Theme: Midwifery Knowledge from around the World
When we came up with this theme, we anticipated being able to share a variety of midwifery knowledge from around the world. While a number of articles addressed that, one thing that soon became clear is that midwifery knowledge is beginning to be lost or fall into disuse around the world, as the medicalized version of childbirth continues to gain ground. This issue contains a mix of midwifery knowledge as well as discussion of the adverse effects of this medicalization of birth.
- Poem: With Woman—Beth Leianne Curtis
- Midwifery Knowledge Spread around the World—Jan Tritten
Jan makes the case for midwives learning about midwifery around the world as a way to improve their own practices.
- Marion’s Message: Does it Matter How We Are Born?—Marion Toepke McLean
The author argues that midwives need to be aware that it does matter what happens during our birth so they can do the best job possible
- The Life and Work of a Rope Midwife in Darfur—Ramona Denk
This fictional composite is an account of the life and work of an imaginary traditional midwife in a Darfur village. It is based on multiple sources of information, including direct experience, observation, personal interviews and the research of others.
- The Emotional Impact of Cesareans—Pamela Udy
This is part two of a two-part series by the President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), discussing the postpartum impact of cesareans on women and their families. This should be must-reading for all women who are considering a cesarean.
- Enoch’s Waterbirth after Four C-sections—April Bailey
A midwife in Hawaii tells the birth story of aVBAC waterbirth after four cesareans.
- The Midwife Bond—Meredith Winn
The bond between midwife and mother is the subject of this essay.
- Homebirth in Holland—Thea van Tuyl
This essay sets straight some of the misconceptions regarding homebirth in the Netherlands.
- Meeting by Chance with a Modern Day Che (A Fireside Chat with a Cuban Obstetrician, 2007)—Ruby Weldon
We often hear conflicting reports on the situation in Cuba. This article highlights the current status of birthing in that country, from the mouth of a Cuban obstetrician.
- The Influence of Birth Experience on Postpartum Depression—Michelle Bland
It seems obvious that homebirth moms would experience a lower rate of postpartum depression than women with institutional births. Michelle Bland shares her research in this article, which showed that the participants in the homebirth group had the lowest rates of depression, felt the most control over their birth experiences and were the most satisfied.
- The Power of Three and Bumi Sehat Vision—Robin Lim
Learn about the vision and philosophy behind this provider of midwifery services in Bali and Aceh, Indonesia.
- The Good Guys: Michael C. Klein—Judy Slome Cohain
Another chapter in our ongoing feature on “good guy” obstetricians.
- A Day in the Life of an Intern—Jenn Head and Kate Prendergast
Follow an intern through a day apprenticing in a midwifery clinic in the Philippines.
- Keeping the Midwifery Legacy Alive—Nell Tharpe
The author creates a roadmap for keeping the traditions of midwifery alive.
- Selah’s Beginnings—Ian Penwell
A story of a birth in the Philippines, experienced by the mother and father midwives.
- The Midwife—Jacqueline Cuthbertson
A lovely piece on the midwife and the current state of midwifery.
- Husband-assisted Homebirth—John Paul
A couple chooses to go it alone for the birth of their daughter.
- Birthing in South Africa—Linda B. Jenkins
This short piece contrasts current birth practices in South Africa in a variety of settings.
- Why Music Matters in Childbirth—Taz Tagore
Music has a central place in the lives of many of us, and it is an essential part of some birth plans. The author discusses the research and her experiences of music and birth, along with some helpful suggestions.
- Brona—Darjee Sahala
This story of a stillborn baby, and the unexpected repercussions for his midwife mother, will evoke both sadness and anger in readers.
- Tradition, Birth and the Kitchen to Cook It All In—Naolí Vinaver
The author, a Mexican midwife, laments the loss of birth knowledge that had been passed through generations of women like a family recipe. She also gives pointers on how to have the best experience when going to a developing country to learn midwifery skills or assist birthing women.
- Informed Consent—reprinted from AIMS Journal
This is a parody of a consent form that hospitals would require if they were really being honest about their childbirth practices.
- Born in Poland—Monika Rosicka
A midwife traces the family birthing lineage back to Poland.
- The Gift—Kate Muttscheller
The author brings to life her experience apprenticing as a midwife in Africa.
- The Nuchal Cord at Birth: What Do Midwives Think and Do?—Elaine Jefford, Kathleen Fahy, and Deborah Sundin
Routinely checking for the nuchal cord is a common medical intervention in birth. Some evidence shows damage to the baby and mother. Results from the authors’ study reflect the training midwives have received and their current practices in relation to a possible nuchal cord at birth.
- Health Care with No Legs to Stand On: The Question behind the Question—Alison Bastien
Reflections on how obstetricians have a tendency to choose the most medicalized interventions, rather than trying a simple fix first.
- Birth Lessons from a Chicken—Molly Remer
Who would guess that the advice from “experts” on chickens’ ability to hatch eggs parallels that of the advice of childbirth “experts.” This cute article shows how nature knows best.
- Traditional Mentoring—Maryl Smith
A great article for all aspiring or practicing midwives, providing important advice on mentoring.
- Traditional Midwives and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Countries with Low Resources—Kezaabu Edwidge
A discussion of the current policy direction regarding traditional midwives as providers of childbirth services in Uganda and other countries with low resources.
- Andean Traditional Midwifery in Peru—Cynthia Ingar
Written by a feminist anthropologist, this article provides a comprehensive view of traditional midwifery beliefs and practices among the Andean people of Peru.