Issue 125

Midwifery Today Issue 125Theme: Doulas

The use of birth doulas is becoming more prevalent in the US and other parts of the world. This issue covers the role of doulas and their contribution to better births and showcases the work of a variety of different doulas and the populations they serve. The magazine also has a great section on breech birth in “Wisdom of the Midwives,” and several clinical articles, as well as birth stories and opinion pieces.

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Of Deliveries and Doulas in Turkey

This physician and doula describe birth patterns in Turkey and the success of their “Birth with no Regret” team in improving the standard of care.

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The Death of a Childbearing Black Woman

Shalon Irving died on January 28, 2017, from complications of high blood pressure and heart problems. She left behind a four-week-old baby girl. Shalon, 36 years old, was an epidemiologist and commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service (USPHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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What Do Doulas Really Do?

Doula Penny Simkin discusses the positive impact that doulas have on birth outcomes. They provide a unique form of labor support that is different from that of other caregivers involved in the birth process–but complements the roles of others. Simkins describes why this is so. Read more…. What Do Doulas Really Do?

What Can We Learn from Ágnes Geréb?

Agnes is a Hungarian doctor and midwife who faces prison as a punishment for attending homebirths. Slome Cohain argues that midwives need to document the homebirths they provide, to show that they are safe.

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A Doula’s Gift of Pleasure and Love

The author discusses how the doula can help families bring more love and pleasure to childbirth.

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Learning to Trust Birth through Continuity of Care

Continuity of care, with the same care provider, can dramatically improve a woman’s pregnancy and birth experience, her recovery, and her ability to successfully process her birth journey. Deep bonds of empathy, mutual respect, and emotional safety can develop between the birthing woman and her birth attendant. These qualities, though rarely measured, enable and empower a woman to delve into the depths of her strength, self-reliance, and independence. This care-giving-and-receiving relationship, founded on trust and honesty, is an ideal model. It is profoundly satisfying, as a care provider, to experience what it means to be “with woman.” When we emphasize the importance of being present with a client—connecting, listening, and relating—we promote quality relationships and focus on key concepts in the context of a positive birth experience. Read more…. Learning to Trust Birth through Continuity of Care

Research on Perineal Outcomes of Asians Not Living in Asia Leads to Faulty Conclusion

Twenty-two papers published in medical journals reached a conclusion that Asian women have shorter perineums, despite the fact that this is not so in Asia. She concludes that the problem is impatience and interference by doctors.

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“Desco da parto” The Birth Tray and Its Cultural Significance in Renaissance Italy

This article describes painted, wooden birth trays of Renaissance Italy and how the tradition strengthened social bonds.

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Mentorship Is Key

In this issue of Midwifery Today we celebrate the role of the doula. The articles in these pages feature doulas across the planet making a difference: from doulas who serve refugees in Austria to doulas incorporated into multi-disciplinary practices in Turkey to indigenous doulas here in US helping maintain their cultural practices around childbirth.

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