Volume 5

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 7


In This Issue

About Pregnancy
Alcohol's Effect on Fetal Development
About Children
     Can Parents Get Separation Anxiety?

One Doctor's Opinion
     Test Leads to Needless C-section
Our Charis Family
Elizabeth Lugmayer, CCE, CD, EMT
Charis Cuisine
      Rainbow Salad
Tidbits from Ebony
     Visits with My Guard

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

Charis “Labor Support” Workshop
Saturday, October 2, 2010
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Birthways Family Birth Center
in Sarasota, Florida

For childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, or anyone who would like to improve her ability to support laboring women.

At our workshops, learning is interactive, hands-on, fun, and interesting. All Charis workshops are taught from a Christian perspective, giving God the glory for His marvelous creation and how He so wonderfully created women to bear children.

You will spend the day making new friends and becoming more skilled in putting to use many techniques to bring a woman comfort during each phase of labor, understanding the science behind why the comfort measures work, creating an environment conducive to the natural progression of labor, recognizing when a woman is beginning to panic and helping her regain control, gently encouraging a woman to effectively push out her baby while taking advantage of the natural physiology of second stage, assisting a woman in breastfeeding for the very first time, and so much more.

In addition to the valuable skills acquired at the workshop, you will also take home with you a beautiful “labor support bag” filled with an assortment of tools to help you successfully support, serve, and bring comfort to your future clients as they labor.

A delicious lunch will be provided for all the workshop attendees to enjoy as you get to know each other better during a midday break.

The cost is $200 for Charis members and $230 for non-members (includes one-year Charis membership).

The registration form will be posted soon
on the Charis Web Site
and in our next newsletter

Childbirth Education Series

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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

Weekend Intensive:
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

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

MANA 2010 Conference
October 14 - 17, 2010
near Nashville, Tennessee
at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs
700 Cool Springs Boulevard, Franklin, Tennessee

Returning to our Roots, Sewing Seeds for our Future
Midwives Alliance of North American
Learn more and Register

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Post your  Charis  workshops and gatherings, enjoy and reflect your own views in our various columns,   announce  births, share your thoughts  and  comments   in   our  "Letters  To  The  Editor" section and submit  questions you  would  like  answers to.  Editorials are areas where many points of view are invited for reflection! 

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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.

  • 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

Our Director's Heart

Guess Where...

We at Charis have a heart for the nations and we try to keep a finger on the pulse of different cultures and their birthing practices. I have been learning a little bit about a culture lately that I thought you might find very interesting. I'm going to tell you a little about the culture and I want you to guess where they live.

This people group lives in small, overcrowded, insect-infested, dilapidated homes. Extended family or several families all live under one roof.  Many of them live a migrant life and most are not originally from the country where they currently live.

Disease is rampant in this community.   HIV, syphilis, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and others are just some of the diseases they face and the people have very little understanding of how to prevent transmission of these diseases. Women, especially, are at risk for HIV.  Leprosy has even been found there.   Health care available to them is limited.

The life they live is especially difficult for pregnant women.  The work they do, extreme poverty, malnourishment, and substandard living conditions put them at risk for many pregnancy complications such as spina bifida, gestational diabetes, severe birth defects, IUGR, preterm birth, and more. These expectant moms do not usually receive prenatal care and will just show up at the nearest hospital when they are ready to deliver their babies.

They work long, hard hours with rarely a day off in one of the most dangerous jobs there is: farm work.  Pesticide and other hazardous chemical exposure, stoop labor, climbing tall ladders with 100-lb bags of produce on their backs, accidents involving farm machinery, unavailability of drinking water, lack of bathroom and hand washing facilities, and other hazards lead to many health problems, injuries, and deaths. Both men and women do this work, but women are paid only about half of what the men are paid to do identical work. Women are mistreated, harassed, and raped on the job.

harvesting endive

The average income for one of these farm workers is the equivalent of $5,000 to $7,500 a year.  Some crews are reported to be paid only in drugs and alcohol.

Have you guessed yet???

Most of these people spend their life savings to move to the country where they now live in hopes of a better life for their families.  Many are deceived and coerced into paying huge sums of money for "papers" they need to enter the new country, only to find out afterwards that they have been scammed. All their money gone, they feel trapped in their new life.

Cultural and language barriers make it difficult for them to integrate into the culture of their new country.   Shopping is especially a challenge for them.  There are schools available, but sending their children to be taught within an unfamiliar culture with different morals and values is very scary for these families.

Have you figured it out???

With these third-world living conditions and with working conditions and treatment resembling slavery in the US in the 1800's, one would expect this to be happening somewhere in perhaps Africa or South America.  These impoverished communities, however, exist unnoticed right here in the United States of America, in the shadows of pristine residential communities with manicured landscaping and man-made fountains. 

Citrus picker in Polk County, FL

I knew there were people who worked on the farms here where I live in Florida, and I knew they were probably not paid well; but until recently, I had no idea how bad it really is.  Although the majority of them are either United States citizens or are here working legally, their life is eerily similar to the life of slaves on southern plantations, but just with a different name: migrant and seasonal farm workers.  I didn't know that so many of these workers brought their families to live here under false pretenses. I didn't know that there are people out there deceiving and scamming in order to get cheap laborers to come to the US.

Now that I know, I wonder what I can do to help. I wonder if, as a midwife, I will be able to do something to make life a little better for these moms and babies. I don't know exactly what I will be able to do, but I know that the first step is to learn their language. I now have a huge desire to learn Spanish along with my children during homeschooling. I don't know what the next step will be, but I'm sure God will reveal it to me when it is time.

Overcrowded labor bus, Florida, USA

Florida is not the only place where these communities exist. They are all over the United States and there may even be a migrant or seasonal farm worker community in your "backyard". I encourage you to find out. Education is desperately needed. Perhaps YOU will be able to provide childbirth classes, doula services, or a "free access" clinic where they can come to receive prenatal care. Perhaps you are able to do some grant writing in order to provide the funding for such endeavors.  Those kinds of things save lives.

My ultimate hope is that more and more people will become aware of this "modern day slavery" and that something can be done to bring it to an end. Until then, I want to do whatever God leads me to do to help these beautiful people.

Kristin Schuchmann
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.

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


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
©2010 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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July 2010