Posts for Tag : breastfeeding


Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

Book Review “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart – A Midwives Saga” by Carol Leonard

This is a must read for all midwives, and midwives to be or birth workers in general.

I have met Carol at a few conferences and actually purchased my copy directly from her, and she is as fabulous in real life. She speaks with a clarity often not encountered in life let alone on a book on midwifery, and its struggles.

She weaves her personal story throughout the book and makes the reader understand the struggle, drama and the actual life part of a midwife. Midwives have lives, and families and needs like anyone else, and she presents their needs in a way that leaves the reader in awe of the awesomeness of birth work and the dedication needed when one dips her toes in the waters for the first time.

I will be adding this fabulous book to our reading list for the midwife’s assistant training program. Thanks Carol, sharing your integrity, and journey will I am sure inspire many birth workers of the future.

You can get the book here on Amazon.


Meet a BAI Pro 0

Chelsie Towns


Why did you choose BAI?

I had been planning on enrolling in a formal program for doula certification for two years before I enrolled with BAI. I studied independently for some time and actually referred to BAI’s book list for resources. When I finally sat down to choose a program, I had several pulled up on my computer screen and I just kept cycling through them, reading through each one’s websites. I asked friends and in online communities for their opinions. I chose BAI, ultimately, because the people who recommended it jived more closely with my personal philosophies and BAI seemed to as well.

What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

I learned I did not just have an interest in birth, but a passion. I went from having a self-centered focus in my studies (what originally prompted me to study birth arts was my own traumatic birth, it was an attempt to understand what happened and what I could do the next time around to improve my experience) to wanting to share what I had learned with other women and help them make informed choices in birth. I became more extroverted as I gained confidence in my knowledge. In the last year, I’ve learned that my path is one steeped in birth arts. And for the first time in my life, at 30 years old, I finally feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up! (Aside from a mother, of course.)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mother of three children, two boys and a girl, all born within three years of one another. Most of my life is centered around being an attached, peaceful parent. We’ve just bought our first home and we’re looking forward to “urban homesteading” with a huge garden and adding chickens next spring.

Aside from all things birth and babies, I’m an avid knitter, enjoy nature and love cooking and baking. I’ve long been very interested in holistic healing and have been very informally studying herbal medicine for a number of years. After struggling to breastfeed (and ultimately finding out that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue and being unable to produce enough milk for my babies), I’ve come to learn a lot about galactagogue herbs, as well as herbal remedies for PCOS/hormonal imbalances and those used to support a healthy pregnancy and labor. So when I saw the program for Women’s Herbalism, I enrolled immediately and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the program.

I’m active in my community as a babywearing leader through Babywearing International, by helping organize our local Improving Birth Rally and by organizing the first baby expo in our area in a number of years this year.


Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.

I’m currently working as a birth doula and placenta encapsulator under the business name Thanks Givings Doula Services (named for my daughter who was born at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2011). I absolutely love my job! I had planned on offering postpartum support but have had to push those plans off for a while after having my third baby in December. He is much loved but totally unplanned, so my business plans had to adjust.

My motto is, “Supporting your informed birth.” I truly believe women have the right to birth however they want, but they should have ALL the facts, something that is seriously lacking in today’s birthing culture. I stress to my clients that birth is not a means to an end of pregnancy, but the moment they become a mother. It’s significant and I believe the birth process deserves respect and serious consideration.

I’ve been talking with an organization that connects teen moms with volunteer doulas to help bring the program to my area (it’s currently up and running in the Green Bay area but that’s a good 40-50 minute drive for me, which is a bit much for a free client). Considering my city had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Wisconsin when I was in high school, I feel it’s a very worthwhile and important program.

I’m looking forward to continuing on my path in birth arts and plan to enroll in Ancient Arts in the next few months. I hadn’t started out planning on becoming a midwife, but I’ve found I truly feel pulled in that direction, though I don’t see myself ever totally giving up being a doula because I feel for those women who absolutely must birth in a hospital, a doula is essential and enjoy that aspect of my work.

My website:

My FB:


Antibiotics for Strep Do More Harm Than Good 0

Antibiotics for Strep Do More Harm Than Good- Read More

Group B Streptococcus (group B strep)  is a type of bacteria that causes illness in people of all ages. Also known as  GBS or baby strep, group B strep disease in newborns most commonly causes sepsis (infection of the blood),  pneumonia (infection in the lungs), and sometimes meningitis (infection of the fluid and  lining around the brain). The most common problems caused by group B strep in  adults are bloodstream infections, pneumonia, skin and soft-tissue infections,  and bone and joint infections.- form the CDC.

I was just writing about this for my new book, it will contain herbal and aromatherapy remedies for GBS.

I can’t really share, don’t want to break any publishing agreements, but I am sure it would be okay for me to share some nutritional options for GBS.

Some nutritional considerations are:

Garlic 1-2 cloves a day

Probiotics and probiotic rich foods.



Foods rich in vitamin C

Gobo or Burdock root eaten as a food. This can be eaten in casseroles, stir fry, roasted with other root vegetables, and pureed in soups.

Nasturtium Blossoms- these can be eaten in salads, or as peppery flavorings to food.

Shitake Mushrooms- They contain antiviral and antibacterial agents, and it is known to boost the immune system.

Excerpt from Demetria Clark’s upcoming book.


Special delivery… why London women are spending up to £5,000 on private midwives 0

Special delivery… why London women are spending up to £5,000 on private midwives. London women are taking private midwives into the labour ward to supplement their care. Jasmine Gardner on the new birth plan.

This is becoming more common all over the world. Women in the US are opting for homebirths even in states where it is illegal to practice as a midwife. Why are women doing this?

1. Homebirth is safer

2. Respectful care

3. Mother’s needs are addressed and they are not just a number.

4. Women are tired of their health care being dictation by what is hot, what others are doing and what someone else wants with little evidence that it is safe or warranted.


Why? Who am I? 0

Why a blog for BAI?

For many years people have asked so many questions about birth, my life, my family, how I raised my children, so I thought it was about time for me to start answering them and to start participating more with potential students and parents in another avenue.

We have twitter, Facebook, email and now a blog. The  blog will not just be about being a BAI professional, but about health, life, love and things that make me joyous.

So I am going to share some things about who I am as a person.

1. I love my family, more than anything, full stop. My sons are my greatest love in my life. I loved my husband at first sight. We met and became a couple when I was 15 years old.

2. I am still married, in love with my husband and we have been married for over 20 years.

3. Okay, something that is not always obvious, I love home décor. I have been told I have an incredible eye for offbeat classic. I also love a bargain. I often get things for less that 1/2 price off. I enjoy the hunt, I love bargain hunting, antiquing, and collecting artworks that I love. Maybe if I ever get brave enough I will post pictures. We are redoing a dutch colonial I found as a foreclosure in NC.

4. I love to travel. I have been to over 20 countries. I find people love sharing their culture as much as I like sharing mine.

5. I can read a 1200 page book in a day.

6. I can’t remember the last time I took a day off. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t even answer and email.

7. I unschool my two teens. Well not technically anymore I guess. My 16 year old is in college now, so my younger son is still unschooled. No matter what anyone said I believed in my children, I believed in my instinct. I trusted my sons. My sons are smart kids, but they know how to explore and find answers. They are people smart, confident, and we communicate with each other. I am so lucky to have these amazing kids.

8. I attended my first birth at 15 years old.

9. I breastfeed 2 boys for 6.5 years. My eldest for 2 years and my youngest for 4.5. I still believe this primal bond keeps us connected. We also co-slept and family bedded.

10. I love a good mystery. I can read and re-read Sherlock Holmes. I read all types of mysteries, forensic based ones, ones where the detectives are cats, quilters, bakers, etc.. As long as it hooks me, I am in.

Okay, so for me this was a major share:)



Hello World:) 0

Welcome to the new Birth Arts International community blog. We will be posting professional student articles, comments on events, and information for parents, professionals and families at large.

We believe in the natural process of birth, motherhood and family and hopefully we can assist you with questions, information and ideas to help you along on your journey.

For more information about doulas visit

Looking for a doula? postpartum doula? childbirth educator? breastfeeding educator?

Are you interested in becoming a birth professional?