News and views from childbirth activist Gloria Lemay.

Gloria Lemay, Birth Attendant, Midwifery Educator

Birth Attendant, Midwifery Educator

Some of my passions are:

*holistic education of midwives and doulas

*keeping baby boys intact

*home birth


*health & wellness

I am a contributing editor of Midwifery Today Magazine.  I am an Advisory Board member of Intact America and International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).

I am a keynote speaker at childbirth conferences and have traveled throughout N. America and Australia teaching midwifery.  I live on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada

Email: waterbirthinwoman@gmail.com
Facebook: Gloria Lemay
Twitter: birthsage
Instagram: birthsage888

35 thoughts on “About

  1. hi gloria

    I am enjoying reading your posts
    I am in upstate NY and in my community we have a 37% c section rate
    I was a doula back in 1998, and the hospital enviroment left me feeling sick and disgusted. I could not be of service to women there, so I began other interests.
    I have 2 beautiful children 5 and 11 born in a bithing center in cooperstown ny-2 awesome and empowering births that fueled my passion further to educated others on the sacredness of birth.

    any way…I am looking for a video done by a pre&perinatal educator called from Behind the Glass?

    Do you know about this…it’s new and may not be released yet?

    linda PS our breastfeeding group is having suzanne arms come here on oct 3o to speak !! I am so excited.

  2. Hi Gloria, Yolande posted a link to your site, and I just want to tell you, after going right through it, that it is wonderful. Sharlene

  3. I am so proud to live in the same city as such an amazing, and truly inspirational woman!

    Your stand against male circumcision is SO important in these days! I hope that you can continue to make your voice heard on the topic, in ANY way possible! They are children who cannot make their voice heard until its too late, and lies and myths are spread to keep them pushing it onto their own children! We have to find some way to break the cycle and let people see all the facts before they commit!

    But im not just proud of you for your intactivism, I am also proud of you for all the other wonderful things you stand up for. Don’t stop! Don’t ever stop!

  4. Hi Gloria:

    I came across your letter to the President about midwifery. As a long-time friend of midwives, and wanting to see midwifery honored in the US, I am eager to see the new Health Team in Washington be aware of midwifery – especially its safety and relatively low cost. Did you send the letter? Did you get a response? Are you or others involved in any strategic effort to take the current opportunity for change?

    Dr. Michael Schwab
    Santa Fe

  5. Hi Gloria
    I met you in Adelaide at retreat.
    can you email me with photo if possible (Im a visual) of your fetascope.(I have a hearing aid and need to look at alternatives available.
    was great meeting you keep on keeping on
    rosey smart-vaher

  6. Hi Gloria,

    I was reading one of your posts about episiotomies and had a question. Other than pain or sexual problems, how can you tell(or can you) that an episiotomy healed really well? I am just wondering since no one ever talks about what the scar looks like. I had a second degree episiotomy and used natural ointments on it. You can barely see the scar(just barely a thin white line). I am hopeful for a better birth next time.

    On that note, I also wanted to comment on your thoughts about the tough first birth and that the midwife may not be at fault. In my case, I had wanted homebirth, but live in a state where it is not only illegal for CPMs to practice, but it is also OB ruled. When I went looking for providers that were natural minded, I found a CNM that only delivered at the hospital that told me I could have the natural birth I wanted with her. What she didn’t tell me is that she is pushed by the doctors that back her and the hospital to follow their protocols. As soon as my water broke before my contractions started, she was pushing me to labor at the hospital, use pitocin, sit on my butt to deliver(she would not help me with upright positions),held pushing etc. She didn’t even labor with us. She sat at the nurses station. My son had a cord issue (wrapped several times), so I understand that some time limits come into play for safety reasons(but what time limits would a midwife use?). However, why would she not support natural methods up to the point where interventions were needed? Why would she not talk to me about problems, but talk around me like I wasn’t present? I have found out from many other women in the community that she has behaved this way before. I still managed to have an unmedicated(no pitocin or epidural), assisted(vacuum) vaginal birth, but truly believe that she made me so leary that she stalled out my labor in the beginning(by not being what she said she was). To make matters worse, I spoke with her after the birth to relay my angry feelings, and at one point she said that she never stopped me from doing anything like upright pushing (she didn’t support it either) and perhaps I would have just birthed him on my own at home! Yikes! My son’s apgar score was a seven when he was born. When he was resting on my perineum, she asked to do a “small epis”. She performed a standard second degree cut and I also had a second degree tear up the side. I was really upset about the episiotomy. Did I really need it or just a litle more time to stretch? Should you tear and receive an episiotomy? She asked my permission, so could I have refused(I told her at the office that I did not want an epis)? I really thought she did it because he was in distress, but I now feel like I fell victim to a CNM who needed to birth my baby by protocol. What do you think? Any insight would be helpful, because she was told not to talk with me since her providers know that I was unhappy with her services. To me, that seems really terrible. All I ever wanted was evidence based care.

    I know I asked a lot of questions, so I truly appreciate any help you can give me.

  7. Hi Gloria a few weeks ago you posted on my birth montage that you would like to use my montage in you blog. I would love for you to use it.
    I was a little hesitant at first to share my birth with the world but now understand what an inspiration this montage could be for so many. It can now be seen on youtube

    Happy birthing

  8. Hi Gloria,

    I am on the board of a San Diego non profit group called San Diego Birth Network. Our website http://www.sandiegobirthnetwork.org is a resource site for the families of San Diego seeking normal birth. I came across your post on ammniotic fluid on facebook. We would be very interested in re-posting this on our site. It would include a link directly to your site and would include all of your information exactly as it appears here.

    Thank you for your consideration and we love what you do for the birth community

    Dawn Thompson

  9. Hi Gloria

    I’m wondering if you can help me find a decent doctor for my six year old boy in or around Vancouver. I live in Squamish and have not had much luck with this. It often does more harm than good to take him to a local doctor. We go to a walk in clinic when we feel it is necessary. But I feel he should see somebody who’s opinion I might respect at least a little.

    Thanks, peter

  10. Pingback: Janet Fraser » Blog Archive » Pushing and Pelvises. An Autumn evening with Gloria Lemay!

  11. Gloria,
    I am so gratefull I found you! You assisted the water birth of my son, along with Theresa and another midwife, in my East-Vancouver apartment. That was on july 29th of 1993 and I still feel very emotionnal about this great experience. You made me find back my strengh in a moment when I felt like surrendering… I still tell that story pretty often. You said to me, while holding my arm very firmly: ” BARBARA! There are thousands of women giving birth right now, all around the world. They just DO IT. If they can, so can you. So stop fussing and do it. ”
    This is exacly what the little girl in me needed to hear, so she can become a woman. I wish I could write it in french so I could express this more easily!

    So now, we live in Quebec. Thank you for being there. I LOVE you very much…

    Barbara x (and my son Sage)

  12. Gloria, I am pregnant with my first child, and have been moving towards a career in natural childbirth for a long time. I plan to completed LC training, and CBE training, and hopefully one day become a midwife. For my own birth, I have decided the only way to go is to have a mkedically unassisted childbirth, and it probably helps that I am an ex-medical student and fascinated by all this physiological. Your website has, in so many ways, given me the information I need to follow through with what I intrinsically feel.

    Thank you so much,
    PLEASE keep it up!

  13. Greetings!

    My name is Fidelle Rosa Del Rosario Luciano, a practicing midwife in the Rizal Province, Philippines. I am very interested in migrating to Australia and would like to take the Migration Skills Assessment for Midwives. I would like to request for learning resources in preparation for this.

    I got interested in migration thru relatives who are Australian citizens and residing in Sydney.

    The focus of my Midwifery studies in Unciano Colleges, Antipolo was Public Health Care. I have two years experience in home and clinical maternal and child care, mostly in the rural areas. Since I have studied Midwifery and Public Health Care in the Philippine setting, I find my knowledge of Midwifery in the Australian perspective very limited.

    I have been researching on how midwifery is practiced in your country and would like to request for more learning resources. Where can I get books, pdfs, or websites dedicated to Australian Midwifery?

    I am very happy and excited to learn more about your country and your medical practices.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    Yours truly,
    Fidelle Rosa D. Luciano, R.M.

  14. Hi Gloria,
    I just discovered your site after researching a bit. I am 30wks pregnant with my 10th baby and my OB is pushing for a cesarian. I have had 2 previous with my 5th and 10th. In between were VBACs happily. My babies tend to be on the small side through genetic factor, and my 7th baby was lost because his heart stopped hours before labour started. I get different messages from my OB and her partner about ability to have a VBAC again. They worry about uterine rupture. And now the ultrasound found slightly low amniotic fluid. But after reading your post, I wonder. And i am now made to start weekly ultrasounds. I may have more children, although it seems my OB comments on how smaller babies is my bodies way of telling me to stop. Any advice for me?

  15. Hi Gloria

    My name is Rachel and I’am pregnant with my second child. I’am 34 weeks and my baby is measuring on the smaller side due to genetics on my side as well as my husbands. I had my first child young at 19 years of age and he was pronounced premature at 28 weeks I was induced by the doctor on call at the hospital.. I was never told a reason for my son’s early birth. After his birth I spent a long time not wanting to have any more children, fearing another premature labor. I was told from the doctor that my chances of having another early birth would be greater if I chose to have another child. I couldn’t figure how something that is so natural for every women could be impossible for me?? I started to research holistic ways of pregnancy, and decided to go with a midwife this time around thinking I would be able to have my natural home Birth. I have been in and out of the hospitals for the last month for Ultrasounds and stress test. These tests have been proven to be inaccurate more than twice now this month.. however my Midwife still suggests for precautionary reasons that I should still be having them for the rest of my pregnancy. She is also refusing my choice of home birth due to my baby’s lower weight.. Words can’t express how sad and disappointed I’am with the system we have in our country. I have chosen to stop taking all these tests, because I know they are inaccurate and unhealthy for my baby.. This is not at all how I wanted my pregnancy to go however I don’t know what other options I have at this point, but to have another hospital birth.. Do you have any advice for me??

  16. Now with my 6 month old darling – loving what I read on your site. Had a reasonably awful experience with BC midwives. Ohhh where to begin? Lots of fear tactics and pushy stuff, unable to talk with me about things like diet or sex during pregnancy. Generally not open minded. Then the pre-eclampsia came, no one spoke of options, only of induction. We were close to 37 weeks so it was in and out of hospital. I managed to deliver drug free with an epistiotomy that healed well in the end. But I hemorhaged delivering the placenta. I ‘heard’ the midwife’s internal chant “Oh My God, she’s going to die.” She was debating hysterectomy right away. All unnecessary, I didn’t need a transfusion even. I needed a calm midwife who believed in my healing power. Thank God for my doula who stood by.
    In my final visit with the midwife I confirmed her thought process and swore to never deliver like that again.

  17. Greetings of 2012 to you, dear Gloria. Your blog is an eye opener for both women and men. You continue to honor the right/rite of natural childbirth. Merci beaucoup.

  18. Hi Gloria,

    I just read your story about your mental health worker and am having a poke around your blog. Keep up the awesome work!

    Love to you,

  19. Hi Gloria! I just gave birth to my 3rd child by (second) c section. I broke my tailbone with baby #2 (first vaginal birth after cesarean with #1). They say my tailbone fused incorrectly and this is why baby #3 didn’t come out. I pushed for 8 hours at home with the midwife, then 2 more hours at the hospital with an epidural before consenting to another cesarean. Can you tell me if my tailbone could be manipulated so that I don’t have to have another c section? Any advice or second opinion would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Hi
    I just read your article “you’re not in labour” on the bellybelly site, was wondering if that’s published anywhere people can make comments.
    It’s just that my experience was somewhat different, my two labours I went from ‘prelabour’ straight into second stage. First stage, full dilation, only took a few minutes according to midwives. First one I arrived at hospital 10cm (after being told on the phone for two days I wasn’t in labour, & destroying my pelvic floor because my waters broke & I had the urge to push as soon as hanging up the last phone call so had to try to hold the baby in all the way to hospital – gyno said my injury consistent with 3hrs of pushing but I only pushed for half an hour when I got to hospital). Second one had at home, we’d rung the midwives 20 mins prior as my contractions went from all over the place to 2mins apart & they were on their way (planned homebirth). Am currently 24wks & planning another homebirth but have no idea when my midwives should come, as my ‘prelabour’ lasted for days the first time and a day the second time. I wish my midwives with my first hadn’t told me I wasn’t in labour because if I’d gone in earlier maybe my perinium & pelvic floor would be screwed but hey there might have been other even less desirable consequences.

  21. Hi Gloria, it is time for midwives to stand together to support women in their rights to choose who should be the midwife at the birth of their baby. After practicing midwifery for 34 years, 1,300 babies, half at home, about 100 water births, I am no longer allowed to practice without being monitored by the College of Midwives of Ontario. Wow, considering that I was the founder of the ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF MIDWIVES in 1981 and have given my heart and soul to this profession, I am being scrutinized and humiliated. I was asked by Ina May to be the first Canadian midwife to sit on the Board for MANA back in 1982. We had many discussions about the concerns of becoming legislated. The concerns were right on and now we are left with a punitive and fear based midwifery “college” to enforce unfair recommendations that have serious consequences for the women who are now left without midwifery care. My whole Amish community are now without care and they refuse to get care from other local licensed midwives who have a reputation of being abusive and bullying to their clients. I guess we have to fight the CMO for women’s rights to choose a midwife, licensed or not. I’d love to talk to you some time.

    • Ava I am shocked at the way you have been treated but in a way, not surprised. I don’t like what has happened to midwifery.

      This past winter I attended a birth and was absolutely appalled by the midwives’ behaviour. They were trying to force a mom to go to the hospital because she had passed her 12-hour limit with ruptured membranes, so she fled to my place before they arrived!

      Later, after sending them away and getting some rest, she went into labour. When the first midwife arrived, she immediately started barking orders and YELLING at me for being there: “I only worked with QUALIFIED doulas, and since I’M the only one qualified, I AM IN CHARGE, and if I don’t like what I see, we ARE GOING to the hospital!” She started an IV and forbid her to use the birth tub because the mom was a VBAC. I was shocked. I thought midwifery was about serving women, not bullying them.

  22. I love your site!

    I have written a book on empowering and encouraging women who have to have c-sections to advocate for more natural birth experiences. I would love to give you a copy.

    My heart is for home births, but that’s just now how it always goes. I have a bone disorder that necessitates me having c-sections. I’ve had six. I want women to be able to benefit from as much of the natural aspects as possible, even in the OR.

    I can’t find your contact info.
    Sincerely, Mindy

  23. hello,
    I am a midwife student in Québec. I do a research on the “hands off” approach in Quebec (not touching anything during normal birth) :-). I read your article : Midwife’s Guide to an Intact Perineum and I would like to ask you few questions. Would it be possible for you to write to me if you agree to help me ?

    thank you very much!

  24. Hello Gloria~

    I am contacting you in the hopes, the very high hopes, that I could be put in touch with Patricia G Blomme. I happened upon her “One Breast is Enough” article in the March/April 2005 issue of Mothering and immediately started crying from sheer relief! I am a burn victim and am 4 months pregnant with my first child. I want to breast feed so badly but my midwife and doctor are completely baffled by my situation and the only thing I have been told is that I face near certain infection in my breast that no longer has a nipple. I cannot tell you how much I would appreciate your help in contacting her. Thank you!

    My email is dezaraye@gmail.com.

  25. Hi Gloria!!! Thanks a lot for your work! This blog is awesome! I discovered it today and I have been surfing through it the whole afternoon! Thanks for sharing this information, thanks for sharing the wonderful birth videos! I love them 🙂 Greetings from Spain!!

  26. Hi Gloria,
    Long time since we’ve connected, and of course I’m into a new area of birthing.
    “There’s a new area?” of course… 🙂
    Fertility… I’ve been using Hypnosis for uncovering and correcting fears around becoming pregnant and then assisting once the pregnancy has taken fertile ground!

    Right now I have a mom that has become pregnant, however, some light pink discharge, and just a few drops.

    She’s 4 weeks. Her first attempt she had conceived and then lost the pregnancy at 6 weeks, and it was twins.

    I’m reviewing diet with her, and rest, and also de-stressing. She is a Type AAA personality and will not let go of anything… had a super high stress job,

    Which I’m working on, with her, however, any thoughts you might have as to health and her own things she should/could do?

    Thanks, Kathy

  27. Dear Gloria,
    Being a huge fan of yours, I would love to be able to attend a workshop, presentation, class of yours. In fact, I would love to have you visit my home of North Carolina, USA.
    Greensboro, NC, USA, is actually rather progressive in the birth world, when compared to the rest of our state, but there is still room for much growth. My goal is to try to facilitate this growth by hosting such knowledgeable and qualified speakers as you.
    Over the past three years, I have executed four events called The Baby Belly Bazaar. This is a daylong free experience for pre and postpartum women. It offers the opportunity to visit with and collect information from many of our local resources, to include area hospitals, midwives, and, of course, doulas. (http://www.triadbirthdoula.com/baby-belly-bazaar) There is also ample fun with belly painting, maternity fashion show, and just visiting with friends.
    Now I wish to expand the spreading of good information and options by hosting well known speakers. I feel having a presentation by someone of your status would not only be inspiring for the individuals who already agree with and practice your principals but would open the eyes and minds of those health care professionals who still wish to lag behind what evidence based studies have proven.
    Greensboro is considered to be rather centrally located in North Carolina with numerous interstates converging on a city with ample accommodations. By speaking in Greensboro, women from Charlotte and south; Virginia to the north; Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill; Willmington on the coast and Asheville in the mountains; are afforded easy access.
    If you have plans to be in the USA this coming year, and on the east coast at that, would it be possible to entice you to visit our state of North Carolina?
    Thank you for your consideration!
    Kenny Shulman CD(DONA)

  28. Hello Gloria, you delivered my two beautiful babies ……over 25 years ago. My daughter, Nicole, is now expecting my first grandson and looking for a doula. She would love it if you could recommend one, and I would love to connect and catch up.

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