Photo Album: Issue 129

photo album

Spring 2019, Issue 129

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Wisdom of the Midwives: To Suture or Not to Suture

Wisdom of the Midwives: To Suture or Not to Suture

Conversations from Facebook

Spring 2019, Issue 129

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First Stage of Labor: The Lull

The first stage of labor is like many other firsts: full of the unknown—not knowing what is coming next or how long it may take. Mothers with many children have often told me, “The labor and births can all be so different.” This was also my experience in birthing five children.

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A Means to Change the Perception of Birth

Over the last decades, the midwifery community has been struggling to increase the number of mothers who choose midwives and out-of-hospital birth. It seems to all of us (and our clients) that physiologic birth is obviously a safer, greener, more fulfilling option. So why don’t people get it? Why don’t people understand? Why do they put up with a 30%+ cesarean rate? Why don’t they read the research and convert? Why, indeed….

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Labor Wisdom: First Stage

Let’s talk about the first stage of labor, especially for a first-time mom. I love helping women have their first babies; it’s such a special journey. A journey to bring a couple closer together and to show a woman how strong she is—physically, emotionally, and instinctively. I include in this group women who had prior babies in a hospital setting and do not understand the difference in having a baby at home—in the same environment where the baby is usually created. They are first-time moms, too, in having their babies at home.

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A Heritage of Trust: A Primip Birth in a Rural Amish Community

The warm breezes of an almost-summer afternoon rustle through leafy stalks in the tiny garden outside their bedroom window. June sunshine pours in through red grid frames, casting its rays across a woman’s worn, bare feet. Bent over the side of the bed, arms resting on her handstitched quilt, Lizzie’s quiet laboring form breathes through another wave of labor. It’s Sunday afternoon, neighbors are gone away, and Aravah and I are here waiting with them in this little house on a hill, at the very end of a quiet gravel road. Beyond her bent and weary form, the hills and valleys stretch to the horizon, cattle graze, an old draft horse swishes his tail and gives an occasional whinny, birds call, and the clouds are soft and puffy against a deep blue sky.

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Galanthis, Alcmene’s Midwife: A Childbirth Myth of Ancient Greece and Rome

Almost everyone has heard of Hercules—famous for his strength—who performed 12 great labors and many other feats, including holding up the sky for Atlas and bringing Alcestis back from Hades (death) to her husband (life). Once there is a Disney-animated feature film about a hero like Hercules (Disney 1997), the hero’s name becomes familiar to many children and their parents worldwide. But few people know the name of Hercules’ mother, Alcmene, and even fewer know about Alcmene’s friend and midwife, Galanthis, who used her wits to defeat the goddess who was holding back the birth of Hercules.

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Newborn First Breaths: Protecting the First Moments of Life

We must stop hurting babies in our effort to help them.

I rubbed Mary’s feet as she sat on a yoni steam throne made of herbs gathered through the year in my woods and gardens. I listened to her tell me her birth story while she sipped herbal tea and nibbled on bowls of nuts and honey graham crackers.

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