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, 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!!!!!

"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