Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin, CPM, is the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Center in Tennessee (USA). She is the author of Spiritual Midwifery (1975) and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (2003). Ina May’s new book (2011) is called Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta. She was president of Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) from 1996 to 2002, and is a prominent national and international speaker. She has been a homebirth midwife since 1971.

Photo by Andrea Noll

Choosing Freedom Means Taking Responsibility

Birth in the Netherlands—the wealthy country long famous for its high homebirth rate—is going through rapid changes that aren’t so different from those in other countries with plenty of hospitals and technology. Read more…. Choosing Freedom Means Taking Responsibility

How Being a Homebirth Midwife Enabled Me to Learn about Shoulder Dystocia

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.

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 Read more…. How Being a Homebirth Midwife Enabled Me to Learn about Shoulder Dystocia

Tribute to a Maverick: Stephen Gaskin, 1935–2014

The dynamic influence of the Gaskin duo reaches far and wide, and in this touching piece, Ina May gives tribute to her beloved husband, Stephen, who recently passed away. Read more…. Tribute to a Maverick: Stephen Gaskin, 1935–2014

Teaching Respect for Hands-On Care

One of the greatest challenges before US midwives is teaching the value of hands-on care. Our culture’s love affair with machines, contraptions and gadgets has blinded literally hundreds of millions of people to the importance of human contact, feeling, experience and judgment in maternity care. Read more…. Teaching Respect for Hands-On Care

Unity: An Elusive but Necessary Goal for US Midwives and Their Advocates

Because our society includes such extremes, the arrival at some measure of unity among self-respecting midwives and those who advocate for them is much more challenging than in many other countries. Even so, I continue to believe that a goal of unity (focused vision) is well worth striving for. Read more…. Unity: An Elusive but Necessary Goal for US Midwives and Their Advocates