Friday, April 29, 2011

5 Doula Myths Debunked

As doulas become more common on birth teams around the world, I get fewer blank stares when I tell people what I do. Most people have at least a nominal sense of what a doula does, even if the lines are a bit fuzzy for them. Over the years, however, I've noticed some common misconceptions about doulas and their role in birth. Because I hear these myths again and again, allow me to debunk a few for you.

Myth #1: A doula would interfere with the bond between my husband/partner and me in labor.

To read the rest of this great article click here

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Natural Childbirth as a Choice for Labor and Delivery

As a pregnant woman, you will experience both the joys and aches of nine months of pregnancy. You will also experience the lovely comments and questions of those around you, all wondering what you will do or have done in your pregnancy. Often times, those well-meaning commentators, will ask questions and be surprised when you are diverting from the norm. One such question I got was, "You are going to get an epidural, right"? The idea of women needing to be given drugs during delivery is widely accepted. However, I knew that I wanted a different experience for my delivery.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Childbirth: More Labor Interventions, Same Outcomes

Hospitals vary considerably in the frequency with which they induce labor and perform Caesarean sections. But a new study finds that these differences do not seem to affect how newborns fare in these facilities.

Dr. J. Christopher Glantz, a professor of obstetrics at the University of Rochester, reviewed records of almost 30,000 births from 10 upstate New York community hospitals without specialized neonatal intensive care units. Some hospitals relied heavily on induced labor and Caesarean sections, while others performed the procedures much less often.

To read the entire article click here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chance or Choice?

A Note From Carri:

I loved this post! There is so much more to a birth story than the stats of how long you were in labor and how big your baby was. I am a woman that had fast labors, but there were back stories to them as well, and it does make a difference. We all have to make choices throughout our pregnancies and labor, and it is how we navigate through them that makes the difference between chance or choice.


Posted on April 21, 2011 by birthsmart

Many people believe that birth is very uncontrollable and the kind of labor you have is “luck of the draw”. And while that is true in a sense, I also KNOW that there are specific practices that can reduce a woman’s risk of various complications happening (like good nutrition, exercise, or not hiring the Dr. with the 70% c-section rate . . .). Birth is an experience of a lifetime and has emotional and physical challenges no matter how the birth story unfolds, but in my work, I am constantly reminded that women have more power than they realize to create the birth experience they desire. Three women I have recently helped to support illustrate this concept well.

To read the rest of this wonderful post click here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Doulas Make A Difference in Childbirth


Many women may be surprised to learn that there is a simple strategy they can use during childbirth to increase their chances of spontaneous vaginal birth, as well as satisfaction with their childbirth experience, without any adverse effects. The trick? Bring a professional labor assistant, or doula, for continuous support during labor and childbirth.( Pictured)Marilyn Curl, president of Lamaze International

To read the rest of this article click here

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trying to Take Back Childbirth

A Note From Carri:

It is very scary that fewer and fewer doctors are getting training and experience in natural childbirth. It only widens the gap between natural and medical childbirth, and I think is a huge disservice to women. I live in a very open and natural birthing community, but I know that is not true everywhere. While on vacation I had to seek medical care for my daughter in upstate New York and I thought the doctor was going to call child services because I gave birth to my daughter at home and was not on schedule for all of her vaccinations. I couldn't wait to get home and near the doctors that I trust, and allow me (without condemnation) to do what I believe is best for myself and my children. This experience gave me a new appreciation for what many women encounter every day (even something as simple as wearing BINSI while they labor). I am inspired whenever I hear of women going outside the box and birthing the way that is best for them. It takes incredible amounts of power and confidence, and you ladies pave the way for many more women in the future!


July 28, 2008

Pregnant with her first child, Julie Speier prepared to deliver with the help of a midwife at a New York City birthing center. But in June -- three weeks before the due date and 600 miles from home -- her water broke.

To read the rest of this article click here

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running Doula

Posted by Kim:

My training and experience as a birth doula has helped me learn to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to my laboring moms, but the truth is each and every one of my clients does that same thing for me (whether they know or or not) every time I am out on a long run. OK, so they don’t technically provide me with any physical or informational support, but the truth is that thinking of my doula clients, remembering their labors and how amazing they each were keeps me going literally. When I feel like I am going to hit a wall and think I am about quit, I remember their labors, I think of how amazing they were, all that they went through, and it helps me put one foot in front of the other. I think if they can give birth, I can run a 10 short miles right?

It is at the point when I am near or am just about to splat straight into that wall during a run that I rely on the tricks of the doula trade. While keeping the end in mind and knowing how proud I will be of myself when I finish is always in the back of my mind, I instead try to primarily focus on short term goals, I break time down into mini milestones. For example, I will look for a street sign or a mailbox up ahead and I tell myself to just run to the point, and then reassess how I feel. When I reach my goal I say, well you made it that far, you can make it to the corner. It is the same thing that I try to do for my doula clients, one contraction at a time.

To read the rest of this post on Kim's other business website click here

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is 34 Weeks The New 36 Weeks?

A note from Carri:

I was really surprised when I read this blog. I have never been a forum girl, and therefore miss a lot of the discussion between women that generally don't view birth the same way I do. I have to admit that I am not a good pregnant woman. I was always sick for a very long time, very uncomfortable, and grouchy. I sympathize with the desire to not be pregnant any longer because of the discomforts of pregnancy, but once we are pregnant our world is no longer about us.

Near the end of our pregnancies we need to remember that there is so much more to consider other than ourselves, but we feel so weak. Even when we can no longer bend over to tie your shoes or have such bad heartburn you are certain you could breathe fire, it is only temporary there is a life inside of you. There is a person growing inside of you and benefiting from every breath you take.

There are a lot of sacrifices we make as mothers, but we shouldn't really view them as sacrifices. I won't go so far to say that morning sickness for 22 weeks with my 4th child was a privilege, but I will say that it strengthened me and challenged me. It made me dig deep and find the love and depth required to be the mother my children need - similar to what I went through during labor. We are blessed to have these babies, and should do everything we can to help them grow and come into the world on their time, not ours.

So I remind all the pregnant mamas out there, embrace your pregnancy, and know that it is only temporary and you will never, ever, be able to have this connection or privilege of being the only person that can perfectly meet every need this baby has with this baby again. You are blessed - and it is worth every discomfort in the world!


Is 34 Weeks The New 36 Weeks?I am not really sure why I still frequent those monthly due date groups through my pregnancies. In the past I have learned just how vile, and truly toxic they can be. But, this pregnancy I embraced it and thought things I would be different… of course I was wrong… again.

to read the rest of the article click here

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vaginal Birth a Safe Option After Multiple C-Sections

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Very few, if any, obstetric topics have raised more discussion and controversy in the past several years than VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean section. Most studies on this subject have come from small, single institutions or have relied on birth certificate data with all of its inherent inaccuracies.

To read the rest of this article click here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Breast Is Best Video

This is a great video about breastfeeding, especially breastfeeding after a cesarean.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Avoiding the First C-Section: 5 Essential Questions

In recognition of International Cesarean Awareness Month, sponsored by the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), I wanted to discuss a problem I feel contributes significantly to the high rate of primary c-sections in the United States. It is critical that we look at what can be done to decrease the primary c-section rate (the first cesarean for a woman), because once the first c-section is done, it becomes increasingly difficult for many women to find support for a subsequent vaginal birth.

To read the rest of this post click here

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surrender: A Letter To My Baby

I thought this was such a beautiful post. I love the idea of writing a letter of surrender before labor, and I loved how she worded every bit of it. So many of us feel the clock ticking the minute our due date is within reach. We feel pressured, stressed, and anxious, but ultimately we need to surrender, relax, and get in touch with our bodies and our babies. Don't give in to the hype and allow others to pressure you and feel overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and try to write (and believe the words you write!) a lovely letter of surrender to your baby.
My sweet baby,
Mommy wants to write you a letter. You are my 5th child, but the first baby I have written to. Already you are special in your own way.

To read the rest of this beautiful post click here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to be the Best Postpartum Visitor in 15 Minutes or Less

I LOVED this post! I have to say that even though I'm a doula, I have committed several visitor no-no's. The worst offense was when I FORGOT to bring dinner to a fellow doula and friend! Oh the horror! I still feel horrible to this day. I hope that many people will read this post andthe 15 minute visit will catch on like wild fire!


Have a friend who had a baby and you're on the roster to drop off a meal? Here's everything they want you to know and do, but are too shy and polite to say and ask.

To read the rest of this wonderful post click here

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Be a part of something fun, good for the earth and your baby! Check out their website at to learn how you can participate!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thoughts on "One Born Every Minute"

This post is a great perspective about the new Liftetime series. I really enjoyed it and think that Barbara Herrera did a wonderful job seeing it from both sides. It is true that as doulas we want birth to be shown with less interventions and more empowering, but we also have to view it from the new mom perspective and what she is being exposed to, and how we as doulas can work within this birth environment. I have yet to see the show because I don't have cable, but this article has links to it, so I will try to do so soon!


You can’t Google about natural birth the last couple of weeks without coming up against half a dozen posts or articles critiquing the new show on Lifetime, One Born Every Minute. One of the most vocal was Gina, The Feminist Breeder, who wrote “Lifetime Shows Us There’s One (Unnecessary Intervention) Born Every Minute.” Gina says,

"So I couldn’t help myself. I took notes the entire way through this train wreck and yelled at the television every 60 seconds. Here is what I saw, and here (in blue block quotes) is what I yelled at my TV."

Kristen, from Birthing Beautiful Ideas (a blog I’ve never seen before… how have I missed this?) writes in her post Dear Lifetime: It’s not Weird, it’s Normal,

“… I worry about pregnant women and their partners watching “One Born Every Minute.” And it’s not because I think the show is going to make them want to run out and ask for every birth intervention in the world as if they’re candy. Rather, I worry that the show will create or even reinforce in women’s minds a pretty bogus distinction between “What’s Normal and What’s FREAKY-DEAKY-WEIRD-AND-ABNORMAL During Labor.”

I’d considered not watching the series, but since I’ve recently hung up my homebirth midwife hat and picked up my full-time monitrice-doula hat, I thought, “What the heck… how different could it be from what I already know to be true in hospitals?”

Last Tuesday night, I watched both the first segment, “To Medicate or Not,” (the one that had the natural birth couple in it) and the second installment, “Expect the Unexpected”; Sarah left the room. (You can see the full segments in those links.)

It turns out I was right; the shows weren’t all that different from my own personal hospital experiences… as a doula or as a midwife who’s transferred/transported women to them.

I didn’t sit screaming at the TV. I didn’t get high blood pressure from enormous amounts of frustration. Sure, I rolled my eyes a few times (some things said and done were absurd… more below), but, hard as it is to say, I stand behind the “You Buy the Hospital Ticket, You Go for the Hospital Ride” belief I’ve had for years. I don’t know if 28 years in hospitals has numbed me (I don’t believe it has at all) or if my idealistic belief that I Can Change The System has been flushed down the toilet, but I have pretty much given up any hope of seeing massive institutional changes in that area of the birth world.

To read the rest of this lovely post click here

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Winner! AND Yoga For Fertility Workshop Info

Thank you all for entering this giveaway! Today's winner is Jamie Kennedy. Please contact Kim at to claim your prize.

Yoga For Fertility Six-Week Series - available to the Colorado Front Range

There'll be two sessions - both beginning in May. Please check out the flyer below for more information and/or forward this note to those you care about who may be struggling with fertility issues or just wanting some extra support as they prepare their bodies for pregnancy. Since infertility can be such a hard and lonely road, know that classes will be held in my intimate home studio, groups will be small and empowering, my teaching heartfelt and precise.

Thrilled to combine my skills and passions in this way, I thank you for your support in helping me to spread the word to those who might benefit.

Jennifer Wert

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BINSI Giveaway!

Today we are giving away a Basic BINSI skirt! A new shipment arrives the end of this week and we are so excited! This skirt is one of our best sellers. It's light and comfy, and priced for any budget, but with all the BINSI quality features. To enter please "like" us on Facebook, comment on Facebook, or comment on this blog by 6 a.m. April 7th. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Midwives Needed Around the World

Ever felt like midwifery was your calling? I know it is mine, but with 4 little ones at home I cannot fulfill it yet. Reading articles like this tug at my heart strings and make me so eager to get started. We are so lucky in this country to have quality care available to us!

The world needs 350,000 more midwives, says Save the Children, which is calling for more training and education on the importance of their role in saving livesGallery: The global shortage of midwives

Tahiru, 37, lost his wife three months ago while she was giving birth to Nabia, in Katsina, northern Nigeria. In Nigeria, one in five women deliver their babies alone. Photograph: Pep Bonet/Noor/Save The Children One in three women around the world gives birth without the help of anybody who has been trained to help – and 2 million give birth entirely alone, according to a report called Missing Midwives from Save the Children. Often they can't get to a health centre with trained midwives or other skilled healthcare workers. Sometimes their husband or mother-in-law will not let them. Save the Children is campaigning for more midwives to be trained around the world, to fill some of the estimated 350,000 shortage. In the UK, only 1% of women give birth without skilled help. In Ethiopia, the figure is 94% – almost all.

To read the rest of this article click here

Friday, April 1, 2011