Birth of a Conference
Editor’s Note: For this edition of E-News, we feature a guest editorial by Midwifery Today’s conference coordinator, Carole Seeley. Read more about Midwifery Today conferences in upcoming issues of E-News.
As the conference coordinator, I have a unique view of the role Midwifery Today plays in the world of childbirth. Metaphorically, I see her as the Great Mother, nurturing her children and launching them into the world to carry on the family legacy of “returning midwifery care to its rightful position in the family, to make midwifery care the norm throughout the world and to redefine midwifery as a vital partnership with women.”
The eldest “child,” Midwifery Today magazine, was born in 1987, followed shortly after by our publication division and, finally, in 1992 the “baby” of the family—the conference division—was presented to the world.
As with many youngest offspring, this enterprising child soon outgrew its local playground and set out to see the world. Traveling across the United States and to a variety of locations in North and Central America, Europe and Asia, the conference sibling of the Midwifery Today family has gained international popularity. Eager to increase its outreach, this division has been dynamic—a total of 66 gatherings in all!
I joined the family a few years ago as the guardian locum tenens for each new conference, and have watched with interest and delight as they are born. Just as many mothers around the world birth their babies with midwives at hand throughout their pregnancies, so, too, is each conference carefully tended by women who watch over it in utero until its birth.
The Great Mother envisions and plans for two events each year, although there are frequently unexpected additions to the family, particularly when someone in another country expresses interest in adopting one of our conferences! Generally, however, there are always at least two conferences in gestation at any given time. After the vision is conceived, a location is chosen for its birth and a name is selected. This genesis begins with Jan, Midwifery Today’s true Mother. Once she breathes life into the idea, together with one or two trusted friends who share in its creation, the embryonic structure quickly takes shape.
The program—the skeleton—is then carefully nurtured by several “aunties” in the Midwifery Today family, and many others contribute to the conference’s care. Much like its human counterpart, this metaphorical baby shifts position and develops through the months of its growth; its character and appearance are formed and the features that will make it unique and distinct from every other conference begin to emerge. The more time it spends in the creative womb, the larger it grows, the more space it commands and the more time it consumes!
As the time for birth draws near, there is increased anticipation in the air. Unlike human babies, each conference has a specifically scheduled due date and the many people who participate in the birth process have a particular role to play in ensuring the conference arrives on time! The delivery is sometimes accompanied by frantic last-minute activity. Nevertheless, as is the case with any highly anticipated birth, the Great Mother, along with all the midwives and attendants, greet the new arrival with much pride and enormous satisfaction in the birth of another successful, empowering and amazing conference!
— Carole Seeley, Midwifery Today’s Conference Coordinator
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.
News and Research
The Power of Prayer
Studies have demonstrated the link between prayer and better health. Researchers on spirituality and health say “health-promoting outlooks and behaviors” are common to all major religions and that people who pray and chant regularly reap a number of health benefits. Brief pauses throughout the day taken by those who observe spiritual or religious practices can aid in releasing stress hormones and can enhance heart rhythms.
— “National day of prayer spotlights prayer’s healing power.” May 5, 2011.
We are looking for a Perinatal Safety Officer
Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, CT
Perinatal Safety Officer (RN)
Collaborate with medical/nursing leadership to promote safety and ensure adherence to national clinical safety standards. Serves as patient safety advocate and oversees quality improvement. Requirements MSN; 6+ years clinical experience (perinatal); CT RN licensure; certification in perinatal nursing.
Detailed job description online at http://www.lmhospital.org or e-mail your resume to email@example.com
A Vision of Birth
I can imagine myself in a dialogue with my friend Wintergreen, body worker and developer of The Pink Kit, who has another valuable perspective. Wintergreen would tell me that birth may be an instinct, like sex, but we can learn to give birth, just as we can learn to be good lovers. She would agree that it is important to look at the external circumstances of birth, but she would say that we can influence our internal circumstances by learning to work with our birthing bodies. She might mention the importance of the “internal work” of The Pink Kit, a multimedia kit that takes us into our own body knowledge, mapping and working with our anatomy, learning to massage ourselves internally and to feel inside our vaginas during late pregnancy and labour. These tools are invaluable, helping us to be “in touch” with our own bodies—which, even in birth, are sometimes seen as the province of professionals—and assisting us to birth instinctively, in whatever birth setting we might choose.
For me, there are other levels to clear in order to be able to birth instinctively. This facet of birth—which I could ascribe to my friend, and director of the International College of Spiritual Midwifery, Shivam Rachana, and which has been validated through many women’s experiences—looks at our past experiences and beliefs, all of which are stored in our bodies, and concentrates on “freeing us up” emotionally, physically and spiritually for birth. Here we can use movement (I found the Osho meditation CD, Chakra Breathing to be superb preparation for birth), counseling/psychotherapy (this was my ally in my first birth), rebirthing, body work, yoga and other therapies in order to clear out all the “stuff” that can arise for us in labour and birth. This was a very powerful facet for me with Zoe’s birth and I realized, in retrospect, how much my own childhood experience of being “displaced” by my younger sister had affected my birthing.
Connecting with the Earth
We are also creatures of the Earth, and our bodies need the Earth’s nourishment to work efficiently in any instinctive behaviour. Good nutrition is a very important aspect of instinctive birth, as any animal breeder will affirm. Australian naturopath and author Francesca Naish ascribes much of our modern difficulties in labour and birth to poor nutrition, and it is certainly true that our Western diets are generally not wholesome or replete with everything that our bodies and our babies need. Her books, co-written with Janette Roberts—including The Natural Way to Better Pregnancy and The Natural Way to Better Birth and Bonding—contain valuable information to help us enhance our birth experience, as well as the long-term health of our babies, through optimal nutrition.
There are also deeper levels to our connection with the Earth. For some women, pregnancy brings an urge to garden or to go walking, to hike or just to gaze at the scenery of earth and sky. All of these activities help align us with the Earth, our Great Mother, and teach us respect and love for the natural order. If we want to birth instinctively, we can prepare ourselves by beginning to live more instinctively. We can, for example, make an effort to live less “by the clock,” which UK writer Sheila Kitzinger calls the worst piece of technology in labour and birth. This helps us to tune into our own instinctive—and earth-based—rhythms, which are much gentler on us and on our babies.
Spiritual beliefs and practices are another facet of pregnancy and birth. In a practical sense, having faith helps us to believe in our bodies and in birth, and prayer is a beautiful way to prepare for birth and motherhood. Belief systems that venerate the feminine as well as the masculine principle have a special place in my heart. I see, from this spiritual perspective, that much damage is done to women by religions that fail to honour the female body and feminine authority. Through the ages, we have also had our birthing goddesses and saints, from Artemis to Mary (who gave birth unassisted and surrounded by mammals!), to remind us that birth is a natural and instinctive act for all women.
— Sarah J. Buckley
Excerpted from "A Vision of Birth," Midwifery Today, Issue 68
View table of contents / Order the back issue
Join Us in August
MANA Region 3/NCMA Conference 08/05/2011 to 08/08/2011 in Cary, NC
Midwives, doulas and childbirth educators from across the region can reunite with old friends, make new ones, and learn information in workshops to enrich their professional practices. Key note speakers are Anne Frye, CPM, and Jan Tedder, FNP (H.U.G. Your Baby). CEUs applied for, MEAC and ACNM.
For more info http://ncmidwife.org/MANARegion3Conf/
Midwifery Today Back Issues have the information you need!
From second stage and prematurity to birth change and natural remedies, back issues of Midwifery Today print magazine are packed with informative articles that will help you improve your practice. You’ll also find inspiring birth stories, birth news, poetry and stunning black and white photography. Choose from these available back issues.
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
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.
|Celebrate the beauty and joy of breastfeeding!|
When you watch Harriette Hartigan’s More than Food DVD Slide Show you’ll be reminded that a breastfed child is, indeed, receiving more than food. If you are a childbirth educator, lactation consultant or educator, doula, midwife or nurse, you will find this beautiful DVD a useful tool to share with your clients. Order the DVD.
Learn how to examine a newborn
When you order Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife, you’ll receive a treasure-trove of detailed information. First you’ll learn the basics, such as how to examine the eyes, ears, nose and other parts of the newborn’s body. The next section covers common newborn reflexes such as rooting, sucking and swallowing, while the third part explains a variety of gestational age assessment factors, both external and neurological. If you’re an apprentice or student midwife, you need this four-disk DVD set. To Order
Placenta rituals, remedies and recipes…
…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 book from Motherbaby Press, an imprint of Midwifery Today.
Web Site Update
Read these reviews from Midwifery Today recently posted to our Web site:
- Where Women Have No Doctor, A Health Guide for Women—by A. August Burns, Ronnie Lovich, Jane Maxwell and Katherine Shapiro
Excerpt: This book combines self-help medical information with an understanding of the ways poverty, discrimination and cultural belief systems limit women health and access to care. The book is designed to help women understand, treat and prevent many health problems.
- Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care—by Alan Greene, MD, with Jeanette Pavini and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo
Excerpt: Dr. Greene, a practicing pediatrician, wrote Raising Baby Green “to help you understand how the environment affects your baby and how raising your baby affects the environment.” It’s an excellent resource for learning about the toxins your baby is exposed to—from the pesticides absorbed in the womb to the paint fumes in the nursery.
- The Second Nine Months—by Vicki Glembocki
Excerpt: The Second Nine Months, a memoir that allegedly tells the real story of becoming a mom, is an object lesson on why not to have an interventionist hospital birth. … Vicki Glembocki clearly needed a midwife before, during and after the birth.
Midwifery Today E-News
Do you have a Web site? Does reaching more than 17,000 potential customers sound appealing? Purchasing an ad in Midwifery Today E-News, our biweekly e-mail newsletter, gets your message out and sends customers directly to your Web site. Each issue is archived and continues sending more customers in the future.[ Learn More ]
Advertise with Midwifery Today Quarterly Print Magazine
With options ranging from classified ads to full page graphic ads, there is an option that is just right for your business. Ask about packages designed to fit your needs. [ Learn More ]
Find your international clients at our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany
Reach a targeted international market by advertising at Midwifery Today’s conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany: “Preserving Our Traditions, Improving Our Skills”, October 19–23, 2011. By advertising at this exciting conference you will reach an audience passionate about birth. Space is very limited so contact us soon. [ Learn More ]
Contact our Advertising Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org
View more advertising options at: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/
Expanding your personal library?
How about expanding your local library with books that encourage natural and instinctual birth? How much information about natural and instinctive birth is at your library? As a patron of a library, you have a say about what books they carry. Let your library know you want natural birth and midwifery materials to be available. Your library is your resource. Use it.
Birth Wisdom from the Web
In Norway we found that the use of ultrasound in the population as a whole went down after everyone was offered one (all maternity care is completely free). Previously, you needed a medical indication, but the lack of a routine ultrasound seemed to increase the demand for ultrasound. It is an offer, not a recommendation, and is used mainly to date the pregnancy and check for twins and placenta praevia.
Norwegian recommendations state that ultrasound has not been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity, so that is not the reason for the offer. Of course, you can buy private services. Another Norwegian study shows that parents who found out about malformations before birth had more severe and longer lasting negative psychological symptoms than parents who found out at birth or shortly after. This suggests that knowing may be worse than not knowing ahead of time, or that coping with a shock is easier than preparing for the worst.
— Sarah Margaretha Fogth Lindqvist, Facebook
Pulling unwisely on the head (especially with fingers in the neck) can result in a “fainted” baby. Delivering the baby without a uterine contraction can disturb the normal rhythm of placental separation. I’m convinced that allowing the body to complete the birth process through normal uterine contractions results in a better third stage and less risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
— Gail Hart, Facebook
If you’d like to share a bit of wisdom from the Web, please send a 4–5 sentence excerpt, accompanied by a link, to email@example.com.
Think about It
Labor is a natural event with natural variations in length; nevertheless, maternal exhaustion is an inevitable consequence at some point and dehydration and fetal distress may follow, especially with prolonged rupture of the fetal membranes. Today’s birth attendant has a range of potential interventions when prolonged labor becomes distressing, from the simple to the complex and technological. Knowing when to wait and when and how to intervene is a vital aspect of the art and science of midwifery.
— Marion Toepke McLean
Excerpted from “Prolonged Labor and Normal Birth,” in Midwifery Today’s Prolonged Labor Handbook
Order the book
Hello Midwifery Today,
Thank you so much for all of your great work, especially with the fabulous information on Facebook. Love it! Thank you in advance for your support in helping us get this message out to the community.
Mother Health International is seeking volunteer midwives and OB/GYNs for the months of August and October 2011. We are seeking volunteer midwives who practice gentle birth techniques that allow a woman to birth with dignity, love and with family support. We are looking for skilled licensed midwives and OB/GYNs who are willing to donate three or more weeks of their time to serve the women of Jacmel, Haiti. Volunteers are responsible for all expenses for travel to and from Haiti. Mother Health International has a house for volunteers to stay during their volunteer time, with meals provided. MHI has a required list of supplies to bring if you are accepted as a volunteer.
Student apprenticeships are also available in Jacmel, Haiti, at the Mother Health International birth clinic. MHI is a NARM approved birth clinic located in Jacmel, Haiti. We will accept one or two student apprentices per month at the MHI clinic in Jacmel. Apprentices can either come to our clinic with a preceptor or have a MHI midwife volunteer, who is a NARM approved preceptor, serve as a preceptor. A minimum of one month volunteer time is required (three months suggested) for all apprentices. Fees and other details are on the application.
During the apprenticeship, you will observe and practice all aspects of midwifery relating to pregnancy and childbirth with the mother and a NARM approved preceptor. These experiences include prenatal exams, births and postpartum visits. Our apprenticeship is perfect for those midwifery students who want to practice a traditional midwifery model of care with emphasis towards recognizing that fewer interventions bring the best outcomes in birth. If you are coming with your preceptor she will need to fill out and submit the volunteer midwife application with your application. If you are interested in volunteering with MHI please visit http://www.motherhealthinternational.org for more information. MHI is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
— Heather L. Maurer
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Mother Health International (MHI), a 501(c) 3 organization
8004 Trevor Place, Vienna,VA, 22182 Tel: 703-732-1700
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.
Periglow, the best to support the perineum after birth. Periglow is a ready-to-use Swiss compress to promote healing the first weeks after giving birth. As a soak or bath. http://www.periglow.com
Tell our readers about your business. Just $37/issue ($135 for four) gives you 30 words to promote your products or services. http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/enews.asp or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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:
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!