Local Houston Resources

Midwives and Birth Centers
Baylor College of Medicine Certified Nurse-Midwives – Offers an alternative in women’s health care
North Houston Birth Center – (Kathleen Vande Giessen, CNM,MSN,MBA) (713) 699-4211

North Houston Women’s Health Care – (Kathleen Vande Giessen, CNM,MSN,MBA)Providing well women health care throughout your life cycle 713) 742-6070 

Bay Area Birth Center – (Jacquelyn Griggs RN,CNM) Specialists in Natural Birth, Breastfeeding, and Women’s Health (713) 472-5525

The Birthing Place – (Afua Hassan) 713.MID.WIFE

Nativiti Women’s Health & Birth Center – Offers safe and satisfying care in a warm, comfortable, home-like environment ( 281) 296-2333

Women’s Health & Birth Care – Empowering women and families to take responsibility for their extraordinary experience (713) 529-5131

Women’s Specialist of Houston – Celebrating nine years of providing Midwifery care to the women of Houston (713) 797-1144

Carol Schumacher, CPM, LM – A CPM with 8 years experience offering complete maternity care and birth services at home or birth center (713) 728-3439

Janet Little, CNM (281) 319-4623

Christine Messarra, CPM, LM – Catching babies since 1997, complete maternity care and specializing in home birth (832) 385-6500

Breastfeeding Supplies and Consultation
A Woman’s Work – Breastfeeding, Shop for Mother and Baby, Bookstore (866) 660-1966
Nurtured Family – Boutique for Mother & Baby (Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Cloth Diapering & more); Free Classes on Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Labor Techniques, Midwives/Birth Centers/Hospitals, & more.  832-239-5140

Baby Bistro at Bella Luna Boutique – Breastfeeding support and supplies, located inside Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. 832-826-8000
The Motherhood Center – The Motherhood Center provides an abundance of services for pregnancy and into parenthood. (713) 963-8880
Nurtured Family (www.NurturedFamily.com) – Boutique for Mother & Baby (Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Cloth Diapering & more); Free Classes on Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Labor Techniques, Midwives/Birth Centers/Hospitals, & more.  832-239-5140
Infant Massage – Cynthia Friend, MS, LMT, CEIM – 281-451-8844, www.infantouch.com. cfriend@infantouch.com
Houston Baby Wearershoustonbabywearers.org
Free meetings across Houston at which locals share the love of using
cloth baby carriers and slings. Support and information also shared
online via Facebook groups.

Angelique Geehan

Private consultations and classes for birth-related professionals and
caregivers (parents, childcare workers, relatives) on a wide range of
topics related to babywearing, baby carriers, and cloth slings,
including safety, techniques, comfort, selection, and breastfeeding
and nursing. 713 899 0655. Free meeting (as part of Houston Baby
Wearers) the second Saturday each month at the Montrose Freed
Neighborhood Library, 10 a.m. to noon. slingmeet@gmail.com
Childbirth Classes
Dawn Freedkin .281-961-1567
AAHCC (Bradley) Certified Childbirth Educator
Pearland, 77584
us@aarondawn.com • www.bradleybirth.com
Dana Gillman, CD (DONA)  713-962-2447
Childbirth Educator ICEA
Spring, 77379
doulamom@comcast.net , www.doula.org
Debbie Hull, Doula, CCE  281-599-1381
Birth Works Certified Childbirth Educator
Katy, 77449

Jamie Marancenbaum
, MPH.  469-417-9661

South Houston Doula Cooperative
Monthly Community Classes including Preparing a Birth Plan, Relaxation and Exercise, Breastfeeding, and Cloth Diapering

Shannon Stellhorn
, CLD, CBE   832-622-8885
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Childbirth Classes

Cole Deelah, CLD, CBE   281-560-3101
Fear to Freedom Childbirth Classes
Work of Heart Childbirth preparation classes
Weekend of Relaxation Childbirth Classes

Katherine Stanglin, CLD, CHCBE   832-360-6014
Hypnobabies Childbirth Classes

Vaccine Information


Prove – Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education – PROVE provides information on vaccines, and the immunization policies and practices that affect the children and adults of Texas.  To contact please visit their contact page and send an email.

Books and Links

Recommended Reading
Pregnancy and Birth 
“Having a Baby, Naturally” by Peggy O’Mara
“The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer
“Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities” by Henci Goer
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin
“Gentle Birth Choices” by Barbara Harper
“The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth” by Sheila Kitzenger
“Your Baby, Your Way” by Sheila Kitzenger
“Active Birth” by Janet Balaskas
“The Birth Book” by Dr. Willliam Sears and Martha Sears
“Birthing From Within” by Pamela England
“Birth Reborn” by Michel Odent
“Silent Knife” by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois J. Estner
“A Good Birth, A Safe Birth” by Diana Korte and Roberta Scaer
Creating Your Birth Plan: The Definitive Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birthby Marsden Wagner with Stephanie Gunning
The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healtheir Birth, by Marshall H., Klaus, et al
Giving Birth, Challenges & Choices, by Suzanne Arms
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, by Sarah J Buckley
Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Peggy O’Mara
Healthy Mother, Healthy Child, by Elizabeth Irvine
Hey, Who’s Having this Baby, by Breck Hawk
Immaculate Deception II–A Fresh Look at Childbirth, by Suzanne Arms
The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lothian and Charlotte DeVries
The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America’s Baby Experts, by William Sears and Martha Sears
Rediscovering Birth, Sheila Kitzinger
Sit Up and Take Notice! Positioning Yourself for a Better Birth, by Pauline Scott
Special Delivery: The Complete Guide to Informed Birth, by Rahima Baldwin
“The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby frm Birth to Age Two” by William and Martha Sears
Natural Family Living: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting” by Peggy O’Mara
Ended Beginnings: Healing Childbearing Losses by Claudia Panuthos and Catherine Romeo
Journey Into Motherhood, by Menelli
The Motherhood Manifesto, by Blades & Rowe-Finkbeiner
What Babies Want, DVD/video, Takikawa
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup


Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education – PROVE provides information on vaccines, and the immunization policies and practices that affect the children and adults of Texas. Their mission is to prevent vaccine injury and death and to promote and protect the right of every person to make informed independent vaccination decisions for themselves and their families

Vaccination News – Sandy Mintz runs this website. She presents some of the controversy concerning vaccines. 

Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute – Uncensored information about vaccines and how they affect our children. 

Vaccine Website – Read the package inserts that come with the vaccines

National Vaccine Information Center  NVIC is a national, non-profit educational organization founded in 1982. It is the oldest and largest national organization advocating reformation of the mass vaccination system. 


“Routine circumcision of babies in the United States did not begin until the Cold War era. Circumcision is almost unheard of in Europe, Southern America, and non-Muslim Asia. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of men throughout the world are circumcised.”
“The natural penis requires no special care. A child’s foreskin, like his eyelids, is self-cleansing. Forcibly retracting a baby’s foreskin can lead to irritation and infection. The best way to care for a child’s intact penis is to leave it alone.”
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages – an Internet resource that provide you with information about all aspects of the genital surgery known as circumcision


VBAC stands for “Vaginal Birth After Cesarean”. Remember: choose your caregiver carefully, take an independent childbirth class and consider hiring adoulaYOU CAN DO IT! And you’ll be glad that you did!
The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc(ICAN) is a nonprofit organization founded by Esther Booth Zorn in 1982. ICAN’s mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). 
Henci Goer specializes in birth issues
V-Bac Rates for Texas Hospitals

                                                Cesarean Section Rates for Houston Area Hospitals 

Christus St. Catherine
Clear Lake Regional Medical Center
Cypress Fairbanks Hospital
Houston Northwest Medical Center
Kingwood Medical Center
Memorial Hermann Medical Center
Memorial Hermann Memorial City
Memorial Hermann South East
Memorial Hermann South West
Methodist Willowbrook
St. Luke’s Medical Center
Texas Women’s
The Methodist – Medical Center
Tomball Regional
Memorial Hermann Fort Bend Hospital
Memorial Hermann Katy
Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
St. Luke’s Sugar Land
West Houston Medical Center
Conroe Regional Medical Center
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands
Greater Houston Area: 37.52673%

Book Recommendations

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. (Henci Goer) If you’re only going to read one book, let it be this one. It contains not only a wonderful chapter on avoiding a cesarean, but also comprehensive information on the judicious use of medical intervention. The book is more reader friendly, but not as in depth, as Ms. Goer’s previous publication, Obstetric Myth vs. Research Reality
The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth (by Klaus, Kennell and Klaus) For more information about doulas (Including the fact that doulas have been proven to reduce your risk of having a cesarean by 50%. Family members and other supportive people have not been shown to provide the same benefit.)
Silent Knife (by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois J. Estner) Written by the woman who coined the phrase “VBAC”; The definitive text written during a time when the standard of obstetrical care was “Once a cesarean, always a cesarean”; Also consider the follow-up book by Nancy Wainer Cohen, Open Season
Birth After Cesarean (by Bruce Flamm, MD) Full of statistics helpful for making decisions regarding choices you make
for your care
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (by Ina May Gaskin) Published following the most recent VBAC-lash and includes a chapter discussing the political state of VBAC today; Also includes excellent information for achieving a natural birth
Rebounding from Childbirth: Toward Emotional Recovery (by Lynn Madsen) For anyone who has experienced a cesarean (or any traumatic birth); Gives specific exercises for understanding and dealing with the feelings many women have following a cesarean
The VBAC Experience: Very Beautiful And Courageous (by Lynn Baptisti Richards) A collection of women’s birth stories: first the woman’s c-section story, followed by her VBAC story; The author’s comments are interspersed in the stories supplying excellent information; Fabulously encouraging

Water Birth

Waterbirth has proven to be one of the gentlest ways for a baby to enter the world and is being proclaimed by birthing women to provide optimal pain relief and comfort. No longer a “new trend,” this method of labor and birth has become the number one option for women world wide.
WaterbirthInfo.com – The advantages of Water Birth


Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do to give your child the very best start in life. Breast milk provides the optimum nutrition for your baby. Despite their efforts, formula companies simply CANNOT duplicate the amazing benefits of breast milk. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for AT LEAST two years.
Breastfeeding.com – Information, support, & additude! 
La Leche League – Founded in 1956 by seven women who had learned about successful breastfeeding while nursing their own babies, La Leche League is the only organization with the sole purpose of helping breastfeeding mother
Mothers Milk Bank at Austin – Resource for donor breastmilk
Houston Area Lacation Consultants and Educators Association – Resources for locating a Lactation consultant in the Houston area.
Breastfeeding Guide for African American Women
Book Recommendations
Black Womans Guide to Breastfeeding – Katherine Barber 
The Breastfeeding Book: Everthing You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child Frm Birth Through Weaning – William Sears, Martha Sears 
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh revised Edition – La Leche League International


What is a Doula?
The word, “doula,” comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.” (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
A doula…
  • Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical careproviders
  • Perceives her role as one who nutures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
  • The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants


What is a Midwife?

Since the beginning of human history, women have helped other women in the transition to motherhood. Midwives are the primary health care providers in most countries where birth is an integral part of family life.

Countries with the highest rate of midwifery care today – emphasizing competent prenatal care, education, and empowerment for the woman giving birth – also have the best outcomes for mothers and babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared in 1990 that birth was actually safer for mothers and babies when utilizing midwifer for pregnancy and childbirth.

Midwifery is based on a strong belief in partnership with childbearing women and respect for birth as a normal life event. Midwives strive to empower parents with knowledge and support their right to create the birth experience which is best for them.

Midwives respect intimacy, privacy, and family integrity, and draw on their own patience and understanding to provide care during pregnancy and birth.

Midwives Today

The modern midwife is a health professional who provides holistic heath care to the childbearing woman and newborn. She respects a wide range of women’s need including personal and cultural values. Focusing on the natural processes of pregnancy, labor, and birth, she combines traditional skills and modern medical techiques to safeguard normal childbirth. The midwife maintains associations with physicians and other health care providers to ensure that mother and child have the best knowledge and technology available.

Midwives are the most time-honored and common primary caregivers for healthy women during their pregnancies and births in most countries throughout the world.

Resource Guide