#WorldDoulaWeek – Part 2: Reducing the Fear

Ina May Gaskin

I first heard about Ina May Gaskin from the documentary film The Business of Being Born (2008).  I would consider Ina May as one of the leading role models of the midwifery and natural birth movement.

FYI: The term “Midwifery movement” isn’t something I have heard from others– but I believe it’s a movement in its own right. 

I have been captivated by her knowledge, her feminism and friendly personality.  I have watched a few online videos of her speaking at conferences and being interviewed but I have yet to read any of her books.  I am super excited to read her books and learn even more of what she knows and has experienced.  I have visited her website and there is so much to read and watch – so I encourage others to check it out.

You can read a biography here: http://inamay.com/biography , because any summary I give will not do her justice!

So why bring up Ina May?

Well, there are many reasons but in honor of World Doula Week, Ina has some insight as to what a doula does and why it is important.

First, what is a doula?

“The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.”

(DONA International http://www.dona.org/mothers/ )

Now that you have a basic idea of what a doula is, watch this 16 minute video of Ina speaking about reducing the fear of birth…. She has some great information about doulas and natural birth –

Reducing Fear of Birth in U.S. culture: Ina May Gaskin at TEDxSacramento https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9LO1Vb54yk&feature=youtu.be

All this information is important.  Why?  Because in the United States, we have been conditioned to fear birth and that birth is ‘more often than not’ – dangerous.  I think Ina made a very good point about the ‘fear’ aspect.  Women should not be telling other pregnant woman the horror stories of previous births – “that’s for a therapist”, like Ina state.  Hospitals are for emergencies.  Yes, doctors are needed in emergencies and for surgeries.  But, unless there is a complication with the pregnancy why does everyone need a doctor?

Now, let’s think about this for a minute…. What are two major industries that will never go away?  If you answered – Birth and Death – you would be correct.  And, of course being in America, what is everyone after?  That’s right, money.  Yes, even hospitals are tied up into this crazy large corporation concept like big pharmaceutical companies.

Think of the hospitals, insurance and birth like a wheel – hospitals make money from insurance by the amount of services they provide to someone that is in their care.  Now, the best way to increase the flow of income is to get these individuals in and out as soon as possible, with a large amount of services provided.  Come in, have your baby and get out for the next person.  Still with me?  Good.

So, if you are having a vaginal birth they are going to try to give you drugs to move your labor along as fast as possible which is going to increase the intensity of the pain.  In turn, most women will want more drugs to dull the pain – but it then slows down the labor and then doctors give you MORE medication to speed things up.  It’s a terrible cycle that causes the baby to go into distress, puts the mother in danger, and then there is a need of an emergency C-section (which again, increases your hospital bill).  I think what most women don’t realize is that labor is typically 12-18 hours WITHOUT drugs.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are women who have labored longer or even less naturally but each individual is different.  What I am trying to say is that – are bodies don’t labor in 2 hours before delivery.  Messing with this cycle is causing problems.

I have a very good friend who is a registered nurse in the medical field (a guy mind you) and during his time at the maternity ward for clinicals, he witnessed this terrible cycle.  The woman was constantly being bothered by nurses, doctors and training nurses on how she was doing.  They continued to pester her about receiving medication to help her with pain and to speed things up.  She was ultimately pressured into a C-section.  It is a major surgery and it can take months to heal from it.  My good friend is all for a natural home birth experience for women and their families.

This is how the fear was created.  This is how we were conditioned to think the birth was ALWAYS dangerous and scary.  In reality it’s not.  If you take a low risk woman during her pregnancy the statistics show that she can have a very safe and positive birth.  That’s what doulas are for!   If you don’t believe me take a look at the statistics from Ina May’s The Farm website.

So I will let some of this sink in….

Thanks for reading!

If you would like to get more information about Ina and her work visit her Facebook Pages and websites!



For those of you who are unfamiliar about The Farm – it is the birthing center Ina and other started back in the 70’s.  Take a look at their statistics compared to the national average!



Photo of Ina May Provided by her Facebook Page


Lost in Choices – Quarter life crisis

Hello there!

Okay, so as some of you may know I am currently 24 and will be 25 this next January.  I read an article not too long ago about Quarter Life Crisis (yes, I guess it’s a real thing).  And I think it’s a very important topic to talk about – for me it’s something I need to figure out.

So, what is a Quarter Life Crisis (QLC)?


1. a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life”



Well, to be honest I don’t know if it’s totally hit me yet. But it might be starting.  Recently I have felt a little lost in all of these life choices.  Anxiety, mild depression, constant changes… many things going on.

Within the last year I have been put on prescription medications to treat anxiety I have had.  Only a few people have known but I have been struggling anxiety for almost two years.

When I was 22 years old I took out a mortgage (on my own) for Mike and I to have a small two bedroom town home.  I was a ball a nerves and excited all at the same time.  Many individual and somewhat small factors played a role in my anxiety regardless of the proud fact that I was able to take a mortgage out on my own.  Even though I worked hard and have always been very good with money – lately I have not.

My finances have been a major trigger to my anxiety and stress.  It constantly feels like I cannot catch a break.  When something positive happens, I feel as if 3 bad things happen to set me back.  I’m about ready to give up on all of it and live off the grid and rough it.

Maybe it’s just shitty luck?  I don’t know.  But it sucks.

I’m not usually a negative person but it has been so extremely frustrating.  And I know I’m not alone in this struggle.

Besides financial issues, my relationships have been tested with Mike, my friends and my family.  At one point I wanted to just drop everything and go overseas – be daring and do something crazy.

Life choices such as where and how to live have been put into question.  Career/job options have never been easy for me and my ideas are constantly changing.  It’s amazing that I have even made it this far with this blog.  I have been looking into becoming a Certified Wedding Planner (takes 90-180 with a self pace online course).  As well as doing research on achieving my 200 hour Yoga Instructor certification (which can get expensive).

Now, I’m not saying all of these thoughts of options are bad or negative but it is very difficult not knowing what to do.  Or even, what I want.

I think this QLC crept up on me.  Now as I write this, I realize I am in the middle of it.

So…now the real question is how does someone deal with a Quarter Life Crisis?

According to The Guardian there are four phases someone goes through.

“Four phases of a quarterlife crisis

Phase 1, defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”

Phase 2 is typified by a growing sense that change is possible. “This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self.

Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don’t want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change.

Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.

Phase 4 is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.”


I am clearly in Phase One but almost in Phase Two.  Mike has been a great support on this.  He does his best to help me keep my anxiety down and our communication has improved.  I’m very thankful for this aspect of it.

I will keep you posted on my progress but tell me what you think or what you have experienced.

Thanks for reading!

Continuing this week: #WorldDoulaWeek 

Money Saving Question…

So I know this a random blog post but I have a general question for the readers…

What has been the best TV service for you? And why?

The reason I ask this question is because I currently have DirecTV  with the $77.99 package (well, I’m supposed to pay that much each month but I currently owe $135.80).  They charge you for every little thing like the receiver, the boxes, administrative fees, taxes, taxes and “other” fees.  This is ridiculous.

I really enjoy a verity of TV shows like, The Walking Dead, Salem, Teen Mom & Teen Mom 2, Vikings, Mob Wives and Born in the Wild.

These are shows I watch religiously (especially TWD).  For me TV is a way for me to relax – and I have always loved a good story.  I will fully admit that I watch too much TV at times but I love great plot lines and wonderful acting.  BUT the bill is not necessary and gets expensive!

I feel extremely torn as to what to do with my TV/TV Bill.  Keep it, change it or let it completely go?

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!  I am trying to focus on my finances and improve them.  I will be writing more about this in upcoming posts – so stay tuned!

I look forward to conversing with you.

Thank you,

Amanda ❤



In honor of World Doula Week (March 22nd-28th) I am going to be writing a 5 part Miniseries about Midwifery/Doulas and the natural home/center birthing.

This is a very important topic to me and I encourage everyone to talk about this topic openly.  I will make it easy and start it for us…

Almost a year ago I started looking into conception, pregnancy and birthing.  As I have stated before Mike and I have been together for almost 5 years and the topic of children has come up multiple times.  Due to the nut that I am, I have been doing a lot of online reading and research.   Not having children of my own (yet) I wanted to know EVERYTHING that a woman should and needs to know prior to conception.

Let me tell you now… there is A LOT of information that is thrown out there.  It was somewhat frustrating because at first I didn’t feel like I was getting all the right information.  I spoke with friends and family about their conception, pregnancy and birthing experiences – AND STILL – it didn’t feel right.

One night on my computer I found the documentary The Business of Being Born by Director Abby Epstein and Executive Producer AND famous actress, Ricki Lake.  I think I have watched this documentary about 3 times this past year.  There is even a second film by Abby and Ricki titled More Business of Being Born!  I cannot wait to watch it.  I highly recommend the documentary series for anyone and everyone wanting to learn about the business of birth.  It is eye-opening.

Website: http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/

After watching the documentary The Business of Being Born I was completely fascinated by natural, home and center births.  I have known only for a few short years about home births but was never truly informed until this past year.

I went online to search for birth centers, midwives and doulas around me to get some questions answered.  I stumbled across a grass-roots group right here in Minnesota and joined as a member, as well as their Facebook page.  I have been welcomed with open arms and every question I have asked has been answered by a number of individuals.  I have even had the pleasure of attending an information meeting last month and finally meeting some of these individuals face to face!

The board and group members are absolutely amazing!  They are informed, continuing to grow in knowledge and promoting the Midwifery model of care, as well as, woman’s rights when it comes to birth.  They are a community of support with so much to share with others.  I have received advice on what books to read, how to talk to Mike about what I want with our future birthing experience and where to find Doulas/Midwives close to where I live.

Here is some quick information about MFM:

Minnesota Families for Midwifery is described on their Facebook page as “…a grass-roots citizens’ organization promoting midwife-attended births at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals throughout Minnesota.”

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mfmidwifery/info?tab=page_info

Email: info@mfmidwifery.org

Website: http://mfmidwifery.org/

But I know that it is so much more!  I look forward to contributing as a member to this organization in any way possible.  I feel so empowered by these women and families (yes some of the men are all in on it too)!  It has driven me to continue learning about natural home/center birthing.

For so many women my age, I feel that we aren’t informed properly about OUR choices.  I was born in a hospital, my mom was and my grandmother was – it is seen as the “Norm”.  Too many women don’t know or understand that the Hospital isn’t the “NORM” – it’s a money-maker.  I know that when I have my birthing experience I don’t want to be considered a “money maker” – I want to be treated like the strong and powerful woman that I am.  I am currently working on becoming healthier for many reasons – and one of them is for conception.  I want to be as healthy as possible to be considered low risk for a natural home/center birth.  This is a very important goal for me.  I will keep you updated on my progress and some of the options I am looking into.

Stay tuned for more information about natural home/center births and the Midwifery Model of Care this week!

Thank you all for reading!

And until next time – Take care!

*Amanda ❤

Hello from MN!

Hi and welcome to my first blog post on MWB!

First and foremost a little about me and why I wanted to create a blog.

My name is Amanda, 24, and I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. I love to travel so thankfully I can say I’ve been outside of the country.  I enjoy the outdoors as well as staying in. As my best friend would say I’m “well rounded”.

Author/blogger: Amanda Anderson

Author/blogger: Amanda Anderson

I’m not married and don’t have any children but I live with my boyfriend,  Mike, of almost 5 years. Although we don’t have children of our own we are happy to have a “fur child”, Honey.

Honey thinking she can ride in the car seat!

Honey thinking she can ride in the car seat!

Currently,  I am working as a full time nanny and part time as a DSP (direct support professional) with individuals with disabilities.  I have worked in these fields professionally since I was 17 years old.

I received my 2 year Associates in Arts degree back in May of 2011 from Anoka Ramsey Community College in Cambridge, Mn. However,  I did not set my degree focus on writing.  This is a new hobby I have been toying with for a while.

I’m positive you will get to read more about these topics in future posts so now onto other things!

If you’re still reading – I thank you!  What can you look forward to in future posts? That my friend, is good question!  I started this blog to put my voice and opinions out into the world.  I have an interest in so many topics that my posts will be different in may ways but one – they are all important to me. I will cover everything from ‘why Minnesotans are so awesome’  to politics.

I will be posting as often as possible with a minimum of one post a week. It will really depend on the topic. I plan on doing extensive research when needed. So stay tuned and take a peek at what’s coming up next at the bottom of this post!

Now, I understand not every post is going to appeal to each reader which is totally ok! But, if you happen to read something you like or a topic you want me to discuss let me know! Feedback is very important to me.

Thanks for reading!

Coming up next on MWB: Lost in Choices – quarter life crisis 3/25/15