Monday, January 31, 2011

Just imagine

I had no idea there were INTERACTIVE YouTube videos. So I was delighted to play with this one - you click on one of the three options on the screen and the adventure changes.

So what does this have to do with birth? I began to imagine "what if" you could create different options. Start with a pregnant woman. First choice is that she chooses a midwife, family doctor or obstetrician. Next choice is where they practice and where she chooses to birth. Then one button would say let labor begin on its own and the other say be induced. So then the next video would show all the hospital equipment for the induction if she had chosen hospital or the graphic demonstration of the frequent consequence of castor oil, etc. etc. The next choice would be she stays upright or she stays in bed. I think you get the idea.

Let me know if you know any venture capitalists who might want to fund this idea! If you are tempted to "steal" this idea, how about including me!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog: Lamaze breathing

In my Google alerts to see what people in childbirth classes are blogging about, the term Lamaze comes up frequently.  It often is used to describe adapting "the breathing" to other times in one's life cycle, like this description of dealing with a baby's high fever:

...When you press your lips to your baby's forehead and they sizzle, well, it's time to revert back to your Lamaze training. Don't hyperventilate. Believe me, I wanted to when the day care called one day and told me that Elliot's temperature was 105.
I scooped him up with oven mitts and went straight to the pediatrician's office. The call I made to them was out of courtesy. Had they not allowed me to come right in, I would have initiated a determined game of Red Rover and run right over them....

 Do you share other uses for the slow, rhythmic breathing that is taught for birth?  Share your examples. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Have you cartooned yourself yet?

Have some fun and play with any of the many on-line tools to create your own image!

I started out with 2D, and in my search to find the url where I created that, I found this animated one! Feel free to post a link in the comments section to your creation! I never found the link to the cartoonish figure but I created the"Voki" here. And I don't look like either one but I tried to get as close as the tool would let me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Upright position in a comedy

The Eastenders appears to be a a comedy on the BBC.  This is from an earlier season but it was a delight to notice that the mom-to-be is upright, off her sacrum position.  Wish we would see that in the US programs!  Of course it's a comedy and there are other things I would change but I applaud the position!  Do you know of any other comedy-drama shows that have women birthing on all fours? 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Babies - so precious

This is a touching clip of a new baby....referenced by an LC on Lactnet from the Netherlands

Could this be a tone-setting opener for when you are talking about life with baby?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was so lucky to be a Peace Corps Volunteer many years ago. Peace Corps has been in the news with the honoring of Sargent Shriver's life of service which included being the first Peace Corp Director.
So I am taking a break from focusing purely about birth and sharing this minute long PSA. (And think about joining Peace Corps!)

Actually, as I was watching this, I did begin to fantasize about a clip watching a childbirth educator or labor/birth nurse or midwife or doula, weaving the topic of birth into many conversations/interactions throughout the day:
at the coffee shop - "yeah I was at a long birth last night"
at the school drop off - "oh there's Maggie, I remember the day she was born"
at the exercise class - "is that a baby bump I see?"
at the mall - "ah, that's great that mom feels comfortable to nurse on the bench"
at the magazine stand - "now what famous person is pregnant?"
at the restaurant to the waitress - "how far along are you? Oh you are just the perfect size!"
at the car repair shop to the mechanic with a large brow/big head - not shared but thought to self: "wow, your mother must be superwoman!

What scenes would you add?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guest Blog - Ann Tumblin

I have invited the amazing team of "Passioneers" to submit guest blog posts as they have the time. "Passioneers" are the facilitators for our Passion for Birth seminars.

Here is Ann Tumblin's submission:
Teri has been sharing information she gathers on blogs from folks taking childbirth classes and much of that is far from positive. I learned this many, many years ago from a wonderful mentor, Mary Lou Moore, and I quote,
“It is the mother’s job to get her partner to the first class; it is MY job as the educator to get him back to the other classes.”
And, that is what I have done for over 30 years. I focus my first class on why this is going to be helpful to him/her. Of course when the partners are involved in trying out contractions holding a frozen water balloon, how the hormones interact using the hormone web activity ( teaching strategies), meeting, sharing, and laughing with other partners instead of sitting in chairs, they have fun and want to come back.
Recently I had this comment from a dad: “I really enjoyed these classes.” I asked, “Didn’t you think you would?” And his answer, “No.” And he was a teacher by profession so we must change the perception of childbirth classes by stomping out boring.

PS: Ann and I are thinking about doing a Passion for Birth workshop in a beautiful bed and breakfast, anyone interested?  (Alaska is the only state I haven't been to and I need to get there!) 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blog post

Capturing what parents-to-be blog about their CB class...

Ah, the challenges of a diverse class... how do you juggle needs?
This was posted about the first night of a class series. See the questions to ponder at the end.

"We were the only ones that had a child already.
I seemed to be the only mom even somewhat interested in trying to birth this baby naturally (w/o drugs) and I'm still confused why people do Lamaze if they KNOW going into the labor process they want their epidural ASAP.
It kind of felt like a 3 hour anatomy lesson...which is something I don't necessarily need to know all the specifics about and Eric already knows...and actually teaches...
I left feeling like I wanted an epidural this time again for sure. This is crazy to me b/c I was expecting to leave feeling empowered, that I could totally do it naturally, etc. I thought the instructor would really push that your body can do this, it's natural to have babies, and that doing it med free was completely doable.
So...we are hoping that in the coming weeks we talk more about coping ideas and that by the end we have enough tools to at least go in to the labor TRYING to do it w/o an epidural. I will NOT feel disappointed in myself (I hope!) if I use an epidural, but I at least want to TRY to have Dude w/o one! We'll see!!"
  •  How do you juggle the needs of learners who know they want an epidural with others who want to do it without pain medication?
  • How do you juggle the needs of those who have read a lot with those who have no sense of basic anatomy?
  • What influences the decisions of people in your class regarding the use of pain medication?  Peers in the class?  They come with their mind made up before class?  The information you share?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The powerful impact on our children

Marilyn Hildreth is a friend who I have spent many hours with laughing, discussing the current status of birth and pondering if it's because she was born breech that we so often get lost on our adventures. She has two adult children - and her son is behind the focus of the December 10 issue of Sojourner magazine. To read the articles you need to sign in. He writes about being the uncle at his sister's home birth. Marilyn should be so proud!

All of us who work in the birth world go through stages with our children when they are go from being curious to wanting to distance themselves to some childbirth educators have been lucky enough to watch their children cycle back and become doulas/midwives/CBEs themselves! The teen years can be the biggest challenge. I remember staying with Pat Predmore and her son's gasp about "do we have to have the pelvis on the kitchen table" or my son's horror at thinking the new 11" by 17" laminated pictures of birth I had were our new placemats!

How have your children been impacted by your childbirth work?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Radio show

I have had this post in the draft file for awhile....but listen to this discussion (the last one on the tool) "The Importance of Childbirth Education."  Share your thoughts in response

Listen to internet radio with The Feminist Breeder on Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Midwife mirror

Have you seen this in action?  Did it help her to stay in an upright position?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birth on your side or upright

Thanks to Sharon Muza for sharing this clip on her Facebook page.  

Hope you are spending a lot of time on pushing positions in your childbirth class.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nancy Duarte is one of my favorites when it comes to designing presentations.  In honor of Martin Luther King Day, go to her blog and watch her analysis on why his "I have a dream" speech was so powerful. 

The actual speech is there as well.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Husband and I disappointed with 1st ******* class

 Found this posted on a blog - I removed the method name because it could be almost any class.  Read her post and then consider my questions at the end...

I know I've only gone to only one class, but so far we didn't learn anymore than what we read..... It could be the difference of a good instructor vs. bad instructor. Don't get me wrong. She is really nice, but for my husband and I who both have a background in teaching, it's hard to listen when she reads straight out of the book and plays outdated videos that take up an hour. There are so many ways she could be engaging with us. 

My husband and I felt that she should have assigned us to watch the "Business of Being Born" before the 1st class and we would discuss it in the 1st class......

Lastly, the exercises. She quickly went through them by showing us how to do them, then let us do our own thing for a couple of minutes. She lacked to give us how many we should do in the next couple of minutes, which led to parents just talking with each other and doing them feeling silly. As an example, she should have said "we are going to do 20 of these right now and I want the coaches to ensure they are doing them correctly and to count for the mother."  

Questions to ponder: 
  • are your dvds outdated?
  • do you assign "work" such as watching a DVD before class or even during a series?
  • how structured are your practice sessions?  Guidelines? Do your own thing?
  • later in the same blog she was wondered if they were wasting their $350 registration fees.  $350??? Are you charging that much?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just a little splash of Oxytocin

 You've got to be kidding!  Solve all your interpersonal problems and increase your sales with a little Oxytocin.  Oh my.  
Oxytocin in a bottle

What will they think of next?

I do think it's important to teach about hormones of labor and birth, but NO need to spray it on.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a birth video

Theo's Birth video from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Thinking of Brisbane, Australia and the horrible floods, reminded me of this birth video from there that I  really like - not sure if it's the fact that it's discreet and the sensitivity the film maker had or the fact it's black and white or if it's the emotions of the partner captured or the cuteness of the big sister.... but I do love it. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Join me...

I have just registered for this workshop - come to Seattle and join me.  Simkin Center

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Every Mother Counts

 Has anyone seen the entire documentary? I think it's important for all of us in childbirth education to keep a world view of maternal health. 

Every Mother Counts

Speaking of world view, my heart goes out to all who are being impacted by the horrible flooding in Queensland, Australia.  Having just been there a few months ago, the images are overwhelming.  However it has been reassuring to hear from a few friends via Facebook and email that they are safe.  Long distance hugs to all.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

They Were Still Born

 Do you cover stillbirth in your childbirth class?  If you don't, I want you to go to the book's preview pages on Amazon   They Were Still Born
and read the second chapter - Blindsided by Alan Goldenbach.

I think it may serve as the nudge to have you think of ways to include it. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

No wonder parents of babies get exhausted!

Annie Kennedy, someone who I am lucky enough to work with at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations sent me the link to this clever clip of a baby in action.... enjoy and think about how you could use this as an introduction to how life changes after a baby joins the family. 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Birth plans and pain medication

Featuring blog posts from pregnant women 

I found this post in my google alerts and found the early parts interesting.  Even pregnant women have heard that birth plans can jinx your labor.  And when someone identifies themselves as a 10 on the pain medication preference scale (she would like the epidual in the parking lot), wouldn't she be best served by having a few pain coping skills? 

Here's part of her post:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

 I had heard that making a birth plan jinxes your labor & delivery, so I didn't make one and told myself that we'd just go with the flow. Except the one thing I planned on was an epidural. My hospital's epidural rate is 98% so I figured it was pretty much a given that I'd get one too. (At my childbirth class, the instructor asked us to rate how much we wanted an epidural on a scale of 1 - 10, and I was the only 10 in the class!) If you're guessing that this story is leading to my L&D not going as planned, you're on the right track...  

The rest of the story    

Monday, January 03, 2011

Spinning babies

I have been a fan of Gail Tully and Spinning Babies for a long time.  I previously highlighted pictures of her larger than life pelvis for demonstration and I was just watching a trailer to a new educational dvd she is creating, and she did it again....another BIG visual aid.  I love it!  Watch and you'll see it and then go to Spinning Babies store  and order the NEW Spinning Babies workbook and dowload the two handouts (complimentary) for parents. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Does she need a class?

Featuring consumers' posts about cb classes

As I was doing my regular routine of reading various blog posts from women who are pregnant, I
decided to share this comment.... does your community have other options than evenings and weekends?  And how does your marketing address that just maybe she might learn something from your program?

I guess I am just feeling lazy. The hospital I plan to deliver at offers child birth classes only in the evenings and on weekends. My husband works 2nd shift, and I work some weekends, so there really isn’t any class we could go to together.
I’ve read every website on child birth, read every book, been on a hospital tour, watched 100 videos of child birth. I have no questions, no concerns, and no real fears about the pain part of birth. A child birth class isn’t going to calm my fears about the baby’s health.
Is there actually an advantages to taking a child birth class? I’m due in less than 2 months, and I can think of a lot better uses for the time and money. Would a class really help at all?