Let’s Move Birth in the Right Direction

Complications are why we need midwives. If birth were
completely normal all the time we midwives would
not be needed—but, indeed, we are needed. It is so
important that we all learn and gather the necessary skills
and didactic and emotional knowledge we can before we take
responsibility for a mother and baby. One of the great keys
to a good birth outcome is knowing when and how to act
and to do so quickly. Otherwise, we can keep hands off and
be the quiet midwife in the corner—unobtrusive and loving.
We need to be careful not to disturb the process.

Advocating for Birth Change

The most important event in many women’s lives is giving birth. It is so pivotal that most moms can remember it in great detail their entire life. I met a woman in Japan who was in her 80s and could recount every detail of her birth. Her father-in-law had been her support person.

The Doula’s Role

I believe that doulas need to have some preparation for handling emergency clinical situations: not to take them on, but to be ready in case of an emergency. This is a somewhat unpopular view. However, doulas can never know what kind of situation they may find themselves in. For example, you may be the first to arrive at a homebirth, when the midwife gets a flat tire or, for some other reason, does not arrive in time for the birth.

Prenatal Care

Continuity of carer is key to a normal, physiological, and empowered birth. Midwifery is about relationship which develops in the course of prenatal care.

There’s No Place like Home

Our developing insights into the microbiome have the potential to change everything regarding homebirth for moms—if we can get the word out about its importance to a healthy life. We will need to work on this from all spheres of influence.

Albert McLaren, Midwife

We have lost an amazing Fijian midwife and nurse, Albert Edward McLaren. We would not have been able to do the Fiji conference without this maverick of a midwife. He passed away on September 26, 2016, of complications from diabetes.

Reflecting on Fiji

Reflecting on Fiji: Highlights from the Midwifery Today Conference by 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.