On Christmas Day a few years ago, I was having dinner with my family but I was on-call for an expectant mama—and I got the call letting me know her labor had started. I hopped in my car and drove northeast from the San Francisco Bay Area toward Sacramento, taking the appropriate exits from I-80 to the backroads that led to a nice suburban house where the kind-hearted couple were waiting for me to arrive.
Read more…. Narrative Medicine and the Renewal of Midwifery Practice in the Twenty-first Century
Photo by Andrew Seaman
To have a meaningful discussion about the future of midwifery education, we must consider the question: what is a midwife? To understand what a midwife is we need to ask ourselves some other important questions. First, who created midwifery? Second, what do midwives do? And finally, the most important question of all: exactly who “owns” human reproduction? Only after we answer these important questions can we start to analyze and develop a plan to educate the midwives of the future and begin to truly address the huge crisis we have in maternal and child health care today.
Read more…. The Future of Midwifery Education
Photo by Ed Robertson
Media Reviews – Issue 139
For Generations: A Midwife’s Tale of Hope and Help for Drug Addicted Pregnant Women and Their Families, by Mary Earhart
Birthing Outside the System: The Canary in the Coal Mine, by Hannah Dahlen, Bashi Kumar-Hazard, and Virginia Schmied Read more…. Media Reviews – Issue 139
Photo by Tim Mossholder
Photo Album – Issue 139
Baby’s Name: Remi Alex Shea
Parents: Winnie and Cody
Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada • January 2021 • 2:05 am
Read more…. Photo Album – Issue 139
Holding the sacred for new mothers as Village Midwife.
Photos provided by author
The Village Midwife is not lost. Her blood runs thick in our veins. Our great-great-grandmothers knew her ways. Many of them were her.
Read more…. The Village Midwife Yesterday—Today—Tomorrow
Photos by Ian Penwell
The most exciting thing to me about the future of midwifery is the non-traditional nature of midwifery education in America and the potential it has to become a model for the world. Student midwives can train by apprenticeship at the same time they also earn college degrees in midwifery, without ever leaving their home community. This is a game-changer.
Read more…. Future-Thinking Midwifery Education: Birthing the Midwives We Need
Photo by NASA
Numerous studies have been done researching the impact of stress on birthing women and how it can affect labor and the newborn. Statistics continue to confirm the relationship of cortisol and adrenaline with an increase in postpartum hemorrhage, fetal distress in labor, and the need for post-birth resuscitative measures. This is not that kind of article.
Read more…. Weaving the Sacred into Clinical Practice in the Wake of a Global Pandemic
Photo by Michael Anfang
I am beginning to feel a little like Forrest Gump when he said, “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” I would change it to “Birth is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get!”
Read more…. Expecting the Unexpected
Photo by Aditya Romansa
I wish I could show you the VHS (a type of videotape) I have from back in the day when there were no cell phones with which to film births. It is of the birth of Gregory, an almost-10 lb first baby born to a couple in my area. The birth was lovely.
Read more…. The Bottom Line
Photo by Shihao Mei
Every midwife knows what it feels like to return home after a long, challenging birth. The moment your home comes into view, the soft creak of the porch steps, the hushed house, the deep sigh as you finally sink into bed. I am experiencing that right now, as I return to my much beloved midwifery practice after 20 years away.
Read more…. Coming Full Circle: My Return to Midwifery
“The Birth of St. John the Baptist” (c. 1655) by Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo
Photo credit: Jane Beal
Not long before the outbreak of the coronavirus and Governor Newsom’s order to Californians to shelter in place, I visited the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. It is a small museum with an extraordinary collection, which includes a seventeenth-century oil painting by Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo, entitled “The Birth of St. John the Baptist” (ca. 1655). The canvas, strikingly large at more than four foot by six foot (146.7 x 188.3 cm), caught my attention as a midwife.
Read more…. “The Birth of St. John the Baptist”