Natural Living Des Moines

The Birth Survey by Meanest Mommy
August 4, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Birth | Tags: , ,

Have you had a baby within the last 3 years?  If so, please take The Birth Survey.  It is an online survey meant to provide information and transparency about maternity care providers and birth locations.  Click on the above link, then click on “Take our Survey.” It is a lengthy survey, so be sure to give yourself some time to take it and/or save it and come back to it when you can.

Lisa Houchins
Co-Leader, ICAN of Central Iowa
Education Director, ICAN


Friends of Iowa Midwives hosts Red Letter Campaign by sarahtar
January 30, 2009, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Birth, Community, Events

Join FOIM on Saturday Feb 14 to write a handwritten letter to your lawmakers in Iowa, asking them to support direct-entry midwives. You can learn more about this event HERE. FOIM will provide paper, envelopes, and postage – you provide the handwriting! There will be events in both Des Moines and Iowa City. (Des Moines is at the Urbandale Public Library 10-12.)

Friends of Iowa Midwives by sarahtar
November 29, 2008, 9:57 am
Filed under: Birth, Legislation

Alright, all you midwifery supporters, this post is for you.

Friends of Iowa Midwives is a statewide grassroots organization working to:

* Promote access to midwifery and out-of-hospital birth in Iowa
* Protect the rights of Iowa women to choose their place of birth and birth attendant
* Provide education about childbirth options
* Create supportive community for birthing women and families

Their current legislative campaign aims to license Certified Professional Midwives in Iowa so that families who choose out-of-hospital birth can have access to safe maternity care with legal midwives.

Many families in Iowa believe that Iowa is sort of “a-legal” when it comes to CPMs. They are not recognized by the state, but they are not outright forbidden. Many midwives, and many consumers, have been content to leave it this way. (I am one of them.) But then Melanie Moore was brought up on charges of Practicing Medicine Without A License. (Her prosecution was not brought on by any negative incidents, by the way.)

And, to some people, that changes things.

I will admit to still being on the fence about this goal of licensure. In many states, licensure of CPMs has led to a significant decrease in the options available to certain high-risk women: those with twins, those wanting a VBAC, and those with breech babies. These are women who are close to my heart and I don’t want to do anything that would make their lives even tougher!

However, it all depends on the language in the bill and whether FOIM is willing to compromise on the language that would protect these women, as well. A few ladies from ICAN are involved with FOIM to help protect the interests of these women, which is reassuring.

If this is an issue that interests you, that you’re passionate about, or that you just want to keep current on, please head over to the FOIM website, Yahoo Group, or Facebook page. Volunteer if you’re able!

Expectant moms in Des Moines area forced to travel for birth by sarahtar
November 7, 2008, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Birth

From the Public News Service.

Des Moines, IA – In Iowa, roughly one-third of all babies are born through Cesarean surgery. Experts say that number could be reduced if doctors would allow women to have a vaginal birth after they’ve had C-sections. More and more expectant mothers are traveling to University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City to give birth, because no other facilities will do a vaginal birth after C-section, also called a “V-Bac.”

Dana Ericson is a Certified Nurse Midwife in Des Moines who says the latest guidelines require doctors to be present during labor. As a result, most hospitals have opted out of providing that care.

“They don’t want to be sitting on the labor and delivery unit waiting, and they also cannot figure out a way to get paid for that waiting period.”

The article goes on from there.

This is just sad. We live in Des Moines! Not Podunk City. But yet many women have had to travel to Iowa City, Kansas City, or other locations in order to attempt a VBAC, because so few doctors here will even consider VBAC. Those that do often have long lists of reasons to refuse a VBAC at the last minute – baby’s too small, baby’s too big, you’re past 41 weeks, etc.

Breech Means C-Section? Maybe Not….. by sarahtar
November 5, 2008, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Birth, Personal Stories

Article Submitted by Dr. Heather Yost from Yost Family Chiropractic

A breech birth (aka “breech presentation”) refers to the position of the baby in the uterus.  These babies will be delivered buttocks first instead of the normal head down (vertex) position.  The risk of breech presentation is small, with research showing approximately 4% of full-term (38-42 weeks) pregnancies being breech.

In the 1990’s, some breech babies were still delivered naturally.  Beginning in 2003, almost all hospitals declared a halt to delivering breech babies vaginally and began using c-section 100% of the time.  But what about the woman who doesn’t want a c-section?  Is this the only way?

Chiropractic care, using the Webster Technique, may help prevent a c-section. This is a technique where specific chiropractic adjustments allow for balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce unnecessary stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments.  This makes it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported, in the July/August 2002 issue, an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex (head down) when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.

Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to create pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.  Breech presentation may be avoided altogether, resulting in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.

For more information, contact Dr. Heather at Yost Family Chiropractic.  278-YOST.  Or visit us at

Information submitted by Dr. Heather Yost, DC, FICPA, Webster-Certified.
Compiled using information from the following sources:

International Chiropractic Pediatric Association,

American Pregnancy Association, htt;://

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 25, July/August 2002.

Breech birth – Wikipedia, htt://

Block, Jennifer. Pushed. MA: Da Capo Press, 2007


note from the editor (Sarah):

During my recent pregnancy, my head-down baby turned Frank breech (butt down, legs and head up). There was no physical reason, and I had been under chiropractic care the entire pregnancy (with Dr. Heather). My own research showed me that breech delivery is really quite safe if you are with a skilled care provider who has experience with breech. Problem? There are very few providers with breech experience these days. Those who are skilled at breech often will not do it. In Des Moines, I found one OB who would “consider” taking me as a patient and one OB who would not make me have a C/S if I showed up at the hospital in labor with a breech and refused to consent to surgery. This man was experienced and skilled at breech, and comfortable handling a breech delivery, but would not take me as a patient knowingly planning a vaginal breech delivery. Phone calls to providers – OBs and midwives – across the state and into neighboring states turned up only one OB who would take me as a patient planning a vaginal breech delivery. This was an OB in Omaha.

It is SO important for women to educate themselves about their options and not accept No for an answer unless it’s what YOU want. In the case of a breech, it’s not enough to refuse surgery. You need to make sure you’re being safe – a care provider who doesn’t know what they’re doing can really cause a bad outcome with a breech.

I know the Webster Technique is among the most proven ways to turn a breech naturally. Acupuncture is another well-studied option. Neither choice will do any damage in any way – there are no risks. There are also no guarantees – I was one of those women for whom neither technique did the trick. We ended up doing an external version (which IS risky) and went on to have a wonderful homebirth with a head-down baby.

Update on Melanie Moore from Midwifery Today by naturaldsm
October 23, 2007, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Birth

Dear Friends,

As you know, the state of Iowa was charging me with practicing medicine without a license, a felony. My court date was set for August 20 but on August 17 the state made an offer, which I accepted.

Here is a break down:

The good: No jail! If I follow the rules of my probation for one year all charges against me will be expunged. The charge was considered a “serious misdemeanor.”
The bad: One year probation, $315 in fines, $100 court costs and $300 probationfee (so far). Not bad fees, but they are compounded by my inability to earn aliving. An added surprise was 25 hours community service (not a part of theoriginal deal). I will look at it as an opportunity to expand my horizons andwork toward empowering women through birth.

The ugly: I was forced to sign a plea of guilty to practicing medicine without a license. I feel nauseous to even write this. You know and I know that midwifery is NOT the practice of medicine and I will yell it from the rooftops forever!

Please forgive me for signing those papers. If you had seen my family when they made the offer – the looks on their faces – you would surely understand. A friend who has been through it herself counseled “THEY have all the power; you are a mere speck. A flea on the back of the elephant. You can fight them and destroy your life because it will take herculean stamina and financial resources AND you will undoubtedly lose.”

I hope women will continue to choose homebirths, lay midwives will attend them and apprentices will wait in line to assist at these incredible events! Please decriminalize midwifery in Iowa! Or at least recognize the Certified Professional Midwife.

What does my future hold? Time will tell. I continue attending births as a certified doula. I dream of combining my love of dance and women to teach some pregnancy belly dance classes. Thank you so very much for all your support. I and my family have been humbled. You are all awesome.

Please never give up!

~ Melanie Moore

The Business of Being Born by naturaldsm
October 10, 2007, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Birth, Community, Events

Simul-posting at all my blogs. 🙂

Central Iowans have an opportunity next month to see an awesome film about childbirth in America – The Business of Being Born is a movie about the business of childbirth in this country. In the film, actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein draw on their personal experiences in exploring The Business of Being Born.

This 85-minute long documentary follows clients of NY midwife Cara Muhlhahn as they consider their birth choices. The film includes interviews with well-known advocates for physiological birth including: Dr. Michel Odent, an OB/GYN and author of The Caesarean; Susan Hodges, President of Citizens for Midwifery; and Dr. Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD in Medical Anthropology and author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage.

The Business of Being Born debuted in April 2007 at the Tribeca (NY) Film Festival, receiving a standing ovation, and will have a very limited release in 11 large cities. You can bet Des Moines is not one of those cities. BUT! You can catch a sneak preview hosted by ICAN of Central Iowa.


Schedule for the evening

6:00 PM: Doors open for a meet and greet and book signing with Jennifer Block author of Pushed. (Books will be available for sale–cash or check only–for $20)

7:00 PM: “The Business of Being Born”

8:30 PM: Comments and Question and Answer session with Ms. Block

Ticket Information
Advanced tickets will be $8 each (two for $15). To order tickets in advance:

Click HERE for a mail-in form (paying by check, money order or cash).

Or click HERE to order online (paying by credit card or Paypal).

Or you can purchase tickets from me.

All orders have a will-call pick up option or may be mailed to you.

Tickets at the door the night of the show will be $10 each.


For more details

Please visit the following sites for more information on the movie “The Business of Being Born” and the author Jennifer Block:

“The Business of Being Born” website

Author Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block’s Book Pushed