|November 25, 2015|
Volume 17, Issue 24
|Midwifery Today E-News|
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In This Week’s Issue
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Get practical information about how to have a natural birth in any setting
The Down to Earth Birth Book has information on herbs, nutrition, exercise, yoga, massage, breathing for birth, the stages of labor, waterbirth, breech birth, mastitis, foods for early breastfeeding and much more. You will also find diagrams, illustrations and over 90 color and black and white photos. This is a book you will return to time and again for information on birth preparation, as an in-the-moment birth guide, and as a reference for after the birth. To order
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Quote of the Week
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.
The Art of Midwifery
I treat the women I work with as friends, not just clients or patients, and nurture our relationship well beyond a strictly health care model. Our visits are open ended, usually an hour or more long, with free phone access in between. I want to know each woman as a unique person, learning what’s important to her within the context of her individual family/friends/spiritual support systems.
Midwifery Today Conferences
Learn about Amish and Mennonite Midwifery with Mary Cooper and Diane Goslin
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work in an Amish or Mennonite community with little in the way of amenities, and challenges that go beyond the typical? Mary and Diane have attended over 11,000 births in these communities. Come listen as they share their experiences in assisting plain and “English” (non-plain) birthing women.
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Social Networking Is Great Fun
During the Bad Wildbad, Germany, Midwifery Today conference, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and I did a roundtable on social networking. I do a lot with Facebook but there are so many more splendid platforms to work with to reach birth practitioners and women having babies. We want to be where pregnant women are in order to let birthing moms know the ropes in childbirth today, hopefully even before they get pregnant. The more various places we can chat with them, share photos and information, the better chance they will have to choose a birth place that gives them and their babies the best chance at a positive birth.
What I learned from Debra is that Facebook is geared mostly for people over 40. The young ones mostly use Twitter and Instagram. I am now trying to master those platforms before everyone goes to another platform! Through social media, we are able to reach so many more people than we were before. But with the ease of information sharing, there is a lot more misinformation out there. Let’s all use our various media to spread the good words about birth. The bottom line is, “Moms, you can do it!”
— 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.
Birth Is a Human Rights Issue
As you may know, we have another conference coming up in Strasbourg, France. Because the issue of human rights in childbirth is so important, and because the European Court of Human Rights is based in Strasbourg, we are going there again. Our theme is “Birth Is a Human Rights Issue,” as it was when we were there in 2010. Please join us 19–23 October 2016. We will have the program ready for you in about a month.
Our teachers are Diane Goslin, Verena Schmid, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Gail Hart, Fernando Molina, Carol Gautschi, Cornelia Enning, Tine Greve, Hermine Hayes-Klein, Michel Odent and many more. Save the date!
— Jan Tritten
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Teaching about Birth
Often times when birth is spoken of, words like “primal” and “instinctual” are used. Unfortunately, birth that many women experience is very far removed from these descriptions. Birth instead becomes a managed process, filled with words, machines, interruptions and interventions.
As a childbirth educator, my main aim is to teach people about birth. It is my belief that women possess the instinctual knowledge on how to birth, but problems arise when women don’t understand the type of environment they need to create for themselves in order for their intuitive nature to be free to act.
It seems that one of the greatest barriers to having a natural birth surrounds location. Women must feel safe where they are birthing and many feel that the hospital is the safest place to have a baby because of the technology available should a situation arise that necessitates the need for medical help.
I was recently at the birth of one of my students. The couple had hired me to be their doula and I was honored to be in that role. They had spoken to me of their plans to have a natural birth and of all they envisioned on the big day. They were using the services of the local hospital’s birth center, so they felt they had set themselves up to have a wonderful and gentle experience.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of births through hospital-run birth centers get transferred to the hospital. Midwives have additional protocols they must abide by when working under a hospital, so often their hands are tied, which results in a large number of women being transferred to the hospital. Such was the case with the couple I was assisting.
During labor, the mom was doing a wonderful job focusing on her body and relaxing through contractions. It was definitely an uphill battle, however, because of all of the interruptions by the hospital staff! The nurses would enter the room loudly and ask questions loudly; the mom’s brain was constantly being stimulated and nobody seemed to recognize one of the basic needs of a laboring woman—the need for peace and quiet. She even asked the midwife to please tell the nurses to respect the silent atmosphere. This laboring mom was a true advocate for herself and gave a number of terse shushes when the nurses continued to interrupt her during contractions, even after the request was made. In between one of the contractions, the mom turned to me and said, “They all need to take your class, Nancy, and learn about birth!”
Q: What do you think are essential things to teach in childbirth classes?
— Midwifery Today
A: Informed choice, advocacy, the choice to decline intervention of any sort, and the choice to change your mind at any time. I teach couples to accept birth as a physiological process no different to eating and breathing in the absence of an underlying pathology.
— Sally Kelly
A: Knowledge is power. We must teach them to replace fear with faith. We must teach what normal is and what a normal variation is. We must teach the difference between the medical model and the midwifery model. Teach them what a healthy lifestyle really means.
— Marlene Waechter
A: Essentials to teach: physiologic birth, nonpharmacologic pain relief, fear/tension/pain, and interventions with informed decision making. After teaching 35 years, I still review curriculum, gather appropriate teaching tools and seek to be what my clients need me to be and to give them what they need to have the best birth possible.
— Connie Livingston
A: Fear is the enemy of birth.
— Celesta Rannisi
A: Trust yourself and your body!
— Melody Bratti Masi
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