Saturday, February 28, 2009


Newsweek Doodles article

If you have attended a PfB seminar there's a good chance you received something to fiddle with - like silly putty, pipe cleaners, etc. Well, here is a Newsweek article talking about how doodling increases your memory:

Daydreaming takes up a lot of mental energy and can be distracting. I had the idea that maybe some small, simple task would catch just enough energy to keep you focused on the [main] task at hand, and though it wouldn't make the task you're doing less boring, it could help you focus.

They could have learned this by coming to a Passion for Birth seminar!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Birthspirit Journal from NZ

There are days I wish money did grow on trees.
This journal looks very interesting!

Birthspirit Midwifery Journal focuses on the regeneration and furthering of knowledge that promotes, supports and protects the healthy (on all levels) continuum of pregnancy, labour and birth, breastfeeding and early mothering.


Well, I did check the NZ to US dollar conversion and it looks like it may be more affordable than I thought... 80 NZ dollars equals about 40 US....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sibling class idea

As I was looking through istock photo where I buy pictures for this blog (no sense in getting in hot water for copy right issues, in my opinion and I try to respect artist's work), I came upon this fun picture! A wonderful, fun charged activity to paint the outside of the new baby's womb/room.

I wanted to share my very favorite activity I have done at Sibling classes and I also suggest for parents to do when they are looking for something to include their other child/children into the welcoming of the new baby.

Make a personal "megaphone" for a direct communication link. Take a piece of poster board, roll and shape into a cone. Decorate it boldly and wildly. Then instruct the sibling-to-be to "place the cone gently on their mother's belly and talk into it." This is their special way to communicate directly to the new baby! Loud and clear!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Basketball coach, barriers and the epidural

In December 2005, Ingalls was injured while receiving an epidural before giving birth to her second child, Jonathan. The result was akin to suffering a spinal-cord injury, and since then she has been confined to a wheelchair.

Not sure what was the primary reason this article hit me: Because my daughter is in the week of the district basketball playoffs or because I am from northern Michigan and even played against this school many, many years ago, or because it mentions this young, healthy woman is in a wheelchair due to the epidural she received during the birth of her two year old son?

Free Press article

Monday, February 23, 2009

error message and a chuckle

Don't you hate it when you are looking for information on the web and you are hot on the trail for finding what you need and then up pops an error message? As a website owner it is hard to keep up with links and updates but it is worth the effort. But I came across this error page and loved it! It takes a second to load, so be patient!

404 error

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lamaze magazine

New Lamaze Magazine is out and you can read it on-line!

Want to hand it out in your childbirth classes? Order them today at Lamaze Publications While Lamaze has been very generous and allowed the magazine to be distributed by members as well as non-members, if you appreciate having this great magazine available to distribute (and it has no forumla, nipples, pacifiers etc) please think about becoming a member and supporting the organization! It's the right thing to do!

And I am always open to feedback on the article I wrote in there: Intervention Intelligence....

"Gravity Birth": horizontal or vertical for you?

This link was sent out in a Mother-Friendly CIMS list serv and I love it!

"As part of a national effort to lower infant and maternal mortality in Ecuador, one hospital runs a "vertical maternity ward" with upright deliveries and the services of traditional midwives. Amid growing popularity, other hospitals are following suit."

Gravity Birth

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Marketing Idea

Passion for Birth graduate Evelin Mirfin in the UK has a great website and a unique idea. She invited a couple who were attending her weekend class to write an open journal about their experience. Great idea! Check it out:

Glo Family

Friday, February 20, 2009

Juicy Studio and Readability

Do you have a blog or a website that you have been curious to know what the reading level is? Well I found it fascinating that there is free tool that will instantly assess your website using multiple formulas. Give it a try: Juicy Studio Click on the readability link.

Reading Level Results for this blog,
Total sentences 982
Total words 3739
Average words per Sentence 3.81
Words with 1 Syllable 1962
Words with 2 Syllables 570
Words with 3 Syllables 422
Words with 4 or more Syllables 785
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 32.28%
Average Syllables per Word 2.01
Gunning Fog Index 14.44
Flesch Reading Ease 33.09
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 9.59

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Health Warning

Susan Martensen forwarded this and gave me a morning chuckle!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poll and discussion: length of cb classes

A few weeks ago I added a poll to the side bar.

Steph made a great suggestion...add the poll so discussion can happen and people can comment on why they voted/rated as they did. Great idea but I am still trying to figure the "how of that" out.

But in the meant time I posted on Facebook that I had a poll about the length of childbirth classes and the discussion started there! So I have copied that discussion here and removed the names:

A: This is a good question to consider! I teach an 8-week natural childbirth class, and each class is 2.5 hours. I've considered adding a 9th week, I really feel this time together is imperative to really prepare them for normal birth. I am a former Bradley Method CBE, so teaching 8 weeks instead of 12 feels like it goes by in a flash

B: 20 hours? How lovely! I teach 12 hour Lamaze and I find myself trying to stuff it all in... sheesh.

C: 6 weeks, 2.5 hours per, including a break. It works out well.

D: I teach 16 hours and it's not enough, though I am thankful for all 16 hours I do get.

E: the standard 6weeks, 2hour classes. Thinking we should add 2 more weeks though .....

F: I do 12 hour, 4 week Lamaze, and would love to expand. Most people think that 4 weeks is a long committment...

B again: I know, right? What is THAT? You wouldn't think twice about meeting with an attorney to talk about a legal matter, opening a business, wouldn't think it odd to meet with a wedding planner or even shopping for a car for 12 hours broken up into little bits. What's the big "OH NO!" about committing time and energy into the most important memory of your life??? Choir, preachin' I know.

A again: Isn't it part of our mission to change hearts and minds about what is the normal/expected/appropriate amount of time to devote to CBE? As I work to change the culture of birth here in this community, this is just part of the work to be done. I started my first class with one couple, right now I am teaching two sessions with a total of 14 couples. Word of mouth starts to spread. Plus, if you advertise that you are teaching natural birth, 8 weeks really does sound more appealing to most folks than 12 weeks of Bradley Method. And I've found I can get similar natural birth outcomes in 8 weeks of 2.5 hour-classes as I did in 12 weeks of 2-hour classes. I hope you all will feel empowered to teach the course that you really feel needs to be taught. ♥

ME: I really appreciate this discussion! And it's not all about the amount of time together - it's about whether or not the "magic" happens during that time. In other words 8 vs 30 hours doesn't matter if they are being served "fear-based", be a compliant patient education. I know none of "us" do that but by the blog posts I read of people attending CB classes, there is a lot of that out there!

G: Hi, Teri, I am teaching a 7 week series of classes 2.5 hours long and students still stay afterward to "bond". I limit the class to 5 couples for good discussion and have a very rewarding time. My classes are Lamaze Int'l philosophy with a smattering of some of the pain coping from Birthing From thrown in which makes things even more interesting with some birth art.

ME again: Hi "G" - your classes sound so wonderful and I think class size is so important! I hate how there is so much talk about "people don't have time/won't take time to come to classes" and lower attendance is blamed on busy lifestyle as opposed to maybe the concern/lack of interest based on what was happening in the classes/the lack of buzz for being awesome was the true reason people weren't interested in long classes.
I see a parallel to how some say women are demanding cesareans - well maybe if hospitals weren't inducing them, tethering them to bed, doing routine interventions, not providing great hands on support, mandating the semi-recumbent, coached pushing and not putting babies skin to skin uninterrupted.... then maybe women would not be seeking cesareans???
Food for thought!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Win Free Birth Survey Postcards!

From Robin Weiss:
Enter to win 250 free Birth Survey postcards! Simply send in your suggestion for how to spread the word about The Birth Survey to by 3/1/09 and you'll be entered to win. You can enter as many times as you like but the entries must be made separately.

We will use the entries to encourage others to help spread the word by sharing them! Please include your name, the state you live in and your tip!


Birth Survey on facebook

Monday, February 16, 2009

pleasure in birth

ICEA "Pleasure in Birth" Interview with Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Listen to the wisdom of Debra, creator of Orgasmic Birth on the on-line video. (Need contact hours? You can pay a fee and get those too)

And I thought I would share what a PfB grad, Roseanne Ebert wrote about regarding the film and her class:

Thought I'd let you know I taught my first weekend Lamaze series. It went quite well (if I may say so myself!) I do not care for this format - TMI to absorb in to short a time. But, people want it so I am trying to keep it simple and mix up teaching techniques to keep them interested. A good sign is the excellent questions that have been thrown my way.

Started my second series yesterday and one of the dads asked about Orgasmic Birth (having seen it on 20/20). Was perfect timing and enabled me to really expand on the idea that birth is not just normal but can be wonderful, empowering, ecstatic. I had 10 couples in the class and they were really thinking about it. Turns out that this guy has decided to plan an OB viewing nite at his house with 3 other couple friends all expecting their first babies. I love being a catalyst for positivity!!

Think about ways you can incorporate the whole topic of pleasure in birth! Share them here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Intentional chocolate

On this day after the day devoted to chocolate...I thought I would share a little new spin on an old favorite. See how you can avoid the guilt by building in intentions! (not CBE related but maybe we could create Birth Chocolates with intentions!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Could have learned it in a childbirth class...

We've talking about why kissing is good to do in a labor for such a long time
(and joked about how it's beyond the scope of practice for a doula, midwife, labor nurse, for the partner) I've always explained it in terms of those mechano-receptors on the lips ....
so I got a chuckle when I read this on MSNBC about a kissing study:

...In an experiment, Hill explained, pairs of heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music experienced significant changes in their levels of the chemicals oxytocin, which affects pair bonding, and cortisol, which is associated with stress. Their blood and saliva levels of the chemicals were compared before and after the kiss. Both men and women had a decline in cortisol after smooching, an indication their stress levels declined.
In a test group that merely held hands, chemical changes were similar, but much less pronounced, she said...

So MWAH...Happy Valentine's Day! And continue promoting kissing in labor in your childbirth class! Now I would love to see a study looking at the the amount of kissing goes up, does medical intervention go down? (overheard at the nurses station "don't go into room 3, they are making out! Next thing you know the partner will be naked!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Passion for Birth TM

I am so proud! As many of you know, I am a DIY (Do It Yourself) type person. I jokingly call myself "cheap Teri" when in reality I am more cost effective/efficient. (my credit card balance speaks to the fact that I am not cheap!) So awhile ago I decided to trademark Passion for Birth. I made an appointment with a lawyer and while talking about what Passion for Birth is, he shared that he was really pro-cesarean because he felt doctors get sued for NOT doing a cesarean and never (rarely) get sued for doing one. Needless to say I didn't think we were a good match for legal guidance.

So then I decided to see: "how hard can this be?" The web is amazing and after looking at a few sites that would help shuffle my paperwork through for a significant fee, I decided to give it a go myself. And as long as you're patient and thorough, it worked! My gold embossed certificate arrived and I can now say that Passion for Birth is trademarked! Pop that champagne bottle! I was assigned a trademark lawyer in Louisiana who reviewed my application, guided me wisely and I am grateful!

So now if I can just figure out how to add that little tm circle, I will be all set!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wind your neck in!

The bus sign says:
Hungry children drink milk.
Sometimes this milk comes from mum. Wind your neck in.

"Wind your neck in" is a British term more or less meaning: "don't look where you are not suppose to." This effectively turns the breastfeeding in public issue around that the problem is NOT those who breastfeed in public but those who look and are not comfortable with it. And it's on a bus - wonderful!

The picture comes from: Ruth Moss Flickr

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go here!

My friend Sharon Muza informed me that I had already posted the Slinky man performance - so today I recommend you go read her blog and see a great clip there:

I appreciate Sharon so much for all she does! And for keeping me in line!

nothing to do with cb

Creativity amazes me

Human Slinky Halftime Basketball Creighton University Omaha NE - Watch more

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Educators guilty of spreading urban myth!

Bob Pike Article

Just wanted to share a link to a great article about what the evidence says about the common myth that people remember a certain percentage of what they read, hear, do....fascinating. Hopefully whatever childbirth educator training you completed did not spread Dale's Cone further!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Amazing breastfeeding resources

All I can say is that this website is a garden of treasures - there are 7 files to print beautiful posters like the one above. There is a poster that can be printed on 22" by 72" paper that lists all the ingredients of breastmilk vs. formula. Needless to say the breastmilk components extend the 72" while formula only goes less than a 1/4 of the page. So much is missing. (For those of you in the Lamaze program, use your Kinkos discount card to make it more affordable) There is a unique wheel that you can print out and put together with a brad as a teaching aid. You can also find postcards, resources, resource manual for dads....

Check out
BC Baby-Friendly Network

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Translation at your finger tips!

I just wanted to let you know how excited I am to find a tool I can add to my webpage and this blog and people can click it, choose their language and the whole page gets translated. There's something very exciting about seeing the whole page translated into Mandarin or opens up all sorts of accessibility. I know it's not expert translation and probably has mistakes and wrong words but hopefully it captures the basics of the message. Want to add the tool to your web page?

Babel Fish

If you are fluent in Spanish, Mandarin or the others - can you check it out and let me know how accurate the translation is?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Harsh reality

Unicef Tetanus News Story

So often as a culture we can get wrapped up in stuff and acquiring "things" that stories like this (where you watch a baby take its last breath due to the lack of a 7 cent vaccine when her mother was pregnant) are extremely heart wrenching. Even in tight times I hope people will still remember those around the world who deal with more stress in a day then we do in a lifetime.

If you want to donate: UNICEF
Pampers also has a project where one tetanus immunization is donated for each package of diapers purchased. When the mother is given the shot while she is pregnant, the baby is protected for up to two months. (and the mother is also protected for years from the shot.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

book addict - I confess...

How do you know you are a birth book addict?

1) When your family groans when they see you start a new book because they know they won't see much of you until it's done.

2) When you regularly check the list of books on your favorite topics at Amazon and rank them by date of publication. As a result, your wishlist is full of books that aren't even published yet.

3) When you wonder if you need to add supports to the house under the room with all the books.

4) When you almost feel competitive to find a new book before your fellow book addicts. Then when they send you the links, you say - "oh, I read that so long ago!"

5) When you find a great way to support your habit by volunteering to do media reviews for your Childbirth Organization. (if you are a member of Lamaze, contact me about doing reviews for the Journal of Perinatal Education)

6) When you start out writing "10 ways to know you are a birth book addict" and you get to # 6 and quit because you really want to finish the last 50 pages of The Blue Cotton Gown over your morning cup of coffee. (I give this book a big thumbs up - it's easy to read, reminds me of when I lived in West Virginia and points to the struggle great care providers have with insurance etc)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"Knitter has her knockers"

This article was posted on Lactnet and brought a smile to my face. I have friends who are regularly knitting uteri and breasts...maybe all of us can knit when we are in our 80s!! Read about her

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Breastfeeding in another magazine

Breastfeeding is popping up a lot in magazines this month...I just wrote about Gourmet magazine and here is an article in the New Yorker: Baby Food: If Breast is Best, why are women bottling their milk?

New Yorker

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Attention Virginia residents!

This action alert was sent to me.

Updated Action Alert:

ACTION ALERT: Anti-Midwifery Bills in the Virginia House of Delegates HB 2163 and HB 2167

Please take action now to stop two bills introduced into the House to limit the practice of Certified Professional Midwives and restrict reimbursement for VBAC births attended by CPMs. These bills have been introduced by Delegate Matthew Lohr- Harrisonburg. Delegate Lohr promised to pull HB 2167 but has since changed his mind. Some Obstetricians in his community who are very anti-midwife and home birth are influencing him.

To find out more details and the steps to take, go to Birth Activist

Monday, February 02, 2009

The future is here...

I picked this up from a blog - changed the names and the location but it's true....

"....Seconds after the baby was born, the proud new father took a picture of her with his wife's iPhone, and posted it to Ashley's Facebook page. At his school in Chicago, Michael downloaded a picture of his new sister on a classmate's smart-phone — all before Ashley held the child she had just delivered...."

So what does this mean for childbirth education? BIG question! We at least need to be there!

And I am on Facebook as is Passion for Birth and Passion for Birth alumni! Join us! Be my friend!

Sunday, February 01, 2009