January 4, 2012
Volume 14, Issue 1
Midwifery Today E-News
Print Page

Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

online holiday coupon pageHoliday gift money to spend?

Check out the Online Holiday Coupon Page to find out how you can save $10 or $20 on your Midwifery Today order. Or, save $5 on a Midwifery Today subscription. You’ll also find special offers from other merchants. Be sure to take advantage of the savings before they expire at the end of January.

Midwifery Today Online Store

What’s the story about siblings at birth?

MT online store Midwifery Today Issue 28 takes a look at how siblings can play a part appropriate to their age in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. You’ll find several delightful stories about the reactions of young children to their new brother or sister. This issue also has articles about waterbirth, long labor, the effects of childhood abuse on a birthing woman and more. For just $7, it’s quite a bargain!
To order

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

Look below for more info!

Learn the art and science of breech birth…

Harrisburg conference…when you attend the full-day class, “Developing Your Breech Skills.” Topics covered include how to turn breech babies, palpation skills, estimating fetal weight, amniotic fluid, and how to communicate with the baby with touch and words. Frank, footling and complete breech will be discussed, as well as cord prolapse, fetal heart tone, and recognizing intrauterine growth restriction. You’ll also learn the factors which may lead to breech presentation, and when external version is contraindicated. Teachers include Betty-Anne Daviss, Ina May Gaskin and Michel Odent. There will be time for hands-on practice. This class is part of our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA, April 2012.

Learn more about the Harrisburg conference.

In This Week’s Issue

Quote of the Week

Comparison is a death knell to sibling harmony.

Elizabeth Fishel

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

The key to reducing vulvar swelling during pregnancy is to get the circulation going. Pelvic rock and rolls can shift the baby if it is blocking blood flow. Women should try sitz baths with yarrow, witch hazel bark and sea salt. They can also do alternating sitz baths—switching from very hot to very cold and back. Use two five-gallon buckets or other large containers that can accommodate the bottom in the tub, filling one with hot and the other with cold.

Helena Wu
Excerpted from "Tricks of the Trade," Midwifery Today, Issue 75
View table of contents / Order the back issue

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.

Jan’s Corner

Changing Birth Practices in 2012

Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s dub this the Year of Birth Change. With each of you working in your sphere of influence, we can make great strides to better birth for every motherbaby.

My first homebirth was so empowering and made me feel exhilarated for years afterward. This was after a horrible hospital experience. I vowed after my homebirth that I would devote the rest of my life trying to make birth better for mother and baby and spent twelve years in homebirth practice with awesome partners. I began writing a book about these amazing experiences when I heard the voice of God say, “Don’t write a book, start a magazine. Here is what you are to put into it….” I sat in the chair where my third baby and first son had been born and wrote down what He told me. Exactly one year later the first magazine went to the printer. With Midwifery Today magazine (the hundredth issue is in subscribers’ mailboxes now), conferences, products and now Facebook, we have been promoting normal birth and the work I began 35 years ago. I say “we” because my fabulous staff and all of you contribute, too.

Now we have taken on the project of establishing the Global Midwifery Council (GMC) to further promote motherbaby. We have created a Birth Situation Room and it is up on our Web site. Please check out the many reports so far (linked on the right hand side along with a corresponding country flag). We need more country reports and country contacts to contribute to this project and we would like to collect reports on the state of birth and midwifery in every country possible. If you are interested in either of these tasks please e-mail me at jan@midwiferytoday.com. If you can report on your country or region it would be a tremendous help in bringing forth our vision.

I have described the herstory of the GMC in my editorial for Midwifery Today, and you can find it, along with the GMC mission statement here. We have also included the definition of a midwife, the Goals and Beliefs of the International Alliance of Midwives here.

The GMC now has a board of five members and an organized structure for completing projects consisting of allocating task forces to certain subjects. The willing members will work on those tasks and bring the ideas to the board for approval. We have task force groups focusing on education, letter writing, membership, marketing and public relations, traditional/indigenous midwifery, grant writing, fundraising, Web site development, media projects, information gathering and helping countries seeking aid, along with other areas of focus. In addition, we are working on becoming an NGO.

There is room for many more members and plenty of work to do. What are your ideas? Would you like to help? Let’s make this a change year. I am committed and hope you are, too.

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.

Midwifery Today on Facebook: facebook.com/midwiferytoday
Jan on Facebook: facebook.com/JanTrittensBirthPage
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook: facebook.com/IAMbirth
Birth Is a Human Rights Issue: facebook.com/birthisahumanrightsissue
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing: facebook.com/MidwiferyEducation

Please support our advertisers!

Looking for a CPM

Birth center and homebirth practice in Sandpoint, ID, is looking for a Certified Professional Midwife or Licensed Midwife. Must be comfortable with four seasons, country roads and a wide variety of patients’ lifestyles and religious practices. Compensation would increase as the business grows, with part ownership a possibility. E-mail your resume to dmidstokke@hotmail.com, pendoreillemidiwfery.com, 208-263-0776.

News and Research

A recent study investigating the uses of Omega-3 fatty acid and ginger supplements in pregnancy yielded results verifying the efficacy of these substances. The author of the study recommends taking 300 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily “during pregnancy and lactation…to optimize gestational development and possibly neurobehavioral outcomes in infants and toddlers” (Dennehy 2011). Vegetarians are advised to take algal oil capsules which are also rich in DHA. In addition, Dennehy condones the use of powdered ginger for relieving nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP).

— Dennehy, C. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Ginger in Maternal Health: Pharmacology, Efficacy, and Safety.” J Midwifery Wom Heal 56 (6): 584–90.

Please support our advertisers!

Add to Your Library

advertiserTen Moons—The Inner Journey of Pregnancy: A treasure-trove of women’s lore around pregnancy and birth, illuminating the sacred dimensions of childbearing, practical information, individual exercises and enlightening sharing from Jane and others. E book ($A10) paperback ($A25).

A Shamanic Drum Journey for Pregnancy: Journey into your womb to meet your baby and drumming for labour and birth. Audio download ($A16.99)


Featured Article

An Unconditional Love

Strangers proclaimed that with three sons I must want a female presence in the house and wondered out loud how long we would continue to try for a girl. I was even given gifts that were appropriate for girls and was denied a shower for our baby until after the birth, under the premise that only a girl would warrant a shower at this point.

I went through my pregnancy feeling as though no one cared about my well-being, as if the only way my baby mattered was if she were a girl. I kept a journal of thoughts for our baby and consciously laid my hands on my belly and talked to our baby so it would know how loved it was. I tried hard to diffuse the negativity that I felt all around me. I resented the fact that people turned a joyous time into something conditional, despite the fact that I had no control over the baby’s gender. At times I doubted my own feelings—would I really cherish another son as much as a daughter? Should I just break down and have an ultrasound to put the issue to rest? I thought back to the births of each of my sons, remembering how I felt at the moment of each birth. Had something in my heart or mind changed between my first son’s birth and my third son’s birth? Was there any hint of disappointment with my third son?

These comments from family, friends and even strangers caused me to look deep inside, to reflect back on those first precious moments at each birth. I remembered the intense love I felt for each of them from the time they were conceived—a love that continued when we first looked into each other’s eyes at birth and is still a constant today. I wouldn’t change anything about my sons—they have made my life so full and taught me so much.

As my husband and I journeyed through a fourth pregnancy, the answer was perfectly obvious to us. We loved our children long before we knew their genders and we would always feel that way. We talked through the insensitive comments, my husband calmed my nerves when I felt overwhelmed, and we prepared for another amazing birth.

When the time came, our baby birthed into my hands and I brought it out of the water and held it close against my chest. We rejoiced at the perfection with which we had once again been blessed. Our sons gathered around, eager to know whether they had a brother or sister (they, too, wanted a sister very much). I held our baby close for a while, amazed once again at the life that had grown inside of me. After so many months of intense movements inside we finally had met. I felt between our baby’s legs and could feel only the tight cord. I couldn’t be sure from what I was feeling if we had a son or a daughter. After putting on my glasses and taking a good look, I discovered that we had a daughter. We all rejoiced together!

Paula Hostler
Excerpted from “An Unconditional Love,” Midwifery Today, Issue 86
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Please support our advertisers!


The last printing of The Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery, 4th edition, is out of order. This applies to 100 books printed in November 2011. Please return book in a flat rate priority envelope. We will reimburse postage and send a new PSGM very soon. Return to: 2213 S. Foothill Blvd, Wasilla, AK 99654. Contact us at akstork@aol.com to receive a PDF file of the PSGM. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. MorningStar Publishing Co. www.morningstarpub.com

Featured Products

Learn the essentials of supportive touch.

Laboring Under an Illusion

In Touch Techniques for Birth, Leslie Piper, LMT, and Leslie Stager, RN, LMT, show you how to make touch a part of your midwifery practice. You’ll learn about contraindications, acupressure, reflexology, hydrotherapy, general comfort strokes, pain relieving techniques and more. A special feature includes a midwife’s story of the use of belly rub and emotional support to encourage labor. This DVD belongs in your midwifery library! Get the DVD.

Want the whole story?

Subscribe to Midwifery Today print 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.

Midwifery Today Magazine Issue 94

Take advantage of these limited-time discounts—all offers expire Jan. 31, 2012.

  • Brought to Earth by Birth is yours for just $15.95 until Jan. 31, 2012
  • General Skills for the Student Midwife DVD—now just $59.00 until Jan. 31, 2012
  • Newborn Exam for the Student Midwife DVD—now just $79.00 until Jan. 31, 2012

For more information about these products and to order, go here.

"I am opening up in sweet surrender
to the beautiful baby in my womb."
Of Nature and Birth DVD Slide Show

Watch “Of Nature and Birth”—a DVD slide show by Harriette Hartigan—for a powerful affirmation of how we can and should trust birth. Order this DVD for a beautiful beginning for your presentations to birthing classes. Add it to your lending library as encouragement for a pregnant woman to open as a flower on her birth day. Order the DVD.

Discover belly mapping!

The Belly Mapping Workbook shows how a woman can discover her baby’s position in late pregnancy. This technique can be a fun bonding activity and is often used for proactive childbirth preparation using optimal fetal positioning. The Workbook includes 100 drawings and photos that take you through details of head-down and breech babies. At just $14.95, it makes a fine gift for a pregnant friend! To order

Belly Mapping Workbook

Looking for a good appointment book for the New Year?

With Woman Appt and Resource Book The With Woman Appointment and Resource Book is just what you need. This handy spiral bound book lets you record 15 months of appointments and is perfect for midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and lactation consultants. You’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. If you’re a student it can help you keep track of your prenatals, births and postpartum visits. Not a midwife? With Woman makes a great gift for someone who is.
To Order
View inside pages!

Carry your birth books or birth equipment…
MT tote bag …in this Midwifery Today Logo Tote Bag. It’s also great for shopping or for carrying the children’s toys for a day at grandma’s. Available in natural and black. Order a bag!

Web Site Update

Share the excitement of Midwifery Today’s 100th issue! You may check out the table of contents of the Winter 2011/2012 issue here.
Read Jan Tritten’s editorial from this issue:

  • Lessons from Kitty Birth: Using Placenta to Control Hemorrhage
    Excerpt: I went to a totally beautiful and undisturbed birth today. Five of them, actually! The mother had the most natural births as we looked on, not disturbing her but just being “with woman.” With woman—with kitty. Mamma cat is used to Adam because she belongs to him, and I am a good friend of hers, as well, and she didn’t mind our presence at all. We watched as she had each kitten, ate each placenta in a gulp or two, and then slurped the cords like strings of spaghetti.

Read these reviews from Midwifery Today Issue 99 newly posted to our Web site:

  • Positive Pain: A Guide to Emotional Well-being through Pregnancy and Birth—by Adela Stockton, reviewed by Janean Douglass
    Excerpt: The book is directed toward helping those who are questioning not only the physical but the mental challenges of pregnancy and childbirth, and shows that having one’s mind in proper alignment is just as important as learning about childbirth breathing and the mechanics of labor.
  • Butterfly People—by Robin Lim, reviewed by Toni Rakestraw
    Excerpt: Butterfly People is, quite literally, one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. It follows the Lim family from the late 1800s through today. Getting to peek at the life of a family like this, in the Philippines in their everyday existence, is a gift.

Advertising Opportunities

Midwifery Today E-News

Welcome in the New Year with new opportunities and potential customers. Advertise in Midwifery Today E-News and reach over 18,000 potential customers. Contact our advertising director at ads@midwiferytoday.com before March 1 to learn of our First-of-the-Year Specials! [ Learn More ]

Save Money with Midwifery Today Quarterly Print Magazine Contracts

Did you know that we offer discounts on multiple insertion contracts? Save up to 20% by prepaying for four or more display ads with Midwifery Today quarterly print magazine. With ads starting at $100, there is one for every budget. [ Learn more here. ]

Advertise at Midwifery Today’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Conference

Reach a targeted, enthusiastic market by advertising at Midwifery Today’s conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. By advertising at “Midwifery: Skill, Wisdom, Culture, Love” you will reach an audience passionate about birth. Space is limited so learn more here.

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

Question of the Week Responses

Q: What is the policy concerning toxoplasmosis where you work? What would you do for an expectant mom who is not immune? What are the risks and risk factors of toxoplasmosis?

— Jan Tritten

A: In the past, the toxoplasmosis screen was a part of the routine prenatal blood screen. My education regarding toxoplasmosis for families calls for cleanliness and more cleanliness. This includes no indoor cat litter boxes. If the family does keep one, any woman of childbearing years must be banned from dealing with it, and it should be cleaned at least daily by someone else! Women should also be aware of rodent contamination, another cleanliness/exposure issue. It is quite likely that anyone who has grown up around cats is already immune.

— Patricia Edmonds

A: The toxoplasmosis screen is still routinely applied in most of the centers in Turkey, especially the private ones. We all know that it is useless to screen everybody for that, so I don’t even check unless there is suspicion of infection.

— Hakan Çoker Hamile Eğitimi

Like E-News?
You’ll love Midwifery Today magazine!

Birth Wisdom from the Web

If we say “delivering” babies, it implies that the midwife made it happen. It’s a birth, not a delivery. Midwives inadvertently take the power away from women if they claim to have done all the work. It is the mother who has all the sweat and toil of labour, pushing out her baby with amazing endurance, for us to “catch” at the end.

— From midwife Sheena Byrom’s autobiography: http://www.clitheroeadvertiser.co.uk/lifestyle/entertainment-news/sheena_s_memoirs_of_a_career_catching_babies_1_4032787

Why can’t I give birth with someone who watches protectively over the physical well-being of my…baby and me, without being subjected to interventions based on arbitrary time tables and a desire to mold my labor into a textbook labor? Nothing about providing safe, evidence-based care requires (or even allows) forcing women to have unnecessary interventions in our labors, pushing our labors to conform to the convenience of the facility or caregiver, etc.

— Blogger Molly Westerman, advocating 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 mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.

libraries graphic

Bring resources about homebirth and midwifery to your community.

Does your library have relevant natural birth and midwifery resources? Did you know that as a patron of the library, you can make requests for specific books, magazines and DVDs? If these resources are not available for mothers to find, how will they make educated decisions? Making requests is easy. Go here to learn how.

Conference Chatter

Conferences as Part of Changing Birth

One of the main reasons we do conferences is to empower you to make changes in birth. We have many goals at conference but this is an important one. We enact change by bringing in great teachers and offering classes that we hope will make you the best birth practitioner you can be. In addition, it is imperative that we encourage and empower you in whatever situation you may find yourself. Our teachers are very accessible which makes for some great after hours and meal time discussions! We think about what is needed in the midwifery and birth community and spend a lot of time considering how to apply these topics to the program for each conference. If there is something you are interested in, please let us know!

From feedback from our registrants it looks like the conferences are working. I am especially pleased when someone comes to the conference ready to give up her birth practice and later informs us that she returned to her work strengthened by the love, support, knowledge and new ideas she learned and that she is going to stay in practice. We really need all of you to keep doing your work in order to change the horrendous paradigm of medicalized birth. I invite you to join us at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference April 11–15, 2012, and to Bad Wildbad, Germany October 17–21, 2012.

We now use conference time to conduct face-to-face Global Midwifery Council meetings, so if you are interested in the GMC you can talk to several members there about your participation. Together we will make a difference. Together we can change the world!

— Jan Tritten

Think about It

Do you like staying in hospital? Why go there then? You don’t go to hospital for a cold, so why go there for something as natural as giving birth? Really sick people go to hospital. Home is cleaner, safer and everything is brought to you. Women generally labour better and experience less pain due to less fear. Birth at home—you won’t be disappointed.

Michelle Goodhew

ed page graphic

Learn about 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.


Survey Investigating Women’s Sexuality during Pregnancy, Lactation and Early Parenthood

Researchers at California State University, Fullerton are conducting a survey regarding women’s sexuality during pregnancy, lactation and early parenthood. The study is approved by the CSUF Internal Review Board (IRB # HS-11-0190). The survey is completely voluntary and anonymous, and no compensation will be made for participation. This research will help scientists understand the role of pregnancy, childbirth and lactation on women’s sexuality, including sexual desires, behaviors and attitudes. The survey should take approximately 20–40 minutes to complete (depending on the woman’s reproductive, relationship and sexual history). The survey can be found at the following link: https://fulertonhumsoc.us.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5zkiLc0DU15YTpq

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

WomanCraft Midwifery Education Program: a strong foundation of academics and hands-on skills for aspiring midwives. Course includes Doula and CBE Certification. Begins March 10, 2012, Amherst, MA. www.womancraft.org

Tell our readers about your business. Just $37/issue ($135 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
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



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.


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.

© 2012 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!