December 9, 2015
Volume 17, Issue 25
Midwifery Today E-News
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In This Week’s Issue

online holiday coupon pageSave $5 on a one-year Midwifery Today subscription

Get one 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. To order

MT online storeBelly dance and pregnancy: A perfect pair

Learn how to do it with Dance of the Womb: A Gentle Guide to Belly Dance for Pregnancy & Birth. This 2-disc DVD set includes a 45-minute warm-up and six dance chapters that teach specific movements and their uses during labor. You’ll also see belly dance in practice during labor, as well as a beautifully filmed 50-minute homebirth documentary. To order

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Quote of the Week

Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside.

Rita Rudner

The Art of Midwifery

My greatest encouragement for a woman pregnant with life is to find celebration in her body. […] Dance has illuminated this pleasure for me more than any other aspect of my life.

Abigail Connelly, excerpted from “The Dance of Childbirth,” Birth Wisdom, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. III, a Midwifery Today book
View table of contents / Order the book

Midwifery Today Conferences

Are you ready for Uncommon Complications?

Mary Cooper and Fernando Molina will present ways to help you be more prepared for uncommon complications such as unusual bleeding, thrombocytopenia, meconium, neonatal jaundice, hematoma formation, signs of embolism and more. Learn how to manage these while keeping the family and yourself calm. Bring your questions and cases to study.

Learn more about the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference.

Join us in Fiji next June!

Fijian midwivesPlan now to attend our conference in Suva, Fiji, 20–24 June 2016. You will be able to learn from teachers such as Carol Gautschi, Gail Hart, Fernando Molina and Debra Pascali-Bonaro. Classes to choose from include Midwifery in the South Pacific, Shoulder Dystocia and Second Stage Issues, Village Prenatals, and Breech Skills.

Learn more about the Suva, Fiji, conference.

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Editor’s Corner


No matter what or how you celebrate this season, the staff of Midwifery Today wishes you a refreshing, fun and warm time with your family and friends. This season is a time for love and joy. When you are pregnant or have the gift of working with pregnant women, your love and joy can be multiplied. All of us who are called to work with or help pregnant families are called to protect the future. Pregnant mothers literally hold the future within them. Looking at how violent and unstable our world is makes our roles even more crucial.

If you are going through a stressful or sad time in this season, your feelings can often be multiplied by the contrast of the season. To you, we hope this passes quickly and that joy replaces your burdens. Birth is about renewal and our hope is that in this new season, we all become renewed and refreshed to carry on this important work we are all called to, in whatever capacity, with love. I love the old song that says, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” Let us all go forth giving love wherever we go and whatever we do. Only love will conquer this world. Love never fails.

— 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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Conference Chatter

Our conference in Fiji is becoming a reality. We have our program ready and hope many of you can share this amazing event with us and our hostess country!

Besides some of our regular, wonderful speakers, Rachel Reed, who does the Midwives Thinking blog, and Sarah Buckley from Australia will be among our expert teachers. You will find a great program as well as a wonderful and warm country, both in temperature and hospitality!

We are very pleased to be able to hold this conference in Fiji. Our Fijian colleagues are trying to bring two midwives from each of the 13 different South Seas countries, so you will be able to make friends from all over the world. We also hope many midwives from Australia, New Zealand and Asia will be able to join us. This is a great opportunity to attend an exciting conference as well as do some touring in this very beautiful country. Bring your family and have a great vacation/holiday before or after the conference. This is an opportunity of a lifetime!

If going to Fiji is not possible for you, consider our upcoming Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference in April 2016. It promises to be a great event, too!

— Jan Tritten

Keep up to date with conference news on Facebook:

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Featured Article

Capturing My Sense of Pregnancy

My sense of pregnancy and birth is far from conventional. My beliefs have been shaped by numerous experiences throughout my life. I grew up knowing the midwife who delivered my two younger brothers. I was fascinated by this fiery, grey-haired, political activist, Judy Luce, who caught babies in her capable hands. I remember little about the birth of my younger brother Evan, though I know I was there. Since I was only 2 years old at the time, my memories are muted at best. My mother labored and delivered in our home in central Vermont. Though I remember few of the specifics, my memory of the event is tinged with a sense of comfort and ease. I’m told that after Evan’s birth I ran from the room returning promptly with an armload of baby dolls, announcing proudly to all present, “I have babies, too!”

My memories of Noah’s birth two years later are much clearer. I was 4 years old and remember being aware of my mother laboring throughout the night. My father wasn’t there. He was away working on a ship near Japan. It was the only one of our births that he missed. My other brothers and I had thrown sleeping bags down on the floor of one of the bedrooms to keep each other company through the night. We were asleep for the actual birth. My first sight of Noah was of this tiny baby wrapped in a yellow receiving blanket. I remember the sense of awe I felt thinking about how just a few hours before that little one had been inside my mother. I learned about meconium that day. Avery, Evan and I found the discussion of baby poop indescribably hilarious. We talked for days about how Noah ruined his first blanket with that sticky, black goop!

I was fascinated by birth even as a young child. My childhood was filled with retellings of these and other birth stories. I remember learning that when Evan was born everyone thought he was mom’s smallest because he looked so skinny. Yet he was so long he ended up being her heaviest at close to nine pounds. My cousin, Forrest, was born before the midwife had time to arrive. He was my aunt’s fourth and just slipped right out. These stories were instilled in all our memories and became a part of our family lore.

When I was 14, I had another opportunity to be intimately involved in a birth. I was invited to be present for the birth of my Aunt Maria’s second child, Pakal. Maria had planned a homebirth in her small, Montpelier, Vermont, apartment. Her water broke Tuesday night and we all gathered at her home the next morning. She labored through the day and into that night making little progress. On Thursday morning, we all transferred to the hospital. She gave birth late Thursday afternoon. Pakal weighed 10 lb 2 oz. His umbilical cord was three feet long.

Being at that birth had a profound effect on me, though not in the way my mom and aunts expected. They assumed it had been a traumatizing experience and yet it was quite the opposite. In my journal I wrote about the power and intensity of her contractions: “She’d go past the point of wanting people to comfort her,” I wrote. “She’d moan this awful moan that wrenched at my heart every time. She wouldn’t scream, she wouldn’t want sympathy, she would just moan. It was like…I can’t put it into words. All I can say is that it was totally selfless.”

Lottie Maker
Excerpted from “Capturing My Sense of Pregnancy,” Midwifery Today, Issue 93
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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Gain a fresh insight into the amazing journey each woman takes in becoming a mother

MT online store The Big Stretch DVD presents women in different stages of pregnancy as they prepare for a natural birth and reflect with their partners on how they are “stretched” in every way—emotionally, physically and spiritually. Topics explored include breath awareness, pain and the intensity of birth, body awareness, relationship and personal transformation, asking for help and women’s challenges. To order

Mandala Pendants make lovely and inexpensive gifts

MT store 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

Carry a bundle of birth stories on your smartphone or e-book reader!

MT e-book Birth stories are fun to read and good to share. And now you can have 21 birth stories available anytime and anywhere, when you purchase and download Birth Stories, a collection of personal accounts from past issues of Midwifery Today magazine. These stories were written by mothers, fathers and midwives, and cover homebirth, hospital birth, twin birth, breech birth, VBACs and waterbirth. Available on Amazon or on Smashwords in a variety of formats.

Support, comfort, empower, with Birth Affirmations

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Birth Q&A

Q: Please describe pregnancy in one sentence.

— Midwifery Today

A: Time to connect and empower yourself.

— Caroline Pajot

A: Birth is not a destination, but rather a journey of becoming a mother of flexibility, surrender, self-compassion and all-encompassing love.

— Mackenzie Christy

A: Simply one of the dearest times; when it was over, I felt so lonely in my own body because I loved sharing it with her so much.

— Melissa Crowder Rhoden

A: In Italian we say gravidanza, and it’s curious because it can mean “the dance of gravity”!

— Maria Leonelli Cannarsa

A: Pregnancy is a deeply satisfying multidimensional fullness: awakening new life and possibilities, embracing unknowns, accepting chaos, infinitely expanding love, unlocking pure, magical, raw and honest levels of reality.

— Shannon Sprouse

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