The Other Side of the Glass

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

The trailer

Friday, 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

No comments:

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

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

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

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

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

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

Father in Asheville, NC

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

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

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

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

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

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

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

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

Review of the film

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

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

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

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

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

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth