Issue 124

Theme: Prenatal Care

“Prenatal Care” is an essential component of the relationship between a midwife and mother-to-be. This issue looks at it from various angles, covering prenatal yoga, safe herbs, providing care in a low-resource country and in “plain communities,” as well focusing on what women want. We have our usual inspiring birth stories, international stories—including Laos and the Philippines, reviews of medical studies and our new section on doulas, which covers some of the groundbreaking changes happening in Oregon.

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Prenatal Care in the Context of a Developing Country

In Thailand, there is an expression when comparing two things that are similar yet not exact; in English it translates to “same same but different.” So it is with the provision of prenatal care in the context of a developing country. There are unique aspects to maternity care in a low-resource setting and, while some prenatal care elements are universal, the midwife needs to be aware of how best practices can be different according to the setting.

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Concepts of Prenatal Care

When should prenatal care start? What should it look like? How much should it cost? Most importantly, but often overlooked: Who should be doing it? These questions, frequently asked by pregnant women, have no pat answers.

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Green Allies for the Childbearing Year

What herbs are safe to use during pregnancy? Some sources suggest avoiding all herbs in the prenatal period. Others claim that substances known to be harmful to fetuses and infants—such as essential oils—are safe and that the warnings about them should be ignored. Confusion is inevitable.

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Prenatal Care in the “Plain Communities”

Author Cooper shows us what a day of prenatals looks like in her rural practice among five Amish and Mennonite communities.

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Cultural Differences in Waterbirth Practices

Many US practitioners are unaware that we do waterbirth differently than our European colleagues who developed it. Many of these European doctors and midwives are upset at that difference and would like US midwives to change the way we do waterbirths. There are two crucial differences in the way waterbirth is taught on the two continents. Read more…. Cultural Differences in Waterbirth Practices

The Portable Office: The Homebirth Midwife’s Prenatal Bag

Homebirth midwives need to be prepared for anything when doing home prenatals. Willette addresses the essential contents of a birth bag.

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Prenatal Care, What Really Matters?

One might argue that prenatal care is necessary for critically evaluating overall health status, charting vital signs on an ongoing basis, and making sure all essential laboratory tests are performed during pregnancy.

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Postpartum Baths for Pain Control: Not Science and Not Midwifery

Slome Cohain responds to a study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health that advocated taking mothers from their babies one hour after birth for a hot bath to relieve pain. Read more…. Postpartum Baths for Pain Control: Not Science and Not Midwifery