YoniFest, Aviva Romm? Really?

Yonifest word

You cannot make this stuff up.

Earlier this month Quebec hosted YoniFest. That’s right, YONIFEST!

Apparently this is a festival celebrating vaginas. Let me amend that. It’s a festival fetishizing the role of the vagina in birth. Just in case you thought natural childbirth and homebirth are about creating a meaningful, spiritual experience for birth, a bunch of immature, giggly girls have held a festival to set you straight.

Can you imagine a group of men’s health professionals speaking at WeenieFest or DickFest? Me, neither. But apparently this makes sense to the homebirth crowd.

According to the doula from Doula Sharing:

Last weekend I had the chance to be part of the very first Yonifest! The yonifest is an emerging space, a festival about birth. Around 400 midwives, doulas, mothers and more gathered at a beautiful piece of land in the eastern townships, for 3 amazing and rich days of learning and sharing about the actual issues around birth. we had the chance to see and hear Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent, Kathleen fahy, Joëlle Terrien, Isabelle Brabant, Aviva Romm, Betty-Anne Daviss and many more!

Ahh, yes, a bunch of legends in their own minds. It is horrifying to speculate how many infant deaths they may be indirectly responsible for.

But I digress.

Look at all the fun they had at YoniFest!


You absolutely must check out the picture on the doula’s page. It is a classic example of the fact that homebirth advocacy is for fools.

As far as I can determine, the doula has a knitted uterus on her head (I think that’s supposed to be a cervix on top), an anatomically correct placenta bag, a plastic baby, and a knitted uterus/fallopian tubes/ovaries.

I totally understand why the usual clowns are there: Ina May (“I might want to have a cunt one day and a twat the next”) Gaskin, Michel (I hid during my own child’s birth) Odent, Betty-Anne (bait and switch) Daviss. It’s not as if any real medical professionals want to hear the nonsense that dribbles from their mouths. It’s YoniFest or nothing.

But what’s Aviva Romm’s excuse? She has a real medical education, yet there she is at YoniFest, a festival that couldn’t even manage to use anatomically correct words for genitalia.

Apparently, Romm is not too proud of her attendance. On her Facebook page she alludes to “teaching” in Quebec but I can find no mention of Yonifest itself.

So here’s my question for Aviva:

If you were too embarrassed to even mention YoniFest to your own followers, why did you go?

How can you lend your name to a festival where people are wearing knitted uteri on their heads? Do you actually think that the other folks there are doing anything other than making it all up? Doesn’t it bother you that babies die preventable deaths as a result of this nonsense? Or was it simply another marketing opportunity to shill your books and services?

I’m really curious how you justify this to yourself.

252 Responses to “YoniFest, Aviva Romm? Really?”

  1. Wake up doc
    April 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Hahahaha what a fucking idiot you are “Doc” glad to see that you’re old and on your way out of the birth world soon hopefully! Or maybe one day you’ll simply wake up and realize, oh…. Ya I forgot there are over 7 billion people on the earth, oh yeah and holy shit! A woman birthed every single one of them! Oh yeah and, most without any western medicine bullshit! That will be a beautiful and glorious day. Women are made to give birth, never forget it.

    • canaduck
      March 12, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      What the hell is this comment

  2. Joanne
    October 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. I proudly attended Yonifest. I’d be willing to bet not a single commenter here knows what kind of rigorous standards Quebec midwives must live up to. Does anyone here actually know what kind of education they have? I do. You’re grasping at straws and demonstrating your ignorance if you’re using the presence of photo props to guage the seriousness of this event. There was a photo station with candid props. Nobody walked around with a knitted uterus on their head for goodness sake. And what if someone did? Would it be such a terrible thing to celebrate a uterus at an event about birth? What’s really wrong with that? You take issue with the name of the event; it was an event predominantly about natural childbirth, not specifically about glorifying vaginas. You like anatomical words, but there’s a lot of anatomy involved in birth and the title might have ended up awkwardly long. They gave it a ‘fun’ yet pertinent title. The talk about ‘induction, getting the party started’ was about when it’s appropriate to induce, and the real risk factors involved in unnecessary induction. As a matter of fact, everything discussed at this event was about the safety of mothers and babies, ensuring best outcomes, and preventing complications. Many PROFESSIONALS gathered to share knowledge. Not a single person there advocated for homebirth in every case. There was a strong and consistent emphesis on proper prenatal care. Not a single professionsl at Yonifest expressed any desire to encourage anyone to attempt a homebirth in a high-risk situation.

    • Dr Kitty
      October 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Joanne, just FYI, there are Canadian midwives, OBs and anaesthetists who post here.
      You’d lose your bet.

      • Joanne
        October 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

        Humor me. I’d enjoy losing my bet if it meant anybody bothered to look it up so they could prove they know.

        • Stacy48918
          October 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

          I know one thing – Canadian midwives are better educated than Ina May…but I’m sure you sat and listened to her talk with rapt adoration.

          Did you know a baby died today after an attempted Farm birth? I’m sure Ina will be completely open about what happened….

          • guest
            October 13, 2014 at 12:49 am #

            I’m sure she’ll spew their standard line, “Some babies just aren’t meant to live.” What a disgusting woman..

          • yarnbarf
            October 13, 2014 at 5:30 am #

            How sad.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 3:54 am #

            I feel like you want me to talk about Ina May. I really can’t speak for her. I did hear her speak and it was fascinating, as it would be to hear anyone with as much experience speak. I hadn’t actually heard about this. It’s sad, for sure. There are several midwives at the farm. Was she involved in this particular birth? In any case, there will be an inquest. There always is when a baby dies at a non-hospital birth. I’d hope the midwife/midwives would be forthcoming about it, for the sake of the inquest, but I’m sure the details won’t be spread throughout the media just to satisfy our curiosity. (Privacy and respect for the grieving family.)

          • KarenJJ
            October 14, 2014 at 6:05 am #

            “In any case, there will be an inquest. There always is when a baby dies at a non-hospital birth.”

            Where do you get this information? How do you know? Can you link to the legislation that discusses inquests into infant deaths for out of hospital births for the part of the US where Ms Gaskin lives?

          • Poogles
            October 14, 2014 at 9:59 am #

            ” In any case, there will be an inquest. There always is when a baby dies at a non-hospital birth.”

            No, there is not. Not in the US, not for CPM’s. Many women who’ve lost babies at homebirth due to their midwife’s incompetence have been absolutely unable to find any recourse and the midwife keeps practicing freely. Even the one’s who are “punished” usually receive nothing but a slap on the wrist along with a wink and a nudge from the midwives on the panel. It’s disgusting.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            October 14, 2014 at 10:19 am #

            In any case, there will be an inquest. There always is when a baby dies at a non-hospital birth.

            Interesting. You were the one who started this conversation by claiming that Dr Amy has “no idea what [she] is talking about.”

            What is you basis for the claim that there is always an inquest when a baby dies at a non-hospital birth _in the US_?

          • Dr Kitty
            October 14, 2014 at 10:30 am #

            Really ?
            You think they automatically do coronial inquests for out of hospital stillbirths?

          • Stacy48918
            October 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

            You came here to say “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and it’s clear that YOU have no idea about the realities of homebirth in the United States. I don’t care if you talk about Ina May specifically. I want you to talk about the preventable deaths of babies at the hands of uneducated homebirth midwives. Ina May just happens to be the Grand Poo-Bah of uneducated homebirth midwives. Sure, it’s great that Canadian midwives are better trained. But they still invited Ina May.

            It doesn’t matter if she was involved in this particular birth/death. Being in charge means that you take responsibility for everything that happens in your facility. If a dog dies because my technician misreads my orders and overdoses him, it will be MY license that the owners come after. And it SHOULD be that way. Anything and everything that happens in that hospital is my responsibility. If Ina wants to shirk that off and throw the attending midwife under the bus alone, she’s even more of a coward.

            And I can all but guarantee you that there will be no inquest. Again, your assertion that there will be illustrates your ignorance of American homebirth midwifery.

            You might be worried about unnecessary C-sections/inductions. I’m worried about unnecessary deaths. This baby very likely did not have to die. Almost certainly if his mother had gone to a hospital instead, she’d be holding her beautiful Andrew William right now. Not planning his funeral.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

            So all this is about American midwifery? The whole CANADIAN event and everyone who attended deserves to be mocked and belittled because you believe AMERICAN midwifery sucks? And I suppose the point of this ‘article’ or attack, whatever you call it, was to bring the predominantly CANADIAN attendees of Yonifest over here to debate the virtues of the AMERICAN midwifery system? Boy was she barking up the wrong tree, if that was her goal. I’m so done here.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

            This is about a canadian event that by your own account promoted the same fantasies and half-truths promoted by untrained american midwives.

          • SAM
            October 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

            You came to this blog of your own free will and actually thought you could intelligently argue obstetrical practice with actual practitioners? You, who freely admitted above,”As I am not a midwife, I can’t answer this”.. and..”I have no medical training of any kind”?? Oh my, I think I broke a rib when I fell off the chair from laughing so hard..!!!

          • SAM
            October 15, 2014 at 12:54 am #

            Correction: Instead of “I have no medical training of any kind”, the correct quote should have been, “I’m not a healthcare provider of any kind”.. which is actually worse..

          • KarenJJ
            October 14, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

            The Canadian event organisers hired untrained American Lay Midwives to speak at their event. What could a well-trained Canadian Midwife have learnt from someone that isn’t trained in this area and by virture of having marketed herself well and says nice things that people seem to want to hear and that validate their own thoughts and feelings.

            It’s the choice of choosing image over substance that is so concerning. Good care for women needs substance, not good advertising and feel-good noise. It’s a bit like choosing to get your information on car safety from the used car sales guy that’s a cheerful, friendly bloke that “looks honest” instead of a regulated independent authority like ANCAP.

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 9:26 am #

            “I’m so done here.”
            Of course you’re done. You can’t answer any of our questions with scientific information to back up your assertions and you’re completely unwilling to acknowledge faults in your system’s midwives.

            I’ll ask it again – what do such highly trained midwives want to do with completely untrained midwives like Ina May? Why would they want to associate themselves with people with a neonatal death rate 3-8 times that of their own?

            Flounce away.

        • guest
          October 13, 2014 at 12:32 am #

          I work in BC and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Quebec’s RM education and standards are about the same as BC’s. I do think that RM’s are far better educated than CPM’s and the Canadian model is better than the CPM model in the US. However, I also think RM’s in Canada do not measure up to the education and training of CNM’s in the United States. Having worked with both, my opinion is that CNM’s are far more knowledgeable about Obstetrics than RM’s, primarily due to L&D nursing experience.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 2:39 am #

            I couldn’t say. I’ve never worked with any. I’m not sure what value knowledge of obstetrics gained from L&D experience would have for a Quebec midwife. Of course, all experience gained by attending births is valuable, but they get plently of experience attending births outside of hospital and those births would include all skills necessary for their scope of care. The kind of skills practiced by OBs which could be learned by a midwife observing, often would fall outside of her scope of practice. She wouldn’t be allowed to use certain tools (forceps) or drugs (painkillers) for example. The Quebec model offers enough general information on these topics to allow a midwife plenty of understanding when it comes to judging when they’re needed, but she would never need to know how to use them herself. Same goes for CNMs.

          • fiftyfifty1
            October 14, 2014 at 9:43 am #

            “I’m not sure what value knowledge of obstetrics gained from L&D experience would have for a Quebec midwife”

            ! LOL. You are so ignorant!

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 11:23 am #

            “I couldn’t say. I’ve never worked with any”

            You just proved your ignorance. If you don’t understand the “value knowledge” of L&D experience, you will never get it.

    • fiftyfifty1
      October 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      “and the real risk factors involved in unnecessary induction.”

      What were the risks they talked about?

      • MaineJen
        October 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

        Let me take a wild guess and say that the discussion revolved around MOST inductions being “unnecessary.”

        • Joanne
          October 14, 2014 at 1:23 am #

          Not at all. It was aknowledged that the number of unnecessary inductions in North America has dropped drastically over the past few years. It was also aknowledged that this is due to a greater understanding of the risks involved with induction. You don’t need to poll a wide audience around here to find most people understand that it’s difficult to find an OB who will agree to induce your labor just because you want to have your baby while your mother-in-law is in town, or before labor can spoil your holiday plans. There’s always going to be debate over what ‘necessary’ means, but that decision is ultimately up to a woman and her OB. Reasons can include ‘big baby’, ‘small pelvis’, high blood pressure etc. It’s easy to argue that if left alone, most babies born through induced labor would have been born fine, if not induced. It’s probably true, but the higher the risk, the less chances one should take. If there are medical factors like these to consider, of course some of those mothers and babies wouldn’t have been fine without induction. It’s important to weigh risk when deciding when to intervene. This is why I prefer to include only truly elective inductions in this kind of debate. I’m not qualified to decide what’s ‘medically necessary’ for anyone.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 1:31 am #

            Actually, come to think of it, the speakers tended to stay away from the word ‘unnecessary’ and did favor the word ‘elective’ when discussing this issue. I suspect it was for exactly this reason. It’s almost impossible in some cases, to determine, after the fact, if someone would actually have suffered a negative outcome without an induction.

          • KarenJJ
            October 14, 2014 at 5:19 am #

            But elective is a medical term and doesn’t mean ‘unindicated’. Elective c-section means labour hasn’t started yet, as opposed to ’emergency’, meaning that labour has started and reasons for a c-section emerged during labour.

            I had one friend have an “elective” c-section due to pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks where her health and kidneys were under threat and another friend that had placenta praevia and was having regular bleeds that were starting to get dangerous for the baby. Both of these were “elective” c-sections and not at all “unnecessary”.

            Whereas I had an “emergency” c-section where my baby hadn’t descended even after being in labour for many hours even after my waters broke at home. The monitoring showed that my baby was OK, but there were enough indications that I was more than happy to move on to having my “emergency” c-section – which quite frankly the most relaxed “emergency” I’ve ever seen.

            So people shouldn’t be using “elective” as a substitute term for “maternal request” or “unnecessary”.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            October 14, 2014 at 10:54 am #

            Yes, my SIL had an elective C-section because she was pregnant with twins and baby B was transverse breech across the top of baby A and baby B was also 30% larger than baby A. Definitely not unnecessary.

          • Stacy48918
            October 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

            “Due to a greater understanding of the risks involved with induction”
            You mean like the decreased number of C-sections and increased number of live babies?

            What “risks involved” are you talking about?

      • Stacy48918
        October 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

        I’m sure they left out the reduction in C-sections.

        • Joanne
          October 14, 2014 at 1:07 am #

          Nope. Why would they do that? The reduction in c-sections was pretty universally celebrated. Nobody was trying to hide facts and demonize the medical system. Why is it hard to believe that speakers and attendees of Yonifest enjoy improvements in birth stats regardless of where those births take place?

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 2:52 am #

            She means that elective induction reduces the c-section rate. If you are anti c-section then you need to be pro elective induction.

            It sounds like the presenter was anti both.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 3:39 am #

            Why? I understand that there are patients who demand elective c-sections or elective inductions and there’s a lot of pressure on doctors to ‘deliver’, but there are patients who demand elective limb amputations too, and the code of ethics usually draws a line when it comes to avoiding that kind of damaging intervention. The reductions in both are a signs, not only of doctors reducing the practice of scheduling births for their convenience, but also of doctors telling their patients ‘No.’ I’m probably anti both, but I recognize psychological factors as possible legitimate reasons for induction or c-section. I suppose that would be considered divergent. There are degrees of fear. If a woman is out of her mind with fear over the idea of a vaginal birth, then perhaps a c-section is better for her overall health, despite any physical risks.

          • DaisyGrrl
            October 14, 2014 at 8:27 am #

            There has been quite a bit of recent research that shows an induction at 40-41 weeks has much lower risks than expectant management to 42 weeks. So, if a woman has an induction at 41 weeks, she’ll be far less likely to have a c-section. Additionally, the risks of stillbirth rise precipitously between weeks 40-42. Current evidence suggests there’s no good reason to keep a baby inside the mother past 41 weeks ever.

            My sister recently gave birth under the care of a Canadian midwife (similarly qualified to the Quebec ones). This midwife should have counselled my sister on the risks of going past 41 weeks at the 41 week appointment (it’s part of their standard of practice). Instead, she told her that there was no increased risk of stillbirth until 42 weeks, when the midwife would be legally required to consult with an OB. She also delayed my sister’s epidural request until it was almost to late to get one, and had earlier told her all the big, scary risks of an epidural – many of which simply were not true. This from one of the more highly regarded midwifery practices in the city.

            It’s the philosophy that birth is a natural physiological process that shouldn’t be disturbed until there are signs of an outright crisis staring you in the face that is the problem with midwifery. Yes, birth is a physiological process. But pregnancy and childbirth are also the most dangerous period of a woman’s child-bearing life and deserve to be treated with elevated levels of care and intervention to ensure everyone survives intact.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

            ‘Post-dates’ is an indication of increased risk. That’s a ‘reason.’ Again, we need to define ‘elective.’ I can pull out stories from friends and family too, but those are not statistically significant. There’s no weight to an arguement of ‘It happened to my sister.’ Of course we all know someone who something whatever. We can’t base our opinions on the experiences of those closest to us because it would often create an unscientific and disproportionate response. Midwives aren’t inherently bad because one of them did a wrong thing to your sister. Hospitals aren’t bad because some relative of mine got C Diff for example. We’re not trying to prove that things happen. We know that. That’s why we discuss them. The overall stats speak, and we know natural birth in low-risk situations still beats unnecessary c-section in similar circumstance.

          • Young CC Prof
            October 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

            Actually, elective c-section around 39-40 weeks is slightly better for the baby, slightly more dangerous for the mother, overall about the same.

          • MJ
            October 14, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

            ‘Unscientific and disproportionate response’

            Oh, the irony.

          • DaisyGrrl
            October 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

            Well you’ve been ignoring the comments of Canadian health care practitioners who are directly refuting your points about the training and professionalism of RMs.

            As for your stats, could you please show me them? The stats I’ve seen indicate that for a low-risk pregnancy, the risks are overall about the same.

          • DiomedesV
            October 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

            ” I can pull out stories from friends and family too, but those are not statistically significant”

            In fact, you’ve offered no valid evidence for any of your claims. You are hardly in a position to complain about the anecdotes of others.

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 9:07 am #

            Def. Elective: “Hi you’re 39 weeks, would you like to have this baby tomorrow?”


            Why can’t you do it?

          • fiftyfifty1
            October 14, 2014 at 9:39 am #

            ” but there are patients who demand elective limb amputations too”

            Did you really just compare elective inductions to amputation of healthy limbs?!

            Elective induction IMPROVES outcomes for BOTH mother and baby. How is desiring a lower chance of CS for yourself and decreased risk of stillbirth and NICU stay for your baby anything like Body Dysmorphic Disorder/paraphilia?

          • Poogles
            October 14, 2014 at 9:50 am #

            ” I understand that there are patients who demand elective c-sections or elective inductions and there’s a lot of pressure on doctors to ‘deliver’, but there are patients who demand elective limb amputations too, and the code of ethics usually draws a line when it comes to avoiding that kind of damaging intervention.”

            Please tell me you’re not comparing an elective CS to an elective limb amputation. Not even in the same ballpark when comparing possible complications (damage) or risks.

            “I recognize psychological factors as possible legitimate reasons for induction or c-section. I suppose that would be considered divergent. There are degrees of fear. If a woman is out of her mind with fear over the idea of a vaginal birth, then perhaps a c-section is better for her overall health, despite any physical risks.”

            I wonder if you are aware of how condescending this is? I prefer elective, pre-labor CS for mode of birth; I am not “out of my mind” with fear or anything else, the choice has been made rationally. I have looked at the potential risks of vaginal birth, especially to the baby, and the risks of CS and feel the CS is the safer choice for the baby and safe enough for me.

          • Dr Kitty
            October 14, 2014 at 10:45 am #

            Joanne, reducing the CS and induction rates are only goals if you believe spontaneous onset or labour and vaginal birth are inherently good things.

            Joanne, if we get to a point where the risks of a vaginal birth and a CS are very similar, the costs are very similar and the outcomes are very similar (we’re damn close to that point already BTW), would you still see elective CS as undesirable? If you would, you have to admit that you aren’t basing your belief on science or evidence or risk or anything other than your own opinion that it is better to deliver vaginally after a spontaneous labour. Which is just that, an opinion.

            Induction of labour is safer for the baby that expectant management of post dates pregnancies and and induced post dates pregnancies are more likely to end in VB than spontaneous labours.
            Do you understand that?
            Induction of labour between 40-42 weeks is more likely to end in a live and healthy baby and a vaginal birth than waiting for labour to start naturally.

            Me, I’m glad I had my pre-labour, planned, elective CS, because that meant I didn’t have to deal with midwives who share your ignorant and bigoted views.

            Oh, my elective CS was indicated because I have spina bifida, bits of metal in my spine and pelvis (which are abnormally shaped and sized), and a baby with a high, free head at 39 weeks who was clearly not going to make it into my pelvis, never mind out of it.
            Any subsequent children will also be born by CS, a) because it was such a great experience and I have no desire to swap it for labour and the risks of a VBAC and b) I was diagnosed with endometriosis affecting my cervical canal, with some scarring. My cervix doesn’t dilate when I am not pregnant because of that, and we have no reason to believe it will dilate when I am pregnant either.

            Was my CS necessary? We’ll never know because we don’t have a crystal ball or the ability to look into a parallel universe.
            Was it so unlikely that I would have a safe, easy VB that it wasn’t worth trying to find out? Hell yes!

          • moto_librarian
            October 14, 2014 at 10:51 am #

            Ah yes, yet another supposed “feminist” who actually demeans other women for feeling afraid of childbirth. Given the maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity rates that occur in the absence of modern obstetric care, fear is quite an appropriate response. How nice that you are so very superior and are able to face childbirth with no anxiety.

            And please don’t talk to me about the physical risks of a c-section unless you are willing to discuss the physical risks of vaginal delivery. I had a cervical laceration, 2nd degree tear, and massive pph after my first child was born – a totally “natural” delivery. I now have pelvic floor damage at the age of 36. No one likes to talk about it, because bowel and urinary incontinence are extremely embarrassing, but they are conditions directly correlated with vaginal delivery. Had I know that I would be dealing with these issues, I would absolutely have preferred a c-section.

          • Young CC Prof
            October 14, 2014 at 10:59 am #

            You know, the suffragettes 100 years ago considered access to good care in childbirth to be a vital feminist issue. IMHO, it still is. In the poorest regions, where too many women still lack access, it is a feminist issue. In the wealthier nations, where a bizarre and ahistorical back-to-nature discourse seeks to drive women away from care, it is a feminist issue.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

            I’m sorry for your troubles. A c-section wouldn’t necessarily have saved you the pelvic floor damage. You might have avoided the cervical laceration, but there would definitely have been a cut through your abdomen. (Somewhat larger than a 2nd degree tear.) Cervical lacerations sometimes happen in natural deliveries, but you can’t avoid a cut with a c-section. C-sections always happen in hospitals where there’s a higher risk of secondary infection. Anyone can have a pph.

            It was never my intention to demean anyone. I said I recognize fear of birth (psychological reasons) as a valid reason for a c-section, where there are no physical reasons. I’d say that validates those fears. If you take offense at “psychological reasons” that’s you stigmatizing fear. Why is “feminist” in quotes? Why do you “suppose” I’m a “supposed feminist?” Why do you need to classify me at all unless you’re reaching to fit me into some category of people you’ve already dismissed as wrong?

            I get the feeling you think I’m a homebirth advocate who scoffs at modern medicine, is more terrified of intervention than of death for lack of intervention, and who has the pelvic floor of… I dunno… what has a perfect pelvic floor? I suppose I’ve had dozens of natural births and never suffered any ill effects so now I tell my gullible friends they don’t need prenatal care and they believe me and ‘freebirth’ their babies outside because I’ve reached them first and they don’t seek knowledge? Hint: That’s not me. Anyway, if you can’t discount my arguments based on the merits of your own, is it easier to figure out where I’m coming from personally and rip into that? Would that be valuable to you? Would you like my medical history?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            October 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

            An abdominal incision has nothing to do with the pelvic floor, so a C-section could indeed prevent pelvic floor damage.

          • Dr Kitty
            October 15, 2014 at 4:29 am #

            You don’t know how pelvic floor anatomy works.
            Second degree tears extending from the apex of the vagina and the entire perineum to the anus can be much, much bigger than a CS incision.
            Perineal wounds are not immune to infection, in fact, they are more likely to become infected because they in close contact with faeces and lochia.
            CS incisions can be glued or stapled or have removable sutures, meaning that there is a minimal amount of time with foreign bodies in the skin. Perineal incisions are closed with dissolving sutures, which raise the risk of inflammatory reaction and infection further.

            The number of CS needed to prevent pelvic floor reconstructive surgery is very low.
            Many women who opt for VB now may be signing themselves up for hysterectomy, TVTs, colposuspension, anterior and posterior vaginal wall repairs, gruelling physio or a lifetime of incontinence pads and catheters later.
            OBGYNs know this, because they are the ones doing these later surgeries. Midwives don’t because they rarely see women over 45.

          • moto_librarian
            October 16, 2014 at 10:15 am #

            Well, a controlled abdominal incision doesn’t typically cause you to bleed to death. And that is what was happening to me. It is true that pregnancy is a factor in urinary incontinence, but bowel incontinence and prolapse are directly caused by vaginal delivery. Do you really not see how unbelievably insulting it is to here someone like you act like a c-section would still have been worse than what I went through? Are you truly that clueless?

          • Amazed
            October 14, 2014 at 11:08 am #

            Elective limb amputation? Are you crazy or just incredibly dumb? But what you lack in respect to other people and their choices you certainly make up for with arrogance! Out of her mind with fear, my ass.

            Maybe if a woman is so small, insignificant and unachieved where things demanding brains and will are concerned that she needs to prove to herself how brave she is by not fearing the thing women of all ages save our technological one had dreaded overall, then perhaps letting her body do the work that doesn’t demand any brains or willpower and then letting her do the bragging is better.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

            What? Are you saying nobody chooses an elective c-section because the idea of vaginal birth scares them? At least it’s a reason, if not a great one. Is planning the birth around a cool calendar date a better reason? I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt here and assume there were ‘reasons’ for elective inductions and c-sections.

          • October 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

            Lots of us who have had c sections get a lot of harassment and abuse from people using g the exact same talking points you have. If it weren’t for this kind of rhetoric, maybe I would have been able to just choose the damn section in the first place instead of all this unneeded fear. Certainly my first years of motherhood would have been greatly improved had my very pro-homebirth “friends” not ostracised me for not kowtowing to the magickal mystical yoni birth.

          • Amazed
            October 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

            Why? Are you saying nobody chooses vaginal birth to feel superior for once in her tiny underaccomplished life? You see, it goes both ways.

            The irony is, the tiny minority of women who actually choose c-section just because they want to don’t give a damn about your condescention. It’s the other women, those who choose “elective” c-section to avoid an emergency one who are more likely to be hurt and put down by attitude such as yours. But it’s so kind of you to give the benefit of doubt, Saint Joanne of Birth. I am not giving it to you.

          • KarenJJ
            October 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

            Why are you trying to second guess other women here? The risks and benefits need to be based on good information (“cascade of interventions” and “cervix as a sphincter” is NOT good information) and quite frankly a woman can then make up her own mind. Why other women, like yourself, are trying to manage or shame other women about their own medical decision making, or limit the options available to them I’ve no idea. Baby has to come out. Woman has bodily autonomy and can make decisions, woman has a right to medical care and correct information. Should be that damn simple, shouldn’t it?

          • Anonymous
            October 15, 2014 at 7:27 am #

            Um, being scared of vaginal birth is a fabulous reason to choose a section.

          • Roadstergal
            October 14, 2014 at 11:19 am #

            Why are you “out of your mind with fear over the idea” of a CS, Joanne? To the point where you compare it, in a mind-bogglingly irrational way, with limb amputation?

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

            That’s a fun conclusion to draw, but it’s incorrect. I was trying to give an example of a situation where a surgery is wanted by a patient and it’s obviously not needed. I was trying to illustrate that in such a case, a doctor would never cut off a healthy leg and justify it by saying ‘It’s what the patient wanted.’ They’d say no.

          • Roadstergal
            October 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

            No, you gave an example of a surgery that is actively harmful, and compared it with a surgery that has a good safety profile and gets to the desired outcome – mom + baby. Because you think it’s not ‘needed.’ Well, it all depends on how you define ‘need.’ I didn’t ‘need’ to have my most recent surgery – I would have lived without it. I would have lived with a mis-shapen shoulder and a longer and more painful recovery, but I would have lived. And yet, my doctor did not say that the surgery was not needed – she said it was an option, presented me with the risks and benefits of doing it versus not doing it, and let me decide. If I were terrified of surgery, I would have had the option to skip it, and the support to heal without it. I’m glad I went the route I did.

            So if a woman looks at the risk to her continence and sexual function for the future, the risk tradeoffs for her and the baby, and the convenience of having a delivery on a day when she knows she has help in town for her recovery, and her partner can take a day off, and she decides after reviewing the total risk/benefit profile that a C-section is the option for her – a doctor agreeing that this is a reasonable plan and doing the procedure might as well have lopped off a limb? That she should instead tell the woman no, she does not have the right to that option?

            Again, why are you so terrified of surgery? Not-even-under-general-anesthesia surgery?

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

            Why would I have to be terrified of surgery to respect it as something that should be done when it’s statistically going to offer the best outcome, and only then? I’m not terrified of surgery. It makes me nervous, but that’s because I understand risks. I still have surgery when it’s the best option. Maybe a c-section seems like a good option in the example you give, but what about when the hospital she has her elective c-section in, won’t let her have a vaginal birth next time, even though she then believes it’s the best option for her, because they don’t do VBACs? Say she doesn’t have the same support system available for a second post-c-section recovery?

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

            If a hospital doesn’t do VBACs it’s because they don’t meet the criteria for a safe one.

            If the woman believes that a VBAC is the right option for her then she needs to go to a facility that can provide them.

            Post c-section recovery is not necessarily more difficult than post vaginal delivery recovery. Many women report that recovering from a c-section is easier.

          • Roadstergal
            October 14, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

            “but what about when the hospital she has her elective c-section in, won’t let her have a vaginal birth next time, even though she then believes it’s the best option for her, because they don’t do VBACs?”

            Then she can find a hospital that is equipped to handle VBACs. It is obviously easier to find the closer to a major population center you are, but that’s the nature of all specialty health care.

            “Say she doesn’t have the same support system available for a second post-c-section recovery?”

            Say she has major tearing during her vaginal delivery that severely limits her mobility, and does not have the support system available? Post-delivery support is definitely a place where the US could improve a lot, but it has nothing to do with method of delivery.

          • Melissa
            October 15, 2014 at 4:26 am #

            Part of any informed consent would point out that one of the downsides of c-sections is that vaginal births might not be possible in the future. My sister is currently opting for an elective c-section. Why? Because she is a single mother to a 5 year old and she doesn’t have a great deal of support where she lives. She wants to be able to schedule the c-section so that she can have our mother come out to help her. She knows that the recovery for c-section is likely to be longer, but she would rather be able to schedule that recovery than to just wait and see what happens in vaginal delivery (she is also extremely petite, not even 5 feet tall, and had bad tearing during her first birth which she wants to avoid.)

            She is fine with the longer healing time and slightly higher risks of complications for herself in order to have the psychological comfort of having a plan in place. What is wrong with this? Why is giving birth vaginally more important than her psychological and comfort? If there is true informed consent with accurate data why not trust that women will make the choices that are best for them instead of assuming that one style of birth is the best for everyone?

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 8:45 am #

            And say she tries for a VBAC *in a hospital* and her uterus ruptures and her baby has to be life-flighted to the bigger NICU so she can undergo cooling and she has seizures for a week and she may never walk/talk/ride a bike or live a normal life.

            Happened to my friend this summer.

            Guarantee you she’d have preferred a VBAC ban and a non-brain damaged baby.

          • DaisyGrrl
            October 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

            Just like plastic surgeons say no to breast augmentation, tummy tucks, facelifts and nose jobs? Because the overwhelming majority of those surgical procedures are “obviously not needed.” And yet they happen…

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

            Psychological reasons. Some people need plastic surgery to function better in their lives. It doesn’t mean people don’t debate the ethical validity of that choice. They certainly do. And it’s no secret; there’s a lot of money in the plastic surgery industry. It’s still difficult to find a plastic surgeon to give you a third breast even if you REALLY want it. (like the recent sensational story) A more fitting example would be a patient wanting their stool surgically removed. Under normal circumstances, we don’t ‘elect’ to do that. There would have to be something impeding its normal path. I doubt many patients ask for this, and of course the risks of ‘normal’ defecation are much less risky than surgical removal. It’s not a perfect example, but it stands that c-section is more risky than a ‘normal’ vaginal delivery unless there are indications that a vaginal delivery would be complicated.

          • DaisyGrrl
            October 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

            Ah, so now you’re comparing a baby to poop. Nice.

            To address your comment about c-sections, yes there are risks. These risks are born overwhelmingly by the mother. A maternal request c-section (your “unnecessary” c-section) is as safe or safer than vaginal birth for a baby (all other things being equal). Generally, the trade-off in risk between mother and baby works so that a c-section without medical indication is about as risky as a vaginal birth.

            Now, once medical indications start to come into play, even a slight increase of risk to the baby will dramatically tip the balance in favour of c-section. That is why most breech babies and twins are born via elective c-section (remember, elective means scheduled to happen before labour starts).

            During labour, complications will also tip the balance of risk in favour of c-section. Non-reassuring heart rate? The baby is experiencing distress and depending on the circumstances, the best thing is c-section. The mother has been in labour and/or pushing for longer than deemed safe? Her risk of postpartum hemorrhage is rising the longer she keeps at it. So risks for mother and baby are starting to mount.

            The only kind of c-section that many natural birth advocates seem to accept is the stat c-section. That’s the one where mother and/or baby are actively in the process of dying and the operation has to happen immediately.

            I’m not saying that’s your opinion, but it seems that you have decided that there is an epidemic of unnecessary c-sections happening in Canada. This is simply untrue. It is extremely difficult to obtain a c-section in most provinces without a medical indication for one. If Quebec’s rates are in line with the rest of the country, then it’s not happening in that province either.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

            More information on how c-section is riskier than vaginal delivery, please.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

            Which is exactly why it’s completely different from a c-section.

            There are two ways to get a baby from the inside to the outside of a person. A vaginal delivery, which is not always possible and has risks for mother and baby. And a c-section, which has different risks for the mother, is safer for the baby, but which will limit family size to four more births. Today, a c-section is safe and a vaginal delivery is usually safe. Both are good ways to achieve the same end.

            Given that the baby needs to get from inside to outside somehow, the way it happens is what is up for discussion. If a woman wants a c-section, there is not usually a medical reason not to.

            A doctor will not perform a c-section on a non-pregnant woman just for fun, just as they will not amputate a healthy limb just for fun.

          • Stacy48918
            October 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

            Because they support the American homebirth system that has resulted in WORSENING birth stats.

      • Joanne
        October 14, 2014 at 1:01 am #

        Is this the question I haven’t answered? I’m being repeatedly asked to answer a question. If this is that question, I’ll do my best. Not calling into question, medically necessary inductions; truly elective inductions run the risk of producing premature babies with immature lungs etc., due to mistaken dates. Ultrasound helps to accurately date a pregnancy, but it’s most accurate when performed early in the pregancy, so an ultrasound to ensure fetal maturity before an elective induction isn’t always assurance enough that the baby is mature enough to be born. Some pf the discussion revolved around what’s commonly referred to as the ‘cascade of intervention.’ There’s the consideration of the unprepared and uncooperative cervix. Sometimes induction doesn’t work. The cervix refuses to respond and open sufficiently to allow the baby to pass. Eventually the fetus becomes distressed from the stress of a long induction and an otherwise unnecessary c-section becomes necessary. Induction usually means regular cervical checks, combined with the early breaking of waters. This raises the chances of infection, especially as time passes with slow progression and often leads to (again) an otherwise unnecessary c-section. Antibiotics come with risks (however small.) Obviously c-sections, despite being statistically quite safe, do have risks and should be avoided if possible. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more Yonifest attendees here to pass on this info. I’m underqualified to explain all of this and there were certainly more qualified people present. Of course, Quebec is mostly a French speaking province too, so I’m what you get for English debate. Just know that they also outlined the many serious and important reasons why induction is sometimes the best choice and positively necessary to ensure best outcome. They weren’t at all sketchy in defining what ‘elective’ really means.

        • fiftyfifty1
          October 14, 2014 at 8:55 am #

          That is what I was worried about. A lot of misinformation disguised by half truths.

          Yes, it would be bad to do a purely elective induction if the baby’s due date is unknown or based only on a 3rd trimester US. That’s why OBs don’t do that! To imply that they ever would is a smear campaign. A first trimester dating ultrasound, on the other hand, is extremely accurate and that’s why it is standard of care.

          And then they go on to talk about all the risks of induction and imply that if you choose elective induction you are increasing risks to yourself and baby, when it turns out that the exact opposite is true. Read this for accurate information:


        • KarenJJ
          October 14, 2014 at 9:02 am #

          All that sounded deeply interesting and informative back when I was attending hypnobirthing. Thankfully the reality is much more interesting. Take a read around the site and see what you think. There are also some fantastic blogs on the blog roll. I have a soft spot for Jeevan’s blog “The Learner” for what birth can look like without modern resources of developed countries and Doula Dani’s blog “what ifs and fears are welcome”.

        • Stacy48918
          October 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

          Joanne, can you provide me with a link to a scholarly paper or study about the “cascade of interventions”? I’ve heard so much about it over the years, but never actually read anything that documents it as being any more real than the bogeyman.

          Now, I can provide you with a study documenting that early epidurals (<4cm) do not increase the risk of C-section and another showing that elective induction (39-40 weeks) actually decreases the risk of C-section. Which interventions are you talking about if not epidurals and induction?

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

            I doubt any scholarly paper would call it ‘cascade of interventions.’ I gave the example of artificial rupture of membranes. In many cases, that’s all it takes to kick an induction up and speed progress, but it also starts the clock. How long can we wait around for progress with ruptured membranes? The answer to this question varies by hospital policy, and from one doctor to the next. If the patient does contract an infection, she will need antibiotics and so might her baby. If she has an infection, contractions might slow and become less effective. When she ultimately can’t deliver her baby vaginally because of the infection she caught through her ruptured membranes, she’ll have a c-section. Does this not happen? We don’t need to call it a ‘cascade of interventions.’ Whatever you call it, the effects are well documented. Are you trying to say inductions don’t have risks? ‘Cascade of interventions’ is just a way of saying one thing can lead to another. If there are risks and sometimes risks become realities, then it follows that realities lead to a need for intervention. That’s reality. Why pick apart the choice of terms? Would it be better to use symbols like arrows to illustrate how, say, a drug = an allergic reaction = the use of another drug to suppress the reaction = unconciousness = c-section? These progressions are well documented. I think doctors don’t need a scholarly paper called “Cascade of Interventions” to understand what it means. The suggestion is if you can avoid the first intervention, its risks cannot become your realities. It’s never a good idea to opt to take your chances with a high-risk situation just to avoid a simple intervention with minimal risk though. I don’t think we really disagree on this. Of course it’s offensive if I tell an OB that he or she doesn’t know when to call an induction or c-section. That’s why it’s so important to define ‘elective.’

          • MJ
            October 14, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

            Actually, those progressions are not well documented. I believe they’re largely mythical. However I am willing to revise my position if you can provide scientific studies that document them. Alternatively you could review the many articles on this site that reference studies showing that the cascade of interventions does not, in fact, exist.

          • SAM
            October 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

            Wow, all this from someone who has “no medical training of any kind”.. and of course a lot of it is crap.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            October 15, 2014 at 9:30 am #

            Wow, all this from someone who has “no medical training of any kind”.. and of course a lot of it is crap.

            And she was the one who started the discussion with “you have no idea what you are talking about…”

          • SAM
            October 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm #


          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 8:42 am #

            Ok then, forget the terminology. And forget the fact that you are using it without knowing how to scientifically document it’s existence, just anecdotally…

            Show me a paper where artificial rupture of membrane increases the risk of C-section. That’s your example. Would be a very easy paper to design. It should be out there.

            After all, as I said, there are papers that document that elective induction (39/40 weeks) reduces C-sections and early epidurals (<4cm) do not affect the C-section rate. Maybe it's just the AROM that's so awful.

        • SAM
          October 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

          Please define exactly what you mean by “truly elective” inductions. Are you talking about inductions done for absolutely no medical reason at all, ie social inductions? Because if you are, they are very rare these days. In the US, most insurance companies will not cover them without meeting a very narrow set of criteria,(I was a case manager in the US and reviewed those records) and from what I’ve experienced in Canada, I know it’s rarely done without a medical reason unless there are extenuating circumstances.

    • DaisyGrrl
      October 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

      Whatever the standards are for Quebec midwives, hundreds of women from Gatineau cross the river to give birth in Ottawa every year. Heck, most of the people I know in Gatineau will do whatever they can to get healthcare in Ottawa rather than deal with the circus that is healthcare in Quebec these days.

    • Stacy48918
      October 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      “Many PROFESSIONALS gathered to share knowledge”
      How many OBs? How many primarily hospital providers?

      • Joanne
        October 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

        What does it matter? Quebec’s midwives are primary care providers, educated in the same universities as ‘primary hospital providers.’ How does the building they practice in influence the quality of their work or the value of their knowledge?

        • Stacy48918
          October 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

          Answer my questions first. Nice dodge.

        • AlisonCummins
          October 13, 2014 at 12:54 am #

          If you work in a hospital you are part of a team, you have the opportunity to learn from others — other midwives, nurses and OBs — you are supervised, insured and your scope of practice is limited. Anyone in any profession benefits from the opportunity to learn from others.

          So yeah, answer Stacy48918’s question.

          • Joanne
            October 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

            More proof you have no idea what you’re talking about. Midwives here work in teams. They are covered by and governed under the same public health system as all other medical care. They work with OBs, refer patients fir lab work and ultrasounds at the hospital,and they know when to transfer care to an OB. You seem to be under the impression that they work privately and all on their own. That simply isn’t true.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

            So you work out of a birthing centre with multiple midwives present at any given time, with an OB on staff and present at all times, and labouring women are booked in at the adjacent hospital when they arrive at the birthing centre just in case they need to be transferred.

            Given that is the case, the OBs staffing your birthing centre and the L&D hospital nurses you work with very much wanted to attend the conference and were there in large numbers. Right?

            , the.

            If you know when to transfer care to an OB, you either do not accept first-time mothers or you refer 40% of them to an OB. Women who have already given birth uneventfully with no complications you only refer to an OB 15% of the time. Correct?

          • AlisonCummins
            October 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

            … and of course if you attend homebirths alone, then you miss the professional learning opportunities that you would be getting in a hospital setting, so you are very excited about obstetrics conferences and attend all you can.

            As I said to someone on another thread, “you’d learn more if you’d only answer questions.” He assumed I’d made a mistake and was telling him to ask questions. But no, I really meant answer.

          • Stacy48918
            October 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

            Forget answer, if they’d even CONSIDER the answers that would be a good start.

            But I guess when you “don’t need your whole philosophy called into question” you avoid even thinking about the question or the answer in the first place. It’s easier to just spout the party line.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 12:26 am #

            Midwives here don’t attend homebirths alone. There’s a primary who attends most of the labor process, and a second is always called in for the birth. Of course it occasionally happens that labor progresses quickly and the second midwife doesn’t arrive in time. It also happens in hospital births that the OB doesn’t arrive on the maternity floor fast enough and babies are delivered with only a nurse present. Here, if a patient needs to transfer to hospital the midwife in charge accompanies her and remains in charge of her care until she’s transferred to the care of an OB, then the midwife will often choose to accompany the patient, observe, and act as a support person for the remainder of the process. Best of both worlds in an un-ideal situation. I think most midwives (and OBs) here understand that both care models have their place, and they can’t best serve the patients without a sort of respect and partenership. Some people NEED an OB. Midwives have to be comfortably able to communicate important information when transferring patients, and OBs need to be able to trust in the quality of that information, and quickly gather it up in order to best serve a patient in distress. If there’s hostility there, it’s the mothers and babies who ultimately suffer.

          • SAM
            October 14, 2014 at 1:39 am #

            From my experience in the Canadian system, RM’s are better educated than CPM’s and there are strict guidelines for practice, so patients are transferred to the hospital more quickly, and in most cases that I’ve seen, before things have deteriorated. However, I’ve seen a fair amount of friction between OB’s and RM’s, so it does occur. For the most part, there is respect and collaboration but not always.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 1:43 am #

            As I am not a midwife, I can’t answer this. This question doesn’t apply to me. I can say that I don’t see why one would presume all birthing centers should be adjacent to hospitals any more than all hospitals that do births should be adjacent to a children’s hospital with a state-of-the-art NICU. It’s not economical, and it would limit the reach of care if services were overly concentrated. If a woman needs to transfer, occasionally she may not make it in time. Same goes for the baby needing to transfer to a state-of-the-art NICU. It doesn’t make sense to position firefighters at the ready, next to every campfire, even if campfires are notorious for accidental spread.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

            So answer Stacy48918’s question. It’s not hard.

          • Stacy48918
            October 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

            Well midwives here DON’T. Especially precious little Ina May. So you don’t support her work at the Farm, right? Where a baby died at the hands of a lay midwife yesterday?

            You oppose the majority of CPM midwifery in the United States? Because very rare is the CPM that practices anything like what you described.

          • Joanne
            October 13, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

            Honestly, I’m extremely grateful to live here in Quebec where midwives are so highly regulated. In Canada, midwifery is highly regulated everywhere, though standards do vary from province to province. A person can’t just call themself a midwife here without a university degree. The quality of service is quite consistent. The US doesn’t have that assurance. I’m happy that there’s a structure in place here. I fully agree that the US has a problem of inconsistency when it comes to midwifery standards. I think the biggest problem with the US system is the inability of the general public to understand the differences in qualifications and credentials of the people who call themselves ‘midwife.’ I don’t know enough about the different classifications of US midwives specifically, to pass judgement, but it’s my understanding that if one is seeking the care of a midwife in the US, it’s important to do research and choose wisely. Quebec has some of the highest standards of midwifery care in the world. You’re all entitled to your opinions about the name of the event but I don’t think you can judge it by it’s name. I don’t understand why it’s such a threat to OBs when people get together and talk about natural, healthy birth. Why do people assume midwives circle-up and bash OBs? There were a lot of lectures at Yonifest, and I certainly couldn’t attend them all simultaneously, but the ones I did attend; there was a great deal of respect and gratitude expressed for OBs, and the life-saving work that they do. Why can’t there be the same respect here, for the amazing, professional midwives of Quebec? An OB is a specialist. If a pregnancy is properly monitored and all signs point to a healthy progression, why is it necessary to proceed as though there’s some pathology?

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 12:38 am #

            The US does have two classes of midwives and there are many who don’t understand the difference when they seek care from the non nurse midwives.

            I don’t think training is the problem so much in Canada, it’s the the ideology. You see it in the comments student midwives in the UK leave on the birth boards, these women have an education and training that include when interventions are necessary and they are choosing to treat women like wimps if they would like adequate pain relief in labor. Maternal request c-sections are difficult to get too. It’s all about “natural birth” and many women have no desire to have one.

          • Stacy48918
            October 14, 2014 at 8:47 am #

            “Why do people assume midwives circle-up and bash OBs?”
            Because they do. You did. “Unnecessary inductions” after all. YOU know better than the OBs treating women.

            The mentality that “pregnancy is not a disease” often leads to a LACK of proper monitoring because it’s “natural” and we “trust birth”. So warning signs are overlooked and solutions/treatments avoided because we don’t want any “unnecessary interventions”. And then babies are injured and die.

            Of COURSE the midwives “respect” the OBs. They have to. They need to be able to come screaming into the ER with an absolute cluster that could have been avoided with routine testing, monitoring and intervention and have him or her save the day. Homebirth midwives LOVE OBs because they have to clean up their messes.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

            Clearly you haven’t read any of my other comments. You’re comparing two very different systems of midwifery care. There’s no lack of testing and monitoring here. Midwives here aren’t throwing caution to the wind and planning homebirths without assuring a patient’s normal health before prceeding. I don’t doubt that this type of thing happens in the US, but this article was about Yonifest. Yes, there were speakers from the US, but the event was mostly planned by, and attended by Quebec midwives and your statements simply don’t apply here.

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

            You are wrong about that. I work in Canada and I’ve seen more than a few home birth midwife “messes” come in that OB’s had to clean up. Yes, the systems are different, and midwives here are better trained and educated than CPMs in the US but there are still issues.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

            If Quebec midwives are so different from American CPMs, they wouldn’t have invited American CPMs to speak.

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 8:38 am #

            Why do such highly trained midwives hold such poorly trained midwives in such reverence?

            Why can’t such highly trained midwives use proper anatomic terms?

            Why do such highly trained midwives find pictures like the one above entertaining?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            October 15, 2014 at 9:32 am #

            Why? Idealogy!

        • Stacy48918
          October 13, 2014 at 2:28 am #

          To answer your questions…since you likely won’t answer mine…

          When I go to conferences all levels of the care team are invited and typically present. Sure most of us are veterinarians, but there are sessions for technicians/nurses/assistants and practice managers as well. And technicians and PMs are welcome in the veterinary sessions and vice versa. Why? Because we are all a part of the same care team with the same goals – treating illness, reducing suffering, helping people and their animals.

          If you are going to conferences and an entire segment of people involved in the same “field” are absent, you really need to ask yourself why.

          • guest
            October 13, 2014 at 10:44 am #

            The rest of the team knew this “conference” was a joke..

          • Joanne
            October 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

            OR maybe they didn’t need their whole philosophy called into question, likecAviva Romm and Michel Odent 😉

          • Stacy48918
            October 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

            I wonder how often Aviva Romm and Michel Odent attend ACOG meetings.

          • Joanne
            October 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

            How many have I been to?! I’m not a healthcare provider of any kind. I attended Yonifest as an interested member of the general public. I don’t travel around to events about birth. (I don’t make ridiculous presumptions about their content without having attended them either.)

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

            Anyone can read what the ridiculous content is, it’s posted online.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 2:15 am #

            Well, I have to look them up then 😀

          • Stacy48918
            October 14, 2014 at 8:45 am #

            Ah, so this wasn’t a MEDICAL event. It’s a PHILOSOPHICAL, fun FESTIVAL.

            Maybe that’s why real MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS didn’t attend.

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

            They did, but you’d disregarded any professional who went. You’ve decided that their doctorates don’t matter anymore because their opinions differ from yours. That’s pretty basic.

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

            A doctorate in what?

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

            If you call Aviva Romm and Ina May Gaskin “professionals”. I sure don’t and any *real* health care professional wouldn’t either.

          • KarenJJ
            October 14, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

            Well, even with their doctorates their arguments are not very convincing. Also a hint – doctorates are a dime a dozen around here 🙂 and nobody’s whipped theirs out yet to convince you to their argument. So readers here are not overly impressed by their doctorates as much as the information they are giving and most of it seems to be following the normal run of the mill information we’ve seen before. Information that is either not backed up by science, or out of date and still circulating amongst midwives on the internet because they don’t always keep their skills up to date (or don’t care to due to ideological reasons).

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 9:05 am #

            Having a doctorate doesn’t idiot-proof someone.

            “The Amazing Dr. Pol” is a dangerous backwoods malpracticing idiot. I wouldn’t go to any seminar where he was talking, even if 100% of my clientele wanted me to.

          • Dr Kitty
            October 15, 2014 at 9:32 am #

            Drs went to med school.
            Which means, usually, that someone, somewhere will recall the world expert in such-and-such as the person in their class who didn’t know how to make a hard boiled egg, or who thought babies were like kittens and was surprised that newborns could open their eyes, or who thought that women really did have more ribs than men, or who tried to clean their toilet with a mixture of coca cola and toothpaste, or who set fire to their kitchen when they tried to dry clothes in the microwave.

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 10:00 am #

            Yes, but I actually meant idiocy, of the dangerous kind.

            Dr. Pol lost his malpractice suit for, of all things, mismanaging a dystocia that resulted in a litter of dead pups.

            Why on earth that man is on TV is beyond me. He’s a dangerous quack.

          • SAM
            October 15, 2014 at 11:47 am #

            I wondered about him too and I’m not a vet. I started questioning when he did some sort of surgery on a dog in an exam room with no sterile set up of any kind. The dog was obviously sedated, but not intubated, and no one was even monitoring the animal. Maybe I’m wrong but I thought when animals have surgery, even minor surgery, they’re intubated and it’s done in an OR, like humans.

          • Stacy48918
            October 15, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

            Unfortunately there are still vets that practice like that – not intubating pets for surgery…and worse. It’s just awful that THAT’s the poster child that Nat Geo decided to put on TV. It give legitimacy to his horrible ways of practice and reinforces in the general public’s mind that *I* am price gouging them and running unnecessary tests when I actually want to practice good medicine.

            The veterinary community (broadly speaking) can’t stand the guy.

          • guest
            October 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

            I don’t understand it either. You would think Nat Geo would at least research these people before they put them on TV! I don’t feel like the majority of vets price gouge although I know a lot of people do. It’s a shame, because you have to get through four years vet school like MDs do and isn’t pre-vet basically the same curriculum as pre-med? Plus you have to know all the particulars about different species, not just one- humans. And vets make a lot less money so I don’t begrudge the fees. I feel like I’ve been very lucky to have had excellent vets take care of my pets.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            October 15, 2014 at 9:28 am #

            Well I have a doctorate. Do you think that doesn’t matter because my opinion is different from theirs?

          • doulabee
            April 26, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

            No, it wasn’t a medical event, it was about BIRTH, a natural process that only sometimes requires medical intervention. Homebirth midwives consult with OBs, but they don’t work WITH them. Different scopes of practice.

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

            Interesting. You are not a healthcare provider of any kind, yet here you are discussing the medical indications for inductions and c/sections?????

        • DaisyGrrl
          October 14, 2014 at 9:04 am #

          Quebec midwives are educated only at the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières. That university does educate nurses (and chiropractors and podiatrists) but does NOT have a medical school. I’m mentioning this because often times people make the argument that midwives have training that is like a doctor’s but is more focused on childbirth. The comparable hospital worker to a midwife is an OB (only they have a much larger scope of practice, obviously). If the midwives receive no training that is in anyway comparable, even at a basic level, then one has to question the training they receive.

    • Bombshellrisa
      October 13, 2014 at 1:18 am #

      “There’s a lot of anatomy involved with birth” and one of those things is NOT usually referred to as a “yoni”.
      Nobody has to advocate for homebirth when everyone is throwing their hands up and squealing about risks of unnecessary inductions and c-sections. Can’t get those at home.

      • Guest
        October 14, 2014 at 1:51 am #

        I don’t understand what you’re getting at here. Do you mean that by advocating for the avoidance of unnecessary inductions and c-sections, one would be guiding people to conclude that homebirth is the answer, without even suggesting it, since people would conclude they could only be spared these interventions at home? That doesn’t seem logical.

        • Bombshellrisa
          October 14, 2014 at 2:11 am #

          A lot of people hear how high the c-section rate is and how unnecessary procedures are done by OBs. So they seek non OB care, meet midwives who mention their C-section rate is low and they believe birth is a natural process. If these people were logical, they wouldn’t be reasoning that “the hospital is only 10 minutes away” in the first place.

        • Stacy48918
          October 14, 2014 at 8:44 am #

          It’s not logical – That the ONLY way to avoid induction and C-sections is to be at home…

          But it’s exactly how these people think. .

          • Joanne
            October 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

            What people? I don’t think that. Nobody thinks that. Who doesn’t know someone who went into labor and had a baby come out of their vagina at the hospital? Ridiculous.

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

            They know these people. But they will argue that they also know people who have gone into the hospital and had Pitocin and c-sections unnecessarily. They don’t want to be one of those people and since they also believe that birth is natural and safe, they would rather be at home unless there is an emergency.

  3. CanDoc
    August 12, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Yep, there’s Aviva, teaching “Induction: Should we get the party started?”, “Conscious Preconception: As upstream as we get”, “Prenatal Nutrition”, and “Design your birth: fear, insight and outcomes”.

  4. Sue
    August 8, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    I’ve heard of idiots being described as ”d-heads”. Is there any conventional epithet for a v-head?

  5. Sara
    August 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    This just reminds me of a ripoff of Mardi Gras. The Bearded Oysters, Camel Toe Steppers, and friends. Except the parade clubs aren’t intent on endangering women and babies.

  6. The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
    August 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    OK, something seems to be missing in this discussion of the Yoni-Fest –

    Were there cupcakes?

    • sdsures
      August 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      Oh, I DO hope so!!!!

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        August 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

        Even these?


        • sdsures
          August 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

          Those are the ones. Looks like more than one of em has a yeast infection. I applaud the icing artist, because those are so intricate…but they are at the same time really, REALLY gross. You think someone paid an especially high price to get those made?

          Sigh, I miss ye olde tymes when a cupcake was just a cupcake.

  7. sdsures
    August 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    As insane as this is, could this be a new niche for my knitting business?

    • sdsures
      August 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      I also wonder how the fabrics that are used in those listings do not slip. Anybody know?

  8. MichelleJo
    August 7, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    This is just so sad.

    • sdsures
      August 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      Maybe they can’t see themselves.

  9. MS
    August 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    How embarrassing. What a disgusting display in unprofessional behavior. And these people expect to be taken seriously?!? Giving birth is not a joke. Being a legitimate health care provider is not a hobby, and real professionals certainly don’t prance around in ludicrous costumes like they were in a circus. These people have lost their damn minds.

    I’m with everyone else–if my OB had attended anything as ridiculous as this, he would no longer be my OB. I expect my healthcare professionals to act with a little dignity.

    • sdsures
      August 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Aren’t doctors supposed to attend things like *medical* seminars to, y’know, improve their skills in practicing REAL medicine? Something to do with keeping up to date with the latest research and techniques as their career moves along?

    • sdsures
      August 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      OTOH, this is about as funny as Bette Midler dancing with an inflated boob on her head. But at least when she did it, she performed in gay bathhouses and was FABULOUS!

      Wiki: Continental Baths

      “Due to her performances at the baths, Bette Midler earned the nickname Bathhouse Betty. It was at the Continental, accompanied by pianist Barry Manilow (who, like the bathhouse patrons, sometimes wore only a white towel) that she created her stage persona the Divine Miss M.

      ‘Despite the way things turned out [with the AIDS crisis], I’m still proud of those days [when I got my start singing at the gay bathhouses]. I feel like I was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, and I hope I did my part to help it move forward. So, I kind of wear the label of ‘Bathhouse Betty’ with pride.’

      —Bette Midler, Houston Voice 23 October 1998”

  10. Shiva Devottee
    August 6, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    As a native speaker, yoni can mean “vagina” in Sanskrit but it can also mean “vulva”. However it is mostly used as “womb”. That usage is also literal and metaphorical. For instance, the center of the earth would be called a “yoni”. It also has metaphysical and philosophical meanings. Its never used as slang so “coochie fest” would not be interchangeable. I believe these women choose the word yoni to signify something other than vulgar slang terminology.

    The Sanskrit male equivalent would be “linga”. So if men had a fest regarding their reproductive organs it would be “linga fest”. Like with yoni, in Sanskrit usage linga means many things, none of them crude, vulgar or slang.

    Linga is often tied to my namesake “Shiva”. The Shiva-linga in classical South Asian culture contains a lot of philosophical and metaphysical symbolism.

    • Amy
      August 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      So it’s a bunch of well-off western white woman appropriating terms from a language and culture they know little to nothing about. Kind of fits with their “blessingways” and “sacred pregnancy” nonsense.

      • Shiva Devottee
        August 8, 2014 at 4:29 am #

        I know being “anti-appropriation” is en vogue right now but I personally welcome all the interest in my culture that westerners are currently showing. My culture is beautiful and great and I’d also be into it if I were a westerner. From my experience the westerners who use Sanskrit terms do it respectfully. The only places where I’ve seen “yoni” translated into foul slang terms is right here in this comments section. Read some of the other comments with their “coochie fest” etc.

        • Amy M
          August 8, 2014 at 7:29 am #

          That was a joke.

          • Shiva Devottee
            August 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

            Amy M, I wasn’t offended. I’m not easily offended even though that seems to be en vogue these days. If I was I would see Yoni Fest as “cultural appropriation” and “orientalism” which I don’t.

      • sdsures
        August 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

        Yep. Pretentious.

    • Somewhereinthemiddle
      August 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      I get your point about the word ‘yoni’ and the meaning within your cultural context and respect that perspective. I personally do not and have not ever used the term yoni to describe a woman’s vagina because I feel silly doing doing so because that isn’t my culture of origin. The only time I have used it to refer to a person because it is that person’s name. I haven’t ever heard a western person refer to the word ‘yoni’ in a manner that had any other context other than referring directly to a woman’s body part, vagina, vulva, etc. In the western context, it really doesn’t have any other meaning and thus is interchangeable with other words. I am not offended at all by the use of words like cunt, cooter, pussy, etc, and I don’t find them to be crude or vulgar, only humorous. Or maybe more to the point, I find it humorous that people get so bent out of shape by their usage. They are after all, only words, and they take on the meaning that we assign to them.

      • Shiva Devottee
        August 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

        ” I haven’t ever heard a western person refer to the word ‘yoni’ in a manner that had any other context other than referring directly to a woman’s body part, vagina, vulva, etc. In the western context, it really doesn’t have any other meaning and thus is interchangeable with other words.”

        The westerners who use the term are generally somewhat familiar with one or more aspects of Hindu philosophy, such as Yoga (a philosophy by the way). I’ve never heard a westerner totally ignorant of India, Hinduism or Indian culture/philosophy use the term.

  11. Timothy Renzi
    August 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    This is nothing new, freshly minted 18 year old boys from the northeast have been participating in yonifests in montreal ever since the drinking age in the US went to 21

  12. Dr Kitty
    August 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Meanwhile, in India, a woman swam for an hour across a flood-swollen river so she could give birth in a hospital.


    Homebirth- I think it might be on the wrong side of history.

  13. OttawaAlison
    August 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    I went to university in the Eastern Townships, beautiful are, but I kind of facepalmed the idea of yonifest when I read about it.

  14. Liz Leyden
    August 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    I live 45 minutes from the Canadian border, not far from Montreal and the Eastern Cantons. Frankly, I’m not surprised. I just wonder if she plans to show “The Vagina Monologues”.

  15. Somewhereinthemiddle
    August 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    I really would have preferred the name Cooterpalooza.

    • Somewhereinthemiddle
      August 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Clam Jam 2014? Cunt Faire?

      • Roadstergal
        August 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm #


        • Somewhereinthemiddle
          August 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

          See? We’ve come up with far better names in just a few hours. These folks aren’t just a bit ridiculous, they are boring and unimaginative. YoniFest? Try YawnyFest. See what I did there? 😉

        • guest
          August 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm #


          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            August 6, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

            Ooooh, Vagina-rama, Vulva-rama…

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            August 6, 2014 at 8:41 pm #


          • Zornorph
            August 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

            The Bearded Clambake?

          • guest
            August 6, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

            Or as Miranda Bailey calls it on Grey’s.. the Va- JJ..

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            August 7, 2014 at 9:52 am #

            The original master….


      • MLE
        August 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

        Pussy Galore

        • guest
          August 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

          Ah yes, good old 007 and Pussy Galore!! Or “Alota Vagina” as in the Austin Powers parody.. loved those movies…

    • Zornorph
      August 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      I am trying to come up with a clever name that uses ‘Vagina’, but I’m really drawing a blank. VaginaFest just really doesn’t flow off the tongue. I wonder what they would have done if I’d have shown up dressed as SuperVagina holding a sign saying ‘Every Vagina has superpowers!

      • Somewhereinthemiddle
        August 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

        Me too and my brain is failing me. I’m shooting for vulva too…

        • Zornorph
          August 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

          Va-Va-Vulva? The Cuntvention?

          • arianne
            August 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

            Viva la Vulva?

        • KarenJj
          August 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

          MontreaI Minge festival.

        • Mel
          August 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm #


  16. Monica
    August 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Oh what we will do for that almighty dollar.

  17. Beth S
    August 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I have no need to attend a “festival” celebrating my vagina. Especially in that idiotic costume that the woman is wearing. I’m a mother three times over, and just took custody of my niece and nephew giving me three children under 6 months old in the house. I have more to worry about.
    I’m also in agreement that if I found out my OB attended this mess he would no longer be my OB.

  18. Mac Sherbert
    August 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Gross. I can’t even bring myself to read the post.

  19. Zoey
    August 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Some I know locally attended this event as a speaker. I do think he has an important message about how care providers should deal with trans identified people during pregnancy and birth, but I can’t decide whether the rest of the speakers and topics make me want to laugh or be filled with disgust. “The holistic stages of labour,” Kathleen Fahy on PPD hemorrhages…no thanks.

    • Dr Kitty
      August 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Any bullet point headings you could share re: antenatal care for trans people?

      I assume ” use their preferred pronouns” and ” just because they have a particular set of genitals doesn’t make them a particular gender” are up there.

      I have patients who are trans women and parents, but as yet no trans men who are parents.
      Usually asking the child ” who have you brought with you today?” as an opening gambit prevents me putting my foot in it.

  20. RNMomma
    August 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Two immediate thoughts: Gross. And I wonder what these women would say if a bunch of men wanted to have a Penisfest celebrating the role of male genitalia in conception. (Granted, you don’t have to use a penis to have a baby, but a lot of women don’t use their vagina to deliver one either.)

    • Amy M
      August 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      Kanamara Matsuri in Japan. It already exists.

      • RNMomma
        August 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        And they use it to raise money for HIV research. Nice.

    • Cobalt
      August 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      What man goes to a festival to celebrate his penis? It’s already so celebrated in his daily life and general culture, a festival would just be a waste of money.

      • Zornorph
        August 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

        Well, I think you could get a lot of gay men to go to an event called DickFest.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
          August 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

          Lois: “You called your country ‘Petoria’?”
          Peter: “I was going to call it ‘Peterland’ but that name was already taken by the gay bar downtown.”

    • UsernameError
      August 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      What about testicle festivals? I mean, there are some parallels here. NCB advocates eat placentas, and at the testicle festival they eat testicles. Kinda the same thing. I wonder if testicles have magical properties like placentas?

      • Beth S
        August 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

        My stepdad insists Rocky Mountain Oysters (bull testicles) are both an aphrodisiac as well as a stamina builder, my DH has yet to try them.

        • RNMomma
          August 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

          I’ve never seen Rocky Mountain oysters in person, but when I worked as a vet tech castrating horses was my least favorite part. I will never get that smell out if my head.

          • Amy M
            August 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

            I’ve helped castrate bull calves, lambs and piglets (back in college) and yeah, it sure it messy. So I guess I’ve seen Rocky Mountain Oysters in person, but they were raw. And really fresh.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            August 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

            When we used to cut pigs, we actually kept the testicles because my BIL knew a guy that liked them. We’d end up with a 5 gallon bucket full.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        August 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

        Calf fries or Rocky Mountain Oyster dinners (or any other place where people are go to eat testicles) are no more about celebrating testicles than Fish Fries are about celebrating fish.

        And they happen for pretty much the same reason for fish fries. There are people who like to eat them, but testicles are hard to come by. You can’t easily get them at your local butcher, because they are not part of the steer (by definition), just as you can’t get good fresh fish in the store. Therefore, someone gets a whole bunch and shares it with those who want them.

    • Trixie
      August 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      It’s not to late to get tickets for the Intercourse Sausage Fest! http://www.padutchcountry.com/event/details/8499

  21. Are you nuts
    August 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    What my doctor does in her own time is none of my business….. but I have to say if I saw she had attended yonifest, I would be finding a new doc asap!

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      August 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      But the “yonifest” is not REALLY “in her own time.” Notably, it is professional development.

      And if that is what she is doing for “professional development” then yes, I am out of there.

      • Dr Kitty
        August 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

        I’ve just spent my annual appraisal providing evidence of my CPD AND REFLECTION on it.
        You’re not supposed to just go, you’re supposed to show you learnt stuff.

        “I learnt to Trust Birth” BTW doesn’t count, it has to be new knowledge with direct impact on your practice (or at least it does for a UK GP).

        For example, I can’t just put “read a lot of Skeptical OB- engaged with peers and patients in active discussion- confirmed my belief that the safest place to give birth is a hospital” as CPD.

        • Haelmoon
          August 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

          Its too bad though, this would be fun CPD!!

          • theadequatemother
            August 7, 2014 at 12:10 am #

            Make it a personal learning project. I did that with a few of my evidence based blog posts.

          • Haelmoon
            August 7, 2014 at 12:42 am #

            In all fairness, I have learned a lot from this site. I deal with the woo more now than where I worked previously. Dr T’s insights into the mindset of the NCB world have really helped me tailor my counselling to patients who would have other wiser written off what I had to say because they were anti-medical establishment. I think I mentioned before a patient who want a second opinion from Gloria Lemay. At least now I understood where she was coming from and able to guide her to the safest delivery (oligo breech at 41+ weeks, ultimately delivered by c-section at 42 weeks).
            THANK YOU DR T!! Your help is not unappreciated!!

    • attitude devant
      August 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Well, I have a BIG problem with her speaking there. She makes a big deal of her Yale M.D. at the same time she’s doing really craven, money-grubbing crap like this. Basically being the darling of the woo set with all the attention whoring and essential oil hawking it entails AND claiming the privilege of her Ivy League credential. It’s disgusting. Hey Aviva! My Ivy League med school is older than your Ivy League med school, and I actually live an ethical life and practice medicine appropriately. It’s genuine, life-affirming, and truly woman-centered. You should try it some time. Sheesh!

      • August 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

        She makes a big deal of her Yale M.D.

        Sorry to go on a tangent, but I’ve been dwelling on this particular detail for a while.
        Not to diminish the value of an Ivy League credential, but going through university as a mature age student (assuming no other responsibilities) is significantly easier than as a fresh faced high school graduate – you have vastly more life experience, emotional stability, self awareness, organisational abilities etc
        At her age, it’s not quite the badge of achievement she is making it out to be.

        • AF
          August 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

          Getting through any university is significantly easier than getting through a medical school of the same university.

          Having said that, if you have good memory, it’s not all that difficult to get through a medical school. It is not like graduate school or law school, where in addition to being a parrot being able to regurgitate previously learned FACTS you also have to be able to reason and argue your way through applications of facts.

          • Dr Kitty
            August 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

            Maybe true before the age of the OSCE.
            Medical school is no longer “describe 5 eponymous syndromes and their management” or “describe the pathognomonic feature of Hairy Cell Leukaemia”.

            You have to show you can take a history, do an examination, come up with a differential diagnosis, arrange appropriate investigations, and come up with various management plans based on the various hypothetical results of said investigations. It is ALL about using logic and reasoning (and pattern recognition) to apply facts.

            And then you get marked on how well you can explain your reasoning and conclusions and management…to a patient.

            Not just memory and regurgitation, trust me.

        • Therese
          August 7, 2014 at 1:11 am #

          High school graduates don’t typically go straight to medical school. If she were bragging about her Bachelor’s degree, maybe you would have some sort of point, though I still think it’s weird to say a Bachelor’s is only an achievement if you were immature and unstable when you earned it.

          • August 7, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

            I said it was less of an achievement, and immaturity and instability are relative.
            Perhaps your experience of university was different from mine, but I felt overwhelmed for much of my undergraduate degree, socially and academically.
            Coming back in my late twenties for postgrad was pretty easy despite the massive workload.

  22. Smoochagator
    August 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    At any of the lectures, Q&As, discussions, networking events, etc., did anyone bring up Gavin Michael’s death, and what can be done to prevent more mothers from needlessly suffering the heartbreak of losing a child on the altar of interventin-free childbirth?
    Didn’t think so.

  23. The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
    August 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Apparently this is a festival celebrating vaginas.


    Let me amend that. It’s a festival fetishizing the role of the vagina in birth.


    • Zornorph
      August 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      I don’t know if you remember that silly 80’s movie called The Party Animal, but I’m imagining a misguided Pondo Sinatra showing up as YoniFest going ‘Hound Dog’s gonna eat that pussy!’

  24. PreggieLady
    August 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    1. What is with people who make a living discussing genitalia who either can’t or won’t use the real medical terminology for said genitalia? 2. Why do they always choose Sanskrit as the alternate term? Cultural appropriation much?

    • PreggieLady
      August 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      I do want the knit reproductive system outfit, though.

    • Amy M
      August 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Would “coochiefest” have been better, because at least they wouldn’t have been ripping off the Sanskrit culture? 😉

      • PreggieLady
        August 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

        Yes. Yes, it would. 🙂

  25. Amy M
    August 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Check out the discussion/lecture list:

    No Chatting, Hatting, Patting with guess who? (Carla Hartley) She also had “The Built in Safety of the 3rd Stage.”

    The Cosmic Yoni: Ecogenetics, Woman as First Environment, by someone named Katsi Cook

    Evidently Aviva Romm discussed induction. It’s not clear from the schedule what methods of induction she discussed, or when she thinks labor should be induced. She also talked about optimal prenatal nutrition and designing birth.

    And Kathleen Fahy thinks midwives are the key to reducing rates of prematurity.

    I was able to get the site in English, but some of the discussion list is still in French, and I can’t read it. Anyone here who can, let us know if there are any other fabulous discussions we should know about.

    • Jackie Barnett
      August 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      I speak french, but don’t see where the discussion list is…:(

      • Amy M
        August 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

        If you click “schedule” right at the top, it will take you to a tiny calendar. If you click the calendar, it will show you the pdf of the schedule.

    • Carolyn the Red
      August 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      I can translate any of the french if you’d like. I noticed they said that the workshops qualify for continuing education for l’Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec. (Another reason I don’t get why so many women I know recommend/want midwife care)

      There’s a few fun ones “What free-birth teaches us” and “What to make of birth pain” that I saw

      • Carolyn the Red
        August 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

        “From calling to career – are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater” ???

        “Vaginal exams and the art of observation to reduce them”

        “The fourth trimester of pregnancy” (no clue)

        Something about Aryuvedic medicine

        “When the midwife is in mourning for her own delivery”

        • Amy M
          August 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

          Wow. I wonder what percentage of the audience was other midwives? Clearly they assumed a lot of CPM types would attend, but it seems to have been open to the general public. Wouldn’t they be shooting themselves in the foot (feet?) by allowing potential clients to hear some of those discussions? Or maybe all the potential clients are so far off the deep end, it doesn’t even matter?

          Meanwhile, there was a also a burlesque show.

        • Bombshellrisa
          August 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

          I thought the fourth trimester was the first three months postpartum. There is a “fourth trimester” birth education class taught locally which covers how to treat yourself and your newborn. It’s pretty woo-ish, at least the version I am familiar with.

          • Zornorph
            August 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

            Well, it’s also a term used by that ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’ author, but he’s not very woo and I doubt they were referring to his methods.

          • Roadstergal
            August 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

            On purely mathematical grounds, I strenuously object to the term ‘fourth trimester.’

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 6, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

            If I have learned anything about the masters of woo, it’s that they are really bad at math.

    • anne
      August 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      That list makes me feel like a failure at life. Why won’t somebody pay me to spout off on topics that have no basis in reality?

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        August 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

        I’ve said it many times, life would be so much easier if I didn’t have ethics.

        People are so easily fooled.

  26. DrDEG
    August 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    how is a festival a space? Never mind an emerging one…started choking right there.

    • Amy M
      August 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Well, it was full of space cadets. It was IN a space. We’d like to send some of these people to outer space. And of course, the most important job of a “birthworker” is to hold the space, so perhaps this festival is creating a space they can hold. (with kitchen chairs and orange street cones, that’s just what my New England brain keeps coming back to when I read “hold the space.”)

      • Roadstergal
        August 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        Or have your daughter (me) jump out of the car and run across the street to stand in it while you turn around… ah, memories of growing up without a garage.

        Something about a bunch of reasonably affluent, mostly white women using the word ‘yoni’ to talk about their ladyparts really annoys me. I like ladyparts fine (some of them more than fine), and I understand tht it’s really hard to find decent terms for them that aren’t loaded with misogynistic baggage and/or juvenile, but that one just isn’t doing it for me.

        • Who?
          August 6, 2014 at 10:40 pm #


        • Dr Kitty
          August 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

          I have difficulty with patients who describe any part of their anatomy covered by their underwear as “down below”.

          I do not want to spend five minutes working out exactly where your symptom is, especially if you decline an examination so I can’t see for myself.

          I don’t mind if you don’t know the medical word, but I object to playing 20 questions to find out whether we’re dealing with a uterine prolapse, a urethral carbuncle or piles.

      • attitude devant
        August 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

        Best. Comment. Ever.

      • Petanque
        August 7, 2014 at 5:48 am #

        Nah, I don’t think a birthing space can really be held properly unless there’s knitting going on in the corner!

        • Amy M
          August 7, 2014 at 7:45 am #

          Some sort of knitted net to keep the space in place?

          • Petanque
            August 8, 2014 at 7:13 am #

            A net sounds perfect! Unless of course the knitters form small hat shapes and put them on the baby’s head, that’s just courting disaster with the power of knitting.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      August 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      You see the new age -woo influence.

      Loons. All of them.

    • Susan
      August 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      I sort of thought emerging space was a birthing pun? No?

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