Suzanne Arms

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Biographical Information

"Suzanne Arms's name is readily recognized by many in the field of perinatal education. For 30 years she has been a tireless advocate for childbearing women, a fighter for change in the traditional maternity care system, and a feminist with strong beliefs about the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of birth. Arms's well-known books and frequent speaking engagements have allowed her to spread her message and her plea to humanize the childbirth experience. Talking with Arms is an energizing encounter. Her life path is a powerful and compelling story that is an inspiration to all who continue to work to make birth a positive event in the lives of women and their families.

"Suzanne Arms is a familiar name to many from her seven groundbreaking books (on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and adoption), films, photographs, and the hundreds of talks she has given at conferences worldwide since 1975. She has been an inspiration behind the Birth Movement. Her second book, Immaculate Deception, was named a New York Times Best Book of the Year and inspired thousands of midwives, nurses and physicians, as well as parents-to-be. Arms is an advocate for holistic, sustainable health policies and practices and conscious parenting. Her focus – and the focus of Birthing The Future, the U.S. non-profit she founded and directs – is birth and the mother-baby connection, which lays the foundation for love and trust, health and resiliency, cooperation and community...

"Arms, a mother and grandmother, former pre-school and Head Start teacher, is a founding and active member of the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children. At the pioneering Holistic Childbirth Institute in San Francisco, in 1977, Suzanne created and taught the first course on the evolution of childbirth practices and how we got the practices we have today. A year later she co-founded The Birth Place, the country’s first resource center for pregnancy, birth and new parenting and one of the first independent birthing centers in the U.S. Located just minutes from Stanford University Medical Center, The Birth Place also began the first training of doulas. Suzanne was a founding and active board member of Planetree, the international organization working to transform hospitals and clinics into true healing centers.

"Her film “Giving Birth”, which contrasts the medical model for birth with the biological or midwifery model, is used extensively by birth educators, doulas, progressive hospitals and university women’s studies programs. It has inspired thousands of women and men to make different choices about how to bring their baby into the world. In 2003 Suzanne Arms founded Birthing The Future, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Suzanne and co-producer/director Christopher Carson of Reverie Films in Los Angeles, have completed a made-for-tv documentary called BIRTH, to air on PBS, the largest public television network in the USA. This film discusses the natural ecology of childbirth and contrasts that with routine artificial interventions and drugs and shows why it is important to follow sound biological processes."[1]


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  1. Ecobirth Circle of Advisors, organizational web page, accessed December 21, 2013.