December 10, 2008
Volume 10, Issue 26
Midwifery Today E-News
“Special Holiday Edition”
Print Page

Dear Friend of Birth,  

You are receiving this newsletter because you are interested in changing childbirth ways. Many of us have fought this fight and watched things get worse. This season brings us a new hope. Can we bring change? To quote the incoming US President, "Yes, we can."

Let's take these two new slogans, "Change we can believe in," and "Yes, we can," as our own in this tough new world. Midwives, doulas and other change agents have a huge role to play. There is new hope in the world and there is new hope in birth care.

Evidence is on our side; cost of service is on our side. We are caring childbirth providers; indeed, service is our calling. Let's renew our faith for bringing better birth to more mothers and babies. We can do it.

This season, where a birth is central and a new world may just be dawning, is our time to launch our new hope. All births are sacred and this is the time to go forward with energy and enthusiasm and carry out our calling, each as we have been called. In this effort, we can change the world. Imagine if each motherbaby gets the best possible start. That will really move mountains.

Toward Better Birth,
Jan Tritten


Editor's Note: Look for the next issue of Midwifery Today E-News on January 7, 2009!

Gift Ideas

Holiday packThere's still time to do your Holiday shopping with Midwifery Today! Just place your order by Monday, Dec. 15, if you want to use regular shipping. You have until noon PST on Friday, Dec. 19, if you want to use 2nd day UPS shipping. And you can wait until noon PST on Monday, Dec. 22, if you choose Next Day UPS shipping. (These shipping deadlines apply to U.S. customers only.)

And remember, you can save $10 or $20 on your Midwifery Today order if you take advantage of our special offers. Check out the Online Holiday Coupon Page to find out how.

Give the gift of beautiful birth.

BroughtToEarthByBirthNewly Available!
Filled with stunning black and white photographs by Harriette Hartigan, one of the world's master birth photographers, Brought to Earth by Birth celebrates the joy and beauty of pregnancy and birth. It's the perfect gift for your midwife or doula, for expectant or new moms, for grandmothers and for anyone who loves babies and birth. And remember to order a copy for yourself!

And be sure to check out the tote bags, T-shirts and DVDs also featuring Harriette's beautiful photography here.

hhtote EpicWomenDVD OfNatureAndBirthDVD

Give the gift of information!

gift subYou'll save $5 per subscription when you order two one-year Midwifery Today subscriptions at the same time. And one of these can be your own renewal or new subscription! Order here.

For other Midwifery Today subscription options, go here.

gift subAnd why not include several back issues as part of your gift? You'll find all the available issues here.

compendiumJoan Donley's Compendium for a Healthy Pregnancy and a Normal Birth
is the perfect gift for an aspiring midwife.

Give her a 402-page book packed with information on alternative treatments such as herbs and acupuncture. It also includes sections on prenatal care, nutrition, problems in pregnancy and labor, infections, and postnatal concerns. What a great addition to her birth library! It would also be a good gift for practicing midwives and anyone who wants to learn more about birth. Get the book.

OrgBirthDVDShare your understanding of what birth should be.

Give someone you love the knowledge that birth can be a glorious emotional, spiritual and physical experience. When they view Orgasmic Birth, they'll see stunning moments of women in the ecstatic release of childbirth interspersed with commentary by experts such as doctors Christiane Northrup and Marsden Wagner, midwives Elizabeth Davis, Naolí Vinaver and Ina May Gaskin, and social scientists Robbie Davis-Floyd and Carrie Contey. This DVD also makes a fine addition to the birth library of any midwife. Get the DVD.

Jewelry is always welcome!
And Midwifery Today has a fine selection of lovely pieces to fit every taste.

BabyEarringsAt just $13 a pair, these precious sterling silver Baby Earrings are a real bargain.

WombWithAViewPendantGive that special someone the Womb with a View pendant and help her show off her love of birth. This substantial sterling silver piece features a sweet baby snuggling in the protection of his mother's womb, and will be worn proudly by midwives, doulas and mothers.

CrowningEarringsThat moment of crowning is captured in these classic silver earrings by Russell Wray. Give the Crowning Earrings to your favorite midwife or doula, and be sure to buy a pair for yourself, too. Also makes a thoughtful gift for a new midwife.

For more lovely pendants, pins and earrings, check out our full selection of jewelry.

WithWoman2009Surprise your midwife with the With Woman Appointment and Resource Book!

This handy spiral bound book is perfect for midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and lactation consultants. There's space for her to record 15 months of appointments, and she'll appreciate the reference guides and resources, the place for listing client information and the handy pocket in the back that can hold business cards or a gestational wheel. It also includes some lovely black and white photography to inspire her as she goes about her daily tasks. If you're a midwife, be sure to order a copy for yourself. Get the appointment and resource book.

The Path of a Midwife

candlesI gave birth for the first time, well before the crack of dawn, on a chilly November morning in 1991. I birthed in the comfort and warmth of my own home, surrounded by people of my choosing, guided and supported by two loving midwives, also of my choosing. In the cold darkness of that November morning, not only was a beautiful baby boy born, so too was a mama, a papa and a midwife. It was a profound transition in my life.

I did not make this choice out of rebellion or fear of hospitals, but rather from my heart. I hadn't read any "your path to better birthing" books or "what to expect" books. I didn't want to. As a matter of fact, I just couldn't imagine birthing any other way. I felt that my baby wouldn't allow it.

Birth is a rite of passage for the whole family: For the partner, who has been there through the tender emotional outpourings, the queasy days, the first fluttering kicks, the frolics felt just beneath the ribs and, finally, the labor and birth - the grand event. For the baby, who is profoundly affected in ways that we are only beginning to recognize. Everyone is moved by this transition of life, from womb to room.

Pregnancy and birth are natural physiological processes that open and move through a woman's body, mind and spirit. Pregnancy and birth are parts of the deeply personal and intimate journey involving every aspect of a woman's being. This journey can be a time of great vulnerability and a time of great empowerment.

As a midwife, I have seen birth in all her unfettered force, unimpeded and oh, so safe. I have seen, while looking into many a woman's eyes, in the midst of her lucid struggle, the eternal, universal recognition of her own strength. I have witnessed many a woman shift from "I can't do this" to "I am doing this." I have witnessed brilliant-faced partners awed and transformed while infused and bathed in the glow of the mama's intense birthing energy. I have witnessed contractions, waves, primal rushes, uterine pulses and mamas moaning, singing, resisting, rocking and rolling right into birthing their babies. I have witnessed babies, wet and warm, born into the welcoming arms of the eagerly awaiting family. Through bearing witness and bearing babies, I believe that birth is safe.

For every woman birthing and believing in herself, a baby is born imprinted with the same self-confidence. Every baby born into an environment of safety and peace is a person imprinted with that same sense of peace. What better way to enter the world? I can imagine no other beauty or grace, aside from mothering, to which I can commit myself. I walk this path with all my heart, with every cell in my body, one baby, one mama, one family at a time.

Brenda Frankenfeld is a homebirthing, homeschooling, homeloving mother of three lovely children, Cypress (15 years), Estrella (8 years) and Oliver (5 years), and partner with Mikey (42 years), four core inspirations on her midwifery path. She is a proud student of Ancient Art Midwifery Institute and currently offering her midwifery services to families in Northeast Kansas.

Reprinted from The Birthkit Issue 55


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