Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Call for Legislation to Protect Breastfeeding Mothers

 by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Regardless of where you fall politically or how you feel about the Affordable HealthCare Act of 2010 (Obamacare), the fact is that breastfeeding mothers have been granted some amazing benefits as a direct result of this legislation. Mothers in 2017 can expect certain rights and benefits that their counterparts just 10 years ago did not enjoy.
  • Insurance coverage of a breast pump (the type of pump may vary based upon the particular insurance plan a mother has).
  • Lactation support covered by insurance (this again depends upon the availability of in-network providers).
  • Mandated break time to pump at work and a place to pump that is not a bathroom.
With plans in place to repeal Obamacare, mothers stand to lose these valuable benefits. This is a problem not only for the individual mothers affected, but ultimately for society as a whole. Research has demonstrated that when we enable mothers to breastfeed for a longer period of time, healthcare costs for the child are actually reduced. This savings is especially significant for low-income populations.  Furthermore, when mothers receive support for pumping in the workplace, it actually provides significant savings to their employers. In fact, this document has been prepared specifically to help employers realize those savings by providing a mother-friendly atmosphere in the workplace.
This is a valuable resource for employers.

The Future 

As we look toward the future, It seems that there is some semblance of a plan to move forward. However, there are certainly no guarantees that coverage for the things that are important to breastfeeding mothers will continue. If these coverages are dropped, it will affect millions of mothers who must return to work after giving birth. Their babies may not have the same ease of access to breastmilk enjoyed by babies in the last few years. These mothers may not have access to affordable professional lactation support.

One solution that would ensure the continuation of these benefits is specific legislation that does mandate continued coverage of breast pumps and professional lactation support. It should also mandate workplace access to a safe, clean, private place to pump as well as non-penalized break time, expanding that coverage to include salaried employees as well as hourly employees. Under current law many salaried managers do not enjoy the same protection that hourly workers in the same company are guaranteed. Teachers and other professionals may also struggle because they are not protected by the laws that ensure other workers can pump. 

from the Kansas Business Case
During the last two Congressional sessions, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) sponsored the Supporting Working Moms Act. The goal of this piece of legislation was to ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the current law to cover salaried employees. I would propose that this Act be expanded to include all of the breastfeeding provisions that stand to be lost if Obamacare is repealed. Furthermore, I would hope to see it's passage linked in some way to any healthcare reform that is passed. If the goal is to ultimately save money, this is a clear way to ensure that fewer healthcare dollars are spent on sick babies.

Simple Wishes makes working and pumping easy.
In the current political climate, it would be good for this bill to be seen as a bi-partisan effort. Therefore, I would hope to see Republican co-sponsors step forth. This is not a Democrat or Republican matter. Rather, it affects the right of all babies to receive the nutrition designed specifically for them.  I urge you to contact your senators and representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the Supporting Working Moms Act and expand it to protect the provisions that could be lost if the Affordable Healthcare Act is Repealed.

My Letter

Dear Senator Shelby,

I work with mothers and babies every day as a lactation consultant in North Alabama. Although I was not a proponent of Obamacare, the last few years we have seen an increase in breastfeeding rates. In Alabama breastfeeding initiation rates climbed from 64% in 2010 to 67% in 2014. That 3% increase represents hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare savings. More importantly, however, the number of mothers breastfeeding the full year recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics climbed from 11.8% to 15.9%. I believe that increase can be directly attributed to the provisions of the Affordable HealthCare Act which provide breast pumps to mothers and offer guidelines to employers regarding employees who pump. 

I am thankful that this Congress is looking for ways to improve the healthcare dilemma in our nation. There is currently a piece of legislation called the Supporting Working Moms Act that has been introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the past two Congressional Sessions. Its purpose was to extend the protections of the AHCA to salaried employees. However, I would like to suggest that it be expanded to contain all the protections currently provided to breastfeeding mothers in the AHCA which include the following:
  • Insurance coverage of a breast pump (the type of pump may vary based upon the particular insurance plan a mother has).
  • Lactation support covered by insurance (this again depends upon the availability of in-network providers).
  • Mandated break time to pump at work and a place to pump that is not a bathroom.
I would like to respectfully request that you recommend these changes and co-sponsor this bill that will help thousands of your constituents. Thank you for taking the time to consider this. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about breastfeeding support in Alabama.

Sincerely yours,

Make It Your Own

I want to challenge each of you to adapt this letter (even if you just use the second paragraph and what follows) and send it to your senators and congressmen. One voice alone doesn't sound very loud, but when we all lift our voices together, they won't be able to ignore our ROAR! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day, Mama!

 by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

You are your baby's first love! This year we decided to celebrate that fact in a very special video. In January we asked you to submit photos of you and your baby, and your response was overwhelming! Our advertising team had a really tough job selecting which photos to use in the video they created. We decided to feature a few pictures here that were not used in the video, but that capture the essence of that amazing moment when a mother falls head over heels in love with the precious baby she has been carrying for the last 9 months.

We are so excited to present this video to you as our Valentine's Day Gift. We hope you love it as much as we do!

What was that moment like for you? Did you cry? Did you laugh out loud? Were you too exhausted to even enjoy it? Each birth is different, and so much of what happens to a mother during childbirth affects her experience!

Tell us about that #firstlove moment! We love helping you nurture your cherished memories❤❤

Monday, January 23, 2017

Check out the Terrific Breastfeeding Support Available in the TN Valley


By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

We are so blessed in the Tennessee Valley to have a really wonderful array of people committed to supporting you in your breastfeeding journey. Support options range from peer counselors to support group leaders with specialized training to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Each one of these plays an important role in making the Tennessee Valley a terrific place to have a baby. Each also has a specific skill set when it comes to making sure you and baby are nursing well.

Peer Counselors

These amazing ladies often work with a local health department. They are mothers who have successfully breastfed their own children, and they tend to use their own and other anecdotal experience as a framework from which to counsel. They are usually avid students of breastfeeding, but have not yet obtained any certifications or received any formal training. However, they may be going through the steps necessary to become an IBCLC; be sure to ask! They may provide support groups and classes for mothers in which they share common breastfeeding knowledge. I actually began my breastfeeding career teaching classes for a local WIC office as a peer counselor 26 years ago.

A breastfeeding peer counselor is a great resource in dealing with common breastfeeding problems like poor latch, engorgement, sore nipples etc. A good peer counselor will know when she needs to refer to an IBCLC and will usually have good relationships with local IBCLC's. 

La Leche League Leaders

In order to become a La Leche League Leader, an applicant must have successfully nursed her own child for at least nine months. She must demonstrate certain personality characteristics and must thoroughly prepare herself by studying a variety of resources. These mothers offer terrific support both in a group setting as well as in one-on-one situations. Meetings are a great place for expectant mothers to gain a good understanding of breastfeeding. When I was a young mother 28 years ago, La Leche League was key in helping me achieve a good breastfeeding relationship.

Much like the peer counselor, however, a La Leche League leaders recognizes her limitations. She will have developed good rapport with local IBCLC's so that she can refer as necessary. It is worth noting, however, that many La Leche League leaders do end up becoming IBCLC's.


An International Board Certified Lactation is a health care professional who has extensively studied lactation. He or she (yes, there are male IBCLC's) is familiar with a wide variety of situations that can occur, and has demonstrated that knowledge in a comprehensive exam. In order to even sit for the exam, a candidate must have a solid understanding of biology, anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, psychology, sociology, nutrition, medical ethics, clinical research, medical terminology and documentation and basic life support. In addition to a basic foundation in health sciences, a candidate must have 90 hours of education specific to breastfeeding. Finally, depending on his or her background and the pathway chosen for certification, 300-1000 hours of direct patient contact with breastfeeding mothers and babies is required before the exam can be taken.

This is why an IBCLC offers the Gold Standard of breastfeeding support. The experience and knowledge base required to become an IBCLC make her the ideal person to teach your breastfeeding class and support you through your breastfeeding journey. We are very fortunate to have many amazing IBCLC's in North Alabama. Huntsville Hospital has 13 IBCLC's on staff; Madison Hospital has 4 on staff; Crestwood Medical Center has 3 on staff; and Athens Limestone Hospital  has 2 on staff. Additionally, there are IBCLC's in private practice as well as in physicians' offices. Huntsville Pediatric Associates employs an IBCLC. And, of course, when you get breastfeeding support at A Nurturing Moment, you are receiving IBCLC support.

Many IBCLC's offer support groups and breastfeeding classes. Each of the local hospitals offers a breastfeeding class for expectant mothers. We also offer a class the second Thursday of every month here at A Nurturing Moment. All of the local hospital IBCLC's run support groups as well. All of the groups listed below are open to any mother, regardless of where she had her baby.
Many IBCLC's wear this symbol.
  • Huntsville Hospital's group meets every Tuesday and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at 10:00 in the Women's Pavilion, Room 120B. 
  • The Madison Hospital Support group meets Mondays at 10:30 and Thursdays at 6:30 in the Madison Hospital Wellness Center. They also offer a special "Extended Breastfeeding" Support Group for mothers breastfeeding beyond 12 months which meets the 2nd Friday of each month at 10:30.
  • Athens Limestone Hospital offers ALH Moms and Babies every Friday at 10:00 in the Medical Office Building Conference Room at 101 Fitness Way.
  • Crestwood Medical Center offers a support group that meets every Wednesday at 5:00 and every Thursday at 10:30.
  • Huntsville Mommy Milk Meet-up meets the 1st Monday and 3rd Saturday of every month at A Nurturing Moment at 10:00

Taking Classes and Getting Support

When you choose a breastfeeding class, you want to know that your instructor is a professional committed to helping you throughout the course of your journey. An IBCLC has the depth of medical background to help you work through any potential physiological problems. She will know when to refer you to a primary healthcare practitioner and will probably have established relationships with several physicians. 

If you're simply experiencing engorgement or a plugged duct, then a peer counselor or La Leche League leader is great. However, if you have a more serious issue, you really need to be in contact with an IBCLC. She will be able to do a pre-feed weight check, then weigh your baby after feeding to see exactly how much milk he took. She is trained to recognize and counsel you through a wide range of problems. Most IBCLC's carry malpractice insurance because they recognize that as healthcare professionals, they have that responsibility. So be sure that you get the Gold Standard Care when it comes to you and your baby!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

We Are 250K Views Strong

Our blog about birth in Monaco has received over 20,000 views
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Since starting this blog in 2011, we have covered some amazing topics. As we approach 250,000 views, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of your (and our) favorite posts.

We love customer reviews and look forward to more of those in coming months. This review of several different diapers was one of our first big hits back in 2011.

Bethany's post about being a teen mom is amazing!
Blogs about birth are very popular. Our most recent post by Erin Mize about her natural birth in a local hospital was an immediate success. When Bethany Hyder shared the story of her pregnancy while she was still a teenager, you loved it.  ANM intern Marley Phillips did a series of posts on childbirth abroad. Her post about childbirth in Monaco is the most popular blog we have ever posted!

Current events have inspired some of our most widely read posts. Response to my experience with scammers was overwhelming. The disappointing political tactics that led to the tabling of the Home Birth Safety Act three years ago led to one of our most popular posts. Five years ago, Target was the target of another one of our most popular posts; fortunately, they have come a long way in training their employees to support breastfeeding mothers.

Extended breastfeeding is a topic you loved.
Of course breastfeeding posts rank high among your favorites. This blog about extended nursing struck a responsive chord with many of you. This post about Tongue-tie provided valuable information that many of you appreciated. The response to Blue Cross Blue Shield providing breast pumps was also very enthusiastic. Of course a perennial favorite post is the recipe for our delicious lactation cookies.

I have to admit, however, that my personal favorite post is about the birth of my grandson Nicholas four years ago and the outstanding care he received in the Huntsville Hospital NICU. We want to know your favorite post. We are giving away a $50 gift card to A Nurturing Moment. Enter by liking our Facebook page and posting a link to your favorite blog and why. The Facebook post with the most likes by Friday will win!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Empowered to Birth Naturally in an Alabama Hospital

Newborn Bo snuggles with Mama
by Erin Mize, guest blogger

At midnight, with fast, irregular contractions, I called my doula, Hannah.  My body felt wildly out of control.  She was calm and reassuring, telling me to take a shower, relax, and if they persisted, to call her back.  If not, she encouraged me to try to rest.

My heart was racing with excitement as I got undressed to get into the shower.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror; cheeks flushed and out-of-breath from the struggle to remove my socks.  I stopped, turning my bountiful belly straight-on to the mirror and smiled.  I marveled at my body’s miraculous work, swelling to accommodate and sustain this new life.  I felt strong and capable.

After a few minutes in the shower, sure enough, my contractions slowed.  Before I even knew it, my mind had quieted and I decided to dry off and try to rest.  Fortunately, I was able to sleep until about 3:30 AM when I awoke to 10 minute-apart contractions that weren't really any stronger than before, yet I intuitively knew these were purposeful.  The whole of my uterus would tighten, not just the top like during Braxton-Hicks, and my sacrum down through my thighs ached. 

I was tossing and turning in our king sized bed so I quietly moved into the living room, leaving Andy asleep.  I didn't wake him just yet.  He would need to be rested to take care of our 3 and 4 year old children, and to be perfectly honest, I wanted to labor free from his concern.  I needed to let go and succumb to this process, so I took advantage of the quiet. 

In my sleepy, yet excited state, I went to the shower.  I knew the hot water would help.  I immediately relaxed.  I breathed in the steam slowly as I propped myself against the shower wall letting the full force of the spray concentrate on my sacrum.  I thought about my baby, Bo, working right along with me.  As I rocked my hips slowly back and forth, I visualized him descending through my body while I intentionally relaxed my mouth, shoulders, arms, back, and pelvis.  “Here we go, little one,” I whispered.  I wanted to make his descent as easy as I could.

When I returned to the living room, the TV was on, and one of those cheesy infomercials selling '60's music CDs played.  I wasn't watching it.  I just needed it on to give my mind some distraction.  I curled up on the couch and was even able to sleep a little between contractions.

All of the lights were out in the house except the glow from the TV, and it was otherwise silent.  I continued in this early stage of labor peacefully as my family slept.  I was in total control, calm and comfortable.  I wasn't afraid.  I didn't feel alone.  I felt safe and able to relax into my labor in my home, relishing this time with my baby, just the two of us, doing our work together.

As my labor progressed, I was no longer comfortable lying on my side through contractions. As one would start, I would get up and stand with my head on my arms, resting over the arm of the couch and swaying my hips back-and-forth through the contractions, consciously relaxing my mouth and muscles and visualizing my baby easing down. 

After my second trip to the bathroom, I recognized that my body was “voiding” and I had a feeling it was time to get everybody up and on the road for the 40 mile trip to the hospital from our home in Hartselle.  I did not look forward to the impending road trip or the bright, unfamiliar hospital delivery room, full of strangers, that awaited me.  Would my doctor be on-call or would a stranger deliver my baby?  Would I get a nurse that was educated about and supportive of natural birth?  Would my birth plan be respected?  It would have been so nice to have made one phone call and had a midwife show up at my door with the same supplies that a level one hospital stocks, but unfortunately, assisted home birth remains illegal in Alabama. 

Andy and Hannah helped Erin maintain her focus.
I'd like to take a brief detour here for a moment to point out that actually, home birth is legal in Alabama.  More specifically, unassisted home birth is legal in Alabama.  Oddly enough, I could have had my baby at home, but I most certainly could not have had a trained attendant, like a Certified Professional Midwife, on hand to ensure that my baby and I remained healthy and safe.  Just for being present she could be charged with a class C misdemeanor.  Additionally, because Alabama does not license or regulate CPM's, she could not have easily transferred my care to a hospital or carried the life-saving equipment that she needs and can use legally to attend home births in 31 other states.  Therefore, after laboring at home without incident, I woke my family up to go to the hospital so my birth could be attended by an OBGYN, a specialist. 

Before I woke the boys, I made their chocolate milk, just as I did every morning; except this time, I paused to work through strong contractions while I rested on the kitchen countertop.  I made my way into the boys' room and with muted excitement said, “This is it guys!  You're going to meet your baby brother today!”

I woke Andy and told him it was "for real" and we needed to get to the hospital.  I called and let Hannah know how it was going.  After I paused our conversation to work through a contraction, she confirmed what I suspected, that my labor was advancing nicely.  She expertly advised that we meet at my parents’ home prior to going to the hospital so we didn't arrive right at shift change.  I agreed, and Andy and I loaded the boys up and got on the road.

It was about 5:30 in the morning, pitch black, and starry.  I remember the boys sleepily singing "twinkle-twinkle little star” as my contractions came and went.  This time, however, I didn't have the luxury of moving around to work through them.  I pulled at the seat belt to move it away from my taut abdomen and writhed and twisted in a vain attempt to alleviate the pain in my back.  Each passing mile marker seemed a reminder of my distress as Andy raced to our destination.  I was beginning to panic.  It took everything in me to suppress my instinct to move my body freely through these contractions. 

We finally rounded the corner in my parents’ neighborhood, and I was filled with relief at the sight of Hannah’s car parked in front of their home.  Andy got the boys out while I went up the stairs as quickly as I could to labor in the shower until we would go over to the hospital. 

I turned the water to almost as hot as it would go.  The relief was immediate.  Slowly breathing in the steamy air, I began getting my labor back under control. I visualized the water softening my tissues and gently encouraging my baby out as I slowly swayed through the awesome pressure.  How I would have loved to have had a water birth! Unfortunately, hospital policy in my area prohibits the practice.  But, I knew that I would be allowed to labor in the tub or shower until my water broke.

Thank God for Hannah!  She took the lead on thinking out the timing of our arrival.  All I had to do was labor. 

We pulled up to the valet stand, and I remember feeling strange about the security guard approaching me with a wheelchair.  I got out of the car looking behind me for the patient that needed this apparatus, even willing to help him or her into it.  Then, of course, it dawned on me that it was meant for me.  Even though it felt rather unnecessary, and I certainly didn't identify as a “patient,” I obliged the helpful parking attendant.
First Feed

While I couldn't help but feel like a diva waving a birth plan with a lavender-scented, birth stool-carrying Doula in tow, the hospital staff and nurses never treated me as such!  We were greeted warmly and taken straight into a labor/delivery/postpartum room.  I had pre-registered and therefore was able to get through the intake paperwork quickly with Andy's help.  To my amazement, my labor and delivery nurse was actually trained as a Certified Nurse Midwife!  And let me tell you, the care she gave me exemplified a midwife's model of care.  She was respectful and supportive of my choice to birth unmedicated.  She read my birth plan diligently and then asked before she did anything including waiting to start my hep-locked IV until after a contraction. 

My doula was calmly unpacking her bag-of-tricks and making the room more comfortable by lowering the lights, playing soothing music, and starting the lavender.  Hannah’s presence calmed the frenetic pace of the hospital, and her attention to detail made the unwelcoming hospital room homey.  In a way, she represented my conscious self that, in the throes of labor, I had distanced myself from.  Her presence of mind was invaluable.

I continued laboring unencumbered from an IV or continuous fetal monitoring.  I drank when I was thirsty, remained in the clothes I came in, and moved about freely.  In fact, I didn’t get into the hospital bed until after I had given birth!  Andy sat at the foot of the bed and I rested my arms and head across his lap between contractions.  I was most comfortable on the exercise ball and during contractions I would roll my hips in big circles while Hannah applied counter pressure to my sacrum and Andy gently encouraged and loved on me. 

My nurse asked if I'd like my cervix checked for dilation and being that my water hadn't broken yet, I allowed her to examine me.  Believe it or not, I was actually a little concerned that the exam would reveal that I was only a few centimeters dilated. Much to my surprise, I was fully dilated!  However, I did not feel the strong urge to push as I did during the birth of my second child and I speculate that it was related to the fact that my membranes (and amniotic fluid) were still intact.

My nurse indicated that she would call the doctor, and that she may break my water upon her arrival.  My doula sensed my hesitation and encouraged me to discuss with the doctor the risks and benefits of doing so.  Interestingly, my doctor never brought it up.

At some point I remember saying "I could push", emphasis on the could.  Hannah asked if I'd given any thought to what position I'd like to push in.  Believe it or not, it wasn't until I hired her for the birth of my 3rd baby that I learned there are many pushing positions a woman can assume to birth her baby, the least efficient of which is lying flat on her back with her feet in stirrups and knees in the air. 
Big Brother gets to hold baby Bo

I had learned through my research that an upright birthing position would allow gravity to aid in bringing my baby down and out as well as allowing my uterus to contract more strongly and efficiently.  Staying off of my back would keep my aorta from being compressed and, in turn, help my baby to stay oxygenated.  Also, it would allow my sacrum to expand backwards, increasing my pelvic outlet.  Hannah gently encouraged me to go with what felt “right,” and I confidently replied that I'd like to use the birth stool.  She went straight to work getting it prepared.

It was no time at all before I took my place on the vinyl cushioned wooden stool.  I was sitting with my knees a comfortable distance apart and bent to slightly less than a 90 degree angle.  My OBGYN patiently sat cross legged in the floor in front of me, my doula behind me, and Andy at my side with my nurse observing attentively.

And then we waited.  I was eager to meet my baby, my third son, and in stark contrast to my other unmedicated birth, I just didn't have a strong urge to push!  I knew to wait for my body to “do its thing” but I was growing impatient!  Hannah reassured me that I was “laboring down” beautifully so I closed my eyes and waited patiently. 

My water finally broke as my OBGYN was doing perineal massage with mineral oil and applying a warm compress.  At this point my contractions began to intensify. 

I believe it was about eight contractions later that I began feeling pressure on my perineum and Andy commented that he could see the top of Bo’s head through the amniotic sac, and yet I still didn't have a strong urge to push or a ton of pain as you might think.  Now don't get me wrong, it was no walk in the park, but once I resigned myself to the necessity of the contractions, that they were working for and with me to bring my baby to me, I embraced them as part of the physiological design.  

My favorite part of my labor happened next:  Hannah whispered to me, “reach down and feel your baby.”  I tentatively reached down and felt my baby’s velvety soft head beginning to emerge. 

As I pushed along with a contraction, I heard my doctor quietly and calmly say, "his head is out.” I was shocked and caught off guard.  With renewed purpose I let out a primal groan with my next, final contraction and all 8 lbs, 12 oz of my baby boy was out and on my chest!  I remember hearing someone exclaim, “He's big!” which surprised me because I didn't feel like I had worked that hard to get him out. 

Bewildered, I questioned, "that's it?"

Hannah helped me out of my dress so I could get Bo skin to skin.  I had my baby in my arms.  He was so calm.  He stared right into my eyes, never breaking his gaze, as mine filled with tears.  I'll never forget this moment.  In a strange way, I recognized him.  I'd never laid eyes on him, of course, but I felt like, “oh, there you are.”

My body had not only created and grown this little life, but brought him forth into our world, or earth side, as Hannah affectionately said as she welcomed him. 

I felt as though I had come full circle.  Rather than handing the process over as I had during the highly medicalized and, for me, detached birth of my oldest son, I had embraced the process.  Instead of placing my childbirth in the hands of the hospital staff, this time I had a plan and then trusted my instincts and my body to do what it was Divinely designed to.  I learned that I could not put the burden of a safe childbirth squarely on the shoulders of my chosen birth attendant.  I must be accountable for educating myself and then carefully choosing who would attend my birth.

If my three radically different childbirth experiences taught me nothing else, they showed me that there is no "right” way to birth, but there is a right way to treat a laboring woman: with respect.  There are many factors at play, and sometimes the choices are very limited. The most important part is that we are informed and respected in our choices

I evolved with my experiences to guide me, and my expectation of birth changed. I learned what it could be with the right preparation and careful consideration of who was present at my births. 

I found the Alabama Birth Coalition about six months postpartum as I continued to process the impact my first two children’s births had on me and our family.  That's when I learned that for more than 13 years, ABC has fought to give families in Alabama the right to choose Certified Professional Midwives for their maternity care and safe home birth. 

Everybody is so happy that Bo is here!
I had three hospital births:  a medicalized, an unintentional unmedicated, and finally a planned natural birth.  Many variables aligned in my favor to achieve the above described birth.  Yes, with careful preparation and crossed fingers, you can have a beautiful, natural hospital birth. However, consider one thing: hospitals by their very nature are not designed to embrace healthy physiology.    On the other hand, they expertly save the lives of high risk mothers and babies every day, but the anticipation of abnormality is palpable for a healthy laboring woman and unfortunately can often lead to unnecessary interventions. 

I believe that the future of maternity care in our state can and should include out of hospital birth options for healthy women   Home birth isn’t for every family, but we owe it to the futur
e of birthing women in a our state to at least allow them this choice.  I firmly believe I could have easily had my baby in the comfort of my home had I been able to do so safely with a CPM. 

I am proud to now be a part of the Alabama Birth Coalition and their effort to introduce legislation that will finally let Certified Professional Midwives legally attend home births in Alabama and thereby give us real choices regarding our maternity care. 

Educate yourself, know your choices, and hire a Doula!

For more information, please visit the Alabama Birth Coalition’s website at or Facebook page at