Midwifery Today, Issue 123, Autumn 2017


Theme:  Midwifery Education

Are you considering becoming a midwife or already starting down that path? This issue of Midwifery Today will help you think more deeply about your educational path and options. You'll find articles on various programs in the US and abroad from some well-known midwifery educators, such as Elizabeth Davis, Vicky Penwell and Deb Puterbaugh.

You will also be able to read  a great clinical article on first trimester bleeding from Judy Slome Cohain, one on placenta encapsulation by Valerie Coppenrath and a fantastic “Wisdom of the Midwives” column dealing with shoulder dystocia.  Issue 123 also includes our first “Doula Corner,” which recognizes another important member of the birth team.

Cover photo by Vanessa Mendez (vanessamendezphotography.com)


Midwifery Today

Issue 123, Autumn 2017


  • Poetry
  • From the Editor

    Editor Tritten shares her perspective on midwifery education in this editorial.

  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Marion’s Message

    Why is the maternal mortality rate so high? This columnist shares the story of one mother’s death and offers ideas on the causes of the problem.

  • The Doula Corner

    Midwifery Today conference coordinator Shea Hardy Baker introduces our new feature, The Doula Corner. The Doula corner “will offer topics relevant to doulas, highlighting the amazing work being done by doulas around the world, articles submitted by doulas and research on doula care.”

  • Wisdom of the Midwives

    How Do You Prevent Shoulder Dystocia?” In this column, midwives discuss causes, prevention and dealing with shoulder dystocia in a birth.

  • Midwifery and Childbirth News
  • Media Reviews
  • Photo Album
  • Classified Advertising


  • Midwifery Education for Autonomous Practice: The Time Is Now!Elizabeth Davis

    Well-known midwife and educator Elizabeth Davis, BA, CPM, challenges aspiring midwives to evaluate their midwifery education program by looking into themselves and asking what kind of midwife they would want at birth and whether their midwifery program is preparing them to be that kind of midwife. She reviews the various education models and then posits a number of questions to help the reader evaluate whether the education program meets their needs. The article is thought provoking not only for midwifery students but for educators.

  • Midwifery in the Land of UtopiaMichel Odent

    Dr. Odent writes about how midwifes would be selected in the Land of Utopia, a place that was introduced by his book Childbirth in the Land of Utopia.

  • The Pivotal Opportunities of the Midwifery Apprenticeship Model—Marcy Andrew

    There are many ways for a birthing mom to get her contractions going naturally and without medical interventions. Andrew shares with us some of the advantages of the apprenticeship model of midwifery education in teaching students about the individuality of each woman and being open about what might work for her.

  • Midwifery Apprenticeship in the United Kingdom: Where Homebirth Choice Is Protected as a Human Right—Nikki Williams

    Midwife and birth photographer Nikki Williams shares her nontraditional path to midwifery and educates us on midwifery in the UK along the way.

  • The Beginnings of a Student Midwife—Brooke Collier

    For some, the journey to becoming a midwife is a winding road. Collier shares her path, which was not always the most direct.

  • The Future of Midwifery Education: Midwives Defining MidwiferyDeb Puterbaugh

    Puterbaugh makes the argument that midwives should be the ones to determine the future of midwifery education and puts the call out to organize so that we may have our voices heard.

  • India’s Fierce Wimyn and YouSister MorningStar

    Sister MorningStar beautifully shares the transformative experience she underwent regarding her thinking about birth at a conference in India.

  • What an Admissions Director Looks for in a Potential Midwifery StudentKristen Benoit

    This practical article provides a template for success for aspiring midwives applying to a midwifery program.

  • Doulas and Midwives: Transforming the Landscape, TogetherCourtney L. Everson and Melissa Cheyney

    The authors make the case for midwives and doulas working together to change the current system of childbirth.

  • When Grandma Is a MidwifeMarlene Waechter

    When you are a homebirth midwife with a lot of kids of your own, how they choose to give birth may not quite fit with how you had envisioned it. Waechter shares her compelling personal story, with a focus on the need to support your children in their own journeys.

  • Dar a Luz Honduras—Silvia Bahr

    Birth in Honduras is improving, in part, thanks to the author and her German nonprofit organization. Read about how educating doctors, nurses and birthing mothers is Bahr’s calling and life’s work and learn about birth practices in Honduras.

  • Mercy in Action College of Midwifery: The Long Road to Accreditation—Vicki Penwell

    The Long Road to Accreditation” by Vicky Penwell. From Alaska to Idaho, with the whole world in between, Mercy in Action has trained midwives. Founder Vicky Penwell shares the journey to MEAC accreditation.

  • The Herbal Education of MidwivesSusun Weed

    This long-time educator on the use of herbs in midwifery shares her knowledge on why they are helpful, along with some of the specific herbs that are useful and how they are used.

  • Judith Wilks: “The Queen’s Trusty Midwife” (1688–1689)—Jane Beal

    This story in the continuing historical series by Jane Beal recounts how the Queen’s midwife had to deal with much more than just assisting with delivering babies.

  • First Trimester Bleeding Is CommonJudy Slome Cohain

    Many women experience bleeding in the first trimester but do not miscarry, yet few studies have evaluated it. Slome Cohain parses the medical evidence, concluding that first trimester bleeding is usually of no consequence.

  • My Experience with Placenta Encapsulation—Valerie Coppenrath

    Pharmacist Valerie Coppenrath shares her experience and thoughts on placenta encapsulation.

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