The Compleat Mother Email Newsletter
August 17, 2002

//--Greg's notes--//

//-- Daughter to Mother by Rebecca Young --//

//-- Mother to Mother by Catherine Young
(Spring 1985 issue reprint) --//

//-- Litters --//


//--Greg's notes--//

I'm getting to know Rebecca Young. She possesses wit, intelligence, tenacity and
kindness. Well, she reminds me of her mother!

In this issue we bring you Rebecca's latest Daughter to Daughter message from
the Fall 2002 magazine and Catherine's Spring 1985 Mother to Mother essay.
Truly, and tragically, not much has changed in 17 years.


We received a cancellation notice for the magazine recently.

"Please cancel my subscription. Your magazine condones unassisted birth and I do
not. I cannot give this magazine out to my clients nor recommend it."

We do allow different points of view in the magazine. That is the essence of
acquiring knowledge to make an informed decision.

As Lindsey Campbell said in her article "It is my choice, it is your choice" in
the latest issue, "Listen to your instincts and dig for answers, they are out
there. Only you know what is right for you and your baby."


Other articles in the latest edition include:

"Overcoming Breast Modesty"
"Natural Infant Hygiene: A Gentle Alternative to Long-term Diapering"
"Breastfeeding and Adoption"
"Another Great Hospital Gift Packet Idea"
(very tongue-in-cheek, of course)
"A Modern Approach to Reiki"
And much more...


We need a sponsor for this email newsletter. We prefer not to fill each issue
with many ads, but we do need to pay the bills. If you own a business which you
know fits into our philosophy, please send me an email to [email protected]  I'm
prepared to make you an offer which I hope you cannot refuse.


I receive quite a few birth stories from mothers who want to be published on the
website in our "Birth Stories" section. Your stories are always welcome. The
page is divided into "Hospital" and "Home" birth stories with a "thumbs up or
down" graphic. Take a look:


Whine: To complain or protest in a childish fashion
My dear wife has a sign on our piano. It says "No Whining!" One thing I've learned about Compleat Mother subscribers is that they just do NOT whine. They assess the situation; they think about a strategy; then they take action. They are adults with wisdom.


//-- Daughter to Mother by Rebecca Young --//

Fall, 2002

Daughter to Mother

Summer is the height of organic life, the garden is bursting with fruit, the
days are longest, people are louder and happier than most other times of the
year. It was Mom's favourite time of the year, her sheep would be pregnant and
she could zip off to the beach at the drop of a hat. As this season approached,
the farm sat waiting expectantly for this life to happen, and it just didn't.
There is no one to work the land, no one to care for a flock, and that is a
truly sad sight. So we have listed the farm for sale.

A part of me will be happy when I can move the business to Hamilton, and answer
the phone and work on a little bit each day instead of cramming it all into two
days each week. But another part of me will miss the solitary trek to Clifford
each week. However, this will allow me to finish my degree in the fall, and
maybe get a part time job to save for a big party I want to throw next year: my

But until then, I need to work on this magazine, I need to struggle through
another issue (and what a glorious struggle it is!), learning an incredible
amount only to realize I still know very little.

My Daughter to Mother is getting shorter and shorter with each issue. I don't
want to say too much, taking away from other voices that know much more than I
do. Again I have included another classic Mother to Mother, this Mom's second
effort. I am stunned at how relevant her words still are, and how in tune she
has always been with her readers. Your voices are the clearest of all...This
issue admonishes me not to take the middle road, not to betray the radical
course Mom set. True wisdom.


//-- Mother to Mother by Catherine Young (Spring 1985 issue reprint: 2nd issue)

by Catherine Young

Not everyone likes this magazine. The purchasing agent for St. Catherine's
General Hospital so disliked us she intercepted 10 copies internally mailed to
the prenatal department, relieved a blind man's copies from his magazine stand,
and destroyed them all.

We don't expect whole hearted approval. If everyone loved us, we simply wouldn't
be doing our job, and our job is to affect change.

Ours is a culture that produces colicky babies, hyperactive children and
depressed teenagers. A culture where women are deemed virtually incapable of
birthing and a subculture of male birthers - the obstetricians, gynecologists
and anesthetists in the mechanical womb of the life-support wired delivery room,
come to a dubious rescue.

Ours is a culture where a premier's son murders his wife, a musician murders
himself and a truck driver rapes and tortures and murders hundreds of terrified

Not everyone appreciates the nature of our magazine. Editorially we
believe birth is the most profound experience a woman will have, and that
memories of an untampered with birth experience will follow a woman to her
grave. Not only are we convinced there need be no dread or fear attached to
pregnancy and birth, but on the contrary, to deny discussion of the normal birth
experience is to shortchange us all.

There are many who would rather dwell on the dcvil they already know, the poorly
womb-nourished, badly birthed, unloved child who grows into an adult monster
committing hate-filled acts of rage. Headlines report their deeds daily and
prisons fill to overflowing. Intellectuals argue that they should be hung, or
not hung, paroled or not paroled.

But there are more of us than them. Mothers and fathers and grandparents and
friends of humanity who know that our children will flourish if we nurture them
well. Our Best Babies need to be loved and wanted before the moment of
conception. Our Best Babies need a nutritious beginning that cannot be found
queuing up at McDonald's or uncapping a bottle of Coke. Our Best Babies are born
gently and happily in an atmosphere of excitement that is not stifled by the
professionalism of hospital staff. Our Best Babies are lifted quickly from the
warmth of within a mother's womb to the warmth of beside her colostrum filling
breasts. And our Best Babies do cuddle and snuggle and kiss and find utopian
satisfaction in those breasts long after they walk and chew and sip from a cup
as well.

Our best Babies are our delight and joy and remain that way even when
they dress themselves and draw dinosaurs and ride bicycles.

Our Best Babies will grow into fine human beings. They will commit no murders.
They won't be that angry.


//-- Litters --//

Can Anyone Help Us?
My partner and I are expecting our first (combined 4th!). 
We are planning a homebirth with midwives.  We want to have his children (5 yrs
and 7yrs) from a previous marriage involved in not only the pregnancy and
midwifery visits, but also the birth. 
Unfortunately, his ex is closed minded and refuses our requests claiming "it
is not in the best interest of the children". 
Any advice about how we can convince her otherwise? Any legal paths available
to us?
Thanks in advance,
Heather Ling
Email: [email protected]


My sister just had a baby (32 weeks - 4 pounds) and a nurse came into her room
with a little Enfamil thing on her uniform and my sister said, "Shame on you! 
You shouldn't be advertising for formula companies!"  The nurse said she wasn't,
Susan said, sure you are.  The lady said they were free, and Susan said of
course they are in exchange for the advertising they get.  And the nurse said
she believes ladies make their own choices and she would never tell anyone that
they should breastfeed, and my sister said, (can you believe this?!) "Then you
shouldn't be a nurse!"  It is your job to advocate the healthiest choices for 
your patients.

This discussion went on a while, and the lady said she respected my sister's
position and my sister said, "I don't respect yours."

Is she a superstar or what!  Here she is in the hospital (had been for 4
weeks!)  totally at their mercy, and she is giving them an education! The nurse
came in later trying to smooth things over, and my sister held her ground.

She mentioned the Code of Ethical Marketing, the nurse didn't know what that
was. I told her if she sees her again, remind her the reason she said she wears
it is because it was free.  Ask her if we get her something free will she wear
it instead?  (Not in addition, but I will trade her mine for hers.)

Janis Honea. Sparks, Nevada


An older and wiser friend slipped me a copy of TCM, and I was a little nervous
to even read it. Imagin3! So can you send me some back issues? I've found my

Lisa Marchant, Winnipeg, MB

<Ed. note: if you order a two-year subscription or more you will receive four
back-issues for free!>


I'm new to this radical parenting thing, but I like what I see. It's all about
love, right? Send me a bulk subscription so I can share the light with some
"normal" friends.

Clara Yost, Markham, Ontario


I just wanted to write and say thank you for the wonderful Mother's Day email.
It was so uplifting. I'm so sick of opening my email and seeing an ad about how
to enlarge my breasts for just $19.95 (actually I know how to enlarge my breasts
for free, it's called lactating.) Whenever I see an email from my "Mother" it
reminds me that although this world is full of many horrible vile things, the
precious beautiful things, such as our babies, always persevere and give us

Michelle Bebber


After my daughter was born, I left her abusive father and struggled to provide
for my new baby. I read the magazine in the local library, where I got a part
time job. After a few months of saving the money I earned there, I had read
enough of The Mother to know I should quit and stay home with my daughter. I
wrote a letter to Catherine thanking her for sharing her own story, and helping
me reach this decision. I mentioned how much I missed reading her magazine in
the library. A few months later I received a bulging envelope in the maill, full
of magazine and a note from Catherine, explaining that she had waited for the
bulk mail-out. Six years later, I can afford to subscribe now, and Iam about to
go on maternity leave. For the next five years!

April Cowan, Edmonton, Alberta


As a La Leche League Leader I just want to thank you for the info you provide
concerning co-sleeping. It's hard enough to help moms breastfeed without some
government agency coming out with info that seems to undermine the suggestions
we make about getting a bit of sleep by keeping baby close.

Julie Chiasson, Slipper Rock, PA


Thank you for printing your mother's first editorial. I was one of the lucky
women who had a copy of that issue, but I passed it on to my daughter when she
gave birth (at home) to my first grandchild. She's pregnant again, and thinking
of water birth. Send her your video and a bulk subscription.

Joan Richards, Vancouver, BC


I have a 16 month old happily breastfed son. many people get strange looks when
my husband mentions that our son is still breastfreeding. Recently, he told a
nurse friend who questioned him by explaining that because we are vegan, it
didn't make any sense to quit for where would he get his milk?

I was at the hospital when my sister gave birth to my niece. She had planned to
breastfeed her until the nurse came in and asked if she could give the baby a
bottle. My sister told her that she would breastfeed. The nurse insisted that
she looked too tired, she really didn't have to do it, and it wouldn't make her
a bad mother not to. I can understand that there are legitimate reasons some
women cannot breastfeed, but this was not the case. I could have vomited for my
niece was robbed of much affection.

love, nourishment, and health

Melinda McKee, Pennsylvania


<ed. note: here are some clips from an article in the Fall 2002 issue. In fact,
I LOVE the taste of Nestle chocolate, but I must abstain now because the company
represents all that is awful about attitudes toward breastfeeding>

There's no pride in compromise
by Sarah Kercheval

This is in response to the letter in the Summer 2002 edition about not
boycotting Nestle. Just because someone is offended does not give them the right
to make you change your fabulous magazine. I know for a fact that there are
women out there who have expressed similar views on this matter. They are just
misinformed. The great thing about Catherine's mag is that it was always a safe
haven from wrong info and misguided souls. There were no cat fights. You almost
forgot that there were other ways of doing things, it made life so easy.
Breastfeed, love and live. Yes, I believe in a woman's right to choice, but not
at the expense of the helpless. I believe that if she makes the deision to bear
a child she needs to take the child whole and give up her self and her selfish
ways our society has taught us. Failing to breastfeed for one reason or another
is not always the woman's body that's at fault. Women who birth in hospitals
have no way of knowing the right way unless they venture out of mainstream and
read. This is a difficult task for the masses. Therefore it's left up to the
selfish  uncaring doctors who have nothing to gain by teaching the "hard way."

...The woman says Carnation Instant Crap saved her. They didn't save her...

The saddest thing to see is a yong woman who has been pressured by our society into doing things the wrong way for her child, having no idea even what the right way may be. All because she has been a fish on the hook of a huge, huge awesomely gigantic Corporation. When she honestly believes that the beautiful breasts that God has given her are dirty. That she is not useful and cannot even provide the most basic element of lif, FOOD! When you realize what that girl has been brainwashed to believe by a thing more powerful than her mother, her grandmother, or even her good sense that she is not as good as the Carnation
Crap is., it's scary.

That is why we Boycott Nestle.


If you or someone you know is looking for a midwife, doula, childbirth educator, or lactation consultant just visit Birth Partners, searchable by zip code!


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