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.

I’m not engaged. Or married, thank goddess!


I’ve long admired the work of Brian Feldman & was glad I got to participate in a portion of this latest work of his. It’s probably his most important statement to date. As I was standing there, baby strapped to my chest, contemplating getting married for some reason other than love, joking about whether or not Brian had money or health insurance, watching pregnant women filing for a license, I was strangely unconcerned with the fact that I’m a single mom. I’m actually quiet happy this way. I thank myself every day for having the strength and wisdom to not get caught up in a false relationship or marriage just because I had an unplanned pregnancy. I imagine I could feel ashamed or abandoned or sorry for myself. Instead, I feel empowered, wise and totally fulfilled.

At the event, I also saw an ex-friend (the only ex-friend I have, read on for why) for the first time in about a year. In the course of casual conversation at a public space last year, this person chastised me for deciding to go through with the pregnancy since her biological father was not in the picture very much. He felt I was irresponsible and a bad mother. He was quite loud and angry about this point, much to the terror of onlookers, some of whom tried to intervene. It was quiet disturbing. Interesting how he turned the man’s irresponsibility and lack of interest and blamed me for it, the only person actually taking responsibility for the child growing inside. As he laid eyes on Maya for the first time, an angry bubble surfaced and I wanted to ask him if he still thought she was better off as medical waste. (Sorry, that’s horrible, but that is the point).

I know this man-child’s history though, and I feel compassion for him that his relationship with his father was so messed up he would be so deranged as to yell at a pregnant women and call her selfish for not having an abortion. Hopefully he’s had time to reflect on his actions in the past year. Maybe he’s realized his mother isn’t to blame for his father’s emotional unavailability. Dark episode’s like this replicate the shadow side of his father. And, perhaps, he should stop drinking.

Baby! Int’l Film Festival

So, I am really stoked as there is a rare opportunity to see some great films about birth, breastfeeding & babies this coming October 2nd & 3rd at the Plaza Theater during the Baby! Int’l Film Festival hosted by Commonsense Childbirth and The Birth Place. I have the pleasure of interviewing Midwife extraordinaire Jennie Joseph this Wednesday, Sept 30th on Front Porch Radio, so tune in for a great show!

Three films in particular look exciting to me & I’ve listed them below. I’m sure Maya will need a drink, so you can bet I will also be taking part in the World Breastfeeding Challenge in the lobby at 11am.

Laboring Under An Illusion

Laboring Under An Illusion

Laboring Under an Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs the Real Thing Anthropologist Vicki Elson explores media-generated myths about childbirth. As a childbirth educator for 25 years, she observes daily how our culture affects our birth experiences. In this film, she contrasts fiction with reality. The result is hilarious, engaging, and enlightening. “To understand what it’s really like to have a baby, we have to debunk the silly and scary images served up by the profit-driven media. In reality, birth is hard work, sometimes simple, sometimes complicated, but always miraculous and unforgettable.”

Birth As We Know It

Birth Into Being

Birth As We Know It is a groundbreaking film featuring 11 births, all completely unique and all natural. Birth As We Know It is a treat for both the heart and mind, comfortably intertwined on a path toward realizing the full potential of birth. A new style of documentary film creates a refreshing arena for the story of Birth to unfold. A triumphant orchestration of stunning cinematography, empowering instrumentation, and a calming narrative, warms our hearts as we are reminded of the beauty of Life, and awakened to the ultimate possibilities of Birth!

What Babies Want

What Babies Want

What Babies Want is an award winning documentary film that explores the profoundly important and sacred opportunity we have in bringing children into the world. Filled with captivating stories and infused with Noah Wyle’s warmth as narrator, the film demonstrates how life patterns are established at birth and before. The documentary includes groundbreaking information on early development as well as appearances by the real experts: babies and families.

Other films being shown are must-sees, including The Business of Being Born

Jennifer Juniper

My friend/customer Bethany originally suggested the name Juniper & I decided on it after realizing it was not only totally adorable, but also as close to Jennifer as I could get without the common-ness of it. So Juniper is really a tribute to two important Jen’s in my life – my older sister who transitioned to the other side some years back and my best friend from high school. Her parents alerted me to this old song, which I must immediately purchase and play over & over for my own little Jennifer/Juniper!

Childbirth ORGASMS : The Best Kept Secret of Labor? | ABC News 20/20

The above news coverage is about a film called Orgasmic Birth, which I had the pleasure of viewing last year at a UCF screening hosted by my business neighbors at the Florida School of Holistic Living.

About the film: “Joyous, sensuous and revolutionary, Orgasmic Birth brings the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths by inviting viewers to see the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through birth. Witness the passion as birth is revealed as an integral part of woman’s sexuality and a neglected human right. With commentary by Christiane Northrup, MD, and midwives Ina May Gaskin, Elizabeth Davis and other experts in the field . . . and stunning moments of women in the ecstatic release of childbirth.”