Jan Tritten is the founder, editor, and mother of Midwifery Today magazine and conferences. Her love for and study of midwifery sprang from the beautiful homebirth of her second daughter—after a disappointing, medicalized first birth in the hospital. After giving birth at home, she kept studying birth books because, “she thought there was something more here.” She became a homebirth midwife in 1977 and continued helping moms who wanted a better birth experience. Jan started Midwifery Today in 1986 to spread the good word about midwifery care, using her experience to guide editorial and conferences. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies in the United States and around the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world!
Photo provided by author
Jan tells us about the conferences—US and international—being planned now that the pandemic has settled down. Read more…. It’s Conference Planning Time Again!
Photo by Nyana Stoica
A midwife is responsible for knowing and recalling all she is able about any complication that may arise. We have lives in our hands, so we want to know as many techniques for any given situation as we can. Most do not happen very frequently. Shoulder dystocia is one of our big ones; learning all we can and reviewing our knowledge base often is very important. Read more…. From the Editor: Complications and Fear
Photo by Scott Webb
Having my second baby at home truly changed the trajectory of my life. I had had an traumatic hospital birth the first time and was totally traumatized and guilt-ridden by it. I was planning to have a much better, un-interfered-with birth in the hospital when I met Dr. Tom Duncan. He talked me into having a homebirth. Imagine a doctor talking you into having a homebirth! It was providential. He ultimately did only three homebirths in Eugene, my hometown. It proved to be too far for him to travel, at about an hour-and-a-half. Read more…. Homebirth Changed My Life
If all midwives and birth attendants had known about using the placenta, membrane, or cord for hemorrhage control, many lives could have been saved. If all midwives learned about this and were willing to use it, so many more would be saved. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death globally. Think of all the maternal deaths that could be and could have been avoided. These resources are always present at a birth. Membranes and cord can be used if the placenta is not born yet. Gail Hart taught me that. She said that the membranes and cord have even more oxytocin and other useful hormones than even the placenta. Read more…. Placenta, Membranes, and Cord to Stop Bleeding
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon
What are our politics? There is so much division in the US and the world right now. I believe we should get behind our politics—that is, the politics of midwifery and birth. Let’s put our energy into what really matters to us—birth. We want to make sure, as much as we are able, to help every motherbaby have the best birth possible. There are so many ways to do that: midwifery, being a doula, working abroad, and educating both parents and practitioners. Read more…. Honoring Birth Visionaries
Midwifery Today is now an online publication—which is very exciting to us! This change allows us to include value-added material with articles. You will find links that provide further information, videos, or sounds, and there is no limit to the length of articles—long or short. We can include photos without coming up against page limitations that prevent us from fitting them in. I think that offers a lot to our readers. Read more…. Let’s Keep Making Birth Better
Midwifery Today has been trying to influence birth for the better throughout the world since our first issue came out in 1987. It took us a long time from idea to publication: to get the first one done, we started a full year before. We had a column called Working Abroad in the first issue and then began to receive contributions from other countries. Henny Ligtermoet, from Australia, wrote “My Mother was an Elderly Primagravida.” She talked about how if she were born today (then 1987) the OB would put fear in her mother, but since she was born at home in 1921 that did not happen. International issues and ideas have been a great journey and I have enjoyed it immensely! Read more…. The Journey of International Midwifery
This video is about the fascinating life of Anita Rojas. She is from Mexico and lived on a remote mountaintop village without a grocery store or drug store. The countryside provided the villagers with both food and medicinal herbs. Her grandmother taught her about birth and herbs. Come watch, listen, and fall in love with her, as we have!
Read more…. Interview with Anita Rojas at the 2019 Eugene Conference
Illustration by Gerd Altmann
Editor Jan Tritten shares thoughts about the uphill battle to respect birth, women, and babies and what keeps her moving forward in this quest. Read more…. For the One, For the Many
Photo by Jernej Graj
Editor Jan Tritten shares her story of birth trauma and using it to keep her passion alive. Read more…. Trauma in Birth
Most of you probably read the trilogy Call the Midwife years ago. I am a little late, but I just finished all three books. The stories of people, mostly from the East End of London, seem more unreal than fiction, yet they are all true, according to the author, Jennifer Worth. She writes about the midwifery services, mostly homebirths, provided by the nuns at Nonnatus House for 99 years—from the 19th and through most of the 20th century. Read more…. Call the Midwife
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros
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. Read more…. Let’s Move Birth in the Right Direction