Volume 9

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 2


In This Issue

About Postpartum Care
Historical European Postpartum Traditions
Our Charis Family
Kim Donaldson
Charis Cuisine
Key Lime Pie           
Charis Around the World
Tidbits From Ebony

    Childbirth in Kenya

To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:

Newsletter Archives


Mark Your Calendars

Childbirth Preparation Classes
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Presented by:  Birth InSight
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)
Seven Week Series

May 1-June 5, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
July 10-August 14, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
September 4-October 9, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
October 16-November 20, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
(cost $250 per couple)

Weekend Series

May 16 & 17 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
August 1 & 2 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
November 7 & 8 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
 (cost $250 per couple) 

For more information and to register visit our website
or call 757-270-0437

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Attention Aspiring Midwives!

You will love the flexible, thorough, distance academics course offered through Charis Childbirth! Check it out!

Want to serve childbearing families as a Certified Doula or Childbirth Educator?

Become trained and certified through Charis Childbirth!
Take a look at our unique certification process!

If you seek a school that offers the convenience of self-paced distance learning, personal mentors for each student, a commitment to the highest excellence in education, a family-like network of students and birth professionals, and education from a Christian perspective, Charis may be just the right fit for you!

For more information
Visit the
Charis Web site
for course description and outline. 


Charis Membership

We at Charis are extremely grateful for our wonderful members.  This past year, your dues have made it financially possible for us to creatively correspond with people in areas of the world where internet is spotty at best.  Having all forms of communication available for us is essential if we are going to successfully train birth professionals in the far reaches of the earth.  As our community of members grows, there will be more funds available for even more world-impacting outreach. Thank you!

Membership is due every December 31 for the coming calendar year.  So, if you became a member on or before December 31, 2013, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December, 2014, to be sure it is received in time.  If you become a member sometime in 2014, then your membership renewal is not due until December 31, 2015.

You can send your membership form and $30 dues to:
Charis Childbirth
P.O. Box 6900
North Port, FL 34290


Our Director's Heart

A friend of mine is struggling today with whether or not to go out of town to visit her ill father.  Another friend just returned home from another state, and left her husband there, with his mother, while he receives cancer treatment.  I did not make the 2 ½ hour drive to attend the funeral of a close family friend last week.

Why would anyone not go to see an ailing parent?  Why would anyone part from her husband while he fights cancer?  Why would anyone choose not to attend the funeral of a close loved one?

The answer: Birth Work.

It is a calling and ministry like no other.  It requires a deep level of commitment and understanding from the midwife’s or doula’s entire family.  She sacrifices much for the families she serves.  I have left home to attend a birth on Christmas, did not attend my husband’s birthday dinner, and was absent on many other occasions when we had a family event planned.  I restrict my movement, never walk away from my cell phone, and always have a bag packed.  This has been my life for decades.

Over the years, I have learned a few things (well, way more than a few, but here are just several) that help me and my family deal with the challenges of birth work.

*Let everything done be motivated by love.  If my motivation is anything other than love, then I am doing it for the wrong reasons.  My family must also love the people I serve so that when I leave to help a laboring mother, they are excited and proud of the work I do.

*Identify reliable back up.  Sometimes, unexpected things come up and I will need to call on another midwife to cover for me.  My friend who is struggling with whether or not to go see her father will likely go within a day or two, as soon as her back-up midwife is available.  She is praying her father will hold on until she can get there.

*Allow for time off.  It is amazing the amount of stress it relieves when I can turn off my phone!  I like to take at least one long vacation a year, preferably two (one with my entire family and one with just my husband).  It’s important to plan more than 9 months in advance so that your clients will not be surprised by your vacation plans after they have already entered care.

*Be honest with clients.  They deserve to know my level of commitment.  They need to know my back-up arrangements.  They want to know what to expect so that there are no surprises.  They appreciate knowing the kinds of situations that may lead to my calling for back-up help.  Last Christmas, for instance, I planned to be in Virginia Beach to spend Christmas with my family and another local home birth midwife agreed to cover for me while I was away.  I let potential clients know, the very first time I talked with them on the phone, the dates I would be out of town and gave them the option of choosing another midwife, or taking their chances that they would deliver before I left or after I returned or with another midwife while I was away.  Thankfully, those sweet, accommodating babies all arrived while I was in town.

*Be realistic in determining your level of commitment and be true to the commitments you make.  Unless something catastrophic takes place, I will be there for my clients’ deliveries.  They know they can count on me.  It gives them peace, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy and birth.  I strive, however, to commit to no more than I can give.  That is why I only accept 4 due dates in a calendar month and I limit my service area to within an hour and a half from my home. That is why I only schedule appointments on Monday afternoons/evenings and Thursday mornings/afternoons.  That is why, at the very first prenatal visit, I ask my clients not to send me text messages and I let them know to limit after-hours phone calls to emergency situations (and I define emergency).  My husband is supportive of this and it is a good example to my children of integrity.  It is honorable to be true to one’s word.

This is what is on my heart today, as I have the privilege of helping two of my children plan their weddings.  I will not miss their weddings.  My clients completely understand and are prepared to birth with another midwife if their labor happens during the time I am “off”.  They know I love them and they are happy for me. Of course, we are all hoping the babies choose birthdays when I’m available.

If you have any tips to share with birth workers, feel free to submit them to newsletter@charischildbirth.org for publication in a future newsletter.

Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.

P.S.  Please pray for my midwife friend and her husband, an exceptionally wonderful OB who is battling cancer.  I can only imagine how hard it is for them to be apart right now.  She owns a birth center and must be home to keep it running. The moms and babies are counting on her.  Also pray for the doc’s patients who are without their care provider.  They are, understandably, very sad that their favorite OB is not with them right now.  Many of them have had a previous C-section and are devastated that they will not have the option of VBAC now that he is not there. The birth community here is scrambling to be sure everyone’s needs are met without him, and we are all praying for his complete healing so he can continue to provide such great care to the moms and babies in our area for many, many years to come. Thank you!

Contact Us

Charis Childbirth
P.O. Box 6900
North Port, FL 34290

 Kristin Schuchmann ~ Executive  Director
Cell (941)441-6410


Susan Oshel ~ Director of Midwifery Studies

Look us up


  • For the Charis Childbirth Educator, Doula, and Midwifery students: sharp minds to learn, opportunities for lots of hands-on learning
  • For the Charis CE’s, doulas, and midwives: rest, peace, protection, wisdom, discernment
  • For the Charis missionaries and humanitarian workers: protection, peace, divine guidance, financial provision
  • For  our  directors  and  administration:   Wisdom, guidance, energy, and provision from God as Charis enters this season of growth


The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider.

 'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth,
 Among  them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and The one who labors with child,  together,
 A great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
 Jeremiah 31:8, 14
©2014 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends in its entirety, leaving all attribution intact.
  February 2014