Special Mother’s Day Report: The Mommy Wars Are Over!

14 05 2012

(Worldwide, North American Mother’s Day 2012,
Associated Press)

The news we have all been waiting for has finally arrived– the Mommy Wars are now officially over. Just in time for Americans to celebrate Mother’s Day this recent May 13th, we have received word that both sides of the Mommy Wars divide have agreed that no such war exists any longer and that peace talks and healthy discussions of differences are now fully in effect. Individuals will finally be treated as individuals, and not aligned-with purely for the groups which they claim to belong to. CNN reports that the groups themselves are in the process of dissolving, so as to eliminate divisiveness in the parenting communities.

May 13, 2012- President Barack Obama, acting as Commander in Chief, announces that the War between the Mothers has ended.

This news comes just weeks after extremists in the anti-AP and -NCB camp attempted to drop a bomb on the nation of Brazil. The intended target was missed, but the bomb hit the Atlantic Ocean, causing a series of complications which resulted in citizens near the shore losing power for about 20 minutes. Luckily, the Brazilians didn’t seem to notice.

Celebration takes place in the streets as sides have put down their arms. Instead, they have decided on flamboyant parades full of hugs and sisterhood. Membership cards to any particular group are being burned in the street with noted glee.

AP and NCB (“attachment parenting” and “natural childbirth”) leaders hired perennial Mommy favorite John Cusack to be present at anti-AP/NCB locales and hold his stereo over his head as a show of appreciation and gesture of good will. The song playing was Boyz II Men’s  “A Song For Mama“.

Ryan Gosling could not be reached for comment.

Although sides may still disagree, they no longer target one another with condescension and ideas such as, “you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts”. Both sides have recognized finally and officially that “facts” are relative and subject to one’s trust in the source, and have agreed to only gently share views rather than to attack and aggressively go out of their way to debate. Information will continue to be shared on a “need to know” basis. All terrorism has been abolished. People of like mind will continue to convene at agreed-upon locations, free to practice their beliefs in peace and harmony and without fear of retaliation or subterfuge.

People seeking information on parenting from either generalized ideology will finally do their own research and be trusted to make their own grown-up decisions, rather than being sneakily tricked into drinking any kool-aid or bitterly indoctrinated. Interference of any sort will only be encouraged in cases of blatant child abuse;  speculation or sensationalism will be strictly prohibited in placing judgment, as there is now a “live and let live” peace treaty underway. Both sides have sworn to uphold values of consideration toward the feelings of people who differ, and to prize them as just as valuable and valid as their own feelings.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. It’s the dawn of a new day.

Have You Gotten Your FREE ‘In Search of the Perfect Birth’ Yet?

25 01 2012

That’s right. Starting yesterday, and for a VERY limited time, you can get In Search of the Perfect Birth (Kindle Edition) FREE on Amazon.

US link: ISOtPB on Kindle
UK link:  ISOtPB on Kindle

Don’t have a Kindle? Neither do I– you can still get the book. Most of our readers are getting theirs via phone or PC. If you haven’t already, join the hundreds of other people who’ve grabbed it, and make sure you tell people about this. It’ll be over soon.

I have been so, so happy at the amazing response we’ve received. So many pages have graciously shared us, and people have been messaging and commenting wonderful things. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as they have. Thank you to the following pages who have so far shared this free book news with their awesome communities.  Stop by and visit them and see if you like what they have to offer. So many people have been helpful, so I might be forgetting someone– if I have, please, let me know!


The Skeptical Mother  I hope to expose the truth and dispel the lies that are often spread by opponents of homebirth and natural childbirth.
Lactastic Mommy- Your BFF (Best Breastfeeding Friend) [she shared it, twice!] This page is devoted to helping moms and dads with all things breastfeeding in an open, nonjudgmental forum.
Unassisted Childbirth/Freebirth  Unassisted birth also called Freebirth, is giving birth without the assistance of a professional birth attendant.
Undisturbed Birth  Birthing in Freedom
The Mom: Informed  We provide information and web links for parents.
Natural Pregnancy & Childbirth  Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, Waterbirth, Homebirth, Breastfeeding and more.
Funky Little EarthChild  The gentle and not-so-gentle ramblings of a voice for those who cannot speak.
Know Better, Do Better Birth Services   Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Services
Freebirth Australia  A website about freebirth, for freebirthers, by a freebirther!


@esalibirth  Esali Birth: We believe providing knowledge to our students allows them to be removed of cultural stigmas and fear tactics placed on many of us by society.


We are #1 at Amazon Kindle in the Pregnancy/Childbirth category. ♥ In the UK, we are currently ranked #18 in Personal Health on Kindle.

If you haven’t helped us spread the word, you’re missing out on being a part of an extremely great group of people. If you haven’t read it yet, join the hundreds of mothers, activists, doulas, and midwives currently reading the book. The positive feedback has been tremendous… I am truly blown away.

Be on the lookout for another giveaway starting tomorrow. Our book will still be available for free, so this will be something running simultaneously, and it is baby related (of course). Are you curious what it is?

Getting Qualified Care

12 01 2012

Of course your care providers are *qualified*, but in the eyes of whom?

Most of us would agree that finding qualified care is of extreme importance. Where we diverge, however, is in how we define “qualified”. We could just leave it at that and live and let live. After all, we will never all agree on one set standard of what is acceptable. What you find to be proper I may find inappropriate, and we are all different people with different values and different needs.

However, there are people out there who are so obsessed with the care other women receive in birth that they are unwilling to give in to this, and frankly they are quite mad. The people I am talking about storm birth articles, pages, groups, forums, in addition to their own groups, forums, blogs, etc., in an organized front to rally against natural birth and what they believe to be some kind of natural birth cult-like movement. One of their main groups  even describes itself as being Fed up with natural birth, fronted by an infamous retired doctor, a former OB/GYN. This may not be very compelling in and of itself if not for the fact that nearly every naturally-inclined pregnant woman who hits the internet for information or camaraderie is bound to bump into (and, heads with) these individuals whether they’d like to or not. The level of force used is great, from the mischievous to the malicious, and people who disagree are automatically considered ignorant and bombarded with what some can only describe as hate speech. This is done in an attempt, they say, to be of service to women and babies.

My thoughts: We all want safe options for women, and we all do what we do because we think our information is correct, our stance the truly educated choice, but we don’t all impose our beliefs and standards upon others.

In this next series of posts I have titled Getting Qualified Care, I will take a deeper look into the anti-natural birther movement and their obsession with controlling how total strangers both view and give birth. Specifically, we will be bringing up points to cause readers to question whose definition of “qualified” should count, who gets to decide this, and just how qualified the people concerned are to dispense the info and services which they do.

One thing they stand firm on: They are doing it to help.
Let’s keep that in mind as we take a look at the people who want to make sure YOU are getting qualified care.

Sexism and Childbirth Choices

26 11 2011

QUESTION:  Is natural childbirth

sexist? Is medical childbirth sexist?

It depends. Before labeling, you really have to be fair and consider the source.

Michel Odent has been called or implied sexist by a certain infamous Dr. and anti-NCBers for providing info to empower women through realizing how to give birth naturally and the beauty of it.

The logic seems to be that he’s old, he’s a man, and anyone who would deny women of pain relief (medication) in childbirth is a sexist who believes women should suffer in childbirth. They also take issue that these philosophies “remove choices”, but I argue that a) so do anti NCBers, in trying to more strictly regulate birth options, and b) we are for INFORMED choices, but we disagree that all women’s choices are actually well-informed.

That’s not what natural birth is about, though. It’s not about being cruel and making women suffer. It’s not about removing WELL-informed choices. It’s about providing right info, and putting power that is life-altering back into the hands of women. If women knew just how powerful they were, this would actually be a threat to the patriarchy… !

So, no, I promise you, none of us thinks women should be in pain and suffering for their birth. In fact, I’ll be the first one to tell you to be kind to yourself. If the pain is unbearable to you, take the meds. And don’t be hard on yourself for making that choice. I don’t want to see women suffer, and I doubt that’s Odent’s intention, either.

So what IS this Odent physiology stuff about? It’s about the fact that women don’t automatically suffer just because the paternal obstetric model doesn’t relieve the poor, weak woman with pain meds. That’s right… not every woman is some poor, suffering child whose pain can only be relieved by some white (-coated) knight, who mercifully swoops in to bestow his paternal hit of drugs.

I have done it both ways (drugged and not). I have received pain meds and been ever so grateful. I have also wished I would lose consciousness and had an excruciating “natural” birth. And, I have been liberated from the cycle by owning my birth and surrendering to it– naturally and physiologically. Guess which birth was best?

I’m going to show you some things and then I want you to decide what is truly sexist: Giving power and information TO, or degrading and expecting less FROM?  These are merely examples of the rhetoric, and the personalities behind the rhetoric. Some opinions and values are shared by their friends, and some are not.

This is a point about what IS sexism and what IS real feminism; when people cry “sexist”, we need to consider the source.

[Values include: being a MILF (and making sure everyone knows you are)…]

Because only a twat would think that inductions weren't such great ideas.

Take away: Even Dr. Amy puts the smack down on rampant sexism coming from Aleah and friends.


This one needs explanation. Someone who left critical comments regarding my book also reviewed another book (which is what you are reading here, from Amazon). I think their words give added insight to their attitude towards feminism. I lump them in because these are all critics of NCB and usually self-proclaimed "feminists" or believers in equality and choice, and I think this is not always quite accurate.

These are just some examples of the differences between “sexism” in natural childbirth and sexism in anti-NCB. I know that some believers in natural birth happen to be sexist or perhaps even come from a women-as-subservient place, but you are certainly not finding any of that with me or Odent. We are champions of women, and it’s wrong to falsely paint these principles of biology as misogynist. I am a progressive, believe in freedom and equality, and have been called a feminist since I was a child– and I am proud of that. I believe women are amazing goddesses and deserve the utmost respect. I believe in a return to our innate maternal wisdom.

Okay, so Odent is a sexist for playing into woman’s birth goddess “fantasies” and putting women on a pedestal to encourage them to take back birth from the medical model, but people like those shown above are not sexist? Odent may have a penis, that is true. A man can be a feminist just as sure as a woman can be a chauvinist, however.

I’m not trying to be mean, honest. I’m just trying to say that…

It’s hard for me to really take seriously the opinions of people crying “misogynist” who think the standard of beauty is being a dyed blonde, breast job having, diamond wearing MILF nurse; who think “pushing a baby out your vag” is no big deal and even something to ridicule, and constantly calls people in a condescending tone “honey”, “love”, “sweetie”– when she isn’t busy using her favorite insult, “twat“. You dig what I’m saying?

Why should anyone take seriously opinions on Dr. Odent coming from these folks? All things considered, if these are your attitudes in life, your idea of what is “misogynist” falls a little flat with me. These to me are not true feminists and not actual advocates for women. These are the biggest misogynists of all. I certainly won’t listen to what SHE thinks WOMEN aren’t capable of. I wouldn’t even trust the limitations she puts on herself.

It’s worth noting that these are the same people who call my friend an “attention whore” for talking about her rape to explain her birth views, and bring it up as another source of ridicule.

These aren’t healthy, credible sources. Before you call misogyny, you must consider the source.

Okay, so, what is really sexist? The natural childbirth advocate who tells women how they can have the best birth for their self and their child without trauma? Or the anti-NCBer who tells women that they aren’t special and should shut up?

You decide. Who’s the sexist and who’s the feminist?

Are you for women, or are you against them? Do you believe in them, or do you think they are ridiculous?

You have to love yourself before you can love someone else. It seems we have an epidemic in our culture… a serious lack of understanding of our true worth.

If we’re going to give birth back to women, we need to start patching that up. You are not a pair of tits and a hair color. One day you’ll be old, or fat, or ugly. For now you are a youthful woman, perhaps fertile, certainly glorious and beautiful no matter who convinced you that you’re not. Your real power and beauty is something ageless and within. What’s it going to take to undo all this damage and convince our insecure women of this? Can it be undone?

Sorry, I wanted to keep this short, but I couldn’t leave you without ending it on this note.

Outsmarting the Dragon

13 09 2011

Unassisted birth is proclaimed by those who don’t ‘get it’ to be “stunt birthing”. I find this a laughable notion because I’m the least likely person to take unnecessary risks. I may do things that other people find bold, but I do them when I find them to be necessary. I will grant you that coming out of our culture, having no real education on unassisted birth, it would be easy to conclude that this is a reckless and merit-less practice, but I don’t deal in preconceived notions, I deal in what is. The fact is, unassisted birth is one of the safest and most pleasant ways you can give birth (if not THE most) ; birth is far safer than we were culturally conditioned to believe.

I swear, I’m no storm chaser, and I don’t do crazy stuff to exhibit bravado. I’m an introvert. I’m a nerd. I have my pride and will stand my ground, but I don’t look for trouble. I won’t start a fight, but I will jump in to stop a situation from escalating or protect someone from getting hurt. I won’t skydive, but if a plane were about to crash and I had a parachute on, I would find the courage to jump. I will chase after people who rob me, I will prosecute people who’ve harmed me. To me, unassisted birth is not a stunt, and I am not doing a trick and being reckless. I am doing something more like all the latter examples I am giving… something I call “outsmarting the dragon”. It’s self-protection and -preservation, really. It’s not putting yourself in harm’s way, even if that seems like the normal thing to do. Sometimes it’s doing what seems brave only when it’s the right thing to do. It’s chasing the right thing when you recognize what actually IS right.

I am not a stunt birther. Like I tend to remark, “I don’t even like roller coasters.” When I was about 17, fresh out of high school, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I went with a bunch of our best friends to a theme park for his birthday. We started the time off with one of the baddest roller coasters they had. I made myself get on, even though it looked very daunting to me. “What are you, a punk?” I said to myself. “It’s just a roller coaster. Be brave. Deal with it.” So I did.

I didn’t enjoy myself like my friends had, no. Everything about it felt wrong to my body. My heart beat fast. My boyfriend watched me in concern as I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I felt as though my breathing was halted. I felt tears welling up as I couldn’t catch my breath. This was a fast and furious ride with long steep dips– those are the worst. I hate the feeling of falling. When we got off, they were all happy at how awesome that ride was, but not me. I was happy it was over, and caught my breath, calmed my heart, and let my watery eyes recover.

We all went on other rides and did the usual theme park stuff, nothing as drastic as the first ride… until the end of the night approached. We had time for just one more ride before we left. It was a roller coaster with a dragon theme.  They convinced me to get in line, and I really thought I could do it. However, soon I wasn’t so sure about this one. It didn’t look as bad as the first, but I wasn’t feeling really up to it. The more I considered it, the more I realized how ridiculous it was that I was about to get on something I truly derived no pleasure from in any way, and in fact had no real desire inside to go through with. What was the reason, the purpose? To prove something to myself? I already knew I could do it– I just didn’t want to, didn’t have to. To prove something to my friends? Nah, that’s not my style. I make it a point to befriend people who like me for who I am. I stayed in line the whole time but at the last minute, I decided I wouldn’t get on. It just didn’t feel right to me. I said goodbye and told them all to go ahead without me and I’d meet them on the other side. They actually chastised me, criticized me, were mad with me. They made me feel like I was being a baby. These were my friends, usually very cool people, very tolerant… what did it matter to them that I didn’t want to get on? I wasn’t stopping them from riding. Why would they want me to do something that wasn’t enjoyable to me? I walked out of the line, backtracking through the people, in tears. My boyfriend followed me.

We stood outside the exit waiting for our friends to finish, leaning/sitting against a cement wall. I cried to him that I didn’t understand why they’d want me to do something I was uncomfortable with just for them to have a good time. I couldn’t believe they had made me feel that way about something having to do with personal comfort levels– how silly! We aren’t all daredevils. We don’t all find the same things to be fun. My boyfriend comforted me. Then he said, “Hold on a minute.” He ran over to the gift shop across the way. A few minutes later he returned and handed me a gift. “For you.” He said.

It was a little cup the size of a shot glass that said something along the lines of, “I conquered the dragon”. You know, one of those “I survived the ride” bragging souvenirs. Still wiping away tears, I laughed at him, and said, “But I didn’t even ride the ride!” And I knew what he was going to say in the split second right before he said it: “You did defeat him. You outsmarted him.” I remember smiling at him and hugging him. Even after our friends got off the ride, they were still annoyed with me. We all grew apart eventually. I don’t talk much with them anymore. But, as far as my husband and I go– I still remember that as one of my favorite moments from our story. I don’t know if it translates as such here, but it was romantic, and a great metaphor for us and our life that we’ve faced together. I’ll always remember that moment as one of those perfect ones in life.

Walking away from hospital birth (or even just attended, medicalized birth) was just another way I outsmarted the dragon. I already rode the ride. I knew I wasn’t comfortable with it, knew it didn’t feel right, knew I didn’t like it, even though everyone else was doing it and said it was perfectly safe.  I’m still met with such animosity, confusion, and judgment, more than a decade after this event, from those that seem annoyed with me that I walked away and encourage others to walk away (same mess, different dragon). It’s okay. It’s okay to walk away from something you don’t feel right doing. To me, the real stunt is a hospital birth when no emergency to speak of actually exists. To me, that’s the daredevil activity. I don’t feel safe, knowing what I know about it. I know too much to feel safe anymore there. I don’t want to follow the crowd. I am at peace with this, content to walk away.

Listen to your gut. You don’t have to follow the crowd. Peer pressure still exists, even amongst grown women who have become mothers. Or, maybe it’s all of society. It could be your husband, your best (childless) friend, your mother, your neighbor. Everyone may misunderstand you, thinking you are the one with something to prove. But there is no contest here. Ultimately, all of that is an illusion. It is always just you and the dragon, and you get to choose what you will do when confronted with him. All of those people will disappear from the picture when your life is over, and all you will have is your story in full… the choices you made, your reasons why, and what kind of person you were in heart, soul, and character.

Doing what you have to do for yourself without needing the approval or understanding of others is outsmarting the dragon.