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Nov 15, 2010

Throwing out the lies with the birth water.

A 1 hour documentary about birth and upcoming legislation in Australia that will threaten basic human rights. This is the story of a woman who chooses to birth at home. We see the network of community in the Blue Mountains that surrounds her before during and after her birth. We see what is at stake. Woman's choice.

Oct 25, 2010

Breech Vaginal Birth (podalic presentation)

This very calm and methodical video shot in Ecuador, South America, truly displays the humanization of birth. Enjoy!!!

Sep 16, 2010

World Breastfeeding Challenge 2010 in Toronto

On October 3rd of last year mothers and babies worldwide competed to set the record for the most babies breastfeeding at one time. In Toronto 190 moms and 191 hungry infants and toddlers gathered at the Rosedale Heights School of the Arts with family and friends to participate. Another 182 moms and babies participated online for a total of 372 moms and 373 babies all breastfeeding at the same time. Toronto placed first out of 298 participating sites worldwide for the most children breastfeeding at one time. Congratulations Toronto!

On October 2, 2010 mothers and babies around the world will once again compete to set the record for the most children breastfeeding at one time. Breastfeeding mothers and babies are invited to participate and help Toronto once again win the challenge.

Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Place: Rosedale School for the Arts
711 Bloor Street East (Castle Frank Subway)

For more information on sites registered for this year's challenge

Sep 10, 2010

A Breech in The System

A BREECH IN THE SYSTEM. A woman wants to give birth to her breech baby in a hospital. They say she has to have a caesarean section. This is an inspiring documentary about her to attempt to birth naturally against all odds.

Karin Ecker’s interest in social issues has brought her international credits for her filmmaking plus photographic art. From filming European children exploring environmental issues in the Bahamas to physically handicapped people scuba diving in the Egyptian Sea, she now brings her lens to the issue of childbirth choices in Australia.

"She intends to use this film as a tool to support the voice of ‘woman’.
Prepare to be moved by this intelligent and poignant film about one woman's birth journey with a breech pregnancy and breech birth. Experience the fear, anticipation, support and birth outcomes when you are clear about your boundaries and in touch with your inner voice in pregnancy. The role that care givers have in a woman's birth is highlighted beautifully, ensuring this is must see film for all midwives, doulas and especially obstetricians.
This production is excellent making the film a joy to watch. I can best describe this film as a vital and stunning contribution for all humankind allowing us all to witness with absolute clarity the entry to our world of one human soul in a unique way."

Sep 9, 2010

A Wake- Up Story

A Wake-Up Story from Healthy Child Healthy World on Vimeo.

Healthy Child Healthy World exists because tens of millions of children now face chronic diseases and illnesses including cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD/ADHD, allergies, learning and developmental disabilities, as well as a host of lesser but disruptive ailments. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to contaminants in our environments and toxic chemicals in everyday products as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.
For the past two decades Healthy Child Healthy World has been the nation's leading organization of its kind. We help millions of parents, educators, health professionals, and the general public take action to create healthy environments and embrace green, non-toxic steps.

Read more:

Dangers of Ultrasound & Dopplers

There should be a louder outcry about what I see as a growing epidemic. The routine application of ultrasound in normal pregnancy is considerably dangerous. Although most medical practitioners assure us that ultrasound presents no dangers, this procedure, which is used to study the body's internal organs with non-ionizing waves, has been the subject of research indicating some considerable risks.

There are countlesss studies that all testify to the concern over the use of ultrasound prebirth scanning. We only read about the dangers of these "safe" procedures years after they have been in use and have damaged an untold number of trusting patients. It's always unwise to assume that any form of energy that the human body has not been accilimated to for a million years, is safe, just because your Doctor says so.

These are a few articles on Doppler Danger...

"Don't stop researching when you find the answers you want. Please remember that there is absolutely no ethical way to PROVE that ultrasound, including dopplers, is safe for the unborn. Just based on how they respond to it, we need to stop shooting sound waves at babies."

Aug 31, 2010

The "Emergency" C-Section

A jaded view of America's most overused surgical procedure.

Obstetrician tries to cope with unreasonable birth plan

Great events for moms like you!

Exercise during pregnancy and postpartum

Come join us and find out what you can and cannot do regarding exercise during pregnancy and postpartum. Risks and benefits will be reviewed, guidelines and the importance of core strength (Ab Rehab).

Part 1 (Pregnancy) Sept 21st. 10:15am-11:15am

Part 2 (Postpartum) Sept 28th. 10:15am-11:15am

Little Bird Fly - Junction
2955 Dundas Street West
$10 per person. Space is limited

Everything you wanted to know about exercise AND nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum

Are you pregnant and unsure on what is considered safe to do during pregnancy? Do you feel nauseated at the thought of your favorite foods but want to make sure the baby is getting the nutrients needed?

Or are you a new mom and not sure what to do as far as exercise and if it's too soon? Are you frustrated that you seemed to have plateaued with your exercise routine? Are you bloated, exhausted and just too pooped to think about "what's for dinner honey"???

Then these workshops are for you!

Part 1 (Pregnancy) Sept 21st 7:00pm-8:30pm

Part 2 (Postpartum) Sept 28th 7:00pm-8:30pm

Whole Foods Market - Yorkville
87 Avenue Rd
416-944-0500 ext 0
$10 per person. Space is limited

Fertility, pregnancy and beyond

We have gathered the leading experts in one place to deliver much needed information and answer questions to women who are looking to get pregnant or who are already expecting.

Topics include:

Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, CPTN-CPT, PFS, NWS, RAB
Exercise for fertility and pregnancy

Kerri Cooper, B.Sc, CNP
Nutrition to help conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy

Dr. Marjorie Dixon, MD, FRCS(C), FACOG
Fertility. What is IVF and what can you expect with fertility treatments

Wendy Welch, RN.
The benefits of banking your childs umbilical cord blood

Carla Parchment, Labour & Postpartum Doula
What IS a Doula anyway?? What types of services do they provide? Prenatal or postpartum?

This information event gives you all the answers in one place. So if you are thinking about getting pregnant, trying or already pregnant, this is the place for you.

October 2nd 10am-12noon. Refreshments will be served.

Insception Cord Blood Program
1620 Tech Avenue, Mississauga
$20 per person. Space is limited

Ab Rehab - Group style!

Do YOU suffer from Mummy Tummy?

Are you sick and tired of people asking you if you're pregnant when when your youngest baby is over a year old? Have you lost all your pregnancy weight but can't get rid of that stubborn belly?

If so, you may be suffering from Diastasis Recti or in laymans terms, separation of the rectus abdominis.
In this hands on workshop, you will learn step by step how to assess yourself and be given one-on-one instruction on specific exercises to help strengthen your core muscles and encourage the rectus back together. We will review the modifications required and what to avoid to ensure you don't make it worse. We will teach you how to close that separation and get rid of that belly for good.

This program is designed within the Ab Rehab protocol and will be given on three separate dates. 2 hours each. October 8, 29 and November 19th.

elements for Women
2532 Yonge St, Toronto

$250.00 + tax for non-members
$199.00 + tax for elements members
Space limited to 15 participants

*Note: Participants will receive 15% off products

To register: contact the location where it's provided or email at

Aug 30, 2010

All Women Need Antibiotics One Hour Before Cesarean Delivery

As cited, all pregnant women should be given antibiotics before having a cesarean delivery to help prevent infections, according to new recommendations issued today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The College says that the antibiotics should be given within one hour of the start of surgery for maximum effectiveness.

Infection is the most common complication of cesarean delivery and can occur in 10% to 40% of women who have a cesarean compared with 1% to 3% of women who deliver vaginally. Although antibiotics have been given to women having cesareans to reduce their risk of postoperative infections, they have generally been given after the baby was born and the umbilical cord was clamped. This was based on concern that the antibiotics that made it into the baby's bloodstream from the mother would interfere with newborn lab tests or could lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.

"Based on the latest data, prophylactic antibiotics given to pregnant women before a cesarean significantly reduce maternal infection and do not appear to harm newborns," said William H. Barth, Jr, MD, chair of The College's Committee on Obstetric Practice. "We're recommending that all women who undergo cesarean get a preventive course of antibiotics before the surgery starts. Ideally, this should happen within 60 minutes of surgery." An exception to this, Dr. Barth noted, are pregnant women who are already taking appropriate antibiotics for another problem, such as chorioamnionitis (infection of the membranes surrounding the fetus). Women who need an emergency cesarean should be given antibiotics as soon as possible.

"Anytime you have invasive surgery, you have an increased risk of developing an infection at the incision site," said Dr. Barth. This new recommendation should help reduce the overall rate of cesarean-related infections, Dr. Barth added.

Committee Opinion #465, "Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Cesarean Delivery: Timing of Administration," is published in the September 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Aug 21, 2010

This Woman's Work

... a three year journey that took this couple from their unexpected hospital cesarean birth to birthing their second baby at home in water - condensed into a mere 6-minute video. You, the viewer, become a witness to their very heartfelt, personal sacrifice and transformation.

Copyright 2010 Patti Ramos. All rights reserved.

The song "This Woman's Work" - written by Kate Bush and performed by Maxwell. Copyright 1990 EMI

Aug 19, 2010

How NOT to bathe the baby (baby's first bath)

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you.

Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving a newborn her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse.

This is why a new mom or dad should never let the newborn out of their sight!!! Always accompany your infant if necessary.

Aug 17, 2010

Baby’s First Bacteria Depend on Birth Route - US News and World Report

Baby’s First Bacteria Depend on Birth Route - US News and World Report

It’s the journey, not the destination,that determines the quality of bacteria a newborn encounters in life’s first moments.

A new survey finds that babies born via cesarean section had markedly different bacteria on their skin, noses mouths and rectums than babies born vaginally. The research adds to evidence that babies born via C-section may miss out on beneficial bacteria passed on by their mothers.

“We know from lots and lots of other ecosystems that how you set up the house has a real impact for all the later guests,” says medical microbiologist David Relman of the Stanford University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Previous research suggests that babies born via C-section are more likely to develop allergies, asthma and other immune system–related troubles than are babies born the traditional way. The new study, to be published online the week of June 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a detailed look at the early stages of the body’s colonization by microbes, critters that shape the developing immune system, help extract nutrients from food and keep harmful microbes at bay.

Babies born vaginally were colonized predominantly by Lactobacillus, microbes that aid in milk digestion, the research team from the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Colorado in Boulder and two Venezuelan institutes report. The C-section babies were colonized by a mixture of potentially nasty bacteria typically found on the skin and in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter.

The new work may improve understanding of the early immune system, says Gary Huffnagle of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While C-sections can be lifesaving in some cases, the procedure appears to shift a baby’s first bacterial community. A better understanding of this early colonization, which is also influenced by events such as breast-feeding, may lead to medical practices for establishing healthy bacterial colonization.

“This isn’t damning the C-section, but it may be important to make sure your child gets a mouthful of vaginal material,” says Huffnagle.

The study included nine women and their 10 newborns (including one set of twins) born at the Puerto Ayacucho Hospital in the state of Amazonas, Venezuela. The mothers’ skin, mouths and vaginas were sampled an hour before delivery. Babies’ mouths and skin were swabbed immediately after birth, and their rectums were swabbed after their first bowel movement. DNA analysis revealed that the four babies born vaginally carried bacterial populations that matched those of their mothers’ vaginas, while the C-section babies had a more generic mixture of skin bacteria, similar to that found on the skin of all the moms.

“The vaginal birth was like a fingerprint of mom,” says study coauthor María Domínguez-Bello of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan.

First-comers to the body are critical for establishing the microbial scene, says pediatrician Josef Neu of the University of Florida in Gainesville. “It’s like a garden where few, if any, seeds have been planted. If you push in one direction you might get a lot of weeds, a lack of diversity,” Neu says. “That can be associated with immune system problems.”

Some work suggests colonization may begin even earlier. While the paradigm has been that babies are sterile until birth, Neu’s recent work found a microbial community already dwelling in the first poop of some babies born prematurely. While a baby is in the uterus, it typically swallows 400 to 500 milliliters of amniotic fluid, which may harbor some of the mother’s microbes, Neu speculates.

A book review: Bearing Witness Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas

Lisa Doran ND and Lisa Caron CD(DONA) PCD(DONA) are thrilled to announce that thier anthology, the first of it's kind,
Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas
has now been released and is available in print through Fox Womens Books in Canada and the US.

To purchase a copy you can come by Barefoot Health to pick one up, you can contact the authors or one of the contributors, you can support your local bookstore with a visit or they are also available online at Books are $19.95

Bearing Witness is a collection of stories and poems written by birth doulas sharing their perspectives on childbirth as seen through the eyes of a doula. We've been incredibly fortunate to have wonderful and wise contributors share their experience, their knowledge and their vision and hopes for birth in North America.

Here is what's being said by the best of them:

Penny Simkin
Childbirth Educator, Birth Doula, and author of "The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions"

"If you want to get to know what birth doulas are all about, read Bearing Witness, a series of birth stories and poems by doulas and others that tell it all. The stories are touching, inspiring, joyous, sad, spell-binding, suspenseful, and frustrating. Most are written by doulas who are dedicated, reliable, resourceful, and diplomatic; they recognize their scope of practice and know how to work effectively within it to help women to a safe and satisfying birth as they define it. Some are written by burnt out, angry, frustrated birth activists who are sickened by mainstream maternity care as practiced today and who have little respect for the professionals who work within that system.

Taken as a whole, this book covers the joys and challenges of the birth doula's role in North America. It will help expectant parents know how doulas think and feel, and they may be helped to think about the qualities they most want in a doula. As doulas read this book, it will feel like sitting in a circle of doulas as they share the rewards and frustrations of their work. And for other maternity care professionals, this book reveals how doulas think and feel as they work side by side with caregiving staff who have more power and different responsibilities than the doula, but likely less knowledge and understanding of the woman's wishes, concerns, fears, strengths and weaknesses.

A gripping book written by the doulas themselves..."

Ina May Gaskin
Author, Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding.

"This lovely book of doula experiences is nourishing, inspiring, passionate, and wise. I recommend it highly and hope that it finds a wide audience."

Ricki Lake
Producer of "The Business of Being Born" and Co-Author of Your Best Birth

"A remarkable book full of courage and wisdom. Every labouring woman should have a doula at her side."

Murray Enkin
Family doctor, obstetrician, childbirth educator, clinical epidemiologist, professor, senior author, A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, now retired from all and enjoying life.

"Birth narratives provide a vital perspective, often quite different from, and sometimes more valuable than, that provided by scientific evidence. The stories, poems, and dreams of the doulas who contributed to this book are truly fascinating. They supplement the birth narratives of mothers, midwives, and doctors, and add a new dimension to our understanding of the miracle of birth."

Barbara Harper
RN, CLD, CCCE Author, Gentle Birth Choices, Founder Waterbirth International

"Doulas provide care from their hearts as well as their hands and that is so evident in this transformational collection of stories that will make you cry, laugh out loud, and perhaps even make you angry as you identify with womens' tales of birth. Please read every story to better understand the "real" side of birth. There is healing and love in the pages of this book, which will eventually leave you with a message of hope."

Barbara Katz Rothman
Professor of Sociology, City University of New York and Visiting Professor, International Midwifery Pre-registration Program, Ryerson University. Katz Rothman's most recent book, co-authored with Wendy Simonds, is LABORING ON: BIRTH IN TRANSITION, Routledge, 2007.

"Doulas are in a perfect position to bear witness, to see what happens at birth -- they are present, institutionally powerless, but there to be with the woman no matter what. They see the good births and they stand by as obstetrical demands destroy the hope of a good birth. Listen to their voices carefully -- they have much to teach us."

Gayle Peterson, PhD Director of Training, Prenatal Counseling and Birth Hypnosis. Author, An Easier Childbirth, Birthing Normally and Making Healthy Families.

"Childbirth is an ordeal of nature. It can be an empowering experience for a woman, or can be devastating. But it is not neutral. The doula accompanies a woman on this journey, assuring a more transformative, than negative outcome. These stories reflect the depth of caring and commitment that doulas provide, that has the potential to change lives."

Michael C. Klein

MD, CCFP, FAAP (Neonatal-Perinatal), FCFP, ABFP, FCPS. Emeritus Professor of Family Practice and Pediatrics, University British Columbia & BC Children's & Women's Health Centre. Sr. Scientist Emeritus, Child & Family Research Institute. Director Clinician Scholar Program UBC Department of Family Practice

"This anthology of birth stories is just what we need as an antidote to birth as risky business or nothing more than an opportunity for unwanted side effects or as an accident waiting to happen. The authors are almost all doulas, with a smattering of artists and writers and other disturbers of the peace. The stories range from beautiful, transformative and poetic to horrible and associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Throughout they have the ring of a deep truth and are positive even when troubling indeed. The doula is the central character and mediator in most of the stories and the "medical model" comes in for some serious, and well-deserved bashing. While the system of support for women in labor is in serious trouble, this powerful book contains the seeds for a rebirth of a movement one in which the woman with her supporters is at the center, while we professional caregivers are only there as facilitators. It is time for stories to replace statistics."

Jun 21, 2010

Ensure that no woman has to give birth alone.

With only a few days to go until the G8 leaders gather here in Canada, it is our last chance to make our voice heard - calling on G8 leaders to make firm commitments for increased resources for maternal, newborn and child health and to address the critical health worker gap.

Join the ONE campaign and sign a petition calling on G8 leaders to commit to recruit and train 3.5 million additional healthcare workers as part of a comprehensive package to help mothers and children in the developing world.

On behalf of nearly 15 million health workers, the International Confederation of Midwives, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the International Council of Nurses, and the International Pediatricians Association join with the White Ribbon Alliance to urge the G8 to do more.

Help publicize the open letter by leading organizations and influential individuals, including Ai Tominaga, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Claudia Winkleman, Celine Dion, Davina McCall, Diana Quick, Jarvis Church, Jermain Jenas, Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Jully Black, June Sarpong, Kirstie Allsopp, Kristin Davis, Liya Kebede, Livia Firth, Margaret MacMillan, Mariella Frostrop, Mena Suvari, Minnie Driver, Maureen McTeer, Naomi Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Scarlett Johansson, Wendi Murdoch. which calls on the G8 leaders to address this "global scandal."

Read the letter here and help spread the word:

May 20, 2010

New York midwives lose right to deliver babies at home.

Closure of hospital leaves practitioners without backing or insurance, driving home births underground.

As residents of the world's consumer capital, New Yorkers can have anything delivered to their door at any time. They can have their hair cut in the living room, have champagne and caviar rushed to them on a whim, enjoy a shiatsu massage in their own bed or invite a clairvoyant to predict their future from Tarot cards laid out on the kitchen table.

But there is one thing that is currently unavailable for delivery to those who live in this most can-do of metropolises. Women can not legally give birth at home in the presence of a trained and experienced midwife.

Continue reading...
Ed Pilkington in New York, Friday 14 May 2010

May 19, 2010

"Your Period: It's Not Supposed to be a Pain"

"If you or a woman in your life suffer PMS or period pain, be sure to be at this presentation.
You will walk away with simple, effective tips to heal your PMS or period pain naturally!".

Event: Your Period: It's Not Supposed to be a Pain
Start Time: Wednesday, June 9 at 6:30pm
End Time: Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30pm
Where: Whole Foods - Yorkville

While almost every woman has experienced painful periods, they are not “normal”. Given our fast paced urban lifestyles and increased environmental toxin exposure, they are, however, increasingly common.

To counter this trend, we can be conscientious in our self-care. Our lifestyle and dietary choices play a central role in the dis/ease of our monthly flow, affecting both PMS and cramps.

Join Dr. Tanya Smith, TCM and Dr. Mahalia Freed, ND to learn why it hurts and how to resolve your menstrual discomfort. Embrace your monthly cycle with simple changes you can make today!

Registration is through Whole Foods (416-944-0500) and is $5. When you come to the workshop, Whole Foods will give you a $5 gift card.

For more info visit

May 12, 2010

All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story - Watch the Documentary Film

A film set in 1952 both educational tool and poetic portrait of a black midwife and childbirth in the Deep South.

“This beautiful film is the story of “"Miss Mary"” Coley an African-American midwife more than half a century ago in rural Georgia. Conceived as a demonstration film for “"granny"” midwives its production sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health All My Babies quickly transcended its initial purpose. It was used around the world by UNESCO and has become an enduring classic of non-fiction film.

All My Babies was written produced and directed by George C. Stoney in close collaboration with Mrs. Coley as well as with local public health doctors and nurses and shows the preparation for and home delivery of healthy babies in both relatively good and bad rural conditions among black families at that time.

The film is in addition both a deeply respectful portrait of “"Miss Mary"” who is revealed as an inspiring human being and a record of the actual living conditions of her patients.
Selected in 2002 by the Librarian of Congress as a “"culturally historically and artistically significant work"” for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry.”

All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story - Watch the Documentary Film for Free | Watch Free Documentaries Online | SnagFilms

Apr 27, 2010

Homeopathy for Ear Infections


Until recently, antibiotics were the first line of defense against ear infections. But raising concerns about antibiotic resistance—along with a convincing study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006—have changed that. The study, conducted in children ages 6 months to 12 years, found that waiting 48 hours to allow the infection to clear up on its own was just as effective as treating it with antibiotics.

Of course, 48 hours with the pain, fever, and general misery of an ear infection is hardly an appealing alternative. Relief may come in over-the-counter pain and fever reducers like acetimenophen or ibuprofen, but another and more holistic way of addressing the problem is homeopathy.

Homeopathy is very specialized, so there’s not one remedy that will work in each case. Here’s a list of the most common and effective treatments, and what they’re good for. Dosing in homeopathy is not weight-dependent, so children take the same dosages as adults. See the packaging or speak with a homeopath for guidelines.

Ear pain comes on suddenly, the ear is red, and the face is flushed. Often occurs after exposure to cold, dry weather.

Burning discharge with a roaring sound in the ear. Hearing is impaired. The child seems fearful and anxious.

Sudden, violent, boring pains that seem to buzz through the ear. Pus and inflammation are present along with a hot, red ear. Usually the right ear is affected. Child may cry out during sleep.

The child has unbearable pain and is frantic and irritable. She wants to be carried. One cheek may be pale, the other flushed. Often occurs during teething. Warm applications make the pain worse.

Calcarea Carbonica
For ear infections in children who are strong and stocky. They may get cold more easily, yet the head sweats at night. Personality is more earthy, plodding. Fears of ghosts and frequent nightmares are not uncommon. Asks serious questions.

For earches that occur after cold, damp weather exposure. At night, the pain is worse.

Ferrum Phos
Gradual-onset earaches. The child's face will be flushed and he will be very sensitive to noise.

Hepar Sulph
Pain from the throat to the ear, with those areas being sore to touch.

Kali Mur
For ear infections with mucous buildup in the eustachian tubes and diminished hearing. There may be cracking noises when the child swallows. This remedy is also used if there seems to be hearing impairment following an earache.

Mag Phos
Use when the ears hurt due to a cold wind, not from infection, right ear being the most affected. Warm pressure brings relief, and cold increases the pain.

Ears hurt more at night and are worse in damp weather conditions. The child perspires and has a sickly odor, excessive saliva, a swollen tongue with teeth impressions on the side.

Use when the outer ear is red, hot and swollen. Pain is worse at night, throbbing and darting, which may make hearing difficult. The patient feels cold and irritable and wants to be covered. Child is emotional and weeps easily; she may be open and loving but with changeable moods. Can sulk and be irritable. There may be thick yellow discharges.

These children tend to be snotty-nosed and messy, regardless of frequent bathing, with a tendency to be hot. They may have foul smelling yellowish discharges.

Brigitte Mars is the author of Rawsome! (Basic Health Publications, 2004), The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine (Basic Health Publications, 2007), Beauty by Nature (Book Publishing Company, 2006), Addiction-Free—Naturally (Healing Arts Press, 2001), and Healing Herbal Teas (Basic Health Publications, 2001). Her website is

Apr 26, 2010

Congratulations on your Pregnancy!!!

Dear newly pregnant mom,

You have just found out that a new life is becoming within you. Isn’t it amazing how a miracle can seem so normal and ordinary.

No matter how this journey started or how it ends – you are now a mother. The membership fee to remain in this worldwide sorority, is this only, unconditional love – for yourself and your baby. The birth of your baby, however it happens whether at home or in the O.R. is the final initiation, a rite of passage into this immense power of women.

This is your training period. The choices whether easy or difficult start now. This new life depends on you to do your best. And there will be many days when it seems like your best is not good enough. It is.

Use this time to read. Those who love you will want to shower you with love and advice. In these moments, ask them a list of their favorite and least favorite books – read them all. As you read, try not to read as a scholar who tries to retain every word but instead as an adventurer looking for gems of knowledge and wisdom – a hidden treasure. Read to increase your personal wisdom that lay deep within you. It’s ok if the books that resonate with you are on the black list of the most popular parenting site or moms groups – this just means that you will need to use faith and wisdom to walk this journey. Remember that it’s ok to have your specific personal needs and limitations. These make you special.

The birth of your baby matters. For many this will be one of the biggest initiations they will ever experience. You will need:























You need to feel all of this and more because these are qualities you will need as a mother. You need to know that the birth of your baby may or may not go as you plan. How it ends is not really the important lesson, but what you learn about yourself from how it ends. Will you take the lessons from your birth and allow them to make you a stronger, wiser woman and mother?

I suspect you might feel like this initiation is too big for you. It’s not. We allow you to be surrounded by love and experience. Ask for help. It’s the responsible decision to bring a guide with you on this journey you have never been on before. Asking for help is often more courageous than trying to walk into the unknown unprepared.

As you welcome your baby into the world. Trust yourself. Believe that whatever you are feeling or not feeling is normal – if it wasn’t, it would be different.

Do your best. Trust yourself. Welcome.

With open arms,
Your birth mentor,

Mama Sayana

Apr 19, 2010

Face of Birth - documentary

Teaser for the upcoming documentary the Face of Birth. A documentary about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice.

Apr 11, 2010

In Sleepless Nights, a Hope for Treating Depression


Is there anything good about insomnia? Could there possibly be any upside to a long, torturous sleepless night?

To answer the question, let’s look at another condition entirely.

Postpartum depression affects between 5 percent and 25 percent of new mothers. Symptoms — including sadness, fatigue, appetite changes, crying, anxiety and irritability — usually occur in the first few months after child birth. There is a simple way to alleviate postpartum depression in just a few hours: sleep deprivation.

If a depressed mother stays up all night, or even the last half of the night, it is likely that by morning the depression will lift. Although this sounds too good to be true, it has been well documented in over 1,700 patients in more than 75 published papers during the last 40 years.[1] Sleep deprivation used as a treatment for depression is efficacious and robust: it works quickly, is relatively easy to administer, inexpensive, relatively safe and it also alleviates other types of clinical depression. Sleep deprivation can elevate your mood even if you are not depressed, and can induce euphoria. This throws a new light on insomnia.

This remarkable result is not well known outside a small circle of sleep researchers for three good reasons. First, sleep deprivation is not as convenient as taking a pill. Second, prolonged sleep deprivation is not exactly a desirable state; it leads to cognitive defects, such as reduced working memory and impaired decision making. Finally, depression recurs after the mother, inevitably, succumbs to sleep, even for a short nap. Nonetheless this is an incredibly important observation; it shows that depression can be rapidly reversed and suggests that something is happening in the sleeping brain to bring on episodes of depression. All this offers hope that studying sleep deprivation may lead to new, unique and rapid treatments for depression.

Scans suggest that something happening in the sleeping brain can bring on episodes of depression.
Neuroscientists have been trying to solve this puzzle. The first hint of what may be happening during sleep came from J. Christian Gillin, a former colleague of mine at the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Using imaging, he found that a small area of the cerebral cortex in the front of the brain — the anterior cingulate cortex — which was consistently overactive in depressed patients, quieted to normal levels of activity after the patients were deprived of sleep. And when the patients were allowed to sleep, the activity in this area returned to the elevated levels.

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Apr 9, 2010

Making Mothers Trailer

A short documentary capturing the lives of two African American caregivers at the Family Health and Birth Center.

Apr 1, 2010

Doctors perform C-section on non-pregnant woman

AYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Medical Board says doctors and interns at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center attempted to induce labor on a patient, but when that didn't work, they performed a cesarean section only to find out there was no baby.

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The incident happened in November 2008, but the state medical board spent the past year reviewing the case. In January, they issued the two doctors involved letters of concern.

ABC11 Eyewitness News spoke with one of the doctors involved who explained how something so bizarre could have happened.

Doctor Gerianne Geszler was in charge of the doctors on duty at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center the night of the incident.

Geszler says several doctors had examined and attempted to induce labor on the patient for several days before the C-section incident.

"They did an epidural on her and when they opened up and made the incision, they saw a non-pregnant uterus," Geszler said.

At that point the doctors "closed her back up."

Doctor Dorette Grant is the physician who performed the C-section.

The NC Medical Board issued her a letter of concern that said in part, "you attempted to perform a cesarean section delivery on Patient A after a failed attempt at induction of labor."

"At the time of surgery, it was discovered that Patient A was not pregnant," Board President Donald E. Jablonski said in the letter.

Dr. Geszler says an intern made the original diagnosis.

"And so she said she did an ultrasound and she said no heart beat," Geszler said. "So [the patient] convinced the resident that she wanted to be induced at Cape Fear Valley, so the resident said can I induce here and I said okay."

According to the medical board, the initial diagnosis was made by healthcare providers without the necessary experience to make the appropriate diagnosis.

"Your inappropriate reliance on their diagnosis and the failure to conduct your own examination were contributing factors in the unnecessary attempt at a caesarian delivery," said Jablonski in a letter to Geszler.

The patient was actually suffering from pseudocyesis, symptoms associated with pregnancy even though they are not pregnant. The false pregnancy can be caused by changes in the body and hormones, emotional distress or an endocrine disorder.

The hospital administration didn't want to comment on the incident.

Meanwhile, both doctors continue to practice in Fayetteville. Dr. Geszler is still a gynecologist, but doesn't deliver babies anymore.

Doctor Grant is still an OBGYN, but she was unable to speak with ABC11 Wednesday, because she was busy delivering two babies.

Feb 26, 2010

Infant Mortality Obstacles

Tonya Lewis Lee, executive producer of "Crisis in the Crib," and Kimberly Seals Allers, editorial director of the Black Maternal Health Project at Women's eNews, discuss the obstacles of successfully addressing infant mortality in the United States.

Feb 23, 2010

The Power of Women: Instinctual Birth Stories

From as long as we can remember…
the oral tradition embroidered the past
with the present,
bringing forward
so later generations could thrive.

When women embarked on their journey into womanhood and motherhood, stories from their grandmothers, great-
grandmothers and ancestors came forth through songs, stories and what appeared as mythological tales. Upon hearing these stories, women became empowered to do what all women from which they came were able to do: give birth instinctually.
In this day and age, those oral traditions are viewed more as cultural curiosities than practical solutions.
But are they really?

Sister MorningStar's life-long service to women in their transitions into motherhood witnessed not only the power of story but the power of women who share their stories—her/stories. Her calling brought her to the cultures of Native and Rural Americans, Mennonites and Mexican Pueblos. Within the pages of this book, Sister MorningStar reveals to the reader compelling, enlightening and touching tales from her experiences with the women who opened themselves to trust their inner knowing of life giving.

So may the tradition continue: may you, your daughters and granddaughters find your voices too.

About the Author

Sister MorningStar has dedicated a lifetime to the preservation of instinctual birth among native people. Experientially she was raised in the Ozark Mountains within the influence of Cherokee traditions. She birthed her own daughters at home and has helped thousands of other wimyn find empowerment through instinctual birth. Politically she has served on state, national and international boards helping to oversee the development of midwifery certification programs. She serves on the C.A.S.A. International Advisory Board helping to oversee the continued stability of Mexico's first accredited Midwifery School and Maternity Hospital. She is the founder of a spiritual retreat center and author of books related to instinctual and spiritual living. She lives as a Cherokee Hermitess and Catholic Mystic in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Visit at

WHY I CREATED THIS BOOK: Wisdom is passed on by women through story telling. The power of that wisdom within women became a source of respect and fascination for me in early childhood. With strong Cherokee roots, our matriarchal heritage provided me with daily opportunities to see the strength, brilliance, great love and instinctual life of my Great Grand Mother, Grand Mother and Mother—and to learn from them.
By twelve I had initiated my first women's study group. For the rest of my life I put into motion multiple spaces and places where women could come together, share, grow and pass along their wisdom and experience to their daughters and their daughter's daughters.

To continue reading

Feb 19, 2010

Canadian curler is five months pregnant

As with all curling teams, Team Canada features five members. Well, six, if you really want to get technical with it.

Alternate Kristie Moore, 30, is 5½ months pregnant, making her just the third athlete known to be with child during Olympic competition. Ninety years ago, Swedish figure skater Magda Julin won a gold medal at the Antwerp Games while in her first trimester and Germany’s Diana Sartor took fourth in the skeleton in 2006.

Though she is showing (as evidenced in the picture above), Moore says that her pregnancy has not affected her ability to deliver rocks ... yet. "[In] the eighth month or so, that might be an issue," she said.

Moore found out about her pregnancy weeks before team officials invited her to join Team Canada as an alternate. When she divulged her secret, the team was more than supportive. Said team leader Cheryl Bernard, "she is young and fit. There's no reason we'll have any problems, and she'll be out there."

Barring unforeseen problems with the other four members of the team, it's unlikely Moore will see any Olympic action. During competition her role as an alternate is much like a backup quarterback in football: She'll be called on if needed. Moore has said that although she'd like to get out on the ice, doing so would mean having to play at the expense of someone else's injury.

Team Canada is the gold-medal favorite in the women's curling event, which begins Tuesday and runs through Friday of next week. Even if Moore doesn't play, she will receive any medal Canada wins.

By Chris Chase

Jan 29, 2010

Mitcham midwife Margaret Murphy celebrates 100th birthday

A woman who helped thousands of Mitcham mums deliver their babies has turned 100.

Former midwife Margaret Murphy, known to her friends and family as Peg, celebrated her birthday at the weekend.

The party and meal took place on Sunday in the hall of St Michael’s Catholic Church in Chesnut Grove, where Mrs Murphy is a member of the congregation.

Her niece, Mary Foster, said: “She was a local community midwife and served the Mitcham area for most of her working life. She is well known and loved in this area and has probably delivered more babies than we have had hot dinners.”

Mrs Murphy was born in Ireland. She comes from a medical family, and her son Raymond Murphy - a consultant in Dublin - flew over especially to take part in the celebration.

Original article written by Craig Burnett.

Three-Year-Old Saves Grandmother's Life

Before most kids can count, a 3-year-old dialed 911 and saved his grandmother's life.

A little boy did a very grown-up thing. Three-year-old Jaden Bolli dialed 911 after his grandmother had a seizure, saving the 54-year-old woman's life. Jaden had been taught to dial 911 just days before. Kids his age have been known to ring up a 911 operator now and then, says a 911 spokesman, but mostly by accident.

Jaden, you're our hero!

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Jan 23, 2010

A Week After Earthquake, 15-Day-Old Baby Found Alive

Surprise Survivor Is Just One of the Delayed Rescue Tales that Have Become Hallmarks of Haiti's Earthquake.

JACMEL, Haiti – Rescue teams found a 15-day-old baby alive in a crumbled house here Tuesday, after she'd spent nearly half her life without food or water amid the ruins of last week's earthquake.

A search and rescue team was demolishing the remains of the home of the mother, Michelene Joassaint, believing that there was no chance that her baby Elisabeth, eight days old when the quake struck on Jan. 12, could possibly be alive.

The rescue team found the baby in the same bed where she was napping when the earthquake struck. The bed had fallen to the ground floor, but the baby was not even injured.

The cousin of the 15-day-old Haitian baby who was found alive in a crumbled house Tuesday comments on her medical care.

"It was the mercy of God," said Ms. Joassaint, 22 years old, breastfeeding her daughter on a makeshift hospital bed next to the heavily damaged city hospital Tuesday evening. Ms. Joassaint was staying in a homeless camp set up on a soccer field when she learned the news. "I cried and then ran to the baby," she said.

Ms. Joassaint said that just before the quake she had fed Elisabeth on the second floor of her home and then went downstairs for a moment. When she felt the tremor begin she tried to run back upstairs for Elisabeth, she said, but the walls began to crumble. She had no choice but to turn and run out, she said.

"This wasn't the way Jesus wanted the baby to die," said Michelet Joassaint, the baby's grandfather, a 47-year-old fisherman who was at sea at the time of the earthquake. "Everybody knew the baby was dead, except the Lord."

More than 90 people have been pulled alive from the rubble by international rescue teams, according to U.N. figures. That figure doesn't include those saved by ordinary Haitians digging with their shovels, sticks and bare hands.

Hours after the baby's rescue, an international crew of rescue teams worked feverishly in the capital into the night on Tuesday to try to save a young woman called Natalie, entombed in the collapsed remains of a market but still alive.

WSJ's Charles Forelle reports from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with the latest on the relief efforts there. He says there is little evidence of aid to Haiti's newly homeless.

Rescuers passed a remote camera into the position where the woman was trapped. She reached for it. "That means she has enough power to grab. That's a good thing," said Dundare Sahin of Akut, a Turkish rescue service.

Minutes later, rescue workers were able to speak with Natalie. "She said she was fine," said Christian Mascaro of the French rescue group Rescuers Without Borders.

Some Haiti survivors may have lasted longer than is usual for several reasons, including mild weather. And construction materials used in Haiti's buildings may have helped: collapsed pre-pressed concrete slabs that tend to leave gaps when they crash down.

A family, including a young boy with a machete, guarded their store in front of a church in downtown Port-au-Prince Tuesday.

"It crushes some some people horribly, but it can leave gaps for people to survive miraculously," Sir John said.

While the story of the baby's survival was particularly dramatic, it echoes a very similar tale from the 1985 earthquake that hit Mexico City. There, some 13 babies were rescued alive from the collapsed maternity ward of a hospital, trapped over a period of one to nearly nine days. They were called "the miracle babies" and captured the world's attention.

In the years since, Mexican newspapers have written stories to update the lives of the survivors as they have grown into young adults.

There was another dramatic rescue a day earlier on Monday, that of a woman who had been buried in her bed for six days under the rubble of her two-story home.

The woman rescued from her bed "was lying face down on the mattress with the first-floor ceiling pressing her down," said Brian Miura, an emergency room physician from Torrance, Calif., who was part of the Los Angeles Country team that saved the woman.

The rescuers used listening devices and dogs to triangulate her location. Then they cut a hole through the roof and, beneath that, the collapsed walls. Then they reached through a 2 1/2-foot gap and cut away the base of the bed to extract her.

Dr. Miura described the woman as "hysterical" when she emerged. The rescuers pumped her full of fluids and sent her to a Brazilian hospital. Dr. Miura expected her to survive the ordeal.

The crew had pulled two sisters out of a different room of the same house on Sunday.

After Monday's remarkable rescue, U.S. and other rescue teams continued search operations on Tuesday, despite what they admitted were ever-slimmer chances of finding survivors. "The window is shutting relatively quickly," said Mark Stone, a spokesman for a search-and-rescue team from Fairfax, Va. Still, "there might be a needle in the haystack, so don't give up," Rex Strickland, operations chief for the Fairfax team, told his 72-member crew Tuesday morning.

by Michael M. Phillips

Jan 18, 2010

Quake just a bigger reason to stay, says local midwife in Haiti

Sarah Wallace, a 24-year-old midwife from Devon, holds up baby Mirlanda, a malnourished baby who she cared for in Haiti. Mirlanda and her mother are missing.

Photograph by: Supplied,

As Canadians are urged to head toward the embassy in Port-au-Prince and evacuate earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Devon-raised Sarah Wallace will stay amid the chaos in an isolated city to the south and search for survivors... continue reading

Jan 15, 2010

Help For Haitian Children!!!

Our immediate action required. Please go to and donate money to God's Little Angel! The money will be used to keep the orphanage running and to help the surrounding community!

GLA needs fuel to run their generator. They have babies who rely on that generator to run as they are on oxygen or in incubators!

GLA has people knocking at its gates for food, medical help, etc!

PLEASE GIVE NOW! GLA is already in the middle of this disaster them help those around them affected by this catastrophe!

About GLA

God’s Littlest Angels is a Haitian orphanage located in the mountains above Pétion-Ville, close to the village of Fermathe. The majority of the children brought to the orphanage are between the ages of newborn and 7 years old. We also have older children, sibling groups, and children with special needs waiting for adoptive parents.

God’s Littlest Angels has ministered to the children of Haiti since 1994 and has been involved in international adoptions since 1997. GLA is involved in several children’s ministries in the local community. In the year 2000, GLA implemented a school sponsorship program for children unable to attend school due to the lack of funds. Today, more than 200 children attend school sponsored by people in North America and Europe.

God’s Littlest Angels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian ministry incorporated in the State of Colorado. In 2000, GLA Canada was formed and is a registered Canadian Charity. All financial donations received in the United States, Canada, and France will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

Jan 11, 2010

Deepak's first children's book: You With the Stars in Your Eyes

Released on January 1, 2010, Deepak's first children's book is a sweet and poignant story that reveals a little girl's glimpse at cosmic consciousness.

On a cool summer's eve, five-year-old Tara takes a walk on the beach with her grandfather. When he is not quite sure how to answer her questions about love and life, the Moon herself joins in on the conversation. She tells Tara that the stars made our eyes so they could see themselves. She also explains that everyone we see is our own self in a different form.

Jan 7, 2010

Set of twins born in different years

TAMPA - Juan Velasco said he certainly didn't plan it this way, but he and his wife Margarita now have identical twin sons, born in different years.

It happened at Tampa General Hospital during emergency surgery.

The first of the twins, named Marcello, was delivered at 11:59:37 p.m. Thursday. He's the last baby born at TGH in 2009.

His brother, Stephano, was delivered at 12:00:02 a.m. Friday. He is the first baby born at TGH in 2010.

"We never think that we would be the first of the year, or the last of the year, nothing like that," said Velasco. "But I'm really happy."

The twins were born at 30 weeks' gestation, so they had to go to the neonatal intensive care unit, according to Catherine Lynch, the University of South Florida doctor who delivered the babies.

Lynch said the surgery was necessary because one of the babies was not receiving as much nutrition from the placenta as his brother. She expects both babies will be in the NICU about eight weeks.

And they'll always have different birthdays, even though they were born seconds apart.

"So they'll always be twins, but now they each have their own special day," said Lynch.

Lynch said this New Year's Eve was the busiest at TGH in recent memory, with five babies born in the three hours before midnight, and five more delivered in the three hours after midnight.