Many homebirth midwives found that their telephones were ringing more often than usual sometime during the spring of this year. Couples who had planned to have their babies in the hospital were re-thinking that decision due to the Covid-19 virus. We began hearing certain themes: “I don’t want to go into a place where all the sick people are going.” “I don’t want to be separated from my husband/partner.” “My labor assistant (notice that I did not use the word doula, as my Greek friends tell me that the word is derogatory) can’t be with me; she would have to drop me off at the door at just the time when I would most likely need her the most.” “I am scared to be among people who have been exposed to so many others who may have been, or may become, ill.”
If you are a breastfeeding mother, an ample supply of nutritious breast milk is a top priority. I wouldn’t be surprised if you already have boxes of herbal lactation teas stockpiled in your kitchen pantry, queued for your ritual teatime. While boxed lactation teas are a great start, you can build up a higher quality supply with this delicious dairy-free milk tonic recipe.
I recently gave birth to my second son. During my maternity care I came to realise that a particular set of needs had been invisible to me and were even more invisible to the people supporting me.
On February 4, 2020, I had the privilege of helping Vincent and Colleen with the birth of their second-born child. Their firstborn, a son, was born by c-section, due to his breech position and her bicornuate uterus.
I found out I was pregnant for the fifth time in May of 2019. I would have been considered high risk under traditional obstetrical care due to three prior miscarriages and a heart-shaped uterus with a cesarean scar. Due to my firstborn son Oren being breech in my womb, I was coerced into scheduling a cesarean at 39 weeks as a first-time mother. This is an option for those in my position, but it was presented to me as the only way to birth my son. I have since come to believe that risk is subjective. I had grown a healthy, full-term baby all on my own before and knew I could do it again, if this baby were to stay.
Sarita (name changed) is a sweet 29-year-old first-time mother in Kathmandu, Nepal, loved by her husband and family, generally healthy, and of a happy disposition. We first met at church when she was five months pregnant although because it was winter and she was wrapped completely in a wool shawl, I didn’t notice. Somehow my being a nurse and midwife came up in our conversation, and she disclosed that she was expecting. When I asked her how she’d been feeling, she said she’d been very tired lately, had headaches, and wasn’t feeling very well.
Photo Album – Issue 135
Tricks of the Trade – Issue 135
What do you do to prevent postpartum hemorrhage? How do you handle it if one comes along? Have you used placenta, membranes or cord to stem it? Do redheads bleed more?
The winter moon was rising. No babies tonight, so I volunteered to go home. I called security to walk me to my car. Just beyond the parking lot, food stamps were being traded for something to make the pain of living recede. Gunshots often echoed outside the walls of the labor wing. I was an OB nurse, in the midst of a system that often created birth violence, working with bold midwives to protect birth.
Regular everyday events are rarely newsworthy. The media typically induces emotional reactions through constant reports of deaths related to emerging diseases, accidents, murders, human conflicts, and natural disasters. There is a widespread tendency to ignore the amplitude of chronic problems. Few people realize that bleeding is the single most common cause of maternal deaths worldwide.