The Other Side of the Glass

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

The trailer

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Doulas, Obstetricians, and Whistle Blowers

I read a couple of posts on BOLD Thoughts, Birth the Play Blog
and I posted a response.

The BOLD blogger wrote about a NY Times article trashing Doulas and about a showing of the "Business of Birth" at Cornell and how one obstetrician set the tone for a negative discussion, but a labor and delivery nurse was a "whistleblower."
I wove my responses to both into one post ...about the baby in all of us:

Your posts on Doulas and the two comments raise real concerns. For every baby there is a story and observers will interpret it according to their beliefs and needs. The baby's story goes untold, unacknowledged, unprocessed, and unintegrated.

The story here illustrates a common situation --- the birth women wish for is unattainable in the hospital and most women who prepare for and expect an empowered, natural or whatever birth in the hospital, are profoundly disappointed in their experience after they have prepared for the ultimate birth experience. It has women from the different perspectives at each other's throats.

Women are in the process of reclaiming their power through birth -- and the experience is rarely as was idolized. The truth is that the empowerment comes from embracing was is, what happened, and resolving and integrating the experience ... whatever it is that one co-created. It involves also embracing that the birth is the baby's birth into this world. It is not the mother's birth. She had her birth. This is another soul's journey into this physical world through her. It is her experience of birthing her baby, but it is the baby who will have to live with the choices and consequences of every single moment provided by the mother and her caregivers. The baby and the mother will forever live with the relationship dynamics of birth and attachment that happen during birth.

The human baby is a sentient being who is experiencing birth and that the experience is imprinted into the soul, body, and brain of the human. It is illogical that a society of people would promote that prenatal development is critical, but that the labor and birth is not -- so that well-educated, well-intended professionals can do whatever it is that they happen to believe is right, all based on their own science and research.

With that said, my observation is that many doulas are well-intentioned and good-hearted people who are hardly in the work for the money. They have a burning desire to help other women have the birth they desire, and their unacknowledged fire comes from the need to heal the birth they did or didn't have. This is a huge issue in the doula profession. Doulas (like nurses and doctors), like doctors and nurses, are not aware of their own experiences of their own birth, and they have usually not processed and healed their experiences of giving birth. Witnessing the manipulation and brutality, an LD nurse is a rare one if she can stay aware and receptive to the real needs of a laboring woman. Ninety percent of the current population was born in a hospital. Since the thirties that has involved excessive drugs and inappropriate positions and brutal treatment. Generations of denying this has profoundly numbed the majority of people, so that they will smile and coo at a baby who is being brutalized with an intervention, such as bulbing and scrubbing to stimulate, both of which are shown to be not only ineffective but disruptive. Some of add to that unduly emotionally and spiritually traumatizing.

Regardless of the role of the person at the birth, they bring to that space and time their own unresolved birth trauma. People at the birth are actively trying to heal their own trauma. Women don't get to choose the majority of the people who will actually be in their space during birth. The most important event of their baby's life so far, and it is left to fate and is a cacophony of strangers crap into which a newborn enters.

It is not surprising that doulas are not regulated --- there is no standard of care in obstetrics in the US. Obstetricians are self-regulated. There is no oversight of what obstetrics do. Most drugs that they use freely are off label use, but promoted as safe under the guise of "maternal choice" until the social tide promotes the myth as well. I.e, induction and epidural anesthesia.

A woman can go through multiple shifts during a labor and birth and every nurse will enact her version of is supposedly scientific. It is mostly based on her personal preferences, that particular hospital's policies often formed around previous lawsuits and prevention of lawsuits, and the attending physician's quirks, needs, and preferences. The power over patients is so profound as to totally disempower a man who was prepared and educated. A man will know remember that this baby is HIS baby and that he say no and he can hold his baby.

Enter the doula into the mix. Everyone has their agenda and baggage .... doctors have an agenda to manage and control stress, time, and litigation. Doulas have the agenda to support a woman ... often to support her to do that which is the mother is not even prepared to do or truly aware of.

Bottom line, there is a profound black out in our society about what is best for the human being who is coming into this world. It is the baby's birth into this world.

It will surely come to pass that obstetrics will use credentialing and licensure as a means of controlling doulas, and they will fight, like the nurses and midwives.

It's the human baby that will continue to get hurt in this fighting and warring environment.

We are in a collective denial about the impact of labor and birth on the human and it allows atrocities to be done to babies. Until we embrace the truth that the human baby is aware, sentient, engaging, developing and learning being in the womb AND during labor and birth, the war will continue.

I agree that nurses see and know what is happening, and they are key people and need to speak out. But they are trained to think a certain way and it will be a rare person who will is willing and able to be a whistle blower and is able to pay the price. Squeaky wheels and whistle blowers will most likely still be lone voices and suffer ongoing consequences such as loss of jobs and livelihood until the masses begin to unnumb and wake up. As we incite and insight women/nurses to be whistle blowers we are not ready to support their process and their losses that result. One may want to blow the whistle loud and shrill, but can rarely continue to make a living. I was a whistle blower nine years ago and the losses have been great. All I have left is my ongoing mission to bring attention to the fact that the newborn human baby is conscious and aware and has rights.

No comments:

"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth