Beautiful VBAC Homebirth Video

The kiss at minute seven is more than I can take. The love between this couple has a radius so big, you can’t help but fall in love. I am so happy that folks are brave enough to share these amazing images with the world so we can all see the beauty of birth. I feel privileged to be part of this awesome, sensual & intimate moment in time as a stranger peeking in to take a view. (Another awesome birth with my Midwife Kelli Johnson, btw.)

So, you wanna have a painless childbirth?

It IS possible. I did it, I’ve met other women who have done it, and you can do it too! What makes a painless birth possible? Total lack of fear & deep trust in your body & self is the basic premise, getting to that state is the part that takes some deep work.

The essential elements of a painless birth (for me, anyway):

  1. Following the process outlined in the book Painless Childbirth
  2. Practicing self-hypnosis (I used Hypnobabies, but there are several programs out there)
  3. Being loved & supported, especially by my women friends
  4. A cooperative & well positioned baby

Today I had the opportunity to interview Giuditta Tournetta, author of Painless Childbirth (you can listen to that interview here) for an entire hour and we scratched the surface on the teachings that she will be bringing to Central Florida in September when she does a three day workshop for expectant parents & birth professionals. (For details on the workshop, please click here & tell your friends about it!) I’m stoked to be able to attend this with my gal Amber, who is due in early October.

The wisdom Giuditta has gathered through her years of doula work (and her own painless birth years ago) is of tremendous value to bringing the sacred back into birthing.  She correlates each stage of development in the womb with a chakra & basic human right. Her insights are illuminating, healing, unique and very accessible to those who desire a more conscious birth experience.

I hope to see lots of you at the workshop so we can bring this wisdom into our birthing practices in Central Florida. If you register before 9/20, you will get $50 off.

Dancing for Birth

Dancing for BirthA sweet soul in our community, long-time doula Cynthia Koerner is bringing Dancing for Birth(TM) to Central Florida.

It’s this Saturday, March 27th at 2pm, and you need to register in advance. Learn More & Register

The prenatal/postpartum dance classes incorporate dance moves from around the world that best prepare you to give birth. You’ll become stronger, more agile, more at ease with your body and both mentally and physically ready to embrace your unique birth experience. Participants report experiencing low levels of discomfort, few or no interventions, brief labors and high levels of satisfaction during their births.

Lucky for all of us, Amber Melendy, owner of Shine On Yoga is expecting, so she will be a student alongside you!

Birthing While Black. There, I said it.

I am disgusted by the systemic racism in maternal care after reading this shocking report just released by Amnesty International. Not only does this report describe how broken our birthing industry is, it describes a dark side that my look-at-me-birth-so-ecstatically white self is embarrassed by.

“The awful truth behind the shocking numbers is that at least half of these deaths could have been prevented.

Women in the United States are more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than in 40 other countries. More than half of these deaths occur within 42 days of giving the birth because of issues like accessibility, affordability and lack of oversight in maternal health matters. The story only gets worse when you look at the rates of pregnancy-related deaths among minority women. African-American women are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women.

But in a country that spends far more on health care than any other country in the world, we should be able to guarantee every woman’s right to a safe childbirth.”

Read the Summary or the Full Report and TAKE ACTION

Creatively Financing Your Home Birth | Central Florida Green Guide

Some great ideas in this article. Below is an excerpt that I think puts this event in perspective. Ladies so much care into planning their wedding day, but act like a child’s birth is just happening to them and it’s beyond them to actually craft it into a sacred homecoming. Of course, you can get hitched at the courthouse, like you can give birth at a hospital, but something a bit more custom crafted for our individual personalities is a good thing.

“According to the “American Weddings” study conducted by The Fairchild Bridal Group in 2005, it was $26,327with an average planning time of 1 year.  So much goes into planning this one very special wedding day, but when we become pregnant, all of a sudden we are okay with paying our $15.00 co-pay and take what we are handed at the hospital without question. Many do not even spend time choosing their doctors, opting to go with their old stand by GYN, or pick randomly from an insurance provider list to save money.”

I would add to the article that if you make less than 24,000 a year, your homebirth would be covered 100% by the state of Florida medicaid program.

Read article in full here: Creatively Financing Your Home Birth « Central Florida Green Guide.

10 Centimeters

Exploring the Sacred Art of Giving Birth

Written by Julie Norris | Photos by Cristy Nielsen

Exploring the Sacred Art of Giving Birth

Photo By Cristy Nielsen

Ten centimeters — the golden labor measurement. Being informed and believing in your body’s natural ability are the first steps toward exploring the many approaches that offer a kind and gentle experience into motherhood. Documentaries such as Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born and the almost unbelievable Orgasmic Birth have left many women questioning the status quo and pressing for more information on the nature of giving birth. We’re lucky to live in an area with a full spectrum of well-established care options and an advocacy community for some of the lesser-known alternatives. Here’s a local guide to empower you to choose the best path to get you to your 10 centimeters.

[Read the full article in the Spring 2010  Edition of PLAYGROUND Magazine. Found around town as well.]

NYT: Lessons at Indian Hospital About Births

Wow, the New York Times…awesome!

“The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation is different. Its hospital, run by the Navajo Nation and financed partly by the Indian Health Service, prides itself on having a higher than average rate of vaginal births among women with a prior Caesarean, and a lower Caesarean rate over all.

As Washington debates health care, this small hospital in a dusty desert town on an Indian reservation, showing its age and struggling to make ends meet, somehow manages to outperform richer, more prestigious institutions when it comes to keeping Caesarean rates down, which saves money and is better for many mothers and infants.”

Read the Full Article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/health/07birth.html

Reducing Infant Mortality

Listen to Obstetricians, Doulas, Neonatologists, Midwives, Psychologists, Pediatricians, and other Physicians explain how our health care system is failing babies and mothers and what we can do about it. This is a great short featuring Orlando’s own Jennie Joseph.

Watch the full video here: www.reducinginfantmortality.com

About the Film:
The current US Health Care System is failing babies and families before, during and after birth. At this critical moment when the US government is re-envisioning our health care system, we are seizing the opportunity to make a 10-12 minute video not only to point out the flaws in the way we care for babies and families, but also to identify the keys to improved care. Our infant mortality ranking is 42nd on the world stage which means 41 countries have better statistics. This places us right in the middle of the following countries: Guam, Cuba, Croatia and Belarus, with over double the infant deaths compared to the top 10 countries of the world. (CIA World Factbook).

Our astronomically high African American infant mortality rate at 16 deaths per 1,000 is similar to countries such as Malaysia and the West Bank. Not only are babies dying needlessly, but the ones who survive this failing system are also often adversely affected by unnecessary procedures and separation from mother and family. Our intent with this video is to encourage policy makers to consider a health care system that holds prevention of these calamities as a high priority. The midwifery model of care for healthy low-risk women is a simple solution which addresses many of these issues simultaneously.

We are advocating for a health care system in which it will be standard procedure for mothers and babies to thrive and not merely survive through birth and early life. The midwifery model of care will save our health care system millions of dollars each year.

Heard it on NPR: Home Births Rise, Mostly By Choice

During five o’clock rush hour traffic yesterday, came this news:

“There was a five percent increase in out-of-hospital births in 2005, says an analysis just out from the National Center for Health Statistics. The proportion of births outside hospitals held steady in 2006. That year, more than 38,000 babies (of more than 4 million babies born) came into the world somewhere other than a hospital.”

Read it: Home Births Rise, Mostly By Choice – Shots – Health News Blog : NPR.

Need your input on the role of community in birthing!

Hey ya’ll. So, I need your expertise. I’m writing an article with a central theme of the role of community in birthing (thanks Amber for the idea!) and while I have some serious ideas of my own, of course, I’d like to ask ya’ll your opinion on the subject.

I’d like to see: how sharing my birth online has affected your views on birthing, as well as: what you think the communities role should be like to support expecting parents on their journey and/or postpartum, and, perhaps: how community supported you during your babytime. Other random thoughts that come to you are welcome as well. Please just comment to this post, or on facebook or send me a private message through the contact page.

Please don’t be shy, your voice or thought is important, no matter how small you may think it is :p Thanks in advance!