Ask Rachelle, the childbirth expert

Vol XV: J'lem YMCA hosts national conference on childbirth entitled "Humanizing Birth."

baby 88 (photo credit: )
baby 88
(photo credit: )
Rachelle Oseran is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator with 21 years of experience working with pregnant and postpartum women. She is also a fitness professional certified by ACE (The American Council on Exercise) and a certified prenatal and postnatal exercise instructor. She co-directs Great Shape Exercise Studio at the Jerusalem YMCA. * * * Volumes I - IX * * * Vol XV Great Shape/YMCA, specialists in perinatal health and fitness and the Israel Childbirth Education Centre are organizing a national conference on childbirth entitled "Humanizing Birth" (see the program below). The conference will take place at the Jerusalem International YMCA on 26 King David Street, Jerusalem on November 7th. Although the conference is geared to childbirth professionals (and anyone else in the public who might be interested), there will be a "Childbirth Expo" (companies exhibiting the latest products related to pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period and babies) that will be open to the public from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Entrance to the Childbirth Expo is free, but registration (for a fee) is required for the lectures of the conference. For more information call (02) 625 8436. Conference will focus on HUMANIZING BIRTH Doctors, midwives, childbirth educators, doulas, lactation consultants and anyone involved in the realm of childbirth, is invited to learn from three internationally-renowned speakers how to promote mother-friendly childbirth in our own communities. Program will include welcome remarks by Varda Margalit, Chairwoman, Israel Midwives' Association, and Wendy Blumfield, President, Israel Childbirth Education Centre Lectures: Denis Walsh: Rhythms in Labor; Robbie Davis-Floyd: Three Paradigms of Birth and Health Care: The Technocratic, Humanistic, and Holistic Models; Alan Huber: Can a Mother-Friendly Birth Model Make Financial Sense? Film: "Working under Restraint / Monologues from the Delivery Room" Light lunch and refreshments will be served. * * * Vol XIV Q: I am in my first trimester and I want to look for prenatal exercise classes in Ashdod. I don't speak much Hebrew, I speak English and French so I have no idea how to go about doing that and where to look. Do you have any ideas? Thanks, Amanda A: Dear Amanda, I, personally, have not trained any prenatal exercise instructors from Ashdod (I give national seminars on prenatal exercise each year) but I called Wingate Institute as they also train instructors in this field. Although they don't have the name of a particular instructor, they did a workshop on prenatal exercise for the instructors of Holmes Place health club in Ashdod, so they should know how to modify the regular exercises for you. Another option would be to come to our prenatal exercise classes in Jerusalem once or twice to see what specific exercises we do so that you can have an idea what to do on your own. I would also be happy to meet with you to help you build a program that you can do by yourself. If you'd like to follow up on this, call Great Shape/YMCA at (02)6258436. * * * Vol XIII Q: How can I train as a childbirth educator/doula in Jerusalem? Can I do it in English? A: These are two separate professions with two separate training courses. The only certification course for Childbirth Educators currently available in Israel is through Reidman College, which gives you a certificate both through Reidman and through the Israel Childbirth Education Center. The course starts in November but it takes place in Tel Aviv and is in Hebrew. To contact Reidman, call 03-6043903. To train as a doula, you can do this through Reidman as well (the doula course is available in Jerusalem and is conducted in Hebrew) in conjunction with the Israel Childbirth Education Center. There are two additional Doula training programs in Jerusalem, both of which are conducted in English. Sarah Goldstein (052-3847439) runs a course affiliated with DONA (Doulas of North America). Graduates receive a DONA certificate, which is valid internationally. Shoshanna Goldbaum (02-5341560) and Joanie Abelman run a private Doula training program. Good luck with your studies. * * * Vol XII Q: I'm coming to Israel this summer, and I want to do an internship with a midwife. Could you help me contact someone who would let me intern with them? I'm a junior at Yeshiva University, bio major, and can send you my resume if necessary. I'm coming from June 29- Aug. 11. Please help me if you can. Thank you! A: It's wonderful that you are planning to be in Israel this summer. However, regarding your wish to do an internship with a midwife, I'm afraid that I don't have any good news for you. I checked with a home birth midwife who sent the following response: "Since I only do about five homebirths a month, there would not be enough for this student to see. Also, most homebirthers want privacy and would not agree to being observed, especially since they are paying privately for this special atmosphere." I also checked with a midwife who coordinates the midwifery program at one of the nursing schools in Israel who responded with the following: "The hospital (via Misrad habriut) will only allow nursing or medical students (or nurses and MDs) to do rotations in a hospital, and that is only after a proper check of certificates, letters etc.. Anyone could come in and be a biology student and ask to tag along in any dept. It would be unethical." Sorry I can't be of more help. I wish you luck with your studies. Rachelle. * * * Vol XI Q: Since Israel has state-sponsored health care, what procedures and costs are covered for infertility treatments? Does it matter which kupat cholim you choose? Is there a waiting period as an oleh, or can you begin treatment as soon as you enter the country? A: I apologize for taking so long to reply to your question. Infertility questions are not part of my field (pregnancy and childbirth) so it took me some time to look into the subject. None of the health clinics was willing to give me information without first knowing my ID number (teudat zehut). So I called the IVF clinic at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. The Israeli health fund covers all the expenses of hospital costs and treatment costs. The medications are covered by the health fund except for the usual deductible, which is about 10 - 15%. Nobody could answer the question about a waiting period for a new immigrant, but the secretary of this clinic thought it was something like 6 months, though she wasn't sure. Sorry I can't be of more help to you. If you are interested in making contact with someone who has been through it, Amanda Goldman is happy to answer any further questions you may have. In addition to having gone through this treatment personally, she is also a childbirth educator. You can reach her at: Rachel Shekhtman: I saw your answer for the woman who asked about infertility and I wanted to let you know about the organization: Mahon Puah. This is a religious institution that assists couples with infertility, problems during pregnancy, etc. They don't limit themselves to offering halachic assistance, rather they also deal with doctors and scientists and Kupat Cholim. Hope that is helpful! * * * Vol X Q: Shalom! First of all, thank you so much for all you do to help women around the globe! I am a 21-year-old junior in Yeshiva University and I am planning on making aliya within the next two or three years (or hopefully LESS)! I am a certified doula and EMT/Medic. I am planning on becoming a midwife (G-d Willing). I was wondering if there was anyway I could get in touch with those 12 midwives that you mentioned in Israel and help them (volunteer only, I would NOT expect payment) with anything they needed and perhaps assist in deliveries etc. I am so sorry I am posting this publicly like this, I just don't know how else to get in touch with you... If you do not want to put their numbers here, or you want me to send you references first I completely understand. Thank you so much! A: Gila, I suggest you write to Ilana Shemesh. She is one of the 12 midwives who does homebirths. I contacted her and she would be happy to hear from you. You can reach her at Let me know if I can be of any further help and I wish you luck with your planned aliya. Rachelle. * * * Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer. Send your questions for Rachelle
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