Physiology Rules:
An Advanced Holistic Birthworker Program

For Doulas, Educators, Therapists, Consultants, Herbalists…
all who work in the realms of birth


March 1st – 4th,
Thursday – Sunday

in the Chicago area
Contact Patti at:


 June 14th – 17th
Thursday – Sunday
in Saskatoon, Canada
Contact Lacey at:

In Manhattan, NYC
November 7 – 10
Wednesday – Saturday
Contact Sarah at:



Four days to delve into the A&P of birth and explore the authentic and organic physio-‘logic’ rationale,
or lack of rationale, behind numerous birth practices of today.

As a birthkeeper I have found it relevant
to have a firm grasp of birth physiology.
Whether you are a clinical primary caregiver (Doctor or Midwife)
or a psychological primary caregiver (Doula, Educator or Consultant),
it is relevant to have an organic knowledge of physiology and
understand how birth unfolds to be able to question and debunk
many birthing mores that have simply been handed down for years
without physiological undergirding or attention to common sense.

For instance…

Years ago, when Dr. Michel Odent found himself in charge of the birthing clinic in a small French hospital he asked the midwives why they routinely ruptured the membranes with each birth.
According to Odent, they answered that they really didn’t know…that they were just taught to do that.
His response was…Let’s not do that any more.

Because, to him, it didn’t make sense to interfere with the natural process of birth. It wasn’t about overriding a study or discarding the experience of another practitioner. It was about the fact that rupturing the membranes
at 5 cm did not make sense with what he knew about the physiology of birth.
(And today, with what we know about the biome of birth,
GBStrep and hepatitis, it makes even less sense.)

Another example…

As a young midwife in the late 80’s, the idea of checking a cervix and then telling a woman to push when the practitioner could not feel any cervix did not feel sensible to me. Why weren’t we just waiting for the mom to initiate pushing. When I asked my teacher why we do this she gave vitually the same answer Odent received.

We just do it. It helps a mom have her baby sooner than later.
Otherwise her labor might stall.
After a few years of watching labor unfold, I realized that we were missing something by hurrying a woman to push without the authentic urge.
Telling women to push in this way felt counterintuitive and did not make sense with what I knew about the cardinal movements of labor.
I stopped all routine intercessions/interventions and women taught me how labor progresses in a less complicated manner than it does with any intercessions. And, as Odent experienced in France,
the complication rate was next to nothing.

Another example…

In the 50’s in Great Britain, a teaching midwife, Constance Beynon, also thought that second stage was unnecessarily hurried and decided to create a study to see if a completely spontaneous second stage was possible.
She chose the first 100 primagravidas (first time moms) with vertex babies who presented at the hospital. No other selection process was used.
In the study, no mention of pushing was ever allowed by any caregiver.
The results: Out of the random 100 first-time moms, 83 women birthed their babies entirely spontaneously without any mention of pushing or coaching. Each woman was supported in doing what was instinctive and spontaneous.
For the other 17 women, some instruction for pushing was given, although Constance believes that instruction was possibly given too soon and that another 6 women would have been able to birth spontaneously if given more time. The 11 remaining women birthed with guided instruction in pushing.
There is no mention of any C-sections.
The average length of second stage with the 83 women who experienced a spontaneous second stage was one hour and three minutes.

Many interventions, as well meaning as they may be,
are not undergirded by physiology.

They have been passed along without question and taught to new students who then continue to pass along information that becomes more and more unnatural and at odds with common sense as time passes.
Cutting the cord immediately after birth was necessary years ago to get babies warm in old, drafty hospitals when mothers could not hold their babies because of the drugs used in obstetrics. It was not done for physiologic reasons…in fact, it is
counterintuitive to physiology.
Now that hospitals are warm and pain relief techniques do not put the mother out of commission, we can gracefully let go of that intervention.
Putting women in stirrups is another example of an intervention that has outlived its use and, thankfully, we seldom do this to women any more.
(Except, that if you notice during pushing, in many cases the bed is rolled down and the mother is no longer sitting but nearly on her back with partners and nurses as human stirrups.)

And we have further to go…

  • Confining women to bed
  • Denying women to ability to eat
  • Routine fetal monitoring
  • Routine vaginal exams
  • Lack of choice of laboring and birthing positions
  • Managed pushing
  • Misunderstanding of fetal distress
  • Disturbing the actual emergence of the baby
  • Suctioning the baby
  • Immediate cutting of the cord
  • Removing the baby from the mother’s arms
  • Disturbing placental separation
  • Mismanaging third stage
  • Rampant use of Pitocin and other drugs
  • Vitamin K shots and newborn vaccinations…

All of these things are contraindicated in a normal healthy woman and baby.
If we know our physiology and if we understand what the body is
capable of doing we will not be tempted to interfere…
and labor will most likely progress normally.
Knowing physiology, and how it fits together in birth,
gives you the confidence to hold space and not interfere.
It will bring more credibility to physiologic birth and may even
give you credibility with parents, nurses and other caregivers.

So, we have four days…let’s learn physiology!



A Mystically Intelligent Approach to Physiology
Our approach to physiology and the A&P of four
major body systems that impact childbirth:


Covered in these topics…
Hormones that support pregnancy
Blood pressure
Components of Blood
Blood volume expansion
Physiologic anemia of pregnancy
Carbohydrate shift in pregnancy
Physiologic swelling vs pathologic swelling
Varicose veins and hemorrhoids?
Risk Screening: Keeping Women Normal


The Physiology of Pregnancy:
Prenatal Care: How much is necessary
Understanding labwork and testing
Rh negative sensitization
Pre-eclampsia and why is it on the rise in resourced women?
Is Gestational Diabetes real?
ROM and PROM: Rupture of Membranes and Premature
and Prolonged Rupture of Membranes
Induction of labor and fetal testing


The Physiology of Birth:
Physiologic vs. Managed Care in labor
Fetal Monitoring: Pros and Cons
Interpreting FHT patterns
What constitutes fetal distress?
Vaginal Exams: Station and Sutures…What can you learn
The Bones of the Pelvis and the Position and Presentation of the Baby
Cardinal Movements of Birth (quick review)
The Two Stages of Second Stage: Extension and Expulsion
Vertical Birth and Common Sense
What about tears? Should anyone touch the perineum during labor?
What about meconium…what’s going on?


Immediate Postpartum and the Newborn:
The Separation Equation and the Fruits of Labor:
How to know where the placenta is at every moment
Effective natural means to stop bleeding
The Physiology of why babies breathe?
What if a baby doesn’t breathe…natural resuscitation methods
Healing and assessing tears in the postpartum
Instinctual Breastfeeding and the Breast crawl
The Physiology of Neonatal Jaundice and Vit K
Structural disorders of the genital tract as a result of birth:
Cystocele, Rectocele, Incontinence, Fistula


As you can see, we have chosen to cover many topics in four days.
The idea is to give you a point of reference for each topic and focus on the big picture rather than go into great depth and detail about each item.

I will point you in the right direction
to further your knowledge of each topic.

My goal in this program is to present an intuitive and clinical
understanding that much of what is done in our current birthing culture
is counterintuitive to physiology and to common sense.
Authentic, organic physiology undergirds the return of birth to the family
and points us in the direction of a new template
with which to serve birthing families.

The Cost of the program is $550 US

For Canadian participants we are allowing
a discount of $485 US

Contact Whapio for registration information

We would love to bring this program to your area. Email Whapio to schedule one.