October 8, 2014
Volume 16, Issue 21
Midwifery Today E-News
“Newborns”
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In This Week’s Issue



AU conferenceWhat do you do when a baby is breech?

Attend the full-day Emergency Management of Breech Birth class to learn more. Led by Sue Cookson (pictured), Carol Gautschi and Angelina Martinez Miranda, this workshop will begin with a discussion of how to detect, prevent and turn breech babies. But what do you do when attempts at turning fail, and the mother decides to go forward with a vaginal birth? Or when you are surprised with an unexpected breech? The knowledge of breech birth is an essential midwifery skill. Although intentional breech birth is not for beginners, everyone is welcome in this class because every birth attendant must know how to handle the unexpected breech birth. Various methods and techniques will be discussed and demonstrated including the use of waterbirth. Part of our conference in Byron Bay, Australia this November.

Learn more about the Byron Bay, Australia, conference.



Eugene conferenceSpend a Day with Michel Odent!

Michel has been involved in childbirth for more than 60 years, has practiced on the European and African continents and has experience with both hospital births and homebirths. He has a unique knowledge of the medical and scientific literature and is raising questions about the future of our species in relation to the modes of birth. Now you have an opportunity to spend a day learning from this amazing man. This full-day class is part of our conference in Eugene, Oregon, next March.

Learn more about the Eugene, Oregon, conference. [Photo by Patti Ramos]



Quote of the Week

Of all the joys that lighten suffering earth, what joy is welcomed like a newborn child?

Dorothy Nolte, American writer and family counselor


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The Art of Midwifery

A tasty remedy for a baby’s constipation: Have the nursing mom eat a chocolate bar or bag of M&Ms; the baby will poop by evening.

Sister Angela Murdaugh, excerpted from “Newborn Care Tricks,” Wisdom of the Midwives, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. II, a Midwifery Today book
View table of contents / Order the book


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

Why Not Home?

[Editor’s note: This issue’s guest editor is Jessicca Moore.]

I’m not satisfied with the media’s portrayal of homebirth and the women who choose it. As a family nurse practitioner and homebirth mom, I want to change the discussion, so I’m making a documentary film called Why Not Home? This feature-length documentary, currently in production, looks at risk, safety and the experience of childbirth in the US. Instead of talking to researchers and experts, this film focuses on the personal stories of doctors, nurses and midwives who attend birth in the hospital but who chose to have their own children at home. Too often the debate around place of birth is polarizing and dogmatic; this kind of discourse doesn’t move us forward toward the improvements we need for women, families and society.

It wasn’t easy to get some of the clinicians to agree to be filmed at first, especially Ob/Gyns. There’s a feeling that you’re turning your back on your profession or somehow casting judgment on the care your colleagues give if you choose to have your own baby outside of the hospital. It took some time to get everyone on board. Ultimately, the women we interviewed decided that it was important enough to tell their story and so they were willing to risk the professional fallout. They don’t dislike hospitals, but they also don’t think every birth has to happen in the hospital.

Why Not Home? compassionately presents a balanced, moderate and nuanced view of birth, the choices it invites and the personal insights this journey presents. My hope is that by focusing on hospital birth attendants who chose homebirth for themselves, we can reach a broader audience and open up the discussion around place of birth in a meaningful way. If you believe projects like this are important for informed choices, consider supporting this project on Kickstarter. Our campaign ends soon: October 11, 2014. Visit this web page to become a part of it.

— Jessicca Moore, MSN, lives in Petaluma with her husband, two children and two sheep where she works as a family nurse practitioner and filmmaker. You can watch a trailer for her film, Why Not Home? at the film’s website.

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Featured Article

The Newborn Imprint

We are born once onto this living planet of rocking oceans streaming with sea life, wide skies with winged beings, uneven terrains covered with flowering plants and creatures of unending diversity, spinning in a vast universe where we wonder if there are other life forms similar to our own. We are born once into a family species that is the most complex, developed and sentient of all the life forms on this cosmically floating paradise. We are born but once.

Our delicate eyes have been accustomed to dappled and muted light. Our delicate ears have been protected by layers of sound-absorbing organic blankets. Our delicate skin has been introduced to touch and caressed by the soft waves of moving water where even the touch of gravity does not enter. Our taste is for sweet, salty water. Our nose drinks as freely as our mouth, and the smell we know as home is shared by our entire global family.

It is not a mystery or unusual that most babies of all the mammalian species are born at night in a quiet nest far from the edges of light and sound and thundering movement. It is not a mystery or unusual that a birthing mother will turn day into night by going deeper in the woods or a den or a cave to make a nest of peace for herself and her baby. The Earth has been teaching life how best to survive for millions and millions of years. The instinct is so strong that even domesticated pets or farm or zoo animals will work and work to recreate what they would easily find in their natural environment, searching for places apart, away, hidden, lower, under, difficult to reach, difficult to discover, difficult to find…a secret place of peace where the senses are all softened and the great work of being born can unfold with the greatest of ease. It is not a mystery. It is life. Instinctual life; wise and wonderful life.

If you have had the privilege to see a baby born in complete silence with only the light of the moon or dappled sun rays, far from the womb-like nest as only an instinctual mother can make; if you have seen the wide eyes of the newborn undisturbed as she emerges onto this shared planet for the first time; if you have heard the sounds of silence as the baby’s breath begins to move in and out, haltingly at first as the mother touches more with her eyes than any other part of her body; if you have watched this silent, quiet symphony of coming into being, transporting from an inner water world to the outer air world of growing sight and sound and smell and touch and taste, then you know how very slow and long and steady the process is if it is not to be cruel, abrasive, abusive, inhumane and all together unholy. Regarding the nervous system and its interrelatedness to stress, fight, flight, immune reserves, adrenal reserves and all things measurable and immeasurable, we can rightly project that the long-term mental, emotional and physical health of a baby is directly affected by the newborn imprint.

Sister MorningStar
Excerpted from “The Newborn Imprint,” Midwifery Today, Issue 104
View table of contents / Order the back issue


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Conference Chatter

Greetings everyone! I have some exciting news for those of you attending our conference in Byron Bay, Australia, “Promoting Midwifery: Skills from Around the World,” 4–9 November 2014. We have just been notified that the conference has been fully approved for continuing professional development credits by the Australian College of Midwives (ACM). Find out more about their MidPLUS program and how to apply for these credits on this web page.

Accreditation programs such as these help midwives and all birth workers to continue to enrich their ongoing practices with the latest research and exposure to diverse techniques and knowledge from others in their field.

We at Midwifery Today pride ourselves on developing a high-quality program of classes to enrich the professional lives of our attendees. For conferences where local continuing education programs are offered, we work hard to craft our applications and get as many credits as possible approved.

We have also started on our CEU applications for our domestic conference in Eugene, Oregon, coming up March 18–22, 2015. Credits will be offered through ACNM, MEAC and the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Examiners. These credits can also be used by some accrediting bodies for doulas, childbirth educators and nurses. To find out if your certifying organization accepts continuing education credits, contact them directly for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming conference, and are always happy to be a part of the enrichment of your life’s passion and career.

If you’d like to find out more about this conference and other upcoming conferences, please visit our conference web pages for Australia and Eugene, Oregon. And be sure to “like” us on Facebook!

Many Blessings,
Andrea Straw, Conference Coordinator

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Download this e-book and you’ll receive a collection of 10 articles taken from past issues of Midwifery Today magazine. Articles include “First Stage: Preparing the Fetus Ejection Reflex” by Michel Odent, “The Times and Tools of Induction” by Sister MorningStar, “Nourishing the Mother” by Anne Frye and “Like Cures Like: Homeopathy for Labor and Birth” by Diane Gregg. Available on Amazon or on Smashwords in a variety of formats.
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See how touch can be used during labor and birth
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Website Update

The dates, location and theme for the Midwifery Today conference in Germany in 2015 have been announced! Go to our Germany conference page to see a list of teachers as well.


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Birth Q&A

Q: Midwives, doulas and other birth practitioners: What advice do you give to moms about newborns?

— Midwifery Today

A: The best advice I have always given to mamas is to keep your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible during the first two weeks.

— Karen Bachman Kells

A: Be gentle with yourself, and be gentle with one another.

— Sarah Culver

A: Be with them—newborns have a different pace. You need to slow way down and breathe. Make sure you give baby lots of skin-to-skin time; get naked and snuggle in bed with your baby for 10 to 40 days! That’s my best advice! Do nothing…just be and fall in love.

— Deb Puterbaugh

A: Keep the baby’s bottom dry, dry, dry. A clean dry bottom means a nice clean and rash-free tooshie. Put down a towel/crib mat and let the baby go diaperless. Use elimination communication if you desire. Get help. Ask for help. Don’t wait until you’re miserable.

— Danielle Bergum

A: Stay skin-to-skin and nurse on demand. Babies go through lots of growth spurts in the first six weeks. Research tongue and lip ties and leave your son intact. If your baby is diagnosed with reflux, give up dairy—all dairy—for at least two weeks to make sure that isn’t the issue.

— Cassandra Carroll

A: Babies are highly aware, sensitive and primal. Their needs are simple and very clear if we are willing to listen.

— Shylah Ray Sunshine

A: The fourth trimester is a time of tremendous change for the family. Give your body what it needs to recover. Sleep, eat, drink, nurse, cuddle, nest and be prepared to be very, very tired. Very, very tired! But everything is a phase; just when you think you absolutely can’t do it anymore, everything will change. You will sleep again, you will have sex again, you will have a nice long shower again, you will poop again without little eyes watching, but you may have to wait a while for it. It gets easier and there is no greater endeavor.

— Teresa Fox-Magri


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