January 2, 2008
Volume 10, Issue 1
Midwifery Today E-News
“The Placenta”
Subscribe • Print Page
Search Archive • Index

Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !


Got Holiday Gift Money to spend?
Check out the Online Holiday Coupon Page for $10 and $20 discounts in the Midwifery Today store. Or, save $5 on your Midwifery Today subscription. You'll also find special offers on Childbirth Educator Labor Assistant/Birth Doula training. Hurry, these special offers expire Jan. 31.



Midwifery Today Online Store

Placenta rituals, remedies and recipes…

…are what you'll find in Placenta: The Gift of Life. Read this book to discover the various ways placentas have been used by people around the world and throughout the ages. You'll also find 15 recipes that will show you how to use the placenta in ointments, essences and other remedies for a variety of ailments.
Placenta: The Gift of Life is a new book from Motherbaby Press, a division of Midwifery Today.
Order here



This issue of Midwifery Today E-News is brought to you by:

Look below for more info!



Midwifery Today Conferences

Thinking about becoming a midwife?

Then you need to attend the full-day Beginning Midwifery class at our March 2008 Philadelphia conference. You will learn about both the joys and challenges of being a midwife and discover if this is the calling for you. Topics covered include Prenatal Care, With Woman, Normal Labor Physiology, Emotional Issues in Labor and Finding a Mentor or Apprenticeship.

Learn more about the Philadelphia conference and get a complete program.


How does sexual abuse affect pregnancy and childbirth?

Find out at Midwifery Today's "Hope and Healing" Conference. Learn what you can do to help, and how to work with moms who have survived the trauma of sexual abuse. You may also choose from a full array of practical classes for midwives and aspiring midwives. Plan to attend this conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2008.

Learn more about the "Hope and Healing" conference and get a complete program.

In This Week’s Issue:


Quote of the Week

"Throughout the world generations have passed down knowledge of how ingesting placenta helps a mother's postpartum recovery. Women using placenta remedies after birth feel stronger, are happier and can breastfeed more easily."

Cornelia Enning
excerpted from Placenta: The Gift of Life—The Role of the Placenta in Different Cultures, and How to Prepare and Use It As Medicine, new from Motherbaby Press


Are you enjoying your copy of Midwifery Today E-News? Then show your support by making a donation of $3 or more.


The Art of Midwifery

In Mexico, where I live, and where the roots of traditional medicine share much with the Chinese, midwives make placenta medicine. They take the fresh blood from the placenta, chop up some of the flesh and make a tincture by filling a clean glass jar with equal parts blood/placenta mixture and 90-proof vodka. This is stored for six weeks, shaken daily, then strained and bottled. It is prized as a tonic for women going through menopausal difficulties: 10 to 40 drops in water two or three times a day. In these cases they advise one to use only the placenta of a first-time mother who has been in excellent health during her pregnancy.

Alison Bastien
excerpted from "Placental Rituals, Placental Medicine"
Midwifery Today Issue 71

Midwifery Today Issue 71


ALL BIRTH PRACTITIONERS: The techniques you've perfected over months and years of practice are valuable lessons for others to learn! Share them with E-News readers by sending them to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.


Send submissions, inquiries, and responses to newsletter items to: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.


RSS Feed Subscribe to the Birth Products RSS feed for information about the products available from Midwifery Today. Find out what's new, what's on sale and more.

RSS Feed Subscribe to the Web Updates RSS feed to stay on top of what's new or highlighted on the Midwifery Today Web site. Be alerted when conference programs go online, new articles are posted and more.

Research to Remember

Researchers reviewed records of nearly 100,000 birthing women to determine whether a connection existed between prior cesarean and placenta previa or placenta accreta. The overall rate of placenta previa was 0.26% for women with unscarred uteri, and increased according to number of prior c-sections to 10% in women with four or more. Women with placenta previa and an unscarred uterus had a 5% risk of clinical placenta accreta. For those with placenta previa and one prior c-section, the risk of placenta accreta was 24%. That percentage went up to 67% for women with four or more c-sections.

Obstet Gynecol 66: 89–92, 1985


Please support our advertisers!

HypnobabiesHypnobabies Instructor Trainings 2008

May 2–5, Nashville TN
July 11–14, Cypress CA

Make a Difference! Join our Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Team! We help women ENJOY childbirth in comfort, joy and love. Hypnobabies' "Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis" empowers birthing mothers. They remain mobile, relaxed, comfortable and focused inward. Gentle, easier birthing for moms, doulas and midwives. It really works! (714) 898-BABY (2229) http://www.Hypnobabies.com


Placental Folklore

The newborn baby's placenta is the focus of many post-birth rituals around the world. As well as honoring the baby's placenta, these practices spiritually safeguard baby and mother during the major transitions of birth and the postnatal period.

In Cambodia, for example, the baby's placenta, which traditional Cambodian healers call "the globe of the origin of the soul," must be buried in the right location and orientation to protect the baby. The burial place may be covered with a spiky plant to keep evil spirits and dogs from interfering, because such interference could have long-term effects on the mother's mental health.

Dona Miriam, a traditional midwife from Costa Rica, describes wrapping the newborn placenta in paper, burying it in a dry hole, then covering it with ashes from the stove. This ritual protects the mother from entuertos: retained blood clots, cramps and infection.

The influence of the child's placenta and cord is, in many places, thought to extend long after birth. In Turkey, the placenta, which is known as the friend or comrade of the baby, is wrapped in a clean cloth and buried. The cord, however, may be buried in the courtyard of a mosque, if the parents wish their child to be devout in later life. Similarly, if the parents want their child to be well educated, they may throw the cord over a schoolyard wall. The Kwakiutl of British Columbia are reported to have buried a daughter's placenta at the high-tide mark so that she would grow up to be skilled at digging for clams. A Kwakiutl son's placenta was apparently exposed so that, as ravens devoured it, he would gain prophetic vision in later life.

In many places, the placenta represents the child's relationship to family, tribe and land. The Maori of New Zealand call the placenta whenua, which also means land. For the Maori, te whenua (the land) nourishes the people, as does the whenua (placenta) of the woman. The Maori traditionally bury the baby's whenua and pito (umbilical cord) on the marae, or tribal land. Returning the placenta to papatuanuku (Mother Earth) after birth establishes a personal, spiritual, symbolic and sacred link between the land and the child.

— Sarah Buckley, excerpted from "Placenta Rituals and Folklore from around the World," Midwifery Today Issue 80
Midwifery Today Issue 80


Please support our advertisers!

We’Moon ’08

Gaia Rhythms for Womyn's artists and writers speak with profound eloquence on this year's theme—Mending the Web. This week-at-a-glance appointment book features daily astrological aspects, moon phases, and astrological predictions. At this time of multiple crises, it calls on the ancient women's art of mending what is torn in our imperiled world. Order at http://www.wemoon.ws or (877)693-6666.


Products for Birth Professionals

Learn about massage during pregnancy, labor and postpartum

Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy is a well-referenced, comprehensive book that will give you the foundation you need to safely and effectively support the birth of a mother and her baby. If you're a massage therapist who wants to learn more about working with pregnant women or if you're a birth professional who wants to learn more about massage, this book is a good place to start. Buy the book.

Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy

Learn from Expert Midwives.

Wisdom of the Midwives
  Wisdom of the Midwives, the second volume in the Tricks of the Trade series, is packed full of useful ideas and techniques. You'll learn about counseling as a tool in your birth kit, nutrition and healthy birth, herbs, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, premature rupture of membranes, first stage and more. Order the book.

Listen and learn about midwifery and birth.

Midwifery Today audio tapes are taped live at our conferences, and feature the best birth and midwifery teachers in the world. Choose from a wide variety of birth-related topics, including sexual abuse in pregnancy, complications and herbal remedies. Order here.

audiotape   audiotape   audiotape


Want the whole story?

Midwifery Today magazineSubscribe to MIDWIFERY TODAY magazine and four times a year you'll receive 72 pages filled with complete articles, birth stories, stunning birth photography and more. Midwifery Today E-News is just a taste of what you'll find in Midwifery Today magazine.
Subscribe.


Paths to Becoming a Midwife

Thinking about becoming a midwife?

Or do you know someone who is considering this profession? Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education is just what any aspiring midwife needs! This 328-page book contains vital information for anyone considering midwifery as a career. It includes a directory of over 150 schools, programs and other resources. ORDER



According to a study at the Mayo clinic, antidepressant use among pregnant women is increasing. Data from over 25,000 deliveries between 1993 and 2005 at that Minnesota clinic showed that about 5% of the pregnant women took selective serotonin reuptake inhibiters (SSRIs) during their pregnancies, a 1% increase from 1993. This is an alarming number, considering the adverse effects now linked to Paxil and some of the related SSRIs.

— Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Diego, May 2007


Please support our advertisers!

SPECIAL E-News OFFER: Subscribe to Mothering magazine for $17.95 or Mothering Digital for $15.00.

Mothering magazine is the premier publication of the natural family living community. Every publication addresses contemporary, evidence-based childbirth and parenting issues in an upbeat, intelligent and compassionate manner. Go to Mothering.com and enter the code of your choice. For a $17.95 print subscription, enter A7MT. For a $15.00 digital subscription, enter A7MTD.



Web Site Update

Read this editorial by Jan Tritten in the current issue of Midwifery Today, Winter 2007, Issue 84:

  • Birth Change
    "Amazing islands of faith can be found all over the world though, as our ideas are passed around and people get inspired, dream and carry out those dreams. More of us are called, and our hard work is needed to turn the tide. Robbie Davis-Floyd teaches that 20% is critical mass—if we can reach that we will make it."

Advertising Opportunities

Philadelphia Conference Advertising

Our next conference, "The Healing Touch of Midwifery and Birth," will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 26–30, 2008.

Start planning today to be a part of this exciting conference. Ask us about exhibiting your services and products, displaying your ad in the conference program, and having your inserts distributed to attendees. [ Learn More ]

Hope and Healing Conference Advertising

"Hope and Healing—Collaborating to Bring Midwifery and Mental Health Care to Women Who Are Survivors of Sexual Abuse" will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 7–10, 2008. Learn about the conference here. Ask our Advertising Director about exhibiting your services and products, displaying your ad in the conference program, and having your inserts distributed to attendees.

Midwifery Today E-News

Does reaching more than 14,000 readers and potential customers sound appealing to your business? An ad in Midwifery Today E-News, our free biweekly electronic e-mail newsletter, hotlinks customers directly to your Web site. Each issue is archived and continues to send you customers long after the actual run date. [ Learn More ]

Contact our Advertising Director at ads@midwiferytoday.com
View more advertising options at: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/


Question of the Week

Q: At 28 weeks of pregnancy I was told that I had too much amniotic fluid, the placenta was not sending enough blood to the baby and she was not moving enough or growing. She was delivered that same day by cesarean and has Trisomy 21. Could anything have been done to keep her in there longer?

— Anonymous


SEND YOUR RESPONSE to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com with "Question of the Week" in the subject line. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the message.


Start or continue your midwifery education!

Are you an aspiring midwife who's looking for the right school? Are you a practicing midwife who would like learn more? Visit our Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.



Question of the Week Responses

Q: Do find in your homebirth midwifery practice that the rate of transfers and/or c-sections has increased in the last two to five years?

— Anonymous

A: In our practice the answer is no. We have had 52–57 babies per year and last year we transfered two and this year we have transfered three. Of the five, four had c-sections and one had a previous c-section. In years past we averaged 35 babies with 2–3 transfers. So our average is less now.

— One Heart


Responses to any Question of the Week may be sent to E-News at any time. Write to mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com. Please indicate the topic of discussion *and the E-News issue number* in the subject line or in the message.


Think about It

I taught a class on the placenta for a conference long before I started Midwifery Today. A friend was working at our local hospital so she got a bag of placentas for me to use. Out of about 20 placentas only one or two looked like our homebirth placentas. I was in total shock. I had seen a few placentas that were calcified and/or full of infarcts but they were on fairly overdue babies or the occasional woman with bad nutrition. These hospital placentas were riddled with infarcts (dead areas) and calcifications. I figured they were caused by poor maternal diets. Others were very tiny and I wondered if these were premature or IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) babies. I think it shows the general bad health of US women. I also wonder if other placentas around the world look like that, and whether they have an effect not only on the baby, but whether there would be a negative effect from using those placentas for placenta medicine.

Jan Tritten


Love birth? You need Midwifery Today magazine!


Feedback

I am surprised that Brenda Docherty (E-News 9:24, November 21, 2007) has seen so few women who personally have experienced birth as rape or been traumatized by the violence done to them during it. With the cesarean section rate skyrocketing and the ongoing medical model of care with its inherently depersonalizing rituals, how women manage *not* to be traumatized by their births amazes me. This is much more common than Ms. Docherty realizes. See my article in your wonderful magazine of last winter, "Healing the Trauma: Entering Motherhood with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder."

Jennifer Griebenow

I've seen this type of insinuation frequently in the literature. That somehow, if a woman has had trauma prior to childbirth, that the traumatic events that occur during childbirth are unimportant. It simply isn't so. Childbirth is often an intensely emotional experience, one that should involve a partnership with a woman's care provider. Though women have the right to informed consent about all aspects of their birth, most are not empowered to know this and the unfortunate reality is that not all care providers can be trusted to inform women of this right.

Even if, as Ms. Docherty says, an intervention becomes necessary for the life of the mother and/or baby, this does not negate the emotional reaction. Read Cesarean Voices (an International Cesarean Awareness Network publication), for example, and you hear over and over the relief for their babies' health (if they are so fortunate) and yet devastation at how the baby came into the world. These feelings need to be validated and the woman supported in resolving them, in order to avoid the devastating consequences traumatic birth can have on the woman, her partner and her family.

Providers, maternal and mental health alike, need to be aware of the far-reaching implications of birth trauma. Women need to have their experiences validated, not minimized, as Ms. Docherty has done.

Christie Craigie-Carter, M.A., LMHC
Chair of Mental Health, International Cesarean Awareness Network
www.ican-online.net

I am glad that Brenda Docherty, Bsc, RGN, RM, has seen so little traumatic birth in Scotland that she considers "the clients' work, education or social interaction may have coloured their views of childbirth" if they equate their experience of birth as "rape."

In my work and education as a nurse, as well as in my social interaction, I never expected the experience of childbirth would leave me feeling like anything less than a proud new mother. My social interactions had led me to believe that doctors were people I could trust because they cared about me. When my plans for a natural birth turned into an unnecessary cesarean, I felt as if I had been gang-raped while others stood by and approved.

Marilyn Moran, author of Birth and the Dialogue of Love, said that just as rape is the forceful intrusion of the woman, a medically intervened birth is the forceful extrusion of the infant from the woman.

Sheila Stubbs


Only letters sent to the E-News official e-mail address, mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com, will be considered for inclusion. Letters sent to ANY OTHER e-mail addresses will not be considered.


Classified Advertising

Tell our readers about your business. Just $35/issue ($125 for four) gives you 30 words to promote your products or services. http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ads/enews.asp or ads@midwiferytoday.com


Remember to share this newsletter

You may forward it to as many friends and colleagues as you wish—it's free!

Want to stop receiving E-News or change your e-mail address? Or would you like to subscribe? Then please visit our easy-to-use subscription management page.

On this page you will be able to:

  • start receiving any of our e-mail newsletters
  • stop receiving any of our e-mail newsletters
  • change the version (text or HTML) that you receive
  • change the e-mail address to which newsletters are delivered

If you have difficulty, please send a complete description of the problem, including any error messages, to our newsletter.


Learn even more about birth!

Midwifery Today Magazine—mention code 940 when you subscribe.

 1-Year Subscription2-Year Subscription
United States$55$105
Canada / Mexico$65$125
All other countries$75$145

E-mail inquiries@midwiferytoday.com or call 1-800-743-0974 to learn how to order.

Or subscribe online.


How to order our products mentioned in this issue:

Secure online shopping

We accept Visa and MasterCard at the Midwifery Today Storefront.

Order by postal mail

We accept Visa; MasterCard; and check or money order in U.S. funds.

Midwifery Today, Inc.
PO Box 2672
Eugene, OR 97402, USA

Order by phone or fax

We accept Visa and MasterCard.

Phone (U.S. and Canada; orders only):  1-800-743-0974

Phone (worldwide):  +1 541-344-7438

Fax:  +1 541-344-1422


E-News subscription questions or problems

Editorial submissions, questions or comments for E-News

Editorial for print magazine

Conference

Advertising

For all other matters

All questions and comments submitted to Midwifery Today E-News become the property of Midwifery Today, Inc. They may be used either in full or as an excerpt, and will be archived on the Midwifery Today Web site.


Midwifery Today E-News is published electronically every other Wednesday. We invite your questions, comments and submissions. We'd love to hear from you! Write to us at: mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com. Please send submissions in the body of your message and not as attachments.


Disclaimer

This publication is presented by Midwifery Today, Inc., for the sole purpose of disseminating general health information for public benefit. The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Midwifery Today, Inc., does not assume liability for the use of this information in any jurisdiction or for the contents of any external Internet sites referenced, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advertised in this publication. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.

Copyright Notice

The content of E-News is copyrighted by Midwifery Today, Inc., and, occasionally, other rights holders. You may forward E-News by e-mail an unlimited number of times, provided you do not alter the content in any way and that you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. You may print a single copy of each issue of E-News for your own personal, noncommercial use only, provided you include all applicable notices and disclaimers. Any other use of the content is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Midwifery Today, Inc., and any other applicable rights holders.

© 2008 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!