Issue 125, Spring 2018
Theme: The Doula
The use of birth doulas is becoming more prevalent in the US and other parts of the world. This issue covers the role of doulas and their contribution to better births and showcases the work of a variety of different doulas and the populations they serve. The magazine also has a great section on breech birth in “Wisdom of the Midwives,” and several clinical articles, as well as birth stories and opinion pieces.
Cover photo by Natalia Walth (nataliawalth.com). Natalia has been a birth photographer and videographer for six years. Prior to starting her business, she was an Air Force reservist in her “spare time,” while simultaneously working for a busy law firm in Los Angeles. She is a mother of three and a wife to her husband. Their dream is to travel the US in an Airstream trail-er, but then they remember that they have a 100 lb German Shepherd that whines too much.
Pictured: Herbal baths have many healing properties for mothers. Using the right herbs can help a woman and her baby heal during postpartum. These sessions are a form of pampering. Moms get time to soak and relax while Natalia photographs the baby before capturing them together.
- From the Editor
- Tricks of the Trade
- Marion’s Message
- The Doula Corner
- Midwifery & Childbirth News
- Wisdom of the Midwives
- Media Reviews
- Classified Advertising
- Photo Album
- What Do Doulas Really Do?—Penny Simkin
Doula Penny Simkin discusses the positive impact that doulas have on birth outcomes. They provide a unique form of labor support that is different from that of other caregivers involved in the birth process–but complements the roles of others. Simkins describes why this is so.
- What Can We Learn from Ágnes Geréb?—Judy Slome Cohain
Ágnes is a Hungarian doctor and midwife who faces prison as a punishment for attending homebirths. Slome Cohain argues that midwives need to document the homebirths they provide, to show that they are safe
- Doulas: A Global Phenomenon—Michel Odent
In order to feel protected during this time of neocortical inhibition, some modern women naturally prefer to rely on a doula.
- A Doula’s Gift of Pleasure and Love—Debra Pascali-Bonaro
The author discusses how the doula can help families bring more love and pleasure to childbirth
- Learning to Trust Birth through Continuity of Care—Meredith BenZion
- Research on Perineal Outcomes of Asians Not Living in Asia Leads to Faulty Conclusion—Judy Slome Cohain
Twenty-two papers published in medical journals reached a conclusion that Asian women have shorter perineums, despite the fact that this is not so in Asia. She concludes that the problem is impatience and interference by doctors.
- “Desco da parto”: The Birth Tray and its Cultural Significance in Renaissance Italy—Jane Beal
This article describes painted, wooden birth trays of Renaissance Italy and how the tradition strengthened social bonds.
- An Interview with Ray McAllister: A Blind Doula—Mary Ann Lieser
An interview with a unique birth doula—a blind man who came to the work from massage therapy.
- Of Deliveries and Doulas in Turkey—Sibel Esenalp and Hakan Çoker
This physician and doula describe birth patterns in Turkey and the success of their “Birth with no Regret” team in improving the standard of care.
- The Indigenous Revival of Traditional Birth—Vivian Curry
This doula and member of the Seneca Nation of Indians shares how she ensures that cultural aspects are included in the births of families she serves.
- The Failure of Evidence-based Intellect in Protecting the Sacred Feminine—Sister MorningStar
Sister MorningStar bemoans the increasing difficulty of birthing with joy and no interventions, and tells stories of how instinctive birth can be.
- Notes about Birth in Israel and Palestine—Diana Paul
A slice of the life of semi-underground peace group of midwives in Israel and Palestine.
- Peripartum Cardiomyopathy: Snatched from the Hands of Death—Sandra K. Stine Tallbear
Complications can sometimes mar what seems to be a birth gone well. Learn about the sign of peripartum cardiomyopathy and its risk to moms.
- The Ideal Birth—Tara Van Dyke
A doula shares her experiences with birthing women, and how what may seem ideal or not-so-ideal to her can be different from how a family perceives it.
- The Pulsatile Birth Model—Ruti Karni-Horowitz
The author shares her three-stage model of birth, which she believes is a more accurate reflection of what acutally happens in the body during this physiological experience.
- Doula Care for Refugee Families—Barbara Lusher
- Rushes of Love—Erica Andrews
Another sweet birth story.
- With Woman, With Family—Lina Duncan
A midwife who has practiced around the world ventures into working as a doula in London.
= Membership Article.