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by Justine Tullier   Birth and babies do not come with instructions, and one could argue that they don’t need to nor should they. After all, our great great grandmothers and beyond did perfectly well without them, and we can see how, over the years, instruction and industrialized birth have done a major disservice to both parent and baby. What a wonderful world it would be if every mother felt empowered during her pregnancy and believed in her ability to give birth. But information for pregnancy and birth are now found in a world of excessive data, obsession with social media, and self-diagnosis thanks to Google. The upcoming generations of parents are found here, and they are lost. Between horror stories of their mothers and the latest forum board on BabyCenter, parents are feeling anything but educated, empowered, and prepared for the journey of parenthood. Confusion, debate, opinion, and fear dominate their circles of influence. There has to be a better way. A midwife can only stretch herself so thin. A doula can only have so many clients. And childbirth educators can only reach those who take their classes. This need for knowledge that dominates as much as the culture surrounding us is what prompted me and my Birthpedia co-founder to think bigger. I had to look too hard for the proper information and, when I did find it, it often clashed with something else I had learned. During my second pregnancy I felt the call to become trained as a childbirth educator, but I wanted more than to teach classes according to my own philosophy. I wanted moms to be able to find the information they were looking for—whether for a hospital- or homebirth—solid, healthy, and qualified information that didn’t require digging through a lot of unhelpful jargon. We needed a qualified resource where the worlds of hospital, birth center, and homebirth co-existed, where parents’ choices are respected, and where the information isn’t condemning, but enlightening. It simply didn’t exist … until now. Birthpedia is a subscription-based app and website that provides quick, current, and qualified information to expectant families, delivered in short videos by birth professionals. Birthpedia’s mission is to provide this information in a judgment-free space, helping expectant families and parents of newborns make educated and informed decisions. The app and website are organized into three main sections: ASK, SHARE, and DO. The ASK area consists of five color-coded categories: Conception, Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, and Newborn Care. A search bar allows for search on any topic or question, or by category. Each question will be answered in a 1–3 minute video by a birth professional. The database of questions will hold over 1000 videos from over 100 birth professionals called “contributors.” Contributors include midwives, obstetricians, doulas, childbirth educators, massage therapists, chiropractors, fertility specialists, anesthesiologists, aroma therapists, herbalists, and more. Some current contributors featured on Birthpedia are Jan Tritten (Mother of Midwifery Today), Dr. Brad Bootstaylor (maternal-fetal medicine [MFM] specialist), Ina May Gaskin (author/midwife/founder of The Farm Midwifery Center), Nancy Wainer (midwife/author), Dr. Neel Shah (assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School), Barbara Harper (midwife/founder of Waterbirth International), Dr. Amber Price (midwife/women’s hospital administrator), Dr. J.T. Christmas (supervisor of MFM for HCA hospitals), and Dr. Rafael Cartagena (East Coast director of American Board of Anesthesiology). Answers to questions are based on the most current evidence in each category and speak to the pregnant family—regardless of where they choose to give birth. We believe that providing information in a collaborative way helps families feel supported and equips them with essential knowledge—which empowers them to make informed decisions within their experiences. Birthpedia contributor Dr. Neel Shah says, “There is a lot of information out there when you’re pregnant. And it’s really hard to know what information is good …what information is credible. Everybody wants to tell you something when you’re pregnant. I think Birthpedia is a great innovation because it brings thoughts and advice from experts.” In the SHARE area, users will find a variety of shared stories. These stories are inspirational: stories of birth, fertility, and adoption. The videos share positive and redemptive real-life experiences. Sharing these stories will inspire new parents to believe in themselves and their natural, instinctual, and God-given abilities. They will encourage couples struggling with infertility, going through a grueling adoption process, or preparing for a VBAC. In the DO area, users will find a wide variety of instructional videos, such as prenatal and postpartum exercises, prenatal yoga, labor positions, breastfeeding, babywearing, changing a diaper, nutritional food prep, and more! These videos will encourage users to be more active and provide up-to-date visuals to help guide them. Birthpedia aims to be a socially responsible company that strives to invest in improving the global birth landscape for better birth outcomes. Co-founder and video producer Gabe elaborates, “We are a self-funded for-profit company paid for by subscribers. This means we will not seek government assistance or sponsorship. We do not want to conform to a message of a sponsor’s agenda. Being funded by our subscribers allows us to stay integral to the relevant information that provides the best answer. It keeps the content in the best interest of our users instead of a major corporation’s bottom line.” At Birthpedia, we believe…
  • every newborn baby deserves the right to their best birth.
  • informed parents create better birth experiences for all involved.
  • birth is a primal human function and should not be treated like a disease
  • every woman giving birth has a right to respectful maternal care
  • every woman has the freedom to choose how she wants to give birth without condemnation.
You are invited to join the journey toward better birth with Birthpedia! Birthpedia can be found online at, Instagram @Birthpedia, and Facebook/Birthpedia. Look for what the cities where they are traveling next so that maybe you, too, can be featured as a Birthpedia contributor. Birthpedia pre-launched at the end of May with special limited time pricing for founding members until August 26th. For more information, visit their website and click “get started now”.   Justine is a co-founder of Birthpedia, childbirth educator, and birth photographer. She resides in south Florida with her beloved husband and four children. Through the empowering experience of her second pregnancy and homebirth, it became her passion to provide a powerhouse of resources for the local birth community and potentially, the world.