Open Letter to MANA

ex home birthers:

Remember when MANA refused to change their practice guidelines in light of their own research that showed home birth to be incredibly dangerous for high risk pregnancies? It turns out MANA will change their guidelines, just not in a way that has anything to do with the safety of mothers or babies. They have recently made the change of removing the word “woman” and replacing it with “pregnant individual”. If you had assumed they were too lazy to change their documents you were wrong, they simply don’t care if you or your child dies in a home birth. Anything for “the cause” of birth at home, I suppose.

Originally posted on Radfem Repost:

Please email womancenteredmidwifery@gmail.com to sign-on to this open letter:

Open Letter to the Midwives Alliance of North America regarding the recent revisions to the organization’s standing Core Competencies Document:

August 20, 2015

Dear Midwives Alliance of North America Board of Directors and MANA Membership:

We are writing in response to your revisions of the MANA Core Competencies. MANA’s attempts at inclusivity are commendable in today’s complex world. We are concerned, however, by accelerating trends in our culture to deny material biological reality and further disconnect ourselves from nature, and the ways in which the revisions may support these trends. Midwives have long practiced the precautionary principle, counseling against the adoption of technologies and theories that have not been proven safe or beneficial to mothers and babies, and by extension, the entire human community. We respectfully ask the MANA board to reverse the 2014 revisions and consider the ways in which…

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Home Birth fatalities- a growing trend in Hawaii

Is Home Birth Safe? is a new blog about home birth safety, and they found an article about the trend of home births (and subsequent, preventable fatalities) in Hawaii:

“One obstetrician said that Wednesday’s death had taken a toll on hospital staff, especially because of the fact that it was another in a disturbing trend.”

“’This is an ongoing problem here. … Within the last five years, I’ve seen at least three dead babies from home births, and just a week ago I took care of a patient who nearly bled to death after a home birth,’ the doctor said. ‘All of the obstetricians here have had similar experiences. And in all of these situations, the standard of care of obstetric practice was not followed by the practitioners. I believe that all of these bad outcomes could have been avoided if good practice patterns were actually followed.’”

Does your midwife have blood on her hands?

Many home birth midwives have the nerve to crowd source their patient care decisions online, and in one known case a child died as a result. Gavin Michael died after Jan Tritten, editor of the trade magazine Midwifery Today (and a former midwife herself), helped another midwife (Christy Collins CPM) crowdsource a post dates baby with zero amniotic fluid.

The thread was captured online and saved to a word document, but its contents are not found by search engines. I thought I would do the world a favor and put the name and location of each person complacent in this death up on this blog, where prospective clients can find it and perhaps question these women about their role in Gavin Michael’s death. This is also an opportunity for anyone listed to take responsibility for their role.  If you want to search this post press control and the F key at the same time and type your midwife’s name. I’m doing my best to only post information I can trace directly back to the facebook thread but I’m only human, so if you notice a mistake feel free to leave a comment and I will investigate/issue retractions as needed. I am posting their pictures in case any of them decide to change their name or go by a different name- its common in the home birth industry to do so in order to evade responsibility.

First up is the midwife that sent the question, Christy Collins CPM (who was prosecuted in California and then moved to Nevada in order to avoid regulation)

.christy collins cpm

I would list Jan Tritten but she is no longer practicing (thank god).


The first comment on facebook encouraging Christy to forgo medical intervention is from Wanda Smith, LDEM CPM from Virginia. Here is her comment and photo:

wanda smith virginia cpm“absolutely no experience with “0″ fluid, but have had two go quite over with very low fluid (under 5), one was 18 days over, quite uneventful home birth, and one was 19 days over with heavy mec and true knot, that did give a us a little trouble, but she stilled birthed vaginally”

From what I can tell this is all illegal for licensed midwives in the state of Virginia. You can find her info at Gentle Birth Roanoke. WANDA SMITH, you have blood on your hands. You played with your patient’s life and instead of counting yourself lucky for having live babies and mothers you encouraged another midwife to play your game. Shame on you for bragging about risking patients lives and well being.


Next is Sharon Schlicher, Oklahoma “tradional” Midwife. She routinely posts from a facebook account for Thomas McGregor but signs all her posts and all of them appear to be the same person. Here is her advice for the family of the (now deceased) baby in clear medical danger:

I caught a baby with zero amniotic fluid years ago before routine ultrasounds. She did have membranes that HAD to be broken, they were incredibly tough, that’s how I know she had zero water. Birth was uneventful but baby had a major birth defect and was referred to children’s hospital for eval and surgery. Sharon Schlicher, Oklahoma Midwife

Sharon Schlicher oklahoma

She works at Spirit Within Homebirth Services. They do not have website however so she may not be working under that company name for long.


Christy Fiscer, lay midwife, of Ivins Utah had this to say:

Fluid level readings can, and often are highly inaccurate at this point… yet often used now as indication for intervention. Can you FEEL fluid during palpation, or does baby have a “plastic wrapped” feel?

Just had a friend diagnosed with ZERO fluid, yet somehow had plenty when SROM took place less than 2 days later.

cristy fiscer utah

When I was looking for her picture I found a post of hers asking other midwives advice on attending high risk out of hospital births. She learned nothing from participating in this preventable tragedy. She works at Birthkeeper midwifery in utah. Shame on you for not recommending immediate transport and monitoring of a baby experiencing medically emergent issues.


Del Balgas, California based Lm Cpm proves that the certification process for non-nurse midwives is useless. Look at her comment about the emergency:

 I had this happen not low fluid no fluid . Where did it go?

del balgas cpm california

Why should she be allowed to deliver babies if she doesn’t know where amniotic fluid “goes”? I am glad she was honest enough to admit that she didn’t know any answers, but I wish she were honest enough with herself about her qualifications to stop delivering babies.

She is able to practice in California and Arizona.


Alison Reid, a midwife from Australia, said this:

There is evidence to say that AFIs are often inaccurate. Is the baby moving well? Can the outline of the baby be seen clearly (which can mean little liquor)? Could the mother be leaking fluid and unaware (it happens). If baby is happy, get her to take precautions against infection and wait. I would listen to the mother.

Listening to the mother wouldn’t work because the mother was relying on her midwife, who was relying on facebook of all places for advice. Alison works at Brisbane Midwife in Australia.

alison reid


A doula named Erika Laquer had a lot of suggestions (none of which included getting real medical attention):

Try a very good acupuncturist and midwife-friendly massage therapist and refer in a day or 2.

The baby didn’t make it that long. Doulas are not medically trained at all.

erika laquer midwife MA

Erika provides doula services in western Massachusetts under the company name Better Beginnings for Birth.


Zuki Abbot-Zamora is a birth guru who works out of Boulder, Colorado. Her advice?

I would respect leaving things alone, and just because you cannot ‘see’ fluid does not mean there is none. I have seen babies come with as little as a tsp of fluids and be just fine.

Zuki sells a book and seems to let people give birth on her property by word of mouth but doesn’t advertise her services in a conventional sense.

zuki abbott-zamora guru colorado


Celesta Rinnisi, a midwife from San Diego, simply said “cell salts”. I don’t know what those are but I know its not a hospital, and that is what the baby and mother desperately needed.

celesta rinnisi midwife california

Celesta owns A Celebration of Birth and Life, a birth center. 


Mary Bernabe is a CPM that delivers babies in the pacific north west. Here is her advice:

Leave her be. I’ve had 3 bbs like that and all were just fine. Didn’t know till the birth though. All 3 were out of water births so I know for sure there was no fluid. Bbs did great and so did moms. Placentas were normal and healthy looking. She’ll go into labor when it’s time.

this is unfortunately the best picture I could find of her:

mary bernabe oregon

she seems to only serve extremely religious christian clients and has no website.


Kathy L Mcrae was (is?) a doula in Michigan. Her advice?

Has she tried stevia to possibly increase the fluid?

kathy mcrae doula


Jennifer Holshoe, Grand Rapids ICAN chapter leader and childbirth educator suggested homeopathy:

try a 1m dose of Natrum Muriaticum homeopathic to balance fluid levels. I have seen it work with one dose

She uses tumblr to get clients in Michigan.


Sherri Holley is a midwife and a natural childbirth activist out of Dallas, Oregon. Like an above poster she lacked basic knowledge about the physiology of pregnancy, and suggested to use homeopathy (‘nat. mur’ is shorthand for a supplement):

there has to be some water or her baby would get baby out. If there was no water, the cord would have been compromised and would have gone into fetal distress. I agree with the Nat. Mur.


These women had the opportunity to urge for emergent intervention but lacked the knowledge (or perhaps caring) to do so. Would your midwife have done the same thing, if this had been your baby? You wouldn’t know until after it had happened, and crowdsourcing is the norm for midwives, not the exception.

sexual perversion and midwifery

Originally posted on Shame On Better Birth:

I was sexually assaulted at Better Birth during my labor. Later on another woman sent me a report of being sexually assaulted during her labor at Better Birth of Utah, indicating that she experienced the exact same thing that I had. I also got reports from my wordpress statistics website that indicated that midwives and doulas have touched clients inappropriately, and women searching for answers about their own birth experiences landed here as a result. All of us had the same story, all of us had our clitoris rubbed in a sexually purposeful manner by a supposed birth “professional”. 

It would be easy to believe that this is just an isolated incident, a pocket of perverse behavior on the part of midwives, but it is hard for me to accept that in light of the information I have at my disposal. Midwifery pioneers like Ina May Gaskin have suggested…

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No Prenatal Care and No Empathy

ex home birthers:

I wish that it was always ignorance, but it isn’t. There is a movement out there right now called “freebirth”, and its full of women that exhaustively looked into child birth options and chose an unassisted pregnancy and birth. Home birth midwives (who are not nurses) teach classes to women wishing to freebirth in order to rake in a few thousand dollars off of this horrendously dangerous practice.

Originally posted on Adventures of a Labor Nurse:

As an OB nurse, one of the most unfortunate and all too often scenarios we encounter is having to take care of women who have had little or no prenatal care.  When they present to our unit, for a moment we hold our breath.  Will this be the patient that escaped any pregnancy-related complications?  Will she deliver a healthy baby, screaming and pink…or will this be the patient that walks in and makes us all scramble? We have all seen horrible outcomes from these scenarios. It’s easy to lose empathy for people who do not get adequate prenatal care.

Growing up, my mother made sure that I never missed a routine doctor’s appointment and she made me get a dental checkup every 6 months.  When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was all of two weeks pregnant, and living in England.  I was not a citizen, and I wasn’t sure when I was coming back to the United…

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Hospitals and Home Births, According to a Labor and Delivery Nurse

ex home birthers:

Home birth midwives deliver (comparatively) few babies, and few people see more births than an L&D nurse. Listen to the wisdom in this post- things happen, no matter how healthy you are or what measures you take, and being in a hospital is the best way to deal with the aftermath of a complication.

Originally posted on Adventures of a Labor Nurse:

b

Home births are more common and popular in different areas of the United States. Honestly, my knowledge of home births is very limited. I am only witness to the ones that don’t go as planned, the ones who show up to the hospital when someone is in distress and action has to be taken quickly to prevent additional harm to mother or baby. As a labor and delivery nurse, it is these situations that send a shiver down my back and makes an uneasy feeling settle in the pit of my stomach. I know that there are many home birth stories out there that have a happy ending. The majority of them probably do. What I do know, having been the nurse who had to act quickly to save a mother or a baby who showed up to the hospital when things at home unexpectedly went south, is that no…

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…a space for people who left NCB

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