Blog Posts

You are my hero!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the universe sends you a new one. And this one was a whopper! It was exactly 10 days past her due date. I wasn’t worried. Baby obviously wasn’t worried. Our mama wasn’t worried. She knew babies come when they are ready. But boy, were the midwives worried. They had already resorted to scare tactics by telling Zala the statistics on stillbirths and post-due babies. Right, I thought. Exactly what she needs just now.  So now

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How to prepare when birth is imminent. On waiting…

How to prepare when birth is imminent. On waiting… My dearest friend Anadi was due this past week. Baby has other ideas, as they often do. Very opinionated little creatures. My husband always said that they are ‘almost human.’  My Amish mamas would respond when anyone asked their due date, “Well, time will tell.” No drama. No stress. Time and baby know. Carry on. Rest, eat, clean the bedroom again. Check the freezer and count the meals, again. Scrub the

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THE most important chapter from my books to date

Bonding With Your Baby: an imperative for the 21st Century Deliberate, mindful bonding with your baby is no longer a warm, fuzzy, feel-good choice. It is actually crucial, more than at any other time in history, that parents begin bonding at the earliest possible moment, even prenatally. As a doula, you can direct your clients in this direction from your first meeting. At this time bonding is not taught as a separate subject. At best it is slipped in somewhere

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Birth in a Bus

I got the call to meet one of my ladies at a hospital across town early one morning. She had all the signs of early labor: sporadic contractions, light spotting, she couldn’t sleep much the previous night, etc., etc. It was her first so it could be the beginning of a long labor. Time would tell. I didn’t think this warranted calling a cab, there was time for the bus, the difference being upwards of $20 for a cab ride

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Doctors Deliver Babies But Shouldn’t

I cannot take credit for this chapter’s title. It was coined in the 2nd half of the 20th century in England, and later quoted in Maternal Bonding, by Dr. Wladyslaw Sluckin of Oxford, U.K., in 1983. He writes: “The basic pattern of social behavior in human babies lies in maternal-infant attachment. She has carried her child in her womb for about 266 1/2 days, which is actually the average from conception to birth, not delivery. Babies get themselves naturally born

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Welcome to my World of Birth …

…where we often have little or no control, where we are wading into uncharted territory, where the rules might change at any minute, and where brave women (and not-so-brave women) have dared to go for millions of years and succeeded. If they hadn’t we wouldn’t be here today. My own birth journey essentially began with my first baby. The only alternative (read sane) book out there in 1980 was the first edition of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I devoured

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What a midwife should not do: A lesson in destroying bonding.

What a midwife should not do: A lesson in destroying bonding. I was in midwifery training, doing my internship on the Texas – Mexico border at a clinic in 1989. There were seven of us in my class. I had been a lay midwife working in Wisconsin among some of the Plain settlements there. The rural Midwest is known for its Amish, Mennonite and Hutterian colonies scattered throughout the countryside. This population in particular was very much underserved medically, for

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I Wonder…. Romanian revolutionaries

I have dedicated my next book called, PUSH! The Sequel to the brave, revolutionary young families of the Muntele Rece district of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Against all odds they are taking back control of their lives and the lives of their children after Communism all but dictated their very existence. They are choosing to have their babies at home, later home schooling them, and discovering autonomy for themselves, all currently banned and illegal by law.   It reminds me so very much of the

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WELCOME TO HOLLAND

I didn’t write this one, but everyone should read it once. It is priceless. by Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987 I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability, to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this: When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip–to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books

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Clöps and Zwieback: Hutterite mamas and babies

The Hutterites are an interesting group of folks, cousins to the Amish, and Mennonites, …well, sort of. All three can be lumped into a category called, “Plain Churches.” All three also share some common faith beliefs: they oppose all war and will not participate in military service, they practice adult versus infant baptism, and avoid the world beyond their own communities, though the level of avoidance might differ from settlement to settlement and even from state to state in their

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