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30 years ago – birth changed me

November 8, 2018

My oldest daughter was born on election day thirty years ago tomorrow.  I’m sitting her thinking about how that event changed my life.  It set me on a trajectory.  It helped inspire my writing the Birth Navigators.

That first birth which was against all the planning, the expectations, and the desires of my wife and I helped to face the world of childbirth with open eyes.  Standing there next to the surgical tent, was not in my dreams, nor the months of physical recovery my wife had afterwards.

I’m not dismissing the joy of having my first born to hold, to care for, tho change, and to show off, but that would have happened despite the birth scenario.  So for those of you about to birth, I salute you.  However, birth is not an event that may go as planned.  4 Births later I realized that not one on my four children’s births were any where near the same.

It’s thirty year out, but those different birth experiences are just as relevant.  Hospital surgical emergency birth, vbac in the hospital with nurse midwifes, midwives at the Indianapolis birth center, and midwife in out own place.  This different experiences placed me in a position to see birth from various angles.

Your childbirth experiences will possible me completely different than mine.  You focus and philosophy my be quiet opposed to mine.  The goal is still the same, to bring home your child.  So in thirty years you may look back and say, we did it.

My advice still rings true.  Guys you need to walk in harmony with your mate.  You need to protect her plans for childbirth.  You also need to be informed.  If you aren’t prepared to support your mate, there will be consequences.  You may take home a baby, buy injure your prime relationship with the mother.  This is one of those moments in life where you can’t take it back.  Letting her down now is her time of need is not cool.

You may never be prepared for what happens during the event of birth.  But as long as you are her wing man, protecting her as best you can, you will have done your duty.  Too many guys take birth on like it is just another stroll in the park.  Be prepared.

What can you do?

  • Take time off from work to attend prenatals when possible.
  • Attend childbirth education classes.
  • Read some books on childbirth. (The book I wrote for men is still available: Men at Birth, by Phillip and Genny White.)
  • Have you mate write down her expectations for the delivery, and then read it as it matters.
  • Watch some youtube videos that she picks out for you to know what she is expecting.

I pray that in thirty years you will be able to look back as I have and think how birth has changed you to.  No matter what happens over those years, you’ll see think of that birth and the resulting child as one of the most important events of your life.  Fatherhood is an achievement that only grows with the years.



Flu Shots and Miscarriage

September 29, 2017

preparing flu shot injectionAdvice of doctors, CDC, and others for taking flu vaccine is relentless.  Flu shots are big business.  Revenue produced exceeds $1.61 billion (see article below if you want to learn the business of flue vaccines).  However, a recent study showed that miscarriages can be the result for some women when they take the flu shot while pregnant.

For years, studies do not suggest any problems with the flu vaccination for pregnant women, but the new findings were published in the journal Vaccine show that science is never done studying issues.  It’s the first study to identify a potential link between miscarriage and the flu vaccine and the first to assess the effect of repeat influenza vaccination and risk of miscarriage.

miscarraigeMake up your own mind.  Don’t be a dummy, the influence is seriously bad for babies and mom’s to be.  When a woman has a miscarriage, you as a man will feel the weight of that event too.  But so is the vaccine, according to a study that challenges years of reports stating the flu vaccine was save during pregnancy.

Remember doctors are not always up on the latest studies.  When they tell you “old school” advice, how would you know; you must stay informed yourself.  They may tell you something they’ve read 10 years ago.  The standard advice is that if a mother to be is injected with the flu vaccine, that it’s save, and that it promote immunity to the flu for the baby within.


Miscarriage effects 17% of men, causing them to fall into a depression.  This is especially significant if the pregnancy was planned.  So men be aware, that you mental health can take a blow if your baby is lost in a miscarriage.

Related Articles: 

What to know about a study of flu vaccine and miscarriage

The debate about Flu Shots  good source for flu history

Prominent Physician Advises Against Flu Shots

Miscarriage and loss

The $1.6 billion business of flu

Link for the scientifically atuned:

What Art has taught me about birth

February 23, 2017

As an amateur at painting —  a water-colorist to be more precise, I’ve learned that you don’tbirth belly art always get what you want.  Life ls like that too, and so it’s the expectations in life that create much of what we call happiness.  It’s the desire to make thing perfect that makes many people unhappy, and so it is with birth.

So I’ve been studying the techniques that make painting with watercolors work, and of course, as a beginner I’ve grappled with the way the paint process goes.  Sometimes there’s too much water in the mix, the watercolor paper is to dry or too wet,.  The paper bubbles at times when things are to liquid.  The masters of course get all this, and paint perfectly, but they weren’t all masters at one time.

That says a lot about childbirth.  The technical aspects like the paper quality, the amount of water, the mixing of the paints and all is like finding the write practitioner, having the birth in the right environment, and having the right support.

It’s not like you get much prep time for all that.  You can’t go out and rent a birth, pay for the experience, or generally get the opportunity to go to another birth.  “Hey buddy, can I go with you to the hospital and watch your wife birth.”  You might be able to ask something like that after a case of beer, but such a question might provoke a wide range of emotions, one which might include you finding yourself flattened on the ground.The problem is that for most men 2 births is the average — MAX.  You get two shots to support a woman’s childbirth experience.  No do overs here.


My attempt to paint like Jean Michal Folon

Here the painting shows the novice’s attempt at getting line, color and shape right.  Too many errors here to discuss.  But in childbirth, you really aren’t going to have anyone to critic your experience.  And those who are shoving their ideas down your throats are only really the type of people who advise you about every topic under the sun: like what you should do with you money, how to dress, where to eat, etc.

So when you look at childbirth with a sense of overwhelming ignorance, you really ought to do something to man up and get yourself some points of standing.  You need to know what to do, where to be, and how to act, and its not very easy or natural, as a matter of fact. [You could read Men at Birth by Phillip and Genny White, available on Amazon].

By the second birth, you really will have some better expectations.  So you will have the lens of experience helping you to know what to do and how to act.  But as simple as that sounds, no two birth are the same.

blue bird.jpg

added texture, brightened colors


There are distinct differences.  You may have another practitioner.  You may be in another state, birthing at a new facility or even at home.  It may be a paining of different line, color and shape, or only slightly different from the first one.

As in birth as in life.  We all wish we could turn our hindsight into foresight.

The best I can give to you is that birth brings the unexpected.  Babies come.  And that is the way they get here.  Expect to learn to be flexible, and life will go better for you.  You cannot control the event of birth.  Don’t set up false expectations either.  That goes for the birth, and the child.  Having low expectations is the key to enjoying the situation. Expect the unexpected in childbirth, and you’re on the right course to a successful birth.


Birth expectations

August 10, 2016

birthing_chairFor guys, they have no idea of how important childbirth is to women, unless “they’ve been there done that.”  But childbirth expectations is what I’m writing about today.  The measure between the goods and the dreamed of goods can cause a great deal of stress, pressure, and even some insanity.  This is true for other areas of one’s relationships as well.  The larger the expectation, the harder the fall when you don’t live up to those expectations.

This is relevant.  This is significant.  This can cause the difference.  Without knowing it, you can fall victim to your own poor preparation before a childbirth.  I emphasize the need to place yourself and your mate in the most conductive environment for the childbirth that she wants.  This is the big global concept that men don’t get.  They tend to be ignorant, and bury their heads into the sand of ignorance.

If you guys want some point of reference, think of going on a vacation with your significant other.  The vast differences in location, destination, and accommodation can boggle the mind.  Maybe you can rough it and hit the trails in the deep country, carrying a few essentials like water, food and shelter.  Some women can birth like great explorers, in the heat and cold, beating the odds.  They are tough, and metal is in their veins.  Others are the pampered types and need a salon in the vacation package.  They may want shopping malls, ballroom dancing, and romantic dinners.  Your not going to  take that lady out camping, though it may just confound you when she tells you how she likes camping.  Childbirth is also set with dynamics that effect choices you make.  Now don’t be surprised if you are startled by the choices she makes, but understand that birth is a totally different experience for every woman in some ways.  No two women are the same, and their vacations reveal a lot about who they really are.  What they think is a great birth scenario is what they think, and so much goes into how the arrived at that thinking, so you never know until they lay out their expectations what to think.

The problem I see is that most men are unaware of how birth is actually set up and handled.  Each community has a different set of resources.  Birth center, freed standing or connected to hospitals, and home birth and birth in a taxi cab all provide a string of differences.  Women who have a birth philosophy for the most technocratic/medical environment, don’t need to be left in the woods.  Other women will swear up a storm if their option is only that hospital with the highest C-section rate in the area.  Some will travel great distances to receive the care they desire.  Each state has its own laws about the use of midwives, too. You can’t have a natural childbirth in some medical environments.  Norms exist for each location.

You as a guy should understand these things and be supportive of finding the round peg in the round hole.  What you don’t want to see if the envisioned birth going south.  You are the wingman, and must do you best to protect that birth plans she has, but if you get on board early on, and engage in learning about birth locations and birth philosophies, then you will be better aware of what a round peg is, so that you place it in the round hole.  When it is a square peg, going into that fitting, you will find that the birth is stressful and messy.  Do what you can do and protect that birth dream by finding a birth location that fits the philosophy of your mate.





Controlling the dna code

May 25, 2016

Have you watched Code 46, a science fiction movie regarding the world order control of genetics?  I’ve been thinking of the profound changes people will have in society when the genome becomes controlled by a world order, or any human institution.

We already have social restrictions on proliferating the race (we are but one race).  The taboos actually have a reason behind them.  This is why we don’t allow incest.  The fact is that Oedipus Rex, relays that message across the centuries quite well, and scientific evidence shows what happens when we mate with our closest relatives.  So in ancient times we may as a race have learned what happens when we fix the genome for damaging results.  Duplicating genes that kill, maim, or destroy offspring.

I think that today as we move closer to the understanding the bad genes and how to avoid mating with someone with the same trait we also come close to falling into the choosing the “right” genes path.


WHAT do you think? Is that something we want.  To control for height, weight, hair texture, color, pigmentation, etc.  Or will people fashionably eliminate diversity eventually, and leave us weakened and sickly.

If you could chose the genome of your child, would you?  (Some people abort girls or boys already in the world in which we live.) Or is the mix enough of a risk, to make selecting our offspring’s genetics an exciting possibility, rather than a left-brained analysis?  Unnatural things must take place when we alter the types of genes that can move on in the evolution of man.

Maybe science will work on fixing broken genes instead.  Then are we safe from having mankind having that much power over the results of breeding?

Then there was money.

So will the elite get control over their offspring and create super babies, with perfect genes?  All things as they are in society, this seems to be the more realistic corruption.  The rich already have all the means at their disposal of controlling for a better outcome for their babies.  Better food, shelter, medical care, living environments, etc.

My vote is that we only try to fix genes when there are horrific outcomes when a couple makes their baby.  People should be tested for those weak genetic structures, but that we shouldn’t give people the option to trigger certain genes to breed greater this or that.  Is it too much power to give human bureaucracy, to dabble with what is and is not allowable? Mitigating a bad gene combo is good, but giving people the means to control for the diversity of their genes they carry seems to be a bad idea, leading to an eventual “no restrictions” control over gene splicing and fixing.

Cheaters are out there, and some will do anything to make their bodies stronger, their minds smarter, and their abilities better.  We see that all the time in sports where athletes cheat the system and use banded substances.  I surely don’t want to see that happen to human reproduction.  Can you see some scientist being paid under the table to improve somebodies child or my the government to make children stupid– or is the government funded schools doing that well enough?

Related Articles

Richard Dawkins comments about aborting downs syndrome discussed

Unintended Consequences of China’s 1-Child Policy

Designer Babies

Ethics of Designer Babies

Mara Hvistendahl’s ‘Unnatural Selection,’ about a world with too many men



Birth Monopoly

April 21, 2016

What is a monopoly?

A monopoly is a situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition, which often results in high prices and inferior products. (From Investopedia)



Medicine has made a virtual monopoly of childbirth in America.  The facts are starring us right in the face.  First of all more than 99 percent of births in America are done in hospitals.  In 1999, there were resolutions that ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists) that made it highly difficult for women who had previous caesarian sections to birth without an attending doctor.  The guidelines were used inappropriately and caused a spike in the number of repeat c-sections.  In 2010 ACOG altered the vbac guidelines to address this problem.  The meager number of childbirths done outside of hospitals dropped significantly.

Women who had every reason to not want to go back in the hospitals for this labor and delivery were legally forced to do just that.  The very fact that many women who were mishandled in the hospital and would normally seek shelter in birth centers, doctor’s offices or homes to birth their children cited reasons of improper care, the over use of interventions and drugs.

The doctors cited reason of the unsafe condition of women’s uteruses that had been cut during the previous surgical procedures.

pregancy c-section zipper

Inductions after Previous C-section

The truth was that the doctors who often used induction techniques were the one have disastrous outcomes in the very hospitals.  Actually all women have a slight chance of this program when induced.  It is these interventions that cause the problems that the doctors cited were the reasons for women to have to birth back in the hospital.

Now consider what makes a business a monopoly.  Clearly the doctors since the beginning of the 20th century spent considerable time and energy to eliminate the only competition they had in the profitable world of ranch of medicine: childbirth.  Childbirth is the most profitable aspect of medical care.  With over 4.3 million births each year, childbirth is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Obstetricians whose records of customer service and care are poor don’t want to lose business to outside vendors of quality care.

Furthermore, doctors and the AMA have nearly complete control of the licensing of both midwives, certified nurse midwives, and birth centers and they control the boards of all of the insurance providers.  I recently read that a hospital administrator pulled the strings on supporting a birth center back east.  The reasons cited were safety, but really what was prominent was the fact that more and more women were choosing the birth center rather than the hospital across the street.

Birth is a financially lucrative monopoly.

Recent figures say that the average dollar value of a birth in the hospital was over 7600  dollars and the average cost of a c-section was over ten thousand dollars.  The computes to 21,285,000,000 for regular births and 14,190,000,000 for other, coming to a total or over 35 billion dollars.  Midwives and birth centers charge more along the lines of $2500 to $4500.  That comes to $134,750,000 for the CNM, lay and professional midwives, and a handful of doctors who deliver in homes and offices.

money in medicine

Big Money in Childbirth

Relevant Articles and Books:

VBAC: What ACOG Really Says

The Medical Delivery Business: Health Reform, Childbirth, and the Economic Order


Prepared for “Natural Childbirth?”

April 20, 2016

A couple at birthsmall percentage of women out there want to have a “natural childbirth.”  The wikipedia definition is full of references and this article explores what “natural childbirth” means for men:

The term “natural childbirth” was coined by obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read upon publication of his book Natural Childbirth in the 1930s. In 1942 Grantly Dick-Read published Revelation of Childbirth (which was later retitled Childbirth without Fear), advocating natural childbirth, which became an intern
ational bestseller. The
Lamaze method of natural childbirth gained popularity in the United States after Marjorie Karmel wrote about her experiences in her 1959 book Thank You, Dr. Lamaze, and with the formation of the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics (currently Lamaze International) by Marjorie Karmel and Elisabeth Bing. Later, physicians Michel Odent and Frederick Leboyer and midwives such as Ina May Gaskin promoted birthing centers, water birth, and homebirth as alternatives to the hospital model. The Bradley method of natural childbirth (also known as “husband-coached childbirth”), a method of natural childbirth developed in 1947 by Robert A. Bradley, M.D., was popularized by his book Husband-Coached Childbirth, first published in 1965.

Often when one woman says “natural childbirth” she means vaginal birth and not c-section.  But this term is not truly decided upon in the world of women for the most part.  Some women, who are up on women’s health and nutrition, natural and organic foods, often want to live “natural” lives have one meaning for “natural childbirth” that differs from just having a baby come out of the birth canal.  They make it a sacred life event. They will do anything to avoid a medical-focused birth.

birthing naturally in a hospitalSo men you are not sure what you are getting into once those words part her lips.  Most men are completely ill-equipped for a “natural childbirth,” and the challenges women face in obtaining this precious style of birth.

If a guy wants to be supportive of their mate’s pregnancy and childbirth ideas, they may have to gain an understanding or what the natural course of childbirth is, and not the medical model version where the doctors use technology to manipulate the woman’s body.  Modern medicine is all about using what ever technological tools available.  They have drugs, they cause inductions, they surgically deliver one third of births today, though in the 1960’s C-sections were a mere 6% of births.

Some women want all interventions and will still say they want a natural childbirth, so you see there is quite a distance between two women’s ideas on what natural is.

As a man it really isn’t in your place to tell a woman how to birth, you really have little say, and you may have divergent feelings related to how a birth should occur based on your experiences and social upbringing.  If you have a medical background or have been raised by someone who works in the medical field then a medical model birth may be your expectation for all women, and you may thing that women who want to birth without medical interventions is crude, stupid or crazy.

medical versus midwifery model

If you were raised by more holistic models of thinking, then you may have the exact opposite thinking.

Yet what really matters is how you support your mate. Ask questions and learn what she means when she says “natural childbirth.”   Does she only mean having a hospital birth with all the drugs, induction methods, pit and pain killers, but with the use of her birth canal and not surgery?  Then she is ripe for the standard hospital birth.

If she talks about doulas or midwives in attendance at a hospital birth, she may be a fence sitter where she wants her “natural childbirth” and wants the “safest” place to have the birth — though I’d strongly differ with that thinking.  Often bringing a “natural mindset to a medical model birth environment requires a struggle, and conflict is the “enemy” to an already stressful event.

In the USA, a small but growing number of women seek to avoid aggressive medical techniques like induced labor, epidural blocks and Caesarean sections, but they will find few friends or family who support a non-medical style of birth in this highly medical-model minded world.

If you want to so what is best for your mate, than just provide moral support regardless of what you believe, and if she really means non-medical, then you may need to find a lot of support from a community that believes in “natural childbirth.”  Finding a support group is different than going to a hospital’s childbirth training, where everything is already set up and paid for.

Frequently, doctors are thrown off guard when a woman demands a natural childbirth, with no medications, epidural blocks, inductions and Caesarean sections.  So doctors are not going to be a simple route to find that support.  You may feel like she is  having to go underground.  And in some states, homebirth is outlawed, so finding a birth location that supports natural childbirth may seem to take a great deal of effort.  “Homebirth” is another decisive word that means “Forget the frickin hospital, I don’t want it!”

If she wants to use a doctor to attend the birth, then ask around until you find one that actual supports natural childbirth, if that is what she wants.  Often you may want to step away from the ob-gyns and find a family doctor or and OD who has a different prospective on childbirth.  But most women who are serious about natural childbirth won’t even consider a birth in the hospital without a midwife, if the have hospital privileges, which most do if the are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs).

babykissMany women consider natural birth empowering. There is a big mysterious deal about hormones that are released through a birth process that is natural.  Unless you have a degree in Chemistry, you may not understand all that.  However studies show that skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn immediately after birth is beneficial for both mother and baby. A review done by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that personal bodily contact between mothers and babies after birth reduces crying, improves mother-infant interaction, and helps mothers to breastfeed successfully. It is known that chemically this form of bonding helps create chemicals that are directly related to love. WHO recommends that newborns be allowed to bond with the mother during their first two hours after birth, the period that they tend to be more alert than in the following hours of early life.  In hospitals they often take babies away from their mothers for long stretches of time, interfering with this natural process.

There is a history of conflict between people over that issues of safety in childbirth practices today.  Try to avoid saying to much, as you don’t want to walk into the crosshairs.  People get pretty ridiculous and emotional over what type of birth methods are best.  Remember your job is support, you are the wingman.  Fly straight and avoid unnecessary emotional conflicts.regalia 2 with bluish background

Articles Referenced

Wikipedia definition:

Additional Resources:

Birth Navigators Book: Men at Birth

Preparing for Natural Childbirth

Experience Project

Scientific Midwifery with Obstetric Backup – a Unique Collaborative Model in Maternity Care from Healthy Mother