Issue 86

Midwifery Today Issue 86Theme: Choice in Childbirth

Do we have choice in childbirth? When is a choice not really a choice? How do obstetricians and midwives control women’s choices by the way they explain things? How can we help to preserve choice and make sure women are properly informed?

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Marion’s Message: The First-time Women’s Health Exam

Midwives serve women in a variety of ways. Midwife Marion McLean shares how she works with women in their first-time health exams.

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An Unconditional Love

Since my second pregnancy in 1999, family and friends have hoped for a girl. You see, we always preferred to keep our baby’s sex a surprise. The more I learned about birth, the more I resisted using technology simply because it was available. Since so little in life is truly a surprise, we appreciated the wonderment that comes with not knowing. I always felt connected just by feeling our baby growing and moving inside me; I didn’t need to know the gender.

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Homebirth after Cesarean: The Myth and The Reality

“Homebirth after cesarean” is a phrase that garners mixed reactions—most of them negative. “Why?” or “Are you insane?” they ask. The people who make these comments, however, usually have no idea about the realities of birth in the US.

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An Unexpected Natural Birth

Birth stories…these are what nourish midwives. We relive them; we love to share them. They are the electric connection among us, the energy that keeps us going. They are the affirmations that this calling is worth the sacrifices.

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Mother and Baby Baboons

Jan took a recent trip to South Africa to scout out a potential Midwifery Today conference. She shares in photos and essay some of her experiences with a marauding mother and baby baboon she encountered there. Read more…. Mother and Baby Baboons

Baby’s Choice

What would a baby choose for her birth? Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten encourages us to think about what a baby might choose for birth and respect the baby, as well as the mother. Read more…. Baby’s Choice

VBAC and Choice: Many Questions and a Few Answers

When I agreed to have a cesarean, was I really making a choice? First of all, I, the chooser, was not truly informed; second, my doctor lied to me. Third, my insurance company limited my choices in many ways. Read more…. VBAC and Choice: Many Questions and a Few Answers

2 Homebirths, 14 Minutes Apart

Midwifery sometimes requires the balancing of choices. In this story, the midwife must decide which of her clients needs her more, while ensuring that the other ones’ needs are met.

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Leonard’s Cord

All births have a profound effect on the participants. Diana Janopaul shares a risky birth that bound her to that baby for life.

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Doula by Default

I am a doula. I never really planned it; instead I became a doula by default. I had a lot of friends who were having babies, and I had a lot of babies, too. I always loved babies. As a little girl, I’d play mama to all of my stuffed animals and dolls. In junior high, I couldn’t imagine a greater rush than that of holding a new baby. In high school, when everyone was talking about which university they would attend and how rich and successful they wanted to be, I’d chime in with “Six kids—that’s all I want and I’ll be happy.” (26 years and six children later, I’ve achieved my life’s goal!)…

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Dancing To The Back Of The Line

The first time the traditional midwives excitedly asked us to go to town, I gave them a blank look, since the village of Pellie is a loosely clustered group of mud-walled, thatch-roofed huts.…

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