Archive for October, 2008

Barbara Harper will give Waterbirth Workshop at Hollywood Birth Center November 10th

FYI: Barbara Harper will be in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for a visit and has consented to take one day to teach a Waterbirth Credentialing Workshop on Monday, November 10th from 9:30 – 5pm.

Credentialing has been going on around the country for over a year now. You may have it already.  It started with one physician needing a credential for the hospital insurance company.

ACOG gave their approval last year for the course and it was taught by Barbara and three other waterbirth providers.  There are 7 nursing credits available through the Ohio Nurses Association.  ACNM is reviewing the CEU application, as well. Please help us promote this workshop, even if you cannot attend.

All proceeds go to Waterbirth International to continue the important work we are doing to make sure that every woman has access to water in labor.

A special Regular Registration price has been set at $255 for all practicing midwives and physicians.
Students, apprentices and doulas may register at a discounted rate of $125.
This course is the required education component for Credentialing.

Call or email if you have questions.
Go to for a complete workshop schedule.
Barbara will also be teaching in Chicago on November 7th and then Portland, Oregon on December 5th
Registration is the same for all workshops until January.
Hope to see you in Chicago.

Abundant Blessings,
Madrona Bourdeau CPM,LDM
Workshop Assistant
Waterbirth International
503-673-0026 – office
503-673-0029 – Fax
We LOVE helping women get into Hot Water!!
And have been doing it for 25 years!!

30 October 2008 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

Homebirth montage

Beautiful montage of homebirthing

from midwife Pamela Hines-Powell in Oregon

22 October 2008 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Unassisted childbirth documentary on Discovery Health

October 21, 2008, the unassisted childbirth documentary “Freebirthing” will be premiering on the Discovery Health Channel. The hour-long program follows three women over the course of their pregnancies as they prepare to “freebirth” (give birth at home without the assistance of doctors or midwives). Dramatic footage of the extraordinary deliveries is also shown, along with comments from people that approve of or oppose the practice.

While this is not brought out in the program, nine pregnant women were actually interviewed for the documentary, and all nine went on to successfully give birth at home unassisted. None of the women sought medical care during the births, and only two sought non-emergency care after the births – one for a slow placenta (that came out easily, on its own in the hospital), and another for stitches.

19 October 2008 at 11:58 am Leave a comment


When two of my daughters both told their midwives that they planned to use hypnobirthing, both midwives were very happy and said it would make their jobs easier.  Both used the home study version of Hypnobabies, though one also attended a Mongen-based class.  I was with both of them throughout both of their labors and births and I just want to say that it works beautifully.  The serenity and peace that held them was amazing, even when difficulties arose.  Both felt that the amount of time they put into preperation paid off and would never have a baby any other way.  Where was it when I was having babies?

14 October 2008 at 6:26 pm 1 comment

Important new study–Evidence-Based Maternity Care

The Millbank Report takes stock of the U.S. maternity care system, identifies many opportunities for improving the quality, outcomes, and value of maternity care, and presents policy recommendations. It was developed through a collaboration among Childbirth Connection, the Reforming States Group, and the Milbank Memorial Fund.

Even the USA Today is recognizing the importance of this report in two encouraging articles discussing childbirth costs and fixes.

Consumer Reports also posted an article and a quiz.

10 October 2008 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Angelina, my hero

I never thought I would be blogging about Angelina Jolie, but I am VERY pleased to see her on the cover of the new W nursing one of her new babies. It is a stunning photo and a big boost for breastfeeding images in the mainstream media.

9 October 2008 at 9:16 pm 1 comment

Events all over the state…

Be sure to check out our other events section, which is filled with upcoming events around the state. MFOM is also co-sponsoring a wonderful film festival in Southeastern Massachusetts that includes two state premieres Orgasmic Birth and Birthing Under an Illusion, plus The Business of Being Born.

6 October 2008 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

“Orgasmic Birth” filmmaker profiled

Many in the MFOM community are already aware of the film “Orgasmic Birth” that was released this year. I had the privledge of seeing it already, and I enjoyed its very powerful message that the mind and body are very much one during our labor and birth.

Debra Pascali-Bonari is profiled in the Hackensack Record today for her film and its upcoming segment on 20/20 that so many MFOM members have been waiting to see.

It has been quite a journey for the River Vale childbirth educator, who began her career teaching Lamaze classes.

When expectant couples she taught invited her to accompany them during their baby’s birth, Pascali-Bonaro happily accepted, becoming a birth companion, or coach.

That role was more widely recognized in the 1980s, as Pascali-Bonaro became one of the founding mothers of the “doula” movement, eventually expanding her training work to inner cities and abroad.

From those experiences witnessing the joys and pains of childbirth — in settings ranging from Mexico to New Zealand — the idea for her film was born.

The goal of the movie is to show that giving birth can be more than painful and messy. It can be powerful and life-changing.

Even orgasmic.

The line that keeps resonating for me in the article is a quote from Dr. Christiane Northrup:

“The childbirth movement is full of angry people,” says Christiane Northrup, a holistic obstetrician/gynecologist, author, frequent Oprah guest and host of her own PBS specials. “But Debra is the most gracious, gentle person. She’s not pushing an agenda. She lives the message.”

I guess I agree that the anger felt among childbirth activists is potent and real. It is a human rights issue, however. I can’t imagine anything that a woman is more evolutionarily wired to feel protective about than if someone violates her needs while birthing.

What do you think?

3 October 2008 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Upcoming BoBB screening

The Women’s Studies Program at Boston College is proud to announce that we will be hosting a screening of Ricky Lake’s “The Business of Being Born” on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 7pm in McGuinn 121. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Abby Epstein, Tina Cassidy, a former Boston Globe editor and author of “Birth: The Surprising History of How We are Born”, and Susan Cassel, local midwife and educator.

If you have any questions about the event, feel free to contact me at Campus maps and directions can be found on the school’s main webpage

2 October 2008 at 11:18 am 1 comment

Return to the Wild and Sacred Spirit of Woman

From the Life-Giving Belly

“Because as women, we hold the possibility to regenerate life from our creativity that is fertile in a multiplicity of meanings, it may very well be time for us to birth from our collective wisdom new paradigms for our world to live from.” ALisa Starkweather

~Hello my friends far and wide~

Daughters of the Earth Gathering was really remarkable. I am hardly ready to organize more but here comes the 10th Women’s Belly and Womb Conference and before I go to facilitate Women in Power Initiation in Maryland, I wanted to tell you that registration is finally open!

I hope to see you this autumn. I imagine with the elections that we will need a time to gather in women’s council too. Many are working hard right now. This is an important moment we are living in and how we respond is really up to us now.

The Women’s Belly and Womb Conference;
Celebrate Ten Years of Honoring Women

November 15th, 2008
with Pre-Conference Classes on Friday, November 14th
Shutesbury, Massachusetts
This is simply a heads up that the registration for the conference is open. Some of you have been patiently waiting. I will send something more substantial later. You can check my website for classes, teachers and details. Thank you as always for letting others know. Blessings, ALisa

Celebrating Our Tenth Women’s Belly and Womb Conference

For a decade we have been recovering the power in our bellies and wombs as women by giving ourselves a day to honor our woman journey together. Come celebrate with us as we dance, sing, feast, and become stronger in the good company of one another.

Our world is calling women to be in our power, our gut-knowing, our truth right now. Women are aching for changes internally and externally. We are facing terrible destruction and disease and growing hardships. Many of us have already lived through inner and outer wars long before now. In spite of this we still long to be in our bodies, know our ecstasy, share our gifts and be present with life as life is occurring. In an unprecedented container, the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference deliberately makes space for collective healing. It is not just a learning and informational day. It is a day to make new choices, to come out of denial, to recommit to our visions, our lives through loving our bodies and who we are in this world. It is an unforgettable moment in the life of a woman when she recognizes more of who she is and what is possible in her life. It is fertile ground for transformation. We make space for what needs healing in hearts, bellies, wombs and lives as women.

To register and find out more go to my website.

Our Bellies are Beautiful. Talk to Your Belly.

2 October 2008 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

Twitter updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


October 2008