February 3, 2010
Volume 12, Issue 3
Midwifery Today E-News
“Midwifery Education”
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Midwifery Today Conferences

Plan now to attend our conference in Philadelphia, April 2010

You'll find classes for seasoned midwives, childbirth educators, doulas and activists, and for those aspiring or just beginning in the birth field. Come to the conference to expand your knowledge and your network and to renew and rejuvenate your heart. Planned teachers include Ina May Gaskin, Marsden Wagner, Michel Odent and Elizabeth Davis.

Learn more about the Philly 2010 conference and get a complete program.


Ina May Gaskin ~ Elizabeth Davis ~ Michel Odent

Learn about birth from these great teachers when you attend our conference in Strasbourg, France, September 29 - October 3, 2010. Planned classes include Prolonged Pregnancy, Prolonged Labor, Managing Hemorrhage, Posterior Position and Preventing and Managing Birth Complications at Home.

Learn more about the Strasbourg conference and get a complete program.


Come to a Midwifery Today Conference in Russia!

We're teaming up with Domashniy Rebenok (Home Child magazine) for the “Birthing in Love: Everyone’s Right” conference this June in Moscow. You'll be able to learn from teachers such as Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Michel Odent, Katerina Perkhova, Gail Hart, Ina May Gaskin, Marina Dadasheva and Elizabeth Davis. This is a great opportunity to learn from Russian midwives and share our knowledge with them, so plan now to attend!

Learn more about the Russia conference and view complete program.

In This Week’s Issue:


Subscription Sale for Students!

Special prices on Midwifery Today magazine! This offer expires February 5, 2010 (postmark or fax by the expiration date). More information.

 


Quote of the Week

"The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue."

Antisthenes


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The Art of Midwifery

I have found a small $9 LED headlamp to be a wonderful addition to my bag of tricks for homebirths. It fits in your pocket, and is a wonderful way to be unobtrusive at the birth at night. The room can stay dark and intimate, but when you need to see something, you can turn on your small light and illuminate a small field of vision.

In addition:

  • You are equipped if there is a blackout.
  • You are equipped in houses without electricity or with women who don't want to use electricity during the birth.
  • It can help you read the instructions to the woman's house late at night on your way to the birth.
  • It can help you to see in order to repair your car if you have car trouble on the way to the birth.
  • It works on batteries and uses very little power, so mine is still running on the original batteries after a year of use.

Judy Slome Cohain, CNM
Excerpted from "Tricks of the Trade," Midwifery Today, Issue 84
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.


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


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Research

Researchers working on two different studies say a mother's consumption of choline during pregnancy could help her child have a better memory and ward off breast cancer.

A new research study published in the January 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal shows that choline, a nutrient found in more than 400 different food sources, plays an important role in the development of a fetus' hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for storing memories.

Steven Zeisel, the senior scientist in the study, said the research "indicates that the diet of a pregnant mother, especially choline in that diet, can change the epigenetic switches that control brain development in the fetus."

Last year the FASEB Journal published the results of a Boston University study, which found that adequate choline consumption—450 mg per day during pregnancy—may decrease the risk of breast cancer in the woman's offspring.

Some examples of foods that are particularly high in choline include:

  • Beef liver, about 3-1/2 oz—418 mg
  • Whole, large egg—112 mg
  • Beef (ground) 3-1/2 oz—81 mg
  • Cauliflower, 3/4 cup cooked—62 mg
  • Navy beans, 1/2 cup cooked—48 mg
  • Tofu, about 3-1/2 oz—28 mg
  • Almonds, 1/2 cup sliced—26 mg
  • Peanut butter, 2 T—20 mg

— Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Finally, an Excuse for Pregnant Women to Eat Bacon and Eggs." ScienceDaily 4 January 2010. 12 January 2010 (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104101213.htm) Accessed 12 Jan 2010.

— Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Eating Eggs When Pregnant Affects Breast Cancer In Offspring." ScienceDaily 2 December 2008. 12 January 2010 (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201144603.htm) Accessed 12 Jan 2010.


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Why Apprentices?

I love apprentices and I cannot see a time when I will stop training them. I prefer the one-on-one training that comes from working with them from the beginning, as opposed to taking apprentices who have graduated from other schools. I feel that the training is much more personal and the apprentices understand right from the start just the kind of responsibility involved in this calling—that it is not a job, but a lifestyle. I have had some decide not to continue with the apprenticeship when they realize[d] the reality of the responsibility. It is a bit daunting and overwhelming at times, even to a gung-ho midwife like me.

My apprentices help me tremendously with my practice. The first aspect of midwifery that I teach them is postpartum care. I feel that postpartum is the most overlooked and under-attended phase of the childbearing period. I strive to create an atmosphere of celebration and honor for my postpartum moms. I ask that they stay in bed for the first 10 days so they can take advantage of the "baby moon" time and really get to know their new little one. Most of them can count on a family member to be with them and take care of the rest of the family and the chores; some dads take time off from work during that period. We see them every day for the first five days after the baby is born, and then at one week, two weeks, three weeks and six weeks. …

My apprentices don't start "catching babies" right away. Some clients are comfortable with them, and others are not. The best way for them to get to catch is to bring clients into the practice. This not only builds the practice, but also spreads the word about midwifery and alternative birthing options. I truly believe that the more midwives available, the more women will have a midwife. All of my apprentices have their own circle of influence and so help to enlighten the community a little more broadly than I would be able to do alone.

I believe in midwifery and in women. I believe that when each community abounds with truth and respect, women will be opened up to the prospect of changing the way that they bring their children into the world and the way that they are treated during this rich and empowering time of their lives. I believe that by teaching apprentices this way of caring for women, we can have a very powerful impact on our world. This is why I love apprentices.

Cynthia Luxford, LDM-CPM
Excerpted from "Why Apprentices?," Midwifery Today, Issue 78
View table of contents / Order the back issue


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Our doctors offer special care for pregnant women and infants. Specialties include the Webster technique for optimal fetal positioning and gentle cranial and spinal techniques for your baby. Visit www.icpa4kids.org.



Featured Products

You'll delight in these bold images of pregnancy and birth, parent and child!

The Perceptions, Reflections and Connections DVD Slide Show features 50 photos of multi-cultural families in a variety of poses and situations. Inspiring and educational, it's the perfect DVD to show to your clients. The photos on the DVD are reprised in the companion booklet, along with inspiring and informative words. Plus, the booklet is small enough to fit into your purse or birth bag, so you can carry it with you wherever you go. To Order

Perceptions, Reflections and Connections

Discover The Power of Women!

The Power of Women

When you read this new book by Sister MorningStar, you'll discover how healing words and empowering stories help women listen to their instincts during childbirth. Filled with inspiring, moving stories, The Power of Women will lift the veils from your eyes and let you view the world in a new way. Give it to the pregnant women you know. Help them see the power that resides within them.
Order the book.


Witness an inspiring homebirth.

When you order the new and expanded "Birth Day" DVD, you'll receive the original eleven-minute documentary as well as ten additional chapters. Narrated by the baby's mother, midwife Naolí Vinaver Lopez, the heart of this DVD is the birth of the family's third child and first daughter. The new material includes additional footage of the birth, moments of family bonding and interviews with the grandparents, the midwife and others. Birth Day will help parents and practitioners alike understand the true and sacred meaning of birth. Click here.

Birth Day video

What is Midwifery Today magazine?

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. Midwifery Today Magazine

Keep track
of the births
you attend

 Midwife's Journal  The Midwife's Journal has room for you to record the essentials of up to 100 vaginal births and 20 cesareans. There's also a section for addresses and telephone numbers and an appendix of forms and charts. Plus, the one-of-a-kind freestyle index lets you compile statistics or quickly find complicated cases or other significant events. Durable enough to be carried in your birth bag and subjected to the rigors of daily use, this unique organizer is ideal for midwives, physicians, doulas, nurses, and other childbirth professionals.
To order


Web Site Update

Read these article excerpts from the most recent issue of Midwifery Today newly posted to our Web site:

  • What Is a Birth without Loving Touch?—by Naolí Vinaver

    Touch is a basic need in the lives of beings. We depend on touch to survive at many levels. Humans and animals—we all crave it, need it, appreciate it and use it effectively for our benefit. At least, when we are babies and at the very beginnings of our lives, we are intimately connected to our mothers and rely on touch, smell and physical closeness for not only our survival, but also for the optimization of our health and well-being. It is later in life that some cultures have a tendency to move away from physical touch, but this is not necessarily due to the lack of a need for it, but rather as a curbing and civilizing of our animal instincts, which humans have been considering in the last centuries mostly as "lowly" or as "far away from 'godly.'"

  • Documented Causes of UnneCesareans—by Judy Slome Cohain

    Abstract: A recently coined term, unne-Cesareans, concisely describes the mode of delivery for 25% of low-risk first births in most Western countries. Evaluation of Cesarean Delivery, published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in 2000, showed a lack of evidence of improved medical outcomes with the widespread use of cesareans for low-risk, full-term primiparas. Therefore, the term "unnecessary" is appropriate in the sense of medical outcomes. Although the complete causality of this phenomenon has probably not been elucidated, eighteen causes for this common practice have been documented in published research.


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Advertising Opportunities

Midwifery Today E-News Special

Start off the New Year with a bang: save 20% on a 4-insertion contract with Midwifery Today E-News. That's 4 graphic ads for only $320 or 4 text ads for only $240. This special offer ends February 28, 2010, and space is limited. [ Contact our ad director for more information at: ads@midwiferytoday.com ]

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Contact our Advertising Director at: ads@midwiferytoday.com
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Question of the Week

Q: What is your best advice for aspiring midwives?

— Midwifery Today staff


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.

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.


Come Meet a Legend: Sister MorningStar

Sister MorningStar

Come meet the woman who changed the history of birth into her/story of empowerment! International midwifery and birth preservationist Sister MorningStar will be at the Midwifery Today Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this April, where she will be signing her newest book:
The Power of Women, Instinctual Birth Stories.

Come to the conference.
Order your copy of the book.



Think about It

I threw away the things I was trained to do. Midwives will have to unlearn so much, too. The RNs who are coming into the alternative network are unlearning their medicalization. I had to unlearn also, and go back to basics, go back to nature, and let this body, this woman, this pregnancy, grow on its own steam.

Remember, if you're getting your training among wolves, you're going to act like a wolf.

Tom Brewer, MD
Excerpted from "What Can Midwives Do?," Midwifery Today's Birth Wisdom: Tricks of the Trade, Volume III
Order the book


Letters

Dear Midwifery Today,

What do I say about the crisis in midwifery? The birth movement here began with a spiritual uplift—home waterbirth. It was escape from the prison-like Russian maternity hospitals (gross abuse of women, the separation of mothers and children, no breastfeeding, feeding only on the clock, etc.) Then we gave birth at homes prepared by the parents, doing gymnastics, swimming and working with birth parents who had already experienced several homebirths. It was an ideal, mind-body birth. And in the relationship between midwives and parents, no money was paid for homebirths.

After 30 years, much has changed. Homebirths have become a good business, because it is illegal midwives decide for themselves the price of a birth. But, on the other hand, parents get almost no information about the birth statistics of each midwife. At the same time, some of the midwives became more medicalized and homebirth is now prohibitively expensive—it's midwifery for the elite.

I have tried to encourage the legalization of and a return to the traditions of spiritual midwifery, in Ina May's style, where the main thing is mother and the baby and the midwife with her knowledge where a woman gives birth and a midwife respects the wisdom of nature.

This has made us very divided. We, the mothers and fathers, want peace between midwives and more public information. One of the goals of this conference is unity. (Editor's note: The Midwifery Today and Domashniy Rebenok [Home Child] magazine joint conference "Birthing in Love: Everyone's Right" will take place June 9–13, 2010 in Moscow, Russia. For more information about this conference, please visit www.midwiferytoday.com/conferences/Russia2010/)

Katerina Perkhova, editor-in-chief, Domashniy Rebenok (Home Child) magazine


Dear Katerina,

What you describe seems to be a perpetual problem among midwives in every country. Disunity, infighting and overcharging are rampant. This is what my friend told me about homebirth here in the US: "It will never become the norm because it is cost-prohibitive for most families." And unity among midwives has been impossible to achieve here—one against the other—it is so sad. Still, we work for it at every conference we do, and in every magazine we print, because it is a worthy goal. Let's keep up the heart filled work and never, never, never give up. Our call is to love everyone because, "Love never fails."

Jan Tritten, editor and mother of Midwifery Today


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.


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You want to be a midwife, but where do you start?

Are you an aspiring midwife who's looking for the right school? Or maybe you're trying to decide if midwifery is the path for you. Visit our Better Birth Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.



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