Midwifery Today, Issue 119, Autumn 2016
Theme: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue

Issue 119: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue

Cover photo by Elis Freitas

A goal of Midwifery Today is for birth to be safe and compassionate for every motherbaby, everywhere. We hold conferences and publish articles in order to teach the world about childbirth that is physiologic, safe and honoring to both the mother and the baby in all aspects, including emotional, physical and spiritual. In this issue, we are pleased to offer compelling and thought-provoking articles surrounding our theme of “Birth Is a Human Rights Issue.” Michel Odent, Sister MorningStar, Robin Lim and others have written specifically on this theme. We also have a wonderful article on herbs by Susun S. Weed, and Elizabeth Davis has written a piece titled “The Lost Arts of Midwifery: Core Skills to Be Reclaimed.”


Poetry: Poem for a Mother
Sister MorningStar
Jan Tritten
An appropriate article for the theme of our magazine! Midwifery Today’s mother, Jan Tritten, shares her thoughts surrounding this important topic.
Marion’s Message: How Our Grandmother’s Lives Affect Our Own
Marion Toepke McLean
“The field of epigenetics shows us that our chromosomes and their expression in our lives are affected by processes that are triggered by our experiences.”
More departments:
Tricks of the Trade, Discussions, Classified Advertising, Photo Album


Michel Odent
Natural childbirth advocate and obstetrician Michel Odent discusses cultural interferences in childbirth and the repercussions these have had on human development.
Raspberry Leaf: Wonderful or Wacky?
Susun S. Weed
A helpful article by herbalist Susun S. Weed on the benefits of raspberry leaf, particularly in tea form, during pregnancy.
Sister MorningStar
“One of the most tragic destructions of indigenous sacred female knowledge is the false superiority and medicalization of childbirth by professionals among native peoples.”
The Lost Arts of Midwifery: Core Skills to Be Reclaimed
Elizabeth Davis
Midwife teacher Elizabeth Davis discusses holistic care, touching on her views of the importance of skills that may be on the decline within midwifery, specifically pelvimetry.
All Izz Not Well
Lina Duncan
Midwife Line Duncan provides an update on birth in India.
Human Rights in Obstetrics
Beverley Beech
Midwife Beverly Beech discusses the importance of human rights in maternity care.
Fetal Metabolic Programming for Life: How a Midwife’s Nutritional Counseling Can Make a Life-long Difference
Pam England
“While groundbreaking research is being done on fetal and neonatal microbiome health, e.g., fetal programming of the immune system, research on fetal metabolic programming that began in the early 1980s by the late Dr. David Barker continues to gather support.”
Martha Mears: Nature’s Midwife
Jane Beal
Another wonderful historical midwife account by author Jane Beal.
Vicki Penwell
Midwife Vicki Penwell shares a simple and practical tool to get better outcomes in childbirth.
Equality for Midwives
Hermine Hayes-Klein and Bashi Kumar-Hazard
“The picture of partnership and integration between medicine and midwifery is, however, a patchwork across Europe, across the United States, and around the world, in both law and practice.”
Human Rights in Childbirth: A Basket of Stories
Ibu Robin Lim
International midwife Robin Lim shares different stories to prove her point about the importance of human rights in childbirth around the globe.
The Breast Crawl
Leilani Rogers
A photographer captures one of wonders of newborn intuition: finding the mother’s breast.
Jan Tritten
Complete with the prime minister of Fiji’s opening speech, Jan shares some of the highlights from a truly inspiring conference in the South Seas.
A Hard Day’s Night: Midwives and Sleep Deprivation
Bonnie U. Gruenberg
Author Bonnie U. Gruenberg touches on a subject many birthworkers are unfortunately all too familiar with: sleep deprivation.