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The Miami Maternity Center Story – In Which Your Blogger is Grossed Out

January 14, 2009

I have a very high tolerance for things most others would consider gross. But, oh, this story. It has taken me two days to get up the will to share it with you. Perhaps you shouldn’t even read any further. Here’s a website, Cute Overload, just in case you need it after.

Okay. Now you all know that I’m a supporter of midwifery. I think it’s a great option for many women, and that women should have choices of provider and setting for birth. However, I believe that informed choice and adherence to the agreed upon standards is also important. I expect honesty, and competence, and the following of basic infection control protocols.

On Christmas Eve, the FDA, Florida Department of Health, and Miami Dade Police Department’s Medical Crimes Unit raided the Miami Maternity Center, which was “suspected of providing unregulated non FDA approved capsules.” Said capsules were filled with dehydrated placenta, and women were given them as a tool to prevent postpartum depression.

And that’s completely fine, whatever you want to do with your own placenta. This use is obviously not well studied and not FDA-approved. The devil is in the alleged details, however:

The organs would be ground up all together inside of a coffee grinder and placed into gelatin capsules by MMC staff members. The ULA investigation also disclosed that as many as 10 to 15 placentas at a time were being placed in layers inside of the MMC dehydration machine creating a cross contamination hazard.

Oh, no. You can eat your own placenta all day long, but once women may be unknowingly consuming parts of *other* women’s placentas, that’s when I’m completely grossed out and disturbed by the alleged process. The mixing. The cross-contamination. Urgh.

I should very clearly state that I have no first-hand knowledge of the allegations and situation. I haven’t seen it for myself. I find it bizarre that 22 people were thought to be needed to raid a birth center, and wonder if that might have been a wee bit excessive. In another report, owner Shari Daniels is said to have claimed that placentas were saved for their owners, but were never made into capsules. Comments on various sites on this topic are all over the place, and are worth a look.

The Mommy Blawg has additional links to coverage of the situation. I think we’ll be hearing more about this in the future.

And, you know, don’t write off all birth centers because of these allegations. Just do your homework.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2009 1:08 pm

    Please see my site http://www.miamibirth.info The site has public records, complaints, and articles from Shari Daniel’s past. I am hoping the truth will all come out in the open soon.

    Former MMC Student

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 28, 2009 9:25 am

      The truth is these public records and complaints are legit. These are complaints that have been made by the same 2-3 people time and time again. These people have a personal vendetta against Shari Daniels and are trying to take away the potential for women to be able to experience beautiful, amazing, uplifting births at the Miami Maternity Center.

      Each complaint and allegation has been further investigated and PROVEN TO BE FALSE! That there is the important part! ALL ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN PROVEN FALSE!!!

  2. January 14, 2009 6:25 pm

    I have a blog friend who just dehydrated her placenta for ingestion. But it was her own. I highly doubt anyone who felt OK about ingesting their own placenta would feel OK about ingesting one that had been in contact with someone else’s. Hello- HIV, HepB, HepC.

  3. Concerned permalink
    January 15, 2009 1:03 pm

    I am a midwife and am on the fence about the effectivness of placenta pills. That being said manu of my clients use them. However not only is this disgusting and dangerous, but it not the type of informed consent midwifery is based on. Some bloggers are arguing that all disease should be killed by the dehydration…who cares? It is the point tht they would do something so potentially dangerous without your knowledge.

  4. CountryMidwife permalink
    January 18, 2009 6:52 pm

    Oh, Dear. Most of us out here are doing a great job, please know that loyal readers!

    I have *always* found it strange that Shari and her team always insist every woman gives birth in the exact same position. What and why and …. ???

    You couldn’t pay me to be on TV – or subject my laboring moms to cameras, etc – but I definitely think TLC could have picked a more… gentle… model or midwifery.

    • Penina permalink
      March 24, 2009 9:27 pm

      Im not sure what your talking about.. Shari is AMAZING! she gives free classes for weeks teaching all about getting ready for your baby..whether your in the Maternity Center or just dont want to pay for other classes.. she excepts everyone.. and with a happy heart! she also teaches A MILLION AND ONE DIFFERENT POSITIONS to give birth.. It may be easier or more comfortable for some women to give birth one way..but she doesnt reccommend anything specific.. at the Miami Maternity Center.. theyre all so open minded and willing to help you through everything!
      Stop reading all this crap you see on the computer.. because until you experince an actual birth from beginning to end with Shari Daniels.. you really should have nothing to say at all! She’s delieverd over 11,000 beautiful healthy babies in her lifetime.. and counting.. Shari Daniels may be a bit tough but she does it out of love and only wants the best for you and your baby! I dont see any bad things written about hospitals.. like how theyre beginning to become very lazy to actually deliver a baby naturally.. this week alone in my community 4 mothers gave birth 3 in a hospital and one with Shari in the Maternity Center.. the 3 all had C sections.. and the one with Shari.. was natural and the baby was fine!
      Shari has really done a wonderful job im so happy to be giving birth in her center.. with her by my side!

  5. CountryMidwife permalink
    January 18, 2009 6:53 pm

    Meant “model OF midwifery”

  6. student midwife permalink
    January 19, 2009 1:46 pm

    As a student midwife at the Miami Maternity Center I can say I dried and ground placentas. I Never saw them stacked, they are also ground separately. I did not put them into the capsules but gave the powder to the mom. This is the truth from someone who has seen the process with her own eyes.

  7. Recent grad permalink
    January 21, 2009 12:39 pm

    To Student Midwife, you may be able to say that, but you know for a fact that the powder was placed in capsules, and other students admitted to it already on public blogs! Many former patients have admitted to it as well, on public blogs.

    I can’t swear on the efficacy of the use of ground placenta, but I can say that processing pills, without cleaning the equipment (ie dehydrator or grinder) between uses does cross contaminate!

    I think the best thing the students can do is to stop blogging… the lies will come back to bite you in the arse!

  8. Disappointed permalink
    January 21, 2009 2:08 pm

    I must say, the level of hate I have seen on some of these blogs toward Shari Daniels and the Miami Maternity Center is quite appalling not only because of the caustic remarks but because the most hateful things are being said by midwives or student midwives. Aren’t midwives supposed to be the ones who give more loving care to the women and families they assist? If so, why can’t they show more love and support toward each other? Especially if they’re getting information about alleged act from 3rd parties, the internet, etc.

    As a former student of Shari Daniels, I have seen and taken part in the process of placenta dehydration. I, myself, have cleaned and sterilized the dehydrator trays, etc. And while I understand the concern for public safety, it seems to me that some of the comments being made on various blogs are not really about that but are simply a campaign to tear down one of the most experienced and intelligent midwives in the country. And some of the ones spear-heading that campaign may have learned at Shari’s feet but they will never possess her passion, grit, or determination. She may not be the easiest to like, but she’s a damn good midwife.

  9. January 21, 2009 6:56 pm

    Disappointed – I’m not keeping up with all blog coverage of this, but I am aware that there have been claims in comments elsewhere both supporting and denying the capsule activity at the Center. I wonder why it is you think there is a “campaign to tear down” Daniels specifically, in all seriousness. Who would need to wage such a campaign, and what would they stand to benefit? I’m honestly curious, because I have seen a few comments along those lines from people who seem to believe the allegations are some sort of conspiracy against Daniels.

  10. Recent grad permalink
    January 26, 2009 12:01 am

    Rachel… there is no conspiracy against Ms. Daniels, as some of the bloggers would have you believe. After getting out from under the control of Ms. Daniels, you actually begin to realize how dangerous some of her acts really are and that if you let birth progress on it’s own, you don’t need to fundal pressure or suck babies out without a mother’s knowledge or consent! Even as a student, you know these things, but you are desperate to become a midwife. One of the ways that Ms. Daniels keeps her students under her control is by not charging tuition to her program. Since the other schools are so expensive, and the MDC program has been unstable and now closed, you keep your mouth shut and pray you make it to the end!

    Some former students have reached out and spoken with her about her actions, asking her to stop doing illegal things like fundal pressure and assisted deliveries with vacuum extractors, and she doesn’t, instead she badgers you, calls you names, puts you down in front of the rest of the students and staff and sometimes clients, and makes you feel like you have no idea what you are talking about… why would you question her? She does this and gets away with it because she is Shari, because she believes that she is untouchable by the agencies that are SUPPOSE to be protecting the health and welfare of mother’s and babies in the state. And you know what, so far she HAS been untouchable. She B.S.’s her way out of every situation with the state and they buy it. Now a baby has died, unnecessarily. The family will not sit back and let this one go, and many former students are coming forward to support this family and make sure this doesn’t happen to another family.

    There is no conspiracy, just a responsible need to police ourselves and stop being fearful of a midwife that as been breaking the rules for far too many years. Midwifery law in Florida is already being looked at closely, we don’t need people like Ms. Daniels, tearing it down and ruining it for the rest of the mother’s and babies who deserve to choose where to SAFELY and with whom to have their baby! There are many of us practicing safe home birth and birth center birth here in south Florida.

    These complaints haven’t come from one or two people… they’ve come from many. And now that it’s been made public that the investigation has been ongoing for almost a year, more former students and clients have come out of the woodwork, there is safety in numbers, girls, it’s OK to speak out… I have and several of my colleagues have and it’s been liberating! The best thing any of us can do is to cooperate with the investigators and be truthful. We owe it to the mom’s we cared for in the past and the women and their babies of the future!

    To speak truthfully about the making of placenta pills at the Miami Maternity Center you can contact:

    Special Agent Kriplean
    US Food and Drug Administration
    Office of Criminal Investigations
    Miami Field Office(954) 476-5400

    To speak to an investigator about other illegal activities that you’ve witnessed at MMC (fundal pressure, vacuum extraction, Dahlia practicing midwifery) contact:

    MIAMI
    Doral Center
    Manchester Bldg., 1-M101
    8355 NW 53rd St.
    Miami, FL 33166
    Telephone: (305) 470-5800
    or call 1-877-HALT-ULA and ask for the person investigating, Shari Daniels, Dahlia Porter and the Miami Maternity Center.

    To those pioneers who so bravely paved the way a couple of years ago by filing the initial complaint, good for you! Your ethics and morals are outstanding! Your persistence is finally paying off! To those of you that have since come forward… good for you… I hope this is a time of healing for you! To those of you who continue defending Ms. Daniels, we know it’s in your best interest… we know that you want to continue to be students, we understand, we were there, in your shoes, not too long ago! Hopefully, there will be other options available to you and you will see how wonderful true holistic midwifery is.

    Let’s keep midwifery a safe alternative to the highly managed obstetrics… practice wisely and safely and within the boundaries of the law!

    • Been There!! permalink
      October 14, 2009 11:46 am

      Okay…I’ve been reading all the crap on the internet about Shari and her maternity center and I find it all pretty ridiculous!
      Quite frankly, I religiously watched the House of Babies show on the Discovery Health Channel when I was considering going into midwifery. Shari is a HARDCORE person…she makes NO BONES about it!! This is something I saw on TV which means it was cut and edited! I know for a fact that I would NEVER be able to work with Shari Daniels on a regular basis…she’d probably make me cry! She is like a drill sargeant…something the students joke about quite regularly! She isn’t an easy person to work with because she likes things her way…and you know what? Its HER maternity center! SO when you say “under her control” you are right but you should have thought of that before committing to her midwifery program TUITION FREE!! OH is THAT the reason you stayed “under her control” to then backstab her by writting hate mail in a blog for all to see!! IT’S COWARDLY!
      I gave birth this past March at the Miami Maternity Center! I labored for 29 HOURS! NEVER was anything done to me without my express permission! I requested to keep my placenta so that I could donate it to Rescue Dogs so they could train. I watched the Students inspect my placenta and then bag it to be frozen for transport!
      NO ONE required me to birth or labor in a certain way…I was comfortable in the tub and that’s where they allowed me to stay! When I was going to deliver they ASKED me if I wanted to stay in the tub!
      I don’t know who you spoke with or how many people you have spoken with but I am appalled at YOU for apparently keeping your mouth shut for 3 YEARS if you knew things where happening that shouldn’t have happend!
      I had an AMAZING birth experience at the Miami Maternity Center with Shari Daniels. I can’t say enough good things about my experience. If there was anyone I would want with me in the process of my birth it would be Shari a THOUSAND times! While she may rub people the wrong way with her very strong personality she is undeniably a dedicated Midwife and has paved the way for SO MANY others in her field.
      I would do it again exactly the same way!

    • been there again permalink
      October 14, 2009 12:02 pm

      one more thing…no one applied fundal pressure or tried to vacuum my son out!!
      ok…2 more things!! to the complainers…why stay anonymous??

    • angela permalink
      January 22, 2010 3:23 pm

      Can you please contact me at acaraway@wsvn.com. thank you.

  11. student midwife permalink
    January 26, 2009 10:29 am

    O.K. so I really had not wanted to get caught up in any of the negativity surrounding all the blogs and accusations. My hope is to only speak about what I know not what I think and do it with integrity. So to respond to RECENT GRADUATE
    you said that I know for a fact that placenta was placed in pills. I do not know that. what I was told is I was not to place placentas in pills so I did not nor did I see anyone doing that.No student or midwife has talked to me and ever said they placed placenta in pill.I have cleaned the dehydrator and coffee grinder myself and NEVER stacked any placentas.
    Second you stated that Shari believes she is untouchable, I understand the need to be heard and express your feelings but really,you not only know what I do or do not know and you know what shari believes even about herself that is quite alot of information.
    how do you know that, has Shari told you that or is it like my case where you assume?
    Also I seriously question your motives if you saw things that you did not agree with and things you claim are illegal why would you stay and participate for three years?
    If you were and are so disgusted I think you would have left and not continued.
    You also stated many people are complaining what is many? a few? half dozen? a dozen? several dozen? This woman has been a midwife for 30 some years and delivered thousands of babies do you really believe that every person, every profession, every personal relationship has some percentage of someone being dissatisfied?
    I am not here to sing the praises of Shari Daniels. I KNOW she is not perfect.she is strong willed and can be very bossy and at times rude(this has been my personal experience with her)But on the other hand she has a TIRELESS DEVOTION to her mothers and students.
    I guess what I am saying is I,you, we may or may not like her or agree with her.we don’t have to see or speak to her if we don’t want to, we can even hate her but what I think is a grave mistake is to JUDGE her. Do any of us have that much insight that we can know what someone else is thinking and doing?
    You have said this is not a conspiracy than what is it? if some one wants to complain than they should if there has been a violation that person has every right to speak up for their self but posting on web sites talking about things you think you know like what others think or do is wrong and hurtful.

    Personally I don’t know if you have been at MMC or not but if you were you really should have spoken up then, keeping you concerns to yourself until you got what you needed speaks volumes.

    I like all midifery students and midwives want nothing more that to dedicate my life to helping women,I am so passionate and excited about being aloud to fulfill my dreams at MMC on a weekly basis I see mothers that I personally help with every aspect of their care and I couldn’t do it with out MMC
    Thank you
    P.S.
    FACTS ARE THE ENEMY OF TRUTH

  12. past MMC patient permalink
    January 30, 2009 8:34 pm

    Recent Grad,

    I feel so let down by your post.

    “To those pioneers who so bravely paved the way a couple of years ago by filing the initial complaint, good for you! ”

    Really? I was showing up for appointments and placing my trust in you and you were hiding information you knew might put me at risk? I’m so happy that you feel liberated for finally coming out. Me, I feel robbed and let down that you turned a blind eye to unsafe practices. You owed it to us as patients to alert proper authority to unsafe practices. I question your own dedication to midwifery. Shame on you.

  13. Complaintant #2 permalink
    February 6, 2009 11:02 am

    For more info about MMC and Shari Daniels goto http://www.miamibirth.info. There is a pattern emerging. Keep your minds, eyes and ears open.

  14. Happy Mom permalink
    February 7, 2009 10:43 am

    I had both of my children at the Miami Maternity Center, and it was a very positive experience. I researched other midwives and made an educated decision. To anyone who doesn’t think there is a conspiracy out there, not just against Shari Daniels but against all lay midwives, you need to WAKE UP! I am MARRIED to a physician. The physicians are the ones who want to stop midwives from practicing. They either don’t want their business taken away, or they are so uninformed that they believe that hospital births are safer than births with a trained midwife.

  15. Lisa permalink
    February 14, 2009 9:25 pm

    I had a beautiful waterbirth at the Miami Maternity Center in March 2007. I cannot say enough good things about my experience there. Shari has a strong personality, so it’s not surprising that she rubs some people the wrong way. But the truth is that she provides an incredibly valuable service to the community. I wish that every woman could have the kind of birth that I did. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I will always be grateful to Shari, the midwives and students who helped me birth my baby the way I wanted to. I’m very sad that Shari is having to deal with the gestapo tactics of the federal government. Perhaps they should focus more on the dangerous, interventionist practices of the mainstream obstetrical profession which result in the ridiculously high cesaerean rate.

  16. Concerned Mommy permalink
    February 18, 2009 9:51 am

    Recent Grad, thank you for stating that fundal pressure is illegal.. I was searching for that info.. I think many moms do not know what that is and why it is illegal.. they may have had it and had no idea it was a problem – like me.. so maybe you can explain it to them- since you can express it from experience.

    thank you for the info. To all mommy’s with a good experience at MMC, I am very happy for you..everyone has not been so lucky.

    I trust balance will be restored somehow.. I just hope Shari’s actions do not put all midwives at risk in Florida.

  17. Recent grad permalink
    February 28, 2009 8:30 am

    Dear Concerned Mommy and others… Fundal pressure is where the care provider exerts tremendous pressure from the top of your uterus (the fundus) to get the baby out.

    Many, many problems can occur with this procedure, and it is ILLEGAL to do this in a birth center.

    One of the problems that can be caused by exerting too much pressure on the fundus is a RUPTURED UTERUS, another problem is it can cause SHOULDER DYSTOCIA, resulting in permanent damage or death to your baby.

    It was my experience at the MMC that almost 50% of all babies were fundal pressured out. This is a disgusting statistic, and I found that most midwives OUTSIDE of MMC have either NEVER had a situation that required fundal pressure or MAY have done it once, in an extreme emergency.

    The other problem there is the use of vacuum extraction which is also ILLEGAL. The use of fundal pressure AND vacuum extraction, greatly increases the chance of DEATH, as evidenced in October at MMC.

    As others have stated, if your family was asked to leave the room, while “you rested”, and within 5-10 minutes, your baby was coming out and Shari was yelling to your family… “Hurry, you’ll miss the birth”… chances are your baby was vacuumed extracted ILLEGALLY from your body. The sickest part of this is the lack of Informed Consent… the patient’s eyes are covered and it is done without you even realizing what Shari is doing to you… SICK.

    And to PAST MMC PATIENT… you have every right to be disappointed in all of us. You did trust us and we stupidly turned a blind eye to what Shari was doing so that we could be midwives. Any student that did this is in the wrong, and I APOLOGIZE. I pray for forgiveness everyday. I can’t make any excuses for it, because they are worthless excuses, but felt right at the time. I hope you can forgive those of us who let you down!

    To any of you that have concerns about your birth… OR were treated ILLEGALLY BY DAHLIA PORTER, presuming she was a midwife, when she wasn’t… please contact:

    Chad Piotrowski at: ChadPiotrowski@MiamiSAO.com
    He is the State Atty that is prosecuting Dahlia Porter for practicing midwifery without a license.

    You can also contact:
    To speak to an investigator about other illegal activities that you’ve witnessed at MMC (fundal pressure, vacuum extraction, Dahlia practicing midwifery) contact:

    MIAMI
    Doral Center
    Manchester Bldg., 1-M101
    8355 NW 53rd St.
    Miami, FL 33166
    Telephone: (305) 470-5800
    or call 1-877-HALT-ULA and ask for the person investigating, Shari Daniels, Dahlia Porter and the Miami Maternity Center. THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR’S NAME IS LISA.

    If you have rec’d potentially contaminated placenta pills, you can contact:
    Special Agent Kriplean
    US Food and Drug Administration
    Office of Criminal Investigations
    Miami Field Office(954) 476-5400

    All we can do is hope that Shari’s actions, and the actions of the other midwives that work at MMC do not make the rest of us look badly. There are MANY, MANY wonderful midwives in the State of Florida. There are OTHER wonderful birthing centers in the area… Hollywood Birth Center and A Birth Center. Check out ALL your options!

  18. marcia permalink
    March 15, 2009 10:15 pm

    I had a beautiful birth at the Miami Maternity Center. It was a wonderful experience. Shari and all the staff took excellent care of me and my family. I only have good things about my experience at the Miami Maternity Center. All this negative publicity and charges are nothing more than the hate and rage of people who didn’t have the talent, learning capacity and compassion required to become a midwife, and the conspiracy of the federal government and the FDA to protect the interest of doctors and the pharmaceutical industry

    • anonymous permalink
      March 25, 2009 7:09 pm

      Nice try Maria…. Although are government may be quite corrupt, the reason that the federal government finally became involved in this case is due to the fact that the number of complaints and amount of information pouring in regarding the Miami Maternity Center and Shari Daniels was overwhelming-they would have been negligent to not pay attention and act on all of the information that was received! I to was a patient at MMC and two weeks before my due date I received a call from the Florida Department of Health regarding the fact that the midwife the I had been seeing was unlicensed. I don’t care how talented you are I want you to have the proper license to oversee my prenatal care and labor and delivery. If Shari and her staff are so talented and have such great learning capacities why can’t they play by the rules and have the appropriate credentials to practice. I left the practice and had my son with licensed midwives who practice within the scope of the law-best decision I ever made. For those of you who have drank the Kool-Aid and still believe how wonderful Shari Daniels is please continue to live your life with your head buried in the sand and choose not to look at cold hard facts-not conspiracy theories. I hope and pray that you have safe pregnacies and deliveries and that you or your child do not become another fatality of Shari Daniels and her staff.

  19. Judy permalink
    March 31, 2009 12:43 pm

    I gave birth at the Miami Maternity Center and I DID receive placenta pills .

  20. Kali permalink
    April 27, 2009 9:17 am

    I just want to know if despite all the allegations would any of the former grads or current students reccommend the International School of Midwifery to anyone?

    • MomTFH permalink
      April 27, 2009 10:55 am

      Kali, it really depends on who you talk to. I think anyone who has been there can agree it is a grueling program, regardless of the allegations. There is no tuition, while many other schools charge thousands of dollars. But, in exchange, you are expected to clean toilets, mop floors, do laundry, clean ceiling fans, etc. Sometimes (often) at 3 in the morning, and/or after being at a birth and up for 30 hours straight. There is a high volume at the birth center and lots of wonderful moms and babies. You have to precept and catch there. You are not just attending classes, but doing overnights, on call shifts and clinic shifts almost immediately. It is difficult to hold down a job while attending the program, but some students manage to.

      Shari, as you can see, if a controversial personality, to say the least. If you haven’t seen House of Babies on the Discovery Health Channel, check it out. It was filmed there. It will give you something of an idea what it is like.

    • Student Midwife permalink
      May 4, 2009 3:15 pm

      Kali,
      I am a student Midwife in the program now. Momtfh’s comments are acurate. The program requires…
      Commitment, Dedication, Passion and a Deep belief that birth works. It truley does work. Every person at the birth center works tirelessly for every Mom in our care. We offer a 24/7 emergency phone and no question is to small. Every birth is special to us. I highly recommened that you come in and see for yourself. I beleive the most important thing a woman can do is to EDUCATE herself.

      I have a couple questions myself, If the center is so dangerous for mothers and babies why are we still open? I mean to quote anonymous “The federal goverment became involved because of the # of complaints and the amount of information pouring in” Really???
      Again we are still open.
      The Kool- aid remark is just so hateful. I consider myself an intellegent woman with integrity and would never do anything to harm anyone no matter who told me to. I would also never sit back and watch someone else harm another person.
      I hope this helps, Good luck

  21. Nicolle permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:43 pm

    I gave birth to my beautiful healthy daughter in October 2008.

    I became a patient there around the 30th week of my pregnancy since I could not find an OB who would agree to allow me a natural birth without medications so long as the baby and I were doing well. The first OB asked me “If [labor] takes more than 4 hours are you going to pay me $350 per extra hour?” since Medicaid apparently doesn’t pay as much as regular insurance I guess. The second OB had the receptionist call me the day after my first vist with him to tell me to find another doctor.

    I researched my options and intervied midwives, took the tour at the maternity center and decided that’s where I’d have my baby. Shari is tough and intimidating at times but I researched everything I was told and at least in my opinion Shari is someone who knows what shes doing. She was very concerned with my well-being, Between her and the other midwives and students I was very well taken care of. I was given much more time and attention than any OB was going to give me.

    My labor lasted 31 hours. Cary was with me at the beginning and Pamela was there with me a little over 24 hours from the time I came back to the time I went home. She had help from others during the labor and I had about 4 midwives, including Shari and Pamela, with me when I finally gave birth. It wasn’t the water birth I had thought I would have because my baby decided to make things a little difficult by putting her hand on her head but when I was allowed to push she came out in just 3mins! When she was most of the way out I was told to reach down and pull her the rest of the way out and straight onto my chest. My baby was absolutely perfect. 8lbs 14oz 21in long!

    I had family with me from the time I got there at 9pm to 730pm the next day, my mom took pictures and my sister video taped. The only time I didn’t have family in the room was after I gave birth, had my baby in my arms and everything had started to calm down.

    They took amazing care of both me and my baby – the 10 or so weeks pre-natal, 26+ hours of labor that I was at the center, birth, and for the 6 weeks post-partum

    I still go every month for the Milk and Cookies event and everyone is still super nice and caring.

    They do their best to answer any questions.

    IF I decide to have another baby in the future I won’t bother with the OBs…If I’m still in Miami I’ll go straight to the Miami Maternity center, if not I’ll call for a referal.

    So anyways, now that I’m done with my praises…

    I did receive a baggy with my ground up placenta which I decided to just keep like I kept the baby’s umbilical stump… not so big on eatting my organs…. =/

  22. May 21, 2009 6:24 pm

    1 п. “Не имей сто друзей, а имей сто шекелей” тоже хорошо рифмуется🙂
    8 п. Ты никогда не потеряешь работу. Когда закончатся фотографии можно размещать рисунки (да хоть бы и конкурс объявить на лучший рисунок Одри (-:), аппликации и фотографии поделок из пластилина…
    9 п. Сто пудов !🙂

  23. Tammy Jones permalink
    July 10, 2009 10:14 pm

    I visited the MMC at 26 weeks pregnant with a dream of delivering my baby VBAC. I took a tour of the MMC and talked to Dahlia and Shari. At the end of my visit I was sure that I would deliver my baby at the MMC and had renewed hope that is was possible for me to have a natural birth. Seventeen weeks later, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy (9 lbs. 13 oz.). My birth was a life changing experience. Words fall short of expressing my deep gratitude to Shari and the staff of the MMC for their hard work and dedication to making my VBAC a success.

  24. Anonymous permalink
    July 28, 2009 9:17 am

    I just want to make a quick comment about the placenta dehydrating and grinding.

    Each mothers placenta was kept separate of another and properly labled in the dehydrator. NEVER were placentas “ground up all together.” That is absurdity, whoever (we all know who) placed this complaint against MMC has a pretty wild imagination to think that these placentas were being combined, that’s just disgusting. The dehydrator and grinder were cleaned out on a regular basis. The comment that 10-15 placentas were being “stacked and ground all together,” is impossible for the mere reason that we never have 10-15 births within 48 hours (which is how long the process would take. So why would we have that many placenta pieces in the dehydrator.

    Think about it, when a complaint is made it is mandatory for them to follow through with looking into the issue. Yes, complaints have been made. Yes, they have been by the same 2-3 people time and time again (coincidental, NO!). Yet each and every time they come in to look into the compalints, THYE FIND NOTHING! The accusations/complaints are FALSE! They leave and come back a few weeks or months later. Because the same people who filed the complaints the first dozen times aren’t happy that their personal vendetta against Shari Daniels has not had the ending they want it to have!!!

    FOR ALL THE MOMS-TO-BE OUT THERE READING THESE BLOGS:

    DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE AND READ. IF YOU WANT TO HEAR SOME “REAL” BIRTH STORIES FROM THE CENTER, NAMES AND NUMBERS OF FORMER CLIENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO SPEAK TO. COME IN, SPEAK TO THE MIDWIVES AND CURRENT CLIENTS AND EXPERIENCE FIRST HAND THE FAMILY-LIKE ATMOSPHERE OF MIAMI MATERNITY CENTER.

    I WILL FIRMLY SAY THAT THESE ACCUSATIONS ARE NOT TRUE. NEVER WOULD THE MIAMI MATERNITY CENTER PUT THE CLIENTS OF THE CENTER AT RISK WHATSOEVER.

  25. Karyn permalink
    August 1, 2009 11:20 am

    an important update on placenta-gate: the FDA & AHCA investigation and lab FOUND NO CONTAMINATION OR CROSS CONTAMINATION whatsoever in the placentas that they seized in their ridiculous raid last December. This fact was very quietly swept under the rug after all of the big noise they made about Shari Daniels and MMC “endangering mothers” by giving them their OWN placentas. They found nothing! And whether or not the powder was put into capsules or not DOES’NT MATTER, think about it, what the hell difference does it make if someone gives you YOUR OWN dried, ground placenta in a plastic baggie or in a gelatin capsule? Your placenta is not a drug it is a part of your own body you can do with as you please, gross or otherwise. Lots of people think birth itself is gross, lots of people think natural birth is unsafe but we can all choose to do what we think is best for us. The claim about mixing of placentas was made by a disgruntled ex-student and later (now former) employee of Shari, her aim was not to protect mothers but to bring Shari down, it’s as simple as that and unfortunately shi is succeeding. It was all very sensational and interesting when it first came out, it had all the makings of a great controversy including the “Ew” factor and making midwives and women who choose natural birth look like crunchy-granola wierdos, these agencies and the people who hopped onto the attack bandwagon used this issue/event as a fulcrum and a weapon to turn sentiment against Shari and, intentionally or not, against midwifery. Every person on this blog is revealing their own biases in what they are saying, I mean this for negative and positive statements, the fact is you have got to make decisions for yourself and you’ve got to do your own searching and finding. Last but not least, there is no accountability in these blogs (anyone can say ANYTHING!!) the truth is not found online it is found in the real world, go out there and get it.

    • August 2, 2009 8:07 am

      Karyn, do you have links to FDA or AHCA findings on this matter?

  26. happiday permalink
    August 2, 2009 11:46 am

    A placenta makes wonderful fertilizer for a tree or rose bush planted in honor of your child’s birth. 🙂
    Leave Shari and MMC alone. What profession has a 100% perfect track record? Certainly not the medical OB establishment! There will always be critics. I choose to look at the THOUSANDS of positive experiences, and not sensationalize the failures. Yes, mistakes happen. WE are NOT God. We can not predict the outcome of birth. We do our best, we intervene when needed, and we trust our bodies to do the rest. The outcome is in God’s hands. Our job is to do our very best.

  27. KRistybel permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:38 am

    I gave birth twice at MIami MAternity CEnter and have 2 beautiful baby girls. I personally think that these former midwife students are in revenge mode after SHari and should really think of a more positive way of dealing with such a strong competition as MMC. THats shameful that an ex student would turn around and backstab someone whom they learned so much from. Sure Shari DAniels has a tough character (most confident,smart&determined women do)and part of why she has been so popular and successful. LEarn to deal with such people without becoming envious and resentful instead of negative ,sneaky tactics. SHame on you! MY husband passed away but if i were to ever become pregnant again I would gladly give birth at MMC . I highly recommend MIami MAternity CEnter to women. BTW,thanks for all those investigator phone#s….ill make it a point to call to let them know how great BOTH my birthing experiences were and how wonderful the midwives at MMC are and I encourage ALL the rest of the 95% of satisfied moms who were helped at MMC to do the same! IM sure they can use all the extra calls of support 😉

  28. Rose permalink
    February 11, 2010 8:42 pm

    I gave birth at MMC 09/2009 and had a positive experience. I’m pregnant with my second and was going to go back to MMC until I started reading about all these problems. My issue is Shari made my husband apply fundal pressure to me quite forecefully. I’m wondering if she had my husband do this as to not be liable in case there was a negative outcome. I’m just finding out now applying fundal pressure is illegal for midwives to do. Does anyone know if this is indeed an illegal/ dangerous practice?

    • MomTFH permalink
      February 12, 2010 5:36 pm

      It depends on state statutes. However, fundal pressure in general is a questionable practice.

  29. RODLENE permalink
    March 23, 2010 8:27 am

    You are one crazy Itch! I have two children who were both born @ the Miami Maternity Center! 2004 & 2006! We have a right to do what we want with our bodies and take whatever pill we want! How dear you blog about Sheri! I had post partum depression and took placenta pills, which was my placenta! For that matter even if it was another woman’s placenta mixed with my own, the pills worked! In fact my husband and I would like to have another child and yep, you guessed it we will go back to Sheri! Her and her staff are great….! I would recommend the Center to Anyone!

  30. Paul Perkiins permalink
    April 28, 2010 2:58 am

    You stupid FOOL! How dare you spread this malicious gossip and slander the name of Shari daniels and her clinic when you
    have no first hand knowledge ” of the situation? Are you completely our of your atrophied mind? Er had our child with Shari and her clinic. Everyg]thing was first class. The Sate of Florida wants to shut her down. She charges about $3,000 for a natural childbirth..She takes her time and encourages the babies to come naturally… 95 % OF HER BIRTHS are natural. Florida State, encourages C sections. 85 % of the births in Florida are C sections. WHy? 1. it costs 425,000.00 2. It can be scheduled and makes it much more convenient for the DOCTORS!
    So,I am very angry that you would spread such trash, such filth about someone you have never even met. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • April 28, 2010 8:12 am

      Paul, take it up with the news outlet that reported it and the FDA. If you have an update on the clinic situation please share it. Defenders and detractors are welcome to discuss the situation here in the comments, but keep the yelling and name-calling out of it.

  31. Paul Perkiins permalink
    April 28, 2010 2:58 am

    Correction: it costs $25,000 not 425…

  32. Cellest permalink
    April 29, 2010 2:25 am

    As a current patient with my first child 2 weeks from my due date I can tell you I receive excellent care from Carol Williams at the MMC. I have never met Shari Daniels and I only became a patient after the raid. While I cannot speak of ‘Placenta Gate’ I can say that under the care of Carol I have never felt safer.

    I had the misfortune of having a few appointments at Jackson Memorial Hospital after moving to the state and only after finding MMC did my confidence level in my care raise.

    Has anyone considered that with all the Medical controversy over Midwifery and birth Centers that these allegations may be fake? An attempt to close down birth centers one by one? Let’s face it Births are big business for hospitals.

    Regardless of ‘Placenta Gate’ (which I cannot speak on, because I wasn’t present) the care and cleanliness there now is that of sterile environment.

    Shari is leaving I don’t know as to why though. Never having met her I cannot attest to her as a person or her practices, all I can vouch for directly is Carol Williams and she is an excellent midwife. She makes you feel completely safe for such a tiny woman. LOL

  33. Gaby permalink
    November 16, 2010 4:49 pm

    I had my first daughter at MMC in 2006, it was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. Shari and all her staff were loving and caring thru the whole process. When I say process I mean from the day I went for the tour til my last post partum visit. They were always ready to assist you no matter the time or the day, ready to comfort you and make sure me or my baby were healthy. Two year after that I was preganant again and without a doubt in my mind I went back to MMC were they received me with the same love and car. When we found out I was preganant with twins, Shari personally helped me find a doctor that would assist me in delivering my twins naturally. I kept my appointment at the MMC and at the doctor’s office simultaneouly. The day that my twins were born at Plantation General Hospital Shari made sure that my student midwife was with me every step of the way. Needless to say, that even though I gave birthd to my twin girls in the hospital, thanks to the care of Shari and the staff at MMC my natural, birth experience with my twins was amazing too. I only have good things and amazing experiences to say about the MMC and Shari and her staff. People can write all they want, but it is true, you can not believe everything people write or say on the internet.

  34. Holly Brown permalink
    December 19, 2010 3:08 pm

    I have nothing to gain by speaking here, but I would like to make a personal statement about my own personal experience with Shari Daniels. I gave birth to 3 healthy baby boys at her birth center. In my heart, I believe that had I been in the hospital with my first boy, I would have been unnecessarily C-sectioned. Shari was willing to watch over me and monitor me through almost 3 hours of pushing (until the end the baby didn’t move down at all), and trust that I could do it. Once I had my first boy, my next two births were much easier.

    In EVERY interaction that I had with Shari, I COULD TELL that her entire motivation and goal was to help mothers have healthy babies through successful natural births. She has given her life over to serving mothers and babies. She was completely professional at all times, and all her students were warm and helpful. On numerous occasions Shari was able to comfort me by answering my questions in an in-depth manner. On my very first appointment I had about 20 questions squeezed on a piece of paper the size of my hand. She was completely honest and open in answering all my questions. I always felt totally well cared for and safe in her hands.

    In spite of being concerned about the distance, I DROVE 1+ HOURS FROM PALM BEACH COUNTY FOR EVERY APPOINTMENT AND ALL 3 BIRTHS WHILE IN LABOR. This is how much confidence I felt in her , her students and her Center. My last boy was born in Feb 2009 (when Shari was already being accused and investigated). I NEVER ONCE considered leaving her care due to the questions that are being raised against her. I would go to extreme lengths to have her again, should I have another baby.

    Because I was a mother, and not a student, I cannot make any statements about the accusations being made. I do know that I WAS NEVER OFFERED THESE PILLS OR ANY PLACENTA POWDER IN ANY WAY. I WAS GIVEN the best possible care and attention from Shari Daniels and her staff at all times. If Shari were to be found guilty, I would still believe her to be innocent, and I would still want her at my birth over any other midwife or doctor.

    Shari does not deserve for this to happen to her. Please, for the sake of all mothers, midwives, and women, if you are going to make any comment about this case, do not repeat anything others say. Please only tell your own honest side of the story. Do not form opinions about Shari based on ACCUSATIONS. She is innocent until proven guilty. I truly believe Shari is innocent. I put my life and the life of my babies in her hands, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    PS – Does anyone have any ACCURATE, CONFIRMED statistics on Shari’s birthing outcomes? I believe these would paint an accurate picture of a competent midwife who safely birthed thousands of babies without incident.

  35. September 23, 2011 8:54 pm

    I have delivered my 3 sons in the miamimaternitycenter. i have the best experience (nos easy births) and totally trust in shari’s experience. her temper maybe sometimes wasn’t the best but she was the boss there and she was bringing live! so some jell sometime was necesary t make mom’s and babys make it perfect to the end. my totally support for shary. ah and i still have my last baby placenta i didn’t need it but i thought it was exellent to have something natural to control the baby blues.

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