Read a Selection of Articles from Midwifery Today
Looking for a specific topic? Try the article Search Page.
Like these articles? Get more in your postal mailbox 4 times a year!
Subscribe to Midwifery Today—the print magazine!
Articles most recently posted from Midwifery Today magazine
- 26 Ways To Change Birth Globally - by Sara Wickham, RM
This action list of small things all midwives can do to change societal attitudes to birth and promote midwifery and the midwifery model was derived from some research I carried out a few years ago.
- 50 Ways to Protest a VBAC Denial - by Barbara Stratton
After advocating VBACs for years, ACOG in 1999 flip-flopped and issued guidelines restricting them. Barbara lists a number of ways to fight a such a denial and win.
- 7 Steps toward Cesarean Prevention - by Judy Edmunds, CPM
I feel confident that at least most of the cesareans I have been associated with were actually necessary, many even life-saving. Yet looking back over my practice, I can easily pick out scores of women who surely would have had cesareans had they chosen care elsewhere.
- A Bermuda Birth Story - by Jane Strutt-Izzard
A first-time mother describes the trials of having a homebirth in Bermuda, where homebirth is very rare and finding a care provider for a homebirth is nearly impossible.
- A Birth Doula for Every Mother - by Allie Chee With excerpts from New Mother
With information taken from her new book, New Mother, author Allie Chee clearly outlines the benefits of having a birth doula and provides helpful details regarding such things as cost and the selection process.
- A Butcher’s Dozen - by Nancy Wainer
VBAC. A victory and a relief for most of the women who have one. A deep and generous healing for many of them. And still, very much a sham, because most of the women never really needed to be cut in the first place, so they didn't really need to be VBACs after all.
- A Declaration of the Rights of Childbearing Women - by Leilah McCracken
Birth is easy. Obfuscating medical factoids make it hard. Modern obstetrical knowledge is based on false hospital outcomes; more is known about how bedridden patients give birth than how real, panting, sensual women give birth.
- A Difficult Breech Birth - by Marion Toepke McLean
Jennifer had once told me, “I don't do births in Africa,” leaving this to an excellent staff of Ugandan midwives. But on that lucky morning, she got a stuck baby born and saved a life.
- A Father’s Point Of View - by Anthony Wilson
The day my wife gave birth to our firstborn was the end and the beginning of something beautiful. The culmination of nine months of physical, emotional and spiritual preparation for the birth of our baby, it was also the beginning of our life with children.
- A Hidden Tragedy: Birth as a Human Rights Issue in Developing Countries - by Vicki Penwell
Author Vicki Penwell delves into one of the world's greatest injustices: While a mother dies during childbirth every minute of every day, only 1% of these deaths occur in the developed world.
- A Keen Eye: An Interview with Verena Schmid - by Jan Tritten
A veteran Italian midwife shares her philosophy of observation.
- A Midwife’s Perspective: Labor and Birth in the Water - by Jill Cohen
Misunderstandings abound about the use of water in birth, learn about the positive effects.
- A Midwife’s Touch - by Elaine Stillerman
A hands-on approach to helping women during pregnancy, labor and postpartum, this article will help you improve your doula or midwifery practice and help moms.
- A Modern Midwife's Experience with Ancient Maya Techniques of Abdominal/Uterine Massage - by Anne Hirsch
The author shares some brief theory and many anecdotal experiences that are representative of what women report from the use of Maya Massage.
- A Natural Alternative to Suturing - by Denise Gilpin-Blake, LM, CCE, CLE and Summer Elliot, SM, RN, BSN
While on an Indian reservation, I had studied with a shaman and observed the use of seaweed to heal burns and deep lacerations...
- A Note To Fathers - by Lois Wilson
What is the role of the father who is present at the birth of his child? Is he a labor coach, advocate or partner? Is he a fifth wheel? A nuisance? A liability?
- A Postpartum Doula for Every Mother - by Allie Chee
In Part 1 of this article, we discussed one of the helpful ways a woman can reclaim the magic in her childbirth experience—by hiring a birth doula.... In Part 2 we will discuss what happens after pregnancy and what can be especially helpful for a woman during this time.
- A Scholarship Solution and Grand Challenge from Mercy In Action - by Vicki Penwell
Overseas midwife Vicki Penwell shares her scholarship program and challenges other organizations and midwifery schools to join her in her efforts.
- A Timely Birth - by Gail Hart
The timing of birth has major consequences for a baby. Too early or too late can mean the difference between life and death. Or so we have come to believe; and it's undoubtedly true at the extreme ends of preterm and postterm birth dates.
- A VBAC Primer: Technical Issues for Midwives - by Heidi Rinehart, MD
Women pregnant after a previous cesarean section have special needs and concerns.
- A Vision for Midwifery in the United States - by Ina May Gaskin
All midwives should have the opportunity for clinical experience in the settings in which they will practice.
- A Word to Fathers - by Jill Cohen
As a father, you play a vital role in pregnancy and birth. Since you are responsible for getting the baby in, you are also a major support for getting the baby out.
- Adverse Events Following Misoprostol Induction of Labor - by Marsden Wagner, MD, MS
Off-label use of misoprostol (Cytotec) for labor induction has been steadily increasing for 10 years, even though this use is approved neither by the U.S. [FDA], other national drug regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, the Cochrane Library nor a number of national obstetric organizations
- Africa: Journey to the Motherland - by Shauna Dillard
We worked really hard to get rid of the bed pan, but the bottom line was cleanliness. If we didn't use the bed pan we would have more blood to clean up and more chance of infection in the clinic. It's a hard call at best.
- Am I a Traditional Midwife? - by Brandi Wood
What is a traditional midwife? Brandi Wood discusses this question in the context of her own identity, as an apprentice-trained midwife who also makes the most of 21st century technology.
- Amicus Maternity Center: Part I - by Jan Tritten
This is part one of a two-part series on Amicus Birth Center in Trinidad. See part two in Midwifery Today Issue 85. We hope that this successful model can be used by others.
- Amicus Maternity Center: Part II - by Jan Tritten
This is part two of a two-part series on Amicus Birth Center in Trinidad. See part one in Midwifery Today Issue 84. We hope that this successful model can be used by others.
- Amniotomy and Cord Prolapse - by Judy Slome Cohain
Research shows that artificially rupturing the amniotic sac (amniotomy) can cause umbilical cord prolapse.
- An Intimate Dance with Birthing Women - by Heather Mains
When he was asked, "What is a friend?" Aristotle answered, "One soul inhabiting two bodies." When asked, "What is a doula?" I answered, "One soul inhabiting two bodies," ... the privilege to be in union—nonseparate from another with a shared intent or purpose.
- Anciona Juarez Arrozco - by Sarah Proechel
Anciona Juarez Arrosco tells the story of a traditional Mexican midwife, who has practiced for more than 30 years. Taken from the book, Voices of the Maya Midwives, by Sarah Proechel, the article relates some of the traditional herbal and other practices of midwifery that have been in use for many years.
- Answering the Question of Homebirth - by Vanessa Turner
A doula in Pennsylvania becomes frustrated by her area's persecution of homebirth midwives
- Anthropological Perspectives on Global Issues in Midwifery - by Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD
According to the international definition, a midwife is one who graduates from a program duly recognized in its jurisdiction. In the developing world, this generally means a two-year government training program.
- Antonina Sánchez Méndez - by Sarah Proechel
This article in Spanish is excerpted from the book, Voices of Maya Midwives: Oral Histories of Practicing Traditional Midwives from the Mam Region of Guatemala. Este artículo fue extraído del libro, "Voces de las comadronas mayas"
- Are You a Size-Friendly Midwife? - by Pamela Vireday
Fat women are tired of being marginalized by the medical community. They tell stories of egregious bias, of being treated as less than human. They also tell stories of subtle bias, of providers who seem to be size-friendly but ultimately are not.
- Arriba la Revolucion - by Marina Lembo
Excerpted from the book, Voices of Maya Midwives: Oral Histories of Practicing Traditional Midwives from the Mam Region of Guatemala. Este articulo fue extraido del libro, Voces de las comadronas mayas: Historias orales de la practica de la partería tradicional de la region de Mam de Guatemala.
- Babies Are Born Where They Are Born: A Conversation with a Midwife about Not Handing Babies to Their Mothers - by Mary Esther Malloy
This article is wonderful argument about the importance of not disrupting the first moments after birth, rather allowing the mother to meet her new baby in her own way and on her own time.
- Baby's Bedding: Is It Creating Toxic Nerve Gases? - by Joanne B. Quinn, RMA, PhD
A British/New Zealand study offers clues about the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Becoming an Agent of Change: What to Do When Your Midwife Has Been Charged - by Katherine Prown, Ph.D.
It's a situation every homebirth family dreads, but one all too many will have to face: your midwife is under investigation or, worse, has been charged with a crime.
- Berta Juárez Fuentes - by Sarah Proechel
This article is excerpted from the book, Voices of Maya Midwives: Oral Histories of Practicing Traditional Midwives from the Mam Region of Guatemala. Este artículo fue extraído del libro, "Voces de las comadronas mayas"
- Beyond Fear, Tension and Panic: Helping Men Enjoy the Birth Experience - by Leah Hazard
How many times have you seen a man become overwhelmed by fear as his partner gives birth? Calm enough to begin with, the man who was diligently timing contractions and cracking the odd joke a few hours ago now sits rigid by his partner's bedside, his eyes wide with panic...
- Biological Nurturing: The Laid-back Breastfeeding Revolution - by Suzanne Colson
Author and breastfeeding consultant, Suzanne Colson, details a new neurobehavioral approach to breastfeeding initiation.
- Birth and the Establishment of a Professional Organization in Nepal - by Laxmi Tamang
Read how a group of dedicated nurses in Nepal formed the country’s first midwifery organization, and what it is doing to improve birth for Nepal’s largely rural population.
- Birth as a Community Experience - by Lois Wilson
Much of the fear and consequent difficulties American women experience during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period are directly related to the isolation so inherent to their culture.
- Birth at Sea - by Holly Knight
Read the beautiful poetry by Holly Knight about the birth of her child.
- Birth Choices in Venezuela - by Fernando Molina
One of the “good guys,” Fernando Molina enlightens us on the situation regarding birth choices in Venezuela, in both Spanish and English.
- Birth Healing - by Rosetta Thuresson
Rosetta lost her mother when she was born, as a result of an epidural. She shares here how birthing her own daughter helped her on the road to healing.
- Birth in India: One Chosen Perspective - by Diane Smith
I tiptoed my entry in to India carrying within a latent, hidden familiarity with her people and culture. I was bringing with me my acquired midwifery skills and an aspiration to follow my resonance with birth as a life event that stands outside of the modern medicalized model.
- Birth of a Midwife - by Amanda Moore
For ages the expertise and experience of the elders was handed down to younger generations. It was not a matter of choice, merely a matter of survival. If they didn't share their knowledge of the way life revealed itself, then that knowledge was lost. Midwifery is not different by any means.
- Birth Plan - by Janine DeBaise
Here is the plan for the birth of my child. I've taken words from the dreams of 200 women. I'm translating them for the hospital staff.
- Birth Rape: Another Midwife’s Story - by Shea Richland
A flashback sends a midwife back in time almost 40 years to the traumatizing birth of her daughter.
- Birth Stories: The Instinct of Birth - by Candace Whitridge
When a woman is in labor, a little fight goes on in the woman's brain. One part of here brain, the intellect, will tell her that she should do certain things.
- Birth Surprise in Jerusalem - by Chaya Raizel Breger
Our twins remained in the breech position for months before their due date. We were unable to find a midwife or doctor willing to let me birth naturally unless at least the first baby turned head down.
- Birth the Filipino Way - by Denie Heppner
The author, who served as a missionary midwife among the urban poor of metro Manila for 20 years, recounts the highs and lows of working in a matriarchal society rife with superstitions and radically different standards of care for the rich and the poor.
- Birth Works! - by Cathy Daub and Michelle Freedman Brill
Article in French. Le probleme avec la formation traditionnelle a la naissance est qu'elle ne vise pas assez haut.
- Birth, Love and Death - by Nick Owen
It is a well-known fact that the template for a child's psychological development is laid down in earliest infancy. But did you ever consider that the experience of being born sets up the most fundamental predispositions and life reaction patterns we have?
- Birthing in South Africa - by Linda B. Jenkins
This short piece contrasts current birth practices in South Africa in a variety of settings.
- Birthtellers: Healing Birth through Conscious Storytelling - by KaRa Maria Ananda
Who are the Birthtellers and why are they so important to preserving normal, safe birth? Are you one? Learn more about the importance of stories and how to tell a good one in this informative and engaging article.
- Born in Borneo - by Linda B. Jenkins
Take a trip through Borneo with author Linda Jenkins and discover the birthing rituals and customs of this delightful island nation.
- Breastfeeding in Public - by Megan Myers
An apprentice midwife takes a critical look at our sexualized culture and defends the right to breastfeed in public.
- Breastfeeding Nemesis - by Suzanne Colson
Human mothers are the only mammals who have a choice about whether or not to give their own milk to their infants.
- Breastfeeding: Food For Thought - by Tamara Crafts, RN
The nature of breastfeeding itself—the interdependence of mother and child to create a successful breastfeeding relationship through the demand for, and supply of, human milk—literally establishes a physical bond.
- Bridging the Gap: Cracks & Chasms - by Judy Edmunds
Midwives are great bridge builders. There are so many gaps to bridge! Some are just shallow potholes, little bumps in pregnancy's road—nausea, backache, heartburn, insomnia. We offer solace and suggest remedies, kindly ministrations to fill in and smooth out ruts in the prenatal path.
- Build Bridges, Not Walls - by Alicia Huntley, CNM
I elected to spend some of my 1998 conference budget to attend the American College of Nurse Midwives' (ACNM) annual meeting in San Francisco. One of the reasons I chose this particular conference is that I have become increasingly concerned about the divisions emerging among midwives in the United States.
- Building My Nest - by Linda Louise Henry
A personal account of a mom who sought to preserve and honor the fourth stage of labor by creating a “nest” and arranging her life so she could be fully present and fully undisturbed for the first 40 days of her newborn’s life.
- Building Sacred Traditions in Birth - by Whapio Diane Bartlett, traditional midwife
During the past 18 years, my apprenticeship with birth has challenged me to redefine my concept of boundaries, trust, fear and responsibility. Today, if I could make one statement about building a birthing community it would be this—build on what you know and believe is sacred.
- Bullying - by Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
This is the first of four articles on bullying, a problem that has been identified within the profession of midwifery, as well as in many other areas. The next issue will feature The Bully (identifying the bully).
- Caught Off Guard: One Father’s Memories - by Steve Hinnefeld
No other joy I have experienced can compare with watching my child come wriggling out into the world and with being present for the breathtaking first moments of a new human being.
- Cesarean Birth: What about the Baby? - by Robin Lim
One of my home-born babies had a wrinkle-free gentle entrance into our world. The other was an almost seven-minute shoulder dystocia. After three and a half minutes of CPR, he took hold of his life and is thriving. He has never been separated from mother.
- Cesarean Inter-Section - by Terah R. Lara
A new cesarean method has been designed by an anesthesiologist and a midwife in the UK and has been acclaimed by participants: a 'natural' cesarean in which women can have greater participation in the birth of their child regardless of their surgical route of delivery.
- Cesáreas en México - by Marian Tudela, Partera Profesional, CPM
¿Cuántas mujeres de su entorno conoce que hayan dado a luz de forma normal, es decir, por parto vaginal? Y ¿cuántas que hayan tenido su bebé por operación cesárea?
- Changing Childbirth: The Latin American Example - by Robbie Davis-Floyd
Anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd shares her experiences speaking about birth in Latin American countries, and identifies at least 21 ingredients necessary for creating a social movement that can effectively bring about birth change.
- Child Is Father to the Man: A Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse Speaks Out - by Derek Lainsbury
What had been allowed to happen to me had left me scarred and insecure. I could not trust anyone. ... My wife was rejecting me for our children, and all my childhood fears of loneliness had come flooding back. The birth of my children had opened up a Pandora's Box and there was no place to hide now.
- Choose & Lose: Promoting Cesareans and Other Invasive Interventions - by Marsden Wagner
After more than a decade of trying to bring down the number of c-sections, some obstetricians are now reversing themselves and promoting more of them. In fact, a growing number of American obstetricians now urge women to “choose” a cesarean even when there is no medical indication that they need one.
- Choosing Caesarean Section - by Marsden Wagner, MD
...why not allow women the option to choose [caesarean section]? Unfortunately, the option to choose (or demand) is not that simple. CS, even when elective, carries serious risks for mother and baby.
- Collusion and Negligence in Hospitals - by Judy Slome Cohain
One predominant problem with planned hospital birth stems from the requirement of collusion among hospital workers. Hospitals are living organisms whose drive for self-preservation takes precedence over the goals and needs of the patient.
- Craniosacral Therapy in the Midwifery Model of Care - by Kara Maia Spencer
Learn about craniosacral therapy and how it can be used to prevent and health birth trauma.
- Creating the Space for Healing Antepartum Care in Women with Trauma History - by Maryl Smith
Women who have been abused and traumatized may experience a variety of issues related to pregnancy and birth. Maryl Smith discusses developing awareness of signs and triggers, as well as how to work with such women and help them feel safe.
- Cruci/Section: My Baby Was Cut Out with a Knife - by Leilah McCracken
Trying to write about the c-section I had 10 years ago with my second child is difficult.
- Cuban Maternity Homes - by Heather Renz
Imagine health care as a right, not a privilege. One of the many successes of the Cuban revolution is its dedication to creating a comprehensive medical system accessible to all citizens free of cost.
- Cuddle Up! Slings and Baby Carriers - by Jennifer Rosenberg, CD (DONA)
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of baby carrier, ways of making your own baby carrier, and reviews of specific brands of 'ready made' carriers.
- Culture within Culture - by Sister MorningStar
It is easier to see how a woman's culture affects her than to face how our culture affects us in relating to her. What if our cultures have moral differences? What if we identify with a birth culture that saves mothers and babies?
- Cytotec and the FDA - by Ina May Gaskin
This is a powerful and emotional article against Cytotec and its use in pregnant women written by one of the most inspiring women in natural childbirth, Ina May Gaskin.
- Cytotec Induction and Off-Label Use - by Marsden Wagner, MD, MS
Without adequate testing of Cytotec (misoprostol) for labor induction, obstetricians simply began to use it on their birthing women. They were taking advantage of a huge loophole in our drug regulatory system.
- Daughters of Time - by Barbara Katz Rothman, PhD
Direct entry to what? A path to where? What is it that we are entering, and where is it we are going? A midwife is, like everything else in this world, very much in the eye of the beholder.
- Déclaration d'Aix-la-Chapelle
Article in French. Declaration de Aix-la-Chapelle - Europeen des sages-femmes.
- Demeurer humble: Une naissance par les pieds - by Claudie Cameron, sage-femme
Article in French. Read this story of a double-footling breech.
- Desproporción Cefalo-pélvica verdadera - by Jill Cohen
Article in Spanish. Esta madre primeriza estaba embarazada de 43 semanas y tenía un bebé grande. Fuimos a hacer una ecografía para tranquilizar sus preocupaciones de que su bebé estuviera pasado de fecha.
- Diary of a Midwife: Uganda - by Marva Zohar
After five years working in the birth field, a new midwife encounters her first brush with death. This vividly told story highlights the stark reality for midwives working in the developing world.
- Disturbing “New” Trends in Tear Prevention Threaten Midwives’ Autonomy - by Tine Greve
The author posits that the rise in third- and fourth-degree tears in Scandinavian countries stems more from the increased use of interventions such as induction and epidural than from the "hands-off" approach favored by midwives.
- Do I have to leave my country and home to have my baby sanely? - by MorningStar
Today, the issues are VBAC and recognized education and training, standards of health care that challenge the rights of both wimyn and midwives. But as a retired midwife with 30 years of experience, the issues seem to me to be inherent challenges to the power and instincts of wimyn.
- Documented Causes of UnneCesareans - by Judy Slome Cohain
The author examines recent research documenting the multiple causes of unnecessary cesarean sections, or unneCesareans.
- Doña Cuca, Wise Elder and Midwife - by Sister MorningStar
In this excerpt from Sister MorningStar's upcoming book from Motherbaby Press, The Power of Women, Sister MorningStar remembers Doña Cuca, Mexican village healer and midwife, and through her story, honors the gifts of experience and wisdom that are passed down to a new generation of midwives.
- Doña Irene Sotelo: Traditional Mexican Midwife - by Elise Kimmons
Learn about the traditional midwife from Mexico!
- Doulas Supporting Teens - by Jessica Atkins
This article describes the inspiring work of the Lane County, Oregon, program "Doulas Supporting Teens," which matches doulas up with teenage parents-to-be and provides education and support throughout the first year of parenting.
- Drugs in Labour - by Beverley Lawrence Beech
Childbirth is a normal physiological event. However, since the advent of universal hospitalisation, for the majority of women childbirth has been transformed into a medical event where labour is processed, monitored and controlled by the medical profession from beginning to end.
- Early Trauma, Its Potential Impact on the Childbearing Woman, and the Role of the Midwife - by Penny Simkin
One of the authors of the book, When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women, describes many of the ways early abuse or trauma may negatively affect the survivors' later experiences with childbearing and offers some tips for midwives....
- Editorial: 20 Years of Carrying Out a Calling - by Jan Tritten
I was in the midst of writing a book about my homebirth practice when God said to me, "No, do a magazine for midwives." In 20 minutes He dictated to me the exact pattern and plan of Midwifery Today magazine.
- Editorial: A Circle of Midwives - by Jan Tritten
As midwives, we are called to serve many kinds of women and families. These may include those with whom we do not resonate for one reason or another. You could be asked to serve a member of an ethnic group that is traditionally hostile to yours, a woman with widely divergent beliefs...
- Editorial: A Knowledge Base Fit for All Midwives - by Jan Tritten
The question we must ask ourselves is this: Can a midwife survive a medicalized education and still come out an authentic midwife?
- Editorial: A Trip to the Tropics - by Jan Tritten
Marina Alzugaray and I went to the Bahamas on our way to the Trinidad International Confederation of Midwives conference to check into doing a Midwifery Today international conference there in September 2005.
- Editorial: A Vision to Share - by Jan Tritten
I have a vision: I think we need to have a museum of midwifery. The thought first came to me when I was at the New York City MANA conference a decade ago.
- Editorial: Aspiring and Student Midwives Are Our Hope for the Future - by Jan Tritten
Just as we each have a responsibility to birthing women to ensure the future of midwifery, as "mother midwives" we also have a responsibility to educate the next generation of midwives. Midwifery is fairly fragile in the US and we must acknowledge our responsibility to protect it.
- Editorial: Babies Have Rights, Too - by Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten shares her thoughts on making the rights of the baby a part of the “Birth Is a Human Right” initiative.
- Editorial: Baby's Choice - by Jan Tritten
What would a baby choose for her birth? Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten encourages us to think about what a baby might choose for birth and respect the baby, as well as the mother.
- Editorial: Bahamas / Success on Many Levels - by Jan Tritten
As Marina Alzugaray explains in Reclaiming a Cuban Heritage, the Bahamian midwives really know how to make others feel welcome to their country. They were so open and ready for us to be there with them at the Midwifery Today Bahamas conference in September; they made us feel a part of them.
- Editorial: Birth Change - by Jan Tritten
One of my most important roles in my midwifery life is that of encourager. My desire is that you carry out the dreams given to you - and I know you have them. I delight in telling about people carrying out their dreams as a way, hopefully, to inspire you.
- Editorial: Birth in 2050 - by Jan Tritten
What will birth be like 40 years from now? If everyone works together, writes editor-in-chief Jan Tritten, we can transform birth for future generations.
- Editorial: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue - by Jan Tritten
In June of this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a landmark resolution acknowledging maternal mortality and morbidity as a human rights issue. The adoption of this resolution prods governments to "change the way they view maternal death—that is, as a human rights issue no less serious than executio
- Editorial: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue: A Movement - by Jan Tritten
Editor in chief Jan Tritten comments on the recent witch-hunt in Europe and on the state of motherbaby rights around the world, calling all natural birth practitioners and supporters to protect birth as an inalienable human right.
- Editorial: Birth Odyssey - by Jan Tritten
Nothing is more important than the motherbaby relationship. The experience of growing a little person inside of you, nourished and fed by your own body and blood, is precious. These days we realize that our baby is also nurtured by our heart, mind and spirit.
- Editorial: Bringing Good Birth to the Light - by Jan Tritten
We are in a profession that can give the greatest joy humankind has known—birth. In Spanish, birth is termed a more poetic "dar a luz," bring to the light. We, as midwives, need to bring to the light the truth about what childbirth can be.
- Editorial: Business and Midwifery - by Jan Tritten
Business is second nature to me; I really enjoy it. I have been making lemonade for 32 years now and have always known that if I wanted to be rich I could have franchised my successful lemonade stand, Family Homesteader. The calling of midwifery got in my way, though.
- Editorial: Carry Out Your Visions and Dreams - by Jan Tritten
One of my most important roles in my midwifery life is that of encourager. My desire is that you carry out the dreams given to you—and I know you have them. I delight in telling about people carrying out their dreams as a way, hopefully, to inspire you.
- Editorial: Changing Birth Practices - by Jan Tritten
Editor-in-chief Jan Tritten reminds us to not simple follow culture, but to use right practices when we are dealing with motherbaby
- Editorial: Don't Sell Your Sisters Down the River - by Jan Tritten
As midwives, aren't we capable of something different and more feminine than thinking in a Western, hierarchical, patriarchal manner-the 'we are in, you are out' thought style?
- Editorial: Drugs in Labor - by Jan Tritten
My soul is flooded with grief. My frustration overwhelms me. I cry for countless mothers and babies—for the births that could be. I am overwhelmed because I have felt the strong light of a powerful birth.
- Editorial: Education Priority Check - by Jan Tritten
Your love of women, babies, families and each other needs to be your focus. You are answering a calling, one of service, not one that is self-serving.
- Editorial: Enlisting Change Around the World - by Jan Tritten
Since founding Midwifery Today magazine in 1986, I have had an interest in international midwifery. I have always had the feeling that the keys to helping and understanding the birth process would be found all over this marvelous globe with its many cultures.
- Editorial: Fathers Who Were Abused - by Jan Tritten
Jan discusses how midwives can help with a problem that is rarely discussed: the impact of becoming a father on men who were abused.
- Editorial: First Do No Harm - by Jan Tritten
Unfortunately, a new wave of technology and drugs has followed, and in our culture the use of drugs and high-tech procedures is considered innocent until proven guilty.
- Editorial: First, Do No Harm - by Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten shares her thoughts on hemorrhage. “The most important thing I can say about hemorrhage is, ‘Don’t cause one.’”
- Editorial: Fourth Stage of Labor and Midwifery - by Jan Tritten
The fourth stage of labor is defined as the first hour or two after birth. I think we should redefine it as birth to twenty-one years of age, or maybe for the lifetime of the child. The issues never end once you are a parent.
- Editorial: From Russia with Love - by Jan Tritten
editorial, Jan Tritten, father, mother, birth, parents, homebirth, midwife, Midwifery Today Magazine. From Russia with Love by Jan Tritten. 2010 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.. Editor’s Note: This editorial originally appeared in. Midwifery Today, Issue 95. Autumn 2010..
- Editorial: Giving Voice to Wisdom - by Jan Tritten
The orthodoxy of today's technological birth procedures is built on false foundations masquerading in the name of science, but whose master is often fear of malpractice.
- Editorial: Global Alliance of Midwives - by Jan Tritten
Nothing short of a strong global movement will change birth. What we need is you, your suggestions and input. Let's ponder how best to foster these needed changes together.
- Editorial: Global Midwifery Council - by Jan Tritten
The birth of the Global Midwifery Council was in June of 2010 at the Home Child/Midwifery Today Conference in Moscow, Russia. It was born to change the paradigm of birth around the world.
- Editorial: Grief, Fear and Pregnancy - Creating a Haven in Troubled Times - by Jennifer Rosenberg
In pregnancy, we often tell pregnant women that being happy, reducing stress and eating a nutritious diet are the best things a woman can do to ensure the health of her unborn baby.
- Editorial: Hands-On Care - by Jan Tritten
Look at your hands. These hands are holy-ordained by God to receive babies. What is the substance of this divine trust? What is the responsibility? Midwife, partera is a high calling.
- Editorial: Happy Birthday, Birth Change - by Jan Tritten
Midwifery Today turns 19 years old in February of 2005. For me, that is nearly 20 years of working to change birth with Midwifery Today, plus over 10 years of homebirth practice, changing birth one motherbaby at a time.
- Editorial: Healing in Mexico - by Jan Tritten
We began the Oaxaca, Mexico, conference with an exercise in global healing. Marina Alzugaray and Yeshi Sherover Neumann created the idea of splitting our group of about 275 people into "conquered" and "conquerors."
- Editorial: Here We Go Again - by Jan Tritten
Another attack on homebirth and traditional midwifery comes, once again, from a very persuasive source - The Lancet medical journal. Within what seems like a good idea upon cursory review - establishing midwife-run birth centers around the world - comes another imperialistic onslaught...
- Editorial: How Do You Feel About Giving Up Your Freedom? - by Jan Tritten
I was shocked at this quote by Beverly Beech in the British Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services...
- Editorial: ICM and Hemorrhage - by Jan Tritten
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO) recently made a clandestine and potentially dangerous decision about midwifery practice.
- Editorial: Inclusiveness, The Essence of Midwifery - by Jan Tritten
We will look back someday and say, "We had a legendary meeting at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) meeting in Vienna in April 2002." It was not a sanctioned meeting but one where we discussed issues many midwives have been concerned with.
- Editorial: International Networking - by Jan Tritten
Here at Midwifery Today, we have been working hard on our country contacts. The goal is to have a contact person or persons in every country of the world.
- Editorial: Kitty Breastfeeding - by Jan Tritten
Why don’t cats have breastfeeding problems? If we answer this we might have an answer to human breastfeeding problems. When Momma Cat had her babies—see last issue’s editorial—they began breastfeeding even before the other babies were born.
- Editorial: Lessons from Kitty Birth: Using Placenta to Control Hemorrhage - by Jan Tritten
I went to a totally beautiful and undisturbed birth today. Five of them, actually! The mother had the most natural births as we looked on, not disturbing her but just being “with woman.” With woman—with kitty.
- Editorial: Let's Work Together - by Jan Tritten
A global alliance of midwives would promote the midwifery model worldwide, not the medical model. It would emphasize woman-centered birth with autonomous midwives who work at home, birth center or hospital.
- Editorial: Love that Protects - by Jan Tritten
As childbirth attendants, we must vigorously protect the birthing woman and her baby against wrong information, overly interventive technology, a convoluted system of law and medical ignorance that fuel interventive technology, and individuals who do not have her best interests at heart.
- Editorial: Mexico, An Engaging Country - by Jan Tritten
My first trip to Mexico was to plan our long-dreamed-of conference in this enchanting land. We met wonderful people in Oaxaca with a real willingness to help make this conference a reality. We met traditional midwives Mercedes and Antonia. Mercedes has been a midwife for 50 years.
- Editorial: Midwifery Knowledge Spread Around the World - by Jan Tritten
The other way to spread this midwifery knowledge...is to bring it to the US at the conferences Midwifery Today presents here. I've seen that each culture that has not been taken over by interventive, mainstream medical birth culture has a lot to offer the rest of the world in terms of midwifery knowledge.
- Editorial: Midwifery Today: Past and Future - by Jan Tritten
Midwifery Today is 18 years old this year. I like to reflect deeply at special milestones. To me, the beginning of the year is always a time of intense planning for the future and pondering where we have been.
- Editorial: Misplaced Fear - by Jan Tritten
I find it fascinating that women are afraid of the wrong thing when it comes to birth. They are afraid of birth when it is what they are perfectly designed to do. The thing they should be afraid of is whom they put their trust in and where they birth.
- Editorial: Mollie and Mary - by Jan Tritten
Jan tells two amazing midwives serving the Amish and Mennonite communities.
- Editorial: Never, Never, Never Give Up - by Jan Tritten
My first experience with shoulder dystocia was thankfully informed by something I read in the newsletter/magazine that The Farm was publishing at the time (1976). In the article, Ina May explained what is now known as the Gaskin Maneuver.
- Editorial: One Birth, One Woman at a Time - by Jan Tritten
There are little things we can do each day, just by being who we are. Wear a shirt or earrings—or carry a bag—with a birth saying or image on it that leads to dialog about midwifery or birth.
- Editorial: Our Decade of CHANGE - by Jan Tritten
Another hopeful sign is that we are closer to reaching critical mass. When 15 percent of the people know the truth about birth and will tell their friends, then the whole world will know. How can we not have a violent society when the violence begins at birth?
- Editorial: Out of the Pot, Into the Fire - by Jan Tritten
You don't control, coach or manage a physiological process. What really is the midwifery model of care? Is it what midwives really practice?
- Editorial: Professional? - by Jan Tritten
What is a professional? How do we become professionals who serve women instead of ourselves? Is it possible?
- Editorial: Routine Active Management of the Third Stage - by Jan Tritten
Midwifery Today mother Jan Tritten shares her thoughts on the third stage and how it isn’t such a good idea for this part of birth to be routinely managed.
- Editorial: Sacred Ground - by Jan Tritten
It is experience that seems to help most in understanding an idea.
- Editorial: Take Birth Back - by Jan Tritten
The colonizing countries dominated birth with destructive medicalization at a time when Western powers were decimating cultures. Medicalization rode on the wave of imperialism. This force is still going today and is an effective tool used against normal, instinctive birth.
- Editorial: Technology: Stemming the Tide - by Jan Tritten
Technology can make take away the beauty of birth, when used unnecessarily. Editor Jan Tritten argues that midwives are in a position to change the tide of unnecessary technology, using the evidence that is accruing.
- Editorial: The Battle Is in the Mind - by Jan Tritten
We are mammals. Most mammals birth fine. So what happened to us? We used to birth fine. Women in "primitive" cultures birth fine. What happened to modern women?
- Editorial: The Miracle of Homebirth - by Jan Tritten
Homebirth is the gold standard, God's standard, the highest standard of Birth possible. The uplifting feeling a mom gets, having birthed in her own power, is unlike anything else in the world.
- Editorial: The Personality of Birth - by Jan Tritten
I love it that you never really know the personality of each birth until it unfolds. Birth, the interaction of mother, baby and family with all their past and present, is the doorway to the future and will be decorated in its own way.
- Editorial: The Power Belongs to Motherbaby - by Jan Tritten
While herbs and other remedies have their use in pregnancy, we need to remember that it's the women and their babies who actually do the birthing.
- Editorial: Thoughts about Breech Birth - by Jan Tritten
[We are] concerned with the need for midwives to reclaim breech, twin and VBAC births. It is important that midwives gain the skills, experience and knowledge necessary to safely assist these births. Most doctors have lost knowledge of vaginal breech birth by allowing their few skills to get rusty ...
- Editorial: To Learn to Grow - by Jan Tritten
Feeding the heart of midwifery through support, good counsel, and continuing education has always been the end goal of our efforts at Midwifery Today.
- Editorial: Toward Equilibrium - by Jan Tritten
Do midwives have a responsibility to functional family life? Can we help teach mothers both the significance of their new role, and the skills that will be required of them?
- Editorial: Traditional Midwifery - by Jan Tritten
We are losing the knowledge and wisdom of traditional midwifery as fast as we are losing the rainforest. Just as we are discovering this incredible knowledge base, it is disappearing.
- Editorial: Two Important Keys: Autonomy and Working Together - by Jan Tritten
Is our profession a barrier to instinctive birth? Are we, whose calling it is to protect and care for motherbaby in the birth year, actually forming a barrier? If so, how do we change our profession to meet the real needs of women in pregnancy and birth?
- Editorial: Umbilical Cord Mementos - by Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief, Jan Tritten, invited her cousin to give a tutorial on creating an umbilical cord memento.
- Editorial: Waiting Can Be So Hard - by Jan Tritten
Jan Tritten reflects on second stage complications and the midwife’s role. Sometimes patient waiting, tempered with wisdom of when, and how, to act is the safest, healthiest way to bring new life into the world.
- Editorial: We Can Improve Primal Health - by Jan Tritten
Much of primal health depends on non interference in birth; that is, not performing procedures on women that can negatively affect their babies. The foundation of superior health depends on the one great and original physician-God-who designed the process to work so well.
- Editorial: Who Are the Statistics? - by Jan Tritten
Listening to Mothers II survey covers statistics on the frequency of various birth interventions. Editor Jan Tritten puts a face on the women and babies behind these statistics and argues that we need to stop interfering in birth.
- El Cordón y la fuerza de la vida—Algo Extraordinario - by Marina Alzugaray
(Article in Spanish) I have observed babies birthed with the placenta detached and following right behind them for over 20 years. Hace mas de 15 anos que observo a bebitos viajando con su placenta, es que la placenta se desprende de la matriz al nacer el bebe.
- El parto como sanidad - by Joanna Wilder
(article in Spanish) The author tells us why she is involved in good birth, and how it can be healing for women with a history of abuse.
- El Pujo en las Primerizas - by Gloria Lemay
La expulsión del primer bebé de la mujer es un espacio en tiempo pora que ocurran muchas travesuras y averías. Es además un espacio en tiempo cuando su futuro obstetrico frecuentemente es decido, y dónde ella puede ser bien atendida por una partera paciente y descansada.
- El Temascal (chuj) - by Sarah Proechel
Article in Spanish. The traditional Mesoamerican sweat bath and its perinatal uses. Durante el primer trimestre del embarazo, es costumbre que la mujer entre al temascal con la partera para aliviar la nausea y las molestias generales.
- Elaine's Birth - by Ann J. Hines
When my contractions began Tuesday night, they were regular, but were still of the "practice" type intensity.
- Elizabeth Davis - An Interview with Heather Long
Learn about and be inspired by Elizabeth Davis, author of Heart and Hands, expert on women’s issues and midwifery teacher, in this compelling interview with graphic designer Heather Long.
- Emotional Impact of Cesareans - by Pam Udy
Every 30 seconds in the US, a cesarean is performed.(1) This overuse of cesarean surgery puts moms and babies at risk - not just physically, but emotionally.
- Epidural Anesthesia Leads to More C-Sections - by Esther Marilus
Response to summary and comment re: The risk of cesarean delivery with neuraxial analgesia given early versus late in labor.
- Eve's Foundation - by Florence Okra
Ghana's...public health service plays a very important role in promoting maternal and child health care through the provision of antenatal, postnatal and child health services. Despite this hard work WH) estimated that in 2000 Ghana's maternal mortality ratio was 540 deaths per 100,000 live births.
- Experience the Comadres Oaxaca Exchange Program - by Marina Alzugaray
If you are a student of women's health, why not take advantage of a great opportunity and enroll in the Comadres Oaxaca Exchange program?
- Factors That Persuaded Nurses to Establish a Maternity Care Centre in Nepal - by Laxmi Tamang
The author describes the state of women’s health and health services in Nepal, and the establishment of that country’s first and only independent nurse-midwives-led birthing centre.
- Family Planning: A Reality Check for Global Midwives - by Robin Lim, CPM and Marie Zenack
Working overseas presents multi-layered challenges to those of us devoted to healing birth. In the precious postpartum time couples would ask me, "What about family planning?" and it was then that I fell down.
- Fathers: Those Engrossing First Minutes - by Richard Reed, PhD
Midwives, fathers and mothers all agree that dads should participate in childbirth. They are less clear, however, about why dads should be there. Do fathers really ease birthing for mothers? Is there a moral obligation to accompany mothers on their passage?
- Female Empowerment and the Traditional Midwives of India - by Soma Mukhopadhyay
A researcher reflects on her 15-year of study of rural India’s traditional dai, much loved by the families they serve, and widely misunderstood.
- Fetal Demise: Helping a Mother Cope with Her Pain - by Jude Stensland
When I arrived, I immediately scanned the quiet tummy. Lydia watched the screen with a worried expression. I could find no cardiac movement. Finally I put away the probe and moaned, “Lydia, I am so sorry, the baby is gone.”
- Finding Better Solutions to End Bullying: What an Organization Can Do - by Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
This final article in our series on bullying addresses what organizations can do to end bullying, as well as legislative solutions that have been proposed.
- Finding Better Solutions to End Bullying—What a Midwife Can Do - by Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
This 4th article in our series on bullying offers solutions for midwives who find themselves the target of a bully. "Many health care professionals now quite commonly participate in and are the recipients of bullying behavior."
- Finger-Feeding a Preemie - by Jude Kurokawa, CNM
Learn a finger-feeding technique for breast milk, used on preemies.
- Finger-Feeding a Preemie: A Letter - by Linda Killion Healow, RN
Breastfeeding is a learned skill for both mother and infant. Some mothers are under the false impression that if a newborn gets hungry enough, he will simply latch on to the breast and nurse effectively.
- Footling Breech: A Midwife’s Own Birth Story - by Veronica Wagner
In this memoir a midwife reflects on the story of her birth as a footling breech in Germany during WWII, and the homebirths that she has attended in her life. She touches on both themes, remembering not only breech births, but the role that animals have played in many births she has been involved with.
- Foreskins for Keeps—An Idea Whose Time Has Come - by Gloria Lemay
Contributing Editor Gloria Lemay tells about her path to ending circumcision by January 2008.
- Four Birth Stories
Two of my doulas at each of my last two births were my daughters. My oldest daughter was almost five and my second was 20 months old at my first homebirth. They were 17 and 14 years old at my second.
- Freedom - by Jan Tritten
The empirical midwife movement in the United States is one of those few islands where technology, money and brainwashing haven't taken over common sense, evidence, and woman centeredness.
- From the Editor: Birth Communities - by Jan Tritten
Each one of us belongs to many communities, including many separate birth communities.
- From the United Kingdom - by Jennifer Hall
As I prepare this article… I am conscious of two major reports released here in the U.K. in recent months. As I have been reflecting on them I know their message is pertinent to women and midwives all over the world and it felt appropriate to draw your attention to them.
- Full Moon Birthing - by April Bailey Weaver
Mama and Papa were residents of another state until they came here, to Hawaii, to birth, contacting me by phone five months into their pregnancy. Their desire was an ocean birth. Baby had communicated with her parents that this was the birth she needed.
- Getting Pushy - by Alison Bastien
A childbirth educator considers "the place of change" in labor that transcends stages and what she sees as the overemphasis on pushing.
- Global Midwifery—Traditional and Official—and Humanization of Birth - by Marsden Wagner
Throughout history, women (midwives) have been in communities for other women to turn to for support with women’s concerns—not just reproductive health care, but also issues such as spousal abuse.
- Good Dental Care a Must for Moms-to-be - by Cheryl K. Smith
Pregnancy is a time filled with many changes to the body. As midwives and moms know, these changes affect virtually all of the body. One area that may not get the attention it deserves is the teeth and gums.
- Gracious Births - by Judy Edmunds
Midwives try to convey these simple truths: Birth is not a clinical exercise. It is not a medical procedure. In nearly every instance, it should not be major surgery. Nor should it even routinely include minor surgery.
- Guatemala Journey: Partnering with Traditional Midwives - by Judy Luce, CPM
In August 1999 I spent eight days in Guatemala, where I visited the town of Concepción Chiquirichapa, in the western highlands outside of Quetzaltenango.
- HABT Editorial: A Perfect Birth - by Jill Cohen
Having recently given birth I am awash with love and devotion to my newborn.
- Healing the Trauma: Entering Motherhood with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - by Jennifer Jamison Griebenow
When seeking help, you may be told that you are experiencing the baby blues or PPD, either of which may be present with PTSD. However, along with the typical weepiness, anxiety and depression of PPD, key symptoms of PTSD include insomnia, irritability and angry outbursts, panic attacks, nightmares...
- Healing Through Homebirth - by Cynthia Luxford
I met Jill in January. She knew she was pregnant, but not how far along she was. She had experienced a recent episode of bleeding that lasted for weeks. Without giving her any diagnosis of what was causing her bleeding, the physician had treated her with birth control pills and pain medication.
- Hello from Guatemala - by Kate Holloway
Hello and Happy New Year! Here is our update from February 2004. We are all doing well. The Clinica Naturista is growing and expanding! A wish list of supplies needed for the Clinicas Maya, in San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, appears at the end of this article.
- Help, I’m a Guy! Homebirth from a Man’s Point of View - by Ken Magri
A husband shares the story of how he eventually became convinced that his wife’s wish to birth at home, which ended up including a horse trough and beer, was the best way to have a baby.
- Herbal Applications - by Demetria Clark
A primer of herbal applications, methods for preparation, indications for use and practical recipes and tips.
- Herbs for Mother's Care Postpartum - by Demetria Clark
Handling postpartum issues naturally gives the mother more control and is generally less invasive then going to a doctor. Make sure the mother knows when to seek additional medical care.
- Herbs for Postpartum Perineum Care: Part One - by Demetria Clark
The author discusses uses of herbs for postpartum perineum care, such as arnica, plantain, calendula, lavender, chickweed, raw honey and aloe vera.
- Herbs for Postpartum Perineum Care: Part Two - by Demetria Clark
The author discusses uses of herbs for postpartum perineum care, such as gotu kola, comfrey, horsechestnut, marshmallow and St. John's Wort.
- Home: Our Birth Right - by Judy Edmunds, CPM
For the Inuit, a paternalistic government assumed they would prefer to be flown out to “safer” surroundings of big city hospitals far from home.... It took strong, determined native midwives to restore the continuity of birth and family care back to their community.
- Homebirth after Cesarean: The Myth and the Reality - by Amy V. Haas
No studies are available on homebirth after cesarean (HBAC). Is it as safe as inhospital VBAC? What elements make it risky? Amy Haas takes on the difficult task of wading applying the available studies on VBAC to the domain of homebirth to give a general idea on its safety.
- Homebirth in the UK - by Brighton Homebirth Support Group
There are many reasons people choose to give birth at home, and most have more to do with feelings than statistics.
- Homebirth: What Are the Issues? - by Sara Wickham, RM, BA (Hons)
There is no shortage of evidence to support the fact that homebirth is safe, satisfying and empowering for women and their families. It is also a much-neglected option for childbearing women in Western society today.
- Homeopathic Remedies for Back Labour and Posterior Presentation - by Piper Martin, DS Hom. Med.
Homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective means of treating a woman experiencing back labour.
- Honoring Body Wisdom - by Pamela Hines-Powell
Who or what are we protecting the perineum from? A different take on birthing.
- How to Build a Birth Network - Cynthia Yula and Katie Heffelfinger
This article is a blueprint for a program of birth activism that can be set up in any community to stimulate better birth practices, political activism, and media savvy for the birth community. Two successful birth networks, one in Nashville and the other in Philadelphia were started by the authors.
- How to Make a Portable Waterbirth Tub - by Melanie Moore
For almost three years, I have been renting out a birth tub to my clients. The entire system cost me $350. I charge $100 for one month of use, including set-up and removal. I have even set this tub up in the hospital.
- How to Stay Healthy and Low Risk During Pregnancy and Birth - by Amy Haas
If you did only one thing to help yourself stay healthy during pregnancy, good nutrition would be it!
- How to Treat a Vaginal Infection with a Clove of Garlic - by Judy Slome Cohain, CNM
Garlic kills yeast. Those who bake bread know not to add garlic while the dough is rising or it will kill the yeast. Instead, garlic is added to the dough after it has risen, just before baking it in the oven.
- Humanizar el parto y el nacimiento; humanizar la vida - by Marie Lynne Tyndall
(article in Spanish) Madre y bebe; protagonizan este proceso y los deseos y sentimientos de la madre deben estar en primer lugar.
- Hummous and Enchiladas Make Beautiful Babies, Too! - by Valerie El Halta
If you had asked me to be your midwife in 1978, I would have come to our initial interview armed with vitamin charts, diet lists and food diaries—all in my well meaning attempt to get you to eat foods I thought were best for you.
- Humor as Natural Medicine - by Kate Prendergast
I wish I could think of a punch line for this joke: A midwife, a doula and an obstetrician walk into a bar... but, I don't really need one since I've gotten plenty of laughs just with that opening.
- HypnoBirthing: Instinctive Birthing through Relaxation - by Tracy Donegan
Birthkeepers of the world are divided on whether pain does or does not have to exist in birth; each of us is firm in our stance that our belief is right. For many the notion of comfortable or even joyful birthing still remains just outside of our grasp.
- International Code of Ethics For Midwives - by The International Confederation of Midwives
The International Confederation of Midwives invites your comments on its Code of Ethics.
- International Credentialing of Midwives - by Christine Hindle Verber, EdD, RN, SCM
When midwives move from one country to another, they should, with equivalent education and credentials, be able to practice their profession wherever they live.
- Is the Participation of the Father at Birth Dangerous? - by Michel Odent
Does the participation of the father aid or hinder the birth? Read Michel Odent's article and find out!
- Journal Abstracts - Compiled by Marion Toepke McLean
Abstracts of three papers from professional journals of interest to midwives. Topics: Prevention of premature birth; Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation; Hormone changes make moms smarter
- Just Say No to Drugs - by Esther Marilus
The author explains how conclusions from a study of early versus late epidurals are flawed and what the study really shows.
- Kangaroo Care - by Kim Wildner
The author presents an exploration of the components, rationale and outcomes of kangaroo care.
- Kangaroo Care: Why Does It Work? - by Holly Richardson
During kangaroo care, a premature baby's overall growth rate increases. This is in part due to the baby's ability to sleep, thus conserving energy and putting caloric expenditure toward growth.
- Keeping Childbearing Normal Through Nutrition - by Marion Toepke McLean, CNM
During the months of pregnancy, every system of a woman's body changes. The blood and circulatory system expand and work for two. The basis of this expansion is nutritional.
- Keeping the Midwifery Legacy Alive - by Nell Tharpe
Midwifery. The word brings to mind a pregnant woman in a softly lit room, laboring with intent, touched and tended by gentle women who are experienced and wise in the ways of labor and birth. One role of midwives is to protect the sanctity of birth
- Korutun's Birth - by Kris Holloway-Bidwell
This article is an excerpt from the book Monique and the Mango Rains, reviewed in the last issue of Midwifery Today. It tells the story of a difficult birth in Mali, Africa; two birth attendants have a personal discussion about female genital mutilation.
- La Partería Global - Tradicional y Oficial - y la Humanización del Nacimiento - by Marsden Wagner
Hasta hace 200 años toda la atención del nacimiento en el mundo era humanizada ya que era brindada por parteras que mantenían a la mujer en el centro, y en general, respetaban la naturaleza y la cultura.
- La poussee pour les meres primipares - by Gloria Lemay
Article in French. L'expulsion d'un premier bebe du corps d'une femme est un moment critique ou plusieurs torts et contretemps peuvent survenir.
- Las pelvis que conocí y amé - by Gloria Lemay
¿Que pasaría si no hubiera pelvis? ¿Y que tal si la pelvis tuviera tan poco que ver con como nace un niño como el tamaño de la nariz de la madre? Después de más de 20 años atendiendo partos estas son las conclusiones a las que he llegado.
- Les soins kangourou: Pourquoi est-ce efficace? - by Holly Richardson
Article in French. During kangaroo care, a premature baby's overall growth rate increases. This is in part due to the baby's ability to sleep, thus conserving energy and putting caloric expenditure toward growth.
- Lessons from a Homebirth Practice - by John Stevenson
The first thing I noticed about homebirth was the serene joy of the parents, which in those days was something I never saw in my hospital experience. The second thing I saw was that an intense bond automatically takes place between mother and baby in the first half-hour, not in the first few weeks...
- Liberty in Midwifery and Birth - by Jill Cohen
Jan and I were discussing our upcoming conference, titled Liberty in Midwifery and Birth. I realized that I did not fully understand the meaning of liberty, so I looked it up in the dictionary. I was amazed at the correlations between the meaning of liberty and the needs of birthing women.
- LifeWraps: Low-tech First Aid for Obstetric Hemorrhage - by Caroline Rodgers
An American midwife has adapted a piece of first aid equipment with a history spanning more than a century to save the lives of mothers facing the most serious of complications: obstetric hemorrhage.
- Listening to Survivor Moms - by Mickey Sperlich
I found out I was pregnant in June of '94 and suddenly everything was different for me. It was as if I had a gun to my head; I had to get better RIGHT NOW. I was convinced that if I didn't I was going to be the worst mother on the planet. - from Shakta's story
- Luna Llena - by Maria Cristina Galante Di Pace and Araceli Gil Archundia
Article in Spanish. Oaxacan Midwifery Training Center. The indigenous world in the real Mexico.
- Make Room at the Table - by Lois Wilson, CPM
Make room at the table. In order for any type of community to grow, there must be a welcoming presence in that community.
- Making a Difference: A Blueprint for Harmony - by Sunni Karll
In many traditions, the father has the duty and honor to welcome the newborn to Earth. In these traditions, the first sound and the very first impression that the baby hears is the voice of her father. He will whisper in the left ear of his newborn the most sacred word known.
- Making the New Way - by Jan Tritten
Learn what led Jan Tritten (Mother of Midwifery Today) into midwifery.
- Mamatoto - by Judy Edmunds, CPM
...there is an inexorable growing and deepening toward a certain eventuality that will forever change everyone involved. When the time is right, an amazing convergence of energies, emotions, and physicalities leads to an array of breathtaking events.
- Massage: Not Just for Mama - by Elizabeth Pantley
Baby massage has been practiced since ancient times. It can be as simple as a gentle rub with lotion after a bath or a more practiced infant massage. The benefits are many for both baby and parent.
- Maturing Midwifery - by Jill Cohen
I have the good fortune to be attending births with younger midwives right now. I see the future of midwifery right before my eyes. These women are smart, alert and have the same vision of care that I do.
- Middle Class Beliefs - by Connee L. Pike-Urlacher, MS
In looking at white, middle class women, the problem isn't so much what normal birth is, but why this particular group of women doesn't question what it is more carefully.
- Midwife’s Guide to an Intact Perineum - by Gloria Lemay
An intact perineum is the goal of every birthing woman. We love to have whole, healthy female genitalia. Many people consider the health of the vagina/perineum to be a matter of chance, luck or being at the mercy of the circumstances of the forces that prevail at the time of the birth.
- Midwifery and Conceptual Models of Nursing: A Comparison - by Pam Embler
The Divine has created perfection in human birth. The Divine entrusts and guides midwives to protect what has been created and what is normal. Women possess innate wisdom of the Divine, and the Divine guides them through the process of pregnancy, labor and birth.
- Midwifery and International Maternity Care - by Marsden Wagner
We Americans are consumed with the need to believe that we are number one. But here's a wrenching fact: 41 countries have better infant mortality rates than the US.
- Midwifery and Women’s Health in Peru: Visions and Dreams - by Cynthia Ingar
Many rural women in the Andes that used to give birth...based in their ancestral midwifery knowledge are now being forced to give birth at public health centers. Most of them have hospitalized births now, in cold environments and with routine practices that do not respect the natural process of birth.
- Midwifery Care for the VBAC Woman - by Gloria Lemay
Someone asked me what things are done differently with vaginal births after cesarean (VBAC) as opposed to a first baby. Midwives usually reply to this question with a reassuring, Oh, we treat you normally, but there are differences in the two situations that can be distinguished in midwifery practice.
- Midwifery Education: Trauma or Transformation? - by Elizabeth Davis
An excerpt from Midwifery Today's new edition of the book Paths to Becoming an Midwife: Getting an Education, this article guides aspiring midwives toward an educational program that will "midwife" them in a way that prepares them fully and totally to midwife others.
- Midwifery Is Not a Luxury - by Lydia Bertrand
Sharing her own experience, the author makes the case that every mom should have the right to have a midwife for her birth.
- Midwifery Model of Care—Phase II: Embracing the Unknowns of Birth - by Colleen Bak
The message in this article in our Phase II series is respect for the motherbaby dyad and embracing the unknowns of birth.
- Midwifery Model of Care—Phase II: Midwife Lessons - by Janice Marsh-Prelesnik
In this second part of a series on midwifery in the twenty first century, the author talks about the caring hearts and the wisdom of midwifery. She recommends that all midwives share their stories with the world.
- Midwifery Model of Care—Phase II: Newborn Care - by Alyssa Martin
I question whether the accepted treatment of the newborn during the first few moments after the birth can be considered "harmless" care.
- Midwives and Cytotec: A True Story - by Marsden Wagner MD, MSPH
Midwives must find the strength and courage not to be sucked into practicing a more interventionist type of care-resist the temptation to become a 'medwife.'
- Midwives and Cytotec: A True Story - by Marsden Wagner, MD
When the obstetrician said he would use Cytotec, the woman and her husband said they expected he would use prostaglandin gel but he said that he now uses Cytotec, as it is 'more modern and reliable.' They were not told Cytotec is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose...
- Midwives and Uterine Rupture: What We Have to Offer - by Kristin Eggleston
With a cesarean rate now over 30% in the US, almost half of all labors being induced artificially and a potential increase in the number of true uterine ruptures, we need to seriously evaluate the practices of midwives and how they positively affect uterine rupture.
- Midwives as Educators: Teaching in the 21st Century - by Daphne Singingtree
All midwives are educators. While not all midwives are preceptors (clinical teachers who train students), educating birthing families is an integral part of midwifery care.
- Midwives Honor the Sensuality of Pregnancy and Birth - by Shafia M. Monroe
Midwife Shafia Monroe talks about the beauty and sensuality of pregnant woman, how we need to honor them during that special time. "Of course midwives love babies. We work hard to provide care to ensure that a woman has a healthy pregnancy and thus a vigorous baby. But in actuality, midwives love women."
- Midwives Respond to Homebirth Study
Midwives respond to the study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology questioning homebirth safety
- Midwives: Sing the Babies Earthside - by Ibu Robin Lim
A gorgeous tale from Indonesia that weaves language, music and birth.
- Misoprostol (Cytotec) for Labor Induction: A Cautionary Tale - by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
The experimental use of misoprostol (Cytotec) to induce labor is putting an increasing number of pregnant women at risk without their knowledge or consent. Cytotec, a cheap prescription drug for ulcers, is not FDA approved for labor induction and has been linked to uterine rupture and fetal tachycardia.
- Misoprostol: More on the dangers of Cytotec
Of 170 women given misoprostol (Cytotec) for induction with VBAC, eight have lost their uterus and two lost a baby as well, according to the combined data of two articles published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- More Than A Magazine: Midwifery Today - by Andrea Noll
The regular and enthusiastic reader of foreign midwifery magazines and journals will sooner or later come across the name Midwifery Today magazine. Both on the Internet and in the writings of the most widely known midwifery experts... there are references that point to the magazine like compasses
- Morning Sickness Impact Study - by Miriam Erick
This article describes the reactions and perceptions of 122 women who experienced nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) and who subsequently responded to a questionnaire distributed in the Boston, Massachusetts, metropolitan area between Aug. 1, 1998, and Oct. 1, 1998.
- Mortalidad materna: La Maternidad Segura se encuentra en el Protagonismo de las mismas Mujeres - by Marie Lynne Tyndall
La maternidad segura toma en cuenta los derechos humanos de las mujeres, el derecho a decidir sobre sus vidas reproductivas; este incluye los derechos en el parto, en especial el derecho a informacion precisa sobre los riesgos y beneficios de los procedimientos en el parto.
- Most Treasured Memories - by Jan Tritten
As midwives it is important to remember at every point of our practice that we are blessed with the opportunity to help others realize the 'most treasured memory' of their lives.
- My Journey into Planned Homebirth in Venezuela - by Fernando Molina
A Venezuelan doctor dedicates himself to attending homebirths in his country despite the obstacles thrown at him by government officials, other doctors and others who refuse to see past the accepted, technocratic model of birth.
- My Successful Homebirth after Five Cesareans - by Julie Ewbank
A mother recounts the story of her wonderful homebirth after five previous cesareans. Inspiring!
- Nature In Your Birth Bag - by Katy Polone
Learn what herbs you might carry in your birth bag when attending births.
- Ne gérez pas la troisième phase du travail! - by Michel Odent
Article in French. Les journaux medicaux publient periodiquement des etudes prospectives, randomisees et controlees sur la troisieme phase du travail.
- Neonatal Resuscitation with Intact Umbilical Cord - by Angie Evans
A research-based article demonstrating the benefits of keeping the umbilical cord intact, specifically in regards to situations when resuscitation is necessary.
- Newborn Babies and Sleep - by Elizabeth Pantley
Babies younger than four months old have very different sleep needs than older babies.
- Normal Birth: Do We Believe? Can We Remember? - by Valerie El Halta
Oftentimes, the midwife is more likely to recognize situations which demand attention than the caregiver who sees all pregnancy and labor as a potentially dangerous and lethal process.
- Not Among Strangers - by Valerie El Halta
The environment in which birth takes place has an enormous impact upon birth outcome.
- Nutrition during Pregnancy - by Amy V. Haas
The single most important thing that you can do for your baby is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. A well-balanced diet is one that includes foods from all food groups in appropriate amounts, so as to ensure proper nutrition.
- On Photographing a Stillbirth - by Bonnie Gruenberg
"I have done stillborn pictures for my clients for many years, for free, of course. Taking beautiful pictures is one of the most important things you can do for parents of a stillborn baby."
- Opciones de Parto en Venezuela - by Fernando Molina
article in Spanish; One of the "good guys," Fernando Molina enlightens us on the situation regarding birth choices in Venezuela, in both Spanish in this online article and in English in Midwifery Today Issue 86.
- Papatoto: Homebirth from a Father’s Perspective - by Michael Welch
As far back as I remember, I assumed I would one day have children. My biggest worry around childbirth was that I wouldn’t be adequately present for my wife Mia during pregnancy and delivery.
- Papatoto: Homebirth From a Father's Perspective - by Michael Welch
As far back as I remember, I assumed I would one day have children. My biggest worry around childbirth was that I wouldn't be adequately present for my wife Mia during pregnancy and delivery.
- Paris, 2001: Midwifery Today International Conference - by Jan Tritten
This is a conference Michel Odent and I have been dreaming about and working on for several years. It was a dream and a plan come true.
- Parteria Tradicional Mejicana, Dona Enriqueta Contreras
Article in Spanish. Dona Enriqueta Contreras, Parteria Tradicional Mejicana. From OB STARE magazine.
- Parteria Tradicional Mejicana, Dona Irene Sotelo Alvarez
Article in Spanish. Dona Irene Sotelo Alvarez, Parteria Tradicional Mejicana. From OB STARE magazine.
- Parto Conciente - by Marian Tudela, Partera Profesional, CPM
(article in Spanish) Conscious childbirth
- Pedestals - by Katherine Jensen
Being adored is one of the delights of the profession and simultaneously, one of its hazards, for adoration must be dealt with. We are with a woman during the most significant rite of passage in her life; it is natural for her to love us and to invest us with power far beyond what we deserve.
- Pelvises I Have Known and Loved - by Gloria Lemay
What if there were no pelvis? What if it were as insignificant to how a child is born as how big the nose is on the mother's face? After twenty years of watching birth, this is what I have come to.
- Perinatal Mood Disorders: Understanding and Helping - by Vicky York
Nothing I suggested made her feel better and I recognized from experience that she likely had more than one form of perinatal mood disorder. She was too anxious to know when things were okay and too depressed to follow up on suggestions when they weren't okay; and sleep deprivation magnified all of it.
- Philippines: In the Night Lorega - by Vicki Penwell
Lorega, where this story is located, is a typical inner-city Asian slum where the poorest of the poor live in squatter shacks and hovels, surrounded by three graveyards and a slaughterhouse.
- Post Midwife Power - by Jill Cohen
I have had the opportunity to stand back from the front lines of midwifery and look at what midwives need to help them do all they do. One way I have done this is by referring pregnant women to my sister midwives. Advocating midwifery and natural birth is fun to do.
- Posterior Labor: A Pain in the Back - by Valerie El Halta
This is a reprint of an article on changing a posterior position, by Valerie El Halta, that was previously published in Midwifery Today Issue 36.
- Postpartum Care from Ancient India - by Marci Freeman
Maharishi Ayur-Veda is considered the most complete and integrated form of this "ancient Vedic science of natural health care [which] emphasizes prevention of disease and promotion of health more than remedial medical intervention…."
- Postpartum: Rebirth of the Woman - by Robin Lim
All women who have made the journey into motherhood know that feeling of being forever changed. After becoming a mother, my emotions reached new depths, my heart was more open. I even felt my intellect had expanded. Research has shown us that there is a biochemical explanation for these changes.
- Pregnancy and the H1N1 Flu Virus - by Jeramie Peacock
As midwives consider the potential impact of the new H1N1 Flu virus on our clients, it serves us well to consider modalities and options for preventative treatment. Although the mainstream is pro-vaccination, there are many varied opinions on the matter to take into account.
- Premature Ligation of the Umbilical Cord - by Patricia Edmonds
A wonderful article about the umbilical cord and reasons why it should not be cut prematurely.
- Prenatal Care CNM Style - by Sharon Glass Jonquil, CNM
Our clinic day begins at 9 a.m. with 'Welcome, how are you?' Smiles may greet us, with excited tales of the baby's first kicks. Or a stone face may turn away, and our patient questioning of the pregnant mom elicit a story of trouble at home.
- Prenatal Ultrasound Does Not Improve Perinatal Outcomes - by Judy Slome Cohain
Author Judy Slome Cohain demonstrates how lifestyle changes do more to improve birth outcomes than prenatal screening tests.
- Preparation a la naissance dans l'eau - by Jill Cohen
Article in French. Il y a 3 ans un club prive m'a demande de mettre au point un programme de travail prenatal.
- Preserving Simple Birth - by Sandra MorningStar
I am MorningStar and I believe in the stories and prayers of the people to preserve simple birth. As a Native American and a retired midwife with thirty years of experience...I feel confident, excited and encouraged that we will face the challenge before us and simplify birth.
- Preventing Complications with Nutrition - by Amy V. Haas
Nutrition in pregnancy—a no-brainer, right? Who would think it was so controversial? Disagreement over a healthy diet during pregnancy continues to rage, with one side saying that what a woman eats will have no effect on her pregnancy and the other saying it has an enormous impact. So what's a woman to eat?
- Primal - Humanise Life and Childbirth
Primal is a new journal dedicated to eliminating violence and promoting a more humane approach to childbirth and living, particularly during the primal period, which is defined as foetal life, being born and the first year to three years of life.
- Pronunciamiento/Pronouncement - by traditional midwives from Mexico
On September 24, 2003, a group of traditional midwives from Mexico gathered at the Iglesia de los Pobres, a church in Oaxaca de Juarez, to write these declarations about midwifery and birth.
- Protecting the Sisterhood: Thoughts from Midwifery Today’s Human Rights in Childbirth Summit, April 2, 2013 - by Kathi Valeii
An attendee of the recent Midwifery Today conference in Eugene, Oregon, Valeii shares her thoughts on the current situation in midwifery regarding the persecution many midwives face.
- Protocols vs. Guidelines - by Suzanne Hope Suarez
The term "protocols" is confusing sometimes because it is used differently from location to location, state to state. In general, protocols have to be very carefully written, or midwives damage themselves legally.
- Protocols: Standards Meeting Needs - by Jill Cohen
As I define them, protocols are a set of guidelines drawn up by an individual or group which outlines a standard of practice. In my practice as a lay midwife, my protocols are flexible enough to accommodate each situation I meet.
- Providing Effective Prenatal Care: Focus on the Vision - by Judy Edmunds
Conceptualizing the ideal outcome is an essential first step in providing effective prenatal care, as it helps determine which subsequent actions will support (or detract from) the realization of your aspirations. [Then] Working backward..., form intermediate goals and step-by-step plans to reach them.
- Pushing for First-Time Moms - by Gloria Lemay
The expulsion of a first baby from a woman's body is a space in time for much mischief and mishap to occur.
- Question of the Quarter - What are the essential elements of good postpartum care?
Postpartum care stories from Midwifery Today issue 61.
- Question of the Quarter - What is your favorite homebirth story?
Homebirth stories from Midwifery Today issue 50.
- Question of the Quarter - What is your favorite waterbirth story?
Waterbirth stories from Midwifery Today issue 54.
- Questions about Prenatal Ultrasound and the Alarming Increase in Autism - by Caroline Rodgers
...figures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed what too many parents and educators already knew: The incidence of autism is high, making it an "urgent public health issue," according to [the] director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
- Reconsidering Our Preconceptions about Birth - by Valerie El Halta
A childbirth educator and counselor, she had noted that many of her clients are exceedingly fearful of birth, and most of her time is spent dealing with this stumbling block. Often her clients are unable to identify the origins of their fear, and at most, describe a general foreboding of the entire process.
- Reconsidering Risk - by Katherine Jensen, CNM
We need to rethink risk assessment and how it is used in childbirth.
- Red Internacional de Parteras Independientes (RIPI) - by Cristina Alonso
Cristina Alonso writes about Red Internacional de Parteras Independientes (RIPI), a network of midwives, women and natural birth advocates weaving together their strength, knowledge and profound belief in birth.
- Report Finds that Using Formula Doubles the Death Rate for U.S. Infants [Press Release]
… A new analysis … finds that formula feeding doubles infant death rates for babies in the United States.
- Safer Birth in a Barn? - by Beth Barbeau
“Don’t let the mare see you; crouch here in the hallway where you can peek over the half wall of the foaling box―the stress of seeing strangers at this time could put the foal in danger!”
- Salt of the Earth: Homeopathic Natrum Muriaticum - by Peggy Sawyer
Salt, sodium chloride or common rock salt is dissolved in the same proportion to water in the Earth's oceans as it is in our blood, amniotic fluid and tears. Salt plays a vital part in every cell of the human body, and the ideal amount of salt for human babies is perfectly found in human breast milk.
- Saving Lives - by Sister MorningStar
This story is only one of many that can help to change birth for the better. Learn about the use of Yunnan Paiyao for postpartum hemorrhage in this excerpt from Sister MorningStar's upcoming book.
- Searching for Lost Treasure - by Marina Lembo
Aurelia assists women both in her home and in the women's homes. If the labor is long, she stays with the woman. She says manzanilla (common chamomile) or malva (mallow) and food oil enema provide pain relief.
- Seven Tips for Creating a Calm, Joyous Homebirth - by Gloria Lemay
As more women turn to homebirth they need to know what to ask potential providers before becoming a client. The tips from midwifery activist Gloria Lemay can be used by midwives to compare to their practices, and by pregnant moms to guide their choice in or assess the care provided by a midwife.
- Shiatsu: Another Tool for Keeping Birth Normal - by Suzanne Yates
Shiatsu, a Japanese form of massage, has many benefits for pregnant women.
- Six Keys to Preventing Complications and Giving Birth to a Healthy Baby - by Marci O'Daffer, CCE, Doula
What can you do to prevent complications and give birth to a healthy baby? Based on Dr. Brewer's proven Brewer Medical Diet, here are six simple steps that you can start today
- Soaking in Midwifery - by Andrea Boltz
Visions and dreams are not what springs to mind first when we think of the present-day situation of midwifery in Germany and no doubt in most of your home countries as well. Let me give you a few examples of the situations midwives face in Germany these days
- Solace for Mothers - by Sharon Storton
Solace for Mothers is a new organization that was formed to help mothers who have been traumatized. Author Sharon Storton shares some of the services provided and why this is an effective program.
- Some Thoughts on Bridging the Gap Between Nurse and Direct-Entry Midwives - by Robbie Davis-Floyd
For the past few years I have listened with dismay to direct-entry midwives criticizing nurse-midwives as "medwives"... and to nurse-midwives talking about professional direct-entry midwives as if they don't know very much, and working in some states to pass exclusionary laws.
- Stillbirth Poem: Amaya - by Liz Collins
Liz Collins reflects on the touching beauty of all births, including stillbirth, in her poem
- Stillbirth—A Journey in Birth - by Tammi L. McKinley
Midwife Tammi L. McKinley offers practical tools and resources to support midwives attending a stillbirth.
- Stories of Extraordinary Central American Midwives - by Marie Tyndall
From the 1970s to the 1990s, a series of long, violent and bloody civil wars raged in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Marie Tyndall paints a portrait of two extraordinary traditional midwives who, in the midst of tragedy and violence, remained grounded figures of love and nurturance for their communities.
- Straight From the Heart of Mothering - by Robin Lim
If you have chosen to parent without holding back, giving limitless love and attention to your baby, you will need to be brave. It is a decision you will necessarily make every day, many times a day.
- Suspect Diagnoses Come with Biophysical Profiling - by Gloria Lemay
Many North American women are being told at the very end of their pregnancies to go to an ultrasound clinic and have a biophysical profile done. They will probably not be told that there is no scientific basis for having faith in the test results...
- Tableau impressionniste de la conférence internationale de sages-femmes, Paris 2001
Article in French. Midwifery Today conference, Paris 2001.
- Teaching Respect for Hands-On Care - by Ina May Gaskin
One of the greatest challenges before US midwives is teaching the value of hands-on care. Our culture's love affair with machines, contraptions and gadgets has blinded literally hundreds of millions of people to the importance of human contact, feeling, experience and judgment in maternity care.
- Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm - by Marsden Wagner
Cesarean section can save the life of the mother or her baby. Cesarean section can also kill a mother or her baby. How can this be?
- Ten Ways to Take Care of Yourself in Pregnancy - by Jennifer Rosenberg
Throughout pregnancy, you and your baby will be happier, healthier and saner if you do the following...
- The Achievements of Traditional Midwives - by Debbie Díaz Ortiz
This article outlines the achievements of Latin American traditional midwives, building upon the 2007 release of “The Traditional Midwife in Our Region.”
- The Assault on Normal Birth: The OB Disinformation Campaign - by Henci Goer
We seem to have spent the last few years reeling from assault after assault on the concept of normal birth. Have you wondered, as I have, what is going on? This isn't a matter of chance; it's a concerted effort.
- The Bridge of Life: Options for Placentas - by Kelly Graff
The thought occurred to me the other day that some people may find the use of their baby's placenta as medicine unusual. I also have begun to see that many people do not know the placenta's purpose and how it works.
- The Bristol Third-Stage Trial - by John Stevenson
If you set out to compare a policy of intensive, precipitous intervention with a policy of sitting back and watching the patient bleed, obviously the former will be seen to be safer. This was the approach and conclusion of the Bristol Third-Stage Trial. But the trial ... is completely misleading...
- The Business of Birthing: The Write Way to More Clients - by Sheri Menelli and Adriane Smith
The majority of these journalists - the people who write for the major pregnancy and baby-related magazines - are nice, single women who have never had children. ... They're hungry for something to sensationalize, and lately, that means writing about the fabulous elective c-section.
- The Call to Midwifery - by Diana Janopaul
Every calling to midwifery is different. This essay describes the author's transformation to the profession she likes best of all.
- The Challenge of Doing Nothing - by Katherine Jensen
Training involves the process of learning to DO things. A much greater challenge is learning to DO NOTHING. The old adage, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it," is a vitally important concept to internalize.
- The Cut - by Linda May Kallestein
Female genital mutilation continues to be a reality and a rite of passage for girls in Kenya, despite the laws now prohibiting it. The author tells about her personal observations of this damaging and traumatic practice.
- The Doula’s Contribution to Mamatoto - by Gail Tully, BS, CD (DONA), CPM
Even as midwives we can underestimate the long-term grace brought through the presence of a doula at a mother’s side. This is a curious blind spot in our maternity care. As a homebirth parent and midwife, I came to this realization slowly, even though I was a doula myself!
- The Enduring Qualities in Midwifery - by Elizabeth Davis
As midwifery is poised to go mainstream, we must be very clear on our foundation: What is essential to our work, and what is momentary or temporary? In other words, what about midwifery has endured, and what must endure if we are to continue to provide what women want when they seek midwifery care?
- The Epidural Trip—Why are so many women taking dangerous drugs during labor? - by Judy Slome Cohain
Abstract: Two million American women will take an epidural trip this year during childbirth. In most cases, they'll be ill-informed as to possible side effects or alternate methods of pain relief.
- The First Hour Following Birth: Don’t Wake the Mother! - by Michel Odent
The hour following birth is undoubtedly one of the most critical phases in the life of human beings.
- The Flowering of Midwifery Education - by Elizabeth Davis
Mostly I was taught by instructors attached to deep cover, who expected me to collude with the illusion that we were being open and wise. But we midwives know the difference between covering up and peeling off, loosening, letting go - birth language that needs to become our language of education.
- The H1N1 Primer for Pregnant Women by Maryl Smith
This first wave of the H1N1 outbreak in North America has now passed, providing us with important information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts another wave to come around December and perhaps again in the New Year .
- The History of Midwifery and Childbirth - A Time Line
Informational time line of childbirth and midwifery in America.
- The Homebirth Choice - by Jill Cohen
The authors discuss the why's and how's of homebirth, including a brief history of midwifery, considerations to weigh in deciding on types of midwives and tips on how to choose a midwife. ...Anyone considering the profession of midwifery will also find this useful as a general overview of what a midwife does.
- The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative: A Human Rights Approach to Optimal Maternity Care
This article outlines the 10 steps developed by the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative to help ensure that women everywhere are guaranteed the basic human right of humane and evidence-based maternity care.
- The Issue of Birth Rights - by Sister MorningStar
Humans are instinctual creatures, writes Sister MorningStar in this potent essay on the issue of birth rights. "Disturbed, the bodily functions of an instinctual animal will stop," MorningStar writes. "Humans deserve the right to birth in their natural environment where they feel safe and with their own 'kind.'"
- The Life and Work of a Rope Midwife in Darfur - by Ramona Denk
This is a fictional composite account of the life and work of an imaginary traditional midwife in a Darfur village. It is based on multiple sources of information, including direct experience, observation, personal interviews and the research of others.
- The Littlest Midwife - by Sudy Storm
Sudy Storm shares another engaging true story of volunteering in Sierra Leone, this time accompanied by her wise-beyond-her-years granddaughter, Kassy.
- The Newborn Imprint - by Sister MorningStar
Sister shares her reflections on the newborn at birth and the impact that those present have on the imprinting process.
- The Physical Impact of Cesareans - by Pamela Udy
Sometimes family and friends don't want to hear about the difficulties that new mothers have to deal with after a cesarean, instead saying, "At least you have a healthy baby." Pamela Udy, President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), addresses the physical impact that cesarean surgery can have on wo
- The Prenatal Water Workout - by Jill Cohen
While there is no formal documentation of outcomes of labor due to water exercise, I know from three years of observation what is true. It makes perfect sense for the pregnant body to gravitate toward a water environment.
- The Primal Touch of Birth: Midwives, Mothers and Massage - by Kara Maia Spencer, LMP
The midwife will perform a massage at every prenatal visit, during the birth and at postpartum visits. The mother's mother may also massage her, as will her mother-in-law. The mother will then massage the new child.
- The Question of Homebirth - by Sister MorningStar
Since when do we need an expert to tell us where we are comfortable? Since when do we need an expert to tell us with whom we feel relaxed and open and able to poop or make love or birth a baby?
- The Rebozo - A transcription of the rebozo workshop given by Doña Irene Sotelo and Naolí Vinaver
Learn about the Rebozo from Doña Irene! This article is a transcription from an audio tape of a class taught by Doña Irene and Naolí Vinaver.
- The Role of Fear in the U.S. Birthing Process - by Colleen Bak
The once natural event of female-centered birth has effectively been medicalized. Power and control have been removed from midwives and women and shifted to science and the surgical specialization within medicine, today known as obstetrics.
- The Target of the Bully and the Effects of PTSD - by Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
This third article in our four-part series on bullying focuses on the target of the bully, and the effects on her, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- The Ties that Bind - How Belief Creates Birth Realities - by Kim Wildner
Women believe that birth is a dangerous medical event. The fact is that normal birth is safer than many things we do each day without a thought.
- The Tragic Ending of a Healthy Pregnancy - by Tara Shah
Tara Shah takes you on the emotional journey of her healthy pregnancy gone tragically wrong.
- The Tree and the Fruit - by Michel Odent
If you have on your shelf the English version of the book, titled History of Childbirth: Fertility, Pregnancy and Birth in Early Modern Europe, you will miss the analogy transmitted by the original title and the importance of the pages on the history of beliefs about the duration of pregnancy.
- The Turquoise Revolution - by Diana Paul
Diana Paul shares about the birth revolution movement that was begun at a recent Midwifery Today conference.
- The Vocation of Shiprah
In the Bible, the first chapter of Exodus includes the story of how midwives came under the protection of God.
- Three Keys to Avoiding Postpartum Hemorrhage - by Margarett Scott, CPM
The first key to preventing postpartum hemorrhage is good prenatal nutrition and supplements. Read Margarett Scott's article to learn more.
- Three Surprise Breeches - by Ina May Gaskin, CPM
This article discusses three different breech births and lessons learned.
- Time in a Bottle - by Beth Bailey Barbeau
Considering the fast-paced nature of modern American culture, perhaps it's not unexpected that the issue of time is having a never-before-seen and increasingly disastrous effect on pregnancy, birth and postpartum recovery.
- Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy - by Robin Lim
In this millennium we are developing a world community devoted to higher awareness and optimal health.
- Todas Somos Parteras - by Debbie A. Diaz Ortiz
Article in Spanish; We are all midwives.
- Tool Bag - by Judith Elaine Halek
What should you carry in your birth bag for labor and birth? Here is a list of equipment that could be handy.
- Touching Lives - by Keri Redding, LMT
By using side-lying, semi-reclined and side-tilt positions, a full body massage is possible. The mother is supported in these special positions with the use of pillows and cushions. Most of my clients can't believe they can feel so comfortable, and often mimic the massage positions while sleeping at home.
- Tradition, Birth and the Kitchen to Cook It All In - by Naolí Vinaver
Food recipes, manner of speaking, expressions in dress, body care and rituals - whether religious or mundane - are all elements of culture that remain strongly-rooted and cherished by family and community.
- Traditional Midwives Are Midwives
This article was adapted from the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Humanization of Childbirth's proposal to the International Confederation of Midwives, WHO, UNFPA and the World Bank requesting that they use the more accurate term traditional midwife rather than Traditional Birth Attendant.
- Transitional Phase of a New Childbirth Paradigm: Slovenia on the Crossroad - by Zalka Drglin
Researcher and birth activist Zalka Drglin takes you inside Slovenia for a first-hand look at a country very much at the crossroad.
- Traumatic Birth Leads to Creation of Birth Networks in India - by Ruth Malik
The author shares how her birth experiences in India led her to create Birth India, a birth network that aims to promote the benefits of natural childbirth and best practices to achieve normal birth.
- Trends vs. Traditions - by Jill Cohen
Author Jill Cohen lists and contrasts numerous trends in birthing practices.
- Tricks of the Trade
Treat mastisis and hemorrhoids, learn to make 'Glucola' and other tricks of the trade.
- True Cephalopelvic Disproportion - by Jill Cohen
Read midwife Jill Cohen's account of a true labor dystocia.
- Trusting Birth Even More - by Carla Hartley
Today a friend e-mailed a very tragic story of loss and despair. A mom going in for her second cesarean suffered a massive rupture and lost her baby and her ability to have another.
- Ultrasound: More Harm than Good? - by Marsden Wagner
In assessing the effectiveness of ultrasound in pregnancy, it is essential to make the distinction between its selective use for specific indications and its routine use as a screening procedure.
- Ultrasound: Prematurity and Potential Risks - by Beverley Lawrence Beech
For its prevalent usage, ultrasound has been enormously under-researched. Written by the honorary chair for AIMS, this article is a useful step towards filling the lack of research and data on ultrasound.
- Ultrasound: Weighing the Propaganda Against the Facts - by Beverley Lawrence Beech
As a result of decades of enthusiastic marketing, women believe they can ensure the well-being of their babies by reporting for an early ultrasound scan and that early detection of a problem is beneficial for these babies.
- Un nouveau regard sur la naissance - by Michel Odent
Read Michel Odent's article in French. Un nouveau regard sur la naissance.
- Un Tournant dans L'histoire des Naissances Aquatiques - by Michel Odent
Article in French. Le 21 aout 1999 marque un tournant important dans naissances aquatiques. A Landmark in the History of Birthing Pools
- Una orgullosa abuela: sembrando las semillas del cambio en el nacimiento - by Jan Tritten
Aún no he tenido el privilegio de ser abuela de verdad, pero ahora tengo ese privilegio a través de mi revista, mi otro bebé.
- Una Rosa Con Cualquier Otro Nombre - by Jan Tritten
Existe una batalla actualmente, por el alma misma de la parteria. Simplemente porque llamemos al trabajo que hacemos 'parteria', no implica que eso sea lo que estamos haciendo.
- Unity: An Elusive but Necessary Goal for US Midwives and Their Advocates - by Ina May Gaskin
Because our society includes such extremes, the arrival at some measure of unity among self-respecting midwives and those who advocate for them is much more challenging than in many other countries. Even so, I continue to believe that a goal of unity (focused vision) is well worth striving for.
- Unveiling Ritual Mutilation - by Jennifer Louisa Williams and Krystn Cohen-Dodge
One day the phone rang at my house. "Do you know anything about female circumcision?" asked Lisa, a midwife friend. No, I thought, but I had a feeling I was about to learn.
- Using Homeopathy to Turn Babies - by Patty Brennan
The science of homeopathy is a perfect complement to the midwife's art. Symptoms, in any part of the mind or body, are seen as part of a symptom-picture involving the whole person.
- Uterine Massage: A New Profession? - by Mary Kroeger, CNM, MPH
For centuries, the Maya of Central America have treated women's reproductive ailments with a combination of uterine massage and realignment techniques, herbal preparations and prayer. Dr. Rosita Arvigo has begun to bring this technique to North America in the hopes that more women can benefit from these techniques.
- Vaginal Births After C-section Are Not Necessarily Riskier in a Birth Center than in the Hospital - by Judy Slome Cohain
While recent research concluded that VBACs are riskier in birth centers than the hospitals, the author points out some of the other problems that the authors of the study failed to note, such as the fact that being in a hospital increases the risk of a cesarean and on future pregnancies.
- VBAC and Choice: Many Questions and a Few Answers - by Nancy Wainer
When I agreed to have a cesarean, was I really making a choice? First of all, I, the chooser, was not truly informed; second, my doctor lied to me. Third, my insurance company limited my choices in many ways.
- Vegan Pregnancy Diet - by Mindy Goorchenko
Aside from the details of my homebirth of twins, Psalm and Zoya - a vertex son and a footling breech daughter - the questions I get most frequently concern my vegan diet. Many, many women are interested in, even long for, a vegan diet, yet find the idea seemingly impossible to implement.
- We Are All Midwives - by Debbie A. Diaz Ortiz
Centuries ago names meaning midwife or matron were recorded in the Bible and on every continent to define a wise woman who has specific skills to assist the mother and her baby during the periods of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
- We Two Form a Multitude - by Lois Wilson
One of the most cherished experiences of my own pregnancies was the fact that I was never alone. Someone was with me--within me--all the time. Such a sense of the holy accompanies that shared existence. We two are one; we share everything.
- Welcoming Sophie - by Sister MorningStar
Contributing editor Sister MorningStar recounts the magical, sacred home waterbirth of her newest grandchild, Sophie.
- What Every Midwife Should Know about ACOG and VBAC: Critique of ACOG Practice - by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
Learn what every midwife should know about ACOG and VBAC from Marsden Wagner, MD.
- What Is a Birth without Loving Touch? - by Naolí Vinaver
Naolí discusses touch as a basic need of all beings and, in particular, the benefits of loving touch-applied with awareness to the needs of the laboring recipient-during birth.
- What Midwives Need to know about Postpartum Depression - by Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D.
With the birth of my daughter nine years ago, my family seemed complete. Her birth was an event filled with a joy I never could have anticipated. Several months after delivery, however, and seemingly without warning, fulfillment turned to confusion, withdrawal and hopelessness.
- What Midwives Want From Their Clients
Find out what midwives want from their clients concerning their role in the pregnancy and birth.
- Who Benefits from Training Traditional Midwives? - by Ann Davenport
Davenport discusses the ramifications of training traditional midwives or skilled birth attendants based on conformity to a medical system that may or may not be in the best interest of birthing mothers.
- Who Counts Where I Come from? - by Sister MorningStar
As a Cherokee daughter, I wondered who was counting me and counting where I come from. My people live in the hills of Missouri, not on a reservation. In the government schools, the teachers often would ask, "How many of you come from _____?" There never was an answer that counted me.
- Who Is the Bully? - by Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
This second article in our series on bullying discusses what bullies do and why they do it.
- Why Homebirth? - by Jill Cohen
Regardless whatever law may be applied to the surface of women's lives, homebirth is a right. In a nod to this fact, lawmakers have carefully kept their hands off this right and gone after the homebirth attendant instead.
- Wise Words in the Netherlands - by Nicola Miller
The powerful experience of being part of this conference is not easy to put into words. It was about being with midwives who are strong, wise women, who care about one another and about having those feelings awakened in us.
- Womb to World: A Metabolic Perspective - by Suzanne Colson
Postnatal transition from fetus to neonate is characterised by discontinuity. Inevitably the neonate must change environment from the dark, warm, wet, sheltered place in the womb to the colder, dry, bright, loud conditions of the world; the umbilical cord is severed. Separation and rupture are the watchwords.
- Working Internationally: How to Identify (and Avoid) Cultural Imperialism - by Marion Toepke McLean
Cultural imperialism can have a pervasive, sometimes subtle influence on the work of a midwife. Marion Topeke McLean discusses how to detect imperialistic attitudes and practices, and ways to nurture cultural sensitivity.
- Working with Difficult Clients - by Joanne Dozor, RN, CPM
When you are having frequent difficulties with a client, it may be that childhood issues are being triggered for this woman.
- You Sure Can Tell - by Hila J. Spear, RN, PhD, IBCLC
Once she was transferred to the postpartum unit, Lori found that most of the nurses were kind, friendly and generally supportive of her desire to exclusively breastfeed her baby. A few of her observations and experiences, however, revealed that some nurses were not so encouraging of breastfeeding.