Holy City Homebirth

Joanne Gotschall is a CPM, and owner of Holy City Homebirth who believes that, Pregnancy and childbirth are natural and sacred occurrences in life.

Operating as usual


Holy City Homebirth updated their phone number.

Holy City Homebirth updated their phone number.


Holy City Homebirth updated their address.

Holy City Homebirth updated their address.

Nigel Birth Video 01/25/2021

Nigel Birth Video

Thankful for a wonderful birth with a beautiful family! Though the mom is a videographer by trade, she didn't do the footage, but she did an excellent job editing !

Nigel Birth Video This is "Nigel Birth Video" by Joanne Gottschall on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Unnecessary risk: Women need safer options than giving birth in hospitals during pandemic 01/14/2021

Unnecessary risk: Women need safer options than giving birth in hospitals during pandemic

Unnecessary risk: Women need safer options than giving birth in hospitals during pandemic If more states followed the science, women would not have to decide about how much risk to take by giving birth in a hospital during a pandemic.

baltimoresun.com 01/02/2021

More babies could be delivered at home | READER COMMENTARY

baltimoresun.com In the era of COVID-19, more health care is being delivered at home. Why can't babies?


Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories

New Birth Story!! Casey and Josh are one of those couples that are just so evidently in love with each other. I had the honor of documenting their first birth and was overjoyed when they found out they were expecting their second. Their first birth was surprisingly fast, intense, and maybe even a little overwhelming. The flurry of activity that surrounded Casey as she powerfully birthed her baby was something she always remembered…and something that she wanted to be different the next time around.

And so they decided that a home birth was the best fit for their sweet family…and oh it most certainly was. Casey went into labor in the evening and it was a much slower and gentler process. Josh was right beside her the entire time. The lights were dim. The dogs were quiet but aware. We spoke softly. We laughed. And then we all marveled as the two of them brought their baby girl into the world.

Baby Remi opened her eyes almost immediately after birth. She was alert and reached out several times to touch her mom’s face. After several joyful minutes, they got out of the tub together and snuggled on the couch in the early hours of the morning.

It was a beautiful birth for so many reasons…but perhaps most importantly because of how much unhindered connection and love filled the room.


No Milk Like Mama's

It is ALWAYS right to respond to your child.

'Just leave them to cry a bit', 'you're spoiling him', 'you're just teaching her she can manipulate you'. Have you ever heard this or been encouraged just to leave them, making you question your instincts?

Whilst it may have used to have been the norm to leave a child crying to 'teach' them to settle alone, we know so much more than we used to about child development and the need to be responsive. We can also look to our deeper instincts and trust these.

How does it make you feel when your child cries and what does it make you want to do? Invariably it is to comfort them.

Friends & family of a different generation can find this difficult to hear, as they likely did what they were told was right then and questioning this can bring about difficult feelings for them (no one likes to be told they did something wrong as a parent). But just as we know so much more about medical treatments now and these practices have changed as a result, so has what we know about infant health. When we know better, we do different.

There is no shame and blame here, just changing practices as research develops and we learn more. You can never give too many cuddles. Boundaries change and your response may differ as they grow, but it will always be right to respond to your child.

🖤( • )( • ) 🖤

#nomilklikemamas #newbaby #parenting #lactationconsultant #ibclc #holisticsleepcoaching #mindfulbreastfeeding #breastfeeding #latch #breastfeedingsupport #normalizebreastfeeding #womensupportingwomen #sleep #sleepconsultant #baby #gentleparenting #conciousparenting #nutrition #publichealth


Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories

Birth can make us wiser, gentler, stronger.

It can transform us...but it can also connect us to deep and mysterious parts of ourselves that were often buried years ago. Buried by culture. By expectation. By demands.

Birth can allow us to reclaim and rediscover. It can allow us to sink more deeply into who we are and who we want to be. It's an intensely physical experience that ALSO has huge implications for our emotions and psyche. The complexity of birth astounds me each and every time.


Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories

Birth is both beautiful and messy. We cry sacred tears and bleed crimson blood. It's primal and it's also political. There are so many disparate things that are weaved into one.

Today, I'm infinitely grateful to each of you who recognize the complexity of this work...and are here for it all. (And to all of you who left...we’re glad you’re gone!)



"EFM began as a noble attempt to conquer a centuries old plague - cerebral palsy - but has been turned into a nightmare for birth caregivers and increased the chances that women and babies may experience harm from what should be a happy experience.

While trial lawyers certainly deserve the blame for starting, perpetuating, and profiting from the EFM-CP hoax, physicians share equally in the blame for these half century old hoaxes that have become a shameful stain on an honourable profession.

Physicians’ vincible ignorance in this continuing hoax is apparent for all to see.
But to paraphrase Jeremiah, there are none so blind as those who will not see."

This is a quote from the conclusion of an article just published in The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. In "Cerebral palsy litigation after fifty years: A hoax on you," Sartwelle et al (2020) detail the story of what the describe as the "hoax" of electronic fetal monitoring.

From the early myths to how some of those linked with one of the first companies manufacturing, promoting, and selling EFM machines were also the creators, testers, researchers and authors of the studies which cemented EFM in obstetric practice, this freely available article deserves to be widely read and shared by anyone who is involved in birth and/or needing to make decisions about whether EFM is something they want as part of their care.

The full article can be found at https://ijme.in/articles/cerebral-palsy-litigation-after-fifty-years-a-hoax-on-you/

If you'd like to know more, lots more studies on EFM and related topics are shared and discussed at www.sarawickham.com

#midwife #midwifery #doula #birthdoula #pregnant #birth #childbirth #duein2020 #drsarawickham #positivebirth #childbirtheducation #childbirtheducator #whatsrightforme #efm #ctg


Stark Raving Dad

“How will you make sure your homeschooled children aren’t falling behind?”

I really struggled with that question in our early days. I spent hours checking the level my kids should be at across their core academic subjects, either sweating on them catching up or celebrating them being ahead.

But over time a small internal voice started asking for my attention. It had a point to make:

The concept of falling behind only exists if you’re trying to arrive at a specific place within a specific period of time. Childhood doesn’t have to be a race. It can be a journey instead, with many paths and endings and many different measures of progress and success.

I paused, thinking about my two older children.

The first, an avid reader, writer and artist. Not a square inch of his bedroom clear of his own illustrations. Inhaling books as if they give him life. A beautiful writer with a voracious appetite for creating his own work. Matching and exceeding academic standards in his sleep. A delight to every teacher he ever had.

The second, his younger brother by just two years, almost the opposite. Unable to spend the time needed at a desk to meet any standard that requires it. Always needing to move, to make noise, to express himself physically. Learning by doing, tinkering, exploring, experimenting. By breaking and fixing, by trial and error. Testing enough boundaries to cause tense parent-teacher meetings while he was at school.

The voice, far from finished yet, pointed out that I was trying to benchmark two very different children against one very specific standard. That one of them would always tick the expected boxes while the other would always struggle. That perhaps my son wasn’t the problem, the standard I was holding him to was.

The penny dropped.

What started as a quiet internal voice soon became my strongest conviction: it’s impossible to fall behind when your only goal is to become the truest version of *you*.


Lila Rose

Each of us started our lives completely dependent on our mothers. Every preborn baby is even more vulnerable than his or her mother. It’s up to a mother - and a father - to strive to protect that little one. This is the incredible calling of motherhood and fatherhood.


Whitney Ballard, Writer

I kept my baby.

Even though I was sixteen,

even though I didn’t know how I would,

I kept my baby.

Even when everyone told me “kids shouldn’t have kids”

or that I’d “ruin my life”,

I kept my baby.

I knew some would think I slept around,

that I was promiscuous.

I knew that girls would talk

and boys would listen,

but I still kept my baby.

I knew there was a pill that could ‘take it all away’.

“My ‘problems’ could be gone tomorrow if I just took it today.”

But I knew that was a lie anyway

so I kept my baby.

And because I kept my baby,

it’s assumed I hate everyone who made a different choice.

I don’t.

I love them.

And I know how scared they were

because I was, too.

I know how these girls (and myself) were misinformed

when we were told it’s impossible.

It’s not.

I knew it would take a lot of trust

and big faith

when I kept my baby.

But when I did, this crazy thing happened.

It didn’t even ruin my life.

Not in any way.

Now I have a baby and a family.

I have a baby and a college degree.

I have a husband and even more babies.

I’ve raised a baby and still chased my own dreams.

So yes, I’ve done some things the hard way and I’ve grown up faster that I *had* to and I’ve struggled along the way

but when I look at my sweet “baby” boy,

I’m so glad that

I kept my baby.


Follow along with us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whitneyballard_writer/





"We know so little. First it was 30 seconds, now ACOG recommends (gasp) 60 seconds, but studies show 5 minutes can change brain development.
Now imagine if we actually just left it alone and allowed 5 minutes to turn into and indeterminate amount of time decided not by our egos or policies but only by the anatomy of the cord. What if we only clamped the cord once all the blood and stem cells transfused from the placenta to the baby, as is the position of most midwives, and is definable when the cord turns white, cold and limp, and the arteries and veins truly shut down...” via Kona Birth and Midwifery Services

Here’s a great link to help understand the benefits of optimal cord clamping:


Photo cred Patience Salgado IG: @kindnessgirl #doula #optimalcordclamping #birth #blackhills #rapidcity #birthwithoutfear #familycenteredbirth #newbaby #fourthtrimester


Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories

And it's magic. Whether it's your first baby or your fifth baby...your heart bursts each and every time.


Breastfeeding Berkshire

Now it should go without saying but, you know, this is the internet in 2020, so I'll spell it out...

If you choose to introduce a bottle for whatever reason that's cool. That's your choice and it's perfectly valid. Top tip- if you're introducing a bottle check out paced bottle feeding. This can help reduce the risk of baby developing a bottle preference. And paced bottle feeding is now recommended for all babies even if they are exclusively bottle fed.

If your circumstances mean that you need to introduce a bottle that is absolutely OK, understandable and valid.

This image is taking aim at the myth that families who do not want or need to introduce a bottle must do so because it's the only way for partners to help out, and bond with their baby. Not just partners either, grandparents, aunts, uncles, freakin second cousin Doris twice removed on your fathers side.... Sorry I digress. But many families are coerced into introducing bottles against their will by this myth even when they don't want to because it's something they're told they must do.

The fact is there are many ways partners and friends and relatives can help out that have nothing to do with bottles. Cook, clean, shop, do dishes, do laundry, offer to take baby for a walk while mum showers...Honestly letting mum sit down with a cup of tea, a plate of food, and put her feet up while she feeds the baby and you run a mop over the kitchen floor is likely to be far more helpful than you sitting on your bum feeding the baby while she loads the dishwasher.

Ditto bonding. You can have skin to skin give cuddles, you can wear baby in a sling and take them for a walk, you can bath them, change nappies, sing to them, talk to them, baby massage...Literally everything except feed them. If you did everything except breastfeed then you would be the primary carer. You do not need to bottlefeed in order to bond.

onlinelibrary.wiley.com 07/02/2020

Why are women buying GOOP? Women’s health and the wellness movement

onlinelibrary.wiley.com Click on the article title to read more.

birthsmalltalk.com 07/02/2020

Risks of CTG monitoring: Part 3

birthsmalltalk.com Does CTG monitoring generate more harm than benefit for babies? Here’s the evidence….



There’s a lot of conversation about Group B Strep (GBS) in medical journals at the moment, and several studies of different types of testing are underway. Which means things might be changing at some point.
That’s something we need to pay attention to. One of the things that I hear most often when talking to women about GBS is that they didn’t realise the implications of having a test. Sometimes, they weren’t even told the test was being done.
Many say that, if they had known how it would impact their care and experience, they might have made a different decision. But even if it wouldn’t affect your decision, it’s important to understand the full picture before deciding whether or not any particular test is right for you. Before you are offered it. And especially if you are likely to be offered it at a time when you might not want to be thinking about such decisions, for instance when you are in labour.
If you’d like more information about GBS, there are several free articles and blog posts on my website. I have also written a book on this. Group B Strep Explained was written to help parents, professionals and others to understand the issues and the evidence relating to the screening and prophylactic measures that are offered to pregnant and labouring women in the hope of preventing early-onset group B strep (EOGBS) disease.
My aim isn’t to try to direct anyone down a particular path. It’s about trying to share all the information that might be relevant to those who need to make decisions about this. The second edition (red cover with signpost) is the up-to-date one. 🙂
You can see my articles and find out more about the book at www.sarawickham.com/gbse/
I hope it helps you make the decision that’s right for you - about all aspects of GBS-related screening and/or prophylaxis.
#midwife #midwifery #doula #childbirth #birthdoula #childbirtheducation #childbirtheducator #hypnobirthing #pregnancyyoga #pregnancy #groupbstrep #gbs #birthinformation #groupbstrepexplained #drsarawickham #womenempowerment


The Homebirth of Folk

Hayley and Diego welcome their fourth baby, but first son. Born at home surrounded by love.



A systematic review has shown that vaginal birth, breastfeeding and mother-baby contact do not increase the chance of a baby being infected with SARS-COV-2, even where a mother has confirmed COVID-19.
"Early reports of COVID‐19 in pregnancy described management by caesarean, strict isolation of the neonate and formula feeding." The authors of this systematic review asked, "is this practise justified?"
They wanted to estimate whether the chance of a baby being infected with SARS-COV-2 was affected by the mode of birth (vaginal birth or caesarean), the type of feeding and whether the mum and baby stayed together or not.
They searched the medical literature for relevant studies and found, "49 studies which included 666 neonates and 655 women where information was provided on the mode of delivery and the infant’s infection status.”
Their findings and conclusion? "28/666 (4%) neonates had confirmed COVID‐19 infection postnatally. Of the 291 women who delivered vaginally, 8/292 (2.7%) neonates were positive. Of the 364 women who had a Caesarean birth, 20/374 (5.3%) neonates were positive.
Of the 28 neonates with confirmed COVID‐19 infection, 7 were breast fed, 3 formula fed, 1 was given expressed breast milk and in 17 neonates the method of infant feeding was not reported.
Neonatal COVID‐19 infection is uncommon, uncommonly symptomatic, and the rate of infection is no greater when the baby is born vaginally, breastfed or allowed contact with the mother."
Walker K et al (2020). Maternal transmission of SARS‐COV‐2 to the neonate, and possible routes for such transmission: A systematic review and critical analysis. BMJ https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16362
For birth information updates, follow @drsarawickham and/or subscribe to our free monthly Birth Information Update at www.sarawickham.com
#midwife #midwifery #doula #birthdoula #pregnant #birth #childbirth #duein2020 #drsarawickham #positivebirth #childbirtheducation #childbirtheducator #whatsrightforme #covid19 #covid19pregnancy




1513 Galloway Lane
Charleston, SC
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