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, March 21, 2007

I am woman, hear me roar -- Malpractice, Feminism, Midwifery

New Mexico obstetricians are crying foul over an agreement forged by the state's human services department, several managed care organizations, and the state's midwives that will allow for Medicaid reimbursement for home births yet not require the midwives to carry liability insurance. (

Oh, Mama, is this ever going to raise some debates and blood pressures.

It is my understanding that malpractice insurance for midwives exists in only Washington and Florida so CPM's can not even buy malpractice insurance. I am also aware that women and men who chose midwives and homebirth are less likely to sue -- or were! Because, they are the ones who want to take responsibility for their lives and their baby. Midwives treat people differently from how doctors do. Research shows that when a patient is treated with respect by their physician they are less likely to sue. Evidence-based research shows that induction, epidural and other drugs, vaccines to attack hospital acquired diseases, vacuum extraction, forceps, and cesarean surgery are KNOWN to be DANGEROUS for the human baby, and the long term effects of these on the human being are UNRESEARCHED. Women (and men) who wish NOT to do these interventions unless absolutely medically necessary and who wish to be a part of deciding the necessity and risks, are overpowered, mislead, brow-beat, manipulated, coerced, and shamed for not doing so, often for "the health of your baby." The collective and myriad of conditions of medicalized birth is the primary reason for women seeking midwifery attended birth at home.

Again, as midwifery legislation is being reviewed all over the US, I am reminded of the need for a national overhauling of the obstetric system caring for birthing women and babies. Two huge debates go on simultaneously ever year in state legislatures -- midwifery and malpractice. I am concerned for the legalizing of DEM and CPM midwifery care WITHOUT a HUGE, and I mean HUGE shift of thinking in obstetrics. I fear without the cleansing of obstetrics stench, midwifery will be in much the same situation in the future.

In the state of Missouri where I live and where the debate is deeply polarized midwives have been illegal and underground for years. The medical establishment does not respect midwifery and that won't magically change because the legislature changes the laws. Here, and EVERYWHERE, as I see it, ZERO people, zero legislators or insurance companies, or state or hospital systems are looking at the issues of medicalized birth and WHY it is that DOCTORS -- highly trained, life saving doctors -- have such high malpractice insurance rates. Why are they being sued (if they are in fact being sued). Why they leaving obstetrics? The US is zero looking at what is the root of the malpractice crisis. The focus of doctors and legislators and malpractice insurance companies is to cap the awards, zero addresses the reasons for the chaos.

We are moving towards some huge changes on behalf of women and babys -- and, the midwifery movement is the reason why. From my big picture visionary perch, I see this as HUGE. As big, if not bigger than women getting the vote. Women are again coming out to make it happen, and some amazing men are right behind them, supporting them.

Consumers tired of the poor quality of care, the violating care, and the cost to their lives in pain and suffering are the reason why. They are turning back to midwifery and to the belief in a more natural way. This is not just in obstetrics. The exposure of the increasing cesarean rates, increasing prematurity rates, and the neonatal and infant mortality rate that does not go down or compare to other industrialized nations is making it a necessity. How bad does it have to get before the obstetricians themselves say it is a problem. How long can they continue to up their cesarean rates as their malpractice goes up as they do more Cesarean? Insanity. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Obstetrics is insanity. A doctor on another blog can deny and word-wrangle all she wants, but it is clearly a big issue that is well documented. "I have always said that 'natural' childbirth is a preference, no more and no less. It is 'natural' childbirth advocates who repeatedly claim that their choices are better or superior to those of other women."

As she denies that obstetricians do what they do for malpractice avoidance reasons and for their own control and financial concerns, check out this extensive list of articles about medicine and obstetric care from the perspective of malpractice and other doctor and hospital concerns. The Common Good Restoring Common Sense to America site. Doctors cannot rely on the law to protect sensible decisions. Legal fear is eroding the quality and availability of healthcare in America. Common Good's MedWatch collects recent news and commentary reflecting on this trend. What is this doctor's problem and why is she making this a woman-on-woman issue drenched in feminism theory? What is the problem of the 50,000 ACOG members who do not address what the rest of the country is clamoring about? High csection rates, increased rates of prematurity even identified by March of Dimes, the most respected and responsible advocate for babies, as related to medically unnecessary inductions, and the US dismal neonatal mortality rates. How do these 50,000 physicians continue to march down this road towards war with no regard for the problems in their care or the long-term consequences women and babies?
We all know about DENIAL and who is the last to "get it" --- the offender.

I am concerned for midwives and the women and their babies who will be caught in the gap between "winning the battle" but not the "war". Former obstetrician, Amy Tutuer says on her blog, "I have always said that "natural" childbirth is a preference, no more and no less. It is 'natural' childbirth advocates who repeatedly claim that their choices are better or superior to those of other women." No, it is scientific fact that that the environment and control by obstetrics is detrimental to giving birth. I ask, why should induced and epidural be a choice, when we know the dangers and we know the longterm consequences for which society shall have to pay?

A majority of doctors STILL say, "Of course, a woman has a right to choose a homebirth --- but, don't come to the hospital then and expect us to clean up your mess." It mind-befuddling to me that this is seen as the fault of the midwife or the fault of the woman -- and, I get it, that this is how they are trained. Anything that goes wrong, has to be someone else's fault. As they say, "Shit runs down hill." Any resident or nurse can tell you about that. Cesarean surgery is the ultimate way of being in control AND it's makes the fault that of the doctor. He can only trust his or her skills as a surgeon. Nothing and no one else. Certainly not a woman's body and her baby's birth as she comes to the hospital as a whole person with much physical and emotional baggage -- she is emotional, needy, and nowadays, so friggin' demanding of what SHE wants. Actually, she is more educated, knowledegable and prepared to be responsible for her body and birth than ever before in modern history.

If I had one goal on this blog, it would be to shake up this country and shift the thinking of birth from about women's rights and doctor's need to seeing that it is the baby's birth. And, that this human being will have to live with the choices made by their mother and her caregivers. I just advocate for bridging the gap between the issues doctors face and how their resulting behavior affects the human baby. It's challenging to get them to look at how they behave towards those who would like babies born naturally, gently, guided by her own body, and in a protected space with only gentle, loving support and conscious awareness of the sentient baby. That would be laboring and birthing without drugs, withoug force and coached pushing (shown in their own research to be detrimental and to prolong the birth), and without constant disruption by strangers insisting on non-evidence based medical rituals.

I expect, no I implore, no I demand, that legislators, doctors, hospitals, as well as midwives and consumers, BIRTHNG WOMEN AND MEN, to consider how can we come to the middle? The middle, is where the baby is. The middle is where what is best for a human woman and baby is the FIRST consideration. Not the hospital coffers, not the doctor's schedule, and not even the mother's need to be "pain-FREE". Doctors know that homebirth is perfectly safe for many women -- and, if they reeeeeally don't believe it because for their own fear of physiology and loss of control, all the stats and research from OTHER countries show us midwifery care at home is safe for the low to moderate risk women. Obstetrics, by definition, are supposed to be for high risk women. They know a woman has the right to choose to birth at home. It is about time to expect these people to participate in SOLUTIONS for how to do it -- how to create systems, structures, protocols, partnerships, insurance that allow women to give birth at home AND to have access to respectful, quality medical care. Other industrialized nations are way ahead of us.

If obstetrics is not about their money and power, what is it about? Let them speak up about what they need as human beings to safely attend birth without "losing their ass and assets". Let the parties all come together to talk about what the human baby needs to be born without fear, anger, violation, and invasion. Let the parties talk about they can work together towards welcoming our beautiful babies in aware, safe, and gentle birth experience. Who in their right mind truly believes that it is healthy and acceptable to induce a human being's birth, to poke, prod, and cut on a woman and her baby. Really. Truly. WHO believes this? Who believes the "ends (painfree for mother, control for doctor, and a live baby) justify the means" in obstetric care, and that it is without consequence in the moment and for the lifetime?

Other discussions about natural birth being anti-feminine and anti-women's rights must be considered from the source from which is comes -- obstetricians, feminists who laid down and hooked up to drugs to birth and who focus zero on what a baby girl needs in her birth? This has nothing to do with feminism -- all sorts of women believe the obstetric distortions

I have always said that "natural" childbirth is a preference, no more and no less. It is "natural" childbirth advocates who repeatedly claim that their choices are better or superior to those of other women.

Last night I happen to find myself humming an old song from when I was a very young girl while working a different post ... and I googled Helen Reddy and found her website, Open it up in another window and join me in a an old song with so much relevance today...

I am woman, hear me ROAR!
In numbers too big to ignore...
And I know too much to go back and pretend...
'cause I've heard it all before!

And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna' keep me down again!

Oh yes I am wise...
But it's wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I've paid the price...
But look how much I've gained!
If I have to, I can do anything...

I am woman. (ROAR)

You can bend but never break me...
'cause it only serves to make me...
More determined to achieve my final goal.
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer...
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul.

Oh yes I am wise...
But it's wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I've paid the price...
But look how much I've gained!
If I have to, I can do anything...

I am woman. (ROAR)

I am woman watch me grow...
See me standing toe to toe...
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land!
(I love all of my friends out there around the world!)
But I'm still an embryo...
With a long long way to go...
Until I make my Brother understand

Oh yes I am wise...
But it's wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I've paid the price...
But look how much I've gained...
If I have to I can face anything!

I am woman (HEAR ME ROAR)
Oh, I am woman (HEAR ME ROAR)

I am woman (ROAR)

I am invincible (ROAR)
I am strong (ROAR)
I am woman (ROAR

Let's roar -- that it is time for WOMEN to claim their bodies and their power and not be dissuaded by feminist thinking or accusations that to believe in your body and in natural birth and motherhood is anti-feminist or that to believe in the power of a woman's body to give birth and her responsibility to her baby is anti-woman. It is not anti-feminist to believe that one of the significant a woman is is a "life giver".

Multiple parties and the polarized ends must work together. For the baby. The field of obstetrics holds the political power, but the will and power of the growing physiological and spiritual impulse for peace and harmony of the people here and on the planet is building. That, we know, will come through healing birth in this country and the personal responsibility of every human being to be a fully functioning human. We know this begins in the primal period of life. It is time to hold obstetric medicine responsible for only what it is capable of accomplishing and support women to be responsible for their bodies and births -- so we can transition in our understanding of what the human being really needs coming into this world to be a healthy, harmonious human being AND come to balance so we can incorporate the natural phsyiological ways with lifesaving medical technology.

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