Wednesday, August 27, 2008

At Your Cervix


Most women I know dread their pelvic exams. I recently became aware of this group At Your Cervix They are creating a documentary about training people how to do more compassionate cervical exams. Their film is in the running for an Idea Blog grant of $10,000. Check it out and vote! Idea Blog

Monday, August 25, 2008

Short 2 minutes about positions

You never know what you will find on You Tube... I enjoyed this short clip on positions for labor. We have to get the message out there - MOVE!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Relax, have a cup of tea and take a 2 minute break

This You Tube video of Women's Portraits in Art was posted on a doula list I am on. It was just a nice "break" to watch. It's not related to pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding - just an admirable piece to watch! Enjoy, breathe in/out and relax!

Friday, August 22, 2008

What are they doing right in Calgary?

Passion for Birth has run alot of training programs in Calgary and High River, Alberta. What a treat it was to see this featured on a news site:
Prenatal Classes in Calgary High in Demand

August 07, 2008 - 6:00 pm
660News staff

If you're expecting an addition to your family and want to enroll in a prenatal course, don't procrastinate!

It's becoming more challenging to get into a prenatal class in Calgary. Registration has jumped by 17 per cent this year, and classes are filling up quickly.

However, even if it is a struggle to find a class that can fit you in, Donna Wallace with the CHR tells City TV, it's still important to try.

The CHR runs 39 programs, teaching everything from the basics of birth, to alternative birthing practices.

So what is happening in Calgary to create this high demand? We need to find out and import it into our towns and cities! This upwards trend is reassuring when other media is focusing on a downward trend in childbirth class attendance....I like the story line of what is happening in Calgary much better!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cochrane Course to Build Your Research Confidence

Intimidated when someone starts throwing around phrases like "well the Cochrane says" and "the randomized meta-analysis systematic reviews..." ? Well, sign up for this FREE course and submerge yourself in the Cochrane and loose that intimidation!

Sign up here Cochrane Review course and let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Red Light, Green Light

Am I dating myself by recalling the game "Red Light, Green Light" we played in the neighborhood as I was growing up? Regardless I found this article interesting:

Traffic-light system for cesareans shows benefits

Issue 15: 11 Aug 2008
Source: European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 2008

A trial of a novel “traffic-light” color-coding system for specifying the urgency of cesarean sections has been shown to significantly shorten the time from decision to delivery.

The whole article is here but you may need to "join" by signing in (it was free):

Maybe the color coding would be helpful to do a further study to see how many of the "green light" cesareans were not really necessary? ("The green code would be used for non-urgent cases, with an ideal decision-to-delivery interval of 60 minutes. This would include cesarean section performed due to failure to progress or due to abnormal presentation.") If you are tagged green, it would be great if the "traffic flow team" would increase the support, tools, positions to remove the "roadblock" and get labor moving or the baby to turn instead of putting you in the "parking lot" just waiting for the operating room.

Monique and Mango Rains


I have highlighted the book: Monique and the Mango Rains but I recently found this clip featuring the author sharing her story about the incredible woman behind the book. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I was touched by the relationship and impact these women had on each others lives.

Co Sleeping Webinar - August 22!

Mothering Magazine is sponsoring a Co-Sleeping Webinar on August 22 at 11 am MDT. I have always enjoyed James McKenna speak and a "webinar" means no travel! (and it's free)

Description from the Mothering website:
Join Mothering, James McKenna, Dr. Paul Fleiss and the founders of Attachment Parenting International for an exclusive webinar on cosleeping sponsored by Arms Reach (

James McKenna is among the country's leading experts in cosleeping safety. He is a researcher and the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Paul Fleiss is a pediatrician and the author of Sweet Dreams: A Pediatrician's Secrets for Baby's Good Night Sleep, as well as numerous scientific articles published in leading national and international medical journals. Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker, Attachment Parenting International cofounders, will share their attachment parenting expertise.

Learn why cosleeping is both a natural and an effective way to foster a safe, nurturing environment for babies. Leading experts in the field will present their latest research and host a question and answer session.

Sign up

Monday, August 18, 2008

Business Savvy resource

I was fortunate enough to teach a doula training at the Seattle Midwifery School last week with Sharon Muza New Moon Birth (and I have included the link as a motivation - she is so close to launching a beautiful and comprehensive website - that I am hoping this will NUDGE her to launch it. And I know how hard it is when it took me how many months to hit the PUBLISH button for Passion for Birth??? Speaking of the new Passion for Birth website, if you haven't been there in awhile, check it out - the market is up and I added some fun widgets because I know just enough to get myself in trouble but I love bells and whistles Passion for Birth )

However, the purpose of this blog post was to tell you about a great resource on the business aspect of working in the field of birth, pregnancy, postpartum as well as childbirth education. So for all the amazing women we spent four incredible days with (and anyone else who is looking for resources on the business aspect of being a doula, CBE or more) check out this blog: Savvy Doula

Breastfeeding Report Card for 08!

The CDC has an annual report card now for how the US is doing in regards to promoting and supporting breastfeeding. They look at OUTCOMES such as how many babies breast feed at all up to how many are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months. They also look at PROCESSES such as how many births happened at baby-friendly hospitals, how many IBCLCs per birth, how many La Leche League groups per 1,000 births, how many FTEs in the State Health Department devoted to breastfeeding, and more! If you live in the US, look up your state to see your outcomes and your grades regarding processes. As a member of our local Skagit County Breastfeeding Coalition I am proud of the grades that the state of Washington got - 90% of all babies have at least breastfed once! CDC BF Report Card

Go Vertical to Save Lives!

Kathy Chiocca sent me a link to this article about Vertical Birth in Peru. Peru Embraces Vertical Birth To Save Lives

Apparently they have realized that: "Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed," the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth.

And they also support: The centers let women squat, sit or leave their long skirts on during childbirth -- another typical Andean practice -- instead of putting on a hospital gown. Many clinics are painted in soft, warm colors to make the women feel more at home.

Check out the links to the pictures and the videos.

Now if we could all the providers of the world to support women to stand up and give birth!

Think about adding this tool

There is never enough time in a childbirth class. We all know it. Sometimes we have to weave topics into each other to get everything covered. I just heard about these shirts This Side Up I have ordered one and will use on the doll I use to demonstrate baby wearing and breastfeeding etc. They actually come in newborn size (so many other shirts with messages start at 6 - 9 mos size) I also love that it says "This side up WHEN SLEEPING!" Babies need belly time when they are alert and taking in the world around them.

And yes when you go to the site you will notice one of the ways to reduce SIDS risk is breastfeeding but a bottle icon is used, so I am sending them a nice note suggesting they use the International Breastfeeding symbol instead. (side note: I used short hand when I "googled" to find the Breastfeeding symbol and used International BF symbol. I never knew there was an International Butch-Femme symbol that came up instead) Breastfeeding Symbol

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Great resource!

For those of you have attended the PfB seminars, you have received The Family Way's Prepared Childbirth book for people who enroll in your childbirth classes. Well Jeanne and Debby have launched a great Web Resource page that compliments their book! Check it out: Web It!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Birth Survey is launched across the nation!

From the CIMS newsletter:
For years, consumers have enthusiastically shared online reviews of movies, restaurants, products and services, but readily available information about maternity care providers and birth settings was nearly unattainable. No longer. As part of the Transparency in Maternity Care Project, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) developed The Birth Survey as an online resource for new mothers to share their consumer reviews of doctors, midwives, hospitals, and birth centers, learn about the choices and birth experiences of others, and view data on hospital and birth center standard practices and intervention rates. The Birth Survey is now available throughout the United States.

The Birth Survey is free and available 24/7. Women who have given birth within the past three years can take the anonymous online consumer feedback survey. The survey asks mothers a variety of questions about their satisfaction with their maternity care providers and birth setting, and includes their feedback in the results, allowing other women to benefit from their experiences. In addition to the consumer data, the website will begin to list obstetrical intervention data for each hospital as provided by state Departments of Health. The Birth Survey is designed to help women find quality providers and birth settings that are the best match for their needs and lifestyles. Providers and facilities will also be able to utilize The Birth Survey as a consumer feedback and quality improvement tool.

Help spread the word about The Birth Survey!
Send e-mails to your contacts encouraging them to take the survey, or learn about the project, through our "Invite a Friend" e-mail tool. Invite your friends with a personalized message!

Post web banners and buttons on your personal or organizational websites, or link to in your email signature and on your website.

Distribute postcards inviting women to take The Birth Survey. Download the cards or order preprinted cards from the CIMS Web site.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What do you know about the sphincter law?

Do you talk about the cervix as a sphincter? And what conditions a sphincter needs to relax? Is this an important topic for childbirth class? Read an article/interview with Ina May Gaskin about her Sphincter Law in Mothering magazine on-line.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Looking for a $$ deal?

Homebirth Videos is having a sale! Buy one copy of the popular DVD Birth Day (featuring the birth of Naoli Vinaver in Mexico surrounded by her family) and get two more copies free! (Thanks Sharon for sharing!)

The flyer says:
This is an internet only offer - Three copies of Birth Day for the price of one.
Please mail a check or money order for $40.00 (which includes global shipping and handling) to:
Sage Femme
PO Box 973
Tiburon, CA. 94920
Offer expires 8/31/2008

Consider donating a copy to the library or a teen pregnancy program or a childbirth educator friend who needs a "boost".

Monday, August 04, 2008

THe UK BF art contest

Watch the video about the contest:

Sharon Muza forwarded the link to the winner: UK BF Poster article

And another great UK campaign: Get Britain breastfeeding

Breastfeeding celebration breakfast and more resources!

We had a nice breakfast this morning - open to all in our community who support, promote, protect breastfeeding in honor of World Breastfeeding Week! And there was no business agenda like we have at our more task oriented Coalition meetings. So nice to clink the coffee/chai/water cups to furthering our work with breastfeeding. And of course we started sharing birth stories and how we got involved with this work. It was an honor to be part!

I came home and had an email which sent me to the bc baby-friendly network website They are sharing their "What's In Breastmilk" poster (printed = longer than 72" and has a huge impact) and a clever "Baby Manual for Dads". It's described as "a light-hearted tool for supporting breastfeeding (24 hour cribside assistance) specifically for Dads, from the Durham Region Health Department, Whitby, Ontario."

Enjoy all these free resources!

I am so proud but do you know where Vanuatu is?

I recently discovered a blog from someone I had the privilege of meeting at a Lamaze Labor Support Specialist I was leading. She who not only became a doula and a childbirth educator, she then started on the midwifery path. From her blog it appears she is working in Vanuatu and is having some wild adventures. Read her blog Welborn Baby Blog I am so proud of the work she is doing. It is amazing!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

More awesome BF resources

More breastfeeding resources for you in honor of WBW! (DID I MENTION THEY ARE FREE!!)

HRSA has an amazing set of materials under The Business Case for Breastfeeding. Order your set today: Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite

ALSO: If you are into having research at your fingers on breastfeeding, here is resource for you - and a single copy is free or you can read on line for those of you whose bookshelves are overflowing:


Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries.
Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 153.
Evidence Report. April 2007 (AHRQ 07-E007)

They screened over 9,000 abstracts 43 primary studies on infant health outcomes, the same number for maternal and 29 systematic reviews! It's almost 200 pages and is filled with important info and perspective on the status of the evidence!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A gift for World Breastfeeding Week

This is World Breastfeeding Week and I hope everyone is finding their own way to celebrate and acknowledge all the work that is being done to support breastfeeding in your community. Search the web and you may find recipes for special treats (or when you Google breast cupcakes you may be taken to websites you have only heard are out there!)

But the publishers of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine have made access to all their journals FREE for August. The current issue has a couple great articles and I am eager to read the other issues. The two that caught my eye: Impact of Hospital Policies on Breastfeeding Outcomes and ABM Clinical Protocol #5: Peripartum Breastfeeding Management for the Healthy Mother and Infant at Term Revision, June 2008. Thank you Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine!!

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Friday, August 01, 2008

Belly Dance clip

It just makes sense..rocking the pelvis, moving in a circular motion, being upright.