Leadership Lessons

“Being the first follower is an under appreciated form of leadership.”

Please watch this youtube video – you will notice it has nothing to do with birth.  It has to do with leadership, followers, creating a movement….

Or maybe it does have something to do with birth! See, this video can be many things to many people – that is the glory of this video and the reason I am posting it here. TO ME…this video is about the underground ‘alternative’ birthing community.

It started with a few nuts….Ina May Gaskin (all due respect given, Ms Gaskin and everyone on this list!), Dr Bradley, Dr Lamaze…the list goes on, Barbara Harper, Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger….

They were brave enough to stand out when nobody else was. They were often ridiculed by others afraid to follow them because any hint of doing so would bring criticism from friends and family. But some people braved the criticism and decided to follow…Midwives Alliance of North America, birth networks, several wonderful websites…

They are followers…not in the sense that you may think of when you first think of a “follower”. They do not follow for fear of ridicule or because to follow means they do no think of themselves (lemmings). They follow because they looked around and decided that it was the right thing to do despite the criticism. They stood up and started yelling, “This is the right thing to do! The cesarean rate is too high…too many interventions…too many babies lost…not enough respect is given to these families…we are losing too many mothers! ! ! ”

And so here we are – is it a movement? or is it a couple of nut jobs dancing/yelling out on the side of a hill. Do you think it’s the right thing to do to join in but are afraid of what others will say (or have said)?  Will you sit on your butt because the guy next to you says that you should even though your heart is telling you to stand up and join in?

I am a follower…I pray it becomes a movement, but it’s important enough to me to risk being a nutjob dancing on the hill in order to change the way things are in this country. I shout to you and all that can hear: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! IT CAN BE BETTER! BIRTH SHOULD BE SO MUCH SAFER THAN IT IS AND BE MORE RESPECTFUL FOR FAMILIES!

So…..make a choice and choose your role…I am a proud follower.


  1. Rose wrote:

    Love it.

    Friday, February 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 1:11 am | Permalink
  3. Shannon Guse wrote:

    I am a follower & also a proud nut job!!!!! I am a 180 from where I was three years ago!! Thank God!!! Thanks Stephanie for that! 🙂

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 1:55 am | Permalink
  4. Amy Drorbaugh wrote:

    Nut Jobs Unite! That can be our slogan.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  5. I am so happy to be recognized as one of the “nuts!!” I am proud to have been shouting from the hill for the past quarter century and am shouting even louder these days. Preserving birth – For the sake of humanity!! And all I did was follow Ashley Montigue, Maria Montessori, Frederick Leboyer, Rudolf Steiner, Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac, Golda Mier, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Joan Halifax, Doris Haire, Shelia Kitzinger and an entire library of philosophers who taught me to think for myself and question authority and most of all my grandmother, Estella Harper Lemunyon, nurse and midwife to thousands for 47 years!!

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 4:55 am | Permalink
  6. Naser wrote:

    I would love to win this contest for my yesugont daughter who is now 17 she is one of the most amazing people I know. She gets 4.0’s, is in Big Brother Big Sisters, works at the zoo, and helps to take care of me and the house since I have had MS for over 20 years. She has won so many awards I have lost count and has been the student of the year for her whole class for the last two years. I really pray to win this for her. She is so amazing for her age

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 3:10 am | Permalink

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