January 4, 2017
Volume 19, Issue 1
Midwifery Today E-News
“Happy New Year/Homebirth”
Print Page

In This Week’s Issue

MT store Save up to $20 on your Midwifery Today order!

Now through January 16, you can save $20 on any order over $200. Or, save $10 on any order over $110. Spend some of your Holiday gift money and take advantage of this limited-time offer. To order

Witness an inspiring homebirth

MT store When you order the expanded Birth Day DVD, you’ll receive the original 11-minute documentary as well as 10 additional chapters. Narrated by the baby’s mother, midwife Naolí Vinaver Lopez, the heart of this DVD is the birth of the family’s third child and first daughter. The new material includes additional footage of the birth, moments of family bonding and interviews with the grandparents, the midwife and others. Birth Day will help parents and practitioners alike understand the true and sacred meaning of birth. To order

This issue of Midwifery Today E-News is brought to you by:

Look below for more info.

Quote of the Week

Today is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.


The Art of Midwifery

Back in 1970, if you wanted to be a midwife, there were very few options for training. There were two nurse-midwifery education programs then, but since I didn’t live in New York City or Jackson, Mississippi, I had no way of knowing about them. I just knew that I wanted to be a midwife. I was lucky to have the opportunity to witness the most gorgeous birth anyone could possibly have, and that birth launched my quest to become a midwife. Those who have read Spiritual Midwifery already know that my initial training came from a short seminar from a kind obstetrician whom I met on the caravan I traveled with at the time. That quick course in emergency birth assistance was later supplemented by the relationship that I developed with Dr. John O. Williams, Jr., a local family practice doctor who lived near the place where my friends and I finally settled and where we started the community that we still call The Farm. Sixteen years of being the main access to medical care for the local Amish community had taught Dr. Williams that homebirth was nothing to be afraid of, as long as you were alert to early signs of complication.

Ina May Gaskin
Excerpted from “How Being a Homebirth Midwife Enabled Me to Learn about Shoulder Dystocia,” Midwifery Today, Issue 117
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Midwifery Today Conferences

Eugene conferenceLearn about Midwifery Issues and Skills!

Sign up for one or both of two full-day classes. You will learn from teachers such as Elizabeth Davis (pictured), Carol Gautschi, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Anne Frye, Fernando Molina, Gail Hart and Sister MorningStar. Topics covered include Establishing Client Relationship, Understanding Zika and Its Effects on the Baby, Miraculous Beginnings, Pelvic Anatomy, Collaborative Care with Survivor Clients, and Labor Dystocia.

Part of our conference in Eugene, Oregon, April 2017.

Finland conferenceJoin us in Finland this October!

Plan now to attend our conference in Helsinki, Finland, 4–8 October 2017. “Trust, Intimacy and Love—The Chemistry of Connection” will offer over 40 different classes, including a full-day session on Midwifery Skills and two full-days on Rebozo Techniques and Practice.

Part of our conference in Helsinki, Finland, October 2017.

Do you like what you’re reading?

You’ll get even more content when you subscribe to our quarterly print magazine, Midwifery Today. Subscribe here.

Editor’s Corner

Happy New Year and New Birth

Midwifery Today offers you a warm welcome to the New Year. May 2017 be the pivotal year for changing birth practices! Let us all work to make it so. We each have a sweet little sphere of influence, and so if we use it judiciously and seek to expand it just a little bit, we will rock the world. We can reach critical mass where one person tells another how great, important and powerful birth is or can be, and we can change the world one birth, one person at a time.

I know I say over and over that my hope lies in the importance of the babies getting seeded with the mother’s microbiome as one of our most important change agent pieces of information. But I say this because I believe it is our newest and greatest hope. My other hope is in you—the wonderful people who care so much about birth and will work to make the changes so that every woman, along with her baby, has the greatest chance at an amazing birth experience. Let’s tell everyone we meet this year how important this is. I just learned the term elevator pitch. That is where you have 30 seconds to give someone you meet your message. Let’s use that idea to spread the word! Birthing in love changes the world!

— 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.

Midwifery Today on Facebook
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing (Facebook)

Please support our advertisers!
Follow Your Passion: Become a Nurse-Midwife

Frontier Nursing UniversityAre you interested in a career as a Certified Nurse-Midwife? Frontier Nursing University offers a Master of Science in Nursing program where coursework is completed online and your clinical experience in your own community. If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree, get in touch with one of our admissions counselors today.


Conference Chatter

This is the month we will begin to offer online classes. Our first class will most likely be “Becoming a Midwife.” If you are an aspiring midwife, this is just the class for you. Follow us on Facebook to converse with us and find out more.

We will also post updated information on the scheduled classes on our homepage.

Many of you can’t come to our conferences, which include essential information for becoming a midwife, so we plan to offer online classes to help you with your destiny to become a midwife as well as to help you keep up with your education and CEUs. Our next conference is in Eugene, Oregon, and will offer many classes for beginning and seasoned midwives. Theme is “The Heart and Science of Birth.” Learn more on our website.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our print magazine, Midwifery Today. In this classic 30-year-old publication, we offer so very much for the aspiring and seasoned midwife!

— Jan Tritten

Keep up to date with conference news on Facebook: General conference news

Please support our advertisers
Journey to the Great Midwife – remembering the heArt of birth
advertiserSupport your journey to the heArt of birth as a midwife. Balance the left-brain medical with right-brain inner journeys, teachings, activities, contemplations, poetry and art. Rewarding for students, experienced midwives, and lovers of birth. Contact Terra Rafael, retired midwife and Ayurvedic practitioner for more information or purchase at wisewomanhood@gmail.com or her website.

Featured Article

Fourth Baby Birth Story: Gia Rose

After having three healthy baby girls, my husband and I felt that our family was complete. Due to a mixture of procrastination and passion, we found out that, nope! We were, in fact, not done having children.

Positive pregnancy test in hand, shocked and tearful, we came to grips with the fact that we would be heading into one more pregnancy and childbirth, but this time, without any pregnancy insurance coverage. Our shock and dismay switched into mild embarrassment. We endured all of the “You do know how this happens, right?” jokes from friends. We read the concern on family faces. Our already tight finances would be squeezed even tighter.

Acceptance, excitement and joy soon followed. I loved being pregnant. We would be a large family. We’d need a bigger car, and our children would grow up in a household of sharing, tight quarters, noise and love.

Homebirth had never entered my mind as an option. After my firstborn’s delivery, my uterus wouldn’t contract on its own, and the hemorrhaging got scary. I passed out twice just getting out of my hospital bed. They gave me Pitocin, which did the trick. This experience had convinced me that I would have been one of those mothers out on the prairie who would have bled to death after childbirth.

My idea of a homebirth was stereotypical. I pictured a hairy-legged woman bearing hot towels and a stick (to put in my mouth). The afterbirth would make a mess of the mattress, etc. None of this sounded appealing.

With just three weeks left in my fourth pregnancy, we were prepared to be saddled with $8K to $10K in hospital debt.

I’m always obsessed with watching birth stories while pregnant, and when the documentary The Business of Being Born came out on Netflix, my husband and I watched it. I saw midwives in this film who were quite normal. They were equipped with medical bags (Pitocin included). No sticks in mouths.

I was educated on the reason why hospital births often go the way they do. I saw why the typical legs-in-the-air pushing position was not necessarily natural or ideal. The homebirths I watched on film were beautiful, not just messy. Then came the realization that perhaps we could have a beautiful experience and save some money as well, if we chose a homebirth.

I had delivered all three of my girls naturally in the hospital, two with the assistance of midwives. It seemed to make sense that we consider the option of a homebirth. I phoned my nurse-midwife, whom I really love and trust, and asked, “So, would it be possible for you to deliver my baby at home?”

“No,” she said. “But you should talk to my best friend and next-door neighbor. She is a wonderful homebirth midwife.”

And so it was that just three weeks before my due date, we dove into the natural world of homebirth midwifery. I hadn’t had an ultrasound at all with this pregnancy, and there was so much about those three weeks of appointments that were new and different.

Sarah Sailer
Excerpted from “Fourth Baby Birth Story: Gia Rose,” Midwifery Today, Issue 115
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Please support our advertisers
FREE Whole-Food Based Prenatal Vitamin (Just cover shipping and handling)
advertiser30 Day Supply. Normally $39.95. Best Nest Prenatal Vitamin is an amazing once daily multivitamin that contains methylfolate (a natural form of folic acid) and methylcobalamin (a natural form of B12). Plus it packs a punch with 25+ vitamins, 100% organic blend, and probiotics. Created by an MIT-trained doctor mom, our prenatal vitamin is sourced from natural whole food ingredients.

Claim a FREE Prenatal Vitamin HERE

Featured Products

Enjoy the birth stories of three couples

MT store Just $18, this 42-minute DVD will show you various ways of giving birth, including waterbirth and squatting. The couples also discuss why they decided that homebirth was the best option for them. The audio in Homebirth Stories is in Hebrew; the subtitles are in English. To order

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 how to work with VBAC moms.

MT store Part of Midwifery Today’s Holistic Clinical Series, The VBAC and Cesarean Prevention Handbook is filled with articles by midwives, doulas and mothers on the powerful experience of VBAC. You’ll also find technical information about cesarean sections and VBACs designed to help you support VBAC moms in a safe and empowering way. To order

Spinning Babies: Parent Class shows you how you can enhance your labor and birth

MT store This DVD presents practical strategies that fill the labor progress gaps that other classes often miss and can be used to supplement any approach or childbirth method. It is useful for birth in the hospital, birth center or home and will educate both parents and midwife. To order

Website Update

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

  • The Right to Challenge Tradition and Cultural Conditioning—by Michel Odent

    In the age of electric lights, the reasons to improve our understanding of melatonin release and melatonin properties are obvious. It is already well established that short-wavelength light (in practice “blue” light) is the most melatonin suppressive. This is an important fact, since it is the kind of light typically emitted by lamps in conventional delivery rooms. It is probable that, when birth physiology is better understood, there will be spectacular practical implications of these recent scientific advances. Can we imagine a time when it will be considered rational to give birth in the light of a candle?

Promote Your Product or Service Here

advertise in E-NewsFor as low as $100 per insertion for a text-plus-graphic ad, you can send information about your birth-related product or service to over 15,000 E-News subscribers from around the world. This is a great way to reach midwives, parents, childbirth educators, physicians, nurses, doulas and others interested in safe, natural birth.

Learn more here or contact our Ad Director at ads@midwiferytoday.com.

Birth Q&A

Q: Why did you choose a homebirth?

— Midwifery Today

A: I envisioned a waterbirth, and I wanted a midwife-attended homebirth because I wanted to create a soft calming environment where I could go deep in a spiritual experience, chanting, praying and otherwise being my weird self. I tend to be a bit shy and sensitive to bright fluorescent lights, so avoiding the hospital environment, and the possible interventions, was important for my understanding of a peaceful birth.

— Colleen Morrissey

A: After a difficult first hospital birth, we moved abroad when pregnant with the second. I had already considered a homebirth, but a visit around the hospital maternity ward cemented my decision. Somehow (Jan Tritten helped!), I found three amazing English-speaking midwives who I adore and trusted more than the hospital. It was an easy decision (and an easy labor!).

— Natalie Barr

A: I didn’t. It chose me. I was fairly opinionated against homebirth until I had an accidental homebirth. Then I had another one on purpose, and now I am a homebirth midwife myself.

— Amy Ihrig

A: For my first, I really just wanted to allow my body to work how it was designed to work without any people or rules getting in the way. That remains my main motivating factor. However, the gut health of baby is now a significant consideration, as homebirth is superior to a hospital birth in regards to passing on beneficial bacteria from mom, and a healthy gut translates to better overall health for life!

— Becky Hartman Preston

A: I felt the time after birth with my daughter and husband were so important, so I did not want to be in a hospital setting for this sacred time.

— Melissa Moulder Dowd

Make sure you get the whole story.
Midwifery Today Magazine
Midwifery Today E-News is only a sample of what you’ll find in Midwifery Today magazine. Subscribe and you’ll receive an issue four times a year filled with in-depth articles, birth stories from around the world, stunning birth photography, news, reviews and more. Subscribe.


Tell our readers about your business. Just $48/issue ($135 for four) gives you 35 words to promote your products or services. Go here to learn more or write ads@midwiferytoday.com

Manage Your E-News Subscription

To subscribe

Just go here and fill out the form:

Change your e-mail address

If you are a current subscriber and you want to change the e-mail address to which the newsletter is delivered, please click the “update subscription preferences” link at the bottom of any mailed issue and then make your changes.

If you are a current subscriber and want to stop receiving the newsletter, please click the “unsubscribe from this list” link at the bottom of any mailed issue and then make your changes.

If you have difficulty, please send a complete description of the problem, including any error messages, to newsletters@midwiferytoday.com.

Learn your subscription status

If you are not receiving your issues, but have subscribed, contact newsletters@midwiferytoday.com with the address you used to subscribe and we will look into it for you.

Learn even more about birth.

Midwifery Today Magazine—mention code 940 when you subscribe.

 1-Year Subscription2-Year Subscription
United States$55$105
All other countries$75$145

E-mail inquiries@midwiferytoday.com or call 800-743-0974 to learn how to order.

Or subscribe online.

RSS Feed Subscribe to the Web Updates RSS feed to stay on top of what’s new or highlighted on the Midwifery Today website. Be alerted when conference programs go online, new articles are posted and more.

How to order our products mentioned in this issue:

Secure online shopping

We accept Visa and MasterCard at the Midwifery Today Storefront.

Order by postal mail

We accept Visa; MasterCard; and check or money order in U.S. funds.

Midwifery Today, Inc.
PO Box 2672
Eugene, OR 97402, USA

Order by phone or fax

We accept Visa and MasterCard.

Phone (U.S. and Canada; orders only):  800-743-0974

Phone (worldwide):  +1-541-344-7438

Fax:  +1-541-344-1422

E-News subscription questions or problems

Editorial submissions, questions or comments for E-News

Editorial for print magazine



For all other matters

All questions and comments submitted to Midwifery Today E-News become the property of Midwifery Today, Inc. They may be used either in full or as an excerpt, and will be archived on the Midwifery Today website.

Midwifery Today E-News is published electronically every other Wednesday. We invite your questions, comments and submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com. Please send submissions in the body of your message and not as attachments.


This publication is presented by Midwifery Today, Inc., for the sole purpose of disseminating general health information for public benefit. The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Midwifery Today, Inc., does not assume liability for the use of this information in any jurisdiction or for the contents of any external Internet sites referenced, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advertised in this publication. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.

Copyright Notice

The content of E-News is copyrighted by Midwifery Today, Inc., and, occasionally, other rights holders. You may forward E-News by e-mail an unlimited number of times, provided you do not alter the content in any way and that you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. You may print a single copy of each issue of E-News for your own personal, noncommercial use only, provided you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. Any other use of the content is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Midwifery Today, Inc., and any other applicable rights holders.

© 2017 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!