I realised last week that it is two years this month since I sent out the first of our Birth Information Update newsletters and, as I love birthdays so much, this seems like a good point to pause, reflect on how far we’ve come and invite you to input into what you’d like to see in there in the future.
Our Birth Information Update came about when I realised that we needed to (re)create independent, midwife-led sources of birth-related research and information. These needed to be midwife-led, thoughtful, positively focused and free of advertising for pharmaceutical drugs, baby milk, technologies, baby products and so on.
Because I was already looking at lots of research and the latest birth-related information as a part of my ‘day job’ (in which I undertake speaking and consultancy and run online courses for midwives, doctors, birth folk and others), I knew that the content wouldn’t be a problem, and I decided that I could donate a day a week of my time to the project. I then looked into the running costs, which were a bit more of an issue, but we opened a crowdfunding page (which achieved its initial goal, thank you, though as more and more people subscribe to the newsletter we need to keep going!) and I sewed a load of little fabric hearts (some of which feature in the picture below) which we exchanged for donations towards the project at conferences and workshops.
The first newsletter went out in March 2015 and, two years on, it still goes out every month, now reaching thousands of midwives and birthy people in more than 30 countries around the world. It is now funded by the sale of midwifey mugs and other goodies, which you can buy online, and velvet vaginas and birthkit purses which you can buy at our events, so thank you to everyone who has bought any of those.
We are also contemplating selling vaginas and purses via the website to keep the project going – what do you think?
The crowdfunding page is still open if you’d like to help that way, and the final way of supporting our Birth Information Project is by signing up for one of my online courses, as we now also now give a donation to the project from each online course that we run.
I haven’t lost my passion for independent information, and I’m happier than ever that we began this project. I love reading your comments and being able to connect with people both on my Facebook page and elsewhere, but I know that many people also love our newsletter as a way of helping them regularly catch up with my monthly shortlist of the research that is worth knowing about as well as getting a run down of blog posts and our news.
So there are four things i’d like to say to you on this birthday. The first one is a great big thank you to those of you who share my passion and who have joined and supported us thus far on our journey. (As well as another big thank you to those who work on the technical end of this project … they know who they are). And here are the other three…
- If you get our newsletter and have any feedback, please feel free to share it in the comments below, either on facebook, my website or by getting in touch via our contact page. We’re always keen to hear to your thoughts 😀
- If you get our newsletter and find it useful, please consider helping us keep it going, either by making a microdonation, coming on a course, ordering some goodies or buying a vagina when you next see us!
- If you don’t get our newsletter and would like to, then if you click here you’ll find a form which will let you sign up for it, so you can join the party!
And thank you again for caring about midwifery, birth, women, babies and families as much as I do.