Issue 120

Midwifery Today Issue 120Theme: Birth and the Microbiome

In recent years, the microbiome has been a hot topic in the world of research. Scientists are realizing its importance in the lifelong health of an individual. Because the details pertaining to birth can have a drastic impact on the microbiome, either positively or negatively, we at Midwifery Today knew that this issue’s topic, “Birth and the Microbiome,” would be of keen interest to our readers. Enjoy the articles within, written by some of the best in the birth field, including Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Sister MorningStar and internationally known herbalist Susun S. Weed.

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Stop Cutting

Others have made this point before, but it bears repeating: Female genital mutilation takes place in the developed world on a large scale in the form of medically unnecessary episiotomies and caesarean sections, or what could be classified as FGM Types 5 and 6. Read more…. Stop Cutting

Albert McLaren, Midwife

We have lost an amazing Fijian midwife and nurse, Albert Edward McLaren. We would not have been able to do the Fiji conference without this maverick of a midwife. He passed away on September 26, 2016, of complications from diabetes. Read more…. Albert McLaren, Midwife

Microbiome and Health

So what exactly is the microbiome? We could define it as the combined grouping of microorganisms that can be found throughout the body, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. Read more…. Microbiome and Health

Connection and Empathy

It is now known that fear and anxiety enhance levels of adrenaline, which inhibits the release of oxytocin, making labor and birth longer and more difficult. Read more…. Connection and Empathy

Male Mutedness in Childbirth

“How does a man feel during the birth of his child?”

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 Read more…. Male Mutedness in Childbirth

The Cost of Caring: Midwifery and Traumatic Stress

In this article, midwife Bonnie U. Gruenberg raises awareness around the issue of mental health stresses associated with the profession of midwifery.

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 Read more…. The Cost of Caring: Midwifery and Traumatic Stress

Microbiome and Midwives: A Look at Culture

International midwife Vicki Penwell discusses the culture of homebirth in America to see what might be done to improve the life-long health of the baby.

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 Read more…. Microbiome and Midwives: A Look at Culture

Your Mother Will Help

A wonderful article on the benefits of motherwort for pregnant and lactating mothers.

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 Read more…. Your Mother Will Help

The Microbiome and the Midwife

The microbiome is a virtual swarm of micro-organisms which live in, on and around the human body. The Human Microbiome Project, launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008, was a five-year project which analyzed the genetic code of the microbes living in and on the human body, with the ultimate goal of finding how changes in the human microbiome are associated with health and disease. Despite the generation of massive amounts of data, this issue is currently not well understood.

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 Read more…. The Microbiome and the Midwife

Homebirth vs. Hospital Birth, The Bacteriological Perspective

Today, it is commonplace to present Homo sapiens as an ecosystem with a symbiotic interaction between the trillions of cells that are the products of our genes (the “host”) and the hundreds of trillions of microorganisms that colonize the body (the “microbiome”).

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 Read more…. Homebirth vs. Hospital Birth, The Bacteriological Perspective

Micromanaging the Microbiota

Sometimes it is easier to trust the innate intelligence in natural processes when science discovers or confirms through scientific studies the validity of something that is believed to be true, like upright positioning for birth, or something previously unknown, like the benefits of the human microbiota. Most recent is a growing respect of the microbiota at birth and its effect on long-term health.

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 Read more…. Micromanaging the Microbiota

Unity: An Elusive but Necessary Goal for US Midwives and Their Advocates

Because our society includes such extremes, the arrival at some measure of unity among self-respecting midwives and those who advocate for them is much more challenging than in many other countries. Even so, I continue to believe that a goal of unity (focused vision) is well worth striving for. Read more…. Unity: An Elusive but Necessary Goal for US Midwives and Their Advocates