The Trust Birth Conference

I’m going. This conference is sponsored by Ancient Art Midwifery Institute and Carla Hartley. She says it will be her last one and it is worth putting everything else aside to attend. Some of the biggest names in the birth community will be there. Dr. Sarah Buckley, Dr. Michel Odent, Dr. John Stevenson, Jan Tritten, Heather Cushman-Dowdee (Hathor, the cow-goddess), Rixa Freeze, Henci Goer, Mindy Goorchenko, Gail Hart, Ricki Lake, Gloria Lemay, Sheri Menelli, Shonda Parker, Karen Strange, Sheila Stubbs, Debby Takikawa, and many others. Everyone is talking about it…be one of the ones who gets to attend this life-changing event.

Click here for just one of the YouTube clips.  Friday sessions here.   Saturday morning here.  Saturday afternoon sessions here.  Sunday sessions here.


The Top 5 Underreported Birth Stories for 2007

Top 5 Most Underreported Birth Stories of 2007

A year-end review brought to you by

5. An Orlando mother goes into hospital to give birth and leaves without her arms or legs.


The birth for this mother was smooth. It’s what happened afterwards that left her unable to hold or care for her newborn. Claudia Mejia went into a hospital to give birth but when she left the hospital, her arms and legs stayed behind. She is now a quadruple amputee and the hospital refuses to tell her why. She was told she had streptococcus and toxic shock syndrome but the hospital will not tell her how she contracted them. It is unlikely Ms. Mejia would have contracted the illnesses had her baby been born at home.

4. A Florida woman dies following induction of labor.


Caroline Wiren was a young, healthy mother who was excited by the upcoming birth of her child. She touched his head, told her mother to tell the baby that she loved him, and then she was gone. Mrs. Wiren had her labor induced just seven days past her baby’s due date, even though it is common for a woman’s first child to be born as much as two weeks after the given due date.

According to, one possible complication of induction of labor is amniotic-fluid embolism, which can lead to death.

3. 3. Two New Jersey women die just days apart following their cesarean surgeries.

Two young, healthy mothers entered a hospital in New Jersey to give birth to their babies. Both had cesareans and both were dead within days. The mothers leave behind two beautiful, absolutely healthy baby girls. This raises the question: then why the surgery?

2. The most updated birth data from the CDC shows that the cesarean rate in the United States has risen to 31.1%.


This latest number (from 2006) represents a 10.4% increase from ten years ago, and a 3% increase from the previous year. The report also indicates that the percentage of low birthweight babies and preterm babies is on the rise. Consumer Reports names the cesarean as one of the 10 most overused tests and treatments (

For more information on cesarean awareness and prevention, please visit

1. United States ranks among lowest of developed nations in terms of newborn death rates. (

According to Save the Children researchers, infants in the United States are more than three times as likely to die within their first 24 hours as infants in born in Japan. The United States has the second highest IMR (infant mortality rate) in the developed world. Latvia is the only developed country with a higher IMR than the U.S.

The realm of responsibility

It is the role of a midwife to evaluate every situation and determine if each situation resides inside a “normal” box.  Even variations from the norm must be thought about in terms of risk vs benefit and considered in the light of the midwife’s level of experience and expertise and ability to help.  Sometimes you have to seek a referral for a problem and sometimes, reluctantly you have to let go so they can receive high risk care.

I have a current client who has a previous history of preterm labor.  Several natural things can resolve some of those issues.  The Brewer Diet is a great resource and solution for many pregnancy complications, including premature birth, placental abruption,  pre-eclampsia and toxemia.   Then a fellow midwifery friend, Kristi Zittle, has formulated an herbal product that has shown great success in getting women with preterm labor issues to carry their babies full term (it’s not on the website, you have to inquire about it currently).  It beats the heck out of the medical alternatives (mag sulfate, procardia and the dreaded terbutaline).  My client was the recipient of terbutaline with her three previous pregnancies.  One of the possible side effects of this drug is heart damage/heart attack.  Right now we are wrestling with some heart symptoms she is having and trying to determine the cause of her symptoms.  Did she have long term damage from the terbutaline use previously?  Is it hormonally related or a viral condition of the pericardium?  I have a friendly doc who is helping to run labs and sort through the medical mystery.

I want her to have her dream of a homebirth, but mostly I want her to live.  That involves drawing on any resource that can help that to happen.  That’s my job.  Defining what falls into the normal box and what does not.  Most women could easily birth their babies at  home.  A good midwife is skilled at handling even a few of the emergencies, but sometimes you have to call in the big guns.  I’m not opposed to that.  It just grieves me when it happens.

Finally a place…

All my other blog sites have always been a mixture of personal, business, family, etc.  I wanted a space that was purely dedicated to all things birth and my involvement in it.  A place where I can rant about interventions, spread the news about new research, share the good experiences and ponder the more difficult ones.

I am a midwife.  In this journey I have learned much, but I never feel as if I have arrived.  I am on a quest for knowledge and don’t feel as if I’ll ever find the end of that path.  But each discovery only wets my appetite for more.

Today I had a prenatal visit with a mom who is slightly postdates.  While examining her I found instead of a head as a presenting part, an extremity instead.  But was it a hand or foot?  I felt distinctly each little knuckle, then followed their path to discover what was most likely fingers curled into a tiny fist.  Though it was through a thinned out uterus and sac, it was a sweet moment to be the first to shake hands with this new little person, yet unborn.  Let’s hope she moves her hand down and out of the way before labor ensues.  Soon I hope.