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Through networking and education, Midwifery Today's mission is to return 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.
Are you prepared for birth problems and complications?
The Holistic Clinical Handbooks are packed with practical information you need for births. Plus, they’re small enough to tuck into your birthkit, so you can always have them with you. Topics covered include prolonged labor, shoulder dystocia, second stage, hemorrhage and tear prevention. To order
Attend this full-day pre-conference class to discover how individual care and good communication can positively affect labor. Our teachers will also share protocols and techniques they use to help the mother move through first stage. You’ll learn about prolonged rupture of membranes, failure to progress, abnormal labor patterns, non-medical intervention and more. Bring your questions and experiences in what promises to be an exciting day! Part of our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany, this October.
Celebrate midwifery, make new friends and learn from teachers such as Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Naolí Vinaver, Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin and Betty-Anne Daviss. It all happens April 11–15, 2012, so be sure to reserve those days! To receive a printed program by mail when it becomes available, please e-mail email@example.com with your name and postal address.
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The Art of Midwifery
Put emergency directions for dispensing herbal remedies and medications on 3 x 5 inch index cards. Keep the cards with the “meds” so an assistant has this reference in an emergency. Verbal directions can be hard to catch in an urgent situation, and the cards can help avoid confusion.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Conference of the Turkish Midwives Association
Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Carol Gautschi and I have been invited to speak at the first International Turkish Midwifery Congress. It is very exciting to us to be privileged to join Turkish midwives as they battle the medicalization of birth, including the high cesarean rate overtaking them and many other countries. The Turkish Midwives’ Association is working very hard to make this an international event so ideas can be shared with midwives working in other countries.
Their goals with this conference are many, among them is the desire to strengthen midwifery and support an environment for normal birth to flourish in Turkey so that newborns are healthy and strong families are created. Check out their Web site (http://www.ebko2011.com/?lang=en&page=anasayfa) to learn more out about the classes that will be offered, the association’s social and scientific programs and more.
Conferences are a great way to see the world, update your knowledge, share what you have been learning and learn about midwifery and birth in other countries. I am sure you have a vision or dream to make birth better in the world. Conferences are also a place where you can find others to encourage you in your dream, or even help you with it!
— 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.
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.
News and Research
Waterbirth in the Middle East
A new hospital set to open in the United Arab Emirates city of Al-Ain will be the first in the region to offer a waterbirth pool. The hospital will have a total of three large birthing rooms, and will be family and visitor friendly. The maternity unit will be backed by “resident obstetricians…hired in consideration for their support of natural birth and the midwifery model of care.”
Make the vision of natural birth available for all to see.
Ask your library to order natural birth and midwifery books for you. When a mother has more information about natural birth available to her, she can make more educated decisions about how she wants to birth her baby. Making requests is easy; here’s how.
The Well-organized Birthkit: “How Do I Ever Fit It All In?”
It is important to have some of everything you have asked the client to get for the birth in your birth bag, as they may have forgotten an item or just not gotten around to getting it yet. Again, be sure to use every inch of space.
My birth bag is about the size of a flight carry-on, although somewhat wider, and was bought in the luggage section of a large chain store. It is made of black, lightweight fabric and has two major zippered compartments, two front zippered pockets, and a flat pocket on the back for charts, papers, etc. Unfortunately it had no interior pockets, so I added a few.
The large, front main section contains mostly birthing items. The big, but shorter-zippered, rear main section has postpartum and personal items for the midwife such as a birth outfit, toiletries, etc. These are in plastic bags of different colors (recycled from various stores) so the contents are easily identifiable without the need to search through each one.
In the front main section there is a separate, removable flat pocket holder, purchased at an arts and crafts store. It measures 14-1/2 inches by 11-1/2 inches and has a total of 16 clear, plastic pockets of various sizes on both sides with Velcro closures. It has a handle at the top to hang on a door or a dresser knob and has a stiff backing so it can alternatively be propped on a bedside table, etc. It is filled with 12 different types of medications and herbs, plus sutures, syringes, needles, etc. Most of the meds and some of the herbs are in clear, boldly labeled, snap-cap plastic containers slightly taller than the old 35 mm film canisters. Two vials of Pitocin will fit into each of these and are thus kept from getting lost among larger bottles, etc.
The long, plastic pockets on the back are perfect for culturettes, amnihooks, syringes, etc. The shorter pockets are good for holding sutures, needles, vacutainers, etc. This pocket holder has been very useful for keeping all the emergency meds very handy and clearly in sight, yet out of the way if not needed.
It is recommended that the oxygen carrier be made of rigid, rather than soft material, as the tank can get knocked about in the midwife’s car or during transport. Most can be used without taking the tank out of the container. It is also helpful to have the handle positioned so you can carry it vertically rather than horizontally. This makes for less bending to pick it up when you have loaded the birth and prenatal bags onto your shoulders and also allows for better maneuverability, as you can turn in less space without hitting something.
Anyone who loves birth will love these silver earrings. Give them to your favorite midwife or doula, and be sure to buy a pair for yourself, too.
Experience the authentic sights and sounds of birth!
Birth with Gloria Lemay features nine beautiful homebirths, each one a lovely example of a normal, family birth. It’s a great resource to share with women to help build their confidence in their birthing bodies. The DVD also includes special features on circumcision and the prepuce. To order
Discover 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.
Learn and review basic midwifery skills
If you’re studying to become a midwife, you need General Skills for the Student Midwife. This 2-DVD set is packed with demonstrations by experienced midwives and nurses and gives you the opportunity see hands-on skills being performed. Topics covered include Sterile Technique, Basic Treatment of Shock, Maternal Temperature Assessment, Maternal Skin Assessment, Newborn Temperature Assessment and much more! To order
What’s black and white…
…read by birth professionals around the world, filled with informative articles and inspiring birth stories, and shows up in your postal mailbox four times a year? Subscribe.
How would your baby like to be born?
In How Will I Be Born? Jean Sutton explains the principles of optimal fetal positioning in a clear and straightforward matter. Written for expectant parents, this book is packed with helpful advice and information, including an informative chapter on posterior position. A must-read for all pregnant moms and a book for the practitioner’s lending library. Click here.
Seeking Submissions for 100th Issue
From the editor: Midwifery Today is working on its 100th print issue. We are looking for print subscribers who have been with us from the beginning, or near the beginning. If this is you or someone you know we’d love to hear how Midwifery Today has affected you and/or your midwifery/birth practice. Please send a 2–3 paragraph response to email@example.com. Selected responses will be edited and published in Midwifery Today magazine.
Web Site Update
Read this editorial by Jan Tritten from the brand-new issue of Midwifery Today, Autumn 2011:
Global Midwifery Council Excerpt: 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. At international conferences, Midwifery Today has learned enough about midwifery and birth around the world to realize that birth itself is in deep trouble.
Please check out this YouTube video, part of our Birth Essentials series: Ina May Gaskin on Tips for Breech Birth
In this video, Ina May Gaskin of The Farm Midwifery Center teaches in the Breech Birth workshop at the Midwifery Today Conference in Eugene, Oregon, March 2009. She tells about a baby turning breech during labor, and explains the well-known "Ring of Fire."
Click below to view, or you may wish to go here to download video and view without streaming interruption.
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 ]
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 ]
We are deeply concerned by the gravity of the situation in the region. We call upon the international community to urgently look after the unique needs of pregnant women and mothers whose families’ survival are particularly at risk.
Women are often used as tools of war. In Northern Uganda for two generations women have been used either as sex slaves for the rebel army or as reproductive machines, abducted and forced to give birth to as many babies as possible to build up the army with child soldiers. Women giving birth in captivity are faced with lack of prenatal and obstetrical care, severe starvation, untreated STDs, physical mutilation and extreme emotional trauma, among other issues. Not surprisingly, Northern Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world, and also one of the highest maternal and perinatal mortality rates.
At the hospitals you’re pretty much at the discretion of what it is they want you to do. At home, it was just me on my own. Owning the power of my own body was very, very beautiful. And being able to labor in the way that I wanted, whatever position it was, not having to lay on my back, was really great.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference Chatter: Looking Ahead
We are always planning ahead to keep midwifery alive and growing, and as we prepare for the Germany conference, Eneyda and I are also making plans to check new venues for future Midwifery Today conferences, and finalizing plans for our Harrisburg conference. We are also still getting registrants for Germany from all over this amazing world. I hope one of them is you!
I just finished the welcome letter for our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference, themed: Midwifery: Skill, Wisdom, Culture, Love. I’ve included the letter below to let you know more about our plans:
We invite you to join us in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where we have planned a very exciting program for you. We have something for everyone—midwives, moms, doulas and doctors. This will be a great conference for improving clinical skills, and you will find a wealth of clinical information on breech birth, twins and VBACs, as well as classes on prolonged labor, shoulder dystocia and more.
In addition, we’ve taken an international approach. We will host teachers from Brazil, France, Mexico, Norway, Canada and Ghana. Midwives from the Amish and Mennonite communities, as well as Ina May and Stephen Gaskin from The Farm Midwifery Center will also be presenting. We will work on serious issues in midwifery and birth, and we will have fun, too. Harrisburg is near the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. The hotel we’ve selected will be a fun place to relax in the indoor pool and spa area, as you share birth stories and your heart for motherbaby.
As always, it is our goal to offer you abundant information and insight, and to provide a renewing time to connect with colleagues. All of this so you can go back to your practice, school or community, ready to do more. Join us this year for an unforgettable experience. We hope to refresh your joy and support you in sustaining your calling to nurture mothers and babies!
— Jan Tritten
Think about It
One can reasonably surmise that a sexual abuse survivor could experience a high level of anxiety in labor and might experience slower progress or stalling along the way, but no research has yet to determine whether this is true or not. Likely, survivors experience as much variety in how labor unfolds and in how effectively they cope as do other women. Still, long or stalled labors are those that end with interventions, so considering what techniques or support to use with a survivor (and any other woman) to facilitate the most steady labor progress possible is worthwhile.
As you may know, the Republic of South Sudan celebrated its Independence Day on Jul 9, 2011. After 20 years of war, this is a dream come true. Many struggles lie ahead, but this is a huge first step for our country. Independence does not, however, mean instant development and better living. Our country still needs help from the outside. This is why we continue with our project to bring health care to our home village of Piol.
South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Also, one in five children do not live to age five. Our next project will address these needs.
We will purchase materials for a second building, to be constructed by residents that will include an examination and delivery room and a maternity ward.
A nurse/midwife—the first medical professional in the area—will be hired to staff the clinic.
Expectant mothers will be able to receive medical care from a trained medical professional for the first time.
Women with problem pregnancies can come to the clinic for observation and stay in the clinic to deliver their babies in a safe, clean environment.
To date we have raised over $80,000 toward our goal of $300,000. Our current target is $50,000 by the end of October. Why the urgency? Sudan has an annual rainy season during which it is impossible to carry out construction projects. If funds are in hand by October, the new building can be completed before the next rains arrive. To do this, we need your help. An anonymous donor has issued a challenge and will match the first $10,000 in contributions made by October 1, 2011. If you are able to consider a contribution in 2011, it would help greatly to receive your donation by this deadline.
We hope that you will consider helping our grass roots, all volunteer effort to build a new clinic in the world’s newest country. We look forward to continuing to share our accomplishments at the clinic with you. Subscribe to the clinic newsletter on the Web site www.sudanclinic.org , and follow our progress on Facebook at “Lost Boys of Sudan—the Sudan Clinic.”
Birth India will be holding its fifth annual conference in Bangalore, on Saturday, January 21, 2012. The theme this year is Safe and Supported Birth: A Human Right. Conference topics include:
Understanding and interpreting the progression of labour and delivery in normal birth
Bio-medical vs. natural birth approaches
The latest in evidence-based maternity care
Quality of care: Understanding women’s needs and trusting women’s wisdom in labor and delivery
Reproductive justice in the Indian context—the dilemma of over-medicalization for some and little access to health care for the majority
Multidisciplinary birth professionals and health care advocates from across India, including OB/GYNs, nurses, midwives, doulas, dais, educators, yoga and fitness specialists, natural childbirth advocates, gender equity and women’s rights specialists, researchers and concerned citizens will assemble.
Please save the date. Registration details and specifics regarding scheduled speakers and events will be circulated closer to the date of the event. Inquiries and paper submissions can be directed to the local organisers, the Bangalore Birth Network, by e-mail at email@example.com.
Birth India is a national level NGO that aims to promote the physical and psychological benefits of natural childbirth and best practices to achieve a normal birth.
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Online midwife training (pay as you go) using Moodle, WizIQ. Weekly classes & 2-week clinical trips for all to serve in L&D in Dominican Republic and Uganda. firstname.lastname@example.org www.midwifetobe.com
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