Marion Toepke McLean

Marion Toepke McLean, CNM, attended her first birth as primary midwife in August 1971. She received her nursing degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1966 and her midwifery and family nurse practitioner degree from Frontier Nursing Service in 1974. From 1976 through 2001 she did home, clinic and hospital births, while also working as a family nurse practitioner. In 1980 she taught a year-long program for local midwives, returning to Frontier Nursing Service to teach during the summer. She had a homebirth practice until 1985, when she went to work at the Nurse-Midwifery Birthing Service, a freestanding birth center. In June 2000 she completed a BA in International Studies at the University of Oregon, with concentrated studies on Mexico. Since 2002 she has worked in a reproductive health clinic and attended an occasional homebirth. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is a contributing editor to Midwifery Today.

Complications of Childbirth

Complications of childbirth are frightening for moms-to-be—yet they exist. Luckily, in our present day and age, there are effective treatments for most. Learning to deal with complications—to bring moms and babies through safely—is an important part of a midwife’s learning. Read more…. Complications of Childbirth

The Labor of Giving Birth

Labor can be long or short—it’s all normal. Organizations that make policy regarding birth are finally beginning to come to terms with that fact.

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The Death of a Childbearing Black Woman

Shalon Irving died on January 28, 2017, from complications of high blood pressure and heart problems. She left behind a four-week-old baby girl. Shalon, 36 years old, was an epidemiologist and commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service (USPHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Why Did Lauren Bloomstein Die?

In May 2017, Pro Publica and National Public Radio (NPR) published a story entitled “The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth” (Martin and Montagne 2017). Read more…. Why Did Lauren Bloomstein Die?

Cancer of the Cervix and the Midwife

The current research-based recommendation for screening in the US is a Pap smear every three years, starting at age 21, then Pap and high-risk HPV DNA screening every five years, starting at age 30. Read more…. Cancer of the Cervix and the Midwife

The Microbiome and the Midwife

The microbiome is a virtual swarm of micro-organisms which live in, on and around the human body. The Human Microbiome Project, launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008, was a five-year project which analyzed the genetic code of the microbes living in and on the human body, with the ultimate goal of finding how changes in the human microbiome are associated with health and disease. Despite the generation of massive amounts of data, this issue is currently not well understood.

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Essential Midwifery Skills

Midwife Marion Toepke McLean discusses the most essential midwifery skill of them all: to be able to recognize and support normal birth and to keep it normal.

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Motherbaby: How Close Can You Get?

Midwife Marion discusses the special role a mother plays in the life of a growing baby.

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Why Are Mothers Dying?

The maternal mortality rate in the United States is rising. What does that mean to those of us who live in this country?

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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

The blood in the heart and blood vessels must remain in a liquid form to maintain life. To achieve this, there is a balance between various elements, some that cause the blood to clot and others that allow it to flow freely.

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The Beta Strep Dilemma

Group B streptococci colonize the vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts of healthy women, being present 15–45% of the time when recto-vaginal swabs are collected and cultured (Woods 2014). Women screened around the 37th week of pregnancy test positive 10–33% of the time (CDC 2010). These women should, according to the CDC Guidelines, re-ceive IV penicillin, ampicillin or an alternative antibiotic, when in active labor.

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