Birth Matters To Us All

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The way a woman gives birth has the potential to change how she feels about herself forever.

The way she feels has consequences for how
she mothers and cares for her baby,
her relationships and for society.


What is BirthNet?

BirthNet is a Network of Independent Perinatal Professionals (Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum) supportive of "family friendly" birth and parenting. Active and apprentice members of BirthNet are based mostly in Northern New Jersey and Lower New York State and serve the surrounding areas.


swirl believes that birth is a deeply personal and empowering family-based event;

swirl believes that there is no RIGHT way to birth or parent your children. Each woman must find her own way and making informed decisions starts with information and BirthNet is committed to providing women with a network of professionals to answer those questions;

swirl not only provides educational services to the community, but also provides professional inservices, trainings and workshops (for private groups, local hospitals & educational institutions); and,

swirl promotes the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, developed by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. To find out more information about mother-friendly care, go to or to get a copy of their educational information call: 1-888-282-CIMS. You can also view their essential 10 questions to ask which will help you make important decisions about your maternity care.

Mission Statement

In an effort to enhance the experience of mothers, babies, and families during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, we seek...

swirl to educate the community, parents and healthcare professionals about the benefits of mother-friendly care;

swirl to educate the community, parents and healthcare professionals about the benefits of doula-assisted birth and postpartum doula care, as well as the value of chiropractic care, childbirth education and emotional and physical preparation for birth and parenting;

swirl to provide the community with information on options in pregnancy and childbirth, outreach programs and a referral list;

swirl to provide ongoing training to our members through workshops and in-service educational opportunities for the improvement of skills and personal development; and

swirl to provide doulas and childbirth educators-in-training with mentoring possibilities.


Mission Statement: 
The Reproductive Justice Committee of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood takes a holistic, social justice approach to dealing with issues that affect women’s reproductive health and lives. Approaching topics through the lens of justice, the committee examines how societal institutions and interlocking systems of oppression affect women’s ability to have knowledge about and control over their bodies and lives. The committee uses the talents and interests of its members to determine projects and priorities. Issues that could be examined include but are not limited to: access to comprehensive sexuality education, access to safe and legal abortions, creation of and access to safe contraceptive methods, empowering birth and breastfeeding, eugenics, forced sterilization of women in the U.S. and abroad, marriage rights, poverty, racism and its effects on women and families, reproductive rights in the disability community, sex trafficking, transgender reproductive rights and women in prisons. The Reproductive Justice Committee purposefully connects its work to other committees in the Society, and seeks out opportunities to co-sponsor events or co-produce projects. 

Our Work:
The Reproductive Justice Committee keeps the congregation informed about current issues that affect reproductive justice of all women, especially women of color and women who are economically disadvantaged and organizes necessary advocacy campaigns.  The committee focuses on issues related to preserving and increasing access to choice. As part of the spectrum of reproductive health, the committee explores and educates the congregation on all options related to birth.

Some of our current projects for 2010-2011 include, engaging in a year long study of immigration justice through the cooperative effort of the Social Responsibilities Council.  Other events include, a film viewing and discussion of Made in LA, a story of three Latina immigrants’ 3-year odyssey to win basic labor protections while working in the Los Angeles garment industry on February 27 and hosting internationally recognized midwife, Ina May Gaskin, for two talks, one geared towards birthing professionals and one for the general public on March 5. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host such an influential midwife and activist from the birth community.In addition, we are ally members of SisterSong, a women of color reproductive justice collective, and we work closely with the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund, a new group whose mission is to help women by giving grants for safe and legal abortions.

Meetings are held once per month.  Meeting times vary, please check with the USR Calendar or contact co-chairs, Carol Loscalzo ( or Mandy Restivo


Co-Sponsored by:

BirthNet of Rockland & Bergen Counties
The Reproductive Justice Committee of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood