Volume 6

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 11


In This Issue

Our Charis Family
     Nancy Prevatt

Charis Cuisine

     Autumn Harvest soup
Charis Around the World
     Tidbits From Ebony

     Childbirth in Kenya
     Stories from India
     Life in the Caribbean

To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:

Newsletter Archives

Mark Your Calendars

Charis “Teaching Birth” Workshop
Saturday, February 25, 2012
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Birthways Family Birth Center

in Sarasota, Florida

For childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, or anyone who would like to improve their ability to communicate with and educate expectant families.

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 preparing effective introductions, asking powerful questions, creating a learner-friendly environment, capturing the attention of learners, helping clients embrace their responsibility of making informed decisions, and so much more.

In addition to the valuable skills acquired at the workshop, you will also take home with you an assortment of visual aids and other valuable teaching tools to enhance your future students’ learning experience.

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).

To register, complete the Registration Form
and mail it, along with payment, to:
Charis Childbirth
P.O. Box 6900
North Port, FL 34290

Childbirth Preparation Classes

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Presented by:  Birth InSight
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)
Seven Week Series
January 5th – February 16th
February 22nd - April 4th
May 2nd - June 13th
(cost $250 per couple)
Weekend Series
December 9th-10th
February 24th-25th
May 11th-12th
(cost: $250 per couple)
VBAC workshop
November 2nd and December 12th
(cost $25.00 per person)
Eat Right Now Workshop
December 14th, 7:00-9:00pm
(cost $25.00 per mom)
Live Right Now Workshop
November 30th, 7:00-9:00pm
(cost 25.00 per person)
L.E.A.N. Essentials Workshop
December 7, 7:00-9:00pm
(cost 25.00/person)

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


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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.

Our Director's Heart

Drawing by Joel Schuchmann


One of the most frustrating things to me these days is PROM!  Not the dance, but the spontaneous rupturing of the membranes before labor ever begins.  We have had WAY too many moms, whose heart’s desire was to deliver at home or at the birth center, end up with hospital transport and the domino effect of interventions that follows simply because their water broke and they didn’t move into progressing labor.

This isn’t a problem only for women choosing out-of-hospital delivery.  When a woman planning a hospital birth calls reporting that her water has broken, she is instructed by her OB or midwife to come to the hospital, even if she is not experiencing uterine contractions.  That scenario increases her chance of surgical delivery many-fold.

So, my big question is: What can be done to strengthen the membranes?  What can we do to decrease women’s chances of rupturing prior to active labor?

Here are a few of my thoughts and ideas:

STRENGTHEN THE SAC – a weak sac may also be the cause of rupture.  Remembering that “we are what we eat”, diet can go a long way to keeping ALL our parts strong and healthy, including the amnion and chorion.  The simple answer would be to eat nutrient-dense foods that strengthen connective tissues.  But how do we figure out what nutrients will bring the most benefit?  I believe Vitamin C with bioflavonoids would be extremely important.  They can be found abundantly in citrus fruit (the white, bitter part is super high in bioflavonoids).  For those who would rather take a supplement, relatively inexpensive, good quality Vit C with bioflavonoids can be found in health food stores.  Increasing trace minerals in the diet is also a good idea.  Unfortunately, much of the farmland today is depleted of those important minerals.  That is why I love to have people add alfalfa to their pregnancy infusion (tea).  The roots of alfalfa go extremely deep and pick up minerals other plants can’t reach.  Nettles and Oatstraw are other great herbs to include in a pregnancy infusion.  For more information about these herbs, check out this feature in a past newsletter: "Herbs Beneficial During Pregnancy".

PREVENT INFECTION – infection is sometimes the cause of rupture.  Things such as UTI’s, STD’s, GBS, periodontal disease (gum disease), etc. predispose a woman to PROM.  Prevention begins when our girls are little, so when we model the following, they will learn how to live well: Avoid antibiotics so that our bodies remain colonized with the proper micro-flora, eat pro-biotic/fermented foods, limit sugar and simple carbohydrate consumption, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as close to the way they grow as possible, grow a garden, etc.  Wipe front-to-back. Replace personal lubricants every few months (the bottles can harbor bacteria).  Live and value a lifestyle that does not lead to STD’s or other infections.  Brush teeth after each meal and floss once a day.

TEST FOR AND TREAT INFECTION – sometimes infections do not have symptoms.  I think it is a good idea to screen for infections during pregnancy and treat them promptly.  Testing for a UTI at the beginning of pregnancy, at 28 weeks, and again at 36 weeks can help us catch those asymptomatic infections and nip them in the bud before they have a chance to affect the membranes.  Screening for STD’s is also a great idea.  Not only are things such as gonorrhea and chlamydia dangerous for the baby during delivery, vaginal infections can also lead to chorioamnionitis and subsequent PROM if not treated.  I also think it would be wonderful if women would have their teeth cleaned twice by a dental hygienist during pregnancy to correct any periodontal disease that may be present.

What are some of YOUR ideas for prevention of early rupture of membranes?  I’m still in the process of processing all of this and value the input of other brilliant people!  Send your thoughts and ideas to newsletter@charischildbirth.org.

Toward strong, healthy membranes,

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


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!

Several people have contacted us recently asking about when their membership dues should be paid. Membership is due every December 31 for the coming calendar year. So, if you became a member on or before December 31, 2009, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December, 2010, to be sure it is received in time. If you became a member sometime in 2010, then your membership is not due until December 31, 2011.

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

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


  • 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
©2011 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends in its entirety, leaving all attribution intact.
November 2011