April 12, 2017
Volume 19, Issue 8
Midwifery Today E-News
“Unity in Midwifery”
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In This Week’s Issue



MT magazineSave $5 on a one-year Midwifery Today subscription…

…and keep birth information coming to your house all year round! This is just one of the special offers on our Spring into Savings page. Check them out and start saving today.



Let Gail Tully help you with your next breech birth

MT storeGail’s 20-page Breech Birth Quick Guide is illustrated with colored photos and diagrams and is intended for the well-trained doctor or midwife. Topics covered include when and how to be hands-on or hands-off, comparing normal and stuck breech, lateral flexion of baby’s spine and solutions for obstructed breech. Be sure to bring this handy guide to every birth, so essential information will be at hand when if you need it! To order



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Quote of the Week

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


The Art of Midwifery

During labor, both the descent of the baby and the dilation of the cervix can often be assessed by looking at the mother’s abdomen or back. These methods are non-intrusive, don’t require a vaginal exam and mom can still keep her modesty.

If the room is dark or mom is clothed, you can assess by feel. Do you feel the baby coming down into the back? Are you performing sacral pressure because mom is getting that awful backache that sometimes happens as the cervix does its last centimeter or so? As you push, can you suddenly feel the head pressing against your palm? That is how you “feel” from the outside when baby’s head passes into the birth canal without any ligaments or tissues in the way.

Gail Hart
Excerpted from “Rings, Lines, Folds and Other Old-time Tools to Assess Dilation,” Midwifery Today, Issue 116
View table of contents / Order the back issue



Midwifery Today Conferences

East Coast mini-conference Join us in May for a one-day conference on the East Coast USA!

Gail Hart (pictured), Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten will discuss topics such as New and Old: Techniques for Controlling and Preventing Hemorrhage, Resolving Shoulder Dystocia and Our Eyes and Non-verbal Communication. There will also be a Tricks of the Trade sharing session. You may choose from three locations: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; the Boston area; and New York City.

Learn more about our East Coast Mini-Conferences, May 2017.



“Trust, Intimacy and Love—The Chemistry of Connection”

This is the theme of our conference in Helsinki, Finland, this October. What a great opportunity to refresh and reinvigorate yourself as you discover new ideas, new techniques and meet midwives from around the world! Plan now to attend.

Learn more about our conference in Helsinki, Finland, October 2017.



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Editor’s Corner

Unity in Midwifery and Birth

Is unity in midwifery possible? I believe that it is nearly impossible, given human nature, but if we can develop unity, I believe many more moms will use midwives. There has long been the idea of a midwife for every mom. In the US there are at least four different ways to become a midwife: CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife), CM (Certified Midwife), CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) and traditional midwife, sometimes called lay midwife or unlicensed midwife. If we all got along and respected each other rather than being judgmental, we could form a strong coalition and educate the public together. I believe if one type of midwife is left out―usually the traditional midwife―then the idea of a midwife for every mom will fail. We cannot tear each other down if we want the country/world to use midwives. Perhaps a “Respect 101” class should be part of all midwifery education programs. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Women choose their midwives for many reasons. Some want a more medicalized birth to feel safe; others want the midwife to sit in the next room at their homebirth. If we are really in favor of informed choice we must serve all women and their babies. Unity―or, at the very least, harmony and no gossip―is needed. We have a lot of work to do and there are not very many of us midwives to do it. We can do a better job with positive relationships among us. The result will be unity―or at least something nearer to it―and what can follow is a midwife for every mom who wants one. I have always thought that if we treated each other like we treat our birthing moms, we would be there.

— 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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Please support our advertisers
Do You Have the New Edition Yet?
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Conference Chatter

With another successful conference in Eugene, Oregon, behind us, we are now focusing on our new mini-conferences, beginning in May 2017. We know it is hard to get away, so we are bringing mini-conferences to you. Our mini-conference retreats are for anyone interested in birth: midwives, doulas, student and aspiring midwives, childbirth educators, nurses and doctors.

We will initially hold them in three locations on the East coast:

  • May 16: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • May 20: Braintree (Boston), Massachusetts
  • May 22: New York City

Fees range from $119 (by May 8, the in-office deadline) and $129 (at conference) with a $10 discount for subscribers.

Our program will be the same in each place. We have a great program prepared for you with excellent clinical information as well as heart-filling inspiration.

To learn more, please visit our mini-conference web page.

We hope to see you there!

— Shea Baker, Midwifery Today’s Conference Coordinator, and birth and postpartum doula

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


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Featured Article

Midwives and Unity

If everybody shares a common goal and basic belief―in this case a healthy mom and baby―does it make a difference how we get there or how long it takes? …

We should be very thankful for fellow midwives who choose to work in the hospital environment. If ever we needed angels of mercy, we need them there. Now and then the situation calls for all that technology and someone who has walked the path and can use it. There are many occasions when much of the technology is unnecessary, but if a mom wants it, we need to support her and her decisions. Each time that the hospital became the birthing place for one of my moms, the midwives and nurses made a difference.

Just as midwives working hospitals are a blessing, so too are homebirth midwives. They have come to their destination from many directions and have walked different paths of education, apprenticeship and experience to get there.

There are an infinite number of pregnant women and birthing choices and just about as many midwives with different philosophies and practices. How can we work together? …

To really work together and support one another on our chosen paths, we must be willing to pass on names of midwives who offer the services a woman might request. When a woman comes to our clinic or office and asks for something different than what we offer or are comfortable with, we can help her find someone who can work with her as she wishes.

Vi Sadhana
Excerpted from “Climbing the Mountain Together,” Midwifery Today, Issue 64
View table of contents / Order the back issue


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“Every midwife should take this course!” ~ Renee C. Midwife

Learn more at our website.



Featured Products

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MT store Sign up for Midwifery Today Store News and learn about special promotions sent only to newsletter subscribers. You’ll also receive notices of other specials and information about new products. Expect no more than two e-mails a month. To sign up



Get step-by-step instruction on the maternal exam

MT store Order Maternal Exam for the Student Midwife, Part I, and you’ll receive a two-disc DVD set that provides comprehensive instruction for both beginning students and practicing midwives. Topics covered include palpation of the breasts and abdomen, Leopold’s maneuvers, fundal height measurement and the correct procedure for taking fetal heart tones. Colorful illustrations, detailed descriptions and live demonstrations add to the usefulness of this package. To order

Maternal Exam for the Student Midwife, Part II, The Pelvic Exam is also available.



Birth Wisdom from Michel Odent

MT e-book This e-book is a collection of 24 articles by French obstetrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent. Dr. Odent has been influencing the history of childbirth and health research for several decades and is familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concept of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. When you buy this e-book, you’ll be able to read articles such as “When Love Hormones Become Useless,” “Dispelling Disempowering Birth Vocabulary,” and “Childbirth from a Bacteriological Perspective.” Available on Amazon or on Smashwords in a variety of formats.



Keep track of the births you attend

MT store The Midwife’s Journal has room for you to record the essentials of up to 100 vaginal births and 20 cesareans. There’s also a section for addresses and telephone numbers and an appendix of forms and charts. Plus, the one-of-a-kind freestyle index lets you compile statistics or quickly find complicated cases or other significant events. Durable enough to be carried in your birth bag and subjected to the rigors of daily use, this unique organizer is ideal for midwives, physicians, doulas, nurses, and other childbirth professionals. To order



Website Update

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

  • Postpartum Mood Disorders—by Aubre Tompkins

    Excerpt: While this article was still germinating in my mind, I sat down in front of my computer to reach out via social media. I asked folks to share their experience with postpartum depression (PPD) in three words. What happened next was something I was not entirely prepared for or expecting. Immediately, the responses began to flood in; it was a wave of intensity and vulnerability.


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



Birth Q&A

Q: Do you refer cases to another midwife that you cannot attend according to your protocols?

— Midwifery Today

A: Sometimes I’ll co-manage care with an OB I trust when hospital care is necessary. I don’t live in a licensed state so I’m extremely lucky to have such a solid working relationship with a hospital that transfer goes seamlessly. Even if my preferred OB isn’t available, the residents treat me like a respected professional and treat my clients with compassion.

— Kate Aseron

A: Isn’t there a saying “There is a midwife for every woman?” Why keep women in your care who are not a great match? Every woman deserves that honesty and we cannot be that person for every woman. Better yet, encourage her to interview and meet every option. She can choose for herself.

— Maryn Green

A: I think it is crucial for midwives to do this, or at the very least explain that their boundary is being crossed, but that there may be other midwives who would be happy to serve them. It upsets me when midwives pretend no one else will help them and the only option is hospital birth. I talk a lot about this over at Indie Birth, and I have written about how we need to change our language from “we’re risking you (the client) out” to “we are risking ourselves (the midwives) out, and you may continue to plan for your birth however you see fit.”

— Margo Blackstone

A: I am a hospital-based midwife and I routinely refer women to other midwives who offer home birth or birthing center birth options if those are paths that work for the woman and her family.

— Windi Muraszka

A: As a “consumer,” I would expect the person I hire to be honest with me and provide me with my options. This may be due to their rules (i.e., CNM vs. CPM differences―yet totally legal. I know moms who have felt pressured to induce because they hit a certain week ... or pressured to lie to their provider, etc.). This may be due to that midwife’s personal beliefs or desires for her business (we should never expect a midwife to be a magician, without a family with needs or even time for vacations, etc.; but she should be up front). It also may be due to experience or comfort level (some midwives will not attend births alone; some will not attend twins alone, etc.).

We need to expect open communication and treat our care providers as normal human beings just as we expect them to treat us! This means open communication and sharing of available options (even if they feel the need to share a bit of information that makes them hesitant to make a full-on recommendation). That person could still be perfect for me or someone else.

— Danielle Bergum


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