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.

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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Birth and the Human Future

Earlier this year, I read two of Michel Odent’s books; Birth and Breastfeeding (2008) and Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens (2013). Michel’s writing is very accessible with a conversational style. Over a period of time, I read first one then the other from cover to cover, and the books became my friends. I read for a half-hour with morning coffee and then an hour at bedtime. Read more…. Birth and the Human Future

Hemorrhage in Childbearing

A very useful article that presents poverty as one of the causes of hemorrhage.

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More on Human Rights for Childbearing Women

Although many women experience coercive and traumatic hospital births, others fully trust their OB/GYN and prefer to birth in a clinical setting. Women must choose their allies in birth carefully while remaining mindful that castigating all OB care providers does a great disservice to those medical professionals who observe and respect human and childbirth rights.

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Herstory: Human Rights in Childbearing

Shea Richland’s story continues. “My labor records show that my doctor had used forceps to pull my baby from my unconscious body. The episiotomy he cut extended to a third-degree tear. He had manually removed the placenta.”…

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Working Internationally: How to Identify (and Avoid) Cultural Imperialism

Cultural imperialism can have a pervasive, sometimes subtle influence on the work of a midwife. Marion Topeke McLean discusses how to detect imperialistic attitudes and practices, and ways to nurture cultural sensitivity. Read more…. Working Internationally: How to Identify (and Avoid) Cultural Imperialism

Marion’s message: Placenta Accreta

Contributor Marion Toepke McLean offers a thoughtful overview of recent studies on the treatment of Placenta Accreta.

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Human Rights for Breech Mamas

Marion reviews research on vaginal breech birth, defending access to safe, vaginal birth for breech babies.

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Study Shows Mothers’ Lives Saved

More than 20 years of efforts by maternal child health care workers has paid off with the news that pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths worldwide have decreased substantially since the Safe Motherhood Initiative began more than 20 years ago. This information comes from an in-depth study led by researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle and published in The Lancet (1) earlier this year. Generous funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation allowed them to search out and include in their analysis data that had not been used in previous maternal mortality estimates, achieving more complete and accurate results.

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Family Planning and Safe Motherhood

In January 2010, I was asked to help the Teso Safe Motherhood Project in Soroti, Uganda, develop their family planning program. Family planning is important to safe motherhood; it can decrease maternal mortality and morbidity and help people have healthier families.

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Changing Childbirth: The Midwife & the Phoenix

This midwife is on the cusp of change. The day before yesterday, December 31, I worked my last day at Planned Parenthood. At midnight, as 2009 changed to 2010 and the younger generation set off fireworks in the barnyard, I became a retired person—social security-qualified and all!

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A Difficult Breech Birth

Jennifer had once told me, “I don’t do births in Africa,” leaving this to an excellent staff of Ugandan midwives. But on that lucky morning, she got a stuck baby born and saved a life. Read more…. A Difficult Breech Birth

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