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Exciting Event Updates

posted May 12, 2011, 9:16 AM by Cassandra Gekas   [ updated May 12, 2011, 9:44 AM ]

We're approaching the final weeks of our Born in Vermont event series and have made some changes to the final schedule. Please check our our calendar of events for the most up to date info on upcoming happenings.
The biggest news is that we are planning a public signing of our recently passed midwifery/home birth coverage bill with Governor Shumlin! The event will take place next Wednesday, May 18th at 3pm.
Our plan is to gather on the State House lawn in Montpelier at 2pm for a family picnic in celebration of our big victory. It will be a potluck style event complete with music and kids activities. The Governor will join us at 3pm for the bill signing and some fantastic photo opportunities. I hope you can join us - and bring your friends, family, and colleagues - it is our chance to get together, celebrate our success and thank the legislators and administration official for their support on this important issue! Questions? Want to help out? Email: cgekas@vpirg.org.

Mother's Day Open House 11am to 1pm

posted May 8, 2011, 8:01 AM by Cassandra Gekas

Happy Mother's Day!! Stop by our Born in Vermont Art space at Splash Naturals in Montpelier (upstairs, 58 Main Street). Open house from 11am to 1pm. Henna, music with Rachel Rice, hand massages, kids crafts, snacks and more. Hope you can stop by..

Midwife Bill Lobby Day- Bill Passes House

posted May 4, 2011, 11:22 AM by Tyler Burgee   [ updated May 4, 2011, 11:32 AM ]

The Midwife Bill, S.15 moved one step closer to the Governor’s desk today, thanks to hundreds of supporters who emailed their Representatives this week and joined us at the State House this morning. Nearly a hundred of moms, dads, and kids desended on the State House to voice their support for the bill by giving their Representatives personalized photographs.

The bill is up for a final vote on the House floor, before it heads to the Senate, where final language must be approved.  Thank you so much for your energy & enthusiasm – we couldn’t have done it without you! Stay tuned for updates throughout the week.

Check out some of the amazing pictures from the Lobby Day:

You can check out more pictures and find more updates at the Born in Vermont Facebook page by clicking here!

You can check out the pictures from the Lobby Day at VPIRG's Facebook page by clicking here. 

Upcoming Events - Help us Spread the Word!

posted Apr 28, 2011, 9:23 PM by Cassandra Gekas

With the help of many artists, sponsors, and volunteers, the Born in Vermont exhibit opened to the public in Friday of last week, during Montpelier's first Art Walk of the season! It was a big success and the space looks great. Although we were originally going to hold a closing reception on Mother's Day, we have the means and workshop ideas to keep it open for another week - until May 15th.

If you haven't already,  join our Facebook group - just search for "Born in Vermont." And please,  help us make this collective space a success by sending this info out two your friends, family, and colleagues. Hope to see you all soon!

The Born In Vermont series of events to celebrate and promote healthy pregnancy
and childbirth choices for VT families is cooking up some fun family-oriented
events this weekend, plus a great presentation about the history of childbirth
and midwifery in the US.  See below for a list of upcoming events.  

Here's what's coming up, hope you can join us! All events are family-friendly:

Saturday, April 30--Kids Day!  10:00 am-2:00 pm Kids' crafts, stories and music!
10:45 am-- Story time with Marc Hughes.  Marc is a Richmond-based illustrator
who wrote and illustrated the book, A Birth at Willow's House, the story of a
home birth in the Green Mountains.  Come hear an excerpt from the book and order
your copy!  You may recognize the midwife in the story!

11:30 am-- Kids Music & crafts

Saturday, April 30, 3:00 pm--History of Childbirth and Midwifery in the US, a
talk and slide presentation by Woden Teachout
George Eliot once said, "I like trying [to get pregnant]. I'm not so sure about
childbirth."  Historian Woden Teachout will give a historical and pictoral
account of childbirth and midwifery in America.  Ranging from the stoic birth
culture of the native Americans to the modern homebirth movement, the talk
covers such topics as the association between midwives and withcraft, the entry
of men into the birthing profession, the history of pain relief, and the
cultural shift toward doctors and hospitalization in the 20th century.   It
concludes by describing the factors that led to the different models of
childbirth today.

Sunday, May 1--How All Species Give Birth 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Stop by to get your face painted for All Species Day and learn some animal signs
in American Sign Language!

Monday, May 2, 6:00 pm -- Film Screening--Organic Birth, Savoy Theater,
Downstairs, Free
"The perfect film for all who are pregnant or thinking about becoming
pregnant, Organic Birth: Birth is Natural! is a 52-minute film adapted and
edited from the 85-minute award-winning documentaryOrgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept
Secret. The expanded midwifery section, more concise format, and added chapter
navigation, makes this film a "must see" for expectant parents and the perfect
resource tool for use in childbirth education classes." Followed by a panel

Wednesday, May 4,
10:00-1:00 Birth Story Healing Workshop
Marianne Perchlik, Birthing From Within Mentor and mother of three, will lead a
workshop on listening to birth stories and how to work towards healing through
the telling of traumatic birth stories.  Pre-registration is required, space is
limited.  Please email Marianne at chikabee@sover.net to reserve your spot or if
you have questions about the content of the workshop.

Tuesday, May 4, 5:00-7:00 -- Sudanese Health Clinic Initiative Talk
Learn about the work one group is Vermont is doing to bring essential women's
health care to South Sudan.

Thursday, May 5,
11:00 am -- Shopping with Confidence: Getting Toxic Products off of Store
Consumers in Vermont can't trust that the products we buy are safe.  The
majority of chemicals in products today aren't adequately tested for safety
before they are used.  As a result, toxic chemicals are making their way into
our bodies and are taking a toll on public health.  Join this workshop to learn
more about why this is happening, get tips for reducing your toxic exposures,
and find out what we can do to better regulate chemicals in Vermont. Workshop
will be led by Charity Carbine-March, VPIRG's Environmental Health Advocate.

6:00-8:00 pm Trust Birth Meeting
Join members of the Trust Birth movement to discuss ways to avoid unnecessary or
unwanted interventions during labor and birth.

Born In Vermont is presented by VPIRG and the Vermont Birth Network and is
sponsored by PomerleauReal Estate, Katherine Bramhall & Gentle Landing
Midwifery, National Women's Law Center, Vermont Commission on Women, Mama
Says, Planned Parenthood New England, Vermont Midwives Alliance.

Thanks again! I'll be touching base with all those involved in the events tomorrow to confirm and finalize details.

Be in touch if you have questions, ideas, suggestions, etc.

Cass & Laura

Policy Panel this Wednesday!

posted Apr 25, 2011, 7:53 PM by Cassandra Gekas   [ updated Apr 26, 2011, 10:25 AM ]

Join us for an evening of education, discussion, and action! 

Born in Vermont is pleased to host a special policy panel this Wednesday at our space in Splash Naturals. 58 Main Street (upstairs). We'll start with a reception at 4pm, and begin the panel discussion promptly at 5pm.  From 6:15pm to 7pm we'll direct our energy and turn our discussion into collective action

We are honored to be joined by the following distinguished panelists - all of whom are true advocates for women in Vermont, D.C. and across the globe:

  • Crea Lintilhac, Lintilhac Foundation
  • Representative Rachel Weston
  • Jill Krowinski, Policy Director of Planned Parenthood New England

Access to critical family planning and reproductive health services is in jeopardy.  Recent cuts to family planning services, attempts to repeal national health care reform, and targeted attacks on federal funding for Planned Parenthood are just a few of attacks on women's health care.  

Our distinguished panel of leaders will provide us with an update on the national scene, lead a discussion about potential impacts on Vermont and how we can work together to make sure that women have access to the critical health services that they need.  We'll be talking about the state of family planning & reproductive health services in Vermont, as well as prepping for some action on S.15 - the bill that would require insurance companies to cover midwifery services and home birth. 

Questions? Send me an email! cgekas@vpirg.org

From Left to Right: Crea Lintilhac, Rep. Rachel Weston, Rep. Kesha Ram, Jill Krowinski

Opening Reception! Montpelier Artwalk

posted Apr 24, 2011, 6:52 PM by Cassandra Gekas   [ updated Apr 24, 2011, 7:27 PM ]

Opening gnight was a huge success! 
After a little fussing, a lot of sweat, a few sleepless nights - and last minute help from a fantastic and supportive team,  Born in Vermont, opened to the public. We had a great crowd and everything fell into place - it almost feels like the space was meant for us! Laura, Trina, Katherine, & I are looking forward to upcoming events, making additions, and sharing this joy with you. We're so excited about the space, we're trying to find a way to keep it open through the summer...shhhhh, don't tell:) It's far from official.

Thank you to Lindsay Lachant, Katherine Bramhall, Mike Russo, Jerome Foster, Ame Solomon, Woden Teachout, Karen Leibermann and others, for sharing your art with us and helping to bring this gathering place to life!

And an extra big thanks to our generous sponsors, including VPIRG, Vermont Birth Network, Splash Naturals, Pomerleau Real Estate, Katharine Bramhall and Gentle Landing Midwifery, Vermont Midwives Alliance, Mama Says, Planned Parenthood New England, and the Vermont Commission on Women.

Here's a link to the amazing photos that Ame shared with us at the event:

And feel free to check out additional pictures of the event, attached below!

Kick-Off Press Release

posted Apr 24, 2011, 6:50 PM by Cassandra Gekas   [ updated Apr 24, 2011, 7:33 PM ]

VPIRG and Vermont Birth Network Kick Off Born In Vermont

A multi-media celebration of childbirth and motherhood in the Green Mountains

Montpelier, April 22, 2011:  Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) and the Vermont Birth Network are proud to announce Born in Vermont, a Celebration of Motherhood and Childbirth in the Green Mountains. The three-week series of free art exhibits, workshops, discussions, and book readings runs from Earth Day to Mother’s Day 2011, with an opening reception on April 22nd from 4pm to 8pm in conjunction with Montpelier Artwalk.  The bulk of events will take place at Splash Naturals at 58 Main Street (upstairs) in Montpelier. A full schedule of events can be found at: https://sites.google.com/site/borninvt/

The exhibit, which will be open to the public, features birth art and interactive exhibits by Vermont’s local artists, poets, musicians - mothers, fathers, and children.  Three select paintings from artist Jesse LoVasco’s With Child capture moments during her own daughter’s labor, accompanied by poems. Richmond illustrator and father, Marc Hughes will display pages and read from his new self-published book, Birth at Willow’s House. Woden Teachout, a Middlesex-based historian and author takes a historical and pictorial look at childbirth in the United States. Ame Solomon, a Montpelier doula, will display a slide show of photographs of intimate moments of mothers-to-be, babies, children and families.  

Scheduled events include: Q & A on home birth, intro to doula training, prenatal/postnatal nutrition, prenatal yoga, post-partum aromatherapy, baby massage, global maternal health, and a screening of Organic Birth at the Savoy Theatre.

On the evening of April 27th, we will be joined by Jill Krowinski, Public Policy Director of Planned Parenthood and Crea Lintilhac, Secretary of the Lintillhac Foundation, for a panel on family planning policy in Vermont. During the first week in May, Representative Tom Stevens and Representative Chris Pearson will host a discussion on fathers and childbirth.  Children’s weekend, slated for the weekend of May 30th, will include with crafts, face painting, story hour, music, and more. The Born in Vermont event series will close with a day-long celebration on Mother’s Day – May 8th.

The series is being co-sponsored by generous coalition of national and state partners, including: Vermont Midwives Alliance, Mama Says, Pomerleau Real Estate, Splash Naturals, Planned Parenthood New England, Vermont Commission on Women, Katherine Bramhall of Gentle Landing Midwifery and National Women’s Law Center.

VPRIG is the largest nonprofit consumer and environmental advocacy organization in Vermont and has been instrumental in advancing S.15, the bill that will mandate Vermont insurance companies to cover home birth services provided by licensed midwives.  Vermont Birth Network is a free, independent resource of evidence-based information for expectant families and providers. As part of Born In Vermont, VPIRG and the Vermont Birth Network will continue its The Labor of Love Campaign to promote legislative and educational measures that ensure that the newest Vermonters enter this world safely with peace – in the most loving and supportive environment possible.

A complete schedule and description of events and locations is available at the Born In Vermont website,  HYPERLINK "https://sites.google.com/site/borninvt/" https://sites.google.com/site/borninvt/  For more information, contact Cassandra Gekas, VPIRG Health Care Advocate, (802) 223-5221, cgekas@vpirg.org.

Author, Cynthia Gabriel Kicks off Born in Vermont!

posted Apr 20, 2011, 6:31 PM by Cassandra Gekas   [ updated Apr 24, 2011, 7:46 PM ]

“When I helped women and their 
partners communicate how significant natural birth was to them, I saw that staff members were more likely to support their goal.”  
On Wednesday, April 20th 4:00pm Cynthia Gabriel helped us kick off Born in Vermont with a discussion about her new book, Natural Hospital Birth, the Best of Both Worlds. Doula, medical anthropologist, and mother of three, Cia shared her tools and inspiration with listeners. She works with expecting mothers to help them release their fears, win the support of hospital staff, and avoid unnecessary interventions. Thanks for joining us on Wednesday and stay tuned for upcoming events! 

CHeck out pictures from the event: http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/creativeapps/slideShow/Main.jsp?sourceId=533754321803&cm_mmc=eMail-_-Share-_-Photos-_-Sharee 

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