Monday, November 30, 2009

Posting everyday

Well, I did it - I have posted 30 times in 30 days! Actually I have been posting daily for a few months now but November has this special goal for bloggers and PfB did it!

I smile when I get those questions if I am really up and writing at 5 am west coast time for my daily blog post. Well it's a bit like taking the curtain down at Oz but I actually write whenever I am inspired and I can pick what time and the date they get posted. Learning this has made it easier to be gone or focused on other projects!

And the other time saver for me is the "Reader" - a tool where I can keep up to date with what my favorite bloggers are writing about without having to travel to each blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How do common drugs used in labor affect breastfeeding?

Headline: Drugs Routinely Given in Labor Reduce Breastfeeding Rates

I spotted this article while I am in the midst of reading a very informative book. After you read this book by Linda Smith, you will definitely add "impact on breastfeeding" when you cover all the benefits/tradeoffs for various birth interventions!

Friday, November 27, 2009


VBAC conference

March 8 - 10, 2010

NIH has organized a VBAC Consensus conference. Not from the DC area? Consider "tuning in" on-line. You need to register but I did this for the Elective Cesarean symposium a couple years ago, it's quite interesting to watch. You can't jump up to the microphone but you can watch the dynamics, hear the feedback, etc. Circle your calendar and participate.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I give thanks.

I am thankful for all you do to improve birth for women, babies and their families.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Webinar: supporting BF during Flu season

Sign up now for a free Webinar, “Supporting Breastfeeding During Flu Season: Working with the CDC Guidelines in Your Hospital.”

Sponsored by the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) and the US Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), the Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2009 from 2:00 until 3:30pm EST and is designed for lactation consultants, educators, and health care professionals who work with new families.

The presentation will include information on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the care of mothers and infants in obstetric settings, in addition to positive solutions for implementing protocols that support breastfeeding. To sign up for the Webinar, ILCA webinar. For more information: ILCA Web site

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

While the song is not related to childbirth, I love her voice and I found the lyrics to be motivating - what have I done today AS A CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR to make me feel proud?

Read a little research? Designed a new learning activity? Created an effective visual aid? Updated a marketing tool?

Share - what have you done today to make yourself proud?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alarming to learn about the chemicals in moms!

I have known Kim Radtke for several years - from the days she was an active belly masker and a speaker at Lamaze, to days she was/is the creator of the birth affirmations I re-sell, to the days she was on the Seattle Midwifery School board and I would donate Trust Birth cards to their fundraising events...and then I moved to Washington and got to know her as the Washington Breastfeeding Coalition leader/facilitator. Our paths continue to cross - she was on a panel of pregnant women at the doula training I was co-facilitating. She recently welcomed her son into the world! (and her partner is also a member of National Park Service so we have a bit more in common...)

She was featured in a study that was reported int eh Seattle Post. The study tested the levels of chemicals in pregnant women. I was surprised by the results as Kim is one of those who does do alot to limit her exposure. After reading the article I immediately thought of all those women who don't look at labels and don't buy organic foods and are naive about chemical exposure in general. What is in their blood? Read this article about the ground breaking study.

Chemicals in mother's bodies

And now your challenge is - how do we address chemical exposure in childbirth classes?

Sunday, November 22, 2009


You know I love great, unique visual aids!

Well if you don't know about Gail Tully - it is time you learned about her work! I borrowed these pictures from Facebook (with permission) and you need to friend her and learn about how she used this mega pelvis to cover cardinal movements and hands-off breech for midwives. Or read a more in-depth blog entry written by Gail Spinning babies blog and learn who the "models" are in the photos and more info on the workshop!

Photos were taken by Emme Corbeil CPM.

Gail writes: The box pelvis is three boxes, one for the brim is puzzle-pieced into one going the other way for the outlet and the third, a shoe box, makes the sacral promontary.

She was sharing what she had learned at a recent Breech conference in Ottawa sponsored by the Coalition for Breech Birth Gail pointed me to this book Breech Birth: What are my options by Jane Evans and available at CAPERS bookstore. See the Spinning Babies blog for more book recommendations.

As childbirth educators - you have to keep up with what the current evidence says about breech birth.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hope you monitor this site!

The 14% is Lamaze. The 17% is others and the 61% is not sure. And I am not sure why everything is not labeled but on the website if you "hover" over them the names come up.
Wiser Pregnancy

26% is location. 20% is recommendation from doctor. 2% is class size. 9% is experience with prior pregnancy.

These numbers will change as more people respond - the first chart had over 575 responses and the second had over 175 at the time I grabbed a screen shot.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Just gotta have fun..."

Ann Israel - one our newest "Passioneers" - posted this on Facebook and I absolutely love it! It is clever and supports all the work that we try to model at Passion for Birth: Want people to change their behavior - make it fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What am I reading?

Just finished reading this book....a historical type novel, easy read with a little insight into wet nursing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Need a craft project over Thanksgiving?

Worry Doll Project

One woman lost to pregnancy-related complications every minute means more than 10,000 maternal deaths every week -- and those statistics are cause for urgent concern and attention. In Mayan tradition (and in some other indigenous communities around the world) one way to deal with worry is to make a "worry doll" -- a simple doll made with a few popsicle sticks or a clothes-pin and some yarn or thread.

AIUSA members around the country are crafting these worry dolls. Join us in crafting 10,000 worry dolls to symbolize the 10,000 mothers we lose every week! Next year, we'll deliver them to the Senate to push them to finally ratify CEDAW and protect women's human rights.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Intradermal Water Blocks

In recent seminars, some questions have come up about the Intradermal Water Blocks. Penny Simkin wrote a great article:

Update on Nonpharmacologic Approaches to Relieve Labor Pain and Prevent Suffering

in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health , 2004-11-01
that is available on Medscape.

Part of the article describes the evidence supporting Intradermal Water Blocks as an option to help with back pain.

Medscape article

Monday, November 16, 2009

Curious George

Yes, I spend a lot of time on airplanes. Yes I get tired of sitting next to people who hog the arm rest. But I have also sat next to a lot of interesting people. On a flight from Lincoln, Nebraska home, I sat next to a Life Coach and I have been occasionally reading her blog. I gleamed a little wisdom from her writing about fear (not related to birth but her suggestions are so appropriate for birth!) Smart Women

1. Create an air tight support system.
2. Become "Curious George - ask a lot questions.
3. Create a vision of the possible.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rain, dance and birth

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

author unknown

or if modifying it for birth....

"Birth is not about waiting for it to be over. It's about learning to dance through it."

adapted by me - Teri Shilling

Friday, November 13, 2009


From a google alert:

All childbirth education classes at ***** Regional Medical Center have been canceled until further notice because of issues with the cold and flu season.

Is this happening in your area?????

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hope notes

I "filed" this blog/public initiative idea and while looking for something to write about, came upon it. Wouldn't it be great if we could all leave "hope notes" in places where women who are pregnant would run across them spontaneously! It's just a little different than her putting affirmations around her own space/place.

Learn about the Hope Revolution.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Edward and creativity...

I want you to look closely at this group photo from a very recent seminar in Tucson, AZ. See the life size cardboard cutout "Edward" from the vampire/twilight/new moon movie fame? He is sitting on the floor and notice he is wearing a baby in a sling!

Well there is a story behind Edward (he was part of a wedding party celebration and was left behind only to have been adopted by Kim. He has since traveled the southwest part of the world and had his picture taken lots of places. When Kim was preparing her peer presentation at the workshop on baby was only natural that she used Edward as a teaching prop and he was a hit! Everyone got that look of "how they could use a cut out in their classes" (whether or not they were visualizing using Edward seemed dependent on their age - others were visualizing George Clooney etc)

Me? I had a creative vision of having 6 - 8 different cutouts and have each wearing a different style of a baby carrier... and seeing the faces of my class participants as they come into the room. What a hoot. Now there is that little issue of storage and transportation.

Thanks Kim for being so creative and sharing Edward with us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Profound quote about fear and childbirth classes

This was posted on a new mom's blog:

I had chosen to not take any childbirth classes, for fear that they would freak me out, so I had no idea what was normal.

All right, how can we reach out to women like this woman and how can we change the image of childbirth classes for some who think they will make them more afraid?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Christopher Robin's wisdom for birth:

"You're braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. And smarter than you think."– Christopher Robin in Pooh's Grand Adventure

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Slideology webinar

Gotta give a presentation? (ala powerpoint???) Check this webinar out - the recording is a bit garbled but the wisdom comes through... (and it's free)

Slideology I love the book!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

November is Prevent Prematurity Month

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month - March of Dimes is offering 15% off it's educational materials. Use the code PAM09 to get the discount. We use the wallet cards in our seminars now.

They are getting "bold" in their encouragement to avoid scheduling an induction or elective cesarean before 39 weeks. But why are they stopping there? They have a new card comparing a baby's brain at 35 weeks and 40 weeks. But the headline says "If your pregnancy is healthy, it's best if your baby is born at 40 weeks." What's wrong with 41 or 42?

Marketing idea: I first saw this when working with my mentor Dr. Mary Lou Moore. She had printed up water bottles with the signs of premature labor on one side, and what to do on the other (fill the water bottle and drink it was one of the steps). I thought it was so innovative. We adapted the idea for a Free standing Birth Center I was teaching for and they were popular!

Any creative ideas out there for how you cover the topic of prematurity?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Walking and moving during labor

Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice #2 is near and dear to my heart.... Science and Sensibility featured it in a Blog Carnival.

So I decided to have a little checklist to self-evaluate if you are "walking the talk" during your childbirth classes. The old "do what we do and what we say!"
Think about your current classes, are there ways to improve?

Do you have lots of options for seating? (balls, rocking chairs, bean bags, mats...)

What percentage of time in a class session do they spend on their feet vs sitting?

Do you suggest they come early and walk before class? Encourage them to walk after class as a group? Do you send them outside to walk during the break? Do you facilitate networking so they can exercise together? Have a handout/poster on what options there are in your community for prenatal exercise?

Do you talk about the following:

- good walking routes if they are birthing in the hospital?
- moving the bed to the side of the room? Rearranging the room for more room to move?
- bringing things like birth balls to the hospital
- lobby labor vs checking in early to the labor unit?
- finding the stairs? (for asymmetrical work with the pelvis)
- requesting an armless chair and a rocking chair?
- do you have them ask what the impact will be on their ability to walk and move for any medical intervention that is proposed?

What pelvis movements do you practice?

What percentage of time in the DVDs that you show, are the women in bed?

Do you have them practice lots of movement in labor stations and/or the rehearsal - slow dancing, the rebozo, leaning against the wall with the birth ball, stomp squat, stair climbing, basic belly dancing movements and more! Do you cover movement options if they choose an epidural for pain management?

Do you teach them relaxation in upright positions?

Do you have pictures of women moving in labor decorating your classroom space?

And if I called the people in your childbirth class, and I asked them if your class was mostly a sit and listen/discuss or mostly a move and do class, how would they answer me?

I know many of you lead very active classes! Standing ovation for you! I hope more and more classes will increase their activity level. Keep in mind: the brain can only absorb for as long as the bottom can endure - sitting.

Did I miss any other signs about how to assess if your class is ACTIVE?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

New quote

Every couple weeks I am changing the image and the educational quote on the Passion for Birth website. Thanks to the reasonable prices at istockphoto I am having fun!

Don't miss having fun with this month's teaching idea about using Super Hero candy.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hot off the press!

Birth Activist was the first to publish the CDC numbers regarding infant mortality.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

doulas in the news

I've meant to share this news media broadcast about doulas...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Virtual birth

All right - this whole second world thing is baffling and I know I don't know much about it - and I am NOT ready to dive in and get absorbed by it but I have shared infor on a virtual birth center and virtual teaching space and now here is a video from a virtual birth.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cendi rocks!

One of our newest Passioneers, Teresa Navarro was beaming with pride over a recent study of the impact of the Cendi program on pregnant and birthing women. Based in Monterrey, Mexico, the numbers are quite impressive. The current rate of cesarean rate is reported to be 85% for the city. And Cendi reaches out to women who are economically challenged (poor) and a significant portion are teen moms.

Standing ovation for all those who work so hard on this program! Passion for Birth will be offering another seminar there in January! I can't wait.