Archive | May, 2014

Telling Birth Stories: Writing Workshop with Elayne Clift (May 14, NYC)

4 May

Reposted from http://swgproject.org/new-blog/

TELLING BIRTH STORIES

A Writing Workshop with Award-Winning Author & Journalist

 Elayne Clift

 How do you write a good birth story?  What makes any story compelling?  How can we tell our own birth stories, as remembrance, and as a gift to other women?

In their book Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-emergence of Woman-supported Birth in America (Praeclarus Press, 2014), Christine Morton and Elayne Clift include stories by women for whom a doula was present at their birth.  These beautifully crafted first-persons narratives give voice to the extraordinary experience of giving birth. Join the growing chorus of women whose voices, and birth stories, are being heard!

This workshop draws upon the examples of birth-related stories as Clift guides participants through the elements of good storytelling as they relate to the experience of giving or assisting birth. Prompts will serve as a guide to setting the scene, involving characters, using dialogue, making wise word choices, and more. Come prepared to remember, write, and share.  (Laptops welcome. Paper/pen are good too!) Join in painting a picture that carries your audience with you as you tell your birth tale!

DATE/TIME:  Wednesday, May 14th

6:00 pm – Birth Ambassadors book reading and signing

7:00 – 8.30 pm – Writing Workshop

PLACE: 242 West 27th Street, Kids at Work. 4th floor, buzzer #6, between 7th and 8th Avenues

COST: Writing Workshop $20  (no fee for book signing only)

RSVP to Mary Esther Malloy maryesthermalloy@gmail.com or Elayne Clift  eclift@vermontel.net

                                                * * * *

Elayne Clift (M.A.), a specialist in gender issues and women’s health, has been an international educator and advocate on maternal and child health issues. She is Sr. correspondent for the India-based syndicate Women’s Feature Service, a frequent contributor to Women’s Media Center, a columnist for the Keene (NH) Sentinel, and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.  Her novel, Hester’s Daughters, a contemporary, feminist re-telling of The Scarlet Letter was published in 2012. She lives in Saxtons River, Vt.

Birth Ambassadors by Christine Morton and Elayne Clift

Birth Ambassadors documents the social history of the emergence of doula care in the United States. What are doulas and where did they come from? Why do women become doulas? What does it mean to be a doula? Birth Ambassadors is the only book to fully answer these questions by connecting narrative accounts with critical sociological analysis of the dilemmas and issues embodied in doula history and practice. Based on historical research and interviews with currently practicing doulas and leaders in the field,

Birth Ambassadors argues that the doula role is underpinned by ideological commitments to several overlapping and, at times, conflicting ideas around childbirth. These include an understanding of pregnancy and birth from the midwifery model, a belief in women’s right to make informed choices regarding their health care, the need for patient/consumer advocacy and unconditional emotional support for women’s choices about their births. Birth Ambassadors explores how this constellation of beliefs within doula practice represents an innovative yet problematic response within the maternity reform movement to empower women during and after childbirth. Doulas are ambassadors to the world of birth, highlighting women’s emotional experience of birth in settings where beliefs and practices of the participants (the woman, her family, the nurses, midwives and obstetricians) are sometimes in conflict. For doulas to fulfill their goal of entering mainstream maternity care, they and their organizations face critical challenges.

“This book is THE definitive work on doulas in the United States. It is clearly and compellingly written, immediately drawing readers into the story of the development of doulas in the U.S. and of the social movement that arose to support their incorporation into American hospital birth. Want to know what a doula actually does for laboring mothers? Read this book! Want to know what a doula can do for you personally, if you are expecting? READ THIS BOOK! Want to know if you yourself should become a doula? READ THIS BOOK! If you are an obstetrician, professional midwife, or obstetric nurse, read this book to find out how doulas can augment your care in ways that support you as well as the mother, the baby, and the family.”

Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD, author, Birth as an American Rite of Passage, co-editor, Mainstreaming Midwives.

 “Birth Ambassadors documents the social history of the emergence of doula care in the United States. What are doulas and where did they come from? Why do women become doulas? What does it mean to be a doula?  Birth Ambassadors is the only book to fully answer these questions by connecting narrative accounts with critical sociological analysis of the dilemmas and issues embodied in doula history and practice. Based on historical research and interviews with currently practicing doulas and leaders in the field, Birth Ambassadors argues that the doula role is underpinned by ideological commitments to several overlapping and, at times, conflicting ideas around childbirth.”

Holly Powell Kennedy, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, FAAN, Varney Professor of Midwifery at Yale University and Past-President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

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