Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Are you lucky enough to be teaching a childbirth class today?
Providing face paint for belly painting?

Send us pictures!

Did you know this is where baby pumpkins come from?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Click and Vote please!

My friend Mary Jo Podgurski runs an amazing program in Washington, PA (outside Pittsburgh.)

She shares:
We've been selected as one of the Women and Girls Foundation's top ten promising proposals. The proposals are on their website for open voting through November 16, 2009.

Simply go to the Women and Girls Foundation website and click on "vote now". We are The Washington Hospital Teen Outreach and our program is Inside Out: Enhancing Body Image for Women and Girls

On the proposal page, scroll to the bottom and once more click on 'vote now'. You will need to enter your name and email address. Then select The Washington Hospital Teen Outreach - that's all you need to do.

I did it and it took about 15 seconds or less - depends how distracted you get reading all the "stuff" on the page. Vote please!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thank you firemen/EMTs of the world!

First - I am sending a heartfelt thanks to all the firemen, first responders, EMTs, etc. I am so glad they are on the ready when we need them!

Next, I am pondering about how do women trust what they learn about birth on the internet?

How are these topics related? My husband left a pen in a shirt pocket and it coated ink all over the inside of our dryer. I went to the internet and looked at ways to remove the ink from the dryer drum. We tried several less invasive suggestions with little success. So I noticed that the hint to soak two bath towels in bleach and dry them got several positive reviews. So we did it. Do I need to tell you that we just spent the morning getting to know our local fire dept./haz mat folks/EMTs? We have a thin layer of white dust coating everything in our house and it stinks! Not sure if the dryer can be saved.

I blindly trusted this internet source. It had positive reviews after all. Egads I filled our house with fumes, probably coated our lungs with a caustic residue, and semi-destroyed a dryer.

So it really points to the fact that women should learn what they can from the internet BUT still go to childbirth classes for a reality check/support.

So now I have to find that blog that lists "Dumb things people try that fire departments respond to...." We could be the entry for today! At least our local fire department folks were respectful, caring, helpful and saved their head shaking until after they left our street!

The length of the blog post

I had an interesting, enlightening discussion with a fellow blogger about the length and frequency of blog posts...the paragraph vs. the essay? Daily or only when the topic/focus can be profound?

The blog world is filled with all sorts of variations and it seems like everyone eventually finds their niche re: length and frequency.

But how did I end up posting mostly "short and sweet" posts. Well there's a story behind that! From a very young age I had the goal of being an editor of LIFE magazine by the time I was thirty. And I was on that track - starting working for a weekly newspaper when I was 15 as a writer and photographer. I saved up for a top of the line camera and bought a VW bug. After high school I went to the U of Michigan and worked on the daily paper there. And then, a major crisis occurred - LIFE magazine folded. AARRGH! What turmoil I felt and was lost without my goal! I left school and explored other options and that's all another story.

But it was my background/love for journalism that has influenced me in how I write this blog's a well known fact that most people only read the first paragraph of any article (if the headline grabbed them.) It's like an inverted pyramid as to the numbers who read a whole article. So why bother to go on and on? That's my bias! I also am sensitive to reading levels and because newspapers target the 5th grade reading level, I really have to work hard to lengthen my sentences and throw in many syllable words when a single one does the job.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate those bloggers who write long, inspirational posts. I just felt a need to explain why I am into "short and sweet" but frequent. Thanks for the 5% of you who started reading this post and made it to the end!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Laverne and Shirley

A possible theme song for birthing women? This brought back memories!

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Schlemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.

We’re gonna do it!
Give us any chance, we’ll take it.
Give us any rule, we’ll break it.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin’ it our way.

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin’ it our way.

There is nothing we won’t try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there’s no stopping us.
We’re gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We’re gonna make our dream come true.
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Have we stomped out boring?

I decided to take the pulse on how we as childbirth educators are doing on the PfB mission to stomp out boring childbirth classes. (Or at least to stomp out the image that CB classes are boring!) This is a collection of comments made in a single day on a popular blog. We have a lot of work to do! (Any idea what people are blogging about YOUR cb classes?)

Anyone else's DH NOT excited for birth class?

- Ours is tomorrow and when DH headed out to do a volunteer security gig for his musician buddy I reminded him that we have to get up early for our class. He groaned and then said something about are they gonna be mad if we fall asleep in the class. I laughed and said well they did say to bring 2 pillows...He is so not excited.

- Ours is tomorrow too.. DH is working tonight until 11pm, and our class is tomorrow at 8:30am-4:30pm and he has to work from 5pm-11pm tomorrow night.. Soo.. he isn't too happy about it but hopefully the "teacher" will do something fun!!! haha...

- my dh wanted to come but the timing conflicted with his work time

- My DH was so not into it, but once we got there I think he realized how little he really knew and got interested in what was going on.
He even participated and asked questions and stuff, it was really nice.

- My DH was sooo not excited about the classes, but fortunately he put up with them. lol about the nap comment- DH is HORRIBLE with blood, hospitals, etc. so when they showed the birthing videos he tipped his chair back, put his hat over his face and took a nap. Oh, well- at least he was supportive in the delivery room!

- Hate to say it but I didn't really want to go either! And it pretty much sucked, I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know from lurking on here all the time. Hope yours goes better!

- We weren't looking forward to it, and it turned out to semi-okay. Ours was just one Saturday (9 to 3). It was long, long, long. I did get some answers to my questions. All said and done, I think I came out of there more confused on some things than I went in. I'm still on the fence about the epi. Take snacks and water!

- Um, can you blame him? It's childbirth class. Sorry, I heard it was so boring from all of my male and female friends I didn't even do it. (I wasn't going natural.) My friends all told me that the only useful parts were so graphic they couldn't watch them on the video, etc.

- We did ours in five sessions once a week. Each evening before the class DH would complain and try to get out of it. And each night after the class he would tell me how much he learned and how he actually enjoyed it. He would lie about that last part though if you asked him.

- My Dh was not excited about the classes either, but when we got there, he really was interested, and thought it was a good class. Then we took other classes which he was excited to go to. Your DHs level of excitement might change once he is there.

- Personally I wasn't even excited about birth's so boring. I mean, I was glad we went to one, but I certainly wasn't something I was excited about doing in my limited spare time. We definitely won't be taking another one before this baby.

- Mine tried to schedule it around LSU's football season, yeah...not into it.

- My DH didn't want to go, thought it was stupid and would be a waste of time because he'd "been around alot of babies". Well, let's just say he changed his tune. He didn't know everything and learned that he can't be down south during a vaginal delivery and can't look anywhere near the incision for a c-section. They showed 4 videos in our class highlighting various L&D methods and techniques and he couldn't watch or he'd faint or puke, which I suspected would happen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Zealand Rocks

I have just returned from doing workshops and seminars in Australia and New Zealand. What a great time I had with some amazing women who are all passionate about the work they do!

New Zealand has produced some awesome ads for breastfeeding. Check them out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

LLLi podcasts

Looking for something to add to your Mp3 to listen to while you go for your walk/jog? I just found these on the LLLI site

La Leche League podcasts

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You deseve a medal

How many times have we commented, "you deserve a medal" to the mom who has worked so hard to overcome an obstacle/challenge to breastfeeding or early parenting - now there is such a medal!

Deserve a Medal

Friday, October 23, 2009

Babies Remembered

There are past copies of the newsletter Babies Remembered here I found the Oct. issue The Hospital Experience and Making Memories an important one to read.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A glimpse into where we have come from....

Bonny Reid - a PfB grad and reader of this blog recently shared this with me and gave permission to put on the blog:

Last night I discovered my mother's Better Homes and Gardens Baby Book from 1952. Scouring the pages for both patriarchal and progressive passages, images, etc. I couldn't help but note a few strong messages regarding the patient/physician dynamic.

Under the heading "Anesthetics or no anesthetics": Each doctor has many things to consider before he decides which anesthetic to give his patient. Remember that whatever your doctor decides to do, he does because it's best for you and baby. When the time comes, just relax and do what he tells you."

Under the heading "Take precautions but live normally": Don't worry if a friend's doctor has recommended something different for her than your physician has for you. Your doctor knows your case best and has your welfare in mind. He has his own reasons for whatever instructions he has given you. It's just as well not to compare notes with other pregnant women or friends who have had babies."

[GULP] That was a little hard to swallow.

This morning I find in my email a link to the following article from the Washington Post Web health sites harness power of social networks which highlight's Wiser Pregnancy an online information resource built upon a belief "that learning about others’ choices can provide a superior tool for better decision-making." A few weeks ago, I discovered a White Paper from the Society of Participatory Medicine's website on the importance of individual (patent + provider) and collective (patients + providers) knowledge about health and care. And shall we not forget the ongoing CIMS grassroots project The Birth Survey.

[Ahhh] Much better.

May we continue to put one high-heeled foot in front of the other along this marathon towards mother-, baby-, family-, patient-friendly health care.

Oh, and by the way, inside my mother's baby book was also a prescription with doctor's orders for the care of a 2 month old. Here they are verbatim: "Same feedings [illegible] continue beer!! Cereal and fruit at 10am and 6pm. Vitamins and juices. Phenobarb 2 or 3 times daily."

I think I'll get my sneakers.

Thanks Bonny for sharing!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hard to believe.

This picture has gone "viral" on Facebook among the birth community - but I wanted to share here for those of you who do not "do" Facebook. This sign points to a sad state of affairs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sometimes I have to pinch myself

As I woke up this morning and looked out over the city of Auckland - I had to pause and ask, am I really here? I have been offering workshops around Australia and last night we flew to New Zealand.

I have to say the workshops have been a ton of fun! It's always inspirational to be with childbirth educators - they are a special group of people.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dads vs partners

As childbirth educators, we all strive to use inclusive language. So for most of us, "partners" "labor support team" have replaced "dads". Every once in a while however I hear comments that fathers/dads feel their role is different than a partner. They are changing their role and becoming a father. They feel their role in the baby's life is different than someone who will not be involved in parenting this child for the next 18+ years.

How do you address this in your childbirth classes?

Thought this was a cute t-shirt:daddyscrubs

Sunday, October 18, 2009

free cerps/contact hours

ILCA cerps

Need a couple more contact hours to certify/recertify as a childbirth educator or a Lactation consultant? ILCA is offering two free cerps.

Go to the catalogue page linked above and scroll down until you see the one that has $0 listed in the price column. As of 10/18/09 - the free unit is: Factors Associated with Newborn In-Hospital Weight Loss.

They may be time limited, so don't wait!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Even if you don't speak Spanish, you will understand!

What a motivational film!

(And my Spanish is minimal and if they are not saying what I think they are saying about breastfeeding in public, will someone let me know please!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Birth Wars

Jennifer Block wrote an interesting article this summer The Birth Wars that I wrote about but somehow forgot to hit "publish post". Enjoy and ponder what it means for your childbirth classes.

Monday, October 12, 2009


No voice, on her back, how many infarctions can you see of the Healthy Birth Practices?
The non-evidenced based practices keep on rolling...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dr Oz talks birth on Oprah Radio

Listen to Pam England talk to Dr. Oz about birth on Oprah Radio. Listen in:

Oprah Radio

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wordle fun

This wordle was created by Sharon Muza, a Passioneer, who created it from an ad for our upcoming Seattle Passion for Birth seminar on her blog. Thanks Sharon. And read about the Lamaze conference - Sharon did a great job!

Want to make your own wordle? Have fun.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Share your birth story....

A friend is starting a new blog where women will have a chance to share their birth story - before she starts spreading the word, she wants to capture a few stories. Are you interested in sharing? Send me an email and I will get you connected.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Conferences...I know, I know they can be expensive...they can be hard to fit into a doula "being on call schedule" and when you are new, they are a bit overwhelming. But I have just returned from the Lamaze conference and while I don't have a slide show to share of that conference, I have embedded the slide show of DONA, held earlier in Atlanta. The benefits of attending any large conference are ideas, new networking, and that support that you feel for your mission of supporting and promoting birth and families. It's kind of nice to sit in a large conference center and go - wow all these people think a lot like me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Lamaze conference in much that I didn't post for a couple days!

Enjoy the pictures from DONA - minus the music due to the "rights/usage fees". Just hum something like "We are family."

capturing the spirit of a DONA International Conference 2009 from DoulaYana on Vimeo.

Friday, October 02, 2009

New quote

"Tell me and I will forget.
Show me and I may remember.
Involve me and I will understand."
----Confuscius around 450 BC