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

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Birth affects the lives of babies?

There is no scientific evidence that the experience of birth affects the lives of babies.

-- Amy Tuteur

There is no evidence to affirm nor to deny whether babies are or are not impacted by their birth experiences. It's simply something that hasn't been studied. So you can say it's 'fabricated,' but, in reality, you don't know. It's an opinion.It's no more fabricated than saying "babies aren't impacted by their birth experience.

It may be that in 10 years, someone will think to follow-up on children who are born in the typical medical model... induction, epidural, directed pushing, etc and compare them to children who are born in a natural birth. Until then, hypothesizing that these experiences might affect people is simply a matter of opinion/guesswork *on both sides.*

-- Mother of Six, poster on Tuteur's homebirth blog in response to Tuteur's statement

William Emerson, PhD who I consider the "Grandfather" of the field of treating birth trauma did indeed follow babies for decades. Most of the practitioners in the field have studied with him -- Castellino (, Mines ( Castellino and McCarty ( co-founded the BEBA (Building and Enhancing Bonding and Attachement).

You see a listing and you can purchase Emerson's work at his site: Dr. Emerson and Castellino's have decades of video archive of therapy sessions where they began to identify the patterns. Dr. Emerson identified four stages of birth FROM THE BABY'S PERSPECTIVE and Castellino and McCarty built it up that to create five stages that form a sequence. This sequence is imprinted in the brain (as the brain is known to do with every other moment of development). We see the world through our experience of leaving our mother's body and coming into the world. There used to be a saying about a women having "a bun in the oven". Well, if the baby is the bun that is rising and baking, birth provides the frosting. That finishing touch is part of one's personality and will be forever the TEMPLATE for living.

David Chamberlain,PhD and Thomas Verney, MD are co-founders of the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health ( The website contains a massive amount of information about the research and practices of supporting the human being form conception through infancy. You can find practitioners in every state. APPPAH has had a professional journal for two decades. Members are international and much research has been done outside of the US. That makes sense when one considers the cultural and political climate of the US for birth to be controlled by obstetricians, Big Pharm, and politicians so that what makes birth safer for the baby is denied by the US.

So, yeah, the research is there --- the science is so simple, it's overlooked. It may be ten years before the average person begins to see that the human baby is a fully sentient human and that the birthing brain is being imprinted. I hope it's not that long.

I agree with Mother of Six -- because mainstream, controlled by medical science and it's psuedo-facts, hasn't studied and continues to do what it wishes to women and babies without studies first to show the safety, doesn't mean it's true. Tuteur's statement is shocking coming from an obstetrician --- "There is no scientific evidence that the experience of birth affects the lives of babies." Absolutely, jaw-dropping, shocking disbelief to hear that from someone trained to care for birthing women and the baby. It gives us insight in how it is that some physicians are actually able to do what they do. Case in point, a little boy for whom I have just created a blog --

The fact that birth affects a person is so logical that I think is it ignorant to not see the human baby as being affected by the birth experience. Who can attend a birth and not see this? Who can treat a baby with such harshness and disregard with the belief that the baby's brain for some twist of science and logic is NOT functioning. All one has to do is study the development of the human from conception through infancy to see that, "OH, MY GOSH! The laboring and birth baby's brain is ALSO WORKING! They "remember" because there is NO MOMENT that is not a part of their physiological development and life." DUH.

We know the prenatal, gestating baby is affected by the environment and experience of the mother. We all grimace when we see pictures of a doctor holding a baby upside down. It doesn't take a scientific research with controlled groups and long term studies to know that the use of vacuum extraction and forceps -- used on a soft, soft scull -- have an effect. We don't need a study comparing homebirth babies whose mother's are upright and whose hand supports the emerging head exploring her own body and supporting her own perineum to the baby whose mother is in a semi-reclining/sitting position with a physician's hand pushing on her perinium with a latex glove, grasping the emerging head, twisting the baby to turn his head while his body is unable to rotate yet.

Only ignorant or self-serving people would insist there is no effect of birth on the baby. Who would that be? Doctors? Hospitals? Drug companies? Nurses who participate in carrrying out the rituals against women and babies?

This passage was written by a midwife and is a beautiful description of birth that honors the mother and the baby.

I think the hands-on way of catching babies makes a midwife feel important, but is not in itself very important. Yet I can't do it easily myself either! I LOVE Sara Wickham, who Pamela H-P cites (check out www.withwoman. for some great stuff). I think the only benefit to hands on is to stop a head from coming too quickly - then again, that would really be hands-poised. If not in the tub, I hold a warm washcloth over the whole pubis with crowning, but just for the heat and the feel good effect, not any benefit to my hands. During the delivery of the head I use a warm one to cover the rectum. My other hands 2 or 3 fingers are on top of the babe's head to stop it if it tries to come too quickly. I'm a firm non-believer in counter-pressure, as I think babies know how to birth themselves just fine. I think many tears occur when birth practitioners try to deliver shoulders on the same contraction as the head, prior to restitution of shoulders. Unless ababe slides out, I NEVER tell women to push the rest of the baby out on the same UC. That's a precious, important time for her to catch her breathe, gather herself, let everyone wonder at the wee head, watch the baby rotate to and fro until he or she picks the right direction, let the mucus stream out of nose and mouth, etc.

IF this is not for the BABY'S SAKE, whose? Birth and all of the hospital and midwifery procedures, policies, protocols, techniques -- are they done only for the mother's benefit? Really!?! Is that true?!? You're kidding, right!?!?


greasy joan said...

I think that as usual, Amy cites what is convenient for her and ignores what isn't. Her site is full of so many straw men I wouldn't go near it with a lighted match!

That said, a couple of things are worth re-iterating. One, pre- and -perinatal psychology is in its infancy. Some really amazing stuff has come out over the last 35 years or so. Why don't we ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION until proven otherwise?

Two, nature ordinarily DOES take care of itself, however nature can also be extraordinarily cruel. In standing in awe of how wonderfully we're made, and how amazingly we work most of the time, there are times that our design seems to fail despite itself. Is it time to scrap the "design" altogether for something of our own invention? (in other words, decide that birth SELDOM works well and intervene 100% of the time to catch the 2-6% who need *medical*, not midwifery, intervention?) I think not!

Baby Keeper said...

Err on the side of caution? Like "do no harm?"

Actually pre and perinatal psychology is not "new" -- it is rooted in very old and well-established understandings and SCIENCE, and the new understanding of the brain research of the ninties verifies it.

thanks. ljm

"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