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Archive for January, 2008

Waterbirth International in danger of closing

I cannot yet imagine a world without the voice and work of Waterbirth International – we get calls and emails every day from women who need help convincing one hospital or another to let them labor or birth in water. If we die – a big part of the movement
dies. Waterbirth has shown us all that women know how to give birth and babies know how to be born. Waterbirth gave us “hands-off”, sit back and let the baby out. I see waterbirth mentioned on Blogs every single day, not to mention Baby Story on the TV. I took Waterbirth International to ACOG two years in a row – and was the ONLY booth
showing birth films to obstetricians and especially to student physicians. There were tears, laughter and outrage – just the thing to stir up those young crop of doctors. I am finally realizing a life’s dream. But now I am faced with letting this dream go. Perhaps I have done enough. Perhaps it is time to quit.

About 18 years ago, maybe it was longer, when Mothering Magazine was facing bankruptcy Peggy did a heartfelt plea asking their readers to consider ordering a Life-time subscription. I think the subscriptions were $1000 or $1200, I can’t remember now. I do remember that I couldn’t imagine not reading my Mothering. So, I bought two and gave one to my obstetrician’ s office.

How can you help us stay open to take the next phone call? – to convince the next obstetrician to incorporate waterbirth into his/her practice – to work with the nurse midwives to install pools in their facilities? To educate an entire hospital on the benefits of allowing women freedom of movement in the water. How much is it worth to see waterbirth become the norm in the US, like it is in the UK? I think we only need a few more years to make that happen. Do women really want waterbirth to be an available choice in every hospital? I think so.

Can you help us by getting the word out on blogs and lists? I had to let go of all of the staff except one person to process orders. Miraculously, we made payroll today, but we can’t hang on much longer. We need a miracle.

If I need to call every single waterbirth parent personally, I will. I don’t want 25 years of work to end over a measly $200,000.

The work that we have done the last few years has been phenomenal. How God arranged for me to teach in hospitals and medical schools around the planet – Taiwan, Venezuela, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Holland, Portugal, China, Trinidad, Croatia – I’ll never figure that out. I laugh out loud sometimes when I get up in front of an
audience of physicians in a medical school overseas – who all want to hear about waterbirth and the incorporation of Gentle Birth practices and principles into their routines.

Think about what you can do and call me if you want to chat or if you have some great ideas on how we can quickly move into the black and keep waterbirth alive and thriving.

We need your help. Barbara Harper needs your help. The waterbirth/gentle birth movement needs your help.

Blessings,

Barbara
Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCE
Founder/Director
Waterbirth International
www.waterbirth.org
503-673-0026 -office (out of US or in Portland)
800-641-2229 – toll free
503-710-7975 – cell phone

We LOVE helping women get into Hot Water!! And have been doing it for 24 years!!

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