Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Watch a cesarean

Want to see a live cesarean birth? St Mary's hospital has posted it on their website.


I only post this as so many of the folks who are training to become childbirth educators can't get in for birth observations. So I have posted this here for that purpose to understand the steps... without the music etc of the common cesarean dvds used in classes.

Monday, March 30, 2009


We have to continue to work towards reducing the cesarean rate!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love powerful birth art

This is from a reception at a gallery last year - look at the art on the walls! I am using it as a tickler to get you to go to: Amanda Greavette's website to see her beautiful images! According to her blog, she was set to welcome her own baby in February of this year.

Thank you Amanda for your touching work - you captured the power and the strength and the love that's present in birth!

For those of you who have heard me speak, I will often share that I have moved many times in my adult life. Before kids it was with a sense of adventure and I loved it. Of course all my worldly possessions fit in the back of my red Datsun truck (dating myself I know). But once we became a family and my husband became a park ranger, we moved for his career. Granted it was always to beautiful places and I loved them all (except one) but uprooting was always hard! So I would console my self with ordering some original art...the first time when moving from West Virginia to Colorado, I had this children's book illustrator create a gorgeous portrait of my children.
From Colorado to California, the Trust Birth post artwork was created.

From California to Missouri, I had these metal sculptures made of dancing pregnant women. From Missouri to here? Well, I wanted to move! And now I love being in the northwest and if we ever move, I am now fantasizing about a roomful of Amanda's birth art!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eat and be merry...

Eating in labor....BMJ has published a new research article and an interesting editorial.

Effect of food

Eating a light diet in labor

A classic case of confirming what we already know. As the author of the editorial, Soo Downe wrote:
"The obstetric textbook Midwifery by Ten Teachers, published in 1931, states that "the patient should be encouraged to take light food during the first stage of labour."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Making a placenta print

You never know when as a childbirth educator or a doula you will be asked how to make a placenta print. And here is how:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BIRTH the Journal

BIRTH The Journal I love the journal BIRTH. I always find something in every issue that either gives me an "AHA" or makes me sigh with relief when something is proven which I have believed to be true for a long time. Diony Young does a great job!

Click on the link above, BIRTH has provided free access to the current issue so you can get a feel for it. And remember if you are a member of Lamaze, you can get a subscription to BIRTH for 1/2 price!($46 vs $92) Now that's a benefit!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Inventor Spot shows why sometimes trying to create solutions to things that aren't problems is a bit scary!
The Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force and the Fetal Educator strap are classic examples.
What were they thinking????

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great quote

"Whatever you give a woman, she will make it greater.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vida Health

Vida Health has added all their Because You are Pregnant, Breastfeeding, and Starting Out Safe and Sound with your Baby on You Tube. Take the time to check it out! I haven't had the time to rate them thumbs up or highlight if I have concerns, so watch with a critical eye and let me know what you think!

Childbirth Media

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grains of sand

I have heard a couple great references to "the grain of sand in your shoe."
Tina Smilie of Baby-led Breastfeeding fame uses it in her great dvd about the age old question - is breastfeeding suppose to hurt? And compares it to how having a grain of sand in your shoe hurts and is normal but it's NOT normal to leave it there. The pain is the stimulus to change something! (same with breastfeeding)

And then I came upon this quote from Robert Service (1874 - 1958)
"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe"
It's not labor that wears you out...it's not being allowed to move, eat. It's the routine interventions done "just because." It's not being listened to or involved in decision making. It's not having options like trained labor support or a huge tub.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


The video description was in French and using Babelfish, here is the rough translation that came with the clip:
Approaches of nonviolent childbirth by sound vibration. “using the vibration and voice seems essential to me for the accompaniment of the pain and the progression of work in childbirth. Magali Gods comes to supplement our knowledge so that the birth occurs under the best possible conditions. ” Corinne Adler, wise woman with the maternity of Bluets
“At one time in France, nine tenths of the births occur under anaesthesia, completely controlled by medicine, Magali belongs to the pioneers of the future ways. Those which reveal the formidable hidden capacities of human beings. Who can wake up, if you wish it and if you work there. ” Patrice van Eers

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kleenex® please

I admit it - the tear ducts and my heart have a very close connection. Right now I am "wiping the tears with the sleeve" trick as I have just read a very moving birth story. Those that know me, know I have a special spot in my heart for teen moms. This blog "Musings of an OB Nurse in Transition" shares a moving story of a 14 year old mother in labor. If your sleeves aren't water friendly, I suggest grabbing a tissue.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Solace for Friends and Advocates Online!

This announcement highlights an incredibly important resource for childbirth educators and doulas.

We are pleased to announce the Solace for Mothers Friends and Advocates Online Community which provides a forum for those who support mothers who have experienced birth trauma, have been impacted by witnessing birth trauma, or want to connect with others to advocate for gentler birth practices.

Solace for Mothers is committed to providing resources and support to professionals and loved ones supporting women through the difficult emotions following a disappointing, hurtful, or violating birth experience. Spouses, family, and friends of mothers who have experienced traumatic births are offered a space to find information, support, and resources through participation in the Friends and Advocates Forum. Birth attendants are also provided with the opportunity to process their own emotions in response to births they have attended. Birth professionals and birth advocates are provided a space to discuss the causes of birth trauma, how policies and programs can be enacted to prevent trauma from occurring to childbearing mothers, and methods of treatment when trauma has occurred.

The Solace for Mothers Friends and Advocates Online Community welcomes birth activists, mothers, families, and professionals, all of whom are stakeholders in providing healthy, safe, and empowering births that enable families to successfully transition to parenthood. Users of the online community are invited to contemplate and discuss the current state of birth and what evidence based practices best support childbearing women, their babies and families. Advocates who are interested in becoming involved in organized efforts to promote these practices are encouraged to participate and share their thoughts.

The Friends and Advocates Online Community can be entered from Solace Advocates The forum is made public for browsing and registration is required to post and respond to topics. To view the online community forums, go to: Solace forums

Mothers are welcome to participate in the Friends and Advocates role but they are invited to register and participate in the Online Community for Healing Birth Trauma, which provides peer support to women who have had traumatic childbearing experiences. Birth professionals, family members, and friends please respect the privacy of the Community for Healing Birth Trauma and register only for the Friends and Advocates Community.

If you have something to say regarding childbirth and want to be a part of a larger conversation, please join us. We are interested to read your stories, thoughts, hopes and goals for the future! Please also feel free to pass this invitation on to organizations and individuals who would be interested in the topics of birth trauma and improving maternity care.

Sharon Storton, Founder of Solace for Mothers, Inc.
Jenne Alderks, Creator and Moderator of Online Communities
Jennifer Zimmerman, Creator and Moderator of Online Communities

Monday, March 16, 2009

What is your magic power?

It's so fun when two parts of your world intersect and you wonder - was that a coincidence?

I just finished submitting the title for the concurrent I am leading at the Lamaze conference this fall ("I can make milk: what's your MAGIC power?" Making BF classes spellbinding!) to fit their theme (Celebrating the Magic of Normal Birth.)

And then I received a blog entry from one of my favorite folks in marketing - Seth Godin

And his article made me stop and think - when someone asks us what we do, is it best to say "teach childbirth education" or "I am a doula/labor support" or "a lactation consultant" or should we be prepared to describe our SUPER/MAGIC power instead?

Give it shot! Share it here in the comments!

I improve the birth experience of women.
I lower a woman's need for pain medication in labor.
I help mothers and babies connect.

And what is your super power?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What is the Cochrane Collaboration?

Here are two informative You Tube videos to watch to learn more about the Cochrane. As childbirth educators, we MUST be familiar with the Cochrane. It is a gold standard source of information for what we teach. In some countries like Australia and the UK, access is free. In the US, being a member of Lamaze gives you free access. (worth your membership fee right there!)

The first video deals with the Consumer group that is networking (including Childbirth Connection and Lamaze) The second is an exact "how-to."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

consumer reports

Maternity care = BEWARE!

Despite growing evidence of harm, many obstetricians and maternity hospitals still overuse high-tech procedures that can mean poorer outcomes for baby and Mom. Test your knowledge with our quiz below, and then learn more in our report.

Take the quiz!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So proud!

I have to say that I am so proud!
I just received word that a group of dedicated, inspirational women who work with pregnant women in Monterrey, MEXICO are making a huge impact! In a very short time they have decreased the cesarean rate for a group of women who are touched by the risks of poverty and limited resources.
987 babies have been born from mothers who took childbirth education classes!!
69% of natural birth!!!! (which is much, much higher than the standard rate for Mexico)

I was so lucky to be invited to do a seminar there with an amazing group of 15 women from the local Cendi Center in October. This workshop was hosted and facilitated by someone who gives from her heart: Teresa Navarro who as a brand new educator, started a center Mae that deals with a different population of women but followed her heart and offered free training to the educators of Cendi and then organized the PfB seminar there. Hats off to her! The people who took the seminar are signed up to write the Lamaze exam next month. I am so proud!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Doula Story

You can now watch this DVD on-line...I recommend you do:

A Doula Story

Monday, March 09, 2009

girl effect

If you have read this blog, you know I am not a fan of the frequent mis-use of Power Point. You know the type: all bullet points that you skim through and then you start thinking of other stuff because none of the points "grabbed" you as something you needed to know. (or at least grabbed you enough to pay attention to the speaker to gain the information they are sharing).

In a great article in Fast Company magazine (yes I read more than birth stuff) the guys who wrote Made To Stick shared this:

"All that anxiety you've had about finding the perfect image and fitting in all your points can now be directed toward the number one secret of a great presentation: Before your audience will value the information you're giving, they've got to want it. Most presenters take that desire for granted. Great presentations are mysteries, not encyclopedia entries."

They give an example that leads you to the girleffect.org video below. The video starts out by recounting global problems and in less than a minute gets you curious as to the solution, if it is not, the internet, science or the government.

The article's key statement: "Curiosity must come before content. The best presenters don't structure their presentations by thinking, What's the next point I should make? Instead they decide, What's the next question I want them to wrestle with?"

Sunday, March 08, 2009

great quote

Sometimes it can be discouraging to try to change the world of birth to be more evidenced based but keep this quote in mind:

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room."

- Anita Rodick, founder of the Body Shop.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hollywood and cb class

And why are some people not coming to childbirth classes - is this their image? What can you do to paint a more realistic picture?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Doula Match

Looking for a way to get your name out there as a doula? Check out DoulaMatch. It is a great website and unique in that you can actually list your availablity for certain dates! You can also show which hospitals you go to and your travel range. All of this information at "women who are pregnant" fingertips can save people a lot of leg work and phone calls! Thanks Kim James for developing a great tool!

And why did I use "women who are pregnant"? Because I read something somewhere that said that market surveys have shown that today's women prefer to be thought of as women who are pregnant vs. pregnant women. ANd you know PfB wants to be current!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

break dance

Mothering magazine highlighted this You Tube clip - a strategy to bring awareness to the maternity issues around the globe. Are all the dancers really pregnant? Watch until the end...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Noelle the robot

From the news: Hospital gets robot for childbirth education tools

Sure would be nice if Noelle wouldn't model laying on her back and legs up. She has over 90 things she will say: complain that she needs to go to the bathroom or that she's about to be sick. She'll admit she smokes a pack a day or even that she did cocaine recently.

Small town, Mont. (AP) — A hospital has acquired a robot for childbirth simulations used in medical training.

The $50,000 robot at the hospital presents an array of labor and delivery complications. The robotic mother is named Noelle and the infant is Hal.

Their heart rates and blood pressure can be measured. Noelle speaks and is built in a way that allows doctors to practice performing Caesarean deliveries.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lighting a fire

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire"

- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Numbers resource: teen pregnancy, etc

State Health Facts

You can find out current rates and the trends for these items, state by state:

Number of Births
Birth Rate per 1,000
Births by Race/Ethnicity
Births by Hispanic Origin
Teen Birth Rate per 1,000
Change in Teen Birth Rate, '91-'06
Number of Preterm Births
Preterm Births as a % of Births
Preterm Births by Race/Ethnicity
Number of Births of Low Birthweight
Births of Low Birthweight as % of Births
Low Birthweight by Race/Ethnicity
Prenatal Care
Prenatal Care
Prenatal Care by Race/Ethnicity
Number of Infant Deaths
Infant Death Rate
Infant Death Rate by Race/Ethnicity

and so much more!