June 4, 2014
Volume 16, Issue 12
Midwifery Today E-News
Print Page

Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

The Gift PendantSave $15 on your Midwifery Today order.

Check out our Spring into Savings page to find out how. Take a look and start saving today!

Midwifery Today Online Store

Get breastfeeding information in e-book format!

MT e-book

Suitable for both parents and practitioners, the Breastfeeding e-book is filled with insights into various aspects of this important topic. This collection of 15 articles from Midwifery Today magazine includes “The Role of the Shy Hormone in Breastfeeding” by Michel Odent, “Milk Supply: You Have Enough” by Lina Duncan, “Supporting Mothers in Long-term Breastfeeding” by Janell E. Robisch and “The Four Pillars of Safe Breast Milk Sharing” by Shell Walker and Maria Armstrong.

Get your copy on Amazon to read on your Kindle or free Kindle app. Also available on Smashwords in a variety of formats.

This issue of Midwifery Today E-News is brought to you by:

Look below for more info.

In This Week’s Issue

AU conferenceJoin us in Australia

Plan now to attend “Promoting Midwifery: Skills from Around the World” in Byron Bay, Australia, this November. You’ll be able to learn from a great line-up of teachers including Sarah Buckley (pictured), Robbie Davis-Floyd, Gail Tully, Sister MorningStar, Carol Gautschi and Gail Tully. Planned sessions include Promoting Optimal Fetal Positioning, Breech, Shoulder Dystocia and “Malpresentations” as well as a two-day Midwifery Issues and Skills class.

Learn more about the Byron Bay, Australia, conference.

Quote of the Week

A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.

Grantly Dick-Read

Are you enjoying your copy of Midwifery Today E-News? Then show your support and get more content by subscribing to our quarterly print magazine, Midwifery Today. Subscribe here.

The Art of Midwifery

The hormones responsible for producing the wonderful substances in colostrum and breast milk are sensitive. If mama is resting, sleeping when baby sleeps, eating well and keeping her fluids up, there is little doubt that she will produce enough milk. In different languages to hundreds of mamas across Asia, I have said, “The more baby sucks the more the milk will come.”

Lina Duncan
Excerpted from “Milk Supply: You Have Enough,” in Breastfeeding, a Midwifery Today e-book
On Amazon / On Smashwords

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.

RSS Feed Subscribe to the Web Updates RSS feed to stay on top of what’s new or highlighted on the Midwifery Today website. Be alerted when conference programs go online, new articles are posted and more.

Editor’s Corner

Motherbaby Power

The United States has the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world. About 11,300 newborns die each year in the US on the day they are born; this is 50% more first-day deaths than all industrialized countries combined (Save the Children 2013). Prematurity and infant mortality often go hand-in-hand and the problem is mainly iatrogenic. Almost no mother leaves the hospital unscathed. Women are bullied into cesareans for no reason and are often induced at 39 weeks or sometimes earlier. The reality is that ultrasound cannot date a pregnancy as accurately as the skilled hands of a midwife can, so the dates are often wrongly applied. Induction via Pitocin and/or Cytotec is common, necessitating the use of an epidural since the pain caused by these two medications is overwhelming. And yet, in the midst of all of this medicalization of birth, we are finding out more reasons for the importance of undisturbed birth. For example, microbiome research is showing that the foundation for life is being set by how and where the pregnancy and birth are accomplished. I keep wondering when the people in the medical system will apply what we are learning from research.

So what is the answer? We somehow must learn to apply love and respect to birth. Birth is sacred and it belongs to the motherbaby. We as midwives and doulas can be guilty of not putting the motherbaby first. Give mother and baby back their God-given power to birth on their own terms and then we will see the statistics change for the better. Not only will we build a healthier society, but each individual within our society will be healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually. It may take those who know and understand this to re-teach mothers their power, but there are plenty of us who care deeply about mothers and babies to do this. And we need to fight protocols that take rights away from midwives to practice true midwifery—the kind of midwifery that allows twins, breeches and VBACs to be able to seek care in a homebirth midwife without the danger of a legal battle. Midwives are the experts on normal birth and all of its beautiful variations. Right now many midwives cannot attend VBACs, twins and breeches, so these babies are being born via cesarean.

Birth is a Human Rights issue!


Save the Children. 2013. Surviving the First Day: State of the World’s Mothers Report. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

— 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
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing
Midwifery Today on Twitter

Please support our advertisers
Midwifery Immersion Experience

An intensive 3-month academic session held in Boise, Idaho, every Spring and Fall. 18 months’ worth of midwifery academics compressed into an immersion experience, as an evidence-based way to learn and master new material. Elements of guided research, lecture, demonstrations, reading, writing and student review contribute to an in-depth midwifery academic education in a short time frame. Contact us by E-mail or on our Website.

Conference Chatter

Praise for the Harrisburg conference, April 23–28, 2014:

“I feel like I have a whole new insight into women and how intuitive they can naturally be.”

“Sister MorningStar blew my mind. She was such a wonderful breath of fresh air!”

“Great class [Massage in Pregnancy and Birth]. I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect.”

“This session [Tricks of the Trade] was really informative and interesting! One of my favorites!”

“Gail Hart’s knowledge and perspective on when a cesarean is necessary and being okay about that decision was refreshing.”

“The hands-on teaching is great! Gail Tully is so knowledgeable and open for questions and discussion.”

“Gail Hart: It was a pleasure being in your class. The laid-back format and the clearly explained rationale made learning easy. Thank you!”

“This conference was outstanding! I honor and appreciate your coordination, vision and leadership.”

“Thank you all for coordinating, planning and sharing a beautiful Midwifery Today conference!”

Keep up to date with conference news on Facebook

Please support our advertisers!
Are You Interested in Being a Nurse-Midwife? Learn More about Frontier Nursing University’s Midwifery Program.
Frontier Nursing University

Frontier Nursing University’s nurse-midwifery program is the longest-running midwifery program in the United States, was the first to offer distance education, offers one of the only ADN-MSN online bridge options and educates more certified nurse-midwives than any other program in the country. The community-based distance education program allows you to complete your coursework online and clinical work in your own community.


Featured Article

The Role of the Shy Hormone in Breastfeeding

There is no breastfeeding without oxytocin, since the milk ejection reflex is dependent on the release of this hormone. The mechanical effects of oxytocin have been well known for a long time, not only for inducing contractions of specialized breast cells during the milk ejection reflex, but also for inducing uterine contractions during childbirth and orgasm, and for inducing contractions of the prostate and seminal vesicles in the sperm ejection reflex. The behavioral effects of oxytocin are also well understood; it is commonplace today to summarize these effects by using the term “love hormone.”

We have still a lot to learn about oxytocin release. However, we have a sufficient amount of physiological and observational data to conclude that the release of oxytocin is highly dependent on environmental factors. The best way to summarize what we already know is to claim that oxytocin is the “shy hormone”: it behaves like a shy person who does not appear among strangers or observers.

This is the kind of knowledge that is not easily digested where breastfeeding is concerned. I have heard many stories of mothers who required guidance to overcome breastfeeding difficulties. The advice they received almost always focused on the position of the baby when latching on. Common recommendations would be different if it were better understood that many difficulties in breastfeeding are related to the release of the shy hormone. Instead of being guided to find the right postures, the mother might be first advised to stay with only her baby in a small dark room with the door closed and the guarantee that nobody will enter. It is well demonstrated that the shy hormone does not appear in situations associated with a release of adrenaline. This implies that the room must be warm enough to make comfortable skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby possible. I know from experience that such simple suggestions can help break a vicious circle during a critical phase of lactation.

An analogy to breastfeeding is possible with childbirth. In the framework of natural childbirth, I have often heard stories of very long and difficult labors. A common comment is, “We tried everything,” when the meaning of this comment is, “We tried a great diversity of postures, nipple stimulation, massage, acupuncture, a birthing pool, etc.” It is not common to hear that the baby’s father, grandmother and second midwife, for example, had been sent away so that finally the laboring woman was left alone, save for an experienced, silent and low profile midwife.

Michel Odent
Excerpted from “The Role of the Shy Hormone in Breastfeeding,” Midwifery Today, Issue 101
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Featured Products

Second Stage Handbook

Midwifery Today Issue 104, on doulas, is now available as a PDF

Good news! Midwifery Today Issue 104, which is all about doulas, is now available to purchase as a PDF. The print edition of this issue has sold out, so we are pleased to be able to offer this valuable information in a downloadable format at Lulu.com. Contributors include Michel Odent, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Allie Chee, Susun Weed and Sister MorningStar. Order the issue.

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. Midwifery Today Magazine

Bring the Belgium conference home
Order this selection of classes on a portable USB drive and you’ll be able to listen to the wisdom and knowledge of our Belgium conference teachers whenever you have time. Classes include Physiological Analgesia in Labor with Verena Schmid, Waterbirth with Cornelia Enning, First Do No Harm with Michel Odent and Hemorrhage: Prevention and Management with Gail Hart.
USB_Belgium2013_2 (6K)

Learn more about how birth can be
Giving Birth Watch Giving Birth to discover what’s possible for 95% of all mothers and babies who can birth normally and naturally. This DVD contrasts the medical and midwifery models for birth and explains the risks of routine obstetric practices. You’ll learn about the importance of doulas, see images of a waterbirth, watch a woman give birth in her own home, learn about epidural anesthesia, cesareans and more. Giving Birth features obstetrician/gynecologist Christiane Northrup, author of the bestselling Women’s Bodies: Women’s Wisdom. Includes a free resource/teaching guide, “Giving Birth: Challenges and Choices.” To Order

Celebrate the beauty and joy of breastfeeding!

More than Food

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.

Can tears be prevented?

Find out with Midwifery Today’s The Tear Prevention handbook. This book will also discuss how to heal tears when they do occur, with suggestions ranging from Super Glue to seaweed. Other topics include natural alternatives to suturing, sitz baths, and protecting the upper tissues.

Tear Prevention handbook

Website Update

Read this article excerpt from Midwifery Today magazine, now on our website:

  • Thoughts on Homebirth Transfer—by Mary Esther Malloy

    Excerpt: I am hiring a birth professional for the care I want. I hope I give birth at home, but I understand that there is a continuum of where I might give birth, home or hospital. What matters to me is that I will have my midwife with me. I think of it more as hiring a person I trust than planning a birth in my home.

Craving more birth info?
Subscribe to Midwifery Today magazine!

Promote Your Product or Service Here
advertise in E-News

For as low as $100 per insertion for a text-plus-graphic ad, you can put your birth-related product or service in front of over 20,000 E-News subscribers from around the world. This is a great way to reach midwives, parents, childbirth educators, physicians, nurses, doulas and others interested in safe, natural birth.

Learn more here or contact our Ad Director at ads@midwiferytoday.com.

Birth Q&A

Q: How long did you breastfeed your baby/babies? Was it longer or shorter than you had expected? What changed?

— Midwifery Today

A: I had trouble breastfeeding my first two due to tongue-tie issues and lack of support. I pumped breast milk for them for 7.5 months and 4.5 months. Both of those numbers were shorter than I expected and it made me sad. I breastfed my third baby for 25 months. I made it to my goal of two years through a lot of challenges and a lot of support. I’m currently breastfeeding my fourth child who is 14.5 months old. I have no end date in mind. It will end when one of us decides it is time. It might be in 10 months or it could be in two years. I don’t know.

I have to say that I really enjoy breastfeeding so much more than pumping and bottle feeding. I feel more bonded, I get more sleep and it takes far less energy. I’m so happy I made it through all the hurdles. It was worth all the time, energy and tears. My two breastfed babies would agree, too.

— Andrea Van Cleve Cohen

A: Just over five years with the first two, including three years of tandem feeding. I plan to go to five years with my current 8-month-old.

— Kathy Reynolds

A: I breastfed my first baby for nine months; I was pressured by other mothers to get her to take occasional bottles. After three days of refusing bottles, she took the bottle and then refused the breast. With my second baby, I thought giving one bottle a day would prevent the problem I had with my first, but a serious case of mastitis during a move ended all breastfeeding after three months. With my third baby, I stopped listening to everyone else and nursed for 19 months until another pregnancy stopped milk production. I planned to repeat this length with my fourth baby, but he decided he was done at seven months after a friend offered him juice from a cup— he went straight from exclusive breastfeeding to using a cup. Baby number five insisted on being attached and that I sit upright all night long. After nine months, I had to make a choice between sleep deprivation with extreme depression or a bottle.

— Jenee Clark

A: I breastfeed my second child for 20 months and my third daughter for 18 months. When I started, I was just so happy to be able to provide them with food that I didn’t think about when to quit so I let them decide for themselves.

— Jenny Matsumoto

A: I breastfed my first baby for two short weeks (1994). I had no support, no education and the birth was a c-section. I feel lucky I even made it to two weeks. With my third baby, I was determined to breastfeed and did very successfully for 27 months. He self-weaned when I was eight months pregnant. I nursed my fourth baby until she was 4. I never set an end date in my head, but just figured I’d go with the flow and see how long we were both comfortable nursing. I had to educate myself because there was still no professional support available in the town I lived in. Strength and determination, plus support from family and friends, is essential. I’m currently nursing my fifth, a 7-month-old, with no end in sight.

— Tammy Gifford

ed page graphic

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 Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.

Classified Advertising

FOR SALE: A thriving birth center/homebirth practice of 32 years, Tyler, Texas; 6–10 births per month, great reputation and history. 903-845-3520—leave a message.

New Catholic Doula Training Program based on the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Monthly Mentor “self-paced” 7-month program available. Also, a Summer 16-week “Fast-Track-II” starts July 5. Go to our website or catholicdoulaprogram@gmail.com.

Tell our readers about your business. Just $48/issue ($135 for four) gives you 35 words to promote your products or services. Go here to learn more or write ads@midwiferytoday.com

E-News Subscription Information

Remember to share this newsletter—it’s free. You may forward it to as many friends and colleagues as you wish—just be sure to follow the copyright notice.

Manage your E-News subscription

To subscribe

Just go here and fill out the form:

Change your e-mail address

If you are a current subscriber and you want to change the e-mail address to which the newsletter is delivered, please click the “update subscription preferences” link at the bottom of any mailed issue and then make your changes.

If you are a current subscriber and want to stop receiving the newsletter, please click the “unsubscribe from this list” link at the bottom of any mailed issue and then make your changes.

If you have difficulty, please send a complete description of the problem, including any error messages, to newsletters@midwiferytoday.com.

Learn your subscription status

If you are not receiving your issues, but have subscribed, contact newsletters@midwiferytoday.com with the address you used to subscribe and we will look into it for you.

Learn even more about birth.

Midwifery Today Magazine—mention code 940 when you subscribe.

 1-Year Subscription2-Year Subscription
United States$55$105
All other countries$75$145

E-mail inquiries@midwiferytoday.com or call 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):  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 website.

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: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com. Please send submissions in the body of your message and not as attachments.


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.

Copyright Notice

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.

© 2014 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!