“They would cut the umbilical cord with a dirty knife. The women didn’t know about pre-natal or post-natal care. They had no information about it,” he says.

Today, Zahara spends much of her time counseling about pregnancy care, believing that education is the key to reversing Afghanistan’s dire maternal and infant mortality rates.Since 2004, 82 midwives have graduated from the midwife training program and are at work throughout western Afghanistan. Another 60 students are now in training. It’s expected the midwives’ efforts to educate and assist women through their pregnancies will ultimately slash death rates.
Zahara has become a significant agent of change in the Afghanistan of tomorrow.
Article courtesy of World Vision International. Please visit to learn more.
You can also read about how a neonatal clinic is reducing infant mortality rates in Afghanistan.

Baby's brain is a like a sponge ...

A reader posted this in response to my post about "Colic, baby talk, attachment and all that ..."

Did you see what happened to the family who was kicked off a plane b/c their 3 year old refused to sit down and had a temper tantrum? While I agree that by 3 a child should probably be able to control his/herself a little more (but not much!)'s the response of the American public that is so disgusting. There are over 200 comments on an MSN blog stating basically the same thing---children should be seen and not heard...some even wrote that children/babies should not be allowed on planes because they cry/fuss sometimes...DISGUSTING!!! I think we should ban the annoying adults who do much worse than try to communicate their feelings the way children/babies on planes do. Okay...enough ranting from me!

I want to reiterate an important point about babies and children from my earlier, loooooong post. Where ever babies they are --- they are vulnerable, open, receptive vessels AND children act out what adults don't deal with. Whatever is happening -- for the adult -- is magnified for the baby, plus the baby will not have the means to communicate it. Well, they do, let me adjust that. Babies don't get heard, acknowledged, respected, and supported when they communicate loudly and desperately. The get shhushed and silenced, sometimes rudely and violently. Babies are non-verbal communicators, except for their crying. Just because they can't talk yet, doesn't mean the brain isn't learning language, and isn't putting thought, experience, and words together. What we say and do gets soaked up. It creates the experiences that wire their brain/computers to function.

Babies EXPERIENCE the world and everything in their environment. They soak it up like a dry sponge. Babies are sensory beings with multiple senses. They SENSE the world, especially in the first months. They hear, see, smell, feel the world around them and that is how they learn. By absorption. They are magnets for what is happening around them and take in everything only to reveal it in amazing ways. What parent doesn't know that on some level? That you can be somewhere, see someone, say something and later the baby obviously remembers it. My daughter met her paternal grandparents at age four months and did not see them again until she was eighteen months old. She saw them in photographs I showed her frequently. Eighteen month old and at O'hare airport at the international gate flooding with people, SHE found their faces in the crowd BEFORE me and reached out for them. Then, I saw them. Later, when she was five she, her twenty-five year old brother, and I re-visited a restaurant where she showed him the table and where every member of the family had sat at this same restaurant over a year before. He looked at me in surprise, and I just said, more like a warning, "Everything you say and do is being recorded at all times." It begins at birth.

The human infant is the purest we'll be in life. We are taught to deny and disassociate from the first moments of life. "Shhhh. Shhh.. you are ok." (Your pain is not real). Most adults can still walk into a room and feel the emotional climate. It's called "energy" and we feel the collective attitude of a room because we are energy beings. (Quantum physics again). Babies are super-charged, one might say. A baby does not yet know how to negotiate the big, loud, bright, toxic world. When you see a small baby in a loud place -- store or football, or family gathering, s/he LOOKS like she is sleeping. Who hasn't heard someone marvel at the baby sleeps through it. Babies aren't sleeping -- they are "checked out", "zoned out", also known as disassociating. Amazing, eh? how early the human learns to disassociate?

So, are the biggest fears of most adults? Public speaking, flying, and death. What do people do -- besides drugs -- to be able to fly? Disassociate. Are they still afraid?!? YES!! What happens to that panicked, frenzied energy? It is absorbed by those less able to avoid, deny, and disassociate. Babies and children. The newborn and infant must be able to shut out stresses in his new environment -- if he not, he is going to be crying about it.

So, why would a young child of three NOT become upset, especially if she has flown before and has THAT experience and memory (of pain in her ears, fear, and parental stress) and she is surrounded by maybe hundreds of stressed out adults, many of whom are also panicked and afraid they're gonna die? Why wouldn't we have the greatest compassion for the smallest among us?

Reminds me of a story, of course. Ten years ago when I lived in Phoenix I flew frequently to Kansas City on Southwest. I got to get on first with my under two daughter and pick a seat. As the plane filled up NO ONE wanted to sit by us. In fact, seats around us were last to fill. It was great. There was always an extra seat and they allowed me to put my car seat on for here with the understanding if they needed the seat they would stow the car seat. Aaah, the good, ole days. I loved Southwest -- it's run by a woman, you know!

What would the world look like if children really and truly were "our greatest resource" as is given "lip service?"

Friday, January 26, 2007

Colic, baby talk, attachment and all of that ....

I was asked for my perspective on colic and diet on a group list and another article rolled out.

I am certain that diet, particularly the Ayurvedic diet, has a lot to do with supporting conditions that prevent or heal colic. I, of course, have a baby's communication and birth trauma perspective. I have a long article about my perspective on my website:

I see "colic" as one of those "trash-can" labels or worse a "set-up" in the socio-political-medical community for a lifetime of medical interventions and drug therapies. Starting at the beginning of life, here's why I believe the “diagnosis” of “colic” is the forerunner of ADHD, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, relationship issues, behavior disorders, and the high incidence of childhood and adult gastro-intestinal issues:

Babies need to share their perspective and experience of birth as they are coming into their body -- which is the spiritual-physical task and experience of the newborn for first two to 3 months. The soul is COMING into this body – integrating body-mind-soul. The baby is integrating all that has gone on thus far, including birth.

Mother has her perspective of the labor and birth, father has his, medical caregiver(s), family, friends, and doulas have THEIR own perspective of the birth based on their own experience (of the birth, through the lens of their own, and through their own beliefs and based on their own history). Their story is just their perception of what happened. So, everyone in attendance has their perception of their experience -- no one is wrong. They are just different perspectives.

Now, consider this, would you? WHOSE BIRTH IS IT? Who is it that made the journey from the womb to the world -- in the presence of others and the environment and energy field (YES! It's "scientific"- quantum physics, in fact.) that THEY create? Whose entire body of organ systems gets to do this amazing transition from being totally dependent on the mother/placenta/umbilical cord to being an INDIVIDUAL, separate, totally, physically independent being -- in a few minutes. AND, who will still be absolutely totally dependent on that single, consistent, loving heart beat that clicked away through development? (And, doctors and woman whose fight is REALLY about the psuedo-feminist battle to work, earn equal pay, have affordable childcare banter about the utter, indescribable, importance of the mother-baby attachment relationship. BUT, back to that later.) For now, and related to how our relationship with our mother develops, EVERYONE but the baby gets to express his experience of the birth and usually they get to be heard by someone, sometime, somewhere. As we all know, new parents tell their story over and over for months and people love to hear them. In their arms, however, baby never gets to tell his and be acknowledged. Surely, the baby does not get to share with the doctor or nurses his or her experience.

I worked with a three-week old newborn who was born at home and transported after birth. The doctor who had not yet seen the baby since birth came in and she exclaimed the same loudly adding, "let me see that baby". The baby began to cry and thrash -- telling mother no. The mother handed the baby to the physician who held the baby up face-to-face and loudly said, "YOU SCARED ME!" The baby wailed and thrashed to get away and the doctor held him to her, all the time he was obviously trying to get away from her. HE WAS SCARED. NO one -- mother, father, or doctor who WERE THERE said to the baby, "And, you were so scared, too." She didn't say, "I was so scared -- that I sent you in the ambulance and you and mommy were separated. It must have been so scary for you. I am soooooo sorry." Had she done so, this child's nervous system would have been able to calm down and with this, he would have a new imprint, a new story in his nervous system. While this interaction was going on, mother and father are smiling pained, confused smiles, not wanting to deny their doctor the opportunity to hold their baby, and not able to say no. (the biggest, saddest, lifelong result of hospital birth.)

I believe that the worst thing we do as humans is ignore the wonder, the power, and the sentience of the human baby -- in the womb, during labor and birth, and in early infancy. A child does not learn language at just that random toddler time when they begin to speak word; nor, does the child JUST then begin to feel and remember. This is what people wish to believe rather than acknowledging that every second of the baby’s experience is programming the brain. There are no secrets from babies – who live in the arms of or in close proximity of the parents and hear and see and feel EVERYTHING. By the time the child is talking years of processing developing has occurred. Parents now get to see the amazing results of their previous years of development as their prenate, birthing baby, and infant has learned the cultural language and has been able to make associations, and to put words to sensation and thoughts. And, it is all based on their relationship with their child and what they have said and done to and in front of their child. You think you can rag about your in-laws with a baby in utero, or in the car seat and the brain isn't taking it in, but it does take in the Mozart music? You think you can turn up the Mozart music and rag about the in-laws and since baby doesn't hear the WORDS, he doesn't know? Haahaaa. You are fooling yourself. Babies and children are the masters at knowing what is going on without words. If you feel it, they know it.

Because human newborns are seen as blobs without thoughts, feelings, and memory, they are brutalized, minimized, disregarded, and their needs are ignored -- more so in the hospital birthing environment than in any other place. “Welcome to the cruel, cold world, kid”. The treatment of babies in the medical environment furthers says, “Your parents aren’t in control, they can’t protect you – get use it to. Only we can help you.”

Drugged and numb parents, violated parents, disregarded parents are often powerless and will continue to struggle to gain equilibrium in their baby’s post-natal life. Because medicine conditioned us over the past century to relinquish our body and power and teaches us that the human baby brain is non-functional, a tragedy continues. Communication of the newborn and is ignored and adults assign THEIR feelings and thoughts to what the baby is doing or saying. Adults like to gain the attention of a baby to fulfill their own needs, not to engage with the baby as a separate, amazing human being (who JUST came from Source by the way, and is about as clear and amazing and real as will ever be -- before his or her domestication and indoctrination process begins.) Rarely, do adults just settle their own nervous system, acknowledge the baby, and let the baby guide their interactions, based on what the baby needs. Don't we all want to cry when we get treated that way repeatedly, especially by those who are supposed to love, nurture, and protect us?

"Colicky" babies happen after some robust efforts to share their experience and their feelings. What could it be about, people ponder so, and with no regard for the MONUMENTAL task the baby just recently did. I mean, really, what could a two week old have to cry about?? His birth? His decision to be here on the planet, in this dense, painful body? What soul isn't a little disenchanted? Isn't there a belief that we came here from a spirit world by God's plan? Does this soul not know this plan at birth? If not, then when? The soul, in the body of the baby, begins to express itself when? In utero? Blanks out at birth? Enters the body when, during toddlerhood?

Babies start out life trying to tell their story and like most of us do when no one listens we react. If an infant never gets to tell his story, to have his fears, wounds, and needs acknowledged, and never hears an apology for what he sees as wounding, it DOESN'T GO AWAY! It builds and builds throughout childhood and is re-experienced over and over. Separation at birth is the biggest cause of emotional issues in the mother-child relationship, for the lifetime as it gets reexperienced over and over, and the child is unheard. Separation happens during induction and epidural anesthesia as well as during first moments and hours of life. This gets played out in relationships over and over.

Recently at the library a little girl of about four had a huge emotional meltdown (aka temper tantrum) and most people either gawked or muttered to themselves or to others. My response is to support the parent --- "children act out what parents don't deal with" or aren't acknowledging within themselves or addressing. My response to those who judge is "Yeah, I know how she feels -- I wish I could just lay down and scream and kick sometimes." (And, I do in my own home in my own practice of healing, but sure enough, I know not to do so in public!! How quickly we learned that in our mother's arms -- sshhhh. shhhhh. And, by the time I had my third child I learned how to support a melt down when my child needed to and I allowed it in a safe space and sometimes, especially if it was a little too enacted, I joined them on the floor, usually ending in laughter.) What a parent of a child melting down in public needs is compassion and support so that she can be present and support her child. THIS Mother's system organized her child's nervous system throughout gestation, labor, birth, and early childhood. Children are in REACTION to parents and what the parent is experiencing. Sometimes children are expected to endure too much when a parent has needs.... like shopping. "Can't you settle down! Why can't you settle down?" When a child is melting down it is often in reaction to the child's inner needs in relationship to the current situation AND the previous ones. If you are an adult, y'all know you've experienced both sides of the disproportionate, unreasonable outburst in REACTION to something. We or they can't articulate it, we just feel the raw emotion, even if it doesn't make sense. It's a PREVERBAL memory gettin' expressed. Even when we are fifty-four, or four, one such reaction is rooted in the preverbal time of life and is the expression of the original wounding. Wooh.... traditional medicine and psychology will react to that one. So, if the parent can settle down by gaining control of her own nervous system, the child almost always can stop too and they can relate and repair the rupture. ("Parenting from the Inside Out" by Daniel Siegel, MD and Mary Hartzell, MED is an excellent book that is full of the most recent brain understandings, and provides a foundation for the healing work of birth trauma healing. )

Children are being domesticated with demands to not feel or express who they are. It begins in the first moments of life. Mothers almost always, and I hate to use the word always, shushh their babies to accommodate others. Children and babies get hurt, are scared, etc. and adults "comfort them" by shushing them, saying, "Shhh. SHhhh. You are ok. It's ok." The baby obviously does not feel the same. Adults want the baby to be ok and to stop crying, but denying the emotions of the baby doesn't work. Recently at a day care a boy of about three was engaging with me from across the room, communicating with his body and his eyes. Babies and children ALWAYS tell their story, what they are feeling when we attend to them. He got in trouble for not sitting still at the table for snack time. He wasn't really doing anything "wrong" just not sitting still and compliantly eating. A few minutes later I was in the next room and I heard a huge thud and then a crying child. He had fallen and hit his head so hard I heard it in the other room. I went in and the child care worker had picked him up as to comfort him, but said, "You are ok." The child writhed and cried louder and lashed out when she kept repeating it. HE was saying "NO, I AM NOT OK!" So sad, an injured child has to lash out in anger to have his pain acknowledged, but is still ignored and then labeled bad. (And, this was a good day care. Yeah, you go anti-attachment folks who insist that mother's right to self-actualization are more critical than early maternal-child relationships -- "if mother is happy, the child is happy.")

And, what would we adults do if we fell and hit our head so hard that others a room away heard it? We would yell, cry, curse, moan, and groan and be angry if people said to shut up. WHY do that to babies?? Unless severely injured we would try to look like we are ok, even if it hurt like hell and we had double vision. Why? Because that is what we have been taught to do from the first moments out of the womb --- NO ONE acknowledges the real pain of torsion to our head, shoulders, hips during the birth journey, particularly stressful if induced, drugs, mother supine, strangers pulled or vacuumed or cut us out. The memory of every experience -- good or bad -- is held within the tissues of the body. Every injury after will build upon the previous one. Children are "resilient", yes indeedy, but it catches up and they become the "aches and pains" of adulthood that is the reason for multi-billion dollar industries of all sorts of health care -- medicine, surgery, chiropractic, depression, anxiety, violence, ADHD, and on and on .... including HIGH incidence of childhood and adult gastro- intestinal issues.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Makes sense to me ...

A posting by Colin Knauf on another blog: (check out his site,

Lets look at the science and the studies. I don't believe for a minute that there is any one method of birth best for everyone. But I do believe that we are fooling ourselves if we think we can with medical intervention do better than our innate handbook for survival which is built into each and everyone's DNA and resides in the primitive brain. Medical intervention is a wonderul thing when you need it but we don't need it to birth in the greatest number of cases.

Just entering a hospital puts gravid women at risk. The primitive brain knows what is safe and what is not. When ancestral women could smell the lion or hear its roar; the amygdala would trigger her biochemistry to shut down labour until the safety of the cave or some other haven presented itself. When a mother enters a hospital her amygdala does the same thing. The foreign smells, sounds, lighting, ambivalence, mechanics, restrictions, protocols and procedures trigger her to stop labour (or in the lexicon of the hospital: 'failure to progress"...look at that for a minute... 'failure'....who wants to hear that at one of their most vulnerable times in life??) So her oxytocin drops to prelabour levels and ligatures don't soften and cervix doesn't ripen nor peritoneum prepare for delivery. It is then deemed time for pitocin to kick start this failure. Now the women's body is going through hell. Her brain and endocrine glands are trying to stop labour but her muscles are forcing the baby out. What a conflict of interests. Without the benefit of natural oxytocin and endorphins to ameliorate the pain, it is amplified and increases rapidly. With no biochemical preparation of the body, all manner of damage can be done. So we drug, dice and slice, as prescribed by protocol, the administration and the lawyers and insurers. As a result 90% of babies and moms meet for the first time drugged. And we wonder why breast feeding which we all acknowledge is the best thing for baby, does not just naturally happen. When we disrupt the birthing ballet and nature's all important biochemical bath, damage is done and risk elevates. The harm must heal and precious time for mom and baby bonding is put off until drugs are worn off. The window of opportunity for baby to self latch and feed doesn't happen.

Of course any die hard and dedicated mom with lots of support and coaching, lactation consultants and knowledge can offset this delay and harm. But not easily. And she has to be prepared and understanding of the process. That is the oxymoron, if she was knowledgeable, prepared and supported; she would likely be birthing in the safety and comfort of her home. We rarely offer prenatal care that presents all the facts fairly. We have an agenda of profit over prudence. We play fast and false with the stats to present our heroics as the premium choice.

Failing of course to devulge that Iatrogenesis is the number one killer in North America.When we undermine a women at her most vulnerable time and demean her to believe she is incapable of delivering a baby without our heroics; we set her up for 'failure' and postpartum depression while paving a path to the pharmacy. How else would pharmaceuticals garner the number two spot as the world's greatest profit centre? It isn't really a conspiracy that weaves this whole conundrum. No. Just Greed.

If the popular press and mass media presented the facts instead of the myths we would all be safer, healthier and happier. But the economy would have to look for other sources of 'fresh meat'. Our medical model of birth sets us up for aggression, drug addiction and dysfunctional behaviours while robbing women of their most empowering role in life. We need to stop NOW and turn this insidious medical model of industrial birthing around before its too late. The oldest profession in the world is midwifery not obstetrics and there is a reason for that. We need to embrace these women of mercy instead of treating them as a threat to our synthetic and unsustainable economy.

The hallmarks of peaceful nations are natural birth, milk of human kindness and vital touch.

States in the News

US State Midwifery and Safe Baby News

One of the (many) things I was discussing a few weeks ago as I researched the differences between care in the US and the UK is the lack of a NATIONAL standard of care for maternal health care in the United States.

Let me refer back to what I said earlier and to be specific --- the United States obstetrical health care does not have consistent, evidence-based care and protocols, policies, and procedures from state-to-state, hospital-to-hospital, doctor-to-doctor, and nurse-to-nurse. As advocates of women-centered care all know, a woman can get totally different information, care, and treatment in the same hospital with the same doctor and which varies greatly from individual nurses caregivers. The very same situation of one woman's labor and her baby's birth will vary vastly from hospital to hospital and from doctor to doctor within the same hospital. One labor over three to four shifts will have to adjust to the personal beliefs and preferences of every one of the nurses within that hospital setting.

While the US has NOT, every other industrialized nation -- with LOWER mortality and morbidity rates -- has developed a national standard of care since the 1930's that includes woman-centered midwifery care. During this time, American birth has cranked along on the conveyor belt of the medical machine based on physician's, drug company's and litigation needs in couched in terms such "maternal choice" and "maternal pain relief" and "scientific."
Below are some legislative actions happening in different states. Hopefully, these efforts by individual states will lead someday soon to an effort to create a national effort to create a health-based, woman-baby centered structure of maternal child birth care. Several Democrats are pre-election talking about a universal health care system. Time to get involved.

Citizens in Missouri will once again support legislation to allow DE and CPM to practice in Missouri.

Missouri is the ONLY state where the definition of the practice of medicine includes midwifery. You can see this yourself:
click here or ask your librarian to show you Missouri Statute 334.010.

Show-Me Freedom in Healthcare Political Action Committee! Check out this great site at

We are a non-partisan group of Missourians who care about the effects that certain policies and laws have on our families' health and well-being. Our goal is to increase individual responsibility and freedom to informed healthcare consumers in Missouri. We believe that individuals make responsible decisions about healthcare when they are given good information. We believe that parents are the best decision-makers for their children because of their personal interest and concern for their children's well-being and happiness. Thus we advocate for the people of Missouri to be given good information and the freedom to make informed healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.

Families do not want to see their future and their healthcare options negotiated away by healthcare systems, special interest lobbyists, medical associations, and insurance companies. We, the Missouri people, want our voice to be heard! We want to know that the people's welfare is of the utmost importance to our government, and to the men and women who make up our healthcare system.

The Missouri motto says it well: "Salus populi suprema lex esto", which is translated, "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."

South Dakota

2007 Legislative UPDATE South Dakota Chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives File Revisions to 2007 Legislation to Remove Restrictions for Certified Midwives in South Dakota. This info can be found at the bottom of the page at

and read the article:

A Home Birth Option for South Dakota
Certified Nurse Midwife has passion for South Dakota's Homebirth Community
by Portal Staff

While many people in South Dakota concern themselves with the “birthrights” of those who seek abortions, South Dakota Certified Nurse Midwife, Jeanne Prentice is working behind the scenes for those who want to give birth but don’t have choices. “South Dakota women are legally restricted from having a safe home birth with a qualified birth attendant” says Prentice. The current law requires that Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) have a signed contract with a physician in order to practice. Prentice says that getting a physician to sign a contract with a homebirth midwife is impossible. “Why would any physician sign an agreement with their competition? This is not a safety issue, this is purely restraint of trade” says Prentice.

Read the story on the website.

Star Newland, founder of Domestic Harmony (as opposed to focusing on violence prevention) and co-promoter of the Safe Baby Resolution was at the opening legislative day for Hawaii. See picture in the Hawaii Tribune Hearald below.

Read about the resolution at

While the resolution does not focus on legislative efforts to change the status of midwifery per se in Hawaii it is about creating social structures that support AWARE CONCEPTION, SAFE GESTATION, and GENTLE BIRTHING in order to create family and social harmony.

Friday, January 19, 2007

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country."

Or something like from John F. Kennedy.

Why? Why? Why? So many whys and questions I have and have posed this week. What can we do together for our country and for our people?

They all boil down to why does the United States not have A “standard of care” in obstetrics -- like every other industrialized nation?? Followed up, by why is there no standard of care when assessing maternal and infant safety and mortality when clearly the significant findings across the board in all research from the thirties to the present are that DE and CPM attended births are safer for the mother and baby when:

1) The training of the professional is the key factor in safety and homebirth is shown over and over to be safer because of the lack of disruption to the natural process of birth.

2) Planning and having access to respectful hospital care in the event of an unforeseen emergency.

Even in the US in states where homebirth is illegal the research has always shown that homebirth, planned, and with adequately trained professional is as safe as the hospital. A study was conducted of 4,054 Missouri home births occurring from 1978 through 1984. For planned home births attended by physicians, certified nurse-midwives, or Missouri Midwife Association recognized midwives, there was little difference between observed and expected deaths (5 observed vs. 3.92 expected). Maternal planning and preparation for every aspect of labor and homebirth is what makes birth safer wherever it is. Too often, women today plan to turn their body, mind, and heart over to professionals who will take care of everything. Beginning with non-medically necessary induction, they lay passive on the conveyor belt towards cesarean surgical birth.

In hospital birth in the US, most women are cared for by nurses throughout labor and the physician is in the hospital only seventy percent of time (and not with the laboring mother.) Nurses typically "manage labor" via phone contact with a doctor until he or she arrives in time to "deliver the baby." Research shows that if a woman is within twenty to 30 minutes of the hospital (as the physician also is) she is AS safe at home as she is in the hospital. Hey, have I mentioned HomeFirst in Chicago!?!? --- a family practice directed homebirth practice directed by a family physician and with a team of midwives and nurses and mobile equipment units?

No one in the countries with the low mortality rates debates the research findings that a well-trained professional is the key element. Like a broken record, another blogger denying the research from other countries and the statistics of mortality rates for seventy years, insists that babies are at risk for death at homebirth because of the risk of meconium and the inability of the midwife to do newborn resuscitation. (This alone is another article and guest posters are welcome!) It appears logical, rational, scientific, and ethical, given the safety of homebirth in other countries with trained midwives, that this claim that babies will be more likely to die because of the inability of a midwife to resuscitate at home is merely an opinion stated in an argument. We also know now that babies born in American hospitals are routinely resuscitated on an “in case of” status (for liability reasons, not the need of the baby) – even though the act of resuscitation is extremely physically and psychologically traumatizing even when done for life saving reasons.

But, let’s say it is true -- with proven data on how we can improve neonatal death rates in both home and hospital births in the US – that meconium is the main concern in homebirth. So, what is the logical action of the greatest country in the world with the greatest technology and access to care? Ah, why not just train midwives and EMT’s and provide equipment and respectful climate and access to medical emergency care? And, why isn’t this part of every local, state, and national Homeland Security Plan – the care of woman as they gestate, labor, and birth their babies (as well as for infants and children) in the event of a catastrophic event? If it is true that the babies in the US are resuscitated more, is it really because of meconium? And, is it possible it is because of being in the hospital? STRESS?? From induction, narcotics, and cesarean surgery? Why are physicians and hospitals so insistent on maintaining power and control when women and babies' lives are at stake? Why does the US lag behind every industrialized nation?

What America needs is an evidence-based plan and protocols that are consistent from state-to-state, hospital-to-hospital, doctor-to-doctor, nurse-to-nurse, and not based on personal choices, biases, needs, and time tables of the medical caregiver.

Sooooo, given the historical data and current scientific findings, the logical answer appears to me to be:

1) Collective action from grassroots to take the issue of maternal and neonatal health care to the federal level.
2) Collaborative participation with medical establishment and politicians locally and at the state level.
3) Insure the science-based adequate training of midwives.
4) Establish standards of care like the other industrialized nations with low infant and maternal mortality have done --- SINCE THE THIRTIES!!
5) Citizen and scientific community oversight of obstetrics
6) Stop holding physicians alone disproportionately responsive for birth outcomes. Put money spent to treat the symptoms of poor quality births into prenatal parenting and human baby development.

My idea for a national model is at:

Janel Martin-Miranda

The US Model of Medical Midwifery

There is a movement in the United States to return to a more holistic, physiological model of midwifery care and the Direct Entry Midwife (DEM) and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) with the plan for transport to a hospital and with a doctor liaison is an option that many US women are seeking. In the US these professionals are often unable to legally practice in many states, leaving women with adequate options. These options are shown in other countries -- Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Australia -- to decrease maternal and infant mortality rates.

The social and political climate has to change in order for this to happen. It is about the safety of our women and babies. What's the hold up? Every nation with the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates has a midwifery, woman-centered model of care. In the US where mortality rates for babies is increasing and the maternal mortality rate has never decreased at the rate of other industrialized nations, 99% of babies are born in hospitals under the care of physicians. Nurse midwives are the standard for most US states and they are trained in the medical model.

One has to look with caution at the hospital based midwifery care. It is not lowering our mortality rates. Nurse midwives are trained to work in hospitals where birth is disrupted. Few can maintain a drive to support physiological birth, if they ever had that intention. In frustration, many CNM's are referred to as Jr OB's or medwives. The mom and baby shown here in a post a few days ago gave birth in a naval hospital with midwifery care. Her labor was induced, she had epidural anesthesia, and an emergency cesarean. This is happening too frequently and the television-birth (un)educated American population does not understand the different between medical midwifery and physiological and spiritual midwifery. The detrimental impact is that Americans do not understand the real, the physiological, midwifery model of birth.

Visit for great information on medical model of birth.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What's mother to do?

When looking at the discussion about where birth is safest for the baby -- home or hospital --- the bottom line a pregnant mom needs to do her own research (BEFORE she becomes pregnant, if possible) is:
  • Look at all of the literature from around the world about where she is definitively known to be significantly safer. Research shows mother and baby are as safe, if not safest when birthing with trained midwives. The negligible difference between homebirth and hospital safety for babies could be easily remedied.
  • Look at the summations of others regarding the Johnson and Daviss study (those without vested financial interests)
  • Look at other studies particularly those done in Sweden, UK, and Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand where infant and maternal death rates are the lowest in the world, and in states in the US where non-nurse midwifery is legal and socially acceptable -- Washington, Oregon, Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas.
  • Talk to women who have given birth at home AND consider the reasons that things have gone wrong in both home and hospital birth.
So, that’s great if you live in California, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, and maybe New York. But what if a woman does want to give birth at home and lives in states like Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, and most of the other states where there non-medical midwifery is not legal or available? She DOESN'T HAVE THE OPTION OF HAVING A MIDWIFE AS A CAREGIVER OR TO CHOSE TO BIRTH AT HOME!!

A lot of issues arise around my work in prenatal and birth trauma healing – people feel hopeless without an awareness of how to mediate the experience. The same sort of risk exists for heralding the truth about midwifery care for women in states where it is not an option --- women feel helpless and powerless. A woman can get involved in midwifery support groups and in taking the question of safety of birth to her local politicians.

There is one very good reason for every woman, every community, and every state to begin to look at the research-based quality of midwifery care for childbirth. Home Land Security needs to address the need and provide for the need of pregnant and laboring, birthing women in the event of a catastrophic event of any cause. Hospitals could be destroyed, not fully functioning, quarantined, or overwhelmed with trauma patients. The lack of a plan for caring for it's pregnant and birthing women is an example of a hospital, community, and state's monumental lack of regard for the safety of birthing women and babies.

When the historical data shows that the countries that developed a non-medical, but collaborative midwifery, woman-focused model of maternity care and a STANDARD of care for that country, what is going on here in the US? How are some states perfectly legal where a large number of women give birth at home – California and Washington, while in others is considered “practicing medicine without a license.” Why is a birth center model illegal in IL, while it flourishes in other states?? Why may only Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) practice under a doctor in IL while it is illegal for Direct Entry (DE) or Certified Professional Midwifery (CPM) professionals to practice? Why does a woman in those states have to birth her baby like women in pre-seventies had to secure an abortion? WHY does a woman have “the right to her body” so she can chose to abort a fetus; however, she has to give up her rights to her body and her baby’s care when she chooses to keep the pregnancy and give birth?

Having the right to her body in birth and making choices about her baby’s birth is a woman’s issue. It’s as big as getting The Vote.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Elephant Crap leaves Mother Guilt

I am always concerned about the information about trauma from birth alarming or overwhelming those of us who have experienced it -- our social denial of the fully functioning baby is hard to accept when we don't have options for doing something about it. I am going to posting about that soon.

Meanwhile, I want post a comment from a visitor to my site left on my old guest book. She expressed anger at my information on epidural anesthesia as she would be using it in her upcoming birth. Here is her post and my response.

02:09:25 PM

From Tracy:
I found this website to be ridiculous! I'm having an induced labor b/c of certain medical conditions and after reading this "article" I started to feel like I was "hurting" my own baby before he was even born! If it weren't for my doctor setting a few things straight concerning this website I would really be an emotional wreck right now! Your article on Normal labor and birth: The biological impulse to be born really scared me and made me wonder. Thank goodness for my "real" doctor!!

My response to Tracy.

Thank you for your entry. I am aware of the issue of hearing for the first time the information that is on my site. I am sorry that it was frightening. It is. A major point that I try to make on my website is that we need to be CONSCIOUS about what we do in birth….to birthing women and babies.

I am sorry that what you did not get from the website is HOW to BE PRESENT with your baby during interventions during labor and birth so that you can minimize the traumatizing effects. Being aware and conscious of what you read on my site will make you less likely to hurt your baby. If YOU acknowledge and support your baby during the process you will not be hurting him or her. Just as you should not DENY that she or he is experiencing whatever it is that is requiring the inducing, you should not deny the resulting interruption to his process and the effects of other interventions that result from the inducing.

In the midst of your reaction to the information on the site I hope that you, your partner, and your doctor along with your support people and other staff people will become aware of what a difference you can make BECAUSE of your awareness that your baby is a little being right now in this moment and will be even more so at birth.

When my son broke his humerus completely in half and required immediate, emergency surgery, I certainly didn’t argue about the necessity. However, even at age six, he did need to know what was happening to him, how one experiences anesthesia and coming out of it, where I and his father would be, what was going to happen. Even in the womb a baby needs to know what is happening. Were you to have a near miss or actual accident yourself, would you not talk to your baby and explain what you were experiencing and what has affected you so? – that which has caused your emotions and physiologically your heart to race and limbs to go limp.

One of the featured stories on my upcoming site revision is about a baby whose birth I attended that included Pitocin and a cesarean section. It will include a picture of his mom and dad during labor and me supporting the baby during the contractions. Medical care givers are remiss in preparing women for induced contractions when medically necessary or not. Pitocin creates unbearable for the mother. How could this not be felt by the baby? If you knew there are ways to minimize this for your baby, why would we need to DENY it as society does now?

OF COURSE, there are times when inducing and epidural, fetal monitors, extraction, and cesarean surgery are necessary. This does not mean that we should deny the effects of it on the baby. It does mean that our society should embrace the basic biological understanding of the human body and brain (validated by brain research in the 90’s) --- and maybe, just maybe WHEN we must do something that could harm a baby we do that procedure with CONSCIOUSNESS and AWARENESS. What does that mean?? It means that the mother TALKS to her baby, explains the effects of the artificial hormone or drug. That was my role, the reason the parents I mentioned above wanted me at their labor and birth – to support them to stay conscious of their baby throughout the labor and birth. I explained to the baby before procedures what was happening --- JUST like each of us adults would like to experience from doctors or anyone.

A baby absolutely does have an impulse for birth and it is as real as the cell division and the development of neural tissues and the moment in time when the heart takes its first beat and the brain fires its first neuron. The work of a “real doctor” who is an MD/OB and a PhD in veterinarian medicine has written three books on the prenatal development and explains the BIOLOGICAL process of how a baby begins the labor process hormonally and how the mother’s body responds.

The period of labor and birth as a critical time is totally ignored by the medical community and the psychology community and by most people. What prevents most people from acknowledging that the birthing baby’s brain is in a critical developmental period is a complicated mix of issues: women don’t want to experience labor pains and deny the effects of drugs, and doctors who are controlled by malpractice laws, not biological, scientific evidence would have to recognize the effects of their poor training and their actions on the women and babies they’ve delivered.

Becoming aware and conscious means we might have to change something or acknowledge the old way is wrong. As Maya Angelou, says something to the effect, “I did what I did until I knew it was wrong, and then I did something different.” I support you to trust your physician………and, I must also share with you this information. My spouse was a “real” family practice doctor and did another “real” OB residency and was not taught about healthy labor and birth, or that a baby is fully capable of all human emotions at birth, and how to engage with patients in a conscious, mindful manner. He was not taught about brain development of the birthing baby (but neither are pediatricians and psychologists or teachers nor are our legislators and policy makers). He never had time to consider his Anatomy 101 class (based on “structure and function”) and to apply the basic biological understanding of the human brain and body to the birthing woman and baby. He was not taught that should he need to use medical interventions to assist a mother and baby that doing so with presence and awareness that this baby will remember – because his or her brain is PROCESSING THE EXPERIENCE – that he will participate with this mother and father to support their precious baby during a significant event.

I am so grateful for your entry because it gives me opportunity to respond to an issue I am sure affects other women and babies. My intention is never hurt but to support women and babies. I appreciate the opportunity to respond. Unfortunately, without an email address, I have had to place it here in segments. This is the last one.

My closing paragraph is: When my son went into surgery for his broken arm I was terrified. The surgical nurse stayed with us a moment and asked if she could say a pray with us. She prayed for our child and the surgeon who was doing this monumental task. I have always been grateful to her. I also say a pray for your child soon to be born and for your physician and those who will be in attendance with you. I pray that your awareness of your child experiencing his birth will create safety, support, and the peaceful birth you wish for.

Wishing you the best,
Janel Martin-Miranda

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy

Who hasn’t seen that quote, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” cross-stitched or painted on something?

Doctors, women, politicians, and grandmas -- we all know that the United States has the highest maternal death rates of any industrialized nations (see previous post). In obstetric care, maternal and infant mortality rates are like the proverbial “Elephant in the living room” -- that huge monster (addiction, violence, etc.) that everyone knows is there, but the family denies and tries to live around it.

Mother and baby pictured here were low-risk, induced, epidural, emergency cesarean managed by midwives in a naval hospital. They did not reconnect until thirteen hours later. (Medical caregivers did not even mention the baby's brutalized, bruised face -- the Elephant in the nursery!) These interventions, as well as, fetal scalp monitoring, continuous fetal monitoring, artificially rupturing the membranes, vaginal exams, restriction to bed, forceps, vacuum extraction, etc. are known to be violating and disruptive to the mother and baby’s mutual experience of labor and birth.

Violated mothers are wounded mothers. Wounded mothers are not happy mamas, especially when everyone ignores and denies her truth about her experience (her pain, her fear, her powerlessness, her separation from her baby). Wounded mothers are not happy mama, especially when everyone ignores and denies her truth about her experience (her pain, her fear, her powerlessness, her separation from her baby).

The US has the greatest obstetric health care and the highest mortality rates in the world, is there a relationship!?!? What IS the debate and the denial really about? The preservation of the current system of birthing in America is for what reason -- when it is dangerous for women and babies? Why do some in medicine want to separate moms and babies --- both at birth or in looking at safety and mortality? Some say it has more to do with money and power than what is right and safest and healthiest for mothers and babies. Historically, and presently, the data, political support to ignore and maintain the status quo, and the rancor against natural birth suggests that there is something other than maternal and infant safety that is leading policy and protocol decision-making.

What could that be? What could make sense of not following the findings of other countries while spreading our way around the world? Those in the obstetric field are angry when people mention politics and money, but what else is it about? It’s also about the etiology of denial. It's about one’s or one’s society’s collective DENIAL – and, the maintenance and sustaining of it by those who have both been wounded by it themselves and who then become perpetrators cannot see their way out of that place of wounded denial. As Michele Odent and Frederick LeBoyer both state -- birth attendants bring their own birth experiences to the birth of a baby. As Upton Sinclair says, “It’s difficult to get a (wo)man to understand something when his(her) salary depends upon him(her) not understanding it.” The elephant. (Have you seen the movie, “The Secret?” The elephant takes a crap in the living room! And the homeowner is trying to clean it up -- just like how one puts more effort into cleaning up the mess than getting rid of the elephant.)

How long will society be able to deny this atrocious Elephant? Mama's are powerless in decision-making in medical birth and women in many states have minimal options. She must participate in the medical machine and then she gets to live with the consequences -- the Elephant and it's crap.

Basically, the elephant DENIAL and resistance to CHANGE is about:

1) Money – getting and keeping
2) Power – getting and keeping
3) Status – getting and keeping
4) Denial and fear of change, losing status and income, and litigation
5) Inability to see how to deal with own pain and behavior -- because of generations of perpetuating the belief that babies “don’t remember birth” (pain or joy, apparently)

Whether is it literally at birth or figuratively as in the debate over research about where birth is safer for baby, forcing a baby's labor, drugging a baby, and separating moms and babies is harmful. Truly, what is the purpose of these scientifically disregardful actions of the medical system, if for no purpose but self-perpetuation and preservation? Where are the fighters for the protection of children, including every state division of child protective services? Where are the feminists who fight for women's rights for everything from equal pay to quality health care to childcare and family leave? Flat on their backs with narcotics going directly into their spinal cord system apparently. Sisters, get up!! Say "No to drugs and say yes to ME, and Yes! to my baby!" (One of the early elementary prevention programs I did in the early nineties was, "Say no to drugs; Say YES! to ME!" with the belief that children needed an alternative to no. Sort of an attachment parenting sort of concept, eh?)

Clearly the debate (of one study by Johnson and Daviss) over safety about home versus hospital birth has to eventually switch to some obvious issues and the bigger picture of maternal safety and the consequences to her and baby when drugs and technology are misused. The now routine use of life-saving interventions and drugs meant for at-risk and high-risk women that are being routinely misused on low-risk women and babies are what separates mothers and babies.
(See post

Physiologically and emotionally induction and drugs separate the mother and baby during labor and birth. (See picture of mother on oxygen after hours of labor with induced Pitocin and epidural anesthesia.) Physically and emotionally caregivers separate the mother and baby post-birth for medically unnecessary interventions that do nothing but service staff convenience, schedule, and liability issues on the conveyor belt of birth.

Mother and baby pictured here were low-risk, induced, epidural, emergency cesarean managed by midwives in a naval hospital. These interventions, as well as, fetal scalp monitoring, continuous fetal monitoring, artificially rupturing the membranes, vaginal exams, restriction to bed, forceps, vacuum extraction, etc. are known to be violating and disruptive to the mother and baby’s mutual experience of labor and birth. Violated mothers are wounded mothers.

Wounded mothers are not happy mamas, especially when everyone ignores and denies her truth. Where is our social and political will, and our personal compassion to support women to give birth gently and safely, and to heal? country? Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa are not the solution to making mamas happy.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Summarizing the debate

The ongoing debate over on another blog about the statistical analysis of the Johnson and Daviss study and where birth is safest for the baby is confusing. It is meant to be. I believe it is to distract women from the truth -- the real and serious problem of high maternal AND infant mortality rates in the United States.

Clearly the debate (of one study by Johnson and Daviss) over safety about home versus hospital birth has to eventually switch to some obvious issues and the bigger picture of maternal safety and the consequences to her and baby when drugs and technology are misused. The now routine use of life-saving interventions and drugs meant for at-risk and high-risk women that are being routinely mis-used on low-risk women and babies are what harms and traumatizes both women and babies (and fathers who must watch powerlessly and caregivers who are numbed and hypnotic perpetrators of violations).

Several posters there have some good summations (and then, we'll move on to the meat):

A couple of considerations here: most important, you're conflating the intrapartum and neonatal death rates for J&D. J&D claimed a death rate of 1.7/1000 for combined intrapartum and neonatal deaths. Neonatal death rate alone for J&D = 1.1/1000 without congenital anomaly deaths, or 1.66/1000 if they're added back in.

Second: adding the congenital anomalies back in and making a direct comparison to nationwide rates is exactly the kind of tactic you faulted J&D for in your posts on cohort studies. More than 12% of the J&D cohort was Amish/Mennonite, a population known to have a higher than average burden of lethal genetic disease. You'd need to control for that difference instead of just putting the numbers side by side if you wanted to make a valid comparison.

Third: the table you cite shows higher rates of neonatal death for babies born at 36-39 weeks than those born at 40-41 weeks, with a death rate of 2.59/1000 in the 36-37 week range. The J & D midwives delivered babies down to 37 weeks gestation.

In sum, we don't have the information needed to make a statistically meaningful comparison between these authors' data and the J & D outcomes. But it is simply incorrect to say that the neonatal death rate in the J&D cohort was more than twice as high as it should have been.

Congenital anomaly and prematurely appear to be major considerations in the loss of newborn lives, regardless of location of birth. Congenital anomaly -- now, that is a very different subject -- preconception preparation and testing and the prenatal period. (Guest articles welcomed!)

Another poster, Someone, commented:

As congenital anomalies are irrelevant as to the safety of birth location, "putting them back" is misleading. They were removed for a reason, which is that those babies would have died anyways. Did you "put back" the babies who died of congenital anomalies in the hospital, too? Even if 'putting them -all- back' makes the neonatal death rate at home higher, that doesn't mean homebirth is less safe, just that those babies just happened to have congenital anomalies. That more homebirth babies had congenital anomalies and thus died doesn't say anything about the safety of homebirth whatsoever, and that is the reason they were removed. The safety of birth location isn't dependant on how many babies overall died, but of how many babies overall died that would or might have lived in the hospital. The babies with the congenital anomalies, both born at home and in the hospital, need to be exempt because their deaths don't have anything to do with the safety of either birth location which is the entire focus of the study.

Someone summarized saying, it is misleading to add in the congenital anomalies, cases where the babies died as a result of their genes and would have died no matter where they were born.

From a poster in England comes the recommendation to look at the studies of homebirth there. Chamberlain et al would be a really good one for you to pick to pieces and then Walsh and Downs work. The majority of births in England are at home and obstetricians are used for high-risk deliveries. Since the 1930’s England has incorporated midwifery care that is attributed to the lower maternal and infant mortality rates there.

The reader provide a link to a government publication in the UK:

In the previous post, "What about the mamas?" there are numerous links to historical information that show that the industrialized nations (and some third world) with the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates were the countries who developed midwifery based models of care since the early thirties. THIS is the major difference between obstetric care in the US and every country with lower infant and maternal mortality rates.

Who is going to change this dangerous situation is the United States?? Consumers. WOMEN.

RISE UP, SISTERS!! Say, "YES! to ME! and YES! to my BABY!"

more about that in a minute .... stay tuned ......

"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