With help, training and inspiration from the Oakland Feminist Women's Health Center, nine women formed a self-help group that grew into the Chico Feminist Women's Health Center (CFWHC), a private, non-profit woman-controlled clinic. The clinic was opened with no government or foundation funding and few resources. Motivated by their need, desire and drive to bring women-controlled reproductive health care to their community, the Health Center was started in less than a year. The group of field workers, waitresses, mothers and students pooled their income to pay women in the group to start answering phones. We were laywomen, running clinics and providing the kind of health care we wanted to receive.
In 1971 a woman named Carol Downer used a speculum, a mirror and a flashlight, to look at her own cervix. She was the mother of six children and had never seen her own cervix. She saw where her babies had passed through, where her menstrual flow came from, and what the doctors had commented on over the years. It was a very enlightening moment for her. What she did with that knowledge was revolutionary. She was part of a woman's group, working to legalize abortion. She took her speculum to the next meeting and showed them her cervix. The group in turn took speculums to the California NOW conference and did "Self Help" for hundreds of women. Self Help groups became a place where women could see their cervixes, talk about their reproductive health care, and learn from each other's health experiences.
The journey to motherhood can be one of the most wonderful times in a woman’s life. It can also be a time filled with uncomfortable questions and concerns (why is your belly button doing that?!). From conception to birth plans, prenatal screenings to postpartum visits and midwives to physicians—we’re passionate about finding the path that’s right for you.
Carol and Lorraine Rothman took a bus across the United States sharing self help with a box of speculums marked "TOYS." This was the start of the women's self help movement, and the beginning of a power shift in women's health. Women wanted to control their own reproductive destiny, to be able to decide when they had children, and be informed decision makers about their health care.
If YOU want to join other like-minded women who are supportive and encouraging, you need to consider participating in this elite group. BellaBabes is for women of all ages and physical abilities. Each participant receives individual attention and programming. Whether you are looking for a quick start to your fitness journey or are a seasoned athlete - BellaBabes will help you reach your goals faster and more effectively.