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Posted in Birth Stories, Natural Childbirth, Positive Birth Movement, Pregnancy, Western Birth Practices, Your Questions Answered | Leave a comment

What is an Empowered Birth?

“For me an empowered birth is one where I am the one who makes the decisions for me and my baby. Where I am in an environment of love, support, and respect for the power within my body to successfully birth my baby. Where I can be free to express anything I need to express; sound, movement, fear, love, ecstasy in a place that my expression will not lead to interference from the outside. I believe women have the ability to create an empowering birth experience regardless of if the birth outcome is natural, medicated, or surgical.   When women are making the decisions for their bodies and their babies out of education, faith, belief and confidence in themselves and not out of fear or manipulation they will be empowered.  I believe in the human body, in it’s power, and in birth’s ability to transform a person, woman, wife, and mother.”

Dr. Nancy, Your Birth Coach

If you, too, want an empowered birth – join the community at http://naturalbirthbabyandbeyond.com.

Natural Birth, Baby, and Beyond is an online childbirth empowerment course and online community where you can get all the information and resources you need to create the best birth for you and your baby.

Posted in Birth Stories, Natural Childbirth, Orgasmic Birth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Does ISIS Have to Do With Birth and Parenting?

Never before has it been so important to stay connected to our kids. With busy work schedules and kids extracurricular activities, it is easy for families to be moving together but without making any connection.

Kids who feel disconnected from their families have always been at greater risk of being recruited into gangs and following a path in life that doesn’t best serve them or the community. Social media and religious extremists have taken that risk to a whole other level.

Earlier this month 60 minutes did a segment on “homegrown Jihadists” called “Campaigning for ISIS in the West.” Using social media, ISIS is recruiting youth in the west through their bedroom computers. Using online video sharing, twitter and other social media they are actively recruiting those youth who are craving connection, purpose and a place to belong.

It’s not enough these days that your kids are at home. That doesn’t translate to being safe Continue reading

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Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth.

The World Health Organization has released a statement: Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth. I am sad that this even needs to be a topic of discussion and thrilled that this is finally being dealt with on a global scale.

WHO Statement: Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth.

Posted in Birth Stories, Childbirth Activism, Informed Choice, Natural Childbirth, Positive Birth Movement, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Should Breastfeeding Mothers Pump to Feed their Children in Public?

A comment on Today’s Parent article about a nurse in that took place after a recent human rights violation regarding breastfeeding stated:

“God so sick and tired of these women who constantly complain….and I am sorry you wanna whip out your breast to feed your child….do not do it in front of me while I am eating…there is such thing as a pump and if you know your going out pump some milk, you can breast feed in the privacy of your own home.” from MOMOF1

Why on Earth would someone pump to leave the house?

Here is some context about the incident.  A woman who was travelling in Ontario with her baby stopped at Tim Horton’s and breastfed her baby.  She was asked to cover up by the supervisor and the manager.   The next day a nurse-in took place to raise awareness that breastfeeding is a protected right via the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code.  No woman can be asked to move or cover up while nursing.

It seems to me that comments, like the one by MOMOF1, clearly show how much people do not understand breastfeeding and what it would take for a mom to pump to leave the house.

One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it is available in the right quantity and temperature at all times and places and does not require the expense of any paraphernalia or time to prepare.

For a mom to pump milk to go out Continue reading

Posted in Breastfeeding | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Should Women With Traumatic Birth Experiences Just “Accept and Move On?”

I am appalled at this article on the Huffington Post entitled, Recalibrating Our Expectations of Childbirth.”

You don’t really need to go and read it, I quote the appalling parts below, but if you are interested here is the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cara-paiuk/recalibrating-our-expecta_b_5372955.html 

pregnant bellyThere are some good points in this article about preparing for birth and how to deal with unexpected outcomes that I wholeheartedly agree with. My opinion is that not enough emphasis is placed on really being ready for the intensity of birth physically and emotionally. Not enough women prepare for unexpected outcomes and more would benefit from independent (non-hospital based) childbirth education and mentoring.

Beyond that, this article is highly offensive on so many levels, even for someone like me, who had three ‘perfect’ births that went according to ‘plan’.

Here is where the article starts to go wrong: Continue reading

Posted in Breech Birth, Caesarean Section, Childbirth Activism, Informed Choice, Positive Birth Movement, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Medical Community Not Aware of Why Parents Abstain From Vaccines

There was a great article in the Ottawa Citizen about why parents choose not to vaccinate. Here is my response to this article:

I agree that the media and the medical community are uninformed of the reason why parents choose to abstain from vaccines, delay, or selectively vaccinate. Each time an article blames non-vaccinating on celebrities or autism I know the author/reporter is clearly uninformed on the real issues.

I have three main issues with vaccines, which are also the concerns of most of the non-vaccinating parents I know.

#1 Lack of informed choice.

Most parents are not given accurate information with which to make an informed choice. All pro-vaccine material makes the assumption that the only choice is to say yes to vaccines. Vaccine marketing is often manipulative (especially that for HPV) and parents are often coerced and bullied into their decision. Parents are presented with fear-based information about the risks of the “vaccine-preventable” infections and overstatements of the benefits of vaccines, claiming guaranteed effectiveness. That is not nearly enough information to be making an informed choice. No parent who has been given this limited amount of information has legally given informed consent. Continue reading

Posted in Informed Choice, Vaccines | 1 Comment

Stay Out of Our Vaginas

A new device is being manufactured to stretch a woman’s pelvic tissues (lower 1/3 of the vagina and pelvic floor muscles) during the first stage of labor.  http://www.maternamedical.com/the-device.html

There are so many things wrong with this idea.

Women’s bodies are not dysfunctional in birth. The system of maternity care is dysfunctional and is what is often causing damage to women’s bodies. This device is like covering the symptom of one improperly prescribed drug by taking another drug. It is not getting to the underlying cause of the problem which is a dysfunctional maternity care system that is not supporting women’s bodies to give birth normally.

In an undisturbed birth NOTHING needs to go inside a woman’s vagina. No fingers for routine vaginal checks(which give little to no useful information except in specific scenarios), no instruments, and no one even needs to be looking between a woman’s legs.

A normal birth happens with a woman upright and not her back with her knees behind her ears stretching her perineum over the vaginal opening. Support normal birth and we do away with the need for interventions and pelvic floor and perineal damage for the vast majority of births.

Besides how is a woman supposed to be walking, dancing, rocking, bathing, and everything else that facilitates the first stage of labor with a device slowly stretching her vagina in place.  This device would keep women on their backs, increasing pain and use of epidurals.  This dysfunctional positioning, increased pain and fear, and use of drugs is what is causing many perineal tears and tight pelvic floor muscles in the first place.

Sign this petition to let the company know that you want them to stay out of your vagina!

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/materna-medical-keep-your-devices-out-of-our-vaginas?tk=b2e96ZIn05c-hs20lkSiuhURshvEudX5FrY8BZnYpBs&utm_campaign=social_digest_email&utm_content=social_digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest&utm_term=1

Posted in Childbirth Activism, Informed Choice, Natural Childbirth, Sexuality, Western Birth Practices | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Porn and our Youth’s Sexuality

I have always been interested in sexuality; I am currently writing a book on sex and birth. So I have been doing some ‘research’ and have come across some Ted Talks that I have found interesting and eye opening.

For our twenty somethings and teen populations porn is affecting what is happening behind closed doors. Porn today is very different from porn I was exposed to in the 80’s and 90’s, before high speed internet arrived. The porn available now is changing the minds, expectations, and experiences of today’s young people.

Did you know that porn is actually causing erectile dysfunction in twenty year olds? Not the kind of erectile dysfunction that can be remedied with Viagra or psychotherapy as it is not a below the belt problem, nor a psychological problem. It is a physical rewiring of the pleasure centers of the brain. Watch this TEDx Talk called The Great Porn Experiment and find out more.

Porn back in the day was about the fantasy of the encounter. There was a story line, no Continue reading

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Drinking Love

I am writing a new book.  It actually has been written in my head since my pregnancy in 2011 but I am finally putting it down on paper, well technically typing it on to virtual paper.  I was inspired by my sister to write an ovaries out, vulnerable, open, and honest introduction to the book, which I did yesterday.  You will have to read the book when it comes out to read that.  But I had a realization while writing that I wanted to share.

drinking love image

My kids love breastfeeding so much because they are drinking love!

 

I had never thought about this in this way before.  They tell me it’s the best thing in the world, better than ice cream!  If they had to choose one thing they could eat forever it would be my milk.  They don’t want it in a cup, they say ‘that’s gross’, they want it from me.  I offer that we can just snuggle but that isn’t sufficient.   Why?  ”It’s not the same,” they say.  Drinking my milk in a cup and snuggling together at the same time is not the same.  Why?

Oxytocin is our love hormone.  Essentially it is LOVE in chemical form.  It is what changes the physical structure of our brains, changes the connections between neurons, to form tight bonds with the people who are around us when it is released.   We get oxytocin in a few ways; birth, breastfeeding, sex/orgasm, and physical closeness like hugging.  The amounts of oxytocin we experience in life are highest with birth (unmedicated birth though) and then with breastfeeding, then sex, and then with other physical closeness.

When we breastfeed oxytocin is the hormone that releases our milk from our breasts and it is flowing through to our nurslings in our milk.  Snuggling and the skin to skin close physical contact tops it off to be the most oxytocin they will experience apart from their own birth experiences.  Our babies, toddlers, children who nurse are literally drinking our love.  They then experience love in their own body, what could be better in the world than that.  Not even ice cream.

I wanted to share this because it is a beautiful insight for me and I will now be less likely to say no next time they ask for a sip of LYVE.

Posted in Breastfeeding, Natural Childbirth, Natural Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Years After My Online Birth

Two years ago I made a decision that has changed the course of my life.

As a result of my mother’s reaction to witnessing my second home birth back in 2009, and how gentle and empowering it was compared to her ´humiliating´ birth experiences, I felt it was important that others also have the opportunity to witness a peaceful birth.

Undisturbed birth, where no one interferes with the mother, and all those present are there to support her wishes and her normal physiology, looks nothing like the images we have seen from typical hospital births. As a result, I decided to have my birth live streamed online. The birth of my son Oziah was seen by an audience of thousands of viewers from around the globe, anxious to witness a normal birth for the first time.

This birth was likely the most witnessed birth in history and progressed exactly as I had Continue reading

Posted in Childbirth Activism, Ottawa Community Events, Parenting, Positive Birth Movement | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How My Midwife Changed My Life 7 Years Ago

I am reposting this article originally published on Ottawa Mommy Club because today is the 7th anniversary of me becoming a mother.

“You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” – Dr. B.J. Palmer

I think that when working in the world of birth sometimes people can forget how long lasting and impactful their work is on the life of that family. I’m sure each birth worker does recognize that each birth is a miracle in its own rite but it is easy to lose the connection with how the events of that birth will play out for the future of that family.

When I was pregnant the first time, I knew I wanted a natural birth. I wanted nothing to do with medicalized birth and the only thing I feared was the possibility of being put on the clock and being pushed into the hospital system. I had total faith in my body and even wanted minimal involvement from my midwives. (I recognize that I am the odd ball when it comes to my complete faith in birth but it was as a result of my training as a chiropractor that I understood the full potential of the human body.)

Some midwives would have been less than comfortable with how comfortable I was with birth and I know not many Obstetricians would have been able to care for me. Many people who work in the world of birth are just as afraid of birth as women are, in today’s fear based culture. Continue reading

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