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Entries in celebrity births (5)


Laila Ali: Having a Homebirth!

Laila Ali, Muhammed Ali's (the great boxer) daughter, says she is going to have a homebirth with a midwife when she delivers in about 3 months.

In the "It's a Small World" category...

My mom used to babysit for Angelo Dundee, Muhammed Ali's trainer for the entirety of Ali's career.

When Ali was still Cassius Clay, Dundee brought him to Orlando for a fight and they came to our house before mom and dad went out to dinner with them.

Helen Dundee, Angelo's wife of more than 50 years, took my mom for her only tattoo... the symbol of Walt Disney World (no longer used) - mouse ears on the world with longitude and latitude lines - on her shoulder.

How cool is that that Laila (to whom I spoke once when I worked at Disney World) is having a homebirth?!


Google Alerts - What's in the News?

If you don't have Google Alerts, why not?

I love the alerts. I get a smattering of obstetric news this way. It's one of the coolest functions of the Net; consider trying it!

I have alerts on these words:

- "Navelgazing Midwife" (and I love seeing who's yacking about me in their blogs or articles!)
- homebirth
- "home birth" (you need to put the quotes around phrases or else you get a million irrelevant notices)
- waterbirth
- "water birth"
- "natural birth"
- midwifery
- midwife
- "San Diego midwife"
- "Licensed Midwives"
- "Licensed Midwife"
- "Vaginal Birth After Cesarean"

and then some that relate to my office. I used to have "Kauai" and "Hawaii" but got way too many to be able to read and since we're not heading to Kaua'i this year, I removed them.

A few interesting headlines that have come through recently:

Choosy Mothers Choose Cesareans - This atrocious Time Magazine article highlights a child psychiatrist (!!!!) that chose to have a cesarean long before she ever even got pregnant... and once she was, she did, indeed, have a cesarean-by-choice.

"In an increasingly technological and medicalized society, maybe even childbirth is losing some of its magic and becoming less about the miracle of life and more about simply getting a baby out safely and without incident. 'We put a lot of emotional, psychological and spiritual value around birthing,' says Dr. William Callaghan, an obstetrician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'But perhaps we are coming up with different cultural norms.'"

Sad. Very sad.

Who Can Help Women Give birth? Pa. Court Will Decide -

Diane Goslin, a 50-year old midwife who's helped more than 5000 babies be born in Pennsylvania, many of them for Amish families, is waiting to practice again - but only will be able to if the state recognizes Certified Professional Midwives. Goslin has been a CPM for 12 years and lost an Amish baby in 2005. The coroner's report says Goslin was not responsible for the death.

The court counters that there are (Certified Nurse) Licensed Midwives for a reason. Goslin says, "There is no amount of nursing school that could prepare me any better," she said.
"I hope the court sees it that way."

Malpractice Insurance: killing issue for midwife bill? -

It looks like the lack of insurance for homebirth midwives might destroy any attempt at getting CPMs legalized in Missouri.

Jamie Lynn Spears Terrified of Giving Birth -

Oh, for goodness sake.

Apparently, mom showed Jamie Lynn a "natural birth" video and it freaked Jamie Lynn out, causing her to barf. What the hell did she show her? So, now, Jamie Lynn is so afraid to birth vaginally, she wants a cesarean... so she "doesn't have to face the pain."

Someone better call that girl up and tell her what great videos to watch and that having a cesarean is FAR from avoiding the pain of birth.

Negligence Kills 130,000 Mothers a Year in India -

"In developed countries, the maternal mortality ratio is 27 per 1,00,000 live births. In India, it is 540. In developed countries a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy related complication is one in 1800. In India, the ratio is one in 48."

"In India, nearly seven million abortions, in legal or illegal method, take place annually. For every legal abortion, 10 are induced illegal abortions. Other major factors that cause to mothers’ deaths are hemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labor, sepsis and pre-existing conditions such as anemia and malaria. The studies show that 60 per cent of all maternal deaths occur after delivery. Yet, less than 17 per cent of women in India receive any postpartum care. Health facilities are available to only 34 per cent ladies and in rural areas three out of every four babies are born at home under unskilled personnel."

"Nations are uprising. Globalisation has opened the door for fresh developments – both in thoughts and practice. Unfortunately, the world remains careless to the third world, as it has been always, particularly to the mothers, the most vital source of power of human civilisation. International conferences are held. Agendas are taken. NGOs are involved. But we forget as usual that maternal mortality is not just a health issue, it is an issue of human rights."

A top obstetrician on why men should NEVER be at the birth of their child -

This article is written by Michel Odent, MD... the wonderful natural birth-oriented obstetrician that first became famous for his birth center in Pithiviers, France in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He now works in London (but as an OB? From what I understand, he is now only a researcher, author and lecturer).

Michel Odent says in part:

"That there is little good to come for either sex from having a man at the birth of a child."

"For her, his presence is a hindrance, and a significant factor in why labours are longer, more painful and more likely to result in intervention than ever."

"As for the effect on a man - well, was I surprised to hear a friend of mine state that watching his wife giving birth had started a chain of events that led to the couple's divorce?"

"Or another lady describing how the day after her husband had watched her deliver their child, he had fled to his hometown of Rome, and never returned again?"

"For many men, the emotional fallout of watching their partner have their baby can never be overcome."

This is a pretty significant piece! I wonder if, in 20 years, we will look back in horror that men were ever at births. I wonder if his article will have any impact on birthing today.

I know that some men have a really hard time watching the birth. Some cultures, as we know, don't even permit husbands from viewing the labor or birth. Do they have something? What of the UC movement? Should they reconsider their husband-as-midwife after all? Perhaps the norm is to have a woman assist, not the partner be the primary care-taker. I know many partners who struggle with "what to do" in labor. Is witnessing the birth too much to ask?

Interesting questions.

Well, that's a little wrap-up of recent news in birth. I love when people send me tidbits; Google doesn't catch them all!

Now go! Get yourself Google-Alerted!


Vaginal Twins in the Hospital! (A "Celebrity!")

From the Baltimore Sun:

UM basketball coach Frese gives birth to twin boys !!!

This is the head coach of the women's team for University of Maryland... Brenda Frese.


"Frese, in her sixth year as Maryland coach, delivered Markus William Thomas, who was born at 10:21 a.m., then gave birth to Tyler Joseph Thomas 30 minutes later. Markus weighed five pounds, five ounces at birth and measured 18.5 inches long, while Tyler weighed six pounds, 12 ounces and measured 19.25 inches."


"Frese, both babies and Mark Thomas, Frese's husband of nearly three years, were all reported to be in good health. Frese had said recently she did not know the sex of the babies and didn't want to know."


"Frese, 37, who delivered the babies via natural childbirth, was due to give birth March 11, but she and Thomas had said they expected the birth to take place before then, as twins are more likely to be delivered before their due date. Frese had said recently that if her pregnancy had continued past next Sunday, her doctors would likely induce childbirth."

(end quotes)

There's also a great picture of her sitting in a big office chair with pillows under her butt and lower back. She is majorly in an Optimal Fetal Position stance! Take a look!

FANTASTIC!! You can tell what kind of woman she is (natural-oriented) if she didn't want to know the gender of the babies!

AND SHE WAS A PRIMIP!!! I don't know any docs (or midwives) that will deliver a primip mom!



Christina Aguilera's Fears Disclosed

Don't I sound like a celebrity newshound?

Christina gave several interviews (or one that was spread around the world, but paid her money to say they interviewed her personally) and in it, she explains her reasons for having a PLANNED 37 WEEK CESAREAN.

I'm sitting here shaking my head, wondering who educates these people? Don't they have someone who has some statistical knowledge explaining things to them? I just don't get it.

In part (emphasis mine):

Christina Aguilera's Son Changed Her Life

I didn’t want any surprises,” she told People mag of the week 37 decision to go under the knife to have Max. “I’d heard horror stories about [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway].

I really wanted a calm and peaceful environment. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!

The C-section was “more painful than she thought [it would be]” and a “sore” Christina had to stay in the hospital for four days.


I wonder if she knew she might be surprised with an accidentally nicked bladder? A baby whose face could be scarred for life? A hemorrhage that could kill her? I wonder if she knows the "surprise" that she might have serious issues ever having a baby again? That she could have major complications during a subsequent pregnancy because of the cesarean "choice" she made? I wonder if anyone explained to her the nerves that were severed might never re-connect again and that she might not feel sensation for years and years, if ever.

I wonder if anyone bothered to tell her the physiologic benefits of a baby being born vaginally - AND TERM.

It's just sad to me that someone with such a high profile can (possibly) influence others to "cut to the chase" and schedule early cesareans. "Christina did it! I want to have my baby NOW, too!"

I can just hope someone in her sphere tells her about VBAC and she goes on to have a glorious, high-profile VBAC - shouting it from the rooftops!

I can always dream.


"Scrubs" Star Births at Home!

I don't watch "Scrubs," but recognized the actor when I saw his picture.

John C McGinley's wife, Nichole Kessler, had their baby in a home waterbirth on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Los Angeles. Yay!! Nichole is a doula (yay again!) and a yoga instructor.

Read the story here!