This site has moved! Please visit the new blog at



I read this somewhere about midwives patience when attending birth:

Midwives have skilled hands and know how to sit on them.


Natural is Natural

Many Western doctors hold the belief that we can improve everything, even natural childbirth in a healthy woman. This philosophy is the philosophy of people who think it deplorable that they were not consulted at the creation of Eve, because they would have done a better job. (Kloosterman 1994).


Rediscovering Midwifery

 “Unfortunately, the role of obstetrics has never been to help women give birth. There is a big difference between the medical discipline we call “obstetrics” and something completely different, the art of midwifery. If we want to find safe alternatives to obstetrics, we must rediscover midwifery. To rediscover midwifery is the same as giving back childbirth to women. And imagine the future if surgical teams were at the service of the midwives and the women instead of controlling them.”

-Michael Odent, MD


Ram Dass Quote

Ram Dass has this to say about a garden and life and I'd like to tack Midwifery onto that quote: “Just as in a garden we do not ‘grow’ flowers, rather we create the conditions in which flowers can grow.”


Midwife Whales

Midwife whales are female whales that accompany a pregnant whale throughout her pregnancy, birth and three months postpartum. The midwife whale is present with the mom in a way that is nurturing, allowing mom to do exactly what she needs to do to have her baby in peace. The midwife whale looks on protectively and only intervenes when necessary.


they invite us in - Birth Poetry

they invite us in

who trust us
inviting us in
to share their secret passage
we count their moons with them
waiting for a pause
and in that suspension
we wait with them
fingers granted privileged entry
into innermost recesses
secrets shared
stories heard
lessons learned
they invite us in
to help their babies out
we dance with them
as they grow and wait
each day a little larger
new life jostling their ribs
until its stretching
threatens to burst
her fleshen bubble
at last
she is ready
taking your hand
she flows in and out of
the deepest shadow places
love and terror
the waves grip her
until she is ready
to release
you sing to her
breathe, my dear
hold her close
relax now, it's over
help her see
she will not die
not today
at last
for the first time ever
into tiny pink balloons
their love made
into a body
your hands felt it first
still one with her body
as it grew
and fell out
your waiting palms
you love this moment
this woman
this baby
then you entrust her back
into the arms of her mate
hoping he's learned
even more
how grand she is
this bearer of life

-Judy Edmunds (1997)


Early Pregnancy Class - June 27 - 28

Angi Gunther, LCCE and Courtney Jarecki (that's me), Doula and Health Advocate, are presenting an Early Pregnancy Class to help couples navigate the maze of options surrounding pregnancy, birth and postpartum so that parents may choose the care and products that make the most sense for their lifestyle and pocketbook!

When a couple finds out they are expecting, they are faced with a multitude of options regarding prenatal care, birth and the care of their baby. The first decisions that parents must make, and probably the most important, are that of a care provider and place of birth. Birth planning begins when parents choose where and with whom they will birth their baby. The care provider and birthplace should share or at least respect the parent’s philosophies regarding pregnancy, birth and newborn care. OBs, Midwives, Hospital birth, Home birth, and Birth Centers will all be discussed.

In addition, there are many types of prenatal classes and services available to women to help them through pregnancy or to prepare for birth. Couples will learn about prenatal exercise, childbirth education, Doulas and natural health care for pregnancy.

When it comes to baby care, parents are often overwhelmed at the number of products available. The Early Pregnancy Class will cover breastfeeding accessories, baby carriers, and diapering choices. Cloth diapers and glass bottles used to be the only choices, now they are making a comeback. But parents can also choose flushable diapers and BPA free plastic bottles. And what is Elimination Communication anyway?

The Early Pregnancy Class will feature guest speakers who specialize in pregnancy and newborn care, goody bags full of community resources, sling and cloth diapering demonstrations, a raffle, food and more!

When: June 27 - 28 | 5 - 7:30pm

Where: Nurture, a Family Wellness Collective

1614 NE Alberta Street

Cost: $75 per couple

Eats: Catered by din din

Contact: Angi Gunther, LCCE | | 503.890.1361

Courtney Jarecki | | 503.737.8834

Classes will be held at Nurture, located at 1614 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211. Nurture is a cooperative of professionals specializing in growing healthy families. For more information on Nurture, or to learn more about Angi and Courtney, please visit


Early Pregnancy Class - June 27 - 28

Planning for pregnancy, birth or a new baby?  This class will help you sort through your options and provide you with a wealth of community resources, coupons & samples.  Oh, and we’ll feed you too! 

The Early Pregnancy Class is for any woman thinking about starting a family, any couple that thinks they might want to start a family and anyone who already has children and wants more education and information.

The Early Pregnancy Class is organic to what each person wants to learn. In addition to customizing the class to your needs, we will also cover the following topics:

  • The difference between OB/GYN, Certified Nurse Midwives, Naturopathic Midwives, Direct Entry Midwives
  • Hospital Birth Centers, Free-standing Birth Centers and Homebirth options
  • What type of prenatal class best addresses your needs and lifestyle
  • What are pregnancy, labor and postpartum doulas
  • Healthcare support while pregnant and postpartum (Acupuncture, Reiki, Chiropractic, Massage)
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Baby and new mom essentials
  • Breastfeeding resources and accessories
  • Sleeping options for baby
  • Diapering options and cloth diaper demo
  • Baby sling demos
  • Guest presenters who specialize in pregnancy and newborn care

Grab bags full of community resources, handouts. coupons, tea and much more will also be provided.

Date: June 27 & 28 (Saturday & Sunday)

Time: 5:00 - 7:30pm

Where: Nurture - a Family Wellness Collective (

  1614 NE Alberta St.

  Portland, OR 97211

Cost: $75 per couple

Eats: Dinner will be catered by din din. When registering, please notify us of any dietary considerations

Raffle: At the end of the second day a raffle will be held and wonderful, community prizes will be given

Contact: Angi Gunther, LCCE



    Courtney Jarecki



Angi Gunther has been supporting new families in Portland since 2002.  She is the mother of three children born in 2001, 2004 and 2008.  Her children have inspired her work as a Doula, Breastfeeding Advocate & Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. She believes parents need complete information about their options so they can make truly informed decisions.  Angi currently teaches Confident Birthing Childbirth Education classes at Nurture.  

Courtney Jarecki is owner of Full Moon’s Daughter, a professional doula and pregnancy education service. She tends to new moms and babies at a birth center and is a midwifery student. Courtney believes that every woman can have the birth that is perfect for her if she is aware of all her options. Courtney’s path in life is to guide woman toward motherhood.


International Day of the Midwife - May 5

The below info is from the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), which was established in 1982 as a professional organization for all midwives. The group recognizes and honors the diversity of educational backgrounds and practice styles within the profession. MANA's goal is yo unify and strengthen the profession of midwifery, therby improving the quality of health care for women, babies and communities.

Today is International Midwifery Day! Hug your midwife today and enjoy the following read from MANA!!!

Midwife numbers must be expanded to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 by 2015 350,000 more midwives are needed!

The UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 states: The high risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth continues unabated in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia … little progress has been made in saving mothers’ lives. Over 60% of women in these areas of the world still do not have skilled care during childbirth.

This report notes better progress for all of the MDG goals, apart from MDG5!2 Yet all the goals are linked: until
poverty and hunger are reduced, until diseases such as HIV and malaria are controlled, until there is more
equality between men and women, until every child completes primary education, until all women have access
to reproductive healthcare - then mothers and babies will continue to die.

Midwives are key healthcare providers in achieving MDG!5: Improving Maternal Health. That is the clear message coming from the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank: the four UN agencies that have recently united to pledge increased support to countries with the highest maternal mortality rates.

They identified mortality in pregnancy and childbirth as the “highest health inequity in the world with over 99% of
deaths occurring in the developing world”. They committed to work with governments and civil society organizations to address the “urgent need for skilled health workers, particularly midwives”.

Midwives provide skilled newborn care to achieve MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality Every year in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia more than 1 million infants die within their first 24 hours of life due to lack of adequate health services, including midwifery care. The midwives of the world understand that every childbearing woman deserves to give birth within a safe and supported environment for herself and her baby. Skilled midwifery care includes emergency care for both mothers and their newborns.

Midwives are essential to achieve MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases Thousands of pregnant women and hundreds of thousands of newborns die each year due to preventable disease. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa governments have recognized the primary role of midwives inreducing these devastating deaths. As essential frontline workers, midwives provide vaccines to newborns and children; they identify, counsel and treat pregnant women with HIV and AIDS, thus preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; they also provide anti-malarial drugs and bed nets to vulnerable pregnant women and their children, saving lives and promoting health.

The achievement of MDGs 4, 5 and 6 requires a global commitment to grow a strong, well educated midwifery workforce within functioning health service delivery systems.

The sense of urgency to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6 in the next six years is increasing daily. The ICM and the
midwives of the world are committed to working with global partners to achieve these goals. The Confederation
has grown to 91 member associations with 250,000 midwives in over 80 countries and has recently partnered
with the UNFPA to strengthen midwifery education, regulation and associations in 40 low income countries. The ICM has also joined the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Sarah Brown’s Maternal Mortality Campaign to
increase public awareness and apply political pressure on the G8 and G20 to make maternal and newborn
health a global priority. The ICM recognizes that health delivery systems must be strengthened and the
midwifery workforce must be increased to stop the needless deaths of millions of women and their newborns
who will die in the next six years if immediate action is not taken now.

The world needs midwives now more than ever!

For more information contact ICM President Bridget Lynch or ICM Secretary General Agneta Bridges at +31 70
3060520 or e-mail
1. The World Health Report: Make every mother and child count. World Health Organization, 2005.
2. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008. New York, USA: UN, 2008
3. MDG 5 Target: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. UN, 2000.
4. Accelerating efforts to save the lives of women and newborns. WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF/World Bank. Joint statement: Sept. 2008.
5. MDG 4 Target: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. UN.


Flower Essences

I'm starting to realize that a lot of my day-to-day living is actually studying to become a Midwife. I also just realized that the college career I spent learning about plants and botanicals is finally starting to pay off.

I spent the day making a flower essences kit that I can use during birth and everyday healing. The Latin names are familiar to me and I can almost evoke a picture of each plant I am working with. Where my education is paying off is allowing me to be comfortable with plants and confident in my abilities to work with these spirits.


Where Am I

I've been distant from this blog. A lot of it has to do with me being busy as a Postpartum Doula - spending nights with a new family in their home. Missing sleep for me requires days of recovery. And by recovery I mean doing as little as possible.

I've also not been posting very often because I'm hoping to have an official Full Moon's Daughter website up. Though I am not even close to even finalizing a design, I feel like I don't want to blog too often until that is a reality.

Full Moon's Daughter, by the way, is that name of my Doula practice, which will transition into my Midwifery practice. The name is powerful to me for a lot of reasons, two of them being that I am, for the first time in my life, identifying myself as a daughter and claiming who my mother is.