January 30, 2008
Volume 10, Issue 3
Midwifery Today E-News
“Birth Stories”
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A 72-page quarterly print publication filled with in-depth articles, birth stories from around the world, stunning birth photography, news, reviews and more. Subscribe.

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Midwifery Today Conferences

Discover the healing touch of massage.

Attend the full-day massage class at our March 2008 Philadelphia conference and learn how you can use massage to help your clients before and during birth. The morning session covers topics such as basic prenatal massage strokes, body mechanics and precautions and contraindications of prenatal massage. You'll also learn about the Swedish and support massage strokes you will need for prenatal, labor and postpartum care. In the afternoon, you'll participate in an experiential workshop as you learn about foot reflexology.

Learn more about massage classes at the Philadelphia conference and get a complete program.

There's More to Birth Than Coming out Alive

Attend the two-day Improving Psychosocial Outcomes of Childbirth class with Penny Simkin and learn what you can do to make birth more than just a survival exercise. On the first day, Penny will review the state of maternity care today. You will learn that while US obstetrics relies increasingly on technological and surgical approaches to improve chances of healthy outcomes, we are actually seeing these outcomes getting worse. This day will end with a discussion of fear, pain and trauma during birth: "When pain becomes suffering during labor." On the second day, you will explore and practice counseling techniques to help women resolve their traumatic births. This segment will include ways to counsel and prepare a pregnant woman whose previous birth was traumatic and who is terrified that the same things will happen with future births. Both days will be a combination of lecture and group interaction. This intensive class is part of our conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2008.

Learn more about the Ann Arbor, Michigan, conference and get a complete program.

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In This Week’s Issue:

Quote of the Week

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."

Robert McAfee Brown

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The Art of Midwifery

I write birth stories for my clients…. Mothers who had surgery and difficult births seem to appreciate the story the most…. I include how I met the family, why they wanted a doula, when they called me to tell me motherbaby was in labor, what time I left the house, what the weather was like—the sky, the moon—and what music I was playing on the way over to their house or the hospital. I include the mother's first words when she saw her baby and the father's first words when he greeted his child.

Anonymous Doula
Excerpted from Tricks of the Trade, Midwifery Today, Issue 75
View table of contents / Order the back issue

ALL BIRTH PRACTITIONERS: The techniques you've perfected over months and years of practice are valuable lessons for others to learn! Share them with E-News readers by sending them to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.

A note from Jan Tritten, Mother of Midwifery Today:

I have joined Facebook in an effort to connect with other birth change agents for the goal of changing birth practices around the world. I am also blogging more regularly for the same purpose. I invite you to read my blog (which is also pulled into my Facebook page), comment on it and link to it from your Web site or blog. Let's become "friends" on these sites!
— love, Jan

Check us out:

Send submissions, inquiries, and responses to newsletter items to: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.

Research to Remember

Children's intellectual development is influenced by both inherited genes and environmental experiences, one of which is breastfeeding. Children who are breastfed attain higher IQ scores than children who are not fed breast milk. According to a recent study, the association between breastfeeding and IQ is moderated by a genetic variant in FADS2, a gene involved in the genetic control of fatty acid pathways. This finding shows that, in some babies, nature and nurture working together show the best result.

PNAS, published online http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/47/18860, 5 Nov 2007

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Earn Your Master's Degree Online


Master of Science in Nursing

  • Nurse Midwifery
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The University of Cincinnati has launched two new distance learning programs that make it possible for working nursing professionals to earn their Master's degrees in just two years. Coursework is completed online, while clinical experiences are conducted with preceptors in your community. More information here.

Positive Birth Stories

For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, women have listened with rapt attention to other women telling the story of birth: what it feels like, how it progresses and what can happen.

In that regard, nothing has changed. Pregnant women still yearn to hear the truth about the transformation of their bodies and the mystical event that is birth. In fact, they are as curious as ever! But what used to be an intimate conversation between a women and her doctor or midwife, or a woman and her female family members, has become a much larger, more scrambled conversation.

Anxious women now turn to any of a dozen television programs on birth to try to understand what lies ahead. They browse through YouTube and the Internet for video clips of birth. They scan countless online articles, magazines and books, sifting through hundreds of perspectives on birth—and along the way they encounter any number of horror stories. All of these sources contribute to the mindset that a woman takes into labor and birth, and each one has some effect on her birth experience.

This situation presents an intricate puzzle for the modern-day midwife. By the time a client comes to you, she brings with her a huge tangle of beliefs, fears, expectations and rumors. With so many of women reeling with fear and misinformation, how do you begin to unravel this tangled web of influence?

Give these women what they're so desperately looking for: true stories of birth! Positive, inspiring stories; tales of strength and support; details about the challenges and the magic. Not only will you feed their deepest cravings, you'll be building your business along the way.

Sheri Menelli
Excerpted from "Positive Birth Stories," Midwifery Today, Issue 84
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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The International Cesarean Awareness Network is pleased to announce that our labor of love has arrived!

Come see ICAN's baby at www.ican-online.org!

It is all here: Prevention •Recovery •Advocacy •Find local chapters •Visit blogs •Gather VBAC information •Shop •Watch videos •Become a subscriber •Meet the ICAN Board •Join our online community •Share your story.

Contact us at (800)686-ICAN or info@ican-online.org

Products for Birth Professionals

Placenta rituals, remedies and recipes…

Placenta: The Gift of Life

…are what you'll find in Placenta: The Gift of Life. Read this book to discover the various ways placentas have been used by people around the world and throughout the ages. You'll also find 15 recipes that will show you how to use the placenta in ointments, essences and other remedies for a variety of ailments. Placenta: The Gift of Life is a new book from Motherbaby Press, a division of Midwifery Today. Get the book.

You Grew in My Heart Pendant

This Valentine's Day give her the "You Grew in My Heart" Pendant.
She'll love this fine custom-crafted sterling silver pendant. Use the heart-shaped surface on the back to engrave a birth date or other special message. Also available as a slightly smaller charm. Order jewelry.

Discover the deeper, spiritual dimensions of pregnancy and birth.

The Roots of Natural Mothering by Janice Marsh-Prelesnik, midwife and mother of four, explores the lifestyle of natural mothering. You'll learn to trust your intuition, how to choose your birth nest, how to stay healthy naturally throughout your pregnancy and much more. If you're pregnant or planning to be, this book will help you make decisions based on what is right for you and your baby. If you're a midwife or other birth professional, it makes a perfect addition to your lending library. Buy the book.

The Roots of Natural Mothering

Do you work with laboring women?

Second Stage Handbook. This book shows you how to best serve women at this crucial stage of birth. You'll learn when to push, what works and what choices are available for the mother. The Second Stage Handbook is part of the Holistic Clinical Series. Order the book.

Good news!
Membership in the International Alliance of Midwives is now free!

Join this Web-based organization to learn about birth around the world and meet other people interested in safe, gentle birth. When you become a member, you'll receive access to a searchable directory of IAM members and a subscription to the IAM newsletter, sent to you three–four times a year by e-mail.
For more information and to join.

We have made an issue of the IAM newsletter available password-free so that you may view it before joining. View it here.

International Alliance of Midwives

Advertising Opportunities

Philadelphia Conference Advertising

Don't miss your opportunity to promote your business at the next Midwifery Today conference, "The Healing Touch of Midwifery and Birth," in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark your calendar for March 26–30, 2008, where you can highlight your products and services with an exhibit booth, conference program ad, or have your literature distributed to attendees. This is a great conference to highlight healing touch products such as lotions, essential oils, massage tools, and accessories. Reserve your space by February 8 to be mentioned in the conference program. [ Learn More ]

Hope and Healing Conference Advertising

Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosts the Hope and Healing Conference on May 7–10, 2008. This is a great place to highlight products and services for counselors, social workers, therapists, and mental health providers. Watch your business benefit from an exhibit booth, conference program ad, or literature distribution. Learn more about the conference here. [ Learn More ]

Midwifery Today E-News

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Contact our Advertising Director at ads@midwiferytoday.com
View more advertising options at: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/

Question of the Week

Q: What is your experience with tearing during homebirths when the woman has had a prior episiotomy? Do you handle primips differently than women who had a prior episiotomy or tore, or who had a prior birth or births with an intact perineum?

— Anonymous

SEND YOUR RESPONSE to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com with "Question of the Week" in the subject line. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the message.

Question of the Week Responses

Q: At 28 weeks of pregnancy I was told that I had too much amniotic fluid, the placenta was not sending enough blood to the baby and she was not moving enough or growing. She was delivered that same day by cesarean and has Trisomy 21. Could anything have been done to keep her in there longer?

— Anonymous

A: It sounds as though there was other stuff going on here besides the genetic disorder. Nothing could have been done with the chromosome disorder Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome, as it occurs during meosis.

Besides the awareness that maternal age is related to the increased risk, smoking and use of birth control pills during this early stage of cell development have shown a possible linkage. If gestation had been allowed to continue longer, the baby would have been at even greater risk for problems or even death.

— Jane Bentley-Konkel

Q: Some women experience technological birth as rape. Have you encountered this in your practice and what do you do to prevent it or deal with it when it comes up?

— Anonymous

A: In response to the ongoing issue of c-cection as it relates to rape, I believe that the problem is not the surgical procedure, but instead the culture of both obstetrics in particular, and society in general lacking appreciation for personal responsibility. A woman can (theoretically) have a good relationship with a good obstetrician and their communication throughout her prenatal care can be honest and upfront and not take that horrendous path of 38 weeks of great support followed by two weeks of pulling the rug out from under the woman when the obstetrician turns into a totally different person. If the communication is there and the woman is listened to and gives true informed consent throughout the pregnancy and labor, then if a c-section happens the woman should theoretically be fine because she was part of the process. It wasn't forced upon her, instead the facts were given to her and she made a choice for herself and her baby.

Wait a minute. I guess I'm actually describing the relationship that women generally have with a midwife. When my husband and I had our first child with a family practice doctor, we were very upfront about everything. I had a great hospital birth (as hospital births go); but I realized during the process the insidious ways that medical doctors of all kinds have of undermining our intelligence and freedom of choice. When we chose to switch to a midwife for our second and third children's homebirths I discovered not only true care, but an honest level of respect from my midwives. I always felt that they were simply there to guide what I wanted and what my body already knew how to do. This is such a life-altering difference in care, why is it so hard to get this information into the minds of mainstream American womanhood? I knew with my midwives that if I ended up transporting and having a c-section that everything would be fine, necessary and I would be part of making the choice. This is, to me, why homebirth is such an essential component of bringing a child into the world; as any sports fan knows, there's nothing like having home court advantage.

When you enter a hospital, you are immediately on their turf and have to play by their rules. How many women are going to have the guts to sign themselves out AMA (against medical advice)? Since concluding my childbearing and breastfeeding time of life (basically eight non-stop years), I have engaged in what can only be called a "relationship" with my plastic surgeon whom I adore. After I lost a great deal of weight, he guided me through multiple procedures to give me the body I have always longed for. I only mention this because I have now seen a different side of the medical world. This side is consumer-driven (no insurance/strictly cosmetic = great customer service OR a surgeon out of business). I have been an active part of each surgery plan, communicating with my anesthesiologist, dealing with post-op issues, etc. I have never felt like I was a drone following his lead. If I had met a surgeon who made me feel that way I would have taken my business elsewhere. When it comes to medical care of any type, let us all agree that we must be our own best advocate; don't hand over your life and your mind at the same time. Be an active and assertive part of your care. Your life just might depend on it.

— Samantha Ste.Claire
Ormond Beach, Florida

Responses to any Question of the Week may be sent to E-News at any time. Write to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the subject line or in the message.

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Think about It

Author Sean Taylor refused to accept his half of 32,500 pound prize money after winning the 2007 Nestle Children's Book Prize. Taylor's picture book, When a Monster Is Born, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, took the Gold Award in the under-fives category. Taylor cited "questions surrounding Nestle's marketing of breast-milk substitutes" in his refusal to accept the money. He said: "When a Monster is Born is a book that has something to do with choices. Some of these choices seem to be life-giving and some of them seem to take life away. I hope that I have made a life-giving choice. I have decided to refuse this check and ask that it goes back where it came from."

www.thebookseller.com/news/49893-author-refuses-nestl-prize-cheque.html, 14 Dec 2007

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Re: E-News Issue 10:2, Prenatal Testing

I am a CNM who works in a community clinic for underserved families. My births are in a hospital. I have women who are immigrants from many different countries, women who are poor, uninsured, and many who are illegal. We have interpreters for many different languages.

Concerning antenatal testing; every woman who comes in for prenatal care, if she is in the time frame, is given the risks/benefits of quad screen, perinatology visit, and amniocentesis. They are informed that the test is a screening test, not a diagnostic test, that it has a fairly high false positive rate, what will happen at the perinatologist if the test is positive, that amnio has a 1:300 risk of miscarriage, infection, etc. I tell them that I have absolutely no opinion about if they should do it. The only advice I give them is to think about what they will do with the information they get.

Most of the women that I care for decline the test.

Vicki Ziemer, CNM

Only letters sent to the E-News official e-mail address, mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com, will be considered for inclusion. Letters sent to ANY OTHER e-mail addresses will not be considered.

Classified Advertising

Living Tree College of Midwifery: June 2008 and 2009 sessions offer apprentice model academics, clinical and homebirth studies. Upcoming Doula workshops: January, April, July, and October 2008. Visit www.school.birthandwellness.com or call (505) 541-6177 for application.

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