Tribute to a Maverick: Stephen Gaskin, 1935–2014

The dynamic influence of the Gaskin duo reaches far and wide, and in this touching piece, Ina May gives tribute to her beloved husband, Stephen, who recently passed away. Read More

Village Prenatals

Midwife Sister MorningStar shares the kind of community she is a part of and what prenatal care within their village philosophy looks like. Read More

Diet du Jour! Pregnancy and Popular Diets

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 111, Autumn 2014. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine Popular diets are as prevalent during pregnancy as they are in everyday life. Every five years or so a new diet pattern pops up and is touted as the best way to eat. However, during pregnancy if we want to have a better chance at preventing problems such as prematurity, we really need to take a step back, look at the big picture and use some common sense (Katz 2014). The most popular diets these days seem to be the gluten-free kind. There isn’t necessarily a problem when adults decide to make changes to their eating habits, but when a pregnant woman and/or a growing child is involved, we have to be much more cautious. Eliminating whole food groups can severely challenge the ability of pregnant To access this post, you must purchase: Midwifery Today Website Membership – 12 months, Midwifery Today 1-year Subscription and Website Membership, Midwifery Today Website Membership Student Special – 12 months or Midwifery Today Website Membership – 6 months If you are already a member login here. Read More

Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 111, Autumn 2014. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine After Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into our central islands here in the Philippines last November, I saw a picture in the local paper of several newborn premature babies all wrapped in plastic bags and set on a counter in a broken-down chapel of a hospital. I knew in that instant that if only we could get down there to provide, and teach others to provide, good midwifery care, including the very simple and totally free concept of “kangaroo care” for the preemies, we could save many lives. For many years, I have been teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response, which is no surprise since I live in a country with the most natural disasters of almost any other country. (The Philippines regularly is in the top three To access this post, you must purchase: Midwifery Today Website Membership – 12 months, Midwifery Today 1-year Subscription and Website Membership, Midwifery Today Website Membership Student Special – 12 months or Midwifery Today Website Membership – 6 months If you are already a member login here. Read More

Malnutrition, Unhealthy Lifestyles and Scheduled Deliveries: The Causes of Prematurity

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 111, Autumn 2014. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine It is generally recognized that the best birth outcomes happen when labor commences spontaneously between 39 and 41 weeks gestation. The further one gets from this optimal plateau, the greater risk there is. It is just as dangerous to birth at 37 weeks as it is to birth at 42 weeks. Preterm births are defined as those occurring before 37 weeks gestation. In the US, 12% of babies born are considered premature; since the 1980s, this rate has been increasing yearly, along with induction and cesarean rates. Prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal death in the US. Even though our modern NICUs can save many more babies than ever before, survivors often have lifelong health problems, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and chronic lung To access this post, you must purchase: Midwifery Today Website Membership – 12 months, Midwifery Today 1-year Subscription and Website Membership, Midwifery Today Website Membership Student Special – 12 months or Midwifery Today Website Membership – 6 months If you are already a member login here. Read More

What I Have Learned about Premature Birth

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 111, Autumn 2014. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine There are many degrees of prematurity, each with their own set of challenges. Some preemies need two to three months in the NICU while others only need a few extra hours of close observation—each situation must be considered on an individual basis. How gestation was calculated must be taken into consideration when dealing with prematurity. It cannot be assumed that every baby born before 37 weeks is premature. When evaluating mom’s cycle, note if it is a typical 28–30 day cycle or a shorter one of 25 days. If the latter, she is much more likely to birth earlier to a baby who appears full-term. I often liken birth to baking: One oven may take 12 minutes to bake a batch of cookies, while another oven, To access this post, you must purchase: Midwifery Today Website Membership – 12 months, Midwifery Today 1-year Subscription and Website Membership, Midwifery Today Website Membership Student Special – 12 months or Midwifery Today Website Membership – 6 months If you are already a member login here. Read More

Prematurity Is Preventable

Nutrition is a huge factor in the prevention of prematurity, but that does not seem to be known by the medical model practitioners. A healthy diet is the most important factor in having a healthy baby! Read More

Prematurity and Creativity

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 111, Autumn 2014. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine In this special issue of Midwifery Today about prematurity, I find it relevant to offer an English translation of the chapter I wrote for a French collective book titled, Un Enfant, Prématurément (Odent 1983). In this chapter, I emphasize how difficult it is to dissociate the long-term consequences of being born prematurely from the effects of living in an incubator during the days or weeks following birth. This was an opportunity to explain how our practice in a French hospital had been influenced by my trip to Bogota, Colombia, in 1981, at a time when the term kangaroo care had not yet been coined, although the local pediatricians had already reconsidered the use of incubators. I assume that the questions I was raising in the early To access this post, you must purchase: Midwifery Today Website Membership – 12 months, Midwifery Today 1-year Subscription and Website Membership, Midwifery Today Website Membership Student Special – 12 months or Midwifery Today Website Membership – 6 months If you are already a member login here. Read More