Volume 5

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 5


In This Issue

About Birth
 Tactile  and Emotional Support During Labor:  The Doula
Our Charis Family
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)
Charis Cuisine
     Wonders of Watermelon
 About Babies
    Ways Dads Can Bond With Their Baby
 Tidbits from Ebony
     Through A Father's Eyes in Ebony

To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Newsletter Archives


Our address

Charis Childbirth, Inc.

P.O. Box 6900
North Port, FL 34290

It's been over a year since Charis headquarters moved to Florida.  If you use our old Virginia Beach address, your mail will not reach us as the post office is no longer forwarding mail.  Be sure to mail your yearly membership fees to the Florida address!

Look us up
Charis and our Midwifery Scholarship Fund

Mark Your Calendars

Childbirth Education Series
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Presented by:
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)

Weekend Intensive:
June 18th & 19th or August 27th & 28th
Lunch Included
6 Week Class
every Wednesday, July 21st - August 25 th

Cost $150.00

For more information call (757)270-0437
To register and visit our website:

E-mail: info@birthinsightva.com

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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.


"Deep relaxation, surrender, letting go"

When midwives are asked to disclose the secret of giving birth with relative ease, these are the words we choose. More than metaphors for coping, these responses are based on physiological imperatives..."  ~Elizabeth Davis

Our Director's Heart

Learning, Growing, & Changing One’s Mind

I don’t know about you, but I have very strong opinions about things and I base those opinions on the evidence I see in this world. I make choices and decisions based on what I have learned throughout life. I’m not one to be easily swayed. Sometimes, however, I learn new things that challenge my currently held beliefs and cause me to dig deeper and learn even more so I can once again be confident in what I believe and do.

Until recently, I held a belief that it was safe for a mom to drink a little alcohol to help her relax and rest when she was experiencing long, prodromal labor that was ineffective and exhausting. I based my belief that it was safe on the fact that many midwives I greatly respect have been doing it for a very long time with no apparent bad effects. It has been my experience and theirs that a woman in non-productive labor who has a little wine will relax and doze off for awhile and wake up with renewed strength and energy and in active, productive labor. I have believed that this saved them from potential surgery.

Now, after attending a conference recently on the effects of alcohol on an unborn baby, I am not sure if I would still recommend it. You see, when a mom drinks alcohol, the effects on the baby are as if the baby had been given fifteen times the amount of alcohol the mother drank. I won’t go into all the physiology here, but it has to do with the baby’s immature liver and the fact that the alcohol continues to circulate in the baby’s system and remains in the amniotic fluid for a long time. The baby literally experiences alcohol poisoning. The “risks” associated with the alcohol have changed in my mind.

A dilemma remains that there is no information out there that compares the risks of giving a mom a sleeping pill, IV pain medications, or another intervention and the risks of giving a mom a half glass of wine. By choosing any of the possible hospital interventions, are we setting moms up for a Cesarean? Would a little wine carry less risk to the baby than other interventions? I don’t have these answers.

We know that there is NO drug (over-the counter, prescription, or otherwise) that has been proven safe for an unborn baby.

So, until I have more facts, I will no longer recommend alcohol to help a mom relax and rest during long, exhausting prodromal labor.

I’m now inclined to call an acupuncturist or to use homeopathics which don’t produce the ill-effects on baby.

I would love for all of you to ponder this issue along with me. If you are a midwife, think about how you may handle things when the mom is completely worn out and you “know” that all she needs is to let go, relax, and maybe get a little sleep so her labor can become more productive. If you are a doula, what will you recommend to your client in that situation?

From now on, I am going to stress to my clients how very dangerous ANY amount of alcohol is to an unborn baby at ANY point in pregnancy. I have heard some people say, “I’m in my third trimester. What harm could it do to have a beer?” It is true that the bulk of the formation of organs and features takes place in the beginning of pregnancy; but the end of pregnancy is when so much of the baby’s brain development takes place, making it even more important to avoid alcohol at that time.

The effects of alcohol are not just evident as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), but there is also a range of effects called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These kids with FASD are often misdiagnosed with autism, ADHD, and other things, and are often the ones that do not respond as expected to the usual treatments for those problems.

Please take the time to learn more so that you are able to equip your clients to make wise choices during their pregnancies.

Toward happy, healthy moms and babies,
Kristin Schuchmann
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth

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


  • Grants and other funding for the expansion of the Charis ministry

  • 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


2010 Conference

Fixed on Him, Forgiven by His Grace, Finished by Him
Our 6th Annual Conference at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
August 30-September 2, 2010


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
©2009 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends in its entirety, leaving all attribution intact.
May 2010