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

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.


Anonymous said...

I was on the "other site with Dr. Amy" today discussing "The Rhetoric..." and I now need some help from someone on this blog.

I am a professor of Early Childhood Development who is trying to encourage Amy to educate herself on the best practices of treating/educating children from (pre)birth to age 8. She keeps claiming there are no studies out there that show responsive parenting to be a best practice. Since I was banned from posting on her site from my home computer months ago (and I've left work for the next week), could someone please post something over there for me?

Could you let Amy know that she needs to search ERIC (which is a database that houses all of the educational research studies that have been printed). The fact that Amy didn't even know to look in ERIC says a lot about her lack of expertise on the topic, but none the less I'd like her to search ERIC so she can see for herself that there are studies out there that prove her wrong (although we know she won't ever admit it)!!

Thank you to whoever can help me.


Heather B. said...

Amy isn't going to do anything that you want her to do. If she calls you wrong, it is up to you to educate yourself. If you call her wrong, it is up to you to prove why. You are going to have to find specific studies that she cannot ignore, which is very difficult when dealing with her. Trust that the other readers know who is in the right and that this is one of Amy's flawed tactics to make herself seem correct; it's a fallacy of reasoning called appeal to ignorance. Even if she gets the message she will not do it. If she finds anything she will post only what she finds that suggests you are wrong, or she'll say she didn't find anything at all. Sometimes I doubt she even looks for anything and just claims it doesn't exist. She is known for being deceitful. You have said enough to prove her wrong. She will never admit that, but the other readers save for her VERY FEW admirers know already.:)

Anonymous said...

Thans for your make a whole lot of sense. It's humorous to me that Amy thinks I'm going to do her homework for her. She claims she is so great at researching but then refuses to research topics on her own!

Anonymous said...

I meant "thanks" :)

Housefairy said...

I wish to cut and paste this entire post, with due credit, on my Breast and Belly blog. I could never explain this whole chain-reaction so well to my friends or family who STILL think homebirth is something I did for kicks, like skydiving or something.
Your blog continues to rule, please dont ever stop writing!

Heather B. said...

You are welcome to repost anything here as long as you link to the blog and credit to the author, making sure to differentiate between posts wrote by me or Janel. :)

Heather B. said...

Also... this post specifically was written by Colin Knauf on so you'll need his consent for this one.

Heather B. said...

P.s. The Navel-gazing Midwife, linked to the side, wrote a heart-breaking story about the way a hospital treated a NON EMERGENCY homebirth transfer patient. It is disgusting, and I hope you will read it and pass it around to show people what hospitals really think of homebirth and natural childbirth and of people's birth plans.

"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