the best birth book

the book
the bath
the ball
the author
order online

childbirth preparation classes

Becoming a Childbirth Educator

Women's Birth Network
Women's Health Links
Evidence Based Practice

    Changing the world one birth at a time    
 WBN website is always being updated please remember to refresh.


             Women’s Birth Network  

“A network of selected independent professionals offering resources for the childbearing year”  

If you are a practitioner that offers alternative complementary services for pregnant or postpartum women in the Southern Orange County area, Women’s Birth Network wants to hear from you! E-mail to get details on how to advertise your services here free:  


If you are a childbearing woman who has had a rewarding experience with a practitioner  that offers alternative complementary services for pregnant or postpartum women in the Southern Orange County area, Women’s Birth Network wants to hear from you! E-mail:  

Women’s Birth Network is a network of selected independent childbirth professionals, not funded or directed by a hospital, health maintenance organization or corporation. Resources for childbirth classes, labor support and referrals for services such as prenatal counseling , prenatal yoga, prenatal massage and postpartum care are included.  

Women’s Birth Network also presents regular events to inform women about options available for the childbearing years. 

Women’s Birth Network’s purpose is to support childbearing women in making choices that will best suit their individual experiences. Each pregnancy and birth is a unique event, and every woman benefits from practitioners who make her feel safe and supported. A benefit of working with independent practitioners is that they are able to provide more personal care for this most personal of events.

This is a network of selected practitioners in the Southern Orange County area who support the ideals of alternative therapeutic modalities for the childbearing woman. These practices are meant to complement not replace regular prenatal care by your obstetrical provider.  Being listed here does not endorse the practices of any practitioner listed here. Please ask questions and check references before deciding upon a practitioner. Your health and the health of your baby is your responsibility.  Remember, when you feel healthy in your body and mind, you will enjoy a more positive birth experience. Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!    

Much love and happiness to you, Maureen


Information on Birth in the USA


The Safe Motherhood Initiatives-USA 

 "Did you know…that the United States ranks behind at least 20 other nations in maternal mortality rates according to the World Health Organization. The Safe Motherhood Initiatives-USA (SMI-USA) is a partnership of organizations whose goal is to reduce maternal mortality in the United States. Learn more at:

Safe Motherhood USA

The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

In fact, since the 1930s there was a steady reduction in the maternal death rate each year until 1982. The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes during the past twenty years and to draw public attention to the unchanging maternal death rate. To learn more about the quilt, visit the official web page at:  USA Quilt Project

Obstetrical Evidence-based Research

COCHRANE PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH GROUP: Cochrane Reviews are abstracts of full text articles reviewing the effects of obstetrical healthcare. The reviews are highly structured and systematic, with evidence included or excluded on the basis of explicit quality criteria, to minimize bias. 

Mother-Friendly Childbirth

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS--pronounced "kims") is evidence-base and provides guidelines for identifying and designating "mother-friendly" birth sites including hospitals, birth centers and home-birth services. The initiative outlines ten steps for mother-friendly care and includes a requirement for birth sites to also qualify as "baby-friendly" according to the World Health Organization's guidelines. A consumer version of the Initiative, "Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask" is also available. To learn more about CIMS, visit the official web page at: 


What Babies Want... An exploration of the consciousness of infants   

To find out more about this new documentary featuring Joseph Chilton Pearce, Sobonfu Some and David Chamberlain, narrated by Noah Wyle, please visit our website.       800-893-507


Obstetrical Health Care Providers

Be a change agent. Utilize evidence-based best practice. There is a wide  "practice gap" between "evidence-based practice" and "the way we have always done it".


Looking for a Midwife?

Beach Cities Midwifery and Women's Health Care

You CAN have a midwife for your prenatal care and birth!  Did you know that midwifery care is a very viable option to you?  The midwives at Beach Cities Midwifery and Women's Health Care are covered under many insurance plans and they also accept Medical.  If you have been looking for prenatal care that is very personalized and caring, then you NEED to call Beach Cities for a FREE consultation!  They currently have privileges at South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach.  Beach Cities can also take care of all of your well-woman visits too.

Lisa Sherwood, MSN, CNM, WHCNP
B.J. Snell, PhD, CNM, WHCNP

South Coast Midwifery

Women Helping Women - South Coast Women's Health Care is home to South Orange County's only free-standing birth center. It is owned and directed by Lorri Walker, RNC, NP, CNM, one of the Southern California's best known midwives.

Click here to see an amazing slide show of one of HER home births!


Lorri Walker, RNC, NP, CNM,

Childbirth Education

You need to prepare for birth. Make preparing for it special - these educational classes are an excellent resource for you, or anyone who might be with you during the birth process. Don't miss the opportunity to prepare for a positive birth experience. Giving birth is something you do in your body, your heart, your soul, and in your head. You already "know" a lot about giving birth (whether you realize it or not). Childbirth education classes allow you to rediscover and validate your own innate knowledge. You will learn the art of: pain reduction, stress reduction, relaxation and breathing techniques and educate yourself to be a good consumer, by knowing your options, and how to provide yourself with the best possible birth experience. You will also learn techniques to physically and psychologically prepare you for childbirth.  These classes usually include information on exercise, nutrition, breathing, position, movement and relaxation methods for use in labor and delivery, information regarding hospital procedures, medications, anesthesia, alternative complementary therapies, newborn care and the postpartum period. 


Jody Jenson CPSS, CE

Wendy Spry BA, CPSS, CD


Vaginal Birth After Cesarean VBAC Education

About 60-80% of women ( depending on the hospital where they choose to give birth) who labor after a prior cesarean with one low-horizontal uterine scar do have safe vaginal births. Women who have had more than one cesarean birth may have a slightly lower chance for a vaginal birth. The risk of a prior cesarean scar separating enough to require an emergency cesarean is about 1%. This risk is not higher than for any other woman who may experience an unforeseen complication (umbilical cord prolapse, non-reassuring fetal heart tones, premature separation of the placenta) during labor or birth. When caregivers are knowledgeable about VBAC and respond quickly, studies show that mothers and babies usually do well

Read about ACOG's recognition of a group of OB's that support VBAC options for women at  

Wendy Spry BA, CPSS, CD


International Cesarean Awareness Network

The International Cesarean Awareness Network ICAN works to lower the rate of unnecessary cesareans, supports vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and encourages positive birthing through education and advocacy. 

Wendy Spry BA, CPSS, CD



Prenatal Exercise 

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy include improved physical conditioning, creating strength, flexibility and stamina for prenatal period, endurance for labor and delivery and a quicker postnatal recovery. Also, studies have shown that babies whose mothers exercised during pregnancy had better apgar scores and decreased meconium at birth. By exercising regularly, you  can reduce common discomforts such as backache, swelling and constipation. Psychological benefits include the development of a positive body image, which helps you gain confidence in your ability to handle the labor and delivery process. 

Yogamammas at Yoga Place

Linda Trumpfheller


Prenatal Yoga 

Since you cannot think your way through labor, prenatal yoga is a perfect way to drop beneath your thinking mind and into the body/mind to prepare for birth. Prenatal Yoga teaches you to listen deeply to and trust in our body's innate birthing wisdom. Prenatal yoga poses are taught with your pregnancy in mind and an emphasis on mindfulness for increasing breath and body awareness, learning pain management, prenatal bonding, and deep relaxation. Many of your common discomforts experienced during pregnancy may be relieved through the regular practice of yoga, keeping your body flexible and relaxed and gently building your stamina for labor and birth. 

Yogamammas at Yoga Place

Linda Trumpfheller


Prenatal Counseling

Prenatal counseling assists both pregnant clients and non-pregnant clients with emotional barriers and concerns, which may affect successful parenting, bonding, or birth. Most work with families in the prenatalperiod to help them mentally prepare for childbirth and help parents adjust to their new roles and provide information for additional services when necessary.


The Harvard Mind/Body Approach Behavioral Management Infertility Program

This program can benefit all women having difficulty conceiving, including those currently enrolled in IVF, GIFT or other programs/procedures (e.g., IUI - intrauterine insemination, ICSI), or hormone treatments (e.g., hCG, chorionic gonadotropin) or other fertility drugs. You do not have to have undergone any procedures to participate. Women in all stages of infertility are welcome, including if your chances for conceiving a biological child are low, you have a history of miscarriages, or are experiencing secondary infertility. All women are invited regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and family history.


Resolve: The National Infertility Association

Resolve: The National Infertility Association, is dedicated to providing education, advocacy and support for men and women facing the crisis of infertility. As the consumer voice for Family Building issues, RESOLVE is the only nationwide patient advocacy group mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. Both Nationally and on a local level, the RESOLVE team works with organizations and government advocating on behalf of couples going through infertility, adoption and the decision to live childfree. 

RESOLVE of Orange County, CA
PO Box 50693
Irvine CA 92619-0693


Certified Perinatal Support Specialists/Labor Support

In order to have a positive birth experience, most women need continuous labor support. Although obstetrical nurses are experienced in dealing with a laboring woman's emotional and physical needs, they can seldom guarantee the support they provide will last throughout the labor - especially in hospital settings where shift changes, heavy paperwork and busy nights regularly occur. Midwives may be able to offer more labor support, but they too have clinical duties to which they must attend. Your spouse/ partner may be better able to provide continuous support but has little actual experience in dealing with the forces of labor. Even spouses/partners who have had intensive preparation are often surprised at the amount of work involved (more than enough for two people). Even more important, many spouses/partners find it easier to experience the birth as an emotional journey of their own when they have labor support.

Sherri Alden

Stacey Barriga

Cyndi Daily-Gross

Jody Jenson

Lisa Polzien


Wendy Spry

Maureen Stevens



Perinatal/Labor Support Interns

Research has shown that the presence of female labor support makes an important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of families and their newborn.

This is a list of the interns of The BIRTH WISDOM Perinatal Support Specialist Network. The interns understand and agree with the intention, concepts and ideals of BIRTH WISDOM.  Interns have varying levels of experience and are independent. Many interns offer childbirth related services besides labor support, such as childbirth education, hypno-birthing, prenatal yoga, massage, lactation consultation and post partum doula/newborn services. Some interns are also certified doulas. Each intern is unique. We suggest that you contact several interns to find the one that best meets your needs.  Fees are determined individually and are usually based upon experience.

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The Journal of the American Medical Association include the following obstetrical outcomes :

Cesarean Section

Down 50%

Length of Labor

Down 25%

Oxytocin Use

Down 40%

Pain Medication (Narcotics)

Down 30%


Down 30%


Down 60%

Summary obstetrical outcomes/Chapter 3 of "Mothering the Mother", by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus.
It is now widely recognized that having a female labor support assisting the birthing woman or couple can decrease the length of labor, decrease the severity of perceived pain, decrease the need for anesthesia or analgesia, and can help prevent cesarean section. A good birth experience will enhance the post-partum period by speeding recovery, easing breastfeeding and securing the satisfaction of the mother and father with each other and themselves. Whether you give birth completely naturally, or with the use of drugs and unexpected interventions, or by cesarean section, if it is a positive experience it will immeasurably increase your self-esteem as a woman and a mother and have a positive effect in your relationship with your spouse, and your child, for the rest of your life.


Email Address





Mary Jane Bennett


Linda Buhler


Dena Clements


Danielle Cohen


Christi Couron

Knicole Cullen

Elizabeth Deatrick


Jodie Howerton

Suzan Hurley


Jennifer Legault


Sara Schenker

Gina Sharp


Lorraine Shorman

Torie Smith


Gayle Thompson


Linda Trumpfheller

Susie Waggener


Julianna Wakeling











Angie Paquette







Prenatal Massage

It is clear that prenatal massage can be of great benefit during pregnancy, a profound emotional, mental and spiritual process. During pregnancy and childbearing, the enormous influx of hormones combined with weight gain, altered body shape, and the normal biophysical and structural discomforts caused by increased blood volume and a shifting center of gravity, all contribute to many pregnant women feeling uncomfortable, emotionally and physically! Massage can provide an excellent means not only for relieving your body's stress, but also for helping you recognize deal with your emotional fears and concerns. When you feel integrated and healthy in your body and mind, you will enjoy a more positive birth experience.

Mikki Anderson, LMT 
Stress Busters Body Therapy


Postpartum Care/Support

After the baby is born most new mothers and fathers appreciate the support of a postpartum Doula. A postpartum doula is a non-judgmental woman who gives emotional and breastfeeding support along with practical newborn care tips and some even take care of necessary household tasks such as: grocery shopping; meal preparation; doing the dishes, laundry or tending to your older children. Many mothers and extended family members are not always available to help, and even if they are available, some of our mothers do not have the breastfeeding experience to support a nursing mother.  Postpartum doulas differ greatly from baby nurses as they are not there solely to tend to your baby’s needs; but to encourage families to adapt to this life transition. They are flexible to the needs of each family. They help mothers and fathers to trust their instincts in meeting their baby’s needs. Motherhood is a major life transition and the adjustment period feels less overwhelming when a postpartum doula is available to address your questions and concerns and help ease your transition into parenthood.

Sara Schenker

Linda Buhler, BA


Postpartum Counseling

If you have recently had a baby and are not feeling yourself or think something is wrong... it is probably time to get help.  PPD can occur anytime within the first year after childbirth. Without proper treatment, symptoms can linger or get worse. PPD is very real and very treatable. You will feel better again. The following is a list of possible referral sources.  When you call, ask if they have the name of a therapist who specializes in the treatment of women and depression.  Expertise in postpartum depression is not as essential as finding a good, qualified therapist with whom you feel comfortable. (In some cases, you may need a physician/psychiatrist for medication and/or a therapist)


Postpartum Yoga

 This 75-minute yoga class designed to get the postpartum mother back in shape while  bonding with her new baby is dedicated to achieving maternal fitness and to mothers sharing quality time with their babies. We believe these experiences can take place simultaneously— with the mother regaining flexibility and strength while helping her baby develop body awareness, coordination and a confident response to tactile stimuli. For the mother, the class addresses specific postpartum challenges such as lost alignment, over-stretched abdomen and pelvic floor, rounded shoulders and weakened lower back. Through Iyengar/Hatha-influenced teaching, the class challenges the mother, giving her a sense of physical fitness and well-being. The babies lie next to their mothers throughout the class enjoying age appropriate stimulation exercises in addition to being integrated into the breathing, chanting and asana practice. Mothers become stronger and healthier, and delight in the positive effects of integrating baby massage and yoga.

Yogamammas at Yoga Place

Linda Trumpfheller



Newborn Care

Baby nurses are there solely to tend to your baby’s needs and to  encourage and teach you to care for your own newborn. They help you learn to trust your instincts in meeting your baby’s needs. Motherhood is a major life transition and the adjustment period feels less overwhelming when a baby nurse is available to address your questions and concerns and help ease your transition into motherhood.



The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Browse or search the full text of AAP policy statements, such as the Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care. You can also access Current AAP Clinical Practice Guidelines and Model Bills. 


Safety Issues

"Back to Sleep" Campaign - Reduce the Risk of Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (National Institutes of Health Web site)

    Product Recalls (CPSC Web site)
    Report on Unsafe Products (CPSC Web site)

    Child Passenger Safety Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2002 




Breastfeeding has many benefits, providing passive immunity, various growth hormones, and a more favorable nutritive content. Recently, some studies even suggested that breastfed infants have an advantage in cognitive development and that breastfeeding may actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. Everyone knows breast is best, but some mothers have difficulty in the first weeks. Breastfeeding/Lactation Consultants emphasize proper technique in order to prevent problems. Individual counseling and private assessments are available. Fathers and expectant grandmothers are welcome. Don't forget the most invaluable resource available; your local Le Leche League.


Wendy Spry BS, CPSS

dial 1-800-LALECHE
breastfeeding information

La Leche League of Orange County

Margie Deutsch Lash, MSEd, IBCLC
Total Care Breastfeeding Services

A great website:



Infant Massage

Infant massage is easy and fun to do, and it has a wide range of positive effects. Massage improves circulation, stimulates the digestive system, enhances neurological development, tones muscles and stimulates  baby's immune system. In addition to the benefits massage gives your baby, it gives you an enjoyable way to spend time with and learn more about your baby. Learning to read the behavioral cues that your infant gives from the moment of birth is an enjoyable way to deepen the loving communication between the two of you and satisfy the needs of your baby.

StressBusters Body Therapy Center’s Infant Massage Training for Parent's
Classes are held every 4-6 weeks
9:30-10:45 a.m.
Saddleback Hospital—Women’s Health Center



Special Needs Infant Massage

This class is taught with appropriate alterations to massage techniques for various special needs infants so that none of the infant's newborn reflexes are overstimulated. Holding techniques are taught and practiced initially and then, only when the infant is ready the appropriate massage techniques are slowly introduced to achieve the most positive results. Studies conducted with premature infants and massage are showing extremely positive results. Findings of these studies show that due to an increase in weight gain and alert states  the massaged infants had superior motor skills and mental development.


Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Health Care Needs


Family Voices

A website for families from throughout the United States who have children with special health needs. Family Voices believes that children with special health needs face common problems caused by fundamental inadequacies in our health care system. Family Voices does not support any specific health care reform plan. Instead, the role of Family Voices is to advocate for the inclusion of a set of basic principles in every health care reform proposal. 


Services for Battered Women and Their Children.

As many as four million women in the USA alone suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their partners each year. You and your children have the right to a safe, nurturing, and supportive home.

24 Hour Help

CA Resource Directory - Interval House Crisis Shelters Listing

What is Domestic Violence?
Learn how Domestic Violence effects all of us.

Orange County's four women's shelters: 

Human Options 
Laura's House      
Women's Transitional Living Center 
Interval House



| home | introduction | the book | the bath | the ball |
the author | order online | feedback | Women's Birth Network |