Sunday, January 31, 2010

Labor induction dance

This looks like a whole lot more fun than pitocin!

And here is "proof" that dancing can work...

Time to add labor dancing to your course design!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Love this website

Birth Matters Virginia linked to a site that brought a smile. The website is called

Have you had that baby yet?

a great place to send people when a woman is being badgered about when the baby is going to come and shouldn't she be induced.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Kristy Hansen was sent this picture by a former birth doula client/friend who was traveling in Denmark - pretty neat, eh!

If you were going to pain a mural on the side of a building, what would it be?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Donate breastmilk to Haiti!

A week ago I wrote about donating breastmilk to Haiti. Well, the infrastructure wasn't quite set up....but I just received word from the US Breastfeeding Committee that now that the USS Comfort in place, they are taking donations!

1/29 update: Oops, not needed

From their Original press release:
January 25, 2010

Urgent Call for Human Milk Donations for Haiti Infants

Washington, DC--The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as well as sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped to the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed outside Haiti. Comfort is currently set up with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of the earthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to Comfort. Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board to coordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, and LLLI are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk mothers who have recently delivered babies on board the USNS Comfort, but an urgent need exists for additional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk to Haiti infants on land has not yet been established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be provided to older infants.

Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers' Milk Bank of HMBANA. A list of regional milk banks is available on the HMBANA Web site at (Locations).

Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for Haiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and premature infants in the United States. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financial donations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continue serving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medical professionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disasters or emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe, clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in an emergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to provide support for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assist pregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 ( Additional information can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132 (, ILCA/USLCA at 800-452-2478 ( or, or La Leche League at 847-519-7730 (

The USBC is an organization of organizations. Opinions expressed by USBC are not necessarily the position of all member organizations and opinions expressed by USBC member organization representatives are not necessarily the position of USBC.

United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of 41 nationally influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations. Representing over half a million concerned professionals and the families they serve, USBC and its member organizations share a common mission to improve the Nation's health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. For more information about USBC, visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Know any military spouses?

The Department of Defense (DoD) Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides a lifetime benefit of up to $6,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing licenses, certificates, credentials or degree programs leading to employment in Portable Career Fields.

Passion for Birth has been approved as one of those programs! If you are a military spouse, your seminar fees (and study packet, I think) can be paid by that fund!

Who Is Eligible: Spouses of DoD Active Duty members and activated members of the National Guard and Reserve Components who are on Title 10 orders are eligible to receive MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA).

What MyCAA Pays For: MyCAA FA pays tuition for education and training courses, and professional licenses, certifications and credentials. This includes state certifications for teachers, medical professionals and other occupations requiring recognized certifications; licensing exams and related prep courses; Continuing Education Unit (CEU) classes including those offered through professional associations; and degree programs leading to employment in Portable Career Fields.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Swamped on one hand; proud on the other

Apologies to all - my email inbox has become my downfall... I have images of Fantasia the cartoon movie...the broom scene where they keep dividing and dividing and dividing. I swear in the time it takes me to answer one email, five to eight come in! I have already diverted all the email that are lists etc that don't require a response to a different address...does anyone else have any great ideas? I know I am not the only one! All right - 4 new emails have come in while writing this paragraph...

I read all these hints. Turn off the notification that "you've got mail" Never check email first thing in the morning. Set a limited time each day to respond to email. Set up auto sort files in your email program. Have these worked for anyone?

While I am sharing "personal" stuff, I am tickled pink that I can say that the Coast Guard Cutter my son was on (that was the second boat to make it Haiti after the earthquake) is now in their homeport of Key West. They had been at sea since November - so stayed in Haiti until refreshed and fully supplied ships could relieve them. My son was primarily involved with the helicopter medical evacuations and described the work as exhausting but rewarding. Because they were working 18 - 20 hours at a time, I think they'll be sleeping for a few days! I know we all continue to keep the people of Haiti in our hearts and prayers and give what we can.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lamaze requirements changed for certification

For all of you have gone through a PfB seminar in the past three years, I wanted to let you know that the requirements to take the Lamaze certification exam have changed! If you have taken a PfB seminar, you need to teach a session with a mentor/observer (full series no longer required), purchase a study guide and you are set! If you can document 60 hours of teaching you don't have to purchase the study guide nor have a mentor/observer sign off on a form.

With that said, we still firmly believe that the best preparation for a new educator is to observe an interactive educator, attend a few births, create a dynamic course design, facilitate a series with the support/wisdom of a mentor. And while doing this read through the list of recommended reading and study guide. But these steps are now RECOMMENDED vs. REQUIRED.

If you decide to sign up for the spring exam and you are a PfB graduate, please let me know and I will sign you for our "question of the day" program - to help you prepare for the exam!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Garr Reynolds

All right, I admit it - I think I am a Garr Reynolds groupie...and I am gobbling up what he has written in his new book. I have to warn you though, once you start reading his materials you will have little tolerance to sit through yet another powerpoint presentation with ineffective bullet points!

and here is a way to watch a recent presentation: Business to Buttons conference

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Build Your Own Jeopardy

This tool was shared by Passioneer Ann Tumblin - what an easy way to create a review tool - interactive session!

BYO Jeopardy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do you blog?

How cool is this? If you blog, you can turn your blog posts into a book! I was amazed how simple it was. It's not cheap but I always wondered how I could somehow "capture and keep" the essence of my blogging.

(I have NO financial connection with this tool - it just amazed me! I filled in the blog address and the dates I wanted, picked a cover, uploaded a picture, wrote a dedication and it was done! )

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time to teach knitting in your childbirth class?

MIDIRS has a birth story about a birth in Romania that I found touching.

I remember that I still didn’t understand until this midwife was asked to share her trade secret. “Take up knitting.” She said. We sat in stunned silence. Knitting? This was the ancient midwife’s secret?

“Your peace becomes the mother’s peace. Your calm becomes her calm. She is giving birth, you are attending. Her space is sacred. You will know when you need to act but most of the time you will knit.”

From Elizabeth Davis in Heart and Hands

“As Michel Odent reminds us, the act of giving birth is seated in the primitive brain, which releases of a “cocktail of hormones” to ease the way. To benefit from this and tune into our instinctual birthing wisdom, we must first turn off the neocortex, our thinking/reasoning aspect. And how is this to be done? Consider factors that stimulate the neocortex: speech, bright light, and a sense of being observed (by others, by technology, or by oneself). Laboring women need a quiet, peaceful, private and intimate environment—with their birth attendant knitting quietly in the corner, or in the other room! This is not sentimentalism; this is physiology.

Michel Odent published an article about knitting in Midwifery Today - I found lots of references to the article but not a copy. : Odent M (2004). Knitting midwives for drugless childbirth? MidwiferyToday 71: 21-2.
In my search for the article, I stumbled upon this picture of Odent in a knitting midwife costume at Midwifery Today conference. It made me chuckle.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Midwife YouTube

Passioneer Barb Hotelling sent the link to this new resource. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creative food - made me chuckle

My friend Sharon sent this and it made me chuckle -
now is the time to schedule your mammogram!

The picture is from: Fab Frugal Food

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Birth and the Coast Guard

The birth reported below didn't happen on the Coast Guard Cutter my son is on but it could have! As I have watched the coverage of the Haiti earthquake, I am sure I am not alone thinking of the women who are pregnant and those who were or will be in labor.

I can imagine how the crew must have been touched by the opportunity to see new life instead of the overwhelming amount of death and pain they have witnessed.

Haitian baby born on Coast Guard Cutter with help of ship and helicopter crews
Jan 16th, 2010
by cgnews.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – An Air Station Clearwater, Fla., helicopter crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma assisted in the delivery of a male Haitian baby on the cutter Saturday afternoon.

A pregnant Haitian citizen went into labor on the flight deck as the helicopter was refueling aboard the cutter. The rescue swimmer from Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter CG6024 then delivered the five-pound newborn.

The mother and child were taken to a hospital in Cap Haitien, Haiti for further medical treatment and were in good condition.

NBC report on the Coast Guard

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cake wrecks...

I admit it there are a couple blogs I visit just to get a chuckle. Every so often Cake Wrecks features pregnancy related cakes....

Cake Wrecks

Friday, January 15, 2010

Death by paperwork

I found this clutter clearing game on an Unclutterer blog.

Basically you move the box to catch the falling stacks of paper before you get overrun with stacks of paperwork. If only it was that easy in real life! I am feeling completely overwhelmed with paperwork and have called in help! (may as well share the misery, eh!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Distracted and oh so proud

I rarely use this blog to post personal "stuff" except for the periodic reflection on the births of my own two children on their birthdays. But since Tuesday night I have been very distracted and almost glued to the news reports coming from the heart wrenching tragedy in Haiti regarding the earthquake. Why so distracted? Well my son is on one of the Coast Guard cutters that were the first to reach Haiti and I know they have been working tirelessly doing what they can.

This post was prompted this morning when Sec. of State Clinton was talking on CNN and mentioned that the US Coast Guard was the first to reach Haiti and they have done an outstanding job! So that motivated me to peel away from the TV and write this post and get back to work!

I know we will all find our own way to support the work that needs to be done in Haiti - whether through prayers, donations, volunteering .... I will continue to keep the rescuers close to my heart.

I am also thinking of the amazing group of Lamaze educators who live in Port-Au-Prince - I hope they and their families are safe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From bump to BF: The UK BF dvd

A DVD produced by the charity Best Beginnings and funded by all four UK nations, 'From Bump to Breastfeeding: following real mothers' stories to find out how' follows the story of nine women as they prepare for birth, learn to breastfeed and encounter real life challenges on the way. With mums of all backgrounds, special extra films on key topics like expressing, overcoming challenges, feeding premature babies, feeding twins and more, the DVD is being made available for free to all pregnant women in the UK via their midwives.

(For my friends in the UK, are the moms sucking on yogurt packets? Candy? or?)

Here's the intro:

# 2 Skin to Skin (even with a cesarean!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maternal Dance

In a slump while sitting at your computer while reading this? Well, watch this 3 minute clip of a Maternal Dance DVD and move with it and get your blood flowing!

I contacted Suzanne Cesar about getting review copies of her DVD for the Journal of Perinatal Education and she replied with a note that they were on their way and here is a sampling. So now I am sharing the clip with you to move with - rock those hips! I will let you know what I think of the whole DVD when it makes it into my mail box. In the meantime, enjoy. Post a comment if you already use this DVD or some type of dance in your CB program.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Share a story!

A friend posted this on a list I am on and thought I would let you know! I had the honor of having the story of my daughter's birth published in a book and it remains a treasured book on the bookshelf.

From Dawn: Elayne Clift has put together several anthologies on different topics. She is one of our volunteer doulas. Circulate this as widely as you'd like so we get a wonderful book!!


For an anthology about doulas and doula-supported birth, editor seeks true, first-person accounts from moms, dads, midwives, docs, nurses, doulas, and others. Accounts can also relate to pre and/or post-natal support. What did you experience, observe, feel, learn, reflect upon? How were you moved, changed by the experience of having or working with a doula? What can you share with prospective parents, reluctant practitioners, passionate advocates? Send double-spaced MSWord attachment (Times New Roman, 12 pt.) – 3000 word max -- + 50 word bio and complete contact information by Feb. 15 to

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I love, love, love this..

I spend a significant amount of time every year sitting through sessions at conferences and workshops. I wish that all the presenters would at least watch this! For those of you who use Powerpoint in your childbirth program, please spend 5 minutes and watch this and then apply the principles!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Thiagi laws

I subscribe to a newsletter written by a Thiagi - a professional trainer.

He describes in detail his list of the Laws of Adult Learning. Here are the headings - read his whole list and descriptions!

Law of
  • previous experience: new learning should be linked to (and build upon) the experiences of the learner.
  • relevance: effective learning is relevant to the learner's life and work.
  • self-direction: most adults are self-directed learners.
  • expectations: learners' reactions to a training session are shaped by their expectations related to the content area, training format, fellow participants, and the trainer.
  • self-image: adult learners have definite notions about what type of learners they are. These notions interfere with or enhance their learning.
  • multiple criteria: adult learners use a variety of standards to judge their learning experiences and accomplishments.
  • alignment: adult learners require the training objectives, content, activities, and assessment techniques to be aligned to each other.
  • active learning: active responding produces more effective learning than passive listening or reading.
  • practice and feedback: learners cannot master skills without repeated practice and relevant feedback.
  • individual differences: different people learn in different ways.
  • learning domains: different types of learning require different types of strategies.
  • response: learners master skills and knowledge at the level at which they are required to respond during the learning process.
  • reinforcement: participants learn to repeat behaviors that are rewarded.
  • emotional training: events that are accompanied by intense emotions result in long-lasting learning

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Bodyworks Atlanta

I love it when I become aware of new things! Makes me feel young again. I can get in a rut of feeling like I have been at this so long, is there anything new out there? Well, an email came in with an offer to help on the Lamaze media review team. Of course I click on websites in signature lines and what a treat it was to learn about Watsu! Now I have to find out if anyone is doing it in my neighborhood.....

Am I the only one who had never been exposed to this? I would love to have people post notes about their experiences with it!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Knitting needles empty?

We've talked about knitting a uterus, breast models, baby caps and more. If your needles are looking for another project, check out Blankets for Deployed Daddies

These blankets are knit by volunteers, sent to Dads who are deployed. They sleep with the blankets a few times, and then send the blankets back to their baby that will be welcomed to the world when they can't be there. But their scent/smell will be.

Don't knit? They are also looking for folks who are willing to donate for yarn purchases, shipping costs, etc.

We've talked about ways for childbirth classes to stay in touch when class is done and the babies are still inside. How about having a knitting night....they can knit for themselves or knit for others and most importantly talk to each other while they are getting through the last weeks of pregnancy.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Nursing is Normal!

I follow Blacktating - Breastfeeding news and views from a mom of color.

She discovered and blogged about two You Tube clips that are part of a movement: Nursing is normal.

Originally started in Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin have stepped up to the plate and created awesome clips. So here is the challenge - make a clip for your state! Let me know when it is posted.

Friday, January 01, 2010

If I were a hospital, this would be a list of my New Year's resolutions:

My resolutions* would be: (for US hospitals, someplaces already have these)

1. Get rid of the labor beds
2. Provide a doula for every woman
3. Staff the unit with midwives
4. Make sure 24/7 surgical staff available (hospitalist)
5. Educate all nurses on non-pharmacological pain management
6. Change how we assess pain (maybe even have nitrous oxide available)
7. Only use fetal assessment tools that allow movement!
8. Complete the steps to be mother-friendly and baby-friendly.

Now how we can adapt our childbirth classes so that the list will become available?

* The list has been adapted from this midwife's dream list on what is needed to change birth! I happen to agree with all her points. Read her entire post to understand the justifications/needs for each.

Midwife Next Door

And while you are there, read the archives! I love her "Your OB (or midwife) still does WHAT" series. She lists the evidence while writing in a clear and honest way. Thanks Midwife Next Door!