About The Authors

Dr. Stuart Fischbein, MD, FACOG has been in private practice for more than 20 years in the Los Angeles area. He attended the University of Minnesota for his Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, and his medical degree. Dr. Fischbein moved to Los Angeles in 1982, where he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Fischbein spent many years as the volunteer medical director of a local women’s clinic and as an advisory board member of the Valley Community Clinic in North Hollywood, CA. He currently serves on the advisory board for babycenter.com, Ricki’s Room and the Birth Action Coalition. Dr. Fischbein participates in all varieties of births — unmedicated, medicated, c-section. Over the years, however, he has developed a strong and supportive relationship with the local midwifery and doula communities, and he’s been an outspoken advocate for natural birthing. In 1996 he co-founded The Woman’s Place for Health and Midwifery Care in Camarillo, CA. Dr. Fischbein has twice been awarded Physician of the Year by the Doula Association of Southern California. He’s currently collaborating on developing a freestanding birthing center in Southern California. Dr. Fischbein lives with his daughter, Madeleine, in Ventura County, California. More info on his efforts can be found at Support Dr. Fischbein and the Alternative Birthing Movement.

Victoria Clayton is a freelance writer/editor. Her work has appeared in Fit Pregnancy, Health, Self, Redbook, Fitness, Child, Parenting, The Los Angeles Times magazine, Good Housekeeping, VIV and many other publications. She’s the former Growing Up Healthy columnist for MSNBC.com and continues to write on a range of topics, including health, nutrition, parenting and social trends. She contributes blogs here, at Exurb Magazine and on her own site VictoriaClaytonWrites. Victoria lives with her husband Michael, their seven-year-old son Nicolas and their canine babe Celia in Southern California. A second son is due in November!

Joyce Weckl graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University in 1984. She worked as a labor-delivery nurse in Westchester County, New York, for several years before moving to the Los Angeles area in 1991. In 1993 Joyce attended the University of Southern California and became a certified nurse-midwife. In 1995 she graduated from U.S.C. with a master’s degree in nursing. Joyce has worked in several birthing centers and hospitals and has served as an assistant clinical professor at the University of California at Irvine. Her experience includes everything from high-risk obstetrics to home births. She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and is currently a nurse-midwife at California HealthFirst Physicians in Camarillo, CA. Joyce lives with her daughter Claire and too many pets to mention in Thousand Oaks, CA.