Birth – What’s in it for you?

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It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

I’m referring, of course, to my ongoing effort to reveal American homebirth midwives (CPMs, LMs, lay midwives) for the pathetic, incompetent, ignorant fools that they are. In that endeavor I have no greater ally than homebirth midwives themselves.

Case in point: this website and e-book entitled Birth – What’s in it for me?

I couldn’t have come up with a better satire of the narcissism of homebirth no matter how hard I tried. The problem? It’s not a satire. It’s the product of Deb Puterbaugh CPM.

Who is Deb? According to the website of one of her many projects:

Deb Puterbaugh is an interior designer, retired midwife, social activist, mother and grandmother who brings years of experience in both birth and design to your project.

With her dedication to human evolution, women’s empowerment, and cultural change, Deb practiced midwifery from 1977 to 1995 in both Alaska and Santa Cruz, California. After retirement in 1995 she earned a degree in interior design and for the last 15 years her company, B. Design Inc., has created nurturing environments for both commercial and residential clients…

Actually, Deb is yet another avatar of the silliness, stupidity and narcissism that characterizes homebirth midwifery. Let’s take a look at the introduction to her site, shall we?


Let’s Begin With a Definition of Reality

To have a scientific and intellectually significant conversation about birth procedures and customs in the world we are living in (the first world industrialized corporate world) it is necessary to understand the significates of culture on the social morays (sic) and reality of the birth women who are living in these cultures…

Mediterranean moray

O tempora! O mores!

The first world industrialized corporate world? The world where Deb Puterbaugh is an interior designed of birth centers? Apparently. That same world where Puterbaugh is also a feminist anti-rationalist.

Deb’s website is a veritable cornucopia of nonsensical claims meant to sound deeply philosophical:

You are literally creating the future of humanity … ONE BABY AT A TIME!

Which means what, precisely?

I suggest that most of the pathology we are seeing surrounding fertility and childbirth is culturally created.

All those mothers and babies who died in childbirth since the beginning of time were duped. They weren’t really dead, they only thought they were dead due to the pernicious influence of culture.

And, my personal favorite:

I ask you to ask yourself this question; BIRTH, what is in it for me?

Ummm, Deb. Come closer and let me whisper in your ear:

What’s in it for you? THE BABY, YOU FOOL!!

In your entire 764 word definition of reality in the context of childbirth you don’t mention the word baby even once! Are you truly so narcissistic and desperate for self-affirmation that you think that birth is about you and what’s “in it” for you, and not about the baby?

I guess you do, and I am truly grateful for this demonstration of the “thinking” of homebirth advocates. I can only tell people that homebirth midwives are silly, self-important, narcissistic fools, but you can prove it.

192 Responses to “Birth – What’s in it for you?”

  1. Comrade X
    September 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Social morays. I’m going to be laughing for the rest of the week. Classic.

  2. Belle
    September 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    A good laugh for my fellow OB colleagues.. I have to admit, I’ve seen some crazy birth plans, but this one takes the cake! LOL!

    • Belle
      September 29, 2014 at 12:41 am #

      Check out “Local Hospital Pleased to Offer Natural Surgery” on Gomerblog… hilarious!!

  3. Alyssa
    September 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    God, that lady’s writing! (disclaimer: I’m a translator/copywriter, so apologizes if my post comes off as overly anal) Reminds me of freshman writing-seminar students who think it’s impressive to pepper their language with some “sciency” words they picked up at some point but never really processed. What does it mean to be “dedicated to human evolution”!? News flash, Deb: you can’t be “dedicated” to something that you yourself have no way of impacting or influencing. “Dedicated to the study of evolution”? fine. But you are leaving your personal imprint on “human evolution” itself, Deb? How very narcissistic of you! 🙂 I’m not even going to ask about your “significates” of culture…

    • Trixie
      September 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Unless it’s like a book dedication. “The author would like to dedicate this book to human evolution.”

      • Alyssa
        September 28, 2014 at 4:29 am #

        Good point. Even then though, it’s “the book” (by which we really mean the results of someone’s research/studies) that is dedicatED to evolution, rather than the person him/herself. Just one of many moments though (of which Dr. Amy’s “morays” is by far the funniest 🙂 that would lead one to question Deb’s purported intellectual attainments or at the very least leave one wondering WTF she’s talking about! One thing that’s really stuck with me is how un-credentialed most of the natural birth mvt. advocates are (with many lacking a bachelors in a medical field, etc.). Call me a huge snob, but I tend to trust the opinions of credentialed professionals over the sincerely-held feelings/beliefs of those who lack them all other factors being equal.

        • Trixie
          September 28, 2014 at 10:11 am #

          Oh, agreed. She’s a black hole of ignorance as well as of grammar and usage errors.

  4. SporkParade
    September 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I’m waiting for one of the people who put “doctor” in sarcastic quotation marks when talking about Dr. Amy because she is no longer actively practicing also put this woman’s credentials in sarcastic quotes because she hasn’t been a practicing CPM in nearly 2 decades.

  5. amay
    September 26, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    You’ve assumed a lot about me. I’m not a midwife nor have I ever employed a midwife. I’m a small busines owner with a BS in Biology who homeschools her children. I suppose that should also be left to highly trained professionals?

    • Dr Kitty
      September 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      You know what,
      My high school history teacher had a PhD in history, and was the most amazing teacher I’ve ever had. My high school science teacher- PhD in Chemistry, also excellent. In fact, all my high school teachers had university degrees in the subjects they taught.

      I definitely think education, once you get past a certain point, should definitely be left to trained professionals. If you plan to send your children to college one day, you also agree.

      • yugaya
        September 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

        Agreed, and I also think that for highly talented children their educational needs surpass what vast majority of parents can offer them through homeschooling at a much earlier age.


        • Dr Kitty
          September 26, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

          Damn right.
          My teaching skills probably end at naming all the bones and muscles, and the proper anatomical names for body parts. My kiddo told her doctor she had nipples and an umbilicus when she was 18 months old.

          Since my kiddo appears to be gifted at maths (not just bragging, honestly, the kid likes numbers) I’m happier to let the trained professionals deal with her. I can barely recall my times tables, and quite a lot of stuff I used to know appears to have left my brain in order to make room for medical stuff.
          No five year old needs to know the Pearl Index for the six most popular methods of contraception, which I know off by heart, and which has probably replaced the twelve times table, or how to solve quadratic equations, or something equally useful.

          • Who?
            September 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

            I think this might be the point, now that I’ve read it. We all gravitate to what we like, are good at and can do well. So it would be difficult, past a very rudimentary level, to effectively teach a broad range of subjects. Even if you were great at them at school.

            But as we know, for certain people, the less they know about something, the more likely a little knowledge is to seem huge to them. Which does sound a bit like the soi-disant (not an expression used often enough, thanks to the poster who pulled it out and dusted it off earlier in the week) midwife-an ‘expert’ in ‘normal birth’, woefully ignorant otherwise.

      • Trixie
        September 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

        My high school English teacher earned her PhD under Jonathan Frakes’ dad (the actor who played Riker on STNG). She wrote her thesis on Faulkner, and had us all dissecting The Sound and the Fury at age 17. No way could I do as good of a job with my own kids at home. I was so well prepared for college, thanks to my excellent public high school.

    • Amazed
      September 26, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      I have yet to see the homeschooled children aged 4-10 (that’s my experience) whose parents can teach them English better than my own mom, a teacher and yes, a highly trained professional. Even two lovely, highly educated moms who I thought did it turned out to be lacking compared to my mom, as they admitted after their children had only a few lessons with her each.

      Of course, I credit my mom’s professionalism partly due to the fact that she doesn’t think her master’s degree in English makes her capable of teaching maths, biology, or even English literature. She leaves that to other highly trained professionals.

      • yugaya
        September 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        That’s because edmucating yourself on sum phonetics and phonology over the net in order to teach your own children whatever your other qualifications in life may be will never trump about a year and a half spent doing language lab plus a year of developmental psychology ( general with emphasis on language acquisition in second semester). 🙂

        • Amazed
          September 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

          That’s about it. Plus, I think sometimes the mom/teacher thing can get quite tricky. Actually, I do know two children my mom could never teach English. Her own. We simply didn’t get the separating parts thing. We couldn’t see Mom and Ms Teacher. And we were far from the only ones. Later, she taught some of her own colleagues’ children because they, too, had problems asserting the teacher/pupil relationship that was needed.

        • Trixie
          September 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

          To bring this back around, I wonder if Deb Puterbaugh homeschooled.

    • Belle
      September 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      I’m curious. You seem supportive of CPM’s/lay midwives. What’s in it for you?

    • Cobalt
      September 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      The value of homeschooling (or any education) must take into account the available options. I live in an area with good schools available for free, which allows me to spend more time doing other activities of value to my family. Homeschooling would be a waste of our resources. If I lived in an area with very poor quality schools, I might find myself to be the most qualified teacher available.

      That’s why we moved out of the coal belt when the oldest hit kindergarten. I didn’t want to limit my kids’ education to what I was good at teaching them.

      • Trixie
        September 26, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

        This! I could probably do an okay job if I had no other options, but there’s no way I’m as good of a teacher as an actual teacher.

    • Sally RNC-NIC
      September 28, 2014 at 1:26 am #

      Should the formal education of our youth be left to highly trained professionals? Ummmmm….yes?

  6. Amy M
    September 26, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    A story from that Texas birth center someone mentioned below. The mother’s water broke at 36wks, but she didn’t go into labor, so she sat around for 5 days doing nothing. Then, once she actually does go into labor, she says the midwife can’t do any vaginal exams because of the possibility of infection! Words fail.

    • MaineJen
      September 26, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      SMH. 36 weeks gestation? Water broken for 5 days? OB experts, is this okay?

      • Sally RNC-NIC
        September 27, 2014 at 1:35 am #

        Ah hale no. 36 seekers may be the wimpiest of them all. Throw in FIVE DAYS of mama walking around just begging bacteria to enter her funkdafied birth canal, and you’ve got yourself a wimpy, sick as shit kiddo. If I was a betting gal, I’d say this kid landed himself a 14 night stay at the luxurious local NICU…no massage, but probably a nice lumbar puncture. Probs some meningitis on top of the wimpy near-termer nonsense that goes with being 36 weeks. F-, idiots.

        • Amy M
          September 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

          My 36weekers were fine, but then again, I had them in a hospital, with abx because I came in with broken membranes(broken for all of 45min), pushed for 2hrs and had proper prenatal care as well. 😉

          • Sally RNC-NIC
            September 30, 2014 at 1:31 am #

            And that’s why your little 36 weekers (-ers? twins? PROPS!) were a-ok. It’s a fickle age. Happy your little nuggets had the luxury of proper care! Gold star. : )

    • Cobalt
      September 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      “…talk to him while they rubbed him with a towel and worked on getting him to announce himself”

      Nice euphemism for breathing. Makes everything sound very un-worrisome, especially for a late preemie born underwater, waiting for the cord to be unwrapped before he could come to the air.

      • Amy M
        September 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

        After pushing for 4hrs.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        September 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

        worked on getting him to announce himself

        aka…they smacked his bottom to try to get him to cry

  7. Bombshellrisa
    September 26, 2014 at 1:21 am #
    Deb’s website-claiming they respect women’s “ways of knowing” and that your childbearing years are “your most empowering and transforming”.

    • anh
      September 26, 2014 at 3:46 am #

      wow, Deb. way to buy into the misogynist notion that women in their 60s and up have no value. this woman is ridiculous!

      • yugaya
        September 26, 2014 at 4:10 am #

        We haven’t seen so much praise and emphasis on the empowerments of childbearing since Victorian times …which is about when in human history women abandoned being satisfied with that patriarchal crap and started going fast forward demanding access to education, voting rights and gender equality and placing much more or equal value on various other aspects of female existence. Not surprising really that natural childbirth social agenda is so backwards, given that most of the treatments lay midwives sell to their clients in year 2014 might as well be copy/pasted from the Troutula books which were published ( I think) in XI century.

    • SporkParade
      September 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Every time I hear the phrase “women’s ways of knowing,” I think, “So, what you are telling me is that math and science are for boys?”

  8. MLE
    September 26, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    All I can think is, when the birth hits your eye like a big placenta pie, that’s a moray.

    • Siri
      September 26, 2014 at 12:54 am #

      When you do what you do cause your norms tell you to, those are mores….

      • Cobalt
        September 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #

        And now that song is stuck in my head. With the new lyrics. Ack!

      • Belle
        September 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        love it!

    • Belle
      September 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      Oh, that is GREAT! lol!

  9. Trixie
    September 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Deb posting her “soft launch” on Jan Tritten’s timeline.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 26, 2014 at 3:04 am #

      Soft launch? How is anything she says on that site different than what she posts on Occupy Birth, Birth Anarchy and any other pro woo Facebook page? We have already heard this all before Deb, in more coherent (and better spelled) words from other birth keepers.

  10. amay
    September 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    No I said what I meant, hateful. It is truly ignorant to categorize all midwives that are not CNM’s as pathetic, ignorant, poorly-trained and careless. There are such in any field of practice.

    • guest
      September 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would want a high-school educated surgeon operating on me, who got his or her “certification” through an online exam and “on the job” training..but that’s just me…

      • Amazed
        September 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

        Not just you. If it was, MANA wouldn’t have kept hiding its “stats” for 5 years and then twist them. Clearly, they are scared that most people think like you.

      • September 26, 2014 at 2:31 am #

        From the time I graduated nursing school, I worked in L&D, in the US, and actually delivered several hundred babies over a 10 year period because I couldn’t get a doctor in time. I was assisted by a Jamaican British-trained midwife, who, just like me, was working as a registered nurse because there were NO midwives employed by US hospitals at the time. So, I knew quite a bit before I went to the UK to do the midwifery course that gave me the SCM [British CNM] qualification.

        Did I set up in practice because of my US experience? I probably had more experience than the average lay midwife who learns by “apprenticeship”, not to mention that I was an RN, with a lot of science courses under my belt. No, I wanted to be a PROFESSIONAL midwife and that required returning to school. So I have no tolerance whatsoever for anyone who wants to deliver babies without getting the best education possible for the job. The CPM credential is worthless, and anyone who does not upgrade to CNM is, IMO, not interested in providing quality care to her patients. Yes, it’s true that there are a few CNMs who have bought into the woo, but even they have a more solid grounding than CPMs

        • Belle
          September 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

          I think of CPM’s as “wanna-be’s”, they wanna be CNM’s but they don’t wanna be bothered with getting educated or they know they couldn’t cut it..

      • guest2
        September 26, 2014 at 9:02 am #

        Heck, I wouldn’t want someone with just those qualifications changing the brakes on my car…..

    • Who?
      September 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm #


      There are a couple of things to unpick here.

      The worst tone you will ever see is the tone employed by an incompetent homebirth midwife when she is approached by a former client who believed her lies and had a dead or damaged baby as a result. That hateful tone takes some beating.

      It is perfectly possible for those other than CNMs to be, by their own standards, capable, informed and well trained. They are still nothing like as capable, informed or well trained as a CNM, and a world away from an OB. The issue isn’t their persona or training it’s that it isn’t always clear to women that they are opting for a ‘service’ with a significantly lower entry, training and maintenance regime than other things on offer.

      In professional fields of practice, with independent training and supervision standards, the sloppy, ignorant and poorly trained either don’t get through at all or are developed or disciplined when it is clear there’s a bad outcome. Nothing like that in the homebirth world. In fact, bad outcomes are treated as ‘just one of those things’.

      I’d suggest you get a filter on and stay a while. If you want unicorns and rainbows, go to other places. Just be aware of the shadows of dead and damaged mothers and babies-they are there, tucked out of sight.

    • Sue
      September 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      ”pathetic, ignorant, poorly-trained and careless. There are such in any field of practice.”

      There are no ”poorly trained” OBs or CNMs because they require adequate training to be certified. The public isn’t prepared to just rely on luck and good motivation.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 26, 2014 at 1:01 am #

      So what do you call women who choose to practice in a way that limits the care that they can give patients? They choose to be trained in a way that gives them a narrow view of women’s healthcare, that prevents or greatly limits the medications and treatments they can order and limits them to attending births in settings which offer no medicines, blood bank, code team or OR if needed. Not to mention that while apprenticing may have been the best or only way to become a midwife a hundred years ago, women’s healthcare has come a long way and the education of a CNM or OB reflects the need to keep up with those changes in practice and the needs of the population they serve.

    • moto_librarian
      September 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Okay, amay, tell me this: what are you and your other non-CNM colleagues doing to weed out the high number of “pathetic, ignorant, poorly-trained and careless” midwives in your ranks? All I see are a substandard class of midwives continually lobbying for increased “rights” to take enormous risks with women and their unborn children. I see supposed leaders of the midwifery movement telling outright lies about the risks of various complications. I see midwives who cannot be bothers to carry malpractice insurance, who refuse to remove bad actors from their profession, even when their ignorance and arrogance have caused death and disability. I see a group of women who defame the higher education and clinical training required of CNMs.

      Or is getting real education and clinical training just too “hard?”

  11. attitude devant
    September 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Shanah Tovah, Dr. Amy! (hope I said that right!)

  12. amay
    September 25, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    I”ve only begun to explore this site and blog, but overall it seems a bit hateful.

    • guest
      September 25, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      What you are seeing is anger because of the state of midwifery in the United States. Many of us are seasoned healthcare professionals in Obstetrics and we are just so tired of hearing about another unnecessary, home birth death..

    • Karen in SC
      September 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      I’m sure you really mean “helpful.”

      Facts, exposing poorly trained CPMs who endanger mothers and babies. That is what you find here.

    • attitude devant
      September 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      another tone troll. Yawn.

      • amay
        September 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

        Name calling? Really, I was mistaken that this was a blog with postings from highly trained professionals.

        • guest
          September 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

          Even we know when someone is trying to instigate.

        • attitude devant
          September 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

          Oh please. Your opening salvo is that we’re hateful. No exploration of content, just tone. If that’s all you’ve got you’re a tone troll. If you prefer tone-bot (as in, can’t be bothered to think or truly engage) I can switch to that.

          • MLE
            September 25, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

            And how would amay know that the education levels here differ from those of the average blog audience? Innocent passerby my eye.

          • Who?
            September 25, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

            Perhaps Amay is comparing the standard ot spelling and grammar here to Deb P’s? We all look like hugely well educated geniuses on that basis.

    • Jocelyn
      September 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      The tone can seem harsh at first (I know it did to me), but stick around. There was a lot of information here I’d never heard before.

  13. Carolina
    September 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    I laughed so loudly at Social Morays that my neighbor came over to see what was so funny. Nicely done.

    • Allie
      September 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

      I applaud you for making it that far. She lost me at “dedication to human evolution”. Just how in the hell do you dedicate yourself to human evolution? Idiot. (Sorry if that was “hateful,” Amay, but let’s call a spade a shovel, here).

      • So Say All Of Us
        September 26, 2014 at 7:43 am #

        I guess it could actually be a meaningful statement if homebirth midwives exert a negative selective pressure through having a higher mother and baby mortality rate. I’m going to assume that wasn’t what she meant, though.

  14. MaineJen
    September 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Are we absolutely, 100% sure that site is not a parody? Holy god.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Sadly, she is real. The ramblings and misspellings are not a joke

  15. attitude devant
    September 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Gawd. I am so tired of these fools. I have just been witness to a blog commenting conversation between a doula and some soi-disant midwives. The doula is upset because her patient’s ‘serious’ UTI is being treated with antibiotics in second trimester, and because it’s so serious (what she describes sounds like full-blown pyelo) the mom is going to be on daily prophylaxis for the rest of her pregnancy. Oh noes! This will ruin the microbiome! they all chorus. And I just keep thinking ‘WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO ADVISE HER?” Have they no clue that untreated UTIs in pregnant women can lead to sepsis, prematurity, death? I am fed up to the gills with these idiots.

    • guest
      September 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Lol. No kidding. Try engaging in a discussion/debate with people like that… prepare for them to post multiple links from natural parenting/ homeopathic/ NCB/ lactivist BLOGGERS as their scientific rebuttal.

    • Zoey
      September 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      I am also sick of ignorant people and their simplistic understanding of antibiotics and the microbiome. There is a mother in my due date group that had a baby born with a single kidney and grade 5 Vesicoureteral reflux and his nephrologist had him on prophylactic antibiotics for his entire first year to prevent infection in his ONLY kidney.

      You should have seen the outcry from the crunchy parents. But, his gut bacteria! You need to give him all the probiotics in the world! Get a second opinion, no one needs antibiotics for a year, etc, Sheesh. Where do they get off giving medical advice for a newborn with complex medical needs? It’s crazy.

      • Amazed
        September 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

        I remember a non-crunchy friend who had a baby born with three kidneys or something like that (it was a long time ago and I am not sure that was what it was). Anyway, poor mite is thriving now but throughout her first year of life she was CRYING. Hard. Once, her mom left her to another non-crunchy friend to babysit. What did this friend tell me later? “You know what? Babies CRY.” She was a mother of two who cried, occasionally, but they were healthy and content babies all over.

        Problems arise when crunchy point at her and her children as proof that you see? All children cry, so you don’t need to worry that this other THREE-kidneyd kid is crying, too. All is natural!

    • moto_librarian
      September 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Can’t an untreated UTI also cause chorio?

    • Smoochagator
      September 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      Ugh. That poor woman! Pregnancy is uncomfortable enough as it is, but add in a raging UTI… YIKES.

  16. Dr Kitty
    September 25, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    Completely OT:
    How much does a 2g tube of Aciclovir cream cost in the USA?
    For reference…it costs the NHS 84p ($1.37)

    You can buy an over the counter generic for £4.99 ($8.13) or £5.99 ($9.76) for the branded Zovirax in the UK.

    • Siri
      September 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Are you branching out into black marketeering, Dr Kitty? 😉

      • Dr Kitty
        September 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

        A new patient who formerly lived in the US told me she paid a ridiculous amount for a prescription of topical aciclovir. I know the NHS gets good deals, but I didn’t think it got THAT good a deal.

        • Anj Fabian
          September 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

          Yes. Big Pharma loves the US because they can charge ridiculous amounts of money, especially compared to what Euro countries bargain them down to.

          It’s like a see saw, as the other countries push their prices down, our prices rise. If the US managed to create collective bargaining with Pharma, and push our end of the see saw down, the prices elsewhere would rise.

          • September 26, 2014 at 2:38 am #

            My monthly total for meds [because of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, congenital high cholesterol, chronic severe back pain and arthritis in my knees, along with a few other “minor” problems, I take a LOT of meds] is about $125 via the Israeli health system; in the US it would be about $500.
            Many new immigrants to Israel are flabbergasted at the effects of “socialized medicine”, it seems so incredible.

        • Sue
          September 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

          Not as cheap in Aus as UK, but 5g no-name brand OTC costs about $12

        • anh
          September 26, 2014 at 3:58 am #

          I’m American living in UK and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the NHS for many reasons, one of which is the fun I have telling the doctors and the nurses how much whatever it is I’m getting for free here would cost me in the US. I love their looks of disbelief.

          In all seriousness, I got absolutely stellar care this weekend when I had to go to A/E at 3am with tonsillitis and uncontrolled vomiting. You guys seriously have a great thing going here.

          • Dr Kitty
            September 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

            You know the saying
            “Do you want it good, cheap or fast? You can only have two.”

            The NHS went for cheap and slow, the USA has gone for expensive and fast.
            The NHS wheels grind slowly most of the time, but if you’re actually sick the speed kicks up dramatically.

            When patients ask how they can be seen faster my answer is usually “be sicker”.

            This time last year I went to A&E at 6am, had morphine, fluids and antibiotics running within 30 minutes and was in the OR before lunch.

            BTW, the ideal time to go to an A&E is between 2am and 6am on a weekday.
            The backlog from the day has usually cleared, the drunks are mostly at the weekend, and if you come at that time the triage team are inclined to think you’re actually sick.

    • attitude devant
      September 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      My EMR’s prescription module says $20.12 for the tube, but doesn’t say how big the tube is…..

    • MaineJen
      September 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Best prices I could find were $10.93 per gram (5% topical) or $20 for a 2 gram tube

    • Ash
      September 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      Here’s some US price information–this is the retail price obtained from (prior to being acquired, it was one of the few sites you could find retail prices of Rx USA drugs)

      I don’t know if the prices have been driven down by any generics, etc.
      Cream (Zovirax External)

      5% (5 g): $732.00

      Ointment (Acyclovir External)

      5% (30 g): $797.59

      Ointment (Zovirax External)

      5% (30 g): $1212.19

      • Dr Kitty
        September 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

        Ok…my patient mentioned $700…so, turns out she was right.

        5g tube in the UK costs £1.29 ($2.11) to the NHS.

        No wonder the USA is spending a higher percentage of GDP on healthcare than any other country if a tube of Zovirax costs $700.

  17. Camilla Cracchiolo
    September 25, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    If women change the world one baby at a time, then how come patriarchy, sexism, rape, domestic violence, etc. Still exist. We’ve been told for millennia that “The hand that rocks the cradle and rules the world”. Well that hand has always been female, yet all this other stuff isn’t fixed yet.

    I actually prefer a version of this saying from my early days in the feminist movement: “The hand that cradles the rock is more likely to rule the world”.

    • Who?
      September 25, 2014 at 2:57 am #

      The poem it’s from is one of those mawkishly sentimental mid-Victorian pieces extolling the virtues of womankind and the desperate importance of ‘woman’s work’ in having and caring for children. Presumably to keep them in their oh so important place while men with all the money and power got on with the ‘real’ work of the world.

      It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come, but there is still a long way to go.

      To which point, we’ve just had a conservative politician (a vet apparently, when he’s not adorning the Upper House) announce that some foetuses abort themselves because they understand they may not survive after birth. You could not make this stuff up.

      • Cobalt
        September 25, 2014 at 7:18 am #

        Now babies not only know when to be born, they also know when not to be? Then why do so many children choose to be born to addicts and abusive parents?

        Why the urge to attribute so much wisdom the unborn? And where does all this knowledge go at birth? Babies, at birth and for years afterwards, are very unknowing creatures. That’s part of what makes them so fragile and makes the first years so nerve wracking.

        • Who?
          September 25, 2014 at 8:23 am #

          Quite so.

          Though I imagine if anyone put those perfectly reasonable points to the senator he’d do a very good goldfish impersonation-eyes wide open, mouth opening and closing but only bubbles coming out.

          The really disturbing thing about that isn’t so much the content-it’s the stuff moronic right wing ‘thinking’ is made of-it’s that at some point this person qualified in a science based discipline. Perhaps politics have addled his brains, perhaps he took one too many blows to the head, either way, this thinking is not the thinking of a scientific mind.

      • Liz Leyden
        September 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

        Is he saying my daughter *wanted* to have a congenital heart defect?

    • Cobalt
      September 25, 2014 at 7:25 am #

      There’s no rule that it must be a change for the better. Those babies become adults eventually, and you never know how that’s going to turn out.

  18. Bombshellrisa
    September 25, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    Deb Peterbaugh is a founding member of MANA. I guess she became a midwife before the whole high school diploma thing became required, judging by her spelling. Here is her full bio

    • moto_librarian
      September 25, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      Jan Tritten should be in jail for her involvement in Gavin Michael’s death. Big surprise that Deb Peterbaugh is one of her colleagues.

      • Bombshellrisa
        September 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

        Deb is also vocal on Facebook (I wonder if she was part of the Gavin Michael thread) and comments regularly on Occupy Birth and Birth Anarchy’s pages.

        • Amy M
          September 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

          Birth Anarchy? That’s ridiculous. I don’t understand how these women don’t understand that they are free to give birth wherever they want. No one is going to chain them down and force a Csection or anything else. While its a much better idea to have prenatal care from a doctor, the doctors aren’t forcing women into it–they can’t. The vast majority of women with access to good medical care, choose to use it. If that’s not your bag, well, good luck and don’t go crying to your NCB friends if your baby was killed or injured during birth.

          • guest
            September 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

            The biggest thing I noticed on that site is the “persecution of midwives” theme.. of course no mention of any of the dead babies…

          • Smoochagator
            September 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

            I’m not sure the issue of women being unable to give birth wherever they like. It’s that homebirthers don’t want to be “judged” (hate that word, GTFO yourself) and midwives don’t want to be held accountable for their negligence when a baby dies. Getting charged with murder is a real buzz kill.

          • Amy M
            September 26, 2014 at 8:07 am #

            Oh, I see. I didn’t look at the site (at work), so I just guessed what they meant by it. Still, that’s even worse! Those fakey midwives are truly awful people.

    • atmtx
      September 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Think that’s scary? Here’s a birth center run by a LM who attends twins & VBAC at home. Lovely.

    • AmyH
      September 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Looks like good news to me. She’s estimating that currently 75%+ of midwives are being persecuted with legal problems. Hopefully that will be an increasing trend.

    • Jenny_from_da_Bloc
      September 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      That entire site is the hysterical ramblings of a total looney. I could barely read it

    • InvisibleDragon
      September 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      I’m just coming off a migraine, so my reading comprehension is iffy… but did she mention dead or damaged babies? Somewhere? I didn’t see it…

  19. Who?
    September 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    I’m not generally in favour of mocking the afflicted, but where Deb Puterbaugh is concerned, you’ll get no argument from me.

  20. Trixie
    September 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Clam your power, ladies! (emphasis mine)

    • yugaya
      September 25, 2014 at 7:23 am #

      So nice of them to finally distinguish themselves from what real feminism is and stands for – a conscious struggle in modern times for equality as opposed to primitive NCB worldview that belongs in the Stone Age.

      • Cobalt
        September 25, 2014 at 7:31 am #

        Makes you wonder why all those women in poverty around the world having actual natural childbirth aren’t ruling the world right now.

  21. Liz Leyden
    September 24, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Social Morays would be a great band name.

  22. Sue
    September 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    (Sung to the tune of Amore:)

    When the eel that you feel
    Doesn’t feel like an eel
    It’s a moray!

    (not sure of the attribution, but always a goodie!)

  23. Sue
    September 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    ” After retirement in 1995 she earned a degree in interior design and for the last 15 years her company, B. Design Inc., has created nurturing environments for both commercial and residential clients…”

    We should be grateful that she left the world of birth and limits herself to fairly harmless frippery now.

    • Trixie
      September 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      Yes! Thank you, Deb!

    • Smoochagator
      September 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Interesting that she felt she needed a degree in interior design but not, say, an MD or even a BSN to deliver babies.

      • Belle
        September 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

        That’s one of the really disturbing things about these people.. they don’t think they need any higher education, I mean after all, they’ve attended 20 or so births so that makes them an expert!

        • Smoochagator
          September 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

          Oh, and if they come up against something they don’t understand, they can always crowdsource on FB and find a good answer… OR NOT.

          • guest
            September 25, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

            For sure! But really, we all know that “Dr. Google” or FB have the only “right” answers! What do those silly doctors with at least 12 years of medical education know anyway?? (From Belle-can’t log in for some reason)

          • Smoochagator
            September 25, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

            Yes! All you need to learn everything there is to know about “normal” birth is on the net! Same with nutrition and autoimmune disorders and mental illness and developmental disorders… and the list goes on… All these “experts” with their book-learning are just trying to get into your wallet!

          • Belle
            September 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

            And any CPM/LM worth their salt knows that Dr. Google and your friends on FB are the “real” experts.. I mean really, what do those silly doctors with 12+ years medical education know anyway?

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        September 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

        That’s very interesting indeed. Why couldn’t she just be a lay interior designer?

        Decorate a couple rooms in your house, and call it good?

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Except she isn’t retired anymore, and she is still very vocal and very involved with influencing women and other midwives

  24. Sue
    September 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    “with her dedication to human evolution…” ??

    Oh, I get it. She lets nature take its course. Why pay HER, then?

  25. Bombshellrisa
    September 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    So does she means a “social more”?
    “mo·res (môrz, -z, mr-)
    1. The accepted traditional customs and usages of a particular social group.
    2. Moral attitudes.
    3. Manners; ways.
    [Latin mrs, pl. of ms, custom; see m-1 in Indo-European roots.]”

  26. araikwao
    September 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I loooove the meme!!

  27. Gretta
    September 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Another birth junkie.

    Taking advice on pregnancy and childbirth from a birth junkie is dangerous and insane just like taking advice on medication from a drug junkie is dangerous and insane. I wouldn’t do either one and honestly would prefer to stay as far away as I can from both.

    • Belle
      September 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

      Birth junkies rely on the old saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute”..

  28. nathan0127
    September 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Actually, “baby” is mentioned 11 times in that pamphlet.
    But not about baby’s health. It’s all about mom’s narcissism. More “my” than “baby”

    Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face
    How many calories does it take to make a baby?
    How does my nutrition effect my baby’s development?
    When is my baby’s brain formed?
    How does spinal anesthesia affect my body and my baby?
    What must my body do for my baby to be born?
    I really want to breastfeed this baby
    Professional women having a baby is an economic liability
    One baby at a time.

    • guest
      September 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Don’t think that Dr. Amy was referring to the pdf link, only the main article.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        September 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        It’s not even “don’t think.” Just read what she said:

        In your entire 764 word definition of reality in the context of childbirth you don’t mention the word baby even once!”

        It’s explicit she’s not talking about the entire pamphlet

    • Zornorph
      September 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      How many calories does it take to make a baby? According to Google, there are 5-7 calories in your average load of sperm, so that’s the answer.
      How is having a baby like getting a tattoo on your face? You wouldn’t want a CPM in charge of helping you in either case.

      • namaste863
        September 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

        I think she means that the decision to have a baby, much like the decision to get a tattoo on your face, requires one to be damn sure that’s what they want.

        • Young CC Prof
          September 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

          On the one side, I can leave the baby with someone else when I go to work. On the other, face tattoos don’t need 5 am feedings.

        • theadequatemother
          September 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

          as long as your tat doesn’t have any red ink in it removal works reasonably well…ah yes, random OR q&a with surgeons who do a little private stuff on the side.

          • Mishimoo
            September 25, 2014 at 8:59 am #

            I’ve heard that yellow ink is also difficult to get rid of, any truth to that?

        • Roadstergal
          September 26, 2014 at 11:48 am #

          It’s a good idea to get vaccinated for HepB before attempting either?

    • Trixie
      September 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      I think she thinks she’s appealing to the millenials with her hip references to face tattoos.

      • D/
        September 24, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

        Actually, that’s a verbatim quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” …

  29. Mel
    September 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    “Dedication to human evolution”?

    What does that even mean? That sounds more than a little eugenic – although I doubt she knows what the word eugenic means…..

    • SGuest
      September 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      That was my first thought and I couldn’t read the rest from there. Dedication to human evolution?! Wow!

  30. Sandy
    September 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    The Social Morays gif was my favorite thing you have ever done, ever.

    • araikwao
      September 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      It’s a gif? Even better! *runs off to view on PC*

  31. Trixie
    September 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Another thought — do you think Deb’s looking at her download numbers today and getting really excited? She’s going viral!

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      Oh probably-and the fact that “Ina May” signed up must have made her swoon (see down thread)

  32. Trixie
    September 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I actually downloaded and read the whole e-book. Highlights include Deb blaming modern obstetrics on John D Rockefeller, and a story where she gets stuck in an elevator with Betty Friedan and asks her an inane question. I actually have been replaying that scenario in my mind, imagining Betty trying to get out of the elevator and away from a young, Shaklee-vitamin-selling Deb Puterbaugh as quickly as possible.
    Also, Deb spells “future” F-U-T-E-R.

    • Sandy
      September 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      Thanks so much for this post, Trixie. Way to take one for the team!

      • Trixie
        September 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        It’s only 35 pages. Totally worth it. I laughed the whole way through.

    • Smoochagator
      September 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      You win the internet today! But the game is tough, if you want to keep your trophy, you’ll have to work even harder in the futer.

    • Guestll
      September 25, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      I’m crying. 🙂

    • D/
      September 25, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

      Me too! My favorite quote was about her updated process with the **perineal** message that WOMEN CREATE HUMANITY, OUR JOB IS CRITICAL TO OUR SRVIVAL.

      I think that’s actually (pseudo)medical-speak for …. talking out of one’s arse!

      Incidentally, at least four additional sources are plagiarized in her e-book. The non-attributed sentences/ paragraphs beyond third grade complexity and spelling seem to be cut-n-pastes from other documents. Wonder how that Masters program worked out for her?

      • Trixie
        September 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

        Omg! Perineal! I missed that one. Deb Puterbaugh is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve been chuckling for days.

  33. Bombshellrisa
    September 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    “Mothers change the world, one baby at a time”
    Maybe, but I doubt it’s because they do Spinning Babies or refuse an epidural. Birth is just one step on the path of motherhood. Some mothers aren’t even part of the birth of the child they will raise. All this fuss and focus about pregnancy and how one gives birth takes away from the actual mothering experience. Teaching my children to have empathy and a good work ethic will make more of an impact then the fact that I had them in a hospital.

    • Elaine
      September 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      I have a friend who is expecting her first baby and was hoping to deliver with a CNM, but due to several complications that isn’t panning out. She’s frustrated. I understand why; I think partly it is that before you have that first baby, it’s hard to focus too much on what you plan to do after they are born, since you have no point of reference. So you focus on the birth instead. I told her that I do get that it’s frustrating, but also that the birth is just one day so not to get too stuck on it.

  34. Julia
    September 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    The social morays just gave me the best laugh I’ve had all day.

    But – what exactly is “dedication to human evolution”? Did she somehow try to mutate herself or her offspring?

    • Smoochagator
      September 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      “The social morays just gave me the best laugh I’ve had all day.”
      Me too! I love the graphic.

    • Trixie
      September 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      It was a Far Side cartoon, but I can’t find it online anywhere.

  35. Amy M
    September 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    “She teaches that mothers have the power to change the world, one baby at
    a time. Her passion is to awaken women to the power they have as
    creators of humanity. She inspires women to embrace the nine months of
    pregnancy and the process of giving birth as a profound opportunity for
    self-transformation and personal empowerment.” –from the website

    How contradictory is this? 1)Giving birth gives women the opportunity to transform and be empowered….2)though her CHILD who will change the world. This lady cancels herself out in two sentences. Women, in her view, appear to be merely the vehicles for change, not the ones who directly change anything, yet they are somehow empowered. Again I ask, empowered to do what?

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      “Empowered to do what?”
      Be combative with the doctors when their home birth ends in a hospital transfer!

      • Belle
        September 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

        And they are experts at that!

  36. Amy M
    September 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Culturally created my ass. How did the culture I live in cause me to be anovulatory at age 30 (and before, but I didn’t care until then) and weighing about 100lbs? I found plenty of other women like me on the internet, from all different cultures. Which culture is the right one? Chinese maybe? India? Since their population is so large, they couldn’t possibly have any fertility issues over there. If only I’d have known, I would’ve moved there before I was born, to ensure excellent fertility and a complication-free pregnancy and birth.

  37. Amy M
    September 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    What’s a “significate?’ I never heard that word, so I looked it up. Couldn’t find it on

  38. Roadstergal
    September 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    “social morays”

    To be fair, she lived in Santa Cruz. The morays are pretty social down there – not to mention the banana slugs.

  39. PrimaryCareDoc
    September 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Careful, Amy. She seems to think she put a copywrite on the term “What’s in it for you.”

  40. sdsures
    September 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm #


  41. mythsayer
    September 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    I really don’t think that childbirth is something I would like to experience “just for the fun of it”. That’s like having a surgeon cut me open just to check on an organ when I signed up to have it removed.

  42. Zoey
    September 24, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    “I suggest that most of the pathology we are seeing surrounding fertility and childbirth is culturally created.”

    I could see an argument here for something like a North American “culture” that has higher rates of maternal obesity or encourages women to delay childbearing into their 30s and beyond may have an impact on the pathology of fertility and childbirth. Older women may have more trouble conceiving and obese women may have more pregnancy complications.

    But I think we all know that’s not what she’s getting at with this statement. I’d wager that she thinks that it’s the culture of evil OBs and birth interventions that cause fertility and birth pathologies instead understanding that these things are necessary to treat the pathologies that pregnancy and birth can create. But I guess when you believe an ideology that says birth is inherently safe then this could make sense. Somehow.

    • guest
      September 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      This article is just an appetizer….

      Check out the pdf via the purple banner near the top of that page:

      “Sign Up to Access our 7 critical FACTS
      every woman needs to know about giving BIRTH. For Free!”

      I’m speechless…

      • Amy M
        September 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

        Did you sign up?

        • guest
          September 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

          Give a bogus email address & name.

          • Anj Fabian
            September 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

            I signed up as Ina May. We could could get the whole of the elders of midwifery if we tried.

          • attitude devant
            September 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

            Suggestions for those who are challenged:
            Gloria LeMay
            Lisa Barrett
            Jan Tritten
            Audrey Trepiccione
            Clarebeth Loprinzi
            Brenda Scarpino Newport

          • Bombshellrisa
            September 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

            Christie Collins
            Katie MacCall
            Robert Biter
            And a few from my local area: Janine Trafari Walker, Charlotte Geddis, Beth Coyote

      • araikwao
        September 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

        Oh no! I already gave birth twice, but I didn’t know those CRITICAL FACTZ!!! How are my children even here????

    • Belle
      September 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      For sure. Just look at the really OLD picture on her website of the pregnant woman in a hospital bed, hooked up to EFM, and looking fearfully at the monitor.. propaganda or what?

      • Cobalt
        September 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

        I sometimes looked fearfully at the monitor while in labor, especially when partway through pushing. I was afraid of my baby having trouble, and seeing a normal heart rate was really comforting. I loved EFM from the first little “whoosh” coming through the speaker. I wouldn’t wear those damn belts for fun, but knowing they were ok was totally worth it.

        • Belle
          September 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

          Absolutely. I think most moms feel the same way.. except for the NCB crowd.. it’s the “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” mindset, I guess.. I don’t understand it..

      • Montserrat Blanco
        September 24, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

        As someone that had a healthy albeit small baby thanks to a monitor and other interventions, I feel they are just scaremongering women.

        • Belle
          September 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

          Scaremongering for sure! But it stands to reason that CPM’s would do it, their livelihood depends on women falling for their garbage..

    • Young CC Prof
      September 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      Among teens who are first-time mothers in the USA, the c-section rate is less than 20%, but if you have your first baby in your late 30s, the probability of c-section is over 50%.

      To which I say, delayed childbearing is a wonderful gift of the modern age. Delayed childbearing allows us to become more complete human beings before we become parents, and if it takes a few extra c-sections to bring it off, so what?

      • Cobalt
        September 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

        Comparing the short and long term risks and outcomes for both mother and baby for a cesarean at 35 vs. having a baby at 15? There’s a clear winner.

        (And yes, sometimes teen moms do great and sometimes cesareans have major complications. But not the overwhelming majority.)

    • araikwao
      September 26, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      I suggest that she is talking out of her posterior.

  43. mikerbiker
    September 24, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    This post is phenomenal.

  44. Dad
    September 24, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Sigh, yet another indicator that the age of the internet is ending of the age of science.

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