Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

The Delicacy of a Woman’s Power During Labor and Birth

2 Comments 16 October 2012

Women have power.

I visualize internal power as a soft glowing ball of light radiating within our chest walls. It can sparkle like the sun in the faces of our friends and warm the deepest crevices. How it feels so invigorating to achieve. Pride in accomplishments. It’s the best.

When you hand over your power, you dim that light. When you hand over your power, you’re giving someone, (who you may deem as more qualified) permission to make important decisions on your behalf.

Whether we shine through or are snuffed out can be in the middle of a “right of passage” moment in life.

Women sometimes find themselves in this position during pregnancy, labor and childbirth. We enter into uncharted territory and might feel nervous about making decisions. Doubts arise. It feels good to have a guide – someone whom you trust to help navigate.  This is why I so strongly advocate choosing the right care provider.

The incident might in the moment seem insignificant or minor. A simple assessment phone call during labor to discuss your progress peppered with advice about what to do next. Or feeling the iv cord bump into your thigh with each step. Suddenly feeling irritated and taken out of your “zone.”

During labor, distractions can be downright dangerous.

Each time a laboring woman is distracted, she is pulled from her animal-intuitive brain to her human-thinking brain. Complex thoughts and the actions that follow, as well as near constant monitoring by person or machine, releases adrenaline (this is our fight/flight response). Adrenaline opposes oxytocin, the hormone responsible for contracting the uterus.

As a result of these hormones butting heads, labor slows down. Due to this “failure to progress,” further interventions might be “needed” to induce labor, speed up labor, alleviate pain from overly powerful contractions due to induction and/or augmentation, and in some cases, cesarean section.

A woman just lost her power.

Keep your inner light lit by dreaming up and planning for a beautiful birth experience. Build a birth team filled with support. Don’t save the space for distractions and interference (at an absolute minimum). Stay away from negative press and conflicting philosophies that your feel might compromise your experience , during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

Start with trust.

Labor and birth is for a woman the process of letting go and going in, if we allow it. Trust your Self, your body and of course, birth and the entire life cycle.

That is a lot to trust, and to have faith in. You are a lot to have faith in. I know from experience it can be hard to call yourself “worthy” of your own time and respect. But you are. No matter what you’ve done, or what kind of challenge you think you can’t endure, you are human mother giving birth to a human baby. And that is a normal physiological, yet utterly amazing event in our lives!

Looking for more empowered birth posts? These topics relate:

There is Light at the End of the Birth Canal

Natural Birth Relaxation Techniques

Why Birth Matters – An Introduction 

Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

A Better Birth Starts With Your Care Provider

2 Comments 03 September 2012

The best birth starts with knowing what your ideal birth looks like. Your next step is finding a care provider. This post will help you find the right doctor or midwife. 

Today on Labor Day, hundreds of thousands of families are taking to the streets in the United States to rally in support of evidence-based maternity care.

Sitting in my nightgown sipping coffee while my eldest plays make-believe in her fort, my youngest is sleeping peacefully. I can’t help but think about how blessed I am to have given birth to both of them in the comfort and safety of home.

But what I believe was more important than where I gave birth, is who I gave birth with – my midwife.

The best advice can I offer women and families from home today is to doctors and/or midwives until you find the perfect person for the job. Your care provider will make all the difference in your birth.

You MUST know, like and trust the person who will help you have a healthy pregnancy and safe, fulfilling birth experience.

Who is your care provider? Do you know their first and last name? Do they know your name? I sure hope so!

Position yourself as a leader: Be the one in charge

If you want to give birth in a hospital and hire an OB/GYN, schedule a meeting with several doctors for a consultation - in their personal office. If you are interviewing a home birth midwife, you can have this meeting at your home, her home or a public meeting place like a coffee shop.

Make sure that you’re sitting in their personal office, seated in the chair before their desk, and bring a list of questions to ask them.

Ask for references and testimonials from former clients. Ask to speak with those who work with that doctor most frequently and fact check his or her answers to your questions. Make sure everything ads up. If something feels off, walk away.

Just a thought – could you bring along a pocket sized recording devise? Is that legal? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate shocker if you set the tape recorder on his/her desktop?! I guarantee that would be a game changer!

By approaching this process in this way, you are positioning yourself as the boss, interviewing and eventually hiring the perfect person for the job.

You just put the power in your hands.

Remember, there is absolutely no need to feel less than or “beneath” your doctor. He or she is your client, not the other way around!

For more information about how to find the right provider for you, continue reading here: Peaceful Birth – Choosing a Care Provider

Find a local Certified Professional Midwife or Certified Nurse Midwife through these useful links

BBH TV, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Mama Natural ROCKS It on BBH TV! (Video Recording)

No Comments 30 May 2012

Genevieve, founder of Mama Natural, was our special guest on BBH TV tonight, and wow! She’s so awesome!

I’m so glad to have talked with her. She’s doing a great job at getting highly informative messages out there to the natural parent community through her videos.

Watch our video interview below to learn more about Genevieve and Mama Natural.

Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

I Am An Author!

No Comments 16 May 2012

I printed the first copy of my ebook yesterday. Whoot, whoot!

A little back story about the writing of this book:

I wrote the 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep email newsletter just over two years ago as part of the creation of this site.

The newsletter was free to receive, and since it’s inception, over 750 people planning a home birth have been helped by it’s content.

Early this Spring, I decided to transform the articles of my newsletter into an eBook.

I wanted to make it even more accessible to families. An all-in-one home birth preparation package that women could read on their Kindle before bed or share easy access information with their parents.

So I began the process of turning the 9 Steps inside out. I shook it upside down and watched all the words tumble. What a mess!

Then I picked up all the pieces, rearranged them, tossed out a bunch, added a ton, and adding it all together again. It took me four months.

I’d say 95% of the content is brand spankin’ new.

I’d learned so much since I wrote the original series. Heck, I’d had another home birth since then – and it was so much different than my first!

Now begins the process of editing. Red pen to paper. All 12,000+ words. It’s going to be awesome, thanks to a few stellar editing volunteers (I have read it so many times by now I can practically recite it).

The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep eBook should be ready for the public the first week of June!

BBH TV, Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

Karen Brody, Playwright of BIRTH, Founder of BOLD

1 Comment 13 February 2012

Karen Brody is a writer, activist, mother, founder of BOLD, author and playwright of Birth, a realistic portrayal childbirth.

I have the extreme pleasure of speaking with Karen this Wednesday, February 15th on Bring Birth Home TV at 9:30 PM EST – join the event.

This blog post is dedicate to getting to know Karen; all of her wonderful accomplishments and the work she is doing to support and educate women about childbirth.

Karen’s journey began in 2003.

She began interviewing women to hear their birth stories. So many responses came in, she had two, sometimes three phone interviews per day and still didn’t get to everyone who wanted to share.

Then began the arduous task of selecting stories for her book – only eight of them.

She describes the selection process: “That was the hardest part — choosing only eight. An impossible task. What about women who give birth to stillborn babies at seven months? Birth from a blind woman’s perspective? Women who give birth in prisons? Some birth stories had to be dropped. I chose the most typical ones I heard; the most common themes. Namely: epidurals, cesareans and natural births.”

Karen chose the stories of low-risk, educated women to depict childbirth in the developed world.

Birth the play has been performed around the globe, and translated into several different languages.

“The ‘Vagina Monologues’ of birth.”
- Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

About BOLD

The goal with BOLD is to make maternity care more mother friendly, and to inspire communities to organize local productions of Birth. 

BOLD stands for Born On Labor Day, as the first event kicked off on Labor Day and through the month of September. These days, BOLD is a year long event and has raised over one million dollars for pregnant women, teens, VBAC organizations, doula programs and independent organizations.

Join my fabulous co-host Gena and I this Wednesday on Bring Birth Home TV as we speak with Karen about Birth, BOLD, and the creation of her newest venture, FEAR to FREEDOM, offering birth facilitator certification and childbirth preparation.

Sign up for a Vokle account, (it’s free!) to watch and participate during our Wednesday event, and all other upcoming BBH TV shows!


Motherhood, Pregnancy

Natural Childbirth: Are You CRAZY?!

7 Comments 21 November 2011

Every month, a group of local mothers and mothers to be attend Birth Matters.

“Birth Matters is a group for expecting mothers, those with little ones and women who plan to soon begin a family. Gain insight and understanding of the amazing journey of pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postpartum period with other moms in a fun and casual atmosphere!” – Birth Matters

The meeting is facilitated by a group of doulas and postpartum doulas that work together with Birth Kalamazoo, a local business that provides independent childbirth classes, doula and postpartum doula services, as well as lactation consultation/support.

I have been attending these monthly meetings nearly every month since they began almost a year ago.

Last month, the topic of discussion was “Natural Childbirth – Are You Crazy?!”

This was the event description:

“How do you respond to people who don’t understand why you want (or wanted) a natural birth? Have you been able to help shape their understanding in a new way? Or maybe you’ve simply found a positive reply that can shut down unhelpful comments? Come talk about your experiences, we’ll brainstorm together.”

Those comments read:

“my epidural saved my marriage,”

“coworkers betting against her,”


“would you have dental work done without medication?”

and “just you wait…”

“you don’t get a medal for birthing naturally.” (actually, I think you do)

There were many more statements written on that white board – one for every woman in the room. And we went back through each one and provided responses.

It was awesome. Myths were dispelled.  Fears were overcome. Support was given. A great meeting.

So let’s open up this conversation in the comments below.

I’d love to hear from you!

What were some of the comments you heard in response to telling people you were planning on having a natural birth? Or home birth? How did you respond, and what did you learn from the experience?


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