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Expectant Parents Learning Center

Water Birth

By Barbara Harper


I want to tell you a brief story of a birth that took place in 1984. It was my own birth, one that I had prepared for by not only reading a great deal, but also by getting on a plane and going to France to visit a small hospital, Pitivia, where Michelle Odent had written Birth Reborn. The experience of watching women giving birth without drugs,... Read more

Spiritual Aspects of Birth - A Spiritual Birth

By Janice Siebert


I had a spiritual birth. It was part of my well-birthing plan. Integrated in my childbirth education were spiritual classes. I learned energy management tools to use during pregnancy, childbirth and in raising my family. I learned how to communicate with the spirit of my baby. I learned to cyclically protect myself from other's energy invading my space... Read more

Psychological Aspects of Birthing 

A Day You'll Never Forget - The Day You Give Birth To Your First Child

By Penny Simkin, PT


Every pregnant woman experiences this. Other women, even total strangers - old and young - approach her in the grocery store, elevator, at the bus stop, almost anywhere, and embark on the "When I was pregnant-" story. A swollen belly seems to be an invitation for this...Read more

How to Change an Informed Consent Form

Kitty Ernst, CNM, MPH


The informed consent in a birthing center is different from any informed consent that I've ever seen developed. First, it explains in detail what the birth center is capable of doing and what it is not capable of doing; the kind of situations it can handle and the kind of situations that will need hospitalization. It has a glossary...Read more

What is Informed Consent? Why is it Important?

Edith B. Wonnell, CNM, MS

Consent means to give approval for what is done to you, the patient, by another person, the provider. In form, consent implies education and clarification so both parties have a good understanding of the procedure, its risks and benefits and any alternatives for meeting the same need. The patient is the one ...Read more


Four Factors that Determine if You Will Use Pain Medication in Labor

By Penny Simkin, PT


Your Desires. If you want to use pain medications, you are more likely to use them than if you want to avoid them. (The Pain Medications Preference Scale will help you think about your desires.)
Childbirth Education. If you have taken childbirth classes in which the process of giving birth and emotions of labor are explained and self-...Read more

The Cascading Effect of Epidurals

By Charles S. Mahan, MD, FACOG


The abundant use of epidurals today always seems ironic to me. I've been in obstetrics for over 30 years and when I began training, it was impossible to get an anesthesiologist to come up to the obstetric floor to help us out. There were several reasons for this. First, there was a big shortage of anesthesiologists. Second, the...Read more


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