March 18, 2015
Volume 17, Issue 6
Midwifery Today E-News
“Hemorrhage”
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MT online storeRead about Hemorrhage

The Hemorrhage Handbook is filled with great stories told by expert midwives that give you superb insight into bleeding problems that may occur during the prenatal period, the birth or postpartum. Topics include the importance of good nutrition, how the bloodstream works, herbs to use, emotional factors and Chinese remedies. To order



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In This Week’s Issue



Germany conference“Pillars of Midwifery: Insight, Information and Intuition”

Join us for our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany, this October. 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 Robin Lim, Carol Gautschi, Gail Hart, Sister MorningStar, Gail Tully, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Michel Odent.

Learn more about the Bad Wildbad, Germany, conference.



Quote of the Week

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

Eleanor Roosevelt


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The Art of Midwifery

Shepherd’s purse is one of the most immediate and powerful hemostatics (blood stoppers) available to us. It is known as an herb with a deep affinity for the uterus and a life-saver for birthing women.

Susun Weed
Excerpted from “Hemorrhage!” in Hemorrhage, a Midwifery Today e-book
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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.


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Editor’s Corner

No Hatting, Patting or Chatting

“No hatting, patting or chatting.” This is a phrase Carla Hartley so appropriately came up with. I have been a midwife since 1976, or perhaps I should say that is when Marion Toepke-McLean started training me because I was going to births. I started going to these births in the 1970s because the mothers were asking me to be there! Back then we did not cut the cord until the placenta was out. Immediately after birth, we tried to keep the family’s space sacred instead of chatting in our excitement of the birth, and hopefully we never patted anyone! We did, however, put hats on babies. We had been taught that a baby loses heat through her/his head. But now we know that it is even more important for a mother to be able to smell her newborn and to be naked up against each other skin-to-skin instead of having hats and other materials in the way. It is always good to review our practices in light of today’s new information. It is so important that we as midwives keep up with our education. Mothers and babies are counting on us to do that! This is one of the main reasons we put together our conferences—in order to help you keep up and keep learning while being inspired!

— 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.

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Featured Article

Thinking Green

My first exposure to homebirth was at a California country commune. We ate nutritious, balanced meals, mostly vegetarian, à la Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé. A lot of what we ate, we grew, with occasional trips to town for meat and staples to keep it balanced. We didn’t see any hemorrhages there, so I never learned how to deal with them.

Then I moved half a country away. Southern Ohio is not nearly as health- or conservation-conscious as California. It was there that I saw my first hemorrhage and had to transport the mom for my lack of knowledge [about] how to handle the situation. I learned the hard way that not everyone ate healthfully, and I learned how much this impacts birth. The doctor used Pitocin and Methergine to deal with the hemorrhage. I started working with this same doctor shortly after my second child was born. We used IM Pitocin to stop postpartum hemorrhages. Since most of the people choosing homebirth were more health-conscious than the average Ohioan, we still did not see many bleeds.

When my third baby was born, although I didn’t bleed enough to call it a hemorrhage, there was a little more blood than I like to see. After this experience, I started noticing that a few moms bled considerably less than average. I asked what they had been doing to achieve this. The answer was always “Alfalfa!” I had been faithfully preaching on the importance of a good wholesome diet with lots of leafy greens, but I then learned that adding alfalfa supplements helped diminish blood loss immensely. By the time I had my fourth baby, I was taking alfalfa supplements along with my usual diet, which was already high in greens. After my birth, I tried to estimate blood loss, but only found a little smear on one underpad. I asked everyone else there, “What happened to all the bloody stuff?” No one had cleaned up anything! We finally estimated one-fourth of a cup of blood—total! Even the doc, who had been there (I worked for him and had invited him), congratulated me as he left, saying, “That’s the first bloodless delivery I’ve ever seen. Good job!”

Marlene Waechter
Excerpted from “Thinking Green,” Midwifery Today, Issue 105
View table of contents / Order the back issue


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Bring hemorrhage information with you wherever you go!
Hemorrhage e-book cover Download Hemorrhage and you’ll receive a collection of 11 articles by the brightest minds in natural childbirth. Articles in this e-book include “Preventing Postpartum Haemorrhage” by Michel Odent, “Postpartum Hemorrhage in Bali: A Day at Bumi Sehat” by Robin Lim, “Hemorrhage: Stay Close and Pay Attention to Your Mothers” by Judy Edmunds and “Preventing Postpartum Hemorrhage by Respecting the Natural Process of Third Stage” by Beth Anne Moonstone. All articles were previously published in Midwifery Today magazine. Available on Amazon or on Smashwords in a variety of formats.

Prepare your body for birth

MT online storeDaily Essentials: Activities for pregnancy comfort and easier birth features activities to balance your pregnant body. This DVD starts with “Daily Activities,” a gentle 35-minute stretch that will help you move more freely. Once you are comfortable with these movements, turn to the easy “Blooma Style” daily yoga routine, which pulls the stretches together into 28 minutes of flowing movement. Produced by Sarah Longacre, international prenatal yoga instructor and birth doula, and Gail Tully, the Spinning Babies Lady, Daily Essentials is perfect for expectant mothers and a must for any birth professional’s library. To order


Learn from the Eugene 2011 conference teachers!

Order this selection of classes on a portable USB drive, then load them onto your computer or into your MP3 player to have them handy whenever you have time to listen. Classes include First and Second Stage Difficulties with Gail Hart and Vicki Penwell, Shoulder Dystocia with Ina May Gaskin and Elizabeth Davis, Third Stage Difficulties with Marion Toepke McLean and Supporting Trauma and Abuse Survivors through Pregnancy and Postpartum with Maryl Smith. To order

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Freedom for Birth

In many countries around the world, women are being denied the most basic human right of autonomy over their own bodies. They cannot choose how and where to give birth. Freedom for Birth re-frames human rights as the most pressing issue in childbirth today. This DVD calls for radical reform to the world’s maternity systems so that women are able to freely choose how they give birth. To order

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Learn how to examine a newborn
Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife When you order Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife, you’ll receive a treasure-trove of detailed information. First you’ll learn the basics, such as how to examine the eyes, ears, nose and other parts of the newborn’s body. The next section covers common newborn reflexes such as rooting, sucking and swallowing, while the third part explains a variety of gestational age assessment factors, both external and neurological. If you’re an apprentice or student midwife, you need this four-disk DVD set. To Order


Website Update

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

  • Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project—by Leilani Rogers

    Birth Photographer Leilani Rogers created the Breastfeeding Awareness Project, which involves breastfeeding photography in the hopes of making breastfeeding a normal part of life in our culture. She shares a bit about her project and some beautiful images with us in this article.


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Birth Q&A

Q: What tricks do you use to help guard against hemorrhage with the mothers you work with?

— Midwifery Today

A: Allow the placenta to come away on its own, massage the fundus and have baby nurse to stimulate contractions.

— Emily Rose Conatser

A: I had a postpartum hemorrhage with an 800 ml blood loss. All three techniques were used—my midwife massaged my abdomen to help the uterus to contract, and I also had an injection whilst breastfeeding. This was highly effective and prevented further hemorrhaging.

— Charlotte Cogger

A: In a homebirth setting, I allow immediate skin-to-skin contact and a totally uninterrupted time between mum and baby, so no talking, rubbing baby, putting hats on, etc. Allow baby to breastfeed ASAP. I also give mum a warm herbal tea with honey and various herbs for helping contract the uterus and expel the placenta (this is made up by an herbalist). During my many years practicing, I’ve only ever had one postpartum hemorrhage which was safely managed at home.

— Rose Pride

A: I learned this from another midwife: as I rub the fundus, I look into the woman’s eyes and firmly but reassuringly tell her to stop bleeding. That is my first step. As with everything else in birth, I believe there is a mental and emotional component to postpartum hemorrhage.

— Amy Towle


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