Midwives do NOT equal a peaceful, supportive birth

November 21, 2011 in Birth, Birth Care Provider, Choose Wisely

“I hired a Midwife – so I know she will be supportive, wonderful, help me have an ideal birth.”

Take your head out of the sand!  It isn’t that easy.  Just because you hired a Midwife does not mean that she will support what you want.

Choose your care provider carefully.

Choosing your care provider carefully is just as important if you are choosing a Midwife.

Just because you hired a midwife doesn’t mean she will automatically be the right choice!

It is just as important to

  • ask questions
  • check referrals
  • follow your intuition


regardless of if you have hired an OB or Midwife.

Certain Techniques Questionable

Here are a few interesting posts about Midwives trained in a certain technique and boy I can tell you I would NOT want one of these midwives at my birth.

I love this post by a midwife reminding moms that they need to ask midwives questions and they need to watch out for red flags.  http://midwiferyramblings.blogspot.com/2011/01/art-of-deceit.html

Followed up with


There are some midwives I know who are NOT trained in this method, but I still wouldn’t choose them to be my care provider – so it isn’t about methods, it is about so many different things and only you can know the important ones to YOU!

How can you know if your midwife is the right one for you?

Click here to help find out!

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Sunday Surf – Great Links for Birth Workers and about Birth

June 12, 2011 in Birth, Doula, Parenting, Sunday Surf

On Sundays, I like to bring to you the best articles out there regarding, pregnancy birth and babies!

Enjoy your Sunday Surfin’


Great Summer Series for balancing family and work!



Visit other surfers for more Sunday Surfing:

One Rich MotherKaren’s Healthy LifestyleBecoming CrunchyAdventures of a Thrifty MamaTouchstonezThe New Mommy FilesFabulous Mama Chronicles, Adventures in MommyhoodGreener Cleaning MumsChild OrganicsI Thought I knew MamaMonkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, Wife, Mom And MoreMama and Baby LoveGems of DelightEnjoy BirthBreastfeeding Moms UniteDomesticated WomenThis Adventure LifeMaman A DroitHobo Mama and Baby Dust Diaries.

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Favorite Links for Birth Workers and About Birthing – Sunday Surf

May 29, 2011 in Birth, Birth Care Provider, Doula, Sunday Surf




Enjoy Surfin’!

Visit other surfers for more Sunday Surfing: One Rich MotherKaren’s Healthy LifestyleBecoming CrunchyAdventures of a Thrifty MamaTouchstonezThe New Mommy FilesFabulous Mama Chronicles,  Adventures in MommyhoodGreener Cleaning MumsChild OrganicsI Thought I knew MamaMonkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, Wife, Mom And MoreMama and Baby LoveGems of DelightEnjoy BirthBreastfeeding Moms UniteDomesticated WomenThis Adventure LifeMaman A DroitHobo Mama and Baby Dust Diaries.

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Shelly’s 1st Birth – One of my longest births

May 10, 2011 in Birth, Birth Care Provider, Birth Location, Birth Stories, Births Attended, Choose Wisely, Doula, Hypnobabies

I always feel like this was one of my longest births, but it was partly because I was at Angela’s birth the whole night before, got a total of  5 hours sleep and then headed off to Shelly’s birth.  So I was working on very little sleep.  Looking back, I wasn’t even with Shelly for 24 hours.  But for Shelly, her early birthing time was starting before I even headed to Angela’s birth, so it was VERY long for Shelly.  However she did an AMAZING job!

When I first met Shelly and Chris they were planning a hospital birth.  Even at that first meeting Shelly expressed interest in homebirth.  They signed up for my Hypnobabies class and then hired me as their doula.  Angela was in their class and she had a homebirth with her third and was now planning another homebirth with her 4th.  I think her presence in the class helped Shelly and Chris to research home birth more.  They ended up switching to Michelle Freund when Shelly was 37 weeks.

Shelly called me on Wednesday saying she was feeling crampy, but there was no regular pattern to them.  I called her later that night to say I was going to Angela’s birth.  I gave her my back up information and hoped she would wait to have her baby the next day!

Thursday early afternoon I touched base with Shelly (after taking a 3 hour nap).  She was still crampy about every 10 – 20 minutes.  She was going to see Dr. Jen for an adjustment later that day.

I went to bed at 9 pm and Chris called 11 pm on Thursday night.  Shelly was now having pressure waves every 7-10 minutes.  They were feeling really crampy and it was hard for her to be comfortable.  I said I would come now.

I got to their house around 11:45.  Shelly resting on bed, listening to Easy First Stage, very focused.    PW seem to be every 5-7 minutes and pretty intense.   Shelly had to work hard to stay relaxed through them.

I said, “Let’s call the midwife!”  Michelle sends Sheryl to check things out.

12:30 I helped Shelly get up to pee.  1 AM Sheryl arrives.   Shelly likes to be standing during her pressure waves, but is pretty tired.   Sometimes she lifts up a leg to put on bed.   This helps her feel more comfortable.

It is hard to tell when she is having PW because she stays so relaxed.  Sometimes I can tell, but not always.  It seems like her pw are getting closer together.  It seems like they are 2-3 minutes apart now.

Sheryl wants to check her to see if Michele should come.  Shelly doesn’t want to be checked because she would have to lie down.  At 2:15 we have another potty run.  Sheryl checks heart tones and baby is LOW into pelvis.  Shelly doesn’t even like to be checked with the Doppler.  This is a good sign and means it is time to call Michelle.  :)

Michelle probably got there around 3:30?

Shelly is standing by the bed leaning on the ball to rest.  Chris is sleeping on the bed and snoring.  Shelly doesn’t appreciate this.  Shelly has this blanket over her shoulders to keep her warm and she looks like an Indian princess to me.  She looks beautiful, strong and stoic.

Chris starts getting the pool set up and Shelly gets in around 6:30 am.  She seems to enjoy being in there.  I lie down for a nap (48 hours with 5 hours of sleep is catching up with me) Michelle and Chris take over.  I come out around 7:30 and Shelly is still in the tub relaxing beautifully.  Later Shelly tells me she never knew I left her side!  She had such a wonderful group of support people, we worked pretty seamlessly.

9:30 we decide it is time to get out of tub.  Michelle wants to see what is going on.  It takes 20 minutes to get Shelly out of the tub.  Then she spends about an hour on the toilet.  I LOVE how patient Michelle was.  Never rushed Shelly to do anything.

11 Shelly has her first vaginal exam.  She is 6cm, baby’s head it tilted a little.  This is probably why it is taking so long.  She thinks the baby’s head is small and baby is small.  The baby iust needs to descend more to put even pressure on cervix.

Shelly rests in bed flipping sides.  I take another little nap.  At 1 PM another potty break.

1:05 we head upstairs.  Fun music is on, sunlight, smoothie.  We are trying to energize Shelly, she is lagging in energy (who can blame her after working so hard for so many hours)

She walks 2 laps with Chris and about 1:30 she gets on hands and knees, chest low.

1:55 she says “Water”  So we get our trusty glass of water with a straw (how did women birth pre straws?) and she shakes her head NO and says “Water!”

Her water had broken.  We get her cleaned up and back downstairs about 2:20 onto the toilet.  She spends about an hour there.  Another VE says she is 8cm +1.  Good progress is being made.  We encourage her to follow her body.

3:30 she is back in the bedroom on her hands and knees.  She is doing little pushes at the top of pressure waves.  We encourage her to listen to her body.  She is doing great.

4 she really starts actively pushing with each pressure wave.

At some point Michelle checks again (maybe 5:15ish) and there is a lip left and she holds it back while Shelly pushes, so baby can move down and past that last little lip.

5:59 Baby is born.  He is doing great.  Shelly is exhausted and feels faint.  We get her lying down and help her and baby.  It is a little chaotic for about 5 minutes, while we are all worried about Shelly and checking baby.

She is SO tired and out of it for about an hour.  We are giving her fruit, protein bar, coconut juice, etc.  By the time I leave around 8 she is doing better.  Still TIRED, but more alert.  Baby is beautiful and weighs 9 pounds 1 ounce.

After the birth we talk about what may have happened if she had a hospital birth.  We both agree she probably would have ended up with a cesarean.  She also hated having her stomach touched during the birth and she couldn’t imagine having to have monitoring with belts on.

Her birth is the one that inspired me to make Moms Deserve Medals! Because she did deserve a medal!

Sign up for my RSS feed, so you can get notified when I post her 2nd birth story next week!

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Midwives: Marvelous or Medieval?

April 15, 2011 in Birth, Birth Care Provider

midwife of pont cleryIt is fascinating to me when I am talking to moms about birth and the topic of Midwives comes up.   The moms tend to fall into one of 3 categories:

  • I love them
  • Like the idea – but not for me
  • They still exist?

I love them

These tend to be moms who have done a lot of research about birth.  They maybe are planning a birth with a midwife, or have had friends who have used a midwife and wish they could use one too.

This tends to be a small group of women.

It is an interesting idea – but it is not for me!

These moms know midwives exist, but have many questions about why it probably wouldn’t be right for them to use a midwife.  Most of the moms fall into this camp.

  • Is it safe?  It is safe for a low-risk mom!
  • Are they trained?  Yes, they are highly trained.
  • What about an emergency?  They are trained to handle emergencies.  Some moms do have to transfer to a hospital.
  • My insurance won’t cover a midwife.  It actually might cost less to pay for a midwife out of pocket, then to pay for your deductible.

Midwives still exist?

It always surprises me to run across a woman who honestly doesn’t know there are still midwives attending births.

  • I thought they were from medieval times.
  • Is that legal?
  • Why would someone need a midwife when there are OBs?

I actually really enjoy talking to these women, because they are pretty fascinated by the idea once they realize it exists.




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Business of Being Born – Movie Review

March 16, 2011 in Birth, Birth Care Provider, Choose Wisely, Review

Originally posted in 2007

I was so excited to go to Belly Sprout, in Fullerton to see the Business of Being Born.  I had heard good reviews of it and I love birth, so it seemed obvious I would love this film.  Belly Sprout is a great little space, with natural items for babies and moms, with room in the back for classes or film screenings.  It was fun meeting new people as we waited for the film to start.

The film overall was enjoyable.  The intention of the film seems to be showing how homebirth can be safer and better than hospital births.  There were interesting interviews and quotes throughout the movie.  Some wonderful home births were shown.  They were empowering to me as a natural childbirth enthusiast.  These same births could be seen as scary by moms who are afraid of the pain of birth.  As a Hypnobabies instructor, I know birth can actually be comfortable and enjoyable if you have the right hypnosis tools, so I wish a Hypnobabies birth had been included.  I worry that some moms might see the births in this film and say that is why I am going straight for the epidural.

They did discuss some of the different problems that come up with hospital births.  Including the cascade of interventions, though I wish they had been a little more explicit in that, because while as a childbirth educator I am well aware of what that entails, many women are not.  It was fascinating to see OBs interviewed and when asked the question, “How often do you see a natural birth?”  They were sitting there dumbfounded.  The answer was basically never.  My friend’s husband is doing his residency in Obstetrics and he agrees with this statement, they never see a normal, natural birth.  They are taught not to be lifeguards, jumping in if something goes wrong, rather they are taught only how to actively manage birth, which leads to problems of their own.  So how are they going to learn to support moms who want this?

The ending of the film ruined the whole film for me.  I think it was important to show that at times it is medically better to have a hospital birth (in this case the baby was preterm and breech).  This birth would have been better towards the front of the film, I am thinking after the OB says “95% of my job is boring, but then 5% is exciting/scary”  Ok, show the scary birth at that point of the film, then spend the rest of the film showing the wonderful 95% that are safe at home.   I think they were trying to have this moms story be one that wound its way throughout the film, but I really think its position in the movie undermines the whole purpose of the film.

Since this mom did end up with a cesarean, PLEASE use this as a chance to talk about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and how next time this mom can have a vaginal birth and it would be ok.  Tell the world about ICAN and how it is a wonderful organization to help moms avoid cesareans or recover from them if they have one.  Let this film really educated and help the world in more ways than just homebirth.  It would add maybe 1 minute to the film, but would have the potential of helping thousands of women.

Overall I guess I would give the film 3 out of 5 stars.  If they could edit it and change where the cesarean birth is in the film I would make it 4 out of 5.  I would not recommend my Hypnobabies Moms watch it while pregnant, as I want only positive images in their mind as they prepare for their births.  But I do think it would be a great film to show in a college class to help women think about births before they are in that stage of life.  If we educate women earlier about their choices in birth and their power as women and mothers, we can change the world!

Edited to add in 2011 – I think this film has opened a lot of women’s eyes to the option of home birth.  I think today I would give it a 4 out of 5.  Again, I don’t love that it ends with a cesarean.  I am thrilled to say that mom has since had a VBAC.

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Three Types of Care Provider Relationships

August 18, 2010 in Birth, Birth Care Provider, Choose Wisely

What are the three types of relationships you can have with your care provider and why does it matter?

I was a Guest Poster on The Gift of Giving Life and I answer this question.

Please go over and tell me what you think!

If you enjoy this, please go to my Creating your Best Birth Team page to get a worksheet and MP3.

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Great links from Last week

August 17, 2010 in Birth, Hypnobabies

I am trying something new, sharing some of my favorite posts I read from the past week.

Hypno-anesthsiology by Dr. Seuss – Great explanation of how hypnosis can help with pain.

Pelvimetry - A midwife discusses why she doesn’t believe in this practice.   I love how she trusts birth first and if a problem arises she will deal with it then!

That midwife said, “Well, don’t you want to know if she will have problems birthing?” You know what…I don’t…I really don’t. I don’t want to go into that birth with any thought other than excitement that she will be welcoming her baby into her arms soon. If problems crop up, we will work on fixing the problems (whatever they may be) – but no, I do not want to go INTO a birth EXPECTING problems!! Like all other aspects of her care, I prefer to assume that everything will be perfect and only respond to those problems that present themselves. To that end I say NO….I do not want to try and guess that she will have problems birthing, I prefer to enjoy the beautiful birth experience without preconceived notions or restrictions.

Bellies and Babies – Hands of a Nurse looks at how a nurse views circumcision and how her choice helped make changes for little boys.

The Midwife Next Door – Gives a glimpse into what a homebirth entails.  I love how it shows all that she does and all the equipment she brings.  I really think that if moms read this, they would see why homebirth is a safe option.

Pitocin’s Untold Impact at Birth Faith, looks at the possible risks of pitocin during birth.  It is so scary to me that so many birthing women are exposed to this drug, often without medical need.  (just to speed things up)   A giant science experiment gone wrong.

Science and Sensibility’s 4 Papers of Interest to Childbirth Educators was a great resource. I especially loved the last article Social Media Power and the Future of VBAC.  That article ended with this quote.

In the online community of VBAC mothers, some women will get empowered, give birth, and move on, some will leverage their communication skills and social media tools to help other women, and some will build on those same skills and tools to transform into leaders—equipped, enabled, and empowered to contribute meaningfully in areas of research, policy-making, institutional quality improvement, and national advocacy.

I love that. I am at least helping other women, but I would love to transform into a leader!

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Beautiful Breech Birth Story AND Photos

July 10, 2010 in Birth, Birth Stories, Hypnobabies

Katrina, a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group sent in her amazing  birth story.  She was pregnant with a breech baby, who just didn’t want to turn.  Luckily she found a midwife who was trained to catch vaginal breech babies.

She ended up having a nice, fast birth.

It was definitely a fast ride. But I remained very calm and peaceful during the whole thing. Thank you, Hypnobabies!

She was hoping to film it, but things went so quickly, she didn’t have a chance.

Her DH did grab the camera and took some amazing pictures.  You can see one with the baby half out and then see how beautiful Katrina looks moments after birth by visiting her blog and reading her birth story, complete with amazing pictures!

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Freedom of Choice in Missouri

June 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

Missouri Freedom

This is great news for the freedom of women to choose where they can birth!

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