Blog Posts

The 2019 Birth Conference in Romania

excerpts from my talk in July in Romania Since the 1990s, C-sections have more than tripled globally. C-sections now outnumber vaginal deliveries in parts of southeast Europe, Latin America and China. Even in poor countries, the rates can be extremely high. For example, in Bangladesh, less than 60 percent of births occur at a clinic, but when they do, about 65 percent of them are C-sections. Such high rates are due mainly to an increase of elective C-sections, says the vice

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ROMANIA! Some thoughts….

ROMANIA! Some thoughts…. After spending time in Romania I am full of thoughts, mostly questions: where do we go from here? I went to Romania on July 4th for the  book launch of the Romanian translation of my book, Ma Doula: A Story Tour of Birth. Many of the mothers I met were hoping I could help them have more of a say or just work toward having choices for their births. Having a doula as an advocate seemed to them

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Blessed are the Poor, For They Shall Wait

Today it is Ruby’s Pantry. It will be my first time. Each food shelf has their own rules. Most have been born out of trial and error over the years of each one’s evolution. Ruby has deemed it best to let all its guests remain outside until her army of volunteers have assembled the food on tables in the gathering space of the church they are housed in once a month. That way they won’t have the hordes tripping over pallets and boxes before everything is set up. I learn later that

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I Wonder…

I wonder … and brain freeze. I am part of a wonderful women writers’ group. About ten of us, give or take a few, meet every month for lunch and go around the table updating the others on our progress, any new developments in our work, networking about new ideas, etc. Without fail, the majority will bemoan the fact that they have been so uninspired this past winter or summer; that they haven’t found a way to buckle down and

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for Mothers Day

A Mother’s Pledge to and Covenant with Every Other Mother on Mothers’ Day I will not raise my precious child to kill your precious child. And if it is within my power, I will not hand over my beloved child to others to kill your beloved child, or    to learn how to kill the one you cherish. Why make such a pledge, and commit to such a covenant? Because the photo above—and worse—is what the weapons industry and their

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The Data All Guilt-Ridden Parents Need What science tells us about breast-feeding, sleep training and the other agonizing decisions of parenthood.

RE: The New York Times, Opinion Dept. by Dr. Emily Oster published on April 19, 2019 The Data All Guilt-Ridden Parents Need: What science tells us about breast-feeding, sleep training and the other agonizing decisions of parenthood. My Introduction Here: I can’t resist a challenge, and this article was one. My commentary will appear at the end of Dr. Oster’s (long) article. I hope my words might bring some sanity back into the conversation. Feel free to add your own

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An Annotated Bibliography Here

General Resource Videos      1. a must see: elephant giving birth in Bali (one of Ina May’s favorite videos)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Otpwcu3UGw  “Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & The Farm Midwives,” 2012, directed by Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore. (DVD) “Breast Crawl by UNICEF” http://www.breastcrawl.org/video.shtml a must see! “Breastfeeding: the Why-to, How-to, Can-do Videos”—Vida health communications. www.vida-health.com  “The Business of Being Born” with Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake. (DVD) (See also “More Business of Being Born,” the 4-part continuation of the series.)

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The Queen of Barter (a slight digression from my normal birth topics.)

The Queen of Barter I don’t remember when it began. All of a sudden I realized I had things other people wanted (or I could tell them they wanted) and I wanted things I was too poor to buy. I didn’t want a lot: gas for the car so I could look for a job, Christmas presents for my family. A Christmas tree. I didn’t have $40 for a tree, damn it! But I could sew. I could paint. I

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Latin America Claims to Love Its Mothers. Why Does It Abuse Them?

from The New York Times How the region became home to an epidemic of obstetric violence. By Vanessa Barbara Ms. Barbara is an author and a contributing opinion writer. March 11, 2019 SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Five years ago, a Brazilian woman in labor was detained by police officers and forced to deliver by C-section. The woman, Adelir de Goes, had already had two cesarean sections — an all-too-common procedure in my country — and was hoping to deliver her third child vaginally. But her baby

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