Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baby Tommy is here!

From floating inside his strong and brave mommy, to relaxing in his sweet daddy's arms, Tommy had an amazing journey. Now it is naptime! Welcome Mr Thomas Joseph, we are so glad to meet you.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Audrey Caroline

Love comes in all sizes, and sometimes it arrives with a ton of dark hair. Audrey Caroline is a perfect example; dark-haired and lovely, she joins an already adorable couple to create a new and loving family.  
Welcome, Audrey!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Baby Reina Grace

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven". Well, Miss Reina certainly came into this world on her own time, challenging her family with patience and grace. We are all so glad to see you earthside, Baby Reina!

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Marion Claire

With loving parents to nurture her and a sweet big brother entertain to her, this beautiful girl is in for a wonderful life. Welcome Marion Claire!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Charlotte Marie

Charlotte Marie -what an elegant name for a little girl. Miss Charlotte joins her exceptional family with her own perfect sense of timing. Welcome, little one!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Monday, July 11, 2011

Miss Ida

Miss Ida Marion was born at home on her namesake, Mount Ida. She slipped into this world, glowing, sweet and content. Welcome Ida.

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

Michelle Turns Fifty!

Not sure that I have ever seen so many candles on one cake. Thank goodness I had helpers for blowing them out. Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes. So far, Fifty is Nifty!

May all babies be born into loving hands... 

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Friday, July 8, 2011

LA Times Article: Ovarian cancer screening does more harm than good

Oh how I wish there was a safe, effective, simple screening for ovarian cancer. The study sited below by the LA Times, shows yet again, that we don't have one. Not yet. So what to do? Get your annual pelvic exam, exercise regularly and eat a halthy diet. Oh, laughter and prayer aren't bad ideas either.
May all babies be born into loving hands... 

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Ovarian cancer screening does more harm than good, study shows

An 18-year study by the National Cancer Institute finds that ultrasounds and blood tests aimed at early detection don't save lives, but expose women to avoidable complications.

Ovarian cancer screening, such as a blood test for CA-125, a protein released by ovarian cancer cells, does not improve the survival rate of women with the disease.
Ovarian cancer screening, such as a blood test for CA-125, a protein released… (Getty Images)
June 12, 2011|By Jill U. Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
An 18-year study from the National Cancer Institute has found that widespread screening for ovarian cancer doesn't save lives but does set up many women for needless surgery and avoidable complications.
The results, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., were not a complete surprise, said study co-author Dr. Christine Berg of the National Cancer Institute. Still, experts are disappointed that yet another attempt to catch cancer early has failed to help patients beat the disease.
"I'm the chief of early detection," Berg said. "I would have loved to have found a benefit."
The study used two common screening tests for ovarian cancer: a transvaginal ultrasound scan and a blood test for CA-125, a protein released by ovarian cancer cells. Although these tests may still be helpful for women at high risk for the disease, their value for other women has long been in doubt.
"Every professional group says 'no screening for average-risk women,'" said Dr. Beth Karlan, who directs the Women's Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles. "We need to be sober in listening to the result."
Karlan will continue to tell her patients who aren't at high risk that they shouldn't be screened. "Many women demand CA-125 testing," she said. "I have had to have that discussion with many, many patients."
During the 18-year study, researchers assigned 39,105 postmenopausal women to get annual screenings — which included both the ultrasound scan and the CA-125 blood test — and compared them with 39,111 women who received standard care at the same medical centers. Deaths from ovarian cancer numbered 118 in the screening group and 100 in the control group — statistically, there was no real difference.
However, women in the screening group faced extra risks. For instance, 1,080 women underwent surgery to remove ovarian tissue that looked suspicious but turned out to be harmless. And 163 women (15%) in that group experienced at least one serious complication, such as infections or blood clots.
Doctors certainly had cause to hope that widespread screening could save lives. Ovarian cancer is especially deadly and aggressive. It's not that common, but it still ranks as one of the top five cancers that kill women. An estimated 21,880 American women will be diagnosed with the disease this year and 13,850 will die from it, according to the American Cancer Society. Fewer than half — 46% — of women will be alive five years after diagnosis.
One reason the odds are so bad with ovarian cancer is that by the time it's diagnosed, the cancer has usually spread to other organs. Only 1 in 5 ovarian cancers is found at an early stage. When that happens, the five-year survival rate is 94%.
So, the logic goes, if the cancer could be detected earlier, it would be more treatable and more women would live longer.
But nothing about ovarian cancer is that simple. For one thing, anatomy makes early cancers hard to spot. The ovaries' deep location means tumors can't be felt, as they can in breast cancer screenings, and biopsies involve abdominal surgery, which carries its own risks. Ultrasound scans help doctors see unusual growths in the ovaries, but they can't tell by looking if it's a benign cyst or a malignant tumor, Berg said.
Growths are removed surgically, and surgery means complications. "Complications might be OK if we're successful in avoiding cancer," Berg said. But because screening doesn't seem to save lives, she believes the risks are unacceptable.
The blood test also suffers from not being specific enough, especially in the early stages of ovarian cancer. Ovary cancer cells shed the CA-125 protein into the blood. But in more than half of women with early-stage ovarian cancer, there's not enough of the marker to raise any alarm, Karlan explained. And if a blood test does detect high levels of CA-125, that doesn't necessarily mean that a woman has ovarian cancer. Endometriosis, fibroids and other cancers can sometimes cause levels to spike, she said.
When the National Cancer Institute study was designed nearly 20 years ago, doctors were aware of the tests' shortcomings. Yet many hoped that combining the two methods might work to catch cancers sooner and ultimately prevent deaths.
Ultrasound techniques have improved since then, and researchers are looking at new ways to use biomarkers. A British study in progress is monitoring CA-125, watching for rapid increases over time. Results are expected in about four years.
Karlan is conducting a study of CA-125 in combination with another marker called HE4. This combination is used to monitor recurrent ovarian cancer, she said, but her study will assess its value in screening.
Although the NCI study found no benefit for widespread screening, the tests are still valuable for women at high risk of developing ovarian cancers, Karlan said. Women should consult their doctors to figure out their risk profile; factors that go into that assessment include family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer or colorectal cancer, obesity, never having been pregnant, certain medications, and carriers of BRCA genes.
Karlan said women should be aware of certain symptoms associated with ovarian cancer, including persistent bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bladder or bowel function (for more information, go to and search for ovarian cancer symptoms). Although such symptoms are not specific to cancer, they should still be checked out.
"Know your body. Know your family history," she said. "But if you're not at high risk, screening will offer more harm than good."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ricki Lake: Mothers Deserve Options

Ricki Lake, director and producer of The Business of Being Born is working on a new project and she is looking for our support. Whether of not you chose to provide financial support (even a $1 can help), the love and support that we all give women and children makes a difference. Mothers do deserve options and babies do deserve to be born into loving hands. Please help in any way you can.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

Mothers Deserve


Posted: 06/26/11 10:42 PM ET

I made my 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born to educate women about choices in childbirth, and raise questions about maternity care in the U.S. For example, why were C-section rates skyrocketing? Why were options such as birth centers and home birth disappearing? And why does a country supposedly committed to health care reform seem opposed to safe, cost-effective options that include midwifery and well-woman care?
The impact of the documentary was monumental. The blogosphere blew up (I can handle a few people yelling at me if it means my message is being heard!) Every day women stop me on the street to share stories of their safe, successful, meaningful births. Many say they felt "in the dark" about their options until seeing The Business of Being Born. But unfortunately, due to the highly medicalized climate of hospital births and the financial interests of insurance and drug companies, our birth options are disappearing at an alarming rate. It's seems that the more we know, the fewer choices we have. In the last five years, New York City alone has witnessed the shuttering of its only freestanding birth center, two hospital-based birth centers, a popular childbirth education center and a major hospital that offered privileges to a large number of hospital midwifery practices and home birth midwives. This has left many parents-to-be struggling to find birth options outside of the traditional OB/GYN approach.
But why is all of this important? Why does it matter if a mother's prenatal visits are 10 minutes long or last more than an hour? Why does it matter if the care provider at her birth is someone she has built a trusting relationship with over 9 months or a stranger-on-call? Why does it matter if a woman brings her child into this world in a way that makes her feel empowered and respected, as opposed to feeling pushed through a delivery where she is not an active participant in her care? Does how we are born really matter if mom and baby are pronounced "healthy" in the end?
Well, I have seen that it matters quite a bit. For me, this is not about promoting natural birth or home birth or claiming one model of care is superior to another. What I have come to realize is that, at its core, the birth process is directly connected to most important thing in this world -- loving and caring for our children. The bottom line is that mothers who receive attentive prenatal care and have a positive birth experience are in a better position to create a healthy attachment to their babies, have more success breastfeeding, and enter the experience of motherhood feeling empowered and energized. And that concept -- the respect for birth as the sacred beginning of motherhood -- is what has become sorely lost in our mainstream medical system. Yes, having a healthy baby is of tantamount importance, but what could be more essential to the emotional and physical well-being of future generations than to honor and empower mothers through pregnancy and birth? Sometimes I think the only people who really understand the relevance of this issue are the mothers themselves, and we are all just too tired and busy raising our children to make a stink about it.
I, however, am making a stink. It concerns me to see that a growing number of mothers feel coerced and undermined during the birth process, and rates of post-traumatic-stress disorder after birth are on the rise. There is a blasé attitude toward rising cesarean rates, which now make up one third of all births in the United States. Any doctor will tell you that a Cesarean is major abdominal surgery, so why is this the only example in modern medicine where a post-op patient is sent home to care for a newborn? We have absolutely no system to follow-up on mothers after birth and make sure they are able to care properly for their babies. In other countries, new mothers are visited daily by nurses or doulas who help them with breastfeeding or household chores.
The entire pregnancy and birth process is physiologically designed to prepare women emotionally and physically for motherhood. Mother nature has endowed us with a complex interaction of hormones that literally reshape the human brain for motherhood. Doctors have not even begun to crack the surface of understanding the neuroscience behind the hormonal interactions between mom and baby during the time of birth. In fact, they do not even understand what causes a woman to go into labor, which is why labor induction methods remain crude and statistically double one's chances of ending up with a cesarean. (Most women aren't informed of this risk and blindly opt for the "convenience" of a scheduled induction.) There is a complete lack of evidence-based medicine when it comes to childbirth. Although I am worried about the effects of all this intervention, my true passion is making sure that new parents are informed.
To further this conversation and give expectant women more empowering information to make their own decisions about their births, I decided to create a series of educational DVD's called More Business of Being Born.
The topics covered in my new videos will not be discussed at the typical 5-10 minute obstetric appointment. But the information is essential -- so essential that we decided to forgo the traditional studio distribution model that we used for the original film and self-release, market and distribute these videos. This has been no small task as we have yet to see a dime of revenue from The Business of Being Born and had to ask our filmmaking team to create the 6 new hours of video for no salary. We have created a Kickstarter campaign to raise all the necessary funds for self-distribution.
I ask you to join me in fighting for the right of all mothers to have access to safe, intervention-free options, and to let other women know what those options are. How and where you decide to bring your child into this world is a choice that belongs to you.
To be a part of this movement, please click HERE.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recycle that drop-side crib!

Listen up- it is past time to dismantle any cribs with a drop side! They are potentially deadly. After dismantling, there are many crafty things you can do with the crib pieces. Thanks to Erica S. for bringing this article to my attention. Besides the ideas posted below, the orginal article has many more ideas (I like the craft rack). Happy DIYing!

May all babies be born into loving hands...

 K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

30 Fabulous Reuses & Repurposes for Old or Recalled Cribs

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
With new crib regulations, the resale of cribs is going to be pretty non-existent for a while. But don't you worry!! You don't have to use that crib for summer campfires! We've scoured the web for some cool tutorials and ideas for reusing old or recalled cribs! These repurposed crib projects are an awesome way to prevent your crib from going into a landfill, getting reused "inappropriately" or simply sitting in your basement collecting dust.

Repurpose Old Cribs

Create a Cool Craft & Storage Center from your Recalled Crib

Crib Repurposed into a Craft Center Crib Reused for Storage