Issue 94

Midwifery Today Issue 94Issue 94, Summer 2010

Theme: Birth is a Human Rights Issue

Cover photo by Philip McCormick is a street portrait of a boy at a marketplace in Bali, Indonesia. McCormick specializes in street photography, portraiture and landscapes. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout India and Southeast Asia and has a large body of work from that part of the world. He now lives in the UK. To view his portfolio or contact McCormick, visit his Web site: pmccormickphoto.com.

The “Miracle” of Induction

After watching her mother grapple through a Pitocin/Cytotec induced birth, the author starts her quest to find a better, more natural, way of birthing.

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Brewer Babies

Confounded by a client who has already birthed several handicapped children, midwife Marlene Waechter utilizes the wisdom of Dr. Tom Brewer and finds that diet really does make a drastic difference to pregnant mamas and their babies.

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If I Were the Baby: Questioning the Widespread Use of Synthetic Oxytocin

Birth expert Michel Odent explores the scientific data collected on the most common intervention in childbirth—the use of synthetic oxytocin to start labor—and concludes that doctors “would be wise to make labor induction an exceptionally rare practice.”

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Breaking the Law: Midwives and Civil Disobedience

A brief history of midwives who have resisted unjust laws and continued to practice their craft, despite the threat of persecution.

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Facing Fears, Embracing Birth

A labor and delivery nurse who has delivered four children at the hospital, finds herself with a whole new perspective on birth after facing her fears and birthing her fifth child at home.

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Shedding Light on Maternal Mortality

The notion that, until we see through the oppressive forces that obscure the issue of safe birth for all women and babies, we won’t be able to think of birth as a human rights issue is at the heart of this essay.

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The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI)

Is birth a human right? Clearly not, as millions of women around the world are infertile or have other conditions and complications that prevent them from giving birth, even if they wish to do so. There is no guaranteed right to be able to get pregnant and give birth. So why are we discussing birth as a human rights issue? Because we deeply believe that women who do get pregnant should have what we consider to be the basic human right of humane and evidence-based maternity care. It’s not about the right to give birth—it’s about the right to receive appropriate care when you do.

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Learning to Listen

Women are being undermined in subtle, yet important ways inside the typical American labor and delivery ward, concludes certified nurse-midwife Sandra Stine Tallbear in this succinct essay about learning to truly listen to a mother’s needs.

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Full Moon Birthing

Mama and Papa were residents of another state until they came here, to Hawaii, to birth, contacting me by phone five months into their pregnancy. Their desire was an ocean birth. Baby had communicated with her parents that this was the birth she needed. Read more…. Full Moon Birthing

From Hospital to Home

Having learned from her “traditional American hospital birth,” a mother plans an at-home waterbirth and finds a midwife who makes her feel “important, respected and cared for.”

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Diary of a Midwife: Uganda

After five years working in the birth field, a new midwife encounters her first brush with death. This vividly told story highlights the stark reality for midwives working in the developing world. Read more…. Diary of a Midwife: Uganda

An Afternoon with Marsden

An intimate portrait of a legend in the birth field, Dr. Marsden Wagner.

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