August 31, 2011
Volume 13, Issue 18
Midwifery Today E-News
Print Page

Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

Midwifery Today Online Store

Are you prepared for birth problems and complications?

MT online store

The Holistic Clinical Handbooks are packed with practical information you need for births. Plus, they’re small enough to tuck into your birthkit, so you can always have them with you. Topics covered include prolonged labor, shoulder dystocia, second stage, hemorrhage and tear prevention.
To order

Learn about First and Second Stage Difficulties with Carol Gautschi, Ina May Gaskin and Gail Hart

Germany conference

Attend this full-day pre-conference class to discover how individual care and good communication can positively affect labor. Our teachers will also share protocols and techniques they use to help the mother move through first stage. You’ll learn about prolonged rupture of membranes, failure to progress, abnormal labor patterns, non-medical intervention and more. Bring your questions and experiences in what promises to be an exciting day! Part of our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany, this October.

Learn more about the Germany conference.

Plan now to attend the Midwifery Today Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania!

Celebrate midwifery, make new friends and learn from teachers such as Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Naolí Vinaver, Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin and Betty-Anne Daviss. It all happens April 11–15, 2012, so be sure to reserve those days! To receive a printed program by mail when it becomes available, please e-mail with your name and postal address.Harrisburg conference

In This Week’s Issue

Quote of the Week

A person’s a person no matter how small.

Dr. Seuss

Are you enjoying your copy of Midwifery Today E-News? Then show your support and get more content by subscribing to our quarterly print magazine, Midwifery Today. Subscribe here.

The Art of Midwifery

Put emergency directions for dispensing herbal remedies and medications on 3 x 5 inch index cards. Keep the cards with the “meds” so an assistant has this reference in an emergency. Verbal directions can be hard to catch in an urgent situation, and the cards can help avoid confusion.

Lisa Fincher
Excerpted from Midwifery Today’s Wisdom of the Midwives, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. II

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

Send submissions, inquiries, and responses to newsletter items to:

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.

Jan’s Corner

Conference of the Turkish Midwives Association

Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Carol Gautschi and I have been invited to speak at the first International Turkish Midwifery Congress. It is very exciting to us to be privileged to join Turkish midwives as they battle the medicalization of birth, including the high cesarean rate overtaking them and many other countries. The Turkish Midwives’ Association is working very hard to make this an international event so ideas can be shared with midwives working in other countries.

Their goals with this conference are many, among them is the desire to strengthen midwifery and support an environment for normal birth to flourish in Turkey so that newborns are healthy and strong families are created. Check out their Web site ( to learn more out about the classes that will be offered, the association’s social and scientific programs and more.

Conferences are a great way to see the world, update your knowledge, share what you have been learning and learn about midwifery and birth in other countries. I am sure you have a vision or dream to make birth better in the world. Conferences are also a place where you can find others to encourage you in your dream, or even help you with it!

Jan Tritten, mother of Midwifery Today

Jan Tritten is the founder, editor-in-chief and mother of Midwifery Today magazine. She became a midwife in 1977 after the amazing homebirth of her second daughter. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies throughout the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world, or join her online, as she works to transform birth practices around the world.

Jan on Twitter:
Midwifery Today on Facebook:
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook:
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing:

ed page graphic

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 to learn more? Visit our Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.

News and Research

Waterbirth in the Middle East

A new hospital set to open in the United Arab Emirates city of Al-Ain will be the first in the region to offer a waterbirth pool. The hospital will have a total of three large birthing rooms, and will be family and visitor friendly. The maternity unit will be backed by “resident obstetricians…hired in consideration for their support of natural birth and the midwifery model of care.”

— Al Hajjar, Aisha. “Waterbirth comes to the UAE.” July 6, 2011.

library book stack graphic

Make the vision of natural birth available for all to see.

Ask your library to order natural birth and midwifery books for you. When a mother has more information about natural birth available to her, she can make more educated decisions about how she wants to birth her baby. Making requests is easy; here’s how.

Featured Article

The Well-organized Birthkit: “How Do I Ever Fit It All In?”

It is important to have some of everything you have asked the client to get for the birth in your birth bag, as they may have forgotten an item or just not gotten around to getting it yet. Again, be sure to use every inch of space.

My birth bag is about the size of a flight carry-on, although somewhat wider, and was bought in the luggage section of a large chain store. It is made of black, lightweight fabric and has two major zippered compartments, two front zippered pockets, and a flat pocket on the back for charts, papers, etc. Unfortunately it had no interior pockets, so I added a few.

The large, front main section contains mostly birthing items. The big, but shorter-zippered, rear main section has postpartum and personal items for the midwife such as a birth outfit, toiletries, etc. These are in plastic bags of different colors (recycled from various stores) so the contents are easily identifiable without the need to search through each one.

In the front main section there is a separate, removable flat pocket holder, purchased at an arts and crafts store. It measures 14-1/2 inches by 11-1/2 inches and has a total of 16 clear, plastic pockets of various sizes on both sides with Velcro closures. It has a handle at the top to hang on a door or a dresser knob and has a stiff backing so it can alternatively be propped on a bedside table, etc. It is filled with 12 different types of medications and herbs, plus sutures, syringes, needles, etc. Most of the meds and some of the herbs are in clear, boldly labeled, snap-cap plastic containers slightly taller than the old 35 mm film canisters. Two vials of Pitocin will fit into each of these and are thus kept from getting lost among larger bottles, etc.

The long, plastic pockets on the back are perfect for culturettes, amnihooks, syringes, etc. The shorter pockets are good for holding sutures, needles, vacutainers, etc. This pocket holder has been very useful for keeping all the emergency meds very handy and clearly in sight, yet out of the way if not needed.

Oxygen Carrier

It is recommended that the oxygen carrier be made of rigid, rather than soft material, as the tank can get knocked about in the midwife’s car or during transport. Most can be used without taking the tank out of the container. It is also helpful to have the handle positioned so you can carry it vertically rather than horizontally. This makes for less bending to pick it up when you have loaded the birth and prenatal bags onto your shoulders and also allows for better maneuverability, as you can turn in less space without hitting something.

Regina Willette
Excerpted from “The Well-organized Birthkit: ‘How Do I Ever Fit It All In?’,” Midwifery Today, Issue 93
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Featured Products

Crowning Earrings

Crowning Earrings Celebrate the Moment of Birth .

Anyone who loves birth will love these silver earrings. Give them to your favorite midwife or doula, and be sure to buy a pair for yourself, too.

Experience the authentic sights and sounds of birth!

Penny Simkin

Birth with Gloria Lemay features nine beautiful homebirths, each one a lovely example of a normal, family birth. It’s a great resource to share with women to help build their confidence in their birthing bodies. The DVD also includes special features on circumcision and the prepuce.
To order

Discover The Power of Women!

The Power of Women

When you read this new book by Sister MorningStar, you’ll discover how healing words and empowering stories help women listen to their instincts during childbirth. Filled with inspiring, moving stories, The Power of Women will lift the veils from your eyes and let you view the world in a new way. Give it to the pregnant women you know. Help them see the power that resides within them.
Order the book.

Learn and review basic midwifery skills

If you’re studying to become a midwife, you need General Skills for the Student Midwife. This 2-DVD set is packed with demonstrations by experienced midwives and nurses and gives you the opportunity see hands-on skills being performed. Topics covered include Sterile Technique, Basic Treatment of Shock, Maternal Temperature Assessment, Maternal Skin Assessment, Newborn Temperature Assessment and much more!
To order

General Skills for the Student Midwife

What’s black and white…

…read by birth professionals around the world, filled with informative articles and inspiring birth stories, and shows up in your postal mailbox four times a year? Subscribe. Midwifery Today Magazine

How would your baby like to be born?

How Will I Be Born?

In How Will I Be Born? Jean Sutton explains the principles of optimal fetal positioning in a clear and straightforward matter. Written for expectant parents, this book is packed with helpful advice and information, including an informative chapter on posterior position. A must-read for all pregnant moms and a book for the practitioner’s lending library. Click here.

Seeking Submissions for 100th Issue

From the editor: Midwifery Today is working on its 100th print issue. We are looking for print subscribers who have been with us from the beginning, or near the beginning. If this is you or someone you know we’d love to hear how Midwifery Today has affected you and/or your midwifery/birth practice. Please send a 2–3 paragraph response to Selected responses will be edited and published in Midwifery Today magazine.

Web Site Update

Read this editorial by Jan Tritten from the brand-new issue of Midwifery Today, Autumn 2011:

  • Global Midwifery Council
    Excerpt: The birth of the Global Midwifery Council was in June of 2010 at the Home Child/Midwifery Today Conference in Moscow, Russia. It was born to change the paradigm of birth around the world. At international conferences, Midwifery Today has learned enough about midwifery and birth around the world to realize that birth itself is in deep trouble.

The table of contents for the brand-new issue of Midwifery Today is now online! Go here:

Visit the Midwifery Today YouTube Channel

Please check out this YouTube video, part of our Birth Essentials series:
Ina May Gaskin on Tips for Breech Birth
In this video, Ina May Gaskin of The Farm Midwifery Center teaches in the Breech Birth workshop at the Midwifery Today Conference in Eugene, Oregon, March 2009. She tells about a baby turning breech during labor, and explains the well-known "Ring of Fire."

Click below to view, or you may wish to go here to download video and view without streaming interruption.


Advertising Opportunities

Find your international clients at our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany

Reach a targeted international market by advertising at Midwifery Today’s conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany: “Preserving Our Traditions, Improving Our Skills”, October 19–23, 2011. By advertising at this exciting conference you will reach an audience passionate about birth. Space is very limited so contact us soon. [ Learn More ]

Midwifery Today E-News

Do you have a Web site? Does reaching more than 17,000 potential customers sound appealing? Purchasing an ad in Midwifery Today E-News, our biweekly e-mail newsletter, gets your message out and sends customers directly to your Web site. Each issue is archived and continues sending more customers in the future.[ Learn More ]

Direct Mail Opportunity

Reach thousands of customers quickly and easily with Midwifery Today's Holiday Pack Direct Mailing. Let us do the work for you with this holiday tradition. [ Learn More ]

Contact our Advertising Director at:
View more advertising options at:

Birth Wisdom from the Web

We are deeply concerned by the gravity of the situation in the region. We call upon the international community to urgently look after the unique needs of pregnant women and mothers whose families’ survival are particularly at risk.

— Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, on the distribution of reproductive health care kits to pregnant women affected by drought and famine in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Women are often used as tools of war. In Northern Uganda for two generations women have been used either as sex slaves for the rebel army or as reproductive machines, abducted and forced to give birth to as many babies as possible to build up the army with child soldiers. Women giving birth in captivity are faced with lack of prenatal and obstetrical care, severe starvation, untreated STDs, physical mutilation and extreme emotional trauma, among other issues. Not surprisingly, Northern Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world, and also one of the highest maternal and perinatal mortality rates.

— Rachel Zaslow, founder of Earth Birth, a maternity clinic located in one of the largest Internally Displaced Persons camps in Northern Uganda.

At the hospitals you’re pretty much at the discretion of what it is they want you to do. At home, it was just me on my own. Owning the power of my own body was very, very beautiful. And being able to labor in the way that I wanted, whatever position it was, not having to lay on my back, was really great.

— Milagros Guzman, mom, on the benefits of homebirth.

If you’d like to share a bit of wisdom from the Web, please send a 4–5 sentence excerpt, accompanied by a link, to

Conference Chatter: Looking Ahead

We are always planning ahead to keep midwifery alive and growing, and as we prepare for the Germany conference, Eneyda and I are also making plans to check new venues for future Midwifery Today conferences, and finalizing plans for our Harrisburg conference. We are also still getting registrants for Germany from all over this amazing world. I hope one of them is you!

I just finished the welcome letter for our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference, themed: Midwifery: Skill, Wisdom, Culture, Love. I’ve included the letter below to let you know more about our plans:

We invite you to join us in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where we have planned a very exciting program for you. We have something for everyone—midwives, moms, doulas and doctors. This will be a great conference for improving clinical skills, and you will find a wealth of clinical information on breech birth, twins and VBACs, as well as classes on prolonged labor, shoulder dystocia and more.

In addition, we’ve taken an international approach. We will host teachers from Brazil, France, Mexico, Norway, Canada and Ghana. Midwives from the Amish and Mennonite communities, as well as Ina May and Stephen Gaskin from The Farm Midwifery Center will also be presenting. We will work on serious issues in midwifery and birth, and we will have fun, too. Harrisburg is near the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. The hotel we’ve selected will be a fun place to relax in the indoor pool and spa area, as you share birth stories and your heart for motherbaby.

As always, it is our goal to offer you abundant information and insight, and to provide a renewing time to connect with colleagues. All of this so you can go back to your practice, school or community, ready to do more. Join us this year for an unforgettable experience. We hope to refresh your joy and support you in sustaining your calling to nurture mothers and babies!

Jan Tritten

Think about It

One can reasonably surmise that a sexual abuse survivor could experience a high level of anxiety in labor and might experience slower progress or stalling along the way, but no research has yet to determine whether this is true or not. Likely, survivors experience as much variety in how labor unfolds and in how effectively they cope as do other women. Still, long or stalled labors are those that end with interventions, so considering what techniques or support to use with a survivor (and any other woman) to facilitate the most steady labor progress possible is worthwhile.

Mickey Sperlich and Julia S. Seng
Excerpted from Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse, Motherbaby Press

Love birth?
You need Midwifery Today magazine!


Dear Readers,

As you may know, the Republic of South Sudan celebrated its Independence Day on Jul 9, 2011. After 20 years of war, this is a dream come true. Many struggles lie ahead, but this is a huge first step for our country. Independence does not, however, mean instant development and better living. Our country still needs help from the outside. This is why we continue with our project to bring health care to our home village of Piol.

South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Also, one in five children do not live to age five. Our next project will address these needs.

We will purchase materials for a second building, to be constructed by residents that will include an examination and delivery room and a maternity ward.

A nurse/midwife—the first medical professional in the area—will be hired to staff the clinic.

Expectant mothers will be able to receive medical care from a trained medical professional for the first time.

Women with problem pregnancies can come to the clinic for observation and stay in the clinic to deliver their babies in a safe, clean environment.

To date we have raised over $80,000 toward our goal of $300,000. Our current target is $50,000 by the end of October. Why the urgency? Sudan has an annual rainy season during which it is impossible to carry out construction projects. If funds are in hand by October, the new building can be completed before the next rains arrive. To do this, we need your help. An anonymous donor has issued a challenge and will match the first $10,000 in contributions made by October 1, 2011. If you are able to consider a contribution in 2011, it would help greatly to receive your donation by this deadline.

We hope that you will consider helping our grass roots, all volunteer effort to build a new clinic in the world’s newest country. We look forward to continuing to share our accomplishments at the clinic with you. Subscribe to the clinic newsletter on the Web site , and follow our progress on Facebook at “Lost Boys of Sudan—the Sudan Clinic.”


Jok Dau and Bol Aweng

Dear E-News Readers,

Birth India will be holding its fifth annual conference in Bangalore, on Saturday, January 21, 2012. The theme this year is Safe and Supported Birth: A Human Right. Conference topics include:

  • Understanding and interpreting the progression of labour and delivery in normal birth
  • Bio-medical vs. natural birth approaches
  • The latest in evidence-based maternity care
  • Quality of care: Understanding women’s needs and trusting women’s wisdom in labor and delivery
  • Reproductive justice in the Indian context—the dilemma of over-medicalization for some and little access to health care for the majority

Multidisciplinary birth professionals and health care advocates from across India, including OB/GYNs, nurses, midwives, doulas, dais, educators, yoga and fitness specialists, natural childbirth advocates, gender equity and women’s rights specialists, researchers and concerned citizens will assemble.

Please save the date. Registration details and specifics regarding scheduled speakers and events will be circulated closer to the date of the event. Inquiries and paper submissions can be directed to the local organisers, the Bangalore Birth Network, by e-mail at

Birth India is a national level NGO that aims to promote the physical and psychological benefits of natural childbirth and best practices to achieve a normal birth.

Nora Kropp CPM, MPH
Secretary, Bangalore Birth Network
Board Member, Birth India

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

Classified Advertising

Online midwife training (pay as you go) using Moodle, WizIQ. Weekly classes & 2-week clinical trips for all to serve in L&D in Dominican Republic and Uganda.

Tell our readers about your business. Just $37/issue ($135 for four) gives you 30 words to promote your products or services. or

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 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



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: Please send submissions in the body of your message and not as attachments.


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.

© 2011 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!