Archive for the ‘UCAN Birth Meetings’ Category

Next UCAN Birth Support Group Meeting 6/23/10 from 7 – 9 p.m.

June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 23rd from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

We will be discussing ways to prepare for natural childbirth including childbirth preparation methods and professional labor support (doulas). Bring a food item to share.  Visit for more information.  Please RSVP through the contact info in the link.  Meetings are always free.


UCAN Birth meeting 3/25/09

March 27, 2009

We had our birth stories night this past Wednesday with a group of over a dozen new and experienced moms. Several inspirational stories were shared. One mother recounted the midwife-attended home birth of her 2-week-old son. Another mother shared the story of her second child’s midwife-attended birth center birth and her third child’s unassisted (on purpose) home birth. Additional mothers shared the birth stories of children born at home with midwives. The last story was of a great hospital birth experience.

We also spent time answering questions of pregnant moms wanting to know what they could do to help their upcoming births be positive, joyful, and healthy.

Join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:30 p.m. We will be discussing options for birth location and care provider (doctors, midwives, etc.). Find out more information and RSVP to get directions by contacting me at the info in this link.

UCAN Birth Meeting on Wednesday, December 3rd at 7 p.m.

December 1, 2008

We’ll meet from 7 – 9 p.m. We will be discussing options for birth location and care provider (doctors, midwives, etc.). Bring a food item to share. Women who desire to give or receive support and information regarding unmedicated, natural childbirth options are invited to attend UCAN Birth support group meetings. Please make arrangements for older children. Nursing babies are always welcome.

More info is here:

Please RSVP through the above link.

New Birth Stories Pages and Last Night’s UCAN Birth Meeting.

December 14, 2007

I’ll keep a few inspirational stories collected here on this blog. You can access them by visiting this page (or by using the Pages links to the right).

Last night’s UCAN Birth meeting was well-attended as well as very inspirational and uplifting. One of the women shared her three beautiful unassisted home birth stories. Her faith in birth is incredible. She also brought her mother, who has also had unassisted births after having c-sections with earlier babies. Another woman shared the story of her midwife-attended home birth. Both of the women who shared their personal birth stories talked about joy and laughter as being part of their birth experiences, which is awesome!

We also watched the video of Psalm & Zoya (unassisted home birth of twins). The birthing mother’s calm and confidence is lovely. It was wonderful to witness the birth of twins, born past 40 weeks, with one weighing over 7 lbs. and the second twin weighing over 8! That’s incredibly rare in a culture where twin births are treated as highly complicated and dangerous and few twin pregnancies go to term. While prematurity is a concern with twins, even women who manage to carry their babies into their ninth month are often manipulated by their doctors into inducing or having a c-section as early as 36 weeks. Of the small group of home born twins I’ve learned about, most are average size (7 lbs.+) and are born near their due dates. It is my firm belief that if mother and babies are healthy and well, it’s safest to allow nature to simply take its course.

The overall message of last night’s meeting was: Birth happens. We just need to get out of the way and let it unfold the way it was designed to.

Reminder: UCAN Birth Meeting This Thursday (Dec. 13th)!

December 11, 2007

Our next meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 13th from 7-9pm. We will be sharing inspiring natural birth stories. Bring your birth videos or birth stories along with a food item to share! We will also be watching the birth video Psalm & Zoya, which shows the unassisted home birth of twins. Nursing babies are welcome.

UCAN Birth Meeting Report for Oct. 16th

October 17, 2007

We met last night and watched the documentary Born in the USA. We had a nice-sized group of women and had an enjoyable, informative talk after the film regarding the type of care women receive in various birth settings. The general consensus of the group was that midwifery care is far preferable to obstetric care due to the respect and autonomy women retain while under the care of a midwife. In the film an obstetrician is seen condescendingly telling a woman “that’s not a choice” the same way a mother might tell her three-year-old that it’s not a choice to hit his sister.

Use of Technology

The group also concluded that obstetricians employ the use of technology despite knowing that these interventions result in greater injury without improving outcomes. In one scene a group of obstetricians gather to discuss some cases. They laughingly talk about how one woman’s c-section may have been induced by the interventions she received. They state that breaking a woman’s water has never been shown to speed things up but that they all do it anyway. In another scene an obstetrician states that continuous fetal monitoring doesn’t improve outcomes for normal births but that it provides a record that may be used in a lawsuit. Obstetric tradition and fear of lawsuit are major factors as to why obstetricians intervene so readily.

Continuous fetal monitoring also makes it easier for nurses to watch multiple patients at once. The group discussed that in a home birth setting it’s common for there to be two or three midwives and assistants caring for one laboring woman. In a hospital setting it is common for one nurse to be watching two or three laboring women at the same time. That division of attention requires a nurse to rely more heavily on machines such as the electronic fetal monitor to alert her if there is any problem. In a home birth setting two or three pairs of watchful eyes are there to make sure everything is still normal and safe. An obstetrician who now works as the medical director of a birth center commented that even though he’d attended thousands of births he’d never stayed with one women throughout the course of an entire labor the way he sees the midwives at the birth center do routinely.

Emotional Aspects

The group also determined that women in a home birth setting are much more likely to be supported and encouraged which results in safer, more joyful birth experiences. During the home birth shown in the film we saw the midwife giving lots of encouragement and (when needed) suggestions. The baby’s head was in an unfavorable position. Rather than reaching for technology to correct the “problem” the midwife instructed the mother to move around and use various positions to get the baby to adjust her head. It worked and the woman gave birth under her own power to a large and healthy baby.

The lack of support generally found in a hospital setting was glaringly obvious during one particular obstetrician-attended birth. The woman was at 3 cm and expressed that she wanted to have a natural birth. The obstetrician, arms crossed, said that that was fine but that if she stayed “this comfortable” then they’d need to give her pitocin. Later on the OB came in again, repeated that drugs are available and that pitocin is a good idea. The laboring woman decided to get pitocin and “something to help her sleep”. She got a shot of narcotics and some pitocin. The pitocin made her very uncomfortable (which is what the doctor wanted) and the woman decided to get an epidural. The doctor said that’s probably the best thing. She then commented to the camera that the woman and her husband were well-educated but that unfortunately sometimes things happen outside of their control. Later on the woman was given two more hours to finish dilating and ultimately had a c-section because the doctor said biology (not all the unnecessary interventions) had shown that she can’t give birth without surgery. This birth was particularly upsetting for us as a group because we saw this woman’s choices and desires being undermined at every step.

After Birth

The treatment of babies after the birth was also startlingly different between hospitals and home. In the hospital births shown, babies were frequently separated from their mothers and left alone to cry, terrified, in warmers and isolettes while people around them either ignored them, walked away, or laughed at their distress. In the c-section birth described above the mother and her husband mentioned that the mother was the last person to get to hold her baby, which wasn’t for several hours after the birth. That is inexcusable, even in a surgical birth situation. In the home and birth center births, babies were immediately given to their mothers and they stayed there for a good long while with no pressure to take the baby away for measuring, weighing, cleaning, tests, and procedures.


The ultimate conclusion of the group was that normal, healthy women carrying normal, healthy babies would have safer, more respectful, and more enjoyable birth experiences outside of a hospital setting where they would receive undivided attention from competent midwives, encouragement, and support to give birth in the manner that best suits them.

An Invitation

Join us next time as we share inspiring birth stories. Bring your positive birth videos and birth stories to instill confidence that it is possible to have beautiful, safe, empowering natural births. We will watch another short film, a birth video called Psalm & Zoya which shows the unassisted home birth of twins.

Free UCAN Birth Meeting Tonight!

October 16, 2007

This birth support group meeting is for UCAN Birth (Unmedicated Childbirth Advocacy Network). This is scheduled to be a movie night to watch Born in the USA. RSVP for address and directions.

Info link: