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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Response to Homebirth Petition

I like to share comments on older posts that won't show up here on the homepage. Today I received one commenting on a petition I posted in June of 2008.

Mommato6 has left a new comment on your post "Keep Home Birth Legal Petition":

To sign that would be utterly stupid! Babies do die in Homebirth and it is most of the time, preventable.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. It is, however, not substantiated by statistics.

Of course you've heard that the US has the worst infant (and maternal) mortality rates in the industrialized world. Who hasn't? It's even in the mainstream news and concern. The US has the greatest access to technology and medical care, but the worst rates of mortality. Why isn't the US medical establishment itself looking into why this is? Instead, ACOG comes out with stopping midwifery as one of it's two prime efforts this year. Is ACOG and the medical establishement invested in doing what is necessary to create the best outcomes? It does not appear so. Is their agenda about what is truly about women's bodies and souls? Or babies bodies and souls? It does not appear so.

THE POINT of this blog is to point out that NEITHER homebirth nor hospital birth are safeEST until they WORK TOGETHER to provide the best care possible for women and babies, FOR THE BABY in particular!!

In countries where midwifery and homebirth is PART OF THE MATERNAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, and not controlled by obstetricians and drug companies, MORE BABIES LIVE. This is because the legal and public will is that women have availablity of homebirth WITH ALL the access to medical care IF NEEDED.

The blocking and controllng of midwifery by the medical establishment in the US is taking it's toll on women and babies. UNNECESSARILY, and it is criminal what they are getting by with. Women are seeking to have a safer birth outside of the hospital and going to extreme lengths to do so. THE PROBLEM is that most of society is not looking at the MISUSE of medical technology and drug use in birth (and all specialites). The root of the problem is that this society (the leader of the world) has little regard for the sacredness of birth. Society had little regard that this is a SOUL, a being, being born, and she or he will be impacted for his or her entire life by his or her experience of birth. I'd even go so far as to wonder if medical birth is not Biblically supported.

Originally, the use of drugs at birth were condemned and part of the women's movement was to get the right to use drugs during labor. The Pope had to say it was ok. The leader of the women's movement died during birth using Twilight Sleep.

We today are living the legacy of decisions such as this. The experiment could have gone quite differently had women/midwives not been hung and burned for their spiritual and midwifery gifts in order for male dominated medicine to take over ... if women had not had to rise up in this country and fight like men to just to get their God-given right to liberty and freedom and prosperity ... if we were not controlled by religious men and dogma ... if birth and motherhood were honored as the core, roots of harmony and family. Our world would be different today.

But finally, today, again because of very strong and brave and outspoken women in America, a woman can go within and claim her femininity and all that it means ... she can claim her body as her own, and she can claim her motherhood as her own. She can claim motherhood as a worthy path. It is between her and that soul, coming into her body, and the father how they choose to bring forth that life ... on their terms, in their home, or in a drugged stupor, overexposed, managed on someone else's time table, protecting some doctor or nurse or hospital's assETS or protecting her baby's soul and brain from unnecessary stress, trauma, noise, agendas, germs, time tables, sacrificing her baby's cord blood for someone's agenda and schedule.

Hospital birth doesn't have to be so violent!! The gifts of medical care givers can be used to support a different kind of birth. They can learn from the midwifery model of care, just as the midwives, historically, have benefited from the medical knowledge, and antibiotics. A baby has a right, A RIGHT, to come into this world from the spiritual world, in a loving, safe, nurturing, aware way and to be treated like a human being. It's more likely to happen in a homebirth and very unlikely to happen at the hospital. Perhaps, there are moments in the hospital. At the homebirth the baby is more likely to be regarded as a fully sentient human. THIS is the what makes birth safe FOR THE BABY. The blatant disregard of the baby by the majority of medical staff that allows for horrific treatment of the baby, which DOES NOT HAVE TO BE!, is what makes birth UNSAFE.

A skilled practitioner who has regard for the sanctity of birth and this baby, a soul, and who has supportive medical backup makes homebirth the safest place to birth on the planet. I am in association with a birth center in MO where a Family Practice doctor backs the midwives in the practice. Prior to the legalization of midwifery this year, she attended every birth with the midwife. I don't know if that continues to be the practice since it no longer legally required, but I know her well and I know if a woman wants her there, she would be. And, she doesn't pop in just in time to catch the baby and collect her payment. She is there from the moment the mother and father want her there and until mother and baby are established. Two hours or two days, the doctor and the midwife are there. They are not caring for others or running back and forth between office and hospital, or home and hospital, or church and hospital, or football game and hospital, or child's Christmas pageant and hospital. (MY ex is an OB). The midwife is there, nurturing and observing. Surprise events are rare ... it is the homebirth doctor and midwife who has been monitoring and observing, not a nurse or someone across town. Nurses monitor a woman and relay the info to the doctor who shows up when birth is imminent.

That is utterly stupid.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hyper-Masculine Idea of Fatherhood

I am very much enjoying the "break" from editing due to the emails, calls, and plans to go east to spend time with and film a father's group, all compliments of the trailer. I am very, very much appreciating the commenters and posters on lists talking about the film. I am finding it very helpful in preparing for the next phase.

crabgrass Says:

what really got to me was the way that the trailer was so focused on triggering the “protect” aspect of fatherhood/masculinity. there was a way that it was really working to appeal to this hyper-masculine idea of fatherhood. I don’t think the entire film will be more expansive, because I think that the baseline rationale for the film is that fathers need to be empowered (as manly men!) to step in and protect their wives and babies from the abuse of the medical system.
problematic, yet interesting.

What really "gets to me" about the film is how rich and giving it is -- every one has sees and experiences it their different triggers and see that that is what it's about. Based on who they are and "where they are".

I hope you'll go to my blog, and and read about why the film is for men and about men.

It is not at all about being manly men .. and it will expand beyond what one can imagine, beyond feminism. It has for me. It will look at what happens when men are able to heal their own primal wounding as baby boys -- born "under the influence of drugs" as were their mothers, "he cut me so bad" stories, separated and treated harshly by strangers, often women -- like the baby in the film who was brutalized by four strange women.

Most adult men --and only part of the male babies now - ere not breastfed, were brought to their mother on a schedule and cried in the nursery, and most often, their penis mutilated. This was often done by causing an erection. This is the story of most men over 25. Only episeotomy, breastfeeding and rooming in has truly changed significantly, Many babies are not circumcised, but there are still subjected to cord clamping before the placenta is birthed, and this suctioning for "meconium risk" that is now routine, despite the research showing there is no reason. NO reason. It makes no difference on meconium aspiration syndrome. 30% of all babies are born surgically. Circumcision is still done in a majority of cases.

There is a whole psychological phenomenon to be unfolded ... how it is that historically men whose innate need is to protect, yet they have taken us to war repeatedly, raped and pilfered, and until recently it was rarely a woman who would abuse a child sexually.

The men in the film were so the opposite of the hyper-masculine, manly men. They were vulnerable, tearful, speaking of their feelings that men rarely access -- helplessness, powerlessness, guilt, and shame. ALL of it related to THEIR experience of their babies births. ALL of them embracing their earliest parts in order to be better men, and one the ways they do so is to support their partner's biological and physiological needs in birth.

Most women, varied by many comments around the web, are totally unaware of their partners need to have their story heard, to have their perspective of the experience of birthing their child heard, felt, and acknowledged. Honored. It is not just women who experience the birth of their baby. And, when they can figure that out, they can "be with" their baby to tell his or her perspective of their birth. The baby has a story. The baby girl, and the baby boy. It starts there. It changes there.

The film is about healing the masculine, and doing so by being embraced as also wounded, by women. Women and men need to work together to heal the wounding of the feminine and the masculine.

It's about the phenomenon of how men - a Marine deployed to Iraq three times - can be giant in the world and yet be brought to his knees by a family physician and an obstetric nurse.

It is about the inner healing that creates gentle protectors -- it's about a man seeing his baby for the first time and what that means to him and to his baby and the baby-mama.

The father who pounded on the glass is one of those. His story, in full, is about how he gently, and powerfully, protected his daughter ... he was watching a circumcision when he pounded on the glass. When a LD deliver nurse insisted that he leave his wife and go to wait in the waiting room and he refused, and she began to push his chest, a 6'4" man, he simply, "Oh, no, I am not going anywhere" and their doctor happen to come by at that moment to "ok it." It is not a hyper-masculine perspective encouraging him and other fathers to fight for peace in the hospital. It is about the caregivers, mostly WOMEN not violating the man, usurping his power, and ignoring his wishes and plans for his family. It is about the caregivers honoring birth, protecting the father's experience so he can be present with his partner and baby.

You leave me with a pondering of how "protection" is equated with hyper-masculine and the "manly man.'  When I am talkin' about women, mostly women, betrayers of women in the hyper-masculine, wounded masculine, overpowering, disempowering male-dominated system, acting like hyper-masculine women, manly women. For the pay check. Because they believe that they can achieve equality through work, career, and income. We're talking mothering here. Mothering the mother. Mothering the father. Fathering the mother. Fathering the father.  Creating it.

Good information for me ... thanks so much for the post.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Homebirth: A Part of the Truth

The truth is, sometimes birth hurts and sometimes it's easier, no matter where you are. We all know or have heard of women like my sister-in-law was notorious for hardly making it to the hospital. We glare on the inside with our fake smile when we hear their story, while our own is about days of labor (back in the day before ACOG put a time limit on our labor).  Many women who gave birth easily at home also listen silently to others stories because they also upset women with horrible birth stories. If they share their positive experiences it is felt by those harmed women as gloating. No one can win.

My friend, Nellie, gave birth to her daughter at home about six years ago. After viewing my video, "The Red Tent Event" that was held in Columbia, MO last year, and featured eight women who shared their stories of giving birth she shared with me how hard her daughter's birth was. One complaint about birth for first time moms is the glorification of how easy it is -- homebirth is so empowering and epidural makes birth a breeze. Both of these are wrong.

In my video, "The Red Tent Event", seven of eight women had given birth by surgery and six of them went on to give birth vaginally. I was surprised. I thought the storytellers would be the woman that Dr. Amy rants about -- the natural birthers who want to gloat to other women about how successful and great their births were. Instead, it was mostly women telling their stories of giving birth surgically and then having a vaginal birth. Like Nellie, even when the vaginal birth was challenging, painful, and long, it was preferable to surgery.

The seventh woman who gave birth by cesarean was still too terrified after seven years to give birth again.

Nellie was inspired to tell me her story of how hard and how painful it was to give birth, at home, with no drugs. She wished that people had been forthright about that. She will have another homebirth as she appreciates and honors the process. Ani De Franco's story here very much mirrors Nellie's story. Giving birth "kicks you in the butt" and builds you as a person.

My personal opinion about the difficulty of Nellie's experience of birthing her baby is that it has to do with the fact that her husband had been deployed, immediate post-911, the month before. He got to come home for the birth and several months later was to be in the first wave of guardspeople deployed to Iraq. Women need to feel safe bringing their babe into the world.

As a mother of a deployed man, I know the unimaginable, indescribable emotional roller coaster. I could not imagine giving birth and caring for a newborn in that circumstance. I am also posting Ani's song, "Self-Evident" put to images by a fan. I do so in honor of those who have made the greatest sacrifice in this country.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Conscious Cesarean Birth

When I interviewed Dr. George M. Morley, M.D., he shared with me the story of his granddaughter's recent birth. She was born by cesarean and the D.O. who attended the birth worked with Dr. Morley to allow the baby's placenta to birth before clamping and cutting the cord. Dr. Robert Oliver proposed Humanizing Cesarean Birth years ago.

Humanizing cesarean birth was poo-pooed by any physician that any woman I have known has tried to communicate to about her baby's birth. They don't want to do it. Now the UK, as usual, is promoting it ....

It is all about what I have been advocating here and on another blog that won't allow the posts about such things to stay up --- birth is not safe for the baby, at home or at the hospital, UNTIL the parents and caregivers embrace the knowledge that the baby experiences birth, feels it and remembers it, and UNTIL medical caregivers in particular acknowledge human physiology and realize that the baby needs it's full transfusion of blood, and to be at the mother's breast. No matter what happens, medically and morally responsible mother-baby care has this has it's core purpose -- making birth humane and safe for the baby. If obstetricians can do a humane cesarean surgery, anyone, including neonatal personnel can do it too --do whatever you do with the awareness and acknowledgment that birth is the baby's experience.

I would take it one step further ... prepare the medical staff and parents to communicate with the baby. In my film I'll feature a homebirth with baby who needs to be suctioned. In the hospital babies are routinely suctioned, but not in homebirths. This baby met the criteria established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (ignored by virtually every hospital including the BIG Kahuna hospitals that suctioned my grandsons under the GUISE of "meconium risk"), and that is a NON-vigorous baby who is not crying. The footage will show a midwife and baby doula preparing and talking to the baby and the pace is slowed down to accommodate the baby's needs while someone is talking TO the baby. This helps everyone in the room to slow down.

The following is from a poster, Sharon, on another blog (where homebirth and midwifery is constantly negated with false claims) highlighting what we would call a conscious Cesarean:

Notice the "pace" of the surgery and feel your own sensations ... especially if you have performed, assisted, or experienced a cesarean ...)

... I could almost choose a caesarean after reading this article! I particularly like the description of the slow delivery of the baby, allowing him/her to establish breathing whilst still half in utero and attached to the placental circulation and the mother seeing her baby emerge and seeing their sex at the same time as the delivery team. There are some lovely pictures too.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.c...78270/ HTMLSTART

The natural caesarean: a woman-centred technique
"Surgery starts with the screen up, and sterile routines observed as usual. After uterine incision, the drape is lowered and the head of the table raised to enable the mother to watch the birth.

As the fetal head enters the abdominal incision, the operative field is cleaned of blood and the partner is invited to stand to observe the birth. The principle for the surgeon is then hands-off, as the baby autoresuscitates: breathing air through the exteriorised mouth and nose, while its trunk still in utero remains attached to the placental circulation. This delay of a few minutes allows pressure from the uterus and maternal soft tissues to expel lung liquid (Figure 1), mimicking what happens at vaginal delivery. Once crying, the baby's shoulders are eased out, and the baby then frequently delivers his/her own arms with an expansive gesture.

Concurrently, the baby's torso tamponades the uterine incision, minimising bleeding.
The baby is next left supported for up to a minute, allowing the mother to observe her child. The half-delivered fetus frequently cries but if not, the obstetrician observes its breathing, colour, tone and movement to indicate wellbeing. The rest of the delivery is achieved through a combination of passive expulsion by the contracting uterus and active assistance: the baby wriggles out while its head and torso are supported by the obstetrician. This enables the mother to watch the birth and ascertain the sex of her baby at the same time as the delivery team, replicating the situation at vaginal birth.

Early skin-to-skin contact

Once the baby is finally 'born' and wellbeing again confirmed, the cord is clamped and cut in view of the parents. The anaesthetist/anaesthetic assistant clears the mother's clothing from her chest, and the midwife positions him/herself at the top of the bed beside the mother's head. Still scrubbed, the midwife receives the baby directly from the surgeon to prevent contamination (Figure 3). The woman should be warned not to reach out for her baby, as this risks touching the obstetrician. The baby is laid prone between the mother's breasts, dried with a warmed towel and kept warm with fresh towels and bubble wrap. After a plastic clamp is applied, the partner can cut the remaining cord if he wishes.

Labelling and vitamin K administration are accomplished with the baby on the mother's chest. The baby is positioned so that he/she can begin to suckle. The midwife remains near the head end to monitor the baby and reassure the parents. The baby is only weighed when surgery is finished, and given to the partner while the mother is transferred to her bed. Skin-to-skin contact is then re-established with the baby in the same position."

Amazing new research from AJOG

From the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, August 2008:

FINALLY ... someone in the US, in obstetrics is looking at the need to create a Standard of Care. This was done in Nashville, where there is an alarmingly high number of neonatal deaths. Why does it always wait that long before the system responds?

Improved outcomes, fewer cesarean deliveries, and reduced litigation: results of a new paradigm in patient safety
Steven L. Clark MDa, Michael A. Belfort MD, PhDa, Spencer L. Byrum LCDR (ret.) USCGa, Janet A. Meyers RNa and Jonathan B. Perlin MD, PhDa
aHospital Corporation of America, Nashville, TN.

Received 16 October 2007;
revised 26 November 2007;
accepted 14 February 2008.
Available online 12 May 2008.

(My comments in italics and parentheses)

In a health care delivery system with an annual delivery rate of approximately 220,000, a comprehensive redesign of patient safety process was undertaken based on the following principles:
(1) uniform processes and procedure result in an improved quality;  
(no mention of whether that is code for "practice according to evidence-based science).

(2) every member of the obstetric team should be required to halt any process that is deemed to be dangerous; 

 (woo-hooo, maybe someday they'll even include the parents as members of the team who can halt any process, OH! wait, after I reveal the information from a obstetrician about parents rights -- in my film -- they will!!)

(3) cesarean delivery is best viewed as a process alternative, not an outcome or quality endpoint; (Dang!)

(4) malpractice loss is best avoided by reduction in adverse outcomes and the development of unambiguous practice guidelines;
(Double Dang and Holy Sh--! this is getting mightily close to actually being about the BABY!) and

(5) effective peer review is essential to quality medical practice yet may be impossible to achieve at a local level in some departments.
(Whaaaat ... more PEER REVIEW? How about some effective NON-PEER review and law enforcement? How about some supervision of them foxes who are in charge of the hen house?)

Since the inception of this program, we have seen improvements in patient outcomes, a dramatic decline in litigation claims, and a reduction in the primary cesarean delivery rate.

I'll be getting the full article and reporting back ..

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cesarean Section Research

In late September of this year, researchers in the US dropped a bombshell onto the cozy world of obstetrics.
After analyzing the records of nearly six million births, they advised that mothers should think twice before choosing a caesarean section (CS) over a natural birth. 

Quite simply, an artificial surgical delivery could be putting the life of the newborn at risk. What the stark American statistics revealed was that caesarean babies are almost three times more likely to die within their first month of life than naturally delivered babies (Birth, 2006; 33: 175).
The article continues here in C-section Aftershocks by WDDTY What Doctors Don't Tell You, a UK site. On the right side of the page on the WDDTY site are numerous articles about cesareans.

Towards the end of the article is this bit of research comparing the safety of breech birth and cesarean.

The most common emergency situation is with so-called breech births—where the baby has its bottom facing the birth canal rather than being head downwards. In the days before anesthesia and surgery, all manner of complex devices were invented to extract the baby from this difficult position—one that is potentially dangerous to both the mother and infant. Some doctors have also attempted to solve the problem by developing techniques of turning the baby in the womb from the outside. More recently, the trend in these cases has been to perform a CS rather than risk a natural delivery. 
But here again, this issue has divided the world of obstetrics, with some arguing passionately that CS is not necessarily the safer option for breech-presenting babies. 

In an effort to resolve the controversy, Canadian researchers set up a huge international trial, involving over 2000 breech births in 121 maternity units around the world. Roughly half of the babies were delivered naturally, with the other half by CS. Although the absolute risks to the infants were relatively small in both cases, the differences appeared to be clear-cut: whereas 1.6 per cent of the breech babies either died or were damaged by the CS operation, that figure leapt to 5 per cent for those born without it. In both scenarios, the mothers fared equally well (Lancet, 2000; 356: 1375–83).

Giving Birth to Junkies

Following up my previous post on epidural anesthesia which contains Fentanyl, a synthetic opiod, Dr. Mia Kalef interview, "The Secret Life of Babies", in which refers to the research by Dr. B. Jacobson, Sweden. Dr Jacobson found connections between drug use at birth and drug addictions later in life.

When will obstetricians, pediatricians, and psychologists in the United States do or respect the work of those who are exploring the impact of drugs and violations during birth?

From WDDTY What Doctors Don't Tell You ...

Giving birth to junkies

In wealthy countries a majority of children are born with the use of pain relieving drugs. In wealthy countries drug addiction is increasing.

Bring these two facts together and you will wonder why thousands of researchers are not trying to confirm (or invalidate) the conclusions of the studies by B Jacobson and his team in Sweden about the relationship between opiate or amphetamine addiction in adult offspring of mothers given pain medication during their births ( BMJ, 1990;301:1067-70). These researchers studied the birth records of 200 opiate addicts born in Stockholm between 1945 and 1966. The control group consisted only of siblings of drug addicts, also born in Stockholm during the same period to reduce possible bias caused by such factors as socio economic levels.

Continue reading here

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Letter to Dr. Phil

A few weeks ago I wrote to Dr. Phil when I hear that he wanted to do a program about birth. Then I heard that a second show request had gone out; one that appears to be biased towards showing that homebirth is dangerous. So, I cranked out another one ....

Dear Dr. Phil:

I implore you to see the opportunity you have to make a profound difference in our society. Please consider your moral obligation to have the same question posed for hospital birth and to take this issue to a level very few have the courage to do.

Will you share how the US has higher infant and maternal mortality rates than any other industrialized nation where they have a NATIONAL STANDARD OF CARE that includes homebirths and midwives? The US has no standard of care and physicians have no one overseeing what they do, drugs they use that were never shown safe for the birthing baby. Will you discuss the rights of a woman to choose where and with whom she gives birth? Will you discuss how relinquishing responsibility for birth to doctors and hospitals leads us to accept that US birth is safer?

Will you discuss the decades long research showing the epidural is dangerous to baby and mother? And, that the drugs used are dangerous to anyone -- fentanyl is classified as a potential chemical weapon. Will you discuss how NONE of the drugs EVER used in obstetric care were ever tested and researched to prove safety before using on laboring and birthing women and BABIES. Will you consider that 90% of our population was born 'Under the influence" of drugs and born with lack of regard for the vulnerability of the baby --- cord clamping requires the rough toweling of baby to stimulate it to breathe when nature has provided for the transition.

Will you bring on brain experts and pre and perinataly psychologists to discuss the impact of any birth on the baby? David Chamberlain, ( and, PhD. Marti Glenn, PhD (Santa Barbara Graduate Institute Pre and Perinatal Psychology Program), William Emerson, PhD (, Wendy McCarty, RN, PhD (, Thomas Verny, MD (, Ray Castellino, DC ( I suggest you include Allan Schore, an expert in early brain development, Peter Nathanielsz, PhD, MD (OB) a researcher in the prenatal and birth period and author of three books on the subject, and Bruce Lipton, PhD., a cellular biologist (

I hope you will do a whole series of shows ... while the epidural and cesarean section rate soar, so does the "failing" school issue and rates of addictions and other issues. Somehow, someone has to make the connection -- the connection between the most monumental day of life, the most dangerous, most joyful, and most challenging for the human being.

The experience of leaving the womb and coming into this life is the most profound experience of life. It is currently controlled by medical systems and unnecessary, damaging, painful, intrusive, boundary violating practices are made routine for every baby. Many people are choosing homebirth in order to avoid these, in order to protect their baby.

The question should really be how can we bridge the two worlds, like in countries where more babies and women simply survive, and where they appear to go on to be physically and emotionally healthier and are smarter, by educational standards, than our children? One study compared normal Americans to incarcerated citizens in Europe and normal Americans score worse. The biggest difference between the US and these other successful countries is the way we bring our babies into the world.

This is so much more than the issue it is being made out to be -- someone needs to address it differently, holistically, intelligently, looking at the entire picture. Why not you, Dr. Phil?


L. Janel Martin Miranda, MA
CranioSacral Based Attachment TherapistBirth Videographer/Filmmaker

Saturday, August 23, 2008

120 Babies and 120 Hostages: Their common link is Fentanyl

I cannot for the life of me, figure out how anyone today believes that epidural is safe for the mother and baby. I don't think a woman has the right to chose it for no damn good reason. I say that freely after making that choice myself. My fourth child was born in 1994 under the influence of epidural. I didn't have the luxury of the internet to research this; I just believed her father, a medical student, that it was safe. Nearly ten years later I found enormous information on the web about the dangers of epidural.

Since 1990 epidural anesthesia use has become widespread and promoted as safe. Women WANT to believe this, so much so, it is considered "natural birth" because now the definition of "natural" is vaginal. Women will resist sharing with other women that they are not going to use epidural because of the shock and pressure from other women. "Why would you want to go through all of that pain?"

One of the considerations of doing birth at home is to not have a medical person constantly badgering her to use epidural. What has happened to these medical people? Educated, caring, compassionate people who are supposed to protect our health and our baby's health.

Since the prolific research of the late 80's and early 90's clearly indicating the dangers of epidural anestheia (namely bipuvicaine) to both mother and baby, Fentanyl, another unresearched and dangerous drug has been added to the cocktail. Fentanyl is a synethetic opiod being considered as a weapon to use in Iraq and has been added to the epidural mix to counter affect the complications of bipuvicaine. Research on birthing babies determined the "appropriate" dosage. Fentanyl is responsible for the deaths of hostages in 2002 in Moscow and is dangerous for children. In the US the same drug could be used on our sweet, precious babies AND terrorists.

Reports yesterday from Moscow about the gray gas that was pumped into the Moscow theater bear out the assertions of American medical experts that Fentanyl is dangerous to children under 12. Survivors and relatives of victims said that at least 10 of the dead were children. 

U.S. Suspects Opiate in Gas Used in Theater
By JUDITH MILLER and WILLIAM J. BROAD© New York Times, October 29, 2002

So, Fentanyl is the drug that the obstetric whizs decided was good to counter-act the detrimental and dangerous complications of bipuvicaine in epidural anesthesia. Where are the ethics committee who consider the rights of the birthing baby? What is going on that women who will use no drugs whatsoever during pregnancy will, without question, denying the long term impact on their baby, will demand their right to take Fentanyl during birth. And, some will allow their baby to be treated with less ethical care and consideration than a lab rat.

In this study by addition of fentanyl we tried to minimize the dose of bupivacaine, thereby reducing the side effects caused by higher doses of intrathecal bupivacaine in cesarean section.

Study was performed on 120 cesarean section parturients divided into six groups, identified as B8, B10 and B 12.5 8.10 and 12.5 mg of bupivacaine mg and FB8, FB10 and FB 12.5 received a combination of 12.5 μg intrathecal fentanyl respectively.

Women trust the medical profession. They would never allow harm to their baby if they were truly informed of the full risk; if they were informed that these drugs were never shown to be safe for their baby -- in any dose. Neither of these drugs were ever tested for safety for the birthing baby and certainly no research is being done to show the long-term impact to the human being.

The 120 babies in this particular study were not able to chose or be informed about their participation in this study. This is characteristic of all research done on laboring and birthing babies. It is a travesty that "ETHICS" committees and society do not regard the human baby in their research ... research that happens AFTER the use of technology and substance, not before using on babies. And, then to deny the need for research to see what the long-term impact is.

Fentanyl is considered a potential chemical weapon and has been studied for use on terrorists.

And on February 5th, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld went a big step further. Rumsfeld, himself a former pharmaceutical industry CEO (1), announced that the US is making plans for the use of such incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq (see News Release, 7 February 2003).

The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) and the US Army's Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) are leading the research. Of interest to the military are drugs that target the brain's regulation of many aspects of cognition, such as sense of pain, consciousness, and emotions like anxiety and fear. JNLWD is preparing a database of pharmaceutical weapons candidates, many of them off-the-shelf products, and indexing them by manufacturer. It will choose drugs from this database for further work and, according to Rumsfeld, if President Bush signs a waiver of existing US policy, they can be used in Iraq. Delivery devices already exist or are in advanced development. These include munitions for an unmanned aerial vehicle or loitering missile, and a new 81mm (bio)chemical mortar round.

Many of the Pentagon’s so-called "nonlethal" (bio)chemical weapons candidates are pharmaceuticals. Different names are used for these weapons ("calmatives", "disabling chemicals", "nonlethal chemicals", etc.). Used as weapons, all minimally aim to incapacitate their victims. They belong to the same broad category of agents as the incapacitating chemical that killed more than 120 hostages in the Moscow theater. That agent was reported to be based on fentanyl, an opiate that is also among the weapons being assessed by JNLWD. 

In the US, pharmaceutical fentanyl is sold by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica. Remifentanil, a closely related drug, is a GlaxoSmithKline product. 

WHO is allowing the field obstetrics to go unsupervised? WHO is allowing the same drug to used on terrorists to be used on our birthing babies?? The FDA has approved this? Or, any drug is ok as long as an OB want to use it?

I don't know who wrote the following, but I did find some references that are listed at the end.

Russia's top health official Yuri Shevchenko reported that the gas used in the storming of a Moscow theater held by Chechen gunmen was based on fentanyl, a fast-acting opiate with medical applications. Shevchenko said the deaths were caused by the use of the chemical compound on people who had been starved of oxygen, were dehydrated, hungry, unable to move adequately and under severe psychological stress.

Injected, skin-patch and oral doses of fentanyl sold in the United States carry warnings that the anesthetic can be fatal if administered in too high a dose and that doses must be customized, taking into account the patients' size and any previous exposure to similar drugs.

Fentanyl was among drugs that Pennsylvania State University researchers suggested two years ago that the U.S. military explore as weapons to subdue angry mobs. The Pentagon has put such research on hold, however, because of worries that it would violate the international ban on chemical weapons.Fentanyl is one of the drugs used in epidural anesthesia for childbirth ("hungry, unable to move adequately, under severe psychological stress" sounds familiar). It certainly has worked wonders on the women of this culture as a chemical weapon in the war against spontaneous, unimpeded, empowered birthing.
Oprah says we should be uprising over the dismal state of our education system. We are 25th in the world science and math. Oprah also still promotes epidural anesthesia and drugs in birth -- she does so as most women do, laughing and saying it is the only way to give birth. No regard for the human baby. Oprah gave birth at age fourteen, reportedly she was pregnant by rape. No amount of drugs will help a woman give birth in that circumstance. Oprah's experience is not the correct measurement of what is scientifically wrong for babies. She does not even crack her psyche a fraction to allow the possibility that our failing schools ... failing children ... struggling children are the consequence of the rising use of induction of babies and the use of narcotics, opiods for the birthing brain. As the incidence of drugs in birth and cesarean birth rise at an alarmingly similar rate as the failure of our children in school, we need to rise up and say no more. No more routine drugging of the human newborn at birth.

Based on what we know, the routine epidural anesthesia during labor is not the right of a woman over that of a baby. I don't care what Obama says.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Breastfeeding and IQ

Smarty Gene: Breast-fed kids show DNA-aided IQ boost
by Bruce Bower

Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in deciphering the genetics of intelligence. Ironically, they did it by accounting for a key environmental factor.Breast-feeding boosts children's IQs by 6 to 7 points over the IQs of kids who weren't breast-fed, but only if the breast-fed youngsters have inherited a gene variant associated with enhanced chemical processing of mothers' milk, reports a team led by psychologist Avshalom Caspi of King's College London.

The new finding supports the controversial hypothesis that fatty acids in breast milk enhance newborn babies' brain development.

Moreover, the results demonstrate that intelligence researchers must examine how children's genetic natures interact with the ways in which they're nurtured.

Continue reading at:

I liked this quote at the end:

Adds psychologist Jeremy R. Gray of Yale University, "An IQ advantage of 6 to 7 points is unquestionably large enough to have a real-world impact on individuals."

I visited a website that rants about the unsafety of homebirth. I hadn't been there for about six months. Nothing has changed. I added comments about what the baby feels and experiences at birth and people got so jiggy -- I advocated for gentle, respectful treatment of the baby. WOW, mother's of NICU babies went ballistic, folks got rude and ridiculing, and basically saying that babies don't remember so it doesn't matter. You'd think I'd said the world is round.

Really, it's such a spiritual experience to go that blog. I always think of Gandhi:
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

Although winning doesn't really sound like something Gandhi would seek. Did he really say that?

Anyway, that's how the folks who trash homebirth, natural birth and who support cesarean as a less painful, healthier way for humans to be born, and adamantly resist and attack one for the concept of the human baby being a fully conscious, aware, and learning baby act when one introduces research or logic to the contrary. Contrary to what they are doing, making a living doing, or experienced as a patient. They got so jiggy about me saying that the baby could be treated gently and with respect EVEN if s/he needed to have an intervention. They even said that there is no research to support prenatal learning. They must live in caves! I suggested they Google: fetal programming and development and suggested they look at the mainstream researchers, Janet Dieprieto, PhD, Peter Nathanielsz, MD (OB), PhD (Vet), and Peter Hepper, PhD (Ireland).

I remember when breastfeeding was as opposed with the same flimsy science that convinced women to use formula, while the logic and science that said Mother Nature or Divine Design has provided what the human baby needs was vehemently denied by the medical caregivers. I breastfed my son in 1975 when it was not at cool to do so. They kept my baby from me for hours until my family was gone. Two nurses tried to talk me out of it. They said they had already fed him and he took the bottle just fine. Something deep rises up within me (and the B word too) just writing that. How did they get the "right" and the "power" to impose their MISbeliefs upon MY BABY!?!? It is not to be taken lightly since we once again know as a society that breastfeeding is so critical. The first feeding primes the baby's stomach. HOW DARE they take that away from him. WHY do we continue to allow medical caregivers to perpetrate their opinions and beliefs that are shown over and over and over to be NON-Science based? And, that translate into disrespectful, dangerous, and violating treatment of our babies?

Oprah and everyone else is talking about how the US compares in math and science. One woman on Oprah said that this is the number one issue? Yet, Oprah continues to support epidural .. with all the research that shows it is dangerous and WITHOUT any longitudinal or retrospective research to show it is safe and without consequence. Is the education rate of failure corresponding to the increasing rates of induction, epidural, and cesarean? Doesn't anyone in power THINK and connect?

We are told that induction is safe, drugs are safe, even Fentanyl and other narcotics, during labor and birth, but we should not use them at other times during pregnancy. We are told that cesarean birth is safe for the mother and baby and yet, the obstetric field will not do any long term research. Those doing the research are psychologists and their credibility -- because they are psychologists -- is discredited by medicine, and the women they violated, who must believe, believe, believe that whatever was done to them was done for the right reasons.

Someday, the majority will see that the human being does remember every experience, including birth, and that we can be gentle and respectful doing lifesaving maneuvers. But will we ever be able to just say: Babies are emotionally, physically, and spiritually impacted by their birth experience? How's come we can't seem to overcome the medical power and control and just say it -- poor treatment of the human by doctors and nurses at birth causes X, Y, Z. Like, medicine causes low IQ.

My friend, Rich concurs,

How about a new headline: "Medical research demonstrates IQ cost of hubris and recklessness in pediatric practice". 

Or "90% offormula fed children would have higher IQ's if their parents had ignored a century of conventional medical wisdom". The admission that "formula-fed infants typically received no fatty acids in their diets" is an indictment of american quack pediatric/industrial medicine if there ever was one.

This is just one more in a long stream of findings demonstratingthe immunological, nutritional, psychological and now intellectual deficits suffered by formula-fed babies. Yet there is no outcry, no call for banning over-the-counter formula, no push for facilities to breast-feed and co-habitate in the workplace, no press releases attempting to undo the effects of over a century of medical trivialization and denigration of breast feeding. No doubt children are better off not being held by their mothers anyway. I'm sure sensory deprivation does wonders for their growing brains.

It wasn't so long ago that new mothers were routinely given injectionsto dry up their breasts. Now at least they can sometimes breastfeed in public without going to jail. Will wonders never cease?Perhaps some day there will be room for human nature in medicalideology. That is, if they can think of a way to make it profitable.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Babies Remember Birth Guest writer, Rich Winkel

The discoveries that are being made in birth psychology are perhaps obvious in retrospect but still widely denied in obstetrical circles because of their devastating implications. If humans had never developed written language and all the diversions and false authority that comes with it, we probably wouldn't have forgotten the timeless intellect and wisdom encoded in our genes and bodies.

The lessons are simple: first, babies and fetuses remember EVERYTHING. The memories are apparently imprinted in the neural nets distributed throughout their bodies and brains, and can affect their perceptions and behavior for the rest of their lives. Adverse events, if left unresolved, can repeatedly resurface in a pattern of trauma-reenactment which ensnares following generations in an expanding cycle of suffering and victimization which could be (and probably has been) responsible for engulfing entire societies in epidemics of sociopathic cruelty.

Second, being born is the baby's first deliberate act, its first expression and celebration of its newly discovered life. Whether it is lovingly received and empowered or objectified and subjugated will profoundly affect its self-esteem for years to come. Birth trauma can even affect a female baby's future births, again setting the stage for self-perpetuating intergenerational patterns of dysfunctional behavior.

Third, birth is only one step in a process of being born, of evolving from a fertilized egg to a physically autonomous child. After birth, the umbilical cord is replaced by breastfeeding and all ofits physical and emotional attributes, which are no less essential to a healthy outcome than the cord itself. The mother-baby is a biological/psychological/social complex which must be inviolate if the baby and mother are to reach their full human potentials.

All of these principles, which appear to be obvious to other primates, have been routinely ignored in centuries of western obstetrical and pediatric practices.

What all this boils down to is that western "civilization" is suffering from a centuries-old psychosocial epidemic involving the systematic and traumatic severing of this cosmic physical and spiritual mother-baby connection to ourselves and each other. We are a society of orphans, alienated from our roots and perpetually in search of pale substitutes for this connection. We are living in abject spiritual poverty in the midst of boundless meanings and possibilities, having forgotten our own divine essence.

The relevance of all this to the search for peace and harmony should be obvious. I believe this issue may be at the heart of the social pathologies of monotheism and patriarchy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Salmonella or Staph?

In passing today I saw a few moments of The View on ABC.  Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who co-hosts was talking about tomatoes. She is apparently freaked out because of the salmonella outbreak about "certain tomatoes" and is not eating any tomatoes at all. She was quite adamant about the topic. I had to laugh ... she is also the one I saw interviewing Patricia Arquette.

Ms. Arquette gave birth in the hospital and then had a homebirth. She was quite eloquent, though simply matter-of-fact about her experience, while the Ms. Hasselbeck was anything but an "objective news woman". She just couldn't "wrap her head around" the idea of a homebirth ... birthing outside of the hospital? She couldn't imagine not giving birth, not being safe in the hospital ... the germiest places on the planet where salmonella is the lessor of the evils lurking there.

A local news woman said this week about giving birth, "give me the IV and prop me up on the pillows". If not so sad, it would actually be funny. These women have so much influence and their "empowerment" is so shallow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Modern Birth and Torture

By Rich Winkle

This country has a psycho-social parallel with pre-Nazi Germany which may be surprising to you.

First check out Democracy Now's interviews with Alfred McCoy, author of "A Question of Torture" (and earlier, the indispensable "The Politics of Heroin")

See especially his description of the CIA's current state of the art "psychological torture" technique, which consists of two components:

-Sensory deprivation
-Self induced pain

When you understand how this combination works on the psyche, consider the fact that standard American obstetrical and medicalized pediatric practices have subjected a majority of native-born Americans to a slight variation of the above:

-Sensory and pleasure-sensory deprivation
-Other-induced pain

This is the "parenting" technique which was widely utilized in pre-Nazi Germany on the children who grew up to become war criminals and sadists. Those Germans who were spared this treatment were often part of the resistance to the Nazis.

The Political Consequences of Child Abuse

What are the psychological consequences of the latter variation of torture? The destruction of empathy, the social glue which humanizes us and makes for livable societies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Womb is a School and All Babies Attend

The Womb is a School and All Babies Attend

By David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D*

The womb of a mother during pregnancy has been thought of as a veiled, largely silent refuge where babies develop in peace and safety for about nine months before birth. Construction was considered an assembly line process in which all babies got built from genetically-influenced, but basically similar parts. In this scheme, mothers had little to do beyond eating sensibly and taking prenatal vitamins while dads, having made their unique gift of sperm to start the process, were basically in a holding pattern until the real baby materialized at birth. Babies, on the other hand, were regarded as passive passengers, incapable of sensation or communication, without passion or purpose, and clearly beyond reach. In that ancient 20th Century culture (actually not long ago) everybody knew that parenting began after birth.

Today thanks to lots of new science surrounding human gestation, pregnancy is a whole new world for parents and babies! It turns out that just about everything from conception to birth depends on a matrix of interactions between all parties, is fraught with both physical and psychological hazards, charged with motion and emotion, and the final outcome is more heavily influenced by the immediate environment—principally the intimate world of the parents—than by the genes involved. It turns out that babies possess powers of awareness that were overlooked, have senses nobody counted, and a vulnerable psyche absorbing information from all its experiences in the womb. And surprise, surprise, in this school room, parents are the teachers--ready or not.

In this precarious situation, here are some quick tips for parents who sense they are out of synch with the new facts of life before birth. First, reorient yourself in time to the fact that parenting starts before conception (not after birth) when you still have a chance to clean up your act before the sperm meets the egg. You will know what you need to change to get ready. Second, unload any ideas that clutter your mind about the pitiful ignorance and incapacities of babies and gamble on the opposite notion they are amazing humans who would like to grow up in your family. Third, don’t be fooled by their size, including the size of their brains, and immediately begin looking for their heart and spirit. Fourth, get right to work communicating with all the babies who cross your path; you need practice in communicating one mind to another. Your words, so communicated, will explain, support, and heal through every challenge life brings. Fifth, and finally, turn on daily the high energy nutrients of affection and laughter, the secret “glue” that holds families together.

*David is a psychologist and member of Birth and Early Parenting Educators. More about that group at David is also editor of and noted for his popular book The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, now in 12 languages.

David also is co-founder of the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) at

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there ...

especially those fathers who have committed to being in their children's lives and being a dad, not just a father, but a Dad ...

especially to those fathers who have, for whatever reason, lost their relationship with their children.

and, to everyone in between.

"The greatest gift you can give your children is to love their mother."

Author Unknown

Saturday, June 14, 2008

From the Other Side Now

Two great people I admire and appreciate, Tim Russert and Edwina Froehlich, passed away this week. I doubt that Edwina will get the extensive coverage that Russet gets, but she should. Wouldn't it be a great world if the pioneers of promoting what mamas and babies need would be elevated to that of politicians, warmongers, wrong-doers, journalists, and oh, yeah, Hollywood stars? (Not that Mr. Russert was any of those).

Who is Edwina Froehlich, most people ask? She is the founder of the Le Leche League.

When I gave birth to my first child in 1975 breast-feeding was discouraged and it was socially the wrong thing to do. I was breast-fed, as was my mother, a twin, in 1930. I know now that ancestral memory is a contributor of success in breast-feeding. Thank God, because two nurses kept my baby from me and waited for my husband and mother to leave (I believe now). They worked very hard to discourage me ... "You are too young. It will tie you down." (Edwina was too old! What is the perfect age? How absurd that the childbearing body would be too anything to finish the task.) They said, "Formula is better." As they continued to brow-beat me and I resisted, as one said smugly, "We already gave him formula and he took it just fine." Fortunately, my sweet baby latched on like he'd been doing it forever. (So glad I had nursed my dollies along with my sister being breast-fed). I suspect (in my feeling, sensate awareness now) that my eighteen-year old look (or smirk as my mother would call such a look) said, "Ha!!! So F-you and go away," because they did. Thankfully.

Twenty-eight years later I was at a lactation training and when I heard the instructor say that the FIRST FEEDING COATS and PRIMES the gut system, a rage rose up in me. Seemingly outa of nowhere my usual "cool, calm, and collected" self felt and explosion boiling up. THAT feeling is the expression of the feelings and knowing of my body at the time ... that were suppressed and denied.  I had to leave the room and go to privacy in the bathroom to do the things I know as a clinician of trauma healing to discharge it.

The feelings? How dare they? How dare they take away something so fundamentally necessary and simple.? Were his hospitalizations at age four for bowel issues related? What do we women (and men) do with our stuffed emotions about our violations during this most profound human experience -- birth? Woman have to stop doing this --- betrayal --- to other women.

Thank YOU, Edwina -- for you have contributed to my life personally and you have surely made the world a better place for eons to come.

June 13, 2008

Edwina Froehlich, 93, La Leche League Pioneer, Is Dead


Edwina Froehlich, who was inspired to help found La Leche League to support breast-feeding after being told at the age of 35 that she was too old to make breast milk for her baby, died Sunday in Arlington Heights, Ill. She was 93 and lived in Inverness, Ill.

Her death followed a stroke two weeks earlier, said her son, Assemblyman Paul D. Froehlich.

A pioneer on several fronts of motherhood, she worked for Young Christian Workers, a Roman Catholic lay organization, before marrying John Froehlich when she was in her early 30s. She had her first child a couple of years later, making her comparatively old to have a first child at the time, and she made the controversial decision to forgo giving birth in a hospital in favor of a more natural delivery in her Franklin Park, Ill., home, with an obstetrician attending.

At a time when most pediatricians encouraged formula and bottle-feeding and when there were few scientific studies demonstrating the health benefits of breast milk, Mrs. Froehlich chose to breast-feed all of her babies, said another La Leche founder, Mary White.

"We used to tell the mothers the three main obstacles to successful breast-feeding were doctors, hospitals, and social pressure," Mrs. White said.

In 1956, when Mrs. White and a friend, Marian Tompson, decided to start a community organization to support and educate local breast-feeding mothers, Mrs. Froehlich was one of the first women they approached. Soon, monthly meetings were being held in Mrs. Froehlich's home, and a new phone line was installed so she could answer questions coming in from mothers across the country, Mrs. White said.

"We didn't have any information, " said Mrs. Tompson, another of the original group of seven La Leche League founders. "There weren't any books out there, and women just didn't talk about these things. Only 18 percent of women in the U.S. left the hospital breast-feeding at that time."

As La Leche League of Franklin Park grew, becoming La Leche League International in 1964, Mrs. Froehlich took on additional roles, including serving as assistant executive director for many years and, more recently, as a board member and a member of the Founders' Advisory Council.

She was one of the authors of "The Womanly Art of Breast-feeding, " the league's manifesto, which was first put together in loose-leaf form in 1958 and later published as a bound book in 1963. More than two million copies are in print.

Mrs. Froehlich was born Edwina Hearn on Jan. 5, 1915, in the Bronx.

In addition to her son Paul, of Schaumburg, Ill., she is survived by two other sons, Peter and David, who live in the Chicago area; a sister, Pauline, who lives in North Carolina; and nine grandchildren. Her husband, John, died in 1997.

Mrs. Froehlich donated her body to the University Of Illinois for research; her children think she wanted to continue serving science even after her death.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Guns Don't Kill People, Doctors Do

Or should I title it, "Stats to Blow Dr. Amy's Away?"

.. doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'

I have decided (for now, anyway) that the focus of this blog will be to talk about how it is PEOPLE who make birth dangerous ... whether doctor, nurse, or midwife (or cabbie or EMT). Medical interventions meant to save women's and babies lives -- antibiotics, drugs, instruments to extricate stuck baby, and surgery -- are used indiscriminately, unnecessarily, and for self-serving

In addition to that, THE MAIN POINT of this blog is to talk about how the human being -- the baby, me, you, and all of our babies -- are sentient, feeling, and experiencing beings from the moment of conception. Before that we were consciousness, a soul, something .... that came into this physical body. So, certainly during labor and birth we are feeling, sensory, and aware of our

The people in the mother's environment MUST be aware of this --- Awareness and honoring of the baby as a conscious being coming in, a being who is FEELING, SENSING, and IMPRINTING the experience in his or her body and brain, THIS is what makes birth SAFE FOR THE BABY!!!!! ...
Where ever birth is .. home, hospital, woods, or car, regardless of whoever is there ... doctor, nurse, midwife, paramedic, or father, the awareness that this event, BIRTH, is sacred, that this event is tantamount, life defining, this is what will create in "them" a reverence for the baby. This is what will make birth safe, even when they need to use interventions.

So, here's a little humor to make a very strong point ... this is from a friend, and the author is unknown. Thank you whoever you are.

(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Health Human Services.


(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S is 80,000,000. (Yes, that's 80

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is

(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188.

Statistics courtesy of FBI

So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'



Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.

We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Little Edgy -- about Doctors And Where Birth is Safer

The most important thing that you can teach your children is that Well-being abounds. And that Well-being is naturally flowing to them. And that if they will relax and reach for thoughts that feel good, and do their best to appreciate, then they will be less likely to keep the Well-being away, and more likely to allow it to flow into their experience. Teach them the art of allowing.

-- Abraham

ANYONE who attends the birth of babies ANYWHERE ... should be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually qualified. THAT is what makes birth safe .... technology and knowledge in the hands of those are emotionally and psychologically fit.

-- Janel, Baby Keeper, in the film, "The Other Side of the Glass."

While the debate rages on about where birth is safer -- home or hospital -- the biggest reason that birth anywhere is unsafe is the people who attend ... the people who misuse technology ... the people who have forgotten that birth is a sacred event ... people who have forgotten that birth is the human's most singularly critical experience of life. And, that is, birth is a critical experience physiologically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we look at PEOPLE ... it is hospital birth that is most unsafe for women and babies ... and men who find themselves disempowered and unable to protect their partner and child. It is the PEOPLE attending birth that make it dangerous.

PEOPLE who work in hospitals ... especially doctors ... are as a stereotypical whole clumped together ... numb, morally dysfunctional, control freaks ... and there's a reason for it. The System. And, another reason is their choice to be in and stay in a system that is so dysfunctional (and lucrative). See link below.

I'll admit my prejudice and rancor here ... I was raised without insurance and using natural ways and aside from being brutalized at age eighteen in the birth of my first child ... and mislead and over powered in the other three ... and mislead that an angiogram was reasonable and safe way to explore my headaches at age 23, I have had little medical care. Until, I was later married to a man who was a medical student and then did five+ years of residency who thought everything needed to be medically checked out and managed.

Two and a half of those residency years were in obstetrics ... and then I got out with my life. I worked most of those with the exception of having a baby and taking time off to be with her, Brazelton style. He was a control freak to begin with, but he became progressively more so and extremely violent ... all based on money, and he began to hide money, which continues today. He is currently trying to get out of paying the percentage of what the state of Illinois says every non-custodial parent should pay. He believes it is unfair that someone who makes $50,000 a month should pay so much more than one who makes $50,000 a year. Math, logic, and ethics must not have been his forte. The same percentage is what makes it fair. I and my daughter sacrificed and helped him get there.

During the year-long proceeding, rather than work on the income tax forms he can't find, he did find time to divorce his wife (also a physician) but they still live together, and he found time to put over a million dollars worth of property in hers and his sister's name. That takes finesse and balls, and an "I have to manage everything" mentality. He has defied a year's worth of court orders and has even gone to jail once but continues to defy court orders. He still refuses to turn over his income tax returns for several years. Last year during the deployment of my son (his step-son) when my life unraveled and I was unable to work with babies for that year, he paid partial payments or none for two months at a time, because he felt I was "living off him." Now, as the proceedings wind down to a inevitable showdown and completion, he is mad. He is mad that I am doing this film, living off him to do so, and this month again, he paid a partial child support payment. Routinely paying it three weeks late is usually enough satisfaction for him. A partial payment of the support based on his residency income, far from what he should be paying like every other parent in Illinois has to. Have you also noticed that those with the most money never seem to have enough? He works in obstetrics, emergency rooms, and does aesthetics.

Is this who you want caring for you in the ER or in your child's birth or doing your skin abrasion? To be fair to him, he is not alone. He is not the exception, I suspect. He is not the physician who values money above humanity and that of his loved ones. He might or might not be the worst, but he is certainly, most likely, not so different from a lot of people in his profession. The perceptions we hold of these giants is an illusion, built and perpetuated by them and their control over our health and wellness. In fact, I was telling a friend recently that he was never required to take any sort of psychological evaluations or tests. He was shocked. I thought everyone knew that, so I thought you ought to know it too.

While the US Congress seeks to make all pregnant women be psychologically evaluated for depression, medical people continue to "self-regulate" themselves. They don't seem to self-regulate their own lives, but certainly do their profession. No one oversees them, not the CDC or Congress. AMA and ACOG are peer organizations, not regulatory entities. Congress is controlled by them, via the purse strings, via Big Pharm. Doctors are the holders of all power over our health and wellness, even psychologically, and yet, are not ever evaluated themselves. Again, let me remind you that that the fox is in charge of the hen house. Worse, they are not overseen by anyone. They do as they wish. So why wouldn't such a person believe that he makes all rules and that he is exempt from what others must abide by.

So, yeah, physicians are not deemed EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY, or SPIRITUALLY worthy of the station they hold. They are not certified. They just are of a mind and personality that can endure years and years of lectures and retaining the rote information and spitting more back than anyone else. They are good standardized test takers.

All one has to do to become such a powerful person in our society is to be able to memorize the information needed to graduate from college and medical school. He, like all physicians, LEARNED ON THE JOB ... in residency. The information, practices, and procedures were passed from attending to chief resident to resident. They take ethics courses but are not expected to abide by ethics. Medicine has it's own ethics ... meant to self-preserve regardless of the cost to society and to individuals. Nowhere is this more egregious than in the birth of humanity ... one baby at a time. It allows horrors to occur ... and in obstetrics this is serious.

In obstetrics women are allowed since the beginning of medicine, a few short centuries, to control women's physiological processes ... which is violating of women and babies during labor and birth.
Obstetrics is considered to be the most misogynistic and the most UNscience based off all specialties in medicine. From my experience, medical training took a fairly decent, but profoundly wounded person and turned him into a monster. They learn how to deny what is morally and heartfully right ... and how to focus on personal gain ... how to deceive ... how to create elaborate webs of denial and blame of others .... I could on ... but check out this research piece here sent to me by the fellow who donated a MAC to me ... to get this film done ... to stop the abuse of babies.

Link is at the end.....

"The majority of 1800 third year medical students surveyed reported doing something they believed was unethical.[564] One student admits, "What I learned was how to survive as a medical student by forcing myself to believe that what I was doing was all right, when deep
inside I knew it was not."[565]

"Sixty-seven percent felt "bad or guilty" about something they had done in third year. Of these students, three quarters had, "succumbed to that pressure against their better judgment." Sixty-two percent believed that some of their ethical principles had been "eroded or lost."[566]

Another student: "I live in a world in which I do not trust or believe in what I am doing, and where I have grave doubts about what I am inflicting on other human beings."[567]

"At present it is a rare person that emerges from medical training with his or her humanity intact."[568]

"In studies of third year medical students, ethical dilemmas mostly hinged around subservience to authority."

There you go ... and we all know that shit runs downhill .... the powerless exerting their power upon people who are just in need of healing ... and getting rich doing so.

Medical Students

to be continued .... in support of the midwifery model of care, and that ANYONE who attends the birth of babies ANYWHERE ... should be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually qualified. THAT is what makes birth safe .... technology and knowledge in the hands of those are emotionally and psychologically fit.

For that matter, wouldn't you like your heart doctor, pediatrician, and even your podiatrist to have been "certified" sane before they work on you, cut into you, prescribe drugs for you? Have you ever thought about the physician attending to you and what has been going on in his or her life? They and their personal lives are often stressed and compromised ... they are "compartmentalized" in order to do their jobs. The research above gives us insights into that ... how they are compromised and how they become those who compromise others for their own gain.

Want to hear something even more scary? My ex's medical school test scores were highest in PSYCHIATRY!!

Just a reminder .... stop the craziness ... check out the Petition against The Mother's Act

Monday, May 05, 2008

My GI Joe is Coming Home

He has his limbs, his eyes, his head, he is not burned or mutilated! He is ALIVE! He is coming home to the U.S. How blessed am I and how grateful I am. So many mother's wailing will never end and their hearts will never mend. These mothers who have lost their child to war need our loving thought and prayerful arms to hold them. I feel, I think, as if my child has been through a tragic event, like a bus wreck, and is one of the survivors. With all of my gratitude, I am a bit numb right now. Bless my other sisters.

I can not think only of my happiness, without feeling shared emotions with the mothers with whom I have so much connection and especially those who will never greet their child again. Never has anything connected me so deeply with other women ... birth comes close.

Can it really be after all of this time? Twenty-two months in a war zone -- two and half years since I have seen him -- smelled him, felt his soft neck when I hug him, an experience that transports me, and then his whiskered face that brings me back to the present.

Please keep our men and women and their families in your prayers.

Below are some pictures of my GI Joe in Afghanistan. He is an officer embedded with the Afghan Army. My favorite of him is him being hugged by an Afghan man. It brought me much joy to see him happy and being the goof we all know him to be. The picture is a stark contrast to night time maneuvers, long mountainous roads, and him standing, honoring his friends, fallen soldiers. He is in black shirt below. How can a mother's heart but break when her child sees and endures such experiences and losses? How can we as women, not reach out to other women who experience such losses ... whether it be to war, or to the egregious violation of her body, soul, and baby during managed, manipulated, medical birth.

If you've been reading my blog since I began it in November 2006, you know that my son was deployed in the months prior and it started out initially to counter Tuteur's attack on homebirth, midwifery, and natural birth when she banned me -- when my son had just left and I was clinging to his sacrifice, possibly dying, being not in vain if it protected our rights here. I was taking my right to speech pretty damned seriously.

You know that I am passionate about birth, the empowerment of women and men in birthing their babies, and more importantly, that I am a fierce advocate for the baby. You'll know that writing six hundred pages in the first seven months on this blog, entertaining you with my colorful and very passionate weavings (rants) about obstetric abuse against women, the history of midwifery, circumcision, and the consciousness of the baby, is what got me through the hardest year of my life. Have I mentioned lately that the drugs used in American medical birth have NEVER been shown to be safe for the birthing baby and woman?!? And! that women and babies are one long experiment on NON-consenting and NON-informed women and babies?!

"In the cave," "over the cliff", "thrown on to the train tracks", and the "dark night of the soul" are some of my more graphic descriptions of my experience as a mother of a deployed soldier in this war. Thanks to you all who faithfully tuned in, I found a wonderful place to channel my energy and emotions --- as I unraveled a lifetime of ... of ... shi-stuff. And, then began to re-weave my life. Many days I would marvel at that amazing soul, my son, the one I saw come in at conception, and how we came to do this profound journey. Oh, how I would have given anything for a few days back ... so many would be "do overs", most would just be a day to enjoy him ... a baby, four years old, or fourteen, or 22. Mamas, hold them close and cherish every moment you have. Time slips away and all you have left is your dreams and justifications for why did what you did or didn't do what you didn't. Deployment dredged up all of those losses to be reviewed, like sorting through wet, stinky belongings after the backed up sewage goes down; and finding the joys within, to be appreciated.

Some days I was grateful that I was able to experience such depths of emotion ... even though much of it was very old and unfelt from days of numb living. Numb, that mechanism that most of us have that allows us to endure hardships, abuses, losses and to suck it up to go to work and put on the "happy public face" ... well, that mechanism goes haywire when we face losing our child, whatever the reason. And, I do mean, haywire. I found all of the times, all of the years that I didn't feel what I felt (like getting out of an abusive marriage to an obstetric physician) demanded to be heard and felt. All of those years living in Denial ... focused on worldly things not of that much importance really -- in the end when all is said and done.

Some days I felt, and do feel, profoundly blessed that I had this opportunity to recognize my child, the man, who is his own soul and who came for a purpose. I am blessed to be called to "let him go" -- as mothers must learn to do -- letting go while embracing, and accepting him, at a level I never knew possible. It's at the bottom of the cliff, in the darkest recesses of the cave, and in the darkest place of the soul. It is the moment one realizes, lying on the tracks, shifting waist high in the sewage, that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a freight train after all.

My only sadness I will likely never lose is the realization that my son will never be the same ... for this war. He is expected to come back and live a normal life, where the majority remain numb to his (and his colleague's) experiences and sacrifices. They are so young and have so many years to live. I can't quite shake my resentment at the majority in this country who merrily continues on their normal way, while ours will never be normal again, and my outrage at what you ... this country ... owes him and every veteran of this war. How can you continue to do nothing to stop the madness?

I went through what is as close to losing a child (to death) that I wish to experience. When your child goes to war you have to feel the very real possibility of his or her death (it feels like being slapped, beat to the ground, and kicked in the gut while you are down, over and over) AND you have to have the most hope you've ever had. You have to find it. I likened it to things like getting the news that your newborn is in NICU and for that time when you don't know if they will live or die, you live in panic ... then numb .... then panic .. then numb ... then panic. You live that way everyday that your child is in danger or at risk of dying. Everyday ... until you just have to adjust in order to survive, and the overwhelm is always just right there, ready to spill at any moment. Life unravels.

I realized the panicked scream I felt for two years was exactly like the time my older son almost got hit by a car. Almost, so close, that it is our angel story. I was very pregnant with his sister. He grinned, knowing I couldn't catch him and he bolted down the sidewalk towards the busiest street in town. I couldn't get to him and all I could do was scream his name ... so loudly that people came out of their homes 1/2 block away. My scream came from my core and it seemed to have summoned an army of angels or maybe just the very big brave one that I "saw". After my younger son left the US I realized that I was in that very same scream ... watching my child go off to war all pumped up to do what is right, to do what soldiers do for their country, was like watching him run gleefully to the street with zero regard for the danger. He was so trained, so prepared, and so honored to go to protect what most of us (not me, mama) take for granted.

The scream of deployment goes unscreamed, stuck in me; numb and panicked, numb and panicked, all stuck because there is no place in our society for mothers to just lie down and wail for their babies. No place, no time for days of crying, or time to rest from the exhaustion, and there is no one to pick up the pieces of modern day life that come undone so quickly and that undo us until homelessness, until cancer, under drug use, until divorce ... or whatever consequence emerges from stuffing numb powerlessness and panicked grief. Breathe!!

It is all stuck inside and it gets called "Mother's Guilt" or women get ill, sometimes, deathly ill.  There is no time to grieve our babies we lose in birth, or to war, or in accidents, or to cancer, or to strangers, to DCFS, to the other parent, and not even our babies who are born by cesarean or not how we know our body wanted. There is no time or place to grieve our babies and children's experiences when they and we do survive. Our bodies none the less wail. Our mind wails. Our soul wails. We women have no place to wail, grieve, to FEEL, and to process our guilt and abandonment and violation.  My definition of "Mother's guilt" is that it an expression, a measurement, of the degree of violation a woman and baby have endured by a system condoned by culture.

I intended to and I did choose to go through the pain ... with zero drugs. I have a master's degree and a license that allows me to be the "expert" talking head to help others "talk it through". Nothing I ever learned and experienced prepared me for my own experience ... except the group of parents who had lost their children to death. I didn't talk to someone about my feelings and it would do no good to talk about how my life was unraveling without real empathy and without going into my body and the experience. FEELing it, living it, moving through it. I used yoga, Tai Chi, and I wrote, movement, trance dance, and I wrote, African dance, massage, and I wrote, and the Mother Earth. And, I wrote. It was the Great Mother who sustained me and deepened my faith and trust in Her Son and in His Father. My son's deployment gifted me with the most difficult and blessed journey of my life. I have come through it a much better person. Thank you for sharing it with me. When I picked myself up and dusted myself off, I realized that I had progressed, quite surprisingly towards some long-time goals and dream. The most amazing of those is the film I have wanted to do for four years now.

Thank you for your prayers for my son, my GI Joe, and for all of the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Thank you for your prayers for me and my daughter and my family. Please remember that the needs of our men and women serving are great - before, during, and after. Our veterans deserve our care, appreciation, and our attention. Their families are suffering and need your support.

Please pray for the babies and children of our deployed men and women.

"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