March 30, 2016
Volume 18, Issue 7
Midwifery Today E-News
“Due Dates”
Print Page

In This Week’s Issue

How common is postmaturity syndrome and how should it be managed?

MT storeLearn about this and more in The Postdates and Postmaturity Handbook, the newest addition to Midwifery Today’s Holistic Clinical Series. This handbook will help you understand the myths and prevent the risks associated with postdate pregnancies and postmaturity syndrome. This valuable resource belongs in every midwife’s library. To order

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Quote of the Week

Trust the timing of your life.


The Art of Midwifery

As a childbirth educator, doula and student midwife, one of my pet hates is due dates! Whenever I meet with clients, my first task is to shift their thinking from pinning all their hopes on one day to looking at a broader period of time. It’s great to have a well-defined day to work around—we all like to be organized and having a deadline helps us to prepare, at least in the world of things humans create and control. This is not the case when we’re talking about a natural, physiological event.

Rachel Bee
Excerpted from “Due for Change?” Midwifery Today, Issue 98
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Midwifery Today Conferences

Harrisburg conferenceLearn from exciting teachers at our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 6–10!

Planned speakers include Michel Odent (pictured), Mary Cooper, Fernando Molina, Sister MorningStar, Barbara Harper and Gail Hart. Walk-in registrations are welcomed.

Learn more about the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference.

Are you ready for uncommon complications?

Fernando MolinaListen and learn as Fernando Molina shares his experiences to illustrate assessment techniques, problem solving and ways in which you can build your self-confidence in dealing with emergency and unusual situations. He will present ways to be more prepared for uncommon complications such as unusual bleeding, thrombocytopenia, meconium, neonatal jaundice, hematoma formation, signs of embolism and more.

Learn more about the Suva, Fiji, conference, 20–24 June 2016..

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Conference Chatter

Speaking of clocks and calendars, the birth of the Harrisburg conference is here! The due dates of the conference are April 6–10. Have you marked your calendar? Made travel arrangements? Selected your classes? The program is shaping up to be one of refreshment, depth and of course, connection.

In addition to the inspiring classes and influential speakers, Midwifery Today has a few goodies planned to sweeten your experience in Harrisburg. One is a raffle prize to win a birth pool! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to add a birth pool to your practice? Conference registrants are also invited to attend a Dinner Social sponsored by Midwifery Today on Friday evening. We will begin at 6:30 pm with a Munch and Mingle and then move into a delectable dinner buffet at 7:30 pm. Finally, you will be surrounded by the beauty of women and birth with artwork by Amanda Greavette throughout your stay at the conference. Looking forward to celebrating birth with you in Harrisburg!

— Oriona Turner, conference coordinator

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Featured Article

The Times and Tools of Induction

My people are Cherokee. My first exposure and my earliest memory of when a baby was to be born came from seeing fat-bellied animals and the adults commenting, “Oh, that foal (or cub or pup or kid or young one) will be coming in the spring.” Sometimes they said the baby or babies would be coming in the fall, but usually it was the spring. There was always much concern if babies were coming in the winter, whether they were kittens, pups, chicks or larger domestic animals. The woodland animals seemed to be smarter and their babies just always came in the spring or fall. I wondered about it all. Humans are animals, too, and the elders seemed to talk about us in much the same way. The elders would comment about how a woman was walking and that her time was nearing. As her habits of wanting to stay home or make baby clothes or rearrange the house became more obvious, I would hear comments like, “It won’t be long now.”

Labor is induced by right timing. I observed this as I watched the animals and later as I had my own divine daughters. I walked the hills and waded in the creeks of Missouri as my time grew near with my first daughter. Under the care of a family doctor, I was told a due date. When I told the date to my family elders, they all said, “Ah, but the baby will come when it is ready!” I was the generation that stood at the door of science and nature; they seemed to be at odds with one another. One stated things as if they were facts, but the real facts turned out to be different. My baby was due on October 5 and came October 10. Going over the date was a concern to my doctor and seemed to say something was wrong with my body or my baby. The elders were calm saying over and over, “Oh, she will come! When she is ready, she will come and you can’t keep her in!” They were right. My water broke one night at 11 pm while I was asleep. Contractions started at 1 am. Tabitha was born an hour and 53 minutes later at 2:53 am on October 10, 1975; a fourth generation first-born daughter who grew to give birth to a fifth generation first-born daughter, Ariel, born at 43 weeks in her own home and in her own time.

I’ve heard doctors tell mothers they must induce because there is little to no fluid left around the baby. They use big words that sound scary to mothers, who then experience a flood when their bag of water breaks a week later. Mothers are told they must induce because the baby is too big, but then the baby born is normal size. Mothers are told they must induce because the baby is too old, but the baby born is early and covered with vernix. Mothers are told they must induce because their blood pressure is too high and labor would be too stressful, but they aren’t told not to make love. Mother and babies are always too little or too big or too early or too late or too something until there is now seldom a mother that is just right for going into labor according to her own right timing.

Sister MorningStar
Excerpted from “The Times and Tools of Induction,” Midwifery Today, Issue 107
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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What is a doula?

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Let Miss Margaret inspire you!

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Website Update

MT storeI like the sweetness of the sharings, which reflected much of my sentiments as well. I'm so thankful for the privilege to be a part of your lives. The learning for me is vast, and I'm confident it will continue to have a reverberating effect on my life and those whose lives I touch for many years to come! [About closing session of Harrisburg 2012 conference]

Read more testimonials and see photos in scrapbooks of past conferences in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, viewable online here: Harrisburg 2012; Harrisburg 2014

Come to Harrisburg next week!

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Birth Q&A

Q: When did your baby arrive? Early or late? If late, was there pressure to deliver during a certain time, and how did you handle it?

— Midwifery Today

A: Forty-three years ago, with my first, I knew the very moment I got pregnant. From there, they gave me a due date for the end of August. She made her arrival the end of September. No one fussed or pushed or even mentioned it at the time.

— Barbara Covington

A: My first baby was due October 15. On my last prenatal at 42 weeks and 5 days, my doctor said, “You’re over 42 weeks. Everything looks wonderful. If you don’t have your baby by your prenatal next week, we’ll have to talk about doing something about it.” She was born on November 12 spontaneously with no signs of being overdue. Every woman in my family carries at least 42 weeks.

— Gail Hart

A: My first was 3.5 weeks late, from a definite date of conception. My second was 2.5 weeks late, and my last was exactly 2 weeks late. I knew when I conceived with each one. Back then, in the 60s, no one batted an eye. There was no talk of induction. Babies came when they came.

— Vicki Gilbert Ziemer

A: I’ve had four babies. The first arrived at 44 weeks, and that was challenging! No pressure from my birthing team but so much pressure from my mother’s friends! They all rang her and asked when the doctor was going to induce me. I also didn’t finish my birth classes as I was constantly asked when my baby would come, so I missed out on all the info about second stage. Regardless, I birthed my first at home, totally supported by my birth team, and she was my biggest babe. My second was 3 weeks early. After that, I gave up thinking of a birth date and went to a birth month. My last two arrived on their birthdays.

— Sue Cookson

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