Wisdom of the Midwives – Issue 133
It’s 6 o’clock in the morning. Inigo, our Spanish physician, receives an early phone call from the camp police. They think a woman is in labor. He wakes me up. Our volunteer’s small house is very quiet. Everyone’s asleep and I quickly get dressed, putting on a sweater over my pajamas, pants, scarf, coat, and gloves. We’re taking off to the camp. The roads are empty, it’s dark, and we’re making the trip to the camp in half the time.
I trotted toward the little Mexican village of Salitrillo, trying to keep up with Doña Juanita who was two decades my senior. We were going to make four prenatal home visits where I would observe Doña Juanita offering the Mexican sobada (massage) and rebozo (sacred cloth). All the Mexican traditional midwives used these skills as part of their regular prenatal care. Although I had observed for nearly a decade, I still marveled at what wisdom and art lay in the assessment and application of these simple hands-on tools—oil and cloth.
Not many mothers and daughters have the privilege of sharing a work life in addition to a family life. When they do, it’s not usually in such a unique professional niche as placenta encapsulation. For the past five years, my mom, Ruth Ripple, and I have worked together as a mother-daughter team, providing placenta encapsulation services in western Colorado. It’s a deeply beautiful feeling, using our mother-daughter relationship to support other women’s journeys into motherhood.
Join Midwifery Today Online Membership Sometimes the history of midwifery is hidden in a tomb. This statement is not a metaphor for lost history; it’s reality. In the Isola Sacra necropolis in Ostia, a seaport of ancient Rome (originally situated at the mouth of the Tiber River but today located about four miles upstream) in… Read more…. Scribonia Attica: A Second-century Roman Midwife
The third stage of labor is the period following expulsion of the baby (second stage) via the birth canal. It usually takes approximately 5–30 minutes until the placenta and membranes are expelled. After this, lochia and lactation commence.
This is an obligatory topic for students of human nature who understand Homo as a primate endowed of the capacity to develop sophisticated ways to communicate.…
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 132, Winter 2019.Join Midwifery Today Website Membership Vulnerability during pregnancy has harmful consequences for the child in the first years of life. There are various initiatives in Flanders, and abroad, to more efficiently identify and support vulnerable pregnancies. Nevertheless, there are still many possibilities in… Read more…. Considerations for a Prenatal Detection Tool for Vulnerable Pregnant Women
Poem by Kristin Keith | Issue 132
This question was the title of a book intended for the British public (Odent 2017). In the United Kingdom, everybody is familiar with the term midwife. Traditionally, midwives were considered vital and respectable persons. There is even a Royal College of Midwives.