Safe Birth Initiative

Finally, here is the low down on the post I've been meaning to write. However, it's the short version because once again I have to jet here in a few minutes.

Here's what happened: I had a final project for a PR class. What I wanted to do was something that would convince venues to sponsor movie nights for pregnant women, in which they see empowering, gentle birthing videos. Believe it or not, that's a hard sell; the reason being that in order to promote wonderful, orgasmic birth, it first has to be acknowledged that birth in the US has been anything but.

So, my presentation started out addressing the main problems women face.

The Bad News? (many of you already know this)

nOver 30% rate of surgical births

n42 countries have lower infant mortality rates

29 countries have lower maternal mortality rates

n56% first time moms feel confused and a little afraid

The good news?

We know how to fix it. We know what makes birth safer and more comfortable, and it isn't non-evidence based care. We also know that change in obstetrics has always come about by consumer demand. I listed several examples in my PPP.

My contention is that women just want accurate information on which to base decisions, and respect. They don't want empowered birth, or orgasmic birth, or even comfortable birth without drugs, because they don't believe it's possible. In order to even conceive of it, so they can believe in it, they have to see it. Hence the movies.

The PPP spoke to why how we birth is important, with sources, and and information from my survey on what women said they wanted to see.

I also covered why it is in the best interest of the venue to host such events. All in all, it really was a good presentation.

Afterwards, my prof. said something to the effect of, 'Who are your publics?'

I said pregnant women and the venues that can reach them.

He repeated the question. Apparently I was incorrect.

He asked where women can be found.

I insisted college campuses were the place to reach them. I still think it's a fine place to start.

He suggested another area.

He pointed out that HR departments of employers are where the changes are now being made. I questioned how that could be. He said that companies are trying to cut back on health care costs, and prevention is a hot topic. Ok, fair enough. (I was getting excited as I saw where he was going with this!)

And then he said, 'Have you ever talked to someone who said they'd like to hire a midwife, but their insurance wouldn't cover it?'

I got so excited I could hardly stand it! That happens all the time! His answer to that was, make it affordable and easy, and people will choose it. The way to do that is NOT by reaching the women. It's NOT by going after the insurance companies, or to hire midwifery lobbyists, or to try to get the U.S. Govt. to use common sense. The answer is HUMAN RESOURCES.

He gave me names, and ideas and so much I couldn't write fast enough. It all made sense!
And now I have to run. More later.

Passion flowers

I have buds! The plant wants to be outside so bad, but it has just been too cold. Still, it's got a bud big enough that it might even bloom by this weekend.

It may seem like a silly thing to get excited about, but I love this vine. Here is a picture of a flower my dau took last year:

The flowers are about 3-4 inches across and have a subtle scent that (to me) is like lemon and ginger combined. They bloom and are gone in 24 hours. I have tried everything (drying and pressing and that stuff that's like sand that draws the moisture out) to preserve them and nothing works. It doesn't matter if you put them in water or leave them on the vine, they close up after a day. So, when I get to enjoy a bloom, I'm happy.


The Birth of a Morel

We got skunked!

As per my last entry, we did get out to the woods today. As we were leaving, we found one sad little 'shroom, just being born. The cap hadn't even popped out all the way yet! He had no friends we could invite for dinner, so we left him.

However, when we arrived home, there was an email from my brother in MI. this is what they found:

Now, keeping in mind the prices I mentioned in the post below, that could be a $500 haul. They had to give much of it away. Sadly, not to us. I don't even know how you'd ship fresh morels. If they are successful in drying any, or if they get another haul like this, we may get some. I hope we can find our own. It is so fun to find them like this!

So, for dinner we had no wild mushroom fettuccine and steak. We had a spinach dish with water chestnuts, scallions and regular mushrooms, all wrapped in phyllo. For desert I tried Sticky Toffee Pudding. I think I'll try to find a recipe for individually made, smaller servings next time. It made huge batch. I guess we'll see how it freezes. I'd really love to know how to tell if I did it right, though. It was good, but the people on the Food Network raved. There were several recipes; how do I know which one is closest to the real deal? I guess if it tastes ok, it's ok.

Hunting the Wild Morel

It may be too early, too cold or too dry, but some folks are finding the little buggers!
In Michigan it was a rite of Spring to go 'shroomin' as often as possible between about now and the end of May or so. However, there was never a spring when we didn't go, and we had a secret 'spot', so it was just a matter of whether or not they were poppin'. Here in WI, we've got not clue as to where they actually may be, so its a much bigger adventure.

We did find about 35 or so last year, by accident. Fortunately, a few can go a long way. We had Morel Fettuccine Alfredo, steak on the grill and red wine. Yum. In days past we would get so many we'd toss them in flour and fry them in butter and communally eat them by the plate. Everyone would grab a fork and snitch at will from the pile of hot fried fungus.

We have no idea what we'll find today, only that we won't be paying the $20/lb. they are going for at local farmer's markets, so I hear, or the $46/lb. they are fetching online. A pound isn't much. It sounds like it, but morels are about 90% water, so they're kinda heavy. It probably ends up costing about $2 per 'shroom. I'm sort of in the same place about them as I was about the Johnny Depp search; I'm willing to go look for them, but there's a limit to the madness. There's a certain excitement to the hunt that makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

So, we're about to jet. When I get back I'll try to write something on the birthing revolution I've been promising. I got to knitting a wrist warmer for my dau this weekend (I've been promising forever but have been too busy for that too) and dealing with some computer issues that are stressing me out, so I didn't get to blog. That particular one is going to take a bit of composition and research. (read: TIME that is at a premium currently)



The Survey

Ok, here are the results of the survey, with commentary on why I asked what I did:

81.2% of respondents were experienced moms
4.7% were first time moms
1.2% were CPMs
1.2% were CNMs
11.8% were 'other', which consisted of doulas, people who have no children, and people who actually fit into the categories provided but for whatever reason chose 'other' anyway

Of the first time moms, 44.4 said they felt confident regarding the information they were receiving in pregnancy, while 55.6 said they were confused and a little afraid. However, I'm not sure how this breaks down, since there were more than twice as many responses here than for the women who identified themselves as first time moms in the first question.

Of the experienced moms, 72.6 said they felt confident they made their own best decisions, while 27.4 said they wondered if things might have been different. Again, the number of experienced mothers from the first question didn't match with the number of responses here, but it was because fewer answered this question than identified themselves as experienced.

Now, for the 'biased' questions. I had someone write to me and say that as a communications professional, she had a problem with these questions because we are all biased. I agreed with her 100%. We do all view the world through a lens of our own experience that makes our view biased. However, most people do not seem to use the term 'biased' as it is defined, especially when it comes to birth. I bring this up in my book before even moving into the birth information because I see it all the time. Therefore, the questions I asked may have seemed redundant, but I asked essentially the same question in a number of different ways for a reason.

94.1% of respondents said that they felt cable birthing programs were biased
81.2% said that factual information on all safe birthing options would be unbiased
97.6% said that information that provides only selected information, or that excludes or misrepresents factual information on all options is biased
67.1% said that if only one side of an issue has been represented, a source providing only the opposing side provides balance
91.8% said that information, even if not widely available, popular or pleasant, but factual and independently verifiable is unbiased

Now, the reason I asked these questions was that I'm trying to figure out why people watch the propaganda that is the cable birth programming, and reject documentaries like The Business of Being Born, Born in the U.S.A or Gentle Birth Choices. Comments I've heard from parents are that these movies, and books like Mother's Intention (which fosters critical thinking regarding birth options) or Obstetrical Myths versus Research Realities (which is all about the scientific data) or Born in the U.S.A (which is an inside look by a doctor of how U.S. maternity care currently fails women and babies) are that they felt these works were 'biased', 'negative', or 'unbalanced'. Yet in everyone of these cases you will find independently verifiable facts and the opinion that the optimum functioning maternity care system needs both midwives and the surgical specialty of obstetrics. Yet in 17 years in birthing, I've yet to hear a doctor, after an initial visit, tell a client, "You know, you are so low risk, you should see the midwife down the street for a consult" and parents will still say that they specifically only seriously consider information that comes directly from their doctor or hospital based childbirth class because it's 'balanced' and 'unbiased'. ACOG has issued position statements that are diametrically opposed to the actual facts of homebirth and midwifery, and this is as far as the vast majority of doctors are going to go to get their information. That is hardly 'unbiased'.

Of the selections above, not one of them says hospitals or doctors are bad. What they say is that what we are doing to women and babies in this country doesn't make sense, based on the evidence. What they say is we can't fix a problem unless we acknowledge a problem exists. So they expose the elephant in the kitchen. Then they propose a solution that gets the elephant out of the kitchen, but certainly doesn't kill the elephant.

72.9% of respondents said that if they encountered information that challenged their core beliefs, they would independently verify it.

52.9% said there is no way they'd watch cable birthing programs

I wish I had asked where and with whom these respondents had birthed. I highly suspect that these were homebirth moms, because these programs aren't still on because no one is watching. In every one of my classes parents sheepishly admit they watch. I tell them if they must, use it as a learning opportunity. Notice how often intervention is often unnecessary and leads to complications.

The order of preference for other birth DVDs was:

90.6% Gentle Birth Choices (home, hospital, birthing center, water-birth)

84.4% The Business of Being Born (home-birth, hospital-birth, comparison of U.S. outcomes with outcomes of other countries)

77.6% Born in the U.S.A. (birth in U.S. compared to other countries)

73.5% Birth As We Know It (water-birth, orgasmic birth)

63.5% Special Delivery (home, hospital, birthing center)

One of the things I wanted to see is if there would be a decent turn out for public viewing of all safe birthing options were made available. These figures would suggest yes, if this indeed was a fair representation of expectant parents, which I unfortunately think it didn't end up being. Home birth mothers, HypnoBirthing(R) mothers, moms who have hired doulas; they have already set themselves apart by questioning all they've been told and rejecting what insults their souls.

Another possible reason for the discrepancy between the data and mainstream outcomes is that some women know that they have safe options, but don't choose those options for some other reason. Often I have people in class who will say they would like to have a homebirth, or birth with midwives as an area hospital that I recommend often, but their insurance won't cover it.

Here is where we get to my next blog entry...how to help these women!

But that will have to wait until this weekend.

Speaking of Einstein...

The recent Depp excursion was about so much more than a visit to a movie set. It was an opportunity for my daughter and I to spend time together actually relating. As any parent of a teen knows, those moments grow few and far between. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad I prioritized our time together when she was younger.

So we were chatting over lunch at our fav location in Oshkosh (Water City Grill) and talking about gawkers like us, and my dau comments that she and Johnny would be bff's. She hates chat-speak and she's a smart ass, something we nurture to the fullest, so I thought she was kidding. My response was to laugh and say 'Yeah, right. You and every other person stalking him right now.'

She (quite seriously) responded that she wasn't kidding, and further, she'd also be bff's with Einstein. At this point I just had to ask her if she was now in the habit of hanging out with old men, and in what universe might it be normal for a 16 year old girl to want to hang out with old, or dead, men. (Not that JD is old; he's not much older than me, and much younger than my husband, but when you are a teen, 30 is ancient, much less 45. And frankly, if she was in the habit of hanging out with 45 year old men, I'd be concerned.)

Anyway, we continued with this "If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why" conversation for some time. And actually, I think it entirely possible she would enjoy the company of both. She's not a typical teen. We've nurtured her non-conformity since birth, and she just doesn't think like 'normal' kids her age. She's mature beyond her years and possesses rapier wit. (Where that comes from, I have no idea. Her dad is funny, but I have zero sense of humor. I appreciate her perspective and enjoy her wry humor, but I'm not quick enough to come up with that stuff.) She abhors vacuity and is extraordinarily creative, which tends to be seen as 'odd' in the teen years. That is not to say she can't relate to many age groups, she just has a comfort zone that is much wider than the narrow peer group most kids stay in.

While other kids are getting drunk and getting laid (or at least talking about it), she prefers to write. I wish she'd let more people read what she writes, because there is such depth to her characters and she writes in such a unique style, with dialog that just draws the reader into the story. She's never said, but I wonder if she ever thought about Depp as one of her on-going characters. She told me a little about this character, and I've read small snippets laying about, but she won't let me read the whole story. I can't remember his name, but I know he's a vampire. Not a campy vampire, or even 'traditional'. He's a soulful vampire with a conscience. He craves relationships that he can't have because of who he is. Its not about sucking blood or archetypal themes of everlasting life or sexuality, though as a vampire there must be some of that. Maybe she just hasnt' shared those parts with me. What it seems to be is a story from inside the skin of someone who questions why he is who he is. When I read what little I did, I guess I pictured someone much younger than Depp, but he does have a timeless quality. In any case, it explores psychological and sociological themes that are truly fascinating (and frankly, beyond her years...again, I have to wonder where that comes from). I know, I know, she's my daughter, I think she's brilliant. But honestly, if someone would just read it (or rather, if she would LET anyone read it) it would be obvious that this is not just a mother's opinion. I'm really not one of those mothers that believes that my child is perfect (though you wouldn't guess it from these posts...I just wouldn't humiliate her by posting the bad stuff). I don't believe we do our children any favors when we shield them from reality. If her work was crap, I wouldn't tell her that exactly that way, but I might gently suggest she rethink how she spends her time.

A Depp, Burton, Wildner production would be her dream come true. For all her talk, I don't know that she'd dream that big for herself, but I could totally see that for her.



I don't believe that things happen by accident. Even when painful things have happened in my life, I was confident that there was a reason and that I would understand it eventually. There is no such thing as coincidence.

Here is what I see as an example of my magical thinking (which I understand some use in a derogatory way, but I LIKE the way it sounds):

In my last post, I pondered our collective reaction to people we perceive as famous. I choose that wording carefully. Perception is reality. To Johnny Depp's mother, he is a son. To his sibs, maybe is was (or is) an annoying brother or protector (as my brother has been by turns), I'm sure. His children still probably think he's a god (at least until they become teenagers, at which point he'll instantly become incredibly stupid), and when his wife looks at him, she likely has a burst of oxytocin that makes her heart go pitter-pat; when she doesn't want to stick a fork in his head, at least if he's anything like my husband. And I've got one of the good ones!

So, it is our perception that creates OUR reality. Depp's reality is entirely something else. He's just living a life and doing a job like everyone else. We all have the same basic needs and fears.

In any case, I wondered on this blog last week what it is we want from famous people. A few days later, I was reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. I've been following along with Oprah's webcasts as I read, but not on the same schedule. Therefore, while they are on like chapter 7 I think, I'm still on chapter 3, The Core of the Ego. But like I said, there are no accidents, so when I came to 'Ego and Fame' I was not surprised. Says Tolle:

"The bane of being famous in this world is that who you are becomes totally obscured by a collective mental image. Most people you meet want to enhance their identity--the mental image of who they are--though association with you. They themselves may not know that they are not interested in you at all, but only in strengthening their ultimately fictitious sense of self. They believe that through you they can become more. They are looking to complete themselves through you, or rather through the mental image they have of you as a famous person, a larger-than-life collective conceptual identity." (pp. 83)

Ask and it is answered! I love that!

Tolle also tells us that Einstein, "...never identified with the image the collective mind had created of him. He remained humble, egoless" and quotes him as speaking of, "a grotesque contradiction between what people consider to be my achievements and abilities and the reality of who I am and what I am capable of." (pp. 84) I had to wonder if that's the sort of attitude that keeps JD grounded (or at least seeming that way).

Again, this post isn't birth related, at least on the surface, and I have no idea if the experience might be at some point. I'm a bit myopic that way. Of course, this experience was not primarily mine either. So, we wait for the Universes to reveal what we are to learn from our encounter. I never thought much about any of this before, but maybe there's a reason I'm supposed to. Maybe my daughter will become photographer to the rich and famous. Maybe her friend Fern will become a high end designer. Maybe Sara's amazing voice will take her far. Chelsea and her friends have serious talent, and as long as they don't think of themselves as less than what they aspire to be, and always believe that they can attain what they desire most, they could be dealing with fame and fortune. They are funny and insightful too. I look at the work they produce now, at 16, and I am astounded. With support, who knows where they will go. Oh well. I'll know when I'm meant to know.

I do have a post though, (about birth!) regarding a 'chance' encounter that may lead to big things for birthing in the U.S. Who would have thought I'd get a brilliant idea about advancing midwifery as a safe option from a business professor in an adult learners undergrad program?

But once again. I'm tired. Life has been so busy it seems I never get a chance to finish one thought before another intrudes, demanding attention. I will get to it though. I also need to post about the survey yet, which is why that damn pop up window is still popping. I dont' want to delete the survey until I can let participants know what it was all about and what the responses were. I hope to have time tomorrow.


Measles Confirmed in Wisconsin

Is the news in business to inform, or to promote an agenda?

According to WISN TV 12 last night, a case of measles in a toddler has been confirmed. We are then warned that '1 in 1000 measles infections results in death'. Several other sources have since repeated that measles was a ‘leading cause of death’ before vaccines.

Now, that figure is different from the numbers on the Merck MMR package insert which says 1 in 2000. Still alarmingly high to be sure, although not as bad as the doctor who, in trying to convince me to vaccinate my then infant (the vaccine is not proven to be safe or effective under the age of 12 months) told me that ‘every child he’d ever met with measles died’. I told him I found that unbelievable because I had measles, as had every kid I knew, and we were all very much alive. He backed off then, a bit flustered, but I fired him anyway just because I detest manipulation through the use of fear.

In any case, TMJ then quotes Dr. Michael Chusid as saying, "It's one of the most contagious of the viral diseases that we have, so just breathing the air of someone that had been in the room is enough"

I found that interesting because a few years ago my husband went to Germany and after he got home, it was discovered that he had been on a plane from Austria to the U.S. (like a 10 hour flight) with someone who had measles. I called our doctor to ask if my husband was in danger, since I had already researched the issue and discovered vaccine immunity only lasted 10 to 12 years and he had been immunized as a kid. She said no, because he would have had to have been in direct contact with water droplets. In other words, if he was not directly coughed on or sneezed on there was no danger. TMJ4 put adult minds at rest for a different reason, though, by informing us, “Good news for grown-ups: if you were vaccinated as a child, the vaccines are very often still effective, even 40 years later.”

Reading that, I wondered if there was some new research regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness since my husband’s experience 5 years ago or so. Nope. No new evidence. In fact, just a year ago the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (Vol. 161 No. 3, March 2007) reported, “It has been suggested that protection offered by vaccination is life-long, however this is based on data from times when the wild-type virus was still circulating and thus boosting immunity. There is limited evidence on the persistence of immunity where the natural disease has been eliminated.”

WISN TV 12 also reassured parents that there is no concern if parents have immunized their child. But according to the Merck MMR package insert, “As for any vaccine, vaccination with M-M-R II may not result in protection in 100% of vaccinees.”

Also according to WISN TV 12, “About one case in 1,000 leads to death, but other complications include encephalitis and pneumonia.” Ok, that tells us there are risks to the disease, but what are the risks of the vaccine? Wouldn’t unbiased reporting also include those? From the Merck package insert, some risks include:

Atypical measles (in other words the vaccine can give you the measles)




In other words, the same problems as with the disease, except that the list of other possible complications for the vaccine is about a page long.

These ‘news’ reports are supposed warn parents to vaccinate their children, because measles is deadly, but the girl is ‘expected to make a full recovery’. What I find even more interesting is that whether or not this little girl was immunized is never mentioned. If the girl got sick, supposedly, because her parents failed to vaccinate her, would be a strong illustration of why vaccination is important. If she got sick despite being immunized, simply not mentioning her vaccination status would allow her case to be used to push an agenda. That makes me wonder, cynic that I am, if the girl actually WAS vaccinated and got measles anyway. As stated above, the vaccine has not been proven 100% effective and can cause measles. Likewise, every case of polio in the US since 1979 has been caused by the vaccine.

Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t vaccinate, although anyone who is trying to make an informed decision might want to hear what the speaker for Vaccine Injured Children has to say April 9th in Beaver Dam or check out 'the other side' of the story.

Or at the very least, not rely on biased and inaccurate news that is repeated nearly verbatim (without any actual investigation it would seem) on every channel. What that often shows is that some organization that wants to promote an issue has issued a 'press release' and no one bothered to verify anything in it.

And just to be clear, my husband still travels for work. He goes to places where he could conceivably contract a disease and bring it home. Therefore, he is vaccinated. We did vaccinate our daughter, but not until we were satisfied that her immune system had a chance to fully develop. I am not 'anti' vaccine. I am PRO informed consent. More importantly, I am vehemently opposed to the 'news' being used as a vehicle to promote an agenda.


Born In the U.S.A.

I finally did order Born In the U.S.A., even though I hadn't seen it and wasn't sure if it was worth the investment required in order to purchase the right to show it. (BTW, the trailer for this this movie is still not available to embed via YouTube, but the link in the hyper-linked title above will take you to their website where they do have a clip.)
I was interested in this movie because it was featured on the Oxygen Network, and in Fit Pregnancy and Self magazines. It was shown on PBS, and a couple of my favorite doctors had this to say (from PatchWorks Films website):

"The best film on birth in America."
——Marsden Wagner, Former Director, Maternal and Child Health, W.H.O.
"Every man, woman, and child in this country should see this film."
—Christiane Northrup, MD,
Author, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

I do respect these opinions, though I guess I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the film after seeing it. It's good. I'm not sure its the best. I felt the same way about Giving Birth: Challenges and Choices, by Suzanne Arms. It was good. I liked it. It was beautifully done. It just isn't my 'go to' movie. Maybe I should have a baby/birthing movie marathon and see what my opinion is when I see them all together. It has been years since I watched the Arms movie.
I've been thinking I might have a mother's 'tea' once a month just to watch uplifting birth/parenting videos and talk about the concerns of expectant moms. They can be such a wealth of information and support for each other, and I have so many resources I could share. One friend in CA is doing something similar and has great attendance. If any local women would like to see something like this, let me know. Maybe we could do something once in a while like learn how to knit a baby hat or make natural baby wipes or something. It could be fun.


Book Review

Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children

Denise Punger, MD, FAAFP, IBCLC

Outskirts Press, 2007

There are two main reasons that Dr. Punger’s book is important. The first is that she started out with the same culturally imposed beliefs about birth and breastfeeding that most American mothers have. Often, mainstream mothers assume that ‘alternative’ mothers have always had ‘far out’ ideas. Yet the journey from culturally accepted parenting beliefs to heart-centered intuitive parenting doesn’t happen overnight or without good reason. Often it is the result of a great deal of research and soulful exploration. Permission to Mother is Dr. Punger’s journey. Part of this journey includes her medical training (and that of her physician husband), which is the second reason this work is so important.

People tend to assume that support of all safe birthing options, including homebirth, automatically requires that someone be ‘anti’-doctor or ‘anti’-hospital. Likewise, to advocate for breastfeeding is often taken as an ‘anti-woman’ stance. Somehow it doesn’t occur to certain folks that it is only their own erroneous assumptions about birth and breastfeeding that could lead to such conclusions. In any case, in this book, they are challenged. Dr. Punger IS a doctor. She is married to a doctor. Her father-in-law is a retired obstetrician. Obviously she isn’t anti-doctor. Yet she supports homebirth and doulas. She is a working woman; yet she’s a breastfeeding advocate. Her story is vitally important in putting to rest the ‘us’ against ‘them’ mindset once and for all.

Punger shares with us her education, training and early experiences. We hear first-hand just how little doctors learn about truly normal, natural birth and breastfeeding. She asks important questions about why obstetricians so often jump to surgical solutions when other, less invasive options abound for many variations (sometimes called complications). Her own breech home-birth ends up being part of that process of questioning.

Likewise, her discovery of Dr. Brewer’s advice which led to the elimination of toxemia from his own OB practice prompted her to ask, “Why does the medical community ignore his evidence?” Good question; midwives have been using this advice to help mothers to be healthy for decades. The information is there, and it is so simple. Why the resistance?

Perhaps the best part of this book is “Finding Breastfeeding Medicine”. Dr. Punger’s own breastfeeding experiences led her to supplement her education to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). We learn elsewhere in the book that medical ‘training’ in breastfeeding may include an hour or two of instruction and continuing education sponsored by formula companies. What I want to know is why every single doctor (or nurse) that will discuss infant feeding with new mothers isn’t required to be a lactation consultant? Why isn’t every obstetrician, pediatrician and family practice physician required to be able to fully inform mothers of the benefits of breastfeeding and understand how to overcome challenges when they occur? How can they actually educate women if this isn’t part of their own education? How can they be of assistance if they don’t have the motivation to go above and beyond as Dr. Punger chose to do?

I love that the author shows that being a working woman doesn’t mean you can’t breastfeed. I love that she herself is so dedicated to her boys that she would have them brought to work to nurse them when she couldn’t be home. I actually chose my own daughter’s pediatrician for exactly that reason: the doctor’s husband brought her children to the hospital when she couldn’t go home to nurse them.

Because of this level of knowledge of breastfeeding, Punger is also able to address issues such as adoptive nursing and other special situations, as well as introduce the concept of breast-milk donation, which may be a new idea to some readers.

Finally, I’m excited about this book because also home-birthed, cloth diapered, breastfed, co-slept and unschooled my own daughter (who, by the way, is an intelligent, compassionate, independent young adult now, despite dire warnings of where our ‘weird’ parenting choices would lead). It’s nice to find a kindred soul.