Volume 7

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 9


In This Issue

Charis "Labor Support" Workshop
     August 11, 2012
Our Charis Family
Valencia Elliott
Charis Cuisine
Coconut Water Kefir
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
November 1st - December 20th (skipping Thanksgiving)
Thursday evenings 7:00 - 9:00
(cost $250 per couple)
Weekend Series
November 9 - 10
(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.

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



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, 2011, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December, 2012, to be sure it is received in time.  If you became a member sometime in 2012, then your membership is not due until December 31, 2013.

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

Our Director's Heart

Hello, Charis Family!

September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month in the United States.  “Infant mortality” is the term used to describe the death rate of babies within the first year of life.  Why on earth would the United States of America, the country that spends more on maternal healthcare than any other country in the world, need to spread awareness concerning our infant mortality rate? Shouldn’t babies who get the best start that money can buy survive their first year of life?  With all of our technology and abundance of highly educated medical care providers, our babies should be better off than all the others in the world-- right? Wrong!

According the the CIA World Factbook, 48 other countries have lower infant mortality rates than the US.  That’s right, we rank 49th!  Countries like South Korea, Portugal, and Cuba have fewer infant deaths per 1000 live births than we do in the United States.  This is not something to be proud of!  The embarrassment gets worse when we look at the infant mortality rates according to race in the US.  A black baby is more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday than a white baby.  And before you go assuming it is because of their socioecnomic status, that rate is pretty consistent across the board regardless of whether or not that black baby’s mother is living below the poverty line or in a mansion.  These facts raise a lot of questions that deserve answers.

My friend Jennie Joseph has been asking the questions for years and has come up with some convicting answers.  Not only that, she is putting feet to those answers and is making a difference! You can learn more about Jennie’s work at Commonsense Childbirth in a past Charis newsletter and at their website.  My prayer is that more and more people in the medical field will sit up and take notice of the amazing work she is doing and begin, widespread and largescale, to implement the simple principles of maternity care she has proven to benefit those at greatest risk.

Below is a press release written by Jennie.  Please share this newsletter far and wide.  Maybe someone, or many someones, with the heart and means to make a difference will read and, like Jennie, will do what is necessary help save lives in their communities.

As a voice for the infants at risk,
Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jennie Joseph
Tel: 407 656 6938
Email: jennie@commonsensechildbirth.org
Website: http://www.commonsensechildbirth.org

Orlando, FL: In 2006, September was designated as Infant Mortality Awareness Month in an effort to draw national attention to the number of American babies dying before they reach their first birthday.  Six years later there is still a need to educate the public on this issue as the numbers, although slightly improved, leave the US ranking 34th amongst other nations when it comes to infant deaths.  Worse yet, African American families suffer losses at 2-3 times the rate as other races.  According to the CDC in 2008 the US infant mortality rate for Caucasians was 5.6 per thousand live births, yet the African American rate was 13.1, and the Native American rate was 8.7.

Medical experts agree the two most prevalent causes of high infant mortality among women of color, are premature births before the 37th week of pregnancy and low birth weight - newborns weighing less than 5lbs 8 oz.  And to address and reduce these disparities policy makers, health care providers and community leaders must dig deeper to understand the causes and prevention of these poor outcomes.

Earlier this week women of color attended rallies to draw attention to the plight and perils inherent during pregnancy and birth, which increase the risks for themselves and their babies in the current American maternity care system. A grassroots movement is underway where women are speaking out against the lack of access to quality prenatal care providers, overuse of interventions during birth and the impact of little to no postpartum support for families.  They are seeking to show the connection between social, economic and political as well as the physical aspects of maternity health care in our country.

Agencies such as Healthy Start, March of Dimes, the Office of Minority Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are leading efforts to address these concerns and reach the goals of the government’s Healthy People 2020 initiative.

According to the March of Dimes*, in Florida 11.7% of White babies were born prematurely compared to 18.7% of Black babies. Similarly, 7.4% of White babies were born at low birth weight compared to 13.5% of Black babies.  The infant mortality rate for Florida was 5.7 per thousand for White babies yet 12.9 per thousand for Black.

These outrageous statistics cannot stand.
Time is of the essence - OUR BABIES ARE DYING!



  • 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
©2012 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends in its entirety, leaving all attribution intact.
September  2012