December 3, 2014
Volume 16, Issue 25
Midwifery Today E-News
“Special Holiday Issue”
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Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

online holiday coupon pageSave $5 on a Midwifery Today subscription…

…for yourself or for a friend. This is just one of the great deals on our Online Holiday Coupon Page. Be sure to take advantage of the savings during the holiday shopping season. You’ll also find special offers from other merchants.

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Mandala Pendants make lovely and inexpensive gifts mandala pendants

These striking designs by Amy Swagman are perfect for both moms and midwives. Check them all out and be sure to buy one for yourself, too. To order

In This Week’s Issue

Eugene conferenceImprove your midwifery skills and knowledge

Attend the full-day Midwifery Skills class with Marion Toepke McLean (pictured), Patricia Edmonds, Gail Hart, Carol Gautschi, Elizabeth Davis and Sister MorningStar. Planned sessions include Prenatal Care to Prevent Birth Complications, Common Complications of Labor, The First Hour after Birth and Creating Postpartum Plans That Work. Suitable for both beginning and advanced midwives, this class is part of our conference in Eugene, Oregon, March 2015.

Learn more about the Eugene, Oregon, conference.

“Pillars of Midwifery: Insight, Information and Intuition”

Join us for our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany in October 2015. You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of classes including Hemorrhage, Spinning Babies, Breech, Mexican Techniques and Shoulder Dystocia. Planned teachers include Carol Gautschi, Gail Hart, Sister MorningStar, Gail Tully, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Michel Odent.

Learn more about the Bad Wildbad, Germany, conference.


A Christmas Birth Poem

’Twas the night of her due date
And all through the house
Not a sound could be heard
And the lights were all doused.
It was after her 50th childbirth book
That something inside of her snapped like a hook.
She wanted to have her new child right here
At home, without pain, without stress, without fear.
So everyone present was quietly chatting
Our heroine’s eyelashes not even batting.
In spite of her spirit of undaunted courage
Our lady was feeling a wee bit discouraged.
The cause of her problem was really quite plain—
Her womb was at rest, she was feeling no pain.
But alas! We have reason to not give up hope
With a swish and a swoosh, her old amnion broke.
Well now all those present felt lighter of mind
With those hours of waiting and wishing behind.
Soon our tough uterus started to thunder
And pains were each coming two minutes or under.
Mama to be was just panting away
Dry in the mouth as a sack full of hay.
“Oh, dear!” she exclaimed, “I feel pressure below.
Could this be my baby? I really don’t know.”
No sooner than spoken some hair did emerge
And our heroine’s pushing increased in its urge.
A head full of curls soon appeared, thank the Lord,
With no signs of distress and no tightly wrapped cord.
The shoulders and body slipped out with facility
Producing a feeling of calm and tranquility.
A cry was soon heard and then laughter escaped.
A new life begun here, at home, and safe.

Laurie Belch
First published in Midwifery Today, Issue 24

Do you like what you’re reading? You’ll get even more content when you subscribe to our quarterly print magazine, Midwifery Today. Subscribe here.

The Art of Midwifery

Whenever you touch a baby’s umbilical cord, the cord spasms and this will stop it from pulsing far sooner than it would if it had been left alone. I do everything I can not to touch the cord at any time. It makes me sad and uncomfortable when I hear many midwives say that they felt the cord and it stopped pulsing. Well, of course it did—they kept touching it to see if it had stopped pulsing!

Nancy Wainer
Excerpted from “Tricks of the Trade,” Midwifery Today, Issue 108
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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

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Editor’s Corner

[Editor’s note: This issue’s guest editor is Nancy Halseide.]

Happy Holidays!

What a year it has been! Midwifery Today has hosted conferences in Pennsylvania, the UK and Australia. Many contributors sent in educational articles that were published in Midwifery Today magazine about prematurity, twin births, the umbilical cord and preeclampsia. We had readers share with us their joys and heartaches and we were able to read dozens of positive birth stories. We are so thankful this holiday season for all of you who have been faithful readers of Midwifery Today and to all of you who are making the world a better place in which to be born. Thank you for your tireless efforts to help mothers, babies and families. From all of us at Midwifery Today, happy holidays!

— Nancy Halseide is the managing editor for Midwifery Today. She blogs at

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Start or continue your 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.

Conference Chatter

The MT staff recently returned from Australia where they shared a lovely conference with many midwives and birth keepers from around the globe. It had been a dream for many years to host a conference in this part of the world, and we are so happy to have had this dream become a reality in 2014.

Here is what one attendee said of the conference:

“The conference had such a pleasant atmosphere with lovely people who have the same thoughts and ideas on wanting to keep midwifery a natural experience for women. There were lovely speakers with different experiences and awesome stories to share about birth in different cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed learning new techniques to assist women.”

We hope you will join us at a conference in the future.

If you’d like to keep abreast of the latest news and info about our conferences, be sure to follow us on Facebook:

— Nancy Halseide is the managing editor for Midwifery Today. She blogs at

Featured Article

Timing Is Everything

The fast and fantastic birth of Sienna Grace Cavaretta made history, and not just as a vital statistic, but why? In our rapid and technically advanced world, the news cycles are filled with horrific events like bombings, senseless killings, financial worries and crazy politics. A happy story of birth in an unconventional manner delights us with our necessary hope for futures with happy endings.

As midwives we know, the delivery of a second baby is generally the gift for making it through a usually lengthy first birth. The rapid arrival of Sienna Grace was not unexpected since five short years before, big sister Sophia had delighted us with her arrival after a short and uncomplicated six hours. That birth was however, traditional, as she was born inside a hospital. The tales of birth on a full moon are bolstered by this sidewalk delivery that took place on May 21, 2013, at the threshold of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Her chosen name, Sienna Grace, almost implied that she would arrive in an earthy and celestial manner—full moon and all. But what really made this birth so newsworthy was the photographic product of a prepared and in-touch team. If not for the photographs, this would have been just another one of many fast birth stories only talked about by the few involved.

Ironically, proud parents Amy and Joe Cavaretta are both photojournalists who tell stories in a glimpse with a single image. Apparently, they are great at being the story as well. They are nature-lovers who have a powerful reserve. They grow vegetables in their yard, and love and confidence in their home. Their open, unabashed, raw vulnerability gave them the strength to accept rapid change in plans and the unfettered ability to openly deliver their second child into my bare hands. The strength exhibited by Amy ranked up there with a few rare birthing women I have known. She had no fear and it was obvious. Joe was also competent, supportive and joyous, as anyone who saw his post-delivery photo can see.

To credit myself with orchestrating the perfect ungloved, uncomplicated delivery would be like a beachfront resort taking credit for a beautiful sunset. The joyous calling of being a midwife put me in that honored position. Over 28 years of experience as a CNM has given me great trust in birth. The luxury of being able to have 10 months of unhurried visits adds to the confidence, because I have medical data coupled with actually knowing the abilities, expectations and personal desires of the families that I become a part of. I have full confidence and respect for a woman’s body and her natural ability to birth without complication, but appreciate modern hospitals like Boca Raton Regional Hospital, our chosen venue for Amy’s birth. I can say with great pride and certainty that a woman can experience a totally natural birth within a hospital, if that is her desire. It is essential to me to know that the skills of a backup physician and medical technology are available if [they are] needed. There is nothing more important than the lives of a mother and child. This is my manner of providing care—a planned and calculated outcome of a healthy birth, for as much as one can plan!

It is always a delight to celebrate a story of hope and joy. Because of the keen lens of one gifted photographer, the whole world was able to join in on celebrating the joyous birth of Sienna Grace Cavaretta.

[Note: To see the beautiful images of this birth taken by photographer Emily Robinson, order Midwifery Today, Issue 107, where this article was originally published.]

Laurie Ross-Berke
Excerpted from “Timing Is Everything,” Midwifery Today, Issue 107
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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Included in this offer are General Skills for the Student Midwife, Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife, Midwife’s Assistant Orientation for the Student Midwife, and Maternal Exam for the Student Midwife, Parts I and II. These educational DVDs make fine gifts for anyone who is studying to become a midwife. To order

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Celebrate birth with Wild Naked Ladies !
From “Attending” to “Zone,” Wild Naked Ladies is a pictorial alphabet showcasing the beauty and power of pregnancy and birth. Each letter has been given a two-page spread where it is lovingly illustrated by a photograph or artwork and accompanying text. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for a friend. Wild Naked Ladies: Mother Nature’s Design for Birth is a book designed to be enjoyed again and again. To order book cover

Learn the foundations of beginning midwifery!
Beginning Midwifery Audio 4-CD Set Our Beginning Midwifery 4-disk Audio CD Set will give you vital information that will help you get a good start on your midwifery education. You’ll learn about woman-centered care, how a woman’s emotions can affect her birth and how to give your clients a head-to-toe physical. Also covered are intake forms, diet and the importance of drinking water. Speakers are Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Carol Gautschi, Elizabeth Davis and Patricia Edmonds. This set would make a fine gift for an aspiring midwife. Order the audio CD set.

Read about First Stage
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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Want the whole story?
Subscribe to Midwifery Today print magazine and four times a year you’ll receive 72 pages filled with complete articles, birth stories, stunning birth photography and more. Midwifery Today E-News is just a taste of what you’ll find in Midwifery Today magazine. Subscribe. Midwifery Today Magazine Issue 110

Website Update

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

  • Journey with a Birth Theme—by Wanda J. Walker

    Midwifery Today staff member Wanda Walker shares her recent experience visiting midwives in Belize and Mexico. Excerpt: “Aneke does all of the prenatals in her client’s home. ‘Since that is where the birth will be happening, I want to know all about the home and family—their diet, other children and adults living there, what the room she’ll birth in is like, sanitation, and so forth.’”

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