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
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.
Read more…. How Being a Homebirth Midwife Enabled Me to Learn about Shoulder Dystocia
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
This is a powerful and emotional article against Cytotec and its use in pregnant women written by one of the most inspiring women in natural childbirth, Ina May Gaskin. Read more…. Cytotec and the FDA
Readers of Midwifery Today may remember my article in Issue 62 about a new trend—a faster way of suturing women’s uteri that came into vogue in the US in the 1990s. Formerly obstetricians in the US considered that in order for a uterine incision after c-section to heal properly it had to be closed in two layers and then a third layer added to close the peritoneum. The new minimalist method called instead for suturing the uterine incision in a single layer and leaving the peritoneum open. This one-layer suturing—also called the Misgav Ladach technique (1)—quickly became very popular among younger obstetricians, despite the dearth of research concerning its long-term safety implications. An obstetrician friend told me that the warnings of the older faculty members (“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you”) could easily be ignored because so much peer pressure was brought to bear on young residents to switch away from the traditional method to the new one.
Read more…. Trends versus Tradition in Cesarean Surgery: Effects on Midwifery Practice and Cesarean Mothers’ Future Pregnancies
This article discusses three different breech births and lessons learned. Read more…. Three Surprise Breeches
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
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
All midwives should have the opportunity for clinical experience in the settings in which they will practice. Read more…. A Vision for Midwifery in the United States