In Support of Doulas
Doulas have an especially important role in changing birth practices, both one birth at a time and as a presence in the larger birth movement. With the exception of a brave few, midwives have not been able to infiltrate the hospital system. Doulas are reaching many spaces in birth care that we cannot. Doulas help more women have good births and motherbaby needs them.
If a woman hires both a doula and midwife, it is really important that they work together to make sure the mother’s autonomy and needs are put first. It is often difficult to synchronize our care but it is a goal we need to reach for. It’s important to know early in the pregnancy if you have a hands-on doula and hands-off midwife attending the same birth. Midwives are accustomed to forming a strong relationship with a mom during her pregnancy and perhaps doulas need a prolonged relationship with moms as well. Birth is so much about relationships and motherbaby should always be the center of those relationships.
Being a doula is a great stepping stone and a rich profession of its own. Doulas’ enthusiasm for birth often leads them to midwifery, where their experience can compliment further education. In Europe I have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful doulas. Many of them have the desire to become a midwife but most of the schools they would have to attend are brutal. You do not become a loving birth practitioner through the brutal education that many countries have. We don’t need more cogs in the medicalization of birth. The education that doulas have gleaned put them in the best position to be the world’s next midwives. How can we help them?
— Jan Tritten, mother of Midwifery Today
Jan Tritten is the founder, editor in chief and mother of Midwifery Today magazine. She became a midwife in 1977 after the amazing homebirth of her second daughter. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies throughout the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world, or join her online, as she works to transform birth practices around the world.
Jan on Twitter: twitter.com/jantritten
Midwifery Today on Facebook: facebook.com/midwiferytoday
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook: facebook.com/IAMbirth
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing: facebook.com/MidwiferyEducation
Are You an RN Searching for a Proven Online MSN?
Are you ready to enhance your career and develop a higher level of patient care? The University of Cincinnati’s CCNE-accredited MSN program combines the prestigious College of Nursing with flexible online studies. You can perform your clinicals in your own community, gain expert knowledge, and graduate in just over two years. This program is 100% online. Learn more.
Updated Systematic Review of the Effects of Continuous Labor Support
An updated, systematic review of the effects of continuous labor support was recently published in The Cochrane Library. The updated review adds new data to a controlled trial research review on continuous labor support published in 1989. The purpose of the review was to assess the effects of continuous, one-on-one labor support on both mothers and babies.
The review found that women who received continuous support during labor were more likely to have shorter labors and to give birth spontaneously. They were less likely to have a cesarean, give birth with a vacuum extraction or forceps, have analgesia or anesthesia and tended to express less dissatisfaction with their experience. Care providers who were not a part of the birthing mother’s social network, or a part of the hospital staff (in cases of hospital births), seemed to have the most impact on assessed outcomes.
— Childbirth Connection. “Systematic reviews, continuous support for women during childbirth.” Last modified February 16, 2011. http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10272
Let Your Monkey Do It—A Doula’s Take on Homebirth
When the time came for Rebecca to push, it wasn’t determined by someone coming in and checking and declaring, “Okay, you are fully dilated. Time to push!” Instead, she transitioned into the birthing tub, moved around and investigated ways that best suited her needs. Soon, the urge to push just appeared. Without instructions, bright lights, counting or commotion, Rebecca found a way to push her beautiful baby girl out into the world.
This particular birth experience revealed to me not only a different side to birthing, but a different perspective of the doula’s role. Normally, a big part of my job is to help the couple negotiate with the hospital staff and explain the basic risks vs. benefits of different interventions. This time that aspect was removed and one of my main contributions was to just watch and be present. I stepped in when Rebecca needed a gentle touch, a hand to hold or a soft voice to remind her she was perfect “as is.” I stepped away when she didn’t need me or when she and her husband needed time together. Rebecca’s primal instinct was our true leader on this journey. And it led her and her baby well.”
— Debra Flashenberg
Excerpted from "Let Your Monkey Do It—A Doula’s Take on Homebirth," Midwifery Today, Issue 93
View table of contents / Order the back issue
|The Perfect Package for a Doula|
Featuring Penny Simkin, the audio tapes in this package were selected by a professional doula and cover some of the most important issues facing birth professionals today. For just $65, you'll receive five double audio tapes on topics such as emotional support, the impact of childhood sexual abuse and non-pharmacological methods of pain relief. To Order
A way to work through grief and loss
Created as a healing journal for mothers who have lost their babies, Mending Invisible Wings is filled with healing words, drawings, poems and exercises. Each exercise includes an action, an affirmation and a self-nurturance activity designed to help the mother move through her grief. There are also plenty of blank pages where she can express her grief through words or pictures. If you have recently lost a baby, or if you know someone who has, Mending Invisible Wings could be an important step in the healing process. To Order
Let Miss Margaret inspire you!
|Margaret Charles Smith caught her first baby when she was five years old, then went on to become one of the last great “Granny” midwives in the United States. Watch this DVD to learn about the woman Ina May Gaskin called a “national treasure.” You’ll be inspired by her courage, perseverance and motherwit. To Order|
Sick and tired of seeing birth misrepresented in the media?
Then you need Laboring Under an Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. the Real Thing. Explore media-generated myths about childbirth as you watch over 100 video clips chosen by anthropologist Vicki Elson. This DVD is a thought-provoking tour of diverse attitudes and practices, and an enlightening look at how media influences our attitudes toward birth.
Make sure you get the whole story.
|Midwifery Today E-News is only a sample of what you’ll find in Midwifery Today magazine. Subscribe and you’ll receive 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.
Thinking about becoming a midwife?
Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education
is just what you need! This 328-page book contains vital information
for anyone considering midwifery as a career. It includes a directory
of over 150 schools, programs and other resources.
Order the book.
Web Site Update
Read this editorial by Jan Tritten from the brand-new issue of Midwifery Today, Spring 2011:
- Our Decade of Change
Excerpt: 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?
Read these reviews from Midwifery Today, Autumn 2010, newly posted to our Web site:
- Optimal Pelvic Positioning—produced by BirthWorks International, Jean Sutton and Cathy Daub
Excerpt: Cathy Daub shares some excellent tips on how to position the pelvis to allow the baby the easiest access through the pelvis during birth. From the best sitting postures to help baby stay in an anterior position, to the best positions for labor, moms-to-be can learn how to make birth easier. Sutton’s wisdom and humor are the best things about the entire video. She’s created so many wonderful visual aids that really convey the points she tries to make.
- Orgasmic Birth—by Elizabeth Davis and Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Excerpt: I smiled, laughed and even shed a few tears over [this] book. You know the feeling you get when you really connect with something that resonates deeply with your own sense of truth? That’s what this book made me feel. My husband kept asking me what I was reading.
Online Coupon Page
Use our spring online coupon page to pass savings on to your customers. Take a peek at our sample page. [ Learn more here ]
Advertise Using Midwifery Today’s Birth Market
Are you a midwife looking to find new clients? Use Midwifery Today’s Birth Market to let others know who you are and what you do. [ Learn More ]
Education Opportunities Page
Reach prospective students online with our Education Opportunities Page. It is the solution for promoting your midwifery education programs and CE courses. [ Learn More ]
Contact our Advertising Director at: email@example.com
View more advertising options at: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/
Start or continue your midwifery education!
Are you an aspiring midwife who’s looking for the right school? Are you a practicing midwife who would like to learn more? Visit our Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.
Question of the Week Responses
Q: How do you facilitate good midwife-doula relationships?
— Jan Tritten
A: As a birth doula in a small city, I’ve often heard stories from my fellow doulas about feeling conflicted around their role at homebirths. Some have felt like the midwife was displeased with the client feeling the need for a doula, or that the midwife expected the doula to perform support tasks that fell outside the doula’s scope of practice. Our local doula networking group arranged for a homebirth midwife to specifically address the role of the doula at a homebirth, and to dialogue about the doula-midwife relationship. It was a fantastic experience where a room full of doulas got to really open up and explore why they may have had troubling experiences in the past, and how to work more proactively with midwives toward a positive experience for everyone. I greatly appreciate when care providers are direct and openly communicate with me about their expectations and how they normally do things. I also make a point to stay in regular contact with our local midwives so that we have a comfortable, ongoing relationship to draw from at a birth. Thank you, midwives, for all that you do!
— Laurel Ripple Carpenter, CD (DONA)
A: I think it is very important for me to go to one prenatal to meet the midwife ahead of time. If I don’t know the midwife already, I see when I can get five or ten minutes to find out her philosophies regarding birth. This may be a phone call at a later time. I think it helps to establish a good rapport.
— Veronica Lacquement
A: I approach working with a midwife the same way as with hospital staff: respect her as a person and as a professional (whether the respect is returned or not). Often with a midwife, you have the opportunity to meet and talk at least briefly (by phone or in person) to get to know each other a bit, share birth philosophies and compare role expectations before the labor begins. This all helps immensely on “birth day.”
— Janelle Repp
Responses to any Question of the Week may be sent to E-News at any time. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the subject line or in the message.
Think about It
Model your midwifery and your values. Your apprentice will do what she sees and it’s far more effective than anything you can say. This, more than anything, will keep everyone in the practice of caring for others with consistency and excellence. You can’t demand of her something that she hasn’t seen you treat as important.
— Maryl Smith
“Traditional Mentoring,” Midwifery Today, Issue 89
The Art of Midwifery in E-News 13:4 had some interesting thoughts on humor from Kate Prendergast. I agree that humor can be a natural medicine but I’ve also found that humor often is acceptable in early and/or prodromal labor, irritating in active labor and “watch out that you don’t get something thrown at you” if you try to use it in transition. Women in transition are often most literal and misunderstand attempts at humor. It seems I’ve spent about as much time translating a doctor’s “humor” (English to English) as I have translating English into Spanish for the Spanish speaker in labor.
— Linda B. Jenkins, RN
Only letters sent to the E-News official e-mail address,
will be considered for inclusion. Letters sent to ANY OTHER e-mail addresses will
not be considered.
Solar powered headlamp and visor + rotary mobile phone charger available from Maternova in a Power Pak. Mini backpack included. $25. http://maternova.net/powerpak
Tell our readers about your business. Just $35/issue ($125 for four) gives you 30 words to promote your products or services. http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/enews.asp or email@example.com
Remember to share this newsletter
You may forward it to as many friends and colleagues as you wish—it’s free!
Want to stop receiving E-News or change your e-mail address? Or would you like to subscribe? Then please visit our easy-to-use subscription management page.
On this page you will be able to:
- start receiving any of our e-mail newsletters
- stop receiving any of our e-mail newsletters
- change the version (text or HTML) that you receive
- change the e-mail address to which newsletters are delivered
If you have difficulty, please send a complete description of the problem, including any
error messages, to our newsletter.
Learn even more about birth!
Midwifery Today Magazine—mention code 940 when you subscribe.
| ||1-Year Subscription||2-Year Subscription|
|Canada / Mexico||$65||$125|
|All other countries||$75||$145|
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-743-0974 to learn how to order.
Or subscribe online.
How to order our products mentioned in this issue:
Secure online shopping
We accept Visa and MasterCard at the Midwifery Today Storefront.
Order by postal mail
We accept Visa; MasterCard; and check or money order in U.S. funds.
Midwifery Today, Inc.
PO Box 2672
Eugene, OR 97402, USA
Order by phone or fax
We accept Visa and MasterCard.
Phone (U.S. and Canada; orders only): 1-800-743-0974
Phone (worldwide): +1 541-344-7438
Fax: +1 541-344-1422
E-News subscription questions or problems
Editorial submissions, questions or comments for E-News
Editorial for print magazine
For all other matters
All questions and comments submitted to Midwifery Today E-News become the property of Midwifery Today, Inc. They may be used either in full or as an excerpt, and will be archived on the Midwifery Today Web site.
Midwifery Today E-News is published electronically every other Wednesday. We invite your
questions, comments and submissions. We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at:
email@example.com. Please send submissions in the body of your message and not
This publication is presented by Midwifery Today, Inc., for the sole purpose of disseminating general health information for public benefit. The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Midwifery Today, Inc., does not assume liability for the use of this information in any jurisdiction or for the contents of any external Internet sites referenced, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advertised in this publication. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.
The content of E-News is copyrighted by Midwifery Today, Inc., and, occasionally, other rights holders. You may forward E-News by e-mail an unlimited number of times, provided you do not alter the content in any way and that you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. You may print a single copy of each issue of E-News for your own personal, noncommercial use only, provided you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. Any other use of the content is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Midwifery Today, Inc., and any other applicable rights holders.
© 2011 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!