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, November 26, 2007

Betrayal of Women in Obstetrics

Lest we forget .... how we got here today ....


Michele said...

omg. Nauseating! I would have been petrified of giving birth in the 60's. I like how they cover the mothers' body with the blue sheets, because, thats her vagina! *gasp*

I am so saddened birth has become routine, and everyone goes to the hospital now, because, well,thats just what you do, right? I was once one of those naive first time moms, and I ended up getting sliced in the OR. I have since learned my lesson. next baby is a HBAC!!!!

Keep up the good work. Tell the facts, and hopefully no one will even look at that idiot "Dr." Amys' "debate" blog.


greasy joan said...

EW. That women chose this is beyond me.

Please don't forget, though, that women signed up for this ride. While I like most of your work, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole concept of women being "betrayed". I think that puts women in the victim mode.

I mean, when a woman chooses to birth in a hospital with an obstetrician and winds up with a medically unnecessary c-section, why isn't it chalked up to the woman made the choice of her caregiver and place of birth? She could have said "no."

Sometimes the alternatives suck -- homebirth with midwives who are harrassed by the state and insurance that won't cover alternatives. But that doesn't mean that alternatives don't exist.

My 2 ¢,

Baby Keeper said...

Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I appreciate them.
Women are victims and have been for decades and centuries. The problem with not recognizing is that until we do we typically can't move on.

Women can't say no. And, when they do, they aren't respected. In my documentary, I show a woman clinging to her newborn while saying, "noooooo" to the physician to cut the cord (before it ceases pulsing as she had requested.) The doctor pushes her hands away and proceeds, instructing the father who OBEYS the doctor, rather than saying NO himself. The consequences of the baby's blood being stolen from him are monumental -- then she literally pries the woman's hands off the baby while she is crying no ... to take him to warmer for UNNECESSARY tubing and resusciation .. in case. NO ONE in the medical field or most of society ever sees any of this as abusive, as violation, and as illegal. Babies and fathers are victims. We are ALL victims of the medical machine -- even the doctors and nurses who are betrayed and the become betrayors. Abusers are victims.

Harassed midwives, disempowered fathers, abused babies, violated mothers --- all traumatized, because of the LEGAL, MORAL, and FEAR-BASED psychological CONTROL that medicine has over people.

We can't stop it until we realize it is abuse ... and that we were IN FACT victimized. It is a major part of the process of being powerful in one's own life, rather than a victim.

Women can't say no when their insurance allows one place or one doctor ..... as in the case of my grandson born by cesarean. In MO to say no carries huge legal consequences -- and as women step out in power (attend births knowing they could receive prison sentence for doing so or hire a person to attend their birth illegally) their chances of the system trying to victimize them for doing so go up. It will be necessary for the powers-that-be used the same strategies to control women who are defying them. This includes potentially losing your child to the state for having a homebirth.

Victimization is as real as cancer. It does little good to refuse to acknowledge the cancer. But by acknowledging it one can fight it. Same with the OVERPOWERING of women's bodies and souls.

I wrote much about this last year in December.

wow ... that's a buck worth. THANKS for your 2 cents.

Heather B said...

Women don't always know they can say "no." Birthing in a hospital is just what's done. Doctors lead us to believe that it's the only safe place to give birth and that all their interventions are always for the best. With so much conflicting information it is hard to know who to trust. Everyone is ignorant of something. We can't blame people for their ignorance when doctors are trying so hard to keep women ignorant. Some people don't question things and naturally go with the flow. Does that mean they deserve to have their naievety taken advantage of?

Also, as Janel pointed out, some women can't say no. Some women have insurance that won't cover homebirth and don't have the money to pay a midwife. Some women live in places where midwifery is illegal, where you must give birth in a hospital or at home unassisted.

Women who do say no are seen painted as radical and fanatic by people like Dr. Amy. They aren't respected; they are called thrill-seekers, conspiracy theorists, hippies.

Consenting to birth in a hospital is not and should not be construed as consenting to an interventionist birth. That a woman put her trust in a doctor she expected to fully inform her doesn't mean she deserves to be abused. A woman should not give up her right to say "no" because she said yes to the location of the hospital. And yet, there aer so many tales to women being forced into things simply because they felt the hospital was safer.

What about those women who are high risk and cannot birth at home safely? What about them? When a doctor decides to give pit because their labor is taking too long or to do a C-section at 40 weeks instead of waiting until the woman REALLY is postdate at 42 weeks? does he give a woman the real run-down of the risks and benefits? No. He tells her the worst that can happen if no action is taken the best that can happen if intervention occurs. What is she supposed to do, Google it in her hospital bed to check? Make a quick trip to the hospital and come back when she's ready, as if that would be allowed???

Jill said...

What chilling images. To think that we came so far from what we are trying to get back to!

And to add to the discussion here...I resent the notion that because I did not stomp my foot and backhand everyone who came near me that I somehow deserved my C-section. That's akin to blaming battered wives for not leaving their husbands.

Abusers of all stripes have a canny way of getting into their victim's heads and making them powerless. Telling us that They Know Best and we'd better do as they say or Bad Things Will Happen.

Wifebeaters tell us, "Don't you dare leave me or I will kill you and your kids." OBs tell us, "Don't you dare deviate from my structured system or you and your baby will die." And, paralyzed by fear, we believe them.

Yes, we can say no. BUT WE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO. We shouldn't have to fight for the right to birth normally any more than we should have to fight for the right to not get beaten up by our spouses.

"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