Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN showing in Pittsfield

Babies willing, I will participate in the panel discussion on homebirth following the viewing of Business of Being Born. Come join us. It is always nice to see friendly faces, especially on Midwives Day!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM


Alchemy Initiative presents:   

                                                   THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5th, 2010 AT 7 P.M.
40 Melville Street Pittsfield, MA   418-238-9600
$5 at the door, refreshments and panel discussion following the film


May 5th is The International Day of The Midwife, a day set aside in 1991 by The International Confederation Of Midwives. The day honors midwives who deliver 80% of all babies born  worldwide.

The International Confederation of Midwives has targeted a campaign for 2010-2015  to highlight the need for midwives and secure woman's rights  and access to midwifery  care before, during, and after childbirth.This reflects the World Health Organization's call for midwives and the need to accelerate the drive for a safer motherhood worldwide.

WHO has noted the impact midwifery care has on improving maternal and infant mortality  and in reducing the caesarian birth rate. Who also recognizes the importance of training more professional midwives as they are appropriate caregivers for normal pregnancy and birth.

Berkshire county is home to professional midwives whose scope of  practice  is diverse. Local women who wish to receive the midwife model of care can find midwives  who offer full range care for pregnancy, birth and postpartum.We have midwives who deliver  in hospital settings,as well as midwives offering  individualized care in a home birth setting. Another option in Berkshire county is   midwives who specialize in  gynecology and well women care. Still, other midwives are health care activists,  sexuality educators, and offering contraceptive counseling.

Statewide, Massachusetts is reintroducing legislation to provide  a clearer  avenue  for the midwives who already specialize in home birth care. Massachusetts  midwives have their own  strong state organization, as well as many regional groups.  National organizations for midwives are plentiful and many  have worked on health care legislation, as well as  global initiatives to improve maternal health.

The Alchemy Initiative, along with local  consumers of midwife care are planning the first International Day of The Midwife Event in Pittsfield to honor the role midwives are taking in creating a healthier society,
The special event will include a film: The Business of Being Born with a panel discussion to follow. The panel will include birth professionals, a pediatrician and consumer. Refreshments will be served.

We invite all those  who are considering parenthood or  interested in learning more about midwife care,or  home birth.  We  especially welcome all  families who have used midwife care, or those who were born at home themselves to help us celebrate this day. We invite all those who are working or studying in  the  field of women's health  to attend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Living happily ever after"

 A nice piece from Norma Ritter, IBCLC, RLC, LLLL -a lot of initials that mean she has put in a lot of time with women, babies, books and computers in support of breastfeeding.

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Living happily ever after
by Norma Ritter, IBCLC, RLC, LLLL

Do you believe in fairy tales?
Fairy tales often end with the hero and heroine falling in love and getting married.
“And they lived happily ever after. The end.”

That is enough for most children, but, surely it is only the beginning of the story?
Didn't you ever wonder about what happened after wards?
Did they find their dream house? Did they have interfering mothers-in-law? Did they have children?

In many ways, pregnancy is like a fairy tale. It is very common for pregnant women to believe that they need to prepare only for the actual birth of their babies, and everything after that will fall into place by itself. Indeed, most women find it very difficult to even conceive (pardon the pun!) of what life will be like after their baby arrives, except in the most general terms. Even when women have friends or family with newborns, have been reading books and taking courses in baby care, the actual birth remains the focus.

Pregnancy takes on a life of its own. The excitement of having a conception confirmed is followed by sharing the news with friends and relatives, and buying new clothes for both mother and baby. Pregnancy also means visits to a health care provider and dealing perhaps with nausea, swollen ankles and the other discomforts that often arise.

And when a pregnant woman does seek postpartum information, no matter whether she looks online, in magazines or in books, there is a heavy emphasis on the THINGS she will need in order to be prepared for her baby's arrival - clothing, cribs, care seats and “accessories.” Bottles and formula are almost always listed as essentials, even for women who are planning to breastfeed. Pumps are a prominent feature in the breastfeeding lists. Decorating a separate nursery is also a major topic, despite the AAP's recommendation that babies sleep in the same room as their mothers as a way of lowering the risk of SIDS.

Most women today go to some kind of childbirth preparation classes, six to eight sessions almost entirely concerned with pregnancy, labor and delivery issues. Infant feeding is often a separate, optional class . The common wisdom is you need to take a whole course of classes to learn how to give birth, an event that takes a matter of hours, but that breastfeeding and other baby care, which lasts for years, comes naturally.

It is not surprising that mothers are rarely prepared for the realities of life after the baby has been born. Everything changes to a new “normal.” Life will never be the same again. The two most common complaints from newly delivered mothers are:
“Nobody told me that taking care of a baby would be so exhausting!”
“I thought that breastfeeding was instinctive. I didn't understand why I needed to learn about it.”

With this in mind, I asked some experienced mothers what they wished they had known before their babies were born. Not surprisingly, the only *things* they mentioned needing were those that brought them closer to their babies.

Kathy Waldow wrote that she now considers a sling type baby carrier to be essential equipment. and if possible, to have several in different fabric styles.

Diane Michel was not able to shop during her first pregnancy because she was on bed-rest.
“ I remember people telling me not to worry because all I needed were my breasts and diapers. I remember thinking, "Yeah, right!" It was somewhat true, although I did need some basic baby clothes and a plan for where the baby would sleep.”

Kathy also wrote:
“What would have made first baby easier:if someone would have forewarned me about the drastic lifestyle change to come and the hard work of mothering.”

This sentiment was echoed by Rosetta Bartels, whose first baby has just turned 40! Rosetta still remembers those days.
“My first four months would have been easier if I had known that there was a La Leche League Group 15 miles away. I did have a copy of the old blue WAB but it was just a book. Diane cried all the time and nursed all the time and had a miserable beginning. At four months she had an umbilical repair surgery at the hospital. While she was healing ,I got to talking with another mother who was also keeping her hospitalized child company. She told me about the La Leche League Group. I called and learned that there was a meeting in a few days. I screwed up my courage and went to the meeting. Those ladies made sense and I felt at home.”

Like many of us, Rosetta concluded:
“I know my first weeks of learning about mothering would have been easier if I had been attending meetings before and immediately after birth.”

Mary Wagner-Davis wrote about receiving a very special gift , a postpartum doula, after her fourth baby was born.
“She gave me the chance to have a shower if I wanted, fixed snacks for the girls, and often got dinner started for us. I realize that those are things anyone could do for a friend and that many mothers have family nearby who can help; I didn't. Knowing someone was there who understood my postpartum needs, understood babies, and was just generally helpful and supportive was fabulous.”

Mary also wrote a wish list that came from her heart. It may inspire you to make one too.

- A partner who is there for the long haul, with whom you share common beliefs, values, and philosophy.
- Supportive friends and family, people who will support both you and your children as you grow and develop.
- Good, readily available health care, along with provider(s) who listen, understand, and know that you are the one who is ultimately responsible.
- Wisdom to trust yourself, and to know when you're in over your head and need to ask for help.

Further reading from the LLLI online store:

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International

Growing Together: A Parent's Guide to Baby's First Year by William Sears

Motherwise and Fatherwise Gift Set by Alice Bolster

Of Cradles and Careers: A Guide to Reshaping Your Job to Include a Baby in Your Life by
Kaye Lowman

Pea in a Pod: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth & Beyond Linda Goldberg

Sleeping with Your Baby James McKenna

Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding: Protecting the Mother and Baby Continuum
by Mary Kroeger with Linda J. Smith

Hirkani's Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working, Edited by Jennifer Hicks

Friday, April 23, 2010

Support Your Local Midwife!

It is official: Cafe Press and Local Care Midwifery both deliver in the Capital District of NY!
You too can proclaim your support of midwifery with  a colorful and fun bumper sticker (or water bottle or mug or maternity tee shirt or...). Check out our online store at

May all babies be born into loving hands...
 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Doula' Workshop and Retreat!

Niara Healing Arts in association with River and Mountain Midwives
Professional Labor Companion Certification Workshop and Retreat

Where: Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center
             524 Pitt Hall Rd
             Old Chatham, NY, NY 12136

When:  June 10, 2010 at 06:00 PM
             June 13, 2010 at 01:00 PM

Dear Everyone,

You're invited to an introductory workshop for aspiring Professional Labor Companions (also known as doulas). This workshop will be presented by a nationally certified, licensed midwife and childbirth educator, Susanrachel Condon. Susanrachel is also a licensed massage therapist and will provide in depth, comprehensive information on the entire birth experience. This workshop is designed for both beginners and experienced doulas.

We will cover the physiology of labor, birth and the postnatal period, the needs of women in labor, hands-on techniques, various approaches to support in challenging situations, professionalism, marketing and networking. Those who complete this training will be prepared to begin attending labors/births immediately. Ongoing mentorship from the instructor will be offered for those participants who wish to obtain certification. Requirements for certification completion are set forth by Niara Healing Arts and are fulfilled through independent study.

The retreat will be held at the beautiful Powell House Quaker Conference and Retreat Center located in Old Chatham, NY. Situated on 57 acres of woods, Powell House Retreat Center is home to trails, gardens, a bird sanctuary and a swimming pond. Tuition for this event includes B&B style accomodations and all meals. For more information on the site visit

Click on the link below to register or RSVP.
Register Now!
If you have any questions visit the website: 


Susanrachel Condon
Niara Healing Arts in association with River & Mountain Midwives

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Monday, April 19, 2010

Join us on Monday,  May 3, 5:30-7:00 for a community potluck! 

Three Sisters Birth 

406 Fulton St Suite 513  
Troy NY 12180 

It is important to Three Sisters to model building community as you grow your family...The past clients of Three Sisters are invited to come and share some food and stories with each other and with new pregnant clients! You are welcome to share birth stories, parenting stories or doula stories. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share...

We can't wait to see everyone! See ya there!

Three Sisters

Heidi  518-588-7122
Jennifer 518-526-1917
Maureen 518-229-6541

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sweet Little Moon Baby, April 14, 2010

Baby Palden was born on the night of the New Moon, known as the Little Moon in Tibet. He joins a wonderful family who will support him in his journey this time around the wheel of life.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Local Care Midwifery's first baby, Mercianna, August, 2009

Three weeks after our opening, Local Care Midwifery's first baby, Mercianna was born at home, on time, healthy and beautiful! She was greeted warmly by her loving, big sisters and the rest of her lovely family.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Baby Sky, November 2009

Baby Sky was born November 2009, welcomed by his loving mother and father. Just an hour old when this photo was taken, he was already completely comfortable in their arms.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Seth Henry, November 2009

Seth Henry was born into a wonderful family, November 2009. He came into this world strong and calm. Look at him at just 3 days old:

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Baby Kiley, January 2010

Baby Kiley is growing so fast! She was born January 31, sweet and petite. She is growing like a weed. Here she is at 2 days and again at her mommy's 6 week postpartum check up. Good work Kiley!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Deliver via Cafe Press

If you have never been over to CafePress, it is worth an internet hop. While there, check out Local Care Midwifery's new online store, Local Care Midwifery, Pllc at:

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday's Child is Full of Grace....

On April 6th, Baby Quinn Cara was born to her strong and determined mother, her supportive dad and her protective puppy-siblings, Ernie and Rosie. Welcome!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good Friday Baby

Sweet, strong Malachi was born on Good Friday 2010, weighing in at 9# 3. He was greeted by his loving family. Thanks for arriving in time for Easter!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Friday, April 2, 2010

MedScape Article: High Plasma Folate Levels in Pregnancy May Increase Asthma Risk for Offspring

Here is a copy of a MedScape article about folate (folic acid) levels in pregnancy and the possible relationship to asthma in children.  While 400 mcg of folic acid has been show to decrease the risk of spina bifida and cleft palate if taken early during  pregnancy (first couple of weeks), prenatal vitamins contain twice this amount. Also more and more foods are fortified with folic acid, some especially targeted for pregnant women (Belly Bars). Please do not jump to conclusions -I do not think that any of this is bad. Personally, and professionally, I encourage moderation. Folic acid may turn out to be one of the things to be added to the list of things that are better in moderation.....

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Medscape Medical News from the:

This coverage is not sanctioned by, nor a part of, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

From Medscape Medical News

High Plasma Folate Levels in Pregnancy May Increase Asthma Risk for Offspring

Deborah Brauser
March 4, 2010 (New Orleans, Louisiana) — Children of mothers with high plasma folate levels during pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of developing asthma by the age of 3 years, according to a sampling from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (NMCC) study presented in a poster session here at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2010 Annual Meeting.
"Norway provides a unique opportunity to address the question of possible deleterious consequences of high folate intake during pregnancy because the food supply there is not fortified with folates," said investigational team member Stephanie London, MD, DrPH, from the Epidemiology Branch and Laboratory of Respiratory Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, North Carolina.
"It's one of the few places where you can look at whether the supplementation, which is clearly good from the point of view of decreasing birth defects, could potentially also have some adverse effects," she added.
Recent Studies Question Folic Effects
Previous research has consistently shown that the periconceptional intake of folic acid reduces the risk for neural tube defects in infants, leading to the increased use of these supplements and to the fortification of foods with folic acid in the United States and other countries.
However, a recent study showed that high dietary supplementation with folic acid and other methyl donors in pregnant mice led to allergic asthma phenotypes, through epigenetic changes, in offspring.
In another study recently conducted by Dr. London's research team, an association was found between folate supplements used during early pregnancy and an increased risk for respiratory disease in children up to the age of 18 months.
For this study, they examined data on 507 mothers from the population-based NMCC who had plasma folate levels measured during their second trimester of pregnancy, and who had children with asthma at the age of 3 years. The folate levels of 1455 mothers of healthy controls were also measured. All children were born between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2004.
"The age of 3 isn't a perfect phenotype because that's early to diagnose asthma, but that was the age that the kids were at the time of the study," explained Dr. London.
A Linear Increase Found
Results showed that mothers in the top quintile of plasma folate had children with an increased risk for asthma at age 3 (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16 - 2.37), relative to mothers in the bottom quintile.
In addition, the investigators found "a trend of linear increase across quintiles" (P = 0.007). Children of mothers with folate levels between the 70th and 95th percentiles had an OR of 1.34 (95% CI, 1.03 - 1.73), whereas children of mothers with levels above the 95th percentile had an OR of 1.44 (95% CI, 1.08-1.93).
"In other words, as the mother's folate level increased, so did the risk of asthma in their child," said Dr. London.
"Overall, this study showed small effects, but it definitely doesn't mean that people shouldn't use folates," she noted. "It just raises the possibility that, as a population, maybe we're reaching folate repletion. It's also possible that there could be a double-edged sword to folate supplementation; certainly it's looking like that may be the case in some cancer studies. However, at this stage, I wouldn't want to be quoted as saying that we should rethink how much folate people are getting."
The investigators next plan to follow-up with these children to "an age when asthma can be more reliably diagnosed," and through to age 7. They've received funding to assess the epigenetic effects of folate supplementation. "In these women, we're going to be looking at cord blood DNA, and looking at whether the patterns of methylation are different according to folate levels and asthma status in the child," explained Dr. London.
Caution Urged
"The findings were consistent with literature from animal models where folic acid could possibly lead to a higher risk for asthma," said Juan Celedón, MD, DrPH, associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
"However, I think that there are some cautions with this study," added Dr. Celedón, who was not involved in the research. "First, you can't diagnose asthma until the age of 6, so further follow-up of those kids is needed. Second, they did not measure any objective markers of allergy. And third, they didn't show a mechanism. All that said, the findings are very intriguing,"
"We just need to be very cautious in this area," he told Medscape Allergy & Clinical Immunology. "A woman takes folic acid to protect against neural tube defects and it's been very, very effective for that. I think we need to be extraordinarily careful and need to assess this thoroughly before we can begin to make any recommendations [for] current practice in regard to changing or even reducing folic acid during pregnancy."
This study was funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The NMCC study was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health. Dr. London and Dr. Celedón have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) 2010 Annual Meeting: Abstract 505. Presented February 28, 2010.

Authors and Disclosures


Deborah Brauser

is a freelance writer for Medscape.

Deborah Brauser has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Medscape Medical News © 2010 Medscape, LLC
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