Changing Birth Practices in 2012
Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s dub this the Year of Birth Change. With each of you working in your sphere of influence, we can make great strides to better birth for every motherbaby.
My first homebirth was so empowering and made me feel exhilarated for years afterward. This was after a horrible hospital experience. I vowed after my homebirth that I would devote the rest of my life trying to make birth better for mother and baby and spent twelve years in homebirth practice with awesome partners. I began writing a book about these amazing experiences when I heard the voice of God say, “Don’t write a book, start a magazine. Here is what you are to put into it….” I sat in the chair where my third baby and first son had been born and wrote down what He told me. Exactly one year later the first magazine went to the printer. With Midwifery Today magazine (the hundredth issue is in subscribers’ mailboxes now), conferences, products and now Facebook, we have been promoting normal birth and the work I began 35 years ago. I say “we” because my fabulous staff and all of you contribute, too.
Now we have taken on the project of establishing the Global Midwifery Council (GMC) to further promote motherbaby. We have created a Birth Situation Room and it is up on our Web site. Please check out the many reports so far (linked on the right hand side along with a corresponding country flag). We need more country reports and country contacts to contribute to this project and we would like to collect reports on the state of birth and midwifery in every country possible. If you are interested in either of these tasks please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can report on your country or region it would be a tremendous help in bringing forth our vision.
I have described the herstory of the GMC in my editorial for Midwifery Today, and you can find it, along with the GMC mission statement here. We have also included the definition of a midwife, the Goals and Beliefs of the International Alliance of Midwives here.
The GMC now has a board of five members and an organized structure for completing projects consisting of allocating task forces to certain subjects. The willing members will work on those tasks and bring the ideas to the board for approval. We have task force groups focusing on education, letter writing, membership, marketing and public relations, traditional/indigenous midwifery, grant writing, fundraising, Web site development, media projects, information gathering and helping countries seeking aid, along with other areas of focus. In addition, we are working on becoming an NGO.
There is room for many more members and plenty of work to do. What are your ideas? Would you like to help? Let’s make this a change year. I am committed and hope you are, too.
— 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.
Midwifery Today on Facebook: facebook.com/midwiferytoday
Jan on Facebook: facebook.com/JanTrittensBirthPage
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook: facebook.com/IAMbirth
Birth Is a Human Rights Issue: facebook.com/birthisahumanrightsissue
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing: facebook.com/MidwiferyEducation
Looking for a CPM
Birth center and homebirth practice in Sandpoint, ID, is looking for a Certified Professional Midwife or Licensed Midwife. Must be comfortable with four seasons, country roads and a wide variety of patients’ lifestyles and religious practices. Compensation would increase as the business grows, with part ownership a possibility. E-mail your resume to email@example.com, pendoreillemidiwfery.com, 208-263-0776.
A recent study investigating the uses of Omega-3 fatty acid and ginger supplements in pregnancy yielded results verifying the efficacy of these substances. The author of the study recommends taking 300 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily “during pregnancy and lactation…to optimize gestational development and possibly neurobehavioral outcomes in infants and toddlers” (Dennehy 2011). Vegetarians are advised to take algal oil capsules which are also rich in DHA. In addition, Dennehy condones the use of powdered ginger for relieving nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP).
— Dennehy, C. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Ginger in Maternal Health: Pharmacology, Efficacy, and Safety.” J Midwifery Wom Heal 56 (6): 584–90.
Add to Your Library
Ten Moons—The Inner Journey of Pregnancy: A treasure-trove of women’s lore around pregnancy and birth, illuminating the sacred dimensions of childbearing, practical information, individual exercises and enlightening sharing from Jane and others. E book ($A10) paperback ($A25).
A Shamanic Drum Journey for Pregnancy: Journey into your womb to meet your baby and drumming for labour and birth. Audio download ($A16.99)
An Unconditional Love
Strangers proclaimed that with three sons I must want a female presence in the house and wondered out loud how long we would continue to try for a girl. I was even given gifts that were appropriate for girls and was denied a shower for our baby until after the birth, under the premise that only a girl would warrant a shower at this point.
I went through my pregnancy feeling as though no one cared about my well-being, as if the only way my baby mattered was if she were a girl. I kept a journal of thoughts for our baby and consciously laid my hands on my belly and talked to our baby so it would know how loved it was. I tried hard to diffuse the negativity that I felt all around me. I resented the fact that people turned a joyous time into something conditional, despite the fact that I had no control over the baby’s gender. At times I doubted my own feelings—would I really cherish another son as much as a daughter? Should I just break down and have an ultrasound to put the issue to rest? I thought back to the births of each of my sons, remembering how I felt at the moment of each birth. Had something in my heart or mind changed between my first son’s birth and my third son’s birth? Was there any hint of disappointment with my third son?
These comments from family, friends and even strangers caused me to look deep inside, to reflect back on those first precious moments at each birth. I remembered the intense love I felt for each of them from the time they were conceived—a love that continued when we first looked into each other’s eyes at birth and is still a constant today. I wouldn’t change anything about my sons—they have made my life so full and taught me so much.
As my husband and I journeyed through a fourth pregnancy, the answer was perfectly obvious to us. We loved our children long before we knew their genders and we would always feel that way. We talked through the insensitive comments, my husband calmed my nerves when I felt overwhelmed, and we prepared for another amazing birth.
When the time came, our baby birthed into my hands and I brought it out of the water and held it close against my chest. We rejoiced at the perfection with which we had once again been blessed. Our sons gathered around, eager to know whether they had a brother or sister (they, too, wanted a sister very much). I held our baby close for a while, amazed once again at the life that had grown inside of me. After so many months of intense movements inside we finally had met. I felt between our baby’s legs and could feel only the tight cord. I couldn’t be sure from what I was feeling if we had a son or a daughter. After putting on my glasses and taking a good look, I discovered that we had a daughter. We all rejoiced together!
— Paula Hostler
Excerpted from “An Unconditional Love,” Midwifery Today, Issue 86
View table of contents / Order the back issue
PSGM RECALL NOTICE
The last printing of The Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery, 4th edition, is out of order. This applies to 100 books printed in November 2011. Please return book in a flat rate priority envelope. We will reimburse postage and send a new PSGM very soon. Return to: 2213 S. Foothill Blvd, Wasilla, AK 99654. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a PDF file of the PSGM. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. MorningStar Publishing Co. www.morningstarpub.com
Learn the essentials of supportive touch.
In Touch Techniques for Birth, Leslie Piper, LMT, and Leslie Stager, RN, LMT, show you how to make touch a part of your midwifery practice. You’ll learn about contraindications, acupressure, reflexology, hydrotherapy, general comfort strokes, pain relieving techniques and more. A special feature includes a midwife’s story of the use of belly rub and emotional support to encourage labor. This DVD belongs in your midwifery library!
Want the whole story?
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Take advantage of these limited-time discounts—all offers expire Jan. 31, 2012.
- Brought to Earth by Birth is yours for just $15.95 until Jan. 31, 2012
- General Skills for the Student Midwife DVD—now just $59.00 until Jan. 31, 2012
- Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife DVD—now just $79.00 until Jan. 31, 2012
For more information about these products and to order, go here.
|"I am opening up in sweet surrender|
to the beautiful baby in my womb."
Watch “Of Nature and Birth”—a DVD slide show by Harriette Hartigan—for a powerful affirmation of how we can and should trust birth. Order this DVD for a beautiful beginning for your presentations to birthing classes. Add it to your lending library as encouragement for a pregnant woman to open as a flower on her birth day. Order the DVD.
Discover belly mapping!
The Belly Mapping Workbook shows how a woman can discover her baby’s position in late pregnancy. This technique can be a fun bonding activity and is often used for proactive childbirth preparation using optimal fetal positioning. The Workbook includes 100 drawings and photos that take you through details of head-down and breech babies. At just $14.95, it makes a fine gift for a pregnant friend! To order
Looking for a good appointment book for the New Year?
||The With Woman Appointment and Resource Book is just what you need. This handy spiral bound book lets you record 15 months of appointments and is perfect for midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and lactation consultants. You’ll appreciate the reference guides and resources, the place for listing client information and the handy pocket in the back that can hold business cards or a gestational wheel. If you’re a student it can help you keep track of your prenatals, births and postpartum visits. Not a midwife? With Woman makes a great gift for someone who is.
|View inside pages!|
|Carry your birth books or birth equipment…|
||…in this Midwifery Today Logo Tote Bag. It’s also great for shopping or for carrying the children’s toys for a day at grandma’s. Available in natural and black. Order a bag!
Share the excitement of Midwifery Today’s 100th issue! You may check out the table of contents of the Winter 2011/2012 issue here.
Read Jan Tritten’s editorial from this issue:
- Lessons from Kitty Birth: Using Placenta to Control Hemorrhage
Excerpt: I went to a totally beautiful and undisturbed birth today. Five of them, actually! The mother had the most natural births as we looked on, not disturbing her but just being “with woman.” With woman—with kitty. Mamma cat is used to Adam because she belongs to him, and I am a good friend of hers, as well, and she didn’t mind our presence at all. We watched as she had each kitten, ate each placenta in a gulp or two, and then slurped the cords like strings of spaghetti.
Read these reviews from Midwifery Today Issue 99 newly posted to our Web site:
- Positive Pain: A Guide to Emotional Well-being through Pregnancy and Birth—by Adela Stockton, reviewed by Janean Douglass
Excerpt: The book is directed toward helping those who are questioning not only the physical but the mental challenges of pregnancy and childbirth, and shows that having one’s mind in proper alignment is just as important as learning about childbirth breathing and the mechanics of labor.
- Butterfly People—by Robin Lim, reviewed by Toni Rakestraw
Excerpt: Butterfly People is, quite literally, one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. It follows the Lim family from the late 1800s through today. Getting to peek at the life of a family like this, in the Philippines in their everyday existence, is a gift.
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Q: What is the policy concerning toxoplasmosis where you work? What would you do for an expectant mom who is not immune? What are the risks and risk factors of toxoplasmosis?
— Jan Tritten
A: In the past, the toxoplasmosis screen was a part of the routine prenatal blood screen. My education regarding toxoplasmosis for families calls for cleanliness and more cleanliness. This includes no indoor cat litter boxes. If the family does keep one, any woman of childbearing years must be banned from dealing with it, and it should be cleaned at least daily by someone else! Women should also be aware of rodent contamination, another cleanliness/exposure issue. It is quite likely that anyone who has grown up around cats is already immune.
— Patricia Edmonds
A: The toxoplasmosis screen is still routinely applied in most of the centers in Turkey, especially the private ones. We all know that it is useless to screen everybody for that, so I don’t even check unless there is suspicion of infection.
— Hakan Çoker Hamile Eğitimi
You’ll love Midwifery Today magazine!
If we say “delivering” babies, it implies that the midwife made it happen. It’s a birth, not a delivery. Midwives inadvertently take the power away from women if they claim to have done all the work. It is the mother who has all the sweat and toil of labour, pushing out her baby with amazing endurance, for us to “catch” at the end.
— From midwife Sheena Byrom’s autobiography:
Why can’t I give birth with someone who watches protectively over the physical well-being of my…baby and me, without being subjected to interventions based on arbitrary time tables and a desire to mold my labor into a textbook labor? Nothing about providing safe, evidence-based care requires (or even allows) forcing women to have unnecessary interventions in our labors, pushing our labors to conform to the convenience of the facility or caregiver, etc.
— Blogger Molly Westerman, advocating homebirth
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.
Bring resources about homebirth and midwifery to your community.
Does your library have relevant natural birth and midwifery resources? Did you know that as a patron of the library, you can make requests for specific books, magazines and DVDs? If these resources are not available for mothers to find, how will they make educated decisions? Making requests is easy. Go here to learn how.
Conferences as Part of Changing Birth
One of the main reasons we do conferences is to empower you to make changes in birth. We have many goals at conference but this is an important one. We enact change by bringing in great teachers and offering classes that we hope will make you the best birth practitioner you can be. In addition, it is imperative that we encourage and empower you in whatever situation you may find yourself. Our teachers are very accessible which makes for some great after hours and meal time discussions! We think about what is needed in the midwifery and birth community and spend a lot of time considering how to apply these topics to the program for each conference. If there is something you are interested in, please let us know!
From feedback from our registrants it looks like the conferences are working. I am especially pleased when someone comes to the conference ready to give up her birth practice and later informs us that she returned to her work strengthened by the love, support, knowledge and new ideas she learned and that she is going to stay in practice. We really need all of you to keep doing your work in order to change the horrendous paradigm of medicalized birth. I invite you to join us at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference April 11–15, 2012, and to Bad Wildbad, Germany October 17–21, 2012.
We now use conference time to conduct face-to-face Global Midwifery Council meetings, so if you are interested in the GMC you can talk to several members there about your participation. Together we will make a difference. Together we can change the world!
— Jan Tritten
Do you like staying in hospital? Why go there then? You don’t go to hospital for a cold, so why go there for something as natural as giving birth? Really sick people go to hospital. Home is cleaner, safer and everything is brought to you. Women generally labour better and experience less pain due to less fear. Birth at home—you won’t be disappointed.
— Michelle Goodhew
Learn about 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.
Survey Investigating Women’s Sexuality during Pregnancy, Lactation and Early Parenthood
Researchers at California State University, Fullerton are conducting a survey regarding women’s sexuality during pregnancy, lactation and early parenthood. The study is approved by the CSUF Internal Review Board (IRB # HS-11-0190). The survey is completely voluntary and anonymous, and no compensation will be made for participation. This research will help scientists understand the role of pregnancy, childbirth and lactation on women’s sexuality, including sexual desires, behaviors and attitudes. The survey should take approximately 20–40 minutes to complete (depending on the woman’s reproductive, relationship and sexual history). The survey can be found at the following link:
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WomanCraft Midwifery Education Program: a strong foundation of academics and hands-on skills for aspiring midwives. Course includes Doula and CBE Certification. Begins March 10, 2012, Amherst, MA. www.womancraft.org
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