April 29, 2015
Volume 17, Issue 9
Midwifery Today E-News
“Waterbirth”
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Add Waterbirth to your e-book library

MT online storePurchase and download Waterbirth, a collection of 16 informative articles from Midwifery Today magazine. The articles you’ll be able to read include “A Lovely Way to Enter the World” by Judy Edmunds, “Aquadurals and Douladurals Replace the Epidural” by Judith Elaine Halek, “Waterbirth Makes the Midwife’s Job Easier” by Samantha McCormick, “A Landmark in the History of Birthing Pools” by Michel Odent and “Waterbirth and GBS” by Judy Slome Cohain. Get your copy on Amazon to read on your Kindle or free Kindle app. Also on Smashwords here



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In This Week’s Issue



Quote of the Week

Water is the driving force of all nature.

Leonardo da Vinci


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The Art of Midwifery

Another neat waterbirth trick involves a baby who is a little shocked from the birth and isn’t coming around. Instead of rubbing baby with a towel to stimulate them to breathe, we dunk baby back in the water (up to the neck). The skin stimulation from the water snaps them out of it right away and is so much gentler than a scratchy towel rub.

Samantha McCormick
Excerpted from “Waterbirth Makes the Midwife’s Job Easier,” Midwifery Today, Issue 96
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 mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.


Send submissions, inquiries, and responses to newsletter items to: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.

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Conference Chatter

Waterbaby Day at Conference

Waterbaby Day is October 26, 2015, at Bad Wildbad, Germany. Join Cornelia Enning and German waterbaby parents for a discussion on neonatal water training, the use of a sauna for motherbaby and baby swimming. Register at the conference at the “Wasserbabies” desk or e-mail Cornelia at hebinfo@gmx.de.

Cornelia has been a licensed midwife in Muehlacker, Germany, since 1972. She has been doing homebirths/waterbirths since 1975. She received a BE in psychology and pedagogy in 1972 from the University of Berlin and is the founder of the German parents association “Wasserbabies”.

Cornelia is editor of the quarterly Wasserbaby-Post and author of several books about waterbirth at home and in hospitals. She directs the German Federation of Aquapaedagogik and instructs parents in water training for newborns. In addition, she has taught waterbirth midwifery to more than 4000 midwives and obstetricians. We are so excited to have Cornelia and her vast knowledge in waterbirth available to us at this conference.

Remember, the best discounts for registration are available before June 8, 2015.

— Misha Hogan, conference coordinator

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Featured Article

Waterbirth: Contemporary Application for Historic Concepts

Water has flooded the new century, nosing her way forward with overwhelming power, washing away outmoded methods. It seems that destiny, rather than coincidence, led me to waterbirth. When I was a child, my home in Berlin faced the first university hospital offering water cures, an invention by Professor Schweninger of Berlin, who called himself a naturopath. His Schweninger cures were offered in Berlin as well as in Baden-Baden. At one time, all the famous people in the capital came for therapy to the spas here in the state of Suebes, where I have lived for 30 years. Maybe the advent of waterbirth in this region results from the presence here of the highest number of healing spas and thermal springs in Europe (54 wells in the Black Forest).

Naturopathy and midwifery have historic ties with each other. While researching the physiology of water cures, the Nazis appropriated the findings of Professor Schweninger and Professor Winternitz of Wien to pervert them for their fascist goals. The Nazis required all members of the midwives’ and naturopaths’ associations to be registered and then attempted to eradicate these professions. As a result, today’s older generation still tends to be biased against natural cures. In spite of the anti-Semitic perversion of our profession in the past, we must give the new generation a chance to discover both midwifery and water cures as innovative sciences. We must explore the old “handicraft” of midwifery and connect it to contemporary natural research in fields such as water physics (the study of the properties of water).

Modern aquamidwifery resurrects old questions: Medieval researchers, such as Michel Maitre, speculated about the effects of a weightless environment on the human body. Today we are still investigating this issue: How does skeletal calcium change in water? What is the intersection between waterbirth obstetrics and traumatology? Does mild hypothermia release a protective response in the human body and soul? How are distress disorders transmitted—genetically or perinatally? All these questions have relevance for aquamidwifery.

Cornelia Enning
Excerpted from “Waterbirth: Contemporary Application for Historic Concepts,” Midwifery Today, Issue 70
View table of contents / Order the back issue


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Midwife's Journal
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Expert midwives share their tricks
Sharing Midwifery Knowledge is packed with information that can expand your personal bag of tricks, enhance your education and encourage a natural approach to safe childbearing. Topics include Nutrition and Herbs, Natural Alternatives to Drugs and Suturing, The Dangers of Ultrasound, and Premature Rupture of Membranes. To order book cover

Midwifery Today Magazine Issue 113 Give the gift of information! You’ll save $5 per subscription when you order two one-year Midwifery Today subscriptions at the same time. And one of these can be your own renewal or new subscription!
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Website Update

Read this article excerpt from the Spring issue of Midwifery Today magazine, now on our website:

  • Collaboration Is KEY—by Aubre Tompkins

    Excerpt: Despite our best efforts as midwives, providing high quality prenatal care, educating and empowering our clients and being ever vigilant in knowing normal and when to intervene, we will always have women who require the care of physicians and hospitals. The ability to facilitate that transfer of care in a timely, professional and compassionate manner should be the standard of care, not the exception.


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Birth Q&A

Q: Was water a benefit for you in labor? Tell us about it.

— Midwifery Today

A: I labored in the water with my first. I went from 4 cm to 9 cm in three hours. I got out and pushed her into the world shortly after. With my next baby, I labored and delivered in the water. I wouldn’t do it any other way!

— Tonya C. Buffington

A: A big warm tub of water should be considered a human right for every laboring mother.

— Karissa Andrews

A: I can’t imagine birthing any other way. As soon as I got in the tub, the rest of the world melted away and all that was left was me and my baby to do the work of birthing. We put the horse trough in our backyard. It was night and the water was dark and warm. It felt like nothing else existed outside of that pool. It gave me the mobility, privacy and support I needed. In three hours, my son arrived. I experienced debilitating back pain throughout my pregnancy and the second I got in the pool, it was gone! I remember thinking afterward that it would probably have really sucked if I had to give birth in “real” life. Thank the Goddess for my liquid Laborland.

— Teresa Fox Magri

A: I wanted to give birth in water with my second child 30 years ago. He was four weeks late. We stayed in the bath for about 20 minutes until I felt a strong compulsion to get out of the bath and birth on land. It turns out the umbilical cord was very short and as he landed on the towels, the placenta landed behind him. I felt that he was communicating with me to be out of the water although I did not understand why until afterwards. I was amused that my attempt at an idyllic waterbirth was cast aside for the reality of my son's situation and that only he knew what he really needed!

— Marianne Littlejohn

A: I’ve found a warm shower to be helpful in relaxing me during transition. I do better when I’m upright than when I am sitting in a tub. I’m a very active birther.

— Danielle Saxon

A: I retired as of the end of February, but over my 20 years of midwifing, water was available for every laboring mother, and I encouraged my mommas to give it a try. When they got into the nice warm water, I saw tension go out of their faces and bodies. They relaxed and melted into the water. There were still moans and groans with the contractions, but they were low and guttural, instead of shrill, tense screams of pain. I do encourage vocalization during labor. I do encourage low, guttural moans, and the women who do that seem more relaxed and find their strength, as opposed to screaming, which is fear.

— Vicki Gilbert Ziemer


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