Prenatal Care

Midwifery Today E-News, November 8, 2017 • Volume 19, Issue 23
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“Mothers intuitively know what scientists have only recently discovered: that the unborn child is a deeply sensitive individual who forms a powerful relationship with his or her parents—and the outside world—while still in the womb.”
—Thomas Verny, MD, Nurturing the Unborn Child (1991)

Conference Chatter

Today I was chatting online with another birth practitioner who was feeling defeated after a couple of difficult births. Of course, birth is magical even when it is difficult, but as practitioners it is always a challenge to find ways to offer our support when our clients don’t have the birth they were dreaming of. In our online discussion, I was thinking of all the ways we can be supportive to our clients when their birth experience feels disappointing. It occurred to me, as it often does, that our prenatal work with clients is critical to establishing a trusting, open relationship that helps us work through those hard emotions.

As a doula mentor, the work I did with my apprentices prenatally encouraged them to find their own style while working with clients, but it also emphasized the importance of relationship building over the course of pregnancy. Yes, we have the charts and information we need to collect, but so often the work done prenatally should focus on creating a bond and trust that encourages clients to feel at ease and able to share with us one of the most intimate and profound experiences of their lives. Along with our various modalities of training—regardless of our paths as practitioners—I hope that we all take our time and offer our time so we are able to establish positive and trusting relationships with the women we serve.

One of the speakers I love to listen to most during Midwifery Today conferences is Elizabeth Davis. Elizabeth—while a wonderful person on her own—is an incredible practitioner and educator. I always love watching people in her classes and the inspiration she provides to those who are lucky enough to learn from her. Midwifery Today’s next national conference is coming up on April 18–22, 2018, in Mt. Laurel, NJ—just outside of Philadelphia, PA. On Thursday, April 19, Elizabeth will be offering a class that focuses on establishing positive prenatal care with clients. Regardless of your experience or where you are on your path as a practitioner, this class will speak to you!

Our first registration deadline is coming up on Monday, November 20, 2017, and registering on or before this date will provide the best cost savings. Are you student? Students who pay tuition receive 40% off on any two or more days — the best student discount we have ever offered! Midwifery Today values the need to support our student practitioners and want to encourage you to attend our conferences where the opportunities to learn and connect with other practitioners add so much value to your growth as practitioners.

To learn more about the amazing program we are offering and how to register, please visit HERE.

—Shea Hardy Baker, Conference Coordinator

Join us in New Jersey next spring!

“Love Is the Essence of Midwifery” will feature teachers such as Mary Cooper, Elizabeth Davis, Lisa Goldstein, and Gail Hart. You’ll be able to choose from over 50 classes, including Herbs and Homeopathy, Shoulder Dystocia, and Becoming a Midwife. Plan now to attend!

Photo by Monet Moutrie—

There’s still time to attend a one-day conference on November 10!

Come to our Mini-conference Retreat in Troutdale, Oregon. Classes will include “Miraculous Beginnings” with Fernando Molina, “Understanding Preeclampsia” with Gail Hart and “When the Healer Is Healing, Too” with Maryl Smith. Plus, you will have the option to save $10 on a one-year Midwifery Today subscription or renewal. Walk-ins are welcome. Please call ahead, if possible, if you plan to register at the conference. You’ll find more information here.

Photo by Shea Hardy Baker

Are You Interested in Becoming a Nurse-Midwife?


At Frontier Nursing University, you can follow your passion of serving women and providing quality maternity care by becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife. We accept registered nurses with either an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree. Earn a Master of Science in Nursing with our distance education program. Complete coursework online and clinical experience in your own community.

Oasis Introduces the Oasis Elite Waterbirth Pool

The Oasis Elite Waterbirth Pool is the newest Oasis pool. It features a soothing S-beam design and super strong 0.46mm eco vinyl. This pool is the perfect size: 66x54x28 and priced below the European pools. Designed by a US midwife and custom manufactured for our US company to our strict quality standards. Purchase at our website. Midwives receive a 10% midwife discount.

The Latest Research on Preconception and Prenatal Nutrition

by Judy Slome Cohain
From Midwifery Today, Issue 106, Summer 2013

The development of prenatal tests to diagnose fetuses at risk of vaguely defined medical conditions is outpacing the ability to improve outcomes using prenatal testing. Providers are reimbursed for tests, not for time spent listening to or counseling pregnant women. As a result, taking a test, doing an ultrasound, prescribing a vitamin or mineral, and suggesting induction are more common than analyzing a woman’s diet at prenatal visits. Although there is research showing that preconception and intrauterine maternal nutrient deprivation causes an increase in fetal mean arterial blood pressure and an increase in fetal adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (Edwards and McMillen 2002), maternal preconception and pregnancy nutrition is not emphasized as much as it could be.
Because of the current obstetric approach to pregnancy, it may bear repeating that pregnancy is a normal human function, like breathing and digestion, which happens by itself. The necessary care needed is the same needed to promote breathing and digestion. A woman can eliminate all pregnancy diseases except fetal genetic defects herself by proper diet, exercise, lifestyle, and environmental conditions before and during pregnancy.

Preconception and Diet

Nausea and vomiting may be a result of long-term vitamin B6 insufficiency before pregnancy and can be prevented or alleviated with 50 mg of vitamin B6 twice daily (Ashkenazi-Hoffnung et al. 2013). Anemia is frequently responsible for tiredness; therefore, optimal preconception nutrition with iron supplementation, when necessary, may reduce tiredness during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. In addition to adequate preconception folic acid, adequate thiamin, betaine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, iron, retinol and vitamin A has been associated with decreased neural tube defects, including spina bifida (Chandler et al. 2012). There is unequivocal evidence that severe iodine deficiency in pregnancy impairs brain development in the child because of the body’s inability to make T4 without iodine (Skeaff 2011). The most serious consequence of iodine deficiency is profound mental retardation (cretinism).

Pregnancy and Diet

Quality of food intake is the biggest determining factor of pregnancy outcome. There are many healthy diets and each woman should find what works for her. The Chinese made a science out of nutrition. By determining the yin and yang qualities of food over 3000 years, the Chinese culture evolved a balanced way of eating, made available to Western cultures mostly through macrobiotics. Sugar and chocolate are examples of extreme yin and meat is extreme yang—both are destabilizing to health.

Read more…

Provide the Best Primary Care to Women

Primary Care of Women, Second Edition is an essential and easy-to-use resource for healthcare providers who offer primary care to women. Ideal for new and experienced clinicians, the Second Edition includes new chapters on sleep disorders, dental health, and complementary and alternative medicine. Save 25% when you order online with coupon code MTPCW here.

Essential Quick Reference for Clinical Practice Guidelines

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery & Women’s Health, Fifth Edition is an easy-to-use quick reference guide for midwives and women’s healthcare providers. Completely updated and revised to reflect the changing clinical environment, it offers current evidence-based practice, updated approaches, and opportunities for midwifery leadership in every practice setting. Save 25% when you order online with coupon code MTCPG here.

Website Highlight


Preventing Complications with Nutrition
by Amy Haas
Nutrition in pregnancy—a no-brainer, right? Who would think it was so controversial? Disagreement over a healthy diet during pregnancy continues to rage, with one side saying that what a woman eats will have no effect on her pregnancy and the other saying it has an enormous impact. So what’s a woman to eat? Read more…

Benefit from B.J. Snell and Sandra L. Gardner’s Expertise

Care of the Well Newborn is a unique text that focuses on care of the term newborn for the first month of life. Written by distinguished experts in the field, it teaches students and professionals how and what to assess in the care of the nonverbal newborn. Save 25% when you order online with coupon code MTCWN here.


Established Midwifery Billing Business for Sale—$35,000
Work from home. Full-time position with huge opportunity for growth. In 2016, business brought in $36,000. Will provide one week of training. For information contact: | See Craigslist posting.

Opportunities in El Paso. Premier Birth Center seeking: 1) Experienced midwives to join our team of independent providers; 2) Student midwives for clinical placement. For more information contact David: | The Retreat

Give the gift of beauty!

The Womb with a View Pendant makes a fine gift for a midwife or mother. Or, choose from one of the other jewelry items, including sterling silver pendants or earrings and mandala pendants. See the jewelry.

Learn the how and why of diagnostic testing

Understanding Diagnostic Tests by Anne Frye will give you a holistic perspective on test results. The 7th edition is updated and expanded by around 395 pages, to give you 1365 pages packed with valuable information. Learn more.

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