8 Reasons People Don’t Hire Doulas

Mother and child union, immediately after birth

Mother and child union, immediately after birth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


8 Reasons People Don’t Hire Doulas.


There are many people out there who are pregnant and have considered, but decided against having a doula
attend their birth. When I ask a mom why she chose not to have a doula,
I was surprised at some of the answers. Do you see yourself in this

  1. She doesn’t know what a doula does.

    A doula is someone, in most cases a woman, who has received training to
    assist women and families in birth. They are an addition to the birth
    team and work towards helping you have the experience that you want,
    using physical, emotional and mental support. The truth is, what a doula
    does, looks different for every woman and every birth. 

  2. Thinks doula replaces the partner.

    A doula is not a replacement for a partner. While a doula probably has
    more experience in birth than the partner, the doula can’t bring things
    to the table that the partner can, specifically their love of the
    laboring woman. That said, some partners want to take very active roles
    in the birth process, while others do not. A doula can act as an
    assistant to the partner who wants a very active role, helping to remind
    them of things the woman wanted before labor or making suggestions, but
    allowing the partner to be the main support as the doula helps to set
    the environment up and maintain the little pieces of the laboring
    puzzle. A doula can also take a very active role in the support of the
    laboring woman; and quite honestly, there are some labors I’m at where
    I’m not sure how we made it with just two support people (the partner
    and doula). I’ve even been to births with two doulas and one partner and
    we were all busy every second of the labor. 

  3. It’s not recommended by their doctor.

    If your doctor is not recommending the use of a doula, that would be a red flag
    to me. I would want to know why they felt that way. Perhaps they don’t
    really know what a doula is or what a doula does. Maybe the doctor has
    never worked with a doula or has had a previous negative experience.
    Maybe it’s more a chance for the doctor to say how they feel and for you
    to talk about why you would like a doula. Sometimes a heart to heart
    conversation really is all that is needed. Sometimes you can even have a
    meeting between your doula of choice and your doctor. But if your
    doctor is saying you don’t need support – get specific about how your
    needs will be met and by whom. If they say they and the hospital staff
    provide that – ask other women who have given birth there, because their
    idea of taken care of and the doctor’s may be totally different. 

  4. She has a midwife already.

    A midwife can certainly have some of the same skills in her toolbox that
    a doula does. (There are also some doctors who have these tools!) But a
    doula is uniquely situated to only be caring for a single mother at a
    time and is not also managing her medical care and that of her baby.
    This unique focus on the part of a doula is a great addition to any
    team, even when a midwife is on the team already. 

  5. She doesn’t plan to have a home birth.

    Many mothers erroneously think that having a doula is only for mothers
    choosing home birth. Certainly, there are doulas who do work in a home
    birth setting. There are also doulas who only work in a home birth
    setting, but there are also doulas who only work in hospitals or birth
    centers. Ask around, you can find doulas who will work in hospitals,
    the vast majority of doulas work in hospitals. 

  6. She is considering an epidural.

    A doula is for every woman who wants one, regardless of how she intends to give birth. This includes using medications like an epidural or even having a planned cesarean.
    A doula never dictates what you should do in your birth, but does help
    you achieve your goals that you set forth. Sometimes plans change and
    those plans are outside of anyone’s control. Your doula will help you as
    you deal with new decisions that have to be made in labor, including
    changes in avoiding or seeking medications. 

  7. All doulas are hippies/earth mothers/science geeks.

    Just as mothers come in all shapes, sizes and philosophies – so do
    doulas. If you’re looking for a doula that is or is not a certain
    philosophy, there’s a doula out there who meets your criteria! I’ve
    certainly had people shocked when I say I’m a doula because of
    stereotypes that abound, but that’s okay. Just ask for referrals from
    others and tell them what you’re looking for in a doula. 

  8. She worries a doula costs too much.

    Cost is certainly an issue for some families. The vast majority of
    doulas will work with mothers who wish to have their services to make it
    affordable. This can be through the use of payment plans, bartering,
    and sometimes sliding scale costs. There are numerous ways to pay for your doula.
    That said, please know that doulas work long, hard hours. They invest a
    lot in their education and the costs in time away from their family and
    work is great. Doulas deserve to be fairly compensated for their work. 

Do you see your reason on here? Do you perhaps see that there might be
others ways to think about it? Granted, I’m a doula, so I’m fairly
pro-doula. I don’t believe that everyone needs or wants a doula. Though
I also know that there are women who see barriers to having a doula
that aren’t really insurmountable if they truly want the support of a


Readers Respond: Doulas and Childbirth





Inducing labor may be tied to autism, study says

CHICAGO (AP) — The biggest study of its kind suggests autism might be linked with inducing and speeding up labor, preliminary findings that need investigating since labor is induced in increasing numbers of U.S. women, the authors and other autism experts say.

It’s possible that labor-inducing drugs might increase the risk — or that the problems that lead doctors to start labor explain the results. These include mothers’ diabetes and fetal complications, which have previously been linked with autism.

Like most research into autism causes, the study doesn’t provide conclusive answers, and the authors say the results shouldn’t lead doctors to avoid inducing labor or speeding it up since it can be life-saving for mothers and babies.

Simon Gregory, lead author and an associate professor of medicine and medical genetics at Duke University, emphasized, “We haven’t found a connection for cause and effect. One of the things we need to look at is why they were being induced in the first place.”

Government data suggest 1 in 5 U.S. women have labor induced — twice as many as in 1990.

Smaller studies suggested a possible tie between induced labor and autism, but the new research is the largest to date, involving more than 600,000 births. The government-funded study was published online Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

The researchers examined eight years of North Carolina birth records, and matched 625,042 births with public school data from the late 1990s through 2008. Information on autism diagnoses didn’t specify whether cases were mild or severe. Labor was induced or hastened in more than 170,000 births.

Overall, 5,648 children developed autism — three times as many boys as girls. Among autistic boys, almost one-third of the mothers had labor started or hastened, versus almost 29 percent of the boys without autism. The differences were less pronounced among girls.

Oxytocin and prostaglandins are used to start or speed up labor but the study doesn’t identify specific medications.

The strongest risks were in boys whose mothers had labor started and hastened. They were 35 percent more likely to have autism.

Among girls, autism was not tied to induced labor; it was only more common in those born after labor was accelerated; they were 18 percent more likely to have the developmental disorder than girls whose mothers had neither treatment.

Autism affects about 1 in 88 U.S. children. Symptoms may involve communication problems including avoiding eye contact and unusual repetitive behavior including arm-flapping. Causes are uncertain but experts believe it probably results from a combination of genetics and other factors. These may include mothers’ illnesses and medication use while pregnant, fathers’ age at conception, and problems affecting the fetus during childbirth — all suggested but not proven in previous research.

The study’s biggest strength is bolstering the growing consensus that risks for autism occur before birth or soon after, said Dr. Byron King, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s autism center. He was not involved in the study.



JAMA Pediatrics: http://www.jamapediatrics.com

Autism: http://tinyurl.com/m979ft


Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

via Inducing labor may be tied to autism, study says.


Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering Review

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering Review July 2, 2013 By Margo Nelson

Sarah Buckley’s book, Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering, is the most comprehensive, holistically minded, and scientifically sound book on pregnancy, birth and early parenting that I have read so far. Part 1 of the book is focused on gentle birth, the hormones of pregnancy, birth and mothering, and the best ways to keep those hormones from being interrupted. In the first few chapters she offers the ideas of instinctive birth, and undisturbed birth as templates for understanding the kind of gentle births that are possible when we leave well enough alone and let the process unfold as it was meant to without interference, interruption or intervention. She goes on to talk about the BRAN model of wise decision making in pregnancy – in short, she suggests that we should always ask ourselves and/or our care givers about the benefits, the risks, and the alternatives to any option, and to also ask what would happen if we were to do nothing. I love that she stresses this point for her readers – that it is their body and their baby, and that they ultimately have to take responsibility for the decisions that impact their pregnancy by asking questions and deeply listening to themselves and their babies. This gives people a good idea of what questions to ask, including questions about doing nothing, since so much of pregnancy care is focused on always doing something.

The rest of Part 1 is spent giving the reader examples of some common pregnancy decisions, and what information we might discover if we use the BRAN method to think through them. She goes through, in great detail, the discussion of ultrasound scans, the use of epidurals, styles of third stage management and cesarean surgery. Each of these chapters is comprehensive and could be used as resources in their own right. Again, she brilliantly blends the intuitive, woman centered, spiritual aspects of decision making with her impeccable analysis of scientific studies. She doesn’t bully the reader with opinions, but instead uses facts to back up her belief in undisturbed birth, always coming back to this clear message – if there is no indication that there is a problem, doing nothing is almost always the best option, since birth is designed to work. She does not dispute the fact that ultrasounds, epidurals, cesarean surgery and some aspects of active management of the third stage have their place, but that place should only be after doing everything we can to support a healthy, well nourished pregnancy and an empowered, undisturbed, instinctive labor and birth. Only then can we be sure that we have not caused the very problems we are later trying to solve.

Part 2 discusses some gentle parenting choices for new babies, again with the same blend of common sense, intuition and science. She talks about attachment parenting, baby wearing and co-sleeping, and the many physical, social and emotional benefits those choices have for babies. Ultimately in the gentle parenting section, Buckley asks the reader to have a healthy sense of skepticism about all information they are given, and to always be questioning and searching for their own inner truth. She also says that she hopes parents will listen openly and sensitively to all of their children’s communications since they are the experts of their own needs. She hopes that parents will also take responsibility for the decisions they make on behalf of their children with the same care and deep listening as when they were pregnant.

I am a huge fan of this book. This will be my first recommendation to all pregnant moms or people interested in the holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and mothering. Buckley eloquently describes what an undisturbed birth look like, how it works, and why you should probably want one. I love that she doesn’t make the book about location of birth, but instead makes the stronger case for an undisturbed, safe, easy birth, which the reader is then left to decide if they want that sort of birth, and the best way to make that happen if they do (although she does have a chapter that brings up the possibility and safety of homebirth). I can’t say enough about how fantastic this book was to read, and how excited I am to pass it on to friends, family, clients and anyone else willing to read it!

I urge YOU to get 3-4 copies of this book, one for yourself to keep and a few to loan out to any and all pregnant friends or family members you may have. I got 10 copies last year and have either sold (at cost) or gifted all but my signed copy and one extra loaner. Time for me to restock! If you still aren’t sold on the book, check out Sarah Buckley’s amazing website with tons of free information and resources at:


via Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering Review.

Viva La Boobies! 7 Things to Know About Breasts — Kara Maria Ananda

Breasts are amazing – they are beautiful, they nourish babies, and they have an intelligence of their own. Breasts have so many incredible benefits for the health of humanity, the power of women, and the nurturing of the future generations.Your breasts deserve a medal of honor – plus nurturing, pampering, and respect. Yet, our breasts are suffering from the dangerous effects of rising environmental toxins in our food, water, air, and toiletries, degrading media, restrictive fashion, and lack of empowering health education for women. I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was at a conference and the organizers asked me to get up on stage and speak about breast health. They said it was vital that we get more people to understand and value the importance of caring for our healthy breasts and that in order to get people’s attention I needed to be topless to speak. While I was still pondering whether or not I felt comfortable with being topless on stage, I woke up.

A few days later Angelina Jolie announced her decision to have her healthy breasts surgically removed because of her potential cancer risk. This action has inspired me even more to realize how vital it is that we join in this conversation and speak about how to naturally care for our breasts, how our environment, diet, and lifestyle impact our health, and why breast health is more important than every before.

Thus, my intention is to share positive inspiring information to support women to love their breasts and learn about ways to naturally care for our amazing breasts.

Let’s uplift breasts to the status level they deserve!


7 Amazing Things to Know About Breasts

Breasts want freedom.

Bras restrict the movement of lymphatic fluid through the breasts, underarm, and shoulders, thus causing toxins to build up in the breast tissue. Underwire bras are the worst culprit, as the metal also can disrupt the energy flow through the breast area. A recent French study has shown that women who don’t wear bras actually have perkier breasts even as they age. Exercising, dance, and rebounding without a bra also allows the body’s movements to support lymphatic flow and proper drainage of the breasts. The natural movement of the breasts as the body exercises and moves is another essential component to lymphatic health in the breasts.

Breasts need massage. 

There is no muscle tissue in a women’s breasts, so breasts need assistance to enhance circulation through the breast. A woman’s breasts are mostly fat tissue along with milk ducts, connective tissue, nerves, and lymph glands. Self breast massage is an important regular practice for women to support their blood and lymph circulation and reduce build-up of toxins and hormones in the fatty tissue of the breasts. Massage your breasts daily with a natural cold-pressed vegetable oil, such as coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. You can also add pure essential oils such as rose, jasmine, or clary sage to your massage oil base. I’m not talking about “man-handling” here, I’m talking about gentle self massage in which you get to know what your breasts feel like, notice any changes, and use gentle lymphatic and circulatory movements to enhance health.

Breasts are hot.

It has been well-documented that a woman’s breasts will synchronize with her newborn baby to become the perfect temperature. When a mother and baby are skin-to-skin postpartum, her breasts will naturally adjust their temperature to regulate the baby’s body temperature optimally. A mother of twins will have each of her breasts match the ideal temperature for each one of her twins. A women’s breasts are more reliable and efficient than any baby warmer. So breasts are totally hot – just not in the way people usually talk about.

Breastmilk has a gazillion medicinal uses. 

Breastmilk is pretty much the most amazing food substance available to mankind. Mother’s milk is completely unique and not possible to replicate (despite what you may have heard from the formula companies). It actually changes minute by minute, day to day, to provide exactly the right nourishment and immunities that a baby needs as determined by the breast through receiving information from the baby’s saliva on the areola. There are over 400+ identified nutrients in human breast milk, including probiotics and an abundant source of stem cells. The first milk that comes out is colostrum, which is rich with immune factors and is considered to be “liquid gold”, and extremely important for the life-long health of the baby. Breastmilk is also used by wise mamas for many purposes including putting on diaper rash, earaches, pink eye, sore throats, and many other healing needs. When a women breastfeeds the breastmilk bathes her milk ducts as it passes through to her baby, thus providing increased breast health and preventing breast cancer in direct relation to how long she nurses.

Breasts are energy centers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of health that has been practiced for thousands of years, based upon the movement of energy through the body on the meridians (energy lines) and acupoints (nodes of energy on the meridians). There are six meridians that run through the breast area, and three of them are the Kidney, Liver, and Stomach meridians where most breast lumps and cancer develop. TCM treats breast cancer by addressing the energy stagnation and movement of qi. Acupuncture and TCM are holistic ways to promote breast health and can be used in combination with other health care treatments as well. Massaging the acupressure points along the meridians, or holding these energy points around the breasts, can help with promoting breast and whole body health and vitality. Underwire bras can also interfere with the energy moving through the meridians in the breasts, another reason to let your boobs go free, or invest in a soft supportive natural fiber bra.

Breasts are a lot like canaries.  

You’ve heard about the canary in the coal mine? Miners would take canaries down in the mines with them, because the birds were so sensitive that if the environment was toxic the canaries would die, and then the miners would know to get out of there immediately! Breasts are extremely sensitive, they receive information from the environment and their tissues collect toxins and hormones, like jet fuel and flame retardants. When breastfeeding, the saliva from the baby is absorbed into the areola and the breasts then immediately respond by providing the nutrients and immune factors that the baby needs based upon the breast’s incredibly sensitive receptors. Breast cancer is now the most common form of cancer for women in the US, and it’s not because breasts or our genes are the problem. Our breasts are the canaries letting us know that our environment is toxic and we must make changes in our health, diets, exposure, and detox. Due to the over 70,000 chemicals now used in the US over the last 100 years, we are living in a toxic soup and exposed to chemicals in our air, food, water, homes, cars, clothes, and more. Our breasts are letting us know that we need to create a healthy change for our longevity and the future generations.

Breasts are beautiful. 

Your breasts are perfect for you. All kinds of breasts are beautiful. Breasts change in shape and size over life, and that’s okay. Some men like large breasts, others prefer small breasts, and some like medium sized. Whatever shape or size of your boobs is just right. Love your breasts! They have superpowers, they are intelligent, and they are amazing! In Mongolia, when a baby fusses, everyone lifts up their shirt and shakes their breasts for the baby, and the baby calms down and looks around amazed. Everyone laughs and smiles shaking their boobs, including mom, grandma, and grandpa too! So smile and love your boobs, they are awesome.

Viva La Boobies!

Be well, Kara

via Viva La Boobies! 7 Things to Know About Breasts — Kara Maria Ananda.

ISIS PDF bed-sharing May 2012 FINAL – Up to date Info on Bed Sharing Safety

This information sheet summarizes research-based evidence about the risks and benefits of babies sharing an adult bed with a parent or parents and about babies’ safety.

For more information on this and many other topics, please visit


Many parents bring their baby into their bed to sleep, but for most UK babies this is not where they always or usually sleep. Bed-sharing usually happens for part of the night, or for a couple of nights a week, although some babies sleep all night every night in their mother’s or parents’ bed.

Although many new parents think they will never sleep with their baby, research shows that many do so, for all kinds of reasons. About 50% of UK babies have bed-shared by the time they are 3months old, and on any night of the week a fifth of all babies sleep with a parent. Most of these are babies who are being breastfed, and three quarters (70-80%) of breastfed babies sleep with their mother or parents some of the time in the early months. It is important that ALL parents are informed about bed-sharing and have thought about how they will manage night-time care.

Why do people bed-share?

People bed-share for many reasons, and in many different circumstances. Bed-sharing can happen more — or less — safely. When done accidentally, without thought for babies’ safety,it can be very dangerous. Some babies are also vulnerable due to specific risk factors.

The most common reason for bed-sharing is to breastfeed in the night. Breastfed babies nursefrequently because human milk is easily digested, and they need to do so night and day.

Frequent night-time nursing helps mothers to make sufficient milk. Many breastfeeding mothersfind bed-sharing makes night-time nursing less disruptive after the first few weeks, and motherswho bed-share generally breastfeed for more months than those who do not.

Other people bed-share for bonding, especially if they have to leave their baby during the day forwork; some do so when their baby is ill, to be able to pay close attention. Many families fromaround the world bed-share because this is their normal cultural practice. Sometimes people bed-share because they cannot afford to buy a cot/crib, or because they are sleeping in a temporaryplace without one (e.g. visiting friends/family or on holiday).

Sometimes people fall asleep with their babies accidentally, or without meaning to. This can bevery dangerous, especially if it happens on a couch/sofa or arm-chair, or after consuming alcoholor drugs. Because every night is different, parents should think about their baby’s bed-sharingsafety every time!

Bed-Sharing and Safety

Many studies have shown that falling asleep with a baby — whether planned or by accident — isvery dangerous when the adult has been drinking alcohol, or has consumed drugs (includingmedication that affects awareness during sleep), or when they are on a sofa or arm-chair.


Bed-sharing, SIDS and risk factors
Although some bed-sharing (or sofa-sharing) infant deaths involve accidents relating to unsafe behaviour, others have no explained cause and are called SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome),
also known as ‘cot death’. SIDS deaths happen wherever babies sleep, but studies have shown that some babies are more vulnerable than others.
Several studies around the world found that babies whose deaths were unexplained (SIDS) were more likely to have slept with an adult. More detailed investigations have shown that bed-sharing
SIDS cases usually involve a combination of bed-sharing and other factors. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS wherever a baby sleeps, but the risk is greater still when combined with bed-
sharing. The biggest risk-factor for bed-sharing SIDS is mothers’ smoking in pregnancy, followed by exposure to cigarette smoke after birth. In a large UK study the ratio of odds for SIDS to a
smoker (compared to a non-smoking mother) was 5 to 1. The odds ratio for a bed-sharing smoker was 12 to 1. Avoiding the combination of smoking and bed-sharing therefore reduces the chance of SIDS. Avoiding smoking has the biggest impact.
Other factors that increase SIDS-risk when bed-sharing include infant prematurity, and low birth-weight. There is some discussion about whether bed-sharing with a young infant (under 12 weeks
of age) may increase SIDS risk, but the research evidence is not clear cut. Although it is clear that breastfed babies have a lower risk of SIDS than those who are not breastfed, it is not clear how
the combination of breastfeeding and bed-sharing affect SIDS-risk as many other factors are usually involved.
How bed-sharing works
Adult beds are not designed to keep babies safe. Parents must do this! Look at the bed and where it is: make sure baby can’t fall into gaps between the bed and wall or other furniture. Keepbaby away from any pillows. Remove heavy bedding that might cover the baby. Think about the height of
your bed and whether you have a hard floor in case baby falls.
Studies of breastfeeding mothers and babies who
routinely bed-share show that they automatically sleep
close together, facing one another and waking at the
same time. Mothers place the baby on its back to
sleep, level with their breasts, on the mattress surface (away from pillows). The mother adopts a protective position in the bed, curled around the baby, with her arm above his head and her
knees bent under his feet. This protects the baby from cold, heat, bedding and bed-partners.
One study showed that mothers who did not breastfeed often placed their babies high in the bed, at parents’ face-height, positioned between, or on top of pillows. They did not consistently face the baby or adopt the “protective” sleep position. This suggests that bed-sharing may be less safe for non-breastfeeders, unless the above behaviour can be learned, which is unknown. A three-sided ‘bedside’, or ‘side-car’, crib which attaches to your bed may be a suitable option if you want to be close to your baby, but you have concerns about bed-sharing safety.
Before you bed-share, consider whether
you are happy it is safe for YOUR baby.

via ISIS PDF bed-sharing May 2012 FINAL – ISISPDFbed-sharingMay2012FINAL2.pdf.

Pregnant? Stay out of Nail Salons!

(CBS News) – Citizens, advocacy groups, medical professionals and companies are speaking out after a Calif. state government study found that many of the “non-toxic” nail polishes officials tested contained carcinogens or developmental toxins.

According to the study, out of the 12 nail product brands the Department of Toxic Substance Control tested that claimed they didn’t have one to three of the “toxic trio” of chemicals, only two brands were able to stand by their claims. Some of the whole sample group of 25 brands contained as much as 17.7 percent of toxic materials.

The “toxic trio” is the nickname for dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde, three ingredients that have been known to cause adverse side effects.

“This report shows that these companies are knowingly peddling tons of toxins without even an ounce of scruples,” Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, part of the National Health Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, told HealthPop by email. “Not only are they including dangerous chemicals in their products, but they are outright lying about it. More disturbing is that the cosmetics industry continues to be almost completely unregulated- the FDA still does not have the power it needs to keep consumers and salon workers safe. ”

Calif. report reveals “non-toxic” nail polishes could cause birth defects

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) comes from the family of phthalates, a classification of compounds known to be disrupt function of the endocrine system, Dr. Kenneth R. Spaeth, the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center’s Department of Population Health at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., told HealthPop. Phthalates can alter hormone levels or disrupt the way the body handles its response to hormones. Although studies about the toxin are relatively recent, it has been known to cause birth defects, including neurological and developmental issues in fetuses.

“In a fetus, there’s felt to be greater susceptibility to the effects,” Spaeth said. “Pregnant women would be at particular concern here. Any exposure that they experience is also going to be experienced by the fetus.”

According to Spaeth, toluene is a neurotoxin that can also irritate the upper respiratory system. It has been known to harm the nervous system of people of any age, but it can cross through the placenta and reach the fetus to cause developmental defects as well.

“A lot of the mechanisms that we have in the body to protect us from these toxins are not developed so there’s greater susceptibility because of that and because of their size,” he said.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that is also known to cause respiratory problems and can exacerbate problems in people with asthma and other breathing issues, Spaeth commented.

While he said that the problem could be a concern for people who go to nail salons frequently, it’s more of a bigger problem for people who work with the products. Poor ventilation and improper equipment – like using the wrong masks – can lead to health problems. Spaeth says it’s fairly common to see nail salon workers with breathing problems.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that many nail salon workers are of different ethnicities and may not have a command of the English language warnings. The report found that 59 to 80 percent of nail salon workers in California are of Vietnamese decent, and English was not their primary language.

“Physically, I can tell after eight or ten hours working, the chemicals give you very bad headache and affects you mentally. My eyes itch. My nose itch. But as soon as I walk outside the salon, I feel much better. I hope the state government think about this and make it by law that if you say ‘no’ and you have it, they have to have punishment or penalty,” Tina Bui, who has been a manicurist for 17 years in Marin County, Calif, told the Associated Press.

Spaeth and Yeung said more needs to be done to protect these workers. Spaeth urged that people need to be educated about potential dangers in their native language.

“Immigrants find themselves performing job tasks that are higher risk and that often exposes them to chemicals or hazardous situations because of their inability to understand or speak the language,” he said. “They aren’t always educated about the risk.”

Nail polish company Zoya, which was tested in the study, told HealthPop that not only did they strive to be free of the three chemicals and other toxins. The vegan-friendly brand was one of two brands whose claims that they were “3 free” were substantiated by the study. The polish was developed in 1992 by pianist turned cosmetologist, Zoya Reyzis, and her husband Michael, who had previously worked in the medical field, to be a healthier alternative nail polish.

“Today, Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments remains committed to a proactive approach to developing quality, toxin free products,” a Zoya spokesperson told HealthPop in a statement.

It’s important to note that some of the brands included in the California study may not be considered to be top nail polish companies.

“(The Nail Manufacturers Council) condemns any manufacturer misleading customers about the ingredients in their products,” Myra Irizarry, director of government affairs for the Nail Manufacturers Council, told the Associated Press. “The public should, however, be aware that nearly the entire nail polish industry voluntarily took steps years ago to remove toluene and DBP from their products.”

Popular polish brand OPI told HealthPop that the major salon brands have improved their formulas to get rid of these chemicals. The study determined that although they didn’t label their products as “3 Free,” they were in fact devoid of the toxins.

“The lesson of the study is that consumers should ask for, and use, brands they know and trust,” OPI told HealthPop.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

via Concerned advocates, companies respond to Calif. “toxic” nail polish report – HealthPop – CBS News.

Cambridge Documentary Films | Our Films | BirthMarkings

WATCH A CLIP ONLINE: http://www.cambridgedocumentaryfilms.org/filmsPages/birthmarkings.html

BirthMarkings is a 19 minute documentary about how giving birth transforms our bodies. The film reframes and destabilizes the observer’s reaction to the changes in a woman’s body after she’s given birth. The Film refocuses on the dynamism and lives experiences rather than the commodified image. Women talk with ambivalence, humor and love about the scars, marks and stretched skin that brands them as mothers.

What they say about “BirthMarkings”

“A beautiful and very important film.”

Cornelia vanderZeil, MD, author, Big Beautiful and Pregnant

“Startlingly original…Fantastic to use in women and gender studies.” Robbie Pfeufer Kahn, Professor of Sociology, UVM, author of Bearing Meaning: The Language of Birth

“Understanding and loving our post-birth bodies is an essential part of childbirth education. What our media culture pushes as a problem, This film reframes as a path to appreciation and thankfulness. The film opens our eyes with beauty, grace and profound emotional understanding.”

Judy Norsigian, executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves

Awards and Screenings

Winner of Best Documentary, Ovation Film Festival

Screened at numerous festivals including:

The International Museum of Women

New England Film Festival Online

The LA Short Film Festival

The Real to Reel Film Festival

The Edmonton Film Festival

The Provincetown Film Festival

The Best of Fest Film Festival


The Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Women’s Media Action Film Festival

Community Choice Selection

via Cambridge Documentary Films | Our Films | BirthMarkings.