The Other Side of the Glass

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

The trailer

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

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.

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