Great Birth Changes

This is a blog emcompassing all of the positive changes that are happening in the birthing world. P

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

VBAC BAN reversed

Frederick Memorial Hospital, in Frederick Maryland, is one of Maryland's only two hospitals that ban VBAC. Women rallied there in Nov. '04 to protest the newly implemented ban and the rally prompted a front page, NY TIMES article on the nationwide problem of VBAC bans. Since then, I have been applying constant pressure to FMH via the media and from gov't agencies that I have been attempting to get involved.
The hospital has just announced that they are planning on reversing their ban! They still need final administrative approval but that shouldn't be a problem because the administrators have wanted to end the ban.
-Barbara Stratton

Friday, June 02, 2006

Midwifery Today Blog Has Moved and Also Come Visit My Blog for Parents

I'm Donna Zelzer and I work at Midwifery Today. We had trouble with the other blog site, so we've moved Jan's blog here:

Also, please check out my own blog, Moon Beams. It's kind of a mixed bag right now, but here's the section for parents, which will also include information about midwifery and birth.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Amazing VBAC!

ICAN of Baltimore is proud to announce the birth of Jarvis Peter, an 11 lb 8 oz, unmedicated, vaginal birth after two previous cesareans. Mom, dad, baby, and two big sisters are all doing well!
-Barbara Stratton (proud chapter leader)

Sheri's Note: Not only do I love hearing this story but I'd love to have this story for my next Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth book.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

New Midwifery Today Blog

Jan, the publisher of Midwifery Today, has just set up a new blog at

Please take the time to check it out. She is constantly adding a lot of great information to that blog.

Sheri Menelli
author of this blog!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Davis, CA Birthing

My mother subscribes to Dr. Northrup's e-letter and
she sent me a section of it that had the info for your
positive birth blog. I think you have a great idea

I wanted to let you know that Sutter in Davis, CA is a
great place for positive births. They have tubs for
birthing in water, an almost strictly midwife practice
and volunteer doulas.

My water broke on a Friday and as long as I went in
everyday to be monitored (for only about 20 minutes),
they let the baby decide when to come, they did not
try to talk us into inducing. It was wonderful. I
did not go into real labor until Monday night, and our
daughter came out perfectly healthy.

They let the mother and baby stay together immediately
after the birth. They do not insist on taking the
baby for weighing and measuring and poking and
prodding until about 1-2 hours after the birth.
I hope your site is a success, thanks for letting me
tell you about our experience.


Michele Bonk

Monday, July 18, 2005

Birth Intuitives helping women heal

I really don't intend this blog to be a way of advertising but I am finding people out there who are doing some very interesting businesses that i think will really help women. I love that Teresa helps mothers connect with their unborn child.

I also found Teresa to be interesting because she helps women with healing by doing in person and long distance intuitive reading consultations. (Fertility, preconception, pregnancy, postpartum & general female health.)

Teresa Robertson RN,CNM,MS
Birth Intuitive
3011 N Broadway Suite 32
Boulder, CO, 80302

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Vermont Midwife's Birth Stories Pot Luck Night

Thanks for creating such a needed blog.

I am a homebirth midwife in Vermont and every few months I have a birth stories pot luck. Every one brings a dish to share except the newest mom's they bring their new babies and birth stories. I ask that moms share their story in a way to benefit the soon to be birthers- For example if a mom found parts of labor to be challenging or even scary-talk about it AND tell us what go you though. Of course many tell blissed out love versions and I ask them to talk about how they prepared and what was the hardest part.

I also encourage Papa's to share as well. I think oral tradition is better than childbirth education.I will pass your info to my clients


Erin Ryan LM

Monday, June 27, 2005

Parenting Prenatally Classes

(Sheri's thoughts) I love that more and more people are realizing how concious babies are in the womb. I know of several national childbirth classes that are also teaching this to parents. I've been interested in the work of the APPAH for a while. This year it is in my home town, San Diego, and I see that Dr. Northrup is speaking.

Hi Sheri,

First and foremost, thank you for your fantastic site! You are doing great work. I'm writing to let you know about the work I am doing and the great success I am having. I am an Early Parenting Consultant/Coach/Educator/Speaker currently completing my PhD in prenatal and perinatal psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. I am also a board member of APPPAH the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. I work with individuals and families from preconception through early childhood to help them get off the the best start possible.

Who are my clients? Mostly women who are either struggling to conceive (I'm a certified Whole Person Fertility Specialist) and/or in the preconception phase of welcoming a child. I also see women and couples who are pregnant and would like to prepare mind/body and spirit for parenthood and birth. I teach a class called Parenting Prenatally. My greatest joy is working individually with moms who are interested in creating a positive birth experience for themselves and their babies. I've had phenomenal success helping moms process through emotional and mental blocks to healthy birth and to go on to have the birth they dreamed of having. Some are first time moms and some are second time moms who had less than ideal first time births. Together we explore what may be in the way of having the birth they would like to have. It's phenomenal work that I can do here in Austin in-person or on the phone with clients from anywhere around the world. Once the baby has been born I work with families to help mom, dad and baby/child clear through challenging birth experiences and create strong, lasting bonds. In addition I offer several parenting classes.

I'm excited to share your site with my clients. My site is in the works

I wish you well and look forward to connecting sometime soon!
best, Carrie

Carrie Contey, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.c
Early Parenting Consultant/Coach/Educator/Speaker
512-275-6170 home/office
512-694-7794 cell
"Supporting families from preconception through preschool and transforming the way we think about babies, birth and parenting"

Study Concludes Planned Homebirth is Safe

(This is great news to women who want more choices during labor. )

Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America

Objective To evaluate the safety of home births in North America involving direct entry midwives, in jurisdictions where the practice is not well integrated into the healthcare system.
Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting All home births involving certified professional midwives across the United States (98% of cohort) and Canada, 2000.

Participants All 5418 women expecting to deliver in 2000 supported by midwives with a common certification and who planned to deliver at home when labour began.

Main outcome measures Intrapartum and neonatal mortality, perinatal transfer to hospital care, medical intervention during labour, breast feeding, and maternal satisfaction.

Results 655 (12.1%) women who intended to deliver at home when labour began were transferred to hospital. Medical intervention rates included epidural (4.7%), episiotomy (2.1%), forceps (1.0%), vacuum extraction (0.6%), and caesarean section (3.7%); these rates were substantially lower than for low risk US women having hospital births. The intrapartum and neonatal mortality among women considered at low risk at start of labour, excluding deaths concerning life threatening congenital anomalies, was 1.7 deaths per 1000 planned home births, similar to risks in other studies of low risk home and hospital births in North America. No mothers died. No discrepancies were found for perinatal outcomes independently validated.

Conclusions Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.

Thanks to Susan Hodges, President of Citizens for Midwiferyfor this post
More commentary at

Friday, June 24, 2005

University of Colorado Hospital Now Allowing Waterbirth

I am due in November and the hospital that I have chosen to deliver at is the University of Colorado hospital (Fitzsimmons campus). Anne Mariella, my midwife has cut through the red tape and the hospital is now able to provide for planned water births. They have purchased a tub just for the purpose. They are the first hospital in Colorado to do this. We don’t have any birthing centers, so if woman wanted a water birth she would it would have to be at home, or unplanned in the hospital Jacuzzi tub. Now I am able to plan and prepare for a water birth in a hospital setting. I think this is wonderful, and a great stride for Colorado!

Sonja Wieck
Data Acquisition Specialist
Health Grades, Inc.
500 Golden Ridge Road
Suite 100
Golden CO 80401
(720)963-6566 (direct)

Waterbirth in Kansas City, MO

I love to hear of all of the places allowing waterbirths! Thanks for sharing this, Summer:

Sheri - I got news of your blog from the DONA group here in KC. Here's my story.
Hospital in Kansas City, Mo is doing waterbirths!

My name is Summer Hill and my husband and I are Bradley Teachers in Kansas City. We have two little boys, both born naturally using The Bradley Method. Our youngest son, was just born underwater in February 2005. We were so excited to hear that Research Medical Center in Kansas City was doing waterbirths. It was a wonderful experience. The whole labor was a short 3 1/2 hours long, but very much intense. We labored for two hours at home, mostly on the birthing ball and then came to the hospital where we labored about an hour in the tub, which felt so good, then he was born gently underwater with two pushes!

We were so happy to have the choice of a waterbirth at the hospital. Our midwife group, Midwest Midwifery, was so supportive and wonderful and really supported us through a beautiful experience.

We just wanted to spread the news that waterbirth is available at Research Medial Center in Kansas City!

Thanks and we'll help to spread the news about your blog!
Bradley teachers, Summer and Casey Hill, CCE, AAHCC

Fayetteville, NC Pediatric Offices Hire IBCLCs to Help Moms With Breastfeeding

In Fayetteville, NC, two pediatric offices have hired an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to work with their patients and another office has an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant on staff full-time. This seems to be helping new moms get breastfeeding off to a better start and the five local La Leche League groups in the area help too.

Carroll Beckham in Fayetteville, NC

A Positive (multiple) VBAC Story

I love Laura's wisdom. We have so many tools like pelvic tilts, the right doctor and a doula that we can use to increase the likelyhood of having a VBAC. Thanks Laura:

Hi there. I am a modern day success story. I have had 3 successful vbac's naturally after a c-section for "failure to progress". I changed medical providers at 31 weeks when I was pregnant with my 2nd child when the ob (a female one too at that) told me I was "looking big and would more than likely just have another C-section". I said NO WAY to that, educated myself, and found a doula.

Lots of women think they have no other choice than to just settle for another c-section. There are things you can do to prevent having to have a c-section. Simple pelvic tilts are one example. We don't realize how much information is out there. We just trust whatever our practioner says without questioning them these days - even if it goes against what we think we want to do or what would be best for us. We need to trust our own instincts again.

My husband encouraged me to look into using a doula, and to try to give birth the way I always dreamed of giving birth -naturally. We used a doula for all 3 of our other births. My doulas (I had 2 different ones) have taught me so much about myself, childbirth and about the ability we have as women to birth naturally. We "modern" women fear pain way too much. Natural childbirth is painful, but it was the most rewarding experience (in my case the most rewarding experiences) of my life. We are fed these lies that we need epidurals to get through childbirth or we need to be "in control" of the birth, so we plan c-sections around our busy schedules. We have lost our way to being able to just enjoy nature - including nature at work within us as birthing mothers. We need to tell other women about the joy of childbirth instead of fearing them into having a c-section.

Laura Buck
Akron, OH

Case for VBACs Bolstered with New Study

I thought this was wonderful news for women who are being forced to have repeat c/sec. It bolsters the case against repeat c/sec.

I like the idea of your bolg,positive birth community stories and research.
I am a postpartum doula since 1990 and own a doula service in NYC that employs 13 other doulas. I will pass along the word of your blog.

Ruth Callahan
New York, NY


Patient choice cesarean impairs newborn outcomes Source: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005; 192: 1433-6 Comparing neonatal outcomes following scheduled repeat cesarean versus a trial of labor for term uncomplicated pregnancies. The choice to undergo elective cesarean delivery may have negative consequences for the newborn, with an increased risk of admission to an advanced care nursery, study results suggest. The authors note, "Potential maternal benefits of patient choice cesarean delivery have been described, but there is no published literature that directly compares neonatal outcomes of elective cesarean to outcomes of uncomplicated pregnancies intending to delivery vaginally." To investigate, Nicholas Fogelson and his colleagues at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, USA, conducted a retrospective study of uncomplicated, term pregnancies, comparing neonatal outcomes between 177 women scheduled for elective repeat cesarean prior to labor and 3134 intended for vaginal birth. Short-term neonatal morbidity was found to be more common after elective repeat cesarean than after a trial of labor, with higher rates of transient tachypnea. Accordingly, newborns delivered by elective cesarean were significantly more often admitted to an intermediate or advanced care nursery, or to neonatal intensive care, than those born to mothers who attempted labor. Fogelson et al therefore conclude that clinicians should counsel women considering elective cesarean in an uncomplicated pregnancy about these potential neonatal issues as well as concerns for the mother's own well-being.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Multitude of Associations help to promote Natural Vaginal Births

There are already many existing associations that are promoting Natural Vaginal Births ridden of the medicalized technologies that take away the essence of birth both for mother and child. One of these associations is Midwifery Today who have an electronic newsletter as well as a magazine. They sponsor Conferences worldwide with top physicians and health professionals that respect the sanctity of birth. You can contact Nicolle Tritten at You have Barbara Harper with her Waterbirth International association that holds International Congresses worldwide and works closely with countries such a Russia, The Netherlands, Belgium, England, Scotland, Spain, France, South America, Mexico, the United States, China and now Turkey promoting the benefits of Natural Birth.
You have Dr. Michel Odent with his 25 years experience at Pithivers, France and the numerous books he has written already published in several languages, not to mention his Primal Health Research Institute based in London, England.

You will find many chapters of dedicated “doulas” and “midwives” who give Prenatal and Perinatal classes to young parents to be and work with them not only in preparation for a healthy birth but with all of the health and emotional aspects of motherwood. One of these is Nacer y Crecer in Monterrey, México An this is only one of the many associations which have been working for many years to re educate the public to respect the innate intelligence of our bodies in giving birth and also to educate the public as to the importance of the first hour for bonding between child and mother – which does not happen in hospitals.

An International Congress is being held in Oaxtepec, México from the 1st to the 4th of July called “La Naturaleza del Nacimiento”, one of the sponsors being Midwives Alliance of North America.

And to give you an example of the power of education in our center AMAYAL, Centro Educacional de la Salud para el Bienestar Humano, A.C. based in Monterrey, México where the index of C-Section is now at 85%, one single gynecologist respectful of natural vaginal birth who joined the cause now has 4 more gynecologists, not to mention pediatricians who promote 100% the natural birthing and are getting ready to form their own Birthing Center to get away from all of the political dealings they have to put up in a Hospital in order to allow a mother to be respect and birth in the natural manner in which Nature intended.

If you would like many more stories I would be happy to connect you with the right people. I would also commend highly the education on the formation of Emotional Intelligence that is taking place through a wonderful team of Psychologists who specialize in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and who have written many books, backed by science on the subject. The formation of Emotional Intelligence starts at conception and a key influence is the way one is born. Wendy McCarty PhD is just one of many.

Barbara B. Powers
BPR Health International
1036 Country Club Drive
Moraga, CA 94556
Tel: 925 377 3000

Mesa Nurse Midwife

(Note: This hospital is Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, Colorado. I like this story because I love hearing of jacuzzi tubs, midwives and allowing the dad to catch the baby. )

I had an amazing experience giving birth to my daughter, Mesa, now four months old. Two day before she was born my husband and I went on a long hike in the mountains. She must have sensed our excitement and readiness to meet her, because that night my water broke.

The following morning I went in for an exam, since contractions hadn't yet begun. My midwife was great at providing us with all the information we needed to make the decision not to induce, but to wait for labor to start on its own. Exactly twelve hours after my water broke contractions began. We waited until they were 5 minutes apart before going to the hospital. Throughout this time I felt calm and peaceful, knowing that my body was capable of handling labor and delivery with ease. I knew that Mesa and I would do just fine.

When we got to the hospital our nurse respectfully acknowledged our birth plan and only did external fetal monitoring several times during labor. She allowed my husband and I the privacy we needed. She came in just once every hour, on average, to check in. This helped increase our confidence, as she seemed to trust that we knew how to do this on our own. The warm and comforting hospital room permitted me to further relax, along with the use of the jacuzzi. After six hours of labor, I was ready to push. My midwife came in just then to help deliver Mesa. She allowed my husband, Ernst, to actually deliver her once her head was out.

Ernst placed our new baby girl on my stomach, announced that she was a girl, and later cut the umbilical cord. The entire experience still brings tears to my eyes because it was such an empowering and beautiful event. The nurses, our midwife, and the entire hospital staff acknowledged the sacredness of Mesa's birth and permitted Ernst and I to have a wonderful birthing experience.

Thanks for letting me share my story. -Kimberly Strenge

Sharing Positive Delivery Experiences

I think it's great you're creating a focus on the positive aspects of birth. I make it my personal quest when I see pregnant women to share my positive delivery experiences, and also to tell her to be wary of those eager to share their bad ones. (it seemed when I was pregnant everyone came out of the woodwork to share their horror stories with me!)

I have two sons, now ages 4 and 8. Caleb was born in August 1996 in Houston, Texas. During labor, I meditated on the verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and used yoga deep breathing techniques to stay calm. My wonderful husband was by my side, and the hospital staff was very relaxed. After only 6 hours of labor (he was my first, too!) my beautiful son was born on my 30th birthday! No pain medication, no trauma, just joy (and relief when it was done!)

Four years later, my second son, Benjamin was born in New York. Again, my loving husband was by my side. This labor was so much shorter (only 2 hours total) that by the time I arrived at the hospital, I was ready to push. My midwife arrived soon after, and within 30 minutes, Benjamin was born. His birth was so peaceful that the "bag of waters" never even broke. He was born August 15, 2000.

Hope this helps!
Best wishes on your efforts,
Elaine Trainor

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Poland Doctor Creates Concious Motherhood Program

I just received this wonderful letter from a doctor in Poland. This letter gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you doctor for becoming more conscious and helping women to have fantastic birth experiences. I know that you will inspire many other people around you.

Dear Sheri,

It 's nice to read about your plans. I can share with you mine too.

I'm a gynecologist of Indian origin(come from India), working in Poland since last 12 years . My whole life and career has been and a greatly transforming experience over the years - very positive.

I'm mother of 3 children with first 2 hospital births and the last one 5 years back home birth with only my husband to attend( because I couldn't find a midwife who would be there). But I was totally convinced that my body has the innate gift to do it,(inspite of participating in hundreds of hospital births with interventions and complications).

Since then I've come a long way and I'm taking care of pregnant women in a natural way, have started an educationa programme for them during pregnancy based on the belief that their body can do it. The results are very satisfying inspite of the fact that there is no alternative except hospital births in Poland. I have a web site and my web page for and

I hope to serve women who seek natural pregnancy and delivery and who have faith in their bodies. I have been convinced many times over its possible and my medical background especially is of great help to me. By the way name of my educational programme is "Conscious Motherhood".

Wish you success.
Preeti Agrawal

Newsletter for blog news

Thanks to Dr. Christiane Northrup's e-newsletter today, I am receiving a lot of much needed content to this blog. I'll be adding several today. I hope you will continue to come back daily to look at the new posts. If you want to receive a newsletter with the news, just send your e-mail to me at and I will add you. That way you won't miss any great news.

Send me any new content

Sheri Menelli

Wild Salmon Now More Available to Pregnant Women

During my pregnancy(this year), my midwife friends recommended eating wild salmon because of the high levels of Omega 3 among other reasons. For those of you who are not aware of the difference between farm raised and wild, you can learn more at

I had a very difficult time finding WILD salmon and we live in San Diego. I probably only ate it 3 times during my pregnancy. I can't imagine how difficult it is for people in small towns to find it. I am thrilled to find out today that there is a source for wild salmon by mail order that is endorsed by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Kudos to Vital Choice Seafood for concentrating on helping pregnant women find a clean, healthy source for Omega 3s.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Explosion of Prenatal Yoga in San Diego

San Diego has seen a dramatic increase in prenatal yoga classes in the last 4 years. This is great news, as a new research study published in the April 2005 Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine concludes that prenatal yoga improves birth weight, and reduces prematurity and overall complications.

Cesarean Awareness Year declared in New Jersey

New Jersey has the highest C-section rate in the country. However, with Mercer County declaring this year as Cesarean Awareness Year, I think we will start to see that rate decrease steadily.

I predict a trend in more vaginal births after meeting so many of the wonderful ladies who belong to the New Jersey chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). With their positive and upbeat attitudes, I know we can expect to see a lot of postive changes in the state very soon.

New Jersey ICAN members are petitioning the governor to declare a Cesarean Awareness Year for the entire state.

Thank you Tonya Jamois, President of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) for this information. See the ICAN webstite at

Friday, May 20, 2005

NM birth network is making a difference

The Albuquerque Birth Network is hosting monthly Birth Talk meetings. Birth Talk is a free monthly community gathering for all who want to watch birth videos, tell and hear birth stories, and benefit from the wisdom of others' personal experiences of giving birth. For expectant and experienced mothers and fathers, and birth professionals.

(Sheri's note: This is such a great way to help expectant parents. I hope that other birth networks think about creating a Birth Talk meeting. It is so important to tell positive, inspirational stories and teach women how to feel empowered, no matter what kind of birth they have.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Good Birth Stories - new trend?

Last week I presented at a conference in San Diego called "Reclaiming Choices in Childbirth." This conference was put together by Birth Resource Network, International Cesearean Awareness Network, and the California Association of Midwives.

Several speakers had the same message: we need to start telling positive birth stories. This was interesting because the speakers hadn’t discussed this or even spoken to one another before the conference. It seems to be a mass-consciousness idea.

Submitted by Sheri Menelli, author of Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth. To contact Sheri e-mail or call 760-431-2228.

Send your content/news

We need your help. If you know of positive changes that are happening in the birthing community around your town, state, country or the world please send it to us at

Do you know of an incredible hospital? Is there a new birth center opening? We want to know about it and help spread the word.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Goodbye Unnecessary Episiotomies!

This kind of news makes me smile! We can say goodbye to routine episiotomies now!

According to an article published in the Washington Post on May 4, 2005, research now shows that routine episiotomies have no benefit and actually cause more complications, according to the most comprehensive analysis to evaluate the practice.

"Contradicting the long-accepted rationale for the procedure, called an episiotomy, the analysis found that it increases the risk of tissue tears, leading to more pain, more stitches and a longer recovery after childbirth. In addition, an episiotomy increases the risk of sexual difficulties later and does not reduce the risk of incontinence, the federally sponsored study found.

As a result, the researchers concluded, routine use of the procedure undergone by more than 1 million U.S. women each year should be discontinued, and the incision should be considered only to speed delivery when the health of the baby is at risk."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Libraries benefiting from knowledgeable doulas

Doulas and childbirth educators around the country are helping libaries to improve their childbirth collections.

These doulas and childbirth educators have come up with a list of books that they think every preganant woman should have access to. They have found that most of the acquision libaririans just don't have the expertise they need to build a great collection of birth-related material, so they are providing a list of great books to the libaries.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Got Milk

According to the April issue of Spiritutality & Health magazine, monks at moasteries in Brittany who play music to the animals in their care have found that cows serenaded with Mozart Music produce the most milk.

Next time you have a friend or family memeber who has given birth, remember to buy them a serene CD that they can play during breastfeeding or pumping.

Music Heals in Colorado Hospital

The April 2005 edition of Spirituality & Health magazine is full of postive news. According to this issue, Exempla Good Samaritin Medical Center in Lafayette, Colorado, is programmed with 9000 musical selections designed to promote healing and recovery. The music played in the maternity ward is instrumental world lullabies.

It also mentions that monks at monasteries in Brittany who play music to the animals in their care have found that cows serenaded with Mozart music produce the most milk. Next time you have a friend or family memeber who has given birth, remember to buy them a serene CD that they can play during breastfeeding or pumping.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Australia offers publicly-funded home births

By ANNA PATTY, State Political Reporter
March 3, 2005

A Sydney hospital will become the first in the state to offer publicly-funded home births when it starts taking bookings from May this year.

If successful, the project at St. George hospital in Kogarah will be extended to Sutherland hospital and the Royal Hospital for Women.

The Australian Medical Association yesterday questioned the safety of the proposal announced by the State Government yesterday.

NSW Health Minister Morris Iemma said the home birth model had been developed in consultation with doctors, midwives and the community.

"This is a first for NSW," Mr. Iemma said.
See more at

Doulas at Presbyterian Hospital in New Mexico

Janet Field of New Mexico was very pleased to see that the Presbyterian Hospital doula program was the first good news!! Janet started that program 2 1/2 years ago.

She presented the first evening of training, and brought in Penny Simkin (childbirth expert and best-selling author) to do the rest of the training. It has become a well-respected program, and it has transformed that community's healthcare providers into believers in the value of doulas.

Thanks for the news, Janet!

Janet Field, CHt, HCHI, CD, B.S. Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Certified Doula
B.S. Early Childhood Development
5527 Edie, NWAlbuquerque, NM, 87114
(505) 797-5935

Alaskan Army Base Listens to Mothers

Bassett Army Hospital (Ft. Wainwright) in Fairbanks, Alaska, is awsome.

They offer birth balls of varying sizes and shapes, they allow water births, and the nurses have asked my clients if they have birth plans. They employ 2 midwives, one military and one civilian.

Thank you Georganne Hampton for your contribution!

Episiotomies decrease!

According to Dr. Christiane Northrup's new book, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, the number of episiotomies have decreased from nearly 70% in 1983 to 20% in 2000.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Albuquerque Doulas Make a Difference

Although the national cesarean rate is 25% (or higher?), the cesarean rate for clients of the Doula Program at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque averages 12%!

Thank you Kelly Camden, Certified Doula, for sending in this information.

(Kelly's own birth story can be found in Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth.)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Doulas on the rise in San Diego

I've noticed an interesting trend in San Diego in the last 4 years. When I first began teaching, I'd ask my students if they knew what a doula did. Only 1-2 % had heard of doulas. Four years later, about 99% of them know what a doula is.

For those of you teaching doulas in San Diego, I'd certainly love to know the percentage increase in the number of doulas in the last few years.

San Diego - Good News

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas has been designated as the only "Baby-Friendly" hospital in San Diego County! This designation was awarded by Baby-Friendly USA, which implemented the UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). BFHI encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding," this prestigious international award recognizes hospitals and birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their newborns.

UCSD Medical Center in San Diego is currently working toward Baby-Friendly certification.

For more information on the Baby Friendly Initiative, go to

Friday, February 25, 2005

New book provides inspiration to expectant women

Sheri Menelli has just published her first book, Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth.

These 48 birth stories, from home births to hospital births, are helping women realize their multitude of options during pregnancy and birth.

In addition to being inspirational, these stories help quell the fear of many expectant mothers.

For more information on submitting your story, or for more birth stories online, please visit

I Need Your Help!

Too often we hear about all of the bad procedures, policies and outcomes of birth. We concentrate so hard on what isn't working that we forget about all of the wonderful changes we have seen in the birthing world in the last several years.

I believe that the pendulum is shifting. We are seeing a lot of positive changes happening in San Diego, California. I think this movement is spreading.

Please send me an e-mail if you know of any good news in birth. Do you know of a doctor who has made a shift in their thinking about birth? Do you know of a hospital that has decided to become mother-baby friendly? Are you seeing new hospitals allowing waterbirth? Is there a new book or DVD that helps women to have a better experience? If it is positive, please send it to me at

I also encourage you to spread the word about this blog. I'd love to see postive news published in magazines, newspapers and newsletters.

Thanks for sharing and helping me to create postive change in birth!

Sheri Menelli, author of Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth