Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcome to the world!

Passion for Birth alumni Beth Day welcomed a new family member! Sounds like it was an intense and rewarding birth. I asked her permission to share this picture and to share her insight into birthing a baby...we always talk about how many get regnant after seminars. Keep her wisdom in mind as you birth!

Beth writes:
We had a wonderful, fast (3.5 hours), hard, intense labor. And here's an aha moment. It doesn't matter how much you know or how much experience you've had with other women's births. When you give birth, you are no longer a childbirth educator, a doula, etc. You are a woman, and you experience the same raw emotion, the same feelings of being overwhelmed and helpless, the same amazement and surprise as any other woman. I came away humbled and feeling a new empathy and concern for birthing women.

Watch a Baby's Birth

Lamaze has just released this new video. Think about becoming a Lamaze Childbirth educator!

private practice...grey's anatomy spinoff

I thought I was on my way to the Gentle Birth Expo but an exciting email came in. Debby Amis confessed to watching Private Practice last night which is a spin off from Grey's and shared this:
"One of the Grey's Anatomy doctors (an OB) has moved to Los Angeles and joined a Wellness Clinic practice. She was surprised (shocked) to learn that she would be delivering babies in a birthing suite at the clinic. The birthing suite has a copy of the Lamaze Philosophy of Birth poster on the wall!!!!!!" You can watch it on line. Private Practice

She goes on to describe how the first birth was totally ridiculous (an emergency cesarean done with acupuncture in the clinic), but the idea that a free-standing birthing center with the Lamaze Philosophy of Birth poster on the wall is being featured on the spin-off of one of the most popular TV shows (Grey's Anatomy) on the air is affirming!

In case you are not familiar with the Lamaze Philosophy of Birth, here it is:
* Birth is normal, natural and healthy.
* The experience of birth profoundly affects women and their families.
* Women's inner wisdom guides them through birth.
* Womens confidence and ability to give birth is either enhanced or diminished by the care provider and place of birth.
* Women have the right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.
* Birth can safely take place in homes, birth centers and hospitals.
* Childbirth education empowers women to make informed choices in health care, to assume responsibility for their health and to trust their inner wisdom.

Great latch clip

I am leaving today to go to the Gentle Birth Expo in Portland! Should be an inspiring event. Look for me at the Lamaze booth if you are going!

In the mean time I am still trying to catch up on the email and remembered I wanted to post this site as having one of the best clips on latch.

Go to BF latch to see the clip. Rumour has it that it will be available to show in classes in the next month or so. Keep in touch!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Congratulations, Pat!

Passion for Birth Trainer and friend, Pat Predmore, has fulfilled a dream by opening Birth Matters! - an independent perinatal center near Rochester, New York!

A lot is happening at her center - childbirth education, support groups, yoga, breastfeeding support and a small retail operation. You can visit her website to see more Birth Matters .

They have just sponsored BIRTH THE PLAY and this weekend will have a "red tent" - complete with a red tent inside the studio!

I loved the feeling in the studio when I was lucky enough to visit there a couple months ago. I hope it's a model that will be financially feasible in every community. (Robin Weiss and I sent her money tree when she opened - because it is a HUGE investment of money, time and creative energy!)

Well today is a day to celebrate because the sign has been created and added to the front. Stop by to visit if you are ever in the area!

Advertising vs promotion vs publicity

From the Midwifery today enews:
"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying "Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday," that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. If the town's citizens go the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that's sales."

~ Unknown

Conscious Birth Affirmations

Enjoy this video!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beyond Gate Theory

Want to be on the cutting edge? Start reading up on the "neuromatrix pain theory." Penny Simkin talked about in a recent presentation at Lamaze and I think she is on to something! Read about it at Medscape Article or Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health or "google" and start reading. Post your thoughts here!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

sometimes you just have to shake your head

I belong to a couple doula, lactation consultant and childbirth educator listservs. The other day someone shared her recent experience at a birth where a woman had gone in for an ultrasound on a Friday and was told her baby weighed 7 lbs. On Sunday she had a quick and easy birth of a 10 lb. baby - less than a half hour from when she called the doula thinking she might be in labor until the baby was born. (second baby) When the doctor saw the baby, she said something like "TEN POUNDS! YOU SHOULD HAVE HAD A C-SECTION!" This was after seeing this easy (but intense, no-doubt) birth. But how could this doctor have thought it had been a mistake to give birth without surgery. Baffling in so many ways. Hopefully the doctor is unique in thinking this and does not representative most Obstetricians.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Innovative way to teach kegels

At the Lamaze conference, there was a post-conference gathering of all the Lamaze trainers. Education Council chair and friend, Jeanne Green "wow'ed" us with teaching kegels in the most innovative and daring way I have ever seen! To do this in class, you would need to know your clientele! Why? It involves singing a kegel song with a hand puppet. To learn more about the song and the "yoni" puppet, go to Do the Kegel. There is a link from there to the puppet! Remember we are talking kegels so don't be surprised!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cochrane learning opportunity

Ever wanted to know about the difference between randomized controlled study to a systematic review to a meta-analysis? There is a free on-line course to learn about these and more.

Robin sent this out this morning:
This FREE Course is designed for consumer advocates from Cochrane:
Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action
- Successfully navigate the world of medical information,
- Critically appraise research studies,
- Influence the creation of responsible public policy in healthcare.
Click here to start the course:
Cochrane Overview

Conference overload but a good overload!

Well I survived! I have served as conference chair for Lamaze for six years (two terms)and I must say, each conference has special memories - mostly centered on the incredible educators and birth activists that attended the conferences. We went from Pittsburgh (Not your Ma's Lamaze) to New Mexico (Hot Air Balloons) to Florida (first hurricane) to Austin (second hurricane) to Boston (no hurricane but early morning fire drills!)to Phoenix! Whew!

I am proudest of the amazing keynotes and impressive number of concurrents and my favorite part - the awards ceremony followed closely by the light hearted after hour events - the pajama party, Julie Webber Davlin acting as David Letterman and interviewing Elisabeth Bing, getting busloads of people up pre-dawn to go to the Hot Air Balloon lift off to salsa dancing at the beach to boat trips in Austin and Boston and most recently getting arrested with others at the Rawhide for promoting normal birth!

I am now ready to join the prestigious ranks of "retired conference chairs honorary society" We can't decide whether to meet in Belize or Hawaii or the Greek Isles!

So while everyone else was unpacking leisurely after the Phoenix conference, some of us quickly repacked and headed to the ICEA conference - didn't we look at the reality of our calendars?...but once again it was great to see Robin, Kathy, Penny, Debby and Jeanne (and Lamaze staffer Rachel) Now I am home for at least a week and then it's off to the Gentle Birth Expo in Portland - I think there is a dynamic that happens with a calendar - when scheduling things, the days look far apart, the opposite of how you look at a map and the states look so close together!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A seminar in a grocery store!

I have led seminars in a wide variety of places...the typical hospital, hotel, community center, church basement, and living rooms. We have had a couple unique sites like a yoga studio with no chairs and actually had one in a Starbucks! My favorite of course is on a deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. But I must say we recently had a seminar in a GROCERY STORE! When I sent out the details I am sure some folks had visions of us being between the bananas and lettuce but actually they had beautiful classrooms. They have a partnership with Pinnacle Health and they have a lot of their childbirth programs there. It worked out great, just interesting walking through the aisles to get to class! Here is a picture of that group! And can you tell which two women are mothers of more than 10 children each?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Leaving for Lamaze and loose ends

I am leaving tomorrow for the Lamaze conference! Its always exciting to connect with old friends and make new ones! And the energy of that many birth people in one location is always inspirational. But being gone for a week is tough and I am trying to conquer the pile of loose ends. So I am finding lots of notes about things to blog about! So I will not be writing for awhile, enjoy these multiple entries today.

I love the video clip on this page about latch even though it is on a commercial site. Latch On

Portland bans the bags

This is old news but still noteworthy. The breastfeeding advocates have been hard at work and the whole city has banned the formula marketing bags. Heres the info.
Since the launch of the national “Ban the Bag” campaign one year ago, Portland, Oregon has become the first city in the nation to have both public and private hospitals ban the formula sample packs commonly distributed to new mothers as they head home with their infants. To mark the occasion, Oregon’s Public Health Director Dr. Susan Allan kicked off Oregon’s Breastfeeding Promotion Month by awarding 15 Portland-area hospitals with “Maternity Care Best Practices” honors. At the ceremony, Dr. Allan stated that “New research has shown that the distribution of formula sample packs has a detrimental effect on breastfeeding. The presence of a can of formula in the early days undermines a mother’s confidence that she can successfully breastfeed.” For the national “Ban the Bags” campaign website, go to Ban the Bags

Centering makes it to the Green Journal!

I have always liked the concept of group care and have been intrigued with Centering. I of course think an ideal model would be a childbirth educator and a provider working together to facilitate groups. Regardless of my wishes, a study was just published in the Green Journal (highly respected] Here is the information on the study.

A study published in the August 2007 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology looks at group prenatal care’s impact on pregnancy outcomes, psychosocial function in mothers and patient satisfaction. Among the findings: Women assigned to group care were significantly less likely to have preterm births, compared with those in standard, individualized care. The effect was especially significant for African-American mothers. Women in group sessions also reported feeling more prepared for labor and delivery and having higher satisfaction with their care. Breastfeeding initiation was also higher with group care. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and supported in part by the Centering Pregnancy and Parenting Association, was a randomized controlled trial with approximately 1,000 women at two hospital prenatal clinics. For the abstract, go to

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A most delightful evening and music to birth by!

Last night I tackled the Labor Day weekend traffic and went to Edmonds, north of Seattle ,to see a wonderful production of Birth, the play. Each time I see it, I love the minor adaptations and the skills of the various actresses. Last night had a very special actress, Penny Simkin. She did awesome! I was lucky enough to sit close to her staff and her daughters. To say they were proud was an understatement! Penny was a natural. You could tell all those role lays of women in labor really aid off. And being able to boast my body rocks! seemed a natural role. The director stated that BIRTH was in over 31 cities this month. Hoefully you will be able to find it close to your home!

My husband also told me about a radio program about music to birth by. I searched the web site and this is the closest I could find and it looks like they are looking for input. Music to give birth to...

Enjoy this labor day and keep all those women laboring in your heart!