Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Lessons in Childbirth Education

July 6, 2012

Thank you again to Milon Nagi – writer, blogger, workshop facilitator and overall awesome volunteer for Choices in Childbirth!

At our latest Healthy Birth Choices workshop, three sets of new parents shared their experience of Childbirth Education and spoke of how their classes prepared them for labor and birth. Shara Frederick, doula and childbirth educator, gave us an introduction to some of the main schools of childbirth education – Lamaze, Bradley, CEAMNY and Birthing From Within. While the various schools have individual approaches, all are grounded in the idea that birth is a normal physiological process.  All aim to educate expectant parents about this process and help them prepare for their own experience of childbirth. We were also joined by Dr Charles Swencionis, psychologist and Hypnobirthing instructor, who led us through a sample self-hypnosis exercise. Hypnobirthing particularly emphasizes learning to relax and decondition from fear, he told us. Fear causes tension, which causes pain. If we can relax it can ease some of the physical sources of pain in childbirth.

Michelle was planning a home birth in Queens, but, on her midwife’s recommendation, she and her husband decided to take a Home Birth class based in Brooklyn. “It was good to be among others who were also preparing for home birth and who weren’t weirded out by it”, she said. They found their classmates had interesting perspectives and questions they themselves may not have thought of. The class gave her husband “the bullet points” of what to expect and helped him feel more comfortable with them. He felt the class brought him a kind of confidence about birth that he did not get from reading books.  Once the time arrived, he said, “I just felt like we kind of had this.”



Hurry! Last 2 days to be listed in the New York Guide to a Healthy Birth!

April 8, 2010

If you are a Mother-Friendly Provider who serves the women and families in the greater New York City area you could be part of the 5th edition of the New York Guide to a Healthy Birth!

The Guide to a Healthy Birth is a free resource published annually by Choices in Childbirth for new and expectant parents that provides information about women’s rights and options in childbearing, articles by esteemed birth professionals, support for finding Mother-Friendly care, and so much more.

In addition to the great resources, the Guide also lists a local directory of professionals in the New York Area who practice Mother-Friendly care. Become part of this local network of over 140 providers in a wide range of categories from Accupuncture to Yoga, Midwifery to Childbirth Education, Doulas to Breastfeeding Support, and everything in between!

Visit to create your profile today.

In addition to the provider directory, we also have opportunities for businesses who serve parenting New Yorkers. If you would like to place a 1/3 page display ad in the printed Guide – register here. For less than $6 per week you can include your ad in our annual publication that reaches over 20,000 new and expectant parents in New York!

Help us Save St. Vincent’s

February 11, 2010
As you may already know, St. Vincent’s Hospital is under threat of closure. Government officials, hospital administrators, and community representatives are working to define a solution to this problem. We will keep you updated with any details that we have.

In the meantime, we want all decision makers to know that the community is behind this hospital. We ask that you stand with us in support of St. Vincent’s. Scroll down to see how you can help.

The closure of St. Vincent’s would not only have a tremendous impact on the residents of the Lower West Side of Manhattan, the repercussions would be felt throughout the City’s already overburdened healthcare system. For the birth community, the loss of St. Vincent’s would be a particularly devastating blow for many reasons.

First, most New York City labor and delivery units are already operating at or above capacity. With the closure of St. Vincent’s, these already overburdened units would be forced to collectively absorb an additional 1800 births per year. This is a serious public health concern with overcrowding leading to substandard care for all women.

Second, in addition to overburdening its neighbors, the closure of St. Vincent’s would mean that New York City families would be losing the only hospital in the city that is actively striving to provide truly Mother-Friendly, evidence-based care. In the last year, major steps that have been taken toward this goal including:
Lowering the C-Section rate
Supporting unhurried, family-centered maternity care
Implementing progressive VBAC policies
Welcoming home birth transfers
Exemplifying of the Midwifery Model of Care
Providing exceptional Neonatal Care
Providing the only Perinatal hospice-like care in NYC

*Download our outreach letter for a full explanation of the importance of St. Vincent’s for the birth community*

How you can help
1. Sign the petition that Choices in Childbirth has created to show support for St. Vincent’s – particularly their one-of-a-kind Maternity Care Service.
2. Visit Councilwoman Quinn’s Website to sign her petition to keep St. Vincent’s open.
3. Visit the new website: and help in whatever ways are at your disposal. Here you can share stories of what St. Vincent’s has meant to you as a parent, provider, or community member. You can also write letters to elected officials using the templates on this website.
4. Download a a copy of our outreach letter and share this information with your friends, family and colleagues. We need to get the word out about what an incredible loss for the birth community this would be.