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May 30, 2011

Zoloft Connected to Birth Defects, Serious Side Effects

The popular anti-anxiety medication Zoloft has been associated with serious birth defects according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

The study found that the risk of developing birth defects such as septal defects may be doubled in infants whose mothers took Zoloft while pregnant. Septal defects create holes in the upper or lower chambers of the heart and affect the way that blood pumps from chamber to chamber.

The development of septal defects in babies was found to increase from 0.5 percent to 0.9 percent in pregnant women who took Zoloft during the first three months of pregnancy.

Due to these serious side effects, many women have filed a Zoloft lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. Although Zoloft does carry safety warnings, the medication has not yet been recalled and is available on the market.

Zoloft is an antidepressant medication and treats a variety of anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. The drug balances chemicals in the brain that are out of balance in patients diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Serious Zoloft side effects include muscle stiffness, confusion, irritability, hot or dry skin, coma and involuntary muscle movements. Zoloft also carries warnings concerning the increased risk of neonatal persistent pulmonary hypertension, serotonin syndrome and suicidal behavior.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing data about the risks associated with Zoloft.

For additional information please call (800) 409-0193

Written by:Mickey Colón
National Awareness Coordinator

Being Born: The Doula's Role (children's book)

Being Born: The Doula's Role
by Jewel Hernandez
Illustrated by R. Michael Mithuna

This children’s picture book with simple text and soft watercolors explains in friendly terms to kids and parents about the role of a doula – a healthcare professional who offers physical and emotional support to a pregnant woman and her family. Research confirms that the support of a doula throughout pregnancy optimizes a woman’s chances of having a healthier birth experience as well as a healthier newborn. This book celebrates birth – as a natural and whole-family experience. Both its text and images present the subject clearly, but in child-appropriate language. Its gentle advocacy of a doula’s role make Being Born an invaluable resource for childbirth educators to use with first pregnancies, teenage mothers, and with families for whom English is a second language. When read to younger siblings, this book will be a source of comfort to those who wonder about all the people involved when mom is “having a baby.”

No other child-oriented picture-book covers the subject of doulas.

Click here to make an online purchase

May 19, 2011

Awesome TED Talk On Birth, Power And Doulas.

"I don't tell them what to do, I believe in them."

Sometimes a good TED talk is the best way to grasp a new and complex topic in minutes. What you’ll grasp from watching this one is, among other things, why a doula can be so valuable to a woman in labor. You’ll also learn just how awesome Ginny Phang is.

Ginny Phang is passionate about enriching a woman's child birth experience, supporting couples through their choices and
helping them to achieve the best possible birth experience. As a Doula, she has supported over 300 births and taught antenatal classes to hundreds of couples. She works with first-time mothers, mothers who have had multiple babies, couples from all cor­ners of the world, vaginal births after a cesarean, breech vaginal births, twins, water births, and home births. She believes in doulaing with a warm heart because birth matters.

She joined with many women in Singapore who delivered TEDx Talks to share their stories and ideas joining with the voices of hundreds of other during Global TED Women over 2 days in Dec 2010.

She’s been speaking all over the world in front of audiences ranging from small groups of single pregnant women to the Singapore International Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecol­ogy. She’s been trained by pioneers in childbirth education and labor support. She’s been quoted all over the place, including TIME magazine and other publications.

In her talk, she tells us what led her to becoming a doula, how labor works, and how our ideas about birth can shape our experience of labor and pain in labor. She ends with a handy check-list of things you can do to try and have a positive birth. Throughout there’s boatloads of wisdom, humor and insight. Even if you know all about doulas and how birth works, I think you’ll be really taken by Ginny’s incredible charm. Let’s just put it this way: I’d give birth with her any time!

Here is the video clip Ginny screens at the end of her TEDx Talk.

Four Trimesters Birth Videos

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day.

"Mother is a gift of god. She is an angel, which protects you from all the evils of the world and gives you a secure shelter in her lap whenever you feel stressed and insecure. Irrespective of how we look or behave, our mother showers us with all possible love and blessings in the world. Despite how successful we become, she can't ignore her little concerns for us. Despite we become mature enough, we remain a 'silly darling kid' in our momma eyes. Though she is a guardian angel to us, we hardly ever get an opportunity to thank her for lending us a shoulder to cry, a lap to rest, hands to catch hold of us whenever we fall. She is our dearest pal and our best companion ever. On this mother's day, shower your mother with all the good messages we have exclusively given for you. Tell her that you love her and no one else could ever substitute the position she holds in your heart."

May 4, 2011

Celebrate International Day of the Midwife!

Come join us in the Toronto International Day of the Midwife Walk.

Time and Place:
Tomorrow from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

344 Bloor St. W. Toronto, ON

Please join in! Community Midwives of Toronto is planning an event on May 5 for the International Day of the Midwife.
Toronto International Day of the Midwife Walk Thursday, May 5, 2011 9:30 – sign-making session: meet at Community Midwives of Toronto, 344 Bloor St. W., Suite 201 10:30 – walk begins at corner of Bloor & Spadina 5K walk proceeds (sidewalks only – please no large bikes). Route ends at Queen’s Park.

For more information, contact Community Midwives of Toronto at 416-944-9366. For more information on the Walk to Durban campaign, visit

May 3, 2011

"No Woman, No Cry"

Host a Watch Party.

"No Woman, No Cry" is coming to your living room! Grab your friends, your family and host a watch party!

In her gripping directorial debut, Christy Turlington Burns shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States.

To celebrate, and to show your support for the “Count Me In!” campaign, we’re asking you to invite your friends, your family, your moms group or whomever you choose to have a watch party and watch it together. We’ll provide a discussion guide with background information on the film, Every Mother Counts, the issue and some key discussion questions to guide the conversation with your friends.

There are lots of ways to make this work:

Go to facebook RSVP page and use facebook to invite your friends and spread the word
Or if you’d rather host a watchparty online, check out and learn how to enjoy the film with friends and family (from your individual living rooms!)

"No Woman, No Cry" premieres on the OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network for Mother’s Day:

May 7th at 9:30pm ET

May 8th at 1:00pm ET

May 2, 2011

Fetal Circulation Rap

This short film on fetal development and circulation is sure to having you rolling over with laughter. Enjoy!