Sunday, December 16, 2007

Listen up!

Now is the time to buy tickets to the most amazing, homebirth affirming event of 2008. Come join the other birth celebs for the event of a lifetime!!

For the 3pm screening:

For the 7pm screening:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007



Bizz Buzz 2

Tomorrow should be the day! Tickets will go on sale through a site called Eventbrite. If you look here tomorrow you will be sure to see the address. Please consider becoming a sponsor to this event! Business sponsors will be offered special promotional opportunities including being listed in our program and on screen with a special sponsor trailer. Family sponsors will also be mentioned in the program and get to send a message and photos on the trailer as well. Support midwifery, sponsor this event!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Biz Buzz 1

Save the date-- Jan. 17th, 2008! at the Roxie!
Here is the schedule of events, so get ready:

3pm Mom and baby screening of The Business of Being Born
with Q and A
with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

5:15pm Hour of Activism with Dr. Laura Norrell from St. Luke's and a representative of Homestyle Midwifery.
How can you help!

7pm Main screening of The Business of Being Born
with Q and A
with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

9pm Par-teh!! Premiere party at a nearby venue (still thinking-we're picky!) with Ricki and Abby and the SF birth community (You!!)

Come back here for more Biz Buzz! Tickets on sale VERY SOON!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's My Body will Travel

Here are the places, that I know of, that
It's My Body My Baby, My Birth
has travelled to.

New York
New Mexico
North Carolina

Thank you for helping us spread the word!
Click here to join us!
It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hot New Release!

It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth is off to a wonderful start. We received 1000 copies less than a month ago and I only have 150 left in my possession! Hot cakes! Please check out this movie if you haven't yet. We CAN have better births!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Matilda's arrival

Welcome to Matilda Meriwether Starbuck! She started off our November with a rush of wonderful babies. Congratulations to Orca, Boris, grandma Nancy and big brother Simon! Matilda was born on November 2, 2007, in the water, wrapped in a cord, right at home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Juniper is here!

With power and pleasure, Juniper Pearlington Grace entered the world on November 5, 2007 at 2:04pm. She is a joy! Congratulations to Andie and Tom, amazing!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Welcome Wayne IV!

A very big welcome to the world to Wayne de Geere IV who came into the world in such a speedy fashion. Wayne IV was born on Nov 4, 2007 with the help of pinch hitting midwife and auntie, Amber, Amazon mama Breanna, and photo-taking, every watchful Papa Wayne III. Glad I made it just in time to see this little guy's arrival! Welcome to the world!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Mexico Midwives

Thank you MANA, ICTC and Florida midwives for a beautiful and inspiring conference. It was an honor to be among you!

from Emily, Michelle, Elizabeth and Ruth

Mirala por donde viene,
Mirala por donde llega
La Virgen de la Barquera.
Ya se van marineros,
ya llevan el muelle,
Que la reina del cielo embarcar quiere.

Sisters on a Journey

From MJ Hanafin, CNM, Homeopath from England--

Wow, so good to be back into the energy of my sister midwives, you and wise ones too. I have been a 24/7 carer for my lovely mum for the last 3 plus years after she had a severe stroke leaving her totally paralyzed accept for her right arm. She can talk which is quite a blessing. It's lonely, hard work but she has a great sense of humor and she is very sweet and grateful. So, tho it's hard work, I wouldn't wish it to be anything else. But getting an energy boost from "my women" now and again keeps my spirits up and batteries recharged to give my mother the care she deserves. Blessings to you all, MJ

From Nancy Rotecki, NP, CNM, MPH from Seattle, WA

This is my first blog experience-being a midwife working in women's health for the Seattle Public Health department. I dearly miss my midwifery practice of 22 years at the Health Dept, but love the diverse clients I see day to day. The issue is affordable health care; this is an ever present concern for the women I serve. I hope we can effect this idea that health care is our right in my life time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Looking Forward

Thank you so much to Diane Holzer for dedicating 20 years to the MANA Board! She has been tireless in her work and visioning for the future of midwifery in the US and internationally. Gera Simpkin will be looking forward with the rest of the MANA board to more ways of promoting midwifery for all women.
The Midwives Alliance is IN CHARGE!

Karen's Two Cents

Birth Works!!

-- Karen Ehrlich, CPM, LM

We are FAMily

The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM) is committed to increasing access to midwifery, through research, public education, and public initiatives. We are the only grant-making, midwifery-related organization in the country.
Please support our work and help our vision become a reality: that midwifery is available, affordable and respected; and birth has been returned to women, families and normalcy.
Visit FAM at
-- submitted by Priya Morganstern, FAM Board member extraordinaire

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MANA on a break

What would we do without Tina, Linda and Maggie? These women are in Charge and are taking the rest of us along for the ride. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Doing the Board Walk

Tamara, Vicki, and Sheila
We are having so much fun and getting a lot done. We enjoy each other's company and hearing our stories. Doing the board walk....board walk!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Noah Was Born!

Zachary, Noah and Joshua

Welcome to Noah Justin Colety, born at home on September 14, 2007!

Noah joins his super big brothers, Joshua and Zachary, all born at home to midwife Lisa de la Fuente and Brian Colety.

Birth is a process, not a procedure.

Lisa and Noah

Monday, October 8, 2007

Just One More

lovely photo of Orion with his proud parents. I recently came across something an MD said at the end of his post to a list serv,

"Any change for the better now will require a new propaganda war with a new consumer movement."

That was Neal Devitt, MD, from New Mexico and he was talking about the fight for natural childbirth. Today. How can we not fight this fight when you look at this family? Women and men are empowered, joyous and complete. We are taking up that battle cry. Join us!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Big and beautiful

An amazing thing happened on September 26, 2007 -
Orion Elijah James Bava Young was born!

All 9 pounds 14 ounces of him and don't let anyone tell you different!

Michelle Bava and Aaron Young went the distance to bring their baby safely into their arms at home.

Congratulations! and Welcome, Orion!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth

Yippee! We launched a new website today for our new film, It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth! Go ahead -- surf!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Niko Becomes a Mother

I never considered myself the motherly type. In fact neither did my friends or family. They expressed concerns about how I would make the transition from the overly scheduled life I conducted of running a busy non-profit to the circular life of being with a baby.
I worried about this.
I worried that I would miss the "me" time.
I worried that I would get bored, get anxious, wish I hadn't had a baby.
Even my step mother said over and over, "We'll see how you do when you are a Mom and are no longer in control over your whole life." I was worried.I had my baby boy on July 8th of this year. Birthed him at home in an amazing birth. And two months later, even during a week of being totally sick, even though my body was warm with fever and my throat was so sore I could barely swallow I held him fiercely to my breast, to my heart with a love that I never experienced in my life. And when my breast or my body or my voice lulled him calm it made me feel more alive and well then I have ever felt. I do not miss "me" time. I miss the hours I spend away from him. I dread going back to work with a heart breaking ache.

Although my sentences are often half finished, my well planned life is constantly interrupted, and the hours reel one into the next with little sense of day and night and no difference between week day and weekend, nothing else makes me feel this way, nothing else makes me feel so desperately in love, so desperately ALIVE.
I used to wake at 5am to go to the gym, then to work, then to dates with friends or my partner, then to bed. Now I wake at 2, at 5, at 7 to feed my son. Now my favorite part of my day is our afternoon nap. I crave these hours together when I can breathe in his breath next to my cheek, his little heart beating fast next to mine. He is asleep; a smile comes over his face, then a frown. He wakes with urgent cries for food. I feed him and he smiles, his face covered with my milk. He giggles as he gazes right into my eyes. He is totally at peace, totally content, totally loved. I am totally at peace, totally content, totally loved.

And until I first felt his warm, wet, sticky skin, I never was sure I could give up my sense of self centeredness, my need for my own time first, my need for my own needs first. How would I ever give up the long weekend days I spent running, biking, shopping, walking and being alone, the long weekends I spent with my partner? How would I compromise up my work?
And now all at once I don't even need to think about it - it just is all I want, he is all I want.

Becoming a mother has opened me to new places in my heart and to a joy so intense it makes me gasp. Maybe I am not "motherly", but I am a mother in love. --Niko Everett

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Women Helping Women

Becoming a mother was the most powerful and the most terrifying challenge I had ever encountered. Knowing that I was 100% responsible for the well being of this tiny, helpless person was incredibly profound. To connect and recharge, I started meeting other moms at the home of my midwife, once a week in the afternoons. It was such a relief to find other like minded new moms who understood what I was feeling and who were interested in sharing their experiences. Eventually we spun off our own mom's group and we've been together more than 3 years. The ongoing love and support of the families in my group has been so amazing. I did not know how important community would become in raising our child. These Mamas and Papas and kids are now our extended family. We take care of each other in very fundamental and meaningful ways. When I heard about Kiva on NPR, I brought this idea to our moms and everyone was very enthusiastic. We are women helping women. It is so easy for us to relate to women all over the world, working so hard to provide food and shelter and education for their children. Then, when the woman repaid her loan, the money could work again for another woman, and this could go on indefinitely. We could act as examples for our children and our community, modeling the importance of service and giving. When NBC contacted us to do an interview about our lending with Kiva, we wanted to use that momentum to get other people to begin lending. We are getting close to hitting our goal of 100 new lenders for Kiva. It has been so wonderful watching the lines of longitude and latitude that separate us around the globe, simply evaporate. Being active members of our global community is the connection we are all longing for. Serving others IS serving us.

By Brandi Bernazzani

Monday, September 3, 2007

Women in Charge

Brandi Bernazzani, Raissa Williams, Jessica Garcia and Julia Sterling are stars of the Today Show! These three women first met through the Bay Area Homebirth Collective. Three years later, the11 moms in their mom's group are still meeting and making a difference in the world. These mom's signed up with the website, Kiva, which lends mico-loans to needy participants across the global. The money for the loans is given by people like you and me and this mom's group. You can loan as little as $25. AND, it is not a donation, so when you are repaid, you can loan it again if you wish. This is an incredible story about how we all can make a difference.
Here is the link to the Today's Show.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Welcome Baelen!

My, my, I've been on vacation and have fallen off of the blogging band wagon. So much to say, so many babies to welcome. Here's our first.

Welcome to Baelen Welborn Raphaely, born at home on August 12, 2007 after a long and courageous labor. Congratulations to Sarah and Dorth for their hard work and perseverence! Much gratitude to Sue Baelen and Michelle Welborn, the midwives in charge, who were honored with this baby's name. The miracle of birth has the power to create community and connections that are deeper than we can ever guess. Every birth is a wondrous event and we are lucky to be called to be present.
Sue Baelen and Michelle Welborn with Baelen Welborn Raphaely

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Post from the Kansas City Star blog

Protect Homebirth Option

It is distressing to see that some obstetricians and public officials refuse to acknowledge the medical literature on the topic of home birth. Planned home birth with a skilled midwife in attendance has been shown many times to be a safe and reasonable option for low-risk women. (See, for example, the study published in the British Medical Journal, June 18, 2005: “Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America”).

National certification is currently available to midwives, as is licensure in many states. With the high rates of unnecessary Caesarean sections in most hospitals across the country — and the well-documented problems associated with surgical deliveries — it is more important than ever to preserve safe choices in childbearing that have the potential to reduce unnecessary interventions and their attendant risks.

Both home births and hospital births carry specific risks, and women who seek to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary medical interventions should be able to choose the home birth (or free-standing birth center) option.

As our obstetrician consultants for our forthcoming book on pregnancy and birth would agree, it is simply a myth that having a baby in the hospital will guarantee a better outcome for mother and/or baby.

Judy Norsigian
Executive director, Our Bodies Ourselves

Monday, August 13, 2007

Focus on Long Island

Thank you to Rachel, Julianna and Lorraine Cambria for being the most fabulous focus group for the upcoming movie on Natural Childbirth, "It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth." Rachel, 17, says that it definitely changed her outlook on natural childbirth. Juliana, 11, wanted to know if the babies were really born in the water. Lorraine says that she is reminded about how much she wanted to have a water birth 17 years ago with the birth of her daughter. The movie will be released in October 2007 so stay tuned for more.
Live from Long Island!

Being In Charge

Sometimes homebirths don't happen at home. We can spend 2 hours at home or 2 days at home or no time at all at home. We need to be open and flexible to a mom's needs and to a baby's needs. We need to be smart. Being in charge means that you are never pressured or manipulated into making decisions that are not right for you in the moment. Of course, you can feel disappointed and frustrated and maybe even scared, but we still want you to feel in charge of your decision-making and empowered by the amazing and humbling process of giving birth. We learn and grow throughout. The lessons are many and profound. We are grateful for the opportunity to understand birth and life on such a deep level.
Welcome to the world to Scarlet Shir-Lin Shinkle, born on August 10, 2007 at 6:43am. Congratulations to proud parents Emily and Andy, you have joined the circle of parents!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Naturally At Home

We are proud and thrilled to announce the birth on August 9, 2007 at 6:56 a.m. of Dominic Price Witham, born naturally at home after 29 hours of labor and weighing 9 lbs. 4 oz. and measuring 21 3/4" long.

We are all doing just great!

With love,
Karen, Bill, and Dominic

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lola is Here!

Cozy has an amazing little sister!
Her name is Lola Davis Shoffstall and she weighs in at a hefty 8lbs 1oz, 21 inches long and has a 13 1/2in head. Oh and she has 10 fingers, 10 toes and a very cute little tongue. She hasn't asked for a pony yet, but she already asked for a new MacBook Pro!
She was born at 2:24 am on July 30th, 2007 at home with the help of our midwives Maria and Abigail, and their assistant Michelle. Christina was incredible, labor lasted for a good 26 hours and she is doing well resting with Lola right now.

-- Sean Shoffstall, brand new Dad

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Best Odds on Tiring Out Your Three-Year-Old

Congratulations to homebirther Dharam Kaur Khalsa of Acrosports for having one of the best preschooler activities around. But don't think she's doing any of this with her own babies, Guru Bakshish is attending UCLA and Amrit is a sophmore at Urban High School!

Welcome Simone!

Rebecca, David and Willa are excited to announce their new family member!

Miss Simone Handler Andrade took her first breath at 4:19pm on Wednesday August 1st. She was born at home weighing 8 lbs, 2oz and is 21 1/2 inches tall.

Mother and baby are healthy and happy, and big sister wants to "hold Simone peeeeeeez."

Birth has that big way of bringing us to a vulnerable place where we learn alot. Rebecca took charge of this birth and brought it all home for herself and her baby. Amazing courage, strength, and willingness.

Best Tattoo Artist

Congratulations to Philip Milic for receiving the coveted "Best Tattoo Artist" award from the Bay Guardian. Here's what they had to say, "The Asian-influenced, eye-popping ink work of Philip Milic, an independent needle slinger who works by appointment only, has our readers covered for yet another sleek and sexy year." Yeah, Philip and Meghan Marie who are planning a homebirth for later this month!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Register your water baby!

Waterbirth International needs you to register your baby on their "I Was Born in Water" list on their website if you had a waterbirth. Click here if your baby was born in water. They have over 4000 baby names listed and their goal is 10,000 by 2010. They are in line for an NIH grant to do follow-up research for these babies and their mother's experiences of waterbirth. Not only will you get to be on a very cool list, but you will be helping to prove that waterbirth is a safe and wonderful way to enter the world!

Here are more waterbabies: Gomeh, Solena, Elle, Oona Jane, Camilo, and Forrest!

Friday, July 27, 2007


The Bay Area Homebirth Collective wins best home delivery from the SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Awards 2007. Pizza and chinese food eat your heart out!

"The natural-birth resurgence of the '70s gestated, was delivered, and suckled right here in the Bay Area. After 30 years the movement has grown into a well-respected alternative to highly medicated and medicalized birth. While local hospitals have cesarean rates as high as 25 percent and give epidural anesthesia to 70 percent or more of their patients, planned home births with licensed midwives are consistently associated with fewer medical interventions and have been shown to be as safe as hospital births. For families who prefer to give birth in the safety and comfort of their homes, the staff of the Bay Area Homebirth Collective offer childbirth preparation classes, labor assistance, and midwifery care to women in every corner of the Bay Area. The members of the collective come from diverse backgrounds, and all are experienced, licensed, and committed advocates of natural birth. Just as good: they won't make you wear one of those tiny peekaboo paper gowns." Click here for the Best of the Bay Awards online.

Thank you Bay Area!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Solena knows that what is needed most in birth is flexibility. Go with the flow. Be open to the outcome. The natural flow of birth will show you where to go. Be there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Homebirthin' Firefighter

Female firefighters are some of my favorite people on the planet. They are sooo cool. And of course, homebirthers are my other favorites. So when I have a homebirthin' firefighter, you know I'm over the top! Here is Rita, you can read Thomas' Birth Story back on the Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions website. Thank you Rita, you are awesome!

Monday, July 16, 2007

EMT class on Treasure Island

Last year the Bay Area Homebirth Collective had the privilege of training the many fire fighters and first responders in San Francisco regarding midwifery and homebirth. Their training center is located on Treasure Island, half way between San Francisco and the East Bay. I think the trainings were a huge success and we have already experienced the difference when we need to call 911 for a transfer. Thank you, SFFD! Here I am again talking to a group of EMT students last week about homebirth and midwifery and how we can collaborate more when our care intersects.