Midwifery Today Articles

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The Future of Midwifery Education

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.

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Media Reviews – Issue 139

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 Album – Issue 139

Photo Album – Issue 139

Baby’s Name: Remi Alex Shea
Parents: Winnie and Cody
Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada • January 2021 • 2:05 am

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 Read more…. Photo Album – Issue 139

The Village Midwife Yesterday—Today—Tomorrow

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.

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Future-Thinking Midwifery Education: Birthing the Midwives We Need

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.

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Weaving the Sacred into Clinical Practice in the Wake of a Global Pandemic

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.

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Expecting the Unexpected

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!”

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The Bottom Line

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.

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Coming Full Circle: My Return to Midwifery

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.

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“The Birth of St. John the Baptist”

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.

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Natural After-Death Care: Completing the Circle of Midwifery

Like a number of midwives I know, as I have gotten older I’ve gone from attending births to attending the dying in some way, such as working with hospice, attending the dying as a doula, or helping families reclaim natural after-death care and holding vigils. The similarities between this sacred work at both ends of life are obvious, and both have traditionally been the realm of the sage femme/wise woman/midwife. The first time I provided natural after-death care was both a revelation and a revolution for me—one that seemed to bring my midwifery work full circle.

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