Midwifery Today, Issue 100, Winter 2011/12


Theme: Third Stage

The third stage of labor is “a powerful and mysterious time; more important than we acknowledge and more complex than we know.” From the initial signs of active labor to baby’s first breaths, we explore the various facets of third stage, including what happens beyond the birth room door, a father’s reflections on labor and controversial issues surrounding third stage “management.” Multicultural considerations of midwifery and birth stories from around the world are also included. Plus, we are celebrating our 100th issue with a special spread dedicated to our favorite question and answer lists. We asked—you answered!

This playful cover design by graphic designer Cathy Guy includes the cover of Issue #1; can you find it?

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Midwifery Today

Issue 100, Winter 2011


  • Poetry by Beth Bailey Barbeau
  • From the Editor: Lessons from Kitty Birth: Using Placenta to Control Hemorrhage
    Jan Tritten reflects on the wisdom of animal birth. Simply being with woman (or “with kitty”) and allowing the birth process to unfold naturally often produces the best results.
  • Networking
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Marion’s Message:
    Although many women experience coercive and traumatic hospital births, others fully trust their OB/GYN and prefer to birth in a clinical setting. Women must choose their allies in birth carefully while remaining mindful that castigating all OB care providers does a great disservice to those medical professionals who observe and respect human and childbirth rights.
  • Media Reviews:
    Childbirth in the Age of Plastics by Michel Odent, A Woman’s World: Discovering the Dynamic Menstrual Cycle by Joan L. Moon, Arms Wide Open: A Midwife’s Journey by Patricia Harmon, The Worst Is Over: What to Say When Every Moment Counts—Verbal First Aid to Calm, Relieve Pain, Promote Healing, and Save Lives by Judith Acosta and Judith Simon Prager, Catching Babies by J.D. Kleinke
  • News
  • Classified Advertising
  • Calendar
  • Photo Album

International Midwife

    • The Strong Women by Seraphim Klinefelter
      A father tells the story of how an Alutiiq woman’s wisdom inspired his wife to pursue midwifery and homebirth, and how she kept the tradition of the Strong Women alive while enduring a complicated hospital delivery.

<li>With the Grace of God We Shall Deliver This Baby by Sonia Richardson
While in England, a green Italian midwife struggles to help her African client deliver and quickly realizes the implications of cultural differences in midwifery.

  • Monsoon Baby: Born in Water, by the Water by Lina Duncan
    Like stormy weather, birth brings “people together in the community to laugh and smile about the situation and to make the best of it!”
  • Rebirth of Ixmucané: Antigua, Guatemala by Jenna Houston and Chloe Gans-Rugebregt
    Now defunct, a revolutionary birth center established in Guatemala lives on in the vestiges of Midwives for Midwifes, which continues the center’s vision of midwifery training and advocacy.
  • Cards & Letters



  • Velamentous Birth Story by Jana Voelke Studelska:
    A midwife shares her experience of a velemenous birth and recounts the importance of trusting the process of birth, no matter how unusual it may be.
  • The Circle Born at Home by Autumn Vergo:
    This touching account focuses on “the story of what happens at homebirth, but outside the birth room door.” Around a kitchen table, a circle of friendship and wisdom is formed between midwives, family members and friends.
  • Third Stage of Labor: Hands Off and Have Patience! by Christy Fiscer:
    Fiscer, a traditional midwife, explains the crucial physiological and emotional processes involved for motherbaby during third stage, and how interfering in this sacred space can disrupt bonding time and even cause harm to baby’s well-being.
  • Globalizing Midwifery by Sister MorningStar:
    A call to birthing mothers around the world to question those in authority and consider the wisdom of “the village midwife.”
  • Knitted Noggins—Rethinking the Newborn Cap by Nicole Deelah:
    Birth caps are seemingly ubiquitous, at home and in the hospital, but why? Nicole Deelah questions the use of these caps and considers how a thin layer of polyester can create a considerable barrier between mothers and newborns.
  • Active Interference by Simone Snyder:
    Three birth stories illustrate how gentle hospital deliveries can become nightmares in the third stage.
  • Placentophagia: Stir-fry, Smoothie or Raw? by Wendy Lubell-Snyder, with Tammi McKinley:
    After overcoming her initial trepidations, a new mom discovers the benefits of eating placenta.
  • Elizabeth Gilmore Remembered: Through the Eyes of a Friend by Vicki Penwell:
    A touching portrait honoring the memory, legacy and life of midwife Elizabeth Gilmore.
  • Returning to Traditional Midwifery by Kristi Zittle:
    As normal birth becomes medicalized and fear replaces faith in the birthing process, traditional and considerate midwifery continues to present a path toward happy, healthy families.
  • Leaving Well Alone in the Third Stage of Labour by Sarah J. Buckley:
    Third stage represents a time of amazing physical and emotional changes for mothers and their newborns, and this transitional period is best managed by Mother Nature while attendants patiently wait in the background.
  • Celebrating 100 Issues of Midwifery Today
  • Six Days, Two Healthy Babies, One Extraordinary Birth by Lana Shlafer:
    Trust, intuition and access to loving care coalesce to help a mother birth twins over a span of two days.
  • Acute Distress and PTSD Following Childbirth: A Complex Longitudinal Case Study by Emma Jo Knapp:
    Posttraumatic stress disorder affects a growing number of women, impacting the transition to motherhood in negative ways. This article questions current medical models and suggests that maternal trauma may be avoided by addressing dehumanizing birth practices.
  • Adrenaline in Labour by Rayner Garner:
    Sometimes birth is a peaceful, gentle event. Other times a cushion is needed to intercept the blows from a mother’s fists. One father tells the story of an adrenaline-fueled homebirth and how he survived it.
  • Diversity and Social Justice in Maternity Care as an Ethical Concern by Jon Lasser:
    Midwifery presents a standard for ethical maternal care, embracing social justice and diversity. Jon Lasser reminds birthing professionals to uphold these values while remaining conscious of diversity issues and cultivating cultural competency.

Photographers from past issues of Midwifery Today in collage: Michele Anderson—pinkletoes.com, Elizabeth Boyce—earthmamaphotography.com, Caroline Brown—carolineebrownwebfolio.com, Lora Denton—loradentonphotography.com, Ed Embler, Bonnie Gruenberg—bonniegphotography.zenfolio.com, Natasha Hance—nhancephotography.com, Harriette Hartigan—harriettehartigan.com, Amber Jordan—photographybyamber.com, M. Kim—permeableLight.com, Laurie Ludes—laurielphotography.com, Patti Ramos—pattiramos.com, Lynsey Stone—dfwbirthphotographer.com, Lyndsay Stradtner—lifeinmotionphotography.com, Jackie Willome—jackiewillomephotography.com

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