Tag Archives: midwife blacklist

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.


name changes for negligent midwives

The skeptical OB has an article up about negligent midwives changing their names as to deceive their customers.

It happened to me, too. Ester Werbach now goes by “Nueve Lunas Maternity” on the internet. The Utah Midwive’s Association is well aware of it, and my complaints of sexual misconduct, and continue to support my abuser. They don’t care.

These types of actions also make it impossible for women to research their care provider. If you have a health care provider that has killed negligently, had their license suspended, or otherwise been reprimanded their patients have a right to know. Midwives rob women of the opportunity to know what they are getting into.

My original blog is back up

It has the story of my experience at a birth center with lay midwives. There was a CNM at one of the checks and she was professional.

There is also a lot of information about how little the natural child birth community did in response to my complaints. I literally complained of sexual misconduct and no one who could do something about this felt the need to do anything. They want to sweep my story under the rug instead of dealing with it. They don’t want people to know what they will tolerate from other midwives. I thought that what I went through was the worst thing, but then I began to read about how women who lost their babies to negligence go through the same thing. Midwives support each other so much more than the people who get hurt by their natural childbirth ideology.

The blog was down because of an attempt at mediation with better birth of utah, but it looks like its not going to happen. 

What happened to me has made me stronger. It has made me an advocate for change. I know for a fact that my shame on better birth blog and my safer midwifery utah blog are making midwives fear that their scam will be exposed to the public. I have emboldened public officials to take a stand against unlicensed midwifery, and for that I will likely be taken to court for defamation. I’m willing to fight in order to tell my story.

Thank you to everyone who has shown me support.

Calling out a negligent Midwife

Here is a revealing exchange between a midwife (Brenda Ann Scarpino Newport) who is responsible for a preventable death and the grieving mother. It seems to me like the midwife is trying to convince herself as much as the mom that nothing could have been done to save the baby, despite what the medical examiners said. The gaslighting and guilt tripping placed on the mom is familiar to me because of my experience in reporting abuse by a midwife to a birth center. It seems like this is standard operating procedure for midwives who screw up. I would be amazed if I saw one who took responsibility, apologized, and stopped practicing. The mother is a brave woman who fights on behalf of her daughter to make sure she did not die in vain. Please follow and support her blog if you want insights from a loss mother about NCB and out of hospital births.


What can you do when your child dies due to a midwife’s negligence?

Let’s see, we attempted to consult a lawyer only to have nobody want to help because midwives don’t carry insurance.
The police wanted to charge her with Negligent Homicide, but the detective refused to go on a “witch hunt”.
The midwife review board did nothing but give us shit. Funny enough, they also have sat idly by while multiple babies die under her care.
A reporter was going to help us but after an interview, we never heard from him again.

After much thought I am going to publicly share the emails and as much info as I can dig up.

Email 1

There is alot of mis-truths on this. A Baby born at 37 weeks is not pre-mature by anyones standards, not even the medical community. Respitory distress is a common label for any reason the…

View original post 2,101 more words

Justice for Vylette

Justice for Vylette

These stories are everywhere- it seems like the only recourse american women have after suffering from midwifery related negligence is to tell their story online to prevent other people from being hurt by specific midwives. It is damage control, not prevention. I am planning on pulling together a state-by-state resource list for concerned citizens to try and organize around the cause of holding midwives accountable to the public. Here is the beginning of Vylette’s birth story, available on the facebook page:

my absolutely perfect baby from my perfect pregnancy was murdered by the negligence of my midwives ASYA PORTNAYA & YULIYA MILSHTEYN of The Brooklyn Birthing Center ( http://www.brooklynbirthingcenter.com/ ). also doula London King ( http://www.pushlove.com/ ). they delayed me for hours so much so that my baby was trapped in my birth canal and suffered lack of oxygen to her brain. they did not believe me when i told them my contractions were 2 min apart for HOURS.

I took a look at the brooklyn birth centers webpage, and they still recommend the doula involved in this preventable perinatal death. I sent them an email asking why, considering the information available online about what happened there. You can email them too at info@brooklynbirthingcenter.com. My heart aches for this family.

The midwives in this story were a lot like the one I dealt with- it seems like when midwives just don’t want to deal with a patient they say whatever they can to get out of being responsible for the births they agreed to attend. The mother of Vylette believes that since it was thanksgiving weekend she was blown off by people who agreed to care for her during her labor. It is shameful. Do you think the midwives were even sorry? Of course not. They just moved on like nothing happened and had nothing to say to the woman who had to bury her daughter:

 her name is Vylette Moon and though she was here for such a short time she was very loved by all who saw her. except the midwives.. they never spoke to me again. stopped all contact and ran me in circles when i tried to obtain my medical records they are evil.i was supposed to birth at the Brooklyn birthing centerthe midwives were ASYA PORTNAYA and YULIYA MILSHTEYN. i believe they are currently still delivering babies. it makes me so sick.

The organizer of Justice for Vylette (Vylette’s mom) encourages people to share this story with anyone who is interested. I looked up her midwives on healthgrades, and neither Yuliua Milshteyn or Asya Portnaya have any record of a sanction or malpractice suit available online. Vylette’s mother did a very good job of publicizing these events so that anyone researching these midwives will find the story of what happened, but again that isn’t what I would call “justice”. I admire her strength in telling her story despite the pain of the loss of her daughter.

I am not sure if Vylette’s mother tried to report these women to the licensing board or not (both are CNMs) but I am going to contact her to see if I can help get anything done for her case. Please share or like her facebook page to show support.

UPDATE 1-16-14

I contacted Vylette’s mother through facebook and gave her the contact information for the complaints department of the new york licensing board. It was weirdly hard to find. Hopefully she will be able to put a mark on these women’s records (or perhaps cause them to lose their RN licenses).