Doulas Lower C-Section Rates? You Bet We Do!

24 Oct

As an aspiring Midwife, MD (a holistic OB/GYN), I love the idea of offering women and familes a “true choice” in child birthing options. Bringing life into the world should not be primarily viewed as a medical intervention, but as normal part of the life process. Surgical interventions in birth should be one of MANY other options.


Another study regarding doulas and their relationship to mothers avoiding medically unnecessary C-Sections was recently published. The study compared mothers who hired doulas with mothers who either wanted doulas and were unable to hire one, mothers who were not familiar with doula work (and therefore did not know they could hire one), and mothers who did not wish to hire a doula as part of their birth team. The study looked at their birth outcomes and overwhelmingly concluded that, statistically, women who knew what doulas were and were able to hire one greatly reduced their C-Section rate.

Here’s the article:

“The presence of a doula at birth was linked to an almost 60 percent reduction in women’s odds of having a C-section, and 80 percent lower odds of having a nonmedically indicated C-section compared with women who had no doula. (Overall, 10 percent of the women in the survey…

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From MD to HD: The Slow and Painful Decline of Primary Care Doctors

20 Oct

A Phone Call, Journal, & Bar of Soap: A Personal Impact Story of Ebola

11 Oct

Recently, I came across a great piece written by good friend Moiyattu Banya. moiWhen asked, Moiyattu describes herself as a feminist, writer and digital mover and shaker. Currently, she teaches “Women Studies” courses at Temple University and does consulting work for social enterprises in West Africa. As a native of Sierra Leone, the current Ebola health crisis in West Africa is much more than a media epidemiological case study. Quite to the contrary,  this recent outbreak hits very close to home.

The following is her story as told to the “African Women’s Development Fund” (AWDF) which highlights just one of the many ongoing stories on the ground  in Sierra Leone as  young women, neighbors, families, and the government band together to tackle Ebola and the spread of this deadly illness in our global community.

For more work from Ms. Banya, follow her via Twitter @Wcaworld or via her blog.


The Elevator Talk

10 Oct


The Elevator Talk

Describe what you do, in ten seconds or less.  For some of you, no doubt this is a very easy task.  For the child life specialists (among others!) out there, I know that this is nearly impossible. 

Picture this: you’re in the elevator, carrying an assortment of board games or, more probably, an unlikely assortment of items like IV tubing, a couple of Insyte needles, poker chips, and a stuffed frog.  You stop on the third floor and in steps someone in a nice suit, without stains of what may be urine or may be water color on their scrub pants- and they ask you what you do.  You say, “I’m a child life specialist!”  Cue the blank stare.

Child life, while a wonderful field, is not an illustrative term for what we do- and to be fair, it’s hard to come…

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Attention Students: Course Work Review

13 Jul

prescription for play

Be prepared to apply for a course work review Be prepared to apply for a course work review

I received an email several days ago from the Child Life Council with information for students on the course work review service.  I wanted to share the information here to help spread the word.  The course work review is one step of the certification process.  It is not required by CLC, but is a service that is offered to students as a way of determining that they have met the course work requirements for certification prior to submitting their exam eligibility application.

Many internship sites DO require students complete the course work review as part of the application process.  Generally, internship sites only want to put time and energy into training students that will be immediately eligible to sit for the certification exam once their internship is complete.  By having students complete the course work review, they can be certain that…

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Holistic Births: Are They for You?

6 Jul

Birthing in America has become a medical process … an experience filled filled with wires, computers, narcotics, surgical rooms, and uncomfortable birthing positions. However, it was not always this way. Once upon a time, not that long ago, babies were delivered at home. Birthing was seen as a normal life experience rather than medical emergency. Expectant mothers were surrounded by family, women trained in early midwifery, and placed in birthing positions which felt natrual to them, ultimately easing the birthing process.

Conversely, at this time of heightened home / holistic birthing, delivering a child was considered one of the most dangerous things a woman could do. With the advent of modern obstetric medicine, the lives of countless mothers and babies were saved during the birthing process. Lives that would have otherwise been loss duing the dangerous complications that could arise while giving birth at home, away from the hospital setting, monitoring technology, emergency surgical care (if necessary).

That said, how do you know which choice is best? Could a holistic, non-medically invasive birthing option like water-birth work for you and your family? Could a traditional hospital birth be a potential life saver? While you should always discuss decisions with a medical provider, the following guide could help lead the discussion.


Has anyone opted for a home birth … if so, what guided your decision to do so? If home births are not something you or your family would consider, would you mind sharing why?

Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology – You’re Beautiful

5 Jul


A little bit of insight into why I do what I do.

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When baby leaves the NICU – A NICU After Care Program

16 Apr


NICUAftercaretriplets-together-31.jpg The 12 month old who wasn’t eating solid foods.

The 18 month old who wasn’t walking and didn’t know how to play with toys.

The 2½ year old who wasn’t talking.

The 3 year old who couldn’t follow directions.

brenda-with-triplets1Toddlers and young children like this were filling up TMC Pediatric Outpatient Therapist Brenda Abbey’s schedule. Something with their development wasn’t quite right. Their parents were concerned. These children needed help.

Like she does with all new patients, Abbey started reviewing their medical histories and was stunned when she found a common thread: Many of these kids were either born premature or spent time in the newborn intensive care unit.

“It was happening too often,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘what is falling apart for this population, and how can we catch these developmental problems sooner rather than later so that these kids don’t need therapy?’ There had to be…

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A Deeper Look Into Child Life

16 Apr

A Little Playfullness

Here’s another great article from Iowa Now, highlighting many of the things that child life specialists do for patients and families in the hospital. I particularly like how it points out how a specialist’s schedule fluctuates even within a few hours. There are also some really great comments from parents about the effect child life specialists have on their families and their experiences. I highly recommend checking out this article:

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What’s In My Purse?

21 Mar

Surviving wait times with little ones!

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog


As the mother of children, especially children with disabilities, I have been a frequent visitor to emergency rooms. It didn’t take me long to realize that those hours spent W A I T I N G were tedious for my kiddo and myself. In fact, for my kiddos with ADHD, they could be dangerous. With Steven, he would open all of the drawers and fling the contents onto the ground, swing from the air hoses and climb on top of the curtain. He was generally uncontrollable in an environment that he saw as a playground and I saw full of dangers that would land him in an emergency room for a reason other than for that which we had come! I had a knot in my stomach and tears of frustration. The emergency room staff and I finally learned that the only examining room suitable for Steven was one for…

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