Friday, December 16, 2011

"The Twelve Gifts of Birth" at Christmas

Everyone remembers the classic Christmas song " The Twelve Days of Christmas". It reminds us of this special time of year when we share gifts, enjoy family and friends and fill our hearts with love. For some, it is also a time to celebrate birth!

"The Twelve Gifts of Birth" by Charlene Costanzo captures the spirit of this joyous season and reminds us of the miracle of birth and the wondrous gifts that we all are born with. I would like to share it with you.

The first gift is Strength...May you remember to call upon it whenever you need it.

The second gift is Beauty...May your deeds reflect its depth.

The third gift is Courage...May you speak and act with confidence and use courage to follow your own path.

The fourth gift is Compassion...May you be gentle with yourself and others. May you forgive those who hurt you and yourself when you make mistakes.

The fifth gift is Hope...Through each passage and season, may you trust the goodness of life.

The sixth gift is Joy...May it keep your heart open and filled with light.

The seventh gift is Talent...May you discover your own special abilities and contribute them toward a better world.

The eighth gift is Imagination...May it nourish your visions and dreams.

The ninth gift is Reverence...May you appreciate the wonder that you are and the miracle of all creation.

The tenth gift is Wisdom...Guiding your way, wisdom will lead you through knowledge to understanding. May you hear its soft voice.

The eleventh gift is Love...It will grow each time you give it away.

The twelfth gift is Faith...May you believe.

May your gifts be Peace, Love and Joy this Holiday season!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open house

Open house is at our BWHC location: 3660 W Bethany Home Rd (south bldg)

Open House

Hope to see everyone today for the Open House. 4-8PM! Lots of great prizes, food and fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Save the date!!

October 20, 2011
Bethany Womens Healthcare Midwifery Center
3660 W. Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019

You are happily invited to join the Midwives of Bethany Womens Healthcare for the 

Grand Opening Celebration

of our Midwifery Center. We can't wait to share all our new programs, our renovated space and patient-centered care with you. 

Come bring your family, friends and  have some fun with us celebrating our new digs! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Change goes on...

Donna's here and Kim's coming!! Our newest midwife, Donna Barisich, has started! She's hopped right in and is nearly up to speed already! Kim Flanders will be joining us in about a week. We will then be fully staffed once again (with 6 CNMs).

We are excited about Kim bringing Centering Pregnancy into the practice. She has "trained the trainers", so will be offering valuable insight and strategy for our implementation.

We are also very excited about the expansion of our practice into the "Midwifery Center" at BWHC (into the South-old Birth Center building where ultrasound and billing are now located). Painting is happening at the moment and we will begin the moving of furniture, desks, etc. today! On Monday, the midwives will be officially moved into the newly renovated space. And Dr. Alan Schapker will be moving back into the North building with our other physicians and nurse practitioner. We hope this move will more efficiently utilize our space and afford a more comfortable waiting room environment (no more SRO).

Stay tuned.  We'll be having an open house soon. Will post the date on both blog and facebook.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Birth Story

Here's a sweet birth story...please follow the link:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Lots of changes coming at BWHC. Here's just a few:
New CNM, Kate Paxton has just received her privileges at Phoenix Baptist and has started "catching" babies. She's also credentialed to assist with Cesarean section births and has already done her first! Kate comes from Columbia University in New York, but has deep Phoenix roots (her family lives here and her youngest sister was born in our Bethany Birth Center some years ago). Yeah, Kate!

Soon Donna Barasich comes...she comes with a wealth of midwifery experience! We are so happy for our patients to have such loving hands to care for our families. We are fortunate to have her grandbabies be born into our practice...thus the pull from the East Coast to Arizona. She'll be arriving mid-August just in time to experience our "dry heat"! ;-)

We're interviewing and considering another new midwife and hope to make a decision soon.

And then there's a new Midwifery Center in planning stages...Shhhhh it's a secret for now, but start getting excited!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AHCCCS gynecology visits

Your gynecology health is important! With current stories in the news regarding cutbacks for Medicaid and Medicare, we want to let our gynecology patients know that AHCCCS (Arizona Cost Care Containment System) is still covering visits in our office. Such things as PAP smears (cancer screening), cultures, family planning and other gynecologic issues are included under your AHCCCS coverage. Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions regarding your gynecology needs and coverage with AHCCCS.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trust...What we knew first

TRUST... A word we hear frequently, but what does it really mean? Is it something we once knew more about? Something we had more of as a child? Something we can remember? Practice? Words and phrases used to define trust include:

  • Reliance on strength and ability
  • Confident expectation of something
  • Reliance on integrity
  • Believing, hoping

As tiny children we had no problem trusting. It was just second nature to us. We had no doubts about our bodies' strength and abilities. (Remember "I can do it MYSELF!"?) We jumped, played, climbed without worry or fear. We expected and believed something wonderful every day. And there was certainly no shortage of belief and hope at Christmas time.

So, as women, can we still TRUST? Do we trust the process of BIRTH? Can we have CONFIDENCE in the STRENGTH and ABILITY of our bodies to birth our babies? Can we EXPECT a wonderful birth? Can we rely on the INTEGRITY of our minds to stay focused on the work to be done? Can we BELIEVE and HOPE for the most amazing experience?


Perhaps we have forgotten how to trust ourselves, trust our bodies. It’s almost like we have given them over to the medical machine and forgotten what we once knew. We've lost our confidence, lost our self-reliance, our strength. Perhaps we can take a look backward and consider...

What We Knew First

The complete wisdom of the universe abides in us at our birth.

Our very cells know how to love, laugh, and live in grace.

We are born knowing how to heal others

and how to heal ourselves.

Our bodies know by intuition how to give birth to a new generation

and how to pass gently from this life.

The irony is that we spend much of our lives

Searching, trying to understand again, and to TRUST

…what we knew first.

Let's REMEMBER... Let's TRUST...

I invite you to explore strategies to remember and practice trusting yourself, your body, BIRTH:

Check out:

  • Hypnobirthing:
  • "Birthing From Within":

P.S. Late breaking news: Jessica Alba is planning on using hypnobirthing with her current pregnancy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting more social

Hey there:

We've gotten new energy for our blog! Sorry we've been a bit stale lately, but we're committed to freshening up our blog with cool stuff. We'd love to hear from you about topics you might like to see here! Let us know! Some things coming up...our new midwives...VBAC success stories (by the way, if you have a birth story and possibly photos you would be willing to share, we would LOVE to have your contributions to the blog), more on nutrition during pregnancy. Or catch up with us (and put your stories/photos up) on facebook. We have a new page there and would love to have you "like" us! Thanks for your patience during our blog "dry spell".

Monday, March 21, 2011

Breastfeeding Matters . . .

A big "thank you" to The Midwives of Bethany Womens Healthcare for their gracious invitation to join you in cyberspace and post breastfeeding information. I'm Sharon Olson, the lactation consultant at BWHC. I've been board-certified since 2002, and have been helping mothers breastfeed their babies since 1992 when I became an accredited lay breastfeeding counselor. During this time, each of my four breastfed daughters played a role in teaching me something new as well as providing impetus for continuing to learn more -- which continues to this day since research and new findings are ongoing!

I teach our breastfeeding classes, facilitate our weekly nursing mothers group, and help mothers during private consultations. Look for my posts regarding new information as well as details about upcoming events at the Breastfeeding Support Center, which is located in Building C, the building closest to Bethany Home Road.

FAQ #1:

"Breastfeeding is natural. Why do I need to take a class?"

You are right! Breastfeeding is a natural process. It is also a set of learned behaviors for a mother and baby which new mothers have traditionally learned from other experienced breastfeeding women. If you don't know anyone who is enjoying a successful breastfeeding experience with her baby and YOU want to breastfeed, you will benefit by taking the classes we offer and starting to form your own support network.

In generations past when extended families lived closer together, young women and expectant mothers learned how new mothers interacted with their babies by watching others and asking questions. In this way, lots of feminine knowledge about breastfeeding was transferred from one generation to the next.

In the last 100 years, as feeding methods changed, much of this feminine knowledge about breastfeeding has sadly been lost to our culture. Many new mothers live far away from their families of origin, and some have never held a baby until their own infant is placed in their arms. Science now proclaims that breastfeeding is best, and we're also learning that without the practical information of times past, some mothers can (and do) struggle with it. And THAT is why taking our Breastfeeding Works! class during your second trimester can make all the difference to you and your baby!

Upcoming Classes

Call our main number, 602-973-3200, to register for classes so that I prepare enough materials for everyone. Please arrive 15 minutes early on the day of class to pay the fee and pick up your class materials.

Saturday, April 9, 2011
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Cost: $20

Breastfeeding Works! - Spend 3 hours learning about the normal process of breastfeeding, including your baby's normal behavior and feeding cues, as well as how your body will respond and make milk. Learn practical information so you are comfortable, Dad knows how to help, and your baby thrives! Dads and/or a suspport person are welcome to attend with you. Sitting through this class is more comfortable during your second trimester!

Monday, April 18, 2011
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

Employed and Breastfeeding Seminar - Spend 1.5 hours learning how to ease the transition when you return to work or school and desire to continue breastfeeding. Dads, a support person, and baby are welcome to attend with you. We'll discuss pumps, pumping routines that work, storing human milk, and balancing employment with childcare concerns.

Nursing Mothers Group

Bethany Womens Healthcare
3660 W. Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019

March 2011

Wednesday Mornings: 10 a.m. - Noon


Join us in the Breastfeeding Support Center. Babies and toddlers always welcome. Bring your questions and concerns. In addition to the discussion topic, we'll explore answers that work for YOU. This is informal and fun!

March 23 - Preparing to Breastfeed
Let's start at the beginning. What preparations did you make? Share what was helpful. Share what was not!

March 30 - Arizona's Breastfeeding Report Card
We'll discuss the statistical findings by the Centers for Disease Control about breastfeeding initiation and duration nationwide and in Arizona.

Friday, January 7, 2011

3660 W. Bethany Home Road Phoenix, AZ 85019

Nursing Mothers Group Discussion Topics
*** January 2011 ***
Wednesday Mornings: 10 AM – Noon
Join us in the Breastfeeding Support Center. Babies and toddlers always welcome. Bring your questions and concerns – In addition to the discussion topic, we’ll explore answers that work for YOU. This is informal and fun!

Jan 5 What Your Baby KNOWS
Your baby has the human instincts and reflexes of all babies everywhere, all around the world. Learn how to “read” your newborn baby and appreciate how much he knows about life already!
Jan 12 A New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding
We’ll discuss the basics that new mothers need to know BEFORE their babies arrive. What do you wish someone had told you?
Jan 19 Postpartum Body Image
Your postpartum time is loaded with adjustments, and the appearance of your body can be an especially sensitive topic. Does it affect how you feel about breastfeeding? Or, does breastfeeding affect how you feel about yourself?
Jan 26 Coping with Sleep Deprivation
Breastfeeding babies are expected to nurse around the clock in the early months. Is this normal? How do new parents cope? What are normal expectations for this phase of life with your new baby?