Hypnobabies® says…
“Enjoy your baby’s birth in comfort, joy and love…”

And that is exactly what I witnessed!

But this type of birth is only going to work for you if you believe and if you invest yourself…also known as practice and prepare.

Hypnobabies® was not the only thing going on with this birth.

There was just so much love in this room…between mom and dad and son and parents. It was perfect the way dad read the script while son performed the touching. And, of course, when there is this much love you know that the oxytocin levels are unbelievable. Then add the soothing effect of the warm waters of a birth pool…well, no wonder this labor did not go on for hours on end.

And just to make this birth even more special…a well known doctor, Dr. Stringer of Central Carolina OB/GYN in Greensboro, NC, was the one who had the privilege of guiding this baby to her momma’s waiting arms.

A week or so later and it was finally my turn…

10535599_747441471985656_4253252612566365345_o (640x360) 20141001_113153 (640x360)

     I love my work!!! Thank you, Mom & Dad!!!

Fire Them

1654409_772290742834062_2112665148391680840_nIt is most important for you to feel completely comfortable with, and even trust, all those who are around you during your labor & birth.
If you don’t, your labor can be impacted by your emotions.
I have seen this happen. I have seen a good labor come to a halt because the woman did not like or was intimidated by those who were caring for her.
If you are feeling the least bit uncomfortable, fire whoever it is that is causing your discomfort.
That’s right! Fire them!
I don’t care if it is your nurse, your doctor or midwife, even me, your doula! Fire them! You have that right!
Even if you are in the middle of your labor…you can fire them!
Then replace them with someone else…
Feeling comfortable with your team is that important!

Waterbirth…so natural, so gentle, so safe!

Yes…a waterbirth is natural birth. It is so much more gentle for momma and baby. And it is safe…baby is not going to drown; there are no infections.

It can even be safe for VBACs, as is shown here.

Women’s Hospital of Greensboro, NC has the statistics that show the wonderful outcomes.

However, you must be a qualified candidate for a waterbirth and only your care provider can determine this for you. You must also have a midwife attend your birth.

For more information about waterbirths at Women’s Hospital of Greensboro, please feel free to contact me:

THE Card

Thank you Momma, Dad and wee one!

Thank you, also, Tanya Bailey, CNM, Wendover OB/GYN!


Dress For Success…..Say What?????

Dress for success? Really? pregnant-business-woman

This is a website about pregnancy and babies…not job advancement or interviews!!!

Yes! Really!

The following is from an article originally presented by VBAC Facts at

This reads like the old “Dress For Success” books. Go ahead. Take a look…

And it does not just apply to VBACs but really any medical situation.

Want a VBAC? Ask your care provider these questions.

“Go to your consultations like you would a job interview.  You are not hanging out with your girlfriends.  You want the care provider to perceive you as an intelligent, thorough, and reasonable woman who has done her homework, collected all the info, and would really appreciate the opportunity to VBAC/VBAMC.  Trust is fundamental here and flows both ways. If you can make a human connection with the care provider, then all the better.  Humor is an excellent way to do this.

  • Wear your most professional looking clothes.
  • Get a babysitter for your younger kids if possible so you are not distracted.
  • Bring your medical records and operative reports from your prior cesarean(s).
  • Read, be familiar with, and bring a copy of the 2010 ACOG VBAC guidelines.
  • Google the care provider, their practice, and the hospital/birth center and note any special awards or recognition they have received.  Bring this up in a complimentary way during your appointment.

Remember, a lot of care providers are concerned about being sued, so they are sizing you up as much as you are them. They want to know that you understand the risks and benefits of your options and that you have realistic expectations.  Be sure that you don’t repeat birth myths while speaking to them as that will reflect poorly on you.

Once you connect with them on a human level, and they see that you are an educated, rationale, and reasonable woman, then you can determine how willing they are to negotiate on some of their terms (if necessary.)  For example, if they require moms to stay in bed during the entire labor, ask if their hospital offers telemetry units (wireless fetal monitoring).  Some hospitals even have them in a tube top so they don’t move around as much and are less noticeable to moms.

It’s very important to not come across as angry or argumentative, because that decreases the likelihood that they will attend you.  Express your frustration, anger, and pain with support groups online.”


Here’s the sad part…I think this is true in most cases. If you wish to own your birth experience when having a doctor and a conservative birthing site, I think this is true all too often.

I hate like anything to say this, but there it is.


When dealing with those care providers who “dress for success” in their business clothes and white lab coats and then introduce themselves as Dr. So-and-So but address you by your first name…….. well, they are probably going to respond to you as more of an equal rather than as an over tired, uncomfortable momma-in-waiting; as more as an intelligent, educated human rather than as I’m-sacred-to-death-of-this-pregnancy-and-birth female….if you are more like them.

And that is why the entire concept of “Dress For Success” was so popular, and successful.


Does that make you feel comfortable? Is this how you wish to feel while2ab you are laboring? Do you think you should have to be dressed in a certain way, speak in a certain way, and act in a certain way…just to feel comfortable with the person you are paying to help your child enter the world?

If your answer is no….then perhaps you should do something about it.


I leave you, for now, with another quote…

“If visiting your care provider doesn’t make you feel encouraged and supported, you won’t have that in labor either. Period.”

                                                                                      ~ BirthHerWay



What Is Really Being Said When Talking With Your Care Provider?

You know the old saying……

Why do you suppose you have two ears and but one mouth?


Using your ears really applies to when you are speaking with your care provider. First, use your mouth to ask your question. But then use your ears to hear the answer. Listen to the words s/he uses. And then, use your mouth again to restate what was just said. Get any clarification you may need. This is also true with all medical personnel, such as hospital/birth center staff.

For example, if you say you want to labor in water, your care provider may say “Sure you can labor in water, you can use the tub.” What is really being said? You can labor in a birth tub or birth pool? Or is s/he saying you can labor in a bathtub while you are still at home? You might want to clarify the definition of laboring in water and tub.

Another example, you ask if the medication is going to hurt your baby. The health professional responds “No, we never would give anything to you that would harm your baby.” What is really bring said? That the medication will have no impact, at all, on your baby ? Or that the medication will not harm/hurt your baby,now or later. Perhaps what you really want to know is if the medication will effect, have any impact, on your baby, now or later.

See what I mean? Be sure of what you are hearing. If there is any doubt in your mind, at all, ask again for further clarification. It often helps to restate what you have heard and ask if that is what is meant. If your care provider becomes impatient with you, or even avoids direct answers… you want to reconsider your choice of care providers?

Use your two ears to really hear the words. Use your mouth to ask questions and to clarify.





All newborn procedures, tests, bath…everything…will be right with mom! Even the pediatricians come to Mom’s room! And, yes, hearing tests can be performed in the room as well!
An emergency is only reason baby would be taken away.



Know Your Rights

I recently posted a very good article to my FaceBook page about Informed Consent.

Check it out:  What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Her Right to Make Choices | Brio Birth

It reminded me of “The Rights of Childbearing Women”, written by Childbirth Connection, which I share with you here.

The Rights of Childbearing Women

* At this time in the United States, childbearing women are legally entitled to those rights.
** The legal system would probably uphold those rights.
1. Every woman has the right to health care before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth.
2. Every woman and infant has the right to receive care that is consistent with current scientific evidence about benefits and risks.* Practices that have been found to be safe and beneficial should be used when indicated. Harmful, ineffective or unnecessary practices should be avoided. Unproven interventions should be used only in the context of research to evaluate their effects.
3.Every woman has the right to choose a midwife or a physician as her maternity care provider. Both caregivers skilled in normal childbearing and caregivers skilled in complications are needed to ensure quality care for all.
4. Every woman has the right to choose her birth setting from the full range of safe options available in her community, on the basis of complete, objective information about benefits, risks and costs of these options.*
5. Every woman has the right to receive all or most of her maternity care from a single caregiver or a small group of caregivers, with whom she can establish a relationship. Every woman has the right to leave her maternity caregiver and select another if she becomes dissatisfied with her care.* (Only second sentence is a legal right.)
6.Every woman has the right to information about the professional identity and qualifications of those involved with her care, and to know when those involved are trainees.*
7.  Every woman has the right to communicate with caregivers and receive all care in privacy, which may involve excluding nonessential personnel. She also has the right to have all personal information treated according to standards of confidentiality.*
8. Every woman has the right to receive maternity care that identifies and addresses social and behavioral factors that affect her health and that of her baby.** She should receive information to help her take the best care of herself and her baby and have access to social services and behavioral change programs that could contribute to their health.
9.  Every woman has the right to full and clear information about benefits, risks and costs of the procedures, drugs, tests and treatments offered to her, and of all other reasonable options, including no intervention.* She should receive this information about all interventions that are likely to be offered during labor and birth well before the onset of labor.
10.  Every woman has the right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests and treatments, and to have her choices honored. She has the right to change her mind.* (Please note that this established legal right has been challenged in a number of recent cases.)

11.  Every woman has the right to be informed if her caregivers wish to enroll her or her infant in a research study. She should receive full information about all known and possible benefits and risks of participation; and she has the right to decide whether to participate, free from coercion and without negative consequences.*
12. Every woman has the right to unrestricted access to all available records about her pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum care and infant; to obtain a full copy of these records; and to receive help in understanding them, if necessary.*
13. Every woman has the right to receive maternity care that is appropriate to her cultural and religious background, and to receive information in a language in which she can communicate.*
14. Every woman has the right to have family members and friends of her choice present during all aspects of her maternity care.**
15. Every woman has the right to receive continuous social, emotional and physical support during labor and birth from a caregiver who has been trained in labor support.**
16. Every woman has the right to receive full advance information about risks and benefits of all reasonably available methods for relieving pain during labor and birth, including methods that do not require the use of drugs. She has the right to choose which methods will be used and to change her mind at any time.*
17.  Every woman has the right to freedom of movement during labor, unencumbered by tubes, wires or other apparatus. She also has the right to give birth in the position of her choice.*
18. Every woman has the right to virtually uninterrupted contact with her newborn from the moment of birth, as long as she and her baby are healthy and do not need care that requires separation.**
19.  Every woman has the right to receive complete information about the benefits of breastfeeding well in advance of labor, to refuse supplemental bottles and other actions that interfere with breastfeeding, and to have access to skilled lactation support for as long as she chooses to breastfeed.**
20. Every woman has the right to decide collaboratively with caregivers when she and her baby will leave the birth site for home, based on their conditions and circumstances.**

1999, 2006 Childbirth Connection


Obstetricians Study…Themselves

Another intriguing article by Jacqueline Levine!  Thank you for sharing, Jackie!!!                    

Obstetricians Study…Themselves

Posted July 30th, 2009 by Jackie Levine

Obstetricians Study…Themselves

Your obstetrician is afraid of being sued.  Should that fear guide the way you’re treated during your pregnancy, labor, and the birth of your baby? Should fears of litigation have a direct effect on the rate of cesarean section in our country, and should your risk of having a c-section depend on your OB’s personality?   Common sense and our general understanding of ethical behavior make us want to answer these questions with a confident and resounding “Of course not!”  The dismal truth, however, is that those three questions must be answered with an unequivocal “Yes”.  I am not a researcher, but as a Lamaze educator, doula and Lactation Consultant, I am led by the needs of the women I teach and support to be aware of best-evidence care, of the most current studies, and what’s going on with practitioners in the “industry” of birth.

Recent news from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) 57th Annual Clinical Meeting,  as reported in Medscape Today ( Medscape Medical News, May 12, 2009), was revealed in an article entitled “Liability Fears May Be Linked to Rise in Cesarean Rates”.  I’ll just quote the article directly so that you can have the very words of the study as reported. (All bold emphasis is mine.)

It has been suggested that medical-legal pressures are a factor in the rise in cesarean deliveries. A number of studies have borne this out.  Localio and colleagues (JAMA. 1993; 269:366-673) found a positive association between medical malpractice claims risk and the rate of cesarean delivery Murthy and colleagues (Obstetrics & Gynecology 2007; 110:1264-1269)  found an association between professional liability premiums and rate of cesarean deliveryfor every $10,000 increase in insurance premium there was a 15% increase in the rate of cesarean (s)delivery.  First of all, I applaud the abstract, that it quantifies a perceived problem,” Dr. Barnhart said. “We all anticipated that defensive medicine might be a reaction to litigation, and this paper demonstrates that that is indeed the case,” Dr. Barnhart said.So don’t just blame the doctor for doing a C-section, recognize that there’s probably a reason that [he or she is] doing it. And that fear of litigation is the reason,” Dr. Barnhart concluded.” (Paragraphs 6, 12, 13 and 14.)

This article is really a confession on the part of OBs.  It’s a way to say “You see, it’s not our fault that we have to do all these c-sections.  We’re just human and fear is making us do unnecessary surgeries, just in case we get sued” and puts the OB in the role of victim.  It’s an admission that what is being done in the way of care is for the welfare of the OB, and not for the welfare of the woman in his care.   We assume that the most fundamental tenet of patient care is that what a doctor does is for OUR benefit, and not for her or his well-being, convenience or safety.  We are right to feel that any doctor who picks up a scalpel and performs a cesarean surgery for these “defensive” reasons is committing a real crime, a travesty of ethical behavior, a total betrayal of our trust in the doctor-patient relationship. What’s happened to “first do no harm”?  It’s easy for the OB to use cesarean delivery as an answer to all potential problems, to say that something might be wrong, do the surgery, and when of course everything turns out fine, mother and family are just relieved.  But should you have to give up your right to be treated according to your genuine health status, have to risk the many documented hazards of c-section for both you and your baby, and compromise your future reproductive health to protect the personal welfare of your doc?  So yes:  your OB may treating you in his or her own personal, financial interest, since OBs seem happy to admit that one of the reasons for the rising cesarean rate is fear of litigation.

Does your risk of c-section depend on your OB’s personality?  Again, the answer is yes. A disturbing article, called “Women’s Risk of Having C-Section May Depend on Her Obstetrician’s Personality”, discusses a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2008. (Here is the citation: Allcock, C., Griffiths, A., & Penketh, R., The effects of the attending obstetrician’s anxiety trait and the corresponding obstetric intervention rates. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 28(4), 390-393. [Abstract]).

As before, quoting directly makes things abundantly clear: “Obstetricians were asked to complete a validated survey that measures ‘trait anxiety’ which is stable and enduring…”:  it is an integral and unchanging part of a person’s personality, and very different from “‘state anxiety’” which happens in response to a particular situation.   The results are very concise: “Statistical analysis revealed that the doctor’s trait anxiety levels were highly correlated with cesarean rates.  The obstetricians with the least anxiety had the lowest emergency cesarean rates.  The obstetricians with the most anxiety had the highest rates.”

These studies document just two of the many circumstances that affect our chances of having a cesarean, very few of which have to do with a mother’s or baby’s actual health.  Of course, many noted researchers have published studies on other reasons for the rising c-section rate, but these studies expose a side of obstetric practice in a way that is particularly damning.  Each doctor makes a choice: either to treat ethically, or with regard for his own interests.  There are many caring and dedicated doctors who stay current with and give only best-evidence care. I admire the ethical practitioners who do not rely on routine interventions, and who use cesarean surgery only to save the lives or health of babies and mothers, and not for their own welfare, but the ever-rising c-sections rate illustrates the fact that they are a minority.  I am more than an interested observer, it’s true, but what I see and hear is explained, more often than not, by the studies I talk about here.   OBs are ducking the questions that arise about the morality of performing cesareans for defensive reasons or for “personality traits”, and ducking patient’s questions about best-evidence care, but somehow we have to make them face this reality: “Approximately one-third to one-half of maternal deaths can be attributed to the cesarean procedure itself.”  And: “There are no well-documented prospective trials demonstrating benefit to the fetus or to the mother that would justify the extent of the increase in the primary cesarean rate.” (Obstetrics: Normal & Problem Pregnancies, 3rd Ed. Gabbe et al. p634).

For each baby that you will birth, you will have only that one day, that one chance, to have that birth, so when deciding on a caregiver, remember that we all have access to the web and its riches and can learn the facts about normal, healthy birth, and conservative reasons for c-section as well.  You can find local recommendations for OBs from other women across the United States at  The facts are yours for the looking.  Your prospective OB also knows that best-evidence information is out there for you to see, so question him/her closely about c-section rate, induction rate, episiotomy rate, and if you sense a defensive posture about his stats,  or an air of reluctance to tell you what you want to know, politely say your thank-you’s, and head for the door.
Read more:



ARE you totally comfortable talking with your care provider? Asking all those  questions you might be too embarrassed to ask someone else?

DOES this person give you the time to talk about whatever you want to talk about?


DOES your care provider validate your concerns? Make you feel like your question is the most single important question?


DOES s/he allow you to feel like an intelligent and caring parent to be?


DO you leave the office feeling like an adult who is worthy of this professional’s time? Do you leave feeling no shame?



If you answer NO to ANY of these questions……

it may be time to find yourself a different care provider!!!!


And it is never too late in your pregnancy to do so!!!

What we (and it isn’t just us women) tend to forget in the presence of    medical persons is that WE ARE THE CUSTOMER!!!! This is true of facilities, too.

This does not mean that we have the right to be rude and/or arrogant. But it does mean that we have the right to feel comfortable, to have the respect of the medical person, and to be given the time to address the topics that are important to us.

You are sharing probably the most important, and intimate, time/event   of your life. You have every right to feel good about whom you are sharing this with. Baby professionals should feel honored that you have chosen them for this time. I know I do in my capacity!

And after all…… are the one paying this person’s salary!!!

Without you…they will not be in business!!!