December 5, 2001

The Compleat Mother Newsletter

//-- Editor comment --//

The "S" Word

//-- Substance --//

Three more chapters from Catherine's book
    "Breastfeeding Anyway"

-Being Bitten
-Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction
-For Love Itself

Four chapters from Birth Joy

-Water Birth
-Don't Be Afraid
-Tears of Triumph
-The Experience of My Life

//--Eternally Pregnant--//

God Answers a Man's Prayer

//--Letter from Rebecca Young--""

//-- Closing --//

//-- Editor Comment --//

The "S" Word

The word "should" is an interesting one.
By definition it is "Used to express obligation or duty"

People say, "You should go to Church!"
or "Kids should be seen and not heard!"
or "I should be working."
or "What you should know as a parent."
or "You should breastfeed!"

I propose that we ban the "S" word from our everyday speech. After all, if we use it we are only expressing our own view of a topic. Not only that, it is also a very aggressive word. 

And it explodes another word.


I believe our best preaching is done by our actions
rather than our words.

Comments? Please send them to [email protected]


We will continue to send you portions of Catherine's books
"Breastfeed Anyway!"and "Birth Joy" in the newsletters.
If you print out the newsletters you will have the books free of charge!
That's what Catherine wanted for you.

-Greg Cryns
online editor, The Compleat Mother Magazine


Who needs ordinary Christmas cards?
Take a look at this one: 


Being Bitten
By Catherine Young, Clifford, Ontario

Rebecca was fuzzy headed and laughing at seven months. At eight she hiked up on wobbly legs and giggled at me in the kitchen. She was a love-bunny, the darling of my heart, the joy of my life, and then she bit me.

"Ouch!" I hollered, more frightened than hurt, and instinctively jammed my finger between her gums. She cried, and I did too.

We went for walks in the park with our sling. She joined me on her sheepskin while I baked. We nursed. She grinned. I cooed. She stretched her legs in a baby ballet. She fixed blue eyes on mine, stopped in mid-suck and bit me again..

"No!" I admonished, this time not as surprised but still pretty darn mad.

There were repeat performances, a good dozen times, until we both learned two things. She had a certain look that would precede a bite, and she would stop sucking for a second before the big chomp. I would immediately follow a bite with an action that ended access to my beloved nipple; I was mother, not an apple.

I have been bitten again. By more babies, neighbours, salesmen, lovers, teachers, relatives, and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. I try to convey the same message to them all; I am not an apple. Depending on their size and shape, I will convey the message more than once (with my babies it was always over and over and over) and as lovingly as

Catherine Young lives near Clifford, Ontario and has a flock of sheep.

They have no upper teeth.


by Melanie Fike, Lytton, British Columbia

Biting came at about nine months. Sequoia would bite me at least six times a day. Startled reaction, stern voice, taking her off the breast momentarily - nothing worked. She would smile; she wasn't getting it.

So what I did was, every time she bit me, I took her off the breast, gold her what was happening, and left the room for as long as I could stand it; usually a minute. She would cry, and I would feel terrible hearing her cry, but after doing this for about two weeks without fail, she totally stopped biting.

She realized that biting meant no mommy.


Please visit this month's sponsor site

Baby Belle Bottoms

Providing top-quality cloth diapers, accessories & mama stuff
with family-friendly prices and service.
AP family owned and operated.


Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction
by Heather Belford, Midwife, Hinchinbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, England

Women who have undergone breast-reduction surgery have successfully breastfed. There are two types of reduction mammoplasty: 1. The nipple and areola area being carried on a pedicle of tissue to their new location with their own blood and nerve supply. In the process the nipples are separated from the lactiferous ducts. The volume of breast tissue is reduced and the skin trimmed.
2. The nipple and areola are completely removed from the blood and nerve supply and the duct system. They are repositioned as a free graft higher up on a bed of breast tissue. Lactation is not possible after this type of operation. This type of mammoplasty is rare in the United Kingdom.
Complete rooming in and total demand feeding are important to make the attempt to breastfeed, worthwhile. Night feeds are also paramount as this is when a woman's prolactin levels are raised. Three out of five women I looked at, who had mammoplasty, breastfed their babies exclusively. One mother said her doctor gave her a 50% chance of lactation after her reduction and added, "Until my baby was sucking at my breast and my milk came at the second day, I still did
not believe I would be able to successfully breastfeed. Now I have a 16 month- old who is fully breastfed, in fact she likes her milk so much she isn't terribly  interested in solids."


Looking for an unusual Christmas gift? Try these!

Midwife Mary Doll 
New! The Doula Doll

Waterbirth Video 
How about a gift subscription to The Compleat Mother magazine? 


For Love Itself
by James Prescott, PhD, Boone, North Carolina

I challenge the justice system to find one murderer, rapist or drug addict in any correctional facility who was breastfed "two years and beyond," as recommended by the World Health Organization. If a national health policy would support mothers being nurturant mothers our culture would transform from violence to peace.

If we are to survive as a species, we must return to the 'lifeplan', which through millions of years of evolutionary biology and psychobiology, has provided for the intimate, physical affectional bonding between mother and her offspring, which establishes the foundation for later sexual affectional bonding and for love itself.

Without love, there can be no survival of Homo Sapiens.

Only in the recent human mammal do we find the newborn separated from its mother at birth, and the mother not breastfeeding its newborn and infant. Such aberrant behavior has exacted a terrible price upon the physical, emotional, and social health of the offspring, as a baby, a child, an adolescent and an adult:
depression, impulse dyscontrol, violence and substance abuse. On the other hand, those adults fortunate enough to have been breastfed two years or more, will have enhanced integrative brain development for the experiencing of sexual affection, pleasure and bonding which translates into stable psychosexual and marital relationships and diminished divorce.


 Water Birth

My labor began early on Sunday. Tracy, a doula, my husband, mother and midwife, all assisted with different comfort techniques. At six centimeters dilated I was walking around the kitchen, eating and drinking as usual. The weightlessness of the jacuzzi bath felt wonderful and provided tremendous comfort. (It was the same temperature as the amniotic fluid-99 degrees F.)

 Never once did I lay down on my back, because that was painful, even for a second.

My cervix was completely dilated at suppertime, and fifteen minutes of gentle breathing helped guide Sierra Elaine out into the warm water. My little miracle of life floated in my arms. I cannot put into words the joy I felt, not only for her presence, but for the realization I had succeeded in birthing at home in water. I was empowered to fulfill my childbirth dreams with the experience I so rightly deserved. I felt like a mother.

Here's why it worked: Waterbirth provided me with non-narcotic pain relief. Due to my increased relaxation I produced less adrenalin, so my hormones (endorphin and oxytocin) had increased production.

Diana Seymout-Espie

Don't be Afraid

I was alone when I went into labour. My husband was at work and our two children were asleep. I called Christiane who came and explained the hospital would probably send me home because I wasn't very far along.

I enjoyed the privacy of a bath without little kids saying, "How come you get it so deep and we don't?" Then I wondered if we should call someone, and my husband tried to help me get my housecoat on, and we left in the truck with me leaning on the window, perched on my knees.

Christiane was beside me, telling me I was fine.

I was listening to my body, inhaling through my nose and exhaling out my mouth, with my voice low and mouth open.

I did not push. Eva was born in our truck with the amniotic sac intact. I was safe between my husband and Christiane, who could care for the baby. Eva's head came out on Summit Avenue, and that's a pretty place at 2:00 a.m. with the view
of the harbour. We didn't stop. The rest of her slid out under the eaves of the emergency entrance.

Chris wrapped Eva in my discarded housecoat to warm her, while my husband rang the bell. The emergency nurse got in a flap and let the hospital door close behind her and we were all locked out until a security guard heard her banging
on the door.

It was a fabulous birth. I will never forget our doula saying, "Your baby's fine," or my husband touching Eva with his gentle, loving manner. The doctor arrived ten minutes later and laughed.

The truck was the place for this perfect birth. I was secure, safe, and calm. My body opened. The best advice is: Don't be afraid. I wasn't; I am exhilarated when I think of the birth of Eva.

Irish friends said because she was born in the sac, she will have a lucky life.  Scottish friends told us she will never drown.
By Kathleen Palm, Prince Rupert, British Columbia


Tears of Triumph

Indian Summer. Bright afternoon sunshine streamed in through the open window,  splashing everything with warm yellow puddles of light, giving the room an almost holy luminescence.

Leaning wearily against my husband Jim, between squatting pushes, I gathered strength. It was hard work birthing a posterior baby.

With a warm trickle of fluid, out slipped my baby's head, then his shoulders, and I reached down to lift the rest of his body from mine. Mixed with tears of joy were tears of triumph. I safely and successfully gave birth to my second child in the environment of my choice, at home.

I am overweight and have essential hypertension, high blood pressure which predates a pregnancy. I became a childbirth educator, then lay midwife. Day to  day involvement with birth developed in me the conviction that the absence of interference in birth makes home a safer place for many high-risk women.

I needed a midwife who wouldn't weigh me or take my blood pressure. I ate well, prayed, exercised regularly and used herbs. During my sixth month of pregnancy  a dear friend and midwife agreed to tend me. With her help I joyfully gave birth to 11 pound, 6 oz. Joshua, at home in October. We plan on starting another pregnancy too. Need I tell you where we plan on giving birth?

By Jeriann Fairman, Sugarloaf, California

The Experience of My Life

I had a tubal reversal, and got pregnant soon after.

My weight gain seemed right; I was 20 pounds overweight before conception.

I felt strongly about giving birth at home, in Northern Ontario, and my midwife and her apprentice supported me with many phone calls.

My due date went by and I was as ready as could be, with sterile sheets and gowns. Pre-labour lasted several weeks.

I thought I might be in true labour around 10 p.m., and called the midwives an hour later. They had a three-hour drive ahead of them; my good friend Kathy came over.

I had a nice bath, then nature played its great role of emptying my lower intestine. The contractions were regular and strong.

Desiree was born at 3:19 a.m., in the bed she was created in. I found it virtually painless, no tears, no problems with the afterbirth.

There was a moment of fear. The midwives didn't arrive until ten minutes after the birth. My 11-year old daughter, Josie was with me during the experience of my life. She was fabulous.

Both she and her eight-year old brother spend hours holding and playing with their sister. She is breastfed and diapered in cotton.

Christine Gagnon, Foleyet, Ontario


Doctors Re-examine Circumcision

-Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. and George C. Denniston, M.D
Order your copy today (only $15) and see a description 


God Answers a Man's Prayer

A man was walking along a California beach and was in deep
prayer to the Lord. He said, "Lord, you have promised me the desires of my heart. That's what I am asking you for right
now. Please give me a confirmation that you will grant my

Suddenly the sky clouded up over his head and the Lord in a booming voice spoke to him. "I have searched your heart and determined it to be pure. The last time I issued a blank wish request it was to Solomon. He didn't disappoint me with his request for wisdom. I think I can trust that you won't disappoint me either. Because you have been faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish you ask for."

The man sat and thought about it for a while and said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I'm deadly afraid of flying and I get very sea sick on boats. Could you build a bridge to Hawaii, so I can drive over there to visit whenever I want?"

The Lord laughed and said, "That's incredibly difficult! Think of the logistics of that! How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific? Think of how much much steel!!! Your request is very materialistic, a little disappointing. I could do it, but it's hard for me to justify your craving for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify Me as well."

The man thought about it for a long while and tried to think of a really good wish. Finally, he said, "Here's the deal, Lord. I've been married and divorced four times. My wives always said that I didn't care and that I'm insensitive. So I wish that I could understand women...I want to know how they feel inside and what they're thinking when they give me the silent treatment. I want to know why they're crying...I want to know what they really mean when they say 'nothing'...I want to know how to make them truly happy...That's the wish that I want, Lord."

After a few minutes, God said, "You want two lanes or four on that bridge?"


//--Letter from Rebecca Young--//

{ed. Note- something tells me that Rebecca inherited a whole lot of her mother's good traits- This article was published in the latest print edition of The Compleat Mother magazine)

My mother touched each and every one of us. I first said that line on Friday, September 14, 2001, as our friends and family gathered at Knox United Church in Clifford, Ontario to celebrate the life of Catherine Anna Young. Other family
members spoke about Catherine the mom, the sister, the cousin. I spoke instead about Catherine the publisher. In the wake of her death, there has been an amazing outpouring of tributes and stories from her global community, some of  which we have reprinted on the last 5 pages of this issue. I also read a few of these statements at the funeral. I managed to make it all the way through my eulogy, but as I started to read the words of women who loved my mother so simply and utterly, the tears rolled down my cheeks.  I cried again as I cut and pasted other tributes into the pages of her magazine, this magazine which is now weighing quite heavily on my shoulders.

I am not a mother, as the title of this editorial clearly explains. I need the mothers who are reading this to guide me as I put together each issue, sharing your stories, advice, and wisdom. I am but your tool of communication, so please, use me. This is what my mother wanted, and I am willing to carry on her work for at least the next year. Hopefully by then someone will come forward who can take over this labour of love, and I will have reached a point in my life where I am willing to say goodbye. Until then, I am here to serve my mother's vision. What  follows is the eulogy I read on Friday. This is how I saw my mother's life.

My mother changed the world. Mom was a leader, a pioneer and an icon in the breastfeeding community. She had the rare and precious combination of strength, courage and conviction that leads to greatness.  Her vision was singular, her life devoted to promoting natural pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. To this end, she published a small newsprint magazine. The magazine was a voice in the dark, unapologetic and unabashedly radical. 17 years ago, Mom started to write what no one else was saying, pushing the  boundaries constructed by a birthing industry that had become medicalized. It  turned out that she was saying what thousands of  women were thinking, but no  one else dared to verbalize. She was a pioneer, blazing a path that would become a well-traveled road. And I live every day so enormously proud that MY MOM was responsible for creating a safe space for women to talk about  breastfeeding in public, and birthing naturally.

Her style was in-your-face and all-or-nothing.  Her passion sparked controversy, but in its wake always ignited debate and made us all reconsider truths previously held unquestioningly.

In the summer of 2000, I was hired to work at the Hamilton hospital where I was born 21 years previously. A few days after I started, I had a meeting with the lactation consultant. Throughout the meeting, we talked about the internal political issues surrounding the World Breastfeeding Week celebrations, and I interjected that such compromises would shock my mother. The lactation consultant was interested to know about this well-informed mother of mine, and I elaborated that my mom had a small breastfeeding magazine, The Compleat Mother. This woman shocked me by shrieking,

"You are Catherine's daughter!?!"

That was my first realization that Mom's influence stretched outside a few select hippie communes, but certainly not my last.

Mom, you have left your mark on souls around the world. I will do what I can to  ensure those souls have a page to share their version of your voice as they choose to write it. I will make mistakes, as you did. I will make changes, as you did. But I will never forget you, and will always honour you.


//-- Closing --//

If you like what you see here, on the website and in the print edition, please help us keep the Compleat Mother in business. The loss of Catherine Young is difficult to overcome but we strongly feel that Catherine will guide us through the difficult times ahead for her publication.  We have excellent people who are dedicated to maintaining the spirit and quality of the magazine.

You can help us by recommending the magazine to your friends and relatives and by sending them to the website for more information. Simply recommending that they subscribe to this newsletter will also help.

But most of all, please renew your current subscription or sign up again if it has lapsed for some time!


The Compleat Mother staff thanks you for your support.
To subscribe to our quarterly print edition:

It is not so much which faith you espouse, as that you have faith.

Seasons blessings to each and every one of you!

Rebecca Young
Jody McLaughlin
Greg Cryns


childbirth and pregnancy





Inside Mother

What's New?

Mother's Tea
Guest Article
Best Articles
Dear Mother Dear
Reader Letters
Eternally Pregnant

Read past issues
of our newsletter

Site Features

Book Reviews
Mother Books
Birth Stories
Site Map

Contact Us

Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother

Go HERE for more information on the waterbirth video! 







Click here to read: The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Click here for the Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

video cover




Subscriptions are $12 a year,
$20 for two years

Lifetime Subscription: $100

Bulk Subscriptions
(5 magazines each issue) $22 a year or
$35 for 2 years

visa53x34.gif (501 bytes)   mastercard.gif (767 bytes)

To order, please click to our
Subscription Page 

Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
5703 Hillcrest
Richmond, Illinois 60071
Phone: (815) 678-7531