The Other Side of the Glass

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

The trailer

Monday, 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 ......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the "debate" can be summed up as a cry for help in breaking free off the obsessive-compulsive cycle of a bored housewife with high speed internet. Just think of the sweaters she could crank out if she shuttled her energy elsewhere.

"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